bookmark_borderFFXIV: Level 70 Botanist! And Crafting Conundrum

The track to level 70 gatherers is almost complete. As of last night, I reached my first level 70 gatherer – Botanist. Both Mining and Fishing are halfway through level 69, so the rest of this should fall in place in a few days.

With the exception of Fishing, I’ve leveled Botanist and Miner exclusively through daily High Quality Grand Company turn-ins. Depending on luck and RNG, this takes anywhere from 30 to 45 mins a day. Since I’m shooting for HQ items, I take and sell the normal quality, and get a bit of gil out of it, too.

Fishing has been leveled through leves and raw experience gained through spearfishing. Though this is more time consuming, it’s also relaxing, so I haven’t minded it much.

Now that I’m nearing 70 on all gathering jobs, I started to look at what I needed in terms of my crafters to supplement them with gear. I heard that the gear you get from yellow scrips, with the exception of the main hand item, can easily be matched by HQ crafted gear and accessories.

Crafting Conundrum

Though I priced these items on the marketboard and they’re fairly affordable, what I’d like to do is actually put the work into making mine this time around. This requires leveling my Weaver and Leatherworker… both of which are my specialized jobs.

However, I ran into a little snag.

Weaver is fine. I can easily use my botanist to gather what I need for this. But Leatherworker is a whole different animal… in that it requires hides, and LOTS of hides.

Now, you have two choices on this. You can go out and farm those hides. OR. You can send a hunting retainer out to gather them for you.

Both of my retainers are gatherers (miner and botanist) so that they can bring back crystals and crafting materials. I forgot that what I used to do is rely on Tai’s retainers to go out and hunt, since his are battle classes, and send the mats back to my main for crafting.

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So, I hopped over on Tai only to remember… I hadn’t leveled him or his retainer at all. Therefore, his retainer couldn’t go out on ventures for hides from new creatures in the new areas.

DOH.

That’s when I remembered his main retainer is a level 60 Dragoon.

Now… the problem with that is… I’m not sure how I feel about the changes to Dragoon. Just about every other day, I see a thread on the forum or Reddit about how bad a state the Dragoons are in. So, I had shelved Dragoon on both my characters, and considered taking up Samurai on Tai.

But, since your retainers can only be as high a level as your character’s job is… his retainer would be stuck at 60 Dragoon if I abandoned the job. Thus, being unable to gather the materials I need.

Also, restarting the retainer as a new job, such as Samurai, would send him back to level 1… Which means I’d have to spend all that much more time leveling my retainer again!

Soooooo… the logical thing to do? Level Tai’s Dragoon.

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Meh.

I kicked around a few MSQ quests last night until it gated me at level 61. Then, I filled in the gaps using PvP on Tai — just two rounds did it. So now I have a level 61 Dragoon, and his retainer is starting to gain experience again. I’ll work on leveling my Weaver until his retainer is at a point where it can bring back hides (I read this opens up at level 62).

The things I do for crafting.

bookmark_borderFFXIV: Sea Ponies and Ponytails

So something interesting happened over the weekend while I was leveling my Fisher in FFXIV, and I wanted to share. Spearfishing has really been the way to go in leveling from 60-70. I’m currently level 68, and it’s been a peaceful ride using spearfishing leves to get there.

Advice on the net said that once you reach level 66, start spearfishing Sea Lamps for the leve, and just use that all the way to 70. So, I located the Sea Lamps and got to it.

Now, when you spear fish, your node often has a few different kinds of fish for each Gig head size. In this case, I usually fished up a Sea Lamp, but sometimes I’d fish up the alternate fish, the Bashful Batfish. I didn’t pay much attention to this… until I started getting strange messages from time to time when I fished up the Batfish.

Finally I got a message that said straight up:

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What the heck?

So, that was the point I decided to Google the messages I’d been seeing. I’m glad I did.

Apparently, fishing up certain fish a certain number of times (in this case, the Batfish 10 times), makes the equivalent of an unspoiled spearfishing node appear! At level 66, you get a skill called Truth of Oceans. When you use this, you can locate the Swimming Shadows nodes, just like you do with Mining and Botany.

