Final Fantasy XIV is my favorite way to relax and take photos of my character. I will take pictures of him swimming in the ocean, listening to music, staring into the sunset, and riding a Chocobo. Sometimes I wonder if there are other things you should be doing in the game besides fine tuning my photography skills. Then I found Rival Wings, a new mode added in patch 4.2 that has changed the way I play Final Fantasy XIV. Spoiler alert, I love Rival Wings.
From Square-Enix’s website: Rival Wings is a large-scale PvP battle involving up to 48 combatants. Participants are divided into two teams, the Falcons and the Ravens, comprised of six light parties each.
Final Fantasy XIV is not known for is outstanding PvP gameplay or competitive community. As I said above, I think most people use Final Fantasy XIV as a dress up simulator and photography session. Which I embrace wholeheartedly. Rival Wings will not change this mindset, but it will add another reason to jump into the realm of player versus player.
Seriously, some of the queue times for other PvP modes within Final Fantasy are at least 30 minutes or longer! Rival Wings is brand new and thankfully games will start after a minute or two of waiting. People actually want to play the game mode.
But what is Rival Wings exactly?
The game mode plays as a light Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Not unlike League of Legends, Dota 2, or Heroes of the Storm. The map has two lanes along the edges and a center structure that provides resources for your team, if you can control it. Each lane has a defending tower that leads to a central core. The objective for each match is to destroy both of the enemy team’s towers and then destroy the core.
The twist is that each team can build up resources to summon powerful mech robots which rain destruction upon their enemies. The game mode breaks up each 24 person team into 6 sub-parties of 4 players each. For balancing purposes, each sub party is only allowed 1 mech robot, so each team could only have a maximum of 6 robots at a time.
The mech robots are actually called Machina, and there are three different varieties to choose from. The Cruise Chaser excels at combat against enemy players and other machina. The Oppressor is designed to take out towers and the core. Finally, the Brute Justice is the ultimate destroyer of both towers and enemies. Two Brute Justices can be deployed by each team per match, one becoming available for each tower you lose.
Rival Wings even includes minion waves that automatically run towards the enemy. They are designed to look like classic Final Fantasy characters.
If I haven’t sold you on Final Fantasy XIV‘s new game mode yet, just listen to the battle music, while watching some Machinist gameplay:
The best part about jamming to some uptempo Japanese pop music and fighting giant robots, while simultaneously riding a Chocobo and taking pictures of the whole thing; if you win enough games you can unlock a robot gorilla mount that carries you around while flying through the air.
I’ve already won three games of Rival Wings in Final Fantasy XIV, only 97 more to go! The mode really is a lot of fun, if a little bit silly and I do not believe that players will keep playing a few months from now. But for the time being I am enjoying myself. Ian, Brian, and I were just talking about playing some more Heroes of the Storm, but really maybe we should be playing Final Fantasy XIV.
Jake “prettyboyplaid” Fredericks