Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Kirin Obtained!

I talked about how Syn and I were working on farming old primals for pony drops — which was something neither of us really planned on doing, but just happened (thanks to FC folks). We’ve been plinking away at it here and there, but finally finished it up last night.

Ifrit and Leviathan were our last two fights. Ifrit was fairly easy, though you have to space out your damage because there’s an enrage mechanism if you try to tank and spank him. So that took a while because we couldn’t just mow him down.

Leviathan was a little more tricky due to the shield, adds and ability to fall off the raft. But by the time we got done with it, I was pretty confident in understanding how the fight went. It took us a little under an hour to get the last few whistles that we needed, then we took that to the Minstrel and got our reward!

The Valentione’s event should be starting, and the Paris Fan Fest is going to revv up this weekend. This should bring us some more information about the expansion, and hopefully a preorder or even release date. I’ll be keeping my eye out for interesting tidbits and will be sure to report what I learn!

Posted in Blogging, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Pony Farming Like It’s 2019

I’ve played FFXIV for over 5 years. I’ve done a lot in this game during this time, and often delve into as many systems as the game provides — from maxing out Squads, to chasing dumb achievements, to running way too many Beast Tribe Quests. Despite that, I have only ever once unlocked and run an Extreme Primal. That was Bismark, and I was trying to help a friend get a bird drop.

Well, that changed last night.

FC folks, Kade and Amoon, had been farming ponies a while back. Kade just needed the Ramuh drop as his last to get the Kirin, but due to some mechanics, they were having trouble duoing it. So, Syn and I unlocked it and gave them a hand.

Kade got his pony on the first run, but the guys were nice enough to run it until Syn and I also got a drop (though Syn kept swearing she didn’t care about mount farming). This led into unlocking the rest… and in about an hour and some change, Syn and I had all but two of the total ponies.

There’s a certain sort of fun in obliterating old Primal fights in a 4-man unsynced party, to be honest. Though, I somewhat wished I’d done it on my main… now I really do want to get ponies on her, as well. XD

So far, my favorite for Amon is the Ramuh pony — the colors and the lightning just fits him nicely!

Ramuh
Garuda
Shiva
Titan

Blooming Crafts

The other thing I started this weekend for the first time was growing flowers and learning how to change their colors. I noted that one of the things I wanted to do was get the fancy Blessed tool for Amon’s alchemist. Well, yesterday, I was scanning the list of recipes that alchemists make, and realized there are literally pages of corsages, which require different colors and types of flowers that you grow in the pots in your room/house.

So, I invested in some soil, seeds and flower pots, and got to learning about how that system works. Thankfully, I have plenty of personal rooms between all of my alts for this sort of thing, and flowers grow in 24 hours.

There’s always something new to mess around with in FFXIV, even for me.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Level 50 BLU, Alchemist 70!

I actually hit Level 50 on my BLU on Tuesday night, exactly a week after it was released. Again, I was taking it pretty slow and using the job to clear out many of the old quests that were clogging up my map.

Given the decreasing number of quests to find in the level 40-50 range (Why…? That’s the level range you NEED more quests..!), I gave up on this at about 45 and just began to grind it out in N. Than until I got 50. This wasn’t too hard, and it netted me a rank 10 chocobo, too.

I knew a nerf was coming to the chocobo companion – and it was slightly decreased with last night’s patch. What I didn’t expect was for them to buff the experience up to BLU level on all other jobs. I’ll take that change!

Anyhow, the next thing I needed to do was snag the skill Glower in order to unlock my level 50 job quest. Amoon had been running Aurum Vale unsynced with Syn a few times before this in order to work on capping it, but with no luck. We go in together, and get it on the first try.

And then, last night’s patch made both Glower and Mind Blast (both skills required to progress) 100% cap rate from now on. Ah, well. That’s fine. I got my skill and new snazzy outfit before it was nerfed. Now it’ll be easier to do for my future BLU, so I’m not complaining.

Looking just a little spooky here…

In other news, I also finished my second Level 70 crafter on my alt — Alchemist. In terms of RP, this was the actual crafting job I’d originally set out to finish on him. So now, that’s done, and he’s kitted out in full Scrip gear.

As you can see from the picture above, I’m going to be picking up my Armorer again for Namazu dailies and pushing that to 70 next. Leatherworker is taking on Moogle dailies in the 50s, and Carpenter is now my dedicated Ixali leveling job – I could really use Byregot’s for my non-specialist jobs.

Another goal I have, though it’s much more loose, is to earn the new Blessed King’s Tool for Amon’s Alchemist. You get this tool from completing the I Made That: Alchemist VI achievement… essentially, craft everything in the book for Alchemist (aside from Master book stuff).

