Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

July 2018 Gaming Goals in Review

Another summer month has flown by at an incredible rate! This one has been kinda crazy for me as a lot of my gaming focus shifted attention to writing, music and role play. It’s been a rejuvenating experience in more ways than one. But, let me talk about goals instead!

FFXIV Leveling Goals

  • Level Armorer to 70 ✓
  • Level Ninja to 60 ✓
  • Level Astro (maybe?)
  • Start new crafting & battle job leveling ✓

I was pretty close to getting Armorer to 70 and Ninja to 60 when I set these goals, so I knew the question was what would I pick up next.

Not only did I finish Armorer and all the job quests, but I also fully leveled my Goldsmith to 70, and only have the one final quest left to finish that job completely! As for my battle job, I chose to begin leveling my Dragoon, which just dinged level 67 last night. I don’t see having too much of an issue finishing that up next month.

I didn’t pick up Astro at all, but that was sorta a question mark possibility anyhow.

FFXIV Cleanup Quest Goals

  • Summoner – Lv 60-70 Quests
  • Ninja – Lv 50-60 Quests
  • Catch up on Goldsmith quests ✓

Nope. I failed on job quests again this month.

I have been keeping up with the crafting job quests, thankfully. Now I really do want to complete Summoner since it has some lore in it I’d like to explore. It’s just a matter of sitting down and carving out the time to enjoy the story. Maybe next month.

Creative Goals

My creative goal was to break 15K words (a very low word count, I know) for Camp NaNoWriMo during July. I did this pretty easily, as I expected I would. What’s blossomed out of it was something I really couldn’t have anticipated, however.

My role play Tumblr has just blasted off at incredible speed and the RP character I’m working on developing has made all kinds of new connections. I’m a very shy person in game, so to be invited to RP sessions, events and music circles is a completely new experience for me. At the same time, I’m loving connecting to the creative side of FFXIV, which is something I’ve desperately needed to maintain my interest in the game.

Anyhow, I won’t go on about this too much, though it’s really been the thing that’s consumed most of my time this month. I’ll just say that it always feels great being inspired to work on creative things, so this has not been something bad at all.

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging, Uncategorized

Blogging: Importance of Voice & Choosing your Audience

It’s prep week for Blaugust Mentors, so I decided to sit down and write about something that’s been on my mind lately. Prep week focuses on giving some advice to new and upcoming bloggers — so you’ll see a lot of useful information about blogging platforms, choosing topics, consistently writing, picking your blog name/URL — very important stuff!

I wanted to tackle some things that aren’t always so obvious to think about from the start: Voice/Tone and Audience.

These are actually concepts to think about no matter what kind of writing you’re doing — blogging, fiction, bussines, etc. And while you might be going… “Oh gosh, I’m just trying to put some words on the page, when do I have time to figure this out?” …I feel that establishing your blogging voice and knowing who you’re writing for early on makes things easier.

What Attracts People?

Think about those folks you follow on social media. Think about your favorite streamers or YouTubers. What do these usually have in common?

They’ve established a personality (voice) that’s unique to themselves, and that’s something you’ve connected with. You start to like them as a person, and therefore, you come back to see what they have to say again and again.

They don’t have to share anything super personal for you to feel like… Hey, I jive with them, and they’re cool to listen to. If they take time to interact with their audience, oh man, they’re really a hit then!

There’s really no secret to what they’re doing (though it’s not always easy to maintain). They’ve just established a voice/personality and they’re consistent with producing content around a specific audience that responds to it. YOU!

Granted, this can take time and effort to achieve. Often, your own writing voice will evolve and change the more you learn about the craft of writing and the people you’re talking to. That’s totally okay! It’s a part of growing as a blogger.

But that doesn’t mean that when you sit down to roll up a blog that you can’t already be thinking: Hey, who am I writing this for? Who do I want to reach out to? 

Do you want to approach things with humor and an honest down-to-earth slice-of-life personality?

Or do you want to be known for someone who says what’s on their mind, no matter how brutally honest it is?

