Global Community Project Celebrates FFXIV 5th Anniversary

ffxiv anniversary

One of the most precious things about Final Fantasy XIV is the sheer amount of players willing to go above and beyond to create communities, content, and foster one of the kindest communities I’ve experienced in an MMO. In today’s article, I talk with Varicray about his global initiative project to mark the five year FFXIV anniversary which intends to not only bring the wider community closer but to also raise money for the ‘1000 Dreams Fund’. Hundreds of content creators have already joined the community, offering their time, support and creative energies to the project.

Each year Final Fantasy XIV marks its anniversary with an event called ‘The Rising’. This year we aid Dural Tharal from the Mythril Eye in his quest to discover more about the Calamity from those who experienced it. The quest sets to highlight the history of this devastating moment in Eorzean history along with highlighting the heroic actions of countless adventurers.

Once again, Naoki Yoshida reprises his role as the ‘Wandering Minstrel’ in order to convey his and his team’s heartfelt message to us, the players, who have found ourselves a home within his world. We also gain access to instanced content called ‘The Calamity Retold’ where players take to the streets of Ul’Dah to battle against various challenging monsters with other adventurers in a recreation of the events preceding the Calamity. Players are rewarded tokens for each monster they kill, which they can spend on event items. The Rising also rewards a minion and orchestrion roll.

To me, this is one of the more special events as it feels like a direct connection between each and every player to the games’ producer and director. I just want to blub at the monitor ‘thank you Yoshi P!!’ Everyone on the development team at Square Enix has given us such an amazing world to build very special memories within.

Which leads me onto what this article is truly about: community.

Hydaelyn International

What is it? Hydaelyn International is a community project which will be organizing various events, streams, and creative projects to celebrate the FFXIV 5th year Anniversary and beyond.
When is it? September 14-16, starting at 7 PM EDT, or midnight in the UK.
Founder: Varicray
Community: Discord link

ffxiv anniversary

Image credit: Yomi

This year FFXIV celebrates their 5th year anniversary and I’ve been lucky enough to be included in this global community project, founded by Varicray.

Vari very kindly agreed to answer my questions listed below and provide all the information you could need about the project which will be going live this coming weekend.

What is Hydaelyn International?

Hydaelyn International is a community collaboration project which will run events and streams. There will be fundraising in aid of the 1000 Dreams Fund which is an organization that helps young women in tech to get financed to achieve their goals, be it education, content creation or otherwise. We think that’s an admirable and important goal as gamers ourselves that enjoy and use a lot of tech on a daily basis.

What will happen is that most, if not all of our streamers will plan server or region-specific events, inviting everyone to play with them or together with other streamers. The idea is to flood Twitch and lift the game up in the game directory and celebrate its 5 year anniversary as a combined community to show our appreciation. Everyone else who’s not a streamer may contribute in whatever way they can and play with a lot of us as well live on various streams.


  • The event will focus on celebrating the FFXIV 5th anniversary, HI will together as a community celebrate with events, streams, articles, art & other things. It starts at 7 PM EDT / 12 AM BST on September 14 or September 15 at 7 AM AWST for the people in Australia. We will run an optional to join charity with this.


  • Each datacenter has leaders planning events with fellow streamers, friends and viewers. Everyone involved with streams will be listed under the FFXIVHI Twitch community. Some of our partners will also run events, streams, podcasts and do things on their own, or with others.


  • The event goes on for 48H to give everyone plenty of time to take part, stream or undertake another project within the allotted time frame. It’s very relaxed & it had to be this way due to short notice, up to 16 hours time difference with participants & just the sheer size of HI itself.
  • Once the event is done, HI will move on to expand its features while also planning for the next event, this time with a lot more prep-time. The ultimate goal & also my original idea & intent is to turn this into a social gathering hub for all sorts of creative people to come together.


More about the Founder

Before we skip on ahead to more details about HI, let’s find out a little more about the leader of this project, Vari, and his experiences in relation to Final Fantasy XIV.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Vari, a 29-year-old Swedish full-time FFXIV focused streamer with a passion for community relationships and building long-lasting connections between people. I work part-time in IT privately and I usually play video games on a daily basis.

In FFXIV I main a Lalafell Bard (Vari Cray) on Odin on the Chaos datacenter but I also play a lot of other jobs quite frequently. I lead our FC’s static and I’m one of it’s officers as well. At heart and skill, I’ve always been a more raid focused player in any MMORPG.

Varicray by MyutoEve.

I come from a long history of playing MMORPG’s. I found FFXIV during Patch 3.3 and quickly got involved with the game’s existing community which I really enjoyed. I enjoyed the game and its open job system and most of the content it had to offer. I found friends, like-minded people and a place to fit in more than I used to in other previous game communities. I actually never even met people I played with in real life until FFXIV and that was also big for me. My experience with the game and the community around it has been mostly positive, for me, in overall.

What inspired you to create this event?

The developers (Square Enix) just recently did a 14-hour long celebration stream and have many other things going on worldwide. So I sat there one evening thinking “This is something we as players could do as well, let’s see how many content creators I can get in on this”. From that point on everything just expanded and escalated extremely quickly. We included everyone who has a creative spark within themselves to freely contribute FFXIV content.

How did you begin to organize such a large-scale event?

I started with asking fellow co-streamers that I’ve done work or projects with before, in the end, I think I’ve contacted or been contacted by probably 150-200 people during this process and more come in as word spreads.

I started out alone but have since got a bit more extra help from other project members, it’s been a crazy ride these last four days of planning, to say the least.

Event Example

Although events will vary in game content, here’s one of the events put together by Tarno from Mateus:

ffxiv anniversary

Poster by Yomi.


Date: Friday September 14th at 8:00PM EST
Server: Mateus
Location: Plot: Mist Ward 13, Plot 5

Genisys is a popular Nightclub FC that throws server wide, Mixed-RP events for the Mateus community; rewarding such as Mogstation prizes. To celebrate the 5-year anniversary with the Hydaelyn International project, our nightclub theme is Hydaelyn Adventurer. Come as your best you. We will not be judging glams this time around as we understand that there will be alts joining Mateus for this event. Instead we’ll be rewarding over $50 worth of Mogstation prizes through our door raffle. Partygoers will have a shot to win the new Mogstation mount Red Hare an account wide item!

Our events are Mixed-RP. You will find RPers and non-RPers in attendance. For RP purposes we have a custom-made drink and dinner menu for the club we will also be providing a RL music playlist.

Taking Part

How many communities and countries are currently involved?

Right now we have six official community partners and there will likely be many more on the way. The reception has been incredibly exciting, strong and at this time everything is incredibly busy. Right now we have Aetherflow Media, a fan magazine who will do a podcast during the event and cover what transpired during it with some articles. We have The Wandering Unity, a FFXIV creator hub, who will help promote the event and just back us up with planning. Another fan magazine called Fat Cat Chronicles will be taking part, they have been helping out by listing participants, promoting the community and just doing a lot of grunt work. They will also make some content post the event to showcase.

ffxiv anniversary

We also have two screenshot communities with us, FFXIVSnaps and GPOSERS. FFXIVSnaps will provide us with image coverage of the event and take character portraits of attendees. GPOSERS will provide their own streamer coverage and do a few articles as well after the event. Lastly we have Maelstrom Media, a stream podcast who will help us with promotion, streaming and more. We have other participants pending community and project requests from others that needs to be communicated and agreed upon.

How can other players contribute to the project?

Anyone who has a drive or passion for anything creative can take part and contribute however much they like into the project, it’s all fully optional.

It doesn’t matter how small or big it is, we leave that up to you!

If you are not a content creator can you still take part?

Yes, we don’t define the ‘content creator’ to strictly live streaming or video editing. We have artists, writers, cosplayers, musicians, community leaders, screenshot editors, designers and all sorts of creative people on board.

Creations by the HI community. Credits to Eli, Yomi, Mochibuni, Ameme and Aria.

If you don’t possess any creative skills, you can still contribute just by supporting us as well and join us during the various events. We’re all inclusive, that’s our goal.

Do you have a list of events/times per-server and what types of events will be taking place?

We don’t have a list right now but have several leaders for each region planning loads of in-game events and our partners are planning their own things. Each individual streamer will be dealing with their viewers or other streamers as well.

How can players support the event during the week?

Watch your favorite streamer during the event, give us feedback and play some Final Fantasy XIV with us. You mean as much to us as we do to you!

Logo by Yomi.

What do you hope will be achieved?

We are hoping to achieve nothing less than a tremendously big, active, fun, heartfelt and inclusive event to celebrate the game and its community.

Will you be looking to leave a lasting legacy?

Yes, once the event is over the community will keep existing and become a hub for all content creators to plan future events and also advise/teach our skills to others.

Do you have a dedicated website where updated information can be easily found?

We have a Discord server that will become public in the next few days, but also started an official Twitter account and a Twitch community for everyone to check out. No website plans as of right now, but the future isn’t fully decided yet!

Social Media Links


Huge thank you to Vari for finding time to provide so much information for us during this Incredibly busy time. I wish everyone the happiest of 5th year anniversary celebrations and lots of success to all those participating in the HI project!

ffxiv anniversary


Thank you for reading! Please accept my sincerest apologies for being unable to produce articles lately, hopefully I’ll be back very soon with a continuation of the Photography to Screenshot principles series, ReShade and GPose guides. I will also be trying to take part in the HI anniversary celebration by streaming a creative take on FFXIV by purging my current filter package and starting ReShade from scratch and offering up the filters in return.

If you would like me to write on a particular topic later down the line in relation to today’s article or screenography just let me know in the comments below or via Twitter.

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Echoes of Eorzea: 10 Reasons to Play FFXIV

Welcome to another edition of Echoes of Eorzea! Today I will be striving to create a list of ’10 reasons to play FFXIV.’ Often I will be talking with friends about Final Fantasy XIV and explaining to them the positives, and negatives, of the game; it has dawned on me that it might be easier just to have a list that I can throw at them! Speaking as a very average player, here are just some of the reasons I consider FFXIV to be a wonderful game. Of course, as with any MMO, there are two sides to the coin and the game is not without its frustrations. For now, let’s focus on the positives, in no particular order!

For those of you who may not know, Final Fantasy XIV is the second and current MMORPG in the series produced by Square Enix. Released in 2010, the game initially flopped until it was taken down for development and re-released as ‘Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’ in 2013 under the new direction of Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P). Set in the lands of Eorzea, we play as an adventurer blessed with the rare gift called the ‘Echo,’ which gives us the power to see glimpses into the past of others and prevents us from being tempered by the Primals. We follow the footsteps of our adventurer as they travel throughout the extensive and beautiful lands to discover their place in the world following the catastrophic events of the Calamity that took place five years before-hand.


10 Reasons To Play FFXIV

1. It’s Pretty

This is somewhat a sweeping statement as it depends on what you find appealing. With that disclaimer out of the way, I will elaborate!


Eorzea is an ever-changing landscape from sunrise to moonset, with beautiful transitions between day and night and all that flows in between. There is a wide range of vistas to gaze over in Eorzea including the Deserts of Thanalan, beaches of La Noscea, dense forests of Gridania and the snowy plains of Coerthas. Each environment has so many idyllic locations to explore. The weather changes the environment tremendously as well, which adds even more character and beauty to the world.

10 reasons ffxiv


Glamour is the FFXIV term used when referring to creating outfits by changing one piece of gear to look like another. Some say that glamour is the ‘end game’ and for some, this is very true! The armor in FFXIV is incredibly detailed and well designed with lots of depth and texture. This is just not a flat image rendered over a character model; it has detail, layers, and texture.

There is a very popular website dedicated to all things Glamour called the Eorzea Collection. This site has an incredible catalog of gear combinations for you to look over for inspiration if you happen to be lost in the lands of fashion or simply wish to get an idea of what sort of gear is available. I would highly recommend a visit to the site.

10 reasons ffxiv


Character Creation

FFXIV character creation is nowhere near the realms of Black Desert Online, however, it is not as limited as something like World of Warcraft. I find that it reaches a happy medium between too few or too many options, even though I’m pretty sure that character models will be updated sometime in the future. The creation has five races (six with the inclusion of Au Ra unlocked after the purchase of the Heavensward expansion), each containing two tribes and a variety of options including height, skin color, race or gender specific options, hair and eye color (which has a multitude of color options), many hairstyles, tattoo or make-up, and so on.

10 reasons ffxiv

Choosing a look you are happy with is relatively important at this point, as the player is able to have every class/job and gathering/crafting profession on the same character so there is little need for alts. In this game, more than any MMO I’ve played, your character avatar becomes a big part of your gaming identity. Having said that, for each character you create, you are given one free Fantasia potion, which is a complete character overhaul token (name excluded). Should you wish to change your character’s appearance several more times, the Fantasias are available from the Mogstation (FFXIV online shop) for a relatively inexpensive £5.75.


2. Community

The general kindness of the FFXIV community was something I noticed very early on in my time traveling through Eorzea. When I was a tiny new player, one person ran past me and randomly gave me an adorable non-combat pet. Another stranger crafted me a bobble hat and during the Halloween event I was taking a picture of one of the city decorations and I got a PM from one of the people sitting near me asking if I wanted him to move out of the way in case he was blocking part of my screenshot (now one of the longest FFXIV friends I’ve known). Dungeon groups have nearly always been pleasant and patient, although I am aware not everyone has the same experience. Another example of this amazing community spanned across several servers, where players reached a choke point during Stormblood early access and hundreds of players formed an orderly queue and waited patiently in line for 4-6 hours to just attempt to get into the solo duty, which was broken due to the pressure of the release.

Players queuing for Raubahn Savage on Odin.

The community surrounding FFXIV is not only warm, kind and supportive of each other, but they all share such a staggering passion for the game which leads on to some truly beautiful community content and projects.

10 reasons ffxiv

As with all things, there are always going to be some bad eggs depending on your perspective and involvement in the game, I’m just saying that it’s a big difference to what I had been used to up to that point. In truth, I think I have come across a total of maybe 10 horrid players in 3 years (in-game), even when using the dungeon finder frequently. I still hold the belief that the FFXIV community is the kindest I have experienced out of all the MMO’s I’ve played so far (about six) and it’s made a hugely positive contribution to why I love this game so much.

Keep an eye on the Community Spotlight column for more information on highlighted projects or content creators.


