Final Fantasy 14 is one of the most interesting and popular MMO’s in the gaming industry. While the MMO had a seriously poor launch in 2010, every expansion keeps getting exceedingly better and now ranks as one of the best MMORPGs in the world, especially now with World of Warcraft’s downfall due to the recent Blizzard Activision lawsuits. The most recent expansion has only added to the success of Square Enix’s creation and the MMO actually won two awards during the Game Awards with Best Ongoing Game and Best Community Support. Even on Metacritic as we speak it holds one of the highest scores landing a 9.5/10 which is exceedingly rare, especially for the genre of game.
The Most In-Depth Storytelling Yet
Endwalker has become one of those rare instances of fantastic and heavy story-telling in an MMORPG. While MMO’s usually have a great story premise, the delivery tends to be quick, lackluster, or just awkward. This is especially seen in the base game and other MMO games like WoW and Guild Wars 2. However, the story in this expansion is filled with cut scenes and actually has players like myself invested and hungry for more. I’ve never experienced so much laughter and enjoyment from this genre from watching cutscenes and I actually can’t get enough. It also managed to pull away from some of the dramatic angst from the previous expansion which is always a bonus. Furthermore it shows the strong connection and differences between many of the characters, as well as some of the darker sides of these choices that are said to be for the greater good.
Crazy Character Reworks
While some characters had some minor changes, others got significantly different overhauls such as Summoner. In addition, characters like Dragoon and Scholar had some minor tweaks by dropping a spell or two and introducing something new, Summoner has lost its original rotation completely. Now it’s more element and summoning based with more freedom to choose what kind of rotation you want to use while still keeping its signature summons like Bahamut and Phoenix. Rather than choosing to summon Titan, Garuda, or Ifrit individually now the rotation gives you a choice between each element and works them all in as spells. The new rework actually feels cleaner and less chaotic visually and mechanically. In addition to these changes, crafting is now the best it’s ever been and is now way more streamlined. CP use has been reduced significantly and now Inner Quiet has become a passive ability. High-quality items are also no longer really a thing with the latest expansion, meaning they are no longer dropped or sold, but they still can be crafted. This means inventory will be way more available space-wise and manageable.
New Classes and More Fun
This latest expansion gave us two new fantastic classes to play, and they both start as level 70. Reaper is an all-new angsty DPS class that acts as almost a glass cannon. Wielding a great Scythe, the new job has dangerous positions but deals incredible damage. The idea is to charge your Soul Gauge by killing enemies or using skills. The class starts out using weaker skills to unlock stronger ones and continuously increase damage. Once the gauge is filled you unlock attacks like Gallows or Guillotine which act as either a multihit or simple combo with crazy damage. Sage on the other hand acts as a new healing class that heals by dealing damage oddly enough. Similar to the Discipline Priest in WoW, in which a percentage of damage dealt is converted to healing, and the class still comes prepared with a few direct heals and barriers. The gauge for this job builds Addersgall and Addersting which cast specific spells.
New Dungeons Are No Joke
If Final Fantasy 14 is known for anything, it is the brutal skill checks and the sheer difficulty of the game. Shadowbringers already brought some serious thunder with not only the Nier Raids but the Dungeons alone in terms of brutality. However, Endwalker shows no signs of slowing down the pace and introduces players to some seriously difficult bosses even in the first dungeon Tower of Zot.
Thavnair and Sharlayan Are Beautiful
Endwalker has introduced new and drop-dead gorgeous scenery between Thavnairs tropical coastlines and Sharlayans stunning new City. The stunning forests, extensive plains, and rustic temples offer a whole new perspective for the new race of Arkasodara. This pales in comparison to Old Sharlayan, the new city built for endless knowledge and scientific discoveries. My jaw dropped to the floor as I explored ageless architecture and crystal blue waterways. I felt myself getting lost with each new building to explore as I made my way to the different aetherytes. Every new area explored felt like the developers poured their soul into making the environment aesthetically radiant and consuming. This is absolutely the most beautiful expansion yet for this critically acclaimed MMO.
The Best Expansion to Date
Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker is hands down the best expansion of the game to date, and one of the best expansions of all time. While the queue times to get in are atrocious and the crashes due to overloaded servers make the game difficult to play, the developers are caring enough to compensate players with free time to make up for the issues. The game is beautiful, the new dungeons are brutally fun, and the overall story arc is amazing. For those looking for a new MMO you can not go wrong with Final Fantasy 14 which is currently and arguably the best MMORPG out at this point in time.