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Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker Combat Changes Detailed

Posted on September 18, 2021 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix livestreamed a nearly 5 hour presentation detailing the upcoming job changes coming to Eorzea in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker. During a rather lengthy discussion of each job had the major adjustments & new actions coming with the November launch of the new expansion. Producer / Director Naoki Yoshida also went hands-on to show off the brand new Reaper & Sage jobs in addition to the reworked Monk and Summoner.

If you want to know what changes are coming to your favorite job, I’ve jotted down all of the major changes discussed below.

This story is still developing the livestream is still happening so I’ll update this story if anything substantial is announced.

Battle Adjustments:
– Party Finder adjustments.
– Parties will include one pure healer and one barrier healer for Savage content.
– Party finder: Healer category will be split between both types.
– New options for players who have yet to receive weekly rewards.
– Search results will not longer include parties you can not join due to one person per job.

Duty Rewards Adjustments:
– Trials will drop a regular weapon and a coffer.
– Fourth encounter of savage tier (3.0+) will drop a coffer as well as a weapon.
– 4.0+ Savage will now drop gear and accessories as coffers.

Misc Battle Adjustments:
– Improved ground targeting functionality.
– New settings added to Character Configuration menu.
– Prevent cursor from moving beyond ground targeting range.
– Displays which party member target when casting
– For example you’ll see “WHM Raising Member [2]”.
– Also works for targeting enemies as well.
– Unreal Trials will be temporarily removed.
– Job adjustments will need to be finished with the level 90 level cap before revisiting Unreal Trials.
– Scheduled to be reintroduced in patch 6.1!

Downscaling Values:
– Difference in gear attributes from levels 50 – 80 will be reduced.
– Overall HP and Damage values will be reduced.
– Potency of meals, medicine and materia will be reduced.
– Adjusting to maintain balance with various systems.
– In general the reduction is about 1/5th

HQ Items Removal:
No longer available as HQ
– Gathered Items
– Enemy Drops
– Token Exchange Materials
– Non Crafted materials

Items Still Available
– Crafted Items
– Gear
– HQ Yield gathering abilities will be adjusted to quantity.

The Athernet UI Will Be Updated:

Datacenter Travel Delays:
– Due to urgent need to address server congestion Data Center Travel visit system has been delayed until after Patch 6.0x.
– Server team is working on server stability to avoid crashing and congestion.
– Will be introduced “6.x and beyond”.
– Additional traffic due to players moving within their regions.
– If servers went down during launch would make bug tracking harder.
– Too much of a risk.

Regarding Cloud Servers:
– Tested cloud technology with a “Major partner” two years ago.
– Long story short: With assessments completed. Costs would have been high. Stability issues
– Zone servers could be supported on cloud. But physical servers are more reliable.

General Tank changes:
Beneficial effects for using cooldowns at optimal times.
– Ranged attacks no longer break combo.
– Magical + Physical attacks will now have parity.

Paladin Changes:
– Requiescat now will be equally effective regardless of MP.
– Confetteor has a 3 attack combo now.

Warrior Changes:
– Damage up boosts can now be triggered + extended with AOE combos.
– Onslaught / Upheaval don’t cost gauge.
– New ability available after using inner release. – Inner release recast times 60 seconds.

Dark Knight Changes:
– Salted Earth now spawns around and makes a new ability available.
– It is no places on the ground.
– Your FRAY now gets new ability as well.

Gunbreaker Changes:
– 3 Powder slots on the job gauge (we saw this in the actions trailer)
– Savage Claw and Wicked Talon swap on the hotbar (One button combo)
– Any actions in between don’t break combo – Continuation usable after Burst Strike

General Melee DPS Adjustments:
– Feint now reduces magical and physical damage.
– Combos aren’t broken by Ranged Attacks (just like Tanks)
– Physical / magical parity on weapons of same ilevels and potency.

Dragoon Changes:
– Expanded AOE Rotation
– New weaponskill available upon execution of combo.
– Some of the existing actions have been removed over the years. Swapped them around for base skills.
– Blood of the Dragon is now a trait. No need to maintain it or use it.

Monk Changes:
– Chakras now unlocked at a lower level.
– New System: Mastering Blitz.
– # of charges available depending on the skills used when under the effect of perfect balance.
– With the Chakra system you will need to activate it with Perfect Balance.

Samurai Changes:
– Effects from Jinpu and Shifu now applied by AOE combos.
– A new action will be available in the vein of Tsubame-gaeshi.
– Wanted to preserve the feeling of a “pure melee” DPS. – Straight forward changes from the last expansion.

Ninja Changes:
– Actions linked to Raiton, Doton and Huton.
– An action making it easy to apply Huton.
– Dot will be gone
– No 4th mudra

Reaper (new job):
– Attacks in tandem with Avatar. Unleash powerful attacks by combining with the avatar.
– Grant buffs to party.
– Unique /special actions (see below)
– Soul Gauge you charge up which unleashes different attacks. Effects avatar attacks as well.
– Weapon skill own + avatar = 2nd gauge will build. Merge with the avatar and unleash devastating attacks.

General Physical Ranged Changes:
– Buffs that mitigate damage, recast time on Tact / Shield Samba adjusted to 90s.

Bard Changes:
– Each of 3 songs will make a new ability that applies party buff.
– Feedback for more support abilities with songs.
– Apex Arrow usage makes a new action available. (Level 90 cap stone move?)

Machinist Changes:
– New Action Chainsaw added (you can see this launching chainsaw blades during the Job Actions trailer)
– New ability added to the Automaton Queen
– Reassemble now has 2 charges.

Dancer Changes:
– Weapon skills like Flourishing Cascade will now be shared across single target and AOE.
– New skills open up upon using Technical Finish, Improvisation and Devilment.
– Smoother in terms of execution different rotation. Hotbar switching from AOE/Dancing

Red Mage Changes:
– A new action will be available after using Scorch. (Line AOE in the job trailer?).
– Verflare, Verholy and Scorch will now be AOES available part of the AOE rotation.
– Defensive party wide enhancement will be added.
– Manafication changes.


Summoner Changes (6.0 Rework)
– Full rework (might as well be a new job)
– All damage over time abilities removed.
– Use Ifrit, Garuda, Titan not just the egis.
– Concept is transferring energy into jewels.
– Tried to bring out of the feeling of traditional summoner.

Healer Changes:
– New actions that apply single target buffs (each healer).
– Cast time for offensive spells has been reduced.
– Limit break 3 area of effect expanded to 50 yalms.
– Two regen healers / two shield healers. Diurnal and Nocturnal Sect will be removed.

White Mage Changes:
– Simple update.
– Functionally and visually distinct restorative field action added.
– Focus: Pure healer.
– A holy spell has been added that lily charges
– Fluid Aura removed
– Divine Benison will have charges.

Scholar Changes:
– Is now classified as Barrier Healer.
– Unique action that enhances the party movement speed even during combat as been added. (Peloton for combat?)
– Functions like sprint but it will not overlap with the buff from sprint.
– Powerful healing spell

Astrologian Changes:
– Neutral sect will still give shields. Basic healing will be adjusted as if it was under Diurnal sect.
– The effect of Divination will be changed and seals are used for new enhancements.
– Redraw will no longer have charges.

Sage (new job):
– Focus is barrier healer.
– Able to attack enemies and heal party members simultaneous. Only works on one party member.
– Draws upon unique resources for healing / enhancements and attack magic
– The ability to target a single member of the part is called “Cardio”.
– When hitting an an enemy, attack can become a damage over time.
– Resource that you build to deploy instant barrier heals.
– Movement Skill – “Icarus” – Movement ability in actions trailer.



Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Free Until Launch of Shadowbringers

Posted on May 2, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

FFXIV’s first expansion Heavensward was released back in 2015 but if you haven’t experienced the story of the city state of Ishgard, the Dragonsong War and a Warrior of Light on the run then now you can by claiming a copy of the expansion on either PC or PlayStation 4 up to a day before Shadowbringers launches in Early Access on June 28th.

In order to begin adventures in Ishgard players will need to clear the level 50 Main Story Quest between 2.0 (A Realm Reborn) and 2.55 (Before The Fall). To qualify for a free copy of Heavensward players must have the Final Fantasy XIV Starter Edition on either Windows PC or PlayStation 4. Also it appears that this offer doesn’t extend to the Steam version of XIV.