3. Animations


FFXIV is the most visually expressive MMO I’ve played in terms of character emotes and interactivity with other players, possibly because the emotive system is developed using motion capture. Under the social menu, there is a whole panel of emotes for you to use.

Emotes also change depending on which race and gender you are. There are a whole host of facial expressions, dances, happy and sad emotes, you even have three choices of the way your character stands, and three for the way they sit. More emotes and dances can be unlocked throughout the game content through the main story quest line, side quests, beast tribes or the Gold Saucer.

10 reasons ffxiv



Spell animations are incredibly detailed, not only in the casting sequence but also in terms of lighting and effects. In this case, I will let the images speak for themselves.

10 reasons ffxiv

Click to enlarge. Various combat animations.


4. Group Pose!

Those that have read my previous articles will know that this is my happy place in the game (how I wish it had an XP bar!).

Group Pose, or GPose as it’s more commonly known is, in essence is an in-game camera tool. After performing an action or finding a beautiful location, the tool allows you to freeze the frames or the actions of your character or your group (even individually one at a time), move and tilt the camera, add status effects, light the image and use an array of filters and effects to achieve the perfect screenshot. A full guide to the tool can be found here.

It hasn’t escaped the developer’s attention that this is a much-loved area of the game for countless many. As the patches continue to develop, so do the features of the Group Pose tool. If you love photography in real life, this is sure to be an area of the game that you will enjoy! Group Pose could easily be a stand-alone program in itself.

10 reasons to play ffxiv

10 reasons ffxiv


GPose is very powerful in conjunction with ReShade but I won’t go into that just yet! For the purpose of this article, all of the images have been created with GPose only.


5. Seasonal Events

FFXIV boasts nine standard seasonal events each year (excluding one or two special events). To me, they are special because the content changes every year, sometimes developing on from the previous year’s story and sometimes containing a new story entirely. The rewards also change annually, giving you the chance to earn various permanent gear items, housing items, emotes and more. The items from the previous year’s event will be available for purchase on the Mogstation.

Glamour items from All Saint’s Wake 2017.

Starlight Celebration 2017.


For those interested in the seasonal events lore, I have written up summaries of Heavensturn, Valentione’s Day, and Starlight Celebration stories to hopefully give a good impression of the quality and depth of the yearly events.


6. Every Class, Job, and Profession on one Character.

In FFXIV all Classes/Jobs and Professions can be leveled up on one character, meaning that nearly everything you do in the game is beneficial to your game progress. Ideally, you level your ‘main’ job (a class becomes a job at level 30) through the main storyline, and then other classes/jobs can be leveled through dungeons, side-quests, FATES (small events that happen throughout the world) or Palace of the Dead.

Perhaps this section might be a downside for some that enjoy playing multiple races or styles of character (though Fantasias are fairly cheap as mentioned already), but within the final fantasy XIV community, it’s clear that many hold a strong affinity to a singular avatar.

There are also a host of ‘logs’ for the completionist inside of you, including the combat log, which earns you EXP and Gil, and the Gold Saucer log that gives you the Gold Saucer currency called MGP. Also, there are the sightseeing, fishing and hunting logs.

Games within Games

Palace of the Dead
PotD has its own leveling system within the game but offers EXP for the class you are on once you finish a set of floors. There are 10 floors in total per set with a boss on the 10th floor. You may enter with any combat class you have unlocked from level 1.

Gold Saucer
After you have reached a level 15 travel quest within your main storyline you can obtain access to the Gold Saucer. Here you have the games wonderful casino where you can play Triple Triad, an assortment of minigames and events take part in group events. The Gold Saucer is also home to Chocobo racing (think simplified MarioKart with Chocobos) where you and your friends can obtain, level up, race and breed your racing Chocobo.

10 reasons ffxiv

7. Main Story Quest

Unlike many other MMOs, FFXIV revolves around a central narrative, which for some may be seen as a negative depending on your taste in story progression. From the moment you take your first steps into the Adventurer’s Guild, your character grows alongside the story and the characters you meet throughout the game grow alongside you. Many important events are linked to your Main Scenario Quests, such as intercity travel, obtaining your mount and access to dungeons.

One thing you will notice from the FFXIV community as a whole is that spoilers to the main story are guarded heavily as there are important and emotional story twists that we all want you to experience first hand. In nearly 4 years in Eorzea, I haven’t come across a player that has had the main plot spoiled for them (yet!).

The story, nor the dungeon content is not at its strongest early on in the game. Having said that, if we are following the story of an adventurer it seems logical that we need to do a bit of hard grafting before we can wear the ‘hero of the world’ title. For me personally, the best part of the game starts at level 50 but level 30 onward was good. Yes, the lower levels can be a little bit of a chore but I assure you, if this game is for you, your perseverance will pay off in droves.

Story and Job skip tokens were added to the store following the release of Stormblood (to the sadness of many). I would heavily advise against them unless you truly just couldn’t care less about the game experience as a whole and merely want to focus on something such as raiding, or unless you have done everything before.


8. Housing

Housing in FFXIV is an extensive part of the game, and there are thousands of furniture items available that can be set out in any number of ways (if you have the gold!). Houses are available in limited numbers and belong to ‘housing wards.’ Four of the five major cities have their own set of houses. There are 4 zones, with 18 wards and 2 divisions containing 30 houses. Each district has a variety of small, medium and large plots. The larger the housing plot, the more items it can contain within. Currently, 4320 plots are available in total per server.

10 reasons to play ffxiv

Even if a house is not available to you, there are other options to obtain a room such as purchasing one in your Free Company (guild/clan) or purchasing an apartment.

As with the glamour website, there is a very detailed housing website which catalogs all of the available furniture in the game called FFXIV Housing.

10 reasons to play ffxiv

To get a great idea of what can be achieved creatively with the housing system please take a look at Nora’s Twitter!


9. Dungeons & Boss Mechanics

Before going into this section, here is a disclaimer about myself: I am not a Savage content raider (though I’m an experienced HC raider in WoW), so my perspective on this is just from a very average point of view. When I say ‘boss mechanics’ I mean either dungeon fights from lv50+ (where you can still wipe if you don’t pay attention to mechanics), Alliance raids (24 man, equivalent to WoW LFR but much harder) and the 8 man raids of Heavensward and Stormblood. In fact, Sigmascape has been, by far, the most enjoyable content of Stormblood so far, for me. Who doesn’t love a ghost train?!

One of the players I used to raid with in FFXIV would say to me ‘raids are like a dance, once you’ve got the steps you’re all set.’ However true that is, I still find them fun, challenging and visually beautiful, whether I’m dead on the floor or not. There is a mix of both raid-wide mechanics and some individual mechanics/requirements to deal with.

I still hold a very fond memory of my first A-8, when the music changed I giggled so much. Killing a giant robot contraption, made up of all the robots in the world, with ridiculous music in the background is just part of the fun of FFXIV.

10. Value for money

I was in two minds about including this here, but I personally feel I get a decent amount of content for my money, and in comparison to other MMOs I feel like I can justify my subscription in terms of content provision. The closest and fairest comparison that I can make is with another MMO of the exact same model, which in this case is World of Warcraft that also requires a purchase of the base game, expansion packs and a monthly subscription.

Please keep in mind, this is just a comparison between models/prices. I’m not hating on WoW, I happen to love it and have been pretty much subscribed for the last 10 years.

Subscription price:
FFXIV: £7.69 (single character sub option)/£8.99
WoW: £9.99

Monthly subscription benefits:
FFXIV: Patches every 2-3 months containing (roughly) 1-2 new dungeons, main story quests, new haircuts, new 24-man raid (every 2nd patch), new 8-man raid and potentially a new trial and minion/mounts.
WoW: Access to new raid tier every 5 months or main story development.

The Mogstation is another example of (moderate) value for money, even though lately prices for outfits and mounts has crept up somewhat and perhaps they’ll slowly edge closer to higher prices given time.

Minion/Non-combat pet Price:
FFXIV: £2.88 / WoW: £9.00

Mount price:
FFXIV: £6.90-£13.80 (1 person)- £17.28 (2-person) / WoW: £19.00-£27.00 (1 person).

Outfit price:
FFXIV: £2.88- £11.16 (full attire)/ WoW: £13.00 (hat only).

Appearance change:
FFXIV: 1 free + £5.75 after / WoW: £13.00

Character boost:
FFXIV: £18.50 (level boost) + £18.50 (story skip) / WoW: £49.00

(All prices are listed as of May 2018)


Keep in mind that the game is not for everyone. If you want a super speedy leveling experience and all your mounts, pets and dungeons thrown at you with minimal effort required, this is NOT the game for you!

Thank you for taking the time to look through this article, I hope it has been of some use to you or to pass onto someone you know who might be interested in picking up FFXIV. There is a host of other things about the game I could have mentioned but I decided to babble on forever might take too much of your time!

If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here, my gallery site or Twitter. 

Related Article:

Beginners Guide Part One
Beginners Guide Part Two
Group Pose Tutorial


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Echoes of Eorzea: Valentione’s Day Part Two

Welcome back another lore based edition of Echoes of Eorzea on the eve of one of the most amorous days of the year, Valentione’s Day, or as we better know it, Valentine’s Day! This week we will be following up last week’s article regarding this Final Fantasy XIV seasonal event. Part two of the Valentione’s Day lore will be covering the years of 2015 through to 2018.  As with last week’s article I have included a summary of the history of this seasonal event as this is a fairly important introduction to all of the related quests. Without further ado, we will jump straight in!

valentione's day

History of Valentione’s Day

Valentione’s Day was originally established to pay tribute to Countess Arabelle de Valentione of Ishgard—a remarkable woman who exhibited unparalleled courage in her quest for true love. In the present day, it has become an occasion for people to express feelings of love and gratitude to those most important in their lives. This is commonly done via the exchange of simple chocolate bon-bons crafted specially by the giver.

While in recent years there have been complaints that the true spirit of the day has been grossly perverted—now little more than a marketing ploy conjured up by the Culinarians’ Guild and the Company of Eorzean Kukuru Growers to increase sales of their products—this does not take away from the fact that countless people across the realm use this tradition to bring happiness to others. And isn’t that what the countess would have wanted?

Summary: Countess Arabelle de Valentione of Ishgard was a noblewoman who gave up her place and position to go on an arduous journey in search of love and to spread love to all others. In the years after the countess’s passing, it became traditional for the Ishgardian people to emulate that same passion and bravery by bestowing a token of affection to the one they love. It is said that chocolate is a divine concoction made by the maiden servants of Menphina, goddess of love. Lady Lisette is a direct descendant of Countess Arabelle de Valentione and continues her work to this day.


Valentione’s Day 2015

valentiones dayvalentiones day

Lady Lisette of House Valentione has ventured forth from Ishgard to ensure no tender confession goes unheard, nor any love go unrequited. Adventurers who would hasten cupid’s arrows are encouraged to seek her out and aid in her labors of love.

Quest: Where Did Our Loves Go

In an effort to aid those unable to confess their love in person, Lisette has enlisted Hortefense, who is in charge of the mission to deliver tokens of love. However, there has been an unexpected obstacle which requires the help of an adventurer such as ourselves. The service is meant for those shackled with shyness, yet there have been requests from those who would gladly present their tokens in person, yet do not know the location of their loved ones.

For the 2015 Valentione’s event, we are sent to various locations throughout the Black Shroud, Thanalan and La Noscea where we follow a set of clues as we seek out and find the lost loved ones and in return are presented with chocolate tokens.

Hortefense is so impressed with your success that he entrusts you with his own mission. Some years ago he was gravely wounded in battle and left to die, had he not been saved by a noblewoman of Ishgard. Though searching for her tirelessly ever since he has had no luck. Lisette is familiar with the story and yet cannot recall the names of those involved. We recount Hortefense’s story to one of Lisette’s emissaries who immediately divulges the information we are after. The noblewoman was, of course, Lady Lisette de Valentione herself. Overcome with emotion, Hortefense proposes to Lisette, yet is declined but allowed to stay in her presence as a friend and no more.

Event Items

valentiones day


Valentione’s Day 2016

valentiones day

valentiones day

Word has it that Lady Lisette has come with an entourage of fortune-tellers, who will lay bare the fates of Eorzea’s lovers. Adventurers who would divine the truth of their love are encouraged to seek her out!

Quest: What Is Love

Once again we are reunited with Lisette and her gentleman-in-waiting, Hortefense. Lisette tells us of the fortune tellers that can divine a couple’s affinity for risk, romance, and riches. Although assured that they are accurate, Lisette would like you to act as her ambassador and be seen enjoying the days’ festivities.

valentiones day

To take part in this quest, the player must adorn the Paramour’s earrings and partner up with a fellow player (who is also wearing the earrings). The pair must then visit all three fortune tellers and report back to Lisette.

Follow-up Quest: A Pair of Hearts

Lady Lisette has lost sight of her companion, Hortefense and wishes us to find him quickly. He is reported to have been seen near the fortune tellers with a young lady in tow. After speaking with a fortune teller you are informed that he was indeed there but rushed off to an unknown destination after his reading. In his eagerness to leave, he neglected to take the card of his partner with him which read “Lisette de Valentione”. We return the card to Lisette who had no idea about the plans to have their fortunes read and requests that you help her find her manservant. Eventually, you find a disheartened Hortefense sitting alone in the Anchor Yard. He left the Aftcastle on the verge of tears because the reading was so unfavorable. Lisette bids him return to the Aftcastle to visit the fortune tellers once again, yet Hortefense fears this greatly and wishes you to accompany them. With the correct information received, the fortune teller declares that Lisette and Hortefense are more compatible in love than any couple she has encountered. Overjoyed with this news, Hortefense declares his true and honest feelings for Lisette and asks her to join him in marriage, to which she agrees!

Event Items

valentiones day


Valentione’s Day 2017

valentiones day

valentiones day

‘Tis the season for ardor and affection! Once again Lisette de Valentione and her retinue have made the journey from far-off Ishgard to share the love with adventurers the realm over. Those in search of true love’s kiss should seek Lisette out before the season comes to a close!

Quest: Once More with Feeling

Lisette hopes we are enjoying the festivities of the 2017 Valentione’s Day and the time has come to pass on an honored tradition of House Valentione, though we are warned to use this ‘tradition’ thoughtfully as the effect is rather potent. For further instruction, we are sent along to Hortefense.

