Final Fantasy XIV: Understanding the Fatigue System and FAQ

What is the Fatigue System?

The Fatigue system is an experience points penalty that occurs if you earn too much experience in a week’s time. It was designed to prevent players from leveling too quickly. This appears in the game as “bonus” skill points or experience points (interesting word choice for a penalty!).

It was added to the game as a mechanism to control leveling speed. Many developers add grinding to games to extend their lifespan, so this seemed like a good alternative.

Master Final Fantasy XIV, with Chrono's FFXIV GuideThe perceived problem with previous MMORPGs is that casual players struggle to reach the level cap if the experience points required to hit the max level are too high (see FFXI), but if the experience points required to hit the max level are too low, the serious players will hit the cap in a few weeks after the game comes out and then have nothing to do (see WoW).

The developers explained that the fatigue system is their answer to this problem. They said that they could set the SP required to hit a new level would be very low, and that players would face an EXP penalty for earning too much experience in a short time-frame. This way, even the most hard-core player would still take a month to hit 50 and the most casual player would still hit 50 (and would never encounter surplus).

It was thought that this system would decrease the “grind” feeling of games. Hardcore players would then be able to level up more classes thanks to the armory system during their surplus downtime.

How do I get fatigued and how do I get rid of it?

The idea is that surplus (will use surplus and fatigue interchangeably) is roughly set to turn on once you earn as much experience as a normal player would earn after grinding monsters for 8 hours.While you are leveling at this point, you get hidden surplus levels. Once you hit level 9, you now experience surplus (fatigue).

From there, you can get surplus ranks. There are 8 visible levels of fatigue. With each increasing level, you face an increasing skill points / experience points (SP or EXP) penalty, at which point you would be earning almost zero (or maybe even zero) SP.

You can see if you are surplussed by the message “your skill bonus increases” after you earn sp. Any time you hit a new level of surplus, you get a second line of text saying your “Rank” increases. This surplus “rank” then decreases over time and completely resets once a week.

Right now, it seems that surplus rarely scales down over time, especially if you continue to level up. Fortunately, it does reset weekly. It resets individually, exactly one week from the time you hit your first hidden “rank” of surplus (remember you get 8 hidden fatigue levels before you hit actual surplus).

In short, if you hit fatigue, it will reset in a few days with no action on your part. The only thing you can do is wait.

How much is the penalty?

Right now it seems the penalty if very, very mild for Discipline of War / Magic classes. Truth be told, you cannot hit surplus in any reasonable amount of time from soloing. You would have to grind for a lot longer than 8 hours.

By partying, you can hit surplus fairly quickly, but it seems that the ranks are very far apart. I have experienced as much as 25,000 SP being between each level of surplus. In other words, I hit surplus and was able to earn 25,000 more SP before hitting the next rank of surplus.

In short, you have to grind like a maniac to really feel the surplus penalty as a DoW/DoM character. This is especially true in very large parties, where you are able to hit the SP cap per monster (500).

For crafters and gatherers, surplus is very real. I do not recommend crafting past the second rank of surplus as a crafter, as you will earn noticeably less SP at the same material cost for crafting. Not worth the time; just wait until it resets and gather materials in the mean time.

Problems with Surplus

However, there are a few problems with the Surplus system in FFXIV:

– Surplus has almost no effect.

– Exp required to hit 50 is massive, even when partying.

– The game is still a grind.

The surplus system has no teeth at the moment. It is very hard to reach unless you are in a power party and it’s overall effect is very weak. You can still hit level 50 in a few weeks if you grind like a maniac, and the amount of SP needed to hit level 50 is mind-boggling for a character playing solo.

A casual player who logs on 5 hours a week and levels up solo via leves and monster grinding will is very likely never reach the level cap. Fortunately, in our Final Fantasy XIV guide, we have leveling recommendations and party information so that you can speed through your levels much faster than the average person.

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One Response to Final Fantasy XIV: Understanding the Fatigue System and FAQ

  1. Zack says:

    Wow, what a scam. Earn gil? It’s easy as hell. Level up fast? They’re still tuning the XP and SP gains system so even though its a little slow it IS changing. Don’t buy this crap.

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