Cassie and I have been playing Final Fantasy XIV for a couple of weeks now as time allows, both of us as Lancers.
One of the things we’ve both been looking forward to was getting a mount, a rite of passage we’re already familiar with from WoW.
The normal progression for travel is running around slowly on fedex quests back and forth until you learn a zone by heart just from all the back and forth. Before you know it, you know your way around, even in a big city.
As you run, you get flight points or crystal teleporting locations, making travel between main city/village hubs a little easier, a little faster.
Finally, once you have leveled enough to know your way around pretty good they give you the chance to get a mount, trusting that the increased speed and convenience won’t prevent you from learning where things are at this point, even in new zones.
So a mount’s a pretty big deal in an MMO, right?
Something to look forward to, a removal of some tedium from game life.
While looking at some guides for new players of FFXIV, we saw that the quest chain to get your mount can begin sometime after you reach level 20 in a job. So once Cassie got to level 24 and still hadn’t seen the quest yet, she got worried she might have missed something, and looked up a guide for it on a blog somewhere.
Now, keep in mind that much like World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV has been around for many, many years now. What is it, eight? Nine? Think for a moment about how much a game like WoW has changed since it’s first release, from patches to expansions to quality of life improvements. This fact may be relevant in the story to come.
So Cassie is looking at this mount guide, and she sees that once she chooses which of three Grand Companies she wants to join, she’ll be able to buy a chocobo mount. But the mount cost will be 2000 Grand Company seals, a currency that you get from doing these missions called Guildleves available in different zone hubs. There are typically 4 different missions available at a time, and once you’ve done all four in that zone, more will appear. Each of these quests is like a regular quest, escorting or killing mobs or doing something locally. Each quest can reward you with about 200 seals.
WoW has trained us well that there will inevitably be quests where you travel across the world to talk to someone, who only then will tell you that before he can help you, you’ve got to go all the way back across the continent and buy him some special ale or beer basted short ribs or something and bring them back, wasting your damn time with another fedex quest. So, to save time, guides will tell you to make sure you’ve got like 4 milk and 5 cookies or something on you before you continue on.
Cassie sees this 2000 seals cost in the guide, and once she unlocks the quests for the Grand Company, she runs out and starts grinding these seals by doing Guildleve quests over and over for a few hours.
She gets her 2100 seals, heads off to the quest giver, turns the quest in and is able to buy the chocobo mount.
The cost of the chocobo mount at the vendor is 200 seals. NOT 2000 seals like the guide said.
So this…. this was pretty harsh. There might have been a few grumpy words exchanged, some swearing, possibly someone walked away from the keyboard and watched TV the rest of the night, some low grade venting, the usual when you really studied way too much for a test that turned out to be easier than expected.
So the next day, Cassie is running around on her new mount, goes on to the very next quest in the chain… and the quest reward is 300 seals.
300 seals. She didn’t have to do even ONE of those quests she ground out for hours. Not one.
I had to hear about this, so now you do too.
In the end though, I think it was worth it to her. Not only is the mount cool, but in Final Fantasy XIV, you get a follow up quest that teaches you how to train your mount to be a combat pet alongside you. You can permanently assign your mount a class roll as either a tank, DPS or healer, and if you summon the mount using this special grass you can buy from vendors, when you dismount the mount will stay by your side and fight your enemies with you until you mount again.
Really it’s very, very cool. Of course it brings some added stress, because you have to pick a role for your mount, and what if you need a healer more than a tank? How do you decide?