Maybe you want to establish yourself as someone who provides ground-breaking strategies and has an powerful authority over the topics you choose to write?

tone-of-voice

Different approaches will connect with different kinds of readers. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of the voice and approach you use — will you be able to maintain it over a long period of time, for example. Or will it exhaust you (or confine you) to try to step into the persona that you’re building?

Sometimes even refreshing an existing blog is just about taking a different point of view and changing your voice. 

With my blog, I’ve chosen to establish a casual and laid-back personality. It’s very much in line with who I really am IRL, so it’s easy to maintain.

You’ll hear me talk about what’s happened in my gaming life. I like to post things that make people laugh, if possible. I stay away from more somber and serious topics, even if that’s the direction everyone else seems to be taking. And if I do write things like a game review, it’s generally something based on how it made me feel, rather than a professional take on the game.

Thinking about your blogging voice and audience from the start will also help you decide on the overall feel and presentation of your blog. Once you know who you want to be, and who you want to write for, you can center your theme, blog name, and everything else around that to present a consistent face (a brand) to your audience.

 Join us at Blaugust!

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging

Hey, Listen! Blaugust is Reborn!

If you’re a reader of other blogs across our lovely blogosphere, you may have already heard the news on the wind: Next week, Blaugust is returning! 

Though I haven’t written about it yet (was waiting till it was a bit closer to time… like now), this is an event I’m really pumped for… and that I hope that other bloggers will get excited about, too! I signed on to be a Mentor this year, so it’s probably time I start putting on my Mentor hat.

Prep week starts now. You’ll find a ton of great prep-posts ramping up already on the many mentor blogs that are participating — check out a spread sheet of who is who and where you can find them!

In the past, Blaugust (started by Belghast at Tales of the Aggronaut) has been focused on challenging folks to reach a certain number of posts within the month of August. This time around, he’s shaking the formula up quite a bit, and tossing in a pinch of Newbie Blogger Initiative (NBI) into the mix.

See more about this here.

This time, there are several levels of participation to take part in:

  • Newbie Blogger Award – You did it, you created a new blog and by god we are going to sing your praises for doing it!
  • Bronze Award – You made at least 5 posts during the Month of August 2018.
  • Silver Award – You made at least 15 posts during the Month of August 2018, go you!
  • Gold Award – You made at least 25 posts during the Month of August 2018, you are a badass!
  • Rainbow Diamond Award – You did it, you posted every single day during the Month of August 2018 and deserve accolades.

So even folks who ramp up a new blog or just post 5 times next month are all rockstars!

To help out through the month, we have the Mentor system and a structured set of themes to roll with:

  • July 25th – July 31st – Blaugust Prep Week – posts about the technical details of getting started in blogging.  Tutorials, advice, tips for naming your blog… that sort of stuff to get people ready to hit the ground on August 1st running.
  • August 1st – August 7th – Topic Brainstorming Week – posts about ideas for topics that the participants can then mine for the rest of the month.
  • August 8th – August 14th – Get to Know Each Other Week – hanging out and meeting other people in this new fledgling community and hopefully gaming together a bit!  Also highly support doing some sort of collaboration on shared topics!
  • August 15th – August 21st – Developer Appreciation Week – post about the things that you really appreciate in gaming or any other community… because chances are there is a developer or designer behind the things you love.
  • August 22nd – August 28th – Staying Motivated Week – tips and tricks that you might have to stay motivated and keep creating content against the tyranny of a blank screen.
  • August 29th – August 31st – The Final Stretch: Lessons Learned – as a way of getting us across the finish line, talk about some of the experienced you had during the month and maybe things you learned about yourself.

If this sounds exciting and interesting to you, by all means, please, please join us! Even if you don’t have a blog now, or need to blow the dust off an existing blog, we will welcome you with open arms!

Bel has a signup sheet to officialize your choice to participate, and a Discord where you can connect with fellow bloggers and mentors across the globe!

Hope to see you there! 

