FFXIV: 51st Producer’s Letter Reveals Big Updates Coming Soon

This week brings the 51st producer’s letter and with it – a ton of upcoming content! So, more dungeons, easier gear progression, a fix in the hardest dungeon, a barber shop, UI changes, and things like daily quests so the economy doesn’t continue its drastic decline. Oh, and housing!


Hello again, all you FFXIVers out there! Yoshi-P here, bringing you my fifty-first Letter from the Producer.

It’s already been a month and a half since release, and after adding several new Worlds, optimizing the servers, and expanding the data centers, it’s full speed ahead for the development team as we prepare for the first big patch.

Looking over data from each World, it’s great to see so many players in every level range. Whether it’s exploring the nooks and crannies of Eorzea, chasing after FATE, braving through dungeons for Allagan tomestomes, or taking on the Binding Coil of Bahamut, everyone seems to be settling into their own play style as they find their place in the community.

As for myself, I’ve finally defeated Titan in the main story, and am now in snowswept Coerthas. I’ve been going it incognito on the public servers, and it’s been a lot of fun playing with you all. I can never resist a shout for help to venture through lower level dungeons, so it’ll probably be a while before I reach end game.

Speaking of end game, I’d like to take a moment to address our players who have completed the main scenario, and are now working to complete relic quests and fight against the hard-mode primals. We realize how difficult it’s been to acquire tomestones and have taken measures to alleviate this problem. Although we had a few setbacks necessitating an extension of the planned maintenance on October 15, as well as a subsequent emergency maintenance, we’ve added additional instance servers for Amdapor Keep as well as the Wanderer’s Palace. We’ve also increased the number of tomestones obtainable in these dungeons, and made adjustments to gil received from within. Patch 2.1 will introduce even more ways to accumulate tomes, so please bear with us.

End game players have also encountered problems with the fifth turn of the Binding Coil of Bahamut. This issue was to be addressed with the patch on October 15, but unfortunately we’ve confirmed that the problem still persists. Please rest assured we are working diligently to resolve this issue so that players can resume play in this instance as soon as possible.

Our first update will be fairly substantial, and can be divided into three key parts. First and foremost, we want players to have more options to enjoy themselves in Eorzea. We’ll be introducing daily quests and treasure hunts for those looking to play solo, and various system adjustments will make it easier to obtain Allagan tomestones of philosophy and mythology with your party mates. You can also expect to see new dungeons, the Crystal Tower, extreme primal battles, and the return of Good King Moggle Mog. There’s also housing and the Wolves’ Den to look forward to, both of which are being fine-tuned and debugged as we speak.

Second, we’ll be implementing feedback from you, the players. Not only will the user interface be updated, but we’ll also be adding an item-sort function, item level restrictions on the Duty Finder, the MVP system, and a number of other new features.

Last but certainly not least, we’ll be introducing the salon where players can customize character features such as hair and face paint, and a party search function for individual Worlds. This wouldn’t be a FINAL FANTASY if it didn’t have a story, so expect to see new developments in the main scenario, and perhaps even the return of a certain someone from Version 1.0.

More details will be revealed during the upcoming LIVE letters. I’m planning to host one every month up until the release of 2.1, and I hope you tune in to all of them!

And that’s all from me for today. See you again on October 19, at the ninth Letter from the Producer LIVE!

The Seven Biggest Upcoming Console MMOs (IGN.com)

I get that MMOs want to extend their reach to add console gamers. For real MMOs (especially MMORPGs), that market segment is virtually untapped. However, I don’t see consoles replacing my mouse+keyboard experience. FFXIV:ARR is a good example of that, especially when looking at tanks. Almost all of the tanks that struggle with positioning that I’ve run with have been console gamers (or just new to the dungeon).

For MMOs like Defiance and those that offer first person views, the overall game would probably be similar between consoles and PCs, but communication will always be substantially behind on consoles and only a small percentage of gamers are using Ventrilo, RaidCall, or other VoIP software.
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As long as video game consoles have had internet connections, enterprising studios have been creating massively multiplayer games for them. Early notable efforts include Sega’s Phantasy Star Online in 2001 and Everquest Online Adventures in 2003.

Still, despite these groundbreaking games, there’s no denying that for most MMO experiences, PC gaming has always been where it’s at. Until now, at least.

Sony’s Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One are more PC-like than ever, and now talented AAA console development teams are finally wrapping their heads around how to create persistent online worlds and long-term character growth. As a result, next-gen might be the era that console MMOs finally come into their own. Below are the hottest console MMOs, both launched and upcoming, that you should be sure to keep on your radar.

