Final Fantasy XIV Minion Guide

I Love Mini-Pets

ffxiv 2015-02-22 10-52-44-08 One of my favorite things in any game is the collection of mini-pets and in Final Fantasy XIV they have a truly silly amount of them.  In talking to a guildie today I realized just how contorted it is to try and figure out how to get each of them.  They come from vendors, achievements, quests, an random raid and dungeon drops.  I thought for today’s post I would attempt to pull together a rudimentary list of where you can obtain which minions.  This will likely not be a complete list, but it is a good first attempt.  I will try and update it for new data as I find what I am missing.

Purchased Minions

This is probably the least complete of the information I have, but if you really want to find out how to get each of the minions, click the link and follow up to find out where the vendor is located.  Some of these require you to complete certain FATEs to get the vendor to show up. Anything marked Special event means it is from a holiday event or similar limited time happening.

Beast Tribe Purchased Minions

This next batch are vendor purchased, but require you to gain a certain amount of faction with a given beast tribe to access the minions.  It looks like each faction has two different minions.

Crafting and Harvested Minions

This category of minions is obtained either through a crafted pattern or through harvesting.  Click through to the minion to find out specifically what it takes to obtain each.

Quested Minions

There are a number of minions that can be obtained through the completion of quests.  Here is a list of those that I know of, as well as the quest that goes with them.  Be warned looking at the quest might be a bit of a spoiler at times.  Anything marked Special event means it is from a holiday event or similar limited time happening.

Achievement Minions

There are a number of minions that are associated with the completion of an achievement.  I’ve attempted to link the achievement to help you figure out what it takes to get each one.  Some of them are extremely involved.

FATE Minions

There are a number of minions that are obtained through the completion of specific FATEs.  Generally speaking these require you to get gold completion on the FATE in order to earn the minion.  These drop each time you get gold, meaning they are often extremely cheap on the market board.

Treasure Map Minions

With the introduction of the treasure map system, there are a number of extremely rare and highly sought after minions that come from completing these maps.  From what I understand it is a sub 1% chance of getting one of these minions, because of this… they go for millions of gil each.  Good luck!

Gardening Minions

When the housing garden plots were introduced, there are a number of minions that can be in essence grown.  Each of them requires you to do some truly contorted things to get a rare seed… that will then grow into the minion.  I don’t know the specifics but hopefully you can research how to do this elsewhere.  I am just providing a list of minions.

Retainer Venture Minions

Similar to the Treasure Map minions… there are minions that have an exceptionally rare chance of being returned from Retainer ventures.  Most of these come from exploration ventures of specific gathering types.  The rarity causes them to generally be priced in the millions.  Hopefully you will have some extremely good luck.

Dungeon Drop Minions

There are a number of minions that can be found as somewhat uncommon drops in various dungeons.  Several of these started as 100% chance drops, but as the market was flooded, Square decided to dial back the drop chance making them significantly rarer.  The best option for these is to farm them by running the dungeon multiple times.

Raid Drop Minions

A Number of the raids and trials drop minions.  Generally speaking when a trial drops a minion it is dropped every time you successfully complete it.  When a raid drops one, there is a chance it may or may not drop the minion.  The problem with raid drops is you are having to roll against potentially 24 other players… which means you need to roll exceptionally well to have a shot at walking away with it.

Veteran Reward Minions

Final Fantasy XIV has easily one of the best veteran rewards programs, rewarding players for subscribing to the game with various items.  At each step you get a minion, so I have jotted down the minion and the number of days subscribed you have to reach to earn it.

Mog Station Purchased Minions

Recently Square Enix introduced a number of RMT minions available through the Mog Station.  Each of these runs roughly $5.  So far these are limited to the various scions apart from Minfilia that comes from the yearly anniversary event.

Final Fantasy XIV Merchandise Bonus Minions

There are a handful of items that can be purchased that have a pack in code for a specific minion.  These are all exclusive and cannot be obtained through other means.

Eternal Bonding Ceremony Minion

Finally there is one other very specific minion that can only be obtained through attending an Eternal Bonding ceremony.  Having not actually done this myself yet, I am uncertain how this process works but I would assume it becomes purchasable after you attend.

Thats All Folks… for now

ffxiv 2015-02-23 21-43-30-57

That ladies and gentlemen is all of the minions that I happen to know about.  As they add more to the game I will try and keep this guide updated.  Tomorrow the 2.51 patch lands and with it I am sure more minions.  Also if there are other minions not included in this guide that you know how to get, please let me know and I will copy over the information.  Hopefully someone out here will find this information useful.

