This sponsored post is presented by Square Enix.
In case you hadn't noticed, Final Fantasy XIV is a rather large game. Away from the main quest lines there is a staggering volume of side missions, mini-games, dungeons, trading options, optional boss fights and regions to explore.
With the MMO's first expansion, Heavensward, just around the corner, we thought we'd take a moment to highlight some of the essential things you should do before wading into the new content.
Some of what is included below is practical in nature, while some is simply worth doing for the sheer entertainment of it. Whatever the case, if you haven't embarked on the six adventures below then you're missing out on some of the best stuff the game currently has to offer - and you risk forgetting about it once Heavensward hits.
Get at least one class to the level cap
Unlike the majority of MMOs, FFXIV allows you to level up multiple class-types with a single character - great for those wanting to test out everything the game has to offer. A word of warning, however: being elite in one area is superior to being proficient in them all.
The only way you're going to be ready for the Heavensward content is if you've maxed out a specific class. Not only will this allow you to tackle solo stuff more easily, but it will also make you more attractive to other players looking to buddy up for tougher raids.
Put simply: don't neglect the levelling up of your current skills in anticipation for the new ones offered in Heavensward.
Visit the Golden Saucer
If you haven't visited the Golden Saucer yet, why not? There's no excuse not to step foot into one of the most beloved locations from FFVII, itself one of the most beloved of all the titles in this series.
The theme park lets you indulge in Chocobo Racing, in which you breed, train and race your beasts for points to spend elsewhere in the Golden Saucer. Triple Triad is a version of the same card game that appeared in FFVIII, while GATEs are random events that pit players against one another in mini-games.
And then there are those mini-games you can play at any time, from tests of strength that see you slamming a hammer as hard as possible to a basketball game in which you must net as many shots as possible within the time limit.
Join a healthy, active Free Company
Becoming part of the correct Free Company (read: Guild) can dramatically change how you perceive and enjoy FFXIV. Engaging in the social side by making friends, forming allegiances with players specialising in different skills and coming to democratic decisions about what kind of Free Company you want to be can be more rewarding that the core content of the game itself.
Having this support network in place before Heavensward hits will provide you with a team capable of instantly tackling some of the expansion's tougher content, sharing in the new experience as a collective.
As if this one needs an explanation. Whether it's Dollars, Euros, Pound Sterling or Gil, who doesn't like money?
In all seriousness, though, Heavensward focuses on higher-level content and, therefore, you can expect to pay a very pretty penny for purchases offered in the expansion. There's little worse than entering a new zone, pumped with excitement and joy over the fresh garments and weapons that are about to line your inventory, only to find out that your cash reserves stretch no further than a potion and a hat you've already got.
Do yourself a favour by selling any useless items you're currently holding through the Market Board, making sure to keep your eye on the ebb and flow of trade prices. Buy low, sell high and you'll soon have the reserves to give you that head start in Heavensward.
In no way is it essential to partake in FFXIV's Player versus Player content, but doing so can provide valuable lessons in how other players approach their class builds and execute upon them in the heat of the moment.
Absorbing this knowledge helps enormously when it comes to working as part of a team in co-operative play. You may never have played as a tank-type class, for instance, but battling against one in PvP gives you the kind of intimate knowledge required to support such an approach during raids and quests.
PvP's 4-on-4 battles make for excellent training grounds in which to practise against opponents that act unpredictably; the perfect arena to challenge yourself before things get even tougher in Heavensward.
Beat the Crystal Tower
The Crystal Tower is strictly for high-level players only, but the struggle to get to that point is worth the pain. 24 players can tackle the challenge in unison, making it a brilliant way to test both your collective teamwork skills and your ability to manage communications.
For the trivia inclined, the tower itself is a reference to an area of the same name in FFIII and features many of the same bosses. However, those bosses, and the aesthetic of the structure, have been updated and altered to work within the context of an MMO. That mixing of nostalgia with modern design is a potent concoction that makes The Crystal Tower the ultimate place to visit before landing in Heavensward.
This sponsored post is presented by Square Enix.