Junction This article is a personal guide. Information expressed in this guide is one player's opinion and may be more opinion than fact. Strategies and information contained herein may not work for everyone.

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Why would I want to solo? There are a lot of reasons; time constraints, no one you know available to party, farming, weapons trials, antisocial personality disorder, it’s Tuesday, whatever. The question isn’t why to solo, you have your reasons, and you’ve paid your fee, that’s enough. The real question is “what do I want to accomplish solo?” As the answer to that question dictates everything you will do it’s kind of important.

The purpose of this guide is to cover soloing considerations in a general manner. I attempt to lay out the concerns you should address before you attempt to do whatever you plan to do. It is my hope that this guide and the guidelines I venture will allow you to plan a successful soloing strategy at any point from level 1 before you have earned a subjob all the way to the player who is currently level 99 in all 20 jobs. This is why I do NOT make a specific list of "at level 45 as a ninja you should be in Lufaise killing giants" as an example; you may not even want to solo for XP but for crafting materials or skill-ups or something else entirely. Read guides off an individual job's page here on Wiki if you want advice that is that specific; read this guide (or another, I'm not the jealous type) if you want to decide on your own how to solo whatever for your chosen goal.

Two (or more) birds with one stone

Soloing is an inefficient activity. NOTE: INEFFICIENT OR NOT, SOLOING ACCOMPLISHES MORE THAN STANDING STILL LOOKING FOR A PARTY. To make up for this, I always try to accomplish more than one task when I solo. For example:

  • a. I’m after gil but don’t have a lot of inventory space and I also want XP; target level appropriate beastmen that check preferably EP- to EM only, preferably in an out of the way place. This will minimize competition for mobs (always important), beastmen drops tend to be R/EX or stackable, if crystals are available you can get conquest points as well, but if your inventory is full try to fight in a beastman controlled area to prevent crystal drops. The Enemy con choice is deliberate; if I need gil I would rather NOT have to use consumables and you don't generally need them against EM and lower.
  • b. I need 800 AoE Weapon Skills on X mob for trial weapon; go to an area where they spawn EP- to EM and find a camp you can safely pull to without fear of linking or hitting a 2nd mob with your AoE, bring lots of inventory space so you can sell drops from your prey. For a trial to count you must be able to get XP from your prey, if you are lagging on skill this should help so target the hardest mob you can handle and if you have to be there you might as well come away with some gil so have the inventory space to hold whatever drops. Whenever possible if you have Dual Wield and are working 2 trials try to take advantage of any overlaps in your trials.
  • c. I need to farm some “whatever” to sell/craft/satisfy a debt to Guido the Killer Pimp, etc. Farming is tricky and will be dealt with in its own section below.
  • d. I need to skill-up my X offensive skill; depending on the skill gap you are beginning with you may want to go to more than one camp-a massive skill gap can be satisfied easier by speed killing and you don’t need to get much XP until the skill gap narrows. Once it does narrow you need to find a camp that spawns lots of at least DC but preferably EM, maybe even T if you can handle them so you can reach cap. Either way, bring inventory space to make a little cash to off-set the food expense
  • e. XP/Merits-Lots of ways to go here. The best is always the party. That being said, options for soloists abound. FoV and its big brother GoV takes the already doubled XP outside Aby and puts it on steroids. Campaign and Beseiged, once you reach levels that can contribute have extremely high XP every battle and the added advantage of no XP loss if you die. Abyssea, assuming you have gotten your atmas/abyssites can be very good as well, assuming you are able to build and exploit the lights. Of course, almost all other soloing activities can give XP while you do something else, as long as you keep the prey above the “Too Weak” level. See below for some more specific information.

As you can see, planning is VERY important to efficient soloing. Time is always a factor and there are many things you need to do to keep yourself going in the game at peak level.

Tools of the soloing trade

Soloing requires you to do it all. Every role that needs to be performed in a party you will have to do yourself so you need to be prepared with both gear and a proper attitude. Must-haves include:

  • a. Healing. Unless your main job is capable of keeping you alive you will need to find another means, either through your sub-job, your NPC fellow (which will limit your time), Trust NPCs, bloody bolts, pixies (not very reliable), Regen Atmas or simply being resigned to downtime. Casters don’t forget your echo drops
  • b. Stealth. You have to be able to get to your camp safely and that means oils and powders or magic, ninjitsu, jigs, whatever. Plan for it.
  • c. Know your enemy. Note that I said enemy, not prey. The greatest camp in the world can be useless if there’s an impassable wall of True Sight agro mobs in the way. Once you get to your camp, you still need to know what your prey can do and plan accordingly, i.e. don’t wear a bomb queen ring if you are fighting enemies that spam allot of fire, undead are immune to drain, etc.
  • d. Have an exit strategy. With the cost of Instant Warp scrolls being so low now this isn’t as much of an issue, but I’m not just speaking of when you’re done. Sometimes you bite off more than you can chew for whatever reason and your choices are usually run or die. It’s too late to be looking for a safe, quick path to a zone line or river to lose agro then, so know it in advance
  • e. Distance pulling. Necessary in almost every situation is a means of pulling your prey from a distance. The preferred method is almost always a ranged weapon, but magic and job abilities have their place too, depending on prey. You don’t want your cycle broken because you have to wait for the Recast Timer on Chi Blast after every kill. It sucks to get all the way to a difficult to reach camp only to realize you left your crossbow in your mog locker.
  • f. Inventory space. Ok, I know this seems like a stupid thing, but if you are out to farm you need it, and in the field you only have 3 options, transfer stuff to your satchel/sack if you have the room, throw it away or head back to town to sell/send to mule. MUCH better to take care of it before you go, no? This is especially important when doing GoV as you lose your accumulated Prowesses whenever you zone. See the Pack Rat section for further discussion.
  • g. Gear/food. If you are using weapons with consumable ammo, make sure you have enough. If you will need food for whatever reason make sure you have enough of that. If you plan to craft drops on site make sure you have sufficient materials and crystals to do it. If you plan to level and new gear will be usable you may want that within reach, or your next spell scroll.
  • h. Signet. Ok, this is just a fundamental “don’t leave home without it”. That being said, we all do forget it. If you want to hold on to your TP, heal your HP/MP in a reasonable amount of time, get the points you are entitled to, crystals, XP bonuses and possibly buffs get signet, sanction, sigil-whatever works in your camp. Getting a Signet Staff and keeping it in your satchel/sack at your earliest opportunity is advised.
  • i. Kupower. Not a must have so much as a “don’t miss an opportunity” thing. In other words, if Martial Master is up it’s a good time to skill-up, Treasure Hound/Artisan’s Advantage work well with farming, etc. Useless in Campaign, ToAU or Abyssea
  • j. Smoke ‘em if u got ‘em. XP rings should be used any chance you get, every little bit helps. Do not use ring if waiting for an Abyssea invite or planning to Beseiged or Campaign battle, you are wasting a charge.
  • k. Know your limitations. AKA know your job, this means that soloing is NOT the time to over (or under)estimate yourself. I don’t just mean the capability of your jobs, but your own skill as a player too. If you can’t be trusted to get a cure off in a timely manner you may need to rethink everything, etc. By the same token, if you’re killing everything in 5 minutes but there is a 16 minute re-pop timer you may want to move to either a harder or a more plentiful camp.
  • l. Death and Dismemberment Policy. This game is ultimately based on a random number generator that operates within a set pattern of restraints (the rules of the game) and no matter how well you plan or play eventually the game will eat your face. The important thing is how you choose to deal with it. Is it worth it to use a Reraise Item considering the expense? If you are using an Instant Reraise scroll (7 points) do you need to go back to town when it is gone (you can only carry one)? Is Fields of Valor Reraise available? Is it better to simply Home Point and run back out (taking into account a possible inventory dump/resupply run)?
  • m. Check your macros! A biggie that will help your efficiency-solo or group-is to get your macros organized, under control and to the point where they are second nature, simply because it improves your reaction speed, but only if the commands are appropriate. Example, normally you will want an <stnpc> on a sleep macro or something else, but fighting prey that can charm you will want to be able to hit your charmed players, meaning an <st> is more appropriate then. Don't forget to put your macros back to normal after a level sync. For that matter, make sure you have the right set cued up. I've embarrassed myself a couple times in the past by changing to beast to solo, trying to charm a pet and having the game tell me that "no you can't cast Elegy right now you idiot, you're not a bard!" while my potential pet is gnawing my kneecaps off... It isn't often that you will need to modify your macros for solo play, just maybe your use of certain commands (outside of maybe pulling why would a solo warrior need to Provoke, etc.)
  • n. Wish you were here. Soloing is usually repetitive and boring; do you have someone to talk to, either in game or real life? Do you have the sheer stubbornness to just grind it out? Good tunes?

Your NPC Fellow

The original soloing tool. While somewhat out-of-date, especially with the 95 level cap this is still quite useful leveling in lower levels, as well as skilling up and doing quested weapon skill trials as it will try to skillchain with you. This thing can be a godsend to the soloist, as long as it's able to stay out. From level 5 onwards your NPC is going to be your soloing best friend. When set to Healer you can avoid having to use a healer sub-job. If you need to work on a mage job or a range damage job the tank version is excellent. If you want to do skill chains the attacker version is great with a little practice on your timing. The downside is that your NPC will need downtime to recover and that it can only be out for a certain number of kills; it also takes a 30% bite out of your XP. Nevertheless, a great tool to use when you can. DO get the enhanced version of each style; trade with friends for the Manuals. Also, use your fellow points to increase your NPC's time.

There have been major changes to this. Notably a level cap increase to 95, more kills (up to 100), a longer deployment and expanded areas for use (ToAU). This is not a complete upgrade, but it will help a ton. However, they are using Magian trials for the upgrades, the 70-75 is simple. The good news is that doing trials is an excellent time to work on skills, so it will fit in nicely with most players "to-do" list. Your NPC seems to level fast, at 71, doing 100 EP- kills with NPC and no XP boosts took my NPC half-way to 72.

Remember to watch the level gap. You cannot level sync to your NPC. If you are depending on your NPC for healing as an example you have to remember that just because you are 99 doesn’t change the fact that your NPC is only level 53, only having access to the HP, MP, Spell list, damage output and durability of a level 53. In other words, always solo with this puppy out if you can to keep that level gap tight. That way it’ll actually be useful when you really do need it.

Trust NPCs

A new addition to the game in the December, 2013 update these guys are made for soloing-litterally, you can't join a party and use them, so it's solo or nothing, although there are plans to change this eventually. There are of course pros and cons to this system. They've also announced a new customization system is coming, no details yet, but supposedly it will help with things like your melee DD hitting like they are in pillow fights with 3 year olds. We'll see...

Pros: no XP penalty unlike your NPC fellow; usable from level 1; you can have up to 3 out at once so you can fill more party roles; they don't interfere with your fellow so you can use both at the same time; no need to level them like your NPC fellow; unlimited use, the timer is short; the quest lines are easy and so far there is only a need to quest once; they can take a pounding and are usable in the SoA content that is past level 99 into the iLevels, including reives; rapid regeneration of both HP and MP when not in combat. They can be used in some battlefields, but certainly not all, hopefully more are being added. me, I'm hoping for VW proccing utility.

Cons: The biggest Con-while these guys are out you can't seek a party. Some of these will be changed in future updates, stay tuned. No partying, so your friends can't benefit; will not work outside of the party, so no cures to friends, etc.; SOME support role job AoE buffs have no effect on them so despite their obvious utility for weaker soloing jobs it isn't as good as it could be and you will remain a weaker soloing job-this also impacts skilling up and downtime; limited areas of use, particularily no Abyssea use so leveling with them won't be quite as fast; their play-style isn't what you are used to if you are used to PLAYERS on those jobs, I'll delve into this a bit more in the individual section; no pullers, so you have to initiate all battles with a melee hit before they will engage, and you have to remain engaged, although not in weapon range; stupid casting; they do not level with you, so you have to dismiss and resummon with each level (it's quick, just an annoyance); they cannot be summoned if you have hate on you; no subjobs on some it seems; limited Weapon skill pools and somewhat stupid use of them.

Now, which ones you should choose to use depends on what you are bringing to the table. Some short notes on the individual NPCs follow, but read up on the section page for more detail.

  • Kupipi-Taru whm, so plenty of MP, garbage HP. Casting priority seems to be Status Ailment removal>>Buffs (pro and shell only)>>Debuffs (para and slow, no Dia or silence)>>Curing. Def is mediocre, damage is nothing special, Moonlight WS is VERY nice when she deigns to use it. Where she comes in handy are fights where you need a Whm that will buff but don't want her to be in melee range as you can pull the mob out of her range.
  • Curilla-Sword and shield pld, uses cures, flash and Sentinel to hold hate, rarely cures anyone but herself. Her MP pool is pretty small but her cures are at max skill for her level. Good durability, lousy damage and serious issues holding hate. I don't believe she Shield Bashes.
  • Naji-damage is pretty weak for a war as is his defense and since he uses Provoke all the time he is an MP sponge.
  • Exenmeille-listed as a DD he's a paladin with a polearm, wierd. He holds hate better than Curilla because of the better damage, but his def is worse since he doesn't have a shield, so he also burns through his MP faster.
  • Nanaa Migho-thief, but only 1 dagger. Has TH1 and seems not to have gilfinder. Good accuracy, decent evasion so her damage is OK... but she doesn't use Sneak or trick attack so the high damage spikes from a real thief aren't there. Beware of King Cobra Clamp, it's a conal AoE with poison, so if you are trying to sleep mobs it can cause you some problems.
  • Ayame-Sam, but her damage REALLY sucks if you are used to playing with sams. Durability isn't there either. She has however had a major overhaul and is now your most useful Trust for quested WS, or any other time you need skill chains, use your preferred WS once and from that point on she will initiate a SC whenever you both have 1k TP for the highest tier your weapons can do. In addition, as she will WS when it kills prey without you getting yours off she will Meditate on the next mob to get TP back so you CAN do the SC. She will not self SC however.
  • Zeid-a drk with a greatsword, he's also a galk so his MP is severely "meh". Unlike most darks you play with he uses his casting, alot, primarily absorb spells, Drain and Aspir, elemental casting seems to have been removed but might just be rare. He doesn't use sleep, so adds are still your problem. Has a nifty unique WS that restores HP so he's not the MP sponge you are used to from playing with darks, and JA use so far seems a bit rare. He will cast stun, but Weapon Bash is rare.
  • Trion-the best tank released so far, pld/war. Slow to cure himself (Kupipi always beats him to it if using both). Uses Royal Bash and flat blade but do not rely on him as a stunner. Also uses Royal something which raises his defense. Very Durable. Has a screwed up haircut, I think it's a wig to cover a bald spot.
  • Volker-war/?, uses berserk-ruf which raises his attack. Also vokes. Less annoying than Naji and likes headbands.
  • Ajido-Marujido-blm/rdm, casts elemental majic almost exclusively, but will cure himself in an emergency. No weapon used so he has no means of even limited MP recovery. Also pulls hate off Trion. Truckloads of MP but since he casts his highest nuke at all times it doesn't last. Will melee if prey comes in range. I haven't seen Refresh or Convert yet despite the /rdm. He does cast Dispel.
  • Shantotto-blm. like Ajido except will not melee or cure. Still crazier than a Lohan. If there is an advantage over Ajido, I haven't seen it.
  • Tenzen-Sam/? More damage than Ayame. Job ability use is still lagging compared to a player sam but much more viable as a Melee DD than any other NPC currently available.
  • MIhli Aliapoh whm/? whm but using the damaging club weapon skills, so MP is more of an issue than Kupipi. will single cast buffs if needed (pro/shell only). Still no silence or regen amongst useful spells. Casting priority is the same as Kupipi. She is a bit more durable. You cannot pull the mob out of melee range as she will move to keep hitting. She is the only Whm in the Trust arsenal using Afflatus Solace.
  • Valaineral-Pld/War good tank, 2nd to Trion, slightly better damage but doesn't have bash or that Def+ WS, does have Uriel Blade. Haircut isn't as stupid either.
  • Joachim-Brd/whm, I use him alot song choice in NOT just the usual March x2 so if that's what you want hire someone else. Needs to use Ballad more, but it IS there. Ranged damage (pebbles maybe?) will also cure and status removal but slower than the whm NPCs so he does manage his MP somewhat.
  • Lion-thf/mnk? the thf is definate and she's better than Nanaa at it. TH1 only. Still no JA use so damage isn't what it could be, but neither is the TH. Not sure on gil-finder yet. Fun WS but I have no idea how to skillchain with any of it.
  • Ulmia-Brd/Whm, does no damage at all but the better bard if going heavy on mage jobs as she will actually ballad, if not heavy on mages she will even pianissimo ballad whoever needs it, but shes VERY slow on reacting. extremely reluctant to use her MP, but will cure or remove debuffs if things get hairy.
  • Prishe-mnk/some kind of healer, pretty much what you would expect out of a monk, a bit waterred down on JA use. Will cure in a SERIOUS emergency but that's it.
  • Iron Eater-War/?, FINALLY a melee who isn't trying to tickle the mobs to death. He can hit. He can take a hit. He farts nails. ok, maybe that last one is a reach... but if you want a good melee DD he outdamages Tenzen, which should shame every Sam in the game on Tenzen's behalf. Occasionally pulls hate off of tanks, but doesn't hold it.
  • Naja Salaheem-Mnk/war, decent, I think Iron or Prishe are better. however, I like to engage and then abandon her in lifethreatening situations to repay my "debt" to her for all the things she's "done for me". That'll teach the bitch...
  • Gadalar-Blm/? maybe war or drk, regardless, great blm but dangerous to play with. pretty much casts only fire spells and prefers AoE. Better about MP management than our other Blms and that scythe does good melee damage-for a Trust NPC anyway.
  • Lehko Habhoka-thf/blm? ok, this guy is WIERD. essentially he's a DD, using melee, ranged and elemental spells, with strange WS including an AoE cure. people call him a thf, likely because of the dagger, but he seems to have no TH, unlike Nanaa or Lion. highly acrobatic fighting style. I tend to think he's a dnc/drk using a dagger (why not, we have a monk using a mace and a pld with a spear). Think of him as a utility DD. He's either really fun or really annoying depending how you like to play
  • Cherukki-whm/? she does nothing but whm spells that I've seen and she likes regen-although she caps at regen 3 for some asinine reason known only to the Devs. she has the best MP pool and best MP management of all of the healers. she will also buff and debuff, including hasting melees, but she's a bit slow on the erase-type casts. all in all my current favorite healer, even if she won't melee. Handy if you want a healer who will not screw up skillchains and the like. The knock on her is she doesn't Erase. Uses Silence, too.
  • Ingrid-Whm/? a nuking whm. yep, your new banish spammer. she does a little buffing, but mostly she's useless, unless you are fighting undead as something other than a monk, pup or some type of blunt weapon mage. still, if you are just out for fun...
  • Zazarg-Mnk/? highest DD monk you have now. you lose the little bit of casting Prishe or your Pup Nashmeira would do but he does hit hard, for a trust melee that is
  • Nashmeira-pup/whm not great damage or durability. she rarely has hate. her primary utility? she is the fastest eraser of all your NPC's, using poisana, erase, whatever, AND she makes both Mnejing and Ovjang tougher. She's also just funny to watch fight, SE had some serious fun with her animation.
  • Ovjang-rdm/whm I like this little guy, he's a rdm auto. He and Cherukki are so far the ONLY NPCs we have who will silence casters-although we have the same problem as we had with the old fellow NPC, he's silencing anything with MP, even if it never uses it. His nukes are nothing special so he doesn't take hate that often. curing is rare if at all, and unlike a real rdm auto he doesn't waste all his time buffing you. MP is a problem though, so there will be downtime. very quick on the draw on dispells. Best used with Nashmeira in the party, and Ulmia is a good idea too for the ballad.
  • Mnejing-pld/war Not a bad little tank, prolly the best at getting/holding hate, especially with Nashmeira in the party. He also has a disruptor so he can dispel. That being said, he's not THAT durable and since he will not cast at all he's an MP sponge-not useless, but you must have healers in the party and it doesn't hurt for you to be back-up if not main healing with this guy.
  • Luzaf-cor/nin basically just a DD, uses alot of ranged damage but always in melee range. uses no corsair rolls at all, but as near as I can tell uses all elemental shots, and fairly intelligently at that. No idea if there is a synergystic effect with Nashmeira but they do react to eachother. He does skillchain well, but be aware that some of his WS are AoE.
  • Sakura-Geo does nothing but a regen aura as far as doing anything for the party and even that's not much, 6/tick max (which really needs a boost SE, give a fully skilled Geo output, please). There IS an increase in combat skill-up rate-basically the melee skills (weapon class +shield/guard/parry), but no effect on magic and this is the selling point to having her out. But I think mostly it's to look cute...
  • Moogle-I love this thing, he is to Magic skill what Sakura is to melee skill. Invulnerable to all damage and radiates MP, up to 3/tic at 99 (which really needs a boost SE, give a fully skilled Geo output, please).
  • Fablinx-another weird one, seems to be a drk/healer using a crossbow and maybe a dagger? Decent damage but watch for AoE. Does heal but not fast enough to be a main healer unless you are fighting weak stuff.
  • Elvira-one of our ranger trusts, good damage both melee and ranged. Durability lacks and same AoE issues as...
  • Najeleth-our other ranger trust. As near as I can tell she and Elvira are interchangeable, so redhead or brunette, your choice (works for me, never much cared for blondes anyway).
  • Norilure-or however it's spelled. Sam/Pld, she's our only Sam who can and will self-SC. Don't expect anything from the pld sub, she does so little it's very easy to miss. Fairly durable.
  • Gessho-our only blink tank he's a damn good one. Think of your friend the nin tank and imagine he remembered he has other ninjitsu to use, that's Gessho. Only real issue is the same anyone using nin does end-game, all the boss-type mobs love to spam AoE or stuff that ignores shadows. Luckily Gessho is evasive and seems to have good def in addition, as well as a ton of HP. Watch out for his Aoe WS though, you need to actually pull if using him.
  • Star Sibyl-kinda pointless actually, has an MaB aura, may have some Macc as well but I haven't used her yet where I notice it. Otherwise she just stands there it seems.
  • Ferreous Coffin-good DD for a whm, but really prioritizes the tank which can be an issue if you are playing or using trusts playing squishy jobs. His MP also sucks-but he's a Galk, what were you expecting? Does WS a lot, but only Randgrith-if you have a compatible WS it can be a nice SC, but he will not hold for you to get TP.
  • Domina Shantotto-regular Shantotto but with a scythe. casts a little slower but does decent melee damage, with severe AoE issues and her durability is the pits. I haven't seen her Entropy YET, so MP problems as well.
  • Rainemard-red mage he has all of the traits of a BAD rdm-he casts on noone but himsef, won't heal and isn't a particularly good damage source. He can be ok if you confine yourself to 1 type of prey, but everything he does can generally be done better by other trusts. Although he will confine himself to a prey's elemental weakness, so-except against light or dark weak prey watching his enspell can be good for a mage who needs to learn them I guess. I don't see much other use for him.
  • Klara-likely war, not any better than your other wars, so just use her if you like, the damage is nothing special
  • Exenmille (S)-War or Pld, using a Greatsword and his WS are AoE buffs. Still, nothing special but there are worse.
  • Romaa Migho-thief, think Nanaa but with better damage and worse for farming, no seeming TH or Gilfinder, she's ok, doing decent damage in spikes from TP moves
  • Maat-monk, and a good one but no sup-job benefits, a decent DD
  • Lilisette-dancer obviously, her moves are... weird. She really isn't that good but she is pretty accurate so a decent DD for a dagger wielder. Her dances have some effect on the party, so feel free to play with her, you won't lose anything even though you won't gain much.
  • Lhu Mhakaracca-beast and about as useful as a beast without a pet usually is, i.e. not at all
  • Cid-war, well if you need a war doing blunt damage he's ok, but really you are better off with a monk in those circumstances, he's kinda meh...
  • Koru-Moru-red mage, this guy is amazingly useful, one of our best. He buffs, debuffs and is the best MP source amongst the trusts for mage players as he can Refresh 2, and he cures, too. He even has convert so his MP almost never runs out unless he gets stuck in cure spam. Note, has never refreshed me at any level on Blue Mage.
  • Karaha Baruha-whm/smn while his primary utility is as a healer he does use 2 Fenrir WS that SC nicely as well, but he doesn't have the TP for it very often. Still, my current favorite whm trust
  • Rahal-my new favorite tank, he'll even try to SC with you, although his priority on casting makes him iffy as an SC partner. Holds hate pretty well for a trust and his shield means good defense as well.
  • Kukki-Chebukki-blm, no melee. He casts smarter than our other blm trusts. There are AoE issues like Gadallar, but he uses the better spells situationally, generally matching the day's element but not always. He'll actually sleep as well, but it's the mob the party is fighting, not adds. Not a bad choice at all if you seek magic damage. His durability is crap as you might expect.
  • Gilgamesh-Sam, good melee DD for a trust, but watch out for the AoE. Also tries to SC, including with himself. Good use of Sam JA as well, not a bad choice at all for melee DD, especially if you want slashing damage.
  • Uka Totlihn-dnc/war, decent dnc, decent DD, nothing special. She is NOT quick to react so do not depend on her to keep the party alive but she's likely our best dancer trust so far
  • Kuyin Hathdenna-geo, gives acc buff, that's it. While probably the highest acc buff you can get you are probably better off with one of the bards who may madrigal or with Koru who will given time cast Distract, so mostly cuteness value
  • Abenzzio-goobue, mostly a melee fighter with all the TP moves Goobue are known for and decent durability. But nothing special and has a tendency to block your view.
  • Rugahadjeen-Pld with a greatsword. Not a bad tank actually, and better damage than Rahal. Permanent enfire as well. Casts cures more readily so handy in a party where just a whm isn't quite enough healing.
  • Areuhat-Blue, uses blue spells as WS, particularly Hurricane wing, so watch for AoE. Durability is suspect but she does put up decent damage numbers. Sword WS too and will SC fairly intelligently with whoever last did a WS.
  • Babban-monk, but basically a mandy. Most useful for petal pirouette but it's not reliable. So I guess it's a cuteness thing again.
  • Arciela-rdm/something, primarily buffing/debuffing, has a great heal from a TP move called Illustrious Aid, and has Regain. So far is the only Trust who will refresh my Blue, but won't refresh other trusts.
  • Adelheid-Scholar, plays like a scholar but not much on buffing. Basically think of a scholar who will cure, DoT and Nuke but not buff. Frankly you get more out of your Rdm, Whm or Blm trusts and she has MP issues.

