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  • Adorkable:
    • Once Vath Deftarm is rescued by the Warrior of Light, he is immediately inspired by their heroic deeds and vows to be an adventurer like them with great excitement and ambition, even though they don't quite fully grasp the concept on what adventures do. He even comes up with the idea to build an Adventurer's Guild at their home camp so that they can trade with other people and assist them with their problems. The Storyteller tells you that Deftarm seems to light up whenever the Warrior of Light is around. Despite being a beastman, seeing him trying to be helpful and heroic like the Warrior of Light is quite endearing.
    • Tataru is rather cute, and always does her best. When she tried to become an Arcanist, it backfired and she ultimately resigned, though the guildmaster praises her for being able to summon Carbuncle quicker than most, thanks to being very good with numbers. That being said, she is very good at her job, and cares deeply for her comrades.
    • During more relaxed moments, Minfilia gets the chance to show off her age better and has several moments of silly and child-like reactions, such as her slow walk in the Dohn Mheg or her reactions to the group's more silly moments. It starts to seriously show when she tries to befriend Gaia.
    • The merged G'raha Tia is introduced by him asking if he can join the Scions, fidgeting and stuttering the whole time and capturing the hearts of players right off the bat. He is a good-natured and easily flustered fanboy who is clearly having the time of his life going on adventures and meeting famous people in Eorzea. And then there's the scene where he fumbles his way through convincing a suspicious crystal seller that he's a worthwhile client, then gives a relieved thumbs-up to the other Scions after he barely succeeds.
  • 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 70" 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", though some also insist on clogging up your journal by requiring you to actually beat the dungeon in question before you can finish the quest). 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 boss 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 so it will target them with its 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.
    • The warning notification that pops up when you get close to a zone's altitude ceiling while flying. It's overly sensitive, triggering quite a ways away from the altitude ceiling; selective yet redundant, since there's no such warning for hitting the invisible walls to the sides of a zone, nor even any penalty for hitting the altitude ceiling that would necessitate a warning; and, most of all, repetitive, as once you get within the required distance to trigger the warning it never stops popping up every couple of seconds until you descend. It's even worse in the ARR zones once flying was backported to them with 5.3, since there are several areas (like the northernmost exit from Central Thanalan or the camp surrounding the aetheryte in Outer La Noscea) where the regular ground you can walk to is extremely close to or even within the altitude warning distance, meaning trying to fly through those parts of the maps at all will trigger the warning constantly. Fortunately, the warning can be disabled in the options.
  • 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 is 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.
    • Kugane Ohashi. Once the fight is revealed to be another fight against Gilgamesh, a large amount of his attacks are recycled from the Battle in the Big Keep, meaning that first-timers expecting a showdown with an enemy famous in his home game for his absurd lethality are instead greeted with a set of mechanics they've already handled before. Of course, YMMV on whether or not facing down Gilgamesh a third time is disappointing too.
  • 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...
    • If we put the number of quests under a scope, 2.0 has 188 quests, with 100 more if we count 2.1-2.55, bringing up to a staggering 288 - that's twice as many quests as any other content cycle, which clock at around 100 quests for an expansion's initial release and another 40 on average for quests added in patches, making the 2.x quests a bigger slog in hindsight. At the very least, Yoshida did discuss trimming back the number of quests for this when New Game+ got implemented, as it is one of the biggest offenders of padding; they eventually did so with patch 5.3, trimming about thirty quests from the 2.0 line and another twenty from the patches.
    • 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, and especially its subplot of Lyse becoming the leader of the Resistance, suffers considerably due to the decision to split the resolution on both it and Doma into the same expansion. The problem is that the events of Doma last from level 61 to 68, encompassing almost the entirety of the story for the expansion's initial release - by comparison, once you return to Ala Mhigo, it's almost treated as an afterthought, and everything you do there the second time around is rushed as a result.
      • For those who found Yotsuyu Unintentionally Unsympathetic, this extends to the Legend Returns arc, too. Ala Mhigo finishes all its loose ends within one patch and ends all of Fordola's character motivation. But then comes the next two patches which focus almost entirely on Doma and Yotsuyu.
  • Archive Panic: True to any game that has had multiple expansion packs, this is bound to happen. What's especially notable about XIV compared to other games is that other games often remove the requirement to do endgame storylines and content once the next expansion releases. This game however does not, meaning players must go through all the storyline patches, only skipping the raids that aren't named "Crystal Tower".
  • 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. The game's continued growth and expansions have increased popularity and playerbase to the point where the game is going toe-to-toe with the only other lasting juggernaut of the MMO genre - World of Warcraft - a major showing of how the game went from a failure to a success over the years since its relaunch.
    • 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 let 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 finding the item(s) in question somewhere and 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.
    • The death of Varis during The Stinger in Shadowbringers had many players upset that they would never get the chance to confront him directly. Patch 5.25 rectified it by having Varis (though a false memory and not the real deal) as a boss fight at the end of the relic quest as well as a stand alone extreme trial.
    • Relic weapons are known for being very grindy and it's a common consensus that the first step of any relic tends to have a lot of grind. The base relics in Shadowbringers were made much easier to obtain by simply giving you a free one for your current job once you've completed the story quests related to it, and extra relics could be bought via materials with Poetic tomestones, which take little time to grind for.
    • For years, one of the biggest complaints of A Realm Reborn was the sheer amount of quests one has to do in order to reach Heavensward and many new players have admitted to outright quitting the game due to both the amount of quests and the constant back and forth travel many quests sends the player on. The devs announced that they were working on a fix for it and later announced that patch 5.3 would cut 13% of the quests in A Realm Reborn, and other quests that couldn't be cut would have its number of steps reduced.
    • Patch 5.3 would also roll previously optional content into the MSQ for A Realm Reborn: "My Little Chocobo", a sidequest for Grand Companies that unlocks access to a chocobo mount and the ability to use other mounts; and the Crystal Tower raid questline, for plot-related convenience in regards to events in Shadowbringers heavily revolving around the Crystal Tower.
    • Flight was introduced in Heavensward and later expansions, but A Realm Reborn never got flight capabilities. Even with increased mount speed from both story progression and riding maps, many have complained about how annoying it was to travel to certain places in the ARR zones due to their more closed and linear nature. Patch 5.3 would allow flying in the old areas.
    • Blue Mages were originally seen as incredibly frustrating to 100% complete due to the random nature of their skill learning, which was especially bad for primal spells which had a less than .1% chance on Extreme difficulty that could only be increased up to 7 times by having other blue mages, not to mention they were seen as being underrated to the point of being pitiful instead of the Purposely Overpowered Master of All that the developers used to justify them being a level-limited job. Patch 5.1 rebalanced Blue Mage heavily and gave them multiple new skills that made them as overpowered as they were envisioned as being, while changing the rules on learning so that it's a 100% chance as long as you're in a synced full party, regardless of what the other roles are, making it significantly easier to complete the spell tome and get ready to tackle the Masked Carnival.
    • The Bozjan Southern Front functions like Eureka, being an instanced open area, but improves on the faults of the latter.
      • The area is synced to level 80, at i430 minimum, but also has the unique feature of syncing up classes, allowing players to level up classes 71 and up (and make up for the lack of a new Deep Dungeon in Shadowbringers).
      • Mounts are available from the start, relieving the slow hike from one point to another. The area is also more condensed in comparison, further shortening the traveling distance.
      • Instead of an Elemental Level and Elemental EXP, you have Resistance Rank and Mettle, which has no heavy bearing on your strength in the instance and requires much less grind to raise. Players under Rank 5 are also able to respawn without penalty, easing up the early-game punishments. Even with the existence of a death penalty, it amounts to a minor slap on the wrist, and can be easily made up so long as you don't respawn back to base and take the even bigger hit to mettle.
      • Lost Actions, the successor to Logos Actions, allows players to carry as much actions as they can within a weight limit, and can quickly assign actions to slots by preference. Previously, players could only carry up to three sets of actions at a time, and there was no way to break paired logos apart. Lost Action Appraisers are also stationed in more places, so players don't have to warp back to the main base to appraise actions.
      • Though the Southern Front is also intended to be the place for Resistance Weapon progression, players that are not interested in the Front's contents can still obtain resources via FATEs or Alliance Raids.
    • Healers have starved for a new job, only having the one healer addition in Heavensward, while tanks and DPS have been obtaining new jobs for their roles in Stormblood and Shadowbringers. Healers had only three to work with, and it stood that way for a full six years until Endwalker gave much-needed love for the role in the form of Sage. It was also telling they were aware of the drought by making it the first job reveal in the February 2021 Announcement Showcase.
