I think I’m in a good place today. Like I predicted, leveling trade jobs would take me about till the end of January, and I’m roughly there:
I’ve burned all my leve allowances on alts, so I’m switching on my main again which has 100 to spend, and so can safely level through Endwalker. Frankly, I’ve been procrastinating with entering the final expansion’s leg for no particular reason – I just had to start with it. I’ve advanced through Carpenter yesterday, leves, deliveries and stuff, and it’s obviously pretty much the same: mats accumulation phase (aka grind) and crafting/spending phase. So meh, I need to stop bothering over nothing and just do it, especially with the level cap prize ahead :)
Before Endwalker, leveling crafting/gathering did not require collectables, and I shunned this mini-game until now. Not in the current expansion: the class deliveries/stories require to learn the system to provide the required mats and crafts, so I had to figure it out. Turns out, it’s not bothersome at all. Crafting is basically about making a HQ item, which I’m always doing anyways. Fishing is the same as normal quest fishing, luring out the fish you need for quest.
The only thing that changes is miners/botanists: you have to engage into a mini-game, which also proved quite simple. You have 4-5 moves per node, the final one being the “collect” action to actually get the item. And you use all the first moves to enhance collectability/quality – a couple of abilities serve as amplifiers, and three more to progress with the item quality. Not a rocket science, for sure – it only depends on having enough gathering points and a level-proper gear to make the moves matter more.
The only inconvenience is gathering points: sometimes you just have to wait for them to be accumulated before advancing to the next node for a collectable, is all. But you can farm other mats in the very same spot meanwhile, so not that big of a deal.
Custom deliveries is a collectable-based activity, and I also did not explore it before – because collectables. Well, I tried it yesterday with Ameliance and Anden, and found it fun, non-time consuming and totally worth doing. It requires just 6 deliveries a week – that is, crafting 6 items with mats provided on spot, or gathering 6 collectable items in the field. Unlike grinding reputations, the pace is fast, the whole process takes about 10 minutes weekly per custom delivery guy, and the delivery cap is NPC-based, so you can work on progress for all of them simultaneously, not just Ameliance, for example.
The rewards seem to be well worth it: scrips, a little gil, a glam prize in the end, and of course, a mini-story which I can never get enough of. And XP – not a reliable source, of course, but it could save you some extra leve allowances and grinds. So: crafting custom deliveries in Endwalker it is, and I plan to circle back through all of them once I’m done with the leveling.
Endwalker Studium Deliveries
Endwalker exploits the same trade questline system as Shadowbringers: crafters are split into 3 questgivers, miner/botanist is 4th, and fisher has a quest guy of his own. My attitude is the same: on one hand, I would prefer more focus on a certain class, as it’s more compelling thematically and lorewise to enhance the job flavor, there would be more stories overall, and I wouldn’t have to pick between three jobs – as which of the three would get a quest XP. On the other hand – it’s less legwork, mats and overall bother, especially when alts are involved. I don’t know, either approach works for me, so I’d accept any approach in the next expansion.
I did not see the stories till the end yet. I’ve advanced far enough through Carpenter/Leatherworker/Weaver, finished Fisher, waiting for the final quest with Miner/Botanist, and dipped my toes into the remaining crafting guys. The stories aren’t so bad, and yet I find Shadowbringers’ ones were a lot more engaging. The only one in Endwalker that is really awesome is culinarian/alchemist: improving the gourmet qualities of the infamous archon loaf is just hilarious!
Scrips are my primary headache today. I already figured that I need purple ones for the current expansion’s endgame, gear and such, and I spend whites for the previous expansions trade goods and leveling. Question is: which items to pick? Naturally, I bought full sets and tools of ilvl 500 at the end of Shadowbringers to take me through 80-90 leveling, now I’m very vague about what to buy – especially as I’m capping them through deliveries already.
I do want to be a completionist and spend scrips for recipes and discovering nodes tomes from all expansions – that much I know. I just can’t figure out my priorities – maybe I will need an abundance of white scrips at level cap for some other vital thing, and I’ll have them all spent already? It happened in Shadowbringers: I spent many white scrips for stuff like music scrolls. recipe tomes only to find out that I don’t have enough to get all the 500 crafting tools when I discovered I could buy gear on my main. So, I’m open to suggestions about white scrip priorities :) Which items to buy if I’m capping them during 80>90 leveling, and which white scrip items will I need when I cap my jobs?
I’ve yet to plunge into the world of scrip farming, but I discovered collectable appraisers, I think I know how they work, so I don’t think it’s gonna be a huge problem.
Reputations are a side dish to my trade adventures, but like I said, I plan to grind them all – that’s my plan for the next months. I’ve advanced significantly with Shadowbringers’ tribes, Namazu and Omicrons for now as a means of collateral XP, and some of my alts are approaching their final stages.
What buggers me is that the questline effectively ends at Sworn rep rank, with a climax story finale, final shape of the settlement and a mount reward access from tribe vendor. These are the major three attractions for me (as for most players, too), and the next longest step of rep grind to Bloodsworn apparently is about… music scrolls, and that’s it? This reward design is counterproductive, and I think the carrot dangling in the end of the longest grind step should be the juiciest. That’s simply weird.
Apart from that, I’m loving the tribal quests. Exquisite mounts, pets and other goods, very engaging stories, and tribe members are mostly hilarious and fun to deal with. I can’t tell which of them I like more, maybe Namazu are my favorites as a tribe, and Pixie story was super moving. Just some shots are in order:
Lyhe Mheg (Pixie Dreamland) Fully Restored:
Omicron Tribal Mount (yes, you’re floating in a bubble creature filled with star sky):
Examining Yet Another Enhancement to Dwarven Tank Factory:
That’s it for now, I think I’ll make a separate post about all tribes when I’m done :)
I already see a vast content map and plans ahead of me: farming scrips, reputations, custom deliveries and what not. Definitely not out of ideas and things to do, not at the very least.