For the next few weeks — or however long it will take us to give you complete coverage on FFXIV: AR – we’ll be giving you the run-down of our time in Eorzea and what you can expect to find in the world that almost crushed Square Enix. In this first edition we’ll be coving the basic 1-10 leveling route; a phase that takes around 4-5 hours on a blind run. Chris and I also have a video that you can watch below in which we take you around Eorzea to demonstrate all the things you can do.
Depending on which class you decide to start off with right after creating your character will determine which of the three main cities you will start off in. The major cities consist of Gridania, Ul’dah and Limsa Lominsa each have their own surrounding areas. Each city is also completely different from one another, offering different openings and containing different guilds to offer your services.
The game starts off slow, so make sure you give it some time to really open up. You’re going to find yourself doing a lot of fetching quest at the beginning while they teach you the fundamentals of how the map works and how to navigate around the areas. It’s also going to show you how to take on quests and how to complete them. You can have 30 activate quests at any given time with up to five on screen which can be located on the right side of the screen.
After you complete the basics, you will finally be able to learn how combat works. As you start to level up your character by gaining experience from the monsters you defeat, you will start to unlock new abilities that are unique for that particular class. As you unlock more abilities you will be able to chain certain attacks together to create a combo that will initiate more damage. Some of these abilities can also be saved and transferred onto another job if you so choose. If you want to be able to cast cure on your character to heal your wounds, then no problem; all you have to do is learn the ability.
Once you finally complete your level 10 job quest you will be able to join the other guilds at any given time. If you don’t like the class you choose or just want to see what the others have to offer you can change at will. Many of the “Professional” jobs will need you to level multiple jobs in order to achieve them. Some “professional” jobs include; Dragoon, Paladin, Monk, Black Mage, White Mage and Summoner.
This is one of the biggest features that sets FFXIV: ARR apart from most MMOs in the fact that you can change your class at any given time without creating a whole new character. Many people including myself would make multiple characters in order to play as other classes. It’s nice to finally be able to create the hero that you always wanted it to be.
Once you finally get yourself out in the open and start doing battle with the Madragora and angry bee swarms you’ll might notice some rather large random purple circles on the map. What are these, you ask? These are full active time events, also known as ‘FATEs’, and can appear at any given time. FATE’s are events that will have a little backstory behind each one and you must complete the challenge in a set amount of time.
One can have you fight off a mob of wild beasts while another could have you collect food for starving people. That’s about as in-depth as they get but it’s just enough to make it feel important and clearly make them feel different from one another.
FATE’s are also really good for gaining experience fast with impatient players constantly flooding the chat channels to gain a 8-man group for the events for a quick and easy ride through the EXP bars. You can easily dive head first into these on your own and quickly have the cavelry storming in behind you, but that very same enthusiasm is what causes these moments to end pretty quickly. As long as you put enough effort into them to grab that gold medal ranking, you’ll get a nice boost of EXP whenever these little kill circles show up during your questing — welcome to the murder Olympics!
Another good way to achieve fast experience is to do hunting missions. These missions give you certain monsters to hunt and kill. Completing each set (Set contains around 10 different monsters) grants you a nice boost of EXP and yet another reason to explore Eorzea even more. And don’t be afraid of saving the hunting logs to help level your other classes, each class has a unique set to complete!
I’ve put in time with but the PC and PS3 and I have to say that Square-Enix really did a great job with how Final Fantasy XIV: ARR looks on Sony’s 7 year old system. MMOs are typically PC territory thanks to their endless amount of keys, but Yoshi P. and the team have made sure controller play is just as potent as the 18-button gaming mice. As I continue to level up from 10-20 I will write about my quests and new things that I find out about. For more in-depth on everything I talk here and more make sure you check out mine and Chris’s video.