Instead of relaxing on the beach like they were meant to, Final Fantasy 14 players strip their pristine new island sanctuaries of every plant and resource to fuel the efficiency machine.
This week’s patch 6.2 dropped Island Sanctuaries, a single-player mode that lets you tend a farm, gather resources, craft items and pets. By exploring the island and building facilities, you earn unique XP to increase your rank and your ability to purchase mounts and hairstyles. (opens in a new tab)for your character. Naturally, MMO players have found a way to turn this casual diversion into work by sharing spreadsheets, maps, and spawn rate details.
LucarioMagic, Reddit user (opens in a new tab) circled plant locations on the island map to prevent you from exploring for too long. twitter user tuber (opens in a new tab) went a step further and provided exact coordinates so you can create linear paths from each asset. And YouTuber Cole Evyx has made a video that warns viewers of a “noobtrap” preventing you from building your island base and provides a full excel sheet of craftable items with a value per hour (VPH) for each.
Twitter and the game’s subreddit are full of people pointing out (opens in a new tab) the gap between the mode’s intended purpose and how people actually treat it. MMOs have this problem a lot: World of Warcraft has introduced its own farms and other user-friendly features over the years and many people choose to dry them out instead of relishing the break from raids and grinding mobs. While there’s nothing in FF14 stopping you from roaming island life, it also doesn’t provide much reason to make it work fast. It just depends on your patience and what satisfies you the most.
two hours in the island sanctuary: it’s so relaxing I love taking care of my animals 🙂 twelve hours in the island sanctuary: the mammets demand a week off and unionizeAugust 24, 2022
For other warriors of light who isolate themselves in their island sanctuary, this path is good for your copper ore needs! Maybe a better place later in island development. #FFXIV #FF14 #FinalFantasyXIV pic.twitter.com/hsv4BuCRquAugust 24, 2022
i_love_island_sanctuaries from r/ffxiv
Several Reddit users explained in a popular Reddit thread (opens in a new tab) why they turned island sanctuaries into a mini management simulation:
“I was a math/economics major. I love factory simulations and shit optimization, how well my brain works”, spock2018 (opens in a new tab) wrote.
“It’s like a puzzle. It’s fun to engage your brain in how best to get things with what you have,” Gorbashou (opens in a new tab) written in the same thread.
For others, all the harvesting and crafting can wait. FF14’s islands are where you take a break from raiding and challenging pet quests (opens in a new tab) and let your fellow minions run free. An island where you can build the cabin of your dreams (opens in a new tab) to take pictures of your Warrior of Light or to invite friends out.
FF14’s island sanctuaries look like what it was like to see rabid Animal Crossing players take on New Horizons when it launched in 2020. The game that’s practically synonymous with chill was harvested alive by the early gamers of the pandemic with nothing else to do. People have used the Nintendo Switch’s clock to fast-forward through the game, and they’ve used dedicated websites and Discord servers to track turnip prices to maximize their profits. Obviously, none of this was what Nintendo intended, and yet everyone did it anyway.
Now it’s Square Enix’s turn to bear witness to the hordes of gamers who want nothing more than the sheer efficiency of a well-oiled farm.