WoW refugee to FFXIV

by X’Genesis Qhulut

18th October 2021


This is for World of Warcraft (WoW) “refugees” who want to try Final Fantasy 14 (FF14) but aren’t sure how all the mechanics work.

Contents (in alphabetic order)

Overall the designers seem to have done a fair bit to ease the transition from WoW to FF14. I have seen videos where the designers say how much they have admired WoW in the past.

The sections below are organised into sort-of importance order, rather than alphabetic order.

Classes / Professions

In (Classic) WoW, a character (toon) plays a single class. They can learn two main professions, and all three secondary professions (fishing, first-aid, cooking). In Retail WoW you can learn cooking, fishing, and archeology as secondary professions.

Learn all classes and all professions

In FF14 a single character can learn (or be) all classes. They can also learn all professions. These are called “jobs” in their terminology. You change jobs by simply re-equipping your main weapon. For example, if you equip a dagger you “become” a rogue, if you equip a skillet you “become” a cook. You must, however “learn” that job first by visiting the guild for that job.

This means you can make a character that can swap between being a healer/tank/dps at the click of a button, in the field with the exception of being in dungeons or in combat.

Gear sets

Since you are likely to need different gear for different roles they have a “gear set” concept which lets you switch all your gear from one set to another, effectively switching your class/profession at the same time. Press C to see your character information (same as in WoW):

An example of gear sets after playing for a while:

In this example my current gear is WVR (weaver). If I select a different one from the list and click “Equip Set” I change to that class/profession with all the relevant gear equipped. The number in brackets is the item level of the gear for that job (not the job level). You can see from the upper screenshot that my weaver is level 34 but item level 15.

A very handy feature, with all the different gear you might have, is to let the game choose the recommended gear for you job. Press C to see the character screen, and then click the Recommended Gear icon:

If you agree with the changes click Equip. Then on the the character screen click the “Save” icon to save that gear as the new gear set list.

You can make a keybind (hotkey) to show the gear sets window. Also you can drag those icons for each job onto a hotbar so you can just click it to change to another job.

Learning new jobs

You start by playing one of the “battle” classes. Once you reach level 10 in the Main Storyline (MSL) the ability to learn different jobs is unlocked. Reaching level 10 would only take a few hours, similar in concept to reaching level 5 in WoW to unlock the professions and level 10 to unlock talents.

What FF14 calls guilds really are where you go get your training (ie. class/profession trainers). What we call guilds in WoW are “Free Companies” — often abbreviated FC — in FF14. So if you see in chat people asking you to join their FC, they mean to join their guild. You can’t join a Free Company on the trial account.

Once you reach level 10 (in the Main Storyline — MSL) you can visit the guild masters (class trainers) in the major cities. First you talk to the receptionist to ask about the guild, then you agree to join it, then you go to see the guildmaster. They will give you the “main weapon” that you equip to switch to that “job” and a quest to prove your worth.

Class/profession quests

Every 5 levels (ie. 5/10/15/20 etc.) for a job you get another class/profession quest. These often unlock extra abilities. You might see in your spellbook an ability that unlocks at level 20 (say) but you can’t use it. That is because in addition to being that level you also need to finish the class quest for that guild. The action exists in the spellbook but hasn’t been unlocked yet.

Main scenario quests

On the top LH corner of the screen are two important quests: The main storyline (scenario) quest (MSQ or MSL), and the current class quest. Both are important to do, but it is up to you when you do them. The main storyline unlocks things in general, like mounts. The class quests unlock things like extra spells and abilities for that particular job (class/profession).

The Main Storyline requires you to be a certain level to proceed. However if you want to go to new places (like the other cities) then you also need to do the main storyline quest, even if you have levelled up your character by just killing mobs.

Doing the side quests is less important than in WoW — there are a lot of quests to do, and sticking to the main storyline and the class quests will be plenty to level you up.

Quests that unlock content

Keep an eye open for quest-givers with a “+” over their heads. These quests unlock new content. They don’t all have to be done as you find them, you might get side-tracked considerably if you do. However it could be worth looking them up on one of the guides or Google to see if the thing they are unlocking is something you would like to have.

Disciples of War, Magic, Land and Hand

There are four types of jobs:

Fighting classes (jobs)

In the above example I have started learning Gladiator, White Mage (which starts as Conjurer, similar to Priest in WoW), Rogue, Archer (similar to hunter in WoW), Thaumaturge (similar to Mage in WoW) and Arcanist (similar to Warlock in WoW).

