Just recently, Smudge and I finished up the main quest line of FF XIV: Heavensward. I’m not sure a lot it was great, but it certainly ended well. Considering the second half only took us a bit more than a month to go through, I think there weren’t nearly as many sidequests in this part.

The main plot through this portion is a ‘chase’, that takes time out for other things, and involves two zones. The entire last zone is effectively the destination. Along the way, we cleaned up the remaining 2/3 of the Sea of Clouds, with a new beast tribe (the Vanu, another interesting design) and encountered the Garlean Empire. A nice touch that Smudge discovered after that is a Garlean battleship patrolling around the area, technically just outside the zone, so it’s nothing more than a bit of scenery.

The end of the plot is in a giant facility originally built by the Allagan Empire (millennia ago); they apparently built to last. Sure there’s lots of malfunctioning equipment, but the fact that the entire thing is up in air at all, with functioning defenses, is pretty miraculous. It made for a different environment, but mostly confirmed me in thinking that it’s a good thing the Allagans are gone.

In between, we got sent over to Idyllshire and the Dravanian Hinterlands. It was kind of nice to be somewhere that wasn’t a bunch of sky islands purely meant for flying. However, the zone is still broken up into sections you can’t really go between without flying. Also, there’s the ruins of Sharlayan here, and I generally find ruins an interesting feature (I like looking at the architecture…). Somehow, the area feels… off. Like there should be more/another zone past it, and there isn’t.

While we’ve been doing this, we also finally got a chance or two to go through the First Binding Coil of Bahamut, which was originally a high-item-level raid (now… it can be easily blown through with half the designed party). The timing was good, as we got to see a couple important things just before they really came up again in the current plot. The design was interesting too, as it was five really short dungeons, between a regular one and a trial in size. Also, they did some interesting design bits, including the third section basically being a jump puzzle (that uses jump pads that keep you from missing your jump, you just have to figure out what you want to use) far more than a place to kill things, including finishing consisting of getting to the end, instead of fighting a boss.

Meanwhile, the actual story end did a good job of tying several things together, and wrapping up the main themes. There were a couple loose ends from the mid-way point of the story that we’d been really wondering about…. and they pulled them out for the finale! Despite that, they still manged to surprise us with an extra twist at the end. Overall, Heavensward has been pretty well written, but the end in particular has been some of the best I’ve seen in the game.

There’s still a lot of unfinished business. Most of the Scions are still MIA from the ending of post-ARR, and there’s been pretty broad hints that they’ll finally get back to that in the patch storylines. There’s also a new problem with Nidhogg (that wasn’t a real surprise), the Empire will no doubt get up to something new, it looks like we’ll be fighting Alexander as a primal soon… and of course there will be more Hildebrand mysteries.

On top of that, we have a lot other things that we want to get to now that we’re done with the main Heavensward story. Right now, we’re concentrating on getting the relic weapons for our main classes upgraded. We also plan on going back into Palace of the Dead, and there’s a few more hard mode trials and dungeons to get to. And we’ll be working on getting our crafting up to final Heavensward snuff. I understand it’s even worse in Stormblood….