Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Live Letter – Patch 4.4 & Monster Hunter World Collaboration Info

Woke up this morning to a slew of information from the latest FFXIV Live Letter, summarized on Reddit. There’s certainly a lot of interesting things to see here!

Patch 4.4

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Coming in September, we have the next story patch, an addition to the Omgea raids and a lot more. This is the first time in a long time I’ve actually been really, really looking forward to where they’re going with the story. The teaser image did not disappoint.

I’m also really happy that they’ve confirmed we’ll get more Doman Reconstruction. I finished what they provided for this patch, but it still looks like the Enclave has lots of opportunity for further growth. It may just be side fluff content, but I really like it!

The new Grand Company rank also makes me happy, as well as expanded Squad Missions. I’m always up for running with my Squad… it might help me get back on the leveling train for my lowest level jobs.

New Gpose options are always welcome, and Configuration data saved to the server sounds nice (does this mean no more scrambling to reset hotbars if you play between two computers?).

I’m a little worried by what they mean with “Crystal Tower requirements revised.” Does this mean they’re going to do away with the FATE quests that block your way into the first raid? If so, I’m all for that.

If it means they’re going to make these raids harder, though, I think the difficulty needs to be left alone. Folks new to 24 man raids need a first step in… and you can still wipe in any of the CT raids if the party doesn’t know what they’re doing (yes, I’ve even seen a recent wipe in Syrcus Tower and Lab).

Anyhow, there’s a lot of nice things coming.

Monster Hunter World Collaboration

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So, it appears the MHW collab is going to take the form of a trial. I’m a little sad about that, as I’d much prefer something more open world, but I understand the need to balance it around a trial. The nice thing is that there are two flavors of trial – an 8 man and an Extreme 4 man.

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Hopefully it won’t be too terrible if all you need to have done is complete the MSQ and have ilvl 320 gear for the normal version. I’m usually not one for doing trials I don’t need to do, but Palico (minion?) was confirmed!

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There’s also a sweet looking Rathalos mount, but I have a feeling that’s only going to be a reward for the Extreme version. (not confirmed, just a guess)

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This is coming August 7th and doesn’t appear to have an end date.

Check out this new video — looks pretty fun!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Getting Goals Done

I’ve been a bit quiet blogging as of late, despite the exciting news that Blaugust is returning (a full post to come for that later). It’s not because I’m not writing… but just the opposite.

I noted that I’d signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo on a fiction/RP project, and I’ve been focused on pounding out words for that. As of yesterday, I’ve actually by passed my meager goal (I made one easy to reach), and I’ve almost written to the end of the foundational phase of the story I wanted to tell.

Once I’m done there, I hope to keep writing short stories and fun snippets about the characters I’m beginning to explore. But it won’t take up my writing time like it has the beginning of this month.

In the meantime, I’ve still be working on all my other FFXIV goals. I’ve reached two of the low-hanging ones this week: Armorer to 70 and Ninja to 60.

This puts me in a pretty good position. I’ve been enjoying Namazu quests so much that I didn’t realize I only have 3 more crafting jobs to level to have them all done!

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Of course, I need to catch up with crafting quests for each of these jobs. I have the level 70 quest to do for Armorer — I’ve been good about keeping up with these quests. And then, I need to see where I stand with old Goldsmith quests.

I also haven’t really worked at gearing up my level 70 crafters too much beyond the one Scrip set I have for Weaver. So I’ve got a long way to go before my crafters are in good shape.

Finally getting Ninja to level 60 means that all of my melee DPS are now at 60.

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It felt so good to go through and sort all the gear I’d been holding on to for Ninja all these years. I was able to toss a bunch of it to the Grand Company, which nicely frees up some space in my armory chest.

All I’ve got left under level 50 is Warrior, Dark Knight and Astrologian. These three jobs have a mess of gear sitting in my inventory waiting for them to level up. I’ve just been too lazy or distracted to work on these, despite the fact Squad runs are fast and quick for leveling.

One of my overall goals for the year is to get all jobs to 50. So I’ll be focusing on this sooner or later.

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I also have a ferret, so life is good.
Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: When Glamour is End Game

I know that things have seemed quiet around this blog, but the truth is, I’ve been anything but idle. I noted in my goals post that I’m working on a Camp NaNoWriMo challenge this month, and while the word goal is low, I’ve really been putting a lot into this project.