The Disciple of War (DoW) and Disciple of Magic (DoM) are your “fighting” classes, which you would need to be switched into to do battle, go into an instance, and so on.

The number next to each class is the current level. The bar under the class is how far I have progressed through that level.

Some of the jobs listed are not available initially, they are unlocked as you progress through the storyline.

Gathering and crafting professions (jobs)

Here you can see I’ve levelled up Miner, Botanist (herbalist), Leatherworker and Fisher quite a bit. Culinarian (cook), Alchemist, and the others I’m still working on.

There doesn’t seem to be a Skinning equivalent — you get skins from mobs as you kill them anyway, and a leatherworker can turn the skins into leather. Also, enchanting here is called “melding” and any player can do that, once you do the appropriate side-quest.

See Gathering for more details about the gathering professions and Crafting for more details about the crafting professions.


In FF14 your level depends on your current “job”. So you could be level 30 as a Rogue, but level 40 as a leatherworker. These levels translate into work “in the field”. So if you level up your mining to level 50, you can stroll by mobs which are level 40+ without too many worries. In fact the gathering professions (DoL — that is: fishing, botany and mining) have a “Sneak” ability that you aquire early on that makes you invisible to mobs up to 4 levels higher than you. So, make a miner, level it up (takes only a few hours) and you can stroll past high level mobs.

Also, there are levels for the main storyline. Some of the things in the game (like mounts) unlock when you reach a main storyline level — not a level in a particular job. So if you want a mount, persue the main storyline, not necessarily a high level in your current class.

You can press P to see your Actions and Traits (spellbook). Next to each action will be a level which is the minimum level you need to be to use that (this applies if you have been synced due to going into a dungeon or participating in a FATE — Full Active Time Event).

Main Storyline (MSL)

The Main Storyline (otherwise known as the MSL) is what unlocks various things (like your mount) regardless of what class you choose to play.

The Main Story Quest (MSQ) level that you are at is not immediately obvious. You need to find the current MSQ quest in the quest log (press J) and locate it. Then check out the level shown on the quest description:

The MSL quests always have a flaming icon around them as shown above.

Below is a MSQ on the map that I have yet to do:

Below is a MSQ on the map that I have completed:

The icon over a MSL quest-giver waiting for quest hand-in:

The icon over a MSL quest-giver with a new quest:


You are “level synced” when you attempt something such as:

What this means is that quests are designed for a certain level range. If you have levelled your character up too high for that (eg. too high for a dungeon) then your level is automatically reduced to within the appropriate range. This means that some spells and abilities may no longer be available during this activity. For example:

Here you can see that the “Cure II” spell is a level 30 spell. So if my character gets synced to level 25 that spell will become unavailable.

For world quests (FATEs) you will see a button on the RH side of the screen offering to let you sync your level. If you choose not to click it, then you can’t participate in that FATE.

In the above example I would be synced down to level 31 if I wanted to participate, losing access to level 32+ actions (until the FATE ended).

Going into a dunegon unsynced

You can however go into dungeons with a high-level class (job) and not be synced. In other words, you can run through a low-level dungeon with your level 70 toon if you want to. For example, you might take a friend through who needs to complete that dungeon in the MSL.

To do this, go into the Duty Finder Settings (cog in the top LH corner of the Duty Finder):

Then enable Undersized Party:

Now you can go in solo or with your current party. As the screenshot shows, you do not get XP or drops from the bosses. However you do still get chests in the instance (if the instance has chests). I found, for example, that doing The Aurum Vale (a level 47 dungeon) with my level 71 Bard, I was able to do the dungeon in 7 minutes, and got the following drops:

Now the 8 items of armour above (and Vega — an (iLvl 49) Astrologian’s Arm) can be sold to the Grand Company Personnel Officer for 282 Company Seals each. So, this roughly seven-minute run would net 2,538 Company Seals. With that you could buy 12 Ventures from the Grand Company Quartermaster (adjacent) which would let you send off 6 or so Retainer Venture missions.


There are a whole lot of different sorts of quests you can do:

As a general rule I would concentrate on the main scenario quests and the class quests (they are on the top LH corner of the screen for a reason) but if you don’t there is no big deal, except you may not get abilities and access to content (like the other cities) until you do.

Press J to see your current list of quests (J for quest Journal).

