|This article is only a guide. Information expressed in a guide is usually more opinion than fact and should be taken as such. Guides are written by players, based upon their experiences, successes and mistakes, and are meant to aid other players. However, there may be differing opinions than those expressed in a guide. |
Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.
Welcome to Vana'diel! We hope you'll stay.
While this guide is useful for beginners and returning players, it is not a tutorial on how to play the game, and it will not tell you how to play your job properly. FFXI is a very complex game, and there is no substitute for joining a helpful linkshell and doing your own research.
Last major update 10/9/17: Major cleanup, finalizing the Adoulin section, etc. I haven't played the game in over a year, but I've been following the content updates and it seems to have stabilized.
If you are entirely new to FFXI, it's recommended you go through the Tutorial NPC quests to get used to the UI.
The concept of Aggro is vital to master and it comes first. Knowing your limitations and abilities regarding what monsters will become aggressive to you will save you a lot of exp, time, and frustration.
- Not all mobs will aggro. Consult the mob's page on this wiki to see if it does aggro.
- Hearing-aggro mobs like Quadav, Bats, Skeletons, and Oozes will aggro you if you are within an 8' radius of them.
- Standing still will not avoid aggro. Walking slowly will not avoid aggro. You must be further than 8' from these mobs at all times to avoid aggro.
- Sneak (Status Effect) will protect you from aggroing these mobs. You can get this from the Sneak spell, Spectral Jig, using Silent Oil, or buying Circumspection from a Grounds Tome.
- Sight-aggro mobs like Goblins, Yagudo, Insects, and Coeurl will aggro you if you are within their cone of vision and less than 15' away.
- You can run behind or beside these mobs to avoid aggro, but if they turn or begin moving, they may spot you.
- Invisible (Status Effect) will protect you from aggroing these mobs. You can get this from the Invisible spell, Spectral Jig, Hide, using Prism Powder, or buying Circumspection from a Grounds Tome.
- Taking any action whatsoever will remove Invisible, including using a Sneak effect. Apply Sneak before applying Invisible if you need both.
- It is impossible to interact with objects or NPCs (including doors and chests) while invisible. To manually remove Invisible, press F twice and then select the effect.
- Magic-aggro mobs like Elementals, Bombs, Evil Weapons, and other Arcana will aggro you if you begin to cast a spell within 20' of them.
- HP-aggro mobs like Skeletons, Ghosts, and other Undead will aggro you if your HP is below 75% and you are within 20' of them.
- It is recommended to top off your HP when moving through a zone with undead in it.
- Some mobs possess True Hearing and True Sight, which will ignore Sneak and Invisible.
Mobs will only aggro you if you can gain Experience Points from them. If you /check a mob and it is "Too weak to be worthwhile," then it will not aggro. Depending on your level, mobs 7-40 levels below you will be Too Weak. Level 60 mobs will always aggro, even when you are level 99. Healing (using /heal) will temporarily drop your level to 1 for the purposes of calculating aggro. You can often /heal with Sneak/Invis on, but if the reason you are healing is to get out of red HP while there are skeletons around, it's probably safer to pop Instant Reraise before you commit yourself to the healing stance.
Macros and Commands
FFXI is a menu-based game. Literally everything is accessed through either the main menu or the battle menu, but most things can be typed in as a command as well. If you try to select Magic > Black Magic > Blizzard IV > [target] in the middle of combat, you're going to have a bad time. Thus, the second skill to master is writing macros.
Macros are used by pressing CTRL or ALT and F1-F12 (so 24 macros are usable at any given time). Accessing different macro bars is achieved by pressing CTRL or ALT and up or down; there are 10 macro bars per book, for a total of 240.
Writing macros is done by selecting Macros in the second main menu and selecting the appropriate book. Macro books can be copied and renamed, and individual macros can be copied as well, along with macro lines. Each macro has a maximum of 6 lines, which will be entered into the chat as commands. It is recommended to write a macro for every ability/spell you use often.
