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Well, I’m addicted to Final Fantasy XIV Online

At the moment, the MMO scene feels very robust, especially for a genre that seemed like it was on the way out just a little while ago. There is, as always, World of Warcraft in both of its retail and Classic flavors. In addition, New World is (presumably) coming out at the end of September, and Lost Ark is finally heading west sometime this fall thanks – strangely – to Amazon, even though it has its own in-house MMO to focus on. However, perhaps the most noteworthy MMO right now is Final Fantasy XIV Online.

There’s a lot of baggage in that sentence I just typed. There seems to be a lot of distaste for World of Warcraft currently, not just because of the direction of the game in general but also because of the shocking sexual abuse allegations against Blizzard in recent months. But, regardless of the reason, there are a lot of people ready to put down World of Warcraft – at least temporarily – and see what else is out there.

I’m one of those people. Two years ago, I wrote an article with a very similar title to this all about my rekindled addiction to World of Warcraft. I wrote that article a short time after World of Warcraft Classic came out, and there’s no question that it quickly got its hooks in me. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic played WoW Classic for just about a year, eventually calling it quits a few weeks after AQ40 was added to the game. The grind of being in a semi-hardcore raiding guild got to me, and I quickly became burnt out.

When I quit WoW Classic, I had every intention of returning for the launch of The Burning Crusade Classic (which hadn’t been confirmed at that point but was nevertheless a foregone conclusion). I even told my guild that I’d be back for TBC Classic, because to me, that was peak WoW. My determination to return to the game diminished a bit when I saw that Blizzard was launching a paid cloning service for The Burning Crusade because, to be honest, that’s one of the stupidest in-game purchases I’ve ever been confronted with.

It took another hit when I heard the rumors that Blizzard was planning to bring the WoW Token to TBC Classic, and what was left of my desire to return straight-up vanished when these sexual abuse allegations surfaced. I still wanted to play an MMO, and with WoW Classic off the table, no chance of returning to retail WoW, and New World‘s release date in a state of constant uncertainty, there was really only one place to turn: Final Fantasy XIV Online.

I am clearly not the only person who has picked up Final Fantasy XIV recently, as the game is enjoying a surge of interest and popularity. It’s easy to see why, too, because so far, Final Fantasy XIV has been fantastic. Certain parts of the game feel like World of Warcraft Classic, but the similarities don’t go super deep. For someone who has played WoW Classic, Final Fantasy XIV feels familiar enough to settle in but different enough to still be exciting.

One of the things I like most about Final Fantasy XIV is the fact that it takes a lot of the anxiety out of creating a character. I’m the type of person who will spend a decent chunk of time watching videos about a game’s various classes before I pick one. For example, in the lead-up to WoW Classic, I spent a very long time thinking about what class I wanted to play as my main because that’s not something you can change after creating your character. If you want to play a different class, you have to make another character.

However, in Final Fantasy XIV, you’re not locked to one class. Instead, you can change your class whenever you want simply by changing the weapon you have equipped. Of course, you still have to level each class individually, but you’re never forced to stick with just one. Plus, if you’re like me and you enjoy the leveling process in MMOs, being able to switch to and level new classes on a whim is actually something of a dream.

For instance, knowing nothing at all about the classes, I picked Archer as my starting class in Final Fantasy XIV – you can see my character as a budding Archer in the image below, in fact. At level 30, the Archer becomes a Bard, a class that at times can have a very involved, reactionary skill rotation that you need to pay close attention to. I’m not sure if I’m going to stick with Bard in the long run, but for now, I’m rolling with it to see if it grows on me, and I know that if it doesn’t, I can try out other classes without having to start over from scratch.

That’s a very freeing feeling for someone who is used to WoW Classic‘s rigid class structure where only certain races can play as certain classes, and when you pick one combo, that’s what you’re stuck with. Any race in Final Fantasy XIV can play any class in the game, and as a result, Final Fantasy XIV lets you create the character you want, rather than forcing you to create a character that can play the class you want.

Another thing I like about Final Fantasy XIV is the focus on story. I’ve only finished A Realm Reborn, and I’m getting ready to dive into the expansions, but so far, I like what I’ve seen of the story. Like any JRPG, there are some low points and some high points, but I’m happy that Final Fantasy XIV focuses on narrative to the point where you feel like you’re playing a regular RPG as you make your way through the main questline.

