Whoo! We have a new patch! I’m as eager as anyone to dive right into the new MSQ, Alliance Raid, Extreme Primal, and all of the other exciting goodies that have recently been released for us. But getting lots of shiny new toys is no reason to completely cast aside content such as sidequests, achievements, and even F.A.T.E.s from previous patches. After all, if you haven’t completed them yet, they’re still new to you, right? And of course, let’s not forget the fabulous prizes that some of them offer as tantalizing incentives. It’s all about the loot, guys! Speaking of which…
I’ll have to ask you to forgive me if I gush a little bit over this first one; it’s my all-time favorite chocobo barding and my precious Fluffykins has been wearing it since its release in Patch 2.3. Plumed Barding is a gorgeous ornamental bridle for your ‘bo with large blue and white feathered plumage, a jeweled fringe, and an adorable little silver chocobo chick set at its crest. The colors are vivid and look great on a whole rainbow of different hued companions. The obvious, glaring drawback to it is that it doesn’t come with a saddle. For the love of the Twelve; it’s called “barding”, not “bridle”! Why do you do this to me, SE?!
Fortunately there are several options of saddles that can pair nicely with the Plumed Barding. Some of the most common that I’ve seen it worn with are the Paladin Barding, the various Ishgardian bardings, or the one I personally use, Ice Barding.
To get the beautiful Plumed Bridl-er, Barding, you’ll need to complete the achievement “Breaking Bo”. In order to even get started, you’ll first need to be “trained in chocobo raising”, which is just a fancy way of saying you have to have completed all of your chocobo companion quests, including “My Little Chocobo”, “My Feisty Little Chocobo”, and “Bird In Hand”. Doing these three quests will give you access to chocobo stables and allow you to use it to feed and train the birds therein. The achievement requires you to train someone else’s ‘bo 30 times. While you can train 30 different chocobos (if you can find that many stabled in one place), it’s not required. As long as you complete thirty training sessions for a ‘bo who isn’t yours, you’ll get the achievement and reward.
To train, you’ll first have to have something that ‘bos like to eat in your inventory. Chocobo approved foods include Krakka Root, Curiel Root, Mimett Gourd, Sylkis Bud, Tantalplant, and Pahsana; all of which are grown in player gardens. Then you just have to access the stable menu, click “Tend to a Specified Chocobo”, select one that isn’t yours, and pick the food you want to feed him from your inventory. After that, you’ll be treated to an adorable little cutscene of the ‘bo training and you rewarding him. Keep in mind that you’ll need stable permissions to access the menu that allows you to train the companions and that there is an hour long cooldown between training sessions for each individual ‘bo. While extremely simple once it’s unlocked, these restrictions can cause the process to take a while once you start working on the achievement. But for any chocobo enthusiast, the reward is well worth the effort.
January is dead center in the middle of winter for half the world and what is a more classic example of winter fun than pelting friend and foe alike in the face with a ball of compacted snow and ice? Nothing, that’s what! And the “Throw” emote allows you to do exactly that. In most areas, performing the emote will just cause your character to pull back and hurl an invisible “something” in whatever direction you are facing. A little boring, if we’re being completely honest here. (It gets better, I promise.) The magic happens if you stand in a snowy, outdoor space and use the emote. In this case, the mysterious “something” will instead be replaced with an actual snowball; both in text and animation. Targeting an NPC or player will actually let you throw the snowball at them and includes a satisfying little explosion of snow as it makes contact with the victim.
“Throw” is a reward from the level 36 sidequest “Toss Fit Workout” (I see what you did there, SE) which is available from Maucolyn at the First Dicasterial Observatorium of Aetherial and Astrological Phenomena in Coerthas Central Highlands. (Tangentially related- I’ve long suspected that Ishgardians absolutely hate simple names.) If you speak with him, he’ll rather condescendingly point you in the direction of Duvicauroix who is only a short jog to the East. Once you head over and talk to this guy, who actually seems to have a sense of humor (presumably why a stick-in-the-mud like Maucolyn dislikes him), he’ll happily reward you with the emote after just a few short lines of dialog. You can’t ask for anything easier than that! Now all you have to do is gather up some friends and go out there onto the field of snowy battle.
There are a lot of different Xaela tribes in FFXIV; over 50 are listed on the game’s official website. It would be nearly impossible to squeeze them all into a single zone so, by necessity, only a handful are actually represented in the game. One of the lucky few is the Dataq. Not only do they actually make an appearance, but they have the distinction of being one of only two tribes who have a housing item especially for them. (Dataqi roleplayers rejoice!) The Dataqi Standard is furnishing for your yard with a suitably tribal aesthetic. It’s on a rustic-looking pole topped with what appears to be bone or horn and features the Dataqi’s banner- a black field with teal and grey trim and three diagonal teal lines. It’s a fairly simple piece of outdoor furniture, but a truly unique one in terms of both looks and lore.
Alright, so it’s good news/bad news time. The good news is that you only need to complete the level 65 F.A.T.E. in the Azim Steppe called “The Dataqi Chronicles: Dominion” with a gold rating to get the standard. The F.A.T.E. is pretty straightforward- just defeat the big, bad Anjana before the time runs out or he and his waves of adds kill all five of the Xaela NPCs who are assisting you. Both Anjana and his adds spam AoEs and cleaves nearly constantly throughout the entire fight, so it can be tough to keep the melee NPCs alive as they love to take AoEs to the face even more than paste-eating Duty Finder rejects. Only a single NPC needs to survive for you to get credit though, so it tends to be easiest to draw the mobs away from the ranged NPCs and leave the melee to their own devices.
And now for the bad news- the “Dominion” F.A.T.E is the very last in the looong “The Chronicles of Dataqi” chain. There are 13 F.A.T.E.s in all, some of which are separated by 15 or more minutes between the completion of one and the spawn of another, and most of them must be finished successfully in order for the final one to appear. It can be a daunting and time-consuming task to start from the beginning but it ispossible to solo the entire chain if you have to. With such a unique piece of furnishing at the end of it, how can you not be tempted?
That’s it for now! While you’re out there enjoying the new patch, don’t forget that the endgame isn’t the only game in town. Show those side quests and F.A.T.E.s some love, too.