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  1. #1

    Gone since ARR, how self-sufficient is FFXIV now?

    I can’t believe I’m typing this, but I’m contemplating returning to FFXIV for the first time since the time of heavensward being a distant child of hype. I have questions, as my tastes and needs in the “shared world” genre of game have evolved and matured over the years.

    I can’t **need** other players, not in the “make sure you have friends/a group to play with regularly to play at all” sense. I recall being brought to the edge of extreme discomfort tanking the ARR story arc. I recall hating Garuda, finding that fight being part of the core story being ridiculous, but I soldiered through until the ARR credits rolled. The only reason I wouldn’t reroll anew if I came back now is I never want to go through something like that gauntlet of interdependence again.

    I currently play an MMO which self-enables the main accessible thoroughfare of the game. I can solo queue for all group content as a responsibility-light DPS and only have to do so rarely, spending the rest of my time as a solo-friendly class enjoying overworld or role-agnostic instanced content.

    I’m just really burned out/upset with said MMO, and wondering if FFXIV holds the same standard of “owning my time,” because my memories from the ARR days were the opposite of that, but it was such a gorgeous world. Completion of the main thoroughfare of the game was uncomfortably interdependent and I don’t have to tolerate that if I’m willing to wait for my burnout for my main game to heal... but I’d like something to do over the holidays.

    I’ve heard rumors of FFXIV having role-agnostic or evening solo-friendly content above and beyond the overworld I used to enjoy in FFXIV. I’ve heard rumors of systems involving NPC dungeon companions for doing 5- mans, something I’d hoped chocobos would become in the ARR era.

    I like MMOs for the shared world with other players. I don’t like needing other players to progress through the “Main Street” ideally accesssible thoroughfare in the game. I don’t need to touch “optional or higher difficulties,” I just want to take in the world, its story, and have things to do on my own time. How well does FFXIV in 2019 match up to its competitors for self-enabled experiences on time owned, not borrowed from others?

    Bonus question: how kind is it to “new players,” because a) I may not be able to recover my account and b)... I never want to fight Garuda again.

    Thank you in advance for any and all helpful replies!
    Last edited by Omedon; 2019-12-04 at 04:29 AM.

  2. #2
    I’ve heard rumors of FFXIV having role-agnostic or evening solo-friendly content above and beyond the overworld I used to enjoy in FFXIV
    Only in Shadowbringers and only for Dungeons. You still have to do trials in groups, and there are 3 each expansion.

    I mean if you haven't played since ARR whatever job you were is massively different by sheer virtue of having 30 more levels, your rotations probably drastically changed and its probably nothing like what you remember. Whether you consider that friendly or not is up to you. I mean if you just learn as you level I haven't run across a Job I've ever been confused about outside of the ones that start at a very high level.

    Heavensward and Stormblood both still have required dungeons for the main story that you will have to group with, as well as Trials.

    I donno outside of the final Trial of Stormblood's base game, I never found any of the story required instances super difficult, so I can't tell you if that'll help you make a decision on whether to return or not.

    Personally I'd recommend it because Shadowbringers is fuuuuuuucking amazing with a fantastic story that blows any MMO story out of the water that I've ever experienced, putting all of WoW's "story" to shame several times over.

    Heavensward is also very good imo, and Stormblood is decent.
    Last edited by Yoshingo; 2019-12-04 at 04:39 AM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshingo View Post
    Only in Shadowbringers and only for Dungeons. You still have to do trials in groups, and there are 3 each expansion.

    I mean if you haven't played since ARR whatever job you were is massively different by sheer virtue of having 30 more levels, your rotations probably drastically changed and its probably nothing like what you remember. Whether you consider that friendly or not is up to you. I mean if you just learn as you level I haven't run across a Job I've ever been confused about outside of the ones that start at a very high level.

    Heavensward and Stormblood both still have required dungeons for the main story that you will have to group with, as well as Trials.

    I donno outside of the final Trial of Stormblood's base game, I never found any of the story required instances super difficult, so I can't tell you if that'll help you make a decision on whether to return or not.

    Personally I'd recommend it because Shadowbringers is fuuuuuuucking amazing with a fantastic story that blows any MMO story out of the water that I've ever experienced, putting all of WoW's "story" to shame several times over.

    Heavensward is also very good imo, and Stormblood is decent.

    I appreciate the feedback.

    Honestly it all sounds great except the very concept of “trials” which are kind of anathema to my beliefs for MMO video games. I dislike the idea of “skill gating” the story.

