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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Here.
  • Annoying Video-Game Helper: The original tutorial in Legacy was very much a case of this. The tutorial locked out all functions that hadn't been introduced yet, however obvious, important, or innocuous. Further, it interrupted what was an originally smooth narrative, and when it was first introduced, the locked targeting mode function defaulting to 'Friendly' meant that the combat section of the tutorial was actually impossible to complete with a gamepad!
    • A Realm Reborn is vastly smoother about integrating the tutorial and the plot, although more veteran players tend to bristle under some of the level and quest gating - for example, armor dyeing, a very simple function, is unavailable under any circumstance until level fifteen. Airship travel between city-states is similarly unavailable until quite a bit after you're likely ready to use it (unlocks at level 15) and more crucially makes it difficult to meet up with a friend who doesn't start in your city.
    • The Armory system, the ability to switch between jobs by switching your main-hand equipment, is also not unlocked until level 10. That being said, the experience buffs provided with subsequent expansion releases, alongside EXP bonus items and what have you have made the leveling process drastically easier. In fact, it shouldn't take a new player longer than a couple hours to reach level 10 even at a somewhat casual pace, even less than that with extra bonuses such as the Friendship Circlet or the "Road to 60" preferred-world bonus. It's the actual story that slows down the leveling curve, as the player watches cutscenes or travels to new areas.
      • The gating can also be a bit exasperating later on with optional dungeons and such always needing a quest (which is usually just "talk with an NPC in front of the dungeon"). Every levemete location also requires you to complete a "trial" leve before you can choose freely (or even turn in the battle leves you might've picked up in the capital).
    • In-universe with Brayflox Alltalks, the goblin landowner of Brayflox's Longstop. In the second fight, she shows up being chased by a drake that you need to save her from. The drake itself is only a bit less durable than the boss and has a very damaging fireball, but after you kill it Brayflox decides to "help" you fight the boss by detonating bombs (that hurt you) and taunting the boss, then running behind one of the party members right as it begins to cast fire breath. A later patch fixed this so that her bombs no longer harmed the players. Averted in the hard mode version of the dungeon where Brayflox hangs back and doesn't get involved with the battles.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Garuda was originally That One Boss on par with Titan and touted as the strongest of the Primals. Since then, nerfs have made her more of a Breather Boss who even an inexperienced party can beat with ease.
    • The final battle against Lahabrea is a pitiful boss to the point that he's really nothing more than a Post-Final Boss. So long as your healers are half-awake during the battle not only is he easier than the last two fights against the Ultima Weapon, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that he's easier than the battle with Gaius on the elevator.
    • Considering how hyped up he was, the Hard Mode version of the Leviathan fight is depressingly simple and easy, and even a poorly geared group of first timers can stumble through it with maybe a single wipe to Tidal Wave before they figure out how to avoid it. Extreme Mode, however...
    • Despite having interesting mechanics and some of the best visuals of any Final Fantasy final boss to date, Heavensward's final boss The Knights of the Round doesn't do nearly enough damage to pose a threat to even an at-gear-level player, and wiping on him requires completely ignoring mechanics that the earlier dungeons have been grooming you to counter. The devs seem to have acknowledged this and thus to the joy of many players, an EX version of the fight was released in 3.1.
    • Invoked with the fight against Nidhogg in 3.0. Due to only having one eye and Estinien using the other eye to weaken him, Nidhogg goes down quite fast. Most players would naturally feel disappointed that a mighty wyrm offered no challenge, but this quickly changes after Estinien claims both of Nidhogg's eyes, allowing the dragon's rancor to consume him as a new host. By 3.3, Nidhogg is at full strength and the fight against him shows just how powerful and dangerous he has become, with a normal mode that's easily on par with some of the hardest story-required fights and an Extreme mode that is absolutely hectic.
    • In 3.4 Sophia the Goddess is considered much easier than Sephirot the Fiend, with having fewer dangerous mechanics than the latter.
    • Proto-Ultima, a previous fanfest exclusive boss encounter, replaced a mini-boss in Dun Scaith in lieu of being a separate instance itself. Naturally, this meant his difficulty was made substantially easier than fans anticipated.
    • Stormblood as a whole has been accused of scaling down the difficulty too much. Notably examples are Susano, Lakshmi, Byakko and Alte Roite—the latter of whom the new expansion's introduction to Savage. It was not uncommon to hear even more casual players clearing him within a single lockout; some doing so in under thirty minutes.
  • Arc Fatigue: A common complaint from newer players is the massive number of Main Scenario Quests required to unlock access to the Heavensward areas, not helped by how many of those quests involve lots of "go here, talk to this person", lots of "go here, slay specific number of this monster", and/or long, exposition-heavy cutscenes. Yoshida admitted that putting Heavensward behind a gate that requires completing all 2.X content was a mistake and was looking into making 4.0 not require similar conditions to unlock... However, no update to the system was done, neither for 4.0 (Stormblood), nor 5.0 (Shadowbringers), and players wanting to experience Shadowbringers need to complete all main scenario quests from A Realm Reborn to Stormblood in order to access the 5.0 areas. We are talking about nearly 100 hours of playtime - if you skip all cutscenes and dialogue. A new player wanting to reach Shadowbringers but also wanting to enjoy the story will need several months before catching up to other players, and by the time he does so quite a couple patches would be released, extending the story even further. When some players actually view the story-skip potions (purchased for real money on the Mog Station) as a necessity to enjoy the game, said game may have a small problem...
    • 3.0 suffers from the same issue and requires a lot of talking and a lot of travel, though a solution has been made for both post-2.0 and post-3.0 in the form of the ability to purchase an item that flags the stories of these two arcs as complete.
    • The Ala Mhigo arc suffers considerably due to the decision to split the resolution on both it and Doma into the same expansion. As a result, neither story is able to breathe, though Doma has significantly better pacing whereas by the time you return to Ala Mhigo, it's almost treated as an afterthought.
  • Audience Awareness Advantage: The infamous scene of Alphinaud and the Warrior of Light throwing Nidhogg's eyes off the Steps of Faith had many players crying foul because the two characters should have known that the Ascians would retrieve them to further their plans. At the time, said characters haven't been heavily active in the story and no one knew what they would need the items for. Aymeric, who told the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud to throw the items off the bridge, did so in a panic because all of them had already seen what they could do, such as possessing your body and soul like they did with Estinien. Because the bottom of the bridge is violent with wind and ice aether, Aymeric, who notably is not familiar with the Ascians, thought no one would survive if they tried to go down there. The developers did acknowledge the frustrations people expressed over the scene by having Aymeric in later scenes admit that it was a bit dumb to have thrown the items off the bridge.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Easily the best example in the series so far. The original game had an absolutely dismal reception among both fans and critics. A Realm Reborn on the other hand has been getting glowing praise, singlehandedly took Square Enix from losing money to being profitable, and surpassed Final Fantasy XI's subscriber figure almost immediately. Additionally, nobody and nothing from the game made it into either Dissidia Duodecim or the first Theatrhythm because Square barely wanted to acknowledge the game even existed. Come Theatrhythm Curtain Call? Y'shtola's on the cover, songs are in, and according to Square reps at Tokyo Game Show, this is as a matter of course. And Lightning Returns had its crossover costume with XIV promoted very heavily.
    • While 2.0 was met with a lot of praise, over time, players grew critical of the characters and the player character; they didn't like how major characters didn't do a whole lot and spent most of their time ordering the player around while they also didn't like the player character just doing what they're told and nothing more. Heavensward tackles both issues by having the major characters be a lot more proactive and having the player character not just emote more often, but also form bonds with several characters to flesh them out and show them as more than just a strong character that kicks ass.
    • The moogles in the Churning Mists side quests and main quest during 3.0 were met with massive backlash due to them coming off as extremely lazy and having the player do everything for them while also forcing them to search high and low for certain moogles when called for. 3.3 makes up for it by having the moogle beastmen quests make moogles eager to work while only asking help from the player when necessary. The other quests involving the moogles lets everyone get their revenge on them by either forcing the moogles to gather an absurd number of materials, find other moogles in the same way that the player was forced to find them, or even giving the player a prompt to literally slap a moogle for mouthing off.
    • A narrative example in 3.5: at the end of 3.3's story, a lot of players called "What an Idiot!!" on the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud throwing Nidhogg's eyes into the Sea of Clouds, where the Ascians reclaim them for their own purposes. At first it seemed stupid that they'd literally toss such dangerous things off the side of a bridge, but in 3.5 it is explained that the bottom of that ravine, and of the Sea of Clouds in general, is a constantly destructive torrent of eternally clashing wind and water aether that no mortal creature can survive in. What may make it a throw is that apparently the characters knew about this well and beyond it being actually stated (though Aymeric, who made the call, has lived in Ishgard so he would be the one to know), though either way it makes their quick disposal of the eyes seem a little less stupid. In Stormblood, when Aymeric shows up in The Lochs, many of the words out of his mouth are regret and self-deprecation for how stupid it was of him to tell you to toss them in the heat of the moment when it lead to Shinryu's birth and this whole mess, and at the end of the story, Estinien looks over the eyes, notes they have no aether left in them, but decides to take absolutely zero chances and destroys them on the spot.
    • With the announcement of Stormblood revealing new housing districts would be open on the new continent in the Far East, many people were concerned that everyone would be fighting over the limited space, including free companies that want to move there. The developers would put this fear at ease by announcing that the new housing zones would not be available until some time after Stormblood launches so that people can enjoy the new content without worrying about grabbing a house. They also announced a housing transfer program for free companies to help them move into the new homes.
      • A few days after the housing districts dropped, Yoshi-P appeared to personally apologize for the failings of the housing zone transfer, not realizing how popular it would be and failing to adequately prepare the servers for such a response. He promised that, with Patch 4.2, more wards would become available not only in Shirogane, but also in the starting zones and bolstering their servers for the possible rush.
    • Despite being highly promoted as a new race in Heavensward, there were a notable lack of Au Ras within the main story (only seen in Side Quests and Job storylines). Stormblood remedies this by providing world building for both Raen and Xaela Au Ras, the latter serving a major role within the main story.
    • As mentioned in Scrappy Mechanic below, you had to grind FATEs to unlock the Crystal Tower series of raids. This was so unpopular that neither Alliance raids or Normal raids made after it required FATEs to unlock. Taking things a step further, Patch 4.4 removed the FATE step of the Crystal Tower unlock, changing it to simply completing the quest.
    • To make up for removing the accuracy stat without making the materia that boosted it (Heaven's Eye) useless, a new stat was added in 4.0: Direct Hit. Direct hits, indicated by slightly larger damage text, hurt more than a normal attack but not quite as much as a critical hit and appear more often. This can stack to form a direct critical hit, indicated by damage text with two exclamation points. So not only did the developers get rid of a stat considered scrappy and replaced it with one that affects DPS, anyone who spec'd their equipment with Heaven's Eye got a free upgrade since the left-side equipment (head, chest, belt, pants, and legs) where it was likely melded to doesn't boost Direct Hit.
  • Award Snub: Shadowbringers was nominated for three awards at the 2019 Video Game Awards (Best Ongoing Game, Best Community Support, and Best RPG). Despite being one of the most critically acclaimed games of the year - a Twitch poll unrelated to the actual awards saw fans voting it as Best Ongoing Game - it officially won none of the categories it was nominated in, with many in the community citing that it deserved to be put into more categories (in particular René Zagger as Emet-Selch for Best Performance and Best Narrative being the chief ones).
  • Awesome Bosses:
    • Ravana's hard mode fight is generally considered one of the best, if not the best primal battle in the game.
    • The final boss of Heavensward's main story quest, the long awaited reappearance of the Knights of the Round summon from Final Fantasy VII. The story mode version is a visual spectacle, praised as one of the most beautiful battles in the series. Its Extreme mode is praised for being one of the most challenging battles in the game as of 3.20, and still remained threatening (only becoming a bit more lenient) as the patch cycles continued and better gear came out.
    • Brute Justice in the 8th floor of Alexander. It's praised for being a fun challenge, intentionally campy in concept (in the best way possible), and just an all around awesome battle and a massive improvement from the bosses from the Gordias segment of the Alexander raids. Oh and did you notice its theme song a few tropes below this? The fight actually syncs up with the music for most of his flashier (and hardest hitting) attacks. And the Brute Justice (Savage) fight ramps all of these things up to 11 with a final form transformation.
    • The duel against Flame General Raubahn in the patch story quests for Heavensward. The fact that he sets the stage by incapacitating all your allies singlehandedly (in every literal sense of the word) before surrounding an arena with fire and engaging you one-on-one makes it all the more awesome.
    • The Final Steps of Faith, aka Nidhogg, in the final climax of the Dragonsong War. The fight feels just as epic if not more so than Thordan, and the threat of wiping ramps up as the phases pass. Add in the Heavensward theme "Dragonsong" playing in the background and remixing into more and more epic versions each phase, and you have an amazingly adrenaline-pumping fight.
    • The final boss of Stormblood's Main Story quest, Shinryu. The fight is easily one of the greatest spectacles in the Final Fantasy franchise, and heavily mechanically intense, service as not just as a Final-Exam Boss for Stormblood, but the entire game as he re-uses mechanics from every single primal, even borrowing their ultimate attacks. And while Heavensward's final boss was a joke on story difficulty, Shinryu is exactly as mechanically intense as his legacy implies, and if you screw up, you will be murdered on the spot (many new parties being wiped within the first 10 second of the fight by Tidal Wave). Combined with incredible visuals and stunning music in both phases, he's easily the most well-received boss in the entire game.
    • Kugane Ohashi, the trial from the tail end of the Stormblood Hildibrand questline: At first, it appears to be a simple battle with Yojimbo, a boss many will have already fought in the Kugane Castle dungeon. Then "Battle on the Big Bridge" kicks in, and Yojimbo reveals himself to be none other than Gilgamesh! From there, the battle ramps up in both difficulty and spectacle as Greg draws inspiration from Ravana and Susano'o for his strongest attacks yet!
    • Following up on the list comes the final boss of Shadowbringers Emet-Selch, or as his true name is revealed, Hades. While not quite as difficult as Stormblood's (though nowhere near as easy as Heavensward's), the ante on visuals and music skyrockets. But what stands out perhaps the most is the mood and emotional torque of the fight as we see an Unbroken Ascian truly unleash his power, the two of you are fighting to effectively determine who will inheret the world; the Ascians restoring their old world at the cost of billions of lives, or the Warrior of Light fighting to maintain the shattered worlds to protect all the lives on them. Combined with fighting against who has firmly been established as a Tragic Monster. And at the final stretch of the battle, when all seems lost, Hydaelyn's light cuts through the darkness, allowing you to finish him off. And to add to everything else, an abridged version of Shadowbringers, the expansion's main theme, plays all throughout phase 1 and the preceding cutscene.
  • Awesome Music: Whatever else the game may be, it's a Final Fantasy title. And it's got some pretty nice tunes, yo. And to top it off, Final Fantasy XIV formerly held the Guinness World Record for most original pieces of music in a video game. And a good majority of them can fit under this trope.
    • Special mentions go to the Primals music, with each one having its own fantastic theme, and the Ultima Arma battle theme, both part 1 and 2.
    • Both of Ravana's themes qualify, but especially the one from his second phase, an operatic war chant on the battles and conquest of the Gnath.
    • Brute Justice from Alexander Midas takes the regular Alexander boss theme and the Alexander final boss theme and proceeds to combine and remix them into a 70's sentai style battle theme. It's every bit as amazing as this sounds.
    • The final encounter in Alexander runs with what has become a standard pattern for major bosses of an orchestral opening transitioning to a rock anthem for phase two, and maxes it out in the form of Rise.
    • Dragonsong. One of the two main recurring riffs of Heavensward and the battle theme for Nidhogg on the Final Steps of Faith. The vocal version is easily one of the most powerful songs in the game while the lyrics recount the history between Ishgard and Dravania and the love between Shiva and Hrasvelgar.
    • The Worm's Tail. The theme for the final portion of the battle against Stormblood's final boss, Shinryu. The song is every bit as climatic as the battle itself, bringing Stormblood's main story to a fitting end.
    • The entire Shadowbringers soundtrack is getting this kind of praise. From the ambient music of the different zones, to the boss battles, to the overall theme of the expansion in the full trailer.
  • Awesome: Video Game Levels: The Praetorium is generally seen as a very awesome dungeon, with good visuals, excellent music, and pretty cool bosses. Sadly, most people don't want to do it again, since the dungeon can take quite a lot of time to complete, especially after 4.2 disabled cutscene-skipping.

    B 
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Minfilia. People either hate her for being captured multiple times, being too passive, and simply not doing anything to help the Scions or the player character directly or people like her for being a supportive character that uses diplomatic approaches instead of charging in head first. She certainly wouldn't get as much flak if she wasn't so passive in cutscenes. It reached the point where her death in Patch 3.2 was met with a sizable chunk of the fanbase rejoicing no matter how hard the game tried to play it as a tragedy.
    • Hildibrand. Either he is immersion breaking with his over the top comedy styled quests or he's a breath of fresh air that lightens the mood in a game where everything is dark and serious. Unlike Minfilia, interacting with Hildibrand is almost entirely optional, which mitigates the effect significantly.
      • Within the start of the Saint Endalim's Scholasticate questline, due to Briardien's appearance, many were worried that what could be an interesting side story (and provide some world building in Ishgard) would be wasted as being another Hilibrand questline. This was thankfully averted as a new Hildibrand questline was started separate from the Scholasticate, providing Briardien some much-needed room to grow and prove his competence on his own and a surprisingly ornate mystery.
    • Alphinaud had a heavy divide for most of the A Realm Reborn scenario where people hated his jerkass attitude and sticking his nose in everyone's business while others found him endearing and someone different compared to the stuffy political figures. Heavensward kicks Character Development into high gear by making Alphinaud more proactive, more friendly, and humbled by his previous failures. Most people who hated him warmed up after the development while others still hate him and wish that he was killed off instead of dealing with him.
    • With her greater story prominence in Stormblood, Lyse. The fandom seems divided about whether her growth over the course of the 4.0 story is believable, given her prior ditzy personality and her fairly meteoric rise to a key leader in the Ala Mhigan Resistance.
    • Zenos in Stormblood has many dividing views on his character. Either people love him for being an nearly unstoppable badass that goes full Large Ham near the end of the story or dislike him for being a one dimensional stereotypical villain that lacks the charisma of previous villains like Gaius and Regula. This has only escalated during the The Stinger in Shadowbringers reveals that he killed Varis, which robbed the player character of having a showdown with him, just because he felt the empire using Black Rose was cheating and he wanted to fight the Warrior of Light on equal footing. Some hate this and feel as though it runs into Hijacked by Ganon territory, while some feel it adds something the game lacks and some wanted; a recurring and personal antagonist.
    • Lord Lolorito gets quite a bit of division among fans for his actions between patch 2.5 and 3.0 where he saw Teledji's plot to assassinate Nanamo and foiled it by swapping out the poison with a sleeping potion. He also effectively restores Nanamo's and Raubahn's positions in the Syndicate and basically makes the whole fallout seem like it never happened in the first place. There's also his involvement in the Stormblood main story where he basically helps Ala Mhigo get back on their feet financially after he barters with Nanamo on a deal that would satisfy them both. Some fans find Lolorito as a very clever businessman that knows how to get what he wants through others while still being a helpful ally to the heroes while other fans feel he's just another greedy lalafell that shouldn't be trusted. In-game, many characters also don't trust him.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Cape Westwind is remembered for being hilariously easy even by the already-low standards of story trials. You're fighting an ordinary Garlean, and his two mechanics are pathetically easy. It's a player in-joke to pretend the fight is super-hard when queueing into it via Duty Roulette, especially if there's a first-time bonus in the party. To add insult to injury, it's an 8 member trial.
