Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Holiday Weekend Highlights

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With a four day weekend for Thanksgiving, I actually achieved a significant amount of randomness in FFXIV. As I wrote last week, I finally leveled Zuri to 50 White Mage. After a round of hunts and beast tribe quests, I pushed that to 51.

I’ve come to determine there’s a huge difference in soloability between White Mage than there was on other classes I’ve played at 50 (Dragoon, Paladin and Bard). Maybe it’s because she’s outfitted in only ilvl 100 gear – though that’s pretty much the equivalent of what you could buy from armorers for level 51.

Where Paladin was soloing lvl 59 mobs at lvl 53 (granted he did have a few pieces of upgraded ilvl 130 gear), my White Mage was lucky not to get her butt handed to her at level 50 trying to take on a level 53 mob. It makes for far slower leveling, but I’ve also been practicing my healing by helping FC members out in leveling dungeons this weekend.

Free Company Fun

I’m not sure what happened this weekend (some FC members noted there was a large Black Friday sale for FFXIV), but recruitment that was almost non-existent last week suddenly ramped up this week. We’ve added four new members with a perspective fifth, which is more than we’ve seen in a long time.

The result of this is running learning and practice dungeons for new folks or those who just feel the need to get better at their role and listen to offered feedback. These are really rewarding because there’s nothing better than seeing someone start out uncertain (I know the feeling) and really “get it” with their class by the end of the dungeon.

When we formed <Guard>, it was all about doing these sorts of activities for our members. Now that we have a good group of experienced and high level folks, I think many of them are ready, and even looking forward to, assisting new people who are just starting out.

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A great shot of our two Lalafel Ninjas – Ro and Achilles. Credit to Achilles.

This makes me very happy with where the FC is sitting currently. We may be a smaller group, but the chemistry between members is good. I’m seeing friendships between members forming, which is rewarding to me. We have more spontaneous group running and voice chatting, even when Syn and I aren’t around. We also have people taking initiative to recruit and organize runs.

Back to Crafting

I’ve been working so hard on leveling on Zuri that I’ve not had much time to work on my crafting or gathering. Since 3.1 has made the crafting interface much easier to work with thanks to a new search function, I knew that I’d be returning to crafting again soon.

With me working on leveling casting classes, being able to craft some gear for them would save a lot of money on my part. This is especially true when it comes to accessories, which I haven’t seen on any normal merchants aside from the one in Ishgard. So, I sat down this weekend and started leveling my Goldsmith, which I left at level 50 right before Heavensward launched.

When I switched to my Miner to gather the mats I would need for leveling, I was shocked to realize that both my Miner and Botanist were level 55. I knew I’d worked on leveling them a little bit a few months back, but I forgot that they were that high. Between the gathering of mats and one GC turn-in, I pushed Miner to 56.

I know there’s some sort of Scrip thing that starts at 56, but I don’t know much about it. I’ll probably look into it later, but yesterday, I was just focused on gathering and crafting.

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Once I got all my materials, I started working through the leves in Ishgard. Aside from some leves I ran to level my Black Mage on Zuri, I still had over 80-some to use. So, I crafted up a storm and did a lot of turn-ins and Zuri is now sitting at halfway through level 53 Goldsmith now. This isn’t bad at all considering I didn’t spend any gil and was able to gather all the materials I needed for myself.

On top of that, I learned how to make crafting macros to make the whole process much more bearable. Not that I don’t enjoy crafting, but crafting little things (without the risk of auto synthesis), is really redundant. Some macros helped speed up the process and freed me up for chat and other interactions.

Alexander, Part 2

I’m slow. Until last night, I still had not cleared beyond A1 normal. Honestly, 8-man raiding still isn’t my thing… no matter how many times Syn asks “That wasn’t so bad, was it?” No, it wasn’t bad, but it also isn’t going to be something I choose to do over other activities. :p

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A2 has been in my quest list for months. The only reason I did finally run it last night was a combination of things… I promised a FC member, Achilles, that I’d run it once he leveled Ninja to 60 – the deal was that he would run the Gobwalker for the first time if I ran A2. He did a great job gobwalking, btw.

The other was plain old FC peer pressure. It’s kinda hard to say no to something when 4 other people are nudging you into it. And you made a promise you had to keep sooner or later.

So I did it. Aside from me being disorganized about what order to kill things, it went fine from a DPS perspective. Still not my favorite thing to do, and still rarely ever get a drop from Alex. 😛

Seeker of Truth

The last thing of note that I accomplished was unlocking Zuri’s Black Mage. This was something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, if nothing else, for the Seeker of Truth title.

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Black Mage is a class I really need a lot more practice with. I keep forgetting to switch out of fire to ice, and sit there wondering why pushing a button is not casting a spell. I guess I need to shake myself out of White Mage mentality where attacking is essentially just Stone, Stone, Stone, Stone. XD

Anyhow, did you have any adventures over Thanksgiving? 

