Posted in Gaming, Second Life

Second Life: Halloween House 2020

One of the things I’ve been looking forward to with the string of holidays coming up is decorating my Second Life cabin this year. Living in one of the Linden neighborhoods, there are some rules about how soon you can put decorations up and how late you can leave them up – no Christmas lights in March, folks!

Friday, I sat down and started poking through all of the Halloween decorations I’ve stashed away for years in SL. I discovered that most of these were the freebies that the Lindens give every year in a pack. These are nice enough, but more high prim than I could afford with the amount of decoration I’ve already put towards my cabin.

So I went on a Halloween shopping spree and came up with a number of really cool things on the lower prim side. I still have room for a bit more, but I generally don’t like to use every last prim if I can help it — need to have some rez room, after all!

The outside got most of my decorations, naturally, from the awesome fog covering that hovers over the ground to spooky trees that chuckle darkly to black cat light strings and a welcome mat with a sound bite from the Haunted Mansion. This was all great fun to put together!

What else are you gonna do with giant overlook windows for Halloween but something like this!

The inside also got some new pieces, but most of this was pretty toned down compared to the outside.

I invited the Posse over to check out my decorations this past weekend. We dropped a few dice games on the back porch and also romped around the new Haunted Neighborhood, which was really cool. That deserves a post to itself, and so it’s on my to-write list!

I had second thoughts about keeping my Second Life sub going earlier this year, but now I couldn’t be happier with my Linden house cabin and the overall neighborhood structure we’re getting on the grid.

And then there are some things I own in the world, such as this memory-cat of my late Sebastian, that have sentimental connections to them now.

Anyhow, looking forward to doing some holiday decoration shopping for Thanksgiving and possibly Christmas, too. For now, I’m pretty content with the setup I have for Halloween!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch

October 2020 Gaming Goals

I’m happy that October is finally here! The weather is starting to cool off and the fall/Halloween vibes are some of my favorite. It’s time to break out decorations in all areas – IRL, Second Life, FFXIV, Animal Crossing.

I do have a few light goals for this month, so let’s get to them!

FFXIV Goals

  • Finish leveling Ninja to 80 and do job quest 
  • Start leveling a Tank
  • Clean up quests in the First
  • Level Tad’s gatherers with beast tribe quests
  • Do crafting/gathering quests in the Mean
  • Progress Zuri through Stormblood
  • Level Mocho’s Paladin

So I’m almost done with all my DPS leveling on my main. All I’ll have left are the tanks. One thing I want to do, since I’m getting closer to finishing my job leveling, is clean up all the quests that are hanging around on the First. May as well get that extra XP and put it to use somewhere.

Speaking of quests, I never finished the series of crafting/gathering quests in the Crystarium. I’d like to do that and see what stories they have.

Back to progress with Zuri some more. I just got her through Doma Castle last night, and she’s half a level shy of hitting 70. So if I can keep pushing forward at this rate, I should be able to get her through Stormblood base game. I’d love to go much further than that, but we’ll see what kind of time I have.

And a little side project that came out of nowhere: leveling Mocho’s Paladin. When I was running Frontline roulette for Tad to get some glamour for him, I discovered this was a really good way to level a job if you didn’t want to run dungeons with them. I’m not the best at PvP, and really not the greatest when it comes to PvP with a tank, but I’ve jumped him from level 31 to 35 in two days with two runs of Frontline roulette. So I’ll keep trying it this month!

Nintendo Switch

What’s this… goals other than FFXIV? Am I nuts? No, not really. Just in the mood for Halloween. There’s a couple things I’d like to do:

  • Decorate Animal Crossing Island for fall/Halloween
  • Play horror game on Switch

So, Animal Crossing is kicking off Halloween starting today, and I’m really stoked about it. I’d like to put some time into doing stuff I haven’t around there – namely, decorating my island.

Also, I know I’ve picked up some horror games on the Switch in the past. I’d like to actually sit down with one sometime during this month. I really need to spend more time with my poor Switch, even though I do log in to Animal Crossing almost every day.

