Final Fantasy XIV: Crafting and Gathering

With all of the systems getting rebuilt in A Realm Reborn, what do crafters and gatherers have to look forward to?

With the rerelease of Square Enix’s second MMO, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, a few months away, a few of us here at ZAM have had the chance to try the beta and see what’s changed. We all tried out the combat and looked at some of the major system changes and you can find out more about those in Corey’s post. While I put in a good amount of time questing and fighting like the other writers, it wasn’t my primary focus this time around. What I wanted to know was this: did Square Enix finally give me full-fledged crafting and gathering classes like they were promising when the first version of FFXIV came out in 2010?

When Square Enix originally started talking about its second MMO, Final Fantasy XIV, one of the points it kept bringing up to show its game was unique was that crafters and gatherers were now true player classes. Players that wanted to dabble in crafting or gathering could still do so on the side, but those who were primarily interested in finding/selling crafting materials or in turning those materials into equipment and supplies for other players now had full-fledged classes to specialize in. There would be actual abilities you used, gear with crafting/gathering specific stats to get, and technique to learn beyond just clicking on an ore vein or hitting Create in a crafting window. When I played the open beta for v1.0, I was… well, I had a lot of less than kind things to say that are unfit for print, especially about crafting and gathering. Fast forward almost three years and a remake later, it was time to find out what had changed and if it was for the better.

I Didnt Become A Blacksmith So I Could Throw Rock!

During character creation in the original iteration of FFXIV, you could choose to start as any starting job you wanted (some classes required quests to unlock). You could go the normal route of choosing a combat-oriented class like a Pugilist or a Thaumaturge or you could choose something like Miner or Blacksmith right from the beginning. Players interested in the non-combat professions could skip straight to what they wanted. Well, theoretically. What actually happened was you’d finish making your character and join the game in the exact same instanced intro as all of the other classes. Once you finished talking to whoever the game wanted you to chat with, a fight would break out. If you were a combat class, this would be where you’d start using the skills/spells on your hotbar to assist the NPCs and take out your foes. As a crafter or a gatherer, you’d look at this and go, “Why the heck am I here? I thought I picked Miner/Blacksmith/etc.” You could sit and stare at the monsters, hoping they’d go away once the other NPCs who looked like actual combat classes stepped in and dealt with the problem. You might even cheer them on while they fought. Nope – as far as you were concerned, those NPCs were blind until you decided to pick a fight with something and they heard squishy you screaming for help.

Picture yourself as a Miner or a Blacksmith looking at this situation. All that stands between you and your tradeskill-based glory is a handful of level 1 monsters. It’s a tutorial mission – surely they’ll die in a couple of hits, right? You’ll just break out my blacksmithing hammer or mining pick and… oh? What’s that? You’re not actually able to hit them with your weapon? Well, what can you hit them with then… Ah, there’s a button on your hotbar! It’s called “Throw Rock”! Time to throw some rocks! You hit for… one damage. This thing has like 300 health and it’s hitting you for a tenth of your health each swing. Math says you lose. Luckily for you, after about a third of your health’s gone, the NPCs take pity and one-shot the monster. Repeat this two or three more times and the intro is complete. It’s not exactly the best introduction for a new crafter/gatherer, given the whole lack of any crafting and/or gathering. Now let’s fast-forward a few years and a remake later to ARR: are you still spending your early days throwing rocks at monsters and hoping you live longer enough for the NPC to save you?

To begin with, in ARR your crafting and gathering aspirations will have to wait for a few levels. Only classes from the Disciples of War (melee classes as well as the Archer) and Disciples of Magic are available. Once your class is chosen, you cannot switch until you finish your level 10 class quest and are given permission to join other guilds. At first this might seem like a downgrade from the previous system – it may have been broken, but you could still start as what you wanted, right? However, doing things this way actually makes quite a bit of sense. Questing for those ten levels not only gets you familiar with the surrounding area (very useful for any would-be gatherers out there), but it also provides you with the opportunity to make some starter funding.

