FINAL FANTASY XIV: Heavensward A Full Guide On Where To Start In Patch 3.5



This guide was written by Lumin Sundrye of Hyperion.

Welcome to Ishgard! This is a guide for new players who might be overwhelmed with the amount of content available in the Heavensward Expansion of Final Fantasy XIV. This is not a guide for how to do any content; rather, it is meant to give you a reference list of what order to do things for a streamlined process. If you’re anything like me, having so many options all at once is overwhelming and nerve-wracking. My goal here is to simply help you make a priority list and go through things one step at a time.

There are guides that are tl;dr, fastest way to gear up to endgame. For example, this Reddit post is an excellent, concise guide through getting your ilvl boosted. My guide is not that. No one has ever accused me of being concise. My goal here is to give you an idea of what order to travel through the amount of content that has accrued since HW first dropped. I’ll be wordy and technical and pedantic, but always in the hopes of helping you fight through that overwhelming sense of “too much to do, /panic”.

This is not a guide for crafting, gathering, roleplaying, housing, or PVP. Not because those aren’t worthwhile activities - they definitely are! I just want to keep some kind of limit on the content of this guide.
 

Table of Contents
  • A Helpful Glossary, Probably
  • Palace of the Dead
  • The Anima Weapon
  • Crafting
  • The Hunt
  • Dungeons and the Main Story
  • Alexander
  • The Shadow of Mhach
  • Trials - Spread Your Wings
  • Other Stuff, and also, The End


A Helpful Glossary, Probably

Quickly, I’d like to introduce some terms to you that may not be intuitive, but are going to be thrown around a lot in the level 60 gameplay discussions.

Item Level: Every piece of gear, yes, even from the very beginning of the game, has an item level. Most gear prior to level 50 has item level matching its equip level. Exceptions are things like green dungeon drops (the Foestriker’s Tabard, the Battlemage’s set, etc), which will have slightly higher item level than equip level. For simplicity’s sake, you can assume that a higher item level means a stronger item. There are exceptions, but they aren’t particularly common. The abbreviation “i120” is used to mean “a piece of gear of item level 120”.

Tomestones: These currencies are the rewards for doing nearly any kind of instanced (and some non-instanced) combat content. As of patch 3.5, there are three main tomestone types.
Poetics are tomestones that are awarded from level 50 content. All the “A Realm Reborn” dungeons, trials, and raids will grant tomestones of Poetics. These can be used to purchase i120 gear in Mor Dhona, and also some items that are a part of the Anima weapon quest at level 60. Other than that, Poetics have little use at level 60. There is no limit to the number of poetics you can earn, but you can only carry 2000 at a time. You spend Poetics in Mor Dhona.

Lore tomestones are the unlimited currency at level 60. Like Poetics, you can earn as many as you like, but can only carry 2000. Lore has three main uses: purchasing i230 equipment in Idyllshire, purchasing items used to advance the Anima weapon quest, and purchasing crafting materials. Lore comes from any level 60 instanced event, hunts, and Vanu Vanu beast tribe quests.

Scripture tomestones are the “capped” currency of patch 3.5. So far in FFXIV’s lifetime, there has always been one capped currency that is used to purchase the strongest possible equipment. Scripture tomestones are limited to 450 per week, with the same 2000 carrying capacity as Lore and Poetics. You can use Scripture to purchase i260 gear in Idyllshire. Scripture comes from the same sources as Lore, except the Vath beast tribe quests give Scripture.
You spend Lore and Scripture in Idyllshire.

Whenever you complete an instanced duty for the first time, you’ll grant a bonus to every member of the party, including yourself. You are a highly prized commodity, because more tomestones make everyone happier. Sell yourself and your bonus to get help with any older instance you want to do. It works.

