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Starting your life in Final Fantasy XI can be a confusing experience, but fear not. We've done all the hard work so you don't have to. Our six-part beginner's guide isn't full of confusing terms only online game experts can comprehend. It provides vital information to help you make the best choices, so you can make the most of your time in the massive world of Vana'diel.

Who are you?

The first - and most important - step in any massively multiplayer online RPG is creating your character. The good news: Final Fantasy XI is the most flexible of any MMOs, and is designed so that players won't need a stable of different characters. Because of that, you'd better pick one you want to stick with for a while.

A character is defined by his or her race, nation and job. Lets figure out who you want to be and where you should start - and teach you how to get your friends in on the action.

Race

Unlike most MMOs, Final Fantasy XI is built so that players will never want or need a second character, except maybe to hold extra items. Your character's race is just about the only permanent decision you'll ever have to make, so choose wisely. Five races live in Vana'diel. Just as you expect, each has their own strengths and weaknesses.

Hume Humes are … human. Like all fantasy humans, they are well-rounded and have average stats, making them good candidates for any job. Their most remarkable trait is how unremarkable they are.
Elvaan It's a fantasy, so you've got to have elves, right? The Elvaan are physically resilient and strong, but their gangly limbs and long necks hinder their dexterity, and their magical power isn't the best. Elvaan are ideally suited to hands-on fighting jobs and protecting other players, but they're serviceable in any job with the right gear.
Mithra The pin-ups of Vana'diel, this cat-like race's matriarchal traditions only allow females to adventure. Extremely agile, Mithra have the highest natural dexterity and agility of any of the races. Though other players hit on them often, they can't take many hits from monsters and have average magical ability. While their base stats make them the best Thieves and Rangers, they can strut their stuff in any job.
Galka These muscular hulks are the least popular race in Vana'diel and are the most inflexible of the five races, but their particular advantages are striking. Their massive bodies give them a huge stockpile of hit points, vitality and other important stats for giving and taking damage. Sadly, their tiny noggins make them poor mages without all but the best gear.
Tarutaru Vana'diel's jokesters, the adorable Tarutaru are both comedy relief and magical powerhouses. Their tiny bodies may be frail, but their swollen brains can dispense some serious hurt, thanks to their massive mana pools and high Intelligence. Tarutarus make better fighters than Galkas make mages, but Tarutaru remain best-suited to magical jobs.

Cities

Vana'diel is controlled by three nations: the Republic of Bastok, the Kingdom of San d'Oria and the Federation of Windurst. Though all three have been allied since defeating the Shadow Lord in the great war 20 years ago, they are still in friendly competition for the land and its resources.

While the nation you pick isn't exactly important, it can enhance your enjoyment of the game as you begin. Each nation has its own distinctive storyline and missions, and a few pieces of exclusive gear available to them.

If you pick a nation that is home to your character's race, you'll be rewarded with a useful magical ring as you start your adventure. This will be quickly chucked, though, so it shouldn't be the basis of your decision, as you won't be able to change nations anytime soon.

The best way to decide? Pick the one that looks coolest to you and enjoy it.

The Republic of Bastok Native Races: Hume, Galka
★ Set in the harsh, mineral-rich Gustaberg wastelands, the Republic of Bastok is a nation of engineering and ingenuity.
★ Home to the Hume and Galka races, Bastok's architecture is stark and functional.
★ The nation is famed for its technology, craftsmanship and science, and is home to the world-famous engineer Cid and the Smithing, Goldsmithing and Alchemy guilds.
The Federation of Windurst Native Races: Tarutaru, Mithra
★ Once vicious warlords, the adorable Tarutaru have shed their violent ways and now strive to live in peace and harmony - including futile negotiations with the local Beastmen.
★ Windurst lies in a vast magical savanna, but recently the magic in the area has been on the decline.
★ This creates various problems for the nation and its ruler, the tiny but prophetic Star Sibyl.
★ Windurst is home to the Clothcrafter's, Boneworker's, Fishing and Culinarian guilds.
The Kingdom of San d'Oria Native Races: Elvaan
★ The Kingdom of San d'Oria has seen better times.
★ Their Beastman rivals, the Orcish, have established a stronghold in the heart of their lands, and royal squabbles concern the citizens.
★ San d'Oria itself is a medieval fantasy mainstay, with gray stone castles and houses inside high walls, and is home to the chivalrous Elvaan - who hate outsiders.
★ The abundant forests and mountains of the Ronfaure region provide materials for San d'Oria's famous Woodworking, Leatherworking and Smithing guilds.

