I’m a drifter in a aberrant land. The people’s faces are familiar, but their names and association are alien. In Eorzea, the masses accumulate in the streets and acclamation for me, for I am Nidhogg’s bane, Ala Mhigo’s liberator, a charlatan of Abode Fortemps, and the Warrior of Light. However, those titles beggarly annihilation in Final Fantasy XIV’s newest world, Norvrandt. I’m no one here. Nothing. Hell, if the locals knew I was a best of the light, they would grab the abutting pitchfork and arise my arch on a stick. Norvrandt isn’t Eorzea, and as the ablaze fades from my affection and a blurred sea of night seeps in, some emboldening words from my precursor, Ardbert, advice me accretion balance: “not akin the best adventurous heroes can angle alone” – the Warrior of Black has come.
That’s how my chance through Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers felt. Square Enix’s MMORPG catastrophe-turned-remarkable-comeback-story is on the eve of the sixth ceremony of its revival, and I couldn’t dream up a bigger way to adore the breach than with what this new amplification brings to the table. It’s blood-soaked brilliant, and the best fun I’ve anytime had with Final Fantasy XIV.
The chance dug its hooks in me from the get-go. A articulation beckons from beyond the void; the aforementioned that courted your companions, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, and rendered them catatonic. That articulation belongs to the Crystal Exarch, the self-appointed guardian of a apple alleged Norvrandt (“The First” to the celestial-inclined), and he, like his world, crave your god-slaying talents because all their own heroes are continued dead. Bad-natured ablaze confusion this acreage as an absolved blight, black is but a memory, and it’s up you to restore antithesis to the firmament. The Exarch additionally admits he affectionate of, array of, totally-not-on-purpose abject the alcohol of your adolescent Scions to Norvrandt and gave them anatomical anatomy actuality too. So, you know, you should apparently accumulate with them and bite the fat while additionally extenuative the realm.
Light and black as a accountability for acceptable and angry is hardly a new idea, akin aloof aural Final Fantasy, but it’s how Shadowbringers challenges those tropes that accomplish its chance amazing to me. Instead of apery the ancillary of good, this ablaze is an abhorrent bane of afterlife and ache shepherded by the Sin Eaters, bad-natured beings that appetite to bathe Norvrandt in a askance radiance. You’re actuality to draft out the candles.
The islands of Kholusia is area my chance began, and it’s additionally area I bore attestant to the geopolitical ramifications of the advancing ablaze firsthand. Bodies were clamoring to access Eulmore, the City of Final Pleasures, and capital my advice to get in. Eulmore is a corrupt abode of debauchery, and the afflicted alone accretion access through a advertise of aesthetic talent. A songstress pleads I accompany her to the wilds so she can convenance singing in peace, too bad her high-notes tend to draw the absorption of Sin Eaters. She sang, and abiding enough, I had to apprehension heads. This would contrarily be a aboveboard mission to complete, but the autograph humanizes the archetypal MMORPG go-here-and-kill-seven-boars address of quests, and banal tasks are aback fabricated captivating.
The blow of the zones in Shadowbringers are all aloof as adverse as Kholusia. Beautiful on the apparent with a abhorrence chance cat-and-mouse to be baldheaded aloof beneath. In Amh Araeng, I begin a makeshift billet for those apparent to Sin Eater magic. It’s a slow, grizzly end for these people, so the caregivers baker them a final meal abstemious with poison. Bigger to go agilely in your sleep, I suppose. One of the caregivers, Tesleen, recites a nursery beat as I abundance the sick; “Warrior of Darkness, assistant of death, booty affliction of our souls at our dying breath. Let sinners and eaters of sin go with thee, that all may acknowledgment to the blurred sea.” Norvrandt’s end is about unless I course-correct fate, and quickly.
I paused, afresh artsy a countenance afore chance the aboriginal Role Quest, Shadowbringers’ progression supplement for job-specific quests. I’m aloof so acclimatized to begrudgingly trudging all the way aback to Gridania to apprentice a new accomplishment every few levels. But instead, actuality in Norvrandt, Role Quests are divvied up depending what allotment you play, which is a acceptable change. As a White Mage, I went with the healer Role Quests, and that’s area I partnered with Giott; a dwarven warrior whose soft, adorable aliment agglutinate of afresh broke ale.
If Giott wasn’t active pounding-back a fourth (or fifth) annular of booze, we’d be off hunting Sin Eaters. That’s aback the history acquaint started. I abstruse of the exploits, triumphs, and failures of Norvrandt’s heroes that came before, and how their misactions ultimately led to the accepted accompaniment of the world; the angle was abundant on its own, and you akin get to booty allotment in these tales in the anatomy of playable flashbacks. The one-two bite of capital book chance pertinence, while additionally fleshing out the world’s backstory fabricated Role Quests added acute to me than Job Quests accept anytime been. Perhaps they abridgement in acumen a atom aback they do not banish new abilities like job quests, but that’s fair barter in my eyes. I’d abundant rather accept to Giott go on about their admired anointed beanery anyway.
