Monday, June 17, 2024

Finishing Up Endwalker And Time Played

With 11 days to go before early access begins for Final Fantasy XIV's next expansion Dawntrail, I'm busy trying to finish up Endwalker content. I even took today and tomorrow off to try to get through to the end. Right now I need to complete two trials and a dungeon to finish or get to stories I want to do before everyone's interest turns to the new expansion. I need to complete The Abyssal Fracture to finish the main story questline and access Dawntrail content,  The Gilded Araya to complete the Manderville questline and obtain the Mandervillous Cane, and The Stigma Dreamscape to access the Omnicron tribal quests.

Looking at Steam this morning, I've spent a little over 6,300 hours in Final Fantasy XIV since 20 July 2019. And I realize next week begins a new journey as Creative Studio III launches the first expansion after the conclusion of the Hydaelyn–Zodiark arc. A scene from Endwalker came to mind.

Was the journey worth it? I think so. I did a lot more than just the main story questline to rack up those 6,300 hours. But I think a lot of players look at a game with 10 years of relevant content to go through to get to the current expansion and wonder if the effort is worth it. Is it too late to begin playing FFXIV without spending a lot of money to skip to Dawntrail?

I can understand the concern given some of the times players give out when asked how long completing the MSQ takes through the end of Endwalker. I began playing the game two weeks after the launch of Shadowbringers and caught up to Shadowbringers' last patch (5.5) in April 2021. I went to and looked up how long people the median player on that site took to complete the MSQ for each expansion.

  • A Realm Reborn - 95 hours
  • Heavensward - 63 hours
  • Stormblood - 59 hours
  • Shadowbringers - 58 hours
  • Endwalker - 50 hours

I'm not going to lie. If one wants to play the current expansion, 325 hours is a lot of time to get to what one wants to play. Even rushing through the MSQ skipping everything takes 220 hours.

But I'm not one who sees 325 hours of story as a blocker. I see that as the content of a game and reaching the end game is a reason to quit. As such I can never see myself playing World of Warcraft again. But Final Fantasy XIV provides 325 hours if one only wants to play the story. I would guess I've spent 400-500 hours alone in the Gold Saucer, the game's combination casino/amusement park. And I've probably spend a couple thousand hours crafting and gathering. There's a reason my character has over 140 million gil now.

I do have to admit I'm a bit jealous of those beginning to play today. New players get to play the entire story without having to wait for Creative Studio III to drop a patch or launch an expansion. For those who want to play for the story, now is a great time to start.

I have to start watching walkthrough videos now to get everything done. I'll go ahead and compose a bunch of posts looking back at the Hydaelyn-Zodiark arc over the next couple of months. I've held off until now because spoilers. But with the end of a 10-year saga I figure the time to look back and write about the story is now.

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