On Au Ra

The new race for Final Fantasy 14 has finally been announced. I’m personally choosing to treat this as FF14’s personal birthday gift to me, even though the timing is a bit off. The phrase “Don’t stop pretending you’re a dragon” (from the PS4 Conference abridged) has gotten a lot of use within our circle, and now FF14 is giving me another way to pretend.

au ra

Missing Something

I was torn on what race to initially play when we started playing FF14. I really liked the Galka in FF11, and my legacy character in FF14 was a Roegadyn. I initially passed on Roegadyn because male Miqo’te were added in 2.0, and unlike Galka, Roegadyn do not have tails. Turns out that’s important to me, as I used a Fantasia to change to Roegadyn last year, and changed back when I felt that I just liked my character less that way. I tend to like the big races however (I played mostly Tauren and Draenei in WoW) and as the second-shortest race Miqo’te are certainly not that.

Roegadyn Ash
One of the very few shots of Ash as a Roegadyn

Scales & Claws

The Au Ra appear to be almost exactly what I wanted. They’re dragon-people, with horns and tails and claws and scales, but with a basically human facial structure. That last part is probably important because of how much FF14 likes to use and abuse the fact that your character is a silent protagonist; it allows the player characters to remain expressive in recognizable ways. I’ve always taken a liking to the less-human race options in most games, because being a human is boring. The nature of the Final Fantasy 14 world means that actual non-humans aren’t likely to be an option soon or ever, but I’ll take what I can get. In addition to the horns and tails, Au Ra are a bit unusual in that they display more sexual dimorphism than the current races. I’m not sure this was entirely necessary (Female Roegadyn seem to be fairly well received), but I guess it might be a bit late to take back Yugiri’s appearance.

Fantasia

I find it somewhat interesting that character re-customization is just cheap enough that it’s a semi-common occurrence, but not cheap enough that people do it all the time. Also, after being subscribed for a month, you get one free Fantasia (which lets you change everything about your character except the name). Any additional ones are $10, with a bulk discount if you feel you really need that sort of thing. This is reasonable to me, and priced competitively with other games. (For reference, changes like this in WoW cost $15 if you don’t change races and $25 if you do, but a name change is included. Square charges an additional $10 for that, which is the same as a rename by itself costs in WoW.) When Heavensward comes out there are likely to be screenshots of Ash the Au Ra, and I’m looking forward to it.

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