Just a quickie post because RL is gonna keep me super busy for the next couple of days.
So, a FC member crafted Zuri this awesome tabard (above), and I decided my favorite color on it is the metallic sky blue dye. It was expensive, but worth it – I really like how it came out!
I also realized I was almost capped out on Poetics on Tai, so I bought him a bunch of Poetic armor for his Paladin and upgraded it with all the unused carbon coat and carbon twine I picked up from the old weekly CT raids.
I’m really pleased with the new armor because at level 53, Tai’s been able to solo (with chocobo) all the way up to the level 59 monsters required for his daily hunt. Between that and some of the Vanu tribe quests, he nearly gained a whole half a level yesterday – just a tiny bit shy of hitting 54! Woo!
Considering I’ll probably not be running dungeons to level this class, I can see this armor carrying him all the way to 60, where I have some better tank gear waiting him.
Oh, and last night, I saw the Void Ark out in the Sea of Clouds for the first time ever! Ironically, Syn was running it at that very moment. Kinda trippy to imagine I was looking at the raid where my friend was currently playing (okay, I know it doesn’t work like that, but it’s still neat to imagine).
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).
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.
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.
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:
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.
There won’t be any story spoilers in this post, but I am going to talk about patch 3.1.
I’ve taken a few days to experience FFXIV patch 3.1 before sitting down to write about it. I still haven’t sampled all the patch has to offer, but Syn and I did get a huge chunk of content done since Tuesday, much more than I expected to.
Much of this was due to the help of a FC member, Achilles, who is a really good player and patient enough to put up with me as the party’s loldragoon. He was gearing up his Dark Knight and we managed to knock out Void Ark, one run of Alex 1, and both new expert dungeons on Wednesday.
Touching on Story
Juuust very mild info spoilers. Imma try to word things not to give anything significant away.
Tuesday was primarily story day. We settled in after work and dinner to really dig into the new plot. It felt partially like they were trying to tie up some loose ends from 2.5 while weaving in the newer elements , such as the warrior of darkness. While we did touch on the Dragonsong War, most of this was focused on the implications on the nation of Ishgard, which is fine. I’m assuming they want to hold back the big bad they established in 3.0 for further developments.
I’m not sure what I think of the Warrior of Darkness and his presentation yet. The whole thing feels… uncanny. Like you’re looking at a mirror image of you and parties you’ve taken part in, but something about it feels … wrong.
The overall story was short. We were able to knock it out in a few hours – and that’s with me being a slow reader. It’s more of a bridging chapter, which is fine, as I appreciate them taking time to set things up and resolve other things. There wasn’t much fighting until the end, where you get a mini instance. While this instance wasn’t hard, it was somewhat frustrating as I felt the objectives weren’t always super clear unless you paid attention to what everyone was saying all the time. I had to restart it a few times due to dumb mistakes, but eventually got it done.
The rewards at the end of the story were worth it, though. They make me smile. 🙂
The Void Ark
We tried to hit up the Void Ark on Tuesday night, but surprisingly, the queue b was a lot longer to get in than I expected it to be. It’s been a long time since we’ve had to wait to reserve an instance in the Duty Finder! On the flip side, the queue was a lot quicker Thursday night, though the party was mostly brand new players.
I’m really enjoying the story and characters surrounding the Void Ark. It has a bit of history thrown in and some neat new NPCs to learn about. It’s a shame that the Alex story couldn’t have been more captivating like this.
The instance is pretty much what you’d expect from a Crystal Tower level of difficulty. On Wednesday, we had a few wipes on various bosses as the raid was mostly unfamiliar with the mechanics. Fudging the mechanics and making it through is not going to be a thing on these battles… as we confirmed on our second run last night. There’s a blend of many different elements from “hide behind the thing to not get hit by big attack” to “turn away from the boss during certain attacks to not get turned to stone.”
I know there’s some folks who want to go in blind, but I really recommend at least reading the boss mechanics and what you need to look out for. A party where the majority doesn’t understand what to do will only wipe over and over again.
Our second run last night had us wiping repeatedly until the raid got the hang of the boss mechanics. We almost spent the whole allowed time in that raid, and I about had Cuchulainn’s mechanics memorized by the 6th time we tried it (no exaggeration). Of course, you had the impatient folks who dropped, but we re-filled the slots and kept trying.
