Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s crafting and gathering endgame in Heavensward

    
10
Build.
Crafting and gathering has never been a primary goal of mine in Final Fantasy XIV so much as a secondary one. It’s something extra to do, but it’s also a lot of fun, and the fact that it has a bunch of gameplay all to itself makes it even more satisfying. So my first goal wasn’t to get a crafting or gathering class up to the cap, but now that I’ve gotten some combat classes up there my eyes have turned to the cycle of acquiring materials and the like.

Also because I need to make money, of course, because who doesn’t like making money?

Heavensward brought a pretty major revision to the way that the endgame for both crafting and gathering by adding in collectables, which brings with it a new way of gating advancement and doling out gear in smaller doses. That means good things and bad, and it’s worth examining what the endgame was like for crafting in gathering in 2.0 compared to its current state, the good and the bad.

The melding pot

What turned a lot of people off from crafting and gathering in 2.0 wasn’t the mechanics of the classes, it was the endgame. Buying up or crafting several sets of high-quality endgame gear for these classes wasn’t so bad, but if you really wanted to reliably be doing stuff at any level, you needed to start melding.  And overmelding. And eating food before any major gather or craft, and…

The point is that advancing past a certain point was very much limited not just by gil but by the ability to throw a lot of gil at something and getting lucky. Overmelding had its risks, and it was limiting, and I know a lot of people spent lots of gil on being able to craft higher items reliably only to find that those items weren’t all that valuable and didn’t offer much in the way of return on investment.

It was kind of mostly satisfying at the time, anyway.

In and of itself, this wasn’t a terrible system, but it did create a pretty high barrier to entry that didn’t really get eased until nearly the end of the cycle – and even then, the trade-in gear that you could access wasn’t all that great. It made for a pretty irritating experience for anyone who wanted to craft or gather as a hobbyist, and it certainly didn’t encourage getting in on that side of the game unless you wanted to throw plenty of gil and time at it.

While I don’t have any hard proof of it – I don’t sit in on design meetings – I think that a lot of what was planned for 3.0’s crafting and gathering was specifically to address those issues. On the one hand, crafting and gathering overmelding kept gear and crafting gear more relevant through the expansion; on the other hand, it wasn’t exactly an easy barrier to overcome, and it shut people out unfairly. It was a de facto money gate simply because the game wasn’t set up to have any other gates in place for players to overcome at the level cap, because there was no real system for gating gear in the same fashion as it was handled for combat classes.

The collection rag

Crafting good-looking gear is nice, but it can be a mixed bag.Collectables, fundamentally, are an attempt to correct this issue. By making them bind-on-pickup for the person crafting or gathering, you avoid making it purely a money gate, but making them difficult to acquire also ensures that people can’t just slink in without bothering to get upgrades. It also creates a better method for gating high-end gear in much the same way that the game gates combat gear, with lower gear being purchased, then higher gear coming in to fill in the gaps.

In theory, anyhow. In practice, it has a few holes in it, starting with the fact that the collection system is meant to work the same way for both gathering and crafting. That doesn’t quite work, because it is a whole lot easier to make solid collectable items as a crafter than as a gatherer. Crafting, it’s just a matter of raising an item’s quality up to a holding point; gathering, you have to play an entirely different game with unspoiled nodes that already severely trims down your GP and makes harvesting a whole lot more difficult than it needs to be.

Obviously, yes, upgrading your gear is a component of this and it should be. But you can stumble through crafting collections far more reliably than you can stumble through the heavily chance-based collections of gathering, and you can do so a lot more frequently than twice every Eorzean day. It leads to a lot of unpleasant waiting for unspoiled nodes just for a chance at what you need, a chance that you’re sure to flub the first few times.

In other words, tying all of this to unspoiled nodes makes things much more obnoxious than it needs to be for the gathering side. Not that the crafting side is a whole lot better once you get into the red scrips, which are very strictly limited in their availability per week and need to be turned into another currency to actually buy the high-end crafting gear that blows away what you could otherwise get through purchasing.

Once you can start getting blue and red scrips, it’s a solid system, and it works better than the old system of throwing gil at your gear and hoping that this meld is actually successful. The problem is getting over that hump, and sometimes that feels like once again throwing gil at something and hoping it works. It’s an advancement system that doesn’t lock crafting solely to the province of those with lots of time and money to devote to it, but it’s still not something that I’d call exactly welcoming.

