Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder: Dog Days

See that picture above? That is the image of the Cerberus boss in the World of Darkness raid enraging and devouring the entire alliance. This happens when the alliance does not do mechanics.

So, from this very first paragraph, you can probably tell, this is going to be a fun story.

We pop a normal Alliance Roulette and get World of Darkness. There’s no new player bonus, just for future reference. I noted on the trash pull that our DPS was on the low side, but no problem. This is older content and we’ll make it through, right?

Oh man.

Dragon Days

The entire raid had this complete tunnel vision mentality where the only thing worth attacking was apparently the bosses. Sadly, World of Darkness cannot be cleared this way. There are some mechanics that can’t be ignored.

We manage to get through the eye boss and to the dragon before the fun really started. We had a tank named John- something that didn’t know to pull the boss back to give DPS room to move around, and he was completely ignoring Alliance chat.

ffxiv_08192018_192749

This caused Syn to put up a marker at the back of the room to indicate where the tank should pull the boss. Only, this was ignored, too. So the Alliance began showering the back of the room with markers to stress the point.

ffxiv_08192018_192746

When this didn’t work, our healer attempted to appeal on a first name basis.

ffxiv_08192018_192823

Finally, the tank in our group decided to take control of the fight, and things went fine after that.

ffxiv_08192018_192836

However, this led to the problem of a healer and bard in our group deciding no one knew what they were doing and it was time to direct the raid with their Expert Commentary™.

Doggone

When we got to Cerberus, the Expert Commentary™ was demanding that only team B go inside the dog for the stomach wall mechanic. Which… is really not the way it’s been done in years. Usually, DPS just goes inside, burns down the stomach walls, while tanks and heals take care of the adds and chains outside.

However, since Expert Commentary™ threw out instructions on how to do it, and this raid was so focused on boss tunnel vision, only three DPS – myself included – went inside — none of which was from Team B, I might note.

Naturally, three DPS alone can’t do the mechanics and stay alive inside the boss.

We died.

No one else came in to do the mechanics.

Boss enraged, just like the boss does when no one does mechanics.

Raid wiped.

Frustration abounded and I actually typed something in Alliance chat for once in a blue moon.

dogdeath1

Expert Commentary™ began to rage and demand all the more that it be done a certain way. Myself and two of the DPS in our party completely ignored their demands because last time, if we hadn’t gone inside, no one would have.

This caused Expert Commentary™ to rage all the more at us DPS for not doing it the way they wanted us to. To which, I had enough of their mouth, and let them know — the more DPS that go inside, logically, the faster this fight goes.

dogdeath2

We got through it this time, but boy did I want Expert Commentary™ to shut up after that.

The funny thing was during the Cloud of Darkness battle, one of Expert Commentary™ got slaughtered by the lightning marker that you have to keep running from. That might have been the highlight of the run.

And, I ended up with a commendation when it was all done with. 🙂

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Mateus Housing Savage – Round 2!

You see that picture up there? That’s me standing next to a housing placard for nearly 3 hours, camping a housing plot that’s on a timer.

Yes, I already went through this once, for my own private estate. This time, it was for a Free Company house.

I didn’t actually plan on getting housing this weekend, though we’d reached the proper rank. I was saving up for it (went broke buying my own house and working on decorating an alt’s apartment), which meant I ended up breaking down and selling off my stash of Jet Black Dye to fund things.

The Fight for Housing

Mateus is one of those servers where getting housing means you snag whatever lot you possibly can, often while fighting off others who are also trying to click the same placard for how many ever hours it takes before the timer drops off. This timer thing is the bane of my existence, seriously.

On Saturday night, there were only two lots open on the server. One was a pool-side in the Goblet, which a whole bunch of people were camping. The other was a less-than choice plot in the Beds. This was a cheap lot, but it was right next to a tall wall and had all kinds of nonsense stone pieces blocking the view of the stream.

I think it was because it was fairly undesirable that people would come, take a look at it and pass it up. I didn’t care, though. Obtaining your first house, no matter what lot it was, gets your foot in the door. Once you’ve done that, and have the gil, you can transfer to a more appealing location — which was something I figured we’d do on down the line.

So I spent hours standing there camping it, clicking and clicking every 5-10 mins. Amoon and Syn made fun of me as I /danced /prayed /doted and all sorts of emotes to the  placard, hoping that it would be merciful and the timer would open up. To my shock, it was a bit after midnight when I clicked… and it worked!

Just like when I bought my personal house. Suddenly, there it was. And it was ours!

ffxiv_08192018_001312

Syn had already gone to bed by then, so it was Amoon and I scrambling around in excitement. We threw down a house, an aetheryte and few rough decorations, and eventually called it a night.

Unexpected Transformation

That would have been a happy end to the story in and of itself, except, that’s not where it ended! Syn wasn’t there when I bought the house, but I did leave her a text to let her know it happened.