      • It's only gotten sillier over time as well. Cape Westwind is accessible at level 49 but caps your level at 50. The problem is that it doesn't also cap your item level. Therefore, a battle that was, at first, meant to be tackled at item level 55 at most can now be done - without unsyncing, mind, - at 130.
    • Pharos Sirius's Tyrant has few hit points for a boss even at the appropriate gear level, and does nothing more dangerous than spawn minions and use an easily dodged Area of Effect spell. While all bosses get easier as better gear is released, Tyrant stands out for the fact that it can be killed in as few as 10 seconds, even with the slightly restricted gear item levels. Considering his fellow bosses are still somewhat challenging even with the aforementioned power creep, though. it's not entirely unappreciated.
    • Shiva's extreme mode is disproportionately easy compared to Ramuh EX, a mechanically intense fight that's nearly impossible to do with a pick-up-group. Shiva's mechanics are easy to memorize, not terribly threatening, and she has hardly any "you mess up, you die" mechanics aside from her ice bow, which dodging is as easy as moving behind her. All in all, she's considered extremely farmable by random groups.
  • Broken Base: The Limited Job concept, and by extension Blue Mages has provided one. On one hand there are players thrilled with solo centric Jobs being created, potentially breathing life into old content and the open world areas and the opportunity to find new ways to break the content at the intended levels. On the other hand there are players that are angry that new Jobs they were looking forward to maining through the most current raid content at any given time may no longer have that opportunity, and dislike the concept of revisiting older content through any other means than unsynced groups that just steamroll the place for whatever may need farming.
    • The Forbidden Lands of Eureka has drawn particular ire from a rather large subset of the playerbase. One side views it a boring, uninspired slog devoid of interesting quest objectives or a purpose beyond killing trash mobs with bloated HP pools. They are especially frustrated due to the highly coveted Relic weapons being relocated into it. Wherein the other side enjoys an entire instance (four in total) dedicated to spawning what are essential open world-esque boss monsters that isn't bogged down by story interruption. Furthermore, they appreciate the relic being apart of new progression content in lieu of it being used as a way to entice players back into old content as were the previous two iterations. About the only consensus reached between the two sides is Pagos, Eureka's second instance, was poorly implemented. As it lacked any key additions which would come later, and attempted to restrict the "NM train."
    • The seething hatred between both sides has somewhat simmered down a little with the introduction of Logos Actions; abilities unique to Eureka which were implemented in Eureka: Pyros. These abilities allow the player to unlock actions that can range from instant death, turn healers into tanks, DPS into healers or straight up make jobs hilariously overpowered.
    • The introduction of the Hrothgar race has also divided fans. Many are those who like the idea of a Panthera Awesome race (with a subset of them who are ardent Final Fantasy X fans being over the moon that they are essentially playable Ronso). Many are also those who were gravely disappointed at the fact that the race was included at the exclusion of male Viera. Hrohgars being gender-locked like Viera has also drawn many detractors.
    • While most people were excited for the long-awaited inclusion of the dancer, people who were expecting it to be a healing class were bitterly disappointed when it was revealed to be a physical ranged DPS ala the bard and mechanist, and doubly so upon the realisation that no new healer classes would be included in Shadowbringers. Compounded by the fact it was revealed at the same time as the above-mentioned gender-locked races, players who were upset about both had already written off the expansion before its release.
  • Best Level Ever: Amaurot, for being the place where the ancient Acsians once lived in, as well as it being a peaceful realm where the Ancients are nothing but kind to you and each other, with a tinge of sadness due to all of it being a Living Memory that will be massacred in the coming Sundering, and is completely different from everything else in Shadowbringer. The dungeon is also this due to being utterly tragic, yet magnificent destruction of their Star. The last section of it, where you're in space, is breathtaking.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The first dungeon in Stormblood, the Sirensong Sea, comes out of nowhere in the middle of your first trip from Eorzia to Othard. Despite the name, there's not even any sirens in it, instead being a heavily haunted ship graveyard controlled by some bizarre wraith whose existence until now was never mentioned, nor even any ghost stories you hear about. There is no Garlean plot or Ascian involvement in the dungeon's existence, and it's basically shrugged off by everyone involved, with the achievement for getting it, "Incidentally speaking", even cementing it as something that appears from nowhere and leads nowhere.
    • Stormblood also gives us Susano, Lord of the Revel, in his glorious entirety. No one expects that reuniting the three legendary treasures will summon the Primal, including the beastmen who supposedly worship him. When he proceeds to "reward" you for his summoning by challenging you to a duel to the death, Alisaie's reaction is thorough exasperation.
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    C 
  • Casual/Competitive Conflict: Due to the game catering to both casuals and hardcore players, this is a given. Conflict of playstyles is the most common occurrence and both sides of the fence feel the game is leaning too far to one side (either it's too casual or all the hardcore content is locking out casual players). And that's all that will be said on the matter.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • The original 1.0 release was particularly notorious for this in regards to end game content. Warriors were flat out better than Paladins, thanks to the fact that a Warrior's attacks were boosted by both the Strength and Vitality stats. Furthermore, the Warrior's Steel Cyclone ability was not only powerful, but also allowed the Warrior to AoE tank. Bards and Black Mages could safely stand back and use ranged attacks for massive amounts of damage, with Bards also doubling as back up healers since the Conjurer job was one of its original sub-classes. A lot of players began demanding that parties only consist of these classes, locking out those who preferred playing as Paladins, Monks, and Dragoons. Upon launch, it was evident that version 2.0, A Realm Reborn, took a number of steps in improving gameplay balance to avoid, or at least reduce thisnote .
    • DPS classes in general are played far more often than healer and tank classes, due to the fact that people feel less bored pumping out damage instead of spamming heals or maintaining aggro; the downside here is that the wait times in the duty finder can get notoriously long, unless you sign up for a duty that's very active. Even the developers are aware of this, and added the "Adventurer in Need" bonus for the duty roulette, which almost never grants the bonus for DPS players because there's so many of them.
      • DPS caster roles tend to be in high demand for dungeons and trials that have multiple enemies the party has to fight at once, because people playing as one of these classes get a massive AOE Limit Break that can seriously wreck multiple targets at once. A grand example of this is the fight against Ifrit (Hard) where the party needs to destroy multiple nails quickly less they suffer a One-Hit KO attack from Ifrit's Hellfire.
      • Bards and Black Mages are among the most commonly seen DPS classes. Not because they are significantly stronger than Dragoon, Monk, or Summoner - indeed, of a group of level 50 characters, with equal gear, the Dragoon and Monk have higher DPS, and the Summoner has a pet that can keep attacking even when they can't if they're busy dodging AoEs - but because they are significantly easier to play. Their attacks let them stay at range (whereas a Monk or a Dragoon has to stay close to the enemy, and as a result can't avoid some attacks easily and will lose time running out of some AoEs, Black Mage can pepper spells from a distance and Bard can attack even while on the move), don't have to change positions after every other attack to maximize their damage by hitting enemies from specific directions, have easier ability upkeep (Bards in particular get two damage-over-time effects they have to manage, and then later on a third attack which resets both of their timers), and generally require using the same 3 or 4 abilities or spells in the same order to put out significant amounts of damage. Every other ability or spell of a Bard or Black Mage, outside of their core damage abilities, are situational. The Machinist from Heavensward and the Red Mage added in Stormblood are also rather common for most of the same reasons, though the latter also suffers a bit from its attempt to be a Jack-of-All-Stats, since its rotation (gain white and black mana through spells, then spend it to power up melee hits) requires getting close, thus good timing to avoid smacking right into an AOE.
    • Tackling end game content like extreme primals and the Binding Coil of Bahamut will usually be done by players who have watched a tutorial video first and expect everyone else to do the same before they attempt the challenges. The only time players will tackle content without watching a video beforehand is when there's no videos at all due to the content being just released.
    • Speed running is notoriously popular for level 50 dungeons. The most common tactic is to have the party's tank pull every trash mob possible and have everyone spam their AOE abilities to quickly kill everything one shot, which is technically faster than taking on one group at a time. The act of speed running has caused quite a stir among the player base since people who are in favor of speed running might start doing it without checking to see if the rest of the party wants to do it or if they can even handle it. Those who like speed running feel it's a valid tactic and people should learn to adapt instead of causing everyone to slow down.
    • For chocobo racing, Head Start and Choco Dash were the most used abilities since Head Start lets you start the race at max speed and Choco Dash is basically the dash panel in your pocket that can be used at will. The combo was so effective that everyone used it to get a huge lead at the start. Patch 2.55 would counter the strategy by making the buffer from lather (time it takes for lather to start sapping your stamina quickly) become extremely short.
    • Role skills tend to be very set in stone. Every tank wants Rampart, Provoke, Anticipation, and Reprisal, leaving only one slot, which will be invariably filled with Shirk in any two-tank raid, and Convalescence otherwise. Every healer wants Lucid Dreaming, Swiftcast, Eye for an Eye, and Largesse, and the fifth slot is usually filled with Esuna because few healers will bother to check whether this dungeon/raid actually needs it or not, with a macro to cast Protect at the beginning of the dungeon. Eventually, the devs realized that there was pretty much no point in giving an illusion of choice like that and allowed every job to have all 10 role skills active and usable with 5.0 culling the number of skills down to 4-6 depending on the role.
    • EXP grinding used to be done through FATEs endlessly while dungeons got ignored because completing a FATE with a group of people was a lot faster than running a dungeon and doing groups of FATEs over and over would net players a bigger EXP payout in the long haul. The devs eventually changed things up where EXP in dungeons were better than ones gained in a FATE while doing a FATE is still a nice quick EXP gain while one waits for their duty to pop. However, 3.0 made leveling up past 50 notoriously tedious due to how much EXP one needed to get to the level cap of 60. People then discovered that, despite the level sync, getting EXP for a FATE in Northern Thanalan was not only faster, it was also faster than gaining EXP from a FATE in the new Heavensward areas and its dungeons. Grinding FATEs in Northern Thanalan grew so popular that not only does everything die in a matter of seconds due to the sheer amount of players, but many players have even resorted to using a bot program so that a computer can do the level grinding for them in a fairly quick manner. A patch rectified the problem by boosting the amount of EXP a FATE gives in the 3.0 areas, making them more viable compared to the old ones in the 2.0 zones.
    • When Heavensward launched, the new healer class Astrologian suffered from this when compared to the other healer classes. In 2.X, a combination of a White Mage and Scholar provided what was considered an optimal balance of healing and utility, with the White Mage offering tremendous burst and party-wide healing, and the Scholar providing damage, asynchronous healing from their fairy, and several utility skills. In comparison, Astrologians offered both lesser healing and lesser utility and damage, with its unique card mechanic supposed to make up for the difference. But even those seemed inadequate. Patch 3.05 buffed their abilities somewhat, then patch 3.07 had several massive buffs that resolved the class' rougher edges, bringing them to a state where they're generally agreed to be as useful as the other healing classes.
    • Palace of the Dead's Transformation pomanders are subject to this. The Pomander of Lust transforms the user into a Succubus who can increase the amount of damage mobs can take, which leads to the party opting to save it for the Bosses unless dire circumstances are in play. The Pomander of Rage however instead turns the user into a Manticore who can One-Hit Kill mobs, but deals weak damage to the bosses, leading players to either use that on the floor after they find it to clear it faster or save it for when they get a Pomander of Fortune (which increases the chance of mobs dropping chests upon death) and use both on the same floor.
    • Conversely, also in Palace of the Dead, there is also the Pomander of Flight. The effect of this Pomander reduces the amount of mobs on the very next floor. As defeating the monsters are the only source of experience in the Palace, this means that players get less experience. Players that know this will often decide to not use it at the early floors where they are far from the Level cap, but will see them invaluable when they are Level 60 and thus don't need the experience, and thus will use then ASAP on the 5th set of floors.
    • Still regarding the Palace of the Dead, it has become the go-to dungeon for EXP grinding since clearing every 10 floors gets you a nice chunk of EXP for your current class outside of the dungeon. It got to the point where people farm only floors 1 through 10 or 51 to 60 since these floors are faster to clear compared to the other more difficult floors.
    • Stormblood introduced the open-world zone Eureka as the expansion's system for obtaining level 70 relic weapons. As a throwback to older MMO games, Eureka was designed to be very grindy—players had to accrue experience to advance in an elemental level system tied solely to Eureka—and dangerous—monsters also had elemental levels, and those above yours quickly become very lethal. The obvious intent of Eureka was to slowly grind through level-appropriate mobs, and explore more and more of the map as you leveled up. However, this was derailed by the Notorious Monster system: if enough of a specific type of monster were slain (usually a few dozen to a hundred), a special boss monster would spawn, and reward extra experience, loot, and crystals needed to upgrade Eureka gear. The playerbase quickly discovered that farming Notorious Monsters was the most efficient leveling method: first, grinding normal mobs with a party (or worse, parties) would quickly impose a harsh experience penalty while Notorious Monsters had fixed rewards relative to your level, and second, that the 144 players in a zone working together could easily and quickly slay mobs to spawn Notorious Monsters and in turn quickly defeat those for excellent rewards. That meant the optimal strategy for Eureka was not actively grinding level-appropriate mobs over time, but rather running around the map in a train of dozens of players, slay mobs and then a Notorious Monster in a quick spike of activity, and then wait around doing nothing until another Notorious Monster was ready to spawn. The cherry on top is that ultimate advancement of Eureka gear required you to farm Notorious Monsters anyway, making mob grinding utterly irrelevant. Patch 4.3 introduced extra exp rewards from the Challenge Log as an alternative source, but the damage had already been done, staining Eureka's initial release as a mindless and tedious grind interspersed with extreme boredom, rather than a dynamic, challenging zone to explore.
    • Players who have the SDS Fenrir mount will use it exclusively over other mounts because the mount has enhanced speed built in while the other mounts can't go faster until you obtain riding maps for each zone.
  • Complete Monster: Asahi sas Brutus is an ambassador from the Garlean Empire who reveals himself to be a sociopathic follower of Zenos yae Galvus. He tries to sabotage the peace between Doma's leaders by trying to provoke the Player Character, and it was revealed that he hired the mercenaries to fake his good nature. However, his worst act is when his parents adopted his cousin, Yotsuyu. When Yotsuyu got mistreated by Asahi's parents, Asahi then came out with the idea to sell Yotsuyu to an abusive drunkard for money and political connections, as well as selling her to a brothel. After Yotsuyu regained her memories, Asahi sent her parents on her, which resulted them being killed. When the prisoner exchange happens, Asahi then tries to invoke the primal Tsukuyomi into Yotsuyu and callously shoots her multiple times when she tries to die peacefully, mocking the player, while brutally beating Yotsuyu, that attacking him would result in a war.
  • Cry for the Devil:
    • The Encyclopedia Eorzea lore book states how the nation of Garlemald was mocked by the other nations and got pushed far to the harsh north many years ago before the events of the game happened. Many players showed sympathy towards The Empire because of this and those who liked the Garleans already used the lore to further their support for them, hoping that the empire will someday win or at least allow players to switch sides.
    • A much stronger example is Yotsuyu. She was introduced as an irredeemable monster, but as the patches went on with her amnesiac, she began to eke out her identity as Tsuyu and form a bond with Gosetsu, it seemed like she might finally get a start. As she had an extremely solid Freudian Excuse (given to Abusive Parents, made a Sex Slave no less than twice, abused from nearly every moment her biological mother died) people were starting to overlook her past deeds. However, when she regained her memories because of Asahi's cruel manipulations and becomes Tsukuyomi, dying afterwards (albeit finally happy), many fans were dismayed that her fate was Redemption Equals Death. The exact moment where many people's minds changed is the phase transition of the fight, where Yotsuyu asks the phantoms of everyone who's ever abused her to strike her in hate, set to the absolutely heart-rending rendition of the Yanxia/Doman field music, only for a phantom of Gosetsu's kindness to save her and the party, making her realize how close she was to being loved... but lamenting that now it's too late as the primal possesses her again and rips away control.
    • Shadowbringers has Emet-Selch, an Ascian who explains how his people's homeworld was destroyed in a war between Zodiark and Hydaelyn, how many people were sacrificed to save their world, and how more lives were lost when Hydaelyn split the world into several shards. Emet-Selch is a massive troll, but by the very end, he's filled with rage and determination to end the Warrior of Light, deeming them unworthy of carrying on the Ascian's legacy. When he is defeated, Emet-Selch doesn't throw a tantrum nor pull a This Cannot Be! Instead, he is calm and simply asks the Warrior of Light to remember him and how he once lived. People who weren't too sure of the Ascians became completely sympathetic after that scene.
    • Shadowbringers also has Vauthry, the lord of Eulmore; a Fat Bastard Psychopathic Manchild who believes he's the undisputed master of all he surveys because of his ability to control the sin eaters... But it's later revealed that he's half sin eater himself, having been infused with one's light in his mother's womb, and was raised from birth to be a decadent conqueror with an ego as big as his waistline, exactly like his father and Emet-Selch planned. As a result, he's completely incapable of understanding the difference between "right" and "wrong"; In Vauthry's mind, he is justice and righteousness and it's everybody who disagrees with him that's evil, meaning he can't realize that everything he does, up to and including feeding his people ground-up sin eaters to brainwash them, is evil. After he's finally defeated, his final moments are spent crying and whimpering, unable to grasp why the Warrior of Light pities him or how everything his father taught him was a lie.

    D-E 
  • Damsel Scrappy: Many consider Minfilia to be this for getting herself captured multiple times and never fights back against her captors/enemies, despite carrying a custom knife.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Hildibrand Helidor Maximillian Manderville was originally conceived as a minor comic relief character, being a Small Name, Big Ego Gentleman Detective character that completely contrasts against the rather grim main background story. However, he was so popular in the game's first incarnation that he was "resurrected" for the A Realm Reborn version of the game and given his own dedicated quest series.
    • A Realm Reborn also introduced Hildibrand's father, Godbert Manderville, a master goldsmith and powerful businessman, who likes to spend his time running around in his skivvies, performing acts of Memetic Badassery which put even Sabin's train suplexing to shame including slaying a hoard of zombies with nothing more than a goldsmith's hammer, briefly turning a Mechanical Lifeform into a real living being, and killing multiple yeti with a snowball (by accident).
    • And even he pales in comparison to his wife, Julyan Manderville, and her Frying Pan of Doom.
    • Sisipu, the only other NPC from 1.0 that everyone apparently remembers by name.
    • As of ARR, HAMON HOLYFIST is getting way up there too, as easily the most popular (and hilarious, and lovable) of the class guild-masters.
    • Even people who haven't played the game have heard of Good King Moggle Mog, thanks to his awesome battle music and its ridiculously silly lyrics.
    • Papashan, the Ul'danian rail-yard overseer and semi-but-not-really-retired Master Sultansworn is also fairly popular with both fans of Ul'dah and of Lalafells, due to his status as a Reasonable Authority Figure, the surrogate-fatherly way he helps and treats Lady Lilira (AKA Sultana Nanamo), and for being the baddest-assed lalafell Paladin in canon, and perhaps baddest lala period, who isn't a player. The only people who even come close are Papalymo and Krile.
