April 16, 2024

La Ronge Northerner

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Before the next expansion for FF14, I'll be switching from PC to PS5

Before the next expansion for FF14, I'll be switching from PC to PS5

Final Fantasy XIVnext expansion, Downtrail, will be released on June 28 (for those who pre-ordered). I'm looking forward to it. There's just one problem, I haven't finished the latest expansion yet, Endwalker. Yes, I know it came out at the end of 2021, but time got away from me and I fell in the middle of the expansion. At the time of this writing, the date is April 3. This gives me 85 days to complete it Endwalker And its spots. This requires a radical change in strategy that I hope will help me in my mission: I am switching my platform of choice from PC to PS5.

There's a reason I played it Final Fantasy XIV On PC since I started playing the game four years ago: it's an MMO. The variety of actions and movements you have to perform simultaneously during dungeons or large-scale raids feels tailor-made for a keyboard and mouse. I always felt like the controller was too restrictive, especially in my stressful job as a white mage (a wizard role). But one of the biggest hurdles I faced was trying to complete it Endwalker It is my computer itself. I'm not in the mood to sit at my desk for hours rushing through the enlargement process.

The crux of the issue lies in Final Fantasy XIVQuest design. As an MMO, most of the game's main scenario missions are fairly mundane, at least mechanically speaking. While there are amazing combat encounters in Endwalker, There are only nine main dungeons or trials for the scenarios, spread across 108 missions. This means that the majority of quests send your hero – the Warrior of Light – from one point on the map to another, sometimes to kill an enemy or two, sometimes to collect items, and sometimes just to talk to people. The talking is the best part, because that's the story I'm here to experience. But the time in between is mostly normal. “Regular” is not fun for me to do from my uncomfortable office chair (which is its own problem). I want to do this from the comfort of my couch. Fortunately, I was able to get the PS5 version of the game on sale.

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picture: Square Enix/Kotaku

Despite my aversion to playing with a console, I was encouraged by the promise of relaxing on my couch. This is the easy part. But just like switching functions in the game itself, switching to a different method of input — a DualSense controller, in this case — essentially meant I had to relearn everything. It's slow going, and sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. The main problem is that I'm still trying to set up my file Via hotlines In a way that matches my playing style. Cross bars are how console players trigger their actions. Unlike the rows of actions on a PC that you press with different keybinds, the crossed-out launch bar looks like two plus signs side by side with space for actions in each corner. It's designed to mirror the D-pad and face buttons, to which actions are linked. In terms of porting the complexity of an MMO to console, it's pretty ingenious, but it's still a learning curve. My first 24 hours with the PS5 version were mostly spent tweaking settings and getting the cross bars right.

But after overcoming the natural growing pains associated with it, I was pleasantly surprised at how well my platform change worked. Movement in particular is where I appreciate the ease of the controller. While WASD and a mouse certainly don't make traveling difficult, it's a little more complicated than just using a joystick. Now I find myself progressing through the game's missions more happily. My sofa is really as comfortable as I remember and I enjoy lying on it while exploring the amazing landscapes of Elpis and Labyrinthos. The majority of missions aren't combat heavy, so even when I'm presented with short combat, my slow reactions to the crossbar aren't really a big issue. It has turned the game into a smoother experience for me in the way I need it now. I mostly turn off and reset my brain when I need to watch a cutscene or read some important dialogue. turns up Endwalker So good, who knew?

I still feel like the console version lags behind in dungeons and trials. When I get to these more intense combat encounters, I still find myself returning to my computer so I can bring my best to my party. Of course, I could use the NPC parties available through the quest support system and run these sections with a bunch of bots but it's a lot of fun to play FFXIV It is in dealing with other players. For this reason, I also decided to keep a Bluetooth keyboard connected to my console, so I could type messages. Other features of the PC version that I miss sorely are the stuff that director Yoshi-P has jaundiced But I still find great benefit in.


So, this jump had its pros and cons, but overall, switching to PS5 made me appreciate the different ways people can play this game. Now, I anticipate the release Downtrail, I can't help but think I'll be switching back and forth between PC and PS5 for the next expansion as well.