Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood expansion is releasing this week (early access on Friday 16th June) and I am so excited. I’ve been playing FFXIV since 2.0 beta and it’s the only MMO I’ve stuck with for almost three years solidly. With Stormblood releasing, the level cap is increased to 70 and there are two new jobs — Samurai and Red Mage. There’s also a ton of upcoming changes to existing jobs and the battle system. If you want an overview of Stormblood, my friend Mizzteq has put up some great bitesize videos filled with info!
With all that in mind, there are a few ways I’m planning on preparing for FFXIV Stormblood. I thought it would be a good idea to share them with you!
Make sure all the Main Story quests are complete
You won’t be able to start the Stormblood content until you’ve completed all of the level 60 MSQs. This is important because the new areas and dungeons will all be locked behind story, at least for the first few levels. It’s worth making sure you’re caught up on the most recent Heavensward patch now so that you’re prepared well in advance.
I’m actually impressed with myself because I usually lag behind on things like this. I’ll do the MSQ until the last dungeon or trial is unlocked. Then I’ll leave the last few and have to scurry around at the last minute to find them. This time, I’m done nice and early!
Get to Floor 51 in Palace of the Dead
If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to get to Floor 51 in Palace of the Dead and have decently leveled Aetherpool gear. Floors 51 – 60 are considered the unofficial leveling floors of PotD. Many parties, especially through the party finder, will speedrun these floors to get the bonus XP at the end of Floor 60 as quickly as possible. Running this over and over is a great way to get XP for your jobs and level them up. However, bear in mind that it can get a bit tedious.
With dungeon queues likely being quite busy, especially for DPS players, PotD will be a great way to grind out the levels on your Red Mage and Samurai in particular. Have yourself ready to go into Floor 51 on the day of the expansion and grind out those initial levels.
Stock up on XP buff foods
Buy yourself a full stack of XP buff foods to make your leveling experience even easier! You can pick up Mineral Water for 4 gil each, but Boiled Eggs give you some stats on top of the 3% XP boost for only 5 gil a pop. Pick these up from NPCs in the starting areas. Make sure to always have the XP buff active while you’re leveling. It may be a small percentage, but every little helps.
Stack your rested bonus
Your rested XP bonus can stack up to a level and a half of XP. This is the same regardless of the job or level of that job. So for example, if you level up a lower level job, you’ll run out of rested XP faster than if you were leveling a higher level job. It takes about four days to accrue the total amount. You want to be sure you’re logging out in a sanctuary from today onwards, and not doing any leveling that benefits from rested XP until the expansion hits!
If you have more levelling to do before Stormblood, you can always do Palace of the Dead. Rested XP is ignored here, so you should be good to continue working on levelling alt jobs here without wasting your precious bonus.
Contrary to popular belief, logging out in an inn bed does nothing extra for your Rested XP. This was a thing back in 1.0, but now sanctuaries are anywhere with an Aetheryte that you can attune to or teleport to. Look out for the little crescent moon icon next to your XP bar to make sure you’re in an eligible area when you log out!
Clean out your inventory and retainers
I don’t know about you, but my inventory was an absolute mess a few weeks ago. I just cleared it out because it was becoming intimidating and was even putting me off playing! That might sound silly, but I was having a hard time finding anything and was running out of space to store gear and random drops. Now that it’s a bit cleaner I feel so much better. My retainers are still a mess, but that’s another story.
Take the time leading up to the expansion to sell anything you don’t need. Discard rubbish, and make sure everything is easy to find. If you need Materia, make sure you know where it is. Store any glamours you’re retiring for the expansion in one retainer so you know where to get them. Trade in any items you won’t be using any more to your Grand Company. And finally, decide what crafting mats you want to keep and what you’re definitely never going to use. Venture into Stormblood feeling refreshed, and knowing exactly where all of your items are!
Get plenty of rest and healthy snacks!
This is going to sound really cheesy, but don’t overdo it. FFXIV Stormblood is a very exciting expansion for all of us. Early access starts at around 10:00am BST, which is super ungodly early hours for the US. Make sure to rest well the night before. As far as snacks are concerned, as much as I love fast food and junk I have to recommend avoiding some of it if you want to go in for the long haul.
Having done several longer streams (12 and 18 hours) I’ve found that I feel best when I eat better. I’m normally big on pizza and snacks, but during my last stream I tried something different. I had coffee as normal in the morning, a big bottle of water on my desk at all times, and snacked on carrot sticks, cashews and beef jerky. My lunch was a healthy salad and some orange juice. This is the same thing I will be trying to do for Stormblood, and I highly recommend it.
I know there’s this pervasive attitude of “get gamers to be healthy” and I don’t disagree, but this isn’t even what I’m getting at. If you’re going to do long gaming sessions for the release of an expansion, I promise you’ll feel immensely better if you get yourself some healthy snacks and meals prepared in advance, and drink plenty of water. You can always treat yourself to the pizza later in the day! Just don’t make the whole day be heavy snacks and bad food. You’ll be able to go much longer, I promise!
These are just a few of the things I’ll personally be doing in the lead up to FFXIV Stormblood Early Access. Today, I will be levelling my Astrologian in PotD for a bit, and cleaning up a few other bits and bobs before the expansion. I’ll be kicking off Stormblood on Friday by leveling my Bard, playing her for the first time in months. I’m really excited to go back to my roots!
If you want a more in-depth guide on how to prepare for Stormblood, check out this Prep Guide by Gregkow on Reddit. What are your favourite things to do to prepare for an expansion release?