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Item Level

Item Level is a handy way of seeing what the strongest item is. It’s a way for the designers to make easily separated tiers of gear based off their Item Level. Which is like saying that the Item itself is say Level 90 while still being equipped by a Level 50 job or class. In every way, and on every piece of gear no matter the job the higher Item Level always wins. There is no two ways about it as of Patch 2.1 this is simply how the game is. Item Level 95 is currently the highest Item Level and that is reserved for Allagan Weapons that drop from The Binding Coil of Bahamut – Turn 5. As that is currently the hardest encounter in the game, SE saw fit to boost their Item Level by 5 compared to what they were prior to Patch 2.1 which was Item Level 90, the same as Relic +1, which was renamed to Relic Zenith (signifying the highest capacity of the item). Item Level increases all base stats of the item which is why they are so much more powerful and so easily the best. Stats work in descending tiers with Weapon Damage / Magic Damage being the most influential stat for said classes, followed by whatever their Main Stat is, which is either STR, INT, MND, DEX or VIT depending on the particular class. And since these stats are exponentially stronger than tertiary stats like Critical Hit Rate, Determination, Skill Speed or Spell Speed, Item Level becomes the defacto indicator of the best gear and regardless of the stats on any other gear, nothing has yet come close as of Patch 2.1 to allow anything with a lower Item Level to eclipse a higher Item Level. Below will be a list of common Item Levels and where they’re found as of Patch 2.1.

Item Level 95

All Item Level 95 items are Allagan Weapons from Turn 5 of the Binding Coil of Bahamut, these drop after Twintania is defeated and is currently the most challenging encounter in the game. Because of this as of Patch 2.1 their Item Level was bumped up 5 from Item Level 90 to Item Level 95 in order to reflect their difficulty of attainment, making them the absolute Best In Slot for all classes and jobs. Below will include a list of each item in this category.

  • Allagan Composite Bow (BRD / ARC)
  • Allagan Grimoire of Casting (ACN / SMN)
  • Allagan Baghnakhs (PGL / MNK)
  • Allagan Grimoire of Healing (SCH)
  • Allagan Scepter (THM / BLM)
  • Allagan Spear (LNC / DRG)
  • Allagan Blade (GLA / PLD)
  • Allagan Battleaxe (MRD / WAR)
  • Allagan Cane (CNJ / WHM)

Item Level 90

Item Level 90 weapons are obtained in one of two ways: either by a weekly lockout of Extreme Primals or by 900 Mythology Tomes along with the Item Level 80 Relic. This list is going to exclude PvP weapons because those are all obtained the same way – with Wolf Marks – and they don’t affect PvE which is what the game currently is focused upon. Item Level 90 armor however also has two methods of acquisition. Either through Myth Tomes or through Allagan drops from The Binding Coil of Bahamut Turns 1 – 5. Being the same Item Level these pieces are generally mixed and matched in order to bring to bear a Best In Slot for a particular Job or Class. While Mythology Tome items are also Item Level 90, they are however locked to that specific Job (barring jewelry), while Allagan Item Level 90 drops are Class and Job alike. This makes the Allagan items a bit more lenient in how the player wants to use them, like on Marauder for PvP instead of using Warrior for example. Extreme Primals also drop various jewelry of Item Level 90 rarity and as such provide a third avenue of obtaining Item Level 90 rings, wrists and earrings. Though for current reasons unknown there are no secondary rings or neck pieces from Primal Extremes, leaving two slots bare of a third way to obtain Item Level 90 gear. This is likely a good thing (but will probably be remedied in 2.2 with more Extreme Primal versions) because there’s little alterations that can be done by just shuffling the stats already in the game around. Without the advent of new stats that are unique or different in some way the differences between gear of the same Item Level will remain vanishingly small to the point that Best In Slots can easily be dumbed down to the following simple rule: “Obtain enough Accuracy for 100% accuracy, then acquire the highest Item Level items for each slot regardless of which set they belong to.” In such a way, the worst Item Level 90 w/ Item Level 95 weapon set will be hardly less than a single percentage point of efficacy away from a hodgepodge of Item Level 90 gear with an Item Level 95 weapon. The sets of Item Level 90 gear follows a particular trend. The Mythology Tome items are essentially nothing more than palette swaps of the Artifact Armor each Job gets with no unique stats on them, along with a unique moniker to designate which Job they belong to. However Accessories (both Allagan and Item Level 90 Hero’s items, bought with Mythology Tomes) follow a different naming scheme. Allagan and Hero Accessory items use the following terms to designate their preferred job or class: of Fending, of Casting, of Healing, of Striking, of Maiming and of Aiming. Sometimes they designate a preferred class, other times as is the case with Allagan Armor (once again, barring accessories like Neck, Rings, Wrists and Ears) it tells the only Class and Job combination that can equip the item in equestion. Each piece has this suffix “Of _” to denote which Class or Job can equip, or is best suited for it. Interestingly enough, often as is the case with Striking and Maiming jewelry / accessories, they are best mixed and matched than to be exclusively used as they’re designated.

