Posted in Gaming

2018 Gaming Goals in Review

Happy New Year’s Eve!

This is going to be a bit of a conglomeration of December Gaming Goals and 2018 overall Gaming Goals in one post. So, a lot to talk about, though they both overlap a bit.

December Breakdown

FFXIV Goals – Main

  • Level Warrior to 50 
  • Finish Summoner Job Quests 
  • Level Monk  to 70 
  • Start leveling next job to 70 
  • Gear up Crafters (Scrips) 

I did pretty good with my goals for my main in December. The only goal I didn’t meet was the Summoner Job quest — however! I did complete the Dragoon Job quests instead, which was not on the list. So that’s a trade!

I’ve completely geared up my crafters with scrips. I finished Monk leveling, and I’m sitting at level 67 on Samurai. So, doing pretty good there!

FFXIV Goals – RP Alt

  • Level Armorer to 60 
  • Level Fisher to 60 
  • Level Miner to 70 
  • Level Alchemist to 50
  • Get other crafters to 15

Did a good job in getting all this done this month. Actually, above and beyond as Fisher is almost 70 and Alchemist is climbing towards 60. Lots and lots of beast tribe quests!

Yearly Goal Breakdown

FFXIV – All Battle Jobs to 50 on My Main 
FFXIV: All Crafting Jobs to 70 
Steam Challenge: Play Games I Buy
Steam Challenge: Play Over 50% of my Games 
Nintendo Switch Backlog – Finish Games

Here’s a little bit good, a little bit bad. I did complete my FFXIV goals of getting all battle jobs to 50 and all crafters to 70. Considering things got a bit derailed in the middle of the year with an unexpected server transfer and developing a role play character, this is pretty good!

Steam goals were overall pretty good. I did hit over 50% of my backlog played this month. And while I can’t claim to have played every single game that I bought this year, I did play a majority of them. The ones I didn’t play were games that had a series – such as Life is Strange – that I wanted to dedicate enough time to starting. But for the most part, if I bought it, I put some time into it.

I can’t say the same for my Switch backlog, however. It’s expanded rapidly and I haven’t been very good about finishing or playing games. That’s certainly going to be something to focus on for next year!

How do things look for you and any gaming goals you set this year? Have some in mind for next year?

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Little Things Add Up

I’ve been taking a bit of a break from blogging lately mostly because I’ve been taking a break in general. I’ve have a good chunk of holiday time, and still have up until the new year before I have to think about anything other than relaxing. So I’ve been doing that.

With so much time on my hands, I’ve actually dedicated a good bit of it to tying up little loose ends with my stable of characters in FFXIV. I’ve completely embraced the alt life at this point, with several different characters at different points of advancement. But there were a few things that I wanted to do for each of them that I rarely put the thought or time into.

Chocobo Color

A while back, I farmed up a big batch of fruit for our new FC to dye their chocobos. I have several characters who have been surviving on desert yellow vanilla chocobo color… more than I wish to admit — including my RP main!

It’s still somewhat tedious to feed all the fruit one by one, but really, it doesn’t take that much time. It’s just one of the things that slipped through the cracks. One of those things where I thought, “Yeah, I’ll get around to it one day.”

Well, I did, and I’m glad. Now I have many chocobos the colors of the rainbow.

Grand Company Rank

Before this holiday, only 3 of my characters had Second Lieutenant rank with their Grand Company. Some of them hadn’t even started ranking up at all.

Why is this rank important? Two reasons – it unlocks housing and squads. So without that rank, none of these characters could have a personal room, nor did they have squads to help level any alt jobs I might want to tackle.

This was a bit of a grind, to be honest, but as of now, only one of my characters do not have a personal room or squads unlocked now… and that’s because she hasn’t reached that part in MSQ.

Personal Rooms

This ties into the above. It’s a goal of mine next year to really think about housing and decorating for all of my characters. I want to consider a theme, something that fits them as an individual, and design their rooms around it.

But before I could do that, I had to unlock the proper GC rank, and I had to have the gil to buy it. I’ve managed to do that for all but one of my characters now. I have a lot of decorating ahead of me!

Squads

Another thing locked behind my GC rank is squads.

While squads aren’t mandatory, and for most of my characters, not even needed, it’s still something I want to work on for several reasons. There are achievements and emotes locked behind squads… also, Grand Company rank is tied to leveling your squad in the end.

