TroubleGMR’s Playing: FF XIV: A Leveling Guide for People Who Hate Crafting

Hey, remember that article I wrote about crafting in Final Fantasy XIV and how much I hated it? Remember how I wrote that in spite of the hatred, I was going to have to find some way to get my crafting classes leveled that didn’t have me tearing my hair out and going bankrupt because I wanted cool cosmetic items?

Guess what? I think I found it.

In mid-February, when I wrote my “I Hate Crafting in FF XIV” article, I said that I’d gotten two of the three gathering classes up to level 60, my goldsmith up to 50, and the other seven crafting classes up to 30.

I am happy to report that in the four months and change since then, two of the three gathering classes are maxed at level 70, the last gathering class, which was at level 10 or so, is now at level 51, and my lowest crafting class is at 52. Three out of the eight crafting classes are knocking on level 70.

“But Leah,” you might be thinking, “you hate crafting in this game. You whined for a whole lengthy article about exactly how much and why. Why would you devote all your free time to grinding these classes up, even for the sweet cosmetics?”

I didn’t.

“Huh?” you must be thinking. “So it didn’t take very long then? You must have found some kind of amazing crafting trick then.”

Nope. I hardly did any crafting at all, actually.

I imagine you’re too baffled at this point to keep up the mental dialogue. Don’t worry, I’m here to help! It’s not a secret, I’ll tell you how to do it.

However, I hope you’re not in a hurry. My way involves comparatively little actual crafting/gathering, and it doesn’t take much time per day (about half an hour or so), but it does take quite a few days. Slow and steady wins the race, it turns out, when you hate crafting and you’d rather play the story or dungeons or anything else in the game but you’d like to be able to craft anyway.

So here goes. When whatever battle class you’re playing hits level 20, the main story will lead you to join one of the three Grand Companies of Eorzea. Many people choose the city-state that their character is based in. For example, I started as a conjurer, and the Conjurer’s Guild is in Gridania, so I joined the Gridanian Grand Company, The Order of the Twin Adder.

Grand Companies offer all kinds of great stuff to do, but to get your crafters (and gatherers, if you like) to level 50 rather painlessly, walk up to the desk at Grand Company HQ every day and talk to the Personnel Officer. They offer Supply and Provisioning Missions. Once a day, there is one item (or for the gatherers a small quantity of items) that you can turn in for each class, which will earn you Company Seals (the currency of the Grand Company) and experience in that class.

You can craft that stuff yourself if you like. Or, you can run over to the Market Board to see what other players are selling, or over to the vendors nearby to just buy whatever the daily Supply Missions are asking for. Up until level 50, you can usually do this for chump change.

Note for Gatherers: The Provisioning Mission stuff will probably need to be acquired on the Market Board because vendors usually don’t sell it, but again, if you don’t like gathering, you can often find players selling what you need. I find gathering much less painful than crafting, so I typically just go gather the stuff to turn in.

If the item the mission requires has a star by it, it means you get double experience. If you can either buy on the Market Board or make/gather an HQ (High Quality) item, you get quadruple experience! That is typically most of a level right there. This is a trivial time investment if you buy the items, so if it’s inexpensive, this is something you should do every day.

There are also the Ixal Beast Tribe Quests in the North Shroud in Gridania that can help you level your crafters and gatherers through the early levels. You can do three of these quests a day, and one of them involves delivering requested items much like the Supply and Provisioning Missions. Doing the highest tier of these quests also nets you Tier IV Crafting and Gathering Materia as quest rewards, which is super helpful for improving your gear later on.

The nicest thing about using the Beast Quests to level your crafters instead of doing Tradecraft or Fieldcraft leves (which are by far the most popular way of grinding crafter and gatherer levels) is that you don’t have to buy or farm materials to make items, or go get more if you run out or failed your attempt to craft. You get as many tries as you want. Doing a Beast Quest, if you fail to craft the item they want, you just talk to the nearby NPC or check the nearby box to get more materials.

I found this much less frustrating than going out and gathering all the many different materials I needed for a recipe to complete a levequest, only to potentially fail and lose some or all of what I’d gathered, which meant I had to start over from scratch with more materials that I either had to buy or gather again. Nothing hurts worse than finishing all the different components for a recipe only to fail on the final step or not get the HQ item you were hoping for, so you have to go out and teleport all over the place to gather everything so you can try again! Ugh.

Yes, you can grind leves as much as you want (until you run out) as opposed to Beast Quests, where you can only get three per tribe per day to a maximum of twelve, but for me, the headache is much diminished by going the Beast Tribe (and Supply Mission) route, even if it takes longer. To start the Ixal Beast Quests, talk to Scarlet in New Gridania.

