Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Crystal Kickback

Last night, there was a beach party gathering called Crystal Kickback for the Crystal Data Center. I was a bit late to the party as I only learned about it from seeing some Twitter friends tweeting pictures of the gathering. I’ve been wanting to hang out at the Moonfire Faire a bit more, so this was a good time to do it!

I met up with folks from Twitter, namely friends who play a Pipin and Nabriales in-game. NPC RPers often stick together at events for the fun of it.

There was a playlist of music (apparently I missed this), prizes, dancing on the beach and of course the event fireworks! All in all, we had a lot of good fun!

And more screens of Pipin and Amon, dancing but looking like they’re up to mischief!

Gotta love these community events! They’re pretty common on the Crystal Data Center, not sure what other Data Centers have. Often time you can find them announced on Twitter, but even then, it’s easy to miss events if you don’t know the tags.

Anyhow, I didn’t stay super long last night because the event was starting to wind down, but glad to have participated and met up with some friends!

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging

Blaugust 18- Developer Appreciation – The FFXIV Team

You knew that I wouldn’t be able to let DAW go by without talking about the FFXIV team. During a Blaugust years back, I wrote about them then. But even as time passes, I find my appreciation for this team continuing to grow.

This past online Fan Fest really brought home a lot of these feelings – I’d say they were fairly much shared by most of the FFXIV community who were witness to it.

From the incredible memeing of the Twinning…

To the extremely emotional announcement at the end of the Fanfest by Soken – something I blogged about on my main gaming blog. I won’t go into that deeply here because I’ve said most of what I wanted to say in the previous post already.

As time goes on, the team is opening up new members to the fans, such as Natsuko Ishikawa who has earned much applause due to being the lead writer for Shadowbringers. It’s not very often that a writer on a team is held up for praise in a dev team (I know because I am a writer on a software dev team), so it thrills me to see her getting so attention for all of the writing team’s great work.

Even beyond that, we’ve had the recent letters from Yoshi-P, one directly addressing the issues with the increased server population and detailing everything they’re trying to do to secure new servers (and why it’s so difficult to do so right now).

Yoshi-P also wrote a public post about changing the Sage icon design. The previous design was causing issues for folks with trypophobia, and so the team quickly turned that around with a new icon.

It’s the little things like this that show that the FFXIV team does a pretty good job of keeping their finger on the pulse of the overall fandom and are responsive when issues that need to be addressed (or can’t be addressed) arise.

While I don’t always agree with everything the FFXIV team puts into place, and not everything has always worked 100% perfectly (housing, I’m looking at you), I have a lot of confidence that this team is working hard to make the best game they can. When things come up that are frustrating to the majority of the fan base, I know that sitting back and giving the team time to address the issue will often prove the best results.

Having been a core player of FFXIV since 2013, I could write a novel about my experiences with this game, the devs and how it’s evolved over time. I won’t do that, though. I’ll just send my appreciation and thanks to everyone who has a hand in bringing Hydaelyn to life and giving my characters a world to live in.

May there be many more years to come!

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Moonfire Faire 2021 Fun

Yesterday, the annual Moonfire Faire returned to Costa del Sol, this time bringing a bit of the arctic with it. I don’t know about you, but I could really use something cool just about now with as hot as it’s been outside lately.

The event that celebrates fun in the sun and battling off the bomb-like Bombards has brought us very cuddly and extremely cute polar bears as mounts this time around. I know it doesn’t make much sense going into it, but just do the quests and you’ll see.

The quest for the mount does require a FATE to complete. Compared to last year’s FATE, this one was really easy and quick to finish. It could just be that so many people doing it at one time made it a breeze and that once the population dwindles a bit, the FATE might become more lengthy. Not impossible, just longer to complete.

I’d suggest getting your character(s) out there this weekend to snag your prizes, though, just to be safe.

The rest of the quest is quick cutscenes for the most part and very little travel. In fact, waiting for the FATE to spawn is the longest part of the quest – another reason why I think the FATE might turn out to be a lot longer to beat once the number of people who are doing it drops a bit.

Of course, there’s fun to be had aside from the quest since folks tend to like to hang around on the island during the festivities. Getting a new mount also means it’s time to create towers or circles of said mount. That’s what happened last night as I took part in the bear tower.

