We are in the gulf between worlds right now. The last major content update, patch 5.5 for Shadowbringers, has prepped the overall story for a transition and finished off the Nier-themed YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse raid. We’re firmly on the road to the release of Endwalker on November 23, 2021.
That means there’s not much in the way of new dungeons, trials, or raids to run. It’s the space in which the developers at Square Enix expect you to probably take a break. That’s a sentiment Final Fantasy XIV director and producer Naoki Yoshida has shared with players in the past.
“It’s alright not to play it every day. Since it’s just a game, you can stop forcing yourself if it’s hard on you to keep that up,” Yoshida said to a player at Gamescom a few years ago (translated via Reddit). “Rather, it’ll just pile up unnecessary stress if you limit yourself into playing just that one game since there are so many other games out there. So, do come back and play it to your heart’s content when the major patch kicks in, then stop it to play other games before you got burnt out, and then come back for another major patch.”
It’s a beautiful statement, one wish I urge you all to take to heart. At the same time, I’m a deeply broken individual, so I’m going to keep playing FFXIV during this drought. There’s so many excellent things to see and do in Eorzea, so many wonderful nooks and crannies to dive into and fall in love with.
Now, my friends, is the time to cross those errant items off your bucket list. FFXIV is an impossibly huge game and in all likelihood, there are facets of the game you have not interacted with. I’m certain you have a long laundry list of things you thought about doing, but couldn’t find the time during the patch cycle.
Perhaps you’re that competitive individual who is jumping in for the 20th season of The Feast, or just dabbling in PvP to snag that excellent-looking PVP gear for a glamour. Maybe you should pay a visit to the Gold Saucer for the rewards and riches awaiting you, especially if you’re a fan of Triple Triad. For the Blue Mages out there, remember new spells were added in Patch 5.45, so it’s time to go get hit by monsters if that’s your poison. (It shouldn’t be. Please save yourself.)
I’ve personally undertaken the quest to unlock all of the various Relic Weapons for my Paladin. Despite playing since A Realm Reborn, I’ve simply never spent the time or had the wherewithal to get the quests done. So, I went back and picked up the first Relic Weapon quest and started putting in the work.
Mistakes were made, of course. I’m currently hip deep in the “Trials of the Braves” quest, which requires you to complete nine books, each of which needs you to kill three of ten different enemies, three dungeons, three specific FATEs (you gotta wait for them to pop!), and three guildleves. Not only is it a monumental grind, but it’s reacquainted me with aspects of FFXIV that I’ve entirely forgotten.
One quest required me to meld Materia to the weapon, and instead of just paying for it, I started leveling up my Blacksmithing, which also required leveling Mining, Botany, Carpentry, and Alchemy. (Yes, I could’ve also purchased the materials, but as I said before, I’m a broken man.) That clued me into everything that goes into crafting, and now I’m eyeing those Skysteel tools as well.
I originally leveled with friends, so while FATE grinding, I pulled out my Chocobo companion to help dish out damage — I literally forgot about the little guy and all his cool little chocobo barding. FATE grinding also reminded me that there are Beast Tribe daily quests, and I honestly haven’t thought of those since Heavensward. Each book requires at least one Grand Company guildleve and I hadn’t been back to the Maelstrom in a minute, so I got reacquainted.
This is all in addition to the patch content that some of us haven’t even completed. I have yet to tackle the third wing of YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse, or even start on the Ishgardian Restoration. Did you finish all of the Eden raid series or the current main story quest? I’ve only dipped a toe into the Bozjan Southern Front, and the current Relic grind has me breaking out in cold sweats about spending time there. And hey, there are always more floors to clear out in Palace of the Dead or Heaven-on-High for those grinding out alternate jobs — some folks are just leveling, finding neat little stories in job quests, and discovering new ways to play! Every new quest or activity is like a tiny thread waiting to be pulled.
While there’s no critical content for folks to complete between patches, the truth is FFXIV always has something out there for you. You might not even realize it’s there. Endwalker will take us to the moon in November, but there’s still a whole mess of places to explore and things to discover in Eorzea for the time being.
Myself, I’ll still be here trying to finish clearing “Trials of the Braves” by time the expansion rolls around. Weep for me.