FFXIclopedia
Advertisement
FFXIclopedia
CAUTION!
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.

Construction.gif NOTICE: This article is currently undergoing construction by a single editor or group of editors. Please do not edit or delete this article until this banner is removed or in absence of discussion.

Contents

Warm Welcome to New Players!

"Hail, adventurer! I can tell by your wide eyes and awe-inspired expression that you're new to this part of Vana'diel. What's that? An eagerness to learn, I see! Let me answer your questions so you can get started helping the nation- nay, the world!"

Thank you for coming to check out my guide! I go by Stammer6. I've never been much of an end-game aficionado. Helping new players and experiencing the vast amounts of low- and mid-level content is more my thing. I've been playing off-and-on since the PS2 release in North America but have been active in the community almost the entire time. If you ever care to dig deeper, this entire Wiki is a fantastic resource, and I've added clickable links to many key words and phrases that lead more specialized and detailed pages. Or if you have any other questions not answered by the guide, please feel free to message me!

Our humble home continues to thrive after many years because it stands apart from other games in the genre. Decades worth of content open up to you as soon as your adventure begins, but vary in difficulty to allow you to take it on gradually as you get stronger. Overcoming any one challenge will give you an edge in completing others. What this means is this game is uniquely about the journey even more than the destination, as the world is for more than just those at the level 99 cap. Your time is never wasted because everything you do is progress, no matter what your goals are! The game itself offers little guidance because it wants you to choose your own path.

The purpose of this guide is to help you understand your options. Rather than tell you "go here!" and "do this!", the goal is to make it easier to digest the overwhelming amount of content offered before you so you may make informed decisions. This way you can still play how you want and get the full Final Fantasy XI experience!

Level Zero

There are a few things that happen before your first steps in the world of Vana'diel. After signing up and downloading the game, one thing you might want to do right away is open up FFXI Config and adjust the settings. I strongly recommend Windowed or Borderless Window, as Fullscreen will crash if the game ever shifts into the background (such as by Alt-Tabbing).

Following that, you'll be treated to the game's introductory cinematic. You can turn this off in the config application so it won't play each time you log in. It sets the stage by showing one of the more infamous battles of the war which precedes the narrative of the game by 20 years. The bittersweet victory over the Shadow Lord and rebuilding of society forms the very foundation of the story.

  • "What am I looking at?" (Spoilers for the cinematic, not the game's story) Enemy forces had been deployed to the Tavnazian Marquisate, a nation just to the west of Bastok and San d'Oria. The four nearest nations, Bastok, San d'Oria, Windurst, and Jeuno all sent in troops to defend the capital from a massive force of Beastmen (mostly Orcs and Gigas). Tragically, Tavnazia's supposed greatest ally withheld their reinforcements and the Allied Forces were overwhelmed. The capital was lost, but the war was eventually won, and 20 years later a surge of adventurers began making their way to fight remnants of the Beastmen and solve the mysteries surrounding the war!


Races

N.B.: Please don't stress out about racial differences in attributes. The differences are extremely minor at all stages of the game, and the differences that do exist can be more than made up for with just a couple pieces of equipment. Furthermore, every job requires a variety of stats, so no race is ever better or worse than another for a job. And of course, any character may play every job! Attribute differences are more about one's preferences and play-style. Each race also has its own fun aesthetic and history within the game world, so I recommend focusing more on that.

To help understand these attributes, here's a quick run-down:

Humes

This race has the physical appearance and overall mannerism of humans. Their well-balanced array of stats makes them very adaptable. In the world of Vana'diel, Humes originate from the south region of the western Quon continent, where their ingenuity led them to develop the Republic of Bastok. The mercantile and industrial strength of this population have spread them out into more regions of the world than any other race.

Elvaan

A very proud race of warriors hailing from the northern half of Quon, where centuries of civil war eventually led to the establishment of the Kingdom of San d'Oria. These folk are quite tall, with notably long limbs, necks, and ears. Both the men and women are often more physically toned than their counterparts from other races. The Elvaan of Vana'diel have high Strength and Mind, but lower Intelligence and Agility. Most Elvaan tend towards honing their swordsmanship or devoting their lives to the Goddess Altana.

Tarutaru

Almost childlike in appearance, the Tarutaru are short and stocky with large heads. They founded what we now call the Federation of Windurst situated in the southern region of the eastern Mindartia continent around a massive well of magic. There, the Tarutaru study the magic and learn to bend it their will, compensating for their stature. As a result, they tend to have high Intelligence and a greater pool of Magic Points from which to draw. This comes at a cost to lower Hit Points and Strength.

Mithra

Mithra hail from a continent far to the south, which is currently inaccessible to us adventurers. Like cats, their large ears sit closer to the top of their heads, and they have long tails. Many also sport tribal tattoos as a cultural homage to their homeland. As they migrated north centuries ago, some settled on Elshimo Island where they established a village called Kazham. Others made contact with the Tarutaru of Windurst, with whom the Mithra now have a friendly relationship. The catlike Mithra have bonuses to Dexterity and Agility, but penalties in both Vitality and Charisma. Males are genetically rare and culturally protected. As a result, only female Mithra are seen adventuring.

Galka

Tall and muscly are the Galka. This mighty yet spiritual people were driven from their homeland on Zepwell Island by ant-like beastmen. Most sought the protection of the nearby nation of Bastok, while others wandered out in search of other ventures. Many Galka are now employed as miners, fueling Bastok's industry with their natural strength. Indomitable, they possess the highest Vitality and HP in the game, but suffer low MP and Charisma. Despite a masculine appearance, Galka actually have no gender. When one dies, they are reincarnated, or so we are told. The Galka idolize what they call the "Talekeeper", one of their own who is reborn with the memories of their past lives over and over, perpetuating their history unlike any other race.

~Teamwork and Enmity~

To help understand how each job-class works and relates to one another, it helps to understand the mechanic of enmity. Enmity (aka: "aggro", "hate") is an unseen resource within each foe that dictates which combatant it focuses on killing at any time. Performing an offensive action on the enemy will make it want to kill you, as will assisting anyone already on the enemy's kill list. As actions are performed, the foe's enmity towards a combatant climbs. Whomever has the most enmity at any time will be the foe's primary target.

Solo play is difficult in Final Fantasy XI, as every job has weaknesses that require complementary strengths from other jobs. This is solved by forming a party of up to 6 adventurers, which may consist of a combination of other player characters (PC's) and alter-ego "trust" non-player characters (NPC's) which you may summon to fill in slots. The goal of every member of every party is to try and maximize the speed at which monsters are defeated while minimizing the amount of downtime between fights. And because it's much easier to sustain a party that's taking less overall damage, a key objective in any fight is keeping the foe's attention on those who take the least amounts of damage. A squishy damage-dealer's maximum damage output therefore is more limited to how much they can do without exceeding the enmity gained by the damage-absorbing tank. The mechanic of enmity plays a huge role in how each job is played strategically, as they all have various tools to deal with it.

Enmity adds another dimension to the formation of a party. While some jobs may specialize in a role such as "tank" or "healer", it's more important to understand what each one brings to a team overall. Most jobs contribute to more than one aspect of a party, and many can change their role altogether by strategically altering their loadout (equipment, etc). For example, you could replace a dedicated tank and damage-dealer combination with a pair of beefy damage-dealers bouncing enmity back and forth, or even with just one semi-tanky character if the party has enough supporting power.

Six Starter Jobs

After choosing your physical appearance it's time to pick which job you start the game with. You may change your job at any point simply by visiting your Mog House by entering the Residential Area in any town. Your starter job determines what equipment (and spells, if any) you start with, but you can buy that stuff at shops as well. Each job is leveled independently, and you may take each one to level 99 if you wish.

  • Once you've reached level 18 as any job, you may permanently unlock the ability to set a support job (aka: "subjob"), which may also be changed at any time. You'll gain access to most of the subjob's abilities, skills, and spells up to half the level of your main job! For example, Monk learns Boost at level 5, so a Warrior/Monk at level 10 (subjob level rounds down) will have access to Boost! This is usually written as WAR10/MNK5.
  • These are not the only jobs in the game, either. At level 30 you'll gain access to quests that unlock additional jobs. The additional jobs aren't any stronger or weaker than the ones you start out with, and are in all ways treated equal. See further down in the guide for more details!

