FFXIV Airship Guide

FFXIV Airship Guide by BonzaiFerroni


The purpose of this guide is to promote the fine activity of Airshipping and to spur discussion on all the details that still remain a mystery. Consider the state of this guide to be “incomplete”, although there will be plenty of updates as others add their observations and we learn more! If you are making your own guide feel free to use any or all of the information here if it helps. If you do, please credit the Swiftsong FC of Pheonix, the finest team of airship enthusiasts I know -_-7

Unsolved Mysteries

I’m putting this section first because I’m just as greedy for more information as you are. If you have information on any of these details, please reply! I will update the guide as we learn more o/

  • What conditions are needed for a 2nd airship? UPDATE: Reports are rolling in of the 2nd Airship being unlocked after rank 20! It isn’t clear precisely what conditions are necessary, as some have not had the unlock even at levels where others have. Please, when you unlock the 2nd airship, give a detailed report of the voyage and conditions that preceded it. It could be that there is some randomness to it, and that there is a chance for each voyage after level 20. We won’t know until we have more reports. Reports:
    • Rank 20 → 22, sectors 2 → 5 → 7 → 8, unlocked
    • Rank 22 → 24, unlocked
    • Rank 22 → 23, solo trip to sector 8, enterprise rigging and all other parts invincible, unlocked! (Thanks Seravi!)
    • Rank 25, still not unlocked
    • Rank 22, still not unlocked
    • Rank 19 → 22, full invincible parts, stats are all at 80, still not unlocked (Thanks Inzoum!)
    • Rank 25, sectors 1 through 9 visited, still not unlocked (Thanks Tatsuo!)
  • What does the Favor stat influence?
  • What conditions are necessary to unlock sectors? We have some people who are rank 10-12 and still have not unlocked sectors that are below their rank. Is this a stats issue, is it an issue of luck? Report your findings!
  • What items can be obtained from sector ______? This will be an ongoing question, as more sectors are discovered, so please share your reports. It seems some items are a higher tier, indicated by whether it says it is High-quality in the flight log. When you give your report, if you can include that information, that would help a lot!
  • Where did all my coke go?

Quick Tips

Think of this section as the TL;DR of the guide. I’m also adding helpful tips from the community!

  • If you just got your workshop and you are brand-new to airships in general, there is an super-handy guide by Z’an Tia of Midgardsormr! You’ll find a helpful FAQ and a complete list of parts for each component.
  • When building airship parts, don’t worry too much about using HQ mats. It has no influence on the “quality” rating for each phase. The only benefit to using HQ mats is the exp bonus for making them and turning them in.
  • Even though it is fairly easy to get plans for enterprise-type parts early on, I don’t recommend skipping the invincible parts entirely. It is a long road to rank 15 on just bronco parts! Even after you get to 15, you won’t be able to upgrade all four parts at once, there won’t be enough capacity.
  • If you aren’t sure which parts to upgrade first, consider upgrading your aftcastle (+retrieval). This part offers the biggest increase to EXP by boosting your extraction ratings. Although the forecastle is a tempting upgrade stats-wise, it will not offer an EXP boost.

You might be interested to know that materials such as balsa or bambo can be traded. Even if they aren’t listed on the mb you can still obtain some from another player; if you know someone that has spare/is willing to sell them.

Airship Stats and Upgrade Recommendations

  • Surveillance: Influences the probability of gathering a 2nd item per sector. May also influence the probability of finding new sectors.
  • Retrieval: Increases item extraction rating (higher quantities of a specific item, better EXP bonus).
  • Speed: Influences voyage duration.
  • Range: Allows you to visit more sectors per voyage.
  • Favor: ??? (Speculation: Probability of HQ, Influences weather conditions encountered)

The above descriptions represent the current best guess for what each of the stats contribute. If you have your own speculation that you can support with observations, please share! Speed and Range seem pretty straightforward, and I will share my rationale for Surveillance and Retrieval in a reply. The following are your upgrade options and guidelines for how to prioritize:

