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What I like About FFXIV

“Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars…” croons eclectic musical artist Sia in homage to the Frank Sinatra classic, commemorating the release of Final Fantasy XIV’s latest expansion: Endwalker. Avid fans of the epic MMO have anxiously awaited early access of the game's next big installment, practically foaming at the mouth since the original release date's setback. My husband and I braved the three a.m. queues once maintenance lifted, eager to set eyes on the fresh locales and check out the exciting new classes, among other things. I will not delve into spoiler land, but I will be honest about my first impression of the expac: it is very promising--Square Enix has done it again! With that being said, I want to share the top five things I most love about FFXIV (in no particular order because, if I’m honest, it’s ALL excellent).

One, every good novel, film, or videogame worth its salt has a plot that drives and inspires the reader/viewer/player. The story of XIV is riveting and rich, and just like other things that age well with time (such as the cheese and wine I consume as I game, haha), it only gets better and better with each expansion. The Main Story Scenario in XIV is rife with lore, operating from an epic backstory that is woven into the narrative as the player progresses. Twists and turns keep the player at the edge of their seat, awaiting the outcome of whatever situation in which our beloved cast of characters often find themselves. Adventure, danger, romance, oh my! Tragedy and humor act as assertive devices within the plot. Numerous times our heartstrings are pulled, making us feel for the characters in the game. Conversely, humor enhances the feeling of camaraderie between characters and eases the tension in the story, often ranging from dry and subtle to Three Stooges-tier slapstick. Ultimately, I find the main story very pleasing and engaging, and I hadn’t even touched on the myriad sidequests! One of the best storylines in the game is a sidequest that involves a notoriously-bumbling inspector with a penchant for finding trouble.

Two, XIV’s cast of characters introduces players to a host of various personable and endearing figures. The Scions of the Seventh Dawn, as the main cast are referred to, represent the scope of playable races that the game has to offer, and they all project their own unique personalities as you, the Warrior of Light, interact with them throughout the story. Each and every character has their own fanbase, respectively. I applaud Square Enix and Yoshi P for continuing to flesh out these characters, developing them from A Realm Reborn to the previous expac, Shadowbringers--I can hardly wait to see how the cast evolves throughout Endwalker! As a player, I appreciate seeing different facets of these characters and watching them grow.

Three, an epic soundtrack is the lifeblood of a game, and the music of XIV has me vibing the whole time I play. Masayoshi Soken is a genius, hands down. From blood-pumping, rallying trial/raid boss tracks to invigorating dungeon motifs, to the ambient and pleasant background theme of a locale, the music is widely and beautifully arranged. I often find myself listening to the FFXIV OST even when I’m not playing the game.

Four, GLAMOUR, baby! Many XIV players will tell you that the true end game is the fashion, and….admittedly, I’ve become somewhat of a narcissist, always looking for the best location to /gpose for screenshots with the raddest ensemble I can put together. The glamour in XIV is so versatile, allowing one to mix and match and dye different colors to represent any style of the heart’s desires. I can have my character range from cute and femine day wear to alluring night on the town to armored and battle-hardened, all in an instant thanks to the glamour plate system. Like to cosplay? Sure! Some of my more memorable attempts of cosplaying with glamour include Lara Croft, genderbent Sesshomaru, and a black knight from Dark Souls. Whether you farm for a clothing piece from a duty, craft it, obtain it from a quest, or purchase it from the cash shop (Mogstation), the fashion world is truly in your hands in XIV. (Oh, and it’s a plus to see a 24-man raid consisting purely of sexy chickens.)

Lastly, five, the online community can make or break an online game, and XIV has a fantastic community of players. Yeah, XIV is not devoid of toxic players--every game has their fair share of bad eggs (even Pokemon TCG, what??). However, the majority of people that I have encountered in XIV, whether in a duty or on my server, has been nice, helpful, and friendly. You never know what kind of banter you will become involved in while running your daily slew of duty roulettes, but I guarantee it will almost always be amusing. Then, there’s Free Companies. I run a small Free Company, which is XIV’s version of a guild, and my FC mates have truly become my game family, hanging out inside and outside of the game. Bonds made while gaming are truly something special. The online community of XIV has grown tremendously over the past year, and I hope to see it continue.

As an almost seven year vet to the game, I will pitch it to random strangers. Just ask the clerk at my local PetSense, haha. XIV has many intriguing facets, and I am glad to say it will continue to be my longstanding go-to game. On that note, now that I’ve waited out the thousands of people in the login queue, I’m going to spend the rest of the weekend exploring Endwalker!

(Oh, and psssst! “...With an expanded free trial which you can play through the entirety of A Realm Reborn and the award winning Heavensward expansion up to level 60 for free with no restrictions on playtime.”)

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