Amuchuchu-Rune, plays as a tank, and actually plays well, especially useful against prey that confines their damage to a single or very few elemental types. and frankly it's always funny watching a Taru tank.

  • Brygid-Geo, boosts charisma and seems to have a small defensive boost. unless you are leveling something that mains Charisma she's basically useless and frankly there is greater utility in other Trusts.

There are more to come, specifically all the Heroines we don't already have (so Aricella is likely) but no real info yet.

Eminence Quests

These work party or solo, but they are especially useful solo due to the rapid rewards accumulation, known as sparks. In addition, you get other rewards occasionally, like pluton cases, etc., and those also can really add up. They also get you good gear for endgame, just under Delve level but above the best you can get from Skirmish 1 and 2, the Skirmish 3 gear is better, but dependent on augments, on average-there are of course a few situational pieces, especially considering your luck on the random buffs for a specific gear piece.

You can have up to 15 quests active at a time, although personally I usually keep it to about 13 so that I can sub in a quest or 2 depending on what I'm doing and the job I'm playing. In addition, sometimes the game just adds one on its own, dictated by time of day; this has put me in the past to 16 active. Some quests are repeatable, some are "one and done". Personally, some of the repeatable ones I keep active at all times, like "vanquish 200 mobs" because you are always working on that.

Review your available quests regularly-more get added as you complete earlier ones-and it seems SE plans to add more to the pool down the road. Use the couple empty slots to add quests specific to your current activity.

As to reward redemption, a bit of advice. The gear rewards below level 99, basically don't bother; leveling is quick and gear for most levels before 99 is generally available from NPCs, fight rewards and stuff people are dumping on the AH while leveling crafting. The skill-up scrolls, I've never seen anyone get more than +.1 so there are probably better ways to spend your sparks. The 99 gear, this is where you want to spend points. It's iLevel 115-117, so as an example the Animator is better than the Alternator. Unless you already have better gear from Delve or the like all of the stuff in here is decent, and at the rate sparks are accumulated if you run the quests heavily, you can get most of it in a big hurry. In addition, most pieces are useful for several jobs.

Now, once you HAVE gotten all the armor and weapons for your job the best use is probably Rem's chapters. AF and Relic have both used them and there is no reason to think AF3 (aka Empy) JSE won't use the same chapters. And with 3 different JSE sets between the 3 sets you can likely make a pretty bad-ass whatever.

Check Unity quests as well, they work identically to RoE quests but also give separate points needed for Unity NMs.


ok, SE has been toying with the hate mechanics for some time now and are likely on their last major change. This effects tanking in a major way for every type of tank so until I can revise each section I'm just going to do a collected note here.

Changes in calculation, what we are talking about primarily is what is called on some sites "volatile enmity", i.e. the stuff that changes rapidly. Basically, damage inflicted has had its hate generation severely nerfed. Damage still inflicts enmity but it is in much smaller numbers. The enmity cap has also been tripled. No other changes have been made but nonetheless the effect is VERY profound. Punching bag tanks are thus back in vogue, and EVA tanks are not near as effective, DD tanks are almost non-existent. Here's why: there is an enmity decrease for damage you receive which is much higher than the enmity you generate inflicting damage. Therefore your Sam while putting up substantial damage isn't generating as much hate, but you don't have the damage resistance of a paladin so you take more damage from mob attacks, meaning a faster decay on the lesser enmity you had generated. If you get a cure from your healer that will almost always pull hate to them, but healing doesn't generate as much enmity as the dedicated hate tools of the designated tank and/or hate control jobs do, meaning the paladin|rune|ninja|dancer in tank mode is much more effective getting and keeping hate, especially if self-curing. The thief hate shifting abilities are much more effective now, but only if you allow the tank to get hate initially-SATA is very difficult when the mob is spinning like a top. The bard songs are effective for this but are never used because of the greater utility of other songs, and Scherzo, Mambo and Minne can actually help the tank retain hate from less damage taken, although their use is situational-Carols are handy in the same way against heavy elemental damage dealers, as are rune's defensive measures.

Blink tanking is still less effective than the punching bags-SE hasn't toned down the AoE in the least so shadows still don't last-but it is superior to EVA tanks who were dependent on their damage generated to get/hold hate.

Pet jobs, only viable without seriously specialized play when soloing as a tank, but hate can be held by your pets now if you play/gear that way, i.e. boost the pet's output and limit what you do to primarily damage infliction. For Beasts using jug pets judicious use of Snarl is helpful, pups are less useful using Ventriloquy/Role Reversal but still better than they've been the last couple years.

Rangers unfortunately cannot pile as much hate as you were onto the tank using Decoy Shot but conversely are less likely to pull hate when Decoy is down.

Trusts, Gessho can't tank worth a flip now, Amchuchu and all your paladin tanks are much more effective now. Warriors however are dangerous as they will Provoke, generally have bad defense and the Provoke hate does NOT decay quickly, this leads to healer trusts (or you) spamming cures and can end up with your healers as your tank, and that's bad news as your healers don't take damage well. Your dancer trusts don't use Animated Flourish as a rule, rarely heal and frankly don't hit that much or hard so their tanking isn't that viable unless you are playing bard or some other buffer.

Your NPC Fellow, if set to Shield/Stalwart Shield they are actually pretty viable tanking now IF you are even level with them and don't go over the top on your enmity generation.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Picking a camp is a very important part of soloing. What goes into a good camp though? That’s dictated primarily by your goal for soloing and your survivability. There are some important factors besides those, and here’s a list of a few:

  • a. Pick on someone your own size! Picking the right prey is very important. Some jobs stand up to things better than others, some mobs won’t satisfy what you are after, some mobs just gather together too tightly to be viable, some despite their con just take too long to kill to be worth the effort, and some you may just not like to fight.
    • Do you want Gil? You need to concentrate on mobs like beastmen that carry gil or else something that drops a reasonable value item in reasonable quantities, whether sold on the AH or straight to NPC.
    • Just fast XP? EP to DC prey that goes down fast to your job skills but that also leaves you with the least downtime should be your focus. You can aim for chains against EM and up if you want, but personally I find the risk/reward factor to be better at DC.
    • Farming for that special whatever? See Farming below.
    • Satisfy a Weapon Trial? There are basically 2 ways to go here IF SOLO that are any good and both take roughly the same amount of time. You can find the weakest mobs that satisfy the trial and speed kill them (bring room for drops, see section 2 above); concentrate on this method for Elemental Magian weapons. The other approach is to pick the toughest mob you can handle that will satisfy the trial and use the opportunity to work on your skill caps; concentrate on this method for your Weaponskill Magian trial. The XP works out about the same, although the 1st method is more likely to take full advantage of an XP ring. Obviously, if weather is a factor you will want to be in a zone that has both the weather and target that you need, see elsewhere on Wiki for that information. Weapons needing NM kills (Emperyean Weapons) are separate, see the Camping NMs section of Farming.
    • Learning to Fly. See the skill-up section below.
  • b. Bad Company. It’s a very good idea to know the critters that surround your camp. Blood agro is an ugly thing, elementals can mess up your day, and having to pull through a pile of agro is no fun either. Figure out the layout before you go there.
  • c. Can’t find my way home. Do you have a secure place to pull to or are you roving and killing? Either way, you want to know where your safe place to run and/or rest is. This is why it is so important to know your zone, and have a map (but study it beforehand-if you have to look it up while running you are as good as dead). Don’t forget to factor in the all important “no agro when I run to the can” factor if you don’t log…
  • d. …Watching the Wheels Go Round. Know how to establish a cycle. In other words, how many mobs can I kill, factoring in the time to get to the next Mob and any necessary rest breaks during the re-pop timer? Which circular path will allow me to satisfy it? Killing in a cycle is the most efficient way to solo; once established the risk of a re-pop link/agro is minimized, the actions needed to make your kill with the least effort are established and your character’s needs in terms of recovery are addressed. The XP and/or income will be fairly constant, too.
  • e. The Golden Rule. Courtesy may in fact largely be a thing of the past in this game but there’s no reason YOU have to be one of the jackasses preventing its return. If somebody is already in your chosen camp see if they are willing to take you on, but if not move elsewhere. Hopefully, the zone has more than one camp that will satisfy your needs, but if not you need to go elsewhere. On the other hand, if you were there first then stand up for your rights to the camp even if the other guy is a higher level than you-he probably has more options than you anyway. If they refuse to move on, shift your camp slightly to mess up THEIR cycle as much as possible and make it clear you are NOT moving; if you don’t have the stomach for that then just acknowledge that you are a doormat, resign yourself to always deferring to that guy and find a different camp. Don’t bother complaining to a GM, the Terms of Service clearly state that any unclaimed Mob is fair game.
  • f. …Stand up for your rights. You basically have none. Referencing e. above, you are NOT entitled to a buff, heal, raise or someone grabbing the add you just got. If you are fighting an NM, they are even allowed to just stand by, watch you die, finish off the mob and keep the drop you wanted for themselves, all without the decency of even shouting for a raise once. That is actually part of the Terms of Service. Conversely, if they move in on your camp you are not obligated to do any of those things for THEM, and this is an excellent manner of getting them to leave. It does hurt your reputation and leave you open to a /tell Flame Festival but isn’t that what your /blacklist is for?
  • g. Man up! Whoever says that is an idiot. Don’t just stand there and let mobs consistently beat you down, even if your Reraise is minimizing your XP loss. Better idea, Brain Up! If you are consistently being beaten then you can’t handle that camp; leave and find another one or find some help. Sure you can regain XP in a hurry these days, but if you aren’t accomplishing anything why keep losing it? Honestly, the definition of insanity is to repeat the same action expecting a different outcome. Just move and save yourself the ulcer and psychotherapy bills.
  • h. Job Points. Not really going to address this much at this time. At the moment all jobs only have 2 options, 1 related to your original 2-hour (now 1 hour) and 1 related to some low level ability. the results are generally kinda "meh" for most jobs. Clearly if the pattern is followed this is going to be nowhere near as powerful as the right merit choices are. So right now it's just your regular XP/merit earning activites, with the exception of Abyssea and Reives. Unless you are on one of the lucky few jobs that got something worth taking just let the points accumulate for now and use them down the road when viable choices are added.

What job should I use?

I hate to answer a question with a question, but what job have you got? Repeat after me—ANY JOB CAN SOLO! Yes, any job. That being said they all solo differently and some are better than others, both in general and against specific prey types. That’s where your decision-making skills come in.

I have only Leveled Beastmaster, Bard, Thief, Puppetmaster, Ranger, Red Mage, Dark Knight, Rune Fencer and Dancer past 50 so much of the information that follows on the job considerations is speculative. If you have more information to add, please use the Talk page for this article so I may find the best place to incorporate it., and of course you can use gear/food/meds to modify some of the considerations. Your NPC can also be a major factor. Always remember that a job's abilities change by level and some are so profound that they change your game play entirely, like Release, Refresh, Shadowbind, etc. Read any job’s page here on Wiki for more specifics.

NOTE: SE is in the process of revisiting all of the jobs and tweaking them a bit; I attempt to incorporate that in here, but expect a lot of future revisions. If I leave out commentary you can generally assume that not enough information has been released about the tweaks. In addition, there is a major difference between proposed changes and what actually happens on implementation. Also, the player base has a long history of taking changes in directions never envisioned by the developers, so the hints may bear no real relation to the end product.

All of the following information is given under the assumption that you are familiar with the job, either by playing it or at least reading guides elsewhere on this Wiki. The following information is my opinion based on observations, conversations with players of those jobs, and my own reading of the guides and is given as a basis for the "con" range suggested for the jobs. For those jobs where a specific con is not specified (the NM option) assume I mean VT-IT range for normal mobs, if you research the mob before wasting a trip to see if it is strong to your form of damage or capable of blocking your defensive/survival/healing moves, i.e. has silence, amnesia, paralysis, resistance to "fill in the blank", etc. No matter what, always consider that it may be more economical to go after a lower level than those listed unless you have a specific need to go against the toughest prey you can handle. Soloing a VT for 360 XP in a 7 minute fight is not as efficient as killing 6 EP mobs for 80 XP each in the same amount of time since 360<480. Note that all recommendations given are on the basis of maximum rate of return on your time while minimizing the use of consumables (excepting ammo and ninja tools) and are NOT intended as a statement of a job's maximum capabilities; certain activities may be better at a different con, i.e. farming EP- or lower for maximum drops, fighting EM-T+ for maximum skill-ups, etc. Use your own discretion, keeping in mind you are accomplishing nothing if you are dead.

