I’d love to be able to report this week that I’ve reached the new level cap and experienced some of the high-end content Final Fantasy XIV’s first expansion has to offer, but first I need to figure out which version of my character I want to be.
If Heavensward had introduced its three new adventuring jobs the way other MMORPG games introduce new classes, I wouldn’t be having this identity crisis. The idea of leaving my level 52 character to rot while I rolled up a fresh first level character makes me queasy, especially when there’s so much more to explore in the new expansion lands.
But that’s not how the Machinist, Dark Knight and Astrologian work. Upon making it to the Holy See of Ishgard at level 50 there are three quests available that grant access to these new jobs at level 30—only 20 short levels away from where you were in the first place.
So you cannot create a new character and instantly assign them one of the new jobs—your character has to be level 50 and have completed most of the game’s main story first. That means instead of a jarring transition to an unfamiliar character my beloved Ninja, Back Front, is simply learning new skills. He’s the same guy—well, two weeks ago he was a dragon person, now he’s back to being a kitty—but he’s still the pink-haired pursuer of justice he always was. Now he’s just doing it with a gun.
Yes, once a DPS (damage-per-second) class, always a DPS class. I’ve taken my first steps as a healing Astrologian and tanking Dark Knight, but my place is always in negative number generation in my enemies’ general direction. Having spent 30 levels as Rogue and another 22 or so as a Ninja, the ability to stand away from the main battle and take potshots is quite refreshing.
Armed with my drone and my trusty Chocobo, Middle, I am a force to be reckoned with.
Is the constantly running in circles necessary? Not really. Is it effective? A little. Does it make me feel cool? Totally. Should I close my inventory before I record a video? Yes.
As of this writing, Back Front is a level 46 Machinist, on the verge of 47. I should be back to where I was as a Ninja in a couple of days, planned maintenance willing.
That’s another reason I’m so behind with my logs right there. On top of being incredibly busy, it seems that every time I prepare for a late night of play, the servers are shutting down at 2am Eastern time for maintenance. It’s not every day of course—just the days I choose to buckle down and get some experience accumulated.
Difficulty setting aside play time and being a flighty bastard aside, I’m really enjoying Heavensward so far. I love the new jobs, the music is gorgeous, and my Free Company (guild) is constantly chattering on about the awesome new experiences that await me once my gunslinging side is powerful enough to play there.
I look forward to exploring. I look forward to flying. I especially look forward to real pants.