CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
Final Fantasy XV - How is it playing?

Posted: 7th May 2017 17:11

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Well, I've finally finished the story (I spent a long time doing side quests - completed on 152hrs and lvl 91), and I've now also read the various spoiler comments in this thread. I think I agree almost entirely with Tidu's earlier spoiler bubble when talking about the final chapters and ending. I definitely don't think there will be a sequel. More importantly, I ardently believe there shouldn't be a sequel.

The second half of the game, or rather, Ch 9-ish onwards, is horribly rushed, massive plot points get skipped/forgotten/wasted, and you're left wondering how much more material was supposed to be in this game that never made it (and how truly epic the game would have been with it included - both in size and quality). And the thing is, because the game feels so rushed, the plot holes leave you wondering "well, did they have the plan to fill that hole? And if so, what was the plan!?"

There's not much more I think I can add to the understanding of the ending we've been given - in fact I probably have even more questions to add - but in what is as much closure as anything else:

Possible spoilers: highlight to view

I think Ardyn's motivation is relatively well covered (no worse than many other villains), and in a way I think also the Astrals' role. To me, you can see the remnants of FNC in the plot here. Like in XIII (and X too, tbf), the gods had set a course of action in motion where they had unleashed a great evil and threat upon the world (immortal Ardyn). The only solution is for a great light to be forged to cancel out the threat and restore balance. The bit I struggle with is that it's hard to see how Ardyn doesn't win - He kills Noct and destroys the crystal and rules over darkness, or he gets killed by Noct and finds peace, plus Noct and the crystal still die.

For the same reasons as everybody else, I can't decide what happen to the three remaining musketeers. I think I come down on the side that they lived. I mean, they've survived 10yrs of darkness and also somehow got out of that hangar that Noct had to abandon them in during Ch 13 - so I'm sure they aren't going down at the hands of a couple of Iron Giants. That said, an extra bit of cutscene wouldn't have gone amiss. And if they are dead, then both we and they deserved an epic cutscene of their heroic demise.

On a semi-related note, there are MANY things that happened off camera that shouldn't have - the whole Shiva-killing (hell, that's pre-game), Ignis' injury, the entire Ravus/Iedolus/Empire collapse, Noct and Luna's romance (hell, I'd settle for any reason to mourn Luna that didn't arrive posthumously), Ifrit's entire motivation/purpose ("He just hates humans" is pathetic - then why didn't he try and kill them all before? Hell, how did he even get resurrected, didn't the other 5 Astrals kill him?)...

As has been said above, why can Umbra time travel? I mean, I can invent various reasons loosely connected with Gentiana/Shiva/Oracle, but it would have been much better if they'd explained. Also, the whole go back in time to keep playing with current abilities in Ch 15 - ugh. I understand the commercial motivation for developers doing this, but it always just ruins the story for me. I mean, why? Noct is dead. End of. That said, I do agree with Tidu that it really drives home the sadness for the gang.

Prompto - just wtf!? The way the plot was gearing up I knew a twist was coming, but I was expecting something like "Prompto betrays the others as an Empire spy" or "Prompto is an unaware avatar of Bahamut/Ifrit", or even "Prompto dies falling off the train". Each of those, if delivered well, would have been a brutal gut punch. But what do we get? "Oh, btw, I'm magitek. No worries man, crack on." Furthermore, what exactly is the intended takeaway there? The official Guide states that Verstael (The Empire's almost never mentioned head scientist) is Prompto's biological father. So, is he just a Nif? Is he a Hojo/Sephiroth monster/clone/test tube baby? Is he a baby man-daemon that never got put in an MT suit for some unknown reason? Argggggghhhhh.

One more thing - why is there a Lucian King's tomb on the imperial continent?


There have been some grumbles earlier in the thread about mechanics, and I've gotta say I never really had those struggles. Altissia isn't straightforward, but it's not too bad. And I think it was deliberately designed to be like Venice (which is quite winding and maze-like) and give a bit of a riviera feel. I never struggled with summoning (though I've only ever seen the same bloody astral in battle, plot moments notwithstanding), and I think I'm very much in the minority of people who enjoyed Ch 13 (both as a plot device, but also as the gameplay wasn't as bad as I'd been led to expect), although it did drag on! I do however agree that the magic system was wasted. It's a great idea, but status effects are pointless, and I never created any spells that weren't just the three key elements.

Despite all of the above, I loved this game. Plot holes aside, the ending has laid me low, and god only knows how it would have hit me in the feels had they fleshed out the holes. It's my favourite FF for many years, and potentially a top-5 contender as far as the series goes. I just wish they'd had the time to nail it.

