Access:Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn Beta

Wint shares his experiences with the ARR beta!

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Less than a week ago I got a fantastic email from the Square Enix media team informing me that the embargo for the closed beta test would be lifting today, and that not only could I write about phase 1 of the beta for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn but that I could cover things also happening in phase 2!  I’m very excited to share with you what I’ve experienced so far!

I’ve taken a poll on the ZAM forums and I’m going to attempt to answer your questions while providing my account of how the beta is going so far as fairly as possible.  For those readers currently participating in the beta please be aware that this lifting of the embargo is for media only, and that you are still under NDA regarding your own experiences.

Discuss in the Zam Forums!

Character Creation, Races, and Classes

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The character creator is a good place to start, since that is where most will begin with ARR unless they are planning to use their own character for the launch, even then, they may be tempted to tweak with settings since you are allowed one re-make of your character when ARR launches later this summer.  The options presented for tweaking are staggering.  You can change hair color, highlights, facial features, birthmarks, tattoos, all of the normal MMO fare.

Rather than having sliders, Square Enix has decided to give you a vast number of choices to customize your character. For example, hair color is one of 24+ shades, and the highlights increase the individuality as well.  Eye color is the same.  Facial features have several pages of options as do hair styles including facial hair.  My lalafell looks pretty darn cool if I do say so myself.

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One thing you might be wondering is whether Manthras (male miqot’es) are dominating the population in the beta.  I can happily report that there seems to be a healthy distribution of races and genders on my server.  I didn’t create a female character (I had a male taru taru in FFXI and I feel a certain loyalty to my online persona), but there was never a moment when I saw another female Lalafell and felt that it was a gross or inappropriate use of the game engine’s assets. The team has done a good job of making the characters look distinct without allow immersion to be broken.

Another interesting point about the race you choose: according to the beta manual, the starting stats for STR, DEX, VIT, INT, MND, and PIE are affected by your race and clan.  Gender has no effect.  Since I never made anything other than a Dunesfolk lalafell I can’t confirm what differences those might be, but for those who were hoping for at least a token nod to FFXI‘s races can rest assured that there will be minor differences between the race you choose and the starting stat boost you are given.

The starting attributes are actually a bit different than those mentioned above. The changes that have been made made to how stats work are beneficial to players, there is a definite meaning attached to each stat and their effects are that may have been lacking in FFXI.

  • STR – Increases melee attack power and percentage of damage mitigated from block and parry.
  • DEX – Increases ranged attack power and the chance of blocking or parrying an attack.
  • VIT – Increases max HP.
  • INT – Increases magic attack potency for Thaumaturge (Thaumaturge was not available for beta phases 1 or 2.)
  • MND – Increases m.attack and healing magic potency for Conjurer.
  • PIE – Increases max MP

There are other stats that are increased using armor and weapons that I will cover more when I talk about equipment later.

Along with attributes are abilities for each class that you can earn both from leveling and from completing class quests.  My highest class in the beta right now is a 32 Conjurer.  Most of my abilities I’ve gained from leveling, the notable exceptions being an ability called Fluid Aura (featuring Knock Back and bind) and Cure II (obviously a more potent cure spell), which are from the level 15 and 25 class specific quests.  While those abilities aren’t required for progressing, they do make life easier.  Class quests come along every 5 levels, which I assume will also be the same for launch.  The quests can be difficult, but coming at it the right way can make all the difference.  I died several times on the level 15 CON quest before I realized I could heal the NPC’s fighting with me and a 30 minute ordeal turned into a 5 minute win.

For Disciple of Hand and Disciple of Land jobs like Botany or Leatherworker, these are best approached after having made some progress in a combat oriented roll first.  I say this because you can get crystals and synth items while completing levequests and defeating mobs, although there are a healthy number of crystals gathered while harvesting from trees as a Botanist.  If you run out of items to synth however there are NPCs that sell what you need.  Crystals must be farmed though, so Botanist is a nice complement to Leatherworker.  The other DoL and DoH jobs were unavailable during the beta so far, although I believe they will be available during phase 3 which I am particularly excited for since I love fishing in XI (and in 1.0) and I am very excited to see where they have taken it.  Crafting and harvesting are much more engaging in ARR.  At no point was a bored with crafting and harvesting is a fantastic job because you gain abilities to avoid aggro and explore much more effectively than you can with one of the melee or magic classes.

Combat in A Realm Reborn

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Combat in ARR becomes progressively more fun as you level up.  Disciple of War jobs get skills while Disciple of Magic jobs get spells, I’ll refer to them as abilities.  You get a new ability every couple of levels as well as extra abilities for completing your class quests along the way.  Abilities can use either TP or MP, or both in some cases.  As you progress higher, skills can be chained together to become more effective for the DoW jobs.  DoM jobs can get a chance to crit a spell for extra effect, like a critical Esuna will hit all party members and not just the spell target.  TP and MP regenerate automatically over time, no resting or healing required.

During normal Guildleves, resource management with regard to TP and MP, is not really required.  Where it becomes more interesting is when doing instanced dungeons or longer lasting Full Active Time Events, or FATEs.  I noticed that I really had to manage my MP well when tanking as a Gladiator during Tam Tara Deepcroft runs, because a lot of the abilities the GLA has to manage also use MP.  There is nothing worse than having a few mobs turn on your healer and you can’t bring them back to you because you don’t have any MP for Flash.

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Leveling, FATEs, Quests, Guildleves, the Hunt Log, and more

For the first 15 levels or so, leveling can be done primarly solo, although there are real benefits to finding groups, even if it’s just a couple of people.  Your first job will be the easiest, as the quest content takes you on a natural progression through the zones of the city and surrounding areas.  FATEs become available as low as level 3 that I saw, and you can start doing Guildleves at level 10 on your first job.  There are actually level 5 Guildleves which are helpful for leveling alternate jobs since those are only available once you’ve unlocked Guildleves at level 10.

At the start, quests do lead you around by the hand for a bit, but the progression seems very natural and it’s a great way to pick up those first 5 levels while getting to know your surroundings.  Once you get out of the main city they become a bit fewer and further between but I managed to make it to level 10 or so without having to do anything other than quest content.  There are the standard “go kill these monsters” quests, but there are also other types of quests.

Some involve taking some items from the NPC and using them on various points in the surrounding area, which usually results in battles.  There are also gathering quests.  Others include waiting for some brigand or bandit who needs to be brought to justice.  It may sound like standard MMO fare, but I never got tired of doing them.

