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Where to begin!? - a forum and game primerFollow

#1 Sep 07 2010 at 2:10 AM Rating: Good
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27 posts
Welcome to ZAM.com and FFXIV!

a note to moderators: Feel free to update or edit this post at anytime to correct or add any information

So, you want to play FFXIV do you!? Well, there's a few ground rules we'll be needin' to go over first!

Now, now, hold on. Before you just skim past everything I should let you know we support instant Karma around here via a rating system and people generally don't take too kindly to answering questions that have already been discussed!
 
Table of Contents: 
I. Introduction to ZAM and FFXIV 
 
II.  Forum Etiquette 
     - Forum Rules: http://goo.gl/bAme 
     - Forum FAQ: http://goo.gl/1f3s 
     - How do I search the forums? 
     - Where should I post? 
     - What is Karma? 
 
III. Using ZAM.com Forums 
     a. My First Post 
        - The Basics 
        - Creating a Thread 
        - Replying to a Thread 
     b. ZAM Account Management 
        - Settings 
        - Posts 
        - User Profile 
        - Contacts 
 
IV.  I Want to Play FFXIV! 
     a. Square-Enix Account Management 
        - Creating your Account 
        - Beta Token 
        - Security Token 
        - Payment 
        - Crysta 
     b. Game Setup 
        - System Requirements 
        - Getting the game 
        - Installation 
        - Updating 
     c. Beta Information 
        - Beta Details 
        - Beta User Manual 
        - Beta Feedback 
     d. Logging in for the first time 
 
V.   Other Information 
     - FFXIV IRC 
     - Link Library 
      
#2 Sep 07 2010 at 2:10 AM Rating: Excellent
Scholar
27 posts
I. Introduction
Welcome to ZAM.com and FFXIV! This thread will cover all you need to know about participating and finding information on these forums, how to find technical support and how to find game support.

Do you want to sign-up for the forums so you can begin chatting with us!? Click here: http://goo.gl/buId

Are you interested in having an avatar, using emoticons, creating polls, uploading and storing images here at ZAM (such as screenshots and fanart), searching the forums using the convenient built in search on the site and more? Then sign-up for ZAM.com premium membership! Click Here: http://goo.gl/TxWg

Edited, Sep 7th 2010 4:13am by Zannabell
#3 Sep 07 2010 at 2:11 AM Rating: Excellent
Scholar
27 posts
II. Forum Etiquette
Once you're logged in you will probably want to create your first post! That's a valiant goal but it's not quite time for that yet.

First off, take a look at the Official Rules and Forum FAQ

Official Forum Rules: http://goo.gl/bAme
Forum FAQ: http://goo.gl/1f3s

- Before creating a new post make sure the topic hasn't been covered before!

How do I search the forum's if I can't use forum search!?

- Non-premium ZAM.com members are unable to use the forum search. Luckily, Google crawls ZAM.com multiple times a day. Follow this link (http://goo.gl/mZ2f) and you can search all of ZAM.com for what you are looking for.

If you want to limit the search to a specific forum page go to the main page for that forum and copy the url from the address bar into Google where it says "Search within a site or domain".

- Before creating a new post make sure you are in the correct forum and that their isn't already a dedicated thread for the issue at hand!

Where should I post?
 
NAME          USE                   LINK 
FFXIV General   This forum is used       http://goo.gl/QCSg 
                for general discussion 
                of in game related  
                content (This means  
                strategy, mob  
                discussions, etc) 
 
FFXIV Tech      This thread is used      http://holder/xxxx 
Support         for any kind of tech 
                support related 
                questions specifically 
                involving FFXIV including 
                updater errors, 
                hardware question, etc. 
 
FFXIV:          This thread is a         http://holder/xxxx 
What Now?       beginners guide to 
                FFXIV. When more is 
                known about opening 
                quests and gameplay 
                this link will be 
                updated! 
 
FFXIV Feedback  This forum is used       http://goo.gl/GgiX 
                for specific feedback 
                and suggestions to the 
                developers themselves. 
                
FFXIV Classes   There are also forums    http://goo.gl/08UY 
                for each class in FFXIV 
                where you can ask and  
                find class specific  
                information. 
 
Other Forums    ZAM.com is also home to  http://goo.gl/7Ytb 
                many other game forums 
                including (but not  
                limited to) FFXI, WoW,  
                Eve, and many others. 
 
