FFXIV: 51st Producer’s Letter Reveals Big Updates Coming Soon

This week brings the 51st producer’s letter and with it – a ton of upcoming content! So, more dungeons, easier gear progression, a fix in the hardest dungeon, a barber shop, UI changes, and things like daily quests so the economy doesn’t continue its drastic decline. Oh, and housing!


Hello again, all you FFXIVers out there! Yoshi-P here, bringing you my fifty-first Letter from the Producer.

It’s already been a month and a half since release, and after adding several new Worlds, optimizing the servers, and expanding the data centers, it’s full speed ahead for the development team as we prepare for the first big patch.

Looking over data from each World, it’s great to see so many players in every level range. Whether it’s exploring the nooks and crannies of Eorzea, chasing after FATE, braving through dungeons for Allagan tomestomes, or taking on the Binding Coil of Bahamut, everyone seems to be settling into their own play style as they find their place in the community.

As for myself, I’ve finally defeated Titan in the main story, and am now in snowswept Coerthas. I’ve been going it incognito on the public servers, and it’s been a lot of fun playing with you all. I can never resist a shout for help to venture through lower level dungeons, so it’ll probably be a while before I reach end game.

Speaking of end game, I’d like to take a moment to address our players who have completed the main scenario, and are now working to complete relic quests and fight against the hard-mode primals. We realize how difficult it’s been to acquire tomestones and have taken measures to alleviate this problem. Although we had a few setbacks necessitating an extension of the planned maintenance on October 15, as well as a subsequent emergency maintenance, we’ve added additional instance servers for Amdapor Keep as well as the Wanderer’s Palace. We’ve also increased the number of tomestones obtainable in these dungeons, and made adjustments to gil received from within. Patch 2.1 will introduce even more ways to accumulate tomes, so please bear with us.

End game players have also encountered problems with the fifth turn of the Binding Coil of Bahamut. This issue was to be addressed with the patch on October 15, but unfortunately we’ve confirmed that the problem still persists. Please rest assured we are working diligently to resolve this issue so that players can resume play in this instance as soon as possible.

Our first update will be fairly substantial, and can be divided into three key parts. First and foremost, we want players to have more options to enjoy themselves in Eorzea. We’ll be introducing daily quests and treasure hunts for those looking to play solo, and various system adjustments will make it easier to obtain Allagan tomestones of philosophy and mythology with your party mates. You can also expect to see new dungeons, the Crystal Tower, extreme primal battles, and the return of Good King Moggle Mog. There’s also housing and the Wolves’ Den to look forward to, both of which are being fine-tuned and debugged as we speak.

Second, we’ll be implementing feedback from you, the players. Not only will the user interface be updated, but we’ll also be adding an item-sort function, item level restrictions on the Duty Finder, the MVP system, and a number of other new features.

Last but certainly not least, we’ll be introducing the salon where players can customize character features such as hair and face paint, and a party search function for individual Worlds. This wouldn’t be a FINAL FANTASY if it didn’t have a story, so expect to see new developments in the main scenario, and perhaps even the return of a certain someone from Version 1.0.

More details will be revealed during the upcoming LIVE letters. I’m planning to host one every month up until the release of 2.1, and I hope you tune in to all of them!

And that’s all from me for today. See you again on October 19, at the ninth Letter from the Producer LIVE!

Blizzard Announces Diablo III Expansion: Reaper of Souls

Looks like BlizzCon is going to have something worth revealing this year: an expansion pack to the Diablo III world. They will have 300 PCs available for conference attendees to sink their teeth into the latest and greatest for the awkwardly troubled franchise and the expansion will debut on the PS4.


Reaper of Souls at BlizzCon® 2013 on PC and PS4

Malthael, the Angel of Death, grows restless. Having sieged the historic city of Westmarch, he now sets his sights on a new metropolis: Anaheim, California—the great gamer haven of the West. Soon, his forces will begin their march on the hallowed halls of BlizzCon and only you, mighty Nephalem, can defend its denizens and help put a stop to the coming apocalypse.

Are you ready?

Join the Crusade, November 8-9

Summon your allies, ready your best weapon, and prepare to make a stand against Malthael in Hall A of the Anaheim Convention Center.

With 300 PC demo stations at their command, attendees will have the opportunity to join the fight for Westmarch, seek fame and treasure in all-new Nephalem Rifts (previously called Loot Runs), and journey through Adventure Mode, where the world itself is your battlefield. All five of the original Diablo III classes will be playable, as well as the recently-unveiled Crusader, a fierce mid-range melee warrior who wields punishing weapons (and an even more punishing arsenal of spells and abilities).

