Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Ishgard Restoration 5.41

It’s that time again! The Ishgard Restoration is underway and the Skybuilder Rankings are open again! I do believe this is the final leg of the Restoration story-wise. I’m not sure if this will be the final leaderboard rankings as well.

While I’ve earned a title for my main and my RP alt, I have yet a third character, Tad, whom I’ve leveled all gatherers to 80 on. He started the Restoration with only three crafting jobs in the 50s (he now has one in the 60s after last night’s efforts), and I’d like to make progress on these as well.

I’d considered working on a title for him, but I quickly realized that you don’t actually get points in the ranking if you’re not crafting the higher level recipes. So everything I did on his level 50-something goldsmith didn’t count yesterday. If I really want to be ambitious, I could push to get this job into the 70s, where I think you start accumulating points(?) It wouldn’t be impossible to get on the leaderboard for my server at this point still.

Because I had to mine up lower level mats to level his crafting jobs, Tad didn’t get much in the way of points for his mining or botany, either. I’m somewhat tempted to just buy the materials (since they’re already cheap) and focus on leveling my crafting job up instead. I just don’t know how much effort I feel up to putting into the title a third time, though I always enjoy gathering in the Diadem when other people are around and active.

The Diadem itself has undergone quite a change, too! Gone are the heatwaves and yellow, thank goodness. Welcome is the gentle snowy weather instead. Much easier on the eyes!

If you’re taking on the rankings this time around, I wish you luck! I still need to catch up on a lot of the quests in Ishgard, but it’s been pretty fun to see content built just for crafters and gatherers, and how much of a crowd it always draws.

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Taking Amazing Screenshots with GShade Filters

Link to the GShade website. Download and see help documentation there.-

Several years back, I wrote about how I’d installed Stormshade as a filter for my FFXIV screenshots. Sadly, over time, I noticed that Stormshade had not updated and was far from using the newest version of ReShade. Neither was it adding any new filter presets that I could see.

It wasn’t causing any technical trouble, but I decided I wanted to explore more maintained and up-to-date options. This meant trying out GShade, which I’d heard so much about.

Not only was GShade extremely simple to install, but it came with so many preset filters (the website notes there are 450+ presets) by default that I simply was beside myself! Installation was as simple as downloading the .exe and running it. No fiddling with folders – it knows where to find a standard FFXIV install.

It gives you the option to install the presets, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t. This was so much simpler than having to download the presets yourself and find proper folders to put them in for use.

And then, once you launch it, GShade gives you a bit of a tutorial walkthrough on how to do stuff. I was so used to my Stormshade settings that I quickly customized GShade to work the same way (which is not GShade default). And now I’m as happy as I can be every time I sit down to take an artistic screenshot with filters.

An example of the same picture with several different filters. Click to see bigger images:

There’s lots, lots more to choose from than that. So, if you’re looking to spice up your /gpose in FFXIV, give this a shot!

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Noble Barding Win!

I wrote about this over at Spot of Mummery, but this was something I was super excited about last week. From time to time, FFXIV holds screenshot contests that you can enter over at Twitter. If you win, you get to choose from a unique set of glamour items including hair and barding that you can only get through these contests.

I entered the Halloween contest about this time last year, but sadly, wasn’t chosen as a winner. This year, they did a sightseeing screenshot contest.

I knew that what I really wanted was the Noble Barding for Amon. So I thought about places to take screens that were related to Allagans – Crystal Tower was obvious – and chose something I didn’t think too many other people would screenshot.

Azys Lla.

Ironically, in the patch the 5.4 patch, we actually did fulfill my wish – I had no idea it was coming! I’m curious as to if that had any part in winning this contest, though I know the website says the shots are randomly chosen.

ANYHOW.

Last Friday I logged in to an in-game mail.

And sure enough, I had won! I’m pretty excited because this is the first official contest I’ve won. And the barding is a perfect match for Amon!

Now, I might just need to re-color his chocobo. The last time I tried, Mummery ended up chocolate brown rather than a shade of red, and I just left him that way with a “close enough.”

Update: I actually did just that and got the wine red chocobo I wanted!

Posted in Blogging, FFXIV

Spot of Mummery– My “New” FFXIV Blog Project

Summary: I’ve imported two and a half years of micro-blogging content from my character-based FFXIV Tumblog to a WordPress blog – Spot of Mummery – where I’m finally embracing it as a full blogging project focusing on gaming experiences, creative stories, screenshots, character studies, etc.

Over this weekend, I launched a “new” blogging project called Spot of Mummery. Spoiler: It’s not new at all.

