I’ve been playing FFXIV since September. Not none stop, but rather here and there when I have time. Lately I’ve had to put a few two week long moratoriums on gaming so I could get some writing work done. So I’m not that high of a level. That means less in the context of FFXIV than you might think.
I started with the open beta which was slow but had huge rewards (more xp and way more money). Played through the pre-order game time, into the full on release and with all the updates so far. My little computer played with everything ramped up but very slowly. So I turned off everything and slowly turned on video and sound options one at a time to find a good optimum. With each update I’ve been able to turn on more options. Right now I keep shadows and dust off. Everything else is on.
And it’s beautiful. I haven’t done much exploring yet except in Thanalan, the region in which Ul’dah is located. It has least one small port town which I haven’t been to since the beta, camps and some hidden gypsy like camps. The area is riddled with caves that may have a hidden camp, monsters or be portal to another region. The area is vast I doubt I’ll get to all of it but I’m going to try.
I started a Hyur Goldsmith..she’s a lowlander since females can’t be highlanders. I have a Moon Mi’quote and a plains Lalafell left over from the beta. Unlike FFXI, you can’t do all of the starting cities quest with just one character so there is a high probability I’ll bring them back. Now you have a physical level and job level. The physical level goes up and you get stat points to you get to assign. Your job level gives you powers, skill and access to quests. My combined total of levels is somewhere in the 30’s, but that means nothing. Physical levels up all the time. The job level only levels if you are that job and you’re doing that job’s skills. You change jobs by equipping the main tool for that job. My current physical level is 14. Most of my job levels are in Goldsmith and Gladiator…but I’ve got at least one level in about 7 other jobs. That’s not all of them either.
The character creation process and the huge amount of customized items means that it is very unlikely you’ll see your double. My character’s first incarnation (beta) had black hair with red highlights but I changed that to gold hair with shiny gold highlights. There are basic tattoo options, eye colors, facial features, and skin color. Once your in the game crafting allows items to be customized with color, accents and materials. Right now I have blue shirt and red pants. My shoes are matching red leather. My shirt has brown accents. Jewelry shows up on the character including rings and chokers.
There is a fatigue system in FFxiv. I’ve haven’t seen it’s effects at all. I’ve been slowly accumulating items for each job. So say I get a leviquest for Camp Black Bush. I clear my inventory by crafting anything I have the materials for (Eorizapedia is great for this) by searching for the material in the wiki and check out my level range for the recipes. I make all I can for a goldsmith and maybe level once or twice. I do the same for weaver and alchemist. Then I change into a gladiator and run to the camp (I don’t have to run. I could just teleport…once you touch a crystal you can always teleport there but you only have so many points to do this.) I kill things along the way avoiding the large land dragons that might be sitting in low level areas. If I see a gathering or mining spot along the way I switch out and mine or gather. I get to the camp and do the leviquest in whatever job it calls for. Rinse Repeat. I have a few that I can’t get to yet. I just keep those on the back burner.
So far, intensely fun. Yes, finding items is a crap shoot without a search but not undoable. Money is scarce with level one equipment sometimes costing in the tens of thousands but it’s not hard to make. Unlike anything else with name Final Fantasy, talking to everyone in town doesn’t yield anything but warnings, complaints and the occasional pickup line (the language in this game is above PG-13). So far thought I’m loving it. It’s different and engaging. I have only begun to explore the world.