Final Fantasy XV is out now. One of the draws of FFXIV is the Final Fantasy brand, and so a very large chunk of my friends list have taken a hiatus to go on the road trip of a lifetime. I assume the same is true everywhere, because it’s selling extremely well.
But what about those of us left behind? Whatever your reasons for sticking around - and there are plenty, including “I don’t give a damn about FFXV” - now’s a good time to reconnect with some of the things that make this game great that don’t require a full party.
Catch up with the Gold Saucer
Saving is like losing weight: the earlier you start, the earlier you’ll notice a difference. That applies to saving MGP, the Gold Saucer’s currency.
There’s a lot of cool Saucer-exclusive items, from mounts such as the flying Adamantoise to dances and hairstyles. While it’s been a little while since SE added anything to it, they’ve added so much that if you haven’t touched the Saucer in a while, it might feel like a different place. Get a racing chocobo and earn up to almost half a million MGP by completing the solo challenges, or play Lord of Verminion three times for an easy 10k a week.
Thought you’d never be able to save up for Fenrir, the million MGP mount? You might surprise yourself; it’s perfectly possible to get it before Stormblood launches if you make a start now.
On that note: Triple Triad’s still a thing
Technically this is covered by the last point, but it’s such a timesink that it deserves a mention by itself. If you’re anything like me, You might have gotten deep into Triple Triad (the Gold Saucer’s card game, borrowed from earlier FF titles) for a single weekend before forgetting about it forever.
Grab your deck and get back to it. Cards can be obtained practically everywhere, and almost every patch since 3.0 has added new ones, so go check out what’s been added and brush up your collection if there’s anything you want. Websites like FFXIVTriad are great for this, and even give you a way to compare your library with others.
Finish your side quests
I became a mentor recently. “Finally,” I thought. “I’ll be able to do the Mentor roulette!” (I’m sure everybody goes in this optimistic before the reality bites.) But I hit a snag: apparently, I hadn’t done everything, so I couldn’t queue up. Turns out that Battle on the Big Bridge isn’t the only duty that you unlock via Hildibrand.
Beyond teaching me that it might be me who needs a mentor, this served as a handy reminder that there’s a lot of great side content that gets pushed once you get caught up in the endgame scene. I’m not talking the myriad of fetch quests scattered around forgettable zones; I’m talking about Hildibrand, the Scholasticate, the Postmoogle quests, and everything else haven’t mentioned. There’s bucketloads of single player content in this game, and much of it is on par with what’s available in any main series game.
Bring a friend back
The Free Login Campaign is starting again this weekend, and will run until next year. If, like me, you’ve lost a couple of people to the XV itch, then don’t despair: you can bring an old friend back into the fold to occupy a space in your group.
Even if they aren’t capable of doing current content, there’s plenty of things on this list you can do with an old friend who might be a little rusty. Invest your time in them and they might stick around long after the weekend finishes, too. People who login get 96 hours of play time to spend as they please.
Get prepped for the future: Stormblood and Zhloe
It’s impossible to advise people how exactly they should prepare for Stormblood, given that details are scant and everything’s subject to change anyway in 3.5.
But that doesn’t mean people (like me) won’t try. As with the Gold Saucer, everything is more obtainable if you start early. So here’s some advice: get a job to 60 in each role (DPS, healer, etc), regardless whatever you main, and if you only have one in each, then get another. Even if 3.5 makes it faster, speed leveling is deeply unpleasant. Hell is Northern Thanalan on a Saturday afternoon.
“But wait,” I hear you say. “I love my job!” Yeah, well, so did most Bards before Heavensward introduced Wanderer’s Minuet and fundamentally changed the way they played. You don’t know how classes are going to change, and it’s best to prepared so that if things go wrong, you’ve got something to fall back on.
There’s content that you should also queue for now while it’s still current. Alexander turns 1-8 are already hard to find groups for despite technically being current, and the present lack of interest in Bahamut should tell you that this will get much worse once stormblood hits. Even if you have no interest in Mide’s scar and the Gundam stuck in the hinterlands river, just do it now, because if you change your mind later, you’ll be in a much weaker position.
Equally, Khloe had surprisingly good rewards for crafters, despite having no content for them. Zhloe will reportedly focus on Glamour items, but there could be plenty of surprises for people that dedicate themselves solely to bashing the AI over the head. Level up and diversify your crafters, stack scrips, and prepare for her to drain your bank account.
We all have stuff we’ve had on the back-burner for a long time. Underleveled retainers that are full of crap gear you tell yourself you’re saving for glamour that you need to clear out; ARR beast tribe reputation grinds that you embarked upon and lost interest in; and chucking the myriad tokens from Alex and other content that seem to multiply when you aren’t looking.
Sort it out. All the time you spend doing that under normal circumstances is time you could spend doing things you actually enjoy. Use the diversion XV is providing to get that stuff out of the way. It might be the last chance you get.