Posted in Uncategorized

FFXIV: Relic Goals Accomplished!

So, this week I finally buckled down and got the Singing Clusters phase of the Anima Relic completed! Though the weapon still has the creepy face on it, I do like the new sparkles. It’s an improvement.

I also pushed through and got to the “Light” farming phase. It’s funny how people still call it light farming, even though it has a different name for this Relic. Though it’s true that the functions are pretty much the same.

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And all during this relic, I’ve only done the ARF farm once. I was down to my very last Singing Cluster last night, so I swallowed my dislike for the dungeon and was lucky enough to have several FC folks help out!

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I don’t plan on working too hard in the Light farming stage because an ilvl 260 weapon is just fine for what I do weekly. However, that glowing dragon spear is much cooler than what I have, so I wager I’ll get that eventually!

Other Accomplishments

I also snagged my second Fokelore Tome for Miner last week, thanks to the weekly deliveries. If all goes well, I’ll get my last book this week.

This also puts me at just one gathering item shy of getting my Blessed pickaxe! Crossing my fingers that I can get it next time!

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And while I haven’t been working too hard on Tai’s progress, I did get him over ilvl 235 just in time to run his first Dun Scaith. Lucky him — the Dragoon chest piece dropped his very first run! That, plus the ilvl 270 accessory, put him sitting much better in the ilvl range.

The new chest doesn’t look half bad on him, either.

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I’m still working on leveling Black Mage for my main, though mostly through random PotD runs. Overall, most of my big, pressing goals have been cleared and I can just relax and work on random stuff until Stormblood.

It’s a nice feeling!

 

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch, Uncategorized, Zelda Breath of the Wild

March Gaming Goals in Review

I actually did a pretty great job of meeting all my goals this month, even the ones I doubted I’d meet (Umbrite Relic Stage). I spent most my gaming time between Zelda: BotW and FFXIV, as expected. Now that I’ve gotten further into Zelda, I can make next month’s goal a bit more specific.

Here’s what happened in March!

Nintendo Switch Launch

  • Dive deep in Zelda – Breath of the Wild ✓

Yep, definitely did this. I put in more than 30 hours on this game (which is a lot for me) and have only cleared the first Divine Beast. I still have so, so much more to do in this game!

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Upgrade Dragoon Gear ✓
  • Upgrade Alt Job Gear ✓
  • Finish Umbrite Anima Relic Step✓
  • Level Paladin ✓
  • Earn scrips for Crafter and Gatherer ✓

I’ve upgraded all of my Dragoon gear to 270 using tokens earned through the alliance raids. I really don’t feel the need to keep running them at this point, so I’ve been taking a break from Dun Scaith and company. Aside from the weapon, my Dragoon is sitting pretty for the expansion.

I have been upgrading my alt job gear as well. Most of the Bard pieces are at least 260 — I believe I just need hands and feet (or something), which I plan on earning through Scripture over time. I’ve also been upgrading my Intelligence gear in anticipation of Red Mage, and working on a complete set of 200 gear for my Paladin. I’m just piecing together drops from Expert at this point with no real urgency. I get what I get.

I finally finished the Umbrite Step for the Relic Weapon! For a while, I didn’t think it was going to happen this month. But last weekend, I put my nose to the grindstone and finished it up!

My goal was to simply “level Paladin.” My reality was level Paladin to 60. Being a shy tank, I stayed away from leveling roulettes, and did it mostly through Beast Tribe dailies, hunts, FATEs and a solo PotD. It honestly didn’t take as long as I thought, and encourages me to work on my other jobs, now.

My final goal was to earn scrips for crafters and gatherers. Oh, man, did I ever! Thanks to the new Deliveries, I made 300 out of the 450 cap for crafter red scrips last night. That’s more than I’ve ever done before (I don’t craft weekly for scrips, just don’t have time). The result has been upgrading all kinds of gear, both crafting and gathering, as well as purchasing Master crafting books and saving up for my first Fokelore for gathering.

Between this and the scrips I get from my Squad, it’s been a beautiful thing. I’m really excited to be making progress in this area! I hope Deliveries stick around.

So, how did your month go? Meet any important goals?

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Uncategorized, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Shalaka! Hestu and Korok Seeds

botwspoilers

Up until now, I haven’t mentioned the Korok seed gathering that I’d been doing from time to time. Anytime you see something slightly out of the ordinary, or climb to the top of a place that seems interesting, and find a rock to pick up, there’s usually a Korok hiding there. I really like this because it keeps me on the lookout for little mini-puzzles, and it rewards exploration in little ways.