  • a. Bard One of the squishier jobs out there, but with the right sub-job is actually a fairly decent melee with daggers, sword and staves. It is Excellent against elementals or for fighting in areas where elementals are thick as songs are not aggroed, although magic from a sub-job is. Handles adds better than most jobs do because of the high-percentage sleep, Finale is potent against Spikes and buffs. Songs are not interrupted short of a TP move or a spell, either. Absolutely MUST have Echo Drops (unless /dnc with Healing Waltz), does not take damage well and cannot kill fast unless fighting seriously weak mobs. Sub-jobs of choice for solo will be Dancer or Ninja if using daggers or swords, White or Red Mage if using staves; use any other subs and avoid anything over EP. Stick to DC or lower mobs in general and do your homework before going anywhere. All in all, bard is not a very good soloist (in terms of speed of kills and durability is VERY dependent on sub choice and your prey's damage type)), so I would recommend using another job unless you specifically need a bard’s abilities, are XPing or have nothing else available.
  • b. Beastmaster Often considered the best soloing job in the game, it hasn’t been until the introduction of Abyssea that this job even started getting consideration for parties outside of specific missions from most non-beastmasters. Sub-job plays a major role in how the job is played, but there isn’t much that it can’t handle. 1-75 this job is usually able to make a living off of charming the surrounding critters and using them against the other critters in the area. In addition, the Beastmaster himself can dish out pretty decent damage with his axe(s). Healing is always an issue and the dreaded mis-charm is the usual means of death, the other being overconfidence. In the higher levels jug pets are the pets of choice (or necessity as everything so far in Abyssea is immune to charm). Note that GoV allows you to continue leveling outside Abyssea (and thus continue to use charmed pets) even after level 75, the choice is yours. The most common and effective sub-jobs are dancer, ninja and white mage, with thief and red mage seeing occasional use. Fighting DC-T is where it’s at for this job for highest efficiency although the job is capable of handling IT+ with some luck and a good supply of pets. Unless you are using jugs, camp choice requires the consideration of available pets in addition to the right prey, and both ambient and jug pets should be chosen in consideration of the beast correlation chart. Beast also has Wide Scan, which comes in very handy.
  • c. Black Mage We’re all about the damage here. Black Mage is the second weakest job in terms of taking a hit but in the top tier in terms of dealing out the damage, if not the most effective. The biggest factor (assuming you have all the spells available at your level) is skill to overcome your prey’s resistance. It requires intelligence on the PLAYER’S part to maximize your performance through proper exploitation of your prey’s weaknesses and the proper management of your MP pool. Tactics vary widely depending on the strength of prey. Weak prey is frequently taken in groups (the train) and hopefully 1-shot by some type of –aga spell; spikes can be both useful and fun while doing this as well. Tougher prey is generally hit by heavier single target spells, then Bind, Sleep or Stun are used to keep the prey away from you until you can unleash another nuke. Biggest problem for Black Mage is down-time to recover HP/MP. The most common subs are white and red mage or scholar, and considering that your entire defense is coming from them (excepting Manawall, Enmity Douse is useless solo) you should really keep those skills up, too. With some means of MP recovery, skill, competence in play and a bit of luck even difficult NMs may be soloed, although the fight may be long. Concentrate on +hMP gear instead of food, or any means of refresh to save the consumables costs while still keeping down-time minimized. It is also a very good idea to have at least some "spell interruption rate -" gear, bind/sleep/stun do not always work 1st try.
  • d. Blue Mage This job is all about the spell list the player chooses. Having only a limited number of spells in the field, it is planning before you fight that will win the day. Spells are both offensive and defensive in nature and your choice of spells opens the door to additional effects like Auto-refresh-see the Blue Mage section of Wiki for information. Your Blue is also capable of significant damage with their swords and frequently uses them to self skillchain for major damage; with timing and skill they can even Burst on occasion. Blue Mage is mostly used with melee subs, particularly ninja or dnc solo, although healer subs like white, red and scholar are common, too. Tough and lower is going to be your best bet with this job.
  • e. Corsair This is one of the 3 most expensive jobs to solo in the game. UPDATE-Cor now has a recycle trait; it seems to be at a lower tier than rng, but it still should be some help with expense, a good thing as bullets are usually more expensive than arrows/bolts. Corsair is more dependent on luck than any other job in the game, too. This isn’t to say that there is no skill involved-far from it-but much of the job’s power comes from random dice rolls and it IS a gamble. Their spell-like abilities require the ability to land a Quick Draw (so keeping Magic Acc and Agi at cap is crucial) and like other support role jobs you generally don’t take a hit too well. Melee damage is mediocre, but that is what the gun is for. Downtime and expense are the killers here. Common subs are white mage, ninja and thief, warrior and dancer have their fans and a highly-skilled corsair/ranger is just evil… With luck (pun only half intended) this job can solo T and VT mobs, and considering the expense/damage ratio it is well worth it to do so, as speed-killing just eats consumables for a loss.
  • f. Dancer The new beast! Seriously, one of the best soloing jobs in the game with nearly uninterruptible curing, self-buffing, debuffing and the like abilities, this job can handle pretty-much any mob that can be soloed at all. About the only things that slow a dancer down are paralysis (avoid mobs with ice or shock spikes like the plague), blind and high auto-regen. The only drawback to dancer as a soloist is that for the prey it’s like being beaten to death in a pillow fight; damage is not a dancer’s forte’. Far and away the most common sub-job is ninja, but thief, samurai, beastmaster, monk and warrior are common, even the healing mage jobs get some situational love here. Like Black Mage and Red Mage, even difficult NMs can be handled, and frequently are, but anything with Feather Tickle, Ice or Shock Spikes type effects is best avoided.
  • g. Dark Knight Although not often thought of as a great soloist, this job is actually able to do quite well against a lot of enemies. Dark is the weakest of the melees at taking a hit (well, tied for worst with ninja), but only Samurai rival it for damage on melee hits (Sam actually get the DPS nod). However, Dark also has spell abilities to augment their high melee damage output. The Absorb spells even allow the dark to buff/debuff in 1 spell. At upper levels Dread Spikes is awesome, too. The weakness of this job is undead since they are largely immune to Dark’s spells, have high damage considering Dark’s lousy defense, and resistance to slashing damage. All of the melee subs seem to be common using Drain to cure and from 82 on red mage for Refresh can be awesome. A skilled Dark can work T and down fairly reliably as long as they lay off the undead and anything else with dark resistance. The problem a dark will have solo is the same I mention with War below-everyone builds with max DPS in mind. That's great in a party, go for it, but solo you don't HAVE a healer and other DD to pull hate off you when things get hairy and the like. Spamming Souleater can be a problem, etc. So, NPC to soothing healer, and maybe use some gear with Def on it instead of only +haste and +Atk. Oh, and USE those spells, they can help alot. Ex. solo I pull with Absorb-ACC, buffs me, blinds mob (in effect) and doesn't eat all my MP. Otherwise, like war just take up permanent residence in Aby (with regen atmas and Apoc-or Twilight Mail and helm) or Campaign-type battles where you may find random heals.
  • h. Dragoon This is currently one of the more popular solo jobs, although over the years it has been off and on due to SE adjustments. Capable of very nice melee damage in itself, it also has a little flying lizard that likes to help out, too. This job combo is all about the sub because it is your sub that determines your wyvern’s capabilities. For general soloing what you are after is Healing Breath and that means white, red or blue mage as a sub. Game play for Goons really doesn’t change solo, party or whatever, only the sub of choice to set offensive or defensive wyvern breath. Sub-jobs are as listed above. T and below are your soloing choice with an emphasis on anything weak to piercing weapons. Wyvern defense-which has been the biggest roadblock to Goon success solo-was recently addressed by SE, and another tweak is in the works as of this writing, so expect some changes in the near future.
  • i. Geomancer Like bard and corsair Geo is primarily a support job. While I can't say much about this job in a solo context yet as is to be expected it's going to be about your buffs. Now, at low levels you really don't have much to work with, so a good sub-probably a mage job or /bst if you have it-is going to be your best option. As you gain in levels you will be getting nukes and the like and will be able to play more like a traditional mage, but with bard worries about positioning-generally irrelevant solo. Geo is probably NOT going to be as happy in a roaming play, because your Luopan ain't moving. Easy answer, find a good camp and pull, to anyone that's actually played for awhile that shouldn't be too hard. As of this moment, the new AF is out and it's level 109-equivalent, so at 6/6 you are one of the best relatively cheaply equipped jobs (scrolls are another matter entirely). Still, Geo is built as a support role job, so solo I would use my NPC when available and hover around EM and lower. However, Geo also has sleep now, maybe several depending on your sub of choice, so nuke/sleep may be an option-I would reccommend NOT kiting to take maximum advantage of whatever Luopan you have available.
  • j. Monk If Samurai are the 1 punch KO of the game, then Monk is the undisputed king of punches in bunches, killing by accumulation. Their defense isn’t very good relative to the other melee jobs, so they get a huge HP pool and the most fun defensive ability out there, Counter. That’s a good thing because their primary defensive ability-Guard-doesn’t seem to work much. Another fun part of playing Monk is spell interruption, hitting as often as they do they can frequently stop a mage or ninja from casting. Formless strikes is also a great tool, but solo not as much-prey that requires it likely won't go down in 1 use and the recast takes awhile. Their greatest enemy is anything with Spikes damage-a Monk is quite literally able to punch herself to death! They also don’t have much to work with for pulling, and I have occasionally seen a level 99 carrying pebbles when solo (hey, it works). These days the solo sub seems to be dancer, with occasional ninja, warrior or healer mages. Your sub may answer your pulling needs as well, so pay attention to it. Monk is at its best powering through large numbers of weak enemies where its high attack speed keeps the goodies pouring in, or taking out black mages or bards having fun with their puny defense, although a skilled player can certainly handle EM and higher mobs. They also rock against skeletons with their rapid blunt damage, IF they can survive the spikes.
  • k. Ninja Another entry in the top 3 money pits, ninja is a strange mix of vulnerability and tanking power. It is to be hoped that their Recycle-ish trait will get the same treatment that rng and Cor have gotten to help with their expense. The key is shadows. With their shadows up a ninja can’t be hit (for the most part) by direct damage; however, once their shadows are stripped, either by melee hits or a single AoE, they don’t take damage particularly well, comparable to a Dark. This is largely offset by some of the best evasion in the game. Like Dark, Ninja also possess some spell-casting ability, although it’s rare to see much ninjitsu outside Utsusemi and your stealth spells being cast. The money sink is that every cast costs you an item and that really adds up over time; plan to farm and/or craft, ALOT to keep you in business. Your melee damage is only on the upper end of mediocre so don’t expect allot of speed kills either-not that ninja is a slouch. Soloing is really the time to work on your casting skills and throwing, unless you get an invite to a party with a Pally tank where you can pull and/or DD. Solo sub is usually dancer these days, but warrior and thief see some use, mage subs are very rare. Skilled ninja can be as effective a solo as a dancer (especially with a dancer sub), but the expense may not be worth it, depending on your income streams and tool use rate (evaluate this yourself, it will vary as your gear gets better, as well as the player's skill); concentrate on EM and lower for a decent balance of speed and economy and don’t leave home without your Echoes. Also, the later areas in the game, basically Abyssea onwards SE has been AoE-happy on most mobs that have been added, especially the NMS, so your tools consumption for shadows can be a bit disheartening; the job is still viable, it just hurts the wallet.
  • l. Paladin Think of an M1A1 tank… with a BB gun where the cannon should be, that’s Paladin in a nutshell. Nothing takes a hit like a Pally, and they can heal themselves. Nothing pisses off the enemy like a Pally either. However, my bard without songs has been known to out-damage very good Pallys. In other words, don’t expect to be among the solo big boys even if the big boys do die more. Common subs for paladin solo are warrior, ninja and dancer. Paladin/dancer frequently solos stuff up to the VT range, maybe because they like to still be alive fighting the same mob 30 minutes later, but if you want to get anything done aim for DC and lower and just blow through, saving the VT mobs for skilling up. Paladin damage output has been partially addressed by the most recent Weapon Skill additions, but I’ll leave it to you to decide if that’s enough to make tougher prey viable in a soloing context.
  • m. Puppetmaster Solo this job is kind of a cross between Blue and Dragoon-it’s all about the spell list, your pet’s spell list to be specific (i.e. frame/head choice, attachments, maneuvers). Your puppet is really the “muscle” of your combo. After you choose your prey, equip your pup to either exploit your prey’s weaknesses or to keep you healthy (or use the “red mage” pup to satisfy both). There are solo Puppetmaster guides on the job’s page you may wish to consult for specifics. As to your job in soloing, you are kind of like a Monk, but without the HP to back it up, your defense consisting of Evasion and whatever buffs your auto and sub throw your way, your gear choice sucks-especially your weapons choice-as you are confined to mage-type gear and the less efficient HTH weapons, and your job is to deal some damage and give your puppet commands without overloading it. Your subjob should be chosen on the basis of your puppet set-up, i.e. if “Clank” isn’t healing you, you might want to do something about that, but /war, /nin, /dnc, /thf, /sch, /whm and /rdm are all clearly viable, the choice is situational. Pick your battles wisely, as the ability to change puppets allows you to tackle varied prey, and your sub choice can have a huge influence. Also, skill your Guard skill at every opportunity to maximize your tanking role. Most Puppetmasters handle T mobs fairly routinely.
  • n. Ranger This is another of those high damage/ultra squishy jobs; it is also the last member of the big 3 in terms of expense. MAJOR UPDATE: Ammo expense has just gotten a huge help, Recycle and Scavenge have just been revised to be much more useful, with the recycle rate being greatly increased and scavenge can be used more often and instead of giving you some crafting materials (maybe) now gives you back some of the ammo you have currently been using-this will save you alot of gil over time. As the name implies Ranger is at its best working from a distance, tricky to do when solo—excepting worms, Ranger’s bread and butter. Ranger also benefits more than most classes from your NPC, set it to Stalwart Shield and it opens up a whole new batch of prey while allowing you to work the "sweet spot", at least until you take hate from your fellow, which is all too easy to do unfortunately. Ranger is pretty self-explanatory solo, with the exception of NMs, another Ranger specialty. Ranger also has Wide Scan, so may solo widely separated targets without having to rely on luck to find them. Due to their lack of defense, Rangers almost exclusively solo with a ninja subjob for shadows AND due to the bonuses from a 2nd weapon, dancer is not as viable due to (hopefully) a LACK of melee contact. With skills at/near cap Ranger can solo quite powerful NMs, healing via Bloody Bolts, so undead need a bit of caution. Ranger has been hurt at higher levels due to the method of calculating ranged damage, but it is my understanding that SE is addressing this. The job is supposed to be able to rival Black Mage in both damage output and squishiness, but right now all it rivals is the squishiness, stay tuned. The recent addition of Bounty Shot also increases Ranger’s efficiency as a farmer, but if you also have thief leveled it is still the farmer of choice. Personally, my solo ranger never goes anywhere without my NPC, unless I’m in Aby where the Atmas can cover her role. When not doing worms, anything weak to piercing damage is a good choice.
  • o. Red Mage This is another of the “big boy” jobs for soloing. Red is a jack of all trades job in that it can nuke (black mage are better), heal (white mage are better), enfeeble (nobody does it better), buff (arguably the best as well, at least solo) and even melee if they feel like it. Advice-you may want to bring meds when you take on a big NM; that’s it. Sub-jobs are either ninja or dancer for melee types or any of the mage subs for the caster types, primarily to boost MP, but also for either Reraise from white or Sleepaga from black, and dark at high levels for stun (at level 90 black works for that, too). Again, difficult NMs may be soloed by Red, if they suffer at anything it would be speed-killing weak stuff because they might die faster than Red can regain MP. Recently, SE has addressed a lot of very vocal dissatisfaction from some very vocal Reds, who unfortunately couldn’t agree on the path they wanted Red to go-nuking, healing, melee, etc. SE exercised a “King Solomon” approach and rode over everyone, announcing that future development was in the buffing/enfeebling arena. None of that invalidates what is written above, but it does give an idea as to the road you’ll be seeing in the future. It also shows that you might want to consider soloing buff-happy prey that is largely ignored by other jobs, giving you access to stuff that has less competition. I’ll be interested in seeing it in action down the road.
  • p. Rune Fencer This job has been advertised as the anti-magic tank and sort of a mirror image of paladin. The job has issues with enmity for a tank, but this should only effect you solo if you have your NPC out, if it is the same level as you it can and will pull hate from you, at least occasionally. It also has major issues with physical damage-not good in an intended tank. That being said, playstyle is much like melee rdm was in the old days, but with elements of paladin and dark knight thrown in. 1st, no shield, so just forget it. More important, no heavy armor, and this is a problem cosidering you are a melee job; luckily the medium armors have some decent armors and rune is fairly evasive, still, expect alot of physical damage on you, luckily at the higher regen tiers downtime isn't that bad. 3rd, the job specializes in Great Swords... which is not so great. GS aren't bad, there just aren't that many to choose from, and some of the better ones don't have rune on them-use what you can find, you start with a good one at level 1. Your best choice for prey will be things that rely on magic damage of a single element, then use the appropriate rune to resist it, and bar spells to cover secondary elements/debuffs they may use-as you level you'll be able to use more than 1 rune. You'll need to address healing from either your sub or an NPC, regen can't always keep pace. Attack speed is slow, and solo there isn't much you can do about it, but unlike paladin at least you hit relatively hard. As of this moment, the new AF is out, level 109 equivalent and it is fairly cheap to obtain, it makes a HUGE difference although it isn't QUITE up to delve battle strength. That being said, if you get practice at low levels you should be capable of beating prey up to T+, especially if using your NPC. Subs-I've been using /whm or /rdm, /dnc is ok as long as you remember sambas are useless, other subs I haven't tried solo, presumably /nin, /war, /sam, /thf, /bst could work well, just factor in your healing is strictly your autoregen trait and spells.
  • q. Samurai CHEESEBURGERKETCHUP—HI-YAH!!! The melee damage kings, mediocre defense. The general idea here is to kill SO quick that your prey doesn’t have a chance to swing back. Sam is another job that doesn’t alter their play much to solo (hack and slash until one of you dies), but gear may get tweaked a bit to boost defense or evasion, or you may just stick with a TP gain set. Sam lives and dies by the Weapon skill/skillchain, so study the Self skillchain possibilities (like I needed to tell a Sam that, yeah…). Solo subjobs are usually ninja or dancer, but I’ve also seen warrior, thief, ranger, dark and red mage used; adjust based on your prey. Generally EM and lower is where you want to go with Sam for a decent balance of speed and low down-time, but T is certainly not out of the question if you go into the fight with TP.
  • r. Scholar Weird job, sort of like changing jobs in the field between black or white mage as the need arises. This is another job that can be killed by a light sneeze. To be honest, I never really see this soloing-probably because everyone that has it has something else that works better as well. The biggest problem with scholar solo is that it wasn't DESIGNED to solo, it's job abilities are geared for party/alliance support, like making buffs AoE-totally rocks in partys, but what's the point when you are solo? What it does bring to the table-thus making it very viable solo is the fact that it boosts your magic SKILLS if you've acquired them at all, thus leading to fewer resists and/or greater effect from your spells. All that being said, it can’t nuke quite as well as a black mage or heal quite as well as a white mage or do both quite as well as a red mage-although once it has used the appropriate "Arts" it generally can do 1 or the other better than a rdm can, having higher tier spells for many things. What they can also do is target an enemy’s elemental weakness with their ability to simulate weather. Sub either a mage sub to boost MP or ninja to boost your survival. Concentrate on DC and lower, although you can try to play like a solo blm if you are really good, just be advised, it's more work on sch because of the need to use Job Abilities to max out your play. However, you'll have more tools to increase your survivability compared to a blm. Higher Reraise too, which is always nice solo.
  • s. Summoner Another pet job and potentially a great solo artist in the hands of a great player. Terrific damage from pets with additional damage spikes, buffs or healing via Bloodpacts. This job has 3 major weaknesses; MP (luckily you start with a truckload); your pets are the weakest of the pet jobs in taking damage, with a long recast to pop the next one (although the shortest cool down time of all the pet jobs); and even a black mage takes a hit better than you do. That being said, Summoner solos very well, especially in higher levels as Avatar perpetuation gear becomes available. Solo subs are almost exclusively mage jobs to boost the MP, RARELY a ninja sub. Summoners that I see tend to solo in 2 ways, letting pet melee DC and lower, or dishing it out against T+ mobs via Bloodpacts, even IT with your 2hour. There has been an expansion of spirits, but to give you an idea of their utility no smn I know uses them for anything but elemental siphon even after the tweak. Summoner is worth the effort to level old school if you have the patience as you will be casting enough to keep your only real skill at/near cap if going old school, and gear is cheap if you let the trust guys do the heavy lifting. Hopefully they'll fix that little Favor issue soon.
  • t. Thief This one solos from greed, not need (well, that and the glut of thieves on the server makes it damn near impossible to get a pick-up party). About the only time a thief isn’t de facto farming is fighting Evil Weapons, and that’s only because they don’t drop anything. Due to all of the farming, thief is also in sort-of a constant skill-up. The biggest advice for a thief is to bring inventory space and know the markets. Thief generally subs ninja or dancer, they may sub ranger for NM camping. Unless they are targeting something specific or capping a skill, thief is usually better off speed killing DC and under and selling drops and beastmen are a personal favorite because they also drop Gil. A gear note for thf-TH is the primary reason to play thf and it is the only job that can build TH beyond a set level, but your chance to do so is directly tied to how much TH you have, for most thieves that are serious that is TH7-3 from the job, 2 from assasin armlets +2 and 1 from Raider's feet, +1 from thief's knife-but this really hurts your damage output as thief's knife is a much lower level than current mobs (and wasn't a great damage weapon to begin with). There is no fix for this situation, not even announced as "in the works", so you should factor that in to the equation when you are planning to solo. If you are NOT after drops (rare) there are options for higher DD gear, but you are still probably using daggers, not the hardest-hitting weapons in the game.
  • u. Warrior The disregarded job. This was the original tank job but it lost its role to paladin and ninja, lost DD to samurai and their ilk, and pulling is taken by thief, bard and dancer. In point of fact, they are usually treated like a placeholder DD job—nothing could be further from the truth. This is a melee DD with the widest choice of weapons and armor, dealing major damage and actually having the defense to deal with the consequences. Their ranged attacks are nothing to sneeze at either, and with a decent sub they make a very good soloist. No major changes to play solo, just pound stuff until one of you dies. The usual subs are either ninja or dancer; red mage is also a viable choice. Best used on EM and lower mobs via speed killing. A recent change to warrior play is their focus on AoE kills via Fell Cleave, especially in Aby, an area that completely changed warrior. The biggest thing for warrior is keeping your weapon skills capped as your role now is generally as a !! proccer, soloing gives you the chance to work on those skills, and to recap your XP after all the inevitable deaths you take in parties from eating all those TP and over the top nukes.