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Looking for more Reaper of Souls screenshots? Click here!

Reaper of Souls Invades PlayStation® 4

We’re also excited to announce that Diablo III: Reaper of Souls will be making its public debut on the PlayStation® 4 at BlizzCon 2013!

In our action-packed single-player and same-screen co-op demos, players will get to explore the haunted streets of Westmarch as one of our five original classes or test their mettle as the unyielding Crusader. Attendees will also be some of the first in the world to take on Death itself using a DUALSHOCK®4 controller, featuring touch pad technology designed to help keep heroes out game menus and focused on what they do best: killing monsters.

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Click here to view the full BlizzCon 2013 floor map.

For those of you who are BlizzCon-bound, we salute you! If you can’t make the show in person, be sure to check out the Virtual Ticket, which includes over 60 hours of high-definition footage so you can catch all the action from the comfort of your home.

Head on over to BlizzCon.com for panel schedules, event maps, hotel and travel information, forums, and more, and be sure to stay tuned to diablo3.com for all the latest news for Reaper of Souls on PC and PS4!

Final Fantasy XIV: Preliminary Free Server Transfers (October 15-21)

It’s hard to believe that even this long after the US/EU/JP servers went live for FFXIV’s “Reborn” launch, there are still servers preventing character creation. Hopefully this will be a way for friends and guild members to finally get together for the first time since open beta.


Due to login and character creation restrictions set in place after the start of official service, many players were unable to create characters on their desired Worlds. In order to address this issue, players will be allowed to use the World Transfer Service free of charge from Tuesday, October 15, 2013, to Monday, October 21, 2013, 01:00 a.m.

After reading the guidelines below, please proceed to the FINAL FANTASY XIV: Mog Station (http://sqex.to/Msp) to use the World Transfer Service during the aforementioned time period.

What is the World Transfer Service?

Using the World Transfer Service, players can move characters on their service accounts to be from one World to another.

Although multiple characters can be transferred from one World to another with a single use of this service, multiple characters from different Worlds cannot be transferred to the same World, nor can multiple characters from a single World be transferred to separate Worlds.

World Population Status (October 10, 2013)

Crowded Worlds

Japan Data Center NA/EU Data Center
Alexander Behemoth
Anima Cactuar
Atomos Excalibur(LEGACY)
Carbuncle Hyperion(LEGACY)
Fenrir Moogle(EU)
Garuda Ultros
Ifrit
Ramuh
Tiamat
Titan

Uncrowded Worlds

Japan Data Center NA/EU Data Center
Asura Coeurl
Belias Brynhildr
Pandaemonium Faerie
Unicorn Famfrit
Yojimbo Goblin
Zeromus Lamia
Lich(EU)
Malboro
Mateus
Siren
Zalera

* Characters cannot be transferred to a World which has already reached the limit for character creation.
* Characters can also be transferred between data centers.

Transfers Involving Legacy Worlds

In order to allow the economy of newly established Worlds to stabilize, the following restrictions have been set in place for Legacy Worlds.

Transferrable Current World Destination World
Non-Legacy World -> Legacy World
Legacy World -> Legacy World
× Legacy World -> Non-Legacy World

How to use the World Transfer Service

Step 1: Confirm Your Eligibility

The following conditions must be met before using the World Transfer Service:

1. You must possess an active service account for FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn.
2. You must be logged out of the game.
3. Your character cannot be enlisted in a free company, holding a free company petition, or signed to a free company petition.
4. Your character cannot have items for sale on the market.
5. Your character cannot have items entrusted to the Calamity Salvager NPC.
6. Your character must rehire any retainers carried over from Version 1.0.
7. Your character must be logged out outside of any instanced areas.
8. The character you wish to transfer must be at least three days old.
9. Your service account cannot be suspended due to a violation of Terms of Service or a hold on the account.
10. Furthermore, characters can only transfer 3 million gil, while retainers can only transfer 1 million gil. Please be aware that excess gil will be lost.

* Regarding Login Restrictions During the Transfer Process

Once you begin the World transfer process, you cannot create new characters or log into the game until the transfer is complete.

Characters will be transferred in the order applications were submitted. Furthermore, additional time may be required for all transfers to complete. A notification will be sent to the e-mail address registered to your Square Enix account when the transfer is complete. Do not attempt to log in before receiving this notification, as doing so may cause an error in the transfer, prolonging the process.

* Please check your e-mail filters to ensure e-mail from the domain name @account.square-enix.com is not sent to your junk mail folder.

