Posted in Gaming

Another Look at Gaming Subscriptions

I rediscovered an old post that I’d written about the idea of game subscriptions – this was back when Origin Access (now renamed EA Play) was first announced in 2016. I can see that I was curious about the concept of renting a library of games, and posed the question of whether it would be worth it to consider.

I never did sub to Origin Access, but fast forward a few years, and I’m in love with PC Game Pass right now. As a matter of fact, I fired up a couple games this weekend – one that I enjoyed but wouldn’t have bought due to my own preferences and reasons. It has ultimately been saving me money.

The idea for this revisit also came from the recent announcement that Humble Choice is also providing a library of games along with the monthly choice games. I’ve never subbed to Humble Choice simply because I already have too many games in my backlog to keep adding to it monthly. Not to mention, many of the games I’ve seen in Humble Choice I either wouldn’t buy or I already own if I was interested in it.

In this environment of gaming subscriptions, it’s almost as if Humble needs to step it up for the monthly cost. I’m sure there are folks still happy enough with their random game picks each month, but with options out there like PC Game pass, not having a library is just not competing.

I’ve also been turned on to Prime Gaming lately, thanks to my sister pointing out that it also provides random monthly games you can claim and keep. I already pay for Amazon Prime every year, so I may as well snag free games, right? This system is a bit different in that you must log in to select your games to keep them in your library. It also requires yet another launcher, which is a bit annoying, but it is what it is.

Another service that I didn’t even consider to be a subscription service is Nintendo Switch Online. I mostly pay for it for online gaming, but I’d forgotten that it has perks in providing a library of Nintendo and SNES games, too. So that counts!

My Thoughts on Gaming Subs

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older that I’m less worried about ownership and more into experience. There are some games that, yes, I want to own it and I will go out of my way to purchase that game (physical if possible).

But seeing how many games are in my backlog and knowing my gaming habits, I’ve become less worried about owning those games on the fringe. You know the ones I mean – the games that you’d like to just to try out, but wouldn’t necessarily need to keep forever.

When I was younger, this idea would have horrified me. What do you mean that I would temporarily have access to a game through a sub? And that the company chooses which games are in the library, which can come and go depending on business decisions and licensing agreements?

Heck, I didn’t even buy into Steam until it was established because I feared buying digital copies of games – I mean what happens to my games when Steam folds? Nothing lasts forever.

But after being in a more digital environment and seeing how the games I enjoy come and go over time, the idea of a subscription that allows me to dip into games just for the experience isn’t so scary anymore. In fact, I find a sense of freedom in it.

No longer do I keep filling up a backlog and snagging games on sale because I want to try them – games I often don’t even play until much later, if at all. Instead, I can sample games and decide if they’re worth being on my forever list.

More importantly, I can experience games that I wouldn’t normally have tried because I tend not to buy games (lately) unless I know I absolutely must play it. This allows me to expand my gaming horizons while saving me money. And… if I find my next new favorite game, I’ll be supporting a gaming dev with money I might not have before.

That being said, I am not pro ONLY subscription models for games. What makes it work for me is that there’s a balance between owning what you really want and trying the rest out.

For a pretty cool list of gaming subs and their prices, check this page out!

Do you have any gaming subscriptions? If so, do you use them and what do you think about them?

Posted in Star Stable Online

Star Stable: Building Bridges, Fixing Boats – Making Progress!

While I have been more diligent at leveling my horses in Star Stable lately – I finished my third and now I’m working on my original starter horse that had been woefully left behind – I’ve been really bad about not leveling my rider.

Star Stable isn’t your typical MMO in that while there is leveling, everything is done without battles. That means that quests are your talk, fetch and escort types. There’s a bit of story sprinkled in here and there, but nothing earth shaking.

Keep in mind this is a game aimed towards young girls. While I don’t find the language talking down to kids/teens or too kiddish, concepts are kept pretty simple. That being said, for a game aimed towards a younger audience, some of the quest directions and instructions could be a bit more clear.