Hortefense greets us joyfully and begins to instruct us in the way of a very particular motion. Although our first effort at reproducing his expression is poor, we are encouraged to overcome our timidity and self-doubt and try again.

“Mayhap it was my demonstration that was lacking… Let us try once more. This time, breathe in deep the love in the air and let the passion flow freely from your lips!”

After one more try, we are successful and rewarded with the Dote emote.

Event Items

valentiones day


Valentione’s Day 2018

Brace yourselves and embrace your innermost feelings, for Valentione’s Day is come to Eorzea once more! Whether you are luckless in love or blissfully bonded, Lisette de Valentione and her retinue would see to it that none are without ardor and affection during this most passionate of seasons. And remember: love comes not to those who wait, but those who participate!

Quest: Lessons in Love

valentiones day

valentiones day

During the 2018 Valentione’s Day celebrations we once again meet up with Lisette who informs us that this year they have joined hands with the Sanctum of the Twelve, the purveyors of eternal love which will apparently create a union in the heavens. She has a special request to make of us in the form of helping Astrid, her trainee (and sister), who seems far too ‘sober’ and rational during these festivities. Lisette asks us to watch over her in secret and help guide her during her given seasonal tasks as part of her training.

valentiones day

Astrid is incredibly worried about failing in her given duty of organizing the new ‘affinity test’ for the celebrations. To make things worse, the Moogles who were assigned to help her have gone missing. She implores us to find them on her behalf.

We meet one Moogle at the Conjurer’s Guild (Sleepy Moogle), one near the Botanist’s Guild (Slack Moogle) and the last is near the Lancers Guild (Slothful Moogle). All, in turn, tell us that her approach is incorrect and there is no romance or fun within her test, therefore they are on strike. Astrid is dismayed at the news and we are asked whether to listen to the Moogles or ignore them, to which I personally chose the ‘listen’ option. However, Hortefense (her brother-in-law) interrupts to tell her that to deal with troublesome Moogles you should consult a Moogle.

valentiones day

With this in mind, we hasten to Kuplu Kumo, the leader of the sanctum choir. Kuplu anticipated this problem and explains that love is not tangible and transcends rational thoughts. During this discussion, Astrid realizes that her test must include more fun but that is not her forte, yet just so happens to be the foremost quality of a Moogle. While Astrid consults with Kuplu, we are sent to round up the missing Moogles (at the Leatherworkers Guild) by threatening to ‘squash their poms’.

By the time we return, the wayward Moogles are working with renewed enthusiasm and Astrid is overjoyed with the results of the new ‘affinity test’, so much so that she wishes for us to be the first to test it.

Completion of this quest unlocks access to the new Seasonal Instance for which you must be partnered with another player (there is a matchmaking system in place for those not able to be in a group of two). Within the instance, there are two separate Trials of the Moon which require cooperation, communication, and patience. The first trial is called ‘Til Mog Do We Part’ which involves making your way through two separate mazes while attached with an affinity beam. The maze has certain obstacles to overcome yet if the beam breaks, your affinity will reduce and if it reaches 0 the instance will end. The second trial is called ‘Cards Beat As One’ and involves a card memorization game where you and your partner must select two cards and try to match them all to complete the trial.

valentiones day

valentiones day

Upon successful completion, everyone is happy and Astrid has now completed her training successfully!

The event also includes the return of the fortune tellers from 2015’s event, which is part of the repeatable quest from Lisette and also requires the player to be in a party of two (there is no matchmaking system in place for this repeatable quest).

Event Items

valentiones day valentione's day


Final Thoughts

As the years pass, I can’t help but notice a few things concerning Final Fantasy XIV events in general, having now summarised around 7 years worth of Heavensturn and Valentione’s Day, and 4 years of Starlight Celebration. Before I clarify, however, I want to reinforce that I absolutely adore seasonal events. They are fun, unique, and better than those of any other MMORPG I have played.

These are the facts though. Over the years, the story introductions on the Lodestone have gone from long, detailed paragraphs to one-line quest introductions. Event rewards fluctuate and began to reduce, although lately, we are seeing a rise in mount rewards, which means (to new or absent players) that to obtain the last year’s event item on the Mogstation the following year, it’s likely to cost a player around £12 rather than the £3 item sets of previous years.

However, having done the 2018 Valentione’s event my concerns have eased significantly, as it’s apparent that a great deal of care and love has gone into this year’s event, even with the inclusion of an event instance, similar to that of All Saint’s Wake. We are incredibly lucky players to have such a dedicated development team.

For me personally, I have found the 2014 event to be the most heartwarming in terms of the questline story, but the 2018 event is by far the most enjoyable considering it combines both an instance and the fun of the 2015 fortune tellers. I must also add that the artwork over the years for all the seasonal events has been stunningly beautiful (obviously that is an observation based on my personal tastes) and I very much look forward to future events on artistic merit alone. Although the styles have changed throughout the years, they retain an incredible amount of care, quality, and skill within their work.

I wish you a very happy Valentione’s Day to you and your loved ones!

Thank you all for reading this lore-based edition of Echoes of Eorzea! As always, if you have any questions, advice or comments please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here, Anook or Twitter.

valentiones day

Related Articles

Valentione’s Day – Part One
Heavensturn Lore – Part One 
Heavensturn Lore – Part Two 
Starlight Celebration 2017 
Starlight Celebration History 

The post Echoes of Eorzea: Valentione’s Day Part Two appeared first on

Echoes of Eorzea: Valentione’s Day Part One

Welcome to another edition of Echoes of Eorzea, which this week will be looking back on the Valentione’s Day lore. In this article, I will be summarising the story, artwork, and rewards of the 2011 to 2014 events, and then follow up with the remaining years of 2015 to 2018 next week.


Valentione’s Day lore

History of Valentione’s Day

Valentione’s Day was originally established to pay tribute to Countess Arabelle de Valentione of Ishgard—a remarkable woman who exhibited unparalleled courage in her quest for true love. In the present day, it has become an occasion for people to express feelings of love and gratitude to those most important in their lives. This is commonly done via the exchange of simple chocolate bon-bons crafted specially by the giver.

While in recent years there have been complaints that the true spirit of the day has been grossly perverted—now little more than a marketing ploy conjured up by the Culinarians’ Guild and the Company of Eorzean Kukuru Growers to increase sales of their products—this does not take away from the fact that countless people across the realm use this tradition to bring happiness to others. And isn’t that what the countess would have wanted?

In short: Countess Arabelle de Valentione of Ishgard was a noblewoman who gave up her place and position to go on an arduous journey in search of love and to spread love to all others. In the years after the countess’s passing, it became traditional for the Ishgardian people to emulate that same passion and bravery by bestowing a token of affection to the one they love. It is said that chocolate is a divine concoction made by the maiden servants of Menphina, goddess of love.

Lady Lisette is a direct descendant of Countess Arabelle de Valentione and continues her work to this day.

Valentione’s Day 2011

valentiones day

valentiones day

House Valentione Coat-of-Arms*


Compared to other Eorzean festivals, Valentione’s Day may seem fairly low key. The celebration is truly about the individual and their ability to muster the courage to conquer their own fears of rejection. For this celebration, the city-states are providing free portions of powdered sugar usually only reserved for the noble classes, and with which Valentione’s Day chocolates are created.

“Each year, there are those who feel inclined to bring attention to the fact that these bells closely resemble those used during other festivals, such as the recent starlight celebration. It is unfortunate that these people must concentrate on the negative when the true meaning behind Valentione’s Day is about expressing gratitude to a fellow friend or companion—something that should not require unnecessary displays of extravagance.”


Quest: Ring the Bells

Bells are located throughout various locations within the major cities of Eorzea. Upon ringing the bell, a Smilebringer NPC will appear and presents us with a pinch of Powdered Sugar.

Event Items

valentiones day

Valentione’s Day 2012

Connecting all lands and peoples in her everlasting embrace, the sea bears to Limsa Lominsa the wisdom and voices of a thousand shores. In today’s edition, The Harbor Herald examines the forthcoming celebration of love and exposes some of the rumors surrounding a particularly special sweet.

valentiones day

valentiones day

“Those who have sojourned in Limsa Lominsa may have come to know one Dympna Tinstyll. An independent exporter of exotics, Dympna is also an avid enthusiast of the culinary arts, and it is for that reason that we are proud to present The Good Salt, a column in which Dympna can share her delectable knowledge with all of Eorzea. Today she writes about a very special chocolate treat said to have the power to make the feelings in our hearts known to those we love.

Arabelle de Valentione. The legendary Countess of Ishgard who risked all that she had and was in her quest to discover true love, and whose name is now immortalized in the Eorzean holiday of Valentione’s Day. Be my Valentione! Three simple words to communicate that most profound and heartfelt of sentiments—love me as I love you. Yet simplicity is no substitute for courage, and implicit in these words is the confessing of one’s deepest feelings, the laying bare of one’s very heart, and the unshakable fear of rejection. For the shy and timid among my audience, and for all whose faces are quick to take red, allow me to share news of a certain chocolate for which you will no doubt be pining.

Words may be wind, but wind reaches all, and the hushed winds that have reached the Herald tell us that the chocolates are now being prepared at the Bismarck. Some say that the gourmets there have learned something of the divine concoctions made by the maiden servants of Menphina, goddess of love. Still others claim that a rare and valuable spice extracted from Meracydian gold is used in the baking. All that can be said for sure is that a truly unique and amazing recipe has been devised. What is more, it seems the commissioning of the Bismarck to produce these treats came at the hands of none other than the Adventurers’ Guild. Most interesting indeed!

The restoration of the Grand Companies in each of the three nations has served to create rifts between adventurers. Could it be that rivalry and infighting may come to exact a toll on the solidarity and fraternity among them? It seems such misgivings are not altogether absent within the Adventurers’ Guild. It is a splendid thing indeed that the adventurers have come to take a sense of pride in the Grand Companies to which they pledge themselves, be they of the Storm, Serpent, or Flame. Amidst foreboding rumors of the coming of the Seventh Umbral Era, however, Twelve forbid that the needs of the realm’s citizenry go unattended due to bickering and bitterness between factions of adventurers.

Yet there is no malaise what cannot be set right by chocolate! Whether all we have heard is truth or lies, what cannot be denied is the movement that has begun—a movement meant to foster and promote love among adventurers, be it romantic or fraternal. And these chocolates are the key to its success! But do they truly possess the power to communicate one’s love to another as we have heard? Can Valentione’s Day fan the flames of love beyond the barriers put in place by the Grand Companies as the Adventurers’ Guild hopes?
Whatever fate the gods may have in store, one fact is clear—I simply have to try one of those chocolates!”

Dympna Tinstyll, Culinarian Columnist

Quest: Nothing Says Lovin’ like Consecrated Chocolate

For the 2012 Valentione’s day event, matchmaker NPC’s have appeared around the city-states. The player may request help obtaining a partner by speaking with one of the NPC representatives. There are three quests that a pair of players may take part in: Bond of Pure Love, Bond of Dear Love and Glory of Love. The paired players will visit the NPC together and be given a score based on specific requirements and on the final quest, the points are increased by consuming specific chocolates at this stage.

This quest will also reward the highest scoring players with new Lodestone character backgrounds.

Valentione’s Day 2013

During this time the game was unavailable due to the development of A Realm Reborn (ARR) in development.

Valentione’s Day 2014

The season of love is finally upon us—Valentione’s Day has made its return! Word has it that an Ishgardian noble accompanied by several retainers has arrived in Limsa to enliven this joyous occasion, and the Harbor Herald has wasted no time in investigating their plans to spread ardor throughout the realm.

valentiones day

valentiones day

Ardor and Affection
Countess Arabelle de Valentione─who has not heard a minstrel sing of this ethereal beauty? She who forsook a sheltered life at court to traverse vast and unforgiving environs in her lifelong quest for true love?

Eras have come and passed, yet still, today does her tale instill would-be lovers the realm over with the courage to lay bare their hearts before their beloved, accompanied more often than not by a gift of sweet confections. So was born the tradition of Valentione’s Day. In the trying years since the Calamity, however, merely ensuring survival and daily livelihood in the face of threats from the beastkin and Garlemald has proven a toilsome task for a great many Eorzeans, leaving precious little time for romantic pursuits.

And yet, who can deny that having a special someone in one’s thoughts might lend an even greater sense of purpose and resolve on the battlefield? Not this starry-eyed scribe, that much is certain.

And so it is with open arms and high hopes that we welcome the Lady Lisette de Valentione, direct descendant of the Countess Arabelle, to our fair Limsa, that her presence might serve to kindle flames of romance across the land, warming the hearts of all those who yearn for the sweet embrace of their one true love. – Yumah Molkot

Quest: The Puissance of Love

During the event, Ser Larsonient will be seeking passionate adventurers willing to lend their strength to House Valentione’s cause.

For the 2014 Valentione’s event we meet with Larsonient, a knight of House Valentione, who requests that we halt our adventures for a time in order to pursue the greater quest of love by seeking out Lisette de Valentione. Lisette is the descendant of Countess Arabelle de Valentione and seeks to share the joy of love with those less fortunate in that particular area (while adoring fans beg her for chocolate). Lisette imparts on you the blessings of her ancestors and sends you to seek out those with a heart in need and sends us to O’kalkaya.

O’kalkaya tells us that her captain has been behaving strangely lately and wishes us to investigate. It transpires that Captain Rhoswen of the Sirens has asked Lyngsath of the Bismark to ‘whip up something to make some sparks’. The assumption is that she is requesting fire-sand. However, a spy from the Krakens (who are enemies of the Sirens) hears the discussion and runs back to tell his captain everything. We hasten to follow and meet with Carvallain who informs us that Captain Rhoswen has requested a duel at the Anchor Yard and, as we are impartial to the situation, Carvallain requests that we ensure all matters are conducted fairly.

The captain of the Sirens does not show up at first but then arrives late and a lengthy bout of heated banter ensues. Then all of the sudden an aroma fills the air and Carvallain is certain that Rhoswen is trying to distract him with the smell of chocolate. Tempers flare and more heated words are exchanged before Captain Rhoswen exclaims that ‘she doesn’t know what she was thinking’ and returns to the Sirens.

It appears that what you witnessed was a confession of love gone horribly wrong. O’kalkaya is grateful to see you return, yet upon realizing the true intention of the challenge, she offers a small gift of chocolate to ensure our silence on the matter.

