Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Stormblood Tidbits

I have a bunch of little things that I wanted to mention, but don’t really have a place for them. They’re too short to have their own posts, so here they are as quickie tidbits.

Tai’s New Hair

I knew from the benchmark that I would be changing Tai’s hair for Stormblood (as seen above). I did play him past the first story roadblock last night, and I got him some fairly nice Dragoon armor.

However, I just don’t know if I have the interest in playing Dragoon beyond this point. The more I read about the changes to it, the less I want to play it. I did start unlocking Samurai for him, but I’m way too focused on playing Red Mage to want to work on it.

This may be the point where I end up retiring Tai for good. I’m much too involved in Red Mage, and I really don’t have the energy to keep up a second alt. I won’t set this in stone, but it’s my general feeling right now.

FATEs Have Returned

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I was so excited to see people running FATEs in both Heavensward and Stormblood areas. I’m happy for the perks the new FATEs have, and glad that they’re getting a bit of a boost to encourage people to play them again.

I took part in some of the early Heavensward FATE parties while leveling my Red Mage, just for old time’s sake. It didn’t take me long to out level that area, though, but it was fun to see soooooo many people out there on Friday.

Hunts Have Returned

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Buying mount speed upgrades requires hunt seals. Hunts also give good experience for level 50-60 characters. So I’ve been back out there doing my daily hunts and Beast Tribe quests again.

Above, I saw Void Ark in the Sea of Clouds while on a hunt. I always screenshot Void Ark.

Fokelore Books

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I finished my weekly gathering turn-ins only to be shocked with the fact that the cost of Heavensward Fokelore books have been halved. I was only hoping to buy the final Botany book I needed, and ended up buying one of the Fishing books, too.

It seems there are also new Fokelore books for Stormblood at the same price. I’ll be working on those, and the final Master IV crafter book I need to get.

Leveling Gatherers

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I’ve also been back on the leveling boat for my gatherers. Doing the GC daily turn-ins will see me reach 62 tonight on miner and botanist. Fisher is a little slower, however.

I haven’t been putting full focus on this, but I am working on it as time allows.

Free Company Participation

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Our FC participation this weekend has exploded! We reached an all-time high of 51 people logged in at the same time. Boy has it been busy. I screenshotted above where we had 50 folks online, but then, later we broke that record. 😀

It’s been a pretty incredible weekend, crashes and issues aside. Looking forward to this week!

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FFXIV Stormblood: Falling in Love

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that despite the technical issues that cropped up with Stormblood, I’m far more optimistic about FFXIV than I probably have been in years. This, simply put, is because I think I’ve finally found a job that I love: Red Mage.

Rough Times

All throughout Heavensward, I had a tough time dealing with raids, end game content, and the frustration/exhaustion I felt at the whole thing. Part of it was because the game had become a repetition of Expert Roulettes and Alliance Raids, neither that I was particularly enjoying.

But I started to understand as time went on that part of the reason I didn’t enjoy the content was because I never found a job that really suited me. Therefore, I spent most of Heavensward end game being terribly frustrated no matter how hard I tried.

Bard had been my main job in ARR. I hated the changes that came with Heavensward that transformed them into a bowmage with nerfed damage (until a more recent patch). In fact, I put leveling on hold and spent about a year struggling to find a replacement DPS job.

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The closest I came to this was playing Dragoon, which I ended up leveling to 60 twice between my main and my alt. However, Dragoon is a very active job, and gets exhausting for me to maintain good DPS, especially with the whole Blood of the Dragon timer counting down all the time. I was alright at it, and sometimes it was fun, but in more high-end content, it wiped me out.

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For the same reasons, Monk and Ninja weren’t for me. I could never wrap my head around Summoner or Machinist, and Black Mage just got frustrating after level 50.

So… really… that left me with leveling Bard, swallowing the changes, and trying to do my best on Dragoon. But neither of these were sparking a feeling of “WOW! This is SO fun and I really want to play this and try it out in all sorts of content!”

Well… all that has changed.

Along Comes Stormblood

Stormblood ushered in some huge class changes, especially for Bard. I appreciate what I’ve seen of it, especially in making songs into actual songs that are something that improves the Bard themselves, not just those around the Bard. There’s a bit of support there, which is nice, but now Bard can stand on its own and buff itself as well.

I haven’t really spent that much time learning Bard, however, because Red Mage has consumed me. I honestly want to play nothing else right now.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve felt a draw to a job in an MMO the way I am feeling towards Red Mage. I was hesitant to be too hyped for it at first because I didn’t know how the job was going to feel. But I’ve always loved the idea behind a hybrid caster who uses a cool fencing sword and has an awesome hat.

For the short time I did play FFXI back in the day, Red Mage was my main job. My dream, which was never realized, was to earn the Red Mage artifact armor in that game. It feels like coming full circle here — FFXIV just handed me the AF armor as soon as I unlocked the job!

As of last night, I’ve leveled halfway through 57, and I’m pushing hard to make it surpass my Bard’s level so I can pick it up as my main job.

Why I Love Red Mage

I’ve had people ask me outright what I think of Red Mage, and when I respond with optimism, they ask me what I like about it. It’s really hard to put into words. It’s more than just hype and flair, though I love the visual aspect and aesthetic feel of it.

The biggest thing is that I understand how it works. I know that sounds weird, but I can’t say that for every job I’ve played. I’d watched a few videos from the media release that described the “rotation.” So, when I sat down and set up my bars for the first time, I already had a basic grasp on what I needed to do. I’ve made a few discoveries as I’ve leveled, but overall, the way the job works makes sense to me.

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The job doesn’t stress me out, which is huge. I feel like my damage output is strong, I can hold my own solo, and in a group, I contribute well. There’s some thinking to do, however, and a lot of flexibility (especially when you start unlocking Cures and eventually Rezzes).

I prefer a gauge that you’re building up, rather than one that’s constantly counting down. Red Mage’s gauge remains full as long as you don’t zone or use the energy on melee releases. I like that. I think I may be done playing Dragoon, because I can’t bother being stressed by losing BotD buffs for another expansion.

It’s just plain fun to play. This makes me want to do content, rather than struggle through content with a job that isn’t as fun.

Red Mage is about balance. And, for me, balance is a concept that’s super important in RL. In my fantasy writing, things often go wrong without balance. Or… my characters are often seeking to learn to balance something in order to master it. So, a job that focuses on finding a balance really appeals to me, and opens up some Role Play desire.

I’ve already earned commendations with the job, which is more than I tend to get from running Bard or Dragoon. Last night, I was in PotD for leveling with another Red Mage and two Samurai. I think I surprised them when I actually used Cure to keep the party’s health up — I am more than just DPS, and I love it! Though the Cure is never going to rival a real healer, it’s cool to have a dual cast double Cure.

About the only thing I find Red Mage weak in is running Frontlines PvP. Oh, ooops… Running PvP???? ME?

Hahah… yeah, that’s an article for tomorrow. 😉

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