I tried to aim this guide at getting players to ilvl 105-110 as quickly as possible. This is different from simply trying to get to ilvl 85-90, which can definitely be done solely through Crystal Tower grinding. Many guides and responses to posts advise this route.
But to take the next step – to start capping poetics, save up for that i110 weapon, etc. – roulettes are an important tool to have in one’s kit. It will take a fair bit longer to progress into the triple digits without the free bonus tomes they provide.
So, this “gear up” variant focuses mainly on clearing roulette-required content. Doing so will still build soldiery at a good pace by scoring new player bonuses, which range from 30 to 100 soldiery depending on the content.
Such a path is somewhat slower early in getting to ilvl 85-90, but it regains that time twofold in getting to ilvl 105-110. Hopefully that’s appealing to enough people to make this version worthwhile.
I’m going with more of a “checklist” style here, and thus assuming some minimum capacity to either ask your FC questions, or use google. There is a little explanation, but I tried to prioritize keeping things concise.
Within each stage, you can do items in whatever order you choose / are able to. It is recommended to work on solo questlines while waiting in DF queues. Recommended purchases should be affordable after doing most to all of the other items in the list.
For the various duties, most (if not all) of them will unlock either in Vesper Bay / Waking Sands, Revenant’s Toll, or one of the Grand Company headquarters.
Hunts go largely unmentioned here, in part because I don’t want to make assumptions about levels of activity on various servers and times of day. But if interested, there are some notes on hunting at the bottom.
“i60” – Refers to the “item level” of a particular piece of equipment.
“ilvl 60” – Refers to the average item level of your character’s gear. Most content requires a certain minimum ilvl
“Left side / Right side” – Clothing (left side of your character screen) / Accessories (right side). Left side gear has vitality (strength for tanks) on it, making it more cost-effective, but is also more commonly dropped in dungeons.
Soldiery – These tomes serve as the “low level” endgame currency. These can be used to buy i100 equipment, and various other things from Auriana in Revanant’s Toll.
Poetics – The “high level” endgame currency. These buy i120 equipment from Auriana, and are capped at 450 per week (resetting on Tuesday).
:: Stage 0 – Basic prep
- You should have completed the 2.0 story, and your level 50 job quest.
- You should have your i55 Grand Company weapon, and the i55 ring from Jonathtas at Apkallu Falls in Gridania for completing your hunt log.
- Upgrade your other gear until you are overall ilvl 50. Do not go broke doing this; i46-48 accessories are fine. You will likely need a fair chunk of gil for part of your Relic Reborn quest.
:: Stage 1 – Relic weapon
- Recommended soldiery purchases: Belt, then Ring, then Radz-at-Han Quenching Oil
- Do your Main Scenario roulette and Low Level roulette daily (at least twice each).
- Complete the Legacy of Allag quest line and clear Labyrinth of the Ancients at least once. This line starts from an “outlandish man” in Revenant’s Toll.
- Complete the Relic Reborn questline. It begins with Rowena in Revenant’s Toll, and after much effort rewards an i80 weapon at the end. The last parts of this line will require you to have purchased the recommended soldiery items.
:: Stage 2 – Bonus scoring
- Recommended soldiery purchase: Any left-side piece.
- Clear Wanderer’s Palace.
- Clear Halatali HM.
- Clear Lost City of Amdapor.
- Clear Brayflox’s Longstop HM.
- Clear Haukke Manor HM.
- Clear Copperbell Mines HM.
- Clear Pharos Sirius.
- Complete story quests through The Whorleater (Hard).
- Complete Hildibrand quests through Battle on the Big Bridge. These start with Wymond, outside the Adventurer’s Guild in Ul’dah.
- If you are struggling to clear things, you can run Labyrinth of the Ancients additional times for some quick soldiery and a shot at i80 drops (or just for fun).
:: Stage 3 – Unlocking High Level Roulette
- Recommended soldiery purchase: Any right-side piece.
- Clear Hullbreaker Isle.
- Clear Stone Vigil HM.
- Clear Tam-Tara Deepcroft HM.
- Do a High Level Roulette.
- Complete story quests through The Striking Tree (Hard).
:: Stage 4 – Getting to ilvl 80+
- Recommended soldiery purchase: 3x Thavnarian Mist
- Do your High Level roulette daily.
