FFXIV Heavensward: Dungeon Anxiety and Arriving in Azys Lla

The very first order of the gaming day was for me to unlock Tai’s Elite Clan Hunts. I mentioned in my last post how I couldn’t locate the quest to unlock these hunts, and had a ton of seals that I needed to exchange before I hit seal cap. Thanks to Rainel’s comment, I located this quest in Idyllshire instead of Ishgard and got that all squared away. Thank you!

So, I now own the Doman Whetstone to upgrade an ilvl 170 weapon to ilvl 180. Only thing is, I don’t have the weapon yet. So, it was time to face my fears and do dungeon roulette. *deep breath*

Dungeon Anxiety

It doesn’t matter that it’s low level roulette. It doesn’t matter that some of those dungeons I’ve run more times than I can count. It doesn’t matter that I can run these without major concern with FC members, sometimes even as a tank.

How does such a proud dragoon, and Warrior of Light, tremble at the thought of running low level roulette? Tai must be ashamed of me. XD

No matter how much I reassure myself that I’m a level 60 dragoon with good DPS, decent gear, and a good handle on my rotation, I still fight dungeon anxiety when queuing any kind of roulette. The nerves start up. Hands start shaking and get sweaty. I have to rush to bio while watching the Duty Finder clock ticking away. That’s probably why I avoid running them and tell folks, “I’m not a dungeon person.”

I’ve talked about my struggles with grouping and dungeon anxiety in the past. I’ve also talked about how being introverted, I easily get burned out when doing too much group content (dungeon running) in games.

I think a lot of it has to do with the randomness of the situation. In low level roulette, you don’t know what dungeon you’re going to get. You don’t know who you’re going to be partied with and you can’t take friends in with you.

Now days, “low level” roulette includes all the new level 50+ Heavensward dungeons, too. So, all I could do for the first roulette I’ve run in over a year is pray for something easy to complete and a non-judgmental group.

I got… Haukke Manor.

My savior! 😀

A short story: When I was first working up my courage to run Zuri through low level roulette over a year ago, Haukke Manor would often pop several days in a row. This actually became a good thing for me because I learned the dungeon and became comfortable with it. It got to be so common that I used to joke that I wasn’t going to run roulette, but rather going to run Haukke Manor instead.

So there was a lot of relief (and irony) there when technically any dungeon could have appeared, and that was the one. It was a good run with a leveling Dark Knight tank and Astrologian healer.  I even got a commendation, which almost never happens as a Dragoon in higher level content.

So, I overcame my anxiety for the day and earned my first 100 Law Tomes. Only… thousands more to go. *sigh*

On to Azys Lla

Once that was done, I finished up my last Dragoon class quest, which unlocked my final skill and the new title “Azure Dragoon.” Yay!

From there, Syn and I continued the story, which lead us to finally busting into Azys Lla.

Warning: Heavensward Spoilers Ahead! 

We got all the plans in place, the right people involved, and the Enterprise got an upgrade: Excelsior version!

Before we left, though, we took a moment to say goodbye to our friends. It all felt so final.

There was a very touching moment where Count Edmont passed to Tai the broken shield of Haurchefant and spoke unwavering of how much hope our friend had in us.

Then, at the dock, companions who we may not have realized were becoming companions gathered to see us off and wish us well. Things like this remind me a lot of old Final Fantasy games – I can’t help but compare things to FFIV all the time.

Then we were off, on a mission to break the shield and pass into Azys Lla.

Meshed with Cid’s machines, built from Matoya’s book we brought from the old library, and powered by Estinien’s control over the Eye of Nidhogg, we were able to pierce through!

I can’t help but notice that Estinien is having increased troubles with the Eye, however.

Anyhow, busting down the gates to Azys Lla is a good thing for us. But it also benefited the Empire, who was waiting for us to do just this thing so they could enter the city, too. A huge imperial warship vs. little Enterprise Excelsior is not a fair fight.

However, we had unexpected friends show up at the last moment: Hraesvelgr and Ysayle. I’m not quite sure how they worked things out between them… though I heard that Square plans on providing an out of game story about them.

Either way, it was good to see them again, as Syn had just asked as we were boarding the ship “Where is Ysayle in all this?”

The sad thing was, the fact that Syn had to ask that made me realize even before this scene that  Ysayle’s part in the story might be coming to an end. And it was. One final Shiva transformation in attempt to stop the Empire from invading Azys Lla.

And a final good-bye.

It was interesting that it was noted Ysayle was also a chosen of Hydaelyn in the end. It was also interesting that Estinien responded to her sacrifice with honor and respect, considering how much they were at each other’s throats for so long. It’s another sad loss for the group, but was enough to allow us to enter the city.

Once there, Syn and I could only marvel at how much this looks and feels like how we’d imagine Lunarian technology from FFIV might look. I know that Azys Lla reminds me a LOT of what Zot would be – floating cities and chains and huge islands of lost technology. I just wish I had the skill to draw or write the kind of atmosphere this game seems to so effortlessly provide us with.

Oh, and I fell in love with the little Nodes all over the place. They instantly reminded me of our slight-snarky Lunar AI in role play and stories we write.

We made our way through the city for a bit, but never quite reached our destination before bedtime called us away. So, the story ends here for now. Looking forward to what’s to come! 🙂