This is also because I’ve finally spun up a side FFXIV RP blog to contain this story.  Not to mention, I’ve discovered Bard Macro Maker for FFXIV, and I’m working to convert lots of traditional tunes to play on it. I’ll do a post about this later!

This is all on top of my usual leveling routine — I’m almost done with my Armorer and Ninja-to-60 goals. It has, however, made me slow to pick up things like the new Heaven on High, which I really do want to do!

The idea to create a RP for the character/villain Amon in FFXIV has been in my head for quite a while now. I’m the kind of player who really needs an artistic outlet to supplement my long-term gaming. And by artistic, that’s not always just straight blogging… it’s drawing, music and fiction writing.

It’s a silly thing, but I’m having fun, and it’s rekindled my enjoyment of FFXIV. I’m also meeting new folks through my blogging interactions on Tumblr, somewhat like my old GW2 RP blogs (which I still miss from time to time).

When You REALLY Want A Glamour…

I knew that if I created this character, I’d need to get the gear set that represents him in game. I mean, it wasn’t even a question of whether this would happen. Just a matter of getting him to the point to unlock the Syrcus Tower raid and making the runs.

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This guy refused to drop his coat for 23 runs!

So, when FFXIV took away the ability to Need on Alliance Raid gear earlier this patch cycle, my hopes were crushed. I didn’t like this change based on principle… but on top of it, I secretly knew that meant that I’d probably never see all the drops required to work on this glamour set.

When they repealed that terrible design choice and gave us Need back, I was celebrating for many reasons. This was one of them… even though I’d never told anyone until recently that this silly fic-RP and glamour farm was a thing I’d hoped to do.

It honestly took a lot of courage for me start running Syrcus Tower… not because I was bad at the raid. I’ve actually run it so many times, and enjoy the run (a rarity for raids). But because I was scared that someone would see my character’s name (Amon D’syrcus) and piece it together to realize I was role playing one of the bosses we fought in that very raid. Surely someone would make fun of me for it!

What actually happened was… no one noticed. Or if they noticed, they didn’t respond to it. Except for one of my healers on one random raid who gave me a /surprise emote in the middle of the fight with Amon. Too funny!

I also came away with silly stories like this one.

Some Glamour Statistics

And because I’m a crazy data person, I kept track of the drops and how many runs it took to get the full set of glamour. Some things to keep in mind:

  • There’s about a 1 in 9 chance at a specific drop per boss
  • Old CT bosses were never upgraded to drop more than one item per fight 😦
  • I only had to compete with other Bards and Machinists for these drops, though there were many runs where I was the only one with the ability to Need on these items

That being said… here’s the data outcome for trying to get a full 5-piece set — the sash doesn’t count, but I got one just to have the complete set. I took note of duplicate drops (you can see my sorrow as I recorded these in real time). Keep in mind that the boss that drops the pants also drops the hat, which is honestly the most important drop of the set. 🙂

Total Runs – 23

  • 3rd Run – Pants
  • 6th Run – Boots
  • 8th Run – Sash
  • 10th Run – Boots & Pants Drop again XD
  • 11th Run – Pants Again
  • 12th Run – Pants Again ;-;
  • 13th Run – Pants AGAIN?
  • 14th Run – Sleeves
  • 15th Run – Boots, Sleeves, HAAAAAAAT!
  • 16th Run – Sleeves & Pants
  • 17th Run – Sleeves
  • 18th Run – Boots
  • 23rd Run- Sash & Chest FINALLY DROPPED

I don’t know about you… but for RNG, this sure seems pretty biased. Aside from dropping the bard chest piece, Amon also drops one of two helms that look very similar – for Dragoon and Tank. I swear just about every run I saw one of those two helms.

Syrcus Tower only takes about 20 mins to finish with an average party (I timed it). So, there were times when the queue to get into the raid took longer than the raid itself. Syn took pity on me and helped me through with Zeb a few of those runs.

She claimed Zeb was good luck, because I’d often get drops when she ran with me. I can’t deny she was there on that very last run, and got to see me celebrate finally getting that coat drop.

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So that’s the story of how Amon got his glamour. Now I can move on to other things in my life… like continuing to write this silly story and maybe working up the courage to RP him for real. 😀

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

July 2018 Gaming Goals

Welcome to July! Hard to believe we’re smack dab in the middle of summer already! And it’s time to make some goals.

I’m going to keep these pretty light this month because I’m working on other creative things (more about that later). But I do have some things I want to take care of.

