Heavensward, the first expansion pack for Final Fantasy XIV, was released last week and I’ve genuinely never been this excited by an MMO expansion in my entire gaming life. There were a number of things I was looking forward to in this expansion, and it would be pointless to go through all of them, but a few of the highlights were the additional levels to attain, beautiful new zones to explore, and of course, the ability to change my race to an Au Ra. Who doesn’t want to be a beautiful dragon lady? In the first week, I have reached level 60 on Bard, my main job, and dabbled in Dark Knight which is one of the new jobs released with Heavensward. For those who don’t know, it was a job in Final Fantasy XI, arguably the predecessor to FFXIV as it was the first MMO in the series, even if they follow a very different style and storyline these days. It was my first time playing a tank seriously in the game, and I had so much fun. To the point that I really want to do it some more!
My main job has changed quite a bit, as Bard has now received a stance called Wanderer’s Minuet, which is basically an ability that shifts them into what has been dubbed a “bow wizard”, as it effectively removes their mobility and gives them a slight increase to damage to replace it. There are definitely some changes that need to be made to Wanderer’s Minuet, but luckily Square Enix has listened to our pleas!
But as I said, one of my main highlights was enjoying exploring beautiful new zones, with new creatures (and some that many FFXI players will recognise and immediately feel that little pang of nostalgia!) and the ability to fly across the huge zones. While gaining the Aether Currents required to fly was a royal pain in the backside, the reward more than made up for it with gorgeous scenery and a sense of all around epicness from flying on the back of a dragon.
I also think it’s worth mentioning that both early access and the live launch day were incredibly smooth, so kudos to Square Enix for a wonderful launch all in all! A few minor hiccups on the first day and two early-morning maintenances to deploy hotfixes, short queues, and very few crashes? I will definitely take it after my previous experiences with MMO launches!
Overall, I am very excited to see the direction FFXIV will take, and Heavensward did not disappoint in the slightest. I am seeing lots of new faces picking up the game too; do not be discouraged by the long storyline ahead of you before you can try the new content. Enjoy the content we all have had for the last two years then come and join us in Ishgard, fellow Warriors of Light!