Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker’s first endgame raid, Pandaemonium (Savage), went live this week, spilling hardcore raid teams from across the globe through the floodgates to tackle the encounters. A poetic 14 hours later, Final Fantasy 14 saw its World First clear of the expansion’s first raid tier.
Without any major spoilers, Pandaemonium: Asphodelos sees players delve into an ancient prison-like facility, confronting warped defenses and wild monstrosities along the way. Players have already cleared the story mode encounters for these battles when they were added a couple of weeks ago, so raiders could focus on the differences in the Savage versions of the encounters added in FF14‘s Patch 6.05.
Thoughts Per Second, the raid team who had previously won World First for The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate) and Eden’s Promise (Savage), cleared Pandaemonium: Asphodelos in just over 14 hours. Aether Group 3 came in second place, clearing the final circle just under two hours later, and Entropy took third place about an hour after that. Final Fantasy 14 director and producer Naoki Yoshida personally congratulated these teams after their clears had been confirmed.
A window of only 14 hours is the lower end of time it has taken to clear a raid tier in Final Fantasy 14, only just beating the fastest clear during the Shadowbringers raid Eden’s Gate (Savage), which was cleared about an hour faster. Most raids in Shadowbringers and Stormblood had clear times closer to 20 or 40 hours, while Heavensward and A Realm Reborn raids took days or even weeks to clear. The original Binding Coil of Bahamut from A Realm Reborn took 65 days to clear, while Heavensward’s Alexander: Gordias (Savage) took 34 days to clear.
Players of any MMO who aren’t racing for world first enjoy watching those who are racing against their fellow players to fell the bosses first. The race for Pandaemonium World First, affectionately called “Panda Express” by some players, was also an opportunity for some streamers on Twitch to hold charity fundraisers for Extra Life, a tradition Final Fantasy 14’s raid community has participated in for several raid tiers.
Some players, however, are dismayed that a World First had already been confirmed within a day of the raid being released. No Savage raids since Heavensward have taken World First raiders longer than 48 hours to complete, prompting many to accuse Final Fantasy 14 of making endgame content too easy. This is partly because Final Fantasy 14 has since made even more challenging encounters, called Ultimates, which still take multiple days to clear. That, the fact players have had years to perfect their skills and rotations, and the challenges presented by the value downscaling in Endwalker skewing numbers likely lead to the rapid clear of Pandaemonium: Asphodelos (Savage). Players will have to see how long it takes teams like Thoughts Per Second to clear future Savage raids in Final Fantasy 14.
Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker is currently live on PC, PS4, and PS5, but is temporarily unavailable for purchase due to server congestion.