With Shadowbringers long being at its end, it is time to discuss what I felt Shadowbringers offered and how much I liked it. I will be breaking down my reflection as I did with Stormblood into the different “major” parts of the expansion. It goes without saying that Shadowbringers is the same expansion I have left the free company I founded and I would like to take a second to thank everyone in that free company that has made my time there special!
If I had to sum up Shadowbringers in a couple of words it would be this – amazing. The story takes place in another world known as “The First” which is a shard reflect of the source that we have been hearing about during the other expansions in terms of a joining and this expansion serves as the “time travelling” one.
We travel over to stop “The First” from joining the source due to flooding of light and we do this by becoming the “Warrior of Darkness”. Furthermore, we learn more about the origins of the people we have been fighting for so long and the secret that is of two certain primals.
I am not going to speak much more about the story in case you have yet to play it but trust me it is amazing and first time in ages it felt like a Final Fantasy game.
For the story, I am going to rate it the following! – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
During Shadowbringers the main focus for the trial storyline was WEAPON based on their Final Fantasy VII counterpart but I did feel they were a little lacklustre compared to their original content such as Titania. The WEAPON trials were fun and the extreme modes were interesting to work out but I much preferred Hades, Warrior of Light and Titania and would have much preferred more of them.
The story for WEAPON I did enjoy and it was nice to have some more background lore and it was nice to see a certain person redeem themselves although what the person did was for the sake of their own people so not really a villain back in A Realm Reborn.
The trials themselves weren’t that hard and this time around party finder did not have much problem with farming things and oddly enough was enjoyable running it in party finder. The mounts for the trials are pretty and I love the tiny dragons but the final mount you get for farming them all makes me wonder what they may have been smoking at the time of modelling it.
For the trials, I am going to rate it the following! – ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I will divide the raids into two different sections with the first being the story and the fights themselves. The story focuses on a woman known as Gaia and what seems to be a “terraforming” machine known as Eden and in order to bring aetherial balance back to “The First” we are using Eden to summon a Primal and then beat them up to release said aether back to the world.
I enjoyed this part of the story and liked fighting the primals in a different way with them looking like how you might remember them should you not get half of them in trial roulette. The next part of the story involved Gaia herself and the back story of what she did ad this part felt a bit weak to me but it was still enjoyable. It is at this point we start to fight original bosses but they were not fun to fight.
Sadly for reasons outside of my group’s control we were not able to finish the final tier the savage fights for the first two-tier was outstanding and I will always remember fighting Titan in Eden Savage and Taco Wipe Night all waking up early in the morning to kill Titan and it felt magical in a weird way.
Overall I don’t think I will remember this tier how I would Binding Coil of Bahamut or the Omega raids but what I will remember is the fun I had with Taco Wipe Night and the fun we will yet to have come to Endwalker.
For the raids, I am going to rate the following! – ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
If you read Life in Eorzea you will know I disliked the alliance raids and I think it is mostly because it is Nier. I am not the biggest fan of the Nier series but it felt like it was shoehorned into Final Fantasy XIV and does not seem to answer its own question and the story felt like you either needed to have played the games or just hope for the best when it comes to understanding what you are fighting.
Saying the above however the fights themselves were fun. The first alliance raid I found to be the best as the fights were interesting, I had an idea of what was going on and the gear from it was pretty sweet glamour. The second tier I found to be a perfect level in difficulty and wish we saw more like this in future but the third one I lost interest in quickly mostly due to no idea of what was going on. The glamour on the third tier is nice but nothing I would outright want to farm for.
For alliance raids, I would rate the following!- ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
The Resistance Story & Relic
Ah, now we get to Eureka 2.0. I loved Eureka when it came out and this content carries on the spirit of it although it was nerfed down a lot so while it has the feel of Eureka it was just fancy F.A.T.E farming. The frontlines had something missing that Eureka had and while I understand it was a battlefield everything just looked dead and boring.
The fights themselves as fun in every single instance and I loved the raid that you had to do during the story. The story was meh however and something I will not miss and it felt like it belonged in Stormblood and honestly, I might have liked it better if it was. The lost actions were fun to mess around with but no lost action felt needed beyond Seraph Strike which I wish was a White Mage spell.
The relics were done much better than Eureka. You had different methods of being able to do most steps which involved a method outside of this content or by doing the content. Nothing felt unfair when it came to doing this relic and I was able to get all the healers and casters done to the final step before I decided to call it a day.
I may have not been a big fan of the storyline but I had a lot of fun with this content and hope to see more of it in the future. I would have much preferred if Eureka was here instead but it is what it is.
For the resistance story and the relic, I would rate the following!- ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
PvP sucks during Shadowbringers. I recall there was a new map but there still is no roulette for Rival Wings with the first map still being locked out. Shadowbringers has confirmed that PvP isn’t a thing that will exist in Final Fantasy XIV and while I do enjoy Rival Wings I shouldn’t have to wait for a community event to be able to queue up for it when a simple roulette would help to bring some life to it.
For PvP, I would rate the following!- ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Housing & Vanity
Housing is something I can not speak much about as while they added some new stuff, new skins (such as the flower one I am using right now) it does seem to bait and switch that the Ishgard housing ward was not released this expansion and that there still isn’t any larger apartments although it seems that the island content coming in Endwalker “might” be this.
The Eden raid series gearsets were amazing and so was most of the AF gears with the White Mage’s one being one I love after dying it pearl white. The Nier raid had some nice sets although they are not something I would farm and the final crafted combat set, the Exarchic, looks amazing and something I would be tempted to wear in future expansions. Some dungeon sets did look nice but they weren’t for me so I will avoid talking about those.
For housing and vanity, I would rate the following! – ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For reasons I do not understand the pixie beast tribe alone makes me love the beast tribes in Shadowbringers and I enjoyed helping the pixies and the Dwarfs (as they build tanks naturally as a throwback to the first Final Fantasy game). Out of the three of them, I found the pixies the best one and to this day I still pop over to do a few quests and really would love for them to update beast tribes in the future to add new content to the current level cap.
The pixies were the only combat-related beast tribe with the other two being both crafting and/or gathering.
For the beast tribe that gave us Feo Ul .. oh and the other beast tribes, I would rate the following! – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Gathering & Crafting
Shadowbringers carries on having an enjoyable crafting system and there is nothing I can say beyond that. Ishgard restoration was fun for a while and I am glad it did have a fixed end as I felt it would have just become another Doma like content but it was enjoyable and I like the fete you can currently do.
Expert crafting was fun for a while but with no real rewards behind it, I found it not something worth doing. The crafting relics behind this content is fun and something I hope to see again in future. The new gathering system for collectables is meh but it does beat the old system so it is something.
Before I wrap up this section as there is not much to say but Diadem 3.0 was enjoyable and I am glad it got new life although I did like the very original one much more. It is nice that gatherers got their instance which is fun to do for a while and I would not be against seeing stuff like this again more often but not at the cost of combat content.
For gathering and crafting, I would rate the following! – ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Overall I loved Shadowbringers and I feel Endwalker has a massive battle on its hands to top this. This expansion felt like a Final Fantasy game to me and it makes Heavenward feel more outdated when it comes to the gameplay. While healers felt like they were abused, I do think the changes they made to tanks and the damage dealers were good ones and that they are a solid foundation Endwalker but hope healers finally get their turn for being made fun to play.
For Shadowbringers, I would rate the following!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
It is that time of the expansion again when I thank you, the reader, for checking out Life in Eorzea and unless there is something major to write about which I might do about the up and coming White Mage spells this will be the last post on Life in Eorzea until Endwalker.
Until then, take care!