Hello FFXI Forums, I've been talking with my linkshell about this for the past few weeks and it's really somewhat gotten on my nerves and it's also really inspired me as a veteran player to create this. I've decided to create a New Player Guide for what I like to call "The New FFXI". Please forgive me if this is in the wrong section of the forums, and if possible, please relocate it to its appropriate place.
Really quick I'll give you my background with FFXI to see where I'm coming from. I've been playing since the game came out and have been through probably about 4 characters. I've thoroughly played every aspect of the game from 2004-2012. I've completed the expansions countless times and I really find FFXI to be an incredibly special game that is near and dear to my heart. I honestly have a passion for helping people out and I have met so many new players that are just lost. Please note, that this guide is written by a real person who does have personal views on aspects of the game. I'm not here to step on any of SE's or other players' toes. I'm simply stating my opinion as to what I feel are the best ways for people to enjoy themselves and the get the most out of this fantastic game.
Let's get started!
History of FFXI
For those of you who are new here's the abridged version of FFXI since 2004. When the game launched it was incredibly popular, however it was also very time consuming and incredibly community driven. Solo play was difficult and often you found yourself in incredibly long grind parties in order to level up. I remember when the game launched it was a huge accomplishment to get to level 10. The story of FFXI Core was great and engaging and a lot of fun. It required teamwork, community effort, and really pushed the quality of gaming you had to do. Life was hard, it was the Oregon Trail. Gil was hard to come by, lots of days were spent farming Wild Onions for cash.
Then Rise of the Zilart and Chains of Promathia gave us another option to test our team building game style and offered us new end game possibilities and story for Lv 75 max cap. CoP is still one of my favorite story lines to this date. However, these were incredibly hard and the areas that were opened required so much time and commitment. There were a few NMs that took a physical 24 hours to kill. This game was at its peak. Tough battles, thriving player driven economy, and really skilled players.
This challenging game turned a lot of people off. This game was HARD. And it took a lot of blood and sweat and time. It wasn't simple by any means and there was a huge learning and experience curve. So the population went down a bit.
Then ToAU expansion came out that revived some of the boring areas. There hadn't been any new expansions for a while and the community was getting tired of the same areas. ToAU gave us a new continent, zones, bosses, and missions. In my opinion, ToAU, though beautiful and having great group battles, was a very painful experience. I love the jobs and areas they offered. However, the mechanics often left me frustrated. A lot of people didn't understand things like Salvage and it caused the game to be more of a grind than it already was. More and more people began leaving the game. However, there are still plenty of active members in ToAU areas and I still find myself enjoying Besieged and other things.
Then the grand daddy of FFXI (in my opinion). The Wings of the Goddess expansion came out. This expansion was the prime of FFXI. Two amazing new jobs, and the richest and most amazing story I've ever experienced. Campaign battles, new areas, and revival of the current areas but in the past during the Crystal War. It tied in so much of FFXI Core and the history you learned that it was truly amazing. However, it was still really hard. But at this point, if you didn't understand this game was hard, you probably shouldn't be playing. The NMs in WotG were EPIC. Really really hard. But so much fun.
Meanwhile at SE headquarters they developed a little game called FFXIII. You might have heard of it. This game sold a TON in console. A TON. Unfortunately they put all of that hard earned money into FFXIV which was supposed to be the next great MMO. However, to say the least it flopped hard. And SE was going bankrupt. Their only surviving source of income was FFXI and the population had dropped due to the difficulty of the game. There was a time my server had ~500 people on at any given time when in FFXI's prime there were 2-3000 players.
So with the flop of FFXIV SE needed to make a very important business decision. They needed to pimp out FFXI for the general public. They needed to appeal to the younger players (the WoW players. I'm sorry. I've played WoW) and the Wii Sports Moms. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I'm just saying this is what had to happen. So, SE created the Abyssea expansions that allow players to be God like without that much skill. You can get really rich fast and you can gain experience at an incredible rate. In all honesty, if you have enough gil you can get from level 1-99 in 24 hours. This is great for SE because people want to play a game you can get right to the fun end game stuff. And you don't have to work really hard to be good in the world of Abyssea. This is both good and bad for the community.
Good: It boosted the population and saved both SE and FFXI. My server now has between 1400-2200 people on at any given moment. There are some great items and some fun game mechanics added. It's a great way to get a lot of money fast.
Bad: It completely killed the economy of FFXI. Crafting is pretty much a lost art. Players don't really need to know anything about the game in order to play. The "old world" is completely abandoned for the most part. I feel like there is a lot more RMT and Gil selling than before.
THE MAIN THING IS THAT NEW PLAYERS DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW THE GAME WORKS.