    My opinion: If I (hypothetically) suck at video games, I should be allowed to get by in an mmo on enthusiasm and time passing because I’m... not going to stop sucking at video games, and shouldn’t be thrown into a non-preformed group to slow others down, you know?

    So what’s the “enthusiast” path in FFXIV? Does their story intake stop at trials?

    In case I start over, I’ve read there are purchasable story skips and specifically one that goes... right to where I’d stopped. Would I have the option to steamroll ARR era content further down the line?

  4. #4
    The normal mode trials (for story purposes) are relatively easy, so don't be scared off of FFXIV over those. The Duty Finder tool will put you in a group and you shouldn't have any real issue with the story trials. If you ever want more challenging group content, then there are higher difficulty versions of those trials.

    I am part of a casual FC. I play mostly solo. I don't have a static group. I had no problem leveling through Shadowbringers even when it came to the story trials.

    If you want to start over without a boost, you'll have a fairly easy time with it. Dungeons will require use of the duty finder, but the dungeons are relatively tame. I leveled an alt on another datacenter, knowing no one, without any resources, and had no trouble.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyriani View Post
    The normal mode trials (for story purposes) are relatively easy, so don't be scared off of FFXIV over those. The Duty Finder tool will put you in a group and you shouldn't have any real issue with the story trials. If you ever want more challenging group content, then there are higher difficulty versions of those trials.

    I am part of a casual FC. I play mostly solo. I don't have a static group. I had no problem leveling through Shadowbringers even when it came to the story trials.

    If you want to start over without a boost, you'll have a fairly easy time with it. Dungeons will require use of the duty finder, but the dungeons are relatively tame. I leveled an alt on another datacenter, knowing no one, without any resources, and had no trouble.
    Thank you for our input, you sound like my kinda player and I like a lot of what you are saying!

    I don’t mind doing dungeons (to be clear here) because I can just go DPS and jog my memory, so that’s fine. I *love* the idea of dungeons made to be done potentially with NPCs because that’s very “own my time!”

    I can’t remember what server/datacenter I was on, but it’s feeling a lot like I might want to start over. Are there servers more prone to roleplay? Is there... a “moonguard” (ERP server) I should... be mindful of should I want to respectfully avoid that?
    Last edited by Omedon; 2019-12-04 at 05:16 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Omedon View Post
    I appreciate the feedback.

    Honestly it all sounds great except the very concept of “trials” which are kind of anathema to my beliefs for MMO video games. I dislike the idea of “skill gating” the story.

    My opinion: If I (hypothetically) suck at video games, I should be allowed to get by in an mmo on enthusiasm and time passing because I’m... not going to stop sucking at video games, and shouldn’t be thrown into a non-preformed group to slow others down, you know?

    So what’s the “enthusiast” path in FFXIV? Does their story intake stop at trials?

    In case I start over, I’ve read there are purchasable story skips and specifically one that goes... right to where I’d stopped. Would I have the option to steamroll ARR era content further down the line?
    I haven't done a lot of desyncing (Which is when you go into an instance not at the appropriate level range for it) but I've heard some jobs are quite good at it and others are not, but it really depends on what you're trying to do. I imagine quite a lot of jobs would have difficulty trying to do the Coils of Bahamut (The ARR level 60 8-man dungeons) even at level 80, and some fights just aren't possible due to requiring multiple people to do mechanics. But again, I want to reiterate that none of this is required for the MSQ, the main story questline. Its all extra optional stuff to do.

    Honestly I think your fear of the difficulty of any of the story path instances is unfounded because they're all pretty dang easy, even if you play a vital role like a tank. Everyone will know you're new anyway because of the little symbol each player has next to them, and people (from my experience) are almost all totally willing to go slower or help out if you feel overwhelmed or confused.

    Again Trials are really not hard and the only one I remember having to take semi-seriously at all was the final Stormblood base game trial. And even then that was only when Stormblood first came out, I've done it several times over now in Shadowbringers and its really not difficult.

    I don't RP on FF14 but from a basic search it looks like Maetus is the server you'd want. Search results are also saying Balmung but the consensus isn't as high on that one.

    I don’t mind doing dungeons (to be clear here) because I can just go DPS and jog my memory, so that’s fine. I *love* the idea of dungeons made to be done potentially with NPCs because that’s very “own my time!”
    You'll like Shadowbringers then because you can do all the 4-man story dungeons with NPCs. And they'll all have different little comments as you go through them depending on who you take. I like the harder FF14 content myself but even I did my first runs through all the dungeons with the NPCs because I wanted to see all their reactions, and some of them are really funny. The final boss in the 2nd dungeon you do is hilarious if you take along specific characters.
    Last edited by Yoshingo; 2019-12-04 at 05:23 AM.

