A Few More Days Before the Fall…
Coming from the point of view of someone who's woefully slow on the bleeding edge of story content, I'm pleased to note that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has more than enough content for me to even further drive myself to delaying doing the story,
Square Enix has shortened forms of the patch notes available now, but as I'm writing this, there's around three days and an hour left till January 20 in Japan… which means three days before Patch 2.5 goes live.
Here's all the good stuff that you need to know, from the little quality of life changes and extra goodies, to the big content additions.
Hair, Payments, Free Companies, and Gathering
So four important things for me, and perhaps for many of you, as follows: hair, payments, free company actions and gathering.
I have a genetic predisposition to baldness, so I enjoy fiddling with character hair that I may eventually lose. Buy ffxi gil. I'm happy to note that they'll be adding new hairstyles into the game via the aethestician.
Now, if you remember that column I wrote a few months back about there not being any Paypal options for players, there's an excellent end to that tale.
They've just announced that Paypal is finally available as a means of directly buying Crysta, which also means there might be some adjustment period as they work out any kinks. I suggest you wait till the initial furor dies down and they've managed to get the systems settled or you could end up frustrated and dealing with errors when it comes to paying for Crysta via Paypal (this is based on anecdotes I've been hearing, so just be careful).
The second thing is meant for free company houses and that’s the Aetherial wheel and a retainer setup for free company houses.
Here's part of what they wrote in the preliminary patch notes on the Aetherial Wheel:
Free companies can now charge aetherial wheels on estate grounds. These wheels accumulate aether over time, which can be used to acquire company actions without the use of company credits.
In order to charge aetherial wheels, free companies must first obtain an aetherial wheel stand, which can be purchased from housing merchants in any residential district.
The aetherial wheels themselves can be crafted using alchemy.
Simply put, once you've built a wheel, and then set it in the wheel stand, the wheel will charge at some undetermined rate. Once it’s charged, you can redeem the charged wheel for a Free Company Action buff of the appropriate level of the wheel.
Aside from the Aetherial Wheel, free company houses can now house retainers, provided that the free company has an "Expansion of Duties" permit to place a retainer on the estate grounds outside the hall.
You can still summon them and assign ventures to them from where you are, but now these retainers can also sell their market items on the estate grounds to anyone who speaks with them. So if you have items you want to sell at cost to your company mates, this may be an ideal way be the best way to do it if your schedules don't match. This will likely depend on implementation, however.
Lastly, and this is my favorite little quality of life addition to the game in the patch notes: "Players will now be invulnerable to area attacks while gathering if they have not gained aggro from enemies."
In other words, if you're already gathering, and an enemy comes up to you because someone's fighting nearby, you should, according to that statement, be safe from harm. This is an excellent bit of news especially if you want to focus on leveling up your gathering skills.
New Content, Plus Old-Made-New
Moving on let's discuss what's old-made-new, as well as some new content coming our way.
On the old-made-new front, there are now hard modes of The Wanderer's Palace and Amdapor Keep. These are available after defeating The Ultimate Weapon storyline quest, and completing the normal mode version of the respective dungeons. Just talk to Bloezoeng and Lauriane in Mor Dhona for The Wanderer’s Palace and Amdapor Keep hard modes, respectively.
When it comes to new content, however, there's quite a bit more. There's a new dungeon called The Keeper of the Lake. There's now an Urth's Fount battle to defeat the Primal Odin, a battle to fight Gilgamesh (I think, you can never quite tell these days), as well as a hidden battle quest, which they've not mentioned yet. There's also the continuation to the Syrcus Tower dungeon chain, a raid called The World of Darkness.
PVP players will also enjoy some added content in the form of Borderland Ruins (Slaughter), a "kill enemies for team points" battle set-up. As explained:
Players can increase their team's tactical rating by defeating players from opposing teams and enemies spawning on the field. The first team to accumulate the required number of tactical points will be declared the winner, and the remaining teams ranked according to their respective tactical ratings.
For story lovers, though, there's also the first arc of Before the Fall, as well as new Delivery Moogle and Hildibrand quests (Reportedly the final set before Heavensward, but that’s speculation I've seen online).
Moreover, Patch 2.51 – scheduled for late February – will introduce the Manderville Gold Saucer. Hopefully we won't need to complete the Hildibrand story chain for it, but you never know.
Lastly, Part 2 of Patch 2.5 is scheduled for late March. With the payment thing in place, and further enhancements that are readable in the patch notes, I think we’re looking at a very exciting few months for A Realm Reborn as it marches onward through 2015.
Cheers, folks, and let's enjoy the teaser for Before the Fall again, before we leave, shall we?