I made this for my wife, who is just getting back into the game, but I thought I'd share. Take it for what it's worth.
If you see an error, let me know. If you have something to contribute, post a reply. I'll work it in!
::: THE STORY SO FAR:::
Believe it or not, the game is pretty rich in terms of lore and backstory. If you’re a lore-nut, you can read your fill online with various sites and in the game itself. The following information is what I consider to be the basic “what you need to know” regarding the storyline as of 1.21. No spoilers here, this is what basically any new level 1 character already would know stepping foot into Eorzea for the first time:
Eorzea is a land of adventure. It is comprised of 4 main city-states:
The wooded city of Gridania, home to the mystic conjurers and legendary Lancer’s and Archer’s guilds.
Ul’dah, the desert city-state. A hub of trade, it is well known for it’s gladiator battles and gruff atmosphere
Limsa Lominsa, the southern island nation. A den of pirates and thieves, but rich with adventure.
Finally, the mysterious Ishgard. The orderly and noble mountain kingdom. This nation has recently closed off its borders to outsiders while dealing some private turmoil. Rumors of dragons in the area have been led to mass speculation regarding the nature of Ishgard’s troubles.
To the north-east of Gridania sits the occupied city of Ala Mhigo. Fifteen years ago, this nation was invaded by the great Garlean Empire to the north. Refugees from Ala Mhigo can be found all over Eorzea. There are rumors of an alliance being formed with the goal of reclaiming the besieged city.
For years, fears the Empire will invade further south have lingered. In the recent months it seems that these fears may come true. Imperial scouts have been seen as far south as Lima Lominsa. Although, the army seems to remain just outside of reach.
To help defend against the Imperial Threat, each nation has opened enlistment in a fighting force known as the Grand Companies of Eorzea. Adventurers are being recruited NOW!
Whispers of a dire prophecy have touched the lips of Eorzea’s citizens. The lesser moon, Dalamud has been increasing in size over the last year, a sign said to foretell the coming of a great calamity. People are on edge as mysterious cults have emerged from the shadows and a strange prophet has been seen warning anyone who will listen about the dangerous days ahead.
This is the world in which Final Fantasy XIV 1.x begins.
For the most part, the game tutorial does a good job to getting you started and teaching you the basics. Below is a list of things that are not always clear, and knowing them really helps you dive right in. Consider it your CHEAT SHEET.
FOR THE NEWBIE: After going through the first few cutscenes you will find yourself in an adventurer’s guild. Next to the main inn-keeper NPC are two NPCs on either side. These NPCs are not labeled as such, but they sell good starter level gear.
*You can buy and sell items in the Market Wards. This is like an auction house. You can buy directly from the item search window for a fee, or actually physically enter the ward and buy from a bazaar for no fee. You can hire a retainer in the adventurer’s guild to sell items for you 24/7 in the wards. Retainers are also good for holding excess items. The system is a bit clunky to be honest, and is expected to be replaced in version 2.0. You can also place items for sale directly from your inventory using the character bazaar option.
*Gil can be earned easily through completing the main scenario quests and also by completing guildleves. You earn leve allowances in real time, and they roll over. So if you don’t play for a few days, you’ll find you have a big stash of allowances to help you catch up.
*Take time to explore the town and speak to NPCs. They provide details on the game’s backstory and often can provide hints and ideas of places to visit and things to do.
*Airships are available to fly between the 3 city states.
*Chocobos are available to rent with a time limit. You will earn your own through Grand Company quests.
*You can also teleport to any Aetheryte crystal or node you have visited. These can be found in cities, camps and through Eorzea. Teleportation consumes “anima”. Anima is regenerated automatically in real-life time. So use it wisely. You can also set your "homepoint" at any of these locations. When die, you can choose to return to your homepoint. You can also use the "return" ability every 15 minutes to warp back to your homepoint. Nice shortcut.
*Items will wear out over time and will need repairs. NPCs can repair them up to 99%. Players (yourself or others) can repair them to 100%. To sell or trade an item, it needs to be 100% quality.
