Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Squad Healing

The game keeps sending me cool Astrologian weapons through my retainer ventures. Not to mention healer drops in dungeons and raids. So, I took the hint and finally unlocked Astro last week.

This is a job I’ve been shy to try because healing by itself is often enough on my plate. The idea of adding cards to healing made me concerned that it’d be too overwhelming to me. But thankfully, Grand Company Squads came to my rescue!

Though I really enjoy running things with my little squad, I didn’t sit down to play with them a whole-whole lot until last week. They’re getting pretty strong now that I’m leveling their attributes, and it feels like I’m just along for buffs and light healing as they do all the heavy lifting.


This is totally fine for me. I leveled from 30 to 40 on Astro in three days. This could have been faster if I’d ran more squad dungeons and didn’t run out of rested experience. 🙂

And yeah, I know it’s easier to run with a squad than real people (for me), but I still feel like I’ve learned a lot about Astro through the experience. I even ran a levelling roulette on my Astro with some FC folks since squads gave me the confidence to try.

Squad Accomplishments

One of the other things I wanted to get were all of the squad emotes. After you run the squad dungeons 10 times, the game just drops a bunch of emotes, along with an achievement, on you.


I kinda wonder why they didn’t stagger these out a bit more — like 1 emote at level 10, 1 emote at level 20… But I’m not the one calling the shots.

Also, when your squad members reach level 51, this unlocks the glamour system for them. I was finally able to do something about my bunny-cat-archer.

She went from this…


To this…


I left the bunny ears on her, just because.

Glamouring squad members is easy to do. Just make sure you have the glamour prisms in your inventory, along with the gear you want to glamour.

So, effectively, you can pretty much customize your squad any way you want now. You can change their classes, level them up, and glamour them. The runs are a fast way of gaining experience for yourself, and leveling those alt jobs below 50.

Here’s to hoping we’ll see some 50+ content added to squads someday soon. Since they can level to 60, it would be really nice to have an easy way to keep nudging alt jobs all the way up to that point.

For everything else, there’s alliance roulettes.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Sinterklass Free Company Holiday Event

Our FC tends to do things a little differently… Why celebrate the holidays the typical way when you can embrace celebrations from other cultures? Such as the Dutch feast of Sinterklaas!

Our resident Dutch FC buddy, Tharash, is always happy to share his holiday traditions with others. While Sinterklaas may seem similar to Santa Claus, there are a number of notable differences, such as the basic lore and writing poems with your gift exchange. Really, check out that wiki page I linked above if you’re not familiar with it. It’s pretty fascinating.

So, when Tharash approached me about organizing an event that was a blend of Sinterklaas with a Secret Santa gift exchange for the FC, I thought this sounded like a lot of fun. Though we didn’t have a huge turn-out, I didn’t feel like we needed one. In fact, having too many folks might have gotten overwhelming. The group who attended kept it fun, upbeat, and cozy. It helps that the FC house has been fully decorated for the holidays by our FC architects!

We all dressed in our holiday finest while Tharash took on the garb (and persona) of Sinterklass himself. We each had no idea who our gift-giver was, but when our turn came, we read the poem written for us out loud on Discord, and received a gift from Sinterklass’ bag.

Afterwards, we saw Sinterklass off on his winter-ready chocobo…


And had a snowball fight on the FC house lawn! 🙂


The gift I received was this exquisite Ao Dai dress! I’ve actually looked into crafting/buying one in the past, so I was stoked to get one as a gift!


Afterwards, we ran a full-party alliance roulette, some leveling, some Canals and other such content. We all had a good time!

Does your FC /guild hold events to celebrate the holidays?

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder: Everyone’s a Critic

You see that up there? Poor sad Amon!

Who could possibly not like Syrcus Tower? It’s got Amon in it! Who doesn’t like Amon and his epic hat??

Man. Everyone’s a critic.

Anyhow. Today’s Tales from the Duty Finder is more of a silly annoyance story. I was actually kinda sad our friendly Machinist didn’t do more crazy things during our Alliance Roulette to make this post a bit more interesting. But, ah well, I’ll give you what I got.

So, we Alliance Roulette. I celebrate as we get Syrcus Tower.

I love Syrcus Tower. It’s my favorite alliance raid… because it’s quick, usually easy, least likely to wipe, and just overall pretty relaxing to run for good alt-job experience. I also love the music, atmosphere and the boss battles that make you feel like you’re doing something epic… even if you’re not.

Well. We get in and start saying our hellos.

