Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn is similar to World of Warcraft in more ways than one. When compared to other massively multiplayer online role-playing games, what may be the closest thing FF14 and WoW have in common is that the game doesn’t truly begin until you reach the level cap and start your endgame activities. In the olden days of Final Fantasy 11, there was a ton of stuff to do as you made your way to the previous level cap of 75. However, in Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, it’s not difficult to make your way to 50 fairly quickly.
With the ease of leveling to cap, the question of when to upgrade your gear is common. Money is rarely an issue, so you can purchase new gear sets every few levels. If you’re trying to conserve money, you can run through dungeons repeatedly to level up, which will net you the gear from the dungeon. If you use the dungeons and main story quests almost exclusively to level up, you won’t have to worry about buying much gear at all.
Dungeon gear is almost always better than even high quality purchased or crafted gear, so focus on dungeons instead of buying or crafting items. If you’re leveling a crafting class as well, you can certainly make your own gear and use it as a means to help level your crafting class, but you should replace that gear if you land a dungeon drop. Keep in mind that weapons impact your damage output and healing potency more so than any other piece of gear, so the level of your weapon is more important than anything else. Don’t let your weapon get more than five levels under your current level if you want to stay at the top of your game.
Once you reach endgame, determining when to upgrade your gear can be a daunting task. When you first reach level 50, you should have your first set of artifact gear from your job quests. Running through the basic level 50 dungeons will net you level 70 Darklight gear, as well as Mythology and Soldiery Tomes that you can use to purchase level 90 and 100 gear. Then you’ve got the Labyrinth of the Ancients, which drops level 80 gear, and the first Binding Coil of Bahamut that drops level 90 gear and level 95 weapons, and the second Binding Coil of Bahamut which drops level 110 gear and level 115 weapons. There are also ancillary battles such as the Hard Mode Primals, which drop weapons ranging from level 60 to level 80.
With so many different dungeons and one-off battles, it can be difficult to decide where to start. If you’re only focusing on a single job, your first priority should be a relic weapon. With a little help from your Free Company or the Duty Finder, you can complete everything necessary to obtain a relic weapon. Once you have the base relic weapon, use 900 Myth Tomes to upgrade it to the Zenith (+1) version. The weapon is the most important piece of gear in terms of damage and healing potency, so do not spend your Myth Tomes elsewhere until you have more than 900, or you obtain your Zenith weapon.
Once you have your Zenith weapon, focus on running the Brayflox’s Longstop (Hard Mode), Halatali (Hard Mode) and The Lost City of Amdapor. Running these dungeons will net you 50 Myth Tomes and 45 Soldiery Tomes for each run, plus level 70 Darklight gear drops from the chests, and even a few crafting items you can use or sell. This is the fastest way to obtain Myth and Soldiery Tomes at the same time, allowing you to quickly purchase level 90 gear, while also obtaining a full set of Darklight gear to fill any holes while upgrading to level 90 gear.
There’s a weekly cap when it comes to collecting Soldiery Tomes. Once you hit 450 (10 dungeon runs), you won’t be able to collect any more until the reset (Tuesday morning in the US). When this happens, you should start running the Labyrinth of the Ancients to collect more Myth Tomes (you get 100 for completing the dungeon), as well as level 80 gear. This works especially well if you have multiple jobs you need to gear up because while one is focusing on level 90 gear purchased via Myth Tomes, the other can gather Darklight from the normal dungeon runs, and level 80 gear from the Labyrinth of the Ancients.
Once your average item level has reached between 75 and 80, you should start running the first Binding Coil of Bahamut to get more level 90 gear. The stats on this gear differ from the stats on most of the Myth gear, so pick and choose what works best for your job. If you make it to Turn 5 in the first Coil, you can obtain a level 95 weapon and proceed to the second Coil for the level 100+ gear and weapon. You probably won’t be able to be consistent in completing the first Coil until you’re roughly item level 85 or higher, so it will take some time.
At the moment, the second Coil is the hardest dungeon in the game, which is why it rewards such high level items. However, there are plans to expand the Labyrinth of the Ancients into the Crystal Tower, but we don’t yet know what level the items found within will be. You can also go through the Hard Mode Primals, then the Extreme Mode Primals to obtain other level 100 items and vary your weekly activities.