I don’t know if in the future I’ll regret not ranking up with my GC. They might gate something awesome behind it… who knows. So may as well do it while I had some time.

Ranking up Squads chews through GC seals, though. And juggling this between so many characters who usually don’t go out of their way to earn GC seals means I have to put time into things like unsyced runs for drops.

It also means that GC seals are not a viable way to purchase ventures. Which leads to…

Allied Hunts

Allied seals are a nice way to earn things like ventures and aetheryte tickets. Sadly, I don’t pay them as much attention as I should. Ranking up in the GC unlocked hunts, and I took full advantage of the weekly B Rank for each of the characters who could complete it.

I turned these into ventures because…

Leveling Retainers

Most of these characters have retainers who didn’t even have a job yet. Some of them I’d leveled a little bit, but having run out of ventures and not farming GC seals… well… I just didn’t have the resources to keep leveling my retainers.

So, earning ventures through hunts meant that I could put resources into leveling my retainers again. A max rank retainer with good gear is actually quite a boon to have. I’ve made some good money from random venture returns. So it’s yet another thing that I am working on leveling across my alts.

On a positive note, doing all this has given the FC a boost in currency! Now I just have to figure out how to make a habit of checking on all of these things across my different characters. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sync them all up in a way that they coincide with each other for everyone.

Times like this you realize just how many systems are in FFXIV. I mean, I always am aware there’s more to do then I can ever really do, but… part of that is just the fact that I am, and will always be, an alt-a-holic.

Posted in Gaming, Steam Challenge

2018 Steam Goal Accomplished!

Guys! Guys… guess what!

As of tonight, I’ve achieved my 2018 Steam goal! This was to finally have more games I’ve played in my backlog than have not played!

Okay. Yeah. I know, it’s only 1% more, but hey! A goal is a goal is a goal. And considering this is where I was at about this time last year…

I have to say that I’ve done well to only add 11 games to my library (some were Kickstarters from years back that finally were rewarded) and to have actually played more than I bought for the first time in many years!

I’m pretty stoked about reaching this goal. And having the holiday before me with a good deal of playtime means I can hopefully explore a bit more of my backlog while I’m off from work for the next 11 days! Woot!

I know the new Steam sale just ramped up. And I did buy one game so far (which I did play already!), but I can’t see myself indulging too much this year.

So how is your backlog doing at the end of 2018? Any tempting games in the sale?

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Starlight Rhythm Game

This year’s Starlight festival has come to FFXIV, bringing with it a new kind of mini-game. Somewhat akin to rhythm games such as Theatrhythm (which I’ve never played), this requires you to click a key or tap a mouse button (your choice) to timed animations on your screen. In doing so, you conduct an upstart choir in performing a carol for onlookers.

I was concerned that the game would be taxing to play, especially for someone like me who needs to do it over and over again on all of my alts. But it turned out to be fairly easy, and it has two modes just in case you need something even easier.

The fail-state for the game is hilarious, though:

Not my video…

You only really need to do the mini-game once if you want to complete the quests for the achievement and the holiday outfit. But, this year, FFXIV also puts a bunch of nice housing decorations up for grabs.

While we got a tiny tree one year, this is the first time that the game has given the option for a large indoor tree in many years. This one is silver and heavily decorated as compared to the green tree from years ago (which you can now only get from the Mogstation). While I prefer the green tree (I always have IRL, too), this one is also very nice if you don’t want to plunk down $5 or more for pixels.

This is why I’m taking the time to score decorations for all of my alts and for the FC house as well. It may seem redundant, but I know next year, this stuff will be in the Mogstation for $5 a pop.

This has also encouraged me to go for broke and unlock a private room in the FC house for all of the characters who have enough Grand Company rank to own a room. This is something I’ve wanted to do anyhow, and I think that decorating both my personal house, personal rooms and the FC house is going to be a major goal for next year.

I’d love to make themed rooms for each of my characters based on their story and personality. I just really need to sit down and plan it all out.

In the meantime, I’m grinding out decorations during this Starlight event — I’ve found a sweet spot where you can stand between the two NPCs and just repeat the quest over and over without moving. The game really doesn’t take long, it’s all about staying dedicated to playing it through so many times. But its worth it for all of my characters to have their own Starlight decorations for the future.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Locking Horns

Pictured above: Not the actual Behemoth from the FATE.

