FFXIV’s Island Sanctuary Is A Tropical Getaway With Little To Do

Final Fantasy XIVBuried Memory patch 6.2 was released on Tuesday.

In addition to a new dungeon and the next series of Asphodelos raids, the patch also contained the long-awaited Island Sanctuary. Its release followed an activation at London’s Mudchute Farm in which players voted to name a rooster after stormblood antagonist Zenos yae Galvus.

Unfortunately, my arrival on my island was dissonant. Upon arrival, a scene was played showing a beautiful tropical island. However, by the time it was over, my island was drenched by six months of monsoon rain in the space of a few hours. Island Sanctuary has its own weather system separate from the rest of Eorzea, in the same way that every city-state in the game has its own weather. The island also follows Eorza’s day/night cycle. Everything else moves in real time, just like animal crossing. Cultivation and irrigation is measured in real terrestrial time. At the time of this writing, 48 hours after putting on my gardening hat for the first time, none of my crops are ready to be harvested. Only the creation and collection of players is instant.

Oh, and cuddles. The caresses are also instant.

The animals that are scattered around the island can be caught with nets made by the player. I think the capture rate is random, but there seem to be better networks that I don’t have access to yet. It’s possible to find different and even rare versions of each animal, but I’m not sure what causes the rare ones to appear. The black sheep is now my nemesis and I will catch it one day (probably when I have a better net). [Update: All my friends now have a sheep and I still do not, and I am mad about it. — Renee]

My island is only level 5, so I have limited access. I have two workshops, a hórreo, two milestones and the house. The house cannot be moved, but it can be upgraded. Workshops and granaries can be moved, but only to specific plots. It seems that the workshops and barns can also be improved. So while there is an element of customization, it’s really not much.

His main avenue for customization seems to be which minions can be released at the hideout. Up to 40 minions can run around in areas the player has cleared, but they don’t really do much. They move and have speech bubbles. It would be nice if they interacted like some do in the game, under normal circumstances. You can invite up to 15 friends to your island, but while they’re there they won’t be able to do anything, just look around. You can roam my minions farm in the wild and watch them talk to each other I guess. How fascinating.

The main gameplay element of Island Sanctuary is gathering. As small buildings take up to 3 hours in real time to create, and landmarks take 12 hours, the player will spend much of their time in the wild, herding and trapping animals. FFXIV it has a gathering dungeon called Diadem and you’ll do pretty much the same thing there, which is certainly not a bad thing.

There’s not a lot of music in the wild, so take a podcast and relax while the Isleventory fills up. Gather all, everything has a use. The workshop mentioned above allows mamets (island helpers) to craft items to sell on Limsa Lominsa. These items are also created in real time, but players can queue what they want to create ahead of time. As long as players have the materials at the time of crafting, they will be crafted. Let’s say you have a queued craft that requires Vine and you have enough available for the first craft but not the second. As long as you gather enough Vine before the second ship is scheduled, construction will continue as planned.

Leftover crafts and materials can be sold for cowries, which are the island’s only currency. As a heads up, while the three mounts in Island Sanctuary are available to purchase from the start, there’s no immediate way to pay for them. Expanding the Hideout costs Cowries, because the mamets want to get paid and they have a good union. They are 1k snails per clear. The mameteros of the workshop also have rest days, so two days a week they do not make anything. Like I said, good union. Mammet’s working conditions are top notch (nobody tells the Retainers that).

After all the fuss and waiting, Island Sanctuary is definitely not what you expected. I thought there would be more cultivation! And less time management! And much less meeting! I wish there was a way to mark which items I needed to collect, but I still really enjoy it. Aside from a few minor hiccups that can be frustrating, it really is the place where you can sit back, relax, lose yourself in the farming materials, and watch the minions frolic as the world goes by.

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