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.


  1. I guess I am one of the few people who try to do side quests while doing the main story too. I am just a sucker for any little lore tidbit and side quests usually provide those for me.

    I am not sure how I feel about them scaling for our current level so I will reserve judgement until I can actually experience it.

    The FATE tokens might be interesting… Anything that might lessen the grind for materials is a good addition in my book. However I fear it will just be a different grind to get any meaningful number of them. In the end I will probably end up using those tokens for whatever fluffy I can buy with them, like orchestrions and whatever else they provide.

  2. Still talking as relative noob here (61 on 2 jobs) but I’ve seen people recommend FATEs often (as some guides did) and it just doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s a L2P issue and I’m kiting too much with BRD instead of facetanking and it’s too slow on WAR and WHM… but I couldn’t really level fast or at all. Also no clue how people manage to keep busy with FATEs on one map, I always just miss them when someone else does them or they take ages solo. Well, from a certain level on, it works kind of fine until 30.

    That said, I’m not at all opposed to the idea, the system is nice – being able to join in or sometimes do them solo, without the need to explicitly group – I think the game encourages grouping enough already with the mandatory dungeons for the MSQs, compared to, say, WoW.

    1. Years ago, the zone would work together as a sort of FATE train, if you will. Kinda like we have Hunt trains now.

      FATEs burn down quickly and respawn quickly when you have a big group of folks moving and working together. I leveled Ninja when it first came out to 50 on almost FATEs entirely.

      It was very possible to do back then. Again, this was before PotD, Squads, and… heck, I think back then you were forced to solo all roulettes (that’s right, you could not bring a friend to Leveling… or any other roulettes!).

      Some zones were better than others for FATEs, of course. So it was partially knowing the best zone for your level, and catching the FATE train. Things have changed quite a bit since then.. I haven’ts seen a FATE train since the early days of HW. I hear there are still FATE trains in Eureka, though I have done so little of that, I don’t really know.

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