FFXIV: “paid scenario shortcut”

I’ve not been paying much attention to the approach of the Stormblood expansion for Final Fantasy 14 since we unsubbed for nearly two years now as the weight of content that blocked progression at level 50 to Heavensward brought our progress in the game to a shuddering halt. That was after we’d (foolishly) bought the expansion in the heady excitement of the pre-expansion build-up.

A Bard and Scholar as we left them

So I read with mixed feelings over at Aywren’s blog that a catchup mechanism of some kind is going to be on offer in Stormblood, that is a means to not only jump up to level 60 (the start of the next expansion) but to also skip the main scenario quests either for A Realm Reborn (up to patch 2.55) or Heavensward (up to patch 3.56). There’s a catch though, both options are a cash shop item costing real money (£13.32 and £18.50 respectively).

If I weren’t on a stricter budget now I’d possibly be tempted to unlock Heavensward to finally get to see that expansion – though with the bitter knowledge that buying Stormblood would give us access to Heavensward anyway, so the money spent nearly two years ago on the first expansion was a waste. Paying to skip that expansion entirely doesn’t tempt me even if that means being behind the bulk of the playerbase as per usual.

Paying to skip level 50 content…

These options to skip forced content barriers are on top of the mandatory subscription for the game – our characters are already level 50 so, unlike Bhagpuss or any newer players under level 35, we can’t return to our characters without forking out £8+ a month on top of any catchup items. I suppose it’s not that much to pay, and I’m not against subscribing if I’m really enjoying a game. There are other factors to weighh such costs against though; for instance I can play WoW more or less for free via the WoW Token system, that is if the price doesn’t keep rocketing skywards. Likewise I can play LOTRO via my lifetime subscription as much as I desire, and equally Elder Scrolls Online is buy-to-play so no mandatory costs there either.

Despite all this I do like the stellar design and artwork of FFXIV, and have continued to follow the game in blogs and news sites casually. So I will be interested to see reactions to the class & combat changes that Stormblood is bringing once the expansion launches, there’s room for improvement based on when I last played. As to whether we ever return to the game, and whether we’d pay to unblock our characters progress, that I can’t say for now.

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2 Responses to FFXIV: “paid scenario shortcut”

  1. I agree that these boosts are costly. But I also don’t think they just want people to bypass their content willy-nilly without putting thought into it (like you have here). The heart of FFXIV is the story, and I’m a bit torn on handing players the ability to simply skip it all… though I understand why they are giving this option.

    While it feels expensive to boost a character at $25 a job, if you compare it to other games that provide this function (EQ2 – $35, LOTRO – Around $40, and WoW – I read it was $60??) it’s actually not that bad. They are also limiting the job boosts in the beginning to one job per character per account (I think), so that people don’t just drop a bunch of cash to fully level all jobs. Though I know I don’t have the money to do that.

    I very briefly considered buying a job boost for Red Mage, because Red Mage is introduced at level 50, and in order to play through Stormblood on this job, I need it to be 60. However, for what ever reason, Red Mage and Samurai are not allowed the job boost (bummer). So, nope, they get no money from me!

    As for my other jobs, with Palace of the Dead, Heavensward Beast Tribe Quests, daily hunts in Ishguard, and Leveling Roulette, it really isn’t too bad to get a character to 60 the natural way. I have 9 level 60 jobs across two characters, and a smattering of alts that I’m working up. I consider myself pretty casual, and really don’t grind content to level.

    Once Stormblood hits, chances are they’ll boost the experience you get from level 50-60 and boost experience from the MSQ, so leveling through that will be much faster, too.

  2. To me it seems like if you feel the need to pay to skip content, it can’t be a game that you’re that passionate about in the first place, but maybe that’s just me.

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