Site Feedback   This forum is used       http://goo.gl/99e0 
                for providing specific 
                feedback about ZAM.com 
 
PC Hardware &   This is a cross-site     http://goo.gl/wKfC 
Troubleshooting tech support forum. 
 
General Game    This forum is used       http://goo.gl/4rkX 
                for discussions of 
                games not already 
                covered by ZAM.com 
 
TV, Movies,     This forum is used       http://goo.gl/LDoL 
Animé & Books   for discussing TV, 
                Movies, Animé & Books. 
 
Out of Topic    This forum is used       http://goo.gl/eePu 
                for anything Out of 
                Topic. 
 
The Asylum      If you prefer to troll   http://goo.gl/5hFq 
                head to the asylum  
                where post counts are  
                high & most likely so 
                are the posters. We're 
                not really sure where 
                they came from and I'm 
                not asking! <.< 
What is Karma?

Here at ZAM.com we support instant Karma via a rating system. After you have posted a certain amount of posts you'll notice that it will say "scholar" under your name. This is equivalent to the number of posts you have made. Scholar's and above can rate others posts using the green and red arrows along the top right of every post.

When you are about to post a message ask yourself the following questions. Am I contributing anything? Is my spelling and grammar bearable? Is the post formatted well? If applicable is your argument or question well thought out, clear and concise?

Karma Rules: http://goo.gl/CPA7

Allakhazam wrote:
One thing I want to emphasize is the Karma system. If people start to use it, it should solve many of the complaints I see about anon posting. If you have received Scholar status of higher, you in effect become a limited forum admin. Please take advantage of this.

As you read through a thread, rate the best posts up and the worst posts down. [section redacted due to inaccuracies] It only takes a couple people rating through a thread like that to move the dumb posts below the default viewing threshold and move the better posts up, which will eventually make those making the good posts able to rate as well.

Now just make sure you have your filter settings at "default" and not at "Never Filter". The default filter means that when you are on the main thread page, any thread where the lead is below 1.5 isn't even listed, and within a thread any post below that rating also disappears. If you choose to set your filter to "Never Filter", then I have to assume you want to see those types of posts.

We do moderate the forum as well, but only to get rid of the most outrageous posts. If people want to carry on a below the threshold flame war, then we won't interfere until it becomes indecent.


Edited, Sep 7th 2010 4:30am by Zannabell
#4 Sep 07 2010 at 2:11 AM Rating: Excellent
Scholar
27 posts
III. Using ZAM.com Forums
Now that you know know proper forum etiquette it's that time!

a. My First Post

- The Basics

It's time to create your first post. The first thing you have to decide is if you are creating a new thread or responding to an existing thread.

When you create a new thread it shows up as a new topic at the top of the forum which is unrelated to any of the other topics.

This is NOT how you respond to somebody else's post.

This IS how to create a new topic of your own.

If you create informational threads it is your responsibility to keep them up to date. Further, if any of your threads becomes stickied it is your responsibility to keep them organized and up to date.

- Creating a New Thread
- Navigate to the forum you wish to post on.
- Click the button in the upper right hand corner labeled "New Thread"

- Replying to a Thread
- Navigate to the thread or post you wish to reply to.
- Along the top of every post is a "Reply to post" link
- In the upper right hand corner of every thread is a "Reply to thread" link
- Click either link to begin your reply

Subject
- Type a short subject that clearly describes what will be in the post.
  GOOD EXAMPLE: "Update H2010.08.30.2000 going very slowly" 
  BAD EXAMPLE:  "You gotta be kidding!!!" 
 
  GOOD EXAMPLE: "Why is my CPU usage so high?"  
  BAD EXAMPLE:  "CPU Usage"
Body
- Type your post in the large empty box.
- ZAM provides many formatting options labeled under "Markup"
- A full list of forum markup can be found at the forum FAQ: http://goo.gl/1f3s

Posting
- press "Preview Message" to preview your message at anytime
- press "Post Message" when you are ready to make your message public!

b. ZAM Account Management

- To access your account page click the "Account" link at the top of any forum page or click here: http://ffxiv.zam.com/users/
- ZAM.com provides many tools to users including private messaging, a contacts list including block list, following threads, and a personal wiki page or "User Forum".
- Other services are available with a premium account: http://goo.gl/TxWg

- Settings
ZAM.com account management has 3 types of settings. Account, Forum and User Forum Settings.

