Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Live Letter LVII – Patch 5.2 Info Roundup

This post is late, seeing the Live Letter happened almost five days ago, but life has been crazy in the final work week before the holidays. I get a vacation starting this weekend, and boy do I need it!

Anyhow, I just wanted to touch on the highlights of the Live Letter, which gave us a look at what’s coming in patch 5.2, and talked way too much about virtual butt sizes.

It’s a sad age when 10 minuets of broadcast has to go into discussing the technical aspects of why an outfit’s butt size wasn’t working as intended, was nerfed, only for it to be given back due to public outcry. It was pretty funny to watch Yoshi-P make butt shapes with his hands, however.

Borrowed from Polygon because I needed this image on my blog

For those who are concerned, the B2 outfit butt size will be restored in patch 5.18 (releasing Dec 24). Merry Christmas!

Patch 5.2 – Echoes of a Fallen Star

So what can we expect from the upcoming patch – which is due to be out late February? Here’s a quick list:

  • New MSQ story
  • New Beast Tribes – for gathering only
  • New Dungeon – Anamnesis Anyder
  • New Trial – Ruby Weapon
  • New 8-man Eden Raids – Eden’s Verse
  • Relic Gear quests begin
  • More Ishgard Restoration
  • Diadem returns as gathering location for Restoration
  • Further Crafting & Gathering updates – Especially Fisher
  • New Tomestones
  • Free Company rank increase (!)
  • Groupable Deep Ocean Fishing (!)
  • Umbrellas (?)

This seems like a pretty wide variety of content, even if this is just the first glimpse of what we’re getting. I find it amazing that MSQ story is back on the list of exciting things in each major patch because we all want to know what’s going to happen next!

I’m super excited to see what the next phase of Ishgard Restoration with the Diadem will be like. Also the changes to fisher, including the deep ocean fishing sound amazing. I’m curious what perks the next Free Company rank increase will bring. I think this is the FIRST increase I can remember we’ve had since the game released!

The new dungeon looks a lot like something connected to Amaurot. As long as it kicks actual Amaurot out of the Expert Roulette, that’s all I care about. If I ever have to run that place again, it’ll be too soon.

They did note that from here on out, we’ll only be getting one dungeon per patch because the team is focusing on bringing out a variety of content. I know for some people that’s a bummer, but I don’t mind at all. Dungeon running is still not my preferred content, and if there was a better way to earn Tomes, I’d be doing it in a heartbeat.

If it gives us more variety per patch, I’m all for it. So far, this little sneak peek had a number of things I’m curious about. But really, why does the new beast tribe quests center around gathering? It’s so easy to level gathering as it is. And why umbrellas? What are the functions of umbrellas? I guess we’ll find out.

If you want more details about content of this Live Letter, check out this Google doc.

Posted in Gaming, Steam Gaming

Steamgifts: Giving it All Away

One of the first posts I wrote when this blog was still young was about Steamgifts. This is an online community that creates a massive number of giveaways of free Steam games/keys.

I wrote about how all that works in that post, and while I haven’t been actually entering that many giveaways since then, I have recently been using it to purge my Humble Bundle library.

One of my gaming goals for this year was to play over 60% of my Steam backlog. While I’ve inched that up to 53% played this year and have played almost everything new that I’ve bought, I won’t be hitting that goal, and I pretty much know it.

However, this number is somewhat misleading because I have a ton of games from bundles I purchased that I’ve never claimed on Steam yet. The last bundle I ever bought was in 2017 when I realized I was just stacking on a bunch of games that I may never play.

This is also why I never subscribed to that Humble Choice or whatever it is now that dumps even more games on you every month. My backlog is too large to handle already. I don’t need all that!

In preparation for the new year, one goal I’d like to set is to is bring in some of these unused bundle keys into my account for the games I do want to keep. So I’ve been massively sorting through games and figuring out which ones I just wouldn’t spend time with.

These are the games I’ve been tossing out on the Steamgifts site. And I’ve had quite a number of them! Not done yet, either.

It feels good to get these keys out of my inventory and hopefully in the hands of someone who really does want to play these games. Then I can focus on claiming the keys I want and hopefully trying out some of these games. I have the whole series of oldskool Sierra adventure games, for example, that I really want to play.

The Steamgifts site has been hosting a pretty fun holiday event where you can open 5 random gifts each day and choose whether to take up the giveaway. While I don’t really need any more games, I have entered a few that have been interesting to me. Doubtful that I’ll win, but it’s still fun to do.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Leveling Trusts

Happy Friday 13th to everyone. Hopefully it will go smoothly for you!

I’ve not posted in a while because I’ve not really had anything exciting to post about. I’ve fallen into a pretty basic routine in FFXIV, mostly having to do with leveling my Trusts, and leveling alongside Trusts.

