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!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Bozja Relic Weapon Complete!

While I’ve already finished my first relic on my RP alt, and had finished the first step for my main for a while, last night I finally got the shiny version of the 5.3 Bozja relic for my Red Mage. While these aren’t terribly difficult to get, and I have the base weapon on several of my main’s jobs, I think this will be the only one I progress on for now.

I had three of the Bitter Memories that I needed for the second step already – two from leveling roulettes and one that dropped as I finished up the mettle I needed to get to Rank 10 in Bozja last night. So, thanks to my FC buddies, they ran me through three Anti-Towers to get the rest done.

I was skeptical of the Anti-Tower method to begin with. But as long as you have a tank/healer friend to speed up the queues, you really can knock one of these out in 10-12 minutes each. Compared to the drop rate of memories out in Bozja, it feels far faster.

I am done with seeing this fight for a while, though.

Why does one of the few FFIV references in FFXIV have to be this fight?

Anyhow, I do have one more relic I want to finish for sure on an RP alt. He’s on the second step, but has a ton of ranking to do in Bozja – he’s only just rank 5. So I might just tough it out in Bozja as long as there’s still folks out there. Last night, there seemed to be, and even enough to pop the Castrum.

Castrum is the next step for the storyline for me in Bozja, do hopefully I won’t lose too much experience in dying to that fight. Because, what I’ve heard at it, it can be difficult! XD

Posted in MMORPGs, Ultima Online

Ultima Online: First Week Back

It’s been a week since I’ve retrieved my old Ultima Online account – one that I made back in 1999. I have been playing it fairly consistently when time permits, though it’s been a bit of a learning curve getting back into it. How’s things going? Well…

A Tale of Two Clients

The first thing I had to make heads or tales of (aside from the bank issue that I needed to solve) was the user interface (UI) of the game. This is probably the largest stumbling block for players new to this sort of oldskool game (aside from the absolute lack of handholding it provides).

Even for me, I admit, it was hard to go back to a game where you keyed up macros that you have to remember and use the right mouse button to move. Modern MMOs with their hotbars have spoiled me, and I had to do a good bit of Googling just to figure out how to do rather basic things when I returned to UO.

One of the first questions I was faced with was which client to use: Classic or Enhanced.

At first, I was really leaning towards sticking with Classic. I just like the crisp pixel art style better.

Classic client

But after I spent some time with the Enhanced Client, I leaned that way instead. Mostly due to the easier to use UI – especially hotbars.

Enhanced Client

I just don’t really dig this psudo-3Dish attempt at the art style as much as the oldskool pixel art. It seems more muddy and harder to see — though you can zoom in and out on the Enhanced Client and not so on the Classic.

I do believe there are mods and such for both clients, but I haven’t looked into those yet. One thing at a time.

The Skill Issues

The next thing I had to address and research were my character skills and what to do about them. Since UO was my first MMO and I had no real plan of attack casually playing it 20 years ago, skills on my characters are pretty much all over the place.

I learned that aside from a popular build “Sampire” (life leeching samurai), melee builds on their own aren’t really a good way to go (especially if you intend to solo). I learned Taming builds are all the rage and that Bards can be pretty neat, too.

Between both of my Aywren characters (Yeah, I have two: “Aywren” and “Aywren Sojourner” – I might change that up sometime later), I have a smattering of bard, mage, taming, tailoring, swordsmanship and… it’s just all over the board.

I learned that Stratics is the place fans tend to go for builds and such. It felt good to be back on oldskool forums looking at builds and tactics. I did this for a few days, trying to decide which character I should lean which way.

It seems like Aywren was further along in taming, so I’ve focused on learning that build and magery for her.

While my other character seems to have delved much more into musicanship, so will likely be my bard. I’ve yet to figure out exactly what build I want for this character – she might get a total makeover.

I also learned that being grandfathered into the Endless Journey meant that I actually can roll additional characters! This led me to deleting one of the old ones – she seemed to be leaning towards magery, but didn’t have any items of note in her bags and wasn’t very far into skilling up. So she was pretty redundant and using a name I’d not use now days, too.

I’d like to try out a gargoyle character eventually, but for now, I have enough on my hands!

