Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

May 2019 Gaming Goals in Review

Another month has passed, and I’m not sure if I’m glad or sad to see it go. We’re getting ever closer to the Shadowbringers early access, coming the end of June. So there’s that!

Anyhow, I’ve buckled down and managed to finish up quite a few of my goals this past month. Here’s how it went!

FFXIV Goals

Aywren

  • Finish Job quests  (MCH, WHM)
  • Level Astro to 60 
  • Level Warrior 

I really wanted to get more job quests done this month, but it just didn’t happen. I got Machinist and White Mage finished up, and started working on Samurai quests. I also made an effort to keep up with my Astro and Dark Knight quests. But there are still way too many job quests I haven’t completed still.

Leveling is going well, however! Not only did I hit 60 on Astro, I’ve been slowly leveling off of beast tribe quests beyond that. I hit 65 last night!

Also using beast tribes, I got Warrior to 53, which unlocked Sohm Al with squads (the level 50 dungeons I heard weren’t worth the pain). I also pushed Dark Knight to 53 for the same reason. So now both of my tanks are in a position to push squad dungeons to 60, which is my major goal for this year. It also puts them on par with the new tank, so they can all share gear while leveling.

With the number of events happening in June, though, we’ll see if I can get a tank to 60 before the expansion.

Amon

  • Level Blacksmith to 70 

Not much to say here that I haven’t already somewhere else. I finished Amon’s Blacksmith, and that put all of my crafters and gatherers at 70 for him. In the meantime, I’ve been working on ranking up with the non-crafting Stormblood beast tribes.

Mocho (Very casual goals)

  • Level SAM to 60 
  • Unlock PAL 
  • Work on MSQ

I made good progress on Mocho last month. I got SAM to 60, and unlocked his PAL job. I’ve not spent a lot of time leveling PAL since I got it – maybe a good idea seeing how many tank changes are coming in, and I’m going to need to relearn what little I did know about tanking.

I did drop the “Work on MSQ” goal, however, because I decided it makes more sense to use MSQ to level PAL once I get the job to 50. So, I scratched the goal for this month.

And really, that’s about it. I set some pretty loose goals, mostly trying to tie up loose ends, and was pleased with the progress I made in leveling. With the Moogle Treasure and Make it Rain event in FFXIV, I can see a lot of my time taken up by farming and doing events next month. But anything that can keep me busy until Shadowbringers is a good thing, right?

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Moogle Treasure Trove Farming Begins!

Today marks the beginning of the first ever Moogle Treasure Trove event. This is something I’ve been looking forward to ever since I saw it datamined on Reddit.

Basically, certain instances have been flagged to drop Irregular Tomestones. These are things such as low level dungeons, the Crystal Tower raids, and MSQ roulette. Note: it’s been confirmed that squad dungeon runs do count!

You take the tomes to Itinerant Moogles in the three main cities and trade them for stuff. Much of this is fluff, but there are interesting items such as mount speed boosts, orchestrion rolls and Triple Triad cards. You can see a list of trade-in items on the page I linked above.

There are actually a number of items on the list that I wouldn’t mind having. But the big thing for me is that Pegasus mount. Previously, you could only get a hold of it from tokens in the Diadem. I was never able to do anywhere near as much Diadem as it would take, but that mount has always been on the wish list for me.

This mount costs 50 tomes, and I want it on both my main and on Amon. So that means I need to farm up at least 100 tomes total.

Thankfully, Syrcus Tower drops 2 tomes each run. I know from experience farming glamour drops that it’s usually the least painful of the Crystal Tower raids to run. Generally, a decent ST run takes about 20 mins to complete, and while wipes can happen, it’s pretty rare.

Seeing that DPS doesn’t usually have a bad queue for alliance raids, and others are going to likely be farming alliance as well, I see this as the least painful way of farming the tomes in general. It helps that ST is one of the few raids I really don’t mind running, too — I did it a total of 23 times just to get Amon’s glamour gear.

