Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder: The RPing Xaela Tank

This Tales is more of an amusing one than one of frustration. I didn’t have anything to complain about in this particular run — the tank actually took it slowly, which was fine, compared to our July 1st tank story.

So we load into Kugane Castle – Syn/Zeb as White Mage, Amoon on Ninja, and I on Red Mage. We get a Xaela (I checked) Paladin random as a tank. We exchange our greetings with him, and are off.

After we finish off the second pull (he’s pulling small), the tank pauses for a moment. The three of us exchange curious comments in voice chat. Then, finally, we see the following from the tank:

rptank1

At first we were confused. It took me a moment to realize the tank was standing over the body of the soldier we’d just dispatched (the enemy’s name is a “Joi Blade”). And sure enough, this defeated soldier was a Xaela AuRa.

That’s when it struck me, and I proclaimed to Syn/Zeb and Amoon in voice chat, “He’s role playing!!”

Not quite sure how to respond to this, we decided to encourage it. I walked over to where the tank was standing and acknowledged:

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I thought about the lore I was familiar with for a moment, and said in voice chat, “You know, he’s got a pretty valid question, actually.”

Further encouragement as we made our way slowly, but nicely laid back, through this dungeon:

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The run went smoothly, despite the tank stopping from time to time to discuss his curiosities. Sometimes he was full-blown RPing, sometimes he was out of character. But all through the dungeon, he expressed his honest desire to know more about this Xaela curiosity (and we kept encouraging it). He even mentioned perhaps we’d see more lore or information in the Hard Mode of Kugane Castle.

I didn’t get screenshots of everything he said (since I was trying to DPS), but it was certainly a… different… kind of run. But one that I prefer over the wall-to-wall pulls we normally get.

After the dungeon was over with, we parted ways with one final conversation:

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Syn has too much fun with this stuff. 🙂

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder – The July 1st Tank

I’m not sure what it is about roulettes lately, but they’ve been a constant source of blog posts. Since it’s mostly been the three of us running (Zeb, Amoon, myself), we’ve been picking up a random to fill in the blank. That’s usually a tank for Expert roulette.

Tanks seem to come in one of two flavors lately: A bit strange, but gentle with the pulls… or insane and wall-to-wall.

Now, I get that some tanks want to pull big to get the dungeon done more quickly. But last night, the tank chided me for using a limit break on a boss…. instead of the massive trash pull he planned to make later on.

wtf

 

Okay, so first, this Dark Knight tank zones in to Ala Mhigo wearing the Moonfire Faire speedos as a glamour. Ugh. This looks ok on female characters but on males… I’m not a fan. It’s about as impressive as tanks who glamour underwear.

Syn examines him and notes that his gear isn’t all that great. I’m not a healer, so I don’t really know what to look for. I just know that the guy constantly pulled big and that she could hardly do any DPS for fear that he would die if she wasn’t spamming heals.

So, despite crazy big pulls, we’re doing just fine. I know Ala Mhigo pretty well as it’s a common dungeon we roll on Expert. I’d finally upgraded all my gear like a good DPS, so I was feeling out my damage output, and pretty pleased with my AOEs.

Then we get to the second boss, and I limit break as I normally would. The tank pauses, and then:

july1-2

What?

Did the tank just snark at me for using a limit break on the boss… instead of a trash pull? Who uses a limit break on a trash pull?

Well, apparently, I wasn’t reading his mind… because I discovered exactly which pull he’d expected me to LB down… because suddenly, he exclaims:

july1-3

And he does this HUGE pull of just about everything from point A to B… three or four big groups. Only problem? He sprinted ahead of us, and the rest of the party got left behind, dodging an AOE… because we had no idea what “going to the gate” actually meant. In all the runs of this dungeon, I’ve never had a tank who did this.

Well, he died pretty quickly, followed by the rest of us.

This earned a “…” from me. Which is me showing disapproval without actually saying everything I really wanted to say to him about this mess. Syn and Amoon tried to explain:

july1-4

What does the tank do? Proceed to insult the party.

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This indicated that he would have to *sigh* pull slower for the noobs who didn’t know how to play with the big-boys… like you had to do back in July when the dungeon was still new. When he was the one who caused the wipe to start with.

At that point, I was really annoyed, and decided that he wasn’t getting a single AOE skill out of me for the rest of the dungeon, since he was in such a rush (we were close to the end anyhow). Syn had better ideas. After we easily cleared the first few individual pulls, this was how the conversation went:

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By then, we were on the last boss, and he proclaimed:

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Yeah, buddy. If that’s true, try acting your age.

