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The Quest for Flight

Final Fantasy XIV Columns - By Victor Barreiro Jr. on September 05, 2014

The Quest for Flight

I’ve grown enamored with the Ehcatl Nine beast tribe daily quests in Final Fantasy XIV, enough that I take an hour or so when I’m not exhausted from normal activities go into the game and use up Beast Tribe quest allotment just to tackle the dailies and continue the ranking up of my character so I can continue the tale of Ehcatl Nine and their search for the skies.

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Some of you may be wondering what’s so special about this tribe of beastmen that merits everyone’s support all of a sudden? Simply put, the Ehcatl Nine Beast Tribe Quests mix tangible gameplay rewards for crafters in the game  with the promise of a rousing tale told incrementally as you continue the questline.

Some minor Ehcatl Nine storyline spoilers follow...

High Hopes

I’ve mentioned the story in passing previously, but in the two weeks since I wrote the last FFXIV column, I’ve learned more about these fellows by plugging away at the dailies, and find that there’s actually more fun than frustration in the proceedings.

The Ehcatl Nine are a tribe of Ixali beastmen led by Sezul Totoloc, who have chosen not to become a thrall to the Primals. Instead, they are interested in technology, and with the aid of technology, they hope to build the most flight-worthy skyship in existence, which they’re calling the Dezul Qualan.

Their aim is very honest and lofty: to find the the mystical floating continent where the legend goes that Ixal orginated from there, and live in peace and prosperity exploring the skies and whatever may lie beyond their grasp.

Along the way, you’ll meet a Lalafell fellow named Tataramu who has his own hidden past and agenda for aiding Sezul and the Ehcatl Nine.

This storyline acts as the backdrop for where the player comes in: He gets to help build the Dezul Qualan for the beastmen and, in return, earn the beastmen’s trust.

Can You Take Me Higher?

Unlike my earlier write-up, I’ve found that the Ixali questline is actually far more forgiving than I expected.

Basically, using any of your crafting classes, starting from Level 1 onwards, you’re encouraged to craft specialized unique items that serve as turn-in items for the repeatable quests.

These require you to do a bit of work on your part, as there’s some traveling, fighting, and potential gathering  involved to find the people you need to talk to for these specialized crafting facilities that allow the building of these turn-in items.

Upon fulfilling a repeatable quest and turning in the items, you get experience equivalent to a noteworthy fraction (around a fifth or a sixth, I suppose)  of that currently equipped crafting class’ level.

What this essentially means is that if you’re industrious enough, you can actually craft the turn-in items with your best crafting class for minimal XP (say a level 50) and then switch to another class that needs the experience when turning in the item to speed up that class’ leveling phase by an fraction equivalent to its level.

It’s easy for starting crafting classes, it’s ludicrously rewarding if you’ve ever wanted to speed up crafting an individual crafting class you’ve never tried before, and if you do it often enough, you’ll unlock the quests you need to move up another notch in the reputation level with the Ehcatl Nine, and actually see a visual representation of your progress in building the Dezul Qualan!

The Allied Quests and Chocobo Odds-and-Ends

Square Enix also added one additional conceit to the system if you’ve ever maxed out all the other beastmen tribe factions. Once the Ixali have been maxed out and you’ve got all the beast tribe factions as friends, a new questline opens up to do beast tribe dailies for the Allied Beast Tribes.

So far, that hasn’t been unlocked yet since the Ehcatl Nine haven’t been maxed out anywhere yet as far as I know, but I’m looking forward to learning more about that when someone does uncover what that next step is.

Before I go, I just wanted to clarify something I wrote about last time. I previously wrote that there may only be 6 colors to choose from in the chocobo colors, but I was mistaken. Apparently, the fruits you feed your chocobos actually act like an influencer that changes the shade of color of your chocobo across a number of different colors from the Red-Green-Blue spectrum (RGB).

As such the system seems to be a complicated RGB shader interface for dyeing chocobos, rather than a simplified color switching system.

Anyway, I’ll see you back here in two weeks for more FFXIV goodness. Till then, don’t forget to hear, feel, and think!


LINKS:

Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains the the Landmark/Everquest Next and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn columns for MMORPG.com. He also writes for news website Rappler (Rappler.com) as a technology reporter.