Stats: I’m not going to go into great detail for stats, but a few key notes: the most important stat, bar none, seriously, there are no exceptions, ever, is Weapon Damage for physical classes and Magic Damage for mages. Following that, each job has a primary stat that is something like 1/8th as effective as WD/MD, and then there are substats that are even more fractional. WD/MD scales with item level very neatly for all jobs except Bard and Machinist, who have some weird interactions with weapons that have item levels between 10s. The tl;dr is ALWAYS HAVE THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE WEAPON.

MSQ: Stands for “Main Story Quest”.

Materia: All tomestone gear and many pieces of gear you get from dungeons and raids have slots in them for you to meld materia. Non-crafted equipment with materia slots only allows you to fill the visible slots. Crafted equipment will let you put in up to five materia, no matter how many slots there are, with a failure rate. Materia can be used to increase the strength of gear.

Palace of the Dead

We must start with Palace of the Dead. I hope that you’ve been using POTD to level your character, for one extremely key reason - if you are able to build up your Aetherpool score to at least +30/+30, you will have an enormous head start on the level 60 process. If you’ve been diligent and built your Aetherpool score to +90/+90, your head start will be even greater.

Very briefly, your Aetherpool score rises organically as you play through the Palace of the Dead and open chests or defeat bosses. I don’t have a great deal of experience in POTD, so I can’t give specific details on what floors are best to farm for Aetherpool versus experience. I have read that floors 51-60 are the best to repeat over and over.

Prior to the Palace of the Dead, new level 60 players were limited to the i140ish weapons they were given through the Heavensward main story, or bought from a vendor in Azys Lla. Lucky players with Free Company members who could buy or craft them gear could have stronger weapons, but the majority of new players had extremely weak weapons for level 60 content. And as you just learned, you should ALWAYS HAVE THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE WEAPON. So new players were thrown into content with weak i140 weapons alongside veteran players with i210 weapons and expected to keep up. DPS jobs can sort of hack it, but a tank with an i140 great sword is essentially useless in a dungeon with DPS who have weapons above i200.

However! Now that we have Palace of the Dead, you can nab yourself an i235 weapon before you do literally any level 60 content. In fact, you don’t even need to be level 60! Just get your Aetherpool to +30/+30 and talk to the Padjal in Quarrymill to be handed a Padjali weapon. If you have that +90/+90, you can get a Padjali weapon and immediately upgrade it to a Kinna weapon - which is i255! Hopefully, you see what a huge development this is for the new level 60 player. There is literally nothing you can do that’s as important as getting that Padjali weapon right off the bat. (Okay, well, learn your rotation. A strong weapon does no good if you don’t understand your abilities.)

Once you are level 60, you can also run Palace of the Dead on that job to earn tomestones in a relatively low-stress environment, which might appeal to some. POTD does not have very high tomestone efficiency compared to dungeons, but the lower floors are definitely more forgiving.

Running POTD also will get you a gradually increasing supply of Gelmorran Potsherds, which you can exchange for a number of things, but most handily: Grade V materia, the strongest materia that currently exists. This can go in your gear or be sold for money.

The Anima Weapon

Like the Zodiac weapon in A Realm Reborn, Heavensward has its own upgradeable, customizable, job-specific weapon. This quest chain is long and grindy. It’s not something I really recommend to fresh 60s as something to focus on, since Palace of the Dead is a way better use of your time, but the Anima Weapon does eventually turn into a very powerful choice at higher levels.

Starting the quest requires you to farm FATEs in all Heavensward zones, unless you for some reason have a Zodiac Zeta weapon, in which case you can skip this step. Your reward is an i170 weapon. You can upgrade this to i200 by running a series of dungeons. (You already see why the Padjali weapon by itself is a much better use of your time, yes?)

Upgrading to i210 has a few different optional paths, but the best way is to do level 50 Beast Tribe Quests - Amalj’aa, Sylph, Sahagin, and Kobold. Ten days of these quests will fulfill the requirements. Add to that 16 crafted items that can be purchased using Grand Company seals or from the Market Board, and you have an i210 weapon.

