Over the past few weeks Square Enix has been celebrating the one year anniversary of its re-launch of Final Fantasy XIV (officially on August 27th). Players have been popping bottles of champagne, lighting fireworks, and bomb dancing the night away since the in-game festivities kicked off. The turnaround that occurred between 1.0 and 2.0 is well documented so I won’t delve into it, but needless to say, there are a lot of reasons to celebrate.
However the honeymoon with 2.0 is over, especially with the expansion (3.0) looming in the horizon. While there is still at least a couple of patches left in the 2.0 series, let’s take a look at what events and activities compromise the bulk of FFXIV and how they are holding up one year in.
Leveling up to 50 and Early Game:
Having now leveled two jobs to 50 (both as a DPS), I can say that it’s marked improvement over FFXI for sure, but a little variety would be appreciated. There are two primary ways to level up that I have found, and using both in tandem is the most efficient way to get EXP fast (especially as a DPS). Using Duty Finder for Dungeons and FATEs/Levequesting. I generally queue up for a dungeon while grinding some levequests and knocking out nearby FATEs.
This isn’t a terrible system, and if it were left unchanged it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I found my first ride to 50 to be quite enjoyable and learned a lot about how to play from experienced players tossed into my game through roulettes (which was great). However, repeating the same dungeons and levequests over and over again grows taxing for sure. Obviously, just adding more dungeons and levequests would spice things up a bit. I would be surprised if 3.0 didn’t do some of that for newcomers, but I think there’s room for an entirely new system inspired by FFXI.
It would be nice to be able to casually partner up with a couple friends and/or Chocobos and be able to roam some of the beautiful zones that go largely untouched in FFXIV whilst taking down some monsters. Perhaps forming a light party could grant an EXP bonus when fighting enemies six levels or higher. Either way, dungeons, leves, and FATEs are just fine but open world EXP is an avenue worth exploring as well…even if it’s not as efficient as queuing up for a dungeon.