--Warrior is the only job where I would make a major issue about gear choice solo. Most players deck their war out in gear to increase damage, either Haste, attack, TP gain or occasionally accuracy. If you were paying attention to the list you probably noticed a gap... that's right, no defensive boosts at all. Almost all gear that boosts offense is either no help or actually weakens your defenseive play, NOT a good thing solo. In addition, because of the focus on DPS, many wars are reluctant to use TP for anything other than Weapon skills, even when a cure is urgently needed. As I said before and will say again, you are accomplishing NOTHING when you are dead. Seriously consider defensive gear when solo, and use those survival-boosting abilities from your sub, use your NPC as well. Otherwise, never leave Aby when you are solo, you simply don't have the survivability outside in normal war play.--

  • v. White Mage This is a good soloist. They have decent damage from clubs, can use shields and have defense 2nd only to a Paladin, a good thing considering you don’t have the HP to be a true melee. Reraise means that mistakes can be handled better than any other job, Repose can handle a single add fairly easily, DD spells are generally not to be relied upon solo, especially with the casting time. They excel against undead, but their primary DD spell—banish—is wasted because it strips undead resistance to non-blunt damage and White only uses blunt damage; conversely, healing magic hurts undead (an excellent way to skill healing/divine) but beware, undead are usually fairly well packed and they aggro curing magic. While not the debuffer Red is, White is certainly no slouch, and your buffing skills are quite good, too so prefight you may want to reapply them. Subs are generally ninja for shadows/dual wield, a mage job for MP boost (and Refresh) or dancer, especially after 50 against mobs that can be Aspired. EM or lower is your best bet, with the occasional T if you sub ninja; just pray the MP holds out.

A Word About Sub-Jobs

There are 6 sub-jobs that are probably the best for any solo, at least once you've got about 10-20 levels under your belt. Note that there is NEVER an excuse for using an under-leveled sub, but at least if you are solo you have no one to blame but yourself for the decision to play with a "gimped" sub-job. It should be noted that the addition of trust NPCs has made it possible to use your normal party subjobs as a viable choice when solo, however pease do NOT forget the "stupid casting" issue inherrent in relying on NPCs, e.g. getting Blindna when what you desperately need is a Cure cast on you, if your main/party sub combo doesn't give you a healing option you might be eating dirt:

  • Beastmaster Any non-tank melee job can use beast without much trouble, but laying in charisma+ or Light+ gear is highly advised. Your pet will probably hold hate most of the time. The worry is that you won't charm as well as a Beast main. The popular theory is that Beast needs to be at least as high level as your main job to be effective; personally, I have no idea but it can't hurt. Until level 70 you won't have Release, so you will probably be using your pet to the death or zoning to come back and charm its re-pop. This does mean wherever you decide to go needs viable pets, so undead and beastmen strongholds are generally out. You can't skill your defense very much with this sub-job as your pet will usually have hate. You also can't use jugs, but as they would more than likely pop at the level of your sub-job that's probably to the good. Don’t bother with this sub in Abyssea or events, you won’t be finding a pet in them anyway, and /bst is kind of useless without one.
  • Dancer This allows any job to heal itself in the field, both through Drain Samba and Waltzes, and short of paralysis there isn't much that can stop it, adding greatly to survivability (but you will never gain the survivability from ?/dnc as you have from dnc/?, so you will need to keep the reduced healing power in mind, your main job can compensate for that if played well). You do sacrifice some weaponskill damage as some of your TP will be going to healing and such. Starting at 40 you also get access to Dual Wield (at a lower tier than /nin, but certainly useful) and Steps, both of which can be a great help when solo, although there is nothing stopping you from still using two-handed weapons or a shield if that's better for your main job. The only Samba that affects undead is Haste Samba, but feel free to fight them, just don't waste TP on any other Samba. If you plan on doing your damage at a distance you may want to consider another sub-job, especially when playing mages as your TP is usually low. You also may want to think before fighting paralysis-happy mobs, but there really isn’t that much better of a choice out there as even Paralyna gets interrupted… FREQUENTLY. An additional note about /dnc, it has utility for any job attempting to skill their melee skills due to Quickstep-Evasion is the most commonly procced defensive ability in the game for mobs, too, so reducing it will increase your connect percentage (and if your skill is below cap that will be reduced), coupled with ACC+ and Dual Wield this can be a big help, and it's cheaper than sushi. Animated Flourish also gives a viable pulling tool to jobs that don't have one from their main.
  • Ninja This used to be the melee sub-job you had to have until Dancer came out and it still has its place; it is still a must-have to most people when NOT soloing. At 20 it will give any job Dual Wield (no benefit if using 2-hand weapons) and at 24 Utsusemi, increasing your melee damage output and your survivability a good deal. It will take a bite out of your wallet (and your inventory space as well) for the tools. As you rise in level you get access to some other ninjitsu as well, allowing you to stealth yourself and some enfeebling, but don't plan on doing much offensively with your ninjitsu as prey will generally resist it due to your halved ninjitsu skill. It is a viable means of pulling if you don't have ranged attacks on your main job. Not particularly good when skilling your defensive skills as the shadows will cost you opportunities. It should be noted that especially at higher levels mobs use alot of AoE magic and/or TP moves, meaning shadows go down quick. This doesn't invalidate nin as a sub-or even a main-but you should expect your tools consumption to go way up.
  • Scholar For mages this is an awesome sub. The MP boost is excellent, and it opens up spells you wouldn't have from your main and increases the effectiveness of all spells. It also can often greatly increase your skill on magic that is not a native strength of your main job, i.e. elemental magic on a white. There is even an MP regain and it doesn't saddle you with a half-strength avatar like a summoner sub-job. Unfortunately, most players don't level scholar immediately when it becomes available-at least to the level cap on subjobs, and have to depend on a different mage sub. It has utility for other jobs based on strategy, ex. Pup/sch using with your black mage auto for a sleep/nuke strategy, because /sch your skill is still high enough to land without much resistance (if you have the skill in the 1st place). In addition, it allows non-mage mains to build that important Azure light in Aby when solo that would otherwise require ruby chest farming and alot of luck.
  • Red Mage From level 80 onwards this sub seems to frequently get the nod from many mages for 2 things, Convert and Refresh. The only downside is that the MP Pool is smaller than the other mage jobs (except maybe blue), but with keeping Refresh up pretty much constantly it tends to equal out. Just be VERY careful when you Convert solo; dying is the greatest of all time wasters. I also know alot of 'goons that sub this end-game as it gives healing breath and ice spikes tend to work regardless of caster level, handy for eating a few less whatevers from your mob of choice.
  • White Mage This job has seen something of a rebirth as a subjob recently. It used to be used by many melee to make a sort-of “ghetto paladin”. It also was the sub of choice of many soloists as a means of healing in the field, buffs and the ultra-handy Reraise. Obviously, it’s always been a common sub for mages for MP boosts and back-up healing. The Pros of this subjob are obvious, and you’ll have up to Cure 4 at level 99. The cons: unless your main job has MP you will be restricted to a VERY paltry MP pool +whatever you get from gear, food and MP merits (ex. in my base gear set my 99 elvaan brd/whm has 232 MP, including merits, although if I choose to gear/eat I can get it to approach 400, at the expense of my main job boosts); debuffs will be easily resisted; potential magic agro, and the biggest will be downtime to recover MP. Still, it is a very viable choice, especially for races that get better MP pools.

A Word About Gear 99-, etc.

If you've read other guides you've no doubt seen a concentration on gear. If you've been paying attention so far you may notice a lack of emphasis on it here. Most authors tell you about all the gear that is an absolute must-have for your job. In my opinion, there is only 1 true must-have piece of gear in the game-a Puppetmaster must-have an animator. Everything else in the game is simply a matter of choice or personal preference.

This is not to say it's "NEKKID TIME" on all of the server (even if a naked day would be funny); but you need to address your gear and what-not by yourself. Now, how does soloing impact your gear choice? That depends on both your job/sub choice and your goal.

Obviously, anything that requires a specific piece of equipment means bring it (weapons trial, skill-up). You may need a means of pulling and this usually means a ranged weapon; skilling shield means a shield; doing parry means using a weapon. Beyond that, many things are debatable, ex. I've been leveling hand-to-hand and guard recently on my puppetmaster and my fastest skill-ups have occured with no weapons, most likely due to the higher attack rate, but some may argue that I'm better off with some claws that have +acc. See other parts of this guide or the individual pages for a specific activity or piece of equipment for more information.

As to the rest of your gear, for many players simply using your base gear set may be sufficient. Remember the "do-it-all" section above though. By that I mean that solo it may be more efficient to address your main job's shortcomings via a combination of your sub-job and appropriate gear and consumables. The need to do this increases as your level increases and the gap between your main and sub-job widens as this leaves a gap between job abilities-there is a huge difference between 1st having access to Cure III at level 21 versus 42 in terms of your survival and downtime as an example. Again, many people will say "you must do _____", but there is no "must" as far as I'm concerned, just "nice". There is no "you must sub ninja" if you haven't unlocked the job yet, and so you better think of something else.

Base gear set-I've used this term a few times and I guess I should define it. A base gear set is your default or "walking around" gear. It should provide a decent mix of survivability, attack and any job specific buffs needed (MP and the like), and clearly it will vary by job/sub combo. This will obviously constantly be adjusted based on drops you get, current levels, etc. The term base gear means a set you can function without gear swapping, a waste of money before level 99 at the rate people level. Even at 99, unless you are in an event party you really shouldn't need to do any swapping unless you need the practice OR if choosing to solo NMs and the like; soloing is usually farming or some other activity where DPS is secondary to minimizing downtime, and so your inventory space may be better used holding gil drops or the like. In this day and age of XP burns, going 1-99 in very short periods of time the general advice is after every burn that you return to town you upgrade to your current best gear at that level, OR stock for the level you will end at on the next burn if going immediately back. The in-between levels, unless you are going to old school you can take whatever odds and ends you have and not really worry until about 75 (the level where you can START to meaningfully connect in Aby-where you will likely be leveling). F/GoV you may want to worry a bit more as you are usually trying to keep skills somewhat current, so pieces from AF, Conquest and the like (or a friendly crafter) to keep you somewhat up to date, but even pages the levels go pretty quick unless you choose to solo. Generally, a base set will be your TP set if you ARE a gear swapper-type, but a bit of extra def-either score or buffs-may be in your best interests soloing, since the worry is downtime.

There are a couple of items that do seem tailor-made for addressing these concerns however and you may want to look into getting them.

  • +HP/+HPP gear Nothing keeps you alive better than it taking an extra whack or 2 to kill you. Taking less time to get your health back doesn't hurt either.
  • +MP/+MPP gear If you need MP to stay alive and do the job then more is usually a good thing. Taking less time to get your power back is a good thing, and remember kids, MP heals faster than HP.
  • -spell interruption gear-this is VERY handy for mage players and to a lesser extent pld, rune and nin, as any melee hit has a chance to interrupt your casting. With the gear and keeping up Aquaveil your interrupt rate is cut almost to 0, greatly increasing your effectiveness.
  • The new relative level aka "iLevel" gear-anything with a combat skill+ is also supposed to affect your casting per SE statements on the official forums. While the advantages to your output are obvious, the hidden advantage is the inventory impact, you may not need a casting set if you are a gear swapper type. The disadvantage, nukers have frequently been the type to swap elemental weapons for increased effectiveness-you lose that "iLevel" bonus when you unequip the slot and the impact is VERY apparent. The same applies for pets, if you change the gear in the slot that augments your pet it instantly drops back to 99 (or lower if capped below 99), and in almost every case the "iLevel" is of greater benefit than any buff received from other gear.
  • Your RSE gear All RSE gear (except the level 1 stuff) is designed to overcome weaknesses in your chosen race. Those weaknesses are generally more evident when you solo-a Taru black mage who fails to stick their bind spell is about to have to melee and that's usually not a good thing, for the Taru at least. You should consider putting in some or all of your RSE (if you have it) to overcome any deficiencies, but you don't want to weaken your main job to the point of being ineffective, so really think hard about this.
  • Your AF gear Alot of people have commented on hundreds of pages about how this is almost all crap; alot of people used to believe the earth was the center of the universe, and the same percentage is right about both. AF gear is specifically designed on a per job basis to either strengthen something a job is already designed to do or to counteract a weakness of the job in the same way RSE counteracts a racial weakness. Oh, it's free, too. What AF gear is NOT is the absolute best piece for that slot at that level. News Flash! No piece is! All the Attack+ in the world means precisely Squat when you need to survive a Self-Destruct for 3700 damage on a level 59 warrior. Your AF gear is a decent set to get you through some levels you are going to tear through as fast as you can to reach cap without ripping a 6,000,000 gil hole in your wallet to do so. **UPDATE-the new "Reforge" activity is now alive and kicking, it comes in 2 tiers, ilevel 109 and 119. 109 ger is generally useless for most players as it is outclassed by the Skirmish and eminence multijob pieces that most players will have, HOWEVER it is mandatory to upgrade to 109 before you do the 119 upgrade, and THAT stuff is generally excellent. I highly reccomend that all players pursue the reforge on their primay job(s). It is a MAJOR grind, but the JSE has the advantage of better job-specific boosts that even Delve gear does not provide. Jobs that have seen no benefit-if not an actual nerf in current end-game gear especially benefit from this (my bard is extatic for this stuff). Note that doing the upgrades-unless burning einence sparks-is party only content.
  • End-game JSE We are talking your AF2 (usually referred to as Relic) and your AF3, as augmented. Like Your AF1 mentioned above, this stuff is all built with your job’s strengths and weaknesses in mind. AF3 even provides a bonus for each piece of a fully upgraded set, cumulatively. While there may be some better individual pieces for a given slot, the entire set certainly has utility and isn’t bad as a base gear set. As augmenting the sets is one of the major end-game activities, the gear seems to be conceived a bit better than the AF1 and has also been designed with some of the end-game mechanics in mind, as well as job roles. As a generalization, your AF3 is usually better in areas with Atma, your Relic +2 in areas without, but there are plenty of exceptions.**UPDATE-plans have been announced that this gear will also be getting the "Reforge" treatment, relic already has and much of it is excellent. No information is available at this time on AF3 (and it's annoying the piss out of me as I don't want to waste $/chapters on a piece that may soon be out-classed), but stay tuned.
  • Twilight Mail/Helm For jobs that can use it, decent boosts to stats and built in RR3, useful for those that like to live dangerously… without blowing $ on Reraise Earrings several times a week. Oh, and it looks spiffy!
  • Emperyean Weapons You can augment these weapons (within the limits of the available choices) to boost your style of game play. 3.5 paths, Full Empy, Ghetto Empy, Elemental and Weaponskill; don’t get confused by the last one-the full and ghetto Empys give you a new Weaponskill, the “Weaponkill” path refers to using x WS y times on z mob and affects TP, the Elemental path is where real customization plays a part. In addition, they give you something to do, hopefully while accomplishing something else, too. Coupled with merits and choices amongst all the gear you have available to you, this is the best way to accomplish playing the game "Your Way". Do not bother with the elemental or Weaponskill paths right now, there is no utility for them past 99, and getting to 99 is athe work of a couple weeks or less. I'll update if they change that down the road. Full/ghetto empys are a different matter, the ones giving WS are still worthwhile as you can now learn to use it with other weapons. as to any other use they are probably not worth the effort, excepting pld shield and brd harp.

Another Word About Gear, 99+

SE has recently added a new expansion pack, Seekers of Andoulin, aimed at players who are 99+. I can hear you asking, "how the hell do you '+' in a game that is hard-capped at 99?" Well, that's what this section is about. See, at 99 the gear was stagnant for the 'elite' players and even quite a few casuals were getting to have some pretty good stuff as they were catching up on the 'grind' content. Now, SE was faced with a dilema, add further growth or just let the casuals catch up and then shut the game down; they chose the 1st, and their mechanism was a 'relative level' gained from beefed gear. I go in to this a bit below in the Reives section about SE's new 'tiered' content, but this section is going to be specific.

I know I said above that gear isn't all that important, and up until you hit 99 I still hold to that, because noone is doing old content, or if they do they are usually back-tracking on a 99 job to make life easy, fair enough. But now that you are 99 gear does matter. NOTE: feel free to skip any notes that don't apply to you from here on out.

It hasn't been rolled out yet (the plan is august, we'll see), but in the future items will have a new "level" displayed in their graphic, this is the 'relative level' I referenced above. This number is very important because it is largely going to determine what you can do in SoA and presumably anything they add later. I'm not sure exactly on the math (I have none of this stuff yet), but it seems you are going to be doing a weighted average of all your gear to find your character's relative level. In other words, just because you have a level 113 weapon doesn't mean you are suddenly level 113, if you don't have the def to go with it a level 113 mob is just going to 1-2 shot you and laugh at your weapon, but exactly how much defensive gear will overcome that is a question I haven't seen answerred yet.

