How’s it going, internet? I’ve had an amazing four days in Vana‘diel and I’ve been preparing to write this third journal entry all along. So much stuff has happened! I can’t believe it’s possible to cram so much in such a short period of time. In my journeys, I’ve discovered a lot of new things that I wish I had known before returning, so before we delve into what I’ve been up to, I want to start off with a focus on returning players, particularly those with new characters to build up. It took me awhile to get the hang of this stuff, but this should give you a good basis for more efficient play from level 1 and on.
– TEN TIPS FOR RETURNING TO FFXI –
1. Survival Guides – (level 1+) – This is a new teleportation system. You will find these floating books all over the place and they appear on the map. Read them. Using gil or tabs you can teleport between any two books that you’ve discovered This has made everything so much easier to accomplish. Seriously, if you see one, stop what you are doing and read it. More teleport points only benefit you.
2. Home Point Crystal Teleports – (Level 1+) – Returning players will remember home point crystals. They’ve been improved! Similar to survival guides, you can teleport between any two previously discovered crystals for gil. If you are in a city affected by the Super Kupower “Thrifty Transit”, you can move between crystals for free! This makes accomplishing missions a simple task.
3. Fields of Valor – (Level 1+) – You probably remember Fields of Valor. You were constantly reading the floating book, getting pages that told you to kill certain mobs for experience. These are still in the game, but with the added bonus of the pages automatically repeating. No more pausing your party to run back to the book. As a reminder, these books allow you to earn tabs which can be used for various field supports. My favorite is “Repatriation” which will send you back to your home nation. It’s good to be familiar with every method of travel.
3. Records of Eminence – (Level 1+) – Go into your quest menu and do the tutorial for this. It will send you to a certain NPC who will explain the system in detail. To make it simple, it’s like having Fields of Valor right in your own quest menu. You can choose what “quest” you want to accomplish and you are rewarded experience and Sparks of Eminence, Capacity Points, and Unity Points – all new forms of currency that can be traded for armor! The “quests” range from things like “Kill 10 enemies” to “complete Bastok Mission 1-1”. Couple these with Field of Valor pages on the battlefield and you’ll be flying through the levels. The RoE NPC in your starter town has awesome armor sets you can get with those sparks so utilize this!
4. Rhapsodies of Vana’diel – (Level 1+, Rank 3, Lower levels will need help with battles) – This is like a final storyline for the game that ties all other heros together for one last mission. I recommend getting started on this immediately after getting to rank 3 (required). You will receive two key items along the way that will permanently boost your experience gain and skill-ups as well as lower the costs of all those previously mentioned teleporting options. Once you’ve gotten past the first NM, you’ll need rank 6 to continue. I haven’t gotten there just yet.
5. Trusts – (Level 1+) – I mentioned this in the last post, but it’s worth mentioning again. Imagine having a full party at your disposal anytime. That’s what these do. There is an NPC in your starter city who will give you a simple quest. Afterwards, you will gain trust magic and the ability to summon a follower of sorts. You can’t interact with them much, but they will engage in combat with you after your first melee on a mob. They come in all different job categories so you can make up a party of your preference. I HIGHLY recommend traveling to all three starter cities and doing these quests for your first three trusts. As you progress through Rhapsodies of Vana’diel, you will unlock the ability to call four trusts and eventually five of them, completing your party.
6. Kazham sans Airship Pass – (Level 1+) – You can totally get to Kazham without an airship pass! Rhapsodies of Vana’diel has a mission that will teleport you to Norg very early on (at the price of three bee pollen). Make sure you get the home point and survival guide there. Once you’ve got the chocobo license, teleport to Norg and ride your chocobo to Kazham. Grab the survival guide there and you are all set to never need that airship pass! You’re welcome.
7. New Subjob Quest – (Level 18+) - Following that Rhapsodies line has a lot of benefits. Those three bee pollen will also get you a Gilgamesh Pass which can be traded to the subjob NPC to unlock subjobs. No more farming those annoying items.
8. Unities – (Level 1+) – Near the Records of Emergence NPC will be another NPC who will allow you to join a Unity. You will have a separate chat menu for your Unity group and it will be led by a famous NPC (mine is led by Maat). Joining a unity will open more options under your Records of Emergence quests! As a bonus, Maat became a trust for some reason, so now he helps me fight.
9. Festive Moogle – (Level 1+) – This is in regards to the Seeker’s Collection. You should have gotten a code of some sort and registered it on the Square Enix site. If you visit a Festive Moogle, you will receive a Destrier Beret and Chocobo Shirt that give you huge advantages for up to level 30. I didn’t know about this when I bought the game and it took an angry email, but I got a reply with my codes this morning.
