To be honest, Final Fantasy XIV is not a typical MMOG, as it filled with unique mechanics and new ways of doing things that may throw you off your game. Understanding the different facets of the game takes time to discover, and may surprise you along the way. To lessen the shock of these discoveries, and smooth out some of the speed bumps on your road to enjoying this rich title. I'd like to set the list of the necessary ten things you should know about FFXIV.
1. Pay Per Character Slot
The first surprise I encountered while setting up my FFXIV account, was that the monthly subscription fee is not a set amount. Instead, Square - Enix has set up an account structure that changes with your needs.
There is a base fee of $9.99 per month. This monthly amount can be reduced slightly by buying your subscription time in bulk (several months at a time). But thereafter, the amount you pay monthly is determined by the number of character slots you choose to utilize. Each full character slot costs $3.00 / mo, or you can also purchase limited accounts that can be used as extra item storage for just $1.00 / mo.
Now, before all you alt - addicts flip out over the cost, remember that your main character can be ANY profession, and progress in ALL professions at the same time, with no penalties. So there is no mechanic - driven reason to have multiple characters in this game.
2. Everything Can Change
When creating your first character, keep in mind that your profession and stats can and will change dramatically over the course of the game. Neither is set in stone, so dont sweat the details too much. They will have a negligible impact on your early game play, and can later be changed on - the - fly at very little cost.
The facets of your character that appear to be permanent after creation are your name, race, your physical appearance, birth date and guardian. What effect, if any, that those last two have on your game play experience is not known at this time.
3. Starting Stats Will No Matter
As I mentioned in the previous tip, your starting stats do not matter. You will have the choice at each progression point to reallocate your stats as you progress. The amount that you start with in each stat is also quite small when compared to the amount that you will gain over the life of your character. You gain 8 points per level, which can be spent in whatever manner you choose. Given that most starting stats are in the range of 15 - 25, this slight difference is unlikely to impact your overall gaming experience.
4. Choose Disciples of War or Disciples of Magic To Start
When you start off in Eorzea, it will be much easier to progress as a combat - oriented character. Getting a feel for the various key commands, menu systems and other mechanics, is easier when you start by doing something familiar. Disciples of War are the best choice for someone brand new to FFXIV, with Magic being a close second. Both work similarly in combat, and are capable of defending themselves and quickly completing the starting Guildleves. Furthermore, each of these profession types are outfitted with decent combat - oriented gear that the Disciples of the Hand and Land simply are not given.
Disciples of the Hand are crafting professions. They have a much different starting experience, and its difficult to earn gil if you dont have combat capabilities.
Disciples of the Land are even more difficult to get started, unless you enjoy collecting items and then spending copious amounts of time standing idle waiting for players to buy your found goods.
Remember that you can try out any profession at any time, but its highly recommended that you stick with a combat - oriented profession out of the gate.
5. Forget the Standard Keybinds
There is no jump. But thats not the least of your worries, when learning to move and operate your character in this game. I cannot recommend enough that you read the manual included with your game, and familiarize yourself with the unique key bind layouts used in this game. Im under the impression that they are similar to FFXI so youll have a leg up if you played that title.
The keyboard layout actually favors two hands on the keys (WASD and IJKL), which is unlike any other MMOG that Ive played. This layout may seem unintuitive to most, and its not necessarily how you have to play the game. But if you keep it in mind as the basis for the way other commands are spread around the keyboard, it may help you understand how to execute certain commands.
Also keep in mind that many of the command functions have been optimized for console play. They work decently with a gamepad, so setting up your own USB controller may be a good plan. I personally found neither control method (keyboard or gamepad) noticeably more user - friendly than the other, so its really a matter of personal preference.
You can rebind most commands if you'd like a different layout, but I recommend at least trying the default for a bit before going that route.
6. Lack of Documentation is Purposeful
Other than the manual included with the game, which gives relatively little information on how the game works, you will be hard-pressed to find any explanations for most of the mechanics within FFXIV.
Before you get riled up with internet - rage and go rant at Square - Enix about their shoddy documentation, let me tell you a secret: this lack of information is purposeful.
The creators of FFXIV have chosen to give very little information to users up - front as a way of encouraging players to work together to experiment and figure out how different mechanics function, and how to use them most efficiently. Their hope is that by forcing players to cooperate in order to understand these things, it will forge stronger community bonds over the long term.
So be prepared to READ, and be prepared to LEARN. And never be afraid of asking a question of your fellow players.
7. Press - on the Numpad for Your Main Menu
Most actions are accessible from this menu, and many can be executed ONLY from this menu. While this is completely unintuitive for most MMOG veterans, it actually makes a certain amount of sense for a console RPG gamer, which is a market this game is actively attempting to engage.
So one of the first things I would recommend to any player is to open up the main menu and familiarize yourself with the various screens and menus that are accessible via this interface. And, as you progress through the game, if you ever reach a point where you feel as if youve hit a wall, open this menu and seek out new options that may have surfaced.
8. You Will Be Penalized If You Play Too Much
Players interested in FFXIV have likely already heard about the Fatigue system present in this title. Put simply, it is a mechanic thats been put in place to prevent players from progressing too quickly up a single profession path. Once you have passed a certain threshold, your experience gain will begin to decrease until the point that you receive ZERO experience for completing tasks, or defeating monsters.
However, this cap is only in place for the profession you used to reach that threshold. In other words, if you defeated enough monsters as one profession so that your experience gain is beginning to diminish, swapping to another profession will allow you to continue gaining experience in that new profession. This can be especially useful since any ability you have learned from any profession can potentially be equipped on your character at any time, regardless of your current profession. So leveling up multiple professions in this manner can not only allow you to continue progressing, it can also flesh out your available ability combinations in unique ways.
9. There is No Auction House
At this time, there is no centralized interface for purchasing items from your fellow players, or selling your own items to others. The current method is handled via the Market Wards. If you are a buyer, simply make your way to the nearest Market Ward and feel free to browse to your hearts content. Finding the right item at the right price can be difficult since you will need to search each Retainers inventory one by one. The best I can recommend here is to be patient while searching. It may also be a good plan to bring along a friend or two to help you search.
If you are attempting to sell the items youve gained on your adventures, or those that youve crafted yourself, youll need to hire a Retainer from the local tavern, and then set up your own vendor in the Market Wards. The process of hiring and setting these up is pretty straight - forward, so I wont go into detail. Just keep in mind that your Retainers can only be used in the Market Wards.
10. Besaid is the Unofficial Roleplay Server
Are you looking for the opportunity to immerse yourself completely in the mystical world of Eorzea, and truly submerge yourself in the rich tapestry of your characters life? There is a robust and lively roleplaying community that wants you to join them on the Besaid server.