There was also a polar bear parade that took place for a while where the bears slow-walked around the perimeter of the island on /follow mode. I ended up being the leader of this parade as people started to go off to do other things, and led it up until the end when everyone decided to disperse. It was great fun!

I know my characters are going to be hanging out there and taking in the fireworks as they normally do throughout the festival. Definitely don’t miss this one if you want to snag this cute mount!

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging

Blaugust 6- Pillar Post – Writing Blog Posts that Win Traffic

Click-baity post title aside (I apologize)… if you’re writing a blog, chances are, you hope your content is going to be read by other people. I’m no marketer, and I only blog for the fun of it, but I can tell you a few things I’ve learned from keeping my main Gaming and Geek blog going for so many years (Spot of Mummery is too young to give proper examples).

What are Pillar Posts?

Pillar posts. Evergreen content. The 80/20 rule.

If you’ve not heard these terms, do some searching, but don’t take everything you read to heart. I’ll give you an overall summary here.

I can vouch that the 80/20 rule is real and can be applied to my blogs. This rule says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your work. Or in the case of blogging – 80% of your traffic comes from 20% of your content. I’d actually wager it’s more like 90/10 for me.

What this means is, very often you’ll notice that a small subset of posts on your blog are the ones that consistently get the most attention and traffic. If you keep up with your analytics, and your blog has been around long enough, you know exact the posts I’m talking about.

These are your blog’s Pillar Posts. The posts that continue to bring in traffic even if you slack off writing new posts. Not that any of us would do that, right?

Though, I don’t suggest leaning too heavily on your pillar posts because the Net changes fast and furiously. What may be a popular topic for a few months can just as quickly fade.

Discovering Pillar Posts

I wrote my first real pillar post by accident. My gaming blog leans towards FFXIV content. This is good for me as a blogger due to the fact the game continues to change and grow over time. This gives me lots of things to write about when new systems and patches release.

My first pillar post – which remains my strongest post even today – I wrote back in late 2018. This was when the Bard Performance system was somewhat new and people were trying to figure it out. I didn’t realize it had become a pillar post until 2019 – these things can happen unexpectedly.

I stumbled upon the Bard Music Player (which had a different name back then), which is a program that simplifies music playing and makes it more accessible to everyone. Now days, just about all the bards you see playing in FFXIV use it – including the big name troupes.

But back then, BMP was unknown unless you were really searching for a solution. I was so excited about the program when I found it that I wrote a blog post about it. It’s not a full guide because I knew that programs like this can change (I linked to the official manual page and Discord), but I did give an overview of how it worked and how to get started.

Somewhere down the line, BMP took off in the community. So did the traffic for this post. It remains my top post even years after I wrote it – which is crazy to me. It’s actually pulling in more traffic this year than it did last year and the year is only half done!

Because I know that this post is so important to my traffic, I make an effort to update it if any of the content goes out of date. You might notice on the post that I’ve got things scratched out, revised and have included a date of last update at the top. This is my attempt to keep this pillar post as evergreen as possible – though thankfully, BMP doesn’t change much in the way of setup or use.

Learning from your Analytics

I don’t suggest that bloggers sit there and watch analytics. Nothing’s more boring and disheartening than looking at numbers that go up and down without any direct way to control them.

However, I do suggest that you look for trends in your analytics. This can lead you to discovering why people come to your blog and what they’re looking for.

Here’s my analytics so far this year on my main blog and what I’ve learned from them:

Notice a trend?

Most of my highest traffic posts are guides – posts created to be purposely informative and helpful. The two at the top are my best performers and have been around for years. I try to keep those updated if any changes come out that would alter the validity of the guide.

The three guides in the middle are new pieces I wrote this year. In fact, I wrote the Fashion Report guide a couple weeks ago. I expect the traffic for those to be somewhat fleeting as the excitement for Fetes will eventually wear off and the Fashion Report guide was mostly of interest because of the Make it Rain event happening in FFXIV right now.

The Happy Easter post was a complete fluke and I have no idea why it got so many hits. It’s just a post with an Easter image that I put out there years ago. Go figure.

The Doman Enclave is an old post but I see it ranking up there quite often. I didn’t think about it until I wrote this post, but maybe that means people are searching for a guide to the Doman Enclave, and it would serve me well to write one!

