FF14 Dungeons, Take Two

This past week I ended up running the dreaded early dungeon gauntlet in FF14 again – you know, the three early dungeon Square Enix requires everyone to do in order to move the Main Story Quest forward. Things more or less went as well as last time.

The first dungeon run went comically bad. As soon as we zoned in, the healer just ran through half the dungeon and aggroed all of the mobs. This, of course, resulted in a wipe. The healer never rezzed themselves though, which is pretty indicative that his/her behavior was intentional trolling. Unfortunately, you cannot Vote Kick someone within X minutes of zoning into the dungeon, so we all had to wait.

Then it turned out that the healer and the other DPS voted to kick the tank, which happened to be frequent In An Age commenter, MaximGtB (who offered to help me through these early dungeons). It took me a while to figure out what even happened though, because FF14 does not allow you to Whisper or receive a Whisper while in a dungeon. And I did not know if there was an easy way to teleport out of a dungeon you were in.

So, yeah, comically bad.

After that, MaximGtB shepherded me through the three dungeons without major incident. In two of the dungeons, we had a Thaumaturge or Black Mage or whatever that insisted on using a knockback in their spell rotation, much to my Pugilist’s (and the tank’s) annoyance. It was also kind of annoying fighting 3-4 mobs at a time with zero AoE abilities. I suppose that might be a feature rather than a bug at this stage, as it would be easy for new players to spam that sort of thing and get aggro.

My overall impression about FF14’s dungeons have not really changed. There is zero reason for these early dungeons to be mandatory and/or exist. They are apropo of nothing. I don’t remember if Wailing Caverns had any lead-in, but other early WoW dungeons like Deadmines were the culmination of zone-wide storylines. That the devs required these three irrelevant dungeons for the MSQ simply boggles my mind. Mandatory is one thing, zero story is another.

In any event, further progress on my character will have to wait, as Square Enix is “moving data centers” and that apparently requires two full days of downtime. Which is almost enough time to be tempted to pop another WoW Token.

…think I’ll start Mass Effect: Andromeda instead.

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Posted on May 16, 2017, in FFXIV, Impressions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. After incidents like that Sastasha run with the troll healer, I’m not sure that the sprout icon that marks new characters is such a good idea. I don’t know if people are more inclined to leniency or to trolling when they are put together with 3 sprouts as that healer was. It’s a shame that new players have to experience that, especially given that the dungeons are mandatory. The experience at max level is generally much better, so this situation only gives a poor first impression.

    Regarding AoE, only two classes have it at that low level: thaumaturge and archer. Without any of those, pulling more mobs at a time is a waste of time, since the healer spends more time healing instead of attacking.

    As for the dungeons being mandatory, pretty much everything the main quest has you do at that point is grunt work. You are still a nobody in a subligar (http://imgur.com/a/YzdrM), so no quest you do is going to have you save the world or anything like that. With that perspective, those dungeons kind of make sense. Once the story starts picking up, the dungeons you are sent to are justified much better.

    From a gameplay perspective, I think it’s better for the early game to be similar to the endgame, instead of the two being completely different beasts. Since end game is mostly about dungeons/raids (or fishing, or glamours) I find it sensible to have all those early dungeons as mandatory, and they seem to be at least somewhat effective, because, again, situations like that Sastasha run rarely happen at max level.

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    • I don’t think anyone was saving the world in Deadmines either. :P

      I might also dispute the “my character is a nobody.” Everyone’s character at that point has visited the heads of state of three countries, and convinced them to meet for a remembrance party. They have airship access, which is definitely something the average person in those nations can only dream of.

      Getting chores as quests is fine, but I feel like Square Enix definitely dropped the ball in terms of integrating those dungeons at all with the quests in the area. It might be difficult justifying all three dungeons happening simultaneously – rather than being at the end of three separate MSQ plot lines – but at least one out of three making sense would be better than none.

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  2. Knockbacks should be banned from existence unless you sign a waiver to your soul or something. Sure in PvP they have a place to bump people into nothingness (think Eye of the Storm), but in an instance? They are either pure annoyance for melees or downright exploit, like in NW where there’s a boss fight where you can bump all the adds it pops off the platform just after it pops them……
    In GW2 I play a condi Ranger (condi = DoT, don’t ask why they must use a different term), and I just want to feed people bumping mobs out of my AoEs to my cats…..

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    • The thing I was most worried about were the mobs bugging out after being launched. Well, that, and the combined loss of DPS from myself and the tank. So in that sense, that player increased their own DPS while reducing the overall damage from everyone else.

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  3. I have a lengthy list of reasons why I never subbed to FFXIV after the free month and compulsory dungeons is close to the top of it. I do take MaximGtB’s point about having the early game resemble the end game though. At the time I was highly irritated by the unavoidable dungeons but now I’ve seen what the game turns into later on I feel almost grateful Square gave me such a clear warning how much I would hate it. Of course, they could just have designed a better endgame…

    @Helistar – Hearing a GW2 ranger complain about knockbacks is beyond irony! Ok, condi ranger, no Longbow 4, but still…

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    • The most frustrating part, to me, is the fact that everyone talks about how amazing the story is. Which it might turn out to be, we’ll see. But having that story be gated behind dungeons feels a little absurd. I already feel guilty enough running these dungeons and watching the cutscenes, while the rest of the veterans just want to complete their daily run.

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      • Hah, wait until you get to level 50 story dungeons to feel guilty. The cutscenes there take at least a few minutes each. Most veterans just accept the situation. Newbies get to watch their cutscenes, we get their bonus tomes. Some might complain, but there’s pretty much nothing they can do about it, since they can’t kick people at the beginning of the instance and then there’s no point.

        In the first expansion, they moved away from those cutscene-heavy dungeons. The cutscenes are either at the end of the dungeon (after killing the final boss) or as part of the quest that took you there. However, if I recall correctly, all dungeons (except “hard modes”) in the expansion are part of the main story quest, so… “please look forward to it”, I guess?

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