FFXIV: Finishing 4.4 MSQ (Again)

Last night, I finished the 4.4 MSQ on my RP alt, Amon. This is the second character I’ve taken to the end of the FFXIV story, so I wanted to talk a little about that today.

I learned I still hate Castrum Fluminis (I was impressed that my team actually figured out mechanics after our first wipe, but man, the 25 min DPS queue is killer). And I love Namazu Beast Tribe quests enough to do them a second time without complaint.

Also, I was worried The Burn was going to be harder than it turned out to be… and I found that I still wiped on Sadu’s instance 3 times due to the final timed section before I finally beat it. Man, I hate that instance. Granted, this character wasn’t as geared as my main, but still. Annoying.

But let me back up and give some history of progression on Amon since I’ve not talked much about this character before.

Rolling an RP Alt

One of my very first Amon screenshots.

My earliest screenshot of Amon dates back to September 17, 2017. So I rolled this version of him over a year ago. I’m fairly sure this wasn’t the first time I rolled this character with the idea to use him as a story/RP alt, but for whatever reason, I deleted the first version of his character.

Thinking back, I want to say that creating Amon came about due to the lockdown on Balmung, which is the unofficial main RP server for FFXIV. When that server became unavailable, the community chose Mateus (which was the smallest server at the time) as the secondary RP server to flock to.

While I did (and still do) have characters on Balmung, the RP scene on that server has a reputation of being tough to dive into if you’re outside of established circles. Whether this is warranted or not, the idea of rolling a fresh character on a newly-appointed RP server appealed to me more than trying to break into an RP server that was already established for 4 years.

So, I rolled a new Amon, repurposed one of my side Tumblrs, and started chronicling his adventures in short one-off posts with screenshots. However, this never really gained traction (I understand why now), so I eventually gave up on the idea about a month later.

Amon was left gathering dust until about late June of 2018. I was looking for a topic to write about for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and decided I wanted to spin up a story that could also serve as an RP foundation. In doing that, I surveyed the characters I had on hand, looking for a hook that interested me.

I actually almost deleted Amon’s Tumblr that day to turn it into something else. I came very, very close to dismissing his concept as something silly that no one would be interested in.

He doesn’t like to talk about the time he almost got deleted.

But when I logged in to look at his character, something stopped me. I’m not sure what.

It could have been the fact that I’d level boosted him (more on that later). Or it could have been that I saw an avenue with his story line that I didn’t see a year earlier. Either way, I did a complete turn-around and began to focus my efforts on researching lore and building a foundation for his character.

Boy am I glad I did.

Alt Progression

On a RP server, it feels as if few people really care or expect you to have end-game unlocked or characters progressed (unless you want to). Finishing 4.4 MSQ and raiding Omega have nothing to do with your social connections and ability to RP. I found this refreshing, to be honest.

The main reasons for progression that I’ve seen are:

  • Access to a wider range of glamour
  • Access to more locations to RP in

Of course, this isn’t true for everyone. I’m sure there are folks on the RP servers who like to progress and get things done. I just don’t see as much of a rush or push to do it.

Buying level jump potions and story skips is very common on the RP sever, and not frowned upon at all. In fact, I wouldn’t doubt that FFXIV is making quite a bit of bank from these folks. They’re rolling multiple alts, not wanting to deal with leveling and MSQ yet again, and plunk down the money for skip potions — sometimes multiple times. Not to mention readily throwing cash at the Mog Station for cosmetics.

I can’t talk because I’ve done the same thing.

Back in 2017, I rolled up Amon and got him through Sastasha before I was already done with the DPS queues and thought of having to scrape through all the 2.0 dungeons again by myself. So, to save my sanity, I purchased a Bard level jump potion.

I don’t regret that one bit. I was alone on Mateus at the time, no one to group with me to help with queue times. Level jumping to 60 let me unsync all the content for a fair ways in. I think Castrum and Praetorium were the first runs I was forced to group for.

At the time, my main goal was to push Amon through 2.0 MSQ so that I could unlock the Crystal Tower series and farm for his glamour. This also unlocked Alliance Roulette, which is a casual track to 70.

I actually didn’t care one lick about progressing him beyond that point, once I had his glamour. But, some habits die hard, and before I knew it, I’d leveled him to 70… but wasn’t even close to done with Heavensward yet.

Based on my Tumblr timestamp, that was about a month ago. So the timeline looks something like this:

And this is with me not really focusing on getting it done very quickly. Keep in mind, I did skip cutscenes and side quests, and power through areas. I know the game path pretty well. So I could easily burn through a zone a night if I put my mind to it.

I also had help from my FC with things from Heavensward on in terms of dungeon running. We unsynced as much as possible as a Tank-Healer-DPS trio, which was actually quite a bit.

I spent some time doing hunts for seals to gear him up at level 70. It wasn’t too hard to get an ilvl 330 set, which I was later able to upgrade to 340 when I finished 4.0. I had enough tomes to pick up a second ring, which put me at ilvl 341 going into patch 4.3 content. Seeing that The Burn requires ilvl 340 exactly, I was just a sliver over what I needed to make it through the content.

I know this means I’ll probably need to chase some tomes or drops for some upgrades in the future so he’ll have the ilvl to do whatever they throw at us for 4.5. I’m not really in a rush, though, as I’m still doing Expert on my main as much as I’m able to gear her up.

All in all, Amon’s in a pretty good position looking ahead to whatever expansion we hear about next month. And he still has tons of side content and quests to clear, not to mention crafting and gathering to level.

I’d never intended him to reach end game, and he’s never going to be a raid character, but it was a pretty wild ride! Now I just have 6 other characters who still need to work on MSQ! (Not) XD