Account Settings
Here you can:
- Change your email address associated with your ZAM username
- Turn your email newsletter subscriptions on or off
- Change your password

Forum Settings
Here you can:
- Set your timezone
- Set your location
- Create and edit your signature
- Create and edit your biography

User Forum Settings
Here you can:
- Change the security level of your user forum
- Define your title (premium members only: http://goo.gl/TxWg)

- Posts
You can view your posts, your recently viewed posts, and your followed threads.

Access your posts
Go to the menu across the top of the screen and move your mouse over "Account" which should reveal a sub menu beneath it (if it's not already showing) with a "Posts" option. You can alternatively click the "posts" link beneath your name on the left side of your main account page or click here: http://goo.gl/RKNU

View your recently viewed posts
Your recently viewed posts are available on the bottom of your main account page.

Access Followed Threads
You can access your followed threads by pressing the "Followed threads" link on the left side of your main account page or click here: http://goo.gl/XGQ4

- User Profile
Avatars and titles (among other things) are only available to premium members.

Every user receives a personal user forum or "wiki page" which can be accessed and modified via the "Wiki Page" link along the left side of your main account page. You can modify access settings under "User Forum Settings"

- Contacts
ZAM.com provides a Friends List, a Contacts List and an Ignore List as well as private messaging within the site.

- You can add names to any of your contact lists by clicking the "Contacts" link along the left hand side of your main account page.

- You can PM any user by clicking their name and then click "PM <username>" along the left hand side of their user page or by clicking "private message" along the left hand side of your main account page and then "New Message" in the upper left hand corner - or click here: http://goo.gl/fIgD

Edited, Sep 7th 2010 4:15am by Zannabell
#5 Sep 07 2010 at 2:11 AM Rating: Good
Scholar
27 posts
IV. I Want to Play FFXIV!

a. Square-Enix Account Management

Square-Enix has consolidated their services into the Square-Enix Account Management system found here: http://goo.gl/g1Dk.

This page is where you can find and update square-enix account information, access payment and service fee information and modify your services and options.

- Creating your Account
Create a Square Enix Account by registering here: http://goo.gl/wei1

Note that this is not the same as the Square Enix Members Account you may have set up in the past. Nor is it the same as your Play Online login. In March '10, the Square Enix Members website login was changed to use your Square Enix account.

If you have a Square Enix account from your FFXI days but can't remember your login information then you must contact Square Enix support.

online/E-mail support: http://goo.gl/o1ZH

Square Enix phone support: 858-790-7529
Available Mon-Fri 9am-6pm PST. This is not a toll free number.
The support center is located in California.

If you had an account previously and that account had a security token linked to it but you no longer have your token, you will need to contact SE support. You cannot log in to your Square Enix account without the registered token.

Due to SE's RMT detection, I strongly advise against simply making a new Square Enix account. Multiple accounts is one of the things the auto-ban bot looks for.

- Beta Token
Once you have a beta token (see "Getting the Game" below) you must complete the following steps to add FFXIV beta access to your account.

1. Access Square-Enix Account Management site: http://goo.gl/g1Dk
2. On the left hand side under "Services and Options" click "Select Service"
3. Click "Final Fantasy XIV"
4. Enter your beta token and click "Next"
5. Congratulations! You now have access to the beta!

- Security Token
Square-Enix Security Tokens: http://goo.gl/7T5z

If you have a Square-Enix security token you can add it to your account by doing the following.

1. On the left hand side under "Services and Options" click "One-Time Password"
2. Click the circle next to "Security Token Usage Settings" and click "Next"
3. Click the circle next to "Security Token Registration" and click "Next"
4. Agree to the terms of service
5. Enter your Security Token Serial Number from the back of the device
6. Click the button on the front to generate a one-time password and enter the password it gives you for "One-Time Password"
7. Press Next
8. Congratulations! Your security token is now registered!

