Finally! December 3rd of 2021 marked the beginning of a new chapter for Final Fantasy XIV or should I say the final chapter of the series. I’ve been playing the new expansion since the day it was released, and my reaction? Completely overwhelmed, whether it’s the gameplay or the story.
There are so many things I want to share, however, I will keep it short and try my best not to spoil anything (for those who haven’t played the game, the FFXIV community is full of anti-spoiler which is a good thing!).
Okay, first of all, here’s my thought when I heard Square Enix announcing another new expansion. When I watched the trailer, I thought it was going to be similar to the second expansion (Stormblood) where the players will be fighting against the Garlean empire and I really hoped they won’t screw this up. However, I tried to be optimistic because the trailer gave me chills and excitement. I knew the moment I watched the trailer, this is going to be the conclusion to the story arc since Realm of Reborn.
In my opinion, Square Enix did a fantastic job showcasing the whole journey in such a short video. It gave me flashbacks to the exhilarating journeys I’ve experienced since the day I started the whole story and finally I get to see the end. Culmination of the main character’s adventure and meeting new friends along the way.
It will be very hard to beat Shadowbringer as it was the best and highly-rated expansion Square Enix ever released. However, it only took me 2 days to realised, “Yoshi-P, you did it again, another masterpiece”. I was astonished how Square Enix was able to make this expansion way better than Shadowbringer. To make it fair, I asked a few players from my Free Company with their consent on what they think about this expansion and here are their opinions.
“Both are really good in their own way and it nearly made me cry towards the end of each expansion because of the emotional rollercoaster. EW is good as it does a nice job in tying up all the ends. It incorporates all the previous expansions into a nice ending” – Yuri Yaoi, Kujata
“I am satisfied with how they managed the stories and conclusion to some of the arc in Endwalker and how it reminded you about life itself, no matter how good or bad it is. Is it better than Shadowbringers? Nah, both of them give different touch and feelings, so I’d say they pretty much the same quality” – Roctis tray, Kujata
“Endwalker is a very strong expansion, but is very dependent on the all. Without understanding the story that FFXIV gives you, you will find the story confusing and underwhelming. Taking everything into account there are a lot going for it but the pacing feels at times a little off but it is a must play if you love story and fun duties and gameplay.” – Dya Wolf, Kujata
“Honestly, this one is a bit hard…while I do feel that endwalker is definitely a story that flows nicer than SHB’s one, it wouldn’t be anywhere as good if we didn’t have SHB as a precedent;.
“I would put them at about the same level, with EW being a little higher, but EW’s entire thing was banked off SHB being good too” – Shizuku Tachibana, Kujata
There are a lot of positive feedback from the players, whether they are new or veterans. This is one of the reasons why FFXIV was nominated to be the best ongoing game in the game award 2021. Players are satisfied with FFXIV story, contents, gameplay and many more.
Let’s move on to what I’ve experienced personally from Endwalker so far.
After three weeks of playing, completing the story, experiencing new contents, I can wholeheartedly say that Square Enix did a fantastic job delivering the story that leads a perfect flow from Realm of Reborn to Endwalker arc.
Within the first day of its release, the whole server was experiencing congestion. A week later, with a quick response, Square Enix announced maintenance to increase the data server. Every night, I had to wait for a long time with the queue ranging from 200-800 players, 100 if I’m lucky. Fortunately, I played on a less crowded server so I don’t have to wait too long compared to other servers. This might sound like negative feedback, but it’s actually not. Rather, this shows how popular FFXIV is even before the expansion and how quick their response was in handling the problems.
New Playable race, Male Viera
A leporine race from the Southern Othard, a race which is commonly called by most players as “bunny boy”. I have a lot of mixed feelings regarding the new race. They are cool, tall, and handsome.. Wait a minute, that’s exactly what Korean boy bands are.
Joke aside, for those who love to show their helmet glamour, this class isn’t for you. This class is limited to only a few helmets. Yes, they can be equipped but you won’t be able to showcase it. The only thing you see is the long majestic ear flopping around. But if you love male viera, go for it, I won’t judge you, everyone has different taste.