Some commands to know:
- Job ability: /ja "Sneak Attack" <me> or /ja "Quickstep" <t>
- Spell: /ma "Haste" <stpt> or /ma "Fire II" <stnpc>
- Weaponskill: /ws "Fast Blade" <t> or /ws "Fell Cleave" <stnpc>
- Item: /item "Olde Rarab Tail" <t> or /item "Warp Ring" <me>
- Equip: /equip head "Destrier Beret" or /equip ring2 "Rajas Ring"
- Equipset: /equipset 8
- Chat: /p Pulling <t> <call14>
- Ranged attack: /ra <t>
- Pet commands: /pet "Fight" <stnpc> or /pet "Restoring Breath" <me>
Single-word commands such as /pet Fight <stnpc> do not require quotes, but anything with two or more words must have quotes. It's a good idea to always use them.
Targets to know:
- Current target: <t>
- Self: <me>
- Selection of NPC/enemy: <stnpc>
- Selection of PC: <stpc>
- Selection of alliance member: <stal>
- Selection of party member: <stpt>
- Pet: <pet>
AoE weaponskills and spells are recommended to use <stnpc> rather than <t> because it confers greater control -- an unintentional AoE could grab several nearby mobs and lead to a wipe.
There is a minimum time between most actions, so if you wish to use several in sequence, add <wait 1> to the end of each line to insert an appropriate delay. For example:
- /equipset 2
- /ja "Sneak Attack" <me> <wait 1>
- /ws "Viper Bite" <t> <wait 1>
- /equipset 1
Death costs a marginal amount of EXP. When you die and are Raised, for the next five minutes you will be Weakened. Your attacks will be half as fast, and your HP/MP will be capped at 25%. If you die while you are weakened and are raised again, you will be "double-weakened." Your Ranged Attack/Accuracy and Magic Attack/Accuracy will be set to 0 until it wears off.
Most of the time, this mechanic makes little difference. While leveling you can typically reach the camp again within 5 minutes from Home Point, and in endgame combat 5 minutes of cooldown can cripple a party. If your Reraise is triggered while questing, you should summon a WHM Alter Ego such as Kupipi to top off your HP.
If you cannot survive a single mob attack before you are cured, it can be useful to find a quiet place away from potential aggro mobs, and /heal (or press H). While you are in the Healing stance your HP/MP Recovered While Healing will increase by 1 every 10 seconds.
Signet, Sigil, Sanction, Ionis
Before you leave town, always get Signet from a Conquest Overseer. It lasts several hours and earns you Conquest Points, which you can use to buy scrolls of Instant Reraise and Instant Warp, EXP rings, Warp Ring, and trust ciphers. Signet, Sigil, Sanction, and Ionis offer benefits when they are active in their respective regions, such as causing monsters to occasionally drop Crystals, boosting EXP, or boosting passive stats. In Shadowreign, you should buy Instant Retrace along with Sigil.
Records of Eminence
Records of Eminence is a system that rewards adventurer-like behavior, such as earning crystals from enemies, doing 500 damage at once, harvesting, completing endgame content, and so on. You must select objectives to work towards in the Quest menu before you can earn credit for the objective. Completing objectives will earn you EXP and Sparks, which can be redeemed in towns for level 1-117 equipment, Instant Warp/Reraise scrolls, and skill-increasing books. Skill books are often in demand by other players, making it an easy source of gil.
The first time you complete an objective, you will earn 3x the normal reward, and typically an accessory or piece of armor as well. Completing the tier I objective is usually required to unlock higher-tier objectives. Time-limited objectives appear 3 times a day and reward A.M.A.N vouchers, which may be exchanged for most currencies.
It is recommended to purchase all of your 1-98 leveling gear using Sparks, and then a starter set of iLevel 117 gear at 99.
Unity Concord is an instanced combat system, that has benefits usable immediately. You can join a Unity after completing 10 Records of Eminence objectives, and thereafter will earn Accolades along with Sparks. Accolades can be used at the Unity NPC to teleport to many regions, without having been there first, making it a uniquely useful option for starting players. Earning enough Accolades in a Conquest Tally will temporarily grant you an Alter Ego of your Unity leader.
Trust NPCs, known as Alter Egos, will fight alongside you when summoned. You must be level 5 to complete the initial Trust quest, and additional Alter Egos can be unlocked through many different methods, such as completing missions and quests, purchasing Trust Ciphers, or participating in limited-time events. In particular, 6 Alter Egos can be immediately unlocked through the Records of Eminence Tutorial. Alter Egos will be summoned at your level (or the item level of your main weapon).
