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Final Fantasy XIV

The Stream Team: Hug it out in Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Final Fantasy XIV, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
You know what's awesome? Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, that's what. Join Massively's Mike Foster tonight as he crushes some hard mode encounters from the perspective of a White Mage. Or, more realistically, join Massively's Mike Foster as he wipes over and over again in encounters that the rest of FFXIV's player base can probably do blindfolded.

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST!

Game: Final Fantasy XIV
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, January 29th, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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One Shots: Shroud of the Santa

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, The Secret World, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, Shroud of the Avatar

sota
Well, this pleases me like punch: One Shots' very first Shroud of the Avatar screenshot submission! I recall thinking that this indie MMO looked so much better than I previously thought when I got my hands on it last August, so I'm glad to see Massively readers going on a photo safari in it.

Reader JohnD is responsible for this unusual sight: "Here is a shot of Johanis Lolar, who is busy adventuring. I'm not sure his Santa cap helps him blend, but he's doing his best."

I always like to assume that Santa spends his off-season lurking in weeds and ambushing stray travelers with presents, so this picture plays into that fantasy. What? I'm normal; my parents had me tested.

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I just reupped my sub so FFXIV is having a free weekend

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, Final Fantasy XIV

Last night I re-upped my Final Fantasy XIV subscription. Naturally this made it an ideal time for Square to announce a free weekend for its fantasy MMORPG.

I haven't been in the game since late 2013, and given my dissatisfaction with pretty much everything at the moment, I figured why not return to a fun title that treats crafting (and fishing!) as more than a half-assed sideline activity.

So, yep. That's pretty much that. Free FFXIV weekend -- for inactive accounts -- from Friday, January 30th through Monday, February 2nd. Have fun!

[Source: Square press release]

The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV 2.5 dungeons

Fantasy, Patches, Endgame, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Dungeons, Subscription

Being the champion after all.
I mentioned a while back that it was kind of neat how the whole setup of Final Fantasy XIV had come full circle. At the start of the 2.0 patch cycle we were scurrying away from tonberries and bashing our heads against Demon Wall; in the final patch, we're back to both of those spots, along with the oft-seen and never-explored Keeper of the Lake in the midst of Mor Dhona's wreckage. It's a neat counterpoint.

Having played through all of the dungeons now, well, you get to rescue tonberries. That alone makes the last set of dungeons worthy.

As in every set of dungeons, there are winners and losers amidst the bosses, good points and bad ones. The dungeons as a whole are very reluctant to let you do much speeding through, with pulls being pretty aggressively gated. So let's talk mechanics, let's talk atmosphere, and let's carefully coach you through the process of kicking the crap out of your final expert roulette competitors.

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One Shots: Haiku edition

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, The Secret World, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, Elite: Dangerous

ff14
Believe it or not, I have been listening to you guys in the comments, and I know that there's been an ongoing desire for One Shots to provide the full-size pictures that are otherwise shrunk by our size limitations. So I'm happy to announce that starting this week, I'm including a gallery at the end of the column that will allow you to pull up larger screenshots if so desired.

A few weeks ago I issued a screenshot challenge for folks to send in a haiku poem in addition to their picture. A select few of you did, starting with this striking pose from Final Fantasy XIV by reader Wolfyseyes:

Facing this challenge
One thought repeats in my mind:
Please, please, please don't suck

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Final Fantasy XIV patch 2.5 is live

Fantasy, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Dungeons, Subscription

We dominated the endgame for months and all we got was captured by Mamool Ja.
The day that Final Fantasy XIV players have waited for is finally here. Patch 2.5 has gone live, and it brings with it a host of improvements and additions to the game. The full patch notes also contain no shortage of items that had previously been held back from the preliminary notes, including new crafting recipes, new vendor wares, and new items available for quick exploration ventures.

