Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Cut Scenes, A Million Gil, And An Almost Perfect Look

Over the past week I spent a lot of time watching cut scenes in Final Fantasy XIV. On Thursday, I finished up the main scenario story quests from patch 2.0, otherwise known as the base game of A Realm Reborn. Sometimes you just want to knock out the content. My free company has a group that on Thursdays runs old content to help members catch up to current content. They run the content unsynced, which means they don't level down to the dungeon content. I got to witness first hand what 3 level 80 characters can do to the two most difficult dungeons in ARR, Castrum Meridianum and The Praetorium. Basically, unless a gimmick mechanic got in their way, they flattened everything in their path like it didn't exist.

The only thing they couldn't flatten were the cut scenes. Too many people running the dungeons for the first time were forced to skip the cut scenes in the two dungeons by players who had run the content before, so Square Enix made the footage non-skippable. After running through the dungeons, I saw why. The Praetorium had 36 minutes of cut scenes. By the end of the night, I wanted to bash my head into my keyboard. The scenes weren't that great.

The main players in the series
In contrast, I spent Friday night and most of Saturday and Sunday running through the level 50 Hildibrand Quests. Gentleman inspector Hildibrand and his trusty assistant Nashu Mhakaracca bring a lot of levity after a large dose of serious content. The Hildibrand quests remind me of the Pink Panther movies, with doses of Austin Powers and the old Warner Bros. Loony Tunes cartoons thrown in. The fact that Nashu looks a lot like my character didn't hurt.

My character Skitane on the left, Nashu on the right.
The quest line wasn't all fun and games. I had to run three trials: Battle on the Big Bridge, The Dragon's Neck, and Battle in the Big Keep. I ran into a hitch with The Dragon's Neck. I thought I was doing well with a item level of 74. But to enter the trial required an iLevel of 80. Fortunately, level 52 jewelry isn't expensive and I upgraded all mine to iLevel 115. I wound up with an iLevel of 98, which is enough to get into any AAR content.

At the end, the rewards weren't spectacular. I received the dress outfit Nashu is wearing in the screenshot above as well as a mini-Hildibrand minion. During the course of the series, I also learned the Manderville dance. But the real reward was the quality of the content itself. Given what's going on in the world, with my ability to leave the house limited, I really needed the distraction.

The coat cost 150,000 gil
One of the reasons I was able to upgrade my gear quickly is the market activity I initiated a couple of weeks ago. Over the course of the last two weeks, my wealth has grown from 250,000 gil to over 1 million gil. I didn't just sit on the money saving either. I've spent money on everything from new weapons to new crafting and gathering gear. I even spent 150,000 gil on a piece of glamour gear.

Almost perfect
Speaking of glamour, I almost received another score of 100 on the Fashion Report. The theme was based around a night gown. I didn't have the correct night gown, so I went to the Gold Saucer and picked up an Ishgardian Gown dyed show white to get the proper look. But I only scored 99 out of 100. To score 100 I needed to dye the gown pure white. But pure white dye is a cash shop item and I couldn't pull the trigger on spending real money on dye. Of course, since I already have the title of "Fashion Leader" I didn't need the extra point. If I didn't already have the title? Well, I'm glad I didn't have to find out.

Over the next week I need to continue to explore some of the systems I unlocked once I finished the patch 2.0 main scenario quests. I have an increasing number of NPCs I control as well a bunch of crafting content to learn. Plus, I still need to continue my march toward the Heavensward content. Only 86 quests to go.

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