In theory, that’s what Guildhests were meant to do, but the problem with that was that Guildhests failed to accomplish that goal and were also kind of awful. It makes sense to give that job to something more likely to actually, like, work.
This also prompts the question of what other parts of the game could use some sort of expansion before the next expansion rewrites everything all over again. I’m not talking about things like our roster of dungeons or the number of ways in which player characters need to help Minfilia; that’s all sort of a given. No, I’m talking about fundamental aspects that have been a bit neglected, but they’d be well-served by some attention and some effort.
As it stands now, grand companies are pointless. You need to join up with them as part of the plot and to grab your mount, and if you then make a little more effort to turn in unwanted equipment, you can get mildly more useful rewards than you get by just selling unwanted dungeon gear. And… that’s it. That’s really all they provide.
I am constantly fluctuating at this point between 40,000 and 50,000 company seals, and when I get too close to the cap, I just throw a whole bunch of them at Grade 6 Dark Matter and Ventures. And engineering manuals. I’m to the point that this provides little more than an even cheaper means of repairing my equipment. While I don’t exactly mind the fact that repairs cost me nothing, I get the distinct feeling that this is not really the intended fate for the companies.
We have more ranks listed, and the last word we’ve received is that players will have to do something more than just hand in seals to get another promotion. Fair enough. But players have already had more things to do in order to get promotions, and they still haven’t been tremendously interesting. We’ve also been told that the next set of promotions will go along with some new form of content, but I really think it would be better not to let the whole of GCs languish for an entire expansion before they become relevant again.
I’m not sure exactly what more ranks could tie into. But I do know that our current state of the companies could use some work, and it seems like the exact sort of thing that could work its way in alongside other updates.
“Hold on a minute,” you say, “materia is being expanded with the next patch!” And as far as it goes, that’s true. Rather than being useful on crafted gear and nothing else, we’re supposed to be gaining the ability to meld materia onto tomestone gear as well. That’s a big change! (I say “supposedly” because plans can always change and we’re not staring directly at the gear at the time of this writing.) But that’s not really doing much to materia so much as what that materia can be used on.
The biggest problems that the materia system currently has are twofold. First, it’s random, and you all know how I’m not a big fan of pure randomness. Give me some control over what’s going to happen, especially if I’m spending a great deal of time working on it. And that in and of itself is the other issue with the materia system: The process of creating materia involves a whole bunch of grinding for materia, only winding up with an Ice III piece for your troubles.
Yes, the current system works, and if you’re patient enough it will eventually produce useful items that you can sell on the market boards without too much trouble. I tend to think that this is still not a great thing; most of the game is not built around the idea that money can only be made by those with the greatest amount of boredom. No, I think this is one of those area where the existing system has worked, but could use some proper trimming. It may not be as exciting as a variety of other systems designed for content, but having it trimmed up would still be a net benefit.
Armoury chest and class swapping
I feel a bit bad bringing this one up, because the fact of the matter is that we’ve been told before that Final Fantasy XIV characters are meaty in terms of database storage. When your characters consist of more than two dozen jobs with individual attributes to consider, that’s going to take a lot of space on a server. Fair enough. But that doesn’t change the fact that one additional job is going to push our storage capacity to its absolute limit.
I understand that the designers clearly do not want everyone in the game mastering every job with impunity. That’s fine. The structure of the game already prevents that quite effectively; even if you pursue tomestones and gear with religious fervor, which I have in many situations, you simply run out of weeks before you run out of jobs to get the best stuff for said jobs. Sharing equipment between two or three jobs helps matters slightly, but weapons and tools remain the indisputable sticking points.
This is compounded by the fact that you need to hold on to gear that in some way might be useful for glamour in the future. In a game wherein there are only four items that are simply straightforward vendor trash, running out of space to keep everything isn’t a vague consideration but an ironclad promise. You are perpetually deciding which of the things you’re most willing to get rid of, even though you don’t really want to get rid of any of them.
Adding another five slots to the Armoury chest would fix the immediate issue, but I honestly feel like that’s the equivalent of solving your hoarding problem by purchasing a bigger house; a better solution is throwing away those pizza boxes from the previous presidential administration. That’s why I’m saying that the system could use an overhaul. Heck, I’d happily use my additional gear sets for something if it meant that I could get rid of the dozens of things stuffed in my inventory with sharply limited utility.
It would probably help if I didn’t feel like I had to level everything, but hey, I work how I work.
As always, feedback is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next time around, we’re going to be doing our usual patch primer before patch 3.2 goes live, and the week after that we’re going to be talking about the patch that at that point will be live, because why would we do anything else?