Fending

Fending items are Tank specific, giving large quantities of Vitality and often Parry, Accuracy, Skill Speed, Determination or Critical Hit Rate though more often than not they give large amounts of Parry and Vitality. Armor is specific to four classes:

  • Marauder
    • Warrior
  • Gladiator
    • Paladin

Fending always looks like Heavy Armor, plate or otherwise a heavy looking defensive piece that no other set shares. Jewelry Fending items always have a golden yellow stone set in them (for Allagan), which can be difficult to tell by the icon because Striking shares the same icon for reasons currently unknown to this author.

Casting

As the name implies this is a subset of items specifically for Casters with emphasis on large quantities of Intelligence, Piety (if armor), Spell Speed, Determination, Accuracy and Critical Hit Rate. But specifically the role of Casting items is to boost Intelligence as that is the primary stat for Casters such as THM, BLM, ACN and SMN. Summarily these are also the jobs that can equip or are best suited to using of Casting items:

  • Thaumaturge
    • Black Mage
  • Arcanist
    • Summoner

Casting armor looks like leathery robes intricately woven and decorated with dark colors and muted earthy tones. Casting Allagan Jewelry is set with a purple stone. Similar in look to Maiming.

Healing

Healing items are suited for the Healers of the game, with heavy emphasis on MND, DTR, Spell Speed, Piety (if armor) and Critical Hit Rate. Healing items rarely have accuracy on them as they’re not required for a heal to land as all heals have a 100% accuracy. This can however prove detrimental to a healer who would like to DPS a little or try to debuff the mob by casting a DOT or detrimental spell. This often means a healer is nearly useless to DPS in some fights due to their lacking Accuracy. Though there are ways to get around this. Healing items are best utilized by:

  • Conjurer
    • White Mage
    • Scholar

Healing armor looks exactly like the Casting set but palette swapped to lighter colors and particularly exchanging the blacks and darks of the Casting set for White or Off White colors as well as keeping most of the ornate decoration and exchanging a few of the darker gem decorations for brighter variants. Healing Allagan Jewelry has a light blue stone set in them.

Striking

Striking items are I suppose meant to illicit the imagery of physically striking an opponent with a bare fist or something of the like. Which is fitting since Striking is meant to be utilized by Pugilists and Monks, though as if often the case when unique stats are lacking, they rarely are only used for that set, which by Striking I mean the accessories as they are capable of being equipped to any Class or Job available. Striking Jewelry shares the same stat load out as Maiming with more emphasis on STR, DTR, Skill Speed and Critical Hit Rate. Often leaving Accuracy off or at a reduced capacity. Striking, Maiming and Aiming are intended to be used by three separate classes or sets of Classes and Jobs along the same tree. Such that there aren’t any overlap like with Healing, Fending or Casting where multiple Classes and / or Jobs are capable of equipping them. The jobs and classes that SE feels best utilize or are required in order to equip Striking sets are:

  • Pugilist
    • Monk

Striking looks like a combination of metal and stout cloth some possess a bit of leather work but all of them look relatively slimmer than the Fending set and share little in the way of looks aside from the curved yet angular design of the Allagan Armor in general. Striking armor has green stout cloth with a bronze looking metal plating over the body and many parts of the armor. Striking Allagan Jewelry has the same golden yellow stone set in them as the Fending set does and can make the two difficult to tell apart by their icon alone.

