Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – A Beginner’s Guide

Get a leg up by using our guide to plan out your character creation while you wait for next week's launch.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is just what the name in implies – a second chance for the development team at Square Enix to get things right. The original FFXIV was a financial flop the likes of which have never been seen. Will this latest iteration of the Final Fantasy franchise stand up to the test of consumers? That answer is going to have to wait, but while we are waiting, let’s take a look at two aspects of the game as you get ready to take your first step foot into the world of Eorzea - the art of the game and character creation.

If there’s one thing the Final Fantasy team has done extraordinarily well over the years, it’s creating epic cinematics for its fan base. The short mini-movie that kicks off before you get to character creation is no different. The artists and storytellers that worked on it deserve a special round of applause. It easily lives up to any previous intro movie they’ve done before and that’s not something every company can claim, especially when their prior works have been so impressive. There are other short cinematics throughout the beginning of the game (and I’m sure further along as well), but these were created using the in-game engine so don’t have quite the same flair. They’re still done well, but don’t live up to the impossibly high bar set by the true cinematic intro.

Speaking of art in general, this is another highlight of FFXIV: ARR. Even if you’re not a fan of the art style itself (and yes, there are people that will not be fans), there is no denying the talent and skill that was pooled together to bring such spectacular views and animations. Square Enix has a very proud history of having some of the absolute best artists in the industry and it’s clear they put them all to good use. The characters look great, but the environments are nothing short of breathtaking. I’ll freely admit I spent a good amount of time just admiring the artwork while I wandered around the seaside starter city of Limsa Lominsa.

Character creation in FFXIV: ARR will be familiar to anyone that has played an MMORPG. You’ll need to choose your race and class first. There are five races to choose from - Hyurs (human-like), Elezen (elf-like), Lalafell (halfling-like), Miqo'te (child-like), and Roegadyn (brute-like). Each race has two clan types, so you’ll be able to choose between them, altering the appearance options. The system allows for such things as choosin to be a dark elf (Duskwight Elezen), instead of a regular elf (Wildwood Elezen). Each clan has minor differences in their stats when compared to each other. There are no stat differences between males and females.

When it comes to altering the appearance of your character, there are a decent variety of options you can tweak and adjust. There are a few preset faces to choose from, along with nose types, ear types, etc. Even though you can’t tweak every single aspect of your character to the image you have in your head, this isn’t a criticism. The development team did a good job of providing players with the means to alter their characters without overwhelming them with an insane amount of sliders. It’s a good compromise.

Once you’ve created your character’s face and body to acceptable levels, it’s time to choose your character’s birthday. Though there is some flavor text for each date, there is no indication this has any actual bearing on your character in any way. Which god or goddess you choose to follow does affect what elemental resistance bonuses you receive. No matter which deity you choose, you’ll be granted bonuses for five resistances: Earth, Fire, Ice, Lightning, Water, and Wind. Each one will grant resistances of equal numerical value, just spread out differently among the six resistances. The number values for all deities is 4, 3, 2, 2, 2, and 0. See the chart below for more detail.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Deity Resistance Chart
Earth Fire Ice Lightning Water Wind
Althyk 4 2 2 3 0 2
Azeyma 2 4 3 2 2 0
Byregot 0 2 2 4 3 2
Halone 2 0 4 2 2 3
Llymlaen 2 3 0 2 2 4
Menphina 2 0 4 2 2 3
Nald'thal 2 4 3 2 2 0
Nophica 4 2 2 3 0 2
Nymeia 3 2 2 0 4 2
Oschon 2 3 0 2 2 4
Rhalgr 0 2 2 4 3 2
Thaliak 3 2 2 0 4 2

After choosing a deity it’s time to pick your starting class (class choice will also determine which city you start the game in). I say starting class because as you progress through the game you’ll be able to choose other classes as well. The classes are split into different groups – Disciples of War and Disciples of Magic. Those that choose War will start out with one of the following melee classes:  Gladiator, Pugilist, Marauder, Lancer, or Archer. Those that choose Magic will start with one of the following caster classes: Conjurer, Thaumaturge, or Arcanist.

Here’s a quick description of each classes weapon of choice to help you decide which is best for you:

  • Gladiator – One-handed Blades
  • Pugilist – Hand to Hand
  • Marauder – Greataxe
  • Lancer – Two-handed Polearms
  • Archer – Bows
  • Conjurer – Nature mage using wands
  • Thaumaturge – Direct aether manipulation mage using scepter or staff
  • Arcanist – Symbols of Power mage using familiars

Now you just have one more choice to make – what name shall your character be known by? And there you go! Once this is chosen (and approved by the system), you’ll be thrust into the world of Eorzea, ready to conquer any challenge. Congratulations!

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