Last time on my journey Heavensward, I mentioned it was too laborious to stage my fifty ‘leven jobs evenly, so I decided to focus on solo-leveling my healer. Turns out, I may have been a bit premature in that decision. See, what had happened was I belatedly realized I fit the level requirements to pick up the gunbreaker job so…surprise! I’m a gunbreaker now. And if therapeutic was giving me anxiousness matches, tanking is like asking a fifth-grader to guide a mission to Mars.
I’m really fairly stunned at how far I’ve come from a low-effort, low-responsibility injury seller to taking over the 2 most essential roles an MMO can supply. That’s what’s so rattling lovely and transformative about my time in Final Fantasy XIV. World of Warcraft-period Ash by no means dared to step foot exterior her DPS consolation zone. Final Fantasy XIV Ash is like, “Oh! I hit a level milestone. What new job can I unlock now?”
I primarily selected gunbreaker as a result of I’m a giant Final Fantasy VIII fan. At 33 years previous, I lastly understand that the character I’m most like wasn’t the manic-pixie-dream-sorceress Rinoa, however the constantly-struggling-with-the-mortifying-ordeal-of-being-known gunbreaker Squall. I additionally selected gunbreaker over different tanks as a result of it was a job that began at my present stage 60, so there could be no must play stage catch up like I might have with a Dark Knight or others. I understand now, actually proper now, that it most likely would have been simpler for me to slip into tanking if I needed to stage a tank job as much as 60. I might have spent hours catching up in dungeon run after dungeon run, however by the point I reached stage 60, I’d have realized many of the mechanics and methods I’m struggling to study proper now. Since it’s certainly a battle, I’m taking tanking much more critically than being a healer. I watch YouTube guides no less than twice earlier than trying any new dungeon. I additionally maintain a Google doc with detailed descriptions of each boss encounter peppered with little, useful notes to myself like, “Eat a food,” or “Is tank stance on you dumb bitch?” Though tanking would have been simpler for me had I chosen to stage the job usually, there’s a Dragonsong War on proper now, and I don’t have the time to piddle across the Sunken Temple of Qarn for eight ranges.
Speaking of the Dragonsong War, I lately completed the second to final patch earlier than the Stormblood enlargement, placing an finish to the battle between Ishgard and its dragon enemies. All the gripes I had about A Realm Reborn’s first ending being a letdown and the content material between ARR and Heavensward being a boring slog have melted away in a blast of cleaning dragonfire. Holy shit, what an ending! The Heavensward patches have been full of moments huge and small that grabbed me by the center and didn’t let go till the ultimate credit rolled.
I appreciated Heavensward’s patches telling a nuanced story about what occurs to combatants when a battle lastly ends. To hear most video video games inform it, everyone goes house and lives fortunately ever after when in actuality, that by no means occurs. In Heavensward, the millennia of enmity and hatred between elezen and dragon doesn’t disappear in a single day. Still pained and angered by shedding family members, each side of the battle merely can’t relinquish their will to maintain combating.
The storytelling is considerably clumsy at factors. A lady makes an attempt to restart the battle by giving an impassioned speech in regards to the legion of family members who died from dragon assaults. One of your allies, in an try to silence her, offers the order to have her shot. The group turns in your ally, who flees. And whereas he’s rightfully condemned for his actions, he appears to get away with tried homicide scot-free. There’s a second wherein he makes an impassioned speech about “woe is me, I’m the rich son of a noble lord, and all my decisions were made for me until now.” But past some dissatisfied stares from his father, he’s no worse for put on. In a recreation that’s nearly distressingly good at nailing the smaller details, I used to be stunned to see the plot let this man off the hook. He ought to have been exiled to a backwater nook of the empire to relax out for a bit or on the very least made to apologize to the lady he nearly killed. But no, they let him take part in a grand melee, and all is confusingly forgiven.
Weird “if you’re rich you can get away with anything” subplot apart, my favourite second within the remaining Heavensward patches was combating Nidhogg. The remaining confrontation with the vengeful elder dragon was precisely the sort of hero shit I crave in a online game. I used to be shocked by the informal brutality of Nidhogg, utilizing Estinien as his puppet, impaling considered one of his personal dragon kin for having the gall to indicate up as one of many representatives in a dragon/elezen peace convention. And I hollered, tears welling in my eyes, when Heavenward’s theme song kicked in as I confronted down Nidhogg himself on the Steps of Faith.
I don’t suppose I’ll ever be over this screenshot I took of that second. It legitimately offers me chills it. If I needed to summarize FF14 in a picture, I’d select this. At that second, I had the very odd considered “Wow, I wish I was playing this with my mom.” My mother doesn’t actually “get” video video games, and I’ve largely given up attempting to share this basic a part of me along with her, accepting that it’s one thing I can’t get her concerned with, even in passing. But I really feel FF14’s highly effective storytelling, cinematic design, and music—distilled on this one second of my astrologian staring down a bloodthirsty dragon—is so genre-defining (not just for MMOs however for all video video games) that it might be sufficient to make her get it. It’s simply that good.
I do know I’m very near the following enlargement. Pretty quickly, I’ll go away Heavensward content material behind for the brand new shores of Stormblood. It’s my understanding that Stormblood’s story isn’t as flashy or emotional as its predecessor however that it units up numerous Shadowbringers’ plot and can actually kick my ass emotionally. I’m excited, however I do know I’ll miss Ishgard. I Now have a behavior of visiting Haurchefant’s grave when I’m queuing for a dungeon on my tank (as tank queues are shockingly longer than I anticipated.) I wish to suppose, as I’m /kneeling and taking every kind of solemn footage in group pose, that out of all my causes for changing into a tank, the true cause was for him. Haurchefant known as me a hero, however I didn’t really feel very very similar to one by dealing injury from behind the protection of a tank’s defend or a healer’s bubble. Now that I’ve pivoted utterly to these roles, I really feel I can higher be the hero he thought I used to be and that I can face each problem from Stormblood to Shadowbringers to Endwalker and past with a smile.