Worlds collide as Final Fantasy XIII's Lightning appears in a new FFXIV: ARR event
If you've played Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and you grew up with the console games, you've probably noticed a fair number of callbacks and hints of nostalgia mixed in here and there. Popular character names reused, familiar monsters to fight and some tidbits of lore drawn from other games. In general though, that's as far as it goes - "inspired by" but rarely "taken from". The new world event starting today is an exception to that rule. In "Lightning Strikes in Eorzea", worlds collide of FFXIV:ARR as Lightning, the main character of Final Fantasy XIII and the upcoming game Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, appears in the land of Eorzea.
I assume that most players of ARR are likely familiar with Lightning since her games were the last entries in the console series prior to ARR's release. Well, technically Final Fantasy XIII-2 is Serah's game, but given that Lightning is a major focus of the story, I think it still counts. That being said, on the off-chance you came into ARR blind to the series' history, that won't impact your ability to participate in the new events. As far as the citizens of Eorzea are concerned right now, she's a rogue adventurer with strange clothes and a weapon that seems beyond the likes of even the Garlean Empire.
For today and Friday, you'll be restricted to only Chapter 1 of the event. More chapters will unlock as time passes: Chapter 2 on Saturday, Chapter 3 on November 18th and, finally, Chapter 4 on November 20th. All of these events will be available to players until December 9th at 6:59 a.m. PST, at which time you will be unable to complete the quests or acquire the new rewards until the event returns in February 2014 for the North American and European release of Lightning Returns.
Now for the part everyone's interested in: the loot. Today's quest has a piece of armor as a reward: Bohemian's Gloves for male characters and Guardian Corps Gauntlets for female characters. As there are only four pieces of armor on the event page for each gender, I believe it's safe to assume that it's one piece per chapter questline. In addition, completing the FATE required for Chapter 1's quest gives you two tokens: one to hand in for your glove reward and the other that can be exchanged for a weapon at an NPC next to the quest giver. There are eight weapons in total, each either modeled after a weapon from FFXIII or inspired by its art style (pretty sure there weren't any two-handed axes in that game, but it's been a while). These weapons and armor pieces are only level 13, so don't go expecting any endgame quality loot, but the skins do look quite nice. In addition, completing the first chapter will unlock a new hairstyle from the aesthetician when that's implemented in patch 2.1, likely staying with the male/Snow, female/Lightning theme from the armor skins.
Prior to writing up this news post, I jumped in to do the first chapter with my Gladiator set; it's level 12 and he was 16, so why skip free XP? After talking to the initial quest giver, I was sent off to either Western or Middle La Noscea to participate in FATEs. No real details were given, but a little digging around online and I found out that periodically in the areas mentioned in the quest text, Lightning will show up in the middle of a FATE. If you see text bubbles pop up while you're fighting, then that one counts and you'll get your two quest items and the quest completion. My assumption is that you can grind these FATEs to get the tokens for the remaining seven weapon skins, but I haven't tested this yet. Personally I hope Chapters 2 through 4 provide a little more interaction than text bubbles popping up randomly and Lightning saying "Oh hi guys!" while I'm in the middle of a swarm of FATE grinders, but we'll see.
Michael "Ragar" Branham