Even though this is just glamour, I think it looks very neat, and fits the theme of my character well.

Blessed Cauldronking’s Alembic – Image Source: Reddit

I’ve been plinking away at this when I have time (which I haven’t with BLU’s release), but it’s a little more difficult to do on Amon since he doesn’t have all of his crafting jobs leveled. There’s a lot of cross-job crafts that go into clearing the log… and while I can often take care of this by crafting components on my main, it would be nice not to have to flip characters when I needed things.

Just something long-term to work towards, I suppose!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: A Somewhat BLU Weekend

Pictured above, an army of BLU chasing down poor Flame Sargent Dalvag for his Loom skill. Was a fun train!

While leveling my BLU wasn’t my only focus this weekend, it was a pretty good bit of my time. I continue to enjoy it, ended up cleaning up nearly all quests in the early zones (yay!), and finished leveling to 44 last night.

I’m still going much slower than the majority of folks, and have only capped 24 of all the skills. But a lucky run of Haukke and Cutter’s Cry netted both Amoon and I with Petrify and Ram’s Voice the first shot. I have no idea how I functioned without Ram’s Voice until now. I’m so spoiled now.

Anyhow, aside from just BLU, I’m still making progress on all of Amon’s crafters. I finally hit 50 on Leatherworker, which means I can pick up Moogle quests again, and start leveling Carpenter with the Ixali quests. Alchemist is almost level 69, so pretty soon, I’ll have it at 70, and can resume Armorer with the Namazu quests.

Our RP alts in the Alchemist outfits. Only leveled it for the glamour… right? Right?

As you can probably tell, my days are just a cycle of crafting beast tribes most the time. Not that I’m complaining about that… without these quests, leveling crafters is a much larger time sink.

Aside from that, still trying to get my footing in the Monastery. Some runs are better than others, and just being week 2, folks are still trying to wrap their head around mechanics. But so far, no full wipes that lead to not completing it. Sadly, no drops, either. I really want that Bard chestpiece!

I did get a nice coat drop from our run of Ghimlyt Dark yesterday which led me to reworking Amon’s main Bard glamour. He’s trying to be all dapper.

Anyhow, I hope to finally get my BLU to 48 soon, so I can join Amoon and Syn on the Aurum Vale runs I’ll need to try and cap Glower. Then we can both try out the Carnival instances and see what those are about.

Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs

MMORPG Social on Mastodon

((I hope folks don’t mind me posting the MMORPG Social banner above – artwork does not belong to me! But it’s really awesome!))

So, every now and then, I would hear about Mastodon. I didn’t know much about it, and while it sounded neat, it had one thing that kept me from jumping in with both feet to try it out — when you sign up for it, you have to join within a specific community.

I’m still not 100% clear on how all that works, but I’ve learned that there’s a reason for this. Unlike other social media that’s run by Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, etc, Mastodon is open source and the individual communities are actually hosted and moderated by people.

Think of it like your buddies running their own Minecraft (or insert your favorite server-based game) server or paying to host a server for just your community. That’s what Mastodon does. It’s much like Twitter in layout and function, but in a smaller, more personalized community.

I really love this idea! But I couldn’t find a community that fit me. Until Belghast posted about the MMORPG Social community last month. I saw that, decided to check it out, and felt pretty much at home as soon as I made my first Toot there. Yes, we Toot.

I’ve been active on the channel for almost a full month now, and I’ve watched it evolve and gain more members. I’d love to see this continue to grow, so I feel like I’m at a point where I can post about this now.

Want to Know More?

If you’re like me, you probably feel like you don’t need another vast and overwhelming social media platform to keep up with. However, part of the reason I was drawn to this community is that it’s more manageable in size. It feels a lot more personalized and I feel like I can get to know people easier because I’m interacting with them on a smaller scale.

If any of this caught your interest, I’ve got some links and resources where you can poke around to learn more.

If you decide to join up, look for me, Aywren! I’ll be sure to follow you!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: BLU Quick Review

There was already a level 50 BLU by the time I woke up in the morning on patch day. That being said, I’ve been taking my time and exploring the new limited job over the past couple nights. It’s pretty much what I expected it to be, and I’m having a good time with it.

I haven’t been trying to level very hard. In fact, I’ve been using the job to clear up old quests in the ARR zones that I left behind on my RP Alt. While I did clean up almost everything from Heavensward through Stormblood, I had tons of quests that I by-passed littering the old maps. I go there often, so I notice this just about every day.

