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Final Fantasy XIV

One Shots: Moons over Bajor

Screenshots, EverQuest II, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, The Secret World, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

STO
Outer space: It looks cool whether it's in color or black and white. Case in point? Check out both varieties of today's headlining screenshot, submitted by reader Chris.

"Here is the deep space science vessel USS Aurora passing over one of the moons of Bajor in Star Trek Online," Chris writes.

Personally, I think the light and dark contrast looks so much cooler in black and white. That's of small consolation to the crew of the Aurora who went blind sailing directly into the sun, but hopefully their families will find some solace in my admiration.

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Perfect Ten: Game franchises that became MMOs

World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Final Fantasy XI, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Ultima Online, Champions Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, Allods Online, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wizardry Online, Elite: Dangerous

Arena
Popular franchises have been known to jump between various entertainment media, from games to television to movies to comic books and even to pogs. We should not gasp in utter amazement that this is also the case with many of our beloved MMOs; we should nod sagely and accept the terrible truth.

There are several video game franchises that have culminated in -- or at least have taken a detour through -- the land of MMOs. For gamers who wanted more and especially did not want to see their journey end, an MMO continuation is a welcome answer that's usually hiding its own problems. But nevermind that; let's march down the halls of history and see the yearbook photos of these franchises when they were young!

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Final Fantasy XIV previews the new dungeons of patch 2.2

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

Gardening: not even once.
If you've been playing Final Fantasy XIV since launch, odds are good that you've seen what remains of the Amdapori civilization -- a dungeon crawling with cultists. The game's next major patch is going into more detail than that, though, giving players the opportunity to explore the new Amdapori Township dungeon and see what rank creatures have grown to fruit in the decaying town. This new dungeon is accompanied by two new hard modes to provide a triumvirate of options which have just gotten an official preview.

The hard mode of Brayflox's Longstop sees players battling the Goblin Illuminati to protect a secret recipe pilfered by the eponymous Brayflox, while Haltali's hard mode pits you against denizens in the refurbished and reclaimed training grounds. All three dungeons require a minimum item level of 55 for challengers, with the promise of rewards far greater than those of the current max-level dungeons. Take a look at the full preview for more lore and unlock requirements.

Fat Chocobo dashing out of Weight Watchers and into Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Launches, Humor, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

FFXIV
Face it: You have gone far too long without seeing a giant chicken's giant butt.

Happily, Square Enix has your well-being in mind, for the studio has posted a preview of an upcoming Final Fantasy XIV mount that is brimming with chunky avian posterior visuals. A brief and bizarre post on the official site introduces "Fat Chocobo," a special mount that would rather not move unless it has food comically dangled in front of its beefy face.

The chocobo mount is confirmed as a special goodie for those who order the PlayStation 4 collector's edition of FFXIV as well as those who have purchased one of the other CEs. No word as of yet what the studio will do to compensate players if said mount collapses after taking six rapid steps in succession.

The Mog Log: Making the most of Final Fantasy XIV macros

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

I know, you had a little rush of panic on Saturday.  It's all right.  I'm still here.
Final Fantasy XIV is not World of Warcraft. We are not in urgent need of an ability squish after years of play; you hit level 50 with a pretty reasonable number of abilities. The fact that everything needs to be workable on a PlayStation 3 controller helps discourage button bloat, to boot. But you still wind up with a lot of abilities to use in rapid conjunction and marks to place on various targets as a tank. You can run out of convenient space, in other words.

That's one of the things that macros can help address, but it's not even close to the only thing. You can use your macros to make your rotation tighter, you can combine necessary abilities, you can mark targets, and you can even toss in a text line on every ability use. (But that does get kind of spam-heavy.) So let's look at some simple macros that will make your Final Fantasy XIV experience that much cleaner.

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The Stream Team: Crafting and gathering in FFXIV

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, Final Fantasy XIV, Livestream, Crafting, The Stream Team

After a busy day of adventuring, Final Fantasy XIV offers players a variety of activities to unwind with, including pretty robust crafting and gathering systems. You just might need to... watch your back. Why? Oh, no reason. Join Massively's Jasmine live today at 3:00 p.m. as she crafts and gathers her way through Eorzea!

Game: Final Fantasy XIV
Host: Jasmine Hruschak
Date: Thursday, February 27st, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Facing facers in FFXIV's Sunken Temple of Qarn

Fantasy, PvE, Final Fantasy XIV, Livestream, Dungeons, The Stream Team

In every MMO there's one dungeon that heralds the end of sleeping on your keyboard being a valid combat strategy, and, in Final Fantasy XIV, that dungeon is The Sunken Temple of Qarn. These ruins come complete with triggering platforms, murderous bees, deadly lasers, and boss fights sporting hefty, nonnegotiable "don't stand there" phases. Join Massively's Jasmine live at 3:00 p.m. EST for her absolute least favorite dungeon in all of Eorzea!

Game: Final Fantasy XIV
Host: Jasmine Hruschak
Date: Tuesday, February 25st, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV's future patches

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

It's not about originality sometimes, it's about quality.  Sooner or later you stop asking if the bear can dance at all and start looking for good dancing.
A week after I mention that Final Fantasy XIV's next patch seems a little light, 2.16 comes around and lets us know that gardening is incoming with the next patch. What does gardening involve? Who knows? We haven't been told. I would tend to guess that it involves FC housing, which means that it's a non-entity for the majority of the playerbase, since the house prices are still insane for anything other than a small plot and small remains tiny.

