Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a comprehensive endgame guide, but an answer to many questions being asked by people about what they should focus on between now (mid-April) and the Heavensward expansion (mid-June). If you’re looking at this and being confused by the terminology being thrown around, you probably want this guide first: http://www.freetoplaymmorpgs.com/final-fantasy-xiv/ffxiv-new-level-50-players-progression-guide-by-crabcommander/
Disciples of War and Magic
I just hit my first level 50
I stopped playing several months ago and I’m trying to catch up:
The main thing between you and being able to enter Ishgard and experience Heavensward at launch is completing the 2.x patch Main Scenario quests (that is, everything from The Praetorium to 2.55). To do this, you need to gear up to an average item level of 90 or higher, the minimum to enter the story dungeons and trials of 2.5x. You can work on the story while you gear up and earn gear that will help you in the process; the content of prior patches will have lower requirements.
- Do I need the absolute best gear for this?
No: Main Scenario content is tuned to be of easy-to-moderate difficulty. However, please do your party a favor and avoid having gear that is way under level for the content, even if it the set technically gets you in the door.
If you are a tank or a healer, you should probably pay some more attention to your gear in order to keep up with the higher geared members of your party. Some of the earlier content has an Item Level Sync of 110 but an i60 tank in a dungeon with competent i130 DPS is in for a struggle.
If you have any intention of doing the Binding Coil of Bahamut before 3.0, especialy 2nd Coil and above, you should strive toward top-end gear that meets or exceeds those demands, regardless of the upcoming expansion. Extreme primal fights also call for better gear than i90 – Shiva Extreme has a minimum of i95, and more will help.
- Won’t all this gear be obsolete when the level cap is raised?
We don’t know very much about how this will work yet. However the general idea seems to be: at level 51, probably not. At level 60, probably yes. So gear obtained now should help your leveling from 50-60 at the very least.
- What gear should I focus on?
Your weapon is the most important. After that, your left side armor, and then your accessories. For the purposes of getting through the Main Scenario, any combination of crafted gear, dungeon gear and gear bought with Tomestones will do for armor and accessories.
What about my weapon?
Do you have at least an i80/i90 weapon already? If yes, consider going straight to saving up for an Ironworks weapon (i120, costs 1300 poetics and an Encrypted Allagan Tomestone rewarded from doing the weekly Crystal Tower quest, upgradable to i130 with Carbontwine from the same or from Hunt seals/mark logs). You don’t strictly need this to just get through the main story, but it will put you in the best position to any of the rest of the 2.0 content without being dependent on expensive crafting or random drops. For off classes, or if you don’t have three-odd weeks to save Poetics consider the i110 soldiery weapon (1300 soldiery plus Syrcus Tower’s Unidentified Tomestone drop plus a Sand of Time from the same). If you’re coming back from a break and have a Zodiac Relic in progress, feel free to use that instead.
If no, grab something in the i55-i70 range as a placeholder (crafted, Grand Company seals, dungeon drop or otherwise) and do the “A Relic Reborn” quest arc for your i80 relic (The first three hardmode primals required are now much easier to get through because of high geared people farming them). Buy 3 Thanivarian Mist with Soldiery tomes and upgrade it at Gerolt’s forge to the i90 Zenith relic. This will get you a weapon “good enough” for dungeons, main scenario and Crystal Tower. You may replace this with a higher level weapon as time, resources and opportunity permit.
- Should I do the grind to get my Relic through the Zodiac Weapon upgrade process?
If you are not already in the process of doing this and aren’t lacking for other things to do and don’t care about absolute best-in-slot gear, it is probably not recommended to start now. If you have a Zodiac relic in progress, Yoshi-P has said that a completed Zodiac relic will give players an advantage in whatever comes in place of the Zodiac weapon, but we don’t know the details yet. The new weapon arc will start with patch 3.1.
- Should I finish my Zodiac Relic if I’ve already started?
The answer to this depends on your time, patience and how much time there is between now and the expansion. At the current time (T-minus 2 months) I would personally say that if you’re at or past the Novus and have sunk a fair amount of materia into the sphere scroll, you may as well continue. Any point before that, I would be less likely to reccomend continuing worth it…but ultimately do what you want, particularly if it keeps you interested.
- Should I hoard farmable Zodiac items (Atma, Alexandrite, etc) to prepare for Dark Knight/Astrologian/Mechanist?
Current, if unconfirmed word from Yoshi-P suggests that the new jobs will not be added to the 2.0 Relic/Zodiac questline. It’s likely they will follow whatever 3.0/3.1 brings for weapon progression instead.
What’s all this about Crystal Tower?
Crystal Tower is a three-part, 24-man “casual” raid that was introduced through the 2.x patch series. It’s an excellent source of gear (some of it is current best-outside-Coil) and upgrades for tomestone gear (Oil and Sands of time for Weathered (Soldiery) gear and carbontine/carboncoat for Ironworks (poetics) gear. Labyrinth of the Ancients has a minimum i50 entry requirement and drops i80 gear; Syrcus Tower has an i70 minimum and drops i100 gear; World of Darkness has an i90 requirement and drops i120 gear.
What else should I do to progress?
Unlock and complete all the optional dungeons so you can run the High Level and Expert roulette for bonus tomestones per day. Do the Hildebrand quest line for the hilarity and for the remaining Trials that complete the Trials Roulette. Level your job’s secondary and tertiary classes for any essential cross-class skills you may not have yet. (i.e. Healers: Swiftcast! Warriors: Provoke! DPS: offensive buffs! Black Mage: Quelling Strikes! Physical DPS: Invigorate!)