Anyhow, not much else was said after that. Not sure if he got the point that not everyone can read his mind and that we aren’t all there for crazy speed runs. If you’re with your FC where you can communicate tactics like that, that’s fine. But in a roulette with randoms, don’t chide your DPS for doing what’s normally done, and run off without your healer expecting to stay alive. Just don’t.

These people don’t know how silly they come off. Or that they’re going to get blogged about. >:)

After the run talk:

july1-8

Oh yeah. That’s right. The RPing tank. We’ll have to do that one tomorrow! 🙂

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch: Kingdom: New Lands

Almost two years ago, I picked up the game Kingdom on Steam. I put almost 10 hours into the game, immersed for a solid weekend, which is quite a bit for me.

When Kingdom: New Lands was released a little less than a year later, those who bought the original Kingdom got New Lands as a free update. I was back to playing the game for a bit, but never got off the first island in the end. The game had changed in significant ways, and I appreciated getting the updated version for free.

Last week, Kingdom: New Lands was released on Switch (digital only). I went back and forth on whether to double dip and buy the game again. But I remembered how much I enjoyed Kingdom on Steam, and the team earned good-will with the free update, so I knew that I’d give into the temptation…

That’s what happened this past weekend.

I spent most my day Saturday lost in the retro graphics and simple-to-learn but difficult-to-beat game. First, I was impressed how well Kingdom transferred to using Switch controls.

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Kingdom is not mechanically complex, which was always a huge draw to me. You can grasp how to play the game very quickly, and be on your way.

However, it’s a game that’s deceptively simple and doesn’t hold your hand. It’s about managing your resources, understanding proper timing with the day/night cycle and planning ahead.

There’s a lot to discover in the game play, and nothing actually explains what anything does. Take for example, the merchant.

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This is an NPC that drops a load of gold each morning for you to collect. However, you have to pay him one gold per day for him to return the next. If you forget to do this, he simply will hang around and be useless.

Also, he has a hut in the forest, which is usually not very far from your kingdom’s borders. If you accidentally clear out the land near his hut, he disappears for the rest of the game. So, you have to weigh the cost of destroying his hut for the progress of  your borders — do you have a solid enough of an income to do without him? How early into the game should you build (I read most people say to keep him around for 7-8 days)?

On my play through of the first island, I simply never demolished his hut at all. This did put some strain on my defenses as time went on, but seeing that winter comes quickly on the first island, I made a beeline to crafting my ship and getting off that island.

When winter comes in this game, spring never returns. Your farmers (often a large source of income) stop producing, and things get really hard to maintain. So the idea is to find and build the ship (which is somewhere on the map) so that you and some of your men can sail on to the next island.

This is easier said than done, though. The ship takes a lot of gold to build and launch. And then, once it’s built, it can take days for your men to transport it to the dock. This weekend was the first time I cleared the first island.

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But then, the challenge of the second island was much harder. Not only did you have monster portals on both sides to contend with, but you have to destroy one of the portals in order to unlock the docks for your ship.

This was the first time I’d built up an army to take on a portal. We did successfully knock it down!

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But, then I discovered that I’d destroyed the portal on the wrong side. Oops. There was only another larger portal behind this one… not the docks I’d hoped for.

That was game over for me. I didn’t have the defenses or cash to build up an army on the other side to take out the second portal. And winter was coming… I knew it was time to call it when I started getting Greed beasts like this on my blood moon nights.

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My army did eventually defeat it (it spits out smaller monsters)… but it had destroyed so many of my walls, took out all my farmers, killed my builders… I just couldn’t recover from it.

I guess it’s time to give it another shot! Live (or die) and learn. 🙂

Next year, Kingdom is releasing yet another version called Two Crowns. This will be a significant change to the game, and allow for local co-op play for two people. That should be lots of fun!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: September I Need Goals Edition

I finally earned enough Creation Tomes last night to get my Omega weapon for Red Mage! That’s when I realized… I don’t have a single other piece of Creation Tome gear at all. In fact, I don’t even have a full set of Verity Tome gear yet. I’m still running with a lot of dungeon greens. Oops.

Ever since I finished Stormblood, I’ve been lazy with FFXIV. Some days I don’t log in. I haven’t capped Tomes for the week… ever. I’ve been taking easy, and that’s been a great thing. It’s nice to have a break, to be honest.

I think seeing Stormblood drop was a sobering experience. Suddenly, all the Shire gear that I worked hard to obtain at the end of Heavensward is purchasable with Poetics! That just… that shook me. And suddenly, I felt the futility of the new expansion drop.

I mean, I already knew, and have verbally spoken: Don’t work so hard for this stuff. It’s just going to be replaced quickly in Stormblood. 

