Friday, August 27, 2021

Diary Of An Alt Paladin - Levels 1 to 16

Play Final Fantasy XIV long enough and character progression leads to learning additional jobs. After leveling Scholar to 80, I decided to add the Paladin job to my character. Yes, the Endwalker trailer featuring a Paladin totally influenced the decision. I also played a paladin in Vanilla WoW and Everquest 2. But in 16 years of playing MMORPGs, I had never tanked a dungeon.

Leveling up a third job does present some challenges. With my first job, White Mage, I could just run the main story quest line. When levelling Scholar, I relied on running beast tribe quests from 60 to 80. For the third job, I think I need to rely on activities outside my comfort zone. Tanking dungeons definitely fits that description.

I’m keeping a diary of my journey from a new Gladiator to a level 80 Paladin. After a few days I decided to bundle the entries into sections that readers may find useful. This first post covers the three days I took to reach level 16. Please remember I’m writing as a character who has already finished the MSQ.

Day 1. Before heading to the Gladiator’s Hall in Ul’dah, I prepared for the change from a level 80 healer to a level 1 tank. I dug out my beginner’s Mi’qote gear to avoid having to run around the city in my small clothes once I accepted the first quest. I also put on the Brand-new Ring obtained from completing the tutorial from The Smith and Menphina’s Earring from pre-ordering Endwalker. Both add a 30% experience boost. The Brand-new Ring gives the bonus up to level 30 and Menphina’s Earring continues up to level 80. Combined with the Armoury Bonus of 100% up to level 70 and 50% from 71 to 80 and leveling should go fast.

First view of the Gladiator's Hall

The Gladiator’s Guild is located in Ul’dah. Once I arrived in the city I used the aethernet network to travel to the guildhall. After applying for membership at the desk, I walked over to the guildmaster Mylla to perform the first quest.

The first quest required killing 3 different types of mobs. But for extra leveling goodness, completing the quest results in completing 3 of the first 4 entries in the Hunting Log. I went out the wrong entrance and also killed some Cactuars to complete the top of the target list. By the time I completed the quest objectives, I was only 73 experience points from level 5. So I killed an extra shrew and returned to Mylla to turn in the first quest.

While questing, I received two abilities. 

Fight or Flight (level 2): An instant with a 60 second cooldown that increases physical damage by 25% for 25 seconds.

Riot Blade (level 4): An OGD action that builds off of Fast Blade.

I was able to do the level 5 gladiator quest immediately. Mylla sent me out to intimidate some marauders hanging around the Quicksand. The quest involved using the /me emote, which is something common in FFXIV quests. Eventually I had to deal with someone named Pfarmurl the Driven. That’s when Aldis entered the story, who then dealt with Pfarmurl inside the Quicksand.

Upon returning, Mylla sent me out to deal with some bad guys bothering a merchant. I took care of the bandits, retrieved the stolen goods, and had time to kill another type of mob in the Hunting Log. I also received my first AoE attack, Total Eclipse. 

When I returned to Mylla, I received a Bronze Bastard Sword, a Custom-made Cuirass, and enough experience points to end the day at level 7. I needed to upgrade my armor to level 5 because of some low level gear checks I know exist. So I purchased a Leather Eyepatch, Fingerless Leather Gloves, a Hempen Sarouel, and Altered Thighboots.

Appearance after day 1

Day 2.     The goal for day 2 was to keep working on the Hunting Log and finish the first tier of difficulty. I started wandering around the Black Brush Station in Central Thanalan and stumbled across two FATEs while killing targets in my Hunting Log. By the time I was finished in the area, I reached level 9. At level 8 I received Rampart, a role action with a 90 second cooldown that reduces incoming damage by 20% for 20 seconds.

From there, I scooted over to Western Thanalan to finish up the tier 1 difficulty but still wound up at level 9. To reach level 10, I did a couple of levequests, one of which provided a Viking Sword. The upgrade was most welcome. Reaching level 10 unlocked two new actions:

Shield Bash: An OGC attack that also stuns the target for 6 seconds.

Iron Will: The skill that provides increased enmity generation. The Oath Gauge becomes available to show Iron Will is active.

For the level 10 gladiator quest, Mylla sent me out to Stonesthrow in Central Thanalan to deal with some lancers. The lancers were looking for Aldis. The interesting quirk of the quest is I needed to keep Iron Will active to pull aggro and keep the lancers from killing the healer Mylla sent with me.

As a reward, I received an Ash Macuahuitl (level 10 sword), Bronze Hoplon (level 8 shield), and Leather Jackboots. I also wound up 207 experience points shy of level 11.

I finished up the night in Horizon’s Edge in Western Thanalan. In addition to working on the Hunting Log, I finished up the last two side quests in the village. I received a bracelet from one of them. I wound up the night at level 12.

Day 3.    My goal for the day was to reach level 15 so I could start running dungeons. I travelled to Central Shroud to do levequests and FATES. An important note is make sure who the quest giver is before using the aetheryte. I went to the wrong place. However, I did two FATES, received the challenge log bonus for completing 5 FATES, and reached level 13.

For the grind to level 14 I went back to Horizon to complete three of the entries in the Hunting Log. While at the aetheryte I picked up the four levequests from Totonowa. Two of the quests led me to the west. What happened next was a busy few minutes.

While killing Guillotine Beaks for the Beak to Beak quest, I encountered Scaphites which were the #16 entry in the Hunting Log. Then while killing Scaphites I spotted Thickshells, which were the #13 entry in the log. But on the way to kill the Thickshells, a FATE spawned. So I participated in the FATE. Upon completing the FATE I was free to kill the Thickshells. Before I could leave the area to do another levequest, another FATE appeared. Completing the second FATE resulted in reaching level 14.

After the flurry of activity, completing the other three levequests seemed anti-climatic. But upon turning in the last quest, I was level 15 and headed back to Ul’dah.

I had two final goals for the day. The first was to complete all the tank tutorials from The Smith. I found the tutorials helpful, although admittedly I did them for the free upgraded items. One of the tutorials required using Shield Lob, which is granted by doing the level 15 gladiator quest. So off to the Gladiators Guild I went.

Mylla sent me off to Eastern Thanalan to rescue a wounded guildmate. On the way, I ran across Tuco-tucos and Myotragus Billies, two entries in the Hunting Log. Killing those mobs put me at level 16.

The second half of the quest led to a fight between Aldis and Mylla and my going to the Quicksand with Aldis. We wound up in a bar fight, with assassins failing to kill Aldis again. One of the interesting bits of information in the quest is that Gerald, the drunken blacksmith who makes all the relic weapons, made Aldis’ sword. But I received Shield Lob.

After the quest I went back to The Smith and finished up the tutorials. I got some good things, but I didn’t get Brand New Hands. I didn’t want to start using glamour plates yet, so I wound up buying the Plundered gear set off the market for 26 gil for a better look. I also bought a Bronze Scutum and Plundered Plate Belt to finish off my set. I was ready to start running dungeons.

Gear at the end of day 3

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