Yesterday, I was going about my normal Ixali beast tribe quests when I heard the shout of “Behemoth!!” upon entering Coerthas. I thought about it for a moment, and being upon Amon (who has never done the FATE), I decided to poke around a bit, if only to pick up the achievement points.

I got there and there were a few other lower level folks milling around the first phase of the FATEs. But it was counting down fast, and under 5 mins, with not that many others interested, they scrambled to get a light party up. I was invited and went in on my level 70 bard. Needless to say, I was pulling aggro off the lower level tanks much of the time.

Seeing that the FATE did not level me down, and a few more people joined in near the end, we did somehow down the preliminary FATE, which then led into the real battle. Again, I wasn’t synced down. But seeing that our party was made of two tanks and the rest DPS, I quickly switched out to the only other viable job I had — Red Mage — thinking about the missing heals.

Oh, am I glad that I did. Because I ended up the only source off healing that we had (chocobos get offed pretty fast on this fight). We had a young tank that would lose over half his life for each cleave, and another tank which must have been higher level, because he was doing a pretty good job of keeping aggro and taking hits.

I wasn’t sure that we’d be able to do it — since in my memory, Behemoth used to be a whole lot harder to take down. But with Red Mage heals and enough DPS, we powered through it with no deaths. Well, until the end when Behemoth dropped the scripted meteor that took us all down to a sliver of our lives on purpose.

I tossed out a rez to the one tank who didn’t make it through meteor, and it was all celebration from there. Many of them had not seen the fight before, and the energy from the newer players made it all absolutely worth it.

I walked away from the experience feeling awesome for being a Red Mage, and remembering what it felt like to have one of those neat moments with random strangers in an MMO like this. This wasn’t really anything difficult to defeat, but seeing other people stoked to down a boss FATE felt good. Hopefully with Blue Mage coming next patch, we’ll see more of this kind of thing happening again.

And now I need to level Amon’s Leatherworker next so that he can use the horns to make a behemoth trophy for his room… that way, I’ll remember this fight whenever I look at it. 🙂

Posted in Gaming

Epic Reels Me in with Free Subnautica

There’s been a bit of a debate lately with the Epic Games Store and Discord both elbowing into the digital game storefront, offering developers a larger cut of the profit than Steam. I’ve been side-eyeing the whole thing, interested but not really invested enough to take a position one way or another. 

Competition is good. But folks who already have a vast game library on Steam (and GoG… and Origin… and Switch…) may need a bit more persuading when it comes to downloading and purchasing from yet another launcher. A basic consensus is — Yes, but, I already have so many games on Steam, and I like my games all in one place. 

While I’m not really super loyal to any one launcher, I do have a bit of OCD when it comes to my backlog. I generally won’t by a newer game on GoG — not because I don’t like Galaxy or the sales aren’t good, but because I’ve regulated GoG to be the “Good Old Games” like the name says. So older games stay on that platform (aside from the occasional times a game overlaps with Steam, and I’m given the option to import it to GoG for DRM free), and newer games are on Steam.

That being said, I hadn’t even looked at the Epic launcher until this weekend when Syn promptly told me, “Subnautica is free on Epic.” 

Puzzled, I took a look. And sure enough, Subnautica is free on Epic. And it’s the first of apparently a rotating list of games that will be free to the launcher every two weeks

Now… Subnautica has been high on my Steam wishlist since 2015. For some reason or another, I just never bought it. I deliberated over it during a few Steam sales, but always chose another game over it. However, it was still on my “I’m very interested” list of games to get. 

So, now I have it. 

Well played, Epic Games. You got my foot in the door and your launcher on my computer. You also have my interest with rotating free games. 

Overall, the launcher worked just fine, and the download was fairly quick. I rather like the large-block design they opted to go with, featuring images and clips of the games. Steam always feels like it’s bombarding you with a ton of games in tiny boxes all over the place. Of course, this could be because Epic Games only has a small selection of games to choose from right now… but it’s still a pleasing design choice. 

Anyhow. What’s done is done. One less game on my Steam wishlist (I’ve been moving a lot of the indies over to my Switch wishlist this past year), and one free game on my PC. Now let’s just hope this launcher doesn’t get a backlog!