Final Fantasy XIV‘s climactic expansion is looming on the horizon, with Endwalker poised for release in November as a conclusion to the main story of the game, which has been running since A Realm Reborn in 2013. For new players, the length of time Final Fantasy XIV has been out now and releasing content make it a bit overwhelming to consider jumping on board at this point – after all, each of the existing expansions Heavensward, Stormblood and Shadowbringers are the size of entire Final Fantasy games themselves.
That was certainly the case for me, as I’m a huge Final Fantasy fan that’s beaten every entry except for the online ones. However, now that Endwalker is nearing release, and Final Fantasy XIV will be wrapping up one huge, cohesive story with its release, tackling the game all in one go didn’t seem like such a daunting proposition anymore.
Square-Enix are clearly aware of this, and have capitalised on getting in new fans with Endwalker, or re-energising those who haven’t played in a long time, through a pre-order bonus for Endwalker. Through pre-orders on the official site, you get a nice little bundle of bonuses, including a vanity Minion of Palom from Final Fantasy IV who’ll follow your character around. More relevantly, though, you’ll also get the ‘Menphina Earring’, an equippable accessory that boosts attributes as well as granting a 30% boost to EXP earned when defeating enemies, all the way up to level 80. That means grinding enemies is a much easier proposition, taking you all the way up to the level cap for Shadowbringers, the last major release before Endwalker.
Combined with the streamlining the main game went through last year, it’s now far easier and (for me) far more enjoyable to sink my teeth into the actual meat of FFXIV and get to the interesting bits quicker. Finally giving the game a go, I was surprised how smoothly I was getting through the initial Seventh Umbral Era arc, something which seemed like it would be a lot more time-consuming back when I first tried the game years ago. Between the EXP boost and the general improvements to the game’s pacing, FFXIV now progresses relatively quickly for an online game, and encourages you to build up other job roles as well.
I’ve still got a ways to go, but it does seem like now’s a good time to jump on board the Final Fantasy XIV train if you’ve been curious for a while. The complete collection of FFXIV and expansions is on sale at AU $23.98 right now, while Endwalker is AU $52.99 on the official site.