The holiday season is upon us in FFXV: ANE, and has brought with it a new monster and a very noticeable cosmetic change to the Realms. In this article, we’ll cover the new monster and touch briefly on the other change as well.
If you have logged on recently, you will have noticed that the normally green fields of Eos have been temporarily replaced by fluffy white snow. Likewise, the normally forbidding Scar at the center of the map has been replaced with an icy plain that looks like ready for ice-skating moogles.
There is absolutely no actual game change here; marches all cost the same times they always do for example. This is entirely cosmetic. But it’s a nice seasonally appropriate touch.
Cactuar Puzzle Hunt
As the game has matured, we’ve seen more and more iconic Final Fantasy monsters introduced in either the Proving Grounds or as huntable monsters. Goblins, Flan and Behemoths have all made appearances, and now we have the Cactuar.
Mechanically, the Cactuar works exactly like the Candy Corn Flan from Halloween: only one or two appear at a time and they have a TON of hit points.
On hit, they drop spoils and/or prize chests that are also similar to the Candy Corn Flan chests. The Prize chests contain rss items while the Spoils chests contain things like 24-hour rss boosts, production change items, empire name change and hero quest refresh items, etc.
The Puzzle piece event appears identical to the Moogle version so far:
- The first puzzle piece requires hero and guild quests to complete
- The second puzzle piece requires crafting items
- The third puzzle piece requires completing buildings to score points based on building power
- The fourth piece is like #3, except for research power
- The fifth piece requires points gained by hitting monsters in the Proving Grounds
- The last challenge gives points for a wide variety of activities (gathering rss, leveling your hero, defeating monsters, etc.) but practically speaking also requires hitting monsters in the Proving Grounds
The points required scale based on your Citadel level, but this event is in all cases likely not something you can complete without grabbing an Ether pack.
As with the Moogle event, the big prize is an avatar.
The Cactuar chests rarely drop boost items with new boosts similar (but distinct from) the Halloween boosts.
The best of these five-minute 1000 Needles boosts are definitely the Attack and Defense ones. The offense boost will provide a nice addition right before a serious raid or solo, and the defense boost will provide an excellent surprise for some unlucky attacker if you activation it while troops are marching on you.
These may well show up in packs as the holiday winds on, similar to the Halloween boosts.
You’d be forgiven for seeing this new event as mostly reskinned old content. It reuses several previous mechanics from different events, the rewards are not super-fantastic, and the puzzle event requires Proving Ground levels and ether to effectively complete.
Is it worth spending packs on? That’s going to be a judgement call based on how bad you want the Avatar. To be honest, the rewards for the chests and the items are solidly okay and nothing to write home about (the boosts are good, if rare at the current time).
But I’d argue, right or wrong, that there is something inherently noble about a dancing cactus wearing a Santa hat. And cosmetic details like the snowfields, while offering no benefit or challenge, show that someone on the dev team cares enough to slip cool stuff into updates when they can. That’s a good thing. And especially given recent game-changer updates like the mercenaries, it is nice to have a break sometimes from must-have new content.
So even if you just don’t need that new avatar, that’s okay. Relax and smack some dancing cactuars around a bit and get yourself some nice new holiday boosts.