Posted in Gaming

April 2019 Game Goals in Review

April has really flown by this year, and we’re now on the edge, peering towards the summertime (at least where I’m at). I actually did a pretty good job overall with reaching most of my goals. So, let’s take a look!

FFXIV: Main Character

  • Level Astro 
  • Level Ninja 
  • Finish Job Quests (PAL)
  • Finish Hildibrand Quests 

My main is looking good this month! I finished leveling my Ninja to 70 this weekend (woot!), and have moved Astro up to 57. My ultimate goal for Astro is 60, so I’m getting closer. Just a whole lot of squad Vault runs to make it happen.

Getting Closer!

I did finish one set of job quests – Paladin – this month. And I started Machinist quests, as well as picked up White Mage quests. I still have so much to complete in this area. I’m going to really need to buckle down on this next month. I want these done before Shadowbringers drops.

AND. I mostly happily caught up on all the Hildibrand quests, finally. I’d been behind since Heavensward, and that’s a true shame. But, that’s been taken care of, and it was a lot of fun to finish.


  • Level Goldsmith to 70 
  • Level Weaver to 60+  
  • Level Blacksmith to 50+ 
  • Work on progress towards “I Made That VI” for Alchemist  

I finished leveling Goldsmith and Weaver to 70 this month. I only have one crafting job to complete now, and that’s Blacksmith. I’ve been working pretty consistently on getting all of this done, as you can see!

I also surprised myself by finishing the “I Made That VI” goal for his Alchemist and getting his super shiny tool. Must repost that gif for this achievement!

Now I’m only doing daily Namazu quests for his Blacksmith, and I feel like I’ve pretty much got him set for Shadowbringers. Maybe it’s time to concentrate on another alt?

Nintendo Switch

  • Earn another badge in Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu

Sadly, I didn’t touch this game this month. I really thought about it a few times, but never got around to playing it. I’ll try again next month! I need to get back into my Switch because I have a pretty sizeable backlog here! (I always say that…)

How did April treat you this year?

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Adventures in Housing Relocation

When S/E released the new Data Center for the NA servers, they also provided free server transfers. This was to allow people a chance to choose where they wanted their characters to be, especially after some servers that were previously connected by a DC were separated.

That, along with the reinstatement of housing demolition, has opened up new housing on every server – though, some more than others. I heard that the Aether DC still hardly had any housing, while some smaller servers on Crystal had 100+ (mostly small) houses to choose from each.

Considering the Move

On my server, it’s been a crowded rush to grab a place. And really, it’d not crossed my mind to move from my plot at all… until this weekend. I mean, the lot in the Goblet I managed to secure was my original home in 2015.

But you know… it’s 2019. And while I’m thankful to have a house at all given the housing environment of Mateus, I really haven’t been all that inspired to mull over a theme and decorate it. Which is a shame.

I started seeing all sorts of folks posting about their new dream houses and the lots they won and things like that. And even though I appreciate my spot in the Goblet, it inched into my head that maybe it’s time for something different.

We already have a FC house in Shirogane, which I love. But I have my fill of decorating a Shiro house and really wanted something different. I’ve never been much of a Limsa person, though the Mist is lovely – I’d have to have beachfront property there or nothing. So that just left hunting a house in the Beds. Much of my RP lately has been focused on the Shroud, so this just seemed like the natural place to be.

Once I’d gotten that in my head, it was time to try to make it a reality.

The House Hunt

Usually, there were about 2-4 houses sprinkled across the Beds at any given time. I’d seen upwards of about 8 in the Goblet once, and even 6 open in Shirogane on a Saturday night!

Most houses were heavily camped by the time I was aware of them. I’d scout out a place, see how many people were there, determine if this is the really-really spot for me… and usually walk away. I even passed up my old spot on the Shiro beach (for above mentioned reason).

You see, since I already own a house, as long as I have the gil to purchase the lot, I can walk up to any open place and just relocate my house to it. Which means… those other people who had been waiting on the stupid housing timer to drop were just out of luck.

And that sucks.

I hate that this is how the system works. It’s one of the most flawed things in FFXIV.

But at the same time, I did my time clicking the housing sign for hours to get my own place back in the day. Relocation is a part of the game, and perfectly legit to do if you already own a house. It just sucks for people who don’t have one yet, but I’ve also been there and done that myself.

So, knowing this, I tried to go about this in a way that was going to disappoint the least amount of people. That’s still a sad choice to have to make.