Following this, you are sent to aid Nemoh who has been patiently awaiting the return of her lost love Gwayne since the Calamity. A person matching Gwayne’s description has been spotted in Gridania but Nemoh is not brave enough to investigate and sends you in her stead. Although you encounter several lookalikes, none prove to be the lost love, though one of the men gives you information regarding the location of the real Gwayne at E-Tatt’s Spire. The true Gwayne claims to have lost his memory due to a battle wound and departs. Nemoh refuses to believe this sad truth and lashes out at her childhood friend Gylbart. She then entrusts you with a box of chocolates to help stir Gwayne’s memories of her. Gylbart has done investigations of his own and reveals to you that Gwayne is notorious for stealing the hearts of maidens in order to swindle goods and gold from them. To spare her from the cruel truth, Gylbart requests that we keep the chocolates and promises to stay by Nemoh’s side as a friend to watch over her.

Finally, we are sent to a maiden of Ul’dah, Yellow Moon, who wishes to return the affections of her many admirers, however, she does not possess nearly enough ingredients to make the chocolate she requires. We are sent out three times to procure ingredients for Yellow Moon from her admirers, returning each time with a strange assortment. She is confused by the array of ingredients donated, yet prepares the chocolate all the same. Coincidentally, many males have been stricken down by a vile poison. She thanks us and presents us with some chocolate of our own before we make a very swift exit (before we are potentially arrested).

Lisette commends your service on House Valentione’s behalf, her ancestral senses telling her that your deeds have provided no small degree of solace to those lost in love.

Event Items

valentiones day

Related Articles

Heavensturn Lore – Part One 
Heavensturn Lore – Part Two 
Starlight Celebration 2017 
Starlight Celebration History 

Thank you all for reading through this lore-based edition of EoE! As always, if you have any questions, advice or comments please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here, Anook or Twitter.

Next week I will finish up the Valentione’s lore articles with a summary of the events of 2015 to 2018!

The post Echoes of Eorzea: Valentione’s Day Part One appeared first on

Echoes of Eorzea: ReShade Settings Guide

This week in Echoes of Eorzea I have attempted to formulate a basic ReShade Settings Guide. For those who are perhaps new to ReShade, an earlier edition of Echoes of Eorzea covered a basic ReShade Installation Guide.

If there is anyone who wishes to ask some specific questions regarding the article please leave a message in the comments below or PM me on Twitter.



The beauty of ReShade is that you can tailor your filter to your environment or requirements if you understand how the settings work. Creating a full preset is like trying to create a menu from a multitude of ingredients. Some work fine on their own but not when mixed with others, and some change and flourish when combined with others. Sometimes you will produce a tasty meal, other times, a pile of sludge.

If the list below looks a little overwhelming then you can search this page for your desired setting using the Ctrl+F shortcut.

This guide is aimed at covering the basic settings and will be going over the capabilities of most shaders, along with example images. The list is more of a companion, to be used as a reference as you learn more about ReShade. If you are an experienced ReShade user I doubt that, sadly, I will be able to offer any new pearls of wisdom!

Before I begin though, I want to emphasize that I am still learning and cannot claim to be a ReShade master (I know there are many out there), however, I’ve been asked to write this up time and time again after others have seen my presets and wanted to know how this can be achieved, and so getting to know the settings is a very important process.

As I also emphasize in any response regarding my own creations, each filter is usually created under specific conditions and therefore works best when those are replicated (and may look terrible or not function elsewhere). For example, my ‘night’ filters can work in some daylight conditions yet more often than not, they will look awful and the colors and contrast are hideous. My current work can be viewed at the Screenographic website.

If you wish to try out a variety of filters, you can find the FFXIV library here. Make sure the preset you download is listed for ReShade and not SweetFX, their configuration files are different.

However, if you are reading this guide then it would seem you are wishing to gain a more in-depth understanding of ReShade in order to create your own presets. There’s no harm in viewing other configuration files to see how other creators have handled their settings.

Sometimes you will find a ‘standard’ filter that adds color, sharpening and shading as these are the fundamentals. However, if you want to delve deeper and create something more unique it’s ideal that you grasp the basic concepts first. I still find myself juggling presets, mixing and matching various settings in hope of achieving something nice (mostly blind luck to be honest). To make your images even more original you can begin to mix in the GPose standard filters and effects.

Even though I will list the settings here I would highly recommend the best way to get used to them is by playing around and seeing how it works. Not every variation will work, as some settings are location dependent and some error, depending on your graphics settings. If your preset is created for a close-up studio shot, it may not work for a location shot (sharpening value changes) yet there is no harm testing each filter you create under different scenarios, the results may surprise you!

Please note: this guide is not intended for those using Stormshade even though some explanations of settings may still be relevant.


Important Notes

  • ALWAYS backup your presets. Dropbox is an excellent free tool for this.
    If you are playing with the settings and you create a preset you really like but wish to build on it, go to the folder where your presets are stored (e.g- C:\Program Files (x86)\SquareEnix\FINAL FANTASY XIV – A Realm Reborn\game) then right click on the preset name, copy and paste it. Rename the pasted version. Go back in the game, create a new preset with the same name given to the pasted .ini. The settings will be ported in (or reload) and you can continue playing with the preset without risk to the first. You can always revert to your previous preset and repeat this process if you get in a tangle.
  • Keep organized! Start by minimizing all settings and go through them one by one.There are a lot of settings in ReShade and some settings have a large list of variables. You don’t want to be accidentally shifting the wrong settings or clogging up the list while trying to learn.
  • Ensure your ReShade folder has read-write privileges. One of the most frequent things I hear regarding ReShade is that the file will not save the settings. The only answer I’ve come across for this is that the folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\SquareEnix\FINAL FANTASY XIV – A Realm Reborn\game) does not have Read/Write permissions. It must have these in order for the files to be written. If you still struggle with this, download a basic preset.ini from the FFXIV Library, drop that into your folder, duplicate and rename it. Then go back in the game and into the ReShade menu (shift+f2) and click the + icon. Name the preset to match and then the settings will port in. This will give you a preset to have a play with.

Things that may change how/if a setting will work:
Light day/night, thunder, snow, wind, PC graphics and network speed.

The order of presets in the top list of ReShade may not necessarily match the order of the lower list.

As there is such a vast array of settings so I will not be covering every single one, however, I will be going over the basics and explaining ones that I have found most useful while creating configuration files. Descriptions of lesser used settings will be kept to a minimum even though I will try to cover as much as possible. Settings I use frequently will be marked with a star (*). I will provide some reference images to more easily display the visual impact of the filter.


ReShade Settings

I have endeavored to keep the image the same for most filters but those that require close-ups have been created under uniform light conditions in the studio. The settings have been listed in the order they appear in the top menu of ReShade.

The location of the majority of these images have been taken in Upper LaNoscea (X29.7 Y: 24.7), so if you wish to test a ‘faulty’ setting it’s best to go there and compare locations.


Adaptive Sharpen
Adaptive Sharpen is versatile and caters for close-up shots and I tend to use this option in its default form more than any other sharpening shader. You may increase the sharpening strength to suit your need although I would recommend having lower values for wider distance shots as it may have the side effect of making the image look very grainy and pixelated.

reshade settings guide

Clarity essentially emphasizes the shadows in the image to provide more contrast. Increasing both the ClarityRadius(4), ClarityOffset (4000), ClarityBlendIfLight (170) values, lowering BlendIfDark (25), and selecting Linear Light in the ClarityBlendMode will provide the type of contrast and sharpness displayed in the image below. Thes shader is somewhat similar to the ‘strengthened effects’ GPose filter. There is a lot of flexibility in this preset and it’s well worth spending some time on as your image can get a great boost from it.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Dynamic range signifies the ratio of light to dark and ideally, those can be balanced to provide a more equal distribution of detail in an image. This setting can be used to provide a boost in saturation and contrast to your image. Increasing the Power value will darken the image and increase the saturation and contrast. Radius 1 and 2 provide a slider ranging from a ‘light>dark>light’ exposure scale. HDR can look very effective if going for a Posterization effect or if you layer it with other effects while building your filters. [Images uses Power: 3.840, Radius1: 3.120, Radius2: 3.280].

Levels only has two options to worry about, BlackPoint and WhitePoint. BlackPoint emphasizes the dark areas and WhitePoint, the lighter areas. This is a very simplistic way of adding contrast to the image.

Lift Gamma Gain
Lift gamma gain is ideally used in conjunction with other settings in order to emphasize them. LiftGammaGain adjusts the highlights, mid-tones and shadows of red green and blue. You can also use this as a way to recolor your image.

reshade settings guide

SMAA is a less resource demanding antialiasing mode. Anti-aliasing smoothes out jagged lines (usually seen around edges of objects).

Adds colored lines around the image, similar to those when wearing 3D glasses. I have displayed the more extreme variables in the image below.

reshade settings guide

The cartoon shader adds a darkening effect to edges to create a comic style appearance. The two options here are based on intensity alone. For the image below I have used a relatively low Power value (2.337) and a lower Edge Slope (0.867) so that the effect did not become too overwhelming.

reshade settings guide

Adaptive Fog
Adaptive Fog is a bit glitchy and location depended (as it needs a lot of depth to determine where to place itself). Many people have problems with this preset so don’t worry if yours doesn’t work. My location is x29.7 y24.7 for this image so you can test whether yours works at this location as mine has. Even during writing this and taking the screenshot below, mine was flashing off and on.

MaxFogFactor – The higher the value, the denser the fog.
FogCurve – The higher the value, the closer the fog is to the location. The description in ReShade is “The curve determines how quickly items are fogged”.
FogStart – The ‘line’ at which the fog starts, the lower the value, the further away from you it begins. Some players use this setting to create a white background for their screenshots by having high values in MaxFogFactor and FogCurve while having a low value in FogStart.

reshade settings guide

Color Matrix
Adds a tint to the image.

Adds saturation to your image.

reshade settings guide

Recreates the effect of an old CRT screen. The sliders increase the density of the CRT squares or lines. You may also adjust the border and corner shaping.

reshade settings guide

Daltonize adds a color-blind effect to the image. There are three variables to choose from, Tritanopia (pictured below), Deuteranopia and Protanopia.

reshade settings guideDeband
Deband will produce a noise-like effect over the image similar to the effect of the FilmGrain setting mentioned below.


Depth Haze is similar to Adaptive Fog as it places a fog effect in the far distance. In the image, I have put the EffectStrength slider at full (1.000) and selected pink for the FogColor (why not!), with the FogStart at it’s the lowest value (0.000) so it will be furthest away.
This preset is also wonderful for creating silhouette images for the background with the right configuration, currently, it works quite well in the background during a thunderstorm (with the correct location depth). Current location is listed above if you wanted to take a look.

reshade settings guide

Display Depth*
This preset is location dependent and need lots of environmental depth/levels in order to work. If the conditions are not suitable the screen will go black. As mentioned above, try this at my location coordinates (or Limsa Lominsa for example) to determine whether this is a location problem or a graphics bug.
Display Depth works by graduating objects from the foreground to the background. Black is at the front and pale grey towards the back. I adore this preset for more abstract pieces.

reshade settings guide

As a photographer I enjoy creating depth of field in my images above any other style or aspect, the same goes for my Final Fantasy XIV images. The depth of field variables within the ReShade presets are possibly some of the more complex options in the lineup and can very easily break, so pay attention to what you are changing and note the value before changing it. If you make your color alterations before adding DoF, back up or duplicate your filter (in the copy and paste method mentioned in the introduction above). For this example, I have used the MatsoDOF setting. For a standard preset with simple DoF, I will turn on the DOF_AUTOFOCUS and DOF_MOUSEDRIVEN_AF in the general DoF settings. Mouse driven AF simply means the mouse will determine where the focal level lays. If I am creating a wedding filter or something that needs a constant background DoF I will turn off both the aforementioned settings and manually edit the DOF_FocalPoint (X/Y coordinates to focus to remain in a given area), the DOF_FocusRadius(200) and the DOF_NearBlurCurve (medium to high value). A more important thing to do is to keep the DOF_ManualFocusDepth low, and the DOF_InfiniateFocus high. I would love to go into these settings in greater detail but perhaps that will warrant its own article at a later date.

reshade settings guide

DPX is a powerful preset in terms of the color manipulation of your image. You have control over Contrast, Saturation, Colorfulness, Strength, RBG Curve and RBGc.These settings are relatively safe to play about with to see the color alterations that can be achieved. I will also include my settings list used in the image below so that you are able to see exactly what I have used to achieve this look. Having a play works best for a preset such as this.

reshade settings guide

Click here for the settings!

Emphasize gives you color in the foreground of the image, with it fading out to grayscale in the background. You can manually alter where the color focus by using the FocusRangeDepth and the ManualFocusDepth.

reshade settings guide

FilmGrain 1 & 2
The Film Grain setting is designed to reproduce images in the style of the photographic techniques where a high ISO is used. I don’t often find much use for this setting (unless perhaps you are looking to create old-fashioned sepia Wild West imagery)! FilmGrain2 makes my head spin, and I don’t recommend looking at that at all (perhaps a bug!).

FineSharp Mode 1-3
Fine Sharp offers a more user-friendly sharpening alternative to Adaptive Sharp and has a minimal list of setting which will allow you to determine how strong or subtle the sharpening of the image is. Just beware, emphasizing too much detail is not always a good thing. Try different sharp modes at different distances and see which suits you the most for the preset you are trying to create.

reshade settings guide

FilmingPass is a wonderful filter which can work well on its own and with others! It provides both contrast and background darkening. As there are so many settings to go for, I have included my preset values for the image below, so that you are able to recreate the image and have a play. The most important values to keep an eye on are Strength, Fade, Contrast, Linearization, Bleach, EffectGamma and Saturation. The values required for a daytime shot will be quite different as these values will over explode your character quite badly as they are designed to compensate for low light (the main culprit is the contrast slider, try changing that before any other setting if switching from dark to light).

reshade settings guide

Click HERE for the settings!

FXAA stands for Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing originally created by a chap that works under NVIDIA. The job of this filter is, in short, is to smooths jagged areas. I haven’t yet worked out a way to get this setting to work for me!

Adds a faint blurring over your image. Great for dreamy images, not so great if you are valuing the clarity and sharpness of an image.