One of the progress markers in this game is unlocking new areas as you quest along. The game forcefully blocks your ability to visit areas outside of the starter town until you complete the quests that clear the way. The world of Star Stable is sizeable – especially given its audience – but this is also a way to limit content for free to play folks. If you want to see the wider world and get quests beyond level 5, you need to be a star rider.

Building a Bridge

One of the more interesting quests I’ve run across was one that rewarded you with a new area. You discover a bridge that’s fallen and you must work through the stages of rebuilding it. You get several construction quests over time to do this – from curing lumber to mixing cement. These are certainly not your average “girly” activities – and I appreciate that!

This could take a handful of days to complete, depending on how much gold you want to invest in it (I went the free route and did all the work myself). Though I was very lazy in working on bridge construction, I finally finished it this past weekend. I liked the idea of the project – it wasn’t too long or tedious – and felt like the payoff was nice!

Once I was able to finally cross into this new area, I was greeted by a broken-down inn that needed some sprucing up. They hadn’t seen any customers for a while due to the bridge being out, you see, and there were quite a number of chores to do – especially if I wanted information on how to find the next town/stables.

Again, my rider was tasked to do very non-girly things such as chainsaw down overgrown brush to make the inn look nicer.

Star Stable makes some use of visual instancing here – once you clean up the place, it remains nice and clean for the player. So while it may not always be the most technologically advanced MMO (I wish it would remember quests after logging out), there are some things that it does!

Once it’s all cleaned up, the inn looks right nice, too!

Fixing Boats

All of this helped to boost my rider level to 7, whereupon I got an emergency text from an NPC from a previous town. Heading back there, I was whisked along a quest line to find out why the local lighthouse hadn’t been working as of late.

Again, while the story isn’t deep, I found myself interested in figuring out this mystery. The first step was finding and fixing a boat to make the crossing to the island. This was quite a series of fetch/find quests, and the outcome was opening up a new area.

And once again, my rider was right in the middle of doing un-girly things like a champ. There was even a point where an NPC made a comment about these things like: “Of course you know how to fix a boat motor.” I had to chuckle about that.

I really do love the empowering theme of “girls can do anything” that this game continues to support. It’s a nice positive vibe.

Anyhow, new area, new NPCs, a mystery to solve through simple quests. A good chunk of XP without having to partake in fighting or violent activities. Not to mention, I ran across what I felt was a pretty impressive piece of music for the south island.

The music to Star Stable is generally nice, but every now and then, I’ll hear something that really surprises me. Riding along questing to this tune was very laid back and enjoyable.

I’m at the point where I have quests branching out in all kinds of areas in Star Stable now. I certainly don’t have a lack of content, even if I’m not leveling super fast.

I would like to finally reach level 9, however. Not only are there some nice Celtic style cosmetics that I’d like to claim and use, but it seems like most tack with stats require at least level 9 to use. Also, some horse breeds you can’t purchase until you’re level 9 – not to mention that you need to be level 9 to open up the city.

Seems there’s races and other daily activities in the city, which I could use to help boost my daily progress on horse training. Then again, I’m in no rush. Just enjoying the ride.

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Getting Fisher to Level 90 in Endwalker

While I’m a fan of Grand Company turn-ins for leveling Miner and Botanist, I’ve never been much on doing that for Fisher. I guess it could be fine, but if feels like the randomness of the catch would make doing it every day a long process compared to the easy 10 or 20 things to gather for the other jobs.

Again, I’ve not really tried, this is just a hunch.

Because of that, I put off leveling my Fisher. This weekend, however, I thought about all the space I could save if I could get rid of my older set of gathering gear and consolidate. So when Sunday rolled around and I had plenty of time, I decided to tackle the job of getting my Fisher to 90.

What I chose to do was go out Ocean Fishing every two hours and then do the Studium fishing quests in Sharlayan in between. Both gave very acceptable experience for the time spent. In about 8 hours of very casual fishing, I’d leveled from 80 to 90.