Warrior

Appropriately abbreviated "WAR", Warriors are equally capable of both dishing out damage and taking it. While not the most versatile job, its access to almost every combat skill in the game make it very flexible. The twin skills Berserk and Defender allow them to quickly and frequently adapt to a party's offensive or defensive needs. Depending on their loadout, a Warrior may be a heavy-hitter that can defend its allies in a pinch, or a tank that keeps attention with major damage. Provoke makes for one of the most reliable means of peeling enemies away from your squishier allies, and the ability to equip shields and heavy armor make it the most survivable of the six starting jobs. Starting as a Warrior will grant you an Onion Sword, but I highly recommend quickly replacing it with a one-handed Axe and a shield for your off-hand. Two-handed Great Axes are a powerful alternative for when defense is less required. Warrior relies on a healthy combination of offensive stats (like STR, DEX, Attack, and Accuracy) and defensive stats (like VIT, Defense, and HP), but you can lean towards one or the other if you know what your team needs.

Monk

Striking enemies with a ceaseless flurry of blows, Monks use their bodies as weapons. Indeed, anyone starting out as a Monk get only a White Belt and the clothes on their backs. Monks lack intricate enmity-manipulation and heavy armor, but have defensive tools such as Dodge and Counter to back them up if they pull their foe's attention, and can survive a few stray hits with their unrivaled HP. Another unique tool is their Subtle Blow trait, which reduces the rate an enemy gains Tactical Points, making it so they use fewer skills on you and your party. This trait, along with their natural survivability, makes Monk a very healer-friendly damage-dealer. Even though you may beat enemies up with your bare hands, it's a good idea to try and fill in your weapon slot with some hand-to-hand weapons when you can. They'll add some delay between attacks, but their higher damage per hit more than compensates for it. As one of the more durable damage-focused jobs, a Monk's objective is to avoid exceeding the enmity of their more defensive allies, but be ready to step in if enmity is running wild. It's still better for the Monk to take aggro for a few hits than the team's back line. Try to find that line and ride it! Focus on offensive equipment, but have some defensive gear as backup and switch into it if you think it'll help.

White Mage

The job most capable of keeping a team on their feet. Meticulously efficient with their magic, White Mages host a wide array of means to pick apart status ailments and heal allies for just the right amount of HP. They can reduce an enemy's damage output with spells like Slow and Paralyze, then cast Regen to keep their allies healthy without pulling too much aggro. And when things do go awry, White Mages possess potent Cure and party-wide Curaga spells! In even the worst-case scenarios, White Mages can resuscitate fallen allies with Raise, and may even save themselves by preemptively casting Reraise. If you begin as a White Mage, you'll have a Scroll of Cure in your inventory, which you may read to permanently learn the spell. If not, you may buy the scroll and others like it at a magic shop. Always try to focus on keeping up-to-date with your spells! You'll also start out with an Onion Rod. I recommend swapping the pitiful rod out for a staff if you plan on staying in the back line, or hammer if you want to get some good damage in. Increasing your Mind is helpful, but in early levels MP is critical. Keep your eyes peeled for rare but valuable stats on equipment that lower your enmity or increase how much MP you recover while resting.

Black Mage

Few can escape the ineffable power of a Black Mage. Utilizing the power of the elements, Black Mages combine scathing enfeebles with explosive elemental nukes. You'll start off with a Scroll of Stone and an Onion Staff. You may use the scroll to learn your first Black Magic spell. So as not to waste all of your MP, your most efficient use of magic in solo levels will be to cast it early on and maybe one additional time when the enemy nears about 25% HP. Another of Black Mage's strengths lies in its ability to control crowds of enemies, having one of the most dependable area-wide Sleep spells of any job. The two keys to Black Mage are learning elemental weaknesses of your enemies and timing your spells so that you don't become the enemy's focus. Your elemental spells will never miss, but an enemy's resistances will greatly affect their damage. At higher levels, it may be wise to focus on a few enfeebling spells early on in a fight before charging up to unleash a powerful Ancient Magic spell like Freeze or Flare. These spells can easily finish an enemy off, but hope that it does or else your frail Black Mage self may be eating dirt. If you do manage to pull hate, spells such as Bind and Sleep may save you precious seconds in a fight. Try not to fall behind learning spells, and buy equipment with MP and Intelligence when you can afford it.

Red Mage

This support-style job really levels the playing field. Red Mages focus on nullifying enemy strengths with their powerful enfeebling magic, making their allies more efficient with enhancing magic, and filling in gaps in parties with their proficiency in each healing magic, elemental magic, and melee combat. While less potent than their White and Black Mage counterparts, Red Mage's Fast Cast trait makes them extremely flexible by reducing both the casting and recast time of all spells. And to compensate for their physical damage, they may imbue their weapons with elements to add elemental damage to every attack! In a party scenario, try to enfeeble enemies to reduce their damage output and quicken fights, while backing up other healers with the occasional cure spell. Adventurers starting out as Red Mage will begin with an Onion Dagger and a scroll of Dia. Use the scroll to learn your first spell, and cast it early on in any fight to maximize the use of its damage-over-time and defense-down effects. I recommend ditching the dagger early on for a good sword. You may even want to switch to wands or staves in a party scenario where being on the front-line may be dangerous. Be sure to keep on top of your spells, but keep a healthy wardrobe to fit yourself into a party as necessary. Early on, Red Mage has an expensive palette of spells, armor, and weapons to procure.

Thief

Tools such as Steal and Treasure Hunter make Thief the best job at making a quick buck or hunting for rare loot. Much more important, however, is that Thief is one of the most effective enmity-manipulators in the game. Using Trick Attack to plant onto the tank the enmity from their own spike damage really raises the bar for the Thief and their team's other damage-dealers to go all-out. Thieves also make for excellent scouts with proficiency in several ranged weapons and contingency abilities like Flee and Hide. Sneak Attack gives Thieves massive spike damage about once per fight, and may be combined with a physical weapon skill for even more damage! Combining Sneak Attack, Trick Attack, and a weapon skill is often enough to give the tank enough hate for a whole fight. Later on, Thieves even gain the ability to lower the enmity of their more fragile allies. If you start with Thief, you'll be given an Onion Knife out the gate. Though while it's true daggers are a Thief's most proficient weapon, they offer no physical weapon skill until around level 30. Until then, it's usually better to use a sword (Fast Blade) or hand-to-hand weapons (Combo). The latter works exceptionally well if you can use Monk as a subjob. Dexterity and Agility are extremely key stats for a Thief, as those directly influence the damage of Sneak Attack and Trick Attack.

  • Keep in mind that in these early levels, optimization really isn't critical. Unless what you're doing is making the game less enjoyable for others, just play the game how you like it. Most of the time it won't even be that different, since your skills probably aren't going to be capped anyway. Want to use a spear on Warrior in preparation for when you unlock Dragoon? Go for it! Especially if you're just going it alone with a party of trusts, have fun with it.

Finishing Touches

After you choose your starting job, you move on to naming your character. This is slightly less permanent than your appearance, as you can change your name by switching servers. When choosing a name, you are limited to alphabetical characters, with the letter capitalized and the rest lower case. No numbers, dashes, spaces, or other symbols. If you can’t think of a name, there is the option to have the game choose one at random for you. These names are typical of your race and gender.

Naming conventions for each race are as follows:

  • Hume names are commonly more dated English-style names such as Brutus or Hortense.
  • Elvaan names usually have more of a flourish, taking on more of a French resemblance. Male names have combined vowels and silent letters, such as Rainemard or Charmelaut. Female names are similar, but a bit softer. Examples may include Amaura or Leaute.
  • Tarutaru names have a mild rhyming scheme, and typically go by their first and last name in combination. Male names include a hyphen, and often resemble magical spells. Noragu-Merago or Hakaru-Marikaru are a couple examples. By contrast, female names are shorter and don't include a hyphen. Some examples include Lutete or Palyalya. Due to the game's naming requirements, male names will lose their hyphens. As a result, a name such as Thnikka-Manna will appear as Thnikkamanna
  • Mithra are also commonly referred to by both first and last names, often with more guttural syllables. The first name is typically no more than two syllables, while the last can be anywhere between one and four. Some examples include Tihl Midurhi or Aurhi Rhatelo. While males are unplayable, their names follow a similar convention. Due to the game's naming requirements, both names will be combined into one. Jesi Banjyao would therefore appear as Jesibanjyao.
  • Galka have fairly simple names from their ancestry. Names such as Galdo or Oggodett are often seen outside of Bastok. However, within the stone walls of the Hume capital, many Galka have been given names that are easier for the Humes to use, such as Ominous Cloud or Invincible Shield. While the traditional names translate well into the game's naming rules, the secondary names will be combined. A name such as Ferrous Coffin would become Ferrouscoffin.

After you pick a name, you’re given the option of which world you would like to start in. The only difference between servers is the number of people on each. Geographical regions and language are not limited, nor are there any fundamental gameplay changes such as some allowing PvP while others don't. If you've been invited to play by a friend, now is the time to use your Gold World Pass. A Gold World Pass will give both you and your friend some interesting items as time progresses.