Note: It’s still up in the air whether some of these titles will truly feel like traditional MMO experiences when they launch. The lines are blurring. Massive battles with hundreds of concurrent players might not constitute an MMO if the world isn’t persistent. A persistent world might not be an MMO if you can only explore it with small, controlled groups. However you define an MMO, these games are all, at the least, MMO-like experiences worth your hype and attention.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

PC, PS3, PS4
After a notoriously poor launch, Square-Enix doubled down on FF XIV, relaunching the game a full three years later, to critical and commercial success. It’s arguably one of the biggest turnaround stories in video game history.

Somewhat lost in all the headlines was the “small” detail that the relaunched game released not just for Windows, but on Playstation 3 as well, with a Playstion 4 version coming in 2014. The console version is fully playable with just a controller thanks to a completely revamped UI, or players can just plug a keyboard and mouse. FF XIV is the highest-profile MMORPG currently available on consoles and is an easy recommendation for console gamers.

DC Universe Online

PC, PS3, PS4
DCUO launched on PC and PS3 in 2011 to so-so reviews and managed to amass only a modest player base. But Sony Online Entertainment stuck it out, continuing to gradually improve and expand on the superhero MMO. The game gained notable momentum after switching to a freemium business model 10 months after launch.

The game makes excellent use of the DC universe via top-notch voice acting, an active, ever-expanding story, and hundreds of famous and not-so-famous characters and locations from the DC Universe. DCUO is tuned to get players to the level cap and into endgame content as fast as possible, making it a great MMO for superhero nerds to download and try out.

Planetside 2

PC, PS4
Sony Online Entertainment’s massive PC FPS hit Planetside 2 is due out on the PS4 later this year. Many were skeptical about Planetside 2’s massive scale and free-to-play model, but after trying it out for themselves, most came away believers. The payment model never gets in the way, and vehicular and on-foot warfare is always raging, with thousands of players all vying for territory control at once. Thanks to a solid class system and a steady stream of unlockables, Planetside 2 should have something for everyone when it hits PS4.

Destiny

PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
For how much we know about Halo developer Bungie’s ridiculously ambitious “persistent world shooter” Destiny, there’s an awful lot we still don’t know. Bungie itself has refrained from actually calling the game an MMO, for starters. Instead, the game provides players with a feeling of constant connection via seamless matchmaking that all happens in the background, with other players entering and exiting your game world on-the-fly.

Destiny’s emphasis on dynamic world events and “loot drops” also contributes to its MMO feel. Players will be able to socket and customize their weapons with powerful items dropped from foes. Dynamic events will help keep the world of Destiny fresh and keep players on their toes. We’ll have to wait until 2014 to find out just how MMO-likeDestiny truly ends up feeling.

The Division

PS4, Xbox One, PC
When a man-made pandemic collapses civilization, ruthless gangs vie for power in the ruins of New York. Sounds like a good setting for an MMORPG to us! Like Destiny, at this point we still aren’t sure how genuinely MMO-like Ubisoft’s dystopian FPS/RPG hybrid The Division truly is. But what has been revealed looks extremely promising.

Players are plunked into The Division’s unforgiving game world with three days’ worth of food and supplies. From there it’s up for you to explore and scavenge what you need, leveling up your character RPG-style along the way. Although solo play is an option, The Division includes extensive options for player-run clans and groups as well as drop-in/drop-out multiplayer, encouraging and rewarding players who team up and work together to tame its persistent, dynamic online world.

The Crew

PC, PS4, Xbox One
Like Destiny and The Division, just how MMO-like Ubisoft’s persistent world racing gameThe Crew truly is still isn’t known. But what we’ve seen so far is extremely promising. The arcade-style racing action takes place across the entire United States. A condensed version of it, sure… but still. Racing from Seattle to Miami in a seamless online/offline game world filled with hundreds of racing challenges? Yes, please!

The game will seamlessly and constantly fill your game world with hundreds of other real world players, giving the game its “MMO” label. You can party up to compete in races or cooperative events like taking down a single superpowered opponent. Yes, almost like a raid.

Elder Scrolls Online

PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One
Elder Scrolls Online, in development for six years, is finally nearing its 2014 release window. Set 1000 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the game’s major claim to fame is that it takes place across the entire continent of Tamriel. Not just a single country or region like all the other modern single player Elder Scrolls games.

Early impressions were mixed, wih many describing the game as a World of Warcraft clone set in the Elder Scrolls universe. While that’s still a plenty exciting concept on its own, many gamers wanted more. Thankfully, Zenimax Online listened. The game now has a first-person mode, a new Skyrim-like UI, further refined storytelling and plenty more tweaks that truly allow the game to feel like Skyrim with (thousands) of friends.

