FFXIV FanFest 2023 Made Me Fall Back in Love with PvP
Image via Square Enix

FFXIV FanFest 2023 Made Me Fall Back in Love with PvP

Out of everything I experienced at Final Fantasy XIV FanFest 2023, there was one thing that stood above the rest. It wasn’t The Primals concert, or the announcement of the Dawntrail expansion. It was the Crystalline Conflict PvP tournament. Nothing got my blood pumping as fast, or held my attention as hard, as watching Big Succ and John Darksouls ultimately steal the show. While they didn’t walk away as winners of the tournament, watching their performance, alongside the other matches that took place, reinvigorated my love for FFXIV PvP.

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Despite coming away from Final Fantasy XIV FanFest 2023 with perhaps one of the worst flus of my life, I jumped back into the game. The first thing I did? Queue up for a match of Crystalline Conflict in FFXIV. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s sort of like the MMORPG’s own Overwatch-inspired mode. Players need to escort a crystal to the opposite side of the map. Whoever gets there first, or makes the most progress before the time runs out, wins.

It’s relatively simple and, with the right team and right coordination, you can walk away victorious in a matter of minutes. While victory always feels good, it’s those hard earned matches that are the best. I longed to be in a match that stuck me into overtime. (That boils down to players contesting over the crystal after the timer has run out, and whatever team gets booted off the crystal generally loses.) To play against players that made my palms sweat and set my nerves on edge. I certainly got what I was asking for.

FFXIV FanFest 2023 PVP Crystalline Conflict

Image via Square Enix

It’s been upwards of three months since I actually put time into Final Fantasy XIV. The lack of significant content updates has kept me away from the game, since I mostly play it for the raiding content and not for the narrative. While I could have done the most recent Savage tier, I just wasn’t interested. I felt my love of the game mostly evaporate during this period, with my interest now wholly focused on FFXIV PvP. So jumping back into a match as a Summoner had me seriously overestimating my abilities.

I suffered several defeats, but I was determined to win at least one match before I wound down for the evening. It was hard earned, and my fellow compatriots were giving it our all. Our White Mage made liberal use of their Limit Break, and I was focused on better timing my own, making sure that what I summoned Bahamut that the enemy team was perfectly clustered up to get blasted. Naturally, our Tank, a Paladin, was the star of the show. They were neigh unkillable, and protected me and the other DPS on the team (a Machinist and Dragoon) from certain death.

It was exhilarating, and with how fast paced Crystalline Conflict generally is, we didn’t spend more than six or so minutes in the match. But it was enough to leave me craving more. Once I’m feeling up to it, I think I’ll actually finish out the rewards for the season, all because John Darksouls and Big Succ made PvP look like a blast.

Final Fantasy XIV is immediately available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.

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Kazuma Hashimoto
Senior staff writer, translator and streamer, Kazuma spends his time playing a variety of games ranging from farming simulators to classic CRPGs. Having spent upwards of 6 years in the industry, he has written reviews, features, guides, with work extending within the industry itself. In his spare time he speedruns games from the Resident Evil series, and raids in Final Fantasy XIV. His work, which has included in-depth features focusing on cultural analysis, has been seen on other websites such as Polygon and IGN.