Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

Black Desert Blitz

I don’t know what it is about Black Desert. It’s a game that should capture my attention and hold me fast… and when I’m in the mood for it, it does. But there’s so many things about it that are just… glitchy.

Coming from a well-polished MMO experience like FFXIV (and before that, GW2), it’s sometimes hard to overlook the lack of polish I see in BDO. The world is beautiful, but, for example, the NPC pop-in (appearing as black placeholders and then loading in) is hard not to notice. Just little weird things like that.

That doesn’t keep me from playing the game, but it cheapens the experience for me. It’s a shame because there’s just so much this game does well.

I find myself picking it up and putting it back down a lot. It’s probably because of the time-sink it requires to get the things I want to do done (horse training). But it keeps luring me back when I get a sandbox itch… like this past weekend.

Finally Progressing

Last time I logged in, it was over the holidays. I took notice of the Olvia servers, which give a nice solid XP boost to new and returning players. And then… well… the game got pushed aside for other things.

This past weekend, I sat down and really put my nose to the quest log to knock things out. Some of these quests have been there for a year now… and I still hadn’t pushed past level 24.

It wouldn’t be a BDO post without a picture of a horse.

It was really refreshing to finally finish some of those old quests. For example, there was a quest to give a bronze hoe to an NPC. This doesn’t sound like it should be too hard, but believe it or not, bronze tools are complex to make. I don’t remember what was getting in my way of completing it, but I couldn’t make the ingot (or something) and I never found a hoe for sale on the auction house.

This time, I discovered there’s a pre-order function on the auction house. So, I put in a pre-order for the hoe, which automatically purchased it for me the next time someone put it up for sale. In about half an hour, I was able to complete the quest that I hadn’t been able to do in a year! I wonder how long that pre-order feature has been around and I just didn’t know it.

Organizing Stuff

I also sorted through the million letters I had in the mail from forever ago. Every time there was down time or a holiday or something, I was accumulating stuff in my mail and had no idea what any of it was.

Inventory slots and weight are both a major problem for me in this game, even after spending some loyalty points on inventory slots. So I had to do a lot of organization to be able to claim the rewards and figure out what everything in my mail was.

I did get a bunch of EX boosters, but also a few free lockboxes. I still don’t really understand how gear works in BDO, so I ended up selling most the stuff I got from those boxes. I also got a free week-long dye pallet, which allowed me to dye gear to my pleasing.

But the biggest surprise was in the form of the Fame rewards.

Rolling in Silver

So, this is a casual player who logged into the game to 9 million silver max in the bank. I thought I was doing good. Then I get this mail in my box talking about Family Fame… which dropped 63 million on me for just logging in.

I was shocked.

Then I started Googling to find out where this money came from and why. Apparently, BDO added a Family Fame system that drops a bunch of money on you every day depending on your accumulated family points. If you don’t log in to get it, it stacks up in your mail until you do.

I suddenly had more silver on me than I knew what to do with. So I quickly researched the best kind of armor to buy for Tamer, and bought the +15 version of it on the auction house. Yes, I know there’s better than +15 now… but I was only level 24, so that was plenty for what I need at the time. Until I can do better research and understand it more.

Finally Leveling

I quickly discovered that with the new armor and upgraded weapons, I was tearing apart all the monsters in my level range while barely taking a hit. This encouraged me to quickly become a weapon of mass destruction.

No, I don’t know what any of my skills really do in this game. I just hold the mouse buttons down and go to town. I have this one skill that I put on my hotbar that summons my pet and it does this massive AOE whirlwind that slaughters everything. So I’ve learned to gather up as many monsters as possible while it’s recharging and take them all down in one swoop.

Needless to say, this propelled my questing progress, but more than that, my leveling progress. In a few hours, a lot of XP boosts, I found myself ten levels higher.

Yes! I have finally leveled beyond 30 in BDO!

That Black Spirit

I’ve also picked up the main quest again, and the Black Spirit is just as dubious as ever. He continues to absorb energies and transform… He’s a lot less cute now than he was before.

He’s also a bad influence.


…And I love it! Sometimes I don’t know whether my character is something good or bad in this world, and that is also strangely appealing.

I like being the Warrior of Light… but it’s neat to not know what line your character is walking for once. Are you the hero, or are you out just to take care of yourself? What is the Black Spirit’s agenda?

He did tell me he considered me a friend… and for some reason, given the offhand conversation this happened in (part of quest text), I believe him. I guess I can understand why he thinks that my character should choose their own path rather than just blindly accepting NPC quests and doing what other people ask all the time.

It’s kinda interesting.

Anyhow, I don’t know how long my stay in BDO will be this time, but I’m having fun destroying things and leveling quickly. I still have no desire to stick my neck out and progress past level 49.999999 where I could be ganked by PKers, though. So I don’t know how much that’ll hamper my enjoyment of the game in the end.