While this is only the first part of the game's 2.5 patch series, it includes three new dungeons, the new World of Darkness raid, three new trials, and the first half of the pre-Heavensward story conclusion. The servers are up and running, so if you have the day off or just don't have to go to work yet, you can get a jump on all of the new endgame content and start working your way through everything that's been added. Otherwise you can console yourself with the patch notes.

The Mog Log: A primer for Final Fantasy XIV patch 2.5

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Endgame, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Dungeons, Subscription

These preliminary patch notes are a blessing and a curse.
Ladies, gentlemen, and those who fall into neither category: The end approaches swiftly. Final Fantasy XIV's last pre-expansion patch is about to drop, and just like the bass, it won't be the same afterward. Tomorrow you've got a whole lot of new content to play through, enough to probably keep you well occupied for the next three months. The fact that the second portion of the patch will be dropping in about a month just makes it all the more occupying.

As we've done many times before, today's column is meant chiefly to take apart the patch elements we know of and get you up to speed so you can start playing without any issues once you can log in again. So let's start in on the first part of Before the Fall, complete with its new mystery trial and the promise of many revelations. Even if the big fireworks are coming in March.

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Final Fantasy XIV drops the preliminary patch notes for patch 2.5

Fantasy, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

It's coming down.
The patch notes for Final Fantasy XIV always include a surprise or two. Yes, the preliminary patch notes for patch 2.5 are out, and they contain lots of things that players had known to expect. But aside from the three new dungeons, the World of Darkness, the previewed trials, the new quests -- whew! -- there's even more new stuff tucked away into the patch.

For example, there's a new form of PvP match added to the game, which pits alliances against one another in a straight deathmatch. There's a new mystery trial unlocked through the main storyline. There's the new Aetherial Wheel furnishing, which allows free companies to charge up their company credits through alternate means. That's not even counting system adjustments or usability improvements or the items not previewed but expected such as new hairstyles. Take a look at the preliminary patch notes to get an idea of what's coming around once the patch goes live on January 20th.

Final Fantasy XIV shows off story content and trials for 2.5

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Run on, for a long time; Run on, ducking and dodging; Run on, for a long time; Let me tell you, child, Odin gonna cut you down.
The last pre-expansion patch for Final Fantasy XIV is titled Before the Fall, not That Time When The Heroes Fixed Everything. There needs to be a fall, doesn't there? And there's a lot of stuff that can start falling, as demonstrated in today's preview from the official site. Ul'dah can fall. The Scions can fall. Ishgard can fall. Eorzea can fall. Or if you decide to face off against the Dark Divinity himself, you can fall.

Players not confronting the dread primal directly will still have plenty of opportunities for pratfalls, as the Hildibrand storyline is wrapping up with the final confrontation between the Gentleman Inspector and his thieving rival. There's also a second confrontation with Gilgamesh Greg in the Battle at the Big Keep, with the victor winning the Treaty-Blade... which sounds like pretty good loot, but Greg carries a lot of weapons, so it seems rather natural.

Patch 2.5 drops on January 20th.

Final Fantasy previews dungeons and plans maintenance for patch 2.5

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Dungeons, Subscription

Oh, good, two decades of dragon corpse can still move around and fight us.  Super.
The last pre-expansion patch for Final Fantasy XIV is going to be a big one. So big, in fact, that the game is dropping 12 hours of maintenance for the first part. Servers will go down at 6:00 p.m. EST on January 19th before coming back online at 6:00 a.m. EST on January 20th. As always, exact completion time is subject to change.

If you missed yesterday's trailer, you can get an idea of some of the fuss by checking out today's dungeon preview, which shows off the Keeper of the Lake, Amdapor Keep (Hard), Wanderer's Palace (Hard), and the World of Darkness. While the exact item level requirements for these dungeons are hidden, it is clear that the Keeper of the Lake will once again be part of the main scenario quests like Snowcloak was in patch 2.4. So get ready to fight a dragon corpse, slaughter various voidsent, and most importantly rescue a whole lot of far-less-rancorous Tonberries.