Reka Ai’a and her companions explore Azys Lla

Despite being 4 years old, Heavensward adds a lot of content that extends XIV’s gameplay in a number of ways that provides Warriors of Light with months, if not years of playable content including:

  • Main Scenario Expansion (Heavensward Base Story 3.0 + 3.X Patches)
  • Three New Jobs – Machinist, Astrologian and Dark Knight.
  • Increased level cap to 60 for all DOW / DOM / DOH / DOL Jobs.
  • Open World Content: The Diadem (although it does require quite a bit of organization to play this content nowadays.)
  • Seven new trials: Ravana, Bismark, Thordin, Sephirot, Sophia, Zurvan and Nidhogg. Plus each trial also has an extreme variant that can reward really sparkly bird mounts.
  • Six new zones: Foundation / Pillars (Ishgard), The Churning Mists, The Dravanian Hinterlands, The Dravanian Forelands, Azys Lla and Ideshire.
  • 12 Eight Person Raids – Alexander.
  • 3 Twenty Four Person Raids – The Shadow of Mach Series -“The Weeping City”, “Dun Scaithe” and “The Void Ark”.

Ozma, one of the most impressive bosses of the 24 person raid series.

I thoroughly enjoyed FFXIV: Heavansward and often find myself returning to its locations quite often. This is true for normal gameplay, whether doing the Alexander Raids or various trials while levelling alt jobs or to collecting rare crafting materials to fashion the shiny primal weapons. Heavenswards’ areas have also been a sort of inspiration for my character as well, as she’s a Machinist, you can often find her hanging out at the Skysteel Manufactury during RP time or just downtime in general.

Source: FFXIV Official Twitter


Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Confirmed To Be a World Hopping Adventure

Posted on March 23, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

Last night Final Fantasy XIV: Online Producer & Director Naoki Yoshida took to the main stage in front of 15,000 in-person attendees and the world via livestream to reveal even more information about the MMO’s third expansion, Shadowbringers. Confirmed during the 90 minute presentation were the location for the expansion, the highly rumoured Dancer job, several major cities to be featured in Shadowbringers, not one but two playable races and finally the theme for the 8-person end game raids.

A World Flooded By Light: The First Shard

Future Warriors of Darkness will be headed to a region known as Novrandt but that players will better know as the First Shard, the reflection of Hydaelym where Heavenwards Warriors of Darkness came from. It is a world of perpetual daylight, where “the sun” never sets due to the overwhelming imbalance of the Light aspect Aether that has enveloped Novarandt.  During the MSQ we’ll have to restore the aetherial balance, welcome Darkness back to the First Shard and bring night upon the Shard for the first time in who knows how long.

Now that we know that The First is where our characters will land in 5.0, it also confirms that the previously revealed zones of Il Mheg, The Rak’tika Greatwood and Amh Araeng are not on the Source world where the Warrior of Light originates. Yesterday’s KeyNote address revealed an additional area called “Lakeland” which is where our adventures on The First Shard will begin. If you’re looking at the architecture featured within the city screenshots in this article and feel that they are familiar, don’t be alarmed, the designs take a lot of influence from previously revealed FFXIV concept videos and even the original 1.0 release!

Civilization within The First Shard is nothing like that of Hydaelyn. Facing the pressure of a looming Calamity of Light that could wipe out the entire Shard, the people of The First struggle to survive within two large city states that act as their last bastion.

Known city locations include:

The Crystarium – Home to the First Shard’s Crystal Tower, The Crystarium takes a lot of design cues from a 2005 tech demo called “Rapture” and 1.0 Limsa. Surprisingly, this area was also featured a piece of concept art released for the Red Mage job in 2017.

Eulmore – An alternate version Ul Dah, this brightly coloured purple & yellow city houses the affluent and politically powerful who are sheltered from the horrors of the Calamity of Light while the majority of the population live in shambles outside of the city.

New Job – Dancer

Previous leaks pointed to Dancer being the new job revealed for Shadowbringers and this turned out to be 100% correct. While many in the community expected Dancer to be a healer, similar to how they were in Final Fantasy XI, given XIV’s delicate healer balance and how gameplay mechanics for the role alternate between shielding / healing, it does make more sense for Dancer to be a DPS. Dancer will join Bard and Machinist in the category of Ranged DPS, it will utilize “throwing weapons” and like the previously revealed GunBreaker will start at level 60.

Raid Series: “Eden”

A new raid series was announced for the expected 8 person raids that are one of the key features of the “even numbered” patches (5.0, 5.2, 5.4). Previously we ‘ve got raids for The Binding Coil of Bahamut, Alexander and The Bend of Time: Omega and now we’ll be visiting “The Garden of Hope: Eden”. Right now we don’t have much to go on in terms of tangible story details or even the bosses that we will be encountering. It was revealed that guest creator Testsuya Nomura (Final Fantasy VII:R, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Kingdom Hearts) will be designing an original character for the Eden series of raids alongside the monster designs.

As for Gaia (Nomura’s character) – well she has a very intricate outfit (as to be expected of Nomura), that I instantly want as a glamour, and weilds a really big hammer.  As fellow FFXIV players know – there isn’t a “hammer job” within XIV currently, nor has one been announced. The closest we’ve ever come is the “Magitek Hammer” that villain turned comedy relief Nero Tol Scaeva uses in combat, so chances are we won’t be getting a hammer job any time soon.

New Race – Hrothgar

Viera aren’t the only new race that will come with the release of Final Fantasy XIV 5.0: Shadowbringers. Revealed during the Keynote, a new male exclusive race known as the “Hrothgar” will make their presence known across Hydaelyn and beyond. Featuring a large bulky stature, similar in size it appears to the Roegadyn, and with more beastly features than the existing Miqo – the Hrothgar bring a more feral and animal like appearance to the denizens of FFXIV’s world.

It should be noted that the Hrothgar will be gender locked to males only while the bunny-like Viera are locked to female only. Gender locking races is something that the 2010 version of Final Fantasy XIV did with Female Only Miqo and Male Only Roegadyn before Yoshida’s team reversed the decision with the release of A Realm Reborn.

Speaking about the races of Hydaelyn and The First, all of the races that we’ve come to know actually have different names on The First, since both societies have evolved since the split. For example the Hyur are known as the Humes while the Miqo are known as the Mystel. Oh, and the Lalafel are the First Shard’s Dwarves – who are also a Beast Tribe.

My Thoughts

As longtime player of Final Fantasy XIV who started in Patch 2.3 it is always exciting to see where we will be going with the major content updates that expansion launches bring. I am really excited and pleased with the choice of The First Shard as the location for Shadowbringers. All of the zones revealed thus far feature really vibrant colour pallets and oh my gosh – all of those early development and 1.x callbacks within the city designs. I never got to experience the pre-calamity version of Eorzea but FFXIV’s lore, Main Scenario Quests and world is something that has had a huge impact on not just myself but family and friends. My spouse and I always look forward to “patch day” when we have new trails, raids and main story content to make our way through and digest. As a Machinist Main I personally can’t wait wait for the job changes, 4.x MCH really solidified that it’s my favourite role – utilizing turrets, flamethrowers and jumping around feels awesome. I’m personally disappointed with the decision to gender lock the two new races, especially since this is something Yoshida’s team has been working to move away from all the way back in ARR. It won’t personally affect my enjoyment of Shadowbringers since Reka is a Miqo and I’d never use a fantasia on her, but other players being upset about the gender locking is understandable.

Before making our journey to The First Shard several patches are expected between now and the official July 2nd release. 4.56 will launch this coming Tuesday to wrap up the Main Scenario Quests until Shadowbringers launches. 4.57 will bring the “World Visit System” allowing Warriors of Light to visit any world on their datacenters, it will also bring a reshuffle of the North American and European servers – including my home of Balmung.

Further details about Shadowbringers, combat changes, the Dancer job and The First are expected to be revealed later this weekend throughout the Japanese Fanfest and at various Media Tours in North America, Europe and Japan sometime in mid-May 2019.