Oh, see that screenshot up there? That was part of a scene that plays when you finish the second level of building up the Doman Enclave in FFXIV. This is the final part of what was included in the last patch, and I had no idea I was that close to getting it done. I just threw some things at the Domans over the weekend and poof!

The rewards for getting it done are mostly cosmetic things — a shop opens with housing items, crafting material and a music scroll. That being said, it’s nice to get a purchasable type of window, and it looks like there’s lots of room for this shop to expand. Whether they’ll add more to this next patch, I guess we’ll have to wait to see.

Now, on to the goals!

FFXIV Leveling Goals

  • Level Armorer to 70 ✓
  • Level Ninja to 60 ✓
  • Level Astro (maybe?)
  • Start new crafting & battle job leveling ✓

This is somewhat nebulous. My Armorer is already 66 and my Ninja is already 57. So, there’s no doubt I’ll get those top two goals taken care of this month.

I haven’t quite decided what I want to level once these are done, though. I might go for Goldsmith since I already have the master books for that job sitting on a retainer.

Once I get my Ninja to 60, that means I’ll have 4 melee DPS at 60, waiting to push towards 70. I’ll need to do the job quests for Ninja (which is another goal) before I chance hitting a level 60 alliance roulette while missing a bunch of skills.

I’d also like to get my Astro to 50 eventually, but I’m not sure if that’s going to be something I really work on this month. It depends on how I feel.

FFXIV Cleanup Quest Goals

  • Summoner – Lv 60-70 Quests
  • Ninja – Lv 50-60 Quests
  • Catch up on Goldsmith quests ✓

I’m going to try this again this month. 🙂

I really do need to finish up Ninja quests, though, because, as I said, there’s always a chance I can get a level 60 Alliance Roulette… and not having my 50-60 job quest skills would be bad.

I also want to catch up on all the Goldsmith quests, if that’s the next job I want to level as a crafter. I might have this one up to date. I’m not sure until I check, though.

Creative Goals

So I’m doing a little something on the side. This month is Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’m participating in a very light way. I really didn’t plan on doing this until the day before the camp began, though I have been kicking around an idea for a story for a while.

I’ve set my word count goal at a super modest 15,000 by the end of the month. This should be a breeze to meet, to be honest. I mostly wanted a motivator for me to get started on writing this story, but not something that would be a full out stress-mess. This is meant to be a pretty casual thing.

Beware… Things Get Nerdy… 

I’m going to come clean, because I feel silly talking about it. It’s quite lore-nerdy. You guys can forgive me, right?

I’m writing a semi-RP, noncanon FFXIV fanfiction about what might happen if Amon from Syrcus Tower survived the alliance battle. Yeah, the Amon with the hat. That guy.

It’s a crazy idea, but I rolled a RP character on Mateus years back for just this story. I’ve also moved around, renamed and Fantasia-d a number of alts to fit into the story. I’ve written up all the reasons behind why I was inspired to explore this character/lore, and will be posting the snippets at my RP Tumblr – Spot of Mummery.

Ok, now that I’ve officially embarrassed myself… here’s my hope for this month!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

June 2018 Gaming Goals in Review

Tomorrow is the last day of June (where did the month go?) and since I tend not to blog on weekends, I decided to recap my goal-setting a day early. I’m quite pleased with the outcome of June… though I didn’t hit all of my goals, I hit most of them, and went even beyond what I hoped to do this month.

FFXIV Leveling Goals

  • Level Leatherworker to 70 ✓
  • Level White Mage to 70 ✓

This is the first area that I did really well in. Namazu beast tribe quests make speeding through crafting leveling pretty painless, and I took full advantage of that.

Not only did I finish leveling Leatherworker to 70, but I completely finished leveling Alchemist to 70, as well. On top of that, I pushed Armorer to Level 64. So, I’m in a good place to max another crafter in July.

This was a bit of a change in plans. Originally, I wanted to level Armorer next. But when I discovered that I’d need a level 70 Alchemist to craft some of the materials for the high level crafting gear I want to try to make, I took a break from Armorer to do that instead.

I did level my White Mage to 70! So, thankfully, that’s done with.

On top of that, I’ve been making progress on my Ninja, which should easily hit level 57 tonight if all goes well. I’ve learned that Beast Tribe quests in the 50-60 level bracket are no where near as lucrative as the 60-70 level range. So the sooner I can hit 60 on my Ninja, the better.

FFXIV Cleanup Quest Goals

  • Summoner – Lv 60-70 Quests
  • Fisher – Lv 60-something – 70 Quest  ✓
  • Finish crafting quests up to 60 for Armorer ✓

This section is a bit of give and take since I didn’t hit all my goals, but I did go beyond these goals in other ways.

