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PvE (an abbreviation of Player versus Environment) is an umbrella term for various in-game activities that pit players against computer-controlled enemies colloquially referred to as mobs. These activities vary in scope and can be anything from quests to dynamic field events to endgame raids. Note that under no circumstances will a player find him or herself forced into combat against another player-controlled character; this type of content is known as PvP (Player versus Player) and is wholly separate from other activities.
Official PvE Guides on the Lodestone
PvE content in Final Fantasy XIV is divided into several distinct activities:
PvE Content available as of Patch 5.35
- Main Scenario Quest - This is the main story thread of Final Fantasy XIV. This content is largely focused on telling a story with the player's character cast as the hero or heroine. Though this content is largely designed to be completed by a solitary player, certain events or situations will require the player to team up with others in order to complete a Dungeon.
- Side Quests - These quests tell smaller stories that focus upon the realm of Eorzea and its inhabitants. Players will typically be rewarded with experience, gil, and various items or equipment upon fulfilling the quest-giver's requests.
- Feature Quests - These quests are largely similar to Side Quests, but players will unlock a new Feature upon completion. Features can be anything from new dungeons to emotes. As of the Heavensward expansion, all Job-related quests fall into the Feature Quest category.
- Dungeons - Dungeons are the primary cooperative PvE activity in Final Fantasy XIV. They are self-contained areas in which a group of players will be tasked with completing various objectives while working their way through the environment. All dungeons conclude with a Boss fight and reward players with unique weapons, armor, or accessories. Dungeons are a matchmade activity.
- Raids - Raids are an endgame cooperative PvE activity. Much like Dungeons, players will be tasked with proceeding through the area whilst completing various objectives. Unlike dungeons, Raids may consist solely of one or more mechanics-heavy Boss fight. Note that Raids will typically be divided into eight-player or twenty four-player categories.
- Trials - Trials are high-intensity cooperative battles against a Boss. Parties for this activity will typically be comprised of eight players.
- FATEs - Fates are dynamic events that take place in the overworld; any zone that isn't a city or other major settlement is a viable host for a wide array of area-specific FATEs. The objectives for this content vary, but players can expect to see some variation of killing designated mobs or collecting requested items. FATEs may be completed with any number of participants.
- Clan Hunt - The Clan Hunt is content that tasks players with hunting down and slaying specified enemies. Successful elimination of the target awards experience, gil, and clan marks.
- Levequests - This content is divided into three categories. Battlecraft Leves task the player with killing designated enemies within a specified area. Once a levequest has been initiated, the player has a limited amount of time to slay his or her target lest the leve end in failure. Completion awards experience, gil, and equipment; bonus experience is granted if targets are slain quickly. Tradecraft Leves require the player to craft a specified item and turn it in to an NPC. High-quality items reward bonus experience. Lastly, Fieldcraft Leves task the player with harvesting the requested resources and handing them over to the Levemete. Note that each player has a finite amount of levequest allowances. These replenish over time.