From there, you’ll need 5 Aether Oils. You can purchase these with Lore. Do not do that. Instead, pick up the Gifts of the Archmagus quest in Mor Dhona and run Crystal Tower raids once a week. You can do this even at level 50. You’ll get an i230 weapon for your troubles. For those keeping score at home, the Padjali weapon is slightly stronger than this one.

To upgrade further, and customize your weapon’s stats, you’ll need somewhere between 60 and 80 Umbrite. Umbrite cost 300 Lore, full stop. You’ll also need an equivalent number of Crystal Sands. Sands have many potential sources. In my opinion, these are the best:
  • Moonstones from Grand Company Seals
  • Amber Vilekin from Ishgardian levequests
  • Blue gatherer or crafter scrips
  • Superior Enchanted Inks and Thavnairian Mists, bought with Poetics
  • Each Umbrite + Crystal Sand allows you to allocate between 3-6 stat points to your weapon. The specific number is somewhat random. You’ll end with an i240 weapon with customized stats - weaker than the Kinna weapon.

The next upgrade requires 50 Singing Clusters. You cannot obtain Singing Clusters until you reach this stage of the quest the first time. There are three sources for the clusters. You can buy them with 150 Lore (do not do this unless you know you will never do another Anima weapon), you can get one per day by running Expert Roulette with a quest active, and you can get 10/week by running Duty Roulette: Leveling three times per week with a quest active. So, discounting the ones you’re not going to waste Lore on, that’s 17/week just for running roulettes you probably would have run anyway. Your reward is an i260 weapon with customized stats - somewhat stronger than the Kinna weapon from Palace of the Dead.

Insert details of i270 Anima weapon quests here when I get them. It’s probably pirates awful.

Again, the Anima weapon is not something I recommend for a fresh 60. It requires too much of the Lore you’ll need to raise your item level to get into various other content. Once you’re at the i240 range with your main job, then start considering an Anima weapon. The one exception is that I do recommend you pick up Gifts of the Archmagus every week. You’ll want to have those Aether Oils ready ahead of time. Remember, it can be done on any job level 50 or higher, and does not require any progress on the Anima weapon quest.

Crafting

An option for anyone with a lot of gil on hand, or rich friends, or crafting friends, is to acquire i250 crafted gear. This can shortcut you through a lot of the upgrading process, but it is quite expensive. Also, the i250 crafted gear is mostly pretty ugly. (Glamour. True endgame.) i250 gear, when melded with materia appropriately, is generally the same strength as i260 gear from tomestones, but has a huge gil cost.

The Hunt

The Hunt is open world content that you can participate in starting at level 50. You’ll periodically see people shouting about A or S ranks in various zones. I’m not going to get into nitty-gritty details, but here’s why hunts are relevant to you:
  • You can pick up daily and weekly hunts in Ishgard for EXP, gil, and Centurio Seals.
  • At level 60, every A or S rank hunt rewards you with Lore and Centurio Seals.
  • At level 60, Heavensward A or S rank hunts also reward you with Scripture.
  • Centurio Seals can be used to buy i200 gear directly, providing an easy item level boost.
  • Centurio Seals can also get you upgrades for i200 gear (to i210) and i230 gear (to i240). They’re not the most efficient way, but it is good to know.
  • Centurio Seals may be able to purchase upgrade items for Scripture gear from i260 to i270. Will confirm when game is live.

Dungeons and the Main Story

The MSQ is a technically optional part of the level 60 experience. Half of the level 60 dungeons are unlocked via MSQ, but you do not need them to advance. However, it’s highly recommended, and also you’ll need to have the MSQ done to jump into Stormblood eventually, so, uh, do it.

The only absolutely required level 60 quest is Heavensward, which involves doing the first level 60 dungeon - the Aetherochemical Research Facility, also known hilariously as ARF. Two things to note here: ARF is highly valuable to level 60 players because it gives the highest numbers of Lore tomestones per instance. So when you load in for the first time, you’ll get the following reactions: “Yay, bonus!” or “God dammit”. Try not to take it personally, because they’re not mad at you, they’re mad at running this instance for the 1000th time.

