Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood’s early access started last Friday, with the full release coming tomorrow. So far, I’ve only leveled my RDM (Red Mage) to 62 and ran the first new dungeon available in Stormblood, The Sirensong Sea. I mean, getting to 60 as Red Mage was relatively easy (pro-tip: I spammed Palace of the Dead), but dealing with the server crashes has been the main hurdle to get over, making the game difficult to play. I’m just going to give my thoughts on how it’s progressing in this write up, but as always, there will be some SPOILERS.
It’s been a pretty rough start. On Friday, the duty finder was completely unavailable when I logged in. My buddies and I were hoping to spam Palace of the Dead at launch but that wasn’t happening. If you want an idea of what everyone decided to do to level the new classes, you can check out this video I made below.
Congestion has been insane. I’ve disconnected from the game for trying to enter class specific quest duties. If you enter one and d/c, you typically have to wait 10 mins or more before you’re able to log back in. Main Scenario quests have actually stopped working, so you get tons of people standing around a quest giver just waiting for it to work so they can progress further. You’re essentially hitting giant walls and have to find other stuff to do if you really want to play. For all the bad connection problems though, the story is really great in Stormblood. I’m only level 62, but we’ve already got a taste of the big bad Lord Zenos. He’s one guy you do not want to mess with. It’s great to see a villain like him, he’s just so physically imposing, you love to hate him. There’s main characters like Yshtola, who I thought were going to die and we’re not even a few hours in.
There’s a talking catfish who is hilarious. The questline I’m on right now involving him is almost on the level of Hildibrand funny. It’s great stuff. The new dungeon I ran, The Sirensong Sea, is pulled straight out of Final Fantasy 5. It’s very cool going through the ship graveyard I went through before on the Super Famicom, now in HD graphics. The boss fights were a little hard, but my brother and I managed to finish it on our first try. Since I had to level RDM to get to the new content, I have spent 90% of my time in Palace of the Dead. Luckily for us, they’ve upgraded the amount of bonus xp you get below level 60, so with a 100% xp bonus each run, you’re looking at over 500k each time you do 10 floors. If you can get a decent group to run it with, or just have a lot of luck with the randoms you join, you’ll be gaining insane amounts of xp in no time. It’s definitely the way to go for leveling. It’s mind numbing, but it gets the job done.
Hopefully the connection issues will be ironed out by tomorrow. If we’ve got more people on the way, it could only mean our problems will only escalate further with the new wave of players. There’s lots of promise with the new story quests (when they’re working), the new areas are gorgeous, and RDM is a hell of a lot of fun to play. I’m stoked to dive in some more, I just hope my connection doesn’t crap out while I’m getting my quest on. – NVJ