As my loyal readers know, I'm a fan of the in-game tours put on by Square Enix and have enjoyed the exclusive glimpses of Vana'diel over the years. Well, there's a new game in town and that means a whole new world to tour: Eorzean tours have begun! The fun and friendly team at Square Enix were happy to show me some of the cooler higher-level content around Gridania, and it's my pleasure to share my experiences with you.
When I logged in, it was like being a kid in a candy shop: my tour character was helpfully set to level 50 in every single class. I couldn't help myself, I had to grab a weathered head knife and a level 50 crafting leve and give it a whirl! I botched my second attempt... seems that even with level 50 you need a good crafting tool. But I'm going way off piece with that, aren't I?
We did do some crafting together. They handed me a rank 42 hammer and some components so I could make myself a Calvary Haubergeon for the rest of the tour. I do love crafting... but I couldn't get an HQ! Shucks! Still, looks quite spiffy. I was curious though, since they had me set up as Pugilist and the armor doesn't favor PUG. Did that make a big difference? They said there wasn't a notable reduction for not being a favored class. Mmm.
Our next stop on the tour was a faction leve. I've done regular regional guildleves in the game but I hadn't done a faction leve before. There are some extra steps involved, like talking to an NPC before and after fighting the named monster, but it was otherwise just like I had expected. Instead of finding the chest at random while doing the leve, it purposely spawned at the end. We only got gil this time, but I'm told this chest can have some very cool loot! Sometimes!
Then we headed down into a cave to fight some skeletons and test out the incapacitation mechanic. When I hit a skeleton with a certain weapon skill I knocked his head clean off his neck! It was kind of funny to be fighting a headless skeleton, but aside from admiring my handiwork, there was a practical benefit: the skeleton could no longer fling his head at us. I had effectively disabled one of his weaponskills. Also, when incapacitated monsters are slain, they have a chance to drop rare loot: we got a skull eyepatch +2!
The cave itself was very cool. I had only been in overland areas in FFXIV up until then, so it was quite amazing to see how the graphics and engine brought a dank cobweb-filled dungeon to life. I just wish I had remembered to take screenshots of it... I was too busy looking around and having a good time!
Finally, we went back overland to explore some of the strongest monsters in the game, out near Camp Nine Ivies. It turns out that these monsters con red and slay people viciously, even if you're in a party of 50s. Thankfully, we toned down the difficulty on a few of them so we could have a few good fights! I was very impressed at the Morbol graphics in particular, it looks straight out of the pre-rendered opening cinematic. I can't wait until I'm high enough level to fight them myself, but given how tough they are I guess that'll have to wait until the level cap is raised. Good to know Square Enix has planned ahead and already has monsters for when that happens.
The tour was great, and the tour guides also shared a few very interesting tidbits: the November 24th maintenance is indeed to implement the first of the major content patches! Also, Square Enix is absolutely looking for a way to help people like me who got the wrong path companion to switch to the correct one. They're also looking into ways to improve responses when combating botting, RMT, and other undesirable activities. Finally, even they aren't sure (or can't say) if synth support helps for recipes that don't call for it... I guess that one's up to the community to discover!