If you have read some of my blogs in the past you may know that I have been playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn for quite a while. Recently I have convinced another one of my friends to join the game to play with the rest of us. If you didn't know already, I've been playing this game since it came out in Beta for the Playstation 3. It's actually my first MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) that I've really delved into. I had a weekend to understand this game and get to level 15. When the main game came out I wasn't able to pick it up until it had been out for a month, but ever since, even to this day, I have been a strong member. I got this game a month or so before I had started attending UAT. Yeah, that was 3 years ago. Now unlike Nicholas, a past Student Ambassador and my roommate, I am not a hard core gamer. I'd like to think I am since I like to get everything but when I started this game I was focused on the story and how the whole thing worked. It wasn't until I had been playing for almost a year until I got my first friend to start playing. At that point in time I had already finished the main story and had started to level up my other classes so I was able to help him through the game. Then, in my second year of playing, I got my roommate, Nick, to give it a try in which he lasted for a couple months of playing non-stop, almost to the point where he caught up with me, until he decided there wasn't enough for him to do. Both of my friends had taken a break from the game but it wasn't until the first expansion, Heavensward, came out that they all came back to the game and played with me again. It was at this point in time I got another one of my friends, Zac, to play as well as another 2 people we all knew. After a good month or two, the first four of us had really been teaming up together and it is a lot of fun to play with everyone as a party. Now that I've been playing for 3 years, the game has gone though a lot of changes and I actually understand how everything works. Which brings me to this blog. Since one of my friends decided to join the game recently I wanted to make a blog about how I've learned you can start out in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. So here are my 20 tips and tricks that I've picked up over the past couple years that will really help you understand FFXIV, and how you play it.
1. For the love of everything good, do the Main Scenario Quests
It seems that every single person who starts this MMO that is my friend never listens to the biggest advice I have. I constantly get texts or get asked "how do I do this?", "When do I get this?" Time and time again I ask them the same question...."Have you done the main story quest?" and the answer is always "no". Well if you don't listen to any of the advice that I give you please listen to this one. DO THE MAIN QUEST. (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ This will open everything to you and teach you everything you need to know about the game. The main quests in the beginning only exist to show you how to play the game and to guide you everywhere you need to go. For your own sanity and mine...do the main story because you'll be much better off with them done and they actually give you amazing experience points so you'll level up a lot faster by focusing on it.
2. Play on the PC? Fix your keybinds
Personally, I play with a 5 or 6 button mouse so after I figured out how keybinds work I immediately changed a lot. If you are entirely new, essentially, keybinds is what makes the inventory open on your screen by you pressing the "I" key. Adjust and change your keybinds to what makes everything easier for you. If you access something a lot and the current keybind is "ctrl+letter" you may want to change it to something more accessible so you don't get frustrated in the future. If you're on Ps4 or play with a controller there's not much else I can advise you on other than to get a keyboard to play with you you can talk to party members as well as to give yourself your own keybinds. I play on the PC but everyone else who I know plays on the Ps4 and their advice is to hook up a keyboard to make everything easier.
3. Join a Free Company a.k.a Join Mine!
So in FFXIV we have Free Companies in place of guilds. They are the exact same thing but since in this game "guild" is already used for your classes organizations they didn't want you to get confused. My advice is, early on in the game join a Free company, this will benefit you and them so much. You can make friends through your guild who can help you and give you advice when you have questions. One of my friends to this day was my Free Company Guild Master from the very first FC (Free Company) I was part of. We still help each other out every now and then. Joining an FC can get you a lot of other things as well. FC's have what we call "actions" these actions are things such as "The Heat of Battle" which gives each member an extra 5% more experience for everything you do. There are many actions for almost everything you can think of. It's really handy. Another thing you have access to is the company chest. only sometimes will newer members be allowed to take from the chest but it's handy if you do. Some FC's that I've been part of will put materials for crafting or even gil that others can take. Just join. one I promise you won't regret it. Also My friends and I recently started our own FC! If you are on the Primal Exodus server(good luck with that) send your application to Choco No Pico. We're working on ranking up so we can get a large guild house!
4. Log your butt off in a Sanctuary
What is a Sanctuary you ask? It is usually towns or places where the larger Atheryte stones that you can teleport to are. You'll be able to identify it by seeing a crescent moon below your health bar. Logging out in a Sanctuary will give your character rested experience. Hold on to your seats because this rested experience will give you a 50% bonus to almost everything you do. I'm sure now you can see the use so make sure you log out in a Sanctuary to get that rested exp!
