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Final Fantasy XIV Survival 101Follow

#1 Sep 20 2010 at 11:31 PM Rating: Good
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  • Foreword, or Why Is This Here?
  • Simply put, I thought it might be beneficial to share the various things I learned during my beta experience for those who may not have gotten to play or only played a little, but will be starting their FFXIV career tomorrow. The game is, like most Final Fantasy games of yesteryears, not very friendly from the get go and is easy to become frustrated with, but once you climb the hills, so to speak, is a very enjoyable game, and I hope to help others realize this.

  • The Beginning, or How Do I Make The Guy?

  •      Chapter 1: Who You Are

    Character creation is fairly straight forward, but you do have a lot of options. Appearances and name, I will leave to you. The race question in the end boils down to What do I want to look like? because you can (almost) freely distribute and redistribute your attribute points to any of the 6 stats.

    Class is again mostly preference, as you can change any time you like, though I would suggest against starting as a Blacksmith or Armorer for one reason: fire crystals. While this means little to you now, every low-level synth (crafting recipe) for these two classes requires fire crystals or NPC/player purchased items, and fire crystals are very difficult to acquire at low levels.

         Chapter 2: Guardian and Homeland

    So now you may be asking yourself, what about the Guardian? And my birthday? Well as of beta neither had any effect on your character aside from having a guardian giving you the option to activate Guardian's Aspect on regional (combat/collecting) levequests, which costs 10 guardian favor (regenerates over time) and increases the skill xp you get from the target of the guildleve.

    Which starting city you pick is mostly a personal preference as well, as all three cities are easily reached from one another, and the guilds in the cities had no real purpose in beta for low rank characters.

    I will say in my experience Limsa Lominsa is the most newbie friendly, with easy-to-reach mob spawns, less high level aggressives in the starting area, and no poison. The downside to Limsa is the city is a little bit of a maze, and moles are kind of irritating since they tend to burrow and hit you hard unless you run away right before you can kill them.

    Gridania's zones are very narrow, making it difficult to slip past high level aggressives and has mobs which can poison you, which is nasty at low ranks. (I also ran across a rank 10 leatherworking guidleve in Gridania that was literally impossible to finish due to it being at a camp that is completely blocked off by mobs that hit for over 1300 on a rank 17 Pugilist and are aggressive with long range.)

    Ul'Dah has high level aggressive mobs scattered all around the starting city, but is wide open so it's easy to avoid them. In beta there was a distinct shortage of mob spawn clusters, though. All three are perfectly survivable once you get used to their quirks.

  • First Steps, or What Do I Do Now??
  • So, you now have a character. Hurray. The starter quests are fairly straight forward, kill what it tells you to kill, do what it says to do, watch the pretty cutscenes with the pretty cat girls, and talk to the important people. And the unimportant ones, if you like laughing. Be sure to watch the top right corner for the image of a linkpearl (looks like a pearl with a few spikes, kind of). When you see that, open your menu (it's the icon that looks like a really small FF battle menu) and select NPC Linkpearls. And click the Adventurer's Guild until it stops saying things. This is the most likely part to trip you up. If you get lost, in your menu is a Journal. It will tell you what you need to do.

    Quest completed? Got your reward from the guild helper NPC? Great. Now, you can do Guildleves!

  • Your Stats, or What Are All These Numbers??
  • At this point it's worth noting your basic statistics. You have both a Rank and a Level. The level is like any RPG, it increases as you get XP and you get attribute and elemental points you can distribute from the menu via Point Distribution. Your rank is tied to the class you are currently playing, and effects mainly which abilities you earn and how many you can equip, and how much of an item's attributes are applied to you (the formula is somewhat complicated and not known as of yet, but you will in almost all cases get MUCH better stats from items at your rank than items above your rank - make note of this. TONS of people in beta didn't seem to realize it, as I saw people running around in rank 20+ gear at rank 8).

         Chapter 1: From Strength to Piety

    From your menu, Actions and Traits allows you to change your abilities. In the beta, by default, no abilities showed in the list on the right. You have to select a job from the drop-down menu above it first. You get 1 more point allowed per rank in your class, and can equip any ability you have earned from any class at any time, as long as you're in passive mode.

    As for your attributes and elements:
    Strength - increases damage with melee weapons
    Dexterity - increases accuracy with all weapons AND weaponskills (this includes things like Radiance and Spirit Dart)
    Vitality - increases HP and physical defense
    Mind - increases MP, healing efficacy and magic defense
    Intelligence - increases spell damage
    Piety - increases spell accuracy

    NOTE: people have claimed dex raises evasion, while the game claims vitality raises physical defense, and mind raises magic defense...but I've seen absolutely zero effect from my experimenting, and certainly no difference on the attributes screen, so I'm assuming that's wrong, at least as of beta.

