Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Moonfire Faire 2017

AKA: The Embarrass Zeb Post. 🙂

So, this year’s Moonfire Faire hit the servers yesterday, and after much Battered Fish cooking, I finished the quest and earned the rewards on my main. As seen above, this year’s outfit is a dyable version of the gear set from Shisui of the Violet Tides.

Now, I was never as impressed by this set as some people seemed to be. Apparently, based on the dev blog, people have been requesting a dyeable version of this, so who am I to damper the fun?

I noticed that they took the basis of the fun dart gun mechanics from Stormblood and adopted it to this event, too. I’m sure the team got good feedback on the dart gun mechanic, and I had a lot of fun with that, too. It’s interesting to see it repurposed for something so… different… though.

Anyhow, it motivated Syn to craft a little bit Battered Fish on Zeb, so that’s a win (even though she complained how boring it was). And yet another embarrassing picture…

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The quest itself is short and pretty silly, but I guess the team is still shaking off the release of the expansion and trying to catch their breath. Though I’m not a huge fan of the outfit, I know that I’m going to run my alts through the event to collect it, like I always do. Considering how lax I’ve been on logging into FFXIV lately, that’s probably a good thing.

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Revisiting the Promises I Made to Myself for Stormblood

Though I enjoyed Heavensward as expansion content, I look back at that time as probably the most conflicted and discontent as I’ve ever been in FFXIV. Before Heavensward, I was pretty carefree about what “end game” meant. I leveled an alt, we did Crystal Tower, maybe plinked away a little at a Relic that I never expected (and never did) finish. I had jobs that I enjoyed playing.

After Heavensward, a lot of that changed. Bard was a mess (IMHO), and I spent about a year drifting from DPS to DPS trying to find a replacement that I never actually found. Running a dungeon now and then turned into running Expert for tomes almost every night to cap for the week. Alexander was something everyone thought they needed to run, but was never that much fun to me. Even the safe haven of 24 man raids got more serious and punishing, something that I’ve never approved of, and still don’t.

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That time when Alex ping-ponged me to death. I never set foot in A12 again.

I had to drop playing my alts because I struggled to keep up on my main. I hated the feeling of chasing carrots, but I felt compelled to keep my gear relevant. Overall, I struggled with this. I knew that something that I once enjoyed about the game was lost…

And it was my fault.

The game had not changed. My perception had changed. Being part of a FC that was meant to be casual, but evolved into mid-core put me in the middle of people who strove to achieve things like end game gear or Alex drops. I don’t fault them for that, because to some people, that’s fun. It’s how the game is designed.

I fault myself for playing a MMO in a way that just didn’t work for me.

Revisiting Promises

I grappled with this issue for a long time. With all the grumbling I did about Alex and Alliance Raids, one would think I hated FFXIV. I didn’t. I was just overwhelmed. I had to find a balance for myself, but didn’t know how to achieve that.

I stuck it out, though. Where many people offered the ever-wise advice of “Take a break,” I never did. As frustrated as I was with end game, there was a lot in FFXIV that kept me playing, too.

By the end of the expansion cycle, I’d become a bit wiser, learning what did and did not work for me as an individual. I knew that if I wanted to enjoy Stormblood, I needed to set some guidelines for myself, make some promises, before going into it.

Stormblood has been out over a month now. At this point in Heavensward, I was feeling the heavy weight of end game on my shoulders and seeing the writing on the wall. So how have I done in keeping these promises to myself so far?

1- I promise not to do content just because everyone else is doing it and because I have the ilvl.

I found it ironic that Vix brought this up a few days back. She’d been trying to run some EX stuff and some Omega, and she came to the same conclusion. One night while playing 7D2D, she said to the Posse, “I don’t see the point to running EX or Omega.”

I laughed and said, “You’re right. There is no point. It’s just there if that kind of stuff is fun for you. Run it if it’s fun. If not, don’t bother.”

Oh, I have by-passed so many EX runs, even though so many folks seem to think they need to do this content. Thankfully, KoM has a number of individuals who enjoy running and teaching this stuff, and I am more than happy to let them organize and do just that. This frees me up to do less stressful stuff I’d rather be doing.

I ran Omega Normal once for the story, and that’s all I wanted to do. I’ve chosen to run Omega 4 weekly for the weapon. I don’t find the fight too stressful, and I’ve already accumulated 3 drops, so I figure what’s 4 more runs of it going to hurt? I never chose to earn an Alex weapon, so this is a first for me.

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I’m not really working that hard at capping tomes. Heck, I don’t even really have a full set of Verity stuff yet. I run a few dungeons here or there. Maybe do some PvP. The gear I have is enough to get me through what I want to play right now.

I’d say I made good on this one so far.

2- I promise not to put myself through another Relic grind. 

Don’t know about this one yet. Have to see what Relic is going to be like. I keep hearing it’ll be tied to Eureka, which is an interesting concept to me.