Acquiring this gear is going to be done in stages. 1st, you'll want to be decently gearred at 99 + at/near capped on all your important job skills and then jump into reives to accumulate bayld. Use the bayld to buy gear, it's not job specific so compare what's available with what you have, some pre-SoA stuff will still be better that what you can buy, especially depending on your role in a party. Note the party mention-from here on out you won't be soloing to "level" anymore (exception, Wildskeeper Reives). Depending on the quality of the stuff you have and how well it fits your job you can either jump into Skirmish or try to Delve, both of these activities are multiplayer, Skirmish-party and Delve-alliance. You will fight in either path to get your next gear tier which will be a higher level than the bayld stuff (there is mention of reviving crafted gear as an alternative as well, keep your eyes out for new stuff that way if you have the gil). Once you have the gear, now you have to augment it. You guessed it, even if the piece drops it's all grind content.

So, first a note about the pet jobs (since they are my 1st love) the 'relative level' is being handled a couple of ways, for beast your main-hand's weapon level determines the level of your jug pets (as of this writing I believe your charmed pet is whatever it is still), for summoner it will be your ammo slot-although there was mention of grips as well in the forums so that may be added down the road. Dragoon, I read that your weap will have an effect on your wyvern, but I haven't seen the gear in any of the new item lists yet, however, expect it soon. Pup is so far a little different, our animator is supposed to beef our autos, but it doesn't say "level", it seems to be just + stats so far. In any event, your pets are being upgraded through gear to be compatible with the players arround you. Note, you have to keep the determining item equipped to keep the relative pet level benefit, so no swapping the slot for a different effect without weakening your pets, possibly to uselessness in SoA.

Delve gear can be acquired in 2 ways, if you are lucky you can get it from a drop off the boss, but so far beating the bosses for drops is relatively rare. The more common method is via plasm farming and purchasing-you will need the proper key item as well, so you still have to beat something to get it, it varies for each piece.

Wildskeeper Reives-you have the option to enter these solo like any other Reives, much like a campaign battle. The rewards are mid-quality between Skirmish +1 and Delve unaugmented for the most part. In other words, it's all pretty good stuff. However, at least right now there aren't sufficient rewards for all jobs or even all slots, so you won't be gearring entirely from these. There's a hefty entrance fee as well to do them and some other requirements. The bosses are pretty tough, too, and are even more difficult considering all the random other people who might be there-since they may not be in your party/alliance coordinated action doesn't always work so you have the usual problems with TP feed and the like to contend with. Note, if you are solo there it's a good chance you are going to be labelled as the a-hole who is messing up the strategy, so bring your own reraise as the common practice for the alliances that spam these things is to leave you dead to not mess up their strategy-whether that strat is really a winner or not. Read up on the bosses, their defenses and damage vulnerabilities all vary and you may not be able to do squat, or you may pull hate when you really aren't equipped to deal with it on your job. Rewards are supposed to be "contribution-based" so if the Nakual is already low HP it's probably best not to bother starting and save your resources for a fresh battle.

Now, all of the gear mentioned above-excepting the Wildkeeper stuff-is augmentable with different items, i.e. Airlixers, etc. The augmenting item for your item can generally be obtained in more than 1 way. The common element? You guessed it, more grind. Now, you'll notice that above I keep using the term "item" not "weapon", that's because you have weapons, armor and accessories (like your back piece) to obtain/upgrade. If you took my advice about leveling more than 1 job I'll give you a minute to go toss your cookies thinking about all that grind ahead of you.

Back? Good, now we come to the fun part, this is SE so of course there are exceptions. Although they've announced that your relic/mythic/emperyean (r/m/e from here on out)weapons will be upgradeable through "additional content" they are taking their sweet-ass time about it (and you can probably hear the whining where you sit even if you have never logged in to the official forums). However, some pieces are still the "must-have" item. The primary job affected is bard, people expect you to have a +2 song Daurdaubla to fight Delve bosses, and you'll get some "eat shit" looks if you don't have your +4 all songs Gjallerhorn to cast the 1st 2 songs; to add insult to injury bard doesn't even get to work on a new Delve-quality instrument because there isn't one and so far it looks like there never will be. Paladins, hope you have both your Aegis and Ochain because they saved a few "eat shit" looks for you, too-but at least if there is an r/m/e upgrade you might have something to look forward to. Other jobs, it's mostly a matter of superior weapon skills vs. x mob-you may be expected to have your empy (so far haven't seen any mention of relic weaps) weap for that skill if it's better than your meritted one.

There've been some changes here, all quested, and noe are really soloable, but if you want to max out your gear, your R/M/E weapons can now be-at least partly-made into uber 119 weapons, similar to how they stacked up at 99 or 75 over the other available weapons choices. In the case of Empy weapons there is also a quest line to know the WS even without the weapon equipped, although you need the empy-full or ghetto-at the level to use the skill in the 1st place before you can get the reward. I don't have any of these-and what I'm working on is bard, one of 2 jobs that cannot upgrade their relic or empy (mythic is presumably ok), the other being pld for the shields-so you will need to read elsewhere.

The last little F U, all the advice is to be flexible in your available jobs, BUT you are also expected to be 5/5 in your merited WS. That means that with the possible exception of mage jobs your maximum number of delve boss level jobs is 3, probably 1 if you play War.

A new source for gear between Skirmish quality and Delve quality has been added via Eminence, mentioned above. In point of fact it's about the quality of Delve unaugmented, and so far cannot be augmented. Read above for more information, but know that these are very easy to obtain, just requiring grinding, and easy grinding at that.

Ok, SE has now added a 2nd gear upgrade path, at least partially, your relic gear may now be upgraded just as your AF1, all to 109, and head, hands and feet to 119, body and legs to presumably come next week. When this was 1st announced there was mention that our AF3 or Empy armor will also eventually be upgradable to 119. Now, judging by the pattern so far, the mechanism will likely be the same so you may want to compare all 3 sets of gear for the best slot piece for your job(s) and save your Rem’s chapters for the best one, ESPECIALLY if you have multiple jobs to upgrade for (seriously, working on my 12th 99 at the moment, if I upgraded the full sets that means 180 pieces, and this is a game, not a job). Either that or plan to full-time in SKCNMs and AA fights, or a constant Eminence spam to buy chapters with Sparks. The biggest problem with these is the required items for upgrades as they can be quite expensive and availability is a big issue. Geos and Runes do not despair, a new set of quested 109 “relic” upgradable to 119 was created for us, so it looks like we’ll get to be in on the upgrade fun for the foreseeable future.

Skirmish armor AND weapons have just gotten an upgrade to 119 as well via Skirmish in the new area. Doing the upgrade strips your present augments but also increases your viability significantly (higher stats, def, DPS, etc.), and once upgraded the items CAN be augmented again. Stones drop aplenty in the new skirmish as well, so it’s not that hard.

This IS likely to change the gear landscape a bit-at least until anything major comes in a new roll-out (think some new event with iLevel 130 or 140 rewards down the road). In the past JSE was usually NEAR the best but not THE best piece in most slots. However, with eventually 3 different JSE pieces available in every slot it is likely that for most slots one of those 3 options will be the best as the buffs are job-specific, and if they aren't you can still have a Delve augmented or Skirmish 3 Augmented piece. And lets face it, some jobs-brd, rng, etc.-with very unique skills are not well represented on the multi-job armors, ex. most builds are for haste but haste doesn’t effect ranged attacks, so ranger is screwed by a largely wasted buff, or in the case of eminence armor ranger is on the mage set which does NOTHING for ranged attacks or accuracy. The biggest current question mark I see in deciding which way to go-all of the AF3 had set bonuses, are mix and match sets going to be better, especially since we don’t know if those set bonuses will carry over into the AF3 reforged? And SE is keeping their mouth shut tight on the subject.

In addition, there is an issue with evaluating the gear because the verbiage used on the old 99- gear doesn’t match the new ilevel stuff, ex. “increases the effectiveness of wyvern breath” now reading “wyvern breath +17”. My understanding is this had to change due to calculations in the ilevel system and its scaling issue, since the gains have to go on the gear, not the player. But it has led to a lot of speculation that things like the augments from Relic +2 (Augmented) were not being carried over to the new 109/119 pieces. However, the preliminary testing I’ve seen in other forum posts leads me to believe that the augments ARE carried over, only the description has changed-granted, people are bitching they aren’t as powerful as they would expect them to scale to 109/119 but people are always going to whine, whatever. I don’t do mathy stuff so I suggest you try other forums that do to see actual data, my contribution is to simply say the buffs seem to be there, just 10, 20, 30 levels higher from the results out there so far, so use that when you decide whether AF/Relic/Empy head is getting your chapters.

Expect this section to be heavily supplemented as I and my friends move up the gear ladders

The Pack-Rat Project

Inventory. Managing is hell. It doesn’t matter how many slots you have, you don’t have enough. There are lots of different ways to handle your inventory that vary mostly on player preference, but regardless of your preference it’s something you have to get a handle on… and stick to it.

First of all, you really want to get Gobbiebag X. You’ll need a bit of fame, funds, maybe some friendly crafters and possibly some mission progress for the upgrade items. Each completed bag upgrade adds 5 slots to your pack, but also to your sack, satchel, etc. That is worth the effort, and you’ll never regret it.

There is a series of quests regarding giving your moogle a vacation that also expand inventory space. As above, you’ll need some items, but you’ll also need some timing, because it requires your nation to be in first place.

Locker is gotten from ToAU, quite early on. Mostly, you just need to remember to keep up your payments for access (unlike your “rent-a-room” these guys actually collect). Satchel is tied to the security key. Sack is a 1-time purchase, and after that the moogle will give you a free Instant Warp scroll daily-handy! Mog case is just a (extremely well received) gift from SE.

Storage-ok, this one is a little tricky. You can bring in furniture to get your storage up to 80… but you may not want to. Furniture has additional effects known as “Moghancements” that you may want to target instead of the inventory slots, and it’s only accessable at a Moogle. You’ll have to decide which is more important. You can choose to max out your Moghancements and take what it gives you from the available choices. If all you are after is inventory, then the good news is there are a few items that add large amounts of storage space, and you’ll want to use those, the biggest you can find/afford/make. A note though, with the exception of the crafting moghancements most do not give rewards important enough to bother with, and even the crafting ones are only important if you are a serious crafter as they can preserve some of those expensive hard to get materials in the event of a failure.

Mules-you gotta pay for these guys, but you can repeat the above steps to add space. Not all gear can be sent to mules however, so it’s not a perfect system.

Armor storage NPCs/Porter Moogles- useful if you don’t want to have to mule, although the porter takes a bite out of your inventory, just a smaller bite.

OK, so now you have as many slots as you can get, what do you want to keep there? This is player preference, but it’s also dictated by your jobs. All I can really tell you about is my personal choices. The biggest factor is that Satchel and Sack are accessable, even in the field, Locker and your base at any moogle, and storage solely in your home town Mog House.

Personally, I pack by how often I’ll need whatever. Satchel and sack are packed with beast jugs and pet food, automaton oil, ninja tools, ranged ammo and quivers, aby and dynamis pop items, thief’s knife, assassin’s armlets, food, sneak oils/powders and other miscellaneous consumables I may or may not need in the field. Both are full. However, if you don’t play those jobs, you don’t need those things that I do. Locker and my base are mostly filled with Rare/exclusive gear for my various jobs that can’t be stored on porter, with a major portion of that being Bard Instruments (when I’m not on my bard). I prefer not to mule gear for my base gear sets on my frequently used jobs because of the time to retrieve it. Lastly, Storage I use to keep some craftables, ancient currency and quest items, things that I will only be using when I’m making a special point of doing something. My pack, obviously that’s the stuff for my current job/sub combo and the rest is farming/drop space. Unfortunately, I’m horrible at the “stick to it” I mentioned above, so there is a lot of clutter.

Now what does any of this have to do with soloing? Well, 2 things. First, as mentioned above, a soloist needs to do everything a party can do, so you need to keep the supplies close to hand. Second, since soloing is generally not as efficient of a use for your time as a party, collecting all that you can of drops for resale/consumption minimizes the impact of soloing on your gil/hour ratio. Inventory space is the key to that, although almost equally important (if staying out for a decent time) is knowing what is junk and what is worth keeping.


A. Holy Cow, That’s Allot of Cabbage!

Farming doesn’t mean growing stuff to harvest in FFXI parlance, that’s Gardening and it’s handled elsewhere on Wiki; Farming means to kill for a drop. This doesn’t mean no XP, skill-ups, or trial progress, but your GOAL is the drop, and the income it provides. Some people also include HELM in farming because it is an activity to provide an income but I don't, you'ld be looking at fishing as well if I did. I'll address these BRIEFLY elsewhere.

Farming comes in 3 types-at least in the format I'm using, farming for Gil (killing beastmen), farming for saleables, and farming for crafting materials (possibly sold, possibly for your own use). Related is NM camping, which will be handled in a sub-section of this. This guide isn’t going to tell you WHAT you should farm (well, except beastmen for Gil), but questions you should be asking.

Farming is an exercise in math. There are 2 equations that need to be solved and then an average at the end. Even then, there are no rules, just some basic guidelines to look at. Much of the information you need to do this at the best rate of return is not publicly available. The VERY worst part is that someone else may arrive at the same answer as you, making farming your chosen item impossible, because they beat you to it.

The first equation is your effectiveness/prey’s strength=what is the most I can handle. This doesn’t mean that “it cons DC, therefore I can take it fairly quick” because con doesn’t cover everything. Your job’s capabilities vs. your prey’s capabilities are what we are actually talking about here. Say you are a ranger/ninja and you want bone chips to make arrowheads; you don’t want to be fighting EM skeletons if you can avoid it because they resist piercing damage and you can’t heal yourself, but spamming holy bolts against EP and lower is certainly viable (my apologies to any rangers out there if I’m wrong in that assessment). You actually need to do this calculation for every potential prey you consider.

The second equation is even more complex. Factoring in the item(s)’ price at sale (either NPC or AH), projected drop rate (how many whatever do I need to kill to see one), how quickly it sells (instant for NPC, to how often between sales on AH) vs. how fast can I kill whatever, how much is it going to cost me per kill in consumables (ammo, food and meds), and how often do I die in the process; the answer you arrive at should be “how much gil can I expect based on my time spent (or gil I can save if farming for self-consumption)”. So, if I’m farming X which NPCs for 500 (and less on AH), has a 20% drop rate, and sells immediately (1) vs. 3 minutes a kill (factoring in recovery time and travel) (20), a per kill cost of 43 (food and ammo) and 1 death every 60 kills we get (500 x .2 x1)/(20 x 43 x.016)=43.6 gil/hour. I know my math is wrong here but regardless it’s a lousy farm prey.

The averaging I was speaking of earlier is based on your best effort vs. your probable yield= is whatever worth your time? More often than not the answer will be no, UNLESS there is some other benefit to make it worth it. For example, if you can skill-up or satisfy trial kills and get within about 80% recoupment of your costs doing so it probably IS worth your time to farm whatever.

Now, what to farm? This is impossible for a guide like this to answer. Anything that NPCs well SE will kill the sales price on to keep RMT from homing in on it; necessary, but it doesn’t help those of us who are actually PLAYING in terms of income. Realism will keep some items from dropping too low however, so that’s the niche you need to exploit if going the NPC route. The AH is really your measure for good or bad for most things. Nothing on the AH should ever reach what an NPC will SELL the item for; if it does jump servers because you are playing with idiots. The exception is guild NPCs that might only sell 2 saruta cotton balls (as an example) in a week. Now, just because the item you have to sell goes for 1 million each doesn’t mean it’s a good item, it might only sell once every 3 months. By the same token something that only sells for 3k might be worth your time because 70 sell per day. Flooding the market and undercutting are huge factors, too. If beehive chips have climbed to 20k/stack it might be a great time to farm them unless the rest of the server realized it too. Conversely, if beehive chips have stabilized at 20k/stack you don’t want someone (including you) to sell them at 18k just to get a faster sale. Craftables are even more volatile; all the ground wasabi in the world is useless if there is no fish or rice to make sushi, behemoth hides are worthless if no one is leveling leather in that range, you get the idea.

What you need to do for any item is look up its sales history and its NPC sales price, and keep looking it up on occasion. Prices fluctuate all the time based on what people are selling, what they are using, what time of the week it is (prices frequently fall on weekend due to more farmers) and sometimes for no discernable reason at all. There are also advanced techniques to manipulate the market, but I think most violate the ToS according to SE. The only one I know is ok is hoarding (stockpiling stuff on a mule for sale when the supply drops or demand spikes), but if you pick wrong that stuff may be on your mule for years. You might also hoard to level crafting—buy whatever you need whenever it’s low so you can do a major crafting session on Firesday and the full moon as an example.

As to any information posted as to drop rates… don’t depend on them. Posted percentages are an average, but actual experience varies WILDLY across all players, regardless of job choice. As an example, I’m currently farming King Buffalo for hides to level my leather. Since I’ve started, I’ve spent 30 hours (over 11 days) in zone on my 99 thief/dancer with a base TH5 (3 from level, 1 Thief’s Knife, 1 Assassin Armlets +1). I do have my NPC out for leveling as well (soothing healer, currently level 84). I’m averaging 25 kills/hour. That’s 750 kills. I have gotten 19 hides as drops (Despoiled another 11, but that doesn’t count to drop rate), which, if my math is right is a drop rate of 2.53%. Look it up on Wiki, 10.9%. Clearly that doesn’t match. In addition, I’ve tried other jobs with access to TH, namely my 99 Ranger/Dancer (thought the skill-ups might be worth it, 8.5 hours, 0 hides, 168 kills) and 99 Beastmaster/dancer using a Hippo jug (300 kills, 2 hides). NMs are just as bad, I gave up and bought the drop after 0/200+ on Jaggedy-earred Jack. Naturally, I’ve had the opposite experience as well. Farming Demon Horns with Yuly back at level 78, had a 40% rate sort of stands out. So yes, look something up, but don’t depend on the results to equal yours.

B. Doo-dah, Doo-dah, let's go doo dah NMs!

NM camping is still a part of the game, even with SE doing all they can figure out to get rid of RMT. However, a lot of the market has died out and in other cases SE has killed the drop itself. Some Gil drops that used to be excellent are now Rare/Exclusive, the drop rate is miserable on others, and some are superseded by newer items. It still has its allure though, and for some it’s simply about getting the title. You may also need the kill for an Empyreal Weapon trial. You need to ask “why do I want to kill this thing?” The answer is somewhat important.

First off, some common elements of NM hunting:

  • Patience is a virtue. NMs are only up when the rules for it say they can be up, and they are usually area spawns (excepting the Force Spawn NMs), so you may have to satisfy its pop conditions and then you still have to FIND it, one of the reasons Beastmaster or Ranger is so common camping NMs.
  • NMs are more powerful than other mobs in the area; they may have different behavior and different abilities so studying up on it is a VERY good idea.
  • Competition is a factor. Not every NM is in demand anymore, but for those that are getting claim is crucial. Have your fastest hate-generating ability ready at all times when camping; you may even need to claim it while you are already engaged if it pops because if you don’t you get to wait through its re-pop cycle.

The Title/bragging rights people don’t really need a lot of advice. Those killing for vengeance for an earlier defeat want to follow this advice as well. Unless your level gap is insanely huge, the key to soloing an NM is usually your consumables; while gear makes a difference, you have what you have, so unless you want to wait until you obtain x piece, you’ll go with what you have. Food for boosts, meds for recovery during the fight and any available debuff item to make it manageable are your focus. Do your research as well. Now here’s the kicker; now that you’ve beaten whatever nobody is actually impressed and you may actually see your reputation go DOWN for killing it if it is an NM that people actually need.

