As one of the most successful MMOs of all time, it was no surprise to find Final Fantasy XIV making its presence known during this year’s E3. But, unlike the previous year, this year was special for FFXIV, as the popular gaming event was only weeks before the release of XIV’s most promising expansion yet - Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers.
FINAL FANTASY XIV: SHADOWBRINGERS Trailer
While most adventurers in Eorzea went about their day making all sorts of preparations getting ready for the release of Shadowbringers next month on July 2, 2019, some of the Warriors of Light made their way into Los Angeles Convention Center to experience but a taste of what awaits them down the path of darkness…
Our team at Honey’s Anime had the opportunity to visit the Crystarium at E3’s show floor and fight against the ruler of Pixies, Titania. Read on to find out what we experienced during the encounter!
E3’s area for FFXIV was decorated with the theme of the Crystarium, the new main city of the world The First. And adequately named, the players who visited FFXIV’s booth during E3 2019 were the first players in the world to experience the Crystarium, view the new job changes, try the new jobs Dancer and Gunbreaker and of course, the first to wipe out, or defeat, the Primal Titania.
Unfortunately, we were not the first to explore Norvrandt, as the E3 “training grounds” used to prepare for the battle against the ruler of Pixies was just Summerford Farms, a low-level area we know from Middle La Noscea in Eorzea.
The Warriors of Darkness
At E3’s show floor, a lot of people were joining FFXIV’s booth to try their luck at beating the primal Titania. Current XIV players of all levels of experience, returning players, new players and even gamers who had never tried FFXIV were gathered together at the booth and paired in parties of eight in what you might best describe as “real life Duty Finder”. The queue to face Titania was one of the fastest of E3, with about a 40-minute wait during the first day, and a little over an hour during the second and last day of E3.
During our time in queue, we had the opportunity to talk to several players and their expectations of the fight and the expansion Shadowbringers. Naturally, they were all excited to use their Phial of Fantasia to change their race to Viera, others who had already tried the fight were satisfied with the performance of the new tank job, Gunbreaker, and some were expressing how ‘weird’ their main jobs felt without certain abilities on their hotbars. A few others were talking about coming back after a long break just to try out the expansion Shadowbringers.
Nearing the entrance for the trial, we were instructed to form a regular composition of a party of 8, two tanks, two healers and four DPS. As your regular Duty Finder goes, we always had a lack of tanks, forcing some of the more experienced players to take the role for the trial against Titania. We had but 10 minutes for reading skills, set hotbars, talk strategies with party members and brace ourselves for a completely new fight experience.
For a frequent XIV player, Titania’s trial at E3 could have been your average Trials roulette queue; having the average difficulty of an MSQ, the mechanics were pretty much easy to follow and at points, even predictable. You had your average puddle stacks at the cardinals, your not-too-hard to heal raid wide damage, your extremely predictable stack then spread mechanics and your DPS check during the adds phase; the only thing that “was new” was probably her briars mechanic, a star-shaped ground AoE that was cast in the middle of the arena that quickly spread outwards, hitting the player for most, if not all, of its HP… But even that is strikingly similar to a mechanic seen as early as in The Burn’s Mist Dragon fight.
What really made the encounter an extremely difficult one was not the game, but the players in the queue. For XIV players, it’s common knowledge that a Primal with an add phase means DPS check, and well, to meet a DPS check with minimum ilvl means to know what you’re doing -at least- to a basic level. And well… between players distracted by the job changes of their main class, to people trying out the new jobs for the first time to absolutely new players trying out the game for the first time ever… it was a complete disaster. Not many people won the battle against Titania the first day, and although there were, in fact, some winners, most groups just could not make it past the DPS check in the add phase. This was changed, however, from the second day onward, where the players were equipped with slightly better gear so they could meet the DPS check and easily win the fight.
Those who won the fight were awarded the “I Beat Titania” T-shirt, a trophy shirt that has become a gift tradition awarded to players who defeat Primals during various events where FFXIV is present.
The promotion of Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers during E3 2019 was very neatly executed. With two live letters released during the week of E3, several giant XIV posters and digital projections decorating the Los Angeles Convention Center outer walls, the large FFXIV bags, T-shirts and even a big bus driving around downtown L.A promoting Shadowbringers, it’s clear that the FFXIV team went all out into advertising the expansion; not settling with only the Crystarium and the Primal encounter was a smart move, surely this advertising strategy made many gamers want to try FFXIV.
Another great thing that the FFXIV team did during E3 2019 was the staff. During the queue, the friendly staff would approach you to talk about the hype of the fight, give you hints on how to defeat Titania, they’d chat with players about the new changes Shadowbringers will introduce to XIV and encourage you or mock you during the fight, making the encounter become an immersion into the world of FFXIV.
“... If history must be unwritten, let it be unwritten. Become what you must, become… the warrior of darkness. ”
As longtime followers of FFXIV, it’s exciting to see how even after nine years since its original release, this incredibly successful MMO is still providing new and exciting expansions for its players. With Shadowbringers around the corner, FFXIV celebrates the highest number of active subscribers, reaching an incredible 16 million players. With more players joining every day, it’s safe to say that the promotion and hyping of the Shadowbringers expansion has been wildly successful, more than any of the game’s previous expansions.
Hydaelyn being chosen to become a warrior of darkness was one thing, but introducing an entirely new world was more than what the players anticipated for this new expansion. We’re sure everyone is excited to spot the differences between Norvrandt and their home, Eorzea, as well as eager to see the job changes and try the new Dancer and Gunbreaker jobs. Will you be joining millions of adventurers towards their journey to The First during Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers launch? Do you already play FFXIV? What are you most excited to try first? Let us know in the comments below!