  7. #7
    I think the Crystal datacenter is where the bulk of the RP is, but you can probably find some level it anywhere. Balmung is the famous (infamous?) RP server from what I have heard. I play primarily on the Aether Datacenter on the Midgardsormr server but have alts on Balmung (Crystal datacenter) and Odin (Light datacenter)

    From 1-50 on your first class/job you'll have to do dungeons through the duty finder with other players. I forget when exactly the option opens up, but you can eventually get a squadron of NPCs through whatever Grand Company you join. Those NPCs will eventually (they dont start out able to) be able to run a small selection of dungeons at various level ranges with you. This is good for leveling alt jobs or learning a new job without any fear of ridicule or peer pressure but you won't have access to this for some time. The squadron dungeons can take your alt jobs to 60. Unfortunately the 60-70 range is devoid of such an option and I rely on beast tribe daily quests to level alt jobs in that range.

    You also have the option to use the "Deep Dungeons" for solo or group alt job leveling. There's two different deep dungeons though I think you'd need to do the Heaven On High one for 60-70 as an alternative to beast tribe dailies for leveling alt jobs.

    From 71 to 80 when new dungeons become available through the Shadowbringers MSQ you can do them with familiar NPC's like Y'shtola and Thancred among others. This is really great for seeing dungeons for the first time on your main job and for leveling alt jobs at your own pace. The NPC's aren't uber but they follow mechanics. Doing dungeons with the npcs will be slower than with other players (usually), but you shouldn't have much trouble clearing them.

    As someone who doesn't do any savage or extreme content, I still find myself with things to do. I delve a fair bit into crafting and decorating my house. I get my tomestone gear. I run the 24 man weekly instances and collect outfits for glam. I feel like I am getting my money's worth from my sub even though I don't do hardcore endgame content.
    Last edited by Kyriani; 2019-12-04 at 05:27 AM.

  8. #8
    The story is fantastic from where you're at and onward. And not hard (the 51 dungeon can have it's difficult pulls early on, but after that, smooth sailing).

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyriani View Post
    I think the Crystal datacenter is where the bulk of the RP is, but you can probably find some level it anywhere. Balmung is the famous (infamous?) RP server from what I have heard. I play primarily on the Aether Datacenter on the Midgardsormr server but have alts on Balmung (Crystal datacenter) and Odin (Light datacenter)

    From 1-50 on your first class/job you'll have to do dungeons through the duty finder with other players. I forget when exactly the option opens up, but you can eventually get a squadron of NPCs through whatever Grand Company you join. Those NPCs will eventually (they dont start out able to) be able to run a small selection of dungeons at various level ranges with you. This is good for leveling alt jobs or learning a new job without any fear of ridicule or peer pressure but you won't have access to this for some time. The squadron dungeons can take your alt jobs to 60. Unfortunately the 60-70 range is devoid of such an option and I rely on beast tribe daily quests to level alt jobs in that range.

    You also have the option to use the "Deep Dungeons" for solo or group alt job leveling. There's two different deep dungeons though I think you'd need to do the Heaven On High one for 60-70 as an alternative to beast tribe dailies for leveling alt jobs.

    From 71 to 80 when new dungeons become available through the Shadowbringers MSQ you can do them with familiar NPC's like Y'shtola and Thancred among others. This is really great for seeing dungeons for the first time on your main job and for leveling alt jobs at your own pace. The NPC's aren't uber but they follow mechanics. Doing dungeons with the npcs will be slower than with other players (usually), but you shouldn't have much trouble clearing them.

    As someone who doesn't do any savage or extreme content, I still find myself with things to do. I delve a fair bit into crafting and decorating my house. I get my tomestone gear. I run the 24 man weekly instances and collect outfits for glam. I feel like I am getting my money's worth from my sub even though I don't do hardcore endgame content.
    That’s a lot of useful info, thanks!

    I kinda want to try to ressurect my old account and make another character on it just as a tutorial kinda thing... are they still weird about “having alts” in a game where you really don’t need one? I recall being unable to mail stuff between my own characters, but if I get enough traction on the new guy I might want to do that.