Plenty more!

The seven games above aren’t the only ones to keep in mind, but they’re probably the highest profile console MMOs in the works. Other upcoming console MMOs include:

War Thunder: A freemium flight sim MMO that’s been making waves on Steam. Due out for PS3 and PS4 in November. Watch the gameplay.

Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade: Not due out until 2015, this MMO based on the classic sci-fi license is slated for release on PC and both Xbox One and PS4. Read the news.

World of Tanks: Wargaming.net’s notorious PVP-heavy tank combat game has been available on Xbox 360 since this summer. Read the news.

Phantasy Star Online 2: Sega’s PSO sequel is out now on PC and Vita… in Japan. A US release date hasn’t yet been announced. US Release News?

Dragon Quest X: Like PSO 2, Square Enix’s Dragon Quest MMO hit Wii and Wii U in Japan last year to critical acclaim. But a US release is still up in the air. Watch the epic trailer.

FFXIV: “Over 1 Million Players” Announced At Tokyo Game Show

Given the most users FFXIV devs had prepared for was somewhere around 400,000, this news definitely explains why their launch was horrific, even for the Japanese players. I’m glad to see such successful sales and concurrent user logins despite the difficulties of the past few weeks.

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TGS 2013: Final Fantasy XIV Has Over a Million Players: Info and Relevant Screencaps from the Live Letter

TGS 2013: Final Fantasy XIV Has Over a Million Players: Info and Relevant Screencaps from the Live Letter

During the first Letter from the Producer Live held at Tokyo Game Show, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Naoki Yoshida Gave some interesting information about the state of the game and its future.

First of all, Players will be able to transfer their characters to a world of their choice from early October, for a limited time only. Secondly crossover contents with Dragon Quest X and Final Fantasy XI are coming at the end of the year (you can check them out in the gallery)

Version 2.1 will include the following content: Good King Moogle Battle, Extreme Titan, Garuda and Efreet, one new dungeon (Pharos Sirius) and two hard mode dungeons with different mechanics for the bosses, player housing for all three city states, the Wolves’ Den PVP Arena,treasure hunting, hard modes against special bosses, beastmen daily quests and content finder random matching.

Some hard data has been given about the game’s population as well. The game has 1,080,000 total unique logins (IE: unique players) since its release, 617,000 daily unique logins, and 344,000 peak concurrent users (IE: users connected at the same time). This is pretty impressive considering that sales of the game have been suspended for two weeks in order to solve the congestion of the servers. We’ll have to see if they’ll increase further now that sales are open again.

Below you can see all the relevant screencaps from the livestream, that also show the distribution between jobs, roles, races and genders of the characters created so far.

Final Fantasy XIV: Progression After Level 50 (Guide)

Update: A brand new polished version is now available for Patch 2.3, thanks to the CrabCommander! I have updated this post with CC’s thread.


So you just hit 50, and now you’re wondering where to go from here. Well, I don’t think anyone can tell you explicitly what should be done in exactly what order, and you certainly can skips steps, but here’s the most gentle slope for introduction to end-game.

Tier 0 – Preparation & Requirements

  • Finish Your Job/Story Quests – Your Job quests will net you your last skills and your Artifact gear. Do them. Main quest completion at least through Praetorium is required for literally every piece of content outside of this tier, and many later on will require completion beyond that.
  • Replace Your Trash Items – If you have any items below iLevel 45, they should probably be replaced with crafted/purchased items. You should pay particular attention to your weaponry. You can jump up as high as item level 90, depending on how much gil you have/are willing to spend, but bare minimum in all slots should be i45+.
  • Castrum Meridianum and The Praetorium – You’ll need to run them once for story. If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of 8 man content you can run them once or twice extra, but you should otherwise avoid them outside of Duty Roulette: Story Mode, which unlocks after completing them both, as the base Mythology reward is rather low for their time investment.
  • Wanderer’s Palace and Amdapor Keep – You’ll have to do at least AK for your Relic quest eventually, but they also drop iLevel 55 gear to get you started, and are an easy completion even in fresh 50 gear. They should help ease you into the idea of 4 man dungeons at level 50, and how various classes perform with their full skill set.
  • Cross Class Skills – Every Job is a little different on how much they depend on cross-class skills, but at absolute minimum, by the time you reach Tier 2 you should have access to all of the Cross-Class skills considered even moderately useful for your Job.

