Saturday, August 31, 2013

Skyla's Story: And I Was Born

Have I fallen into some maddened dream?
I find myself floating in blue, weightless... Alone.

And then... a voice?
...and I do. The voice, it is female, but there is no mouth to speak it. Why does this not unnerve me? Something about the voice soothes.
"Hear... Feel..."

A light? I find myself approaching it, but its beauty suddenly warps into a void of darkness...
...and I feel. I feel a panic I've never known, one that sends my body into a fearful paralysis.
A figure appears from the cold blackness, cloaked and wearing a mask of crimson. It is almost like I am looking upon the twisted visage of a demon, but a human mouth below the facade betrays his identity as not being such.

This is not the source of the voice, I know this for sure.
A mote of light appears before me, smaller than the one that lured me to the darkness.
"Hear... Feel... Think..."
The voice grounds me, soothes my muscles that were tensed in fear.
I know now... This person who stands before me in the expansive blue nothingness is not a threat.
The floating orb of light rushes towards me and seems to fuse with my body...
Flames of white light surround me and cloak me in...
This armor... This is the armor that someday I wish to don upon myself, the armor of the Dragoon.
I instinctively hold my arms out and a white glow expands to form a piercing lance.

I am ready.
The form that has been observing me with such menace reacts, a red symbol forming in front of his face as he screams noiselessly.
I am not afraid. 
That voice, my guardian in the blue... Could it be Nymeia, patron of my birth? Maybe...
Confidence rushes through my veins as I lurch forward to meet my destiny. I hold the lance in my steady hands and envision the approaching clash with the hostile, cloaked form...
...I just need to aim for the chest, pierce the heart and...

...and everything goes black.

Skyla's Story: Follow My Adventures Through Eorzea!

When I started playing FFXIV:ARR's beta, I decided that blog posts were going to be necessary. FFXI was such an important part of my teenage life, so the imminent release of FFXIV, a sequel in spirit, was... well, a pretty big deal!
If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that I did something similar with TERA, chronicling my adventures with screenshots and descriptions of what I was doing during the first week of gameplay.
(If you want to go back in time and read those posts, click here! Though it should be noted that TERA is now F2P.)

But what would best showcase the incredible storytelling that Square-Enix weaves into their MMO's?
The answer was clear...
I'd take a less narrative approach to the posts, and instead go the route of telling a story of my own.
Don't get me wrong, I have a clear dislike for fan fiction. Taking other people's characters and putting them in situations that were never intended irks me like you can't believe.
No, this will be a different kind of story.
It'll be my game character going through Square-Enix's game, and only the reactions and thoughts of that character will be my own. I won't be altering Square's storyline at all, though for obvious reasons, some NPC dialogue and quests will be truncated or left out.

I'm no author or professional writer, but doing this will be a fun and rewarding experience that I hope will showcase the magic and thrill of FFXIV's story properly.

I will be uploading a new post every Saturday and Wednesday, so check back often!
Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Registering Your Game (With Photo Instructions!)

As you probably saw from my previous blog post, I had an incredibly frustrating time dealing with Square-Enix's awful registration system.
I bought FFXIV:ARR expecting the process to be as simple as registering FFXI was... however, with the phasing out of the PlayOnline client, things have gone to the dogs. Getting the game set up is clunky, confusing, and just plain ridiculous.

Today I will show you how to PROPERLY register your serial code, and even show you step-by-step instructions on how to retrieve everything you need to register.

Step 1: Buy the game!

Step 1 is simple enough. Buy the game!
To buy the game, go to the North American FFXIV:ARR website (here) and press Product.
From here press Purchase under the big banner of all the games.
Now you can choose how to purchase the game, as seen in the image above.
The course of best action (if you want to access the game the quickest that is) is to buy it Digitally from Square-Enix themselves.
Choose the version you want, and go through the purchase process as you would ordering any other item online.

WARNING: When buying, there will be a prompt to login right above the Billing Information. This is NOT necessary to buy the game. In fact, when I tried to log in, I kept getting a "incorrect credentials" message even though my login info was correct. It's better to disregard it completely. This is just another one of SE's many confusing, broken site features.

Step 2: Checking Your Email

Once you have ordered FFXIV:ARR, it's time to check your email!
Before you do that though, do you have a Square-Enix ID?
If you don't, sign up for one (here) and press the big red button to register.

