Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is above all else, a game for its community. They have taken a massive amount of time to rebuild this game to cater to what the community has asked for. With that, comes a very rich, deep experience that may be overwhelming for a player new to the series or MMOs in general.
The purpose of this guide is to provide a general overview of core game terms and mechanics, without going too deep into any given topic. The intent is to not overwhelm, but to inform and provide insight into what may be confusing. I hope this guide serves as a good foundation for new players and engages you all to learn more about the game.
Races – Classes – Jobs – Ability Sharing – Stat Definitions – Levequests – FATE – Guildhests – Dungeons – Primals – Raids – Hunting Log – Limit Breaks – Macros – Marking/Assisting – Materia – Just so you know – Tips while leveling
There are five races in FFXIV: ARR, each of which have two sub-races. Each of these sub-races have their own unique look and also each have stats that cater to a specific class (these are trivial at later levels – play what you like most!) You can view each of the races in my “FFXIV: ARR Races” post.
- Hyur - Midlanders & Highlanders
- Miqo’te – Seekers of the Sun & Keepers of the Moon
- Elezen - Wildwood & Duskwight
- Roegadyn - Sea Wolves & Hellsguard
- Lalafell - Plainsfolk & Dunesfolk
Classes are divided into four categories: Disciples of War, Disciples of Magic, Disciples of the Hand and Disciples of the Land. Unlike other MMO’s, your character is not restricted to a single class. To change your class, you simply change the weapon you’re using – simple as that!
Disciples of War (DoW)
- Gladiator (GLA) – Defensive Tank, uses Sword/Shield. Heavy armor defensive class with high vitality and utility.
- Marauder (MRD) – Offensive Tank, uses 2h Greataxe. Heavy armor defensive class with a focus on keeping threat via damage.
- Pugilist (PGL) – Melee DPS, uses Knuckles. Fast-paced combo-based combat that relies on heads up positioning and quick reactions.
- Lancer (LNC) – Melee DPS, uses Lances. Similar to the Pugilist, combo-based thrusts will be used to execute deadly combos. The Lancer also has a level 22 ability called Invigorate that will restore TP. This will be highly desired for all DoW classes.
- Archer (ARC) -Ranged DPS, uses Bows. A true ranged threat, the Archer deals massive damage at a safe distance. On top of that, they are very strong with AoE.
Disciples of Magic (DoM)
- Conjurer (CNJ) – Healer, uses Wands/Staves. Protect your allies with heals and dispels, while putting DoTs and light damage on your enemies.
- Thaumaturge (THM) – Ranged DPS, uses Rods/Staves. With some handy CC, this is your typical caster who deals magic damage from afar.
- Arcanist (ACN) – Ranged DPS, uses Books. This is your DoT class with a Carbuncle pet that can be fulfill any role for flexible combat.
Disciples of the Hand (DoH)
- Carpenter (CRP) – Uses wood to craft bows, staves, shields, tools and furniture.
- Blacksmith (BSM) – Uses metal to craft various melee weapons.
- Armorer (ARM) – Uses metal to craft heavy armor and shields.
- Goldsmith (GSM) – Uses precious metals and stones to craft accessories such as earrings, rings and necklaces.
- Leatherworker (LTW) – Uses hides, pelts and furs from the wild and crafts them into leather armor.
- Weaver (WVR) – Uses fabric and thread to craft cloth armor.
- Alchemist (ALC) – Uses a variety of ingredients to concoct a wide range of potions and consumables.
- Culinarian (CUL) – Your typical chef that will cook food that provides beneficial effects such as buffed stats.
Disciples of the Land (DoL)
- Miner (MIN) – Using a pickaxe, mine ore nodes and discover precious metals and gems used for crafting.
- Botanist (BTN) – Harvest trees, collecting crystals and crafting materials.
- Fisher (FSH) – Grab your pole and go fishing!
Think of a job as more of a class specialization, rather than an class in itself. Unlike classes, jobs do not gain levels. Instead, you equip a job via a soul crystal obtained from a quest obtained once you meet the class requirements for that job. When you equip a job, you gain bonus stats and unique abilities for that job. However, the job also restricts your cross-class sharing by limiting you to two classes (based on the job) and cutting the amount of cross-class ability slots you have available in half.
Please note, that these are not confirmed. Once confirmed at release, I will update ASAP.
- Paladin – Defensive Tank. Requires 30 GLA / 15 CNJ. Cross-classes include CNJ/MRD.
- Warrior – Offensive Tank. Requires 30 MRD / 15 GLA. Cross-classes include GLA/PGL.
- Monk – Melee DPS. Requires 30 PGL / 15 LNC. Cross-classes include LNC/MRD.
- Dragoon – Melee DPS, extremely mobile. Strong focus on jumping and aerial attacks. Requires 30 LNC / 15 MRD. Cross-classes include MRD/PGL.
- Bard – Ranged DPS with minor support. Requires 30 ARC / 15 PUG. Cross-classes include PUG/LNC.
