Heavensward is the first expansion pack for the Final Fantasy XIV MMORPG. To gain access to the expansion, you must have cleared the main scenario quest “Before the Dawn” (patch 2.55) as a prerequisite and reach level 50. Heavensward content starts at level 50 and continues up to level 60. This guide includes tips that help you reach the level cap in an efficient and stress-free manner.
The level 50-60 experience curve is designed in a way that players cannot attain level 60 on their first job by following the main scenario alone. Therefore it is strongly advised that players participate in the variety of sidecontents available from the beginning of the expansion and in some cases even before it.
Sidequests are scattered throughout the new areas and become available as you progress in the main scenario. They provide a significant amount of experience and additional rewards such as new equipment. Some important sidequest chains begin in Ishgard, so players are advised to also complete these quests. However, even by doing every sidequest in the expansion it is not enough to achieve level 60 but you must additionally make use of one or more of the following means to acquire the required experience points quota.
Starting at level 53 players can begin doing Daily Hunts that provide experience and centurion seals, used to obtain endgame equipment. Additional hunts become available at levels 56 and 59, each being repeatable daily. Hunts are unlocked by speaking to Aytienne in front of the Forgotten Knight pub in Ishgard.
The new areas have plenty of FATEs for players to participate in while completing other contents. The mechanics are mostly unchanged from the vanilla version but are a decent source of experience nonetheless. Players are not advised to grind solely on Heavensward FATEs as there are better ways to gain experience currently.
Guildleves are also back. This time you are given the choice to do Temple leves instead, that use up 10 leve allowances but provide roughly twice as much experience for completion. They are perfect for casual players that frequently find themselves with 100 allowances built up and no plans to use them all. If you are constantly using each allowance however it is more efficient to stick to the normal levequests.
There are in total five new leveling Dungeons that become available at every odd level starting from 51. Please note that the level 51 dungeon is optional and is unlocked by a sidequest in the Coerthas Western Highlands. The dungeons provide good amounts of experience and also drop equipment. Due to the high amount of experience and gear rewards these dungeons provide, it is recommended that players leveling their second job use them to grind.
Sightseeing log now gives experience for every vista you locate. While searching for these vistas is not the most efficient method of acquiring experience, you may encounter some of them when doing other contents. While standing on the glowing spot, type /lookout or, in some cases /pray, to receive the experience bonus. The flying feature is required for many if not all of the vistas.
Other contents that you can participate in for experience even before accessing the Heavensward include the challenge log, level 50 FATEs and the various Duty Roulettes. Participating in these contents will make it easier to keep up with the ever increasing experience curve during levels 51-60.
Heavensward has introduced flying to Final Fantasy XIV as a new means of transport, and the new areas are made with the feature in mind. Players are thus advised to unlock the ability to fly in each area to make it easier to finish quests and participate in activities like FATEs and sightseeing.
Flying can be unlocked by collecting Aether Currents. After having attuned to every current in an area of which there are 15 in total, you may fly using the various flying mounts available. The currents are found in the field using an Aether Compass or are given as a reward from certain quests. The compass will tell you the distance and direction of the closest current to you and can be accessed from the key items tab of your inventory. The currents resemble green objects that look like a concentration of wind. You may check your Aether Current progress under “Travel” in the menu at any time.
The last Aether Current is usually rewarded by one of the final main scenario quests in the area, often involving clearing a dungeon or trial as a prerequisite. Since the ability to fly makes it much more efficient to complete the expansion contents, especially the sidequests, players should therefore prioritize completing the main scenario and sidequests up to the point where they can receive all the Aether Currents before tackling the rest of the quests in the area. At later levels more sidequests will unlock in the previously visited areas, making it even more beneficial to work on unlocking flying in the expansion. Some late-game dungeons, such as the Neverreap in Sea of Clouds, are also inaccessible by foot.
The leveling dungeons will provide best experience during odd levels as you can take benefit of the experience chain system. This type of leveling concept is similar to all FF installments including in the coming FFXV. To get the most out of these dungeons, it is recommended that players run them during the odd levels, while saving sidequests and other non-repeatable contents for the even levels.
Finding sightseeing vistas is not as difficult as one might think. Usually if there is a particularly tall structure nearby, chances are you will find a vista at the top.
As a reminder, food gives you a 3% experience bonus, so you should have some on you when running dungeons and FATEs. Even a cheap food will do. The bonus will add up during the ten levels!
Lastly, monsters are stronger than before so having your chocobo companion out in the field speeds things up tremendously. While you may get a slight penalty to your experience received from monsters, the increased kill speed will more than make up for it. Be sure to unlock the ability to fly with your companion from the level 52 quest “I Believe I Can Fly” for the extra convenience!
With these tips getting to level 60 should be smooth flying. Good luck!