So, About That Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Coverage

So, About That Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Coverage

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.


  • In the same boat here, had the realm reborn story finished but neglected the next 5 patches worth of story quests.

  • Its a good time to be low level dps, for the first time, instant duty finder queues.
    this is thanks to everyone and their dog making dark knights and astrologians.
    If you haven’t got the story done yet, do it as quickly as you can because eventually all those people will be in the heavensward areas 😛

    • Eventually?
      I’m already seeing HW zones plagued with drk/ast and a few mcn.
      I did ravana before with 2 drk, 2 ast and a mcn… it was kind of uncomfortable being one of the only people NOT playing a new class lol.

  • DX11 oh so shiny…
    I never thought a lighting upgrade would make so much difference.

    If you get that lobby error, select a different data center, hit the cross in the bottom left then select your normal data center. Seems to be something with character not logging out properly.

  • I pre-ordered Heavensward from EB, and they told me they’d run out of early access codes, so I have to wait until Tuesday with all the common people! Grrrrrr!

  • But… is the story any good? Several months after the initial launch, is the original game worth the plunge?

    Yes, I could check reviews, but I’m sure most of them are either based on the beta version or initial release, or about the new expansion and assume you have already played the full game.

    I’m interested in people who actually play the game, who can tell me whether the game has progressed and matured, and whether the core game is interesting enough to finish a main storyline. 🙂

    • I’ve enjoyed the story. It does follow the general MMO standards (you are the prophecized hero sent to fight off the great evils) but there are some great characters (I love the Hildibrand stories! Fantastically bonkers in a very Japanese way) and – especially in the most recent storylines – some pretty dramatic twists!

    • It’s very much a MMORPG. It’s not quite Star Wars The Old Republic, but it has limited voice acting/cut scenes and is very invested keeping the plot front and center. Unlike most MMORPGs that treat the story more like an an optional bit of fluff you can read at quest hubs FFXIV wants it’s story to be part of the reason you play the game. There’s a lot of nice little features to enhance story presentation like limited phasing that allows you to do important parts of the story by yourself with your own personal instance of the boss/event (rather than the usual MMO thing of arriving halfway through the fight or having to wait for and share respawns with other players).
      My only real issue with the plot is that it felt like a run on story. Things happen and progress is made towards larger goals, but it still felt like it was all middle if you know what I mean. Then again, I guess that’s just how JRPGs are, a big, long story moving from event to event.

      One big thing that’s sort of relevant to your question is that the main story has group quests woven into it. It’s not like World of Warcraft where a quest line will end with you having to wrangle an open world group of players also doing the quest just to do the anti-climatic ‘and then we beat a single NPC to death’ ending, it’s all group finder stuff in proper dungeons, but it’s still an issue for some. Personally I say don’t let that scare you off but I certainly understand why people dislike that.

  • As much as I’m liking all of the new zones, the new classes/professions, and the fact that they actually thought to put bucket loads of quests in the game this time around (they they could use a few lessons in creating a quest flow), they haven’t really introduced any new types of gameplay – it’s still quests of the type:
    1. Go kill X of Y
    2. Go use this hotspot/item/etc
    3. A combination of the two

    I was hoping for some new things to do in the game rather than just the same old. I’m worried that this is going to have the same problem as the original in that it can’t hold my interest because there isn’t enough to do.

    It is nice to discover that there aren’t too may Bards anymore, but can we address the ridiculous-looking gear that Bards a lumped with?

  • Story was ok. I powered through the 2.1 to 2.5 stuff just prior to the expansion (reading it not just skipping).

    Only issue I had was travelling back and forth between 2 locations in some bits just to talk to the same NPC in both locations for no apparent reason. They need to use that voice comm thing more often 🙂

    • Heavensward story has been pretty decent and is mostly set on a linear (storywise) path, with you only having to go back and forth once you finish a story arc or need to level up.

      • Absolutely. It’s definitely been much more entertaining with minimal travel for travel’s sake.

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