    • Hildibrand is rather popular amongst the fanbase as well, for his hilarious side story line and dialogues, and facial expressions that dip just far enough into the Uncanny Valley to become hilarious rather than creepy.
    • Edda Pureheart started off as a simple Flat Character in an early story quest where the player sees a band of adventurers break up due to Edda's incompetent healing costing her the life of her fiance, who was also the party's tank. In patch 2.3, Edda returns while being completely insane and broken over the grief she endured since her fiance's death. Even after she falls to her death by slipping off a ledge, she briefly returns as a creepy ghost for one memorable scene. Many fans instantly liked Edda's return and hope that she comes back in a future update. Even Yoshida hoped to bring her back in some form. Later, Edda made a brief cameo in the anniversary event by an artist drawing her and her fiance monster looking happy together (in a very creepy way), and she became the final boss of the 50th floor of the Palace of the Dead. Clearing that floor and doing the subsequent quest finally allows the Warrior of Light to put her soul to rest.
    • Moenbryda gained quite a bit of popularity when she was introduced in patch 2.4. Fans instantly warmed up to her for having an outgoing personality to shake up the dynamic that the Scions have, being very book smart, and wielding a giant axe. Sadly, Moenbryda was killed off in patch 2.5 after performing a Heroic Sacrifice to help the player character kill one of the Ascians. While her death boosted her popularity further, many thought that she was discarded way too early, and that with only two patches and a couple cutscenes she had little room to develop as a character. The fact that she was the by-far strongest female non-player character of the Scions (especially compared to Minfilia) left many people wishing she stayed longer.
    • Lord Haurchefant quickly grew very popular with the fanbase. Not only is he one of the first Ishgardians who isn't completely hostile to you just for being an outsider, he nearly worships the ground you walk on and helps soften the city-state towards opening their gates to outsiders. And of course, in the wake of a horrific Wham Episode that left Alphinaud, Tataru, and potentially the PC in a Heroic BSoD, he offers you shelter and to turn away anyone hunting you, offering encouragement to help you cheer up and stating he fully intends to be by your side when you take retribution. Plus he brings you cocoa! And then he dies in your character's arms at the end of The Vault... Needless to say, many a tear was shed.
    • The Vath Deftarm grew quite popular with many players due to him trying to perform good deeds like the player character, learning lessons along the way, and actually makes an effort to stick by his noble goals so he can help everyone. The fact that he's an Adorkable bug person only helped to boost his popularity further.
    • Fray the Dark Knight job trainer, for pretty much being the most memorable job trainer ever and for providing an insight into the Warrior of Light outside how the player themselves define them and for his Big Damn Heroes moment at the level 70 Dark Knight job quest. It's not uncommon to hear about people who leveled the Dark Knight job just for him.
    • The Warriors of Darkness became pretty popular despite only really being relevant for the first patch post Dragonsong War. Despite being a group of Psycho Rangers that look exactly like the Warriors of Light from the trailers (with the leader looking exactly like the WoL who is supposed to be the player character), they become very sympathetic once you learn their past, namely that they were Warriors of Light in their world. However, they were so successful at their job that they completely eliminated the Darkness. And because of this, Light became too powerful and completely annihilated the world, leaving absolutely nothing remaining unlike the world that became the Void due to being overwhelmed by Darkness. They work with the Ascians to reverse this, because even if the world is Rejoined, everyone's souls within the Aether will still exist, unlike the situation with the Light. On top of this, the Warrior of Darkness had great voice work done by Joe Dempsie, who fans of Game of Thrones would recognize as the bastard smith Gendry. It's telling that the Warrior of Darkness, Ardbert, ends up becoming a main character in Shadowbringers, his ghost being a guide and his past being explored as you travel across the First. To the point that he pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to save you.
    • Ishgard as a whole became surprisingly popular. Despite starting the story as haughty isolationists with a trigger-happy inquisition, they became the first city-state in the Eorzean alliance to truly start to overcome their flaws and become better (while the other three city-states have generally maintained the status-quo, despite Nanamo's slow efforts with Ul'Dah). The Warrior of Light also becomes a national beloved hero, so it's citizens are always honored to work with you post-Heavensward. And most of the heroic Ishardians are all pretty beloved. Their popularity is such, that when the WoL thinks about the places and people that are important to them during one part of Shadowbringers, Ishgard is one of the places we see, with none of the other city-states receiving that honor.
    • Arenvald started out as a nearly generic member of the Scions since A Realm Reborn that aspired to do great deeds like the Warrior of Light. By the time of Stormblood, he changes his clothes for a full suit of armor, assists in the liberation of Ala Mhigo, suggests that he and the Warrior of Light go raid a sunken dungeon for the heck of it (plus the treasures hidden within), and directly assists with fighting Lakshmi in Ala Mhigo and protects the innocents. Arenvald gained quite a following with many fans wanting to see him develop further.
    • Dulia-Chai in Shadowbringers quickly became a fan favorite among fans for being a Big Beautiful Woman without drawing attention to it and being a very nice and caring person in a city whose population couldn't give a rat's ass about anyone but themselves. The fact that she treats Alphinaud like a child of her own also cemented her rising popularity.
    • Emet-Selch/Solus zos Galvus/Hades as a well-written villain with a complex backstory and motivations, due to his hammy, sarcastic nature and Laughably Evil antics in the 4.4 and 4.5 updates of Stormblood and the first half of Shadowbringers that betrays a tragic and lonely man who just wants to save his world and people from a cruel fate they didn't deserve. The fact that he's the one to reveal the true nature of the game and puts everything previously established upside down only adds to his character, and for being the focal point of the widely praised revelations regarding Amaurot.
    • A more meta example but writer Natsuko Ishikawa is popular amongst the fans for writing many of the arcs that are considered the best in the game, most notably The Binding Coil of Bahamut series and the aforementioned Dark Knight job questline, and is responsible for introducing and developing many Ensemble Darkhorses such as Haurchefant and Alisaie (back when she could be considered one). It's telling that she was promoted to a main writer in Stormblood where she was responsible for the Othard side of the story, which is considered the better half of the story, particularly the Azim Steppe arc. Her popularity soared further when she handled the main scenario for Shadowbringers, which many players agree is one of the best stories of the game; of the franchise even. To the point of her getting a standing ovation!
    • The Great Serpent of Ronka, a little worm that serves as the center piece for one of the side quest chains in Shadowbringers. While it's dubious that it is truly divine, the priest that believes it to be true is so earnest about it, players couldn't help but play along. Helps that the serpent is strangely cute in its own unique way and is rewarded as a minion at the end of the questline.
    Tremble, child of man, for a creature of purest divinity wiggleth before thee.
  • Epileptic Trees: Has to be mentioned here because the end of the core story in A Realm Reborn is very deliberately set up to invoke a ton of this, as it drops a ton of amazing reveals late in the plot and after the credits roll. Namely, the possibility that the Ascian lords are The Twelve Scions of Light from the Ivalice setting, and they're trying to bring Zodiark into the world. And the fact the Ascian Igeyorhm has the same haircut as Lightning of all people. The end-quest for Summoners pours fuel on the fire, too - Belias is an elder primal. Exactly what all this means has been driving people into fits of mass guessing.
    • Between 2.55 and Heavensward; Tataru working for Lolorito or the Crystal Braves was a popular fan theory due to the oddly worded conversation she gives you in Costa del Sol as well as the rather suspicious grin she gives the warriors once she leaves.
    • Heavensward gets in on this action, too: anyone paying the least bit of attention will begin to have some serious suspicions about the origins and nature of the player character, and then of course there's that bit with Elidibus and the "Warrior of Darkness" on the moon, which is basically just Square shaking a tree in your face.
  • Evil Is Cool: Many of the higher ranking members of the magitek using Garlean Empire can give off this feeling. Zenos in Stormblood in particular seemed particularly designed with this in mind. An unrepentant Tin Tyrant that justifies his status as The Dreaded multiple times throughout the story, including forcing the Warrior Of Light into a Hopeless Boss Fight twice. There is also the fact that he hijacks Shinryu during the final confrontation, leading to what many fans agree is the best fight in the game.

    G 
  • Game-Breaker: The Briar item for the chocobo races creates an AOE attack where any player who gets caught in it will suffer a massive stamina drop the longer they are in it. On a narrow path with no way to slow down or speed up to avoid the attack? You're boned. To make matters worse, multiple players using the item at the same time and in close proximity with one another makes the effect stack and if you get ganged up like this, you might as well go AFK until the race is over because it will become impossible to recover. The only way to completely avoid the attack is to use the Sprint Shoes, Stamina Tablet, or Hero Tonic, but that's assuming that RNG was good enough to you so that you have any of those items in the first place. Choco Meteor is also a huge game breaker due to how powerful it is and only the Hero Tonic can block it, which is rare in itself. The item basically gives a massive stamina drop to every player in front of the user and prevents them from accelerating. It's also entirely possible to have multiple Choco Meteors be used back to back, basically screwing everyone caught in the crossfire.
    • With the release of Blue Mage, the devs set Chocobo experience gain with it so chocobos would earn the full amount of experience rather than the small fraction it used to gain. However, this turned out to be horribly overtuned as even at levels over 10 you could gain an entire level in an hour or less when it used to take days or weeks to gain a single level. It became possible to reach level 20 extremely fast (as long as you were either rich or already carrying a large stock of Thavanarian Onions needed for every level after 10, as naturally their price on the marketboard skyrocketed.) A week later the experience gain was toned down heavily for Blue Mage, but it was buffed for other classes.
  • Gameplay Derailment:
    • The Hunts, prior to patch 2.4. To make a long story short, their rewards were good enough and easily accessible enough that most players simply camped out waiting for them to spawn instead of running dungeons as the dev team intended. The patch decreased the rewards significantly, bringing the frenzy around hunts down to reasonable levels.
    • The Triple Triad tournament, which gives players prizes if they come in the top 20 by winning against NPCs and players to rack up points. People quickly discovered that there's no rule or limit on how you earn the tourney points, so players began to cheat the system by playing against their friends to boost themselves endlessly. Patch 3.5 finally addresses the issue by having participants play in the card battle hall and the game picking opponents for them.
    • PVP has devolved into this due to a general lack of interest from the community, resulting in enormously long queues. Upwards of an hour is actually considered common for many. Thus, players have taken to "win-trading" by grouping into two teams of three/four, setting the party finder to only search for French/German and slaughtering each other while naked, so they can stockpile Wolf Marks - PVP's unique currency, used to purchase the exclusive PVP gear.
    • Chocobo Racing had players intentionally lose by going AFK since the amount of EXP and MGP gained for coming in last wasn't much lower than simply playing normally. Throwing races was the preferred method of raising chocobos and farming for MGP. The devs responded by making 1st place give more MGP and EXP while coming in last got you nothing at all.
    • Palace of the Dead had already gone off the rails a day after the patch went live. In order to get the new weapons associated with the palace, you have to grind both your armor and your weapon to a stat of +30 and the only way to strengthen the gear is to open silver coffers. The stronger the gear gets, the further down the dungeon you have to go just to be able to get a shot at increasing your gear's strength. Because beating the final boss on floor 50 means starting over at floor 1 next time you play, people have either purposely got the party killed in the final boss fight, leave the dungeon, or ask to be kicked out since your gear's progression isn't tied to your character's progression in the dungeon. Ergo, people can keep resetting to floor 41 over and over to try for a run with better luck at the silver coffers without starting over. Naturally, this is not sitting well for people who just want to play through the dungeon and are being paired up with others trying to exploit the system. A patch later on guaranteed a +1 to arm and armor when completing floor 50 and another patch boosted the frequency of silver coffers while also increasing the odds of them boosting your gear.
  • Genius Bonus
    • In the English localization, the Alchemy level achievements are named "Tis True Without Lying", which is the Sir Isaac Newton translation of the beginning of an ancient alchemical treatise called The Emerald Tablet.
    • The Disciplines of the Land, Hand and Magic and War bear a certain resemblance to the Japanese adaptation of the Confucian philosophy of ideal social hierarchies.
    • The quest to unlock the Savage mode for Alexander's Creator sector is titled "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Retells Your Story." Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story is the song that is performed in the final scenes of the Broadway musical Hamilton, which tells the story of relatively unknown United States Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. It goes even deeper than that; one of the themes of the song is about running out of/not having enough time to do what needs to be done, and Alexander's main mechanic revolves around its ability to manipulate time.
    • Averted with the Drowned City of Skalla boss, Kelpie. Two of its abilities, Hydro Pull and Hydro Push, would do the opposite of what they said. At first this was believed by the player base to be a reference to the way the creature would trick humans. In realty, it was a translation error and fixed soon after.
    • The Gunblade worked around an Orphaned Etymology by stating the weapon was named after Gunnhildr's Blades, a Hrothgar organization that protects their queen. The real world etymology of the word gun came from a ballista type weapon called a Domina Gunhilde named after Gunnhildr, a female Norse name themed around battle.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Invoked for certain levequests. Your target enemies will always spawn near naturally spawning enemies, but there can also be enemies that spawn during your quest specifically to slow you down by forcing you to either dispatch them or deal with their attacks (or run away to cause them to deaggro) and they don't appear outside of the quests.
    • Same deal with normal mobs near a FATE; not only do they not count towards your FATE contribution, you'll probably be level-synced down to their level, making them aggressive if they weren't before, and more dangerous besides. These kinds of mobs will just annoy you and force you to dispatch them so that you don't rack up unnecessary damage, though they'll just respawn. This is most noticeable with the "Staying Dead" FATE in Western Thanalan, which spawns Dune Bogies in the middle of an area otherwise already occupied by the identical but slightly-higher-level Bloated Bogies. For whatever reason, Bloated Bogies are marked as FATE targets when it is active, yet do not contribute to completing it if you attack them.
    • Any giant toad monster. They aren't terribly dangerous, but they have a nasty Sticky Tongue ability that lets them drag you towards them so you are in their melee range, and they'll always use it immediately if you aggro them outside of melee range before following up with a large area-of-effect jump. This gets more annoying when you're just passing through an area and you get yanked towards the monster, particularly for parts of the story that have you taking several trips back and forth through Raincatcher Gully in eastern La Noscea or Fogfens in Mor Dhona.
    • Any enemy that has the Stoneskin spell, which blocks up to 10% of damage to the user equal to their maximum HP. Due to Health/Damage Asymmetry, this buff which was merely kinda okay in the hands of players (before being removed) is a pain in the hands of mobs. Seeing Stoneskin on a boss enemy is very rare, but deeply annoying when it does happen.
    • Skeletons, they're pretty standard and usually have low HP, but they have an attack called Hell Slash that always does a flat percentage of your max HP, meaning that even a overgeared tank will take a good chunk of their HP in damage. And in story quests they tend to get paired with other enemies who can do more genuine damage.
    • Bees. Dear gods, bees. They have a notorious reputation in FFXI and it's no different here — many of the bee types in dungeons will, if not killed fast enough, use Final Sting: a suicide attack that deals 80% of the target's maximum HP in damage, meaning a tank won't necessarily deal with it better than anyone else unless they have a very attentive healer or they apply their defensive cooldown that makes them temporarily immune to death. It can be stunlocked, thankfully, but all it takes is one bee that nobody's watching...
    • Mimics in the Palace of the Dead. They usually aren't terribly difficult to kill (although they can be if they spawn early on a set of floors, since their level is determined by the set of floors rather than the specific floor you are on), but they can spawn randomly from any coffer you try to open and they have a hefty amount of HP. What makes them annoying is Infatuate, which targets a random player and inflicts the Pox status. Pox prevents auto regeneration, lowers damage dealt, and constantly causes poison-like damage over time for 10 minutes. Not even dying will remove the status. The only way to remove Pox is with a specific item only found in the dungeon. Some mimics can be stunned, but the ones that appear as a gold coffer are stun-immune. Luckily, the pomander of witching can transform them into a helpless animal so that they can't use Infatuate, or the pomander of rage can be used to One-Hit Kill them, but that's assuming you were lucky enough to have those items on hand.
    • Palace Skatenes in the Palace of the Dead are annoying for their Chirp ability, which is a massive AOE Sleep. While they can be stunned or pushed back to interrupt the ability, you may not always have party members who will have those specific abilities. On their own Skatenes are a minor annoyance. If they come in pairs or other monsters join in, you're going to be in a world of hurt.
    • Continuing the trend of annoying enemies in the Palace of the Dead are the Palace Slimes. They are pretty easy to kill and aren't terribly strong, but if you take too long to kill one, they will explode with no warning and kill any player that were unlucky enough to be caught in the blast radius. If all four players or all remaining players get hit, it's a Total Party Kill. If you encounter the slims while playing solo, you either better stun them quickly or burn them down as fast as possible before they explode. In the much deeper parts of the dungeon, there are red slimes that also explode like their green cousins, but their auto-attack lowers your physical defense each time and the effect can stack.
    • Nightmare Dragons are yet another annoying monster to deal with in the Palace of the Dead. While they are not terribly strong, their Chaos Breath attack covers a wide area in front of it, making it a pain to fight if there's other monsters attacking or if the dragon is in a narrow hallway.
    • Also in the Palace of the Dead are certain monsters that can attack the closest player to them without them even having aggro on that player. Said attack is usually a large AOE that is easy enough to avoid on its own, but if you're already engaged with other enemies, random attacks from monsters taking potshots at you only makes things worse. To make things even more worse, the monsters doing the potshots can launch these attacks through the damn walls without you seeing them!
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • At 3.0's launch, there was a massive cluster of level 58 monsters in The Dravanian Hinterlands near the zone border leading to The Dravanian Forelands. Many players had their share of fun trying to see how long they could survive the onslaught, though Square fixed it in a matter of a day.
    • Players employ a number of minor glitches in the housing editor to produce otherwise-impossible furniture arrangements such as raised platforms and staircases.
    • It was discovered that minions that don't normally perch on your shoulder can be made to using a simple glitch. See the details here. Many are hoping it doesn't become patched as the results can range from awesome to cute to hilarious.
    • Some minions are made to interact with one another, but an unintentional one was Ultros, as he would dance with the Calca and Brina dolls in such a natural way that it looked like it was intended. Unfortunately, this was patched and he no longer interacts with them.
    • When squadrons were introduced, people quickly discovered that hitting the Engage command would reset your party's cooldowns instantly. This lead to crazy things like archers spamming their AOE skill and tanks spamming their defensive skills. This was eventually patched out.
    • Squadrons also had a glitch with the squadron Limit Break where it could be used outside of the intended content. This led to people using the squadron limit break in other dungeons and raids when they were not supposed to, which also led to raiders doing savage content using it too. Because the limit break gives everyone a 50% boost to attack power, could be used to clear content much more easily than intended. Astrologians were also able to extend the duration of the damage buff, making it even more ridiculous. The exploit would eventually be patched out. Incidentally, Yoshi-P confirmed that the majority of players who used the bug were clearly just confirming that it really existed (with about 10% actually repeatedly exploiting it), and the handful that used it in the Unending Coil of Bahamut still didn't manage to clear it.
    • While rare, there have been times where a boss would suddenly stop attacking the party, allowing players to wail on it for an easy kill. Not only do these get patched out fairly quickly, but people that are caught abusing such exploits got suspended from the game.
    • Heaven on High, a sequel of sorts to Palace of the Dead, has an otter trap. If someone goes into /gpose, the transformed party member will appear as gigantic.
