You see that picture? The one above? The party we’re having in The Forbidden Land, Eureka? My character doing the Manderville in the middle?
Ok, that happened once……. but that’s beside the point.
I’ll be the first to admit, starting out in FFXIV’s new zone Eureka (and for most of your time there) is a bit of a drag. It’s extremely vague as to what needs to be done and is a bit of a throwback to the classic FFXI in the sense that it isn’t recommended for solo players and teamwork is essential. There’s no party finder, so if you haven’t made a pre-made group before entering, you’re going to be shouting (I like to shout for an invite to board The Choo Choo Express) for a spot in someone else’s. The quests you’re given don’t even have markers on the map for reference to where you need to be heading (except for one at level 17), so if you don’t feel like wandering around the map looking for things, Google quickly becomes your best friend. However, what started out as mindless NM (Notorious Monster) farming has turned into, dare I say, satisfaction? I don’t mind it anymore, but then again, I’m level 19 (out of 20). So yeah, it takes a bit of time before that enjoyment really starts to kick in.
Note: You will notice I refer to “The Choo Choo Express” a lot in this post. It’s because what Eureka really boils down to, is the entire instance running from one NM spawn to the next for xp and crystals. That’s all you do, for all of eternity, is ride the NM train (The Choo Choo Express).
If you’re unfamiliar with Eureka, it’s available to players who have completed the Stormblood campaign. You can pick the quest up from Galiena in Rhalgr’s Reach. The big draw to it, is it’s all part of the new Relic Weapon quest. This new world has been discovered and Krile wants you to go with her to check it out. That’s all I really got from it. I will say though, now that I’ve (just recently) reached the level cap and finished the story thus far, I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes us (there are some name drops from FF5 which got my fanboy senses tingling). It’s a giant instance where up to 144 players can run around and kill things. I’m playing on PS4 and man the lag is horrendous when you’re trying to fight some of the monsters. THERE ARE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. It’s great though. It’s like the old Barrens Chat. People are talking about random shit (seriously, one instance I was in, someone was talking about how someone had taken a dump in their school hallway), everyone’s getting into random groups, no matter what level they are. Eureka brings everyone together. I’ve spent a lot of time in there and rarely do you have to deal with any assholes. Everyone is inviting and willing to raise a downed player (people die a lot in Eureka. It’s just how it is). Unless you’re me, and once you achieved your 200 raises achievement (and ironically, your Good Samaritan title) you were fed up and switched to a different class that can’t raise, cause you’re a horrible person.
The leveling system is different here. You start at level 1 and work your way up to 20. While you gain xp for your Elemental level, you gather Magicite from the quests you’re given from Krile. Each of the Magicite can be placed into a certain element on the Magia Board. Really, it doesn’t matter how you place these. I have one in each element and if you’re riding The Choo Choo Express, it really makes no difference. They could give you an advantage in battle, but with the sheer volume of players in an instance at one time, you can’t tell the difference. Hopefully in future installments, how you place your Magicite actually matters, but for now, just do what you please.
You’re tasked with gathering Protean and Anemos crystals which are used to level up your 290 Relic gear. You can upgrade all your armor to 350 and your weapon to 355. This new gear also comes with 5 MATERIA SLOTS EACH. WHAAAAT.
At first, grinding for this gear seems ridiculous. You need a ton of crystals for everything, but after fighting NM’s for the past two weeks, I have so many I don’t know what to do with them all. It may seem like an impossible task at first, but what makes it all so great is your level carries over to each class you have. As long as the class you’re playing has an ilvl of 300 or more, you can venture into Eureka. You’ve been playing as your RDM the entire time and hit level 20? Hop on over to your PLD and you’re still level 20. It’s great because you’re not tied to one specific class to get your weapon. As long as you have the gear to upgrade, you could play as one class for the entire duration you’re in Eureka. It eliminates some of the grind.
My favorite part of this new area is you can easily cap your mendacity tomes within a couple of hours, and it requires minimal effort. It’s a great way to obtain 360 gear without working up a sweat. You also receive Anemos Chests for each NM you kill. These chests contain anything from Materia to a dinosaur mount that can fly…. I don’t know how it flies, it just flies somehow. It doesn’t have wings, so I don’t know…..it’s just a magical T-Rex? I can’t explain it, you just have to look at how majestic it is…..
Once you’ve hit level 19, all you really need are the feathers from Pazuzu. It takes three to upgrade your weapon to its final form, and it’s usually guaranteed you’ll get three feathers each time you kill him (a guy in my group received two once, he wasn’t impressed). The wait time is a bit long (usually one hour after Panini dies before you can spawn him again) but if you’ve kept track of the time, you can just jump in, grab your feathers, and jump back out. The grind to level 19 is the only thing that sucks. You can’t receive any feathers until you’re at least level 19. You’re literally riding The Choo Choo Express for what seems like an eternity, and the only release from this horror is a swift death. That is until you finally level up again, and it doesn’t seem so bad farming another NM for the time being.
Maybe I’ve lost too many brain cells (more so than usual) fighting NM’s for the past two weeks, or I’m actually enjoying myself, but Eureka ain’t (that) bad anymore. Like any MMO, the grinding is out of the way, and now I can leisurely upgrade my weapons and gear whenever I please. Now that I’ve gone through hell to get to the good stuff, I’m actually excited to see where the next patch takes us…… which is probably more of the NM train isn’t it? FML. – NVJ
What are your thoughts on Eureka? What Netflix shows do you watch while you ride “The Choo Choo Express”? I want to know! Also, feel free to add me in game, Spud Murphy on Malboro FOR LIFE. If you’re looking for an FC that does stuff, join Pirates of Eorzea!