Proof is in the pudding:
* After first feed: Brown Chocobo
* After one more plum: Black Chocobo
* Me and the master mind behind this:
Yes, it is in fact possible to go from a Desert Yellow chocobo to a Soot Black Chocobo in 24 hours. First, credit goes to the creators of the tools used in this experiment.
Chocobo Colour Calculator
Chocobo Colour Simulator Spreadsheet
There’s a discussion about the theory behind why this works at the end of this post. For everyone else, here’s the feeding order.
Soot Black Chocobo in 24 Hours: Feeding Guide
First Feeding: Desert Yellow to Soot Black Attempt (Actual Result: Kobold Brown)
Total Fruit Required (Via Calculator): 19 apples, 23 pears, 32 berries
Feeding Order (Constructed with reference to the Simulator Spreadsheet):
Note that it helps to break out the large number of foods into smaller stacks in the character inventory, arranged in order.
- 3 apples
- 12 berries
- 7 pears
- 7 berries
- 6 apples
- 7 pears
- 7 berries
- 4 apples
- 4 pears
- 3 berries
- 4 apples
- 4 pears
- 3 berries
- 2 apples
- 1 pear
Feed exactly this number of foods in this order. Do not feed the bird 19 apples and expect this to work. See the theory section for details.
Second Feeding: Kobold Brown to Soot Black
Total Fruit Required (Calculator): Two plums.
Actual: Fed 1 plum. At this point we got the “Chocobo is growing new feathers!” message which signaled a color change. We knew this would be Soot Black and stopped feeding. Congratulations, you’re done!
Actual results may vary when it comes to getting close to Soot Black, but should vary by no more than a slight amount of RGB based on the potentially random element of chocobo food. It is likely that you will get something at most as far away as Kobold Brown, which required only one additional item to change the color to the desired Soot Black.
Chocobo Color Theory
This experiment (i.e. Desert Yellow to Soot Black) strongly supports a few general popular theories in the FFXIV community.
- Chocobo color is linked to RGB values. This is strongly supported. It is still unknown if or how the game uses an “RGB closeness” formula, though I chose to work with that model in order to provide a better margin of error.
- Every item fed to a chocobo has an effect on RGB values, regardless of whether or not there was a “feather proc” message. This is strongly supported.
- There is some element of “random” in how each fruit affects RGB values, but weighting the change as “+/- 5” is a reasonably accurate model. Even if each individual fruit is slightly random, it is possible that the overall impact averages out to a net gain/loss of five (per item) over time. This basic principle is strongly supported, but specific values are still unknown.
- RGB “floors” exist. This is strongly supported and has been observationally confirmed. Feeding a large amount of fruit to a chocobo tends to get it “stuck” at one color and makes further color changes impossible until the values have reset. Negative RGB values are impossible and so “freeze” the color at one point until the new RGB values are assigned. An awareness of RGB floors and potential “random” effects, as well as a planned margin of error to account for this randomness, is in fact the key assumption that allowed for a transition from Desert Yellow to Kobold Brown in only one feeding – and a direct leap to Soot Black in two.
It turns out that the Chocobo Colour Calculator actually works perfectly and that is exactly how many of each thing to feed the chocobo. The Calculator just doesn’t provide an answer about in what order to feed that quantity. Many people followed the recipes without considering the existence and influence of RGB floors and so took the Calculator values to be incorrect. The above feeding order was constructed by hand in the Colour Simulator Spreadsheet and then broken into separate “microfeeding” steps in order to build up and reduce each RGB value in series. No value ever gets low enough to hit the RGB floor (this order actually leaves a conservative margin of error of about 30-50 RGB value in each category).
So, what does this mean generally?
This means you can get from Desert Yellow to any chocobo color on the chart within one or two feedings, provided that the following rules are observed:
A. Use the total amount and types of foods indicated by the Colour Calculator.
B. Break up the feedings into small amounts (I hand-calculated and arranged this order using the Simulator Spreadsheet) so that you first increase one color, then use a food that increases the lowest remaining color value while reducing the others, then repeat. This usually involves using smaller and smaller amounts of each food in each feeding round, as illustrated by the above order (i.e. 12 to 7 to 6 to 4 to 2 etc.).
C. Leave a reasonable margin of error to account for randomness and do not approach the RGB floors by overfeeding. It is better to feed in gradually decreasing amounts in a series (as above) than to attempt to feed larger amounts of a single type of dye food at one time. Avoiding the RGB floor is the only way to get the chocobo to change multiple colors in one feeding and rotating types of food in different amounts is the only way to avoid the RGB floor.
Please look forward to your Soot Black Chocobo!