While running around doing quests or Guildleves, you may come across the occasional FATE.  These events allow you to join in some missions without any grouping at all and participate for experience points as well as currency for the Grand Company you work for, once you join up.

FATEs can vary greatly.  Some of the ones I experienced were massive battles between invading beastmen, driving hoards of Opo-opos from a village called Hrystmill, bringing down a gigantic golem, hunting rogue bandits through the forest, and gathering items spilled from a merchants cart and returning them to him while fighting mobs trying to stop you.  The amount of XP and other rewards granted for completing these FATEs are not trivial either, and are a great way of leveling up if any of the other activies don’t sound good (or if you have used up all your Guildleve allowances).

Guildleves represent structured quests with several different types to choose from.  There are those where you are required to defeat monsters, collect items, escort NPCs to safety, and more.  While doing Guildleves, NM’s can appear that you can defeat for more XP and gil.  They are usually quite challenging, requiring extra effort to defeat.

While Guildleves can be completed solo, I found that grouping with a couple of friends made the effort to get XP faster, as well as more fun and rewarding.  While in a group of 3, we started noticing that not only were we getting more XP because we could set the Guildleve’s level to much higher than we could attempt it solo, but with 3 people we started to notice treasure chests appearing out in the field that gave very good loot, armor and other equipment on par with what you get in the instanced dungeons.

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The Hunt Log is a fantastic new addition to ARR.  For each job, you have tiers of hunts that have you going out and finding mobs that you may not otherwise encounter during your questing.  Once you kill the appropriate number of mobs, you receive an XP bonus.  Once you complete the entire tier, you get a huge XP bonus and unlock the next tier of mobs.  They are grouped by tens, so the first tier feature mobs that are between level 1 and 10, the next tier mobs from 11 to 20, etc.  These mobs can also be quest mobs, so you can kill two colibri with one stonega, so to speak.

Experience points can be boosted in several ways as well.  Once you finish the first set of main storyline quests, you get access to the Inn in your city.  If you log out while in the Inn you accrue a resting bonus to your experience the next time you log in.  Resting bonus can also be found by hanging out in a sanctuary, which are the camps that have Aetheryte crystals.  Another way to boost your XP is via food.  Almost all food gives some kind of bonus, from 3% up, among other effects.

Instanced Dungeons

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There are three instanced dungeons availble to players of the beta test.  Tam Tara Deepcroft is for level 15+, The Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak for level 25+, and Haukke Manor for 30+.  All of these are a lot of fun to do.  They require a party of 4 to enter, and since there are limited numbers of jobs available to the beta testers, most of these runs really do require a healer, a tank and two damage dealers (either Lancer or Archer).  The lower level dungeon Tam Tara Deepcroft can probably be mostly completed with 3 DDs and a healer, but the boss fight at the end would probably be tricky.

Instanced dugeons are like mazes that you have to fight your way through to get to the boss at the end.  They require you find key items to unlock the lower levels, with the exception to that rule being Tam Tara Deepcroft.

Starting with Toto-Rak, you have to be careful of your surroundings since there are exploding pods and ooze that slows your movement down.  The boss battle for Toto-Rak is tough and fun, you have to move around a lot and be aware of where you are standing (so as not to be hit with the -80hp per tic poison) and paying attention to the boss so when he alters his stance you can get the kill quicker than wearing him down.  I’m trying not to give too many spoilers!


Most of the NPC gear is good enough for daily use, but the armor and weapons you can get from dungeons is amazingly good.  I acquired a wand in Toto-Rak that turned my cure spell from restoring 200hp to well over 300hp with crit heals going over 400hp.  The armor is also helpful in other ways.  For example, you can reduce the recast time on your global cool down with armor (Spell Speed and Skill Speed).  You can prevent your spell casting from being interrupted as much with armor that buffs your Determination skill.  Traditional buffs to Vitality, Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Mind, and Piety are also present on this advanced equipment, but in higher strength than easier to obtain armor.

My experience with equipment choices mostly involved the Conjurer.  When soloing, I found that a staff (two handed) was better because it has better stats for magical attack.  When doing instanced dungeons or things that require more healing than nuking, I found that using a wand and a shield was more appropriate.  Gladiator has access to both swords and daggers. As far as I know, Lancer and Archer only have access to spears and bows, respectively.

Once you unlock a second job after hitting level 10 on your first, you get access to gear sets.  Gear sets allow you to store armor/weapon configurations for your character and switching between them is as simple as picking the gear set from the list and clicking equip.  One issue that has been reported so far is that to set up a gear set, you drag items from your inventory over to the set, which makes that item unavailable for use by any other gear set.  This functionality will be undergoing overhaul between phase 2 and 3, so I expect that issue will be resolved by then.  It’s a very handy feature, not only are your weapons and armor not cluttering up your inventory, but changing jobs is as simple as selecting the appropriate gear set.

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Monsters are varied and interesting in ARR.  While I didn’t come across any colibri, there are plenty of other cool monsters to smash out there.  Goblins appear starting around level 10 near Hawthorne Hut and later on by Quarrymill when you are level 20+.  Beastmen include the Ixali, which kind of remind me of Yagudo without feathers.  Mobs don’t just include animal types either.  Around Quarrymill and Buscarron’s Druthers there exist Elezen and Miqo’te bandits that definitely make life interesting for the wandering adventurer!  While there are no open world NM’s, the diversity of the creatures dotting the landscape, along with the hunt log, make exploring every nook and cranny of ARR fun and worthwhile.

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The World of ARR

Eorzea has changed quite a bit from 1.0, and overwhelmingly for the better.  The beta testers for phase 1 and 2 get to play in Gridania and surrounding areas.  Instead of having seamless transitions between areas, there are now zones.  One nice feature about the UI is that while zoning you can still chat and see your friend’s responses, so changing areas doesn’t disrupt communication at all.  The load times for the zones are very fast as well, it becomes less and less noticable the more you play.  Zone sizes seem large to me, with plenty of unique features terrain wise to make the zones so much more interesting.

Gridania has undergone some changes as well.  Some of the zones of Gridania look similar to how they did in 1.0 but with enough changes to somehow improve them.  Another nice feature about Gridania is the Aetheryte network.  There is a big Aetheryte crystal that you can teleport to in the main plaza, and sprinkled around Gridania are smaller crystals that once you attune to them, you can teleport from one to another for free making traveling around the city easy and painless.

