Well my friends, the time has come and passed, and Ala Mhigo has been liberated. This is the second expansion for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and it could easily be its own Final Fantasy(FF) game. I will also note that this is the first time I have played this game where it is new to everyone, having jumped on the mmo bandwagon a bit late, and did not play FFXIV and the first expansion, Heavensward, until January of this year. Until now, I didn’t know what it felt like to experience- world is currently full 17 in queue. Or wait what I would consider an absurd amount of time to queue up in the party/duty finder to run dungeons or raids. That being said, I wouldn’t change a bit of it, having met some wonderful people who helped me along the way.
As I head out to play the main story quests(msq) of Stormblood, I instantly notice some of my hotkeys are not useable anymore. I go on to learn that certain abilities have been removed from the game, and others were merged together. Sadly, my Dragoon had underwent a transformation to where my rotations were shot. Cross class skills were gone, and they were replaced with a section known as Role. Role is similar to cross class skills, but they are chosen for you, and you can only equip up to five. So I read up about these skills, and picked what most considered were best for Dragoon, and off I went.
-Note- There will be slight spoilers ahead, but mainly from A Realm Reborn and Heavensward, along with the post Heavensward story(I will keep Stormblood spoilers to a minimum).
After a long battle from an even longer age, the Dragonsong war comes to a close. You, as the Warrior of Light and a Scion(a group of people who more or less try to save the world and hunt down primals), see to it that man and dragon learn to coexist peacefully. While up north in Ishgard, you hear tales from Ul’dah, about how the Ala Mhigan resistance wants to push back and fight the Garlean empire for its land once more. One thing leads to another, and the Scions along with the Eorzean alliance have been tricked, and a full scale assault ensues, complete with a major primal and everything. Yda finally removes her mask, and reveals something. What, you ask? Well, it is part of the setup for Stormblood, so play the game and find out for yourself!
I can go on and on about the story, but why ruin it? Just know that the new locations are huge, they look beautiful, and you get to go all over the world map, traveling far and wide to help remove the Garlean threat from whatever land you may be helping. Some with a clear eastern style, along with an amazing soundtrack that fits to boot. I can say I was never truly bored when it came to traveling, or listening to the new soundtrack. The two new dps classes are Red Mage and Samurai, giving people something new to try out. Sadly, this adds to the queue for dps characters, because everyone wants to try out the new classes. But whatever class you are, you must fight your way through, eventually to encounter Zenos Yae Galvus, son of Garlean emperor Varis zos Galvus. While he really did nothing but offer your usual villain-to-fight-at-the-end cutout character, I actually liked him near the end, and he was definitely insane, which always adds for some crazy fun times(Kefka). And while running through this game, I was able to play with (mostly) friendly people, who were either also new to the dungeons, or had powered through and was replaying for items and gear.
And that’s what mmos are mainly about, yeah? Get that awesome gear while playing with good people! Final Fantasy XIV has this in spades. Yes, there are the occasional jerks who will gripe about everything the group is doing, or not listen to advice, but that rarely happened for me. My experience with this game as a whole, including Stormblood, have been mainly positive, and wanting to log back in to say hi and run some dungeons or raids. Which brings me to the raids. I can tell you that I enjoyed them all, and some had some really neat game play mechanics, but I really don’t want to spoil the experience. Just get out there and start questing! This is an expansion that is worth your time and money. Do yourself a favor, and go pick it up and start playing, this is a great time with so many people back to play, there is a great community there to welcome you with open arms! Now then, time to get back to the extreme raids for that top level gear. A Dragoon’s life is to fight.
Great overhaul, impressive graphical upgrade
Great online community
The story truly shines here for this expansion.
The queue wait times can be a bit long
The removal of cross class skills
Both new classes are dps, adding to the dps queue, with no new classes to play