I feel like you could certainly do this on Ocean Fishing alone, but it would take a lot longer with the two-hour intervals. Weaving the Studium quests in between voyages was a good use of time, especially since Studium quests rarely gave enough experience to push you over the threshold to the level required for the next quest (every two levels). Usually, one voyage between each was enough to keep me rolling, though.

Fisher did get a few small changes with Endwalker, most specifically the addition of Angler’s Art. This is a stacking buff that you receive when you catch a large size fish. You can then use those stacks to activate a variety of other skills as you fish.

While this is nothing earth-shaking, I thought this addition was nice and gave you more to do while fishing – if you want to. You can completely ignore this little system, but having a skill that restores some GP without using cordials is pretty awesome!

The Studium quests were mostly straightforward, gathering collectables of a certain collectability. Most of the quests didn’t take me very long (I wasn’t trying for max collectability), and none of them required hard-to-get bait. In fact, I think most of them could be caught with the Versatile Lure – though the quest often told you what the fish’s supposed favorite bait was.

I was a little sad they didn’t send me out spearfishing yet – I didn’t finish the level 90 quest, so there’s still a possibility they will. I haven’t yet explored the new spear fishing mini-game, and I really should.

I usually enjoy my voyages in ocean fishing – it’s just nice to have the feeling of a bunch of people fishing along with you on the boat. I still needed the two minions on Ben, so it was another good excuse for doing it. By the time I was done, I did get the gull minion, but not the dolphin minion, yet.

Another perk is that both Studium quests and the voyages give you White Gathering Scrips. You can use these scrips to buy the Fokelore tokens you need for the newest set of gathering Fokelore books. So that’s another thing to keep in mind, especially if you’re leveling all your gatherers.

All in all, it wasn’t very difficult for a character who had finished Endwalker – some of the Studium quests will require you to go to certain Endwalker zones, so I’m going to guess the quests are blocked until you do. I need to do this again on Amon eventually, but I think I can take it slower for him and do it bit-by-bit over a weeknight sometime.

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV Endwalker: Snake Runs for Caduceus Minion

Endwalker released a number of no-trade minions from the last three dungeons of the MSQ. In the past, most (all?) dungeon minions have been tradeable, which means you can gift them, put them up on the marketboard, or buy them off the marketboard if you’re so inclined.

These three particular minions have somewhat spoilery descriptions, so I can understand the want to prevent them from being posted all over the place. But it still makes it a lot harder to get them due to being untradable. Friends can’t even help you with it (aside from helping you farm). The only thing you can do is run the dungeon over and over hoping for a drop.

Thankfully, these dungeons can be done with a Trust. This means that you don’t have to worry about pulling together a party and other people rolling on the goods. It just drops in your inventory after the final boss.

However, it’s also completely RNG. I have no idea what the odds in getting one of these minions to drop – I’ve heard folks get it on their first run, and I’ve heard folks needing over 80 runs to get theirs.

Usually, I wouldn’t go after one of these minions, but Caduceus in particular is directly connected to my RP character of Amon. The moment I was made aware of that, I knew that I would have to make every effort to get this minion.

I called them “Snake Runs” and they started somewhere early December. At first, I was doing just one run of the level 87 dungeon a day to pace myself. Some days, I’d get impatient and run more. I remember one day, I ran it 6 times.

I had a note pad where I kept track of the stats just for kicks. But some times, I didn’t feel so cheerful about it, especially after the number of runs reached above 20.

Tally marks and tea rings

My poor Free Company were such good sports, even though they had to endure days of me exclaiming, “No snek.” And as the holidays neared (and passed), I took to Tumblr to joke about it and make myself feel better.

In the end, the snake finally dropped on the first run of 2022 after 25 tries. That bodes well for this new year, right?

Posted in Gaming

2022 Gaming Goals for the Year

Happy New Year 2022!

We’re back at it for another year – I hope it treats everyone well. Very soon, will be this blog’s anniversary again, too! For now, though, I want to do what I do every year and set down some goals to achieve.

Last year, I did well! Let’s see if I can top it this year!

