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A beginner's guide to Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV is an undeniably popular MMO, standing alongside industry giants such as World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online, and Guild Wars 2. The game is launching a promotion period ahead of its revolutionary 5.3 patch, wherein PlayStation 4 players can get the base game and a 30-day subscription for free until May 26th. The next update for FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers is a very big one - not just for current fans of the game, but new players too. Not only does it continue the adventure with brand new story content, challenges, gear and more, it updates and streamlines the original A Realm Reborn questline too!

One Character, Every Job

FFXIV’s job system is also incredibly player-friendly. Classes are linked to weapons, crafting tools, and for more advanced classes, job stones. Whereas some MMOs would have you make alternate characters to take up the jobs you didn’t pick on your main, you only need one character to experience everything FFXIV has to offer. Switching from dragoon to blue mage is as simple as changing your equipped weapon and job stone.

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Character Creation

FFXIV character creation is nowhere near the realms of Black Desert Online, however, it is not as limited as something like World of Warcraft. I find that it reaches a happy medium between too few or too many options, even though I’m pretty sure that character models will be updated sometime in the future. The creation has five races (six with the inclusion of Au Ra unlocked after the purchase of the Heavensward expansion), each containing two tribes and a variety of options including height, skin color, race or gender specific options, hair and eye color (which has a multitude of color options), many hairstyles, tattoo or make-up, and so on.

Main Story Quest

Unlike many other MMOs, FFXIV revolves around a central narrative, which for some may be seen as a negative depending on your taste in story progression. From the moment you take your first steps into the Adventurer’s Guild, your character grows alongside the story and the characters you meet throughout the game grow alongside you. Many important events are linked to your Main Scenario Quests, such as intercity travel, obtaining your mount and access to dungeons. One thing you will notice from the FFXIV community as a whole is that spoilers to the main story are guarded heavily as there are important and emotional story twists that we all want you to experience first hand.

The Streamlined Base Game

You may have heard that the base game is slow-going, and there's some truth to that. By no means does that make it bad, but Square Enix has done newcomers a favor--the latest patch streamlined the main questline for A Realm Reborn. About 13 percent of it that was not critical to the story has either been removed or condensed. This is to cut down on unnecessary objectives that were either repetitive or fetch quest-y, or just had you going back and forth between locations without much payoff. Still, ARR has its moments and works well for showing you the ropes.

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