Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

Blaugust Dev Appreciation Week: Thank You FFXIV Team

This week at Blaugust is Dev Appreciation Week. And since I’ve been straying all over the place with my topics so far, I decided to pull together a quick post that’s on-theme today.

As a creator myself, and a member of a software development team IRL, the developers of the games I play tend to stay up front in my mind. I marvel at the skill and originality they possess, and try to be gentle when things don’t always live up to expectations.

A Final Fantasy Fan

It’s not a secret that I’m a Final Fantasy fan. My first JRPG as a pre-teen was Final Fantasy 1 on the NES, and my first RPG love was Final Fantasy 2/4j on the SNES. I still appreciate the old skool games much more than those that came after FFIX.  I never could quite get into the shift into more sci-fi, J-Pop or modern themes that newer FF games take the series to.

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There was even a chunk of time when I was quite angry at S/E for what I perceived as milking the series — especially my most loved game FFIV. I felt really betrayed when the release of the 3D version added parts to the story that weren’t in original canon, which directly effected fan projects I’d been working on for 15-some years at that point. Then, add to it a very mediocre “sequel,” which I still haven’t played and refuse to knowledge exists.

Yep, I’m a FFIV nerd.

A Fan Reborn

When FFXIV first launched, I ignored it. I was in a Boycott All Things S/E mindset at the time. And probably deep into playing GW2 or whatever my choice of MMOs was. It was hardly a blip on my radar, except to hear from media now and then how terrible it was.

I did catch wind that the game was shutting down. I heard that it was being re-worked. And none of that really phased me at the time. I had no idea how incredible a story it would become and how FFXIV would eventually become the center of my gaming when A Realm Reborn launched.

Shortly after ARR came to be, I started hearing GOOD things about it. Really, really good things about it. So much that they’d stopped selling the game temporarily to let the poor servers catch up with the demand.

I was having a falling out with the direction GW2 was going at the time, and feeling down about the state of my MMO gaming. And even though I was still annoyed with S/E as a company, my curiosity got the better of me, and I picked up FFXIV as soon as they made it available for digital download again.

As an oldskool FF fan, I was almost instantly hooked. Some people knock the slowness of the game and the story in the beginning (which I understand), but for me, this is exactly the change of pace I needed after my frustrations with GW2. Then, to see so many Final Fantasy references all balled up into a package that was undeniably created with love…

FFXIV did something I didn’t think was possible. It made me a Final Fantasy fan again. 

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My first Moon Kitty, rolled back in September 2013.

This, I thought, is a REAL Final Fantasy game. THIS is the kind of fantasy and story experience I’d been missing for so many years. It was exactly the right game at the right time, and while I don’t always agree with all the choices the team makes, I found myself quickly becoming loyal to Yoshi-P and his team of miracle workers.

My Deep Thanks to FFXIV

Five years later, I’m still subbed and still playing. I’ve been to a Fan Fest where I was able to meet members of the dev team and express my gratitude in person. I’ve met so many people through Eorzea, some which have extended into what I consider RL friendships.

I’ve run a successful Free Company that’s helped to link together people from all across the world. And even after giving that to new leadership, I continue to meet people through RP endeavors as I start on a new path in the game I once only tried out of pure curiosity.

The game taught me to (mostly) overcome my crippling fear of grouping.

It taught me my first raids.

It taught me that I wasn’t as terrible a player as I feared I would be… that I didn’t wipe parties when I grouped (like I was scared I would)… that I had value… and that I could bring people together and teach them in turn. I can’t express how much this game has pushed me to develop beyond my social and gaming comfort zone.

It may sound crazy to say, but $15 a month is cheap for that kind of personal development. I owe the team so much more than that (throw in a few server transfers and Fantasia fees, am I right?)

Game development can be a thankless job sometimes, so I wish there was some way I could tell them how much Eorzea and their creations have meant to me, and will continue to mean. Maybe somewhere through this big wide Internet, my good vibes will trickle their way.

It always blows my mind how The Rising anniversary event usually is THEM thanking US! Looking forward to this year’s event and many more beyond!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Jump Puzzle – With Bennett Foddy

On the first day of the Moonfire Faire, the fact that there is a jump puzzle to the event became a reality. Then, people came to know that there’s an easy version, which is all you need to complete the event, and a much, much harder version. The harder version doesn’t give you anything but bragging rights, and yet, so many people set out to defeat it.

During early afternoon, server shout chat in the zone began to draw connections between the feeling this jump puzzle gave someone and the game Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy.

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Now if you’ve never played the game or watched someone on YouTube play it, please take a moment to watch any normal playthrough (not speed run) of Getting Over It. Doesn’t matter which, they usually all end up the same. Lots and lots of bad language. 🙂

Anyhow, throughout the game, as you fail and lose progress, Bennett Foddy offers “motivational” quotes and commentary in voice overs. Most of these are actually empowering quotes, but in the middle of suffering and failure, they feel more like a passive-aggressive jab at you (which is probably the intention).

