It is now time to go out to the wild world of Vana'diel and kill some things. Here are some things you'll notice that is in your inventory; you have some items to start you out. Depending on what job you pick will depend on what items you start with. You should have the level 1 Race Specific Armor (or RSE) that is for your selected race, you should also have a spell scroll depending if you have a mage job and you will have a weapon or a belt if you're a MNK.
By the way, I suggest getting used to the terminology as most players will describe each job by their 3 letter initials.
Now, you will have very little gil (the currency in the game) and there's a little quest that you can do from the start with a coupon that will get you a little more. Here's where you might be a bit frustrated as you might end up with next to no new equipment if you don't look around a bit. I'll be covering how to get some gil on you in a later post. For right now, I want to concentrate on just leveling your character.
Very important thing: Before you venture outside and kill things randomly, get Signet. There are gate guard NPCs that can give you Signet and it'll help you in various ways:
1. It gives you Conquest Points based on EXP earned. Those Conquest Points can be traded in for new equipment or items that you can sell.
2. When fighting a monster that checks as "Even Match" or lower, you will get a boost to your defense and evasion.
3. When you heal (when your character kneels/sits down to recover HP/MP), your HP will heal significantly faster than if you don't have Signet.
4. Under certain circumstances, you will get more EXP based on the number of party members you have.
Pretty much, its a free enhancement (or buff) that you can get that will only benefit you. There's more to it as we move on to later expansions but for right now, this is all you should be concerned about.
Now that you're outside, here are some general guidelines.
1. When you attack a monster, you will make it go into a "claimed" state. No one outside of you/party/alliance can interact with it.
2. You can "Check" monsters to see what its relative level is at.
Too Weak to be Worthwhile = The monster will net you no XP if you kill it.
Easy Prey = The monster is at a level significantly lower than you but it can still kill you if you're not careful.
Decent Challenge = The monster is just under your level.
Even Match = The monster is your level... but this doesn't mean this is an "even match..."
Tough = The level is slightly higher than your level
Very Tough = And higher...
Incredibly Tough = The monster is to the point where you cannot decern it from high or low level as this is the highest ranking. It can be 30 levels higher from your level or 80 levels higher.
Occasionally, you amy check a monster and it'll say "Impossible to Gauge." Usually these monsters are of the "Notorious Monster" variety. Those types of monsters con drop some rare items but they can be rare themselves. Some of them may only be for story/quest purposes as well and do not drop a single thing.
From level 1-10, you will want to fight things along the "Even Match" area but you will often find yourself killing a lot of "Easy Prey" as you progress higher.
3. In the latest patch, you can now Auto-Sort your inventory. Use this to your advantage and try to keep some of the items on you. Use this to get yourself gil. (This point will be emphasized in a later post).
4. Dying is a bad thing as you can lose EXP. Avoid dying but try to understand how monsters interact with you and so on. Some can aggro (term used for when they attack you without provacation), some can link (term used when a monster assists a monster of the same type) and some won't do anything until you attack them.
5. Avoid partying at this point as it can make the process take longer.
Well, lets get into the job specifics:
Taking WAR from 1 to 10 can be a very easy experience. Stick to the beginner areas (Saruta/Ronfaure/Gusta) and just kill things relative to your level. You won't learn anything interesting from 1 to 10. At level 5 you will get an ability called "Provoke" and you can start weapon skilling around level 4-6 depending on your skill development. "Provoke" helps you get the attention of the monster you use it on. There's more to "Provoke" but that is for party situations (which will be explained in a later post). If you can, get the Bronze Gear set from the NPC Armor shop in your nation or Auction House. It may be look disturbing to wear but it will help you take hits better. Also, use either a one handed axe or a two handed great axe and try not to use your sword as soon as you can. While WAR can use swords rather well, axes and great axes just dominate the sword in the long run. Get the leather equipment at level 7.
WAR's 2-Hour Ability (called that since you can only use it once every two real earth hours) is "Mighty Strikes." This makes all of your attacks a critical hit for a duration of time. If you use this to try to save yourself, use it early. If you can't really hit the mob before using this, it isn't going to save you for the most part.
MNK is really no different from WAR at 1-10. You learn the ability "Boost" at level 5. What "Boost" will do is increase the attack damage on your next attack, which then it will wear off. "Boost" can stack on itself, which means if you keep doing Boost again and again and not attack, you will gradually increase that damage. This is very nice to squeeze in some extra damage on your weapon skills.