In fact, I’ve been blogging Spot of Mummery for years on Tumblr. While most of this focuses on FFXIV content, there’s also a smattering of Minecraft as well as Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

You’ve probably heard me mentioning my role play alts on this blog – certainly in goals and in various experiences I’ve had in FFXIV. It’s not really fair to call them RP alts much anymore because many of them are almost just as geared as my main, have cleared content all the way up to 5.3, have relic weapons and some even do relevant raiding.

But most importantly, the cast of characters over at Spot of Mummery are a deeply needed creative and interactive outlet for a MMO that I’ve been playing for the past seven years. I’m less into the role play aspect (at least in-game role play as you might think of it) as I am into developing storylines and characters and meshing them with the lore and in-game environments. In those aspects, FFXIV offers a wonderful world to work with!

I’ve actually owned this domain for several years and have used it as a place to organize all of the stories I’ve developed in conjunction with my writing partner, Syn.

Last month I decided to bring over the rest of the content to this domain. This led to me spending weeks weeding through over 6000 posts (no lie) to ensure only my content remained (Tumblr has a lot of reblogs and interactive posts), pictures were imported properly, links went where they should… all that fun kind of stuff.

Now that the blog is officially released, I’m expanding connections through social media. Tumblr is obviously still a very strong interactive platform for me, but I’m also exploring Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc.

I’m also dedicating myself to blogging here more consistently going forward! I spent a lot of time and creativity on the Spot of Mummery Tumblr over the last couple years, which took away from the energy/time to write here. That’s not something I wanted to happen.

I want to turn that train around and get back to my blogging habits both here and at Spot of Mummery. I know it seems strange to think that adding another blog (rather than a micro blog) would make it more flexible for me to blog more here again but… just trust me on this. 🙂

Anyhow! If you get the notion, please feel free to check out my “new” blog. Give it a follow if you like what you see, and know that there will definitely be lots of gaming content and creativity coming since Patch 5.4 just dropped today!

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV 5.4 Preliminary Patch Notes Highlights

The patch notes for 5.4 are up, so it’s time to poke around and see what I find interesting. Of course, I’m not mentioning the MSQ – which I am excited about – or the normal stuff like raids/dungeons.

Yay!

Strange thing to be super excited about, but my RP character is a fiddle player, as am I (trying to be) IRL.

This is SUPER nice! I’ve had to use outside websites to track what cards I have and what I have left to get, as well as research where they come from. I might get back into TT because of this.

This is VERY good. Wish it carried over into newest gear too but this is a nice start.

I like this! I may have to get back on the boat!

Oh! First non-umbrella fashion accessory! This is cool!

I’m not sure how much I’ll use this but it’s such a neat idea!!

Nice!

This is a cute house! And more sub ranks are always nice, too. I really need to focus on getting our FC sub upgraded.

More housing furnishings – I won’t say no to this! I really like that light.

A number of nice QoL stuff for Triple Triad, especially things that make it a little easier for new players to start out.

New emotes and stances are always good. That top one reminds me of Splatoon quite a bit!

This is a nice change!

I’ll never say no to more stickers and all of the other changes made here!

Hmmm….

I just finished the last combined role quest last week, so I’m curious to see what this is a about.

I’m not sure how I feel about these changes just yet. Some of them are good (there’s a whole list of them) and some of them – like removing that variance (I sometimes relied on that RNG) – I’m not sure I like. Will have to try it to determine.

This is a nice change but… it still doesn’t make me like overmelding and the cost it takes to do it for crafters.

Hmm… interesting. And rather vague.

Meh

Yuk. This better be because it’s easier to reach higher collectability rating after the changes. I already get frustrated enough with having to gather-collect for weeklies when I do it.

Overall

Not a super huge list this time around – though plenty that I do like. While there’s lots of content coming out, what I usually get most excited about are the quality of life stuff. I can understand that due to having pushed back a previous release, they’re trying to make up for lost time by sheering off a bit of the extra things.

But still, what we are getting makes me happy. Some of the changes make me want to reengage with things like Ocean Fishing, Triple Triad and our FC Sub again.

I’m not sure how I’ll like the change to collectables, but I’ll have to try it out to see how it works. It was only recently that I actually understood how to get collectables in any reliable way from gathering.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, Steam Gaming, Xbox Game Pass

December 2020 Gaming Goals

Happy December! Welcome to the final month of 2020, and to the Holiday season! I’ve got a bit of vacation at the end of this month to look forward to, but lots of goals on my mind as well!

In FFXIV, we have a patch incoming, which always means taking time out for story and whatever goodies the patch brings. Folks in my FC have been dabbling in Blue Mage lately, and this brings yet another level cap increase for that job.

FFXIV Goals

  • Finish leveling Warrior to 80 and do job quest
  • Level Gunbreaker via Trusts
  • Clean up quests in the First (to level tank)
  • Level BLU when patch drops
  • Cap BLU skills
  • Work on crafting Relics for Main and Amon

This time around, I really want to finish leveling the last of my Trust members to 80 for the achievement. This will also coincide with leveling one of my tanks. Once Warrior and Gunbreaker are done, all I’ll have left is Paladin to have everything to 80 and the Amaro mount.