The deeper I get into this game, the more it opens up, and the more it becomes clear just how good it is. Now that I’m at the end of A Realm Reborn and facing down Final Fantasy XIV‘s three (soon to be four) expansions, I’m getting more and more excited to get my first class to the level cap, finish the main story line, and start leveling new classes.

The community in Final Fantasy XIV also deserves a special shout-out. I don’t know if I’ve ever met an online community that’s as welcoming as the one in Final Fantasy XIV. When I’m diving into a new MMO (or just a new game in general) and learning my way around the mechanics, there can be some concern that I’m slowing down other people in my group, but every veteran player I’ve encountered has been very helpful, patient, and understanding. It feels like you don’t see that often in online communities these days.

Overall, I’m very impressed with Final Fantasy XIV so far. I’m shocked that I like the game as much as I do, because at the outset, I started playing Final Fantasy XIV as a way to kill time. While I’m definitely planning on spending some time in New World and Lost Ark when those games finally release, Final Fantasy XIV Online might just be my main game for a long time to come.

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Warcraft’s Biggest Streamer Leads a Final Fantasy XIV Charge

After eight years and a hard reboot, Final Fantasy XIV has shattered its own concurrent player records in the past few weeks alone, welcomed too many new players for the servers to handle, and even temporarily sold out of digital keys. And there’s a good chance its sudden surge in popularity is all down to one person: Popular World of Warcraft streamer Asmongold — and the legion of fans he unwittingly commands.

For years he had scoffed at the game — his love of MMORPGs and adventure tainted by “weebs” and catgirls. Then, spurred on by a bunch of other WoW personalities leaving his favorite game during its longest content drought in 17 years and a misleading article claiming Final Fantasy XIV had taken the crown of its rival, he finally decided to stroll over to the other side. As did thousands of others. And both games are better for it.

Exodus

Final Fantasy XIV‘s meteoric rise in popularity could have happened years ago, even back when it launched in 2013. For years, Asmongold has been one of — if not the — most popular World of Warcraft content creators around. A devoted player from the game’s launch back in 2004, he has limitless stories to tell about his time playing and growing up alongside Blizzard’s genre-defining MMO, from having his mom help him farm a rare mount to his entire guild finding out that they were all being played by the same girl. His relatable tales and the knowledge of the genre’s epic highs and disappointing lows have helped hold his stream high atop the charts, appealing to nostalgic MMO veterans and those with less time or skill who live vicariously through his on-screen adventures.

Leading up to the big day, streams and VoDs of Asmongold picking out his future race, class, weapon, and mount through the videos of other content creators helped build up hype. Throughout the now month-long saga, he’s had his best month to date. According to a 30-day metric view on Twitch Tracker, Asmongold has gained 55% more average viewers, almost doubled his hours watched, pulled in almost triple his average follower count, and hit his all-time highest concurrent paid subscriber count. By uniting the player base of the two biggest MMORPGs around, he managed to shatter his peak viewer count by a whopping 60% as well.

With the timing and a quick look at Google Trends, it’s even easy to suggest he is single-handedly behind search interest in Final Fantasy XIV, officially surpassing World of Warcraft for the first time ever. After years and years of wandering over Azeroth on stream, his journey over to Eorzea was a massive departure. That caught media attention, spawned headlines, reactions, and predictions around the internet, and ultimately sowed the seeds of Final Fantasy XIV‘s unpredictable rise.

Phoenix down

His vast MMO clout, paired with his preconditioned disdain for the game, struck fear into the denizens of Final Fantasy XIV before he’d even created his account. While the masses were thrilled to see him finally try World of Warcraft’s closest rival in its 17-year history, others were afraid that he’d slam its known sluggish start in front of a massive audience or bring a chunk of Blizzard’s less desirable player base upon the comparatively innocent and friendly atmosphere of Square Enix’s own.

Even as a person who understands Asmongold’s crude brand of humor and erratic on-screen persona, I was scared about how he’d react. I was genuinely afraid that he’d play one of my favorite games of all time for a few hours and walk away as soon as he realized how long it takes to get to any genuinely challenging content, bad-mouthing every aspect of it and alienating the masses that echo his opinions. Multiple expansions and years of changes and additions have made anything but the most recent bosses of Final Fantasy XIV, for the established MMO player, at least, a cakewalk. Shorted leveling paths equate to unbalanced stats and equipment that dilute the challenge of dungeons and quests that used to be memorable struggles when they were first introduced.

