So, Vrykerion (the character, not me. I’m the Vrykerion that controls that Vrykerion. Got it?) has finally gotten his first relic weapon in Final Fantasy XIV. The Gae Bolg and ultimately the Gae Bolg Zenith is now in my possession and I finally have a spear that goes with my wicked looking dragoon drachen mail outfit. I’d like to say that it was quite the accomplishment if it wasn’t for the fact that every step along the path was full of face faults, walking into doors, and the occasional “OH GOD NO!”
For those who don’t play Final Fantasy XIV, at level 50 each class can begin a quest chain to unlock an upgradable weapon unique to your job. Dragoons for instance get Gae Bolg which matches their outfits general aesthetic. The quest chain is a mix of random tasks totaling up to some twelve (okay it’s actually 10) labors that you must perform to resurrect a long lost weapon back to its true power. Some of these tasks involve attacking beast men strongholds to find items or kill a certain number of various monsters. The first big stumbling block is really creating a base weapon for the relic and then attaching two specific materia to it. Materia are kind of like enchantments that occupy slots in weapons. They are really complicated and I haven’t the slightest clue how their various limits work (Like if you have two +10 crit materia in it, but it has a hidden limit of 12 crit or something, your second materia will only give you +2 instead of the full +10… I think?) But that means finding a crafter with max level to craft and meld the materia, or level it yourself, or just do what I did and shell out several hundred thousand gil for one with the materia already attached.
The real thing that was just a slog for me to do was the trials and dungeons. To complete your weapon, you need to do one max level dungeon, and five trials (trials being essentially one room, one boss mini-dungeons) including three hard mode versions of the earlier primal fights and two fights that are unique to the quest chain – the Chimera and the Hydra. This is my personal hell. I don’t know how many of my readers have done max level content in Final Fantasy XIV but it was very much a pan to the face, no joking around, do the dance or die kind of experience. Lag will kill you. Not knowing exactly where to stand can kill you. Standing in bad will naturally kill you but sometimes the ‘bad’ is 90% of the area and you only have seconds to GTFO. Oh, I died. I died A LOT. And I studied the mechanics. Not one fight did I go into blind. But damn is it another thing to actually see these fights up close versus reading a strat. I am so glad I’m doing this at the end of 2.0’s lifespan and just before an expansion dropped. If it weren’t the copious amounts of people overgeared for this stuff I don’t think I’d ever finish.
Again, it’s not that I’m bad. Far from it. There’s just a lot of crap going on everywhere, and if you aren’t quick or have a bit of lag, it can kill you quick. But I was usually dead from either insta-kills or because we were strained from a healer death and took too much unavoidable area damage. I did the dance, and still would die. Granted, sometimes I was dumb. I got smacked by the Primal Titan and went flying off the platform and spent the last third of the fight at the bottom of a hole (still not bad compared to the bard to ended up there in the first minute every single attempt to make many of us wonder if it were intentional).
The whole thing was kind of an eye opener for how the end game of FF14 works. As far as I know there is some ‘easier’ content, namely the Crystal Tower raids. But damn if I am not in a rush to try Titan (Extreme) or even Leviathan (Hard) for a bit. I got my Gae Bolg. I’m happy with that. With the expansion dropping in only a few months, I think the rest of my time will be more so spent working on quests. The main scenario, the Hildebrad and Moogle Delivery quests – fun stuff. Also leveling all my other classes and jobs up. Then there’s triple triad coming… oooooo…
I guess really I should say that while it was a good crash course in the difficulty to expect (WoW Raid expectations: know the fights roughly, try hard, do the dance. Also that people are really nice in this game and as long as you are trying to darnedest and not just blatantly dying on purpose, they seem willing to work with ya.) but I’m also grateful that I’m sitting at end game with a wide spread of alternate stuff to do. Maybe not necessarily progression based, but fun nonetheless. Now if you excuse me, Gae Bolg and I have to get us a cactuar mini-pet! *runs off to adventure!*