Main storyline quests

(Offsite links)

Quest icons

Common quest icons over quest-givers’ heads are:



The major towns (and cities) have a whopping big Aethernet thing in them:

These are like flight points in WoW. You need to click on them to register them (make sure you do!) — they are large and visible from quite a distance. Once you do you can teleport to any of them from anywhere (unlike WoW) which is handy. You can be in the field, finish a quest, and then just teleport back to one of those Aethernet points (they cost a bit to use, though). You can register one as your “home” point in which case travel to it is free.

In addition, in the major cities, there are “shards” of Aethernet which let you teleport around the city. This is a bit time-saver (there is no equivalent in WoW). Again you need to RH-click on them to register them, after which you can teleport around to any other one.

You can find the shard locations on the map (press M):

Once you unlock (click on) all the shards in a city, you gain access to a few more points, like the main Aethernet plaza in the city, plus a few entrances and the airship landing. Also the main Aethernet plaza can let you teleport directly to one of the shards in the city.

If you register an authenticator with your account you get access to a free teleport. So if you have a favourite city or place, you can make that a free teleport, saving you money.

Chocobo porters

Many towns will have a Chocobo porter in them (chocobos are like large chickens). If you see them with a “!” over their head click on them to register them. After that you can purchase, fairly cheaply, a ride to another chocobo in another town in that zone that you have registered already. This is a quick way of getting from A to B before you get your mount, and less expensive than teleporting. Chocobo porters are available from level 10 onwards.

Your first mount

At about level 15 in the main scenario quest you get a quest to get your own chocobo. The big advantage of those, apart from the speed boost, is that they have a saddlebag which gives you extra inventory space. Press Ctrl+Shift+I to see its inventory. You can drag and drop items to and from its inventory. Its inventory is not available inside dungeons.

At about the same time there is a quest “My Feisty Chocobo” which lets you turn your mount into a pet which fights for you (outside instances).

These can be summoned by “using” Gysahl Greens, a plant which you can purchase from a vendor in various places, eg. Bentbranch Meadows.

Flying mount

To unlock flying you need to finish the main storyline (MSL) for A Realm Reborn (ARR) — a level 50 storyline quest sequence — finishing at the end of the quest The Ultimate Weapon. This is at the completion of the raid “The Praetorium”.

You can then summon your chocobo, jump, and you are flying! Flying is unlocked for La Noscea, Thanalan, the Black Shroud, Coerthas central highlands, and Mor Dhona. Unlike WoW there was no cost to obtain flying.


There are airship ports in the major cities. Unlike WoW, you have to unlock access to them by progressing the main storyline (around level 15). These are required initially to get to cities which are further away. Once you are there you can register at the main Aetherite and then you don’t need to use the airship again.


Combat is similar to WoW, once you get used to the 2.5s global cooldown. :)

Emnity bar

Once you are in combat, you will see one or more bars showing which mobs you are in combat with (possibly you are neither targetting them nor are they necessarily targetting you).

This tells you quite a few things:

Waymarks and signs

Under your spell-book dialog (press P to see) -> Main Commands section you can see actions to set waymarks and signs (drag them onto a hotbar somewhere).


A waymark places a marker on the ground (similar to retail WoW). The group leader might put it there and say “stand here” or “stay away from there”.

A waymark can be removed by clicking it again. Active waymarks will be shown with a tick as shown above.

Waymarks may be saved by using the disclosure (V-shaped) symbol. This might be useful if you do the same raid every day and want to place the same markers every time. Note that they cannot be placed in combat, except during PvP.


A sign can be used to mark a mob or player.

You might say “tank attack #1, off-tank attack #2” for example. You can remove a sign by clicking it again on the same target.

The individual waymark and sign actions can be also placed on the hotbar, or you can place the dialog with the group of them on the hotbar.

Limit break

During a dungeon you may notice a “limit break” bar filling up:

Once it fills up it is active:

Now any player can use the limit break to carry out an extra-powerful action.

You can get up to three limit breaks (at once — there are three bars side-by-side), with the extra ones being even more powerful. Note that two limit breaks only apply to 8-party groups, and three limit breaks only apply under certain circumstances like the final boss.

The limit break action can be dragged from the spell-book dialog to a hotbar. For example, a level 3 limit break performed by a white mage will do a mass resurrection and restore 100% of HP for nearby party members, which might save a wipe. There is extensive documentation here (offsite).

Since limit breaks are shared between the entire group you should negotiate with your party members about who should use them.