         Chapter 2: The Elements

    The elements supposedly increase your attack and defense with and against the respective elements, but I've noticed no difference on the defense side, so this may be another thing coming with release. There IS a noticeable effect, though, with shard gained by combat/gathering. More points in the corresponding element increases the number of shards dropped when they drop, but does not increase likelihood of that type of shard dropping. For instance, a level 1 character may get 1 earth shard from a sewer mole, whereas I was getting 6 on average from them at level 23.

    You can reassign both of these about every 30 minutes, with the amount able to be reassigned being a formula/number that hasn't been pinpointed yet, but the percentage you can reassign in relation to your total goes down as you level up, so keep this in mind.

    And a quick note on classes. You can change at any time you are not in combat just by changing what you have equipped in your Main slot (aka weapon slot).

  • The Fun Begins, or Guildleves - The Final Frontier!
  • In the place you should have ended your quest, you will find a pair of NPCs who hand out what are called Guildleves. These are the bread and butter, the hardtack and water, the staples of the FFXIV leveling experience, and a darned great way of getting a bit of crafting materials. One NPC will offer you Regional Levequests, which involve either combat (Battlecraft) or gathering (Fieldcraft). You can do 8 of these every leve reset, which will be different come release, so we don't know how long it is. One, standing right next to the other, will offer Local Levequests. These are crafting quests, and you can do 8 of these every reset as well. Levequests in general provide a whole lot more experience than you would normally get from performing the tasks the want you to complete, generally 2-3x more, and give substantial Gil and sometimes item rewards as well. You'll want to do as many as possible. The description for the Leve, which you see when selecting it, tells you all the information you need, including who to talk to (crafting leves) and where to go to start it (all leves).

         Chapter 1: Regional Leves

    To begin a regional leve, you must go to the Aetheryte (the big glowy crystal in the middle of the camp) at the camp the leve mentions, go to your menu, select Aetheryte, and Initiate Levequest. You then get a list of leves for that camp, and can select at your leisure. Leves typically seem to be limited to 30 minutes, and have variable difficulties. Solo being, obviously, the easiest, while legion is pretty rough on less than 3 people of the same rank as the leve. There are exceptions, of course: for example, leves with Imps and Dodos can be far harder than other leves, thanks to Imps casting insanely damaging spells and Dodos throwing around status effects like water. Upon completion, an Aetheryte Node will appear. Activate it like you did the Aetheryte crystal, and you can complete the leve.

         Chapter 2: Local Leves

    To begin a local leve you must speak to the NPC mentioned in the description (sometimes, not always, but it's easier to do it just to be sure) to get the materials required. Then you equip the tool for that craft, go to the menu, select Synthesize, wait for the UI to catch up, select Request Items, wait for the UI to catch up, select the leve, confirm it, wait for the UI to catch up, select Main of Off hand (some recipes are easier with offhand tools, some with main hand. Nobody's really figured out which to use with which recipe, though), wait for the UI, then...crafting minigame! I won't go into detail here since crafting is pretty complicated, but for crafting leves at first just use Rapid. You'll fail a lot less. Once you've made all the items (if you failed to make enough the leve simply disappears) go talk to the NPC mentioned in the description, and you get your reward.

    A quick note on quality for crafting leves: high quality items raises your rating for the leve by approximately 1/2 item quality, and getting a high rating gives better rewards. The first cut-off point is 100, which typically just gives you another item for the reward. I'm not sure what the next cut-off is as a lack of higher rank tools made making good quality items kind of a pain in beta.

  • The Wrap-up, or And So The Journey Begins
  • By now you should have a handle on the basics of the game, so I'll leave you with a word of advice. Don't cry over split milk, just tell the dog to lick it up! He'll love you for it.

    Edit: I picked up a copy of the CE pre-order on ebay (so my fiancee can have my SE preorder and I can still play), so in a couple days I'll be updating this and adding images to make it easier to understand.

    Edited, Sep 23rd 2010 1:58pm by Kevrlet
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    #2 Sep 20 2010 at 11:48 PM Rating: Good
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    Bright blue font isn't all that easy to read.
    #3 Sep 20 2010 at 11:56 PM Rating: Good
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    RayneZ wrote:
    Bright blue font isn't all that easy to read.


    Must be the various backgrounds/themes...works well for what I've got....

    I'll be nitpicky about the attributes section...VIT=physical defense & MND=magic defense aren't claims. They're listed in the attributes section of that little adventuring guide at the aetherytes(always forget what it's called). Though you're right about not being able to tell a lot of changes from the stats menu...hopefully that's coming with retail. Sometimes it felt more like a placebo effect for me where I was more comfortable taking on that red mob if I jacked up my VIT. Others mentioned noticing a big difference though. Also increasing the elemental attributes does help nuke damage for conjurer, didn't get to test much with the defensive benefits though.

