Previously I wrote about my feelings on the recent 2.3 patch to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. This time I am going to address what has happened since that post – a “hotfix.”
Here we are one week past the release of patch 2.3 for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Throughout this past week there has been a very fast shift from focus on actual instanced content to hunts. The party finder has become more and more barren, occasionally picking up but quickly dying right back off. Two of the biggest pieces of instanced content added in this patch are becoming incredibly hard to do, despite what should be high popularity and demand for them. Why? Hunts.
Where there used to exist constant learning/please have experience parties in the party finder for the Second Coil of Bahamut is now either not there or replaced by things such as “Looking for a hunt party” or “Looking for a hunt linkshell.” Where one would expect to see “Ramuh Extreme learning party” you see the same as above. I list the latter here for one reason – it is content that was also added in patch 2.3.
Now of course, why am I here again? On the morning of June 15, 2014, Square Enix brought the servers down to apply a hotfix. Originally announced to only be for Frontlines content, mysteriously in the patch notes there was other stuff. Along with general bug fixes was a key thing – hunt adjustments. Let’s take a look at these…
- Elite marks maximum HP has been increased.
- Rank B maximum HP has been raised from solo to light party level, Rank A maximum HP has been raised from light party to full party level.
- Although the Rank S maximum HP level was already intended for multiple parties, we have further raised the necessary number to require even more parties.
- Similar to Odin and Behemoth, because raising the maximum HP of Rank S means stressed server loads due to the concentration of players, we plan to make ongoing adjustments as we watch the server situation.
- As the elite marks HP is increased, the amount of contribution points which affects the reward after defeating will be eased.
- S rank elite marks will have top display priority.
- Because the elite marks maximum HP have been changed to reflect the party numbers required, we are also looking into adjusting the amount from the “Regular mark bills” and “Elite mark bills” reward. We will continue to make careful content adjustments as we monitor player trends and server stress loads.
Won’t lie – these aren’t exactly the adjustments needed for the hunt system. With the marks now having more hp and having higher load priority, guess what that means? You guessed it – even more people doing them. Even more people ignoring all other content to take the “easy” route to get Sands and Oils of Time. As I mentioned in my previous article about this issue, these are items that were previously locked within the Second Coil of Bahamut – the hardest content currently available in the game. Additionally, adding in even more reward for successful hunt completion? Definitely not what was needed –well, outside of the higher loading priority for the S rank marks.
I have heard of Second Coil of Bahamut statics simply not even bothering anymore and just doing hunts. Those who are sticking with it are thinking of potentially quitting. Really, what’s the point if folks can get equivalently the same gear (High Allagan gear is still locked in the Second Coil) for a fraction of the effort? What’s the point if folks can get all the Sands and Oils of Time they want with no weekly raid or item drop lockout.
With more people now ignoring other content, even “key” roles such as Tanks are having longer than expected queue times into new content. Full parties going into the older part of Crystal Tower – Labyrinth of the Ancients – are having to wait a very long time to even get in. Want to do the later turns of Binding Coil of Bahamut? Forget about getting in within a reasonable amount of time. Want to do those Extreme primals? Forget about that too – people are just doing hunts for their Sands/Oils to get their Soldiery weapons and accessories!
To just add to the issue – and to why this older content is also being ignored so much now – you can obtain your tomestones of Mythology and Soldiery from doing hunts. Why bother doing older content when you can get way more in a fraction of the time for even less effort! Forget about the days of speed running Brayflox’s Longstep (Hard) for Soldiery! You can now cap your Soldiery in just a few hours by doing hunts! You can also easily gear up all of your jobs with hardly any effort through the Mythology! There is definitely an extreme balance issue going on here, one that needs to be addressed and soon.
We can only hope that Naoki Yoshida and Square Enix will address this severe issue soon, because it is throwing the balance of the game off by a lot. Whether this issue is addressed by adding a daily or weekly cap to the Allied Seals or whether it is by flat out removing the Sands and Oils of Time from the rewards, we don’t know. Of course, even removing the Sands and Oils of time won’t alleviate all of the issues – there are still desirable rewards within the hunt system beyond these items.
One final note – interestingly, following the recent hotfix there was also a post regarding bans for “illicit activity.” It has become known through the community that there are people using bots and radars to scan for and find the marks. The fact there was bans for “illicit activity” almost entirely proves this points.
I would like to give credit to Fusionx of Gamer Escape for the images used in this article. You can find his article, including his personal experiences, here.