Wisdom of Nym: The end of Final Fantasy XIV’s 2.X cycle

    
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Scaaaaaaaary.
The last part of Final Fantasy XIV‘s pre-expansion storyline is going live on March 31st. That’s about two weeks away. And while you’ll be able to do such things as “no longer worry about the weekly lockout on World of Darkness” and presumably “buy those Ironworks weapons from the CT weekly,” you’ll also be facing the last dose of content from the game until the expansion drops on June 23rd — or June 19th if you have it pre-ordered, which will almost certainly be the case for the people who are reading this column with the intent of actually playing the game. But that’s still nearly three months without much new to do.

I’m going to assume that no one needs any suggestions about finishing the content that’s already available in the game; if you haven’t done the Hildibrand story yet, well, there’s enough content to keep you occupied for a week or so right off the bat. But let’s assume that you’ve kept up with the story and within a week of the second half of this patch, you’ll know what there is to be done. What can you use to fill in the gap other than grinding?

If at all possible, you can make your existing character newly hot.Level a secondary character

Perhaps you’re one of those weird roleplayers who likes having multiple characters, perhaps you want to experience the main story again, or perhaps you just want to try being a roegadyn without quaffing a Fantasia. If you’re dedicated, it’s not going to be all that difficult to get a totally new character to 50 before the expansion hits, and you can probably even clear your way through the main story along the way. Not without some difficulties, but still.

It’s a kind of weak way to fill up the content gap, of course. “Just roll another character” is a tacit admission that you have nothing left to do in terms of content. But it can be a fun sideline and something to do when you’ve eaten through the game on your main character, not to mention that it’s your chance to see the storyline from starting nations you may have skipped over in the past.

Learn how to make money

Other people have pointed out that there’s no such thing as telling people “this is how you make money in Final Fantasy XIV” because the market is, well, a market. If I tell everyone that Bronze Ingots are big money, even if it happens to be true on every server at the time, then people flood the market with Bronze Ingots and suddenly they aren’t worth anything. Making money in the game is less a matter of knowing items and prices and more about understanding systems.

You have to learn how to maintain a steady income in the game, and studying the markets during the downtime is as good a time as any to start understanding how everything flows together. Yes, it’s almost certain — and by “almost” I mean “completely” — that the best ways to make money will change between 2.55 and 3.0. That’s part of the point. You want to learn how you can make money and apply it to the future so that when the patch rolls around, you’ll be ready to generate cash in the new world.

Stock up

If you intend to be crafting in the expansion, you’re going to need shards, crystals, and clusters. There are some common crafting materials that you may or may not need, but it can’t hurt to have them on hand in a reasonable stack. Some lower-level potions wouldn’t go amiss. Perhaps you’d like to have seals in hand for when the new jobs are yours so you can kit them out… or just so you can fling yourself up new ranks as fast as possible.

I don’t really consider this pure grinding, although it’s a close cousin, but it’s really just stocking your larder for a predictable upcoming rainy day. Even if you have no intention of crafting or gathering in a serious capacity, you can nab some low-level gear for the new jobs and possibly some materia to give them a jump in power. It’s not ideal, perhaps, but it’s enough to split the difference.

You never know when some jerk will get married and eat up your stocked items in an instant.Hunts and PvP

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that odds are low you’re still super-fixated on hunting, and PvP has never been a major draw for most of the game’s players. It’s a long climb up those ranks, after all; it’s the sort of thing that’s perfect to do when you have a big stretch of time and not much else going on. Oh look, here we are, there’s a long gap and plenty of cosmetic gear to be earned, and whatever shall we do?

While it’s quite possible and even likely that neither side will be directly relevant on your overall performance or care about PvP, there’s a lot of cool-looking stuff to grab, and the equipment from Wolf Marks is pretty. As long as you have a whole chunk of time during which nothing else is taking place, it makes perfect sense to fill out those gaps piece by piece.

Try something you’ve never cared much about

As has been said many a time by others, it’s hard to be done with the content in Final Fantasy XIV. You can be done with the stuff that interests you, but you can hardly be done with everything. So odds are good that the lull will see you with at least a few pieces of content that you have yet to complete.

Now’s the time to give all of that a shot. Try the Extreme Primal fights. Take part in Ultima’s Bane, which is great fun if kind of pointless. Spend some time gathering Triple Triad cards. Train your chocobo, even! With the specter of progression no longer hanging over your head, you might find it far more fun than you had previously considered.

Feedback, as always, is welcome by mail (eliot@massivelyop.com) or via the comments below. Next time around, a look at where we are now in the story and my speculation about where we’ll be when the chips finally fall.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.
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Rnageo Isea
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Rnageo Isea

I’ve still got to finish one relic, level most combat classes to 50, craft 2-stars or harder items, fish and gather everywhere, get acquainted with a few beast tribes, not to mention running any extreme or coil fight. So plenty of work to do.

Besides that I don’t think it will be 3 months without new content. I’d bet in early June (the 16th at the latest, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it came the 9th or even the 2nd) we will be seeing patch 3.0 drop bringing with it the new systems and features of the expansion and suddenly upsetting the balance of everything.

SwobyJ
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SwobyJ

usagizero Sythalin Add *annoying* to it. Annoyingly repeating a task for a goal. It also fits better with the word – GRINDDDDDD. Pressing so hard against your sensibilities that you feel you’re losing yourself to it. 

Kids ‘don’t know grind’. Yeah, okay, I agree.
However, the genre still seems to depend more on grind than other genres. And maybe the genre needs to adapt to the growing awareness that doing something over and over without enjoyment from it is bad game design. The problem then, if you want a long lasting game, is ‘How do I allocate development resources?’.

Pigmenta OtQ
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Pigmenta OtQ

With the Mac client coming out in June I am looking forward to give the game a try, going to have to find a good guild for me and the wife.

wolfyseyes
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wolfyseyes

Yeaaaah…really not a fan of the Ishgardians. Especially as a born and bred Lominsan, it’s hard to find friendship amongst an order of blindly devout knights.

JonBuck
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JonBuck

usagizero They do have their charm, and the original cinematic (with Midgaardstormer taking down the Garlean aerial dreatnaught) is awesome. But by and large ARR was a vast improvement, even if we had to lose a few good things in the process.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

I was more talking about actual characters not classes. I have two characters with all their classes at 50.

Wyattearp1989
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Wyattearp1989

I have too much to do as it is right now, so I won’t be bored before the expansion comes out, lol. Also, I rather there be a “drought” of content and let the devs focus on polishing the expansion and launching in a good condition than trying to also pump out one more patch right before June 23rd.

JonBuck
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JonBuck

Eliot_Lefebvre Jay_Bird Entire server is cats! Still, I’ll probably get a Fantasia to turn Thea into an Au Ra.

usagizero
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usagizero

JonBuck Oh man, those take me back. I will say, i do miss the bit of combat break in the intro from 1.0. The new intros seem a bit too long with not a whole lot other than story and getting to know starting area, although most people only do it a couple times at most.

usagizero
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usagizero

It’s funny in FFXIV a three month drought is considered long, when WoW only recently got over it’s year long one. I guess we are spoiled. ;)