This is a great setting for adding not only more light and contrast to your images but allows a subtle ‘bokeh’ type effect that I spent a very long time in the lens flare section looking for!
alDebug: Don’t worry about this, leave it off.
alInt: The base intensity of the Ambient Light. I set this on a high value at first so I can see what I’m able to play with. Having it on a high value allows you to see more clearly what the other variables do.
alThreshold: This doesn’t seem to work for me, it either makes no change or floods the screen with bright color. You can lessen the alInt to get more from this variable.
The AL_Adaptive dropdown also allows you to select whether you would like the light to be cool or warm.

reshade settings guide

HQ4X stands for High Quality, and then the value the image values are increased by, in this case, x4. In short, it makes things smooth, or in my case, very blurry! This setting is on me ‘to investigate’ pile.

Bloom* (Bloom & Lensflare).
You will need to be near place a light source in GPose to get the most out of testing this shader. The list of settings is extensive so I will provide the setting list below the image. If you wish, you can then replicate the variables and hopefully, you will be get an idea of how the shader could work. The image below has Novi positioned against a dark background with one light source (at level 1 intensity) positioned a few feet in front of her. As with the DoF settings, I may elaborate on this shader in a future article to show some more variations and capabilities of the shader.

reshade settings guide

Click HERE for settings!

Yet another sharpening option, however, the difference with Luma is that the sharpening is a little softer, there is a list of presets, and you can even set it to show you the sharpened areas (show_sharpen) so that you gain more control over the sharpening process.

This shader is ideal if you want to add a slight bloom to your image without losing too much clarity. It is a wonderful effect, but often bugged regardless of which game you use it in. As soon as you exit the ReShade menu it turns the filter off. Not so magic after all. It’s great when it’s working though!

The black and white setting, quite basic. RBG sliders will determine how the monochrome filter will tackle corresponding colors.

reshade settings guide


“MXAO can both apply little shading almost for free or heavy shading for screenshots to completely change the look of the scenery.” Source.

In Final Fantasy XIV ReShade, MXAO creates a very noticeable difference between images, creating depth and shade. It’s very rare that I don’t use this within one of my presets. Keep in mind that this is an environmentally dependent preset, so one set of values may work for certain hairstyles, yet for others, you might have to pull the slider to the opposite side and lessen the intensity to create a more subtle effect or compensate for certain shapes. The most important slider here is Sample Radius (determines where the shadow will sit), so set that first before altering the others.

reshade settings guide reshade settings guide

Sepia is a handy setting to use if you wish to subtly tint one of your presets. Just modify the RGB value (or enter your desired hex code) and adjust the strength. After using Sepia I would usually go back to other color/tone management settings to adjust the contrast appropriately.

Adds a blanket blur to the image and the settings determine the depth. To increase the intensity of the blur, increase the values of the BlurRadius, BlurOffset, and BlurStrength. I’ve not yet found a use for this one!

Technicolor 1 & 2
The technicolor setting aims to recreate the Technicolour three-strip process. Technicolor 2 has slightly more versatility and may play a useful part in slight alterations of color in conjunction with other settings. However, I feel that other color altering options work well and have a wider array of variables such as DPX.

Tilt-shift is a wonderful technique in both photography and in-game and can be used in images to enhance the area of focus by blurring certain other areas, most commonly in a band. In Reshade it’s a good idea to start by having the Show Center Line on, as this will help you to place your central focus point. Use the offset to determine where the line places on the horizontal axis first which will be your central point of focus. Then use the Axis value if you wish to tilt that line. The Blur Curve will determine the width of the central area of focus and the Blur Multiplier will increase or decrease the amount of blur in the lower and upper sections. Remember to turn off the Show Center Line once you have placed the tilt-shift at the desired location.

reshade settings guide


Tonemap is another color manipulation setting incorporating Gamma, Exposure, Saturation, and Bleach. However, the most important feature of Tonemap is the Defog setting. The color you choose in the bottom right is the color it will remove from the image. Playing with the RGB sliders will give you an idea of how this works in practice (I’ve removed orange tones in the image below).reshade settings guide

Imports an image from the ReShade-shaders directory and displays it over your screenshot.

Vibrance allows more control over the saturation of specific RGB values. If you wish to highlight a certain set of colors this setting might be useful.

reshade settings guide

Adds darkness to the corners, recreating the somewhat overused ye’olde Instagram filter or the more standard definition of the reduction of an image’s brightness or saturation towards the outer corners.


Final Thoughts

To round things up, here is a list of presets that I frequently use when creating a new filter and which I think may deserve a more attention compared to other minor settings: Clarity, AdaptiveSharpen, Colorfulness, DisplayDepth, DoF, DPX, Emphasize, FilmicPass, Bloom, MXAO, Sepia, and Tonemap.

I apologize if there are any mistakes in here (and that I could not go over every single setting!), I am still learning myself but I wished to share what I have gathered so far. If you have any questions or comments please drop me a message here, on Twitter or the through the Screenographic website which houses my portfolio.


Related Articles:

Thank you for reading and I really do hope something in here will help someone! Now it’s your turn, go play and combine all the things! Let me know how you get on.

reshade settings guide


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Echoes of Eorzea: Heavensturn Lore – Part 2

This week’s article is a continuation of the Heavensturn Lore published last week. In today’s issue, I will be summarizing the story of the Heavensturn events of 2016 to 2018.


Heavensturn is the Final Fantasy XIV seasonal event for the New Year celebration. The focus is upon The Twelve as they discover which one of them will ascend, watch over and guide Eorzea for the coming year. Among the citizens, however, attentions are drawn to the creatures represented in the Far Eastern traditions where each year a beast is honored in place of The Twelve. A more detailed description can be found here.

Heavensturn 2016

Heavensturn Lore

Date: 31.12.2010 – 17.01.2011
Year: Monkey

A Far Eastern delegation has come to impart upon Eorzea the good fortune of the monkey. Those who would honor this special bond between man and beast are encouraged to speak with the Saru Bugyo.

During the Heavensturn of 2016, we pay a visit to the Saru Bugyo who tells us of the antics of this year’s honored beast, the monkey. In the Far East, the monkey is a beacon of positive energies and part of the reason why they are recruited by their festival performers. The Saru Bugyo are saddened that the Eorzeans do not seem to appreciate the monkey for its playful nature and would rather see it as a nuisance. He requests your aid to see that the reputations of these creatures are set to rights.

We are sent to talk with Mochi Daikan, the master of rice cakes. The idea is presented that a mountain of rice cakes are made then dispensed to the citizens of Eorzea by the monkeys themselves. The preparations were begun on the outskirts of Ul’dah, using some of the strongest creatures to pound the rice: coliseum Cyclops. However, this attracted the attention of some local Opo-opo’s who disrupted the proceedings and reinforced the already poor reputation of the monkey. The Saru Bugyo begs us to retrieve the mochi and deliver it to Jiromaru and his handler, who will be traveling behind us at a safe distance.

The player must participate in the FATE ‘Pounding Rice, Pounding Hearts’ located near either of the following destinations: Zephyr Gate, Salt Strand, Bentbranch Meadows, Hyrstmill, Ul’Dah Dispatch Yard or Camp Drybone.

Heavensturn Lore

We return, to the relief of the Saru Bugyo who greatly appreciates our efforts. The unfolding events were seen by the local residents and the situation was somewhat misunderstood. In their view it had all been part of a Far Eastern festival performance and that the Opo-opo’s were, in fact, trying to save the ‘foolish’ adventurers from the big bad Cyclops. The Saru Bugyo hopes that this chain of events will improve the opinion of the creature’s reputation among the citizens and thanks us for our help. They have decided to continue making and distributing the rice cakes throughout the festival and would greatly appreciate our aid if we would wish to help them again in this endeavor. In return for our efforts we are presented with the See No/Speak No/Hear No Helm.

Heavensturn 2017

Heavensturn Lore

Heavensturn Lore

Date: 31.12.2016 – 16.01.2017
Year: Rooster

With Heavensturn upon us, the Twelve convene once more to decide who amongst them shall ascend the throne and take up the reins for the coming year. As the deities on high discuss matters of the divine, Far Eastern delegates arrive on Eorzean soil, intent on celebrating the advent of the new year with a different figurehead─the Chocobo. Unfortunately for them, local citizens are far from enthusiastic to join in on their festivities and their leader, the Tori Buygo, makes one last-ditch attempt to garner interest. Join their cause, and be rewarded with not only a shower of smiles and praise, but also one-of-a-kind equipment from the far side of the sea.

In the year of the 2017 Heavensturn event, we meet with the Tori Bugyo who is dismayed that their festival celebrations have not been well received by local residents. We are sent to speak with the citizens of Limsa Lominsa to assess how successful the distribution of rice cakes will be to encourage participation and positivity towards the event. The reactions suggest the crowds would be amenable to such an endeavor so we rush back to the Tori Bugyo with the good news. However, during the report we are interrupted by the breathless Mochi Daihan. He reports that insensed Chocobo’s have been flocking to the mochi pounding site and are devouring the rice cakes intended for the festival-goers. We are asked to accompany Mochi Daikan back to the pounding site to help chase the beasts away and salvage festival treats. As you prepare to leave, he informs you he will meet you there as he must escort Jiromaru (a paissa who will look after the recovered mochi).

The player must participate in the FATE ‘Pounding More Mochi, Pounding More Hearts’ near either of the following locations: southeast of the Zephyr Gate or to the east of the Salt Strand.

Heavensturn Lore

Upon rescuing the remaining mochi we return back to the Tori Bugyo who is overjoyed at our return and presents us with our very own ‘cock Kabuto’.


Heavensturn 2018

Heavensturn Lore

Heavensturn Lore

Date: 31.12.2017 – 15.01.2018
Year: Dog

After another prosperous and eventful year, Heavensturn is upon us at last. In Far Eastern tradition, an animal is selected to lead the proceedings, and this time it is the turn of the loyal and courageous dog. Its representative, the Inu Bugyo, aims to share the customs of the east with Eorzea, while the pirates known as the Rabid Wives have other ideas. A host of unique rewards is on offer, so be sure to join in the celebration!

Heavensturn 2018 is upon us and with it comes an encounter with the Inu Bugyo, who wishes for a moment of our time. The Inu Bugyo introduces himself to us as the healer of a Far Eastern delegation seeking to strengthen the bond with the citizens of Eorzea. He informs us that although the festival is celebrated in both lands, they choose to grant the honor to a beast rather than a deity among the Twelve. This year that honor falls to the noble dog.

Heavensturn Lore

Once again, as with the previous two years events, they are to celebrate the festival by handing out rice cakes. Our aid is requested to help spread the word, to which of course we agree! First though, we are asked about our knowledge of mochi pounding and of course, it wouldn’t be an FFXIV seasonal event without some questionably humorous dialogue.

Heavensturn Lore

If we choose the option of a virgin mochi pounder, a Far Eastern Lilt, none other than Mochi Daikan, appears and educates us on the matter. Following this, we are told that although rice cakes have been distributed before, the tradition is being altered to align with this year’s honored beast. Taro the dog, who is able to perform a special trick for the celebration, is introduced to us and we are asked to join him to promote the festival to the citizens.

We search the city for Taro, who is busy entertaining the locals with his cute demeanor and they await his performance and the rice cakes with great anticipation. Not all are impressed and we receive threats from the Rabid Wives Houndkeep, who believes that if people think dogs are cute and cuddly, his fierce deck hounds will not sell.

The Inu Bugyo greets you upon return but informs you that Taro is visibly shaken and enquires as to the events of the Lower Decks. He is shocked and dismayed at by the threats of the ‘detestable pirates’ who make beasts of their dogs. Sadly Taro is now in no state to perform and they must make do with mochi alone. Mochi Daikan arrives with terrible news that vicious hounds are attacking the pounding site. We are recruited to lend our aid to protect the mochi. Surprisingly, Taro displays his determination to follow along behind and aid us in securing the mochi.

The player must participate in the FATE ‘Who Let the Hounds Out’ in either of the following locations: southeast of the Zephyr Gate or to the east of the Salt Strand. Avoid the Cyclops beating the drum and obtain the mochi rice Advent Cakes by attacking the deck hounds.

Heavensturn Lore

After a successful outing, we return to Limsa and a very pleased Inu Bugyo, who informs us that even Taro has regained his strength and is able to perform. There is an interruption by an ‘Obnoxious Voice’, still angered by the presence of Taro. The Rabid Wives Houndkeep appears once again to confront us, informing us that this is pirate town and strength matters, that we must purchase one of his dogs before leaving otherwise it is deemed incredibly rude. The Inu Bugyo exclaims we must protect the citizens, however, in a surprise show of strength, Taro confronts the hound and keeper. The citizens praise him for his protective instincts and rally to his side, telling the Houndkeep to “Go to the shitehole whence you came!” at which he turns tail and runs. The Inu Bugyo believes this to show that the festival has already become a great success and rewards our efforts with our very own Inu Kabuto to remind us of the events of the day.

Final Thoughts

The Final Fantasy seasonal events are always a pleasant and much-anticipated occurrence. The Heavensturn festivities are on a significantly smaller scale than those of the Starlight Celebration, but in previous years it seemed a little more effort had gone into the story and quest surrounding the celebration. The past three years event is basically a copy and paste scenario with even the FATES being duplicated alongside a different ‘honoured beast’. Each year the event rewards have somewhat reduced even though they exclaim that ‘a host of rewards’ is available. There is also less mention of the Eorzean Celebration in recent times and I find it difficult to even see a reference to the ascended deity of The Twelve (perhaps I’ve missed something!).

My hope is that this won’t become the pattern for all seasonal events (even though most share similarities, the stories have much greater depth) where we get the exact same task each year, for example, events within World of Warcraft. I very much doubt this fear will be realized though, as the developers of Final Fantasy XIV care deeply about the game and its story. Even the duplicated Heavensturn events have a short, pleasant and humorous storyline interwoven into them, along with a unique event reward, so I doubt there is much to worry about!

Heavensturn Lore

This concludes the Heavensturn special edition of Echoes of Eorzea for the time being, until next year!

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here or Twitter.


Echoes of Eorzea: Heavensturn Lore – Part One

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Echoes of Eorzea: Heavensturn Lore – Part One

It’s the dawn of a new year and I’m here with another lore based edition, this time looking over the Heavensturn event throughout the years. The Heavensturn quest lines aren’t something I usually pay a great deal of attention to, it’s more a case of clicking rather speedily through the quests and storing the rather odd looking helmet away in the armoire. Today, however, I’ll be exploring them in greater detail as many of the short stories have proved to be quite heartwarming. In this issue, I will be summarizing the events of 2011 to 2015, with part two arriving next week to cover the remaining years.

