Leveling DPS is Butts


One of the best parts about Final Fantasy XIV is that you can literally be every possible class be it crafting or battlecraft on the same character.  One of the worst parts of Final Fantasy XIV is that for the most part leveling alt jobs has been a pretty grindy proposal.  When you first set down to level in Final Fantasy XIV, you have all of these side quests and main story quests to keep the game feeling fresh and keep the content moving forward at a decent clip.  Unfortunately when you sit down to level any of your other Jobs you find out just how much of your original quest experience came from that unrepeatable main story.  As always I leveled my Warrior first because well…  like it or not I am a tank at heart and for three expansions now I have not deviated from that mission.  There was some brief flirtation with potentially going Dark Knight, but in the end Warrior just suits me best.  However now I have reached that point where I have functionally geared the warrior as far as I can without the aid of Omega drops, and as a result I have turned my attention to trying to run my first DPS up.  You can tell by the above image that my DPS of choice this go round is the brand new Samurai job.  The only problem there is…  quite honestly leveling as a DPS without the aid of the Main Story Quest…  is butts and highlights some of the problems that Final Fantasy XIV still has when it comes to a lack of reasonable alternate leveling paths.


Previously in A Realm Reborn era especially… I used to hop in a FATE grinding party and move on with life.  There were fabled zones like South Shroud or Northern Thanalan that were largely devoted to groups of players running around and trying to kill the FATEs as fast as possible.  Unfortunately with the transition to Heavensward, there was a massive nerf of FATE experience and with it the grind party devotees started to disappear.  When Palace of the Dead was introduced it gave us a ladder to follow to slowly bring those alts up to speed through grinding sets of 10 floors at a time.  Unfortunately however the PotD experience is pretty horrible with the bar barely moving at level 61.  There is a bit of a FATE presence in The Fringes, but everyone is fairly disorganized with no groups available through the party finder.  There was some talk over the weekend of maybe starting up a guild FATE party just to get all our various alts leveled in a reasonable manner.  My current MO has been to queue for a dungeon or roulette and grind FATEs until it pops and in the grand scheme of things this has worked well enough.  Over the weekend I went from 60 on my Samurai to 65 as of last night, which a huge chunk of that happening during recording the podcast and simply bouncing from FATE to FATE until we finished.  I remember that is also how I leveled my gathering professions, since while I am podcasting I can seem to grind something without even noticing it.  I would also try this with Palace of the Dead, but before long I would find myself running circles in Quarymill while we recorded…  much the same as I used to run circles in Dalaran.


I honestly thought I was being clever in this expansion, and after the end of Raubahn Savage…  I found myself up enough in experience that I started attempting to ignore every side quest and only push through with a laser focus on the main story.  My thought was this would ultimately help out the first alt that I leveled, and over the weekend I returned to Ruby Sea where I had dozens and dozens of quests to complete.  Unfortunately…  these quests provide next to no experience and simply only add bits of story to help flesh out the world a bit.  I spent about an hour and completed a dozen or so quests… when I realized that my experience bar had moved less than if I had gotten gold in a single FATE.  Hell to be truthful just wandering the world grinding random mobs seemed to be better experience than the side quests were providing.  In the past this would be the moment that I would start leaning heavily on Battlecraft Leves…  but unfortunately much to my frustration it seems that they simply do not exist in Stormblood.  There are crafting leves in Kugane but neither there nor Rhalgar’s Reach have anything for the battlecraft jobs.  I mean leves were a horrible experience in Heavensward and the thought of having to keep popping back to the Foundation between rounds was maddening.  However they were there if you got desperate and there were many times I got desperate enough to see some steady progress on the experience bar.  There are hunts of course, and I have been doing my daily hunt logs but again… while they are an excellent source of seals…   they are a pretty crappy source of experience.


If I am playing a tank or a healer… then this whole question of how to level becomes moot.  You simply queue for dungeons and ride the constant string of instant queues until you hit 70.  However there seems to be something missing to help the DPS get a leg up.  Now the leveling roulette and 50/60 roulette seem to go significantly faster than queuing for a specific dungeon.  Over the weekend leveling roulette seemed to be about a 10-15 minute queue for dps, and 50/60 somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 minutes…  with queuing for an individual level and gear appropriate dungeon taking somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40 minutes.  If I was able to run FATEs while waiting on the queue to tick down it did not feel too horrible, or at least it felt like I was making steady forward momentum.  However if I happened in one of the patches where the folks were not touching the FATEs at all…  it was noticeably dragging.  Compare that to the experience of playing a healer or a tank… with their push button get dungeon mechanics and it just feels lousy.  At least with Palace of the Dead providing reasonable experience, you could skirt a lot of the issues and get by just fine with four dps parties in there.  I am not sure where it is on the roadmap, but I am really hoping we see the next iteration of Palace of the Dead launching with 4.1.  Until then… I think once I finish leveling the Samurai I will probably focus on my other tanks and my healers before returning to the DPS queue hell again.  This is also why I have been trying to offer my short tank queues whenever possible to the free company…  because leveling DPS is butts.

