Here we are, people; the day before Final Fantasy XIV patch 5.1. It’s happening tomorrow, so let’s hope you’ve finished up anything you wanted to do with GARO rewards already, and you may as well have kept going with the PvP stuff anyhow because you’re just going to need it either tomorrow or a bit later. Brew a pot of coffee, perhaps; you may need it. You’ve been through patch days before, you know the foundations of this before.
Arriving on delay
I still don’t know how I feel about the now-common procedure for patches to have extra content staggered out for future patches right from the announcement. On the one hand, it ensures that you’ll have new stuff to do just as some of the existing content is getting a bit stale, rather than feeling a rush to gorge on everything all at once and then getting burnt out. On the other hand, I am not always patient. Regardless, that’s where we are, and we already have things that are being held until 5.11 and 5.15.
5.11 is when we’ll be getting Ishgard restoration and Alexander (Ultimate); the former has some glamour already previewed, while the latter will likely reward cosmetic weapons as the previous Ultimate fights have. Based on previous patches, 5.11 will probably be out about two weeks out from 5.1, so expect that around November 12th.
5.15 contains both the expansion of Blue Mage (meaning new level caps and the new duty finder option just for Blue Mages) and the new Danshig Naadam PvP map. There’s as yet no information about what the new Blue Mage content will entail and/or rewards for same; we also don’t yet know if the new PvP gear will be added in 5.15 or if it’ll be added with 5.1 tomorrow. Regardless, it should be about four weeks out, so November 26th.
We also don’t yet know whether the new hairstyles, emotes, mounts, pets, etc. will be locked as new PvP rewards or what. I’d currently give even odds about the new PvP armor being out with the patch or locked behind 5.15; everything else being previewed, though, I imagine will be there on the day of the patch. Expect to hear more about Blue Mage stuff over the next month, though.
How do you prepare?
There are a few good ways to get ready for a patch like this, although in all likelihood the one thing you can get done that you might not have done already is the quest in Kholusia up at Tomra. It may or may not be required to kick off the new alliance raid, but it does set the stage for the NieR content and is probably not a bad idea. But, hey, a lot of this stuff is useful for the future.
First of all, as this is an upgrade patch, I make a point of capping out my hunt currency (Nuts, at this point) and having one set of hunts and weekly marks “banked.” This is a trick to help bulk out that currency, which (at least traditionally) can be used with the odd patches to help speed along your upgrades. Essentially, if you grab your weekly mark and daily marks on Monday and don’t do them, you can do them on Tuesday… and then pick up a new weekly mark and new daily marks, which means that you functionally can go into the new week with 4,430 Nuts to spend right away (if you were already capped). Assuming that book costs and upgrade items haven’t changed much, that’s a leg up on upgrading your gear.
Second, if you want to farm some items, bank up some maps. Patches like this often include a few extra items in map treasure lists, so it can make sense to store a few 8-person maps for after the patch. Even if you can’t gather them, your server probably has them fairly cheap at the moment because there’s not much new to get; take advantage of that fact.
Third, go ahead and do your PvP roulette for the day. I mentioned before that we may or may not be getting new armor with this patch or a bit later, but odds are low that we’re going to have a totally new currency other than wolf marks. Getting this out of the way now might not get you all of the gear you want, since prices can be steep, but every little bit helps, right?
Last but not least, if you’re running up close to the cap of Poetics and plan to do stuff with Blue Mage, I’d go ahead and buy caster accessories. We don’t know at this point if that’s going to be necessary for a fact, but what else will you spent Poetics on? It’s an investment in your future.
And when it comes to content…
Everyone is going to have different priorities on patch day about what matters most and what matters less. This is mine. My first priority, always, is to get Expert unlocked again and get the new raid unlocked. The first day of a new Alliance Raid can be a bit wonky in terms of getting it cleared, so getting it open quickly gives me more chances for the first reset; similarly, returning Expert to being available helps me get practice in with the new dungeon and usually results in an assortment of new player bonuses from right off.
Once that’s done, then I worry about finishing up the MSQ and Alliance Raid questlines. From there, it’s on to the beast tribe quests, and from there it’s custom deliveries; since beast tribes are timed out pretty narrowly, those should be done on a daily basis, but custom deliveries are limited every week and thus have a little more leeway.
I should note that if you can get in and do the content before the daily reset, it is worth it to start off with the beast tribe; that’s not always doable depending on when you work and what your personal schedule is, but it’s a good trick if you can pull it off.
After that… well, there are those new Fellowships to look up, aren’t there? These patches are always so dense that it feels difficult to plan out too far in advance. Heck, some people are going to be jumping for joy about getting to go back through the MSQ again. You follow your bliss, people.
Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week? First impressions of the patch, naturally! It’s how we do things.