The Better Full Body Screenshots is an old guide and it doesn’t contain nearly as much information on GPose as it could now. The fact that it’s doing this well tells me that I might want to revisit this topic, write a new post and expand it to be more helpful. That could be my next pillar post, maybe?

How to Write a Pillar Post?

So now that we’ve talked about what Pillar Posts are and how to identify if you have one… more importantly, how do you write one? I can give you a few tips, but I can’t give you an absolute answer because there’s so many variables to this.

You can spend time researching Google search terms to find the popular things that people are searching for in your blog’s topic focus. But if you’re like me, you blog as a hobby and not because you want to spend your free time researching and determining search term validity. I’ve honestly never bothered with it.

That leaves a bit of instinct, luck and knowing your audience.

I’m a gamer and I write about games. I know the games that I play fairly well – especially my main topic game FFXIV. Again, I’m lucky that I write about a MMO because it’s always evolving and currently doing well at bringing new people in. So the things that I know like the back of my hand can be turned into useful information for all these new players who don’t have that experience.

Basically, if FFXIV releases a new feature, and it takes a bit of know-how to get into it, these are great topics to create informational how-tos for.

For example, the new Firmament Fetes were released this year. I ran them a few times and picked up a lot of information just from doing them and listening to tips in main chat. But I could see how this feature could be overwhelming and confusing to players.

I knew by instinct that writing a guide to Firmament Fetes would likely get attention. I was right. People wanted to know how to get the best score in fetes and they were looking for a guide.

When Reddit Beats You To It (This Usually Happens)

I will say this: there was already a guide for fetes put together on Reddit a day before I wrote my post.

Don’t let that keep you from tackling a topic, though. Not everyone goes to Reddit or forums for their information. Also, posts on Reddit fade and fall off the front page, which makes them harder to find unless Google picks them up.

If there is a Reddit post about the topic, I don’t read it until after I’ve written my own – and that’s mostly just to confirm that I’ve got correct factual information. I want my post to be as original and different from the Reddit guide as it can be. With a blog, you can lean heavily on in-line images and pleasant looking formatting – things that Reddit is often weak to use.

If you Google the Fete topic, the search engine has given its preference to my blog post over Reddit’s, which is a huge help. So, again, don’t let the fact that someone on a forum or Reddit has already written something stop you from tackling the topic – just make sure you are original in your approach.

Should You Only Aim to Write Pillar Posts?

It would be logical to think – Hey, if pillar posts drive the most traffic, then I should make every post I write a pillar post!

Well… not really. Remember the 80/20 rule? I feel that even if you aimed to write pillar posts every time that even then only a handful would get the traction you want.

I would personally never approach blogging that way. The pillar posts I write tend to be informative and how-to. They require more time, effort and research. It sure would start to drag on me if everything I wrote on my blog was a bland how-to that I had to spend hours pulling information together to write.

I feel it’s actually far better to write a variety of content.

Informative posts that help people are super important. But posts that entertain people or get them hyped about something are important, too. Just as important are opinion pieces where you open up a little bit about yourself to the reader as you discuss something you’re passionate about.

Blogging isn’t just about pulling in numbers, it’s about building an audience and connecting with people. A pillar post might bring someone to your blog, but once they’ve got the information they came for, they’re just going to bounce unless they see something else about your blog that keeps them there.

That’s where the rest of your posts come in.

So I while I encourage you to write the best content you can for every post (you never know), I don’t suggest aiming to only write pillar posts. And I don’t suggest that you rely only on pillar posts and traffic to maintain your blog. Building an audience who returns is the foundation of community, and that’s what will make your blog stand out and keep it around in the long run.

And, trust me, it’s what will make you a happier blogger in the end. Numbers aren’t everything.

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging

Blaugust 2 – Keeping Two Blogs (How Did That Happen?)

For most folks, one blog is enough to keep up with. But for those who are dabbling with the thought of more than one blog, is it something I suggest?

Possibly, but only if you’ve got the time to invest and a reason for doing so. The reason could be that you want to write about a topic/niche so far afield from your original blog that you can’t justify merging the content. Or maybe you’re writing for a totally different audience and you don’t want to lose the audience you’ve already built on your first blog.

It’s a slippery slope, so let me tell you why I’m running Blaugust on my “second” blog this year. I’ll try to keep it as short and sweet as I can.