Spend Less on Games

This seems to be a running goal because I’ve set this for the past few years. I want to buy less games, unless I know for sure I’m going to play them right there and then. This includes two parts:

  • Buy less new games
  • Spend less in cashshops

I’ve done well about buying less new games – or, at least, the games I buy are things I really want and do spend time with. This has been improved also by PC Game Pass, which allows me to dabble in games that I might have otherwise bought. It keeps games out of my backlog and still allows me to enjoy playing new titles. While it is a minimal monthly sub, I feel like it’s saved me money in the long run.

I’ve not been so good at keeping my cash out of cashshops, however.

I have way too many alts in FFXIV and my desire to skip past Stormblood is just too strong not to plunk down skips for them. I think, however, I’ve gotten all the characters where I want them right now – with the exemption of one or two who might get a name change or a fantasia (I’m waiting on female Hroths). But even if I only do that, it’ll be far better than what I spent in a cashshop last year!

I wasn’t exempt in BDO, either, but I’ve severely cut back playing that game since last year. I mostly just log in for dailies and to try to awaken my next dream horse (many failures).

Steam Backlog – Get to 65% Played

This is not a huge jump in backlog progress, but I’m making this number low on purpose. If I can go beyond 65%, I’ll be really, really happy!

This actually has a couple of sub goals within it:

  • Finished all games in CLEAR list
  • Start playing gifted games

I’ve talked about my CLEAR list several times now – this is a list of games that I got as part of bundles or something like that. Games I’m not interested in playing at first glance, so I basically want to install the game, poke around in it for a short while, and if my hunch is correct, I’ll just uninstall and mark it off.

I want to get that category out of my Steam backlog for good this year. I’ve held off on some of these games because they’re just so dang BIG in terms of install size. But this is the year I’m going to finish my CLEAR list.

From there, my focus will be on actually playing games I own. I want to start with my Gifted list. If someone buys a game for me, or if I buy a game using a giftcard someone sends, I add it to my Gifted list so that I know this was from someone else. The idea was that I would pay more attention to these games since they were gifts, but while I have played some of my gifts, others I’ve failed to pick up.

I want to address that this year, and I’m going to start with my copy of Final Fantasy III that was gifted to me a couple years back. I’ve played into the game a bit, and really do want to play it more to see the lore that links to the FFXIV crystal tower. Since I’ve already got it started and installed, I might as well keep playing.

Focus Time on Games

More than just throwing things out of my backlog from a CLEAR list, I want to try to put more focus time on the games I’m playing. I’ve had a bad habit of picking games up and putting them down because of distractions.

While I still do this to an extent, last year, I got a lot of quality focus time playing certain games that I enjoyed – Valheim, Wildermyth, No Man’s Sky, etc. While there’s still plenty for me to explore in these games, the time I put into learning them and figuring them out makes me feel satisfied with them.

I want to do that with more games this year – be it games on my Switch or games on Steam. I’m going to start that with my copy of Final Fantasy IV. I’m halfway through the game, and it’s one that I’ve finished many times in the past on consoles. So this shouldn’t be hard at all to focus through and finish.

From there… don’t know? I’ve got Switch games to focus and then the Gift list to focus.

Get My Switch Backlog Under Control

Based on what I entered in Deku Deals, I have 97 games in my Switch library. Keep in mind, I got a slew of free games over the holiday due to giveaways, so I didn’t buy all of them! And when I do buy games, it’s usually on deep discount!

Anyhow. Based on the stats I’ve entered into Deku Deals, I’ve only played 24 of those games. Played doesn’t mean I’ve done a deep focus on the games, but just that I put some time into them or checked them out.

Because I suck at math, I entered these numbers into a calculator and now know that I’ve played only 24.7% of my Switch library.

Yuck. Here we go again.

Here’s the actual breakdown of the categories:

Completed – I’ve played a game to the end or I’ve played it as much as I’d like, and have moved on.

Currently Playing – What I’ve actively put time into lately, or want to come back to pretty soon.