Three Starting Allied Nations

  • Finally, you choose the nation from which your adventure begins. The nations of Bastok, San d'Oria, and Windurst are mostly back on their feet from the war, and seek to employ eager adventurers. The game's narrative begins right now, with you heeding the call of a nation! The only difference between nations is the perspective of the narrative. You may also move to a different nation at any time with no progress lost, but for a small immigration fee. You may speak to and party with anyone from any nation. The only effect on gameplay is that if you match your race to your nation, you will begin the game with a ring with a small stat bonus on it. The rings from all nations will eventually become available to you regardless, so don't worry too much about it. Much like your race, pick based on personal preference!

The Kingdom of San d’Oria

  • Standing tall among the lush forests of the northern regions of Quon are the walls and turrets protecting the mighty Kingdom of San d'Oria. With a population consisting mostly of Elvaan, this land is home to the finest blacksmiths, bravest warriors, and most devoted servants of the Goddess. The history of the kingdom is long and bloody, with civil wars and territorial skirmishes with other nations, and a still-active conflict with the Orcish population from the far west. Tradition governs much of the everyday life in San d'Oria. Defending the nation and her monarch King Destin d'Oraguille are two independent factions of knights. The Royal Knights are devoted to the king, and are often sent on missions to scout or battle the encroaching Orc threat, while the Temple Knights are devoted to Altana, and function more to keep harmony within the walls of the kingdom.
  • As a citizen of San d'Oria, you will find a lot of work in assisting the soldiers and guards. You will also have access to the Blacksmiths', Carpenters', and Tanners' guilds. When roaming outdoors, be sure to bring a hatchet for logging one of the many sturdy trees, and your finest arms to deal with roaming Orcs and Goblins!

The Republic of Bastok

  • While roaming south into the rocky shield of Gustaberg, follow the sounds of steam and grinding gears to find your way to the industrious Republic of Bastok. Paving the way to the future is the home of the science-driven Humes and hard-working Galka. While the land is dry and arid, it houses significant ores and materials within. Bastok's wealth and technological leaps can be directly attributed to the region's rich resources and to the research of the genius engineer Cid, father of the miraculous airships used around the world! The Quadav, a race of turtle-like people, also call this region home. Bastok's constant search for mining prospects has disturbed their population and created an enemy as a byproduct. This, plus the growing tensions between the Hume and Galka population have made conflict a growing concern.
  • The government always has work to get new citizens of Bastok on their feet. The Metalworks is the largest Blacksmiths' Guild in the world, and Bastok also has a Goldsmithing Guild and Alchemist Guild. Don't forget a pickaxe if you happen to be wandering into one of the mines around Bastok!

The Federation of Windurst

  • Situated alone on the arid Mindartia continent is a beautiful, magical savanna upon which the Federation of Windurst was founded. The wide nation sprawls around an enormous tree with a star-shaped canopy, which is fed through a series of canals bringing groundwater from all around. Windurst was dealt the hardest blow in the war, but has since been rebuilt by its people: a population primarily consisting of the studious Tarutaru folk with a large number of their close Mithran allies. The federation is governed by the five ministries of magic tied loosely together by a leader known as the Star Sibyl.
  • Adventurers looking to make a home in Windurst can find several jobs commissioned by the ministries. Some may look to mend wounds between the once-friendly Yagudo neighbors. Most are still hostile, so watch out! Grab a sickle or two before heading into Sarutabaruta as well to harvest some of the magically-enhanced crops outside the city. Windurst is also home to the Fisherman's Guild, Cooking Guild, and Boneworkers' Guild.

Level 1 - Helpful Tips

After all that, you've finally created your character! Now you'll be treated to a brief cutscene introducing you to your new home. You'll talk to a couple of colorful characters from your upcoming story missions, and one of them will give you an Adventurer Coupon. Delivering the coupon as suggested will reward you with 50 gil, which you'll quickly realize isn't very much. The game doesn't guide you at all from here, but nor is there any real right or wrong direction to take. Before I elaborate on the things available to you, there are some things you should know about...

Controls & Settings

While far from the most exciting thing you can do after taking your first steps in Vana'diel, it's good to familiarize yourself with everything. Final Fantasy XI is old by game standards, so the default controls might not be to your liking. Doing a sweep through each of the settings will make your experience a lot smoother. It's important to understand the controls as well. Much of the game is controlled by menus. Why, the simple act of learning your first spell (if you started as White, Black, or Red Mage) or even trading that Adventurer Coupon are all done in menus. It takes some getting used-to, but it becomes second nature in no time!

Wayfinding

The game is broken up into what we call "zones". Every zone has its own map which you may access by going to the bottom of the first page of the main menu. The map will show you the zone's name, your whereabouts, and a grid system which you can use to find things, especially if you're using an online resource. City maps will show shops and other useful things such as the Residential Area and connecting zones. Tabbing left and right on the map menu itself will let you create markers and locate party members. You may also use the feature Wide Scan, which shows a small area around you and will locate NPC's (green) and enemies (red) if you already know what you're looking for. Keep your eyes peeled for the floating crystal Home Points. Simply clicking on it will open it up for you as a teleport spot from any other Home Point in the world! You may also choose one as a point to which you'll return if you're knocked unconscious or if you use a Warp spell.

The Tutorial

Each starting nation has a tutorial NPC (non-player character) to speak to in order to understand bits and pieces of the game. They aren't too long and introduce some good habits for new players. Open up your map and make sure you're in Southern San d'Oria, Bastok Markets, or Windurst Woods. If not, follow your map and make your way to one of those specific zones. Use Wide Scan to help you find the NPC if you need to! Speak with Alaune in Southern San d'Oria (G-10), Gulldago in Bastok Markets (D-11), or Selele in Windurst Woods (K-10) to get started. I won't get into specifics, but if you get lost, the tutorial quest guide may be found here.

Records of Eminence

Found under the Quest menu, Records of Eminence (RoE) is a supplementary reward system. This is another thing I highly recommend becoming familiar with. You simply set objectives and then accomplish them with rewards such as bonus experience points and a unique currency called Sparks. Sparks may be spent in lieu of money to buy all sorts of equipment and other cool stuff from level 1 all the way up to level 99. The objectives may be changed at any time, so you can tailor them to anything you're currently doing. One particularly interesting part of RoE are the Tutorial quests, which teaches you some good habits and even rewards you with some Trust Magic to make leveling up easier!

  • Pro-tip: On the third page of "Equipment (Lv.71-98)" is a gun named Ribauldequin, which sells to shopkeepers for a ton of gil! You can use this strategy to buy things that you can't buy with Sparks, such as spell scrolls or items from the Auction House.

Alter-Egos & Trust Magic

For when you don't want to (or can't) rely on having a full party to get stuff done, you may summon the alter-egos of certain NPC's to fill the gaps using Trust Magic. You gain access to a bunch right off the start by playing through the Records of Eminence tutorial, while many others become available by other means. "Trusts" aren't always the smartest, but they get the job done. Rather than waiting for hours for a player character with healing abilities to join your party, just summon an alter-ego of Mihli Aliapoh. Note that Trusts can't be summoned if you're already in combat. Trusts will always be the level of the character who summoned them, but they won't level up automatically with you, and you'll need to release them and summon them at your new level for them to match you again. (Typing "/refa all" will instantly dismiss all of your Trusts at the same time)

Inventory Management

The 30-slot inventory you're given at the start is pretty tiny, but there are a ton of ways to make it work wonders. First, there's a feature under "Gameplay" in the settings that will automatically sort your inventory whenever you get a new item, which also stacks stackable items like Crystals on your behalf. Second, is your Mog House. I go into more details about it below, but you should know that there are a ton of extra storage spots in there. You'll unlock more storage options and more slots per inventory as you play the game as well. Third, some of these Mog House options are accessible even in the middle of nowhere. Two of these are called your Mog Wardrobe, from which you may store and directly equip armor and weapons! If you play your cards right, you can store all of your equipment in the Wardrobes and leave your entire inventory for drops and consumables. Lastly, there exist Porter Moogles, who can store almost any equipment in the game. The process to store things with Porter Moogles is a little time-consuming, so it's best to only use them with stuff you rarely need.

It also helps greatly to understand what each of these drops do. If you've picked up Signet before venturing outside, you'll likely have a bunch of crystals in your inventory. These are used for synthesis, which I go into further detail below. These sell quickly on the Auction House if you don't plan on using them right away, or can be traded to the guards who cast Signet for bonus Rank Points and Conquest Points. Beastmen Seals are items that are used to access certain boss fights for super good rewards later on, so hold onto them. Both crystals and seals may later be stored with NPC's so you can free your inventory of them until you need them. Most other items are used for crafting. Many can be collected and sold in stacks on the Auction House, or to NPC's for a few quick bucks.