So that’s what I’ve got on my mind to do this month!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

September 2020 Gaming Goals in Review

This has been a pretty busy month in terms of FFXIV gaming. Not only did I achieve most of my goals, but I went above and beyond in several areas outside of my goals.

For example, I took Tad through the entire Shadowbringers expansion MSQ from the very start to the end of 5.3 in about a week. I also spent a day gathering and crafting the Neo-Ishgarding gear set for him so that he’d be of a relevant ilvl up through this patch. All of this was completely unplanned… that’s my 4th character through Shadowbringers.

Aside from that, I also spent a good deal of time gathering in the Diadem and crafting for this season of the Ishgard Restoration. Not only did I earn the title for my main that I was after, but I also picked up just about every item from the Restoration scrips that I was interested in.

And even beyond that, I completed collecting the glamour/gear set that I wanted on my RP alt. I do have one more set I’d like to get, but the major one is finished!

So… when it comes to my goals for last month, here’s how it looks:

  • Finish leveling Dragoon to 80 and do job quest 
  • Start leveling Ninja 
  • Finish Patch 5.3 content on Main 
  • Do Trusts on Tank (?)
  • Finish leveling Ben to 70 and do job quests 
  • Zuri – Progress through Stormblood 
  • Decorate some FC rooms 

Really, the only thing I didn’t do was Trusts on my Tank. But I threw that in there at the last moment (as indicated by the ?), and wasn’t really pushing to work on that.

My Dragoon is now completely leveled with job quest done. My Ninja is sitting at almost level 77, so I’ll be finishing that soon and starting on my last jobs – the tanks.

I did spend a bunch of time decorating FC room and even got my own personal house decorated and themed. I was very happy about that!

I’d somewhat pushed progress for Zuri back once again this month, especially due to all of the heavy leveling I did with Tad to get him through Shadowbringers. But I’m happy to report that Zuri has completed the Steppes, and is sitting outside of the Doma Castle run (which I hope to finish tonight).

She’s also level 69, which makes her far beyond what she needs to be level-wise at this point in Stormblood. I’m going to continue to focus on her progress next month and would love to see her get to Shadowbringers, finally, too!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Day of Many Wins

Some days, the stars all align and everything falls into place in a game you’re playing. Yesterday was such a day for me (for the most part).

To begin with, the title that I’d worked to earn during the season of the Ishgard restoration finally came in the mail. So now, my main has her crafting title, which I’m pretty happy about. I know that it’s not all that hard to earn that title, but overall, I jumped into that season with very little earned from last season, and managed to catch up on it all.

Tad Things

The next achievements were on my RP Alt, Tad. I leveled him to 70 after picking up a story jump to Shadowbringers, and have decided to focus on getting him through the expansion – yet another character through!

One of the things I wanted for him was a set of Late Allagan Aiming glamour, mostly because it fit his RP/story aesthetics. This set can only be purchased through Wolf Marks which can only be earned through PvP. So, for the past week or so, I’ve been diving into the world of Frontline Roulette.

I discovered that this was an excellent way to finish leveling his Bard, which I’d left dangling at about level 43. I needed to get to 50 so that I could level his retainer to 50. His retainer is locked in at the same level as his Bard, but Tad mains Machinist. The only way to use the switch jobs scroll on his retainer is to level one of the retainer’s jobs to 50 first.

Not only did I get Tad’s Bard to 50 via PvP, but last night I finished up the entire glamour set! I needed exactly 2,000 Wolf Marks to get the last piece yesterday. This was a possibility, but only if my team won the match. Lo and behold, my team won the match!

Lost Allagan Aiming Gearset

No only that, but last night I hit level 80 on Tad’s Machinist. He’s not done with the MSQ yet, but between beast tribes, Frontlines and just running quests/Trusts, I knew he was leveling fast.

I took some time out yesterday to gather all the materials needed to craft him a full set of Neo Ishgardian Aiming gear on my main. This set is not top gear for this patch, but is still relevant enough to get you the ilvl needed to take on everything through 5.3. So, he’s basically good to go gear-wise for progress-making.