Spoiler: It probably won’t be short.

Where It Started

It was the summer of 2018. I had two things in mind:

  • I wanted to nudge myself to write for Camp NaNoWriMo
  • I was looking for a creative outlet in FFXIV

At that point, I’d played FFXIV for almost five years without a drop in my sub. And while I still enjoyed the game, I was pining for a creative project to enhance my enjoyment with it.

Prior to playing FFXIV, I’d rolled up a couple Guild Wars 2 Tumblrs for this very reason. White Charr had been my more “general” GW2 Tumblr while Snaff Savant was my story and “RP” Tumblr.

Both of these had a pretty good following and strong engagement with the GW2 community at the time. While I’d fallen out of sorts with GW2 itself, I remember having a lot of fun interacting with folks and writing stories on my Tumblrs. I also had a decent idea of what I’d done to build an audience on Tumblr, and felt with the right character/story, I could replicate that for FFXIV.

And so, I launched Spot of Mummery as a Tumblr where I could post the fiction I was writing for Camp NaNoWriMo. What started out as a short 15 chapter experiment has turned into a full on webserial.

Tumblr Uncertainty

I was, indeed, able to replicate building and audience and interaction on my new Tumblr. It now has well over 1,000 followers. For a little FFXIV fan Tumblr, that’s not bad. However, as time has gone on, I’ve become more and more uncertain about Tumblr as a long-term platform for my content.

I don’t need to go into any detail on the fact that Tumblr doesn’t have the best reputation as a social media site. Even the folks who use Tumblr know what the Internet in general thinks of it. And while I’ve met plenty of really nice creative people there, and Tumblr itself continues to work towards focusing on those creative types, a number of things have nudged me away from Tumblr over time.

A major one is just uncertainty with Tumblr all together. The platform tends to make controversial choices that upsets its user base. For example, the banning of adult content back in 2018 (though I was actually on board for this as I have no interest in being associated with a site that permits child pornography).

Lately, Tumblr is rolling out a monetization scheme (it feels like a scheme) that the community is super dissatisfied with called Tumblr Post+. While I have no personal gripes against Tumblr looking to make some money, I don’t feel like this is going to be successful. I just can’t see that many people on Tumblr ponying up subscriptions (sorta like Twitch subs) to individuals on Tumblr.

Heck, I have a hard enough time just getting people to reblog and like my stuff much less asking anyone to pay for it. But that’s a topic for a different post.

While I’m not particularly upset about these things, it concerns me as to the longevity of the platform. Especially when I’m seeing the devs rolling out features that the majority of the community are vocally telling them that they do not want. Despite asking for user feedback on the issue. It’s fairly obvious that the feedback isn’t really being taken into consideration.

Making the Leap to WordPress

So, all of that is to say, I certainly didn’t feel great about leaving my writing and screenshots only on Tumblr. It’s also a platform where if you cross whatever line, you can get banned and your Tumblr blog can get wiped without notice.

As far back as the adult content ban in 2018, I’d already begun backing up my story onto a self-hosted WordPress just for safe keeping. I didn’t want my content stored all in one place, and out of my hands to restore, should something weird happen to Tumblr or to my blog.

Originally, this WordPress only contained the story, and it really didn’t see much in the way of traffic or interaction. But fast forward to December of 2020 – I had a lot more content on my Tumblr at that point, and I felt it was time to move a bulk of this to a platform that felt more secure.

After going back and forth on whether to make it a self-hosted WordPress or a WordPress.com blog (I’ll write a post on that later), I chose to host it on WordPress.com. And the blog you’re reading now came to be.

Transitioning Content

At first, this WordPress was a repository for my old Spot of Mummery FFXIV content. As I posted new screenshots and writing, this was the main site with Tumblr being a mirror to the audience I’d built there.

But as time went on, I decided that it’s a shame to have a nice new WordPress and not really take advantage of it. The blogger in me wanted to do more with the site than just post screenshots — that kind of content works well on social media, but a blog needs more meat than that (also a post I plan to write later).

So, I started to write a bit about what I learned about creativity and role play in FFXIV in my years of interacting in game and on Tumblr. This brought about posts such as:

Some of these have become my top-read posts (yet again, another post topic I plan to write on).