    • Another narrative example was done in 5.4 regarding the Sorrows of Werlyt storyline, involving the gross implications of Wife Husbandry between Gaius and Livia. As a villain, this helped make Gaius seem a little more disturbing, which is why it remained, but in 5.4 it was discussed by a friend of the Werlyt children that Gaius actually found Livia's romantic advances creepy, and starting keeping her at arm's reach well before the XIV'th legion's assault on Eorzea in 1.0. This helps make Gaius as a protagonist a bit more likeable by removing the bizarre and gross implications around this type of relationship - albeit by making Livia look even more insane.
  • 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:
    • 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 single handedly (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 inherit 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.
    • As if to one up itself, the climax of 5.3 brings The Seat of Sacrifice with Elidibus as the Warrior of Light. The arena sets the stage on the stakes at hand, fighting for the fate of The First once more with an even more relentless fight than the final boss in 5.0. He's able to utilize powered-up versions of the player's moves, summon spectral warriors of light from other worlds against you, use Limit Breaks, and, to plenty players' shock, can No-Sell the players' own Limit Break with Hallowed Ground! Backed with the Triumphant Reprise that is "To the Edge", the fight is a perfect sendoff to Shadowbringers.
  • 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.
  • 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 a nearly unstoppable badass that goes full Large Ham near the end of the story and giving one of the best boss fights by taking over Shinryu, one of the most powerful primals to date, for being different than previous villains by being unrepentantly evil, and for being the first truly personal nemesis to the Warrior of Light and showing they have much more room to grow by handing them their very first defeat, or they dislike him for being a stereotypical Generic Doomsday Villain that lacks the sympathetic and more complex motives of previous villains like Gaius, Nidhogg 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, that being a recurring and personal antagonist. Additionally, some fans who disliked him in Stormblood admit he's more interesting as a wild card in Shadowbringers.
    • 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.
    • On some parts of the community, Gaius is definetly one, specifically after he's revealed to be Shadowhunter and still alive. Is he The Atoner who has since done a full Heel–Face Turn, and became a more interesting character, or is he a Karma Houdini who only regrets his attempted conquering of Eorzea because the Ascians betrayed him? Opinions are VERY split.
    • Fandaniel during the latter patches of Shadowbringers has also divided people for similar reasons as Zenos above. Does him being an Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum Omnicidal Maniac make him an interesting foil to his Ascien contemporaries or does it make him a Generic Doomsday Villain, especially at this late point of the story?
  • Best Level Ever:
    • On the dungeon side of things, the Praetorium, the Aetherochemical Research Facility, Ala Mhigo, and Amaurot are the climaxes of each respective expansion, and do an incredible job of ending each respective story arc. All of them save the Praetorium are followed up by the Final Boss of the main story, and the fights are loved as well for the setup.
    • In terms of raids, Alexander and Omega are widely considered to be excellent boss gauntlets, filled with unique foes, incredible spectacle, and an awesome story. Omega in particular gets extra points for being a nostalgia trip, summoning bosses from throughout FF history to do battle with you, climaxing in a long scrap against the robot itself. The Eden raids are no slouch either, with the game taking the concept (reliving Primal battles but with heavily remixed mechanics, designs and overall fight structure) and going positively insane with it.
    • Amaurot also qualifies, for being the place where the ancient Ascians 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 Shadowbringers.
    • Holminster Switch, the first dungeon of Shadowbringers, is considered one of the best dungeons in the game's history. Not only is it tone wise so much more different from other first expansion dungeons, two of the three bosses have fun mechanics, and the story leading to it sets up the stakes very well. The theme for it, combined with the first experience of the new Shadowbringers boss theme, makes it stick out heavily.
    • The 30-50 Dark Knight job quest line is a tightly written and powerfully told story that perfectly sets up the mood that the Dark Knight job embodies, and features fan-favorite Fray Myste as your mentor. The story also acts as an interesting look into the role that MMO protagonists take as All Loving Heroes, ruthlessly deconstructing the idea of being the only hope in a world as massive as Eorzea, as well as pointing out the hypocrisy and Ungrateful Bastard nature of the average MMO citizen. And then, in a breathtaking twist, it turns out the entire job quest is a case of Through the Eyes of Madness, and that Fray is actually a direct manifestation of the player character's own frustrations and trauma, climaxing in some serious Mind Screw that goes so far as to bleed into the quest journals. This quest line was so well written that the story writer for it, Natsuko Ishikawa, was promoted to head story writer for Shadowbringers in response to the praise that the job quest has garnered as well as her other projects. The rest of the quest line is pretty awesome too, with the 60-70 line being another standout.
  • 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:
    • Unfortunately, the game has the same problem that World of Warcraft does in that its abilities are spread over too long a period and it’s getting worse each expansion. This huge point of contention—why you see veterans and new players having completely different attitudes toward the game—really just boils down to new players experiencing everything in one go, wheras longtime players experience content bit by bit as its released. If you're been playing since the 1.0 days or ARR's launch then you're probably a lot more fond of the game overall, having seen its growth firsthand. For what it's worth, the developers agree it's a slog: The early reception was so bad that many of the staff working on it were laid off, and Square Enix had to make the game free to play in order to keep fans invested. Because of this, the game underwent an overhaul.
    • Blue Mages, and by extension the entire concept of a Limited Job, has provided one. On one hand there are players thrilled with solo-centric Jobs being created, potentially breathing new 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, or even those who like the concept of a solo-centric Job but feel it's wasted in practice by locking so many of its abilities within dungeons and trials that require either massive overleveling or getting a party together anyway.
    • Unskippable cutscenes in the two 8-man dungeons, Castrum Meridianum and the Praetorium. Both dungeons are unique in that they have extended cutscenes (some of which being voiced in the Praetorium) which set up the climax of A Realm Reborn, as they are the final two dungeons of the base game. With the cutscenes, the dungeons take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the dungeon). Originally the cutscenes were skippable, which led to a problem for new players, as veterans would quickly skip all the cutscenes, forcing newbies to either watch the cutscenes and miss all the fights, or skip the cutscenes so they could actually fight the bosses. Eventually Square Enix made it so that the cutscenes were unskippable so that new players didn't have to choose (and heavily buffed the rewards from the roulette to compensate), but if you look at the official forums, there is almost always a thread up with players arguing about whether or not the cutscenes should be skippable again. Those in favor say that the cutscenes aren't that gripping and that the dungeons are really tedious when you have to stop and watch another cutscene every couple of minutes, while those who think things should remain as they are say that either way, it's the climax of the story, and it's unfair to new players to expect them to skip the climax of the story to satisfy people who aren't even required to do the roulette anyway.
    • The Forbidden Lands of Eureka has drawn particular ire from a rather large subset of the playerbase. One side views it as 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. Meanwhile, 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 with the previous two iterations. About the only consensus reached between the two sides is that 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 machinist, and doubly so upon the realization that no new healer classes would be included in Shadowbringers, leaving healers as the only role to have not received a new class in five years and counting. 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.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The first dungeon in Stormblood, the Sirensong Sea, comes out of nowhere in the middle of your first trip from Eorzea 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. It only seems to exist to provide a dungeon to break up the pace, but it stands out as one of the just weirdest and unncessary story dungeons in the games history.
    • 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).
  • 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 or overwhelmed by simply pumping out damage instead of having to maintain aggro or keep several other people alive; 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 outside of guildhests 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 lest they suffer a One-Hit KO attack from Ifrit's Hellfire.
      • In terms of specific classes, Bard, Black Mage, Machinist, and Red Mage are among the most commonly seen. Not because they are significantly stronger than say, Dragoon, Monk, or Summoner, (when they're at equal ground at least) but because they are significantly easier to play. Generally speaking, their ranged options trivialize some of the dodging required from Melee classes, and don't have to worry about positionals. Specifically, Bard has the mobility to avoid AoEs with ease, and only has to deal with the reactive skill management, upkeep on songs, and maintaining their two Damage Over Time skills, which after a point can both be easily reset with another skill. Outside of those mechanics, their main attack is just a single button with occasional procs on a second one to deal more damage. Black Mage, while affected by the cast-interrupting AoEs, has easier ability upkeep that only requires using the same 3 or 4 abilities or spells in the same order to put out significant amounts of damage and don't have as demanding reaction times as Bards, possibly throwing in the odd spell for extra numbers. The Machinist from Heavensward has similar ease as Bard but with far less randomness to worry about and simpler resource management. Red Mage from Stormblood, even though it suffers a bit from its attempt to be a Jack-of-All-Stats and potential for careless deaths by jumping off the arena, has more mobility than Black Mage and less stringent upkeep needed to play well. It follows a 1-2 rhythm in casting spells and, aside from getting up-close to do the melee combo, is an easy to pick up playstyle without the big cast time constraints if played properly.
