Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Some final thoughts on my power leveling & PvP journey in FFXIV

The thing that is great from a design standpoint with FFXIV when it comes to leveling is that it's gonna take a long long time. By then, you'd hopefully be able to handle any role at a very least competent level. You are forced to learn what abilities do well if you want to progress at a basic level. Mastering it though, is an entirely different thing.

The game is not meant to be played for an excessive amount of time per day. At most the game expects you to play 3-4 hours a day, most likely after work/school in your downtime, then you'd turn it off and come back the next day. It's facilitated by this with it's dailies of "Roulette", "Beast Tribe", "Side-quests", and maybe a visit to the Gold Saucer to finish off. It does however have options available to those that like to play every day that is beyond getting every class to max level like "Diadem", "Hunts", "Deep Dungeon" and many more. It also turned out that doing Deep Dungeon was the best way to level all the classes.

With a guaranteed amount of XP per run, the game encourages you for you and your buddies to pal up and get through it as fast as you can and as far as you can (up to currently 200). The fastest way to level though is by repeatedly going through the levels 51-60 over and over. It's a dominant strategy that brings up way too many design flaws. Things like random party composition, hidden traps, boosting items, random map layouts, and a new design every 10 floors or so are great when it's done as intended. However power leveling causes things like, getting kicked for wanting to clear fast, traps springing that cause a wipe on the 14th run of the day, the dungeon design that only appears in levels 51-60 are samey and exhausting to run past, as well as the amount of runs needed to level up get larger and larger as the higher you get at I'd feel an unfair amount leading to an overall frustrating experience.

The rewards are good though if you're doing just one class. It's an easy way to catch up with friends, you get an easy to get weapon that is upgradable, you also get a sneak preview of what all the job will entail. It's great stuff. But for the power leveler your are just begging for there to be some kind of variety as you've seen every dungeon layout for the 9th time. A welcome change at the very least would be to change how each run looks every time you went in, instead of the Persona 3 style of everything being samey.

On to PvP and man, is it completely worthless. It is literally only there as a means to distract for those that don't care about leveling a different job as well as to fulfill the wants and needs of those that like to compete. But most of the time you don't even bother with the PvP part of PvP and are just playing the objective. Which is fine for me, but is lacking I'm sure for everybody else. Like Triple Triad in XIV, I feel like Weekly Solo Tournaments along with the seasonal Feast group rankings would do very well.

Another problem with PvP is the need for PvP abilities. It fills up an already full hotbar and is useless outside of PvP. It's a complete waste and would be better served by merging them with already gained abilities. The other big issue is that while it's fine currently with the PvP currency drop rate, I remember what it used to be and with the inflation of prices for PvP gear, it should never go back. Ever. How it is now with the GARO event is the droprate it should have always been.

So in closing thoughts I'd highly recommend not to try and rush through leveling in FFXIV. It's not worth spending 8-10 hours a day for 2 months and 5 days to do so. Your sanity and your family will thank you. On to Gravity Rush 2, Person 5, Oreshika, & the wait for Stormblood!

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