  • Growing the Beard: Many fans, despite enjoying the game as a whole, claim that A Realm Reborn has a few weaknesses that held back its potential, which include the voice acting, lack of challenge in dungeons, leveling a class taking too long, etc. When Heavensward was released, most of the issues were resolved; voice acting improved, character relationships and dynamics were made more apparent, dungeons and raids were made more reasonably difficult save at the extreme top end, and the plot improved substantially. Many people that didn't like how 2.0 was made were pleasantly surprised at how 3.0 improved on many things. 3.0's only real stumbling blocks were the Savage mode of Alexander maybe being tuned a little too tightly in its later stages, even for most hardcore raiders, and for the first patch taking five months to arrive (mostly because after 3.0's release, the team desperately needed a vacation).

    H-L 
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Ilberd's statement towards Eline Roaille that he would rather cut off his arm than to raise a hand against a friend becomes this as come Patch 2.55 not only does he betray Raubahn by admitting his role in Nanamo's death, but cuts off his left arm to protect Lolorito.
    • Yda's annoyance with Rowena's insistence of replacing her mask becomes this when you realize that Yda's or rather Lyse's mask once belong to her sister, the real Yda.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The fact that Patch 3.4 will introduce a character named Khloe Aliapoh as well as there have been other Keeper of the Moon Miqo'tes with the Aliapoh surname is possibly this for those who have played the Archer questline.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When it was revealed that the Alliance Raid for Shadowbringers would be based on NieR: Automata, people began suspecting that Taro Yoko, being the Mind Screw Trolling Creator he is, would include some kind of strange twist or even possibly Bait-and-Switch the players somehow. When the raid came out, several players experienced a strange situation where a Red Dragon appeared during the raids final boss, causing massive amounts of confusion and Epileptic Trees to begin forming about it being Yoko Taro sneaking in a Drakengard reference. A few days later, it was revealed to be a bug caused by specific circumstances in the teams production of the raid, meaning that Yoko Taro, a man infamous for being a Trolling Creator, didn't create a Mind Screw twist like people thought, but instead the developers managed to accidentally create an even bigger surprise.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • A lot of fans who loved Lahabrea believe that his death in the end of 3.0 isn't true and is just trapped inside Nidhogg's eye used by King Thordan. Despite the fact that Elidibus confirmed that Lahabrea was slain and the fact that Thordan used Lahabrea's soul as fuel for his aether, fans believe that he will be freed from Nidhogg's grip and will be released to fight the Warrior of Light again.note 
    • Fans of Gaius believe that he is still alive because they Never Found the Body when he was killed off in 2.0. This is while ignoring the fact that the guy was in the dead center of an explosion while in a weakened state. It ended up being true anyway, with Shadowhunter, who was introduced at the end of 4.3, revealing later on that he is Gaius.
    • The same theory was also presented for Papalymo after his Heroic Sacrifice in 3.5, though 3.56 reveals that his magicked tattoo on Yda/Lyse faded away after Shinryu broke free of the cocoon, which signifies that Papalymo is gone for good. He also shows up as a ghost in the end credit sequence for Stormblood, further signifying that he's really dead.
    • After Shadowbringers' main story ended, Ran'jit has been added to this list, mostly due to Never Found the Body note  and the character's tendency towards being an Implacable Man and Super-Persistent Predator. A lot of people also consider it a waste that it was the Warrior of Light that finally did him in, instead of Thancred (who had made a nemesis of him as Ryne's Parental Substitute) or Ryne (who Ran'jit never even saw after she stopped being "Minfillia" and became her own person to see his reaction) and hope he's alive to die later to either of the two for much better closure to his character arc.
  • Informed Wrongness: The whole incident with Emmanellain in 3.2 can come across this way, as Emmanellain accidentally ordering an unarmed woman shot is undermined completely by the fact that the 'unarmed' woman had poisoned a dozen people including the Warrior of Light, was trying to restart a war, and was obviously not going to stand down any other way. It can be very hard to believe he was acting out of line in light of that. Notably, the Warrior of Light and Thancred take more issue with Emmanellain refusing to admit responsibility for how the incident played out, but even this can be a bit difficult to accept since Emmanellain isn't really at fault for the situation going badly, especially since the situation was too quick and sudden for most people to be able to make the right call that suddenly.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Many veterans of Final Fantasy XI and legacy players from 1.0 see Final Fantasy XIV as too easy and that a lack of punishment for failure is unappealing. People also see the hard mode dungeons as pathetically easy, despite the fact that said dungeons were designed for people who just finished the main story line and weren't made for people who have the best gear. Old content that have their difficulty reduced to allow new or struggling players to catch up are also seen as promoting bad players in the eyes of the more hardcore players. During the 2014 fan fest, Word of God stated that 2.0 was made easy on purpose since they were catering towards people who never played an MMORPG before. They also stated that with the level cap being raised to 60 when 3.0 launched, there will be increased danger and difficulty since the training wheels are now off.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • People accused the Heavensward expansion pack of being this, claiming that the routines from 2.0 (gear acquisition, farming methods, etc) are the same in 3.0. 3.15 didn't help matters with the new relic weapons by making their acquisition exactly the same as the Atma relics by having players farm FATEs to obtain items with low drop rates. The same pattern repeated itself up to 3.4, leaving many players who hoped for a substantial change rather disappointed, with many wondering if the next expansion will be more of the same formula over and over again, or if the development team will somehow change the usual routine. Stormblood gained similar reactions.
    • Eureka, which was already heavily divided amongst the players in the Anemos chapter, was declared to be this in the Pagos chapter for literally just doing the same thing as Anemos.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Liavinne, an Elezen Archer you meet during the starting dungeons of the three regions. When you first meet her, she has a bottle in her hand laughing her ass off at Avere berating Edda for not being able to obtain enough potions before going into Sastasha. Then after completing Tam-Tara Deepcroft, you see Liavinne's party have a Breaking the Fellowship moment where Avere has died and she places the blame solely on Edda for the latter's incompetent healing, going as far as saying that she never liked her and only tolerated for her healing abilities. After running into her in the Waking Sands, you then realize why she never liked Edda and how Avere's death has affected her.note  She then gets killed when the Garleans attack the Waking Sands, and her corpse is later dug up and reanimated by Edda to serve as the first boss of The Tam-Tara Deepcroft (Hard).
    • A good number of Tragic Villains fall under this such as Foulques of the Mist and Eline Roaille.
  • Ho Yay:
    • The above mentioned entertainers in Ul'dah don't mind offering their services to female player characters. Also, almost all of said performers happen to be Miqo'te.
    • ARR introduced a few more moments like this, such as a Mi'qote (again) who lets players of both genders know she doesn't mind if you look in on her bathing every now and then, and even comments about it if your character is female.
    • Stormblood adds even more yay in general. Of particular note, a Princess whose dedication to her cursed handmaiden draws more than a few parallels to Sleeping Beauty, and a fashion mogul's assistant come from afar who takes a distinct interest in aforementioned Ul'dahn entertainers.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: From Heavensward on, it becomes more and more blatant that the Warrior of Light has a tendency to gain the admiration of those around them, regardless of gender. If there's an important ally, it's very likely that they show signs of having a crush on the WoL.
  • Loot Drama:
    • Surprisingly, there's very little drama over loot thanks to how loot is handled. All loot found in dungeons and trials are determined by a Need VS Greed system via dice rolling. Players rolling Need get higher priority over those that roll Greed (unless no one rolls for Need, then it's about who rolled better for Greed), but you can only roll Need for miscellaneous items or gear that your current class can actually use. However, patch 2.1 added an extremely rare mount from Primal Extreme fights; it's a black unicorn called Nightmare, which is pretty much a Palette Swap of the normal Unicorn players can unlock. The Nightmare mount has caused quite a bit of drama due to its rarity and the fact that it can only be found by fighting really difficult bosses.
    • The Atma items needed to create a player's Atma weapons have also caused heavy drama between those who got the items quickly and those who haven't been as lucky.
    • 3.2 introduced music scrolls that could be obtained in a variety of ways and one of them involves clearing the old Crystal Tower raid series. Since the scrolls drop from coffers, they have to be rolled on and there has been much drama over who should get the rare scrolls. This is also the same case for the Echidna card in the Void Ark, which used to be a random drop before 3.2 changed it by having the card appear in a coffer that must also be rolled for and there's nothing stopping players from rolling on the card if they had already claimed one for their deck.
      • 3.3 changed the Echidna card to once again drop straight into your inventory to avoid the drama.
    • And then 5.1 gave us the Copied Factory, which as offers as its final reward a Coffer Chest which awards of a full set of glamour gear letting a character dress up like 2B. Unfortunately, it's a loot roll like any other, that the entire raid rolls for, and only three of them are up for drop at a time. Cue people running the raid nonstop in an attempt to get the set, and even after days of running the raid coming up with nothing.

    M-N 
  • Memetic Badass: Godbert Manderville, even in his introduction when he's shown as having felled a full grown chimera naked with nothing but a goldsmith's hammer, people began talking up his other incredible feats of strength, theorizing he's anything from an incarnation of Byregot (the god of craft) to an Elder Primal. The fanbase's reaction may have been why he was granted a role in the main story as one of the leaders of the syndicate, and later Hildibrand story quests have him topping himself with even more ridiculous feats like using a limit break by himself that makes his hammer grow as big as a small house, and using it to call down the equivalent of an orbital laser.
  • Memetic Loser: Despite being one of the main antagonists for A Realm Reborn and being the acknolwedged leader of the Ascians, Lahabrea gets treated as the biggest loser in the game by the fandom due to the fact that his boss fight at the end of the main ARR content is an absolute joke, as well the fact that even his fellow Ascians show him no respect whatsoever, to the point that after his death whenever he gets brought up by one of his colleagues it's usually to point out how incompetent he was.
  • Memetic Mutation: But of course.
  • Misaimed Fandom: At least by what the XIV team intended. Zenos Yae Galvus of Stormblood is meant to be wholly unsympathetic, but he drops one line at the very end of 4.0 which completely alters the player's perception of his character and why he is the way he is, and many people actually end up feeling quite a lot of sympathy for him, especially if they're also from neglectful households and have always struggled to have friends:
    Zenos: Goodbye, my first friend.
  • MST3K Mantra: Invoked by the developers themselves when asked about time zone differences between the continents of Aldenard and Othard. The developers said that while time zone differences do exist within the lore of the game, from a gameplay perspective, it is ignored since it would make timed nodes and certain fish for gatherers needlessly difficult.
  • Name's the Same: There's two mammets named Gigi; one in the Goldsmithing guild, and one in the Hildibrand story. This is later averted as we do learn their true names.
  • Narm: See the main series page.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Dragoons being weak (that is, easily killed), carrying over their glorious reputation from Final Fantasy XI.note  This, as well as being considered overshadowed by the other melee classes (since Dragoons lack in utility and suffer from a lower than average magical defense, whereas every end-game fight deals a lot of magical damages) has gotten to the point where players have requested a buff for the job. To adress the issues, numerous patches enhanced the Dragoon, reducing their animation lock, increasing significantly their magical defense and making one move less dependant on player's position, making them more easy to play overall.
    • Alphinaud is a Base-Breaking Character character among the fandom. Those who dislike him tend to cite his cocky attitude throughout the A Realm Reborn storyline and still bring it up as a reason to hate him, even though Heavensward and Stormblood gave him major Character Development that made him mature and grow from his mistakes. Likewise, Minfilia is still seen as a useless character that "never does anything and is always kidnapped", even though she is only kidnapped twice and everything she does do in the story is more focused politics and negotiation instead of combat.
    • A cutscene in 2.5 with the Wo L and Tataru at Costa Del Sol ends with Tataru pulling a rather suspicious smirk after the Wo L leaves. Even long after the whole Monetarists arc is done and dusted people still use it as evidence she will eventually betray Scions. That being said the Monarists arc does come off as a bit of an Aborted Arc so who knows.
    • Plenty of trolls like to claim XIV is a dead game by citing a disasterous New Year's event where Yoshida was standing alone because someone told him to go to the wrong server.
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    P-R 
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • According to the artbook, the art directors had cosplayers in mind when designing the Miqo'te knowing they would be a favorite among them.
    • What made and broke the Red Mage job during the Stormblood era. Fans begged for Red Mage to be added since the game began. Creative liberties had to be taken to make it a believable magic DPS, and it started out too strong. Fans complained it was overshadowing other pure damage DPS jobs, so the job got nerfed hard. After a few quality of life quirks, it was pretty good as a mid tier DPS but was always in the shadow of other magic DPS jobs. As of Shadowbringers, Red Mage once again feels satisfying to play, but it took a whole expansion of ironing out the job to match its identity while being worth playing in the highest level of play.
  • Player Punch: So you've finally made it to Stormblood. You finally get to see just how bad things are in Ala Mhigo for yourself, so much so that they drove Ilberd to sacrifice his own life and that of countless other Ala Mhigoans to summon a PRIMAL to try to liberate it, and it IS pretty bad: there's a strong sense of powerlessness while you watch the Imperials (almost literally) grinding the citizenry into the dirt, the people barely manage to scrape by, and the Resistance is jaded and tired, though far from ready to give in. That being said, you're the Warrior of Light! The one who beat Ultima Weapon, ended the Dragonsong War, and slew countless Ascians and Primals alike! So you just run around, doing a few errands and helping out, rebuilding the peoples' broken wills and even bolstering the ranks of the Resistance a bit, and you're about to make your first major play by taking an Imperial Fortress, and you...oops, turns out the Imperials didn't like you doing all that, and they just personally massacred a goodly number of the Resistance and citizenry alike...and nearly killed Y'Shtola in the process. Now the people are even MORE broken and hopeless. You didn't think it was going to be THAT easy to free an entire country from decades of occupation and oppression, did you?
    • Shadowbringers's endgame has a double (or triple depending on your perspective) whammy: so you've slain all but one of the Lightwardens and restored night to most of Norvrandt; all that remains is Innocence/Vauthry in Mt. Gulg. It's known at this point that you're straining under the corrupted aether of the Lightwardens you've absorbed so far, but with no other choice, you make your final move and strike Innocence down, restoring the final night's sky and absorbing the last of the aether. Unfortunately, it proves too much to bear at last, and the fact becomes clear that if allowed, you'll become the final Lightwarden, dooming Norvrandt. All seems lost...and then the Exarch reveals his true plan. He will absorb the corrupted aether from you, take it into the rift, and die there, allowing it to dissipate harmlessly. He says his goodbyes...then he's mortally wounded from behind mid-sacrifice by Emet-Selch, who reveals that he knew about the Exarch's plan, and that his "long game" was to thwart it at the last minute. He abducts the Exarch and flees, and invites you to join him in the abyss for your final, unavoidable transformation that will end both the First and the Source and bring about his ultimate victory. Thankfully, this ends up ultimately averted, but things get very dire for a time, and there's a definite sense of "all is lost" up until you resolve to storm Emet-Selch's domain at Amaurot to rescue the Exarch.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story:
    • Despite the game having an incredibly rich lore on even the most minor things, some people simply don't care about the story and will skip every cutscene or dialogue box just to be able to advance or get their gear without being slowed down by the text. While this is not a problem normally, the people who don't care about the story tend to get lumped with the people who do care (or at least first timers to the content and wish to experience it), leading to some rather unpleasant experiences all around. Castrum Meridianum and the Praetorium are the worst offenders, having significantly more mid-dungeon cutscenes and simultaneously many more players who've already run it dozens of times (as these two dungeons have a daily roulette all to themselves). It was primarily for this reason that all cutscenes in dungeons and trials released since 3.0 take place at the beginning or the end.
    • Taken another step further with the Story Skip potions where using it allows the player to flag all the story content as cleared so they can reach the end without having to slog through all the quests.
  • Popular with Furries: The Miqo'te were already this, but once the Hrothgar were added in, the furry fandom exploded, metaphorically speaking.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Logos Actions. As mentioned above, they let players unlock abilities that can not only change jobs into different roles, but make certain ones hilariously overpowered. One noteworthy standout are Warrior. Due to how Inner Release works, (guarantees every weapon action you take will be a Critical and Direct Hit.) they can achieve absolutely insane numbers if running Materialist and Double Edge—to the point they output more damage than even Black Mage or Samurai, the highest damaging DPS jobs in the game under normal circumstance, regardless of their own Logo Actions. Fortunately, this is Eureka exclusive.
  • Replacement Scrappy: While many people do like the Heavensward-and-onward voice replacements, the general consensus is that Merylweb's replacement voice is the worst of the bunch, no longer having the growls her original voice had. It's quite telling that Kan-E-Senna, Raubahn and Nanamo had numerous speaking moments, but Merylweb's only had one.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Alphinaud was widely disliked by the fan base for being a Glory Hound and for being stuck up on morals and doing the right thing. After the events of 2.5, he gets a major wake up call and the Heavensward scenario has him being more proactive and treating the Warrior of Light as an equal and a friend.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Between its obsession with exterminating dragons - and zeal for executing "heretics" who don't share the general enthusiasm - and its complete unwillingness to assist the Eorzean Grand Companies during the events of the story, only to come crawling back to them for help when their hatred of the very concept of compromise inevitably bites them in the ass... Ishgard is not exactly well liked. As a direct result, there was a sizable group of people hoping that Heavensward would give the option to side with the dragons and burn it to the ground. Ironically, you do sort of wind up doing this; while you don't exactly burn the city to the ground, you remove the ruling caste responsible for most of the xenophobia and hostility while making sure that innocent civilians don't suffer, sort of like cutting out a cancer instead of just mercy killing the entire person.
    • Players of Dark Knights in particular agree with this sentiment when you learn how the city-state treated the first Au Ra refugees; upon seeing them, they turned them away from the city believing them to be Dravinian, and then once they were far away enough from the city to retaliate, the temple knights opened fire with cannons, killing untold men, women and children seeking shelter from Garlemald.
    • Then there's the detail of how the Dragonsong War started. The Ishgardians killed the dragon Ratatoskr just to obtain her eye and get the power held within it, starting a war that would last for a thousand years.

    S 
  • Scrappy Mechanic: A buttload of them:
    • Line of sight determines whether or not you can use your abilities on a target. If your target suddenly runs behind an object or changes elevation, you can no longer "see" them and your ability gets canceled if you were trying to use it on the target. Naturally, the AI will see you at all times, even through solid objects.
    • Teleportation fees. Every time you use the Teleport spell, it costs you some gil. The farther away your destination is, the more gil it costs. And the main quest just loves to send you all over the place. It's not realistically likely to break the bank, especially when you get into Stormblood and find that the devs added a Cap of 999 gil before applying discounts, but it's just present enough that the urge to waste time minmaxing your fees never quite goes away. At least you can save a bit with use of the Return spell (which bypasses the fee, but is on a 15-minute cooldown in return) and by marking a handful of Aetherytes as favorites. Once you have access to the Hunt you can also save on teleportation fees by grinding out seals to buy Aetheryte Tickets, which are good for a single teleport no matter the cost.
    • Any FATE. On the one hand, it can be a good way to level up while you are waiting to join a dungeon, and once you join a Grand Company participating in them - even if it fails - grants you Company Seals. On the other hand, you are required to complete some groups of FATEs in order to do some quests (like the ones to unlock the Crystal Tower and the one you need to complete a tribal quest), and sometimes you will waste a lot of time doing absolutely nothing while waiting for the FATE to happen. Not to mention the Odin and Behemoth's events, which were basically unplayable for PS3 players due to the overload of people participating at the same time to those (and even if you are able to play, chances are you won't be able to actually see the boss). To top it off, many of the beastmen quests and a good chunk of the relic steps (both 2.0 and 3.0 relics) require players to clear specific FATEs, which means a long time just idling and waiting for that one FATE to pop up. On the other other hand, FATEs also have an alarming tendency to spawn in the path of or right on top of objectives from quests, particularly the main story. Quite annoying for gamepad players, since even with a custom targeting filter to only allow targeting enemies that are required for the current quest, FATE targets still qualify, thus requiring vigilance to ensure you don't accidentally hit a FATE enemy while trying to target a quest enemy and aggro more than you can deal with.
