My plans in FF14 include trying a few other classes/jobs.
First, get familiar with Scholar and comfortable healing for a group. Then, work through the Seventh Astral Era quests to unlock Ishgard and the Astrologian job
I’m also interested in trying out Rogue/Ninja, perhaps Marauder/Warrior, and maybe dabbling into Dancer and Blue Mage. If I picked a crafting skill, it would probably be Culinarian – I like cooking as a craft for several reasons, one which is that making consumables feels useful. Maybe Alchemist as well, for making potions. But I think that Scholar, Astrologian, Ninja will be plenty to keep me occupied and having fun.
The tricky thing about Marauder/Warrior is that is a tank class/job. As such, it requires more knowledge about the content. Info like: special skills the boss might use and what the tank needs to do (pull boss to particular area, face boss certain way, etc), what mobs drop important items, which direction to go, and so on. So while the queue times might be ever lower than the ones for healers, the tank job requires a familiarity that borders on studying the game! I’m interested, but perhaps later, so that job will be lower priority to level.
To take a break and try something different out, I did train the Rogue class. It turns out that doing my hunting log was enough to get the first dozen levels easily. With a little bit extra I can hit level 15 to qualify for the duty finder and level via dungeons.
At first I thought changing classes/jobs was a gimmick. What’s the difference between that and playing a few alts, something I typically do?
Well, I found out there is a huge benefit – you keep other progress.
Changing classes/jobs may lower your level, but you still keep your mount. So I’m a low level Rogue that happens to have a flying mount in the ARR zones. That’s super handy for working on the hunting log! In a game like ESO where mounts take ~180 days and ~45000 gold to train up, not having to deal with multiple mounts is a big savings.
Also, my rank (reputation) in my Grand Company didn’t change. That can also be huge, depending on how reputation is used in the game.
Fast travel points also stay unlocked. Also a huge time savings over playing multiple alts in other games. The game with fast travel the most similar to FF14 (that I can think of, that I have experience with) is Guild Wars 2, with it’s waypoints. In GW2, every alt needs to unlock the waypoints for each zone, so again FF14’s way is a huge time savings. My lowbie Rogue can pop around the world easily. If that makes questing too easy, you can always walk everywhere. 😉
I like the MSQ (main sequence quest). Advancing that gives you a mount, unlocks airship travel, joins you to a Grand Company, and unlocks various dungeons and trials one by one. It tells a story, unveils some lore (OK I’m not likely to become a lore-head but some fleshing out of the world is nice), leads you around from zone to zone, etc.
The fact FF14 grants you a mount for free (do the MSQ!) and also gives generous bag space starting out is great. No playing the inventory management mini-game, no WoW Classic skimpiness where your starting bag is so tiny even getting four more slots feels amazing. Which is great on one hand (woohoo, 20 inventory slots!) but ridiculous at the same time (I want to play the game, not jerk around with minuscule inventory space). LoTRO is nice in this respect as well, giving you a large amount of bag space from the start.
I also enjoy the class/job quests. The ones I’ve done tell a story, grant skills, and sometimes gear. Guild Wars 1 had a system vaguely similar, where you quested to gain certain skills, and also had to capture some skills from elites (a bit like how the Blue Mage gets skills).
The Duty Finder is a game changer for me. I’ve never played an MMO with such a functional one, that is actually used by the playerbase. It succeeds due to intertwined design: mandatory dungeons along the storyline, a robust down-leveling capability (FF14 calls it “syncing”, as in “duty at level 25 sync”), random dungeon selection, rewards to encourage needed classes and also if any player will be completing for the first time, and of course cross-server grouping. There is also the convenience of transporting you to the dungeon from wherever you are.
As a result, I’ve grouped more playing these past few weeks of FF14 than I have in any other MMO. It’s just so easy to hop in the game for 30 mins to an hour, and group once or twice.
What don’t I like?
Hm… it’ll seem nitpicky but as a native English speaker, hearing or reading Old English (thee, thine, wouldst, must needs, thou) really grates on my ears.
I can see being throttled based on MSQ progress could be spun negatively. It definitely has drawbacks along with benefits, so maybe this is more of a toss-up.