Strageties

Step by Step: Leveling in FFXIV

Lights in FFXIV

I’ve been updating you all with my progress in FFXIV leveling and how I feel like I’m still fairly on track to meeting my end of year goal, which is getting all battle jobs to level 70. Today however I want to take the time to talk about how I’m going about this whole leveling process, how much time it’s costing me and how I’m preventing myself to get the dreaded MMO burnout from playing the same MMO for an extended amount of time.

Main goal and sub goals 
I like to come into an MMO with a general idea of what I want to achieve in a longer amount of time. When the WoW expansion launched it was level to level cap on both Horde and Alliance and experience all the lore before starting the endgame gear grind. In FFXIV I’ve made my goal pretty clear: level all battle jobs to 70 before the end of year. This is my main goal and it’s a goal that takes up a sufficient amount of time and is something I’d like to see as a “bigger picture” to work towards.
The reasons for having this goal are fairly simple, I like to get rid of the clutter of gear in my bags that I have lying around for various levels and classes. I’m a rather tidy person so I’d like my ingame inventories to be as clean as my room. This will help me achieve that. On top of that I’m a completionist. I’ve always been a collector and achievement hunter on WoW. I like to 100% my games when I can and don’t really like it when stuff is “unfinished”. Getting all my battle jobs to 70 scratches this itch enormously, enough so that I’m realistically willing and able to commit to this endeavour.

Obviously this goal is rather big. At the time I committed to this goal I had 7 jobs to level to max level still. To break things up FFXIV actually made it easy for me: level one job at a time. On my own initiative I’ve made a planning on how to tackle the jobs and in what order and how long it would take me to level each job to 70. This made my sub goals more realistic to tackle. On average the journey from 60-70 takes about a week and 50-70 takes twice as long, unless you spend hours grinding which I don’t do, making it so that I’m never more than two weeks focused on the same job to level. Because there is a decent amount of variety in playstyles this keeps me engaged and curious as to how every new job plays and it breaks the mold of doing the same activities every day to level up to begin with.

Planning and preventing burnout
After establishing my main goal and my sub goals I just started to level with no real plan on how to tackle all of this. Because of that I spent a lot of time in FFXIV focused on leveling and grinding and I noticed the MMO burn creeping on me when I was about halfway with leveling my Paladin. Once I realised this I also realised that I needed to tackle this endeavour a bit differently than I was doing. I didn’t want to spend all my free time on FFXIV, especially during weekdays, so I needed to figure out what the most optimal leveling route was for weekdays and weekends where I’d have a bit more time.
Eventually I settled on the following schedule:
Mon/Fri evening I will do Level, Trial and Alliance roulette. These three roulettes should on average be enough to get a level in from 50-60 and almost a level from 60-70.
If my character is in the 60-70 range I will tack on the beast tribe dailies from the Ananta and the Turtle people because they are definitely worth doing and only take about 10 mins each.
Sat/Sun I have more time to spend and thus next to the weekday routine I also tackle the Main Scenario and 50-60 roulette. I try to also do the hunt bills that are level appropriate for a little extra boost to my levels and to save up Centurio Seals which I can in turn use to gear up my characters when they hit max level where necessary.
When I have a little extra time, and motivation to do so, I throw an odd PotD/HoH in the mix. Often I do this to get that last bit of experience in I need to level up, sometimes just because I feel like grinding it for a longer time.

Sticking to this schedule has done wonders for my free time. During weekdays I’m never online for more than 1.5hours on weekdays and still make progress without feeling burnt out. It has freed up time for me to play other games, like Pokémon LetsGO, and to get back to reading. Due to it’s constant nature it has become a source of relaxation for me, except when I get Susano for trial roulette because seriously fuck that, and a gaming session I look forward to every day I can play.
Having discovered this approach for my MMO’s I’m much more relaxed when it comes to my single player games. There I just want to enjoy the story and not really set goals for myself, so if I play for 30 mins it’s fine but if I lose myself in the game and play for two hours it’s fine aswell. Having this structure has brought an overwhelming amount of rest in my head on my days off and has hightened my enjoyment of all the things I undertake because I’m more relaxed and focused in general.

I really hope I can use this strategy to tackle more areas in my life but for now I’m happy to just use it for my MMO’s and other hobbies. Who knows… I may actually grow up to be a functional adult after all.