Final Fantasy XIV’s 2nd expansion Stormblood launches tomorrow…. TOMORROW I SAY! I’ve been prepping my character, getting some high level caster gear so I’ll be able to dive right into the new Red Mage class as soon as it launches. If you’ve got the time, take a look at these Patch Notes. It goes over a ton of stuff, including where you can get the new jobs and start the Stormblood main scenario quest. Since we’re getting a wealth of new content tomorrow, I wanted to take a look back at the game and talk about some of the moments that I’ve enjoyed so far across both A Realm Reborn & Heavensward. As always, there will be spoilers.
#10 – Visiting Yoshi-P & the gang
This was a special event that took place for a limited time. After meeting up with a mysterious Bard, you’re transported to this area where some of the developers on the FFXIV team are working. Yoshi-P even acknowledges the player, stating that this game wouldn’t be possible without them. It was a neat little quest that acknowledged the player base and provided some inside hints at Stormblood (there was a poster of a Red Mage on one of their boards). I’d love to see more events like this in the future.
#9 – Praetorium/Ultima Weapon
The entire dungeon before this boss fight, The Praetorium, is quite the feat, especially for an MMO. If you didn’t run it with some friends, most people just charged right through it. The best thing to do is get a group and experience the story. There’s lots of cutscenes to sit through. It’s an epic dungeon that ends with you battling the badass Ultima Weapon. There have been bigger battles since then, but this one was the first to leave an impression.
#8 – Acquiring the Magitek Armor mount
Fans of FFIII/FFVI got this beauty once they finished the Praetorium. The developers even added in Terra’s Theme later on in a patch, which plays while you ride it. I use the gold one I got from commendations (because I’m amazing) still to this day.
#7 – Attack on The Waking Sands
I didn’t see this coming. The Waking Sands had become your base of operations with the Scions. So when you return after fighting the primal Titan to find bodies strewn about inside, you can only assume the worst. Minfilia and the Scions had been kidnapped by the Garlean Empire. It was a major turning point in A Realm Reborn and totally took me by surprise. After being rescued, the group sets up a different base in Revenant’s Toll. It’s hidden in a bar you might remember from another Final Fantasy game, 7th Heaven.
#6 – Hildibrand questline (so far)
For a game that has a pretty serious storyline (especially in Heavensward), the Hildibrand questline was a breath of fresh air. It’s a crime that this questline is completely optional. I had skipped over it completely and didn’t start it until last year. I’m so glad I took the time to go through it, there’s moments in it that literally had me laughing out loud. It’s hysterical. I can’t wait to see what shenanigans the inspector gets up to in Stormblood.
# 5 – Estinien attacks Vidofnir at the Peace Conference
This one was a tough pill to swallow. Throughout Heavensward, the people of Ishgard loath the dragons for what they have done to their city. As the story progresses, you start to realize that they did use to live in harmony. After finally gaining the trust of the dragons and Vidofnir, Ser Aymeric has the dragon come straight into Ishgard, to show that they are peaceful and can co-exist together. Of course, this doesn’t go so smoothly. The evil dragon Nidhogg has possessed the Dragoon Estinien, and has him attack Vidofnier at this peace conference. Blood is shed, and this moment of peace is shattered.
#4 – The Burdens We Bear
At first, this quest was a little tedious. You’re tasked with going to certain areas to reflect on the battles that have taken place, and the friendships that have come from them. It didn’t really effect me until the end, when you go to Haurchefants grave to pay your respects. The quest had some serious weight. It’s a beautiful moment that you rarely see in MMO’s. This is why I love Final Fantasy XIV. It’s for these little moments.
#3 – King Thordan & Knights of the Round
Definitely one of the coolest boss fights ever. It was an epic finish to the main Heavensward story. The music that plays during it is really great. King Thordan calls forth his knights for the Knights of the Round summon, which originated from Final Fantasy VII. It even culminates with the same screen shattering from the original. It’s one of those fights I could go through again and again and never get bored of.
#2 – Papalymo’s Death
This was brutal. Papalymo has always been one of my favorite characters since the start, and I loved the relationship he shared with Yda. At the end of Baelsar’s Wall, you come face to face with The Griffin (ooooh sloppehh). After you defeat him, he reveals himself to be Ilberd. With both eyes of Nidhogg, Ilberd sacrifices himself to summon an all powerful primal. Papalymo orders everyone to flee as he intends to sacrifice himself by using the Tupsimati to cast the same spell Louoisoix used to try to contain Bahamut at Carteneau. Yda’s reaction to all of this is especially heartbreaking. He went out being the hero, but it’s gonna suck going forward without him. We’ll miss you Papalymo.
#1 – Patch 2.5 Before The Fall – The Parting Glass
This cutscene felt like an episode of Game of Thrones. So much betrayal. This was the end of the story for A Realm Reborn, which would lead into Heavensward. It was painful waiting till the next expansion to find out what was going to happen to these characters you grew to love. The story leading from Heavensward into Stormblood didn’t have nearly as many implications as this one did. Raubhan lost his arm and was imprisoned. You were accused of poisoning and killing the Sultana. Everyone in your entire crew was presumed dead. It was crazy stuff.
Did any of your favorites make the list? If not, let us know in the comments below. See ya in Stormblood tomorrow! – NVJ