Final Fantasy XIV is a massive multiplayer online roleplaying game developed by Square Enix. While many Final Fantasy fans may be familiar with how a Square Enix MMO works from their experience playing Final Fantasy XI, there will undoubtedly be an influx of new players from games with a more standardized and accepted format that find the world of Eorzea and its controls to be new and confusing. This guide is intended to help answer all those simple questions that may come up as you take your first steps into a Square Enix game.
NOTE: For a complete, step by step walkthrough of getting your account set up, click here.
In order to play FFXIV, you need to set up a Square Enix account. 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:
Square Enix phone support: 858-790-7529 --Available Mon-Fri 9am-6pm PST. This is not a toll free number. Support center is located in California.
If you had an account previously and that account had a security token linked to it that you no longer have, 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, it's strongly advised against simply making a new Square Enix account. Multiple accounts is one of the things the auto-ban bot possibly looks for.
SE has instituted a new policy regarding your Square Enix account. You are now required to register your accounts regional location. What this means is that if you register your Square Enix account as a North American account, you cannot use a Japanese or European version of the FFXIV software.
The basic monthly cost for FFXIV is $12.99 per month, with a 30-day free trial upon activation. The basic cost includes one character and one retainer. Each additional character costs an additional $3 per month. Each additional retainer costs an additional $1 per month.
Monthly payments for XIV will be able to be made using Square Enix's Crysta Currency. Crysta will be able to be purchased through your Square Enix account. 100 crysta = $1 USD/£1 GBP/€1 EUR. Click here for details on Crysta.
SE has created a pretty in depth character creator. It's easy to get lost just by creating your new character with all the details you have at your disposal. Try looking at each category, and then switching each option to it's various settings and see what you like best.
Don't worry about racial differences in XIV. The different races do have slightly different stats, but it's nothing like it was in FFXI. Don't be afraid to create a Lalafell Gladiator, or a Roegadyn Thaumaturge. You are able to distribute your own attribute points, so you can customize your character to be whatever sort of class you wish. Other than a small stat difference, there is no advantage to being one race over another.
Players coming from other MMO games may be alarmed at the idea that you must pay for each additional character you create, but the difference with FFXIV is that your character has the ability to be every basic starting class available in the game. By simply changing your weapon, your character can go from an Archer to a Fisher in just a few seconds. So while you may be limited to one single character, this system gives you the opportunity to try out and play the entire spectrum of classes with ease.
Players can currently choose from five different player races: Hyur, Elezen, Lalafell, Miqo'te (female only), and Roegadyn (male only). After you have set the characteristics and starting class for your character, you will be required to provide a first and last name for your character.
After the creation of your character, you will need to pick your starting city-state.
Although you have the ability to be any class, the city-state you start in can have an impact on the classes you are specifically interested in focusing on. For example, Leatherworkers and Archers may find an easier time with their class in Gridania, since a Leatherworker's Guild and Archer's Guild are located there. Check each city for a list of guilds.
There are currently 17 servers available to choose from in Open Beta. These servers will be included in the official launch, and according to SE, more servers will be added at launch as needed.
Known as The Twelve. They are the Gods and Goddesses of the world of Hydaelyn. Each deity is associated with a different element, as well as associated loosely with the Disciplines. When creating your character, you must pick one of the Twelve to whom you will align yourself. There is currently no significant difference for your character regarding the deity you choose. However, this system will be updated with future version updates. SE has previously stated that it will be possible in the future to re-align yourself, but at a cost.
Your characters in-game birthday. Currently, there is no effect on your character for the Nameday you decide. However, SE is planning to add things like Nameday presents, and temporary buffs in future version updates.
After you select your server, you will then view the opening cutscene for your city-state. You'll meet central character(s) in the city's main quest line and then enter an instanced area where you can practice attacking several monsters. If you wish, you can cancel out of the cutscene. You must kill the monsters before you can proceed. If you are not a fighting class, don't worry, the character(s) you met will assist you.