Finally, many items are tagged with little circles that read "Rare", "Ex", "Tmp", and "Aug". A rare item is one that you may only have one of per character. Even if you've stored it in your Mog House, you cannot collect a second one. Rare items are often used in quests, so if you see one, you should ask (or look up online) what it's used for. Exclusive items are items that cannot be traded or sold. They're often rewards from quests or missions and are challenging to obtain as a result. Temporary items will disappear from your inventory when you leave the area, and are usually a part of some event or a drop from a blue Treasure Casket. Augmented items have been given extra, usually custom bonuses by one means or another.


Level 1 - Adventure Awaits!

"Enough with the tips!" I hear you say. "What can I do??"

Fighting Monsters

Slaying baddies is the most reliable way to earn experience points. It's also a key component to earning money, as you may sell items found on these enemies or use them as components for crafting. Leveling up is the most quantifiable way of strengthening your character. Being higher level makes it easier for you to complete quests and missions, and makes accessible even more content. Certain things such as unlocking the advanced jobs are even gated behind certain levels.

If you follow your map to a zone with a red label, such as Gustaberg, Ronfaure, or Sarutabaruta, you can fight enemies. Soloing at these low levels is fairly easy for any job. To play it safe, always /check your enemies before fighting. At these levels you can probably handle enemies that look like Easy Prey, Decent Challenge, or Even Match. If you have a party of other players and/or trusts, you should be able to fight enemies that check Tough or Very Tough, but definitely avoid Incredibly Tough. I recommend swapping out your starting equipment when you can. This can be easily done by spending Sparks (see Records of Eminence above). Remember that mages don't learn magic naturally and you'll need to run into town to buy the scrolls to learn magic. And don't forget to talk to one of the guards before you head outside and ask for them to bestow Signet upon you for all the benefits it provides.

Be on the lookout for the floating books known as Field Manuals. There's usually one per zone, and they'll allow you to take on objectives that add even more rewards when you slay groups of enemies. They also reward Tabs, which may be spent to teleport or receive buffs from the books themselves. Be sure to combine this with setting the appropriate Records of Eminence objectives. Lastly, try to obtain an experience band. This may include the Echad Ring, Chariot Band, Emperor Band, and Empress Band. Equip the ring, then scroll down your item list and activate it for a big boost to your experience points. Combining that with RoE and Field Manual objectives, you'll be earning experience points out the wazoo!

Crafting

Crafting is one of the most reliable means of earning money, especially if you can use components you find while adventuring. If you join a guild that makes things that you can use, it will also mean you can save money when buying stuff later on. As effective as Sparks are at acquiring equipment, you can't buy high-quality items that way. And with the community's population growing more top-heavy, finding good stuff on the Auction House is becoming more and more rare. If you already know you're going to play a job like Paladin, consider joining the Blacksmiths' Guild for example. Guilds also feed into one another, allowing you access to more recipes if you've leveled several. And some guilds like the Culinary Guild are super useful for literally every job!

Follow the tutorial or find your way through the Records of Eminence quests to properly get started with a guild. Guilds are there to support crafters by offering recipe ideas, guidance (giving bonuses to help succeed), and selling components for their craft. Like combat and magic skills, each craft has a skill associated with it that levels up by working at it. At certain levels, guild leaders will test your skill and increase your rank. Later on, you can even buy items to make you even better at the craft.

Quests

Perhaps one of the most glaring differences between Final Fantasy XI and other games in the genre are how quests are handled. Rather than being an adventurer's main source of each wealth, experience points, and equipment, quests are just another optional means to strengthen you and further your journey. Quests are less plentiful, but individually more significant than you may be used to. Some quests may only reward small amounts of gil, while others can reward you with items to make dungeons more accessible, magical maps, or extremely rare and valuable items. Some quests even result in interesting offshoot storylines themselves, often ending with really outstanding rewards!

The one consistent reward between quests is reputation. Citizens of each region each have their own perspective of you, which starts off (as you'd expect) with them having no idea who you are. But as you help the folks around that nation, they begin to talk about you. Before long, you become a household name, and even a hero to the people! Reputation (aka: "fame") is built up as you do quests, and has a number of effects. Townsfolk will acknowledge you more, be more willing to offer you more sensitive and rewarding quests, and will even adjust prices (both buying and selling) in your favor!

Story Missions

We call quests that are part of the main story scenario "missions". All three starting nations have a long line of missions, as does each expansion pack. Missions typically offer huge rewards, especially towards the end. Each line of missions will typically start automatically the first time you enter a certain area, and the missions normally start off pretty easy, gradually ramping up over the course of the story. Completing certain missions may come with additional rewards like trust magic, access to cool new areas, and permanent bonuses to help you in your adventuring. Certain milestone missions will also increase your rank, which will give you access to buying higher-level equipment using various points unique to each expansion.

When you choose your starting nation, you also choose the story you follow. Speak to guards near the city gates, as they'll have missions for you to perform. Later on you'll need to trade crystals or repeat some of the more mundane tasks in order to unlock the next mission. If you're only partway through a mission, you won't be allowed to change your nation, but otherwise you're free to do so at any point by visiting the nation of your choosing and speaking to the Immigration NPC.

Rhapsodies of Vana'diel is a storyline that weaves its way through all the other stories. Even if you're on the free trial, you'll have access to parts of it, and can make your way through the story far enough to access an easier means of unlocking your subjob. But if you at least have access to the Rise of the Zilart expansion, you can advance a little bit further into the story early on for some pretty monumental rewards right away. As the story progresses, certain key events in other missions must have occurred, so you may want to make your way through each story over the course of your adventuring career.

Mog House

All adventurers are given a small apartment in the Residential Area of their home nation, which is looked after by a Moogle. Visiting the same district of other nations will access a free Rent-A-Room instead. It's within one of these Moogle-run apartments that you may change jobs, deliver or receive items, and store any unwanted items. But moreover, your own Mog House is open to redesign!

Adding furniture to your Mog Safe and then using the "Layout" command will let you place and rearrange the furniture to your liking. Certain furniture will even let you store items within, and some even come with unique bonuses like experience point multipliers. You can even get some special upgrades like an upper floor, a patio, and quick access to other areas in the city. The furniture and other objects you can place in your Mog House allow for some really great customization. When you're happy with how it looks, you can even invite your friends over to hang out!

Furthermore, your Mog House also allows you to garden. Acquiring some flower pots and planting some seeds will start the process. After some tender loving care over the course of a few days you'll see the results! Whether you're planting flowers to spruce your place up even more, or planting herbs and vegetables to sell or use in cooking, it's a great distraction from the bustle of the outside.

Fishing

While its primary function is a means to acquire seafood for the Culinary Guild, fishing is actually a guild in itself. Like other guilds, it has a skill associated with it that levels up simply by you doing it, which will allow you to catch bigger and rarer fish. The guild also includes some really nifty competitive events with unique rewards. You just need a fishing rod, a nearby body of water, and either tackle or bait. It's a fantastic way to relax, whether you just like to fish or you're waiting for the next wave of enemies to show up.

Gathering

There are more peaceful means to acquire materials than mugging enemies. In addition to gardening and fishing (see above) are what we call "HELM", which includes Harvesting, Excavating, Logging, and Mining. All of these can be performed at any level, but will typically yield greater materials when you gather from more dangerous locations. These aren't guilds, so there are no skill levels associated with them, but you can still get equipment to make yourself better at gathering. Gathering doesn't always turn out jaw-dropping profit, but it's a fantastic way to acquire materials if you're already planning on crafting.

Each of the HELM requires an item that you can trade to their respective points if you come across one. The items have a chance to break, but they do stack. With that said, your best bet is to simply carry a few of each item and gather when you're already adventuring outside. Harvesting is performed using sickles at points among wild grasses, yielding materials for clothcrafting, cooking, and gardening. Logging is done using a hatchet on a sturdy tree to collect logs and branches for woodworking or fruit and fungi for cooking. Excavating and Mining are both done using pickaxes. But whereas mining is about collecting ores and rocks for smithing and goldsmithing, excavating is about uncovering old bones for use in bonecrafting.

Mog Garden

Requiring either access to the Seekers of Adoulin expansion or a certain level of progress in your home nation's story is the Mog Garden. This slice of paradise is yours to do with as you please! You'll have access to gathering points, fishing spots, and even a small furrow to plant seeds. There are upgrades you can get over the course of the game to increase yields, and you can even invite certain NPC's over to help you tend it. The Mog Garden also has its own little story to experience. Furthermore, you can even start a little ranch! Monster Rearing is an adorable feature that lets you raise infant monsters to maturity, and will eventually even reward you with permanent bonuses to help on your adventures. The whole thing is entirely optional, but it's a great little way to relax, and can even be rewarding.

