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|This article is a personal guide. Information expressed in this guide is one player's opinion and may be more opinion than fact. Strategies and information contained herein may not work for everyone.|
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Hello, I play Darktrance on the Gilgamesh server, and still a fairly new player to the game. I am creating this guide because I think it can be useful to players starting the game in deciding what armor choices to make and what crafts may be most helpful to explore. This is a work in progress, and I'm a bit rusty on Wiki editing, so feel free to modify this page if it improves it's ability to assist others. Please also check out Darktrance's Guide to Swords.
If you read this guide and benefit from it, or have some critique, I would VERY MUCH appreciate your comments on the talk page.
Jobs Types vs. Armor Types
The listed jobs can wear the following types of armor:
- Warrior - Plate, Chain, Scale, Leather, and Harness Sets.
- Monk - Harness, Kenpogi, Doublet, Robe, and Tunic Sets.
- Thief, Corsair, & Dancer - Leather, Harness, Doublet, and Robe Sets.
- White Mage & Puppetmaster - Doublet, Robe, and Tunic sets.
- Red Mage & Blue Mage- Scale, Leather, Harness, Doublet, Robe, Tunic Sets.
- Black Mage, Summoner, & Scholar - Robe & Tunic Sets.
- Paladin - Plate, Chain, Scale, Leather, Harness, & Tunic Sets.
- Dark Knight - Plate, Chain, Scale, Leather, Harness, & Robe Sets.
- Beastmaster - Chain, Scale, Leather, Harness, and Doublet Sets.
- Bard - Leather, Harness, Doublet, Robe, and Tunic Sets.
- Ranger - Scale, Leather, Robe, and Tunic Sets.
- Samurai - Chain, Scale, Leather, Harness, Kenpogi, and Doublet Sets.
- Ninja - Chain, Leather, Harness, and Kenpogi.
- Dragoon - Scale, Leather, Harness, Doublet Sets.
As you continue through this guide, you'll find extended details about armor types, crafting and jobs.
In Final Fantasy XI there are many different types of armor, but most can be broken down into 9 basic types. These types include Heavy Armor such as Plate and Chain Armor sets used by jobs like Paladin and Warrior, and Light Armor types such as Tunics and Robes worn typically by Magic users. Below are the different types of armor availible and the crafts associated with that particular armor type. There are a few armor types that do not fit this mold (ex. Noct Doublet Set), but the majority do.
These sets include Plate Armor Set. Very heavy armor worn by Paladin, Dark Knight, and Warrior job classes exclusively. This armor type promises highest defense in exchange for it's exclusiveness to the three classes who charge head first into battle. Most of these armor types are products of Smithing and Goldsmithing. This type of armor becomes available at lv 40.
- Plate Armor Set Level 40
- Iron Musketeer's Cuirass Set Level 40-50
- Mythril Plate Armor Set Level 50
- Gold Cuirass Set Level 60
- Hydra Haubert Set Level 70
- Shadow Breastplate Set Level 75
These sets include Iron Chainmail Set. Heavy armor worn by WAR, PLD, DRK, BST, SAM, NIN job classes. Durable chain sets offer high defense with more flexibility for other job types, but typically offer less protection than Plate. Most of these armors require Smithing and/or Goldsmithing abilities. This type of armor becomes available at lv 24.
- Iron Chainmail Set Level 24
- Silver Chainmail Set Level 36
- Royal Squire's Chainmail Set Level 40
- Alumine Haubert Set Level 45
- Banded Mail Set Level 46
- Royal Knight's Chainmail Set Level 50-55
- Sipahi Jawshan Set Level 59
- Haubergeon Set Level 59
These sets include Centurion's Scale Mail Set. Mid-Class armor suitable for WAR, RDM, PLD, DRK, BST, RNG, SAM, DRG, BLU job classes. The flexibility of scales allow for increase movement and versatility for other job classes while offering good defense. This armor type is also a product of Smithing and Goldsmithing. This armor type becomes available at lv 10.
- Scale Mail Set Level 10
- Brass Scale Armor Set Level 27
- Centurion's Scale Mail Set Level 30
- Iron Scale Mail Set Level 37-40
- Steel Scale Mail Set Level 48
Leather Armors, i.e. Vest/Jerkin Sets
Leather Vest Set at lv 7 begins this series of armor. This class of armor is crafted using the skins of beasts, and is where Leathercraft shines. These sets offer Less defense than Scale armor, but provide more freedom of movement in battle. Available to WAR, RDM, THF, PLD, DRK, BST, BRD, RNG, SAM, NIN, DRG, BLU, COR, DNC, versatility with this gear will make it last through leveling multiple job classes. However, average defense make it less suitable for those looking to get hit.