When you hit level 50 in a crafting class, walk up to the person next to Personnel Officer at your Grand Company HQ, the Quartermaster. Once you reach the rank of Second Lieutenant with your Grand Company, you can purchase Artisan gear with Company Seals.

Earning Company Seals becomes ridiculously easy, by the way, once you reach Sergeant Second Class, because you unlock Expert Delivery, which is turning in gear you earn in dungeons for Company Seals. Just roll Greed on all the gear, even gear you don’t need, and turn it in for Seals. People often pass on rolls for gear, so you’ll be swimming in Company Seals in no time.

Doing this, I had plenty of Company Seals to buy Artisan crafting gear with, which was way cheaper and easier than making it myself or buying it on the Market Board. This gear is shareable among all your crafting classes (except the tools) once they hit level 50, and is great gear to get you through the next leg of your crafter leveling journey. You can get Artisan armor and the main tool for your crafters, but the secondary tool and jewelry you’ll have to either make or buy.

Anyway, once the first crafting class is up to level 50, travel to Moghome in the Churning Mists and talk to the Seething Stonemason to begin the Moogle Beast Quests. Another nice thing about the Beast Quests is that you not only get some story for the beast tribe, but you build reputation, allowing you access to exclusive rewards, like gear, items, and even mounts and furniture for your Free Company or personal house.

The Moogles, and the Churning Mists, are in the Heavensward expansion, so your mounts can fly once you earn the ability. If I were you, I’d make sure I could fly in this area before doing these quests daily. They’ll send you romping over the map quite a ways. Do three quests a day for your crafters until the first one hits level 60. Continue to do your daily Supply Missions for your crafters if it’s not too expensive to get what the mission requires you to turn in.

When you have a crafter (or gatherer) at level 60, you can start the Namazu Beast Tribe Quests, which will take place in the Azim Steppe in the Stormblood expansion of the game. It’s harder to start these Beast Quests, there are more prerequisite quest chains involved, but the consolegameswiki entry for the Namazu Daily Quests lays out which quests you need to complete before the Floundering Namazu appears in the Azim Steppe to give you the first Namazu quest.

Now, I’m cheap, so I kept my crafters in the Artisan gear until they completed their spiritbond with it and I could convert it to materia instead of buying them better gear as soon as I could. Needless to say, my gear was not up to snuff for the level 60 crafting quests and I made things a bit harder on myself. If you’d prefer to have better crafting gear for this leg of your leveling journey (and save yourself some frustration), you can trade the Moogle currency they give you for completing their quests for better gear before you get to the Namazu. Or just buy some on the Market Board or from vendors in Kugane or Rhalgr’s Reach. Or you could make it, I suppose. But this is the “minimal crafting to level your crafter” guide, so if you like this approach, I doubt you’ll want to do that!

And that is the method I’ve used. It only takes thirty to forty-five minutes a day, if that, leaving plenty of time to play the parts of the game I would rather play, like dungeons and raids. It minimizes frustration by crafting failure by leaps and bounds, because the crafting materials don’t run out; if you fail, you can just try again right away, no matter how many times you fail. I get interesting story and exclusive rewards by doing Beast Quests, as opposed to Tradecraft and Fieldcraft leves, which are simply fetch-quests.

Is it the fastest way to level the crafting classes? No. Levequests are, or just straight grinding the recipes and not caring if you waste materials or never get HQ items. But I just don’t have the patience for that, nor do I want to spend whole days gathering, crafting, gathering, crafting. This method keeps the crafting in small doses and lets me practice crafting in a minimal risk fashion, and I’ll admit, my ability to craft in this game has improved quite a bit with the small doses approach. As opposed, of course, to the “try and grind leves and fail a lot and turn off the game in disgust when I realize I’ve wasted three hours on this crap” approach.

I hope this minimal-crafting crafting guide can be of use to the people who, like me, want to be able to someday craft cool cosmetic items (or whatever they want to craft) but don’t really love the crafting in Final Fantasy XIV. When my crafters hit max level, I’ll make or buy really good gear and then have a snowball’s chance of making the things I want. Until then, slow and steady wins the race.

P.S. If you want to try some leves, the FF XIV Guild Crafting Guides are detailed and thorough. It didn’t work for me, but maybe it’ll work for you!

 

Picture Credit: Micah in her Artisan crafting gear standing in front of the Gridanian Grand Company Personnel Officer and Quartermaster.

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