Tier 1 – The First Steps

  • Expectations – Beyond this point you should have Praetorium completed, and a basic set of gear in the iLevel range of 45-55 or higher. Gear from content in this range is iLevel 60-80.
  • Relic Quest Line – One of the first stops for a fresh 50 should be picking up your Relic Quest line. Even if you don’t want to take it all the way to Novus, it’s a good way to jump up into the i80-90 weaponry tier relatively quickly.
  • Big 3 HM Primals – Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan HM will all be required of you for a number of unlocks, and completion of your Relic quest. Go bang them out in an afternoon. With big Echo bonuses, and propensity for higher iLevel/experience players to join you via Duty Roulette: Trials, none of these save perhaps Titan should present you with any terrible difficulty. The Big 3 HM Primals must be completed to gain access to The Binding Coil of Bahamut later on.
  • Main Story Continuation/Secondary HM Primals – Continue working on your post-Praetorium Story and you’ll eventually run into Moogle Mog, Leviathan, and Ramuh HM. You’ll need them all dead and the story wrapped up all the way to its current 2.3 completion eventually for unlocks, and Moggle can drop silly i75 weapons for the Moogle addicted.
  • Gilgamesh – A for-fun/no-rewards fight in the Hildebrand Storyline; required if you want to unlock Duty Roulette: Trials. Should be no difficulty at any iLevel.
  • Pharos Sirius and Haukke/Copperbell HM – These four man dungeons should present you no particular difficulties even at an average iLevel of 55-60, assuming some of your other party members are above that level. You should be going through each four man dungeon at least once so that you can unlock Duty Roulette: Hard Mode.
  • Lost City of Amdapor and Brayflox/Halatali HM – Same as above, only with a slightly higher difficulty curve, aim for iLevel 60-70 before jumping in them. Brayflox HM will likely be many people’s first experience with the dungeon speed running mentality, so be prepared for much bigger pulls than you’re used to. Once you have completed all the dungeons listed to this point at least once you will gain access to Duty Roulette: Hard Mode.
  • Labyrinth of the Ancients – The first Crystal Tower/24 man, you’ll need it completed for unlock status later for the second zone, and it drops i80 gear with no loot restriction.
  • Hunts – You should now be able to unlock the Hunts system, which allows you to reap great rewards from overworld Notorious Monsters. Unlock this as soon as possible and get into a Hunts Linkshell or a larger FC if this is something that interests you.
  • Mythic Armor – You should be able to purchase at least a few pieces of Mythic armor either with Mythology tomes, or Hunt Marks. This should help boost your iLevel rapidly. If you have enough Soldiery Tomes you can also begin purchasing iLevel 100 Weathered gear with them.
  • PvP & Frontlines – You should now be able to unlock Frontlines PvP and level 50 Arena mode PvP. Frontlines can be a great way to acquire Tomestones and PvP exp while having fun, as long as you can deal with the Frontlines queue insanity.
  • Side-Stories – You should now also have access to start the Hildebrand, Courrier, and Winebauds series of Sidequests. These provide various small item rewards, and can be a lot of silly fun.
  • Other Unlocks – There are many small system related unlocks at level 50, from Glamours and Personal Rooms to Chocobo Raising, Parley, and more. Keep an eye out for any odd Level 50 quests in zones you walk through, or people chatting about systems you don’t recognize.

Tier 2 – Beyond Your First Relic – The Beginnings of the Difficulty Curve.

  • Expectations – By this point you should be in the ilevel ~70+ range, with a weapon at least at iLevel 80. Content in this tier provides gear in the range of i80-i100. Content from this point onward will begin sharply spiking up in difficulty, both in terms of numerical requirements and mechanical prowess.
  • Hullbreaker Isle and Tam Tara/Stone Vigil HM – These three dungeons constitute the Duty Roulette: Expert block currently. Clear them each at least once, or farm them if that’s your preferred method of i80 acquisition and Soldiery farming.
  • Ballad: Ultima – At this point, Ultima most likely will provide little that will be of use to you, but if you want to clear him once for fun, or really need an i80 neck piece, Minstrel’s Ballad: Ultima’s Bane is there. A clear on this is eventually required for Savage Mode Second Coil, far down the line, should you get to that point.
  • Big 3 EX Primals – Garuda, Titan, and Ifrit EX are one of many paths to an i90 weapon and i90 accessories. They have been dropped as requirements for other content, so if you don’t feel like you need more i90 gear, or are struggling to complete some of these, it is now possible to skip over them.
  • The Binding Coil of Bahamut – The biggest method to farm up i90-95 gear at this point, the original Binding Coil will provide you with your first taste of Premier 8 man content, albeit with a very generous Echo buff and a few nerfs to the numbers and mechanics of the fights. Completion of Turn 5 is required for access to the Second Coil of Bahamut.
  • Leviathan and Moggle Mog EX – These two are required for Ramuh EX down the line, and can provide you with i95/i100 gear, including weaponry. Both have had progressive Echo added in 2.3, which should make clearing and farming them easy enough to let them drop down a tier.
  • Syrcus Tower – The second Crystal Tower/24 man instance. This will get you access to a single i100 drop per week, or an Oil of Time/Unidentified Allagan Tomestone for access to an i110 accessory upgrade or i100 weapon purchase.
  • Relic Zenith/Animus/Novus – The long path of upgrading your relic. None of the steps require clearing any of the harder content, and are more focused on simple grinding. If that sounds like something that would appeal to you, this can be a path to a long term best-in-slot weapon for many classes.
  • Weathered Gear – Keep capping your Soldiery weekly, and use those tomes to Acquire Weathered Gear. Upgrading these pieces requires Sands/Oils of time, which can be acquired via Syrcus Tower, Hunts, and Second Coil.