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Live Letter – Patch 4.4 & Monster Hunter World Collaboration Info

Woke up this morning to a slew of information from the latest FFXIV Live Letter, summarized on Reddit. There’s certainly a lot of interesting things to see here!

Patch 4.4

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Coming in September, we have the next story patch, an addition to the Omgea raids and a lot more. This is the first time in a long time I’ve actually been really, really looking forward to where they’re going with the story. The teaser image did not disappoint.

I’m also really happy that they’ve confirmed we’ll get more Doman Reconstruction. I finished what they provided for this patch, but it still looks like the Enclave has lots of opportunity for further growth. It may just be side fluff content, but I really like it!

The new Grand Company rank also makes me happy, as well as expanded Squad Missions. I’m always up for running with my Squad… it might help me get back on the leveling train for my lowest level jobs.

New Gpose options are always welcome, and Configuration data saved to the server sounds nice (does this mean no more scrambling to reset hotbars if you play between two computers?).

I’m a little worried by what they mean with “Crystal Tower requirements revised.” Does this mean they’re going to do away with the FATE quests that block your way into the first raid? If so, I’m all for that.

If it means they’re going to make these raids harder, though, I think the difficulty needs to be left alone. Folks new to 24 man raids need a first step in… and you can still wipe in any of the CT raids if the party doesn’t know what they’re doing (yes, I’ve even seen a recent wipe in Syrcus Tower and Lab).

Anyhow, there’s a lot of nice things coming.

Monster Hunter World Collaboration

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So, it appears the MHW collab is going to take the form of a trial. I’m a little sad about that, as I’d much prefer something more open world, but I understand the need to balance it around a trial. The nice thing is that there are two flavors of trial – an 8 man and an Extreme 4 man.

mhcrossover

Hopefully it won’t be too terrible if all you need to have done is complete the MSQ and have ilvl 320 gear for the normal version. I’m usually not one for doing trials I don’t need to do, but Palico (minion?) was confirmed!

palico

There’s also a sweet looking Rathalos mount, but I have a feeling that’s only going to be a reward for the Extreme version. (not confirmed, just a guess)

rath

This is coming August 7th and doesn’t appear to have an end date.

Check out this new video — looks pretty fun!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Getting Goals Done

I’ve been a bit quiet blogging as of late, despite the exciting news that Blaugust is returning (a full post to come for that later). It’s not because I’m not writing… but just the opposite.

I noted that I’d signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo on a fiction/RP project, and I’ve been focused on pounding out words for that. As of yesterday, I’ve actually by passed my meager goal (I made one easy to reach), and I’ve almost written to the end of the foundational phase of the story I wanted to tell.

Once I’m done there, I hope to keep writing short stories and fun snippets about the characters I’m beginning to explore. But it won’t take up my writing time like it has the beginning of this month.

In the meantime, I’ve still be working on all my other FFXIV goals. I’ve reached two of the low-hanging ones this week: Armorer to 70 and Ninja to 60.

This puts me in a pretty good position. I’ve been enjoying Namazu quests so much that I didn’t realize I only have 3 more crafting jobs to level to have them all done!

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Of course, I need to catch up with crafting quests for each of these jobs. I have the level 70 quest to do for Armorer — I’ve been good about keeping up with these quests. And then, I need to see where I stand with old Goldsmith quests.

I also haven’t really worked at gearing up my level 70 crafters too much beyond the one Scrip set I have for Weaver. So I’ve got a long way to go before my crafters are in good shape.

Finally getting Ninja to level 60 means that all of my melee DPS are now at 60.

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It felt so good to go through and sort all the gear I’d been holding on to for Ninja all these years. I was able to toss a bunch of it to the Grand Company, which nicely frees up some space in my armory chest.

All I’ve got left under level 50 is Warrior, Dark Knight and Astrologian. These three jobs have a mess of gear sitting in my inventory waiting for them to level up. I’ve just been too lazy or distracted to work on these, despite the fact Squad runs are fast and quick for leveling.