Reka Ai’a of Balmung


Everything Talked About During The Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest Q & A

Posted on November 19, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Over the weekend Square Enix held the biennial Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest in Las Vegas. Expectations were high, and honestly it feels like Naoki Yoshida and co delivered with the debut trailer for the game’s latest expansion ShadowBringers. On Saturday Final Fantasy XIV Producer / Director Noaki Yoshida sat down with Sound Director Masayoshi Soken along with a translator. The pair took questions from curious Warriors of Light who traveled from all around the (physical) world to ask the pair questions about Eorzea, its lore and what the future had in store.  Topics ranged from how the developers plan to balance Tank accessories, to the stability of servers and how they’ll bring new accessibility options to FFXIV.

Below is a complete transcript of the Q & A. Please note that this transcript was typed in real-time during the Q & A so there may be minor typographical errors and wording may not be exactly 100% accurate.

Please Look Forward To It!

Q: Lots of players need to use VPNs to connect without disconnecting it lag. Will be talking to ISPs about routing?

A: this is an issue we are constantly tackling. We strive to provide the best service but the ISPs are their own company and sometimes they are cooperative. Sometimes they push back about accommodating for our needs. We will continue to reach out, we are not giving up.

Q: I was curious, do you have any plans for realm vs realms open world PvP content with siege weapons?

A: To be honest we do not have any plans. We did hear that applause, we acknowledge that – no need to exert the opinion that we only want PVE content but thank you.

Going back to the original question, we don’t have plans currently – we have done tests where we take certain worlds where we turn on the PVP flag and have Grand Company battles in the public space. It is possible – if we were to do something like this we would still make it a PVP realm. We are continuing to monitor if this is content that is wanted.

The Warrior of Light / Darkness From The ShadowBringers Trailer

Q: it’s clear that time is progressing in the expansion trailers. We don’t know much time has passed. Since ARR how old have our characters grown?

A: That might not be something we want to touch upon. We don’t want to specifically answer it or make it canon so to speak.

That being said, since 1.0 and looking at Shadowbringers we do notice that our warrior of light has aged. We hope that you can imagine or speculate how this might be. Maybe it’s static party breaking apart and disbanding (referencing a reddit post).

Q: Everyone here appreciates all of the work that you do. We have Hilda who is half elezen half human. I’m Stormblood a half human half Raen is mentioned. Could we get to play as these types of character?

A: *laughs* That’s why I told you not to bring out those characters so many times! It’s Oda-san! I do believe we would have the possibility of more NPCs like that appearing but having them playable….

Say for example a half Miqo’te, half Roegadyn, what kind of voice would it have?

Sokken: I have no idea!

FFXIV Producer / Director Naoki Yoshida Presenting The FFXIV Fan Fest Keynote

Q: I’d like to thank you for making one of the greatest games I look forward to every day. My question is. – there are 15 classes in the game and rumours for more. In terms to glamour plates, can we have them linked to class or more plates? I could be a MNK or SMN but the weapon would be different but the gear stays the same.

A: I believe we do have three major tasks in regards to the Glamour Dresser and plates. We want to increase the number of sets you can store in the dresser. Another task we want to look into is the number of available plates. Third would be increasing the number of Locations where you can use these plates.

We do have these three tasks identified. We are still investigating which task to take on, and what’s feasible technically. Updates on this may come in spurts. In terms of your question you’re asking about tasks 2 – increasing the number of plates. Technically speaking increasing the number of plates and recognizing a job is possible. This brings up a great opportunity – by show of applause which would be your preference, we will name out the three tasks we are looking at.
Sound director please be the judge.

Sokken: Number 4 – I get less work.

Q: New races are exciting but I wanted to ask about the existing character models. Like Male elezen looks a little weird around the neck with some gear. Are there plans to polish up existing models?

A: Technically speaking it’s not impossible to do but say hypothetically speaking at the launch of Shadow Bringers you see Elezen have very compact neck, people familiar with existing characters would say “why would you do that!” It’s a very line. If it isn’t too much trouble – if you are experiencing these issues please post a screenshot on the official forums and we will look into it. Please mark the posts as (Fanfest QA).

Sokken: I have a request for the sound team and QA for this. Something I always get asked about the Waring Triad mounts. A lot of time people think ur music is the latter half of the battle but I The Sephorot case it is the music from the first half of the fight. People say “change it!” But if we do change it people will say “why did you change it!”.

Yoshida: If we did change it we wouldn’t have the first stage music would not be on the mounts. As a development team people say “you could just change it” – as a development team if it were that simple we would have already done it. Everything in the game has an ID and there are no more IDs.

Q: Thank you for making Ultomate and Savage. We love directing how the mechanics how they work. In Omega 3 Savage the big fists chose players in the light Partyand we can’t figure out how this works. Could you shed some light on this?

A: *everyone laughs* According to the person who handled this (Omega S3) – I had actually asked how are people being picked? And I think I remember them saying that may be a bug…

*crowd erupts in laughter*

Depending on which jobs make up the party there seems to be a pattern. I’m so sorry! Just to add to this – it is not a critical bug where you can’t clear the content. But we don’t want to go in there and make things worse, we are still in the monitoring phase. I’m so sorry!

The President of Square Enix comes on stage dressed as a Blue Mage during the reveal of the Job at Fanfest.

Q: Showing my friends End Game raids from HW and SB a lot of my friends love it but when they start they get to 2.X quest chains and they stop playing. Is there any plans to condense that so that maybe players who left will come back?

A: To be completely honest with you. I would love to go into ARR to rebuild the story quests – and there are a lot of quests in that narrative. We have looked into the quests in there and not cutting out quests but making adjustments to what is necessary to progress. When we evaluated previous quests in previous expansions we decided we would have to dedicate a lot of resource too. Now that we’re moving into development of Shadow Bringers it is something we could look into post 5.0 launch.

Q: In the trailer there for 5.0 it sounds like they’re saying “Warping Shadows” what are the lyrics?

Sokken: Warping Shadow! It’s me! It’s a secret!

Yoshida: I wanted to add if you hear a male vocals on a song it’s usually one of those two – Sokken or Koji Fox. The sounds of the gremlin are one of the sound design team.

Q: White Mage is very maligned right now and we won’t find out any changes until 5.0. Is the team looking into this a the Lillies and other mechanics make it difficult to raid. Scholar and AST are the main picks in Omega.

A: Let’s look at it from the timing perspective first. At the time of the release we will adjust each of the jobs within their role. With certain mechanics of these jobs – we heard a lot of feedback, certainly MCH, we will have to take a hard look at them for rework. I’m so sorry! We are going to look into making adjustments into the fundamental mechanics of these jobs – we’ll make sure to communicate this before the launch. Please look forward to more information as it is to come.

In terms of the immediate Patch 4.5 – we are looking at the numbers and deciding amongst the development team whether or not we make any adjustments to WHM or MNK. We will had a second live letter before the launch of the patch.

Blue Mage Strikes a Pose In The Reveal Trailer

Q: Thanks for adding Blue Mage to the game. I’m a big really fan of the instances content like the haunted house mini game. As an homage to FF7 could we get a haunted house game in the golden saucer?

Sokken: There’s this memory problem.

Yoshida: *contemplates* First and foremost letting us know you enjoy the Seasonal Event. Any sort of instanced content we try to add several of these within the year. We are at our maximum workload when we are introducing those within our upcoming Starlight Celebration this winter. Considering have that kind of content to the Gold Saucer we’d have to consider what do we do with the following years mini games and seasonal events. It is tough to consider these events from a development perspective. In the live letter we will be introducing two new games for the Gold Saucer later this afternoon!

Q: As a player with near nearsightedness, colorblindness i would like to thank you how accessible you’d made the game. Could it be possible to change the color of damage indicators for AOEs on the floor on the client side as they tend to bleed into the floor.

A: We have done our due diligence to research accessibility and that there are differences depending on the individual. If we were to have to adjustments on the client side – we would have to prepare different types of assets – in our accessibility settings we do have color adjustment to filters has that helped?

In this case but if you could post this on our forums. We would like to get information about what content and where you have trouble recognizing the AOEs so that we can consider the color variations and patterns we use on our floors within our content.

Q: Warriors has shifted to using crafted accessories that make only a few 100HP difference but our DMG can make the difference in the situation of a 1% wipe. Are there plans to address this?

A: This is an issue that has existed for a while. There are lots of issues why can’t revert to the calculation used in the Midas era. At that time Tanks had a lot of DPS and we felt this was an issue. From a game balance perspective despite being a tank role the damage dealt is increasingly close to that of a DPS role Job. ATK power is consistently high. At the same time in order to raise the damage dealt we do have to rely on crafters and there are players considering the raid drops being inferior to the crafted alternatives.


