FFXIV’s Stormblood expansion is arriving on June 16 for head start players, so I figure it might be a good time to talk about it. I pre-ordered it a long time ago, but I haven’t commented much about it. I did at one point write a post about some of the early feature announcements, but naturally, I never got around to publishing it, and it’s super obsolete now.
When last we left our intrepid main character back in January, she was sitting at ilvl 224, having just geared up with ilvl 230 items from The Weeping City. She was avoiding the Antitower dungeon in the Heavensward Main Scenario, and wondering if there was an easy way to upgrade her pathetic bow beyond ilvl 210. I’ve logged in for maybe a grand total of 15 minutes since then (just long enough to keep the game client updated and verify that it still works).
To be honest I haven’t seen much in this expansion to make me excited to jump back in. I barely play enough to keep up with my Bard, so it’s highly unlikely that I’m going to get around to playing a Samurai or a Red Mage. I hardly touched the three new jobs in Heavensward (in fact, I don’t think I ever unlocked the Dark Knight at all).
I am very much looking forward to expanded inventory, though. I don’t know if they’ve said how much extra space, but I’m hoping for at least doubling the current amount, in both the backpack inventory and armory inventory. It better not be something dumb like one extra row. (I’d love to see an auto-sort, too.)
I’ve got mixed feelings on retooling the class abilities. I agree that it’s needed, so they don’t keep multiplying with every expansion until it’s a big mess like some others (*cough* EQ2 *cough*). Keeping a limited number of abilities is one of the best things about FFXIV. It makes it one of the easiest MMORPGs to re-enter because you don’t have five hotbars of abilities to remember like some others (*cough* EQ2 *cough*). Yet there are still just enough abilities to make interesting rotations that matter.
But I’m not looking forward to re-learning how to play my Bard yet again. It took me a long time to come to grips with the Heavensward Bard, and I’m expecting it to be a drudgerous chore to learn the new rotations at level 60. (Though it will be nice to be able to move again.) That’s not even counting all the other jobs that I’ll have to start over on.
The most interesting parts of the expansion to me, the maps and story, will be largely walled off until I finish the Heavensward Main Scenario, which is still waiting on me to PUG the Antitower. I guess it’s conceivable I could push through to the end before June 16, but it seems unlikely given my current enthusiasm level (tonight I logged in three times fully intending to run that dungeon, only to stare at the Duty Finder screen for a minute and log back out).
I thought about using one of those potions to skip ahead, but I feel like I’m too close to the end already. It’s a great idea to skip 50 or 100 hours of quests, but I’d guess I’m probably around 10-15 hours from the end. If my research is correct, I’m mired in patch 3.2, with just 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 parts 1 and 2 remaining (about 5 more dungeons and trials).