Maiming

Maiming items are utilized by Lancer and Dragoon, and just like Striking are for melee DPS, and since there are only two in the game as of Patch 2.1 and this writing, the Maiming set is focused on the same general main stats as Striking: STR, DTR, Skill Speed and Critical Hit Rate, however Maiming tends to be influenced with more Accuracy than the Striking counterparts, making them at least somewhat different. Probably as different as the developers could make it without any sort of unique stats that would benefit Lancer and Dragoon better than Pugilist and Monk on the Striking set. As such, only this one set of Class and Job can wear Maiming armor:

  • Lancer
    • Dragoon

Maiming looks identical to Striking with the exception of the cloth. The stout cloth on Maiming is white rather than dark green. With the exception of Allagan Trousers of Maiming which have a dark and somewhat dusty blue instead of white (Aiming Trousers are instead white). Maiming Allagan Jewelry has the same purple stone set in it as Casting does and therefore is difficult to tell the difference between the two.

Aiming

Aiming items are utilized by Archer and Bard (and hopefully Musketeer when it’s released! – whenever that is) and are suited for physical ranged classes, of which there is only the set currently as of Patch 2.1 and this writing. Aiming focuses on DEX, DTR, Skill Speed, Critical Hit Rate, and Accuracy. Aiming is best utilized or required to equip on the only physical ranged Job and Class combination in the game:

  • Archer
    • Bard

Allagan Armor of Aiming looks exactly like Striking with the exception that the metal plating is a leathery texture instead. They share the same stout dark green cloth and the only exception is the Allagan Trousers of Aiming which have white cloth instead of dark green. Aiming Allagan accessories all have a light blue stone like Healing accessories do, making them difficult to tell apart. In fact all Allagan Jewelry is difficult to tell apart because each Class or Job combination shares the same icon and colored stone with another Class and Job combination.

Item Level 90 Sets

Now that we got the differences between the different nomenclatures out of the way and what they look like we can get on with the sets of armor in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Ultimately as of Patch 2.1 Item Level 90 gear is so identical to each other that any “Best In Slot” setup that consists of an Item Level 95 weapon paired with a complete set of Item Level 90 gear and accessories would be so identical in performance to another that it would take a parser to show any difference and even then it would be a percentage point or less. This is more to do with how Square Enix has decided to streamline their stats - as referenced and mentioned in Final Fantasy XIV - Stats - and less with the way Best In Slot works. This is also a direct function of the Item Level which increases 2 main components of every piece of gear. Firstly Item Level increases the Main stat of that job, as well as the Defense / Magic Defense and Weapon Damage / Magic Damage of every piece of gear (barring accessories which always have 1 Defense and 1 Magic Defense). The Main Stat changes per type of class, of which there are five; Physical Ranged (DEX), Melee (STR), Tank (VIT), Healer (MND), and Caster (INT). Every classification but Physical Ranged has two Jobs contained within to help spread out the gear that can be obtained. As said above, Item Level increases these main stats and due to the way the game calculates damage, heals and damage intake each of these main stats is the absolute, unequivocal best way to excel at their class. The Secondary stats such as Determination, Critical Hit Rating, Spell Speed, and Skill Speed can't hold a candle to the impact a single point of these Main stats apply. And that is why as long as an item is of the same Item Level as another, they will always be nearly identical in performance, with the exception of Weapons or pieces of gear where a required amount of Accuracy is desired in order to hit 100% accuracy for a particular instance.