Five More Final Fantasy Games We’d Like To See On Switch

Posted on September 25, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

With Final Fantasy is making the jump to Nintendo Switch throughout the next year there are still many more tales that would be an absolute delight to have on the go on Nintendo Switch. The lack of Final Fantasy 8 in the release schedule has been covered to death – and apparently there’s no modern port for S.E to easily convert to switch – so baring that entry here are six more Final Fantasy titles that should grace our favorite console. 

In no particular order…. 

Final Fantasy Explorers  

Monster Hunter World showed that Capcom’s long niche boss gauntlet game can have massive mainstream appeal and the recent launch of Monster Hunter Generations: Ultimate on Switch was nothing to sneeze at either.  

Now take the barebones structure of Monster Hunter’s gameplay and apply it to possibly the most well-known RPG franchises to exist and it sounds like a winning combination. Foregoing the well-known narrative structure of previous Final Fantasy entries1, like Capcom’s games, Explorers had players traverse an island performing various objectives from gathering to combat. With well-known jobs like Red Mage, Fighter, Summoner, Dragoon and more available, how is this not a rife for a complete remake for Switch? 

Final Fantasy Tactics 

Ivalice is a world that has been visited many times and Nintendo Switch owners will get the chance to visit Dalmasca when Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age arrives next year but missing from Square’s line-up is the game that started the Ivalice mythology – 1998’s Final Fantasy Tactics. 

Eschewing the Active Time Battle system and even the traditional side-view combat camera angle – Final Fantasy Tactics takes all of the trappings of previous FF titles and crafts something truly unique. Playing more like a strategy RPG, complete with isometric camera angles, Final Fantasy Tactics crafted an intricate narrative set in the aftermath of a great war. Featuring 20 different jobs (PlayStation original version2), interesting conflicts between characters and a vast wealth of lore – Final Fantasy Tactics is perfect for players who want to immerse themselves in both strategy and deep storytelling.

[Head Image: Fan creation based upon CaitlinStar’s Switch Case Template | FF Tactics Image via YouTube | FF Explorers Image via YouTube]

Final Fantasy XIII-2 / Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Square Enix’s “Fabula Nova Crystalis” might not have panned out as originally intended but what did it eventually give us was a trilogy of games that greatly expanded upon one of  FFXIII’sheroine Lightning and the world’s lore. Welcome but unexpected (to me) at the time was FFXIII-2 focus on her sister Serah’s quest to find Lightning after the events of the original XIII. Taken as a trilogy the XIII Saga greatly expands upon the larger universe with the introduction of deities, alternate timelines and even the ability to view alternate timelines where certain events did or did not take place.

The Final Fantasy XIII trilogy takes the world initially created for the first game to unexpected places but you might be wondering why the first game didn’t make it onto this wishlist. Simply put the original FFXIII would never fit onto a single Switch cartridge or even two of them. As of the writing of this article Nintendo Switch carts are limited to 16GB and some of the largest digital Switch games come in at approximately 30GB (hi DOOM!). XIII has a number of 720p cut-scenes that made a Blu-Ray disc on PS3 mandatory (or 4 Xbox 360 DVDs). Switch owners would be better served by a truncated movie version of the XIII events or that game’s story as a data-log.

Final Fantasy XIV

At last we come to what is undoubtedly my most wanted FF title on Switch – Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood. What can be said about the world of Eorzea that hasn’t already been expressed by other fans and Warriors of Light? Naoki Yoshida and his team have taken XIV and made fashioned a world that I simply want to live in – from the rolling green foothills of the Azim Steppe to the lush forests of New Gradania, the world of Final Fantasy XIV is as vibrant as it is diverse when it comes to setting. Special mention also goes out to the music – from the memorable City State themes, Zone themes you can’t but help to humm or the amazing music brought to every raid tier by the talented Masayoshi Sokken – the music in FFXIV will leave you awestruck. Flesh all of that out with a Main Scenario that helps create characters that resonate with players and a regular patch cycle that adds new content to the game every few weeks and it is easy to see why thousands of people login to FFXIV every day.

I’ve been playing FFXIV since the waning days of A Realm Reborn and it remains a place that I visit every day – whether I’m exploring the new Main Scenario quests, running daily content with my spouse or just logging in to hang out in chat with my comrades in my Free Company. With dozens of classes- both battle and crafting – seasonal events, 24 person raids and weekly loot drops – there is always something to do in FFXIV and it really is my second home.

[Sources: 1 2 ]


Final Fantasy XIV Patch 4.4 To Arrive Mid Sept, Monster Hunter World Event Starts Aug 7th

Posted on July 16, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

The latest edition of Letter From The Producer Live, a Japanese livestream regularly held by Square Enix to announce and promote upcoming content for Final Fantasy XIV was held last night in the early hours of the morning (for those of us in North America). FFXIV Producer / Director Naoki Yoshida was joined by Monster Hunter World Director Yuya Tokuda and Monster Hunter World Art Director Kaname Fujioka. The trio went through a number of new developments including the release date for Patch 4.4, further details surrounding the MHW Collab event and even a second entry in the Eorzea Encyclopedia book series.

This article discusses content found within the end of Final Fantasy XIV 4.3: Under The Moonlight. If you haven’t finished that MSQ content, stop reading right now.

Patch 4.4

Final Fantasy XIV‘s next major patch will be titled ‘Prelude In Violet’ and we finally have the first details regarding the new content then will be coming our way this September and it’s sounding like a juicy update.

New Dungeon: The Burn SURPRISE! That brief playable section where you got to control Alphanuad in the then unseen province of The Burn was not only teasing a huge story stinger but also the next playable dungeon. It was a huge surprise at the end of the last patch to see Alphanuad and his Garlean companions airship crash in the desolate land, only up until now teased on a fan translated map of Eorzea released in the lead up to Stormblood.  Seems like the Warrior of Light will be really feeling the Burn this next patch.
New Dungeon: Saint Mocianne’s Arboretum A normal version of this dungeon was original released in Patch 3.1 -“As Light, So Goes Darkness” way back in 3.1. Now in the twilight of the Stormblood era we’ll get to revisit the Arboretum for a harder encounter.

Title & Key Art: The title for FFXIV 4.4 will be titled “Prelude In Violet” and Key Art released for the patch (see header) prominently features members of the governing garlean class, including former emperor Solus zos Galvus who absolutely should be dead, given he is said to have died during the lead up to Heavensward.

New Trial: Suzaku & Suzaku EX (The Four Lords Part 3)

New Raid: OMEGA raid tier concludes with OMEGA Alphascape and Alphascape Savage.
Role Action Changes: Each job will now have a total of 10 slots for Role Actions versus the current 5. It’s unknown if this is an admission that the Role Action system isn’t working as intended – as Role Actions like Refresh / Tactician for BRD / MCH and Protect for healers aren’t really optional or mandetory. Regardless it looks like we’ll all have 5 more actions to add to our hotbars next patch.

Monster Hunter World X FFXIV

This collaboration has been teased for sometime and we finally got to see what the Bahemoth encounter in MHW would look like – thanks to Naoki Yoshida playing the upcoming event with a few others during a recent Monster Hunter World live stream. We now know that the Rathalos encounter for FFXIV will be coming as a cross over trial in two flavors – 8 person (normal) and 4 person (EX).  Players looking for harder 4 person content finally now have something to sink their teeth into!

Requirements: Complete the Stormblood SQ and obtain level 70.
Release Date: Rathalos King of the Sky will be released on August 7th


  • Rathalos Mount
  • What appears to be a Poogie mini-pet
  • Class specific armor sets
  • What appears to be a fire spit housing item

Encyclopedia Eorzea and Other Stuff

The next installment of the Eorzea Encylopedia series, which will cover content from Patch 3.4 forwards is set to be released THIS YEAR.

  • English and Japanese versions to be made available.
  • JPN pre-orders already live on the official website.
  • 300 pages
  • Will be available at the Las Vegas Fan Fest.
  • Pre-orders for non Fan Fest attends TBA.
  • Scheduled to go on sale on November 24th.