  • Hull (+14 Range, -4 Favor): In some cases, you will be able to reach more sectors. Think of it as a general bonus to EXP and Items that increases in tiers as you unlock new sectors.
  • Rigging (+14 Speed, -4 Retreival, -4 Range): Better speed means more voyages in the same amount of time.. This is a more linear increase in EXP and items, but the bonus to exp is mitigated by decreasing the other two stats that influence EXP.
  • Forecastle (+14 Surveillance, +14 Favor): Better surveillance gives you a better chance of finding a 2nd item for each sector. However, finding a 2nd item does not seem important for increasing your overall rating bonus to EXP. It makes sense to upgrade this if your biggest barrier is a lack of materials available to build new parts.
  • Aftcastle (+14 Retrieval, -4 Surveillance, -4 Speed): This part seems the most important for improving your overall EXP by improving your rating bonus. It makes sense to upgrade this first if your biggest barrier is rank/airframe capacity.

For stats information on individual parts and a list of the materials necessary to craft them, Z’an Tia of Midgardsormr has that covered!

Items according to sector

The following is a very rough list of items that you can gather in each sector. Consider it far from comprehensive at this stage. I’ve started it using our own notes, but please contribute your own findings. It seems some items are a higher tier, indicated by whether it says it is High-quality in the flight log. When you give your report, if you can include that information, that would help a lot! Items that are a high-quality tier are bolded.

  • Sector 1: Rank 1 – Wind crystals; Lightning crystals; Bamboo; Vivianite; Vitality Materia III; Ferberite; Dexterity III
  • Sector 2: Rank 1 – Fire crystals; Vivianite; Bamboo; Quicktongue III; Gold Ore
  • Sector 3: Rank 4 – Red Moko Grass; Balsa Wood Scraps; Craftsman Competence III; Battledance III
  • Sector 4: Rank 7 – Water crystals; Red Moko Grass; Balsa wood lumber Scraps; Fine Alumen; Scarlet Sap; Gatherer’s Grasp III materia; Gatherer’s Grasp II
  • Sector 5: Rank 10 – Lightning crystals; Wind crystals; Empty crystals; Deep Red Crystals; Birch Branch; Vitality III; Savage Might III
  • Sector 6: Rank 14 – Deep Green Crystals; Empty Crystals; Dark Chestnut Branch; Piety III
  • Sector 7: Rank 17 – Ferberite; Deep Blue Crystal; Red Clay; Raw Celestine
  • Sector 11: Rank 30 – ???

Interpreting the voyage log

Reading the voyage log is a great way to know which component to upgrade next. At the top you will find your rating, your base EXP, and your EXP bonus. You will also see the items gathered during the voyage. The Flight Log is the really interesting part. Each sector you will encounter 1-2 “nodes” that your airship will extract items from. The pattern will look like this (I’ve added notes):

Sea of Clouds – Sector 06 reached. Commencing Survey.
Experiencing high winds. Airship surveillance levels unaffected, but exploratory capability may be slightly hindered.

This seems to influence your “surveillance level”, which influences whether you can gather items. Possible conditions:
-None = No penalty.
-High winds = Slightly hindered.
-Turbulence = Significantly hindered.

High-quality deep green crystals discovered. Commencing extraction.

Some items appear to be more rare than others. This line tells you whether that is the case. The chances may be influenced by a specific stat (surveillance, favor). Possible conditions:
_______________ discovered.
High-quality _____________ discovered.

High retrieval levels results in above-average extraction yield.

Extraction results can be: Normal, High, Optimal, ???

3 deep green crystals retrieved!
Additional anomalies detected. Continuing exploration.

If your surveillance level for a given sector remains sufficient, you will gather an additional item. If this is the case, the above log pattern will repeat.

Survey of Sea of Clouds – Sector 06 complete. SS Rubber Ducky performance rated as satisfactory.

Performance rating for a sector seems to be the average of extraction ratings.
-Abysmal (normal): +0% exp
-Substandard (normal-high) +50% exp
-Satisfactory (high) +100%
-Decent (high-optimal) +150% exp

Surveillance discussion

In the above guide, I proposed that Surveillance influences the probability that you will gather a 2nd item and retrieval influences your extraction rating. The biggest reason for believing this comes from the wording of the flight log. For each node that you encounter in a sector, you get a message reporting the weather conditions followed by the impact on surveillance level and exploratory capability.

