Palace of the Dead or Deep Dungeon was released last week on 7/18/16 in patch 3.35 for Final Fantasy 14.
What is Palace of the Dead?
For those of you unfamiliar, this is a rouge-like, randomly generated dungeon with RNG elements that is accessible to players at level 17. This is the first piece of actual content that players do not have to be at end game to participate which makes me excited for its success and expansion. The dungeon is located in the South Shroud of Gridania and can only be accessed via NPC which means Quarrymill has become a popular AFK spot. This dungeon is also designed to continue the story from a popular dungeon, Tam Tara Deepcroft. You actually don’t get to that dungeon until after lvl 17 but you don’t need it to get the context of it. Currently, the dungeon stops at floor 50 but will be expanded until Floor 200. Players also have a time limit to get through the set of 10 floors which means you have to manage your time wisely.
How It Works
All players start at level one despite having reached end game or their current level in game. The dungeon operates on its own progression system that at some point will have its own leader boards. They tried to model it after older jrpgs down to your sprite icon and two save files you’re allotted. (Save spots in an MMO? XD) You can go in with a pre-made party of up to four players, a matched party that is similar to Duty Finder (DF) or solo. However, if you start in a pre-made party, each of the participants have to be on the same floors you’re on in order to continue. You can continue on without the original party in the same pre-made but the game essentially “saves over” that file and the party member who was left out cannot join later unless they catch up to the floor you’re currently on. In matched parties, the DF will put you with your appropriate party and floor level.
Also, if you want to start from floor 1 again you have to either complete the dungeon or reset your progress which won’t effect you weapon and armor levels. The dungeons is divided into 10 floor increments with a boss at the end of the 10th floor. You can also take any party composition in the dungeon which means we are no longer locked into the trinity of tank-healer-dps.
Leveling in the dungeon is very quick and you can get to level 60 by the 50th floor. Even if you have not made it to level cap or unlocked your lvl 30 job, you can still progress to lvl 60. However, if you have NOT unlocked your job you WILL NOT have access to job abilities.
Inside the dungeon, players have accessed to items called “pomanders” that have varying effects such as turning players into monsters, cause less monsters to spawn, cause more chests to spawn and remove negative status affects etc. The chests also have the possibility to have traps that lure more monsters, blow up on you for high damage or provide power ups to your weapon and armor which you will need in order to progress to higher floors.
On top of some closure to a dangling plot thread, once your weapon has gained +30 or armor and weapon you can take the glowy weapon out of the dungeon. It is at ilvl 235 which is 10 levels lower than the strongest weapon this tier. You can also get a mount, 2 minions and grade 5 materia for battle classes. On top of that, there are the other basic rewards such as experience for players under the level cap after completing the boss of the 10th floor as well as the current tomestone for gear upgrades. Players will have to continue to grind out the dungeon in order to get all of the rewards and SE encourages this.
Well, if you read ffxiv/reddit you would think this content was dead on arrival. The community has been disappointed before with previous new content so i wasn’t surprised to see it. I believe that the content has a lot of potential. I want the glowy weapon and the mount so I’m going to be playing it for a while. I like not needing to adhere to the traditional trinity and it gives players the chance to try alternative jobs or jobs they were scared to try. I’m currently leveling my White Mage, a healer class, that I was always nervous about running in dungeons because people might die and it would be my fault XD. That’s still the case but it’s more comfortable to use. There are also some subtle touches in the dungeon like meeting and fighting NPCS from the MSQ and class/job quests that met a tragic end we have long forgotten. It’s been interesting seeing who the community have found already. One criticism that I do have and share with others is the lack of incentives to continue. I’m not a hardcore anything but I’ll try content if there is a carrot to dangle in front of me. Mounts are good enough for me but gear, whether it’s for glamour or raiding, would get more people in there and continuing to do it.
I guess to round this out here’s the TLDR:
Good: I think it’s a good addition to the game and has a lot of potential. The extra lore will be an incentive for people who have already reached end game. For new players it will give them a chance to feel like the game is alive outside of instanced dungeons. It also adds a new dynamic to the usual content of the game.
Bad: I think this suffers from being over hyped because the community has been clamoring for something different and I don’t think people are willing to wait until 4.0 (the next expansion) to get it. It should have more incentives, mainly gear glamor or otherwise, to get the community to continue to play through it. My wish is for the community to be a bit more patient and let it finish developing before they get out the pitch forks.
Who Should Play It?: Anyone who has been previously subbed to the game and want to see what the new content is about. Players who like rng elements in games. New players who want to benefit from getting content super fresh in the game.
Until Next time,
Ps: There is currently a free login campaign going on for people that have been unsubbed for more than a month. It started on July 25, 2016 and will last up to 5 days from the moment you log back in meaning that it keeps on ticking after you log out.
Pss: There is a new cross over campaign for Yo Kai Watch that was introduced on July 26th 2016 so it’s starting by the time you read this :p
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Yokai Watch Campaign:
Edited to try an resize the pictures :/