I have the Amaro mount, at long last. I started the long climb for the Amaro mount right after I got Skyscale in GW2 back in January 2021. To review, to get the Amaro, you need to level 17 jobs of War and Magic up to level 80. Not including BLU mage. It took about Eight Months. Much Much longer than the few weeks that it took to get the Guild Wars 2 Skyscale Mount.
Another thing to note is that Mounts in FFXIV are “Per Character” except for a few mounts purchased from the Store. So to have this mount on the rest of my 10 or so Alts, I would have to do the Eight Months work on each of them. Not going to happen any time soon. The last few weeks, I’ve been playing a lot of Guild Wars 2 while I logged in once per day to do Pixie quests and one run of the Main Scenario Roulette.
Is FFXIV Alt Punishing or Alt Hostile?
Personally, I think some of the very hardest to get mounts in the game should automatically be Account Wide. But they aren’t. So you can pay $25-$30 for an Account Wide mount on the Store, but you can’t work Eight Months for one. Odd, don’t you think? Here are some examples of Account Wide mounts.
Let’s look at some other games. Not just for mounts, but other Alt Friendly features.
Sharing Game Currency and Items
The first time through playing a game, you are poor in game currency with very few items of gear. The second time through on an Alt, most games allow the rewards of the first Alt to be shared with the following Alts to ease their passage.
Wow allows mailing items to other Alts on the game account. The bank is per Alt, but either mailing to yourself or trading through a trusted friend allows transfer of wealth and items with Alts.
Guild Wars 2 has a shared bank to share items and items are usually Account Bound until they are Soul Bound to a single character. The game currencies, of which there are dozens, are all shared among all characters. There are shared inventory slots that allow sharing without visiting a bank.
FFXIV alts are completely siloed with separate banks, and currency stores and they do not have the ability to Mail items to Alts. This problem is easily obviated by having a trusted friend transfer currency and items to an Alt. Most dungeon drops are SOUL BOUND as they are picked up, and so cannot be shared with an Alt. There is no such thing as ACCOUNT BOUND in the game as far as I can tell. This is needlessly complicated. FFXIV appears Alt Hostile in the regard. While we can transfer our character between servers to play with Friends, we can’t easily share items between Alts.
When I started World of Warcraft I remember a time when there was no glamour. Then they added “Transmog” and then they made an account wide Appearances collection so that any armor that you encountered was shared across your account for Transmog.
Guild Wars 2 has the wardrobe, which is a collection of all armor and weapon appearances that is shared account wide.
In Final Fantasy XIV there is a glamour dresser in the Inn Rooms in each major city, but these appearances have a maximum of 400 items and are not shared account wide. Certain special seasonal or other items can be stored in the older Armoire. Both glamour dresser and Armoire items can be used for glamour plates – saved instances of freely applied glamours for your gear. At least “Special” seasonal and other gear does not count against your Glamour Dresser limit.
World of Warcraft used to have a Mount Per Character scheme. But this was replaced by an account wide Mount collection.
Guild Wars 2 unlocks mounts using “Masteries” starting with the Path of Fire expansion. Masteries are account wide “Training” for special abilities and once you train a Mastery, like Gliding, Mushroom Jumping, Special Poison Defense and so forth, all characters have these abilities, right from the beginning. So level 1 Alts can glide after an Alt Acquires the Mastery in Heart of Thorns expansion. Mounts operate the same way. Skins purchased on the store for your mounts are always account wide.
Final Fantasy XIV has account wide mounts in the store starting at $25 USD with some nicer single character mounts costing $30 USD. The Lunar Whale for up to 8 players and all the alts on your account is $42 USD. All other mounts collected in the game are exclusively “Per Character”. No matter the effort to achieve the mount or the Barding [Glamour] for the mount, it is completely single Alt based.
Minis or Companions
Mini’s are small animated Non-Player items that follow your character around. They either do nothing or only cause a minor benefit.
World of Warcraft introduced mini’s and later made a Pokemon style battle game with the Mini’s in the game. All Mini’s are account wide whether collected in the game by an Alt or purchased on the store.
Guild Wars 2 has minis and they are account wide. The earlier Guild Wars had minis too and they could be stored in the Shared Bank for use by any character on the account.
In FFXIV, Minions collected by a character in the world are exclusively per character. Account wide minions are sold in the store for about $7 USD and per Alt minions are cheaper at $5 USD.
What about Housing?
We have not talked about Housing as yet.
Wow does not have Housing. Garrisons in Warlords of Draenor and Class Halls in Legions are not really housing in the normal sense of this in an MMO. They have only very minor customization.
Guild Wars 2 does not have player housing, but it does have Guild Housing [Halls] and these are account wide since the account can belong to up to Three Guilds and any can be active on any Alt at any time.
FFXIV has “Non Instanced” housing, which is very hard to get and very expensive in “Game Currency”. There is also the problem of obtaining a house since Non-Instanced Housing is artificially scarce. Also there is Free Company Housing in the game which is also non-instanced and very expensive. Neither Free Company membership or Per Character housing is Account wide. So, even on the same server, Alts do not have access to a house.
So, we can see from the above, that FFXIV is at least Alt Unfriendly, if not downright Alt Hostile, except where there is Income for the game company involved.
In recent weeks, social media has been mentioning the point that some games “Respect the Player’s Time” and other games do not. As we see below the term has been used for some time – since 2017? – but with the recent Wow Shadowlands complaints about too much “Grind” and having to Re-Do grinds for items, this term has been more frequently mentioned.
I would argue that FFXIV mostly does a good job with respecting player’s time. But in the above areas, it could make these “Achievements” account wide. Certainly I’m not asking that one trip through the Main Scenario Quest line should do for all Alts. Although you can argue that Guild Wars 2 has what is very close to this system. For example, if you open a new zone by doing a story quest on one character, all other character on the account can visit that zone without repeating the story quest, although they are able to do so.
Alt Unfriendly and Alt Hostility
I would argue that FFXIV is in some cases Alt Hostile and in many cases Alt Unfriendly, as you can see above.
For FFXIV, allow me to argue that any Effort by an Alt to achieve a specific reward in the game that is equivalent to the cost of an Account wide Mount in the game should afford all current and future Alts on that account the rewards of that Achievement. So if it takes 2 or so months of 5 days per week four hours per day to achieve a reward for an achievement in the game, then let’s price that out in player effort. So since the Monthly Subscription for FFXIV is about $15, then say, working 2 months to achieve something should provide the rewards Account wide. The equivalent subscription price for a typical Account wide mount in the game store. Certainly the Amaro mount, which takes much longer than 2 months, qualifies for this. But I’m sure there are many other examples. Including Player Housing. Clearly this does not require a lot of invention in the game. There are currently ways of providing Account Wide rewards.
May you walk in the light of the Crystal.