The following early-availability Alter Egos can cast healing magic: Excenmille, Kupipi, Valaineral, Mihli Aliapoh, Adelheid, Joachim.
Up to three Alter Egos can be summoned at one time, and each uses its own spell with its own 4-minute cooldown. They will disappear when you change zones, but the spells will automatically refresh. A particularly nice feature is that they will spawn with full HP/MP; Alter Egos can be unsummoned with the "/refa <t>" command, or "/refa all". Alter Egos are not always available in battlefields or alternate dimensions. Completing Rhapsodies of Vana'diel Missions can increase the number of Alter Egos you may summon to 4 and then 5.
Home Points, Survival Guides
You can set your Home Point to any Conquest Overseer, any Home Point crystal, and any Mog House exit (if you change jobs first). You will be teleported there when you die, use any form of Warp, or use Homing Instinct from a Grounds Tome.
All Home Points also operate as teleports to each other. You can teleport for free to any Home Point within the city, and all other teleports will cost 500 gil (or 1000 gil to outside maps). Many of the outside Home Points are positioned conveniently near the entrance to major battlefields, so when you see one, don't hesitate to activate it. A full list can be found at the Home Point page.
Every Outpost contains a Survival Guide, which can teleport you to any other Survival Guide activated for a small fee in gil or tabs. These can also be found scattered all throughout the world, so be sure to activate as many as you can. Between Home Points, Survival Guides, and Unity warps, you will have quick access to 75% of the world right away.
Fields/Grounds of Valor
In most regions of the Middle Lands, you will find Field Manuals near major zone entrances (such as outside city gates) and by every Outpost. In most dungeons and caverns (not Davoi, Beadeaux, or Castle Oztroja) you will find Grounds Tomes. Both will offer training regimens, instructing you to defeat a certain number of mobs. Doing so will net you EXP, gil, and tabs, and cause the regimen to repeat. If you complete multiple regimens in a Vana'diel day you will only get EXP after the first.
Leveling in FFXI is so easy it's hilarious. Going from 1 to 75 used to take months. Nowadays, if you know what you're doing, you can go from 1 to 99 in a day, but even for a starting-out player it should only take a few weeks. The "original" FFXI experience involved struggling through missions with friends in a "static" party, and you will occasionally find veterans who reflect fondly on those days. One drawback is that you must coordinate your schedule with multiple people. At level 99, most storylines won't require a party setup until you get to later missions in Seekers of Adoulin or Rhapsodies of Vana'diel. FFXI has a very friendly community, and if you've joined a good Linkshell and have trouble with something, there's a good chance that someone will be able to help you out with it. Using /yell inside a city can often net you helpful party members.
Vana'diel is huge and the landmarks can be hard to find. All magical maps can now be purchased from vendors, and will allow you to use Wide Scan to find nearby monsters. You can also see Home Points and Survival Guides, which will slowly flash if they have not been activated.
There are Auction Houses in every major city, plus Norg and Rabao. You can list up to seven items at a time. You cannot see the asking price of the item you want to buy, and instead must make an offer based on how much it is worth to you and the recent price history. For example, if you really really badly need an Iolite for The Gobbiebag Part VI, and offering 50k doesn't do the trick even though the last 10 sales show 50k, you may want to go up to 60k or 70k. But if you find that lack of gil is a common cause for delay in your mission progress, it would be wise to adopt smart economic practices, such as waiting for the price of an expensive item to go down, or farming the item yourself using your 99THF. Personally, my policy is to sell all useless items to the NPC if the difference between the resale price and the AH price is less than 10,000. This keeps my inventory continually free of clutter and ready for more monster drops, and saves spots in my AH for more expensive items to sell.
Unlike in the past, all of the Auction Houses in the three nations, Norg, Rabao, Jeuno, Aht Urhgan, and Adoulin are linked together. Arbitrage is now impossible, but items are cheaper and more plentiful as a result.
Not all items are sellable on the Auction House, even when they aren't , but instead must be traded or Bazaared. Generally speaking, while the price may fluctuate, farming Dynamis currency, Alexandrite, and High-purity Bayld are reliable ways to earn gil from other players.
Your Gobbiebag (main inventory) can hold up to 30 items at first. You also have a Mog Case which can hold 80 items, and two Mog Wardrobes which each hold 80 weapons or armor; equipment in Mog Wardrobe can still be equipped. You can purchase a Mog Sack from Artisan Moogle for 98,000 gil.