Seasonal Events

There's almost always some sort of fun festival going on in Vana'diel! These events often follow some sort of real-world equivalent like the New Year celebration or Halloween, but many others were created just for the world itself. Regardless, they each have their own unique backstory and offer their own series of quests that can usually be done by anyone at any level. In fact, the quests that do involve combat will typically restrict your level to 1 anyway. The rewards are usually just for fun, though they can all generally be used for something practical. I at least recommend checking them all out. If the rewards are taking up too much inventory, you may store them at a Porter Moogle.

Gameplay Mechanics

Now that you've created your character and you know what you can do right out of the gate, there are several tips to help you really hone your skills at combat.

Tactical Points (TP)

Tactical Points are a resource acquired during combat by anyone inflicting or receiving damage. Any player character, non-player character, and monster may accumulate up to 3000 points at any time. The most common way to use this resource is to unleash a tactical skill. For adventurers such as yourself, this usually takes the form of a Weapon Skill, which may be executed as long as your weapon is drawn and you've accumulated at least 1000 TP. Performing the attack will consume all of your TP, with its effects growing with how much you've acquired. Weapon Skills are learned automatically by raising your proficiency with that weapon.

Monsters gain tactical skills of their own, and may use them just like Weapon Skills. Normally, they'll save their TP and use their abilities strategically. But when their hit points drop below around 25%, they'll usually use their moves as often as they can (whenever they reach 1000 TP). Foes also gain TP a lot faster than the adventurers they face thanks to a bonus which grants them significantly increased TP when struck. This bonus relies heavily on the Agility score of the adventurer, and can be further lowered by the Subtle Blow trait.

TP are accumulated by both the attacker and defender any time an attack hits for more than 0 damage. This includes damage from spells, but only for the defender (the caster receives none). Spells without a direct damage component won't feed TP, including spells like Slow and Paralyze. Spells such as Rasp and Poison will not either, as they only afflict the target with a status ailment (even if that status ailment is damage over time).

Note that changing weapons (Main, Sub, and Ranged) will reset your TP to 0, as will logging out or entering a different area. Resting will also drain your TP over time. This penalty is removed as long as you're under the effects of Signet (and in an region subject to Conquest).

Skillchains & Magic Bursts

If an adventurer unleashes a Weapon Skill on a foe in short succession after a teammate, this may initiate what's called a Skillchain. Skillchains erupt in additional elemental damage based on the order and compatibility of the skills used. The two skills must be compatible with one another, and the second must be used approximately 2-3 seconds after the first. As the name implies, you can actually continue adding links into the chain with subsequent compatible Weapon Skills. As the Skillchain grows, so does the damage! Note that the target's elemental weaknesses and resistances apply to the element of the Skillchain.

Spellcasters can get in on the action as well. If they strike the enemy with a spell associated with the element of the Skillchain within a short window after it erupts, the spell will Magic Burst, increasing its accuracy and effect. This even includes enfeebling spells.

Communication is key for making these coordinated efforts. Find out what skills each of your allies have and try to combine in the best way possible, especially if you know what elements your prey are weak to. Try to keep everyone informed of your TP (since allies can't see it) and bring home the pain! If your job is capable, you may even want to eventually carry multiple different weapons in your inventory to make yourself even more flexible to the needs of your parties. No one will blame you if you only have one weapon as a damage-dealer, but it can really help you to stand out around the mid and late levels!

More on Enmity

To summarize the earlier section, enmity governs a foe's aggression based on how much each combatant has done. That's the 'what', but the 'how' is also very important. Understanding how enmity works gives you control over how your foe thinks, and allows you to orchestrate the fight. Enmity is split into two categories. Both are increased differently, and both have their own separate cap, but the total of the two is what drives the enemy's behavior.

  • Damage-volatile enmity (unofficially Cumulative Enmity, or CE) builds up slowly over the course of a fight. Every action builds a little bit of CE, especially through damaging attacks, skills, and spells. The only way this enmity is lost is when the foe damages you back. Losing a greater percentage of your HP will shed more CE.
  • Time-volatile enmity (unofficially Volatile Enmity, or VE) is a lot more spiky. Most VE jumps up in great amounts by means of skills like Provoke or a big, clutch Cure spell. It quickly decays over time and is otherwise completely unaffected.

The ways in which enmity works can make things difficult. If the tank takes a really big hit and loses all of their CE it can be really difficult for them to get it back, especially if the healer just brought them back from the brink of death. And because CE and VE cap individually, the tank could spam all the VE moves they want (Provoke, Invincible, Warcry) and still not get the enemy's attention back because it's on a frustrated rampage. The fact that VE is the one gained through big spikes also makes things scary for healers, because the hate gained from a life-saving Cure won't go away after just one enemy attack.

So how can you use this to your advantage? For starters, making sure your tank is tanky enough to not lose significant CE per hit will help a lot. It's also a lot easier for them to keep hate if they're able to inflict decent damage themselves and spread out their moves that would gain VE. Healers should try and spread their cures out rather than dump big numbers at any given time. Everyone other than tanks should also try and use buffing spells and abilities prior to combat as well, as enmity won't accumulate if you're not already on the foe's hate list.

Enemy Behavior

Some enemies will attack you on sight, others will only attack you if they see you're beating up their friend, and some may just ignore you altogether. With exception of Beastmen races like the Orcs, Quadav, Yagudo, and Goblins (all of whom hate you and want you dead), it's virtually impossible to know just by looking at a creature how it will behave if you run by. Online resources and personal experience can solve that mystery, but even then it's a little complicated.

Different species and races also have varying methods of detection, so it's good to know what those mean and a smart thing to learn about each type of creature. Creatures who detect by sight can see for a fair distance in a generous cone in front of them. While the range is long, they won't detect movement behind them. Certain enemy races like Orcs, Yagudo, and Goblins, and even some species like bees and birds can detect by sight. Creatures who detect by sound can hear all around them, but it's quite a bit shorter range than those who detect by sight. Quadav detect by sound, as do many animals like lizards, worms, bats, and crabs.

When an enemy just attacks you out of nowhere, we call that "aggro". Your only options are to defeat the enemy or impair its movement and exit to a different area. Even if you put it to sleep and make your way across the zone, it'll continue hunting you when it wakes up. As you make your way through an area, be sure to /check enemies frequently to find out their level. If they check "Too Weak", even an otherwise aggressive enemy won't attack you unless they spot you kneeling(resting) or sitting down. You can avoid detection by shielding yourself from their detection: Sneak will avoid enemies that would detect by sound, while Invisible avoids enemies that aggro to sight.

Certain high-level enemies will spot you through your veil, however. We call enemies that aggro through Invisible and Sneak "True Sight" and "True Hearing". Some creatures are greatly attuned to the arcane, and will detect your use of magic from a long distance, regardless of your precautions as well. Other enemies, particularly the undead, may also be drawn towards adventurers who are already injured. "Blood aggro" is another long-range detection triggered if one's hit points fall below 75%.

A lot of enemies will gang up to fight you, even if they're not otherwise aggressive. If they see an ally of the same race or species locked in combat, they'll join in the fray. We call this "linking". Many creatures that aggro will also link, but a lot of creatures that link aren't always aggressive. Creatures that link will do so in spite of anything you do. Even if you're invisible and 50 levels stronger than it, if a creature sees its ally attacking you, it'll always follow suit.

Defeat

There are tons of factors involved in every fight that can go astray: from a stray aggro or link to an unlucky string of critical hits to your White Mage falling asleep at the keyboard. As the great Jean-Luc Picard once said: "It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life." Defeat isn't permanent, as an adventurer is merely knocked unconscious. When you're K.O.'ed, you'll lose a small amount of experience points. You're not allowed to move nor cast spells, but you can still chat to party members and friends. Your options while prone are to either wait for someone to cast a Raise spell on you or return to your Home Point.

The Raise spell will resuscitate you and return a small amount of your lost experience points. It will also leave you weakened for a period of time, where your maximum HP and MP are greatly reduced, as is your ability to contribute to a fight. Unless your party already has a person with that spell, it's usually better to simply return to your Home Point and make your way back to camp to save time. If partying with a group of people in a specific area, consider changing your Home Point nearby to save time. You may also preemptively use a Reraise spell or an item that bestows that ability (such as a Scroll of Instant Reraise). Reraise typically lasts about an hour, and items that grant it aren't terribly expensive, so that's another way to save time.