I mentioned some things that the game is going to need to aim for over the course of the year, and all of those remain on the table. In many ways, the game is going wonderfully -- we're hearing rumblings about the next expansion, the first patch did its job quite well, the second is on its way, and based on the current content schedule we can expect a couple more before the end of the year. While we don't yet have a roadmap, we can start putting together some basic guesses about the next few patches for Final Fantasy XIV -- and what they won't address.

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Previewing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on the PS4

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, Events (Massively's Coverage), Final Fantasy XIV

Major boss in FFXIV A Realm Reborn
The original release of Final Fantasy XIV in 2010 and subsequent updates received a poor reception from the public with significant criticism over quality and stability. After several years of fundamental redevelopment including a new game engine, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was successfully launched on the PC and PS3 in 2013, receiving strong accolades from players. Buoyed by the strong relaunch, it is now is set for a full PS4 launch on April 14th in most parts of the world including Europe and North America. This will be quickly be followed by a launch in China sometime in the summer of 2014, followed by Russia, Taiwan and the Middle East.

I recently had a chance to preview the game on the PS4 and chat with Square-Enix's Naoki Yoshida.

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The Stream Team: Helping Mr. Alltalks in FFXIV's Brayflox's Longstop

Fantasy, PvE, Final Fantasy XIV, Livestream, Dungeons, The Stream Team


Final Fantasy XIV's seventh full dungeon takes place within the beautiful, overgrown forest of Raincatcher Gully where Brayflox Alltalks, a small goblin, isn't doing so well with the local fauna. Join Massively's Jasmine live at 3:00 p.m. EST as she helps Brayflox not get his face entirely eaten by digital wildlife.

Game: Final Fantasy XIV
Host: Jasmine Hruschak
Date: Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Final Fantasy XIV arrives on Steam at half price

Fantasy, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Promotions, Subscription

Kibbles!  (Not pictured: Bits.)
If you're tempted to jump in on Final Fantasy XIV but don't want to pay the full box price, today brings good news for you. Not only is the game available on Steam, it's on sale for half price through February 25th to celebrate its arrival. That means you can pick up the game for the price of one month's subscription ($14.99), or the collector's edition for just a smidge more ($24.99).

Players who already own the game won't need to do a thing, although the addition of a new platform may well encourage more players to join even before the game launches on the PlayStation 4 in two months. But if you've been looking for a sign to try the game out, this sale might just qualify for you.

[Thanks to Balsbigbrother for the tip!]

One Shots: Guard whacked!

Screenshots, Culture, Ultima Online, One Shots, Final Fantasy XIV, Vindictus, Miscellaneous

Ultima Online
According to Massively Law, which is as unshakable as it is awesome, if you send in screenshots from an MMO that was made during the Clinton presidency, then I'm required to feature them as a header for this column. Hence, Ultima Online.

This picture comes from reader Azzura, who found out the hard way that not everyone likes a bad guy. "This is my 'red' character, one that I used to player-kill (PK) with, strolling near town," he said. "The NPCs did not like my being around and were calling the guards on me to get me 'guard whacked'."

I mourn not for thee, but I shall be entertained by thy photographic memorial. Smite that "continue reading" button, readers, and feast thine eyes upon the glory of our community.

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The Mog Log: Patch 2.2 and beyond for Final Fantasy XIV

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

Is this the week when I get really annoyed at raising the item level cap?  I don't know!  Stay tuned, everyone.
Supposedly, we're still on track to see patch 2.2 in March. Assuming later March, that would mean we're still on a roughly four-month schedule for updates to Final Fantasy XIV, which feels just a bit slow... especially since what we know right now about patch 2.2 is just a bit thin compared to what we knew about 2.1 at the equivalent point in time.

Admittedly, I'm biased. New turns of Coil? Not really my jam. (Being able to stomp the old ones will be kind of nice, though.) Still, in some ways this update currently feels smaller than its predecessor, even though I'm pretty sure it isn't. We've got a lot of stuff incoming, but between a deluge of in-game events and the PlayStation 4 beta test, less attention has been paid to the update.

So let's shine some light on it. Yes, there's going to be some speculation, but let's start looking at what patch 2.2 is going to mean and what we'll be getting.

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The Stream Team: FFXIV's haunted Haukke Manor

PvE, Final Fantasy XIV, Livestream, Dungeons, The Stream Team


Everyone could use a good scare once in a while and Final Fantasy XIV has just what the doctor ordered. Haukke Manor, a mid-level dungeon, brings creepy monsters, ominous music, and an overall eerie atmosphere. Join Massively's Jasmine Hruschak live at 3:00 p.m. as she explores every dusty, mysterious room!

Game: Final Fantasy XIV
Host: Jasmine Hruschak
Date: Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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One Shots: A nuclear explosion of friendship

Screenshots, City of Heroes, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

FFXIV
I'm always so very proud of you readers when you take me up on one of my weekly screenshot challenges, like a proud papa who sees his child take those first few steps to the computer, sit down, and engage in a 40-man raid. So big props today to reader Rhime, who captured an impressive-looking spell effect from Final Fantasy XIV.

"My in-game character on the left center is Kavu," Rhime wrote. "Our free company had a photo night, and I managed to capture a lot of shots of our mucking about on the beach near Costa del Sol. This shot depicts a friend and me posing in combat stance with a couple spells running (fire on the ground and the shiny blue star between us). I hope you like it!"

I do indeed! We've got a great collection of player-submitted game photos for you to see today, so let's not waste any more time hanging out in this paragraph.

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