Adventures in Heavensward (FFXIV)

Adventures in Heavensward - My lovely Au Ra lady during my Bard levelling journeyHeavensward, 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? 

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Heavensward & Au Ra Excitement (FFXIV)

My Au Ra Xaela lady, one of my two choices for Heavensward when it releases.

My second Au Ra and the one I will probably go with.

With FFXIV’s first expansion pack, Heavensward just around the corner, everyone has been sharing their benchmark scores (I got 7800 on highest DX11 settings on 1920×1080, and 11000 on the same settings but 1280×720) and, perhaps more importantly — oh, who am I kidding, absolutely more importantly! — the appearances of their Au Ra, the new dragon-based race being introduced.

These are mine, and I cannot decide between them! While I definitely prefer the appearance of the Raen, I have to say that I still love the lore of the Xaela and of course the aesthetic with the darker scales. I think I will keep tweaking until I’m happy with both then make a decision, but at this point I feel like I’ll go with the Raen.

Now my only real concern is what to call myself! I’m not sure my character’s name really suits the Au Ra, as her name is Sirantha Swift, but then again it never really suited Miqo’te either, so I’m not sure what to do with myself! But, with me taking a week off work specifically for the expansion hype, I think it’s pretty safe to say I’m really excited in a way I’ve not been for an MMO in a long, long time, if ever.

Will you be switching to Au Ra too?
Let me know in the comments and share screenshots if you have any!

Our Eternal Bond (FFXIV)

FFXIV: My Ceremony of Eternal Bonding with my guild leader was a lot of fun!
Yes, that is someone dressed up as a ghost…

FFXIV: All of our friends were there! Even though one of them could only be there in spirit as she was busy!

On Tuesday 13th January 2015, we celebrated our bond by getting married in a beautiful ceremony, the ceremony blessed by a slightly eccentric individual, in front of many of our friends. And by “we”, I mean my guild leader Arvenia Wolvesbane and I, by “getting married” I mean we had our Ceremony of Eternal Bonding, and by “slightly eccentric individual” I mean a Moogle. The part about our friends was accurate, however!

Square Enix recently introduced the ability for players to get married in Final Fantasy XIV, either through the free Standard Plan, or by purchasing the Gold or Platinum plans in the online store. Whenever the feature was first announced, I was impressed to find out that Square Enix had allowed same sex marriage, and so I proposed to my guild leader, Arvenia, whose character is a tall blue-haired lady Roegadyn.

FFXIV: We even threw a party afterwards at our FC house.

We invested in the Platinum plan for the extra options, including additional colours and flower options and different decorations in the ceremony. Also, the paid options give all guests an exclusive pet: the Demon Box! We thought this would be fun so we went for one of the paid packs and invited our Free Company to join us.

It all starts with a questline that you do with your partner, and after travelling Eorzea to pray at various locations with your bride or husband-to-be, you will go to the venue together to select the options you want to go with, including the priest for your wedding (the Moogle was definitely not a disappointment!), the colours for the carpet and flowers, the music for the procession and the all-important after party, how you enter and exit the ceremony, and of course who gets to carry the bouquet! After both of you have agreed and saved your settings, you can also reserve a date and time, which has to be done in advance.

FFXIV: A cuddle following the ceremony.

Slots open for two weeks, new slots opening every Friday at 9:00am GMT for the following two weeks. We noticed that even after a few weeks had passed, it was still difficult to get a good slot. I was a few hours late to reserve our date and time, and most of the timeslots were already gone, but we managed to snag a decent one that just meant I had to rush home from work! Some of my friends were not so lucky even though they also tried to reserve their dates on the same day as us.

All in all, our ceremony was lovely! I was surprised to find that three of the guys from our FC showed up in grooms garb, which was really sweet, and everyone dressed for the occasion (including one of our friends who showed up in the All Saints’ Wake ghost costume!) and we even received pets and gil gifts! It was really cute. The ceremony is super cheesy but frankly I was impressed that they made such an experience out of the in-game marriage system!

FFXIV: A candid shot from just before the ceremony.

So thank you Square Enix, not only for letting me marry another woman, but also for making the experience memorable for all of us. We all had a lot of fun, and went back to our FC house for a rather debaucherous party afterwards!