3- I promise not to chase carrots, even the clever ones, unless the rewards are really, really important to me. 

I’ve done pretty good with this. I still don’t bother much with Wondrous Tails, especially when there’s nothing on the book I want to do. The one I did finish last week was because I could keep spamming Frontlines, which I was going to do anyway. XD

4- I promise to find a job that I love and stick to it. 

I HAVE DONE THIS!

Oh, man, if you don’t already know, I’m so in love with Red Mage. This has changed everything.

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I also really like what I’m hearing about Bard, but I’ve spent very little time re-learning the job. I want to, eventually, but Red Mage is everything I hoped for in a job, and it has made FFXIV a much more positive experience.

5- I promise to let myself play alt characters, as long as it’s fun to do. 

I’m doing that, too. Not only am I allowing myself to play alts, I even have gone as far as to create a FC for my alts, and work on a RP Adventure Journal.

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Being less worried about end game gives me the freedom to play FFXIV the way I usually play MMOs – with a bunch of varied alt characters. Seeing that gearing up is really not a problem all the way up through the end of Stormblood 4.0, and now you don’t need to worry about leveling all the sub-jobs and sub-job skills anymore, there’s really not a reason not to kick around on alt characters. These things alone have make FFXIV much more alt-friendly.

This has been something I’ve deeply missed, and I feel so much more positive about FFXIV when I have this creative outlet.

6- I promise to give myself time to relax and enjoy Eorzea.

I’ve done this. I spent just as much time gathering and crafting (which is mostly relaxing) as I have leveling in Stormblood.

Also, placing my alts in a quiet and judgement-free place where I can take some time away from the more social FC atmosphere helps a lot. It gives me a choice of play environments, and I can hop back and forth between these as I need to.

7- I promise to find a balance while still making progress. 

I feel like I’ve done this pretty well. Believe it or not, Frontlines PvP is a very good alternative to the pressure of forced group dungeon running for me. Not only can you level alt jobs there fairly quickly, you can also earn Tomes there if you prefer.

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Matches are short and lucrative. Queues are fast, even for DPS. It’s more open-world feeling, and no one notices if you suck at it. It’s been my go-to for leveling outside of dungeons, especially things like my Paladin. I’m considering taking a healer in for leveling, even. I’m really glad we discovered it, and I hope it remains a viable alternative to being stuck in a dungeon all the time.

Will doing this be easy?

That was the question I dropped at the end of the original post. And, you know what? It’s not been too hard at all.

I think it’s a combination of a lot of things coming together in the right way: finding a job I enjoy, finding alternate ways of progressing, allowing myself time to get away and play with alts, and delegating less appealing tasks to those who enjoy them more in the FC.

Now days, I feel like I have a lot of game-goals and projects I’m working on, and that keeps me eager to log in. I’m also working on a creative outlet that stimulates my need to write, draw and use imagination.

I don’t know what the future will hold, but for now: so far, so good.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: I’m a Bad Influence

Yesterday, Syn noted that our server, Midgardsormr, had become a preferred world on our data center. I was a bit surprised to see this since we aren’t a small server by any means… in fact, since Stormblood, we’ve had a small log in queue every night. Just a handful of players and a short wait, but still a queue.

Character transfers to our world are currently free from congested worlds. Also, newly rolled characters on our world get a bonus experience buff… and if you reach level 30 while the server is still a preferred world, you get 15 free days of play time.

I made note of that, and also noted that I had a solo FC just for alts. I must be a bad influence, because Syn and Amoon both rolled up an alt last night and joined <<Alts>>. 😀

I mulled over whom to roll (you have to make a new character to get the buff), and since I had just re-rolled my Porom Lala, and the group could use a healer, I stuck with her. So we have this mis-matched trio of characters speed-leveling through the early game:

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Though we all started in different cities, it’s actually been a lot of fun! I hope we can make it to level 30 before we lose the buff! Even if we don’t, though, it’s kinda neat to have friends join up in <<Alts>> where we can mess around in a smaller FC environment from time to time. I love my main FC, but sometimes (especially for RP and story purposes) it’s nice to have a small and quiet place to retreat.

I’ve wanted to play a FFIV-based character in this game for a while, and one that I’ve kept coming back to has been (child) Porom. I’ve rolled her (and a Palom) lala several times over the years. Lalafell are perfect for them. But I’ve never done much with either of them.

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Now, the proper pony tail hair style exists (it didn’t back in the early days), and it sounds like playing a White Mage is a lot less frustrating without stance dancing. It’s been good practice to start a healer from level 1 and work up. Plus, she’s a cutie with her Namingway, so why not?

I also ended up finally changing Zuri’s Au Ra character, as I said I wanted to. I’ve been seeing a number of posts lately that make fun of the fact that most female Au Ra are Raen that have the same face variation (the slender horns). I’m pretty sure it’s the horn shape that attracts to this face style (sad they can’t be separated), because that’s the reason I picked it, too.

