The official patch notes have been released for Final Fantasy XIV’s 2.1 A Realm Awoken update. As you can see from the link, the patch notes are long and convoluted. In order to make the notes easier to understand, I wanted to highlight some of the biggest as well as unanticipated changes featured in the release of 2.1. Let’s dig in!
Free Company Housing is Absurdly Expensive
The biggest takeaway from the patch notes is that free company housing is ridiculously expensive:
If you happen to be on a legacy server, you can expect to pay 20-40 million gil for the smallest house on lowest class of land. While prices do decay, for some reason the basement on prices has been set at 50% of the posted cost above. After 90 days, the cheapest house will still run 10-20 million gil!
The costs are particularly absurd for the legacy servers. I believe prices were set based on the total amount of gil on these servers. The idea is that many more billions of gil exists on legacy servers, so the gil sink needs to be more intense. The problem is only players who banked up large quantities of gil during legacy would actually have access to this gil. Gil inflows from quests and dungeon drops are the same, while prices for goods are no more than 2-3x that of the poorest new servers. When you can only farm or craft gil at 2-3x the rate of a new server, it does not make sense to charge 5-10 times as much for property.
According to the developers, the idea behind the high cost of housing is that houses were not meant to be purchased immediately but rather worked toward by players. The idea was that Free Companies will buy a house after about 90 days of every farming a little each day and pitching in for the house. There are many problems with this approach:
- Many players belong to small Free Companies. A 10-person Free Company would not be able to afford a house on a legacy server without each player contributing millions of gil each.
- Many players of large Free Companies do not want to contribute the large quantities of gil required to purchase a larger house. While players may be willing to front a large amount of gil for a tight-knit Free Company, asking each player of a 100-person Free Company to front a few million gil to buy a large house is not realistic.
- Players want their houses now and tend to be impatient.
I think the idea of having fancy “large” plots that cost a lot of gil is a great way to bleed money from the game, but the costs of small and medium houses should be reduced significantly. Free Companies of 10 real-life friends that primarily run 4-man dungeons and level together should not have to put up 2-4 million gil each for a house which serves no real purpose other than vanity.
A better solution would have been to roll out cheap housing options initially, then a few months down the road offer the “large” premium plots at the high price tag as a gil sink and something for Free Companies to work towards. Mandating millions of gil for small Free Companies to own the cheapest possible form of player housing is just going to irritate a large portion of the player base. I suspect that prices on houses will be adjusted due to the backlash from the community; it may be wise to wait rather than spring for the medium or large house.
Allagan Tomestones of Mythology: Cap Raised & New Spots to Get Them
Perhaps the one change that will affect most players is that the Tomestones of Mythology weekly earnings cap has been raised from 300 to 450. Players will now be able to get Mythology gear 50% faster than before. In addition to the new cap, there will be a variety of new ways to earn Tomestones of Mythology:
- Duty Roulette: Each day, players can undertake a “Duty Roulette” that provides a bonus gil and Allagan Tomestone reward. Only the “low level” and “high level” Duty Roulette options reward Tomestones. Even though the low-level Roulette only rewards 10 Allagan Tomestones, running low-level dungeons will be a nice way to level up low level characters while earning a few Tomestones in the process. Running a “High Level” dungeon each day might be enough to hit the cap by the end of the week, depending on the size of the reward.
- Beast Tribe Daily Quests: The new Beast Tribe daily quests can pay out Allagan Tomestones as a reward. I am not sure how many, but I am assuming it is not very much. However, given that you can accept 6 quests per day and completing the quests daily will help max out your reputation with these tribes, this could easily add up over the course of a week.
- New Level 50 Dungeons: Players will be able to participate in the new 4-man dungeon, Pharos Sirius, as well as Hard-mode versions of Haukke Manor and Copperbell Mines. These dungeons will pay out Allagan Tomestones as a reward. The new Extreme-mode primal fights are likely to pay out a decent number of Tomestones as well.
PvP Gear Is Really Good, But May Take Forever To Get
Players can get a sneak peak on the PvP gear by using the Lodestone’s item database. Links for all the items are now live in this database. You can see them either by searching for your particular class’s gear slot or by searching for “Direwolf” in the advanced search option of the database.
There are three tiers of PvP gear: item level 55 (comparable to 1 star crafted gear), item level 70 (comparable to Darklight gear), and item level 90 equipment (on par with Allagan & Tomestone of Mythology gear). The item level 90 gear is very good. Check out how the Bard’s PvP weapon compares to the +1 Relic:
PvP gear replaces one of the secondary stats (i.e. skill speed, accuracy, etc.) with a new stat called Morale. Morale increases damage dealt to other players and reduces incoming damage from other players, so it is a great stat for PvP. The PvP gear also tends to lean heavily towards Vitality and Critical Hit Rate, two great stats for PvP.
PvP gear contains materia slots that are only active inside arena. With materia, PvP gear will be able to match or even exceed the stats provided by Allagan and Mythology gear while still providing the Morale stat. Since Morale and the attached materia will not be active outside of arena, it will still be better to wear Allagan and Mythology gear for PvE. However, one should note that item level 90 PvP gear will actually be better in PvE than Darklight (item level 70) gear.
While I am not sure how strong Morale will be just yet, it definitely cannot be strong enough to justify wearing the the item level 55 gear over item level 90 PvE gear. The item level 70 PvP gear will probably be worse than item level 90 PvE gear, just because the item level 90 PvE gear has a lot more Vitality and primary stats than the item level 70 PvP gear. At the same time, it is safe to say that the level 70 PvP gear will be better than Darklight gear for PvP.