Auction house {#auction_house} (Market Board)

FF14 has an auction house similar in many ways to the WoW one. However:

Map and position on the map

The map can be opened with M (same as WoW). It can be resized by dragging the resize icon. You can zoom in and out with the mouse-wheel. On the top-left you can choose which zone to look at, and which sub-zone. The current location of the mouse is shown in the top RH corner, so if you find the location of some mob via Google, you can then mouse-over the map to see where that is on the map.

Shown above are also a couple of completed quests (circled in red) and a couple of chocobo porter locations (circled in green). You can also see an Aetherite Plaza (circled in blue). If you see one of those on the map you can go there just by clicking on it (if you have already discovered it).

If you can’t see the Aetherite plazas clearly hold down Ctrl which will bring them to the front.

The adjoining zones (eg. Central Thanalan) are hyperlinks. If you click on them then the map refreshes to show that zone. There is a small arrow on the left side (circled in yellow) which will take you to the “owner” zone (next level up).

Your current location is shown just under the minimap on the top RH corner of the screen:

Sharing map positions

With the map open, Ctrl+RH-click to put a flag on the map at that location. Also the word <flag> appears in the chat window, which is the location of the flag. So you could chat with a friend “The vendor is at” then Ctrl+RH-click, and it puts a link into the chat which they can click on to get a copy of the flag. Once the flag is on your map you can also just type <flag> into chat to have the flag location inserted into chat as a hyperlink. It also appears on your minimap which can make running/flying towards it easier.

Similarly you can type “I am at <pos>” as it puts your current position into chat.

You can also insert <t> which will be the name of your target. So perhaps you want to tell somewhere where some mob is (near to you), you could type:

<t> is at <pos>

Converting distances to map coordinates

A bit of trial-and-error appears to show that 50 yalms are 1 unit on the map. So, for example, if you see that a certain item you are looking for (like an aether current, or a mining node) is 100 yalms to the south, then you can look at your coordinates (under the mini-map) and then add 2 to the Y coordinate to see where the item is, approximately. Similarly if it was north you would subtract 2. If it was east of you would add 2 to the Y coordinate, and if it was west you would subtract 2 from the Y coordinate. It could be helpful to Ctrl+RH-click on the map to plant a flag at the calculated position, to guide you in finding it.

Tip for locating mobs

To do?


Vendors work much the same as in WoW, except that they have their wares organised by category. For example:

You can sell to vendors, and there is a buyback tab, similar to WoW.

Inventory management / meaning of icons

You can see your inventory by pressing I. You can see your armory (stuff you can wear) by pressing Ctrl+I. You can see your chocobo’s inventory (saddlebag) by pressing Ctrl+Shift+I.

In your inventories the icons have various added symbols in the corners with the following meanings:

In addition to that graphic, if the top RH corner has a “+” rather than a circle, that means the item has had glamour applied to it.

Also on the bottom RH corner of the screen is a “mini-inventory” which shows at a glance how many free slots you have:

The left two columns are what you have equipped, the other four groups are the tabs in your inventory.

The colour meanings are:

Searching for items

If you want to search for an item you can type into the chat box “/isearch (item)”, for example “/isearch hemp”:

You can then click on the item you want and do “Search for item”:

In the example here I found one normal, and zero HQ items:

Getting larger bags

As far as I can see, you can’t get larger bags. You can however employ a lot of retainers (2 free, plus up to 7 more for an addition to your monthly subscription). See Inventory Management for more details. However the large number of slots mentioned above would seem to generously cover the largest inventory you might have had on WoW.


There are no banks, the retainers are effectively your bank.


What WoW calls guilds FF14 calls “Free Companies” — abbreviated in chat to FC. You cannot join one on a trial account. You get the benefit of “guild chat” plus some perks, like a FC home. They may also have a FC chest, into which members of the FC can deposit (and possibly withdraw) items. The FC will have rules for which parts of the chest players can withdraw from (usually the first two slots in the chest). You would find these chests in the major cities, and the FC home.

Daily quests


You can chat by hitting <enter> or pressing “/”, same as in WoW. There are three main chat panes, by default:

You can RH click on the buttons at the bottom and hide the chat window, if you want.

To change the default place you are talking to click on the chat icon to the left of the input box:

In my example above my default was to chat to the guild (Free Company), but on entering a dungeon I would change it to Party chat.

There is a list of commands that can be used in the chat interface.

A handy one is “/r” to reply to a tell sent to you. Another one is “/instance” which tells you what instance you are currently in. Sometimes rooms (particularly if you have to click on the door to enter) are instanced, as part of the storyline.

Also try “/playtime” which is the equivalent of “/played” in WoW.

You can set up private chat rooms — more information here for example.