  10. #10
    Alts are entirely unnecessary and the sub cost is a bit higher if you want the ability to make more than one character on the same server but there's nothing stopping you from doing so. With that said, you can't easily share items or gil with alts. You cannot send mail to anyone not on your friends list and you cannot add your alts on the same account to your friends list. You can bypass this by forming your own FC, getting someone to join and invite your alts, and use the FC chest as a sort of account bank to share with alts. You could also do the same by joining an existing FC that allows the use of the FC chest for this purpose though that's probably unlikely for someone new to the FC unless they are specifically set up for that.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyriani View Post
    Alts are entirely unnecessary and the sub cost is a bit higher if you want the ability to make more than one character on the same server but there's nothing stopping you from doing so. With that said, you can't easily share items or gil with alts. You cannot send mail to anyone not on your friends list and you cannot add your alts on the same account to your friends list. You can bypass this by forming your own FC, getting someone to join and invite your alts, and use the FC chest as a sort of account bank to share with alts. You could also do the same by joining an existing FC that allows the use of the FC chest for this purpose though that's probably unlikely for someone new to the FC unless they are specifically set up for that.
    Ok then, good to know, thank you!

    Honestly there was no major progress or accumulation of resources that I couldn’t easily blast my way back to with a higher level cap and de-synching if I must. I’ll probably just re-roll.

    Oh... here’s another quibble I had with the game that perhaps has been addressed.

    As an... um... enthusiast of player housing, I was borderline “offended” by ARR’s “housing 1.0” that dealt in artificial scarcity, then-ridiculous gold expenses and a “use it or lose it” implementation. On the off chance that I might actually stick around long enough to get a house, have these issues been addressed?

    Specifically:

    -Is the gold cost still nuts for a casual player?

    -Are there still unnecessarily limited and therefore competitively coveted houses to go around?

    -How long can I be away from the game and still keep my house?

    I remember there were also cheaper FC “appartments” pitched, but, like... again... interdependence is bad.

  12. #12
    Housing is largely unchanged but they have introduced FC-independent apartments for 500k gil that are never demolished, so if you're just looking for a room of your own to decorate/hang out in that should have you covered. They provide stable access for your chocobo as well.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Omedon View Post

    Honestly it all sounds great except the very concept of “trials” which are kind of anathema to my beliefs for MMO video games. I dislike the idea of “skill gating” the story.
    The trials literally take about 3 minutes to finish. We are not talking some huge time commitment here. Most of the game can easily be played solo if that is your preference.

  14. #14
    Everything in the game is easily soloable except dungeons that are piss easy to get groups for with the group finder. You don't even need a guild or to really talk to anyone else unless you're doing endgame EX primals or Savage raids. Hell, Shadowbringers lets you play dungeons with NPCs if you don't even want to bother with real people.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Omedon View Post
    Ok then, good to know, thank you!

    Honestly there was no major progress or accumulation of resources that I couldn’t easily blast my way back to with a higher level cap and de-synching if I must. I’ll probably just re-roll.

    Oh... here’s another quibble I had with the game that perhaps has been addressed.

    As an... um... enthusiast of player housing, I was borderline “offended” by ARR’s “housing 1.0” that dealt in artificial scarcity, then-ridiculous gold expenses and a “use it or lose it” implementation. On the off chance that I might actually stick around long enough to get a house, have these issues been addressed?

    Specifically:

    -Is the gold cost still nuts for a casual player?

    -Are there still unnecessarily limited and therefore competitively coveted houses to go around?

    -How long can I be away from the game and still keep my house?

    I remember there were also cheaper FC “appartments” pitched, but, like... again... interdependence is bad.
    As someone else mentioned, there are now FC independent apartments that never get demolished. These are a bit bigger than the first floor of a cottage (small house) but is only a single big room (that you can subdivide).

    Here's a look at what I did with my apartment:





    It's 500k for the apartment plus whatever it costs to furnish if you dont craft your own furniture but it isn't terribly difficult to get the gil needed. I recently got an apartment on my Balmung alt who isn't even max level yet and began furnishing, so money isn't really that much of a limiting factor if you level your crafting/gathering jobs (which is much easier to do now).

  16. #16
    Dude, i want to type an optimistic reply but i just don't know.

    If Garuda was that traumatizing i'm not sure you can expect something better. The MSQ will require you to beat a few trials. You cannot escape that.

    But, the rumors of dungeons with NPC's are true. You have to reach a certain rank with your grand company to unlock it. You can level them up, send them in missions, and do dungeons with them until lvl 60 (not all but select ones).
    On shadow bringers you got instead your party of scions for ShB dungeons called Trust instead. 70 to 80. There is a bracket where you can't do this wich is the 60 to 70 bracket. All the story dungeons on shadowbringers can be done with your Trust. But you still have to join groups for trials and they will be challenging while on leveling gear.

    So, i dunno. I think that SWTOR might be a better game for you. You don't need to group with anyone and can solo dungeons with your companion.
    If you want to soldier on with FFXIV and overcome that trauma, it is a game with a lot of content for new players. It will keep you busy for a long time.
    Last edited by Swnem; 2019-12-05 at 04:18 PM.