Item Level 80 Sets

With the addition of Crystal Tower in Patch 2.1 Item Level 80 sets got a fleshing out with a whole new wardrobe for each job as well as some jewelry from Ultima. Item Level 80 gear is the third tier of gear obtainable (second if you don’t count the Allagan Weapons that were boosted to Item Level 95 in Patch 2.1) as of Patch 2.1 and was missing from armor and all gear except for weapons until Patch 2.1 introduced The Crystal Tower and released the Item Level 80 set of gear, bridging the gap between Darklight and Allagan / Mythology gear.

Item Level 70 Sets

As we go down into the Item Level 70 region we venture into the Crafted Gear and the possibility for Materia. When the game was new and Darklight was still rare to be had, everybody clamored for High Quality Item Level 70 gear penta melded with materia to make it as strong as possible, which often eclipsed the Item Level 70 Darklight gear that was available and in some cases was less costly to obtain than the Darklight counterpart. Item Level 70 also includes Garuda items as well as the still unobtainable Giantsgall items from 1.0 which were brought over to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and had revamped stats, yet were still material meldable. You’ll notice only the Darklight and Philosophy gear obtained from Rowena keeps the; of Fending, of Casting, of Healing, of Striking, of Maiming and of Aiming monikers. There are more uniquely named items now in comparison to the higher tiers, for reasons unknown.

Item Level 60 Sets

As we venture down, we come across the fourth (third if we don’t count the Allagan Weapons Item Level 95 boost in patch 2.1) tier of Item Level as of Patch 2.1. This is relatively introductory gear that is a step above Artifact Armor and comes from the End Game Dungeons / Instances that start the player on their path towards The Binding Coil of Bahamut. These first dungeons are much weaker and a lot easier than anything else and could be considered an Introduction to End Game. Because both sets of Item Level 60 armor have a chance to drop from any of the Hard Mode Dungeons, that phrasing will be listed instead. The Second set which drops from both Hard Modes and Pharos Sirius will be duly noted as such to avoid confusion.

Item Level 55 Sets

And now we come to the fifth (fourth if you discount the Patch 2.1 bump of Allagan Weapons to Item Level 95) and final set of Item Level Gear that is just above our current Capped Level of 50. This is the level of our Artifact armor and is the first general upgrade most people get over the basic 48-50 gear that they wear as they finally ding into Level 50 and stop their leveling process. Around this level most of the gear is crafted or obtained from Grand Companies.

Item Level 50 Sets

We finally arrive at the end of the line with the last and final set of gear per job, the Item Level 50 set, which also happens to be the current (as of Patch 2.1 and this writing) level cap for the game. As such, these pieces of gear are generally going to be the first thing most people get or acquire when they level up into their final level for the foreseeable future. These items, like most of the items that came before it have an equivalent Item Level and Required Equipment Level, meaning they are the basic and weakest item for that level range. These pieces of gear per job category generally lack several different pieces as astute readers no doubt observed with the Item Level 55 sets as well. By SE’s standards these are the base stats and equipment that a Level 50 character should be using.

Item Level Sets By Job

Below you’ll find links to each Job and the Item Level sets organized in a table for easy reading and comprehension. Each page consists of a single Job’s Item Level Sets from Item Level 90 down to Item Level 50 with only the pertinent Job related gear that they can wear. What this means is, in some cases the Job can wear something that’s not beneficial, such as wearing a crafting body piece or a damage dealer wearing a mage robe that has no STR on it, these are omitted from each Job’s set list so each page can focus purely on the items that the Job can benefit from as well as a handy column that shows where and how these pieces of gear can be obtained.

Final Fantasy XIV - Item Level Sets – Paladin

Final Fantasy XIV - Item Level Sets – Warrior

Final Fantasy XIV - Item Level Sets – Black Mage

Final Fantasy XIV - Item Level Sets – Summoner

Final Fantasy XIV - Item Level Sets – White Mage

Final Fantasy XIV - Item Level Sets – Scholar

Final Fantasy XIV - Item Level Sets – Monk

Final Fantasy XIV - Item Level Sets – Dragoon

Final Fantasy XIV - Item Level Sets – Bard

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Article By: Penguin Writer


Games | Role Playing Game


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