I do really want to explore the ocean one day!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Alt-stravaganza

I was in a strange and restless mood this past weekend, and the Hatching-tide event encouraged me to dust off my alts to get the new mount. So, I found myself making progress on various alts instead of doing much on my main.


I’d left Hedgemouse off at the point right before you choose a grand company and start working on unlocking the company chocobo. I’m not sure why I lost steam at that point, but I did last month, and just haven’t worked on her much since.

So, I picked back up and got the chocobo unlocked. She’s a happy Lala now.


I remember hearing that the chocobo quest was severely nerfed a while back, but this was the first time I took an alt through it to see these changes. It used to take 2,000 GC seals to unlock the chocobo voucher. That has been nerfed to 200… which only takes 2 Grand Company Leves to earn.

I’m not complaining, mind you, but it was still a bit of a wake-up call. No matter. A chocobo is a chocobo. I’m taking it!


It’s been a while since I’ve talked about Tai. I haven’t done much on him since I finally made the choice between him and my main as to who to progress with. I think that was sometime last year back when I was still trying to run Weeping City for two characters every week, and simply got burned out.

But I thought it was a real shame that Tai was left lingering two patches behind to not finish the 3.0 story… mostly because his ilvl wasn’t high enough. He’s still got a number of ilvl 210 pieces, with an assortment of Weeping City, Lore and Alex gear… if that tells you how neglected he is.

Look at that face. How could I ever forget him?

I didn’t have the desire to grind for tomes for him, especially since expert was out of reach until he got to ilvl 230. And while I could have run PotD for a weapon, I didn’t have the resolve to do that either.

What Tai did have on him was over 4 million gil… from whatever. I have no idea, since he wasn’t a crafter (until this weekend). My real crafter still can’t touch making the ilvl 250 stuff yet. So, I ended up breaking down and buying Tai’s way to a proper ilvl.

I’d already bought a couple of 250 accessories, and it was not cheap. But then I saw that there was a HQ Heavy Metal Lance for sale for under a million on the AH, with an ilvl of 250. Seeing that my weapon was 210, I snapped it up and that pushed me up from ilvl 228 to 233. Which was enough to finish the 3.0 story (the final dungeon requires at least 230).

So, now Tai is a bit more broke, but has successfully completed the 3.0 story. One more Lore accessory later, he’s only one point shy of making it into Dun Scaith… but I’m not sure if I have the motivation to start running that again weekly. Those promised 270 accessories would be really nice, though.

Tai’s new glamour

I also started being crazy and began leveling my crafting and gathering jobs on Tai as well. I’ve considered doing this for a while to have an alt that specializes in jobs that my main doesn’t. I’m not sure how far I really want to go down that rabbit hole, though.

I just felt like leveling something this weekend, I guess, and it wasn’t my black mage, like it should have been. It still felt nice to zoom through the lower level stuff — I have four crafting jobs at level 6 now and working on my gathering jobs, too.

I also put a good chunk of time into Black Desert this weekend, but that’s info for another post!


Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Hatching-tide Mount

So I’m gathering the Hatching-Tide mount across various characters, and taking a good look at how different races pose on top of the giant egg mount. Here’s what I’ve found…

Kitties seem to both ride the same way, male or female. Kinda hanging on for dear life.


Au Ra guys ride like a boss!


Lalafell gals are cute as expected.


Hyur fellas ride pretty intensely.


While Elezen guys are really chill.


Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Making Strides in Gathering & Crafting

I’m really starting to enjoy Thursdays as that is the day that crafting/gathering deliveries reset in FFXIV. I tend to knock all of them out in one night, which isn’t that hard to do. And I feel like I’m finally making good progress, too.

First Fokelore

Last night, I used the gathering deliveries to finish up gathering scrips for my first ever Fokelore book.


I chose the tome for Abalathia’s Spine partially because it offered the most gatherable items. And my goal is to finish the I Found That achievement in order to earn my Blessed pickaxe. As of last night, I stand at 146/150. Just two more fokelore books unlocked will get me where I want to be!

But I ran across one more thing… Luminium Ore. I went to gather it as usual, and then got my feelings hurt — I had a 0% chance of gathering this stuff! I looked it up and discovered that in order to even have a chance to gather it, my Gathering rating needs to be 860. Seeing that I was at 730-ish, I was a long ways off.



I’ve been saving up my gil over the past month, and ended up dropping most of it on a new set of Ironworks gathering gear. The old green scrip gear I had worked for what I needed it to be, but I didn’t upgrade in part because I needed the scrips for fokelore tomes and because I didn’t want to drag around a set of gear for each gathering job (that gets on my nerves).

