Here we investigate the overlooked, the underappreciated, the Shameworthy titles of the world. Jump in to an existing mission thread and give your thoughts, or start your own to kick off a discussion.
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Angry Jedi

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Re: The Adventure Never Ends - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Re

by Angry Jedi » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:05 am

Today I wanted to talk a little about a slightly controversial questline in the game that is a real "love it or hate it" affair. For me, while it's a total grind, I love it, because it provides clear long-term goals to accomplish as well as pulling off something that very few RPGs have been able to do properly: the "building your own lightsaber (or equivalent)" quest.

In Final Fantasy XIV, this questline is split into several main parts: an initial quest called A Relic Reborn, which you take on after you've finished the main story from the game's original version 2.0 release, and a subsequent chain of quests called the Zodiac Weapons Saga.

A Relic Reborn is the initial "build your own lightsaber" phase, and you can complete it with each of the classes available in the game. It involves seeking out a master smith who has, since the Calamity, retreated to the countryside and now tends to spend his days at the bottom of a bottle. Upon you showing up and seeking information on one of several legendary weapons, though, he somewhat gets his muse back, though he'd never admit it.

You're sent off on a number of errands -- initially to actually find the damaged legendary weapon, which has inevitably been stolen by a band of beastmen and secured deep within their lair, and subsequently to help restore it to its former glory. In order to do this, you'll have to find a "host weapon", infuse it with materia and then collect some suitable materials to help Gerolt the smith put the weapon back together. Unfortunately, said materials can only be found by taking on some of the strongest beasties in the realm -- the Dhorme Chimera of Coerthas, the Hydra that has taken up residence in the former gladiatorial training pit of Halatali, plus the reincarnations of Ifrit, Garuda and Titan, the Primals you felled during the course of the story who simply refuse to stay dead.

Once you assemble your Relic, you have a weapon that will carry you through the early stages of endgame play without too much difficulty. But it doesn't stop there; by infusing the relic weapon with an elixir known as Thavnairian Mist -- which doesn't come cheap, so you'll have to bring ruthless collector Rowena valuable Allagan Tomestones of Mythology in great numbers to purchase it -- you can turn it into its "Zenith" incarnation, which gives it a fetching glow and makes it more powerful.

Once you've done this, you're approached by someone who has been watching your efforts to restore the Relic, who tells you the story of the Zodiac Braves and their legendary weapons. It seems that if you're willing to put in the effort, you could recreate these weapons -- but it won't be an easy process. Firstly, you'll have to gather twelve Atma crystals from around the realm -- and they're exceedingly rare. Next, you'll have to follow the "trials of the Braves" by working your way through a nine-book series of challenges to allow your weapon to drink deep of your enemies' power. Finally (for now) you'll have to infuse a Sphere Scroll with materia of sufficient power to upgrade your weapon into its (presently) ultimate form -- the Novus.

It's an extremely time-consuming process involving an, at times, frustrating amount of both grinding and relying on the random number generator. But by God is it satisfying when you eventually come to the end of one of the stages and you're rewarded with a significant upgrade. You really feel like you've been working on the weapon, shaping and refining it into something that feels natural in your hand; a true extension of yourself. This is the essence of "building your own lightsaber" -- it's not a quick and easy process; it takes blood, toil and tears. It's frustrating and, at times, painful -- but when you come out of the other end of the process, you have something substantial to show for it, and this is something that very few games -- certainly not any Star Wars games I can remember -- have successfully managed to capture.

(Fortunately for those who do not wish to endure the grinding process required to build your weapon into its ultimate form, there are other means of acquiring similarly-levelled weapons, though any of these paths involve a significant amount of challenge, time or both.)
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Angry Jedi

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Re: The Adventure Never Ends - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Re

by Angry Jedi » Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:21 pm

For anyone interested in trying the game but hesitant to drop any money on it before having a go, the free trial just went live: http://www.ffxiv-freetrial.com/us/

North America only for the moment, I believe, but I imagine other territories will be following along soon enough.
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Re: The Adventure Never Ends - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Re

by Something better » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:13 pm

Jumping in because I can and also because I started plating this game a couple of months ago and really enjoying it.

It is everything Pete has said but for me it is the scope of things you can do coupled with the fact you don't need to play everyday that really make a difference.

I love the social aspect of MMO's and once you get a Free Company invite this part of the game really takes off. The duty finder is great at speeding party making up but it is a little anonymous. The best parties I've had have all been with the FC and I think getting a good one really makes the game.

Content wise for me there is so much to do. Love exploring and seeing he sites. The world of Eorzea really is well crafted and well worth seeing. Levelling happens quickly and dungeons are fun. I've recently started crafting and really surprised how much I like this aspect of the game!

I think as I now have so much less time to game what I appreciate most is how easy FFXIV makes things for the player. And by easy I mean fun, smooth, accessible. There is challenge here (I started as a conjorer which is a healing class but changed to blm which is less pressure!) But it is certainly not how I remember FFXI where I wandered aimlessly terrified of dying and losing the level you just got.

So, all in all a well crafted game and I've not even touched on the story which is everything a Final Fantasy fan could want. Especially if you grew up obsessing over the snes games. Do try it and Moogles a great server!
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Angry Jedi

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Re: The Adventure Never Ends - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Re

by Angry Jedi » Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:32 pm

For those interested, the latest FFXIV trailer is hot stuff:



Lots of New Stuff coming soon! Can't wait.
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Grant Heaslip

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Re: The Adventure Never Ends - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Re

by Grant Heaslip » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:21 pm

Angry Jedi wrote:For those interested, the latest FFXIV trailer is hot stuff: [...]

Lots of New Stuff coming soon! Can't wait.


That's a lot of stuff. I'm so early in the game that new end-game stuff isn't immediately exciting, but I do look forward to reaching it.
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Calin Kim

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Re: The Adventure Never Ends - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Re

by Calin Kim » Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:31 pm

Do you have to play this with other people, or is it possible to play it solo?
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Grant Heaslip

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Re: The Adventure Never Ends - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Re

by Grant Heaslip » Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:55 pm

Calin Kim wrote:Do you have to play this with other people, or is it possible to play it solo?


I've been soloing almost everything so far. You do need to group up to finish dungeons (which are part of the main story questline), but there's a really slick matchmaking system that drops you into a well-composed group. A lot of the appeal is the endgame, which obviously necessitates more robust co-operation, but it's by most accounts quite solo-friendly by MMO standards. That said, I don't think I'd recommend playing an MMO if you're not interested in multiplayer at all.
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Angry Jedi

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Re: The Adventure Never Ends - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Re

by Angry Jedi » Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:37 am

Yeah. A lot of it is soloable, but there's a bunch of stuff that it's mandatory to team up for, and once you reach endgame the majority of stuff you'll be doing is group-based -- though not exclusively.

The main story tends to be solo punctuated with multiplayer encounters for boss fights and dungeons. If you want to delve a bit further into sidequests and the like, you'll have to group more, though even at endgame there's still a decent amount of stuff you can tackle solo.
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Re: The Adventure Never Ends - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Re

by Grant Heaslip » Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:06 am

I’ve written up some (very) early thoughts on FFXIV. (Should I be pasting it here rather than linking to my own blog? Not sure what’s customary here.)
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Angry Jedi

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Re: The Adventure Never Ends - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Re

by Angry Jedi » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:09 am

This thread would be a fine place to share your thoughts!

EDIT: Having read that post, yes, definitely share that here, please! :)
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