Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker, all about the 6.1 update

Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker, all about the 6.1 update

Final Fantasy 14

A few months after the release of the Endwalker expansion and the first minor update, which implemented the initial endgame content, Final Fantasy XIV returns to be talked about with a patch that brings the client to version 6.1 and introduces a plethora of very important news. We have never hidden our boundless love for the Naoki Yoshida reboot: Final Fantasy XIV is an extraordinarily refined and content-rich MMO, which has experienced an engaging story arc that ended with the Endwalker expansion, one of the best we have played and which we rewarded in the review.

Now, however, it is time to start over. The new update really represents a new beginning for the Square Enix title: a chapter has closed and a new one opens, as the title of the 6.1 update of Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker, Newfound Adventure explicitly suggests. And let's find out, these new adventures.

A lot of PvE

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, the new Alliance Raid of the Myths of the Realm cycle As we said, Newfound Adventure is a restart: in the Endwalker finale we saved the world, the Scions disbanded, and players spent months wondering how Main Scenario Quest would go on. Patch 6.1 only partially answers this question, laying the foundations for the future of Final Fantasy XIV and the expansions to follow, and it does so with a piercing dive into the mythology of the franchise. The ten additional missions also go through a dungeon - Alzadaal's Legacy - and are perhaps the weakest PvE content in the update, a starter that develops through tons of cinematics and a ton of dialogue and ultimately only opens a door on the next update.

More interesting, however, the cycle of missions that begins in Old Sharlayan with the assignment "A Mission in Mor Dhona" and which unlocks the first 24-player Alliance of this expansion. Entitled Aglaia, this new endgame content is only the first part of Myths of the Realm, a subplot that will lead us to fight the gods who presided over the world in ancient times.

This first part of the Alliance is divided into usual series of bosses - four, to be exact - but the scenario is very different from the eight-player encounter in the Pandaemonium cycle: if the raids proposed so far were set in dark, almost infernal areas, those of Aglaia are characterized by spaces open, bright, almost bucolic. They are challenging encounters despite their more casual outlook, and we enjoyed the design of these bosses that recalls our most famous pantheons, especially the Greek and Norse ones. The rewards follow the usual format - one loot per week - and go up to item level 590.

Heavy players, who have probably reached that item level some time ago thanks to the endgame content already available, can instead engage in two new Trials designed especially for them: Endsinger's Aria is the new Minstrel's Ballad, a rematch with the final boss of the Main Scenario Quest that rewards with the usual Totems to be exchanged for weapons 595; Ultima's Bane (Unreal) is instead a new iteration of the clash with the famous Weapon that falls into the Faux Hallows category.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, the Main Scenario Quest continues Square Enix could have limited itself to this large array of endgame content, designed for different groups of players, but instead preferred to inflate the PvE 6.1 update in the round. In addition to introducing a slew of unpublished role assignments, which also serve to deepen our knowledge of Fourchenault Leveilleur, Yoshida has well thought of reviewing the Duty of the Main Scenario Quest relating to the A Realm Reborn part. As promised some time ago, it is now possible to face the Duty - that is the various mandatory dungeons - without grouping with the other human players, but forming a team together with real "bots". It is basically a dynamic that crosses the Trust of the last two expansions with the Squadron system: designed to prevent players from spending too much time in queue in the Duty Finder, the Duty Support - as it is called - will later land also in the Heavensward and Stormblood segments of the Main Quest scenario. For the occasion, the developers have also revised and fixed some old dungeons, considered particularly obsolete in terms of structure and bosses.

Lots of PvP

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, Endsinger's Aria is the new Minstrel's Ballad-type Trial Update 6.1 also features an almost total revamp of PvP dynamics, replacing the Feast with a new gameplay dynamic called Crystalline Conflict. Player Vs Player has never been a strong point in Final Fantasy XIV, either because of the low-conflict nature of the game, or because of the impossibility of carefully balancing a content that is too niche. Judging by the enthusiastic comments of the community, however, Naoki Yoshida seems to have found the square of the circle. The new content has been designed for bite-sized entertainment: the matches involve a maximum of two teams (Astra and Umbra) of five players and last a few minutes, with a nod to battle royals and Overwatch-type arena shooters. In the three maps - structurally identical, but characterized by different gimmicks such as explosions or gusts of wind - the players compete for a crystal with a bang and the team that manages to get it wins.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, the Duty Support interface With the introduction of Crystalline Conflict, Square Enix has completely redesigned the various PvP Jobs, and our impression is that they are experimenting with new gameplay solutions in view of a possible revamp also in PvE. Although it is strongly unbalanced, the new PvP is captivating thanks to the uniqueness of the various Jobs, also diversified according to their new and very personal Limit Breaks capable of turning the tide of a clash.

At the moment it is possible to face the games in Casual, Ranked and Custom mode, to climb the ranking - divided into medals such as bronze, silver, gold and so on - and get your hands on different rewards that include mounts and outfits for Glamor. Considering the reception of the Crystalline Conflict, it is not excluded that PvP may play a role of greater importance from this update onwards, but in the coming weeks, once the news is over, we will discover how much it will have really made a hold on the community.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, patch 6.1 introduces the Adventurer's Plates Players, in the meantime, are dealing with another form of PvP more ... transversal: housing. With the opening of a new district - the highly anticipated Empyreum - and the introduction of an unprecedented lottery-style assignment dynamic, which unfortunately has lent its side to some annoying bugs, raising a fuss, players can compete for much coveted battles on an equal footing. On the housing system we would have to make a very long speech, but we will be brief: it is absurd that this content, basically one of the most accurate and layered of Final Fantasy XIV and among MMORPGs in general, is still bound to such an archaic assignment system. and prohibitive.

If we consider the importance that housing has assumed over the years, even in social and communicative terms, Yoshida's obstinacy remains incomprehensible, also because, at this point, it would have been much easier manage it on their part too.

In conclusion ...

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, PvP has been revised with the new Crystalline Conflict Update 6.1 is an important transition moment for Final Fantasy XIV: it represents, in fact, the first step towards the next expansion. The Main Scenario Quest is beginning to baste the narrative that will accompany us in the coming months and years, and the revamp to PvP winks at some gameplay dynamics that could also sneak into PvE. It is a very rich patch, and we invite you to read the official notes because we have analyzed only its most striking features, but there are several other important news, such as the Unending Codex, a real encyclopedia to unlock, or the Adventure Plates that players can personalize as if they were business cards.

However, there are also some more controversial points, such as an initial retouching to the various Jobs with a view to PvE balance that has not convinced everyone. The Samurai, for example, have been deprived of a historical Action, Kaiten: the idea was to slightly weaken the Job and at the same time streamline its complicated rotation, but it does not seem that Square Enix has hit the mark, especially if it is compared to ' excellent work done at the beginning of the expansion with the new Summoner. But you know, in MMOs balancing works like this: today it's the Samurai's, tomorrow it's someone else's, and no one is ever happy.

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