#FFXIV #Minion #Guide

Of Animus Books

Destiny of Poppy

Last night we recorded the latest episode of AggroChat.  This week we were joined once again by Tam and the regular cast of AggroChat…  Asghar, Rae and Kodra.  I went into the night thinking we would end up gushing about Destiny quite a bit, but in truth it turns out we all have a some very valid complaints about the game.  We do in fact talk about the good points, but also we talk about the weaknesses of the story.  Moreso we talk about the fact that there really isn’t much of a story at all.

Apparently this week some craziness happened in League of Legends with the team Unicorns of Love.  It seems as though they broke one of the taboos of the game and played Poppy in competitive play  More so than that they seemed to dominate a match with her.  We talk about the ramifications of this and get into an offshoot discussion about what happens when something is toxic for a game.  When a game changes the class or mechanic that you love, what do you as the player do?  I know a good part of why I wont be playing Warlords of Draenor, at least not at launch is the fact that Blood Deathknights “feel wrong” in ways I cannot quite quantify.

Of Tidal Bardings

ffxiv 2014-09-14 10-05-52-018 Since the last three days have been spent working on my Easing Into Eorzea guide series, I have not really posted much that was actually about me or my endeavors.  In fact this morning it feels more than a little weird to not be working on the next segment of that guide.  I guess in part I wanted to get some of the most basic information out there especially since I have a good number of friends either just starting the game or considering starting it.  One of the problems with Final Fantasy and just how content dense it is, is that it has so many different systems that it just expects you to know how to use.  I remember when we first started playing, it took me weeks to figure out what everything did and even to this day I am still finding systems that I knew nothing about.  So my goal was to try and flatten this learning curve by discussing things from the perspective of a player who is used to playing traditional western MMOs.

However this does not mean that I stopped doing things while writing these guides.  One of the most exciting things from the past week is that I managed to get Tidal Barding.  The entire reason why I was going for Turquoise color with my chocobo, was that it would match the Leviathan bardings perfectly as seen in the picture above.  Leviathan has been my favorite summon since Final Fantasy IV and as a result I knew when I saw this that I would have to get it for my chocobo.  The problem is that it involves getting a rare drop from Extreme Mode Leviathan, when I have not done any of the Extreme primals leading up to that.  The other issue is that it is a three star armorcrafting pattern, meaning it takes an extremely well geared crafter.

This is the point at which my good friend and awesome cosplayer Spiral Sun rides in to the rescue.  It turns out her Free Company leader could make the barding, so I shopped around on the market and managed to piece together all the bits needed.  All told I think I spent around 150,000 gil to gather up the bits, which is a significant discount over what the completed barding had been going for on the market boards.  Last night I checked it was still floating around the 500,000 mark.  So thanks to Spiral I am now sporting my spiffy barding, and with the Turquoise color it works almost perfectly.  The barding and bird kinda meld together perfectly and it feels like I am in fact riding around on a tiny Leviathan.

Of Animus Books

ffxiv 2014-09-14 10-23-09-943 The other thing I have been working on in Final Fantasy XIV is my Animus Weapon.  Late last Sunday I managed to wrap up my Atma grind and I was able to convert my Bravura Zenith into a Bravura Atma.  The problem is the Atma step is basically a “half step”.  While the weapon is in fact ilevel 100 instead of ilevel 90…  the stats of it remain the same.  You power up the Atma weapon by completing a series of books, each one giving your weapon a stat boost.  To complete the weapon you have to do this 9 times.  Each book costs 1500 tomestones of mythology and requires you to kill 100 mobs (10 each of 10 types), run 3 specific dungeons, complete 3 specific fates, and complete 3 specific guild and company leves.  Throughout the day yesterday I knocked out all of the steps for my current book other than the three dungeons.

So today at some point I plan on running the three dungeons which are…  Tam-Tara Deepcroft Normal, Stone Vigil Normal and Lost City of Amdapor.  I figure I will ask in guild to see if anyone needs these dungeons before running them, because I would far rather complete them with a guild group.  After turning in the book I will get +2 strength to my current Atma weapon and it will put me one step closer to the finished Animus.  Then it begins the process all over again of grinding up 1500 tomestones of mythology for the next book.  My guild thinks I am mostly insane for this, but at least Cylladora and Warenwolf are doing it with me as well.  I believe Cav is maybe on the same step also.  Essentially the fastest way to get the mythstones is to grind hunts, and as of yesterday Waren is now in the most popular of the hunt groups, so hopefully that will help things out a bit.

Easing Into Eorzea: Advanced Leveling

Advanced Leveling

Yesterday I covered a whole bunch of options you have while leveling, but I left out one of the more interesting but unusual systems.  Today I am going to delve into the “Log” system as well as provide some guidance for dungeons from the lowest levels all the way through the current content and how to unlock them.  Once again it is my goal to make this information far easier to find for new players.  Each of us has spent quite a bit of time crawling various sites to gather information about this game, and my hope is to lay things out plainly with the western MMO player in mind.

