Final Fantasy XI: Beginner Guide Part Three
MMORPG.com Final Fantasy XI Correspondent Herbie Grate write this third installment of his beginner's guide to Vana’diel
So you’ve unlocked your sub-jobs and you’ve leveled through the Valkurm Dunes in the jobs you wish to carry on with? Then it’s time to move on to the next areas. The previous part of this guide was focused on getting yourself acquainted with the partying and leveling system, unlocking sub-jobs, and generally getting used to the activities that you’ll be immersing yourself in for the rest of your life here in Vana’diel. This final installment will be focused on moving on to the different leveling areas, and should inform on the things one needs to do until they reach level 30, and many new doors are opened to you in the form of over a dozen new advanced jobs!
After getting out of the Valkurm Dunes, the next area most commonly used for partying is an area named Qufim Island, located right off of Jeuno. The tricky party here is reaching Jeuno without dying repeatedly. To get to Jeuno you’ll have to travel through one of three routes, depending on your starting country. If you’re from San d’Oria, you’ll go through the La Theine Plateau to the Northeast, and follow the road through Jugner Forest right into Batallia Downs. Once there, travel to the East, avoiding monsters all the while, and eventually you will come across the gates into Jeuno.
If you’re from Windurst, you’re looking at one of the more rough routes. Through Sarutabaruta and North through Tahrongi Canyon until you reach the Meriphataud Mountains. Sticking to the left side of the road through the Meriphataud Mountains should keep you safe from most enemies, but the next area, Sauromugue Champaign, is notoriously difficult to navigate. Not only will you have the displeasure of evading Goblins, Yagudo, and Dancing Weapons, you’ll have to avoid several dinosaur monsters and tigers as well. Taking it slow and sticking to the left most of the time, you should be able to reach Jeuno with some patience.
From Bastok, it’s somewhat difficult, but anything is easier than the Windurstian route! Heading through South Gustaberg, go straight through North Gustaberg and travel Northeast through the Konschtat Highlands into Pashhow Marshlands. This is the only abnormally difficult area on the Bastokan route, really, as every which way is crowded with monsters. There are three paths through the marsh, a small passage sticking to the left side, the main passage through the middle that is rather large, and a smaller passage sticking to the right, and neither way is easy. To the left you’ll run into fungaur, bees, among other things, in large quantities, crowding the passage. The main passage is wider, giving you more room to maneuver, but the larger area also holds larger monsters such as Goobbue, Marlboro, and several other disasters waiting to happen. This one is probably your best bet. Once out of the marsh, just follow the road up through Rolanberry Fields, avoiding Quadav when needed of course, and you’ll reach Lower Jeuno in no time. Head down through Port Jeuno and descend another set of stairs and you’re in Qufim Island.
There’s nothing special about this place to mention other than the fact that you should avoid moving too much at night and that you’ll stay here until levels 24-25. Once there you have to go on a marvelous scavenger hunt for “Kazham Keys.” The name comes from the next area you’ll have to go to in order to continue your leveling journey, and eventually reach level 30. Located at (H-7) in Port Jeuno there is a Galka named Guddal who will let you have a Kazham Airship Pass if you find for him three keys found in three beastman dominated areas. You have an option to buy one for 148,000gil, but since you almost definitely don’t have that sort of cash, we need the least expensive option! For this you’ll need to travel to Giddeus, Fort Ghelsba and/or Yughott Grotto, and the Palborough Mines, for a Giddeus Chest Key, Ghelsba Chest Key, and a Palborough Chest Key.
To obtain the Giddeus Key, you’ll need to kill Yagudo Votaries, Priests, and Theologists. The Ghelsba Chest Key is dropped by Orcish Fighters, Serjeants, and Cursemakers. Brass Quadav, Old Quadav, Copper Quadav, and all scorpions in the Palborough Mines will drop the Palborough Chest Key. Once you’ve acquired them all, return to Guddal with all three of them to receive your Airship Pass to Kazham, and be on your way! You’ll be partying in the Yuhtunga and Yhoator Jungles, however, to reach Yhoator Jungle, you’ll practically need a chocobo, unless someone wants to walk you there themselves. It’s generally accepted though that by this time you should have a chocobo license.
To begin your quest to obtain a chocobo license, speak with Brutus in Upper Jeuno at (G-7), then speak with Silver Tail, and return to Brutus. If you want to ride chocobos, you need to feed one four times, and it will only accept Gausebit Grass. This can be obtained by killing Crane Flies in the Meriphataud Mountains, or just bought from the Auction House if you’re lucky. Once you have some of the grass, trade it to the chocobo (next to the NPC named Osker I believe) and it should refuse it the first time. Do this again an hour from then and the chocobo should accept, repeat this every hour thereafter until you’re out of Gausebit Grass. This quest is incredibly time consuming, taking around five hours to complete so it’s best not to dedicate too much attention to the game during this time, but it’s completely necessary to your advancement in FFXI and is well worth the time once you’re done.
From here, there is little else to do but work hard to obtain level 30, and once you do, many avenues open to you in the form of advanced jobs that can all be unlocked at level thirty. Explaining how each of these is unlocked would be far too lengthy, but let’s take a look at what these jobs consist of and who you can talk to in order to start the process.
