Final Fantasy XIV:Socially Inclined

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Okay, we’re back with another edition of our Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn preview and we still have so much to cover. Don’t worry; we’ll get there, I promise. If you missed our introduction to character creation or battle systems make sure to head over and check them out.

This time around we will visit on a few major topics within the social interworking of Ezorea. So, once again let’s dive right in, this week up on the docket are the game’s best ways for players reach out to other players: Linkshells, Free Company and The Duty Finder.

[ Linkshells ]

I think this is the most appropriate place to start, as it seems Linkshells may very well be the heart and soul of the social community in FFXIV: A Realm Reborn. There is no doubt that FFXI players have a general idea of this concept, although it isn’t exactly what they might expect. The first thing to note for anyone who is coming from FFXI is the fact that Linkshells are not guild affiliated, nor do they any type of inventory system associated with them.

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These Linkshells are in fact a way for you to group and stay in touch with anyone you meet, be they friend or simple acquaintance. Luckily, they are also relatively easy to form and manage, so have no fear when starting up your first Linkshell. Starting one up is as simple as visiting your local Linkshell Distributor located in your home city.

Once you’ve met up with your new distributor, I suggest choosing the option “Learn about Linkshells” since this will not only tell you but show you the intricacies of the system itself. Now that you have a hold on the look and feel of the system, just choose a name and it’s off to the races.

It is worth noting that the Linkshells do have different ranks within them including Master, Leader, and Member. If you are the creator of the particular Linkshell, you also have the ability to disband it, if you so choose. Another power handed to Linkshell creators is the fact that you can promote or demote members, which is easily achieved by a simple click on their name inside the Linkshell menu.

Whether you intend to use them simply for chat, to plan adventures, or even plot out elaborate raids Linkshells work wonderfully. They do work well when used properly but there is a limitation of eight Linkshells that you can belong to, so choose wisely.

[ Free Company ]

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A Free Company definitely has some similarities to the above mention Linkshells but also offers additional features for your group. While both offer dedicated forms of communication, a Free Company aims to focus a set network of players on tasks together. Another thing to take notice of is that you are only able to belong to one Free Company at a time, unlike the Linkshell’s limit of eight. So, in this case you would actually have to leave the one you belong to before joining another.

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Of course a big difference is that a Linkshell may be created at anytime but there are a few tasks that must be finished before you can enter into a Free Company.

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If you’d like to create your own Free Company, the first hurdle to overcome will be reaching level 25. If you haven’t already found a Free Company to call home once you’ve obtained this level in the game, it’s time to finally begin the arduous task of creating your own place to call home. Just like the Linkshell Distributor, there will be an NPC you must speak with before anything can be set in place.

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Locating the Administrator is simple enough because they will always be located within your Grand Company Headquarters. Upon speaking to them you will be able to choose a name as well as a five-letter tag, which will appear next to your members name. Once this is done you will be required to payout a 15,000 Gil fee, but only after you have accrued three other players into your Free Company.

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While I have not had a chance to experience it myself, it looks as though Square Enix has some ambitious plans for Free Companies. At E3 they briefly touched on the subject of housing, and in doing so mentioned a tasty morsel about Free Companies as well. It seems that they will be allowing Free Companies to purchase plots of land, but it may be a trial and error type affair. If all goes well and the idea picks up, they are considering the notion of letting players purchase their own individual homes.

[ The Duty Finder ]

So, what is the Duty Finder? Well, I suppose that’s a pretty good, albeit obvious question. Well, if we compare the concept to other MMOs you will see that it essentially is a dungeon or party finder. This feature is a way for Square Enix to try and stomp out the problem of being unable to find people to fight alongside.

The Duty Finder will allow you to form anything from small parties to alliances composed of multiple parties at once. You will even have the option to form these groups with players who aren’t in the same world as you. So, when preparing for a dungeon or a large-scale battle with a Primal, this will be a invaluable tool at your disposal.

This tool is aiming to simplify the entire process of forming groups, especially for those who have a hard time finding others. Beginning the process may seem daunting, but it is pretty straight forward; even beginners should be able to grasp it.

The first thing that must be done to use the Duty Finder is to bring up the menu. It starts with a simple press of either the start button on your PS3 controller or the menu in the bottom right of your PC screen. Once you’ve open the Duty Finder up, you will find yourself presented with a list of dungeons and raids that you have already come across, now the real fun begins.

Make sure to get geared up and ready before clicking on the raid or particular dungeon you wish to tackle. Hit the “join” button and sit back (or continue solo questing) while the game attempts to find other players looking to take on the same quest as you. Additionally, it doesn’t just look for any players available, it also fills the different roles needed for a battle. This means when you do finally group up to fight, you will have a solid attack and defense team in place.

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The system itself is simplistic, yet it has incredible depth. It’s just another way FFXIV: ARR looks to bring players together. I must say that this actually works really well and looks to be a extremely prominent and useful tool in the world of Ezorea.

[ Wrap Up ]

It looks like there are big plans in store for the social network within the reborn realm of Final Fantasy XIV. Taking a look at the world’s different methods of networking, it’s beginning to become clear just how massive this game is attempting to be. All the social aspects detailed here seem to lend a hand to players’ ability to create a thriving community amongst themselves.

So, do you think these options have something special to offer or is it the same ole same ole? Let us know in the comments below what you think or as always you can shout directly at me on Twitter by clicking there —>Follow @John_Osiecki . Don’t forget we will be back soon with another FFXIV: A Realm Reborn preview and make sure to stay tuned here at Exilic for all your MMO news.