Final Fantasy XIV The End Game Review (Spoilers)


Final Fantasy XIV

By: Jason Siu


8 min read

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By now, you’ve probably read numerous reviews on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the vast majority of which are positive for Square Enix’s second take on its MMORPG. And while many of the reviews, ours included, touch on Final Fantasy XIV’s initial gameplay, wonderful storyline and beautiful world, not many take an in depth look at the game’s end game. As we all know, for an MMORPG to have any sort of lasting value, it has to have a great end game. So how does Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’s end game stack up? Read Full Cleared’s impressions below, as our staff has now collectively leveled numerous characters and jobs to 50.

A Realm Reborn was officially released on August 27, 2013 but numerous server issues limited playtime for many players. It was so bad in fact, that Square Enix chose to halt sales of the game for over two weeks, resuming them on September 16. As compensation to all those that were affected by the server issues, Square Enix gave an additional free seven days to players. But now that the server upgrades have been completed and it’s mostly been smooth sailing, how does Final Fantasy XIV stack up after almost a month?

Our staff has been playing as a level 50 White Mage (me), a level 50 Paladin and a level 50 Summoner, which means checking out all the end-game content has been relatively easy through the Duty Finder. Admittedly, having the tank and healer roles filled helps makes any MMORPG more enjoyable than a DD having to wait in queues for over 45 minutes. But the important question is, how is that end game content and is there enough to do in the game until Patch 2.1 arrives?

If you want the short answer, it’s a solid yes. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is one of those games where you log in even at level 50, and you have so many options that you might have a tough time deciding what to do. Each day I’m faced with the decision of whether I should level up a sub-class to gain more cross skills to make my White Mage healer better in raids, level a whole new sub-class and job entirely, level up my crafting, go gathering for materials to sell on the Market Board or run dungeons for Tomes to get better gear… you get the point. There are a ton of things to do in the game even if you’re the hardcore type that blitzes through all the content an MMORPG has to offer.

There are four level 50 dungeons currently available at the end game, not including the Hard Mode Primal fights

So let’s assume that you don’t have a Free Company to play with and you’re stuck with using the Duty Finder to progress now that you’re level 50. What are your options? It’s recommended that you start by doing numerous runs through Castrum Meridianum, which is the first of two eight-man dungeons you’ll experience at the end of the main storyline. Each run will award you with 100 Allagan Tomestones of Philosophy which has no weekly cap and can be used to obtain item level 70 gear (Darklight) to upgrade your character. The second of the two eight-man dungeons at the end of the storyline, The Praetorium, also offers the same reward and is a viable choice as well.

But those two aren’t your only options to get immediate gear upgrades to your Artifact Gear. The Wanderer’s Palace is a four-man dungeon that can be done as soon as you’re level 50 and offers item level 55 upgrades for your character, which will help you gear up for Amdapor Keep, the most difficult four-man dungeon currently in the game. In addition, Amdapor Keep offers better item drops than Wanderer’s Palace and rewards you with 40 Allagan Tomestones of Mythology each run. Tomestones of Mythology can be turned in for item level 90 gear, though there is a weekly cap of 300 Tomestones of Mythology you can obtain.

Immediately, you have access to four dungeon options you can choose from at level 50: two four mans and two eight mans. In addition, you can progress through the Hard Mode Primal fights of Ifrit, Garuda and Titan as you work towards obtaining your Relic Weapon. The Relic Weapon quest line is given as soon as you finish the main storyline, and has several steps which will also have you fighting the Chimera and Hydra (both eight-man boss fights) in order to obtain your shiny new weapon. It’s worth mentioning that your Relic Weapon can also be upgraded with 900 Tomestones of Mythology. While the Ifrit Hard Mode fight can be conquered with your fresh level 50 gear, it’s highly recommended to gear up in Amdapor Keep and Wanderer’s Palace, in addition to obtaining some Darklight gear through Tomestones of Philosophy before taking on Garuda Hard Mode. As for Titan Hard Mode? Well, that’s an entirely different story – more on that later.

You can obtain some item level 70 gear with Allagan Tomestones of Philosophy

In case by now you haven’t realized that’s there plenty to do once you hit level 50, the real question is, how fun are these dungeons to do in Duty Finder? Perhaps that’s where the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn community really shines. Sure, there are your typical jerks that want to rush through the content and do “speed runs” in order to obtain tomes and items as quickly as possible, but you’ll also run into plenty of patient and helpful players that will explain each boss fight to you and how to proceed through each dungeon. You can always do yourself a favor by telling the group right off the bat that it’s your first time and hopefully there will be a patient few to explain everything to you. If you’re playing on the Excalibur World Server and need a Free Company with friendly and helpful players, shoot me a message at Grimmy Nomnom, we run our own Free Company.