The Gift of Gear

So after a few days hanging around Moonglow, I learned that the island isn’t as safe as I remembered it. Used to be, as long as you didn’t venture around the graveyard, all you’d ever need to deal with were Mongbats.

My run-in with a skeleton named Edward changed my perspective. He was just wandering up the main road, slaughtering all animals in his wake. I remembered how the skeletons of Moonglow were usually easy for me to take, and this resulted in my first two deaths (death two was trying to get my gear back from my corpse).

I tried to look this guy up, but found nothing about him online. Man, was he nasty and FAST.

After I quickly remembered how to get a rez from Wandering Healers and managed to retrieve my stuff from my corpse, Edward chased me all the way back into Town where I logged off for a bit. I did see him wandering around the west gates of the city later that night. Wish I’d taken a screen, but it all happened so fast.

One day, I will return, Edward. Just you wait.

After doing more research, I determined there is now a new player experience in UO, and this usually starts in a town called New Haven. So, after experimenting with rune books and messing about with moongates, I made my way there.

The bank in New Haven is pretty busy!

Much better! And much more populated, too!

As a new player, this area has a nice sprawling southern area to tame all sorts of animals. There are a few tough fights out there, but nothing my Bear Brigade couldn’t handle (I say that without having tried to fight the ettin).

Syn even rolled a character and we messed around together for a night. This is where we met the very nice fellow from the [kool] guild.

He approached me in town, and I knew he was offering to recruit me to his guild. At that point, Syn had only been in game for 20 mins and I was struggling to answer her questions and teach her what she needed to know to navigate those first-player steps. So neither of us were really able to focus on thinking about a guild that early on.

I’d also forgotten how chatty and friendly people were in older games. I told him that I’d not played UO in 20 years, and I felt a bit bad taking a guild invite when I didn’t know how much I’d be able to contribute. He reassured me that the guild was there to help new and returning players, so I did promise to keep them in mind in the future. But for then, we just needed time to settle in and explore.

He wasn’t pushy and totally understood that. In fact, he offered to give us some gear that would help us start out. At first, I hesitated on taking a gift (modern day MMO mentality), but he explained this was something called LRC gear.

I had no idea what LRC meant, so I asked. He further explained that this gear would completely negate the need to hunt/buy/gather reagents for casting spells.

In UO, every time you cast a spell, it requires a specific type and number of materials that you must keep in your pack – if you don’t have it, you can’t cast it. It was one of the things that kept me from going too deeply into magery.

Once I understood LRC and what it could do for us (since Syn started out in magery, unknowing of the reagents), I quickly agreed to accept his gift. He brought us both back a set of 100% LRC gear (telling us all the while that it wasn’t the best stuff but it would be a help) and gave us both 1 million gold to boot! He also advised us to insure the gear (which I did know how to do), so that it remained with us should we die.

My fancy new LRC gear and the Bear Brigade (There are actually five bears there)

Holy cow! This was further than I’ve been in UO gear and gold wise pretty much ever, and I am so very grateful and exited!

Thank you Mr. from the [kool] guild! I wish I’d taken a screen to remember your name, but I was helping Syn figure out how to put her new gear on at the time. XD

Skilling Up

So, now I’m at the point of skilling up. I’m dropping skills I don’t need and leveling skills I want as a tamer and mage. The quests in New Haven pointed us to an area right near called Old Haven. It’s fantastic for no-aggro enemies and skilling magery.

I even ran across this guy who spawned out of nowhere: Drelgor the Impaler! He took about 5 mins to kill by kiting all over the place while chucking fireballs on low mana, but I took him down!

First “Big” Kill

Right now, I’m hanging around New Haven, skilling my Taming to the south and my casting to the west. I’ve moved up from bears to things like grey wolves and panthers in my taming skills, but bears still seem to be the tankiest pets to tote around at this point. They make short work of Bog things and Greater Mongbats.

I find UO to be a pretty chill solo experience, which is a nice contrast to FFXIV where everything is high energy and mostly group-based stuff. It balances out well, and I’m enjoying the feeling of a world that I’m slowly rediscovering — I know it’s huge and there’s so much for me yet to learn and remember!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Relic, Glamour and Making it Rain

I’ve been quite literally doing so much in FFXIV that I’ve needed to take time off to give my poor eyes a rest lately. Running as many FATEs as I have over the last couple weeks is enough to give me a case of eye strain.