On my main, I’ve still been doing Pixie beast tribe quests on jobs that are under level 71. It takes about 3 days (and an extra quest) to take a job from 70 to 71. The reason for the 71 level mark is that you can’t run Trusts with a job until you’re 71. Kinda odd, but that’s how it goes.

So far, I’ve gotten Gunbreaker, Astrologian, Monk, Samurai and Dancer to 71 this month. So all of those jobs are ripe for the picking when it comes to pushing forward on Trusts.

In general, it takes about 6 runs of a dungeon to level the Trust through it to the next dungeon. Each dungeon spans two levels. So, Holminster Switch covers levels 71 & 72 (which takes 6 runs), before you move up to Dohn Mheg for 73 & 74.

As to not burn myself out (because I’m going to be running these a lot to level all of my jobs), I’ve chosen to do a Trust a day. So it takes a little less than a week to move through 2 levels.

At this point, I’m taking my first trio through on my Summoner – Thancred as the tank and the Twins as DPS and Heals. But once they hit 80, I’ll switch it out to Tank through the series on my Gunbreaker for the remaining three characters. By the end of it all, I’ll have all of my Trust leveled, earn the achievement/title, and have max NPC characters for the rest of my own job leveling.

It’s all just going to take a while.

I’ve discovered some dungeons are more of a pain than others. The Switch isn’t difficult, it just feels very long. Dohn Mheg is my least favorite due to boss mechanics – it’s the only one I’ve died in so far. The Qitana Ravel is my favorite so far – I really dig the music there, and don’t mind the bosses. Malikah’s Well – I just ran for the first time with this group last night – is really slow to start out, and I’m not a fan of most of the bosses.

I am having a bit of fun learning the new Summoner job, though. I was never much of a Summoner player before this, so spending a lot of time on this job has earned a new appreciation for it. I don’t think I’d ever raid with Summoner, but I do think it’s a really strong job to take through Trusts. Especially since they hardly do any AOE damage, and Summoner can make up for it quite a bit.

Not to mention leveling Summoner means I’m also leveling Scholar for free, and will enable me to do the Healer class quests to get one step closer to seeing all of that story.

I’ve actually been pretty lucky in getting minion drops from these Trusts. The Switch hasn’t dropped the dog minion (though I have one already because Zeb gave me hers). But the other two dungeons have dropped the minion at least once. Other than the Well, since I’ve only run that one time so far.

Anyhow, that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to in FFXIV. We’ve got Starlight coming up next week which looks like it will be fun with new holiday barding as a reaward. I’m also trying to work on getting Tai through Shadowbringers, but that’s been slower going.

I did some redecorating outside the FC house with the new housing items from 5.15.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Copied Factory Impressions

So, I’m going to start this off by saying I’ve never played a NieR game. The first time I’ve ever heard of the series was due to people talking about NieR: Automata. I’ve mostly only heard positive things about it, and apparently it’s a really great game for those who enjoy the kind of game it is.

However, as I stated before, the aesthetics and concepts don’t really appeal to me. I have an appreciation for science fiction in small doses, and prefer less gritty and more fanciful elements mixed in my sci-fi.

Shadowbringers, in contrast, is an expansion that feels quite high-fantasy. The world of the First has a lower technological level than the Source due to the devastation the world’s undergone. So meshing something of dark sci-fi into this world seemed a very odd choice. I was originally worried that it would be so out of place and overly dark, despite the fact that the devs worked to make it the ultimate highlight of 5.1.

I think for people who understand the world of NeiR, this raid was very significant and well received. I have no emotional attachments and don’t even understand any of what I’m seeing beyond the story that FFXIV presents, so you’re getting a completely unbiased set of thoughts here.

Setting and Story

First, I was pleasantly surprised with how the teams meshed the Copied Factory into the existing world. As stated above, the First just doesn’t seem like the place for dark sci-fi to exist. But they managed to make it happen in a way that felt believable.

Not only that, but their choice of the side characters who lead you through the raid added just enough humor and whimsy to keep it from getting too dark.

Yes, I’m wearing a Halloween glamour in these shots. That’s how long ago I unlocked it.

The Factory setting itself was a lot of metal and machines, as I expected. But, for some reason it didn’t feel too imposing — I was concerned it would be super dark and dreary and edgy. In fact, there’s an area at the end that’s so bright that I often get a bit of eyestrain because of all the white.

As for the story… well… I don’t really get much of the significance of it. Androids are fighting bad machines to save the world. And… that’s really all I took away from it. I’m not entirely sure why they are in the First or what connection they have to the past of this world… or why there’s even a huge buried factory to begin with.

Maybe the further story will tell us? I’m not super invested in it, though.

