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Final Fantasy XIV - Common New Player Questions

Victoria Rose Updated: Posted:
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What’s a reset? How do you level alt classes? Why is everyone pissed about using Limit Break? MMORPG.com answers the most common questions newcomers have about FFXIV

Welcome to Final Fantasy XIV! If you’re here, chances are pretty good you’ve progressed a bit into the game. It’s also likely that you’re a little lost, or that you just want to know a little more about how to dive into the game more effectively. 

If you’re instead just starting and have questions about, well, starting up, check out our basics guide! It goes more into what you need to know about buying the game, servers, character creation, and more. 

Here, we’ve compiled some of the biggest questions and concerns that relatively new FFXIV players have when they’re rolling through the game. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get right to it! And if we missed anything, feel free to ask in the comments. 

My class feels kind of slow. Is it always like this? How do I progress? 

Unfortunately, most jobs/classes do feel a little slow to boot. This does change for the most part throughout the game, especially once you pass level 30, and more so as you progress into expansions. At that point, you’ll specialize into a more advanced version of your job and obtain a Job Stone.  

In order to get more abilities and level up a little more, you should be doing your Job Quests as often as possible. You’ll have a general regular reporting spot for each job, and each expansion thereafter, where you can obtain these Job Quests. These will sometimes, especially in earlier levels, help you ease into your roles better. Not only do some quests give you abilities, but you’ll also receive bits of gear with decent item level ratings (see next question) for that job, or that just match the general aesthetic of the job. 

Remember: If you really don’t like your job, you can always switch it up by talking to the corresponding NPCs around the game. However, you’ll need to grind new jobs from scratch. 

What is “iLvl” (item level)? 

Simply put, “item level,” or “iLvl,” is a measure of an item’s individual strength. Yes, individual items have their own strength/power. Item level does matter as much as your character’s job level—progressing through dungeons and raids will require a minimum iLvl. Once you hit endgame, higher iLvls provide better general stats. 

In order to get items with higher iLvl, you can usually either progress through the storyline or buy items off the marketplace. When you progress through the story for the first time, you likely don’t need to worry about iLvl, as the main scenario quest will hand you items to help you keep up. But if you have alternate jobs you want to try, you’ll likely be scouring the marketplace or looking for dungeon loot drops.  

What stats should I be focusing on for my battle job?  

Obviously, the stats you focus on are going to depend on your class. However, you shouldn’t really worry about them too much until you hit the endgame. Prioritize your item level, for now! 

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should be picking the wrong items or food for your leveling. Here’s a quick run-down:  

  • Healer: Mind 
  • Caster: Intelligence 
  • Melee DPS: Strength 
  • Ranged DPS: Dexterity 
  • Tank: Vitality 

Note that I don’t really outline the other stats like Spell/Skill Speed, Crit, etc. Again, the endgame is where these really come into use, so if you’re just rolling along the story don’t worry for now. The above attributes are the main source of your damage output. 

But if you want to eat food, just make sure you aren’t buying and eating food with the wrong stats for your class or your gil will go to waste! Check your items (yes, literally your items) for stats that commonly pop up and choose food that boosts those. And you should always eat food, not just for the stat boost, but also that 3% EXP boost. 

What is melding? Should I be melding at this point? 

Melding, in short, gives your items a fantastic stats boost. However, it’s not really necessary until you’ve reached the endgame. And once you get there, you’ll be going through a lot of VII VIII materia as you cycle through items, so don’t throw those out. 

Before endgame, it’s mainly helpful if you’re doing a crafting/gathering job where it’s often tricky to achieve High Quality/high Collectability items at a lower level. In that case, you should be melding a ton of Control and CP, followed by Craftsmanship. (Or, for Gathering, Perception and GP first, followed by your Gathering score.) 

How do dungeons, raids, and trials work? What are Duty Roulettes and their bonuses? 

Thankfully, you don’t have to think about dungeons, raids, and trials, also known as Duties, quite too hard until the endgame. You just select the one you want, and you’ll be matched up with other players. The party will be formed based on your current jobs, with a certain number of slots allocated for each role. 

Duty Roulettes are often where those other players come from. Players are thrown into a larger queue for their role, then paired with players who are either also looking for a Duty Roulette to pop, or with players who chose specific duties. You get bonuses each day for using Duty Roulettes, so make some time to try one each day! If you’re playing an in-demand class for a Duty Roulette, the screen will indicate such. You’ll be given a small extra bonus for fulfilling this Adventurer In Need bonus. 

