Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

released on Jun 20, 2017

STORMBLOOD is the second expansion to FINAL FANTASY XIV and sees the Warrior of Light heading to the Gyr Abania region in eastern Aldenard and beyond to the continent of Othard, liberating both the city-states of Ala Mhigo and Doma from the Garlean Empire.

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Unfolds as more of a sequel to A Realm Reborn than a direct follow-up to Heavensward, with all of the pros and cons that that statement implies. There's genuinely a better sense of place in the conflicts of Doma and Ala Mhigo, and the dungeons and trials operate at an even higher level of quality than the highlights of Heavensward. Really impressive stuff! However, there's a lot about the finer details in aesthetic and character interactions in Heavensward that just plain appealed to me better than Stormblood. The expansion is perfectly solid though! I honestly have trouble seeing what makes this expansion in particular contentious, because so many of its bigger issues particularly in its pacing and some of its politics are just issues with Final Fantasy XIV in its entirety.

Its a mixed bag. Some good story moments but some of the questing is so boring that I ended up quitting and taking a break.
When I came back I story skipped a new character and to this day am still making my way through this expansion on my original main. The rating is final as I know the story already and watched the cutscenes, however.

The pacing and themes of this expansion are…muddled at best and offensive at worst. The characters, however, make up for this in spades with Yotsuyu, Sadu, Cirina and Gosestsu being prime examples of excellent character driven story arcs. It would be remiss of me to also ignore the introduction of Red Mage and Samurai which fit in beautifully both thematically and practically. Side content and gameplay were the gorgeous highs that contrasted the terrible lows of the main scenario.

Shit ain't fair. This would have been a good expansion for most other games, but it just pales in comparison to the other ones. Ok but tbh the Ala mhigo arc is straight up garbage

The story was a bit messy but the ending sequence really pulled everything together. Wished some characters had a bit more time to flesh their traits out (particularly Lord Hien.) Excited to start on the post-expansion content!