That being said, several things panned out over the weekend – the first was earning a relic on my RP alt. I still have yet to finish the second step on another alt, and farm up remaining memories on my main, but at least one character has a shiny weapon as of this weekend.

Also, I finally got the caster chest piece drop that I’ve been gunning for in the Bunker. I only need the hands now to finish the caster set, so I can somewhat relax running this raid. There were weeks I was running several times between two characters, so it’s nice to be able to just build the red mage glamour I was working towards and take it easier come this week.

The Make it Rain campaign is back again, giving everyone a hefty boost to MGP earnings in the Gold Saucer. This came with a short questline that rewards a new Consider emote.

Since Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, I’m a little bummed that we didn’t get All Saints’ Wake this year. I understand that with impact of COVID, the team had to make major adjustments (like everyone) to continue working. This led to content released late, and some cut content – including All Saints’ Wake.

They’d announced that Make it Rain would have something along with the Halloween event, but this turned out to just allowing players to visit the haunted manor. This is a nice gesture, at least. I guess this is the downside of having a game that hand-crafts new events and stories for holidays every year.

Mind you, I’m not complaining because I completely understand something had to be cut given the situation. It’s just a little sad that I see a bunch of MMOs out there with their returning Halloween events — again, it’s probably easier to just flip a switch to reuse something every year compared to FFXIV that strives to bring something new every year.

I guess I always have Halloween in Animal Crossing — which I have been working towards by logging in for candy every day!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Done with Stormblood (Again)

I’ve been pretty burned out with the struggle to get through Stormblood on yet another character. I’ve been working on finishing this up on Zuri for a while now. I’d left her in Yanxia for the better part of a year and finally, the last couple of months, I’ve put my nose to getting her out of that expansion and into Shadowbringers.

It’s been a painful ride, mostly because I elected to try to do it all by my self and not ask FC folks for much help with the string of dungeons and trials. You all know how much I utterly dislike dungeons and trials. The only exception was Tuskuyomi, which I waited over 30 mins in queue for as DPS, and broke down to ask for a Healer-boost queue.

Running dungeons with PUGs in Stormblood reinforces my absolute dislike for the forced dungeon interruptions in the MSQ design. It reinforces the need for Trusts earlier in the game, as well. If there’s content that really needs more options, it’s the Stormblood stuff.

Folks (including me) just don’t know/remember Stormblood content very well, I’ve found. This has been a consistent thing through just about every party that I’ve gotten in all of the leveling and MSQ dungeons I’ve run.

Wipes were very common, often due to undergeared tanks pulling too much too fast. Issues with people who bought story and level skips and don’t know their jobs. Things like that. Don’t even start me on the number of wipes we had just to clear Shinryu.

In the end, we did beat the content, though. I suppose much of what you’re hearing is me being completely jaded with Stormblood on my 4-5th time through. I’m completely done with it… even though I have a few more characters that need to clear it. I’ll figure out what I’m going to do with them when I get there.

For now, I have two characters just newly come to the First. Boy do I love Trusts!

Congrats, Zuri. You made it!

Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, Ultima Online

A Return to… Ultima Online

AKA: How I got my original 1999-2000 Ultima Online account back.

Yep, you read that right! Back in the golden days of the Internet, UO was one of my first MMOs. My sister and I shared an account (since there was only one computer in the house at the time), and this game formed the definition of what a MMO world was for me.

I’ve known about the Endless Journey (Free to Play) offerings for a while. Every now and then, I humored the thought of trying the game again. But never did I actually consider that my original account could be out there and playable. Turns out, it was!

The Rabbit Hole

So what got me to thinking about my old UO account? Strangely enough, it was an article that Kotaku posted about the WoW level squish and how fast leveling feels. The comments started to discuss Ultima Online, of all games.

Another commenter said they’d love to return to UO if they could reactivate their old account, but hadn’t been successful in doing so. To which another commenter said, lots of people have actually reactivated old accounts for the F2P option.

And that got me thinking.

So I searched around and found this on Reddit:

Well, now. I’m a packrat. So the one thing I knew I still had was my original UO CD with the key on it. I went to the closet and sure enough…

I have a feeling this was the major item for proof of ownership for my account when all was said and done.