  • "_______ NM is so easy to solo as a ___/___" but you keep dying to it. You probably aren't doing anything wrong. Most of the people who write in to say how easy it is to solo ANY NM aren't writing in for informational purposes but to brag about their character. If you read the lengthier posts you will see that they have 3 of the best Atmas, fully-capped skills, fully upgraded empyrean weapons and probably a top-flight gear set(s). They also often have a load of temp items. For MOST characters where building a character is a work in progress (getting gear, skill-ups, etc.) any "easy to solo" NM is going to be considerably more difficult than those posts would lead you to believe.

Killing for a drop is often frustrating. If you are killing to use it yourself the item is often useless by the time you are able to beat the NM that drops it, so be prepared to use a higher level job to kill it and do so in advance of leveling the job(s) you want the drop for. Whether killing for sale or your own use however, most desirable drops have a drop rate that is well below 100%; you may be getting to know your NM very well (I myself was 0/200+ on Jaggedy-Earred Jack’s drop before I gave up and bought it). Posted drop rates are a reflection of odds, they are not a guarantee. Either way, if an item is highly desired expect competition, some illegitimate (people camping Argus to force you to buy the item they have on AH for millions instead of a free Rare/Exclusive item, etc).

Lastly is killing NMs for your Empyrean Weapon trial. Most of these trials require you to kill the same NM multiple times, sometimes it simply keeps score, others you have to turn in a set number of drops from the NM. For the most part these are not the most in-demand NMs—except among people on the same trial. The same problems pertain as above, but you want guaranteed kills. First advice is team up with people needing the same NM whenever possible, turning competition into allies. Otherwise, come over-prepared in terms of your consumables and job choices i.e. you may never sub red mage with your main job, but for this particular NM it is the way to go, etc. Once you reach the level where you are turning in drops instead of just tracking kills you are free to use a different job to get the drops, if you have a stronger one. Do whatever you have to do to minimize the number of attempts you need.

Other Income Streams


In keeping with the theme of income sources available to the soloist, I need to discuss H.E.L.M., respectively Harvesting, Excavating, Logging and Mining. You can get a “sort-of” introduction to all of these activities in your Mog Garden, but I will direct your attention to that page as doing this in the field is somewhat different.

1st, common elements of all 4 activities; a duo is better, the surrounding mobs are hostile, competition sucks, the activity can be tedious and boring, there is gear you can wear to improve your chances, inventory is a BIG issue, and there is supposedly a hidden level for this. These activities are done at “points” and you will need a tool-a sickle, pick or hatchet respectively, and they break, frequently, so bring stacks is reccommended, the gear I mentioned seems to lower the chances of breaks and is rumorred to improve results, I haven't done any statistical analysis to verify that or to see if it's enough to justify the expense. In addition, the hidden level is also supposed to reduce breakage and improve your yields, I haven't done this enough to verify the truth of that either, but regardless, persistance pays off.

While many zones allow these activities it is usually only 1 of the 4. The biggest factor is that while the points are fixed, which points are ACTIVE is random and the points themselves are usually fairly spread out; that is why you may want to duo or more, to spread your group amongst the various spawn points. Your yields drop into the treasure pool for all of the group in the same zone, so you'll have to decide on your own how to split the yields. Your possible yields also vary by zone, and they tend to reflect the mob levels around you, i.e. if the mobs are level 40 the yields roughly correspond to the associated craftables in the 30-50ish range; however, HELM is a relic of the 75 cap, so materials for up to 100 are available in the 75 zones. The yields range in value from low to high, and how common they are is generally tied to that value, but as many of the drops can now be gotten from other sources (drops, chests, etc.) that isn't as hard and fast as it once was.

So, now the “How-to”, well, it's quite simple actually, you find a point and trade or use your tool on it, the easiest way is to simply macro it as /item “name of tool” <t>, “Sickle” “Pickaxe” or “Hatchet” respectively. The job you choose to take should be whatever will let you live through any aggro you get, my personal preference is beast or puppetmaster so you can let your pet deal with the mobs while you look for the next point, but you have what you have. Most of your yields are craftables, and they may or may not stack; I suggest bringing crystals to convert the yields into ingots, lumber, thread/cloth or whatnot to make them stackable as it will increase what you can carry and thus the profit or savings from your run. You can also craft tools but for most of us it's actually cheaper to just buy them from the NPCs.


ok, there are tons of guides out there for this activity, so I won't go into it much. Fishing is actually it's own craft, but it is independent of the other crafts, meaning you can take it to level 110 without impacting a main craft. The yields are closely tied to cooking, so for cooks especially you may want to do this as well. There is a huge variation of targeted fish that vary by zone, rod and bait/lure that you will need to look up elsewhere. Fishing can be extremely lucrative, whether you can cook or not; the AH is going to be your second home, and you may want a lot of mules to also AH this stuff. In fact, fishing is SO lucrative that SE has had to nerf it multiple times to fight off all the fishing bots, and the biggest nerf is that you can only do it about 200 casts a day before your yields turn to garbage. It also skills ABYSMALLY slow.

Chocobo Digging

The key is inventory. Repeat, inventory. Just in case I wasn't clear, inventory. You'll need to carry gysahl greens, as you'll be burning 1 every time you try. You'll need a Chocobo, you can rent one of course, but if you are serious about digging I suggest raising one and concentrating on digging and ride time, it will help, a lot. You also may want to wear gear that extends your time if you can afford the space.

There is a verified hidden level that takes a LONG time to raise, like 10k greens worth of long, but it has a huge effect on the quality of yields. So does competition, the more diggers, the more garbage yields. I'm not sure how many zones offer digging, but all of those with goblin diggers do. You cannot craft on a chocobo, so forget trying to fix your stacks, the trade off is you'll never be aggroed.


ok, I've only done this once, for a quest. The good news is noone does it so there is no competition. Basically, you wander the beaches of Porronoggo Isle and gather the stuff into a bucket, hitting a target weight without bennefit of a scale, you get bigger buckets as you improve, congratulations. Refer to the clamming pages for weights and yield types. As with all of the other income methods most of your drops are garbage, but there are enough worthwhile items that this may be for you.


not your Mog Garden-although that is related-this is done in your Mog House. This is an incredibly complex system and I strongly suggest you refer to one of the guides out there, the best was “Pikko's Pots”, but the wiki pages have improved a good deal now as well. You grow all sorts of things in a complex combination of day, moon phase, pot type, seed type, crystal feeding and monitoring. Gardening REQUIRES you to log in daily, and you can grow a maximum of 10 pots at a time. The yields are usually craftables, and the more dilligent you are the better the yields.


HELL NO, I'm not describing this. Go directly to the craft's individual page for information and guides. Crafting is compatible with every activity in the game, using drops/yields from all of the above activities. They are long roads, and much of the profit has dropped out of it as so much of the end-game gear that is sought after is a rare/exclusive drop from a mob, but there are still some craftables, especially the consumables, that make crafting a worthwhile activity. All I will say is crafting is a HUGE commitment, but the possible rewards may mean a steady income when you get to upper levels.

I Want to Fly Like an Eagle…

Well if you want to fly through this game you’re going to need skill, as much as you can manage. The game comes with a ton of different skills and they all level separately. Some you can combine in 1 session, but for most there is no overlap for the solo player. You can also do some skilling up as part of your leveling, but not that much the way the game is currently played—most people having to level via level sync until Abyssea levels (75+) and suddenly facing massive skill gaps.

Skill increases your chance of survival in several ways: offensive skills let you kill faster, lessening the hits you take; defensive skills lower the hits you take or the damage from them; offensive magic skills both increase damage and help overcome your target’s resistance; healing skill allows your spells to heal more damage, etc. The point is you want to close that skill gap as quickly as possible. A skill-up party is the preferred option, although it may not be viable for defensive skills unless you are skilling on a tank job or some other hate magnet, but they are rarely available these days, so you will frequently be soloing. There are guides to skilling MOST of the skills mentioned here on Wiki so I’m going to just summarize a few basic strategies.

A general note on skilling up is to keep careful track of your progress and rate of skill up. The two must be watched in tandem. In the face of a large skill gap you should see a very rapid rate of skill-up, even on EP mobs. When the frequency of skill-ups or the size falls off you will need to switch to more difficult prey. If you have looked up your skill cap at your level you will also know when to try to step up the difficulty (I would say within 10-15 levels of cap for offensive skills, 25 levels for defensive, but whatever you prefer). By the same token, if fighting more difficult prey in hopes of larger skill-ups there is a "point of diminishing returns". This is reached when you miss frequently, are resisted often, hit for very low damage, fail to evade often, etc. Based on your knowledge of your job you should have a sense of when that point is reached (and it does vary from job to job). While you can attempt to remedy this with food and/or some gear, the most economical way is generally to shift to weaker prey until that skill-gap narrows, especially if you have to burn consumables just to function or to use the skill (ammo, ninja tools, food, etc.). If you CAN get a party for skill-ups a bard and/or corsair is going to be your best friend as they have buffs that can help with many skills.

In my opinion, skill is the most neglected area in the game by most players. Obviously, it is unrealistic to expect every player to have capped skill in every category available to them. When you literally have nothing better to do, skilling up should be your activity of choice, it will only benefit you and every party you ever enter. This is especially important with the introduction of Abyssea and the weakness targeting required for top-flight play there. Currently, a full alliance is less common than it was when abyssea rolled out; smaller parties or even soloists targeting seal NMs or farming pops for later are very common now. Hitting those weaknesses to increase your yields requires either a wide range of skills or a tremendous run of luck; you may even need to try to hit that weakness off of your sub-job! That is why skill is so important, even on your lesser used skills-it increases your chances of successfully landing it against tougher mobs even if the skill is halved by coming from your sub-job. Warriors are frequently asked to try a variety of weapons to process red !!, and personally when I am on my bard main I will use staff to take the load off the warriors. When beastmaster main I frequently /bard to process threnodies and I am in the process of practicing using my /ninja for ninjitsu yellow !! triggers. As skilling up can generally be combined with any other solo activity there really isn't an excuse NOT to skill up those lesser skills.

Grounds of Valor seems to have an adjusted skill-up rate that is amazing. There is a "Prowess" that adds to "combat skill-up" to further augment that skill-up rate (getting it is random, and the effects only last as long as you stay in zone) that would be well worth getting. There is also an item from caskets in Zehrun that adds to skill-up rates even when not doing GoV called a Prousse Ring that is highly reccommended. There are also the Limnial Earring and Terminus Earings in Gustav's Tunnel and Ru Avitau as well. There are foods that enhance “combat skill-up” or "magic skill-up". Your NPC fellow can now be gotten to 95, making it a viable assistant during skill-up, see above. Finally, doing trial weaps is a wonderful time to work on skill gaps. The changes to Dynamis (not dreamlands) make this also a good place to work on skills.

A note about jobs-if you've been reading the Wiki you will have noted "Grades" next to certain skills on certain jobs. These are important for skill-up, at least if you have more than 1 job. Simply put, the higher the grade the more likely to get a skill-up, meaning it is faster, and speed is most DEFINATELY your friend skilling up. So if you have a choice do things like level parry on Rune, shield on pld, eva on thf, axe on bst, you get the idea. Of course, for some skills there is no choice, if you are going to level summoning you are smn main.

Good news people! Skill-up has been returned to campaign and added to Reives. So, you can now skill-up in almost every area of the game (I actually can't think of any you can't off the top of my head). There may be a cap (there was with campaign fortifications), will need to test that, but this is still wonderful news, especially for those that aby burned and now have a huge gap to close and a limited choice of mobs to do it on.

  • a. Offensive weapon skills. Find EP- mobs and plow through, generally against the highest defense and evasion you can find. As the skill gap narrows seek out EM or even T mobs (if you can beat them) and just keep pounding away. Low-delay low-damage weapons let you concentrate on skills. Yes, you can reach cap on DC prey now, however my observation is that the rate of skill-up increase (while improved) is still better with tougher prey. Best to strike a balance between getting skill-ups and not being able to connect, which is why you want to avoid prey above T, but EM-T seems to yield the highest rate of skillups/attempt. I do still recommend if you have a LARGE skill gap that you power through EP until you narrow the gap. Sell the drops and use it to stockpile food/consumables to use when you have the gap narrowed. The exception is ranged attack; the ammo is expensive so you want the most skill-ups you can get at the lowest cost; burn your dog-bolts/arrows/free garbage you get from scavenge, and when you are out use the cheapest ammo your job allows until you've narrowed that gap, but always fight the tougher prey (worms if available using ranger tactics, or the T-zone line tactic). If you don't mind the expense, you can switch to easier prey using cheap ammo with low delay weapons, especially if the prey drops a sellable commodity or something that you can use, i.e. I like to garden so seeds/cuttings are a favorite, selling the treant bulbs unless I need to make acid bolts.
  • b. Defensive skills. Put on the worst gear you can find (yes, the worst) and still live, then go pick a fight with something with great accuracy that hits like a feather duster, monks/thieves/paladins are a great choice here. You also do NOT want to be dealing damage to your playmate so no good weapons please. Above all, don’t forget your shield if you are leveling shield (trust me, I’ve seen it….), and just forget you even have shadows, avoid pets too if they take hate (except puppets, as they need skill-ups, too). This is actually the best way to skill defense if you are a job that can’t hold hate against a tank. The skill-up rate still seems much slower than offensive skill-ups. A note about Evasion and defensive skills-Evasion seems to proc MUCH more often than the other skills, and when it procs it seems to lower your chance at skilling shield/parry/guard; still, it's an improvement, it used to block it entirely. For this reason, it is generally best when skilling the other defensive skills to focus on evasion down gear and food. I'm not a fan of Agility down as much because it may interfere with other things you are trying to skill.
  • c. Offensive magic. A lot like the offensive weapons with one exception, if you can find T+ mobs near a zone line run in and pop a spell then zone, rinse and repeat. Otherwise, use low-level spells and use them a lot. The prey of choice is worms, stepping into casting range to unload a spell and immediately stepping out to avoid a counter. You can also fight enemy black mages and rangers as they won’t approach until you’ve taken 30% HP off of them (then zone and repeat on the re-pop). Note that Beastmen usually pop in groups, so this is also an excellent chance to skill your sleep skill on the adds before you zone.
  • d. Healing magic skill. Nothing fancy here, step outside your MH and cast cure on yourself until your run out of MP, step in to refill your MP and repeat until the suicidal urges are almost irresistible. Enhancing is the same except use a bar-element spell. Any of these have the added advantage of annoying everyone passing through the Mog House zone. Note you can also level healing magic by casting cures OFFENSIVELY on undead, but be ready to zone because they will hit back; this is MUCH more effective post-update. If using the zone technique you can also skill divine this way, via repose or banish/holy
  • e. Dark skill. Sleep stuff. What, you want a novel here? Ok, see the next entry, too. One other MAJOR option, use magic heavily while playing Dark Knight; most of their magic is dark so it should skill your dark magic in a hurry.
  • f. Enfeebling magic. Cast anything that doesn’t inflict damage on dolphins in sea (paralyze or slow or something). Repose will level divine this way, too. Flash may work as well. Once past that level you are kind of stuck with whatever you can do while farming or in parties, so don't neglect to use it. I would also suggest using an enfeeble to pull when solo, red get to pull certain prey in Abyssea via silence/gravity as an example.
  • g. Summoning skill. Step outside a town and just summon as in d. above. You get to rest MP to break-up the monotony, enjoy. Once you reach Abyssea levels equip a refresh or conserve MP Atma and do as above WITHOUT zoning, doing ops/quests while summoning so as not to completely waste your time. Note that you can do this with the instant MP refill (when elemental siphon isn't up) by doing it in Al Zabhi when Beseiged is not going on just outside the Mog House. Sub red mage at upper levels to extend time between ducking into the MH. Bloodpacts also give you an opportunity to skill-up so spam them at every chance-as much as anything on a 45 second recast timer can be spammed. All told, if you choose to level summoner solo the old school party way keeping skills close to cap is fairly easy as there is only the one skill to keep caught up. I reccommend leveling via GoV solo and not touching AAbby or the like.
  • h. Ninjitsu. Cast elemental ninjitsu while farming. Either that or just cast Utsusemi allot, but you’re just wasting money that way. Ninjas are recommended to level their ninjitsu while farming, as every cast costs you money, farm for cash OR the materials to make more tools.
  • i. Bard skills. Sleep dolphins, 1st with a horn, then a harp until it doesn’t give skill no more. Then go stand like a lump anywhere with a lot of people, run through your Carols and relieve your boredom by telling the people who ask you to stop or take it elsewhere to get stuffed. Bard songs skill up VERY fast used offensively in end-game; sleep is still your primary skill-up method, but cycling Threnody to yellow "!!" in parties is good, too. Solo this is not as effective, but can be adapted; as with ranged attack and the zone line pull you can cast at the range limit and flux out, or work on worms. Alternate Foe Lullaby, Elegy, Nocturne, Finale, any other songs that can be cast offensively excepting Requiem in a cycle to skill anything. You will lose XP, but you can also use RR songs followed by a Horde lullaby in bastion; if you have abysites of lenity you might actually GAIN some XP if the NPCs are beating the attackers. DO NOT forget to switch between instruments to cap wind AND string.
  • j. Blue Magic. You get a crack at this on every cast, meaning no matter what you are doing you are in a skill-up state. If you don't want to fight (whatever, it's your character) then I suppose you can just follow the healing method, using a blue magic cure or buff on yourself outside the MH and zoning to replenish your MP. I really don't know that much about Blue, if any want to chime in on this, see the talk page.
  • k. Geomancy/handbell. ok, these 2 just suck. They're slow and given the spell durations and MP cost you are not likely to be casting enough to do much of anything while leveling-I know I didn't. Considering that your only real option is going to be just repititiously casting in Abby with refresh atmas i would push VERY hard for a Limnius earring and then get the magic skill-up pieces from the eminence set (ilevel 106) as well as skill-up food, but then cast offensive Geo spells on prey (skill-up always seems to go quicker when not cast on you). It's still slow and likely to take quite a few thousand casts to get to the 99 cap. SE had to do something to you for getting those end-game scrolls from Skirmish instead of buying off the NPCs for 600k+


This one is wide open, and there isn’t much advice to give other than BE FLEXIBLE! To be sure, not all quests can be soloed and this is by design. The good news is that for most quests you can take your level 99 job (if you have one) and beat them relatively easily, as SE removed MOST of the level-capped quest battles.

You may want to do some repeatable quests for gil or certain drops, possibly fame as well (Avatar Prime fights come to mind). Other quests are for progress in certain story arcs. With the advent of Synthetic Atma (see the Atma page) completion is being rewarded now with extra power in Abyssea. You may simply be doing them for the individual quest rewards (like access to Toramai Canal through Windurst, a gear drop for a new job you wish to level, etc).

Of course, the big thing everyone is trying to complete would be their AF3 seals and/or Relic +2 upgrade. This is best done in a group if at all possible. In Abyssea NMs give your best rate of return on a seals/attempt ratio but procs are an issue solo. Dynamis a group just means faster, and safer kills, so a greater return, but you should have to share then (if required to give all items to leaders 1st you might wish to seek another group where proceeds are strictly attendance/contribution based, you shouldn’t have to wait while the boss gets his 3rd mule their 5th +2 set if you are there for runs and contributing). However, most of the quests that reward with seals CAN be soloed, including those requiring you to farm some item to complete. The biggest favor you can do yourself in this regard is to have more than 1 level 99 job completed to let you choose the job with the best chance of survival against a particular mob (low chance of getting a seal and then only a chance of that seal being what you need).