Later on, when your Jeuno Fame is up to 10, you can begin The Gobbiebag Part I and expand your inventory. Fully expanded, it will hold up to 80 items, and after every expansion you can have the Artisan Moogle expand your Mog Sack for free. The items for each quest can be expensive on the Auction House, however. Each quest can also be completed with Goblin Stew 880, which is sometimes available as a Repeat Login Campaign reward or in your Mog Garden.
The Missions page lists all of the major storylines in FFXI. Some minor storylines can be uncovered in Quests. Some parts of the game, like Dynamis, require you to be a certain Rank in your nation. You can personally track your progress by checking for Current or Completed Missions in the menu. Some missions only become available by increasing your Rank Bar. Trading about 2-6 crystals to a Conquest Overseer will suffice to fill up your Rank. The San d'Oria, Bastok, and Windurst stories can be completed one after another by Immigrating after reaching Rank 10.
It is recommended to do every mission in the game, preferably in order. To make things easier, I personally recommend getting to level 99 first, but many stories can be completed as early as level 50. Every storyline cleared in Records of Eminence confers a permanent +10% boost to EXP and Capacity Points. Progress in Rhapsodies of Vana'diel is only possible after reaching certain points in the city missions, Chains of Promathia, Treasures of Aht Urhgan, Wings of the Goddess, and Seekers of Adoulin. The Rhapsodies awarded as key items confer substantial boosts and should be obtained as soon as possible. However, saving Rhapsodies of Vana'diel for last can enhance your experience of the story.
- If this is your first job: Begin Records of Eminence and purchase some starting equipment. Use the Tutorial NPC, which will net you six Meat Jerky, a Conquest Promotion Voucher, and a Raising Earring, which are very handy; with the voucher, you can get a free Empress Band. Grab Signet, find the floating Field Manual outside the city gate, and take up an Individual Training regimen to start earning tabs. Once you hit level 5, be sure to complete the Trust quest for your nation, and then unlock the 6 Trusts available through the RoE Tutorial page. Once you complete 10 RoE objectives, join a Unity to allow for easy teleports; I recommend Flaviria (huge damage-dealer) or Apururu (best healer).
- Level 1-10: Level in the starting areas: West Ronfaure, East Sarutabaruta, or North Gustaberg. Enemies will get tougher the farther away from the city you are.
- Level 10-20: You will find tougher mobs two zones away from your city: La Theine Plateau, Konschtat Highlands, Tahrongi Canyon. The Huge Wasps in Konschtat Highlands and the Mandragoras in Tahrongi Canyon drop items necessary for chapter 1-1 of Rhapsodies of Vana'diel, which you should do right away for an EXP boost and to summon 4 Trusts.
- Level 30-45: Upper Delkfutt's Tower is good for 30-35, and Crawlers' Nest for the rest. Garlaige Citadel and The Eldieme Necropolis are alternatives, but not preferred due to blood aggro skeletons. While in Upper Delkfutt, be sure to kill Porphyrion for the Delkfutt Key.
- Level 45-85: Escha - Zi'Tah contains mobs that go all the way up to level 89. Chapter 1-2 of Rhapsodies of Vana'diel will give you another EXP boost and can be done around level 48.
- Level 85-92: Dangruf Wadi has Natty Gibbons and Trimmers, that drop Fossilized Fang and Seasoning Stone, which you will need for your final Limit Break quest.
A fully-optimized list of my favorite leveling spots can be found on my Speedrun Notes, though it is extra concise.
Level 5: Trust
See the Trust section above for information.
Level 18: Support Job Quest
After level 18 you can unlock support jobs through either Elder Memories in Selbina, or The Old Lady in Mhaura. Keeping a subjob leveled in pace with your main job (that is, at least half the level of your main job) will almost literally double your battle effectiveness.
Level 20: Chocobo License
Immediately after obtaining your license, complete Full Speed Ahead! to obtain Raptor Mount, which can be summoned anytime in the field and is as fast as a chocobo. (Note: You will need to purchase Map of the Jeuno Area from M&P's Market first.)