Jobs

If you've played other Final Fantasy games, chances are you've run into the “job system.” It's a classic - it lets you totally change your character's class and abilities. Even better, once you hit level 18 you can equip a “Support Job” to make your character kick even more ass, with a sackful of new abilities. In total, Final Fantasy XI sports 18 jobs, each more classic than the last. One of the biggest advantages is, you can switch your job at will to play as many jobs as you want. Black mage one day, ninja the next.

Support Jobs operate at half the level of the main job, but can alter your game plan greatly. It's like this: a level 75 Black Mage can use the spells and abilities of the White Mage class up to 37. It's important not to get behind on your Support Job's level. Not only will you miss out on choice abilities, but other players who want to party for experience points won't invite you along.

All jobs are leveled separately, so when you change to a new job you'll drop to level 1. The good news is that the levels in your other job won't be lost - if you decide you liked being a Warrior more than a Puppetmaster, just switch on back. When changing jobs, combat skills from your previous job will carry over. This means you can still whoop ass - and level your new jobs that much faster.

Twelve of the 18 jobs are “Advanced” jobs. That means you can't pick them from the beginning of the game. They must be unlocked by completing a certain quest - once your character hits level 30. So why are we telling you this now? Because you'll want to start levelling one of the recommended support jobs now - and take it to level 37 before you switch to something more advanced. You'll save time and money. It always counts to plan ahead.

Basic jobs

When you start out, you'll only be able to select from one of these six jobs. NES fans will be amused to note that these are the same jobs available in the original Final Fantasy, circa 1990.

Warrior (WAR) Role: Physical Damage, Tank
Best Weapons: Axe, Great Axe
Recommended Support Jobs: Thief, Ninja, Monk
The Warrior is a stout fighter, and a master of many weapons. Warriors will be given a sword at the start of the game. You should ditch it and purchase a One-handed Axe and Great Axe ASAP. The Warrior's “Provoke” ability, which draws the attention of monsters away from mages and other weaker jobs, and makes it a great job for watching your party's backs. While strangely unpopular when the game first hit, people have since wised up - and made Warrior the most popular damage class today.
Monk (MNK) Role: Physical Damage
Best Weapons: Hand-to-hand
Recommended Support Jobs: Warrior, Thief
Skilled martial artists, Monks let their fists do the talking and, later, their feet too. Monk seems to be the simplest job. All you do is boost your attack power, engage enemies and perform devastating Weapon Skills, but they are one of the most powerful damage dealers in the game. Later in the game, Monks can attack from a distance with powerful balls of Chi released from their hands, Dragon Ball Z style.
Thief (THF) Role: Physical Damage, Enmity Control
Best Weapons: Dagger, Sword, Crossbow
Recommended Support Jobs: Ninja, Warrior, Ranger
Thief is a highly technical job. Not everybody gets it. The problem is that Thieves don't come into their own until level 15, when they learn their signature Sneak Attack and Treasure Hunter abilities. Then, they can be powerful in the right hands. At level 30 they can “Trick” monsters into attacking other players while dealing huge damage, making them handy for most battles - that's “Enmity Control.” Of course, Thieves can steal items from enemies, and their Treasure Hunter ability makes items appear more often. If you pick this job, you'll be rolling in the dough.
Black Mage (BLM) Role: Magic Damage, Weakening, Transportation \\Best Weapons: Staff, Club
Recommended Support Jobs: White Mage, Red Mage
The classic Final Fantasy Black Mage returns, perhaps more powerful than ever. Black Mages rain down magical damage from the back ranks, but can die quickly if a monster notices them. For some reason, this doesn't stop many players from going all out - and dying anyway. In addition to their powerful Elemental Magic (think Fire, Blizzard, Thunder as per typical FF) Black Mages also learn other important spells, such as ones that send enemies to sleep or teleport characters out of dangerous dungeons.
White Mage (WHM)Role: Healing, Transportation
Best Weapons: Staff, Club
Recommended Support Jobs: Black Mage, Summoner
The opposite of the Black Mage, the White Mage is a classical healer. White Mages hang out in the back and cast healing magic on the rest of the party. In fact, they're the only ones with spells for removing deadly status effects, like poison. Midway through the game they learn spells for teleporting their party around the world of Vana'diel and become absolutely essential for keeping your party alive.
Red Mage (RDM) Role: Weakening, Support, Healing, Solo
Best Weapons: Sword, Dagger
Recommended Support Jobs: Black Mage, White Mage, Dark Knight, Ninja
The Red Mage is actually more gray than anything else, able to use Black Magic, White Magic and even get up close and personal with monsters, blade in hand. While the Red Mage's physical attacks aren't that great - or typically appreciated when partying with other players looking to earn experience points - they help make the Red Mage one of the game's best jobs for playing solo (especially if you use Ninja as a support job). While the Red Mage is always useful for weakening monsters with its superior Enfeebling Magic, at level 41 it becomes incredibly popular thanks to Refresh, a spell that causes its target to gradually regenerate magic points.