- Leather Vest Set Level 7
- Royal Footman's Vest Set Level 10-20
- Lizard Jerkin Set Level 17
- Strong Armor Set Level 30
- Cuir Armor Set Level 38
- Raptor Armor Set Level 48
- Jaridah Peti Set Level 55
- Beak Jerkin Set Level 58
- Hydra Harness Set Level 70 (Despite being called a Harness set, it follows the Vest rules)
- Dusk Jerkin Set Level 72
These sets are available as soon as lv 1, beginning with Bronze Harness Set. These sets give the most defense for the most job types, available for all jobs but WHM, BLM, RNG, SMN, PUP, SCH. I can only assume Ranger doesn't wear this set because of it's lack of coverage to the extremities (don't want to catch poison ivy, itching messes up your aim); Subligars look like you're running around in metal underwear. Most of thes sets are crafted using both Smithing/Bonecraft and Leathercraft.
- Bronze Harness Set Level 1
- Legionnaire's Harness Set Level 10-20
- Brass Harness Set Level 11
- Bone Harness Set Level 16
- Beetle Harness Set Level 21
- Shade Harness Set Level 25
- Padded Armor Set Level 35
- Carapace Harness Set Level 45
- Scorpion Harness Set Level 57
- Darksteel Harness Set Level 63-65
Kenpogi, Gi, Dogi Sets
These sets offer the most durability available for cloth armor sets, but are exclusive to Monk, Ninja and Samurai job classes. While some sets offer unique bonuses, personal preference often determines whether this armor is the choice for you. Clothcraft and Woodworking are the required skills to craft these sets. Available at lv 8 with Kenpogi Set.
- Kenpogi Set Level 8
- Cotton Dogi Set Level 18
- Mercenary's Gi Set Level 20
- Soil Gi Set Level 29
- Shinobi Gi Set Level 49
- Arhat's Gi Set Level 64
- Rasetsu Samue Set Level 72
- Shura Togi Set Level 73
Doublet, Gambison, Jupon Sets
For those jobs who are looking for a lil defense while keeping the freedom of movement not capable with heavier armors, these sets are choice. Typically these sets are available to MNK, WHM, RDM, THF, PLD, BST, BRD, DRG, SMN, BLU, COR, PUP, DNC, with few exceptions listed below. These set use primarily Clothcraft to create, occassionally incorporating Goldsmithing or Leathercraft as well. Much like Jerkin sets, these offer versatility, but often lack the bonuses Mages look for or the defense Damage dealers would want. Available at level 11.
Sets include :
- Doublet Set Level 11
- Cotton Doublet Set Level 23
- Mercenary Captain's Doublet Set Level 30
- Gambison Set Level 36
- Wool Gambison Set Level 48
- Crow Jupon Set Level 50
- Tabin Jupon Set Level 59-65
Robe, Saio, Coat Sets
Available at level 1 with the appropriately named Robe Set. These sets are typical amongst magic users but are available to the following job types; MNK, WHM, BLM, RDM, THF, DRK, BRD, RNG, SMN, BLU, COR, PUP, DNC, SCH. These sets are sought after for their unique bonuses in Mind or Intelligence that become innate in many sets after level 20. Crafted with Clothcraft and Leathercraft, these are typically worn by mages and offer mediocre defense with few exceptions (Trader's Saio Set).
- Robe Set Level 1
- Linen Robe Set Level 12
- Trader's Saio Set Level 20
- Wool Robe Set Level 28
- Velvet Robe Set Level 38
- Tactician Magician's Cloak Set Level 50 (Despite being called Cloak Set, it fits in this category and headgear can be equipped unlike typical cloaks).
- Silk Coat Set Level 53
- Silken Coat Set Level 53
First available at lv 8 with the Tunic Set, they offer the least defense, but often include bonuses that at to their usefulness. Worn by MNK, WHM, BLM, RDM, PLD, BRD, RNG, SMN, BLU, PUP, these sets are similar to Robe sets. Worn most often by mage type jobs, like robes they often offer unique bonuses to benefit magic casters. Clothcraft can be used to create most pieces to these sets while the foot wear is primarily Leathercraft.