A large number of players are expected to make use of the World Transfer Service during this free period. As a result, transfers may require several days before processing is complete.

Step 2: Log into the FINAL FANTASY XIV: Mog Station

Log into the FINAL FANTASY XIV: Mog Station with the Square Enix account containing characters you wish to be transferred. The status of your service account and available characters can be confirmed on the Account Services page.

To begin the application process, select World Transfer Service on the Optional Services page.

* In the event you possess multiple service accounts for FINAL FANTASY XIV, please select the tab of the service account containing characters you wish to be transferred.

Step 3: Apply for a World Transfer

Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the World transfer process. Please also bear in mind the following before submitting your application:

Subscription Type Restrictions

Accounts with entry subscriptions are only allowed one character per World; therefore, for these accounts, characters cannot be transferred to a World on which a character is already present. With a standard subscription, players are allowed up to eight characters on a single World.

Characters with the Same Name

In the event the name of your character has already been chosen by another character on the destination World, you will be required to change your character’s name when logging in for the first time.

Although it is possible to confirm the availability of your character’s name when submitting your application, multiple applications bearing characters with the same name may necessitate the renaming of your character, depending on the order in which the applications are processed.

* Once service fees are instated for this service, characters transferring from another World will take priority in the event a character on the destination World has the same name but is associated with an inactive service account at the time of transfer.

Retainers with the Same Name

In the event the name of your retainer is already being used by another retainer on the destination World, you will be required to change your retainer’s name upon first summoning them. Please be advised that it cannot be determined beforehand if your retainers will require name changes.

Data Retained After Transfer

– The following will be transferred along with your character:

All items, including gear and minions
Retainers and all items in their possession.
Moogle letters
Gil (3 million gil per character, 1 million gil per retainer)
* Please note that any gil exceeding the above limit will be lost.

– The following will not be transferred along with your character:

Friend lists
Blacklists
Linkshells
Free companies

* The World Transfer Service cannot be used for characters enlisted in a free company. Please make sure your character is not a member of a free company before using this service.

* Characters will be withdrawn from linkshells automatically.

– The following data will be updated automatically.

Character data on the Lodestone
Blogs and comments posted on the Lodestone

* World transfers will not affect your list of followers and those whom you are following.

Character avatars on the official forum

Disclaimers

The World Transfer Service cannot be used when the Square Enix Account Management System, FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn, or the FINAL FANTASY XIV: Mog Station is undergoing maintenance.

With the introduction of the World Transfer Service, there may be cases where players are requested to transfer to other Worlds due to fluctuations in population. We may also consider the splitting or merger of Worlds. Because of this, there may be instances where players who have used the World Transfer Service are requested to move to a different World. Please note that in such cases, applications for World transfers cannot be canceled or refunded.

If you should encounter problems when using the World Transfer Service, please contact the Square Enix Support Center. Please note that the Square Enix Support Center cannot assist with certain problems if more than one week has passed since using this service.

Service Fees

Please note that the paid service is estimated to start at the end of October. Details on the paid service will become available once they are finalized.

Joseph Staten Leaves Bungie

Joseph Staten, one of Bungie’s greats, has now left the company. This man was brought on as a product manager/ localization expert during Myth II: Soulbringer in 1998. He went on to be part of the script writing team team for Oni and helped influence much of the Halo universe that many of us grew to love. I’m a long time Bungie fan and he will be missed.

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At Bungie, we consider ourselves lucky. Every day, we get to do what we love in an amazing place, alongside people we respect and admire. No one embodies that more than Joseph Staten. Few have contributed as much to our success. To that end, it is with no small degree of sadness that we say “Godspeed” to more than just a Grizzled Ancient, but an old, dear friend. And it is with no small degree of delight and intrigue that we imagine what worlds he might take us to next.

Here are a few words from the man himself.

Dear community friends,

After fifteen great years at Bungie, from the battlefields of Myth to the mysteries of Halo and beyond, I’m leaving to tackle new creative challenges. While this may come as a surprise, fear not. It’s been my pleasure building Destiny these past four years, and after the big reveal this Summer, our hugely talented team is on track for greatness. I’ll be cheering all of them, with all of you, when the game launches next year. Thank you for your support of me, and your continued support of Bungie. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Per Audacia Ad Astra!
Joseph Staten

It’s been an honor serving with you, Joseph. Thank you for everything.

The Seven Biggest Upcoming Console MMOs (IGN.com)

I get that MMOs want to extend their reach to add console gamers. For real MMOs (especially MMORPGs), that market segment is virtually untapped. However, I don’t see consoles replacing my mouse+keyboard experience. FFXIV:ARR is a good example of that, especially when looking at tanks. Almost all of the tanks that struggle with positioning that I’ve run with have been console gamers (or just new to the dungeon).