    • The quest that can boost your Infinity +1 Sword to even higher levels of power requires players to take part in any FATE they want in specific regions in order to get 12 Atma items. Sounds easy, right? Doing the FATEs is easy enough, but good luck trying to endure the super low drop rates for the items you need to get. Because the drop rate of the Atmas are extremely low and are subjected to RNG, you have people who have either gotten all the items fairly quickly or people that have spent hours/days trying to get the items to drop and have no luck at all. What's even worse is getting all 12 Atmas isn't enough to power up your relic weapon; all it does is change the weapon's appearance slightly. To get the weapon to its full glory, you have to grind for several books and each book originally cost 1500 mythology tomes. Each book also contains challenges you have to complete in order to power up your weapon (beat the final bosses in dungeons, kill specific enemies, etc). While the grind for books is FAR more bearable than the RNG drops of the Atmas, you'd still be spending a lot of time grinding. The outcome was apparently so bad that the developers delayed the patch containing the Novus relics due to the fact that not enough people had their Animus relics at the time. Patch 2.4 made the Atma grind easier by increasing the drop rates and changed the costs of the books to 500 soldiery tomes each.
    • The Atma styled grind returned in patch 2.45 for the Zodiac weapons by having the player run dungeons, beat the final boss, and pray that RNG is kind to them by dropping the quest items they need. Unlike the FATE system that has you waste just a few minutes each time, dungeons can take 30 minutes or more to complete and it can easily wear out players who are caught on a huge unlucky streak. Fortunately Patch 3.1 removed the RNG and made the quest items guaranteed drops.
      • However, the Atma grind is back in full force for the 3.0 Anima relic weapons. You can skip the first step if you maxed out your ARR relic weapon; if you didn't, have fun collecting six sets of three elemental crystals from FAT Es in each of the Heavensward zones. After turning in all 18 crystals in Mor Dhona, you'll go back to Azys Lla for your weapon. Next step is to run ten dungeons in a specific order on the job you're getting the weapon for. It helps that you can run the six ARR dungeons unsynced, but if you have to queue, expect a long wait. Then the real fun begins: you will need four special items that can only be obtained by trading with an NPC in Mor Dhona. To get all four items she requires Unidentified Bone, Shells, Ore, and Seeds—20 of each—that will have to be purchased one at a time with 13-18 beast tribe quest tokens (each from a specific tribe, of course), 680 Tomestones of Poetics or Esoterics, 1000 Allied Seals, 10 different tokens from the Alexander raid, or if you're really lucky, a treasure map. You will also have to give her four each of four different HQ crafted items. Don't have a Level 60 Master Blacksmith, Alchemist, Carpenter AND Culinarian? Hope you've been saving your gil, because buying everything on the market board is going to cost of a serious chunk of change. And after all of that, you get your shiny new iLevel 210 weapon, yay! Now, time to start grinding more tomes for the next two phases to get the anima weapon to 240. By patch 3.38, this was heavily nerfed to the ground.
    • Enemies' range of territory. In order to prevent possible griefing and server strains, all enemies (except those found in dungeons) are programmed to start wandering back to their territory/spawn point if they chase the player too far. However, once an enemy starts to retreat, they not only become immune to all damage and debuffs while they retreat, but they'll also fully recover their HP once they get back there. This means that you can't kite foes too far or they'll "reset". The mechanic is doubly painful when fighting boss characters found in a FATE due to their sky-high HP, especially when the area for the FATE is unreasonably small (either from a small radius or right next to a town crowded with buildings) or packed with far more subordinate enemies than is reasonable.
    • Dragoon's Jump animation locks, which means while a Dragoon is using any of their Jump related abilities, they can not move normally. When used well, jumps help improve their mobility in battle. But if Murphy shows up and goads the monster you're fighting to use a devastating AOE move just as you're getting repositioned by a Spineshatter Dive or Dragonfire Dive, then you're in for a world of hurt. It's thanks to this, and a minority of bad Dragoon players who can't/won't utilize the class' weapon skills correctly, that has led to the return of the FFXI "loldragoon" meme, much to the annoyance of decent Dragoon players. Square-Enix has released a number of patches that cut down on the animation lock, (and now, reduced the previously absurd cooldown times on their more advanced Jump attacks) to help out Dragoons due to the complaints. A related, if rare issue are pathing issues with the jumps. Using the basic jump from a ledge may result in you landing below the ledge, while the other jumps may fail to land at all if there is an obstacle in the way. Thankfully most bosses are fought in completely flat terrain.
    • The Random rule for Triple Triad. Against another player, it can bring some excitement and new strategies on the fly, but when you play against an NPC, their version of "random" is having 4 to 6 different cards that are all powerful while you're possibly forced to use weaker cards from your collection. Whatever cards you claimed stays with you forever and that includes the starter deck that the Triple Triad Master gives you as an introduction to the game. To make matters worse, the new NPC opponents introduced for Heavensward use the Random rule almost exclusively while using other rules on top it that makes Random even worse, such as Chaos and Roulette. Thankfully this was changed in 3.5 that no NPC uses the Random rule anymore. Random will only exist between players.
    • The rare cards limit rule. You can have just one rare card in your deck and no more than that. NPCs gleefully ignore the rare cards limit rule as they pummel your deck with a deck that has nothing but rare cards.note 
    • Sudden Death in Triple Triad. While it can keep things interesting, it gets extremely annoying when both players have nearly even decks and skills, causing multiple sudden deaths in a row. Up to 5 sudden deaths can be played before the game finally declares a draw.
    • Getting new cards via Random Drop. Playing in certain dungeons, raids, or fighting against primals gives you a slight chance of getting their cards. Beating an NPC might get you a random card. Buying the booster pack at the Gold Saucer will also give you a random card. The path to getting 30 cards so you can make the rare card rule less annoying borderlines Early Game Hell thanks to RNG determining what cards you get or if you even get a card to begin with.
    • The Machinist's Gauss Barrel and the Bard's Wanderer's Minuet skills were widely hated due to lots of drawbacks with little benefits. Initially, the two skills would give a small boost in the player's DPS in exchange for disabling their auto-attack and adding a charge time to certain skills while the player had to wait a bit to disable Gauss Barrel/Wanderer's Minuet. In a following patch, the two skills were given a much larger boost to the player's DPS, charge times for skills were reduced, and disabling Gauss Barrel/Wanderer's Minuet can be done a lot sooner. While Machinist players were overall happy for their skill being boosted, some Bard players were still sour over their play style being changed and some are refusing to use Wanderer's Minuet out of sheer spite and don't care if their overall DPS output is worse because of it, yet won't forgo playing Bard altogether for another job instead. Stormblood changed the skills by making them no longer disabling auto attacks and charge times were also removed; Shadowbringers would later remove the Gauss Barrel entirely, modifying the heat-management mechanics and integrating them with the class's basic rotation.
    • Aether Currents, a mechanic introduced in Heavensward. Attune to all 15 (or 5 in Azys Lla, the expansion's final area) Currents, 10 of which are found in the map itself and 5 of which are obtained by quests (again, aside from Azys Lla, as the map-based Currents are removed) and you can fly in the area. The 10 map-found Currents can be rather tricky to find, though, as the Aether Compass you are given to find them with doesn't include a Z-axis. In addition, some quests can only be completed by being able to fly. But surely these sidequests that require flying can't be too important. They're only there for experience, right? One of the sidequests that requires flying is the quest to access Neverreap, one of the (as of patch 3.05) two end-game optional dungeons required for obtaining currency for end-game gear. Needless to say, people were not amused. Later patches made the currents easier to obtain. The larger zones themselves can be quite aggravating before you can finally fly, which is much faster.
    • The accuracy stat is widely hated due to most end game content requiring players to have their stat at a certain threshold so that their attacks won't ever miss under normal circumstances. Healers are doubly aggravated by the accuracy stat since 3.0 basically lowered it, which forces healers that want to throw in some DPS to have a lot of Heaven's Eye materia melded to boost their accuracy when they could have boosted a more useful stat instead. It wasn't until patch 3.2 that the developers lowered the accuracy requirements in dungeons so that healers can actually attack and not miss so much, and 4.0 later removed the stat from the game outright, opting to have attacks never miss unless you fight a monster that has a higher level than you. However, to prevent the materia from being useless outright, they introduced a new stat that arguably makes up for accuracy.
    • The Palace of the Dead has received mixed reviews. In addition to the grinding to boost your weapon stats mentioned above, there's the fine print in the much-touted save your progress feature: you can only save every ten levels, after defeating the boss for that section of floors. If your party wipes, the duty fails, and you get to start all over at the first level in the set, regardless of where you were when you wiped. You lose all progress you'd made. The Palace also has its own internal leveling system. Normal game XP is awarded after defeating the boss—so if you fail to clear the section, you get NO XP. Essentially, you've just wasted up to an hour.
    • The mechanics for progression towards floor 101 and beyond in the Palace of the Dead are widely hated. First, you have to make the attempt in a fixed party, which means you can't use random players like a typical duty finder run. Second, to even reach floor 101, you have to reach floor 100 without ever failing the duty, whether due to wiping, abandoning, or letting the time expire. If your group has a Total Party Wipe just once, you're out of luck and have to start over back from floor 51. This also includes the floors beyond 100. Nothing like reaching floor 199 and then your party gets wiped due to mishaps or just bad luck. What makes this even worse is if a single player leaves the instance via quitting or disconnecting, even if you succeed in clearing the current set of 10 floors, your fixed party is no longer complete and cannot be continued, thus ending your run by default. Each set of 10 floors (starting point to the boss) can take about an hour and the trek to the 200th floor is going to be a very long one. Unless your party has plenty of free time and knows that they won't suffer any outside distractions, reaching floor 200 may as well be a pipe dream. The only saving grace in all this is you can start at floor 51 instead of floor 1. The spiritual successor, Heaven On High, only has 100 floors and can be started from floor 21 so that retries won't take an eternity.
    • Recruiting new soldiers to your squadron can only be done by completing tasks in your Challenge Log and it's down to luck on whether or not you will get a new recruit at all. Some of the challenges are easy and quick to do, but others take far longer to complete and it makes recruiting soldiers yet another mindless grinding chore. If you want to get rid of a specific member, you have to wait until your roster is full before you're even allowed to choose who to dismiss.
    • Using a level 3 healer Limit Break is awesome and can save a potentially failed battle, but its major drawbacks made the move more risky than helpful. For starters, the healer using the skill will be rooted in place for several seconds due to animation lock, which means they'll take the full brunt of any attacks coming their way with no way to move out of the way. Fallen players who are revived from the limit break are revived on the spot instead of having a prompt to be revived, but this means that an ill timed limit break revive can get people set up to be hit by a telegraphed attack they just can't get out of the way for. Being revived also means that your stats will drop and in certain fights, being in any sort of weakened state will set you up to be taken down again fairly easily. Lastly, the limit break has a finite distance, so a healer using it in the wrong spot (or if players are simply too scattered to reach them all) can potentially waste it. Patch 3.4 changed the mechanics a bit by causing players revived with the healer LB3 to not be afflicted with weakness (or if they were already weakened, simply having the timer reset instead of getting Brink of Death).
    • Clicking through the confirmation boxes when you want to open more than one piece of loot from Diadem, Palace of the Dead, and Eureka. Due to the RNG nature of opening the loot bags/boxes, you can't open multiples at once and have to open them one by one. Gets really annoying when you have a ton of loot to open up. Patch 4.3 would later allow players to open all lockboxes from Eureka at once.
    • Leveling in a party within Eureka is widely hated due to how restrictive it is. In general, how much EXP you gain from killing monsters depends on your level VS their level. If you fight something stronger than you, you'll gain more EXP. Likewise, fighting weaker enemies yields less EXP. Most parties that are chain grinding will usually fight enemies five levels above their own. Anyone in the party who is below that threshold will have the whole party gain no EXP. This means that friends or free company members can't help out if the level of their friends are too low.
    • Aether grinding in Eureka: Pagos is widely hated due to how luck based it is. Aether can be obtained by simply killing enemies, but it's purely random on whether or not you'll even get any to begin with. Notorious monsters always give aether, but they don't spawn frequently enough to make it worth the time. While patches have made the amount of aether obtained much larger, it's still RNG on whether or not you'll get anything. It also doesn't help that people still haven't figured out how to gain aether consistently, something the developers teased about.
    • Mid-dungeon cutscenes are always reviled, even very short ones. Even if you enable the option to autoskip cutscenes you've already seen once, the game will still force you through a Loading Screen for the cutscene that isn't even going to play. As for long ones, while there's an unspoken agreement to let first-time players watch most of them, three major exceptions stand out. Castrum Meridianum and The Praetorium are the climax of the A Realm Reborn launch content, and are absolutely packed with cutscenes, to the point that, as gear creep makes battles shorter, they eventually became more cutscene than gameplay. They were also given a roulette all to themselves, partly due to being the only 8-player dungeons in the entire game and partly to ensure first-timers could always assemble a party quickly. The end result of this is that endgame players invariably left first-time players in the dust, giving them the choice of skipping the cutscenes and losing track of the plot, or watching cutscenes and being left out of the battle, neither of which was particularly satisfying. 4.2 tried to resolve this by making these cutscenes unskippable (doubling the roulette's rewards to make up for the extra time investment), which wasn't widely liked but was accepted as the only solution that even approached plausibility. The third exception is the Stone Vigil, which has a single unusually lengthy cutscene just before the final boss — short enough that most first-timers won't be pushed to skip it, but long enough that it stands out enough to grate on players there to grind.
    • Farming spells for Blue Mage. Finding them is already a challenge, since other than the name of the spell itself, the spell book's only hints are telling you what zone or dungeon the enemy you get that spell from spawns in. You also have to actually see the spell being used before you can learn it. Learning spells are also fully dependent on RNG, with the more powerful or useful spells generally having a lower chance. Certain spells can only be learned in dungeons and by primals, which means you need to bring friends along to do it unsynced since Blue Mage can't use the duty finder. If you don't learn the spell, you'll have to enter the instance again and start over. As well, being knocked out means you won't learn anything. There's also the problem with players griefing, as it is quite easy for players to quickly murder certain monsters before their spell goes off, doubly so if they summoned a Chocobo to fight with them, and even moreso since several Blue Mage spells are tied to unique versions of existing enemies (e.g. one source of Peculiar Light is from the single Lentic Mudpuppy that spawns near the regular group of Mudpuppies in Mor Dhona) rather than just those normal enemies.
    • The housing timer was intended to prevent players from "selling" their plotsnote  by forcing a hidden delay before relinquished plots can be repurchased. It certainly does this, but makes purchasing land an ungodly pain, especially on high-population servers — which, after Shadowbringers made the game more popular than ever before, is every server. The most annoying part is that the timer is completely hidden. There's no indication of when or whether a plot is available for purchase until you try to buy it. If you want a house, prepare to see "This plot of land is not yet ready for purchase." Over. And over. And over. Oh, and the range of the random timer length? The devs wouldn't say, but based on player observations, it's largely believed to be a bell curve, with the peak somewhere between 6 and 8 hours — and very rarely, timers as short as 30 minutes or as long as 24 hours.
      • The housing system, as a whole, is one of the most oft-criticized aspects of the game. The problem boils largely down to the fact that there are a limited number of housing plots, and too many players to accommodate everyone. The problem was exacerbated by the ability for players to purchase multiple personal houses for themselves (it was once reported that two players managed to purchase every plot in one ward between themselves) which left other players high and dry. This was, thankfully, addressed with an update that limited ownership of houses to one company house and one personal house per player, although the multiple personal houses for players who already had them were grandfathered. Apartments were later added to give players an affordable and more readily available alternative to owning a plot of land, but many still decried them for their tiny size and comparatively limited functionality (outdoor housing items can't be used in apartments, including large gardens). The aforementioned housing timer has done little to alleviate the issue, and less scrupulous players still managed to find a way to sell their plots by exploiting company housing. The developers intermittently adds more wards, increasing the number of available plots, but this has proven to be little more than a stopgap measure: the new plots tend to be filled up quickly, especially on high-population servers.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Many players consider Stormblood to be the low point of the A Realm Reborn era. Many find the Ala Mhigans and Domans Unintentionally Unsympathetic,note  the copious amount of Plot Armor used,note  and what many feel is a weak Character Development storyline.note  Likewise, the relic weapons were met with bad reception due to (aside from the massive grind) them not being tied to any story and are just there for the sake of it while the actual story behind Eureka is composed of mostly Fetch Quest.
    • The Hildibrand side story was met with positive reception in A Realm Reborn, but most fans agree that Hildibrand's story in Heavensward is incredibly lacking due to the story having fewer wackier moments, an Expy of Briardien that wasn't well received, and no trials for players to tackle. Stormblood addresses the criticisms by having a better story, funnier scenes, and a trial battle against Yojimbo, who then reveals himself to be Gilgamesh shortly after the fight starts.
    • The Relic Weapon series for Stormblood, Eureka, has been very...divisive to say the least. One simply has to look at every entry it has on this page to see this. And to top things off, the weapons obtained from Eureka, especially the final stage of each weapon, have been generally derided. A not small part of this is the fact that each weapon has generally the same particle effect, just in different colors. And these particle effects cover the entire weapon's texture, making them look like glowsticks. Not every weapon is hated, but most of them are considered pretty ugly for all the hours that have to be put in to obtain them.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer:
    • Just like in Final Fantasy VII, you can say fuck it when it comes to saving the world and waste your time playing mini games and cards. Emphasis on the card games.
    • Remember how addicting Triple Triad was? It's back~...
    • The Palace of the Dead has also been very addicting to many.
    • In Stormblood you can now climb to high points of Kugane, which are particularly high and provide a nice lookout point of the city and one comes with some hot tubs but are gated behind a long jumping puzzle, and at any time plenty of people can be seen trying to make their way up.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Most of the content in the 2.1 through 2.5 phase of the game is considered to be mediocre at best. Tons of slow paced Fetch Quests, a meandering story with tons of filler, and a lot of boring dungeons can turn many players off. This is compounded by the fact that this is the longest stretch of quests in the entire game, with a whopping 284 quests needed to be completed. And since they give out pitifully low XP (due to originally being released at the level 50 cap), the player won't be gaining any new skills or techniques as they complete the post-game material. By the time of the 2.3 patch, however, things begin to pick up, with more interesting dungeons and Trials being dished out to the player and the story picking up steam with the introduction of major players like Aymeric and Ishgard as a whole. Then the 2.5 Wham Episode hits, and Heavensward begins. Quests become much better paced as most of the fetch quest elements are phased out, the dungeons become much more complex and engaging, and the story really gets going and starts delivering on some pronounced Player Punches. This continues with Stormblood and Shadowbringers.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • The climax of the 2.55 patch story of A Realm Reborn has some rough bits. First off, much like in the Edda storyline, the animators run up badly against some of the limitations of what their animation engine and character models are capable of, and a few characters who are meant to look smarmy or enraged - Teledji, Raubahn and Ilberd, specifically - all just end up looking ridiculous and careen straight into the Uncanny Valley. Also, Raubahn seems to be either a vampire or a robot, since he doesn't bleed when his arm gets cut off.