That was one of the other major issues with crafters in the first version of FFXIV. Sure you could be a crafter in name, but with no funding to buy any materials, let alone afford gathering tools to find your own, you could find yourself in quite a predicament early on. Sure there were guildleves you could do that might provide some cash if you could craft from the materials they provided, but if you failed at crafting it (I’ll get to that later) then you couldn’t complete it and you’d have to wait 36 hours to try again since there was no dropping a quest and picking it back up. With ten levels worth of combat class questing under your belt, you’ll have plenty of money to work with as starter capital and if you need some quick cash while waiting for your retainer to sell your wares, you can just strap on your sword/staff/etc. and go earn some more. So after ten levels of running around as a Gladiator, slaying monsters for my Hunting Log and just being happy there were finally quests in the game, it was time to try my hand at some non-combat professions. Considering the city I started in only had access to some of the various job classes and I seemed unable to go to another city until further in the plot, I looked at the options available. Since I didn’t have a friend to funnel me materials as a crafter, I decided to farm my own and start with Miner.

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Still only half way there...
# Jun 19 2013 at 11:55 AM Rating: Decent
14 posts
I still feel that crafters and gatherers are missing out on a lot and that Yoshi doesn't respect them as much as the combat classes. Until DoH and/or DoL based FATE's and/or quests (outside of the run errands quest that any discipline can do and outside the the one every 5 levels guild quests) get implemented, I really won't be able to consider us to have fully fledged classes.

There are so many things we as crafters and gatherers can do to help the world around us (actually helping as crafters and gatherers, not as runners), yet we're only called upon incidentally or every 5 levels to fetch something we probably already have? I don't think that's quite right when the other classes get called upon for their speciality (combat based quests and FATE's) for almost the entirety of their levelling progression. Crafters and gatherers have to grind hard to get anywhere, whereas combatants get interesting storylines the whole way and Yoshi's already indicated he thinks the traditional repetitive grind is inferior to the quest grind.

Even if we only get one or two quests/FATE's per level with storylines where we have to make/gather things (and not just hand in second hand goods or things bought off the market), that would be a huge improvement. I love the stories and characters that the FF world is famous for and do not appreciate the fact that we're excluded from 99% of them because we don't want to pick up a weapon and pursue battle, when we can help in other ways.

I'm not saying let us save the world. I'm not saying to even give us as many quests as the combat classes get. I'm saying let us repair a boiler or roof at that outpost, let us help an NPC restock their wears, let us clear a massive fallen tree in the road, let us excavate a collapsed mine to rescue the NPC's within, and possibly open up new areas or services or other benefits for our troubles. Little things that only we can do but that have a positive impact on the NPC's and greater world around us.



Still only half way there...
# Aug 01 2013 at 8:25 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
mbncd wrote:
I still feel that crafters and gatherers are missing out on a lot and that Yoshi doesn't respect them as much as the combat classes. Until DoH and/or DoL based FATE's and/or quests (outside of the run errands quest that any discipline can do and outside the the one every 5 levels guild quests) get implemented, I really won't be able to consider us to have fully fledged classes.

There are so many things we as crafters and gatherers can do to help the world around us (actually helping as crafters and gatherers, not as runners), yet we're only called upon incidentally or every 5 levels to fetch something we probably already have? I don't think that's quite right when the other classes get called upon for their speciality (combat based quests and FATE's) for almost the entirety of their levelling progression. Crafters and gatherers have to grind hard to get anywhere, whereas combatants get interesting storylines the whole way and Yoshi's already indicated he thinks the traditional repetitive grind is inferior to the quest grind.

Even if we only get one or two quests/FATE's per level with storylines where we have to make/gather things (and not just hand in second hand goods or things bought off the market), that would be a huge improvement. I love the stories and characters that the FF world is famous for and do not appreciate the fact that we're excluded from 99% of them because we don't want to pick up a weapon and pursue battle, when we can help in other ways.