10. Login Points – (Level 1+) – You will receive yet another form of currency called login points. You get these for, well, logging in every day. They can be used at a Greeter Moogle for various items. My favorite is the Goblin Stew 880 which can be traded to Bluffnix in Jueno to increase inventory capacity. This is also a campaign, so it comes and goes.
Bonus: A beastmaser can’t use tame with a trust out. 😦
So there you have it! Ten tips for new players. I hope this helps you on your journeys because a guide like this would have come in real handy a week ago. I’ve seen a lot of things out there saying what you should do, but nothing that really breaks down those learning experiences from the first few days returning to the game.
Speaking of my return to the game, I have had a busy time leveling. For those keeping tabs, I finally managed to unlock corsair. It took some doing, but I farmed all six subjob items with beastmaster, and then headed over to Al Zhabi. Using red mage for sneak/invisible, I did the corsair quest solo. I also managed to unlock dancer. That was a challenge in its own right because it requires traveling back in time through Wings of The Goddess cavernous maws, which I haven’t done in years. Neither quest was too difficult.
In any event, I am currently a 47 beastmaster. Dancer is at 49 and will stay there as my preferred subjob. Corsair is at 26 now and I will probably wait until I’ve broken all the level caps before I come back to it. I’m having such a blast with beastmaster! Once I hit 47, I headed back to Bastok and started working on some of the missions I mentioned above. Getting rank 3 was a snap because I’d already visited the other starter cities and those teleporting options definitely paid off!
I have to give some shout outs here: Newkazel helped me with Mission 2-3 BCNM. I feel like I could’ve done it solo, but I always like a guaranteed win. Having his trusts made it even easier! Clydeburrow helped me out with RoV mission 1-2-3’s NM, Yztarg. Another simple fight I probably could have done solo. I say that because not everyone has assistance. You can handle these things without much issue. I also got to do some leveling in Delkfutt’s Tower with Chrysothemis. It was a pretty cool party with the two of us and 4 trusts. Trust magic is simply amazing.
As fast as the leveling goes, I was still feeling a bit burned out from it, so last night I sat down to figure out what was going on with this Fantastic Fraulein event. I’d seen a lot of people running around with a Mumor trust so my LS explained the event. You are supposed to talk to a moogle, and then watch a play. (I guess you would call it a play. Re-enactment, maybe?) As the main character performs dance attacks, you are supposed to perform them as well by using /dance emotes while targeting the enemy. Doing it correctly (repeatedly) gets you rewards culminating with Mumor as a trust.
Where am I now? Geared up and ready to level beastmaster in Altepa. The level 50 limit break quest has changed, as well. Instead of farming three items from mobs, you can now acquire the items by finding ??? points in three different zones. I’ll need spectral jig for that, so once I hit 50 I’ll be able to go on and break the cap.
This return to Vana’diel has been interesting for all of these reasons. I can see why it would be intimidating to come back or to start playing for the first time. Thirteen years ago, you could just login and figure it out. I remember discovering macros for the first time and coding my own weapon skills. Experience was slow back then, especially starting out as a white mage. It took me the better part of a week to reach level 10. Even in those simpler times, players were turned off by FFXI’s learning curve. I hate to think of what they would feel logging in now, in an age where the system message covers half your screen, new RoE quests are popping up, fireworks are blasting in the background, and people are standing around watching an NPC dance. Couple that with /say, /shout, /linkshell1, /linkshell2, and /unity chat flooding your text box and the game can be overwhelming at times. (Not that all of these things are mandatory.)
Nostalgia has an interesting effect on us. We all remember how the game used to be and look back on it with rose tinted glasses because we grew up playing it, but the changes have really made it better. My linkshell has been nothing less than amazing at helping me out so far. Without them, I wouldn’t have gotten where I am so quickly. I’m not referring to power leveling or helping kill NM’s or anything like that, either. They help most of all by providing me information. Yes, I could look it up online, but to hear from first-hand experience helped a great deal. This is what Square-Enix wanted to accomplish in this game from the beginning. It is the reason we had the six man party system. This game, above all else, was meant to be social. It seems that aspect has been absolutely perfected. Complain all you want about nerfs and the way things used to be, but always keep in mind that whether you are complaining, bragging, joking around, or you’re just excited to be back, there is someone on the other end listening. We are a community, just as intended. Well played, Square-Enix. Well played.