Tier 3 – Turn 5 and Beyond – The True End-Game

  • Expectations – By this point you should have completed Turn 5 or be actively working on it. Content from here on out will drop all pretenses of the Echo buff and require you to actively work on your skills and gear to make the cut. A minimum iLevel of 90 in all slots should be considered for the following content. The below content provides rewards in the i100-115 range.
  • Ramuh EX – Another source of i100 weapons, and i100 rings. A challenging but readily beatable fight. Can save you some Soldiery or help smooth out bad drop luck from Second Coil.
  • The Second Coil of Bahamut – The real heart of End Game content currently. Four turns, four bosses, and a whole lot of suffering. Expect to need a static group, and/or a whole mountain of dedication to clear the turns. Drops i110 gear, i110 upgrade items, and the coveted i115 weapons from the final turn. Turn 4 completion is required for access to Savage mode.

Tier 4 – For the Brave

  • Expectations – In order to tackle the content in this tier, you must have completed both Second Coil Turn 4 and Ballad: Ultima. Your gear should all be i110+ or close to it. Content in this tier is purely for bragging rights/titles, and not for the feint of heart or easily enraged.
  • The Second Coil of Bahamut (Savage) – The insane man’s version of the Second Coil. Provides no added benefits other than a title for each turn cleared, at an insane difficulty spike. Maybe you’ll be the first to clear some of these turns?

 

Final Fantasy XIV: Square Enix Announces Compensation (IGN.com)

For those of you who, like me, have struggled with server access during the FFXIV:ARR launch, this will come as no surprise to you. However, even with all MMORPGs struggling at launch, I haven’t seen free game time provided like this before. It’s nice Square Enix is doing *something* instead of just apologizing multiple times a day.

All servers will be down for another eight-and-a-half hours, so fingers crossed that it actually resolves the myriad issues.

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Square Enix has announced all Final Fantasy XIV accounts will be given an extra week of free play time to compensate for ongoing server woes.

post on The Lodestone explains that anyone who has registered Final Fantasy XIV or does so before 11.59 PM PDT on September 9 will have an extra week of free game time added to their account, in addition to the month that comes when you buy a copy of the game.

The post reads, “Since the beginning of official service on August 27, 2013, the number of users attempting to access the game has significantly exceeded our initial estimates. While we are pleased to see support for the game reach far beyond our expectations, the servers were not prepared to handle this influx of players. As a result, our servers have been pushed beyond maximum capacity.

“All Final Fantasy XIV service accounts will receive an additional seven days of free play time. 

“In order to allow access to as many users as possible, we have implemented login and character creation restrictions. We understand, however, that these restrictions have greatly inconvenienced our players.

“Because login and character creation restrictions have hindered our ability to provide quality service, all Final Fantasy XIV service accounts will receive an additional seven days of free play time.”

Additionally, the company has announced a 10-hour emergency maintenance period will take place later today to try and sort all the problems.

“To resolve this issue, we will be performing maintenance from September 3, 2013, at 5:00 PM to September 4, 2013, at 3:00 AM PDT, for the purpose of increasing the number of available Worlds, reducing stress on the Duty Finder servers, and increasing the number of concurrent logins allowed for each server.”

If all goes well then, it looks like we should be seeing an end to the worst of the issues by tomorrow. This isn’t an unusual situation for MMO launches, which always tend to be rather rocky. It’s good to see that Square is already taking positive steps to try and improve the situation, including switching off digital sales for the time being.