That’s without touching upon the fact that all of your accessories and offhands are still very much limited by gil and melding. A step forward, a step nowhere, in other words.

Moving forward

It’s long been an established fact that the game’s updates alternate between upping the cap for combat classes and making it easier to reach that cap, going back and forth between another set of tomestones and a new item level cap and then adding in the 24-person runs to make reaching that cap easier. There’s every reason to believe that this will continue in 3.1 and beyond, as well. What I’m hoping will also happen in 3.1 is that advancing with crafting and gathering will start following the same cadence.

Beats 1.0 crafting, all right.I’d also like to see the gathering log in particular get an upgrade; with unspoiled nodes becoming such a major component of the gathering classes even through leveling, it would be wonderful if we could at least have the times listed that the nodes spawn within the game rather than looking them up. Something to make it a bit more straightforward when you’re just idly taking care of things and want to know when your next gathering window might be.

The fact that we have a proper gathering and crafting endgame is great and valuable, and I’m not saying that players should be able to just be crafting the best things as soon as they hit 60. But the easier it is to get into crafting,the more people will want to craft.

Or perhaps crafting is and should remain solely the domain of the truly dedicated. That’s not my particular preference, but it’s certainly a valid approach.

Feedback, as always, can be left down in the comments or sent along to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, I’ll be writing a little early, but barring any unusual developments I’ll be continuing on with my little class series by looking at the ranged damage dealers in the game at the moment.

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.
Advertisement

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
themindstream
Guest
themindstream

The ability to quick synth HQ items would severely devalue them and completely devalue NQ. HQ crafting has to have a reasonable barrier to acomplish for the current system to work at all.

AGx
Guest
AGx

nyttyn I don’t mind the fact that the recipes require materials from other classes as this creates a more balanced economy. That the prices are so high isn’t entirely SE’s fault. I will agree on the point that the recipes require too many materials in general. Cooking especially. AS a GSM, when I’m making a ring, I don’t mind having to get 5-6 items because I can probably sell that for a 2-3x profit over materials. For cooking? I have to get like 8 things, I can only make ONE at a time and they sell for barely more than the cost of the mats. I hate that.

mindfulpizza
Guest
mindfulpizza

I agree on some your points . but they could do it  better . 

They need make it fun and more involved ., With some these ideas also. Like mmos of the past ,  or future crafting that happening . 

Should be able to craft any piece of old gear pre 2.0 and turn it to a purple or gold color , You get one extra or two extra stats added to it and can change the color. and sell them on the market.   It is all item level and stays the same item level , so it not going break the game . You may need to earn the old gear first  also.  Even if rare/ex. and can sell on the market board as the purple and gold versions.  They can take advantage of the desysthis system with this .  like have a way to make the foresakenstriker lv15 dye able and have extra stats it item level 15 anyways and dungeons got set items level to join. but you would be able glamour the dye color.

Still keep the items with a lot of ingredients , it balances it out much more . If  person leveling that what leves are for. so they need keep that .  

Get rid the entire macro system for crafting and have the basic quick synthesis work right. You can have a test like if do 100 HQ in a row of that item .Then quick synthesis is 90%-100% it then will works all the time . So people need learn all the cross jobs and why they unlocked all them. Instead of copy pasted the macro. If on the ps4 right now there out of luck. and constansly change macro. 

Have a rare end game items you need for a battle type craft , and need lv60 craft. , but can not sell to no one also . You need the item though from a end game type dungeon. 

Gathering nodes times it is stupid , having to go to one of  the thousands of websites and cellphones apps for the time the node spawns. Why not just allow us to mark the item , and one ezora hr before we get a in game notification . it going to spawn and the area. Can select 10 items and after we found it. then it notify you .

