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Getting started in FFXIV: what WoW refugees need to know

Things Warcraft refugees ought to know when starting out in FFXIV, the critically acclaimed MMORPG by Square Enix.

With the recent Blizzard revelations and the Endwalker expansion just around the corner, more and more Warcraft players have been flocking to Eorzea.

Here are a few things Warcraft refugees should know before starting on their FFXIV journey.

FFXIV

Races

While there are a few differences in base stats amongst the races, they are extremely minuscule and can be safely disregarded. As such, picking races for the sole purpose of minmaxing is almost entirely unheard of in FFXIV. Go with whatever you want to play, though do note that Free Trial players will not be able to play as Viera or Hrothgar unless they purchase the full game.

If you want to change your race later on, you can do so via a Fantasias – an item that you can purchase with real money from the Mog Station in order to change your character’s appearance, nameday, patron deity and voice. You get one for free when you complete A Realm Reborn‘s Main Scenario questline, so Free Trial players do not need to worry about shilling for one when they have purchased the complete edition.

Job System

Unlike Warcraft, FFXIV’s job system allows you to play every job on one character. No more making alts to try out new jobs – we have them all! Don’t sweat the details and pick whatever job that catches your eye – you can always swap later. I would recommend watching the Endwalker job actions trailer and the Limit Break 3 showcase if aesthetics and pretty animations are a deciding factor for you.

You will be given a list of ‘base’ classes to choose from when you first make your character, and it will affect the city state you start in (which affects the level 1-15 quests you play through). Do note that Rogue is the only base class you cannot start as, though you will be given the opportunity to swap to it when you’ve unlocked airships (or when you’re level 10 if you started in Limsa Lominsa).

The Free Trial lets you play the Heavensward jobs (you’ll need to have a job at Level 50 and be able to access Ishgard first), including Dark Knight – which has hands down one of the best job quests in the game. The questline’s writer, Ishikawa Natsuko, is also the main scenario narrative writer for the Shadowbringers expansion – and if that isn’t enough to convince you to give it a go, I don’t know what else will.

General Etiquette

As many Warcraft refugees can attest, the FFXIV playerbase as a whole is generally a lot kinder to newbies than Warcraft’s. Toxicity is highly frowned upon in the community – abuse will be swiftly reported and dealt with accordingly. Feel free to watch that dungeon cutscene, or let the party know that you are new or blind to the content – most FFXIV players are very understanding towards new players (or Sprouts, as they are often affectionately called), with many offering advice or tips to sprouts, or even sticking around to chat after the instance.

While it is not a must in general content, setting a countdown before pulling as a tank will definitely earn you brownie points from your party, especially from your Scholars and Astrologians. Or anyone with an opener, really. It doesn’t matter too much in regular content, but hey – it doesn’t cost much to be a considerate player!

Image: Square Enix

Go Get That Free Mount

As a new player in 2018, I went through most of A Realm Reborn on foot, before a friend saw me sprinting across the map for a good few minutes and staged an intervention. Good thing the mount unlock quest is now a requirement to progress in the Main Scenario, huh! My Little Chocobo is an unlockable quest available at level 20 after joining your respective Grand Company. The quest is pretty simple to do, and you get a cute Chocobo mount for free!

HUD Customisation/Third Party Add-ons

FFXIV’s UI is highly customisable, with a variety of options already built into the game. No third party add-ons are needed for it to be playable.

A note about third party DPS meters – it is highly frowned upon to call others out in-game for their DPS based on the meters. Harassment and abuse will be dealt with swiftly. In fact, it is best not to mention third party add-ons at all in the game chat. For players worried about their own personal DPS, there is the Stone, Sky, Sea trial that unlocks striking dummies for various high end content in the game. If you can kill the dummy within the time limit, you’re good on DPS, and you can compare your kill times to improve your rotation.

Image: Square Enix

Macros

It is highly unadvisable to macro GCD abilities. This might be challenging for Warcraft refugees who are just starting out in FFXIV, especially Healers who are used to macroing their skills in Warcraft. Don’t do it – macros in FFXIV are not designed to work well with GCD abilities, and it is better to nip that habit in the bud while you’re still a Sprout (haha) before it becomes a bad habit in the future.

Popular macros include this very nifty Play setup for keyboard/mouse users, which can easily be adapted for other skills such as Dark Knight’s The Blackest Night, White Mage’s Afflatus Solace or Dragoon’s Dragon Sight. Most Healers (and Dark Knights) tend to macro their ground placement skills (Asylum, Sacred Soil, Earthly Star and Salted Earth respectively) to their current target, though it is entirely up to personal preference.

Healers and Red Mages/Summoners should macro their Raise (or Raise equivalent abilities) to alert their party members in order to avoid overlapping raises, and Tanks should macro their invuln abilities to easily alert their healers and cotank, especially if you’re a Dark Knight or Gunbreaker. Please macro your Living Dead and Superbolide. I am begging you –A Suffering White Mage.

There are definitely many differences between Warcraft and FFXIV – both gameplay and playerbase wise, so making the switch may seem daunting at first, but hopefully these tips will help you Warcraft refugees out as you start out in FFXIV’s Eorzea!

You can check out our FFXIV complete edition giveaway here, and purchase the complete edition of the game here. It is currently 60% off, so grab it while the sale is on!