One of the most exciting updates to hit Final Fantasy XIV in its 3.x patch cycle just dropped last week and I was instantly hooked.
I’ve always considered myself the type of gamer that likes both a PvE and PvP experience in my MMOs and for me, FFXIV has always been lacking in quality PvP content and now with the latest update, we are starting to make some headway into being both a PvE and PvP style game.
What the Feast does well right out of the gate is its presentation and how momentum can turn the tide of battle. The medal collection aspect adds a new layer of strategy to a well-coordinated team, with one of the general strategies being to let the tanks pick up the medals because they’re harder to kill (which is something that was recently addressed with Patch 3.22). I say well-coordinated team for a reason, because while lots of people may have luck randomly queuing up in Duty Finder for The Feast, there’s definitely a greater chance that a team that isn’t working together will be easily defeated.
Thankfully having a well-coordinated party is something that is aided by the way the Duty Finder has been set up for The Feast. There are two ranked match options, one for a pre-made four person party, and one if you want to queue solo, so the issue where one person would get matched against a team of 3 with a pick up person is no more. Queue as a light party, or get matched solo with others who are solo as well, and see what you can do.
The other option, for non-ranked matches is the 8 on 8 where you have the ability to queue up with a friend and get put into a very fun, and crazy version of The Feast that I’ve greatly enjoyed. With the time I’ve spent in this mode, it seems that the 8 on 8 matches are more susceptible to being more of the blow out type, where once a team gets their momentum, they can end the match in a couple short minutes.
Due to the current strategy of most PvP groups when it comes to which jobs to target first, I’ve found that adding some extra VIT into your build may not be the worst thing in the world. Healers and Ranged DPS especially are more often than not, the first people to be targeted by the opposing team. Healers and Casters are another concern of Yoshida’s that he hopes to address in an upcoming patch.
One of the more difficult ideas to grasp when getting used to the PvP scene is how different a jobs role may feel when compared to PvE. This isn’t bad necessarily, but it can take some time to adjust and that is where Final Fantasy XIV’s PvP mode struggles the most. Namely that, in order to play in The Feast, you’ll need to hit level 60- Something that could be a tough sell for anyone that’s under-leveled and looking to get into PvP either because it’s of interest to them or because they want to join their friends that have already hit the level cap. It’s a very difficult sell to get a friend to come join in on PvP, when they need to invest their time into first reaching the current level cap in a game that is almost completely PvE based. That’s quite a lengthy investment of time, regardless of the rich story telling that is done along the way.
So what could a good solution be? Other versions of the mode perhaps? I’ve given this a lot of thought, and there really isn’t a perfect solution, so allow me to propose an imperfect option.
I think Square Enix should greatly reduce the barrier to entry and open up the Feast to anyone who has the Heavensward expansion who is past level 30. They would be able to queue up for The Feast, and upon entering be level synced up to level 60. This means that while participating in PvP, they would be more equally matched with the other players, and given access to the Job abilities that are later quested for PvE. It would also be great if doing this could grant them EXP so that they could level their class up while participating in PvP. This could potentially be another option for those looking to level their characters.
Like I said, this isn’t a perfect solution, especially when it comes to setting up a hotbar with quested abilities that haven’t been properly earned or experimented with. Perhaps having a PvP training mode or giving access to the abilities while present in the Wolves’ Den Pier to practice on the training dummies could be helpful.
Now that we’ve covered that stop gap in PvP, let’s talk about what currently is missing from the system-Private Matches.
It would be wonderful if Square Enix let us set up private PvP matches, giving us access to a spectator mode (which was mentioned years ago) and tools to make our own player-run tournaments. Just being able to host matches for you and your friends, to practice for ranked matches would be a great addition. Yoshida has talked about possibly adding these modes at some point in the future and I hope that once they do, they can make these private matches give some basic rewards as well. Too often, people have taking these types of systems and found a way to exploit it or “win trade”. A simple solution to this would be to give both the winning and losing team the exact same rewards.
Having said all of this, I feel that The Feast still is one of the best PvP modes for a non FPS game that I’ve played in recent memory, and I’ve very much become addicted to it. I hope that with the seasons ranking system we’ll see some great matches with equally matched teams, as well as get a peek at some of the cool rewards that will come along with it.
Let me know what you think of The Feast in the comments below and feel free to share any strategies you’ve been using during your matches!
Stay hungry my friends. :)