I wouldn't buy gil. Anyone who buys gil is frowned upon in the Final Fantasy XI community, and you will find that you'll struggle through most of the game. Selling and buying gil has really screwed up the economy for those who play the game the way it was meant to be played. This usually upsets them and they do all they can to make your life miserable.
For instance, if anyone in the game found out that you bought the gil, they make it a goal to make sure you don't get into any good linkshells, they'll shout that you bought gil when you're asking for help for something, and a lot more. If parties know that you bought gil, you rarely get invited to join.
Bad idea. Instead, you need to do it the way it was meant to be done. If you can't complete a quest or mission, then you need to level up. Most missions require a party, and a lot of quests tend to take a couple people if it requires fighting or exploring. Making gil isn't all that easy until you reach level twenty or so. This is when you can start doing "Burning Circle Notorious Monster" battles. These fights reward you with items worth as little as 50,000 gil and as much as 10,000,000 gil or so.
You just need to work through the lower levels before you can start really making gil. Otherwise, you can rely on the items that monsters drop and sell to merchants or on the auction house.
For lower levels, your best option is to get signet from a guard and save all crystals you get from mobs, then sell them on the auction house. If you can manage, don't drop anything just sell it. Even a little bit of gil can become auction house fee. This is a good method to get the neccesities ( basic spells and armor ) until you can participate in BCNMs and missions.
Lower levels usually refers to anyone that's not able to do a BCNM. Usually between levels one and fourty. Most people don't even have enough Besastmen Seals for a BCNM20 until around level fourt anyways.
I started playing FFXI with its PS2 release in NA, and quit about 6 months ago. Most of what I can remember when making money in FFXI was during the inflation period where the Scorpion Harness(NQ) peaked out over 20 million Gil. This may not apply entirely to what the game is like now.
I was quite comfortable in the Gil department when I played FFXI, and I think having and making Gil on this game is more to do with your mentality than it is do to with your actions and whatever tricks you might know.
One of the most important things to me is having THF leveled to at least 37 (45 for THII is great). It's good to have a full THF sub because most melee jobs can make some use of it, and because Flee is very nice to have since time is money. Aside from that, you get Treasure Hunter and a job that is very good at soloing if you know what you're doing. I'd also recommend leveling RNG for widescan.
With the THF/RNG combo you can do a lot that you otherwise couldn't. Flee, Widescan, and Treasure Hunter are all staple abilities for farming, camping, and Flee + Widescan is even useful for navigating around town for missions or quests. Without a doubt, THF/RNG is the business man's job.
Another important job is Red Mage. The reason for this is because it's useful in a lot of BCNMs, and can even solo a few of them if you're good. NIN is also very useful in BCNM, but it's expensive to level and since you're short on cash you should just wait.
One fun, easy, and surefire way to make a hefty amount of cash is to take all of your jobs to solo to level 15 in starting areas with Signet on. Not only for crystals, but stacks of other low level items add up as well. Doesn't hurt to have a multitude of jobs leveled either. Don't forget you can also get around 10 Beastman Seals for each job you level (Probably the biggest reward of doing this).
I made the majority of my money through NMs, BCNMs, crafting, and farming; in that order. NMs require a lot of time, patience, skill, and luck. You know what BCNMs require. Crafting takes a down payment, and farming takes a lot of will power (no fun sitting there and killing weak monsters for hours upon hours).
Way back when, Leaping Lizzy dropped the actual Leaping Boots and I completely took control of that NM whenever I needed a quick bunch of cash. Spamming widescan with THF/RNG meant no chance in hell for everyone else. You can't make money off of Leaping Lizzy anymore, but I'm sure there are other NMs that could produce the same results for you.
With BCNMs, the most important thing to do is first find a suitable BCNM for yourself. It's much better to find a good BCNM, master it with a group of friends, and push all of your seals into that one BCNM every time you can. This way, you don't have to worry about losing or finding a group. You also start to get a good idea of your chances, and can plan accordingly financially. For instance, for the most part I did three BCNMs.
First, it was a BCNM30 (maybe it was 40) with a Crawler that required RNGs to spam sleep bolts. It was an automatic win, could be duo'd, and netted some nice rings.
My second regular BCNM was BCNM60 with a Coeurl. Wild Whiskers or something. This BCNM has a sort of glitch that can be taken advantage of and duo'd with a NIN and WHM. The mob casts one of several spells very often, and you can force it to cast Burst everytime. This means that, with a NIN, most of the fight will include the mob casting a spell that will have no effect. Penitent's Rope was a common (1/2) drop from this BCNM, among a couple of decent drops. This is probably the best example of a good BCNM, but it's expensive at 60 seals.
My third and last regular BCNM was BCNM40 with the three Hecteyes. These guys dropped Peacock Charm, but you could be pretty sure that they don't after doing it 10 times and not seeing the Charm drop. I had a Peacock Amulet from Argus, so I just did this BCNM for cash where the rest of my group wanted the necklace. I only got the Charm one time out of about 500 seals or so, but at 16 million gil it was worth it.
