FFXIV: Shadowbringers – Fixing (?) Fates and Side Quests

A few days before the last Live Letter, I was talking to Syn about a few of the missed opportunities in FFXIV as a whole. I mentioned two things – FATEs and quests. Interestingly enough, upcoming changes to both of these were then addressed in the Live Letter not long after.

I think I may be one of the few folks who actually enjoys FATEs. It was originally a leveling system tossed into ARR to bridge the gap in MSQ. To me, it feels somewhat similar to open world events in games like GW2. However, FATEs just aren’t anywhere near as rewarding, so as other means of leveling appeared (like PotD and squads), FATEs fell by the wayside.

Side quests also have diminished in importance over time. While they do help out with giving a spattering of XP for alt job leveling, aside from that, I usually skip them all my first go-round, using MSQ to do all of my leveling. In fact, I still haven’t finished most of the Stormblood quests on my main – something I’ve relegated to “cleaning up old quests” on a job I want to level.

This is sad, especially since work and writing went into making these quests. Some of them have neat stories and help with understanding lore. Granted, the most important quest lines are meshed into unlocking flying or beast tribe quests, so they end up being forced if you want to do all the important content. But aside from that, there’s not much reason to do them.

Shadowbringers Changes

Apparently devs were thinking along the same lines, because both FATEs and quests are getting a nice little tweak in this expansion. They tried to boost interests in FATEs with Stormblood, creating bonus XP windows and special large battles built into clearing the FATEs. I’m not sure how often Foxy Lady and Ixion still spawns now days- I’ve only seen both of these once, and by accident. But the XP boost system really didn’t draw people back to FATEs. It still wasn’t enough.

This time around, FATEs are going to offer actual tokens you can exchange for rewards, beyond just XP.

From what little I can see in the screenshot above there’s orchestrion music, a riding map (speed boost) and crafting materials, including high quality. I like the idea that what would normally be farmed drops from monsters come from token FATEs – I wonder if these are materials your retainers can’t bring back, too.

It could be a nice little boost in gil, too, if these materials are super useful for crafters. We’ll have to see what the new crafting environment brings. It would be neat if FATE tokens help fighters stock crafters and a nice little ecosystem forms. But that’s probably me being overly hopeful.

As for side quests, the big change to them is making them level scaling.

I’m not a big fan of scaling everything in a zone or world to my character’s level. However, scaling quests to level, hopefully with the goal of making them relevant and provide better XP, is a nice compromise.

I’m glad these two systems aren’t just being shoved aside for Shadowbringers, and that the devs are trying to look into ways of making them useful again. How well this works depends on how players embrace the changes and how the activities reward players for their time and effort.