I popped by several houses over the weekend, until one lot – #7 in the Beds – opened up on Saturday night. I went there and realized it was one of the waterfall-side lots. It has a wonderful view of the lake, and is probably one of the more coveted houses in the neighborhood (though I think that Medium house just up from it is my dream spot).

Waterfall View from the Front Yard

There were two issues with it: 1- there was a huge crowd of people already camping it 2- the neighbors had dubious taste in decor. Namely, there was a moogle house to the right, a chocobo house to the front and a piassa house staring down from the hill above.

I thought about it a while, then let it go.

Housing Get

I’d almost convinced myself to just wait for everything to calm down by Sunday afternoon. Eventually, I’d find something that was to my liking, right? No need to rush.

But curiosity got me and I checked the neighborhoods again. Only to see that Lot #7 in a different ward had opened up. Thinking it was mid-Sunday and there was little chance in it not being massively camped, I popped over to look at it.

Not only were the neighbors nicely decorated here, but there were only two people camping the house. I thought about it for a bit. Then I nervously walked up to the placard, typed out an apology, and claimed it for my own.

It really was bittersweet knowing I got the house I wanted, but other people lost out on it. There were only two, both in the same FC. And they were actually very nice about the situation. They congratulated me on getting a lovely view and I told them where my previous plot had been in hopes they could get their foot in the housing door.

My old plot is often overlooked because it’s in the back of the housing area and not traveled very much. That was likely part of the reason I won it to begin with. So hopefully they have a chance.

I felt pretty bad about what I had to do to get that house. And it really speaks to a crummy experience that I in no way support when it comes to a housing system. At least these two people were very good sports about it – I apologized and thanked them and wished them well.

So, I spent the evening gathering and crafting exterior pieces for my new Gridanian style house. I hadn’t fully decorated it when I took the above pics, so it looks different now, but I’m very pleased with the move.

I’m still considering what kind of theme I’d like to create for it on the inside. I do feel a lot more inspired after the move to greener lands to work on decorating it. I’ll certainly write about it when I make some progress!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: The World Visit Feature is Live

A completely unrelated picture of Zeb and Tai sparring above… because I haven’t posted Zeb and Tai for quite a while here!

Earlier this week, FFXIV did two major things – it added the new NA Data Center, Crystal, and it introduced the World Visit feature all on the same day. Originally, they weren’t going to open the World Visit feature until the new expansion, but decided it was a wise idea to do it beforehand and test it. I think this was probably a good move.

Welcome to Crystal

My server, Mateus, was moved to the new DC, Crystal, along with Balmung and a number of lower-to-mid pop servers. I believe the idea here is that Balmung and Mateus are identified as the unofficial RP servers for NA, so they were grouped together. They’re also larger pop servers, and can help to balance out the rest of the servers across the DC as a whole.

This caused a bit of a panic among raiders who quickly pre-determined that since the unoffical raiding servers were staying on Aether and Primal, that the skill level of Crystal was about to tank. Because people who RP can’t raid, I guess.

So, a number of statics and raiders chose to jump ship from Crystal. Whether this is an accurate assessment or not, I can’t say. I’m not a savage raider, so this really doesn’t concern me one whit. I just want to log in and do my Alliance runs as painlessly as possible.

It’s only been a few days since the split, so we’ve not really had enough time to sample a large variety of content. We haven’t really seen terrible queue times – as some people predicted – on our runs. We also haven’t seen the massive wipes and rock-bottom skill level people proclaimed would happen by mixing up the servers.

Honestly, roulette was always a roll of the dice in quality, and that hasn’t changed. We’ve had super smooth runs. We’ve had challenging runs. If anything can be noted, it seems as if the overall attitudes of people on Crystal are a bit more pleasant and less go-go-go-go-go! oriented, which is fine with me.

Still giving this some time before I pin down an opinion. But so far, the sky isn’t falling.

World Visiting

The World Visit system is something I’ve been waiting for. Being an RPer and writer, I’ve met folks from many servers with whom I’d love to connect. Most of those people ended up on the Crystal DC, which means I can pop over to their server, friend them, run content, see their house, and generally just socialize when I want.

There were a few glitches in the release that caused emergency maintenance the first night, but overall, it’s been a lot smoother (for me) than I expected. The first night was pretty colorful as people explored across server lines – Ul’dah in Mateus is usually loud, but with additional personalities added to it… well.

When you choose to visit another world from the main aetheryte, this is the window you get.

Sadly, I have heard that people flooded Balmung, and not all for savory reasons. The server is known for… animated… Ul’dah chat, and apparently, not all visitors were there to be polite. Hopefully this kind of behavior will be put in its place as the newness of the system wears off.

