Editors’ Choice: FFXIV Shadowbringers Takes the MMO to New Heights

FFXIV world status

I started playing five years back and was immediately hooked by Square Enix’s innovative approach to controller-based MMO combat, Masayoshi Soken’s intoxicating soundtrack, the simple fact that I could level up every class and job to precisely the same personality, and also the far-reaching — yet surprisingly friendly and welcoming — community.
But you have probably already heard the tale of this game’s metamorphosis into one of the most respected MMOs on the market, so I will not get into that here. What I’ll get into is the reason FFXIV’s newest expansion, Shadowbringers, catapults this fourteenth mainline entry into the upper echelons of Final Fantasy history. Put plainly: Shadowbringers is one of the best Final Fantasy games .
Attempt to watch some other FFXIV opening cinematic without getting goosebumps, I dare you.

The narrative of Shadowbringers sees your hero teleported to some other dimension (a Shard, in the game’s parlance) called the First. It appears their version of the Warriors of Light did perhaps too great a job eradicating the forces of darkness, and their world has been all but swallowed by a torrent of unceasing, fatal light.
This premise sets some interesting narrative stakes: while you’ve built a reputation for a god-slaying, regime-toppling hero back home, this brand new dimension’s citizens haven’t heard of you. This is a refreshing change of pace from the borderline deistic reverence by which NPCs usually cure you, and it allows the story play out in a more personal level. Rather than just nodding along as the story occurs around you, your personality’s personal desires and motives finally come into play.

A few shots I snapped with FFXIV’s robust photo mode

FFXIV world status

Your longtime comrades — that the Scions of the Seventh Dawn — have now been summoned into the very first, also, and they have their own struggles to conquer. One seeks to uncover the sordid secrets of a too-good-to-be-true utopian city. Another finds himself at odds with all the conflicting ideas of living up to the responsibilities of fatherhood and ensuring that his the woman he’s sworn to protect would be able to fulfill her destiny.
The narrative of Shadowbringers plays out over around 50 or 60 hours, and is punctuated by appearances from a number of the very”ffxiv data centres“-ish villains the series has seen as the silver-haired Sephiroth graced our CRTs. One in particular — no spoilers — is composed so efficiently that it’s difficult not to feel a sense of compassion for them by the time things comes to a head… I feel a tinge of regret that we could not have ended our time together on more amicable terms. Sigh.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers

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While the narrative is what impressed me about Shadowbringers, the center systems in play continue to give a good foundation that can support the dozens (hundreds (thousands?) ?) Of hours you will spend experiencing these stories. Many of the playable jobs are altered, ranging from small tweaks to full-on overhauls, and they have been received well by the FFXIV community (particularly after the recent 5.05 patch, which dealt with a few balance issues involving the 3 accessible Healer jobs). The brand new Dancer and Gunbreaker tasks are highlights, supplying the game’s most support-based job yet and a surprisingly active tank job, respectively. I main Black Mage and I’m over the moon with my level 80 rotation — it’s not a massive departure from the degree 70 apparel, but it’s been smoothed out and optimized in enough ways that it feels substantially stronger. Explosions everywhere!
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers – Raid

A legendary Guardian Force from Final Fantasy VIII creates an impressive return in ffxiv data center split latest raid.
Fourteen days after Shadowbringers launched, the new”Eden’s Gate” raid was unleashed upon players who’d finished the expansion’s most important story quest. I will not get into the story information of the raid here, but there is one especially breathtaking order in its first fight that I wrote about here, if you do not mind being spoiled on it. The loot system for this raid has been corrected, also: long story short, drops are more abundant so it’s much easier to get your hands to the specific piece of equipment you are chasing. There is also a new 24-player raid on the way, which is based on the world of NieR and NieR Automata, also is being developed in collaboration with Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito. It is gonna be bizarre.
ffxiv world status: Shadowbringers

Shadowbringers’ soundtrack isalso, as always, a highlight. The drastically different setting with this growth gave Soken an chance to branch out and choose the game’s soundtrack in some intriguing new directions, masterfully invoking myriad genres which fit their respective areas and experiences like a glove (or, more appropriately, a very comfortable pair of cans ). In addition, he continues to expertly harness the emotional power of leitmotif, aiming to jerk a tear out of all but the driest eyes.
Semi-related notice: Square Enix recently made a ton of their soundtracks available on streaming solutions, such as Spotify. The OST for Shadowbringers isn’t available yet, but you can listen to hundreds of sooner FFXIV tracks there right now.
It’s been part of my life for nearly 30 decades, introducing me to the idea of role-playing games for the very first time. Never did I imagine that the narrative of any MMO would stand toe-to-toe with those of FF’s 16/32-bit golden age. But Naoki Yoshida and staff are not content to construct only the best MMO on the market. So far as I’m concerned, Shadowbringers is the new closing word in fantasy.