Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Breakdown -- Part 1: Missions and Quests.

I have been thinking about how to approach everything that was announced Sunday and I have decided it's going to take at least a week to cover everything in detail. I have been scouring the Interverse™ to find all of the details I could on everything that is being discussed about everything that was released.

As a general reference for the coming weeks worth of posts here is SE's plan for the next year of FFXI.

The first section that SE talked about was Missions and Quests. Normally for the update notes this would be one of the most boring section. Not because the missions and quests are boring but because there isn't much to talk about the update notes for them. The coming update will give us the second to last set of missions, so things should be ramping up to a good conclusion.

Here is what SE has to say about the missions:

The Story Continues!
New Wings of the Goddess missions will be coming to you in the March version update!

Nerves run high as the embattled Allied Forces march on the enemy's heartland, Valdeaunia, to execute a daring operation to strike down the Shadow Lord. Charged to stand at the helm of this desperate campaign is the celebrated San d'Orian hero, Sir Ragelise B Baloumat of the Knights of the Ironcrest Hawk…

Dauntless soldiers who would dare follow Castle Zvahl's perilous passageways to their end will find themselves standing before the Throne Room. There, they will learn the true identity of the imposing dark figure whose entrance is heralded by a garrulous imp…

The repercussions of Atomos' mindless devouring of memories and time have extended even to the present. The ominous comet has again appeared, this time above the skies of San d'Oria and far closer now than ever before. What could this possibly portend for the future of Vana'diel…?

What will become of the heroes and heroines of the Allied Forces? All will be revealed upon the release of the March version update!

The Wings of the Goddess mission storyline draws ever nearer to its epic finale, with but one more set of episodes to follow those of the March version update.
There is one big difference though between the normal missions and quest update and this one. That is the Trial of the Magians, which I am now official declaring the Trial of the Moogles™. And the Moogles are doing a good job of getting me excited about the update.

In all of SE's normal vagueness, we are left wondering what exactly it is that we are getting out of this new system. Here is what they have said so far:
“Trial of the Magians” is the title given to a new quest series designed especially for level 75 characters.

Quest Structure
The quests will be divided into a number of categories, and progression in each will allow players to earn different rewards. The following quest branches and more are being considered:

- Weapon enhancement.
- Armor enhancement.

Trial of the Magians will be introduced to the game in multiple stages, with the initial set of weapon enhancement quests slated for addition in the March version update.
Enhancing a Weapon

A Trial of the Magians weapon enhancement quest can be initiated by first trading a suitable weapon to a Magian Moogle NPC, at which point a list of corresponding quests will be displayed. Players may choose a quest based on difficulty level and the enhancement they would like added to their weapon, which will be granted upon the fulfillment of the quest objective.

A single weapon can undergo numerous upgrades. By trading an already-enhanced weapon to a Magian Moogle, players can undertake successive quests to have it further improved. Multiple quests can be undertaken simultaneously.

By repeating the quests, up to 80 different features can be added to a single weapon. With figures such as Damage and Delay added to the equation, there exist 500 possible attribute patterns for a single quest branch!

There are also plans to make it possible to enhance Relic and Mythic weapons through Trial of the Magians. While players can expect quest difficulty to far exceed similar quests released thus far, we are confident the rewards will make it more than worth the while!
So what do we know so far?
  • You can only get the quest(s) at level 75. So this is an end-game thing, not a FoV type thing.
  • So far we know that you can do Weapon and Equipment Enhancement, but this coming update looks like it will only have Weapon Enhancements available.
  • You have to trade the weapon to get the quest, which means that the enhancements will likely be based and limited by weapon type. E.g. you won't be able to get the same damage bonuses for a dagger as you do for a Great Katana.
  • You will be able to pick your difficulty and/or your enhancement before you do the quests.
  • You can do multiple enhancements, and you can do them simultaneously.
  • Up to 80 different enhancements can be added and you can effect delay and damage too. By SE's math, this means you can make up to 500 different configurations for a single weapon.
These are the knowns so far, but I want to emphasize those aspects that I believe make this especially noteworthy. First, you can have multiple enhancements and you can get those enhancements at the same time. No pre-farming FoV, no selling off items that get crappy enhancements. Second, you get to pick the enhancements before you do the quests. While I have no hatred of the Random Number Generator (I do still play this game, which is a RNG nightmare) but I do like this very much. You get to plan out what you want and then work for it. Work/Reward ratio? Yes, please! Third, it sounds like this is end-game and difficult. I just hope that challenging means instanced/spawned fights like Fey weapons or something like that. I hope it is not gil-based like Salvage. I want to fight things, not farm crap.

That is it for Missions and Quests. What do you think of the Trials of the Moogles™?

1 comment:

Qtipus said...

I think TotM is going to be SE's answer for post-75 gear, which is the biggest source of QQ regarding the level cap update. If they give you the chance to make relic/mythic +1 or salvage gear+1 or hell, even AF2+2, I'll be happy with it.

If they come out and pretty much just obsolete every piece of gear that was top-notch for so long, I probably won't even bother with these and instead spend my time trying to figure out how to get the new stuff.