Anemos: Pegos (Relic Stuff)

  • New Region Confirmed
  • “Logos System” to be implemented. (no further details for this provided)
  • New models for the next steps of relic weapons



FFXIV’s Hard Core Raiding Community Spent The First 12 Hours Doing ‘The Weapon’s Refrain’ Wrong

Posted on June 6, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

With the release of FFXIV Patch 4.31 two days ago, the newest entry in the on-going series of Ultimate difficulty encounters – The Minstrels Ballad: The Weapon’s Refrain – has been unleashed upon the denizens of Eorzea.  

As soon as the servers went live in the early morning hours several well-known raiding groups like Elysium, YouTuber Mister Happy Gaming and XenoSysVex were ready to see just what Yoshi-P& Co were going to throw at them. Alongside these skilled raiders are thousands of viewers (over 9, 810 as of the time of writing) ready to watch and interact as Streamers attempt to figure out just how The Weapons Refrain works. 

The Ministral’s Ballad: The Weapon’s Refrain is a dramatic retelling of The Warrior of Light’s encounter with the Ultima Weapon way back in A Realm Reborn. Featuring brand new mechanics and edge of your seat encounters with the 3 original Primal (Garuda, Titan and Ifrit) from ARR, this is an encounter of epic proportions. Challenging an Ultimate level encounter is no joke – FFXIV offers encounters at a number of different skill levels: Story (regular), Extreme (harder content but still PUGable), Savage (Even harder group content that can require weeks of coordination) and for the most diehard – Ultimate. 

Above: The Weapon’s Refrain streams are currently the most popular FFXIV content out there.

Initially the community thought that the first 3 phases of the fight were a joke as raiding groups blew through the 3 Primal with relative ease over the first few hours of their streams. Some called the encounter too easy as these Warriors of Light pushed on for upwards of 16 hours yesterday but there was a massive problem once the first group hit phase 4, the Ultima Weapon itself.  

Upon entering Phase 4 of the fight (which may not even be the last phase, we don’t know as no one has gotten past it yet) entire parties received a Doom buff that could not be cleansed (removed) – killing the entire party. It turns out that if a party does not do the mechanics in phases 1 thru 3 in a certain order to “awaken” the 3-original primal (and make these phases much more difficult in the process) they inevitably hit an unwinnable state come Phase 4.  

After 12 hours of what seemed like steady progress that frontier of the Final Fantasy 14 raiding community had all of their gains wiped out by a single doom cast. Major groups had to go back to Garuda (phase 1) and figure out just how to cause her to “awaken” before moving on to Ifrit and finally Titan.  Right now it seems like the current theory is to gain a special buff from each of the 3 primal in order to cleanse the doom in phase 4 and survive incoming attacks using three consecutive Limit Break 3s. All of this, is of course, hypothetical because noone has lived long enough through Phase 4 to verify that this is the intended solution. 

Watching chat commenters, community personalities like Mr.Happy and even on-going analysis between groups streaming the encounter individually to figure out the solution to The Weapon’s Refrain’s mystery is actually really captivating. My spouse and I spent several hours last night watching it all unfold live and who knows how long it will take before a World’s First is claimed. 

Above: The Unending Coil of Bahamut

Last Fall in Patch 4.11 Square Enix released the first Ultimate level encounter, The Ultimate Coil of Bahmut, which tasks players with slaying the Elder Primal yet again. Groups worked on the UCOB encounter for 12 days before Dysnomia from Japan was able to claim the World’s First UCOB kill. 

Header Image Source: YouTube


FFXIV 4.3 Will Conclude Doma Storyline, Introduce Second Ivalice and Mobile Companion App

Posted on April 16, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

The next major update to Final Fantasy XIV Online: Stormblood will come out in late May Producer / Director Naoki Yoshida confirmed during a regularly held community live stream known as Letter From The Producer LIVE. Patch 4.3 brings a number of brand new features to the game – the conclusion of the Doma main story questline,  a brand new raid, a new “deep dungeon” leveling experience and so much more!

In terms of in-game content adventurers will be able to take part in the second of the Ivalice themed 24 person raids, The Ridorana Lighthouse. Smaller parties will be able to take on a brand new secret trial (Zeno extreme as rumored by players? The next of the Four Lords series perhaps?) as well as journey through a brand new dungeon called the “Swallow’s Compass”. Crafters and Gatherers who have jobs at least level 60 can start to befriend the fish-like Namazu.

Players who have completed the Stormblood MSQ might remember a Jinga-like structure that received prominent placement in a cut-scene during the Ruby Seas ark. Well it turns out that the structure is actually called “Heaven On High” – similar to Heavensward’s “Palace of the Dead” – a self contained leveling experience where adventurers start at level 1 and rapidly progress through their profession’s abilities. After completing a set number of floors in “Heaven On High” it is expected that players will receive at least 1/4th of a level out of the tower upon completing 10 floors. Unlike Palace of the Dead, the total number of floors is only 100 floors vs the 200 of Palace of the dead. In HoH floors 30+ will be challenging content.

Here is a breakdown of all of the in-game content coming in FFXIV 4.3 – some of these descriptions are obviously just little tidbits:

  • New Main Scenario Quests – The story of Stormblood continues.
  • New Alliance Raid – The Ridorana Lighthouse.
  • New Trial
  • New Dungeon – The Swallow’s Compass.
  • New Beast Tribe Quests – The Namazu.
  • New Sidequests – The Four Lords, Doman Reconstruction and Further Hildibrand Adventures.
  • New Deep Dungeon – 100-Floor Heaven-on-High.
  • The Forbidden Land, Eureka Expansion – Pagos Expedition.
  • New Ultimate Difficulty Raid – Ultima Weapon.
  • Updates to jobs, PvP, glamour system, housing, performance actions, new more powerful gear and more.

Coming at some point later will be an official FFXIV Companion App that will enable all users to chat with friends as well as message the Free Company chat channel.  Organizing inventory, purchasing and placing items for sale on the in-game market boards will also be supported.  A paid for premium plan allows subscribers to double their chocobo Saddle Bag storage, sell up to 2 items per day using Kuppo Nuts (vs 1 with the free plans) and have an extra retainer. We don’t have an official price for the premium tier just yet.

Here’s a breakdown of the companion app that Square Enix provided:

ll players that download the app will be able to enjoy benefits such as the following:

  • Chat with friends and free company members
  • Organize events with the scheduler
  • Organize inventory and armoury chest
  • Peruse the Market Board
  • Put items up for sale and purchase items
  • Register an additional favored destination Aetheryte

An optional, Premium Plan is also available, which unlocks the following features for a monthly fee:

  • Organize Saddlebags and Retainer Inventories
  • Saddlebag capacity is doubled
  • One additional Retainer can be employed


Final Fantasy XIV’s Eureka Is A Fun Grind The Mixes Up Existing Mechanics In A Fresh Way

Posted on March 13, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

The latest patch for Final Fantasy XIV Online: Stormblood has arrived and with it a brand new land for level 70 adventurers to explore. The lost island of Eureka awaits players brave enough to explore a large open world map filled with challenging monsters as well as the return of a mechanics from both the 1.0 days of FFXIV and systems from Squeenix’s sibling MMO Final Fantasy XI!

What Is Eureka

Before discussing how Eureka’s new systems work and what it feels like to play for an extended period of time, there’s some background information that I need to get out of the way. The lost island of Eureka is a direct replacement for the Relic Weapon quests that were present in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. In those quests you’d go to existing zones from the current version alongside farming older content in order to complete the steps required to get your glowy relic weapons. Eureka takes this idea and advances it one step further by melding in mechanics from the Heavansward group content known as The Diadem from Patch 3.1.

Here’s a point by point breakdown describing the new content awaiting adventures provided by Square Enix PR:

The Forbidden Land, Eureka Anemos, is an expansive, unexplored area that brings a number of changes to the normal pillars of gameplay:

  • Field Area-Style Gameplay: Up to 144 players can participate. Players are encouraged to group up with fellow adventurers to hunt notorious monsters and work towards common goals.
  • Player Progression: Players will gain elemental EXP to strengthen their ability to harness the elements, but will need to be careful. Death in Eureka will result in lost EXP, and even lost levels, if players rashly rush in.
  • Altered Battle Mechanics: Additional strategy is required in battle through an element system, in which players must utilize the Magia Board to change the element affinity of their attack to oppose their enemy’s. Players will customize their Magia Board’s elemental attributes and must carefully consider their setup depending on the goal of the adventure.
  • Rewards: Players will occasionally earn protean crystals through exploration of Eureka, and may use them to enhance Eureka weapons and gear with the aid of the famed blacksmith, Gerolt.

