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Interesting Write-up about the 5-Year Gap on The Mog LogFollow

#1 Mar 04 2013 at 12:17 PM Rating: Good
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The Mog Log

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The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV's five-year gap

Right now, the world of Final Fantasy XIV players is made up of two separate but equally important groups: the Legacy players who are doing secret things in a beta that they cannot talk about, and everyone else sitting on the sidelines and desperately hoping for an NDA breach that unveils huge amounts of information. (The second group also spends some time hating the Legacy players. It's a delicate balance.) As a result, it's even harder than usual to write something interesting about the game.

So, as prompted by some discussions over on the RPC, let's talk a little bit about what we do know regarding the state of the world. It isn't great, but at the same time, it's better than it could be. There are three main time period to be concerned with, and when they're taken as a whole, there's a lot of opportunity for interesting conflict and storytelling as well as roleplaying if that's your cup of tea.

Aaaand it got worse.

Bahamut's big night

For about a year before Dalamud fell, it was impossible for anyone not to know big things were afoot. But everything else that had been happening paled compared to the final approach of the moon.

There were three major effects of Dalamud's approach, and the first one was that the magic of the world started going wonky. In the beginning, it was just little things like monsters growing larger and the occasional de-aspected crystal showing up, but by the time Dalamud was nearly on the ground Atomos was wandering about and whole aetheryte crystals were going dark without warning. We don't know exactly how the actual landing of the moon affected the magical flow of the land, but considering things got worse rather than better as the moon drew closer, it seems safe to conclude that the trend continued.

Second, Bahamut decided to vent a whole lot of rage on Eorzea specifically. The exact scope of the damage done is unclear, but we saw both Limsa and the Black Shroud burning in the End of an Era trailer. How long he vented his wrath is unclear, and it may have been just a single night, but the sheer effect he had on the landscape is visible even from preview screenshots. All three capital cities were affected, rivers changed course, mountains were shattered or raised, and the landscape was torn apart extensively. So not only did Eorzea lose its main methods of communication and transport, but the landscape was suddenly and irrevocably altered.

Last but not least, there were the adventurers. From our perspective as players, Eorzea was always a pretty dangerous place, but that was because we adventurers were there facing the danger and keeping things relatively safe. The reason that Ul'dah wasn't overrun with Amalj'aa was because adventurers drove the beastmen back long before they could reach central Thanalan. On that night, the vast majority of the people who made up the Grand Companies were lost, and while many of them were simply thrown forward in time, from an outsider's perspective, it probably seemed that everyone perished.

On the night the King of Dragons returned, the land was thrown into tumult.

The five-year gap

We don't know everything that happened during this gap and won't know much until the game is released. What we do know is what we see evinced in screenshots, and that's the simple fact that life has continued and thrived once again.

Settlements have largely moved outside of the capital walls, with far more structures dotting the exterior of the main cities. We know that aetheryte crystals remain, albeit changed, and that moogles are delivering mail. (Something seen prominently in the benchmark trailers, among other places.) In other words, we know that in the wake of the destruction wrought by Bahamut, Eorzea rallied and rebuilt in record time. And in a few months, everything's going to change for Eorzea all over again.

Today (in several months)

First of all, I think it's worth noting that from the perspective of pretty much every major city, everyone involved in the final battle as the moon fell is dead. This is worth taking note when your character pops back into existence. From your character's point of view, it's been a few minutes; from the rest of the world's point of view, it's been five years that you were dead and buried. The only person who could have told anyone what the spell was meant to do was Louisoix, and he was dead immediately after casting it.

Logically speaking, we can deduce that the past five years have not been all that horrible on a whole for the people still on the ground. The opening cinematic seems to back this up -- people are bustling about in Limsa Lominsa just as they were before Dalamud fell. There's a lot going on, and there's probably a sense of fear in the air, but thus far it seems the land is holding together well without the adventurers.