Travel in ARR is vastly improved.  Teleportation no longer requires anima and instead uses gil.  You still need to travel by foot to the Aethrytes to attune to them once however.  Chocobo porters also help you travel between smaller sanctuaries that may not have an Atheryte to attune to.  Again you need to first visit the sanctuary on foot once but after that travel is as simple as speaking to the NPC and selecting the place you wish to go.  It’s usually quite a bit cheaper than teleportation as well.

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Unlocking your personal chocobo is where the beta has really shined for me.  Once you hit level 20 you can join the Grand Company and spam a few FATEs to earn enough company seals to buy your chocobo whistle.  This changed the game for me.

It is so much fun to hop on your bird and run across the world, exploring new areas.  As soon as a FATE pops up on the map you can get there quickly and you can usually outrun aggressive mobs as well.  At one point, I was exploring and came across some level 45 knights west of Hrystmill and they managed to hit me hard enough to knock me off my bird and then beat me senseless!

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Controls in ARR have been updated as well.  For a keyboard and mouse user, the game’s controls are more in line with what standard PC games use.  There is an option to set the control scheme back to how it was in 1.0, if that is what you prefer.  The gamepad controls work much the way Yoshi-P demonstrated in the video he released for the media event.  For casual play, like a pick up group for an instanced dungeon where you don’t necessarily need to type as much, the game pad is a joy to use.  When using the game pad, the only issue I found is it’s not immediately apparent what to press to get to the window you want to interact with.  Once I figured out that the select button would allow me to target any of the various windows, and using LB and RB lets you navigate those windows, it became easier to use.  I still found myself using the mouse for some things, simply because it was easier (like dragging abilities to the hotbar) but the gamepad support is a solid choice.  I’m actually torn on which format I will use more once the game launches.


Performance-wise ARR blows 1.0 out of the water.  There is a vast array of settings you can change to get the performance right where you want it.  These settings are almost identical to the ones in the benchmark actually.  My wife’s computer is not quite as powerful as mine yet runs the game well enough that to the layman they appear to look the same.  One thing that blew me away was how many characters can be displayed without slowing the game to a crawl.  The Aetheryte plaza in Gridania is a pretty busy place, but not only do I see everyone there but I can run through the zone without it looking like a slide show.  The new engine is very impressive.

Everything I’ve seen in the ARR beta phase 1 and 2 leaves me very optimistic for ARR’s chances once the game launches.  Not only has Square Enix vastly improved upon 1.0, but the developers are actively engaging with the beta testers on the forums when they provide feedback.  You get this sense that Yoshi-P and company are listening to feedback with an open mind, and tweaking things accordingly.  The testers for the most part are providing tons of input and doing a great job at kicking the tires of ARR.

Be sure to visit us regularly at ZAM as we will be bringing you all of the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn news as it happens.

The Inexorable Decline of World of Warcraft

Blizzard’s turning heads that probably shouldn’t be turning today off news that World of Warcraft – the most successful online roleplaying game in history — lost 14% of its subscriber base over the past three months. Make that 1.3 million players.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Even with that sharp drop, the not-so-little fantasy MMO that could still has over eight million subscribers worldwide; most MMOs these days, say Star Wars: The Old Republic, are lucky to swing a million. With the next expansion possibly coming later this year (and surely by the next), it’ll surely make its historic 10-year anniversary (November 2014) intact.

Still, at its peak, WoW could lay claim to stratospheric subscriber numbers: 12 million back in October 2010 (oh heady days). By August 2011, however, that figure had fallen back to just over 11 million, and in November 2011, it fell again to just over 10 million. At roughly 8 million after this latest plunge, we’re talking a 25% slide down from the mountaintop, and — this is important — one that’s occurred despite Blizzard’s attempts to rally players with WoW‘s third and fourth expansions, released in December 2010 and September 2012 respectively.

Blizzard hasn’t announced what comes next, though Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said the game still had “long-term value” during an earnings call this week (via Seeking Alpha):


It’s important to note that the nature of online games has changed, and with the environment becoming far more competitive, especially with free-to-play games. To address this, we’re working to release new content more frequently to keep our players engaged longer and make it easier for lapsed players to come back into the game. We believe in the long-term value of this franchise and will continue to commit substantial resources to World of Warcraft.

Noting that any game has a shelf life is a little like trend-watching seasons or sunspot cycles, so let’s focus on the less obvious stuff, like that a significant portion of WoW‘s subscriber base has been in the East, and that a substantial portion (“a majority,” says Blizzard) of the 1.3 million subscribers just lost are of that demographic (the BBC reads this as a failure on Blizzard’s part to appeal to that market with recent game upgrades). Activision’s also saying to expect “further volatility” (read: subscriber base erosion) because of market competition and the time between expansions. Kotick noted the next content update, though not an expansion, arrives later this month.

Part of Kotick’s strategy to reinvigorate WoW involves somehow wooing lapsed subscribers, who, like me, tend to come and go, signing up to play for a bit when something new comes along, then hopping off the wagon for months or years at a time. To remedy this, says Kotick


…we’re examining ways we can ease the transition back into the game for returning players. We’ve always seen players come and go from World of Warcraft. Smoothing out that transitional period is something we’re studying, as we adjust our approach to player behavior and preferences.

Three words: seeing is believing, or these four: easier said than done. You don’t often encounter the analogy, but sometimes I wonder if Blizzard hoped WoW might become a kind of online Disneyworld, an exemplar fantasy-verse players could sign up to ride the rides and see the sights indefinitely. And yet the game lives on a platform in slow decline, one that faces increasingly stiff competition from tablets and other mobile devices. It’s practically impossible to know how much of this rapid platform shift accounts for WoW‘s subscription declines, here or elsewhere, but whatever the company’s next MMO (codenamed “Project Titan”) — “World of Warcraft 2″ or “World of StarCraft” or something completely new — it almost certainly won’t be PC-only.

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World of Warcraft Player Receives Unexpected In-game Gift

World of Warcraft Player Receives Unexpected In-game Gift

There are a lot of mean people online, and a lot of them play video games. For every game out there, you hear stories of griefers, trolls, and just all-around unpleasant people. Sometimes, though, a cool person comes around to remind you why you play games online in the first place.

Today, a player on World of Warcraft posed a simple question to the trade chat: “What would you do with 200,000 gold?” Another player, Clearly_Unimpressed, answered that he would purchase a Vial of the Sands, an archaeology item that gives you the Sandstone Drake flying mount.

So, the player that posed the question tracks Clearly_Unimpressed down, and what does he do? Does he murder him in cold blood? Does he take his gold and make fun of him? Nope! He opens up a trade window with him, and hands over the Vial. Just like that, a 50,000 gold item was given away. In return, he asks only to get to ride the mount.