This post has been edited by Stiltzkin on 7th May 2017 17:16

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Posted: 7th May 2017 17:58

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Apologies for the double post, but I think it's better to keep this content separate for ease of reading, so decided against editing my above post.

I've just completed the Ch 13 verse 2 (added in the March 17 patch) alternate playthrough. It adds a bit of extra information to the story - clearly an attempt to plaster over some of the plot holes. If you haven't played it, I recommend it (it's not long). You can access it direct from the main menu under "Special" with no need to play through to it.

The pertinent extra info and my key takeaways are:

Possible spoilers: highlight to view

1. A cut scene to show Ravus' death, and also an effort at better explaining Ravus' change of allegiance. Still not brilliant, but almost passable. Would have been a great plot thread to have had Ravus' arc properly fleshed out - he could have been a really good foil, Seifer-esque.

2. A cut scene and boss battle with Iedolas/Foras in his daemon form. Makes it much clearer than the main run-through that he has become this daemon - and the above cut scene gives a subtle run in to it too as it shows the darkness starting to overtake Iedolas. That said, it sets him out as pretty much Gollum, obsessed with his precious crystal.

3. Some scattered radio newscasts which give more detail about the daemon outbreak obliterating the Empire. When added to the journal entries you could find laying around in the main run-through, it cements what happened to the Empire, even though it does nothing to reduce the waste of a good foe!




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Posted: 5th June 2017 14:32

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Seems like most people aren't playing this any more, at least not at CoN, but I still am. I bailed on the storyline right after the Chapter 13 addition aforementioned, to go back and start cleaning out some quests and such.

I discovered the Colosseum, which I never even noticed before because I kind of skated through Altissia first time around. My daughter and I have become disturbingly interested in what is essentially video game cockfighting, and over the last five hours or so of gameplay, I've managed to go from 1000 medals to 200k, of which I've spent half so far on the Turbocharger and the special fishing reel.

Speaking of Regalia upgrades, how many people here have actually converted the car to be able to fly? I've avoided spoilers on the actual methodology, though I assume that it involves the Colosseum prize chart. It seems like if that's the case, it's a pretty pointless upgrade, which I guess I should have expected...

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Posted: 6th June 2017 00:43

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I go back to XV each week for the timed quests. I've still got some grindy things to do like catching all the fish but I'll be busy with XIV's new expansion soon so I don't think I'll finish those goals for awhile.

I've gotten the flying upgrade. It doesn't have anything to do with the colosseum.




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Posted: 7th June 2017 18:57

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I still play it pretty consistently, partly for the weekly stuff like ILoveMoombas, though I did take a break for a couple weeks. I'm still a very big fan, now that I'm facing the 'end-game' optional challenges I'm finding a new respect for the battle system and it's depth.

Rangers, the Colosseum is awesome - I lost whole afternoons to it as well, haha. It isn't necessary for the Regalia flight mode however. IIRC, you only have to complete Cindy's sidequest chain to collect most of the parts, collect a couple more parts from certain locations (possibly automatic during storyline, I can't remember), and then speak to her during Chapter 15.

Flight mode is cool and fun, and brings with it some neat new quips from the boys; but it doesn't give any real practical benefits (except a trophy, I think).

This post has been edited by Stiltzkin on 7th June 2017 18:58

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Posted: 10th June 2017 09:50

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There is a Colosseum in FFXV? I had no idea. I'm planning on going back to the game at some point. I read that they're going to release a patch with a lot of improvements to the game and additional storylines that should have been there to begin with.

I modded the car to utilize flight mode, then I realized that it was possible to crash, and when you crash, it's game over. I guess I wasn't interested enough in it to try more.

This post has been edited by Elena99 on 11th June 2017 11:08

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Posted: 10th June 2017 13:40

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The flying car does have one practical use. It's the only way to reach an optional dungeon called the Pitioss Ruins.

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Posted: 28th June 2017 20:18

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Costlemark Tower is garbage. Yes?

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Posted: 4th July 2017 11:27

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 28th June 2017 21:18)
Costlemark Tower is garbage. Yes?

In what way?

I've seen several accounts online of it being glitched, but I didn't experience any issues myself so I can't say.

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Posted: 4th July 2017 13:44

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Quote (Stiltzkin @ 4th July 2017 05:27)
Quote (Rangers51 @ 28th June 2017 21:18)
Costlemark Tower is garbage. Yes?

In what way?

I've seen several accounts online of it being glitched, but I didn't experience any issues myself so I can't say.