The next morning, I’d slept in a bit and woke up to a string of texts from her that I’d missed hours before:

2018-08-19 10.14.33

2018-08-19 10.14.51

Mad? I was super excited! Both Amoon and I gave up our Shirogane houses when we switched servers. And finding a lot open in Shirogane on Mateus is pretty special.

2018-08-19 10.31.45

One of the things I really wanted to do was turn my old Shirogane house into an Odder Otter house. I never got the chance before I left Midgardsormr, but I did bring most of the materials needed for it to happen with me.

So now, once we get all the workshop and airships and crafting in place, we’ll turn this house into an Otter house instead!

ffxiv_08192018_105017

As Syn said, it’s in a fantastic spot. There’s a marketboard, warp and bell right on our front lawn. Also, all the houses around it are tastefully decorated in the Hingan style. So really, I couldn’t have asked for anything more than this.

We are going to have to spend time and a lot of work to get our airships pieced together again, but that’s okay. Amoon and I are both near maxed on all crafters and gatherers, so really, time is the only resource we’re lacking on getting this all running.

In our previous FC, other folks took the lead on making our airships and things, so I never really got super involved in the whole process. This time, I get to see it happen and get to put the work towards it. It makes it much more personal and I’m pretty excited to have a big project to work on with my tiny FC. Once we get that Otter house built, it’s going to be a thing of beauty. 🙂

It’s kinda weird how I ended up with my exact old lot as a personal house, and our FC ended up with a shared house in Shirogane. I guess it was just meant to be.

ffxiv_08192018_151443

Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming

Blaugust Dev Appreciation Week: The Fun Pimps

I never thought I’d use the word “Pimp” in a title of a blog post, but there you are. I love this team and what they do, so I’m pimpin’ their name right now… (Oh… that was awful… I’ll see myself out.)

The Fun Pimps is the development team behind the zombie survival crafting game, 7 Days to Die. If you look at my archives, you’ll see that I first reviewed 7D2D back in July of 2014… and this is a game that the Posse still enthusiastically plays today (we were playing it last weekend, in fact)! I have over 700 hours put into this game, which makes it my most-played Steam game ever.

Even though it’s still wading through various stages of alpha, we are awaiting the next big patch drop eagerly. Jeeps and gyro-copters!! Woot!

tfp

So who are the Fun Pimps? Based on their website:

The Fun Pimps A.K.A. TFP are a small dedicated group of highly experienced Game and Software developers with a passion to make games that both our team and gamers really want to play. Our goal is to create a lasting gaming experience you can’t get anywhere else. It’s more than a game it’s a labor of love!

Our team grew from humble beginnings making mods for games and those roots have taken seed. But we haven’t forgotten where we came from and the importance of growing a strong vision with the support and passion of the people we’re making the game for. The average 7 Days to Die Team member has over 14 years of experience in Game and Software Development working with or for many top companies.

We’re too experienced to call indie but still small enough to do the innovative and sometimes risky things that AAA studios are afraid to try. So if you’re with us buckle your seat belts survivors, grab your pickaxe, compass and knapsack and let’s start kicking some Zombie ass and making some cool ass MacGyver shit!

Can confirm this is accurate.

Sometimes TFP take some flack for being a slower dev team to push updates. But to their credit, the game they’re working on is already huge and extremely complex. When they do release, they drop a HUGE amount of new content. In fact, every patch has made it like a brand new game each time.

Yes, this means you have to start your game over for big patches. But you know what? Even after over 700 hours in this game, the Posse never complains about starting over. With the random gen system, each new game is always vastly different. It’s just as engaging to wipe the slate clean as it is to have a nice fortified base and move into exploration mode further into the game cycle.

There’s so many complexities that even after all this time, the game continues to surprise us in devious and delightful ways. Due to that, I can absolutely be patient for the next content drop without complaint. It just makes it all the more delicious when we get it.

I don’t know if Joel and the team will ever see my thanks, but this is my appreciation post for a darn fine game that’s brought us more enjoyment, ripped down walls and jump-scares than I could have ever anticipated. Keep on pimpin!

20180203235746_1

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

Blaugust Dev Appreciation Week: Thank You FFXIV Team

This week at Blaugust is Dev Appreciation Week. And since I’ve been straying all over the place with my topics so far, I decided to pull together a quick post that’s on-theme today.

As a creator myself, and a member of a software development team IRL, the developers of the games I play tend to stay up front in my mind. I marvel at the skill and originality they possess, and try to be gentle when things don’t always live up to expectations.

