Everything you need to know to get started in Eorzea.
The critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV) has re-opened its gate’s to new players, (as of writing, the Free Trial up till level 60 including the award winning Heavensward expansion has yet to be reinstated). But we figure there's bound to be a bunch of Sprouts that don’t know their MSQ from their Alliance Raid Roulette. So we'll give you a quick rundown of what you’ll be encountering on your journey through Eorzea and the lands beyond.
- 1 Character Creation
- 2 Your Starting Choices
- 3 How to Get Started
- 4 Questing
- 5 Jobs, Classes and other Professions
- 6 The Duty Finder
- 7 Leveling
- 8 On Gear and Gear Progression
- 9 Take your time
First of all, you don’t have to worry about the stats of the different races and clans. They used to serve a purpose back in the A Realm Reborn before times, now the difference of three to five points in STR doesn’t matter anymore. Once you reach the endgame, these numbers will be in the hundreds and thousands. Same goes for your characters birth date and patron deity; these used to serve systems that are no longer in the game and are simply there for flavor.
So you can just pick whatever suits your fancy; please note the Hrothgar and Viera are locked behind the Shadowbringers expansion. With a female version of the Hrothgar coming too, sometime in the future. These classes will later evolve into the traditional Final Fantasy Jobs.
Your Starting Choices
A Tank that will later evolve into the Paladin. It has great defensive abilities and comes with shields and swords. It starts in Ul'dah.
Later turns into the Warrior. A more aggressive take on the Tank role, it comes with a mighty Axe. This one starts in Limsa Lominsa.
A Healer that later becomes the Final Fantasy staple, White Mage. It is FFXIV’s pure healer with big heals and great damage using a staff. It finds its beginnings in Gridania.
A Healer and magical DPS that focuses around pets. This one starts out as a DPS but will later turn into the Healer Scholar, which uses a Fairy to heal and offer support and the Summoner, which summons mighty beings to fight for it. They both use books, but different books for each. But their Level’s are tied together so you can freely switch between them as long as you have the gear. They start off in Limsa Lominsa
A melee DPS that punches things very hard and very often. This later turns into the Monk. It also starts in Ul’dah.
Another melee DPS that uses a lance. It will later turn into the Dragoon for flashy jumps and even flashier combos and offers some great buffs for their party. It will start off in Gridania.
A ranged DPS with bow in hand, will later turn into the Bard. Focusing around keeping buffs for the party up at all times, while also dealing with a very unique playstyle. You’ll find it in Gridania.
Magical DPS that later turns into another Final Fantasy staple; the Black Mage. A selfish DPS that can do massive Damage, provided it did not have to move much. It also uses a staff (different one from the Conjurer) and starts in Ul’dah.
How to Get Started
After a lengthy cutscene, the game will set you lose in one of the three City States and force you down a small quest tutorial. These slightly vary from City State to City State and serve to get you introduced to the people you’ll be dealing with for the next few hours. The Main Scenario Questline (MSQ) will start off by getting you introduced to the basics of travel with the Aetheryte System, the Market Board for Player to Player trading and the Class Quests.
While progressing through the MSQ is necessary to unlock further content, the optional Class and Job Quests are not. But you should absolutely do them! They will feed new gear and skills every 5 levels and teach you some of the basics of your Class/Job.
Now you are free to pursue the MSQ at your own pace, later you will be asked to visit the other City States. Do note that your character only gets to do the starting quest of your chosen City State.
You are offered three types of Quests in FFXIV, the Main Scenario Quest, which is mandatory to unlock content. The optional blue Side Quests; these are you Class Quests, Job Quests or will unlock additional features and content. And the yellow Side Quests, which are your simple run of the mill Quests that offer a small story along with a Experience Point/Item reward. There are also World Quests called FATE’s, these will pop up in non city zone’s and can openly be engaged with. And finally, Leves; little Side Quests that are repeatable that can be picked up in cities and settlements.