I’ve also begun to experiment with repurposing old content (you guessed it, another topic for later) and have learned the importance of making my WordPress.com blog known on Reader (and… yeah… another topic for later).

Basically, much of Blaugust 2021 is going to center around many of the things I’ve learned in making this transition from Tumblr to WordPress, as well as my experiences trying to start a “new” WordPress blog in 2021.

Some Drawbacks With a Second Blog

I do want to note what you can already guess: that upkeep for more than one blog does have drawbacks. This is both time and money (since neither of my blogs are on a free hosting package).

I know that for sure my main gaming blog took a bit of a new-content hit, especially back in 2019 and 2020 when I was much more involved in Tumblr than I was writing about games. However, that blog has established some pretty strong pillar posts, so the traffic there remains fairly stable even when I’m not adding a lot to it. (You can’t always rely on that, though, I know!)

Secondly, my two blogs somewhat “compete” with each other since this one is mostly FFXIV related and my main blog’s major topics can also be FFXIV related. One of my goals is to get this blog back to writing in the “Amon persona” it began with to differentiate it from my main blog. That could be a topic for another post… 🙂

Should You Keep More Than One Blog?

The answer is: it depends.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you have the time and the organizational skills for a second blog?
  • Is the topic of your second blog so far apart from the first that they absolutely can’t be one blog?
  • How much time and attention will the second blog take from your first?
  • Does your first blog already have steady traffic and an audience?
  • Is the topic for your new blog sustainable long-term?

Do you feel like you want to start a new blog because your existing blog isn’t performing the way you’d hope? I’d say it’s better to repurpose and rebrand what you already have than to jump ship to something new. At least then, you have a foundation of content and what bit of readership you’ve already worked to find.

Starting back at square one is much harder than pivoting the direction of an existing blog and experimenting with what you already have. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck!

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: LunarCon 2021

For more information about LunarCon, visit the official website and Discord!

This weekend marks the coming of the first in-game Con with panels, live entertainment and more – all streamed on Twitch if you can’t manage to make it into the venue (lines are quite long). I’ve been tuning in from time to time, but I also went to hang out in one of the locations for a while.

During this time, I managed to meet up with a few folks from Tumblr and Twitter – thanks for stopping by and saying hi, or dancing for a bit! The Amon outfits were their ideas, I swear! 🙂

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Role Play – Signing an Autograph for President Obama

So, tonight, I’m just barding in Gridania and helping folks give gifts to the sprouts on Mateus. When all the sudden, I see a group of folks in suits headed our way.

When in performance mode, you can’t see names, so it took me a moment – and looking at chat – to realize that this was President Obama and his body guards.

What happened after that, I display in below chat. I did clip out other folks and their text to be polite – there were a lot of people there, interactions and and fistbumps exchanged with the President.

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: How to Win Fashion Report to Earn MGP in the Gold Saucer

Every week, the Gold Saucer hosts the Fashion Report mini game. With this, you can earn up to 60,000 MGP (90,000 MGP during a Make it Rain event), for very little time and effort invested.

Here’s how to get the big payout each week! Keep in mind, the glamour required changes every week – some weeks are easier than others.

Unlocking Fashion Report

First, unlock Fashion Report by taking a quest from Lewena in the Gold Saucer (X:4.8 Y:6.1). The quest name is Passion for Fashion.

This will lead you to Masked Rose. This NPC is the judge of the Fashion Report every week. He’s located in the Gold Saucer at (X: 7.2 Y:7.4). Easiest way to find him is to just warp to Wonder Square East and jump off the balcony to the ground floor. He’s right under the aethernet crystal.

Playing Fashion Report

Every Tuesday, the Fashion Report resets, giving you a hint about what the game will require when judging starts on Friday.

It look something like this (changes every week).

You can try to figure it out on your own if you want, but really, the easiest thing to do is just wait until Friday. You can find the quick answers to the Fashion Report almost every week thanks to dedicated members of the FFXIV community.

On Friday, check the FFXIV Reddit (this links directly to the “Fashion Report” search on the FFXIV Reddit) for the super useful Fashion Report Full Details post created by Kaiyoko. You can also find these posted on her Twitter account here.

Within the post, you’ll find an image such as this:

This gives you all the information you need about the items that are relevant to the Fashion Report. However, the most important box here is the one marked with the heart: Easy 80pts.