Level 30: Abyssea
Zone into Port Jeuno for A Journey Begins. Follow the steps in that mission and the next two until you reach a point where Joachim begins stocking Traverser Stones for you (you will need a LOT of these when you go to do the Abyssea missions, so it's best to begin stocking them now). You will not spend much time inside Abyssea until later, and as a result will not be able to accumulate cruor, which is necessary for teleportation to the Abyssea Maws, but as long as you have a Traverser Stone in your possession, you will be able to check the nine maws for a cutscene to unlock their use.
Now that you are level 30 and Joachim is creating Traverser Stones, it is time to choose a job setup that you will be using for solo content, such as Missions. You have several options, and not all of them are created equal. These are sorted in order from most effective to least, though some of it is my personal opinion.
SMN/SCH: Summoners summon powerful avatars to fight for them. Garuda can use Predator Claws for massive damage as well as Fleet Wind for movement speed and Aerial Armor for Blink, and Shiva can use Sleepga. When your avatar dies, you can simply summon it again. Subbing /SCH gives you a few rudimentary spells and Sublimation, which can act as a second MP bank. When you run low on MP you can use your second 1-hour Astral Conduit, which refills your MP and allows you to spam blood pacts.
- Complete I Can Hear a Rainbow to unlock SMN.
- Complete A Little Knowledge to unlock SCH.
BST/DNC: Beastmasters fight primarily by sending their pets out to do damage, while they hang back, issue commands, and heal (though they can fight alongside their pets just fine). If you can keep your pet alive, you're basically invincible, and so BSTs are generally regarded as the kings of solo. However, there is some gil upkeep involved if you use Call Beast to call out pets with buyable jugs, and Reward to restore HP with buyable pet food. Subbing /DNC allows you to heal yourself with TP using Curing Waltz III, remove status effects with Healing Waltz, and use Spectral Jig for free sneak/invis; Dual Wield also allows you to equip two axes, for further stat bonuses.
- Complete Lakeside Minuet to unlock DNC.
DRG/RDM: Dragoons fight more directly, with their wyvern fighting alongside them. If you are at 33% HP (or 50% with Drachen Armet), casting a spell will cause your wyvern to heal you. DRG/RDM can spam spells like Barstone for heals upwards of 500 HP for 6 MP, and can keep their MP up with Refresh. They can also transfer HP from themselves to the wyvern with Spirit Link to keep it alive. In a pinch, you can use Super Jump to completely lose the enemy's attention, causing it to focus on your wyvern while you run away or heal, but this only works on single enemies. Subbing /RDM or /WHM allows you to cast Sneak and Invisible on yourself.
- Complete The Holy Crest to unlock DRG.
RDM/BLM: Red Mages are a spellcaster/warrior hybrid. They can do decent damage with a sword and can equip shields, can buff and heal themselves, have the most powerful enfeebles in the game, and maintain their MP with Refresh II. Subbing /BLM gives access to Sleepga, which will cause everything in the area to fall asleep, as well as Warp and Escape, which are extremely useful while exploring or questing. Phalanx II, Protect V, Shell V, and Cure IV go a long way in keeping you alive.
DNC/NIN: Dancers do everything using TP, so there is no risk of running out of MP when you need a heal. Curing Waltz V cures for around 900 HP per 80% TP, they can remove debuffs with Healing Waltz, and they can build TP extremely quickly using No Foot Rise, Steps and Reverse Flourish. Sub /NIN for the extremely useful Utsusemi: Ichi and Utsusemi: Ni, which grant you shadow images that absorb attacks and can be used 2-3 times a minute.
- Complete Ayame and Kaede to unlock NIN.
Anything/NIN: The Ninja spells Utsusemi: Ichi and Utsusemi: Ni allow jobs to take more hits than normal, but without a source of healing you will need to finish fights quickly, and you will need to stock ninja tools in order to use your Sneak and Invisible. This is best against heavy-hitting NMs.
Recommended: It may be worth your while to get Thief to 99 as well for Treasure Hunter, which can drastically cut time farming monster drops. To maximize your TH, you can pick up a Thief's Knife from the Auction House. Obtaining Assassin's Armlets/Assassin's Armlets +2 and Raider's Poulaines +2 is also helpful but very time-consuming.
Level 40: Adoulin
At this point I highly recommend beginning The Geomagnetron, with a Geomagnetic Fount easily accessible in Crawlers' Nest. Once you get your Pioneer's Badge you will begin accumulating Imprimaturs every 6 hours, and can hold up to 15 at a time. You will need to expend 80 of them to unlock the whole story, so it is best to begin early. (You can also expend them by taking on Coalition Assignments, and do not have to complete them immediately.)
