The Resonance of Eorzea

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Impressed with Patch 4.1... Yes indeed

It's been awhile yet as always I thoroughly appreciate the emails and in-game messages from a lot of people regarding the new patch... and yes, I still think it's impressive.  Here's why:

I am very much loving the darker tone of Stormblood, just as Yoshida had subtly hinted last year.   I seriously love the fact that the main quest line is now bringing a certain tone of maturity to the storytelling of our world while forcing us to examine the underlying currents of our decisions in much greater detail.    And bloody well done for being able to make me trigger the feels once again…the scenes with Avenvald and also the scenes with Nanamo and Raubham are a couple classic examples.  More on that below.

I also doff my hat to the Devs for bringing elements of major real world atrocities into the game: slave labor, rape, greed, ethnic cleansing and intense corruption to name a few.  I love it and further opens up the avenue for us to deeply sympathize with the characters.   Also makes me respect the thought-provoking components of Eorzea.  Bloody well done and I shall hope to see more of this in future patch installments.

Interactive gameplay:
Anyone notice how there is now a large increase in prompts to select from during cutscene dialogues?  I admire that direction that the Devs are taking which basically allows us to be more involved in the tale.  This is an added level of involvement for us rather than always relying on Alphy to be our mouthpiece … (he still remains on my list of favourite NPCs by the way).

Speaking on NPCs, I also had various in-game messages regarding which job I used to interact with NPCs or when replaying cutscenes.  I found it funny that my answer was important to a few new players (never really considered this important); nonetheless, so I let them know I sometimes use my Paladin when reviewing cutscenes because of the look of strength my armour projects....

Btw, I literally just grabbed a huge swath of images, so many screenshots of my old adventures are inevitably mixed in... but the first few are of my Paladin glamoured in the Demon set, the Imperial set and the traditional lvl 70 Chivalrous AF set (a friend of mine and I were messing about using the poses)...

Moving along, I also had several questions regarding the final scene in the 4.1 MSQ.... and thus began the debate and my suggestion to a few friends that the "mysterious fist clenching NPC" was a sibling of Zenos.  This also led to a solid discussion about how FFXIV may have finally been given its version of FFXII's Larsa... which led to us discussing extensively about FFXII.

Allow me to expand a summary without tossing in major spoilers .  Prior to the events of the game, House Solidor had ruled the Archardian Empire for a solid four consecutive generations.  Though Emperor Gramis was the eleventh Emperor of Arcardia, he was the fourth monarch that their House had produced.  Their ability to wield the military through the staunch loyalty of the Judges ensured their power but they were still answerable (of sorts) to the Imperial Senate.  Gramis had been a brilliant ruler during his peak years and had four sons.

I will hide this next section under the spoilers tag for other people who haven’t played the game, so scroll down at your peril.    For those who finished FFXII, feel free to message me in-game or email me with your thoughts... or comment below.   The purpose of me writing out some of the summaries below is such that other people can get a further insight into the dynamics between the House Solidor siblings and perhaps relate to why many of us wish we had a Larsa-type charcater for the Garleans:








Spoiler start:

To ensure that “House Solidor lived on” Emperor Gramis forged his third son, Vayne, into an excellent blade: ruthless, manipulative, brilliantly cunning, politically astute and a military genius.   It is later revealed that when his two older sons apparently began plotting an insurrection, it was Vayne that Gramis sent to dispatch his brothers; a deed which he unflinchingly carried out.  Now with only two heirs remaining to sustain the Solidor bloodline, Vayne swiftly became increasingly power hungry as a necessity… I repeat, as a “necessity”.

In fact, just before Vayne committed a certain heinous act, he repeated that word twice to his father during their conversation and it almost seemed as if Gramis wearily accepted what his son was attempting to accomplish.  Hence, I sometimes believe he actually accepted his fate at his son’s hands without much of a fuss.  Whenever you finally get a chance to watch that scene, follow the dialogue and you be the judge (pun intended).

Vayne was attempting to accomplish three “necessary” things during the course of the game:

  • One, accelerate the return of fate and destinies back into the hands of the mankind… (lovely Viera and cuddly Moogles included)… by forcibly wrenching control of Ivalice from the Occuria.   The Occuria were basically megalomaniacal gods who wanted to retain their powerful grasp over Ivalice through the careful grant of their Nethicite crystals to a chosen few individuals whom they could manipulate.
  • Two, he clearly understood the underhanded machinations of the Imperial Senate.  As such he knew that he needed to protect his innocent younger brother Larsa; who, though extremely intelligent, still lacked the sheer ruthlessness that was needed to deal with the Senate and hold an empire together.  He perfectly understood that with his father gradually dying from illness, it would only be a matter of time before the Senate would try to dispose him as well (which would make it much easier to control his good natured brother).  Hence, an immediate race for self-preservation ensued and he simply struck first (very very swiftly) when the opportunity presented itself.
  • Three, Archadia had been on a very fragile truce with the Rozzzarian Empire and were on the brink of full scale war with one another.   In order to properly protect his homeland, he needed to consolidate the entire Imperial military to be under his command without the annoying distractions of the Senate.

Ultimately, Vayne became the autocratic twelfth Emperor of Archadia and back in 2006, I used to argue with a few friends on FFXI that on a subtle level, the title FFXII was a nod to this.

Here’s the take away:  Larsa absolutely adored Vayne but would later disagree with Vayne’s “necessary” quest for power which he achieved by instigating conquests (a ruse to grant him the secrets to the Nethicite).  On several levels, Vayne ruthlessly achieved many of his goals very successfully but what fans really liked about him was his genuine concern for Larsa’s welfare.