6 thoughts on “Leveling DPS is Butts

  1. I don’t get the complaint that side quests give “next to no xp” that I’ve been seeing from variosu FFXIV blog posts since SB dropped. Side quests give over 100K xp per quest and they tend to be very short and quick. The MSQ quests used to give the same amount as a side quest, but that was changed to be double a side quest in HW (and not even at the beginning of HW — I had to use side quests to level my 1st job, I recall, but after the change I could level my daughter’s character on just the MSQ) to allow people to mostly use just the MSQ on their 1st job and leave the side quests for a 2nd or later job. Even so…. side quest 100K, MSQ 200K…… neither is a huge chunk of xp all at once either way, and you can grab 3-5 side quests at once and do them all in 15 minutes or less for a pretty decent chunk in a short time.

    The daily hunts in HW can be done in less than 20 minutes and give about 600K for all 15. The daily hunts in SB give about 1.6 million xp, but take closer to 45 minutes since they also tend to be very spread out. And you can’t necessarily do all of them as a fresh 60 either — level 65+ mobs tend to kill any non-tank or non-summoner, after all (and the Vanara mobs in Yanxia hit REALLY hard so it’s hard to kill them before 62, even though they’re only 64). The HW beast tribes give another 600K xp in about 30 total minutes that’s very easy to get, so if you aren’t worried about powering a class from 60-70 you can still get from 60-62 in 3-4 days with little effort expended. After 61 you can queue for a dungeon while doing the daily hunts and probably get in a pop or 2 in that 45 minutes, and the level 61 dungeon is worth about 1.4 million xp without rested bonus and 1.7 million with it and leveling goes pretty rapidly, IMO. Sure you can’t get every job to 70 in a day, but so what? MMO’s aren’t really about instant gratification, and there are a lot of jobs to do — marathon, not sprint.
    pkudude99 recently posted..[FFXIV] Dark Knight Surprises MeMy Profile

    • Not sure man. I did a dozen or so quests in Ruby Sea, the various random stuff that the confederacy gives you and it moved the bar less than a single non-xp-bonus FATE.

      • Non-bonused FATE ranges from 75K to about 110K depending on the zone from what I’ve seen. So to me it appears that a FATE is essentially the same as a side quest. Certain FATE give more (I did Outfoxed last night and got 325K for silver), and I’ve had bonused FATEs range from 140K to 230K, so…. I dunno what to tell you. I just don’t really see FATEs as being any better than side quests from an XP standpoint. Other than that side quests also go away but you can always do FATEs, I suppose.
        pkudude99 recently posted..[FFXIV] Dark Knight Surprises MeMy Profile

  2. Yeah, I’m going to be in that boat on my second job pretty soon. I’m catching my breath from finishing up my first right now.

    Someone in my FC noted last night that the MSQ Roulette gives a good amount of experience now if you’re over level 60. Also, a lot of folks in my FC have been using Frontlines (Shatter) to level when above 60.

    I have never touched PvP before in this game (I’m NOT a PvPer at all!), and though it was nerfed slightly with the last patch if your team loses, it’s still a very generous and FAST way for a DPS to to level. Qs pop for DPS in far less than 5 mins each time. Matches usually last about 10 mins… and you don’t have to worry about standard dungeon makeup or dealing with too many annoyances. No one cares if you die, and honestly if you win or lose… it’s a 72 man mass of chaos, and it’s pretty fun once you get the hang of it. We’ve been dragging a lot of non-PvPers in our FC out there and most of them enjoy it.

    The only mode I’ve ever played was Shatter, and while I can’t do it for hours at a time, it’s very viable experience, even in short bursts. Once you hit 70, it’s also 50 Verity Tomes dropping on you every 10-15 mins or so (win or lose). Worth a look!
    Aywren recently posted..FFXIV: Ben’s GlamourMy Profile

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