FFXIV: Death by ladybug and other tall tales

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So let’s start talking about my new Final Fantasy XIV character and experience, because at this point I’m already three weeks into the game and that far behind in blogging about my journeys. Can I catch you up on three weeks of rollicking adventures? I shall do my best!

For my return to FFXIV as the MMO I’m intending to play for a good long while this year, I decided to start fresh (as is my wont). I figured it would be good to relearn all of the systems that I just started to get acquainted with last summer, so I subbed up (yay for cheaper sub options), deleted my old toon, and created a new Syp Tsunami. I was very impressed that the game allows you to save a character look and reuse it, so my new Syp looked identical to my older one (I later changed her hair a bit).

While I had a similar look, I didn’t want to run down the same class alley that I did with the Archanist in 2015, so I chose to start as an Archer instead (small pet peeve — the three-letter abbreviations for each class kind of bug me, especially when I see them used in casual forum conversations). That meant that instead of starting at Oompa Loompa or whatever, I was shipped off to Gridania.

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Whiiiiiich is fully staffed and run by elves and KILL ME NOW. Yes, Syp landed square in the middle of ElfLand without an exit strategy. The one thing I can say here is that these elves are slightly less insufferable than those in WoW or LOTRO. Maybe it’s the decreased ear size, like their heads are small airplanes and their bodies big fat tails.

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Also, the Elves’ leader is some short child empress, which makes just as much sense as this game’s weird interpretation of what a “monkey” is. I don’t know about you, but if my kingdom’s ruler still had an 8:00 p.m. bedtime and still thinks boys have cooties, then I’d be a little worried.

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Elves aside, New Gridania is quite pretty — I like the forest atmosphere and the layout is probably the least irritating of the three starter cities. Oh, FFXIV map system, how I’ve missed hating you! At least this time around I knew what to expect.

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Why did I go archer? Well, there’s a lazy appeal to hitting enemies from afar and making them run to you — and thanks to FFXIV’s auto-looting, there’s no concern about dropping mobs 40 feet away and having to run up to get your goods. But while there were a couple of neat animations, I quickly found that the archer wasn’t quite my style.

No rush to the level cap or anything here; I took my time to run around, do all of the quests, ask questions, and generally figure out the idiosyncrasies of this MMO. That which you do not know can often grow from irritant to enjoyment killer, and I didn’t want that to happen. I’ve been pestering my guildies on Cactuar about all of the game features and plowing through several “things I wish I knew when I started” lists that had quite a few helpful facts.

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A great amount of FFXIV reminds me of LOTRO, mostly in its approach to beauty, world-building, and music. It’s a place that keeps making me stop to take pictures, and I haven’t yet turned off the soundtrack, even though I’ve heard the pieces dozens of times already. Something about them make me feel more involved.

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OK, so let’s talk about my new arch-nemesis: the Final Fantasy XIV ladybug. Early on, I wasn’t paying close attention during a quest or FATE or somesuch, and a couple of these buggers ganged up on me. And since I didn’t realize that my health was already low, I got killed by a level 4 ladybug, which as humiliating as it sounds. Now I go out of my way to squash them, because FFXIV won’t make me a victim, no way.

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By the way, this is what FFXIV thinks that a mail-wearing class should look like around level 17. That codpiece IS my entire pants, and that shirt is barely holding it together. Good thing that the cosmetic system doesn’t kick in for another 33 levels!

In most MMOs, not liking your class means that you’ll have to suck it up and reroll. Here in FFXIV, my growing discontent with the archer was easily remedied by strolling up to the lancer guild and saying (I paraphrase), “‘Sup dude. Can I join?”

Last time in the game I didn’t experiment at all with swapping classes, even though the slow pace of the Arcanist about killed it for me. This time I decided to embrace class experimentation early on, vowing to level every one of the nine fighting classes up through their level 15 class quest. Why? I have a few reasons:

  1. I want to see what all of the classes look and feel like in order to make a decision which one I’m going to stick with for the duration of my initial journey up through the levels.
  2. The first dozen or so levels of every class spit out at least two or three cross-class skills that you can use, which means that doing ALL of them will give me a nice selection (and I’m already loving these).
  3. When I choose a job, I won’t have to worry about leveling up a secondary class to 15, since it’ll be done already.
  4. I’m in no hurry.

