I just got cheap ffxiv gil 38 craftsman cunning III from my last airship voyage. In total, I’ve accumulated a couple hundred random materia III, and it looks like the later voyages will bring back grade IV.
All of that, just for converting the miscellaneous crafting mats I’ve been hording into airship parts. The only things I’ve made an effort to acquire for the airship are coke and darksteel ore, but the GC seals I get from fate leveling has made that part fairly reasonable. I did all of this totally by myself, and have felt like I’ve neither invested too much time or effort in it.
It would be nice if the company airships still did something helpful during the upcoming exploration content, but I think given the housing shortage, making the rental ones just as valid is a reasonable thing to do.
And I don’t know how you’re spending a bazillion FFXIV gil on what is essentially 2.0 materials, unless you are buying coke off the market for insane prices rather than naturally acquiring it in a day or two of casual play.
I assume a Rank 1 Tiny Bronco can be used in just the same way as the Ishgard Airship or a Rank 50 Airship with Tatanora parts, at least. Free Company Airships seem to be more about Grade 3 Actions, rather than anything else, they’ll always be useful for that at least.
I really don’t think they’re worthless even without this upcoming content, though… Guess it depends on your servers economy (and how you built yours), but I’ve earned something like 15m off the Materia mine have brought back since Heavensward launched, and that isn’t counting the millions I put back in to speed up building new parts… Glorified Retainer Ventures? Sure, but I’m certainly not complaining about all those IVs I’m getting…
If they really need to balance it though… Just give the Ishgard one an 18 hour recast time, similar to Treasure Maps. If you don’t have a Free Company, one voyage to the new zone every 18 hours. If you do have a Free Company, two voyages, or more, depending on how many Airships/how unbalanced that would be. I’d actually find that enhances the content in general, you’d have to plan going out there, it would feel more like exploring and death might actually have a price for once; You wipe out while exploring, you have to home point and you’ve wasted one of your allowances for visiting the area.