    • The Ceremony of Eternal Bonding has a major goof involving gloves. If either partner wears any kind of gloves, the game won't render their rings, assuming them to be covered up and out of sight anyway. But the Ceremony of Eternal Bonding naturally has a ring exchange cutscene, which looks utterly absurd if the ring isn't being rendered. Because of this quirk, the game now actively tells future couples not to wear gloves so that the rings will appear in the cutscene. Which doesn't stop it from giving male players a pair of dress gloves as part of the quest...
    • The animation engine once again manages to not keep up in the 4.0 Stormblood finale. The assembled cast gathers on the roof of the Ala Mhigo palace to join the populace in singing a version of the Garlean anthem modified to be about Ala Mhigo's liberation... except that it's clear that nobody is lip synced to the lyrics. This is especially baffling as otherwise the game's lip sync is very good, even across languages. It's incredibly distracting (since so many of these characters and their weird lip movements are dead center of the camera frame) and really detracts from an otherwise neat scene.
    • The Final Fantasy XV crossover event ventures into this if Party Effects are turned off. Many players will often switch off the special effects of players not in their party and then leave them off, so that mass-player events such as FATEs or Alliance Raids will not constantly bombard them with flashing lights and noises from twenty-or-so different sources. Unfortunately, Noctis is flagged as an entity not in your party, so leaving Party Effects off basically leaves him flailing wildly at the air until things suddenly happen to the enemy. This also extends to the crossover's solo instances, even in the Coup de Grâce Cutscene!
  • Strangled by the Red String: In the Stormblood Warrior quests, Dorgono goes from openly detesting Curious Gorge to being furiously in love with him in the back half of a single quest. While this transition is a Played for Laughs Call-Back to Gorge's own infatuation from the beginning of the questline, it can come across as rather jarring for players who saw no interest from Dorgono and expected the final punchline to be seeing his hopes dashed completely. It also comes with the unfortunate implication that the affections of a strong independent female are a "reward" for regaining control over the Inner Beast and that her previous feelings don't matter in light of the grand achievement of getting back to square one after failing the most fundamental Warrior techniques for the third time in a row.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: This comes with being an MMO:
    • Back in the day, just try having walked around town with any gear with an Optimal rank that's 10+ ranks above above your own. Yes, simply walking around town, don't even think about fighting or looking for a party.
    • If you were a Thaumaturge above rank 25, everyone expected you to have the Protect and Shell spells... two Conjurer abilities. Granted, getting to rank 16 Conjurer wasn't a hard task even back then, but naturally not everyone will always spend time leveling other classes until much later.
      • Conversely, Conjurers and their Job upgrade, White Mages, are firmly expected to have Swiftcast... a level 26 Thaumaturge ability. This holds true even today, and applies to Arcanists of all stripes too.
      • To be fair, the reason this gets pushed even moreso than other key crossclass abilities is because Swiftcast is part of one of the most important skill combinations for healers - the combat raise, where Swiftcast is used to negate Raise/Resurrection's significant cast time in order to get another party member back into the fight while not tying up the healer for several seconds.
    • For the longest time in Legacy, even playing as a Paladin. Paladins had excellent defense but not much else (at least until they got buffed quite late in the Legacy content cycle), meaning that their primary contribution to harder battles was their ability to tank hits and heal. Warriors, who combined good defense with the ability to clear dungeons by simply sneezing, were the preferred Prestige Class by most veterans, and as such were typically far more in demand than Paladins.
      • Ironically, this was inverted during A Realm Reborn's launch period, as Paladins became the popular ones due to Warriors needing a good buff in the eyes of fans. Patch 2.1 finally made the playing field more or less equal. Nowadays Warriors are pretty formidable in terms of maximum health and damage output, but as far as damage mitigation and aggro management are concerned it's hard to beat the Paladin.
    • Arcanists using Topaz Carbuncle or Summoners using Titan-Egi in dungeons. These pets are optimized to tank rather than deal damage, and you'll already have a tank in most cases.
    • For level 46-49, FATE events are the best way to level due to being fairly starved of quests, which leads to a crowd of people who will adamantly refuse to complete the actual objective in favor of grinding XP on the mobs that respawn quickly when said FATE is occurring. This leads them to harass and try to chase off anyone who doesn't want or know you can farm like that and go ahead and complete the objective anyway.
      • Mostly alleviated now that people have realized that finishing the FATE gives a very sizable chunk of experience, and finishing FATEs quickly will cause more to spawn, making finishing them quickly give overall more experience for your time.
    • Being a Conjurer/White Mage will also invoke people telling you that you don't know how to be a proper healer if you don't constantly spam Cure spells on them or buff them every single time with Protect, Stoneskin, or Regen. Heaven forbid that any of your allies get KO'd in your presence. The problems just get amplified when there's a ton of things going on that causes the party to be heavily damaged and hit with status debuffs at once. If you're knocked out as a healer, you can also expect someone to complain that it's your fault that you went down and made the team suffer for it (nevermind that the healer isn't even supposed to take damage outside of bosses when under ideal conditions).
    • The final two dungeons for the main storyline in 2.0 were, at launch, played by people constantly in order to grind for special tokens (that couldn't be earned in such volume as quickly elsewhere) to exchange them for powerful gear. People who were grinding the dungeons skipping every cutscene (and there are a lot of cutscenes in those two dungeons, something which the devs eventually realized to be a mistake and made sure not to repeat in the future) and rushing ahead through the dungeon while newbies to the dungeon got left in the dust while also being yelled at for not knowing how to tackle the dungeons was a depressingly common sight - especially depressing due to how cool the dungeons were when done "right".
      • Patch 2.1 took a number of steps to address this (one major one being that the two dungeons are no longer the only easy way to get the tomestones), but it does still crop up.
    • There is a lot of hostility from the squishier DPS classes and healers towards tanks who try to DPS during FATE events, particularly higher-leveled ones, or generally suboptimal tank performance therein, generally because tanks who are DPS-ing are usually not trying to draw hate, leaving everyone else to fend for themselves aggro-wise, which tends to end poorly for the squishies involved in the event. Though this might be a self-perpetuating problem, as the number of healers who try to DPS during a given FATE rather than healing other players involved is also quite high. Basically, anyone who treats a FATE like a DPS free-for-all and ignores basic party roles because the events are typically more chaotic than the average dungeon can expect some nasty looks.
    • The end game content (primal fights in hard and extreme modes, hard mode for Ultima Weapon, the Coil runs, etc) has people who have done the content before (usually due to grinding for rare loot) expecting everyone else in the party to have watched tutorial videos online before tackling the fights. If someone in the group admits that they haven't seen the videos yet, expect everyone else to groan in frustration or leave the group before the fight even starts. By the same vein, trying to tackle the high difficulty endgame content with a party while not wearing optimal gear will get you yelled at for not having your stats optimized. Any mistakes that occur during the tough battles will result in people yelling at the person who screwed up.
    • The ADS boss for turn 2 of the Binding Coil of Bahamut has a powerful attack called Allagan Rot, which can completely destroy parties that aren't prepared for it once the boss completes its clicks. However, you can also bait the boss to use a rage attack, which is a strong AOE attack, and have it spam it over and over again. Many parties use the rage strategy because it's easier to handle than the boss' normal attacks. Expect people who frown upon the rage strategy to complain about everyone else trying to do things the easy way.
    • Spiritbonding lower-level gear during raids/dungeon runs is heavily frowned upon by many serious players since they feel people that come into raids without optimal gear/stats will just be a liability.
    • When patch 2.3 introduced a much easier way to obtain Sands and Oils of Time outside of the Second Coil of Bahamut, hardcore fans were quick to declare that anyone who upgraded their gear from the hunts or Syrcus Tower instead of getting the items from the Coil suck and have no skill.
    • For customizing your stats on your 2.x Novus relic weapon or 3.x anima weapon, expect to be told how you are "doing it wrong" if you don't optimize your stats the way everyone is supposed to do.
    • Summoners received increasing amounts of flak for their relatively low DPS output during 2.0. While most dedicated damage-dealing classes in ARR put out middling, consistent streams of damage (or high-number bursts), the Summoner's damage only ticked upwards in long-duration fights. Relying primarily on an array of Damage Over Time spells, chip damage from their pet Summons, and the occasional burst, the class required a fair bit of technical finesse to play successfully. If a player lacked the intuition to quickly pick up how to best juggle the various DoTs, debuffs, pet abilities, and more, buffs, chances are they would switch roles to another DPS with bigger numbers and flashier abilities. Ultimately, this meant that the bulk of Summoners were either very poor in damage output due to being played by those who either lacked experience or didn't understand the class, or were more rarely played well enough to rival the other DPS classes, while still having slower output overall due to the nature of their ability set. Despite the Summoner's capacity to act as an emergency healer/reviver (due to sharing Arcanist as a base job with the Scholar, a healer), many players would flat-out leave parties that had 2 or more Summoners.
      • Even among Summoners themselves, it was quite possible for one to catch hell for bringing out Ifrit-Egi in lieu of Garuda-Egi. Despite different summons existing for different situations, no end of hate would often be leveled on anyone caught casting Summon III.note 
      • The release of Heavensward mitigated the Summoner's slow DPS start. Tri-disaster offers the ability to apply three DoT spells on a target at once, without waiting through additional cast times. Painflare is an instant-cast (and quite potent) AoE ability. All uses of Aetherflow now attune a Summoner towards Dreadwyrm Trance, granting them a set duration of reduced mana cost and increased potency for Ruin III. Finally, Dreadwyrm Trance can be terminated at any time with the use of Deathflare, a very powerful attack that is the direct transliteration of Bahamut's tank buster, Akh Morn.
    • The use of a Limit Break in a dungeon that is not against a boss will usually get you scorned or yelled at for "wasting" it, and even those that don't see it like this still feel the need to tell you if and when it's okay to use it. Casters and ranged DPS have limit breaks that can hit multiple targets at once, which some people elect to use on the Mooks between boss fights so that greater total damage is dealt. Yet this is sometimes frowned upon since those who swear by using limit breaks on bosses only claim that boss fights will go slower without a limit break, despite the fact that the overall dungeon run is roughly the same speed whether you use limit breaks on trash mobs or save it for a boss. It's worth noting that using a limit break earlier may potentially get you another opportunity to use one later that you otherwise wouldn't have gotten, because of how building the gauge for it works.note 
  • Strawman Has a Point: In the "Samurai" questline, the Warrior of Light is eventually tasked with pushing back a rebellion led by Ugetsu, a sibling pupil to their master Musosai, whose actions have resulted in the deaths of dozens of people and threaten to plunge Hingashi back into another Age of Blood. However, as demonstrated within the same questline, the government of Hingashi is immensely corrupt and practices a rigid caste system which almost none of the heroic characters would have thrived in if allowed to stay in place. When Ugetsu gives his Motive Rant to explain why he's turning against the government, no one actually has any disagreement with his end goal—only that it would cause a war to do so. He himself is fine with this, as he considers an oppressive peace to be no real "peace" at all—and when you compare what he's saying to not just historical oppression, but what's going on in Ala Mhigo or just one border away in Doma (who are instigating civil wars against oppressors in which they would rather shed any amount of blood if it wins their freedom), it's impossible not to notice a bit of an inconsistent message. Makoto states that she and Musosai advocate for slow change that may take several generations to enact, but the two of them were both born in privilege. One member of the Sekiseigumi states that he joined because he watched his parents be unjustly burned alive; Makoto's method basically means telling those people suffering such injustices "Sorry you have to die today, but I promise, we'll fix things soon." Again, when compared to the other stories of rebellion within the very same game, it makes the questline come across as pro-Shogunate Japan propaganda, as it suffered the exact same problems throughout its many centuries of relative peace.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: Was bound to happen. Fans who prefer playing the game in Japanese audio with English text say the voice acting is much better and trash the English dub for having bad voice acting and direction. While most dub fans agree that the voice acting in 2.0 was very sketchy, the improvements in later patches and Heavensward really show what the voice actors are capable of (with Heavensward actually having a significant cast replacement due to voiceover production moving entirely to London).
  • Superlative Dubbing:
    • By patch 2.5. The game's dub may have started rough, but not only was 2.5 well done in general, the patch finally, finally gave Gideon Emery the chance to really flex his acting chops for Urianger's soliloquy for Moenbryda. Which is even more impressive - taken by itself, the event actually could've been sort of lame, a character introduced just a patch ago killed off for cheap drama, but Emery, all by himself, manages to completely and totally sell the anguish Urianger and all the Scions felt about what happened, sold the idea that Moenbryda had been a big part of these characters' lives in the past and that this was a big loss, and enormously humanized a character who'd previously been known for being deliberately stiff - that now being revealed as a mask which hides the man's insecurities. The scene was a triumph for the English version and was a million miles removed from the often-embarrassing voicework of 1.0 or even release 2.0, and even led to some salt come Heavensward, as people actually got upset that voiceover had been moved to London - which meant Emery, an LA-based actor, was no longer playing Urianger.
    • Funnily enough, though, despite the salt over losing Emery, in general the London cast was very well-received, with a number of the actors (Colin Ryan as Alphinaud, Carina Reeves as Tataru, Bethan Walker as Alisaie in the HW patches, Robyn Addison as Y'shtola, Blake Ritson as Aymeric and Nigel Pilkington as his somewhat One-Scene Wonder appearance as Papalymo) all being praised for excellent performances, and in the case of recastings for often giving better performances than their LA counterparts.
    • This trend continued in Stormblood, with Bethan Walker now really stealing the show as Alisaie. Eleanor Matsuura as Yugiri is also considered to be excellent and, tragedy around Sian Blake aside, probably the best performance the Yugiri role has gotten in English to date. The general quality of the voicework is also considered to have taken a further major step forward, with the only quibble being over the pronunciation of "Far Eastern" terms (which appears to be more a directing issue than an acting one). The otherwise uncredited actor for Susano has also been noted for his excellence in capturing the essence of the character, helping Susano become a fan-favorite Primal.
    • And once again Shadowbringers offered excellent vocal performances, both from the returning voice actors and from newcomers like Jonathon Bailey (the Crystal Exarch) and Edward Dogliani as Vauthry. In particular, Joe Dempsie gave an excellent performance for Ardbert, demonstrating his acting chops with a much bigger role for the character than what he had back in the Heavensward post-story patches. The stand-out performance, however, probably has to go to René Zagger’s turn as Emet-Selch, managing to imbue the character with deep, authentic emotion when recounting the fall of Amaurot and during his final moments, contributing greatly to his character being regarded as one of the best Final Fantasy villains ever.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: While Stormblood wasn't exactly terrible, it wasn't too well received by fans due to the story having a split focus between Ala Mhigo and Doma, weak characters, and the theme of war had already worn out its welcome. Shadowbringers addresses all the above issues by having a more focused (thus stronger) story, characters that have more plot significance, and a plot that's both different and engaging. Many fans consider Shadowbringers to be the best expansion yet with some even saying it dethrones Heavensward.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:

    T 
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • Some beta testers of the original version canceled their pre-orders due to perceived problems, see Broken Base above.
    • The open beta (again of the original) didn't launch in due time, a "critical bug" having appeared. Nerd rage ensued.
    • Discussion of the old, 1.0 game inevitably brought about at least one person who derided the game for major flaws that were patched out months prior. Hence, discussion of the game on Imageboards and the like tended to have titles such as "4.0 is now 7.0".
    • A Realm Reborn's preview period and launch being plagued by errors and server queues had a whole new batch of players throwing up their arms in frustration. Happily, this ended a little better for the game.
    • Stormblood early access nearly mirrors how badly A Realm Reborn launched for very similar reasons. This was later determined to be the result of a DDoS attack, but the damage was already done.
    • The announcement of Blue Mage in 2018, a moment that generated a massive amount of hype for introducing one of the game's most requested jobs, was twisted around the following day at the Live Letter for 4.5 when they discussed what a "limited job" meant - namely that because they'll either be extremely weak or way too strong, they cap at level 50 until more patches come out, can only do old content and only in premade groups and otherwise are a job focused almost entirely on world content and solo play, while their own unique content wasn't discussed in more than vague overtures, putting doubts as to whether Blue Mage will live up to the hype fans have been wanting for so long.
  • That One Attack: Of course there would be.
  • That One Boss: Par for the course.
  • That One Level: Plenty of them.
  • That One Sidequest: Yup, plenty of them are here too:
    • Some of the later Ixali beastmen quests are brutally difficult due to the severe handicaps that the player is imposed with when crafting airship parts. Firstly, you have to use the crafting gloves the Ixali give you and it's level 1, which means you're already handicapped with your performance. Second, every time you use a facility for your crafting, you'll get a debuff imposed on you; debuffs range from lowered CP (which means less actions to be used while crafting), max CP cut in half, or having skills you learned from other crafting classes becoming disabled. On top of all that, you are always required to make the parts in high quality and some quests have parts that are extremely difficult to make high quality. The handicaps and difficulties for some of the quests is hard for newbie crafters (since their gear isn't strong and they lack skills to make crafting easier) and veteran crafters (the big handicaps prevents them from performing optimally). While free company actions, materia, and food can slightly make the quests easier, it's only by a small margin. It wasn't until patch 2.5 that the more difficult Ixali quests were toned down, and even then they are still much more difficult than their suggested levels indicate, with the later quests being outright undoable at those levels even with all the variables and luck on your side — unless you're willing to try over and over again with a single-digit HQ percentage until you eventually succeed. For extra fun, some sets of dailies will use different debuffs for each and they will not overwrite each other. You have to pay attention and manually cancel the previous effect so you're not crippled even more. Patch 4.2 further nerfed the quests by having the handicaps only sync your stats down to the craft's difficulty level.
    • The process of obtaining your relic. While getting your relic at launch was tough (mostly due to Titan), as time progressed, it wasn't so bad. Getting your Zenith only requires that you get three Mists using tomestones. Then we get the Atma step, which requires you to farm FATEs in twelve specific areas using your Zenith weapon. Before Patch 2.5, the drop rate for Atma's was abysmally low. If you were lucky, you would have it in a few days. RNG absolutely hates your guts? Weeks, and even months. Then, you have the Animus step, which requires you to do a total of nine books that has you defeat a total of 900 enemies, do 27 dungeons, FATEs, and Guildleves. These weren't so bad except for the FATEs part. Novus wasn't so bad, it just required you to give up lots of money if you wanted a perfect weapon, but there are ways around it. Neither was the Nexus step, which requires you to gain a total of 2000 "points" of light by doing random instances in the game. It may take a while, but you would see a slow and steady progress. Last but not least, you have the Zodiac questline, which sends you to do 4 quests for random NPCs that require you to farm specific dungeons for drops that you have a small chance of obtaining. It is essentially the Atma version of dungeons and obtain crafted HQ items (and ONLY HQ) and certain Desynth materials. You will also need to farm some Soldiery and GC seals but those are arguably the easiest parts of the Zodiac questline. If you manage to get through all this, you either have sheer dumb luck or have a lot of time on your hands.
    • The process of obtaining the best crafting/gathering tools tend to fall straight into Luck-Based Mission most of the time.
    • All of the FATEs in the Sapsa Spawning Grounds at the westernmost portion of Western La Noscea have the bad combination of spawning in the middle of a ton of regular enemies at the same level and respawning way too quickly to be reasonable - less than two minutes after one ends, regardless of whether it ran out of time or you completed it successfully, either it will be back or an equivalent will start up (e.g. turn back the combination of "Gauging North Tidegate" and "Breaching North Tidegate", and the game will immediately start on "Gauging South Tidegate"). The absolute worst of the bunch, however, is "Watch Your Tongue", which is set in the middle of two separate sets of equivalently-leveled enemies, simply respawns into itself after a minute or two, and covers an area of the map where at least one main-story quest objective and several sidequest objectives are placed, giving it the dishonor of being one of the few FATEs that actively interferes with attempts to play other parts of the game.
