“Pray return to the Waking Sands” – Minfilia, Scions of the Seventh Dawn.
Well met would be adventurers! Today I am here to tell you the story of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the hit MMORPG from Square Enix that is currently FREE to play through its base game AND its first expansion, all the way through level 60, with NO cap on playtime. If you know, you know.
Before I dive into the nitty gritty details of the game, here is what you can expect from this MMORPG.
- An open world that feels lived in.
- An amazing story that places you in the protagonist’s seat.
- Loveable characters.
- Unique classes and the ability to try them all with ease on ONE character.
If that list gets your fingers itching to mash some buttons, stick around as I tell you about the new player experience for FFXIV: ARR.
FFXIV is VERY new player-friendly in terms of gameplay. The classes all start with just a small handful of abilities and organically add new buttons to press as you level up and play through the story. You can learn the class as you play, as opposed to having to figure out complex rotations and spell combos all at once. For me, that is a huge win for the game because MMOs are known for being a bit complicated. Now, let us dive a little bit deeper into the class/job systems of FFXIV. When you start the game, you have the option to choose from a handful of Classes, with many more opening up as you play through the game. Upon reaching level 30, these classes evolve into more specific Jobs, which are more powerful versions of each class. Final Fantasy might see some familiar names.
First of all we have our tanks. The job of the tanks is to keep the attention of all of the baddies so that the other classes can focus on taking them down and healing. The first tank is the Gladiator. Gladiators use a Sword and Shield as their weapons of choice and focus on protecting themselves and their party members from damage. At level 30, they evolve into the Paladin job.
The second tank we have from the start is Marauder. They swing a big ol’ ax around and do lots of damage to keep the bad guys focused on them. At level 30, they become Warriors.
Next up, we have our DPS or Damage Per Second classes. Their job is to kill the enemies and bosses as fast as possible. Within this category, we have even more options such as Melee DPS fighting up close and personal, Ranged Physical DPS who attack with physical weapons from afar, and Ranged Magic DPS, who sling spells at the baddies.
Up first for Melee DPS is Lancer. They use a spear and attack using jumping abilities to help close the distance between them and their target. At level 30 they soar into the Dragoon job.
Next, you have the Pugilist. (Forever cursed to be mispronounced by me.) They use their fists to solve their problems, and at level 30, they turn into Monks.
The only option for Ranged Physical DPS is the Archer. They bombard their foes with a bow and arrow, but upon reaching level 30, they become Bards, which not only attacks but also uses musical magic to support their friends.
Ready to pew pew magic at your enemies? Ranged Magic DPS is the job for you. The game opens up with two options for you to choose from.
Starting with the Thaumaturge. They carry a staff and call upon powerful ice and fire magicks to attack their foes, and upon reaching level 30, they turn into the Black Mage job.
Secondly, we have the Arcanist. Using their grimoires as a focus, this class is a bit special. They start off as a ranged DPS class, using the power of summoning magic along with Damage Over Time spells (DOTs) to support their attacks, but upon reaching level 30, they have the choice to turn into either a Summoner, which continues to be a Ranged Magical DPS class or a Scholar which is one of the healer jobs available in the game.
Speaking of healers, the only healer available to you at level 1 will be the Conjurer class. They carry a wand or staff and call upon the magicks of the elements to heal their friends and attack their foes. At level 30, they become White Mages.
This was a very brief overview of all the classes and jobs you can start with, and as mentioned earlier, there are so many options that become available to you as you continue to play the game, the first being at level 10!
While being named “XIV” (Fourteen), you do not need to play any other Final Fantasy game to understand the plot as this game, as with many of the games in the FF series, takes place on its own self-contained universe. Our adventures take place in the world of Hydaelyn, primarily on the continent of Eorzea. Five years before the start of our adventure, some really bad things happened on Eorzea, which ushered the world into the seventh umbral era, also known as the Calamity. All to say, the world is pretty messed up, and it is a very prosperous, albeit dangerous, time to be an adventurer.
Depending on your chosen class (which, again, is changeable throughout the game), you will start in one of three major city-states on Eorzea, all of which are inhabited by the various races of the world at this point. There is the nature-loving Gridania, The desert jewel Ul’Dah, or the island city of Limsa Lominsa (say that 10x fast). As you adventure, you will find many other settlements throughout Hydaelyn, but these three will always be revisited time and time again. Without giving too much away, as you explore, you will become very well acquainted with an organization referred to as the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. This fun group operates outside of the governments of Eorzea, hellbent on making the country a better place for all by stopping the wicked beast tribes from summoning their Primal gods and causing massive destruction. This group grows and shrinks throughout the story of the game and has a very loveable cast of characters that you will grow to love as you venture alongside them.
This game is truly a lot of fun, but you might be wondering why it is called A Realm Reborn and not just Final Fantasy XIV Online. Well, that story is rather long-winded, but the general gist is: The original game really sucked, and the player base did not like it at all. It under delivered on many of its promises but instead of packing it in and calling it a loss, the current director Naoki Yoshida, took it as an opportunity to hear the players’ concerns and start over from ground zero. This event is even referenced in-story and via the 5-year time skip mentioned earlier. The new game was everything the player base wanted and more, and it has been thriving ever since. It is currently competing with that other game that shall not be mentioned for most played MMORPG, and many internet celebrities and streamers famous for their content on that other game have started playing FFXIV as well, creating a boom of new players starting their adventures in Eorzea.
So if you are looking to start the game, the hardest gate to crash through is downloading the damn thing, but I will put this link right here for you to help make your life easier.
Let us know if you end up giving this fun game a try! My favorite part about this game beyond the lore and gameplay is the community. The community of FFXIV is famous for being incredibly helpful to its new players, also known as “sprouts”. Gone are the days of being ashamed for being new to a dungeon and not knowing where to go. Just ask, and nine times out of ten, the other players will be glad to help you out! The game is riddled with Free Companies (guilds) that are all welcoming to new players and full of seasoned adventurers looking to help you start your journey. Another great feature is that there is content for every level of gamer. From casual to hardcore, there is plenty of content to keep you busy. If you want to try your hand at some of the hardest content in the game, there is plenty of it, but if that is not for you, do not sweat it. There is plenty of casual content, and NONE of the stories is locked behind hard content.
I am currently playing on the Primal Datacenter on the Lamia server. Feel free to look up Davola Steel in-game if you need any help or want to fight some monsters together!
Happy adventuring, and see you in Eorzea!