Plus, they’re just dang cute.

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Anyhow, I didn’t know there was a purpose to the seeds until about this point in the game. I was riding out of the village, and the night was settling in. I saw a strange shape waiting along side the road. I approached it carefully… because after meeting with Impa, I’d been getting jumped by disguised assassins from the Yiga clan. And they’re pretty nasty.

It turns out this tree-guy is okay. His name is Hestu, and nearby baddies have stolen his maracas.

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This sounds like a job for Link!

It really wasn’t that difficult to clean out the camp, which was just up over the hill. I took care of that quickly…

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…and returned the instruments back to their grateful owner…

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Only, that’s not where this story ends. The problem was, there was nothing inside the maracas to make sound for some reason. But Hestu cut me an interesting deal because…

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So, as I bring him the seeds I’ve collected for his maracas, he gives me new slots for weapons, shields and bows. I jumped on this opportunity immediately! The more weapons I can carry, the better!

Upgrades cost an increasing amount of seeds the more that you buy. It starts at one seed, then two, then three, and keeps going. This is individually based on type, so your first weapon slot is 1 seed, your first bow slot is 1 seed, etc. After upgrading a certain amount of times, he will move on to his next location in the game.

There are a total of 900 Korok seeds you can find in the game, but you don’t need anywhere that many to unlock all the inventory upgrades. I doubt I’ll be spending that much time and effort to find all of them, myself, though it’s another fun little system in this game.

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Uncategorized, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Paraglider, Please?

botwspoilers

In the previous post, I left Link standing at the top of a tower that burst up from under the ground. After all the magical voices and visions, I was left to find my own way down.

When I say tower, I really mean tower. This thing is tall! At first, I tried to climb down, which led me to my death repeatedly. Yeah, I know, death by falling. But I wasn’t used to the climbing system on my very first day of play.

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After dying more than I had a right to, I took a step back and really looked at the tower. I realized that the little platforms around the tower’s edges were set up in a way that I could easily just hop from one to another all the way down.

Duh. 

BotW Lesson: Always take a good look at what you’re attempting to do before throwing yourself to death over and over again.

Point taken.

When I finally get down on the ground, my victory is short-lived as the Old Man drops in on me. I do mean literally drops in. Seems he has a really cool thing called a paraglider. This allows him to glide down from heights without getting hurt.

Nice!

Even better, he strikes a deal with me. If I can retrieve the treasure from this glowing structure that he calls a Shrine, he’ll give me the paraglider in exchange.

Alright. Seems fair enough. So, off I go!

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Once I arrive at the Shrine, I note a familiar pedestal that indicates I need to interact with it using Link’s Slate. So I do that and the Shrine opens up to me.

Going inside, I’m told this is something called the Magnesis Trial. I’m in a room that’s blocked, not allowing me further entrance. Again, I see a Slate pedestal, so I do the thing, and place it there.

This time, something different happens. The Shrine empowers Link’s Slate and gives it the ability to move metal objects through a magnetic power.

Link is now Magneto! 

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The puzzles in this Shrine were straight forward. Everything here was solved through the use of the magnetic power, as you’d expect. The only thing that stumped me here at first was getting the treasure chest, which was up on a platform, high on the wall.

The answer was simple: The chest is metal, so you can just float it down to Link to open it.

My mind was making it far more complicated than it needed to be… trying to use blocks to build a way up the wall next to it and all kinds of mess. Two lessons were learned, however.

BotW Lesson: Chests are often made of metal. Use it to your advantage.

BotW Lesson: Dropping heavy metal objects on Link’s head will kill him.

When I finally completed the Shrine, creepy monk and all, the Old Man was waiting for me outside. I was eager to get my paraglider, though I wasn’t sure what treasure it was he was looking for.

BotW has some really subtle humor that I appreciate so much. This first started to show itself here in this conversation with the Old Man. Here he is rambling on about how the world works, but deep down, the game knows that you don’t care about any of that, and pokes fun at you.

You, the player, just want that paraglider! Gogogogo! 

One of the text options repeatedly reflects that (though I didn’t have the courage to select it and seem rude).

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The Old Man then changes his part of the deal. He won’t give you the paraglider until after you complete three more shrines! This time, the game’s response choice is pretty much on point.

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But it’s these little exchanges that I enjoy. The game is aware of itself and aware of its audience in a very pleasing way.

