First of all, let me address the Haurchefant in the room. Coerthas was not covered in snow in 1.0. That could have been an episode in itself come to think of it. Anyway, back in 1.0, Coerthas was massive. It included the Coerthas Central Highlands, Coerthas Central Lowlands, Coerthas Eastern Highlands, Coerthas Eastern Lowlands and Coerthas Western Highlands. Apparently, Coerthas Western Lowlands does not exist. Yet.
Ishgard was placed on top of Coerthas Central Highlands, and was protected by four fortresses, called “Vigils”. These were called Dusk Vigil in the West, Stone Vigil and Steel Vigil in the Center and Dusk Vigil in the east. These were all part of the Ishgardian defense perimeter, all of them having direct and clear view of Ishgard and it’s surroundings. These vigils all looked the same, nothing distinguishing them from one another, and they had no actual significance in the game. It is obvious that these were just set dressings at the time, with a possible purpose planned at a later stage, that would never come. At least not in this incarnation of the game. But our focus is on Steel Vigil. Stone Vigil’s lesser brother. This was the second Vigil to be standing in the Central Highlands. It’s shape was that of all its brethren, but unlike it’s brother Stone Vigil, it was not easily accessible. Unlike Stone Vigil which was easily seen from the Gates of Judgement, Steel Vigil was hidden far up into the mountains. If you wanted to visit Steel Vigil, for whatever reason, you had to traverse through rough and dangerous terrain, with high level monsters just waiting to kill you. Or you could use this aetherial gate via Camp Dragonhead. Once you made it to Steel Vigil, you would soon find… nothing. Nothing at all besides a building similar to the more accessible Stone Vigil.
Now after the Calamity, Coerthas changed. The Dragonsong War went into high gear, and the Calamity disrupted the aetherial balance in the region, causing endless snow to fall, covering Coerthas in a blanket of death and cold. Sometime during the 5 years between the Calamity and now, House Haillenarte, the caretakers of Steel Vigil, abandoned the fortress, leaving it vulnerable to the Dravanians attack. Soon after it was abandoned, Steel Vigil fell – hard. Massive damage to the structure caused it to cave in on itself, and the Vigil was destroyed beyond repair. Soon after, its brother, Stone Vigil would also fall in the hands of the Dravanians, albeit with less damage to the actual structure. Steel Vigil, although not having a plot function, it is still used as a location for FATEs and as a backdrop for certain fights and quests.
It is interesting to look at the architecture of the 2.0 Steel Vigil compared to 1.0 Steel Vigil. As you will see in pretty much every episode of this series, 1.0’s structures were usually smaller in scale and with less detail. It also seems that the vigils have different designs from one another, compared to the copy/paste design we saw in 1.0. These could have been improvements made as the Dragonsong War intensified, but it does seem a bit unlikely that Dusk Vigil went from this to this in less than 5 years before it too, got abandoned and fell. It is also intriguing to remember that there is still one vigil we haven’t heard from since 1.0 – Dawn Vigil. Will we ever return there?
So that was Steel Vigil and it’s brothers. Now let’s move on to a nice little leftover from 1.0 still present in 2.0.
In 1.0, elemental resistance was a confusing, but powerful stat, if properly utilized. Already at the character creation screen you were presented with an element wheel. Your clan would decide your starting elemental attributes. Each element had a value that corresponded with your character’s resistance. They were: Fire, Ice, Wind, Earth, Lightning and Water.
In 1.0, gear often had elemental resistance, and it was often recommended by a lot of statics at the time to stock up on certain elemental resistance gear before heading into farming or raids to
reduce damage taken. Although the percentage of resistance was hard to figure out (even today, people are arguing what actual difference it makes) it seemed to range from around 10% – 20% maximum resistance, which is a substantial amount if you count in really hard hitting bosses. However it is important to note, that this elemental resistance went both ways, forcing players to strategize over what spells and attacks to use, to further damage the targets. And just like attribute points you would get from leveling your class level, you would get elemental points as well, to further build up your elemental resistance.
It seems the calamity’s elemental imbalance caused this to lose it’s effect though, as elemental resistance is nothing but an insignificant panel in your character window. During the development of 2.0, the dev team realized that elemental resistance would cause massive imbalance in the new battle system and class/jobb overhaul they had in mind. Especially considering the Black Mage now having two aspected spells, Blizzard and Fire. The easy fix was to make the elemental resistance stats irrelevant, lowering the potency of these stats to insignificant levels. In the character creation screen the elemental stats will still show up, but your base resistance is set to 50, and the bonus points are received upon selecting your patron deity. And the extra stats you get are… well, miniscule. Today, they are nothing but remnants of a time past. Left in the character stats window because they either didn’t have time, or because they maybe wanted to make them relevant at some stage, but never went forward with it. Whatever their reasons may have been, the stats are no longer relevant. Even if you meld elemental materia to your gear in every single slot, the difference it makes on your damage taken is small. Was it a good idea to remove this? Let me know in the comments.
Now let’s get to the feature that’s no longer in the game. A highly requested feature:
And yes, I hear you, we have belts, but again – visually the belts you have equipped is most likely not represented on your gear. When you equip a belt, nothing happens to your gear, it just remains the way it was before you equipped the belt. Well let’s wind the clock back to 1.0, and hey presto – belts are actually visible on your character. Taken for granted in 1.0, this feature made it possible to mix and match gear to make them look unique and pretty. Or ugly, depending on the gear.
This system was just “there” and no one really gave it much thought. But it was during the alpha of 2.0 things started to look different. In 1.0, all starting gear was based on your starting class, and
the gear was literally just a weathered version of gear you could obtain in the game. In 2.0 they changed this to be different for each race and gender, so Lalafells, Roegadyns, Elezen, Miqo’tes and Hyurs got their own unique looking starting gear. And would you look at that! This gear had the belt already on the gear, and equipping different belts did not change this.
Even though the visible belts were removed, they were added onto the new gear, so your gear now always comes with a belt attached to the chest piece, if it fits the design. However, the 1.0 gear I mentioned earlier did not get that treatment. So all the early gear from 1.0 has no belt around the waist. This makes them look rather unfinished. If you look closely at this gear, you can very clearly see the dents where the belt was supposed to go around. Ah. Belts… How I miss you. Or do I? I don’t know anymore.
Anyway, that’s it for this episode. Thank you so much for watching. Leave a like if you enjoyed this video and subscribe if you want more! And tell me in the comment section what you think about the topics of this video. How do you feel about the story of the Vigils? Do you miss elemental resistance? And do you want belts back? #FreeTheBelts