*As you use a piece of gear, you develop a bond with it. Once you have maximized this bond, you can transform the item into a magical stone called Materia. (This is only available after completing a quest). Materia stones contain special enhancements and can be affixed to items granting them a bonus.
The weapon or tool equipped in your main hand determines your current class. Equip a sword, you're a gladiator, equip a skillet, you're a culinarian. As you level up, you learn new abilities. You always have your current-class abilities available to you. As you progress, you can equip some abilities you have earned from other classes. It is totally possible to be a damage-dealing Pugilist with a Cure and Protect spell equipped.
You can mix abilities with Disciple of War and Magic classes. But not Disciple of Hand or land.
*note there are a few Class-Specific abilities that cannot be equipped by other classes.
It’s fun and beneficial to mix and match. Make your own play style!
Main Scenario quests are unlocked by level. New quests are available as follows:
Level 1 / 8 / 13 / 18 / 22 / 30 / 34 / 38 / 42 / 46
There are class specific quests available at the corresponding guild:
20 / 30 / 36
Grand company quests/recruitment is as follows:
22 / 25 / 30 / 40 45
* After the 4th main scenario quest you can unlock Rent-A-Rooms – Logging out or hanging out in a Rent-a-room accrues an EXP bonus the longer you stay.
*All food items net you an extra 3% exp gain. Some food offers other benefits. The item description provides the details
*At level 30 you can unlock the Gobbue Mount - This is EXCLUSIVE to players playing before 2.0
To unlock the job system you will need the following job combinations:
Paladin- Gladiator - Level 30 & Conjurer, Level 15
Monk - Pugilist, Level 30 & Lancer, Level 15
Warrior - Marauder, Level 30 & Gladiator, Level 15
Dragoon - Lancer, Level 30 & Pugilist, Level 15
Bard - Archer Level 30 & Conjurer, Level 15
White Mage - Conjurer, Level 30 & Gladiator, Level 15
Black Mage - Thaumaturge, Level 30 & Pugilist, Level 15
The NPCs that offer the quests can be found in the corresponding guild. (Dragoon = Lancer's guild)
Jobs can best be defined as a role you “equip”. Jobs do not have levels. New abilities are unlocked through Job related quests. By the time you are experienced enough to unlock a job, the progression will be obvious.
Jobs grans you special job-specific abilities and access to job-specific armor that you only use when you are equipped with your job stone. However, equipping a job limits the type of skills you can use from other jobs.
In some cases, not having a job equipped is preferable.
******Achievements – Achievement categories are locked until you speak to the corresponding NPC. Locations are as follows:
Battle Atelloune Eastern La Noscea, Red Rooster Stead (36,25)
Character Rammbroes Eastern Thanalan, Golden Bazaar (38,19)
Items Terremiaux North Shroud, Hyrstmill (24,14)
Synthesis Dedeyadi Eastern Thanalan, Golden Bazaar (38,19)
Gathering Rebeccah Eastern Thanalan, Golden Bazaar (37,19)
Materia Alamenain Central Thanalan (29,20)
Quest Derwin Western Thanalan, Coffer & Coffin (9,27)
Seasonal Events Jonathas Western La Noscea, Aleport (12,24)
Dungeons Millith Ironheart South Shroud, Buscarron's Fold (35,43)
Exploration Nedrick Ironheart Coerthas Eastern Lowlands, Owl’s Nest (63,34)
I recommend unlocking these as soon as possible. They are good measure of progression and something fun to work towards!
*****Character Stats and what they do:
•Damage dealt by puglist, gladiator, marauder, and lancer arms
•Enhancement Magic Potency
•Damage dealt by marauder arms
•Damage dealt by archer arms
•Attack Magic Potency
•Damage dealt by pugilist arms
•Healing Magic Potency
•Damage dealt by gladiator, thaumaturge, and conjurer arms
•Enfeebling Magic Potency
•Maximum MP •Damage dealt by archer, lancer, thaumaturge, and conjurer arms