Posted in Art, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Commissioned Character Artwork!

I don’t often commission artwork, but I do like to support fellow creators and artists, especially when they’re such kind a friend and FC-mate as Bean Baguette.

I was stoked at the opportunity to have her draw my FFXIV character. I requested her wearing the birthday gift I got from my FC – the Eastern Garb. Not only did Bean do that, but she drew some of the other gifts – the Doman Magpie and a pose inspired by the Eastern Dance.

I’m all ready for Stormblood! Woo!

What’s even more incredible is that I was able to watch her stream the art as it came to life yesterday. Just magical. You can check out that stream here!

Thank you so much, Bean!!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Stormblood Battle System Changes from Live Letter XXXVI

Have you ever gone to write a post about something and realize that the topic is just so massive that there’s no easy way to break it down? That’s how I feel about digesting all the battle system changes the FFXVI team shared in the newest Live Letter.

I wanted to write something more in-depth about it, but honestly, I’m sick with a cold that started last night, and not feeling completely up to par with tackling what would be something huge even if I was feeling well. I’ll say that overall, I feel positive about what I’m seeing.

If you want the Live Letter in its entirety, here you go. Just know that it’s almost 4 and a half hours long.

https://player.twitch.tv/?video=v146267937&autoplay=falseWatch live video from finalfantasyxiv on www.twitch.tv

It might be easier to jump to the information consolidated on this Reddit Megathread.

So, here’s some takeaways my cold-muddled mind has from all this:

  • I’m happy about the job-based skill changes.
  • I’m good with all the attribute changes.
  • I like consolidating skills into one button that changes in function depending on your level of content (ex. Stone, Stone II, Stone III, Stone IV).
  • I’m not sure how I feel about the new job gauges. I understand what they’re trying to do with them, but some of them feel overly complicated (like Black Mage). I won’t know until I actually play the jobs, though.
  • Dragoon is one of the jobs that I’m iffy about the gauge thing.
  • I do like that the job gauges seem to make the classes more varied.
  • Red Mage still has me interested, and the gauge thing seems not too overly complex for that job.
  • I’m more impressed by Samurai than I expected to be. It looks fun.
  • I’m SO HAPPY about the changes to Bard and Machnist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO MORE BOWMAGE! That was all I ever wanted from them in Heavensward.
  • I was also interested by the song job gauge the Bard was using, though I don’t understand what it all means.
  • This is going to make choosing a main job hard. 
  • I’m interested and positive about changes to Healers. I really disliked stance dancing into Cleric Stance to do damage. It was a level of stress that drove me away from the Healer role… I may revisit White Mage now.
  • I’m happy about the buffs Paladins are getting since it remains my tank of choice.
  • I’m okay with the level and story jumping potions.
  • I’m sad I can’t get a leveling potion for Red Mage, because that’s the only job I’d have a use for that on (would love to play Stormblood story through on Red Mage, but doesn’t look like that’s happening).
  • Though I don’t play Summoner, I’m happy they get a Bahamut summon. 🙂

I’m sure there are other things, but that’s all I can muster for right now.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: NA Data Centers Moved, High Pop Servers Locked, Jimmies Rustled

A lot has been going on in FFXIV this week, sending ripples of frustration through some parts of the community. This isn’t so huge that it’s making big news outside of the FFXIV community, but I’ve been a spectator of rustled jimmies all over the place.

So, what’s happened to rustle jimmies? Two things:

I’ll explain what these mean and why people are frustrated in a moment. But, right now, we have four types of FFXIV players:

  • People who are upset because they feel negatively impacted by the data center move
  • People who are upset because they feel negatively impacted by the server locks
  • People who are upset about  both
  • People who were positively effected by the server move, don’t know what’s going on, or don’t really care what’s going on

And, I guess there’s me, who knows what’s going on, wasn’t positively effected by the server move, but didn’t get my jimmies rustled by a slight increase in ping time.

