10 Ways to Prepare for Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

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by Ziegsy

Expansions are always a magical time for any MMO player. With the prospect of new quests, new locations, and new things to kill, it's all too easy to be swept up in the excitement of a new expansion in the weeks before the launch. But as any veteran of the genre will tell you, what you do in these last few days before it launches can be vital in assuring your character has the strongest possible start into an expansion's unknown territory.

The Stormblood expansion for FFXIV is no different. And in the next 10 slides, you'll find tips and tricks that should help you get ready for this new adventure. Steel yourself and sound the horns of war -- we're going to run through some of the best ways you can help the Warrior of Light tackle this storm of blood.

Catch Up on the Main Story

This might sound terribly obvious to most players -- but without finishing every main story quest, you wont even be allowed to set foot in Ala Mhigo when Stormblood launches. We don't just mean the ones with cut-scenes, or even the ones that end with the credits rolling.

Check your journal. If 'The Far Edge of Fate' is missing from your completed main scenario tab, complete it as soon as you can to make sure you can dive headlong into the new expansion on Day 1.

Get the Best Gear You Can for Your Main Class

There may seem to be little point in going all-out to obtain the best gear possible at this late stage in the game -- but trust us, it's well worth doing. At the start of Heavenswardthose who managed to clear the Binding Coil of Bahamut were left with equipment that carried them right through until at least level 58, just 2 away from max. Even the lower Ironworks gear stayed relevant until midway through the leveling process.

This also means that all the gear you are given as quest rewards can be sold on the market board for a premium, if you don't want to save it for another class.

Save yourself the pain of having to run the same dungeon over and over -- even if you have out-leveled it -- for a piece of gear. (Unless you're after a glamour, in which case we completely understand.)

Stock Up on Experience Buffs

Without going into the finer points of EXP calculation -- like which is multiplicative and which is additive -- we urge players to stock up on various buffing items. If you are a member of a Free Company with access to the rank 3 buffs through Aetherial Stands, then get crafting! These things take around 24 hours to charge up, and give a slightly higher bonus than the purchased rank 2 ones. A good stock of these should keep you going for a while, and help out the whole Free Company to boot!

If you do not have access to these, or if you aren't in a Free Company at all, don't despair! You can still gain access to the same level of boost through your squadron's priority missions. Available once a week, success on these level 40 missions will grant you five tokens, which can be used from your bag to grant you these handy bonuses. Which mission you do will change which token you get -- allowing you to prioritize battle, crafting, or even gathering.

Stocking up on cheap food is also a good option. If you don't have the master culinarian achievement, then get crafting! Even level 3 raisins grant the same experience boost as level 60 food, and the materials can be purchased rather than gathered. Crafting a stack of 99 may seem daunting -- but if you have the time an resources, it goes a long way towards helping out.

Have at Least One Crafter and Gatherer Class Leveled

Every new expansion brings something very special to those interested in amassing Gil -- and that is a new economy. In the first few days of Heavensward, no one quite knew what the items they were gathering were used for, and therefore had no idea of their worth.

Crafters that had put in the effort to gear up and properly level their classes had a strangle hold on new gear, food, and cosmetics. The first few weeks of an expansion are the best to quickly get your hands on a lot of cash, if you're willing to work for it.

With the help of some already max level friends, you can use leve quests to level a crafter to max in under a day. These repeatable fetch quests reward a sizable amount of experience, which can be doubled if the item you hand in is high quality. With help from Free Company friends, or even bored crafters in Ishguard, you can obtain all the high quality items needed to efficiently sprint your way to max. Just remember that the best quests to do are the ones that send you furthest afield to hand them in!

Gatherers are another story. Their leve quests ask you to gather something very specific to the quest at hand, and so you cannot get friends to help. But your friends can help with Grand Company hand-ins. By handing in High Quality items, you can give your grind a little boost. It may take longer, but Gatherers have a constant source of Gil, as people don't like leveling them. The prices you get for the things you gather may be smaller, but the sales tend to be more steady.

Stock Up on Materia

Whether for personal use or to sell for a profit, now is the best time to stock up on these valuable little baubles. Just before the expansion, prices on Materia are dropping the realm over -- but once Stormblood launches, the prices will inevitably rise again. This happens between patches to a smaller scale, with people clamoring to buy up the stat-boosting gems they may have sold off just a few weeks before. Not to mention the chance to trade in 5 of your current rank 5 Materia for the newest rank 6 though Mutamix's exchange. 

Remember that certain stats in FFXIV are being changed -- such as Parry and Accuracy is being removed completely. So savvy players may be selling off this Materia on the cheap. This means you can stock up on these Materia either exchange them in the expansion, or use them as fodder for Mutamix's Materia gambling.