I mulled going Xaela, but I just couldn’t find a look I liked with the dark scales. So, instead, I chose a different face option, and after playing around with styles and variations, chose to make Zuri an albino-ish Au Ra.

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She’s not a true albino, though, because her eyes are more orange than red… I just thought it looked better that way. I’m still experimenting with hairstyles, but for now, this is good enough.

A combination of battle leve quests (yes, some people still do these!) and a PotD nudged her to level 28 archer. So, I’m getting her closer to Bard, and to getting her back on the MSQ track!

Sometimes you just need a little freedom from end game. It puts things in a different perspective.

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So much fun with alts… and also great to see our server being overrun by so many cute little sprouts!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Worlds Collide

Last night, Syn surprised me by asking me to log into Ben so that Zeb could pick on meet up with him in game. I ended up taking a bunch of screenshots of the two outside of my main character’s house.

Of course, Zeb had to make trouble while he was there…

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He zeroed in on making fun of the very thing I did on purpose — I gave Ben fairly prominent ears. This is something I planned from the start. I mean, think of how it’d feel to get transported to another world and suddenly have elf ears!

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When your brother picks at you too much…

My retainer even got held hostage at swordpoint during the exchange. Don’t worry, it’s just KoGuRai. 🙂

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I tried really hard to make sure that I didn’t accidentally roll Ben to look too much like Zeb. Zeb’s been around for almost 4 years… Meanwhile, I’ve rolled and re-rolled Ben with different aesthetics over time, and I’m still not 100% sure I’m settled on this.

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I think I may have chosen the same base face as Zeb… but there are enough feature differences to make up for that. I also know for sure that I didn’t pick the same voice.

Anyhow, Zeb had to show off the fact that in the FFXIV he was not only a White Mage, but also a Paladin. It’s a dimension where dreams can come true!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Writing

FFXIV: Introducing Alt+Exp

I’ve been a little quiet here on this blog mostly because I’ve been working on setting up the aforementioned FFXIV RP/Story project. This has now taken shape as a brand new website that I’m happy to announce: Alternate Experience (Alt+Exp).

So far, I’ve got one story post there, kicking off the beginning of Ben’s journey to Eorzea. I also have an author’s post there, as I intend to keep a side blog running for author commentary.

Remember how I noted that I didn’t have any updated full-body artwork of Ben to show? Well, I can’t say that anymore. I drew a brand new piece (above) just for the release of this project. Am I dedicated or what? 😉

Here’s a bit of fun about the name Alt+Exp, and the various different meanings it can have:

  • Alternate Experience <Alts> is the name of the solo Free Company I created for my alt characters, including Ben.

  • In playing through the game yet again, I am having a new experience with an alt character.

  • My alt is gaining exp.

  • The character, Ben, is having an experience in an alternate dimension.

Anyhow, this is as serious a move as I’ve taken to actually get off my duff and start fiction writing again. Heck, I even picked up a new domain name for it. I also had to break down and dedicate my secondary Tumblr account to the project, though I really don’t like having to switch between them for various things.

Anyhow, I’ll be setting it up so that posts from that site appear on my Twitter and Facebook, so you’ll be seeing those intermingled with my normal blog posts from time to time. Hopefully it’ll be something fun to write (and read)!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Omega Minion Get!

While the race to be the first to beat Omega Savage has been the big thing in the newest patch, aside from job tweaks, I’m just content to beat Omega 4 normal for a second time. This time, I helped Syn through for her first clear. Unlike last week’s circus, we cleared it the first try.

Amazingly, I won the roll on the Exdeath minion with a 58! I’m rarely that lucky, and didn’t expect to get it with such a low roll. So, I’m pretty stoked!

Though I never ran Alex weekly for the weapon, since I’ve already earned 2 of the 7 needed drops for the weapon in Omega, I might as well keep doing it, I suppose. It’s only once a week, right? The fight isn’t too bad (though I could use some practice and a higher ilvl).

Otherwise, things are settling down into pre-expansion normalcy. I’m running some roulettes (always get Ala Mhigo for some reason) for the new Creation tomes, but not all that worried about it, actually. It’s nice you can get some tomes out in Frontlines, which I can see myself filling in the blanks using that from time to time.

Speaking of Frontlines, we ran some of that last night, and I was able to get my Paladin to level 61. Woot! This means I can start working on some of the random quests I have lying about in Kugane and maybe the Ruby Sea. I want to level a tank, but I’m still scared of running dungeons as one, so leveling through quests and Frontlines has been a good alternative.

I haven’t yet tried the new Canals, though we had a group in our FC who did reach Floor 7 last night. I’m looking forward to playing that soon!

Also, cleared the Kugane bathhouse jump puzzle for a second time for the sight seeing log. 🙂

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