But many, including myself, forgot a key part of the equation. Asmongold has seen it all. He has lived through World of Warcraft’s worst. Many times. Final Fantasy XIV’s admittedly rough opening experience was no match for him. And while Eorzea’s bullies tried to scare him off, he blissfully ignored them all and fell in love with the cast of characters and the gorgeous world around him like so many others already had. His constant mispronunciation of key places and people, whether accidental or carefully carried on for the sake of audience engagement, made for a stream that was hard to turn off even seven hours in. And now he’s championing the game’s growth by streaming the early content that didn’t get the Twitch love back when it first released.

By accidentally leveraging his own popularity, Asmongold has given over 100,000 people a taste of what Final Fantasy XIV was like when it launched eight years ago. It’s a side of the game a massive chunk of the current player base likely didn’t experience the way it was originally designed. Years of new classes, alterations, and stat changes have made most of the game’s raid content before the current expansion far less challenging than they once were. Although there’s a way to crudely balance things out with the “minimum item level” toggle, it was incredibly rare for the average player to find anyone willing to treat old fights like new challenges. The rewards are useless by today’s standards, and its fashionable gear can be obtained without syncing down to face the challenge. But everybody wanted to play with the king.

His group filled instantaneously, and over the course of the next week, the same few would come back to run through the hardest content the base game had to offer. That gave Asmongold a Final Fantasy XIV introduction virtually no new player outside of launch day has experienced the way it was intended. He could have spiced things up by running with a team of other newcomers that followed in his wake, but by pairing up with veterans, he made his own skill the lowest common denominator in the group’s success. He proved to his haters that he was up to the task while providing his viewers with the constant thrill of progressing through the game’s difficult and often ignored content.

He’s living the Warrior of Light’s best life, and over 100,000 people have been along for the ride.

Asmongold posing with his Final Fantasy XIV raid team.

Room for two

There’s no reason for anyone on either side of the coin to get upset about one of the genre’s most prolific and influential streamers trying out the competition. He does it all the time. As someone who played World of Warcraft at its best and worst, just like him, I know that he’s genuine when he says he’ll never quit the game. Because it’s exactly what I do, too. Anyone with those kinds of memories will always flock back to see what’s new with their old favorite. It’s a lifetime investment that can’t just be kicked to the curb by the arrival of another good game.

A big part of Final Fantasy XIV‘s slow and steady rise stems from positive word of mouth. It’s likely how it eventually caught Asmongold’s attention as something that might be worthy of his gaze. Though it has a slow start and takes dozens of hours to get through, Final Fantasy XIV‘s delicately spun, award-winning storyline is told through an easily accessible main campaign — not unlike the average single-player title. It’s a hook that, alongside the game’s generous and meme-able free trial, is easy for players to dangle in front of anyone looking for a new adventure.

On the other end is World of Warcraft‘s sporadic campaign told through numerous games, books, comics, and disjointed cinematics — most of which are locked behind a comparatively selfish free trial and expansions its new leveling system makes completely redundant. Both have their problems, and that’s exactly why having a champion of the latter directly compare the two can only be a good thing.

Despite countless attempts, promises, and predictions, it has taken 17 years for another game to come even remotely close to World of Warcraft‘s popularity. The fact that one is on the cusp of taking the other’s crown won’t mean the death of a classic but a friendly rivalry between the two that will spur each into building on their strengths and fixing their weaknesses.

Asmongold getting a taste of a genuinely exciting competitor to the game that birthed his streaming career isn’t going to end one or the other; it will make them both as great as they can be.

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Square Enix will boot idle players from packed ‘Final Fantasy XIV Online’ servers

is seeing “record user numbers in all regions” after some popular streamers started playing the MMO. A major expansion is , and players may be returning or picking the game up ahead of Endwalker‘s arrival.

However, the game’s servers are struggling to handle the influx of players. Producer and director Naoki Yoshida many players in North America and Europe have had trouble logging in or creating characters recently because of “server congestion.”

Some North American servers were at maximum capacity for up to seven hours at some points last weekend, and the average queue times were around 10-20 minutes. On the European servers, players had to wait for up to 40 minutes.