Want to Play – Games I’ve dabbled in a little bit, or have at least tried. These are games I started but got distracted from and will likely have to start over again.

So yeah. I need to make these numbers better this year.

More Gaming Blogging

I had an uptick in number of posts I wrote last year here, and actually had some nice stats overall for the year. It’s also the year that Wordads have performed best for me – though that dropped off a bit at the end of the year.

I want to continue the upward trend. Hopefully with all these games I’m playing, I’ll have lots to write about in 2022!

What gaming goals do you have in mind for this year?

Posted in Gaming

Looking Back at 2021 Gaming Goals

It’s the last day of 2021 – where did this year go? And that means it’s time to look back at the goals I made at the start of the year to see how well I did in sticking to them!

I didn’t keep monthly gaming goals after a certain point in the year, but I still feel like I made progress where I wanted to despite that. I’m not sure if I’ll go back to monthly gaming goals or not next year. I’ll just play it by ear.

Spend Less on Games

Goal 1 is broken into two parts:

  • spend less on buying new games
  • spend less on in game purchases

So did I do this? Yes and no.

On Steam, I only bought about 9 games this year:

The two I bought in May were from a birthday gift card, so they don’t count. I also did well in playing the games I bought. The only one of these I haven’t tried yet is Green Hell.

However, this isn’t including the games I bought on Switch – I know I picked up at least Monster Hunter Rise and the DLC for Animal Crossing. I can’t remember if there was anything else.

My hopes that PC Game Pass would help curb game purchases did happen – but I’ll talk about that later in this post.

As for spending less on in-game purchases, I could have done a lot better in this area. But there were FFIV minions to buy and new bunny fellows to fantasia to. Also, before the expansion, boosts and story skips are cheap in FFXIV so… yeah.

I need to do better next year.

Obtained: Yes/No

FFXIV Progress

I made this goal before we had any news of Endwalker release. I just wanted my Amaro mount on my main – and I did finish this!

I also went through and did a lot of content that I’d skipped on my main – things like trials and raids – before Endwalker dropped. Overall, I’m happy with where my main is sitting in the game.

I also got most of my alts in a good place for the expansion – either they completed Shadowbringers or they’re just starting Shadowbringers due to a job change I want to make. I’m not sure how many will get all the way through Endwalker, but so far, I’ve made it through twice and am pushing my third character through.

Obtained: Yes

Steam Backlog – Get to 60% Played

I’m so excited to have achieved this back in September!

Here’s where I stand now:

This is far better than I could have hoped, and MUCH better than my backlog has been in years.

Much of this was done through playing some of the games I know that I’m just never going to get into just to mark them off the list – I call these the CLEAR games. I still have a handful of games on the CLEAR list, but nowhere as many as I used to. Once those are gone, well, I’ll actually have to play games I want to play to make progress.

Much of this was also a matter of playing the games I got when they were still new. I did a great job at that this year, in fact.

I put a lot of quality of time into new games such as Valheim, Wildermyth and the Hobo game. I feel pretty good about the time I spent on all of them – not to mention going back and putting time into games like No Man’s Sky, which is a title I’ve wanted to explore more for many years.

Here are my top played Steam games as of today:

Obtained: A big yes!

Get My Switch Backlog Under Control

It’s scary when your console has a backlog. I’ve maintained information about my Switch backlog on Deku Deals consistently since I found the site. And that’s a HUGE help. But I haven’t been doing as well as I’d like in playing Switch games.

I wanted that to change this year, and I did make and effort towards it at the start of the year. But as my year in review shows, I floundered as the year wore on. It’s a shame because I have a lot of fun with my Switch! It’s just my PC consumes so much time.

A new year is coming, and I once again want to tackle this goal. During December, No Gravity Games was giving away a number of little games for free, which I picked up. I’m not sure that most of them are something I’ll enjoy, so I will be treating them like a CLEAR list on Switch.

This year, I also want to put time into some of the active games – like Ring Fit, Boxing, Just Dance – to try to get myself moving more. I have a bunch of them, and I need to start using them!