Apparently, this here Machinist doesn’t share my love of ST.


I’m not quite sure why God should help us all in this case. I mean, I just said ST is fast and easy. 🙂

So, recognizing we have a personality in our group, I kept my eyes peeled for other interesting quotes. She only gave me one more, when she decided to critique a racial running animation with poor spelling.


And we’re off to a good start!

She seemed in a hurry. There were several times when she would hang around the exit to a room while the rest of us fought the trash. Which is… you know… kinda self defeating because it takes us longer to finish it if less people are fighting.


This is a pet peeve of mine, and I never quite understood it.

That being said, that really was the worst that happened on this run. Sorry, slow news day.

She didn’t try to pull before tanks or anything else. And her glamour was actually pretty nice.


But making Amon cry is just mean.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: STOP! Glamour Time!

I haven’t been very immersed in FFXIV lately, so I decided to do a few low-key things today to get my feel for this game back. This included working on a holiday glamour!

Our FC has a holiday event coming up this weekend, so I sat down and sorted through my Starlight gear from the past few years and put together a pretty typical outfit.


I think it goes particularly well with a rapier though. 🙂


I also got off my lazy bum and worked through the level 60+ Bard job quests. Though my Bard has been level 70 for a while, I didn’t do a single story quest this whole time. Shame, shame.

I was motivated when I saw some of the Storyteller artifact gear you get from the final quest — I already have better gear stat-wise, but I liked the way some of it looked. So, it was glamour time for my bard, too.


I’m glad I did the story, though, because I forgot how much I enjoyed the dynamics between Guydelot and Sanson. It actually helped, I think to sit down and do all the quests straight in a row, though, because it kept me focused on the quest chain. Breaking it up between levels sometimes leaves parts of the story fuzzy.

Maybe I’ll unlock the /perform action and see how that works!

Posted in Gaming, Steam Challenge

Steam Challenge: Portal Knights

Game: Portal Knights
Time: 9.3 hours

Portal Knights is a game I’ve been keeping my eye on since early access. I thought about getting it for the Switch when it released, but seeing it priced at $30 on Nintendo… and $11 on Steam with the Fall Sale… it was a no-brainer to get it on Steam. Plus, I was able to nudge Syn into playing with me, which has made it a lot more fun.

What Is It?

Portal Knighs describes itself as:

Leave the familiar world behind and step into the fantastic unknown with Portal Knights, a cooperative 3D sandbox action-RPG! Level up your character and craft powerful gear to defeat your enemies in real-time tactical combat. Explore dozens of randomly-generated islands and restore peace to a world torn apart by The Fracture.

This honestly doesn’t tell you that much.

The best way I can describe it is… it’s a more on-rails, user-friendly Minecraft-type sandbox game. It’s got some of the mining, crafting and building elements that Minecraft has. But the world and creatures have a more cartoony (and slightly less blocky) aesthetic to it. There are really some very lovely locations to visit.


There’s also strong RPG elements – levels, spells, gear, loot, and skill trees. That sort of thing. The game only offers three classes, however, and customization isn’t that deep. But, you can choose a different skill tree build at any time, and swap between the weapons your class can use at will, which I like.

The world is made up of randomly generated islands. You reach these by finding and building out portals between them. Once you’ve visited an island, you can fast-travel to it using the world map at any time.

This is super useful for gathering particular resources, since these appear to be located based on the islands themselves. The map info actually tells you what you can find on each island. So, if you’re looking for copper ore, for example, just check the island info until you find one with what you need.

I also like that you can portal back to the starting point of any island at any time. So you never need to worry about digging yourself into a place you can’t get out of.

The only problem that I have with the island setup is that they’re just not very deep. So, you’ll be digging along, and suddenly you uncover open sky under you!! Please don’t dig straight down, ever…

You can earn plenty of fluff in this game, too. Dungeons sometimes have cosmetic pets, and there’s a slot for cosmetic outfits — some of which you find recipes to craft yourself. In the picture below, that tunic is cosmetic gear I picked up for Tai.


Co-Op and Multiple Universes

The best part of Portal Knights is the four-player co-op and the way you roll up new universes. It is very, very flexible.

For example… You can create a character and a solo universe to play on your own. But then, when your friends are online, you can hop into their world with the same character. Or they can hop into yours.

Everything you’ve earned, and all the inventory currently on your character comes with you, no matter which world you visit. Anything you leave in chests in those worlds stay there, too.

So, Syn was hosting our main world, where we have been building up a little farmhouse in the starter hub. But then I rolled up a personal world, so I could drop down some chests and deposit pets and things that I want to keep, but don’t want to leave on her hosted world.