Clearly_Unimpressed was clearly impressed, thanked the trader for the gift, and explained that he would give the Vial to his friend, who always wanted the Sandstone Drake mount. Hearing this, the trade chat superhero ran off to the auction house and returned with another Vial of the Sands, so that Clearly_Unimpressed could have a matching mount with his buddy.

When asked why he was being so generous, the donor responded with, “I wanted to make someone’s day.”

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FFXIV Producer Responds the Lag

Final Fantasy XIV ARR Beta 3 494 670x376 Final Fantasy XIV Producer Responds to Criticism on Lag

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One of the aspects of the latest beta of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that many criticized was the presence of a degree of lag that caused a mismatch between the graphical representation of some monsters’ area attacks and actual damage applied to players. Basically players that thought they were safe outside of the area of effect were still hit, often with lethal results.

The game’s Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida wrote an interesting post on the game’s closed beta forums addressing the issue and promising that things are going to get better.

Producer and director Yoshi-P here.
Thank you for all of your feedback on latency issues and the evasion of enemy attacks. As we continue working to address these issues in time for phase 4 and release, I’d like to inform you all of the current situation.

This post will focus on area attacks that are difficult to evade, or still connect even if you appear to have avoided it.

Damage taken when Ifrit uses Eruption.

When Ifrit used eruption in phase 3, the animation had a momentary build-up before the explosion. Because of this momentary buildup, there was a slight delay between the server’s check and the explosion. This has already been corrected for phase 4 and release.

Damage taken for what looked like a near miss.

1. Registering Player Damage

In phase 3, when judging whether a character was standing in an attack’s area of impact, your position was checked using a circle around your character to represent the space your character stands in. 

Furthermore, to keep the different races balanced, the radius of this circle was the same for all characters. Because of this, even if you appeared to have barely escaped the area of effect, a portion of the circle was still within range. This created the illusion that you barely evaded attack, with varying results depending on your race.
For phase 4 and release, this circle has been reduced to a single point at the center of where your character is standing to more accurately determine your position.

2. Enemy Progress Bars and Area of Impact

Being an online game, there will always be a minimal delay when input is received from the player and sent back after being processed by the server.
In FFXIV: ARR, your position is checked by the server once every 0.3 seconds. This timing is synced and processed according to the servers to prevent lag between your input and what you see. 

During phase 3, however, this syncing did not take place due to stringent server checks that took place, causing lag between what you saw on the enemy progress bar and your character’s positioning. As a result, even if you appeared to be outside the area of impact when the progress bar was filled, damage was still taken.

Adjustments are being made to reduce lag as much as possible, and syncing should improve the timing between enemy cast bars, area of effect markers, and the actual attacks.

Rest assured that we’re doing what we can to make sure players can safely evade attacks by watching enemy cast bars and markers for area attacks.

Players overseas were also affected by having to access the Japan data center in Version 1.0, as this further delayed the relay of data from the server. With the establishment of a regional data center and the above measures being taken to improve syncing with the servers, we will continue working to ensure an enjoyable gaming experience for all of our players.
(Even with a great connection, I think there’s still maybe a 0.1 second margin of error with the cast bar, so make sure to get out of the way when playing with your party. )

That’s a beta for you. Personally I wasn’t heavily affected by the issue. When I see that kind of graphical representation the “don’t stand in the bad!” trigger years of MMORPGs engraved in my brain simply makes me run as far as possible from the danger zone instead of just standing at the edge, but I can see how it could be a problem for many.

Luckily, it’s getting addressed as much as technically possible. Hopefully we’ll soon be able to see how effective the implementation will be with the start of the open beta.

FFXIV updated:with bestiary and location details

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Final Fantasy XIV may still only be in beta but that’s not stopping Square Enix from filling out the game’s site with details of the villains and beasts you’ll be battling. A packed bestiary’s been added to the site, telling the backstory and abilities of the beings which threaten Eorzea.

They’ve also dropped descriptions of Ishgard and Ala Mhigo, two of the realms you’ll be exploring.

 The new Threats section of the site has subheadings dealing with the likes of the primals andbeastmen – everything from the lowly kobold to the mighty Odin – and the head honchos.

Separate to the bestiary are the new location rundowns for Ishgard and Ala Mhigo. Ishgard is the spired mountaintop home of the Alabathians. Led by their sovereign archbishop, their knights wage constant war against the dragons which plague the realm. Ala Mhigo descended in grace since it was conquered by the Garlean Empire, now acting simply as another imperial state which lends its allegiances abroad. Still, it shows signs of its long history as a country devoted to war.

Its cool to see a developer providing so much material for its fans; particularly those invested in the game’s lore. Hopefully the codex will be expanded as the we approach Final Fantasy XIV’s 27 August release date.


Rimmington is a small town in the south-west corner of Asgarnia. Despite the appeal of the central towns and cities, there is still a great deal of industry there. Even Melzar’s madness and the resulting house of dangers and insanity that has evolved on the outskirts of the town could not drive away Rimmington’s locals.

Since the real estate craze hit, more and more people visit Rimmington hoping to get a few rungs up the property ladder. Because Rimmington is the cheapest place to buy a house, and the first place everyone owns their house, the house portal in the north of the town is a very popular point for members to gather and to trade items used in Construction.

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Rimmington is quite an isolated town, bordered to the west and south by the seas. To the east is Port Sarim, where adventurers may traverse those seas to foreign parts.

North of the town is the Crafting Guild, and further beyond that is the mighty city of Falador, home of King Vallance and the White Knights.

South-west over the waters is the island of Karamja, populated by a variety of jungle beasts, the more civilised natives of Tai Bwo Wannai and the less civilised pirates of Brimhaven.

Points of Interest

Rimmington boasts a massive open-cast mine just out of town. Within the crater are a variety of ores free to anyone willing to swing a pickaxe. The mine features lumps of gold, tin, clay, copper and iron.

Next to the mine is a small White Knight camp at the entrance to a lair of unpleasant grotworms. The knights’ leader, Sir Rebrum, has already led one failed assault on the caves, so any members looking for combat are welcome to enter and see what they uncover. Go carefully, though – there’s rumoured to be something much bigger living down there…

Just north of the general store is a portal into the world of Construction and decor.

The Chemist is a specialist in lamp oil technology, and his various machines and devices can not only convert swamp tar to lamp oil, but a variety of other complex chemical tasks as well.

