The upcoming patch 5.1 for Final Fantasy XIV is exciting stuff for a variety of reasons: the awesome Shadowbringers story is going to continue, we’re getting the first part of the NieR: Automata Alliance raid, new game plus, and… Fellowships.
This hasn’t really been talked about too much, but essentially, Fellowships seem to be a new way for players to form groups with up to 1,000 players that share common interests. Here’s the official description:
Fellowships offer a new way for adventurers with common interests to band together. Join up to 10 fellowships on your data center, or make your own and invite up to 1,000 players. Use them to announce community events, recruit for raids and dungeons, relay information to track down elite marks, and more!Shadowbringers Patch 5.1
The interesting thing about Fellowships is that this feature already sort of exists within Final Fantasy XIV, but in the form of the Party Finder. By using Party Finder, players would be able to recruit other people within their Data Center to join up on EX/Savage farm parties, hunt parties, or even a raid static. Party Finder could also be used to recruit players into a new Free Company, or even to advertise gathering or crafting services.
There are problems, though; even after joining a party through Party Finder, if you wanted to keep in contact with the players you met, you’d either have to purchase a Linkshell or join up with a Discord server outside the game.
Both are easy solutions of course, but couple those minor inconveniences with the member limit in Party Finder, and you’ll see that this isn’t necessarily the best or easiest way to get large groups of people together.
Final Fantasy XIV’s Party Finder is primarily meant to be used for seeking help to clear encounters or form farm parties. It’s not meant for FC recruitment or really any sort of large social event planning or organization.
The Fellowships feature seeks to change that by implementing a 1,000 player limit, and this could potentially be a way to clean up the Party Finder and give players more freedom in what they can search and advertise for in the game.
Fellowships opens up the possibility of forming new, larger RP groups in RP-heavy servers, and even large hunt parties, where you frequently see 40 to 50 (maybe even more) players chasing down elite monsters in the game’s open world zones.
And, of course, Fellowships feature in-game chat, which means all communication can be done in-game without the need to get a Linkshell, which would be so nice.
Patch 5.1 is set to drop for Final Fantasy XIV early next week, and amidst all of the big headlining features that we’re all very excited for, there are tons of little tweaks and additions that could be great for the game as well. With Fellowships being just one of them.