So you've taken an interest in finding out about the treasure maps of Final Fantasy XIV, and are curious to see what all they can entail? In this article we will fish up a treasure map, site the location, and see what can come of the activity. While not so commonly played a challenge as the instances and quests the game has to offer, it certainly has some measure of value to the lucrative player that has maybe grown bored with the run-of-the-mill activities and repetition they may enforce.
Like many of the abilities not designated to specific jobs/classes within the game, in order to obtain the abilities to 'decipher' maps and 'dig' them up you must first complete the quest unlocking them. This is a quest available for any level 36+ combat class/job, and can be found in the town of Wineport in Eastern La Noscea. The quest itself serves as a small example of what treasure hunting will involve, but on a much more minimal scale than can be encountered depending on the type of map being used.
There are five levels of map that can be found; leather, goatskin, toadskin, boarskin, and peisteskin makeup the lot of them, and while the first four can feasibly be done alone the peisteskin maps recommend a full party for success. Aside from their difficulty some other important things to be aware of are the fact that only one map can be found within an 18 hour timer. The timer is made visible from your timers listings once you've found your first and will indicate when another is available for you to be found. Another important fact to know, you can only hold one un-deciphered map at a time, and only one deciphered map as well. Ultimately this means you can never have more than two on your character at once. You can store them on your retainer prior to deciphering or even sell them, but once deciphered they are bound and unless discarded or fulfilled will not allow for another to be deciphered.
As for finding them, pretty much any duty of the land or 'gathering' skill has the ability to find them whether botany, mining, or fishing; you simply have to be searching from a high enough level location where they can be found. For this article we used fishing as can be seen. The perception statistic can definitely help with increasing the odds of finding these, so having food or drink that will increase your perception can definitely reduce that wait when attempting to find them.
Taking a seat to wait while fishing
Fortunately one of the additions brought with update 2.2, allows for fishers to /sit while fishing. Granted taking a seat does nothing to increase your chances of locating a map but it does seem to help your character at least with being a little less despondent regarding the activity you've commit them to. Many fishers can be seen still standing rather than sitting, but those planning to be there for the long haul can often be seen making use of this emote.
A map has been found!
Eventually your efforts should pay off so long as the node being fished is a high enough level and your patience doesn't run out before your food buff does. Since 2.2's release the maps have taken on more of a message in a bottle look, whereas prior imagery was similar to other bottled materials within the game. As the image shows however now not only has the art for this item changed, but once fished up the level and type of map are fairly explicit to observe as well.
Deciphering the map
Now that you have the map, its time to put that deciphering into action. As shown this ability can be loaded to your hotbars and utilized from there, or you can also simply right click on the found map and select the decipher option. So long as you have completed the quest to unlock these abilities that's all that is required to try and figure out where your treasure can be found.
Finding the X that marks the spot
Once deciphered the bottle will vanish from your inventory and the map itself will now be found in your quest item inventory should you need to view it again. As shown the map itself can be clicked to open the large map of the area in which it can be found. From there its a matter of lining up the treasure map's illustration with the actual location on the map based on the layout of the land and landmarks provided. As can be seen in our example this map seemed fairly straight forward in giving up its location.
To dig up a treasure chest
Now its just a matter of making your way to the found location. Granted you'll want to swap out that duty of the land job for a combative one of adequate level to face the challenge ahead, but once you've reached your destination its as easy as the 'dig' ability to then see if you got your pinpointing correct. Assuming you have as we did in the image, you will be given a message indicating as much and the treasure chest is revealed.
Final warning before opening the chest
Prior to opening the chest you are given the warning message as is shown. Any predisposition you may have facing the next challenge, now's the time to address it; once you click 'Yes' the action may not wait for you to handle as much otherwise. For this map, just to be safe, we called up our chocobo companion to provide healing and insure success.
The trap is sprung!
While many of the chests may seem repetitive in mobs or the challenges offered; it can often be entertaining to see the message as to how the 'trap' has brought them. As is shown in this example, the chest released a musk attracting our assailants to be faced!
Defeat all rounds of mobs to obtain the treasure
From there its a matter of taking out all mobs and reinforcements as they arise. The chest itself will have a timer in which you must defeat all mobs and reinforcements before being capable of opening the chest and collecting your loot. Some chests will contain a boss monster that summons reinforcements, others like the one in our example can be random mobs or individual mobs that you will have to take out prior to opening the chest to receive the 'Treasure Obtained' message. Be aware your timer is still counting once the mobs have dropped, so if you cut it close don't hesitate to claim your reward lest it be lost. Also something else worth mention is you can receive tomes from treasure chests as well. Some chests can prove more worthy than others, certainly their difficulty can have something to do with this; but not always. One goatskin map could deliver you 3 tomes, while another of the same difficulty could provide as many as 9 or possibly more. You will also receive experience, gil, various crafting materials, and even aetherial gear. When doing these in an actual group the loot will be randomly divided and highly rare materials or aetherial gear will be rolled on.
So now you have some insight into what this break from the run-of-the-mill in Final Fantasy has to offer. Granted it's no daily payout such as instances and other avenues have to offer, but for those that are just looking for a quick adventure of minimal commitment, these definitely have their own flavor of lucrative to offer.