Obtained: No.

Utilize Xbox Game Pass

This has been recently renamed to PC Game Pass, which is much nicer, IMHO.

I can’t say enough good things about PC Game Pass. In terms of having games I want to try, some of them brand new, it has been a treasure trove.

Has it saved me money and backlog? Yes, it has.

I can think of about 10 or so games that I tried or want to try on PC Game Pass rather than purchased on something like Steam. One of those games ranged in the $50 price point, and I decided after putting time and effort into it, it just wasn’t for me. But I needed a lot more than just a few hours of time spent to know that.

Overall, this has been a money saver and I’m excited to see what titles are coming for the new year! Definitely a keeper.

Obtained: Yes!

Do More Gaming Blogging

I recognized that over the past few years, my attention has been divided between online projects. It still is, to be honest, but I’m putting more effort into writing more content here on this blog again. Here’s the proof!

Still not up there with years like 2015 and 2016, but much better than in 2020 when my blogging dropped to a real low. Note: the content in this blog was migrated from a previous self-hosted blog in 2016, so that’s why there’s weird numbers of likes for the first few years.

There’s always room for improvement, however. At this point, while I have lots of smaller web projects going on, I’m focusing on this as my one main blog again. I hope this means I’ll write a lot more next year – it’s time to at least get back into posting in the 200s again!

Obtained: Yes!

And there you have it! My goals for 2021 and how well I stuck with them. I’m happy about a lot of things, and not so happy about others. I certainly have more goals to reach for in 2022!

Posted in Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch: Miitopia – An Absolute Delight!

Miitopia was one of those games that I had a hunch I’d enjoy, but had no idea it would tick off so many boxes for me. I’ll just say that it’s the solo-player RPG game that I’ve been needing for quite a while.

Going into this, I had no idea it was a full-on fantasy RPG with jobs and a turn-based battle system. I’m not sure what I thought it was – maybe something more along the lines of that Miitomo app I messed around with a long time ago. Maybe I got it confused with Tomodachi Life – which I’ve never played either.

When this originally came out on the Nintendo 3DS, I sorta had my eye on it, but then forgot about it. So when it was re-released on the Switch, I put it on my Amazon wishlist – and received it for Christmas!

The story is pretty basic in Miitopia – you have to defeat the big bad and save the world. But I’m not playing for the story (for once). I’m there to watch the Miis I created connect, grow in their relationships, and interact with each other as they journey together.

You can be as creative as you want in making your team. Put yourself, your friends and your family in the story if you like. Or, as I did, choose characters from other stories that you write or enjoy.

You can not only craft your own Miis (it looks like you can also share and import them from friends), but you can also customize their personality type and their job. Personality comes with perks and quirks which can effect the way battles and interactive scenarios turn out.

Battle is also pretty straightforward – in fact, the other characters in your party default to auto-battle. I’m not sure if you can change that, but I’m fine letting them make their own choices and focusing on my one character alone. Even if the system is simple, the relationship and personality system adds layers to what can happen in battle.

The closer your characters are with each other, the more automatic actions and reactions happen during a fight. This can be anything from encouraging a party member to do their best, helping to boost a party member’s next attack to taking blows for other party members and dealing extra damage if someone falls in battle.

You do get to control how relationships grow whenever your Miis stop to visit an inn. There are opportunities for Miis to go on outings together to further bond, such as watching a movie or visiting the seaside. These scenarios have a lot of randomly generated outcomes – as many as I’ve done so far, I rarely see a repeat.

I’ve put a number of hours into this game already and I’m still having just plain old fun making my way through it and seeing how my Miis change over time. There’s nothing super serious or difficult about the game, but that’s why I think I enjoy it.

It’s one of those laid back romps where your heroes take a moment to ponder whether someone just tooted. You know, the real questions in life.

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Pandaemonium Raids Complete!

I won’t talk about story in this post, but I can’t promise there won’t be mild spoilers.

