Massively OP’s guide to Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers’ unlocks and progress

A bunny must jump.

The new expansion is out! After what felt like basically a year of waiting (but was closer to six months), Final Fantasy XIV’s third expansion is live, and it really seems to have gone for broke. Unfortunately, it also has the downside of being both very new and having a lot of things rather intentionally obscured in a field of “how do I get this, why should I do this, what’s the motivation.”

Fret not because at least one of our staff writers (me) is a fool and a maniac and has already cleared through the MSQ, thus providing lots of information about what awaits within the game and asking questions that I see shouted in zone chat regularly. So if you’re wondering what you’re supposed to be doing, where you get your job gear, or whatever… keep reading.

Note: While I’ll be scrupulously avoiding major spoilers, there will be some unavoidable spoilers herein. Anything that is by its nature a spoiler will be hidden behind spoiler tags. Relax.

When do I start my class quest?

You don’t have class quests in Shadowbringers; you have role quests. Role quests are different in that they’re shared across roles (so Black Mages, Summoners, and Red Mages all have the same quest line) and explore a different angle of lore. You unlock the role quest line after clearing the first dungeon in the MSQ, just keep following the quest line and they will be highlighted.

Each role quest line has six quests, starting at 70 and up to 80. Like class quests, these provide twice as much experience as a usual quest of that level, thus being equivalent in rewards to the MSQ line. Unlike class quests, role quests do not teach any abilities or award any equipment. You will get your level 80 ability simply by leveling up.

One role quest line must be completed in order to finish the MSQ; additional ones do not need to be, but you can clear all four if you level appropriately and can also get a little aftermath reward for clearing the lot of them. (I haven’t done so yet and no one seems clear on what it rewards you with.)

There is a single class quest, but it takes place after the MSQ and awards you just a title.


Are there any optional side dungeons while leveling?

No. All of the dungeons you go through are part of the MSQ. You can tell when one is coming up because it’s always on odd levels; there’s one at 71, 73, 75, 77, and 79. Details on exactly what each dungeon is would be spoilers in several cases, but you can see the actual dungeons previewed in the dungeon preview video. The level 80 dungeon that caps off the MSQ is not shown in that video.

How does the whole Shared FATE system work?

The Shared FATE system is both awesome and unnecessarily obscured because it unlocks fun rewards and it’s also really easy to not see what those rewards are for a long while. Essentially, it’s just leveling up your FATE rewards within the zone.

Each FATE in the Norvrandt zones rewards Bicolour Gemstones, which can be spent at Gemstone Vendors in their given zone. You start at rank 1, with each zone’s vendor offering only common crafting materials of the zone at normal quality. By clearing FATEs at Gold status, you contribute to your rank. Six FATEs at Gold levels you up to rank 2, and a further 60 FATEs levels you up to rank 3. Thus, as you’re leveling it’s pretty much always in your best interests to do FATEs as they pop up around you; you’ll probably hit rank 2 in most zones pretty easily, while rank 3 will require a fair bit more time.

Upon hitting rank 2, high-quality materials can be bought, along with riding maps for each respective zone. (There’s only one speed increase for the zones this time, and it’s not granted via MSQ.) Upon hitting rank 3, things like barding and orchestrion rolls are added to the vendors. There are also vendors in Eulmore and the Crystarium that require you to rank up across the world.

Your current rank information is accessed in the Shared FATE interface near the aether currents interface. It’s a bit frustrating if you plan to level only one job, of course, but it’s incentive to keep at those FATEs even when you’re already at the level cap.

Up to date.

When do I get to each zone?

This one is a bit of a spoiler, so I’ll hide it behind a spoiler tag; however, the sixth zone is not named here. Use this if you’re curious about level bands.

Click to display the general zone level breakdown:
Level 70: Amh Araeng, Kholusia
Level 71-72: Lakeland
Level 72-73: Il Mheg
Level 74-75: Rak’tika Greatwood
Level 76-77: Amh Araeng
Level 78-79: Kholusia

It’s worth noting that the name of the sixth zone is revealed very late in the MSQ and is intentionally obscured from party finders and the like until you get up to that point. However, the name itself is not really a spoiler, so if you stumble upon it, don’t worry that you’ve had a major plot point ruined for you.

What’s going on with the Light of Inspiration quest?

I see this one shouted a lot in the shout chat of the zone and actually asked about it myself. The quest itself is the last level 79 quest in the main scenario, and it requires you to have cleared at least one of the role quest lines in their entirety. That means that yes, you will need to have a job at level 80 to finish this level 79 quest. You could, of course, level a different job to 80 and finish the role quest, then clear this one on a level 79 job.

That may be a logistics nightmare, though.

Once this quest is completed, the NPC will also offer you the option to pick up your level 80 job-specific gear for each job that is at the level cap and has a completed role quest line. For example, if you finish the tank role quests on Paladin and then level Gunbreaker to 80, you’d be able to pick up the Gunbreaker gear from him. If you leveled Summoner to 80 without clearing the role quests for magical DPS, though, you wouldn’t be able to pick up Summoner gear.

Where do I spend tomestones?

Deep cut.In Eulmore, southwest of the aetheryte, there are new vendors that will now sell tomestone gear once you complete the main scenario line. Check around a little bit and you’ll find the vendors fairly easily; the game just doesn’t point you to them at all, unfortunately.

Where do I unlock the expert dungeons/extreme primals?

The first expert dungeon, just as in Stormblood, is unlocked as part of the main scenario questline. The other two require a bit more legwork, and by “a bit,” I mean “you’ll see the quest for one as soon as you clear the main scenario and stop in the Crystarium again.” Pick up “By The Time You Hear This” and there you go.

Your other expert dungeon requires a jaunt to Eulmore, then a trip to the Southeast Derelicts aetheryte. Follow the quest to unlock the other dungeon; you can’t miss the NPC, he’s right by the node.

The Extreme modes for the two trial fights are also unlocked in the Crystarium; it’s the Wandering Minstrel again, sort of. You’ll see the quest unlock on your map when you zone in.

When can I attune to the Eulmore aetheryte?

Without spoiling anything, I can say that there’s a portion of the MSQ that allows you to unlock it. Don’t expect to hit it until a fairly long time after you’ve visited the city, though.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.

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I understand that starting the ShB quests, you pretty early on get a set of gear that’s what, i385? Might be worth pointing out, as I know a few people who spent inordinate amounts of gil/tokens/etc to buy gear to get into ShB when they would have gotten nearly-equivalent for free.

Tim Johnson

Plus they added lvl 70 385 gear to kugane vendors for gil i was hearing too.

Toy Clown

On the plus side, it makes for awesome retainer gear on the relatively cheap as well.

Dagget Burmese

The ilvl 385 in ShB you get from MSQ and various side quests and is the only ilvl gear for lvl 70, rest will need lvl 71+. Also there are indeed vendors in Kugane selling 70/385 for about 40k each bit, bye bye crafted 380 market.


The difference between the vendor gear though and the HQ craft is very big… I wouldnt say that people will not wanna buy the HQ.. just not in a ridiculous price