You can add a new chat pane for custom chats by clicking the “+” to the right of the chat buttons:

I named mine “FC” for the Free Company (guild) chats.

Then click the gear icon next to the “+” to open chat log configuration.

In my case I activated Free Company (only) to make it only show the Free Company chat log.

Dungeons / Party finder

There is a party-finder similar to the one in retail WoW. Press U to see it (called the Duty Finder). Once you have unlocked a dungeon (by progressing the main storyline) it will appear there. You can select an instance and click Join to find a group.

My personal experience as a healer has been that there have been virtually no wait times at lower levels, and something around 5 minutes for higher levels or raids. Playing as DPS the times were more like 10 top 12 minutes. Once the group is formed you will then be teleported into the instance. There may be a cutscene to watch. You can press Esc to dismiss it, however the cutscenes can provide story exposition. Don’t worry about the group, they are held in a “holding bay” until everyone has finished watching the cutscene. You may dismiss the cutscene, and then see “Viewing Cutscene” over the names of other party members.

The entire group gets a bonus if someone in the group is there for the first time, so don’t feel too guilty about watching the cutscenes. The group gets compensated by the bonus.

You don’t get to choose your role in dungeons … the game knows which role is which (Tank/Healer/DPS). Groups for the lower-level dungeons are four rather than five. You come across chests and click on them to choose loot and need/greed, similar to WoW.

When entering the dungeon try switching your default chat to Party, as descibed in the Chatting section. Also it might help to quickly announce that you are new to the dungeon. So far I have found people have been friendly, even after things, ah, didn’t go quite as well as they might have.

At the end of the instance there will be an Exit to click on to leave. You can also give commendations to other party members (if they don’t jump the gun and leave before you get the chance). Look for a button the the bottom RH corner for that. With luck you will also get a commendation (maybe not, if you wipe the group). :)

If the group wipes, look for a “Shortcut” graphic next to the entrance. That will teleport you at least part of the way towards where you wiped. Also be aware that the boss fights seem to be gated, so that you need to cross the glowing gate before the gate shuts. I suppose that is to keep the boss fight in one place and not have you running off down the nearest hallway. The gate has about a 15 second timeout. If you aren’t inside the boss area by the time the fight starts you are offered to be teleported into it.

If you die in a boss fight you can resurrect (which will place you back at the start of the instance) however you will not be able to run back and re-join the boss fight. In a boss fight you are best off just waiting to see if the healer can raise (resurrect) you. They may not have enough mana to do so, so don’t scream at them if they don’t.

Outside a boss fight you can resurrect and run back. Or wait for the fight to end and have the healer raise you.

Consider checking out video guides to see what the boss mechanics are before going into an instance. You may find yourself with other players who also don’t know what to do. :)

Group sizes

There are three main group sizes (that I have seen so far):

The raids have 3 sets of chests/rewards (labelled A/B/C) so you loot from the appropriate one. Also the mechanics may involve staying with your group and possibly going to a different part of the dungeon or standing on a different platform to the other groups.


Some instances are called “trials”, which are basically just the boss fight, usually in a circular arena. If it isn’t a trial you will usually do the usual stuff, kill trash mobs, get loot, kill a few mini-bosses and then reach the final boss.

Dificulty levels

Trials come in various increasing difficulty levels. First you start with normal difficulty which just the trial without a difficulty noted. Next you get (Hard) and then (Extreme).

Extreme difficulty trials are intended for coordinated groups (eg. players who know each other and perhaps are using voice chat) rather than random groups who are unaware of each others’ abilities and perhaps the game mechanics.

Raids come in Normal and Savage difficulty.


See the section about Travel. You can get a chocobo mount when you reach level 15 in the MSL (Main Storyline). You can also get other mounts (look for a whistle that might drop). Regardless of which mount you actually ride you will have access to your chocobo saddlebag.

Some mounts will drop from high-level raids, and you can buy them from the shop for real money.

Enchanting (melding)

The equivalent to Enchanting in WoW is Melding. Any player can do this. First you need some “Materia” (stuff from disenchanting something).

Disenchanting (extracting materia)

This comes from finding an item that you are wearing with “100% spiritbond”. This is a bond between you and your gear that happens after you have worn it for a while. Taking damage, dealing damage, and crafting/gathering increase the spiritbond amount.

Also see Desynthesis (below).

You can tell if you have such an item by looking at the inventory miniwindow and looking for a white dot. The location of that dot tells you which equipped item to look at.