What is Heavensturn?

Heavensturn is the Final Fantasy XIV seasonal event for the New Year celebration. The focus is upon The Twelve as they discover which one of them will ascend, watch over and guide Eorzea for the coming year. Among the citizens, attentions are drawn to the creatures represented in the Far Eastern traditions where each year a beast takes the place of The Twelve.

Heavensturn is a celebration that marks the passing of the twelve moons in the night sky, and with them, the vigil of each of the Twelve over the realm. It is on this sacred day that one among the gods wins celestial favor, and whose aspect thus exerts the greatest influence over the fate of Eorzea throughout the coming year. Clergymen, soothsayers, shamans, and others versed in such matters foretell that with this turning, the time of Halone, the Fury, will come.

Yet despite this annual significance, a strange and powerful gift, newly come to Eorzea from a faraway land, has begun to divert the attention and admiration of people across the realm, both smallfolk and adventurer alike. Said to be a principal element in the celebration of Heavensturn in the Far East, it is a mighty helm masterfully spellforged in the likeness of a rabbit. Adorable to some, atrocious to others, and appealing to adventurers for its attractive attributes, this rare, leporine headpiece may prove attainable by those with festive proclivities.

Note: For the purposes of clarity I am listing the events under the year they apply to.

Disclaimer: The information regarding the 2011 and 2012 quests was a little more troublesome to source in detail, I have presented as much as I have been able to collect from the archived Lodestone.

Heavensturn 2011

Date: 31.12.2010 – 17.01.2011
Year: Rabbit
Deity: Halone

Heavensturn Lore

Heavensturn Lore

2011 marks the very first Heavensturn event in Eorzea and the majority of the archived Lodestone article provides us with a brief history of the event (quoted above) along with an introduction of the very first Heavensturn seasonal event. A helmet, which has been forged into the likeness of a rabbit, is said to be the principal figure of this year’s celebration in the Far East.

“Articles and machines of war seen throughout the land with unprecedented frequency… Halone, the Fury, goddess of strife and struggle, poised to impose her will on the world of man. What fate lies in store for Eorzea in the coming year?”

During the 2011 Heavensturn event, players could participate in the ringing of bells throughout each of the major cities. In return, they were rewarded with the event items. Each city housed three locations where bells could be rung.

heavensturn lore

A festive item was only available once every 8 hours. The primary reward from this event was the Usagi Kabuto, yet other items could be synthesized from the event materials.

heavensturn lore

Heavensturn 2012

Heavensturn Lore

Heavensward lore

Date: 31.12.2011 – 16.01.2012
Beast: Dragon
Deity: Althyk

“With the kind aid of countless adventurers, preparations for the Winter’s Knell festival had been proceeding smoothly. Yet it appears fate had other ideas—an incident has occurred at the venue, on the very day the ritual was due to be held. The Raven was on location in Hyrstmill with eyes sharp and ears keen.”

During the 2012 Heavensturn festival, there was a little more light shone upon the alternative celebrations from the Far East where it is said that the dragon is the embodiment of Althyk who was to be the guiding presence for the year. This explains the large shipment of dragon wrought helms which arrived in Eorzea and are gifted to helpful adventurers lending aid to the Black Rabbit Traders during the Winter’s Knell festival.

Heavensturn Lore

Winter’s Knell is the Ala Mhigan festival of winter in the lands of Gyr Abania, which ushers in the blessing of ice and snow.

Quest: Gone with the Snow.

We are informed that a giant by the name of Father Drost, who has the task of ushering in winter, has gone missing. To make matters worse, the Ala Mhigans inform us that the Heart of Winter has also mysteriously vanished. An NPC by the name of Waldomar pleads for aid and directs you towards Hyrstmill to begin your search.

The quest objective takes the player to Hyrstmill where several glowing areas can be seen on the ground in various places. The player is required to collect all the fragments and continue out of the gate where they will be presented with a cutscene. Returning to Waldomar will complete the quest and the player will receive their reward.

Note: Waldomar also appears in the 2012 Starlight celebration quest ‘Winter Is Not Coming’.

Heavensturn Lore

In addition to this years event, there was an accompanying post with best wishes and a themed wallpaper from Naoki Yoshida.

Heavensturn 2013

At this stage, the game was undergoing extensive modifications to rebirth as A Realm Reborn.

Heavensturn 2014

Heavensturn Lore

Heavensturn Lore

Date: 31.12.2013 – 14.01.2014
Beast: Horse
Deity: Nophica

“Heavensturn is here, and once again the Twelve gather to choose the ascendant among them for the coming year. On this the highest of high feast days, outlanders from the Far East descend on Eorzea with a curious mission. Let a little bird—size is relative—tell you all about it! Pick up a copy of The Raven, Gridania’s leading tabloid, today.”

Correspondent Olliver Goodfellow from The Raven reports that their inside sources believe this year’s chosen Heavensturn ascendant to be Nophica, the Matron. Olliver has a fond love for travel and tells us that in the Far East each Heavensturn they have a custom of naming a totem beast, this year they have chosen the horse. In Eorzea, horses are known to be “vicious as they are stupid”, and so the decision is put down to the outlander’s failings in logic and reason. Helms resembling the form of a horse head worn by these ‘charming barbarians’ begin to create amusement. The Fraternal Order of Chocowackers are unhappy about the unfolding of events and is said to be barring the helms from the Twelveswood for resembling ‘demon-steed’.

Starting Quest: A Horse for Heavensturn.

The player is sent to Nophica’s Altar to meet with Damaris (a lover of the festivities) who wishes to introduce us to a ‘madcap visitor’, Uma Bugyo.

Uma Bugyo is an envoy from the Far East and wishes to strengthen the bonds of friendship with Eorzeans. She claims Eorzeans know little of the horse, only because of its relation to the ‘horse-bird’, more commonly known as a Chocobo. It was her secret mission to bring horses to Eorzea and yet, is unable to present her noble steed if horses are banned from the Black Shroud. Uma asks us for assistance.

The player must wear the horse Kabuto and then provide aid in the three major cities.

heavensturn lore


Upon arriving in Limsa Lominsa, you meet with Red Uma Yoriki who is very enthusiastic about the culture in Eorzea but not the Chocobos. He implores you, as a nice strong horse representative, to go and help with the harvest at the Red Rooster Stead. The player must equip their Kabuto. Once there you meet with Red Uma Doshin who informs you that the harvest is still scattered and you must ‘hitch yourself to the wagon’, collect the harvest and hand the produce to the farmer. The farmer is impressed by your strength and asks you to carry the giant carrot as well. With the vegetables collected and safely on their way to Limsa Lominsa you are congratulated, and both Red Uma Doshin and Red Uma Yoriki are overjoyed that the citizens will know that indeed the horses are strong.

In Ul’dah you meet with Black Uma Yoriki who wishes to show the citizens just how fast the horses can be. The player must don the Uma Kabuto and run to the first marker at the Eighty Sins of Sasamo. Five markers are placed around the city and the player must race to each of them. The Black Uma Doshin praises your public display of speed and agility and gives you a carrot to show her appreciation. Black Uma Yoriki is so impressed by your efforts that she thrusts the Black Uma Kabuto into your hands.

Within the Black Shroud, the Golden Uma Yoriki seeks help in sharing the joy of horses. Attempts have been made to show the beauty of these beasts but they have been greeted with cold responses. Golden Uma Doshin at Bentbranch Meadows sees your Kabuto and exclaims of how foolish the townsfolk are as they will not listen to his plea. He has learned that the way to an Eorzean’s heart is through the Chocobo. The player is then required to try and impress the Chocobo’s by donning the Kabuto and posing for them within their stable. The Chocokeep catches you, telling you to stop ‘horsing’ around and that perhaps the horses don’t look so bad after all (especially in comparison to the Kabuto on your head!). Golden Uma Doshin considers this a victory and encourages you to rally the birds to show them that the horse is far superior. The Chocobo’s respond well and Golden Uma Doshin is brought to tears and rewards you with a carrot. Having captured the beauty of the horse you return to Golden Uma Yoriki to report your experience. She informs you that your inner horse must be a steed of beauty and offers you the Kabuto so you may hold this memory ever dear.

Uma Bugyo is eager to find out how you have progressed with your mission and you present the tokens of your success to her. Your next task is to find citizens of Gridania who support the introduction of horses to their lands and persuade The Fraternal Order of Chocowackers that this is a worthy plea. The Chief Chocowacker remains unconvinced. There is a confrontation between the Chief and Uma Bugyo which escalates into a war of words. However, a ‘mysterious stranger’ appears to divert attention. You meet one more time with Uma Bugyo in Gridania where she thanks you for your efforts and hopes for a day when horse and Chocobo may be a common sight in Eorzea.


Heavensturn 2015

Heavensturn Lore

Heavensturn Lore

Date: 31.12.2014 – 14.01.2015
Beast: Sheep

As the deities of Eorzea convene to discuss matters of the divine, Far Eastern emissaries have arrived in their lands, heralding the advent of a different figurehead. Though they come bearing a martial message, it is only their curious ovine headwear and animal companion that has succeeded in garnering the townsfolk’s attention thus far.

Starting Quest: Lions for Lambs.

For the 2015 series of seasonal quests, we meet with the Merry Maid who directs us to Hitsuji Bugyo, who wishes to realize his dream to release an army of spell-slinging sheep, known as the Fleece Force, into Eorzea. His efforts have fallen on deaf ears but he hopes that you, the adventurer, may have more luck. The prototype sheep refuses to acknowledge your existence until won over by the special fodder, ordered from a trader in Hawkers’ Alley. It is down to you and your new Tender Lamb companion to spread the good word of the Fleece Force to the three nations of Eorzea. The Tender Lamb has an ability called ‘hypnoturgical blast’ which is designed to calm and induce sleep.

In Thanalan, the Black Hitsuji Yoriki is keen to present the Tender Lamb to the captain of the Brass Blades who is found drinking copiously at the Coffer & Coffin. The use of hypnoturgical blast to save him from the drink only doubles his thirst. The barkeep, Roger, has failed to deliver the last round and fears the wrath of the captain, imploring you to find a solution. The lamb spots the spectacles of the Captain’s wife at the end of the bar and you are urged to pass them to him and, on doing this, he bursts into tears. The true meaning of the excessive drinking was to mourn the recent loss of his wife and he wishes to numb the pain. The lamb uses his ability once more and the Captain rests peacefully and dreams of his wife, honoring his promise to welcome the new year alongside her.

In the Black Shroud, the Golden Hitsuji Yoriki informs you of a trader en-route to Gridania whose Chocobo has become mysteriously unwell. Eager to impress, you take the Tender Lamb with you to aid the trader. Just before the lamb uses its ability, it notices a tail feather a little way down the road. On further investigation, it is revealed this is the tail feather of the Chocobo’s former clutch-mate who was recently sold to a passing wealthy visitor. The Chocobo gains some rest after the use of the sheep’s hypnoturgical beam, and the trader vow’s to ease the bird’s heartache by following the route of the wealthy visitor rather than continuing on to Gridania.

The player must travel to Aleport in La Noscea where a baby has been crying for days to the dismay of its mother and local residents. Although the hypnoturgical blast from the lamb hit the mark, the baby continues to cry. The lamb draws your attention to the mother who is sick with worry. You take the hint and use the blast on the mother instead, which calms her tired and grief-stricken mind. The baby, sensing its mothers calm, ceases to cry.

heavensturn lore

As tokens of gratitude, you have been presented with a black, crimson and white Kabuto along the way. These tokens are presented to Hitsuji Bugyo and you earn his gratitude. The townsfolk of Limsa believe the lamb is simply too adorable to be on the battlefield, yet Hitsuji Bugyo believes this to be wrong and claims to make great efforts to prove this. In his attempt use the lambs blast to put the opposition to sleep, it backfires and causes the lambs near destruction. The ‘Merry Maid’ reveals herself to be Hitsuji Ometsuke and urges you to cheer for the lamb. Still having no effect you are encouraged to offer a heartfelt prayer. The lamb hears your prayer, makes a miraculous recovery and is entrusted to you. Hitsuji Bugyo shows utter regret and vowes to make up for all his wrongdoings.

Our journey through the Heavensturn festivities will continue in next week’s edition of Echoes of Eorzea.

I wish you the best for Heavensturn 2018 and wish you a very happy new year!

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here or Twitter.

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Echoes of Eorzea: Starlight Celebration 2017

To conclude this recent set of Final Fantasy XIV seasonal articles I will be summarising the events of the Starlight Celebration 2017. So far in our seasonal celebration editions of Echoes of Eorzea, we have covered the lore surrounding the Starlight Celebration, past event artwork and rewards, music, holiday glamour, emotes, screenshot locations and a wide variety of event ideas. In this article, I will be walking you through the events that take place during the seasonal questline, along with highlighting the artwork and rewards for 2017.


Starlight Celebration 2017

For those who were holding out for a new Starlight glamour outfit, you will be sorely disappointed as this year there is not a single glamour item in sight. However, those of you eagerly anticipating the implementation of a large flying bear in a Starlight outfit are absolutely in luck!

This year’s reward has been greeted with a huge amount of happy squeals, and yet I can’t help but feel a little unnerved by the resemblance of a performing circus bear in a strange little waistcoat (which were notoriously treated poorly away from the spotlight). Several of the bears can be found dotted around Mih Khetto’s Amphitheatre in poses of begging, waving their paws (resembling a ‘stop’ gesture) and clapping on the spot. I believe these are here for the purposes of screenshots, but I can’t help but find them a tad unsettling.

Of course, the intentions are harmless so nevermind that! As always the folks at Final Fantasy XIV HQ have made sure to settle any misgivings that even the meanest of Starlight Scrooges may have by means of the new heartfelt and amusing seasonal story quest for 2017.

Starlight Celebration History

As with previous Starlight articles, I feel it’s important to make sure an explanation is included for what the basis of the Starlight story revolves around. Although each year we get a new seasonal story quest, the history remains the same and is interwoven in the past and present year’s events.

