Friday, December 23, 2011

New Character in 1.20: A Test - Part 1

A lot of people are complaining about the difficulty new players face when starting out and how hard it is to level in the early levels.  To test this I have created a new character to try it out and see if these complaints have any merit.

For this test I have given myself no Gil, equipment or anything that a new person wouldn't have right out of the character creation screen. I did allow myself my my collectors edition Onion Helmet.
To further gimp myself I made Red a gladiator, a class I have no interest in or affinity with.

The tutorial was pretty good, but I am considering asking someone who does not already know this game to try it for a real review.  Also, I had forgotten how much I like the Ul'dah opening CS.

After the opening bits I ran to Camp Black Brush and did the introduction to leves leve with no trouble, and very nearly gained my first level. Being level 1 and only having one ability is weird.

I head back to town to talk Momodi and pick up 4 guildleves. Finish the first quest "Court in the Sands" and am almost level 4 with 12k Gil. Time to head back out of town to do some leves.

Tried "Flamber's Forgetfulness" at 2 star and won it easy-peasy and am almost level 5. Did 2 more on 2 star, then was level 5 and tried a couple 3 star.  Got a treasure chest on first one containing 5 potions and bone hora and also leveled to level 6 ^^.  I need a shield now or my new ability, Ages Boon is useless. Used some  potions fighting midges as they were a little hard.  Killed innocent desert creatures on the way back to town and got level 8.
I had 14k to spend, I better shop smart. I started with the NPC at the Adventurers Guild. Whats this?  Momodi wants to talk to me again! 

Just a note, but I had forgotten that talk of Garleans starts off right at the beginning.  It is not a new addition.

Doing the main quest I stumble upon another quest "A Call to Arms" sure I will run around town and talk to npcs for some pants ^^ 

I needed a shield and found a Bronze Hooplon for 5K and a Bronze Dagger for 2,700. I still have 6.600 left but I am going to save it for now and go do the next part of the quest.

Sweet little Momodi gave me 15K so I can go shopping, again.
She's bossy, but pays well
A little more shopping nets me a Hempen acton (grey) +1 and a pair of hempen kecks. Nothing I really want to upgrade to at this level so I put the remaining 11K back in my pocket.
Looking more the part
Off to Camp Drybone to try my hand at level 10 leves.

So far, I have murdered many mobs and not died yet.  Fighting feels slightly slow to begin with but as I leveled I got several new abilities and it became more interesting. I had to rest between battles a few times, mostly when I tried things at 3 stars. Once I get a few abilities, things should be much faster; Second Wind, I am looking at you!

Here ends part 1. I hope it was not too boring for you all to read.


  1. I've had the game for a while now, but haven't really gotten into it until recently. Hopefully your guide will help me out :) I'll be very interested when you get to your first dungeon. (As I have yet to run through one, yet.)

  2. There aren't many dungeons to speak of, just one 15, one 25 and one 45. It isn't like some games where there is a real logical flow on where to go or what to do next.

    I am going to take Red to the 15 one in La Noscea pretty soon and see if I can solo in there and also attempt to build a low level party. I'm not sure how that is going to pan out...

    Let me know if you have any questions and I can try to help you out.

  3. Oh, no, that's rather disappointing. My friend and I are currently leveling together, and I was thinking about going there. We're both level 15 now, CNJ/MRD. Do you think you could tell me what advantages there are to going, and at what level we could duo it?

    From my understanding so far, you basically run around killing NMs and looking for chests. Any details on what to expect would be appreciated!

  4. Hi, I'm posting since the firs timer feel is not actually like that, I started playing 3 days ago, so far it took me about 2 days to get to level 15 since the game is kinda weird and there isn't really a flow of things... for example you went straight for leves that was something that me as a new player found out about 10hours into gameplay.

    The thing as a new player is you get stuck in the main quest walking around everywhere for 5k gil or 15k gil but a lousy 300XP so is frustrating, but once you learn about the game it picks up really fast.

    On my 3rd day i remade my character and guess what in 4 hours i was lvl8 Conj, lvl8 Glad, lvl12 Mar... why?... 'cause like you i went straight for the things i needed to do.

    My point is although is a very nice insight... is far from what a new player experience is since you already know where exactly to go.

    Maybe a I can sent you some info since so far I'm a totally new player xD and to be honest... I'm so lost...

    1. First off, thank you so much for commenting and I would invite additional info! Feedback is especially important from new players as we old timers tend to forget how confusing your first days in Eorzea can be.

      Before I write a book in response to your post, I want to extend an offer of help. If you are lost or confused in this game and have had no luck getting help at one of the many FFXIV forums, I invite you to email me at or go ahead and post questions here.

      This test was more a reaction to comments I had heard about it being too difficult to solo and afford equipment at low levels and not necessarily about new player confusion. That is a slightly separate topic.

      With anything there is certainly a learning curve and this game is not exacitly intuitive. They are making improvements with the tutorials but it is true those pretty much cover movement, battle and interacting with NPCs.

      However while I fully admit the game does sometimes leave you wondering what to do next the answers are there. Yes, I knew about leves before I even created Red but one of the first things Momodi (if you start in Ul’dah) has you do after you gain control of your character is run to the first Camp outside of town. Once there she explains leves to you and she has even provided you with the first one. The storyline quest tells you where to go and who to talk to and if you forget* you can always look in the journal. There is even a map with a dot on it marking your destination.

      I think perhaps the game should remind you of your journal more since that is usually the answer when someone finds themselves lost. It does mention it but unlike some other games I have played, does not actually force you to open it up to prove you found it.

      Even if Momodi didn't tell me about leves I would have discovered them in my first hours as I spoke to every NPC in the adventurers guild. FF games have always required you to chat with all the NPCs until you find the right one to advance.

      *or do like I first did, spam enter past the text in my excitement.


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