ARF has no treasure chests and will not give you any gear directly. The rest of the Heavensward dungeons can be grouped by the item level of the gear they drop.

Neverreap and the Fractal Continuum require you to have an average item level of 145, the same as ARF. These dungeons drop gear that is i160. Neither dungeon is attached to the MSQ.

Pharos Sirius (Hard Mode) and Saint Mocianne’s Arboretum require you to have an average item level of i170 to enter, and drop gear that is i185. It’s important to me that you also understand that the gear dropped in these dungeons is fly as hell. It’s worth farming a set, because you will be dapper. Also, they’re my favorite dungeons of all the level 60 options. Neither is attached to the MSQ, but you do need to have done the original Pharos Sirius at level 50.

The Lost City of Amdapor (Hard Mode) and The Antitower require you to have an average item level of i180 to enter, and drop gear that is i195 (and also shapeless bags of garbage). The Antitower is a part of the MSQ and is a requirement to progress further. You need to have completed the original Lost City of Amdapor at level 50 to access the Hard Mode.

Hullbreaker Isle (Hard Mode) and Sohr Khai require you to have an average item level of i200 to enter, and drop gear that is i215. Sohr Khai is part of the MSQ and is a requirement to progress further. You need to have completed the original Hullbreaker Isle at level 50 to access the Hard Mode.
Side note here: You’ll be required to do The Final Steps of Faith as part of the MSQ after completing Sohr Khai, but that is a Trial, not a Dungeon, and drops no gear. We’ll discuss Trials in a later section.

The Great Gubal Library (Hard Mode) and Xelphatol require you to have an average item level of i210 (just to keep you on your toes!) and drop gear that is i225. Xelphatol is part of the MSQ and must be completed to progress further. While you do have to have completed the original Great Gubal Library at 59 to access the Hard Mode, unlike the others, it was part of the MSQ in the first place so there’s no avoiding it. 3.4: the patch that broke all the patterns.

The above dungeons are all a part of the Duty Roulette: Level 60 Dungeons, which chooses one dungeon at random to throw you in and gives you additional tomestone rewards, as well as gil if you’re a tank if you match the Adventurer in Need bonus.

Baelsar’s Wall and Sohm Al (Hard Mode) are the newest dungeons, introduced in patch 3.5. These require an average item level of i230 to enter and reward you with gear of i245. Baelsar’s Wall is part of the MSQ and is required to progress. You have already done Sohm Al as part of the MSQ, so unlocking the hard mode will require no backtracking.

Baelsar’s Wall and Sohm Al (Hard Mode) are part of the Expert Duty Roulette. This is your most efficient source of tomestones of Scripture, and is a great source of Lore as well. You’ll want to run EXR four to five times a week to most efficiently cap your Scripture. You’ll also pick up gear that is actually stronger than the Lore gear you can purchase, just from the treasure chests.

What are all these dungeons for? Primarily, tomestones. You’ll get lore for every boss you kill, and scripture for every dungeon you clear completely. Lore is what’s going to pump up your item level quickly, since you can purchase i230 gear directly from the vendor. The second benefit of running these dungeons is the gear they drop. Lot on everything that drops! If it’s for your class, great. If not, turn it in for Grand Company seals - you’ll want those. Every thing that raises your item level lets you use your lore more efficiently.

Once you are able to move up a tier, do so. Each set of dungeons listed above gives more lore than the one before it, and stronger equipment drops. Around i200 is when I recommend you jump into the next two sets of content: Alexander and the Shadow of Mhach.

Alexander

The first set of level 60 raids are all part of a giant colossus known as Alexander. There are three sets of four floors; each set shares item level requirements and gear drops. There is a Story Mode and a Savage Mode for Alexander. Story Mode is where you’ll experience the cutscenes and characters involved in the storyline of why Alexander has emerged in the Dravanian Hinterlands. Savage Mode has no cutscenes, and is purely a difficult challenge with stronger gear rewards.

