By now, many have gotten their hands on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. With all the betas over and early launch starting in just a few days, I’d like to take this time to guide you all in the right direction in this brand new Eorzea. If you feel a bit lost or you have not started yet, I’m here to help ya! Even if you have already started or have gone crazy like I have during the betas and hit level cap, hopefully there’s something here you could use on your travels.
You want to amass a fortune, right?
When you first start off in FFXIV, you’ll be presented with a question of why you became an adventurer. Unless you have absolutely zero interest in crafting, make sure you tell him “To amass a fortune.” This gives you a ring that has +8 CP, which is a stat used for crafting. This ends up being very useful compared to the other choices as the additional 8 CP will make a difference when it comes to succeeding a craft with a higher quality finish, which in turn will give you more EXP return per craft. The other choices only yield a ring with +1 stat to either Crit Hit Rating, Vitality, or Determination, which are minor in comparison. These rings are replaced fairly early on, while the fortune ring does not.
If you already started, don’t feel too inclined to restart just on the account of this ring. Again, if you have no interest in crafting, go with your other options.
After landing into the city for the first time, you will be given a quest that involves you going to the guild for your class, a quick talk to an NPC about markets, and attuning yourself to an Aetheryte. While I can’t confirm if this is mandatory now — mainly because I always do it before even stepping outside and never checked if they added blocks in open beta — it is a step that you should take regardless. This will begin your story and class quests, both which are very important to progress in ARR.
Take the time to run around the city and get familiar with it. Keep an eye out for aethernets nodes and attune yourself to them, as you can use them to teleport to any attuned aethernet within the city. Attune yourself to all and you will be able to teleport outside of any city gate. Very useful if you want to cut down on travel time, especially since you will going back and forth from your guild in the early levels.
And never forget to sprint.
There’s a story?!
Final Fantasy has always been known for their “great” stories… but never mind that for a second. Story quests also unlock new functions such as being able to do daily-ish quests called guildleves, getting an airship pass, enabling dungeons for you to venture, and a myriad of other things. Do these quests as you’re leveling up your first class. These quests will have a flaming border on its icon compared to the rest of the other quests.
By the time you hit level 15 for the first time, you should have the quest “It’s Probably Pirates”, which will lead to your first dungeon in Sastasha. If not, stop whatever you’re doing and get caught up.
Hunt down everything in that Hunting Log
Upon finishing the first class quest, you will have access to the Hunting Log. This acts as your “kill X monster Y amount of times” quests that you normally see in other MMOs. Each class has their own log, so leave no reserve for murdering helpless wildlife! The EXP reward is worth it. This also leads you around the areas and helps you get familiar with them. In any case, you want EXP and you want to get your hands dirty. The hunting log will help you accomplish just that.
Don’t be afraid to beat that claimed monster.
If you get the first hit on a monster, it’s claimed to you but anyone can still hit it. If you claim it, you get 100% EXP and whatever it drops. If you hit an enemy that is already claimed by someone else and you do enough damage to it, you will also get credit for the kill without making a dent to the original claimer’s rewards. Do not be afraid to engage other people’s monsters if your objectives are the same.
Plan how you’re going to play with friends.
EXP bonuses are plentiful when you’re killing as a group. Not only that but you will be given a stat boost based on the composition of your party. Make a big enough party and you will have access to limit breaks that acts as a safety net for the party when it’s needed.
Unfortunately, FFXIV ARR starting locations are based per class. While you will be able to freely move between the three cities once you get further in the story quests, the option to do so before that point is rather restrictive and a bit of a pain as you will need to run across the world. This is also further complicated in that no single city houses a tank, a DPS, and a healer class in the same place. The only city that comes close is Limsa Lominsa, which houses Marauder as a tank and Arcanist which can potentially serve all three roles. If you are dead set on playing with other friends right from the get go and the class choices are not aligning towards your original plan, do consider that you may need to level an alternate class for shared abilities or to unlock your job at level 30.
Save quests for lull moments.
You may be very tempted to pick up quests as you roam through FFXIV. This is a habit we have acquired from playing many MMORPGs. However, if you have any other method of gaining EXP, save non-progressive quests for when you need an extra boost in EXP during down time. These quests are one-time only and you cannot repeat them on another class. You also cannot cheat the system by feeding your quest rewards to a lower level class since all quests are level restricted even upon redemption.
Don’t get too wrapped up in doing quests, either. They are not the only way to earn EXP in ARR, and you do not want to bore yourself with repeated fetch quests if you do not have to.
Get comfortable with your controls and your UI.
There’s nothing worse than fumbling with controls. As FFXIV is based on constantly using abilities in the middle of fast-paced combat, having access to all of your abilities at your fingertips is very important. For keyboard/mouse players, you can bind anything on your keyboard and mouse to anything on your action bar. Make use of Shift/Alt/Ctrl+Key options and try to reduce mouse clicking your action bar as much as possible.
Also take time to retool your UI and HUD. Everything can be moved and resized to your heart’s content. You want to be as comfortable as possible, so make sure everything is exactly how you want it.
Food and Potions are delicious.
Food in ARR will give you a temporary increase in stats while giving you an EXP bonus. Potions will help you during situations where you’re near death. You can pick up some food and potions from NPC vendors for relatively cheap, or you can craft them yourselves with the right crafting class. Either way, stockpile on these and remember to use them. This may be the difference between life and death in certain instanced quests. You can also put these on your action bar as well.