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: White Mage Accomplishments

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It seems that some folks in my FC were surprised to see me leveling my White Mage on Zuri this weekend. It’s no wonder, considering I usually main DPS and sometimes fiddle around with Tanking on the side. But the truth is, when I rolled Zuri over two years ago, she started out as a Conjurer.

Zuri, back when she was newly rolled.
Zuri, back in September, 2013.

I got to about level 32 on White Mage before I realized that Duty Finder and PUG groups was going to be a way of life in FFXIV. Since I was already nervous about grouping with strangers, I decided that it was probably a bad idea to add to that by running dungeons a first time as a healer. So, that’s when I started leveling Bard.

I leveled White Mage on and off over the years, but she’s been sitting at level 40 White Mage for a few months now. Not only that, but I had a whole outfit of Daystar and Srycus Tower gear stashed on my retainer for the moment I finally achieved level 50 White Mage.

I’m not sure what motivated me to do that this weekend. I just started out by kicking around the FATEs at Dragonhead (sometimes joined by FC members). Though FATEs are a little slow on a holiday weekend, I still managed to get her to level 45 last night. I hadn’t really planned on pushing her to 50 today, but between FATES and a few level 49 quests in N. Thanalan, I took her five levels to finally hit 50.

Finally wearing those White Mage robes after all these years!
Finally wearing those White Mage robes after all this time!

I finished up all her class quests and cleaned out retainer inventory big time. I’m glad to finally have that space back! And now, I can start leveling White Mage on Vanu quests and hunts! I’m not quite sure what I’m gonna level next, but I do have a level 39 Summoner and a level 40 Dragoon (with lots of stashed gear in the bank).

Level 50 - and the leveling has just begun!
Level 50 – and the leveling has just begun!
Posted in Gaming

FFXIV: All Elezen Party

Note: Not my story or screenshot, but Syn requested me to post this.

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Syn says:

Khem Istriam and I ran a pretty good expert roulette this morning. Midway through the dungeon, the tank stops and says, “Wait… are we all Elezen?”  Pretty rare these days… almost as rare as four Roe party.

Posted in Gaming

FFXIV: Panty Shot

I finally stopped being lazy and pushed Zuri to level 45 White Mage. I got the level 45 artifact armor and put it on… forgetting the sad state of affairs when it comes to White Mage pants. Or lack thereof.

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A-Towa-Cant couldn’t impart upon me trousers as well?

Thankfully, I found a level 40-something robe stashed away somewhere until I earn level 50.

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Moving On Up

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Look at that cute Bard box hat! It’s so adorable! I still love Amon’s Hat, but I’m having a hard time glamuoring over this one… I really like how the little purple gem seems to glow.

Ahem. Anyhow, I’m continuing to make progress with Zuri at endgame, gearing her up as I can. I unlocked the level 60 roulette (which we call FractalReap), but I haven’t played it all that much to be honest.

Instead, the moment I was able to upgrade enough to hit ilvl 175, I went straight to Void Ark, where I got that hat as my first drop. I’ve been extremely lucky on getting drops that I need on my first weekly run so far on both Tai and Zuri. I have a feeling that luck is going to change soon (Syrcus Tower used to be super stingy).

The first time I attempted to clear Zuri in Void Ark was Saturday night. We got all the way to the pull on the final boss before the instance servers locked up and kicked everyone out. We were unable to log in on those characters for about an hour that night, but I did eventually finish up Void Ark last night for the credit.

It’s a good source of Law Tomes (which Zuri still needs), a smattering of Eso (which she absolutely needs) and a chance to roll on ilvl 200 armor. I have no desire to run roulettes like I did for Tai’s Eso, so Zuri is going to have to be content with Void Ark armor instead. She’s doing well enough for it, already hovering just under ilvl 180.

I also got two commendations last run. Go figure.

Zemi Progress

While Zuri was locked up in Void Ark, I finally took the time to run the FFXI event on Zemi. I wanted that cosmetic armor for him, so it was as good a time as ever. Syn helped out with her dragoon, Sero, and we made short work of it.

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Zemi also hit level 31 Warrior between the quests, FATES and a few class hunts I snagged along the way. I feel a little bad because I’ve been ignoring Zemi’s progress for Zuri’s lately. I guess I’ll get back to him when I do, but I’ve had more than enough to keep me busy between Zuri and Tai.

Tai Progress

Most of Tai’s progress has been on his Paladin lately. Between Vanu Beast Tribe quests and hunts, I’ve been slowly leveling the job at an acceptable, but casual, pace. Tonight should see me hit level 56 – all without any grinding or dungeons. It’s nice to be able to hop on, hit a few quests and hunts, earn some rep and seals, and call it a night with a good bit of experience added to the bar. It’s not the fastest way to level, but seeing Tai started at level 53 just a short while ago, progress is progress.

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Now that I’ve upgraded most of his Dragoon gear between Esos, upgraded Eso armor, Alex accessories, and Void Ark, I’ve really not felt a push to work on him as much. I’d still like to get his Eso legs eventually, but I’m in no rush.