What else can I do that will probably prepare me for the expansion?
This is a non-exhaustive list of suggestions:
- Level classes for cross class skills that may (or may not) be used by any of the expansion jobs you’re interested in (we have no information yet how this might work but it won’t hurt, and it will be good practice if you are trying a job outside your usual play style).
- Do stuff to make/hoard gil. This is rarely a bad idea. Free company leaders with houses will want to pad the coffers to buy the workshop addition to the house (price not announced, but confirmed to be a purchase during Live Letter XX). FCs without a house might hoard gil in the hope that new housing plots get added to support them.
- Stockpile tomestones…once you’ve bought all you want with them. Both Soldiery and Poetics tomestones will be retired for 3.0, replaced with tomestones of Law and Esoterics (see: Live Letter XX). However, Rowena traditionally offers an exchange for trade old tomestones for new ones when this happened with Mythology and Philosophy previously, so stocking up will give you a lead on collecting those. If you still have Myth tomes you haven’t traded in, do it ASAP, as like with Philosophy, the offer won’t be around forever and 3.0 or soon after would be an obvious time to retire them for good.
- Stockpile Grand Company Seals (and optionaly Allied Seals). Also one of those “rarely a bad idea” things. No announcement has been made related to Grand Companies but the expansion would be an opportune time for new ranks to be added and promotions will eat a chunk of seals.
Disciples of the Hand
I just hit my first level 50 crafter! Do I need to level all the crafting classes?
Until recently the answer was a definite yes. However, Live Letter XX told us a bit about the Specialization system and that one of its functions would be to give bonus abilities that would reduce the dependance on cross class skills. That said, until then it would be useful to pick up some of the more vital cross class abilities: most of the level 15 ones plus Steady Hand II, Careful Synthesis II and Bryegot’s Blessing.
OMG, high end gear is expensive/grindy! Do I really need all this?
Depends on what you want to do with your crafter between now and the patch.
- If you just want a good starting point for current crafting and/or Heavensward: Meld materia to class gear or a Patrician’s set in order to craft 2-star 40-durability items, turn them in to Talan in Revenant’s Toll for your first Master book, and craft token items to trade for the Artisan’s outfit he sells. This will give you an i70 outfit that is cross-class, almost as good as fully melded i55 gear (with the Spectacles being best in slot for the head piece) and enable you do two and three star crafting, including token items for your Supra and Lucis main hand tools if you choose to do them. If you pick up your Artisan main-hand tool at the same time it will also help, but you can skip Artisan and go straight to Supra with enough combined stat gain from gear, food and FC buffs. Crafting or buying a set of i55 Dodore accessories and melding them is not a bad idea.
- If you want to be a 3-star master crafter and take advantage of the market for those things now: Progress through the grind to at least your Supra, and possibly work toward your Lucis. The crafted Artisan’s offhand (requires Ehcatl Sealant) will help toward this end. For cross class skills, add Piece By Piece (ARM 50) and Reclaim (CUL 50) to the essential list; the more of the other lv 50 cross class skills you have, the better. (If you’re reading this guide at a time when there would not be enough time to get to this point, don’t worry about it.)
- If you want to specialize in 4-star crafting for the market/make 4-star gear for your friends: Do all of the above and consider investing in and melding out the crafted Artisan’s set for BiS.
OMG, crafting materia is expensive!
You don’t need max melds or overmelds to hit the two-star requirements.
I don’t have max rank with the Ixal beast tribe yet. Should I?
If you’re going after 3 and 4 star Artisan’s/Forager’s gear and/or Ehcatl Sealant on your server fetches high prices, then yes. If you want to use the quests to help you level crafting classes, then yes.
If none of these apply to you…then the answer may still be yes. After all, one of 3.0’s big features will be craftable airships. The Ehcatl Nine Ixali are focused primarily on…crafting and airships and a mythical floating continent. If this connection doesn’t come into play at some point in the 3.x patch series, I’ll eat my Artisan’s Specs.
What about Desynthesis?
Completely up to you whether you want to grind your desynth skill or just buy any demimateria you need. The return on investment for doing your own desynth is fraught with RNG headache and there’s no current indication that it will be getting anything special for 3.0.
Disciples of the Land
Ok, I hit my first level 50 gathering class. How much do I need to gear up?
Gatherers have it easier than crafters insofar as their gear options are less complicated. There is no “cheaper” cross-class gear option like the token Artisan set (except for the Forager’s Hat), but there are also only three classes and minimal cross-class dependance. Start by melding out your gear enough to be able to hit the two-star token items; the hat is BiS and the main hand tool is nice for equipping gathering retainers when you’ve moved on to better ones (but like the Artisan mainhand, optional if you can hit the Supra token by other means). Rinse and repeat for the Supra and Lucis tokens if you choose. Gearing/melding above the stat minimums isn’t essential but will make things easier.
Why bother gearing up?
One, two and three star gathered items are currently very reliable sellers, and more gil on hand is rarely a bad thing. Also, think of the potential killing you could make selling new gathered items to impatient crafters come expansion time.* (Not Guaranteed.)
Is any of the crafted Forager’s Gear worth it?
It’s BiS and cross class and it’s high tier crafting which requires that expensive Ehcatl Sealant, but the biggest gain comes from the offhand and the chest piece. If you’re into Big Fishing, the Forager’s Vest + max melded i55 gear + Lucis rod will give you the stats to do the quests (399 or more Gathering) without food. Max melds + forager’s offhand + Lucis on a Miner or Botanist will let you hit four-star nodes without food.