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Setting Up the Action Bars - Final Fantasy XIV Battle System
The most complicated part of the Final Fantasy XIV battle system is seeting up the action bars - and it's also the key to success. There are three action bars total, which can be scrolled through during combat, and each bar has ten slots on it for commands. Thus, ultimately there can be only thirty commands used in combat total.
However, it's a little more complicated than that. Each command carries with it a point value, and there is a maximum allowable number of points, which goes up with each class level. In this example, a class level nine marauder is getting ready to set up her bars. At level nine, the maximum number of points that can sit on the bars is 15.
The marauder wants to put Skull Sunder on her action bar. Skull Sunder will take up 3 points of the 15 point limit. The information about the attack is displayed in the lower left hand pane - it's also important to know that it's an attack that costs TP, which means that it cannot be used to begin a fight.
To put Skull Sunder on the action bar, the marauder selects which spot on the bar she wants it to go, selects the attack, and then chooses to add the attack to the main hand. After that, it may take a few seconds for the attack to show up on the bar.
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The Advantage of Leveling Multiple Classes
If the character has levels in more than one class, it's possible to put commands from several different classes on to the action bar. In this case, the marauder has also played as a conjurer enough to reach level four and acquire the spell "cure." Cure is put on the action bar as shown previously, and contributes points toward the 15 point maximum.
Any action from any class may be put on the action bar. It's important to note, however, that not all actions may be useable by the current class. In this example, the mining skills can be added to the action bar, but in the information pane they show as "miner only." This means that they cannot be used without the character's class being changed to miner.
Skills that cannot be used by the current class do not contribute to the maximum allowable action points on the action bars.
This can be useful at lower levels because this means that the secondary or tertiary action bar can be set up for a character's gathering class without affecting the character's maximum action point total when they are in their battle class. This makes it much simpler to change between battle and gathering on the fly.
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The Final Fantasy XIV Battle System
Once the action bars are set up, the rest of the battle system is quite simple. To enter combat, the character must first be put in to active mode - this defaults as "F" for keyboard commands, or can be set as a single button on a game pad.
Once in active mode, attack by selecting a target, choosing an action, and then executing it. Each action will take a chunk off of the stamina gauge; if the character's stamina is too low, he will have to wait for the gauge to refill a bit before executing another action. Not to worry, the gauge refills quickly.
As soon as combat begins, the TP gauge in the lower right of the display begins to fill. TP is used for some attacks; on the action bar they show the required number of TP and cannot be executed until there's a sufficient amount of TP to spend.
The Final Fantasy XIV battle system does not have an auto attack. That is the most important thing to remember during combat. Each attack must be selected and executed individually - even the basic attack, which is first on the action bar. Not actively paying attention to combat can end in the humiliation of getting nut kicked to death by a rat.