Advanced jobs

Paladin (PLD) Role: Tank
Best Weapons: Sword, Staff
Recommended Support Jobs: Warrior
Paladins are noble knights, skilled with sword and shield, and tasked with protecting other party members with their bodies. The sturdiest of any of the jobs, Paladins can also use healing magic and some weakening magic to hold a monster's attention, protecting greater threats. While the Paladin currently plays second fiddle to the Ninja in this role (in retail), Square Enix has promised to put the two jobs on equal footing … some day. Hey, at least they look cool.
Dark Knight (DRK) Role: Physical Damage, Weakening
Best Weapons: Great Sword, Scythe
Recommended Support Jobs: Warrior, Thief
Often accused of being “emo,” Dark Knights are fighters that channel their hatred and sorrow to deal tremendous damage, rather than listen to My Chemical Romance and cry. While capable of dealing massive damage - sometimes at the cost of their own lives - their bulky weapons move slowly. This means you're going to drop time and money into equipment to boost accuracy and food. Dark Knights also have spells that steal stats from enemies, but nobody seems to pay much attention to them.
Beastmaster (BST) Role: Solo, Physical Damage, Enmity Control
Best Weapons: Axe, Scythe
Recommended Support Jobs: White Mage, Ninja
While slow to develop, Beastmaster is the game's best solo class. Beastmasters can “Charm” monsters in the environment, to turn them against the other monsters. They can even stop charging monsters in their tracks. Their own skills in kicking ass are not to be ignored either. If you end up somewhere with monsters you can't charm, don't worry. You'll be able to whip out a can of soup that attracts another monster - which will take care of your foes in gratitude. No, we're not making this up.
Ninja (NIN) Role: Tank, Weakening
Best Weapons: Katana
Recommended Support Jobs: Warrior
These assassins from the Far East can be powerful fighters, but are mostly used to protect other players from harm. You can do this by using Warrior as a Support Job. Ninjas can Dual Wield - equip two weapons, that is. This makes it a popular Support Job for many damage-dealing jobs. Ninjas can also use powerful Ninjutsu abilities to weaken or damage enemies, and even to avoid damage themselves. This comes at a cost. Ninjutsu consumes Ninja Tools with every use, making it the most expensive job to use.
Samurai (SAM) Role: Physical Damage
Best Weapons: Great Katana, Bow
Recommended Support Jobs: Warrior, Thief, Ranger
Samurai are powerful fighters, and the masters of Technique Points and Skillchains, which allow party members to connect abilities in a combo. Using their Meditate ability, they can instantly ready themselves to unleash devastating weapon skills on their enemies, and help the other party member create Skillchains for even more damage. Samurai also make skilled archers when using Ranger as a Support Job.
Ranger (RNG) Role: Ranged Damage
Best Weapons: Bow, Crossbow, Gun, Axe, Dagger
Recommended Support Jobs: Ninja, Warrior
Once the belle of the damage ball, Rangers have been toned down recently. They still remain effective attackers in any party, and will most likely only get better. Rangers sit in the back ranks and fire using different kinds of ranged weapons, mix-and-matching with a variety of projectiles, many of which apply deadly status effects to enemies. Rangers are frequently used to lure monsters to the party to kill. This is thanks to the Ranger's tracking abilities, which allow them to see nearby monsters on the map.
Dragoon (DRG) Role: Physical Damage, Solo
Best Weapons: Polearm
Recommended Support Jobs: Warrior, Thief, White Mage
The job immortalized by Kain in Final Fantasy IV can be very powerful in the right hands, but is currently not favored by most players. Dragoons use spears to quickly perforate their foes, but their weapon skills are generally weak, making them undeservedly unpopular later in the game. The Dragoon's signature Jump moves are here, allowing it to leap into the air, attack and also change a monster's target. In addition, Dragoons are always accompanied by a young pet Wyvern, which attacks with physical and breath attacks, and can heal the player when using mage Support Jobs.
Summoner (SMN) Role: Support, Damage, Healing
Best Weapons: Staff, Club
Recommended Support Jobs: White Mage
This is undeniably one of the coolest jobs in concept. This is a Final Fantasy game, after all - Summoners were born by this series. Unfortunately, Summoner is cumbersome to play at first. The good news is that it becomes useful in the late game, when they learn their most powerful attacks. As a result, Summoners are often asked to leverage their massive pools of magical power to heal the party, making a White Mage Support Job essential. Avatars, as summoned monsters are called, are gained when you defeat them in battle. Summoners channel their magical power, or mana, through these ethereal beings to unleash abilities to support the party, weaken enemies, or use physical or magical attacks. Fans of FF will find plenty of classic summoned monsters hidden throughout Vana'diel.
Bard (BRD) Role: Support, Weakening, Pulling
Best Weapons: Instruments, Sword, Dagger
Recommended Support Jobs: White Mage
Currently the ultimate support class and always in demand, Bards tend to level faster than any other job. Using a variety of instruments, their songs can confer tons of bonuses to friends while making your foes weak and pathetic. As a Bard, you'll almost never get to attack, but will instead run around herding the other players into groups to maximize bonuses. If you ever wanted to be a kindergarten teacher on a field trip, this might be the job for you.
Blue Mage (BLU) Roles: Magic Damage, Physical Damage
Best Weapons: Sword, Club
Recommended Support Jobs: Any
As in previous Final Fantasy games, Blue Mages learn spells from the monsters they defeat. While they can't equip every spell they learn at once - holding a robust 20 at maximum level - they are exceedingly flexible, able to cast spells and use swords effectively. While scouring the world for new spells is likely to be a time-consuming process, Blue Mage promises to be one of the most involved and satisfying of the new jobs for hardcore players.
Corsair (COR) Roles: Support, Weakening, Magic Damage
Best Weapons: Crossbow, Gun, Dagger, Sword
Recommended Support Jobs: Ranger, Ninja, Bard
Corsairs are … well, they're pirates. These gamblers use guns and games of chance to support the party. Their support abilities are almost entirely random and play out a little like blackjack, with even the chance to “Bust” and take a penalty, so be careful when doubling down. Their “Card Shot” ability allows them to deal elemental damage, as well as reinforce existing status effects on monsters. With a curved blade in one hand and a Hexagun in the other, they can attack from the front or the back row.
Puppetmaster (PUP) Role: Pet Class, Damage Dealer
Best Weapons: Hand-to-Hand
Recommended Support Jobs: Unknown
The Puppetmaster is something of a confusing class - at least, right now its abilities are still wrapped in mystery. The Puppetmaster is always followed by an “Automaton,” a customizable, mechanical puppet. The Automaton has its own equipment screen, in which the player can switch different heads, bodies and accessories in and out. These spare parts confer different abilities on your pet puppet, who will loyally follow you into all battles and cast spells on your foes.