Advanced Jobs

Reaching level 30 is a huge achievement, as it allows you access to the quests which unlock Advanced Jobs. There are no job or race requirements to access any of these jobs. And as stated before, these jobs are in no way better or worse than the six jobs available since the start. You may take any and all jobs to level 99, and they are all perfectly viable at all stages of the game.

However, not all jobs are made equal. Some will have an easier time soloing certain content, some will have an easier time finding parties, some will outshine others in certain events. I strongly recommend checking each one out to some extent and finding what suits your play-style the best. Most jobs function well as subjobs as well, so even just taking each one up to Lv.49 or Lv.60 should help you find your favorites. Note that each job begins at level 1.

Paladin

Stalwart heroes of the world, Paladins are a uniquely dedicated tank job that use the heaviest armor and supplement it with white magic. A small list of means to quickly draw an enemy's attention gives this job a reliance on the Warrior subjob for its Provoke ability, especially early on. But once a Paladin has an enemy's focus, it's extremely reliable at keeping it through its heavy damage mitigation and self-healing abilities. The Paladin throwing a Cure spell on themselves once in a while will take a lot of burden off of the healer. Flash is a key spell that earns a Paladin a lot of hate quickly while also completely blinding the enemy. If used just before a powerful TP move, it can save the Paladin a lot of enmity and the healers a lot of resources. A Paladin's main weapons are swords and clubs, but their most important tool is their shield, as it greatly reduces damage taken and makes available several Paladin skills. To become a Paladin, you must first become a squire. Speak to Balasiel in Southern San d'Oria to begin your training as early as level 7 to work your way through becoming a Paladin by level 30.

Dark Knight

Dark Knights learn to wield the darkness within their souls to unleash absolute hell on their foes using the very weapons of the Grim Reaper. These solemn warriors combine ferocious damage with unique black magic spells that rip down their enemy's strengths and absorb them for their own use. Spells like Drain to steal the enemy's life-force and Absorb-STR to both weaken an enemy and add to their own damage also naturally increase the durability of the Dark Knight. They're also capable of equipping fairly heavy armor to shore-up their lack of defensive tools, and may cast Stun or bash an enemy with their weapon to interrupt its actions and briefly buy their team a few key seconds. Souleater is an absolutely devastating ability, directly converting the Dark Knight's life into extra damage on every swing. Once you've reached level 30, you may start on the path to become a Dark Knight by speaking to the humble Gumbah in Bastok Mines.

Beastmaster

Commanders of nature itself are these experts of the wild. Beastmasters may Tame and Charm wild animals or entice them to their side with yummy odors from special food. The Beastmaster may then take up arms alongside their feral allies with a trusty axe to take down some of the toughest foes the world has to offer. This makes Beastmaster a formidable solo job, as the creatures under their commands are typically just as hardy as their prey. Knowing their target in advance can allow them to select a natural predator for a keen edge in combat. In party scenarios, Beastmasters can contribute large amounts of damage and even offer some support by use of their pets' abilities. Just be wary that pets higher level than the master will incur steep penalties to experience points! The path of the Beastmaster is fairly simple: once you've reached level 30, speak to Dietmund in Lower Jeuno and help him out. He won't ask for your help unless you've received your Chocobo License, however.

Bard

Magical music-wielding Bards inspire their fellow adventurers to always bring out their best. Bards are fantastic supports, providing a cascade of team-supporting buffs and enemy-hampering enfeebles. These minstrels march their way between the front and back lines, offering songs that bolster Attack, Accuracy, and Speed for their melee comrades, and then MP regeneration and other bonuses for the more magically-inclined. After their party is inspired, they'll dampen the enemy's spirits with a requiem and an elegy. Many Bards may even be used to pull a horde of enemies and then sing them a lullaby to put them to sleep so their party may speed things along. Normally avoiding direct confrontation, a common subjob for Bard is White Mage, so they may even help keep their friends healthy. But Bard's overwhelming repertoire of songs serves to make them very versatile as well, allowing them to weaken enemy resistances, hasten ally movement, and even regenerate health after a hard-fought battle. Using wind or string instruments, Bards may have up to two songs on each target. To learn how to become one of these song-weavers, the Merry Minstrel Meadhouse in Lower Jeuno is a good place to ask!

Ranger

For those who love the outdoors, Rangers are the trackers and survival experts of Vana'diel. Their mastery of marksmanship and archery also make them the pinnacle of damage, laying waste to their enemies with precise shots from a safe distance. In addition to ranged weapons naturally hitting hard, Rangers gain several abilities to make them even more effective. Barrage can let them fire several shots at once, hitting for colossal damage and building a ton of TP, and may be used in combination with Sharpshot to make each shot strike true. Due to their lighter armor and limited enmity control, Rangers function best in parties with high hate thresholds where they can fearlessly release a barrage of missiles at their enemy. Camouflage can allow them to fire a few attacks with reduced enmity, and Shadowbind may be used to halt an enemy's advances if they do pull aggro. Their distance also acts as a natural defensive tool, putting them out of range of enemy area attacks and giving their teammates a window to react when an enemy starts running their way. After reaching level 30 on any other job, speak to the Mithran chieftainess Perih Vashai in Windurst Woods.

Summoner

Emerging from great trials to earn the respect and favor of the celestial and terrestrial gods of Vana'diel themselves, Summoners evoke their avatars to help quell the darkness that threatens the world. The avatars called upon by the Summoner are the focus of the job, which itself offers very little to back up a party. Through the avatars, however, a Summoner may enhance allies and enfeeble and smite their enemies. In order to call forth an avatar of one of the gods, the Summoner must complete their trial, usually involving besting them in combat. The job has a massive pool of MP which even replenishes over time, but uses a lot of it through the summoning process, in keeping the avatar on this plane of existence, and in executing special moves. Because of this high MP pool, parties may expect you to use a White Mage subjob and help support the party through healing as well. If you go it solo, equipping yourself with a high-damage staff might turn out decent damage in combination with your avatar. As its perpetuation cost prohibits you from resting while it's in combat anyway, you can add to the damage output without worrying so much about enmity, and even Skillchain with your avatar! The first steps to becoming a Summoner involve finding Carbuncle's Ruby and bringing it to the House of the Hero in Windurst Walls. The ruby is often found in leeches throughout Vana'diel.

Dragoon

Long ago, the finest knights of San d'Oria were selected to form a bond with a young dragon. Their personalities and finely-honed skills would all be amplified to such degrees that allowed them to conquer even the fiercest evil dragon. Dragoons wield polearms and employ extraordinary athletics to leap skyward and descend with great force on their foes. Though young, their wyvern partners make ferocious and adaptable allies whose magical breath assumes different properties depending on the Dragoon's subjob. The Jump skills used by these warriors add quick burst damage and TP gain, and also reduce their own enmity upon use. This direct manipulation of enmity combined with their damage output split between two targets means Dragoons have a very high damage threshold. The cost of this is that the wyvern itself is quite fragile, and can be defeated quickly by foes that abuse multi-target attacks. This can be solved by proper timing of one's own Jumps and commands, and is where the learning curve of this job lies. Arminibit and Ceraulian in Port San d'Oria have information that may be interesting to a prospective Dragoon.

Samurai

Honorable knights originating from the Far East, Samurai are masters of the two-handed katana. Their weapons are an extension of themselves and form the nucleus of their entire culture. Samurai function as tactical experts who execute a barrage of weapon skills by earning TP faster than any other combatant. This makes them leaders in a dance of combat, allowing them to open and persist lengthy Skillchains with their entire team or even simply on their own. Where they lack in enmity control they make up for by being hardy fighters able to anticipate enemy attacks and avoid or even deflect them. By foregoing magic, Samurai may adopt and interchange between powerful offensive and defensive stances. Their prowess with the Great Katana gives Samurai some interesting utility as well, allowing them to inflict many different status ailments with their weapon skills. After you've reached level 30, make your way to Norg, the middle lands' closest connection to the Far Eastern regions. Speak to Jaucribaix to learn how to forge your first weapon.

Ninja

Ninja are quick, tricky, and shadowy assassins of the night. Their myriad of tools makes them particularly apt at staying out of harm's way, involving a special magic called Ninjutsu that transforms ordinary objects into extraordinary effects. These effects range from impairing enemy attacks to creating multiple copies of oneself to trick enemies into attacking false images. In combination with their natural agility and parrying ability, this makes Ninja among the most survivable combatants in the world. So survivable, in fact, that many Ninja opt to goad enemies into attacking them instead of their allies and act as a sort of tank. The most skilled of these Ninja rarely need healing support, but may still have a difficult time keeping their foes' attention. Other adventurers may lean into the more sinister aspects of the job, employing chains of powerful elemental Ninjutsu while maximizing the use from their ambidextrous mastery of one-handed blades and proficiency with powerful throwing stars. An old man residing in Port Bastok has been known to deal with the Tenshodo, an organization of assassins from the Far East. You may learn something pertaining to the art of the Ninja by speaking to his daughter Kaede.

