Ul'dah is a city-state in Final Fantasy XIV located in the deserts of southern Aldenard. It is the most wealthy of the city-states, its flag bearing scales as a symbol of their commercial significance in Eorzea. The city-state was once exclusively populated by Lalafell, and the royal family is of this race, but the prospect of wealth attracted all peoples from across the world. The majority of the Syndicate members are Lalafell.
The bustling commercial hub of Ul'dah sits amid the desolate desert landscape of southern Aldenard. The city is organized strategically around the dome-shaped citadel at the center. Its towering fortifications and protective outer walls are visible for malms in all directions to deter would-be besiegers.
Visitors from every corner of Eorzea come to Ul'dah to partake of the city's famed recreation, most notably the fighting arenas and gambling halls. Ul'dahic culture is known for its affluence, and the nation's wealth largely comes from its abundant mineral resources and prestigious clothcrafting industry.
Historically, the sultan claims sovereignty over Ul'dah, but true power is wielded by the Syndicate, an elite group of six of the most influential and richest members of society. Nald'thal is the city's patron deity and two great halls devoted to his two aspects are found in the eastern and western sections of the city.
Emporiums and ServicesEdit
- Main article: Ul'dah/Legacy
Ul'dah was the most densely populated city in the game. Its geographic placement between Limsa Lominsa and Gridania made it a commercial hub for adventurers in spite of the barrenness of the outlying region. It was the place where the Main Scenario quests converged after the brief narratives unique to each city-state were completed. It was the Hydaelyn equivalent to the Grand Duchy of Jeuno, the main difference being that it is a starting nation.
Ul'dah saw some of the worst server instability because of its player population density, including instances where the entire Thanalan region would crash. The Inn, originally accessed via the Quicksand (Ul'dah's Adventurer's Guild), was shut down for several weeks shortly after its release, attributed to the traffic in the area straining the server. Square Enix was unable to get it to function until they created a "back door" in the Gold Court, the core of the city.
Between the lag, the resulting player complaints, and a general desire to evenly distribute player activity, Square Enix developed the Mercantile House feature to attempt to spread players to the other two city-states, but a few factors made this futile:
- It was easier to set one's Retainer from within Ul'dah's Market Ward.
- The long-established population density made it easier to find parties in Ul'dah; this was far more important in Legacy as the game did not yet have a Duty Finder or the realm-wide Party Finder feature.
- Many Linkshell communities made Ul'dah their gathering spot as a result of general player density, which led to a feedback loop of people grouping in Ul'dah, though Linkshells making their normal gathering spot Ul'dah, thus drawing more people in, and so forth.
- The more popular Grand Company of the three is Ul'dah's Immortal Flames, primarily due to the aforementioned conveniences, which once again led to a feedback loop.
Like the other city states, Ul'dah as a whole is largely intact, and contrary to what is shown in the footage of Bahamut's rampage at the end of 1.0, it was not directly damaged by the Calamity (or at least not to the extent the cinematic implied). It has, however, been redecorated and some spots have been modified, such as the addition of the Immortal Flames headquarters in the wall where the Market Wards once stood. The Milvaneth Sacrarium is currently inaccessible, being attributed to damage from the Calamity. The addition of jumping allows players to quickly drop to from the upper to lower levels in the Gold Court.
The brothel aspect to the Miner's guild has been removed; although the stage is still there, it appears the performers have moved to the Ruby Road Exchange.
- Ul'dah has seen the worst effects of the Seventh Umbral Era, being the only city-state to endure full-scale invasions of powerful Deepvoid. After the final save maintenance, chocobos could be ridden in town.