Level 50: Limit Breaks
Learn how to /yell in Jeuno, because you'll need help with your Limit Break quests. They begin at level 50 with In Defiant Challenge and must be done every 5 levels until 99. If you reach level cap and get to 1 EXP from next level, you can complete a Limit Break quest, clear a Limit Break RoE objective to quickly level, and then complete the next one right away.
Level 60: Magicite
To complete LB3, you must be on the Magicite mission (rank 4) and obtain the key items. You also must have access to the Tenshodo, which can be bought with a Tenshodo Invite from the Auction House. Alternatively, purchase 15 Millioncorn or 25 La Theine Cabbages, then head to Selbina and do Only the Best five times, then complete the Tenshodo Membership quest.
Level 75: Merits
Beginning at level 75, you will need to unlock the Merit Points system. You can toggle between earning Experience Points or Limit Points while fighting mobs, or let the game automatically adjust you once you reach your EXP cap. 10,000 Limit Points earns you 1 Merit Point, and these can be expended in your Mog House (or at Nomad Moogle) to permanently increase stats and unlock job-specific abilities and traits. Some categories have a maximum number of enhancements; they can be decreased at any time, but expended Merits will not be returned.
A total of 22 Merit Points are needed to complete all the Limit Break quests after 75.
Level 96: Merit Weaponskills
At level 96 you may assign Merit Points to new, powerful Weapon Skills. These are worth looking into. Also, recheck your abilities, as you gain a new SP ability at 96.
Level 99: Sparks Gear
Be sure to obtain a full set of iLevel 117 gear from RoE, including a weapon.
Solo-Friendly Key Items
Many places in Vana'diel used to require additional players to access. A series of updates have made the following areas accessible while solo:
- Obtain the Pouch of weighted stones from Garlaige Citadel (G-8) to open Banishing Gates by yourself.
- Give 10,000 gil to Churano-Shurano in Windurst Waters North (F-8) to receive Magicked astrolabe, which allows you to open gates in Eldieme Necropolis by yourself.
- Obtain the Rhinostery Certificate through the series of quests beginning with Food for Thought to enable access to Toraimarai Canal, which will enable you to complete Windurst Mission 3-2 by yourself. After completing Mission 3-2, trade a Rolanberry to Kupipi in Heavens Tower to obtain the Portal Charm, which will open Three Mage Gate.
- While on Mission 3-3 for any nation, trade a Delkfutt Key to a door that needs it to obtain the Delkfutt Key--you may discard the Delkfutt Key afterward--which will allow you to complete 3-3 in other nations without climbing the tower.
- Complete the Open Sesame quest to obtain a Loadstone, which will allow you to open the weighted doors in Quicksand Caves by yourself, which is necessary for some Bastok missions if you are not a Galka.
In the Researchers from the West quest, you can activate Proto-Waypoints in Ru'Lude Gardens, Selbina, Mhaura, Rabao and Norg, allowing quick teleportation between them. Continual use of the Proto-Waypoint requires a deposit of crystals. In the two follow-up quests, you can unlock Geomagnetic Founts around the world to allow teleportation there. This is not a terribly efficient use of time anymore, but certain areas are tedious to reach from a Home Point or Survival Guide.
Norg can be reached from the first few Rhapsodies of Vana'diel Missions. Kazham can be reached via Unity warp to Yuhtunga Jungle. Certain doors in Sea Serpent Grotto require a Silver Beastcoin, Mythril Beastcoin, or Gold Beastcoin; keep one of each in your Mog Sack. Flame spouts in Ifrit's Cauldron go down every 15 minutes or if you trade an Ice Cluster to it. Den of Rancor can be reached via Unity Warp, or by acquiring a Paintbrush of Souls. Sacrificial Chamber can be accessed by lighting four torches with a Tonberry Lantern, but it's highly recommended you just /yell for someone to open it from the inside; there is a Home Point to activate.
Complete The Road to Aht Urhgan to obtain a Boarding Permit, which will allow you to ride the Mhaura Open sea route to Al Zahbi. You can skip the ferry by teleporting directly to Wajaom Woodlands via Unity warp. Begin Land of Sacred Serpents to begin unlocking Staging Points. These can be teleported to via Chamber of Passage after having used their Runic Portals to return.
