Reset incoming, here’s my MMO progress & whereabouts.
On the Offensive – one achievement left to go. I’m aiming for Up for Grabs, Tea for the Troubled and This Army – whichever comes first, but I made progress towards all of them. This week well see about what Necrolords will offer.
My Renown cosmetics journey goes way faster than expected. I’m already starting to complete the sets, and it’s barely half a month since I stepped on this path:
Weapons await – but it’s another journey to go, 50 offerings per weapon. And don’t we forget about campaign vendor weapon recolors – although their prices are ridiculous, 10 offerings per piece, even if they need anima. It’s cool to see the end of the tunnel though. By November I hope to collect most weapons too, and have just Fae anima endeavors left, without offerings to farm.
Still no luck in raiding, Soulrender just won’t give the bow to all three hunters, and Pins ruins Sylvanas for her dagger, but to no avail. It’s no big bother, so little queues and runs left, yet I already want to have a well-deserved rest from the well-trodden raid, so come on! :)
I still think that Korthia is one of the best endgame zones Blizzard ever made, and yet I also grow weary from it. Luckily we have only 2 weeks until Renown cap, and then it seizes to be a roster-wide duty, serving only as a practical source of anima quests and anima rares drops (if I wish so), and maybe wrapping up a couple of things there. I do not exactly hate it, no, but Renown duty took its toll.
All in all, 9.1. (and even 9.0.!) for me is at its decline, slowly transferring from duties to cherry-picking activities, which is a rewarding and treasured part of the patch cycle.
Well, I’m back to Eorzea continent now! The arc of the Far East is finished, and there are words to say about it.
Kugane – as I said before, the Japanese-inspired port did not impress me at the very least. It was such a generic Japan, so true to its IRL counterpart, seen a zillion of times in movies, series, anime and books, that it was outright boring to the bone. Likewise, the story of our arrival was also pretty dull, and the fish guy was a poor comic relief. In short, I was glad to quit it and proceed further.
The Ruby Sea – a stretch of water between “China” and “Japan”, Doma and Hingashi – was 50/50. The Confederacy – local pirate society – was boring again, and this is where I started to grow even gloomier about the continent as a whole. The thing that they sent us do Warcraft-type duties in their town, that is, unsignificant questing, didn’t help, because, hey, I already don’t care about you, you want to add mundane on top of that?
Luckily then we went to underwater turtle town, then underwater dragon folk town, and it became awesome. Apart from loading screens upon diving and resurfacing, this was probably the best underwater level among all the games – no breathing restrictions (explained by lore), almost no 3D fights, and a very fast travel, with justified means to do so or even be underwater. A red turtle island was climactic, and I finished the zone with my spirits significantly risen.
Doma itself – the local China and the main landmass by lore – was again a slip down. I mean, the story was fine, but the zone itself could be more developed – like a LOT more developed. It’s the heart of the nation, which is supposed to be the most populated, diverse and vast area, and yet what we got here was only 1 (one) standard village. I mean, I can imagine that Goldshire is not just a blacksmith’s and a tavern, but this was too much of a stretch. By Warcraft standards, imagine that Valley of Four Winds held just a Pang’s Stead or a Stoneplow, period, when advertised as a land of farmers.
FFXIV can do better: even a rebellion “hideout” looks like a proper city and could host a dozen of “Doma” settlements. If I were the developers, I would definitely stretch even the existing story across 3 different settlements, that would help a lot – at least some feeling of a country, not a random gods-know-where hamlet.
Oh, bonus for poo collecting quest! I missed them!
Azim Steppe – like everything in FFXIV Far East, it’s accurately aligned with IRL map, and is accurately ripped off the real country – obviously, Mongolia with its nomadic shepherd/warrior tribes, beliefs and rituals. Now that’s where developers did everything right. You totally believe in scale, cultures, settlements and in general everything that’s happening.
Great characters, too: I send my love to Lord Hien who appeared everything you could desire from such a character, the looks, the behavior, the voice actor, everything. And the dragonfolk people, every next one, was the best. I wanted to strangle Magnai to often for my comfort, but it all played out well in the end. After all, indifference is what makes characters bad: when you simply don’t care, but strong feelings are good.
In fact, the Steppe was so good and engaging that I even forgot to make some screenshots, and that says something :)
The Story – as we all well know, rebel stuff is the best in every game and media, and Doma in the long run appeared to be no exception. Like I said, I hated the Kugane/Confederacy part for boredom, and “Is that all?!” in Doma did not add any best feelings, but this was largely mitigated by Steppe, overall story, characters and villains, not to mention the climax.
I spotted Doma Castle dungeon long ago while examining the MSQ quest list, longed to be there, and it exceeded every expectation when I finally arrived there. It was so epic and focused on individuals big time too, the whole siege was so well thought out and shown in a streak of inspiring cutscenes, and with a nice aftermath that drew the line under our adventures.
I waved away Gosetsu, he’s not bad, but kinda “whatever” character to me (I do have suspicions we’ll see him again though), but Hien and Yotsuyu really shone bright in this arc, as well as Gryne-WUT (oh those Roegadyn names).
All that said, it was not a bad experience, all in all good, even if with flaws, but Ala Mhigo initiate part was a lot better imo. I’m glad we’re back there, although it seems too early to say farewell to Doma – I have a strong suspicion that this land will be revisited.
Gameplay – my dragoon got barely a couple of new spells, which is good, because I already choke on buttons to mash. Still in love with the class/job, not a single desire to swap it or try anything else. The job questline is kinda amusing, but not too inspiring, a small dragon seeks a long lost big dragon for… reasons. I even forgot what they were.
My machinist is stuck at the entrance to the Ruby Sea, I love this job and toon a lot, and I definitely level her when time comes, but for now I’m too engaged to continue the MSQ and learn the story.
Finally, Aether Currents – now I’m actively using compass, it appeared a lot more interesting to find them without a map or help from websites, even if it means a detour or two. Exploration!
WoW reset tomorrow, we’ll continue in the next week.