Restoring the Account

So, Monday night, I sent UO support an email with all the information I could remember about my account:

The next day, I got an email back requesting pretty much all this information in a different format, and a little bit more in terms of bits and bobs.

So I complied and sent them all the information I knew once more. There was a LOT that I didn’t – such as my credit card, phone number of that time, and actual account dates. But much to my surprise, I got an email back in a few hours:

At this point, I was starting to get pretty excited! It seemed like the information I provided had been enough! So, I sent them my current email, which is also the one linked to my Broadsword account (I have an old DAoC account too).

Not long after, I got yet another reply:

They assigned my old account a new password and sent me all the info on how to link my original UO account with the existing Broadsword account. And also how to change the password for the UO account to something I’d remember.

I did all this, gave it about 45-50 mins and sure enough, I found myself back in Moonglow for the first time in 20 years.

Returning to UO

I was shocked to find all my characters (there are 4) just as I left them – I was correct that they were on the Atlantic shard, too! This included my sister’s character that I’d forgotten had been associated with this account.

It took some time to readjust to the small client screen and some of the game’s quirks – such as remembering that you had to log out in a safe location (such as inside an Inn) if you wanted to switch characters quickly.

I poked through all of the character bank slots and curiously looked at the skills that were leveled for each. Neither of us were very hardcore players. We had a lot of cloth and wool and crafting stuff in our inventory. My sister actually had cooler things than I did, such as deer masks, a dye pot, some nice katanas and such.

The first issue I ran across was that what appeared to be my main character was using a last name that I not only would never use anymore, but is too closely associated with my password. In fact, it was a downright security issue. So, that was right out!

I didn’t want to delete any of these historical characters, especially my main. Plus, you can only have 2 characters normally on an Endless Journey account, so I was lucky to have an extra 2 grandfathered in. But I really needed to do something about that name.

So I did some research about what options I had, and learned there was a name change token for about $10. I plunked down the money, and now my main from 1999 sports my current day name: Aywren Sojourner.

Bank Troubles

The second issue I ran across is a bit more troubling. An EJ character is only allowed 20 bank slots, which isn’t a lot given that you lose stuff you’re carrying when you die (if it’s not insured – this is something new).

But the real issue is, having an old account, my bank already had more than 20 items in it upon logging in – naturally, since there were no restrictions back in the day. Mostly, it was a bunch of junk that I could have done without, too.

Don’t laugh. I don’t remember why I was hoarding bone armor in 1999.

I was puzzled when I went to try to take something out of the bank, and could not. So, it was back to doing research.

Come to find out, a veteran player who returns as F2P cannot access anything in the bank, not even to lower the bank slot numbers to 20, if they have more than 20 items in the bank already. That’s just… really bad design.

I don’t care about the 20 slot limit in general. But at least let me pull stuff out and not put anything in the bank again until I’m under 20 slots. That makes too much sense, right?

So my options here were…

  • Remain F2P without access to a bank ever
  • Reinstate my subscription just so I can clean out my bank, then drop the sub and have to wait for 120 days until I’m F2P again…

Neither of which I want to do.

I might pay for a sub eventually. But right now, I just wanted to check out my old accounts and see what the game was like again. If I can stay F2P, that’s really key to keeping me logging back in while I’m casually exploring my options. Especially if I have to drop my sub and wait for 3 months before I could play as a EJ account again… that’s just bleh.

I discovered there was a third route that I could go that would not push me to re-sub, but would cost me about $3.

The Vault Token

So, there’s a thing called a vault token. It provides 125 slots of shared storage between all characters on your account for 30 days. Plus it allows you to unbank an overstuffed bank.

I cringed to have to put more money towards it, but I had two characters on this account that would have locked banks if I didn’t. Not to mention, my sister’s character had some pretty nice fishing poles, extra packs and tons of cloth that could benefit other characters.

I went the vault token route, and it worked for my needs perfectly. In fact, I’m actually pretty happy that I did this because it allowed me to shuffle items to two of the characters who were basically running around in their skivvies, not even a robe to their names.

I was able to throw them some supplies, distribute the fishing rods, clean out the banks to a point where they will be usable again come the expiration of the vault. I don’t like that there is an expiration… but that was the best option I could see to remain F2P overall for the moment.