Logs

There are several very similar systems in Final Fantasy XIV that are collectively grouped in the logs menu.  Each of them involve you somehow exploring the world and performing the tasks mentioned in the logs.  In all cases they are worth significant amounts of experience and often times gil as well.  Similarly completely them can often times have other rewards as well which I will go into in a bit.

Hunting Logs

EIE_HuntLog When you talk to your class guild master and accept the introduction quest, you will gain something called a hunt log.  The hunt log can be seen on the right hand side of the page, and is a collection of various mobs out in the world that you need to kill along with a number that you need to kill to get full credit.  Each time you accomplish a step you are rewarded with a boost of experience.  When you complete the entire log for a given level range you get an even larger experience reward.  As you move through the game you will get a new set of logs for each 10 levels and you only get the next 10 when you have both leveled into that next range and completed the previous one.

When you join your Grand Company of choice you will get an additional log.  These however are less level range based and more based on your rank within the Grand Company.  Hunt logs in general only require you to fight encounters in the open world.  The Grand Company logs however often times include encounters in dungeons.  When you have gained enough rank with your Grand Company and are eligible for a promotion, you will often have to have completed a specific log step before being able to promote to the next rank.  As far as hunting logs go, when you have completed all of the hunts for a given class you are rewarded with an ilevel 70 class specific ring.  While you are going to upgrade out of it pretty quickly, it definitely helps in getting your ilevel up for later content.

Challenge Logs

EIE_ChallengeLog In the 2.2 patch they added a whole new log system into the game, and for the most part many of us missed it for awhile upon returning.  It was not until a guild member talked about waiting for the challenges to reset, that we really grasped what he was talking about.  Upon completion of your level 14 main scenario quest, you can go to the docks of Limsa Lominsa and get the quest called Rising to the Challenge.  This unlocks the challenge log system which provides a series of relatively simple challenges that reward a significant amount of gil and experience for completion.  The challenges are good for a week, and reset each Tuesday morning at 1 am PST.  Generally speaking I manage to get a few of the steps completed each week, but it has not been something I have really gone out of my way to accomplish.  The Companion steps however are extremely beneficial for leveling purposes.  These involve fighting mobs of your level range while having your companion out… which is something you are likely going to be doing anyways.  When you complete a step both you and your companion get a much needed experience boost.  Since I mostly level through running dungeons, you can see that my dungeon challenges have already been completed, and I am getting very close to reaching my beast tribe dailies.

Sightseeing Logs

EIE_SightseeingLog Another interesting system that arrived while we were not playing the game is the Sightseeing Logs.  This system is unlocked by completing the level 20 quest A Sight to Behold.  While technically not a “leveling” system it is one of the log systems so I thought I would go ahead and mention it.  Essentially you are given a block of text as seen above and from there you have to figure out WHERE in the world that location is, as well as what time of day and weather conditions you need to be in.  When you find one of these locations you are prompted to use a /slash command generally /lookout but various ones will require various commands.  When you perform the action you get credit in your log.   There are 80 entries in total, and when you have completed them all you unlock the Fledgling Apkallu pet as well as bragging rights for having completed it.  Even if you are using some sort of a guide, getting all 80 locations is a labor of love given they are time and weather specific.

Beast Tribe Dailies

As you move through the world you will encounter various beast tribes that hold fealty to one of the primal forces.  Generally speaking these are bad people, that you want to shoot first and ask questions later.  However within in each of the races there is a rival faction that is friendly to players.  After completing an introduction quest you unlock the ability to do daily quests for them allowing you to gain favor with their tribe.  There are many reasons why you would want to do this, but the most obvious are that they unlock interesting pets, mounts and cosmetic gear.  Each player can only complete six daily quests per day, and these reset around 11 am CST from my experience.  At the lowest rank with each tribe you can only complete 3 quests per day, but upon unlocking the next rank you start receiving the full compliment of 6 quests.  Currently I am working on the Sylph tribal quests myself for the ability to get my own Goobue to ride upon.  Here is a quick rundown of the various tribes, and the location and start of the quest chain.

As I mentioned as a footnote above on the Ixali quests, they are almost entirely crafting level dependant.  I believe you need to have a combat class around 40 to gather some of the materials needed for the quests, but for the most part they are going to require you to craft various things.  In any case the beast tribe dailies are an excellent way to boost your leveling post 41 by completing some quests worth a decent chunk of experience.

Dungeons: In Depth

As I have said a few times, my personal favorite way to level is through dungeons.  For me at least it is the dungeon content where this game really shines.  The encounters are interesting and difficult, and at the same time highly rewarding in both gear and experience.  The vast majority of the dungeons are gated through the main quest line, however there are a number of dungeons that are considered “optional” and unlocked through other means.  My hope is with this list to compile in one place how to get into each of the dungeons and what their level range is.

