Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Bard Woes & Cactuar Progress

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Pretty much ever since Heavensward released, I’ve been in a state of uncertainty with my Bard, Zuri. Though she’s supposed to be my main character, I’ve put much more time and effort into leveling and gearing Tai, who is now at end game running Expert Roulettes and upping his ilvl.

During all this, I’ve left poor Zuri on the curve while piddling around with leveling gathering classes. This week, I dinged level 55 miner and botanist, and I knew there would come a time soon when the gated content was going to prevent me from moving on even in daily gather turn-ins. Well, that hasn’t happened yet, but I still felt like I needed to just pick something and roll with it to at least unlock the Churning Mists.

I started leveling Ninja for a while, but having to push that up from a scratch level nothing to 50 is a bit more of a time sink than I want to indulge in right now. So, I buckled down and decided to push forward with Bard, seeing I was partway through the Dravanian Forelands. I was also only level 53, so I had not yet earned Empyreal Arrow to see how it felt to play in Wanderer’s Minuet.

So, I quested on through, beat up Ravana, and dinged 54 for Empyreal Arrow. By that time, I really wanted to unlock flying in the Forelands, so I pushed through the main scenario quests and jumped into the Sohm Al dungeon. It didn’t help that the party was a bit messy in composition, but my first dungeon run using WM with Empyreal Arrow left me feeling not just slow… but rather ineffective as a DPS.

I know the playstyles are very different, but compared to my dragoon, I couldn’t feel any of the damage I was doing, aside from the occasional buffed triple Emp Arrow spike. With dragoon, I’m bringing it fast and furious and I feel it. With bard, I’m more of a casual string-puller, almost as slow as casters. I’m also starting to understand why people are complaining about the lack of flow in the bard rotation.

I’m just not sure how I feel about it, still. I read plenty of “just keep playing and you get used to it” posts. I may just put up with it to complete content on easy mode (it’s far less intense than playing dragoon, that I’m certain of).

Cactuar Almost Dragoon

ffxiv_07282015_224339Meanwhile, on the Cactuar server, I pushed through the main scenario quests to level 29. It’s probably because I switched classes when I was almost level 25 on archer, but this character is lagging behind in experience badly. Three times last night on my trip from 26 to 29, I was gated out of the story until I hit quests and Fates to make up for it. I’ve never had that happen with the other two characters I leveled.

Now, I’m early level 29 and gated until I hit thirty. Ouch. I’m thinking maybe I’ll run a side Halatali just to get some of my GC hunts done and see how much that gives me. I also have regular class hunts I need to clean up. Plenty of options to get that level, so I’m not worried about it.

I still have yet to level my sub class to unlock Dragoon, too, but I’m getting closer! I really just want that level 30 chocobo companion unlock! 🙂

I decided if I am going to be running most of these dungeons anyhow, I may as well unlock Triple Triad, so I stopped by the Gold Saucer last night for that.

I did complete Haukke Manor for the first time on that character, and can confirm the DPS queue was less than 3 mins(!) So, they really do seem to be giving first-timers the head of the queue on dungeons. The dungeon itself was a standard PUG run with a tank who was too hesitant, a black mage who was too assertive and a healer who refused to lift a finger to turn off the lamps for the final boss mechanics. Ah, well. Got through it and that’s all that matters.

Right?

Gotta love that Gold Saucer cutscene if you approach it at night.
Gotta love that Gold Saucer cut scene if you approach it at night.