It is a great success for FFXIV that Naoki Yoshida reboot of the disastrous Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 into A Realm Reborn back in 2013, which not only demonstrating that a gorgeous, content-rich and regularly updated subscription-based MMORPG was still a viable prospect, but also attracting scores of new players into the virtual world of Eorzea.
With the release of Heavensward, the question is whether this new expansion can keep players invested and ensure the long-term future of Eorzea. Heavensward picks up a couple of weeks after A Realm Reborn’s dramatic Game of Thrones-style finale.
It’s worth noting that as a prerequisite to enjoying anything this expansion has to offer, including the three new jobs. Dark Knight, Machinist and Astrologian–you must have finished A Realm Reborn’s entire story, including its five content patches. This is non-negotiable. You are prohibited from even entering Heavensward’s main city, Ishgard, until the entire prior storyline has been completed.
This may be frustrating to those who enjoyed A Realm Reborn but never worked their way through the narrative. Many MMOs tend to open up expansion content immediately upon release for those at an appropriate character level, regardless of their quest progress, but Square Enix has taken a stricter approach here. However, this makes sense in the context of the game as a whole, since Final Fantasy XIV is one of the most narrative-rich MMOs on the market.