“The celebration is based upon the old Eorzean tale of the Ishgardian knights who took pity upon orphans suffering out in the bitter cold of winter. Against their orders, they wrapped the orphans in their crimson winter cloaks and brought them in from the cold to provide them with warmth and food. The captain of these knights had a snowy beard and is now known as the “Saint of Nymeia”. In years to come, those same orphans would show others the kindness once shown to them and this went on to create the tradition known as the Starlight Celebration.”


Throughout the years, the Starlight Celebration artwork has been gorgeous and seems to truly capture the essence of the in-game holiday season. It is an event that I personally look forward to, as it captures a little magic that perhaps gets lost somewhere along the way in the real world. When the artwork for the event comes out it strikes up excitement, interest, and speculation over what wonderful things are in store for the players.

The 2017 artwork has a semi-opaque background of Starlight Sentinels, ribbons and ornaments. In the mid-ground of the image there are two large Eorzean characters, a female Miqo’te (which I can only assume is either a Starlight celebrant or a representation of the player themselves) dressed in the Starlight Robe of 2016 and a young Hyur male named Taff who is dressed in the Cashmere Poncho, and holding on tight to one of the Starlight ornaments. In the foreground, we see Amh Garanjy (the celebrant we encountered in the 2016 Starlight quest “Naughty or Nice”), plus there is a host of Starlight bears surrounded by presents and the overjoyed children of the Starlight season.



The 2017 rewards not only feature the beloved Starlight Bear Horn, but also housing items such as Starlight Stew, Starlight Log, and the Starlight Gateway Orchestrion Roll. The highlight of these items, for me, has to be the stunning Starlight Sapling which sits on a tabletop, glistening and twinkling in all its glory, and also the Starlight Celebration Advertisement which is a wall poster depicting the original art of the 2013 Starlight Celebration. The Starlight Scrooge in me almost vanished when I saw that they had included this poster in the game because it’s my favorite of all the Starlight advertisement artwork, as it captures the history of the event so perfectly in one single image.

starlight celebration 2017

The Story

The event runs from December 15th until December 31st, and you may take the special seasonal quest at any point during this time.

“Amh Garanjy is recruiting adventurers at Mih Khetto’s Amphitheatre to help with the festivities. However, it seems trouble is afoot in Bentbranch Meadows. Will you volunteer to save the Starlight Celebration?”

The quest “Stars and Explosions and Bears, Oh My” begins at Mih Khettos Amphitheatre in Old Gridania (X:10.2 Y:9.1). The closest main aetheryte is New Gridania on your teleport menu, then use the main aetheryte to teleport to the Amphitheatre or run up the northern path just past the New Gridania aetheryte to take you to Old Gridania.

starlight celebration 2017

Upon meeting up with Amh Garanjy, we are asked to help her in making sure this year’s Starlight Celebration is a success. She informs us that, to her dismay, the plans for the celebration are being undermined and that several thefts have taken place involving the decorations. Amh and her associates have been tasked with the investigation, but they are terribly short staffed and thus we are asked to lend a hand.

We hasten to Bentbranch Meadows to speak with Baensaeld who will be aiding us with this investigation. Baensaeld appears to be the keeper of some very special performing bears and is able to converse with them. He informs you that the bears have been trained to throw starbursts. We are then asked to pick out one of the bears to aid us. Depending on which race you are, you will only be able to pick the corresponding size, so in the case of small Riri here, we had to choose Pferkad.

Along with your newfound companion, you are tasked with using the starbursts to spread joy in the Bentbranch vicinity. The local children are amazed and overjoyed with the starburst bomb throwing bear. Young Taff, however, is not so impressed with the display and yet appreciates the attempt to cheer him up (the bear also emotes a <whimper> which adds to my earlier misgivings). Taff explains that he is not having a good day and that no one will listen to his story regarding the trees being responsible for the theft of the decorations. Although Baensaeld laughs off Taff’s testimony (and we are given an amazing choice of quest dialogue here), the appearance of Godbe…I mean, the Saint of Nymeia appears and confirms the boy’s story in his usual jovial way.

starlight celebration 2017

The bears wish to lend their services once more to help investigate the thieving treants, who are disguised as Starlight trees, and find that they have indeed been running off with the precious Starlight decorations. To what purpose we will never know. We hasten south to Galvanth’s Spire to make ready the plans to attack the treants. Using the bear’s Starburst ability to stun them, we then take advantage of the moment and retrieve the previously stolen goods.

The player is required to take part in the special seasonal event FATE, “Bad Luck Comes in Trees”, along with their bear who is retrieved from the Starlight Bear Handler (x:25.0 y:28.0). The aim is to hit the trees with the bear’s Starburst ability (which you are still able to use once you obtain the permanent mount). The trees move in an erratic fashion and at varying speeds, so it’s best to try and predict their movement and ground target the Starburst ability ahead of the mob. Don’t forget to level sync!

starlight celebration 2017

On completing the FATE you are sent back to Taff at Bentbranch Meadows where he sincerely thanks us for our help and claims that we are Nymeia’s little helpers. After the events of the day, you have begun to understand bear speak through having such adventures with your companion. The bears convey their pleasure to fight alongside you and express their joy that the spirit of Starlight Celebration has returned to Bentbranch Meadows. Baensaeld also passes on his gratitude and hastens to return all the decorations back to their rightful place, with the help of his trusty band of bears.

Obtaining More Starlight Boxes

Completion of the seasonal FATE rewards EXP, Company Seals, Gil, and special Starlight Boxes, which are the currency for purchasing the seasonal event items mentioned above. The FATE is a repeatable event until the end of the Starlight Celebration period. You cannot use your own bear mount to complete this FATE as you will not receive any of the rewards. FATE bears may be obtained from the Starlight Bear Handler (x:25.0 y:28.0). Below you can find the list of all event items along with the quantity of Starlight Boxes you will need to purchase them.

starlight celebration 2017

Related Articles

Starlight Celebration MMO Event List
Starlight Celebration Lore & Ideas 

Final Thoughts

starlight celebration 2017

There we have it, that completes our collection of Starlight Celebration themed articles for this year. I wish you all the very happiest winter season and hope that you enjoy all of the festivities that are to be had. Try not to consume too many Starlight Logs!

Thank you for reading this article and for your continued support throughout 2017! If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here or Twitter.

starlight celebration 2017

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Echoes of Eorzea: MMO Event Ideas

The Starlight Celebration is fast approaching! With this in mind, Echoes of Eorzea is here to make sure you’re more than prepared for the winter season with a big list of MMO event ideas. This is the second installment of the Starlight Celebration special, this time with a focus on events for your potential Christmas gatherings.

MMO Event Ideas

In the previous article, we covered the history of the Starlight Celebration, festive outfit choices, screenshot location, ‘throw’ emote unlock and a brief look at event options. Winter time is an absolutely ideal time of year to create your perfect guild/FC event and so I’ve tried my best to create a comprehensive list of events that will help you along the way to creating that perfect event. Just pick and choose your preferred event options and preparations can begin!

Some of these events have, of course, been thought of before and aren’t exactly original, but I hope to have included a few new ideas in there!

A few of the events below were already covered in the last article but for the purposes of having a concise list, I have included them in this article.

This list of events is adaptable and therefore some ideas can be used throughout the year for other events or even in other games.


A Very Brief History

Starlight celebration is the annual Eorzean winter celebration.

The celebration is based upon the old Eorzean tale of the Ishgardian knights who took pity upon orphans suffering out in the bitter cold of winter. Against their orders, they wrapped the orphans in their crimson winter cloaks and brought them in from the cold to provide them with warmth and food. The captain of these knights had a snowy beard and is now known as the “Saint of Nymeia”. In years to come, those same orphans would show others the kindness once shown to them and this went on to create the tradition known as the Starlight Celebration.

On the 18th December in Eorzea, the celebrations begin with access to a new seasonal questline, furniture, food and cosmetic items.

Click here for further information.

Event Ideas

MMO Event Ideas

Prizes are of course optional and they would entirely depend on the funds available to you as a player. Dodgy MS Paint certificates for a first, second or third place can surely never be a bad memento!

Secret Santa

The beauty of secret Santa is that it can work in small group sizes and everyone receives a gift.
Once you have a guaranteed list of who wants to take part, write the names of attendees in a list then write the list again next to it and pair people up, making sure to keep it jumbled up so that Mindy and Bert are not buying for each other. Don’t forget to set a limit of 1 item and a maximum gil allowance. If someone can’t make it on the night, they can mail the item beforehand. When the event begins, ask the players to hand the gifts to you, making note of who gets what. Then pass them over to Santa one by one so they can call out the lucky person to come and collect their gift.

Fancy Dress

Let your guests know your festive theme and any restrictions well in advance so they can plan out their attire with care for the all-important day (extra points for those dressing up in traditional scarlet Ishgardian cloaks). Ask your guests to vote for their favorites and announce the winners to tremendous rounds of applause. Make sure to screenshot everyone’s outfits! It’s a great incentive to offer up some prizes if you have the funds to do so.

MMO Event Ideas

Screenshot Competition

Short version: Give your guests 30 minutes to run off into the night and take their best festive screenshot. Have those that are submitting images send you the file over Discord, then drop them into a new channel created during the event and have the rest of the guests vote using reactions.
Long version: Have your community or Free Company members submit their most wintery screenshot (one entry per person) to a dedicated Discord channel over the course of December. Choose a suitable ‘end date’ and upon that date create a collage of all entries, available to your community or FC.

The Samaritan

Dress up in red apparel, in recognition of the generous acts of those Ishgardian Knights. Purchase a selection of low-cost minions or prisms (set a gil limit) and travel the cities in search of Sproutlings (new players) and distribute the gifts to them. A random act of kindness goes a long way!

Character Creation Competition

Before you venture down this route, prepare a list of ‘themes’ that you think would suit the event. Check which servers are unlocked at the time of your event and choose one. Have your group log out and enter character creation, giving them a theme to make a character to. Some examples could include snow fairy, Saint of Nymeia, snowman, ugliest/prettiest, and so on. Set a time limit of 10-15 minutes in character creation. Have your guests take a screenshot of their creation and have them submit it to a dedicated Discord channel and then use reactions to vote on the best/worst.
Alternative: Have all your characters log in so that you can take a group screenshot together, making sure to choose a class in the same starting city.

Screenshot Recreation Challenge

Travel to a wintery location (or somewhere of your choice) and take a nice screenshot. Make note of the location, angle, time of day and weather. Show the image to your guests and ask them to reproduce the screenshot as closely as possible. Set a time limit of 30-60 minutes. The person to submit the most accurate reproduction wins!

Bard Performance

If you are able to, set up a stage with a spotlight on it and invite your bards to create and perform a festively themed melody of their own design. After all, performances are concluded, the guests will then whisper you the name of their favorite performer and the Bard with the most votes will be named the Starlight Idol.

Write your own Starlight Celebration Story

Each year we are given a short questline and story as part of the Starlight Celebration event. Ask your guests or FC members to create a story surrounding the events of the Starlight Celebration festival. The story can include any of the fictional characters from the Eorzean universe and can be as humorous or serious as you like.

MMO Event Ideas
Short version: Run this as a timed event during the event evening with a focus on short, comical stories.
Long version: The event is to be run over the course of the winter period. Starlight Celebration creative writing entries are to be submitted before the end date, focusing on more detailed and lengthy stories that could be used as a questline.

This event doesn’t have to have a winner, though having the stories combined and stored somewhere would be a fitting sentiment.

Level 1 Festive Race to Camp Dragonhead

Select a server that will be unlocked to new character creation and pre-emptively run a character to Camp Dragonhead. Have your guests make a level 1 character (as festive looking as possible – 10-minute allowance in character creation) that has Gridania as the starting city. The first one to reach Camp Dragonhead wins!

MMO Event Ideas

Go Fetch!

Prior to the event, start making a list of items sold exclusively by certain NPC’s in one of the cities. Give your guests a list of items to find and have them return to you as quickly as possible with the goods. The fastest guest to return with all the items wins! To ensure no one has cheated using the Market Board ask them to relay the issuing NPCs.

NPC Hunt

Prepare a list of clues that will lead your guests to a certain NPC. The first guest to provide a screenshot standing next to the correct NPC wins!

MMO Event Ideas

Musical Chairs

The player running this event must have access to a room within an apartment or estate and be the only one with rights to move furniture or control the orchestrion. An apartment room or private FC room would work best. Several backed chairs (such as the Glade Chair, 2000g from Housing Merchant) and an orchestrion will be needed. The choice of chair means that it cannot be sat on at multiple angles, like the stools.

Lay the chairs out in two even lines, back to back and ensure that there is always one chair less than your party size. The guests must circle the chairs while the orchestrion is playing. When the leader turns the orchestration off, the players must find a seat. Keep your eyes peeled so that if there is any dispute over a chair, this can be resolved easily, otherwise have them /roll. The player left with no seat is out, and another chair must be removed. The last player left is the winner!
Note: this event may induce mayhem.

Festive Chocobo Racing

Nothing says Christmas like a Roe wearing only a Santa hat soaring across the finish line first, using dirty tactics to betray his closest friends. Show your friends/FC who’s the best at Mario Kart (64, of course!).

Imitation Art

Hopefully, you all have MS Paint (or the equivalent). Pair guests together and have them draw a portrait of each other in their winter outfits using paint. Ask your guests to post their creations on a Discord channel and use the reactions to vote.

City Dance Off

MMO Event Ideas

Create a uniform and color for your group and then take them on a tour of the cities, dancing by the main aetheryte for all to see, spreading the Starlight spirit. If you have a big group then you can split in two and effectively create teams represented by a different dye color, outfit, and dance. The two teams would dance their chosen dances, in sync on opposite sides to each other and encourage the onlookers to join them in dance or cheer for their side.

Firelight Eorzean Quiz

Prepare a list of Eorzean themed questions for your guests to answer. Cozy up around the fireplace and go through them one by one. The person that answers with the correct answer (preferably in text chat) in the fastest time wins the point. Keep note of who has answered the most questions correctly and present them with a big pile of cookies at the end.

If you don’t have your own fire to sit around, there is cozy Cold Knight’s Cookfire located within Monument Tower in Coerthas Central Highlands (X:7.6 Y:28.7). This building is mostly vacant apart from a few NPC’s and so provides a very nice place for a group gathering.

MMO Event Ideas

Blind Date

Have your guests don their best smile, shiniest winter outfit and run off into the night to see if they can find a poor unsuspecting player to have as their date for the remainder of the evening, thus, spreading the Starlight cheer just that little bit further.

