Classes, Jobs, and Roles in FFXIV
A Guide for New (and not so new) MMO players
NOTE: This is part 1 of a 2-part series. This part of the guide focuses on class and cross-class abilities. Part 2, a discussion of Jobs and Roles can be found here.
In Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, players create characters who engage in fantastic adventures in and around Eorzea. During game play, your character specializes and develops in a set of skills and abilities bundled together into something called a class. This choice determines the type of abilities you can use, the type of armor and weapons you can equip, and the role you play in a party. Further, it governs your ability to advance to a job, which refines your skill set and specializes your role for even more advanced game play.
Complicating matters, your character can migrate between any of the classes in the game. You might start as a gladiator and switch over to a conjurer later on if you decide you like that skill set and role better. You might also switch between classes and roles throughout your play session based on your goals and needs of the moment. All of this can be a bit overwhelming when you get started. To reduce confusion, the game precludes your ability to swap around until you complete a milestone quest around level 10.
Understanding how this all works and getting familiar with the terminology goes a long ways towards helping you become comfortable with FFXIV. While the armory at the Final Fantasy website goes a long way towards explaining this, we offer some additional thoughts and insights in this guide.
Understanding FFXIV Classes and Cross-Class Abilities
One of the earliest decisions you make in the game involves the choice of your starting class. This choice determines the type of combat options available to you and influences which types of fights are easier and which are harder. Further, this choice binds you (at least temporarily) to a class guild and it determines your starting city. Your initially choose between eight classes, each of which has a specific play style and role associated with it.
Arcanist – The Arcanist starts in Limsa Lominsa. As a Disciple of Magic, Arcanists use cloth armor and generally focuses on the intelligence, mind, and piety attributes. The Arcanist is Damage and Healing focused. They also makes use of a summoned companion, the primal Carbuncle. The arcanist class eventually opens the option of progressing to either the Scholar or Summoner job – as of this time it is the only class that is able to progress to two different jobs.
Archer - The Archer starts in Gridania. As a Disciple of War, Archers make use of medium armor such as leather, chain and cloth. As the name suggests, this class excels in the use of a bow and enjoys a number of ranged attacks which can be used even while in motion. This class places great importance on the Dexterity attribute. The archer is a powerful damage dealing class and is capable of inflicting bursts of damage to a single target. This class eventually opens up the ability to progress to the Bard job.
Conjurer - The Conjurer starts in Gridania. As a Disciple of Magic they make use of cloth armor, staffs and wands. The class is very focused on Mind, but also makes use of Intelligence attributes. The conjurer is the primary healing class in the game, their magic abilities provide the strongest healing and recovery magic in the early game. Conjurers are in high demand for party play and generally find groups in Duty Finder more rapidly than any other class. This class eventually opens up the ability to progress to the White Mage job.
Gladiator - The Gladiator starts out in Ul’Dah. As a Disciple of War they make use of the heaviest plate armors, swords and shields. The Gladiator is a tank class, designed to survive high amounts of damage and to keep enemies away from his or her companions. The gladiator places great emphasis on the Strength and Vitality attributes. Tanks are frequently in high demand and Gladiators thus find groups quite rapidly through Duty Finder. This class eventually opens up the ability to progress to the Paladin job.
Lancer – The Lancer starts in Gridania. As a Disciple of War, they make use of medium armor such as chain and scale and uses a Lance or Spear. This class is a primary Damage Dealer and is capable of inflicting massive single target damage. The Lancer places great emphasis on the Strength attribute. This class eventually opens up the ability to progress to the Dragoon job.
Marauder - The Marauder starts in Limsa Lominsa. As a Disciple of War, they make use of the heaviest of armors and great axes. Like the Gladiator, the Marauder is a primary tank class, able to survive intense damage and to protect friends from harm. The Marauder succeeds due to his or her massive health pool and formidable area of effect damage dealing and self healing capabilities. Tanks are always in high demand for parties and typically find groups more rapidly in Duty Finder. This class eventually opens up the ability to progress to the Warrior job.