Have you managed to play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn yet and, if so, what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Final Fantasy XIV: Leveling 1-30 Guide (TenTonHammer.com)

For players who are new to the FFXIV franchise, some of the game mechanics in FFXIV are definitely different than for other MMORPGs. Usually I’m a player who does *every* quest I see, but that’s a big no-no for FFXIV since that means leveling additional classes on your same character will be much harder as you left no quests for them to complete.

Here are a few other tips provided by TTH.

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Leveling in FFXIV: A Realm Reborn can be daunting at times, especially starting around level fifteen when the game starts letting go of the training wheels and begins opening up more options but starts providing less direction. The goal of this guide to help walk you through until level 30, at which point you should be able to finish the last twenty levels without much of a hitch.

Hunting Log

The Value of a Quest

One thing to make clear – quests are valuable for one specific reason – they are one time ordeals. If you do a quest that is a non-class specific quest then it is done for good. With this in mind, never ever clear the quests in the starting zone outside of your own until you start leveling up other classes. Don’t start leveling up another class in earnest either until you hit level 30.

There is some strong reasoning behind this. First, you get a bonus for leveling up other classes based on your highest level class. The higher your level, the more XP your battle classes will get as you level up. So you’re wasting XP if you do it any sooner than 30, outside of maybe getting a Conjurer to level 8 for Protect.

Next, quests are valuable because you can use them to advance really quickly and do not have limits like guildleves have. So if you do a quest that you’re 5 levels over right now, when you are on another class on the same character that is five levels below where you’re at, you won’t have that quest available to you which isn’t fun.

Leveling Tips

Food is a must while leveling. Consume it whenever the buff dissipates. It can be obtained cheaply off of the market and you should swim in different level appropriate foods as you quest through the game. The XP bonus is worth it.

Most of the leveling experience, especially in the first twenty levels, is a tutorial designed to teach the basics of the game. Many features will not unlock until you go through the various quests. Including the dye quest, which is around level 15 in Vepser Bay (I think) in Western Thanalan.

FATEs are repeatable and are as much XP as one quest. They are an efficient way to level no matter what. Go to where level appropriate FATEs are, complete them, and move to the next one. Do this over and over and you will level rather quickly.

Some classes are not as efficient as others. Conjurers will not level as fast as a Lancer. However, Conjurers will have a slightly easier time getting into the duty finder. It’s not that big of a deal, especially since you can change classes on the fly.

You get a 50% bonus XP if your class is below the level of your highest class for FATEs, Guildleves, and monster kills.

Hunting Log

Hunting Log

Your hunting log gives a considerable XP bonus for killing NPCs that you’ll kill anyway while questing. In the 10-20 area we’re talking 5k XP for killing a few enemies.

While leveling I totally neglected my hunting log which caused me to miss a ton of XP and backtrack a bunch. Don’t be like me in that regard, be sure to check it often.

Super crazy bonus – your hunting log can tell you locations to “hunt.” Look for enemies at or around your level, that is where the quests will be.

Starting Out (Levels 1 – 5)

The first five levels are mostly done within the city and surrounding areas of the city. The quests differ a little bit between the major city states and there isn’t really a lot to say other than your class quest and your story quest will give you most of your progression and you won’t even be able to leave the city until some of the quests are completed. The low level FATEs are mostly available right outside of the city gates and there are no other options for leveling at this point.

If you are leveling an additional class, then do your class quests and grind outside of the city on mobs at or a few levels above your level.

A Newbie No More (Levels 5 – 10)

The next five levels feature more of the same and will be in the same maps (Lower/Middle La Noscea, Central Thanalan, Central Shroud, etc.). You’re going to primarily want to follow your story quests (the one with the cool quest border) for these levels, as it’s going to take you pretty much to the best spots to level / quest at.

Here is where people make a strong argument to NOT side quest and just follow the story quests and do the FATEs. I find that the first 10 levels on another class are easy enough to not worry with it and make your life a bit easier.

Getting Ready for the Big Time (Levels 10 – 15)

At level 10 Guildhests open up which will give you a HUGE XP bonus on the first completion. Do those as soon as the quest becomes available. You’re still going to be stuck mostly in the same city-state and you can’t leave until you finish your story quest (which wraps up around level 15). So once more, follow your story quest, do the side quests, etc.

Guildleves open up, but you only get 3 allowances every 12 hours, so you’ll want to think really hard about consuming them now when leveling is rather easy or just saving them (you can have up to 99) for later levels or other classes. So far the theme is “save everything and just grind enemies FATEs” but realistically that’s all you can do up until this point.