I’m also looking forward to having a minor goal to work towards and keep my mind off of wishing the expansion would drop faster. After all the media releases yesterday, I’m quite stoked to jump in and see what Shadowbringers is all about.

I’m still working on my monthly leveling goals, but working towards a mount I’ve wanted for years by farming a raid I enjoy should be fun.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Shadowbringer’s Farewell to Job Quests

Don’t be fooled by the title above – I’m still not anywhere near close to being done with all the job quests for Stormblood. No, what this post is referencing is the fact that come Shadowbringers, job quests as we’ve known them will become a thing of the past.

I’m a bit torn on how I feel about this…

Job Quests of the Past

When ARR launched, each job got a quest every 5 levels. These quests served several purposes – to introduce the player to the lore of the world, to understand their job’s place in this lore, to earn sparkly new skills, and eventually, to earn the first set of artifact gear. I remember looking forward to hitting 45, and then 50, just to be able to unlock these quests and get my gear.

In Heavensward, we saw job quests every 2 levels. These quests further expanded on understanding your job’s lore, or sometimes introduced key NPCs and side story lines. They also gave important skills that you really needed for your rotation.

In Stormblood, we started to see the idea of job quests diminish. Unlike HW, where we got quests every 2 levels, jobs only got 5 quests in total. The quests no longer gave out important skills along the way — only the final level 70 quest had anything of note, giving both a skill and a coffer of artifact gear.

That didn’t mean the quality of the stories lessened in any way. I feel that the writing was still just as consistent even if the rewards were not. But not rewarding skills led me to skip the quests completely while leveling, since I could just spam my way through Alliance Roulette, which always capped at level 60 at the most.

I’m not sure if the team just noticed that players didn’t do their job quests as much in HW, which meant they were missing important skills they need to get things done. So, instead, they just handed out the skills while leveling to make sure everyone had what they needed while leveling.

That’s just a guess.

Job Quests in Shadowbringers

That brings us to the place we’re in now – Shadowbringers has done away with job quests while leveling from 70-80, aside from the final level 80 job quest. Instead, we’re getting a series of role quests.

It seems that a lot of things in FFXIV are shifting away from the job mindset to the role mindset. We saw this with Dancer, which became a physical ranged DPS rather than a healer because the team identified that role had a lack of jobs to choose from compared to other roles.

These role quests will allow you to better understand the story of the Warrior of Darkness and his companions from the First that we met earlier in the MSQ. While you can run all of the quests, you’re only required to run one set to complete the MSQ.

My Thoughts

On one hand, being a story-oriented player, I’m a little sad to see job quests vanish. I’m glad that we’re getting something to take its place, however, rather than just completely remove the concept.

On the other hand, even I’m guilty of not having finished the job quests from Stormblood. So, even if I do enjoy them when I do them, they’ve languished on my goals list for a very long time.

There are just so many jobs now with so many quests – especially if you start adding up all the crafting and gathering. It gets a little overwhelming to keep up with if you fall behind in any way!

Keeping that in mind, I can only imagine the man hours and time that goes into writing and scripting and implementing job quests for every single job in the game – and then seeing new jobs being added each expansion as we have. From a development standpoint, I wonder if job quests became something that just wasn’t feasible to maintain as the number of jobs continue to rise.

This makes sense, then, that the team save the time spent on individual job quests and tell the more important and focused story through role quests. Sure, we’ll lose out on individual stories like the Dark Knight level 50 quest… or maybe a more focused approach will actually increase the quality of the quests we do get.

I’m quite curious about what they’re going to do with leveling crafters and gatherers now, too. I wonder if maybe the leve quest system has also been reconsidered – I’m kinda hoping so. Grinding leves for crafting was never my idea of a good time.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: When Quests Mess With My Head

I’ve always been a fan of stories that put a psychological twist to them. It doesn’t have to be horror, per say, but just something that jolts you awake, and leaves you feeling thoughtfully uneasy.