A Final Fantasy Fan

It’s not a secret that I’m a Final Fantasy fan. My first JRPG as a pre-teen was Final Fantasy 1 on the NES, and my first RPG love was Final Fantasy 2/4j on the SNES. I still appreciate the old skool games much more than those that came after FFIX.  I never could quite get into the shift into more sci-fi, J-Pop or modern themes that newer FF games take the series to.

ffxivart

There was even a chunk of time when I was quite angry at S/E for what I perceived as milking the series — especially my most loved game FFIV. I felt really betrayed when the release of the 3D version added parts to the story that weren’t in original canon, which directly effected fan projects I’d been working on for 15-some years at that point. Then, add to it a very mediocre “sequel,” which I still haven’t played and refuse to knowledge exists.

Yep, I’m a FFIV nerd.

A Fan Reborn

When FFXIV first launched, I ignored it. I was in a Boycott All Things S/E mindset at the time. And probably deep into playing GW2 or whatever my choice of MMOs was. It was hardly a blip on my radar, except to hear from media now and then how terrible it was.

I did catch wind that the game was shutting down. I heard that it was being re-worked. And none of that really phased me at the time. I had no idea how incredible a story it would become and how FFXIV would eventually become the center of my gaming when A Realm Reborn launched.

Shortly after ARR came to be, I started hearing GOOD things about it. Really, really good things about it. So much that they’d stopped selling the game temporarily to let the poor servers catch up with the demand.

I was having a falling out with the direction GW2 was going at the time, and feeling down about the state of my MMO gaming. And even though I was still annoyed with S/E as a company, my curiosity got the better of me, and I picked up FFXIV as soon as they made it available for digital download again.

As an oldskool FF fan, I was almost instantly hooked. Some people knock the slowness of the game and the story in the beginning (which I understand), but for me, this is exactly the change of pace I needed after my frustrations with GW2. Then, to see so many Final Fantasy references all balled up into a package that was undeniably created with love…

FFXIV did something I didn’t think was possible. It made me a Final Fantasy fan again. 

moonkitty
My first Moon Kitty, rolled back in September 2013.

This, I thought, is a REAL Final Fantasy game. THIS is the kind of fantasy and story experience I’d been missing for so many years. It was exactly the right game at the right time, and while I don’t always agree with all the choices the team makes, I found myself quickly becoming loyal to Yoshi-P and his team of miracle workers.

My Deep Thanks to FFXIV

Five years later, I’m still subbed and still playing. I’ve been to a Fan Fest where I was able to meet members of the dev team and express my gratitude in person. I’ve met so many people through Eorzea, some which have extended into what I consider RL friendships.

I’ve run a successful Free Company that’s helped to link together people from all across the world. And even after giving that to new leadership, I continue to meet people through RP endeavors as I start on a new path in the game I once only tried out of pure curiosity.

The game taught me to (mostly) overcome my crippling fear of grouping.

It taught me my first raids.

It taught me that I wasn’t as terrible a player as I feared I would be… that I didn’t wipe parties when I grouped (like I was scared I would)… that I had value… and that I could bring people together and teach them in turn. I can’t express how much this game has pushed me to develop beyond my social and gaming comfort zone.

It may sound crazy to say, but $15 a month is cheap for that kind of personal development. I owe the team so much more than that (throw in a few server transfers and Fantasia fees, am I right?)

Game development can be a thankless job sometimes, so I wish there was some way I could tell them how much Eorzea and their creations have meant to me, and will continue to mean. Maybe somewhere through this big wide Internet, my good vibes will trickle their way.

It always blows my mind how The Rising anniversary event usually is THEM thanking US! Looking forward to this year’s event and many more beyond!

ffxiv_08132018_222425

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Jump Puzzle – With Bennett Foddy

On the first day of the Moonfire Faire, the fact that there is a jump puzzle to the event became a reality. Then, people came to know that there’s an easy version, which is all you need to complete the event, and a much, much harder version. The harder version doesn’t give you anything but bragging rights, and yet, so many people set out to defeat it.

During early afternoon, server shout chat in the zone began to draw connections between the feeling this jump puzzle gave someone and the game Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy.

ffxiv_08132018_113006

Now if you’ve never played the game or watched someone on YouTube play it, please take a moment to watch any normal playthrough (not speed run) of Getting Over It. Doesn’t matter which, they usually all end up the same. Lots and lots of bad language. 🙂

Anyhow, throughout the game, as you fail and lose progress, Bennett Foddy offers “motivational” quotes and commentary in voice overs. Most of these are actually empowering quotes, but in the middle of suffering and failure, they feel more like a passive-aggressive jab at you (which is probably the intention).