A graphical guide to keyboard controls:
You are able to re-bind your keyboard controls. To do so, enter your menu, select Configuration -- Keyboard Settings. From here you will be able to configure your keyboard and camera commands as you wish. Note: Binding a key to a command in which that key is already in use will not override the old key. You may need to rebind more commands in order to free up the keys you wish to use.
FFXIV allows players to use their own gamepads if they wish. You can use 3rd party controllers or even the actual PS3/Xbox360 controllers - properly installed and configured on your PC -. Many players report that using a gamepad gives gameplay a better feeling of fluidity.
Almost all interactions with FFXIV are done through the menu. Whether it's equipping new gear, checking your linkshell, allotting new attribute points, or logging out. All are done through the menu.
To make changes to things such as your resolution, you will need to exit out of Final Fantasy XIV and open Final Fantasy XIV Config.
Final Fantasy XIV, much like any other MMO allows you to send private messages (aka tells or whispers) to other characters, speak with your group or Linkshell (aka Guild), speak out loud in a small radius, or shout to a much larger radius. /Say is the default chat mode.
Note: To chat in any form, you must first hit the space-bar
In this example, the player typed in "ta", hit the tab key, and the list of words, phrases, and categories came up.
Throughout your travels in Eorzea, you're going to no doubt make many new friends. All MMOs have a friends list in one form or another. In FFXIV, your friends list will allow you to keep track of which of your friends are online and offline. Possibly even send them offline messages if that feature is implemented in the future. To add a person to your friends list:
A sad fact about any MMO game these days is the presence of RMT. Unfortunately, FFXIV already has a few RMT spammers in game and so it becomes necessary to blacklist these individuals and anyone else pestering you during your adventures. To add someone to your blacklist:
AKA guilds or clans from other MMOs, Linkshells are formed by people as a means of communication and organization with your in game friends.
After you've completed the initial tutorial, you'll be placed into your starting city, and your real adventure begins! You will be placed in a starter area where you need to speak to an NPC to proceed.
Once you speak to them, you'll be placed into an instanced room. There are various NPCs you can speak to here, but only one will begin the starter quest and exit you into the non-instanced area.
Once you're out of the instanced area, you will be able to explore around as you please. First, though, you're going to want to speak to a couple NPCs. Speak to the NPC you just spoke with to proceed to the next step in the starter quest. Then, you're going to want to pick up your first Guildleves. Select one to four leves for the level 1~ area.
Next, you're going to want to pick up a Retainer. Retainers are used for extra storage, and to sell your items for you when you're offline.
Pressing M will bring up the main Map. There are certain key points you're going to want to look for. Green Arrows are steps to go to different levels of the map. Orange dots show things such as Market areas and Lifts to other levels. You may need to go to different levels of the map to exit the city. Try exploring your new home town!
Each piece of equipment has a number representing the wear and tear on your gear. Located in each city iss an NPC that will repair your gear for some gil. The other option is to have it repaired by a Disciple of the Hand. The repair materials are give in the item's description, but you'll need to locate the right class to repair the item.
When you arrive at camp, approach the crystal and bring up your menu. You should have a ! icon at the top of your screen. Select Aetheryte, and you will "arrive" at the camp. This means that you'll be able to teleport to this camp from anywhere in the world now, and also this is where you will respawn when you die. The option to "Initiate Guildleve" will also be in your list.
Select "Initiate Guildleve" to bring up the selection of Guildleves you picked up while you were in town. Follow the menu instructions, and you'll be on your way soon to the action. Once finalized, your map will show you directional arrows for the direction of your Levequest targets. Follow the arrows, find and slay your mobs, and interact with the Aetherial Node that appears once the leve is finished.
Please see the detailed Guildleve Guide for more detailed instructions.
For all you XI vets out there, combat is going to feel a little different. There is no auto attack in XIV. There's still a combat/noncombat mode, however the differences are a little more pronounced.