The Pandaemonium raids released last week, and a small group from our FC finished them up on Thursday night. I honestly didn’t expect to push through all the fights in one night, but that’s what ended up happening.

While most of you who read my blog knows that I am not much of a raider, I was curious about the story of the new raids, which tie directly into Elpis. In fact, you get a little sneak peek about the raid once you finish up the entire 6.0 MSQ.

While Yoshi-P noted that 6.0 was the end of the Zodiark/Hydaelyn story arc, it’s clear that there are still threads of story that come from that foundation and spread out in their own ways. So while Pandaemonium isn’t a continuation of the 6.0 story arc, it does spin off from it.

In terms of difficulty, I went into each fight having watched a video guide. I don’t like going into raids blind because that just leaves me feeling frustrated and inadequate. Sometimes, even if do watch a video, it doesn’t mean I can do or remember all the mechanics I see in the guide anyhow.

I found the first and last fights of Pandaemonium as the easiest of the run. In fact, we ran the first fight twice because we had a FC member who logged in after we’d cleared it once, and it was no sweat either time.

The second fight gave us the most trouble – especially since a number of folks outside our group were also new and blind. I believe that’s the only run that we had a complete wipe on, and is not a fight that I want to repeat if I don’t have to.

The third fight was also challenging with a lot of overlapping mechanics. Thankfully, it felt as if the team we joined had people who already knew how to do the fight. All the things that I thought were going to be difficult were executed well, and we got through it the first shot. However, a team of new players who come in blind to that fight… I could see that being a challenge.

The final fight might be the easiest of the raid, IMHO. I memorized most of it quickly between the video and giving it a try. I’m thankful for this because I might actually attempt working on the weapon this time – maybe.

I was also lucky enough to score the minion drop from the fight on the first run!

Now, if only the snake minion I’ve been farming on Amon will drop like this…

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV Endwalker: Checking Off the List

With two runs of Endwalker under my belt and a third pushing through, most of my time has been spent working on various goals for different characters.

Gathering Ease

As seen above, Ben (my main) now has both Miner and Botanist at level 90.

I usually don’t work on my gatherers so early in an expansion, but to be honest, with the removal of high quality gathering mats, daily Grand Company Turn Ins and weekly Deliveries is too simple a way to hit cap now. In fact, it’s so simple that I’m leveling a fourth gatherer and thinking about pushing most of my alts in that direction.

Gathering and selling maps was a big part of my gil income last expansion. I only did this on three characters, but having a few more map sales a day would be fine by me!

Speaking of leveling gatherers, I also finished leveling Amon’s Botanist to 90. His Miner is only 88, so soon I’ll have both of those complete.

I haven’t been concentrating that much on crafters yet, though Ben’s Carpenter is level 87. I mostly did that because I needed to level to craft a new housing item I wanted to give as a gift for Starlight. 🙂

I also want to finish leveling that so I can maintain my crafting mentor position on Ben. Not that I really use it for anything much, but all those hours I spent fishing for collectables back before it was easy to get them reminds me what I went through to originally earn my mentor badge.

Captain, O My Captain

Another small project I worked on was ranking up both Tai and Tad in the Grand Company. In order to get the new GC seal material boxes that have random minions and mounts, you have to have the rank of Captain.

This requires you to level your GC squad to at least 50, and have specific stats to finish a flagged mission. Before you can even see that mission, however, you have to run five unique squad dungeons.

Both of these characters had squads close to having the stats they needed, but I’d not run a single squad dungeon on either of them. So, I had to spend some time burning through low level dungeons on squads for both of them. As of yesterday, they are now Captain rank!

Reaper Level 80

Yet another thing I was working towards was leveling Tai’s Reaper to 80. Previously, he was a level 80 Dragoon who had finished all of Shadowbringers. But I knew that Reaper was probably going to be his main job once it released, and I was right.

In order to move into Endwalker, and more importantly, in order to be able to wear his official glamour set, I needed to get him to 80.

