Happy December! Welcome to the final month of 2020, and to the Holiday season! I’ve got a bit of vacation at the end of this month to look forward to, but lots of goals on my mind as well!
In FFXIV, we have a patch incoming, which always means taking time out for story and whatever goodies the patch brings. Folks in my FC have been dabbling in Blue Mage lately, and this brings yet another level cap increase for that job.
Finish leveling Warrior to 80 and do job quest
Level Gunbreaker via Trusts
Clean up quests in the First (to level tank)
Level BLU when patch drops
Cap BLU skills
Work on crafting Relics for Main and Amon
This time around, I really want to finish leveling the last of my Trust members to 80 for the achievement. This will also coincide with leveling one of my tanks. Once Warrior and Gunbreaker are done, all I’ll have left is Paladin to have everything to 80 and the Amaro mount.
I really, really need to work on crafting relics! This next patch is going to drop an update to them yet again… ugh. Not to mention I didn’t even start on the gathering relics. I’m so behind. : /
Continue to level Taming in UO
Continue playing Steam Games
Play Switch Games
Play 3DS Games
Play Xbox Pass Games
So I have a few very loose goals here. I do want to dabble in UO again this month. I don’t want that falling to the wayside.
I have a handful of Steam games I’ve been putting time into that I’d like to keep my momentum with, if only a little. I also need to blog about them!
I also dusted off my old 3DS system — there’s so many games there I haven’t touched/finished that it’s a shame. I need to blog about that, too! 🙂
And finally, I really want to put some time into some Switch games other than Animal Crossing. I just need to nail down which one I want to make my focus.
Oh, and Xbox Pass… I’ll… talk about that later.
That’s a lot of gaming! Thankfully I have a week off.
7D2D Alpha 19 dropped last week, and I’ve been meaning to write some posts about it as we’ve explored what the update has to offer. Just as with any alpha update, it feels like a whole new game. There’s a ton to write about, but the one thing that really stood out to me from the very start was the new dynamic music system.
7D2D has always used music pretty sparsely. You get a jingle in the morning and an ominous piano when it turns night. But aside from that, there was just some slightly atmospheric loops that felt more like sound effects than true music.
That’s changed with A19, and I’m really impressed by the concept and customization of this dynamic music system. Playing on a randomly generated map as we do, it makes sense to have dynamically generated music as well.
Here’s what the patch notes say about it:
TFP have again teamed up with Native Darkness Productions to make the Alpha 19 Dynamic music system more robust while adding a ton of new content and features.
The propriety Dynamic Music System algorithm measures and uses many player-centric conditions such as player location, biome, time of day, inside or outside a location, nearby aggressive enemies, threat level and more to tailor a custom movie like musical experience for the player.
From this Dynamic Music System algorithm the system can play from the following musical groups: Home day music, home night music, exploration, suspense, combat and custom trader music for each trader.
Exploration, suspense and combat are procedurally generated providing a complete musical arrangement from a set of interchangeable loops. As of Alpha 19 there, are 31,558 unique combinations of music.
The lovely thing about this system (which is off by default) is how much you can customize it.
Once you enable the music, you have control over not just the volume, but how often you hear the tracks play. I’ve got mine up to 100% but the default is something like 30%. So if you just want to explore and rock zombies with a few tunes from time to time, you can do that.
It is very much a dynamic system. Somehow, the game recognizes when I’m just chilling and building the base as opposed to being out in the world exploring, or creeping through a house with zombies around every corner. Battle music is a tad odd at first, but actually quite helpful – you know when you’re being targeted even if the zombie is in another room somewhere. It’s also alerted us to times when zombies were beating on our base wall though we didn’t hear any other trace of them.
I really can’t think of another game that has implemented a system like this. Sure, the tracks can get a bit redundant at times, but it’s still a really cool concept. I heard that Trader Joel’s music is a lot of fun – I haven’t visited him yet, but other folks in the Posse have.
We’ve already made it through the first two blood moons in our playthrough. Our base is established and I’m working on a warfort. So I’ll be writing more about my impressions of this new alpha soon!
