Posted in FFXI, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV – Pegasus Get!

I’ve been working pretty consistently at farming at least 2-3 Syrcus Tower runs a night for the Moogle Treasure Trove Event. Still, I was rather surprised that I earned the Pegasus on my main in a little over a week.

I’m working on the second Pegasus for my RP alt, but thinking about picking up a few more items on the list. We’ll see how I feel once I finish farming the rest of these tomes!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder: Sad Syrcus Story

Since I’ve been farming Syrcus Tower for my Pegasus mount lately (only two runs left on my main!), you knew I’d have a story to tell sooner or later. You also know that you’ve got a jinxed run when it starts out like this:

Just using his initials “TD” here

We had a chatty group, so this initiated some conversation.

So the raid starts. I could tell that DPS was a little on the low side, but we got through the first boss just fine. It wasn’t until we got to Glasya Labolas, the second boss, that things went south.

Now Glassy (as I like to call him) is the easiest boss in the raid as long as the raid knows to focus fire him down as fast as possible. This skips all mechanics and just burns him for a fast fight.

However, sometimes you get a raid that divides itself between knowing to burn the boss and trying to kill adds. When you do that, you’re at risk of Glassy going into his phase change mechanic.

Based on the number of clockworks still alive, he does raid-wide damage. I’ve seen a raid survive this with one or two clockworks still alive, but this many alive led to this.

Props to the one tank who survived – then died a moment later

Most people have never seen the actual mechanics of this raid boss… unless you played this back when it was still relevant. And it’s pretty rare to wipe to this boss. One or two people killing adds aren’t a big deal, but here, the raid was too divided to knock him down before his ultimate.

So we wiped… much to the raid’s shocked amusement.

A couple of us explained to burn the boss, and we did just fine the second attempt. It was still a sad (funny) story to see. And everyone was a good sport.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Shadowbringers – Fixing (?) Fates and Side Quests

A few days before the last Live Letter, I was talking to Syn about a few of the missed opportunities in FFXIV as a whole. I mentioned two things – FATEs and quests. Interestingly enough, upcoming changes to both of these were then addressed in the Live Letter not long after.

I think I may be one of the few folks who actually enjoys FATEs. It was originally a leveling system tossed into ARR to bridge the gap in MSQ. To me, it feels somewhat similar to open world events in games like GW2. However, FATEs just aren’t anywhere near as rewarding, so as other means of leveling appeared (like PotD and squads), FATEs fell by the wayside.

Side quests also have diminished in importance over time. While they do help out with giving a spattering of XP for alt job leveling, aside from that, I usually skip them all my first go-round, using MSQ to do all of my leveling. In fact, I still haven’t finished most of the Stormblood quests on my main – something I’ve relegated to “cleaning up old quests” on a job I want to level.

This is sad, especially since work and writing went into making these quests. Some of them have neat stories and help with understanding lore. Granted, the most important quest lines are meshed into unlocking flying or beast tribe quests, so they end up being forced if you want to do all the important content. But aside from that, there’s not much reason to do them.

Shadowbringers Changes

Apparently devs were thinking along the same lines, because both FATEs and quests are getting a nice little tweak in this expansion. They tried to boost interests in FATEs with Stormblood, creating bonus XP windows and special large battles built into clearing the FATEs. I’m not sure how often Foxy Lady and Ixion still spawns now days- I’ve only seen both of these once, and by accident. But the XP boost system really didn’t draw people back to FATEs. It still wasn’t enough.

This time around, FATEs are going to offer actual tokens you can exchange for rewards, beyond just XP.

From what little I can see in the screenshot above there’s orchestrion music, a riding map (speed boost) and crafting materials, including high quality. I like the idea that what would normally be farmed drops from monsters come from token FATEs – I wonder if these are materials your retainers can’t bring back, too.

It could be a nice little boost in gil, too, if these materials are super useful for crafters. We’ll have to see what the new crafting environment brings. It would be neat if FATE tokens help fighters stock crafters and a nice little ecosystem forms. But that’s probably me being overly hopeful.

As for side quests, the big change to them is making them level scaling.

I’m not a big fan of scaling everything in a zone or world to my character’s level. However, scaling quests to level, hopefully with the goal of making them relevant and provide better XP, is a nice compromise.