I am happy to say that I did finish my Fisher goals, which completes all of my job quests for gatherers. I’ve also outfitted all of my gatherers in at least the first iteration of Yellow Scrip gear, thanks to weekly delivery quests.

I also spent most of all day finishing quests for Armorer one weekend. This one was a long haul because I discovered that I’d not done a single job quest for Armorer since level 35… and I was over level 60 at that point. Yikes!

When I decided to switch to leveling Alchemist in the middle of the month, I went back and finished all the Alchemist quests, too. Thankfully, I left off in the mid level 50s on that job, so that wasn’t quite as rough as Armorer had been. I still have the final level 70 job to complete on Alchemist, but I’ve kept up with all the other quests along the way.

What I did not do was a single Summoner quest. Sorry. Didn’t happen. Probably because I was so focused on catching up on crafting quests. I guess there’s always next month.

Steam Gaming

  • Try one new Steam game each week

Nope. This didn’t happen. But what did happen was that I tried out a bunch of games on the Switch instead. I messed with the Splatoon 2 expansion, dabbled in Skyrim for Switch (which I haven’t written about yet), and tried out Pokemon Quest. I also played a good chunk of Sims 4 Seasons, which I want to get back to again now that my PC isn’t acting up.

So while Steam games were not on the menu (and I haven’t bought anything during the Summer Sale – go me!), I did play at least one new game for each week of this month in other aspects. That counts, right?

Did you have goals for this summer? How are they going for you?

Posted in Gaming, Sims 4

Sims 4 Seasons Fun

I wanted to get a post about Sims 4 Seasons done before this, but ended up completely distracted by computer issues. Thankfully, I’ve gotten those squared away, and the PC is running great again. I still haven’t sat down with Sims again after being so rudely pulled away… but I think the few days I spent with it is enough to spin up a reaction post.

Namely… this expansion changes just about every aspect of the game in such a way that it completely enhances the experience for me. There’s just so much going on here, I know I will never remember all of it to write about.

Weather and Seasons

Of course, Seasons brings seasons… which means changes in weather patterns. But, just like in real life, weather doesn’t always make sense. I saw snow in the middle of spring, for example, which can actually happen IRL. It was a cool little touch (no pun intended).

There’s also changes in temperature that effect your Sims (and can even kill them). This is something you can toggle on and off, but is also easily handled with the right clothing. Below is my Sim on the right, toasty in her warm clothes… while the Sim next to her is turning blue from cold.

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There’s a lot of customization to the seasons — you choose how long they last and set up a full calendar. After running through a full “year” of seasons at the default length of 7 days per season, I quickly doubled that to 14 days. 7 days per season just feels too quick. There’s not enough time for transition and events. 14 days feels like a good middle ground.

For all the fan grumbling about the look of the snow before launch, I actually think that Winter is my favorite season in Sims 4. There’s something really serene about the snow falling and the little blanket of snow that covers all the objects outside. The little touches, like windows frosting up, are very nice.

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My sims went out to eat on a Winter day. Look at that frost on the window!

There’s all sorts of thoughtful touches like this that really impressed me about this expansion. Sometimes it’s the little things that raise immersion.

Sim Events

I really liked the calendar and event features, too. On days with set holidays, you get small goals to achieve that make your Sim happy once completed. These can be things like decorating the house, opening presents, shooting fireworks, etc. Each Sim has different traditions they enjoy and really wish to fulfill… while other Sims might hate those same things and want to avoid them.

I had a really sweet moment when Santa… I mean Father Winter… came to give my Sim a gift on Wintersfest. He gave her an awesome digital camera.

But, she was a broke, single, gardener who was just scraping by on the merits of the plants she harvested. Since the gifts you can give are limited to what you have in your pockets, my Sim rummaged around and could only give him a flower in return.

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Not only did Father Winter sound absolutely delighted with the gift, but he lifted the flower to his nose to smell it! His Sim identified the gift as a flower and interacted with it realistically, rather that just putting it away after accepting it. I was really tickled by that.

Speaking of events… There seem to be three kinds of events. The big normal holidays, like Wintersfest, the custom holidays you create, and holidays that pop up unannounced. I really like that unannounced holidays because they add a quirky twist to the day.

For example, one random event day said that a brand new TV show was premiering that night… and your Sim just HAD to watch it to prevent being spoiled by co-workers and friends the next day (it happens!). Again, just something little and silly, but a really nice touch.

