With 2.4 out, I’m getting many more new players and returning players asking about how to gear in the new soldiery/poetics environment. With hunting and tomestone changes, I think there’s a dramatically different enough gearing environment to warrant an update to this guide. So the following is how I would recommend anyone new to FF XIV to start the game, all the way to geared for the new 2.4 content.
- First, start with a class you think you’ll like! If you’re leveling with a friend, be aware that you won’t be able to join up with the other cities easily (without running through high-level areas) until level 15 or so, so you could also start with one of your job-requirement classes, if you wanted to level together, and switch over at 15.
- Once you’re level 15, and have access to all the classes, feel free to pick up and try every class you were interested in to around level 15. The only classes that drastically change from 15 to 50 is THM (at 40) and ACN->SCH (At SCH, 30). While you’re out, and in Limsa Lominsa, don’t forget to pick up your challenge log, a wonderful source of weekly-resetting XP/gil bonuses along the way. There’s no reason not to try them all out, but you may want to wait a couple levels because…
- Around level 20, you can get your chocobo license, which makes traveling easier. It unlocks after you have your Grand Company selected, and it’s a purchasable item from the Quartermaster.
- Once you’re level 20, and have decided on your class, it’s time to level! Leveling your first class/job is primarily done through quests and story dungeons, which tend to be pretty fun, and rewarding XP-wise.i If you run short on experience, you can find the Halatali (20) dungeon, Sunken Temple of Qarn (35), and Cutter’s Cry (38) to help move you along, or supplement with FATEs.
- You can level other classes at this point behind your first with a 50% bonus, but I would recommend most story quests and ‘sidequests’ focus on your ‘lead’ combat class. Leves, FATEs, and Dungeon leveling for off-classes is completely fine along the way, though. The reason being that the game’s quest system isn’t regenerative per class (though guildhest first bonuses are), and since your ‘lead’ class levels slower, it’s in more need of any bonus XP you can find it.
- At level 30, you’ll want to finish up your class quests (Which hopefully you haven’t been neglecting), story quests up to “Sylph Management”, and pick up your job! You’ll need level 15 in another (job-specific) class to unlock the job of your choice, but the starting job quest will be near your class’s guild, and will tell you the other class (Or you can look it up)
- Also at level 30, you may want to look at purchasing accessories, the first good ones are around level 28-29, and can be found for not too much gil on the marketboard, or as occasional quest rewards. The end result can push your stats up around 10-15% at this point, so it’s better to not neglect these.
- You’ll want to run your job quests every five levels (Like your class quests!) until 45-50, where you’ll get your first ‘end game’ armor. Job quests also give an ability every five levels, so it’s best not to skip these.
- Experience points can be a little sparse post-30, particularly from 45-50, so dungeons, FATEs, leftover quests, and leves can speed up the last bit to 50.
- Once you’ve hit 50, clear out the last of your storyline missions you may have left, and get your final abilities from your job quest.
- After you have your first 50, you can also continue with your other classes, leveling them as well. Any lower level classes (Which are all of them, now) will level with a +50% Armory bonus to XP from most non-quest sources! There’s no reason not to do it all in FF XIV: ARR, if you want to!
- Sidenote! There are three abilities I would deem required before starting to run post-2.0 storyline content (After Prae)
- WAR: Provoke (Gladiator 22), it is required for tank swapping and in case of maintank death.
- WHM/SCH (Arguably SMN): Swiftcast. (Thaumaturge 26) Required for resummoning pets mid-battle, or raising people. Lots of end-game fights won’t let you sit still for seven seconds for a full raise.
- MNK/NIN/BRD: Invigorate. (Lancer 22) Restores 400 TP every 120 seconds. Helps keep you more TP-positive during long fights.
- Look for other cross-class abilities as you have time and energy, but those three are the biggest.
There’s lots to do in the end-game, and I’ll cover the gear progression next. The important parts to remember are that the most reliable pieces you can get are tomes, and relic. Tomes come in two versions, Soldiery tomestones, and Poetic tomestones. Soldiery is for level 100 (upgradable to 110) gear, poetics is for 120 (Upgradable to 130) gear. Poetics is limited in your total amount per week (450), Soldiery is unlimited, so you can gear to full-Soldiery at the speed of how much time you want to invest in the game, but it’s important to try and cap all 450 poetics, as well, because you can’t go back to earn any you missed on the previous week. (Note: Sands of Time and Oils of Time turn Weathered Soldiery i100 gear into ‘Unweathered’ Soldiery i110 gear. These can be obtained from Syrcus Tower, Hunting, and Second Coil of Bahamut only.)