NA Data Center Move

Everything (except the downtime) sounded good about the move before it happened. The idea was that better and stronger servers would impact the game in a good way — especially when we’re looking at no longer routing through the troublesome Level 3 choke points and hopefully strengthening the server for upcoming improvements on game inventory capacity, etc.

Yeah, some of us were without the game for two days, and only credited for one day. I think people were already antsy because of the downtime.

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But what really got people upset about this?

The fact that signs point to the new location (which S/E kept secret) is in Sacramento California, on the opposite coast of the original location. What players were hoping for was a more central location. So, people got to pinging the new servers, and some folks discovered a much higher ping than they used to have, especially those in Europe and South America.

I have no idea what my ping used to be, but seeing that I’m on the East Coast, I’m sure it went up. I did play around a bit in PotD last night, and didn’t see any unusual lag or antics. But this wasn’t anything heavy or taxing. I’m also not a cutting-edge player, so people like raiders are the ones who would see the effects of these things more so than I would.

I’m sure that there are many people out there who are having a rough time with the server move. It’s hard to say if it’ll shake itself out in time or not.

Server Population Balance

It’s pretty well known among NA players that our two highly populated servers, Balmung and Gilgamesh, are both on the Aether Data Center. This also happens to be the home of my server, Midgardsormr.

I remember how at Heavensward launch our Data Center in particular became impossible to log into, and I’m going to guess it’s partly due to having two very high pop servers on it. In order to make things a bit smoother for Data Centers for Stormblood’s launch, S/E has preemptively taken action.

This makes it kinda sucky to be on a high pop server right now. First of all, no one can create a character or even transfer a character (temporarily) to these servers as of yesterday. Second of all, once Stormblood launches, “login restrictions will be put in place on highly populated Worlds which may result in players having difficulty logging in.”

Yikes.

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However, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Here’s some good incentives S/E are giving for people to move to low pop servers when Stormblood arrives:

  • Because all servers are high pop in EU, they’re creating fresh new servers for EU for Stormblood!
  • They’ve significantly increased how much gil you can bring when you transfer to a new world
  • Free world transfers to specific new and low pop servers (this is across all data centers, including NA)
  • Experience bonuses on those chosen servers
  • Free game time and gil awarded to newly created characters on those servers (who reach a specific level)
  • Reimbursement for people who currently own a house, for the cost of the house and furnishing
  • Support for Free Companies who are making the move together

This all sounds pretty nice to me. But, of course, there are folks who are still very unhappy that their servers have been locked, and with no prior warning. I see this especially from those on Balmung, where most of the role players congregate.

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An actual Tumblr post

Right.

Now, I don’t have anything against Balmung — I have a few alts there myself. And I totally understand why people who RP want to be on the same server as other RPers. However, I’ve never felt like this was a healthy balance, not just for the server and technical side of things, but also the community.

When new people came to the game, and they asked, “What’s the most active server? Where should I roll?”

The answer usually was, “Balmung or Gilgamesh are the most active, but both of those require a transfer.”

Yuk.

If you’re a role player who wants to be involved in the community, you didn’t have a lot of choice but to move to Balmung. There’s never been a chance for strong RP communities to form on other servers because the general populace would tell you that Balmung was the only place to go for your RP.

Honestly, while I’m sure there are plenty of great people and RP opportunities there, I’ve also seen the kind of non-RP discussions that happen in open chat in the cities there. Some people see it as a stage to say just about anything that comes to mind, no matter how lewd it might be. And they consider it normal, funny and a part of their server identity.

I would love good, clean RP with friends, but I don’t want to see that kind of discussion in the streets of my starting cities. So while I’m sympathetic to people who are upset about the server locks, I also hope this is an opportunity for the RP community to find a new place to migrate and grow, hopefully without all that baggage following along. That was never going to happen as long as transfers to Balmung were open.