I’ve been very diligent this past week in participating in the Mogtome event, mostly because there are a number of mounts I want to earn for various characters. While Amon has all of the primal ponies, my main doesn’t have a single one. Also, up until now, both my main and Amon only had one bird mount.
So, when the new Mogtome event came about, with more reasonable rewards, I knew that I’d be working on collecting mounts this month. So far, I’ve gotten the Round Lanner for my main, and both the Round and Sophic Lanner for Amon.
I’ve mostly been farming the daily Main Scenario roulette on my main, because I’m also using the experience to level her Dancer, which is the last job I need to get to 70. As for Amon, some of the FC folks have been hard-queing for Praetorium, and I’ve been joining those – which is why he’s done with his birds earlier.
I’m also going to snag the two ponies on my main when I’m done with birds. The one nice thing about running all this is that it’s given me the time during cutscenes to work on sketches for this year’s Inktober. Since there’s nothing else to do, I may as well fill that time with something!
As I noted yesterday, I’ve had a pretty busy weekend when it comes to FFXIV. This includes unlocking and beating all the Eden normal raids.
Back when Eden first released, I knew my plan of attack after having been through the Omega raids with last expansion. I listened to the feedback in the beginning and decided to hold off on running these until people knew the fights better and had higher gear levels.
The thing about these raids is that they’re not going anywhere. I was in no rush to clear them as I don’t plan on farming for the weapon until the total number of tokens required drops. I was in it for the story, seeing I also earned my last major piece of Tome gear this weekend, and don’t really need gear drops.
I did want to get them cleared before 5.1 dropped, though. I figured once that was in the picture, I’d be busy with other things, and so would other people. So when Syn suggested I give it a shot this weekend, I figured it was probably time to try it.
Overall, the runs went just fine. I watched a guide before going into each one to get a feel for mechanics. Some mechanics I disliked more than others – those delayed mechanics and anything that busts up the platform your standing on bugged me. I also don’t much like fights where you can fall off the platform – but this has been the case for a lot of these 8 mans lately. Still, there was nothing there that I couldn’t get through with the solid parties we had.
Even the Titan fight, which I did die on several times (I think Titan is the only one I died on), wasn’t as terrible as I expected it to be. I still suck at the bomb rocks, just like on previous Titan, though. The rest of it was just anticipation and patterns pretty much.
I feel like the fights are do-able but still may prove too difficult at this point for the low-average player. They do require mobility, anticipation and full understanding of mechanics to survive. But as long as most of the party is on point, like mine was, it shouldn’t be too terrible to clear.
I’m also enjoying the story for this raid. It sets down some interesting ideas and lore. But something as big as reviving The Empty seems like a huge world building thing to lock behind raid progression, even if it is at normal level. I don’t know. Maybe the devs feel the raids are easy enough that the majority of players can get through to see the story.
One way or another, I cleared it and I got the minion drop to boot! I also managed to snag an accessory for each run, which upgraded everything except my belt from the Ronkan gear. So it was a pretty lucrative experience!
While I don’t usually blog on the weekends, a lot has happened that I want to write about, so I decided to go ahead and nail this post today. After weeks of diligent Beast Tribe quest running, I finally hit level 70 on Gunbreaker!
This puts me very very close to having all of my battle jobs (aside from Blue Mage) at level 70, which I’m super happy about!
The other nice thing was while I was working on leveling the job, I was cleaning up all the remaining quests I had left over in Stormblood, which was actually quite a bit. I have part of one quest chain left, and then I’ll officially be done with Stormblood on my main.
I don’t need to run the Beast Tribes unless I really want to score some extra XP for my Dancer. But I’ve been reeling in the experience for that job by just doing the daily Main Scenario runs I’ve been using to farm Mogtomes.
A few more days will see that job leveled, too. Then, I’ll be in a great spot to make a push through Trusts and the new Beast Tribe quests in 5.1 to begin the long climb to getting all of my jobs to 80, and ultimately the amaro mount.
At the beginning of this year, I would have never imagined having all my jobs to 70 like this, much less aspiring to get them to 80. I’m sure with the help of the Trusts, though, this is very possible, as long as I gently pace my way through it.
My gaming goals for this month are pretty simple as most of them fall in the realms of doing things I probably would have already been doing. But, that’s okay, because it’s still marking progress.
