There are lots of help videos for Final Fantasy XIV on Youtube. But most of them assume you have already started to play the game. How do you get started playing the game in the first place? I suggest starting with the Benchmark to see how it will run on your system and then starting with the Free Trial. Here’s how you can do that.
Start with the Benchmark
First find the FFIXV Benchmark page here. This will show you how the game will perform on your machine. I suggest not using a laptop. While the game is somewhat forgiving and the graphics can be downgraded quite a lot, it’s still a modern game, so it’s going to cause a lot of strain and heat on your laptop unless you have a high end gaming laptop.
The benchmark is about 2 GB. Very much smaller than the full game, which is about 40GB. I suggest you load the benchmark, and the game, onto an SSD – Solid State Disk – if you have one. Also, you probably want to install the benchmark and the game into a folder such as “C:\FFXIVBench\”. Here’s a video with all the steps to install and run the benchmark.
There have been plenty of articles and Youtube videos comparing Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft. I’m not trying to do a comprehensive guide to the two games, but compare them on two key areas that I find interesting. I played Wow for many years. I finally left in December 2017 when Universal Level scaling was introduced. But with all the hype surrounding the upcoming Wow “Shadowlands” expansion, I’ve had some thoughts about how FFXIV and Wow compare and how I think Blizzard is messing up again with their designs.
I’ll talk about two key areas and compare the two games:
Gear Upgrades and New Expansions
Class Specs and Talents
There are some important differences between the games that World of Warcraft could learn from as they move forward to Shadowlands and beyond.
While I like the Dancer job in FFXIV, the initial outfit is not as nice as I’d like. Above on the left is the Original outfit – Softstepper gear. The top, gloves, and headgear [ if you choose to show it] are really fine. But the pants and shoes don’t really fit the style I like for my female characters. I prefer a thigh boots look with a little leg showing. Fortunately this look is easily obtained, as you can see on the Right above.
In this midst of this world wide tragedy and horror, I want to share a light spot that my daughter and I are sharing.
I want to share this in a way that is accessible and possibly inspiring for folks that have not played MMO video games before. Not to necessarily encourage you to take them up, but to show you a little of that world.
I have been playing video games for many years in my retirement and have shared these games with my daughter, who lives 500 miles away and who has a busy career. We have been playing various games together for some time – a few hours twice a week. But recently it has become more like 5 or 6 days a week. Our current adventures are in Eorzea playing Final Fantasy XIV. Above, you can see recent mounts we acquired in an event that is going on for the next few weeks.
But after a few weeks, and raising all DoH / DoL jobs – except fishing and culinary – to about 50, I gave up on this. There was an increasing curve of time to get each new level on the jobs. I completed Shadowbringers with the 430 quest gear.
In support of that crafting experience, I purchased two Additional Retainers.
Normally you get two retainers for each character on the account. These serve as bank and sale-agent for the market. They each provide 175 storage slots and the ability to sell up to 20 items at a time on the market board. They also can be leveled to gather additional materials for crafting or other needs.
Now that I have decided to not continue with DoH / DoL leveling, I no longer need the additional retainers, which cost $2/ mo each for an additional retainer or $12 for each 3 month subscription period for two retainers.
But cancelling the Additional Retainers Service is a Nightmare. I would avoid it at all costs. It took about 10 emails with support and then waiting on the computer for over an hour and a half for a chat with a support person to clarify how to cancel the service, and I need to wait about 2 months and then re-enter my credit card to complete the process.
Cancelling Additional Retainers is truly a nightmare.
After grinding crafting for three weeks or so, I took another approach to finish Shadowbringers. With Red Mage, finishing the Role quests, and then picking up “Weathered” ilvl 430 gear from Grenoldt in The Tempest. This gear is available for free for each role once you finish the Role Quests at level 80. The Red Mage final solo duty was not that hard to complete on the average ilvl 409 gear set at the time. The Duty Finder waits on the final two duties to complete Shadowbringers was about 20 minutes each on a DPS job, but the review before hand of the MTQCapture guides on youtube were quite a lot of help.
I’ll be leveling my White Mage job to 80, completing her Role quests and then grinding some Goetia Tomestones for gear. The Any purchases with Goetia stones is gated on completing Shadowbringers so now that’s out of the way.
The Ronkan Caster Gear from Goetia stones is awful looking. But I guess that’s what glamour is for. The healer gear is the same with a slightly different tan tone. I’ve not bothered to check out the other gear sets.
So between and after trips to the Roulette, it’s back to crafting.
All DoH / DoL jobs are 50 or above now. And I crafted a new set of DoH gear. But there did not seem to be a set of DoL gear to craft, so I bought a set in Ishgard. There are some crafting pieces, but each are job specific and I don’t want to fill the Armory. I’m buying Green Level 50 main hand tool from my Grand Company for seals and crafting the Off Hand tools. Most of the leveling has come from the Once a Day Grand Company Supply and Provisioning turn-ins, which have given plenty of seals for the Main Hand Tools. The Grand Company clothing pieces are all job specific which will fill up the Armory, so I’m sticking with Generic sets.
Lots of progress in DoH and DoL jobs in the past couple of days using Leves and Grand Company Supply and Provisioning turn-ins. Guildleves are throttled by the game quite severely. After starting with with 99, Leve Allowances, this is down to 27 now. Apparently I get 3 every 12 hours or 6 per day, but that doesn’t take long to eat up.
But Grand Company Supply and Provisioning is handed out once each day at noon and that is a very nice way to make XP.
Guess I’ll be getting back to just moving through the Crafting Logs and doing items in order. That seems to give quite a bit of XP and it’s only throttled by the need to gather materials. The Job quests often require turn in of a High Quality item, which can be quite time consuming a wasteful to accomplish. I often just buy the HQ item on the market board but sometimes the prices are unreasonable – 40,000 gil for a single level 30 jacket. All I need is XP, I don’t really need to complete the job quests as far as I know. Not sure anything is gated on them. So back to the Crafting Logs for me.
Starlight This Year is No Fun
What isn’t much fun this year is the Starlight celebration quests. I’ve tried several times and just can’t get the hang of doing the Caroling quests. So I guess I wont be getting the Starlight Barding this year. But I have an outfit from past years.