If you have more than one character, they can all use that same world for adventuring and storage as well! I was really impressed at how this was implemented!


There isn’t much of a story to this game, though I didn’t really expect one given the nature of Minecraft type sandboxes. There’s some fragmented quests that talk about the Fracture that created the islands you’re visiting. There’s also bosses that you fight, though we haven’t reached any of those yet.

But the pull of finding a portal and exploring a new world on each island is enough to give direction to players who have trouble with a fully open-world sandbox environment. I noticed that even locations you visited before sometimes have randomly generating special events popping up, as well. So, it’s good to keep your eye on the map as you explore to see what’s going on in the world.

Do I recommend this game? 

For folks who want a cute sandbox explorer/builder that offers some direction, this might be for them. However, if you’re used to the complexity and depth of something like Minecraft, this game may be too shallow. It just all depends on what you enjoy.

But if you can pick it up on a Steam sale, it’s been worth the $11 for me. So…

yes Yes!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder – The Day I Saved the Raid

I don’t like to write about myself in Tales from the Duty Finder, since this is supposed to be a section about funny or annoying things that happen due to other people. But Syn told me I should post this, so I will.

This actually happened back before Thanksgiving, so it’s been a while. Syn and I tend to do Alliance Roulettes daily in order to level alt jobs. Right now, I’m leveling my Machinist so that I can eventually get Bard and Machinist to share the same gear at 70.

I’m not the greatest Machinist, and I’m only running around in Shire gear, despite being level 67… cuz… just leveling. But it’s generally fine since it’s only level 60 content at the most, anyhow.

One day, we ended up with Dun Scaith as our roulette. I’m rarely thrilled to get a level 60 raid in roulette, but the higher experience gain makes up for the pain. Believe it or not, we were having that pain on the Proto Ultima boss, of all things.

I have no idea what happened, but our entire group, aside from myself and Syn (who was a tank) died on this fight. So we were racing the timer with very low DPS at the end while the Proto Ultima was counting down the seconds until going Supernova (raid wipe).

I was the only DPS left alive in our group, and all other groups had already used their Limit Breaks. Someone raised a healer in our group and one of the DPS called for a Healer Limit Break 3, which would have raised everyone who was down.


I hesitated. I didn’t want to be the one who blew a LB and failed the raid. But the healer wasn’t using it. (?)

Then, someone else shouted for the DPS LB instead! I was the only one alive in my group who could do it!!

I saw the countdown.

10 seconds!

Boss at 2% health!!


I slam the DPS LB button!


Animation lock, big guns come out.




And that’s how I saved the raid.



Spoiler –  And I didn’t get a single commendation from this run. 😦

That’s life, I guess.

Posted in Gaming, Steam Challenge

Steam Challenge: Doki Doki Literature Club

Game: Doki Doki Literature Club (Free!)
Time: 4.1 hours (+time spent on YouTube watching alternate endings and Streamers scaring themselves silly)

Doki Doki Literature Club is a psychological horror game pretending to be a cute, cheerful visual novel dating sim. Well, actually, it doesn’t even pretend… you have to agree to a disclaimer before you play the game:


I went into this game fully aware it was a horror game, but without any details about the story itself. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone (seriously, go into this one blind if you’re going to play it), so this post will be a mostly spoiler-less review (with the exceptions of a few warnings at the end).

Last week, in a post, I said:

This week, I’m also slowly playing through Doki Doki Literature Club… which is a free visual novel I wanted to try just because people have said it’s downright disturbing. I guess I haven’t gotten to the disturbing part yet. I’ll keep you posted!

So, yeah, here it is.

Late Friday night, I decided to make a midnight snack. I decided it wouldn’t hurt to keep going in DDLC since I didn’t feel like playing something more intense so late at night.

M̱̫i͏̱̲͕̺̟ͅͅst͚̙ͅa̻̪̫̦k̩̼̘̘̙e̝͝s̤̝͍̜̪ w͕̤e̻͕͙̺r̭e ͉̟̳͚m̩͖̖̩a̶d̸͉̠̪̼̣͎e̹̲̞̠̝̲ͅ.͏͙̯

Half an hour later, I was so creeped out I had to shut the game off and take comfort with a purring cat on my lap. Even then, I went to sleep with the lights on. I beat the game the next day (I didn’t get the best ending — I looked it up on YouTube because I refused to play it again), and the freaking theme song is still in my head three days later.