There’s a tone associated with the majority of the quests in FFXIV – somewhat fluffy and feel-good. There’s a few tragic moments where characters die, and there are moments of plot tension, though that’s mostly reserved for the MSQ. But usually, with event and job quests, with a few exceptions, you know things are going to be okay.

I’ve been going through dutifully trying to finish up leveling jobs and clearing out job quests lately. Dark Knight has been my final job, and I admit I had not been paying a whole lot of attention to the quest line for it. It seemed like the typical dark-side wants to consume you type of story, complete with an edgy mentor, Fray, whom I didn’t always agree with.

So, this weekend, I realized I was level 51 and had never finished up the level 50 quest for Dark Knight. I had no idea how much this job quest was about to mess with my head. …and I loved it!

I don’t know who wrote the quest, but dang, they must have been in touch with the writer of the Edda quests. Or maybe it’s the same writer.

All I know is that I went into this thinking I was just going to be cleaning up my last job quest for Dark Knight and walked out of it completely thrown for a loop and invested.

There’s been a number of fantasy quests over the years that try to make you feel like you’re at the edge of losing control to a powerful, dark force. They try to instill a feeling of unease, as if any moment, you could be consumed. Up until the last quest, this series felt like that typical trope.

Then, suddenly, everything you thought you’d experienced was twisted around, and you find out none of your point of view was accurate. And wow, yeah. Now that gave me an unsettling feeling, like I’d lost control of my own perception, and was really at a risk of being consumed by this void.

Well done, writing team! I’d love to see more like this in the future.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Shadowbringers Benchmark & My New PC

So, not only did last night’s FFXIV Live Letter drop a bunch of bombs about how battle and classes are going to change, but the very last thing announced was that finally, the Shadowbringers Benchmark is here!

Even if you don’t have a sub or a copy of the game, you can install the benchmark and play around with character creation for all races, including the new Viera and Hrothgar. You can also put your PC to the test to see how well it will run Shadowbringers once the expansion launches.

This was very timely because I had just buttoned up my brand new gaming rig last night! Below is not the best picture, but it does show how much LED and rainbow is on my mother board now. I’m a bit behind on the times, so I didn’t expect my RAM to actually double rainbow like that.

So, a little over two weeks ago, I wrote about how I had a power supply I needed to return to Newegg. It had taken a beating during shipping and I wasn’t going to take a chance with it in a new computer… especially for the cost of the power supply.

While Newegg did me right with the return and got a new one back to me, the process took about two weeks, and that put my PC building on hold. In hindsight, it would have been faster just to ask for a refund, go to Amazon and have them Prime me the same item for just a little bit more (it was on sale at Newegg).

But I stuck it out and waited for the replacement instead. No one really knew for sure that the Benchmark was going to be announced last night, so it was just fluke that I popped the video card in and the machine was ready to test on the same day!

I have to say that going from mechanical to SSD bootup hard drive is sooooo amazing. I still have a large mechanical as my document and storage drive, but Syn got me this crazy little chip looking SSD as my main (for my birthday present).

This thing just slid in a little slot on my mother board and I was like… wow! I didn’t know they made hard drives with such a tiny form factor! I was really impressed. The new rig boots up and shuts down almost instantly!

With my old machine, I’d turn it on, go and feed the cats, get my breakfast, then sit down and still need to wait for it to load up desktop icons and shake off the cobwebs before I could open even an Internet browser. It’s crazy the difference this makes.

So, this long holiday weekend, I’ll be tweaking the machine and getting it where I want it to be — you always find some program you forgot to install for a while after building a new one! Also, Syn just upgraded her video card on her own machine, so I may be inheriting her Zotac GTX 1080 soon. The Fury I have in this machine is perfectly fine, but hey… I’ll take an upgrade anyday!

Sadly, because the Benchmark was released 10 PM last night, I only had enough time to run through it once. I didn’t have much time to look at the new character creator. Given that I do plan on rolling a Viera, and maybe a Machinist Viera (seeing the changes they’re making to the job), I do want to fiddle with that this weekend!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Meeting Major Goals

I feel like I should make a bigger deal of this than I’m going to since I finally finished some goals that have been a long time coming. One of them is even a goal I set for my yearly gaming achievement.