- Payment
Until more information regarding payment options is available refer to this post by Osarion: http://goo.gl/SgDF

- Crysta
Square Enix has introduced a new form of payment called Crysta. You will be able to purchase Crysta through your Square Enix Members page and apply the Crysta as payment for FFXIV. You can find out more information about Crysta here: http://goo.gl/jKAj

b. Game Setup

- System Requirements
            Recommended            Minimum 
 
OS: 	    Windows® 7              Windows XP/Vista/7 
Processor:  i7 2.66GHz or greater   Intel or AMD 2 Core 2ghz  
Memory:     4GB or more             XP: 1.5Gb / 7: 2Gb  
Storage:    Install: 15GB or more   Install: 15GB or more 
Download:   6GB or more             6GB or more  
Video: 	    GTX 460 with 768MB      9600GT or 2900XT w/ 512MB 
Sound:	    DX9.0c+                 DX9.0c+ 
Internet:   Broadband Internet      Broadband Internet 
Resolution: 1280 x 720 or higher    1280 x 720 or higher 
DirectX:    DirectX 9.0c            DirectX 9.0c 
Controls:   Mouse/Keyboard/Gamepad  Mouse/Keyboard/Gamepad 
These system requirements should be taken very seriously. This game is very intensive on both your GPU and CPU and requires a gaming machine. Most standard manufacturer and store bought computers do not have a video card adequate enough for this game!

If you have a machine which is closer to the minimum requirements then you can configure all the settings in the game to run at the lowest settings or disabled and you should be able to use a gamepad or keyboard sufficiently enough to use the game.

Square Enix regarding "recommended" settings wrote:
The following PC specifications are required to run the game smoothly with our stipulated in-game settings.

Window Size and Display Mode 1280x720 (Windowed)
Ambient Occlusion OFF
Depth of Field ON
Shadow Detail Standard
Multisampling 4x MSAA

- Getting the game

You can preorder the game at Amazon.com and many other online retailers now! http://goo.gl/eDgm

On Sept 1, 2010 the FFXIV Open Beta went live. Here is how you apply.

1. Make sure you have created your Square Enix account.
2. Go to http://entry.ffxiv.com/
3. Select your region.
4. Select "Apply for the Open Beta Test" at the bottom of the screen.
5. Follow the instructions from this point on.

BETA CLIENT DOWNLOAD
FilePlanet: http://goo.gl/Jlb1
Square-Enix: http://goo.gl/Rtah

- Installation
The initial installation is relatively straight forward.

- Windows XP: just run ffxivsetup.exe
- Windows Vista or Windows 7: make sure the installation software is running as Administrator. To do this, RIGHT click on ffxivsetup.exe and select Run as Administrator.

- Updating
Once the installation is complete you will need to update the client. This can often be a long and tedious process due to the need to modify network settings in many cases before the update will run properly.

If you are receiving very slow download speeds there are several solutions.

If you are adept with torrents skip to the "Update with Torrents" section.

Enabling UPnP Settings

Version updates will be downloaded via Peer-to-Peer on networks which support UPnP, and UPnP settings will be required.

UPnP is enabled under Windows 7 default settings. Unless you have previously changed these settings, no setup is required.

Quote:
Windows XP
1. From the Control Panel, select “Network Connections” -> from the toolbar, select “Advanced” -> then select “Optional Networking Components…”

2. Select “Network Services” -> choose “Details.”

3. Check the “UPnP User Interface” box and select OK.


Windows Vista
1. From the Control Panel, select “View network status and tasks” -> in the “Sharing and Discovery” box change the “Network Discovery” setting to “Turn on network discovery” and select “Apply”.

2. From the Control Panel, select “Additional Options” -> then choose “Security” from the left tab. Select “Allow a program through Windows Firewall”

3. Select the “Exceptions” tab, and in the “Program or port” box, check the “Network Discovery” box. Finally, select “Apply” and then “OK.”

Port Forwarding

If you are not getting Remote Connections when you download client patches, you need to manually configure Port Forwarding. This is done by accessing your router. Note that sometimes your internet modem also has a built in router. Without Remote Connections, downloading patches is going to be a very, very slow and painful process.

http://portforward.com/ provides instructions for setting up port forwarding based on your individual router model.

The following port ranges must be forwarded to the pc that you have FFXIV on:
UDP 55296 - 55551
TCP 54992 - 55551

UPnP may also need to be enabled inside of your router. Unfortunately this process is different for every router. If you do not feel confident attempting to change this setting and you are still experiencing issues even after following the port forwarding steps then proceed to the torrent download method.

Update with Torrents
The client utilizes torrent files and Peer-to-Peer sharing for the updates. Because of this we can utilize third party torrent software to download the updates.

You must launch the updater and let it begin attempting to download so that it downloads the torrent files. Press cancel and close the updater once the torrent files appear in the directory listed below.