That is why I want to write this, so that new players aren't really lost and they understand the history and can appreciate it and not be ignorant of a game that is truly fantastic.
So. Let's begin.
The Beginning-- Early Levels and Essentials You'll Need As A New Player
So when you create your new character it doesn't really matter what race or nation you select. However, there are races that are better at things than others and there are also certain nation/race combinations that can give you a little boost.
Tarutaru are really good magic users but have low strength so their melee classes aren't as strong. Galka are the opposite of Tarutaru. Hume and Mithra are kind of the middle ground but Mithra have a bit more Dexterity and Agility and a little bit less Strength from Humes. Elvaan are like Humes in the sense but have a bit more Mind and Strength and less Intelligence. So they're better White Mages than Black and are good Warriors.
In all honesty, you should pick the race you want to play. The variations on the race stats are so minor it can easily vanish with end game gear. I've always been partial to Mithra, that was my first character.
San d'Oria is the home of the Elvaan. If you create an Elvaan and you make their home nation San d'Oria you'll get a San d'Orian Ring which will give you a Strength and Mind boost. Mithra and Tarutaru are bound to Windurst so if you make those characters' home nation Windurst you'll get a Windurstian ring which gives a MP and Intelligence boost. Galka and Humes are Bastok and you'll get Bastokian Ring which I believe has a Strength boost.
If you really want your Elvaan to be from Windurst that's fine, you can make that but you won't get the ring. It's your choice.
The great thing about FFXI is that you aren't bound to your job on a per character basis. You can change jobs at your will at any time in your Mog House. So the job you select at character creation can be changed. However, if you select a mage job at creation you will receive the first spell for them to use. If you select Thief and then decide to switch to a mage job you will have to go buy the spell from the magic store.
So here's a short summary of stats that are important for jobs. We can get into detail of this later or I'm sure you can find a helpful job guide somewhere. If you can't and have questions, feel free to ask below.
Mage Classes: MP (Mana), MND (White Magic) and INT (Black Magic) are important stats to stack. Red Mages need both MND and INT while White Mages can focus more on MND gear than INT.
Melee Classes: STR is good for hard hitting jobs like Warrior while DEX and AGI are good for more agile jobs like Thief or Ninja.
Hybrid Classes: There are some more advanced jobs you can unlock that are hybrid classes. Blue Mage for example uses MP like a mage but also uses swords and needs to have decent damage dealing with them. So you'll have to stack multiple stats. By this point you should have a clear understanding of stats and if you have questions you can probably find answers on an individual basis.
Ok so you're on and in the game and ready to go. You've learned your first spell from your inventory if you're a mage or equipped your sword. Everything you need is on your main menu. FFXI is just like any other game. There is an equip tab, inventory, maps, etc. Once you are ready to go, look at your map and find the exit to outside. This will either be Gustaberg for Bastok, Ronfaure for San d'Oria and Sarutabaruta for Windurst. NOW before you go outside to go whack things make sure you talk to one of the gate guards and get your nation's Signet! This allows you to gain Conquest Points to purchase somewhat important items. Most are junk but there are some important ones!
So you got Signet and you're ready to level up. Now, in the "new" FFXI you should be able to find little floating books outside the gates called "Field Manual". If you wind up in a dungeon area there will sometimes, but not always, be a "Grounds Tome" which is a dungeon version of "Field Manual". Field Manuals allow you to gain experience by participating in Fields of Valor which give you bonus XP and money for completing tasks.
Example: Page 1 will ask you to kill 5 of a certain kind of monster. Say...bunnies. So you select that page and you're signed up to complete that task. Now you go find bunnies and kill them. Once you kill them there will be a Compled Task: 1/5 that pops up in your chat log. Once you're all done it will say Objective Complete! Reward: 500XP, 500 Gil, and 50 Tabs.
Tabs are used for Field Support from the Manuals to get things like Reraise, Refresh, Regen, or even Teleportation services. They're really handy to have so if you can do either Fields of Valor or Grounds of Valor, DO IT because Tabs are useful, even at Lv99!
Your first 10 levels should come pretty easy. Once you're Lv 10 you should be ready to sell some junk, get some new armor, and also get an EXP Ring from the gate guard that gives you Signet. Emperor and Empress Bands are rings you can wear and use once/24 hours and get bonus EXP per kill. Empress gives you 1000 extra XP per day. It can really help leveling. You can purchase them by going to the gate guard and saying I want to spend my Conquest Points > Common Items.
Once you're Level 10/11 you have access to decent new gear that can be bought from NPC armor shops. Check your map.
Here is where veteran players and new players begin to split.