I really, really need to work on crafting relics! This next patch is going to drop an update to them yet again… ugh. Not to mention I didn’t even start on the gathering relics. I’m so behind. : /

MISC Goals

  • Continue to level Taming in UO
  • Continue playing Steam Games
  • Play Switch Games
  • Play 3DS Games
  • Play Xbox Pass Games

So I have a few very loose goals here. I do want to dabble in UO again this month. I don’t want that falling to the wayside.

I have a handful of Steam games I’ve been putting time into that I’d like to keep my momentum with, if only a little. I also need to blog about them!

I also dusted off my old 3DS system — there’s so many games there I haven’t touched/finished that it’s a shame. I need to blog about that, too! 🙂

And finally, I really want to put some time into some Switch games other than Animal Crossing. I just need to nail down which one I want to make my focus.

Oh, and Xbox Pass… I’ll… talk about that later.

That’s a lot of gaming! Thankfully I have a week off.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

November 2020 Gaming Goals in Review

It’s hard to believe this is the last day of November, much less that Thanksgiving is done and gone. I’ve actually been able to complete most of my goals this time around, which is good given the next FFXIV patch drops on December 8 – which was earlier than I expected!

So here’s what I got…

FFXIV Goals

  • Finish leveling Dark Knight to 80 and do job quest 
  • Clean up quests in the First (to level tank) 
  • Finish Red Mage Relic for Main 
  • Finish Relic for Tad 
  • Finish leveling Tad’s Fisher 
  • Gear up Tad’s Gatherers with scrip gear 
  • Work on crafting Relics for Main and Amon
  • Gear up Koh’s 60 Summoner and do job quests 
  • Finish getting YoKai Minions 

I finished getting shiny relics for all of my characters this month. I also finished up leveling all of Tad’s gatherers and getting them geared up.

Alongside of that, I finished my first tank to 80 on my main, which meant more role quests, and the final quest that comes from finishing all role quests! I’m looking at 3 jobs left to have everything to 80 at this point.

The only thing I kinda mostly didn’t do was work on crafting relics. I did a little crafting here or there, but for the most part, it’s hard to find time and stay motivated on it. I’ll keep trying.

MISC Goals

  • Continue to level Taming in UO
  • Continue to play Steam games 

While I did continue to play a handful of Steam games that I really need to post about, I somewhat let UO slip by the wayside this month. Seeing that UO is free to play, it’s not a big deal. But I do want to continue my adventures there! So I’m going to make that a goal for next month.

Hope you all had a great November and wishing you a safe and happy December!

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Puppet’s Bunker = Glamour Central

Puppet’s Bunker is the second Alliance raid in the NieR: Automata crossover series within FFXIV. I meant to write about it back when it first came out, but now is just as good a time as any.

I’ll sum it up by saying: I ran it once just to see the story, stayed for the glamour.

I’ve had a long history of frustration with alliance raids, dating back to just about everything that came out after Void Ark. I felt like what was once somewhat more casual 24 man content suddenly took a turn for the quite difficult. And no longer was I confident to introduce just about anyone to this type of content (as I was in Crystal Tower), because I often found running them a chore.

The NieR: Automata series didn’t really change that for me. Factory was one of those instances where for one dumb reason or another, I died at least once during a run just about every time. This wasn’t the norm for me, and a lot of it has to do with the raid outstaying its welcome in length, especially the last two boss fights.

Now days, I tend to survive that raid a lot better since there’s a higher gear rating in general. But I still have to turn off all the battle effects of everyone else just to be able to see the bosses to respond to directional mechanics. This is the only raid I’ve ever needed to do that for.

Going into Puppet’s Bunker the first time, I told Syn I was planning on running it once. Only on my main. And just for the story clear. I’d seen pictures of the gear drops (shown all in black) and didn’t really pick out anything that appealed to me enough to want to run this alliance treadmill again.

That all changed when, somehow, on that very first run, I lucked out and got the caster chestpiece for my main (Red Mage). This didn’t really phase me when it happened, and it wasn’t until after the frustration of my first Bunker ran off that I thought to see what the piece looked like if it was any other color than black.

The nice thing about the raid gear is that it’s all dyeable (the first I think for any alliance gear). So when I previewed it in a nice teal color, I suddenly realized…

Dang. This gear looks good in a different color.

That was the beginning of the end.

Female casting set, minus the hat and gloves, from Bunker.

I started previewing other sets and realized that I really, really wanted some of this gear on my RP alt. In fact, I wanted two sets for him, plus the caster set for my main.

