forced by the fact that the game isnt free to play and i no longer had the means to pay for it at the time thus couldnt. Also my goal if nothing else would be to do EVERY SINGLE piece of story relate content... that includes rhapsodies so would minimum gear would I need to solo or at least be useful in a party for that? how long would it take to get? What about getting to level 99 and capping all my merits.. how long would that take (already at 75)
75->99 is incredibly easy. You'd have a little legwork and prepwork to do, but once you did that, it'd take off considerably. It doesn't matter how well you are geared now, ALL of your gear (except for maybe a few select pieces of jewelry) are going to be replaced the moment you ding 99.
Basically, you'd need to activate Records of Eminence (easy), Unity (easy), Trusts (easy) and then go grab whatever Trusts you can grab (depending on what missions you had done already).
Then, you'd do the first couple Rhapsody missions because the Key Items are absurdly powerful (the first one alone gives you a permanent +30% experience gain buff!) as some of them can be done Pre-99.
Once you got that done, then it'd be time to go level up to 99. This would not take long at all, because You+4 trusts is basically almost as good as a full 6-man XP group was back in the day. 5 days after your first login, you'd have enough Login Points to buy a Caliber Ring which would speed it up even further (you can also buy them with mules). Said ring gives +150% XP gain until you've gotten 30,000 free XP and usually that's good for a levelup or two by itself, per charge (each ring has 3 charges).
That, with the records of eminence objectives (set as many as you can that you can foresee yourself doing, especially the Spoils (Crystals) ones), it's not uncommon to gain a level per hour, even in the 80s. You'd basically stick to Even Match to Tough depending on your job and Trust selection, and with Caliber Ring active, it's not too uncommon to see 1500-1800xp per kill. If you do it early Sunday Morning or Wednesday Afternoon while Gain Experience is up, every 5,000 XP you get from mob kills (Ring and RoE XP doesn't count), you get 1500 free XP which makes it even faster.
You can buy a new weapon for your job at 87, and new armor at 78 (need Cruor and Abyssea Access for that though, unless you ask someone to buy some for you, if you're on Fairy/Slyph, I'd happily do that for you).
Once you got to Lv99, you are handed a free (almost) suit of Item-Level 117 gear, which makes you easily strong enough to solo anything that was Lv75 previously (which is to say everything Pre-Abyssea, including WoTG), and some Abyssea stuff can even be solo'd.
There's a guide over on BG-Wiki on what to do once you are freshly Level 99 (search for "fresh 99" and it should be the first thing it spits out). When you see that huge list of stuff to do, you might be overwhelmed, but don't be! It only takes about 5-6 hours to do that whole list of stuff (except for the part about trying to get a WKR done, that varies by server).
Once you do that list on BG-Wiki, you should have enough to join Volume 2 VD Ambuscade which will give you rather decent 119 armor. From there, join a Linkshell, and well... the rest of Vana'diel is basically your sandbox (except for Escha, and Reisenjima, and a few select mobs in Adoulin) that you can solo with ease.
EDIT: Capping Merits is ridiculously easy. Once you get to 117, it's possible to get 3-5k xp per kill
in Adoulin which is to say nothing about Escha or Reisenjima. Once you get 119 gear from Ambuscade, you can go to Reisenjima and get 6,000+ per kill, easy, assuming you did enough Rhapsodies. That's a Merit every other kill, lol. My MULES that are Lv99 (yes I have Lv99 mules lol) with weak 117 gear can kill the easiest enemies in Adoulin with XP ring up and get 3500 per kill on a Chain #2+. I can get about 8-10 merits in 30 minutes. With a wimpy-geared mule.
There's a sample of a character that's only missing 1 rhapsody, killing the weakest enemy in Adoulin. Also, the coolest WS I've ever seen. I realize the XP gain scrolls off-screen too fast, but I managed to pause it. It was 1165 or 1162. I can't see it quite clearly enough. That's an "Incredibly Easy Prey". There are lots of mobs that give 5k+ lol. Edited, Apr 9th 2017 8:27pm by Lyrailis