How is a free weapon equal to a 450 mil weapon?
Let's break this down, do you go out of your way to help EVERYONE that asks for help with 85 - 90 progression on some of the Empys? I.e The Khim paths, especially post Abyssea craze? Especially for people who can't brew it constantly or just started the game and working their way through all of this?
You'll be lying if you say yes. That's who pick the weapons in prizes because not everyone was or is lucky enough to get the supposed "free weapon".
Xilk is correct to an extent though, at least in regards to choosing a Mythic vs. an Empyrean. Once you've obtained the level 75 version of a Mythic weapon, you're pretty much past the biggest hurdle of getting it to level 99. The 30,000 alexandrite, the 100,000 ampoules needed for the Balrahn's Eyepatch, the 150,000 Nyzul tokens, the three ToAU beastmen kings, the four Salvage bosses, and a full clear of all Assaults lie there before you can even obtain the weapon. That's an extraordinarily large amount of time and gil to devote to one weapon, but once you have said weapon, the trials to obtain the level 99 version are arguably the easiest of the three "ultimate weapon" types.
On the other hand, look at Empyrean weapons. While it's dependent a bit on the jobs available to you and the one you're doing, making the level 80 version could take you a couple days to make if you wanted to, and the 85 version another day or so after. Granted, the 90 version can be a bit more arduous depending on the path, but even that can be taken care of in a couple days if you handle it casually. The lv. 80-90 NMs you need to kill for the items to upgrade drop +2 Empyrean armor items, and the lv. 85 and lv. 90 version mobs have NMs involved that drop +1 Empyrean seals, so there's plenty of incentive for others if you wanted to do shouts.
If you don't have the help to make an Empyrean weapon, then you're going to have an even harder time making a Mythic weapon, since there is far more time involved there with events that absolutely cannot be soloed, and then there's the incredibly high price tag due to the Alexandrite (420 million given conservative estimates on my server). Once they obtain that Mythic weapon though, the majority of their troubles are over. Yes, the ZNM tier IVs can take a bit to farm the pop sets for, and it will take you a few days to do the Salvage bosses, but the only difficult part left would be the Mulcibar's Scoria from Pandemonium Warden for the level 99 version. With the Empyrean weapons, getting to lv. 90 is the easy part. It'll take you either an extremely long amount of time farming up the plates yourself, or 150 million gil for plates alone. Then you have to include the Riftdross or Riftcinder for the 99 version, which is another 27-60 million (again, my server's numbers), and you can see that the big hurdle for a 99 Empyrean would still lie ahead for those that pick an Empyrean weapon from the Mog Bonanza.
Granted, Abyssea nowadays is starting to die down a bit, but I still see plenty of individuals in there all the time farming up seals and +2 items, and I'm certain that they'd be willing to help if someone was there doing the same mobs for Empyrean items. Cruor farming is a thing of the past, so brewing is a bit limited, but I personally don't believe that finding help for making them is. Edited, Jan 28th 2013 10:14am by Vlorsutes