5. Food is love, Food is life
One of the things a lot of my friends and I didn't do was eat food. It wasn't until the past year when I really realized how important food was. Listen to me now, don't go into a dungeon without food. Making sure you eat food will give you an extra 3% experience to almost everything you do. With all of what I've told you so far you can get about 57%. Now, food isn't just for the experience. It can also boost some of your ability stats up for the duration of the food effect (which is usually 30 minutes). This can help if your gathering class is just shy of a couple perception stat points, if you eat the right food you'll possibly gain those points. Another quick hint is that if you get, say your Paladin, to 50 the rest of your fighting classes will get a 50% bonus of experience to level 50. The same goes with your gathering classes and crafting classes. With all of this combine you can get a total of 107% bonus to almost everything. That's double the exp for almost everything!
While we're on the topic of food, look at this Final Fantasy XIV cafe that is open in Japan now!
6. Do your Hunting Log
You will find that the Logs in this game are very important and often times will help you out a lot. When leveling up your classes I really recommend that you do each classes hunting log. These are just monsters you have to travel around and defeat none of them are too dangerous or difficult to beat and they are usually just ones you can find when wandering around. Filling out the Hunting log gives you a lot of experience. My roommate Nick does his Hunting Logs from level 1-15 on all his classes because it is so easy and fast to level up by completing them. I've actually gotten from level 49-50 back in the day and it really saved me. It's just a bit of extra experience that can probably top you off.
7. Then there's the Challenge Log
Aside from the Hunting Log when you are able to, finish the mission to unlock your Challenge Log. It's extra experience for just doing things. For example, say you do 3 dungeons. That's a challenge and once you finish your third dungeon in that week you gain 15% of experience of your current level and get 1000 Gil. So if you are just about to level up this can take you over to the next level so you don't have to do another dungeon. This is something that refreshes once a week, so you have a week to complete all of the challenges. Best part is that there are separate challenges for your crafting and gathering classes as well. There are categories on Dungeons, Guildhests, PvP, FATE's, Levequests, Crafters, Gatherers, Treasure Hunts, Beast Tribe Quests, Grand Company, Retainers, Companions, Player Commendations, and Gold Saucer. Yeah. That's a lot of experience to get.
8. Get your Dailies, Get your Dailies!
So unlike the Challenge Log there are some things you can do every 24 hours. The timer usually restarts at about 2 AM so do them while you can. If you are under 60 you will find that most of the Duty Roulette dailies are worth doing. They give you a ton of experience. You'll also find that if you are at level 60 you will get a bonus of Tomes of Lore, and Esoterics, which is what you use to get end game gear. Now do every single one of those dungeon roulette every day and you'll see that the majority of the time, until you hit about 53ish you'll level up every day at least once. There are other dailies, such as ones for your crafters and gatherers that go through your Grand Company but after a little bit of research you'll understand what I'm talking about. Essentially you craft specific things and turn them in, much like a Levequest, to get experience. My recommendation is never turn in anything that isn't high quality because you get double the experience. You also have your daily Beast Tribe Quests, Daily Treasure Maps, Daily Hunt Marks, as well as your weekly Hunt Marks. All of these will give you a bonus to experience and is really helpful.
9. Macro your stuff
This more specifically goes towards those who are Tanking or Healing. There are certain moves such are Warriors Berserk, or the healer classes revive that should be macroed. What is a Macro? it is something that you can program (very easy since I can figure it out) that allows you to, when you push a specific button (of your choice) it will have your character preform a move, but this is mostly used to announce to the party what move you are doing. An Example of this is say you want to raise a party member but you don't want to push 2 buttons to raise them like usual as well as you want to notify them and the rest of the party that you are raising someone. This can help the other healer not waste their raise when you are doing yours, just save mana all around. What you would do is this:
/micon "Raise" (this makes the icon you select in your bar look like the raise icon so it won't be confused)
/p Raising <t>! (this is what the party see's in the party chat. The <t> is the target that you have selected, or their character name)
/ac "Swiftcast" (This is the action Swiftcast that gets rid of cast time for the next spell, all healers should have this. a.k.a level up Thaumaturge.)
/wait 1 (this is a precaution just to make sure the system registers you have casted Swiftcast so you won't have a cast timer for Raise)
/ac "Raise" (This is the action that will raise.)
There are a whole bunch of funny Macro's out there so have fun with it. I think my favorite one is one that Nick, my roommate has, when he raises someone he says " <t>, you must main a Dragoon with skills like that!" It's funny if you know what I'm talking about lol.
