FF14 is Going F2Pish

Even after repeated attempts, FF14 has never managed to hook me. Part of the reason is because I am mostly done with the MMO genre in general. Another part is that FF14 is front-loaded with dozens and dozens of hours of irredeemably bad, garbage questing. The bar is pretty low for MMO questing, sure, but when everyone pontificates on how FF14 has the greatest story of all time, the “*only after 60+ hours of terribleness” asterisk is usually missing. 

Nevertheless, I had heard of plans that the devs were going to overhaul the vanilla experience to make it less of a slog. Eyebrow raised, I made a mental note and went on with my life.

Well, the time is nigh.

Patch 5.3 is slated for August 11th and it includes:

  • Main Scenario Questline Update: A Realm Reborn – The A Realm Reborn main scenario questline will be reworked to give new players a more streamlined experience as they progress through the story leading to Heavensward. Additionally, players will be able to use flying mounts to take to the skies in A Realm Reborn areas upon completion of The Ultimate Weapon quest.
  • Expanded Free Trial – The free trial will now allow players to enjoy unlimited playtime up through level 60 and will also include access to Heavensward content, an additional playable race (Au Ra), and an additional three playable jobs (Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist).

It is difficult to get precise information regarding how “streamlined” is streamlined. I have heard estimates ranging from 13%-30% of the quests have been removed, and other non-removed quests have gotten trimmed back in terms of required items. If after all this I’m still asked to run a dungeon to collect cheese for my own banquet, then I’m going to expect some dev seppuku in the future.

One of the bigger surprises though, was the second bullet point. Square Enix is expanding the Free Trial from level 35 to level 60, and including all content of the main game and the first expansion, including the new race and classes introduced. And keep in mind this trial is not time-based. For all intents and purposes, this makes the front half of the game F2P. 

As it happens though, this will only be for “new” players. If your account has ever paid money to Square Enix, you are ineligible for any such trials. Which means if I come back to FF14, I will have to abandon the characters I already leveled. From *checks calendar* 2017. Which… okay, whatever. Hopefully the skids are greased enough that I can pass through the utter tripe of the starting experience and get to the supposed good stuff and see for myself if FF14 is the second coming. 

My guess is No, but I have been wrong before.

Posted on July 28, 2020, in FFXIV and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. These days people tend to be quite equivocal about the Heavensward MSQ too, although it was talked up plenty when it was new. I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

    I already made a new account when they introduced the first unlimited free trial so presumably that will be good to go for the new one.Does this change make WoW the only major MMORPG in which you can’t play at least the whole of the original, base game without a subscription?


    • Yeah, I have heard various things about those with current trials not needing to do anything to be upgraded. It’s just if you were foolish enough to pay Square Enix any money, you stay on the hook. You’d think they would want to make the transition back to playing their game smooth…

      I do wonder if WoW ever looks back at their trial. Probably not for Shadowlands though, considering the level squish is going to make level 20 be a third of the leveling experience. But maybe they will surprise us and basically leave the trial as it is, and suddenly everyone gets the first third free.


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