Abyssea is its own area with (somewhat) its own rules. Before you decide to just “saddle-up” and go beat on some Abyssea mobs you might want to think about it. People solo Abyssea for 3 reasons-maybe 4, or a combination of them, to straight XP, to farm, and to kill NMs (this is actually farming as well, but the play is so different it will be addressed separately), and maybe to work on a weapons trial.

General Notes

Abyssea is an area that has been both praised and vilified and both rightfully so. It allowed the “OMG did you see the damage I just did” people an outlet. It brought in a new set of gear (to accompany a raise in the level cap) that provided a new goal. Due to the monopolization of HNMs by a few shells the old gear was stagnant for those in the shells and noone else could get any because the mob you needed was already dead/claimed. It essentially rid anyone over level 30 of the need to XP, as they can now just stand there in a party and allow the XP to accumulate in a matter of hours. It revitalized certain jobs and sent others to the proverbial scrap heap (it was nice knowing you Corsairs while it lasted). I could go on for pages on end, but you get the idea; Abyssea was a game-changer, and in the opinion of many, game-breaker.

Abyssea play is driven by Abyssites, Atma, and your upgraded gear. In a party this really isn’t an issue, as there will usually be people who have advanced to the point that they can simply coast through the content. As much as I despise leech play, those just starting out are advised to get in a party with one or more of these guys, because even though we may not remember it, before you got any of that stuff and were level 75 Abyssea was a deathtrap. Soloists REALLY want to be 9/9 on lunar abyssites and have Atma of the Apocalypse, as well as the better Atmas for your jobs. During the course of getting those you should at least be able to get started on your AF3. In fact, although it can be worked with other gear (especially if you get 99 before really seeking your gear), I recommend soloists to at least have 3/5 AF3 +1 or comparable gear to make it worth your effort there.

Novice play

Please note this is hard to discuss, as I already had 2 level 75 jobs that were pretty well geared when Abyssea came out, and powered through Abyssea with comparably leveled/equipped people, starting in at level 99 would make a considerable difference. Regardless, the goal of a novice should be lunar abyssites 1st, atma 2nd, gear 3rd to boost your performance, and Atma can cover for weak gear a lot better than the other way around. Check your available synthetic Atmas your 1st time in each zone, they’re a start. Join a party, you want the cruor to buy your 1st lunar and Atmas as fast as possible, and you will be vulnerable until you get some.

Find or form a group dedicated to burning through Zone bosses and Caturae, WITH RED PROCS! Some of the best starting Atma/abyssites for soloists come from these guys. Just power through all the way to Shinryu, believe me, you want Apocalypse. When you reach him, outfit a red proc party and get a brewer (you probably won’t have the 2M cruor yourself). So now you’ve beaten the big guy, you’ll be able to start functioning at the levels most people (and most guides) expect you to be at, right? Well sorta…

Now it’s time to start in on Atma hunting. For the most part this can be combined with gear hunting/weapon building if you target the right mobs. Note: you’ll probably want help with those mobs that drop the better Atmas; actually, unless you’re a warrior getting the Atma will mostly be a matter of dumb luck solo because it is doubtful you’ll have access to the proc. Upgrade everything as fast as you can; with Atma bonuses and cruor buffs even relatively small numbers gain huge boosts in each upgrade. You’ll be complaining about how broke the zone is and the lack of challenge in no time… and that’s when you can solo here like the big boys

Veteran Play

For veteran players Abyssea has gotten to be as easy as a level 75 farming beehive chips in Giddeus used to be. Veteran players Aby for the reasons listed above, and they choose Aby because grinding is easy when you are virtually invincible. They also do it because all of the meaningful 75-90 content was funneled through Aby. AF3 gear sets may be somewhat overshadowed by some of the 90+ gear that’s out there now, but most of that 90+ stuff is hard to acquire and the AF3 +2 gives you a better chance than an Aurora set as an example of surviving to GET the 90+ gear. All Empy weapons require a trip through Aby to get to the last upgrades, too. Despite changes in other zones Aby is still the fastest source of XP/LP and at veteran levels this can be done solo or group by every job (even my bard solos regular mobs fairly handily).


Abyssea XP is geared towards at a minimum the party and more often the alliance, if you are just starting out it simply isn’t that fast solo. You need to build lights, in certain ways, to make for good XP. The chain is a huge part of the XP calculation in Abyssea, but the climb is actually quite small compared to what it is outside Abyssea-especially since they doubled the XP outside, and I have yet to see a job in Abyssea that can equal the kill rate of a decent party/alliance, at least at novice levels. If you do manage to get your speed up or if enough people are killing the same prey as you they will quickly start spawning at higher and higher levels, and can become very dangerous before veteran levels.

Your XP rings and other boosts don’t work here either. Personally, I wouldn’t even think of attempting it without at least relic/salvage quality gear, at/near cap trial weapons or the like, a substantial XP buffer, some of the better Atmas and decent abyssites. I also wouldn’t bother unless I had stones to burn; oh yeah, those things, you’re on a time limit here.

Time is going to be an issue for you at any time; partys often make special efforts to farm time extension chests to minimize stone usage, but this is much more difficult to do solo, especially as most jobs are not really capable of getting the right light balance to make these chests drop with any frequency. By frequency, I mean a percentage rate-if you can get 1/10 of blue chests to have them you are lucky, and solo you’ll be lucky to get blue chests on 50% of your kills. Just as an added kicker, every time you zone to reset your time you get to start all over on your lights; for veterans THIS is the reason to build time.

All that being said, solo is a viable way to do both Bastion and Dominion Ops/fights. While Time will be a concern, the XP gain is so high that it off-sets burning stones (depending on how quick you are going through them outside soloing) making this justifiable. Bastion isn't that popular, not because it's a bad system, but because the XP rate in Dominion is so much faster that Bastion is largely abandoned. However, Bastion DOES give you the option of 1 Op per hour with a chance at a free seal (random); in addition, Bastion is the only way to get some AF3 gear, so you will need SOME points.

Novice Play

If you are just starting out in Aby your survival is not nearly as certain as it is when you’ve built some Aby “muscle” (atma, abyssites, gear). The 1st advice is as above, get a group and burn through to the low end of Vet play. Assuming you’ve decided to not follow that advice this section is for you. Novice play will probably confine you to one of the earliest 3 zones. Play really isn’t going to be that different from a level 75 version of any XP grind you’ve done before. The main thing to watch out for is linking-it’s easy to target specific mobs with Aby’s layout but they REALLY like to stay in linking range. They also pop faster and harder the more people are killing them, so depending on your level you may want to find an unused mob to keep them low.

Keep your seek flag up at all times. While there is a definite asshole contingent on the server there are also MANY decent people who may see you soloing and offer to have you tag along for an Atma or Abyssite or even a drop item if they have noone on jobs that can use. Put something in your comment like “Atma/Abyssite/Mission completion, {Please Invite Me}.” Pay attention to shouts, too. Decent people who get seals to fall that they don’t need often shout to give them away before they floor, and let’s face it, the more freebies you get, the less you have to do later.

Again, save your cruor, get your map, then buy your 1st lunar abyssite-with a break for Teal or the like gear if needed (if wearing relic/ACP/Salvage quality gear you can wait to get your AF3+1 before regearing as all are strong enough to keep you viable)-and get ready for your 1st Atma. This will probably be one of the synthetic atmas. Take any chance you can get to join PUGs or LS parties after Atma/Abyssites/Zone bosses/Caturae as those are all on the path you need to follow to get strong in Aby-for the record, your strength in Aby is derived mostly NOT from your gear but from Atma and Cruor buffs, the gear benefits are more apparent outside Aby where they aren’t overshadowed by your +110 Strength or whatever. Again, the object is Apocalypse Atma-and whatever Twilight gear you can get while there-because Apoc and the path to it is what puts you in the Vet tier. Don’t bother buying the AF3 unaugmented pieces until you have the seals for the upgrade.

Also, read up on Aby quests. Many of them don’t require you to be that strong to complete and getting Aby fame helps. Some of the quest rewards are truly worth it, especially when you get to the point of seals quests.

Farming, Aby-style

Novice Play

Simply not recommended until you are at least a 2 Atma player rocking at least some AF3 +1. A good rule of farming at any level is if you are struggling to make kills or even stay alive then you are farming the wrong prey. You should be just mowing things down with minimal downtime when you farm, otherwise your rate of return on your time simply isn’t worth the effort. If you ARE able to farm the same rules apply as Vet Play below.

Vet Play

If you go into Abyssea to farm it’s going to be for pop items, quest items and the like. Regular drops can generally be achieved faster, easier and more efficiently elsewhere for anything that drops from that mob type and it won’t cost you stones. In fact, the only reasons I could see for farming regular drops in Abyssea is to use Atma of Dread to boost Treasure Hunter, or to combine it with another activity-XP, skill, etc-or to kill time between Bastion battles. However, there are a few items that drop only in abyssea because the mobs only exist there, and some of them are worth farming, either for personal consumption (like quests, etc.) or for sale.

Farming for pop and quest items is handled much the same as it is outside Abyssea, essentially you simply keep killing until you find your desired drop. Pop items generally only allow you to carry one, quest items can be carried in multiples. Note that I’m only speaking of what I would call tier 1 NMs, tier 2 NMs generally require pop items (whether real or key items) gained from tier 1 NMs. The advantage to farming in Abyssea is that you have access to your Atmas, which should-if chosen correctly-make you more efficient at killing. However, this is off-set by the fact that if you are having any success the mobs you are farming will repop at more difficult levels until they overcome this advantage.

Farming for gold chest drops is not something I personally would recommend solo, and most of the reasons are listed in the XP section. Lights, speed and the like are all extremely hard to achieve solo to even target gold chests. In addition, in my experience Treasure Hunter has no effect on frequency/quality of chest drops (but there are some abyssites that do). If you do get them, the distribution is random of what drops. You stand a very good chance of getting temp items-which you may already have or may be useless for your jobs, consumables, gear with random augments (generally NPCs for decent amounts), scrolls (which can be worth a ton), and the all-important AF3 feet. For things you don’t need, the non-exclusive are generally to sell (bazaar scrolls while in Abyssea, consider AH after you leave) but for AF3 feet it is simply good karma to /shout and offer them to whoever replies-you will need to invite them to party briefly BEFORE you pop the chest. The golden rule, they may /tell you if they get seals/feet YOU need.


      • NOTE-Novice and veteran play are not separated here, there are notes in the text instead. A player should have evaluated their chances versus any specified prey before going into the fight, so Novice/Veteran is irrelevant.***

This is where soloing in my opinion generally gets to be worth it. However, soloing NMs WILL NOT be as effective as a full party, PERIOD! The reason for this is the “!!” proc issue. Hitting the weakness of an NM increases the chances of drops/key items/Atma, and no job is capable of hitting every possible trigger, so luck will play a big part in your success or failure. In addition, different jobs will approach specific NMs in different ways-look up the specific NMs to see specific tactics for your job, check the talk/testimonials page, not the job’s page.

This being said, as drops are mostly known for all NMs, it is possible to target a narrower prize pool than general farming. The reason to solo (other than bragging rights and the occasional skill-up) is to have 1st choice on drops; if your usual Abyssea group is anything like mine there may be 8 people ahead of you in line for drops for thief feet as an example, but if you get them solo those 8 people don’t enter into the equation (if they do, find a different group because your leaders suck so bad they shouldn’t be in charge of a game of tic-tac-toe let alone an LS-what you do solo is your own risk, so it’s your own reward). Unfortunately unlike as in farming, if you get something Rare/Exclusive you can’t use you can't /shout for that whole karma thing because their drops are not from chests (although you may get a chest drop as well), for this to work you would need to be in at least a duo.

NMs are handled in 2 ways, a straight fight or a “brew”. NOVICES SHOULD NEVER BREW, SAVE CRUOR UNTIL AFTER BEATING SHINRYU!. Which you do depends on what you are after. The straight-up fight is generally the better option if you need something the NM has. You attempt to proc the appropriate “!!” weakness for the drop you are after with every option available to you on your job; once you are CERTAIN you can’t try anything else, you pull out the stops and try your kill-you may even “brew” if the mob is especially difficult. Don’t forget, it may be in your best interest to invite someone else to try other “!!” triggers if you were unable to hit them solo. Assuming you win, congratulations. General advice, stockpile temp items-you may not need them on this fight but you will eventually and you really can’t go shopping mid-fight solo.

However, you may just need the win-at least right now-so you may choose to “brew” right from the start. To “brew” is to use a Primeval Brew, a temp item that can be purchased for 2,000,000 (200,000 if you’ve completed the quest line) cruor that boosts everything you do by insane amounts, for a period of time. READ UP ON YOUR NM!!! Many NMs that are commonly brewed have the capacity to be healed by your attacks under certain conditions, and that usually means your death and reacquisition of whatever pops are needed. Even without getting the “!!” trigger it is possible-but not likely-to get worthwhile drops and the like from an NM, but mostly you brew to get a win.


      • NOTE-Novices: trials are actually a very good way to ease into Aby. Building a weapon will only make you stronger in terms of what you can handle; for those targeting a full Empy weapon the earlier you start the sooner you’ll see it, and you can stockpile drops from the later trials in your path regardless of your job or level. As above, never brew before you beat Shinryu the 1st time***

Sometimes the best place to find prey that work for a trial is in Abyssea; for the NM trials it may be the only place. As always, the recommendation is to find a helpful group, but sometimes you just can’t. In that case the actual advice is as above in the farming or NM sections. For regular mobs, just kill, doing whatever you need to do to satisfy the trial, but be aware there IS no weather in Abyssea for elemental trials. For the NMs, treat them as NMs, but your success is paramount-do whatever you have to do to stay alive and see the monster dead. If that means popping a brew, so be it if you can’t wait for a group. Luckily, the drop needed to satisfy the trial condition is usually a high-if not 100%-drop. Weapon skill trials can-of course-be satisfied whether solo or in a group, as long as you are not the puller or healer for a group in which case you should simply be too busy if you are doing your job. Make sure your prey DOES satisfy your trial; I wasted a few minutes killing Eruca with no progress before I learned that only actual crawlers worked for one of my dagger trials.


Ok, I’m going to step on some toes here again…; the good news is that I don’t actually care if I do. Write your own guide if you know so much!

There are a lot of jobs that simply aren’t generally worth the trouble of soloing in Abyssea, with the only thing they really excel at being burning through your stones. Rather than list those, I’m going to list the ones that excel at soloing here, based on direct observation, my own play, and reliable testimonials throughout Wiki, with the occasional commentary. Most of the excluded jobs are right back in the mix with as little as a duo, and are generally not listed solo only because of an inability to heal fast enough to overcome big damage. High-end gear, Atma, and consumables can overcome those deficiencies but I leave it to you to decide if it’s enough to make it worth your stones.

  • The Casters, Red and Black Mage- these 2 like the NM circuit, generally via the kite-sleep-nuke method. Simply put, you lay the lumber with a nuke, do something to slow the mob down (sleep, gravity, stun, etc.), put some distance between you and the mob, nuke, slow the mob down, run, rinse and repeat until done. Sensing a theme here?
  • The Evasion Class, Monk, Ninja, Thief, and Dancer-These are the direct melee group and they frequently are used to evasion tank in Abyssea, a relatively new tactic compared to the classic blink and straight tank methods. They use anything they can to max their evasion, sub dancer-except dancer main which usually subs ninja (but /thief works too, especially if the NM is AoE spam happy)- and generally just fight straight-up.
  • The Pet Group, Beastmaster, Summoner, Puppetmaster, Dragoon-These jobs, as always, “sort of” solo. They function much as they do in any battle, using their pets to either do the damage or augment the damage they do themselves. Pup and Goon need to be careful because of the timer to recall their pets at full strength. I rarely see them soloing NMs. Beastmaster CAN solo some NMs, but it comes at a cost; the only pets available in Abyssea are jugs, which are on a timer, so tough fights are generally done by letting the timer cool down, engaging, spamming rewards and temps to keep pet alive, recalling as needed after pets are killed, and it can be quite expensive in terms of jugs and pet food. Summoners use their avatars, keep their distance and resummon as needed-if they are lucky and Intense Soothing Light chests are dropping they can 2-hour with Odin and clean-up, then renew and repeat.
  • The Multi-Purpose Jobs, Red Mage and Blue Mage-these are the only 2 jobs that are really suited to being able to get the right light balance solo with ease, other jobs it is harder to hit. Certainly Ninja can try for azure kills, but their ninjitsu doesn't do much damage so hitting that kill shot is hard to do, but not impossible, so have at it if you like. Puppetmaster actually build lights fairly easy, although it may require an auto switch and corresponding Atma switch depending on where your auto’s skill levels are at. Mages can try to get melee kills but their weapon-based damage really isn’t that good, so melee kill-shots are a problem. Summoner can do it, but realize melee-gained light is going to be quite slow AND the WS-gained lights will put you in harm's way considering your truly miserable durability. Paladins don't do much damage casting or melee, so kill speed of any type is your barrier. Dark need to worry about survival but if they have that they can certainly do lights solo. The rest of the jobs are simply missing the ability to target a light source. You CAN try to satisfy lights from your sub, but realize whatever sub you choose you are stuck with for the full run, so if you need to /dnc on your melee Azure is going to be interesting. The only alternative then is to farm ruby and use the ruby chests to try to get your lights up, meaning you need alot of luck on chests. The other possibility, join a party and get your lights maxed out 1st, then drop party so you can solo; let them know that's the plan when you join so you don't seem like such a jerk when you leave. Because Red and Blue can get these lights fairly easily they can actually exploit normal mobs enough to be profitable in targeting chests. Address your job's needs via Atma and temps, especially those from blue chests since they won't cost cruor. You will need to watch your lights closely to make sure you do get that balance.

Dynamis, Solo

Dynamis used to be one of the top end-game activities, something you did either as an alternative to or something to do between HNM and/or sky or sea runs. For a long time it had died; the relic gear-while excellent at 75-was frequently outclassed by the level 78 cruor stuff, and almost always by the AF3+1 or better. Enter Relic+2. Dynamis is back!

Dynamis has been completely retooled since the old days of the mega alliances trying to sneak past the eye wall in Xarc. It can actually be soloed by almost every job now (with varying results); personally I would never try and solo it bard (and I’m a damn good bard according to my shellmates) but what the hell, it’s your XP.

1st, the major changes: 1. Sneak and Invisible work now; 2. you can buy maps; 3. Widescan works (need map to be worthwhile); 4. you get XP; 5. all mobs are already popped excepting the force-pop (i.e. Tier 2) NMs/Archboss; 6. new rules/placements for Time Extensions; 7. you can enter daily; 8. maximum time is 2 hours, you always start with 1; 9. sub-jobs are optional in Dreamlands (off for higher drop rate, but never do this solo); 10. only buy the key item once for entry; and last but not least, 11. we have a !! proc system, oh joy!


Remember what I said about soloists have to do everything a full party does? Well in Dynamis that’s still the case… only moreso. The REASON it’s “moreso” is the !! system; without hitting the !! the drop rate sucks. The good news is that the procs aren’t as bad as Abyssea, needing only Magic, Weapon Skills and Job Abilities respectively; it can even be something you have already done (i.e. getting the !! on the 3rd “Quickstep”). So main and subjob choice are key if you are going to solo, and the sticking point is going to be healing to minimize downtime. Ideally, you want to be able to cover all 3 !! possibilities, but not every job/sub combo can do that and still manage decent survivability/functionality. Notable as a good solo combo are:

3 procs:

Pup/dnc with a stormwalker frame/head. This offers great flexibility, especially since what we pups refer to as the “pupdate”. Pup builds TP fairly quickly for WS, the /dnc makes JA procs a breeze, and the “rdm auto” hits magic fairly reliably. Also, auto WS do count for WS procs; untested by me but I’ve been told that the attachments that mimic JA (strobe, disruptor, etc.) also proc-as WS. In addition, the rdm auto heals at cure IV at level 99, so between your auto and your sub, survivability is quite high. Still, Reraise is a good idea, especially while going after the TEs.