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Hetty     Melzar the Mad
As witches go, Hetty is an almost perfect crone. Her hooked nose, green skin and pointed hat make sure no one has any doubt as to her occupation. She is also quite an excellent potion maker, and more than willing to make one for any adventurer that stumbles by.
melzar the mad.gif
Melzar the Mad was once a powerful mage, but his experiments in necromancy have addled his brain and twisted his house to match. Now he lingers in his basement, muttering odd curses and raving at anyone who dares to disturb his sanctuary. Finding your way to him is not so simple, though…
Hetty can be found in her house, hoping that Falador’s Witch Hunters aren’t on their way.     Melzar can be found at the end of his maze.
Malignius Mortifer     Skippy
malignius mortifer.gif
Malignius Mortifer is the most successful necromancer in RuneScape, even though he often fails to summon the undead of Runescape, instead raising only patches of fungus. He is still trying to perfect his art, of course, but it seems that he still has much work to do. He is followed around by his four elemental disciples.
Skippy could be written off as yet another drunken, raving local were it not for his compelling tale of the horrors that are… THEM (THEM being the giant mudskippers that left him with what can only be giant mudskipper bite marks). Maybe if you can sober him up a bit he’ll remember something more than the terror.
Malignius Mortifer can be found north of Rimmington, raising the dead… and fungus.     Skippy can be found staggering about throwing bottles into the water east of town.
Lucille is a very unhappy housewife. First her husband develops a drinking problem, then he falls into a sleep so deep that she just can’t wake him up!
Lucille can be found in her house, West of the town well.

Song from the Depths

Dangers of Rimmington
Giant rat (Level 3)     Air wizard (Level 13) Earth wizard (Level 13)
Fire wizard (Level 13) Water wizard (Level 13)
giant rat.gif
Giant rats are larger and nastier versions of the small rodents that cats enjoy preying upon. Their coarse fur is poor armour, and the yellow teeth that they attack with are not nearly as dangerous as they look. Giant rats should prove no difficulty to any but the least experienced adventurers.
elemental wizard.gif
The wizards that follow Malignius Mortifer are capable of some minor spells to defend themselves and their master. Though not particularly powerful themselves, they have devoted themselves so wholly to their elements that they are immune to attacks of their sort. Hence, attacking the fire wizard with a Fire Blast will do nothing but ensure that the wizard has more time to do the same to you.
Giants rats can be found lurking on the ground floor of Melzar’s Maze.     The wizards can be found near Malignius Mortifer.
Ghost (Level 19)     Skeleton (Level 22)
Though they are merely side effects of Melzar’s experiments with necromancy, the ghosts that wander his maze are no less dangerous than ghosts elsewhere. Like other ghosts, they are weaker against Magic attacks.
Skeletons may look harmless and weak, but their lack of muscle is more than made up for by the potent magic that holds them together. If you are a new adventurer it might be best to avoid them altogether. If you must deal with them, though, skeletons’ bones will give way under a barrage of crushing attacks.
Ghosts can be found on the first floor of Melzar’s Maze.     Skeletons can be found on the second floor of Melzar’s Maze.
Zombie (Level 24)     Hobgoblin (Level 28)
Zombies are the reanimated corpses of the adventurers who have become lost and died within Melzar’s Maze. They feel no pain because they no longer live, and now they mindlessly roam the room that trapped them.
Hobgoblins are much larger than ordinary goblins, and much stronger as well. They resemble large, hunched goblins but their armour is significantly better.
Zombies can be found in the basement of Melzar’s Maze.     Hobgoblins can be found north of Melzar’s Maze.
Lesser Demon (Level 82)
lesser demon.gif
The final beast that guards the key to exit Melzar’s Maze is a lesser demon, the foulest of creatures to be found within that house of insanity. Its diabolical cunning and unnatural strength make it a dangerous foe for anyone attempting to escape the Maze.
The lesser demon can be found in the basement of Melzar’s Maze.


Someone has left a spade in the middle of the mine.
There is a bush Farming patch north of the Chemist’s house.
A Bronze pickaxe spawns in the ground floor of Anja and Hengel’s house.
Hengel likes to keep his bronze scimitar close at hand.
Brian’s Archery Shop features some respawn points for logs and a bronze arrow.
The Crafting Guild is very close to Rimmington, just head north from Melzar’s Maze.
While picking onions in the field north of town you may occasionally find an onion seed.
If you haven’t already helped her, Hetty in Rimmington who could use your help with mixing a potion.

RS:Player-Owned Ports


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The commercial section of Port Sarim was set up to trade with the Eastern Lands. Once a grand trading hub that connected the Western Lands to the Eastern Lands the port is now nearly deserted after – over 10 years ago – Sea Monsters suddenly plagued the seas destroying all ships that ventured there. Due to this, trade with the Eastern Lands collapsed, crippling the port. About 5 years ago, the creatures stopped attacking but the port never picked up again; the West forgot about the East.

Your task is to help get the port up and running again, with help from your partner and other interested parties, and bring back as many of the treasures from the Eastern Lands that your ships’ holds can carry.

player owned ports.jpg


You require at least level 90 in one of the following skills before you can participate: Fishing, Herblore, Prayer, Runecrafting, Thieving or Slayer.

To create scrolls and unlock abilities, you will need at least level 90 in any of the following skills; Runecrafting, Smithing, Fletching, Cooking and Crafting.

The commercial port section of Port Sarim, Player-Owned Ports can be accessed via portal in the northern section of Port Sarim. To get to the Portal quickly you can use the teleport option on your Captain’s log or teleport to the Port Sarim Lodestone and walk northeast along the docks. You can also use the cabbage-teleport on your Explorer’s ring then head south.

Getting Started

Speak to The Partner, just East of the entry portal, to begin. He will introduce you to the port, and explain how it works. You’ll need to go through a brief tutorial which will introduce you to the main aspects of the port. You’ll be able to find further details on the ports features below.

Note that once the tutorial is over, the Partner will return to his usual position beside the Navigator.
Points of Interest

ports features.jpg

Although your buildings may change in decor (see Upgrade Buildings), the basic layout of your port will remain the same.
black circle.png
The Black Marketeer     red circle.png
The Partner
cyan circle.png
Seasinger Umi     yellow circle.png
magenta circle.png
The Barmaid     blue circle.png
The Navigator

If you want to see more information about the personalities found within the port – these descriptions do contain spoilers – click here to toggle them.