    • In any sort of Duty, expect players to save the Limit Break for the DPS to kill a boss faster, especially for Melee DPS who does concentrated single-target damage. The only times the other types are used is either there's no Melee DPS, leaving it up to the Ranged or Magic DPS to throw it down instead, there's a mechanic that requires a Tank Limit Break to survive through, or a Total Party Kill is about to happen and the party needs a Healer Limit Break to save the run.
    • Speed running is notoriously popular for level 50 dungeons. The most common tactic is to have the party's tank pull every trash mob up until either a wall that requires the adds killed or the boss room, and have everyone spam their AoE abilities to quickly kill everything in one shot, which is technically faster than taking on one group at a time.
    • 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 than grinding FATEs in other areas, 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 by buffing teammates, 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.
    • Deep Dungeon-related examples:
      • The Deep Dungeons themselves have 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, 51 to 60note , or 21 to 30note  since these floors are faster to clear compared to the other more difficult floors.
      • 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, there is also the Pomander of Flight from both Deep Dungeons. 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 hit the dungeon's level cap (60 for Palace of the dead, 70 for Heaven-on-High) and thus don't need the experience, opting to use them for safer traversal when picking fights becomes more crucial.
      • Heaven-on-High lacks the Palace's transformations, but it comes with the the very powerful Pomander of Petrification and Magicite, used for similar roles. The Pomander of Petrification turns every enemy on the floor into stone, and can be killed in one shot. If one is at the ready, expect players to sprint the moment it drops to clear the floor as fast as possible before advancing to the next. Magicite, while rare, is essentially a magical, tactical nuke that wipes a floor clean of enemies and grants some invulnerability time on use. Players tend to keep it handy for trivializing the big 4x3 floors, or to put in a big dent in a boss's HP.
    • 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.
    • In terms of races, expect a great abundance of the below mentioned:
      • Miqo'te are the popular player character race that people would pick due to their cute demeanor and being a Little Bit Beastly. Though its populace has been mildly thinned out by other popular races, it did nothing to make a sizable dent in the Cat Girl population. Male Miqo'te, while not nearly as prominent as the female Miqo'te, still has a strong population due to their endearing animations.
      • The Au Ra for both genders became quite popular as well once they became playable for differing reasons; female Au Ra became popular for the same reasons as female Miqo'te, with a little more dainty and petite appeal in comparison. Male Au Ra, on the other hand, has the hard and edgy cool look to their posture and animations.
      • When Shadowbringers dropped, many players jumped aboard the Viera train for their more queenly and composed look to them. The curvier body shape also made them desireable for players looking for something more womanly, but isn't an Amazonian Beauty like the Female Highlander Hyur or Female Roegadyn.
  • Complete Monster: Final Fantasy XIV has these two who show the worst of the Garlean Empire:
    • 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 Warrior of Light, 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.
    • Shadowbringers: Valens van Varro is a commander of the Garlean Empire who wants to use the Oversoul and is motivated by petty jealousy. An abusive boss, Valens would leave them to die without a care if he sees no value in them anymore. Valens forces his young wards to torture a man with a burning rod pressed against his back, in order to warp them into being abusive and cruel like him. Later on, it's revealed that Valens disciplines all of the siblings by using abusive, torturous methods, and this is shown by one of the siblings having permanent scars on her back. He forces a man to go to the Oversoul chamber capsule against his will and lies about how he and his family would be let go with his cooperation. The man's body and mind are gruesomely contorted until it overrides them down to their consciousness entirely.
  • Continuity Lockout: Given how story focused the game is and how many expansions have been released, new players that sign up and then use level boosting/story skipping premium items are going to be missing out on a lot. Special mention will go to the revelation of the Crystal Exarch's identity as G'raha Tia towards the end of Shadowbringers. This will have significantly less impact on players that have not completed the optional Crystal Tower raid. To help avert this, the developers urged players before launch to complete the raid and made it significantly easier to unlock so that they could play it, before outright making it mandatory to complete the raid in 5.3.
  • Creator Worship: It's not an overstatement to say that fans treat Naoki Yoshida like a godsdamn rockstar, every Fan Festival he is surrounded by screaming fans eager to catch him in the flesh. He is adorned with fanart and character creator tributes from other video games, most notably in Nioh 2 where a fan won a character creator competition and got a character creator preset based on Yoshida in the game. That being said composer Masayoshi Soken and writer Natsuko Ishikawa also get a lot of the worship too.
  • 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 in Stormblood 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.
    • Feelsbringers rounds out a trifecta with the Emissary Elidibus, the person who became Zodiark's heart, and who later detached himself from him in order to help his comrades, having changed into a primal in the process. Echo memories show other Amaurotines complimenting his studiousness and reminding him not to bury himself too deeply in work. It's revealed that he was appointed to guide the star upon its proper course, having made a sacred promise to someone, but his unyielding conviction and the relentless grinding of the long millennia have made him forget the reason for his actions. Lying defeated after the titanic clash between Warrior of Light and Warrior of Darkness, he is revealed to be an Amaurotine who donned the mantle of the Emissary out of love for his fellow man, which at last he finally remembers in a dying moment of clarity.

    D-F 
  • Damsel Scrappy:
    • Many consider Minfilia to be this for getting herself captured multiple times and never fighting back against her captors/enemies, despite carrying a custom knife.
    • To a lesser extent, Momozigo of the Samurai questline. After a certain point, the player almost always coming to his rescue while he's standing there cowering.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • The Non Player Characters you race against in the chocobo races gradually become more difficult as you rise in the ranks. The difficulty increase isn't too bad, but by the time you start racing in the R-80 races or higher, the AI becomes more aggressive by instantly using abilities to counter any debuffs you inflict on them, their own chocobos can outperform yours, and you won't be spared any mercy when it comes to the items being used against you.
    • Two notable spikes are the dungeons Brayflox's Longstop and the Stone Vigil. The earlier dungeons tend to be fairly straightforward, with mechanics generally limited to avoiding telegraphed attacks and killing newly-spawned monsters; their focus is getting players used to their role in the party and working as a group. The aforementioned dungeons begin to kick things up a notch, introducing fundamental mechanics to begin preparing players for endgame content. The former has a boss fight that forces the tank to kite the boss out of puddles that would heal them, while the latter makes players juggle side mechanics to keep certain attacks in check. Wipes are not uncommon among new players.
    • The Steps of Faith trial is a huge wake up call to players who got used to the simple mechanics that the story quests threw their way. The trial calls for several mechanics to be used all at once and winning the fight requires more than just poking the boss to death or avoiding AOE tells. The trial leaves very little room for error to boot, so one too many screw ups means you've basically lost and a single player who isn't paying attention or isn't doing the mechanics correctly can also cost the party.
    • The Heavensward expansion ups the difficulty across the board, although you are most likely to notice it when you face off against the first new Primal, Ravana. He summons butterflies that, when left alone, summons a sword that powers up his phase-changing ultimate attack, forcing players to split their efforts to killing the butterflies quickly. On the second half of his fight, the walls start breaking down, and he has an attack that will blow players into the walls, potentially for an instant-kill if you're thrown out of the arena.
    • This happens again in Stormblood, where mechanics introduced in raids are thrown in the mix.
      • By a lot of accounts, the level 69 dungeon is a lot more difficult than the dungeon after it. The reason being that the 2nd boss has a mechanic where if you do not get it right, your party will end up killing itself. And the only way to get it right is to look at the flavor text of the boss's buffs (who does that?). The 3rd boss lays down a gauntlet of AOE attacks, some of which you may have to prioritize which one's worth avoiding and which one's worth taking the hit.
    • The Final Boss for Stormblood is considered to be a massive difficulty spike for many due to the sheer amount of mechanics to deal with and having very little room for mistakes.
    • The new class quests for Stormblood's Red Mage and Samurai also suffer from this early on. You don't actually have to be at Stormblood to unlock them, able to start playing as them as soon as you reach level 50 and talk to the relevant NPC, and they give gear that is sufficient for the starting level 50 and the level 52 quests for them. Problem is, while they don't require you to be at Stormblood to unlock them, their quests are still designed as if they do - once you hit the level 54 quest, the amount of damage the enemies do skyrockets, without a player stuck in the pre-Heavensward section of the game being able to do much about being killed in four hits beyond gradually grinding out tomestones for augmented Ironworks gear - which is itself only barely an improvement despite being bar none the best gear available at that point in the game.
