First let's look at some of the elements that are going to seriously affect the endgame this week.
The new endgame
I talked not so long ago about the game's current endgame state, which consists of two instances and three fights followed by one big instance. (I am hesitant to call it a "raid" in the traditional sense, even if it's large enough to qualify.) Patch 2.1 will change that pretty significantly, so much that we don't yet know how thoroughly things will be shaken up.
We know that there will be four new endgame instances: one new four-person instance, two "hard modes" of existing instances, and the Crystal Tower. The Tower clocks in south of Coil in terms of progression, but Yoshida's mentioned possibly requiring a relic, which would mean it's not much south. The other three instances could fit in literally anywhere, especially as there's currently a dearth of content that's harder than Garuda but easier than Titan.
And then there are the new Primal battles, which raise all sorts of further questions. Case in point: the resurrection of the King Moggle Mog battle. The Good King dropped several weapons that are still floating around now in 2.0, some of which look pretty darn nifty, so I'm happy to have the chance to acquire them again. But the question is... if they're level 70, is there going to be much point? The Morbid Mogblade is arguably a bit better than Garuda's Gaze, but if the encounters are equally difficult, there's not nearly as much point to having both, and if one is more difficult...
Well, look at how many people farm Garuda for weapons compared to Titan and the point is pretty much made.
Furthermore, we have even harder Primal fights coming, and they have to occupy another spot within the hierarchy, still lower than Coil, which is supposed to serve as the apex. Aside from imagining the inherent horror of a harder Titan fight, I'm wondering about the rewards. Yes, they could be the existing hard mode fights with a lick of paint, but what would they reward players with? If it's just a matter of more weapons at once, that is both great and not terribly enticing, since it means the fights can't be that much harder. They have to drop something, but what?
Of course, we know there are gaps in the curve right now. Right now there are dropped sets for level 60 and then level 90 with nothing in between. (You can buy Darklight to ease the gap, obviously.) Weapons are much harder to acquire than they need to be. All of this will ultimately ease out the gap between the level 50 gear you start off with at the cap and the gear requirements of Coil; it's the where that's still ambiguous. If I had to bet, I'd guess 80 armor from Crystal Tower, 80 weapons from extreme primals, 65 armor from the new dungeons, and possibly some 65 weapons in one of the hard modes.
Punch your friends in the face
I am excited about PvP for one reason and one reason only: that armor. I want that armor for vanity purposes so badly. Even if I can never put it on when vanity slots are introduced, I want it just to wear when roleplaying around. It is so important to me.
All right. Deep breath. I'm excited about it for more reasons than that, actually, because PvP is important to the long-term health of a game. It's the first step toward creating a really healthy endgame through breadth rather than purely ascension. If it's the last step, we might have a problem, but I don't think that's the case for reasons I will elaborate on in a moment.
Right now, once you hit the level cap there's a pretty clear path for what to do. You can weave in other things if you want, but it all boils down to "kill primals and get myth." Once you've got the armor you want for the jobs you want, what more is there to do? Level another job or two? There's one progression track.
PvP gives you a chance to do something different. PvP makes it clear that you could focus on getting another job in full Darklight, or you could start working on getting your primary job's PvP set. Or perhaps you have a job that you only want to use in PvP and another that you use in PvE. I kind of suspect that Warriors are going to be beasts in PvP, so you could easily trick yourself out in high-end Warrior PvP gear while your Gladiator is in full AF+1.
We're starting off with a pretty boring PvP mode -- four-on-four arena deathmatch -- but in some ways I think that's actually better for the game. One of the big problems that crops up is that arena combat comes in later, when people have already spent a lot of time dealing with different maps and areas and specific PvP modes. A flat arena allows people to learn how the various classes pair off against one another in the closest thing there is to a neutral setting. No gimmicks for now, and you can learn all of the gimmicks in settings that actually require them.
Next week we'll cover, housing, treasure hunting, and dailies in one go. Wish me luck. Until then, you can leave feedback in the comments down below or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Eorzea to Vana'diel, there is a constant: the moogles. And for analysis and opinions about the online portions of the Final Fantasy series, there is also a constant: The Mog Log. Longtime series fan Eliot Lefebvre serves up a new installment of the log every Saturday, covering almost anything related to Square-Enix's vibrant online worlds.