-When there is no difficult weather, you receive a message like this: No wind or turbulence detected. 2 surveillance levels sufficient for exploration.
-When you encounter difficult weather, you get a message like this: Experiencing high winds. Airship surveillance levels unaffected, but exploratory capability may be slightly hindered.
-When you are not able to gather a 2nd item, you receive a message like this: Additional anomalies detected. However, airship condition found insufficient for further exploration.

The use of the word “surveillance” in these descriptions suggests that the stat plays a role. Considering all of those messages together, it sounds like your surveillance level is sort of like the HP of your airship. When you encounter winds or turbulence on your first item, it can reduce your HP. When the time comes to gather the 2nd item, if you do not have enough HP, you skip that item and move on to the next sector. Your surveillance level starts fresh for the next sector.

It’s worth noting that while it sounds nice, our data haven’t really demonstrated this strongly one way or another. Based on this theory you could hypothesize that there is a much lower chance of gathering a 2nd item after experiencing turbulence, a moderately lower chance after experiencing wind, and no penalty after not having bad weather. The following is our data, although a much larger sample is probably necessary to clearly demonstrate this:
-Failure rate after turbulence: 6 out of 12 (50%)
-Failure rate after wind: 4 out of 8 (50%)
-Failure rate after none: 0 out of 1 (0%)

Another interesting observation from our results came from upgrading our aftcastle, which decreased surveillance by 4 points. After this upgrade we had significantly higher failure rate for finding a 2nd item:
-Failure rate before surveillance decrease: 4 / 14 (29%)
-Failure rate after surveillance decrease: 6 / 8 (75%)

However, take the above observations with a grain of salt. One confounding factor is that we also ranked up and traveled to higher sectors on the “after decrease” missions. The higher failure rate may just be because the sectors were more difficult.

Entertaining other ideas, it might be that surveillance influences whether you can gather items in a sector at all, and we haven’t yet encountered a sector where surveillance is not high enough to gather an item. So far, we’ve always been able to gather a first item and occasionally unable to gather a 2nd. We haven’t yet been at a sector where it was possible to gather a 3rd. There have been no “additional anomalies detected” after the 2nd item. Surveillance may also play a role in that, although it seems more likely that there is a cap of 2 nodes for each sector we’ve encountered so far.

One interesting tidbit is that gathering a 2nd item doesn’t seem important for performance ratings (exp boost). On several occasions we’ve gotten “decent” and “satisfactory” ratings for a sector even when we’ve failed to get a 2nd item. Conversely, we’ve gotten “abysmal” ratings where we were able to gather both items but merely with “normal” retrieval levels.

Retrieval discussion

Retrieval is a bit more straightforward. When you extract an item you get a message like this: High retrieval levels result in above-average extraction yield.

Again, the use of the word “retrieval” in this line highly suggests the stat is involved. In our own data, there is a very strong correlation between improving retrieval and getting better retrieval results/performance ratings. We’ve made a single improvement to retrieval (invincible aftcastle).
-Ratings before improvement: B, C, C, C, C
-Ratings after improvement: A, A, A

We actually just upgraded to enterprise aftcastle last night, and we’ve yet to see the results. It would support this theory if we see a rating even better than A when she comes back! Edit: Well she came back! We got quite a chunk of EXP but still an A rating (was hoping for S).

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2 Responses to “FFXIV Airship Guide”

  1. We just reached Rank 23 with our Bronco and unlocked our second ship. We just have one question before we begin on the next ship. What happens to the old parts when you make upgrades for them? Say I have a full Bronco ship but I’m going to upgrade to the invincible aftcastle. What happens to the Bronco Aftcastle is it returned to your bags, is it destroyed? Do we donate it to the Brume for firewood?

  2. As I finish off my tier 4 hull, Invincible Hull II, I would like to note a thought I have had while making this bad boy. I have used only NQ mats, as we have all noted there has been benefit or differences between NQ vs HQ, however with using only NQ items my construction quality has never been higher than 12/100 for this part for any of the 3 phases. It could be the smite of RNGesus but it could also be higher tier airship parts actually do prefer HQ turn in to increase progress for the hopes of excellent or outstanding construction progress. We will see as I continue finishing all tier 4 parts off.

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