10. Get those Cross Class abilities
Final Fantasy XIV is a unique MMO because it allows you to level up every class on one character instead of forcing you to choose one crafting, gathering, and fighting class. One of the benefits to leveling up other classes is the ability to take actions or moves from one class and use them while you're in another class. For example, there is a move that the Monk learns that can be used by pretty much every other class, it's called Second Wind and heals you for about 10-15% of your max health. It's not much but it can get you out of sticky situations. I apply this move to every class I can because it really helps. Where Cross Class abilities really come in handy is when you are crafting. By doing a bit of research you'll know what I mean by it's a shame you can only take 10 moves from other classes. You'll find that each crafting class gives you a unique ability that can be used by all other crafting classes. With all of these abilities together you can almost always get a high quality item when crafting them.
11. Wanna craft? NO do gathering first
Crafting is great in this game, but unless if you want to be broke finish your gathering classes first. I'm all about do what you want in the game to make sure you'll have fun but this is one of those things that will make you go completely broke in the game. By leveling up your gathering classes first you can get all of the materials you need to create almost anything. I recommend that if you start doing crafting classes just do then all eventually. They all rely on each other. For instance, you make want to make a jacket for your character as a Weaver but you'll need a specific leather that your Leatherworker can make. Although be careful about leveling them all up at once. It can get a bit overwhelming at times and you'll run out of Levequests really fast. Crafting is great because you can get really rich off of it if you're smart about it. I have this website that will work for every class in the game but I mostly use it for my crafting and gathering classes to tell me what gear I should be wearing at what level. You can find it here and it also has a whole bunch of other uses like a recipe book, every Leve in existance, and a food calculator. Gear is everything for a crafter. You'll find that you fail a lot of Synthesis' because you're gear is bringing down your stats too much or you will never be able to obtain a high quality item because your gear is keeping you down. If you do end up doing a crafter, do yourself a favor and make sure you have some good gear. I stated this earlier but I want to say it again because it's so important. If you are doing a Levequest, Daily, or anything that requires you to turn something in always turn a high quality of that item. You'll get double the experience. Trust me it's worth it in the end because you'll be leveling up twice as fast as you normally would.
12. Started gathering? good job!
Gathering is one of my favorite things to do in the game. I almost was the reason Nick quit the game once because he started Fishing. There are only 3 gathering classes and it is very tedious work. I mean so tedious and sometimes boring the only way I got my Fisher to 50 is by only turning on a certain sound in the game and watching Netflix on the other side of the screen to keep me awake. In crafting you have to adjust what you're doing at every step to make the right decision. When it comes to gathering there's not much surprise to it. It's very simple, and time consuming but if you're like me and enjoy tedious work, it's a lot of fun. If you click on this link here you can browse this page for what I use as my guide to level up my gathering classes. It does include crafting so if you wanted to check that out I'm sure it's helpful. Just like crafting, gear is everything to a gatherer. You won't get anywhere without the right gear to help you get by. I recommend to use the gear calculator I gave you above to figure out what you should be wearing in every level. You'll find that a lot of what gathering is, is just grinding. You may spend a few hours just mining Silver Ore to level up a couple times. The good thing about gathering though is that everyone else is too lazy to do it. Nick has made about 4 million Gil off of just grinding and getting 5-7 stack of Silver, Iron or any other kind of Ore he can find. It's a bit crazy but you can get seriously rich off of gathering and crafting. My last note on gathering: Fishing may be the worst class in the game, just know that eventually you'll become numb to the pain of sitting there for hours trying to catch one fish.
13. Do that research!
For someone who chose this game as their first MMO to really play I can only recommend you do your research. If you are fairly new to the game or MMO's in general, do some research to find the best ways to do things. I mean you're paying for the game and you should enjoy it at your own pace but I recommend to not do what I did and take 6 months to get to 50 because you're just clueless. My friends are averaging about a month or 2 months to get to 50. Granted it's much, MUCH easier now a days in comparison to when I started. If you have a question or are unsure about anything just look it up or ask for FC mates. Usually some of them are experienced so you can get a lot of good answers or suggestions for them. Square-Enix also started what they call the Novice/Master system. It is an individual chat group composed of experienced social players who are dedicated and more than willing to help or answer noobie questions. As a beginner you can join the Novice system early in the game and get all of the answers you need.
14. Do ALL the things!
So when you are approaching level 50 you'll find that there are a lot of dungeons before you get to the Heavensward content. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. Although the Main story requires you to do only a fraction of these dungeon I really recommend you do all of them. When you reach level 60 and possibly want to do some of the end game work you'll find you need some if not all of these dungeons. Get the experience points while you can when you are under 60 because you can end up going into Heavensward already level 52 possibly. Just know it's worth it in the end.
15. Leave those Leve's alone!
Unless if you are crafting or gathering don't touch your Levequests. you have a maximum allowance of 100 Levequests and to get a crafter or gatherer to 50 will take a good 40-50 of these. Now don't get me wrong, Nick has figured out a way to level up fighting classes very quickly with Levequests so if you have the allowances and aren't planning on leveling a crafter or a gatherer any time soon then feel free to use them. You'll get about 6 more allowances every 12 hours so they restock decently. These are essentially small quests you can do over and over again that will give you a bunch of experience if you turn in items high quality. if you are doing them for your fighting classes I recommend that you do them at the highest difficulty because you'll get a bunch more experience.