The old guy told me to meet him up on top of the tower, where he showed me that Link’s Slate can also be used as a long-distance scope. Once in scope mode, you can drop pins on important locations and those appear on your map, helping you track those points.

Man, this game thought of everything.

So, with the locations of the next three Shrines in sight, I set off to earn my paraglider.

linktobecontinued

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Uncategorized

FFXIV: Dun Scaith Week 2 & Stormblood Preorder

Pictured above – I got the Bard hat drop from Dun Scaith last night. It’s a pretty neat design, but I instantly glamoured to Amon’s Hat right after taking this shot. 😀

Week 2 Dun Scaith Impressions

We took a mostly-FC group in with us, including several who were brand new to the raid. Overall, people are starting to understand it better. That’s probably in thanks to the Dun Scaith guides that are finally out for it now.

What I wouldn’t have given for Mr. Happy’s guide a week ago!

While I haven’t actually watched the guide (I probably should), I’ve heard about some of the mechanics that were tripping me up, especially on Ferdiad and his Atomos.

I still say that it wasn’t super obvious that he was force-feeding one Atomos a certain color orb only for it to come out of the opposite Atomos, and that you had to respond accordingly. But now that I know what to look for, the biggest piece of that puzzle has been unraveled.

The raid still wiped on Scathach, but only because too many people ignored the add the first time. They learned from that mistake.

The raid also wiped on Diabolos the first time. The second time, we came very close to wiping, but a small handful of people were able to whittle him down at about 5%. This is how we earned the win last week, so overall, the final boss is still tripping up the raid as a whole.

I, myself, have not remained alive for the whole final fight yet. Either I stacked on someone when too few people were stacking (so we all died) or something like that happened. So I’ve not had the chance to actually practice through the final phase of earthshakers and stacks to feel like I have an understanding.

Dun Scaith vs. Weeping City

So my final thoughts on this raid is that it’s more difficult than Weeping City, but for different reasons that Weeping City is difficult. The mechanics come fast and hard. But once you get a group of people in there who know what to do and how to respond, this raid may end up being easier in the long run.

For example, we did a Weeping run right after Dun Scaith (yeah, looking for punishment), and there are still people who are dropping meteors on the party during Ozma. Some new folks coming through at this point seem to think its been out long enough that they don’t need no guide (to get a carry). I watched this happen with the randoms we picked up last night — they didn’t have a clue on how to handle mechanics, and it punished the rest of us hard.

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Now, I’m not one to yell at someone to watch a guide, but in this case, Weeping City places a lot of responsibility on individual players. You can still blow your party up with meteors and bombs!

To Newcomers: Please know the basic mechanics of Ozma if nothing else! You can’t just get through Weeping City without having to perform mechanics!

In contrast, there are a few times that Dun Scaith places this kind of punishment on the party for one person’s mistakes. Maybe a bit on the final boss with stacks and earthshakers… and maybe that’s why teams have so much trouble working through that section. But for the most part, if you screw something up, you die. You usually don’t take out the rest of the party with you.

I still think that Dun Scaith is challenging, but I wonder that if in the long run, I will like it more than Weeping City. One way or another, I’m gearing my Bard up with drops, and my Dragoon through Shire gear upgrades.

Stormblood Pre-order

So pre-orders opened up for Stormblood yesterday. I picked up the digital CE, mostly for the mount and the chicken blade. I’ve never been super partial to FFV, so the CE items were only so-so to me. But that’s mostly because I’ve not actually put time into playing FFV (despite owning it)… probably something I should do one day. I heard it had a fun job system.

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I was actually looking forward to the Red Mage pre-order minion, but they haven’t passed those out yet. It was a little confusing to go and redeem the pre-order code only to have it say “Code Pending.” At first, I thought this was the head-start code they were talking about, but reading over the email again, it seems like all pre-order items won’t be given out until sometime next month.

Overall, I’m trying to feel hyped for Stormblood. But, to be totally honest, I’m not that big on the whole Ala Mhigo conflict as a plot backdrop.

I could get into Ishgard because of the dragons, but Ala Mhigo doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning to me as a player yet. They may charm me somewhere down the line, though — FFXIV has a way of making me care about things I didn’t know I’d care about. So, I’m trying to stay open-minded.

The one thing I am hyped about is Red Mage, of course. It’s really the one thing I want out of this expansion, aside from re-worked Bard, and hopefully tweaks to the job system we keep hearing about. Swimming and diving sounds cool, but it’s no where near as exciting as flying mounts were for Heavensward.