Curious, I located the node and started fishing. I was really, really lucky, because on my first node, I fished up this:

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I had no idea this was out there, so I was thrilled at the prospect I’d accidentally stumbled on the Tiny Tatsunoko minion! They are somewhat rare, as in four nodes, I’ve only fished up two. Since I’m going to be out there for leveling anyhow, I started fishing them up for the Posse and FC folks.

Ponytail

I also spent a bit of time organizing my alts and getting geared up for this FFXIV Story Journal project that I really want to take on. I showed off my success in recreating Ben’s glamour in game a few days back, but his hair style still needed work.

I had an idea that the Gold Saucer ponytail style might be what I was looking for. So, I pushed Ben all the way up to the point in the story where I unlocked both the Gold Saucer and the Aesthetician.

Actually pushing through MSQ is very easy when you’re a level 50 Red Mage. The nice thing about this is that since I didn’t have to concentrate on leveling or running class quests, I was able to focus on MSQ only… and that made it a much more connected experience. I actually saw some things in the story that I missed before!!

Anyhow, I got Ben to the Gold Saucer and wondered how long it would take to make the 8,000 MGP to earn that hairstyle. It turned out to be really, really easy given the amount of MGP the weekly challenge log gives you for things like just playing and winning 10 games of Triple Triad. I forgot the challenge log was even a thing.

So, the ponytail get was a success!

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Alternate Experience

The next thing I did is just a testimony to my alt-aholism. Yes, I can’t get away from it, even in a game like FFXIV. What can I say… I pay for 8 character slots per server, so I’m gonna use them!

One thing that has troubled me was where to put my alts. I mean, I don’t want to clutter up my FC roster with them… But at the same time, if you’re not in a FC, you have to leave yourself on /busy all the time or fend off a slew of random FC invites and whispers. I just want a peaceful, story-concentrating experience. So I really don’t want to join someone else’s random FC. And it wouldn’t feel right to do that since I’m totally invested in my own FC.

I’d been joking with the Posse about rolling up a personal FC just for my alts. Well, I made that a reality yesterday and created Alternate Experience <Alts>.

The name was something that I created impromptu (which is odd for me… it usually takes me forever to name something), but the more I think about it, the more I really like it. I think I’m going to use that as the name of my Story Journal project when I get that off the ground.

I moved all my alts (except for Tai) off the KoM roster and into Alts, and I’m actually very content now. My alts have a quiet home, and are still connected to friends via Linkshells. They no longer clutter up the KoM roster… so people don’t know how weird I am in having so many crazy characters. And Zuri is a FC leader once again.

Life is good.

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bookmark_borderFFXIV: Omega Deltascape

Warning: Contains Spoilers for FFXIV Stormblood.

Running Omega wasn’t actually on my to-do list this weekend. Logging in Friday night, I didn’t have the ilvl to run it if I wanted to. I hadn’t even unlocked Expert Roulette at that point, so that’s the first thing Syn and I got to doing for the weekend.

During those runs, a LOT of gear dropped for my Red Mage. That, combined with the Verity I earned, put me over the minimum ilvl to enter Omega. I still really wasn’t going to try until my sister started asking if we were going to give it a shot. So, we got together a group that contained the Posse and a few various people from the FC. We were all completely new to these runs, and actually went in blind to a few of them.

Here’s my thoughts.

Continue reading “FFXIV: Omega Deltascape”

bookmark_borderFFXIV: Ben’s Glamour

Now that I’ve completed the MSQ on my main character, I’ve gone back to thinking a lot about the story-journal that I want to write for my RP character, Ben. But before I could do any of that, I really needed to get his glamour right.

In order to be able to glamour and dye, I had to complete two quests. One was out in Thanalan, not too far to run to, to get the dye system unlocked. But the other, the glamour skill, is a quest out in Mor Dhona.

Considering Ben is a fresh character without a story skip, he has no chocobo yet. So while he is a level 50 Red Mage, he had to foot it all the way from Ul’dah, through Thanalan, through the Shroud, into Coerthas, then finally to Mor Dhona.

