One of the things that came up in the podcast is my continuing progress through Final Fantasy 14’s Zodiac Weapon quest. About 2 hours before the podcast, I managed to get to the final stage before the relic weapon turns into something else, Sphairai Nexus. It’s been a long trip, and there’s still a decent amount of work to do before it’s “finished”.
Because It’s There
At this point in the game, there’s not much point in completing a zodiac weapon to actually use. The advice I give to players in our free company hitting level 60 is that you should get your relic weapon because the quest is kind of cool and because it represents probably the most convenient weapon you can get on hitting 50. Upgrading it once to the “Zenith” stage gives you an i90 weapon, and this is good enough to get you through to the next non-relic weapon upgrade. If you’re sane, it’s better to pretend that the questline doesn’t continue past this point.
After the Zenith stage, the relic quest starts going into the Saga of Zodiac Weapons, and the effort/reward ratio is a bit skewed toward effort. Nearly every patch that introduced a new tier of gear added a stage to the quest, and all of these are quite time-consuming (but mostly not terribly mechanically difficult). Most players doing this quest now (including myself) are doing it just to say that they have. There’s just something satisfying about having a goal and working toward it, regardless of the actual utility of this goal.
Not the First Time
Even in games that don’t have a real achievement system, I tend to find and make goals for myself. I notable example was in WoW, where I made a point of collecting keys. I played a druid, but I made up for a lack of lockpicking skills by carrying around every key I could get my hand on. This included the key to Tempest Keep, long after it became unnecessary, along with not-key keys like the Medallion of Karabor and the Drakefire Amulet. On a very related note, I was pretty pissed off when one of the Cataclysm patches removed 90% of the keys from the game.
I did other insane things in WoW, although I never got a title for it. I was a holder of the Scepter of the Shifting Sands, even though it had absolutely no purpose to me. I managed to get the entire Feralheart Set, and wore it around town (and then used it as a transmog, once that became a thing that was possible). The relic weapon quest is just really another part of this, one more facet of my desire to achieve things because they’re there. I don’t intend to stop anytime soon.