One of the early quests after you reach Ishgard is “At the End of Our Hope”. As you wander North, doing quests and gradually opening the map, you come to the Duty entry for this quest. No spoilers. This is the first Heavensward solo duty and it’s held in a huge area. Unlike the ARR duties, which are in very small areas, this one drops you into the great open wastes with few land marks. I messed up and spent 10 minutes finding my way back to the quest and that was after seeing a video. So take care.
The key is to follow the foot prints and you must click on each one. That was my mistake, I just ran past them. You need to click on each one. If you mess up, you lose your way since the map does not help. Follow these pictures as land marks.
As you follow the prints, and click on them you’ll have a fight with four suspicious characters, which are easily beaten. At least they were easy by my level 56 Red Mage. At this point one of the bad guys runs away toward the hills. Don’t follow him directly, although that might work. Circle around the hill to the right and at the top of the hill you find a chalet. The chalet is marked with a pin you can see on the map, if you know which one to head for. Check the last picture below to see the map with the pin on it. Any extraneous mobs you come across on the way are easily taken down since they don’t run in packs.
The next fight is in the basement of the chalet. The stairs are inside the door to the right. There are six guys down there: as I recall, one healer, one caster and some melee guys. I wasn’t as careful as I should have been to take out the healer and caster first. It’s pretty tight quarters down there, so it can be hard to see who is who.
After the fight, click on the destination to activate the long cut scene with a character you have seen before. No spoilers, but take your time and hear it out at least once.
I’m impressed with the level of storytelling in FFXIV in general and in Heavensward in particular. This narrative, care in telling this story and the conflicted nature of the characters is just great.
After this quest, I tried to move on without doing quests on my own to get to Idyllshire to check in with the NPC for Level 60 Shire Gear but it turns out that you have to complete some key story quests before you can get there. I’m sure it won’t take too long. But I did wander around in the dark and saw some amazing sights. I’ve adjusted the brightness of these shots so you can see them. The area changes from snow to other climes and there are many types of new fauna. The good news is that the mobs are spaced out, as is the custom throughout FFXIV, so that you can run through them without constant fights. I thought I saw some person with a flying mount. Maybe someday I’ll have one too.
I’m sure I’ll be posting more of my travels. Until then, enjoy your own journeys.