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Aetheryte is the name given to massive shards of crystallized aetheric mist, precisely cut and fused to arcane machinery. While it is not known when or by whom these devices were originally constructed, their teleportational qualities have become the backbone of everyday transportation throughout the realm, with most managed and operated by individual city-states.
Though the exact mechanism behind teleportation via Aetheryte is still largely a mystery, one theory states that when a sentient being approaches one of the portals, the aether that makes up its body resonates with the aether of the crystals, which in turn results in a complete breakdown of the being's mass, allowing it to temporarily return to the invisible aetheric streams that course throughout the planet. The being's soul, which cannot be broken down, then guides the particles to a predetermined destination, and upon arrival, the corresponding Aetheryte receptacle reconfigures the mist back into its original form. This whole process takes only a matter of moments, allowing for nearly instant transportation to faraway destinations.
However, being broken down to the aetheric level can take its toll on one's body, and rest is often required after several consecutive jumps, especially as the distance becomes greater. As a precaution, most city-states strongly discourage over-teleporting, as it can lead to irreversible damage.
In addition to being the method of teleportation in Final Fantasy XIV, the Aetheryte also has uses besides teleportation. Aetheryte is also the location where you initiate that area's Levequests. In addition, you can also check your faction standing, and read a tutorial regarding Final Fantasy XIV at the Aetheryte. It is also possible to set one's Home Point at any Aetheryte point, allowing players to Return there once every 15 minutes or after being incapacitated.
In 1.0, using Aetheryte teleportation magic involved the expenditure of Anima to teleport to any Aetheryte gate they have previously visited. The player begins with 100 Anima and regenerates 1 Anima every 4 real hours (logged in or logged out), for a total of 6 per Earth day. This was the only way to replenish Anima until patch 1.22 (March 24th, 2012) introduced Hamlet Defense battles, which can reward players with anywhere from 3 Anima to 100 depending on their score at the end of the battle.
It had cost at most 6 Anima to teleport, which is halved for Towns and Favored Locations. There is a 1/3 discount for teleporting within the same region (i.e., Gridania to another part of Black Shroud).
Starting with 2.0, Anima is no longer required to teleport. Instead, a fee of gil must be spent for teleporting, based on distance traveled. In addition, the city-states all have a network of Aetheryte Shards that allows warping between key facilities in the city, at no cost. If a player possesses an aetheryte ticket in their inventory, they can use it instead of paying gil for the teleportation.
Aetherial Gates were small fonts of energy that are connected to the Aetheryte of the region it is located in. They were a sort of checkpoint found in sub-regions of areas. A player could use the Aetherial Gate to teleport to and from the Aetheryte of that section of the map for 1 Anima. These Aetherial Gates are permanent.
These gates were removed in A Realm Reborn, likely due to the implementation of mounts.
In Version 1.0, Aetherial Nodes appeared when the player has completed a Levequest. When they appear, they instantly restore the player's HP and MP, and also allow them to teleport back to the Aetheryte at the base camp if they so choose without expending Anima. The Aetherial Node only lasts for a short time, however, dissolving when the player wills it to disappear or when the player teleports back to the base camp. Players cannot set their home point at these nodes.
Finally, there are some Aetherial Nodes that are used to teleport players to certain battlefields, such as the Primal battles or certain Seventh Umbral Era events. These appear violet in hue, rather than the usual blue. They cannot be set as Home Points, as some of them are not permanent, but they cost no Anima to use.
In A Realm Reborn, completing a levequest simply offers a prompt whether to teleport back to the Levemete. Aetherial Nodes still appear to designate the entrances to instanced duties, though interacting with them just opens the Duty Finder window.
Prepare to ride the Aether.
The Aethernet is made up of several miniature Aetheryte crystals scattered throughout town, and players can teleport conveniently from one to the other by speaking to the Private-Rank NPC standing next to them. Once you have the necessary Aetherpass, they are completely free to use with no Anima expenditure.
It also is possible to purchase Aetherpasses for the other cities through a black market Qiqirn for either 4,000 Company Seals or 400,000 gil.
In A Realm Reborn, Aethernet passes are no longer required, as access is available as shards are attuned. Full attunement to all shards in a city-state also unlocks the option to teleport out of the city gates.
There is an Achievement Category for arriving at Aetheryte Camps and Nodes, the prerequisite to using it as a teleport destination. A large portion of the Aetherial Nodes are found in areas populated by monsters above level 70, if not in the high 80s or 90s, while the current player Level Cap is 50, making these achievements more challenging than they sound. Traveling to these nodes serves as a good method to practice avoiding detection by monsters, many of which can demolish even the stoutest of adventurers in seconds.
These achievements were dropped in A Realm Reborn, and are only available to Legacy players who obtained them in Version 1.x.
A Realm RebornEdit
As the in-game geography underwent drastic changes in late 2012, it is expected that the locations of Aetheryte nodes had changed. Square-Enix has neglected to mention whether or not players will still have access to the nodes they have visited before, or how the achievements will be affected.
Concept art released at the announcement of 2.0 depicts an Aetheryte crystal that has changed to a reddish-orange and begun to levitate, anchored to the ground by large chains. Furthermore, screenshots released at E3 2012 show newly-designed Aetheryte Crystals with oblique rings around them. It is unknown what exactly will happen to the Aetheryte crystals, but the aetherial turbulence involved in the Seventh Umbral Era are the most probable cause.
Aethernet Shards are a small version of Aetheryte, the players can use it to teleport between areas of the city. A shard can also be placed at player housing to enable teleportation to the estate.
While functioning the same as in A Realm Reborn, some Aetheryte crystals in the new areas features alternate designs from the standard layout, often with the crystal cut into different shapes.
- Aetheryte Crystals are the Final Fantasy XIV equivalent to Home Point crystals in Final Fantasy XI, though they serve more functions. Both are like save points in that they allow players to more-easily reattempt nearby challenges should they fall in battle.
- Aether is similar to Mist or Mako in previous games. It allows for abilities like teleportation and crystal synthesis, but high concentrations of it are dangerous.
- Garlean magitek weapons, such as the gun-halberd used by Nael Van Darnus, are powerful enough to destroy Aetherial Nodes.
- Although anima was discontinued as a gameplay mechanic with A Realm Reborn, it is still mentioned a few times in Heavensward, and serves as the basis of the Anima Weapons.