Written by Bad Demoman 8th November 2017

Final Fantasy 14 is the first MMO that I’ve ever reached “Endgame” in. As I’ve previously mentioned, I never got hugely into World of Warcraft, and I used to play a bunch of free Korean MMOs - at most for a week at a time before the grind made me give up. So, FF14 is my first opportunity to experience a lot of the stuff people play MMOs for. Raiding, content with larger player numbers, and extremely difficult battles. So this is my review of Final Fantasy 14 : Stormblood, The End Game.

Once you reach level 70, you’ll obviously have a whole lot of content to play, both current and older. Through your daily roulettes, you’ll likely still be playing through a lot of the old dungeons. Thus, your daily roulettes become a very real roulette of hoping that you didn’t get a sucky dungeon. Unfortunately, a startlingly large number of dungeons in FF14 are quite dull. Unexciting environments like Dusk Vigils zombie-filled castle in the snow and being forced to play as a far lower level than you’re used to. Everyone in FF speaks badly about the first few dungeons, and I feel like it's probably negatively impacting the new player experience when they get a veteran who's tired of the old content in their dungeon. It really doesn’t help that the FF14 team absolutely gutted many classes early game potential, in order to reduce the amount of unneeded buttons in the game. So it’s quite unfortunate that a lot of your time in the end game won’t actually be spent playing end game!

Your main goal at 70 is to start gearing up for raids. There's a pretty clear cut path to follow - get your job gear, do some dungeons, then start raiding. Theres also things to worry about like Best in Slot gear, and Materias that you put on your gear for stat increases, but these are mostly for if you intend on taking on the Savage difficulty raids. Speaking of which, the current raid tier in FF14 is called the Deltascape. It takes place within a long time enemy from the Final Fantasy series, Omega. Omega usually takes the role of a Superboss, an optional boss that is considerably harder than even the final boss of the game. In FF14, Omega has quite an interesting role. Due to his abilities as a dimension-warping machine of war, Omega is able to conjure up simulations of foes from past games. FF14 has always drawn quite a lot of inspiration from other games in the series as a form of fanservice, but Omega allows you to actually revisit old foes.

So far, Final Fantasy 5 is the focus of the four currently available raids. This makes sense, since Omega originated in that games Interdimensional Rift. The fourth raid has you facing off against ExDeath himself, with the Savage version having an extra phase against his second form! The orchestrated music brings a real sense of nostalgia, but don’t get too caught up in it - these raids can prove quite challenging! While the normal difficulty raids aren’t too bad, and you’ll be able to get some decent gear, the Savage content is where the real endgame starts. These fights can last up to 10 minutes, with grueling mechanics throughout. I highly recommend taking these on with an organized group of friends, as it’s very difficult to manage the level of coordination required with people from Party Finder.

I’ll be perfectly honest, I haven’t beat ExDeath yet. It took me and my static nearly a month to even beat the third boss, Halicarnassus! Savage content is definitely not for the faint hearted, and some groups won’t be able to do it and give up. Past the Savage content, there's even a harder raid available, the Unending Coil of Bahamut. At the time of writing, only 3 groups have managed to clear it.

So you’ll need something else to do while not raiding. And here's where the big problem with Final Fantasy 14s endgame comes in for me - there's not enough content! I’ve done every dungeon, every major boss fight except the last raids, and I’ve almost reached max level on every single tank in the game. Perhaps it’s especially bad for me since playing DPS doesn’t interest me, but even if it did I’d simply be grinding out the same content with a different class. DPS queues for dungeons are also extremely long, making the prospect of levelling DPS classes painful at best. Final Fantasy 14 has a 3 Month patch cycle, and not every patch is going to introduce content that interests everyone. To accommodate for certain quality of life changes they weren’t able to make in time for the expansions launch, as well as new types of content they are trying to introduce, the FF14 team have decreased how many dungeons will be released on certain patches. Whereas Heavensward had 2 new dungeons every patch, as well as new raids, Stormblood will be getting a single dungeon on odd-numbered patches. When the devs are introducing new game modes for the already unpopular PvP instead of new dungeon content, it's a tad worrying. In the past few weeks (partly thanks to Destiny 2), I’ve almost entirely stopped playing FF14, and I’m half tempted to sub to World of Warcraft just to get the feeling of FF14 back with some different content!

In Summary, if you aren’t going to take FF14 seriously, do all the hardest content and level multiple different kinds of class, I would honestly recommend unsubbing after you complete the main story and all the dungeons. Maybe sub back once every now and then to see what's new - but it’s hard to justify a renewing subscription for me at this point. It’s a shame, as I absolutely adore FF14 - Stormblood is even a strong contender for Game of the Year for me! But with how little new content is being introduced, FF14s End Game is currently not all that impressive.

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Bad Demoman

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