    • After Deltascape and Sigmascape were considered to be relatively easy on normal difficulty, Alphascape kicked up the difficulty a lot. V1 is not too hard and V2 is not terrible, but V3 and V4 are very intense. V3 is particularly hard as the boss has 2 attacks that require you to know where its larboard and starboard sides are at any given moment (or even what "larboard" meansnote ), and then figure out where they are in the opposite direction moments later, with the attack coming out rather fast and with floor markers that essentially just exist to tell you whether you made it to the right position or not before damage hits.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • 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, where he remains popular for those quests and frequent facial expressions that dip just far enough into the Uncanny Valley to be hilarious rather than creepy.
    • 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 horde 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. She may be a Culinarian by trade, but she's the only person that makes Godbert tremble in fear, and rightfully so; one smack of her frying pan is enough to put him in his place, and makes the Warrior of Light fear for their life.
    • Sisipu, the only other NPC from 1.0 that everyone apparently remembers by name.
    • As of ARR, HAMON HOLYFIST is easily the most popular (and hilarious, and lovable) of the class guild-masters, due to his hammy, larger-than-life vigor.
    • 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.
    • 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 after having gone 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) and her implied close relationship to Urianger 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 ends up nearly worshipping 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 making 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 initial Dark Knight job trainer, for 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 Fray.
    • 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), directly assists with fighting Lakshmi in Ala Mhigo and protects the innocents, and goes toe-to-toe with Ifrit offscreen when the Warrior of Light has their hands tied elsewhere. Arenvald gained quite a following with many fans wanting to see him develop further. With the introduction of the Trust system in Shadowbringers, a number of fans have begged for Arenvald to be added to it as a Tank due to the system having only one during it's run (Thancred).
    • 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, to the point that a minion was made of her.
    • 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 whether it is truly divine, the priest that believes it to be true is so earnest about it, players couldn't help but play along. It helps that the serpent is strangely cute in its own unique way, is rewarded as a minion at the end of the questline, and has multiple incarnations in the Qitari Beast Tribe story that all get made into a minion.
      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 WoL 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.
    • Near the end of Shadowbringers, there's a cute little Easter Egg of a shoebill popping up in the background of main quests. Then it starts showing up at the bottom of the ocean. Its tendency to appear in places inappropriate for birds and how it drops as a minion from Amaurot, of all places, has caused people to theorize that it's Emet-Selch. The description of it says ""An unflappable bird possessed of a regal air...or perhaps simply a condescending one," which would describe the character in question. It does not help that Natsuko Ishikawa teased that there might be a significance.
    • The "Warrior of Light is a Primal" theory suggests that the player character is actually a Primal summoned by people desperate for a hero to save them. Evidence that supports this is that you suddenly appeared in Eorzea with no background history, your aetherial manipulation is quite advanced for a mere adventurer and you become stronger as more people learn of your exploits, suggesting their faith in the player is powering them. This has been all Jossed in 5.0 but an interesting twist happens in 5.3: (Major Spoilers) Elidibus gathers the faith of Norvradnt in their desire for a hero and turns into a Primal version of the first Warrior of Light based off of their legends. In a way, this theory has been validated but not in the way it was expected to be.
    • After the big reveal in 5.3 that the Warrior of Light was part of the Convocation of Fourteen as Azem and the implications that Azeyma and Azim may have been based on Azem. In particular fans have noticed that the symbolism surrounding Nald'thal namely the twins, the underworld and sort of commerce can also apply to Emet-Selch/Hades. Though there are some who think Thaliak is Emet-Selch/Hades for the sake of shipping with him with Azim. Which further leads to the more questions about just who the Twelve actually are and how they're connected to the Ascians.
  • Even Better Sequel:
    • Heavensward is commonly seen as this for A Realm Reborn. More interesting zones, a deeper story, a change in English voice cast (which, save for losing Gideon Emery as Urianger, is often met with high praise), flying mounts, a suite of new mechanics for each class as well as the introduction of class-specific meters, the introduction of Dark Knight and Astrologian, and some of the best Trials and Dungeons in the game, all coming with a much more consistent level of polish than before.
    • Shadowbringers is somehow this to Heavensward and Stormblood, featuring a bunch of class rebalancing, a fantastic new world to explore in The First, and a truly epic story that finally reveals some of the darkest secrets of the FFXIV universe. Also helping is the new Trust system, allowing for a nearly total single-player experience and the near-elimination of story-based Duty Queues (you still have to queue up for Trials, but there are only three trials in the entire MSQ, four if you include the Seat of Sacrifice in 5.3), one of the biggest flaws the game has had since launch.
    • And just in general, by the time Shadowbringers rolled around, XIV became this to a number of previous FF titles of its generation and genre, Final Fantasy XI in particular. XI was good, it was a surprisingly competent and engaging MMO for its era and for a company that previously had possessed almost no institutional knowledge of online gaming, but it began showing its age very quickly and its overall contribution to the progression of the genre and the medium was fairly minimal (aside, perhaps, from demonstrating that a story-heavy MMO was something feasible and accomplishable, which was actually a point of debate during its prime years). XIV, meanwhile, essentially became the defining MMO of The New '10s, a Cinderella story for the ages that firmly established the careers of dozens if not hundreds of people, established whole new baselines for expectations concerning multiplayer cooperative content (especially for "bosses"), for the use of music in such games, for presentation in general in the genre, and it built upon XI's work in such a way that "a good/solid storyline" went from an afterthought for an MMO or online game to a virtual requirement and bar against which other titles were measured. It went to such lengths that even longtime rival World of Warcraft had clear influence from XIV in its Shadowlands expansion in 2020.
  • 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.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With World of Warcraft. Being the two most prominent MMORP Gs in the Genre, it was only natural that this would happen. But the Rivalry really intensified after Shadowbringers released. About a year prior, WOW released the Battle For Azeroth expansion, which, while it initially reviewed well, began to frustrate the players with the endgame experience. Then, Shadowbringers was released and was a massive smash-hit, becoming beloved by both fans and critics alike. As the good press continued to pour in about Shadowbringers, quite a few WOW players decided to check it out, and a lot of them elected to switch games and make XIV their new "main" MMO.
  • Fanon: If you're reading a fanfic that ships a female Warrior of Light and Emet-Selch, you can expect her Ancient name to have been Persephone, to match his.
  • Foe Yay Shipping:
    • Zenos/Warrior of Light has a following, due to it being easy to read sexual undertones into his lines about fighting them. Namely, "let this moment last forever", "how glorious the violence within you", and "like a moth to a flame...but why else would you come if not for this?".
    • Magnai/Sadu. He hates her for her impertinence, she mocks his arrogance and loves riling him up. The fandom quickly became enamored of the idea of Sadu being Magnai's destined wife, partially because of Magnai's inevitable reaction and partially because their dynamic is genuinely that good.
    • Emet-Selch/Warrior of Light has become one of the most famous examples in the game. It helps that the Warrior of Light used to be Emet-Selch's dearest friend before the sundering of the world. The romantic subtext is very much present, and even stronger in the Japanese version, with Emet-Selch joining the ranks of the few NPCs whose relationship with the protagonist is kept purposely ambiguous on that end.

    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.
    • The Binding Coil of Bahamut Raid Series has been subject to this to some extent. Because the Raid is much harder than the other normal-mode 8-man Raid Content, it doesn't show up on the Raid Roulette. Due to this, it's much harder to get into it if you don't have a group of players willing to get into it. As a result, many players are of the opinion that it's just easier and less frustrating to masssively overlevel the content and then go in Unsynced and solo the entire raid series.
  • 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.
    • A very round about example that requires knowledge of astrological signs, other Final Fantasy games, and a dive into the game's very text files. Each Ascian has a title that came from the Occuria from Final Fantasy XII, and each title has an astrological sign attached to it. During patch 5.3, the Warrior of Light comes across multiple stones with astrological signs on them, each one belonging to a member of the Convocation of 14, recording their memories. A little bit before this, the Warrior of Light experiences a memory of Elidibus, leader of the Ascians, in which he is talked to by two of his fellow members who tell him he needs to slow down. In the scene, they are simply called "convocation members", but the text file for their dialogue reveals their actual names. After defeating him, in his final moments the Warrior of Light places all the stones they found before him, and he dies clutching two specific stones. If you read the text file and know which zodiac signs go with which Ascian titles, you will realize that his final thoughts were of Lahabrea and Igeyorhm, the two unnamed people from his memory.
