Soloist in Final Fantasy 14 rescues 265-hour challenge run by training 14 players over 6 months for raid support in the most grind-heavy MMO

A one-eyed enemy dominates the screen in Final Fantasy 14's Crystal Tower raid
(Image credit: Square Enix)

A Final Fantasy 14 fan determined to solo the MMO under self-imposed restrictions akin to Old School RuneScape’s Ironman rules thought they were beaten when reaching a trio of once-optional 24-man raids that’s become mandatory to progress the story quest.

That is until they remembered that Ironman rules allow you to tackle content with aid from fellow Ironmen if it’s impossible to do it solo. Keen to stick to the rules and not just draft in anyone, Rath Games spent six months helping followers catch new characters up to their level while following the exact same rules. 

To dig into that further, Final Fantasy 14 hosts plenty of optional content you don’t need to do to progress the story. After all, Square Enix’s MMORPG is designed to emphasize the RPG part of the genre over the MMO. One such slice of content would be the 24-man Alliance Raids, which splits everyone into three teams of eight. 

You can’t really solo one of these raids as you need at least one person on each team to start the encounter. It’s not something Rath would typically need to consider when trying to complete the MMO solo, but that all changed when Final Fantasy 14’s Shadowbringers expansion launched. The Alliance Raid for A Realm Reborn is set in The Crystal Tower, and its story is pivotal to the Shadowbringers expansion. As such, Square Enix made the once-optional raid a requirement to progress the main quest.

Despite the challenge that poses, Rath soon remembered he could draft in fellow Ironman-like players to fill the other two teams while leaving his own solo. The only problem is, though, that Rath needed Ironmen, not just any old warrior of light. That meant drafting players who reached their level without trading, in-game player assistance, NPC support, quest rewards, and minimal NPC purchases.

As luck would have it, Rath had plenty of fans following his progress while attempting the challenges themselves. Even then, though, the big raid would take six months of preparation. Everyone needed to be caught up, and playing the way Rath does means getting health potions and the like takes way longer since you can’t just buy them.

Still, it was all worth it. No one – myself included – knew what Rath had planned to complete the raid, leading to an Avengers-like moment on stream when backup arrived – just with way more Lalafell and cat boys than Marvel usually offers. And don’t worry; Rath went on to complete the raid series and earn their passage to Heavensward, the second of Final Fantasy 14’s four expansions. 

Having started the challenge in March 2023, it’s almost taken Rath a year to complete A Realm Reborn alone. With Dawntrail adding to Final Fantasy 14’s expansion offering this summer, it could be a few years yet until the soloist completes the long-haul challenge they’ve set out for themselves. On the bright side, they don’t have any more Alliance Raids cluttering their path.

The Final Fantasy 14 live-action TV series is “dead,” according to its studio’s co-founder.



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