Since the release of patch 3.15 the outpouring of salt has been enough to probably kill every living thing in all of the oceans for all of time. While I can agree that there are some things about the process that could have been done better, I also do not hate this current process. I play the game pretty casually and just got to the last step of my weapon where I need to gather tokens to trade. Considering I have an ilvl 200 weapon that didn’t cost me three weeks worth of esoterics I’m pretty happy. And I can get ilvl 200 weapons for my other classes as well without having to grind esos for them. That alone has put me in a pretty good place. But let’s get down to the nitty gritty and go step by step why I don’t hate the Anima process.
Step One – FATE Grinding
I have always enjoyed running around in a full party or a mob of full parties doing FATEs. The other nice aspect to this process is you don’t have to be the class you’re getting a weapon for to get the item for the quest so you can take the opportunity to get in some experience on another class if you are leveling something else. A lot of people are disappointed that the development team went for something that they’ve done previously with the Atma grind for the original relic weapons. But let’s look at what this does to the game: It disburses high level players back into the various Heavensward areas. This is great for new players who are running through the areas because if they see a group doing FATEs they are way more likely to want to participate as well. Field events are great for building communities in MMOs and while grinding is tedious it can be fun if you want it to be. Some of my Free Company mates have made a number of friends already from doing the FATE grind.
Step Two – Dungeons
This is nothing new in terms of relic weapons. A good majority of the steps for the 2.0 relic would get you into dungeons for one reason or another. This step has you complete the last six 2.0 dungeons, which you can undersize, and then four pre-60 Heavensward dungeons. Again, look at what it does for the game: moving players into specific dungeons. If you use the Duty Finder to get into any of the dungeons then chances are you will be an experienced level 60 player paired up with lower level players doing the content for the first time or possibly leveling another class. I love dungeons anyway, but adding in that I get to help my fellow adventurer get through content or progress through the Anima process made me feel pretty good about doing it.
Step Three – Item Trading(Grinding)
This is the step that shot most people over the edge on sodium content. You need 4 items to give to gerolt to get through this stage of the Anima and these 4 items need a bunch of other unidentifiable items that can only be bought through other tokens. Plus some crafted items that are specialist only recipes. This one is going to take some explaining.
First, you can buy these tokens with poetics and law. Two tomestones that I’ve had at max for a while with nothing to spend them on. I’m glad I have something to use them for now. Plus it adds some incentive to get back into the main scenario roulotte and do really any of the 2.0 dungeons that reward poetics. And Law, seriously I haven’t used law for anything since esoterics came out.
Next, you can trade beast tribe specific tokens for the unidentifiable items. I like this because previously I had no real reason to do the beast tribe quests. I would do them every so often, but nothing made me really interested. Now I have a reason and a number of people in my FC feel the same. This applies to the Vanu Vanu as well since their tokens can be used to get any of the items. Of course I’ve already been enjoying the Vanu Vanu storyline.
You can also receive a token from each of the floors of Alexander. 10 of these can be traded for unidentifiable items. I feel a little torn on this option. I’m not sure if Alexander was the best choice, but I get the feeling it was more as an option for players who didn’t want to do lower level content.
Finally, allied seals can be used to purchase unidentifiable items and some unidentifiable items drop from Dragonskin, Wyvernskin and Archaeoskin maps. Again, something to trade allied seals for and a new reason to do hunts as well as an extra reason to do treasure maps. Both of these things get players out of Idyllshire and back into the world. Sounds good to me.
When it comes to the crafted items needed to trade I see that it has finally made gathering in the Diadem relevant which is awesome as well as giving some relevance to crafting specialization. I like it when aspects of crafting become more relevant.
I am not going to say that this is perfect or that sections could not be improved on because they can. For example in comparison to the first step in the 2.0 relic quest this Anima weapon felt pretty flat. I would have much rather done trials and searched for items to build a suitable host for my weapon as opposed to giving me a renamed version of my esoterics weapon. Anima weapons should have been available at the launch of 3.0 and esoteric weapons should have never even been a thing, especially since the model is the same. That is by far my biggest critique of this situation. It would have had a huge impact on the reception of this content, but instead we have been receiving expansion content in a slow trickle. This is unfortunate and something that I attribute to the heavy dislike for the Anima weapons.
While the process isn’t perfect it is doing what the previous relic weapon did which was to put the end game players back into some of the older content. It’s doing it’s job in my opinion and I feel no salt working on my weapon. One thing I think many people hate is that the weapons is not an instant gratification item. You can’t blitz the quests to the end and it’s going to take some time. In a genre that wants all the content and wants it now it’s hard to develop things that are not going to be consumed in two hours and leave a horde of people crying “content drought.”