I’m glad these two systems aren’t just being shoved aside for Shadowbringers, and that the devs are trying to look into ways of making them useful again. How well this works depends on how players embrace the changes and how the activities reward players for their time and effort.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

June 2019 Gaming Goals

Welcome to June, FFXIV Shadowbringers Early Access Month!

I can’t see getting much of anything done beyond cleaning up odds n ends before the expansion comes out. With all the events running, I know a lot of my time is going to be taken up farming tomes and such. So I’m going to make my goals pretty loose this month.

My major goal is to earn the Pegasus mount for my two main characters during the Moogle Treasure event. If I have the stamina to get a few of the other items, I’ll work on those, too. But the rest… just the normal leveling and job quests. We’ll see how far I can get!

Aywren

  • Finish Job Quests (All Completed!)
  • Level Astro
  • Level Warrior (to 60?)
  • Earn Pegasus Mount

Amon

  • Finish max rank with Stormblood beast tribe quests
  • Earn Pegasus Mount

Not a super interesting month, I know. But I don’t want to start anything big and new with an expansion hitting the end of June. Just want to make progress and keep myself busy until then. 🙂

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

May 2019 Gaming Goals in Review

Another month has passed, and I’m not sure if I’m glad or sad to see it go. We’re getting ever closer to the Shadowbringers early access, coming the end of June. So there’s that!

Anyhow, I’ve buckled down and managed to finish up quite a few of my goals this past month. Here’s how it went!

FFXIV Goals

Aywren

  • Finish Job quests  (MCH, WHM)
  • Level Astro to 60 
  • Level Warrior 

I really wanted to get more job quests done this month, but it just didn’t happen. I got Machinist and White Mage finished up, and started working on Samurai quests. I also made an effort to keep up with my Astro and Dark Knight quests. But there are still way too many job quests I haven’t completed still.

Leveling is going well, however! Not only did I hit 60 on Astro, I’ve been slowly leveling off of beast tribe quests beyond that. I hit 65 last night!

Also using beast tribes, I got Warrior to 53, which unlocked Sohm Al with squads (the level 50 dungeons I heard weren’t worth the pain). I also pushed Dark Knight to 53 for the same reason. So now both of my tanks are in a position to push squad dungeons to 60, which is my major goal for this year. It also puts them on par with the new tank, so they can all share gear while leveling.

With the number of events happening in June, though, we’ll see if I can get a tank to 60 before the expansion.

Amon

  • Level Blacksmith to 70 

Not much to say here that I haven’t already somewhere else. I finished Amon’s Blacksmith, and that put all of my crafters and gatherers at 70 for him. In the meantime, I’ve been working on ranking up with the non-crafting Stormblood beast tribes.

Mocho (Very casual goals)

  • Level SAM to 60 
  • Unlock PAL 
  • Work on MSQ

I made good progress on Mocho last month. I got SAM to 60, and unlocked his PAL job. I’ve not spent a lot of time leveling PAL since I got it – maybe a good idea seeing how many tank changes are coming in, and I’m going to need to relearn what little I did know about tanking.

I did drop the “Work on MSQ” goal, however, because I decided it makes more sense to use MSQ to level PAL once I get the job to 50. So, I scratched the goal for this month.

And really, that’s about it. I set some pretty loose goals, mostly trying to tie up loose ends, and was pleased with the progress I made in leveling. With the Moogle Treasure and Make it Rain event in FFXIV, I can see a lot of my time taken up by farming and doing events next month. But anything that can keep me busy until Shadowbringers is a good thing, right?

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Moogle Treasure Trove Farming Begins!

Today marks the beginning of the first ever Moogle Treasure Trove event. This is something I’ve been looking forward to ever since I saw it datamined on Reddit.

Basically, certain instances have been flagged to drop Irregular Tomestones. These are things such as low level dungeons, the Crystal Tower raids, and MSQ roulette. Note: it’s been confirmed that squad dungeon runs do count!

You take the tomes to Itinerant Moogles in the three main cities and trade them for stuff. Much of this is fluff, but there are interesting items such as mount speed boosts, orchestrion rolls and Triple Triad cards. You can see a list of trade-in items on the page I linked above.

There are actually a number of items on the list that I wouldn’t mind having. But the big thing for me is that Pegasus mount. Previously, you could only get a hold of it from tokens in the Diadem. I was never able to do anywhere near as much Diadem as it would take, but that mount has always been on the wish list for me.