Corsair

Swashbuckling privateers who lead their crew through treacherous exploits, following in the footsteps of the pirate captains of Ephramad in the east. Corsairs inspire teammates with luck-driven abilities and then draw upon their signature 6-barreled firearms to rain lead on their foes. Rather than simply enhance their allies' stats, Corsairs unleash the natural strengths of their allies. The damage from their marksmanship is no laughing matter, and they can even use special shots to drive enfeebling effects even deeper into their foes. This means that Corsairs even complement parties that already have a traditional support, lacking only healing abilities and self-defense. A direct increase to the crew's experience accumulation and the ability to hasten or even refresh the timers of abilities are just some of the completely unique effects they can offer. To take you first steps towards earning your dice and tricorne, speak to Ratihb in Aht Urhgan Whitegate.

Blue Mage

Blue Mages are living weapons resulting from a hybrid of alchemy and magic which allows them to harbor the power of their enemies and manifest it in the form of spells. This power comes not from a scroll, but from witnessing and bearing the effects of their abilities. So as not to overwhelm their bodies and minds, a Blue Mage may only prepare a finite number of spells at any given time, with each one augmenting their physical and mental prowess. The overwhelming number of spells a Blue Mage may learn grants them the ability to mold themselves to take on virtually any role in a party, be it a specialist or any manner of hybrid. This extreme versatility is limited by the time it takes spells to set after they've been adjusted, meaning Blue Mages cannot assume different responsibilities on the fly. A choice must be made in where and how to hybridize, as trying to assume too many roles may leave their performance in any one area lacking. Speak to Waoud in Aht Urhgan Whitegate to begin your journey.

Puppetmaster

Fantastical performers who use technology and magic to automate a small puppet. But great things come in this small package, as the automaton may be activated to fight alongside their Puppetmaster. Interchangeable parts allow the master to alter their robot's artificial intelligence, combat style, and performance. This allows the automaton to take on nearly any role in a party, and may be adjusted at any point outside of combat when the master has time to deactivate the puppet. The Puppetmaster has many roles themselves, influencing their automaton's behavior through the use of maneuvers, repairing and maintaining their automaton, and using their entertaining acrobatics and deft artificer hands to pummel enemies themselves. Externally, the puppet's head may be swapped to adjust how it fights, and its frame governs the internal parts it's capable of installing. Internally, those various attachments affect the capabilities of the automaton, ranging from the amount of damage it can inflict and receive to granting it abilities that mimic those used by other jobs. The Firewater Circle fountain in Bastok Markets is often the stage for a Puppetmaster named Shamarhaan. Maybe he can start you on your way to becoming one yourself!

Scholar

The mind of a Scholar is filled with military strategy and tactical theory passed down through generations. These brilliant disciples of war are masters of both White and Black Magic, though not concurrently. As there is too much theory to memorize, Scholars summon forth astral grimoires from which to reference the great powers of Light or Dark Arts. Drawing upon either grimoire will grant the Scholar aptitude in that field of magic and grant them the ability to execute intermittent stratagems that add to the flexibility of their spellcasting. Proper management of their magic pools, grimoires, and stratagems can allow a Scholar to flourish as either an effective healer with heavy damage, or a damage-dealer with strong support skills. Among their more formidable abilities are those that control the weather and special Helix spells that afflict their target with calamitous damage over time. If only there was a way to return to the past and speak to Professor Erlene, one might learn how to use the power of the grimoire...

Dancer

Front-line performers who expertly flourish daggers amidst dazzling dance moves. Dancers revel in the heat of battle, using their martial tactics to set the tempo for combat in their favor. Their abilities are fueled by TP, allowing them enormous flexibility on the battlefield. When entering combat, Dancers will lead their front-line allies in a rousing Samba, then daze their enemy with a barrage of Steps which build up to a conclusive Flourish. Their Flourishes offer all manner of utility, from controlling the enemy to setting up powerful Skillchains to surging their own damage. When allies are battle-weary, Dancers can perform an inspiring Waltz to shake off their wounds and ailments. Dancers' intricate movements require them to wear lighter armor, but it also means they're apt at defying the attacks of their enemies. Combined with the ability to heal themselves and provoke foes, Dancers may even be built for tanking in some circumstances. At any rate, they're fantastic at both going solo and leading a team. For those learning to be one of these fabulous assassins, try asking the troupe of dancers that perform in Upper Jeuno.

Rune Fencer

Drawing upon an ancient form of magic and the practical dueling nature of swords are the mystical Rune Fencers. Rune Fencers enchant themselves with various elements by signing Runes. These grant them the properties of those elements, emboldening their attacks and growing their resistances. They then may use the runes they've harbored to further ward themselves and their allies from harm, or effuse them to charge a powerful strike. A high aptitude with parrying and countering, as well as high enmity gain with use of their many abilities allow Rune Fencers to defend their allies extremely well. And their elemental wards make Rune Fencers especially capable against foes that fight with magic. Naturally low defense and a lack of healing abilities means they rely heavily on the persistence of their abilities and a capable healer. But their ability to hold the attention of large groups of enemies and ability to survive devastatingly powerful magic make Rune Fencers very effective defenders. Speak with the gentleman in the fancy armor on the steps of Eastern Adoulin named Octavien. He knows plenty about runes!

Geomancer

By listening to the very heartbeat of Vana'diel itself, Geomancers tap into powerful terrestrial sorcery. They draw the power of geomancy into themselves and act as a focus of their own magic. Depending on the spell, this means that they need proximity to their intended target, be it magnifying the strength of their allies or crippling their foes. After mastering the spell which emanates from themselves, Geomancers may attune to reservoirs of geomantic energy, allowing them to cast the same spells on a terrestrial spirit called a Luopan. These formless beings may themselves become a second focus of the Geomancer's magical effects, and may be placed strategically to the benefit of their team. Luopans are ephemeral, but hardy. And though stationary, the Geomancer does have limited control over them. Beyond this, Geomancers also possess the ability to evoke devastating elemental magic, making use of relative positioning to enhance their effects. To create and nurture a Luopan of your own, speak to Sylvie in Western Adoulin near the docks.

More Helpful Tips

Communication

Final Fantasy XI is a game heavily based around communication. The slower pace and automatic attacks often allows party members to communicate via in-game text chat, and many elements such as Skillchains and Magic Bursts rely on players discussing strategy with one another. In lieu of "Guilds" or "Companies", Vana'diel uses special pearls worn as earrings that magically communicate through the shell from which they originate. We call these Linkshells, and are our main method of communicating with our larger squads of friends. Because you may hold the pearls from many different Linkshells, many cater to specialized events. New players in particular may find use in speaking to a Linkshell Concierge, as they will match you with a recruiting Linkshell!

Like other games in the genre, it offers many different channels for chat. Most players will default their chat to either Party or Linkshell depending on the situation, only using other channels if the need arises. Pressing forward slash (/) will always start typing, regardless of your keyboard settings. The chat you use may be set as a default in menus or prefixed with the following:

  • /say (/s, Ctrl+S) - To nearby players only, regardless of their relationship with you. /say doesn't get used often.
  • /tell (/t, Ctrl+T) - Directly to a specific player. This will only work if the next word is the name of a player, for example "/tell Bahamut How's it going?"
    • Ctrl+R instead will allow you to instantly fill in your text with the last person who sent you a direct /tell. If you're communicating with many people at once, you may use this command multiple times to cycle through the names of multiple adventurers.
  • /party (/p, Ctrl+P) - To your party, if you're a part of one.
  • /linkshell (/l, Ctrl+L) - To your linkshell, if you have one equipped. If you have two equipped, you may differentiate with /linkshell1 (/l1) and /linkshell2 (/l2)
  • /shout (/sh) - To everyone in the same zone as you, like a wider-range /say. Use sparingly.
  • /yell (/y) - To everyone on the server. It's automatically limited to how frequently you may use this, and many players choose to filter it out.
  • /echo - To just yourself.
  • /emote (/em) - To everyone nearby, beginning with your name, and appearing as an emote. For example, "/em hugs the Moogle." would appear as "Bahamut hugs the Moogle."