But that’s okay, because there’s raid drops and playability.

Raid Mechanics & Rewards

Unlike all these folks out there who are drooling for a B2 glamour crate drop, I really don’t care that much for the outfit. *gasp!* Did I just say something unpopular? Ah, well.

I don’t care for it, and everyone wants it or is wearing it. So I’ll be glad when that fad eventually heads for the sunset, as they tend to do.

However! I do think the normal gear drops there – which are all dyeable for a change – are VERY nice to look at. I actually opened the raid on my RP alt because I was after the aiming coat in particular (finally got it last week). So thumbs-up on glamour design for normal drops.

I’ve yet to get one of the pod minions, but I think they’re cute, and do want one. I also think the music is pretty nice there, and got the music drop that people seem to really want last week.

As for how the raid feels and the mechanics…

Folks who know me know that I have been disgruntled with the difficulty level of Alliance Raids since Weeping City. I feel that on release, most of these raids have been way too difficult for the average player who doesn’t have a guild on voice chat to learn. This can be seen in the fact that the Monastery was later edited to have an automatic echo buff applied to it… likely just so people didn’t drop upon seeing it in roulette.

The direction the Copied Factory has gone in is a lot better. I actually say that while dying more often in this raid than I did in previous raids. Which is funny. I find it an accomplishment each time I manage to stay alive a whole boss fight.

However, the fights are much more forgiving, even to full party wipes. I think that there’s only been one run that we’ve had a raid wipe, and that was because we had a new tank that didn’t realize he needed to spread the adds on the boss.

When I go as a Red Mage, I do a lot of rezzing, and get my share of rezzes, but the raid as a whole seems pretty stable to carry on despite players taking a few hits along the way. That’s not to say that wipes aren’t possible, but it seems like the community in general really farmed this raid for drops the first few weeks, and mostly have an understanding of mechanics due to that.

The one major complaint I have about the boss fights is an odd one. Whereas I felt some of the bosses were a bit too large in previous raids (I’m looking at you, Yiazmat), in this one, a few are just too small (or need to be elevated above the particle effects).

The final boss in particular has several laser moves where he shoots beams to the fore/aft or sides, as well as a laser directly from the front. I find it really difficult to see which way he’s pointing because the machine looks similar on all sides and the model is so small it gets lost in the battle easily. It’s frustrating to know what I need to do to avoid the mechanics, but still die while shouting: “I couldn’t tell which way he was pointing!”… and this happens at least once every run, if not more.

In general, though, it feels like the pace of this raid is a bit more laid back than the previous raids. There are mechanics that overlap, but not to the point of insanity. Even the boss battle music is rather chill, as I die to the slowly…. moving…. pink bubble…. that I just didn’t see as it crossed the screen.

Oh, and I will note that I liked how you could do a little explorable mission into the Factory after clearing the raid. And you can go back in there anytime you want. I don’t exactly understand what any of the significance is, but I appreciate that it’s there.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch

December 2019 Gaming Goals

Welcome to December – the last month of this decade! Crazy to think about, pretty soon it will be 2020. I’m going a little light on the goals this month because who knows what’s going to happen with the holidays here. 🙂

FFXIV Goals

  • Level Trusts & Alt Jobs (Main)
  • Level Crafters and Buy Master VII Books (Main & Amon)
  • Progress Tai through Shadowbringers
  • Progress Zuri through Stormblood

Nintendo Switch Goals

  • Earn at least one new badge in Pokemon Sword
  • Finish next temple in Link’s Awakening
  • Ring Fit

And yeah. It’s short and sweet this month. Mostly daily leveling and making progress through expansions. I am working on Tad’s crafting/gathering and leveling on the side, but it’s nothing I want to set down as an official goal at this point. Mostly stuff I’m doing just for the fun of it and to test to see how fast crafting/gathering leveling is.

Hope you have a great December!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch

November 2019 Gaming Goals in Review

And just like that, November is gone and December is almost here. Wow!

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the progress I made for November’s goals. A few things slipped through the cracks, but other things took their place. So it’s all a bit of balance.

FFXIV Goals for My Main

  • Daily Pixie Beast Tribe Quests 
  • Daily Nuts Hunts (For New Mount) 
  • Finish Dancer Job Quests 
  • Finish Gunbreaker Job Quests 
  • Level Crafters with new weekly Scrip turn-ins 
  • Get Eden Weapon for Red Mage 
  • Upgrade Gear with Factory Coin Drops 
  • Decorate House (?)
  • Clean up Shadowbringer Quests 

I finished up all of my job quests (woo!), got my Eden weapon, completely leveled Black Mage through beast tribes and hunts, and finished leveling Weaver. I also finished max rank with the Pixies and got the new hunt mount.