I didn’t work super hard at leveling him, but I did at least do Beast Tribe quests every day. I also tried to use Alliance Roulettes for him when the queue allowed for me to switch characters. He’s one of the characters who doesn’t have the requirements for Bozja open, so that wasn’t an option for leveling him.

Anyhow, that is done. Now, once I get Tad through Endwalker, Tai will be ready to go next! …If I can maintain the endurance to see another character through.

Snake Runs

I won’t go into details about this because it’s somewhat spoilerish. Basically, the level 87 dungeon drops a snake minion that I need for Amon for lore reasons. However, the snake minion is non-tradable. This means, in order to get said minion, I must farm it with Trusts.

I have run the dungeon eight times so far without any luck. Runs will continue.

Pizza Emote

Not really a goal, but I was on board to get myself that pizza emote from the GrubHub promotion. As soon as the gates opened, I already had my order ready to place. I don’t know if that promised me an emote – seems like there was some issues for people not being able to get theirs that I hope works out.

I did end up getting mine, however, and gifted it to Amon.

Pandemonium Unlock

This week, the new raid dropped. I’m not much of a raider, but I am interested in this particular story arc. So, last night, Syn and I worked to unlock the raid.

That’s when I found out I was two ilvls too low to run it. So, we ran an expert instead, and that bumped me up one ilvl. Today, I finished that up by running an Alliance and picking up one more accessory.

Really, this was on me for having bought the weapon first and not the accessories. I didn’t think about it very well. But now, I’m ready to give these fights a shot and see what the story holds.

I’m trying to make sure that aside from leveling, MSQ, gathering and maybe some crafting, I do all of the important stuff on Ben as my main. Now that I’ve got Tai settled in where he needs to be, and a lot of the gathering leveling out of the way, I can focus more on earning tomes for Ben and leveling some of his alt jobs.

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Finishing Eden Raids

I tend to be a little behind the curve when it comes to things like raids and trials in FFXIV. Unless the raid has a reward I can’t live without, or there’s story I really need to see, I simply forgo doing them until they’re no longer relevant (and easier to finish).

That was the case with the Eden raids. I finished the first set and just never came back to do the rest. It’s not that I thought the story ideas weren’t interesting at the time – the concept of trying to revitalize the Empty on the First did have me interested. But I heard from Syn, who tends to do these raids before I do, that the second set of fights were a step up in difficulty (and indeed they remained the hardest set of fights in the raid from what I experienced).

Due to story changes that came up in Endwalker revolving around my RP character, Syn suggested I might want to experience the rest of Eden since it was somewhat linked in theme. It dealt with what life was like for sundered Ascians who needed to make a choice between their past lives and their present.

I already knew the gist of the story because I hadn’t stayed away from spoilers. In fact, I’d inquired of Syn what it was about and she’d summarized it for me. But it was far better to have played through the experience, even if fights got in the way.

When all was said and done, I felt this was one of the stronger raid stories in the game. I don’t have any real emotional attachment to the other raids when it comes to story – Coils was good for its time and Omega had Alpha to keep me curious. Alexander had a clever time-travel story, but none of the characters introduced there connected with me much.

The amount of effort that went into a very character driven story for Eden gives me a lot of hope for the story of the next round of raids, which are dropping with maintenance tonight. That’s another reason I decided to go ahead and push through Eden (aside from the fact that Syn was encouraging me and willing to wait around for me to watch cutscenes).

For the most part, running the raids were her instructing me what to do on voice chat during the fights. There were only a couple fights that I failed miserably on, despite going in blind. I’d still have to practice a lot to really learn the fights, but that’s not the purpose of having cleared them for me. I doubt I’ll ever go and do them again.

I did get a couple full sets of gear (for glamour) and the Gaia minion.

I have some passing curiosity about Pandemonium, but seeing that Syn is going to be on holiday for a while and will only have her laptop, I don’t see us doing any of the raids at launch. I’d much rather let things calm down and have folks who somewhat know what to do by the time I go in to learn it myself.

Anyhow, another chunk of content done.