This could also be titled "I wish I knew this before".
So I heard you are thinking about starting on your Anima relic. Good for you. There's some story bits, achivements, but mainly a weapon that will have the stats you wish for, and will likely grow with you in the next patches too.
*But at what price!*
Yes, the anima relic is a daunting process when you look at it as a whole, but there are a few things that you can do ahead of time to save you time and grief later on. If you only had one step to do at a time, it wouldn't be a huge deal. But when you want to do all of the steps from the bottom, it's big numbers. 100s of runs of Alexander, 100s of beastman turn ins, tens of thousands tomestones...
So let's start by talking about each step.-The first step, item level 170-
Your first weapon won't be very impressive. But it's free. You need to get all of those luminous crystals from FATEs in Heavenwards areas. Time consuming, nothing too hard, and no shortcuts here.
You can also turn in your old Relic Zeta to complete this task, so you essentially skip to the next step directly.-Second step, item level 200-
This step requires that you run a series of dungeons. You don't need it equipped until the final boss, I think you can equip it only before exiting the dungeon even, I believe it counts. Either way, it's not a hard step, if time consuming as it makes you go through several old dungeons.-Third step, item level 210-Patch 3.38 EDIT : This step was majorly nerfed, so you'll see in bold the changes.
Your weapon is already looking better. But this is where the true hell begins.
of each Unidentified Items : Seed, Bone, Shell and Ore
Each of them are available through several means :
- Each of them are sold by different 2.0 Beastman in exchange of
13 3 of their tokens. Since you can get 3 tokens a day, one Unidentified item a day.
- All of them are available from every 3.0 beastman, but for
18 6 tokens. You get 3 per day for Vanu and Bath quests, which means one unidentified item every 2 days. Moogle quests gives 6 tokens a day on the other hand, 9 if you are at max Rank. So you get 1 or 1.5 items a day.
- You can buy all unidentified items using Poetics or Esoterics,
680 300 each.
- Each floor of Alexander Gordias will drop a token as well, each token attached to a different unidentified item.
10 3 tokens are necessary per item.
- Some of them can be bought with Allied Seals as well (300 per).
On top of that you need 4x 4
crafted items, but those are not terribly hard or pricey anymore (at least for me). It was about 500k for me to get all of those, but crafters in the FC can probably help with those too for cheaper. The items do not need to be HQ anymore, and they are sold by Grand Company vendors for seals now.-Fourth Step, item level 230-
This is a relatively easy step. You need 5 Aether oils. 1800 Esoterics, or complete the quest "Gift of the Archmagus" once a week to get a free one.-Fifth Step, item level 240-
Almost there, but you're going to love this step. Not as bad as the third step though.
You need between 60 and 80 Umbrites, which are sold ONLY for 300 Esoterics.
And you need the same amount in Crystal Sands, which have a dozen different ways of trading for them. The main ones being :
- Blue scrips tokens : 5 per trade (250 blue scrips, gathering or crafting).
- Vilekins : Found 100% in chests from Levequests in Heavenwards. Trades 1 for 1.
- 480 Poetics : More precisely, 5 Superior Enchanted Inks and 5 Thavnirian Mists trades for 1 Crystal Sand.
- 5 Moonstones : 20,000 Grand Company Seals, 4000 GC per. You can also get a Moonstone from completing the daily Deliverance from Ixali.
- 5 Allagan Catalysts + 2 Mhachi Farthing : Crystal Tower rewards + Void Ark rewards
There are a few others, but these are the ones of interest in general. The others require sets of items that are harder to come by, but you may have some in your retainers, like Tier 4 elemental materias (Ice, Wind, Water...), or Primal Ex drops (inferno Horn...). But since you need them in specific trios to get a single Crystal sand, I don't find these to be efficient at all. Maybe if you had them laying about for a trade or two, no more. Many of those cannot stack either.