    • According to Encyclopedia Eorzea, scholars believe the behemoths are spawned from Bahamut. In the real world, Bahamut and Behemoth have the same etymological origin.
  • 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 even worse with some FATEs which spawn in enemies that are identical in all but name to the existing mobs in that area, like "Staying Dead" in Western Thanalan spawning Dune Bogies in the middle of an area otherwise already occupied by Bloated Bogies, or "Thunderstruck" in the East Shroud where the Tempered Sylphs you actually need to fight are surrounded on both sides of a bridge by Sylvan Groans, Screams and Soughs; these existing enemies will be labeled as FATE targets, thus unable to be attacked unless you level-sync yourself to the FATE, but do not actually contribute towards completing it.
    • 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. On the plus side, with the introduction of Blue Mage, they can copy the ability, which lets you give the toads a taste of their own medicine and stuns your target for a couple of seconds once they're dragged in, an ability the toads (thankfully) don't get.
    • 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 Deep Dungeons. 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. Thankfully, Infatuate is an interruptible spell... provided, of course, that your job has an interrupt move. Failing that, you can inflict Stun to interrupt it instead. Failing that, you can one-shot them with the Pomander of Rage, or Baleful Polymorph them with the Pomander of Witching... again provided, of course, that you have one.
    • 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 slimes 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!
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • Vishnap, the boss of The Steps of Faith Trial that acts as the Final Boss of ARR, isn't hard like other Trials, but it seen more as a frustrating and tedious fight because of the unusual method of fighting him. Basically he's a Advancing Boss of Doom that you have to beat by using cannons and harpoons to take chunks of his HP down as he slowly marches towards the gates of Ishgard. The issue is that it's a fight that doesn't convey these mechanics well, adds appear constantly to distract players, and because of how the boss is designed, players deal Scratch Damage to him. Plus because the boss is moving, casters are often forced to run slightly ahead of the group to attack and not worry about range. It's considered a frustrating fight just because of all these.
    • The Dragon's Neck from ARR isn't hard at all from an overall difficulty angle. Both bosses, Ultros and Typhon, don't have strong attacks, and both go down relatively easily. What makes it one of the most annoying Trials though are the mechanics both have: Ultros will randomly turn people into Imps, leaving them with a weak attack that does little to contribute to the ongoing fight, while Typhon can blow you off the ring, forcing you to be stunned for a few seconds while you wait to jump back in. Both of these turn a simple fight into one people despise, espcially because there isn't really a way to counter their attacks; Ultros will just turn people into Imps without a way to undo it (and the debuff is almost a minute long), and Typhon will blow you off the stage sometimes without a player being able to avoid it, especially when he starts spinning around the room blowing air.
  • 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, it 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.
    • When the Nie R Automata raid was first introduced, the final boss had a glitch where a dying red dragon NPC rarely spawned, crying out for her love. While this came from the pre-existing Dark Knight job questline (and indeed, the reason the bug was so rare was that it only happened to players who were at a particular point in this questline), plenty of people thought that it was a reference to Drakengard and assumed it was a Mythology Gag or a piece of Drakennier lore until the devs corrected it.
  • 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.
    • The latter half of the Qitari Beast Tribe storyline concerns an unknown disease that infected Qitari workers during their excavation of the Ronkan ruins and was inadvertently spread through the rest of the Rak'tika Greatwood from there, leaving several people on the brink of death. While the questline was written well before the COVID-19 outbreak had reached pandemic levels, it can still be somewhat difficult to play through for those using the game as a reprieve from current events.
    • Moenbryda makes a throwaway comment to the player character about how she would give her life if it meant making the light blade to kill the Ascians. Turns out she was 100% serious about it and follows through on it to kill Nabriales.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The fact that Patch 3.4 introduced 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.
    • So remember all those times Magnai looked down on everyone and boasted because he believed he was Azim the Sun Father? It's quite hard not to laugh considering he was telling this to the closest thing to a reincarnation of his god.
    • A 2019 April Fools comic shows a High School alternate universe where Alphinaud and Alisaie go to Ishgard Academy wearing appropriate uniforms. In 2020, it was announced that they will make those uniforms available in the game complete with Ishgard emblem.
  • 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. Fueling this speculation was the fact that Gaius cannot be fought in Palace of the Dead when other slain antagonists can. 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 Bodynote  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 personal 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.
    • Similarly from ''Shadowbringers', while the actual death scene is agreed to be beautiful, many people who love Emet-Selch theorize he didn't actually die or will be able to come back, untempered and ready for a redemption arc. This is thanks to the rather suspicious way he goes out compared to other Ascians, his as-yet unused clone bodies on the Source, and the fact that the white auracite was shattered before he was struck with the Light-axe. Natsuko Ishikawa's coy statement that he's "believed" to have been completely destroyed only adds fuel to the fire.
      • As of 5.3 after the transition phase of the Seat of Sacrifice trial, an Ascian helps out the Warriors of Dark by helping them escape the alternate dimension. What tips off who this Ascian might be is, as they disappear to let the Warriors of Dark resume the fight, they do Emet-Selch's trademark handwave.
  • 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.
    • There's another Mi'qote in Ala Ghiri who says both men and women of the Resistance are welcome to make use of her services.
    • 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.
    • Shadowbringers has this pop up in its postgame content between Ryne and Gaia during the Eden raid questline, such that Ryne essentially asks Gaia out on a date to sample a treat in the Crystarium's cafe. By the end of the questline, Gaia even begins to reciprocate. Their relationship continues to be developed and plays a key part through the final stages of the raid. The final raid battle even involves a segment delving into Gaia's memories of her time spent with Ryne.
  • 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.
  • In Memoriam: The English VA for Master Matoya, Sheila Steafel, passed away during the time period between the end of the Stormblood patches and patch 5.4 of Shadowbringers. As a dedication to her, Y'shtola's first line mentioning Matoya has a subtle shout out in her memory.
    Y'shtola: Yet there is an authority on familiars to whom we may grudgingly turn. She's stubborn, haughty, eccentric, irrascible, laconic, annoying—and her name is Master Matoya. The real one.
  • 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.

  • 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. Worse, while the coffer is a unique item, preventing players from rolling on it if they already have one, this check only looks for the coffer, not the items inside it, allowing players to go for multiple copies and making the odds worse for everyone.

    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: In spite of the game's attempts to portray them as intimidating, machiavellian schemers and powerful sorcerers manipulating the affairs of the world from the shadows, many of the Ascians have... less than flattering depictions by the fanbase for one reason or another.
    • Despite being one of the main antagonists for A Realm Reborn and being the acknowledged 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, his rather stock and one-note Smug Snake characterization, as well the fact that even his fellow Ascians show him no respect whatsoever. Has become something of an Ascended Meme, as even after his death, whenever he gets brought up by one of his colleagues it's usually just to point out how incompetent he was. To add some meta salt in the wound, he doesn't even have a unique boss theme, unlike his other unsundered brethren! It's to the point that not even Yoshi-P and translator/lore developer Michael Christopher Koji Fox can remember his name during the announcement of his return in the 6.x 8-Man Raid Series Pandæmonium!
    • His fellow Ascian Elidibus has begun to attain this status around the end of Stormblood, due to having multiple plans blow up in his face and getting beaten down by two separate characters in rapid succession, one of them offscreen. At the end of Shadowbringers, he even acknowledges that his status as a manipulative schemer has fallen to pieces and that he's basically winging it now. Fortunately, he rebounded hard with patches 5.2 and 5.3, turning around into being a very popular villain through his very sympathetic background and rather awesome final battle.
    • Fandaniel became one of these in his debut cutscene. His claim to "fame" is giving a hammy evil monologue... to an utterly bored-looking Zenos who doesn't even remember his name. Even his green-lighting of Fandaniel's plan sounds more like he just wants the guy to shut up and leave already. It also doesn't help that he possesses Asahi, one of the most punchable characters in the story.
  • 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.
    • Thanks to Shadowbringers, there are a number of people who claim that the Ascians are right, and that the heroes are dumb for not helping them, or at least, that the heroes are wrong for stopping them. The game repeatedly has the heroes acknowledge that the Ascians' goal of restoring their people after the doom that befell them is an understandable motive, but that their past doesn't justify all the innocent lives ruined by them. It gets to the point that even though, by patch 5.3, it gets acknowledged that even if they succeed things cannot be as they once were before, some players still think the Ascians are justified, no matter how much the game points out their plans are doomed.