Then you RH-click on that item and “Extract Materia”:

In this particular case I extracted “Quicktongue Materia III”:

Importantly, unlike WoW, the item is not destroyed by extracting materia. You can keep wearing it and let its spiritbond build up again.

Enchanting (melding)

With materia in my inventory I can now meld (enchant) other gear with it. I can either do that myself if I have done the melding side-quest and have a high-enough DoH level, find a melder in the main cities, or get another player to do it. Asking for a meld brings up this dialog box:

You can see that I can now add “Spell Speed +6” to any item that has a free materia slot.

A nice thing about this is you can do this yourself, or via the NPC. You don’t have to find a player who is prepared to do enchanting for you. Another nice feature is that you can retrieve the materia and use it again (perhaps before vendoring the item).

You can buy and sell materia on the auction house.


You can also “overmeld” which lets you attach materia to an item which doesn’t have a materia slot, or if they are all already full. However there is a chance that the overmelding will fail.


Another thing you can do with items (including food) is to “desynthesise them”. This is a bit like disenchanting in WoW, except that you get back some random things, likely to be the stuff you made the item with (like wood, crystals).

This is learned by DoH (Disciples of the Hand) jobs at level 30. Similar to WoW, you obtain levels of expertise at Desynthesis which improves as you do more of it.

Once you have learned the skill you can RH-click on an item and desynthesise it, or use the desynthesise “spell” in your spell book.

If you click on a job in your character view (press C and select the Classes/Jobs tab) you can see your desynthesis skill level.

If your skill level is high enough your are likely to get better quality (or rarer) items back from the desynthesis.

World quests (FATEs)

When you are out and about questing, you will often come across “FATEs” which are world quests that anyone can join. FATE stands for Full Active Time Event. They are visible on the zone map:

If you mouse-over them you can see what level they are and how long they have to run. If you are too high level for them you can choose to Sync to have your level reduced for the duration of the FATE.

FATEs offer XP rewards, and also Grand Company seals.

Grand Companies

When you reach around level 20 in the MSL you can join a Grand Company. There is a fairly time-consuming quest where you visit all three major (starting) cities and have each Grand Company explain to you why you should join them. Then you choose one.

Grand Companies have quests which reward you with Company Seals, a form of currency. (Press Ctrl+C to see your current currency stash). The Seals can be exchanged for “Ventures” which are needed to send your retainers out on missions.

You can do Grand Company Levequests which are daily quests. You can also do “provisioning” for the Grand Company, where they ask for specific items to be given to them, which they exchange for Company Seals. These items can be bought on the auction house, or you can make them with your crafting/gathering professions.

To see what the Grand Company requires in terms of provisioning, press Ctrl+U to see your timers and then look at your Next Mission Allowance:

You can gain rank in the company by buying the rank with Company Seals, and also complete Grand Company Hunting log missions. Once you are higher in rank you can also gain Company Seals by giving excess gear to the company personnel officer (see the Expert Delivery tab).

Global cooldown / ticks

There is a global cooldown (GCD) of 2.5 seconds (which can be reduced slightly by attributes). This stops you casting another spell until after 2.5s regardless of the cast time for this spell (eg. even if it is instant). However some spells or abilities are “off” global cooldown, which means they act independently of the global cooldown. These are known as oGCD (Off Global CoolDown) spells. The technique of interspersing the oGCD spells with the GCD spells may be referred to as “weaving” as you are weaving the oGCD spells between the GCD ones.

To put it another way, the oGCD abilities:

By “almost immediaely” I refer to an “animation lockout” which all spells have, which stops you doing anything else until the (brief) animation is done.

Generally speaking things listed as “Abilities” are oGCD (off the GCD) and things listed as weapon skills or spells are on the GCD.

What we call a cooldown for a spell in WoW is called a “Recast time” in FF14. For example:

In the example above the spell “Fluid Aura” is instant cast, but has a cooldown of 30 seconds. However since it is an ability, and off the global cooldown, in this particular case I could cast another spell immediately afterwards (and not have to wait 2.5 seconds for the GCD to elapse).

Server ticks

Heal Over Time (HoT) and Damage Over Time (DoT) spells take effect every 3 seconds. The 3 second interval (“server tick”) is fixed by the server — that is, the effect might happen almost immediately (if you cast the spell just before the server tick) or it might take up to 3 seconds to take effect.

