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Crafting and Harvesting in FFXIV

In this feature I intend to look over the non-combat classes in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.  I am going to cover them in an experiential way, focusing specifically on the experience of playing as a botanist, miner, carpenter and armorer. Final Fantasy XIV gil. I started off this past beta weekend as a level 17 armorer.  My primary goal going into the play session was to figure out how to affix materia, which I knew would require a level 19 artisan.  This, as they say, is my tale!

One of the benefits of a week off between beta-3 sessions is that my character had a good backlog of guildleves and rested experience ready and waiting when I logged in Friday.  Crafters get bonus XP for their first creation of an item, this is tracked in the crafting log which doubles as your recipe book.  I had completed a good number of my 16-20 recipes and I remembered I was going to be short some Elm Lumber, a mess of Iron Ingots, and some Ice Shards going into this weekend.

Lumb

er is from Carpentry, which requires logs found by the Botanist harvesting class.  Normally, I would probably have picked these things up from the marketboards (the auction house), but its still beta-3 and not many people are placing things up on the markets as of yet.  This means that I need to be self-sufficient.  So, my first step on the road to armorer actually required switching over to Botanist and hacking away at a few trees.

This is easily accomplished using the gear set list, a tool I includes as one of my favorite things in FFXIV:ARR in my most recent column.  A quick tool through the UI and my botany gear was equipped.  One teleport later I was in Gridania looking for trees.  Fortunately, both ice shards and elm logs can be found in the Central Shroud, so I was able to knock off a couple items off of my checklist.

Botany is a probability and exploration game.  In the exploration mode, you need to find harvesting nodes.  This is accomplished using several "radar" type abilities which help you find either the nearest node or the highest level node you can utilize depending on the ability.  Once you find a node, you have a choice of different items to harvest, each with a percentage chance to succeed.  You only get six attempts per node (more on guildleves) and you  have a few abilities you can use to improve your harvesting chances.  Using these abilities drains Gathering Points (GP), so you have a small resource management game happening too.

After that, it was time for some carpentry.  I went back to Gridania and went into the carpentry guild.  You don't have to craft at the guild, but it's useful since the merchants there can sell some of the intermediate items you need for early crafting.  Crafting in FFXIV:ARR is a mini-game where you try to complete progress while maximizing quality.  You use crafting abilities to advance these states and each crafting ability used depletes your item durability and possibly your crafting points.  Elm lumber is a tier-3 resource, so I needed to level up my carpenter a bit before processing them.  Yes, that's actually an armoring screenshot below, I forgot to take a good picture of my carpentry work (it was at the carpenter's guild, so it's all good, right?).

After completing my carpentry I had elm lumber for my armoring run.  Along with the Ice Shards picked up during my Botany run, my inventory needs were nearly complete.  I just needed some iron ore, which of course requires mining.  Once again, the Gear Set List had my mining profile stored.  Lower level Mining is done near Ul'Dah, so after changing into my mining gear I used Teleport and visited Camp Horizon out in Western Thanalan.

After finally finishing getting my inventory, it was time to go to work on armoring.  I really needed to knock off two levels and so I set about trying to make some experience.  I tapped out as many new recipes I could to maximize the bonus crafting experience from those first combines.  After that I turned to levequests.  In Limsa Lominsa, levequests can be taken out at the adventurers' guild.  I noticed a few armorer leves with delivery to a fellow named Bango Zhango right in Limsa Lominsa.  Thinking this seemed about perfect, I set about making Bango's orders.

Crafting levequests are fairly similar in A Realm Reborn than they were in FFXIV.  You have a fixed allotment of leves available, these refresh every day or so and you stockpile your allotment.  That's great for the casual player who gets one good binge session every now and then.  It's even more perfect for a beta weekend player who has a short amount of time before the beta is turned off for the week.  Even better, turning in a level with a high quality (HQ) item results in a 200% bonus (a 3x payout) getting even more mileage from the leves.  The primary difference in these levequests is that you aren't provided materials, to do leves you need to bring your own mats.  Fortunately, as you can see above, I came prepared!  After helping Bango gear out every ship leaving Limsa Lominsa, I finally achieved my goal.  Level 19 and time to go learn about this thing called Materia!