The Thrill of Battle

For two hours this afternoon I took my level 70 Machinist, Reka Ai’a, along with my wife’s lvl 70 Paladin out to the forbidden land of Eureka to experience the changes in combat first hand. In other open world content in XIV a level 70 character can pretty much be guaranteed to shred any mob that stands in your way, although with multiple mobs this can get a little dicey.

Right off the bat I could tell that this is not the case in Eureka. The island’s open fields are littered with monsters that if you’re not careful will not think twice about teaming up to stop you dead. Unlike other instanced content in FFXIV being “level 70” doesn’t really mean much since Eureka has its own experience and leveling system known as the “elemental leveling system”. A single mob will kill you if you don’t pay attention to Eureka’s unique mechanics (more on this in a little).

Defeating mobs in Eureka (carefully) will obviously award you experience points but the gain rate isn’t the same as the base game. Instead of requiring hundreds of thousands of experience points the level up, the jump from level 1 to 2 is somewhere in the range of 1,000 or so elemental experience points. Accordingly the amount of experience earned from defeating mobs is drastically reduced when compared to base XIV and more so when compared to leveling low level jobs in XIV. Soloing Eureka content I found that I was gaining between 20 – 45 EXP per level, which sounds like a tedious grind. This is because the EXP rates in Eureka rise with a “chain bonus” similar to the one you get in dungeons for killing mobs in quick succession, but only when you are partnered with another player. Chain bonuses can work their to a 30x multiplier before eventually resetting back to 1. With an organized team or just a single other player to play with Eureka’s leveling experience can feel rewarding and challenging without feeling like a slog. In the two hours I played today I got to level 4 – so about a level every half hour, not too bad.

Elements And… Notorious Monsters???!

This brings me to the most striking difference between Eureka and the core leveling experience to be found within any of FFXIV’s other encounters – the elemental level system.  Due to some really awesome lore that I won’t spoil here, the aether on Eureka is all sorts of messed up. Monsters are a lot more powerful than their Othard or Aldenard counterparts and even the Warrior of Light’s power stands little chance against them. To combat this threat Geralt and Krile have devised an “elemental wheel” which will grand you attack bonuses and defense bonuses towards certain elements. It’s almost like the meta-game of Pokemon: Fire beats Water, Wind beats Earth etc. UI elements on your HUD will show you which element you’ll need to aspect into for either attack or defense and the key to survive encounters is swapping between these attack and defense buffs for each of your encounters at the right moment. It adds a bit more nuance to the moment to moment combat of FFXIV and once I got the hang of it, I was really enjoying it.

Lastly I’ve come to the inclusion of Notorious Monsters, super powerful boss-like creatures that occasionally spawn in Eureka’s over world. The name Notorious Monsters comes from both Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV 1.0. 2.0+’s A Rank hunts were similar to these new NMs but unlike their ARR+ brethren, Eureka’s Nortious Monsters get their own map marker and FATE spawned as soon as they enter the world. No need to sit in shout chat and hope someone calls out the location of the challenging MOB – where should you miss an A Rank you’d have to wait possibly days for a respawn. NMs in Eureka are large events with dozens upon dozens of players all vying to take part in the monster’s destruction. NMs have high health pools and mechanics that if done incorrectly can one-shot entire swaths of players.  At times with so many players present it can feel like “effects soup”, so be prepared to think fast and maybe turn down your graphical settings. Outside of Savage, it’s probably one of the most challenge things right now – especially while the community figures out the unique mechanics per mob. After the large monster goes down you’re rewarded with special crystals that can be turned in towards Relic Weapon steps and special lock boxes that have a chance to contain a Eureka exclusive glamour or a T-Rex mount. Best of all NMs spawn so frequently that I saw a number of them during my time on the island.

That about wraps up my introductory coverage of Eureka, I’ve still got about 4 levels to go before I encounter the much feared “level down” mechanic, so expect another long winded blog entry sometime in the coming weeks. My journey towards GDC also begins tomorrow – so it could be a little while before I get a chance to take the ferry to the island of Eureka for an extended stay.

What do you think about Eureka? Let me know in the comments.



Final Fantasy XIV Patch 4.2 Impressions: Sigmascape

Posted on January 30, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Phantom Train XIV

Raids in Stormblood – Final Fantasy XIV’s latest expansion – have been split among the wings of Omega and an on going plotline involving the Garlean Empire, the land of Ivalice and a theatre troupe. Patch 4.2 “A New Son Rises” once again sees the Warrior of Light (player character), Cid Nan Garland, Nero Tols Scaeva and Alpha the Chocobo face off against the artificial creations of the fearsome Omega. Raids are released with each patch – odd numbered patches bringing a new Ivalice raid and even numbered patches bringing a new section of Omega.

Spoiller Warning: Mechanics for 2 of the 4 “Omega Sigmascape” fights are described in detail below.

Here are my general impressions after running the “normal” difficulty for two of the four “Sigmascape” encounters.

All Aboard The Phantom Train

Fans have been speculating for years now about when “Doom Train” (also known as “The Phantom Train”) would make its appearance in Square Enix’s latest online incarnation of Final Fantasy. As far back as 2014 players have joked about the train – some wishing for a smaller version of the train to become a mount and others hoping that Goldsmith GoldBert would end up suplexing the train.

FFXIV Phantom Train

Sadly neither of these things happen in the normal version of Phantom Train. What players do get is a bit of a wild ride though – things start off with the entire party aboard the backmost car of the titular train. It is here that the party must send volleys against the train itself while avoiding ghosts that spawn, train car wide AOEs, using searchlights to “put out” the spawning ghosts and the possibility of being sucked into one of the endless number of the Phantom Train’s passenger compartments.

The journey to the Phantom Train is probably the strongest opener to a raid tier that I can remember in sometime. After all is said and done, once the train crashes off the tracks and dissipates back into the aether, the Warrior of Light is left with a haunting ghostly vision of some of it’s occupants – referencing events that haven’t happened in Eorzea’s existence.  The whole encounter feels other worldly and if you’re into FFXIV raiding – make sure to take a ride on The Phantom Train.

“I will destroy everything! I will create a monument to non-existence!”

Sigmascape is filled with references to Final Fantasy’s storied 16-bit history but the one encounter that sent chills down the spine of those who watched the pre-release “Final Fantasy 14 4.2 Patch Trailer” was only hinted at – a battle with the one and only, Kefka Palazzo.


The former court jester has already successfully destroyed an entire world during the second half climax of FF VI, and now he’s got his sites set on wiping the floor with the Warrior of Light and her comrades. Mechanically Kefka’s sigmascape encounter is probably one of the hardest normal difficulty fights ever included in FFXIV. To successfully bring the clown down you’ll have to deal with large line AOES, circle AOEs, knockbacks similar to Heavensward Sephirot aaaaaand – the off chance that Kefka is straight up  messing with you and his mechanics are lying to you. Battling Kefka is interesting, challenging and when it’s not rage inducing to die to “lie” mechanic with less than 10% health left, a lot of fun.

There’s So Much More To See

Final Fantasy XIV Patch 4.2 has so much more to offer and I’ve barely done it all justice by describing the these two Sigmascape encounters. In addition to the continuation of the ongoing Main Scenario players can take part in the four Sigmascape raids – in a savage or normal difficulty. A battle with a brand new primal is included during the MSQ, where the Warrior of Light and her comrades face off against the Jade Stoah. Other improvements include new housing items, new fashion items, a whole new set of tomestone gear, new emotes and PVP adjustments.


Player Made FFXIV Music Video Is a Work of Art

Posted on July 14, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Final Fantasy XIV YouTuber denmomcstronghuge has been publishing videos set in Eorzea for awhile now but his latest work – “Find Your Dance, Eorzea” – is both a stunning tribute to the many different zones featured in the game’s latest expansion and a marvel of editing mastery. It is easy to see why “Find Your Dance, Eorzea” will be appealing to both longtime players, newcomers and even those unfamiliar with the MMORPG.