Gardening

Gardening got a pretty big overhaul and is a totally viable way to make a living now. Though it has its own career track, I decided to start a fresh Sim and see if she could survive on just the little garden she tended.

The free patch before the expansion brought glass roofs to everyone with the game, which really makes some neat skylights and greenhouse builds open up. I built my own little greenhouse for my Sim, which you can see below.

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There’s some really nice new selling, watering and weeding options for crops, and the profit you make from selling produce was increased significantly. You can also buy seed packs straight from the buy menu now.

Plants are assigned a specific season to flourish. If left outside, they will go dormant in the off seasons. But they will always produce just fine all year as long as they’re sheltered, such as in a greenhouse.

It took a little investment in building the greenhouse and getting the seeds, but once the produce started improving, my Sim was able to live quite comfortably in her little cottage on what she made.

Final Thoughts

Again, there’s no possible way for me to cover everything this expansion pack does. I know I’ve not seen everything it has to offer yet. I feel like this one’s done something right, though, because every time I turn around, I’m being delighted by something unexpected.

I think that the random nature of the weather and seasons really spices up the normal day-to-day Sims play… which can fall into a rut once you get your Sims to a comfortable space. Weather doesn’t change things so drastically that it distracts from the base game, but rather adds another layer of immersion on top of what was already there.

Events and holidays add nice little social touches and days off that encourage your Sims to enjoy their lives outside of the norm… kinda like what holidays should do IRL as well. When I left off, my little single gardener girl had married the guy of her dreams… and come to find out, he lives in a huge villa in the middle of the Oasis town.

It’s a big upgrade for a small-cottage girl. But hey, that just means she can plant a bigger garden now! She seems pretty happy about that. 🙂

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Posted in IRL, Technology

When the Night’s on Fire

Yes, that’s a photo of the inside of my PC. 🙂

Anyhow, I enthusiastically took a 3 day weekend for the launch of Sims 4 Seasons, and just to have a little time off. I’d planned on coming back to this week with lots of Sim stories to share. That’s almost what happened until yesterday.

On Sunday, I was trying to slide in a little quick Ninja leveling in FFXIV. While running a Leveling dungeon with Syn, I noticed that I was having crippling lag spikes. Anyone who plays Ninja knows that lag is that job’s worst enemy.

At first, I just thought it was the game or connection. But this wasn’t the normal kind of lag spike. It felt like when you’d left a Steam game to download in the background, or something else running that was working your PC heavily. It was this kind of stuttering lag that I felt was coming from me and not my connection.

When we finished the run, Syn asked, “What’s the temps on your PC?”

I hadn’t been monitoring anything like that lately (though I should), and it’s been super hot outside (and inside) due to the summer. So I installed HWMonitor, and saw that my CPU was running at 105 C!!

I was basically boiling my poor machine and it couldn’t run straight! I had no idea!

I shut it down and opened it up. I cleaned the insides out and tested that the fans were running. Everything looked okay, though the fan on the CPU really did need a cleaning.

At first, I thought that would fix it. But when I fired up FFXIV or Sims 4 and put it under load again, it was still running at 90-100C, even with the case open and a fan pointed inside.

Bummer.

After troubleshooting it a bit and getting no fix, Syn sent me the link to a good replacement fan on Amazon. It wasn’t too expensive, and is supposed to be better than my existing fan, so I’m waiting for that to come in tomorrow. Hoping that will fix the issue.

In the meantime, no gaming on my PC. 😦

Thankfully, I have a gaming laptop.

Though it’s nowhere near as gutsy as my PC, it can still run basic Sims and FFXIV. Just no major raids or anything too taxing. I hooked it up to my monitor, mouse and gaming keyboard, and aside from the difference in system speeds, it does more or less what I need it to in the interim.

The sad thing is that Sims is PC dependent, so the family I was building up for the previous two days are off on the main PC. All my saves, custom content and stuff are also over there. I’ve been keeping my Sims install on my laptop completely CC and mod free, so moving it all over is not much of an option.

Thankfully, the new fan has already shipped and should be here tomorrow. Hopefully that fixes the situation.

UPDATE: Replacing the fan fixed it! Woot! 

Aside: I have no idea why I decided to title this post after an old Mike Oldfield song. I was trying to think up a title, and When the Night’s on Fire popped in my head. It has nothing to do with overheating PCs (When the PC’s on Fire?), so go figure.