FFXIV works wonderfully

What I can talk about is how the game presents its story, which is straight out of the huge book of mistakes that games are advised not to make. It sends you all over the map, back and forth for fetch quests and to convey simple messages. It gleefully mixes in forced group content along with forced solo content, meaning that you can’t even rush the whole thing with a good group. The story only changes in the initial levels based on what nation you start with; beyond that it’s the same every time through.

Monday was the end of the line for me in FFXIV Gil, if you consider clearing the last story-based instance in the game the end. (I don’t.) The final rush of dungeons ends with at least five different grudge matches that had been built up over the course of the game, villains who were put in their place, and all of the plot revelations you could ask for. None of which I really want to talk about in detail here, because there are a lot of people who have not yet cleared the story.

It’s momentarily tempting to say that this is a return to more old-school design, but that’s not accurate. There was a time when the very concept of solo content was seen as something strange and alien, certainly not something to be put in the game as a major part of the progression path. Not to mention the fact that conventional wisdom says these are terrible options because we all complained about it. You can long for the days of slow travel between zones, but back when your only option was slowly picking your way through Valkurm Dunes in Final Fantasy XI, I doubt you thought it was a great design choice.

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