Trading Moblin Oil to a ??? in Halvung (J-8) will get you a Bracelet of verve, which allows you to open the lever-operated doors. You can also pick up a Cast Metal Plate while in Mount Zhayolm, which allows you to cross from one side of the zone to another.
Complete the mission Cavernous Maws to unlock the first Crystal War Maw. These are different than the Cavernous Maws which lead to Abyssea (namely, they are frozen). There are nine of them in total, and to unlock all of them in the present, you must activate them in the past.
In the next mission, Back to the Beginning, you will join up with a nation in the past. This allows you to buy and use scrolls of Instant Retrace, use the Retrace spell, ride Chocobos, and teleport via Campaign Arbiter. All of these require the accumulation of Allied Notes, which are earned by participating in Campaign battles with Allied Tags active. It is recommended to get Sigil from your national campaign guard, along with a scroll of Instant Retrace. With 980 AN you can also purchase Sprinter's Shoes, which grant +12% movement speed for 65 minutes.
Within each of the nine zones of Abyssea, there are 8-9 Veridical Confluxes. Activating each one has a small cruor cost, and will allow fast teleportation between them. Conflux #01 near the Maw and the camp comes automatically activated. In Scars of Abyssea zones, Conflux #00 near the Bastion location is also activated. Travel to Conflux #00 or #01 is always free.
Success in Abyssea will rely fairly heavily on your understanding of the Weakness Targeting system, and your loadout of Atmas and collection of Abyssites. Both can be earned by defeating NMs after they have been Staggered with a red proc, but some abyssites are earned through questing. Atmas are powerful enhancements that can be equipped, one per Lunar Abyssite you own (up to 3). Abyssites are always active, and can provide bonuses like +10 to all stats, +10% HP/MP, increased EXP or Cruor yield, increased chest appearance rate, etc. Opinions will vary, but this list includes the most useful ones to obtain for melee DPS jobs:
- Lunar Abyssite x3
- Abyssite of Discernment
- Ivory, Sapphire, Scarlet Abyssite of Furtherance
- Azure, Indigo, Ivory, Jade, Sapphire, Viridian Abyssite of Merit
- Atma of the Razed Ruins
- Atma of the Mounted Champion
- Atma of the Voracious Violet
- Atma of the Stout Arm
- Atma of the Stronghold
After completing Onward to Adoulin, you can use the Waypoint (H-7) in Lower Jeuno to teleport to Western Adoulin. Waypoints in Adoulin connect with each other, with Frontier Stations/Bivouacs in outside areas, and with Augural Conveyors as destinations only. Using Waypoints requires a deposit of crystals. Some story missions require that you've expended a number of Imprimaturs by taking on Coalition Assignments, the total being 80.
Reives are level 99 open-server events that award Bayld, EXP, and occasionally items upon completion. It's highly recommended to obtain Reive unity from the Scaredy-Cats quest. Colonization Reives refresh every 30 minutes and will block your path until cleared. Many quests are necessary to reach deeper areas of Ulbuka:
- Grind to Sawdust
- A Stone's Throw Away
- I'm on a Boat
- Hide and Go Peak
- Breaking the Ice
- Lerene's Lament
It is also recommended to complete these quests to grant resilience against certain environmental traps:
If you have made it this far, congratulations! This section will be unusually brief, as I only have a few tips for endgame content:
- If you have not found a good linkshell yet, you must do so now. FFXI is an MMO, and much of the content past level 99 requires a party.
- Upgrade your gear progressively. Become intimately familiar with your job and how it works in parties. Ask a lot of questions. Don't shoot for Relic/Mythic/Empyrean/Ergon/Aeonic weapons right away, your 14 other equipment slots are way more important.
- Max out your "Merit Points" Merit category first. Start working on Job Points, and you will cap your Merits quickly.
- Learn how skillchains and magic bursts work. Eat the right food.
- Learn to write good macros.
- Try Gearswap.
- Acquaint yourself with FFXIAH.
- Don't pay mercenaries. When possible, try to run through content yourself with your linkshell or a pick-up group.
- FFXIclopedia has the most complete archive of old content. BGWiki keeps aggressively up-to-date.