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Any MMORPG raid scene can seem intimidating. The weird-looking boss names, the intricate mechanic descriptions – variations, too! – The number of possible counterattacks, cooldowns, and mitigations can easily baffle anyone.
Final Fantasy XIV’s Raids are an 8-player or 24-player game mode launched as post-adventure content. The 8-player raids have 12 bosses, while the 24-player raids are massive dungeons.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you’ll want to stick around.
For the longest time, I refrained from raiding altogether because of the big menace of failure. What if I’m not helpful to my team? What if I forget how to react to a boss’ mechanic? My anxiety (be it healxiety or tankxiety) squandered my chances to enjoy one of the best parts of Final Fantasy XIV.
Until I grabbed the right gear, found the right party, and decided to take the plunge. I dived into the raiding scene.
Thanks to that moment of bravery, I can now enjoy some of the best quality time with my raiding group and proudly show off my logs to everyone.
Are you a sprout who wants to dip its toes in raiding? Or you’re an old-timer looking for a complete deep dive.
In any case, this FFXIV Raids guide is for you. Throughout this guide, I’ll walk you through the basics of raiding gear and consumables, as well as finding the proper party to suit your needs.
Simply put, I’ll give you the knowledge needed so you can set it on your rading journey.
Raiding is a massive part of end-game content in Final Fantasy XIV. As such, I strongly recommend you read the entire guide or at least the sections that interest you.
If you want to get better quick, here are a few general tips:
- Stand on the edge of AoEs to avoid most of the damage.
- Don’t lose sight of your surroundings. The arena is your biggest foe and ally.
- Mistakes happen, so be ready to fail.
- Customize your UI to make it as comfortable as possible.
- Become familiar with your job, and ensure you know where your role stands in the party.
Welcome to Raiding
You just hit level 80, and you want to get into raids. What do you do? Where do you start?
The first thing you need to do is get appropriate item-level gear.
Gear: Your Suit and Tie
Gear can be obtained in a variety of ways. It can seem overwhelming at first. So let’s outline two rules:
1. Every even patch, a new raid gear comes out.
Alongside that, crafted gear is also available. You can buy the crafted gear of the Market board or have somebody make it for you. Be sure you melt every piece to fill the materia slots.
You can also use your weekly locked tomes to buy tome gear ten levels above the crafted and standard mode gear.
2. Every odd patch releases a vendor.
You can use this to turn into your crafted gear and a combination of some outdated tomes to buy gear 10 levels higher.
During these odd patches, you can also do Elite Hunts. Their currency can be used to buy Twines and Dustings to upgrade tomestone left and right side gear.
Get Your Weapon
Now that you have decent armor and accessories, what do you do about your weapon? First, let’s say you don’t want to buy the crafted weapon off the Market board.
Every even and odd patch gives us an extreme primal with weapons. Primal weapons are five levels higher than the crafted gear we received, and the odd patch primals have a higher level to coincide with how far we are in the raids.
These weapons are great for gearing up later in the tier. If you haven’t done the last turn for the highest high-level raid weapons or even for all jobs.
Before stepping in the savage, getting these weapons is almost always a good idea.
Alternatively, you can also get the relic weapon or the tome weapon.
Learn How to Play Your Job
One of the most critical aspects of rating outside mechanical consistency is your job rotation. All savage and extreme trials in Final Fantasy XIV require everyone to do their part to succeed.
So you’re going to want to research the rotation of your job.
Once you find your rotation, practice it on a dummy until it feels fluid and comfortable.
Consumables: Filling Your Tummy, Chugging It Down With Potions
Another crucial thing before stepping into savage or even extreme trials is consumables: food and potions.
Food can be cheap and expensive. However, it boosts your stats and, most importantly, your HP quite a bit.
Potions can be on the expensive side. Still, you don’t need to give up on potions just because you’re tight on funds. Instead, try seeing if there’s an outdated potion that is cheaper.
You do not necessarily need to potion on every pull, especially if you’re still progressing and seeing new mechanics. Still, once you are going for the clear, everything helps. This is especially true for Party Finder content.
You are geared up, have practiced your rotation, and feel ready to go.
One more thing, though! You need to clear the normal mode to unlock the savage tier.
When you start approaching the greater difficulties of content, you may be somewhat confused or curious about things like Normal, Extreme, Unreal, Savage, and Ultimate mean. So here’s a brief description of each.
- Normal modes are generally the easiest fights in the game, equal to story-hard mode trials. They are watered-down versions of savage fights and generally have no engagement. You can use the Duty Finder to simply queue into these and clear them quickly.
- Extreme trials are a couple steps ahead with linear enrage timers. The mechanics are often not too punishing or grueling but can kill players or wipe the party if failed enough times. Extreme trials are generally done in the Party Finder and can be killed after a couple attempts.
