By Rymmrael Bhaldraelwyn

The frenzy that was the Blue Mage launch might have died down, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty left to do before the eventual launch of 5.0 in a few months. The Final Fantasy XIV developer team has done a great job of mapping out a steady release of content between now and the new expansion. Even if you manage to run those veins of activities dry before the next hits, there’s always the old standby of completing side content you may have missed when it was new. As usual, this month I’ve plucked a side quest, a F.A.T.E., and an achievement (or three) from relative obscurity in the hopes of bringing them to the attention of anyone who happened to miss them the first time around. That they all award fabulous prizes goes without saying at this point.

ACCOMPANIMENT NODE

The Accompaniment Node is a small red and black sphere that floats along and, well, accompanies you places. It’s very obviously of Allagan design and it may look familiar to you if you remember the quests that led up to the end of the original 3.0 Main Scenario Quests. A certain someone who may-or-may-not have been an Allagan sphere guided you and your friends for a decent chunk of the story through Azys Lha. If you miss Gilly as much as Wedge does (please tell me you remember Wedge at least!) then you should be thrilled at the opportunity of not only giving her another chance at life, but also the ability to call her to your side whenever you like. Just be sure to keep your hands to yourself- if you/poke her you’ll activate her secret defense mechanism.

To rescue Gilly and obtain the pet for yourself you’ll need to complete the aptly named side quest “Do It for Gilly.” To begin, you’ll need to have completed the quest “Heavensward”, which was the finale to the 3.0 MSQ. Even though this quest is tied so closely to the story of Azys Lla and most of it takes place there, it actually starts in the Holy See of Ishgard. You can snag it from Notrelchamps in the Pillars near the airship landing. He’ll immediately send you off to find Wedge in Azys Lla. From there, Wedge’ll ask you to delve into the Fractal Continuum. (Did I forget to mention that this quest unlocks and requires you to complete a dungeon? Oops…)

Even if you skipped over most of the Heavensward content, the name might ring a bell as patch 4.2 gave us a hard mode version of this dungeon.  The two have very little in common though, other than setting. Fortunately most of the bosses are your standard “kill the adds and don’t stand in the bad stuff” type of fights. Just remember that on the second boss you have to click a test tube and kill the add it spawns in order to stop 1111-tonze swipe (his room wide insta-kill attack). Every encounter beyond that is fairly straightforward and can be completed quickly and painlessly with most groups. (I would say all groups but Duty Finder being the mixed bag it is… I hate to make promises that I can’t keep.) Once the dungeon is out of the way, speak with Wedge again and he will very enthusiastically hand over your newest pet. After all that effort to fix her, you had best take good care of her!

PHOEBAD CARD

The Triple Triad minigame from the Gold Saucer had a bit of a mixed reception; some people like it quite a lot and some people have never touched it. As such, I was a bit on the fence about covering the card rewards in this article. But the fact remains that there are those out there who enjoy it and they deserve to be shown some love, just the same as the minion collectors, mount collectors, fashionistas and fashionistos, and everyone else who expects a little reward for their side content. So without further ado, I present the Phoebad Card. It’s a three star rarity card with eight power on two adjacent sides which (without going into a technical explanation of the minigame) makes it a pretty useful card for many situations.   

In order to get the card, you must reach gold level participation in the F.A.T.E. “Tall Tale,” which spawns fairly dead center of the Lochs map. This is another boss F.A.T.E., which means it will likely require a group to complete. Tall Mountain simply has too much health and puts out too much damage for most players to be able to solo him inside of his thirty minute time limit. Once you do have a group for it, remember to burn the adds down since they like to go for your squishiest group members and have a large AoE explosion that they spam fairly often. If you are tanking the boss, the standard “face him away from your group” strategy applies since he has a rather large frontal cleave AoE. It doesn’t hit terribly hard on decently geared tanks, but dodging it will make your healer happy. Successfully downing him inside the time limit with the required rating will earn you both the aforementioned card and the achievement “Slay Me a Mountain”. Good luck on your next TT tournament!

WAR LION, WAR BEAR, & WAR PANTHER

This time around I have yet another set of triplet rewards to show you (although it may be quadruplets sometime in the near future). The war lion, war bear, and war panther are achievement rewards for Paladins, Warriors, and Dark Knights, respectively. While I know that these enticing incentives were added merely to tempt people to run duties as tanks and hopefully alleviate DPS queue times, there’s no denying how completely awesome they look. It’s a shame that they don’t fly as they are ARR rewards (here’s hoping they get upgraded too once the devs are done adding flying to the ARR beast tribe mounts) but they are still a rare sight even in the older, flightless zones. You’ll be sure to turn a few heads just based on the relative scarcity of any one of these three.

The achievements which award these mounts are all titled “But Somebody’s Gotta Do It” followed by the name of the specific job it’s for in parentheses. All three have the same requirements: Complete 200 high-level duties as “X” tank job. The wording is a tad ambiguous, so what exactly constitutes a “high-level duty” these days? Turns out, it’s just a roundabout way of saying 8-man content. That means that any Coil, Alexander, or Omega raid in normal or savage difficulties, or extreme primal will count toward completion as long as you run it as a tank. And, though it may well defeat the original purpose of the mounts, that includes any of those done while unsynced or solo. The one exception to this is Turn 3 of The Binding Coil of Bahamut; since there’s no boss and it is basically just a puzzle rather than a fight, it was deemed “too easy” to farm and nerfed to no longer count toward the achievement. (Tinfoil hat time!) This precedent could open the possibility of them removing the ARR content from the list entirely once the level cap jumps again, since most of it is already fairly easy to solo as a tank job. If that’s your game plan for getting these mounts, you might want to jump on that before Shadowbringers hits, just in case.

Speaking of Shadowbringers… Gunbreaker was officially announced as a tank job at Paris earlier this month. Since the tank vs DPS debate is now over, this means that we need something new to speculate about and obsess over. So my parting thought today is: What do you think will be Gunbreaker’s tank achievement mount? Warwolf? War Tiger? Maybe even… War Bunny? I don’t know about you, but I would totally farm 200 8-man instances for a War Bunny.