Every server (aka: world) is international. You'll find yourself adventuring with folks from all around the world - in real life! And Final Fantasy XI provides means to communicate with people who may not speak your language. The Auto-Translator is a feature that allows you to pull up key words and phrases into your chat, and will display in everyone's native language! This is opened using the Tab key on your keyboard, and may be used after writing part of a word to narrow your options. For example, you may type "Hello" and then hit Tab which will let you select {Hello!}. When you see the green and red brackets, you know it's from the translator. Nearly everything may be communicated this way, and you can go on whole adventures with players from around the world! The only caveat is that some words and phrases have more than one meaning in different languages. Where an English player may see {Take care} as "Be well until the next time I see you!", the other languages will receive a more narrow translation of "Be cautious of this threat". Or for another example, you may interpret "Nice to meet you!" as "It was nice to have met you", it translates more strictly in other languages as present tense. Just be mindful; you may rest easy knowing nothing inherently translates insultingly.

Syntax and Macros

In addition to text chat being a fundamental part of the game, text may be used as a means to perform nearly any action as well. By following specific syntax, you may execute job abilities, weapon skills, and spells, or do other things like open menus, equip items, and follow your friends. There are lots of small tricks you can add to your text that can really make your life easier. Using open-angle brackets (<>) you can quickly draw information from the game, either for your own use or for communicating in a party. For some examples:

  • <pos> - Your position on the map, using coordinates.
  • <job> - Your job and subjob, which will read as something like "WAR30/MNK15". You may also use <mjob> and <sjob> to isolate main and subjob, respectively.
  • <hp> - Your current hit points (<hpp> will show it as a percentage)
  • <mp> - Your current magic points (<mpp> will show it as a percentage); extremely important for spell-casters
  • <tp> - Your current tactical points; extremely useful when coordinating Skillchains

Those same open-angle brackets may be used to call upon specific targets. For example:

  • <t> - The target of your cursor
  • <bt> - The battle target of your party; this targets the most recent enemy affected by any party member
  • <me> - You
  • <pet> - Your pet, if you have one
  • <stpc> - Selected target player character; allowing you to browse over the battlefield to target an ally
  • <stnpc> - Selected target non-player character; allowing you to browse to target an enemy
  • <stpt> - This jumps your cursor to the party list and lets you pick your target from that list (<stal> will do the same for an alliance if you have one)

Much like picking a channel in chat, you may execute an action by prefixing your text with a forward slash. Some examples:

  • /ja - Job Ability
  • /ma - Magic
  • /ws - Weapon Skill
  • /range - Executes a ranged attack
  • /equip - Equips an item to the designated slot
  • /equipset # - Equips an item set; you can make your own item sets in a submenu within the Macro menu (eg: /equipset 2)

All of this combines to allow you to type in your actions. From here, all you need to know is that the name of the action must be in quotation marks. For example:

  • /ja "Provoke" <t> (This will immediately use the Warrior's job ability Provoke on your cursor target)
  • /ma "Cure II" <stpt> (This will bring your cursor to your party list, and then begin casting Cure II on the target you select)
  • /equip Head "Bronze Cap" (This will equip a Bronze Cap to your head if you have one in your inventory)

Macros are programmable buttons you may quickly access by using Ctrl+(1~0) and Alt+(1~0), or if you're using a controller LT and RT or L2 and R2. These become absolutely critical as you level up, as you can combine multiple lines into one button. Anything that you can type, you can add it to a macro. This is where the syntax really comes into play. Even if a macro only has one line, it can really let you bypass an overwhelming list of abilities or spells. And in really big fights between lots of enemies and lots of allies, using <stpt> targeting can save precious seconds. Furthermore, macros can let you combine communication with actions. Every macro may be given a name and up to 6 lines to code. Don't forget auto-translator in case your team doesn't speak English. As an example:

  • Title: Protectra
  • Line 1: /p {Gather together} {Protectra} MP = <mp> (<mpp>)
  • Line 2: /ma "Protectra" <me>
    • This macro tells your party to gather within range of the Protectra spell, and also communicates your remaining MP, all while beginning to cast the spell

For another example:

  • Title: Ranged
  • Line 1: /equip Ammo "Acid Bolt"
  • Line 2: /range <stnpc>
    • This macro automatically ensures your ammunition is equipped, even if you just depleted a stack of Acid Bolts, and lets you pick an enemy to attack

An extremely critical addition to macros is "wait", which may be input as its own line as "/wait #" or following a previous line in brackets as "<wait #>". Wait adds a timed delay to the macro, where # is a number in decimal seconds (eg: /wait 1.5). For example:

  • Title: SC
  • Line 1: /p {Ready to start skillchain!} TP = <tp>
  • Line 2: /wait 1.5
  • Line 3: /ja "Warcry" <me>
  • Line 4: /wait 1
  • Line 5: /ws "Fast Blade" <t>
    • This lets the party know your intention, prepares everyone with bonus damage from Warrior's Warcry ability (if it's available; if not, it'll skip the line), and then executes the Fast Blade sword weapon skill.


Level 2 and Beyond - Incomplete

As you grow in levels, the obstacles become more difficult, yet the journey becomes easier. Unique to Final Fantasy XI is that leveling subsequent jobs and repeating progress becomes easier as you go, because everything you do gradually accumulates. Hopefully you've taken the advice above, and are utilizing all of the tools at your disposal such as Records of Eminence and their Sparks rewards. Be sure to try and keep on top of the Rhapsodies of Vana'diel storyline as much as you can as well, as periodic rewards from that content grant gigantic boosts to your experience point accumulation and give other rewards such as cheaper Home Point teleportation!

Unities

One thing you'll be able to do very quickly is join a Unity. Unities are a supplement to the Records of Eminence feature, offer yet another place to communicate with allies, and open the door to a lot of fun content to play around with as you progress. Even more importantly, Unities will allow you to teleport around even to places you haven't been to yet. You may even use the warping feature to bypass the otherwise difficult trial of running to Jeuno. After you've been a part of your Unity for long enough, you may even summon an alter-ego of your Unity leader!

Notorious Monsters

Another thing you can start doing early on is vanquishing notorious monsters ("NM's" for short). Every once in a while you may come across a monster that looks visibly like other enemies near it, but with a name. And when you examine this creature, it will appear as "Impossible to gauge!". These creatures are much more difficult than their nearby kin (and will often link to them) but can yield some extraordinary rewards. In the starting areas, be on the lookout for Jaggedy-Eared Jack and Leaping Lizzy. Or the Valkurm Emperor in the Dunes. Their drops are rare, but extremely valuable for many, many levels ahead.

Unlocking your Support Job

At level 18 you may finally unlock your support job! You need only complete one of the following two quests: Elder Memories from Isacio in Selbina (which requires you to collect a Damselfly Worm, a Crab Apron, and a Magicked Skull), or The Old Lady from Vera in Mhaura (which requires you to collect a Wild Rabbit Tail, Dhalmel Saliva, and a Bloody Robe). These collections may be altogether bypassed if you have already completed the Rhapsodies of Vana'diel mission Set Free. This mission will reward you with a letter that you may use instead of the three collected items. You may proceed to this point along the Rhapsodies storyline even if you're on the free trial of Final Fantasy XI.

After you've unlocked your subjob, you'll have to level it up. Your sub won't level along with your main job, and will only give you bonuses for up to half of your main job's level. If the job you reached Lv.18 on is the only job you've leveled, now's a good time to return back to your home nation and swap your jobs around. Similar jobs will often complement each other the best, especially early on. For example, subbing Monk to Warrior will offer more than if you were to sub White Mage. But early on, it's great to experiment and see what works best for you. There are some wild and fantastic combinations out there!

Jeuno

Around the time you've reached level 20, you'll be pretty well done with the beginner areas. If you've collected enough Unity Accolades, you may simply talk to one of the Unity NPC's (there's one in each starting nation) and warp to the level 125 "Wanted Battle" in the Batallia Downs. You don't need to actually fight anything, they'll just warp you near where the fight would normally happen. From there, it's a quick jaunt to Jeuno. Otherwise, you can take the scenic route and walk all the way to the central nation like how we used to do it way back in the day!

The Grand Duchy of Jeuno is essentially the hub city of Final Fantasy XI. No matter which nation you started in, the paths will converge here by the end of rank 3, and you'll find yourself stopping here all the time for everything ranging from missions and quests to equipment upgrades and accessing content. Jeuno is also just a common gathering place, and is where many players will set up bazaars to buy and sell items without placing them on the Auction House.

Inventory Expansions

Inventory Expansions

Burning Circle Notorious Monsters

BCNM's

Adventuring Fellow

Adventuring Fellow

Chocobo License

Chocobo License

Expeditionary Force

Expeditionary Force

Advanced Jobs

Advanced Jobs

Abyssea

Abyssea

Artifact Armor

Artifact Armor

Shattering the Level Cap

In Defiant Challenge

Merit Points

Merit Points

Original Endgame Content

Lv.75 stuff

Job Points

Job Points

Item Levels

Item Levels

Endgame

Endgame


-FIN-