Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Patch 5.3 – Flying is Coming to ARR Zones, ARR MSQ Consolidation

So I woke up to some exciting information from the FFXIV Live Letter today. Namely – flying mounts will be introduced to the original ARR zones! This was something kinda hinted at with folks saying some zone geometry was updated last patch, but amazing and unexpected.

I’m totally on board with this. Here’s what we do know:

So it sounds like after you finish the ARR MSQ, you’ll be able to fly on your company chocobo. It was a real pain to have to go back and do “I Believe I Can Fly” on all my alts, so I won’t miss that quest at all.

This is going to make doing everything in ARR zone a million times easier, and I do approve. Is it rare that a game goes back and enables flying for the original zones? I don’t know…

Also, here’s some information on the consolidation of the ARR MSQ, which we did know was coming to 5.3. Here’s what we know:

While I’m all for smoothing out the MSQ, I do have a few concerns about adding a 24 man raid series as a part of the requirements for MSQ for new players. Granted, Crystal Tower is pretty easy at this point (though lately World of Darkness runs have been rough!).

But I know that when I was a new player, if you told me I’d have to “raid” to move through the story, I might have quit the game right there. For people who don’t understand that the CT raids are quite casual content, just the term “raid” and seeing 24 people will be involved could be anxiety-city for group-shy folks.

Again, there’s really nothing difficult about the CT raids at this point. They’re sometimes even easier than the dungeons you progressed through to get there! But it just might be a breaking point for people who see the word “raid” and think hardcore.

I guess we’ll see how it turns out.

Posted in Fiddle Progress Report

April Fiddle Progress Report

Here’s what’s been going on in the world of fiddle for me since the last progress report.

I feel like I’ve weeded out most of the songs I’m going to from the Tune List. This ended up only being two so far. I reviewed several the past month to see if I felt like the tune difficulty led more to relearning than reviewing, and I hope that the ones left will continue to be good review.

I decided to put more focus on learning to sight read again. So I picked up a subscription to Sight Reading Factory, and I really feel like I’ve been making progress there! This has been a excellent choice, and is something I’ve used just about every day to drill a bit on sight reading.

In celebration of two months of consistent practice, I also picked up a new set of strings. I think they sound better than the old set, but I’m not finding any miraculous sound from them. Probably because I simply don’t have the skill to bring that sound out on the strings. Considering their cost, I think I’ll continue to shop around next time I need a string change.

In terms of songs, I’ve added Amazing Grace, Terry Teehan’s Polka and Rakes of Mallow to the Tune Review since last month. I’ve started Eternal Wind, which I’m in the process of working through still, and just begun with Britches Full of Stitches this week. I seem to be working through songs for about 3-4 weeks before feeling they’re good for the Tune Review list. I certainly haven’t found any that were too easy, but I am taking care that they’re within my skill level before graduating them.

I’ve also remained consistent in my practice since the first of February. This month, I’d like to go back to considering a new chin rest as the reward for continuing to play every day.

I’d also like to finally sit down and put all the remaining songs through ScanScore 2 and get them up on the page. I don’t want this to become too overwhelming a task as I keep adding new songs to the Tune Review.

One last thing I’d like to look at before next month is moving on with a few more technical videos and maybe getting another scale or two added to the mix. I could use more variety there for sure!

Overall, I’m happy with the progress I’m making, even if it seems slow. The Fiddle Focus has kept me on track, and I continue to try to be consistent with my practice as the days go by.

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: 5.25 Relic Begins

While I have worked on several relics throughout the expansions of FFXIV, I’ve never actually finished one all the way through. I have many that are in various stages of competition across 3 characters, but eventually the grind turns me away in the end – I just have too many other things to do to work on relic.

Last expansion’s Eureka was a neat idea, but the forced grouping and the grind were elements that I couldn’t get past, so that relic remained fairly much unstarted. And while I’m not going to hold my breath that we won’t eventually get a grind for this relic, I must say how it all started out was refreshing.

I won’t give any spoilers, but I’ll just say that players are tossed into a neat little story experience revolving around the Bozja resistance against the Empire and their history. It also ties in some of the story of the Ivalice raids and a good bit of background with Cid.

Best of all, it’s all done solo, but also unlocks an EX trial if you yearn for something more intense. Once you’ve unlocked the first relic, each job relic is 1K Poetics after, which isn’t that hard to come by. So it all starts out very easy and story-oriented, which is my preferred type of content.

I know that it’ll probably ramp up with a grind of some sort after this. But overall, the weapon is a nice one for non-savage players, with 5 open slots for materia, too. You do have to finish the Ivalice raids to access this — I only have two characters who have done this, but it was no sweat to unlock relic on them both in one night.

Posted in Fiddle, Just Fiddling

Celebrating Two Months of Consistent Fiddle Practice!

So after several wishy-washy months last year, I’ve managed to keep myself on track and make two back-to-back months of consistent practice.

I’ve not missed a day of practice in February or March, and I’m quite pleased with this! I’ve also been rewarding myself at the end of each month with something fiddle-related that is meant to encourage and help my progress along.

Last month, I purchased the software ScanScore so that I could use it to turn notation into a WAV file I can put on my Tune List for personal reference. This month, I’d originally wanted to try out a new chin rest.

However, that changed when Southwest Strings had a spring string sale. I’d been eyeing a set of Obligato strings, since I’ve heard good things about the dark mellow tone they have. The awesome thing about this set is that you can switch out the E string for various other brands, including the Hill E string.

I talked about how I decided to try the Hill E string earlier this year, and now that I’ve spent some time with it, I really like it. So the fact that this set allowed me to purchase a Hill was a major part of what swayed me. I don’t need to replace the Hill I have now just yet, but it’s very good to have a backup E string, just in case. I’ve heard those are the strings that will break most often.

I’m looking forward to outfitting my fiddle with these strings tonight and giving them a try. Once I’ve broken them in, I’ll let you know what I think. They are not cheap strings by any means, but the sale helped a bit in easing the pain of the cost. Hopefully they’ll last me a while and I’ll get my money’s worth out of them.