This is the first time I've started a thread, in the vain hopes that some one at SE will be reading and understand that the community is not happy, in general, with the state of the Empyrean Armour Upgrade Quests.
I've always felt that there's no point about bitching about something, unless you have a way to fix it, or at least some viable suggestions. Here's what I've seen through the community.
The problem with the quest is the complete randomness and extreme time sinks.
Even the "Smoke on the Coast" (galkan sausage) quest, which is, from what I can see, the easiest quest to do, still requires vast ammounts of time:
10 min to cook 4 stacks of meat (this was the most I did at one time, I hate wasting resourses and gil) - with about 25% Burnt loss (I was down to 2-3 -1 sausages at the end, but if you're starting, you don't get the feel for it, or can get unlucky, etc, averages out) ~36 sausages per trip.
2 minutes to zone in, talk to the galka, trade him the sausage, run out. (I was down to about 1:25 with macro and Movement +, but I feel 2min is a fair number)
~100-300 sausages to get 8 seals
200-600 minutes to trade, plus ~80 min cooking time.
That's 280-680 minutes in zone, JUST DOING THIS QUEST. And it's recognized as the "easiest" quest!!!
Thats 10 - 22 stones just on one piece of AF3.
Scattered Shells, Scattered Minds Can take up to 20 min to complete. With a max of 300 completions needed for 8 seals (yes, luck plays a factor, but lets play "worst case scenario") - that's 6000 minutes or 200 stones!
There are other quests that are "easy", such as Unidentified Reasearch Object, but that requires MASSIVE ammounts of gil or time inside farming, THEN you have to trade (Current price of Murex cones = 100k Gil, x 300 = 30m Gil, plus 600 min to trade it!)
And lets not even mention the poor BLM's and their "you must be in an XP party, in a new zone, just to get your key item to complete the quest!"
While we love the AF3, SE, this is a pure case of "You've done it wrong".
Fortunatly, it's fixable. And with relative ease, so here are the suggestions I've seen in the community:
1: Keep the drops random, increase the drop rate to 100%
While I hate dropping seals for a job I will never level up, the commuinty wouldn't feel so robbed if they got a reward every time they did the quest. More than that, it would be a much shorter time getting the seals (25% drop rate on their seal, just for sake of ease, means that you would only have to complete 32 quests, not 300). Even for our poor BLM's this is viable.
2: Keep drop rates, put in a small program that sees what job the person has at 80+ and removes other options from the drop rate.
This means that while you're still looking at a 1 in 5ish drop rate on seals, you know that when it drops, it will be for a job you can use. The issue with this fix is that if the person has multipul 80's on the same quest, they can get stuck with 1 group of seals over the other (Again, easy fix while you're in there writing programming, if they have the +1 for that quest already, remove that job from the drops again)
3: Keep the drop rates, but add in a menu that allows player to select which seal they want.
Similar to #2 but allows the player to just choose. Not sure which would be easier in terms of programming...
4: Keep drop rates, but have the program check against active Magian Trials.
Similar to #2, but requires you to have the trial active (only a real pain in the ass when considering AF3 feet - since they seem to be a bit harder to get). Again, this seems one of the most reasonable - if my magian specs know what trials I'm on - why can't the quest giver?
5: Allow Seals to be tradeable/Bazzar-able. Allow players to trade their seals with friends.
So if they happen to know a RDM or two their 18 RDM Leg Seals will go to someone who needs them, instead of hitting the floor. Better still, allow them to be bazzarable. This will probably create a sub-market and allow those with time to waste, a way to make some gil. Seals, in this case, would be treated like Ancient Currency for Relic upgrading.
This is my least favourite option, but still an option no less.
6: Allow Seals to enter into the treasure pool.
This allows a group of friends to do the quests, speeding up the process (up to 6 people, or hell, even 18), while not having seals go to waste, being distributed to those that need.
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=1284688277171686565&page=1&howmany=50#msg1284765101266223667 - is a post written by Tummie, that I feel, is pretty damn close to how I thought AF3+1 and +2 were going to work. Worth a read.
I wrote this tread, because the previous one, along this line of thought, had degraded into "you can't solo X on RDM now".
Edited, Sep 19th 2010 11:04pm by AshokaPrime to add in new ideas
Edited, Sep 19th 2010 11:04pm by AshokaPrime