Opinion: FFXIV crafting from hard work to grind
For just over a year I’ve being playing Square Enix’s MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and while I am enjoying my time with the game there has being one aspect of the game that I’ve grown to dislike, the game’s crafting system. The reason why I’ve grown to dislike this system is because in update 2.4 Square Enix turned high level crafting from something that could be achieved with hard work into something that requires you to grind specific daily quests for several days in a row in order to obtain materials for high level crafting.
Now before going on I would just like to state that in Final Fantasy XIV my character has reached level 50 in all eight crafting classes, and the majority of these classes are at the stage where they can unlock the new “master book II”, this unlocks the latest crafting related items.
Now my argument on why the crafting has turned into a one directional/one corridor grind is due to the fact that important crafting offhand tools that were added in update 2.4 (most recent major patch) requires players to use six “Ehcatl Sealant” per new crafting offhand tool. Now to gain these sealants you need to use special tokens called “Ixali Oaknot”, now here is the problem. These tokens are only obtainable via Ixali Beast Tribe daily quests, of which you can only do a max of six per day, across all four beast tribes, but that isn’t the only issue as you can only begin to obtain the oaknots after you reach the rank of “respected” with the Ixali, which can take several weeks, and you can only get the maximum six tokens after you reach the rank of “Honoured”. Now let’s go back to the “Ehcatl Sealant”, as I stated you need six to make the new crafting tools, and to be able to buy one sealant you will need to spend eight oaknots, which means it takes eight daily quests to just get one sealant, and at only six oaknots a day this means it takes just over a day to get one sealant. This means it takes just over a week to get all six required sealants. In total that means it would take more than a month to get enough sealant to make all eight of the new and required crafting tools.
Now once you get over the hurdle of getting all eight new crafting tools, there is no rest as the new crafting tools that are important to gaining the new master book, unlocks even more important crafting specific equipment that requires you to gather more sealant. Of course these new materials require more than sealants they also require materials that do take some time and effort, for example Mastercraft Demimateria, which is a key component requires you to have a rather high desynthesis skill.
Before update 2.4 and the need for Ehcatl Sealants, FFXIV’s crafting was grind heavy, but unlike in 2.4 there were more ways to gain the items you required for crafting. Pre-2.4 rare crafting materials could be gained via high level dungeons and grand companies (grand company items are bought with special seals that can be gained by completing FATES (events that happen throughout the world), completing provision missions for your company, guildhests, and more). So while in pre 2.4 there were rare materials the game gave did push you down one corridor in order to gain said materials.
So how can this one directional grind be fixed, well I think the best way is to look at how crafting was done pre-2.4, and give players multiple ways to gain materials, because those who do not wish to (or cannot) grind weeks grinding Ixali reputation are forced to spend over 250K Gil (on my server (Cerberus) (main in-game currency)) for one piece of Ehcatl Sealant, for some that price might not be a problem, but for others that is a daunting number especially when you realise you need at least six for the tools. One idea could be that the sealant could be purchasable via your Grand Company, but for a rather high price, or via update 2.5’s new 24-man raid, The World of Darkness (the final chapter in the Crystal Tower raid story).
Naturally any change would take a lot of consideration, but with update 2.5 just days away and the update like to provide even more new crafting recipes I feel the time is right to make acquiring the 2.4 crafting recipes just a little bit easier.
Author: Aaron Meehan
Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.