Boot Camp

If you've never played an online RPG before, or even if you have, be prepared to change the way you think. Sometimes it seems like the game bashes you over the head with rules - written and unwritten. So why do people bother? Because it turns out these rules actually help more than they hurt, most of the time - and the games are so addictive, anyway. In Final Fantasy XI, many of the rules are designed to force players to play with one another, and others simply aim to get them to spend more time playing. Today we'll clue you in to a number of these conventions, as learning about them on the fly can often result in an untimely death.

Battle Concepts

While Final Fantasy XI may have much more gripping story than most MMOs, you'll spend a much bigger chunk of your time killing monsters for experience points than watching cutscenes. The battles have a pretty rigid structure, but FFXI 's own special gameplay mechanics build on that.

Checking Monsters

You see a monster walking around the world. It doesn't look so tough - in fact, it might even look a lot like a monster you whooped hours ago. Be careful; you can't judge a monster just by its appearance. To find out just how badly it might eviscerate you, “Check” it.

Targeting a monster from a safe distance and selecting “Check” from the action menu will tell you the monster's relative strength, in the following loose categories.

Too Weak Easy Prey Decent Challenge Even Match Tough Very Tough Incredibly Tough Impossible to Gauge

Watch out - the game uses the difference in your level and the monster's to figure out who's going to lose. Some of the more difficult monster types may be deadlier than the game may communicate.

Too Weak monsters give no experience points, so don't even bother. When playing alone, you'll generally want to fight monsters labeled Even Match or below, while six-man parties generally aim for Incredibly Tough monsters, or sometimes rapidly kill Very Tough monsters. Monsters that are Impossible to Gauge are “Notorious Monsters,” and they could be easy or hard - find out more about that particular monster before attacking it, because it could go any way.

Hate

Common to all MMOs is the concept of “Hate.” It's called “Enmity” in Final Fantasy XI, and learning to manage it is probably the single most important concept in the game. From the lamest little battle you'll fight, to the epic struggles against final bosses, managing Enmity is essential to your success.

When fighting monsters as a group, every action a player takes angers the monster more and more. If one player angers the monster significantly more than another, the monster will turn its attentions onto that player. If the player is a mage or other job with low defense, this is a very bad thing - they're going to be taking a dirt nap in seconds.

“Tanks” - or “Shields,” as the Japanese players on Final Fantasy XI refer to them - are solely tasked with managing Enmity and keeping it focused on them. Using abilities specifically designed to draw a monster's attention, they protect other players from pissed off monsters and minimize the number of targets the healer has to focus on. On top of that, some jobs have abilities to manipulate or even get rid of Hate, making the tank's job easier.