For those of you with musical inclinations, Bard may be the job for you! Speaking with Mertaire in Lower Jeuno at (I-8) you can get started along the way of unlocking this job. Bard does not have any physical attributes that are worth mentioning, and one shouldn’t attempt to use this job as a melee in any fashion, but for those of you who are interested, the Bard’s weapon of choice is the dagger. Bards use several musical instruments to cast various enhancements on party members such as increased accuracy, increased damage, MP regeneration, and HP regeneration, among other things, and can also use their songs to do damage over time to enemies, and put them to sleep, making them adequate pullers and crowd controllers.
Talking with PerihVashai in Windurst Woods (K-7) can begin the quest to unlock Ranger, a very powerful damage dealer that (obviously) uses ranged weaponry to do incredible amounts of damage. Rangers are fantastic pullers and have the highest accuracy of any job. It can be a taxing job, though, requiring plump sums of Gil to buy arrows and bolts, as well as ranged accuracy+ equipment, which is very costly.
Samurai is another powerful damage dealing job that relies quite a lot on the sheer amount of weapon skills it can pull off in one battle because of Samurai’s Store TP abilities which increases the TP you gain per hit. Unlocking quest started by Jaucribaix in Norg at (K-8), Samurai is an incredibly popular damage dealer and is sought out by many parties.
Dark Knight, yet another damage dealer, uses Dark Magic and basic Elemental Magic in combination with powerful melee skills. Its MP pool is not very large, and a Dark Knight’s defenses are paper-thing to put it lightly, but it can do serious damage and tanks can have problems keeping hate off of a good Dark Knight if they’re not good tanks themselves. Speak with Gumbah in Bastok Mines at (J-7) to start the road down to unlocking this job.
The only serious solo job, Beastmaster, can be unlocked by speaking with Dietmund (Merchant’s Door) in Lower Jeuno at (G-11) and following everything thereafter. Beastmaster relies on charisma to charm monsters to fight on their behalf. Using mainly one handed axes, this job can be very powerful and handle a lot of monsters that would ordinarily take an entire party to handle. White Mage is typically the sub-job for Beastmaster, as you’ll likely be soloing. Be warned, for if you try to be a partying Beastmaster, some old myths still persist about Beastmaster that could keep you from getting invites.
Puppetmaster, Blue Mage, and Corsair, are the jobs that were released in the Treasures of Aht Urghan expansion, and are all powerful jobs in their own right. Puppetmaster relies on an automaton to do the most damage, and it can be modified to do ranged, slashing, blunt, and magical damage, as well as to heal you and party members. Corsairs are sometimes referred to as “Bards with guns!” however they are much more than this. They can do large amounts of damage with the right equipment and sub-job, as well as improve their entire party with enhancements such as increased experience points, and increased accuracy, etc. Blue Mage is a job that gets its power from abilities captured from monsters you defeat. It’s a very versatile job that can fill several roles in a party.
Paladin and Ninja are the two tank jobs of the game, though Paladin is the one true tank of the two. Paladins rely on incredible physical and magical defense to be able to take and keep on taking damage from the enemies, but neither job has very noteworthy damage dealing capabilities as they are. Ninja relies on tanking with it’s evasion and shadows, which it can call to evade at least three attacks consistently, or occasionally one area of effect attack, but the job can be fairly expensive, as Ninja tools can accumulate costs rapidly, and Ninjutsu scrolls can be time consuming or expensive to acquire. Paladins have the highest vitality, and Ninjas have the second highest dexterity.
Dragoon is an underrated job that unfortunately goes uninvited a lot of the time. Fighting with pole arms right along side a trusty Wyvern, Dragoons can rack up impressive amounts of damage and can manipulate their Wyverns into doing damage dealing or healing special moves in conjunction with your weapon skills and/or spells depending on your sub-job. Speak with Ceraulian in Port San d’Oria to begin this quest, however, you’ll need access to Chateau d’Oraguille to complete unlocking the job.
Summoner is a powerful, albeit time consuming job. Through the use of your massive MP pool (the largest in the game) you can call avatars to your side to aid you in fighting or strengthening your party members. From Thunder IV to Stoneskin, avatars can be incredibly useful to improving your party members’ success. This job isn’t completely without its drawbacks though. You’ll mostly be forced to heal to gain levels because most parties don’t invite Summoners for the damage dealing or enhancing capabilities until later on, and Summoner requires serious investment of time into defeating avatars solo or with a group. You could end up defeating every avatar several times by the end of your Summoner days just to acquire decent equipment. Speak with Ajido-Marujido at (G-3) in Windurst Walls to begin the quest to unlock it.
Scholar and Dancer are the two most recent jobs released by SquareEnix. Released in the Wings of the Goddess expansion, Dancer and Scholar are both very powerful and versatile jobs, designed to fill multiple roles in a party. Dancer can use steps, flourishes, waltzes, among other moves, to improve party members, heal, inflict damage, or enfeeble monsters. The job has some difficulties finding a party sometimes though, due to not really having a distinct role, and is almost completely absent from end-game activities because of that.
Scholar can fill the role of Black, White, and even Red Mages in certain cases, being able to cast Black Magic nearly at the same levels of Black Mages themselves and with greater longevity, and White Magic with greater longevity and equal potency, except Cure V, which is still White Mage exclusive. Scholars can use several stratagems to increase the power of their spells, such as halving MP cost of the next spell, making the next spell of an area of effect, among other things. Both of these jobs are very powerful, but sadly Scholars are not invited as much as they should be.
I hope each of these installments have helped someone out, and I’ll be back soon! Safe travels, Vana’diel.