Health and mana regeneration

Apparently health and mana both regenerate at 2% of your capacity at every “server tick” — that is every 3 seconds — in combat, and at a much faster rate out of combat (10% per server tick for health and 6% for mana — so you recover all your health in 30 seconds out of combat, and all your mana after 50 seconds out of combat). Also, unlike WoW, mana regenerates during combat, so there is no point in waiting before casting another spell to let your mana regenerate (unless you have other reasons to wait, of course).

Target locking

If you physically attack a target with a melee attack, then you “lock” onto the target, indicated by an icon, see below circled in blue.

When locked, if you attempt to move it will be relative to the target, for example strafing left or right will run around the target. This is very helpful if you want to get behind the target because of an incoming AoE attack, or if you want to strike them from behind or the side. To cancel the target lock press Esc.

BTW, if you want to try hitting target dummies, you can reset your fight with them by RH-clicking on their health bar and choosing “Reset Striking Dummy Emnity”.

Spells, roles, traits and attributes

Action vs Role

A class “action” is something this particular class (job) can do. However a “role” is something that every “type” of class can do. For example, if a role is learned by a tank, and then you level up another tanking class, it will automatically know that role. Ditto for healing and DPS roles.


Traits are what you would call “passive spells” in WoW. That is, they are active all the time.

Spell potency

Note that the “potency” shown on the tooltip is not the amount of damage the spell delivers. It is a percentage, so 100 potency means the spell applies 100% of damage/healing. A 200 potency spell therefore delivers twice the damage/healing (whatever that is exactly †).

to be honest I haven’t worked out how to calculate that except to observe the figures during battle


Hover your mouse over the attributes in the character window to see what they do. As a tip for magic classes (DoM) it appears that Intelligence is better for DPS, and Mind is better for healers.


In FF14 falling a long distance doesn’t kill you (as it does in WoW) — you just land with 1 HP. So a big jump is OK, as long as you don’t afterwards get into a fight. You need time to heal up first.

However if you are in combat then you will die if you fall a long way. A big jump is OK if you are not in combat, and don’t get into combat when you land.


The starting cities are:

Your choice of starting “job” will determine which city you start in.

Because of the distribution of guilds, you initially will be limited to learning gathering/crafting in the city of your starting “battle” class. Once you unlock the airship travel to other cities then you can pick up all the other professions easily enough.

Main window (Heads Up Display or HUD)

You can customise the layout of the main window by pressing Esc to bring up the System Menu (if no other dialogs are open):

Then select “HUD Layout”:

You can now drag the individual items around (there is no equivalent to this in WoW unless you install add-ons).

If you select an individual item you can make it larger — so you might make the enemy list larger, for example:

You can change the key bindings, very similar to WoW:

You can also increase the number of hotbars to 10, more than you can in WoW without installing add-ons. Press K to open the character configuration screen and choose the hotbars tab:

Another useful feature, considering the number of jobs you can do, is the ability to share hotbars. A shared one will be the same for all jobs. That is useful for something you want to do at all times, like call up your chocobo:

Area of effect — tips

When a mob is casting an AoE (Area of Effect) spell the game draws a rather obvious “effect area” on the ground. To avoid the spell you just need to step out of the marked area before the spell cast ends (highlighted in blue). The graphic shown when the spell is finalised may look as if it hits you, but you are safe if you are outside the area. Strafing left or right can often be a quick way to avoid an AoE spell. Sometimes they are rectangles, sometimes cones, and sometimes circles.


You can hire retainers when you reach level 17 on the MSL. You cannot hire retainers on the free trial. Retainers can do a number of things for you:

You get two retainers for free (as part of your subscription) with another seven available if you pay extra per month — around $US 2.80 a month. The extra storage space may well make you choose to get a couple of them, for a fairly modest fee.

When you make a retainer you go through the same character customisation screen that you did for your main character. You also get to name them — be warned that the name you give will appear on auction house listings — and choose a job as well. You can also equip them with gear, which increases their success when they go out on ventures.

There are Summoning Bells for your retainers at inns and also at the hawker/market places in the major cities.

It’s a little tedious going through three or four retainers to get mats for crafting, so it might be worthwhile to have a system for how you store things with them (eg. one for mining materials, one for gathering, and so on). It could be worthwhile to name your retainers in a way that reflects their purpose (eg. Mike Miner, Gabby Gatherer). You can rename your retainers if you buy a Retainer Fantasia potion from the Market Board, although when I looked they weren’t cheap (around 20,000 gil). Save yourself some gil by giving them a logical name when you first hire them.


