So ends the Final Fantasy Xbox 360 and PS2 servers. I had grand ambitions when I jumped back into the game in January. Most of it went unmet. I closed with 32 of the 57 achievements, or 490/1250. 17 of those were the level 75 job achievemnts. Each one would take only take a day or so, but I severely underestimated how long the story content would take. It took until the very last day to finish the last mission of past nation quests. I had planned on doing the (former) high level content as well, but those ended up on the back burner as time marched on. I had made some progress on Dynamis, but the boss fight in Beaucedene Glacier was an absolute disaster. Not only did he spawn with 4 dragons, when I went in for the kill he used Chainspell and began casting Death. All I saw was my party quickly dropping one after another; I had to look at the battle log to figure out what had happened. After how smoothly the first couple of Dynamis zones had gone, I put my focus in that as opposed to going after the chips needed for Limbus. Especially since Limbus didn’t allow me to summon my Trusts. Campaign and Assault were similar. Most of Campaign is soloable, but there are a few escort missions that are trouble. 50 missions at 15-30 minutes a piece was just too much to commit to. Assault didn’t look that bad and if I’d just given it a couple hours each day, I probably could’ve gotten it done, but I put it off for too long.
The looming achievement deadline was the instigation for heading back in, but my primary focus was definitely to story content. Aside from most recent content that did not have achievements tied to it, that goal was met. The early content really was kind of weak. Both the story and the characters involved got far more interesting in each expansion. An added advantage of playing through so much content in such a short time was that I got to see a lot of the groundwork that went into the early content that would blossom into storylines years later. I always wondered about the strange geography surrounding the 3 telepoints, though I never realized Delkfutt’s Tower was the center. Even some stuff that was hinted at between Volker and Zeid would not be touched upon until Wings of the Goddess. Overall, I think I enjoyed Aht Urghan the most. The story wasn’t great, but the character interaction and humor was fantastic. Storywise, I liked Wings of the Goddess. The twists were probably a little to telegraphed, but it was a pretty good time travel story.
So what’s next for FFXI? I still have Seekers of Adoulin and Rhapsodies of Vana’diel as major goals, A Shantotto Ascension, Crystalline Prophecy, and A Moogle Kupo d’Etat as minor goals. The latter I can easily do by myself, the former will likely become too difficult without recruiting actual help. Other than that, the only thing really left to do is work towards Item Level 119 gear and grind CP for Job Points. Both will take some serious time and effort after 3 months, there are other things I’d rather play. Looks like FFXI is going back into hiatus for a while.
Finally back on the road to platinum. The Institute and Brotherhood of Steel storylines have been played to conclusion and only the Railroad remains. With a save in place to finish that faction, I’ve been using my post-Brotherhood game to mop up miscellaneous trophies. All that’s really left is to hit Level 50, 50 Misc. quests, and find the remaining 6 bobbleheads. Oh, and Automatron, of course. Having finished two factions, it’s pretty clear how the third will play out. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed by it. I didn’t expect a great story heading in; the draw for me in Bethesda games has always been the world itself. It’s just sad to see all the various pieces in play and see them come together in such an unsatisfying way. I guess war really doesn’t change. The only way to proceed is the complete annihilation of the other sides…
I keep wanting to push forward with Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright (Chapter 15 now), but I keep finding myself drawn to this game instead. As a free-to-play game, I expected the energy meter to be the primary limiter of gameplay and to some degree it is. However, Nintendo has locked the bulk of the content behind a paywall of sorts. You can earn this currency by doing the daily challenge or various one time rewards, but the next area opens at 170 Picrites and I can earn about 15-20 which will is steadily decreasing back to 10 as I clear the rewards. As I’m enjoying the game, I did give Nintendo $5 for the value packages of currency and if I give them another $25, I’ll never have to worry about the paywall again. I would have preferred the game as a complete package, but even at a $20 price point I’m not sure I would have bought it. If Nintendo hadn’t forced it my 3DS home screen, I’m not sure I would have even tried it. I could easily just spend the money and unlock the whole game, or I could just continue to give it 10 or so minutes a day as I have been with the energy meter. Yeah, why rush it.