As a veteran player, when we were leveling up...it was uphill both ways in snow for us. Now with Fields of Valor and Grounds of Valor, XP is really easy to come by. There is also Level Sync which makes it EVEN easier. Level Sync allows you to sync up to someone in your party so all of your levels match with that person. If I was level 99 and I had a level 20 friend and wanted to XP with him I could Level Sync myself down to Level 20 so we both could play together and get XP.
Sound too good to be true right?! It's great. However, as your level progresses past the sync, your skills do not skill up with you. So your dagger skill that you're gaining from leveling will be super sucky if you sync all the way from 10 > 40. You won't be able to hit worth squat. It's not all hopeless though, you will just have to spend extra time skilling up.
So here's my though on the whole Level 10+ situation. Level Sync in a Grounds of Valor party is fine but only after you understand how to play the game.
You will get a lot more respect from people if you learn to play the game the way it was intended rather than just leeching EXP forever and not even understanding the basic mechanics of your job.
BUT! With the EXP Ring and Fields of Valor and all of this easy XP, it's really easy to solo level up to about 30. Once you hit 27~ it gets a little bit slow but it's really not that bad.
Here is my Lv 1-30 in a nutshell. Lv 1-11 is in the starting zone. Do pages from the book and kill everything. Get to lv 11 as fast as possible. Once you're level 11, I go to Tahrongi Canyon and do Page 3 of the book there. They are rabbits and plant monsters called Mandragoras. I do that page from Lv11-18. From there, I head east to Buburimu Peninsula and do the same type of page, but for that area all the way until 30. As I get to the high 20's I end up just killing everything I see. I can give you specific details to this if you plan on trying but this can pretty much be done in a few days.
Important Landmarks LEVEL 1-29
Teleport Crags: In all 3 Tier 2 Areas: Tahrongi Canyon, Konshant Highlands, and La Theine Plateau there are BIG WHITE THINGS. They're like a giant building tower thing. Those are the crags. They have big crystals there that allow you to collect a shard and then a White Mage can teleport them. Each Crag: Dem, Mea, and Holla has their own crystal. Now, don't get confused because the crags are important to other story lines so there are multiple crystals. There are Planar Rifts and Shattered Telepoints and all sorts of things. What you're looking for is the "Telepoint". It's usually on a platform right next to a Chocobo NPC. Travel to these places and collect them. It helps you on your travels.
Level 18: Once you hit Level 18 you need to go get your Sub Job quest done. This allows you to have a main job and a support job that is equal to 1/2 of the level of your main job. So Lv 20 Warrior/ Lv 10 White Mage. You gain access to that job's abilities. It's pretty cool. This is why changing jobs is important or at least researching what job you might be interested in playing and figuring out what sub jobs to level.
*** Doing this Subjob quest is easier now with Grounds of Valor available in Gusgen Mines. Yes, it ends up being a leech fest of EXP that I'm against but it's those kinds of parties that allow you to get an item you need. So if you are around 18 go see if you can get a GoV party in Gusgen Mines (In Konshant Highlands near Bastok) and get the Magicked Skull that drops from Gouls there. This is the one time I will approve of GoV leech parties!
The other 2 parties aren't too hard to get and you can probably find someone to help you get them. The Magicked Skull is the hardest to get.
Level 20: Level 20 is great because it's an excuse to explore the world. It's time to go to the 4th big nation state: Jeuno. Which is WWWWAAAYYYYY north. It requires you to trek about an hour (real time) through some high level areas (For level 20). You might want to try to find a friend to help you. But once you get to Jeuno, set your Home Point there so that way you don't have to walk back again! It's a pain! Once you're there you can finally do the quest to get your Chocobo License!! Yay! The golden moment of Lv 20. You can look up the details of the quest on the FFXI Wiki. It's really easy!
Early Level Summary:
So we've created our character and we're leveling up. Remember the important things: Always get Signet before going out to kill things. Collect those Conquest Points! Make sure your armor and spells are up to date every 5-10 levels or so. Use the floating books to complete tasks for Fields of Valor or Grounds of Valor to get extra EXP, Gil, and Tabs. Learn to play the game first! Solo a bit and get a feel for your job. Research your potential job combinations and level those jobs up! Get your Sub Job. Get your Chocobo License. GoV leech parties are OK for a few things, but remember: Level Sync does not allow you to skill up if your level is higher than the sync!
Following these things will help you get a great start in FFXI. If you have major questions feel free to post them here. There are always answers to be found on the FFXI Wiki. Often times you can find that a spell you need is an easy quest away. It's a great resource! Just use Google to find it!
EDIT: Here is the link to the next guide Lv30-70 http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxi/th...151#post290151