Hello, everyone. I have been thinking a long time about what this letter should and could have been. My first intention was to draw the spotlight at a random FC member, and get their story out very similar to how we already did. I think those can be good letters and story in of itself, and the small platform of this website, is a good way to present them.
My second thought was to talk about all the changes internally and how struggles, since I wasn’t looking exactly up for the FC for quite a bit. But since we had our recent sprout pursuit, in early November, the content of the letter and everything that had been written slightly changed again.
So I want to still talk about changes, but more like in a broader sense, so also about the game and the FC itself.
If you are a mentor, and just coming to this, much might be already familiar to what you are going to read, and even as a non-FC member or anything else, you might also have noticed these things, but I think it’s a good way to document them. If you read this in 2025, you might just go “ooh that’s how things were back then!” and that’s my goal, too!
Also, this is how friends and I perceive them, this can be also wrong for other Datacenters, or even other circles of players. But if there are already some differences in how we see things in the FC, feel free to make this a discussion in our Discord!
The Sprout Boom ended
Many coming from WOW or just being dragged along the Shadowbringers hype have now either stopped playing or are well merged in the game. This dominated the game for quite a long time, technically before Endwalker release, but this is not the only factor.
Endwalker feels like the end (also Corona is slowly ending)
People just take a healthy break after finishing Endwalker. This includes how things change in people’s real life quite majorly in the last year, we are returning from a pandemic and people happily do other outgoing things again.
Shadowbringers lack of content
I don’t want to pull out raw numbers, but the amount of things released in Shadowbringers was very little, due to Corona. So now we kinda have an awkward gap of playable content. It is good if they take breaks of deep dungeons for example if they run out of ideas, but … there was no backup for it.
Final Fantasy sub-communities
Final Fantasy does have many sub-communities. For example, Final Fantasy Instagram in making screenshots, thinking up new ideas for it and challenging yourself in going overboard wherever you can, not only let you explore the game in a completely new light.
It also made me meet new friends in another “community bubble” I would have never expected to ever explore and enjoy as much as I do.Jace
Other communities would be reddit, shitpostxiv basically mirroring the ffxiv subreddit, but meme’y, the twitter community, and several discords where you suddenly hit a deep toxic or friendly ground. I had both. You kinda need to get lucky. We had a discord about island sanctuary explode… well, you never know.
Impossible catching up?
I heard this over the year quite a bit, and I don’t experience it myself, I do see why people feel a certain way. Extremes, Gear, Quests, … if you have a community that plays a lot, and you do not, it can feel hard to belong. Where I agree with the sentiment is that casual content runs out quickly, and like variant dungeons, you always kinda have to ask a favor, and it usually doesn’t happen “naturally”, that players that grind quickly go back on their own to pick up casuals just because… But if you base a community on players that play not as regularly, your FC/Community will collapse quite quickly. We can see that people log in a lot in the first patch week, no days. And then it already falls off quite quickly once the story is being done. It is how the game is designed, and how much you suffer under it, depends on how well you feel connected to your community and the game.
I personally, like the back and forth and the requests to do ‘already done & casual’ content, again, because that is increasing the longevity of the game for me too. The game isn’t simply running the variant dungeon 12 times and be done, It’s to do it for your friends and FC mates too, but I understand why requesting it, might feel too much to ask. It’s maybe a commitment you do not want to do, even.
I hope Casual Wednesdays can cover more old in game content, so you do not have to ask. If you have a better solution, I always like to listen.
Upcoming graphic change (instead of content?)
This is what worries most people who are still playing, we are enjoying the change of focus, but looking how “good” island sanctuary is.. We worry with innovation, and where the focus of the dev team is.
For 7.0, I would like if they change their philosophy regarding certain things. In a game where you can play every job, why is it such a chore to gear every role? Why are there so few options to gear up? Many people expected Criterion Dungeons to add diversity to that, but they didn’t at all. Their job design also seems a bit too ‘solved’ and ‘balanced’ for its own good, after a while, most jobs feel more or less the same. BLM and their Ley Lines are meme’d to death, but I wish every job had something more unique like that, instead of “fill gauge spend gauge, but it’s a different color“. Overall, I wish they would experiment more and go further with the systems they have in place, instead of pushing out half-baked systems that barely get any love.
Failed features are here to stay?
Fellowship finder…. Some FC members do not even know the feature, that were actively playing to its release. I checked our Servers fellowships that are available, and it’s not dead, it just smells funny.
Basically you can only do polls, you do not get a chat like a Linkshell, but you have a forum like options… All very limited, since it isn’t an FC nor Linkshell and getting people into it from my perspective is too much work to have to stay in “sync” (at least roughly) with the FC.
Failed Features 2: Discord vs Ingame vs … Companion App?
Almost all games organize themselves now in discord, but well it would be blessed if we didn’t have to. The FC management in the game is atrocious. I feel they wanted us to use the “Companion App” to use its calendar and chatting in there. It’s too much effort to maintain another resource with our limited amount of people, while I am sure some use the app, it won’t be the majority that say that they don’t like discord.
We already split our chat from in game <-> discord, and that would be another split too.
If a (technical-chat) bridge was possible, we would do it. That’s why we also offer the website to give more insight into our events, even if you are not on our discord.