The only thing about the item level 90 gear is that not only do you have to purchase it with “Wolf Marks” (PvP currency), but it also requires a “PvP Rank” of 30 to be able to equip it. I suspect that it will take quite a long time to reach this high rank, so players do not have to worry about players running around with full sets of item level 90 PvP gear right away. Additionally, the PvP system tries to match groups with similar PvP ranks, which will help minimize new PvPers competing against those with full item level 90 gear.
New Extreme Primal Battles Drop Item Level 90 Accessories
One change that completely slipped under the radar until I saw the patch notes was the fact that the new Extreme primal battles will drop item level 90 accessories. Specifically, the Garuda fight drops rings, the Titan fight drops earrings, and the Ifrit fight drops bracelets. The new Ultima Weapon boss fight drops item level 80 necklaces.
The practical implication here is that players who do not participate in The Binding Coil will be able to get two item level 90 rings: the Hero’s Ring from Tomestones of Mythology along with the ring dropped by extreme Garuda. Previously, the only way to get two item level 90 rings was to raid The Binding Coil for the Allagan ring to match it with a Hero’s ring.
Twintania (Turn 5 of The Binding Coil of Bahamut) Weapon Drops Buffed
The Allagan weapons dropped of Twintania (turn 5 boss of The Binding Coil of Bahamut) have had their item level increased from 90 to 95. These weapons will be the best in the game for PvE. These will only provide a very slight advantage though over upgraded relic weapons, so non-raiders do not have to worry about being at a major disadvantage in 4 mans due to not having an Allagan weapon. Item level 90 PvP weapons are superior for PvP to even the item level 95 Allagan weapons due to the PvP weapons having Morale and materia slots.
Crystal Tower: One Drop Per Lockout
The Crystal Tower is a new 24-man raid being introduced with patch 2.1. While the details of this dungeon have been covered in great detail, one new interesting tidbit from the patch notes is that players will be limited to 1 loot drop per run, even with greed rolls. I suspect this is in place to prevent players from rolling on everything, but you will certainly have to think twice about rolling “greed” on an item from this dungeon if you want a particular drop that comes from a later boss.
Treasure Hunting System
A new treasure hunting system has been added to the game. The system works as follows:
- As you can see, maps have to be gathered via Discipline of the Land classes. Fishing, Mining, and Botany can all find maps. Players can only harvest 1 map every 18 hours.
- Maps can be sold on the Market Boards.
- There are five tiers of maps available; it is assumed that higher tier maps offer better rewards.
- “Treasure” is rewarded from the chests. Gil, Allagan Tomestones, EXP, shards, and gear are all mentioned as rewards. How much of each and the quality of the gear has yet to be determined.
- Players must complete the “Trials and Tribulations” quest (issued from H’loonh in Wineport) in order to learn “Decipher” and “Dig”. Decipher is used to find the location of the hidden treasure marked by a Treasure Map and Dig is used to reveal the chest once you reach the location.
- Upon digging for a chest and examining it, players will have to fight enemies that spawn before they can loot the chest. As a result, while Discipline of the Land classes are used to find the maps, adventuring classes are needed to actually get the chests.
- The Peisteskin Map encounter reportedly requires a full party to finish off, though I suspect highly geared players will be able to do it with less than 4.
New Beastmen Tribe Reputation & Daily Quests
There are two new lines of “Beast Tribe” quests added to the game. In particular, players can begin doing quests for friendly Sylphs by starting the “Seeking Solace” quest in New Gridania (issuing NPC is “Vorsaile Heuloix”) and for Amalj’aa by starting the “Peace for Thanalan” quest in Ul’dah (Steps of Nald; issuing NPC is “Swift”).
Completing quests will give players access to new quests and rewards. Rewards are rumored to be vanity only (minions, mounts, etc), but some of the quests are supposed to pay Allagan Tomestones and gil, so this method may be an efficient means for earning Tomestones if you do not have time to run a full dungeon.
While a few classes were buffed with the launch of patch 2.1 (i.e. Monk), there was also a number of unanticipated nerfs. While a slight nerf to Bard was discussed, nerfs to White Mage took a lot of players by surprise. In particular, White Mage’s Medica II effect was reduced in strength and Holy took a ~15% damage hit. See the patch notes for full details on class nerfs.
More Gil Introduced to the System
The amount of gil flowing into servers will increase, theoretically helping to cause inflation or at least reduce deflation (on legacy servers). This should increase the cost of goods and services, making it easier for players to make gil via farming and reducing the impact of repairs and teleportation on players’ gil reserves. Here are some new gil sources:
- Daily Beastmen Tribe quests that reward gil;
- Duty Roulette daily quests that reward gil;
- More dungeons will now have enemies that drop gil;
- Treasure Hunting will provide a gil rewards for players upon completion;
- The amount of gil rewarded by Battlecraft leves has been increased.
Of course, this extra bit of gil will not help players buy a 300,000,000 gil land plot!
HQ Items Turned In Via Crafting & Fishing Leves Will Have Reduced Experience Points
Previously, you could rapidly power-level a particular profession by turning in high quality items during Tradecraft leves (as well as fishing Fieldcraft leves). Now, the experience point bonus for turning in HQ items has been reduced. Even with a reduction, it is still likely that turning in HQ items will be the fastest path to leveling up crafts in FFXIV – it just may no longer be the most cost-effective for leveling (compared to turning in regular quality items).
Dungeon Enemies Offer More Experience Points
Finally, the amount of experience points rewarded from regular enemies in dungeons has been increased. While we do not know by how much, it may be enough to provide a compelling alternative to FATEs for leveling up. This bonus experience combined with the rewards of the low-level Duty Roulette may make slowly leveling an alt by performing a low-level dungeon each day a good option.