All classes in FFXIV have the ability to engage in combat. Whatever class you are comes automatically equipped with a free (doesn't require MP or TP) attack. Disciples of the Land and Hand are given a basic combat ability, although this is a very weak attack and cannot be used as a reliable source of direct damage.
In place of an auto-attack, FFXIV uses a stamina bar. This bar fills automatically with time while in battle, and each move you do costs a certain percentage of the bar.
Here we see the move Punishing Barbs -- How much stamina it requires, and how much stamina is left.
Active mode means you have your weapon drawn. You run slower, cannot perform certain actions, and do not regenerate HP while in this mode. All spells and abilities require you to be in active mode. Even non-attack moves. You also cannot change class while in active mode.
Passive mode allows you to run faster, bind new abilities, and regenerate HP naturally.
You can enter combat in a couple of different ways.
You can enter active mode manually by hitting F, target the monster, and then (when you're in range) use your 1-10 keys to activate your abilities to attack OR: Simply just target the monster, get in attack range and use the ability macros which will automatically put you into active mode, as well as automatically lock you on to your target.
To manually lock on (or off) a target, target the monster and hit C or *.
As things sometimes go wrong -- You're able to run away from monsters in XIV. They will not chase you all the way across the zone like in XI. When it's time to turn tail, exit active mode, unlock from your target (C or *) and run away in as straight a line as possible. The monster will lose interest in 20 seconds.
La Mort. La Muerte. Der Tod. 死. Many different faces, and they all suck! When your Hitpoints (HP) reach zero, you are KO'd. KO status is essentially death. Square never actually calls it death in any of their games. When you are dead, you have two options. Return to your last bind point, or be raised by another player. As of the Beta stages, Raise is not available. You will need to return. To do this, bring up your Menu, and select Return. It won't cost you any Anima and as of Open Beta, does not lose you any Experience or Class Points.
You will be given the Weakness status upon Raising. Weakness slows your casting/recasting, as well as dramatically lowers your Hitpoints. Weakness lasts for 3 minutes, and gives you a blue skull status icon.
As previously mentioned, your character has the ability to change to any of the 18 available starting classes. In order to switch classes, simply equip the primary weapon of the class. The primary weapons/tools are as follows:
|Disciples of War||Disciples of Magic||Disciples of the Hand||Disciples of the Land|
In FFXIV, you truly can play, and play effectively any class you desire. The only thing limiting you is your willingness to learn new styles of playing. That, and of course, having the proper gear. You may find that even though you've always played fighter classes, you'll love Thaumaturge or Conjurer. Give them all a try when you start out. You may just surprise yourself. For further details, see The Armoury System
FFXIV takes a bit of a different approach to leveling than it's predecessor, XI. There are two forms of experience points. One is class points that advance your character's Rank and the other is experience points that increase your character's Physical Level.
Any fighting, casting, harvesting or crafting action you do in game has the potential to earn you class points. However, they will always earn you some experience points. When attacking a monster, each action you take against it has a chance to earn you class points. Not every attack will, though. At the end of the fight your class points are tallied up, and you are awarded experience points.
Updated for patch 1.19 per Official dev post
When you gain levels, you are given a fixed amount of points to distribute to your attributes.
When your class level advances, you may receive new skills for your character to use. You will need to manually equip these skills. To do this:
Note that you have a fixed amount of total skill points, and each skill takes a certain amount of points to use. If you've just gotten a new 3 point-cost skill, and your skill points are at 7/9, you will need to wait until you level again to equip it. Or, you can unequip a currently equipped skill to free up space.
If you require assistance from Square Enix while in game, select Support Desk from your menu. From here, you will be able to browse a basic FAQ, and also page a Game Master. Game Masters will be able to help if you encounter an issue that interferes with game play, such as your character being stuck and unable to move. They also deal with in-game harassment and RMT (Real Money Trader) solicitations. GMs should not be paged for questions about game play, however.
We hope that you enjoy your time in Eorzea. The game may have a bit of a learning curve, but can still be an enjoyable experience. We'll see you in game starting September 22nd!