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The Hunt for Rathalos is On

By Michael O’Connell-Davidson on August 13, 2018 | Columns | 0

I’m not much of a monster hunter. Believe me, I’ve tried. No matter how many times I’ve wandered out of camp ready to slay a lizard several times bigger than me with an egregiously large sword on my back, I always end up struggling with the most basic of foes before being sent home on a stretcher. There are people out there who’re made for this sort of thing, and I’m not one of them.

I am, of course, talking about the Capcom franchise of the same name. Try as I might, I’ve never made any headway in any of the games. And that comes from someone who’s bought three of them. I just can’t handle it.

So the news that Rathalos, probably one of the most iconic monsters in the franchise, was coming to FFXIV as part of a Monster Hunter crossover event as an eight-man trial struck me as an opportunity to even the score a little. After all, this is my turf. I know how to win fights here… Or so I thought.

The event landed last Tuesday, and the first thing that struck me was how much like a Monster Hunter fight this really is. This isn’t some standard tank-and-spank trial: Rathalos is a beast who doesn’t give a damn who’s leading in terms of aggro, and isn’t particularly inclined to telegraph his AoEs. As a Dragoon main, I immediately went behind to strike the boss from behind … and was promptly swatted away by its tail.

It’s a different kind of encounter to anything else in XIV, and one that really keeps you on your toes. You can’t passively react to the same cues you’ve had drummed into you over 70 levels and multiple expansions. And so, going into it with this mentality, I spent half of my first clear on the floor, dead (yes, yes, make your Dragoon jokes, they’re all true).

One of the (many) things that differentiates the fight is that you receive a stack of potions heading in, and, past a certain point, this is the only way you can heal, with spells like cure doing nothing. This almost provides a stock of ‘chances’; if you keep getting hit, then you’re going to run out of stock quickly, just as you would in Monster Hunter. Other MH mechanics, such as mounting beasts, knocking them down and ‘breaking’ parts of them, are also present. And so it’s not really like an MMO fight at all, or at least not those in FFXIV.

I haven’t had any luck with the extreme-difficulty version. You can only head in with four players, and players can only die a total of three times or you fail. If you lose your healer, it’s basically over. While I love hard four-man content, and I’d like to see more, it’s easy to understand why the devs might be reluctant to bring it in when failure is only a dead White Mage away. (I’m told some people have done it without a healer, but that seems very difficult). As with most difficult stuff I’d recommend going in with friends on voice chat. Because the boss doesn’t have an aggro table, you can be pretty flexible with your group composition.

It’s a really lovingly made event, and worth checking out. There’s no FATE-farming or chaff like that — just a one-of-a-kind encounter with plenty of attention to detail. Even the quest that unlocks the fight is quality, with unique dialogue for Mi’qote players surprised by the talking cat. There’s just one thing I’d say to its detriment: the rewards are nice — you can earn a mount and a unique armor set — but god damn you’ll have to run it a lot in order to get them without relying on RNG.

You loot two Rathalos Scale tokens for every time you run the fight on normal mode, and four on extreme as well as a Scale+ token; you need 50 Scale+ tokens to earn the mount, and more if you want to complete the armor set, so it’ll take a while (and lord knows we all have enough tokens of various forms piling up in our inventories).

Sure, the event isn’t going anywhere, so you can spread your efforts over weeks and months if you’d like, and some items, such as the mount, drop on extreme mode. But even allowing for that, it’s much more of a mammoth undertaking than previous crossover events if you want to get everything, so consider yourself warned.

For further details, including where to pick up the quest that starts the event, check out the minisite here.

Unreal estate

It’s been a little while since I’ve had anything to write about that’s housing related. So I’d like to share this study by a UK mortgage business, that’s drawn from some of the stuff I’ve written here in the past, to try and put a real-world price on Eorzea’s real estate.

I’m not a poor guy, and I don’t want for very much. But there is perhaps something very humbling about the knowledge that my house in Shirogane would be worth up to $40million dollars in the real world. That’s silly money, and something I can only dream about... though I suppose actually finding a plot in Shirogane is something other people can only dream about.

If the gil value of a small home really pushes is a figure equivalent to millions of dollars, it’s pretty easy to see why people see the market as crisis stricken. Debate the figures if you want, but this piece serves as yet another reminder that the housing market in XIV really is beyond parody.

There are sections on other games too — ranging from The Witcher and Skyrim to even San Andreas — and it’s clear a lot of work went into it, so it’s well worth taking a look at if you’re a nerd about this sort of thing like I am.


Michael O’Connell-Davidson

Michael O'Connell-Davidson is MMORPG.com's FFXIV columnist. Follow him on twitter @mikeocd.