Ouch. Just went in with 7 of us into Hard Mode from the FC workshop. Firstly, you need to buy a different item to enter Hard Mode. In Ishgard you buy a voucher with gil but in your own workshop you buy a tank with FC credits. Everyone needs one and to buy them you need to have permission to spend FC credits. The tanks can be traded though so you can always have officers distribute. From our experience I’d consider that unless you’re going in with more than 8 that it might be worth just going via Ishgard for Normal and Easy modes.
When you enter, you’re given a set of objectives and to get your 40 esoteric tomes you need to complete three of them. The first thing to do is to unlock flying. You NEED this. Otherwise you spend your entire time aggroing things and they don’t reset. People can sacrifice (‘sac’) pull them away for others. It took us a long time to get flying because we aggroed a lot of stuff. The mobs in Hard mode feel like they have a lot of HP. Even Tier III and IV mobs take a while to kill. They’re not hard to kill but take a while and they’re ‘trash’. Keep in mind though we were only 7.
Once we finally got flying, the map doesn’t take that long to unlock. We found the vendors. We decided to go for kills for one of our objectives and we ended up killing some Conodont style mobs (3). We also landed on an island where a lot of other people were killing things and NMs kept being popped. We hadn’t done any reading – we went in blind so we were a bit clueless but we managed to get involved in killing a giant
Ram Buffalo and the bronto from the trailer.
Black crystals seem to need you to kill mobs near them OR are on a timer. When you click them initially it just says something about being cloudy. Rings appeared around them later (either due to kills or time) and then when we clicked it counted for the objective.
We also found ‘buried treasure’. This was down a passage and the passage is long. There was a cave and then long winding passage with a crap load of mobs in it. Frankly, I would chain sac this if you go for this objective. We kinda did, 2 of us died and the last go it.
Return works and takes you back to the beginning as you’d expect. That’s useful.
Gathering is interesting. There’s no way to hide from mobs so you have to wait until they turn their backs. Found mining and botanist nodes with no problem at 60 and harvested some of the new mats. Didn’t get a chance to try fishing.
We pretty much ran around like headless chickens and killed things. Because we went in blind we didn’t really have a clue but figured out a few things as we ran around. We should have started with Normal honestly and we’ll go and try that this weekend. I’m going to do some research on the messages we got when killing mobs. Towards the end we were killing mobs fairly quickly and we got messages which we weren’t sure about but seemed to indicate we were building towards an NM. We did get a few bits of gear, 150s and 180s.
I loved it. Other people got a bit stressed. I’d prefer to now work a few things out and try em out in Normal but we will be going into Hard Mode again, ideally with a full party or more.