FFXIV: Difference between Physical and Class Level

written by Chrono

Based on various input we have received, the difference between class and physical level seems to be the source of major confusion for quite a few players. In this post, I will be breaking down the difference between Class and Physical level so you will know exactly what they mean and how you can judge your own character’s strength.

Class Level

Class level refers to the level of your character’s current job (such as Gladiator, Pugilist, or Conjurer). Class level is by far the most important level for all 4 disciplines. Here is what class levels do:

Master Final Fantasy XIV, with Chrono's FFXIV Guide

For Disciplines of War and Magic, class level (as opposed to physical level) is weighted very heavily in all combat formulas. The amount of damage you deal and receive is highly dependent on your class level.

If you are 10 class levels higher than the enemy you are fighting, you will deal significant amounts of bonus damage, regardless of your weapon, strength, or physical level. You will also receive less damage, regardless of your armor or current class.

If you are fighting an enemy that is 10 levels above your current class level, you will take more damage and deal significantly less damage. You will find that when you fight enemies way above your level, you actually receive little experience points (since you deal very little damage) and take a large quantity of damage. For this reason, large parties fighting very tough mobs actually earn very little experience points. Side note: On the flip side, large parties earning easy-moderate mobs earn quite a bit more experience, provided you can find an area with enough monsters.

In essence, class level is a lot more important than physical level. In our Final Fantasy 14 Guide, we use Class Level when referring to the difficulty level of quests and when recommending certain spots for leveling.

Physical Level

Physical level refers to your character’s overall level. With each physical level, you earn attribute (stat) points and elemental points which you can sign (I will be covering these in a later article and this is currently covered in Chrono Guide).

While physical level will not have as significant of an effect on your character’s strength as class level, it does help, especially if your physical level goes far beyond your class level. After all, more stat points in vitality and mind means a bigger HP and MP pool. This will help your survivability so you can kill harder monsters and solo leves more easily.

I recommend the following rule to readers:

For every 5 levels that your Physical level exceeds your current class level, add “1″ to your class level to estimate your strength.

In other words, if your physical level is 31, and you are starting a brand new class (class level 1), this means that your physical level is about 30 levels higher than your current class level. If we use the formula and divide 30 by 5, we end up with 6 “bonus levels”.

This means that if you are a level 1 Gladiator but have a level 30 physical level, your Gladiator is similar in strength to a level 7 Gladiator (added on the 6 levels). When you hit level 2 on your Gladiator, you will be about as strong as a level 8 Gladiator.

When you hit level 10, you will be as strong as about a level 14 Gladiator (Physical level 31 – Physical level 10 ~ 20 levels of difference).

Master Final Fantasy XIV, with Chrono's FFXIV Guide

Master Final Fantasy XIV, with Chrono's Leveling and Gil Guide

Using the Formula

If you are starting a new class and want to use our Final Fantasy 14 Guide, you can use this formula to figure out the leveling spots. If you are a class level 5 and have a physical level 0f 30, you could easily level up in the spots we recommend for level 10 players.

Note that you do not have to use this formula. You can be a level 5 class level and still level up in the level 5 spots. However, if your physical level is 30, you could potentially level in the level 10 leveling spots – having the a high physical level gives you a bigger range of potential choices and makes leveling much easier. It becomes your choice whether you want to fight in the level 5 or level 10 spots.

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