The Gelmorra Ruins
Before the Calamity, the Gelmorra Ruins was situated at the very edge of North Shroud. It comprised of a massive round platform with tall column surrounding it. Around the platform were these orange rock formations. This area was incredibly hostile during the 1.x area, having malboros and efts at level 70 patrolling the area. This was not a place to go unless you were properly geared. You could get to Gelmorra Ruins by either walking or on chocoboback for a long time, or if you had attuned to the Treespeak Aetheryte camp, you could use said camp’s aetheryte to teleport to Lasthold via an atherial gate. The Gelmorra Ruins was actually the biggest constructed non-dungeon landmark in the Black Shroud in 1.0, and because of the high level monsters, it was only ever enjoyed by high level players. Lore-wise, Gelmorra was insignificant in the 1.0 era, only being vaguely explained around patch 1.20 by Milith Ironheart at Buscarron’s Fold, finally revealing that they are indeed ruins of a forgotten civilization, known as Gelmorra. I’m not going into the actual lore here, there are plenty of other places you can find that.
The Gelmorra Ruins were the only known over-ground ruins of Gelmorran origin, and was directly connected to the gelmorran Mun-Tuy Cellars, Tam-Tara Deepcroft and The Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak.
After the calamity, in 2.0, the ruins got… ruined. Gelmorra was moved from the edge of the map to a more centered location, just a few feet away from Fallgourd Float in the North Shroud. The calamity triggered a landslide, and the landslide covered most of the platform and filled up the hole in the center. All the orange rocks that once circled the hole is also mysteriously gone. It’s of the few instances of a landmark looking less impressive in 2.0 than its original 1.0 design. Despite the ruins still looking somewhat impressive, the ruins remains insignificant to this day, with little to no content connected to the ruins. In fact, most people would play through the whole game without even knowing it was there! This place is very much still explorable today, so make sure to drop by and gawk at some real 1.0 ruins.
That’s the Gelmorran Ruins, now onto a feature that was carried over from 1.0 to 2.0, and today we’re looking at shield wielding mages!
In 1.0, there was a big focus on cross class abilities via the class leveling system. And as a result of this, it was possible for mages to carry a shield and learn shield abilities. It did make for some really interesting dynamics in parties when a conjurer could stun enemies with shield bash, but it was not a feature most players utilized, and when the class leveling system disappeared, the whole thing just felt silly. Mages with shields were just not meant to be. After Yoshi-P and his crew entered the stage, more focus was put on two-handed staves and the era of shield wielding mages came to a soft end.
During the transition to 2.0, one would think that removing these one-handed staves and shields would be self-explanatory, but no. Because they were building a game from scratch, they simply didn’t have time to restructure the gear system. The team was also using the weapon models from the original game to save time, so it just made sense to keep the one-handed staves and shields in the game. The last reason was simply this: Character data transfer. There were thousands of characters being transferred to 2.0, and a lot of them were obviously going to have a shield and one-handed weapon equipped. If they were to not transfer these weapons to 2.0, they would have problems as they character would no longer have a main hand weapon and thus technically not be associated with any class or job.
So to any new FFXIV players currently leveling a thaumaturge or conjurer: 1.0 is the reason why you have to carry around a shield and a tiny twig or whatever the heck this is. Don’t worry though, it’s just a phase. You’ll grow out of it eventually.
And that neatly brings us to the last part, showcasing a feature that’s no longer in the game. The two-handed staves. “But Lukile,” You’re screaming at the screen, “we already have two-handed weapons in the game!!!” Well, technically and on paper, yes. But I’m talking about the way you’re holding your two-handed weapon. If you’re a white or black mage and in-game right now, please unsheathe your weapon and observe how your character is holding it. Not exactly two-handed, now is it?
In 1.0, the weapons were actual two-handed weapons and your character would therefore hold it with two hands. For aesthetic purposes, they decided to no longer have the character hold the weapon like this in 2.0. The weapons are sometimes held with two hands during casts, but not when idle. Not a big deal, but I figured it was relevant to bring up seeing as I just went on about how we abolished one-handed staves, when we… well, visually never did. That’s probably going to annoy you forever now. Sorry about that.