As a long-time crafter, the idea of having endgame content has always been pretty appealing. What we’ve received thus far, however, might be different from any of my previous expectations.
The Approach to Crafting
While Final Fantasy XIV’s crafting system is among the simplest I’ve enjoyed, I’ll admit that it’s also not the easiest. What are all these numbers for? How do I determine what skills to press? Many people, even among top crafters, end up just copying the macro from someone else. I know quite a few people that if I asked them what Reflect did, they’d have a hard time answering. And y’know what? That’s fine! There doesn’t have to be some kind of intricate art to crafting in an MMORPG. But it should be fun.
While I’m all about the math and seeing numbers click in my head and proving that, not a lot of people are. With Patch 5.1 the dev team worked hard to trim the crafters down quite significantly. A lot of the icons make more sense, abilities are easier to understand. The crafting menu that was released with 5.0 allows for easier buff tracking and an immediate response as to how much your next action can do for either quality or progression. It’s not dumbed down by any means, it’s just made easier to get into.
I believe that Ishgard Restoration, released with Patch 5.11, is helping to prove the results of their efforts so far. When you enter the Firmament, there are people all over the place. From endgame crafters in serious raid FCs all the way down to someone who literally just unlocked Culinarian and wants to make barbecue brisket. I’ve never seen so many people leveling up their crafters all at once, all in the same area. It’s really an inspiring sight to behold, even if it does kill my dying computer to try and see to begin with.
I’m sure you’ve heard all about the Concerted Works FATE by now. You might even be worried that you can’t participate in this content if you can’t login those days, or at the times when they pop up for your server. The FATE is… well, it’s a thing, I guess. If you’re lucky enough to participate and not disconnect, you walk around between these three different points. Last night I took a log, walked over and sawed it, then walked over and applied it. I repeated this four more times before the FATE finished.
The reward was something like 13 million experience and 500 of the new scrips. I’m already capped on my crafters so the experience was wasted, and at level 80 these scrips are easy to come by. I don’t know how much or if the experience for a FATE is adjusted by level, but it seems like an amazing way for easy EXP gain. More importantly, there’s the steps that are needed to be done to lead up to the FATE even happening. And unfortunately, yeah, they’re just another type of collectible turn-in.
Gatherers can now go around the world and find new items that are needed in each of these crafts. The level 80 recipes, for instance, need eight of three different kinds of item and one old crafted material. From there, these can be crafted into the collectible items. The turn-in rewards are a huge chunk of EXP and a fair amount of scrips. While I think gatherers have been pretty well shafted here so far, I also haven’t dug in too deep with them in the Restoration yet. Either way, they’ve made it incredibly easy to level your crafters here.
I was definitely hoping for more of an interesting endgame experience for crafters. At the end of the day, unless you participate in FATEs then Phase 1 of the Ishgard Restoration is just a new collectible route. The new scrips do allow you to secure some new rewards along with old Diadem ones, sure. That’s nice. But the EXP isn’t replaced by yellow or white scrips for higher level crafters, meaning you’re limited to only those rewards.
I’m definitely excited to be able to do my part, however small, in rebuilding this part of Ishgard. This will absolutely be the new housing district, but I’ll say the view isn’t quite all that impressive right now. Even once rebuilt, if you’re into the gothic aesthetic this will definitely be a place to consider. Regardless of what happens at the end, I’m hoping the continued phases will have more meat for someone with my experience to chew. In the meantime, I’ve got a good 9,000 more scrips to craft for now that I have the shirt and emote I wanted.
If you’ve wanted to level your crafters, now is the time. It’s never been easier to get into crafting. There are no more CP restoration abilities, meaning you only need to think about subtraction for resources. The abilities are easier to understand, and, frankly work better together. Except for no more Steady Hand II for Hasty Touch. But that becomes irrelevant soon enough! I’ve heard of plenty of people who’ve unlocked a crafter and got it to high 70s in a day.
The freedoms of being able to meld and repair your own gear are awesome. As an added bonus, the 199% maximum gear duration just feels right. Beautiful blue lines beside all of your slots… yeah! Anywho. Happy adventuring!