Your first goal here is to get 40 trade ins. Don't go over that, get exactly 40 umbrites and 40 crystal sands converted into 120 stats for your weapon, + shield of PLD, they combine the stats of the two, doesn't matter which one you do first. That will trigger a little cutscene, and then you have chances to get more than 3 stats per trade, so if lucky you will need less than 80 total. 80 is the absolute maximum, so it'd be safe to aim for say 70 umbrites + crystal sands as a starting point.-Okay, so where are those shortcuts?-
There are many. I didn't know what some of the next steps required, otherwise I could have planned something a little more efficient probably.
First thing to stress out : Umbrites cannot be acquired in any other method than Esoterics. So if you have a choice between taking a few more days of doing Beastman for those last Unidentified Items or using Esoterics, put your Esoterics toward Umbrites instead.
Crystal Sands are something that cannot be bought ahead of time, but you can stockpile the items that you trade for them. That's something you can plan during earlier steps.
For Unidentified items, you have several choices. Running each floor of Alexander 200 times for 20 items each sounds like a very tedious thing, but remember that you do get Esoterics also, so you can buy a few items with it. Each floor can be done in 3-5 minutes each if with a full competent group, this would be more tedious through Duty Finder. Something to consider here. This is less true with patch 3.38, you only need 3 runs per items in Alexander, so 30 runs total per item, definitely a fast method!
Remember there are many ways of getting Tomestones. 15 Esoterics per day are given for the 3 Vath quests, while 15 Poetics for the 3 daily Vanu quests. Palace of the Dead and Treasure Hunting + Aquapolis also have substantial tomestone rewards.
If like me you are sitting on 100 leve allowances, start throwing them at Vilekins. Since you recover 6 allowances a day, use them ahead of time. The trick is that you can initiate the levequest, look for the chest (you can fly and even open the chest while mounted), and whether or not you found a chest you can Abandon/Retry without going back to town. Just repeat until you're out of Allowances. I got 9/100 vilekins the first time, but then 7/35 the second time, so RNG be damned, but better than sitting on 100 allowances, when you could get easy crystal sands.
Similarly, if you can get Blue scrips reliably, whether it's crafting or gathering, then you can stockpile some. 5 tokens (50 per, 250 blue scrips) is one crystal sand. Start saving some. Same with Moonstones, do a few Ixali or trade your GC before your capped, trade in old gear to the GC to get more seals.
If you're done with Poetics to buy Unidentified items, use them for the Superior Enchanted Inks and Thavnirian Mists, those also stack in your inventory/retainer. 480 Poetics worth for 5 of each, you'll recover those pretty fast doing other contents.
The problem with the Allagan Catalysts is the other item, the Farthing, may have better use going for your 240 upgrade of Lore gear. But the good part is that you can get several farthings per week, there's no limit on them. Depends on how much of Void Ark you can stay sane with.
And don't forget the Aether Oils. Reddit has a Sunday run for Crystal Tower raiding, so get the quest in Mor Dhona and queue up for Crystal Tower on that day, complete the quest for an Aether Oil. This definitely should not be a big concern to do while working on steps 1 to 3.
If you can pile up the Umbrites and Crystal Sand items while working on Unidentified, the only step that won't be a breeze is the third step. It may take a little longer to complete the third step if you don't throw every Esoteric you get at it, but it's definitely more efficient to branch out.
But more importantly, don't burn yourself. There are several ways that aren't as tedious to get good weapons, such as Palace of the Dead (235) or Lore tomestone +
Midan Gears (230). I consider the relic to be a fun piece of story, something to complete at least once. But you don't have to rush through it either, take your time and do as much as you can endure. In the worse case, you'll complete it when the requirements get alleviated.-The short version-
- Prioritize spending Esoterics on Umbrites first, the Unidentified items have more than one ways to collect.
- Get Crystal Sand trade items early : Levequests, Moonstones, Poetics, Blue scrips... Lots of them involve things that you probably were piling up or could be piling up and didn't know!
This made the third step lots faster, but overall doesn't change the nature of this guide, preparing for the last step ahead of time. But you can effectively focus Esoterics into Umbrites and Poetics/Beastman into Unidentified items MUCH more easily now, since you can buy all 4 items using Poetics now. Plus the changes to the Alexander tokens (10 to 3 per trade) and Beastman tokens (13/18 to 3/6 respectively) means you can be done within a few days easily now.