The video featuring some catchy Japanese Electronica and breathtaking time lapse panoramas as we follow a female Aura through some of Stormblood’s new zones. This is only the tip of the iceberg as to why “Find Your Dance, Eorzea” is such an achievement. Denmo’s seamless editing makes it appear as if the central character of the video is walking in five separate locations at the same time. With everything perfectly synced up the editing work is almost perfection. Throw in some timely musical cues and background dancers and you have a recipe for a piece of player created art that has been viewed over 50,000 times.

I reached out to the Denmo to get some perspective on what inspired this amazing creation. Here is what he had to say about collaborating to create “Find Your Dance, and little bit about the secret sauce that goes into that satisfying editing work.

On collaborating with others to create the piece:

“The last part was a call out to friends and anyone who happened to be online and in the same server, yeah.

I’m lucky that I have a patreon discord to turn to, and a lot of friends willing to spread word out and just be there. No matter what it is I’m doing lol”

I asked Denmo about some of the challenges that went into the technical work of syncing up shots from so many different locations. Sounds like it took quite a long time to record the amazing time lapses featured in the video:

“That particular part was, yes heh. Each of those shots flashing by was a time lapse recording that took half a day at least to get.And then because of the method of recording it was, like, each one ended up having slightly different timings as well. It was very difficult to sync up properly.

The other shots done in normal time were much easier to do by comparison, but i’m happy with how it all turned out.”

That ear worm of a song… how did Denmo come to chose it?

“I had no idea what song i wanted to use even as I started recording. so I asked a lot of people for suggestions hehe. A friend picked this one and it just stuck. Had the right feel and everything.”

Finally I took the chance to ask Denmo his thoughts on the recently released Stormblood expansion. In particular I wondered if there was anything that stood out for Denmo from a creative perspective.

“It’s been really good! I’m excited to get my alt leveled up this time and experience the story again. As for content creation, I’m always looking for new ideas that I want to invest time in. The new gpose + actions is really cool and fun to play with.”

Thank you to Denmo for answering my questions about his latest FFXIV music video for this article. You can watch it for yourself in the embedded player below and while you’re there – perhaps consider subscribing to his channel.  “Find your dance, Eorzea” does come with a photo sensitivity warning as well as a light spoilers warning for 4.0. 


Final Fantasy XIV Stomblood Impressions #2 – Vising The Great City

Posted on July 3, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

It has been a week since the launch of Stormblood, the latest expansion for Final Fantasy XIV and I thought it would be a perfect time to share some updated impressions now that I am several hours further into the expansion’s narrative. Unlike my last impressions entry, this one is not free of spoilers, be forewarned that ahead of this paragraph are bullet points that may contain story, quest and NPC related spoilers.

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try and Try Again

Throughout the first four levels of the campaign (60 – 63) the Warrior of Light & Co. has had their share of failures and setbacks assisting the resistance. As Lyse, The Warrior of Light, and Aliase enter the occupied lands of Gyr Abania they are not treated with the hospitality that House Fortemps showed the party in 2015’s Heavensward. Instead, the people of Ala Mhigo are hesitant to work alongside the heroes, for a wide variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are macro-focused (such as the Eorzean Alliances thus far refusing military involvement against the occupying Garleans), and some are on a more local level (the bloodbath that took place at Baelsar’s Wall didn’t leave anyone that could help). It’s going to take a lot more than small favors, fetch quests and heartfelt speeches to rally the hearts of a population that has been trampled by oppression for decades, one that would be risking the superior numbers of the Garlean forces coming down on them even harder should another organized resistance fail.

Residents of Gyr Abania despise the empire, and the tyranny it has thrust upon them but it is understandable that they refuse the help of our players, this is not just one quest NPC for the Warrior of Light to fight – this revolution belongs to the hearts of the people of Gyr Abania. All of this is a lot deeper than the political fare found within the 2.X and 3.X series of patches where the leaders of the Alliance stand around the groves of Gradania, talk and then nothing really changes.

The Towering City of Kugane

The bloodbath at Rhalgar’s Reach complicates things even further, after rallying the survivors of the previous revolutions and standing alongside both the eager and formerly unconvinced the people as well as members of the player’s party take a literal beating. Efforts are then turned towards the on-going resistance in the Far Eastern lands of Othard.

It is here in Othard that we are introduced to the second major city, Kugane, a large trading hub and the only port open to outsiders. Like Gyr Abania the residents of Othard are under Imperial rule and the flow of people, good and information coming in and out of Othard is tightly controlled. Right from the outset it is clear that the political climate and overall atmosphere of Kugane does not set the expectation for whatever other areas the continent of Othard has in store for us. The party must keep a low profile to avoid the Empire’s attention, this means that direct action against Imperial forces is off the table for the time being and using a corporate headquarters just down the road from the Garlean Empire will have to suffice.  Outsiders are known by the label of “Ijin” (an obvious parallel to the Japanese concept of “Gaijin”) but the Ijin concept stretches far beyond societal labels, with the immediate tangible ramification of the Ijin label being a separate housing district for outsiders. From a gameplay perspective, Kugane’s large red bridges and absolutely stunning architecture are home to the usual suspects – a market board, a materia handler, an aetherite and several NPC vendors. Curiously there are two things that make Kugane distinct from other major quest hubs in XIV – the lack of any Job or Crafting guilds and the fact that none of Kugane’s side-quests involve combat in any way.


FFXIV: Stormblood Early Access Impressions – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Due To Server Errors

Posted on June 19, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

The latest Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Stormblood has been in early access for the past 72 hours and despite constant disconnects, server crashes and long queues I’ve played through the first story arc until level 62. Here is a point by point recount of my experience with the game.

Thoughts of Level 60 – 70 Bard Changes

  • Bards are now a lot more mobile thanks to the removal of “casting times” during the usage of Wander’s Minuet. The mobility is certainly welcome but I was used to the split second timing of waiting for the cast time and then moving to avoid AOEs. Not having cast time takes away from a damage bonus we had previously while Wander’s was up and active.
  • Changes to Bard’s active songs are a welcomed addition. I thought it would be difficult to manage the critical strike bonus and additional effects of Wander’s Minuet, Mage’s Ballad and Army’s Paean. Surprisingly I find myself cycling from song to song rather naturally and the new rotation was starting to form muscle memory within the first hour or two.
  • Pitch Perfect – the flashy new ability linked to Wander’s is probably my absolute favorite of the three changed songs. It is so satisfying to see the bright flash of light that comes with having three Pitch Perfect Charges.
  • Having a “Job Gauge” makes managing procs and other timed abilities a lot easier to handle – I had feared it would have added additional “visual clutter” to the layout.

Thoughts of New Zones & Story

  • After seeing three different areas of Gyr Abania, it is very clear that we aren’t in for hours and hours of simple dry desert. Instead, Gyr Abania is full of lush vegetation alongside running oasis and rivers. When your character enters the settlement of Rhelgar’s Reach giant tents, several NPCs and a large statue measuring in the 100s of feet tall greet you.
  • The resistance settlements feel alive, as do the members of the resistance I’ve met thus far. For sure the stand out for me – without giving spoilers would have to be M’Naago.
  • I can’t wait for my Bard, Reka Ai’a to help out the resistance and experience the tale that Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood has to offer. I’m intentionally avoiding ANY spoilers since the game is in Early Access and the general release date is tomorrow. My full thoughts will be shared throughout the next week or so.

Server Instability

  • Stormblood has had a number of high-profile hiccups during Early Access. Throughout the first 24 hours or so the game’s “instance servers” which handle Party Finder, Duty Finder and some customized quests for Main Story crashed under the intense load. This meant that even if you got access to the game, you were stuck behind a bottleneck of players spam clicking to get into one of the two instanced early story sections that were required to continue.
  • Square Enix has issued multiple statements and conducted emergency maintenance more than once on the North American and European data centers to address these issues. For the most part, the quest related bottlenecks and instance server crashes appear to be a thing of the past.
  • Login times on the most crowded servers, including my home – Balmung, can take up to two and a half hours to complete. For most people this would probably be a deal killer – but I’ve struggled through the wait times thanks to Netflix and other games. So far Stormblood has delivered a positive story experience that is well worth the wait. At the peak, I’ve seen queues up to 4500 people – with 100 or so entering every 5 minutes. It doesn’t help that some players are abusing a logout glitch that keeps their player active on the server for an infinite amount of time without performing any action. This has lead to characters idling in town, taking up valuable slots, while their owners sleep or do other things.