In order to earn the highest MGP payout for Fashion Report, you need to score at least 80 points. This box tells you what items you need to be wearing and what color you need to dye them in order to get 80 points.

For example, to earn 80 points from the week above you must wear:

  • Any hat that you can dye, and dye it Gobbiebag Brown
  • Any chest piece that you can dye, and dye it Soot Black
  • Sargeant’s Mitts from any Grand Company

Keep in mind that you must be wearing something in every gear slot to earn the 80. If you have any empty slots, you’ll lose points. So whatever your current gear is right now, that’s fine. Just switch out the slots the Easy 80 box tells you.

If you want to shoot for 100 points, you can. This doesn’t give you more MGP than 80 points, but it will give you an achievement and a title.

Once you have your glamour ready, talk to Masked Rose and he’ll judge you. Don’t worry if it looks less than glamorous… the outfits usually do look a little odd. As long as you’re wearing everything you need, you should get MGP rolling in each week!

Again, some weeks are harder than others. If the Easy 80 doesn’t look so easy, see if there’s something you can switch out from glamour you’ve collected from the other boxes on the Full Details image. You don’t only have to use Easy 80 box – that’s just what’s the cheapest and easiest to get each week.

Have fun at the Gold Saucer!

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: A BLU Weekend

This was certainly not what I’d expected to be doing this weekend. But I’m very glad that I did!

It was somewhat embarrassing to post Ben’s FFXIV card to show that I’ve leveled all my jobs to 80 (with no skips!)… and Blue Mage is sitting there all alone at level 1.

Poor lonely BLU

One of my goals was to level BLU to 70 before Endwalker, which is the max level you can be at this point and time. I didn’t think that it was really going to happen, however.

While BLU is touted a solo job, most of the spells you need to capture require you to go into group instances. I figured no one was out there leveling BLU anymore – that anyone who was interested in it had already captured what they wanted. That ship has already sailed.

Maybe I was wrong.

Most of this is due to in huge part to a member of the FC – Magris – who is probably the most motivated and knowledgeable BLU player that I know. I was talking to Mag, who commented on how many level 80s I had, and mentioned that I was sad that BLU wasn’t leveled as well. And that started this weekend’s adventure.

Mag was more than happy to power level my baby BLU – I went from level 1 to level 62 in the space of a Saturday afternoon. From there, we went and capped some important dungeon skills such as Mimicry and Ram’s Voice.

To take on Cutter’s Cry for Ram’s Voice and Dragon’s Voice, we set up a party finder. I was dubious that anyone would be running for those skills, but to my surprise, we ended up filling the party after a short wait. One BLU was a skilled player, just there to help out (thank you!) while the other BLU was in the same boat as I and needed the skills. This was the first time I’ve done a BLU party finder – this would have been much more difficult without the skilled BLUs helping us through!

Our BLU party in Cutter’s Cry

After that, Mag started taking me through the various ARR primals to earn their skills. The only two that we didn’t manage to cap were the two that required EX – Shiva and Garuda. Aside from that, I came away from this with all the rest of the primal skills, which have proven to be very useful in the long run.

Mog Dancing!

On Sunday, I focused on leveling by soloing overworld critters, and got my BLU to 70!

I then went and took on Dirty Rotten Azulmagia, which you need to complete the level 50 job quest. I remember this being a struggle back in the day, and even wrote about the experience here.

I took me two tries this time, mostly because I was dumb the first time and didn’t realize Ravana’s skill was considered a magical attack and not physical (hey, those are swords!). But once I got that sorted, I finished him pretty easily the second time. I wish I’d taken a screenshot of the win because I had so many bonuses – even the one that noted that I didn’t take any damage at all during the entire fight!

So either I’ve gotten better at this or the levels and gear have really helped. I guess I’ll find out when I go to try the level 60 fight, which I need to do this afternoon to progress further.

I am interested in picking up some of the rewards you can get from Allied Seals from the BLU vendor. I’m also very curious about the level 70 gear and what it looks like.

Anyhow, I have a LOOOONG way to go when it comes to capping skills on BLU, but just leveling it to 70 was beyond my expectations going into this weekend. Oh, and my FFXIV character card looks so much better without that sad little level 1!

