Like thousands of other Final Fantasy XIV players I was awake at 5am Eastern on Friday morning to take my first steps into the game's first major expansion. Then I realised Heavensward wasn't quite like other MMO expansions.
Most MMO expansions are level-based. If the new content is for players level 50 and above, as long as you're within a first levels of that target you should be fine to wander in and see the sights.
Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion is not level locked — it's story locked. That means a player must complete all of the main story quests leading up to Heavensward before being able to access the new areas, unlock the three new professions and play with nifty features like flying mounts.
For anyone faithfully playing Square Enix's best MMO so far, this comes as no surprise. The prerequisites for accessing the bulk of Heavensward's content were quite clear. As a player that would be faithful had I not had a dozen other games to play for work, I would have known myself.
Luckily I am not alone, and queues for instances involving main story quests are moving at a brisk pace as stragglers scramble to get things done. At this rate I should be ready to enjoy all the new expansion has to offer by the time it officially launches on Tuesday.
I'm not angry — I really enjoy the game's story elements, and having an excuse to hunker down and take them all in is quite lovely. I'm just a little embarrassed — I had such plans for coverage this weekend, and they have been dashed.
Don't worry though, I'll catch up. Well, I will if the lobby server errors ever stop long enough for me to log on.