So, when Mateus chat turned into Bennett Foddy quotes for the new jump puzzle and various parodies of, I knew I needed to start hitting the screenshot button.

ffxiv_08132018_125949

ffxiv_08132018_125739

ffxiv_08132018_125731

ffxiv_08132018_125725

ffxiv_08132018_125716

In closing, some Bennett Foddy motivation for your Wednesday here:

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Moonfire Faire 2018

Here we are, when it seems almost everyone else is talking about the launch of the WoW expansion, and I’m just chilling in the new FFXIV event — this year’s Moonfire Faire. There’s a lot of positive vibes coming off this event as far as I’ve seen. Or maybe it’s because the change to a larger, RP server really ramps up the community excitement way beyond what I’m used to seeing.

Shout chat was non-stop yesterday (for better or worse), and I saw everything from fat chocobo parades to floating people bridges (which I took part in). The bridge didn’t quite make it to the second island, but it got pretty long in the end!

ffxiv_08132018_171344

This year’s reward was a nice set of cosmetic beach wear, complete with sunglasses. I thought it looked good for both male and female characters, and I went through the event on all of my characters to snag a set for each of them.

ffxiv_08132018_220940

BUT… before you could reap the rewards, you had to face the challenge of the Eorzean Nimble Warrior… which I’ve been told is a parody of American Ninja Warrior (?) I have no idea. I’ve never even seen the show, so the joke went way over my head until Amoon told me why it was so funny.

Basically, the whole thing is a bit of a jump puzzle. First, a horizontal one…

ffxiv_08132018_111433

…and then a vertical one…

ffxiv_08132018_131544

Once you hit the checkpoint at the mid-way area in the tower, that’s all that’s required to get your rewards. It’s honestly not that hard of a jump puzzle as long as you take your time and don’t overshoot it.

However, the jump puzzle continues upward beyond that with a difficulty I’ve heard rivals Kugane tower. It’s not required for anything, just there if you want to try it. I don’t even know that there’s really a reward…

When night rolls around, the fireworks start in each city. These will likely continue on through The Rising anniversary event later on this month. It’s so hard to believe that this means I’ve been playing this game for almost five years! I remember the first Moonfire Faire, which was happening back when I was a completely new player, even.

Overall, looking back at the choice I made to hand off our FC and make a change in gaming environment, I’m not regretting it. Mateus can get a little more excitable in shout chat, and has its share of trollish behavior, but that kind of stuff can be turned off or avoided. Our Cross-World Linkshell has done well to keep in touch with people on our previous server. I’ve made more than enough RP contacts to be busy for a long time.

Our tiny friends-only FC on Mateus reached Rank 6 over the weekend, which means once I have the funds, I’ll be hunting/camping a house for us soon. We’ll see how that turns out!

ffxiv_08132018_221402

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: The Hunt Continues

Last week, I wrote about unlocking the Monster Hunter World collaboration event in FFXIV. It wasn’t until this weekend that we actually got to sit down and fight the Rathalos trial, however.

Despite somewhat wanting the mount, I only ran the Normal mode once. It was enough to kinda form an opinion on the fight itself, which was a blend of battle mechanics you’d see in Monster Hunter imitated the best that FFXIV could.

ffxiv_08112018_210137

Overall, the Normal mode trail isn’t terribly hard. It does require you to be level 70 and to have completed Stormblood to play it. I think it also requires you to have at least ilvl 320 gear. This is more than enough to get the job done, IMHO.

I know the EX version is much more challenging than this, seeing they cut the party number in half and limit the number of potions you can use. Also, the party has a shared 3-death penalty. If you reach that max number, the fight is over.

Mostly, this fight is about moving and spacial awareness. Rathalos often faces someone and charges at them without any ground telegraphs or warnings. The same for the tail swipe mechanic. So you have to keep an eye on boss body language.

In the second half of the battle, healers can’t heal you anymore and it’ll be up to you to use the Potion mechanic. You only have 10 of them, so you have to choose when you need them wisely. Healers can still rez you, however.

The issue I had with this part of the fight is that it was often difficult to see what the boss was doing and which way he was facing when he went into flying mode. I play FFXIV boss battles zoomed all the way out most of the time, but the nature of the small arena for this trial and the boss being in the air just wasn’t a good combination for my camera angles.

If I got struck, it was often because I just couldn’t see very well. This is a problem I have when fighting Famfrit in the Lighthouse, too. Whoever thought it was a great idea to put a spinning mechanic like Tsunami at the TOP of a tall boss was just mean!

ffxiv_08112018_211153

Aside from the little design complaint, which I’m sure gets easier to deal with the more familiar you are with the battle, it’s a solid fight with some nice rewards. The Palico minion was the main prize I was after in the end, though there are housing items, music, a Poogie minion, a set of armor, and of course the mount to earn.

Since the fight isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, I may just wait until it becomes easier content to find a farm party for the mount. I’m not really in a huge rush for it, and I’ll have more than enough to do with the Moonfire Faire opening today… so much glamour for so many alts! 🙂

One more shot of the Palico, who is every bit the minion I hoped he’d be!

ffxiv_08112018_211937