Alongside the release of Stormblood, players were granted the ability to buy Tales of Adventure items from the Mog Station, Square Enix’s service hub for Final Fantasy XIV. These “jump potions” (or level boosts) allow players to advance a single job of their choosing to level 60 and/or skip the Main Scenario quests for A Realm Reborn or Heavensward.. It’s easy to feel lost when you are new to the game, especially when the game is dumping sixty levels’ worth of information on you at once. Why buy a boost at all compared to just playing the game? On paper, it might seem contradictory. If you’re paying for a game, and paying for a monthly subscription fee on top of that, why would you pay money to bypass content? This guide is meant to guide new players who have purchased a Tales of Adventure item and to inform those who are considering doing so.
To Skip Or Not To Skip
A common sentiment about MMORPGs is that the real game doesn’t begin until level cap. In Final Fantasy XIV, that is now level 70, and it can feel like a long ways off for people starting from level 1. Newcomers to the game who want to play with their existing friends might want a boost to get right to the heart of the action. A boost that brings them to level 60 means they already have most of the work done. Another common criticism of MMORPGs, Final Fantasy XIV included, is that the leveling experience can seem slow or boring compared to what the game is like at the highest level. By buying a boost, players can skip parts they may not find fun and, again, go to the parts they would enjoy right away. Finally, the boosts offer an easy way for returning players to get back into the game. Rather than be intimidated by having to catch up on everything they missed, they can just boost to the latest content if they need to and start right back up.
If any of that applies to you, you may want to consider investing in a boost. But these boosts are expensive — $25 each — and currently can only be bought once per service account. As such, testing out the game and the job you want to boost should come first. Fortunately, that’s easy to do with the trial version of the game.
Final Fantasy XIV has a free trial that goes up to level 35 (and the equivalent for PS4 players can be found on the PSN store). Unlike past iterations of the free trial there is no time restriction on it, meaning you can play the trial as long as you want. The best thing to do is just to play the game on the job you think you’d like to boost and see how it works in action. Level 30 is a good goal to aim for; it’s the level where your starting class upgrades to a job and you start to get some of the job’s defining abilities. Don’t worry about which one you pick to start as all jobs can get through the game’s content just fine on their own, and you can always change your job later. A single character can have every available class and job in Final Fantasy XIV, so your starting decision won’t matter in the long run.
The game also has certain servers that are labeled as “Preferred Worlds”. These servers have smaller populations than other servers, so to incentivize players creating new characters on them, new characters on Preferred Worlds will receive a substantial boost to experience points gained. This will allow you to quickly level up a class or job and see if you like it. If you don’t, it’s easy to unlock a new class on the same character and try it out.
Choosing What Boosts To Buy
The Tales of Adventure items are divided up into two categories: Main Scenario skips and level boosts. In order to purchase any of these, you must have an active Final Fantasy XIV account with, at the bare minimum, the base game purchased; they will not work on trial accounts.
Level boosts are under the Tales of Adventure: One Hero’s Journey items. There is one item for every job in the game except for red mage and samurai, the two jobs released in Stormblood. Boosting to level 60 gets you a nice set of gear appropriate for your job and level as well as some items that can be sold for gil to get you started in the game. But even at level 60, you’ll be expected to go through the Main Scenario unless you buy an additional item to skip it.
The Main Scenario is Final Fantasy XIV’s primary storyline and is also the main method of unlocking content in the game. Doing these quests unlock new areas to explore, new fights to engage, and new features to enjoy, among other things. Suffice it to say, more often than not the answer to, “How do I unlock ‘X’?” will likely be through the Main Scenario Quests. Many players like Final Fantasy XIV’s Main Scenario story, especially in the later parts of A Realm Reborn (levels 1-50) and throughout Heavensward ( levels 50-60). However, some portions of A Realm Reborn have been criticized for being slow-moving or feeling irrelevant to the overall plot. The Tales of Adventure: A Realm Reborn and Tales of Adventure: Heavensward are for players that want to skip some or all of the storyline content before Stormblood.
Should You Skip A Realm Reborn or Heavensward?
There are pros and cons for skipping either. If you’re only playing to get to the endgame and don’t care about the story at all, you can skip Heavensward and get right to Stormblood. If you want to get into the game’s story but want to skip the slower parts, it gets a little more subjective.
As stated before, A Realm Reborn has some “growing pains” and portions that some players have called slow or uninteresting. Some people feel that the story picks up at around level 32 after a particular boss fight. Others are more critical of A Realm Reborn and don’t think the story is good until the later parts of the level 50 quests. Heavensward’s story was crafted with these criticisms in mind, and as a result the story is overall more consistent and well-paced than A Realm Reborn. Not only that, but skipping A Realm Reborn and not Heavensward puts players in a position of being able to level as a red mage or samurai through Heavensward’s content, as those jobs start at level 50 — the exact same level where Heavensward’s quests begin. Even if players choose to use their level 60 job through Heavensward, there is a large amount of content at level 60 in Heavensward that can give players a little level boost before they embark into Stormblood.