Pugilist – The Pugilist starts in Ul’Dah. While they are a Disciple of War, the Pugilist uses light armor such as cloth and leather. The Pugilist is a Damage Dealer and makes use of Strength as a primary attribute. This class uses a mix of stances to generate impressive offensive contributions to the team. The class eventually opens up the ability to progress to the Monk job.
Thaumaturge - The Thaumaturge starts in Ul’Dah. As a Disciple of Magic, the Thaumaturge makes use of light cloth armor, cudgels, staffs, or scepters. The Thaumaturge is a Damage Dealer, capable of inflicting potent area of effect damage. Additionally, the Thaumaturge is able to stop enemies in their tracks using the Sleep spell. This class eventually opens up the ability to progress to the Black Mage job.
When you make your initial choice the game places you in a wagon on the road to your starting city (Gridania, Limsa Lominsa or Ul’Dah). In this city you will find your class guild and begin your adventures. During the first 15 levels, these adventures are typically solo, although you will certainly run across other players as you run into FATE in the outdoor regions.
Your early adventures are fairly simple and are designed to help you acclimate to your class skills. Once you reach level 10 and complete your level 10 guild quest (given out by your class guild master), you will receive permission to try out other classes. You are now able to visit any other guild and learn to play as that class. Once learned, you can switch between classes at any time outside of combat or during Duty activities. The game gets a bit more breadth at this time and you are encouraged to go try out some of the other classes.
Unlocking a New Class
Unlocking a new class simply requires visiting the guild for that class and completing an introductory quest for the guild master. There is a slight trick here, though, as there won’t be an active quest when you enter the guild the first time.
You need to talk to the Guild Registrar. The Registrar provides a bit of information and then asks if you are interested in joining that class guild. Once you accept this, you will unlock the initial quest for that class. Go talk to the guildmaster who will give you a starter weapon for that guild, once equipped you unlock the class profession.
Remember, each class guild has its own home city. In our graphic earlier in this article we provide a list of class guilds, by city. Before level 15 it is easiest to simply take on classes from your home city. Once you finish your level 15 city quest the world opens up and it becomes easy to acquire all of the classes in the game.
Understanding Cross-Class Abilities
Even if you really enjoy your primary class, you should still pick up and level up some other classes. The reason for this is that FFXIV allows you to use some abilities that belong to different classes while playing your current class. In addition to the abilities inherent to your class you can choose to use one other classes ability roughly every ten levels of your currently active class. Thus, a level 5 Gladiator can slot one off-class ability while a level 13 Gladiator could slot two off class abilities.
Not every ability can be used by other classes, though. Some abilities are restricted to a single class and some abilities work better when used by their native class. Your ability journal indicates whether an ability can be used by alternate classes. Additionally, the Eorzea Reborn helpful links (right side of our website) links to a user created spreadsheet which documents all abilities including their cross-class options. We provide instructions for adding cross class abilities on our class guide landing page (bottom of page).
There is another restriction, though. You can only use abilities which you have learned on that class. In other words, if I want to use the Conjurer Protect spell on my Gladiator, I need to have leveled a Conjurer to 8th level. The level restriction, though, only applies to the native class! I have to be level 8 Conjurer to learn Protect, but any of my classes can then use Protect, including my level 1 Classes!
Cross-classing abilities isn’t just flavor and fluff. There are a number of abilities possessed by other classes that significantly enhance the abilities of your primary class. As an example, nearly every class benefits from Protect while soloing. Tanks can make use of powerful defensive abilities available to the other tank class as well as to defensive abilities provided by the Lancer and Pugilist. Every damage dealing class benefits from some of the special abilities provided by Archers. Regardless of your preferred primary class, there are always one or two other classes you should look at leveling up!
This has been the first part of a two-part guide on classes, jobs and roles. Part 2 which looks at jobs and roles can be found here.