Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: “Farewell” to Heavensward

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on Reddit and Twitter where people are saying “Farewell” to Heavensward. I don’t really get that, because it’s not as if Ishgard is going anywhere. I guess the title screen is changing, and I’m losing Ring of Thorns (I spent a lot of time pole jumping last night – RIP).

Still, I decided to do my own little tribute to Heavensward.

I’ve been casually working on the long quest chain that starts with the sidequest in Ishgard called The Paths We Walk. It’s a thoughtful quest that asks you to visit people and places out of memory of your adventure through Heavensward.

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I love the idea of it. It’s extremely long, though, with several parts. I’d forget about it for months at a time, and then pick it up again.

I decided last night that I was going to finally finish it, because that was appropriate for the final night of Heavensward. I was pretty close to the end, anyhow. I’m glad I did. The quest did a lot to bring closure and remind me of what made Heavensward, as a storyline, so special.

It ended at a spot where I had to pay respects to a certain someone. I was surprised when I got there that there was a FC already there, I guess taking screenshots for their own farewell event.

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I stayed out of their way and waited until they left before finishing my quest and earning my new emote.

There were parades through Ishgard and Dragonhead, and lots of people sending off the old expansion while the servers were still up. Amoon and I spent our final time there syncing our dances in Ishgard.

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Then, Xaa had to add a fainted Lalafell to the picture (at my request). 🙂

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Am I ready for Stormblood?

…It’s going to be a long day. 😉

Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming

7D2D: Alpha 16 Release

So, while the Posse is fidgeting and waiting for Stormblood to drop, 7D2D released Alpha 16 last weekend… just in time to give us a little taste of it before FFXIV whisks us away. This update upped the stakes and increased the difficulty of the game, which was something we could tell instantly (even though we play on lower settings).

I say this as a positive thing. A16 keeps you on your toes, even if you’ve been playing the game for years, like we have. Sleeper zombies are a new thing — they lay there until you get close and just wake up out of nowhere. You can put them down if you sneak up on them before they wake, but man, do these things make exploring new locations a startle-fest.

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I tried to place these chests on the floor, but they attached to the fridge instead. They are our new “fridge magnets.” (We actually call them that in game, too: “I put the food in the bottom fridge magnet.”)

Also, new wildlife, such as wolves and buzzards are in. Wolves (and dire wolves) are almost everywhere, and attack much the same as the zombie dogs used to. At first, I thought this would be annoying, but then, when I realized you could harvest them for meat, fat and hide, they’ve become more of a good thing. Instead of running after pigs and deer, you can let dinner come to you!

It looks like the old roaming zombie hoards are back. I missed hearing the frightening sounds of running zombies at night. And these hordes are pretty sizable, giving a good challenge no matter the time of day.

Despite all these things, we were able to reinforce a starting location in time for the first blood moon. The 7 day hordes are now adjustable in size — we left ours at 8 zombies (per person, I believe), but you can make them bigger. With five of us playing, we had quite a lot of zombies rushing our base.

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We found a few bugs (zombies and wolves running in circles but hardly doing damage, short weapon range, falling through the world, way too many screamers), and a few changes… but overall, we had a good time with the new build. I’m looking forward to exploring the new painting tools and making our base look faaaabulous!

But, first… who’s going to clean this all up??

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Free Company Frenzy, Friends and Fun

Things have been interesting in our FC the past week or so. You’d think that with Stormblood on the horizon people would be chilling out and taking a break until it drops. But that’s not what’s been happening in KoM at all.

The Frenzy

Our FC has been growing by leaps and bounds the past two months, and we’re actually trying to put the brakes on that a bit. We’ve always been a quality over quantity type of community, and I’m keenly aware of how one or two people can drastically change the whole group dynamic.

We try to recruit carefully, asking people to read and agree to our Charter and place a full application on our website. We take our family-friendly and no drama rules seriously, and for the most part, we’ve attracted the kind of people who want and uphold that. Our roster is very active, and while we have over 130 members now, due to diligent pruning of inactive people over time, only a small number of those are absent.

What I’ve seen a lot of this past week in particular is people who are in a frenzy to hurry up and grab a FC before Stormblood. They see KoM folks around town, toss out an in-game application, but don’t really know who we are or what our rules are. This has happened so often lately that I’ve had to close our in-game recruitment in an effort to funnel all our applications through the website.

Even there, I’ve let people know our recruitment is limited. We’re letting friends and family in, naturally, but really scrutinizing the unknown applications, even more so than before. We’re actually rejecting applicants, though mostly because they don’t take their application seriously or just don’t give us enough information to make a judgement call on whether they’d be a good fit or not.