On the other hand, jumping right into Heavensward might be confusing for brand new players, as it was created with the assumption that you leveled from 1 to 50 “the old-fashioned way” and know what’s going on. Ways to skip the Main Scenario didn’t exist until after Heavensward ended and Stormblood launched. Because of that, skipping A Realm Reborn but not Heavensward can require some inference or out of game research to keep up with the story and characters. Characters you’ve never met before, even if you played a trial account, will act like you are best friends. You can watch cutscenes both in-game inside an inn or on YouTube, or look up summaries of the game’s story up until Heavensward. This still requires an investment of time and effort that might be intimidating to new players. Stormblood, coming after Heavensward, was made with boosted players in mind and relies less heavily on prior knowledge of Eorzea and its personalities.
An oft-overlooked possible bonus of the game skipping items being split up is that a level 60 player that has to go through the Main Scenario can go into dungeons and go through them as an Undersized Party. By doing this, the dungeon will not require party members to enter, and it won’t sync players down to its intended level. A player going through the game like this can treat it like a single player game and go through at their own pace until they reach content that they can no longer complete alone. For most players, this won’t happen until well into level 50 content, at which point they will have gotten used to their level 60 job and the game itself. This is an option if you really want to see the story but feel intimidated by the prospect of having to group up with other players when you’re brand new.
What To Do After Boosting
Regardless of how you decide to boost, you will be given a lot more access to things in the game than you had before. For one thing, you’ll have an entire arsenal of level 60 abilities. Take some time to adjust the hotbars and keybindings if you are using a keyboard to play. Peruse the tooltips (the little pop-up information about your abilities) so you know what everything does. You will also want to assign role abilities. These are abilities available to everyone of your current job’s role and can be found under the Actions and Traits Menu (default hotkey P on keyboard or by pushing Options on a controller). Choose the ones that seem most useful to you; you can always change them later.
Familiarizing Yourself With Your Job Role
When playing on your own, your job’s role won’t matter very much, and you can play how you want. Once you’re in a group, that changes. Each and every job has a particular role to play in a party. By working together, these different roles can overcome challenges that would be too much for a single player. It’s important for new players to be familiar with what job role they have and what other players will expect of them in group content.
Tanks are tasked with keeping enemies’ attention on them and away from their less durable party members. They are characterized with high defenses and abilities to help keep themselves alive through high enemy damage. On average, a tank will do less damage than a dedicated damage dealer, but this is compensated by many of their abilities generating additional “enmity” that keeps enemies’ attention. Enmity is called “threat” or “aggro” by players; it’s a measure of how much an enemy is paying attention to a player, which ideally should always be the tank. Because tanks set the pace of a dungeon run and have to keep enemies from hitting their party members, tanks are generally expected to lead dungeons and approach enemies first.
The tank jobs are Paladin, Warrior, and Dark Knight.
A healer’s main responsibility is to keep their party members alive, especially the tank, who should be taking the most damage and keeping it away from other party members. Healers can raise party members from the dead even in the middle of combat. Though their main role is to heal their party, they can also inflict damage on the enemy between their healing spells. The faster an enemy dies, the less damage a healer has to recover. Because their role is contingent on how much damage their party is taking, a healer’s duties in a group can be very reactive and dependent on how others play.
The healer jobs are White Mage, Scholar, and Astrologian.
Dedicated damage dealers are called “DPS” (read: damage per second) for short, a long-standing tradition in MMORPGs. While tanks and healers can and should deal damage in parties, DPS players’ primary task is bringing down enemies with high damage output. As they’re the most abundant role in the game, they also boast the most variety in playstyle. DPS are sub-divided further into separate categories: melee, physical ranged, and caster. Even within a subdivision of DPS, the jobs will play differently. However, they are mostly interchangeable within a party outside of high-end raiding, so players interested in DPS should play what they enjoy.
The melee DPS jobs are Monk, Dragoon, Ninja, and Samurai.
The physical ranged DPS jobs are Bard and Machinist.
The caster DPS jobs are Black Mage, Summoner, and Red Mage.
Testing Your Abilities
The best way to see how your abilities work and to learn how to play your job is by getting into combat.
To test out your abilities in a controlled environment, you can Teleport to Summerford Farms in La Noscea. Near the Aetheryte in this town, you’ll find several targetable “enemies” called Striking Dummies. Striking Dummies don’t fight back and can’t be killed, making them perfect for practicing your abilities. As you use your abilities, try to see how they interact and work together. For example, an ability that will boost the power of your next attack should be used on the ability with the highest “potency,” which measures how hard the ability hits the enemy. You can see an ability’s potency and any other effects it may have in its tooltip. Once you’re ready, you can go and fight real enemies to get some practice on something that fights back.
Since you’ve been boosted to level 60 and have an impressive assortment of gear, most monsters in zones you can access will pose little threat to you. Ideally, you’ll want to fight monsters around level 50 or higher to give your job a test run. You can find monsters of this level and higher all throughout Heavensward zones such as the Dravanian Forelands or the Churning Mists; if you skipped A Realm Reborn and not Heavensward, you’ll find yourself in Heavensward soon enough, so just go through the introductory quests until you have some monsters to fight. Once you have a better understanding of your job’s abilities, make adjustments to your hotbars as needed; abilities that you use frequently should be easily accessible, whereas abilities you use less often can be stored on a less convenient button.