Alexander Gordias is the first set of floors. The Story Mode requires you be i170 to enter, but I’m going to recommend you wait until you’re i200. Why? To be frank, no one runs Alexander Gordias anymore. There’s very little incentive to do so. The tomestone rewards are small, the gear is very obsolete (and ugly), and even the Anima tokens you get are better farmed elsewhere. But, if you’re i200, you can put yourself up in Party Finder and sell your sexy, sexy bonus for both Alexander Gordias and the next section, Alexander Midas. The best part is, you get that bonus too, so it’s a lore bonanza for everyone involved! Alexander Gordias also rewards you with i190 gear, but the way it does so is...annoying. I’ll explain in a moment.

Alexander Midas is the second set of floors, and like Gordias, it has both a Story and a Savage mode. It requires i200 for entry, and rewards you with i220 gear. As I said, I highly recommend you sell yourself in Party Finder for a quick run through the first 8 floors of the Story Mode.

Alexander: The Creator is the final section of the Alexander raid. It requires i230 to enter, and rewards you with i250 gear. You’ll get a bonus the first time you run this as well, but because the entry barrier is somewhat high and people still run this Story Mode regularly, there’s no reason to sell yourself in Party Finder. You’ll be able to queue for it normally in a reasonable amount of time.

So let’s talk about Story Mode gear rewards. Each Story Mode fight will give you two treasure chests upon defeating the boss. Your party of 8 will each be able to cast lots on the four tokens that drop from these chests. These tokens can be traded to a vendor in Idyllshire for the actual piece of equipment you want.
  • Bolts are 1:1 for Accessories
  • Chains are 1:1 for Belts
  • Lenses are 2:1 for head equipment
  • Shafts are 4:1 for body equipment
  • Cranks are 2:1 for hand equipment
  • Springs are 4:1 for leg equipment
  • Pedals are 2:1 for feet equipment

Each section of Alexander drops according to this pattern:
  • Floor 1: Bolt, Chain, Pedal
  • Floor 2: Bolt, Pedal, Lens
  • Floor 3: Lens, Crank, Spring
  • Floor 4: Crank, Spring, Shaft

So the fourth floor of each tier is the ONLY place to get Shafts for bodypieces. The other tokens all have at least two sources.

For your first breakneck blitz through the Story Modes, I’d aim for Bolts and Chains above all else, because you get the most ilvl per token from those. Don’t bother going for Springs or Shafts unless you plan on actively trying to farm them, especially from Gordias or Midas.

In Alexander: Midas and Alexander: The Creator, the fourth floor of each also gives every participating member a token called a Gear. This is added directly to your inventory and does not have to be lotted on - you always get it. Once you have 4 Midan Gears and 1000 Lore, you can buy an i230 weapon. Once you have 7 Alexandrian Gears and 1000 Scripture, you can buy an i260 weapon. You are limited to a single Alexandrian Gear per week, but there is no limit on Midan Gears.

Once you’ve cleared a given section of Alexander, you can gain access to the Savage version by visiting the Wandering Minstrel in Mor Dhona. Alexander: Gordias (Savage) drops i210, dyeable versions of the i190 gear Story Mode dropped. Alexander: Midas (Savage) drops i240, dyeable versions of the i220 gear Story Mode dropped. Alexander: The Creator (Savage) drops i270, dyeable versions of the gear Story Mode dropped. The fourth floor of each section also drops weapons that are 5 ilvls higher than the rest of the gear - the i275 weapons from The Soul of the Creator (Savage) are generally the strongest weapons in the game at this point, barring some nitpicking about substats.

In addition to the gear dropped by these fights, some floors drop upgrade items. Generally, the second floor of each section drops an accessory upgrade and a weapon token, while the third floor drops an armor upgrade and a weapon upgrade for tomestone weapons. If you have a group that can consistently and quickly clear A6 and A7, that would be a very efficient method of farming upgrades for your Lore gear.