In the meantime, I’ve been cleaning up Shadowbringer quests here and there. Not a huge effort for that, but I have done some work. I actually did do a tiny bit to decorate the house – found new walls I liked, and I’m toying with the idea to work on a cabin design, which would be good to work on through winter.

FFXIV Goals for Amon

  • Finish 5.1 MSQ 
  • Daily Pixie Beast Tribe Quests 
  • Daily Nuts Hunts (For New Mount) 
  • Level Red Mage 
  • Level Crafters with new weekly Scrip turn-ins 

I did all of this with Amon as well. Finished 5.1 MSQ, max rank Pixies, hunt mount, leveled Red Mage using those, and leveled a crafter from scrips. I haven’t been hitting Ishgard to level up my higher crafters for some reason. I guess I’m more interested in the fluff.

FFXIV Other Goals

  • Progress Tai through Shadowbringers 
  • Progress Zuri through Stormblood
  • Level Zuri’s Fishing & Fishing Retainer 

As you can see from the picture above, I have been making progress with Tai in Shadowbringers – I unlocked flying in Lakeland, and as of last night, am working through quests and MSQ in Ill Mheg. Will likely Trust through Dohn Mheg today. And while I never look forward to the Titania fight, I believe that might be around the point that Pixie tribes will open up for him, too, which will help with his leveling.

Zuri didn’t see any progress in Stormblood (no surprise there) as it feels like I need to focus on one character at a time when it comes to making it through content. And I’m just never thrilled to be going back through Stormblood again.

But, I did level her fishing to 72 through almost only fishing turn-ins by themselves. It’s starting to slow down and get a bit more costly at this level, and she’s nowhere near being able to fish in Shadowbringers yet, so I may put this on pause until she gets closer.

Nintendo Switch

  • Defeat next temple in Link’s Awakening
  • Ring Fit leveling

While I didn’t play either of these games much in November, I did put some time into the new Pokemon, which I knew I would. I’ve earned two badges so far, and spent more time than I should breeding and trading. That always happens. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed the game and should probably write about it sometime. I want to make sure I keep making progress in December!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Pixies and Factory Drops

Writing that title just reminded me that I still haven’t written out my verdict on the Copied Factory raid in FFXIV yet. I’ll put that on my list for this week.

I finished up the last of the Pixie beast tribe reputation this weekend. This netted a new housing item, which I have bought a few of, but have yet to explore decorating with. I do have a perfect room for some of the Pixie housing items, just need to sit down and work them in.

With those at max rank, I no longer need to run them daily, unless I just want to for alt job XP. I probably will on my main, because I still have a million jobs that need to get to 80, and every little XP counts. I do plan on finally jumping into Trusts soon, and clearing out overworld quests for that as well.

Speaking of Trusts, I also finally unlocked the Switch for Tai, so I’m slowly starting to move him through the Shadowbringers storyline. I also started to run my Alliance Roulette with him to help supplement his leveling through the expansion. It’s been a while since I’ve really played Dragoon, and I still find that I enjoy the job, even if it’s not something I’d choose as my main.

Speaking of Raids, I’ve been running the Copied Factory twice each week. Once is for my Main who really doesn’t need any of the drops except for fluff, minions, music and the upgrade coin for gear. So far, she hasn’t had a lot of luck outside of the new dress that she got in the picture up top.

This glamour has an interesting property. On the very first day of the raid, the community crowed over how the B2 glamour drop legs enhance the character’s booty – male and female both. Well, this normal chest drop for casters (and I assume any other job) appears to enhance the upper female assets, which was unexpected but quite noticeable.

Ah well.

I was actually a little disappointed that it didn’t look more like the male coat caster drop instead of a dress. Here’s the male version on Amon:

I do love that they’re all dyeable out of the box, though. That’s very nice and makes for a lot of new glamour options.

While Amon is running the Factory for glamour and fluff, he actually needs the aiming drops as upgrades. I really want to get him the aiming coat, though, purely to base yet another glamour set around.

Oh, and I have repurposed yet another RP alt over the weekend. This is Tad.

I cringed at having to spend the amount of gil I did on his coat alone, but I adore how it looks on him. I’m trying out Machinist with this character, and so far enjoying how it feels — it’s the first time I’ve dabbled with the new Machinist changes in Shadowbringers. I was not a fan of the Stormblood version at all.

So this fellow needed a CT unlock, and is teasing me with having a crafter and gatherer right within the lower range of the Ishgard restoration turn-in system. I’m really curious what it’s like to level a crafter/gatherer with all the new changes to the system and the Restoration sitting there as well. So I might just take the plunge and level him, despite already having two not-quite-finished omnicrafters.

So, as you can see, even though my goals were met for the Pixie quests and daily hunts, I always, always have something else to work on for someone in this game!