One of my overall goals for the year is to get all jobs to 50. So I’ll be focusing on this sooner or later.

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I also have a ferret, so life is good.
Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: When Glamour is End Game

I know that things have seemed quiet around this blog, but the truth is, I’ve been anything but idle. I noted in my goals post that I’m working on a Camp NaNoWriMo challenge this month, and while the word goal is low, I’ve really been putting a lot into this project.

This is also because I’ve finally spun up a side FFXIV RP blog to contain this story.  Not to mention, I’ve discovered Bard Macro Maker for FFXIV, and I’m working to convert lots of traditional tunes to play on it. I’ll do a post about this later!

This is all on top of my usual leveling routine — I’m almost done with my Armorer and Ninja-to-60 goals. It has, however, made me slow to pick up things like the new Heaven on High, which I really do want to do!

The idea to create a RP for the character/villain Amon in FFXIV has been in my head for quite a while now. I’m the kind of player who really needs an artistic outlet to supplement my long-term gaming. And by artistic, that’s not always just straight blogging… it’s drawing, music and fiction writing.

It’s a silly thing, but I’m having fun, and it’s rekindled my enjoyment of FFXIV. I’m also meeting new folks through my blogging interactions on Tumblr, somewhat like my old GW2 RP blogs (which I still miss from time to time).

When You REALLY Want A Glamour…

I knew that if I created this character, I’d need to get the gear set that represents him in game. I mean, it wasn’t even a question of whether this would happen. Just a matter of getting him to the point to unlock the Syrcus Tower raid and making the runs.

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This guy refused to drop his coat for 23 runs!

So, when FFXIV took away the ability to Need on Alliance Raid gear earlier this patch cycle, my hopes were crushed. I didn’t like this change based on principle… but on top of it, I secretly knew that meant that I’d probably never see all the drops required to work on this glamour set.

When they repealed that terrible design choice and gave us Need back, I was celebrating for many reasons. This was one of them… even though I’d never told anyone until recently that this silly fic-RP and glamour farm was a thing I’d hoped to do.

It honestly took a lot of courage for me start running Syrcus Tower… not because I was bad at the raid. I’ve actually run it so many times, and enjoy the run (a rarity for raids). But because I was scared that someone would see my character’s name (Amon D’syrcus) and piece it together to realize I was role playing one of the bosses we fought in that very raid. Surely someone would make fun of me for it!

What actually happened was… no one noticed. Or if they noticed, they didn’t respond to it. Except for one of my healers on one random raid who gave me a /surprise emote in the middle of the fight with Amon. Too funny!

I also came away with silly stories like this one.

Some Glamour Statistics

And because I’m a crazy data person, I kept track of the drops and how many runs it took to get the full set of glamour. Some things to keep in mind:

  • There’s about a 1 in 9 chance at a specific drop per boss
  • Old CT bosses were never upgraded to drop more than one item per fight 😦
  • I only had to compete with other Bards and Machinists for these drops, though there were many runs where I was the only one with the ability to Need on these items

That being said… here’s the data outcome for trying to get a full 5-piece set — the sash doesn’t count, but I got one just to have the complete set. I took note of duplicate drops (you can see my sorrow as I recorded these in real time). Keep in mind that the boss that drops the pants also drops the hat, which is honestly the most important drop of the set. 🙂

Total Runs – 23

  • 3rd Run – Pants
  • 6th Run – Boots
  • 8th Run – Sash
  • 10th Run – Boots & Pants Drop again XD
  • 11th Run – Pants Again
  • 12th Run – Pants Again ;-;
  • 13th Run – Pants AGAIN?
  • 14th Run – Sleeves
  • 15th Run – Boots, Sleeves, HAAAAAAAT!
  • 16th Run – Sleeves & Pants
  • 17th Run – Sleeves
  • 18th Run – Boots
  • 23rd Run- Sash & Chest FINALLY DROPPED

I don’t know about you… but for RNG, this sure seems pretty biased. Aside from dropping the bard chest piece, Amon also drops one of two helms that look very similar – for Dragoon and Tank. I swear just about every run I saw one of those two helms.