This mount costs 50 tomes, and I want it on both my main and on Amon. So that means I need to farm up at least 100 tomes total.

Thankfully, Syrcus Tower drops 2 tomes each run. I know from experience farming glamour drops that it’s usually the least painful of the Crystal Tower raids to run. Generally, a decent ST run takes about 20 mins to complete, and while wipes can happen, it’s pretty rare.

Seeing that DPS doesn’t usually have a bad queue for alliance raids, and others are going to likely be farming alliance as well, I see this as the least painful way of farming the tomes in general. It helps that ST is one of the few raids I really don’t mind running, too — I did it a total of 23 times just to get Amon’s glamour gear.

I’m also looking forward to having a minor goal to work towards and keep my mind off of wishing the expansion would drop faster. After all the media releases yesterday, I’m quite stoked to jump in and see what Shadowbringers is all about.

I’m still working on my monthly leveling goals, but working towards a mount I’ve wanted for years by farming a raid I enjoy should be fun.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Shadowbringer’s Farewell to Job Quests

Don’t be fooled by the title above – I’m still not anywhere near close to being done with all the job quests for Stormblood. No, what this post is referencing is the fact that come Shadowbringers, job quests as we’ve known them will become a thing of the past.

I’m a bit torn on how I feel about this…

Job Quests of the Past

When ARR launched, each job got a quest every 5 levels. These quests served several purposes – to introduce the player to the lore of the world, to understand their job’s place in this lore, to earn sparkly new skills, and eventually, to earn the first set of artifact gear. I remember looking forward to hitting 45, and then 50, just to be able to unlock these quests and get my gear.

In Heavensward, we saw job quests every 2 levels. These quests further expanded on understanding your job’s lore, or sometimes introduced key NPCs and side story lines. They also gave important skills that you really needed for your rotation.

In Stormblood, we started to see the idea of job quests diminish. Unlike HW, where we got quests every 2 levels, jobs only got 5 quests in total. The quests no longer gave out important skills along the way — only the final level 70 quest had anything of note, giving both a skill and a coffer of artifact gear.

That didn’t mean the quality of the stories lessened in any way. I feel that the writing was still just as consistent even if the rewards were not. But not rewarding skills led me to skip the quests completely while leveling, since I could just spam my way through Alliance Roulette, which always capped at level 60 at the most.

I’m not sure if the team just noticed that players didn’t do their job quests as much in HW, which meant they were missing important skills they need to get things done. So, instead, they just handed out the skills while leveling to make sure everyone had what they needed while leveling.

That’s just a guess.

Job Quests in Shadowbringers

That brings us to the place we’re in now – Shadowbringers has done away with job quests while leveling from 70-80, aside from the final level 80 job quest. Instead, we’re getting a series of role quests.

It seems that a lot of things in FFXIV are shifting away from the job mindset to the role mindset. We saw this with Dancer, which became a physical ranged DPS rather than a healer because the team identified that role had a lack of jobs to choose from compared to other roles.

These role quests will allow you to better understand the story of the Warrior of Darkness and his companions from the First that we met earlier in the MSQ. While you can run all of the quests, you’re only required to run one set to complete the MSQ.

My Thoughts

On one hand, being a story-oriented player, I’m a little sad to see job quests vanish. I’m glad that we’re getting something to take its place, however, rather than just completely remove the concept.

On the other hand, even I’m guilty of not having finished the job quests from Stormblood. So, even if I do enjoy them when I do them, they’ve languished on my goals list for a very long time.

There are just so many jobs now with so many quests – especially if you start adding up all the crafting and gathering. It gets a little overwhelming to keep up with if you fall behind in any way!

Keeping that in mind, I can only imagine the man hours and time that goes into writing and scripting and implementing job quests for every single job in the game – and then seeing new jobs being added each expansion as we have. From a development standpoint, I wonder if job quests became something that just wasn’t feasible to maintain as the number of jobs continue to rise.

This makes sense, then, that the team save the time spent on individual job quests and tell the more important and focused story through role quests. Sure, we’ll lose out on individual stories like the Dark Knight level 50 quest… or maybe a more focused approach will actually increase the quality of the quests we do get.

I’m quite curious about what they’re going to do with leveling crafters and gatherers now, too. I wonder if maybe the leve quest system has also been reconsidered – I’m kinda hoping so. Grinding leves for crafting was never my idea of a good time.