The Mog Log
From the perspective of those coming back, the world will seem strange. From the perspective of everyone already there, things are normal. Everyone has been carrying on with life and living in a world that changed a while back in fairly comprehensible ways. And that's complete with a brand-new crop of adventurers coming to prominence, promising that the land will be safer again in time.

We know that there's going to be some strange reactions to our returning characters when the relaunch happens, and when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Even if those characters were heroes, they're dead. These are not awaited saviors; these are yesterday's heroes without a clear purpose in the right now.

There's a disconnect, in other words. And from everything we've seen about the story so far, there's a good reason for that.

As always, feedback is welcome down in the comments below or via mail to eliot@massively.com. Next week, I want to talk about buffets. I promise, it's relevant.

From Eorzea to Vana'diel, there is a constant: the moogles. And for analysis and opinions about the online portions of the Final Fantasy series, there is also a constant: The Mog Log. Longtime series fan Eliot Lefebvre serves up a new installment of the log every Saturday, covering almost anything related to Square-Enix's vibrant online worlds.
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#2 Mar 04 2013 at 12:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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Interesting read. Whats also interesting are the comments below. Don't know if some of them are true but if they were i would still say they are trying too hard to impress the rest of the people.

And a question for a particular guy from the comments. Apparently he has access to the beta forums even though he "sold" his legacy account for as he said "a lot of money" how can he still have access to the beta forum?

I enjoy reading arguments like that! ^^
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#3 Mar 04 2013 at 1:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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One thing that bothers me is that Eorzea's best and bravest warriors, who completely failed to save Eorzea, were transported five years into the future leaving the land defenseless to a raging Bahamut and Garlean invasion. Yet somehow, the stragglers left behind managed to rebuild cities and towns and keep them safe in just five years. Makes you think the transported adventurers were highly overrated.
#4 Mar 04 2013 at 1:40 PM Rating: Decent
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Eh, I'm sure they'll flashback some satisfactory explanations. It's about the best one can hope for when trying to let the form of the narrative follow the function of the gameplay realities. You're already constrained by the gameplay decision that you have to make, which makes it difficult to create an original narrative that's still accessible to the wider audience. Considering that a very simple solution would be to increase the length of time between the two, I'd be surprised if they didn't at least have some rationale in mind. It might not be the most compelling reason, but even in a well-written narrative, not all things can be.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#5 Mar 04 2013 at 1:40 PM Rating: Decent
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Xoie wrote:
One thing that bothers me is that Eorzea's best and bravest warriors, who completely failed to save Eorzea, were transported five years into the future leaving the land defenseless to a raging Bahamut and Garlean invasion. Yet somehow, the stragglers left behind managed to rebuild cities and towns and keep them safe in just five years. Makes you think the transported adventurers were highly overrated.


I never thought of it like that....
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#6 Mar 04 2013 at 1:50 PM Rating: Good
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Yea that is strange, i mean why did they put it 5 years later? Or am i missing something. I mean if i haven't they must have a reason why they fast forward it 5 years and not a smaller number. If so i suspect they will tell us how they survived once the game starts, maybe through quests or whatnot. If not its a big gap story wise that i doubt SE would make.
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#7 Mar 04 2013 at 1:56 PM Rating: Good
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Kachi wrote:
Eh, I'm sure they'll flashback some satisfactory explanations.
I think your expectations are much too high.
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#8 Mar 04 2013 at 2:05 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Kachi wrote:
Eh, I'm sure they'll flashback some satisfactory explanations.
I think your expectations are much too high.


If nothing else, there's not necessarily a plot hole there to begin with. I can come up with several explanations for it just with what little I know. 5 years is not likely to be a number drawn from a hat. If I'm pulling out a number like 5, it's because I put some thought into the kind of transition I want to happen between then and now, and why things worked out the way they did.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#9 Mar 04 2013 at 3:28 PM Rating: Good
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teravibe wrote:
Yea that is strange, i mean why did they put it 5 years later? Or am i missing something. I mean if i haven't they must have a reason why they fast forward it 5 years and not a smaller number. If so i suspect they will tell us how they survived once the game starts, maybe through quests or whatnot. If not its a big gap story wise that i doubt SE would make.


