Final Fantasy XIV: Week 2 - Player's Perspective
- By: Jorge Fernandez
- Posted 17th Feb 2012
When I first began my Final Fantasy XIV adventure, there were several adjustments that I needed to make, both from a legacy standpoint (my previous history with FFXI) and a technical one (frequent crashes in-game).
The latter had kept me from making any significant progress for over a week. Frequent Google searches yielded little results and only further demonstrated how much outdated material remained. It seemed the only way to get the most up-to-date information on FFXIV was to visit the most dedicated of fansites.
FFXIVCore was one such site, possessing a community with limited membership but clearly up to speed with the game's frequent patches. Thanks to a prior account that I had created for World of Warcraft, I was able to pose my questions in their forum. It turned out that lowering my FPS to 30 (which is defaulted to 60 in the in-game configuration menu) did the trick. If you were experiencing a similar issue, give this method a try, but your mileage may vary regarding the game's problematic engine.
With that matter solved, my next priority was to find a Linkshell. If there is one rule that is universal with every MMORPG, it's that the more friends you have, the more you can get things done. Fortunately, one group that was referred to me by another forum was willing to take me in.
It seemed that the community for FFXIV was split into two kinds of groups: one that discourages newcomers from inquiring about the game in its current state, either ignoring them outright or insisting that they not bother trying the game until its 2.0 patch hits; the other is more open to helping out newcomers and are eager to assist them with whatever help they needed.
Fortunately, my newest Linkshell consisted of the latter, and several pleasant conversations later I was ready to experience my first party formation in the game....sort of.
Anyone with MMORPG experience should be familiar with the concept of "power leveling". Abbreviated as PL for short, it involves a low level player receiving assistance from someone three or more times their level taking out large groups of enemies in order to amass large amounts of exp in rapid succession.
FFXIV is no stranger to this concept, and in fact features a relatively easy method to rack up exp. When forming a party between two people with disparaging levels, the experience gained would usually be based around the party member with the higher level....which means the lower level player's earnings would be lower than miniscule.
But thanks to a small loophole, it is now possible to earn the maximum amount of exp while your higher-level partner does all the work; the way it works is that the high level party member pulls a herd of monsters at a time, while the low level player stays behind to make sure he doesn't gain any of the enemies' aggro. Before the puller retaliates against the monsters, the party leader (aka the low level player) kicks his partner from the group.
While disbanding a party before defeating an enemy usually restricts the rewards to whoever landed the killing blow, in FFXIV the party leader still receives the exp from his now-solo partner. In fact, the game assumes that the low level player took out the enemies on his own, thus rewarding him with the equivalent amount for what would have been an impossible task otherwise.
In under an hour, I jumped from level 1 to level 14, thanks to the rapid amount of high exp earned per wave. By comparison, my partner in powerleveling would receive little to no benefits...after all, enemies that would be too strong for me would barely make a dent to someone well in their 30's. The only reward for a PL'er is the satisfaction in helping newbies quickly rise up in the online world.
While conversing with my new favorite player, I got a sense of the current state of affairs in FFXIV. The existing players are generally looking forward to the upcoming 1.21 patch, which includes a new set of jobs as well as player-owned housing. Other changes include an improved UI, including the possibility of saved equipment configurations for each job (an issue I brought up in the last article). On the downside, I was also informed that new players such as myself are becoming more scarce, to the point that many long-running players aren't as invested as they were before in showing newbies the ropes.
This sentiment appears to coincide with Square's continuing support in keeping their mid-to-high players happy while offering little in the way of new features to lure in newbies; while gaining 14 levels in one day is certainly an achievement, it's still a while yet before I can think about joining my fellow LS members in taking on Ifrit or the rogue Moogles.
Now that I have the skills (namely, Weaponskills), it's time for me to find the right gear. Tune in next time where I find out what kind of weapons and equipment I can buy with quest-earned gil.