Aside from that… World Visit is fantastic for shopping and getting a great deal!

Actually, that’s pretty much all I’ve used World Visit for (with the exception of meeting a few folks in my own world). Combined with the Mogboard website, I’ve been sniffing out deals across the DC. Much of this is glamour and housing items, which are always heavily inflated on Mateus.

In fact, I started decorating yet another themed personal room in our FC because I’m saving so much money picking up odds-n-ends right now. Sometimes, I’d just browse the boards on other servers and make a few impulse buys… which is not something I normally do.

How to World Visit?

World Visit is pretty easy. There’s an option to start a world visit at the main aetheryte in any of the three cities – Gridania, Ul’dah or Limsa. I confirmed this option isn’t available in Kugane, so I’m guessing it’s just the three starter cities.

Then you select the server you want to hop to. Most the time, you get the queue -DING!- right away. But every now and then, you have to wait your turn, especially for busy servers. This looks and sounds just like the duty finder UI when in progress.


Once you’ve arrived in the new world, you do have a few limitations on things you can do – the screen before that tells what those are. Your FC tag is also replaced by a new tag – Wanderer. Which is pretty neat. It tells you who is not native to your server, and gives you a visual to let you know when you’re away from home.

You can stay in that world and do most basic things you could in your own world. If you log off in the other world, you’ll log back on in it, too. So, aside from some stuff (retainers, linkshells, housing etc), it works pretty much the same as your home world.

So far, it’s been a good system. I see room for improvement, but knowing the FFXIV team, they will build on the foundation of this system as they tend to.

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: FC House Guest Quarters

I’ve continued to make progress on one of my major goals for the year: to work on decorating the houses and rooms my characters own in FFXIV. So far, I’ve decorated our Free Company house, both inside and outside — I’m proud that our guestbook has 75 likes!

Using the space for my characters’ private rooms, I’ve also designed Amon’s Secret Lab, a small Ball Room, and a Recreation Room (I haven’t posted about yet). Over the past weekend, I’ve more or less finished what I call the FC house Guest Quarters.

It’s a place to entertain and house guests who stay the nights (in a RP sense). So it’s basically a glorified guest room. Note these screenshots were taken before Easter, so there are still Hatching-Tide decorations up! 🙂

The main sitting room has a place for light dining…

And a place to relax by the fireplace…

A door leads to the sleeping area…

The beds have screens for a bit of privacy. But they’re not so blocked in as to feel cramped.

The opposite side off the room has another single bed next to a sitting area.

And the upstairs loft features a nice hot tub for the ultimate relaxation!

Our house and personal rooms are all marked as RP areas, and are open for visitation anytime! Mateus – Shirogane Ward 14, Lot 14 – Homewood Cottage!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Yojimbo Barding and Mambo

I hope that everyone who celebrates Easter had a nice one! I had a pleasant 3 day weekend, and spent a bit of time in both FFXIV and Second Life.

The US servers are down today in FFXIV for the great data center split. My server, Mateus, is becoming part of the new Crystal datacenter and is parting ways with the Aether datacenter. We’re also getting free server transfers for a bit, allowing folks to find where they want to make their new home.

I’m not going anywhere. While Mateus can be rowdy in the larger cities, we’ve built too much of a home for me to move again. In fact, I spent a good chunk of time this weekend working on the private rooms of our FC house, giving them an RP theme. I’ll write about that later!

The other thing Syn and I managed to do this weekend was catch up with the Hildibrand quest line. This was one of my monthly goals for April, and I’m very pleased that we got it done after having been an expansion behind on these quests!

It was a fun time, as Hildibrand often is. This expansion also included one trial battle, in a similar vein to those in ARR. I knew this was a thing, but went in to the fight blind. Probably not the best of ideas — it wasn’t a hard fight, but it had a lot of mechanics to be aware of. I died more than I would have liked to…

…But… I miraculously won the roll for the Yojimbo chocobo barding! I didn’t see this coming at all. And felt a little bad about winning it, since I was that one DPS who didn’t perform all that great on the fight.

Ah well.

The other reward, the one I was really gunning for, was the new dance – the Manderville Mambo. If you thought the original Manderville dance couldn’t get any more ridiculous, you were wrong.

And aside from all that, I’ve been knocking out leveling my Ninja (level 67) and doing a bit of work on my Astro (level 57). Getting very close to finishing up these goals for this month.

