Final Fantasy XIV Main Story Complete!

Final Fantasy XIV’s original (well, ‘A Realm Reborn’ original) main story quest is complete. What amazes me most is the quick turnaround I had from acknowledging the procrastination problem and just getting on and pushing through. By close of the same day I posted that, I was most of the way there. The day after (yesterday), I was done.

Since then I’ve been tottering around doing what I assume to be quests relevant when level 50 was the cap. Before the patches started dropping more MSQ to do. I’ve unlocked a half dozen or so hard mode or level 50 only dungeons. I think I might be working on attuning myself to one of the raids, even.

I’ve even done a mild (veerrry mild) farm of Allagan Tomestone of Poetics in order to get myself some of that sweet, sweet, ilvl 120 Ironworks Gear. I very much doubt I have to do this. But there is a slight fear in the back of my mind about the possibility of being gear gated on my way through the patch content toward accessing Heavensward. I haven’t gone hunting out any detail on this though, the most I’ve done is had a quick peek at the list of quests. And… Oh my. That is… quite a list indeed. A hundred of them it would seem. I mean — I haven’t counted. That’s just what the wiki says at the top.

And to think — then there is Heavensward. Then the Heavensward patches. Then Stormblood. Stormblood patches. Then, finally, will be able to play Shadowbringers. Content incidentally that was sort of foreshadowed in the closing chapter of the ARR MSQ. That’s some decent planning right there.

Getting Invested!

Despite just how far away getting to the current endgame is, I’ve started to change how I’m thinking about the game too. A change in how invested I am in mastery of my class. As a lowbie, I’m more than happy to muddle through on my own and make my own discoveries on how a class works.

It isn’t until closing in on the endgame that I typically want to get deep into the theorycrafting of it all. Really dive into the nitty gritty and answer questions like: Is DoT Snapshotting a thing? (Yes it is.) Am I right to prioritise Mage’s Ballad over Army’s Paeon? (Yes, but when I get my next song stance, that will become the new priority.) How does DoT refreshing work? (Full overwrite, any time remaining when you refresh is wiped — the damage is not added to the new DoT instance.) Should I use Raging Strikes before my DoTs to buff them, or after my DoTs to get more Direct Damage in? (Don’t know! I suspect the GCD requirements on getting both dots into the buff window might be too high, but! This could change when I get the ‘Iron Jaws’ shot which refreshes both dots and also refreshes the damage state. Also I’ll need to test this to be sure anyway, as I could be wrong fullstop — DoT damage is a reasonable portion of Bard damage after all.)

And plenty more besides. I am concerned though, that despite FFXIV being so well regarded at the moment? That there won’t be the same degree of theorycrafting done by community as I’m used to from WoW. That some questions I have I won’t be able to answer on my own due to lack of sim tools, etc.

Clearly people are making do and successfully clearing content. But it’s entirely possible not knowing these things will slowly but surely drive me craaaaaazzzyyyy. Crazy I tell you!

…Still, those are problems for another day. Procrastination by way of researching a thing as opposed to getting on and doing said thing is something I’m very skilled at. So I’m going to try my best to keep these questions at bay until such time the answers actually matter.

Playing Past the End

I ‘finished’ Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey roughly 20 hours of play ago. I finished what I would consider to be the main story thread regarding your family in any case. Perhaps 10 hours of play ago, I finished the story strand linking present-day and the Isu — The First Civilisation. There are a few other story strands that will have endings of their own, I’m assuming. Such as eliminating once and for all the Cult of Kosmos and raising to the very top of the Mercenary rankings.

But those are certainly second-fiddle to resolving the family story. You might have gathered already, but simply getting that far in a single-player title is unusual for me. I come by my massive backlog of unfinished titles honestly. ;)

For a good while I thought Odyssey would fall to the same fate, as I’d put in a little over 20 hours at launch and then never touched it again. Certainly returning to blogging has seen me make a more concerted effort at finishing things, but Odyssey has gone beyond even that. I haven’t been able to put it down!

With this context, it’s probably also going to come as no surprise that I’m not a completionist by nature. I absolutely know there is no world in which I truly ‘100%’ this game with all side content done, achievements completed, etc. I probably won’t even make any sort of serious dent into a ‘New Game+’ mode.

I’m still playing on because:

  • First, it’s fun as all hell. Nothing else would matter if this wasn’t true.
  • I’m getting my game ‘ready’ for the DLC. All three chapters of ‘The Legacy of the First Blade’ are out now and the first chapter of the second season of DLC, ‘The Fate of Atlantis’ is also out.
    • Before I start this DLC, I wish to complete the two story strands I mentioned earlier — the Cult and the Mercenaries.

I’m just about there on both threads. There is in fact only one Mercenary between me and the top spot. I just need to discover who they are so I can track them down and… have a chat about our relative positions in life.

The Cult is going to take a bit more work still. I’ve cleansed the world of several branches already, but there are still more clues to be discovered and identities uncovered before I understand who the overall leader is. One of the last clues I received on the leader’s identity was extremely intriguing, too. I am almost ready to make an assumption on who it is before being able to more ‘formally’ uncover them, but I’m happy taking out some more of their underlings for now.

Although I must admit, I am getting rather antsy to start into the DLC already. Soon. Soon!

Digging for Artifacts in the Backlog

Only about 6 years late.

Actually the news here might be that I finished a game. Never mind that it’s one that released 6-years ago. Tomb Raider’s reboot and first entry in the recent trilogy of titles was released March 2013. I’ve just now finished it April 2019.

It was an interesting experience. It both holds up very well and displays its age. There is the odd very low resolution texture and low poly-count objects which belie the game’s age graphically. Sure, some of the effects work also give it a dated appearance. But otherwise it still looks really good.

Climbing through one of the game’s tombs or puzzle areas, or even watching the enemy moving into position, and I think you’d be hard pressed without prior knowledge to say how long ago it came out.

What really betrays the era is the game’s almost begrudging attitude toward letting you control the camera. This simply doesn’t really happen in modern game design, but is a frequent occurrence here.

It can be a helpful pointer at times, but at others the forced perspective when you just want to take a look around can be quite jarring. Literally. It will at times continually ‘shake’ the camera back into the position the designers wanted.

The sound effects and music are excellent, but the voice overs are… Hmm. They are something of a mixed bag. Some of the voice actors are excellent, others are OK… Others you wonder who on the dev team they were related to.

But for all that I enjoyed it. It’s a short game (if you’re not a completionist after all the relics and challenges), clocking in at a little over 10 hours for me, including the 3-4 hours I’d already given it in the past. Cloud Saves let me resume the campaign that I was around 36% of the way through from way back when.

I don’t recall why I stopped playing it originally, it was likely just something else I’d been waiting on more came out.

As a Lara Croft prequel the story worked well, but I believe someone coming to the series now could well have been skipped over it and gone straight to the second entry, Rise of the Tomb Raider. I don’t know yet whether one should do that, only that one could. (I’ll know after playing Rise, which is up next.)

What I do know though from finishing this one is that you don’t need to. If you’re interested in the whole experience, know that the original game of this trilogy is perfectly serviceable today, 6-years on.