This will also give more people a chance to enjoy features, such as housing, which is nearly impossible to get on the larger servers. So my final thought on this: it’s a good thing.

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Level 50 Black Mage & Reaching Goals

Though I haven’t been working overly hard on my goals for this month, I managed to knock out a few of them in my FFXIV play session last night.

The one goal I have been moving towards was reaching level 50 on my Black Mage. This is mostly because I want to share gear with Red Mage once that’s released. However, I’ve found that I’m starting rather enjoy Black Mage as a job now that I’ve played with it some.

I sorta wish I’d played it more back in ARR, before level 60 rotations made it more complicated. I still don’t know a whole lot about how Enochian and stuff actually works, though I’ve looked up rotational guides and all. Hopefully, from what I’m hearing about the battle revamp, that will see some changes.

But until then, I’m going to keep leveling on towards 60!

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In the crafting department, I’ve continued to gather Scrips from my squad each week. This has been enough to allow me to unlock all but two of my Master IV books so far. Almost there. I still need to go back and work on some Master II books as well.

As for gathering, between my squad and the weekly gathering deliveries, I was able to purchase the first of my Botany Fokelore books last night!

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I doubt I’ll be able to get my Blessed tool for Botany before Stormblood drops if it requires all the Fokelore books like Mining did. But I’m still going to make it a goal to work on since it’s just cool to have gathered everything in the game and have that achievement. I’m a long way from it, though.

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I guess I better get working on that. If I do a little bit day by day, it’ll get done soon enough!

Posted in Everquest 2, Gaming, MMORPGs, Uncategorized

EQ2: Free Level 100 Boost

Some kind of big release went out in EQ2, so they’re offering folks free level 100 boosts to a character of choice. I’m so very far behind in content (I actually have never done any content beyond the 50s in that game) that the content itself doesn’t concern me one bit.

free100

However, I have a stable full of alts that for some reason I can’t let go of. They all have huge undecorated houses, even the whole Isle of Refuge, and vet rewards for over a decade, still 5K Station Cash Daybreak bucks (whatever) and yet, I sadly let them gather dust.

Maybe I’ll make it a goal to spend more time exploring EQ2 this year.

Anyhow, despite not actually playing the game, my ears still perk up every time they give away a character boost. I’ve actually boosted 5 characters (including the one I just did last night) over the years, at varying levels.

Last time they offered this, I put out a poll on who I should boost because it’s a hard choice! My little Fury Rawring won… but I actually never played with him after I boosted (figures).

This time around, I knew there was no question who I wanted to boost. My Froglok monk, Chirrupp, is the only character who didn’t have access to a flying mount (which I love so much in EQ2). All my other characters may be low leveled in their battle classes, but I spent a LOT of double XP weekends grinding their crafting classes to 90, soully for the flying mount, back when I was actually in a guild and had the means to.

What I didn’t know was when I boosted her, that she’d not only get flying without having to go through the flying quest (yay), but that she’d also get this… whatever it is… dragon-like flying mount. (Faeralith, The Obedient One)

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This is also good, because while I have other flying mounts she can use, I think this one fits well, and is really the only character of mine that it would fit. I just don’t see Ratongas flying around on things like this. 😀

So, yeah. Free level 100 boost.

If Daybreak is trying to remind me there’s a game where I put a lot of time and money and have a huge amount of alts and content I’ve never seen… I guess it worked. I always feel a little ashamed that I haven’t done more in EQ2 than I did.

But there are just too many games!! I guess the reality of it is that I’ll probably keep the client updated, but log in next time they give away another free character boost. Eventually, I’ll get all my characters leveled that way if I’m patient! 😀

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, IRL, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch

Making Birthday Bank

Back when I was a kid, birthdays were a big thing. Even though my family wasn’t wealthy by any means, we always had many presents, a cake and good memories. Then, when you get into the adult world, you get things like… a flamingo light placed on your desk at work to announce it’s your special day. 😀

2017-05-09 09.14.18
This is really a thing in my office.

