Those are words most of us will pray to never hear again. Or maybe it's the 100+ quests following the conclusion of the main story scenario of A Realm Reborn before we are able to walk through the gates of Ishgard. Or maybe it's as simple as wanting to catch up in the story to play with friends. There are plenty of reasons why we have at least considered buying a "Main Story Progression" (i.e.story skip) from the Mogstation. However, it's more than just the main story you're skipping when you go for this option. Some features of the game that you would probably unlock naturally through the course of playing the game remain locked until you hunt them down yourself and find them, and one that you miss entirely. Here's a list of some of the essentials you'll quickly discover are missing as you begin from a later chapter.
Aesthetician & Glamour
As advertised on the Mog Station, a story skip will grant you the ability to dye and, as of the release of Shadowbringers, glam whatever you choose. What it doesn't grant is the ability to change your appearance through the aesthetician. If you skipped prior to Shadowbringer's release, the use of glamour prisms and plates can be unlocked by talking to Swyrgeim in Western Thanalan (x:12.6, y:14.3) for the quest "If I had a Glamour" and the aesthetician by talking to S'dhodjbi in the Limsa Lominsa Upper Decks (x:11, y:11) for the quest "Beauty is Only Scalp Deep." Another note about glamour, the "emperor's new" items are still only available for purchase by vendor once you have a crafter leveled to 15.
The A Realm Reborn story skip will give the personal chocobo mount, but no amount of gysahl greens will summon it to fight by your side until you complete the quest "My Feisty Little Chocobo" after talking to Docette in the South Shroud (x:17, y:28). Immediately following this quest you can talk to the nearby Luquelot to unlock the ability to raise your chocobo as well. If you're also skipping through Heavensward, all other flying mounts will fly without issue, but to fly on your own trusted bird you need to complete the quest "I Believe I Can Fly" which is given by Arnoulain in the Foundation (x:7, y:11).
Even though you can now teleport to nearly any housing location through a mutual friend, sometimes you still need to get in the old-fashioned way. In order to access each of the housing wards from the aetheryte of their respective city-state, you will have to do each of the "Where the Heart Is" quests to formally unlock them. For the Mists, the NPC Ahctkoen is in Lower La Noscea in Cedarwood (x:33, y:19); for the Goblet, the NPC Imme is found in Western Thanalan (x:26, y:24); and for the Lavender Beds, Margeria in Central Shroud in Bentbranch (x:21, y:22). To unlock Shirogane, Tsurubami in Kugane (x:12, y:9.9) will supply the quest "I Dream of Shirogane."
While the access to retainers is part of the main scenario, the ability to send them out on ventures is not. You can unlock retainer ventures by completing one of the "An Ill-conceived Venture" quests by talking to a Troubled Adventurer located in Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks (x:9, y:11), New Gridania (x:11.8, y:12.2), or the Steps of Nald in Ul'dah (x:9, y:8). You only need to complete one of these quests to gain the feature.
Materia Melding and Transmutation
While it may seem more obvious that Materia transmutation isn't unlocked by a skip, the base ability to have your gear melded, either by vendor or player with a crafter leveled, is also included on this list. Materia melding is unlocked by the quest "Waking the Spirit" after speaking with F'hobhas in Central Thanalan (x:23, y:14). Transmutation is unlocked by the quest "Marvelously Mutable Materia" from Kokosamu in Central Thanalan (x:23, y:14).
Grand Company Ranking & Hunts
A story skip will enlist you to the Grand Company of your starting city-state, but the ranking up will require your own efforts. Unlocking the ability to get rewards from hunts, purchase any type of housing, purchase certain materials, and squadron missions are all locked behind various ranks.
With any expansion comes new maps that provide gil, materia, and rare materials. To participate in these adventures, you need the ability to decipher a map and dig where "X" marks the spot. The ability to do so comes from the quest "Treasures and Tribulations" from the NPC H'loonh in Eastern La Noscea (x:21, y:21).
The Diadem & Eureka
For those who have purchased the Heavensward story skip you can unlock the ability to enter the Diadem as a solo player by speaking with Aurvael in the Pillars of Ishgard (x:14.5, y 10.9). Those purchasing the recently released Stormblood skip can unlock the Eureka questline by first speaking with Galiena in Rhalgr's Reach (x:9.8, y:12.5) for the quest "And We Shall Call It Eureka".
The land of Eorzea offers two different Deep Dungeons. Palace of the Dead is unlocked from the quest "The House that Death Built" which is picked up by talking to Nojiro Marujiro in New Gridania (x:12, y:13.1). Heaven on High, for those with a Stormblood story skip, is unlocked from picking up the quest "Knocking on Heaven's Door" by talking to Hamakaze in the Ruby Sea (x:6.2, y:11.7) and completing Palace of the Dead floors 1-50.
The Wolves Den & The Gold Saucer
Two relatively simple quests unlock PvP and the Gold Saucer. An NPC near your chosen Grand Company will give a quest titled "A Pup No Longer" which will send you to the Wolves Den. There, near the aetheryte, you can unlock the Frontlines, the Feast, and Rival Wings. The Gold Saucer is unlocked in Ul'Dah, Steps of Nald (x:9 y:9) from a quest called "It Could Happen to You."
Want to buy those lovely paintings from the vendor in Idyllshire? You'll need to unlock the Sightseeing log first in New Gridania (x:11. y:13) by talking to Naoh Gamduhla for the quest "A Sight to Behold." You then have to unlock the logs for each subsequent expansion as well. The Heavensward log quest comes from Kester Ironheart in the Dravanian Forelands (x:32, y:23). Stormblood's log quest "Sights of Crimson and Dawn" is given by Ulger Ironhear in Rhalgr's Reach (x:10.5, y:23). Finally, with the release of Shadowbringers, the newest log quest is given by Eirlalth in the Crystarium (x:9.5, y:9.7).
Gear & Items
Story skips are pretty selective in the items and gear they with which they choose to freely gift you. Quest reward items can be purchased from any Calamity Salvager, as can level 50 and 70 artifact gear for any classes that you have at those levels. Level 60 artifact armor is acquired by purchasing from Yolaine in the Forgotten Knight in Ishgard's Foundation (x:13, y:14) with centurio seals. Another item you will be missing is the aether compass. This can be recovered by talking to Gibrillont in the Forgotten Knight in Ishgard's Foundation (x:13, y:11) or Gaufrid in Rhalgr's Reach (x:14.3, y:9.6). Finally, with any story boost, you will not receive the free fantasia that is given as a reward for completing the A Realm Reborn questline.
Extreme Trials, Raids & Side Quest Dungeons
No matter which story skip you buy, the Extreme version of the trials and any of the raids will still need to be unlocked as they normally would have. Some side quest dungeons and trials, such as the Four Lords quest line and the last three Heavensward trials, are also not included. Additionally, even though a story skip will unlock the Hard mode trials, it does not grant duty completion status so you will still need to run the Hard mode before the quest to unlock the Extreme version will become available.
The Gold Saucer
Story skips are a great way to quickly catch up and play with higher-leveled friends without going through the hundreds of quests to get there. It's so easy to forget all those blue quests we may have missed along the way, however. This list doesn't even touch on all the beast tribes, crafting or gathering blue quests, or all the miscellaneous other side quests. But as in any adventure, the main thing to remember is to have fun and don't panic.
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