My main already had gear that was superior in stats, so running this was totally for the glamour. There were some weeks I ran 4-5 times just to get a drop. Any drop. On my alt, this gear is actually an update in stats for me, so it was worth it.

But now I finally have the glamour sets I want…

Male casting set, minus hat and gloves.
The aiming coat, meshed with other glamour pieces for my bard.

Then, I made the mistake of rolling randomly for the Dragoon coat on my main (since I’d already gotten everything I wanted for casting). And went…

Dang. This coat is perfect for my actual Dragoon alt, Tai.

And so it begins again. I unlocked the raid series and ran it for the first time as melee last night. Much to my shock and excitement, the Dragoon coat dropped!

Just the coat, but a great start!

Running melee is a good deal more challenging than ranged or caster. Therefore, you don’t see a lot of Dragoons in these raids. Running ranged or caster, you almost always have competition for the drops… not so much as Dragoon. But still, I was stoked to get the coat the very first run.

My Thoughts on Puppet’s Bunker

So after having played this raid for a few months, I feel like Bunker is shorter and (once you learn the raid) easier than Factory. However, some of the mechanics in Bunker are not as intuitive – meaning, they’re harder to pick up on first glance and are things you usually learn from watching someone else (or a video).

Going into Bunker the first time, I watched a video beforehand. But that still wasn’t enough to get me through without lots of death. After my first run (when I determined I was going to run this more due to glamour desires), I watched about three other videos to piece together all the information on things I did wrong that lead to my demise.

It took several runs, but I can say that I mostly have a solid idea of how to play the raid. I usually don’t die, but sometimes random mechanics (usually on the last boss) can cause complications. With a good party of folks who know what they’re doing, this is often a smooth raid to run.

So overall, I haven’t minded running Bunker as much as I have to get the glamour and gear that I want. There’s mostly just a bit of a learning curve at the start to overcome.

I swear, though, those casting gloves do not exist. I’ve been at this for many, many weeks and still have not seen those gloves drop yet. They’re the last piece I need…

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: First Art Party!

Most folks know by now that I’m a super shy person, and that often extends into interacting with people in games. I won’t go into a bunch of details, but it does make things like in-game events, especially of the role play type, frightening to me.

However, when a group of friends I knew on another server were hosting a Free Company “art party” this past weekend, it sounded tame and safe. Suffice to say, I had no idea what an art party actually was…

In my head, I envisioned a small group of people sitting around, socializing a little bit and drawing sketches of whatever they were working on at the time.

The reality was…

…So many people (not pictured) in this large mansion that the house could not physically admit any more people inside and the zone outside had become just as busy!

Rocking out to this tune for hours…

I was absolutely taken aback at the response to this art party. So then I started to try and figure out what this gathering actually was.

Art parties IRL are defined as:

An Art Party is a unique experience where a group of adults get together to enjoy each others company, drink wine or cocktails if they choose and create their own work of art with some guidance and encouragement. 

https://www.iloveartparties.com/faq

In FFXIV, it takes on a slightly different context. So, you have a bunch of characters sporting their favorite glamours all coming together to hang out.

Here, there is some socialization, but it’s not really a role play atmosphere. There’s mostly lots of dancing, chatting, goofing off and meeting people. But the focus of the art party is artists (both those who draw and create screenshots) finding other characters that catch their eye, and drawing/screenshotting them.

Then, these pieces of art are put on display using a specific hashtag, mostly on Twitter. So all the art and the screens and the interactions are shared across this hashtag.

I was too overcome by the actual party aspect to get into the art part of it. It wasn’t until I actually saw art of my character popping up in the tag that it clicked. Sometimes an artist will directly message you with the URL of a piece of art. Sometimes you just have to keep an eye on the hashtag scroll on Twitter and discover the art there.

It’s very exciting to know that your character stood out to other people enough that they’d want to draw you! I was really delighted to see all the creations! Not only that, but during the time spent at the party, I whisper chatted with a few folks, and met a number of people that exchanged follows with my character’s Twitter.

Most of my development for interaction about this character has been on Tumblr, but I have wanted to find a way to connect more on Twitter as well. This really helped me reach out to meet new people.

Not to mention my persistence of dancing next to the the stairs by myself ended up turning into this dance group before the night was done:

We had everyone from Ascians to Allagans to Scions to Sin Eaters and Flame Generals!

This was great fun, and I intend to join the second part of this party this upcoming weekend (held at a better time for our European friends). I’ve also learned that this is actually one of many such parties going on!

This Twitter account is dedicated to getting the word out about FFXIV art parties on all data centers. If all of them are as fun as this one was, I’ll be looking forward to joining more of these on down the line!

Now that I’ve introduced art parties to you, you can keep an eye out for one on your data center, too!