FFXVI Lvl10

Exploring the World (Levels 15 – 20)

At this point you can finally leave your city-state and you’re going to want to once again follow your story quests because they open up three new dungeons for you to complete. I did a lot of side quests and didn’t unlock the airship until 17 and was woefully overleveled for a lot of the content, so you may or may not want to rush through your story quest as your level permits.

As a note, at this point you can farm dungeons over and over to level if you so desire.  You don’t get a huge chunk of XP, but it’s a noticeable amount.

The Grind Sets In (Levels 20 – 30)

At this point, around level 20, you’re going to get more dungeons, Guildhests, and your story is going to let you fight a boss who, after completing it, gives you a ton of XP and allows you to join a Free Company which decides your quest progression path from this point onward.

You have a few options for grinding; the best FATEs are in Eastern Thanalan (in my opinion), Upper La Noscea (the western side of the map), and East Shroud in the mid-twenties. Once you get your mount then grinding FATEs becomes trivial since you can easily move between them without worrying so much about them being completed by the time you arrive.

Your hunting log can be a really impressive source of XP at these levels too. You get 8k or so for killing enemies that you would kill normally, or 10% of a level at level 25. So it’s sort of kind of a big deal as far as XP goes.

Past Level 30

After level 30 you’re going to pretty much be set on the process of questing if you want to, doing dungeons and Guildhests when they become available, and grouping up to do FATEs. You can also just grind the levels away if you so choose, that’s a viable option as well.

Go forth and explore the world! Just remember to eat food, keep your buffs up, and have fun!

Final Fantasy XIV: All Sales Stopped (Kotaku.com)

As one of the (un)fortunate players who was in during Beta Test 4 (a.k.a. “open beta”) and attempting to play during Early Access, I can attest to the overwhelming server and maintenance issues suffered by this game. However, I’ve never seen a game simply stop allowing sales before though. I hope this doesn’t come back to haunt them.

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Final Fantasy XIV Is So Popular, Square Enix is Halting Sales

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn‘s launch is experiencing crowded servers. So what is Square Enix’s temporary workaround? Stop digital download sales.

In an official notice on Square Enix’s Facebook page, the company writes:P

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn, we are currently experiencing extremely long wait times for users to be able to log in and play. As a temporary measure, we will halt sales of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A REALM REBORN’s digital download products so we can accommodate all of those wishing to play. We are working to expand our server capacity in the coming days.

Launch headaches are fairly common for big MMOs. On Square Enix’s Facebook page, of course there are FFXIV players upset about the congestion, the inability to play, and Square Enix’s shortage of servers.

Some, however, are looking at this in a positive light: MMOs that start off like this must be good! Ha, that’s not always true and don’t take this heavy congestion as a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Just be prepared for a variety of issues as the game launches.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – Free Digital PC Copy Contest – Winners Announced!

First, thanks to everyone who participated in our Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn giveaway!

Initially, we were only going to offer one digital PC copy. However, we literally couldn’t choose “the best” post as we had multiple favorites. We also had contestants who offered additional feedback, taught us a few new things (e.g. retainers, crafting), and who shared brilliant personal stories about why they really loved the Final Fantasy franchise.

So, we’ve decided to award EVERYONE who participated with their very own shiny new digital PC copy of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn! That’s 15 copies in all!

We will begin sending out the email containing the promo codes and instructions in just a few minutes. Simply enter that promo code at the pre-order website and it walks you through obtaining a pre-order code you then apply toward your account for “early access”. If you played in beta test 4/open beta, the client is already installed. However, you’ll definitely want to finish applying these codes today as early access begins tomorrow.

The email notifications will go out using the email you provided to post your comments on our contest thread.

Thanks again for participating! We look forward to offering other giveaways down the road (though probably not *quite* as generous as this round)!

Best of luck and perhaps we’ll see each other in Eorzea!

Organic
Managing Editor, /LFG

UPDATE: (August 23, 2013; 10:00 AM Pacific) All promo codes have now been sent!

UPDATE: (August 23, 2013; 10:50 AM Pacific) Please be aware, there is a ~1 GB patch required to update your open beta client to the Early Access version of the game. Be sure you update today so you can start Early Access by 2:00 AM Pacific tomorrow.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – Free Digital PC Copy Contest!

Update: The contest participation window is now closed. We will be sending out the winner announcement later today! Thanks for being a part of our first big giveaway!

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Since we began /LFG 10 weeks ago, we’ve posted over 230 articles, received over 6,600 hits, and have nearly 60 followers! In true gamey, nerdy fashion, /LFG is giving away one free digital PC copy of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. (Sorry PS3 fans!)