Managing Your Port

While you are in the port, there are two interfaces that you’ll need to take note of. The ‘ships’ interface, accessible via the anchor icon in the bottom-right corner of your screen, and the ‘port’ interface at the top of your screen.

Ships Interface

This interface can take you directly to the shipyard by clicking on your chosen ship. It also lets you know at a glance if your ships are out on a voyage or in the port. You can also rename your ships from here using the rename button.ships.jpg

renaming a ship.jpg

Renaming a ship is a four-step process.

  1. First you must select the prefix. You can choose a random one using the smaller of the two green icons (the larger randomly chooses the entire ship name).
  2. Next, click the dark blue square to choose the middle part of your ship’s name. You can filter these in a variety of ways if the list is too long for you, or if you have a specific idea in mind for your ship. Again, you can have a randomly chosen name if you wish, by clicking the green refresh button.
  3. To choose the last part of your name, click the third dark blue box to see the list of options. These can be filtered or chosen randomly.
  4. To save your ship’s name, press the ‘save’ button. Alternatively, press ‘revert’ if you do not want to change your ship’s name.

Note that you do not have to select all three parts of a ship’s name, but you must have at least the last part of the name.

If you have more than one ship, you can navigate between them using the blue arrows.

Port Interface
port interface.jpg
The port Interface

The interface at the top of the screen will allow you to manage the various aspects of your port, such as building upgrades or sending out ships.

The drop down menu on the left titled ‘Resources’ shows you how many of each item you currently have stockpiled. The items are as follows:

chimes.gif Chimes
bamboo.gif Bamboo ( The Arc )
gunpowder.gif Gunpowder ( The Skull )
black slate.gif Black slate ( The Hook )
cherry wood.gif Cherry wood ( The Scythe )
jade ports.gif Jade ( The Bowl )
stainless steel.gif Stainless steel ( The Pincers )

You also have trade goods that you can use to craft items from scrolls that you bring back from the Eastern Lands (see here).

ancient bones.gif Ancient bones
plate.gif Plate
spices.gif Spices
lacquer.gif Lacquer
chi.gif Chi globe

The drop down menu on the right shows any visitors that are currently at your port. These change every day, although, for the Black Marketeer, it is only the products that he sells that changes each day. Visiting captains and adventurers will show here.

The icons in the middle of the interface bring up the different aspects of your port:
Voyage List

Used to send your ships across the ocean. Select a voyage from the left side panel. It will tell you the voyage’s name, the difficulty and the rewards you will receive. The green reroll button allows you to see another voyage, if you don’t wish to take on the one displayed, but you only have 12 rerolls per day and these rerolls (voyage and crew rerolls are separate).

Selecting a voyage shows more details in the right hand panel, including how long it will take. Click the ship you wish to send (the background will go green for the one you have chosen). You can then use the following buttons to make sure you have the perfect setup for the voyage:

‘Add Effect’ – lets you activate items that can improve your ship and crew (see below)
‘Edit Ship’ – opens the shipyard
‘Crew Roster’ – opens the crew roster

Effects Name     Bonus         Name     Bonus         Name     Bonus         Name     Bonus
bag of winds.gif
Bag of winds     +10% speed     ration pack.gif
Ration Pack     +10% morale     powder keg.gif
Powder Keg     +10% combat     seasinger’s bottled cry.gif
Seasinger’s bottled cry     +10% seafaring
life rafts.gif
Lifeboat     Protect crew     lotus-tint spectacles.gif
Lotus-Tint Spectacles     +50% crew XP     fortune of the sea.gif
Fortune of the Sea     +10% rewards (or penalties)

To ensure the voyage is successful you need to match your ship’s stats to those required for the voyage.

This interface also allows you to take on special voyages that let you meet or help out adventurers. Simply click the ‘special voyages’ tab to see what is available.
voyage list.jpg
The Voyage List interface
Crew Roster
crew roster.gif

On the left hand side you can view your current crew. Clicking on a crew icon will display their skills and any traits they have in the bottom-left corner.

If you no longer require the services of a crew member or captain, press the ‘dismiss’ button. This means they will no longer be part of your crew and cannot come on voyages.

On the right hand side of the interface is a list of crew that you can hire. You will be able to see their stats and any traits they have here.

The green refresh button allows you to see another crew member, if you don’t wish to hire the one displayed, but you only have 12 rerolls per day (voyage and crew rerolls are separate).

You can earn more rerolls through random events in the port.

For more information on crew and their stats, see here.
crew roster.jpg
The Crew Roster

Here you can customise your ships. If you would like a ship that is built for speed, and one that is built for combat, you can manage this here.

The interface itself is built of hotspots, within which you have various choices about what to have there. Different choices will affect your ship’s stats.

Note that you have 2 deck item hotspots but both contain the same list of items to choose from.

Most items will be locked locked skillplot.gif until purchased.

To see all of the upgrades and their benefits, click here.

If at any point you’d like to see your ship in all its glory, click the small camera button in the top-left of the screen. This will remove the interfaces and show off your ship. Click it again to return to the shipyard interface.
Upgrade Buildings
build mode.gif
build mode.jpg
The Upgrade Buildings interface

All buildings start out as dilapidated. You can invest resources into your port to improve it, attracting new crew, captains and providing better stats for your ships.

Use the blue arrows on the left and right of the building name to navigate through the buildings. You will be shown your current building, and the upgrades that are available to you. Upgrades that aren’t available will not be shown until they have been unlocked by purchasing prerequisite upgrades. The upgrades will list the cost and any benefits that the upgrade provides.

Click on an upgrade to purchase it – you will be asked to confirm your purchase before any resources are deducted.

All upgrades, except for totems, icons, portals and the top tier of other building upgrades, must be unlocked by purchasing the previous upgrade.

Note that there are 4 totem hotspots and 3 icon hotspots.

To see all of the upgrades, their benefits and their costs, click here to toggle them.

port portals.jpg
Port Management
port management.gif
navigator instructions.jpg
Navigator Instructions

Port Management is where you give special instructions to your captains. In particular you can specify which scrolls they are to hunt for, and which area of the Eastern Lands that you want them to focus on.

Simply click the scroll or area that you want to instruct your captains. You can hover over each scroll and area to see more information about them.
Archipelago Map
archipelago map.gif

A map of the Eastern Lands archipelago. As you upgrade your port and send out more ships, you will discover more and more of the map.