Jobs, Classes and other Professions
As mentioned before, FFXIV prides itself on letting you play everything it has to offer. Once you finish your level 10 Class Quest, you will get access to your Gearsets. A fancy way of saying you’ll be able to save gear setups so you can easily switch between jobs and classes. Your Class and Job is tied to the weapon you have equipped; all your stats are tied to your current level and the gear you have equipped. Which makes it easy for the grim Warrior to moonlight as a Miner for that extra bit of coin.
Speaking of Professions, FFXIV provides a number of non-combat one’s divided up in Crafters and Gatherers. All Crafters and most Gatherer’s play the same. (Stay tuned because we'll explain all of them in a separate guide soon!) These Professions are mainly meant for making money, preparing gear and meals or indulging in the housing system; which we'll also get into later. They're purely optional, but recommended if you want to save some Gil and be completely self sustainable.
Jobs and Job Stones
The eight starting Classes will turn into Jobs once you finish their level 30 Class Quests and obtain a Job Stone. Those have separate hotbars and offer slight adjustments to their gameplay. Further jobs will be unlocked at level 50, 60 and 70, all with their own unique Quests.
Please do note that FFXIV does not really have a best or a worst job. Every Job can clear every content, provided you meet the minimum requirement for it. Some Jobs are great at quick recovery after being revived, others offer greater synergy with their party.
The Duty Finder
With this feature, you'll engage with FFXIV’s instanced group content. Depending on the instance it will either match you with a Light Party of four members, or a Full Party with eight members. Some instances are gated behind a minimum average item level (ilvl). And all of them are gated behind a level requirement — meaning you can only enter a Level 16 Dungeon, when you are at least Level 16 or higher.
Getting into these instances, will adjust your current Level, your Stat’s and abilities set by the instance. The Duty Finder also offers an undersized Party option, that will let you enter instances with your current level but won’t allow you to gain the Experience Point rewards.
Once you have unlocked a certain number of Dungeons, Trials and Raids. The game will offer you it's Duty Roulettes. Once per day, per roulette, the game will throw you into a random instance of the selected type. These will offer you a big Experience Point and Gil reward once you complete them.
First of all, if you do the MSQ, it should easily get one of your Jobs from the start all the way to the current Level Cap. Alternatively, every Job whose level is below your current highest Level Job, with receive a double Experience bonus. This does however, not count for Crafters and Gatherers. FFXIV offers quite a few ways to Level, be it by either doing Side and Repeatable Quests, instanced content like Dungeons. Engaging with the Hunting Log or special attractions like Palace of the Dead. And of course, the Roulettes in your Duty Finder, players will usually do a healthy mix of all of them. There will also be a more detailed Guide on this at a later date.
You can find a more detailed guide on leveling here!
On Gear and Gear Progression
Then there is item level. Every piece of equipment comes with it and it usually sums up that piece of equipment strength. All pieces together, make up the average Item Level. Which will lock you out of some content, should you not hit the minimum requirement. FFXIV has a fairly linear Gear Progression, the harder the content the easier it will be for you to get the best equipment. There are also alternative ways of getting there, by either obtaining a weekly limited currency or committing to a grind that will be introduced in the later part of an expansion’s life cycle. Your Best in Slot (BiS) will usually be a mix of all three of them, depending on your class.
During the MSQ however, you don’t have to worry about this. It will feed you new equipment while progressing throughout the story and dungeons. Then it will only be a short jump from the end of the MSQ till you are ready to tackle the Endgame Content.
Take your time
I see a number of people getting into Final Fantasy XIV. Engaging in the good old Fear of Missing Out. Take it from me, I’ve been playing this game since launch. And I've have yet to run out of things to do. The best advice I can give new players therefore is… take your time. Nothing is running away from you. The current set of Endgame content will be around for at least six more months and there will always be people who want to do older content with you.
And yes, hearing all about how amazing the story in the latest Expansion is might make you rush as well. This latest story is only so amazing because it ties into everything else in the game.
If you come into Final Fantasy XIV for the Gameplay and High-End raiding, I hope you’ll enjoy it. But keep in mind this is still a Final Fantasy game. A series that prides itself with excellent story-telling and presentation. And it is what you should expect the majority of this game's content to focus on.
You’ll find more Guides and News all around Final Fantasy XIV, here on ESTNN.