I'm not saying let us save the world. I'm not saying to even give us as many quests as the combat classes get. I'm saying let us repair a boiler or roof at that outpost, let us help an NPC restock their wears, let us clear a massive fallen tree in the road, let us excavate a collapsed mine to rescue the NPC's within, and possibly open up new areas or services or other benefits for our troubles. Little things that only we can do but that have a positive impact on the NPC's and greater world around us.






Very Well written article, and also a great response to it!

I would very much love to see DoH/DoL do things like what are mentioned above.. that would create an even more immersive experience for everyone and would only help this game show how awesome and fun it is!
Still only half way there...
# Jun 19 2013 at 11:28 PM Rating: Decent
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197 posts
mbncd wrote:
I still feel that crafters and gatherers are missing out on a lot and that Yoshi doesn't respect them as much as the combat classes. Until DoH and/or DoL based FATE's and/or quests (outside of the run errands quest that any discipline can do and outside the the one every 5 levels guild quests) get implemented, I really won't be able to consider us to have fully fledged classes.

There are so many things we as crafters and gatherers can do to help the world around us (actually helping as crafters and gatherers, not as runners), yet we're only called upon incidentally or every 5 levels to fetch something we probably already have? I don't think that's quite right when the other classes get called upon for their speciality (combat based quests and FATE's) for almost the entirety of their levelling progression. Crafters and gatherers have to grind hard to get anywhere, whereas combatants get interesting storylines the whole way and Yoshi's already indicated he thinks the traditional repetitive grind is inferior to the quest grind.

Even if we only get one or two quests/FATE's per level with storylines where we have to make/gather things (and not just hand in second hand goods or things bought off the market), that would be a huge improvement. I love the stories and characters that the FF world is famous for and do not appreciate the fact that we're excluded from 99% of them because we don't want to pick up a weapon and pursue battle, when we can help in other ways.

I'm not saying let us save the world. I'm not saying to even give us as many quests as the combat classes get. I'm saying let us repair a boiler or roof at that outpost, let us help an NPC restock their wears, let us clear a massive fallen tree in the road, let us excavate a collapsed mine to rescue the NPC's within, and possibly open up new areas or services or other benefits for our troubles. Little things that only we can do but that have a positive impact on the NPC's and greater world around us.




Not being in beta, I can't comment on your conclusions. However, I would LOVE to see crafting/gathering FATEs - even as part of the "sequenced" ones. After the bandit raid on the outpost, the DoW/DoM can go off and recover those that were kidnapped. DoH can repair fortifications, NPC armours, potion supplies etc., & DoL can grab items from nearby to facilitate the process. Truly have EVERY discipline contribute to the "war effort," so to speak.

And for "extra access" areas - clear a fallen tree, get short (20-30 min) access to a "king's forest" type area that is normally off-limits to gathering. Excavate a collapsed mine, get mining rights to a sealed-off section of the mine for a short time. Bring the court alchemist ingredients for a recovery potion - you get free rein over his "private garden" for a small window.
Still only half way there...
# Jun 19 2013 at 12:29 PM Rating: Decent
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142 posts
mbncd wrote:
I still feel that crafters and gatherers are missing out on a lot and that Yoshi doesn't respect them as much as the combat classes. Until DoH and/or DoL based FATE's and/or quests (outside of the run errands quest that any discipline can do and outside the the one every 5 levels guild quests) get implemented, I really won't be able to consider us to have fully fledged classes.

I'm not saying let us save the world. I'm not saying to even give us as many quests as the combat classes get. I'm saying let us repair a boiler or roof at that outpost, let us help an NPC restock their wears, let us clear a massive fallen tree in the road, let us excavate a collapsed mine to rescue the NPC's within, and possibly open up new areas or services or other benefits for our troubles. Little things that only we can do but that have a positive impact on the NPC's and greater world around us.



This. I agree 100%, and the ideas that you have should definitely be considered.
Makes me want to craft
# Jun 19 2013 at 9:27 AM Rating: Decent
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Now they just need to let me back in


Very nice read. I especially agree with this part, lol.
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