Obtaining and customizing retainers
In A Realm Reborn, players are authorized to hire a retainer upon joining the Scions of the Seventh Dawn during the main scenario. Retainers can be hired by speaking with Retainer Vocates in any the major cities' Market Ward. Up to two retainers may be hired into service. Players can obtain additional retainers by paying an additional fee with their subscription.
Players can choose from any race/gender combination for their retainer, customize their appearance and assign a nickname to refer to them. Heavensward must be registered to a players account to hire Auri retainers, while Shadowbringers must be registered to hire Viera and Hrothgar retainers. Until Patch 2.2, they could wear whatever piece of equipment is on sale, as a means to advertise wares, but with the addition of Ventures players can outfit them manually and assign a class. Patch 2.4 introduced an item called Retainer Fantasia (obtained randomly from Quick Exploration ventures), which enables the player to change their retainer's appearance and name without dismissing them. Starting with Patch 3.2, retainers can be assigned a full job, including those added with expansions.
The player can summon their retainer with the Retainer Bell in the Market Ward of every major city, as well as residential districts, inn rooms, and other major settlements like Revenant's Toll. A Retainer Bell can also be installed within player housing and comes installed in Free Company workshops.
Starting from Patch 2.2, players could assign their retainers a class and assign them to Ventures. The classes could only be assigned based on what the player unlocked, and maximum level was is player's class level minus five (except at 60, where it becomes 60 for retainer). Retainers could be assigned any class except crafting classes, and could not equip Job crystals (later changed in Patch 3.2, by purchasing a Modern Vocation for 40 Ventures from any Retainer Vocate NPC, a Job upgrade is applied via a virtual soul stone). The gear equipped to a retainer affects their ability to complete Ventures, depending on average item level (or, in the case of Disciples of the Land, their Gathering rating). As such, it is best to try to improve retainer gear as much as possible.
To send them on a venture, players must pay them with special venture tokens. This currency can be obtained by completing levequests, Beast-Tribe quests, or purchased with Grand Company Seals or Allied Seals. Ventures will be undertaken for a certain amount of real-time; once completed, they will present items and receive experience for their efforts. Exploration ventures take the longest and are divided into tiers (designated by Roman numerals), but provide significant experience and occasionally a rare item (including exclusive minions). Procurement ventures are useful to assist in crafting. Once the retainer reaches level 10, they may undertake Quick Exploration, which yields a completely random item (regardless of class). The items retrieved from Quick Exploration can vary from odd fish or housing components, to varying equipment and crafting materials. In some rare cases, they have been observed retrieving items from endgame content. The EXP they receive is dependent on how rare the item is.
Note that even while undertaking ventures, they can still sell items on the market or be contacted to handle items. However, players cannot change their equipment until the venture completes.
|Hunting||Disciple of War/Magic||Retainer will attempt to obtain specific type of item dropped by creatures.||40 minutes - 1 hour||1|
|Mining||Miner||Retainer will attempt to obtain specific type of item from mining and quarry nodes.||40 minutes - 1 hour||1|
|Botany||Botany||Retainer will attempt to obtain specific type of item from logging and harvesting nodes.||40 minutes - 1 hour||1|
|Fishing||Fisher||Retainer will attempt to obtain specific type of seafood suitable for crafting.||40 minutes - 1 hour||1|
|Field Exploration||Disciple of War/Magic||Retainer will explore on their own and return both Allagan coins and random spoils.||18 hours||2|
|Highland Exploration||Miner||Retainer will explore on their own and return both Allagan coins and random material.||18 hours||2|
|Woodland Exploration||Botanist||Retainer will explore on their own and return both Allagan coins and random material.||18 hours||2|
|Waterside Exploration||Fisher||Retainer will explore on their own and return both Allagan coins and random fish.||18 hours||2|
|Quick Exploration||Level 10+||Retainer will do a short expedition to retrieve a completely random item.||1 hour||2|