I mainly just mean the ridiculous ending to the dungeon, with the insane progression of battles through more and more Red Giants. I have ragequit that dungeon twice now and instead went to finish the plot of the game.

Possible spoilers: highlight to view
Which, by the way, is the most depressing Final Fantasy ending since Tactics. My word.


This post has been edited by Rangers51 on 4th July 2017 13:44

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Posted: 6th July 2017 18:41

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 4th July 2017 14:44)

I mainly just mean the ridiculous ending to the dungeon, with the insane progression of battles through more and more Red Giants. I have ragequit that dungeon twice now and instead went to finish the plot of the game.

Ahhh, gotcha. Yeah, somehow I didn't experience this, and the maze was just looooong, but not full of red giants. Either way, fair point.


Quote (Rangers51 @ 4th July 2017 14:44)
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Which, by the way, is the most depressing Final Fantasy ending since Tactics. My word.


As for this, just, yes.

Possible spoilers: highlight to view
I was beside myself. Talk about gutting. Kinda spoils the post-endgame for me really - though I guess what is dead may never die.


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Posted: 6th July 2017 20:30

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Quote (Stiltzkin @ 6th July 2017 12:41)
As for this, just, yes.

Possible spoilers: highlight to view
I was beside myself. Talk about gutting. Kinda spoils the post-endgame for me really - though I guess what is dead may never die.

Yeah, I've barely picked up the post-endgame because of it.

I think you said in a previous post that you were in triple-digit levels. How on earth did you get there? I'm only at level 65 or so, and I have only a couple quests available right now - Costlemark and the Adamantoise one near Hammerhead. I haven't tried to do any of the dungeons-within-dungeons as yet, but I've done enough hunts to be at level 7. There must be something I'm missing to rack up experience at this point?

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Posted: 8th July 2017 12:04

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I can't fully explain the big gulf between our levels given where you say you are, but I've got to triple figures by a combination of the following:

- I think I've honestly done quite a lot of grinding at certain spots, not deliberately, but just through enjoyment of the open world and trying to complete certain tasks.

- I've used Galdin Quay Resort and Altissia Leville Royal Suite (2x and 3x exp multiplier respectively) for my rest points as frequently as possible, and whenever I've been in a position where I've racked up a good chunk of exp (high 5 figure +), I have actively avoided resting until I can get to one of the above hotels.

- I've spent a fair bit of time doing the weekly/timed hunts.Aside from being a great way to farm AP and complete the ascendancy grids, many of these hunts take the form of "how many of monster X can you kill in 5/10 minutes?" - which means that for 5/10 mins of non-stop fighting, you can rack up a healthy chunk of exp (even more if you use meals/accessories smartly).

- and finally, I was fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of an early weekly hunt they released, which was "how quickly can you kill 100 cactuar/slactuar?" Each of these little guys gave about 1,000exp each, meaning that you accrued approx 100,000exp with each attempt at the challenge. Once you got into the swing of things, you could knock off the 100 in well under 5mins. After grinding that challenge for half an hour or so, I had almost a million exp, which I then went and tripled in Altissia. This gave me a 20lvl boost in about an hour of real time - and is how I got from a similiar endgame level to you (around 65) to around 85. After that, I was well on my way.

I've now also done most of the dungeon-within-dungeons and have stuck to my multiplier plan when doing them, and this has taken me from low triple figures to I think about lv113 now.

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Posted: 15th July 2017 10:27

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As an update to the above, it appears they're doing another Cactuar-based hunt this weekend. Kill as many as you can in 15mins.

I've only done it once so far, but 15mins of (admittedly kinda repetitive, but certainly easy) effort and I racked up around 400k exp. Even if you repeated that four times and kill an hour of time, most people should be able to rack up 1.5m-2m exp. Pop to Altissia to triple it, and most anybody should be able to romp towards lvl100.

Top tips for maximising kills in the 15mins:

- give Noct the tech turbocharger, a high-volume of Blizzard spells, and the best version of the noiseblaster. Give him an MP boosting outfit.
- Make sure Prompto has Gravisphere tech, and either a Ribbon or some other accessory that will prevent confusion, plus anything that boosts attack. Give him an attack boosting outfit.
- equip Gladio and Iggy with the best generic attack gear, accessories and outfits (or health boosting if you prefer, but either way you shouldn't need to pay much attention to these two guys during what follows.

