FFXI: Return to Vana’diel – Super Easy Solo Leveling: Records of Eminence

I return to Vana’diel after not having played FFXI for over a decade. Here are my adventures!

While buzzing around on the FFXI subreddit, I was given a really great, updated starter guide. The first thing this guide stressed was something called Records of Eminence (RoE). Naturally, I’d never heard of this before, but researching more, a whole new world of questing and leveling opened up to me.

Quest Menu

I learned that is that there is  a Quest and Mission option on the Main Menu! You just have to page over with arrow keys to see them. Within the Quests menu, there’s a whole section for RoE, including the tutorial that will get you started (Quest > Records of Eminence > Tutorial > Basics > First Step Forward).

This leads you to talk to a specific NPC in your home city, and activates a rather amusing cutscenes. I must admit that FFXI has a lot more hidden charm than I knew about!

Once you get that creepy doll and unlock the RoE quests, you can go back to the Quest menu and start activating up to 30 RoE quests. Some of these are one time rewards for things you’re already doing (like Missions). Some of these just stay on repeat and keep throwing experience and Sparks at you as you complete them (such as regional kill quests).

You can choose to turn these repeatables on and off whenever you like. So if you’re going to be leaving an area for good, and entering a new one, it’s a good idea to accept the kill quests for the new zone you’re exploring.

New Trusts

I wanted to note that there is a long questline that unlocks a bunch of new Trusts for you to summon. I noticed I had this item Cipher: Valaineral in my inventory, but had no idea what to do with it. Looking it up, I understood it was associated with a new Trust, Valaineral.

I had to take the item and trade it to the Trust NPC in my hometown, which unlocked a new Trust to summon. This would then unlock a new RoE quest to summon that Trust outside the town. When I completed that quest, a new Cipher was rewarded to me for another Trust. So, it was a cycle of unlocking Trusts, summoning them, getting a Cipher to unlock a Trust and summon them.

It was a bit redundant, but in the end, I had a full group of Ciphers, including a Paladin, White Mage, Scholar, Bard and other such characters I could call on.

Sparks of Eminence

I can’t talk about RoE without talking about the Sparks. Not only do the quests reward good experience, but you get this currency known as Sparks. The thing you need to know about this is:

Sparks = FREE GEAR

I had wondered where I’d be getting my gear as I leveled up seeing that there wasn’t much to choose from on the Auction House. After learning about Sparks, I understood why.

You go to the original NPC in your hometown who unlocked the RoE for you (for example, in San d’Oria, that’s Rolandienne). They now offer to let you purchase gear of all kinds of levels in exchange for the Sparks you earn in RoE quests. I quickly picked up a set of level 17 gear so I could shed myself of the harness armor. This stuff was dirt cheap, too – like 60 Sparks per piece, and I already had over a thousand Sparks just from the few quests I’d been doing.

That wiki page I linked above will give you a full list of the gear you can pick up with Sparks. I’ve read some folks who say that with using Trusts, you really don’t need to gear up like you used to in this game, but it’s so cheap to do so using Sparks that I prefer to just go ahead and keep my gear somewhat relevant.

It looks like there’s other things you can buy if you’re maxed level, and stuff that can increase your skills as well.

All in all, an excellent system to help a new player not just level but gear up in a very convenient way.