Syrcus Tower only takes about 20 mins to finish with an average party (I timed it). So, there were times when the queue to get into the raid took longer than the raid itself. Syn took pity on me and helped me through with Zeb a few of those runs.

She claimed Zeb was good luck, because I’d often get drops when she ran with me. I can’t deny she was there on that very last run, and got to see me celebrate finally getting that coat drop.

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So that’s the story of how Amon got his glamour. Now I can move on to other things in my life… like continuing to write this silly story and maybe working up the courage to RP him for real. 😀

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

July 2018 Gaming Goals

Welcome to July! Hard to believe we’re smack dab in the middle of summer already! And it’s time to make some goals.

I’m going to keep these pretty light this month because I’m working on other creative things (more about that later). But I do have some things I want to take care of.

Oh, see that screenshot up there? That was part of a scene that plays when you finish the second level of building up the Doman Enclave in FFXIV. This is the final part of what was included in the last patch, and I had no idea I was that close to getting it done. I just threw some things at the Domans over the weekend and poof!

The rewards for getting it done are mostly cosmetic things — a shop opens with housing items, crafting material and a music scroll. That being said, it’s nice to get a purchasable type of window, and it looks like there’s lots of room for this shop to expand. Whether they’ll add more to this next patch, I guess we’ll have to wait to see.

Now, on to the goals!

FFXIV Leveling Goals

  • Level Armorer to 70 ✓
  • Level Ninja to 60 ✓
  • Level Astro (maybe?)
  • Start new crafting & battle job leveling ✓

This is somewhat nebulous. My Armorer is already 66 and my Ninja is already 57. So, there’s no doubt I’ll get those top two goals taken care of this month.

I haven’t quite decided what I want to level once these are done, though. I might go for Goldsmith since I already have the master books for that job sitting on a retainer.

Once I get my Ninja to 60, that means I’ll have 4 melee DPS at 60, waiting to push towards 70. I’ll need to do the job quests for Ninja (which is another goal) before I chance hitting a level 60 alliance roulette while missing a bunch of skills.

I’d also like to get my Astro to 50 eventually, but I’m not sure if that’s going to be something I really work on this month. It depends on how I feel.

FFXIV Cleanup Quest Goals

  • Summoner – Lv 60-70 Quests
  • Ninja – Lv 50-60 Quests
  • Catch up on Goldsmith quests ✓

I’m going to try this again this month. 🙂

I really do need to finish up Ninja quests, though, because, as I said, there’s always a chance I can get a level 60 Alliance Roulette… and not having my 50-60 job quest skills would be bad.

I also want to catch up on all the Goldsmith quests, if that’s the next job I want to level as a crafter. I might have this one up to date. I’m not sure until I check, though.

Creative Goals

So I’m doing a little something on the side. This month is Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’m participating in a very light way. I really didn’t plan on doing this until the day before the camp began, though I have been kicking around an idea for a story for a while.

I’ve set my word count goal at a super modest 15,000 by the end of the month. This should be a breeze to meet, to be honest. I mostly wanted a motivator for me to get started on writing this story, but not something that would be a full out stress-mess. This is meant to be a pretty casual thing.

Beware… Things Get Nerdy… 

I’m going to come clean, because I feel silly talking about it. It’s quite lore-nerdy. You guys can forgive me, right?

I’m writing a semi-RP, noncanon FFXIV fanfiction about what might happen if Amon from Syrcus Tower survived the alliance battle. Yeah, the Amon with the hat. That guy.

It’s a crazy idea, but I rolled a RP character on Mateus years back for just this story. I’ve also moved around, renamed and Fantasia-d a number of alts to fit into the story. I’ve written up all the reasons behind why I was inspired to explore this character/lore, and will be posting the snippets at my RP Tumblr – Spot of Mummery.

Ok, now that I’ve officially embarrassed myself… here’s my hope for this month!

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