Spring has officially sprung and things are heating up; and I’m not just talking about the weather. With a new patch out, two different in-game events, the data center reshuffles, and of course Shadowbringers edging ever-closer, there are more things to do in FFXIV than ever. If you do happen to find yourself with some free time on your hands (must be nice!) then here are some ideas for keeping yourself occupied.
Speaking of heating up, we’re going to one of the hottest, driest places in FFXIV for our first reward this month – Southern Thanalan. It’s a fitting place to find the quest that rewards the Cactuar Cutting minion, which is itself an icon of the Final Fantasy franchise.
Since the release of FFVI, these little (and sometimes not-so-little) ambulatory succulents have appeared in nearly every game of the series, as well as many of the crossovers, and FFXIV is no exception. This time around, you can obtain your very own cactuar pet who will spend his time capering around you and doing little spins as you adventure across Hydaelyn.
As I mentioned, the minion is rewarded from a quest in Southern Thanalan called “Zombies are People Too.” In order to pick it up, you need to be level 47 or higher in a DoW or DoM job, and have finished the side quest “Can’t Do It Without U” and the MSQ “The Black Wolf’s Ultimatum.” The area has two Aetherytes but you are going to want to teleport to the Forgotten Springs one as Hab, the quest giver, is tucked into one of the very farthest corners of the map. From there, leave the town and cross the rolling sand dunes of the Sagolii Desert, heading to the south east.
Once you find the little camp set up slap against the edge of the map, you’ll know you’re in the right place. Its coordinates are 24, 40 and it might look familiar if you’ve spent as much time as me farming mythril. From there, Hab will send you off on an Eorzea-trotting adventure to find his missing friends. After you’ve saved all three of his buddies, he’ll reward you with this small but definitely classic symbol of Final Fantasy.
Racing Chocobo mask
I know that in March I covered the Chocobo Suit for the achievement part of my article and usually I don’t like to repeat the same type of reward two months in a row, but I couldn’t help it. It just felt fitting to complete the glamour I talked about by covering at least one of the helms that were absolutely made to pair with the body. The nice thing is that even though it’s not dyeable (which is a crying shame), the Racing Chocobo Mask goes with more than just the Chocobo Suit. I myself used it to make a Chocobokeep costume for one of my retainers, who’s now parked in our FC yard next to the stables. If you are like me and enjoy making fun, quirky glams, this head piece needs to go to the top of your list.
The achievement that awards the mask, Pedigree Champ, is not particularly hard to do but can be incredibly grindy, so this is one of those rewards that you can’t expect to get in a single day. To complete it, you need to obtain a racing ‘bo with a pedigree level of 9. Simple enough on paper, but everyone starts off with a level one racer and must breed them in order to move up a pedigree level. In order to breed your ‘bo, you must retire them after they reach rank 40 or higher and the only way to rank up 40 racing levels (after starting at 1) is to race. A lot.
Since you have to repeat the process of leveling, retiring, and breeding eight different chocobos, that’s a total of at least 320 levels to get to pedigree 9. There are a lot of racing guides out there this at this time so I’ll skip the more detailed explanations but, simply put, the fastest way to level up is to win. I’m one of those weirdos who actually likes chocobo racing, so for me the experience was fun and enjoyable. I get that the minigame is not everyone’s cup of tea, so your mileage may vary.
Ishgardian half barding
Contrary to its name, the Ishgardian Half Barding is, in fact, a complete set of head, body, and leg gear for your chocobo companion. (Surprise, surprise, SE actually giving us a full set for once…) It’s just named the “half” barding because it is less heavily armored than the similarly styled Ishgardian Barding that you can purchase from Centurio Seals. If you enjoyed the aesthetic of Ishgard (or you just really like blue) but feel like the fully armored version with its googly-eyes and shin guards is a bit too much, then this barding is the perfect set for your ‘bo.
It’s rewarded from the level 56 F.A.T.E. “Vedrfolnir Devoteth” in the Churning Mists. In order for this to actually spawn, it requires several other F.A.T.E.s in the area to be completed successfully, including all three “Darkscale” F.A.T.E.s as well as “Mogicide,” “End of the Rainbow,” and “Rastaban Vibration.” Doing all of these correctly should prompt Vedrfolnir, the white dragon you’ve been helping this whole time, to take it into his head that it would be a good idea to “test” you.
His method of “testing” is the typical go-to strategy for most characters in this game, i.e. trying to kick your ass. (Never mind that by this point most player characters would have already gone toe-to-toe with Vedrfolnir’s father, Hraesvelgr, not to mention big daddy Middy himself.) The fight is a pretty straightforward tank and spank with no adds, but you will certainly need at least one full group with healers and tanks. He is a boss after all, and hits very hard, has a lot of health, and throws a few unavoidable AoEs. As usual, it takes a gold contribution rank to receive the barding, but your chocobo needs pretty outfits too!