- White Mage – Healer. Requires 30 CNJ / 15 ACN. Cross-classes include ACN/THM.
- Black Mage – Ranged DPS. Requires 30 THM / 15 ARC. Cross-classes include ARC/ACN.
- Summoner – Ranged DPS. Requires 30 ACN / 15 THM. Cross-classes include THM/CNJ.
- Scholar – Healer. Requires 30 ACN / 15 CNJ. Cross-classes include CNJ/THM.
So you might have heard me talk about cross-class abilities. FFXIV is unique in that each class gains a cross-class slot every 5 levels. In these slots, you can equip abilities from other classes you’ve leveled. This allows you to complement your playstyle with additional abilities not native to your current class. Please note, while a soul crystal is equipped and a job is activated, you only get one slot every 10 levels. You can also only choose abilities from the two classes corresponding to that specific job. These are restrictions put in place to reinforce the intended role specialization of jobs.
Each race/subrace has varying base stats. Please keep in mind that by the time you reach end game, these base stats are trivial. I would highly recommend simply playing the race you enjoy the most, but if you are stuck on min/maxing, you can find the base stats chart here.
- Strength (STR) – Increases Attack Power, which directly increases melee physical damage. Primary stat for Lancer, Pugilist, Maruader and Gladiator. Also increases the amount of damage mitigated when blocking or parrying an attack.
- Dexterity (DEX) – Increases Attack Power, which directly increases ranged physical damage. Primary stat for Archer and Bard. Also increases block and parry chance.
- Vitality (VIT) – Increase Health Points (HP). Primary stat for Gladiator and Marauader.
- Intelligence (INT) – Increases Attack Magic Potency, which directly increases magic damage. Primary stat for Thaumaturge, Black Mage, Summoner and Arcanist.
- Mind (MND) – Increases Healing Magic Potency, which directly increases healing spells. Primary stat for Conjurer, White Mage and Scholar.
- Piety (PIE) – Increases Magic Points (MP). Useful to Disciples of Magic.
- Accuracy – Increases chance to hit for all attacks.
- Critical Hit Rate - Increases critical hit chance for all attacks.
- Determination – Increases amount of damage from all abilities, auto-attacks included. Also increases potency of incoming heals.
- Defense – Reduces damage taken from physical attacks.
- Parry – Increases chance to block and parry.
- Magic Defense – Reduces damage taken from magic attacks.
- Attack Power – Increases potency of physical attacks. Strength increases this for melee. Dexterity increases this for Ranged.
- Skill Speed – Reduces cast time and cooldown of weaponskills.
- Fire - Reduces damage taken from fire attacks.
- Ice – Reduces damage taken from ice attacks.
- Wind - Reduces damage taken from wind attacks.
- Earth - Reduces damage taken from earth attacks.
- Lightning - Reduces damage taken from lightning attacks.
- Water - Reduces damage taken from water attacks.
Note: Deity selection during character creation affects elemental resistances. See chart here.
- Slashing - Reduces damage taken from slashing attacks.
- Piercing – Reduces damage taken from piercing attacks.
- Blunt – Reduces damage taken from blunt attacks.
- Attack Magic Potency - Increases potency of offensive magic attacks. This is increased by Intelligence.
- Healing Magic Potency – Increases potency of healing spells. This is increased by Mind.
- Spell Speed – Reduces cast time and cooldown of spells.
- Morale – Reduces damage taken from other players during PvP.
- GP – Gathering Points – Used for gathering actions, similar to MP consumption.
- Gathering – Increases chance to receive an item while gathering.
- Perception – Increases chance for the gathered item to be high quality.
- CP – Crafting Points – Used for crafting actions. Regenerates after completing a craft.
- Craftsmanship – Increases progress percentage generated when using crafting actions.
- Control – Increases quality percentage generated when using crafting actions.
These are task-based repeatable quests obtained from an NPC you can find in town and at various camps. Levequests provide a means of gaining quick experience outside of the main story line. Once you complete a levequest, an allowance is consumed. You generate 3 allowances every 12 hours (5am PDT and 5pm PDT), with a cap of 100. Once all allowances are used, you can no longer accept levequests, so plan accordingly. Levequest difficulty can also be adjusted before you begin one. This allows you to do still gain decent experience for a lower level levequests or while in a party.
FATE (Full Active Time Event)
These are the dynamic events that pop up throughout the world. They are typically fairly quick and yield experience, gil, and Grand Company seals once you have joined one.
These are very quick instance-based encounters completed in a party of four. These can be initiated via the Duty Finder or speaking with a Battlewarden. Please note, these yield large experience and gil upon first completion, then considerably less after that.
These are your typical dungeon instances, also completed in a party of four. Dungeons can be initiated via the Duty Finder or visiting the actual entrance of the dungeon. They typically last between 30-60 minutes and yield great experience and generally the best gear you’ll find while leveling.
These are encounters you can queue for via the Duty Finder that puts you and your party against a notable Primal in the FFXIV world. These are generally part of progressing through the storyline.
