Eorzea Examiner #3: Lightning Strikes

Ragar talks about FFXIV's crossover event with the heroine from Square Enix's upcoming console RPG

I Like the Theory - We Just Need to Fix the Execution

Now that I've spent a few pages talking about what's wrong with the event, let's look at the positive and how to fix things. The first place to start would be the quests themselves since that's the bulk of my problem with Lightning Strikes. I understand why they made at least part of the event FATE-based; it cuts down on load by not instancing everyone on the server doing the quest and it makes sense as an introduction to the character Lightning. After a while though they establish that Lightning starts to recognize your character and the cutscenes during the quest turn-ins build on this new relationship between the two of you. With this being the case, I would suggest that converting the final two chapters into personal instances or perhaps a guildleve would be the preferable way to handle this. Do you lose the "epic" feel of the massive FATE battles? Yes, but now it feels closer to a more traditional RPG like FFXIII by reducing it to you and her against the monstrous horde and giving you more reason to develop a personal relationship with her character rather than Lightning just happening to pick your face out of the sea of FATE grinders.

All right, we've examined the FATE/quest and have a potential solution for that, but what about the loot that isn't haircuts? How do you make level 13 gear not just RP loot? There are really two ways to handle this: appearance changes and upgrades.  We're all familiar with appearance changes from other games: take one item and copy the appearance/model to another of the same type. This one would likely be the preferred method of fixing the problem since a system like this would be helpful regardless, as there's currently no way to deal with ugly gear/plate bikinis/etc. for new equipment short of wearing old gear or hoping for another upgrade soon. Adding a way to copy the Lightning gear over to your other gear would let you convert your regular gear into RP gear as well as providing players alternatives when their end-game gear doesn't quite match or isn't to their taste.

That second idea of upgrades involves a few more items in the database, but would be a good option for future player equipment. Since all four chapters had their own versions of the Otherworldly Parcel items, my suggestion is to make a tiered upgrade system. Have the level 13 Gladiator sword from your first parcel? Turn it in with a Chapter 2 parcel for a level 26 sword. Same thing with the third and fourth chapter's parcels - you could upgrade the weapon all the way to 45, the level of the FATEs you ran to get your final armor reward. By allowing players to upgrade those armor pieces with drops from the FATEs, you not only give those rewards more life, but now you've given players a reason to keep participating in your world event beyond grabbing their one parcel and teleporting to the next FATE.


Looking at the Lightning Strikes event as a whole, I see potential hidden behind problems. While it's a far step better than the Moonfire Faire event and its grinding bombs for swimsuits, the Halloween Event, All Saints' Wake, shows a far more personal involvement with the event. Was there a grand reward at the end of that one? No, it was a set of simple ghost costumes, but the quest line was self-contained and it felt like you were truly participating instead of simply being in the same place as a major NPC.

While a world event doesn't necessarily have to have an epic reward of some kind, these costumes and weapons are obviously meant to be shown off in more places than merely worn as you're AFK at the inn. With a few tweaks like those I suggested above, these items could indeed have a lifespan beyond the time it takes to go from 13 to 15 on an alt class. Considering that this event is proof that there is a bridge between the worlds of Final Fantasy and opens the possibility for future encounters with characters from Final Fantasy XV and other Square Enix games, it should really be commemorated with a little more than a set of gear that sits in the bank until you feel like leveling a new class.

Michael "Ragar" Branham

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