Spoiler end:

So Larsa, though young, clearly understood the larger picture of a sustained peace on Ivalice and would eventually attempt to forge his own path towards that end (which is one of the reasons why I personally LOVED Basch’s ending the best).

By the way, if players wish to compare Vayne and Zenos in very loose terms (another question that I've been getting a lot since Stormblood launched), just think:

  • Vayne: astute, clever, specific-outcomes thinker, calculating monster
  • Zenos: just plain monster.

And finally, per several requests from a few readers I thought I'd toss in some more screenshots below to make up for the drought of posts on my blog.  Adventures, environments, people, funnies, old images from 3.0 series, pic of my Phoenix mount, chitter-chatter pics, name it.  I might as well toss in another spoiler warning here for those who haven't finished the MSQ or the new Return to Ivalice story for 4.1...


If you haven't finished the Main story quests for 4.1, skip the images and scroll to the end


If you haven't finished the Main story quests for 4.1, skip the images and scroll to the end


If you haven't finished the Main story quests for 4.1, skip the images and scroll to the end


If you haven't finished the Main story quests for 4.1, skip the images and scroll to the end


For the next few images taken from the Resonarium, I remember saying " Zenos… wtf…what the hell have you done???   Great job SE... you Devs triggered my emotions and I love it!

Devs, I totally NEED this kimono.  Seriously...

So now I can move on to more reviews:

The NPC Squadrons and the command missions:
I’m very VERY pleased with this implementation and the fact that we can finally glamourize them (mine is named the “Order of the Dragon Knights" or I sometime call them my "Dragonaires”.  I’ve mentioned on this board in the past that this was one of the things I wanted see in the game and the Devs delivered.

BLM issues... I think I need to make a separate post for me to rant about this... but ultimately, I believe it needs some more tweaking to allow us to have a lightly higher damage output.  And give us back the ability to heal ourselves... I'm still irritated about losing that when 4.0 launched.

Anyway, below are some of my feedback on some quality of life issues with suggestions on how to proceed in fixing them so as to continue expanding our fun levels on this great game:

  • First and foremost, the ban hammer needs to be unleashed very VERY hard and heavy on the PvP botters and cheaters.  Enough is enough… please ban them immediately.  Enough said.
  • Grammatical correction is needed in the narrative dialogue for…………  It is spelt as “mind” but I believe it should say “mine”.  If this has already been mentioned somewhere on the forums please disregard.
  • An Aymeric, Estinen and Hauchy portrait (preferably together in their early days as knights or last image of three of them together prior to the dreadful incident at Ishgard’s rooftop).   Please make this happen.
  • Please recheck the net codes in a couple of the dungeons (especially Skalla) because I sometimes get sluggish connection while trying to burst on mobs.  There are times my spell speeds become crazy-slow (even with my gear maxed out with SS materia) and its now very annoying.
  • Armoire that actually saves more of the event or purchased stuff.  Perhaps it’s also time to finally add the option to automatically let us repair items to 100% when saving them into the armoire?
  • A dialogue box (similar to the Ready check) that exhibits a list of which players have or haven’t yet rolled on an item.
  • Give veteran players a MUCH better incentive to run old 24-man raids.  Giving me a measly 50 creation tomes does not even begin to cut it for all my time invested. 
  • Au Ra males and Roegarden males look a little too large and heavyset on the Firebird/Phoenix mount.  The mount should thus be proportionally enlarged (for example, like how it’s properly done with the PvP mount Raigo).  Yes, I’m biased because the Raigo is my second favourite mount after the Phoenix.
  • Allow me the option of repairing other people’s gear in dungeons.  I remember at the end of 3.5 (where we fought “Sloppy”) our WHM’s gear broke and we almost lost because of that.
  • A simple message to pop if you already own an item that just dropped from a chest in a dungeon or raid.  Even better, make the A.I system automatically pass if it recognizes that you already have that particular unique-untradeable item.  Having to always do a search before rolling Need or Greed is distracting and takes away from player momentum during battles.
  • Glamour Book that automatically saves the appearance of any gear you have obtained by loot or purchasing.    Every time we need to glamour a piece of gear with a style we already possess, we can just get the appearance from the book.   This way, the gear can be disposed and save us all some much needed inventory space.
  • A Totem record book that automatically records with the NPC how many totems a player has amassed through fighting Primals.    For instance, if I have beaten Zurvan or Susanoo 10 times without getting the mount, allow me the option of recording my 10 totems with the NPC Bertana at Idlyleshire or the NPC at Rhalgr’s Reach.  I am always irritated every time a new expansion hits and I have to keep saving about four different types of totems in my inventory until either I get my mount or the weapon I want.
  • Being able to swiftly change into the crafter related to a recipe selected in the crafter log.  Simply allow us to click on recipe, then a dialogue box opens asking us “Change class to Goldsmithing?  Yes/No”.  And done. 
  • All gear should be dyable from the onset.  It would seem this was the new direction when Stormblood was released but now it would seem we are slowly reverting back to the status quo.  
  • Invoke immediate penalties for silly players who suddenly strip naked in 24-player dungeons and start dancing or messing about.  Simple suggestion is to place a minimum item level limit on gear—which basically ensures that if a player strips off all their gear, a 10 second timer begins which will automatically boot the player unless he/she wears the minimum level of gear.
  • Player Joe777 (Joe Ultima) on the official Lodestone forums had the perfect idea when he recently suggested on the forums that a /towelsnap emote should be added.  I will actually pay for that.
  • And what’s this we hear about a “Wheels on Fire” mount on the Chinese servers?  I believe I need that…

On on that note, I'll conclude this session with a quick snapshot of my NPC squadron:  The Order of the Azure Dragon (name change always possible).  My "Dragonaires" have a very intense training regime btw.   Until later, be well everyone.

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