Posted in Fiddle Resources and Tools

Buying a Cheap Violin

Note: Looking back in retrospect, I must say that buying a cheap Ebay violin was not the best way to start out. Not only did I just end up putting additional money into trying to improve the quality by changing out components, but the lower quality violin hindered my ability to practice and learn. I recognized the setbacks early on and ended up replacing it with a better quality violin by the third week. I’m leaving this series of posts on my cheap violin experience because it was an honest start to my journey, which I want to provide – both good and bad!

The first step on my musical journey was to actually buy a fiddle. I watched a number of videos about buying violins and what kind of quality to get, etc. etc. But in my case, I really didn’t want to put a ton of money into an instrument when I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to play it. It also sounds like musicians upgrade their violins for better quality instruments over time.

Interestingly, this was before the holidays, so Ebay had a blanket 10% off any order at the time. After a little looking, I decided on a Glarry 4/4 violin fiddle set. I did look it up, and the instrument got fairly okay ratings. Not the best, but considering I paid about $37 for the whole kit – instrument, bow, case, tuner, a set of strings, shoulder rest and rosin – I thought this was a decent deal.

I know the quality is not top notch, but for what I wanted – a beginner instrument – it does the trick! Thankfully, I found a video series that went into detail about how to set up a new violin… because little did I know the instrument would need some tweaks before it was ready to play! More on that next time!

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.