New Jobs: Sage and Reaper
The new healer job that utilises Nouliths for both offensive and defensive abilities. The main healing ability, Kardia, helps the player to deal damage while healing your main target. This concept is similar to WoW’s discipline priest.
Sage doesn’t really have a lot of big heals like the other healer counterparts as it focuses mostly on barriers and direct heals. Therefore, predicting incoming damage is highly recommended.
In my opinion, this class has a high skill ceiling and high learning curve, second to Astrologian. If you are not an experienced healer, it is going to take time to master this class. It might sound scary, but through time and practice, you will get used to it.
Fear not, the job quests will guide you on the basics of sage gameplay. As for now, other healers are better whether it is raids, dungeons, or trials. The reason being, sage has few abilities that could be used for emergencies healing.
Overall, I rate Sage job 8.5/10
One of the most highly anticipated class, the Reaper. This scythe-wielding is a close combat damage dealer that shares the same equipment as Dragoon. The main trait of the reaper is the avatar, a grim reaper-like figure that helps you shred through enemies.
The avatar offers multiple strong attacks followed with normal attacks and these combinations can defeat enemies in seconds. If you think ninja class are fast, you haven’t tried the Reaper yet. With its mobility, dexterity, and constant buff, the Reaper is a force to be reckoned with.
At level 80, you will gain an ability called Enshroud that allows you to transform into the dark reaper itself. My first initial thought when I played this class was pure overreaction. I felt I was on ecstasy, shredding through the enemy and when I activated the Enshroud ability, I felt like Ichigo going bankai from the Bleach anime.
Joke aside, this class is splendid and quite balanced. There are no issues when I play this class in harder raids or dungeons, although the positioning for certain abilities to deal more damage can be quite annoying sometimes. Overall, I am very satisfied and have been main-ing this class since day 1 and will continue to do so.
I rate the Reaper class 9.5/10
The is “Our Story”
For non-spoiler purposes, I won’t talk much here as I respect the game and the players who haven’t finished the story.
The hero, you, and the Scion of The Seventh Dawn are facing another series of problems fighting against evil forces. This time, the Garlean empire is back, preparing for another conquest causing the second coming of Umbral Calamity. As the name suggests, “Endwalker” concludes the end of Hydaelyn and Zodiark arc.
For all FFXIV fans out there, this is not the end, we are expecting another story in the future. Be prepare for what’s coming and get excited once more.
The tale of Hydaelyn and Zodiark that began in A Realm Reborn will reach its conclusion in #Endwalker!— FINAL FANTASY XIV (@FF_XIV_EN) February 6, 2021
Don't worry, our adventures in #FFXIV are far from over. As they say, the end of one story always leads to the beginning of another… pic.twitter.com/Wxyf26GEzT
As you play through the story, you will experience a roller coaster of emotions. Those little side jokes, tragedies, thrills, and surprises make the story wholesome. The story itself can be a little shocking and complex to some because of the plot twists. When you think the character you are expecting to be the final boss, the plot twist will surprise you.
Also, prepare yourself a box of tissue and hot chocolate as the story will get even more depressing. This time, the game lets you immerse yourself in the story with new interactions for the main quests such as stealth missions and many more. I strongly suggest to not skip any cutscenes but read every dialogues, and take your time with all the cutscenes.
Furthermore, the new areas are simply gorgeous and breathtaking along with a perfect choice of background music. The new dungeons, trials, and raids are astounding. The vibes feels different, the sceneries are beautiful, the difficulties are quite challenging yet fun, and the mechanics are much easier to follow.
There are new additions to the trust system when you join a dungeon and expect new characters that will assist you in completing. I would strongly suggest using the trust system for each of every dungeon you do for the first time in order to experience the maximum immersion to the game. There are a lot of minor changes to help improve the quality of life. It might not be much, but it is very helpful.
It took me roughly 4 days to finish the whole main story quests. However, every hour I spent was worth the money, and I will continue to play the game for a long time. I highly recommend purchasing the new Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker expansion.
Although starting a new game for new players can be very overwhelming especially to those who want to catch up to the latest content, I can assure you it is all worth the time and effort to watch the story from the beginning. It might take a month or two to catch up but that is what makes FFXIV wonderful, the unending content for the players!
Disclosure: Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker review license was supplied for reviewing