Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Ding Level 60 Again – Still Coming to Grips with HW Bard

While it seems many folks are talking about either Fallout 4 or WoW lately, I’m not really involved in either game… so I’ve been living it up in patch 3.1 of FFXIV. Interestingly, I’ve spent most of my time this weekend pushing Zuri to level 60 Bard, which I finally reached yesterday afternoon.

It took every quest I could find in HW to complete it, along with hunts and the new Vanu dailies. But I really, really enjoyed working through the expansion again and revisiting the bits of the Main Scenario. Looking back on things I haven’t seen in months, in retrospect, is interesting.

Because Tai and Zeb were very overleveled for their run through HW, I skipped most of the Idyllshire and Azys Lla quests. We were already level 60 before we reached the floating island, if I remember correctly. I have to say the quests there were very amusing, and also gave quite a feel for the darkness that was the Allagan Empire. We know so little – only artifacts – but the attitudes the quest nodes offer really made me stop and think how this highly advanced civilization was given to corruption… and what their downfall was.

That Bard Thing

I am still coming to grips with the HW Bard. I’ve struggled quite a bit with the changes, and I’ve written about it before several times… but in the end, I decided to carry it through to level 60. It was getting to the point where if I didn’t just decide on a class, I would have never gotten there.

I’m still not sure how I feel about Bard at 60. We got one more damage skill (on a long timer), but other than that, nothing much has changed since… what… 56-ish? I’ve had a lot of time to practice the loose “rotation” while questing and hunting. I do “get” how Bard is supposed to play at this point- so the understanding is there, which is a good thing.

While I do just fine while soloing, when I get into dungeons where things tend to speed up quite a bit, I still feel like I’m lagging behind. Or I completely lose focus and my skills just feel like a jumbled mess. On the up side, I remember this happened with Dragoon when I was first learning it, too. Sometimes, I still lose track of my rotation – when in doubt, slam 1-2-3!

Bard doesn’t have a straight forward rotation, but I guess as long as I’m doing what I can to keep my dots and buffs on, I can take a moment to get my head together. I tend to be so used to “mash all the things all the time” and the speed of melee DPS. So it’s a shift for me.

Speaking of dots, I started to practice multi-dotting for the first time in dungeons this weekend. I guess I’m a bad bard because I’ve never done this before. Or maybe I’m just confident enough in dungeon running that I feel like I can do more than focus fire one mob.

I went to do my leveling roulette dungeon after I completed the expansion content to earn some Law tomes, and it popped Toto-Rak. I have to say that I feel like I can tear up the older dungeons now – even though I only had like 4 skills I could use. It does help that I’m way over-geared, but even then, I earned two commendations from that run (which is rare for a DPS).

The one thing I did enjoy was the Bard job questline in Heavensward, though. That final battle was a bit annoying seeing you’d lose if any of the NPCs died (and they could only use potions on themselves, it seems).

 

Vanu Luv

The one new thing I am really enjoying are the new Vanu beast tribe quests. I’m so happy that it seems as if SE really took some time to think about and design the questline here. Much like the Ixali quests, it uses phazing to progress not just through rank, but also to build an area within the zone.

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I enjoy learning about the Vanu culture, and love that they have their own little island to develop. I also like that the quests scale with your level and how as you rank up with the Vanu, the amount of experience the quests give increases. This will be a nice way to supplement other forms of leveling my alt jobs on Tai (and maybe Zuri). I’m going to be running too many dungeons as it is to earn Zuri’s Law and Tai’s Eso.

Guess I better get started!

Posted in Gaming

EQ2: Server Merges and Names

So Freeport did the big server merge to Skyfire last week, and I was very shocked to discover that I only lost three (minor) names amongst all my many, many alts. I logged in to find “zz” attached to the end of the following names:

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I had braced myself to lose the name “Benjamin,” whom I rolled moments after Freeport went live back during the EQ2 F2P launch. I’ve been logging in consistently to try to reserve what names I could, but had little hope given we were merging with servers that were much older than Freeport (older characters took priority).

Much to my surprise, I only lost the two silly names above (Ratonga and Froglok) – who were easily renamed. In fact, I think I like “Skedaddles” more than the original (given how Ratonga like to add an “s” on the end of words). I still haven’t renamed Cutlass yet – I’m going to have to think more deeply about that one seeing she’s my only vampire.

I’m soooo happy to still have Benjamin, Taii, Zento, Nipp, Scuttle (About), Hovering (Text)… and… well, I put a lot of thought into my names or name them after my fictional characters. So most of them I care about in some form. Losing names for my long-time characters, like Nipp, would have been crushing.