- Unreal trials are equal to extreme difficulty. They are just tuned-up versions of fights that are synced to an item level. You can’t overgear.
- Savage fights consist of the most challenging fights in the game, outside of Ultimate, and are a step above the rest. These fights have many mechanics that can instantly kill you and the party. Savage also requires you to work as a team. Arduous DPS checks also demand proper play, especially early on.
- Ultimate difficulty fights are the hardest in the game. These are long endurance-based fights and can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 19 minutes long, with exhausting mechanics that progressively get more difficult the longer a fight goes on where. If you wipe, you are set back to square one.
Party Finder: The Company You Keep
Now let’s talk about setting up the Party Finder for end-game content. While every job and party composition is considered viable in Final Fantasy 14, there are some caveats.
As for Shadow Bringers, there is a 1% main stat boost for each role that you will want to boost your chances of success. In addition, 1% is applied for having at least one tank, healer, melee, physical range, and caster in the party.
As long as you have one of each role mentioned above, you will have the entire 5% party-wide buff.
While you will never usually have to worry about a tank or healer role, locking your Party Finder slots to the necessary DPS requirements is essential.
This is especially crucial when progressing or learning a fight, as the extra 1% in HP and damage can make a difference.
Joining a Static
Now that we’ve got the basics down, we can move on to how to progress further as a raider.
First and foremost, we’ll talk about looking for a static.
While I will be talking about how to find a static to raid, I want you to keep in mind that many players don’t actually use a static because of how accessible the Party Finder is for clearing content.
Though having a static makes clearing higher-difficulty content a lot easier now, there are quite a few ways you can go about this.
Personally, I would recommend starting on Reddit and Discord. Then, you can head to r/FFXIV: Recruitment and write a post there specifying your ambitions. Or, you can look for a static that meets your own criteria.
There is also an abundance of Discords that you can use to have recruitment channels, such as the Balance, Final Fantasy 14 Recruiter, Europe Raiding Central, or any other region-specific raiding discord.
Apart from Reddit and Discord, you can also use the in-game Party Finder. Set up a party, explain briefly what you’re looking for, your availability, and discord tag, and wait.
Try to do something else while utilizing this feature. Once you’re in a Party Finder, you’re limited by not being able to queue into anything.
How you Contribute to Your Static
You’re taking the first step forward in finding a static. What should you improve? What should you look for? Let’s talk a bit about increasing your chances of finding a static.
Each static will accrue differently based on its own goals and ambitions. For example, some statics want to just have fun and play with friends, while others may set goals for clearing content, whether that be a progression, farm, or speed.
One common thing recruiters may look at is your damage, your gear level, and your damage consistency. For example, does your percentile fluctuate between clears? Do you die often? Is your rotation steadily improving between clears?
They may also look at your job utility and if you use it. Take the following questions into consideration:
- Are you missing your Reprisal on tanks?
- How is your Addle usage as a caster?
- Do you use Feint or healing abilities, such as a Bloodbath or Second Wind as a melee DPS?
Consistency is also vital, especially mechanical consistency.
- Do you make the same mistake repeatedly before fixing it?
- Do you make such mistakes even after learning the mechanic and progression?
- How many times do you make a mistake on a day on average
- How do you respond to making mistakes?
Generally, everybody makes mistakes, and that’s OK. You’re not going to get chewed out for an odd mistake. However, when somebody makes multiple mistakes of the same kind, there is an apparent disconnect between the player and the mechanic.
Typically this is also OK. Everyone’s brains work differently; some players pick up specific mechanics faster than others. The big thing is to look or ask for help to clarify how a mechanic should be executed so you can resolve it correctly.
Becoming a Group’s Most-Wanted Player
Step 1: Improve your DPS
It may come as no surprise, but one of the easiest ways to increase your chances of getting into static on paper is by fine-tuning your rotation and increasing your DPS.
A lot of groups will use FF logs as a resume of sorts. So having higher percentile logs will increase your chances of getting into a group.
That’s not to say that DPS is the be-all and end-all of recruitment. While it is the easiest thing to improve upon, from my experience, many casual and mid-core players will hyper-focus on it too much.
Having numbers to back up your solid play is always a plus.
Step 2: Have a VoD
Speaking of backing up your play, another great way to increase the odds of a group accepting you is to have a VoD for them to analyze and playback.
Sometimes FF logs can be tedious to look through and may not tell the whole story. For example, they simply can’t showcase behavior like how you handle and learn mechanics, react in emergency moments, and use your skills.
Having Vods might give you an edge over a trial spot over another player because of this last performance-based factor: flexibility.
Being able to play another job in your role is an exceptional trait, and I can’t stress how important this quality is.
However, don’t be overwhelmed by this factor; feel that you need to learn every single job in your role. I will always recommend you learn at least one different job in your role or even off the role to give you a better understanding of the game and how jobs interact with each other.