  17. #17
    The Insane Thage's Avatar
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    The only trial you're going to have trouble with is Titania, because people suck at positioning and DPS checks at the same time. On the bright side, their theme is very catchy. Otherwise, you can be pretty much completely self-sufficient; the ongoing Ishgard Restoration is a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of the recently-nerfed crafter/gatherer xp requirements, meaning you can quickly and efficiently get capped as a crafter/gatherer for your chosen discipline and start producing gear; once you can reliably produce High-Quality gear you're going to print Gil on the market board and will be completely self-sufficient, as the best crafted gear is highly competitive outside high-end raid gear.

    Also, if tanking is stressful but you want to take advantage of fast queues, I recommend Conjurer/White Mage. WHM has a very basic but comprehensive healing kit, and most groups will be understanding if you explain your situation and will adjust to compensate for you not DPSing between heals as often. Another bit of advice I have is to learn the dungeons in each level bracket because Trials tend to be a sort of final exam for dungeon mechanics you've recently been experiencing, with one or two new, unique mechanics for a given Trial boss.

    As Swenem mentioned, however, ultimately SWTOR or Neverwinter may be more up your alley, as those games' dungeons can be soloed with yourself and your AI Companion. Regardless of where you land, I hope you enjoy yourself.
    Be seeing you guys on Bloodsail Buccaneers NA!



  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Swnem View Post
    Dude, i want to type an optimistic reply but i just don't know.

    If Garuda was that traumatizing i'm not sure you can expect something better. The MSQ will require you to beat a few trails. You cannot escape that.

    But, the rumors of dungeons with NPC's are true. You have to reach a certain rank with your grand company to unlock it. You can level them up, send them in missions, and do dungeons with them until lvl 60 (not all but select ones).
    On shadow bringers you got instead your party of scions for ShB dungeons called Trust instead. 70 to 80. There is a bracket where you can't do this wich is the 60 to 70 bracket. All the story dungeons on shadowbringers can be done with your Trust. But you still have to join groups for trials and they will be challenging while on leveling gear.

    So, i dunno. I think that SWTOR might be a better game for you. You don't need to group with anyone and can solo dungeons with your companion.
    If you want to soldier on with FFXIV and overcome that trauma, it is a game with a lot of content for new players. It will keep you busy for a long time.
    I appreciate your frank and honest feedback, but honestly I'm not looking for SWTOR. Been there, done that, and now I'm intentionally seeking out FFXIV's aesthetic.

    I'm not entirely squeamish (squeenixish?) about doing group content, I think the reason Garuda and the final encounters of the ARR storyline are etched into my mind as big negatives (and, again, I did actually succeed at them!) were because I literally forced myself to tank because that's where my head was at in the MMO space at the time: Tank or wait forever.

    For three encounters per expansion, I can wait a bit. I'm a competent tank, but also a good ranged DPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyriani View Post
    As someone else mentioned, there are now FC independent apartments that never get demolished. These are a bit bigger than the first floor of a cottage (small house) but is only a single big room (that you can subdivide).

    It's 500k for the apartment plus whatever it costs to furnish if you dont craft your own furniture but it isn't terribly difficult to get the gil needed. I recently got an apartment on my Balmung alt who isn't even max level yet and began furnishing, so money isn't really that much of a limiting factor if you level your crafting/gathering jobs (which is much easier to do now).
    Your house looks very lovely, and those apartments sound perfect!!

    I'm also glad to hear that:

    Quote Originally Posted by Thage View Post
    once you can reliably produce High-Quality gear you're going to print Gil on the market board and will be completely self-sufficient, as the best crafted gear is highly competitive outside high-end raid gear.
    I really, REALLY liked the crafting system in FFXIV, and I'm glad it's been maintained for gearing on a "good enough is good enough" level!
    Last edited by Omedon; 2019-12-04 at 06:49 PM.

  19. #19
    Pandaren Monk Wangming's Avatar
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    If you start from the beginning or even Heavensward, story mode trials will be a breeze cause you'll be with 7 other people who know the fight and are overleveled. And unless you use story skip potions (if you do shame on you and all your family) you should be familiar with the typical fight mechanics by the time you reach Shadowbringers, so even if the game mixes them from time to time, you should be good.

  20. #20
    I’d like to thank everyone who has taken a moment to comment on this thread. Because of your honesty I’m now in the process of having my authentication token removed from my account because the batteries ran out years ago. Here’s hoping that happens soon because it’s going on 12 hours now and I want to start downloading haha!

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