There are new packs available for Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire: instant upgrades to level 20 buildings, and a new Elixir pack for the Highwind Lance proving grounds event. In this article we’re going to cover the new packs and the new gear, and look at the ramifications of both for the game.
Instant Citadel 20
The new packs that have everyone talking are the Instant 20 building packs, notably the “instant Citadel 20” pack that is showing up to players at level 19.
Up until this point, Citadel 20 required all buildings to be at level 19 and additionally required an enormous amount of tier 2 rss to complete. As of this pack, that appears to no longer be the case. To clear up some confusion: the pack does not level any other buildings to 20, only the Citadel. Nor does it remove or alter the building requirements for anything after level 20.
In fact, there are two other packs now appearing to people already at 20: Instant level 20 Training Grounds and Instant level 20 University:
Not coincidentally, these are the three buildings that are required to complete t3 troop research.
So should you jump on these packs? If you are sitting there staring at the Wall of Granite for Citadel 20, or your buildings are not quite all at 19 yet, this pack could save you some time and rss.
There are some important things to know, however: if you don’t yet have all of the t1 and t2 50% boosts or the loyalty doubler, those are better uses for your pack money at the $100 level. And even with the buildings, you still need to pay the research costs for the t3 troops. Those also cost large amounts of tier 2 as we cover in our Roadmap to Tier 3. Instant-unlocks for t3 troops themselves may come along, but we aren’t there yet.
Additionally, you will also have to play catch-up on your buildings to keep progressing if you used the pack to skip ahead; most of the level 20+ build requirements are based on everything having been upgraded to 19.
Granted, that catch-up is safer to do from behind a wall of tier 3 troops. And with t4 becoming more common, t3 are key in surviving against those stronger empires, so anything that gets you to t3 faster is potentially useful.
Aranea’s Gear Set
Two new pieces of gear have become available in the Armory: Aranea’s Highwind Lance and Aranea’s Faceplate. Named for the dragoon from Final Fantasy XV, the Lance (previously) and Faceplate (currently) materials are found as drops and rewards in a special Malboro level of the Proving Grounds.
The event differs from the normal; to complete the event and get the gear mats you will have to fight a series of baby Marlboro followed by larger boss monsters that take an enormous amount of elixir to defeat: at .5% health per strike and 300 elixir per strike, a Malbadoom takes a whopping 60,000 elixir to beat, not counting the baby Marlboros you have to fight through to get to the boss. The rewards are blue crafting mats for the currently available gear piece.
The elixir cost means a purple or golden piece of gear is very pricey. At least at the t3-t4 level you are better off spending pack money on build or research packs to work towards t4, or on maxing t4 research if you are in the low 30’s.
So for people closer to or at t5, how does the Lance stack up against existing gear like the Calamity Blade or the Arbiter’s Judgement? How about the Faceplate versus the Arbiter helm? And how worried should the rest of us be by powerful empires swinging that armor-piercing spear around?
Let’s take a look at the Lance first.
The attack boost is decent but is cavalry-specific, which is generally the weakest troop type by research boosts due to higher University requirements. And the the war spoils bonus is ho-hum, as anyone who can get their hands on this gear at the moment probably isn’t worried about how many apples they can cart off on a successful attack.
That leaves the new Armor Piercing bonus. Since this gear is brand new and hard to get, there are few reports as of yet on how exactly the boost applies in regards to negating a target’s armor bonus. But at 12-20+ packs worth of elixir for a purple, the main threat at this time from a player wielding one of these may be the high-level empire full of high-tier troops more than the armor debuff.
The biggest effect is likely against Sentinel armor, either traps or Crystal holders, but the amount of Armor on Sentinel pieces is still substantial compared to the expected debuff on this lance. It is likely that in the future more defense debuff gear or effects will be added, making this boost more of a threat. But at the present time it is likely only going to give a serious advantage to high t4 and t5 players fighting others of similar power level; the advantage they have against everyone else is already significant compared to the boost from the Lance.
Meanwhile, the Faceplate is a decent alternative to Arbiter of the same color, assuming you are sending cav missies. And it is likely after the release today of the Faceplate that the rest of a full cav set is on the way over the course of this week, possibly paving the way for other troop-specific sets.
Looking to the future, the Instant 20 buildings are a sign of a shifting middle game. Citadel 20’s granite requirements were a hard stop for many players, one that required multiple packs to get around. The Citadel 20 pack and the recent stacking 50% rss boost packs are a sign that what used to be expensive is becoming less so, and the expectation is that we will see more t3 empires around the Realms.