He’s already glamoured over it, but I just wanted a shot of Tad in the gear I crafted for him.

If all goes well, I may be able to finish up most of base-game Shadowbringers MSQ for him pretty soon. I know it wasn’t on my monthly goals list to level Tad in particular, but that’s just how it fell.

More Glamour – Amon

My struggle with getting drops for Amon in Puppets Bunker is real. While my main lucked out and got the casting top drop the very first run, Amon has failed to win a roll on the Aiming or Casting top at least 4 times that I can think of.

Last week, I rolled on the last piece he needed for the Aiming set aside from the chest – these drops are also upgrades in gear for him. So it’s not just glamour I’m shooting for.

Having the rest of the set meant that I’d no longer have to worry about rolling and winning on something only to see the chest drop later in the raid (happens all the time). But now, the trick was to actually see the chest drop and to not lose out to another player. This has been tough to do since it seems as if a LOT of people are playing ranged DPS in this raid.

Last night was a doozy of a run (I have a Tales from the Duty Finder post in the works for it), but I was excited to see that I was the only ranged DPS in my group for the first time ever. That didn’t promise that the chest would actually drop, though.

But it did! And of course, rolling Need against no one else, I roll a 97. Where was that 97 so many weeks ago (when I rolled 9 instead)?

This happened. I screenshotted my misery.

Anyhow, I got my aiming chest and Syn’s alt got her healing chest, too. All in the same drop!

Finally, glamour!

I still have plans to work on the casting set for Amon – both for glamour and gear purposes. But I am so, so happy to finally see my luck turn around this week. I was getting pretty discouraged for a while there – even ran this thing 5 times in one week for a single drop a few weeks back. And for me, that’s pretty significant.

I need to do a post about the Bunker and my impressions of it, eventually. But that, and the story of last night’s run, will have to be for another time!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Ishgard Restoration – Results

So the second season of the Ishgard Restoration has come to a close. While it was pretty fun to take part in a mass of gatherers and crafters bopping around the Diadem, I feel like I’ve seen my share of all of that for now. The season is just long enough to get stuff done but not over-staying its welcome.

In the end, I ranked 29 in my chosen crafting job and 52 as miner.

I did put some time into this project every day, though the last few days have been a little lighter than others. I’m also content that I’ve earned or bought every scrip reward that I wanted to pick up. The exception is some of the housing stuff – I don’t really have a need for Ishgard-themed furniture – and I still did not decide whether I wanted the Ufiti Horn bad enough to fork over that many scrips. So that’s the last item to work toward if I decide I want to.

However, I have a couple other characters whom I’d rather pick things up for instead. So if I dive back into Diadem, it will likely only be to work on things for them on down the line.

I also was surprised to earn the achievement that gave me the Malone minion – apparently I broke 50K points on my miner! As you can see above, I’m nowhere near that on my crafter, but I was quite happy to take this little fellow home.

With this season over and done with, I’m on to other projects now… namely earning some Late Allagan Glamour for one of my alts through PVP roulettes. There’s always something new to work on, I promise.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Ishgard Restoration – Season 2

See a really nice guide to Diadem 5.3.1 here!

It’s odd to talk about “seasons” when it comes to crafting and gathering, but somehow FFXIV does things like this. The newest season launched on Tuesday, including a leaderboard and everything!

Last season, I just putzed around in the Diadem for most of the time, using it as a way to level my last crafters on my RP alt. I knew that the leaderboard was a thing, but really I was there for the fluff rewards and leveling. So when I earned a title from being in the top 100 of somthing (didn’t even check), I was pretty surprised!

Because I spent most of my time leveling on other characters, my main got the shaft last time around. She got a few things that were easy to get like the /bread emote, the blue umbrella and the dhalmel mount. But other than that, by the time I got around to thinking about doing something on her, I was already tired out from my other characters.

This time around is different. I’ve got a checklist of items I want to earn for her – both from the past and the new release. I’m also making an effort to rank in the top 100 to earn her the title, too. So far, that’s going really well!