Considering the servers are down through tomorrow, and we really don’t know if there will be additional down time due to the move, I’m not sure if I’ll hit 70 and 60 on these as I’d like by the end of this month. We’ll see!

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Final Fantasy XV Collaboration Event

Let me start by saying that while I own FFXV for the PC, I’ve not played it yet. The extent of my exposure to this entry in the FF series is a few episodes of the anime, which were actually quite charming in terms of character building.

I wasn’t completely thrilled to learn we’d be getting a FFXIV/FFXV crossover event which includes the Regalia as a car mount. Mostly because… well… a car can be squeezed into the world of Eorzea, but really doesn’t fit. (Neither does the Whisper or Cactuar mount… but yeah…).

However, it’s a free mount. And it’s the game’s first FOUR PERSON mount. So, even though I don’t care for the idea of having a huge car mount in game, I’m not passing up on it for any of my characters.

Turns out the event is actually pretty charming. As someone who knows very little about FFXV, I’m never quite sure what to make of the main character, Noctis. His appearance makes him out to be an angsty young adult type… and he’s a prince, so I expect him to be arrogant or stuck up. However, it seems he’s more of a bro-buddy with a lot of responsibilities on his back.

I don’t know. Can anyone tell me what he’s supposed to be?

Spoilers for the Event Ahead!

Continue reading “FFXIV: Final Fantasy XV Collaboration Event”
Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Crazy Hildibrand

Can you believe this month is already halfway over? There’s not a whole lot of interesting things to discuss from this weekend, but I did want to touch on the progress I’ve made with my goals at the month’s halfway point.

I’ve reached all the baseline goals for my Alt’s crafting progress, so now it’s just a matter of continuing the shorter daily Beast Tribe quests to finish leveling the final two jobs. That’s just measured, steady progress.

Just as I’d hoped, less time spent with Ixali quests has led to more time focusing on making progress on my main’s goals. While I do need a bit more motivation leveling my Astro (she’s lingering at halfway through 56… just not much of a fan of Somh Al with squads), I’ve started to pick up the pace in leveling my Ninja.

One of the other goals I have in the back of my mind is to finish up the Hildibrand quests. I noted before that Syn and I had stopped on the last story arc for these quests back in Heavensward and just never finished up. This was a real shame because I knew that the reward was a Vivi minion – and I’m a big Vivi fan!

Anyhow, yesterday, we picked back up where we left off and completed that line of quests. I got my Vivi minion… and… the end of the storyline was a step up from the previous quests in my mind. I really did enjoy it.

We also dove into the Stormblood series, and are about halfway through it from what I can gauge. The team seems to have gotten back into the stride of things, and I’ve been enjoying this story more than the Heavensward one.

As long as we keep moving forward with these quests, I don’t see why we can have it all complete by the end of this month. I’d love to have that crazy new dance, that’s for sure!

Posted in Fiddle Progress Report

Progress Report: Three Months of Fiddle

Today marks the third month of learning to play violin. I wish I could say this was as successful as my first two months, but, as I wrote before, I’ve had more trouble sticking to daily practice. A lot of this is due to simply being exhausted when coming home from work… so hopefully, as things shift, I’ll have more energy to put back into practice again.

So, as to not concentrate on the bad, I do want to talk about what I made progress on. Since last month, I have practiced up to exercise #117, which is The Banana Boat Song. Song #118 seems a bit difficult to tackle, so for now, I’ve skipped it and moved to the series of technical exercises that start with #119.

These are mostly variation of scales and practices, which are all good for daily revisiting (even if I don’t get anything else done). There’s a whole page of short scales and tunes, so I think I’m going to focus on these on the tired days, if nothing else. Maybe by the time I’ve got some scale practice in, I’ll feel more up to playing something more.

I did start practicing the slur technique this month. Also, I removed one of the tapes from my fingerboard, and really, haven’t had much trouble with that. Still not quite ready to remove the other tape, though!

I also wonder if it’s time to weave something new into my practice. I know that Jim at Fiddling for Older Folks has good things to say about the FiddleHed online lessons. I signed up for a trial account there last month, but something came up that weekend, and I wasn’t really able to explore the lessons or site as much as I’d have liked. I got an email from FiddleHed yesterday that offered a pretty sweet discount for trying my first month (I assume since I haven’t acted on the account in a while), and I think I might just take up that offer.

I’ve heard good things about the site, and a full month access to all of the tutorials would allow me to get a better feel for where I stand in my own progress vs. what the site offers to see if it provides value. Plus, to add a little something different in my practice might spark excitement. I really love my instruction book, but even I know I need to change things up from time to time. So this might just be the perfect thing to lead into a new month of practice!