And while it might sound mindlessly boring having to grind the same few dungeons over and over for loot and tomes, each dungeon is actually a ton of fun to do. There’s a lot of variety in the bosses with different mechanics – some easy, some challenging. The most unfortunate part to the Duty Finder however is that there’s no way to automatically requeue once the dungeon is completed. That means if you find a group of helpful players and they’re not on your server, you’re out of luck with grouping with them again. What makes running the same dungeons over and over better however, is the fantastic soundtrack that plays in some of them.

As for leveling your sub-classes to max out your other jobs, that’s not as exciting. By hitting level 50, chances are you blew through all your side quests which leaves you class quests, Levequests and FATEs. In other words, you’ll be turning to some old school MMORPG grind sessions in order to level your other classes. It’s unfortunately, not terribly exciting. Find a couple of FATE groups to join to make it faster and more fun, and make sure you hop back to town to grab your class quests as they pop up in order to unlock all your class abilities. And don’t forget that you can grab certain skills from other classes to make your leveling experience as much fun as it can be.

Leveling your sub-classes and alternate jobs is probably the most boring part of Final Fantasy XIV’s end game

Lastly, there’s your crafting and gathering classes. Gathering is a nice way to simply relax, while crafting offers a rather complex mini-game once you get into it. In fact, crafting can turn out to be addicting and fun as you try to level up and proc high quality items for your Levequest turn ins. If you’re one of those that simply want to level up as quickly, efficiently and cheaply as possible, find the Levequest that gives you multiple turn ins so that you can maximize the return on experience gained since Levequest allowances are limited in quantity — you get three every 12 hours.

As of now, our staff and Free Company has stalled on Titan Hard Mode, which is a rather difficult and unforgiving fight. For those that have yet to experience it, I won’t spoil all of it for you. But here are some suggestions to not only make your life easier, but for those players around you easier. Get some gear before you queue up for Titan Hard Mode. It’s not an easy fight through the Duty Finder, since the Duty Finder will build a group consisting of two tanks and Titan Hard Mode is a single tank fight. DPS is important during the Heart phase, so if you’re a DD class, make sure you get a few pieces of Darklight gear and at least your Ifrit weapon before you make an attempt. We personally recommend finding a patient group in Revenant’s Toll that is willing to fail for hours on end until you’re all successful.

While it could be a frustrating experience, the fight itself is extremely fun to do and we actually appreciate that Square Enix has such a challenging fight in the game. It’s the last step to obtaining your Relic Weapon, so it’s only fair that it’s not a walk in the park. If you’re fortunate enough to conquer Titan Hard Mode, you get to look forward to the current eight-man, end-game dungeon called The Binding Coil of Bahamut. It features five turns (wings) and by the looks of things, it’s not only fun but extremely challenging. Our staff looks forward to venturing in one day soon!

Revenant’s Toll is always bustling with people building a group

To finish off on some end-game suggestions, if you’re having trouble in the Duty Finder, teleport to Revenant’s Toll and check out all the /shout spam for groups there. Find yourself a friendly group of players and you’ll be having a blast in no time.

Personally, I find myself getting bored of MMORPGs rather quickly as of late, with games such as Rift, Tera, Defiance and SWTOR losing my interest after a month or two of play time. For once I feel refreshed that Final Fantasy XIV actually has a bright end to its tunnel. And with the team working hard to not only resolve issues and add new content to the game, I’d be bold enough to say that Final Fantasy XIV has the potential to become one of the best MMORPGs of all time. Patch 2.1 promises to bring 4 vs. 4 arena PvP to the game with PvP-only skills. Here’s to hoping Yoshida and his team unleashes a robust and balanced PvP system that hasn’t been around since the days of Dark Age of Camelot.

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With over 20 years of online publishing experience, Jason Siu is currently the Content Director at VerticalScope and used to spend most of his time writing about cars. His work can be seen on websites such as AutoGuide, EV Pulse, FlatSixes, Tire Authority, and more. As the former co-founder of and West Coast Editor of Modified Magazine, he has also authored two books for CarTech Books. In his spare time, he founded FullCleared to indulge in his passion for writing about games. Although Jason is a variety gamer, he generally prefers RPGs.

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