We’ve had a few cases of growing pains lately, especially where I’ve had to sit down and reorganize how our Discord works now that it’s grown to over 80 people. Our Discord was never intended to be what it became (or maybe we didn’t realize the potential of it), a major hub of communication and discussion for our members outside of the game. It’s begun to require as much moderation, maybe more, than things in game. But it is what it is, and I’m working (with lots of member feedback) on embracing this.

I know that the population will shake itself out after Stormblood. So, I’m just waiting for this frenzy to calm down again.

Fun and Friends

However, this is mostly behind-the-scenes stuff that doesn’t effect our members. As I said, the typical KoM member is here to have a pleasant time in a clean and helpful environment, and they don’t need too much guidance to maintain that. If people stray, I hear about it, or members themselves try to take care of it. I really couldn’t ask for a better group of folks.

We have lots of great memories, such as the bonding ceremony that took place this weekend. This one was special, because this couple has been married a number of years IRL. And they planned their in-game ceremony on the day of their actual anniversary!

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So neat!

We’ve also welcomed friends from afar, including Syp! I was excited to meet him in game, and he didn’t know that as he was taking a screenshot of meeting me, I was doing the same for him! Welcome aboard!

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I think the majesty of Amon’s Hat earned some notice (as it should). 😉

Other Stuff

The wait for Stormblood is getting real. Thankfully we have E3 announcements and other interesting news to help keep my mind off of the thought of Red Mage in just a handful of days.

I’ve been clearing up a few lingering quests in my log in the meantime. I had one fishing job quest I hadn’t finished in about a year, despite being level 60 for a while, so I finally knocked the rest of those questlines out last night.

I still have a few more things I’d like to get done between now and the down time on Thursday. It’s fast approaching!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Videos

FFXIV: Your Momma Jokes

-Warning: Video Contains Some Mild Adult Language –

When “Your Momma” jokes go wrong.

I wanted to write a post today, but I woke up feeling really sleepy, and just don’t have the brain to try. Instead, I’m sharing a video I saw on Reddit that struck me as super funny. I had to rush out and share with everyone in the Posse, and now with you.

It goes to show that you really need to be careful about mouthing off on the Internet! I love how the whole raid just slowly falls apart in the background and they eventually just have to vote abandon. The addition of well-timed Phoenix Wright images just makes it.

If you need a laugh, and haven’t seen it, check it out.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Top 6 Things I Disliked from Heavensward

Since Stormblood is just around the corner, I’ve decided to make a few posts thinking back over Heavensward in general. What did I like? What didn’t I like? What was just meh?

I covered the things I liked about Heavensward already, so what are some things I didn’t like?

6. Wondrous Tales

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I’m going to put this under a “meh” category, but Wondrous Tales never did much for me. I’m still never going to run dungeons for the fun of it, and doing an Expert and a Levelling in a night is more than enough.

So, no. I look at those journals and what they’re asking me to do, and nope right on out of there at the possibility of RNG rewards. It’s so much a carrot on a stick that it almost makes me cringe. It’s one thing if you’re doing this content anyhow and get an extra reward, it’s another when I hear folks say, “Well I NEED to run XYZ because journal!!!”

I always suppress the desire to say, “But there’s no promise you’ll even get a line. Why?”

Anyhow. I won’t knock it too hard because it keeps content running. But it’s not my thing. It needs to be a lot less RNG for me to be excited about it.

5. Stupid Battle Levequests

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I did so few battle levequests that I don’t even have a picture for this! So… have a bunch of behemoth mounts in Idyllshire.

Battle Levequests. They used to be a solid leveling alternative to FATEs back in 2.0. They just got really dumb in Heavensward to the point that no one did them except to abuse the Amber drops for Relic.

The problem was that unlike 2.0, Leves were all distributed from Ishgard, instead of the nearest town or outpost to the Leve’s location. Then, if you want to turn them in, you have to go all the way back to Ishgard. This was extremely annoying, and once I figured that out, I never did one outside of Amber farming again.

Also those BIG Levequests that take up like 10 Leves? Worthless in comparison of XP gain to individual quests. This was a big missed opportunity.

Leves were still good for crafters (before the Moogle quests), but battle Leves really went down the tubes.

4. Fokelore Books

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I like the idea of crafting Scrips and Collectables. I don’t like how they were implemented. It’s only been recently, when Squads and Custom Deliveries (two of my favorite things in HW) were put into the game that I could reliably earn the Scrips I needed for my crafting and gathering jobs.

I enjoy gathering, and sometimes I enjoy crafting, but I just did not have the time to grind out for all the gear, tools and recipies that end game required. The worst of these have been the Fokelore gathering books, which require 99 of Rowena’s Blue Scrip Tokens. Each token cost 50 scrips.

This means that each book costs 4,950 scrips. And there are NINE books.

No. This is too much. I know they need to give gatherers stuff to do, but it makes it almost impossible those of us who are trying to work on battle jobs as well as gathering/crafting in a casual setting.