Square Enix has revealed some measures to tackle Final Fantasy XIV Online‘s server issues. It has accelerated plans to boot out players who stay idle for too long. That feature is typically enabled when a new expansion arrives to help the systems cope with a surge in player numbers, as  notes, but Square Enix is bringing it back early. Yoshida also asked players to log out and free up spots if they’re inactive.

The publisher says the game’s North American data centers were recently upgraded. As of this week, the game supports up to 18,000 simultaneous logins in that region — up to 750 players per world server. The European data centers are in line for a similar upgrade soon.

Meanwhile, Yoshida noted the global semiconductor shortage has slowed delivery of servers to some data centers. Travel restrictions related to COVID-19 have prevented the server infrastructure team from visiting data centers too.

It’s fascinating to see a game that’s been around for eight years have such a massive, sudden increase in popularity, four months out from the next expansion. Still, it once again highlights the impact that streamers have on gaming culture.

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How to Defeat the Diamond Weapon in Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.5

After a clash with the Ruby Weapon, a battle with the Sapphire Weapon, and a brawl against the Emerald Weapon, the Diamond Weapon — said to use the combat data of the previous iterations to perfect the weapon program — has been released. There’s a problem, though: It’s not manned by its creator or a completely obedient and foolish pilot. Allie has already activated the warmachina’s oversoul functionality, sending the machine crashing through the Castrum hanger and into the general airspace. Now’s the time to put an end to the machine and nip the empire’s expansion-long science experiment in the bud.

The normal mode difficulty of Diamond Weapon isn’t a particularly challenging fight, but it does alter some otherwise well-known mechanics in ways that can trip up less experienced players. If you’re accident-prone and don’t want to risk wiping a group of random players, read on to find out all the essential Diamond Weapon strategies.

Further reading:

FFXIV Diamond Weapon Normal Mode Strategy

Move set

Armored (Phase One)

  • Diamond Rain: Deals heavy area damage to the whole team.
  • Photon Burst: Targets both tanks with a large area attack.
  • Adamant Purge: Deals a different area damage attack depending on which data (Ruby, Emerald, or Sapphire) is proclaimed before use.

Unlocked (Phase Two)

  • Auri Cyclone: Strikes either side of the arena, knocking the party back considerably.
  • Auri Arts: Carves a path for Diamond Weapon to dash along, which is considerably more complex when Magitek Field surrounds the arena.
  • Auri Doomstead: Deals heavy damage to the tank.
  • Outrage: Deals light area damage to the whole team.
  • Vertical Cleave: Strikes the last remaining arena side from the center long side, knocking the party back.

Armored (Phase Three)

  • Diamond Shrapnel: Targets two party members with tracking strikes that resolve with a larger area attack.
  • Articulated Bits: Generates small claws on one-half of both arena sides that attack dead ahead. This is usually paired with Adamant Purge (Ruby).

Diamond Weapon: Phase One

Diamond Weapon tank position

The first thing to note is that Diamond Weapon attacks both tanks simultaneously with linear beams of light, making it essential that they stand to the head or tail of the boss while the rest of the team stays on its flank.

Right out of the gate, Diamond Weapon does what most bosses of the Shadowbringers expansion does — demonstrate its party-wide damage move. Diamond Rain will strike the team for around 80% of the average player’s HP. You’ll have plenty of time to heal up after this first blow, but fail to keep topped up later in the fight and a Diamond Rain can come along to finish you off.

Shortly after this first attack, Cid will call up a second deck on the opposite side of the Diamond Weapon, signaling the fight’s main mechanic. Diamond Weapon occasionally cleaves either side of the arena with Adamant Purge, making it necessary to use the teleporters beside the enemy to jump between either side of the larger arena to avoid being hit. The side this hits is signaled by which of the boss’ hands glow with red claws, so you want to jump to the opposite side.

Diamond Weapon Adamant Purge claws

After a sneaky use of Diamond Rain, Photon Burst will target each tank, which they should take as far from the team as possible to minimize the chances of damaged party members being finished off. Adamant Purge will soon come out again, this time channeling Sapphire Weapon to blast a single party member with a powerful straight-firing laser that the whole team should group up to share.