- The basic ‘tier’ of end-game gear is your Artifact (i50/i55) gear that you probably finished the story with, paired with high-level (i55 or i48/49) accessories and belt. You should also pick up your highest-tier Grand Company/Marketboard weapon at this point, which will give you an item level 55+ weapon.
- Max GC rank also lets you unlock Hunts, which are open-world FATE-type bosses on long (3-36 hour) spawn timers that drop 20-50 allied seals and soldiery tomes. Allied Seals are one of three ways to obtain Sands and Oils of time, and the only one that’s guaranteed.
- With all your i50/55 AF gear, the “master” ring for your class (From its hunting log), an ilvl46 or higher belt, i48/i49 accessories, and a relic precursor (i55 off the market board). You’ll be average item level 50, and ready for CT right off the bat this way. Crystal Tower is a 24-person raid with a (generally) long queue time that rewards high soldiery tomes and i80 left-side gear. (Head, Chest, Gloves, Belt, Legs, Feet slots, on equipment menu.)
At this point, there’s two paths. The First path is probably quicker, but takes you to raid-tier faster. If that’s important to you, then the first part is the best route. The second is a more roundabout look that gives you a more complete picture of the game, but rewards soldiery quickly, and teaches you a more broad spectrum of mechanics at more relevant levels. Most players will probably want to do some path between the pair.
- Unlock CT at item level 50 from the Mor Dhona Questline. Run CT, get your first clear, and bank the soldiery from it. Using soldiery to upgrade your belt and right-side gear (Accessories, Neck, Earrings, Bracelet, Ring1, Ring2), buy cheap soldiery pieces, augmented with i80 left-side drops, to reach i57.
- Run your relic quest, which I think starts at your job if it’s your first relic, until you have i80 relic. Upgrade to i90.
- Continue running CT until you hit item level 70. Go unlock Syrcus Tower, in Mor Dhona.
- Run Syrcus Tower for Unidentified Tomestones, Oils of Time, and Sands of Time, and i100 left-side gear.
- Augment Syrcus Tower runs with first-time dungeons or hunts, using your new-player soldiery bonus to get ~1300 soldiery tomestones for your weapon* (Except Gladiator, who gets an offhand discount), then use a Sand to have an i110 weapon.
- Farm soldiery using roulettes, hunts, ST, and newer dungeons (Like Snowcloak) to reach i110. Check for cross-class abilities you might need, research your class’s rotations and priority systems, Clear T5, look for a T9 group, and you’re ready to raid 2.4’s Final Coil.
The second path is inverted, but it’s a more gradual curve where you’ll probably feel like you’re personally learning more, and being carried less. It means you’ll have less gear when running older content, but you’ll see more content sooner. This is also more of a tiered guide showing what order things were released in, and you can estimate general difficulty from that.
- Amdapor Keep and Wanderer’s Palace drop i55 gear. Wanderer’s Palace drops items for relic precursors, if you didn’t just buy it outright off the marketboard, in the non-boss chests. These will be roughly tuned to a fresh-50’s gear, although some players may be less happy with having someone of lower item level when they wanted to speedrun. (They shouldn’t care, but they sometimes will)
- Pharos Sirius, Haukke Manor HM, and Copperbell are i60-dropping dungeons, but only for armor and accessories. No weapons will drop from four-man dungeons beyond this point.
- You may also want to start your relic, or start running HM Ifrit and HM Garuda, looking for weapons.
- HM Titan is next, as you’ll want generally around 3000+ HP before you try to tackle him, just to make it through the unavoidable damage.
- Lost City of Amdapor, Brayflox HM, and Halatali HM drop i70 accessories and left-side gear. You should try to at least have your base relic (i80) by the time you get here.
- In the meantime, you’ve been getting Soldiery tomes and Poetic Tomes for each of these dungeons. Make sure you’re spending them, as there’s a limit of 2000 you can hold at any time, and each piece will upgrade your gear by quite a bit!
- Crystal Tower drops item level 80 left-side items, which are very nice for early 50s. It also gives 100 soldiery and 10 poetics, which is excellent for gearing up towards item level 100.
- Syrcus Tower unlocks at item level 70, as well, and is a 24-person raid that drops Sands of Time, Oils of Time, and Unidentified Allagan Tomestomes, as well as i100 left-side gear.
