Much like the base game, there are points along the way where co-op gameplay is required. Your character must team up with a range of other players to clear out a dungeon or take on a giant challenge. These are generally quite interesting and include a bunch of cool mechanics – I still love the one major battle we had where the best instruction anyone could give was “tanks, ignore the boss!”.
While for the most part people continue to surprise me in Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward and are quite patient and nice to each other, I did find the community a bit less accommodating in the expansion. Perhaps it’s because the quests are more difficult, or maybe it’s because people think they are so pro now that they are even higher level, but I encountered a bunch more abuse and rage quitting in the Heavensward dungeons than I did in the base game content.
Thankfully, the dungeons in Heavensward aren’t quite as common or integral to the plot. Much more enjoyably, more duties seem to involve story NPCs this time, helping to improve the bond I felt with the characters from the story. There’s nothing like defending your healer friend who you know is going through emotional difficulties thanks to the stuff that happened in the story, while having your other long lost friend appear as a tank – it adds a much greater connection to the task at hand as compared to playing with a bunch of strangers. Of course questing in general is better with friends, but I did find that at least this approach to storytelling improved my emotional connection with my character and her team.
Heavensward also features a ton of FATES, events that take place around the open world that usually require some cooperation between a whole bunch of players. These can be hunts or specific tasks in a preset area with excellent XP and currency rewards. However, I found players much less likely to take part in these in Heavensward. I suppose everyone was too busy flying around the world or something, but there just didn’t seem to be as much community feeling in the expansion.