Mon, 26 June 2017
This week, Kaleb and Joe, joined by Emilee Mentos, Krinital, and Zoey for a fun filled discussion of our experience with Heavensward. Enjoy!
Heavensward began development about a year before its release on June 23, 2015, just a few months before its October announcement at the 2014 fan festival (which we were totally there for).
Apparently they chose the theme of “sky” for the expansion, my assumption being y'know, dragons, wings, flying mounts… Anyway the developers strategically set up the expansion through ARR patches throughout the year, setting up Ishgard Lore.
Along with an expansion of story, the game utilized Directx 11 technologies to better process the game and to slightly enhance the story.
The Heavensward expansion would continue through the Dragonsong War campaign released through patches that now lead to stormblood, but this review will only be covering the game’s original release.
Story (took this from an awesome forum post on reddit)
Basically, you go into Ishgard wanting to help them against the Dragons, venturing through the Western Highlands dealing with the heretics and Iceheart/Shiva. Then there's this little segment of finding out where Rauhban is and you free him, fight Ilberd and that stupid Lalafell Yuyuhase, and you also find out, from Lolorito himself, that Nanamo is still alive.
Once all that's settled, you return to Ishgard, deal with a few things and, along with Estinien, eventually get to the Dravanian Forelands and get assistance through the Vath who need you to kill Ravana first, then dragonkin that Iceheart/Shiva knows to head up to the Churning Mists to get help from Hraesvelgr.
You go through Sohm Al, the peak of the mountain in the Forelands and enter the Churning Mists, you help the Moogles up there at Moghome a bit and get the trumpet they use to head to Zenith to call down Hraesvelgr and ask him for help/assistance.
Hrasevelgr basically tells you that in the past, Ishgard was a peaceful kingdom, dragons and humans lived in peace. Until King Thordan and the 12 Knights killed Ratatoskr, one of Midgardsormr's first brood, and ate her eyes. Nidhogg heard of this, and vowed to kill every last human, basically dragons rule.
You also learn that Nidhogg got one of his current eyes from Hraesvelgr. To end the war between man and dragonkin, you need to kill Nidhogg. So you go kill him, get his other eye and return it back to Hrasevelgr. Nidhogg is seemingly dead. At this point, you learn, through the Echo, that all of Ishgard is of the same blood, from when Haldrath had slayed Nidhogg the first time, and learn that everyone is not lowborn or highborn.
So you head back to Ishgard with this juicy gossip, talk to Aymeric and it turns out there's an Elezen/Hyuran woman called 'the Mongrel' who basically is born from a lowborn Hyuran servantwoman and a highborn Elezen. In Ishgard, that's taboo, you don't have mixed children between highborn and lowborn. So at this point, Ser Charibert, one of the 12 Knights, finds out you're plotting to tell, you fight him, and then Ser Aymeric decides to go confront King Thordan about it and from the new info, that we now learn that Thordan is Ser Aymeric's father, but born out of wedlock, makes Aymeric Thordan's bastard son.
Eventually, you make it to the Vault, where Thordan and Aymeric are, and battle against a few of the 12 Knights and save Aymeric. In the process, Haucherfant dies protecting you from the beam of light from Ser Zephirin. You learn of Azys Lla at this point, and eventually head to Ok' Zundu, to talk to the Vanu Vanu about Bismarck, as you learn of an Allagan key that tells you how to get ot Azys Lla.
Bismarck going crazy eating islands, you make a plan to kill him. But Thordan jumps in, takes the key from you and heads to Azys Lla. Cid having noticed the direction of where the key is headed, heads towards there.
We make it to Azys Lla but it is protected by massive aether walls, at this point, there's no advancement into Azys Lla. You learn that Tataru has possible good news about one of the Scions, with the help of Urianger, you find out Y'shtola used Flow, a forbidden spell that lets oneself enter and stay in the aether, when they were being chased by Brass Blades.
With the help of A-Ruhn-Senna, Kan-E-Senna and Raya-O-Senna, you manage to get Y'shtola out of the aether and ask her if she could possibly help. She says Matoya, her old mentor, can help, as she is in Sharlayan, you venture to Sharlayan. Arriving at the Dravanian Hinterlands, where Sharlayan is, you need to cross the river to get to Matoya's Cave, which is hidden.
Going to Idyllshire, within Sharlayan, you find out goblins have worked alongside treasure hunters to rebuild Sharlayan, or rather what's left of it, with the assistance of Goblins and the residents of Idyllshire, you make it to the other side of the river.
You go see Matoya and she asks you to go grab a tome on the subject of manifesting aether as a tangible form, from the Great Gubal Library. You come back with the tome and she deciphers it for you, you take the new information to Cid, Biggs and Wedge and eventually, with the new information, arrive at Azys Lla.
At Azys Lla, with the help of a Assistance Node, you make it to the Aetherochemical Research Facility where Thordan awaits, but not before the Garleans interrupt you with their massive ship. But Shiva and Hrasevelgr jump in and stall their plans.
You go into the facility and get interrupted by Lahabrea and Igeyorhm. You fight them, they merge, you fight 'it'. And then, with the Eye of Nidhogg and white magicite, you kill Igeyorhm. But Thordan shows up, with Haldrath's coffin and the SECOND Eye of Nidhogg and uses it and your other eye to basically summon King Thordan and the Knights twelve; Knights of the Round, more or less.
You slay King Thordan and the Knights twelve, Estinien succumbs to Nidhogg's eyes, and turns into Nidhogg. Now, brief peace is brought to Ishgard, and Ishgard joins the Eorzean Alliance. You now learn that Elidibus has 'summoned' a Warrior of Darkness on the moon.
Then a big primal is awoken at the end, teasing DragonSong.
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