For MMOs like Defiance and those that offer first person views, the overall game would probably be similar between consoles and PCs, but communication will always be substantially behind on consoles and only a small percentage of gamers are using Ventrilo, RaidCall, or other VoIP software.
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As long as video game consoles have had internet connections, enterprising studios have been creating massively multiplayer games for them. Early notable efforts include Sega’s Phantasy Star Online in 2001 and Everquest Online Adventures in 2003.

Still, despite these groundbreaking games, there’s no denying that for most MMO experiences, PC gaming has always been where it’s at. Until now, at least.

Sony’s Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One are more PC-like than ever, and now talented AAA console development teams are finally wrapping their heads around how to create persistent online worlds and long-term character growth. As a result, next-gen might be the era that console MMOs finally come into their own. Below are the hottest console MMOs, both launched and upcoming, that you should be sure to keep on your radar.

Note: It’s still up in the air whether some of these titles will truly feel like traditional MMO experiences when they launch. The lines are blurring. Massive battles with hundreds of concurrent players might not constitute an MMO if the world isn’t persistent. A persistent world might not be an MMO if you can only explore it with small, controlled groups. However you define an MMO, these games are all, at the least, MMO-like experiences worth your hype and attention.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

PC, PS3, PS4
After a notoriously poor launch, Square-Enix doubled down on FF XIV, relaunching the game a full three years later, to critical and commercial success. It’s arguably one of the biggest turnaround stories in video game history.

Somewhat lost in all the headlines was the “small” detail that the relaunched game released not just for Windows, but on Playstation 3 as well, with a Playstion 4 version coming in 2014. The console version is fully playable with just a controller thanks to a completely revamped UI, or players can just plug a keyboard and mouse. FF XIV is the highest-profile MMORPG currently available on consoles and is an easy recommendation for console gamers.

DC Universe Online

PC, PS3, PS4
DCUO launched on PC and PS3 in 2011 to so-so reviews and managed to amass only a modest player base. But Sony Online Entertainment stuck it out, continuing to gradually improve and expand on the superhero MMO. The game gained notable momentum after switching to a freemium business model 10 months after launch.

The game makes excellent use of the DC universe via top-notch voice acting, an active, ever-expanding story, and hundreds of famous and not-so-famous characters and locations from the DC Universe. DCUO is tuned to get players to the level cap and into endgame content as fast as possible, making it a great MMO for superhero nerds to download and try out.

Planetside 2

PC, PS4
Sony Online Entertainment’s massive PC FPS hit Planetside 2 is due out on the PS4 later this year. Many were skeptical about Planetside 2’s massive scale and free-to-play model, but after trying it out for themselves, most came away believers. The payment model never gets in the way, and vehicular and on-foot warfare is always raging, with thousands of players all vying for territory control at once. Thanks to a solid class system and a steady stream of unlockables, Planetside 2 should have something for everyone when it hits PS4.

Destiny

PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
For how much we know about Halo developer Bungie’s ridiculously ambitious “persistent world shooter” Destiny, there’s an awful lot we still don’t know. Bungie itself has refrained from actually calling the game an MMO, for starters. Instead, the game provides players with a feeling of constant connection via seamless matchmaking that all happens in the background, with other players entering and exiting your game world on-the-fly.

Destiny’s emphasis on dynamic world events and “loot drops” also contributes to its MMO feel. Players will be able to socket and customize their weapons with powerful items dropped from foes. Dynamic events will help keep the world of Destiny fresh and keep players on their toes. We’ll have to wait until 2014 to find out just how MMO-likeDestiny truly ends up feeling.

The Division

PS4, Xbox One, PC
When a man-made pandemic collapses civilization, ruthless gangs vie for power in the ruins of New York. Sounds like a good setting for an MMORPG to us! Like Destiny, at this point we still aren’t sure how genuinely MMO-like Ubisoft’s dystopian FPS/RPG hybrid The Division truly is. But what has been revealed looks extremely promising.

Players are plunked into The Division’s unforgiving game world with three days’ worth of food and supplies. From there it’s up for you to explore and scavenge what you need, leveling up your character RPG-style along the way. Although solo play is an option, The Division includes extensive options for player-run clans and groups as well as drop-in/drop-out multiplayer, encouraging and rewarding players who team up and work together to tame its persistent, dynamic online world.