Alexander (Savage) is very difficult. The Gordias raids are now 60 ilvls out of date, so the DPS checks that were originally extremely hard to surpass are now less daunting. Midas raids are 30 ilvls out of date, but the mechanics remain as complicated as ever. The Creator raids are current and are the hardest content in the game, theoretically.

You can run Gordias and Midas (Savage) as often as you please, assuming you have 7 other party members to join you. There are no limits on farming these fights. The Creator (Savage) can only be done once per week per floor, with some nitpicky caveats that mostly only apply to extremely hardcore raiders. The i270 equipment dropped in the Creator (Savage) is the strongest gear in the game, alongside upgraded Scripture gear.

All Story Mode equipment can be farmed as much as you wish, with the exception of Alexandrian Gears dropped from the Soul of the Creator.

The Shadow of Mhach

The second set of raids in Heavensward are the Shadow of Mhach raids. These are 24 main raids that are substantially easier than Alexander (Savage), but present a step up in difficulty from basic dungeons. They can generally be done with random parties assigned by Duty Finder, though your patience may be sorely tested.

First, we have the Void Ark. The Void Ark requires i175 to enter, and rewards you with i200 gear. Two pieces of gear drop from each of the four bosses, and you can freely lot on everything that drops. Upon clearing the raid, you will receive a Mhachi Farthing directly into your inventory, much like the Midan and Alexandrian Gears from the Story Mode of Alexander. You can use this Mhachi Farthing to upgrade the i200 gear you buy with Centurio Seals, but there’s a better way to spend it.

The second raid in this sequence is the Weeping City of Mhach. Weeping City requires i205 to enter and rewards you with i230 gear. Two pieces of gear drop from each of the four bosses, and you can freely lot on everything that drops. Upon clearing the raid, you will receive a Mhachi Penny directly into your inventory, much like the Midan and Alexandrian Gears from the Story Mode of Alexander.

You can receive unlimited numbers of Mhachi Pennies and Farthings. With one of each, you can purchase any of the upgrade materials for i230 Lore gear in Idyllshire. These two raids are by far the easiest way to upgrade Lore equipment, and can be done with little advance planning. Running Midas (Savage) will be faster clears, and will get you i240 gear in addition to your upgrades, but you’re limited to one person per clear per upgrade, and you need an 8 person party capable of doing Savage level raiding.

Before you spend a great deal of time stocking up on Mhachi Pennies and Farthings, do note that because the current EXR drops i245 gear, even upgraded Lore gear is somewhat obsolete. You can’t choose what drops from EXR, of course, so you may want to use Lore gear as a supplement.

I recommend you do the same thing with Shadow of the Mhach as you do with Alexander Story Mode - get up to i205 (which, honestly, once you finish all of Gordias and Midas, shouldn’t be too tough!) and plug through both sets of raids in one swoop. You won’t need to Party Find for a group, since people still need clears for Farthings and Pennies.

Finally, we come to the last segment of the Shadow of Mhach - Dun Scaith. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it, I’m not Irish. It probably has nothing to do with the letters you see, though. Dun Scaith requires you to be i235 to enter and drops gear of i260, the same as the gear you can buy with Scripture. Upon clearing Dun Scaith, you will - you guessed it - get a Mhachi Shilling. You’ll be able to trade a set of Farthing, Penny, and Shilling for an upgrade item for your Scripture armor or accessories, but not weapons. (Subject to change. Patch notes unclear.)

Every clear of Dun Scaith will also give you a Mhachi Matter directly into your inventory alongside the Shilling. You can trade this in Idyllshire for a Grade V Materia of your choice, just like the Gelmorran potsherds.

So! We’ve covered the major ways for you to upgrade your armor and accessories, and a few of the weapon routes as well. There’s one last major subgroup of combat content.

Trials - Spread Your Wings

In Heavensward, there are two types of Trials. You’ve done three of the first type on your way through the MSQ: the Limitless Blue, Thok ast Thok, and the Singularity Reactor. The nomenclature on these is...inconsistent, but you can be pretty safely understood by calling them Hard Mode Trials. There is a Hard Mode and Extreme Mode for every Trial in Heavensward.