The entire archipelago is viewable in the map below, however, until you have unlocked these areas, they will not show in game.
the eastern lands.jpg
The Eastern lands

If you want to see more information about the islands that make up the Eastern Lands, click here to toggle them.
Managing Your Crew

Your crew are the dogsbodies of the port; they do all the hard graft. They have skills in combat, morale, speed and seafaring. Filling your ship with crew that have the right skills can improve your chances of completing voyages successfully.

Crew with coloured hats are typically better in one skill than the others. Other crew icons have a more varied skill set. The skill colours are:

Red = combat
Green = morale
Blue = seafaring
Purple = speed

Some crew members have traits which can offer positive (and negative) bonuses to your ship. Click here to view the list of traits.

Note that for each successful voyage you complete, your crew will gain experience and have the chance to improve their stats. It is worth investing in your crew, but choose wisely who you invest in, as you could hire crew who have higher stats.

You can attract a higher quality of crew member by improving the lodgings building.
captain customisation.jpg
Captain Customisation interface

Captains are those who give the orders and you cannot send out a ship on voyages without one.

They randomly show up in your bar, but you can attract a higher quality of captain by improving the state of your bar.

To hire a captain, open the crew roster. You can also speak to them in the bar.

Speaking to a hired captain at the bar will give you the choice to decide on their uniform. Click the blue arrows to cycle through your choices of hat, top and legs.

As with crew, some captains have traits which can offer positive (and negative) bonuses to your ship, and captains can level up by completing voyages.

Note that captains can die, although you can equip a lifeboat to your ship to improve the chances of them returning home safely.

You can only hire a maximum 5 captains at any one time. If you want another captain, you will have to dismiss one.

Before an Adventurer can visit the Port, you must complete a voyage to meet them. This voyage will only appear if the player has level 90 in the Adventurer’s associated skill. After this occurs that adventurers will start visiting the Port.

An Adventurer will turn up to the port every day. Note that adventurers are never available as crew to be placed on a ship.

If you have more than 1 Adventurer, there will be a chance of a second Adventurer turning up. This chance will increase with the number of Adventurers.

You can attract the adventurers by changing your port’s icon.

Adventurers can go on special voyages. There are 5 story voyages per adventurer and, if successful, these voyages will grant extra resources, scrolls and XP in the adventurers associated skill (for more information about the rewards click here). Your adventurer will also increase the stats of the ship you send by up to 10% for these voyages.

Each adventurer can only go on ONE voyage for you per day, so keep that in mind when selecting a special voyage. Once you send an adventurer off with your ship, any of the other options involving that character will be removed from your list of potential voyages.

Adventurers can also go on joint voyages together if you choose, but you can still opt to send them on individual voyages. If you choose to send your adventurers on a joint voyage, you will not be able to send them on individual voyages. The same restriction applies the other way: if you send one of your adventurers on an individual voyage, the joint voyage will no longer be available.

Adventurers that can team up for joint voyages are:

The Whaler and the Biologist.
The Missionary and Occultist.
The Convict and the Assassin.

If you want to see more information about the adventurers storyline – these descriptions do contain spoilers – click here to toggle them.

Depending on the voyage you take on, you can get several rewards
Reward     Where is it earned
XP tomes     Special voyages
Effects     Completing random events
Scrolls     Special voyages.
Trade goods (used for crafting armour)     Voyages
Captain traits (additional traits for the captain that went on the voyage)     Voyages
Access to new crew members.     Voyages

There are 3 categories of scroll:

Tetsu (melee)
Black Lotus (ranged)
Sea Singer (magic)

Once you have brought back a scroll, you will be able to cook, craft, fletch or smith (only within the Port’s workshop) the following items:
Food     Cooking     Eating
Cooking Level     Cooking Method     Ingredients     XP     Constitution Level     Heals
rocktail soup.gif
Rocktail soup     93 Cooking     Cooking station     1x spices.gif     1x rocktail.gif     500     95 Constitution     2100 (plus up to 10% lifepoints boost)
Making Armour

The scrolls will allow you to construct several armour items. Armour only lasts for 10 or 12 hours and once this time has passed it becomes unusable. For superior versions of the armour, you can pay a price to fix them at the repair station in your POH.

You can craft, smith or fletch these items in the workshop. Sea singer and Death Lotus armour is crafted on the crafting bench, and Tetsu armour is smithed on the anvil.

Note the repair cost is given for a player at level 99 Smithing.
Item     Repair Cost     Degrade Time     Level     Ingredients     XP
Superior tetsu helm     300000     12 hours     90 Smithing     40x plate.gif     10000
Superior sea singer’s hood     300000     12 hours     90 Runecrafting     40x chi.gif     10000
Superior death lotus hood     300000     12 hours     90 Crafting     40x lacquer.gif     10000
Superior tetsu body     1200000     12 hours     90 Smithing     100x plate.gif     30000
Superior sea singer’s robe top     1200000     12 hours     90 Runecrafting     100x chi.gif     30000
Superior death lotus chestplate     1200000     12 hours     90 Crafting     100x lacquer.gif     30000
Superior tetsu legs     600000     12 hours     90 Smithing     60x plate.gif     20000
Superior sea singer’s robe bottoms     600000     12 hours     90 Runecrafting     60x chi.gif     20000
Superior death lotus chaps     600000     12 hours     90 Crafting     60x lacquer.gif     20000
Tetsu helm     –     10 hours     90 Smithing     30x plate.gif     10000
Sea singer’s hood     –     10 hours     90 Runecrafting     30x chi.gif     10000
Death lotus hood     –     10 hours     90 Crafting     30x lacquer.gif     10000
Tetsu body     –     10 hours     90 Smithing     80x plate.gif     30000
Sea singer’s robe top     –     10 hours     90 Runecrafting     80x chi.gif     30000
Death lotus chestplate     –     10 hours     90 Crafting     80x lacquer.gif     30000
Tetsu legs     –     10 hours     90 Smithing     50x plate.gif     20000
Sea singer’s robe bottoms     –     10 hours     90 Runecrafting     50x chi.gif     20000
Death lotus chaps     –     10 hours     90 Crafting     50x lacquer.gif     20000

To see the stats of the armour click here to toggle them.
Fletching Scrimshaws

Scrimshaws go in the Pocket slot of your worn equipment inventory. They are fletched on the scrimshaw maker in the workshop.
Item     Degrade Time     Level     Ingredients     XP
Log-splitting scrimshaw     3 hours     85 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Superior log-splitting scrimshaw     4 hours     85 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Rock-crushing scrimshaw     3 hours     85 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Superior rock-crushing scrimshaw     4 hours     85 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Tree-shaking scrimshaw     3 hours     90 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Superior tree-shaking scrimshaw     4 hours     90 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Gem-finding scrimshaw     3 hours     90 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Superior gem-finding scrimshaw     4 hours     90 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Scrimshaw of vampyrism     3 hours     92 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Superior scrimshaw of vampyrism     4 hours     92 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Scrimshaw of strength     3 hours     95 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Superior scrimshaw of strength     4 hours     95 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Scrimshaw of the elements     3 hours     92 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Superior scrimshaw of the elements     4 hours     92 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Scrimshaw of magic     3 hours     95 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Superior scrimshaw of magic     4 hours     95 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Scrimshaw of cruelty     3 hours     92 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Superior scrimshaw of cruelty     4 hours     92 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Scrimshaw of ranging     3 hours     95 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000
Superior scrimshaw of ranging     4 hours     95 Fletching     10x ancient bones.gif     4000

To see the stats of the scrimshaws click here to toggle them.

