Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

Dev Appreciation: S/E – The FFXIV Team

This is dev appreciation week at Blaugust, and it probably comes as no surprise that I’d write a post about my favorite MMO dev team at Square/Enix.

Most everyone has heard the story about how Yoshi-P single-handedly created a miracle when he turned the ship around on what was once FFXIV 1.0. I’m not at all going to downplay this feat – the man absolutely does deserve all the love the fans give him. But he was not alone in creating the MMO that has most recently brought one of the best expansions I’ve ever played in any genre – Shadowbringers.

When I went to Fan Fest back in 2016, I got to meet a number of the dev team including Foxclon, Soken, and even shared an elevator ride with Koji and Masaki Nakagawa (Mr. Ozma). I almost got to meet Yoshi-P, too, but security cut the line two people in front of me, and turned the rest of us away, so that never happened. 😦

Autographs from Fan Fest

I have to say that from all the Live Letters and the Fan Fests and meeting them in person, this team has a ton of energy and a lot of love for the world they create. I know they don’t always make the perfect choices when it comes to game direction, but I honestly feel the team does take into consideration feedback, communicates well, and does everything to make Eorzea the place I log into almost every day.

At the end of this month, FFXIV celebrates yet another Rising (what year… is this 6?… I’ve lost count). It’s the anniversary of ARR’s release, and a celebration where most often, Yoshi-P and the team thank the players for making the game what it is today. It’s always a touching and humble gesture on their part. Never just a “Hey, we’re great, our game is 6 years old!” but a “We appreciate you being here and supporting us and helping us reach this milestone!” feeling.

I think that’s what sets this team and game apart for me. It’s crazy to think that I subbed to FFXIV very shortly after ARR launch (having not played 1.0 and never having any interest in it before then) and I have never been unsubbed in all these years. Not even one month. I’ve never done this with any other MMO I’ve played in the past. And I don’t see myself hanging it up anytime soon.

So to the great FFXIV team, thank you for all your hard work! You’ve brought me so much enjoyment, many friends, and an outlet for creativity. I hope that in some way, you have an idea of how your creation has enriched the lives of others.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Using Stormshade for Screenshots

Maybe you’ve noticed that as of late, a number of the FFXIV screenshots I post here seem of better quality than the shots of yore. This is because I’ve been dabbling with a shader system made specifically for FFXIV called Stormshade.

Stormshade is a version of Reshade that has unlocked the depth-buffer for FFXIV. I don’t know what all that exactly means, other than some of the visual options you couldn’t normally fiddle with are open to edit while it’s turned on.

Not only can you create your own settings based on the shaders provided, but you can also download shader presets created by the community. There’s a whole page of those on the Stormshade site. For most of the shots I take, I flip between the various presets I’ve downloaded until I find a combination of something I like to look at. One day I’ll spend some time making my own.

Note: Often, these presets are very intensive on your PC resources, so I don’t suggest using them outside of taking screenshots. A few of the presets can be used for play, and will usually be marked in the description if so.

Continue reading “FFXIV: Using Stormshade for Screenshots”
Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Level 80 Carpenter!

Last night, thanks to a combination of scrip turn-ins and finishing up some leves, I finally reached my first level 80 crafter on my main – carpenter. I already have one level 80 crafter on my RP Alt – turns out that alchemist is pretty easy to zoom through with leves this time around. But that’s because it’s highly self-sufficient compared to many of the other crafting jobs I’ve messed with so far.

As you can see, I also had to take goldsmith up a few levels to do this well. That’s because the leve I was doing required nuggets, along with thread from weaver, and a ton of wood for each turn in.

But this was nothing compared to the leves for goldsmith itself. I might have tried to level it more if it weren’t for the fact that almost every leve recipe required at least one, if not two, gathers from timed nodes. Gold itself, which is a timed node, seems to be required for almost everything, which is a bit crazy. Especially since you really need to shoot for high quality gathers to have a chance to craft in high quality for leves.

But hey, if you can gather some HQ gold, it’s probably a good thing to sell!

Anyhow, I’ll take a peek at the other crafting jobs and see which ones are least painful through leves. I still have materials left over for alchemist from my RP alt, so I’ll probably try leveling that through leves. But the rest just might get relegated to slow leveling through scrip turn-ins until a crafting beast tribe comes out. My main goal was always to get at least one job to 80, since that’s all it’ll take to keep my mentor status!

Speaking of scrips, I’ve been exploring other turn-ins and rotations for gathering scrips on Amon. I finished getting his Botanist gear, but now I’m torn between using weekly turn-ins for gathering or my alchemist gearing. I really, really like the Fisher scrip outfit, so I just went ahead and grinded on normal scrip gathers, with one timed turn-in. I was able to get everything, except the fishing pole.

It’s pretty snazzy!

They did a nice job on all the crafting and gathering scrip gear. Too bad it gets traded in for cross-job gear later.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: A Little Light Bird Farming

In yesterday’s post, I noted how I was going back (with the encouragement of my FC) and doing some of the older content that I passed by back in Heavensward. Namely, the Trial battles. After getting the normals cleared on Sunday night, Amoon, Syn and I messed around to see how easy it would be to farm Ravana.