The Crew

PC, PS4, Xbox One
Like Destiny and The Division, just how MMO-like Ubisoft’s persistent world racing gameThe Crew truly is still isn’t known. But what we’ve seen so far is extremely promising. The arcade-style racing action takes place across the entire United States. A condensed version of it, sure… but still. Racing from Seattle to Miami in a seamless online/offline game world filled with hundreds of racing challenges? Yes, please!

The game will seamlessly and constantly fill your game world with hundreds of other real world players, giving the game its “MMO” label. You can party up to compete in races or cooperative events like taking down a single superpowered opponent. Yes, almost like a raid.

Elder Scrolls Online

PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One
Elder Scrolls Online, in development for six years, is finally nearing its 2014 release window. Set 1000 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the game’s major claim to fame is that it takes place across the entire continent of Tamriel. Not just a single country or region like all the other modern single player Elder Scrolls games.

Early impressions were mixed, wih many describing the game as a World of Warcraft clone set in the Elder Scrolls universe. While that’s still a plenty exciting concept on its own, many gamers wanted more. Thankfully, Zenimax Online listened. The game now has a first-person mode, a new Skyrim-like UI, further refined storytelling and plenty more tweaks that truly allow the game to feel like Skyrim with (thousands) of friends.

Plenty more!

The seven games above aren’t the only ones to keep in mind, but they’re probably the highest profile console MMOs in the works. Other upcoming console MMOs include:

War Thunder: A freemium flight sim MMO that’s been making waves on Steam. Due out for PS3 and PS4 in November. Watch the gameplay.

Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade: Not due out until 2015, this MMO based on the classic sci-fi license is slated for release on PC and both Xbox One and PS4. Read the news.

World of Tanks: Wargaming.net’s notorious PVP-heavy tank combat game has been available on Xbox 360 since this summer. Read the news.

Phantasy Star Online 2: Sega’s PSO sequel is out now on PC and Vita… in Japan. A US release date hasn’t yet been announced. US Release News?

Dragon Quest X: Like PSO 2, Square Enix’s Dragon Quest MMO hit Wii and Wii U in Japan last year to critical acclaim. But a US release is still up in the air. Watch the epic trailer.

Grand Theft Auto V Crushes It With $800M Sold First Day (VentureBeat.com)

Selling $800 million in the first 24 hours, GTA5 sets a massive new record for best selling game of all-time at launch. Kinda makes the huge budget of $260 million seem paltry by comparison!

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Grand Theft Auto V bags a record $800 million in first-day sales

Grand Theft Auto V’s main characters, Michael, Franklin, and Trevor.

Grand Theft Auto V sales added up to more than $800 million during its first 24 hours, making it the best-selling video game of all time for first-day sales.

Take-Two Interactive Software, parent of game developer Rockstar Games, said today that the title achieved first-day sell-through sales that beat those of any previous Grand Theft Auto game and any other title the company has sold.

Launched on Sept. 17 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the title is an open-world game with a narrative that focuses on three urban criminals. It was developed over five years with a budget estimated at $260 million.

GTA V is launching soon in Japan and Brazil.

“All of us at Take-Two are thrilled with the initial response to Grand Theft Auto V. Once again, the team at Rockstar Games have outdone themselves, setting the entertainment industry’s new standard for creativity, innovation and excellence,” said Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two. “Beginning at midnight on Monday, consumers around the world gathered in anticipation to be among the first to experience the evolution of this remarkable series. In North America alone, more than 8,300 stores opened their doors at midnight to welcome fans whose loyalty and enthusiasm were rewarded with what the New York Times called ‘the most immersive spectacle in interactive entertainment.’ We are incredibly proud of Rockstar Games’ creative achievement and could not be more pleased with the success of this launch.”

The game is both a critical and a commercial success. It has a 98/100 rating on review aggregator Metacritic for the Xbox 360, based on reviews from 38 critics. Our own Giancarlo Valdes gave it a stingy 95 out of 100, making it our highest-rated game in a long while. It’s rated Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

Diablo 3: Auction House Feature To End

Given the amazing new loot system expected to launch in Loot 2.0, the Auction House certainly would have less appeal. However, I wonder just how much cash has actually been made via the AH thus far? Regardless, six months in *ample* notification.

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Diablo® III Auction House Update

When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But as we’ve mentioned on different occasions, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo’s core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot. With that in mind, we want to let everyone know that we’ve decided to remove the gold and real-money auction house system from Diablo III.

We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls™ will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players.

We’re working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down, but we wanted to share the news as soon as we made the decision in order to give everyone as much advance notice as possible. Please note that the shutdown will occur on March 18, 2014. We will keep everyone informed as we work through this process.