What’s Next?

Reka Ai’a is on her way to the Far East and the lands of Doma, where she will meet up with the Ninja Yugiri. I’m looking forward to where the story will take her, I also look forward to sharing my specific thoughts on Main Story Quest Events and Dungeons after Stormblood releases on PS4 and PC tomorrow.

Here’s hoping tomorrow’s full release doesn’t make the queue times on Balmung even worse. I wouldn’t want to have to watch the entire LOTR trilogy before continuing my journey.



Get Ready For Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood With This Cool Hotbar Simulator

Posted on June 3, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix is making a lot of exciting to Final Fantasy XIV with the release of Stormblood in two weeks time. A Japanese fan of the game has taken all of the tool tips, ability changes and additional actions and compiled them into an interactive hot bar simulator that you can try right now. It supports both the standard horizontal bars layout and the controller friendly cross media bars.

I’ve already played around with it and put together my bars for my Bard when I get her to 70s. With the changes to current songs, the removal of wide volley and the fact that the old song abilities have been split into three new abilities separate from songs – I had to do a lot guess work and thinking about where exactly I wanted my abilities to be. I’m still not 100% sure I want my AOEs like Rain of Death and Quick Knock on the second bard but I won’t know for sure how comfortable this is until Stormblood goes live on June 16th.

If you’re a current player make sure to check out the simulation tool here, just remember everything is in Japanese.


Here Is How Classes & Combat Are Changing In Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix held a nearly four hour livestream for the last FFXIV: Letter From The Producer Live before the Stormblood expansion is released next month. In this special Letter From The Producer Live Yoshi-P & friends gave us an overview of how the battle system will change in 4.0, revealed many of the new class specific changes coming to Stormblood as well as releasing new cash shop items for the Mog Station and much more.

If you weren’t able to watch the livestream this morning or don’t have the attention span for a four hour broadcast I’ve summarized the majority of the big reveals in this article. Please remember that some of these reveals come from translated screenshots and an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood – they may not accurately represent the final game.

If I missed anything huge or simply got something wrong please feel free to email pr[at]brokenjoysticks.net and I’ll make sure to issue a correction. With so much new content revealed I’m sure I missed something.

Without further ado here’s all the major reveals:

Battle System Changes

Why Change The Battle System?

  • Previous battle system was too complex – Too many actions per job and not enough hot bar slots.
  • Too much emphasis on players focusing on status icons.
  • Large disparity between the amount of DPS done by “core players” (end game raiders etc) and those who play more casually.
  • Lack of synergy between some jobs while other jobs worked well together in group settings.

How The Battle System Will Change In 4.O

  • Cross-class skills will no longer be in the game.
  • Being replaced with “role actions” with five different types. (Tank, Healer, Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, Caster)
  • Requirements for unlocking jobs will change now that cross class skills have been eliminated.
  • Actions on existing players’ hotbars that no longer exist will be greyed out to remind them to swap them out.
  • Players may have up to 5 “role actions” active at any given time.
  • Slots for role actions unlocked at levels 12, 20, 32, 40 and 48.
  • Several discrete abilities have been merged together into new actions where this makes sense (example: raging strikes).
  • Most jobs have less actions than they did in 3.0 despite new job actions being added in 4.0.

PVP Changes & Adjustments

Problems With The Old PVP System

  • Level restrictions for PVP were too high.
  • Too many job actions.
  • Takes too long to get thru existing content before PVP becomes available.

Changes Coming In 4.0’s PVP Overhaul

  • Removal of unused actions.
  • Any jobs over lvl 30 can participate.
  • PVP actions determined by role, not by Job.
  • Gear affects your character’s look only. Stats from PVE are not carried over.
  • PVP Actions are now PVP specific.
  • Each job has 9 PVP Actions + 2 selectable actions and adrenaline rush.
  • Stuns have been removed.
  • For an unspecified time at the launch of Storm Blood PVP will be in a “unranked pre-season” with the start of an official ranked season coming sometime later.

New Mog Station Cash Shop Items

  • Scenario Skip items allow players to skip the Main Scenario quests for either A Realm Reborn or Hevansward.
  • Scenario Skip consumables only mark the Main Scenario quests as complete and do not affect side quests.
  • These items do not affect player Job levels at all.
  • Priced at $18 USD for ARR MSQ Skip, $25 for HW MSQ Skip. Buying the Heavansward MSQ Skip also includes ARR Quests – new players do not have to buy both.
  • Job boosters will level one single job to level 60 with all actions and gear unlocked.
  • Dungeons tied to Main Story Quest will be unlocked but the first time bonus for Story Dungeons will still be available. These items do not automatically unlock optional side quest dungeons.
  • Job boosters can only be used once per account.
  • Priced at $25 USD.
  • All of these new optional items will be available on June 16th when Early Access launches.

Class Changes:


  • New job actions have been added that go until LVL 70.
  • The rotation for this class hasn’t changed much from the 3.0 iteration even with these new abilities.


  • Now has “music bars” that display the amount of time remaining in the song so that Bard’s know how long active effects have left.
  • Cast timers for Wander’s Minute has been removed alongside the damage buff that this provided permanently.
  • Removal of cast timers was due to the disparity between core and casual players in terms of the amount of DPS being done. Overall Square saw the adoption of Bard slow after the launch of the last expansion.
  • New multi arrow bard abilities.
  • New poison animations.

Black Mage

  • Fourth level of thunder being introduced with Storm Blood. Thunder IV is an AOE cast.
  • Enochian’s recast time is now 30 seconds.
  • Once Enochian has been cast Black Mage’s have access to either the Umbral Ice or Astral Fire chains of abilities.
  • New spell in Storm Blood called “foul” is being introduced – large damage but can only be used Enochian for at least 30 seconds. Foul can not be stacked together.

Dark Knight

  • On screen resource bar is known as the “Blood Gauge”.
  • Once the Dark Knight begins collecting “Black Blood” the Blood Gauge will become visible on screen.


  • Not a drastic change in regards to the rotation that players will perform.
  • Dragoon’s passive ability allows them to build up Blood of the Dragon.
  • Using the move Mirage Dive will be able to gain a status from the Brood to open up further abilities while in combat.
  • New actions available up until level 70.


  • Like bard, Machinist no longer has a cast timer.
  • Flamethrower ability first shown in the Storm Blood benchmark makes an appearance in the job actions trailer.
  • On screen Job UI is a “heat gauge”. Some actions will raise heat while others will lower it, it is the machinists goal to manage the heat resource and make sure it doesn’t fill up all the way.


  • Has two different job gauges – Scrolls & Hotun.
  • Scrolls are raised by performing auto attacks.
  • A chance to cast Ninjitsu with no cast timer.
  • Burn scroll to summon a giant toad. Looks like toad casts oil.


  • Shields now block physical and magical attacks.
  • An unnamed move was shown where the paladin spins their sword in a circle like Link’s spin attack (from the Legend of Zelda series).
  • Yet another unnamed move has the Paladin spread wings behind their back, almost looks similar to a limit break. Party members behind the Paladin will take 15% reduced damage for the duration of the cast. While this ability is being cast the Paladin will take a 100% damage reduction.

Red Mage

  • Has two different mana pools: Black & White.
  • Players will have to balance between the two different mana types because if they stick to only one of them their DPS will be low.
  • One of their main mechanics is the ability to chain spells together.
  • Example: First spell will use its’ initial cast timer, the second spell in the chain will be counted as an instant cast with no timer. Players can chain either spells of the same color or different.
  • Spellblade – functions almost like an “ultimate ability” if the job actions trailer is accurate. At the end of a rotation, a Red Mage may spend her entire dual mana bar to thrust forward and empower her sword to deal a massive amount of damage. After the attack lands, she jumps back with a flourish.


  • Third stage added to their rotation after DreadWyrmTrance that allows the summoner to call a representation of Bahamut onto the field.
  • Currently not known what the Bahamut summon actually does but the explosion in the Job Actions trailer sure is massive O.O.


  • Two different on screen gauges depending on their stance.
  • With the removal of the wrath resource Warriors will now collect a resource known as “Inner Beast”.
  • When the Inner Beast gauge reaches 100% it will begin to glow.


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