The game officially launches on August 27, 2013, but this copy is a preorder and will get you into the world of Eorzea on August 24, 2013 instead. If you’re unfamiliar with FFXIV, the game description (from Amazon.com) is posted below – after the contest rules.

What’s the catch? How do I enter? Who can win?

1. Reply to this post describing what you love most about FFXIV.

2. The response we like the best will win!

3. You will be notified this Friday, August 23, 2013 about the win and I’ll update this post so everyone can congratulate you (and rush out to buy their own copy!). I’ll email you the promotional code first, then follow-up with the preorder early access code when it ships.

That’s it!

Best of luck and see you in Eorzea!

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for the PC platform that invites you to rediscover the realm of Eorzea with friends online. Designed as a relaunch of the 2010 PC release, Final Fantasy XIVA Realm Reborn allows players to enjoy a true Final Fantasy flavored MMO experience the way game developer/publisher Square Enix intended. Game features include: a persistent and evolving world with immersive storylines, a flexible 18 choice class system, guild-based activities, optimized graphics, the choice of solo or group play, a breathtaking musical score, and cross-platform play with PS3 players.

Now Comes the Decline of the Seventh Umbral Era

The realm of Eorzea is ancient, with a conflicted history marked by cycles of prosperous “Astral,” and disastrous “Umbral” eras. Past interpretations of this led many to predict that the current Astral Era would last into eternity, but now the land stands poised to enter another age of decline, a period known as the Seventh Umbral Era. On the eastern border, the Garlean Empire masses its troops for invasion, while the native beast tribes summon their deities, the otherworldly primals. The threats facing Eorzea will not easily be overcome, but overcome they must be.

Gameplay

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that invites players to explore the realm of Eorzea with friends from around the world. The game is an updated version of the PC game, Final Fantasy XIV, which was originally released in 2010. In it, classic Final Fantasy type themes and environments are merged with MMORPG play mechanics as you form a party and adventure with a multitude of players from across the globe. Forge friendships, mount chocobos, and board airships as you and your companions create your own unique stories in Eorzea. Set out alone or enlist the aid of friends as you undertake epic quests, battle familiar Final Fantasy monsters, and acquire unique abilities and equipment. All the classic elements from the series that you have come to know and love are waiting. Embark on the adventure of a lifetime to help reforge the fate of Eorzea.

Key Game Features

  • All the hallmarks of the Final Fantasy franchise, including genre-leading graphics and high-definition real-time cutscenes that advance the game’s rich storyline. Incredible new graphics engine that delivers a high level of detail and quality.
  • A flexible class system that allows players to change to any of the eighteen different classes on the fly simply by changing their equipped weapon or tool.
  • Guild-based activities focused on catering to players with different gaming styles.
  • Breathtaking musical score by renowned Final Fantasy series composer Nobuo Uematsu.
  • Cross platform play on Windows PC with PS3 players, and Robust gameplay features — such as Free Companies, story-driven player–Vs-player content, and primal summoning — to bring players together.

Additional Screenshots

Conversation in-game in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

PC to PS3 cross-platform play.
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Screenshot of the in-game battle UI from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

More responsive battle system.
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Customizing a Miqo'te character in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Easily customized characters.
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A Final Fantasy style monster from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Final Fantasy style monsters.
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Product Description

FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn is a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) for Windows piece and PlayStation3 that invites you to explore the realm of Eorzea with friends from around the world. Form a party and adventure with a multitude of players from across the globe. Forge friendships, mount chocobos, and board airships as you and your companions create your own unique stories in Eorzea. Set out alone or enlist the aid of friends as you undertake epic quests, battle familiar FINAL FANTASY monsters, and acquire unique abilities and equipment. All the classic elements from the series that you have come to know and love are waiting. Embark on the adventure of a lifetime to help reforge the fate of Eorzea on PS3 or piece on 08.27.13. Eorzea. A Land embraced by Gods and forged by Heroes. Seeking control of this realm and its abundant crystal resources, the Garlean Empire sends forth a massive host on a campaign to conquer its southern neighbor. Driven by madness, the commander of the invading forces silently plots to tear the moon from the heavens and hurl it down upon the land. The people of the realm soon learn of this foul scheme, and join their hands in prayer in an eleventh hour attempt to entreat the aid of the gods, only to see their endeavors fail. From within the moon emerges Bahamut, an ancient terror seething with rage fueled by countless generations of imprisonment. Sensing the tug of Fate, a powerful magus channels the last of his strength to send Eorzea’s heroes into a temporal rift. There they wait, untouched by the flames of destruction, until they are needed again. Those heroes are you, and the hour of awakening is now. Come and witness a realm reborn.
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