I don’t really plan on leveling other jobs on Amon, so I knew when I heard BLU was starting at level 1, I would be using this job for quest cleanup. The fastest way to level BLU is by killing overworld enemies, and sometimes quests lead you to do just that.

So even though I’ve taken a slower route than optimal, I still hit level 27 last night on the job. I’ve capped about 15 skills (if you include the ones they give out) overall. Most of this was on my own, using this very nifty checklist guide. You can get a copy of it here.

Amoon and I grouped together to cap a handful more last night. And we got Syn to assist us with a Tam Tara run… which luckily net us the skill from the final boss on the first try.

In fact, the skill that took us the longest to get was Flying Sardine. Go figure.

It’s been great to see folks out in the overworld again (even if it comes with a bad apple every now and then). It’s been neat to see all BLU runs of dungeons and primals, too. Though I haven’t taken part of any of those.

In fact, the one complaint I do have about the job is that for one touted to be focused on solo play, a bunch of skills are locked in instances and things that you’d need to farm repeatedly with a group in hopes of getting.

Thankfully, I do have Amoon, who is interested in capping skills, to help. And Syn will usually unsyc stuff with us if we ask… but I don’t want to bother her for every little skill. And then there’s the matter of Extreme Primals, which I actually have never unlocked or run even under normal circumstances. I know that they can be soloed unsynced now, but it’s still a bit of a pain.

On the flip side, the job is a lot of fun, even without all those fancy skills. And it’s very powerful… as can be seen with this one mage who took down The Eyes Have It FATE boss with one cast of Doom.

This is not me. But it’s pretty insane.

Also, this has been a great way of leveling my chocobo companion (which was very much needed on my alt), though a nerf is coming to that next week sadly. And I heard that the Masked Carnival gives a pretty heavy sum of Allied Seals each week, which I will not turn down.

I’m looking forward to continuing to level my BLU this week and clearing up the quests as I go. It’s been a nice change of pace overall. Some folks might still be grouchy about how BLU works, but I feel like it has a lot of room to grow as long as the devs continue to support it on down the line.

Posted in Blogging

Happy 5th Blogiversary!

Five years ago today, I launched the blog that would eventually evolve into this blog.

I always point out in these blogiversary posts that I’ve been blogging a lot longer than 5 years… this just happens to be the longest I’ve kept a particular blog going like this. And I tend to mention that this blog started out under another name, evolved and was rebranded.

So as to not break the ritual… there, I’ve said those things. I wonder if there will be a year when I don’t feel the need to point that out anymore. 🙂

So, last year. Last year, I didn’t blog nearly as consistently as I would have liked. Early in the year, I got caught up in the inspiration of making my own horse coats for Second Life avatars. I blogged a bit about that, but kept most of the content on another blog.

Then, later in the summer, my inspiration turned towards a new RP story/character for FFXIV, which took time away from this blog since I was writing fiction again. I wasn’t sure how much people here wanted to listen to me re-tread ground on an alt character, but when folks said it was all good and well, I picked up blogging here a bit more consistently again.

I foresee 2019 being a good year for this blog. Not only do we have a lot of big releases for FFXIV on down the line, but an expansion coming later this year. Expansion years for FFXIV tend to be ones that bring a good deal of traffic to this site, and they give me lots to talk about. So I’m looking forward to that.

This is also a year in which I’m working on consolidating projects and blogs. I tend to go through phases where I branch out in my interests, putting all of my projects on different sites. Then, suddenly, they feel too disconnected, and I want to reel them all back in again.

I’ve been in the second phase lately, where I feel like I want to pull my old fiction writing up under the umbrella of my main domain at Sygnus.org. So I’ve been transferring one of my oldest pieces, Darkstar, to that blog, which requires a good bit of fixing up and internal linking to make work properly. That doesn’t really effect anything on this blog, but it’s just a mindset I’ve found myself in lately. We’ll see where it leads.

Anyhow, 5 years! What a ride! Thanks for joining me on this journey! 🙂

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Level 70 Samurai and Turning BLU

Today, FFXIV released its first (and hopefully not last) Limited Job – the Blue Mage. But! Before I get into all that, I wanted to note that along with the raiding progress I made this past weekend, I also finally finished leveling my main’s SAM to 70.

Ding 70!

This leaves me with exactly one more melee DPS job to get to 70 — my Ninja. Aside from that, I have Astro, Warrior and Dark Knight all sitting at level 50. It’s a 2019 goal to get them all to at least 60 before the year is out. But with a new expansion coming, the closer I can get them to 70, the better.

This is all rather slow going seeing most of this leveling is daily beast tribes. For one thing, I’m not confident with any of these jobs to take them into Alliance raids. I’m not a tank or healer at heart. I suppose I could spam PotD or squad runs to get to 60 pretty quickly… but I also have a lot of other things wanting my attention.