Other than the three I already listed, and the Final Steps of Faith, which is part of the MSQ, the rest of the Trials are part of a questline called the Warring Triad. This is a separate questline from the MSQ, and can be done simultaneously or completely independently - your choice. The Hard Mode Trials have no rewards - the only reason you’d ever do them a second time is for Trials Roulette.

For every Hard Mode Trial you complete, you unlock access to its Extreme Mode. There is no need to do Extreme Modes in any particular order, since they don’t unlock each other. I tend to think of the Hard Modes as a straight line, and the Extreme Modes in a circle around that line, since each one branches off its respective Hard Mode.

Extreme Mode Trials have two rewards. Every time you open one of their chests, you’ll see a weapon of varying item level. Every time you defeat an Extreme Mode Trial, you’ll receive a token directly into your inventory, just like from Alexander or the Shadow of Mhach. If you collect 10 of those tokens, you can turn them in for a specific weapon of your choice.

Currently, there are two trials that drop relevant ilvl weapons. Sophia EX drops i255 weapons, and Zurvan EX (the newest Trial, added in 3.5) drops i265 weapons. So, since you followed my advice and got that Kinna weapon way back at the beginning of this guide, Zurvan represents the only unfettered access you have to a stronger weapon. (Scripture weapons and Alexandrian weapons are also stronger, but are limited by your Scripture cap, access to Micro Tomestones from Alexander, or being able to clear the Soul of the Creator.) Zurvan’s weapons are stronger than non-upgraded Scripture weapons, barring the usual nitpickery over substats.

The second reward (and by far the most coveted) is a majestic bird birb. Each EX Trial has a chance of dropping a Lanner Whistle, which allows you to summon a majestic falcon birb as a mount. There are seven different majestic eagles birbs, and if you collect all seven, you can do a quest to receive the most majestic avian birb of all. The drop rates for these whistles is...not high, plus you have to win the lot over 7 other people. Fortunately, you can collect 99 tokens from each EX Trial and purchase a whistle if your luck is truly, truly bad. You cannot currently purchase the Demonic Lanner or Sophic Lanner whistle using tokens, but the day will come.

So, here’s the quandary about EX Trials. The older ones have only one incentive for people to run them: majestic fowl birbs. (Okay, and furniture and clothes for their chocobos. But chocobos are, at best, mildly majestic.) Since the drop rate for majestic rulers of the sky birbs is low, even after being increased multiple times, people want to clear the Trial as quickly as possible, as many times as possible. Because, if all else fails, you’re aiming for that 99 token number. So when you go in and have never done the Trial before, you’ll probably screw up and die and potentially cause a wipe because you were marked green and you stood in the yellow and god can’t you see how obvious that is!?!?!?

My point being, as a fresh 60, don’t go into something like Ravana EX without a group of people who are clear that you are new. It’s why I didn’t bring up the EX Trials earlier in the guide - even though the weapons they drop might be useful to you if you ignored my very good advice about Palace of the Dead, you’re more likely to suffer trying to join an EX Trial clear party than you are to get anything good out of it until you’re ready to start murdering warmongering beetles or tree bodybuilders seriously.

Other Stuff, and also, The End

So, is that it? Is that everything? Well, no. As I mentioned in the introduction, I’m not covering crafting, gathering, etc. PVP can get you gear that’s usable in PVE content. The Diadem is going to be….something. Probably. Treasure maps drop tomestones, and the Aquapolis drops materia and materials you can sell for gil or use in crafting. Khloe’s Wondrous Tails journals can get you i250 gear (I got 3 lines just last week!) and tomestones. There’s just not a lot of meat to those events. Honestly, I even quibbled on including the Hunt as a section for awhile; I eventually left it in because of the gear available for Centurio Seal purchase.

To my knowledge, I’ve covered everything that’s A) relevant to combat content and B) will increase your item level directly.

That's all for this guide. Thanks for reading.