So, when Mateus chat turned into Bennett Foddy quotes for the new jump puzzle and various parodies of, I knew I needed to start hitting the screenshot button.

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In closing, some Bennett Foddy motivation for your Wednesday here:

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Moonfire Faire 2018

Here we are, when it seems almost everyone else is talking about the launch of the WoW expansion, and I’m just chilling in the new FFXIV event — this year’s Moonfire Faire. There’s a lot of positive vibes coming off this event as far as I’ve seen. Or maybe it’s because the change to a larger, RP server really ramps up the community excitement way beyond what I’m used to seeing.

Shout chat was non-stop yesterday (for better or worse), and I saw everything from fat chocobo parades to floating people bridges (which I took part in). The bridge didn’t quite make it to the second island, but it got pretty long in the end!

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This year’s reward was a nice set of cosmetic beach wear, complete with sunglasses. I thought it looked good for both male and female characters, and I went through the event on all of my characters to snag a set for each of them.

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BUT… before you could reap the rewards, you had to face the challenge of the Eorzean Nimble Warrior… which I’ve been told is a parody of American Ninja Warrior (?) I have no idea. I’ve never even seen the show, so the joke went way over my head until Amoon told me why it was so funny.

Basically, the whole thing is a bit of a jump puzzle. First, a horizontal one…

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…and then a vertical one…

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Once you hit the checkpoint at the mid-way area in the tower, that’s all that’s required to get your rewards. It’s honestly not that hard of a jump puzzle as long as you take your time and don’t overshoot it.

However, the jump puzzle continues upward beyond that with a difficulty I’ve heard rivals Kugane tower. It’s not required for anything, just there if you want to try it. I don’t even know that there’s really a reward…

When night rolls around, the fireworks start in each city. These will likely continue on through The Rising anniversary event later on this month. It’s so hard to believe that this means I’ve been playing this game for almost five years! I remember the first Moonfire Faire, which was happening back when I was a completely new player, even.

Overall, looking back at the choice I made to hand off our FC and make a change in gaming environment, I’m not regretting it. Mateus can get a little more excitable in shout chat, and has its share of trollish behavior, but that kind of stuff can be turned off or avoided. Our Cross-World Linkshell has done well to keep in touch with people on our previous server. I’ve made more than enough RP contacts to be busy for a long time.

Our tiny friends-only FC on Mateus reached Rank 6 over the weekend, which means once I have the funds, I’ll be hunting/camping a house for us soon. We’ll see how that turns out!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: The Hunt Continues

Last week, I wrote about unlocking the Monster Hunter World collaboration event in FFXIV. It wasn’t until this weekend that we actually got to sit down and fight the Rathalos trial, however.

Despite somewhat wanting the mount, I only ran the Normal mode once. It was enough to kinda form an opinion on the fight itself, which was a blend of battle mechanics you’d see in Monster Hunter imitated the best that FFXIV could.

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Overall, the Normal mode trail isn’t terribly hard. It does require you to be level 70 and to have completed Stormblood to play it. I think it also requires you to have at least ilvl 320 gear. This is more than enough to get the job done, IMHO.

I know the EX version is much more challenging than this, seeing they cut the party number in half and limit the number of potions you can use. Also, the party has a shared 3-death penalty. If you reach that max number, the fight is over.

Mostly, this fight is about moving and spacial awareness. Rathalos often faces someone and charges at them without any ground telegraphs or warnings. The same for the tail swipe mechanic. So you have to keep an eye on boss body language.

In the second half of the battle, healers can’t heal you anymore and it’ll be up to you to use the Potion mechanic. You only have 10 of them, so you have to choose when you need them wisely. Healers can still rez you, however.

The issue I had with this part of the fight is that it was often difficult to see what the boss was doing and which way he was facing when he went into flying mode. I play FFXIV boss battles zoomed all the way out most of the time, but the nature of the small arena for this trial and the boss being in the air just wasn’t a good combination for my camera angles.

If I got struck, it was often because I just couldn’t see very well. This is a problem I have when fighting Famfrit in the Lighthouse, too. Whoever thought it was a great idea to put a spinning mechanic like Tsunami at the TOP of a tall boss was just mean!

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Aside from the little design complaint, which I’m sure gets easier to deal with the more familiar you are with the battle, it’s a solid fight with some nice rewards. The Palico minion was the main prize I was after in the end, though there are housing items, music, a Poogie minion, a set of armor, and of course the mount to earn.

