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This is an opinion and personal experience piece, read on if you wish.
I was skeptical of what the end game would have to offer in terms of challenging team play early on in the development process. While participating in beta the game seemed very simplistic while leveling to max, the leveling dungeons were not ever a threat, and close to all were bested on first attempt with very little issue. I was worried that end game would be the same. Well, my worry was assuaged last night.
Having finished the primals and now entering into BCOB..I can see the tiers of play from a wider perspective and have faith that Square has and will continue providing a rewarding experience for those that seek a challenge. The level of difficulty is going up at a satisfactory rate, in my opinion.
We move on to the Coil itself. The entirety of the zone is broken down into mini-dungeons (called "turns"). Currently there are 5 turns in BCOB , and I believe more will be added in the future.
In Turn 1, as soon as you enter you are immediately faced with a coordination check in the form of a mini boss. From there you clear out a bit of insignificant and not too time consuming trash, then make your way to the turns only boss. He has a few interesting mechanics not yet seen in previous dungeons, and it is an enjoyable fight in my opinion. Once the coordination is together he goes down without too much issue, but the potential for a wipe is most definitely present.
In Turn 2, I was told there are multiple paths to take on the way down to the boss. I do not know more, other than that you must kill 3 npcs with slightly varied abilities on the journey down to the boss. Once you arrive at the boss, you are again greeted with a totally unique encounter with mechanics previously unseen on your journey thus far. This Boss had potential to one shot the tank, was doing damage to the party, and was keeping the melee on their toes. The difficulty was acceptable and the fight was once again enjoyable.
Turn 3 finds you entering the world of Sonic the hedgehog. I honestly do not know the purpose of this turn, as there are no bosses or loot. Whether they intend to add a boss is unknown to me, but as it stands now it is a huge waste of time. Interestingly enough though, the most deaths we had were in this turn. It's basically a puzzle, as you find yourself making your way down to turn 4. Don't get too far ahead of your group or you will find yourself obliterated haha.
And there I sit, the party having ended for the evening to be continued on Sunday. I hear tell that Turn 4 is where the majority of FC's are stuck on their journey through progression, and I anticipate seeing more of what BCOB has to offer. This raid was done with a makeup of about half newbs to the instance and half that had been there previously. Our raid leader was knowledgeable which was very helpful for us newbs, and the voice comms were necessary for coordinating stuns and silences. If you miss CC on bosses in here you will almost surely wipe, it is not like missing CC on Ifrit.
As with every game, after reviewing guides and what not it may seem simple...but I do not envy the pioneers as I'm sure there were many many more wipes than we experienced. Took us about 3 tries to down turn 1, closer to 5 wipes in turn 2, and just a ridiculous amount of time wasting in turn 3 haha. The raid took 3 hours or so which didn't seem too taxing to me. Aside from turn 3, the speed at which you complete each turn seems perfect for a busy man with not a whole lot of time to devote to raiding these days. Overall, my fears are put aside that FF XIV can't provide satisfying and difficult content to complete. I look forward to turn 4 for sure.
This post is meant only to help those that are getting sick of endless tome farming, and those that shared my fears the game would be too easy. The game will provide PvE group enjoyment once again after you finish your DL set, don't worry. Stick with it and don't get discouraged...the tomes you need are finite. I now have higher hopes that SE will keep providing us ways to amuse ourselves, especially with what they have in store with 2.1 coming soon. Good luck, and may you walk in the light of the crystal...blah blah blah haha
Paradigm Free Company
*Edited for spelling...doh*