Not very hard, it turned out. With the three of us, we usually beat him down before the phase transition, clocking in a tad under 2 mins for the whole run. Even when Syn dropped for the night, Amoon and I were able to clear just fine between a Paladin and a Bard.

But we had no luck in a mount drop – Amoon already had his, so really, it was just Syn and I who needed one. I really wanted a red bird for my RP alt, Amon, but eventually, I do want to get them on my main.

So, last night, we recruited another FC member, Zel, who also needed the birds. And we resumed farming. It took a bit to get the drop, but when we did, the whistles dropped one run after another.

Amon and his bird

Seeing we had some luck there, I joined for a few runs of Bismark. This one took longer because of all the transitions you couldn’t bypass. But it was still not difficult with the three of us.

Again, it took a few runs before the first whistle dropped, which I got. And we ran a few more after that with little luck. We had just decided to run one more for the night when the second whistle dropped, scoring us all with the birds we needed!

So, overall, it was pretty great for everyone. I will still need to go back on my main for the Ravana bird, but Syn needs that one, too. She ended up getting a Bismark bird from a random group a long time back as thanks for some healing she did somewhere down the line (long story).

So, first birds acquired! We’ll see how much progress our little FC can make on these!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Warring Triad & Clearing Old Content

It may (or may not) come as a surprise that when it comes to content in FFXIV, I pick and choose what I unlock. As a rule of thumb, if something isn’t required for me to progress through story or Expert roulette, I simply won’t do it. This was the case for the Warring Triad content.

This was a series of Trial battles from back in Heavensward. While the extreme versions do drop mounts and weapons, none of this is enticing enough for me to have spent time grinding out these fights, or even unlocking them, back when they were relevant.

In fact, the only reason I unlocked them over the weekend, at Syn’s encouragement, was because of lore. My RP centers quite heavily on Allagan themes, and unknown to me, the Warring Triad drops a lot of relevant lore. So, it was story alone that brought me to clearing these fights.

The content is pretty easy now days. Unsynced, we quickly 3 and 4 mannned it through the fights without a problem. Amoon had only finished the first of the 3 fights, so it was nice that it got him the clears, too.

We then tried our hand at a little Ravana bird farming. Though the fight is super easy even for two of us, an hour’s worth of farming got no bird drop, which was disappointing. I own absolutely zero birds on any of my characters, but now that the content is much easier than years back, we’re probably going to be working on those.

I still need to get the ARR ponies on my main (which I can now probably try to solo). I have them all on my RP alt, but not my main. Go figure. 🙂

Just goes to show you, it’s never too late to go back and clear old content!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Deepshadow Scale Mail of Casting

I’ve been trying to keep up with capping my weekly Tomes of Phantasmagoria — you know they’re reaching for names when they come up with something like that. While I’ve been successful the past couple of weeks, it’s not always been an easy thing.

I’m not a huge fan of the Expert dungeons this time around (I like the Twinning based on theme alone). They seem to be a bit challenging whenever we have to PUG it. Much of my Tomes were earned from Alliance Roulette, but really come much faster with Expert. I don’t even know if you can actually cap if all you do is Alliance every day (I’d have to do the math).

Anyhow, the first gear upgrade I went for was the hardest to get – the chestpiece. It looks like all the gear has this scale mail theme this time around. It doesn’t look bad by any means, but it’s not my favorite set I’ve seen from Shadowbringers so far. But maybe that’s a testament to the wide variety of gear style we’ve seen.

Aside from that, I’m still working on leveling my Dark Knight via daily Beast Tribe quests. I haven’t done as much gathering/crafting since I’ve got most of those leveled up. I do still have a way to go on my Carpenter, however, before I get my main’s first 80 crafter.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Moonfire Faire 2019

Wednesday launched FFXIV’s summer event – the Moonfire Faire. This is hosted at Costa del Sol and centers around fun on the beach with fireworks and an obstacle course.

Last year introduced the jumping puzzle – which was a required part of finishing the quest, at least on the easy mode. If you really want to challenge yourself, there’s a second part of the jumping puzzle that’s a lot more difficult to finish. I’m not one for jumping puzzles within MMOs (they always feel wonky to me), so I’ve never pushed the limits of this one. Making it to the first platform is enough.

This year, however, S/E extended a kindness to folks who find the jumping frustrating, and allowed you to by-pass it with some of the activities from previous years. Namely, catching fish or cooking breaded fish, both which give you a token each.

These tokens go towards buying a pretty large array of stuff this year. There are several outfits, masks, and outdoor housing items you can earn. They’re all fairly nice looking, too, even the kiddie pool!

The breaded fish recipe is only level 5, so it’s not hard to make. Honestly, the toughest part of that is being able to gather the mats for it – it does require popotoes, which come from a level 20 harvest.

However, every time I’ve been on the beach, there have been plenty of kind folks giving away the breaded fish. And… the fish you need to catch for the quest is very low level, so that’s not hard to do, either. It just takes a little time.

The story for this year’s quest is a continuation of last year’s, including the same characters you met before. This is not unusual seeing that FFXIV is moving towards having specific NPCs return for a certain holiday event each time — either to further last year’s story, or just to show up.

There is one small addition to the obstacle course at the end, but nothing that changes what you have to do to clear it. So, overall, it’s a fun event, but not a huge change from what we saw last year.

Sometimes it’s just fun to hang out with friends on the beach.