It was a weekend of big achievements in Final Fantasy XIV. When last we left our intrepid Warrior of Light, she had run out of level 58 quests halfway to level 59.
I ended up doing some Clan Hunts, some Battle Levemetes (a word which I still do not think is a real word), and thanks to suggestions from Aywren, a handful of Beast Tribe quests for the Vath and Vanu. That got me to level 59, faster than I might have expected. (I also noticed that Beast Tribe reputation gains in Heavensward are about 10 times faster than … uh … non-Heavensward. What do we call non-Heavensward anyway? Surely not Vanilla FFXIV. I guess ARR or 2.0.)
I met up with Alphinaud and [redacted] and we went to a cave and met a stereotypical old witch surrounded by talking frogs. I was back in the Main Scenario! I was so excited. Then the old witch told me to go to the Great Gubal Library dungeon and get a book. Cue screeching car tires, followed by the sound of metal and glass crashing into a brick wall.
FFXIV-world problems – Got to 59 without having to do any dungeons and immediately I have to do a dungeon to proceed *headdesk*
— Endgame Viable (@endgameviable) January 12, 2017
I watched a guide and Sunday I finally bit the bullet and entered the Duty Finder. As it turned out, I was more prepared for this dungeon than anyone else. I got to see an infamous “loldrg” in person. Personally I found the mechanics relatively straightforward and kind of fun (I like the ones where you have to dodge a lot, that’s probably why I liked the Bard in the first place), but they were too much for the dragoon, who died repeatedly on the Demon Book and the Bibliotaph. (In fairness, the Book would definitely be harder for melee DPS.) Losing the dragoon wouldn’t have been so bad, but the healer also had a tendency to die a lot.
After an hour we got through it, which I suppose is a credit to the determination of the group. But that’s way over my “omg I feel so trapped in here” threshold for a dungeon. That threshold for me is about 20 minutes, and it’s one of the reasons why I hesitate to go into FFXIV dungeons, which, case in point, sometimes last an hour.
All to fetch a book for the old witch lady.
After that, the pace of the Main Scenario really accelerated. We went back to Cid who had made a whole new airship thingy which he dubbed the Enterprise Excelsior. (Of course he says “engage” too. And–nerd trigger warning–this Enterprise has two passengers named Biggs and Wedge.) Then there was an epic cut scene with fighting and explosions and tension and more spoilers and then I entered the final Heavensward zone, Azys Lla.
I never saw much of the Bahamut Turns, so I haven’t seen all that much of the old Alagan technology in FFXIV (otherwise known as super-advanced science-fiction technology). Well this new zone hits you full in the face with it, and it’s like stepping into a totally different, science fiction MMORPG.
Wisely, I don’t think they mean for you to spend much time in this zone. The Main Scenario propels you rather rapidly through the quadrants, and the pacing combined with the cool energetic music in the background makes you feel like you’re nearing an epic conclusion to the Main Scenario. I zoomed through this zone.
Until I got to the aptly-named quest “Heavensward” which requires you to be level 60. And naturally, I was only halfway there. It was kind of a bummer to let all that forward story momentum I’d been building die. It was like, okay everything is leading up to this massive final confrontation, but oops, no you can’t do that yet. Come back later!
I was determined to reach 60 before I went to bed, so I did some more Beast Tribe quests and another run of the Great Gubal Library (in which I got an oddly drab new tunic), then a random Trial in the Duty Finder (which for some reason always comes up on The Chrysalis for me), and I reached level 60.
The “Heavensward” quest, not unexpectedly, led to another dungeon, the
Something Something Complex Aetherial Research Facility. By then it was getting late and I was too scared to do another dungeon, so that’s where I left it. This one is probably going to be a heavy story dungeon, too, so it’s doubly scary. Nobody wants to sit around staring at that one person in the group with the film strip over his head for ten minutes at the beginning of the instance.
I did get my final Bard ability, though, which unfortunately looks pretty anti-climatic. It’s an instant cast ability that does extra damage when your DoTs are up. Sounds great and useful, up until the point when you read the “60 second cooldown” part. Boo. I also unlocked Wondrous Tales or Tails or whatever, which sounds a lot like “busy work” to me.
I might have gotten more done, but on Monday (a day off for me), Square Enix brought down the game all day for the 3.5 update.