1. Download a torrent software such as utorrent: http://www.utorrent.com
2. In utorrent choose "File" > "Add Torrent"
3. The following folder will contain 1 or more folders with a random alphanumeric name. These are the update folders. Inside of each update folder is a "metainfo" folder which contains the torrent files: %user%\Documents\My Games\FINAL FANTASY XIV Beta Version\downloads\ffxiv-beta\<update folder>\metainfo (My Documents for XP)
4. Add the torrents from the metainfo folders to utorrent
5. once the downloads are complete copy and replace each of the downloaded directories to the "ffxiv-beta" folder.
6. relaunch the client and it should begin updating, recognize the new files, check them for consistency and load the login screen!

c. Beta Information

- Beta Details
The FFXIV beta will be live until 9/22/2010 which is the FFXIV PC retail release date.

On Sept 1, 2010 the FFXIV Open Beta went live. Here is how you apply.

1. Make sure you have created your Square Enix account.
2. Go to http://entry.ffxiv.com/
3. Select your region.
4. Select "Apply for the Open Beta Test" at the bottom of the screen.
5. Follow the instructions from this point on.

NOTE:
- As of Sept. 1st, both the Square Enix account registration and Beta Test signup sites have been experiencing extreme congestion. It may take a while to get them to load and even when they do, progressing thru the various pages might take a while.

- If you were part of the Alpha/Beta/Phase 3 Beta test, you still need to "apply" for a new Beta Key. Follow the steps listed above, and SE will send you an E-mail with your Beta Key to the E-mail account registered with your Square Enix account.

- As of Sept. 1st, SE is limiting the amount of Open Beta keys being given out. You may need to keep reapplying in order to get yours.

- Lastly: Expect game servers and login servers to crash and emergency maintenance to happen.

BETA CLIENT DOWNLOAD
FilePlanet: http://goo.gl/Jlb1
Square-Enix: http://goo.gl/Rtah

- Beta User Manual
Square-Enix has provided a Beta Developers page which includes a Beta Manual found here: http://goo.gl/GKLz

- Beta Feedback
As of Beta round 3 tester feedback is no longer required. The development page has been updated and users can no longer access any Beta Test feedback of Discussion information. This is intended.

d. Logging in for the first time

Configuration
You can use the FFXIV configuration utility to set your network, video, graphics, sound and gamepad settings.

If you need to modify your settings proceed to the start menu then programs then "Square Enix" and click "FFXIV Beta Version Config".

Use the following steps to enable the lowest possible settings or choose per your hardware setup:
1. Press "General"
2. click the tab that says "Video Settings"
3. Leave "Devices" as is
4. Set "Display Mode" to "Full Screen"
5. Set the "Windows Size" to the same resolution size as your monitor
6. Set "Multisampling" to "No AA"
7. Set "Buffer Size" to "Resolution"
8. Set "Shadow Detail" to "Lowest"
9. click the tab that says "Graphics"
10. uncheck all 3 check boxes
11. set "texture quality" to "low"
12. Set "Texture Filtering" to "Lowest"
13. Press "OK"
14. when prompted to save press "Yes"

Check List
1. Do you have a Square-Enix Account?
2. Do you have a registered beta token attached to your account?
3. Is the client installed?
4. are all the updates installed?
5. Does your system fall within the hardware specifications?
6. Are your setting configured?

If you answered yes to the above then you should be ready to play FFXIV!

Launch the FFXIV client and proceed to login using your Square-Enix Account information! If successful you should come to a screen with slots on the right for character creation. Choose a blank slot and begin your adventure by creating your character!

Welcome to FFXIV!

In-Game Configuration
Once you are in the game you will be able to open your menu by pressing the "-" key on your numpad or the icon in the lower right most corner.

Inside the menu choose "configuration" and turn character shadows, dust effects, extended drawing, and physics all off.

Edited, Sep 7th 2010 4:16am by Zannabell
#6 Sep 07 2010 at 2:12 AM Rating: Decent
Scholar
27 posts
#7 Sep 07 2010 at 2:12 AM Rating: Decent
Scholar
27 posts
This thread is still in progress. I will continue to add more content to it as well as complete extended projects such as a consolidated, updated and organized tech support thread as the time presents itself.

If you have anything I should add to this post feel free to respond to this thread or message me directly. Thanks ^-^


Edited, Sep 7th 2010 4:17am by Zannabell
#8 Sep 07 2010 at 2:12 AM Rating: Decent
Scholar
27 posts
Holding this post for possible future exspansion

Edited, Sep 7th 2010 4:17am by Zannabell
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