Josh Mosqueira and I wanted to provide everyone with a little more information behind this decision, so please have a look at the video, and stay tuned to this site for further updates in the months ahead.


Final Fantasy XIV: Progression After Level 50 (Guide)

Update: A brand new polished version is now available for Patch 2.3, thanks to the CrabCommander! I have updated this post with CC’s thread.


So you just hit 50, and now you’re wondering where to go from here. Well, I don’t think anyone can tell you explicitly what should be done in exactly what order, and you certainly can skips steps, but here’s the most gentle slope for introduction to end-game.

Tier 0 – Preparation & Requirements

  • Finish Your Job/Story Quests – Your Job quests will net you your last skills and your Artifact gear. Do them. Main quest completion at least through Praetorium is required for literally every piece of content outside of this tier, and many later on will require completion beyond that.
  • Replace Your Trash Items – If you have any items below iLevel 45, they should probably be replaced with crafted/purchased items. You should pay particular attention to your weaponry. You can jump up as high as item level 90, depending on how much gil you have/are willing to spend, but bare minimum in all slots should be i45+.
  • Castrum Meridianum and The Praetorium – You’ll need to run them once for story. If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of 8 man content you can run them once or twice extra, but you should otherwise avoid them outside of Duty Roulette: Story Mode, which unlocks after completing them both, as the base Mythology reward is rather low for their time investment.
  • Wanderer’s Palace and Amdapor Keep – You’ll have to do at least AK for your Relic quest eventually, but they also drop iLevel 55 gear to get you started, and are an easy completion even in fresh 50 gear. They should help ease you into the idea of 4 man dungeons at level 50, and how various classes perform with their full skill set.
  • Cross Class Skills – Every Job is a little different on how much they depend on cross-class skills, but at absolute minimum, by the time you reach Tier 2 you should have access to all of the Cross-Class skills considered even moderately useful for your Job.

Tier 1 – The First Steps

  • Expectations – Beyond this point you should have Praetorium completed, and a basic set of gear in the iLevel range of 45-55 or higher. Gear from content in this range is iLevel 60-80.
  • Relic Quest Line – One of the first stops for a fresh 50 should be picking up your Relic Quest line. Even if you don’t want to take it all the way to Novus, it’s a good way to jump up into the i80-90 weaponry tier relatively quickly.
  • Big 3 HM Primals – Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan HM will all be required of you for a number of unlocks, and completion of your Relic quest. Go bang them out in an afternoon. With big Echo bonuses, and propensity for higher iLevel/experience players to join you via Duty Roulette: Trials, none of these save perhaps Titan should present you with any terrible difficulty. The Big 3 HM Primals must be completed to gain access to The Binding Coil of Bahamut later on.
  • Main Story Continuation/Secondary HM Primals – Continue working on your post-Praetorium Story and you’ll eventually run into Moogle Mog, Leviathan, and Ramuh HM. You’ll need them all dead and the story wrapped up all the way to its current 2.3 completion eventually for unlocks, and Moggle can drop silly i75 weapons for the Moogle addicted.
  • Gilgamesh – A for-fun/no-rewards fight in the Hildebrand Storyline; required if you want to unlock Duty Roulette: Trials. Should be no difficulty at any iLevel.
  • Pharos Sirius and Haukke/Copperbell HM – These four man dungeons should present you no particular difficulties even at an average iLevel of 55-60, assuming some of your other party members are above that level. You should be going through each four man dungeon at least once so that you can unlock Duty Roulette: Hard Mode.
  • Lost City of Amdapor and Brayflox/Halatali HM – Same as above, only with a slightly higher difficulty curve, aim for iLevel 60-70 before jumping in them. Brayflox HM will likely be many people’s first experience with the dungeon speed running mentality, so be prepared for much bigger pulls than you’re used to. Once you have completed all the dungeons listed to this point at least once you will gain access to Duty Roulette: Hard Mode.
  • Labyrinth of the Ancients – The first Crystal Tower/24 man, you’ll need it completed for unlock status later for the second zone, and it drops i80 gear with no loot restriction.
  • Hunts – You should now be able to unlock the Hunts system, which allows you to reap great rewards from overworld Notorious Monsters. Unlock this as soon as possible and get into a Hunts Linkshell or a larger FC if this is something that interests you.
  • Mythic Armor – You should be able to purchase at least a few pieces of Mythic armor either with Mythology tomes, or Hunt Marks. This should help boost your iLevel rapidly. If you have enough Soldiery Tomes you can also begin purchasing iLevel 100 Weathered gear with them.
  • PvP & Frontlines – You should now be able to unlock Frontlines PvP and level 50 Arena mode PvP. Frontlines can be a great way to acquire Tomestones and PvP exp while having fun, as long as you can deal with the Frontlines queue insanity.
  • Side-Stories – You should now also have access to start the Hildebrand, Courrier, and Winebauds series of Sidequests. These provide various small item rewards, and can be a lot of silly fun.
  • Other Unlocks – There are many small system related unlocks at level 50, from Glamours and Personal Rooms to Chocobo Raising, Parley, and more. Keep an eye out for any odd Level 50 quests in zones you walk through, or people chatting about systems you don’t recognize.