  • 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 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 address 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 easier 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 WoL and Tataru at Costa Del Sol ends with Tataru pulling a rather suspicious smirk after the WoL leaves. Even long after the whole Monetarists arc is done and dusted people still use it as evidence she will eventually betray the Scions. That being said, the Monetarists arc does come off somewhat as having ended because the devs simply forgot about it rather than because it came to a proper conclusion, so who knows.
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    O 
  • Older Than They Think: While the series using different names for races similar to each other (for example, Elvaan and Elezen) is nothing new, the twist of the protagonist entering a familiar world using different race names from what they are used to was used in Final Fantasy: Lost Stranger, which was published in 2017, two years before Shadowbringers.

    P-R 
  • Padding: Invoked with the Seventh Astral Era. One of the reasons it's so long is because Square-Enix was stalling for time as Heavensward wasn't ready to go yet. While they have decided to cut some of the filler, it's still eighty quests long, which includes things such as trying to play hide and seek with Doman refugees.
  • 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 Mhigans 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, though far from ready to give in completely, is still jaded and tired, barely able to get their countrymen to even support their actions, much less join them. 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.
  • 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. Several expansions later, Alphinaud's role as The Lancer to the Player Character is welcome and beloved.
    • Machinist had a bad history of being a Tier-Induced Scrappy since its introduction, being attached to the frustrating "mage bard" mechanics that forced cast times on all their skills in Heavensward with Gauss Barrel, and an unworkably overly complicated overheating system in Stormblood that required players to punish themselves with a pacification for 10 seconds of buffed damage, all of this with randomness on their procs that were weighed by how many limited-supply bullets they had, and their biggest burst skill in Wildfire required mashing out as many skills as possible. Shadowbringers finally ditched bullets and overheating entirely in favor of meters that caused three different burst phases that compliment each other, reworked Wildfire to be nowhere near as frustrating, fixed their rotation and upped their damage to effectively be the Ranged DPS counterpart to Black Mage and Samurai. All of these changes combined with new spells that are a Mythology Gag to Edgar made Machinist go from a rarely-seen job in endgame to a frequent sight in all forms of content.
    • White Mage was heavily shafted in its Stormblood run with its early iteration of lilies and focus on being the "pure healer". On paper, lilies would reduce the cooldown of other healing abilities, allowing the White Mage to rapidly churn out healing spells. In practice, lilies went completely unused, due to how you gain them: casting Cure I or II, forcing the job to rely on using the global cooldown to utilize lilies and discouraging use of other spells if they wanted to generate the max amount of 3. Even worse, the very first iteration didn't always guarantee a lily; it used to be generated by chance. As the cherry on top, the "Secret of the Lily II" trait, which reduced cooldown by five seconds, was often forgotten, because it was a 20% chance to proc on Critical Heal, which is already a low chance as it is. The lilies were counter-productive to the job's philosophy of "powerful heals and powerful spells", and the return for using them had next to no impact. At the very least, it didn't fail at its job by any stretch of the imagination, but its other healer brethren did theirs just as effectively with extra utility that made them more desirable. Come Shadowbringers, their lilies were given a much-welcome rework, generating one lily every 30 seconds of combat and is used to cast two instant-cast healing spells, then rewarding usage of those lilies with an extremely powerful spell. These changes made White Mages a proper parallel to Black Mage, making its raw power a major selling point.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Among the English voice cast for A Realm Reborn, Thancred is voiced by Taliesin Jaffe and Alphinaud is voiced by Sam Riegel. They were decently-recognized voice actors at the time, but these days Critical Role fans are likely to flip out at hearing Percival and Scanlan voicing two of the game's leads. For better or worse, though, they depart the game alongside the rest of the Los Angeles cast come Heavensward.
  • 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 and always goes to whichever aetheryte you designated as your home beacon in return) and by marking a handful of Aetherytes as favorites (which gives you a slight discount on them). 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 FATEs 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.
    • 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 (primarily improving it by not forcing you to precisely micromanage when you completely fill the gauge).
    • 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. Stormblood and Shadowbringers make it worse with areas that are split in half: you visit one part of the area early on in the story (The Fringes and The Peaks of Ala Mhigo in Stormblood, Amh Araeng and Kholusia in Shadowbringers), but are blocked from visiting the other half (and acquiring its related Aether Currents) until near the end of the story. It's even worse because these are some of the largest zones in the game and Shadowbringers removed mount-speed increases related to story progression (requiring you to grind out FATEs in a zone to unlock the ability to buy them), making navigating even one half of these areas a massive chore.
    • 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. Also that everything beyond floor 100 is just bonus, the storyline ends at floor 100. 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.
    • 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 system, as a whole, is one of the most often 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), plus apartments cannot have multiple users living in them like a house can, which is one of the main reasons people want a house in game. The housing timer, which was put into place to help players try and get a house, has done little to alleviate the issue because of the steep timer on it that usually goes for hours, incentivizing players to remain up for hours and essentially camp outside so that they always can bid on it before others can, and less scrupulous players still managed to find a way to sell their plots by exploiting company housing. The developers intermittently add 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.
    • The targeting system, especially in wide-open areas with a lot of enemies spread out but still within targeting or especially attacking distance. Short of just using the mouse to directly click on enemies to target them in keyboard and mouse controls, it opens up way too many opportunities to pull more enemies than your group can handle because of the game's odd tendency, no matter what you've set in the options, to respond to you pressing the target-change button by prioritizing an enemy on the far side of the room for no particular reason.
    • Most MMORPGs and MMO-Adjacent games have a "Main arc" and every expansion has a series of quests after said main arc. And Final Fantasy XIV is no exception. Unfortunately, many of these will allow you to skip these if you joined later, which Final Fantasy XIV does not. This means that you are forced to undergo tedious arcs in between each expansion - which can take well over thirty plus hours. Newcomers in particular are forced to sit through an arc between the original endgame and Heavensward that even the developers admit took too long, while anyone who wants to play through with them feel like they are forced to purchase skips. While long-time players may not think this is as bad, it's worth pointing out that initially this stuff was released in pieces over the course of months or even years. Therefore, a lot of players were given time to cool down between the tedious filler things, whereas newcomers will go through it all at once. The "fixes" to A Realm Reborn and the 7th Astral Era made some feel this does very little to make the experience better for alts or newcomers, especially since there is no way short of paying to skip this.
      • The "Waking Sands" issue in particular, which requires the player to frequently return to a building which has no quick and easy way to get to it (either teleporting to Horizon and running from there, or teleporting to Limsa Lominsa and taking the ferry from near the Arcanists' Guild). The fix for this was for a few MSQ quests to award consumable items that immediately teleport you to the Waking Sands (since just plopping an Aetheryte Crystal in the town would break one of the main story beats of the 2.1 content).
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Newcomers can feel this towards the Seventh Astral Era, owing mostly to its massive length with the abridged version still being eighty quests long. Square-Enix was stalling for time before the release of Heavensward, and it shows. This unfortunately means that it is full of what feels like an extended Filler arc, with the player being forced to arbitrarily stop for no visible reason. The post-Heavensward and Stormblood periods had no such need to stall, therefore they feel much much better paced - for comparison, .
    • 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 Quests.
    • 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 who wasn't received as well, 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.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: A Realm Reborn singlehandledly saved FFXIV, and played a major role in pulling Square Enix out of a rut it had been in for years and back into a successful company. Its advanced but still simple to grasp combat, a unique story focused on making the player an actual character compared to other games of its genre, and the overall improvements made to it compared to the original launch helped elevate the game into a strong contender in the genre, ultimately becoming perhaps the only subscription-based MMO to ever seriously threaten World of Warcraft's spot as the most well-known. As time has gone on, the originally ARR has come to be seen more negatively though, as it serves as a barrier to the much more polished expansions that have come to define the game's popularity, especially things like the simplistic story, bosses, classes, etc. It's not uncommon to have people who joined after any of the expansions released to say that the ARR section of the story is the biggest hurdle in enjoying the game, something the developers themselves have come to agree with.
  • 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 patch-released quests in the entire game, with a whopping 100 quests needed to be completed, after the almost 200 from 2.0 itself. 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 same issues also happen during one of Heavensward's patches in which Aymeric is stabbed... the knife clips his clothes and he just clutches the wound, which shows no sign of bleeding.
      • Late in Heavensward, Y'shtola sees someone stumbling in and apparently is wounded. Yet she just looks tired because there are no wounds on her at all. It makes the characters look like they're freaking out over nothing.
    • 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!