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Thankfully, Namingway kept him company.

This was actually a pretty relaxing run to make. I’ve never done this on foot before, and there was really no danger from anything. It just took some time to jog there, especially with the changes to the Sprint cooldown. At least I unlocked a bunch of warps along the way.

Once that was done, I gathered up all the glamour items, dye, and glamour prisms I needed to make his outfit as Bennish as I could.

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This is pretty close, actually!

For those who aren’t so familiar with my character, I dug up one of the more recent Wayrift frames for comparison. I realized in searching, it’s been a long time since I’ve actually drawn a full-length picture of him… even this one is about 3 years old. Poor neglected Ben!

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Anyhow, the Astral Silk robes, which I also wear on my Bard Glamour, work quite well for Ben. They’re ornate enough, but not too much, and dye a nice dark green. I found some gathering boots that have the criss-cross leather, and just used the new Squall pants underneath. The only thing not perfect are the gloves, but there’s no way to get mis-matched white and black ones in game.

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He also seems too confident with a sword (and usually uses a large two-hander), but I can work with it. 😉

bookmark_borderFFXIV: Living the Red Mage Dream

Things have slowed down a good bit since we’ve completed the MSQ for Stormblood. In fact, I haven’t done a whole lot aside from daily gathering turn-ins and a leveling roulette since Tuesday. Though I’ve got the quests to unlock the two Expert dungeons, we haven’t sat down and worked on that yet.

Despite that, Verity gear is very cheap and quick to get, so I’ve already started upgrading my accessories to give my ilvl a bump upwards. I know that my FC wants to start hosting learning runs for Omega this weekend, but I’m not sure if I’ll have the ilvl requirement, or the energy, to tackle a raid. We’ll see.

I did pick up the Manipulative Moggle Mogfoil for glamour, since it finally dropped below 2 mil gil on the market board. I’ve been watching the fluctuations in price and knew that late in the week would be the cheapest time to buy. I’ve also made quite a bit of gil over the past week, so I figured it was okay to splurge on something nice for my main.

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Though I’m not usually a fan of the Mog weapons, I really love the music note effects of this one. It’s similar to the Songbird emote, and it drew my eye instantly.

A Dream Realized

I’ve probably mentioned this somewhere down the line, but having a Red Mage character fully kitted out in artifact armor was a dream of mine from many years ago.

I don’t remember the exact date I first picked up Final Fantasy XI. It was pretty close to launch, though, and before any of the expansions came out (so I want to say the summer/fall of 2002?). I remember being so excited to load it up on my PC… and learning that I’d have to download hours worth of patches for it on my slooow dial-up connection!

So, while waiting for the set-up to run its course, I decided to take a nap. Only, I was way too excited to nap… at the prospect of being a Red Mage! All I could think of was being a magic user with a cool sword, and awesome gear (especially the hat). Oh the dreams of innocent youth. 🙂

But once I started playing, the reality of the game’s design set in. It was a very time-intensive and group-required game. I wasn’t ready to handle a MMO with stringent forced grouping for almost everything. Just the thought of PUGing for leveling caused me a lot of anxiety. I spent hours and hours trying so hard to grind the game solo. I think I might have successfully reached level 20 somewhere down the line, mostly on my own. That was killing a LOT of sheep and crabs. 😀

It soon became very clear that I’d never see that awesome Red Mage in artifact armor in FFXI. Eventually, I gave up on the game, and swore off MMOs for a long time. It wasn’t until games became a lot more solo and casual friendly that I came back to the genre.

Fast forward to 2013, when FFXIV ARR released. I started hearing people say that the re-release of this game was very good. I also heard that it was a lot more solo friendly than FFXI… and that got me thinking.

I believe I was somewhat miffed at the direction that GW2 (my main MMO) was going at the time. So that discontent feeling, coupled with the good reviews, and the memories of how I’d failed to achieve my dreams in FFXI, all led to me giving FFXIV a shot.