MNK's 2-Hour Ability is "Hundred Fists." This ability will grant you a large level of attack speed and lets you attack at a much rapid pace. This ability can get you out of a tight spot when you need to unleash a lot of damage at one time.
THF will probably have a little bit of a rough time getting from 1 to 10, especially with a dagger. If you can, switch up with a sword for the mean time and use that for awhile. Don't forget to switch in your dagger at some point as you will want to have some skill for later monsters. You will get the ability "Steal" at level 5. It is pretty self explanitory as to what it does, just make sure you have inventory space for it.
THF's 2-Hour Ability is "Perfect Dodge." You will dodge every single physical attack done to you. However, you're still vunerable to ranged attacks (arrows, gunshots) and magic damage (elemental, enfeeble). This is great for getting away when you need to run from a losing fight.
WHM will probably have the hardest time of the six jobs. However, you are able to keep yourself alive and you have some tools to help you survive a bit. Here are the spells you'll learn as WHM:
Level - Spell
1 - Cure
3 - Dia
4 - Paralyze
5 - Banish
5 - Barstonra
6 - Poisona
7 - Barsleepra
7 - Protect (and Protectra)
9 - Barwatera
9 - Paralyna
10 - Aquaviel
10 - Barpoisonra
Cure will heal you for around 20-30HP intially. Dia an enfeebling spell that will deal some damage itself, damage over time and weakens the monster's defense. This is a great spell to cast as a WHM to the monster as it will make your life a lot easier, solo or party. Paralyze also helps as it can randomly cause the monster to skip their next attack. Banish deals direct damage but honestly, its not worth using in most situations.
I want to take this time to discuss spell terminology, mainly the prefixes and suffixes.
Bar- = Gives resistance to the element or ailment
-ra = The enhancement will target nearby party members
-na = The spell will heal the ailment
-ga = The spell will target multiple nearby enemies
The rest of the spells are self explainitory and the game will tell you what they will do. Note that if you're really strapped for gil, at least get Cure, Dia and Paralyze.
WHM's 2hr ability is "Benediction." This will restore everyone's HP to max and cure any status ailments on them. However, this will give that WHM a lot of hate from the monster and it can lead to the death of that WHM. Use with caution.
BLM has it pretty decent here. This is also a good time to practice timing your spells. In Final Fantasy XI, if you get hit hard enough, you can be interupted in your spell casting. You also must be standing still as well. Try to time your spells between the monster's attacks and you should be fine.
Black Mage gets the following spells from 1-10:
1 - Stone
3 - Poison
4 - Blind
5 - Water
7 - Bind
9 - Aero
10 - Bio
10 - Blaze Spikes
Bind is your friend. Bind will hold the monster in place while you can do whatever you want to them. However, if you hit them hard enough, they may break out of bind. Bio is like Dia but instead of lowered defense on the monster, it's lowered attack. Blaze Spikes is a spell that is cool on paper but ultimately is one of the least important spells you'll cast in a party environment.
BLM's 2hr ability is "Manafont." You will have unlimited MP and you cannot be interupted by physical hits. Use this when you run out of MP or if you need to land that one final nuke to survive.
RDM is generally like how THF would work out at 1-10 except they have a bit of WHM and a bit of BLM tossed in. Here are their spells:
1 - Dia
3 - Cure
4 - Stone
5 - Barstone
5 - Poison
6 - Paralyze
7 - Barsleep
7 - Protect
8 - Blind
9 - Barwater
9 - Water
10 - Barpoison
10 - Bio
RDM's 2hr ability is "Chainspell." This will remove the casting time and recast time of your spells for the duration of this ability, allowing you to rapidly cast spells. Very handy when you want to overwhelm the monster or need to be fast on the curing. Note that you do use up MP so make sure you have some MP on you before using this.
And that pretty much covers leveling from 1-10. This all just beginner newbie stuff but I want to get this foundation off the ground first. Feel free to spread this post around to newbies to the game. I'll cover some gil making ideas at lower levels and maybe even the older players might find something of value there. Eventually I'll start covering some more advanced things and that should be a good read for players that have been playing for more than 3 years.
Anyways, I hope you learned a few things from this post. Again, feel free to post this around and also leave any comments you might have for any new players. It would help them start in this game and would hopefully lead to more players running around longer.