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Deus XIV: the Illuminati arrive to populate hard mode dungeons in A Realm Reborn patch 2.2

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Deus XIV: the Illuminati arrive to populate hard mode dungeons in A Realm Reborn patch 2.2

After thousands of years pulling the strings from the shadows, the Illuminati have finally emerged in the guise of goblin scholars to overrun the swamp dungeon of Brayflox’s Longstop. The dungeon is situated somewhere in Eorzea, Final Fantasy XIV’s reborn realm. 

If this was their long game, I didn’t read anything about it in any of those private emails dotted about Deus Ex.

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FFXIV: A Realm Reborn patch 2.2 video previews Leviathan and more

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FFXIV: A Realm Reborn patch 2.2 video previews Leviathan and more

Square Enix has released today a new video detailing the contents of the new patch coming to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Through the Maelstrom. The headline feature: the appearance of the water serpent primal, Leviathan. Along with additional quests, more hard mode dungeons and gear glamouring, the patch will also introduce the The Second Coil of Bahamut: a continuation of the games end-game raid.

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FFXIV: A Realm Reborn patch 2.2 screenshots surface from the depths

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FFXIV: A Realm Reborn patch 2.2 screenshots surface from the depths

A new primal stirs in the lands of Eorzea. The Sahagin, a beast tribe of the Indigo Deep have finally succeeded in summoning their ruthless god, Leviathan. Patch 2.2 for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will put players head on with this new threat in an all new main story quest. Also in is a new system for altering the appearance of gear using “glamour" magicks.

We’ve fished up some screenshots of the upcoming patch, featuring many of the main story characters and the dreaded Leviathan himself.

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Final Fantasy VII re-release was "quite popular", opens the door for more FF on Steam

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Final Fantasy VII re-release was "quite popular", opens the door for more FF on Steam

Is there a series more stubbornly console-bound than Final Fantasy? Thankfully, developing MMOs forced Squeenix’s hand and we got the exquisite Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on PC - plus a welcome redo of Final Fantasy VII on Steam, though it took a while to reach its full, musical potential.

Rather than sating our appetites for pointy hats and po-faced walking haircuts, however, these games have only served to bounce noisily about our otherwise empty stomachs. Across oceans, thankfully, the high-ups at Squeenix have heard our clamour.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a tenner for its Steam launch - 30 free days included

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a tenner for its Steam launch - 30 free days included

Steam’s ‘You’ve played’ hour counter is open to interpretation - and not just because it’s unreliable. It’s a number which, when cross-referenced with your progress in Dark Souls, can quantifiably define how rubbish you are. It can be a badge of honour. Or it can be a timely reminder to maybe go for a walk instead, just this once.

I mention this because it’s something Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn players might want to consider before they begin playing it via Steam, where it’s just been added. You can lie to yourself, but the hour counter will not lie to you.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn expansion will double what was there at launch (and that was good)

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn expansion will double what was there at launch (and that was good)

You have to call Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn by its full, overlong title, because otherwise you risk dismissing the years of rebuilding that went on after its original crummy release, and eventually resulted in the most polished MMO our Nick’s ever played - and gosh, does he play them.

It’s going to be tricky on the tongue, though. Square Enix are readying another colon and another phrase to append to their game’s title. There's an expansion coming, and it’ll be a biggie.

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Square Enix back in the black thanks to Final Fantasy XIV

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Square Enix back in the black thanks to Final Fantasy XIV

Square Enix has published their financial results for March through December. While the publisher’s sales total is marginally less than it was the year prior, its net income has improved substantially. 

Sales amounted to ¥102.5bn, compared with ¥102.8 for the previous year. But net income was up by ¥10.9bn. 2012 saw a loss of ¥5.7bn, but 2013 ended with ¥5.2 in profit. Square Enix cites the release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as one of the main reasons for this upswing.

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Final Fantasy Tactics designer taps Kickstarter to bring his new thing to PC

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Final Fantasy Tactics designer taps Kickstarter to bring his new thing to PC

Final Fantasy Tactics! The console counterpart to Laser Squad et al that meant we could all meet as grown-ups in Firaxis’ XCOM and understand what the hell was going on. For that game and its director, Yasumi Matsuno, let us spend all our action points on gratitude.

The especially thankful among you might wish to spend your cash, too. Matsuno’s Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians is the subject of a new Kickstarter campaign designed to pull it from the screens of mobile phones and plonk it on the rather larger displays of PCs.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn free weekend begins tomorrow

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn free weekend begins tomorrow

Square Enix have announced a Free Login Weekend for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, starting tomorrow. Users who have lapsed their subscription can return to the world of Eorzea to discover what’s new. The weekend is to celebrate the recent release of their patch 2.1 update, aptly named “A Realm Awoken". Inside is brand new 24-man raid, the Labyrinth of the Ancients. Primals have had a whole new difficulty added, extreme mode, to test your mettle against. New dungeons, a PVP arena, housing and adventuring, there’s something for everyone.

But can you cram it all in on one weekend?

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Final Fantasy XIV update 2.1 is A Realm Awoken

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Final Fantasy XIV update 2.1 is A Realm Awoken

Earlier this year, Square Enix claimed that Final Fantasy XIV was ‘A Realm Reborn’ after its extensive redesign. Now, with the advent of update 2.1, Square are announcing that their MMO is ‘A Realm Awoken’. Wait, does this mean that Final Fantasy XIV has been asleep this whole time? And if a game can be this good a MMO in its sleep, what will it be like post-patch?

