It shouldn’t be a secret that I’m obsessed with FINAL FANTASY XIV, to some this is an annoyance as I’m wanted elsewhere – This normally means that my friends are wanting me to play State of Decay 2, Call of Duty or GTA V! To those that I haven’t annoyed with my XIV obsession, they’ve tried to get into the game too, this includes a large number of the Respawning team.
Being the foremost authority in XIV within the team, I’ve been noticing mistakes that new players have been making within the game which has caused some of them to pull away from the game and well, just give it up entirely. I’m here to try and lessen the burden for new players and to help me do this, I’ve taken the jump to start a brand new character and momentarily abandon my character I’ve been playing since the A Realm Reborn first launched and park my 2,500 hour playtime to help support those of you who have just started or are thinking of jumping into FINAL FANTASY XIV.
AETHERYTE & AETHERNET SHARDS
Within the first hour of the game, you will be asked to go and attune at the Aetheryte Crystal in your starting city. You will also find these large crystals throughout the world and will allow you to teleport between them at a cost – MAKE SURE YOU YOU ATTUNE IN EVERY LOCATION YOU VISIT.
While traveling around your starting city, you will find that there are smaller Aethernet Shards and if you attune to these you will be able to travel between the ones you’ve got unlocked which makes travelling to your job trainer or shops so much easier. Once you’ve unlocked all of the Aethernet Shards in any of the game’s main cities, it will also allow you to teleport to any of the main exits of the city.
Getting from one location to another in the early hours of FINAL FANTASY XIV can sometimes be a bit of a chore and can feel slower than other MMOs, make sure that you attune everywhere that you can to make your life easier.
Following along with the MSO you will eventually unlock a staple of FINAL FANTASY transportation, the Chocobo. Until you’ve unlocked the ability to have your trusty feathered companion you might be wondering how else can you get around.
While we’ve covered the Aethernet Crystals, a lot of new players overlook the Chocobo Porter! This handy service will allow you to travel on a chocobo to any local location that you’ve unlocked – There are a handful of locations which don’t have an Aethernet Crystal and are a ten minute walk away from one but you can access them by Chocobo Porter or by using a nearby boat!
The beginners hall is unlocked at level 15, just before you jump into your first dungeon. I highly recommend that you do all of the missions here as it serves to teach you all of the mechanics of your class and role within dungeons; and it rewards you with loot which will serve you for a good few levels.
The final reward for completing all of the tutorial missions includes a ring which will grant you an extra 30% EXP and lasts until you’re level 30. While leveling isn’t difficult, it will give you a good boost and help you catch up with your friends and get you to the first expansion so much quicker!
REMEMBER THIS IS A FINAL FANTASY GAME
There are numerous quest types scattered across the game but your main focus is always going to be on the Main Scenario Quests (or MSQ for short). These are the quests which are going to progress the narrative of the game and will overtime introduce you to new features, dungeons and unlock some awesome cosmetic rewards.
At the end of the day, this is still a FINAL FANTASY game, and you should treat it the same way as any of the timeless classics that have been released before it. Yes, you are getting the opportunity to start this game with your friends but unless you’re going to do the honourable thing and ensure that you’re playing at the exact same time – There’s going to be some desync between you all.
There are fantastic stories available within the game and across all of the expansions which have been released. One of the weakest points in the game is in the updates which come between A Realm Reborn and Heavensward, the reason for this varies between who you ask but it’s normally a mix of the story content being mandatory when compared to rival games within the genre where you’re able to skip the content when you’re the appropriate level.
FINAL (FANTASY) OPINION
If you’ve been putting this on the backburner because while you love the FINAL FANTASY series but are worried about jumping into an online only subscription game – You shouldn’t hold back. Here, you’ve got an never ending story that is rich with content with more being added every three months and unlike other games within the genre, you know exactly what you’re getting as there are trailers and developer updates which detail what’s coming.
The game is mostly single player story driven which incrementally introduces you to other players and in the most recent expansion SHADOW BRINGERS, you can actually do the whole expansion without players by bringing in NPCs who will fill the roles you need and interact with the story at hand.
If you are intending on playing FINAL FANTASY XIV as a group, remember that the classes you choose at the beginning of the game will dictate the city you’re starting in so there will be some disconnect right at the start, but embrace it! Use this as an opportunity to learn the mechanics of the game and once you’ve reached level 15 and the game begins to open up, start tackling those adventures together!