I’ll keep you posted!

Posted in Second Life

Second Life: My New Water Horse Shop – Featured in SL Video!

I meant to write about this earlier, but it just kept slipping my mind. I talked about how shop owners were testing the Animesh version of the Water Horses in a previous post, and how the sim was going to get a remake.

Well, the Animesh horses released live last weekend, and the Sim remake has also happened. The whole place looks great – major kudos to the Water Horse team for really refreshing the shopping experience! This means I have a new shop location there!

The move happened on a Friday/Saturday a few weeks back, and I was ready for it. I managed to get into the sim pretty quickly when it re-opened for shop owners to choose a spot, and I got a location that I’m quite happy with. It’s far better than the spot I used to have, which was on the backside in an area that folks didn’t travel as much.

Sales have been pretty steady since the Animesh version was released, but the truth is, I really need to sit down and work up some new coats. I have a whole line of Heavenly Bodies that I haven’t fully completed, for example! I have been touching up some of my existing coats – though they say the body textures for the bento should work for the Animesh exactly, I’ve found some issues around the base of the ears I’ve had to fix.

It seems word is getting out about the Water Horse Animesh release, because folks at Second Life put out an official blog post in the featured news about them, including an aesthetics video. I learned about this earlier this week from fellow SL equine artist, Claire at Lunistice, who alerted me to the fact that my shop was included in the official video that went along with the blog post (thank you!).

I went to watch, and sure enough, starting at about 0:21, a guy is standing in my shop, looking out the window. I think they were more attracted to the “Unicorn Xing” sign in my shop, because the video focuses on it for a moment… then pans away to a gal riding a unicorn. So having the sign there helped to mesh the concepts together.

Ironically, when I made the move to the new shop, I almost didn’t put this sign back in. I guess it was a good thing I did!

Anyhow, you can view the full video below:

Unexpected things like this are always neat!

I’d like to spend some more time in Second Life with all the events coming up in that world – Easter is a time for great egg hunts, the Fantasy Faire is in the works, and a Second Life birthday celebration will hit the grid this summer.

Due to some issues with my web host, I ended up shuttering the blog I was using primarily for Second Life stuff earlier this year, and moved the relevant content to this blog instead. So, if I write about the grid, it’ll end up on this blog from now on out.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Building the Realm

Last night, one of my largest goals for this month was met. The major objective I wanted to achieve was to get Amon’s lowest level craft over the level 50 hurdle. This was the last crafter I need to level for him, and most importantly, it means that I get to put away the Ixali quests for good.

Not only did I finish that, but I also leveled his second highest job to 60. This means that this job can move into doing Namazu quests and the level 50 job can start Moogle quests. And that’s all I need to keep doing to finish up all my crafters on that character from here on out!

Almost there!

Again, the biggest part of this is the fact that I don’t have to do Ixali quests anymore. Now, I’m the type of person who can’t sit there and grind crafting leves for faster leveling. So I appreciate that Ixali quests exist.

However, I’ve been doing these quests almost every day for about half a year now as I leveled various crafting jobs from 15 to 50. Unlike Namazu quests, which you can usually complete in an easy 10 mins, Ixali quests are the old skool beast tribes. They can be quick, if you get the kill or fetch quests. But some of them send you to gather nodes.

Or worse… they send you to fish.

The RNG on the Ixali fishing quests is abysmal. There are days I could get the quest done in 5 casts… but that was very rare. There were days I had 20+ casts to get the fish I needed. And the worst one was being sent to fish in the Dragonhead Latrines… not just because you were fishing in latrines, but because this needs 3 fish in total and took more time. I literally groaned every day I got West for Fishing.

In fact, I was so glad to be done with these fishing quests that I deleted the Moth Pupa (the bait you use specifically for these Ixali quests) from my inventory when I hit 50 on my final job. Good riddance!

So, while I’m still not completely done with all the crafters, and there’s still some job quests I need to clean up, the most troublesome part is done. This is the second character I’ve worked to level an omnicrafter to 70 on. I’ve already bought all the yellow scrip gear for all of his jobs, and so end-game gear is waiting for the leveling to catch up.

Certainly won’t have any trouble getting this all done before the expansion comes out. Just in time to add another 10 levels to all the jobs! XD But that’s okay.

This also frees up a bunch of time for me to finally put towards my leveling goals for my main. I just need to stay motivated to keep working on that. Still plenty to do in this game, that’s for sure!