- Clear Sycrus Tower at least once. Roll Need on everything you can. Oils of Time and Sands of Time can be given to Gerolt’s assistant Drake to “un-weather” your i100 soldiery gear to make them i110. Save your first Sands if you get one!
- Run 3-4 Frontlines matches. This will get you enough Wolf Marks (1,250) to buy an i90 right-side piece.
- Clear Binding Coil of Bahamut Turns 1 and 2. (Turn 3 is optional / for-fun)
- Bring the 3x Thavnarian Mist to Gerolt’s forge to upgrade your Relic weapon into its i90 Zenith form.
:: Stage 5 – Unlocking Expert and Trial Roulette
- Recommended soldiery purchase: Save it.
- Recommended poetics purchase: Any left-side piece
- Roll Need on any Antique gear that drop in this stage’s dungeons; these can be traded to Kakalan for i90 gear at Rowena’s building in Revanant’s Toll.
- Clear Sastasha HM.
- Clear Sunken Temple of Qarn HM.
- Complete the story quests up to current.
- Complete the Hildibrand questline up to current.
- Do an Expert Roulette and buy that poetics piece!
:: Stage 6 – Your i110 weapon
- Recommended soldiery purchase: i100 Weathered weapon
- Start saving / using your poetics to replace whatever your worst piece is on either side.
- Do your Expert roulette daily until you hit the cap of 450 poetics per week.
- You need 1300 soldiery (910 if PLD). Doing your High Level and Trial roulettes daily is recommended to get soldiery quickly with some poetics on the side.
- Clearing Binding Coil of Bahamut Turn 4 will give you a 100 soldiery bonus.
- You need an Unidentified Allagan Tomestone, and a Sands of Time. Run Sycrus Tower until you get at least the former, or both if you aren’t a hunter.
- If you are a hunter, the Sands of Time can also be obtained from Aelina for 3 Blood-Spattered Mark Logs (which cost 250 Allied Seals). This can be an alternative route to trying to win Sycrus rolls.
- Once you have 1300 soldiery and an Unidentified Allagan Tomestone, buy 10 “Rowena Token (Soldiery)” from Auriana. Then trade those and the UAT to Aelina for a i100 Weathered weapon.
- Once you have the i100 weapon and a Sands of Time, trade them to Drake (Gerol’ts assistant) to un-weather it and make it i110.
:: Stage 7 – From gear gates to content gates
- Recommended soldiery / poetics purchases: Replace weak pieces at your discretion.
- There’s no secret to improving your gear at this point; just collect tomes and oils/sands and spend them.
- You’re now more limited by what content you’ve cleared, than by your average ilvl. There are two main “high end” content paths here – EX Primals and Bahamut Coil.
- The EX Primals go from Garuda EX -> Titan EX -> Ifrit EX, and a separate path of Leviathan EX & Moogle EX -> Ramuh EX -> Shiva EX.
- The Bahamut Coil simply goes Binding Coil (Turns 1-5) -> Second Coil (Turns 1-4 a.k.a. 6-9) -> Final Coil (Turns 1-4 a.k.a. 10-13).
- Minstrel’s Ballad: Ultima’s Bane is an optional trial that drops i80 accessories. The only thing it is required for is an equally optional “Savage Mode” Second Coil.
- If you’re feeling grindy, you can start the Relic weapon upgrade path. These quests are started by talking to Gerolt, after which you’ll be dealing with a fellow at the house across from him.
Some notes on hunts:
If your server does have an active hunt linkshell that you can get into, hunts can be well worth your time if you’re smart about it.
Obvious things first, hunters should certainly kill their weekly B rank elite mark if/when they are able to, and join in on S Ranks if they can do so without withdrawing from a long DF wait.
As for A ranks, they can be worth doing if you can get on a train that kills 4-6 or more in succession. Keep an eye on your server’s Hunt Tracker (ask your linkshell or a link). If there’s a bunch of A ranks that are open, see if you can’t join in on a group that’s hunting them or start one yourself.
When things go well you can score 100+ soldiery and allied seals in an hour-plus, which is a nice haul. If you want, think of each allied seal as being “worth” roughly 1.25 soldiery in terms of gear prices. That makes the value pretty clear.