They said that the Custom Deliveries we have now will continue to develop in the future, so I hope that Stormblood’s equivalent to Fokelore books (if they have them) won’t be so terrible.

3. Messed Up Bard

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Bard was my main in 2.0. Then Heavensward came in and messed it up so badly that I struggled for a year before I decided on a job for my main. I hated it that much. In the end, I did level and use Bard as a backup, and it got a little better with the latest round of buffs. But it really soured a good bit of my Heavensward experience.

You don’t know how excited I am to hear about Bard changes in Stormblood. I feel like I can finally go back to playing the job again, and hopefully enjoying it.

2. Death of FATEs

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It hurts my heart to admit this, but Heavensward FATEs were almost dead on arrival. What used to be a fun (to me) and engaging solo activity for leveling has been pretty much replaced by PotD now. Though while you can do PotD solo, it’s not lucrative, so there’s really not a solo option for leveling in the open world like there used to be with FATEs.

The problem with Heavensward FATEs started at launch. People began playing them, but they gave so little experience in return, the community quickly scoffed at them as useless. A patch later, the experience was buffed by 50%, but the damage was already done — few people played Heavensward FATEs when compared to Dragonhead or North Than.

When they added FATEs to requirements for the first Relic step, that just made people more loathe to do them. This is really sad because some rewards (Triple Triad cards, barding, etc) can only be won by completing the FATE chains out there. I’m glad I got to see them, because without a solid farming party, I don’t think these get completed regularly anymore.

1. Alliance Raids

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I loved the Crystal Tower series of raids in 2.0. They were my first ever raiding experience in a MMO. I still run those for fun from time to time.

I completely loathe Weeping City and Dun Scaith, however. Many months later, I still don’t think these are newcomer friendly, that the mechanics on some fights are fuzzy and hard to read if you don’t know exactly what to look for, and the raids punish people too much for slipping up, even on small things.

I don’t like them. I doubt I ever will. I rarely play them. I’m not optimistic about the direction that Alliance Raids are going in FFXIV.

I hope Stormblood will change my mind, or else, I’ll be sitting out raid nights again next expansion. And let me tell you, it’s a real bummer when you don’t play stuff with friends and FC (who you do want to play with) because the content is more frustrating than fun.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Uncategorized

FFXIV: Top 7 Things I Loved from Heavensward

Since Stormblood is just around the corner, I’ve decided to make a few posts thinking back over Heavensward in general. What did I like? What didn’t I like? What was just meh?

Let me start with the good stuff! This is just opinion, totally, so your mileage my vary!

7. Squads

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Though Squads came out as a slightly under-cooked feature, I like them for the potential they may hold. I also like how I’ve trained up my squads to bring me back crafting and gathering scrips. If you stick with your Squad and tailor them to your needs, they can actually be quite useful!

6. Quality of Life

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Heavensward brought SO MUCH QoL improvement that it’s hard to remember or even pick through it all. Improvements to the duty finder/party finder, queuing with your chocobo out, the optimized gear equip button, egi glamours and more!

5. Beast Tribe Quests

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I know this seems to be an odd thing to praise, but honestly, the beast tribe quests have played a huge role in helping me level various jobs, earning stuff for relic, and getting all my crafters to level 60. They don’t get nearly as much credit as they deserve, especially for being solid, repeatable, daily solo content that actually gives a good chunk of progress. Plus, I really enjoy the dances and the storylines that come with them.

4. Aquapolis

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Aquapolis has been a major hit with many members of our Free Company. Not only is it casual and fun group content to do, but it actually does make a good chunk of gil if you get lucky. We did group treasure hunts to help fund our FC house upgrade, and I was surprised at how much you can actually make.

3. Custom Deliveries

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I wish they’d released custom deliveries for crafters and gatherers sooner. I just couldn’t stomach the grind for yet another currency (scrips) to earn better gear, unlock recipes and ultimately, get those darn Fokelore books. In fact, I’d given up on getting any of it… until custom deliveries came about.

Thank you so much for giving casual crafters and gatherers a way to make progress! Because the grind before that was real.

2. Gpose

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Gpose! Gpose!! What’s not to love about a feature that makes taking cool screenshots possible? Even more, the team keeps adding new expanded features and filters to Gpose. There’s really so much you can do with it that I probably don’t even know about!

1. Palace of the Dead

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Palace of the Dead was something I was excited about the moment I heard the concept. It turned out to be what I think is one of the best features added in Heavensward. Some people knock it for the repetitive nature, and I understand that. However, you can use it to level, you can earn lots of neat loot, and you can build up to a nice weapon that stands on its own in end game content. It’s really a casual player’s happy spot, and I look forward to running it a million times to level my Red Mage in the future. 🙂

Those were my favorite Heavensward features. What are yours?