Leveling Dungeons

  • Sastasha Seagrot (15-18) – main scenario
  • Tam-Tara Deepcroft (16-19) – main scenario
  • Copperbell Mines (17-20) – main scenario
  • The Bowl of Embers (20) – main scenario
  • Halatali (20-23) – Hallo Halatali in Vesper Bay
  • Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak (24-27) – main scenario
  • Haukke Manor (28-31) – main scenario
  • Brayflox’s Longstop (32-34) – main scenario
  • The Navel (34) – main scenario
  • The Sunken Temple of Qarn (35-37) – Braving New Depths in Vesper Bay
  • Cutter’s Cry (38-40) – Dishonor Before Death in Uldah
  • Stone Vigil (41-43) – main scenario
  • The Howling Eye (44) – main scenario
  • Dzemael Darkhold (44-46) – Fort of Fear in Coerthas
  • The Aurum Vale (47-49) – Going for Gold in Vesper Bay

Max Level Dungeons (Level 50)

  • Wanderer’s Palace (50) – Trauma Queen in Vesper Bay
  • Castrum Meridianum (50) (8 player) – main scenario
  • The Praetorium (50) (8 player) – main scenario
  • Amdapor Keep (50) – Ghosts of Amdapor in Vesper Bay (must complete main scenario)

Hard Mode Dungeons (Level 50+)

Wrapping Up

Hopefully that gives you an idea of some more leveling options.  In a later post I will get into raiding and how the various gearing systems work for end game content.  For the time being I am going to close off this post for the day.  I am hoping you are finding them useful, and please let me know if there are other things you would like to see.  Tomorrow will be a normal Aggronaut post and I will likely be taking a break from this guide series until later in the week.  Thanks for reading!

Easing Into Eorzea: Early Leveling

Leveling Your Class

As stated yesterday Easing Into Eorzea is my attempt to explain some of the unique concepts in Final Fantasy XIV from the perspective of a traditional western MMO gamer.  There are a number of concepts that come up in Final Fantasy XIV that are not immediately relatable based on past experience.  It is my hope that I can act as a bridge to help players get adjusted to these changes.  In yesterdays post I went over the various base classes of the game, and today I will be going over the various leveling options.  There is no one correct path to 50 on each class but there are a few things you should definitely be aware of.

When you first start a character you will be plunked down in the middle of one of the capitol cities depending on which class you chose.  The amount of quests presented before you will feel extremely staggering.  The first misconception is that you have to do all of the quests.  In fact the game is not intending you to do them all, at least not on your first class.  Most quests are not repeatable and are not limited to your specific class combination.  The ones you find in the starter city are generally designed to teach you the layout of that city and where to find important amenities.  This can end up being an extremely frustrating experience as you spend the next couple of hours running around town delivering parcels.  Generally speaking I rush out into the country side and get my first few levels by killing stuff outside the gates, but I will get into that as we go forward.

Main Scenario

ffxiv 2014-09-12 06-06-24-005 The first and most important leveling option you have is your Main Scenario quest line.  This is essentially the story of your character and how it relates to the game world around you.  If you have played a game like Star Wars the Old Republic, this will make sense to you as you have one overarching narrative that guides you through the game.  The main scenario quests appear with a golden icon in the shape of the comet Dalmund that served to destroy the world between FFXIV 1.0 and 2.0.  You will start the game with one of these quests in your log, and each time you turn one in, the quest will continue from either the same NPC or one standing near by.

If you ever lose the quest chain, return to the last place you turned in and there should be another NPC featuring the same comet icon to continue it.  There may be times where you do not meet the requirements for the next step in the chain.  If this is the case the icon will appear Red and when you talk to the NPC it should give you an indication of what you need to do to continue the storyline.   Generally speaking these are level based hurdles and simply leveling up will take you to the next quest in the sequence.  The main storyline is extremely important in that the game gates a large amount of the content based on your progress.  It will unlock your access to a mount, access to grand companies, and access to most of the dungeons in the game.  As such it is extremely important that you stay up to date on the story quests.  The positive is that story quests are generally worth a good chunk of experience.

One of the awesome things about Final Fantasy XIV is that unlike many other games the story keeps evolving.  Each major patch that gets released adds new quests to the main scenario, taking you past the resolution of the initial conflict.  This gives the world a very “living” feel as you continue to get to learn more information about the characters involved in it.  Additionally the game uses these later quests to introduce you to the casual raid content.  Generally speaking when talking to a friend just starting the game I suggest that they make completion of the story content their number one priority.