    • Getting anything for a prize in the Gold Saucer due to the absurd prices and the relatively low payouts for the mini-games. Want to unlock a new hairstyle? Costs 8000 points. Want that complete set of the Gambler outfit? Costs several 10K worth of points. Got your eye on that Fenrir mount? That'll cost you one million points. You could try your luck at the weekly lottery and hope you hit it big, but like any form of lottery, it's all luck-based. The only upside is that unlike real-world lotteries, you're guaranteed to win more than you paid... just not necessarily a lot more.
      • "Any Way the Wind Blows" is a GATE that, unlike other events in the Gold Saucer, is completely luck based. You have to avoid Typhoon's snort attack 5 times in a row in order to win the game. How do you win? Leave it up to luck. You can move around a bit before you're rooted in place and hope that you aren't caught in the snort — not that moving around helps any, as you have no hint whatsoever as to what attack he'll use or where it'll hit until after you're rooted. If you get hit, you're eliminated from the game. Naturally, there's achievements tied to this event.
      • "Vase Off" was a Stealth-Based Mission in a game not at all designed for stealth, and the NPCs you had to avoid are poorly marked and nigh-impossible to identify. Despite being ostensibly skill-based, it was possibly the only GATE more despised than "Any Way the Wind Blows", until being removed in 4.4.
    • Almost the entirety of the side quests given by the moogles in the Churning Mists. Not only is the map massive in scale, but you'll always have to go so far out of your way just to get to your objectives and heaven help you if you try to do most of the quests before you gain the ability to fly in the zone. To top if off, most of the side quests are from moogles who are either too lazy to do work themselves or are too cowardly to fight the monsters and ask you to do it in their stead.
    • 3.15 introduced an equivalent version to the Relic Questline, the Anima Weapon. The 1st step being similar to the Zodiac Atma quest, but this time you need 18 of them. This step can be skipped by players who have the Zodiac Zeta weapon and can be done with any class this time. Once you have done that and got the i170 weapon, then getting it Awakened is just a simple marathon of 10 dungeons. But the step after that hammers it into players' heads that they have grown too complacent with the nerfs to the previous relic chain and make up for it by requiring a large assortment of items, up to and including items that need to be crafted by specialist crafters (and as a result are liable to be expensive). The non-crafted items also need a large amount of various currencies and are themselves needed in large quantities. The result being a grand total of 100 items needed for one single relic (and 96 of those being needed to trade for the other 4). And given the timetable for the patches, even with the first phase being skipped, the odds of getting the Anima weapon to a point where it is on par with the Gordian weapons before 3.2 are slim at best.
    • The Forbidden Land of Eureka Anemos. Quite a few fans have seen this as a Be Careful What You Wish For as many players described this as the unholy fusion of the Palace of the Dead, the Diadem and the Anima grind. Players cross the transformed Isle of Val in search of answers, battling incredible tough monsters. As you battle these creatures, you gain Elemental EXP that can be used to boost up your elemental affinity as you level up and get crystals that transform your Level 70 Job Gear into the Eureka Relic Gear. However, the problems with that is that the amount of EXP is completely inconsistent as the more people who fight a monster, the EXP is distributed between them and if you don't contribute enough, you get a piddling amount. Even more, if you're past Level 5 and you die, you actually start losing EXP, meaning you'll actually level down, similar to how it was done in XI. The crystal earning is also heavily random as you could grind for hours one day and only end up with one or two crystals, then go to it the next with 10-12. Further, it was determined that it would take a whopping 1300 crystals just to upgrade your gear.
    • Eureka Pagos has managed to become even more despised. Anemos, once you reached about level 8, became perfectly manageable if tedious if you were willing to join the Notorious Monster train (basically a group of players running around the map spawning and killing Notorious Monsters for XP and Crystals). Pagos severely buffed how long it takes for a Notorious Monster to spawn, meaning you are expected to get most of your experience from chain killing mobs. However, random mobs are very durable and hit very hard, making solo grinding in classes without self sustain a very tricky prospect, compounded by the fact that the window for chaining enemies together is rather short. Clearly, you are expected to play with other players, except Pagos also adds a mechanic where players 2 levels higher than the lowest level player in a party receive zero experience, making finding random players to play with much more of a chore than it was in Anemos. Claiming monsters for EXP is also ripe for drama between parties because if multiple parties attack the same enemy, the EXP gains between every will be drastically divided between everyone that claimed it, which makes it incredibly easy for trolls to attack anyone's target to reduce EXP gained. To top it all off, during the day and during heat waves, there is a constant glare as the entire zone is covered in bright white snow. The playerbase in general was not amused in what was seen as an attempt by the devs to make players play the content in a very specific way. The devs did quickly release a hotfix that gave EXP from Notorious Monsters a massive boost.
      • The steps for obtaining a relic weapon in Pagos is a lot more grindy compared to Anemos. Unlike Anemos, you can't even begin your relic building until you hit level 25. Once you can begin, you're required to grind for aether that is obtained either randomly from random monsters, or a guarantee from Notorious Monsters. Once you fill up the bar, you have to find the crystal forge that can convert your aether to frosted crystals, which requires jumping off a cliff, sneaking past a dragon, and reaching the forge without disturbing the plant monsters inside the cave. However, your kettle can only hold up to 9 charges worth of aether, which means excess aether will not be stored. The first step of the relic just requires a handful of frosted crystals. The second step requires a bit more and five hundred crystals that drop from Notorious Monsters. The final step requires even more frosted crystals and five of a special item that only drops from one specific Notorious Monster. While it is possible to obtain aether beyond the "feeble" amount, no one can figure out how you can gain more. Ergo, be prepared to kill a lot of monsters.
  • That One Puzzle: The infamous Kugane Tower jumping puzzle in Stormblood. It has a ton of extremely tight, tricky, and precise jumps where you have to be near damn perfect in executing it or risk falling off the tower completely. Due to realistic Jump Physics (i.e. no mid-jump adjustments) and the collision boxes on the platforms and walls being very wonky, you can find yourself either overshooting your jumps and falling down, falling short, or hitting a wall as you leap forward. The reward for making it to the very top? A cool bit of scenery to take /gpose pics in, and a vista for your sightseeing log. Good luck!
    • You know that one sight seeing marker thats on top of a lamp post right next to Kugane Tower? Take everything from the above point, and add on a precise jump all the way back down. If you miss, you have to climb the entire tower all over again. Have fun!
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Fans had declared the game dead when Yoshi-P announced that a patch that introduces Leviathan would also make the first 5 turns for The Binding Coil of Bahamut and the fight against the Moogle King easier in order to allow lesser skilled players to catch up in content - despite the fact that this is almost certainly how everything was initially designed and intended, exactly so players could (eventually) see the content and so that it wasn't impossible to gear up any replacement members for your static group if necessary.
    • Fans have also cried foul when they saw that patch 2.2 enabled the Echo buff in certain late game/post game dungeons/trials. The buff in question boosts the party's HP, strength, and healing potency after suffering a wipe and the effects can stack if the party keeps getting defeated. The more hardened players claim that people don't need their hands being held and that they should learn how to play normally.note 
    • Any job or core game mechanics that were changed from 1.23 towards 2.0 generated tons of complaints, such as TP being used as a stamina gauge for sprinting and Warriors expecting to be actual tanks rather than broken overpowered fighters that could clear everything with no effort.
    • There's quite a number people in the vocal minority that feel the game changed for the worse when it was remade into A Realm Reborn. Said minority feels that many of the elements from 1.23 (limited teleportation, more intensive graphics, a more dangerous overworld, etc.) should have remained instead of the game being catered to casuals.
    • Changes to the Hunt system were met with disappointment and disdain. B marks were changed to allow only players who have the bill matching the mark to claim the rewards behind them, meaning farming B marks for rewards is no longer possible (although if you're feeling particularly driven/bored, you can still do this for the achievements tied to killing B marks). On top of this, the spawn rate for A marks were lengthened to be around 2 hours to further discourage farming for seals.
    • Spiritbonding for materia was also changed and met with complaints. Before the change, spiritbonding came a flat rate; the higher the monster's level (or the general item level for a dungeon), the faster the bonding would be. Patch 2.35 changed the bonding mechanics to allow only binding on gear if the target's level matched the item's level or was in the general range. If the item's level was too high or too low, the bond rate would be reduced and any further discrepancies would cause bonding to stop completely. On top of this, the probability of producing a tier 4 materia for bonding a high level item was reduced, requiring players to bond gear beyond item level 70 (higher item levels generally take longer to reach 100% spiritbond). The whole change was brought about in order to discourage people from using extremely poor gear in high level raids. People that farmed materia complained that the process of bonding was needlessly difficult now while people working on their Novus weapons feared the difficulty of getting materia would cause prices on the market board to skyrocket.
    • Patch 2.38 removed Cleric Stance entirely from PvP in order to force healers to actually heal instead of doubling as a DPS. Many people hated the change, claiming that healing as normal in PvP would be massively boring.
    • The additional drops of Oil/Sands of Time for the Syrcus Tower sparked many complaints from hardcore raiders who claim that additions to the loot drops in the tower made raiding the Binding Coil of Bahamut pointless due to the tower being much easier for the same rewards as the ones found in the Coil.
    • An important cutscene involving the Warrior of Light and Midgardsormr raised quite a number of complaints due to how the scene was different in the English version compared to the Japanese version; the Japanese version of the scene has the character flat out tell you what happened and why he did what he did to the Warrior of Light while the English version has the character express himself in a more vague and condescending tone. One of the people in charge of the lore and localization explained that the changes in the English version was necessary since the character was "very chatty" in the Japanese version and needed to be changed into something that would be more suiting to him for who he was as well as being more appealing to English speaking/reading players.
    • 3.0 nerfing the Holy and Flare spells by having them do less damage to each target beyond the first one via Diminishing Returns for Balance. This means that if Holy and/or Flare hits multiple targets, only one target will get full damage while every target after that will get less damage and the reduction increases until it hits the cap of a 50% reduction. Players cried foul and claimed the devs were trying to make speed running less desirable, though the nerfs were most likely done to balance against the new spells that have higher potency and/or additional effects.
    • Most of the entire cast of characters had their voice actors changed for 3.0, causing people who liked the vocal direction and evolution that the previous voice actors were going through to now hate the sudden change. The biggest complaint was the change of voice actors for Urianger, who was voiced by the popular Gideon Emery in the 2.x content before he got replaced with Timothy Watson, who sounded nothing like Gideon at all.
    • The devs made a change to the Triple Triad tournaments by reducing the amount of points a player could earn from battling an NPC while also raising the threshold required for earning platinum card packs and lowering the amount of MGP earned if the player's overall score wasn't good enough. The idea behind the change was to encourage players to battle each other instead of NPCs, but the change was met with an outcry due to how difficult it was to earn enough points to rank high enough thanks to everyone else exploiting the system to always win the tournaments by rigging the game in their favor.
    • A hotfix for 3.1 changed the spawn mechanics of star-ranked monsters in the Diadem by having them spawn less frequently. This, in turn, also meant that the gold treasure coffers they leave behind upon defeat (which contain potentially powerful gear) also appear less frequently. Cue complaints on how the Diadem is now worthless to run for.
    • Part of the transition from 1.0 to 2.0 was how the maps were organized. In 1.x, each region was one large map and there were seamless transitions between each zone of each region via tunnels, narrow paths, or hallways. In 2.0, each region was divided up into zones with loading screens between them. Some think this change is for the worse because it makes the world feel smaller. But critics of 1.x maps would point out a lot of the regions were simply Cut-and-Paste Environments to begin with. A rather egregious argument 1.x fans like to throw out for the smaller maps was because the PS3 couldn't handle larger maps. Never mind that huge open-world games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto V were available for the system.
    • 1.0 had character movement and animations that had weight to them (which made it tricky to move and attack for most people) and the cutscenes were done with motion capture. Due to 2.0 being redesigned for a faster gameplay, character movements were given different animations and had no weight to them in order to allow players to move and attack at the same time without being slowed down. Fans of the old animations feel that the new changes make the current animations look cheap and that cut scenes use stock animations and emotes.
    • The reveal of the White Mage's new and revamped skills in Stormblood left a sour taste in everyone's mouths. Protect, Esuna, Lucid Dreaming (formerly Shroud of Saints), and Largesse (formerly Divine Seal) were changed to be cross role skills, meaning the essential White Mage skills are now "optional" across all healer jobs. With only five slots to work with, most White Mage players expressed disgust over how they won't have many options to work with since several of the skills are critical to play the job to its fullest. When the White Mage skills for Stormblood was revealed, it could be summed up as "heal people to have a slight chance that other healing skills can be stronger" Detailed skill breakdown  White Mage players felt like they got completely shafted having their toolset gutted in the cross role system and the new abilities doing nothing but healing whereas Scholar and Astrologian gotten better skills to be more versatile. Later patches adjusted the accquistion of lilies to 100% with Cure and Cure II and Plenary Indulgence now procs from Cure III, Medica, and Medica II while also allowing the caster to gain Confession stacks themselves. The changes made most White Mage players satisfied for the most part.
    • The changes to Monk in Stormblood are also headed this way. Though the initial reveal that Monk was going to receiving raid utility in the form of Brotherhood was met with praise, it soon became apparent that all the other new skills were going to be attached to the clunky fist stance system without attempting to fix any of the exiting problems with it. Simply put, most players agree that only half the new skills are going to see any use whatsoever; there is still no real incentive to be in Fists of the Wind, which renders Riddle of the Wind and Wind tackle useless, while Riddle of Earth has only very situational usage and Earth Tackle has no obvious use at all. Riddle of Fire is a damage boost but slows the Monk down (in opposition to what the whole job is built around) and is not nearly enough to make up for the number of skills that were pruned out of the Monk's regular rotation. On top of that there are some pretty deep potency cuts, risking Monk losing its position as top sustained single target DPS, and Brotherhood looks like it may already be outclassed by the changes to other melee DPS classes. While players are expecting tweaks to the existing skills, they're still going to be attached to the Fist stances, which need an outright overhaul, something that is not expected to happen in a simple content patch. Considering this was meant to be the Monk themed expansion, to say that this has been seen as something as a kick in the teeth is something of an understatement, with some left wondering if the development team are trying to get them to switch to Samurai, which is already considered a Spotlight-Stealing Squad by many players, by wrecking Monk.
    • Regardless of class, regardless of whether the jobs were buffed or nerfed, there are plenty of folks upset that all of a sudden, they need to learn a new skill rotation. The only folks whose lives haven't been made more difficult are the Disciples of the Land and Hand, and even they're likely to get into the action before long.
    • Patch 4.06 severely nerfed the amount of horns needed to obtain the Ixion mount. What took at least 6 kills to get enough horns for the mount was reduced towards 2. A lot of players that had camped and farmed the FATE related to the mount got upset since they felt like they wasted their time doing it the hard way and others feel that the mount itself is no longer special since everyone can get one very easily.
    • 4.0 changed healer DPS to be dependent on the player's mind stat instead of intelligence, meaning players could now DPS without having to use Cleric Stance (which got reworked to a 5% damage boost buff for a few seconds) for it. Players who were hesitant to DPS as a healer were thankful for the change due to said change making it easier to throw out some damage. Others feel that removing the need of "stance dancing" dumbed down healer damage and removed the only challenge of playing the healer role.
  • Among many of the changes in Patch 4.2, one of the more annoying choices was making Castrum Meridianum and the Praetorium's cutscenes unskippable. The two dungeons were already long and tiresome, but because of older players forcing the newer players to skip cutscenes or risk getting left behind, the devs were forced to change the dungeons cutscenes to be this way, making the dungeons longer. Making things worse is that players aren't compensated well by this; the patch also doubled the gil, EXP, and Poetics tomes awarded for the associated roulette, but the unskippable cutscenes more than double the runtime. However, it was a bit of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't", as making cutscenes skippable would ruin the experience for new players, as the Praetorium has a lot of dialogue and is the climax of ARR. If cutscenes were skippable, new players would have to choose between seeing the plot and actually playing the battles, as the cutscenes are about equal in length to the actual fights, especially now that players are overgeared. Square Enix wisely stopped putting plot related things in the middle of instances, and both Heavensward and Stormblood end with a dungeon, plot exposition afterwards, then a trial for the final boss.
    • For patch 4.3, they removed the Need button for rolling for items, meaning everyone rolls Greed on everything. This caused an uproar pretty fast as it meant you potentially had to fight for an item with someone who can't even use it with their class, and a few weeks later the game was reverted back to having Need again.
    • The Shadowbringers Action Trailer revealed that White Mages would lose the Earth and Wind aspects of their offensive magic to instead weaponize pure white magic. Some fans are upset that the White Mage is losing, visually at least, the Druid aspect of its character.
    • 5.0 Dark Knight got hit with this (well, a lot of classes did, but Dark Knight was one of the big ones). Though nearly everyone was happy that the Dark Arts button got the axe, many players feel that the devs went too far in pruning Dark Knight's skills. The loss of Blood Price was arguably inevitable with the removal of Grit, but it took away a powerful dungeon crawling tool for pulling big groups of enemies (since it gave you blood gauge and MP for every hit you take during the duration). Though the agro combo was no longer needed with the rework to how agro works, nothing was put in to replace it, meaning DRKs only have the Soul Eater 3 hit combo that is used non-stop the entire fight while PLDs and WARs at least have multiple combo enders that see use and GNB has multiple combos. And one of the biggest changes that people disliked was the change of Delirium from a skill that extends the duration of Blood Weapon (and the now non-existent Blood Price) to being essentially a duplicate of WAR's Inner Release, allowing DRK to spam Bloodspiller repeatedly until the effect ends. Overall, the class has gone from being the busiest and possibly most complicated tank class to being easily among the slowest and possibly simplest. And to top it off, as of 5.0, DRK is the squishiest and weakest tank of the 4.
    • Some fans were not happy to find out that promotional content that came with merchandise (for example, the Yotsuyu minion that came with a copy of an artbook) has been quietly restricted to one per character instead of being account-wide as had been the case for four years.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The nameless Doman soldier of Garlemond who the Warrior of Light and Alisaie come across during a patrol. He says that Yotsuyu deserves every bit of her revenge against Doma, and the Wo L has an echo flashback of the soldier to years ago when he recruited Yotsuyu's brother into the Garland military, but saw how cruelly Yotsuyu was treated by the family. The soldier could have been expanded on to see his relationship with Yotsuyu since he clearly was sympathetic towards her, but he gets cut down by Alisaie when he tries to jump the WoL while they are stuck in the Echo flashback, and is never mentioned again.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The tension between Ilberd and Raubahn goes through the roof after Ilberd cuts off Raubahn's arm at the end of 2.5 due to working with the Crystal Braves that were also working with Teledji Adeledji to overthrow the Sultana. Ilberd also attacked Raubahn out of anger because Raubahn, who came from the war-torn city state of Ala Mhigo, "abandoned" his homeland to start a new life in Ul'dah. The conflict comes to a head in Heavensward where Ilberd demands for Raubahn to be executed for his crimes. You kick Ilberd's ass, but he goes on about Raubahn's betrayal before fleeing. The conflict is seemingly resolved off screen where you're later told that Lolorito is no longer working with Ilberd or the Crystal Braves and the rest of Eorzea won't take them in either, forcing them to wander aimlessly for the rest of their lives. Square Enix missed the chance to develop Raubahn and Ilberd's characters and also missed the chance to have the side plot more developed before it closed. Patch 3.5 rectified it somewhat by bringing Ilberd back as a boss fight and having him summon a primal.