But… Poetics???

Anyhow. I’ve been lazy. And now that I’ve taken a break from things, I’m starting to feel like it’s time to set some goals again and get some things accomplished. A lot of things I really want to do are on my alts, to be honest!

So even though it’s halfway through the month, here are some things I’d like to get done, hopefully before patch 4.1 drops.

Mid-September Goals

Aywren (Main)

  • Level Bard (to at least to 65… I’m so behind)
  • Level Weaver

Tai

  • Get Whisper Mount and Yo-Kai minions
  • Level Dragoon and get through some MSQ

Zemi

  • Finish farming Yo-Kai minions, get Whisper Mount (almost there) ✓
  • Level to 50 and switch jobs to Samurai
  • Finish 2.0 base MSQ

And there you go. I’ve got some goals!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder – The Micro-Managing Healer

In a sequel to the story of the “Don’t Care” Healer… today, we have the flip side of the story where the healer cares a bit too much about what everyone else is doing… except for his own healing.

I’ve been slacking on earning tomes lately. I have all the drops needed from Deltascape to get my weapon, but was lacking 300 Creation. So, Syn, Amoon and I decided to do some roulettes last night. The Expert went just fine, and I even got the cool mount drop.

But, then we get the Leveling Roulette. Now, we usually do this with a full FC group, and it’s been a while since I’ve run stuff with randoms. We had to pick up the healer last night… and boy, what a catch!

Because we joked about always getting Sastasha, the game decided to pitch up Gubal Library instead. I haven’t done this dungeon in probably over a year or more, and only a handful of times. But whatever.

So we get started – Me on Bard (which I’m still trying to re-learn), Syn on Ninja (leveling) and Amoon on Dark Knight (leveling). I’m not sure that any of us are at “pro” status on these jobs – we’re mostly there to get some experience, practice and level. I know that I still haven’t figured out all the changes to Bard yet. This is the first above level 50 dungeon I’ve tried on this job since Stormblood, and I felt a bit lost.

Apparently, our Astro healer was a true pro, though! So much of pro that he didn’t want to wait for the tank to get a feel for things. He was racing past the group to the next pull the moment the dungeon started, and started complaining when he didn’t get a wall to wall. I didn’t get a screenshot of it, but it was something along the lines of “Why you not pull more??”

expertThen, when he got the big pull he demanded, the healer started to try to “coach” Amoon to use his cooldowns (wish I had a screenshot of this). Which… Amoon already knew how to use. When Amoon demonstrated this fact, the healer did at least acknowledge this, but the way he said everything came off  like how you praise a pet for doing something you wanted them to do.

If the healer had taken a moment to inspect any of us, he would have realized he was playing with folks who were familiar with the game, but just a little rusty on the dungeon, or re-learning the changes to old alt-jobs. Instead, he decided to “help”… but it came off in a condescending tone. Whether he meant it to sound that way or not, I don’t know, but I suspect he didn’t realize how he sounded.

For all his coaching, he wasn’t that great at healing. He was more focused on speed and DPSing than he was on keeping his teammates alive — he mostly ignored DPS when they needed heals, and let the tank (and even himself) get pretty low before actually doing something about it.

Still, he hadn’t really done anything wrong aside from constantly sprinting ahead of the tank, so we kept rolling.

Then we get to the second boss, where you have to kill the adds and drag the tether through the boss to make him vulnerable again. Syn accidentally pulled the tether too near to the gas clouds, which destroys it, and so we had to do it again (remember, we haven’t run this dungeon in a while).

No big deal.

Except it apparently was enough for the healer to “coach” our team on mechanics yet again. After we downed that boss, he went sprinting off ahead, but Amoon had enough of his “helping,” and decided to let him know. This was when the fireworks began.

kitahealer2

This heated discussion took place in the middle of several pulls – one of which the healer forced himself. I think he intended to run in and suicide himself, but Amoon was not having it, and pulled the mobs off him.

Sometimes during this exchange, he let Amoon get pretty low on life, and I was worried he was going to let the party wipe. We discussed if this warranted a vote-kick, but since we were so close to finishing the dungeon, and he hadn’t actually let anyone die on purpose, we decided just to finish up.

He did try to argue some more…

kitahealer3

But it wasn’t worth our time, so the rest of the dungeon went in silence. He probably thought he “won” the argument. But the fact we didn’t have to hear him “coach” the team further was more a win to us. 😉

The moral of the story? Apparently those micro-managing players see themselves as “helping” and get pretty defensive when you tell them that you’re okay without their help.

What has the world come to????