Now that I’ve dug into Eureka a bit myself, time to talk about it in more depth.
Free Company Event
I really wanted Eureka to be a fantastic “Map Alternative” to FC events. And, to be honest, it really can be! So far my Free Company hasn’t entered as a full collective at all. Batches of us here and there, sure, but for the most part we do our own thing. If you need to leave, chances are you won’t get back to the same instance that your FC party was in. Given we all have our different schedules and goals, perhaps this is for the best for now–until we’re all finished leveling at our own pace.
I’d like to do something to help those who aren’t as quick catch up, though. Cail, Ryan, Waka–so many people have helped me get to where I am now. And although that’s only early Level 17, I’m still way more capable in this place than the frightened cat I was at the beginning.
Part of why I want to help out my FC mates and friends with this is the huge leap between those just starting out and those who’ve been here since the start. Some are already Level 20 and instance hopping solely for Pazuzu to get their weapons. Many are within my level range, focusing on the higher NMs for better crystal drops. Others are forming parties to grind for EXP the traditional way, and many more are just starting out with camping the lower NMs.
Eureka is content designed to stand against you. The enemies are fast, don’t leash as easily, and level difference can wreck you. The quests don’t give you markers to follow. You’re not told much of anything–you’re expected to talk to the NPCs and even your fellow players. The developers expect you to play this like an old school RPG and figure a lot of things out for yourself. Thankfully many people have compiled fantastic resources like this guide and this map but there’s still a lot of digging involved. I’ve spoken with some who just legitimately want their hand sort of held through this, to be told what to do and where to go. This extra difficulty can seem unnecessary and stressful.
All some people want to do is fight enemies to destress sometimes. Here you need to know how things aggro and how to dodge. You need to learn how to use your elements, and the mechanics of each boss. And what doesn’t help further are some mindsets of the player base right now. If you’re low in level, it’s possible you may be kicked from the group. Or flat out not invited at all. Whatever happened to Day 1, when we were throwing out invites and all trying to help each other?
Easier Isn’t Always Helpful
The experienced players of Eureka have come to label some enemies in their types, rather than by their names. The NM Amemet and its spawns the Abraxas are called “Dino”. Judgmental Julika and the Henbane are called “Morbol”, despite the spawns not being morbol. Yet other NMs are called by their names still–leaving new players to wonder what the hell people mean by the short names. This is easier to type, yes, but many players won’t even mark the map anymore.
“Where is the train headed?”
Well, okay yeah–but even if you’re looking at the map this won’t help. “Dino” isn’t listed anywhere, but Amemet is. All of my kudos to those who are actually willing to flag and link locations for those asking! Some people don’t have eight weapons yet, others might not even be starting Eureka until a month from now. Always be patient and try to help beginners–because we all had to help each other at the start. Pay forward what you’ve received, and this content will be loads easier and have people coming back for more.
Not For Everyone
There’s a certain anxiety about exploration that I’d forgotten. The trepidation as you walk past a higher level enemy, hoping it doesn’t turn and aggro you. The outright panic when it moves suddenly–and you somehow luck out and are not in its sight range. Or worse, thinking you’re safe and hearing the chime from aggro as it roars into combat mode to end you for daring to step in its path. I miss that about FFXI–it’s something FFXIV has never really had. Like, aggroing something would just be a minor annoyance because it took longer to pick up a quest objective or talk to an NPC. It was less dangerous and more inconvenient. Here in Eureka, depending on your level? It’s definitely dangerous.
Eureka is designed to be brutal and unyielding from the start. A few people make this harder with wanting to divide higher and lower players, or not helping when they have the opportunity to do so. I’d like to tell people to use the Search for basic questions too, but do you know how much garbage you have to filter through to find a relevant Reddit thread sometimes? Even despite the few jerks, this content just isn’t for everyone.
So far what I’ve noticed from listening around? Early on you’ll stress out. There’s a difficulty that comes from fewer invites, reduced NM reward, and all of the confusing nuances in this content. But from these same people, as they level–things get easier. The more they learn, the better they’ll do. With even a touch of help they’ll get much more confident and maybe even tolerate the area. Maybe even LIKE it.
Now, as a Level 17 player… I’m not exactly a “veteran” but I also don’t want to fall into the “this isn’t FOR you, pleb” type. I want people to enjoy this, genuinely, but if people don’t I’m not going to force it either. This is the kind of stressful hell that my MMO life was born into and largely defined by. It’s taking me back with wonderful nostalgia glasses, without having to pay for another game’s subscription fee. And we get pretty nice gear out of it too!
When Yoshida had mentioned there would be “special effects”, well, so far our Eurekan gear (weapon and armors) come with five meld slots. The weapon is i355, making it stronger than Byakko weapons with the melds–but weaker than i360s. The armor is possibly outclassed by 360 armor as well. If we say 1 primary is worth 11 secondary, then 9 primary (350->360) is 99 secondary. Three extra meld slots offer 120 secondary by comparison. This means if the stat spread is fine, your 350 relic armor might very well be the proper choice–until you put a 370 in that slot.
In my case, I’ve finished my Samurai armor–and am now working towards my weapon. The weapon definitely won’t replace my tome weapon, but it’ll be a fine glamour! Unfortunately we can’t finish the weapons until we hit Level 19 in Eureka, as you don’t get item rewards until you’re at least one level below the NM. The items necessary to finish come from Pazuzu, a level 20 NM, so it’s a bit of grinding to get there. Once I finish SAM I’m not sure if I’ll do Paladin or Dragoon next. PLD I actually use, but it’s already in functional condition. DRG I find myself only using in 24 man raids usually, but right now it’s got a few missing slots and a 310 weapon.
Welp, until next time~ happy adventuring!