For people that have not played many MMOs, I would say where XIV succeeds, where others fail, is in grabbing your attention. I feel like even if you are not into MMOs but love a really good story driven game, this is still a game that deserves your time. Although you will have some stupid quests to do, go here; collect this; return back; complete quest, etc – the story quests make up for all of that.
Creating a Character
With the Character creator, there is a lot of freedom. It doesn’t matter which race you pick, just know you will be seeing a lot of your character so make sure you are happy. Within the race there is a different Clan as well, these do not affect your character except for visuals. When you have picked your Race and Clan, it is down to the customization features. XIV does not have the best customization for characters at all. In fact, it is fairly limited. This does lead to fairly normal looking characters running around, as opposed to the latest fiasco with Mass Effect: Andromeda.
When you are finished with your customization it is onto Nameday. In 1.0 and FFXI there were rumours that this did have a big effect on crafting and luck. People got so supersticious about this that they would face a certain direction when crafting!! I know right, who would do that! Don’t worry too much about Nameday now, set it to what you like. It does not seem to impact the game at all.
Second last choice to make, Guardian. You will see certain stats appearing with each one. What I’m about to tell you is really important. These stats……….don’t mean anything either. Again, they were utilized in 1.0 but were deemed too complicated for 2.0.
Lastly, and most importantly (for real), is the picking of your starting job. You will be locked into this until level 10 when you will be allowed to start any job you want, all you have to do is go to the respective guild and start the quest, then change you main hand to that job and VOILA! you are now that job. Easy!
FATEs – Full Active Time Events
These are a great way of going out and getting some bonus EXP.
These are events that pop up around each map where you have an objective to do. In most cases it is kill a certain amount of monsters, which keep spawning. The reward is based on your participation, either bronze, silver or gold.
Do a few of these on each map to make sure you are staying in front of the EXP gap that can occur around level 30ish.
The Duty Finder
One big warning I can give you, the duty finder. This is Square Enix’s method of queuing for dungeons. You select what you want to do and you are put into a queue.
If you are playing DPS, damage dealing class, which is likely, you can have really long queue’s. This can be a turn off, especially if you have limited time to play. A dungeon will generally take 20-30 minutes, and if you have to queue for as long then that can be your whole time gone. But trust me the rewards are worth it. If you get into the game and start playing it, you won’t meet a dungeon until level 15. That will probably take you quite a few hours to get to. I suggest keeping an eye out for similar players or finding a Free Company (guild) to join that will help you. Which leads us onto our next topic!
From a very early stage, it is likely that you will see shouts to join FC’s. It can be a very difficult thing to decide to do, as this is most likely the most contact you will get in the game. Some FC’s are looking for as many members as possible just to have as many active players as possible. I, personally, find it better to have about 80-120 players in an FC from all corners of the earth and then you generally can log on with FC members playing. Some FC’s have 512(Capacity) members, but a lot of this will also be inactive players. The other issue with having so many players is that it doesn’t make it all that different from the normal game, in that one can feel lost in the crowd.
Finding your place
My advice to you, if you are looking to start the game, is to play it like it is a solo game. There is very little to no need to join a group for the first 10-15 levels. Even then, when you do your first dungeon, you could load through the duty finder. Don’t get me wrong, if someone helps you in the game, say “Thank you”! There is a lot of ways this game simulates real life. One of those things is how to socialize with people. The best way to find a group to play with is to be as open and friendly as possible. If you see someone in trouble, go help them. Some monsters can be tough to beat at a low level, and FATEs can take a long time.
I’ll be going through more stuff in the coming weeks. Let me know if there is something specific that you would like to see me go over.