Time to open up your email! Refer to the image above.

WARNING: THESE EMAILS OFTEN ARE CAUGHT BY SPAM FILTERS! Before panicking, check your Spam/Bulk folder. (My emails were in Gmail's spam folder.)

Action 1: Confirm your Square-Enix account by finding an email similar to the one right of the red arrow (skip if you have one already)

Action 2: Find an email similar to the one to the right of the green arrow. It will have your order number, links, and other stuff you need for the next step. It may take some time for this email to arrive.

Action 3: THIS ONLY APPLIES TO IF YOU PREORDERED FFXIV:ARR! This email doesn't have to be opened, but may take some time to arrive. It just confirms that your preorder bonus is ready.

Step 3: Retrieve Your Codes

Open the email found under Action 2 in the previous step.
From here, click the link as shown in the photo.

You should be brought to a page that looks like this.
From here, you can enter your info two different ways.
The easiest method is to just enter the email address that you received the email on and last 5 digits of your credit card, since you may have forgotten the password you signed up with.

Once you enter this info, a page will come up showing your two codes.

Green Arrow: First Begin Download so you can get that out of the way. If you played Beta, you don't have to download again.
Red Arrow: This code isn't actually needed. Ignore it for now.
Blue Arrow: This is the code you need. Write this down. IT IS CASE SENSITIVE.

WARNING: Ignore the instructions below the codes. THESE ARE NOT CORRECT. Though Square-Enix meant well, these instructions did not work for me, and instead made me falsely believe I had invalid codes. If you have the invalid registration code issue, hang tight, because I'll show you how to properly register them in a moment.

If you preordered the game, scroll down past the instructions.

Download the .pdf file and follow the easy instructions to convert your Serial Number into a redemption code.

After you get your redemption code, write it down. IT IS CASE SENSITIVE!!! 
Press the link next to the red arrow and enter the code you just got. You will be able to redeem your preorder items.
These items will appear in your Moogle Mailbox in the game itself.

Step 4: Register Your Code (High Chance of NOT Working)

This is where both Square-Enix and most people get this step wrong.
Square-Enix wants you to go to the NA Square-Enix page, as shown here... click My Profile... press Add New Game...

...and to input the RED ARROW code here.
My code was marked as "invalid" through this method, and made me believe Square-Enix sent me faulty codes!
So, let's do it ANOTHER WAY!

Step 5: Register Your Code (High Chance of SUCCESS!)

Friends, meet the Mog Station! You can access this page (here) or if you're super wary of phishing, Google "Mog Station" and click the first result.
Log in to your Square-Enix account, and let's proceed!
(the captchas on this page can be REALLY annoying, just a fair warning.)

Once you log in, you'll see your Mog Station hub. It won't look exactly like this, because I've already registered. 
Press the sun-like button to proceed.

It is here that you can enter the Blue Arrow code you wrote down from Step 3.
Press NEXT, and finish your registration!

WARNING: Remember, this is all CASE SENSITIVE. If your code is still invalid, make sure you didn't accidentally make your 5's into S's, 0's into O's, 1's into I's, 3's into E's, or other simple mistakes. I had some trouble because I accidentally switched a number in for a letter. You can imagine how badly I panicked... IF IT STILL DOESN'T WORK, CLEAR AND RETYPE, OR CHECK THE "DIGITAL RIVER" PAGE IN STEP 3 AGAIN. Contact Square-Enix's customer support through (here) as a last ditch effort.

Step 6: Installation

Now that your game is registered, find the client that you downloaded earlier.
Install FFXIV:ARR, or if you have it installed already from Beta, open it up on your computer.
Install like any other program.
Once it is installed, open the shortcut on your desktop.

Log into your Square-Enix account and allow the client to update.
Once it's done, you know what to do...

Hope this has helped! Have fun!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Thanks, Square-Enix. (RANT)

Square-Enix, congratulations on fucking up again. My FFXIV:ARR registration codes are INVALID. I pre-ordered, I even got the COLLECTOR'S EDITION. You can't even have the decency of sending me a registration code that actually EXISTS?!?
I missed early access, can't play on the release date, and STILL haven't gotten a response on my support ticket.
Seriously, you THINK FFXIV 1.0's awful release would have changed something.