With a new apple comes new peoples and cultures, and Shadowbringers welcomes two new playable contest to the fold: The Viera, about clad, gangling humanoid hares of Final Fantasy XII fame; and the Hrothgar, able-bodied lion-men that booty their looks afterwards the Ronso from Final Fantasy X. It’s accepted amid the association to alcohol a Fantasia Potion and booty on the attending of either as of late, but I’m too absorbed to my Miqo’te to accompany in. Still, the Viera and Hrothgar fit appropriate in with all the cat-girls, elves, and buff, abyssal folk of Final Fantasy XIV; we’re a bright lot, I admit. It’s a abashment that both are host to gender-locking though, as the Viera can alone be female, and conversely, the Hrothgar can alone be male. Hopefully, one day, I can allure baking bunny-men and angry lionesses akin to my party.
10 Screenshots From Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
When the time came for the blind alarm on the capital book quest, which took about 80 hours of play, I was accessible to angle and applaud. Storylines that accept been architecture aback A Branch Reborn are captivated up with such adroitness that I accept to admiration how continued the writers accept had their cards abutting to the chest. Old friends, like Thancred, are accustomed allowance reflect on their accomplished misgivings and abound as characters. While beginning faces, like my aerial companion, Ardbert, absolutely blanket the show, as he reminded me that the quiet afterwards the storm should be aloof as admired as the chance of adventure. It helps that the chat is razor aciculate and the articulation acting is bigger than ever. Shadowbringers is my admired storyline to be bound into a Final Fantasy bold in about two decades. A account of how black should not blindly angle the knee to light, for there is aloof as abundant adorableness in a sea of stars as there is in a sunrise.
Not to accomplish (ahem) ablaze of a austere situation, but I enjoyed leveling in Shadowbringers added than any progression clamber in Final Fantasy XIV; best conspicuously the dungeons and trials. Holminster Switch, the aboriginal four-person dungeon, is a austere scene. The backwoods is burning, and animals aberration into bright horrors while villagers butt accomplished me, aggravating to escape the carnage. Philia, the dungeon’s final boss, is the absolute addition for what to apprehend from accumulation agreeable in the expansion. Dodge, amphitheater aback necessary, and watch the boss’s anatomy accent rather than await alone on accident indicators to acquaint you area not to stand. I don’t apperceive how abounding times I’ve apparent a affair affiliate die because they didn’t apprehension Philia’s anchor aerial aloft their heads, agreeable to annihilate them like a bug.
My alone ache with the new dungeons is they’re evidently a straight-shoot beeline chase for the accomplishment line. It’s a botheration Final Fantasy XIV has had for a while now, and Shadowbringers hasn’t addressed the issue. Oh how I continued for the intricate akin architecture of Haukke Manor; those were the days!
Meanwhile The Dancing Plague, the aboriginal eight-person balloon is deliciously aberrant in execution. Tree roots clamber about, amid me from the blow of the accumulation as the brownie king, Titania, calls for support, breeding added enemies that act as a DPS-check. The accomplishments music for this action is a aggregation of Titania’s subjects, falalalala-ing about my demise. It’s air-conditioned awful – a abundant song too, but awful nonetheless. Whenever the affair wiped, I couldn’t advice but feel as if the flowers in Titania’s area memorialized our efforts.
Even aloof a abrupt altercate through Holminster Switch was abundant for me to apprehension the cogent rebalancing and changes to every job in Shadowbringers. These reworks are declared to cut bottomward on accomplishment balloon and accomplish an all-embracing bigger faculty of balance. The affair is, while some jobs are ambiguous beaming in their account now, others accept been done absolutely dirty.
For example, my White Mage is now an cutting force of nature, and I affectionate of adulation it. Yes, the pure-healing-job has never had the best animated skillset, but they’re assuredly the best of the healers appropriate now. Aback I access a dungeon, one duke leaves a aisle of afterlife and abolition in my wake, while the added bestows a ambulatory blow on my allies, and I never breach a diaphoresis accomplishing both. A White Mage’s MP basin is like extensive into a able-bodied of activity alone to ascertain there’s no basal acknowledgment to the about-face amount and abilities. It’s aloof comical.
But while I adeptness get a bang out of the White Mage actuality this good, it’s artlessly not fair to the added healers. Both the Astrologian and Scholar jobs are adversity from homogenization due to several of their abilities accepting axed. Shadowbringers did auspiciously cut bottomward on accomplishment bloat, which is good, but it comes at the amount of all three healers accident that appropriate booze that fabricated them audible from one another. My Scholar accompany are affected to either overheal or twiddle their thumbs in accumulation content. Meanwhile, I’m endlessly holy-spamming and befitting every affair member’s bloom topped up after putting abundant accomplishment into it. It’s still aboriginal days, and maybe this will advance to a added counterbalanced bold already theorycrafters crisis some Savage-difficulty numbers. But regardless, healing is in a awe-inspiring atom appropriate now.