- Once you’re around item level 70+ (And hopefully making sure you’re getting your weekly poetic tomes, or trying to.), Make sure you’ve finished up your relic so that you’re ready for First Coil. First Coil and EX primals drop i90 loot, but you need to bring some great skills that the other dungeons should have helped you practice along the way, as well as sturdy gear (You should have some CT pieces and some soldiery, by now, and if you haven’t, zenith your relic by spending Thavnarian mists on them). Syrcus Tower helps, too, giving you access to i100 drops. Item level 90 is the starting point for most of 2.2’s content, but it should carry you through into decent 2.3 access as well.
- Running First Coil at a lower item level gives you a taste of what will be expected of you in later raids, but remember that every run you finish is practice at your class, and at playing the game.
- Ultima HM (i80)and the EX primals (i90) drop accessories, and Coil turns 1-5 will drop pretty much everything for your class, so when you’re Up to i80 or so, it’s time to start tackling these. Better gear doesn’t make a bad player great, but it makes a good player better, every extra stat point can be more damage, but your primary responsibility for this finely-tuned content is to know your class, and how to perform at your best. You shouldn’t feel obligated to stop and farm these, though, because there’s better gear you can get easier elsewhere.
- Continuing from there, around i90, you can start looking into Moggle Mog EX, Leviathan EX. After tackling these two, Ramuh’s on your radar next. Don’t forget to complete all the content at least once to unlock it for the various roulettes, as these yield large sums of tomes for the amount of effort you have to put in, and the new-player bonus along the way is nice as well!
- The continuation of your relic quest (Which starts with Atma, from Gerolt in North Shroud) is… oddly optional right now. Atma is relatively simple, as is Animus, but they’re large timesinks for an i100 weapon. Novus takes that to i110, after a lot of Alexandrite, soldiery, and materia, generally being rather expensive as well, for newer players. Considering 1300 soldiery, an unidentified allagan tomestone (UAT), and a sands of time (All of which you can get from ST) are all you need for an i110 weapon, you may want to put off relic until after you’re mostly geared.
- If you’re pushing Levi EX/Moggle EX, you probably have the skills to beat Turn 5 of first coil. It’s a tough fight, and you may need friends to help, simply because a lot of people are still stuck on it, but you’ll need it down before you can get to Second Coil.
- Second Coil of Bahamut/Syrcus Tower is most people’s ‘End Game’, where you can upgrade your soldiery i100 pieces to i110, and (in Second Coil) get High Allagan pieces that drop at i110. Finally, at Turn 9, i115 weapons drop, so if you can clear that, you have all the best farmable items in the game at your disposal. (You’ll need a great group to do so, so make friends along the way!)
No matter how you get here, i110 is as far as soldiery and gearing traditionally can take you. That leaves you with two combat tasks ahead of you:
- Shiva EX is first. She drops 120 bracelets, and 110 weapons, but it’s probably easier to run Syrcus Tower for your i110 than it is to kill Shiva, for your first. She’s a tough fight, and requires you have beaten Ramuh EX, and to be up past 2.4 quests to just get in the door.
- Final Coil of Bahamut is the end. Insanely tough, tightly-tuned bosses that the best raiders are pushing through weekly. Final Coil drops i130 gear, and i135 weapons for the people amazing enough to down Turn 13. You’ll need a good team, good gear, good skills, and quick reflexes to push these fights, but that’s where a lot of the fun is.
- Have Fun
- At 50, start with Amdapor Keep and Wanderer’s Palace, or re-runs of Praetorium and Castrum in roulettes!
- At item level 50, run Crystal Tower
- Get your relic through the HM Primals!
- Keep having fun by experimenting with all the other dungeons as you level to item level 70
- At Item Level 70, unlock Syrcus Tower, and run some First Coil.
- After you understand your class, try running some EX Primals/HM Ultima to get a feel for high-tier mechanics
- At i90, go for Leviathan and Moggle EX, as well as Twintania/Second Coil of Bahamut, and maybe further your relic weapon!
- Keep focusing on Second Coil drops, Capping Soldiery, Poetic capping (450/450 weekly), and ST drops to push yourself to item level 110+!
- Sands of Time and Oils of Time turn Weathered i100 gear into i110 gear. These can be obtained from Syrcus Tower, Hunting, and Second Coil of Bahamut only.
- Run Shiva EX, Final Coil, and spend poetic tomes to reach above 110, towards i130, current game gear-cap! Note that Poetic Tome Gear upgrades using drops only found in the Final Coil of Bahamut.
Please let me know if I have anything wrong, or left anything important out.