So, with those two things squared away, I now have my fully restored 1999 Ultima Online account converted to the Endless Journey and open for me to explore again. I’m pretty stoked that this could have happened at all – who would have thought that this would be possible – that a game I played all those years ago, this account and these characters would still exist?

The immensity of it!

Ah well, time to go fishing with my trusty steed by my side. He only waited for me to return for 20 years…

I’m back, Ben. I’m back.
Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder – Getting Burned

So you may know that I’ve been struggling my way through Stormblood on my Zuri alt with varying degrees of success. Generally, I make progress on her before other FC folks get online and want to do other things. This means that I’m usually in a PUG group for the dungeons, which I already am less than enthusiastic about playing.

Last night, I got to The Burn. This dungeon has a pretty tough final boss for an at-level party in general, not to mention a PUG with new folks in it. I wasn’t looking forward to it at all, but seeing I only had two dungeons left until I’m free of this struggle, I pushed forward.

Things seemed okay at the start. The healer (and I believe the tank) was new. That’s fine, though it might mark trouble for the last fight.

I noticed on the first and second boss fight that our healer wasn’t responding well to mechanics. Standing in the red, not knowing where to go, not following the party when we were obviously moving to a location for a specific reason, etc. I also noticed she had a love of AOE healing – I’m not sure if she did single heals – and I don’t recall her doing any DPS.

But she did heal… even if that’s all she did. And DPS was fine, so that didn’t bother me.

When the trouble began was at the last boss – Mist Dragon. Without the extra healer DPS, there were some close calls on the DPS checks. But then things really got troublesome.

About halfway through the fight, I got encased in ice and died from the debuff. So I sat and waited for a rez.

And sat. And waited.

And sat. And waited.

I watched her standing over there throwing out an occasional heal on the remaining two members, while I was dead on the ground. She was not pressed for time or even needing to heal super hard – no major mechanics were happening. She simply didn’t even attempt to rez me.

I asked for a rez in party chat. I got none. Just her over there throwing heals.

All I could do was sit and watch. I noticed we had full limit break bars, and suggested a DPS limit break. But the dragoon went down before that could happen – we were something like 10% at that point on the boss.

And she didn’t rez him either. At that point I was like… what the heck – seriously? A healer who appears not to know how to rez in a level 70 dungeon?

I started to get a little frustrated at that point (I’m so done with Stormblood, seriously). While I tried not to be mean, I did make my displeasure known as we all wiped to something that was totally avoidable… if the healer had only brought the DPS back to life…. you know… like healers are supposed to do.

Then the first thing she said in the whole run was something about someone using a limit break. The tank thought a 2 bar limit break was going to bright the party back to life. And I explained that only a 3 bar healer limit break could do that (8 man party).

By that time, I already had a FC unsynced run in my pocket if I needed, but decided to give it another chance. I don’t know why.

So, we waited as the healer…. ran all the way back through the dungeon to the last boss without using the shortcut to quick-warp to the end. At this point, I fully realized we were dealing with someone who knew absolutely nothing about what they were doing and should not be in a level 70 dungeon.

We proceeded to wipe again as she died first this time to mechanics. At this point, I was ready to drop group as politely as I could. No one was giving grief or being nasty towards her – this time I didn’t even say anything.

She rezzed back to start and promptly dropped the dungeon of her own will after we were all dead. We got a healer replacement immediately and went on to beat the boss just fine afterwards.

For all my frustration, I got a commendation. Go figure?

I then went to look up this healer on Lodestone, and sure enough… everything about her character looked of a purchased level-jumped and story-jumped individual. So she bought a level 70 character (that had both healer and DPS options), and chose to go into a level 70 dungeon as a healer without knowing how to play that job, aside from the fact that she needed to heal.

Please… please… If you’re a new player, get some experience with your job under your belt and learn what your job’s responsibilities are before you level skip and try to take on level 70 content. Especially if you’re a healer or a tank. This content can sometimes be tough for people who already have game experience!

This is why Stormblood needs Trusts. Period. I have a couple more characters that eventually need to get through this content. I’m debating whether to just give up on it or hope and pray Trusts come to Stormblood.

Or pick up a really good sale on story jumps sometime in the future… but it’s a shame I feel like I need to skip content just to enjoy the game.