Once you hit endgame, you’ll start wanting to hit Extreme, Savage, Ultimate and Unreal bosses, which drop really neat and high-leveled loot. You can either get some friends or use the Party Finder to find, well, a party. You’ll want to do some practice parties first, and once you find a stack or are comfortable with mechanics, you’ll be “progging,” or “progressing,” through each phase of the boss. 

Can’t get into a duty you’re eyeing at all? Check your item level (as discussed before) and make sure it’s all in good shape. And if it’s your first time, as we mention in the basics guide, feel free to let the party know so they can help you out! 

Is there a Limit Break in FFXIV? How does the Limit Break work? 

Obviously there has to be a Limit Break! It’s a Final Fantasy game. The limit break is a massive ability that players can utilize, providing damage, healing/resurrection, or huge protection. Unfortunately, these aren’t as easily found in FFXIV as they are in other titles. 

You’ll get a Limit Break bar in duties. In dungeons, you’ll get one bar or two bars; in raids you’ll get two or three. The number of bars present depends on overall progress in the boss. In trials, since there’s only one boss, you’ll get three. It fills up over time, and resets in dungeons and raids each time you reach a new boss. 

The Limit Break is shared by the whole party. Yes, that means if you use it, everyone loses it. 

For that reason, there’s a generally-accepted order of priority regarding who gets it. Most parties hold onto it until the very, very end—about 10% HP left on the boss—just in case the healer needs it for a mass revive. Melee DPS classes get top priority since it has the most damage output. If nobody has used it and the boss is about to die, it’s fair game for basically any DPS (just because it’s fun). Tanks, sadly, only have very few specific opportunities to use it (but one is part of a very late MSQ trial!).

What are Levequests and Beast Tribes? 

Levequests are basically grinding quests you can pick up in a lot of locations, especially around Eorzea. They’re most useful for crafting and gathering grinding, and they’re marginally useful for battle classes. You only get 100 “allowances” per day, and areas such as Ishgard have levequests that take up 10 per. As a reward, you get some gil, Grand Company Seals, and EXP. 

(Chances are you’re going to accidentally get stuck on the area’s first levequest. You can either finish that out, our abandon it - first the levequest, then the quest via the journal.) 

Beast Tribes are a similar system, but they provide substantially better outcomes than Leves. You’ll earn each Beast Tribe’s currency, then turn those in for neat little rewards, such as crafting materials (which, at least, sell well on the market), emotes, clothes and more. They also tend to have touching and/or entertaining storylines, which make them a great respite from the more vast primary storylines. 

How do I level up another battle class/job? 

Well, since you can, you might as well, right? It makes you a pretty good asset among your friend groups, especially when you have just too many damn DPSers (or healers, somehow). And it’s considered a top achievement to do as much — heck, you can even get a gorgeous mount for it. But how? 

Your best bet is as follows: 

  • Eat food for that extra 3% EXP boost 
  • Keep your EXP bonus items around  
  • Use the Hunting Log at earlier levels in your new class 
  • Grind dungeons as you reach the minimum class level for each 
  • Palace of the Dead or Heaven on High are also great substitutes for dungeons 
  • Do FATEs, Beast Tribe Quests, levequests, etc. to grind EXP while you queue 
  • Use Duty Roulette at the end of the day to max out your EXP bonuses 

You can start these new classes anytime, of course, provided you’re able to reach other NPCs for each job. It can act as a break in your main job, or as some endgame content. Regardless, there’s really no bad time, unless you’re trying to speed through the Main Scenario Quests to avoid current-content FOMO. 

What are the Crafting and Gathering jobs? How do I level them and profit? 

Crafting and Gathering, known respectively as Disciple of Hand and Disciple of Land, are non-combat jobs you can take up on the side. Not only are they a fun way to kill time, they also help create an economy and bolster the grind for battle-focused jobs, especially in endgame. And, of course, you can make plenty of gil off of them. 

From the mind of director Naoki Yoshida himself, the best way to level DoH/DoL classes is with “turn-ins” and an abundance of patience. The “turn-ins” will begin when you assign yourself to a Grand Company; you can turn in materials and crafts to its Personnel Officer for a nice boost of gil, and an even nicer one of experience. You can do these daily, so it’s a ridiculously fast leveling opportunity. 

At level 50 and above, starting with Heavensward, you can craft a certain number of Custom Deliveries per week. These are “challenge” items that require you to craft/gather items at a certain quality level (which you’ll learn about). If you do either method of turn-in at the highest possible quality, you’ll climb levels in no time. Levequests are also a fantastic way to boost your level in no time, especially with HQ turn-ins. 

