Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV 5.4 Preliminary Patch Notes Highlights

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

Yay!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nice!

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

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

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

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

This is a nice change!

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

Hmmm….

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

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

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

Hmm… interesting. And rather vague.

Meh

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

Overall

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

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

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

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

December 2020 Gaming Goals

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

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

FFXIV Goals

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

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

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

MISC Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

November 2020 Gaming Goals in Review

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

So here’s what I got…

FFXIV Goals

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

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

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

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

MISC Goals

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

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

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

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Puppet’s Bunker = Glamour Central

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dang. This gear looks good in a different color.

That was the beginning of the end.

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

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

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

But now I finally have the glamour sets I want…

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

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

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

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

Just the coat, but a great start!

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

My Thoughts on Puppet’s Bunker

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: First Art Party!

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

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

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

The reality was…

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

Rocking out to this tune for hours…

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

Art parties IRL are defined as:

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

https://www.iloveartparties.com/faq

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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 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.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Bozja and 5.3 Relic Weapons

To see the new glowy 5.3 Relics, check out this post.

So the content that has captured the attention of my Free Company this weekend is the new Bozjan Southern Front. This area is one way to work on the new Relic Weapon upgrades (you can also do FATEs and dungeons), and has a number of throwbacks to Eureka.

Except, it’s not Eureka.

I never got very far into Eureka, to be honest. Though I started my MMO gaming days back when chain-pulling mobs for leveling was a thing, it was something that I couldn’t easily go back to. Not to mention, a number of friends and FC folk just didn’t have an interest in doing it after the first try. I can’t really blame them.

Thankfully, Bozja is a much more palatable version of the Eureka concept. Namely, you can do it solo if you really want. This is the important point for me.

In fact, it’s set up to be an area you can use to level any 71+ level jobs you have, as well. Instead of getting a Deep Dungeon this patch, they folded the leveling into this instance. I think it works well enough.

Despite all this, even when I was out soloing the area, I often hopped in random groups for Critical Engagements and just to run around farming Skirmishes. So if the idea was to encourage grouping, it worked for even a hermit like me. Well done!

What is Bozja?

So, the main draw is progress on the Relic weapon, yes. But I find that to be secondary to the progress I’m making within the resistance ranking system. It’s really a game within a game, which I like quite a bit!

So first of all, you have resistance quests. These lead you through the Bozjan zone bit by bit, unlocking new areas and more challenges. You obtain new quests as you level your resistance rank through earning mettle.

You earn mettle by doing Skirmishes. This is just a fancy name for FATEs.

Defeating specific skirmishes leads to the spawning of a Critical Engagement. These are large boss fights of sorts that can have up to 48 players in each. No matter where you are on the field, you can sign up for the engagement, and if you’re chosen to participate, you’re warped to the battle automatically.

The Hunt for Red Choctober wipes the entire engagement…

It’s a nice system.

If nothing else, it has has further increased awareness of the dangers of red chocobos. And provided several amusing memes, as well.

Certain Critical Engagements offer the opportunity to a one-on-one Duel. To get a chance for that, you have to perform really well in the CE (I know Choctober is one of them)… such as not getting hit by any AOEs during the entire fight. Way easier said than done.

I’ve been chosen for a duel twice in the lowest zone (not Choctober!), and declined both times. I’ve seen too many folks fail these to put myself on the spot. But it’s lots of fun to watch the fights and cheer from the sidelines! 🙂

You can earn lockbox drops from the Skirmishes and CEs, which can net you lots of Indigo Stars fluff items such as barding, minions, glamour, music and even a rare mount (that two lucky people in my FC have somehow managed to get).

Aside from that, you can also earn Clusters from any random enemy that’s not part of a Skirmish. You can purchase hair, emote, mount, music and other such with clusters. You often see people forming Cluster farms.

Once you get to Rank 10, you get a quest to do a larger engagement people just refer to as Castrum. I’m not quite Rank 10 yet, but am looking forward to trying it out when I get there.

Aside from earning Memories for your Relic Weapon, I know there’s a set of gear out there as well. I just haven’t reached that point yet to have the information about it.

Bozja has certainly been more fun as we’ve brought our own groups out there. While I’ve leveled 3 characters to at least Rank 5, having FC folks out romping around makes things smoother and overall more fun.

In fact, I think this is the most fun I’ve had in FFXIV in a good long while. I’m much more geared towards these open instances and hopping into random battles to help people. There’s something about the environment where you can lose mettle when you die that encourages people to support each other more.

So yes, I’m having fun in Bozja. Will post more as we get further and experience more things. Story is also pretty good too!