I already had great gloves thanks to Syn, and my accessories weren’t going to do much to boost gathering, so I just focused on buying the left side stuff and melding it with gathering materia. Somehow, I still have some gil left over from this adventure.

Once I finish the achievement, the Blessed pickaxe upgrade will be enough to put me over 860 gathering. So I just have to keep fishing!

Crafting Upgrades

I saved a few deliveries to finish off one of the crafting tool upgrades I’ve been working on for my Goldsmith. I’m sorta in the same boat in crafting as I was with gathering — there are things I’d like to craft that I can’t touch because my stats are way too low.

Last night, I traded my Goblin Cups for an upgraded tool.


I also picked up another Master IV book, which I’m slowly doing job by job.

I know this is really late into the expansion cycle, but I hope this will put me in a good position when Stormblood drops to start strong on my crafters and gatherers. Back when Heavensward launched, I had just got my crafters to level 50, so I was really behind on not just gear but overall crafting understanding. Not that I understand it all that much better now! 😀


Oh, and aside from that, my Singing Clusters are 32/50 as of last night. So I’m on track to finish this up this month as I hoped.

Also, here’s the giant egg mount from this year’s Hatching-tide quest!


Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Coils Clear and Blessed Tools

Aside from working on earning Singing Clusters for my relic this weekend, I also finally broke down and finished the Binding Coils raid. I know… I know… it’s older content. What took me so long?

Back before one of the story patches last year, my FC was actively working on running people through unsynced Coil. This was absolutely exhausting to me.

We had random teams at different spots of progression, which meant we were running the same phases over and over again. I personally got to Coil 11 and after our team tried to clear it many times, I gave up on the prospect of ever getting through.

I walked away with a bad taste in my mouth and a negative feeling about raiding in general. Alexander 12 didn’t help that feeling.

So when people in our FC started rallying to run Coils again for the story and the clear, I ran and hid. In fact, I told Syn that I had “absolutely no interest” in setting foot in Coils again.

Rock and a Hard Place

It’s kind a tough place to be in, and it’s hard to express to other people. I somehow inherited a wonderful FC full of great people who rely on me to keep things running smoothly. But I am not a raider and I have no interest in EX content or even normal primal fights in Heavensward.

Syn is much more resilient than I am in running lots of group content. I need time to relax and chill in game, or I start to view the game as a stressor rather than a stress reliever.

But at the same time, I acknowledge there are people in the FC who want to see content that I don’t want to play. I don’t want to be a reason they can’t see it, but I also can’t run everything and organize everything.

Thankfully, we have the assistance of an officer who has stepped up to not only lead the Coil raid, but also primal clears and EX attempts. I don’t like to call out FC folks too often in my blog here, but Talomere is doing the FC and myself a huge service, and he doesn’t even realize it. I don’t know if he’ll read this post, but if he does, this is a personal thank you.


The Coils that Almost Weren’t

The static team that formed to clear the Coils had worked each weekend and were on the final turn on Saturday. I wasn’t planning on running Coils at all, as I noted above, but Syn asked some of that team if they wouldn’t mind helping her through the final turn. Of course, no one says no to Zeb, and then Amoon piped up saying he could use the Final Turn as well.

Here I sat twiddling my thumbs on Discord thinking, “Gosh, it would be real dumb to pass up a full-FC unsynced run when they’re about to do the exact content you left off on, wouldn’t it? Our ilvls were much lower back when we attempted this before, and these are different people… so it might not be so bad this time.”

So, I swallowed my pride and asked to come along. I think Syn probably choked on her mic at that point.

And thus, I ran the Final Turns. My verdict?

I’m glad I finished it, all grouchiness aside. I’d watched some of the cut scenes a long time ago on YouTube thinking I’d never finish Coils myself. But even despite knowing some of how the story went, these are some intense and emotional moments.


I found a new respect for the Twins as characters, a new understanding for the entire 1.0 to 2.0 transition, and more puzzlement over the lore surrounding the way primals work in the FFXIV universe. Every time we uncover a new primal in such a way, it challenges the idea of what primals are a bit more in my mind. I really like that.

I’m a little sad that this is all locked behind old raid content. But also, the ease with which our team cleared it (much, much easier than last year’s attempt) tells me that once Stormblood drops and ilvls rise even more, Coil will become much more accessable to people, especially if you’re in a FC that’s willing to help you with the clear and sit through all those cutscenes for you.

Thank you KoM! 


Blessed Gathering Tools

Now for something less exciting than Coils.

My quest to earn blessed gathering tools also began yesterday. It’s something that’s been on my mind to do here or there. Basically, if you gather all the things, and complete the I Found That achievement, you can get a nice ilvl 200 gathering tool that glows when you gather/fish.