As you maneuver around the world, take note of any tutorial pop-ups that appear. These will explain aspects of the game that you haven’t encountered yet. At this point, you’ll also want to bring yourself to Limsa Lominsa, Gridania, or Ul’dah. Inside each of these cities is an NPC known as “The Smith” who stands in the city’s inn (the Drowning Wench in Limsa Lominsa, the Carline Canopy in Gridania, and the Quicksand in Ul’dah). By speaking to this NPC, you’ll be able to enter into the Hall of the Novice.
As its name suggests, the Hall of the Novice is meant to guide new players, and it does so with a set of playable challenges. You’ll be “synced” down to a low level and tasked to complete challenges that are meant to focus on the basics. Level syncing is a big part of Final Fantasy XIV; it allows players of any level to do content near its intended difficulty. Despite the low level, the Hall of the Novice will walk you through important things to know about the game, especially group content. It has different challenges for tanks, healers, and DPS, so make sure you come back to the Hall of the Novice if you decide to try out other jobs in the future. You can also replay any of the Hall of the Novice tutorials if you want more practice.
The Smith will also provide explanations of the Mentor and Novice Network systems. Put simply, players can choose to flag themselves as mentors that will help other players. Mentors and new players alike occupy the Novice Network, a special chat channel intended for new players to be able to comfortably ask questions about the game. The Novice Network and mentors aren’t monitored by Square Enix, so their usefulness may vary depending on the players available. However, they’re a good place to start if you need help. If you’d like to be in the Novice Network, you can directly ask a mentor (players with crowns beside their names) or ask in a city’s /shout channel to be invited into the Novice Network.
After you’re all settled in, it’s time to progress in the game.
The Main Scenario
The Main Scenario is the storyline of Final Fantasy XIV. In order to advance the game’s plot and unlock new features, you will need to progress through the Main Scenario. By default, the game will tell you where your next Main Scenario quest is located. Clicking on this little HUD element will show you on the map where you need to go to take that quest. Grab the quest and follow its instructions, and you will be on your way to your latest adventure in Final Fantasy XIV.
There’s a lot to unlock and discover in Final Fantasy XIV. Quests that unlock new things, such as classes and dungeons, are marked with a special quest symbol on the map. This will help you set them apart from standard quests that don’t unlock anything new.
If you see this blue marker on your map, be sure to check out the quest! It might unlock something that could potentially become your favorite feature in the game. These features can include fights with Final Fantasy mainstays like Shiva and Leviathan, minigames such as the Gold Saucer, crafting and gathering, and treasure hunts.
Deep Dungeon: The Palace of the Dead
A special mention goes to the Palace of the Dead. It’s a unique dungeon you can unlock by going to the inn in Gridania and completing the quest “The House That Death Built” found there. The Palace of the Dead consists of randomized rooms filled with enemies. Within the Palace of the Dead, you start at level 1 and “earn back” your levels by progressing through the dungeon. For boosted players, this offers a chance to experience a job piece by piece as though leveling it rapidly from scratch. If you decide to try out new jobs or classes, you can also bring them into the Palace of the Dead and see how they play at higher levels, as your level outside the Palace of the Dead has no bearing on your level inside it.
No guide is going to be comprehensive, and all of this information is just for getting started in the game. There’s a lot to learn! Take it step by step, and you’ll be all settled in Eorzea in no time at all.
Before going into group content, however, it’s important to arm yourself with knowledge that will help your group succeed. You can — and should — play how you want when you’re on your own. If you want to focus on gathering and crafting, or try out a different style of play in battle, you absolutely can. But just like you, other players in the game have their own time constraints and goals they want to meet. When possible, you should go into group content prepared and ready to perform as best as you can. You don’t need to be perfect or an expert, and players will often readily explain things if you ask for help, but you should aim to be a player that you would want in your group.
The game is popular enough that frequently, you can find answers to your questions just by Googling them (such as “final fantasy 14 summoner level 60 guide”). Failing that, these are some handy resources you can use as a first stop for questions and answers.
The Lodestone is the official site for Final Fantasy XIV. There are numerous guides and databases on this site, most importantly, the Play Guide. If you ever have problems logging into the game or anything similar, you can also use the Lodestone to contact Square Enix’s staff.
The Official Forums can also be useful for new players, especially the New Player Help board. The forums are moderated by Square Enix’s staff, cutting down on potential spam or irrelevant information that might drown out legitimate answers.
r/ffxiv is one of the largest communities for Final Fantasy XIV. If you have a Reddit account, you can make use of this subreddit to ask questions, especially in the Daily Questions threads on top of the subreddit.
Players in-game. Final Fantasy XIV’s community isn’t perfect, but there are a lot of players willing to lend a hand. If you’re upfront about being new to the game, especially in group content such as dungeons or trials, you’ll usually find someone that will answer your questions.
Right here at Speakers Network! We’re working on guides for players of all kinds and can answer your questions left in comments on relevant articles.