The Palace of the Dead, or Deep Dungeon, is a multilevel auto-generated dungeon that is designed for leveling your jobs. One of the odd things about FFXIV is that quests and Levequests don’t really give very much XP. Up to now I’ve avoided the Palace of the Dead since it can seem a little intimidating from the descriptions. But don’t let that worry you. I found a series of videos that cover the whole thing in seven short videos that describe what is up. Here is the play list for these guides.
The PoD is not that intimidating. I’m not going to dive deep into the description here, since the guides do a great job of doing that. I’m going to give you a sales pitch so that you don’t wait a long time, like I did, before you start using it.
Preparing for Dungeons
As you play your first character and first “Job” or class following the “Story Quests”, you will do your first dungeon at level 16. At level 15 you are prepared with some tutorials in your home town, in the tavern or inn where you first met someone offering Novice Training. There are NPCs standing there offering Tutorials in Hall of the Novice.
Here is the fellow in the Inn of Gridania. You should do these tutorials as soon as you can. They are interesting, prepare you for your job and give some great gear. The tutorials are offered just before you do your first dungeon so that you are ready for your role as Tank, Healer or DPS.
After that first dungeon at level 17, in Gridania there is a quest NPC giving a quest to enter the Palace of the Dead. You may want to level your first job of your first character using story quests, but PoD comes in handy for your second job since the quests you get every 5 levels won’t be enough to level you up quickly. There are several options to level a second job, but PoD is the best one and the most fun. You can just kill mobs. That will take forever. Levequests aren’t much better. Fates are only a little better, but do get you seals for your Grand Company, which is useful. But to just level your character, you’ll want to do your Once Per Day Duty Roulette and you’ll want to use PoD.
Tons of Fun
The Palace of the Dead can be spammed all day long if you like. The other things mentions are limited: LeveQuests can only be done so many times per day. The Roulette can only be done once per day – but gives good rewards and gear drops – and after level 50, gear currency so you can buy the gear you need. Fates are not limited, but you have to run around and find them on a random schedule in the world.
But the Palace of the Dead is like an Arcade Game that you can play over and over again until you are tired of it, for today and then come back tomorrow. PoD does not give gear drops. There are some rare cosmetic drops. But the queue times are short for any job – healer, tank or DPS. On a Friday afternoon I waited less than 5 minutes to get going each time. Usually I need to be healer to get those kind of times with duty roulette or other dungeons.
Once you finish 10 levels in PoD and kill the boss, you can keep going by choosing the “Entry Point” to queue again for the next levels. When you are tired, just choose the Exit choice. Don’t worry, your bags will not fill up. Nothing drops here.
This wasn’t all that clear, but I asked someone in world and then tried it. Entry Point really means “Re-queue For Next Levels”.
As you level in the dungeon, you gain some XP that will translate to your XP out in the “Real World”. I’m not sure what the translation rate is, but running 1-10, 11-20 got me about 1/2 to 1/3 of a level when I returned. It’s easy, and engaging and it’s the fastest way to level a job that I’ve found so far in FFXIV.
In the PoD, your gear is standardized and as you level every few seconds in the dungeon your gear scales with you. As you level the gear that level is permanent for all your jobs. I started as an Arcanist and put on a few gear levels. Then I switched to Bard and it started with a bow and armor level where I left off. Your Dungeon weapon starts glowing white and gradually changes to red. So if you see someone with an orange or red weapon, they know what they are doing, so follow them. See our Astrologan Healer with a red weapon? She’s experienced here. I’m the player with the big yellow bow. It’s starting to change color a little.
Don’t worry a lot about all the buffs and stuff. Just open the chests for buffs and tricks. They are group wide so there is no reason to run for them, just open them. Other more knowledgeable folks in your group will worry about when to use them as you start. So just dive in and have fun. Here are the minimap for the floor and the buff panel that you see while playing in the dungeon.
Things are very fast moving. I suggest starting with a DPS class, but it’s not that hard to play a tank or healer. Folks will appreciate a healer especially with Rez that occasionally is needed. I was able to resurrect and heal as Arcanist too, and both Summoner and Scholar can heal and rez, but of course Scholar has a group wide protect spell – Succor.
The mobs and bosses up to level 50 aren’t that challenging. In an afternoon of play I only died twice and both times someone was there to rez me. Low stress, high energy. Tons of Fun.