Also, this was the first major project-type goal I’ve set out to do on this character since I’ve changed my Main to be Ben. I know it’s odd that I’m still not used to Ben being my main, but I’m not. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time, aside from gathering for relic tools, doing things on Ben since the switch.

I caught myself thinking how spiffy he looked in his BLU getup and how cool some of the spells looked when he cast them. This is very good progress!

I know it’s going to take until Endwalker before I really settle in with Ben as my main, though. I need to go through major MSQ with him interacting and being in the cutscenes. For some reason, that helps me connect with my characters more strongly.

Anyhow, still a lot to do before the expansion drops, but at least I can check “Leveling BLU to 70” off the list!

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: My Alt Characters and Why I Play Them

See that image above? Every character except for the Elezen and the Hyur to the very left belongs to me. These are many of my FFXIV alts… but not all of them.

FFXIV is a game in which alts don’t need to exist. You can do and be everything on one character (and my main is maxed out in everything except Blue Mage). In fact, there’s even a lower priced subscription for people who only roll one character per server.

I’ve chosen to pay the higher price sub for the past 8 years in FFXIV. I choose to have alts. I choose to upkeep these alts, and at this point, am currently running my 5th character through Shadowbringers.

Why would I do that?

Some of it is just the nature of how I play MMOs, especially being a creative person. Some of it is just because in every other MMO, I’ve made numerous alts. That’s just how I play. Some of it is because, to me, the experience feels different depending on the combination of race, glamour and character personality.

So how did all these alts come to be?

My Main

I rolled my first FFXIV character in September 2013, and this has mostly remained “My Main.” The one I collect things on. The one that has all jobs leveled. That sort of thing.

My Main has had a long and troubled past as you can see. FFXIV makes it so easy to change names and fantasia into something different, and that continues to be a sirensong for me.

If I don’t like how a character feels, if I suddenly get the inspiration to do something different with them, or if gameplay is just stale – all it takes is a fantasia (and sometimes a name change) and I’ve repurposed that character to be what inspires me without losing any of the progress I’ve made on them.

Case-in-point my Main.

She started as a weird blue cat named Zuri. She was my first FFXIV character, and coming from GW2 where I had a particular Flame Point Charr that was easy to distinguish from others of her kind, I attempted to make my first character in FFXIV something that was visually unique.

Unfortunately, I think I accomplished that a little too much. As time passed and Zuri became the head of a growing FC, I decided I wanted a more serious character. I also decided that I wanted to use my net name. So she became an Elezen named Aywren.

But then! I decided that I missed my Miqo’te! So back to cat she went. In the meantime, I actually rolled another Zuri Nimat (for a different server and FC) who I changed to AuRa when the race was still new – put a pin on this idea for later.

In Shadowbringers, I got burned out on cat girls and cat boys. I decided to go back to Elezen.

And then, a few months later, I was feeling demotivated to do anything on my Main… and finally decided to toss the “Awyren” character out the window all together and turned my main into one of my story characters, Benjamin. I’m still getting used to this change, but I do believe it’s going to stick.

Let’s hope so, at least.

TsuYa Tai

I rolled my first alt in October-ish of 2013 when Syn first began to play. My Main was already halfway through ARR content, and I wanted a character to play alongside of hers from the start. There was no New Game+ back in the day, so my only option was to roll another character.

There was a point in Heavensward (when I was really put out with Bard changes) that Tai became my Main for the expansion. But when Bard was improved and Red Mage came out, I switched back to my Main as my main. (Does that make sense?)

Since then, I’ve kept Tai in relevant content – he’s even cleared up to Factory in Alliance Raids (for the glamour). He’s been a Dragoon from the start, but come Endwalker, he’s going Reaper. He’s always been a character with a scythe, so this is going to be a new start for him!

Zuri Nimat

But wait, wasn’t “Zuri Nimat” the name of my main? It was until it wasn’t.

Remember how I told you that I’d rolled an AuRa – which was a new race at that time – and she eventually became my new Zuri Nimat. Well, this AuRa still exists and persists. In fact, she’s the character I’m running through Shadowbringers right now.

Zuri’s become one of the cast of the Spot of Mummery story that I write. You’ll see that a lot of my alts are based around this story going forward.

She started as a Bard, but since I had way too many Bards on my roster, I switched her to Dancer main when that job was added to the game.

Amon D’Syrcus

This is my troublemaker right here – the “RP alt” who often threatens my Main for main slot due to how dang much I play Amon.