Class Quests

ffxiv 2014-09-12 06-07-38-827 Similar to the main scenario quests, there will be quests that you get from your class trainers.  The quests appear at level 1 and then every level divisible by 5.  These will often introduce you to concepts for playing your class as well as provide you some decent gear as you level up, often offering a new class weapon each time.  These will always start in your class guild but can easily be identified by the icon which represents your current class icon.

When you reach level 30, the quests stop in your class guild, but will continue on with what ultimately ends up being your Job trainer.  At this point the quests become extremely important, because each Job quest grants you a new ability.  These abilities are often needed to complete the content.  For example at level 35 the White Mage quest grants you the Regen ability, which is a heal over time and greatly smooths out some of the issues that White Mages have with healing on the go.  While there are a few Job abilities that are “nice to have”, the vast majority are massive quality of life improvements.  As such I suggest you always do Class and Job quests as soon as you can, to make sure you are caught up in the chain.

Side Quests

ffxiv 2014-09-12 06-06-38-341 As I mentioned before, this game will seemingly flood you with quests when you start.  The ones in the starter cities tend to be mostly “fedex” style quests, whereas once you move into the countryside they will start offering you more traditional hunting style quests.  In the early days of the game, players avoided doing Side Quests like the plague, because they feared they might need the experience later to level additional classes.  This honestly was a problem as there were very few ways to get good progress without the much needed quests.  The game however has added in a bunch of options and rebalanced the ones that we currently have to smooth out the leveling path considerably.  As such I think Side Quests are something you should make your own choice about.

They often provide much needed gear, and sometimes interesting things like pets but as the name would apply they are entirely optional content.  They are marked by the traditional Q icon over the NPCs heads and will involve all sorts of things in the near vicinity.  I personally try and complete all of the quests I come across, because later patches will introduce new quests in areas.  By completing the quests I can more easily see if new content has been added.  Doing ALL of the quests will likely cause you to out level your class and main scenario quests, but it really is a matter of personal preference.

FATEs

ffxiv 2014-09-12 06-09-48-061 FATEs or Full Active Time Events are little events that pop up in the zones you will be leveling in.  They are marked on the map to the side with the pink and gold icons.  For those who have played Rift, these function much like Rifts spawning do.  A series of mobs that will be marked with a pink icon over their head will appear and as you ride into the area of the fate some objectives will appear in the quest list.  If you are too high for a given FATE there will be an option in the quest list to synchronize your level down to the maximum for that given fate.  Completing the event will reward a good deal of experience relative to your level, some much needed Gil and once you have joined a Grand Company some of their currency in the form of Grand Company seals.  You are graded in the FATE based on participation and there are Bronze, Silver and Gold ranks.

Some FATEs might give you special items, usually cosmetic pets if you get gold rank contribution.  However it is generally best to shoot for gold regardless as it will reward more experience and gil in any case.  There are a number of ways to “cheese” a fate and that could be a discussion in its own right.  The basic theory is you are rewarded based on the threat that you generate.  Healing and Tank abilities generate lots of threat, so they will almost always have high contribution.  For DPS they are in a bit of a pickle since generally speaking their job is to NOT generate threat.  There are a number of super threat happy abilities like Blood for Blood that you can hit during the fate to try and cause as much damage as possible.  Since launch however they have relaxed the guidelines for contribution a bit more to make it far easier for someone to show up a bit late and still get gold rank.  FATEs are almost always worth your time, and in the past a completely valid method of leveling a class was to do nothing but them.

Guildleves

ffxiv 2014-09-12 06-23-29-035 Once you reach the first major city outside of your starter city there should be a vendor there called a Levemete.  They give you a special kind of repeatable quest called a Leve or Levequest.  The quests are timed and once started involve completely various objectives.  You are rewarded based on how fast you can complete the quest, and this is often a decent way to get gear either as a reward for the quest or from treasure coffers that can randomly spawn out in the field while completing them.  It feels like they have gotten a bit stingy with the coffers in later patches, but at one point this was a really good source of “pink” gear which in their confusing itemization coloring system is a step above white gear but below green.

The catch is you only have so many leves per day, but these accumulate over time until you have 100 “leve allowances”.  You will accumulate 3 leve allowances every 12 hours.  These are not the absolute most ideal way to level, however if you are close to a level and just need a bit more experience they are not a horrible way to get it.  Recently I leveled Arcanist to 15 doing pretty much nothing but these, and while it was a bit proding it worked out just fine in the end.  They are also a pretty good source of Ventures… which I will get in much later in these guides, but I am just mentioning it now so you will have it in the back of your head.

