Retainers in FFXIV: ARR
Your Banking and Auction House NPC
This guide walks you through obtaining your retainers, working with the retainer interface, placing items up for sale on the auction hours, and deploying retainers to different cities. One of the features from the original launch of FFXIV that carried over, albeit with significant changes, to the A Realm Reborn reboot is the retainer system. Your retainers, yes plural, represent your banking and auction house system in A Realm Reborn.
You unlock the rights to retainers during the process of completing the level 17 main storyline quest, The Scions of the Seventh Dawn. During this quest, Minifilia informs you that you have the rights to retain NPC’s to help you with your town needs. You don’t receive much more information that this and its rather easy to have missed the notice during the cutscene.
Acquiring and Interacting with your retainers
Having achieved the unlock serves no benefits if you do not go out and obtain a retainer. To do this, you must visit the market wards in any of the three major cities. In the market wards, look for the NPC located behind a desk, with the Retainer Vocate tag. Interacting with this NPC provides information on retainers and begins the process of obtaining a retainer.
Note, you can have two retainers from the point Minifilia unlocks the ability. Each one has a customized look and nickname, built in the character creator interface. Once you have built, named, and accepted a retainer, he or she deploys to the city of hire initially. [Note: The name you choose for your retainer will show up on the items you list and sell on the market boards. Keep this in mind when you name your retainer!]
You summon your retainer using the summoning bell. In each of the major cities, the summoning bell can be located in the market ward area. Additionally, a summoning bell is also housed in your inn room. Right click on the bell to begin the summoning process.
Calling your retainer temporarily ceases any auction house work you have assigned. This work resumes as soon as you cease working with them and release them back to their duties. Upon summoning you can add or remove items or gil from your retainer and you can also set up your retainer for auctioning duties.
Your retainers each have seven tabs to store inventory and they can each maintain 20 auction house listings. This gives you fourteen tabs and 40 potential auctions as you level up, more than enough for a fledgling economic empire!
Managing your Auctions
While managing your retainers you have the option to set up items for sale through the retainer. Each retainer can have 20 items listed at a time and each retainer can be assigned to sell form a single city at a time. At this time you can only list sell orders. Given that retainers can hold gil, it is possible we will eventually see a buy order system added.
The auction houses are linked, so the choice of city deployment primarily affects the tax rates. If you don’t like the tax rates for your deployed city, check with the Retainer Vocate (the npc above that assigned you the retainer) to see what other options are available!
You can deploy your retainers to different cities directly via the Vocate of that city. Once you have deployed them, they will remain selling at that city. This is regardless of what city you are in, or if you recall them to manage your items! By doing this you can reduce your tax rates substantially!
When you list an item for sale on the retainer, you are given an opportunity to set the price the item will sell for. For stacks of items, this is the per item price. However, the entire stack will list at that price and people must buy the entire stack. Keep that in mind, sometimes its better to split the stack up to smaller chunks (5 to 10) and sell them in smaller quantity.
You don’t need to “guess” a good price either. Your retainer gives you the option to view the current listings for that item as well as the history of recent sales of that item. These are accessed from small buttons on the auction UI (see screenshots).
Remember, items listed for sale only reflect what people have listed them for. You are often better served checking the completed sales to get an idea of what people willingly pay. If you find your items are not selling, use the “adjust price” option to check pricing histories, you may need to reduce the prices to get the items to move. Additionally, remember that all T1 and T2 crafting materials are available from NPC merchants. Your prices will, usually, have to fall below those if you want to move goods.