Final Fantasy XIV: Preparing for Launch

Job unlocks, class starting locations, spiritbonds, and more discussed as Ragar goes through what you’ll need to know for Open Beta and Early Access

Almost two years after it was announced, the launch of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is almost here. I’ve enjoyed my time in the closed beta weekends leading up to this point, but now that Beta Phase 4 is letting everyone in for the weekend, many of you will see Eorzea for the first time. Previous beta players are probably plotting how to best use this Early-Early Access window, since Square Enix has told us progress made during this Open Beta will carry over into Early Access and Launch, but for everyone else there are a lot of questions that still need answers. What classes can I play and what needs to be unlocked? Which guilds start in the same town so I can play with my friends? When can I start crafting/gathering? Hopefully, by the end of this post I’ll have answered everything you need to know to get started in FFXIV and get a head start on everyone waiting for launch day.

Picking Your First Class

Now that you have the beta client installed and made your avatar, it’s time to choose your starting class. Note that I said “starting” – you’ll want to switch classes later on to pick up skills for your main class or to unlock second-tier jobs, but you have to start somewhere. Your choices are limited at first to the eight base combat classes; crafting and gathering professions are blocked for the moment, so there will be no repeats of you chain-casting Throw a Rock for story missions like in v1.0.

For those looking to play a caster, you have three choices in the Disciples of Magic: Thaumaturge, Conjurer, and Arcanist. Thaumaturge is your DPS caster class – fireballs, frost attacks, lightning and your other typical mage stuff. Conjurer is the healer option for casters – cure spells, cleanses, protection spells and the like. Finally there’s Arcanist, which I haven’t had the chance to play since it was unavailable during the previous beta weekends. According to all of the data mined information, the class is a mix of DoT attacks and debuffs with a pet, Carbunkle, to provide DPS/healing/etc. depending on which version is summoned.

If spell slinging isn’t your style, the Disciples of War have five alternatives for you. For those interested in tanking, there are two options. Gladiator is your typical sword and board style tank while Marauder lets you tank with a two-handed axe instead. If tanking isn’t your style yet you’d still like to be in melee, Pugilist and Lancer may suit your needs. Pugilist is your monk archetype character, complete with fist weapons, flowing combat styles, and an emphasis on multiple hits rather than the strength of individual attacks. Lancers use polearms to skewer their foes from behind while slowing them to prevent escape. Last but not least, there’s Archer for those who don’t fancy spell casting, but care for getting stabbed in melee even less. As an Archer you’ll rain death from the skies with volleys of arrows.

Why Do I Need Conjurer To Be A Bard?

Earlier on I kept mentioning second-tier jobs, so some of you out there are probably wondering what that’s all about. These jobs are the unlockable extensions of the base classes you chose from at the beginning of the game. Some allow you to specialize further in the role of the base class that led to it while others branch out and let you perform roles you never could with the class that led to it. Each class from the Disciples of War and Disciples of Magic has at least one second-tier class it can unlock; currently Arcanist is the only class with two options, but the developers have said additional job options will be added in future content updates after launch.

Now just because each job is associated with a specific class doesn’t mean that’s all you’ll have to do to get the quests that unlock them. In addition to leveling up the primary class to 30 for your job, you’ll need to dip into a second class for a while. Essentially it’s to give you the impression of what you’re unlocking by saying it’s “Gladiator with a dash of Conjurer” for Paladin or “Lancer with a pinch of Pugilist” for Dragoon. You won’t need to spend quite as long working on those second classes as you did the first since they only need to be level 15 instead of 30. Once both of those requirements are completed you should be able to find the quest for your job class and get to work unlocking that. Of course given that the level cap for Open Beta is 20, there won’t be any job unlocking for anyone this weekend, but you can at least get that secondary class leveled up and out of the way, right? The table below should help you set out on the right path for those unlocks:

Job Name Primary Class Requirement Secondary Class Requirement
Paladin Gladiator (30) Conjurer (15)
Dragoon Lancer (30) Pugilist (15)
Monk Pugilist (30) Lancer (15)
Bard Archer (30) Conjurer (15)
Warrior Marauder (30) Gladiator (15)
White Mage Conjurer (30) Arcanist (15)
Black Mage Thaumaturge (30) Pugilist (15)
Summoner Arcanist – Untested, but assumed 30 Unknown – Current theory is Thaumaturge (15)
Scholar Arcanist – Untested, but assumed 30 Unknown – Current theory is Conjurer (15)
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