I just want a calendar in game. Please.
P.S. I tried logging in the companion app to check its features and i just a generic error. Trying again helped. It does not help it does not remember my login, that I can’t disable 2FA on this device or any, this deserves a whole topic on this own, but I digress.
I do not want to use it.
Why do they hate people just having simple fun? Island Sanctuary sucks, it’s not a sanctuary, it’s a timer filled hellscape, where you work gathering materials, to then produce items, which you then sell, so you can build things or buy things. It is a stressful mess of menus, so needlessly complicated they make Starcraft Brood War seem simple. Why do I need a watering mode, a gathering mode, a capturing mode, why is there no checklist for the infinite amount of shit you have to gather to build things, why is everything so timed, so economics-based, what sort of sanctuary is this, when it seems a sanctuary for Warren Buffett and his 2000 investor workers, who in their right mind thought “We will add some sort of stock exchange” into ISLAND SANCTUARY, A THING SUPPOSED TO BE RELAXING. Let’s not even talk about the housing, they said this wasn’t a substitute for housing. Well, maybe it should have been, because the customization they gave us sucks. Oh, and who cares about visiting other friend’s islands? You can’t even do anything other than sit around and see which minions they have let free. This is awful, the whole system is awful garbage. The only good thing is the rare Pokémon spawning at different intervals.
Earlier this year, PvP got a complete rework. Every job got new abilities, and they were streamlined to just a few buttons, and a new “push the cart” mode was added, Crystalline Conflict. Additionally, they introduced PvP Series, a reward system for just playing PvP. While I think PvP has many issues due to the nature of the game, these changes have been very positive, and now we get groups grinding towards Series goals frequently in the FC, and events where we just try to queue for Crystalline Conflict at the same time for the sake of it because, although imperfect, it is fun, and especially so with friends in the enemy team to crush 🙂
Just to note, not every PVP mode (Astragalos) has been yet re-enabled, which is a shame! I really like Rival Wings.
Community (based) Feedback
Their absolute stubbornness to stick to their own region’s voices only. It can really help when it comes to them resisting some bad peer pressure from the west’s game design, but also backfires when it comes to adapting to the needs/player base of the west. Recently they have opened their mind a bit more but a lot of the times, unless it’s a problem on the JP servers it’s not a problem (like the good old bot spam which they insisted wasn’t that bad until Yoshi-P experienced it live on stage)
Raid Community Burnout?
DSU was challenged by many people who never did an ultimate on release, and many of the wow sprouts who just finished gearing up and their on tier-experience was only Asphodelos for savage. Abyssos followed up with a difficulty spike on the 4th turn, too. I was quite hard to find even PFs for p6s on a Tuesday, three weeks after release.
This can be a bit argued about, but looking at community forums, there are many people shifting in and out of raiding right now, since we had so many new players around.
Personally, I cannot judge this as well, but the change is noticeable. Feels a bit similar to the Heavensward burn out!
FlamingDragons is currently planned to pick up again, so let’s see where that leads us as an FC.
A big housing change happened this year. A new zone was released, and the system was changed from first-come-first-serve to lottery. And as much as I prefer entering a lottery instead of mindlessly checking a placard day in day out, losing so many times is disheartening. With the new year and 6.3 come many new plots on the market, so I guess lottery is back on the menu on a larger scale again. Good luck to everyone else trying for a house, and here’s to hoping they’ll come up with a better long term solution in the future.
Housing demolition timer
The EU Server is a very vast united area. This isn’t bad, I actually love it, apart from the small issues if somebody that does not speak English and if you do not speak their language…
The demolition timer wasn’t turned on this year. Because of war and before that floods I think? While it’s perfectly understandable, and I support players in dire situations can keep their houses, … the system itself struggles against the masses that want a house in this game.
Gardening (on your plot, or indoors)
Gardening was always a bit clunky, limited feature for house owners. But apart from some rare crafting items that can be crossed on the outside fields, the main driver on the gardening market was always thavnairian onions, we kept crossing them just forever to provide for everybody for the FC. But the prices dropped steeply. This wouldn’t be an issue, if there was anything else meaningful to go to. The effort is just too much, with the risk of losing it all if you don’t log in.
Minions that can be crossed, are drops too.
Airships/Subs can drop some plants.
For the outside garden very little thing were released, indoor plants got some variation, but why, if they have to sparkle all the time? They can be used for some nice looking accessories, but yeah. that’s it.
I beg for a rework, to make the UI better, and give some plant-based content!
Unreal itself is a fantastic idea, you take an old boss fight, and adjust the boss to our current level instead of us usually syncing down.
But then, it’s still an extreme, and this year we had a very extreme contrast in what is desired from us.
Ultima was very easy and a nice FC activity we did every Friday, and Sepiroths DPS (and mechanics? up to you!) was pretty tight in comparison to that. Upcoming is Sophia one of my favorite fights, but in the end its <<harshly said>> just another extreme, and nothing to do as a broad FC of all skill levels.
My judgement here is a bit harsh, while I still like unreal, because there is a serious lack in mid-tier content, that doesn’t burn out in a week like island sanctuary or variant dungeons.
So where do we go from here?
Well, I do not know! Let’s enjoy the new year together, hopefully together, even if it’s ‘just’ discord.