- the aim of the strategy is to max out the tech bar so that you can activate Gravisphere as much as humanly possible. Always try to target an enemy in the middle of a pack for maximum effect. Don't bother wasting time with any other techs.
- have Noct launch a Blizzard spell into large packs of Cactuar whenever the cooldown wears off. A good spell blend should guarantee 9999, and this should kill several at once.
- top off your approach by spending all your remaining time by positioning Noct near the centre of the action and spamming the noiseblaster power attack (triangle on PS4). This uses MP, but either spend ethers or use warp points for fast regen when needed.
- if you have a reasonably well-developed party with remedial auto-skills and decent stats, you shouldn't need to worry about anybody's health at any point, so just focus on hitting as many groups of Cactuar, as fast and as frequently as possible.



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Posted: 16th July 2017 03:02

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Just came back to this post. I agree fully with a previous post Stiltz posted. The games good but it makes me wonder how much better it could have been. And I did end up moving onto other games but im glad to hear that 15 has reasons to keep playing. I might come back to it now that I've taken a break (I spent all my post game time making that fishing guide and that burnt me out on the game for a while)

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Posted: 4th August 2017 14:33

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Anyone playing the beta for the XV multiplayer Comrades DLC this week?
I'm not in it myself as I don't have Playstation Plus. Just curious to hear people's thoughts on it if they're playing.


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Posted: 4th August 2017 16:45

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I got the platinum trophy back in April and after that I stopped playing it. Now I play it sometimes when a new update has been released.

I enjoyed playing the game. Beautiful open world with a lot of stuff that you can do. Only most quests are simple fetch quests or defeat enemies. The story is kind of short though.

Quote
Anyone playing the beta for the XV multiplayer Comrades DLC this week?
I'm not in it myself as I don't have Playstation Plus. Just curious to hear people's thoughts on it if they're playing.

I don't have a season pass, so I can't play it either. I've seen streams on Twitch and it looked kind of buggy ...
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Posted: 7th August 2017 05:24

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Yeah. I read there have been problems with server stability as well.
XV doesn't strike me as a game that needs a multiplayer mode but I'll wait and see how it turns out before passing judgement.

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Posted: 16th August 2017 13:55

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Quote (Stiltzkin @ 15th July 2017 04:27)
As an update to the above, it appears they're doing another Cactuar-based hunt this weekend. Kill as many as you can in 15mins.

As luck would have it, I've finally had time to pick up the game again this week after about six weeks' layoff, and the hunt starting last night was of the 100 Cactuar+Slactuar variety. It's a grind, for sure, but they drop lots of Mega Potions and Remedies, which makes it more palatable, and even my relatively weak party is able to do about ten kills a minute.

I was able to do it twice last night, and the result was, when combined with a hotel sleep bonus, about 250k XP, good enough for about eight levels in the span of 45 minutes total. Not bad!

Edit
OK, yeah, I see the power of that now. I think I ran through it about ten times over the 24-hour window, and I ended up raising my party in the 25-28 level range just in that. Not only that, I managed to end up in the top 200 for the leaderboard, so, that's pretty sweet given that my first run put me at about #5800.


This post has been edited by Rangers51 on 17th August 2017 15:20

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Posted: 20th October 2017 23:49

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Red Wing Pilot
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Joined: 21/5/2005

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Member of more than ten years. Submitted an idea for a podcast that was later recorded by the CoNcast team. Member of more than five years. 
Oh hi guys! It's been awhile, but I finally bought a PS4 Pro and FFXV was the first game I played to completion.

I'll join the general consensus of the old schoolers here. First off, this was the first FF I played to completion since FFX, so that should tell you something. I thoroughly enjoyed the gameplay, and especially the open world exploration of Lucis. When I got to Altissia and saw the size of the map I was like "OMG this game is huge! Can't believe they have two giant maps that you can fully explore!"

Which, of course, now I know they don't. The last half of the game is extremely linear and reminds me of FFXIII, which I eventually stopped playing for exactly that reason. While exploring Lucis was a real joy, I finished the second half of FFXV out of a sense of obligation.

It really does feel like a half-finished game. If you go on YouTube and search "Final Fantasy XV out of bounds" you'll find all sorts of videos where people use glitches to explore Tenebrae, Altissia, and Insomnia. There are these GIANT maps filled with buildings and even cars, that were just left on the cutting room floor. And an awesome giant Shiva statue! I don't think it's coincidence that the second half of the story, which speeds through these locations, also feels incomplete and rushed.

My guess is that after 10 years being stuck in development hell, after yet another change in directors when Tetsuya Nomura left the project, Squenix was anxious to just get it out. This is still the first Final Fantasy game I've enjoyed in awhile. They really did update it to a "new" game while plugging in lots of nostalgia factor. But when I watch those out of bounds videos and see how MASSIVE the scale of unused material is, I can't help but feel some disappointment at what could have been.
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