I played my first proper session of Final Fantasy 14 for some weeks two nights ago and it was good to be back in the chocobo saddle once more. My character is closing in on level 30 conjurer now, at which point I’ll be able to take my first advanced job of white mage – something to look forward to!
The exploration theme I’d felt before in the La Noscea zones applies equally to the forests of the Shroud zones – it’s not as in your face as say the vistas in Guild Wars 2, but there are occasional quests that expect some jumping or hunting for a hidden path to access the objectives.
As well as doing some quests I’m also aware of the FATE public quests around me. They are generally fun to take part in and most seem to attract other players with regularity so it’s a chance to get some practice at mixing damage dealing with healing in a group context.
One particular FATE, called Breaching the Hive, led to my character dying twice in quick succession. It was mostly down to the suicidal tactics of another player who seemed oblivious to the idea of carefully pulling dense enemies back to avoid us being overwhelmed (it was only two of us trying the FATE at this point). That’s more a problem of design for this specific FATE than any wider issues with the system.
Generally I enjoy FATEs a lot and mix them in with questing if they start nearby. I’m also doing the odd guildleve as well since it’s bonus content based near the quest hub that gives me money and experience. I’ve read about “FATE grinding” as an alternative to quests when leveling other combat classes so I’m sure I’ll they’ll play a role for future leveling goals as well, but for now I just consider them as an unexpected little adventure that happens to along my path.