For a nice guide to the Diadem, click here!
So FFXIV dropped patch 5.21 last night, and since there’s not any real spoilers, I wanted to talk about it today. The main focus of this patch was the next phase of the crafting-focused content – the Ishgard Restoration.
This time, gatherers are included, and can also earn scrips. All of this gathering takes place in the newly revamped and re-released Diadem.
Yeah… that place.
Previously it was open-field content for gatherers and battle classes, sorta a precursor to Eureka in a way. But it was so group-oriented and so densely packed with monsters, once people came, tried it, got the rewards they wanted… it just didn’t stick. Neither time it released.
As for gatherers, they were often not welcome in parties, so you had to pretty much form your own. Either you went in through a party finder or you could use your free company airship (which required FC seals for fuel) to get you there.
Well, fast forward to now. The Diadem was closed down for reconstruction a while back, and now has opened as a paradise for gatherers. There are monsters who wander around, but they don’t attack. In fact, all they’re there for is to act like a really big resource node.
As you gather around the islands, you build up something akin to a limit break. Once you hit a certain point, you can fire off an aether auger and it instantly KOs any monster, rewarding you with a fountain of materials.
There are also special nodes that pop randomly when weather conditions are right.
The one irritation I have with the system is that nodes appear to be randomized. Meaning, if you are trying to focus on leveling a particular crafting job, there’s no promise you’ll get the materials you need for that job even if you’re hitting the right kind of node.
It’s a bit hard to explain… the guide I linked to above says that each type of node (ex. Rocky Outcropping or Lush Vegetation) has several tables to pull from randomly when you go to harvest it.
So, what I really needed last night was some cotton bolls. But Lush Vegitation patches give you 1 in 3 chance of cotton. I got tons of adders and hardly any cotton, which was a bit of a pain.
I suppose that’s where the monsters come in. If you know which monsters drop specifically the materials you’re looking for (also noted in that guide), that’s really your best bet in gathering specific materials.
Each node also provides materials in a variety of levels. So double check that you’re mining for the level of the crafting item you want to make.
When you return to Ishgard, you talk to an NPC to get your materials appraised. This converts materials in stacks of 10 (except for fish – those are 1 per 1) and enables them to be used for crafting or for selling. If you have extras that don’t make up a stack of 10, they just remain unappraised in your inventory.
This also gives you scrips to buy stuff at the Firmament. It was a pretty good chunk of scrips for the time I spent, IMHO. So very much worth doing if grinding crafting for scrips isn’t your thing.
You also earn Skyward points for what you gather. There’s a leaderboard where you can earn titles for being the most active in Skyward gathering. I’m… not too clear on how all that works since it’s not really something I’m too worried about. I doubt with my time restrictions I’ll ever see myself on the leaderboards!
Kupo of Fortune
A new reward system was also added to the crafting section of the reconstruction. As if adding new scrips and scrip rewards wasn’t fun enough!
So when you turn in a level 80 item, or the new expert level 80 items you earn marks towards Kupo of Fortune. I’ve heard the Expert is a much more challenging recipe level and is completely RNG. So even if you’ve got the best gear and melds, you can still fail. Just keep that in mind — good rewards, big risk.
I stuck to doing plain level 80 stuff. Each time you turn in 5 items, you get a stamp on a virtual scratch-off ticket. Once the card is full, you talk to an NPC to try your hand and luck at scratching a spot and getting a reward.
Last night, I won a mog table and one of the new parasols:
You can also win a mount, cosmetics, the Azys Lla orchestrion roll, housing items and lots of other fun stuff. It’s a nice little perk on top of scrips and the ongoing events that already take place in the restoration.
It’s been quite a while coming, but I feel like crafters and gatherers have finally gotten content worthy of their stations. I know I’ll be kept busy by this for a long time. And that’s not thinking that this (might) eventually lead to building a housing ward when all is said and done!