And now? I have achieved that hoped-for Red Mage with artifact armor! Sure, it wasn’t a huge grind or a terribly difficult thing to achieve. But it’s certainly been a goal that was nearly 15 years in the making. 🙂

bookmark_borderFFXIV: Stormblood’s End

Warning: Contains Spoilers for the ending of FFXIV Stormblood.

As the 4th of July is a holiday for me, I was able to buckle down, along with Syn, to make a lot of progress in Stormblood. Not only did I reach level 70 Red Mage, and finish all those class quests, but we were also able to complete the storyline for FFXIV 4.0.

While other people were figuring out Omega, which I’m not in a rush to do, we were hashing out the last dungeon (and first of the Expert Roulette), as well as the final fight in the Menagerie.

Here’s some thoughts on the ending. Complete and total spoilers ahead. Also, probably going to be long.

Continue reading “FFXIV: Stormblood’s End”

bookmark_borderFFXIV: Ding Level 70 Red Mage!

Woot! Thanks to the help of many folks in my FC, I not only got to level 70 Red Mage tonight, but I also finished the 4.0 story line, the Royal Menagerie included. I was surprised that we managed to one-shot it, but then, most of the people there had already cleared it before, and with a full FC party, it went super smooth.

Of course, right after getting my artifact armor from my level 70 job quest, I got this hat as a dungeon drop. It’s got better stats and… it’s a tough choice whether to glamour or not! I probably will, though because it tends to obscure too much of my character’s face.

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Anyhow, more about this tomorrow.

bookmark_borderFFXIV: Stormblood Alt Intimidation

Congrats to FFXIV Stormblood. It’s done something that no other MMO has done pretty much ever… It’s intimidated this alt-aholic to the point of not leveling alts.

Let me start by saying this is not a bad thing. But for someone like me, who is known for rolling up characters over and over just for the fun of having different races, classes or aesthetics, this is not a feeling I’ve felt before.

I kinda knew that 4.0 Dragoon wasn’t something I wanted to pursue. Reading feedback from players on the job, I feel my hunch was justified. So, I switched to Red Mage on my main, and decided to give Samurai a chance on Tai.

Only… I’ve had exactly zero motivation to actually play Tai or any of my other alts. Yes, I am engaged in moving through the story on my main, and I’ve been kept busy with that. But even back in Heavensward, I was leveling both characters through the story interchangeably. Both characters have several level 60 duplicate jobs, and finished the expansion in full. Heck, there was a point where Tai was more my main.

However, something about the scope of the Stormblood storyline is stopping me from wanting to go through it a second time. I know this sounds strange… but the story is so vast that I don’t want to spoil the experience by committing it to memory just yet.

I have this strange thing where if I run something in a game 2 or 3 times, it becomes ingrained in memory. This has one of two effects: either making something more sentimental or fun due to familiarity, or making it rote memory and dulling the experience.

Seeing how many alts I’ve run through some MMOs in the past, there are some starting areas I could still run through like the back of my hand, even if I haven’t played the game in 5 or 10 years. XD

Xaa on several occasions has asked me how I remember so much about where FFXIV NPCs are, which dungeons are which, and all the boss mechanics. I laugh and tell him I’ve just done it so many times! It’s like I just inadvertently absorb all this silly and needless MMO information as I play. I wish I could do that with other things in my life!

For this moment in time, I don’t feel like absorbing Stormblood and committing it to memory. I’m playing this a different way, and going into most of the dungeons blind, even. (Not primals, just dungeons.) I might pick up my alts at another time, but for now, I just want the pure experience, straight through to the end.

Sorry, Tai. 🙁

 

bookmark_borderFFXIV: Stormblood Bollywood Boogaloo

Warning: Contains Spoilers for FFXIV Stormblood.

Wow, it’s been a whole week since I last posted about progress through Stormblood. Rest assured, I’ve been moving through story as best as I can. My Red Mage is currently halfway through level 68, and we’ve just cleared Lakshmi, the second primal of the expansion.

Whoo. What to talk about? There’s so much here that it’s hard for me to condense it all down to one post.

Continue reading “FFXIV: Stormblood Bollywood Boogaloo”