Diamond Weapon: Phase Two

Diamond Weapon auri cyclone

Soon enough, Diamond Weapon will shed its armor, becoming an Ifrit reskin for a time. At this moment, it casts Auri Cyclone: A skill that can quickly make the whole fight go south. It slams two big blue circles on the arena, starting with whichever it’s facing first. Hug the circle closest and toward the longer side of your chosen platform to avoid being sent hurtling off the arena. It’ll end by knocking one side of the arena down into the clouds, so make sure to teleport over to the other before it’s destroyed. Healers will want to top the team up before Outrage is cast to deal a final blow.

Things only get more complicated from here on out. After littering the air space with a magitek field, Auri Arts is cast. The zig-zagging path of Diamond Weapon’s incoming sprint will briefly appear underfoot. Identify a safe zone and get in close. Once it settles down, expect the tank to take a large hit from Auri Doomstead.

FFXIV Diamond Weapon Auri Arts

For a little while now, Diamond Weapon will use the same few attacks repeatedly. If Auri Arts is cast without the magitek field, expect a simpler dash and slam combo than before. As Verticle Cleave goes out, hug the enemy as close to the knockback markers as you can or use a skill like Surecast to negate it. There isn’t much room for error here.

Diamond Weapon: Phase Three

Before long, Diamond Weapon risks overheating and gets back into its original armor, cycling the fight back to the first form. There are a few new tricks here, but nothing to be too concerned about. Now that you know the main mechanics, it’s just a case of looking for the tells and dodging incoming damage.

Diamond Shrapnel is a simple case of repeated strikes following two party members that ends with a larger bang that targets should position into the corners of the arena, whereas Articulated Bits sets up straight-firing miniature claws on one half of each arena that are easily avoided. Adamant Purge claws can be woven into this last one, so pay attention to the enemy’s hands to discern which side of the arena is truly safe.

With that barrage over with, Adamant Sphere arrives after a relatively tame Photon Burst, scattering four iconic meteor markers on both sides of the arena for the DPS to split up and soak. Things look to repeat after that, but Emerald Weapon data may kick in to dispense attack markers above every player that should be carefully separated to avoid heavy damage. That being said, it’s the final truly new attack. The fight more or less weaves and repeats until you knock Diamond Weapon out of the sky for good.

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Final Fantasy XIV Online PS5 open beta kicks off later this month: How to play

Just a day after Bethesda announced new details about the next-gen version of The Elder Scrolls Online, Square Enix is doing the same for its own MMORPG. Final Fantasy XIV Online is getting a PlayStation 5 beta, and not only is that beta going live later this month, but it’ll also allow PS4 players to bring their characters forward and use them in the test.

Square Enix announced today that Final Fantasy XIV Online‘s PS5 beta will be going live on April 13th, 2021 – a little under two weeks from today. The PS5 version will offer “lightning-fast loading times, greatly increased frame rates, true 4K resolution, 3D audio, and haptic feedback,” according to Square Enix. While the company didn’t give us any details about what kind of frame rates to expect, we’re guessing that the game will top out at 60 frames per second.

The process of hopping into the beta is a little bit different depending on whether or not you currently own Final Fantasy XIV Online on PS4 and, if you do, how you own the game. Those with a physical copy of the PS4 game simply need to sign into the PlayStation Network on their PS5 with the same account they play FFXIV Online with, then head to the FFXIV page on the PlayStation Store. From there, select the “…” menu and select “Final Fantasy XIV PS5 Upgrade Edition (Beta Version}” to begin downloading the beta. Once it’s downloaded, all you need to do is launch the PS5 version of FFXIV from the game screen and you’re good to go – no disc needed.

If you own the game digitally on PS4, the process changes a little bit. You’ll once again need to sign into the PlayStation Network on PS5 using the same account from the PS4 version, but this time you’re heading to your Game Library – once there, select FFXIV and then select “PS5 Upgrade Edition (Beta Version) on the right side of the screen. You’ll be taken to the PlayStation Store, where you’ll once again head into the the “…” menu to begin downloading the beta. When it’s done, just choose to launch the PS5 beta from the FFXIV game screen.

Those who are newcomers to FFXIV Online can still participate in the PS5 beta by going to the PlayStation Store and downloading the beta from the “…” menu. New users will have all of the content available through the free trial, while current users will need to have game time active in order to play. Square Enix says that official service for the PlayStation 5 version will “begin immediately upon the conclusion of the test,” whenever that may be, so we’ll keep an eye out for more details on that front.