The game keeps track of each and every player's Enmity, and if you're in a party, the game keeps track of its Enmity too. Generally speaking, every point of damage dealt to a monster or healing lavished on a friend, translates into one point of Enmity for the player. The idea, then, is for other players' total Enmity to never exceed that of the tank. However, since everyone's Enmity adds up, if one player deals too much damage too quickly, the tank may not be able to regain the monster's attention before it's too late.

Weapon Skills, Skillchains and Magic Bursts

Each time you smash an enemy with one of your physical attacks, you'll earn some “Technical Points,” or TP - only a tiny bit, though. When TP reaches 100% or higher, you can execute a “Weapon Skill,” which is a special attack for increased damage or negative status effects.

Early on, players should learn to coordinate Weapon Skills by chatting with their party. You shouldconstantly discuss the status of your party's TP. When multiple players execute certain weapon skills in a particular order, it creates a “Skillchain.” Skillchains come in a variety of elemental flavors and types, and deal additional damage of that element to the monster.

Beyond extra damage, Skillchains have a more important function: setting up “Magic Bursts.” Because of the concentration of elemental energy from a Skillchain, casting a spell of the appropriate element - Fire, Blizzard, etc - at the right time will boost its damage by one third. This is a crucial strategy to learn, especially once you start to take on the game's bosses.

Experience chains

The final important concept is one of efficiency. By killing monsters above “Even Match” in rapid succession, a party will earn bonus experience points. To make the most of your possible experience

points requires careful coordination between the players. Everything from Skillchains to maintaining the mages' magic reserve is crucial.

Partying

Unless you're dedicated to going it alone, you're going to be earning most of your experience points while partying with other players. A typical party consists of six people and has one tank, two damage dealers, a ranged or magical damage dealer, a healer and a support member.

While this is the very definition of a “balanced” party, there are tons of variations that may be even better, depending on the situation. While Final Fantasy XI players are notoriously rigid about their party make-ups, as long as you have a tank, you'll be fine. Don't waste time waiting around for the ideal party. Some experience points are always better than none.\

When partying, typically players find a safe spot to set up “camp,” and it's up to one player to attack monsters and lure them back to the camp.

Tanks As noted above, a tank (or shield) is a player that holds the monster's attention so the other players can go nuts. Paladins and Ninja are the most popular tanks, but early in the game Warriors, Monks and Samurai can make serviceable tanks in a pinch.
Damage Dealers The term “damage dealer” typically only refers to front-line fighting jobs, but can also include Rangers, Black Mages and Summoners. Most parties have at least two damage dealers smacking enemies around, in order to set up Skillchains for a mage, but more can work very well as long as they can manage Enmity effectively.
Mages Mages fill a variety of roles in a party, from dealing damage to healing to supporting other players. The one thing all mages have in common is magic points, and the need to keep a healthy stock of them at all times. This usually means resting while the other players fight, and getting up at the right time to cast a crucial spell.
Support and Weakening Support classes can be mages or front-line attackers, depending on what jobs you're talking about. The role of support characters is to make the party go as smoothly as possible, by weakening or “debuffing” monsters, strengthening or “buffing” other players, or speeding the rate at which the mages regain their magic points.
Puller A puller, often called a “Fisherman” by the Japanese players you're likely to encounter, is tasked with luring monsters to the party for them to attack. Typically these are players with ranged attacks, like Rangers, Thieves, Samurai or even Warriors.

World Concepts

In MMOs, you spend a lot of time running from place to place, especially starting out. Along your adventures you're bound to run into a variety of things that will either screw you up or help you out. The following are a few of the most important ones.

Aggressive Monsters and Linking

Many monsters around Vana'diel are quite tame and won't attack, but others will. You can avoid fighting these aggressive monsters if you know how they detect their prey, and use that knowledge to your advantage. Whenever you're attacked by an aggressive monster, they're said to have “aggro.” You'll be seeing and using this term a lot, so you'd better learn it.

Many monsters attack on sight. You can avoid being attacked if you sneak behind them and they don't turn around to see you, but an Invisible spell or an application of Prism Powder will eliminate that risk entirely. Almost all Beastmen attack on sight.

Other monsters attack based on sound. These monsters don't need to see you to know you're there, just hear you within a certain radius, so there's no getting around them in many circumstances. The spell Sneak or an application of Silent Oil will quiet your movements, allowing you to move by undetected.

Monsters classified as “arcana” or elementals attack when they sense magic in the area. With no way to mask magic, players simply must not use any.

Undead monsters can sense the wounded, and try to kill them to increase their ranks. If you're around undead monsters, be sure that your hit points aren't yellow or red, as this will draw them for miles.