Almost Finish Your Challenge Log

The challenge log offers a nice bonus for completing certain tasks (such as finishing a fate in every kingdom's land), and they refresh every Tuesday. As the early access for Stormblood starts on Friday, you can take the Wednesday before maintenance to fill in the log without completing it.

Where the log asks you to complete 5 dungeons, for example, complete 4. Then when you clear your first Stormblood dungeon, you will get that nice chunk of experience straight away.

If you want to do all of the challenge log in Stormblood without preparing first, that is perfectly fine. Doing the log beforehand only means you will get the boost faster. This is perfect for those who don't have all day to play, yet still want to try and keep up with their friends. This is the fastest way to level, but not essential for those who aren't interested in the race to level 70.

Three Words: Leves, Leves, Leves!

Leves are repeatable quests that you can complete for gear, items, and experience. You can take them in three flavors -- Battle for your combat classes, Tradecraft for your crafters, and Fieldcraft for your gatherers. These can be picked up in Ishguard's Foundation, and you can hold up to a maximum of 16 at a time. At max level the experience is no longer granted, instead giving you more Gil for their completion. 

While taking a quest on costs a single Leve allowance, up to 99 of these can be stocked at any one time -- 3 of which are granted every 12 hours. The issue is when you go to take them, only 3 will appear at any one time. You can 'trick' the game into allowing you access to more than the listed three by taking all three, completing them, and only handing one in. This normally refreshes the list, giving you access to more of your level's roster of quests.

With this you should be able to pick up all available quests, complete them, and then hold onto them. By handing them in after Stormblood's release, you will obtain experience, as well as the items and gear you would receive at max level.

While large-scale leves are on offer to all players, they cost 10 allowances rather than just 1, and only offer a 50% bonus experience reward. If you have time to regain your allowances before the expansion, they are worth picking up now. Otherwise, they are best ignored.

Finish Up Your Class and Job Quests

This may seem redundant with the complete overhaul of the current system, as many skills are being changed or completely removed. But it's recommended you do this anyway. Given the popularity of Palace of the Dead for leveling these days -- a dungeon that gives you temporary access to all your skills even if you haven't completed the quest for them -- many people level their Classes to level 60 without finishing their quests.

It's not uncommon to hear someone say they are missing the last two or three skills on some of their classes, having powered to 60 then abandoned their efforts. Given that class quests are only available if you finished the previous one and you are a certain level, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine you will need to have completed all the old ones before you can progress in Stormblood. It is far better to do them now and find out you didn't have to, than spend the first few hours of the expansion playing catch-up.   

Clear Out Your Retainers

Tempting as it is to hoard all those crafting materials and glamour pieces, is it worth losing all that space? Admittedly, holding onto that max level cloth you've been stocking up on may seem a sensible idea -- but do you really need 99 level 5 logs? Even if you think there may be the smallest possibility of them being necessary in the expansion, how long will it take you to gather them all again?

When it comes to crafting items, if the answer to the question "Can I get this easily again?" is yes, then it's probably best to sell it off now. With Retainers able to gather resources in bulk, holding onto materials on the off-chance they can be used isn't worth it -- not when a whole continents' worth of materials await you. Be brutal with your inventory, because it can take less than an hour to farm up a stack of 99 items. And no one needs 500 oak branches.

In the case of glamour items, be even more brutal. If you have kept a piece of gear because you think it looks cool, but have never used it, then sell it. Seasonal gear can be repurchased from the clamatity salvager, or stored in the armoire at any inn.

Dungeon gear, however, cannot be repurchased. Do not fret, though, because Stormblood is introducing a new system wherein only gear for classes present in a dungeon will drop. If it took you 20 runs to get that Monk helm before, because the chance of it dropping was wholly random, it will now be far easier. If you really need the piece again, then you can run the dungeon as the class in question, giving you a much higher chance to obtain it again.

Tidy Up Your Quest Log

Aside from the aforementioned Leve quests, and possibly quests for your Anima weapon, our last tip is for you to clean out your journal. Either abandon or finish those pesky tasks in an effort to leave your quest log as empty as possible.

With two weeks left before the expansion launches into early access, now is the time to tidy up those loose ends so you can move forward into Ala Mhigo with a clean slate. It's up to you how you go about this, perhaps completing them to earn up a bit more Gil for your adventures onward, but trust us when we say there's nothing like an empty quest log.

After all, who wants to go into a new expansion with that postmoogle still on your back?

Learn the Lyrics to "Revolutions"

These ten tips will help you to move forward into Stormblood , giving you a great head start that should help you press onward without having to turn back to Eorzea every five minutes.

With just under three weeks to go, now is the time to get excited. Follow our suggestions while listening to the game's new theme, "Revolutions". Might as well learn the lyrics now, because you're going to hear it often very soon!

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood releases on PC, Mac and PS4 on 20th June 2017. For more information on this game and its upcoming expansion, check out the official FFXIV website.

 

Published Jun. 1st 2017

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