What Are High Level Duties in Final Fantasy XIV?

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High Level Duties is a term in Final Fantasy XIV used to refer to raids and trials above their standard difficulty mode.

XIV caters to a huge range of players. There’s the vibrant, (mostly) relaxed crafting/gathering community. We have the glamour-obsessed roleplayers that make the absolute most out of the game’s bevy of appearance options.

And, of course, the hordes of adventurers looking to prove their worth against mighty monsters and sprawling dungeons.

But for some players, that challenge just isn’t enough.

They’ve donned the best gear, they’ve learnt their rotation back to front, and they want their ability to work within a team of people like them to be tested. XIV caters for those people too, with Extreme Trials and Savage Raids.

These are basically souped-up versions of the standard content, designed to push raiding teams to their limit.


What’s A Static in FFXIV?

It can be hard to clear standard current raids and trials, especially if you’re doing it with matchmade Duty Finder groups.

Even if everyone’s doing their bit, communication can still be a struggle.

This is why players pushing for progression in Extreme or Savage content will often form what’s known as a “Static” to achieve their goals.

Statics are fixed teams of players fulfilling specific roles. They’re often formed through Free Companies (XIV’s version of a guild system) but they can be found in other forms too.

The benefit of joining a static is consistency.

You’ll work with the same group of people every time you challenge the content. This makes it easier to see what’s going wrong and why.

It often gives you more room to learn and make mistakes than it would in a matchmade group, where players tend to have less patience.


Clearing High Level Duties: Where To Start

The first step is education. I really can’t stress that enough.

Do not expect to just jump straight into this stuff and get it done on the first try.

Begin with your understanding of your job and what gear/stats you should be prioritizing.

Get as confident and powerful within that as you possibly can, and make sure your rotations are solidly embedded in your brain.

I’d recommend using a resource like Salted XIV to check your meld priorities and rotations.

Then you need to learn the fights.

Luckily there are plenty of videos focusing on XIV’s endgame content on YouTube, so take a look and get an idea of what you’re in for.

Read up on how the fight should proceed, and what your role within it is.

The truth is, if you’ve raided before in an MMO, you aren’t in for any nasty surprises.

Matchmade groups will still fall apart half the time. You will wipe, probably a bunch of times.

But this is really just XIV on hard mode. So if you’re up for the challenge it can certainly be overcome.

I’d really suggest getting yourself into a static if you’re serious about progressing through High Level Duties, though.

Having a consistent team with clear communication and patience is basically half the battle.

If you can’t find a static, there are plenty of raiding guilds that will bring you along with them if you’re geared up and ready to go.

Ifrit Battle Cutscene in HD / FFXIV
Image source by Phatrapon Apirakponsa / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Examples Of Extreme/Savage Mechanic Changes

My favorite example of this is Ifrit.

He’s literally the first Trial in the game, and walks you through an entire gamut of mechanics that all build upon the same theme.

In the normal version, you’ll get him down to half health and he’ll spawn an Infernal Nail. If the Nail isn’t killed in time, Ifrit’s next attack (his signature move, Hellfire) will wipe the party.

Then we unlock The Bowl of Embers (Hard) around level 50, and experience the same fight with some more punishing changes. Ifrit has more attacks, they hit harder, and we have double the amount of players to fight him with.

He spawns four Infernal Nails instead of one, and can end the entire fight without question if they aren’t all taken down in time.

So pretty tough, sure.

But that’s nothing on the Extreme version.

Although it’s outdated now, it was once endgame content for A Realm Reborn – and represented the very hardest challenge the game could provide at the time.

Extreme really spices Ifrit up.

His Incinerate attack applies a debuff which stacks, reducing maximum HP of everyone affected. This forces the tanks to swap between who’s holding aggro in order to prevent their health from getting wiped out.

Attacks like Eruption which could previously be interrupted are now unstoppable, and behave in different, unpredictable ways.

And then, of course, there’s Hellfire.

Hellfire is now cast three times throughout the battle, with Infernal Nails to take down each time.

The Nails increase in number each time, up to a total of thirteen. Plus they deal damage upon their destruction, and apply a debuff to players caught in their wake.

And if that still wasn’t enough, once all three rounds of Nails are destroyed, you have to take down Ifrit before he has time to cast Hellfire – which will wipe the party every time, no questions asked.

So as you can see, Extreme and Savage content can become different battles entirely.

With Ifrit we get a very basic version at first, quickly becoming a living nightmare when we challenge him on Extreme.

Overcoming these battles takes practice, dedication, and communication.

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