Crafting is the best way to have a steady and surefire income. After you level a craft to a respectable level, you can profit from it any time you want. You can also use this reliability to keep items on the AH consantly.
I only had Leathercraft to 35 (among other very low levels, not noteworthy), but I made a small killing off of Ram Leather. It cost me about 300k to get Leathercraft just to 35, but I made about 300k every time I went out to Konschat Highlands and spent a few hours farming Rams. It took about 15 minutes and 5k gil to fill my inventory with the supplies (Mules help), and I came out with a profit of 250-400k each time. With a level 37THF/RNG(Gotta love it) and a little practice, you can time and control the Ram spawns and claim each Ram every 5 minutes. This isn't as long as it seems, since you'll be busy crafting the 1-6 skins that each Ram drops during that downtime. Farming Rams was actually quite fun, and it was 100% reliable whenever I needed several thousand Gil or just had the free time and felt like getting richer.
Then there's farming. I couldn't stand farming, and didn't do much of it after I discovered the above methods of making gil. THF/RNG shines again here, with Flee, Widescan, Treasure Hunter, and its strong soloing ability. THF becomes a good soloer with Bloody Bolts by the way, those make or break the job in solo play. I farmed Silk, Beehive Chips, and Crystals early on in the game. It was enough to keep me respectable in a party and not wearing RSE or completely naked in the dunes (Oh yeah, you see a lot in 3 years of leveling multiple jobs). Later on I farmed from time to time. Tree Cuttlings in the Sanctuary of Zi'Tah were very nice, but usually over farmed.
From this comes another important lesson in gil making though. CHECK THE AH OFTEN. If you're just talking to friends, chilling in Jeuno (or mostly Al Zahbi now I'd imagine) and doing nothing- BE AT THE AH AND KEEP AN EYE ON EVERYTHING. This is very important. Having a good sense of the game's economy is the difference in having a Haubergeon and a Haubergeon +1. Like I said, it's mentality above all else; and this is a huge part of it.
Another nice little advantage is having a mule (or better yet, mules). Most people only use their mules for storage, but not you Mr. Money! Keep your mules as spread out as possible. It's also good to have a mule in Jeuno, since you'll want extra slots at this AH. I had 4 mules; one at each starting city and another in Jeuno. These guys were extremely handy. Earlier, I said it took 15 minutes to get my Ram Leather supplies when I wanted to craft. Normally, it would take more than 15 minutes just to get to Windurst(where you buy the supplies). With a mule, however, all I needed to do was hop on my mule(already supplied with money for crafting supplies) and run to an NPC then send the items over to my main character. They also helped when I needed to bazaar petty items in a small town (leftovers from parties, things like that), or when I wanted to check any of the AH's. Another huge benefit was when sometimes NPC items could reach high prices at the AH, like certain lumbers from the Woodcrafter's guild in Sandy. Just park the mule in the guild, and sign in when it opens.
Another thing that kept my wallet full and my job in high performance was planning. I had one main job at all times, and 1-2 sub jobs. I never had equipment for more than that (until later, when my gear became easier to use across all of them; Empress Hairpin, Bounding Boots, Peacock Amulet FTW). This means that when you want to play a job, you think about it and plan accordingly. If I decided that I wanted to take NIN to 75, then I sold my main job's gear and got ready to do it. If I decided that I needed to level NIN just to 37 to sub to my main, then I'd plan accordingly for that. This puts you at a huge advantage because, in reality, most people are only leveling 1-3 jobs anyway. Keeping all of the extra crap only means less storage and less money. Don't be afraid to buy, sell, and re-purchase things. Later in the game you might not need to do this anymore. I had a lot of RA/EX equipment for various job levels that allowed me to have a very nicely equipped job for every level even if I didn't want to buy anything. Never underestimate those widely usable RA/EX items. They save you lots and lots of time and money. My SAM, NIN, THF, DRK, WAR, DRG, PLD, and MNK were all very happy to have Bounding Boots, Peacock Amulet, and an Empress Hairpin. That leaves a weapon, accessories that were usually cross-job, and a few pieces of armor that, for the most part, could be used across jobs as well.
I said it in opening and I'll say it in closing. Having gil on this game is a mentality. Doing things like keeping a Bazaar open overnight, sticking by the AH and studying when you're bored, parking mules at profitable guilds, planning financially before you switch jobs, and keeping the AH full(I usually had 20-28 slots full) as often as possible will put in you position to do your job and do it well. I found most of my fun from this game in two things; playing with friends and being complimented on my performance- and I had a lot of fun. I hope this helps you to have fun, however it is that you find it in FFXI.
Last edited by Seloan; December 10, 2006 at 6:03 PM.