Step 3: Become a Team Player
Performing well in your job and doing mechanics correctly are arguably the most important things that will distinguish you as a player. But there are side factors, too.
When it comes to playing in a group setting, no matter how good you are as a player, you are still part of the team.
One of these things is being likable. Seriously, it’s that simple. Don’t be a jackass.
The ability to tactically give and receive criticism can work wonders for your team’s efficiency.
Always keep an open mind because Final Fantasy 14 is just a game at the root of everything. We want to have fun.
Self-Criticism: The Key to Improve
Now I want to touch base on getting into self-analysis. There are ways you can improve your play on your own.
Self critique is important, sure. But make sure not to beat yourself up too much!
Your 1, 2, 3: FF Logs
You can use F logs to review your rotation, skill usage, and timeline to fine-tune your damage mitigation or movement during a fight.
You can also select specific logs to put side by side with other players and see how well you performed comparatively.
Going a Step Further with XIV Analysis
Another tool that you can use alongside FF logs is XIV analysis.
XIV analysis is a website where you can paste a link to a log, and it will give you a summary of your performance
It also gives suggestions and a really nice overview of
- Damage during burst windows
- Your gauge stack spent
- Gauge percentage at different times of the fight
- A comprehensive timeline to track our rotation
The Old Fashioned Way
Another way you can improve your play is by recording yourself with any recording software and looking back at what you did. You could even send it to a peer who can review it for you. This is an invaluable tool at your disposal and should be taken advantage of whenever possible.
General Tips for Raiding
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
Take it slow and at your own pace. Do not try to rush things or do things that you are not comfortable with.
If you do not feel confident moving on to the next savage turn, then take a step back and do the previous turn a couple of times to practice.
That being said, I’ve found that the best way to get experience and improve as a player is by stepping out of your comfort zone. But each to their own.
Savage Raids Aren’t A Monster Under Your Bed
I firmly believe that everyone in the game can at least finish a raid tier when relevant, as long as they have the time and effort.
If you’re reading and thinking that you aren’t good enough, you probably are.
Savage raids and fights in general in this game are long. Study them before going in, and you will be fine.
Raiding Isn’t for the Soloist
Don’t think about rating as a solo thing. It’s a team activity that you are a part of. Here are two pieces of advice:
Be ready to pull your weight; do not expect an easy or free clear.
Be helpful and be a positive member of the group.
When You Struggle, Stay Out of Trouble
If you’re struggling to learn fights while trying to maximize your DPS with your rotation, dial it down a notch.
Learn and understand the mechanics first, and then optimize your rotation later.
This doesn’t mean stop attacking completely, but more so means don’t think about those niche 1% optimization factors until you are comfortable with it.
Find a Group that Fits your Needs
Thousands of players log in to Final Fantasy XIV every day. Each of them will think or play differently, so find a group that fits your needs.
There’s nothing wrong with leaving a group because you do not mesh well with them in the long run. However, forcing yourself to stay in a group will hinder your fun in the game.
Play What You Enjoy Playing
While there is technically a meta in this game, most jobs are incredibly well-balanced. Generally, jobs have a gap of only a couple of percent, which is not super drastic.
One of the most important things is that you enjoy your job. Playing a job you enjoy will also probably make you more eager to learn how to play it at a higher level.
Question: What’s the Best Job for Raiding in Final Fantasy XIV?
Answer: Any of them! All jobs can do raiding content. It’s up to you and your playstyle.
If you are unsure which to pick, try out some of them in regular raids and dungeons to get an idea of what you enjoy the most.
Question: How Can I Play Better in Final Fantasy XIV?
Answer: Being a good player is not a permanent state. Instead, it requires constant learning and flexibility.
Clearing Pandaemonium feels good. Still, it doesn’t give you a badge of honor as a “good player .”New content will come out, and before you clear it, you’ll need to learn it first.
Don’t be scared to embark on new adventures; keep practicing until you get there.
Question: Is FFXIV’s Party Finder Useful?
Answer: The party finder option is super helpful. Of course, it has some cons and pros, but it’s an excellent way to find a party to clear content.
Keep in mind that when you decide to use it, you’ll always have random people in your group. This is not necessarily bad, as you can meet some great people along the way, but you never know what you’ll get.
Raids are brimming with brutal enemies ready to tear you down. But the people? They are out there to help you out!
Final Fantasy XIV’s community is usually friendly and caring. The people of Eorzea usually hang around Limsa Lominsa, teaching and giving advice, chatting, or sharing experiences. In fact, many still don’t know how eager they are to be friends with you, but that’s because they don’t know you yet.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or try to talk to strangers if you see the opportunity because, although there are particular cases, most of them will be happy to give you a helping hand.