Desynthesis   you get the battle,clear,field stuff , it would be used for gear that you can change it , to a new color purple and gold and sell on market board . But need the primary items first.  and when you are crafting,  you are going to need to maxed it on the controll for the gear 100%. no in between. or quick synthesis

A Dad Supreme
Guest
A Dad Supreme

exeeter Honestly as someone who likes to make their own items with the pride of “Made by” on it, I’m disappointed they went this route but as a Vet of FFXI, I fully understand why.
It never sat well with me to look at those items I needed in MMOs but never could make due to restrictions (or luck) and have to totally be at the mercy of someone else who got lucky and chose right. Kind of like how desynthing was; if you chose Goldsmithing or Leather pre-Heavens you made bank. Shortly after Weavers got in on it but just about everyone else, especially Culinarians got the shaft regarding high-priced items.

staticlove666
Guest
staticlove666

nyttyn “Everything requires, frankly, far too many materials. ”

================================

This +1

I have been crafting like a beast and got all DoH 30+, CRP 52, GSM 51, and ARM 51. Also got a MIN at 60, BTN at 51 and a fisher at 30.

I go to craft anything and I have to make a trip around the world for the mats, on top of that, some people don’t know how to sell properly on the market board.

After getting the mats, I need a nap.

Love the stories for the DoH and DoL classes.

exeeter
Guest
exeeter

Yeah it surprises me how many players on the official forums (yes I know….) don’t grasp this concept.
They obviously wanted to drive players into niches and create interdependencies. Many would disagree with me I’m sure, but the concept of “omnicrafting” never sat well with me in a heavily vertical mmo

exeeter
Guest
exeeter

Yoshi has already addressed that issue, he said they were going to update the existing potions in some way, not introduce new ones

nyttyn
Guest
nyttyn

While I fully agree with your thoughts on the Gathering endgame, I feel you’ve missed the biggest issue that Crafting currently has:

Everything requires, frankly, far too many materials. 

From the word go, the heavensward leveling recipes require such a vast amount of inter-crafted materials (and more overall compared to ARR recipes) that you basically have to either shell out by the gil load, or level all of your crafters and gatherers at the same time. Which, in and of itself is already a barrier to encouraging people to craft, and is vastly at odds with the ‘specialist’ system which would suggest they’re trying to allow people to get away with only one craft.

In and of itself, this is just a time barrier, and isn’t the worst thing in the world. The problem then becomes exemplified with the red scrip material recipes, which…are, um, brutal to say the least.

In order to craft them, you need to get materials that are only avalible through red scrips. But not just red scrips, both crafter red scrips, AND materials that only gatherers can acqurie from favors, which are only acessible from gatherer red scrips. So already you need to either spend your gatherer red scrips on crafting, or pay large amounts of gil on these gatherer red scrip mats, AND your own accessibility to the crafting red scrip mats is time-gated to only so many per week,the same time gate your gear is gated behind.

The problem then is that the gear you can get from this is only ilvl 170, and is outclassed by alexander normal gear, much esoteric tome gear. And it’s not even good as catch up gear, because it requires so much time and gil that barely anyone will buy it. Not even good as glamour gear, since most of it is reskins.

So you wind up with a crafting system that, by all accounts, is a complete ouroboros, with crafters crafting only useful for other crafters and gatherers. It’s both an enormous pain and completely disconnected from the DoW/M side of the game. I’d argue they’re trying to make glamour more attractive, but with the huge cost/rarity of glamour materials, furniture, and minions in the expansion, it still only appeals to players with deep pockets of gil in the first place.

A Dad Supreme
Guest
A Dad Supreme

Oh, bonus points to anyone who can answer why SE still has healing and MP pots that are basically worthless in the game as a craft item vs mats?
They don’t heal past 520 hps (even on players who may have upwards of 20k hps) but they all share the same cooldown regardless of type of item (HP pots linked with MP pots linked with Stat buff pots linked with mob debuffing pots).

A Dad Supreme
Guest
A Dad Supreme

Their goal was to have it more like old school FFXI, where in that game you had three classes you could max and then you could take all the others to half. There was a built-in cap on the other crafting jobs so you could never cap them. What happened was it guaranteed that players (unless they did alts) could never control all crafting classes and would always be dependent to some point on other players.
With FFXIV, they did not put a mechanical cap on the crafting classes, but they put basically a ‘time cap’ on them. SE essentially made it so that you could cap and control all the crafting classes (gathering included), but it would require so much of your time that if you did do that with all the zone unlocks and gearing for making things, your battle time would suffer heavily. You literally would have to play more than four hours a day to start capping everything because of the time gates, the increased amounts of materials from pre-Heavens and the logistics of making those time gates.