FFXIV: Shadowbringers – Embracing My Inner Elf

One of the fun aspects of Shadowbringers is how the world building team took the familiar elements of the Source world and twisted them just slightly to populate the new dimension we’re exploring in the First. Part of the amusement was to explore all the little nuances of how the two mirror worlds evolved differently. This includes the races that live in the worlds.

Each major race has a counterpart in the First, some being more different than others. All races have a different name — the peoples of the First seem to be a bit more based on your stock high fantasy races including your expected Dwarves and… yes, Elves.

Where the elf-like race in Eorzea is called Elezen, in the First, they are simply Elves. And while I never intended to play the Elf-Archer-Bard trope when I was developing my RP character, boil it down and that’s what Amon is. An Elf Bard.

May as well embrace it.

Making Progress a Second Time

Though I’ve only freshly finished Shadowbringers on my main, on Friday night, I started it all over again on my RP alt. I’ve not been rushing through stuff — in fact, I spent more time talking to NPCs and doing all the side quests since I’m not so worried about leveling alt jobs on Amon. When it comes to main story, some cutscenes I rewatch, others I skip past. Just depends on my interest level on that section of the story.

But I’m still making good time, and entered Rak’tika last night before I went to bed. I spent most of yesterday out in the fae lands of Il Mheg, where I obtained the most Elf-Archer-Bard trope gear from the quests I did out there. This is just the basic level 72 ranged melee set, but when I first saw it when looking for glamour on the marketboard on Friday night, I knew it was my goal to go as wonderfully cliche as I could.

Last night’s Titania clear was a bit painful seeing that half the party was completely new, but we did get past it at 98% on the DPS check on the 4th run. IMHO, that’s the most difficult trial in this expansion — it might be easier if you had a party of level 80s with full end-game gear who have done it before. But going in directly on-level, it can be a tough fight.

The Trust System

Thanks to the lovely Trust system, that was the very first fight I actually had to group up for to progress through the story. When I did it on my main, I ran everything with Syn. Because Trusts are solo completely, we weren’t able to test it out and had to take a party. So, for me, part of replaying the expansion is to try out the Trusts with the various NPC characters.

The system is slow, but it works well enough to get a clear. In fact, the Trust AI is so good that I often use them to know where to stand during boss fights and learn mechanics. It’s like having your very own tutors along for the ride. That’s not to say I’ve never seen them make a mistake, but it’s far less often than a real player.

Because I don’t need to worry about when the next MSQ dungeon is going to force me into a group, I’ve been far more relaxed in playing through Shadowbringers. I used to sit there and try to anticipate and dread the next dungeon. Because these instances are wedged into the story, to enjoy the rest of it, you have no choice. But with Trusts, I simply don’t worry about it anymore.

In fact, I’m excited to push my alts through Stormblood (where I left most of them because I dread doing all those dungeons and trials again), just because I know that once I get to Shadowbringers, I can make my own time. Well, aside from three trial fights. But that’s okay… I can live with that.

Oh, and here’s what happens when Syn buys the music for Rak’tika Greatwood for the FC house: