Let’s be real, folks, Final Fantasy XIV‘s third expansion is not right around the corner. You have two months until that thing is even in early access, and that’s just for the people who pre-ordered it like myself. For people who plan to wait until after the launch to maybe play, it’s even longer. This means that now is a good time to start preparing for the actual launch, as we’ve got a couple of months ahead of us.World of Warcraft (which will mostly just require the prep work of showing up at launch), there are a lot of moving parts to a given expansion and a lot of ways you can be prepared for the future before it arrives. So with two months to go, now is the time to start in on the list of tasks, basically all of which you can done with well before the launch itself. Hooray!
1. Be caught up on the main scenario
Yes, you have to do this. This is not a game wherein you need to do absolutely nothing to catch up on the story so far, nor does the story here exist in a totally parallel and separate realm from the other story developments a la Final Fantasy XI. If you want to take part in the stuff that’s happening in FFXIV, you have to keep up with the story. This is not difficult.
If you clocked out after the initial launch of the expansion, this is the sort of thing that you can easily blow through in a weekend with watching all the cutscenes. Those with more to go will have to spend a fair bit more time. But if you want to start in on the expansion, just get through it. Yes, there will likely be a skip potion available closer to launch, but think of this as the option that saves you money. None of these developments are new or surprising.
Yes, you need to catch up on the story. It’s not hard, it’s a good story, and it’s worth your time. If you’ve been playing regularly, you’ve probably already gotten this done.
2. Catch up your job quests you may have neglected
Your main job is almost certainly caught up, but the odds are that you’ve got something that isn’t caught up. For me, it’s my crafting jobs; a bunch of them haven’t quite finished the 70 job quest or the ones leading there, so I need to actually get caught up there. It’ll be relevant in 5.0.
3. Catch up on the Crystal Tower series
Veteran players are more than likely already caught up, since this was the first series of Alliance Raids and was thus launched a long time ago. But people who jumped into the game during Heavensward or later might never have done these quests, and it’s possible that even veteran players skipped an installment or two. All the more reason to do these things now.
It’s important to note that this will not be required to experience the story, and the optional side content remains optional. But it will give you a clearer understanding of what’s going on in the First, so why not go through it? Seriously, with decent luck you can get through this entire series in an evening.
4. Unlock Kojin and Ananta beast tribe quests
If you want to level Gunbreaker or Dancer, these tribes will help you do it. The experience rewards of beast tribe quests in Stormblood are significant, and they no longer seem to be gated by reputation in volume, so you can get a large chunk of daily experience just by unlocking these and doing them on the regular. Sure, Gunbreaker will have the advantage of tank queue times, but why not bank on both aspects?
5. Bank up current tomestones
Saving for the future is a good idea, especially since the odds are that current tomestone costs will be converted into Poetics and your current tomes will also convert down to Poetics. Thus, banking these up now can mean starting with a nice pile of stuff to spend as needed in the various Poetics vendors. It’s all about planning for the future.
6. Finish up lingering quest chains
There are probably some older chains you’ve had kicking around in your journal for a while. These aren’t going away when the expansion hits, but most of the rewards will probably be far less relevant, and it gives you something extra to do. Plus, doing more catch-up work now means less catch-up work for the next expansion.
The one exception would be leveling quests in the 60-70 range, as those might be best saved for when you’re actually leveling the aforementioned Gunbreaker and Dancer. Those quests aren’t nearly as rewarding as the beast tribe dailies, but they’re still a nice chunk of leveling experience if you need it. Max-level things like the Doman Reconstruction, however, are better to finish out now.
7. Unlock as many Savage tiers as you can
People aren’t going to want to go back and do Savage Omega content when the expansion drops. Odds are that it doesn’t matter much to you now either; if you were interested in pushing a high-end clear, you probably already took care of it. But there’s a higher chance of being able to unlock those tiers now than going back, especially when some of the content in those earlier tiers may be difficult to solo. So maybe you should join some groups or ask around to get the old stuff unlocked for the future.
8. Clear as much of Eureka as you can
Same principle as above. Eureka will probably be tweaked to be a bit more accessible post-Shadowbringers, but unlocking more now will clear your slate if you need to take a trip back later.
9. Get any upper-floor antics in Heaven-on-High sorted
Odds are high that Heaven-on-High will still be used for leveling after the expansion hits, and the last 70 floors will still be a challenge just as they are now. None of that is going to change. What is going to change is that a lot of people will be disinclined to head back into the higher floors, and even if you do you will by necessity be doing so as a now somewhat truncated version of your Level 70 job.
If you don’t want to clear it, don’t worry about it. But if you’d like to see the top floor, even if it’s just once… maybe you should get a group together and start climbing for the next couple of months. Just to be ready.
10. Bank up plenty of gil
There will be new items to glamour. There will be new things to buy from vendors. There will be new teleport destinations. You’ll need to buy repairs and the like. Long story short, while you may or may not need anything else, more gil is always useful, and you can always get more of it.
If you’re not sure how to get it and all else fails? Farm monster drops that get used a bunch in crafting, then save those items until the expansion launch. No one wants to go hunt for dragon skins when there’s a whole new world to explore, after all.