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The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV's Eternal Bond

Eliot Lefebvre
12.15.14
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Weddings in MMOs always feel like content aimed directly at me. However many side benefits might exist, weddings are fundamentally roleplaying tools, ways for people to mark themselves as bound together in a virtual space that serves no purpose beyond character establishment. So even if I weren't planning on taking part in the marriage ceremony in Final Fantasy XIV, I'd be happy it existed for that reason alone.

Of course, since my actual real-life wedding was objectively the best day of my life and the best possible wedding, there's no way that the Eternal Bond setup could quite match that. But for roleplaying purposes, my character was engaged, so I was still looking forward to it. All that's left is to take part in the actual ceremony, but there's a lot of stuff to be looked at about how it's handled thus far and what's praiseworthy or just plain baffling in the setup stages.



You could build another chapel.First of all, let me say that the method of handling the fees for promise wristlets is pretty clever on a whole. If you have the money to pay for a ceremony but the person you're marrying does not, that's fine; buy two, trade one. I also don't think the shadow economy that immediately sprang up is an inherently bad thing because there's space for these elements in a game, such as Guild Wars 2's Gem system and WildStar's CREDD. For that matter, it's mildly astonishing that with the game's persistent gilselling issue, no one has proposed some way of converting gil to crysta or something similar.

And yes, it costs money for the higher-tier services. This doesn't bother me; we've had this discussion before. That ship has sailed. Free options also exist. It is the definition of a cosmetic upgrade. Those of you who are severely bothered by this, go ahead and protest by not buying it. There's nothing else to be done.

The actual quest itself is cute. I'm pleased with how the wedding dress flows and animates, although it gets a little hinky with the Ninja run/jump animations. Visiting the marks of the Twelve is a nice touch as they're a neat visual part of the world setup and something that doesn't normally get a great deal of attention. It's not a difficult quest, especially if you're a high enough Goldsmith to just synth the rings yourself.

I suspect the internal design of the Sanctuary is a reference to the Hall of the Gods from Final Fantasy XI. It's a bit more welcoming than that building, although the lack of Promathia contributes to that.

Actual customization options aren't as robust as I would like. You can choose between three ceremony types, but all three seem to be hitting part of a marriage ceremony without all of the important bits. It would be nice if the ceremony was a bit more granular -- choose the officiant, choose which elements of the ceremony you move through, choose the ending moment -- but the options at least do allow you to be as romantic or as contractual as you'd like. Procession and recession options are also a bit spare. They exist, which I like, but still.

Being able to choose the carpets and the flowers independently is a nice touch, though. The fact that those options come into play on higher tiers also makes sense, since that's when you get the dyeable garments.

The musical selections consist of 12 tracks, pretty much all of which are from elsewhere in the game. I would have loved to see segments of existing music expanded into full wedding tracks; Wailers and Waterwheels has a segment that would work quite well. Still, it's a wide enough selection of tracks; you can feel free to use Agent of Inquiry in there, too, which is worthy.



No options for drunken best man speeches, though.
What really screws up the whole affair is the reservation system, and it's not helped one bit by the fact that Square-Enix put one chapel in the game, so reservations are partitioned into distinct two-hour blocks. This is, honestly, just plain dumb. It already created a major rush for the first week (which I was not trying to reserve), and it will create rushes and frustration in the future as well, a nod to verisimilitude that the game really does not need and one that serves no real purpose beyond player frustration.

I honestly can't think of a good explanation for why this is in place. Server load? Attempting to justify the Platinum pricetag by giving priority reservations? I don't see much of an actual benefit to it regardless. Better to be able to schedule how you'd like with a little more flexibility. You can have multiple weddings going on! It won't break the game, really.

I have not, obviously, taken part in the actual ceremony yet. It seems fun just the same, though. There's time for a reception and all of that, and various little touches for the wedding-but-we're-not-calling-it-that. And guests can get a little thing, too, so there's a reason to show up to a pretend special day in a pretend world.

There are issues with the system; don't get me wrong. The pricing is fair for individuals, but you have to jump through too many hoops for fairly small benefits as a whole. Reservations are kind of silly. More options would be nice. But the fact that an in-game marriage system made it in while being completely agnostic in regard to character gender is a nice touch. Plus it gave me more in-character reason to save up and earn a larger house, and that's always fun.

Feedback can be left in the comments below or sent along by mail to eliot@massively.com. Next time around... oh, yes, we have one last fanfest coming, don't we? Oh boy.

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 other Monday, covering almost anything related to Square-Enix's vibrant online worlds.

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