Castrum Meridianum is an 8-player dungeon in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and is the second to last dungeon in the FFXIV: ARR 2.0 main storyline. It's an introduction to 8-player dungeons (many of which exist past this point) and is located on the main scenario roulette. The dungeon is considered, at this point in time, mostly trivial content, but there are a few hiccups you can run across and two completely different ways to finish the dungeon.
If you're looking for how dungeons work in FFXIV, check out our dungeon basics guide.
Castrum Meridianum Post 3.0
Post 3.0, level 60 players can make this dungeon completely trivial and finish within 10 to 15 minutes without fault. This is the most preferred method to complete the dungeon and just requires either an FC or party finder. You enter underleveled, queuing with just 7 players instead of 8, which allows people to keep their gear, stats, and more.
If you try to queue for the dungeon, expect resistance, as main scenario queue times can be upwards to 30 minutes. Even with level sync, most players will show up in very, very nice gear, and you shouldn't have much issue going through the dungeon.
Preparing for Castrum Meridianum - iLvL and Gear
First step's first, do your job quests. Your job quest will get you a set of gear that should put you at enough ilvl to compete (it's all ilvl 90 gear), but, if that's not enough, there is ilvl 115 gear at Foundation that can be purchased for you, pushing your ilvl way up there.
The ilvl requirement is rather low, I can't source what it was, but I believe somewhere around ilvl 40 to ilvl 50. Either way, your job quest armor should get you right where you need to be to enter.
Dungeon Progression - Trash and Searchlights
You can sneak past most enemies in the dungeon. There is little to no reason to fight many of them in a level sync run, although in a non-level sync run you can easily just aoe everything down as it's mostly a joke by this point.
There are various terminals that are required to get to the boss. Shut these off and any guard not-aggro'd will run. So you realistically only have to pull trash mobs near those terminals. If you're caught in a spotlight, two death claws will spawn, but you won't aggro the entire instance or anything like that.
As for progression, you'll need to fight various bosses to obtain identification keys to unlock additional areas and on your way you'll need to destroy generators. Odds are by this point in the game your group understands exactly where and how to go, but if you have trouble, follow the in-game instructions. You mostly only will have to wait for Cid to arrive. Near the end, you'll open a door and see a ton of Magitek Collasus. These aren't meant to be fought, instead run up the ramp to disable the searchlight.
- The Black Eft: Should be tanked away from the party by the main tank, while the second tank deals with the adds. Avoid it's laser cannon.
- Magitek Vanguard F-1: Avoid everything that it puts on the ground, tank away from the group.
- Magitek Colossus Rubricatus: Space the party out to avoid exhaust, again main tank tanks away from the group, secondary tank deals with adds.
The End Boss (Spoiler Free)
The boss at the end, name withheld, has two phases. The first phase is there are four cannons on the ground that need to be fired I believe two times each (should be enough). You're going to want to fire the cannons whenever they're loaded or all at once, I'm not specifically sure how it'd play out, but the group you're with should undoubtably be a major asset in determining their method to do it.
So just tank the boss, fire cannons, and keep adds away from disabling or damaging any of the cannons. The boss is rather weak in this phase.
During the second phase, the boss only needs to be tanked, and then as the adds flow into the room you'll want to pick them up (whoever is targeted should stand still). She does a lot of frontal cone damage, so just tank her away.
As far as I know, the dungeon has no loot outside of Tomes of Mythology and whatever assorted tomes for helping any first time player in the dungeon, along with the roulette rewards. After this dungeon is the Praetorium, which is very similar.
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