For an idea on what a wide-awake realm will be like, take a look at these here patch notes. 

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What is the best MMORPG on PC?

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What is the best MMORPG on PC?

Ever since I was a tiny child, I've had a love affair with an MMORPG. With huge open worlds, populated with thousands of players, each day would be laced with adventure. Some were short-lived affairs, while others earned months if not years of my attention. From Runescape, through to World of Warcraft, to more complicated fare like Eve Online - MMORPGs remain my preferred way to play. 

And I think that if you choose the right game, they could be yours, too. Here’s my list of the 10 best MMORPGs on the market. They’re in no particular order, but whichever place you choose to explore, will be stay with you. Here’s to growing old in strange new worlds.

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Quite a lot of people have decided to play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

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Quite a lot of people have decided to play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

I say decided, because Square Enix have only announced the number of registrations to date for their revamped, redeemed MMO across the PC and PS3. All of those players might have moved on after 30 days and nights of free trial, like uncommitted Jesus Christs. Or drifted off to sleep lullabasking in the game’s gorgeous main theme, trapped in a sonic net of synthesised narcolepsy.

Nonetheless, the fact remains: 1.5 million people had every intention of playing Final Fantasy XIV, and Square Enix are dead pleased about it.

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Square Enix assembles Final Fantasy Quality Assurance Committee

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Square Enix assembles Final Fantasy Quality Assurance Committee

The PC has a bit of an off/on relationship with the Final Fantasy series. You may fondly remember playing the PC versions of Final Fantasy VII and VIII, but after those releases we were forced to wait for MMO Final Fantasy XI, and then a few years more for Final Fantasy XIV. Consoles, on the other hand, have seen Final Fantasy entries IX, X, X-2, XII, XII, XII-2, and the upcoming XII-3. Some of them are incredible. Some of them.. well they’re pretty damn awful. 

To prevent another terrible Final Fantasy game, Square Enix have assembled a team that will work together to ensure the quality of future Final Fantasy games is kept high. 

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Review: a redemption

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Review: a redemption

It takes a lot to admit that you made a mistake. Something Square Enix know all too well following the original release of Final Fantasy XIV. It wasn’t very good — so bad, in fact, that Square Enix formed a new team with the sole objective of redoing the entire game from scratch. The result is Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. 

I’ve played it all the way from level one to end-game. And I can say that A Realm Reborn is not just a remake: it’s a redemption. 

It’s not attempting to revolutionise the MMO genre, but it refines a decade old. There’s nothing wrong with that: this is the most polished MMO I have ever played.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn patch halves repair costs and nerfs speed runs

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn patch halves repair costs and nerfs speed runs

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has had it’s first major patch to address various concerns among the community. Chief among these was the high price associated with repairing your gear. Towards the end-game, repair costs were leaving players financially crippled. This led to players “speed running" various dungeons and avoiding everything but the bosses to keep repairs to a minimum. Because players were completing these dungeons at such a rapid pace, this also had some detrimental effects on the servers.

Thankfully, it’s all been patched now.

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Phoenix Downtime: Final Fantasy XIV emergency server maintenance incoming, free play extended

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Phoenix Downtime: Final Fantasy XIV emergency server maintenance incoming, free play extended

Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida was so profoundly apologetic in his statement on the MMO’s launch issues this weekend that onlookers found their hands outstretched in front of their keyboards, ready to catch him should he attempt to fall on his sword.

Actions speak louder than chocobo tears, however. To that end, Squeenix have armed themselves with new servers (which in my head look like old-fashioned Marshall amps), elongated free introductory periods for players still unable to login, and prepped for an emergency repair job this evening.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn producer on server issues “I must accept complete responsibility for this misstep”

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn producer on server issues “I must accept complete responsibility for this misstep”

Since relaunching last week players have been struggling to login to Final Fantasy XIV’s servers. The reason for the lack of server space is that the game’s producer and director, Naoki Yoshida, expected far fewer players. He cites the failure of the game’s first launch as reasoning for this.

Severe server restrictions were implemented to deal with the capacity problems. “The fact that we had to implement these restrictions," writes Yoshida, “is a direct result of my inaccurate sales and login estimates, and as producer, I must accept complete responsibility for this misstep."

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Square Enix to allow monetization of videos and streams of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

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Square Enix to allow monetization of videos and streams of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Square Enix have just reversed a strict policy, previously ruling that players can not monetize video content from their recently released MMO: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. The new policy now allows players to monetize video content, as long as it’s through official partners such as YouTube and Twitch. This change should allow people who rely solely on revenue from their video content to play, create videos and stream the new MMO without taking a hit to their income.

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Final Fantasy XIV removed from sale amid server troubles

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Final Fantasy XIV removed from sale amid server troubles

Final Fantasy XIV’s servers are full, thank you very much. They would not like another serving of the players even now hammering away at their log-in pages - they simply won’t fit. Consequently, Square Enix have halted sales of the redeveloped MMO until the game can put its shirt on without all the buttons comically pinging off.

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Final Fantasy XIV now live, launch trailer has all the pretties