Such as the release of Blue Mage today!

I can’t tell you a whole lot about it since I spent all of 5 mins as a BLU this morning before I left for work. Mostly, I got through the first set of intro quests, which were as amusing as I hoped they be.

They do kit you out in level 1 gear, hand you a Blue Mage spell book (just UI for where you collect your skills) and give you your first spell. But that seems to be about it.

I was already hearing folks shouting “LFG – Final Sting party!” and things like that. This should be interesting!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Orbonne Monastery Clears

I started last week out in FFXIV just a few points shy of the 365 ilvl required to enter the new 24-man raid, the Orbonne Monastery. Somehow, I ended up not just earning the ilvl to run the raid, but clearing it on both my main and my RP alt (who is now higher ilvl than my main… go figure).

After hearing all the first week horror stories, I came into the raid both times with no expectation of clearing, but merely learning. The first group we got was very solid, and while there were new folks, there were enough people setting out the strats to get us through with only two wipes.

The second time was a lot more rough. I really didn’t expect a clear. It was crazy that Syn and I, who had only run it once, were the ones more or less leading our group of the alliance and teaching folks how to run it. I’ll say that teaching is the best teacher, because I now have a pretty strong grasp of the mechanics of these fights, especially the third boss. And much to my surprise, that alliance pulled it together, even after several wipes and some folks dropping out, and got it done with time to spare.

What’s my opinion on this raid? Well…

Warning: There will be spoilers from here on out!

Continue reading “FFXIV: Orbonne Monastery Clears”
Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Back to the Raids Again

When I rolled and transferred a bunch of characters into a RP setting, the goal was to relax a bit in FFXIV and not worry about progression. I’d do all that kind of content on my main, so there was really no need to duplicate effort. In fact, I’ve tried before in the past and struggled to maintain more than one character at end game.

But of course, that didn’t end up sticking.

For a very long time, I was content with my ilvl 340 gear on Amon, which I got from trading Centurio seals from hunts. Those were pretty easy to get, and they carried me through the Burn, which was as far as story got at that time.

Talking About Ilvl

In fact, it wasn’t until over the holidays when Syn started to poke me to run some of the larger content on Amon. I’d given up on Lighthouse on my main, and had sworn off 24-main raids for the time being, but she kept telling me they weren’t as bad as they were before. So I unlocked them on Amon, and did very casual runs – I’m talking once a week things.

Between that, doing some alliance, running PotD and HoH, Amon began to slowly accumulate Tomes for gear. By the time the new patch dropped, he’d reached ilvl 360 — which is just enough to do the newest dungeon and unlock Expert. So, it was sorta lucky that I did start to run stuff or he’d be locked out of the newest content completely.

However, that’s not enough to run the new 24-man raid. I was successful in nudging my main up to ilvl 365 upon finishing the MSQ, however, Amon is going to be held back by his ilvl 340 weapon. This was part of the reason I was working on HoH — to get a better weapon. But the truth is, there are faster ways of doing the same thing.

Fluff Gating

I told Syn not long ago that if they want me to run raid content, they need to give me something that I really want to make that happen. Gear upgrades are nice, but give me fluff and then you have my attention. Someone must have heard me because they dangled a pretty hefty carrot this time around.

The new hairstyle requires completing the new 24-man raid. And they added new housing items – Level Checker – that requires Deltascape Crystalliods (automatically won each time you beat 4.0). I really want a bunch of Level Checkers for some of the housing ideas I have. And while they are tradeable/sellable, Exdeath isn’t too bad a fight — it was one of the few parts of the raid I ran several times back when it was new.

So these things all worked to finally break down the wall of “I’m not ever planning to run Omega on my RP alt” that I kept touting.

Spoils of the Raid: Level Checker and Exdeath minion

So, last night I rush unlocked Deltascape, and with Syn’s help, cleared all the fights. Now there’s a few of these fights that I’ve not done since I cleared them back when they were new. I’m not a fan of a number of Deltascape bosses (aside from Exdeath). But despite having a number of other new folks in each, and me having to take raid cues from Syn over voice chat, we did just fine.

In the end, I even rolled a 99 on the Exdeath minion (so rare for me to do!) and got my first Level Checker — will go back to get a few more, but it’s a start. I’m just a tiny bit grumbly that I’m “tricked” into raiding again, but I guess the rewards are worth it. And once I get the weapon from the Kefka Crystalloids, Amon will be much closer to the gear level I need for the next raids.

You’ve won this round, S/E.