16. It's all about that gear, 'bout that gear.
Now as I stated before when it comes for crafting and gathering gear is everything. What I didn't mention is that your endgame life will revolve around gear. Those Tome of Lore and Esoterics I was talking about earlier are the keys to getting end game gear. Tomes of Lore have a weekly cap of about 450 so you will only be able to obtain 450 Tomes or Lore each week. Usually it will take you a couple weeks to get just one piece of gear. Things average out to cost about 495 Tome of Lore to 825 Tomes to get gear. Don't fret though as long as you do your daily roulette's at least once a day or with an extra dungeon it's really easy to get there. Right now the iLvl cap is 240 and it's a doosey to get. That's what I'm currently working on. You'll find that throughout most of the game, no matter what you do, gear is very important. It can sometimes be the difference between having a good tank and a bad tank, or even a good party and a bad party.
17. Below 50 and need to level up? DO FATES
Fate's, Fate's, Fate's!!! FATE's are little instanced areas that have a timer that usually have an objective that players have to fulfill. They can be things such as defeat the boss, defeat the minions, gather supplies and other stuff like that. If you are below 50 and are waiting to get into a dungeon or don't know what more you can do to level up, go FATE grinding. Just run around the area that best matches your level and just complete as many FATE's as you can. This will not only help you level up but help you get more Grand Company seals that you can use to level up in the Grand Company of your choosing.
18. Materia/gathering/crafting = money
You may not think about it early in the game but getting rich really early in the game can really help you out. If you are crafting or gathering on your spare time try to get enough to sell on the market boards. You'd be surprised that a stack of 99 Iron ore will go for around 20,000 Gil on the market board and it only takes maybe 10-20 minutes to get a full stack. If you are a hard core gamer, this is definitely right down your alley. You'll want to do this all the time during your spare time. An even better route is to get 3 stacks of 99 Silver Ore (or a similar Ore) and with those make one stack of 99 Silver Ingots. It's a bit of a net loss but they go for more on the market so instead of getting 20,000 for one stack you'll get about 40-70,000 Gil for a stack of 99 Ingots. Don't even mention the high quality ones. A stack of 99 High quality ingots will probably get you over 100,000 easily.
19. Side Quests are important too!
Don't forget your side quests! They are an easy way to level up. Usually your first class will get to 50 or 60 the fastest because there are a whole bunch of side quests to go. Each new area you go to that is in your level will actually give you a bunch of quests for that area's level. So say you're in a level 25 area. Most quests in this area are going to be from 25-30, and boy to they give a ton of experience. With these in combination with dungeon crawling and FATE grinding you'll get there in no time. This is especially true when leveling from 50-60. The whole Heavensward content contains more side quests than you need. You should be able to get to 60 just on side quests alone. You'll have enough quests to do to get not only your first class to 60 but have some left over to get a second class to 60.
20. When in doubt...do moar dungeons!
If you ever question "What should I do now" just know the answer is probably going to be dungeons. Trust me, I get it, dungeons put me to sleep even when I'm tanking or healing. lol. Ultimately, the best way to level is to do dungeons. In this list I've put together a whole bunch of different options but throughout my time on Final Fantasy I've dungeon grinded the most out of anything because it works. My biggest suggestion is to find a group of people, possibly from your FC or create a Party finder group, that are dedicated to leveling up and just grind those dungeons out. It's better if you're with friends because not only will you have fun with them but you'll get fast que times. If you don't have a pre-existing party either do the deep dungeon or just sign up and do more dungeons. I've gotten it down to a science how many dungeons it usually takes to level from 50-60 depending on what dungeon and what level you are because I've done it so many times. It's worth it in the end
lastly: get good and have fun!
My unofficial tip is to just have fun. If you are a hardcore gamer then go hard core. This game is good for both hardcore gamer's and casual gamer's. I personally find myself inbetween the two when I play. I am trying to get everything to the max level and be really rich while doing it on my own time. One of the biggest suggestions that I can give you is to take your time with the story. It's a really good story that has some really emotional moments. With these tips that I've given you, I hope I've made your life a bit easier when you play the game. You'll find that the Final Fantasy community is actually pretty good. You'll run into a few jerks here and there but I've learned so much from other people on this game because they were nice enough to educate me. I've made a lot of friends on this game and have had a lot of fun. The game is only 12-15 dollars a month and I can definitely tell you, it's been worth it from day one for me.
That's all for today!