FFXIV: Slowing Down

Let me tell you, I like the current Manderville weapon grinding cadence. My first impression was that it won’t be tedious or exhausting, and my first impression proved to be true. There are several reasons for that in game design which other games could learn from.

1. First, the overall currency amount. It is not that much stretching for players – just 2 days to supply your next job (class) with a shiny 615 ilvl poker (by completing a whole range of daily Astronomy reward roulettes). So, even if you play all 19 combat jobs, it’s about a month to get them all during your common evening sessions. If you just capped a new job, you can have a weapon in two days. It’s more than enough time to get all weapons long before the next patch drops – even if you don’t play every day.

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2. Second, it’s that 1500 currency requirement is split into smaller steps: Manderium Meteorites, 500 a piece, 3 per weapon. So you may have run just four roulettes in the evening session, not even the whole range, and still get one piece, which provides an awesome feeling of constant progress every day. The reward is immediate, palpable and by large makes every login matter. Milestones and baby steps, right?

One more thing: it is true that once you take your next weapon quest on a certain job (say, black mage or samurai), you’ll have to finish it on this job as well. But! you can buy meteorites without a running quest, so this is what I recommend. So by the time you earn three meteorites, if your job priorities change (for example, you need to empower white mage first, instead of dancer you’ve planned), you can do that. First you earn three meteorites, and only THEN take a job weapon quest to immediately spend them.

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3. Three, it’s duty roulettes which are bread and butter of FFXIV as a whole, and for Manderville weapons in particular. Roulettes are random group finder activities with daily reward reset, with one daily currency/gold reward per dungeon type: leveling dungeons, endgame dungeons, story boss encounters, 8-ppl raid wings, 24-ppl raid wings etc. So to maximize your daily currency or XP income, it’s best to run through a single roulette of every type.

The choice is random from all the dungeons and raids you’ve unlocked, and that’s literal hundreds of dungeons and boss fights for a randomizer! This provides an excellent daily variety, and you’re highly unlikely to re-run the same dungeon or encounter in course of a week or even a month unless a certain roulette type has only 2-3 choices at all.

In addition to the roulette variety itself, you can run it for currency with any level cap job you feel like at the moment. You can chain-queue with a healer if you feel like challenge and don’t like queues, a tank for no queues and the most relaxed (yes, tank=relaxed) gameplay, pick a dps for slightly less responsibility, pick the job you’re most skilled at, pick the job you feel like playing here and now, or swap jobs for every next queue just for extra variety.

Long story short, even if you target a specific class/job weapon by quest, currency farming combines a random dungeon variety with your pro-active choices: roulette order and number preferences, your playing style, your role/job of choice for every next run are defined by the player only.

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All in all, 9 weapons are already mine and 10 to go. As the patch 6.3. is unlikely to drop until late December/January, and I have very little stuff to do in the game besides Manderville, I’ve decided to slow down. No pushing the limits, no trying to complete all roulettes daily even for one toon – today I log out immediately when I feel tired or starting to feel stretched. I have all the time in the world – and for other games too which is good :)

Erhm… so even the grind could be fun then?

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