Finally, some monsters just simply can't be avoided. These typically are known as “Truesight” or “Truesound” monsters. They behave the same as the sight and sound monsters, but there's nothing you can do to stop 'em.

While many monsters have loose guidelines as to if and when they'll attack, these are not entirely consistent, and may require research or testing before you understand them. Just because a bat in one area doesn't attack sound, doesn't mean it won't in the next.

Most monsters, regardless if they're aggressive or not, will “link” to other monsters around them,bringing their pals into the fight.

Notorious Monsters

If you're ever wandering around and see a normal-looking monster with an abnormal name, you're looking at a Notorious Monster.

Notorious Monsters, or “NMs,” are more difficult versions of the local fauna. They are almost always aggressive. Everyone wants to fight them because of the rare treasures they carry. If you ever see players milling about an area staring at one spot, chances are they're waiting for a particular NM to appear.

It's hard to predict when a Notorious Monster might show up. Some appear based on a timer, while others randomly show when monsters in an area are killed or when the weather changes. If you find an item that comes from an NM, learn how and when it appears, and prepare to compete against other players for it.

Beastman Seals and Burning Circles

Throughout your adventures, you're likely to come across seemingly useless items called “Beastman Seals.” Do not throw these away, as these are a currency used to fight special boss battles that reward players with some of the best and most expensive equipment in the game.

Beastman Seals drop off of any monster that gives experience points. When you reach the central city, Jeuno, Beastman Seals can be traded for orbs that give access to “Burning Circle” fights, or BCs. If you defeat all the monsters in the BC, a chest will appear that contains untold treasures, so save up as many as you can.

Starting Out

Lets walk you through the first 10 levels of your adventuring career and give you tips to maximize profit while doing it.

Conquest

Once you create a character and find your way out into the wilderness, the first thing on your mind is going to be slicing up monsters. But before you begin your bloody career, you should become acquainted with the “Conquest” system. Why? Because Conquest will be where most of your money comes from for the foreseeable future.

The nations of Vana'diel vie for control of the land - remember that “friendly competition” we mentioned? That's the Conquest system. The world is divided into regions, and the nation whose citizens collectively die the fewest number of times while defeating the most enemies for a week will claim the region (after a tally every Sunday morning). If enough people from all regions die, the area will be claimed by the computer-controlled Beastmen.

Those that participate in Conquest will receive elemental crystals from battles along with experience points, as long as the region is controlled by one of the three nations. These crystals are, in turn, used to power item creation, or “Crafting.” As you can imagine, they're in high demand.

In order to participate in Conquest and get crystals, you'll need to have your nations “Signet” cast on you, and for that you'll need to find one of your nation's Conquest reps. The gate leading out of any of the starting cities is flanked by one of these characters: in Bastok, look for people with the initials “I.M.” next to their name, San d'Oria “T.K.” and in Windurst “W.W.” Talking to these Conquest representatives will bring up a menu. Select “Can you cast Signet on me?” The Signet then marks you as a Conquest participant, and will ensure that those sumptuous crystals fill your pockets while you kill monsters. While participating in Conquest, you'll also earn Conquest Points which can be spent on some cool items later on.

One note about crystals and items in general: crystals and many items can be stacked together to save space, but for some reason the game doesn't do this for you automatically. If you find your inventory is full, open it up, “Auto Sort” it and stackable items will be grouped. You can sell single crystals and stacks of crystals, but the latter will definitely make you money a lot faster.

Experience the ... Experience!

For most players, partying with others starts around level 10-12. While there can certainly be benefits to getting together with one or two friends early on, most players choose to solo. Should you decide to partner up with a couple of pals, this info is still good. Just keep in mind that the monster progression will move a bit faster, while your overall experience take will be reduced. Of course, you'll also have to split your items with your partners.

While the recommendations here aren't ironclad, our picks should maximize effort and reward. If you decide to attack anything else, be sure to “Check” it first to make sure it's an Even Match or below.

Outside the exit of the nation into the field, you should find something called a “Field Manual”. If you talk to this, it will give you an option to select a page where you are instructed to kill monsters. Completing this page will reward you with some bonus experience points, gil, and tabs (gil and tabs are once per game day). Tabs are a form of currency that you can spend on the book for status effects, such as refresh, regen, protect, or shell. Putting your page on repeat will allow you to continuiously gain bonus experience points as long as you keep killing the monsters on the list.

From loot to gil

The greatest source of money - “gil”, as usual in Final Fantasy - is … other players. To facilitate commerce, Square Enix invented the Auction House, a place for players to list their items and sell them to other players while they do other things - online or offline. Auction houses are located in Bastok Markets, Bastok Mines, South San d'Oria, Port San d'Oria, Windurst Woods and Windurst Walls. They're emblazoned with a gazelle-shaped icon and are always mobbed by virtual capitalists. To use the Auction House, simply target one of the windows and get going.

