I’m going to squish my entire FFXIV weekend into one post. The short version is that I finished all of the Heavensward Main Scenario Quests so I can begin the Stormblood expansion. This required completing all of these instances:
Final Steps of Faith. A mostly-FC group got me through this trial pretty easily, except for one flashy lightning thing that zapped me dead in the second half.
Xelphatol. Another FC group got me through this dungeon with relative ease. The most memorable thing about this dungeon is its resemblance to Blighttown from Dark Souls. :) Although in some ways it more closely resembles The Gutter from Dark Souls 2, except you can’t see too much of The Gutter because it’s pitch black.
Titan (Hard). I just jumped into a PUG Sunday morning for this one, since I knew it relatively well already. Or at least I thought I did. It turned out I was rusty on some of the finer details of the later bomb mechanics and died to a bomb I didn’t quite get away from in time. A kindly healer rezzed me so at least I was alive at the end. Nevertheless it only took one try, far different from the old days when PUGs would routinely break up in failure.
There was a touching storyline around the Titan instance about a koboldling named Ga Bu. FFXIV does better at hooking me with the individual character stories than it does with the bigger, sweeping epic storylines.
There was a solo duty around here somewhere that involved a fight against the Warriors of Darkness. I failed it the first time because I didn’t figure out I was supposed to charge up what’s-her-name’s sword until halfway through, and I still almost won except I kept getting interrupted before I could click the sword one last time. On the second try it was a breeze.
Baelsar’s Wall. Another FC group got me through this dungeon as well, the last one in Heavensward. It was pretty straightforward as I recall.
The last instance was a solo duty fight against some Empire troops, where you got to blast whole groups with one of those mechs.
There was too much story to condense so I’ll just hit the highlights. The good guys won the Dragonsong Wars. Alphinaud’s twin sister showed up, finally answering my own long-lasting personal question of “whatever happened to Alphinaud’s twin sister from those very first cut scenes?” Then the Warriors of Darkness tried to destroy the world but they were stopped with Minfilia’s help, in yet another touching storyline.
Then Yda and Papalymo were found, and a new threat emerged in the form of an angry rebel named The Griffin. A huge Samurai from the East arrived to bring Yugiri back home to Doma for some reason. The Griffin summoned a primal dragon at Baelsar’s Wall, Papalymo was a hero, and the good guys activated an Allagan machine named Omega to fight the dragon. A very colorful battle between dragon and machine ensued, and everyone seemed to think the dragon was defeated but I’m not so sure myself.
Ydo Yda gave us one last shocking revelation (which was a total surprise to me), and that’s where Heavensward ended.
Interestingly, Heavensward ended in a distinctly different way than A Realm Reborn did. ARR ended on a cliffhanger, and Heavensward could in many ways be considered a direct sequel. In contrast, Heavensward ended in a way that tied up most of the loose ends, allowing Stormblood to begin a fairly new standalone story.
If I had to guess, I imagine they did this on purpose so that people could use those potions to skip over the ARR and Heavensward stories without missing too many essential plot elements.
So if you’re behind, Stormblood would be a good place to start, story-wise. Although you’re doing yourself a disservice if you miss the Heavensward story.
In the end, I didn’t quite reach level 61, but I’m about 90% of the way there. If all goes well, I’ll be starting the first quest in Stormblood Monday night.