FFXIV crafting is the backbone of the Eorzean economy — the one run by players, anyway. NPC vendors offer an embarrassing pittance in exchange for junk loot like unwanted gear. You can use the the Doman Enclave — a sort of upgradeable town squirreled away in Yanxia — to offload items. But that has a weekly limit on how much Gil it offers. Duty Roulettes give bonus coin for playing as a class “in need,” but queue times for DPS players are abysmal. No, making money in FFXIV is all about crafting and gathering. Now that process is a tiny bit more approachable for newbies, too!
For years now crafting has mostly hinged on a single skill: Inner Quiet. The ability adds small, stacking bonuses to the quality level of any item you craft — up to a maximum of 11 stacks. This made it (or its sister skill, Reflect) all but mandatory for most worthwhile crafting in FFXIV. Producing High Quality items generates more experience, better stats on gear, greater effects from potions, and other bonuses. And accomplishing that without Inner Quiet, at least at higher levels, is essentially impossible.
But like so much in Final Fantasy that wasn’t entirely clear. Not to mention that you needed to use it or Reflect at the beginning of a craft — to say nothing of weaving it into your rotation while working on outrageously complex Expert Recipes. Add it to the pile of things you need to learn through trial and error or by hearing it from someone else first.
Now, however, you don’t need to think about it! Nor potentially waste special conditions that randomly occur during crafting to use the skill. Inner Quiet is still in the game: It’s just a passive trait that triggers automatically. Reflect, on the other hand, is still a skill. Its effectiveness was just slightly nerfed (from providing three stacks of Inner Quiet to two). That downside is more than made up for by its CP (mana for crafting actions) cost being massively reduced. That gives players more freedom to noodle around with the new skills — especially since CP management is usually the number one priority at higher level crafting.
Square Enix also removed two basically extraneous skills from the list of crafting options. The skills Brand of the Elements and Name of the Elements were always confusing. The former skill buffed the latter for three turns of crafting, with an “Increase determined by current progress.” What that actually means is that Brand of the Elements got worse as you proceeded. Though that was never mentioned anywhere in-game: just the vague hint that something changed according to “current progress.”
Nobody used those skills anyway. Then again, if you were a neophyte crafter, you might never realize that unless you trawled through half-a-hundred Reddit threads looking for player tips. For as important as FFXIV crafting is, the game kinda just throws you into the deep end. Now at least the pool is a little clearer.
Will this encourage more players to take up the hammer and tongs (or frying pan, as the case may be)? Probably not… It’s a small and not exactly flashy change to the woolly world of making shit to sell on the market board. However, it might encourage more would-be smiths to stick with a digital profession. The overall flow of crafting is just a bit smoother and more obvious now — assuming you give it a try in the first place.
And you should! I swear crafting is fun (even if it’s also a massive burden on your inventory space).