I did snag a belt drop for Tai, and got the weekly item to upgrade his Eso chest piece. So that’s a nice boost in ilvl.
It’s going to take some practice to get used to these like we were CT, but we’ll get there. The rewards are worth it.
Gearing Up With Alex
Now that Alex drops are unlimited each week, there’s been an upswing in people pushing through the raid to get gear. Seeing that the Eso route for ilvl 200 accessories is going to take me much longer, I reluctantly gave in to doing an Alex run.
Go ahead and laugh at me, but Alex raids are not my thing. I’ve only cleared normal A1, and don’t really have motivation to clear the rest, though I probably will eventually. Seeing that I was still running around with an ilvl 170 ring (has since been replaced), my ilvl has been lagging significantly.
Soooo… I caved and ran A1 for the first time in months. It was only my second clear, and while I’m still not a fan of the mechanics, it went fine. I even got an unexpected commendation. I didn’t get a drop, however, which was disappointing.
New Expert Dungeons
We were crazy on Wednesday night and decided to try the two new expert dungeons – Pharos Sirius Hard and the Arboretum. Thankfully, Pharos Sirius Hard wasn’t as brutal (IMHO) as Pharos Sirius normal. In fact, we went in mostly blind (there was only a sentence on the wiki to explain the mechanics at the time) and beat it with a few wipes.
We didn’t wipe at all on the Arboretum, though I feel the mechanics were more tricky on those fights. The dungeon design – a huge garden within one of the buildings outside of Idyllshire – was one of the most peaceful and lovely dungeons I’ve seen in FFXIV so far.
Both times we had one DPS assigned through the DF, and both did an excellent job despite being totally new to it. They were also willing to explore, learn and take the run slowly, which was nice. It was actually more fun to run it with curious players than it has been running the easier dungeons with players who have done it a million times and just want to speed run it. I know these two will eventually get the speed run treatment, though it may prove complex and deadly at first, but hopefully that won’t be for a while.
It was overall a lucrative week with Tai’s ilvl boosted from 185 (I’ve bee lazy with Esos) to 191 in one day. That’s before I get a hold of any Alex drops, too. I still have yet to win anything of worth from that raid.
I’m also feeling more confident with Tai as I play through the more challenging content. I’m still not a perfect dragoon, but (I think) I can hold my own in the expert dungeons and raids. Failing and practicing the same boss fight over and over during Void Ark can be frustrating, but I used it as a learning tool to help me memorize the attack patterns and learn what I need to do when.
Hopefully when we get a group of level 60s on this weekend we’ll try out the Diadem missions so I can report on them, too!
It’s been a quiet month in FFXIV for most of our FC members, so I was surprised over this weekend when we had several nights of dungeon grouping and Mumble chats. Seems like FC folks are just waiting for a reason to log in, and patch 3.1 should hopefully give it to us.
With the release of Pharos Sirius (Hard) coming on Tuesday as part of the new Expert Roulette, a few folks (including me) needed to clear the original Pharos Sirius. Yeah, I’m like two years behind on this. What can I say? If I don’t have to do a dungeon, I don’t do it. XD
Even with an almost full party of level 60s, some boss mechanics on some fights (that first boss!) were surprisingly brutal. We wiped on the first boss and on the Zu (we came into the dungeon pretty blind), but the rest of it was smooth sailing, all “Sirius” jokes aside.
“This is sirius bizness. Only the sirius need apply.”
It was an interesting romp, and I’m glad I did it with FC folks rather than in the DF, but it’s not the kind of dungeon I want to run over and over. I hope they don’t make the Hard mode that brutal, especially if it’s something we’re going to need to run every day.
Aside from that, thanks to industrious crafters in our FC, the fourth and final airship was finished last night. Not only that, but most of our ships are max rank and we have discovered all the sectors. So it’s looking good for our FC to explore those airship missions!
I spent a good bit of my time leveling Gladiator on Zemi, working towards Provoke at level 22. He just reached level 21 last night after cleaning up all hunts and quests that I could find. I guess I’ll have to head to South Shroud for some FATES and leves whenever I go to play him next. I have no idea when that’s going to be seeing that I’m going to be more than busy with all the 3.1 content for a while, I’m sure.
Gonna get all my adulting stuff done this afternoon while the servers are down so I can just come home tomorrow and focus on the update. Anyone else waiting on the patch?