Before selling any items, select “Bid” from the Auction House menu to see what your items are currently worth. Find the item's category and then the item itself, and look at its price history. Prices of items can fluctuate wildly, so it's usually safest to list the items for the lowest price on the history. The lower your price the faster it will sell, but don't try to sell it for too much less or you'll probably be found out by bargain hunters. Note that many items, such as crystals, can be sold as singles or full stacks, so make sure you're looking at the right entry and set your price. Note that you can only list seven items at a time, so usually it's best to list your most valuable items first.

How do you get your money? After a while, head to one of the Residential Areas in town and enter. Talk to your Moogle and check your Delivery Box to receive your cold, hard cash. Don't worry if you don't know what that crap is yet - you'll be introduced to it soon after you begin your game.

Shopping with style

Usually, the cheapest way to buy gear for your character is the Auction House. Every time you level up, go back and check the Auction House to see what new gear you are now capable of using. The easiest way is to browse the Armor or Weapons categories by level, scroll to the bottom and see which item names are written in yellow letters, indicating that you are able to equip it.

There aren't many worthwhile accessories at these low levels, so focus on good armor and weapons. The exception are mages, who have access to some good rings at level 10 - Black Mages will want to buy rings that boost INT, White Mages will want to buy rings that enhance MND and Red Mages can make good use of either.

Mages will also want to frequently check the Scrolls category of the Auction House. This is where they can buy scrolls from which to learn spells. As with equipment, any usable ones will be indicated with bright yellow letters.

Cashing out in Conquest

Once you've reached level 10, you should have accumulated a fair number of Conquest Points. To see how many you have, open the game's menu, select Region Map, and check the number in the lower right-hand corner.

At level 10, you'll be able to equip the Rank 1 Conquest items from your nation, but that will occur later.

Please note empress bands are currently disabled

Useful common items are the Scroll of Instant Warp, which will instantly return you to your Home Point back in town, and the Scroll of Instant Reraise, which will let you rise from the dead once after you've used it. Provided you accrue enough Conquest Points, buying and reselling Rank 1 Conquest gear can be profitable or just save you money on your next purchase.

The Final Push

While gil, items and experience points can take you pretty far in Final Fantasy XI, they're not always the answer. Today we'll help you through some of your first major milestones before pushing you out of the proverbial nest.

Getting Your Support Job

The first major milestone for any player is getting his or her Support Job. Support Jobs are unlocked by completing one of two quests, each accessible once you reach Level 18 or higher. There is one in the town of Selbina, and another in the town of Mhaura. Because of players' tendency to gain a level while in Valkurm Dunes, it usually makes more sense to do the Selbina quest.

Support Selbina
In Selbina, find and talk to Isacio, an old man staring out to sea. He'll ask you to bring him three items: a Crab Apron, a Damselfly Worm and a Magicked Skull. All three of these items drop from popular experience monsters in Valkurm Dunes; you'll be fighting there from level 13 to 20.
Mhaura Madness
In Mhaura, find an old woman named Vera looking out to sea. To unlock your Support Job, you'll have to bring her three items: a Bloody Robe, some Dhalmel Saliva and a Wild Rabbit Tail.

To Jeuno!

You won't be able to accept the quest for your Chocobo License until you're at level 20, and the minute you hit 20 you'll want to head to Jeuno. Jeuno is a neutral city located between all three of the nations, and getting there the first time can be daunting, as the path is full of aggressive monsters. While it's best to do this in groups, one can get there on their own … if they're prepared. For all three paths to Jeuno, you'll want to bring items that allow you to go undetected by monsters. Silent Oil and Prism Powder can be found on the Auction House under the “Medicines” category, and you can get Scrolls of Instant Reraise from your nation's Conquest representative. While these will help, pretending you're Solid Snake is just as effective and will save you money.

From Bastok

Konschtat Highlands
From Bastok, you'll want to head through Gustaberg to Konschtat Highlands, an area you should've passed through many times now. If you haven't already, go to the Crag of Dem, that giant ceramic ruin in the center of the map, and check the crystal. This will allow you to teleport back here in the future. Head northeast to the Pashhow Marshlands exit. This is where things start to get rough.
Passhow Marshlands
The route through Pashhow Marshlands is pretty straight forward, but there are a lot of aggressive monsters here. Watch out for Quadavs, Goobbues and Malboros, all three of which are aggressive to sound, and Goblins, who attack on sight. You'll want to head North as much as possible, and will angle northeast towards the end into Rolanberry Fields.
Rolanberry Fields
Rolanberry Fields is the final area before you reach Jeuno, and is exceptionally easy to navigate: just follow the road north all the way to Jeuno. Of course, the road has a number of monsters watching it, so once again be on your guard. Quadavs and Goblins are the primary threat, which attack sound and sight, respectively.

