The latest Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn patch was recently released with a large host of new content added. While some of it is good, other parts of it are a bit more… questionable.
While so far I have not personally done the three new 4-man dungeons – Hullbreaker Isle, Tam-Tara Deepcroft (Hard), and Stone Vigil (Hard) – I have heard they are absolutely fantastic. For the most part, the newest section of Crystal Tower is also fantastic, and I’ve also heard good things regarding Frontlines. The latest parts of the story are good – though a bit confusing at times. The Ramuh battle makes you think and have to do a little coordination. That’s what went right with this patch. What went wrong is everything else.
As I mentioned, Crystal Tower is for the most part fantastic. What I don’t find fantastic is that the weekly gear lockout has once again made it’s return. However, this time there’s more to it. Syrcus Tower – the proper name of the latest part of Crystal Tower – can drop items that were previously only available in the Second Coil of Bahamut. These items share the same lockout with the regular gear. Syrcus Tower can also drop, on occasion, a couple of non-lockout items in a fourth chest from the final boss. This includes a minion which is an absolute free-for-all between twenty four people. Minions in a loot pool have no conditions for needing and thus can be needed by everyone.
While I suppose it’s really just a minor issue, I find the return of the loot lockout a bit frustrating. I personally have all current battle jobs at level 50 and trying to get gear for them all is a nightmare. Seeing gear I could possibly use, even if just for temporary pieces until I can get better, just fall to the ground is painful. It was the same way with the first part of Crystal Tower, however once the loot limit was abolished it was much less of an issue. Not to mention, Crystal Tower gear still isn’t nearly as good as finished Soldiery or Second Coil of Bahamut gear. Gear that has been available for three months now.
A feature that has been promised for quite some time now is the ability to queue for Crystal Tower – first Labyrinth of the Ancients and now Syrcus Tower as well – as an alliance. This has still not been added and thus you’ll find many situations of the constant withdrawing as groups try and get with their free company friends. The fact this is still not added with there now being two 24-man raids just adds to some annoyance.
Really though, I think the biggest – and likely most known – issue out of this patch is the Hunt system. To put it simply, the hunt system is a disaster. In concept it was a great idea. Receive a bill to find and defeat a monster out in Eorzea and receive a reward for doing so. What it’s turned into though is an absolute free-for-all with the strongest enemies in the hunt system dying in mere seconds. Not to mention, there are people out there using outside programs to find out exactly when and where these monsters are spawning so they can kill them as soon as possible.
What makes it worse is the rewards you can get. The basic rewards for completion are tomestones of Mythology and Soldiery, along with what is known as Allied Seals. Allied Seals can be used to purchase a variety of things… including items previously limited to within Second Coil of Bahamut. While, as previously mentioned, they have also been added into Syrcus Tower, what’s the point when you can spend a fraction of the effort and time and get those same rewards? It has turned the community on each other and has completely brought in all the old, very unneeded, Final Fantasy XI drama that used to be attached to notorious monster camping.
The hunt system need a complete overhaul and the rewards need to be adjusted. The Sands and Oils of Time need to be removed from the items you can get with Allied Seals and returned to just being there for those who do Second Coil of Bahamut. Now, let me just say I come here saying this as someone who has yet to even beat Binding Coil of Bahamut Turn 5, let alone step any foot into attempting Second Coil of Bahamut. I feel it completely unfair that what used to be limited is now turning the community into a completely toxic community.
Oh, and one final thing to just finish this off… Those rewards you can get for a fraction of the effort via hunts? Yeah, still limited for those who do Second Coil of Bahamut. Second Coil of Bahamut, mind you, is still on a raid lockout system, limited to completion of each turn in order once per week. If you complete all four turns, you get a whopping two Sands and Oils of time to split among eight people.
Square Enix, please give the hunt system a complete rethink. Also, while you’re at it, fix the limited of one piece of gear in Syrcus Tower per week, especially since it’s still not even as good as the gear in Second Coil. Also, implement the pre-formed alliance queuing for Syrcus Tower and Labyrinth of the Ancients. Really, I just want to see activity back in other content instead of everyone getting at each others throats to do hunts and just ignoring everything else so they can get their Sands/Oils of Time.