Starting Out in FFXIV

     As I am starting out with playing FFXIV I have gotten past all the busy work, the account setup, the installation, the patches and the character selection. I am in the world walking around and thinking hmmm I know I had a plan.

Exploring the new world can be overwhelming at first, and very easy to get sidetracked in this or that. Some people love that, they experience the game in a fluid capacity molding from one activity to another, absorbing it all at once. That's not me....Perhaps I am missing the important learn as you go gene or perhaps it is more a function of my time limited play. However, for my maximum enjoyment I need goals and organization, my thinking is very linear as is my gameplay. So for those of you that share my genetic makeup and enjoy more goal oriented play and time effieiency, I compiled this guide so I can easy play in windowed mode and refer back to any links I may need. My previous Beta Guide version 3 includes all the basic FFXIV setup links and controls.

Where do I get money?
The easiest way to make a substantial amount of money early on is to complete the first mission which rewards you with 6,200 gil. This used to be much more lucrative in the beta but apparently they changed that on release. This will give you enough to buy some different class weapons for job changes, buy your equipment to craft with and generally give you a nice nest egg to start with. Each starting city has its own quest line which usually is the same NPC who gives you the linkpearl to start with. Talk to them again and select the appropriate mission option. Here are links to a few walkthroughs I tested and had good success with. Note since release, they changed the names of some of these quests. FFXIVenturer also has some good quest walkthroughs for all the cities.
Gridania- Souls gone Wild
Limsa Lominsa- Treasures of the Main Walkthrough
Ul'Dah- Court in the Sands

I have money now what?
After you get your easy gil and possibly another rank or physical level, if your like me you want to browse some NPC's and check out some basic tools of the trade you might be interested in. Personally I plan on buying a few sets of crafting tools to have on me that compliment each other. In addition to crafting tools you may want to buy some more weapons for the combat classes. I am gonna be getting some pugilist weapons early on to gain the healing ability at level 6. So where do I find these items? Below I have made some links of the NPC's who sell tools and other wares to start with for each city. OP updated with retail prices today. Weathered Hora's in Gridania are off vendor in Ebony stalls. The last one I recently added to assist in finding NPC's in the various zones.
Gridania Vendor List
List of vendors for 3 cities
Zam NPC zone guide and map

How do I get around?
FFXIV has been kind enough to allow us to teleport around with the use of anima, however, much like ffxi we have to have visited to aethyrite crystal first in order to teleport to it. Thus I consider exploring the map and unlocking teleports one of my first priorities in this game. If you were lucky enough to get some hermes shoes you may be able to travel faster (but only for 15 minutes every 24 hours). Below I found some helpful links relating to traveling between the 3 major cities as well as good places to level.
Travel guide to all 3 cities
Where to grind guide

How to Maximize my Travel time
Well if we have to walk we might as well be doing something productive on the way. Therefore I would suggest you try out some mining or botany to gather materials while you are traveling to get to crystals. I think I will be trying Botany myself because it goes well with the weaving craft I want to try. below are some helpful Guides to Disciples of Land. I included fishing too but I don't recommend you stop at every pond...
Botany Guide
Mining Guide
Fishing Guide
Zam harvesting guide

How do I switch jobs again?
Currently you have to make some job changing macros to equip your abilities because last time I checked SE hadn't found a way to save them yet. There are class macro guides, crafting macro guides and some others including the "panic" macro allowing you to equip the onion helm in a moment of impending death. Below are some key guides I found useful.
Panic Macro Guide
Class changing macros
Writing macro basics
Macro Maker

What about jobs and when I want to fight?
Whether or not you want to kill stuff or craft stuff it is beneficial to be versitile in both. Crafters need materials and combat classes are gathering those, combat classes need gear and crafters are making get the picture. The way FFXIV works is you can level many different classes and share abilities between them. It is also a good idea to level a couple at once due to the fatigue system they implemented. If I was to try and level my conjurer to 30 in a day eventually I would hit the cap and gain 0 experience. Like I previously mentioned I plan on leveling Pugilist a little for a healing ability that relies on tp, then going to conjurer and switching between that and Thaurmaturge. Zam also has a full searchable database for all the classes.
Healer's Handbook
Elemental weakness chart
Thaurmaturge ability list
Zam Class ability list

Where Do I put everything I am collecting?
As you start quests and start traveling and gathering, your bags will fill up fast and you have a few options. First you can sell stuff to NPC's, second you could craft with the mats and third, you can hire a retainer. A retainer is like a mule to bazzar items for other players to buy. Every account is allowed 1 and if you want to purchase more you have to pay. Setting up a retainer is fairly easy and should be done asap in my opinion in order to get it out of the way and pick a great spot in the market hall! great news is your retainer stays active in game even after you log out. The creators of FFXIAH did it again with FFXIVPro and are in the beta phase of a full database for retainers.
Guide to retainers
Spreadsheet of vendor sell prices
FFXIVPro (the new FFXIAH)

What if I want to Craft?
Crafting in FFXIV is an even more extensive minigame then it was in FFXI. You have more options and ideally more control over the outcome of your craft. Crafts like the combat classes also have abilities that can be shared, therefore it is a smart idea to level several class to make the most of the best abilities. For example the Blacksmith's ability Makers Muse increases the success rate for standard synthesis. Personally I am very interested in Weaving, Cooking and Alchemy. But I will also level the others for the abilities. below are some of my favorite guides.
General crafting Guide
Weaving Guide
Yellow Gremlin database
Zam recipe database
Crystals- what mob drops which?

What about leveling in general?
Guildleves are the bread and butter of this game and progressively give better rewards and more gil. However, they can only be done every day and a half or so, so eventually you will run out of them and have to go back to grinding. Another option is to join in on a group that is doing a guildleve (even if you don't have it) and you will typically get better skill up points. Zam has a great database going now for guildleves (1-40), so I suggest you check that out if you want to view the rewards and objectives.
Guildleve FAQ
NPC locations for guildleves
Zam Guildleve database

What about Grinding?
Grinding is the option you have after you have finished your 8 Battelcraft/Fieldcraft levequests, and the 8 local crafting levequests. Grinding a Melee or magic class is done out in the world finding a group of monsters to kill over and over until your eyes bleed or you hit surplus and start getting diminished experience for that class. Grinding a craft involves taking materials you have, finding a recipe online and going through your materials/shards to gain level. Since I have already linked the crafting recipe sites above, I will address the Disciples of war/magic grinding. Guides are starting to be leaked out (slowly because some people don't want to share secrets) and here is what I found so far.
Solo Guide: lvl 1-25
Party Leveling Guide 14+
The "Good Exp Spot" thread

That is all for now, I may update more later when I find more information and well written posts to add. Like I said before I prefer having all my links in one easy place to find, so feel free to use this blog as a quick reference.

Edit: I added a few of the direct links to the ZAM database, however I feel the entire database deserves its own link and bookmark on your web browsers. I find them particularly useful in finding map locations for NPC's. FFXIV Zam.