Why You Should Try Levelling Alt Jobs in Final Fantasy XIV

Levelling alt jobs in FFXIV can be daunting due to the idea of the exp grind. However, it opens up more forms of engagement with the game's experience. Here is why new playstyles, lore expansions, cosmetic options and revisiting old content justify the alt job undertaking.

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Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV affords MMORPG fans the rare luxury of committing to multiple jobs for a single character. While it’s advisable to focus on your main class first, the option to explore alternative playstyles is refreshing. Furthermore, it’s an option that makes the game one of the richest experiences in gaming. Fundamentally, it gives players a reason to return to or explore side content they previously skipped over. The levelling system is already pretty forgiving, providing an abundance of EXP opportunities.

As such, it would be a disservice not to use that extra grinding time for something new. This is something players could even do for a fresh experience in the latest update. Therefore, here is an argument for why you should try levelling alt jobs in FFXIV.

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Appreciating Each Role

The game categorises the various jobs into one of three roles: Tank, Healer and DPS. These roles determine what each player needs to do during party duties. The tank needs to aggro the enemies, allowing their high defence to absorb most of the damage. The healer will keep the tank and any other players alive, mitigating status buffs and debuffs. The DPS, in the meantime, will be dealing the most damage to the enemies while the tank distracts them. Each role is fundamental to a party’s success, but it can be harder to appreciate if you’ve only played one.

Switching from playing a tank will make players realise just how fragile the other roles are. This increased understanding will translate into your performance when you return to tanking, ensuring your allies are never targeted. The party management required of a healer is also harder to appreciate without first-hand experience. They aren’t gods, and they can only heal at certain ranges and rates. Knowing a healer’s limits allows players in other roles to ease that burden. Additionally, playing as a DPS is often about more than hitting the enemy. DPS players often have to operate the various other mechanics required for the more advanced bosses.

A party isn't complete without variety.

A party isn’t complete without variety.

Beyond improving your expertise with your main role, levelling alt jobs in FFXIV is simply a matter of fun. The nature of combat in an MMORPG can lead to an extremely repetitive experience. Thankfully, the various jobs in the game are designed to play differently in regards to rotations and positioning. Even if its only slight, having a different way to engage with the game can break up the monotony.

An Enhanced Story Experience

A personal reason for my own choice to level alt jobs was due to the cinematic trailers for each expansion. Square Enix’s depiction of the Warrior of Light shows a character who regularly explores new classes. Part of the reason for this is to highlight the fighting style most relevant to the themes of each expansion. As such, players can expect certain jobs to enhance the story of specific updates. Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward prioritised the Dragoons, which allows players to better understand Ishgardian culture. It also further integrates them into the battle with Nidhogg as the Azure Dragoon. Rather than feeling like a complete outsider, it gives players a more deep-rooted connection to the Dragon Song war.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood focuses on the Monk and Samurai. Both are important to the cultures of Ala Mhigo and Doma. While neither is tied into the main story as well as the Dragoon, they provide more context. Additionally, it allows players to embrace the aesthetic appearances of the new locations in a more fitting way. Lastly, Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers puts the Dark Knight centre-stage. Given the thematic darkness of that specific expansion, it allows the Warrior of Light’s transition to translate into the gameplay.

Being the Azure Dragoon makes Heavensward more meaningful.

Being the Azure Dragoon makes Heavensward more meaningful.

However, even if you don’t follow the cinematic trailers’ jobs, any class serves a role in the player character’s development. Levelling alt jobs in FFXIV is one of the few ways the player has agency over their character. The story determines your characters actions and emotions, and so the only self-expression comes from their chosen job. The job quests also provide some additional moments for your character to further flesh them out.

Dress for the Job you Want

Another new avenue to explore with new jobs is the range of alternative aesthetics and gear. Much of the gear in the game is limited by what jobs it is associated with. Even with the addition of glamour, players can’t wear summoner robes as a paladin. Given the heavy roleplay aspect of the game, having your wardrobe be so limited can get tiresome. While there are some outfits that are wearable regardless of job, they are less frequent. It can also be jarring to wear armour all the time. It seems a bit out of place showing up to a casual get together in full armour. In fact, glamour is a major reason why many players enjoy Final Fantasy XIV so much.

Additionally, throughout your adventures, random loot drops will constantly give you gear you have no use for. It can be disheartening to complete a dungeon and only leave with gear that looks great, but can’t be worn. In many ways, levelling alt jobs in FFXIV makes all the rewards in the game more meaningful. Furthermore, glamour and building the perfect gearset can be extremely fun for many players. Increasing the amount of gearsets you can subsequently play with is thus another justification for pursuing more jobs.

Glamour is like its own minigame.

Glamour is like its own minigame.

Missed Content and Mastery

Another reason to explore alt jobs is that it gives players an excuse to slow down. This won’t be to everyone’s preference, as many will want to blitz through the story content. However, taking the time to level an alt affords players the opportunity to return to overlooked content. The various maps of Eorzea and beyond are littered with side content. From optional dungeons to simple side quests, much of it will be breezed past during the story. These activities, however, can be quite lucrative when in need of some exp for lower levelled jobs. Although they rarely afford exp equivalent to main story quests, they can be a helpful pursuit nonetheless.

Another important aspect of levelling alt jobs in FFXIV is the grind of daily roulettes. These match-making dungeons and raids afford the richest amount of exp, especially upon first completion each day. The reality of this is that players must be willing to endure seeing the same duties over and over again. While it can grow very tiring, especially for the Main Scenario Roulette, it will provide players with a sense of mastery.

The routinely practice of mechanics, positioning and rotations will make it harder for you to be caught off guard. It’s frustrating to return to an old dungeon you haven’t seen in a while, only to fumble the mechanics. Better yet, you can return to old favourites that are no longer lucrative dungeons to your main job.

You will know each roulette back to front by the end.

You will know each roulette back to front by the end.

The Choice is in Your Hands

In spite of all that has been said, it’s important to remember that the core experience doesn’t require multiple jobs. A player can experience every expansion only ever playing as one job, and that’s important. Forcefully imposing a level grind on players would make many quit, as its not fun for everyone. However, the fact that it gives you that choice is a rare luxury in such games. The freedom it provides to evolve or reinvent yourself without starting entirely from square one is extremely welcome. Its an example of how the game considers player engagement exceedingly well. This is without even including the various crafting jobs in the game.

If you constantly find yourself paired with tanks that run the dungeons at speeds you dislike, you can take matters into your own hands. If the DPS ques are exhausting you, things can be sped along by switching to tank or healer. The game allows players to approach each day with a different mood and a playstyle to match. While its unadvisable to level multiple jobs side by side, finding the right time to switch focuses can be very rewarding. So, in order to reap the most rewards, try levelling alt jobs in FFXIV.

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