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Microsoft Is Why Final Fantasy XIV Shouldn’t Launch on Xbox

Final Fantasy XIV has been on a wild ride over the last decade. Starting off as a train wreck that threatened Square Enix’s very existence before becoming one of its biggest revenue sources, the game has grown considerably throughout its existence. The MMORPG is about to get even bigger as fans predict that the fourth expansion pack could be announced at a fan event tonight.

There’s more than just new content to be considered for the game’s next update. With two new consoles out there, it’s time for its developers to talk shop about how they’ll be supported. A PlayStation 5-optimized version is a no-brainer, and with Microsoft’s new machine holding more power under the hood, it’s only natural for the game to finally make the jump. But it won’t. And, quite frankly, it shouldn’t.

The long road to stability

Credit: Famitsu

The PS5 and Xbox Series generation is just now getting started, and it seems like Square Enix could be enticed to bring its massive open-world game to more powerful devices. After all, as Final Fantasy XIV grows in popularity, so do the want and need to accommodate its ballooning following. But Microsoft’s noble gesture to leave no player behind is exactly why it may never be able to offer Eorzea to its fans.

With the exception of the franchise’s original MMO, Final Fantasy XI, releasing on Xbox 360, Final Fantasy XIV has skipped Microsoft’s console business entirely. Microsoft and Square Enix were previously in talks about bringing the MMO to its consoles, but it’s never gone beyond that. Some speculated that it was due to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold paywall blocking free-to-play and subscription-based games — a barrier Microsoft has committed to removing in the near future. With the wall about to fall and crossplay now more prevalent than ever, Square Enix has a whole new platform to grow its player base. But what if it’s ultimately the wrong direction for current players?

There’s no denying Microsoft’s latest machines are more than up to the job of powering Square Enix’s fantasy MMO. But that doesn’t mean they’re fit for the purpose. Microsoft’s commitment to have any and all Xbox games work across both current and last-gen machines threatens to hold Final Fantasy XIV back in much the same way the PS3 did at the start of the last generation.

It wasn’t until after producer Noaoki Yoshida came into the picture that the root cause of the game’s performance issues during the PS3 era became apparent. Large, empty zones, cutting-edge player models, and a ridiculously detailed plot were bringing even powerful PCs to their knees. Even with sacrifices made to get a version of A Realm Reborn out on PS3, the aging hardware struggled to keep up, and within two expansions, it was phased out completely.

FFXIV battle gameplay

Since then, the game has grown in more ways than one — new zones dwarf the old ones, major battles are more interactive and cinematic than ever, and player housing — a favorite feature among the game’s sprawling roleplay community — has flourished thanks to drastically reduced furniture limits. The PS3 hasn’t been the only casualty in keeping the game fresh, either. With the launch of Shadowbringers, support for low-spec PCs ended, all in a bid to ensure the developer’s ambitions weren’t held back by ancient hardware. And with World of Warcraft: Shadowlands pushing for SSDs as a system requirement, Final Fantasy XIV might not be far behind.

The powerful tech that drives the more noteworthy features of next-gen machines alone could mean great things for the future of FFXIV’s instance-based gameplay. Larger zones, more grandiose battle sequences, and snappier response times have all come from dropping older tech and embracing increased system requirements. When you’re scraping the barrel of one system’s resources, more powerful machines are left wasting their potential, leaving a game that still has so much to give no room to spread its wings.

A generational challenge

The delicate nature of releasing and supporting live-service games on platforms about to be phased out is nothing new. The original Destiny, one of the most expensive and anticipated games of the last decade, released simultaneously across both Sony and Microsoft’s new and old consoles. With the next generation of consoles fresh out of the gate, it was hard to imagine just how much developing for new and old tech meant holding one back in order to safely support the other. It didn’t take long for the cracks to show, though. Just a year after release, Bungie made the decision to expand player item storage. The seemingly easy addition came at a cost: Last-gen players could no longer compare the stats between two items.

FFXIV dungeon gameplay

Final Fantasy XIV has been forced to make similarly perplexing design decisions in the past, including moving the party bonus HUD element to a separate menu to allow each player’s available resource to be visible to the group in a fight.

Destiny as a whole oversold its promise of having massive planets to explore. On release, those worlds were nothing more than a collection of relatively small zones. Final Fantasy XIV ran into similar issues before its rerelease, with large maps consisting of needlessly complicated corridors being swapped for notably smaller, but generally less claustrophobic fields and deserts. Destiny 2 would eventually fix those faults, solidifying the idea that a game crafted with multiple generations in mind would only suffer for it.

