How Can Square Enix Improve Final Fantasy XIV In Stormblood?

Articled Written By: Jade Clarkson

In honor of Final Fantasy XIV announcing their newest expansion Stormblood, slated for release in early summer 2017, I have decided to write on my current feelings on the current state of the FFXIV. Also, I’d like to discuss what I feel have been amazing changes so far, and what could be improved on when Stormblood is released.

Let me start by saying that I absolutely adore the Final Fantasy series, it took all my willpower to put Final Fantasy XV down to write this, and have been playing this MMO since late 2013. I have seen the game evolve into something that I enjoy, but need to walk away from, time-to-time, mainly because of some of Square Enix’s choices; such as unnecessary token & currency grinds. I do however keep going back because of the community and the ease of access to those communities and other players that I regularly collaborate with.

Since its creation, Final Fantasy XIV has never compromised on its story content. I feel that this main story content is one of Square Enix’s strongest assets. If you have never played a Final Fantasy game in your life, the entire genre revolves around the narrative. All of the games do not have the same storyline, or even continuing stories, though the original content that Square Enix brings forth is phenomenal. The storyline within Final Fantasy XIV and Heavensward are extremely strong, I feel they rival any other single-player offerings that Square has produced.

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Since Heavensward launched back in June of 2015, Square Enix has made some dramatic changes including gameplay and world settings. Giving PC players the option to use DirectX 11 as well as upping the graphics on the PS4. The game has since become accessible to all types of newcomers, adding in a feature called the Novice Network, which allows new players to talk to each other. This addition also lets seasoned players who enjoy helping others assist in any questions they have or assist with quests.

Square Enix recently implemented Wondrous Tails, which gives unique and expensive items to
Veteran players who redo older content. This incentive helps to give newer players the information and knowledge they need regarding a dungeon or a boss fight. Another feature that is just phenomenal is how they let you communicate; whether you are in a Free Company (Read: Guild) or just want a small place to chat with you and your friends, Square Enix covered that. Besides having your typical guild, party, and whispers, you also have an invention called Linkshells. These Linkshells allow you to make private channels for you and your friends to communicate, even if you are in different free companies.

So what would I like to see more of, or changed in Stormblood? For starters, I would really enjoy seeing a third dungeon added to the content patches. As it stands, Final Fantasy XIV releases two new dungeons every content patch. Within these dungeons are the means of getting new gear via tokens. When it takes weeks on end to gather all of the tokens needed for your new gear, having a third dungeon to run breaks up a lot of that monotony – as you are forced to grind out the two new dungeons if you are currently up-to-date with the highest tier of items available from the previous patch.

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A different way to go about grinding for gear tokens would be to add more ways to earn them such as through gathering professions or crafting professions. I would say by gathering specific items, you could choose between the crafter or gatherer specific tokens or the tokens to gear up. Another big change I would like to see is regarding Relic Weapons, or your classes ultimate weapon. I would love to see the quests for the relic be more story based and less of a token grind like aforementioned new dungeon releases since we have to do that with high end content.

In the vanilla game of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the relic quests were based on heroes of old that lived within the lore. Expanding the storylines or even creating new ones that are specific to the class would be interesting and create an interactive experience for the player. The quest itself I would see as being fairly lengthy, as it is a Final Fantasy game; just a lot less focused on the grind of tokens and more focused on the story.

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Is there any changes you would like to see in Final Fantasy XIV when Stormblood goes live? Let us know!

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