    • Many pieces of armor are not designed to go with certain hairstyles or equipment, meaning you can have hair clipping into a chest piece, or weapons going through certain pieces of clothing. Weapons also suffer from this issue, meaning there are times during cutscenes where your characters armor clips through hair or gear, or where the characters weapon looks just off.
    • At the end of 5.3, the crystallization of the Crystal Exarch is jarringly pixellated and looks much less detailed than it was meant to be. Heck, the loaves of bread made during the patch look noticeably better detailed than it!
  • 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. Granted, 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 (almost ten seconds) cast time in order to get another party member back into the fight without tying up the healer for several seconds. This was later nullified with the introduction of role actions, of which Swiftcast was made one for all spellcasters, so any Conjurer/White Mage that's at the appropriate level to have Raise will also have Swiftcast.
    • 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. Even as Summoners have been reworked over the years and the role of each summon has been adjusted, using Titan-Egi often results in negative reactions even if the player makes sure not to mess with aggro.
    • For level 46-49, FATE events are the best way to level due to being fairly starved of quests (even the main story quests completely skip levels 47 and 48), 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 tries to complete the objective anyway.
    • 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 still crops up. 4.2 finally found a mostly-acceptable balance, by making the cutscenes unskippable (meaning new players aren't left in the dust trying to enjoy the story) and giving the rewards for completing them a significant boost in return for the noticeably larger time investment required to watch those cutscenes (letting them stay an attractive option for griding out tomestones and, by that point in the game's life, leveling classes further).
    • 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.
    • Patch 5.2 and 5.3 sees Matt Stokoe recast as Elidibus after a five-year absence from Heavensward. What's noteworthy is that we begin to hear Eldibus's voice slowly transition from the dull monotone from Heavensward to a bombastic Large Ham, especially as The Warrior of Light, as we begin to explore his character. His performance during the "Seat of Sacrifice" trial in particular is praised as one of the most memorable in the game, rivaling that of René Zagger's.
  • 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:
    • 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 Achievement: "True Blue", which is achieved by unlocking "Blue Unchained" and "Masked Conqueror". Now, how do you get those? For the former, completion of the final tiers in the Binding Coils of Bahamut in a full Blue Mage-only party with no Echo and no Undersized Party. The latter is the same thing, but for the Savage-difficulty level of Alexander. Considering both have their own respective infamous boss fights detailed in That One Boss, compounded with the weird balancing act Blue Mage has, you're not going to get that Morbol mount for a while.
  • 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 that are at level 1, which means you're already handicapped with your performance. Second, past the first set of quests 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. It used to be even worse, because the status effect the game applies to let you use the crafting facilities that are necessary to craft airship parts would also randomly apply a debuff to you for no reason (such as lowering the amount of CP you have to use skills with or disabling cross-class skills) - and, if you were trying to craft multiple components to complete several quests at once, new debuffs would stack with previous ones, requiring you to cancel out the previous effect before starting on the next set of items.
    • 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 Halfstone and 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.
    • To a lesser extent is "The Eyes Have It" in the Coerthas Central Highlands, for several reasons: it being one of the few raid boss-style FATEs in the 2.0 areas, and the one whose target, Steropes, has a mountain of HP that generally requires half of the allotted 30 minutes to take down; his instant-kill area of effect attack, which when he uses he likes to use a lot, and which for some reason only got the charge bar saying that he's preparing for it, and not the usual marker actually showing its area of effect (and thus how far you need to go to avoid it), until patch 5.3; the sheer number of "Second Eyes" he has as backup, who will constantly pelt you with boulders from afar, and even once they've been killed will all respawn in one group after a few minutes to overwhelm you again; the FATE's location also placing you in the middle of a group of Chincillas, who will aggro on you if you get too close due to the FATE bringing you back down to their level range; its placement putting it in the way of several sidequests and leves for that part of the Highlands; and the simple fact that, in the process of dodging the constant stream of shit from four or five different enemies at once, it's incredibly easy to accidentally pull Steropes out of the FATE's area, whereupon unless there's someone else able to pull his attention he will lose interest, run back to the center, and instantly regenerate his far-too-high HP. On the other hand, it rightfully doesn't spawn very often, and if you do complete it you get an absolutely adorable Pudgy Puk minion.
    • Getting anything for a prize in the Gold Saucer due to the absurd prices and the relatively low payouts for the mini-games - enough that it's genuinely faster to rely on the related weekly challenges in your Challenge Log (which, tellingly, mainly consist of playing minigames and not winning particularly big at them). Want to unlock a new hairstyle? 8000 MGP. Want that complete set of the Gambler outfit? Several tens of thousands of MGP. Got your eye on that Fenrir mount? That'll cost you one million MGP. 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 Typhon's snort attack 5 times in a row in order to win the game. How do you win? Pick a spot and pray Typhon doesn't hit there. 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 doing well in 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.
      • "The Slice Is Right" is essentially "Any Way the Wind Blows" without as many luck-based elements, but there's still enough of them to grate on some's nerves - particularly the second-to-last phase, where Yojimbo sets out three cups, one with a pile of MGP that doubles your earnings, one with nothing underneath, and one with his attack dog who will automatically knock you off the stage if you selected its cup. Like Typhon's attacks in his GATE, which cup holds which is entirely luck-based - you have technically better odds of being able to finish it at this point, at least in as far as you can actually calcuate your chances of success or failure, but the fact that one choice out of the three available immediately knocks you out of the game still makes it incredibly annoying.
    • 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 are 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.
    • While the Shadowbringers relic quest line has been made overall easier, one of the last steps requires getting eight-teen of a specific type of crystal. All of them can be obtained through Fates, the Bozjan Front, and Alliance Raids, but where it becomes an issue is the second part of the quest where you must obtain two different sets of crystals. The issue is that both sets are divided into different areas; one set can only be obtained by running either the Heavensward Alliance Raids, or by doing Fates in Gyr Abania, while the other set is obtained from either the Stormblood Alliance Raids, or by doing Fates in Othard. The issue is that Fates, the most time efficient method for the previous set, lack a one-hundred percent drop rate, meaning a player may need to grind a lot of different Fates to even get a single drop, between two different areas complete with three zones each. Due to this on top of low drop chances in Bozja, it's seen as the worst part of the quest line and many hope it gets fixed to remove the excess grinding.
  • 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!
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Fans cried foul when they saw that patch 2.2 enabled the Echo buff in certain late- and 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 
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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. This is especially bad for classes that get reworks for expansions; the Summoner rework from Stormblood to Shadowbringers was such a drastic change that some players swore off leveling it because of how overwhelming the changes were.
    • 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 now dungeons like Castrum and Praetoruim end with a plot exposition afterwards, then a trial for the final boss.
    • While many were happy that the extraneous quests in Post-ARR is getting cut, others aren't happy that the scenes that they do like also ended up getting the axe as well.
  • 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 WoL 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.
    • Koh Rabntah has merged her mind with Noah, a famous Allagan. This would mean that they are the last person on Hydaelyn who could give insights on Allagan society and technology, which a person like Cid could find very useful. Sadly, this character is nothing but a repeatable fetch quest.
  • 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. There's no story line 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 leading into Shadowbringers was a fairly easy Duel Boss that lacked any difficulty.
    • This is one complaint about Stormblood in general, especially when it comes to Ala Mhigo. While Doma suffered from a squish, it had more room to breathe than Ala Mhigo. For comparison, Ala Mhigo's loose ends were all tied up in one patch, whereas Doma's took two.
  • 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 Omega raids in Stormblood are considered better than the Alexander raids, but lack the same appealing story that the Binding Coils had due to feeling less intertwined with the main story. It wouldn't be until the Eden raids in Shadowbringers that an 8-man raid questline managed to be considered better than the Coils, in part of having interesting boss fights and an engaging story that ties up the loose ends with The First.
    • Heavensward was absolutely beloved for its much more involved story compared to ARR and interesting characters with a variety of twists and turns. Stormblood, while not hated, was considered a pretty big let down due to having a less focused storyline that was split into two fronts, with the Ala Mhigo side being considered generally underwhelming despite being arguably the more important side of the two. However, Shadowbringers has been universally considered a return to form, due to having a very involved storyline with lots of tragic moments, great characters, a brand new and unknown world, and what is considered the best Final Fantasy villain in years, if not in general. Many would say it even dethrones Heavensward as the best story arc of XIV.
    • The Labyrinth of the Ancients raid set the bar rather high for the 24-man Alliance Raids 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 Shadow of Mhach raids (Void Ark, The Weeping City of Mhach, and Dun Scaith) were seen as being too simple and straightforward while having bland scenery, and relying on a lot of annoying fight mechanics that either dragged them out too long, or were nearly a Total Party Kill. 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 because of the complex but fun mechanics.