    All of that is still dependent on what changes come for retail anyway. Great job on the guide!

    Edited, Sep 21st 2010 2:00am by TwistedOwl
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    #4 Sep 21 2010 at 12:01 AM Rating: Good
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    When you read the "Book" at any aetheryte it specifically said mnd increased magical defense. At physical level 22 with about 38 mnd my gladiator took noticably less damage from imp spells than my girlriend's pug at physical 20 with 15 mnd. Granted there was some gear differences as well, but our class rank was the same and our gear was atleast somewhat comparable.
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    #5 Sep 21 2010 at 8:19 AM Rating: Decent
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    RayneZ wrote:
    Bright blue font isn't all that easy to read.


    I'll change that then. It stands out like an ape in a banana patch with the color scheme I use.

    F3rth wrote:
    When you read the "Book" at any aetheryte it specifically said mnd increased magical defense. At physical level 22 with about 38 mnd my gladiator took noticably less damage from imp spells than my girlriend's pug at physical 20 with 15 mnd. Granted there was some gear differences as well, but our class rank was the same and our gear was atleast somewhat comparable.


    Yeah I read that too, but I seriously noticed absolutely no difference. At least none I could attribute to the stats. Impish Whatever did 500 damage to me at level 15 and level 23, and between those levels Mind got 26 points and fire went up 12 points. And Dodos do the same damage range against me when I'm naked whether my Vit is 16 or 40. I'll change the note up a bit on it, though, to point out the game says it should.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    edit: clarified the bit about the elemental stats effecting spell damage/defense too.

    Edited, Sep 21st 2010 10:25am by Kevrlet
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    #6 Sep 21 2010 at 8:21 AM Rating: Decent
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    Haha ya I use the 'Parchment' background and can't read the blue colour at all.
    Awesome guide though, thanks for all the tips... would rate up if I could. =/
    #7 Sep 21 2010 at 8:25 AM Rating: Decent
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    ShonaSeraph wrote:
    Haha ya I use the 'Parchment' background and can't read the blue colour at all.
    Awesome guide though, thanks for all the tips... would rate up if I could. =/


    Is the yellow any better? Or should I use a deeper color like red?
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    #8 Sep 21 2010 at 8:27 AM Rating: Default
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    Kevrlet wrote:
    ShonaSeraph wrote:
    Haha ya I use the 'Parchment' background and can't read the blue colour at all.
    Awesome guide though, thanks for all the tips... would rate up if I could. =/


    Is the yellow any better? Or should I use a deeper color like red?

    Yellow is slightly better, but I think red would visually be the superior colour =)
    #9 Sep 21 2010 at 8:28 AM Rating: Good
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    I think you got Mnd and Int mixed up.
    #10 Sep 21 2010 at 8:29 AM Rating: Excellent
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    I would wager more than of a few of us use the http://ffxiv.zam.com/ skin. It is hard to make it look good for all, so you might target that skin specifically, if you are looking for one skin to focus on.
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    #11 Sep 21 2010 at 8:31 AM Rating: Decent
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    MaFi0s0 wrote:
    I think you got Mnd and Int mixed up.


    That I'm quite positive I didn't. Unless you mean Int is listed first in the menu, which it may well be and I think it might be.

    Wint wrote:
    I would wager more than of a few of us use the http://ffxiv.zam.com/ skin. It is hard to make it look good for all, so you might target that skin specifically, if you are looking for one skin to focus on.


    Thank you Wint, I'll keep that in mind. Love the Clock app, btw. Looks beautiful on the G19, after I finally got the LCD working.

    Edited, Sep 21st 2010 10:34am by Kevrlet
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    #12 Sep 21 2010 at 8:33 AM Rating: Decent
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    Edit: Delete this. Realized I doubleposted.

    Edited, Sep 21st 2010 10:34am by Kevrlet
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    #13 Sep 21 2010 at 8:34 AM Rating: Good
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    Kevrlet wrote:
    MaFi0s0 wrote:
    I think you got Mnd and Int mixed up.


    That I'm quite positive I didn't. Unless you mean Int is listed first in the menu, which it may well be and I think it might be.


    Well I got magic potency from adding both int and mnd, but moreso from mnd I think.
    #14 Sep 21 2010 at 8:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Kevrlet wrote:
    Wint wrote:
    I would wager more than of a few of us use the http://ffxiv.zam.com/ skin. It is hard to make it look good for all, so you might target that skin specifically, if you are looking for one skin to focus on.


    Thank you Wint, I'll keep that in mind. Love the Clock app, btw. Looks beautiful on the G19, after I finally got the LCD working.


