By the time you read this, we should be around a week away from the headstart launch of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, which is on June 19.
Because of this impending launch, a number of new threads have popped up online and on social media asking, ““Is this a good time to sign up for Final Fantasy XIV?”
Short answer: YES!
Long answer: Yes, though you may want to evaluate the sorts of things you want to get into so you make the most of your time.
From my point of view, I’d delineate the benefits of starting FFXIV late in terms of social benefits, quality of life enhancements, and increased accessibility. Let’s go over those aspects briefly.
What do you wanna do?
If you’re jumping into FFXIV for casual play or to make a killing at the Chocobo races, then you can certainly choose a class that fits your playstyle in the trinity and work from there.
If you’re jumping into FFXIV for the story or for end-game raiding, and eventually want to become a Heavensward job (Astrologian, Dark Knight, or Machinist), starting off as one of the secondary jobs that have cross-class skills that match your chosen Heavensward profession and leveling that up through patch 2.55 for the eventual cross-class capabilities is going to be a great boon.
If you’re looking to become a master crafter, you’ll still want to invest in a strong fighting class to get you to Ishgard in the expansion, eventually.
The Social Benefits of Fashionable Lateness
Heavensward is, in my opinion, potentially one of the best times to start a character from a completely social standpoint.
Cities, both the new Ishgard places and the older hotspots, will likely be teaming with adventurers, and that means free companies will be recruiting for their timezones, player-made events may be occurring on your chosen server.
Prices of goods on the market may also go down due to increased supply from new crafters coupled with a modest demand among existing and new adventurers.
One other social benefit may come in the form of healthy newbie-friendly discussion on the chat channels. At least, I hope that will be the case.
What does this mean for the fashionably late? Simply put: a bustling world with, I would reckon, just the right amount of people in hub areas to be comfortably inviting rather than claustrophobic.
Eventually entering Ishgard
Personally, I’ve been hemming and hawing at the idea of running Keeper of the Lake as I’m 7 item level points below the requirement, so I’ve decided to stall there before Heavensward. I’m not in a complete rush to get into the new content, and with a few spare roulette runs, I should be able to grab the gear I need to hit the minimum item level for completion of patch 2.55.
That said, I want to see what Heavensward actually offers in terms of time investments for the speed runners and world-first achievers before I jump in.
Knowing that little bit of information helps me determine how much time I should spend juggling FFXIV with real world responsibilities.
I think that the smartest thing new players should consider though is not gunning for a speed run towards Heavensward at the onset.
Square Enix has already promised accessibility tweaks that should make reaching the needed item level requirements for Patch 2.55 completion much easier, so information available now will likely be replaced by new guides and updated write-ups soon enough!
There will likely be (At least I hope there will be) catch-up patches that may make getting the new jobs easier if you have the expansion but have not caught up with 2.55.
Patience is a virtue with FFXIV, because it does appear that one of their design philosophies is allowing everyone to experience the game’s story at their own pace.
In any event, I welcome newcomers to Final Fantasy XIV to visit the FFXIV subreddit and visit the FAQs, as well as to visit the official forums. You’ll likely find guides and tips and tricks in the coming weeks, and I look forward to reading – and sharing – the crowd-collected tibits of wisdom with you in the future. Cheers!