I even was able to participate in one of the FATEs last night – something I haven’t been able to do in a while. That came totally by accident. I just zoned into the Firmament to make my turn-ins before bedtime and saw a mass of people there. That told me the FATE was coming soon, and sure enough, it was about to spawn in 5 mins, so I stuck around.

It mostly entailed breaking down rocks and carrying crates of stone to waiting wagons. There were so many people participating, it was hilarious to watch as they appeared and disappeared as the system struggled to render that many people. It was especially funny to watch all the bobbing boxes as you rushed the crates above your head towards the waiting wagons.

The screenshot cannot capture the glory of this FATE

So far, I’ve been able to earn both the Albino Karakul (sheep) and the new Megalotragus mounts on my main. Those are the big ticket items (I’m still on the fence about the Ufiti mount though).

I’ve also earned the /highfive and /read emotes, with just two more emotes left to earn. I need both sets of Craftsman’s outfits, as well as two of the three hairstyles. So, I still have a LOT to work on.

In the meantime, Kupo of Fortune has been absolutely rigged this time around. Out of all the scratch tickets I’ve gone through, I’ve only managed to win the crown once – and that was for a Morpho minion (which I didn’t have, so that was good). I don’t remember having this much trouble at all last season. I really feel like these tickets got nerfed… or my luck has just been that awful. Either way.

I gave up and finally just bought the Weatherproof Gaelicat from the marketboard since that’s the main minion I really wanted. I’ve have had ZERO luck in getting it and very low luck in even getting scratch cards that HAVE a crown on it to start with. I do want the new outfit coffer for Amon, but I’m not willing to pony up 700K for it. I’ll wait to see if it comes down in price or if I manage to get lucky enough to win it.

Aside from that, I foresee a weekend of gathering and crafting ahead of me!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Sojourn Curiosity Shoppe

Over the long holiday weekend, I finally managed to finish one of the 2020 gaming goals that I set at the beginning of this year: to decorate my house in FFXIV. Though I’ve owned this house for a while, I’ve struggled to find a theme for it when it came to decoration. That’s finally changed — I now present the Sojourn Curiosity Shoppe on the Mateus server!

Part of this came from sitting down and trying to work through my main character’s story and background. This has been a struggle for me since it’s kinda hard to create a RP profile for a character that shares the same name as I use for my everyday net handle.

Finally, I did manage to get a very basic profile created on my Tumblr. And from that, this new housing project concept began to fall in place.

I’d previously had the idea to create some kind of museum or art gallery from my house. But something about it felt really dry and uninteresting. When I stumbled upon the idea of creating a curiosity shop — which is essentually the same idea, just with a whimsical twist — I jumped at the chance.

After playing this character for 7 years, I have all kinds of junk in my housing inventory. Now I could put it all to good use in a way that’s both in-character and hopefully interesting to others!

I set things up as displays and tried to keep items themed similarly within each section. There’s stuff for Allag, there’s stuff for the Steppes, there’s Hingan stuff, there’s void stuff, there’s even a corner for all my Gold Saucer knick-knacks.

There’s dhalmel heads and beaver burgers. Bomb cauldrons and void caskets. Really, anything that I could think of that might fit, and even things that didn’t, I found some place for it to go.

I also left just enough slots open to have some wiggle room for decorating during holidays, too. I’m sure I’ll end up adding more to it here and there – especially the bottom floor which feels like there’s still a few areas that need something more.

But for now, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. And I should be… I dug in my pockets deep to afford this!

Anyone on Crystal is welcome to visit and sign the guest book!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Patch 5.3 Impressions

Note: There will be spoilers as I feel enough time has passed to discuss story.

Last night I finished my second playthrough of the 5.3 MSQ. For some reason, we chose to run our RP characters through first, and I’ve been putting off finishing up on my main for a while. Mostly because that story trial battle is… just as painful as I remembered it from the first week, honestly.

Overall, Patch 5.3 has been a great one with lots of fantastic QoL (flying in ARR zones!) and fun things for everyone to do (nice crafting/gathering rewards). I can’t complain about pretty much anything that the patch brought to FFXIV.