- Tunic Set Level 8
- Black Tunic Set Level 20
- Linen Cloak Set Level 34
- Combat Caster's Cloak Set Level 40
- White Cloak Set Level 50
Why is this information important?
As you level in Final Fantasy XI and establish your character, one thing you'll learn quick is that gil doesn't grow on trees. Though sometimes you can hunt down those trees, kill them for items, and sell them on Auction. Choosing a armor set that lasts can save you considerable time and money, and regardless of how much storage space you have, it will never be enough. Lets say you first job choice is Warrior. So you level to 18, get your subjob of Monk, level that to 15, switch back to Warrior and level that to 30, then unlock Beastmaster as your advanced job. All three of these jobs can use Harness Sets; Bastokan Set would be ideal for all three sets til Level 15. As both Beastmaster and Warrior can use Centurion Set, Scale Armor would be a great set for level 30+ and is a storable set to boot. Planning ahead can save you money, and Conquest Points can be better than Gil, so Signet is your BEST friend.
When you begin to get comfortable with the game, you may find yourself interested in doing level capped events, and there are MANY. It's usually a good idea to have one set of armor for every 10 levels starting with level 20. You may be tempted to sell your armor as you level, but storing armor is a great way to prepare for future game play. Storeable armors begin with level 24, and armor for levels below 15-20 are often readily available for inexpensive prices. An example for a Dark Knight might be; Baron's Saio Set for lv 20 (in Mog House), Centurion's Scale Mail Set for lv 30, Plate Armor Set for lv 40, Steel Scale Mail Set for 50, etc. This will leave you well prepared to do Garrison, BCNM, and other events with quality sets of armor. One disadvantage to this is you must have the entire set to store it, and it may be difficult to obtain some pieces (On Gilgamesh server it took me a month to find a Sallet to complete my Plate Armor Set).
- Since update, storing armor for level caps is somewhat less of an issue now with Level Sync. In most cases, your stored armor will still be superior to level synced armor.
For new players starting the game, Crystals may just be a quick way to get money through the Auction House. Crafting can be a slowly rewarding process when done casually or an expensive hobby when done seriously. Either way, crafting for your job choice can be a source of added enjoyment for players. Below are the crafts best suited for different job types when considering armor sets.
Clothcraft primarily uses earth, lightning and wind crystals for the creation of Robes, Tunics, Doublets and Kenpogi Sets. This craft offers some early benefits by offering lv 11 Doublet Set as it's first tier synths. Jobs that benefit most from this craft are Support and Magic users, but it's not a bad craft for Monk, Thief or Ninja either. Leathercraft is a great subcraft, as it allows access to Noct Doublet, Seer's Tunic and the very nice Baron's Saio armor. Materials can be harvested or desynthed from beastmen drops, or purchased from Guilds.
Leathercraft uses dark, earth and wind crystals for the creation of Jerkins, as well as used in almost every other armor type at one time or another. This craft focuses on using the skins of the beasts you kill in order to make armor, and can be very profitable early on because of the prices for Sheep Leather. This craft is best suited for Rangers, Thieves and Corsairs, though can serve many other jobs well. Materials can be very time consuming to accquire and can be frustrating without a job level high enough to make hunting efficient. In creation of armors, Leathercraft is very useful trade to learn, but leveling it can make you cringe.
I'm grouping these to crafts together because they really do go hand in hand. Many armor sets created by smithing can then be upgraded with goldsmithing. Smithing creates the bulk of the heavy armors using Fire, Earth and Wind crystals using ore that can be mined or dropped from worms. Goldsmithing in terms of armor creation is often a subcraft to another craft (ex. Gambison) or takes an existing armor and makes it better (Brass Scale Mail). Both of these types use the same crystals and involve mining as a means to obtain materials. These abilities are ideal for Warrior, Dark Knight, Paladin, Samurai, but can benefit MANY other jobs in various ways. Leveling these crafts can take awhile before you obtain any results that have much value, but diligence does indeed pay off.
Regardless of what craft you choose, or don't choose there are many benefits to crafting you own armor, including the fact that if you have the time, you don't need the gil to afford it. Crafting is in no way necessary for anyone, but I'd recommend it. Personally, despite being a Dark Knight I had chosen Clothcraft as my job choice because it seemed the easiest and cheapest one to level. While it's not often that my craft benefits my Dark Knight, it benefits many of my subjobs when I choose to level them. In the end, you should do what you enjoy, but it's worth noting that raw materials that you can craft from crystals are typically worth more than the crystals themselves, meaning that crafting can be very profitable without going crazy with it.