Thus far, Lancer is definitely my favorite. Reminds me somewhat of LOTRO’s Captain, particularly with a spear/halberd. Great animations, some neat abilities, and good damage. I also love the Dragoon’s look, so I might be sticking this one out to 60.

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The Conjurer was a pile of suck, at least offensively for the first 15 levels. Same two attacks, over and over and over again. I even healed a bit but it wasn’t for me.

So with my Archer depleting the area’s quests, I had to figure something out for my other classes that I wanted to get to 15. Hunting logs were a good start, but mostly I turned to leves for quick repeatable quests that could be farmed for nice chunks of XP. I made sure to have a food buff running all the time for that extra 3% XP.

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Above: a “monkey.” I think it looks like a creature that will play with your children during the day and then silently appear in your room at night to loom above you before collecting your skull for its collection.

Anyway, these first couple weeks were quite informative and helped to settle me in nicely. I did have to revert back to my lancer for a few levels while I pushed the main storyline forward enough so that I could access the other towns, after which I hit up Ul’dah for the next trio of classes. But that’s a story for another day!

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9 thoughts on “FFXIV: Death by ladybug and other tall tales

  1. pkudude99 January 5, 2016 / 5:24 pm

    Kan-E-Senna is a Padjal — an “ageless” race that retains the appearance of a teenager throughout their “endless” lives. She only looks young, but she’s something like 80 years old, if I recall my lore correctly. And so long as she not killed by violence, she’s effectively immortal too. The conjurer’s guild leader is also a Padjal — you may have noticed how young he looked also.

    Good on you for getting everything to 15. I knew I wanted to be a black mage from the get-go, so I also did archer to 15 as soon as I could (and hated it) but eventually went for the level 34 Quelling Strikes cross-class skill that I was told I’d need (and never have unless I had a REALLY bad tank) and by the upper 20’s I found myself enjoying it. I actually hit 60 on my Bard this past weekend and like it just fine now, so…. classes definitely develop as they level — which is why I don’t play Black Mage anymore — loved it up through 59, hate it at 60. Such is life.

    FYI, at level 30 you can do a quick quest to get your Chocobo mount to also be a fighting companion for you, which can be very helpful for the lower levels when soloing, so you may wish to actually level a class up to 30 for that and then finish up the “get it all to 15” thing.

    And finally — the subligar is a rite of passage. All hail the subligar!

  2. wolfyseyes January 5, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    My experience with the Dragoon rotation (no higher than 50) has been one of very fun speed. It felt like a good single-target killer with a couple of neat gap closing and gap creating abilities (Seriously, that leap back skill they have is woefully underloved).

  3. Rohan January 5, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    The subligar is love. The subligar is life. Embrace the subligar!

    The best part is that it’s the exact same costume for male characters as well.

  4. Syp January 5, 2016 / 6:55 pm

    Apparently this is a thing! I did not know it was the thing that it is! Nice to know I can be embarrassed in company.

  5. wolfyseyes January 5, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    Everyone, save for the caster classes, are required to go through the Rite of Subligar. It’s been a thing since FF XI.

    Incidentally, just wait until you get a harness.

  6. pkudude99 January 5, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    Quick search to remind me of the harness and .. oh yeah….

    http://i.imgur.com/ysYI9wh.jpg <– the focus is on an NPC — no PC can get that outfit that I'm aware of, but to the right, that Miqo'te — harness + subligar…..

  7. Syl❄️☃❄️ (@Gypsy_Syl) January 6, 2016 / 4:11 am

    You’re wrong about Kan-E-Senna but PKdude already cleared that up for you. 😉

    You chose the greatest place to start – no woods in the world of MMOs that are more beautiful than the black shroud maps. Enjoy! All the gear gets decent towards endgame btw.

    Anyone who loved LOTRO should play FFXIV, I’ve been saying this before. Even the housing system is similar.

  8. Bevan Davies (@Dnote_CM) January 6, 2016 / 9:20 am

    Something worth keeping in mind is that the way the Archer/Bard plays changes after 50, they brought it in line with the other ranged classes to have cast times and less mobility (but so far have failed to bring it’s DPS in line with them).

  9. ElBne January 6, 2016 / 1:06 pm

    The Doctor’s Harness out of one of the early dungeons continues the “fetish leather” look that the Subligar starts. And yeah. Same look on males. I actually couldn’t bring myself to wear both on my little lala when he was level 20 because I just couldn’t handle it!

    In a weird way it made me like the game more to know that male characters also end up in ludicrously skimpy outfits.

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