    Thanks Smiley: blush

    I have many changes to update it with including Moon Phase, ship schedules, etc. I'm hoping to even include the user's server status.
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    #15 Sep 21 2010 at 8:51 AM Rating: Decent
    MaFi0s0 wrote:
    Kevrlet wrote:
    MaFi0s0 wrote:
    I think you got Mnd and Int mixed up.


    That I'm quite positive I didn't. Unless you mean Int is listed first in the menu, which it may well be and I think it might be.


    Well I got magic potency from adding both int and mnd, but moreso from mnd I think.



    which job were you? It's possible different ones get different stuff from stats.
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    #16 Sep 21 2010 at 8:53 AM Rating: Good
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    gla
    #17 Sep 21 2010 at 8:54 AM Rating: Decent
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    digitalcraft, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
    which job were you? It's possible different ones get different stuff from stats.


    This is undoubtedly true in the case of Mind and Vit. Magic classes get much less HP from Vit, and melee get much less MP from Mind. It's possible the other stats have similar differences.
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    #18 Sep 21 2010 at 9:05 AM Rating: Good
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    Makes sense if it was mainly cure magic. MND gives a bit of a boost to cure potency...
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    #19 Sep 21 2010 at 9:10 AM Rating: Decent
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    TwistedOwl wrote:
    Makes sense if it was mainly cure magic. MND gives a bit of a boost to cure potency...


    I can't believe I forgot to put that in there. Thanks for the mind jog.
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    #20 Sep 21 2010 at 9:14 AM Rating: Good
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    Mind increase healing spell potency while Intelligence increases damage. So far 2 mind has shown to increase healing magic by 1 point. That is with cure 1/sacrifice 1.

    Also there is no proof yet to support dexterity increases spell weapon skills. I had 15 in DEX when I was playing on my mages and was hitting just fine with it. I did have 40 in piety and They are magic based WS. So IMO they are more likely based off piety.
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    #21 Sep 21 2010 at 9:17 AM Rating: Good
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    XvirusTvirus wrote:
    Mind increase healing spell potency while Intelligence increases damage. So far 2 mind has shown to increase healing magic by 1 point. That is with cure 1/sacrifice 1.

    Also there is no proof yet to support dexterity increases spell weapon skills. I had 15 in DEX when I was playing on my mages and was hitting just fine with it. I did have 40 in piety and They are magic based WS. So IMO they are more likely based off piety.


    I wasn't completely sold on the "Needing DEX for radiance/damnation" yet either. On one character I left the DEX at 13 or so and it started out bad, but got better after a few more class ranks. But it looked like some people had good success with it after adding dex...

    Edited, Sep 21st 2010 11:19am by TwistedOwl
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    #22 Sep 21 2010 at 9:20 AM Rating: Decent
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    XvirusTvirus wrote:
    Also there is no proof yet to support dexterity increases spell weapon skills. I had 15 in DEX when I was playing on my mages and was hitting just fine with it. I did have 40 in piety and They are magic based WS. So IMO they are more likely based off piety.


    I agree it makes more sense for Piety to be the determining stat for them, but I noticed a significant difference in accuracy with Radiance on my Con with higher dex, whereas keeping Piety at its base value didn't seem to affect it at all. The difference may be that I was raking my Con on red-shield mobs his entire career thanks to a high physical level.
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    #23 Sep 21 2010 at 9:33 AM Rating: Decent
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    Thank you for the info.
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    #24 Sep 21 2010 at 2:35 PM Rating: Decent
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    For local guildleves, sometimes I found myself wondering if I'd yet acquired mats for the leve or if I had to visit some NPC. It's true that a purple text message will appear when you get the mats, but sometimes you can lose track anyway. To save myself time, I found out that if you don't see yellow numbers on the leve near the top regarding how many materials you have and how many items you've synthesized, you need to pay a visit to an NPC somewhere. I usually run around and acquire all the mats for all the local leves so I can save cash on synth support.

    Speaking of synth support. When the buff expires, there's a box underneath the materials list during synths that will still say "common armorer's forge" indicating that I still have the synth buff, but the buff at the top buff-bar will be gone. I can't tell which source is actually telling the truth. I got mixed results from just continuing to craft and my advice would be anecdotal at best. I can't tell if it's time to get a new synth support buff or if I can save some gil and keep crafting.

    I'm sorry I can't give screenshots of what I'm talking about. And it may be fixed by release anyway.
    #25 Sep 21 2010 at 2:42 PM Rating: Good
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    I know exactly what you're talking about. The buff icon is telling the truth, the synth menu is lying. The only case where this doesn't hold true is if the buff wears out mid-synth, the effects of the buff seem to remain throughout the synth.
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