If you’re caught up with Final Fantasy XIV at this point, you’re probably doing a few things. You’re raiding every week for gear, catching up on older stuff you missed or chillin’ at the Gold Saucer. Or something else I forgot to mention. But perhaps, even though it isn’t normally your thing, you’re eyeing those PVP modes. Especially the new one, Crystalline Conflict. Designed for quick, casual play, this mode will help PVP-averse folks dip their toes in and still earn those exclusive rewards. It’s kind of weird to even get started in Final Fantasy XIV PVP, though.
For starters, you need to have PVP unlocked, and have access to the Wolves’ Den Pier. So go do that if you haven’t already. Once you’re there, you may notice your hotbar has been all blocked out. Weird! Turns out to play PVP you have to use modified, PVP-only versions of your skills. To set that up, you need to open your PVP Profile.
Once you’re in there you’ll see a limited selection of all the skills you’re used to. Many of them may state they can’t be added to the hotbar. If so, there’s some other condition that’ll make the skill usable. So really, your first job is to figure out what the PVP version of your Job even feels like to play. Luckily, there’re a few training dummies you can work with. This part is crucial if you’re new, because your usual routine will be in tatters.
The PVP Profile will show you other information such as the “season” progress, your rankings, so on and so forth. You can also add simple chat phrases to your hotbar, because there’s no live chat. To actually play Crystalline Conflict, user the Duty Finder and sign up for a Casual or Ranked match. There isn’t a ton of difference, but if the numbers matter to you then hit Casual first.
Your goal, along with your team, is to push the crystal along its track to the opposite side of the map. It’s like a Payload game in Team Fortress 2, or whatever the Overwatch version is. This mode is very chaotic visually, but the game itself is fairly simple. Get on the point, move the crystal, try not to die. Your specific actions will vary a little more by role, but generally speaking at least one person needs to be on the crystal, even if it’s just for some stalling while teammates respawn.
To start, your team will be dropped in a small enclosure for 30 seconds. You have this time to make any last-moment tweaks to your hotbar, or just spam chat phrases or whatever. Once the gate opens the round has started, but there’s another 30 second timer. This one frees the crystal, which you can’t touch until the timer is over. You can still fight, but many players suggest hanging back a bit and seeing what the other team does.
You’ll be able to target enemy players like regular mobs, and you can use things like markers to suggest targets. Generally it’s a good idea to try and focus on one player at a time. But one major rule is not to chase anyone. If you’re about to get a KO and they turn tail, let them run and recover while you also recover, but on the capture point. That’s the goal, even though the post-game screen doesn’t seem to care much. There are also things like powerups on the ground and an occasional environmental hazard. Touch the healing thingy, don’t touch the tornado.
At first Crystalline Conflict is going to feel like a lot, mostly thanks to Final Fantasy XIV’s wild visual effects. Especially since when you’re just getting started you’re practically re-learning your character. But it’s okay to get your ass kicked in Casual matches while you figure it out. You still get credit for Casual matches, get season progress, the whole shebang. Those GARO fits are totally obtainable if you never touch Ranked play.