We’ve been playing content from patch 3.1 for a few weeks now, and there remains a lot to discuss in the Evening Post. There’s dungeons, raids, missions and new gear… however, I’ve found some of the most exciting things (to me) came in the from of the quality of life improvements.
These are little (or not so little) improvements that make the overall game better, many which I’ve been hoping for for a while. They’re often overshadowed by the bigger new-content part of the patch, and it may take a bit of patch notes reading to dig them out. But they’re just as important (maybe moreso) than new content, because they fix frustrations in existing systems within the game.
So, in no particular order, here are my favorite quality of life improvements from Final Fantasy XIV Patch 3.1.
The armoire is a wardrobe located in your inn room where you can store cosmetics such as seasonal rewards and some artifact armor. It’s a good idea in theory – cosmetics collectors, such as myself, get a little extra storage for items they may want to glamour to armor later.
However, this was one of those things that just never felt implemented correctly. It was hard to tell what you could store in the armoire and when. Because of some strange delay in the system that could last months, you often couldn’t store an item until the next major patch!
For example, I get a hat from the Christmas event, and once the holiday is over, I’d like to store it in the armoire. Only, the armoire doesn’t seem to list it as an item I can store. However, the cosmetics I got at Halloween now seem to be store-able, despite the fact that three months earlier, they also couldn’t be placed in the armoire! So confusing!
So what improvements came with patch 3.1? Well, now all seasonal cosmetics can be automatically stored in the armoire upon the moment you acquire them! Oh, so much better on our already cramped inventory, and honestly the way it should have worked years ago!
Mount and Companion Changes
If you’re a player who enjoys running FATES or doing things solo from time to time, no doubt that you’ve summoned your chocobo companion to fill in as a spot healer, tank or DPS. Don’t get me wrong, I love my chocobo companion and the fact that I can level him, choose his skills, dress him in barding, recolor him, and summon him to fight by my side.
One of the downsides of the companion was that for as long as you have him summoned, you couldn’t use any other mount. This is sad in a game where people farm primals for pony drops. FFXIV provides so many different types of cool flying and ground mounts, along with a mount roulette, if you can’t choose. It’s a shame that I never used those mounts simply because I preferred having my healing companion tagging along at my heels.
Well, now you can now do both! Patch 3.1 allows you to summon your companion chocobo and keep them summoned while using any mount of your choice, including the new flying mount roulette. Oh, happy days!
Crafting Log Search Function
Any crafter can tell you that the crafting log in FFXIV is huge. With 8 different crafting classes to level, each with their own recipes (and some duplicates), and now 60 levels worth of items… finding that one Cobalt Cavalry Bow in the middle of all the other level 40-45 carpenter crafting recipes could be a real chore.
One of the things crafters have absolutely needed all this time is a way to quickly find items in the crafting log. Patch 3.1 answers that cry with crafting log searching! Not only can you search for the crafted item by name, but you can also search for a recipe by the materials used to create it. Crafting life just got a whole lot less frustrating!
Fitting Room Improvements
This is another nice change for folks who enjoy their cosmetics and glamours. In FFXIV, if you want to check how a piece of gear or a cosmetic would look on your character, you can try it on in the “Fitting Room.” From there, you can determine if the item has the look you want.
However, the Fitting Room was quite limited. Trying an item on would only display the item by itself, or along with the gear set you were currently wearing. If you wanted to try on multiple items that you didn’t currently own, there was no way to preview these items together.
Patch 3.1 has improved the Fitting Room to allow you to save the appearance of an outfit, so that you can build an outfit of items you’re trying on, even if you don’t own the items. You can also now view your shield when you choose to draw/sheathe your weapon in the Fitting Room.
Posing and Camera Features
Social players love their emotes. Heck, players in general love to break out into dance in random situations. Many players love stacking up screenshots or taking videos of their friends and FC members engaged in emoting or dancing. However, syncing up with friends in FFXIV for that perfect shot or spot of video is usually quite a lot of trial and error.
The devs were thinking about the creative folks when they released the new group pose command in patch 3.1. How it works is simple. You group up with people. Your group emotes something, then when you type /gpose you’re given a wonderfully centered image with very nice field of depth effects of the group repeating this emote so you can screenshot or record to your heart’s desire. I also noticed that minions seem to react to the /gpose emote – my usual floppy fat cat was perky-eared when I tested it on my character solo.
And while this isn’t so much a quality of life improvement, FFXIV also added the /icam command. This stands for “idling camera,” and is extremely entertaining for the times when you’re just waiting around doing nothing in a location. When you use the /icam command, it basically pulls up a random image of scenery or other characters standing around you. Every few seconds, the image changes to give you a new view.
It felt like a FFXIV Windows screen saver when I tried it out in Idyllshire the other day. Some of the views it gives are uneventful, but sometimes you can see some really neat characters and armor styles that you wouldn’t have noticed before.
Honorable Mention: Company Seal Exchange
I know I said 5 items, but this was also a good enough change to warrant mention. Previously, if you wanted to purchase items, such as crafting material, from your Grand Company using seals, you had to do it individual. Oh, so many times I bought coke after coke after coke… What? We had a busy crafter working on airships at the time, which required tons of coke!
Well, now, you can type a number in and buy items in quantity. Aw, yeah! This is so, so much nicer! That’s the thing I love so much about FFXIV – things just keep getting better!