FFXIV continues to impress with it’s in-game help and training systems. I’ve reached a level where I can queue for Duties (aka Dungeons/Instances) as a Gladiator tank, and I was tempted to do one, even getting as far as queuing before quickly bailing and saving the poor Duty Finder group from a rookie tank. It seemed a bit soon, and for a new player it would probably be a tough ask having never tanked before.

Requirements: 1 tank, 1 healer, 2 DPS. 1 very strange huge boss. Familiar

I was surprised the game was willing to throw me into it, given its propensity to introduce concepts first. However I think I’m slightly ahead of the level queue due to completing all the Hunting Log quests, side quests, training professions, etc. For that reason I hadn’t returned to Ul’dah recently, and when I did I found there was an excellent solo training function available.

By talking to a trainer, I was queued into some solo Duties which introduce you to the concept of tanking step by step. The first was about avoiding enemy tells (the orange warnings on the ground), the next was using combos to draw enmity/threat, then how to draw multiple mobs attention, etc.

I’d already worked most of this out just by running around, but then I am well versed in the MMO combat style and tanking as a concept. If you weren’t this kind of systematic training is a terrific way to help people learn a Class and that Class’s in-game role. The training was tailored for Gladiators, naming specific abilities and how to use them. Which is very impressive as it means there is no doubt the same kind of thing for every other Class too.

It’s a lot of work to put in for the developers, but I think worth it as a way to show a new (or old!) player how tanking, healing, and DPS works. This is something other games could really learn from - Warcraft provides precisely zero help for learning how to tank or heal, or even the basic DPS rotation.

Crossed arms at 50 paces

During all this I’ve been following the M(ain) S(tory) Q(uest) - I’ve even learnt some of the acronyms now - which I’m finding rather uninspiring. It seems to be a story of political intrigue, with various named factions and figures all trying to gain power in Ul’dah. The problem with it is that as players we have no investment in any of the people being talked about, and it does seem like a political game rather than something of world shaking importance which a hero like us (ahem) would be needed for.

I have also failed in my quest to get to Limsa Lominsa to learn fishing. I was pleased when I stumbled on a map reference that seemed to show I could catch a boat there from a nearby town, but when I arrived there the harbour-master told me the way was temporarily closed. I suspect it’s because I haven’t completed some pre-requisite, but it was very disappointing.

Both the political nature of the MSQ and the Fishing failure are making me ponder rolling a second character who starts in Limsa Lominsa, just to see how different it is. I have five days left on my 30 day account, so that might be a good way to spend it.