Tier 2 – Beyond Your First Relic – The Beginnings of the Difficulty Curve.

  • Expectations – By this point you should be in the ilevel ~70+ range, with a weapon at least at iLevel 80. Content in this tier provides gear in the range of i80-i100. Content from this point onward will begin sharply spiking up in difficulty, both in terms of numerical requirements and mechanical prowess.
  • Hullbreaker Isle and Tam Tara/Stone Vigil HM – These three dungeons constitute the Duty Roulette: Expert block currently. Clear them each at least once, or farm them if that’s your preferred method of i80 acquisition and Soldiery farming.
  • Ballad: Ultima – At this point, Ultima most likely will provide little that will be of use to you, but if you want to clear him once for fun, or really need an i80 neck piece, Minstrel’s Ballad: Ultima’s Bane is there. A clear on this is eventually required for Savage Mode Second Coil, far down the line, should you get to that point.
  • Big 3 EX Primals – Garuda, Titan, and Ifrit EX are one of many paths to an i90 weapon and i90 accessories. They have been dropped as requirements for other content, so if you don’t feel like you need more i90 gear, or are struggling to complete some of these, it is now possible to skip over them.
  • The Binding Coil of Bahamut – The biggest method to farm up i90-95 gear at this point, the original Binding Coil will provide you with your first taste of Premier 8 man content, albeit with a very generous Echo buff and a few nerfs to the numbers and mechanics of the fights. Completion of Turn 5 is required for access to the Second Coil of Bahamut.
  • Leviathan and Moggle Mog EX – These two are required for Ramuh EX down the line, and can provide you with i95/i100 gear, including weaponry. Both have had progressive Echo added in 2.3, which should make clearing and farming them easy enough to let them drop down a tier.
  • Syrcus Tower – The second Crystal Tower/24 man instance. This will get you access to a single i100 drop per week, or an Oil of Time/Unidentified Allagan Tomestone for access to an i110 accessory upgrade or i100 weapon purchase.
  • Relic Zenith/Animus/Novus – The long path of upgrading your relic. None of the steps require clearing any of the harder content, and are more focused on simple grinding. If that sounds like something that would appeal to you, this can be a path to a long term best-in-slot weapon for many classes.
  • Weathered Gear – Keep capping your Soldiery weekly, and use those tomes to Acquire Weathered Gear. Upgrading these pieces requires Sands/Oils of time, which can be acquired via Syrcus Tower, Hunts, and Second Coil.

Tier 3 – Turn 5 and Beyond – The True End-Game

  • Expectations – By this point you should have completed Turn 5 or be actively working on it. Content from here on out will drop all pretenses of the Echo buff and require you to actively work on your skills and gear to make the cut. A minimum iLevel of 90 in all slots should be considered for the following content. The below content provides rewards in the i100-115 range.
  • Ramuh EX – Another source of i100 weapons, and i100 rings. A challenging but readily beatable fight. Can save you some Soldiery or help smooth out bad drop luck from Second Coil.
  • The Second Coil of Bahamut – The real heart of End Game content currently. Four turns, four bosses, and a whole lot of suffering. Expect to need a static group, and/or a whole mountain of dedication to clear the turns. Drops i110 gear, i110 upgrade items, and the coveted i115 weapons from the final turn. Turn 4 completion is required for access to Savage mode.

Tier 4 – For the Brave

  • Expectations – In order to tackle the content in this tier, you must have completed both Second Coil Turn 4 and Ballad: Ultima. Your gear should all be i110+ or close to it. Content in this tier is purely for bragging rights/titles, and not for the feint of heart or easily enraged.
  • The Second Coil of Bahamut (Savage) – The insane man’s version of the Second Coil. Provides no added benefits other than a title for each turn cleared, at an insane difficulty spike. Maybe you’ll be the first to clear some of these turns?

 

Final Fantasy XIV: Moonfire Faire Event

The game isn’t even two weeks old yet, but Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has started its first holiday event: Moonfire Faire! You, too, can earn a stylish swimsuit AND a brand new title.