Guildhests

ffxiv 2014-09-12 06-57-57-400 When you reach level 10 the Duty system opens up for you, and you can access it by hitting the default hotkey which is U.  Duties allow you to queue for content and the first type that becomes available are Guildhests.  These are somewhat confusing beasts, but the closet simulacrum to them is the World of Warcraft Scenario system.  They are like a dungeon, but not really a dungeon at the same time either.  Generally speaking they focus on teaching players a specific grouping skill that they will need later.  They are not really chain grinding, but they are definitely worth completing the first time as there is a massive experience bonus.  From level 10 onwards you will get two new guildhests you can complete every 5 levels.

If you do pay attention to the objective they end up explaining concepts that you will be guaranteed to see once you start running dungeons.  The frustration is that at least for the first couple, until players have gotten the message… folks will immediately try and dps down everything regardless of what the objective is telling them.  This often leads to the hest taking more than twice as long as is actually needed.  Similarly while it requires a tank and a healer…  I have too often found that neither of these roles actually does what they are intended to be doing in hests.  As a healer I usually end up tanking everything, as the tank is either unable to hold aggro or is willfully avoiding doing so.  That said… frustrations aside they are well worth the initial experience boost.

Duty Roulette

ffxiv 2014-09-12 06-57-47-550 At level 16 you unlock the Duty Roulette system.  While at 15 you can queue for Sastasha the first of the dungeons, the Duty Roulette system seems to be a bit more charming.  The idea is it works the same as the various other dungeon finder tools, but in my experience players in FFXIV are actually welcoming to new players.  The reason behind this is that they have tied some fairly significant rewards to the player commendation system.  Each player gets exactly one commendation that they can award at the end of the dungeon run.  You are prohibited from giving these rewards to members of your own Free Company (guild).  As such players tend to be on their best behavior in the hopes of doing something, either through their actions or just by being friendly… to earn a player commendation.  The joke is that only the healers and tanks get them, but I racked up enough to get my first few rewards while doing dragoon dps.

Duty Roulette is a really enjoyable if aptly named tool.  You can have the smoothest run you have ever experienced, or you can have an exceedingly rough one.  When leveling I am generally always queuing for a dungeon.  As DPS I tend to queue directly for the highest level one I can run, and as a Healer or Tank I just do random chance, as there are almost no options that are not worth my time.  The problem you run into as a DPS is when you get one of the primal encounters.  I will go into what those are later, but essentially it is a single boss fight that is worth next to no experience and is part of the main storyline.  There was an evening where I waded through 3 30 minute long queues only to end up with a primal each time.  Since I was queuing for experience gain, this mean I basically had wasted my time.  As such when working on DPS I find it best to simply queue for whatever the highest level dungeon is you are capable of completing.

To Be Continued

I am going to close this post off for now, but this covers some of the most basic ways of leveling.  As you get higher level more options unlock, and I will cover those in a subsequent post.  At this point I would like to open the floor for discussion.  Are there certain points of Final Fantasy XIV that you find confusing?  I am looking for more direction in what areas you would like to see me cover.  Ultimately I am trying to take the concepts and explain them as plainly as I can, and I have already gotten some ideas from guild members.  I plan on doing a few of these posts a week, at least until I run out of topics to post about.  I am trying to get some of the basic information out there before I start delving into more nuanced discussions.   You might watch Rae’s blog, as I know she plans on doing some posts about the various healing styles as well.

#FFXIV #EasingIntoEorzea

Easing Into Eorzea: Classes

A New Guide Series

With so many new people coming back to Final Fantasy XIV, some of which my doing… I thought it might be useful to start a new guide series to explain some of the concepts of the game that do not quite map up to the western MMO traditions.  Simply put there are some ideas in this game that just are not obvious at first glance.  My goal with this new series is to help a player “ease into” the game by presenting the concepts as simply as I can.  Today I will be addressing the first real decision, which generally speaking is what class to play.  If you are familiar with Final Fantasy 3, 5 or Tactics… you will have a basic understanding of the Class and Job system at its most rudimentary level.  Today I will delve into some of the ideas and try to iron out the rough spots.

What is a Class?

The class is the most basic unit of the Final Fantasy XIV job system.  These are the things you start the game as and represent the building blocks for larger concepts.  Each class and therefore job is represented by a single weapon type.  When you equip that weapon you become that job, additionally the user interface provides a simple way to swap between weapon profiles and these can even be hot keyed.  Every player can ultimate learn every class, but each time they start with a fresh class they go back to level one.  This means you should probably hold onto your starter gear, as each time you reset  back to level one you will need it to equip.  The classes are loosely grouped into larger entities known as the Disciples of War and the Disciples of Magic.  Similarly the crafting professions are grouped into Disciples of Hand and Disciples of Land… but I will get into crafting at a much later discussion.  You will often see large blocks of these classes referred to in game by the abbreviations of DoW or DoM.  When you see this, it means all classes within that larger family can use the item.