    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. Also, their "wave" emote has them step forward and do a weird wave... but do it in front 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.
    • There's something about Gaia's face that seems off compared to the rest of the character models in the game. The character art by Tetsuya Nomura looks fine, but when translated into a 3D model in-game, her face looks bigger than it should be, especially with the lipstick making her lips much more prominent. She also looks like a grown woman shrunk down to look younger, which results in her sticking out heavily, especially compared to Ryne.
    • On occasion, M'naago's eyes will look a little too big. The fact her eyes are coloured rather brightly and thus eye-catchingly makes one really notice them.
  • Underused Game Mechanic:
    • The Chocobo companion allows for a player to have a pet Chocobo fight alongside you in normal gameplay, providing a useful ally for classes that are harder to level such as a healer. Sadly, while the Chocobo levels with you, it caps off at level 20, and while it scales with your level, it only does so up to a certain point, making it fall off in power and use unless leveling other jobs. The expansions have done nothing to buff it either, making it underused despite it being something the game actively encourages you to go and unlock. The fact you need Thavnairian Onion's to level them past 10, which are very expensive and time consuming to get, means players often are left with their Chocobo at level 10.
    • ARR had three Trial bosses (Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda) balanced around a normal difficulty meant for a normal leveling sized party (4 people). No other Trial boss has ever been done this way again despite being generally seen as a useful way of making the fights not too hard for players, while still teaching them valuable mechanics. Instead, the expansions set the difficulty of all Trials after to Hard, and require full parties of eight people.
    • Guildhests were introduced in ARR as mini-dungeons that players could do to get a bit more experience. It also served as a way of teaching players mechanics and generally useful things about fights. Despite this, only 14 were ever made, and they cap off at level 40 with weak rewards compared to something like running a normal dungeon, with the only appreciable reward acquired by way of a challenge for doing ten of them in one week.
  • 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. Then half way through the trial, Nael van Darus arises from the Weapon's back, complete with another Shout-Out to Legacy, in the form of Dalumad itself.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Yda's Heavensward appearance. Thigh high boots, short-shorts that don't even reach said boots, notable parts that make her shorts look like they should be flapping around and flashing everyone, and of course a hat that absolutely covers her eyes. Makes one not even care about her Impossibly-Low Neckline.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Zenos Yae Galvus. 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 previous 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.
    • Despite a large amount of the community liking her, there are a good amount of players who feel Yotsuyu 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 victim of the Doman society before Garlean occupation, among many other horrible things the WOL finds out. The game suddenly then begins treating her a Tragic Villain who was wronged by society, especially when she gets Identity Amnesia, but after regaining her memories decides to help her brothers plans to continue the conflict. While she is justified for being bitter about her past, her oppressive regime and lack of empathy for those who were also suffering like she was (or now are) makes it hard to feel she deserves all the sympathy she gets, which is compounded by the fact she decides to, as mentioned, go back to being a villain after being given a chance at redemption. This makes it hard for some to find the game's overwhelming sympathy towards her deserved since she acts like she has no choice despite being shown that the people of Doma are going to become better and she is welcome to join them by Hien. As a result, she comes across less as a Tragic Villain, and moreso someone getting exactly the justice she deserves for her crimes.
    • Ran'jit was meant to be seen as a Tragic Villain and a Fallen Hero but the stories attempts fell flat. He once fought against the Sin Eaters by helping train "Minfilia'', but seeing her die over and over again broke him, and believing nothing could be done, he submitted himself to Vaurthry's rule as The Dragon. All of that is sympathetic, but his actions in game make him one of the most hated characters in the game period. He constantly talks down to the heroes, treats "Minfilia" as more like property, and is a jerk to everyone even when he's trying to act as an emissary. The result is that despite his tragic backstory and the game wanting you to think he is a tragic character, players despise him, as he doesn't earn a single point of sympathy. Not helping is the presence of both Vauthry and Emet-Selch, two villains who get more sympathetic moments, but in the case of the former, is actually enjoyable for how evil he is because the game never tries to make him look tragic but instead misguided, while the latter is a straight up Anti-Villain who you can sympathize with easily. Ran'jit also lacks being entertaining to fight (particularly his one-on-one with Thancred) or having a sympathetic motive players can get behind.
  • The Un-Twist: In Shadowbringers, Emet Selch makes it clear in his first scene that he is really pissed off that the Warrior of Light and their friends have managed to avert the rejoining, if at least briefly. However, he then offers to co-operate with them on their mission to destroy the rest of the Light Wardens. Despite this, the Scions are clearly wary of his intentions for the entirety of the storyline. And it turns out for good reason too as Emet Selch stabs them in the back (shoots in the Crystal Exarch's case) the moment he decides that they are useless to his plans and proceeds to become the Big Bad for the remainder of the expansion. One would have to be somewhat foolish to think an Ascian would seriously try to stop a rejoining, he simply put his plans on hold to see if the Warrior of Light's soul was strong enough to join him as a fellow Ascian.
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    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. Especially 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.
    • Ryne catches this really bad in time for the last boss of the Eden's Verse raid series. As the team is restoring ice aether to the Empty, she suggests that, given ice aether's heavy stasis properties - the very aspect of light aether that brought the First to its knees - that as the Oracle of Light she should serve as a vessel for Shiva the way Ysayle did on the Source, believing she can keep it in control. Thancred, naturally, is against this, knowing it could backfire just as easily and leave her on the business end of the Warrior of Light's weapon. Unfortunately, Ryne refuses to back down, gets her way, and loses control to Shiva the second the transformation is done. But it gets worse, as with both light and ice powers at her disposal, Ryne attempts to start a second Flood of Light. The Warrior of Light would have lost as well had it not been for Gaia's intervention. A fair amount of the player base, knowing the lore and that they still had to fight a fourth boss, was incredulous with just how bad an idea it was.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • The Evenstar set of armor obtained with Allied Seals 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 of 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, fishnets, 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 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 kill 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.
    • Yda wearing a visor that literally covers her eyes. And that's not getting into her thigh-high boots or her strange mini-shorts with a split seam at the sides.
    • Alisae's new clothing as of the Dragonsong War makes her look like she's wearing Ice Skates, making one wonder how she walks around so casually.
    • Some armoured NPCs have gloves that look more like armoured oven mitts than actual armour.
  • 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 declare any kind of "rebuilt" FFXIV would be basically dead on arrival and that Square shouldn't 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 he's 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 abandon 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, and then further on in Stormblood you get the chance to take him home and let him help liberate Ala Mhigo.
    • 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.
  • Woobie Species: Shadowbringers gives us the Ancient Amaurotines - who would become the Ascians, a race of gentle and idealistic people who suffered the worst lost possible. From what we see of (admittedly, Emet-Selch's romanticized view of) them, they were a race of near-immortal giants who never knew premature death or disease, a truly Utopian society of people with no wants for shelter, food or happiness with magics so powerful they could create life just by thinking. They never knew war, and any disagreement was settled in a forum of debate where people civilly argued over their differences. The only negative shown is still a subjective one in their only allowed physical individuality being their masks, but besides that their freedom of thought and artistic pursuits were encouraged. When their world was facing an apocalyptic threat that had already wiped out an untold number of their people, they sacrificed half of the surviving numbers of their race three times to summon Zodiark, revive the world, then summon Hydaelyn as a result of the only division their people had ever known. The biggest takeway, which all of the characters agree with is that Amaurot and that ancient world deserved none of what happened to it, and it was an unmitigated tragedy what happened and the measures they had to take to save it, and understand why the Ascians seek to bring it back even though they still can't sympathize with the lengths they go to for it.
  • 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. While this was seen as amusing in Japan, the localization team felt it would potentially come across as uncomfortable to players and made the descion to have him be more of him becoming a huge fan of the Warrior of Light and trying to be a friend to them. His flirting was maintained but adjusted to be more playful rather than the borederline obsessive tone his original lines had. This change helped him become one of the game's biggest Ensemble Darkhorse as a result, and when Heavensward came out, his character became solidified as being closer to what he was in the western script.
    • 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.
    • Late in the Stormblood endgame MSQ, Magnai becomes infatuated with Y'shtola and propositions her after a pitched battle, only for Y'shtola to turn him down. In most languages, Y'shtola calls Magnai "boy" or "child", while in English, she calls him "little sun". This burn hits harder in English, since Magnai is a large man who carries himself as though he was the living embodiment of the Xaela au ra's creation deity, the Dawn Father Azim: to be called "little sun" is a devastating blow to him.
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