I’m not bold enough to bet that Final Fantasy XIV won’t ever come to a Microsoft console. With a Series X sitting on my desk ready and raring to go faster than my PC at this point, I truly hope it does. It’s only natural to expect PS4 support to be dropped in the years to come as adoption rates grow. But until Microsoft relaxes its demand that any Xbox game runs on a machine as old as A Realm Reborn, don’t expect to be exploring Eorzea and beyond with your Gears of War squad in the near future.

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Final Fantasy XIV Guide: How To Get Every New Hairstyle, Emote, and Mount in Patch 5.45

Each Final Fantasy XIV patch features a bunch of new hairstyles, mounts, and emotes for role-players to drool over. Patch 5.45 is no different. From a Cerberus mount all the way to a spooky dance far too late for Halloween, there’s plenty in today’s update that players can use to kit out their character’s virtual wardrobe. Here’s how to get all the new cosmetics in FFXIV‘s 5.45 patch.

Further reading

FFXIV Patch 5.45: How to get the new mounts

Cerberus

By far, the biggest new addition in this patch is the Cerberus mount. Given patch 5.45 mostly revolves around the Bozjan Southern Front activity, it should come as no surprise to learn that you’ll need to brave the battlefield to obtain your own three-headed doggo.

In the past, simple treasure coffers you’d find on your journey through a Relic weapon zone like Eureka would yield some of the most monstrous mounts. Bozja isn’t quite so kind. The Cerberus mount is obtained by clearing the Delubrum Reginae raid on Savage difficulty.

Rather than being tied to a boss loot table, this one is tied to an achievement. So long as you’re there for the final kill, the achievement will trigger, and you’ll be able to redeem your mount from the vendor in Old Gridania.

Gabriel Mark III

FFXIV 5.45 Gabriel mount

For those not quite brave enough to attempt a 48-man savage run, a second mount is available through the Bozjan Southern Front. The Gabriel Mark III mount has a chance to drop from the final chest of the Delubrum Reginae dungeon on normal mode. The chance is likely quite low, but as the spoils of Delubrum chest is personal to each player, you won’t have to fight for rolls.

FFXIV Patch 5.45: How to get the new parasol, hairstyle, and dance emote

New hairstyle

FFXIV 5.45 new hairstyle

No doubt the most highly-requested (and valuable) item of the patch is the Modern Aesthetics — Early to Rise scroll — the new hairstyle. What essentially amounts to bed head, this hairstyle has been in the works for quite some time, being crowned the winner of a player design contest back in 2015.

So how do you get it? The Early to Rise hairstyle drops from the final chest in Delubrum Reginae (normal) in the Bojzan Southern Front. The chance of it happening is likely pretty low, but as the chest is personal to each player, you won’t have to roll against your fellow player. Just expect to run it a few times to finally see it drop.

New emote

FFXIV 5.45 new emote

If you want to get spooky, the new FFXIV 5.45 dance emote is for you. It’s not quite Thriller, but it’ll do. To get the Dark Entreaty emote, all you need to do is spend 50 Bozjan Clusters at the relevant vendor. Use the emote item from your inventory, and you’ll gain access to the /malevolence command.

New parasol

FFXIV 5.45 new parasol

Continuing the promise of adding new parasol designs over time, the Bozjan Southern Front now has its own. No longer tied just to the Ishgardian Restoration effort, getting the blue Pleasant Dot Parasol just requires spending 25 Bozjan Clusters at the relevant vendor. Easy.

FFXIV 5.45: Where to find the new orchestrion rolls

Patch 5.45 brings plenty of new places to explore, and with the promise of adventure comes a bunch of new music tracks to enjoy. As always, you can grab personal copies of these to use at the inn or in your own home. The patch contains a total of four new Orchestrion Rolls to be collected across two different unlock methods.

  • Gogo’s Theme: Redeemable for 500 Allied Seals from the Blue Mage vendor.
  • The Queen Awakens: Obtained as a Delubrum Reginae dungeon drop.
  • Giving Chase (Zodiac Age Version): Obtained as a Delubrum Reginae dungeon drop.
  • The Sochen Cave Palace (Zodiac Age Version): Obtained as a Delubrum Reginae dungeon drop.

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