Bst/whm. As usual, bst shines in a solo environment. Focus on jugs that can take a hit, are evasive, etc.; Hippo and Ladybug are ideal here as TH helps with Forgotten dropsBEWARE THE INCOMING NERF, PET TH IS BEING REDUCED TO TH1, MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE WITH FASTER PROCS AND KILLS. An AoE Ready ability helps with links. The occasions I have solod as bst I’ve noticed it takes several mobs to kill off a jug pet, especially if using a –pet PDT set. The /whm isn’t really there to heal you, it’s to spam spells on the MA triggered mobs, although minimizing your downtime and a free Reraise certainly don’t hurt, but /whm does suffer in the JA triggered environment. Bst/nin also is a valid 3 proc combination, but it lacks the healing ability of /whm or Reraise; Bst/dnc is a very valid combo, but you can’t proc Magic mobs at all.

Ninja/dancer-other subs work as well, but /dnc seems to work most efficiently for healing and minimizing downtime. As usual, shadows are a great plus to survival. Ninjitsu to proc MA, TP to WS and JA primarily from subs to hit JA procs. Reraise from items/scrolls.

Dancer/ninja-what? Read the entry immediately above!

Dragoon/mage-wyverns have been toughened up a bit, but still seem to lack some of the survivability of the other pet jobs. It is equipped to deal with all 3 procs when using a mage subjob, and may also cover the Reraise and stealth needs.

Ranger/ninja-not a common soloing choice anymore, but theoretically can cover all 3 procs and use bloody bolts to heal. I’ve never tried it solo, but I suppose with skill and good equipment it could work. It DOES work awesome in a party. Most of the gripes about Ranger that you hear now are pretty baseless; the complaint is that their damage wasn’t AS magnified as other jobs when buffed in Abyssea due to the way ranged damage was calculated, but as you may have noticed, Dynamis doesn’t take place in Abyssea and your Atmas are nonexistent. It hits plenty hard here. The real beef (if using bloody bolts) is that there isn’t a great crossbow in the upper levels unless you did the Mythic… but I’m sure the 3 rangers across all servers that did can make this work.

Blue/any-all 3 procs are covered unless you do something stupid like equip only physical spells. Use a subjob that addresses your stealth needs and Reraise will probably be handled by gear/items.

Red Mage/dnc-Like blue, all 3 procs are coverred. Rdm/war is also a valid combo, and rdm/thf can be used if you are really good, however /dnc is the best for getting JA procs. If /dnc, you won't be using your enspells, as Sambas are going to be more beneficial. Standard rdm solo tactics with the exception of MA mobs, where you'll want to use low level spells until you have the proc. In addition, kiting anything in Neo-Dynamis is hard, so nuke>sleep>kite won't work, but nuke>sleep should.

Undoubtedly, other combinations can be made to work in the hands of a skilled player. From a personal attempt I did just for the hell of it I can tell you not to expect much out of Bard/dancer-it took almost the full 2 hours to get all 5 TEs and plenty of deaths with 5 kills after totaling 2 procs.

2-proc combos:

I won’t go into this in any detail. Every job in the game is capable of hitting 2 procs natively-all have WS and then either JA or MA covered. Just make sure you have the elements in the Tactics section covered.


Firstly, you should recognize that at level 99 while you are likely to live through an entire 2 hour run and cover every TE, proccing every mob is doubtful and not just because of the lack of clear camps with only JA proc mobs; now the challenge is to keep anything alive long enough to proc it, but the easiest compensation for it is to drop to bayld gear, 1st tier or the skill-up set from eminence, but especially the weapon, anything 113 and up just shreds the mobs too fast. In fact, if you haven't tossed it your empy armor set from Aby and whatever weapon you were using there at 99 may work better. Also, solo the tougher tier of mobs whenever possible-the exception being thieves, at TH8 base you can get single $ at a decent clip even if you don't land a proc. So what you have to decide is how much do you need to make a solo run worthwhile? Then you’ll need to choose a solo set-up that you can live with (literally) and get to it.

1. Get your Time! Probably the most important part of the run is getting your time extensions up front. You are here for goodies in all likelihood, you’ll need all the time you can get to get them. The TEs are almost always in the midst of agro mobs. A workable tactic is to follow another group, as you can frequently grab the TE before the repops of the surrounding mobs. Pet pulls are also a viable tactic for jobs that can do it. Otherwise, you’ll need clever pulling and a bit of luck. You may be able to find someone who will let you join just to get the TEs (similar to getting a party just to build lights in Abyssea). In addition, !! proc rate is tied directly to the number of TEs killed.

2. Old school camping-be aware, there aren’t many good camps anymore in Dynamis. All the mobs (excepting the force pop NMs) are already up and they are on 5 minute repop cycles, so expect company in whatever camp you settle on. Also, while you may be able to handle regular mobs, what used to be the NMs are now lottery/time pops and you may not be able to solo (try, at least once, many jobs CAN solo them), thus needing to move your camp or wait for someone else to clear the NM..

3. Getting around-lots of changes here. Most important is that Stealth works now, excepting mobs that have always been True Sight/Sound (the Tauri in Tavnazia come to mind), so be prepared to use it. You can buy a map now, not as handy solo as in a group, but still worth it in my opinion. As the mobs are already out, you can plan your path accordingly, without having to worry about a TS trap pop crawling up your back. You also have some idea of a safe place to pull to.

4. Pulling-as always, linking is a big danger. Being level 99 alleviates some of that danger (ex. I had an NM and 3 regular mobs on me with my pup/dnc last night [and got all 4 without dying]), although it varies from job to job. The best method of pulling is a ranged weapon; magic, job abilities and the like all run the risk of proccing !! on the pull. I can hear you asking “what risk?” from here. The answer is simple-your target is going to just stand there until the proc wears off and while it does everything that comes close to it is going to link and come looking for you.

5. Proccing-for the most part, this will dictate your rate on treasure, so it’s what you are probably here for. Any spell/song can proc magic, any weapon skill can proc a WS, and any job ability that can be targeted on the mob (i.e. Chi Blast, not Boost) can count as a JA proc. Unlike Abyssea, just because it didn’t work the first time you got it off clean doesn’t mean that JA/MA/WS wasn’t the correct proc, so feel free to retry it. The biggest advice is keep your damage LOW until you get the proc-just because you can do 6k damage with your Empyreal WS or nuke or whatever doesn’t mean you should, because you CAN’T proc a dead mob and your WS/MA just killed it. The proc CAN come from a pet just as well as you. Look at the mob’s job for beastmen, the correct proc is dictated by its job.

A note on Dreamlands zones-procs are dictated by Time of Day (similar to blue !! in Abyssea), so look those up directly. Do not expect to proc everything (even if your job/sub combo technically could)-most jobs do enough melee damage now that even forgoing heavy WS or spell damage the regular mobs still go down fast. That is only the critters by the way, the beastmen proc just like they do anywhere else.

Walk of Echoes

This is an activity that can be "sort-of" soloed. Most jobs may be able to handle their own against the lesser mobs, but very few-if any-can actually solo the boss mobs (I've never seen it pulled off at least). By sort of solo I mean that you do not need to be in a party to fight mobs and have the fights count; like Campaign, anyone can engage any mob with no worries about "claim" or any of that stuff. There simply needs to be room in the "zone" for you to join the battle.

The drop system is supposed to be based on your "contribution" to the battle, but the results are very erratic, plus SE has been monkeying with it quite a bit recently. Still, the reasons to do WoE are basically 2, level 90+ spells and coins for the "ghetto Empy". The drop rate is not very good for either and there is a huge pile of miscellaneous craft garbage that is-for the most part-just that, garbage; hold on to it to sell when you go back to town if you have the space, otherwise dump it.

The big problem with WoE-at least right now-is the AoE spam from the mobs; from boss mobs this is capable of 1-2 shotting almost everybody. There is an automatic Reraise, but downtime is still an issue. Jobs that excel in here are Paladin (due to durability), pet jobs, Rangers and Nuker mages. You may notice a theme of distance damage dealing on all but paladin, but be warned, even the AREA of the AoE is humongous and hate is erratic, so keeping a safe distance is problematic. The rest of the jobs just suffer from all that god-awful AoE; SE is currently addressing this as well as drops, so expect changes in the relatively near future.

Fields/Grounds of Valor

While there are several alternatives to the Aby-burn for XP, consistently the most viable is FoV/GoV, commonly referred to as “pages”. Put simply, you choose a list of mobs from the available choices, kill the mobs and get bonus XP, Gil and points. The points can be spent on various buffs. GoV also rewards you with “prowess”, a buff that is random but greatly to be desired. The prowesses also stack. Lastly, there are Treasure Caskets in all the zones that feature F/GoV, blue gives temp items, brown gives actual rewards, some of which are actually worth keeping/farming.

Pages can be set to repeat, so it is no longer necessary to return to the manual to renew them. So, what does all this mean to the soloist? Obviously it is a way to increase your XP during the “grind”, levels where an Aby-burn simply isn't viable. What isn't as obvious is the other times to use them. You see, F/GoV can be combined with almost any other activity in the game, and really should when solo.

The best use of them is in concert with Kupowers-specifically Martial Master. You guessed it, skill-ups! Martial Master increases skill-up rates but it doesn't work in Aby, ToAU, WoTG, Dynamis and a few other areas. It DOES work in all areas that feature F/GoV. While FoV will carry you to about the low 60s you should really jump to GoV when you can handle the fights. Use the buffs from either to reduce downtime, but in GoV the bonus is that most of the prowesses directly relate to skill-up, either increasing the rate directly or increasing accuracy, damage or your survivability, thus increasing your chances to get a skill-up. The chest rewards will also keep you going.

As you may have guessed doing F/GoV is also compatible with many of your weapon trials. Simply look up prey that satisfies your trial and then check for compatible pages. Again, you reduce downtime, increase XP/LP and increase rewards, plus you may increase skill. All in all, a very efficient use of your time.

F/GoV is also your NPC's friend. First, you can use your NPC in ALMOST any zone that features F/GoV. More importantly, your NPC also gets the bonus XP. Of course, your NPC is going to contribute to your damage as well, increasing your kill speed and thus the rate you do pages.


A word about SoA content in general. After Tanaka retired the guy who was responsible for Aby was put in charge of 11 again. Therefore the game is again focussed on gear rewards. Basically, SoA is a tiered reward system where your aquire one tier of gear to use while attempting to acquire the next tier. For the most part this system is inaccessable to the soloist-excepting Reives, the 1st tier. For those who wonder the tiers would be PreSoA>>Reive>>Skirmish>>Eminence>>Delve>>BRANCHESDelve Augmented, Skirmish augmented, iLevel REFORGED JSE in terms of gear quality. The vision is that players will come in with capped preSoA gear so to speak which is at/near AF3+2/Relic+2/Salvage 99/VW level with an at/near 99 relic/mythic/emperyean weapon, then proceed up the tiers. As always, those tiers are not hard and fast, but it's a fair general approximation. However, these gear levels can generally be acheived in 2 ways as well, you can beat the content and get a drop OR you can accumulate treasure drops and trade them in for the gear-more of a grind, but more realistic if you don't have a top-flight end-game build on a desired job. So, you can grind reives for Bayld, purchase 99 gear, use that to skirmish (note, you are in party content by this point from here on out, multi-player requirement simply to enter), or if you like to live dangerously skip over skirmish and straight to Delve, then accumulate drops to augment your Delve stuff.

The new battlefield system in SoA. I won’t comment much on this system, several adjustments have been made or are being made as we speak. In addition, when it was released it was already announced that this would be receiving major updates in the future-in other words, SE isn’t finished <this is where I show you my “shocked” face>, so I can’t comment much on it. And indeed it has, most recently getting a new area for them, Outer Rakaznar.

Basically, these are like Campaign, WoE and Besieged type battlefields in that it is not simply a registered party, but any eligible players in the area that may participate. Rewards are based on your “contribution” to the battle, but another change is that if solo you can use your Trust guys in these, generally increasing your contribution. That being said, if you are trying to get rewards as a support role you may not want to solo because you’ll want the XP from buffs so you’ll need the bodies, depending on which support job your trust guys might count but geo is generally out because auras do not affect your trust guys-neither does Avatar's favor but the rest of smn abilities do so you could go smn. As the battles are written already with good 99 DD in mind as a DD you may want to concern yourself with healers, at least in the more difficult areas. I’m not saying you CAN’T solo these battles-because you can-just that parties seem to get the edge based on bigger contributions.

The reason to do Reives is NOT XP/Merits but Bayld-the currency-like reward in the SoA expansion; it also has an impact on colonization which has server-wide effects. XP is so erratic that it is simply better to go elsewhere if that is what you need. In addition-especially for support job players-your success is HIGHLY contingent on what other players are doing. This is going to turn into another thing like Aby where only a few jobs will be favorred and the rest will be left on the scrap heap as the rewards get to be more stable. It is also the best way to get the fragments needed for access to Skirmish. Lastly, SE just announced that they are putting skill-ups back into campaign and adding them to reive battles.

In any event, tactics-sorry, but this is all on you and whatever else shows up. You see, you are fighting 2 different things, roots and mobs. Roots are easy, the mobs are an issue. It is to be hoped that there are DD-types to kill the mobs while ranged DD types (mages and rangers) take on the roots. Remember, you can use Trust. Support job players should beef everyone they can get and healers just go nuts. Of course, the theory is don't kill the roots too fast because you need the mobs for rewards, but you need the roots for progress, blah blah blah. So what happens if you get a strange job mix? Noobs? Guys that just want to see high DPS numbers from themselves instead of what's best for everyone? Nobody speaking your language or else all on voice chat so there is no coordination? Oh, and FYI, that is just this week-we have no idea what next week's adjustments will do.

To give you an idea of how varied you can be, especially now with Trust in these, here is 1 set-up I use (I have several based on my mood, but this one is easy mode). I Pop a tank and a melee DD Trust pair and Kupipi while I come brd, choosing my melee from those who do NOT use AoE. Enter the reive, target the obstruction, run in and engage, purposely aggroing all the mobs on the way in, this puts all the NPCs on the obstruction while I get beat on. Then I horde lullaby 2 the mobs, and ballad 3, which should put Kupipi back in shape from the cure 5-6 she laid on me and the pro/shell on the pt. Once I'm back to full strength I change songs to March and Minuet, subbing in a ballad when needed and just keep the mobs slept for the entire Reive, like I said, easy mode. There are MANY other options, nukers and rangers like to stay back at max range blowing obstructions to hell, pet jobbers send in the drones, melee DD set up some kind of healing and alternate roots and mobs. Take your pick.

Job Points

A couple years back near the start of the official forums when SE announced the raise to the level cap they also announced they were planning a 2nd tier of merit-like points. They have finally gotten around to it, at least the preliminary start.

For all jobs there are currently 2 choices to spend job points. 1 is always an augment to your original 2-hour, now 1 hour ability. The other is usually an augment to a low level ability or the like, for the pet jobs it's usually a boost to pet accuracy or something similar. SE has also announced that more points will be added in the future.

Now, these things are getting alot of complaints about the time it takes to gain them. See, you can't get them in Abyssea or Rieves so you can't max them out in 15 minutes, and to alot of the forum people that's too much work.

As things currently stand, my advice is simply to accumulate them while doing your other day-to-day stuff and not to spend them at all. As long as it takes to accumulate them, especially if like me you play many jobs, you are likely better off saving them until you see what your choices are going to be down the road. This can be done in almost all XP activities except the ones above mentioned (I apologize, I wasn't paying attention when I ran some SKCNMs and Skirmish 3 on Friday so I don't know if you can get them in there). The one major bottleneck, points FOR a job can only be accumulated while playing the job in question, so no speed accumulating them on BLM to spend on your drg as an example. But for an active farmer or skilling player they will build up, just give it time. the points do scale to your XP rate on mobs, but are otherwise generally unaffected by things like pages and eminence rewards, so you may want to look at fighting the 119+ mobs to increase your yield.

No Joy

This section is just a brief list of activites (for those who don't know) that simply cannot be soloed, it is not exhaustive. Delve, Skirmish, AA battles, Voidwatch.

The ToAU content can now be soloed due to the requirement of multiple players to simply enter the battlefields being removed in the last couple updates, once in many of them CAN be soloed. Voidwatch, I know of no requirements for other players as far as entry, however the fights are difficult even with a group, mostly because of the need to satisfy the !! system; in addition, the drop rates are truly miserable even if you DO satisfy the procs, which you cannot do solo, so even if you could beat the content it's a moot point.

H/KCNMs, these are written with end-game characters in mind, and so far I'm not aware of anyone beating (or indeed even attempting) them solo. The new SKCNM battles may be able to be soloed by a couple jobs with top flight players (read players past the level of needing the rewards from them), at least at the easier difficulties, but the rewards are better on the harder levels so you may not want to solo them, plus getting the SKCs takes time. AA battles as well, the solo AA ones a few jobs on easier difficulties are a maybe, but it really isn't worth it.

PvP battles-none of these are designed for soloing, even just your side of the battle, and in the case of Balista the battle won't even initiate without more bodies-the exception is Pankration, but good luck finding anyone to compete with.

HNMs/Limbus/sky gods, etc. Good luck on any kind of meaningful success on these. The sky gods can largely be soloed by certain well-played jobs, but Kirin is still going to be a pain in the ass-doable, but worth the effort? Especially considering that the gear rewards are out-classed now (I haven't checked the augmented sets yet).

Legion-no doubt some one under the mistaken impression that he is a god will eventually post on one of the forums that he/she managed to solo this-probably lying. Just in case it is true, note the name and server, then avoid that player like you would a whore with visible open sores and bad breath, because this person obviously sits in his basement in a diaper for 178 hour marathons playing this game. Legion is HNMs, scaled up to fight level 99s, and they attack in groups, they must all be defeated in 30 minutes, too many variables to count, but regardless, it ain't happening...

New SoA Events Delve and Skirmish-not happening, multiplayer requirements for entrance, like Assault and the like. In addition, it was made to be chalenging to 99+s, so it is NOT solo-friendly.


this guide is a work in progress. I welcome any participation, directly editing the guide as to links, via the talk page as to content.

However, wholesale edits, deletions and the like WILL be removed. This is in an effort to maintain some degree of organization and flow, even (perish the thought) some internal consistency. There is a talk page and I actually want you to use it.

About the author

I have been playing FFXI since shortly after the NA debut. My main character on Ragnarok-originally Caitsith-is Glamdring. I took a bit over 5 years getting Beastmaster to 75, entirely solo as Beastmaster/Bard. I currently have Beastmaster, Bard, Puppetmaster, Thief, Ranger and Dancer, Rune, Red Mage, Black Mage, Geomancer, Summoner, and Monk at level 99; I intend to work on other jobs eventually, but I have much to do on gear upgrades and skill-ups, first. For those that wonder, the delay in leveling jobs is because I haven't found a steady income stream in the game, not a lack of talent (although my beast/bard spent a great deal of time re-earning XP). I don’t claim to be an elite player, but I am very good on the jobs I have leveled (ranger is in dire need of skill-ups [DAMN YOU ABY BURNS!!!]). All of the above is from my personal observations and I am FAR from infallible. The one thing that has characterized my entire playing career is that I do not simply follow the tried and true safe path, nor do I accept that things can only be done in 1 way (as the bst/brd leveling shows), although I do believe that people may not have figured out YET how to do them a different way; hence the title of this guide.

My blog: [1] this is WAY out of date. --Deadmeataru 20:09, January 13, 2011 (UTC)

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