I mentioned that offhand to Amoon yesterday, and though neither of us had planned on that, it sent us on a flurry of filling in the missing slots on our mining gathering log. This was actually a lot of fun, and something I’ve wanted to do. Lining up those timed nodes and travelling around to find them all…

But I ran into a snag. I finished 140/150, and realized I only have about 3 or 4 left on my log.


Doing some quick research, I found what I was dreading. You do, indeed, have to have the Fokelore nodes unlocked to earn this achievement. Seeing that I have zero Fokelore earned, this is a bummer.

However, I’ve wanted to unlock the Fokelore because, well, good stuff’s there. So, I guess this is motivation to get out there and work on my blue scrips. I’m about halfway to my first book.

I’m just a bit torn between earning crafting scrips or gathering scrips on my weekly deliveries now. #FirstEorzeanWorldProblems


Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

April Gaming Goals

I feel like this month is going to be a little light on goals. At the end of the month, Mario Kart for the Switch is releasing, so I know I’ll be putting time into that. I have a few things that I want to accomplish in FFXIV, but it’s mostly just cleaning up stuff before the expansion at this point.

So, let’s see what’s on the list for this month.

Zelda: BotW

  • Defeat second Divine Beast

I’m still taking my time figuring things out in this game, discovering new fun. But I do want to at least beat a second Divine Beast if I can. Make a little progress in the story since I’m enjoying what I do see.

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Complete Singing Cluster Stage of Dragoon Relic ✓
  • Level Black Mage ✓
  • Upgrade Crafter Tools ✓
  • Buy Fokelore Book ✓
  • Buy Master IV Crafting Book(s) ✓

Yep, it seems pretty lax. Most of this can be done through the weekly Delivery system, which I enjoy so much. Fokelore might require a bit of gathering and fishing, however. It would be nice to be able to start gathering stuff I couldn’t gather before.

Going to try to get Black Mage to 50 if possible so the job can share gear with Red Mage and Summoner on down the line. I’d honestly like to get most of my jobs to at least 50 before Stormblood, but I’m not sure how I feel about unlocking Dark Knight and Astsro until I have the other three complete!

One job at a time. 🙂

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch, Uncategorized, Zelda Breath of the Wild

March Gaming Goals in Review

I actually did a pretty great job of meeting all my goals this month, even the ones I doubted I’d meet (Umbrite Relic Stage). I spent most my gaming time between Zelda: BotW and FFXIV, as expected. Now that I’ve gotten further into Zelda, I can make next month’s goal a bit more specific.

Here’s what happened in March!

Nintendo Switch Launch

  • Dive deep in Zelda – Breath of the Wild ✓

Yep, definitely did this. I put in more than 30 hours on this game (which is a lot for me) and have only cleared the first Divine Beast. I still have so, so much more to do in this game!

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Upgrade Dragoon Gear ✓
  • Upgrade Alt Job Gear ✓
  • Finish Umbrite Anima Relic Step✓
  • Level Paladin ✓
  • Earn scrips for Crafter and Gatherer ✓

I’ve upgraded all of my Dragoon gear to 270 using tokens earned through the alliance raids. I really don’t feel the need to keep running them at this point, so I’ve been taking a break from Dun Scaith and company. Aside from the weapon, my Dragoon is sitting pretty for the expansion.

I have been upgrading my alt job gear as well. Most of the Bard pieces are at least 260 — I believe I just need hands and feet (or something), which I plan on earning through Scripture over time. I’ve also been upgrading my Intelligence gear in anticipation of Red Mage, and working on a complete set of 200 gear for my Paladin. I’m just piecing together drops from Expert at this point with no real urgency. I get what I get.

I finally finished the Umbrite Step for the Relic Weapon! For a while, I didn’t think it was going to happen this month. But last weekend, I put my nose to the grindstone and finished it up!

My goal was to simply “level Paladin.” My reality was level Paladin to 60. Being a shy tank, I stayed away from leveling roulettes, and did it mostly through Beast Tribe dailies, hunts, FATEs and a solo PotD. It honestly didn’t take as long as I thought, and encourages me to work on my other jobs, now.

My final goal was to earn scrips for crafters and gatherers. Oh, man, did I ever! Thanks to the new Deliveries, I made 300 out of the 450 cap for crafter red scrips last night. That’s more than I’ve ever done before (I don’t craft weekly for scrips, just don’t have time). The result has been upgrading all kinds of gear, both crafting and gathering, as well as purchasing Master crafting books and saving up for my first Fokelore for gathering.

Between this and the scrips I get from my Squad, it’s been a beautiful thing. I’m really excited to be making progress in this area! I hope Deliveries stick around.

So, how did your month go? Meet any important goals?