While there’s not so much a plot, so to speak, the concept and originality of this game just blew me away. I didn’t even get the good ending, but man… what an experience. Props to the dev.

Th̜͈͇̝̳̤i̝s͎ ̛̲̯̙g͖̣̪̙̭͠a͚̠̪͍ͅm͎̺̺̙̹̜͞e͓̖̬̞͢ ̥̯̥̩̝̙i̗̮͕̟͉̥͘s ͉̦̤̲̺h͜a̰ùn͍͓̞̻t͜in̳͚̻̦̣̤̦g̯̱ ̺me̱̱.̘̦̭͈̞̖ ̦̜̦I͉͉̱͟ ̡͔͓͎̠h̟̹͎͍͎o̡̩͉̘p̬̮͈̪̜̀e̶̮͈̰̘͖ ͚̖̥̯w̥͖ri͓̟̮̜̟ṭ͙̱͚̘̳͓i͞ng̀ ̴̼a҉b͎o̴u̘̥͟t̨̰̝͍̦̳̙̫ ̝i̩͓̞̰̟̗t̡͙̫̻ ̳w̫̬͎͠i͜l̦̲ḻ ͎̘͓͞m̥̞̠̩̥͇͍á̯k̟̪̰e̞ ̱͠i̦̦̰t̞͚̟̜͘ͅ ̮̗̯͘g̣͚̩̜ơ̹̰ ̣̣͎̠͝ąw̴̲͇a̘͕̯͞y̶̬̙̰̦͔̖̟.̮̪̲̯̹̹͞ ̝͇̱̖̜͖̜

Granted, your mileage may vary. I like horror. But standard jump scares and zombie stuff doesn’t bother me much. I get a quick scare and it’s over.

Psychological horror on the other hand — you know, when fear is generated by good use of tension, suspense and disarming sound/visuals — that will get me so badly every time. Creepy things. Subtle and out of the norm, building over time. That’s when your own imagination amplifies your internal fear and expectations.

T͍h̟̹͎͉͕͍̙͝a̮t͇̜̹̖ ̹͍̮͍͓͈̳͝s̘̼͍t͍͕̭͖ͅa̙̜̼͡y̻s̬͍͎͍͇ ̴͖̘̤̙w̖̜̪͚̜i̦̤̩̩͍t̗̝̝h͈̼̮͖̜̭͔ ̞͚̮̪͉m͏͉e̞̱̟̞͕̣.͇͙̭͘ͅ ̣̯͖̩̘

This game built suspense and expectations very well. It’s slow to get rolling, but for a good reason.

The first hour and a half or so, it establishes a baseline of “normalcy” so you can identify when the game turns everything you thought you knew inside out. Once the switch is flipped, you can’t go back. You can only go deeper down the rabbit hole.


So if you’re playing this game and it doesn’t feel like it’s getting anywhere, stick with it. Pay attention, even to what seems like just a normal dating sim. Details are important.

This game goes very deep. Check out the wiki for Easter eggs once you’ve finish it. And do yourself a favor – either play for the good ending (it’s not obvious how to get this) or watch the good ending on YouTube. You’ll feel better about it if you do.

I’m going to recommend this game to people who enjoy this kind horror or want to see how a well-crafted game can break genre and gaming conventions. It’s a free game, though you can support the dev by purchasing the DLC fan pack if you decide to.

However, I want to put some serious warnings along with my recommendation.


If you are strongly emotionally effected by topics like depression, self-harm, or suicide, or you’re just easily disturbed, please do not play this game.

Spoilerish warning: Know that this game will write and manipulate files on your computer. I wasn’t aware of this before I played it, and I know some people feel strongly against this. I will say that this was harmless (it only manipulated files — mostly .txt, .chr and image files — within its Steam game folder), and it was part of the game play that you were aware of it happening. (Oh man, was it creepy.)


yes Yes – but please take all the warnings and disclaimers seriously.

J͔͑̓̄̄͊͋ͭu̷̟̘͍̐͛ͣͯ͒͛̃s̲̯͉̝͔͓̭̈ͭt̵̺͎̣͛ ̲͇̯̬ͣ͐M̑̆ö͔̣̠̘̲͈͓́̂̈́ṋ͕̺͙̙̾͝ͅi͔̋͂̓ͫ̽̚k̞͍̹̳̞͐͒̄̎ͤ̂̀aͧ͂͆͊̇ͭ.̖̙̝̼̝͈̞̈̌͆̍̃͋̎͠ ̥̐̽͐ͫ̓̑̕