One way or another, I plan on taking time off of work for the pre-order head start, mostly to level the job and get used to it.  In the meantime, I’m gearing up jobs, suffering through Relic, and working on leveling Paladin next.

Oh, yeah. And I also finished leveling my Squad last week. Wonder where they’re going to take this feature in the future!

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Posted in Uncategorized

FFXIV: Dun Scaith Cleared!

Last night, a small group of FC folks got together to tackle Dun Scaith one more time this week — including Star Bearer, Bean Baguette, Zeb and myself. I might have taken a break from this run after the previous try, but Bean’s heading out for the rest of the month, and this was her one chance to get it done while it’s still new.

So, seeing I’d not cleared it, other folks were going, and we could all suffer together, I came along, too. I’m glad I did. I understand the raid a lot better going through it a second time.

I still stand on my previous soapbox about how Dun Scaith is not a raid that’s friendly to the average player, even after I’ve beat it. I do think it’s learn-able. I do think it’s clear-able. I think people will get better at it. All that being said, I think the people who will clear it reliably are going to be ones who have a really strong grasp on mechanics and how to play their class. This is no Crystal Tower.

The reason for this team’s success is due to having a fairly stable group of people who had all intentions to learn the raid and succeed in it. Also, our FC pal Star had already completed the raid, done research on what’s known about the mechanics, and patiently explained to all who listened what to watch for.

This was a huge improvement over the previous night where we didn’t even know there was a door to go through to fight an add on the final boss. This group did learn and improve. I wasn’t absolutely clueless this time.

We had a few wipes, especially on Scathach, and we just barely scraped by with three people alive for the last 3% of Diabolos. I honestly had given up and thought it was going to be a wipe at the end, but somehow they pulled through. Over half the people there got the achievement for finishing the raid for the first time, so most of us were totally new.

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Oh yeah. And see that up there? Bard pants dropped and I won the roll! So I even got a pretty significant upgrade out of the struggle. I was worried because I was rolling against another Bard, and had only rolled a 37. Somehow I got them anyhow.

So, now I’m on my way to slowly gearing up my Bard. I then took the raid currency and upgraded my Dragoon’s Scripture ring to 270 so that I could purchase the other Scripture ring and finish my Dragoon set. I’ll be using the rest of my Scripture to start upgrading Bard accessories.

Now that I’m getting my final gear sets sorted out, I’ll also be melding them with materia. I’ve ignored that up until now because I didn’t want to waste it on gear that I knew I was just going to upgrade or toss out.

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I tried to take a cool picture in front of the sunset, but it came out with eyes closed. Go figure.

Onward!

With that cleared and out of the way, I can focus on clearing the other Expert dungeon, checking out the new gathering and crafting achievements to work towards tools, and ranking up with the Ixal. I’m really happy that the new crafting/gathering tools are achievement based, as it scratches that completionist itch for me.

Finally craft and gather everything on my log? Okay! Fish up mostly all the fish? Will try!

I’m holding off on finishing the new Heavensward Beast Tribe alliance quest because I heard there’s a major bug dealing with them that messes up your ranks with the ARR Beast Tribes. I did go back and buy all the mounts and minions from the ARR Beast Tribes last night, and plan on finishing up that quest before the Heavensward quest. Hopefully, by the time I get there, that bug will be worked out.

So, there’s plenty to do without touching a raid, and that’s just fine with me!

Posted in Blogging, Uncategorized

Happy 3rd Blogging Birthday!

Three years ago today, I launched a blog on my other domain, Sygnus.org. That blog has gone through various names and hosts over the past three years.

First it was just a fairly geeky blog at Sygnus.org. Then, I decided to name it Clean Casuals as it took on more of a gaming blog identity. Somewhere in there, I launched a more personal blog, which became this one. I then merged in the content from Clean Casuals into this one, and kept the name Aywren Sojourner.

Sometime last year, I got concerned with the inodes I was using up at my paid host and made a move to hosting at WordPress.com. So far, I’ve been content with this latest move and don’t foresee a reason to make another. Especially since WordPress has expanded the amount of storage we get for images.

So, yeah. Three years and I’m still consistently blogging, mostly on the weekdays. Because I’ve moved this blog so many times, I’ve lost the statistics that went along with it. That’s okay, though. Each year is a new one with more opportunities.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by and reading! Your visits, thoughts, and comments always mean a lot to me. Hopefully I can continue to write things that keep bringing folks back to read!