Long time, no see! I hope y’all were keeping as busy and having as much fun as I have been since the expansion launched. I’m sorry about the hiatus but, let’s be honest here, with all the new and exciting things going on since 5.0, I probably wasn’t the only one who didn’t have time to go snooping around in all corners, looking for the game’s more hidden gems. In the mad scramble to get to the new level cap, plow through the MSQ, and get those crafters high enough to make all that shiny new gear, there’s bound to be a whole treasure trove of new hidden gems in Shadowbringers waiting for someone to come find them. So for my first article back I’m writing a ShB special- everything this month is obtained in the new expansion, now with more, shinier loot!
The Great Serpent of Ronka
Tremble, child of man, for a creature of purest divinity wiggleth before thee …or at least, so they say. This screeful little wiggle worm is a rare treasure indeed. Not only is he omniscient and in possession of a perfectly squishable round belly but, unlike most of its woefully un-divine peers, this is one of the few minions in Final Fantasy XIV who interacts with the player when emoted at. A quick little /pat on him will produce some terrifyingly cute emotes of his own. SCREEE!
Obtaining this fearsome annelid can be a bit of a chore, as you need to complete not one, but two separate side quest chains before the whole thing culminates in “Protectors of the Wood”, the final quest that rewards this minion. The first chain starts in The Rak’tika Greatwood (shocker!) with the quest “The Great Deceiver”. It’s started by Valan in Slitherbough after completing the level 74 MSQ “A Beeautiful Plan”. The whole thing includes four quests, all of which involve our favorite prophet/lunatic, Quinfort. The other quest chain is also entirely in the Greatwood and begins with “Stand on Ceremony” from Lanille in Fanow. It opens up after finishing the MSQ “In Good Faith” at level 75 and also runs four quests long, revolving around our second-favorite pair of twins, Phyna and Ciuna. Nine side quests in total might seem like a lot, but it’s a small price to pay for your very own wiggle-worm snake-god.
Toad Head, Toad Suit and Tinker’s Bell
This one is a bit of a bonus, a F.A.T.E. that offers not one, not two, but three different rewards. I’m sure you’ve all seen at least two of them by now- all those dashing frog princes and princesses running around in their very own Toad Suits and Toad Heads. Aren’t you just green with envy? Well if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can have the set for your very own as well, with a fairy minion thrown into the bargain! Tinker’s Bell is simultaneously a fairy and a bell, making her name much less confusing than a certain other similarly-named fairy which I’m sure is copyrighted to heck and back.
Foregoing the older method of simply killing a F.A.T.E. boss and immediately getting the reward, all three of these pieces are instead bought from a vendor (Fathard in Eulmore) with special tokens (Archaeotania’s horn) that are dropped by said boss. In this instance, the boss is Archaeotania, a nasty piece of work that spawns with the F.A.T.E. “The Head, the Tail, and the Whole Damned Thing” at the Swallowed Spire in The Tempest. This boss fight has a lot of AoEs- cone AoEs, doughnut AoEs, point-blank AoEs, knockback AoEs, falling object AoEs, line AoEs, moving AoEs, stack AoEs… all the AoEs. All of them. He also spawns adds that must be burned down quickly as well as an enrage timer. Like I said, he’s a nasty piece of work and a full party isn’t just recommended, it’s required if you expect to stand a chance at completion.
To make matters even tougher, the boss F.A.T.E. is only spawned after the six proceeding quests in its chain are successfully cleared- “Where has the Dagon”, “Ondo of Blood”, “Lookin’ Back on the Track”, “Coral Support”, “Low Coral Fiber”, and “Nothing Like Trappin’ Life”, all of which are found in different places of The Tempest. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but remember there are a total of three, count them, three rewards to be had from this bad boy.
I gotta say, I wasn’t totally sold on the Amaro when they were first previewed prior to the expac launch. I still wasn’t sold on them even after starting Shadowbringers and seeing them up close. But I have to admit now that the fluffy camel-birds have really grown on me the last few months, especially after doing certain quests involving them (don’t worry, I won’t let any spoilers slip). So much so that the thought of riding around on one of my very own was absolutely irresistible. Well, I and everyone who gets the same warm-and-fuzzies from these guys are in luck. We can ride (and fly) around on our own Amaro- if we’re willing to put in the work.
The grind for these faithful steeds are not for the faint of heart. They are given out by our old buddy Jonathas in Gridania to those who have obtained the “Life of Adventure IV” achievement. Which means, you guessed it, getting every single Disciple of War and Disciple of Magic class (sans poor, neglected Blue Mage) to the level cap. An achievement like this is going to take a lot of time and effort to get, though we are already starting to see these cute little guys popping up all over Eorzea and beyond. They are a must-have for all mount collectors, achievement hunters, completionists, and masochists.
It occurs to me now that none of the items I covered this month are exactly easy to obtain. Sorry, not sorry. In FFXIV, like all the best things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. All these different activities are worth it and not just because of the shiny prizes given at the end, but because of the epic adventure it takes to get them.