Well, this year, friends and family made sure I was super spoiled on my birthday. Thanks to everyone who sent good wishes and gifts. I wanted to share some of these, because they were so cool!

Ori

ori

Ori has been a game that’s been on my Steam wishlist since before the definitive edition existed. I love the art style, and it looks like it’ll be a whimsical game to experience.

Thank you so much, Al!

Nintendo Gift Card

nintendoeshop

My sister (Vix) knows I want eShop cash for my Nintendo Switch. In particular, I’m hoping for a digital release of Stardew Valley for the system this summer.

Which is ironic, because last year, she bought me Stardew for Steam for my birthday. So that means she’ll technically be getting it again for me on Switch. I’m excited to see what it’ll play like on Switch (even though I love it and have played it so many hours on Steam). Plus, multiplayer is coming up and we want to share a farm!

Cat-opoly

catopoloy

My brother-in-law (Xaa) decided that I really needed Cat-opoly in my life. I didn’t know that I needed it, too, until I got it. It’s been a long time since I’ve played any kind of Monopoly game, and this version looks like it’ll be fun! Can’t wait to bring it down during the holidays to try it out.

KoM Free Company Gifts

happy_birthday_wren

Completely unexpected, a group of FC friends – shown here on the right as Bean, Talo, Arky, Arny, Lyra and Quezette – surprised me with not just a fun piece of artwork that I will treasure (thanks Bean!), but a whole treasure trove of cosmetics and fun things in FFXIV.

This included:

  • Eastern Garb for Women
  • Doman Magpie
  • Panda Cub
  • Eastern Dance

I don’t tend to buy myself cosmetics from the Mog Station, so while I really loved all of these, I didn’t own them. I always thought the Eastern Garb was pretty elegant (if not a little leg-showing).

Not all dresses look good on my character (Yuna’s Attire), so I was really pleased with how lovely this one did. I just put a pair of Thavnairian Sarouels that I’ve been saving for glamour purposes under the dress, and dyed it all my favorite metallic sky blue.

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I took a lot of fun screenshots last night. Now, I just have to decide what job gets this pretty outfit. It looks a lot like something Monk would wear, though Amoon suggested that if I mixed and matched, I could make the top work for Red Mage. That’s a possibility!

Or, perhaps, I’ll switch this to my Bard (depends on Amon’s Hat compatibility) and the red robe glamour to my Red Mage… so many thoughts. 😉

Anyhow, thank you to everyone who made my birthday fun and exciting! I really do appreciate all the good wishes and the unexpected gifts!!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Black Mage & FC Fun

A lot happened over this weekend, mostly dealing with folks in my FC. But let me start with the more boring stuff first — my progress in leveling Black Mage!

My goal is to hopefully get to level 50 this month, and I’m well on my way. Last night, I got to level 46, struggled through my level 45 quests, and unlocked the first part of my artifact armor.

Yay for pointy hats!

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Now for our Free Company fun!

First, on Friday night, we held an Aquapolis run to help earn funds for our upcoming FC house upgrade and move. We ended up having two parties treasure hunting before the end of the night, earned a good bit of Gil, and even cleared the 7th floor more than once!

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On Saturday, two of our FC members held a wedding event. It had a pretty great turnout!

Vix, Xaa and I spent time figuring out what we were going to wear the night before.

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The night of the event was fun for all!

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And the bride had some tricks up her sleeves for us.

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But most of all, we were there to have a good time.

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After the event, we all got on our egg mounts…

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And stormed Quarrymill!

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Zeb’s Hairdos

Though, I really think someone should take away Syn’s right to aesthetician. So for the night of our FC Anniversary glamour event, Zeb turned up looking like this:

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And then, later that night like this…

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For the wedding, she dyed Zeb’s hair blue and orange (the wedding colors) and gave him a goatee.

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