This weekend I finally cleared a couple of items off my bucket list for Final Fantasy XIV. The first one was to finish the patch 4.3 story. Maybe some day I will do a recap of it but for now all I say is that the story was pretty good. It was nice to get closure to a couple of character's stories.
The other thing I did was finally do the Rathalos trial, part of the Monster Hunter collab. It took me this long because when I came back from my break my item level (iLevel for short) wasn't high enough to do it right away. So I decided to focus on the story instead... Only to find it had a trial that required an even higher iLevel. So I decided to grind dungeons to upgrade my gear and do the story trial first.
Another item I got off my bucket list, but it was a while ago, was to do Heaven-on-High. I was really curious about this place but kept procrastinating to do it because... I dunno, I guess I had a lot of other things in my mind.
The Rathalos Trial
WARNING: Spoilers about some of the mechanics of the Rathalos fight
The trial for patch 4.3 (the Tsukuyomi fight) was way more painful than I expected. Because of that I went in to the Rathalos fight apprehensive that it would turn out to be another painful one.
Fortunately the fight wasn't nearly as bad, it was actually pretty fun.
What amused me the most about it is how they tried to mimic it with an actual monster fight in Monster Hunter World. For example, nobody can hold aggro of it, so if you are hoping for the tank to just serve as a meat shield and hold it in one spot you will be very disappointed.
It also doesn't have much in the way of AOE markers so it requires people to pay attention to what is going through the fight and avoid Rathalos attacks. This means, trying to not stay in front of it unless you want to be munched/trampled to death. Which sounds easier than it is as Rathalos loves to change directions and try to trample some poor soul.
There are a couple of scripted bits though. One of them is during the middle of the fight Rathalos will be knocked down by a mammoth that is trying to fight back this invader and one of the players has to ride Rathalos and supposedly do a QTE so the party doesn't wipe (I say supposedly because I didn't do that part)
After that we can't be healed by spells anymore and need to use the a special mechanic of the fight in the form of 10 Mega Potions to heal ourselves.
Rathalos from this point on keeps flying too so we need to knock it down to make it more vulnerable and can even strike down its tail when it is on the ground.
At the end of the fight we can also loot some scales from its tail and body. The scales can then be traded for some cosmetic items. I didn't find the armor set all that cool looking so I am not sure if I will grind the scales for the set. I will have to think about it. If you are curious you can see a preview of the armor set in the official site.
The Poogie minion requires scales from the extreme version of the fight so just because of that I might give that a try. But it is something that I am undecided about right now.
As a reward for completing the related side quest we get the Palico minion, a couple of house items, an orchestrion roll and the title of Monster Hunter. Not bad rewards considering how short the whole thing is.
All in all it was a fun little side content and much better than I expected, to be honest. 🙂
My only expectations for Heaven-on-High is that it would be a "Palace of the Dead but for level 61+!" and for the most part it was pretty much that.
There are a few differences though besides the required level. The first, and most obvious one, is that Heaven-on-High only has 30 floors instead of the 100 of Palace of the Dead.
I am not entirely sure if the story text was implying that they would add more floors at a later patch or if floors above 30 could only be done with a fixed party, like the floors 100+ for Palace of the Dead.
At the time of this writing I only got to level 20 so I don't know if this will be better explained once I clear level 30.
Another difference is some of the pomanders are different. For instance, there is a petrifying pomander that allows us to one-hit kill mobs for a short period. There is also Magicite which is kinda like a nuke that kills every monster on the floor.
I also felt that going from level 10 to 11 there is a bit of a difficulty spike. But that might be because my gear wasn't all that upgraded by then.
The XP wasn't as crazy good as the Palace of the Dead which I found a bit disappointing. But perhaps it is for best so it won't make people prefer it over other forms of content to earn XP.
Despite that last quibble I found it pretty fun and will probably do it from time to time. I will at least try to get to level 30 just to see what kind of mystery is hidden inside that tower.