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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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!