It felt like pulling teeth, but last night, I finally finished leveling Astro to 60. I got to the point where running the Vault with squads was the best solo option. I even did it… once. It’s certainly not the cakewalk the lower level squad dungeons are, but it’s not impossible, either.

No matter, I just didn’t feel up to running Vault (a dungeon that’s not my favorite by any means) the number of times it would take to get me from 57 to 60. So, I did the actual best thing – I called on Syn to be my co-healer and pushed the rest of the way using Alliance roulettes.

Whenever I heal actual content, I’m reminded that while I’m not a terrible healer, there’s a lot I don’t know about the game from a healing perspective. Astro is not a good fit for me when it comes to healing as I either focus on healing or focus too much on cards… and one or the other suffers.

However, I got it done! Now, I’ll proceed towards 70 on beast tribe quests and regular quest clean up… cuz there’s no way I’m running the level 60 alliance raids on a healer. XD

I can also finally start focusing on the next job in line – Warrior. Unlike healing, I really don’t have the courage to try to tank these raids. I know it’s probably not terribly hard, but I’ll stick to squads and beast tribe quests for now.

God of the Hand

Not such a great title for a pretty great achievement.

I also finished leveling my final crafting job on my alt. So, every crafting/gathering job is at 70 and fully kitted out in scrip gear. What started out as me just messing around with gathering and crafting on an RP alt turned into full-on leveling a second omni-crafter.

It took me a bit over half a year to complete, once I got to seriously working on the progression. With an expansion just around the corner, the level cap is going to rise again, but I don’t really plan on rushing into it on this character. I’ll probably level my gatherers, but I tend to wait for the crafting beast tribe quests to make my way up the level ladder. I’m just not a fan of leves.

Maybe with the Ishgard reconstruction feature coming there might be more to do to level crafters and gatherers this time around. That would be very nice!

For now, I have a few other things I want to work on with Amon – namely Hildibrand quests and ranking up with non-crafting beast tribes. Using up all my daily beast tribe quests for crafting means I did almost nothing with the other tribes, and that’s something I want to remedy. There’s too many nice emotes, mounts and dances I still want to get for him!

I’m certainly not at a loss for things to work on until Shadowbringers, that’s for sure!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV Housing: Recreation Room

This isn’t actually a new-new room for our FC house, but one I just put some final touches on, making it ready to post about. I still think there can be some additional wall decor added, but I’m holding off to see what the new expansion releases for housing before investing a whole lot more.

Here we have a rec room – there’s an attended spa to get you in a chill mood. 

Lots of reading nooks, including one under the loft. 

Up top, is a couch perfect for arts and crafts, a musical moogle and a peaceful little aquarium. 

There’s also a cushioned window nook and an art corner with another aquarium for inspiration. 

A number of of comfy napping spots and cushions are included for your enjoyment. 

If you’re on the Crystal Data Center, you can visit this and any of our other themed rooms here: Mateus – Shirogane – Ward 14, Lot 14.

If you stop in, please let us know in our Guestbook – located on the counter of our main room right near the front door. We appreciate the Likes and the comments!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Meeting Minor Goals

I don’t talk a whole lot about my side RP alts, but I did set a few minor goals for one this month. I had two things in mind for my Lala Mocho – I wanted to finish leveling his SAM to 60 and to finally unlock PAL (which is supposed to be his main job when it comes to the RP story I’m writing).

I’ve been running alliance roulette with his SAM the past weeks, and finally hit 60 over the weekend. Pictured above, the white-bought level 60 gear… since Mocho has not completed enough MSQ to get to Idllyshire and buy tome gear.

After that, I switched goals to running squad dungeons to get him to 30 on his Gladiator. That… was a lot of Toto-Rak. The worst part of it was that my squad healer couldn’t keep him alive from time to time, even though she was above level 50, and I was not speed running the dungeon. Not sure what’s up with Squad AI lately, but I don’t remember having this many wipes on my other tank jobs.