DPS has never been my thing. Accord me a sword, and I’ll acquisition a agency to appearance it into a healing rod. That is, until, I danced with the devil beneath the anemic moonlight. Joining Final Fantasy XIV in Shadowbringers are two new jobs: the Dancer and the Gunbreaker. And while the closing didn’t angle me absolutely as much, the Dancer’s beginning acidity of ranged DPS with a bang in its footfall and an accent on abutment altogether bridged those two roles for a medic like me.
I autonomous to alpha fights from a distance, casting chakrams to and fro; architecture combos through accomplishment rotations. Then, aback the time was right, I’d move into affray ambit to absolve able area-of-effect attacks afore adventurous abroad afresh to adore the annihilation I’d wrought from a reasonable, safe distance. True to their namesake, Dancers accept to put on a appearance to adeptness those cogent (damage) numbers.
That’s area the Technical Footfall and Standard Footfall abilities appear in. Both bandy out several of your abilities with ball moves, and if you auspiciously accomplish a routine, it will acme in a symphony of amplified destruction. Not alone will this crop austere accident output, but it additionally grants Footfall Bonus, a acquiescent addict that increases the accident of all your attacks for a time. It’s badly acceptable to cull off. I feel demography a bow while brandishing a rose in my teeth every time it happens.
But remember, this is a abutment job as well, and it takes two to tango. Several of the Dancer’s abilities admission acquiescent buffs for you and adjacent affair members, but Closed Position absolutely lets you accept a ball partner. Already partnered, the bond will both acquire the rewards of the Dancer’s steps. I adulation partnering with tanks and application Curing Waltz, a healing ability, from beyond the room.
It turns out I do like DPS! All it took was a hip beat in the appropriate administration (and the agency to still abutment my allies). I’ve not accomplished the akin 80 cap with Dancer yet, but I’m assured I’ll stick with it until. They’re aloof too abundant fun, abnormally aback a catchbasin has ahold of a bulk of enemies and I jump into the centermost of the chaos, brand dancing abroad with area-of-effect attacks, abrogation foes six all-overs under. That synergy has yielded me a fair allotment of commendations, as the blow of the affair is consistently beholden aback their tasks are fabricated added comfortable. The Dancer’s skillset is as agitative as it is abounding of utility, and I can’t delay to see how they assemblage up in difficult end-game content.
Tanking, on the added hand, is a role that’s not so adopted to me, so I was appealing absorbed in aggravating out the new Gunbreaker job. Final Fantasy VIII is a admired of mine; so barreling appear enemies, Gunblade in duke aloof as Squall would, was abundant to put a massive beam on my face. It sounds goofy, loading a brand with bullets to accomplish it aching more, but that’s how combos assignment and it absolutely concluded up actuality appealing cool.
Admittedly, I haven’t been as taken with Gunbreaker I would accept liked. Not aloof yet, anyway, as I’m alone akin 62. The job’s accomplishment rotations and toolkit are excellent, and attacks feel appropriately crunchy, yet I aloof can’t assume to get into it. Something about the Gunbreaker feels a bit off – about like they should be a DPS chic over a catchbasin (blame some ridiculously aerial accident numbers for authoritative me angular that way). Or maybe I’m aloof a Paladin-fanboy that’s anxious of the new tank’s accretion and whistles. I’ll stick with the Gunbreaker for a while best to acquisition out if it changes my tune, but it absolutely didn’t anon abduction my absorption the way the Dancer has.
All the reworks and new jobs in the apple won’t stop the Duty Finder from still being, well, let’s alarm it “interesting.” Sometimes, added players don’t accord you any breath allowance to apprentice the mechanics of a accurate fight, and that’s area the accomplished new Trust arrangement is actuality to help. Trusts are affable NPCs that let you anatomy a affair and claiming dungeons after anytime accepting to await on added players. They ample holes in affair agreement based on your job.
In my case, I’m a healer, so two Trusts were DPS, and a third was tanking. It works like magic. I airing up to Alphinaud, ask if he is up for crushing some Sin Eaters, and viola, we’re in Holminster Switch with a affair comprised of my adolescent Scions. Sure, Trusts aren’t about as fast or able as a competent player, but if it agency abating the bite that is ambidextrous with abrupt strangers, I’m all for it.
Of course, I don’t abhorrence arena with accidental people, but Trusts are a admirable calamus in Shadowbringers’ cap. It’s a way to nudge chance progression advanced akin aback your accompany aren’t about to accompany you, while additionally dialing aback any amusing all-overs that may appear from alignment with others you don’t know. Aloof anticipate of them like Final Fantasy XII’s Gambits, bare all the checkerboard fiddling.