We all know that the duty finder plays an important role in FFXIV. Even the lifeblood of the game. But it's not an easy thing to make the most of it. Coming to prepare and understand it is a wise choice for players.
Some find the duty finder to be a chore full of "bad players" but the reality is that like anything in life, the duty finder is only as good or bad as the company you have with you - which of course is random unless you enter with a premade.
This is a basic primer to the duty finder, along with some tips on how to make your dungeons more successful, because with just four man groups, one person can make the difference.
What is the Duty Finder?
The duty finder is used in a variety of methods to run dungeons, raids, trials, and guildhests. There is a wide variety of duties in the game, and the duty finder is used primarily to find groups to do instanced duties with. Completing a duty finder mission often includes additional rewards, vs just zoning into the instance, like Seals, Poetics, Laws, Esoterics, and Gil.
Generally speaking, most things are solo queue'd for, but you can bring groups in. You can also join with fewer than the necessary amount, but you won't gain EXP for killing enemies nor Soul Resonance / Spiritbond points, but won't be subject to the ilvl / level sync or the role requirements.
The duty finder has locked roles, meaning that Marauder and Gladiators are tanks, Conjurers are healers, and all others are DPS. This is ignored for undersized parties.
Duty Roulette is a way to encourage high level players to fill spots in low level dungeons, which are required for players to continue along with their story missions. They come in several flavors: Level 50 / 60 Dungeons, Leveling, Expert Dungeons, Trials, Main Scenario (which includes the riads), Guildhests, and Frontline (PvP).
Rewards for completing them are listed in the Duty Finder, along with the "In Need" bonus which gives extra Gil and possibly seals if you're a role that needs to queue.
Duty Finder Tips
A good tank can learn the right speed to pull for the group, without assuming every group is going to be able to plow through the content. Considering ilvl limits, it's rational to keep an eye on everyone between pulls to make sure the healer is ready to keep healing.
Good DPS focus on avoiding taking damage, not to stress the healer. Remember that surviving to the end of a fight is much more important than doing maximum DPS at all times.
Good healers communicate with the group to let them know when they need to rest - don't worry, it's not a poor reflection of yourself with the item sync / level sync making it as if you were at that level with that gear.
Don't be afraid to say hello at the start of a duty. I've often found that just opening that dialog and being the first to speak can not only make the dungeon go by faster as everyone talks throughout, but you can also communicate strategy.
Always offer strategy - where to stand, what to and not to do, as it's critical for those who haven't done it.
Be nice to players who haven't played the dungeon yet - most of FFXIV's leveling dungeons are for learning.
Don't be afraid to offer advice on how to play, but be friendly about it. Instead of being rude and trying to tell someone how to "play their class" simply offer some friendly advice on ways they can improve, phrasing it even as a tip or "little known trick" to make it less of an ego hit / accusation of someone doing poorly.
Cutscenes should be enjoyed - grab a drink if someone is in one, instead of locking them out of the fight.