Professions Are Unsatisfying

Ok. You’ll see that this is my RANT on Professions in FFXIV. I don’t claim to be an expert and maybe I got something wrong. So what? I’ve played a lot of MMOs and if it’s so opaque and so difficult then stuff it. RANT ON.

A couple of days ago I spent most of the day leveling mining and only put 3 levels on my miner. What a waste of time. There are 70 levels in each profession. How is this not a colossal waste of time and effort for so little payoff? Just a reminder of what we are facing in professions. [Cuts from other websites are done to avoid the images disappearing when other sites change. All cuts are done with the sites name to give them credit.]

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Eight Crafting and three Gathering professions. And all level to 70, presumably.

Lets start with gathering. What’s wrong?

Gathering Problems

Design Way Too Complicated

A way to complicated design for Botanist and Miner. So many skills and so many options. Let’s compare this complication with the Combat roles. These are roughly as complicated as Samurai or Red Mage, not simple like Archer or Gladiator. No way that Miner and Botanist need to be this complicated. Especially for 70 levels. Sure, make it complicated if there are 20 levels, but 70? Seriously?

No Sharing Among ALTS

With all the other jobs I have to do in this game, and with me not being able to share among my alts? That’s just insult to injury. No way to level Leatherworking on one Alt and then make armor for the other Alts. Sure some of us still like Alts, but why be so insulting? Why just torture us by not letting us Share. Why not allow sharing across servers too while you’re at it? Seriously?

Mana aka GP / CP Starvation

And the gathering professions suffer from a problem that has been found and fixed for the combat professions in all MMO video games – Mana Starvation. Used to be that games got it wrong and as  you fought you ran out of Mana and died. Well with FFXIV professions, they have not fixed that problem. As you gather or craft you run out of GP or CP and either fail or lose your mats. Same problem as Mana Starvation. While mining, GP is depleted very quickly as you use skills and it takes so long to recover that you end up without enough for the next few nodes each time. No potions or gear fixes for upping the GP/CP refresh rate that I can see. So we are just starved. Been seen and fixed in combat and in all other games. What’s wrong FFXIV?

Finding Gathering Locations is a Pain

Finding locations to gather is a pain. The game does not help much. Why not? Did they think it was a secret? There are lots of places on the internet to find the node locations. Why don’t the Hunting Logs just display the node locations on the map like they do for quests? Is it a secret. Earth to the Developers! It’s not a secret. It’s on the internet. Just google it.

Ok so the map navigates to the general area, but I need the coordinates. Since the actual locations are not secret, how about lighting the area up with a red circle like quests do? Seriously? Do we think I’m supposed to wander around to find the nodes? No way. I just look up the coordinates and put a flag on the map. Sigh.

The fishing logs think they are being clever by making the sites secret. Again. The info is out there.

I admit I was confused a little by the apparent lack of a gathering place for Fire Crystals and the like at level 30. But again I found that I could Chop them just not Scythe them at level 30. And I see now that the Chopping map shows me the general area. But the internet has the exact coordinates. Duh.

Quests are just Torture

What if the game said go kill 100 mobs for a quest? Well they used to do that. Remember the good old days of Grinding in MMOs? Well those days are gone, except in FFXIV crafting. See they only want 15 High Quality Something_or_others, but to get those you need to chop or hammer 100 or so things since the HQ drop rate is only 15% typically. And there might be a way to up that, but with all those skills, I don’t see that one – Increase drop rate of HQ items. Didn’t see it in all the clutter. And no bonus potions etc either that I can find.

Crafting Problems

Same ole’ Same ole.

Too complicated. Mana – CP – starvation.

There is a crafting log, and if you run down the log you level pretty fast. Kudos on getting something right.

But figuring out what mats you need is a real pain. No summaries or guides on the internet either. I guess the problem is so daunting that nobody is solving it. For Wow and Guildwars 2, there are nice guides.

I did find a guide for FFXIV professions, but it’s mostly clickbait with very little useful content.

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I suggest that you don’t even go there. There are so many ads that I don’t trust the site not to infect me. And all the ads get through my Ad Blocker. Sigh. Waste of time.

So let’s summarize my problems and suggestions:

  • Simplify the heck out of the skills for professions.
  • Fix GP/CP starvation so the skills that are left can actually be used.
  • Fix the Log Maps for Gathering professions to show locations exactly for nodes and fishing locations. They are not secret, so don’t act like I should go find them. There’s enough work to do.
  • Fix the quests so that I don’t have to gather 100 items to return just 15 HQ items. How about I have to return 5 HQ items. That would be more in keeping with Combat quests.
  • Make Profession Leveling Fun and making it accessible and rewarding. Remember that I have a ton of real work to do, like the combat jobs, so make Professions fit into the whole rather than dominating the time while I play.
  • Let me share, via email, with my ALTs. Across servers. Seriously, you think there’s an exploit here? What’s the problem. Some issue with ruining economies? This would let me share mats and crafted gear with my alts. I can share with friends, so why not with ALTs. What’s the issue. Seriously?
  • If we did all this, then it’s likely that someone would make decent guides so that leveling would not be such torture. After all the game makes leveling combat jobs a breeze. Why are professions so painful?
  • Did Guildleve’s for professions disappear? A profession discussion on Reddit suggested that I go to Aleport and talk to the such and such NPC for Guildleve’s to level my botanist or miner or something, and I was the right level, as far as I could tell. But the NPC would not talk to me. I have not been able to find “Leve” quests to help level my professions. If they are available, they should be more accessible, and if not, why not? That should be pretty reasonable, as long as they are not “Fetch 15 HQ items” kind of nonsense.
  • This “Only Every 5 Levels” quest thing for professions is a pain. Combat professions have FATEs and Leve’s and Roulette’s but for professions you are out in the cold for leveling.

Profession Dungeons

Think about adding “Profession Dungeons”. How about a group of us get together in an instance and build stuff for an Army? A leather worker, a miner, a botanist, a weaver. Whoever. Pick from the first 4 folks that show up with a profession loaded and let than do stuff together in an instance. They each build some large number of whatever they can given mats that they can get in the instance. Make it interesting and make it last say 20-30 minutes like a low level dungeon.

And these “Profession Dungeons” give GREAT rewards – MATs and XP appropriate to our level – not dumbed down MATs if we are level 50. And no Rolling for the MAT rewards either. Give me what I need for my profession level. And some nice pink gear too for my profession. Make that a daily Profession Roulette. Now there’s an idea to get me excited about Professions. And I will pick a profession every day to put a couple of levels on it this way and get great gear and mats to continue leveling. I’m sure that someone at FFXIV Central can figure out a great design for two or three of these Profession Dungeons.

If they are designed so that everyone who shows up can do something useful, then it will work for everyone with minimal waiting. Simple Rule- No changing professions while you are there. You end as you start. No problem. Just queue up in the Duty Finder and put a couple of levels on your profession in 20-30 minutes. The sound effects will be great too with everyone in a small area hammering and whooshing and chopping away.

Rant OFF

:ww