Storywise, 5.3 did everything to bring Shadowbringers to a nice clean conclusion and put a pretty little bow on it. In this time of IRL struggles, I get the sense that the devs may have felt the need to offer players something fairly uplifting in terms of tying up all the loose ends. And they did that well enough.

While I don’t think there was anything bad about it, there was also not all that much that gripped me like the original 5.0 storyline. There were a lot of nice touches and interesting pieces of lore – like the confirmation of your character representing the Azem, the 14th. And Emet creating a nice little stone just for you – that was endearing!

I think what troubled me was Elidibus, and how I guess we were supposed to see him as a sympathetic bad guy. I just don’t think we had enough time with him to do this. While he was a tragic figure, it was hard to connect with his struggles the way that I did Emet. Part of that was just his personality, I think. Maybe with a bit more time I would have warmed up to him.

I think it didn’t help that he was wearing Ardbert’s body for the time that we did get to know him. I know that was part of his thing — he took the identity and used the concept of the “Warrior of Light” to his own ends. He even became the avatar of the Warrior of Light for his battle.

I know that was intended to be the “neat twist” — the concept that the Warrior of Light became your enemy in the end. And that Warriors of Light from other shards were used to fight you… especially after the game had brought it home for so long that your character was the Warrior of Light.

But it was a tad disappointing to think that even the concept of what was good and right in these worlds were still influenced and somewhat manufactured by the Ascians. Not even the concept of Warrior of Light was safe from their meddling. Or maybe that’s the point.

Maybe it was intended for your character to step beyond the Warrior of Light and accept this Azem concept instead. I dunno. I’m sure that someone else out there has these concepts down a lot better than I do. I’ll just say there was a lot of brow-furrowing going on during all this for me.

The next order of topics – the one that I might get roasted in the fire of fandom – is just how easy the fan-favorite G’raha Tia got off in all of this. Absolutely every good he could have ever wanted was given to him in the end, and there was a lot of glossing over in terms of how it would leave the folks in the Crystarium – Oh, they’ll be finnnnnne!

I’ll just state my opinion that the Exarch/G’raha were both alright in terms of character, but nothing that special in the long run. The writers played the endearing hero-worship card using a cute character (similar to Haurchefaunt), and once again the ship-starved fandom ate it up.

Sorry folks. If anything, I’m fairly burned out on the Exarch/G’raha simply due to how much the greater fandom fawns and dotes all over him. He’s not a bad character, and plays an interesting part in the plot. But he’s not super dynamic, or gripping (to me), and obviously he’s put there to allow those who want the fan service to make it for themselves.

So yeah. Fan favorite gets off easy. I don’t mind that he gets a good ending, but boy did they go over the top to please Exarch/G’raha fans by giving him an almost absolutely perfect ending with very little consequence. This doesn’t bode well for his future character development.

For example – let’s look at Y’shtola. When she returned to the party in Heavensward, she was given a specific burden to bear and a challenge to overcome. This is part of her current and future development and something she still hasn’t found an answer to. There was a balance of a happy story (friend returned) but there were still consequences – and that is interesting!

G’raha got none of this that I can see so far. Maybe he will in the future, who knows. But again, with all that’s going on IRL, I can’t blame the writers for wanting to make folks happy. This is just me being a grouchy writer in my old age. XD

As for the cliffhanger at the end of the patch… we have another Ascian (Fandaniel) to deal with. Again. Though this one isn’t so hot on serving Zodiark, apparently.

And this one has, again, taken over a body of someone who died in a previous expansion (Asahi of all people). I know this is their thing, but… I dunno. I’m getting a little worn thin with having to readjust my mindset that this character’s body is not who that character used to be because now they’re an Ascian.

The one thing I liked about Emet was that he got his own model, and therefore, had his own character that was unassociated with any other character. But yeah, minor grouch on that.

Whereas Emet seemed rather strange and dramatic upon his entrance to the story, Fandaniel just seems over the top insane. Toss him in with a brooding Zenos and you know that there’s going to be trouble. Even if Zenos is not amused.