Starting Cities

One quick note is that the various Classes are scattered around in three different starter cities.  At around level 15 in your main storyline quest you will unlock the ability to travel between the starter cities through Airship.  Additionally if you are stubborn and determined enough they can be travelled between over land routes, however at very low levels this becomes a dangerous proposition.  For sake of giving an idea of the layout of the classes here are the starting cities and which classes begin there.

Gridania
  • Archer
  • Conjurer
  • Lancer
Limsa Lominsa
  • Arcanist
  • Marauder
Uldah
  • Gladiator
  • Pugilist
  • Thaumaturge

What is a Job?

Jobs can be thought of as the evolved state of a class.  At level 30 each of the classes evolves into a larger role, gaining new abilities every 5 levels.  As you level your base class continues to level with you, but through the equipping of a Job Soul you also inherit new abilities.  This is somewhat of a double edged sword as these new abilities give you much more power to fill a role your class was designed to accomplish, however at the same time it greatly limits the ability to use cross class abilities.  Each Job is a made up of a recipe of two classes, for example Warrior is a combination of 30 Marauder and 15 Lancer.  In order to quality for the quest to unlock warrior you need to have leveled both jobs to the required level before the new jobs master will speak with you.

Disciples of War

Gladiator

The Gladiator is your traditional sword and shield tank.  They focus on mitigating large amounts of damage, but tend to have significantly lower hit points to compensate.  They can be one of the more challenging classes to level in that they get most of their really class defining abilities significantly late in the game.  While most classes have a complete combo chain by the time they begin dungeoning around level 16, the Gladiator does not complete theirs until 26.  However for those who master it, it becomes an extremely formidable class.

Class Weapon:  Sword and Shield

Starting City:  Uldah

Primary Stats:  Vitality, Strength

Natural Exit Job:  Paladin (30 Gladiator, 15 Conjurer)

Cross Class Abilities:  Conjurer, Marauder

Secondary Exit Jobs:  Warrior (30 Marauder, 15 Gladiator)

Marauder

The Marauder is the two handed wielding tank.  They focus on having a massive hitpoint pool coupled with some ability to regenerate that health to tank.  They however have significantly fewer ways of stopping incoming damage to compensate.  They are one of the easier classes to level due to the fact that at low levels they have both extremely solid damage dealing ability and high survival.  Additionally when they evolve into a Warrior the get a threat generation and health increasing buff that as well as a rage generation mechanic allowing them access to special abilities at the cost of 5 rage.  From 30 until the Paladin gets their tank buff at 40 they become the strongest tank, and then that evens out during the 40-50 level climb.

Class Weapon:  Two Handed Axe

Starting City:  Limsa Lominsa

Primary Stats:  Strength, Vitality

Natural Exit Job:  Warrior (30 Warrior, 15 Gladiator)

Cross Class Abilities:  Gladiator, Puglist

Secondary Exit Jobs:  Dragoon (30 Lancer, 15 Marauder)

Puglist

The puglist is your traditional hand to hand combat fighter.  While they technical use a weapon, these are an assortment of often wicked looking fist weapons.  They are likely one of the more difficult classes to play in the game, in that they use a complex combo system that takes some ramp up time to reach its crescendo.  Additionally several steps in the combo have a positional requirement of either being to the side of the encounter or behind it.  As a result it takes serious dedication to be able to play the puglist and later the monk with proficiency.  However to those devoted to the class they can do amazing things with it.

Class Weapon:  Fist Weapon

Starting City:  Uldah

Primary Stats:  Strength, Critical

Natural Exit Job:  Monk (30 Puglist, 15 Lancer)

Cross Class Abilities:  Lancer, Marauder

Secondary Exit Jobs:  Bard (30 Archer, 15 Puglist)

Lancer

The dragoon is relatively heavy armored spear wielding combatant, that has been represented in many Final Fantasy games through the Dragoon.  They are known for intense single target burst and sustained damage through a combination of dots and combo attacks.  Similar to the monk however they have a number of these attacks that require either a side or back facing component.  However unlike the monk they are not as tied to this mechanic and can alter their rotation to fit moments when they simply cannot be behind or to the side of a target.  The weakness of the class is they get relatively little AOE damage until very late in the  game, and even then they come with some constraints.  Most players take the Lancer class in order to evolve into the Dragoon, with their iconic jump attacks.

Class Weapon:  Spear

Starting City:  Gridania

Primary Stats:  Strength, Critical

Natural Exit Job:  Dragoon (30 Lancer, 15 Marauder)

Cross Class Abilities:  Marauder, Pugilist

Secondary Exit Jobs:  Monk (30 Puglist, 15 Lancer)

Archer

The archer is your traditional bow wielding hunter or ranger type class.  They have a series of dots and bow strikes that whittle down the target.  The true strength of the class is they have the ability to move and cast at the same time.  This means that even though a large number of the archer attacks have a cast time they can do so while moving, making them the ideal class for kiting or the ability to move while dpsing.  The weakness however is that they are relatively light geared and the Achilles Heel of the class is that they lack a DPS limit break like the Puglist and Monk have.  Once they become a Bard however they more than make up for this issue with the ability to play songs that regenerate Mana or TP depending on which your party make up needs worse.

