FFXIV Store Alphinauld Outfit Featured

The Newest FFXIV Online Store Item Is Another Major Letdown

Another mark missed

When it comes to making money, Final Fantasy XIV is Square Enix’s favorite cash cow and nothing else comes even close. Players pay for bi-yearly major expansions on top of a monthly subscription, and extras from the Online Store aren’t out of the question either. Except when they suck.

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Not The Hottest Fit in the FFXIV Store

Final Fantasy XIV is filled with marvelous optional items that bring sparkles to players’ eyes. While the historically most sold items are and will probably always be vials of Fantasia (because sticking to one race for more than a month is somehow impossible for some), there are plenty of cool, exclusive items you can’t get anywhere else.

From Mounts given in previous events, special emotes, or unique outfits, there’s always something new hitting the store. NPC outfits are some of the most popular options. Main story characters usually wear unique clothes that distinguish them from others, and I see no harm in making these fits available for those willing to pay. It’s not essential in any way and it’s nice to have something more unique, correct?

Well… yeah. When it is actually unique.

The newest item in the FFXIV store is the Crystal Prodigy Attire, featuring clothes worn by best boy Alphinauld during Shadowbringers. The thing is, they were technically already in the game for years completely for free, with the new paid version being arguably a downgrade.

Players were quick to point out the similarities between the Crystarium Prodigy’s Top and the Brightlinen Gambison of Scouting, a Ninja-exclusive piece that shares the exact same model. In fact, all clothing pieces Alphinauld used in this expansion were just recolored models from other items freely accessible in the game. But they’re all un-dyable in his paid outfit version! What a great way to spend some cash, huh?

I mean, not being dyable is a constant between NPC clothes from the store. But it’s not every day when their clothes are just reskinned versions from something preexisting. Especially when they’re so crucial to the main story. It completely beats the point of wearing “something unique.”

To add more insult to injury, the NIN top isn’t a unique model either. The Serge Gambison of Casting, Healer, and Aiming all share the same models with it, albeit with different color schemes. They cannot reach the exact same coloration as Alphinauld’s definitive top, but they can go close enough. Sometimes, they end up looking a lot better.

The main advantage of the Crystarium Prodigy version is that any job can use it. And that’s unique, I guess? Still, it doesn’t justify slapping a price tag comparable to a whole subscription month on a half-baked product just because you know players will shut up and buy it.

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And besides, the whole job-locked-visual restriction has aged like milk in FFXIV. I know there’s probably a whole spaghetti code reason why they cannot get rid of it today, but it still sucks. And it sucks even harder when they decide to capitalize on that. Microtransactions only got as far as they did because companies always get away with them.

If you really want to cosplay Alphinauld, the paid version is the way. But I don’t think that’s something players wanted to be added to the FFXIV store. Especially when we already have tons of different Alphinauld outfits on it. Oh, and his hairstyle isn’t included in this new coffer either. Booo.

And It’s Been a Long Fall

I hate to sound like an old geezer yapping about the past. But back in my day, we had (slightly) better items from the store. Emotes and mounts have still kept their quality in a way, but outfits have seen a considerable decline. Gaia and Lyse’s outfits are the most recent offenders, being turned into one-pieces instead of separate items.

It’s not the first time they do that, and it’s not like they look straight-up bad. But they could be so much better, especially for being paid visuals. Glamour does become endgame after a while, and it gets questionable when FFXIV, often praised for its customization, suddenly stops to deliver quality clothing options through its store.

People will still buy it, regardless. All jobs can wear it, after all, which is honestly a great positive. But undyable clothes are still a bummer, and they set a low bar for future products to come. Expect more “rebranded” NPC clothes being favored in the store instead of original, cool outfits like the Fat Cat Hood or the stylish Street Attire. Instead of something authentic, we get some generic fanservice thrown at our faces.

This will most likely not affect general gameplay, and I’m quite aware of that. But it doesn’t mean that “minor” offenses get a free pass, especially when they involve real money. FFXIV manages to hit a lot of beats, but it also slips from time to time. And that was one of such occasions, unfortunately.


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Author
Patrick Souza
Patrick is a Staff Writer for The Escapist and has also contributed to Prima Games. Interested in writing about games ever since he left college, he intends to keep this passion burning as long as he can. Diligently ignores his ever-growing backlog to keep raiding in Final Fantasy XIV, exploring in Genshin Impact or replaying some of his favorite RPGs from time to time. Loves tackling hard challenges in games, but his cats are still the hardest bosses he could ask for.