I’m not fully sure where this is leading (maybe the Empire expansion people have been hoping for) but it won’t be boring, that’s for sure. A little strange and eccentric? Probably.

We’ll just have to see!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: A Dragon’s Best Friend

Initially, I was going to post about being excited that a weekly crafting/gathering turn-in questline rewarded a really cool mount. It’s nice to see crafters/gatherers getting cool rewards!

Previously, the weekly deliveries mostly gave rewards in the form of scrips and experience, culminating in allowing you to dress up the NPC you were delivering items to. Let me note that while this is a neat little feature, it does require both the glamour crystal and the item of glamour in your inventory to dress up the NPC. Therefore, I’ve never bothered with it.

Getting an actual mount… now there’s a nice and unexpected reward! And while this is limited to level 70+ crafters and gatherers, really, it’s not just a reward for the delivery quests. It’s more a reward for having invested time into the entire Ishgard Restoration as a whole.

The quests that appear in the Firmament, and rebuilding the area for the Ishgardian lower class citizens, are an evolution and continuation of the final chapters of the end of the Dragonsong war.

Sure, we got the overarching storyline closure back during patch 3.whatever years ago. But there’s still a lot of unanswered questions dangling out there.

Okay, so dragons and people aren’t at war anymore. But how do they find a common ground? Or do they?

What about the people left with almost nothing in the ruins of a city besieged by the dragons? Now that the war is over, how is Ishgard picking up the pieces?

Many years later, some of these topics are touched upon in the quests you’ll find in the Firmament. If you have any interest in seeing the development of Ishgard’s story, I highly suggest checking into them.

Two major quest lines feature a little dragonling named Ehll Tou. Her curiosity for the life of people in the city drives her to come and live in the Firmament. There, she becomes the a student of crafting/gathering and desires to bring this knowledge back to her peers in a way that might encourage them to make connections with the people of Ishgard, too.

I won’t say any more about the story, other than it was an enjoyable surprise. Enough time has passed since Heavensward that it’s believable to see this exchange of knowledge and culture between people and dragons. I felt it was done well.

The fact that it ends with the gift of a dragon friend (mount) and the title “A Dragon’s Best Friend” is just icing on the cake. In the middle of the big epic that was the end of Shadowbringers in 5.3, I’m so happy that small tales like this were told and experienced.

Posted in Gaming

September 2020 Gaming Goals

Yet another month has come and gone in this year, and September begins!

This is actually a month where I feel like most of the tiny goals I’ve had hovering over my head have been taken care of. I’m finally up to date on things like job quests on most of my characters. So most of these are going to be somewhat overarching larger goals that I just want to make progress on.

FFXIV Goals

  • Finish leveling Dragoon to 80 and do job quest
  • Start leveling Ninja
  • Finish Patch 5.3 content on Main
  • Do Trusts on Tank (?)
  • Finish leveling Ben to 70 and do job quests
  • Zuri – Progress through Stormblood 
  • Decorate some FC rooms

I’m sad to say that I keep putting off the patch 5.3 content on my Main, mostly because I really don’t want to have to run that trial again. But I need to get it done this month, and I probably will. I do not want to be behind a patch on my main by any means!

Aside from that, I’m just finishing up leveling Dragoon and starting on Ninja. I’d also like to finish leveling my second set of Trust characters by working up a tank. But that really depends on how much energy I have to run Trust dungeons every night.

Ben is pretty close to level 70 on Red Mage, which means he’ll be able to start Shadowbringers. I just need to finish that up and do all his job quests.

I’d like to get Zuri moving through Stormblood, even if that just means clearing one zone this month. I don’t know why it’s like pulling teeth to do that expansion.

I’ve started decorating Tad’s FC room, and I’m having fun doing it. So I’d like to see if I couldn’t decorate a few more. I do have themes and ideas for each of them!

We’ll see how much of this gets done, especially with a new Restoration patch right around the corner. I may end up just getting dragged away to the Diadem for a while this month.