Back in 2017-2018, I was feeling restless in FFXIV. I needed a creative outlet. I wanted to try my hand at storywriting and story-RP. After several failed attempts at writing stories and sorting through my alts for a character that would be my break-out, I settled on Amon for a number of reasons.

If you’ve run the Syrcus Tower raid, you’ve beat up my RP character before (no hard feelings). Probably several times. He’s a (smaller) cloned form of the raid boss Amon, and I’ve had a ball writing for this crazy Allagan Bard.

His stories and adventures are told at my creative/story FFXIV blog – Spot of Mummery.

And because I needed a cast of characters for that story and to take screenshots with, I started to… roll more alts!

Amon currently mains Bard but also does Red Mage and White Mage!

Koh Rabntah

Koh is also an NPC in the game who stands out in Mor Dhona – the one that’s possessed by the Allagan spirit of Noah. She used to be much more relevant back in the day since she gave the quest to run the Crystal Tower trio for what used to be important drops each week.

Now days, I’m not sure too many people remember her story. Her situation with the Allagan possession has not been brought up again. I thought it was an interesting predicament, and since Amon is all about Allagan lore, I brought Koh/Noah on board as a member of Spot of Mummery.

I’m currently leveling her Scholar to see if I like shield healers – I’m hoping to turn her Sage once the expansion drops.

Mocho Mayucho

Mocho is another member of the Spot of Mummery cast. I wanted to include a Lalafell and I needed a tank for their rag-tag group. So, the idea of an older Lalafell (who is Echoblessed) who also has dreams of becoming a Paladin was born.

He’s the one alt that I haven’t kept relevant on content – he’s still just a level 50 Paladin sitting at the end of 2.0 MSQ. Not sure what I’m going to do with him, but seeing he’s one of my few Lalafell, I’m keeping him around.

Ajir Moks (Kha)

I needed a character foil for Amon in Spot of Mummery, so I rolled Ajir. He’s a rough-around-the-edges AuRa who used to main Samurai. I think he’s going Reaper come the expansion, however.

I originally wrote him out of the story after the first story arc because I wasn’t quite sure where his development was going at the time. I have ideas for him now, though, and I hope to introduce him back into Spot of Mummery pretty soon!

Ajir will make an awesome Reaper.

Tad Kouris

Tad was a character that wasn’t created for Spot of Mummery. In fact, he was an accidental character that appeared during some RP writing sessions between myself and Syn. Something about his personality – and the fact that he’s Amon’s younger cousin – hooked me, so I repurposed a character in FFXIV to make Tad a thing.

I’m glad I did because I adore him!

He’s currently a Machinist with a love of red pandas. He’s also my Allagan WoL from the 4th Age, which is a fun bit of stories that I’ve dabbled with on the side. I’m not sure where those stories are going, but I’d love to continue to develop them in the future.

The Everschade Crew

Above are my characters on the Mateus server. On Coeurl, I have a whole nother FC that contains a number of alt characters! In fact, I’ve gone through and deleted many of these alts lately because it’s just getting to be all too crazy!

I won’t go into details on who is who too much because some of these will be repurposed later, I have a feeling.

  • Iva Everschade – Originally rolled to see what Amon’s mom would look like. I might turn her into a Viera character come Endwalker. Haven’t decided.
  • Fljot Radljost – My female Viera character that I haven’t done much with. I’m changing her to male Viera come Endwalker with several ideas for his future.
  • Meecece Meece – She’s been an unused character for so long, originally my attempt at a cute Lalafell. I’ve not done much with her, but I’m holding on to her progress for female Hrothgar if I find their design to my liking.
  • Noah Atlin – Spot of Mummery possible cast member – if I were to ever separate Koh and Noah. We’ll see if that ever happens.
  • Sebastian Kitasch – A Hrothgar I created in honor of my late flame point cat, Sebastian. He’s a Fisher main with a Bard battle job. I’d like to work on progressing him more some day.

Aside from these, I have a few other alts floating around, but are more situational. Some just exist but I’ve not logged into in forever.

Overall, these are my FFXIV characters and the reasons why I created them and continue to play them. I know, I’m crazy. But not being a raider or really a dungeon runner, I get my joy through creative outlets in the game. Alts are just a part of that.