There are two different types of raids, 8-man raids and Alliance raids, which are 24-man. Raids will also have a Hard Mode setting, catering to the higher geared, more skilled groups. These raids will generally yield the best gear.
This is a log of level-based tasks you should try to complete while you are leveling. Each entry in the hunting log asks you to kill X number of Y monsters. Once completed, you earn experience. The hunting log is individual for each class. So your progression on one class will be completely separate from another.
These are party-based actions that are to be triggered by a single member in the party to help the group during an encounter. These can be used as a means of pushing extra damage, suppressing incoming damage, or save your party with a clutch heal in a moment of need. Coordinate with your party to decide who should use their limit break and when.
- Physical Attack (PGL, MNK, LNC, DRG) -Delivers a physical attack. This is single target and would be best used on a boss.
- Magic Attack (THM, BLM, ACN, SMN) – Delivers a magic attack. This is an AOE attack and would be most beneficial for taking care of adds.
- Defensive (GLA, PLD, MRD, WAR) – Reduces damage taken by all party members.
- Healing (CNJ, WHM, ARC, BRD, SCH) – Restore HP of all nearby party members.
Macros are something you should absolutely familiarize yourself with. These are essentially custom commands you tie to a button on your action bar. These can be anything from swapping equipment sets to letting the party know if you’ve interrupted a monster. There are plenty of guides around to learn the specifics, possibly more to come at a later date.
Marking and Assisting
When it comes to grouping with other players, it’s important to understand the value of working together. The FFXIV UI offers the ability to mark targets with symbols. Using these symbols, you can coordinate together and create a plan of action.
On top of marking targets, you can assist other players. Assisting (/assist) allows you to target the target of the person you’re assisting. For instance, while doing a trash pull with multiple monsters, it might be a good idea to /assist the Tank so you don’t pull aggro on a monster they have no threat on.
Alright, so this is where it gets a little confusing – so I don’t want to get too deep into materia. I will, however, explain what it is and why it’s important.
Materia is an item you can place in weapons and armor to enhance the stats of that piece of gear. There are 5 grades of materia, based on the quality/level. Placing materia in an item’s materia slot is referred to as Materia Melding and can be learned at level 20. There is also an action called Advanced Materia Melding, learned at level 25, which allows you to add materia to an item without an available slot at a high risk of failure. Please note, there are stat caps per item, so buffing the stats of an item via Advanced Materia Melding is moderated. Please note that to meld a materia to an item, you must meet the DoH requirements for that item. Each item requires a specific job requirement to be able to meld materia to it. Pro tip: Make friends.
You gather materia via a process called Materia Assimilation. This action is learned around level 18 via your main quest line and allows you to convert a 100% soulbound item into materia. To meld the materia to an item, you must have the following:
- Materia Melding ability (level 20)
- A materia to meld into the item
- Carbonized Matter (a harvested item from Miners and Botanists)
Just so you know…
- Grand Companies are the factions in the game. You are able to freely switch between these, so don’t stress if you think you made the wrong choice.
- Free Companies are the “player guilds” in FFXIV. Each player is limited to one, much like traditional MMO guilds.
- Linkshells are essentially just channels. You can invite your friends to linkshells and chat together even if you’re not in the same Free Company.
- Airships are a means of quickly traveling between each of the major cities.
- You can change the name of your personal Chocobo by speaking with the Chocobokeep in any major city.
- Spiritbonding is an attribute earned while wearing an item. To quickly increase spiritbonding, complete dungeons while the item is equipped.
Tips while leveling…
- Follow the main story line!
- Always have a food/drink buff. This will provide a 3% experience increase and can be purchased from vendors and earned as quest rewards.
- Preferably save some side quests for when you decided to level another class. Unless of course you’re racing to level up a specific class, then doing these would yield considerable experience.
- Pay attention to the tutorials and hint dialogs – these are important.
- You gain bonus experience to all classes lower than your highest battle class, once you unlock a second battle class. Be smart and utilize this bonus in your efforts.
- Attune to every Aetheryte Crystal you come across. These will allow you to quickly access the Aetheryte Network and teleport quickly among each of the cities.
- Talk with every Chocobokeep. These are NPCs that are linked to each other and allow you to quickly travel between them. If you are familiar with “flight paths” and “flight masters” in World of Warcraft, these are the equivalent.
Well, that wraps it up. I’d really appreciate your feedback regarding what you thought of the guide, how it could be improved and what other types of guides you’d like to see in the future. This is a new game and we’re all learning together. Sharing information with each other will allow us all to be more informed and overall better players!
If you have still yet to find a home in FFXIV, we have formed a new gaming community and our first game will be FFXIV! Tier Two is not only a multi-gaming community, but also a Free Company on the Leviathan server. If you are interested in joining, head over to our website and apply today!
Thanks all for taking the time to read through this guide – I truly do appreciate it and I hope it at least offers some help while we all venture into a new world. If you’d like to keep in touch, you’re welcome to find me on Twitter by following @Accomp. Thanks all!
- 08/08/13 – Added more clarity over materia melding requirements.