Final Fantasy XIV drops a trailer for patch 2.5, Before the Fall

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Although since it's coming out in the winter, it's more like AFTER the fall!  Haha!  Seriously, though, every single part of Eorzea is getting wrecked.
The final patch before Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion is a week away, and it's got plenty going on, so much that it's being split into three parts. A new trailer for the patch has been unleashed today, showing off bits and pieces of the whole thing but focusing chiefly on the content that will be going live on January 20th. You can view the whole thing just past the break, assuming you have 10 minutes to see all of the various hints and spoilers.

Patch 2.5 brings with it more main scenario quests, three new dungeons (Keeper of the Late, Amdapor Keep Hard, and Wanderer's Palace Hard), the World of Darkness raid, a battle against the primal Odin, and a continuation of the Hildibrand storyline. Patch 2.51 is confirmed in the trailer for late February and will include the Manderville Gold Saucer, while part 2 of Before the Fall will wrap up the main scenario and set up the story of Heavensward in late March.

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The Mog Log: Speculating on Final Fantasy XIV's Heavensward

Fantasy, Expansions, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

Here it comes.
We've got patch 2.5 around the corner, but Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion isn't all that far away either. And that, of course, brings with it no end of speculation about what players will find because so little is certain right now. What previews we've had have been vague by design, just enough to set our minds aflame with possibility without nailing down exactly what we'll find when we start venturing northward.

Lucky for me, I love speculating.

There are several ideas I've already seen regarding what we're getting in Heavensward, some of which are so far out of left field that I tend to think it's a pipe dream of the speculator and some of which seem to be logical predictions about the future of Final Fantasy XIV. So here's a bit of talk about those before we start hearing tons of expansion news and it's all proven transparently true or false. (Midway through the week, maybe.)

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One Shots: Black sheep, black sheep

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, Mabinogi, Mortal Online, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

mabinogi
What in-game pet means the most to you? To reader Derrick, it's a special black sheep in Mabinogi that's snuggled its way into his heart.

"I'm an Aries in real life and always liked the symbolism of rams in culture, so my first pet after my mount was a black sheep named Tanngrisnir," Derrick submitted. "It's now no longer available in the store and is a bit of a rarity. Over the years playing, I managed to find a black sheep balloon, puppet, and a pair of ram horns to complete the look, along with a black sheep title (not shown). It's helped out not just by providing my wool for tailoring; in my early days, Tanngrisnir was always willing to take a hit or two to distract enemies."

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags of loot full. Sorry, couldn't help myself. I'll be better after the break!

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The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV's year in review

Fantasy, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

Landing stuck.
A year ago, Final Fantasy XIV was in a weird place. The game had already done the impossible one time around, taking a title that had failed badly and re-launching to actual attention from the world at large. Barring a slight misstep with housing, it had done all right. But a year ago, it had to do the hard part: sticking the landing.

Sure, re-launching was rough. But at that point it had to bank on that goodwill and shape itself into a respectable game within the MMO space. And it managed that.

What still astonishes me about the game's year of history is that despite making mistakes and bad choices, the game has continued to earn praise from players and onlookers, more so as each month rolls on and it continues to not collapse. That alone seems surprising, especially after a year like 2014. So let's look back over the year, see what the game did right, and look forward to the new year as well.

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One Shots: Shadow play

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, The Elder Scrolls Online

eso
Welcome to a new year -- and the best year of One Shots you'll ever see. I know this because I've been to the future (December 31st, 2015) and spent those precious time-bending moments flipping through all of the One Shots column this year. Amazing stuff, people. Really well done.

Well, we might as well get started with your glorious photo journeys! Our very first pic of the year is from reader Becca, who sends us this groovy bit of shadow play in Elder Scrolls Online: "While waiting for a boss to spawn in a public dungeon, my friend Arkslan and my character Rozyn had some fun with lighting."

Great. Now I know what will be lurking under my bed tonight: a sing-songy bard. Terror knows no name, but it does sing harmony.

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