If you die, you are teleported to your registered home location (your home Aetherite plaza). Unlike WoW you don’t have to run back and collect your corpse. However if you registered your home as a long way from where you died then you will have to teleport back, and then run back to where you were (assuming you want to go back).

Gathering, crafting, dyeing and glamour

See my separate pages on Gathering, Crafting, Dyeing and Glamour.


The game places a green “sprout” over your head as a signal to other players that you are new and to make allowances, particularly in dungeons. There is a way of getting rid of that but I won’t tell you how, because:

When you’re ready to remove it … you won’t need to ask how to do it.


The major cities have inns. You speak to the innkeeper to retire to your private room. In there you can:


Time (Eorzea time)

The time in Eorzea passes much faster than real time. Some quests ask you to be at a certain place at a certain time. Do not worry if that time seems to be hours away. First you can see what the current Eorzea time is by clicking the “time” icon above the minimap:

It cycles between LT (local time), ST (server time) and ET (Eorzea time).

An hour in Eorzea time passes in 2m 55s (close enough to 3 minutes). Therefore if you need to be somewhere 5 hours away in Eorzea time, it will really be roughly 5 × 3 = 15 minutes in real time.

A day in Eorzea passes every 70 minutes in real time.


Mail is handled by “Delivery Moogles” which hang around in the major cities, and some other towns.

Some locations, not exhaustive.

Zone Sub zone X Y Notes
The Black Shroud Old Gridania 10.1 8.2 North of Mih Khetto’s Ampitheatre
The Black Shroud Central Shroud 21.6 22.4 Bentbranch Meadows
The Black Shroud North Shroud 20.8 26.3 Fallgourd Float
The Black Shroud North Shroud 28.7 20.1 Hyrstmill
The Black Shroud East Shroud 17.0 27.3 The Hawthorne Hut
The Black Shroud South Shroud 25.4 20.4 Quarrymill
Thanalan Ul’dah - Steps of Nald 10.7 9.9 Ruby Road Exchange, Southeast of the Aetherite (next to the Adventurers’ Guild)
La Noscea Limsa Lominsa Upper Decks 11.6 14.4 South of the Aftcastle
La Noscea Lower La Noscea 25.2 34.6 Moraby Drydocks
La Noscea Lower La Noscea 31.3 20.0 Red Rooster Stead
Dravania The Dravanian Forelands 32.8 23.6 Tailfeather
Dravania Idyllshire 6.3 6.5 Southwest of the Aetherite Plaza
Coerthas The Pillars 10.2 12.1 Ishgard, Southwest of The Last Vigil
Ablathia’s Spine The Sea of Clouds 10.4 33.2 Camp Cloudtop

If not mentioned in the notes, look adjacent to the Aetherite pillar for them (where applicable).

You can see them on the map and minimap with a “letter” icon. You cannot send mail to yourself or your alts.


You may hear people asking you if you “have reached Heavensward yet”. This is referring to an expansion which is unlocked when you complete the Main Scenario Quest “Before the Dawn” which is at the end of a lengthy series of MSL quests. This involves doing quite a few dungeons, including a few 24-main raids. Most are in the main storyline, and you also need to complete most of the Crystal Tower quests which involve another three 24-man raids (up to “The Light of Hope”).

The city of Ishgard (another major city) is unlocked when you complete those and have the quest “Coming to Ishgard” active. Like other cities Ishgard has an inn, retainer vocates, a market place, and also more job trainers (Astrologian and Machinist).


Whilst you can make alts at the character creation screen, their usefulness is somewhat limited compared to WoW. You can’t send mail to your alts, so you can’t really directly help them with your main. Of course, the need to make alts is somewhat less than WoW because you can have your main character play any class, once you reach level 10.

Possible ways of helping alts are via a trusted third party (someone in your Free Company for example), or having your alt join the same FC, put something in the FC vault with your main and then have your alt remove it. Another technique would be for the alt to sell something useless on the Market Board for a high price, and for the main to buy it (bear in mind the Market Board tax, which will eat into that a bit).

About me

I am an ex-WoW player (played since “Vanilla” WoW was released in 2005) and have played all the expansions, all classes, and all races. I have done a lot of the earlier dungeons but I am not a raider. These pages are designed to help new players learn about the differences between WoW and FF14, which in many cases are just a difference in terminology.

I am new to FF14 — I had only played for about a month when I started writing this. I wrote it because it was fresh in my mind about the differences between WoW and FF14. I hope to help other players in the same boat — players who want to try something new.

Official sites

References, guides and information

Main Scenario Quests

YouTube videos


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