I am also curious as to what someone on a brand new account with no connections would do for money and leveling gear these days as well. There were 2 things that made me quit the game originally - the ridiculously long and boring lvl grind, and then having to take a 15 hour break every 2 levels to farm money for new gear, spells, and consumables. It sounds like the first issue has been addressed quite well - where do we stand on the second one?
Level Sync allows someone in a party, usually the lowest level, to have everyone else drop to match that level. The long and short of it is this: As long as at least one
person can still get exp in a GoV camp, that camp is viable. This is great on your wallet because you'll probably be wearing level 20 gear until you approach level 37/40 if you've got a long, sustained group in Gusgen Mines.
You still need to keep up to date with your spells and your skills, but because your level is capped even as you earn exp, you don't have to spend cash on useless intermediate gear that adds a whole +1 defense.
I'd probably stick with doing major gear overhauls at the following levels:
1 - Start gear ftw
15 - Access to the first decent rings and other accessories.
30 - Access to the level 30 gear sets that start having real stats.
45 - Access to gear to sustain you through AF levels
60 - Access to AF set, and choicer gear pieces like good old Scorp Harness and Hauby and the like
78 - Access to the Abyssea AH gear, which is in many cases the best non rare/ex gear available for the level. The set bonuses alone are great. The only reason it's thought of poorly is because it is cheap, and at level 99 there's better stuff. You can get the entire level 78 Abyssea sets for around 50K total gil on the AH.
99 - Access to all the gear in the game. I wouldn't bother starting on your permanent gear set until this time. At 99 you can start working on your Empyrean armor and all the rare/ex yummies that drop from NMs in Abyssea.
Additionally, gil flows like water at low levels due to inflation at the higher levels. Only lower level folks farm crystals, for example, so putzing around with gobbies and getting a stack of fire crystals will grab you 5K on most servers. Supply and demand. I don't even really farm at 99 and I never really have major gil crunches unless I just treated myself to an expensive toy, like Thunder V. Edited, Apr 12th 2012 1:23pm by catwho