FFXIV: Tales from Eureka

So… Eureka.

It’s the hot topic of FFXIV since it released yesterday. And there’s just as much salt and grouchiness about the oldskool play style it tries to introduce to a modern MMO as I expected there would be.

You’ve got people on Reddit who think it’s worse than Diadem, and people who actually enjoy it. For me, while it’s not the most fun I’ve ever had in a video game, it’s a foundation for something I hope might become bigger and better.

Amoon was quite keen on trying it out last night, and I was interested to see what it was like, too. While Syn wasn’t that excited by it, she joined as our healer and we went in as a group of three.

Oldschool MMO Style

Eureka was pretty much what I expected. They likened it to open world FFXI leveling from back in the day. That’s what we got, more or less.

There’s some elemental wheel stuff going on here, too.

Folks complain about the grind for relic. But relic is always a grind. This hasn’t changed in the slightest. It’s just not a grind locked into repeatedly running a boss or dungeon… which FFXIV has an overabundance of.

In fact, I welcome more open world content, even with the trouble it brings (more on that later). I certainly can handle heading out with a little group of FC folks to pull mobs and nuke them down for a hour or so here and there. It was a nice change of pace.

The problem is, there’s so many players who aren’t used to this play style. Some only understand zerg or speedrun. They struggle to understand there’s an etiquette to playing a game that will actually get them further than being selfish. When patience is required and speedrun isn’t possible, they pitch a fit.

There’s threads popping up offering tips about the best way to progress in Eureka. This doesn’t include killing everything in sight. Aside from the NM FATEs, this is very much closed group content.

Tagging other groups’ pulls does everyone harm — those who pulled, and yourself. So find yourself a safe spot to call a base point and have a tank pull things to your group. That’s the traditional way to do this, and that’s what works well.

Our little safe spot we found on a rock. In the distance, another group is fighting, but we give each other room.

Eureka doesn’t have a duty finder. You can go with with a group of any size, and join groups while you’re in the instance. It was interesting to see people out there shouting LFT or LF1M. Players have to figure out how to do things without a duty finder matching them.

Behavior has consequences. Remember how I talked about tagging other groups’ pulls and how everyone gets lower XP from it? Here’s a story.

Kill Stealers

I never thought I’d talk about kill stealers in FFXIV. Anyhow.

So, my FC team found this safe little flat rock area to set up our pull spot. We were doing well, making chains, and just learning how the system worked. Most other groups were minding their own business, aside from the occasional zerg group running through.

There was a Dark Knight and a Bard who come rushing into our area and just started killing anything we pulled. Basically, they were leeching off our XP over and over again. At first, I wondered if was by accident, but they kept it up. So we moved around to the other side of the rock, giving up our nice spot.

Well, it wasn’t an accident because they followed us to the new spot and started killing our pulls again.

Only, the new spot wasn’t as safe as the original. Very quickly, they attracted more mobs than they could handle, and unlike us, they had no healer. We simply walked away and let them deal with what they’d pulled. Needless to say, I saw the monsters return to their spawn spots pretty soon after, and we saw no sign of those two for a while.

When they did return, they came back to our rock, but didn’t mess with our pulls. We’d leveled up by that time, so we gave it up to them, going to a different spot.

Nightly Rewards

We were only out there for about an hour and a half, and not all of that was spent in battle. The three of us earned about a level and a half, and various amounts of Crystals. Crystal drops were pretty random, except for chaining all the way up to 30. We got that one time.

There’s a quest line that leads you through the new systems in Eureka, including to the relic stuff. This time around, you can earn both weapon and armor relics.

I’m honestly not too worried about the relics this time around. If I get one, I do. But I got my Tome weapon from Sigmascape last night, which is far better than what relic can give me this patch cycle.

My new Tome weapon

Even though it’s kinda cool that the relics have a color-changing glow, and it’s nice they have a promised five-slots for materia, I’m not impressed enough to feel I need to grind for them.

If that’s the case, why did I head into Eureka?

Several reasons:

  1. I like that this is content I could take almost any level 70 member of my FC into, anytime, just for the fun of it.
  2. I like that this content isn’t closed up in a dungeon. I have severe dungeon fatigue from FFXIV right now and only run things if I have to.
  3. I want some of the cosmetics — the new Red Mage barding is on my list, and the T-Rex mount is pretty cool, too!
Someone with the T Rex mount in town.

Not all content needs to be fast and constantly raining rewards. I don’t mind slowly working on something over time to achieve it. If I get a relic from it, then I do. If I don’t, there are alternatives.

It may be that Eureka starts out slow and becomes something a lot more fun later on. FFXIV is famous for releasing a bare-bones feature that they build up over time.

I can understand why some people are frustrated and disappointed about the style of content in the new zone. But the truth is, they can adjust to it, or they can just choose to do something else.

Relic is not end all be all.