There’s also just a matter of patience. Leveling the corresponding Disciple of Land classes alongside your Disciple of Hand means you’ll be spending time instead of money to level up. A good guideline is to keep a gathering job about ten levels ahead of your corresponding crafting job. Unfortunately, you still may have to dish out a bit of gil, as some crafts require items from other crafting classes. It’s certainly not a bad excuse, though, to keep all your crafting 

Along the way, keep an eye out for what items you specifically end up using a lot. Or, keep an eye on the marketboard for common items using the Sale History. You can craft items that are in high demand and have high payouts to make good gil. (If you’re feeling a little devious, you can also gather/craft quest items, if they’re tradeable; some players are a little bit lazy.)

What and when are the daily and weekly timer resets? 

Reset times are essentially anti-boosting timers that help you pace your grinding so no player gets too far ahead from marathon sessions. There are four timers: three daily timers, and one weekly timer. 

Duty Roulette bonuses and Beast Tribe Quests allowances share the same timer, at 3 PM UTC. 

Grand Company turn-ins reset at 8 PM UTC. 

Leves reset at 8 AM and PM UTC. 

Weekly timers, which reset certain currency caps as well as Custom Deliveries and loot drops in current raid tiers, reset at 8 AM UTC. 

If you’re unsure specifically when something resets for you, check in-game by using Ctrl + U to pull up the Timers menu. You’ll also see when individual timers for certain special abilities or events reset. 

What are Allagan Tomestones of Poetics? How do I use them? 

Tomestones are a type of currency you’ll encounter throughout the game, normally in pre-endgame content. Poetics are handed to you throughout your progression. Chances are pretty good you’ll cap these out on a regular basis. You’ll also hear about others, some modern and some antiquated, but those are normally endgame currencies. 

Poetics can be traded in for items that are good for crafting, selling back to vendors, or even leveling up extra classes. If you plan on leveling a multitude of classes, Poetics give gear that lasts for a pretty long while once you hit levels 50, 60 and 70 thanks to high item levels relative to other gear at that level. 

If you plan on grinding for the special shiny Anima and Zodiac weapons, you’ll need a ton of materials from Poetics sellers too.  

What’s the Golden Saucer? 

It’s pretty much just a fluff casino. You can play games to earn MGP, which will buy you a nice breadth of cosmetic items. 

The games themselves are a pretty big draw, though. There are some neat “GATEs,” which are multiplayer events that test your luck and/or skill, from jumping puzzles to railroaded shooter games, plus a few “are you standing in the right place at the right time” ones. Scattered around the area are little arcade-like games such as “strength” tests (agility, really) and claw machines. 

This is also where you’ll find Chocobo Racing, Doman Mahjong (riichi mahjong, for you mahjong players), and FFXIV’s original Triple Triad and Lords of Vermillion games. 

Do people roleplay in FFXIV

Absolutely! Even Yoshida-san himself has acknowledged their existence positively. The most common roleplaying server for English speakers is absolutely Balmung, on the Crystal Data Center. (You can make a character anywhere on Crystal and teleport into Balmung.) It’s quite lively in Ul’dah most hours of the day, but people congregate across the different hubs in the server. 

Roleplay basics are usually kept in the Search Info for your character. Players will either pretty much say all you need to know in there, or link out to a site like Carrd where you can learn more. If a profile says “WU/T,” that means “walk-up/tell,” meaning just walk up and/or send them a tell to let them know!  

There are also events around the servers thanks to player housing. Mateus, Coeurl, and Diabolos are common roleplay housing servers due to lower populations. Some even take place out in the open, such as a massive weekly fighting event in Central Thanalan. Most are listed on the Balmung Events Calendar

The number one thing to remember is that there is definitely someone somewhere out there that may share what you’re looking for. Just takes a bit of effort! 

Why is everyone flying? Can I fly? 

Not yet! You’ll be able to fly once you finish A Realm Reborn’s primary quest line. In other areas, you’ll have to unlock it with Aether Currents and quests that provide such. But don’t worry about that for now! That’s a level 50+ ordeal. 

Why is Limsa such a meme? 

Everyone just hangs out there, I guess. Bards, catgirls, the whole shebang. Things can get pretty weird there, regardless of server.  

As to why Limsa? Beats me. Guess it’s the whole beach aesthetic thing. 


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Victoria Rose

Victoria is a FFXIV player who's been writing about games for over five years, including formerly regularly for Polygon and Fanbyte, and also spent some time in The Secret World, mostly roleplaying. You can find her head-deep in roleplay campaigns on Balmung, or on the ground after hyperfocusing on her Black Mage rotation. Come visit her estate: Diabolos (Crystal DC), Goblet, Ward 4, Plot 28.