I’ve been casually playing through the Main Scenario for Heavensward since the start of early access last week and through this I’ve been able to experience a lot of the new things that Heavensward brings to the table for Final Fantasy XIV and while we’ll be talking about our impressions on the next episode of Aetheryte Radio, I thought I’d share my thoughts on some of these now.
Flying is amazing. The amount of freedom in these new zones to fly wherever you want is astounding and offers nothing but beautiful sights. However, the road to get to flying is paved with areas that feel like they’re designed in such a way as to make you have to take the long way around for a quest every single time. This is especially true when dealing with the quests in the Dravanian Forelands out of Tailfeather. There’s the same set of NPCs you have to go visit to the east, and you always have to go up and around to get to them because of the way the map is built. Once you get access to fly in these areas, this issue is removed completely and perhaps it’s only an irritation because while playing, I know in the back of my head that “Hopefully… soon… I won’t have to run around to get up here and I can just fly”.
Historically, the Sightseeing Log for me is just one of those pieces of content I can’t bring myself to do. Having to check weather, sit around in a zone at the exact spot and then do the exact emote to get it was just too much for me to bother with. However, with Heavensward, the vistas now have a little sparkly representation to them so they’re easy to spot while you’re exploring. So many times I’ve been walking or flying around and I’ve just simply come across the vistas. This makes it so much more enjoyable for me compared to the method used to track these down when they were first implemented in A Realm Reborn.
It’s inevitable. A new level cap means new gear. Which means that all that gear you’ve been spending time collecting is going to no longer be relevant. It just… hurts a little more than I thought. I went from almost full Poetics to now wearing some gear a Moogle in the sky gave me for helping him collect Kupo Nuts. It’s sounding like the new Tomestones of Law are easy enough to grind out though after you reach the new level cap so that’s something to look forward to before the Esoterics tomes hit in a a few weeks.
As if there would be any doubt- the story (or stories) contained in Heavensward are great. I can’t say much because I don’t want to risk spoiling things for those that haven’t had the time to explore them as everyone else, however I will say that my journey through the main scenario so far is great and serves nicely to develop both the story and some of the characters that we’ve known since the Realm Reborn days. The saddest part of the story however is that many of the voice actors have been recast and in some cases its painfully obvious.
For me, Heavensward is off to a great start so far and I’m looking forward to being able to finish up the Main Scenario Quests and get into the new end game. Even then there’s still getting all my other classes and jobs up to the new cap, building my Free Company airship, getting into the new system for DoL and… well, there’s a lot of stuff to do now!