From San d'Oria

La Theine Plateau
The route from San d'Oria to Jeuno is probably the most difficult of the three. Before leaving La Theine Plateau, check the Crag of Holla in the center of the map for a crystal that'll let you teleport back here at a later date. From there, head east to the Jugner Forest exit.
Jugner Forest
While there is a road leading through Jugner Forest, it can be pretty dangerous. The Tigers, Goblins and Orcish will all attack on sight, while the Walking Trees will attack sounds. Follow the road northeast until you reach Batallia Downs.
Batallia Downs
Once in Batallia Downs, you'll want to head directly east. Avoiding attacks is pretty easy here, thanks to the barrows and hilly terrain, but still be on the lookout for Tigers, Goblins and Orcish, all of which attack on sight.

From Windurst

Tahrongi Canyon
The route to Jeuno begins in Tahrongi Canyon. Windurstian's pilgrimage to the central city is the easiest of the three, but don't get cocky. In Tahrongi Canyon, be sure to check the crystal at the Crag of Mea, so you can teleport here later. With that out of the way, head north to Meriphataud Mountains.
Meriphataud Mountains
Meriphataud Mountains is barren not only of plants, but of aggressive monsters as well. Simply follow the road north the entire way, and you'll be one step closer to Jeuno.
Sauromugue Champaign
Sauromugue is perhaps the most dangerous of all the areas on the way to Jeuno, so take extra care when moving around. Follow the road, but don't be afraid to stray to avoid monsters as long as you keep the road in sight. Head to the northwest, avoiding the Yagudo, Tabar Beaks, Tigers, Goblins and Raptors. All of these attack on sight, and it's a long road.

Welcome To Jeuno!

Congratulations, you've made it to Jeuno! Behold the mighty architecture and engineering of this great city, but beware the omnipresent lag one finds in highly occupied areas like this. Set your homepoint here, as this will be your base of operations for some time.

Your first agenda in Jeuno is to get your Chocobo License. Head to Upper Jeuno, and look for the Chocobo Stables to the northeast, set a level below. Talk to Brutus to begin the quest.

Your goal is to nurse a Chocobo back to health. To do this you'll need four pieces of Gausebit Grass, which can be found on the Auction House in the Others/Misc. section. If none are in stock, you can wait or go try to get some of your own by killing Crane Flies in Meriphataud Mountains or Wadi Hares in Dangruf Wadi, all the way back near Bastok.

The Chocobo quest is spread out over six game days, which don't need to be done in succession. Each game day, trade one piece of Gausebit Grass to the Chocobo. For two days the emotionally scarred Chocobo will refuse your offerings, but will eat one each day after that. After feeding it all four pieces of Gausebit Grass, Brutus will reward your nurturing nature with a Chocobo License.

Now you'll be able to rent a Chocobo from the stables in any city for a small fee, greatly improving the speed at which you can move around. Additionally, there are Chocobo time trials available from each of the stables that give a variety of rewards, including experience points.

Questing Fame

Every city and town is busting with quests to complete; find them by talking to the NPCs. While many boil down to elaborate fetch quests, others tell the stories of the characters or can be quite entertaining. While you won't get rich doing quests, they can fund the early part of your career, and provide a number of essential spells and items as quest rewards, many of which can be sold if you can't use them yourself.

The most important part about doing quests isn't the quests themselves, but the “Fame” they bring. Fame is a hidden stat that is tracked in each town and in the world as a whole, and every time you complete a quest somewhere, your fame goes up. The higher your fame, the better quests you'll be able to do, some that increase the size of both your inventory and your house's Mog Safe. Additionally, any would-be Summoners will want to build Fame early, as they won't be able to fill out their menageries of summonable Avatars without it.

Missions: Innumerable

Missions are longer, more elaborate quests performed to advance your national rank or the global story. While your rank within your nation doesn't mean much, many players may look at it as an indication of your competence, so it's best not to get too far behind on these missions. Attaining a higher rank not only rewards you with gil, but also unlocks more gear that can be bought with Conquest Points. But, really, the more important benefit is that you'll be able to ride the airship once you reach rank 5, allowing rapid transport between Jeuno and the three nations.

Each nations offers 10 rank quests, each of which contains multiple missions. Completing expansion missions opens up new areas you'll want much later in the game, but it doesn't hurt to start now - Chains of Promathia missions can be started around level 30, whileRise of the Zilart missions can be started once you get Rank 6 around level 50.

new/first-time.txt · Last modified: 2016/06/17 14:40 by vavaud