Final Fantasy XIV Announcement Showcase

FFXIV had a streamed showcase on 5 February, 2021. It was over 2 hours long and can be found here on Youtube. For those of you who may not have 2 hours to spend right now, but want the highlights I’ve put up some slides from the show here. I’m not going to comment very much. There are plenty of folks on Youtube that will do that. But you can get the gist of what’s been announced in short form here from the slides: Enjoy.

A second DPS job will be announced later.

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A Tale of Four Mounts

Griffon is Reasonable

Back in October I started working on getting the Griffon Mount in GW2. After some frustration I have that mount now. Mounts in GW2 are account wide, so all my 18 or so characters have access to the Griffon.

It turns out that you don’t have to do all the story quests of “Path of Fire”, but only the last section. At least there’s that. There are some good guides for getting the Griffon. Mostly this is a matter of jumping puzzles to get Eggs and then the cost of about 250 Gold to buy the items required. In each of the Five maps there are eggs to collect and Events to participate in. You purchase various items from heart vendors and others. All in all, a reasonable effort.

Obtaining Skyscale is Punishing

The Skyscale is a whole other matter entirely.

I’ve pushed my way through most of the effort, and after grinding for a few days on getting Eternal Ice to get Kralkatite Ore, and a few more days farming Diflourite Crystals, I now need Inscribed Shards. Fighting my way around the map and doing some events got me about 20, and I made another round today for only 6. What a waste of time.

The reason I want Griffon and Skyscale is to have them for the upcoming End of Dragons expansion where we go back to Cantha.

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Why Not Just Fly?

I’m working my way through Path of Fire to get the Griffon mount. It’s the first mount that looks like it’s flying, but it’s not.

The second “Flying Mount” introduced into GW2, Living World Season 4 is the Skyscale. This has enhanced flight mechanics, but still can’t really fly.

There must be some “religious objection” to flight. Ever since Gliders were introduced in Heart of Thorns, we could only “Glide” while all other popular games in the genre have True Flight. Well, not really…

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GW2 vs FFXIV Story Trials

Doing Guild Wars 2 Stories Again

There is a marked difference between the GW2 Story Trials or Instances and the FFXIV Story Instances. I have many GW2 characters of all races and classes, but haven’t played it much recently. Back when Path of Fire came out I worked through the story and maps enough to get many of the mounts: Raptor, Springer, Skimmer, Jackal and Warclaw. I recently decided that I’d like to get the Griffon mount. To do this I need to complete the Path of Fire story on at least on character. So I started with my Necro, which was farthest along this journey. After about 4 hours I gave up in “The Departed” when I could not figure a way to kill “The Soul Eater”.

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Gear Upgrades After 5.3

There have been some changes to Shire [60] and Scaevan [70] Gear upgrades with 5.3. And it’s a little confusing. You can check the patch notes for 5.3 here.

Notice that the NPC in Idyllshire no longer sells Un-Augmented gear and no longer sells upgrade materials. The upgrade NPC across the street will still upgrade gear if you have the upgrade materials left over from before the patch.

However, if you have the un-augmented gear, but no Twine, Gobcoat or whatever, then you have to take a hike to the Calamity Salvager in a major city. Here’s my visit to the one in Gridania.

When you visit the Salvager in any of the three starting cities, you need to “Deal in Spoils” and then choose the Shire / Scaevan War or Magic choices to upgrade your old gear to the new augmented type. It costs the same number of tomes as before, but the intermediate materials [ twine, coat or gob] are no longer needed. Once you upgrade all your gear, you never have to deal with the salvager again. All the new gear starts as Augmented, for more tomes of course.

I’ve not yet dealt with the issue of Ironworks gear [50]. I’ll come back here to update this when I found out what’s up.

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FFXIV Getting Started

There are lots of help videos for Final Fantasy XIV on Youtube. But most of them assume you have already started to play the game. How do you get started playing the game in the first place? I suggest starting with the Benchmark to see how it will run on your system and then starting with the Free Trial. Here’s how you can do that.

Start with the Benchmark

First find the FFIXV Benchmark page here. This will show you how the game will perform on your machine. I suggest not using a laptop. While the game is somewhat forgiving and the graphics can be downgraded quite a lot, it’s still a modern game, so it’s going to cause a lot of strain and heat on your laptop unless you have a high end gaming laptop.

The benchmark is about 2 GB. Very much smaller than the full game, which is about 40GB. I suggest you load the benchmark, and the game, onto an SSD – Solid State Disk – if you have one. Also, you probably want to install the benchmark and the game into a folder such as “C:\FFXIVBench\”. Here’s a video with all the steps to install and run the benchmark.

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FFXIV vs WoW

There have been plenty of articles and Youtube videos comparing Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft. I’m not trying to do a comprehensive guide to the two games, but compare them on two key areas that I find interesting. I played Wow for many years. I finally left in December 2017 when Universal Level scaling was introduced. But with all the hype surrounding the upcoming Wow “Shadowlands” expansion, I’ve had some thoughts about how FFXIV and Wow compare and how I think Blizzard is messing up again with their designs.

I’ll talk about two key areas and compare the two games:

  • Gear Upgrades and New Expansions
  • Class Specs and Talents

There are some important differences between the games that World of Warcraft could learn from as they move forward to Shadowlands and beyond.

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Dress Your Dancer

While I like the Dancer job in FFXIV, the initial outfit is not as nice as I’d like. Above on the left is the Original outfit – Softstepper gear. The top, gloves, and headgear [ if you choose to show it] are really fine. But the pants and shoes don’t really fit the style I like for my female characters. I prefer a thigh boots look with a little leg showing. Fortunately this look is easily obtained, as you can see on the Right above.

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