Since the fight isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, I may just wait until it becomes easier content to find a farm party for the mount. I’m not really in a huge rush for it, and I’ll have more than enough to do with the Moonfire Faire opening today… so much glamour for so many alts! 🙂

One more shot of the Palico, who is every bit the minion I hoped he’d be!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: The Hunt Begins

The Monster Hunter crossover in FFXIV launched this week and the community in general has been going nuts over that cute little Palico up there. The minion was the one thing I really, really wanted out of the event, so thankfully, he’s not too hard to get.

While I’ve unlocked the trial last night, I have yet to run it. I was waiting for friends to be ready to run it with me, so that probably means tonight, if all goes well. But in the meantime, just look at the cuteness… especially the Miqo’te dialogue interaction!

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The vibes I’m getting from this event is that it’s been warmly welcomed. The EX drops a mount and tokens (in case you’re not lucky enough to get a mount drop), but it doesn’t sound like the chance at the mount is too hard to get. Once you’ve mastered the fight.

This might be one EX I actually try to do. I’ve seen the mount in person, and it looks pretty awesome. Since it’s a 4-man, it might not be too difficult to rope a group of friends into farming it together to share the drops.

I’ve been advised to practice normal mode first, though! I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Updated Character Cards

Since so much has changed between all of my characters in the past month, I decided it was high time to redo all of my FFXIV character cards. Not only have I moved most of my characters to a new server, and to new Free Company, but some of them ended up re-named, fantasia-ed and re-purposed for my RP story blog.

Also, for the first time ever, I’ve included my RP alts in the character lineup as well! I still have a long way to go on a lot of these characters, even to just get them where I want them for my storyline.

I’ve also ignored my poor little non-RP alts, like Tai and Ben. I think once I get all my crafting squared away on my main, I’ll have more time to sink into some of these other characters.

If you’d like to make your own character cards, head over to the site here!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Inventory Woes (House Moving Edition) #Blaugust2018

I noticed a number of folks writing about inventory management and woes with inventory systems this week for Blaugust, so I decided to chime in with an experience I recently had when moving my character to a new server in FFXIV. This character owned a FC room and a small house, which both were full of seasonal items and furniture.

In order to leave the server, all such rooms and housing have to be relinquished. Before you can do that, you have to take every single piece of furniture out of both the house and the housing storage. There is no intermediate storage to use for this. 

This put my main character in a state of total disarray. While I’ve cleared out a bunch of inventory slots thanks to the Glamour Commode, my retainers and bags were not ready to take on over a hundred new items all in one blow.

Here’s a bit what my housing inventory looks like now that I’ve moved into a new place. Keep in mind, I also have an apartment where I offloaded a bunch of stuff (forgot to add that to these pictures), and I went through and sold any furniture that would be easy to get or make before I moved… AND I passed some furniture off to an alt for his apartment. So, I had a LOT more than this to juggle when I first started to organize this move.

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This was after downsizing big time!

In contrast, here’s the open inventory on my retainers and myself.

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I have a little wiggle room there, though I was carrying a lot more materials in my inventory that I stashed in the new FC chest. But still, shoving all those housing items into my inventory meant that I had no inventory to do anything else… until I bought a new place.

Working Around It

So how did I manage this without purchasing a third retainer (because I’m not going to do that, sorry S/E)? I had a couple work arounds…

Namely, Binding in FFXIV doesn’t quite work the same as it does in other games. I’m almost afraid to talk too much about it, because it might get fixed (if it’s considered broken)! XD

When an item is bound to you, you can’t sell it, trade it or send it in the mail. But I noticed you can do other things — put it in the FC chest (where other people can take it out) and allow other people with housing rights to pick it up straight out of your house.

Now, I admit that I used the friending glitch that was passed around a while back to friend some of my alts… since without it, you can’t send mail to alts nor allow them to access your house. This is silly. I’ve never liked this. So I didn’t feel bad about working around these things so that my own inventory management was more convenient to me.

Thankfully, it sounds like S/E is looking into allowing alts to share your house in the future. But until then, the FC chest and friend glitch were my only lifesavers in this move.

I took an alt I’d friended and who had a good amount of inventory open, gave him housing access, and he was able to stash a boatload of my furniture, even if it was marked as Binding. He couldn’t pick up the Untradeable stuff, but that was okay. I could manage that number of items.

Once I bought the new house, I just gave him rights to it, and he plunked the stuff back inside. I shoved it all in storage and there you go. Move successful!

It’s still crazy that you’d have to go to that length just to move servers (on top of losing the house with no refund at all (not even partial) and having to hunt a new one on the new server). I can’t imagine what it’s like for folks with bigger houses and larger storage than mine… and those who don’t have alts who can stash things away.

Really, this needs to be looked into. Housing has come a long way in FFXIV, but it remains a major frustration point for a lot of players. The more I work with the system, the more I understand the pain.