FC Fun

Folks in our FC have been keeping me busy. I think I’ve run more dungeons and instances last week than I pretty much ever have. I had to take Sunday off for a break from it… introvert that I am. But I’m happy to see folks also making progress and having fun.

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We’ve been doing plenty of EX Roulette, Void Ark runs, and attempted our first Diadem on Saturday.

We’ve been putting out feelers for finding new like-minded folks, but recruitment has been pretty slow lately. I was really hoping to see a lot more return activity with 3.1 than we have. Though we do have a good core group of friends, I miss some of the folks who were more active back at HW’s launch. Maybe winter months will help with that.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Level 60 Bard Life

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Change your mind, change your playstyle…

Well, okay, so that’s not the way the saying went, but that’s pretty much what’s happening in my world now that Zuri is a level 60 Bard.

I spent months procrastinating on leveling to 60 because I felt unhappy with the way Bard played with the addition of Wanderer’s Minuet. I jumped around from class to class trying to decide on what to do with her. I tried Machinist, but found it more frustrating than Bard. I enjoyed Dragoon, but I already have a level 60 Dragoon that’s well-geared. I have reservations about other DPS (Black Mage/Summoner), and yet others (Ninja) I have already leveled to 50 on another character.

So, for the sake of just finishing the HW expansion MSQ, I forced myself to level Bard to 60. I studied the theories on the best Bard opening rotation and the overall how-to-Bard info I could find. Unlike other DPS classes, there isn’t a how-to-Bard thread in the official DPS forums. Instead, there are just the notorious They Broke My Job and Angry Bard posts.

It’s hard not to let your thoughts be colored by the discontent when that’s what you primarily hear from the vocal bards on the boards. Time and again, we hear that our DPS is sub-par due to being expected to support the group.

And yet, I still found myself going into dungeons with a melee DPS mentality. Focus down that mob, put out as much DPS as a rotation will allow, try to keep all dots rolling.

Trying Something Different

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Even the class quest text is trying to remind me I’m not a melee DPS…

When it came to solo content for quests, I was doing just fine with Zuri. When it came to dungeon running, I found myself lost and struggling to keep up, usually DPSing along with a melee.

As I was reading through guides and Reddit, I ran across this particular comment:

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Here, they were discussing the concept of multi-dotting mobs, which I, despite having played Bard for years, never considered. This was mostly because I thought spreading damage around was making it more difficult for a tank to maintain hate. I thought that (aside from certain mobs which stacked and were easy to kill quickly), any kind of AOE I did was a Bad Thing.

Maybe that was true when I first started playing FFXIV and the game was full of new tanks. But, I don’t think that’s so much the case now. I mean, Black Mages and Summoners do AOE on trash all the time in dungeons.

So, I decided to try it during my low level roulettes this week. I dotted everything I could reach in between my major skill cooldowns and pumped out the AOE damage whenever I could on trash mobs. It felt like things were dying faster, but I was still holding my breath waiting for someone in the party to complain that I wasn’t focusing my fire constantly.

Instead, I’ve been earning commendations, which is a surprise. After running so many expert roulettes as a Dragoon (who usually gets totally ignored), I almost forgot what a commendation looked like.

Now, I have no idea if this is The Best Way to Bard. But it’s certainly a change in approach for me, and a change in the way I look at DPS done by the Bard. I’m going to continue to experiment with the kind of damage it can do as I also continue to gear up.

Speaking of gear, I know I wrote about how happy I was to not only get my upgraded Law bow last night, but to also get the majority of my left side geared up using the new Sky Pirates armor (thanks to a wonderful FC crafter!). Sure, it set me back a good chunk of gil. But it was much cheaper than trying to get them off the marketboard, and saved me so many leveling roulette runs in the long run.

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Even the Fat Cat is happy.

I can always make the gil back, but I can’t get back my time and sanity. XD

My goal is to get Zuri to an ilvl where she can start joining on things like Void Ark and (maaaaaybe) Alex 1. I should also pick up my crafting and gathering sometime… it would be awesome to be able to make these kinds of things for myself one day.

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Oh, and on the Tai side of things, I’ve just been running new dungeons for unlocks with the FC folks. I’m leveling Paladin (halfway through 54 now) through beast tribe, hunts and the rare requested dungeon.

Last night, I tanked my first HW dungeon for a couple of the FC guys who needed just a little EX boost to get them to the next level. I did surprisingly okay on holding aggro against a lvl 59/60 and lvl 56/57 Ninjas when all was said and done. Practicing low-stress tanking runs with the FC helps a lot. I’m glad I picked up that poetics armor as I felt that helped a bit, too.

So, have you been playing FFXIV lately? What have you been up to? 

Posted in Gaming

FFXIV: Zuri Sky Pirate!

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So tonight I got my first Law Tome piece for Zuri – her bow. I already had the upgrade item for it, so I pushed it to ilvl 180.

Later in the night, a FC artisan, Achilles, was offering to craft the new Sky Pirate armor for folks. Seeing it’s ilvl 185, I picked up a set of most of the left hand side and boosted my ilvl from 147 to 165 in one night.

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Thank you!

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