FFXIV: Version 6.5 Update

 

I know what you’re thinking… It’s been a whole year since I posted about Final Fantasy XIV. I admit, it’s been a while. After all, Patch 6.5 actually dropped back in October. So what took so long? Well, if I’m being completely honest, I haven’t posted because I stopped playing the game. I suppose I just got a little burned out. Endwalker took a lot out of me and the content patches that were released in its wake didn’t exactly capture my interest like I hoped they would. So, I decided to step back and see what SE was going to deliver next. I figured, if 7.0 doesn’t dazzle me, Endwalker makes a great stopping point for a veteran player. After all, it does tie up the original story that started all the way back in 1.0.

Well, once news of the new expansion Dawntrail hit the net, I knew that I wasn’t going to go quietly into the night. But, I decided to put off my return until just before the new expansion so I wouldn’t grow bored. If you follow the game, then you know that time is now. For the last month, I’ve been catching up on everything that patch 6.5 (and its point releases) have to offer. I’m happy to announce that I’m now 100% ready for the next chapter of this game once it hits early access in a few days. In the meantime, let’s take a look at everything that’s happened since this time last year.

Since I last posted, patches 6.5 – 6.58 have been released. Collected as a whole, these patches include the following updates to the game:

  • New main scenario and side quests
  • New trials
  • New raids
  • A new regular dungeon
  • New variant/criterion dungeons
  • Updates to Island Sanctuary
  • New seasonal/misc events
  • New relic weapons
  • New emotes, hairstyles, etc
  • New items, furnishings, etc
  • Various refinements, balancing changes, items, and Q.o.L tweaks

The patch cycle for FFXIV has become pretty routine at this point. Everyone was expecting the new Pandemonium raid content and maybe a new dungeon or two. But it seems that SE decided to pull out all the stops with the final patch for Endwalker. In addition to all of the expected updates, there were a handful of surprises this time around as well. For example, these patches saw the addition of three new variant/criterion dungeons, an entirely raid dungeon, and a new relic weapon system (tied to the Hildibrand storyline of all things).

All of this, combined with the usual patch content, made for a considerable amount to stuff to occupy player’s time while we waited for the next expansion.

Having now gone through all of the new content, I have to say that I am quite impressed with the way SE handled the finale for the Endwalker story. There was never any doubt that Endwalker was an epic conclusion to everything we’ve seen in the game thus far. But something about it just didn’t resonate with me the way that other expansions did. I was never able to put my finger on it. It just felt somewhat unresolved. I know that’s an odd thing to say considering the story wasn’t complete until 6.5. But I suppose what I mean is it just felt like SE didn’t really know where they wanted to take the post-Endwalker story. Well, whatever the issue may have been, 6.5 managed to resolve it. By the time I was done with this content, my opinion on Endwalker had changed dramatically. In fact, it changed so much that I think I may actually take advantage of the New Game+ feature once I finish with Dawntrail so that I can experience it all over again.

The storytelling in the 6.5 quests just seemed to be a step up from what was found in 6.1 – 6.4. The events were more interesting, the characters had more depth, and even a touch of the classic humor from the early days of the game seemed to be back on this menu.

It was a welcome change.

The last few quests from this patch set up the events that lead into Dawntrail expansion. This time around there’s no urgent end-of-the-world scenario. Instead, it’s a simple case of wanderlust that seems to be the driving force. The player is presented with an offer to explore the New World – a continent of opportunity to the west of the Eorzea. It’s pure adventure and it seems like anything is possible when it comes to this new horizon. That’s no mistake. Final Fantasy XIV 7.0 Dawntrail certainly signifies a new chapter for the game. Not only are we getting our first taste of whatever the new storyline is going to be, but Dawntrail is also giving us a major graphical update to the existing game. There’s a lot to be excited for when it comes to the future of FFXIV.

I have the collector’s edition pre-ordered and I’m ready to jump in as soon as early access launches in a few days!

Old Game Hermit

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