Any shorter and it's even more hard to believe the rebuild and reborn-ness. Any longer and they have to re-design npcs to be older. You lose out on **** Cid and all that.

It's a good number, but Louiseix didn't transport all the people, just the characters. It's safe to assume the Garleans were put down in the same firey blaze during that battle, and the eruption of the calamity made them rethink their conquest of Eorzea, as they are now dealing with many more Primals (Atomos, Odin, who knows who else), and the world-ruiner Dragon Bahamut.

I mean, the story was planned long before the servers came down, I'm sure it's at least interesting even if it's unbelievable.
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#10 Mar 04 2013 at 3:58 PM Rating: Default
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Louiscool wrote:
Right now, the world of Final Fantasy XIV players is made up of two separate but equally important groups: the Legacy players who are doing secret things in a beta that they cannot talk about, and everyone else sitting on the sidelines and desperately hoping for an NDA breach that unveils huge amounts of information.


Why are you presenting such a polarised view of player types? The last time I checked the Alpha & Beta sign-up sites, there wasn't any "Legacy Only" restrictions. There is a section on the Beta sign-up stating that Legacy members don't have to sign-up up but they do if they wish to test the PS/3 version.

Ref: http://entry.ffxiv.com/alpha/index_na.html
Ref: http://entry.ffxiv.com/beta/detail_en.html

#11 Mar 04 2013 at 4:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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Louiscool wrote:
teravibe wrote:
Yea that is strange, i mean why did they put it 5 years later? Or am i missing something. I mean if i haven't they must have a reason why they fast forward it 5 years and not a smaller number. If so i suspect they will tell us how they survived once the game starts, maybe through quests or whatnot. If not its a big gap story wise that i doubt SE would make.


Any shorter and it's even more hard to believe the rebuild and reborn-ness. Any longer and they have to re-design npcs to be older. You lose out on **** Cid and all that.

It's a good number, but Louiseix didn't transport all the people, just the characters. It's safe to assume the Garleans were put down in the same firey blaze during that battle, and the eruption of the calamity made them rethink their conquest of Eorzea, as they are now dealing with many more Primals (Atomos, Odin, who knows who else), and the world-ruiner Dragon Bahamut.

I mean, the story was planned long before the servers came down, I'm sure it's at least interesting even if it's unbelievable.


There you have it a possible explanation. There are plenty of stories anyone can come up with to see how the connection between XIV and ARR will be. The only thing that remains is if SE will actually take the time to put that into the game and also pick a good story.
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#12 Mar 04 2013 at 4:48 PM Rating: Decent
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rubina wrote:
Louiscool wrote:
Right now, the world of Final Fantasy XIV players is made up of two separate but equally important groups: the Legacy players who are doing secret things in a beta that they cannot talk about, and everyone else sitting on the sidelines and desperately hoping for an NDA breach that unveils huge amounts of information.


Why are you presenting such a polarised view of player types? The last time I checked the Alpha & Beta sign-up sites, there wasn't any "Legacy Only" restrictions. There is a section on the Beta sign-up stating that Legacy members don't have to sign-up up but they do if they wish to test the PS/3 version.

Ref: http://entry.ffxiv.com/alpha/index_na.html
Ref: http://entry.ffxiv.com/beta/detail_en.html



I do not write The Mog Log...

Quote:
From Eorzea to Vana'diel, there is a constant: the moogles. And for analysis and opinions about the online portions of the Final Fantasy series, there is also a constant: The Mog Log. Longtime series fan Eliot Lefebvre serves up a new installment of the log every Saturday, covering almost anything related to Square-Enix's vibrant online worlds


Also, I'm pretty sure he's using humor and exaggeration.

Edited, Mar 4th 2013 5:50pm by Louiscool
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