    • Despite being the catalyst for the Stormblood expansion, Shinryu appears only once in the expansion as the Final Boss before being killed easily. Theres no storyline about the heroes trying to find it except for Estinien, who only appears sparingly and never gets to confront it, very little discussion about what to do about it should they encounter it again or something similar to it, and despite being one of the most powerful foes faced lore wise, Shinryu appears and is defeated easily just after it was freed by Zenos. Those who are fans of the series feel like ultimately, Shinryu was wasted story wise by the Stormblood writers and think it would have been better if Shinryu had been something like the final boss of the entire Stormblood expansion and not the main launch storyline, especially after the final main story patch fight for Stormblood was a fairly easy Duel Boss that lacked any difficulty.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Bards and Machinists were considered to be this by the players when Heavensward launched. Bards couldn't run and fire their arrows anymore, but instead got an ability that would let them do more damage in exchange for having a charge up to their skills (meaning they can't move while it winds up). The change to the Bard's play style not only frustrated Bard players, but other players that expect optimal DPS would kick Bards out of their groups in end game content since they felt Bards would attack too slowly now. Machinists were also criticized for their overall low DPS compared to other classes and having abilities that were borderline useless. Machinists also got frequently booted out of raiding parties for low DPS performance (lots of end game raids have a DPS check that will kill the party if it's not met).
      • In contrast to the above, by the end of the 3.X patch cycle, Bards and Machinists found themselves at the opposite end of this trope, having received a number of buffs that, combined with their damage-boosting utility, made them near-mandatory for the optimal speed-killing party composition. Unfortunately, Machinist went right back into the hole in 4.x content, with their new Gauss Barrel and Heat Gauge mechanics exacerbating the issue of Machinists having to play nearly perfectly just to keep up with most other DPS playing normally, making them generally unheard of in non-casual endgame content.
    • The optimal party composition at the end of the 3.X series leaves Paladins, White Mages, Monks, Black Mages, and Summoners as this. The 3.X raids initially featured intense DPS checks that mandated each party squeeze out as much damage as possible; even when this was reduced by the final set of raids, the Creator, the agreed-upon meta was that classes needed to synergize with each other to maximize total raid damage output. This made Paladins, White Mages, and Monks undesirable, the latter's design favoring individual DPS over buffing raid DPS, and the former two being more defensive with few damage-boosting options. The two casters are not as stigmatized, synergizing with a Bard's Foe Requiem, but still suboptimal to a party composed of entirely physical DPS.
    • Not every crafting class is created equal. Armorer is considered to bring the least to the table in terms of both cross-classing skills (Rapid Synthesis is too inaccurate to be reliable, and you generally don't begin progress until the very end where there's little room for error, the elemental brands are all useless, and piece by piece has been made obsolete by Muscle Memory and Maker's Mark). On the other end, Weaver and Carpenter have two of the strongest crafting skills so far (Careful Synthesis II and Byregot's Blessing), and Weaver makes crafting gear anyways. Alchemist and Culinarian are disliked because of how many niche ingredients they use that can only be farmed from monsters (Culinarian moreso because each recipe is about 5-6 ingredients), and because they both aren't as directly useful as other classes.
    • Dark Knight in 4.X content got hit hardest by the sweeping class changes that gave everyone some form of meter and the prune of overly-niche abilities like Delirium. The resulting changes made Dark Knight lose their identity compared to the well-identified Paladin's Stone Wall and Warrior's Mighty Glacier, and made them the squishiest tank and lowest DPS even when Grit was off. The change to allow Paladins to block magic damage made their Mage Killer perks moot for magic-intense fights, their over-reliance on Dark Arts made it spammy to play in a way generally considered to be unfun, with their new Blackblood gauge and Blackblood reliant abilities not exciting enough to trade it off. They were given small damage buffs eventually to bring their numbers up to par, but Square has said the jobs' mechanics would be re-examined from the ground up for 5.x and there was no time to change the Dark Arts focused gameplay in Stormblood.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • The Binding Coil of Bahamut is still considered to be the best and most memorable 8 man raid among the fanbase since it wraps up the 1.0 story involving Bahamut and Louisoix, has immersive atmosphere, and memorable music. The Alexander raids, while good on their own merits, are usually looked down upon because some fans think the use of the goblins as the antagonists is too silly and how Alexander itself isn't all that threatening compared to Bahamut.
    • The Labyrinth of the Ancients raid is generally considered to be the best 24 man raid due to the aesthetics, the music, and the mechanics used in the boss fights. Syrcus Tower and the World of Darkness, while considered to be good, are generally not seen as highly as the Labyrinth was. Likewise, the Mhach raids (Void Ark, The Weeping City of Mhach, and Dun Scaith) were seen as being too simple and straightforward while having bland scenery. However, the Return to Ivalice raids has been very well received by fans and some consider it to be on par with the Labyrinth of the Ancients or even surpassing it, especially the final raid, the Orbonne Monastery in particular being seen as the best raid by many.

    U-V 
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The coblyns, which look like something straight out of Spore.
    • Gilgamesh looks more like an Oni in this game, complete with the Face of a Thug, but his elated smile when Nashu cheers him on after he saves her from some zombies makes him look Adorkable.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Deliberate invocation. Lalafell only look like cutesy Precious Moments-esque small children, thus are inapplicable for Troubling Unchildlike Behavior, but Square Enix seems to be taking an unhealthy amount of glee in discomforting their audience by having their adult Lalafell ostentatiously act like it: they swear, drink, and make lewd comments... and more ominously, are vicious loan sharks, gang members, and apparently have histories of violent racial strife (the united Lalafell nation split into two city-states, Ul'dah and Sil'dih, when tensions got too high, and eventually the Ul'dahn Lalafell turned Sil'dih into rubble). Unsettling. ...Plus, the male Lalafell can grow facial hair, which is just weird-looking. For instance, their "wave" emote, which has them step forward and do a weird wave... but do it infront of a female of any other race and you realize he's rubbing her hip and doing that weird eyebrow thing at her.
    • Deliberately invoked with Hildibrand and anyone else involved in his quest lines. Their cartoon looking facial expressions stretch the facial features in such a way that makes the characters look even more hilarious.
    • The Paladin's warlion mount is full of uncanny valley due to how it's textured and modeled. The lion's mane looks like a massive lump of clay with the hair details almost non existent while the face itself looks like a lion you would see from a statue rather than a live animal. This is probably because the lion shares the model with Chimera monsters with the heads cut off, resulting in a shoddy copy/paste/cut job.
    • The animations of the player character emotes look just fine until they finish. Once a used emote is over, you can see the player character's face quickly return to their neutral face. The worst of it comes from the /laugh emote, where you can see the character laughing with their eyes half closed and their mouth open and then quickly shift to their default poker face, as if whatever joke they heard suddenly became unfunny in just half a second.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Heavensward introduced brand new primals, such as Ravana and Bismark, on top of Alexander who became the new end-game dungeon. However, another primal was actually added, one which many hadn't seen since Final Fantasy VII: The Knights of the Round, as the final bosses of Heavensward.
    • While a lot of people anticipated Viera, almost nobody called the introduction of the Hrothgar/Ronso race for a variety of reasons (mostly related to fears the devs wouldn't be up to do an entirely anthropomorphic race, or that a race like that wouldn't look good in XIV, the idea of gender-locked races was and still is contentous so people thought male Viera would be coming). The only hints at all were related to leaks that were so outlandish they were dismissed as exaggerated, and a small text error on the French client shortly after the release of Hydratos that could easily have been passed off as simple text bugs.
    • Shadowbringers has another addition from Final Fantasy VII, The Weapons starting with Ruby, as trials.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Zenos Yae Galvus. Oh, YoshiP and crew wanted him to be a completely unsympathetic monster, but they didn't quite manage it, simply because of one thing that comes up at the very end of the Stormblood main quest that turns Zenos into not quite a Woobie, but still someone worthy of sympathy:
    Zenos: Goodbye, my first friend. My enemy. (cuts throat)
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Due to their Jerkass behavior as well as how they were before the Garleans invaded, there are some who view the Ala Mhigans as this. To the point where, if a future patch/expansion centered around them came up, they hoped for an option to side with the Garleans instead (or at least refuse to help the Ala Mhigans). Even people who didn't feel this strongly about the idea note that Stormblood works really hard to make absolutely sure the Ala Mhigans come across as sympathetic.
    • Also, Emperor Varis, of all people, at least probably compared to how unsympathetic he's "intended" to be. He's not a particularly nice person to start with, but the same line from Zenos, above, combined with his own cold comments about what happens afterward tend to get people really cheesed at him, because the way it looks, Zenos' whole pile of issues is directly Varis' fault for raising him so poorly, and Varis doesn't even seem to acknowledge it or particularly care!
    • Lyse can come off as this during Stormblood. She berates people who don't want to fight against the Garlean occupation and despises people who collaborate with it. The problem is that Garlemald has occupied both Gyr Abania and Yangxia for decades and between the taxes placed by the Garleans and the loss of able bodied citizens because of both failed rebellions and the Garlean military conscription policy, the people are often barely scraping by. Some of them, having grown up under Garlean rule, consider themselves Garlean citizens. Lyse on the other hand, grew up in Sharlayan after she and her sister escaped the Garlean invasion (Lyse was about 5 or so). Lyse has never experienced the tribulations of living under Garlean rule and at times seems to have no sympathy for those too worn out to fight because of it. This becomes part of her character development by the end of the Doma arc, as the plight of the Domans shakes her resolve, and it's a lesson she reflects hard on when she returns to Ala Mhigo. At the end of Stormblood, she's undergone significant character development to the degree that she refuses to punish anyone who willingly submitted or conspired with the Garleans, with the exception of those who committed horrible war crimes like the Skulls. And even then, she refuses to give in to her anger and hate, declaring that the free Ala Mhigo she envisions will be for everyone.
    • Despite a large amount of the community liking her, there are a good amount of players who feel Yotsyu doesn't deserve the sheer amounts of Alas, Poor Villain moments she's given. To elaborate; she is introduced as a massive Hate Sink with no redeemable qualities, while openly being racist to her own people, and being a big suck-up to the Garleans. She remains this way for a while before suddenly having an Alas, Poor Villain Echo flashback that shows how she was a victum of the Doman society before Garlean occuptation, among many other horrible things the WOL finds out. The game suddenly then begins treating her as a victim of society, but while theres no denial of that, the fact she decides to go back to being a villain, after being given a chance at redemption, makes it hard for some to find the games overwhelming sympathy towards her deserved. Not helping is that while the arc does bring up a good point about Doma as a society before Garlean occuptation, the game quickly tries to frame Hien's father as a noble leader still, and frame Doma as being right for being liberated, making it come across as being unclear what her story arc was trying to say about Doma as a nation.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • While 1.0 is still looked down upon to this day, it also garnered some sympathy from players who saw that the original game had potential and some good ideas that were held back by bad execution and Executive Meddling.

    W 
  • What an Idiot!: What in the name of the Twelve was Jessie thinking when she brought Nero in as an advisor on the Omega situation? It's not like he's completely untrustworthy but she must know damned good and well the murky history between he and Cid and that he's known for having an ulterior motive. If it's not to get back at Cid for funneling more resources away from Garlond Ironworks itself the only other explanation is raw unfiltered stupidity. And if she's somehow that dense the reactions by not only Cid but Biggs and Wedge as well should have tipped her off! Optional dialogue with her during the opening to Omega has her bemoaning the fact that it didn't increase the efficiency of the project like she genuinely hoped for. Cid, at this point absolutely furious with Jessie, sums it up best when he learns that he can't have Nero removed from the team because Jessie already paid Nero in full for the job... for a total of four fifths of what Cid earns for himself.
    Cid: I don't believe this... You claim my wholly justified ventures represent an "unsustainable risk to the Ironworks"—and then pay him a sultan's ransom in advance!? Him!? Give me strength...!
    • The Warrior of Light for agreeing to take part in Yugiri's plot to assassinate Zenos Yae Galvus during his brief visit to Doma. Expecially since the Warrior witnessed Zenos take down an entire army (including themselves) single-handedly without even breaking a sweat. So aside from agreeing to take him on with only 2 people, the Warrior of Light also blatantly disregards their allies warnings that one of their biggest advantages is that the Empire has no idea that the Scions are in the Far East. Naturally, the plot fails miserably and the Empire is now fully aware of the Scions presence on the second front.
    • At the end of 4.3 Asahi tries to goad the Warrior of Light into killing him for all of the horrendous things he's done, only to laugh in their face reminding them that killing a Garlean diplomat would ruin the peace between Doma and Garlemald...only to point out that said peace is already ruined anyway with the events that had transpired. Meaning there's really nothing stopping the Warrior of Light from slaughtering him. Nothing actually came of it, but it takes a special kind of idiot to forfeit the only thing protecting them anymore.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • The Evenstar set of armor obtained with Soldiery tomestones for Magic DPS classes. Up until that point, Black Mages have been wearing a variety of Badass Longrobes appropriate for a fantasy magic user. The Evenstar set is a very tight set Stage Magician style clothing with a top hat with an ace of spades on it. The male version features tight pants and heeled shoes while the female version adds a popped out frilly skirt, thigh high boots, fish net, and short shorts, and a top that features Absolute Cleavage. On Miqo'te of both genders, their cat tails are also covered and propped into an upward curve.
      • That said, there are fans of the Evenstar set, especially the nice hat which is a popular pick for glamour.
    • While it's not as bad as the Evenstar set, the Astrum set for Dragoons features mismatched gauntlets, a bowl-shaped helmet with mismatched golden wings (one being over a foot tall) and a breastplate with a long white skirt, giving it the feeling that the dragoon is going to sing The Ring of the Nibelung rather than killing gods.
    • The Coliseum equipment gained from Dzemael Darkhold. Let's just say for female Disciples of Magic players, we hope you enjoy wearing a bikini with a hood until you get your class's Artifact Armor.
      • If that wasn't enough for you, the dungeon Shisui of Violet Tides has an armor set for every class that is basically a revealing swimsuit. Though some variants either come with stockings or detached sleeves.
      • The alternative loot in Dzemael Darkhold has fully covered clothes, that is, if you like leopard print patterns.
    • The Hellfire Armor of Fending has a Cleavage Window, which is silly enough, but it also applies to male characters and makes the window look even sillier.
  • Win Back the Crowd: The A Realm Reborn version is definitely this for Square Enix. Before ARR's release, it was not uncommon to see some critics to declare any kind of "rebuilt" FFXIV as basically dead on arrival, and not bother bringing it back from the grave. Since the relaunch, some of the very same game review websites and magazines have had their opinions changed completely, and widely praise its changes. Game Informer for example went from saying "scrap it" before ARR, to now declaring it 2013's MMORPG of the Year by both the Readers and the Editors. Some of the reviewers, like Mike Fahey of Kotaku, even copped to and admitted their 180 of opinion on playing it.
  • The Woobie: Raubahn by the end of Patch 2.55. Even if you get past losing his homeland of Ala Mihgo and being the only member of the Syndicate loyal to the Sultana against the Monetarists who are trying to undermine (if not outright remove) any little authority she has left, his life seems to get worse and worse. His 2nd in command was revealed to be The Mole for the Garlean Empire (And possibly to the Monetarists as well). Then Nanamo is assassinated, with the Warrior of Light (and by association the Scions) being held responsible, enraging him to kill Teledji Adeledji. Then is betrayed by his friend Ilberd (already staging a Monetarist-backed coup of the Crystal Braves), who cuts off his left arm defending Lolorito before taunting him saying that serving the Sultana has made him weak, then stating he was responsible for Nanamo's death, enraging him even further into a fight. Not to mention Kan-E-Senna and Merlwyb, his allies in the Eorzean Alliance, seemingly abandons him through all of this (fortunately, you later learn they had no choice in this matter, Merlwyb in particular being very frustrated at the turn of events). At the end of it all he is imprisoned and is disgraced as a traitor. Thankfully Heavensward starts to make things better for him again by revealing that Nanamo was Not Quite Dead, only comatose, and that she can still be saved.
    • The Crystal Exarch in Shadowbringers aka a G'raha Tia from an alternate Bad Future where civilization in the Source was essentially destroyed, forcing him to bond himself with the Crystal Tower, denying him the ability to adventure like the heroes he looked up to. And when he does finally get to be able to summon and meet the heroes he so wanted to see he has to desperately stop himself from revealing his true identity and intention to pull a Heroic Sacrifice for the heroes at the end of their journey. And when he does finally get the chance he is near mortally wounded by Emet-Selch who takes him hostage with the intention of using his knowledge to undo everything the heroes have done. After they defeat Emet-Selch he can barely compose himself when the Scions are thankful to him and ends up crying in happiness should the player call him by name.
    • Also in Shadowbringers, Cylva, the Betrayer. Let's count the ways: She attempts to save her home world, the thirteenth, from falling to Darkness, and fails. She is convinced that her failure will doom the First to becoming a Void of Light, so the Ascians convince her to help them rejoin it. She does so, and grooms a new set of friends, the Warriors of Light of the First, and tip the scales just enough so that the First is primed for a rejoining. She then fails when she cannot bring herself to kill her new-found companions, nor can they bring themselves to kill her. After that, the Warriors of Light kill the Ascians who tricked her, and they bring about the Flood of Light she was trying to prevent. After all of that? They kill themselves after they're convinced by the Ascians to travel to the source to rejoin the First to the Source, just as she was convinced that the same was a worthy goal. She is caught in a vicious cycle of trauma and failure, and her reward is an unending life of pain and sorrow.
  • Woolseyism: While old Ted may not be working for Square anymore, his legacy lives on: the Japanese-language version of A Realm Reborn lacks much of the humor present in the English-language localization, let alone the panoply of Shout-Outs.
    • Haurchefant's interactions pre Heavensward were filled with Double Entendre, with him essentially trying to get the Warrior of Light to sleep with him. Thus when the scenes were localized, the team, likely aware that this would cause issues, rewrote his lines to be more of him being a huge fan of the Warrior of Light and trying to be a friend to them. This change helped him become one of the games biggest Ensemble Dark Horse as a result, and Heavensward took notes from this and made him the Warrior of Lights friend and ally. Some of his comments were still flirty, but they were tame and overall more respectful.
    • There's a negative side to this as well. Much of the Japanese script is in standard Japanese, with the exception of a few characters such as Yugiri and Urianger. Unfortunately many of the characters speak in a form of Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe. While for standard characters this just means using words such as "anon" far more than any normal English speaking person has used the word in the past one hundred years, characters such as the aforementioned Yugiri and Urianger can become close to incomprehensible with their already archaic Japanese speech patterns translated and made even more archaic to compensate for the already older English word choice being used. While this gives the game some class in its script, it makes the barrier to entry for non-native English speakers and the jobs of the voice actors that much more difficult.
    • This was an especially big issue when the player talks to Midgardsormr. In the English voicework, his lines are short and vague, and you leave the cutscene not knowing whose side he's on. By contrast, the original Japanese is a lot more blunt and clear, and though he's still shady, he comes across as far more benevolent. According to Yoshi-P, this was intentional, since he wanted him to come across as more imposing compared to how chatty he was in Japanese.
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