Class Weapon:  Bow

Starting City:  Gridania

Primary Stats:  Dexterity, Critical

Natural Exit Job:  Bard (30 Archer, 15 Puglist)

Cross Class Abilities:  Lancer, Pugilist

Secondary Exit Jobs:  Black Mage (30 Thaumaturge, 15 Archer)

Disciples of Mind

Arcanist

The Arcanist is an odd bag of tricks at the beginning of the game, and I easily consider it the most difficult of the classes I have personally tried to start.  That said they become immensely powerful and have the benefit of being the only class with two natrual exit jobs currently in the game.  The slow start comes from the fact that this is a pet class, and the pet that you receive early on is not your tank pet.  This is a similar dilemma to starting a Warlock in World of Warcraft, and much the same you end up “tanking” for your pet early on.  However once the Arcanist does get a tank pet they have the ability to fight multiple targets at the same time with ease.  At its core this is primarily a damage over time class with a large bag of tricks that allow them to wear both the hats of a healer and a dps for a good amount of their playtime.  It is personally not a class for me, but those who love it do so immensely.

Class Weapon:  Book

Starting City:  Limsa Lominsa

Primary Stats:  Intellect, Piety

Natural Exit Job:  Scholar (30 Arcanist, 15 Conjurer), Summoner (30 Arcanist, 15 Thaumaturge)

Cross Class Abilities:  Scholar (Thaumaturge, Conjurer), Summoner (Thaumaturge, Archer)

Secondary Exit Jobs:  White Mage (30 Conjurer, 15 Arcanist)

Conjurer

The Conjurer is your traditional full time healer class.  At low levels it is the only class that can actually queue as a healer, and it offers the strongest brute force healing throughput of all of the classes.  This comes at a few costs however.  Firstly the class has very limited offensive capabilities until late in the game when they get one of the better AOE attacks in the form of Holy.  Secondly they will suffer with issues regarding mana efficiency and while they can brute force heal through most anything, they can only keep it up for a short period of time.  This means to heal as a Conjurer means you need to heal strategically without actually spamming needless heals.  Being the “full time” healer class means they have a pretty broad palette of abilities to help them mitigate incoming damage.

Class Weapon:  Staff

Starting City:  Gridiania

Primary Stats:  Mind, Piety

Natural Exit Job:  White Mage (30 Conjurer, 15 Arcanist)

Cross Class Abilities:  Thaumaturge, Arcanist

Secondary Exit Jobs:  Scholar (30 Arcanist, 15 Conjurer), Paladin (30 Gladiator, 15 Conjurer)

Thaumaturge

The Thaumaturge is your traditional MMO glass cannon.  They have amazing damage throughput at the cost of having little to no defense.  One of the issues with playing most offensive spellcasters is the problem with mana.  This class gets around it with a unique fire/frost system allowing them to switch elements to frost to regenerate their mana quickly before going back to fire for quick damage output.  They offer some of the best and most reliable AOE damage in the game, and early on they were the kings of FATE grinding with the early access to Blizzard II.  If you like to live on the edge in a “burn the target before it hits you” style, then this is the class for you.  Additionally they get a lot of nice abilities like Quick cast that let them turn a lengthy cast time into an instant.

Class Weapon:  Rod

Starting City:  Uldah

Primary Stats:  Intellect, Piety

Natural Exit Job:  Black Mage (30 Thaumaturge, 15 Archer)

Cross Class Abilities:  Arcanist, Archer

Secondary Exit Jobs:  Summoner (30 Arcanist, 15 Thaumaturge)

Summary

Hopefully this little guide will have helped you figure out which class you want to play.  The important thing to remember is that in Final Fantasy XIV you are deeply benefitted by having lots of different classes.  Personally I have a high level Warrior, Dragoon, Bard and am working on getting up a White Mage so that I can do pretty much every role that might be called upon me.  This is one of the great freedoms of the game, the ability to switch things up and try out new things.  Like I said once you get to the point at which you unlock airship travel, you can move around freely between the three capital cities and try all of them out.  If you have any direct questions, let me know and I will try and cover the topics loosely in future guides.

Additionally if you have always wanted to give Final Fantasy XIV a shot, there is a free 14 day trial that should allow you to test the waters.  Of note my characters are in the Aether Data Center and on the Cactuar server.  Feel free to drop Belghast Sternblade a line and say hello if you make it into game.