Finally, I pushed through leveling, the lvl 30 Gladiator job quest, and unlocking Paladin. I’m holding back getting through MSQ (he’s stuck in ARR 2.1 stuff) until I get his PAL to 50, so it’s going to be slow going for a while. But the big goals for this month are complete!

Posted in IRL

Birthday Sea Monkeys and Building a New Gaming PC

Please excuse this very IRL post today – it is, indeed, my birthday!

And while I got sensible gifts, such as a Nintendo Eshop card and a nice SSD for the new PC I’m building (more on that later), I got one thing quite unexpected as well – Sea Monkeys.

As a kid, I always wanted to have Sea Monkeys, but never did. Yeah, I know they aren’t the whimsical little creatures depicted on the outside of the box…

I know they can’t be trained as the above ad tries to sell. But I still was interested in seeing what it was like to raise them.

I stuck a cheap set on my Amazon wish list years ago, and it languished at the bottom. I think my friends and family considered it a joke, and never looked twice at it. Well, until a little bit back when I half-jokingly noted – maybe it was around last Christmas? – that they’ve been on my list for years an no one ever gets them for me.

Well, Xaa took it that to heart and now I have Sea Monkeys of my very own!

The picture above was day 1, when you fill the little tank and add water purifier. Then you have to wait 24 hours before adding in the actual eggs. I had no idea how long my sea monkey pack had been in some Amazon warehouse, so I didn’t have too high hopes in seeing anything hatch.

But sure enough, that very night, I saw first one… then two… then three! Tiny, tiny white wiggly swimming things! My Sea Monkeys were alive!

Last night marked a full day of the eggs being exposed to water, and there’s a whole slew of them swimming now. Some are a tad easier to see than the first day, and from what I can see, they seem to be thriving. They’re still too tiny to try an take a picture of, though. I’m not supposed to feed them until Day 5, so I’m just observing them from time to time and giving them plenty of light from my desk lamp (which seems to excite them).

I’ll keep you updated!

Building PC Bummer

So, the time has finally come. It’s been over 6 years since I built the gaming PC I own now. And while it runs just fine, and the only thing I’ve needed to do was replace the CPU fan and upgrade the video card, it’s starting to feel its age. It’s still running Windows 7, for example.

So, I decided with my tax return, this year I was going to invest in the parts to build a new gaming rig. Over the weekend, Syn and I did some shopping, and between NewEgg and Amazon, I bought a new everything (except video card, I’m transferring my existing one). I backed up all important files, and waited for my parts to arrive.

Yesterday, the last shipment from NewEgg came in, and I decided to go ahead and start putting a few things together. It’s hard to resist with all those boxes sitting there waiting to be opened!

The start of my new gaming PC

I got the processor, CPU fan and motherboard all set up in the case, and figured out where all those tiny power plugs for the front case panel go. Then, I went to install the power supply.

That’s where I hit a snag.

I got a pretty beefy power supply this time around, and I was rather surprised at the size of the box it came in. Pulling it out, I took note that the bottom corner of the box was dented in – like it had been dropped. It looked a bit serious, but when I opened the power supply itself, it seemed like the inside was well cushioned, so I didn’t worry much.

I installed the supply, and it was only when I went to start plugging in the cables that I noticed the damage. It was subtle, but there – the corner was dinged, and the top of the power supply was bowed upward from whatever force had hit it. A bent power supply… is not something I’m willing to risk, especially when it cost over $120.

SO. I put in for a return and will be sending it back today.

I’ve never needed to return something to NewEgg before, so I hope it’s as painless as Amazon. The sad thing is, I asked for a replacement without realizing it’s going to take 2-5 days for them to process and then another 3 or so days of shipping for me to get the replacement. Which means my new computer building is on hold, maybe for a week and a half, until it comes in.

Kinda a bummer. If I’d known about the process time, I would have asked for a refund and just ordered one from Amazon and had it by Saturday. But it is what it is, and I can wait.