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Moonfire Faire, Special EditionBombard Sightings Rekindle Fears Amidst Festival Preparations

Signs of an Old Flame

Before the fall of Dalamud, which would bring about the end of the Sixth Astral Era, a Bombard invasion set ablaze panic in the hearts and minds of the people, threatening to reduce our cities to smoldering rubble and ash. Thanks to a band of adventurers who unwittingly joined the Cascadiers, the igneous invaders were vanquished, and the realm was spared a fiery fate, or so reports had us believe.

There has been talk of sightings around Costa del Sol in eastern La Noscea. However, one must always be wary of the whispers of sailors. Ever wont to make sea hares into giant sea serpents and moat carp into mermaids, their wild fabrications have led many an adventurer to misfortune and abashment. Although these were but simple rumors, I would be remiss to overlook reports now coming in from all corners of the realm. Talk of Bombards has spread like wildfire, and for the first time in five years, the Adventurers’ Guild has announced the return of the Moonfire Faire.

The Fallacious Festival Returns

Five long years have passed since the fall of Dalamud, and a new generation of adventurers has taken up arms in the absence of the Warriors of Light. But would they be so foolish as to run headlong into the proverbial oven that is the Moonfire Faire? There’s no mistaking the Cascadier officers thronging the streets with their pamphlets, permeating the air with platitudes and empty promises. It may not be long before even you, dear reader, come face to face with these ardent recruiters.

Though times may change, the insatiable desire for exotic garments and gear shall ever persist among adventurers. A sense of yearning can be seen burning bright in their eyes at the mere mention of garbs they would receive in preparation for battle. The Adventurers’ Guild is sure to entice adventurers to heed the call of the Cascadiers, but will it be enough? I can only hope the whimsical farce known as Moonfire Faire will both drive off this incendiary incursion and bolster our spirits.

Moonfire Faire Dates & Times

From Monday, September 9, 2013, at 1:00 a.m. (PDT)

* In light of current server congestion, the duration of the Moonfire Faire event will be extended. A separate announcement will be made regarding the ending date.

How to Participate

Speak to any of the Moonfire Faire chaperones, who will appear in each of the three city-states.

Faire Chaperone Locations

Limsa Lominsa, Upper Decks

Limsa Lominsa, Upper Decks

Old Gridania

Old Gridania

Ul’dah, Steps of Nald

Ul'dah, Steps of Nald

Final Fantasy XIV: Square Enix Announces Compensation (IGN.com)

For those of you who, like me, have struggled with server access during the FFXIV:ARR launch, this will come as no surprise to you. However, even with all MMORPGs struggling at launch, I haven’t seen free game time provided like this before. It’s nice Square Enix is doing *something* instead of just apologizing multiple times a day.

All servers will be down for another eight-and-a-half hours, so fingers crossed that it actually resolves the myriad issues.

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Square Enix has announced all Final Fantasy XIV accounts will be given an extra week of free play time to compensate for ongoing server woes.

post on The Lodestone explains that anyone who has registered Final Fantasy XIV or does so before 11.59 PM PDT on September 9 will have an extra week of free game time added to their account, in addition to the month that comes when you buy a copy of the game.

The post reads, “Since the beginning of official service on August 27, 2013, the number of users attempting to access the game has significantly exceeded our initial estimates. While we are pleased to see support for the game reach far beyond our expectations, the servers were not prepared to handle this influx of players. As a result, our servers have been pushed beyond maximum capacity.

“All Final Fantasy XIV service accounts will receive an additional seven days of free play time. 

“In order to allow access to as many users as possible, we have implemented login and character creation restrictions. We understand, however, that these restrictions have greatly inconvenienced our players.

“Because login and character creation restrictions have hindered our ability to provide quality service, all Final Fantasy XIV service accounts will receive an additional seven days of free play time.”

Additionally, the company has announced a 10-hour emergency maintenance period will take place later today to try and sort all the problems.

“To resolve this issue, we will be performing maintenance from September 3, 2013, at 5:00 PM to September 4, 2013, at 3:00 AM PDT, for the purpose of increasing the number of available Worlds, reducing stress on the Duty Finder servers, and increasing the number of concurrent logins allowed for each server.”

If all goes well then, it looks like we should be seeing an end to the worst of the issues by tomorrow. This isn’t an unusual situation for MMO launches, which always tend to be rather rocky. It’s good to see that Square is already taking positive steps to try and improve the situation, including switching off digital sales for the time being.

Have you managed to play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn yet and, if so, what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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