Dress Up

Prior to the event create a list of possible themes for the event. Your guests will need to create an outfit and look to best match the theme. For example, dress up like a carrot, or an NPC etc. Ask the guests to whisper you the name of their favorite interpretation.

Festive Room Design

Festive room design would be a longer-term event run from December 1st to December 18th. Your community or Free Company members would be required to either draw the design for or create a Starlight themed room design. Have participating members submit the designs or screenshots to you and make note of who sent them. Post them all to a singular Discord channel and ask that members use reactions to vote on their favorites over a 48hr period. If possible the winning entry would be recreated in one of the FC rooms for all to see!


To help celebrate the Starlight Celebration I am using Gleam to help me giveaway 3 Starlight themed prizes. Please click the link below to be taken to the entry page and for more information. Gleam is one of the leading platforms used for giveaways and competitions, however, please do not enter if you have any concerns.

starlight celebration giveaway

There are many more event ideas that could be thought up if you have time and creativity on your side. I’d have loved to create an event titled ‘Pin the tail on the Lala’ but I just couldn’t think up a way of implementing it! I hope that some of these event ideas will help you on the way to having an amazing Starlight Celebration 2018.

Thank you for reading this article and as always, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here or Twitter.

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Echoes of Eorzea: Starlight Celebration History & Ideas

It’s time to get ready for Christma- I mean, Starlight Celebration! With only 32 days to go until this year’s event, I’m here to make sure you’re fully prepared for the winter season. We’ll be covering Starlight Celebration history, winter wear, event ideas, emote unlock and the most frosty screenshot location ideas!

I’m not going to lie, the reindeer antlers have been in my bag all year waiting for this moment to arrive again!

starlight celebration history

What is the Starlight Celebration?

Starlight Celebration is FFXIV’s yearly Christmas seasonal event. Players may partake in a short non-repeatable questline that differs each year, obtain access to a repeatable quest and are rewarded with various cosmetic and housing items. The festive season runs from 18th-31st December yearly.

The history of the Starlight Celebration

In Short: In times past, long ago, the cold winter nights claimed the lives of many orphans. Although prohibited, Ishgardian soldiers took pity on the children, shrouding them in their red coats to disguise the fact that they were bringing them in from the bitter cold to feed and warm them. Having survived the winter, these orphans went on to show kindness in their later life, repeating the acts they once received. These deeds developed into the festival we know and love today and it is traditional during this season to wear scarlet apparel. The principal hero of the story just so happens to be a snowy-bearded captain now known to us as the “Saint of Nymeia”.

“The Starlight Celebration is a time of generous gestures and festive fellowship, reminding us that even a customary courtesy can be a bounteous benevolence. It also reminds us of darker days in Eorzean history, which serve to make such deeds shine all the brighter.

Several generations ago, a sanguinary struggle claimed countless lives and left full as many orphans homeless and hungry. Taking pity upon their plight, a company of Ishgardian knights sought out these children each night, furnishing them with food and shelter within their barracks.

As doing so was positively prohibited, however, the knights had the children slip in while swathed in their scarlet jackets. Thus were they spared the worst of the cruel cold. These orphans survived the winter, and, later in life, they went on to convey the same kindness to others that they had once received. On the coldest week of the year, they took to sporting scarlet and passing out presents to the children of the realm. And over time, their deeds developed into the favored festival known as the Starlight Celebration.”

Starlight Celebration 2013

starlight celebration history

The Mythril Eye reports that, due to curious circumstances, the Adventurers guild has fallen into disarray and rumors have begun that the Starlight Celebrations may have to be rescheduled.

A group of troublemaking imps sought to melt the Starlight Celebration snowmen. To their surprise, however, the snowmen appeared to gain consciousness and flee into the wilderness. You must put a stop to the imps cruel deeds before the festivities are ruined.

Players receive Eternal Ice from completing the ‘Stay Frosty’ FATE, which can be used to purchase event items. The FATE is completed by getting knocked back by a treant, obtaining a ‘snowman’ buff, and defeating the imps (buff breaks their immunity).

Event Items

starlight celebration history
Main reward: Snowman/Reindeer/Dream attire.


Starlight Celebration 2014

starlight celebration history

The Raven has sent a correspondent to ensure the event is a success. This year we are told of how the Starlight celebrant and her ‘little helpers’ have donned the appropriate scarlet apparel and are ready to give out gifts to any child who writes a letter to Nymeia, patron goddess of celestial wonders. The celebrant had hoped to have the children place their letters under the Starlight sentinel in each of the cities but unfortunately, the children couldn’t recognize which of the trees was the correct one. With so few helpers the celebrant enlists our help to gather the messages scattered across the housing districts so that the children will be able to receive their gifts.

The player is required to equip the Starlight Attire, collect the note, exchange the note for a gift and then return the gift to ‘the good little girl’.

Event Items

Main reward: Starlight attire.


Starlight Celebration 2015

starlight celebration history

A reporter for the Harbor Herald wishes to do a piece on this year’s Starlight Celebration and has been making inquiries, however, very little information is to be had. Eventually, you find someone willing to help, who informs you that there is a part of the Starlight Celebration less known:

“Afore the soldiers would set off to round up the younglings, they would always play a special melody on their signal bells. The sound o’ them bells echoin’ through the frigid night air was said to bring the biggest bloody smiles to them orphans─an’ even a few hard-bitten veterans as well, I’d wager.”

This year the Adventurer’s Guild wishes to resurrect the aforementioned tradition. The signal bells have been obtained from the Temple Knights but nothing they could do would make the main bell chime. They are committed to having the bell ready for an opening ceremony with high-ranking officials yet their coffers are now empty. Should you succeed in fixing the bell, an interview with the Harbour Herald would be granted.

The player is sent to Ul’dah after obtaining a clapper which is then fitted to the bell, thus fixing it. Julyan Mandeville appears and asks about the bells tune whilst the organizer is fretting, claiming the melody is too simple for the ceremony. Julyan scolds him and reminds us that the happiness the melody brings to young and old is far more valuable than the prestige of the Adventurers Guild. The player then seeks out a composer to create a more festive but tasteful melody, fitting for the celebration.

Event Items

starlight celebration history

Main Reward: Reindeer antlers/gloves/boots.


Starlight Celebration 2016

starlight celebration history

The director of Frondale’s Ward for Friendless Foundlings expresses his utter despair, not knowing how to help one of the young children recover from a recent worsening of his illness. Your help is enlisted to gather information from other children, where you learn of a concealed envelope. The envelope is revealed to contain a note from the child’s father, apologizing for the fact that he would not be able to visit the boy for Starlight as promised. You locate the father at the ferry docks and he explains that he cannot return as he is on the verge of procuring a rare herb to treat the boy’s illness. Instead, he gives you a gift to pass on to his son. Once the boy understands that his father and those around him only have his health and happiness at heart, he is delighted with the gift and resolves to overcome his illness. The director is revealed to be Damielliot, who was once a patient of the institution and inherited the position following the death of his parents during the Calamity.

Event Items

starlight celebration history
Main Reward: Starlight Robe.

That just about wraps it up for the history lesson, onto the all-important glamours!


Winter Wear

Mog Station

Looking both stylish and festive for the season in an MMO is sometimes a challenge, but don’t fear because FFXIV has got you covered. Here’s some of the gear sets available on the Mogstation (formerly available during previous events).

starlight celebration

1. Starlight Robe (available December 2017) & Sweet Dream Cap.
2. Sweet Dream Cap, Sweet Dream Tunic, Starlight Tights & Starlight Boots.
3. Starlight Sugarloaf Hat, Starlight Tunic, Reindeer Gloves & Reindeer Hooves.
4. Reindeer Antler Headband, Reindeer Suit.

Winter in-game

If you don’t have the real-life Gil to splash out on Mogstation items, don’t worry, you can still look festive and wintery on a budget. Here’s a few ideas for wrapping up with some gear of the more padded variety.

starlight celebration

1. High House Cloche, Alpine Coat, Makai Moon Guides Fingerless Gloves, Spring Skirt & High House Boots.
2. Ramie Hood, Ramie Poncho, Augmented Scholar’s Culottes, Expeditioners Moccasins.
3. White Beret, Glacial Coat, Mercenary’s Mitts, Songbird Skirt/Hempen Bottoms.
4. Dried White Oldrose, Felt Gown, Makai Moon Guides Fingerless Gloves, Songbird Skirt, Songbird Boots.

Stock up on festive dyes. Keep in mind any environments you might wish to match to, whether it be the icy cold mountains of Coerthas or the warm winter fires of your cozy residence/inn.

The easiest dye vendor in the main world to get to is Unsynrael in Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks. Simply teleport straight to Limsa and then run down Hawker’s Alley and she’s on the left in the second building you run through. Also, if you happen to need a more specific dye, this route runs past several market boards. If you have an FC house/private residence with a Junkmonger then that’s a slightly more straightforward purchasing option.

The normal dye vendors have a very wide selection of colors. Some of the winter favorites are Rust Red, Rolanberry Red, Opo-opo Brown, Nophica Green, Moss Green, Ink Blue and Ice Blue.


Event Ideas

I adore the Christmas events within games above all other seasonal events but in Final Fantasy XIV we really are spoiled. Not only do we have a new heart-warming mini-quest each year, but we can obtain a wide selection of beautiful and detailed seasonal gear, winter-themed decorations, minions, and even food to place on the tables. A couple of years back I ran a Christmas event for my FC and it really was a joy. We began the evening with a fancy dress competition, moved on to secret Santa (with a visit from Santa himself, who handed out the gifts!), then a screenshot competition and then finished the evening off with some festive Chocobo racing.

Secret Santa

The beauty of secret Santa is that it can work in small group sizes and everyone receives a gift.

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Once you have a guaranteed list of who wants to take part, write the names of attendees in a list then write the list again next to it and pair people up, making sure to keep it jumbled up so that Mindy and Bert are not buying for each other. Don’t forget to set a limit of 1 item and a maximum gil allowance. If someone can’t make it on the night, they can mail the item beforehand. When the event begins, ask the players to hand the gifts to you, making note of who gets what. Then pass them over to Santa one by one so they can call out the lucky person to come and collect their gift.

Fancy Dress

Let your guests know your festive theme and any restrictions well in advance so they can plan out their attire with care for the all-important day (extra points for those dressing up in traditional scarlet Ishgardian cloaks). Ask your guests to vote for their favorites and announce the winners to tremendous rounds of applause. Make sure to screenshot everyone’s outfits! It’s a great incentive to offer up some prizes if you have the funds to do so.

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Screenshot Competition

Give your guests 30 minutes to run off into the night and take their best festive screenshot. Have those that are submitting images send you the file over discord, then drop them into a new channel created during the event and have the rest of the guests vote using reactions.

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Festive Chocobo Racing

Nothing says Christmas like a Roe wearing only a Santa hat soaring across the finish line first, using dirty tactics to betray his closest friends. Show your friends/FC who’s the best at Mario Kart (64, of course!).

The Samaritan

Dress up in red apparel, in recognition of the generous acts of those Ishgardian Knights. Purchase a selection of low-cost minions or prisms (set a gil limit) and travel the cities in search of Sproutlings (new players) and distribute the gifts to them. A random act of kindness goes a long way!

These are just some simple ideas but I’ll be covering more in the following article!


Screenshot Locations

Coerthas Central Highlands:

Behemoth’s Dominion

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This is not the most picturesque location of the bunch but it sure is a useful location for stark, lonely, wintery shots or a makeshift whiteout background. If you park your character right on the edge of the cliff there’s a natural curve in the landscape that provides a clean, white backdrop, weather permitting.

Boulder Downs

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I find this area to be simply beautiful. Yes, there is the odd mob wandering about but they’re few and far between. In this location, there is a beautiful river that meanders through the landscape as well as rocks, bushes with pretty contrasting purple flowers, along with sparse and dense forest. When it’s snowing it can be even more atmospheric.

Igloos, snowmen, cozy inns with fires. What more could you wish for?

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Other notable locations

Coerthas Western Highlands:

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Oakum Landing

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The weather in this zone changes the outlook like no other I’ve come across in-game. On a clear winters night you can see the stunning aurora borealis amongst the twinkling stars and in the daytime, the vista will open up to a vast landscape with crisp snowtopped mountains.

Switfrun River (X:20.6 Y: 28.7)
Greytail Falls (X:34.7 Y: 28.2)
Oakum Landing (X:36.9 Y: 10.1)
Gorgagne Mills (X:31.8 Y: 11.8)
The North Star (X:30.2Y: 6.3)

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Ishgardian Inn Room – Ishgard.

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Down the hill from Camp Dragonhead – Coerthas.

There are so many places that I could list, but also, part of the fun is finding your own locations and taking your friends along with you. Don’t forget to check out the housing district Starlight Celebration displays (in both during the day and night).


Whether it’s through your Orchestrion or YouTube, you can never go wrong with the Starlight Celebration Orchestration Roll playing in the background (unless you’ve heard it for 40 hours straight, then you are excused). As with the majority of Final Fantasy music, they capture something very special within the melody which is now very dear to me and reminds me of happy times within Eorzea. This is a must-have while decorating your personal/FC house or for festive screenshot-taking music.

The orchestration roll became available to players during the Starlight Celebration of 2016.


Eorzean Wishlist

Yes, this sounds like madness but a small digital gift can go a long way. I’m not the biggest fan of wish lists but it seems to be the norm these days. More often than not people would rather get you something you really want, even if they’ve never heard the term MMO or it’s a game they’ve never heard of! The “Add to Amazon” extension in Chrome is great for this purpose, you can easily add anything on the Mogstation/SE Store to your wish list.

Winter Emote

On a final note, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to pick up the perfect winter emote ‘Throw’. In normal conditions, your character will just make a throwing motion but when you’re out and about in the snow they will throw snowballs!
Quest: Toss Fit Workout
NPC: Maucolyn – Coerthas Central Highlands (X: 24.9 Y: 27.7).

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Now I shall go back to drinking my tea (I highly recommend Pickwick Winter Glow) and worry about how to supply power to the obscene amount of fairy lights I seem to have acquired this year. I have to admit, I ran a bit low on Christmas spirit at the early stages of this article and caved, unpacking my 30 pack of LED snowflake bell lights.

I wish you very happy Starlight Celebration preparations, I really hope something here can be of use!

Thank you for reading and for all the wonderful support! If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here or Twitter

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