Final Fantasy XIV is an online MMO available on PC and Playstation. It’s been a year since I started the game and I wanted to take the chance to reflect on some of my memories since I began.
My current FFXIV PSN playtime is 1,815 hours.
This time last year after having a PS5 for around six weeks I decided to try and give Final Fantasy 14 a try. I didn’t know what to expect other than the fact it was an MMO so there would be other players but being a fan of other final fantasy games it was one I had considered trying. I believe I purchased a multipack of all the expansions up to Shadowbringers for around £50 which included a 30 day free trial and then the subscription would be £8.99 per month. After the free trial ended I decided to preorder the next expansion, Endwalker, which was at the time due to come out in November 2021.
Starting Jobs in FFXIV
I created my character, Avalon Lefae, as a female Au’Ra and started my game as an Arcanist as magic user has been my go to in video games. I remember googling ‘Can FFXIV be played solo’ and found that most of the game could be and everything was going fine up until my first dungeon. I’d spent all this time doing the MSQ hitting things with my book until I realised that wasn’t actually the way you should attack things and running around with my little Carbuncle murdering ladybirds only to be faced with my first obstacle. DPS queue times. Another google told me doing the job as a ‘Tank’ or a ‘Healer’ would speed things up. I knew a ‘tank’ character was one with high defence but I didn’t really know the expectations of ‘Tank’ players. I did however feel incredibly intimidated of the prospect of trying to keep everyone alive in a dungeon of players I didn’t know so I instead decided to try the class Marauderer.
After finally levelling it up enough I was able to go in my first dungeon and I had no idea what I was doing or what was expected of me. It was not good. I was constantly turning my stance on and off thinking it was an attack, I didn’t know about facing enemies away and I just made many, many mistakes. If you had told me last summer I would be progressing the current Savage raid tier as a tank I would have laughed and laughed in shock. There was however a lovely group of players that helped explain things to me my first time doing Aurum Vale which made the world of difference. I ensured my job stone was equipped as a Warrior, I kept stance on in dungeons and I was able to make my way through boss fights.
I remember getting to Shadowbringers and really struggling as a tank still which really stopped my enjoyment of the game but it was the only job I had levelled. I originally changed jobs again and started levelling Black Mage and did end up getting it to level 61 but I was still so far from the MSQ stories where my Warrior was, I think, level 77. I became super disheartened and actually, in the end, I decided to buy a ‘job skip’ for a DPS role so that I could get closer to the point I was at in the MSQ and continue playing. For some reason I went with Machinist. I didn’t know much about it other than it had guns and I was like yep, this is the job for me. As I job skipped it took me to level 70 and with a week or so of roulettes I eventually got myself to the same level as my Warrior and was able to continue with the rest of the story.
A Thank you to my FC Solheim
I loved the story for FFXIV but what really made me love this game is joining the FC I am now, I hope to think, a valued member of. I was invited randomly at low level when wondering around La Noscea during my time playing A Realm Reborn. I remember seeing a whole host of ‘Welcome’s in the chat box appear but I didn’t know how to select the box and type. In fact the first time I did it was purely by accident and I remember saying that I had only just worked out how to type as I was on console. I still kept mostly to myself but occassionally joined in with content with others and then joined the FC discord server after asking my daughter to show me how to use it and set up my in server nickname as my ingame name.
I remember the first time I joined on voice chat was for a quick session doing the Wonderous Tales sticker book where the leader of the FC was talking through how to complete it. It was an hour or so of fun and chatting to others which I was pretty nervous about at first but thankfully everyone was nice and approachable. Over the summer I joined in with a few mount farms for others which was fun but the real turning point in how I interacted with everyone and how I got better at the game was in the Autumn. The FC were running regular events to farm the dragon mounts from the Shadowbringers extreme trials and had got to Emerald Weapon. I was nervous but finally had it unlocked and a Machinist at the right level and ilevel so I signed up to join and it was incredibly stressful.
Becoming Avalon 2.0
I know my damage wasn’t really high enough compared to others and I was struggling a lot with positioning. In fact at that point I mostly played the game with the camera over my shoulder as I didn’t know how to zoom out. It wasn’t until that weapon fight that another console user told me which buttons to press and finally I could see the entire screen. It was the first time clearing a hard extreme trial and I ended up getting a mount drop too which was very cool. I then felt a little more confident to sign up with other FC events and put myself down for the next fight which was Diamond Weapon and it was horrible. We didn’t get one clear. I was so, so disheartened. I felt like I’d let everyone down because I just wasn’t good enough to be doing harder content. I stopped signing up for events and I actually didn’t log on very much for the following week. I didn’t really engage with anyone at all.
However, after a week I signed up for the next trial, The Seat of Sacrifice, and it completely changed how I played the game. Firstly because one of the other members of the team offered to show me how to play the game as a Machinist and gave me tips on improving my rotation, thus improving my damage. And as another team member said once “after that we got Avalon 2.0” and that lead me to getting all of my dragon mounts and then getting the confidence to pick Warrior back up and start tanking again.
The release of Endwalker was equally exciting for everyone and I remember logging in that day and getting straight into the MSQ. It was great experiencing this with the FC and seeing everyone’s reactions as they progressed. It was a lot of fun joining in for the first ex trials with the expansion with everyone and then the raids when they dropped. However, one of the biggest turning points for me was attempting the savage version of the newest raids which I am still trying to progress through now. We’ve had some set backs and changes and where I started the raids as a DPS I’ve now moved over to being the Off Tank during the raids which is a new way of doing the fights and things I’ve had to learn again.
The social side of the game is something I didn’t expect to enjoy but I’ve now gained what I hope are long term friends that I spend a few nights each week raiding with. We do casual content during the day like farming fates or helping with dungeons, we get together for the new alliance raid to pick up glamour pieces and do treasure map runs for money and to do something chilled out and casual. Listening to other peoples theories and take on the lore of the game is always super interesting too and has made me look into things differently. It’s lovely having my ‘video game’ people too.
Getting Married in FFXIV
I couldn’t do this piece without mentioning my ingame wife who introduced me to more of the social side of gaming like going to parties and nightclubs in game, the stress of buying and decorating a house and arranging our very own wedding. It has been so lovely making such a good friend to do content with and learn raids and fights together. We wanted to get married because you got a mount for it and it gave you a chance to have a fun evening with friends which we did and then proceeded to do the treasure maps in our wedding outfits. It was a lot of fun.
Levelling Other Jobs
I am now, I’d like to think, a much better and more confident player. I’ve got a max level job in each category which I didn’t think would happen. I levelled all of my tanks and found a new favourite in Gunbreaker. I even levelled a healer, properly, by doing content and dungeons and can, semi confidently play Astrologian. I still love playing as a ranged DPS and with always love playing Machinist. I’ve also levelled all my crafters and gatherers, bar fisher which has been on level 87 since December. I had a lot of fun playing the new job Reaper which has become my chosen Melee DPS job. I’ve also got a few other jobs to 80 so that I can use them to do the new Beast Tribe quests when they are released in patch 6.15 – Bard, Red Mage and Dragoon.
I’ve also changed race for a little bit to Lalafell. I fully intend to go back to Avalon the Au’Ra but for now I’m happy playing as Lalavalon and will stay as a smol character until I’ve got my clear on P3S. She is super cute, I’m sure you’ll agree.