Meg is a wannabe-adventurer. She is very enthusiastic but requires a little bit of help from you. Once a week you’ll be able to send her off on an adventure and how she acts on that adventure, depends heavily on the advice that you give her. How successful her adventure is will dictate what rewards, if any, she brings back for you.
Occasionally one of the port’s residents will encounter trouble while your ships are on voyages. You will be told about this when your ships return to port when checking the results. Speak to the resident to find out what they need help with. You will be rewarded for your efforts with port resources.
Speak to The Barmaid to hear the local gossip. It will often reveal useful information.

Final Fantasy Xiv:A Realm Reborn garlean empire

The Garlean Empire controls the majority of the Three Great Continents, the enormous landmass that encompasses Eorzea. Until some fifty years ago, Garlemald was a remote and sparsely populated nation which held little more than a fraction of the northern continent of Ilsabard. But with the arrival of a technological golden age and the concurrent emergence of a brilliant young legatus—now the reigning emperor—in the span of a single generation Garlemald established itself as one of the most formidable forces in all of Hydaelyn.

keyvisual Final Fantasy Xiv:garlean empire

Garlemald is unsurpassed in the field of magitek, a technology which it exploits with devastating effectiveness in warfare. Unperturbed by their lesser numbers, the Garleans went forth upon gigantic flying warships, bearing powerful weaponry the likes of which the world had never seen. One nation after the next fell before their relentless onslaught, first those of the northlands, followed by the sovereign states of the eastern continent, Othard. Employing suppression and conciliation in equal measure, Garlemald indoctrinated the peoples it conquered, thus integrating them into its ever-expanding territory. So it was that the Garlean Empire came into existence.

text bg 010 Final Fantasy Xiv:garlean empire

In the year 1557 of the Sixth Astral Era, a mere thirty-six years from the Empire’s founding, the Garleans brought their campaign of conquest to Eorzea, swiftly bringing the city-state of Ala Mhigo to its knees. Yet following the subjugation of Ala Mhigo, the Empire suddenly ceased its aggressive expansion.

text bg 020 Final Fantasy Xiv:garlean empire

For more than a decade, the continent of Aldenard knew relative peace. In the year 1572, however, the Garlean army once again began its inexorable advance. Using the calamitous arrival of the Seventh Umbral Era to sinister advantage, the Empire prepares to gather the lands of Eorzea into its steely embrace…


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Character creation benchmark available for Final Fantasy XIV

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xffxiv benchmark epl 801.jpg.pagespeed.ic.X4gO OILcC Character creation benchmark now available for Final Fantasy XIVYou don’t know when the next (and final) beta test is starting for Final Fantasy XIV. That’s a bad thing, because it means you’re going through a fair bit of withdrawal. And while nothing can really fix the fact that you want to be playing but can’t, being able to play around with the character creator might at least help take the edge off. Which you can do today, as the newest benchmark and character creator is now available on the official site.Aside from offering another chance to test your computer’s performance against the game, the new benchmark will allow you to create a new character. It also allows you to save the appearance data from that new character, which can be loaded up again in the launch version or the benchmark for further tweaking. So you could have your character ready to go the moment the game goes live later this month.


50 Character creation benchmark now available for Final Fantasy XIV


Average Framerate:16.225

Screen Size: 1920×1080
Screen Mode: Full Screen
Graphics Presets: *Custom

*Note: Based on the sample resolution given which is fairly high.

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.130318-1533)
AMD Phenom(tm) 9600 Quad-Core Processor
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT  (VRAM 4069 MB) 9.18.0013.2049

…which is actually surprisingly good when my machine is well over 5 years old.

The settings will likely be lower if I choose to run this game on this current machine. So good news: I don’t to run out and purchase the Hal 9000 series to run FFXIV ARR if I choose to play it. <3

I’ll be poking around with other settings in the meantime.

 Character creation benchmark now available for Final Fantasy XIV



Average Framerate:79.456

Performance:Extremely High

Screen Size: 1920×1080

Screen Mode: Full Screen

Graphics Presets: Maximum


Windows 8 Pro 64-bit (6.2, Build 9200) (9200.win8_gdr.130531-1504)

Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti(VRAM 4038 MB) 9.18.0013.2641

SteelSeries and the League of S.T.E.A.M. Team Up for BlizzCon Sweepstakes

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BlizzCon returns to Anaheim, California this November 8 and 9! If you want a chance to be part of the action in person, catch the latest Blizzard news live as it happens, and get your hands on the latest Blizzard games, SteelSeries and its partners J!NX and the League of S.T.E.A.M. have teamed up to send some lucky winners to the festivities in style.

The “Win the Ultimate BlizzCon Experience” sweepstakes is going on now, and it’s completely free to enter. All you need to do is visit the contest landing page. Sweepstakes entries will be open until August 11 to all North American residents, so enter early if you don’t want to miss this chance to experience everything BlizzCon.

Grand-prize winners will receive two all-access tickets to BlizzCon, airfare and accommodations for you and a friend, plus one custom-made costume by award-winning costume designers the League of S.T.E.A.M.! If you’re not the grand-prize winner, don’t worry: there’s still an additional $2,500 in sponsored prizes to be given away, including SteelSeries World of Warcraft wireless mice and J!NX gift cards.


Saw this, was super excited! Quickly started filling in all the required info. And then to find out only USA and Canada can enter this contest? Only the whole world plays games from Blizzard. Ashamed you should be.

My daughter would love this if she won, But I tried to sign her up and it doesn’t go past the year 1995. She was born in 2001 so if I win I will pay for her to go so cross your fingers Bryanna. Momma loves you…