My major goal for this month is to get all of my battle jobs in FFXIV to level 70. Considering I was just hoping to get some of those to 60 earlier this year, this is a pretty big deal for me. An ultimate goal is to get all my jobs to 80 for the Amaro mount, but I really don’t see that happening this year. Next year, though… yeah.
Earn Mogtome mounts (Main & Amon) ✓
Level Gunbreaker to 70 ✓
Level Dancer to 70 ✓
Continue leveling crafters with weekly Scrips (Main & Amon) ✓
Some of this may change since we do have patch 5.1 dropping, and a Halloween event coming. But those are the basic things I want to finish.
Here’s some stuff I’d like to do if I have downtime. With the Mogtome event and the new patch coming, I’m not expecting to get a lot done on the side.
Make progress in Shadowbringers on Tai ✓
Make progress in Stormblood on Zuri
Level Zuri’s fishing ✓
Decorate my main’s house
I’m adding this back to the mix this month. I picked up the Legend of Zelda last month and don’t want to lose momentum on it. Also, the Ring Fit is coming out mid-month and I want to get involved in that. So:
Make progress in Link’s Awakening
Ring Fit Release ✓
There’s other stuff going on, such as a possible Inktober, and me picking my Bullet Journal back up again. So it really does seem like this month is already shaking out to be busy. Wish me luck!
I’m not quite sure where this month went, but that’s okay. I’m looking forward to October and everything coming – including lots of Mogtomes, Patch 5.1 and Halloween! But before that begins, let me look back at what I did this month.
FFXIV Goals – My Main
Level Dark Knight to 70 & Finish Job Quests ✓
Unlock Gunbreaker, start leveling with Beast Tribe Quests ✓
Level Trusts (with Bard)
Work on ShB FATEs daily ✓
Level Goldsmith (Weekly Scrip Turn-ins) ✓
Gear up with new Tomes ✓
I did a pretty great job of tackling my goals for my main. I did finish leveling Dark Knight to 70, and picked up Gunbreaker. Currently, my Gunbreaker is halfway through level 68, so it shouldn’t be much longer before I finish leveling that to 70.
Not only have I been doing Beast Tribe quests for my Gunbreaker, but I’ve been clearing out all remaining Stormblood quests during the leveling process. I just finished all the level 68 quests last night, so all I have left is a handful of level 69 quests. Looks like I did most of the quests in the Lochs when I came through earlier.
I did finish all Shared FATES in Shadowbringers yesterday, and I’m happy to be done with that. I like FATEs but that was a LOT to do. I also finished leveling Goldsmith to 80 through scrip turn-ins, and will start making progress on my next crafting job.
I kinda fell off of the Tome train at the end of this month, though I have most of my left side complete. I figure I’ll eventually get the rest of it done with just general running, especially with Mogtomes starting today.
Again, the one thing I haven’t started was working on my Trusts. I have a feeling that once the new Beast Tribe quests come out with 5.1, I’ll be picking up Trusts then to work on pushing my level 70 jobs towards level 80. I just felt like it was probably better to focus on getting all jobs to 70 first – I only have Dancer left after Gunbreaker!
FFXIV Goals – Amon
Scrip gear for Miner and Fisher ✓
Anima Weapon Progress ✓
Gathering Log Progress ✓
I really haven’t done a whole lot with Amon this month. I did finish up all of his Scrip gear for his gatherers and started leveling Culinarian with weekly turn-ins. I also earned the Blessed Tools for Botanist and Miner by finishing up some of his gathering log.
I’ve done some work on the Anima Weapon, currently on the step where you’re completing a bunch of dungeons in a row. I have a feeling with Mogtome farming and a new patch coming this month, this project is going to be nudged to the side.
FFXIV Goals – Tai
Finish Stormblood ✓
Yes, I did this! I’m so happy to have Tai out of Stormblood and into Shadowbringers! I’ve made a little bit of progress with him into the new expansion, and will probably keep moving him through next month.
In fact, I got a bit sidetracked because I started to work on getting Zuri through Stormblood as well. She’s currently sitting in Yanxia, which isn’t terrible considering she’d not even been to Kugane at the start of September.
So, I got quite a bit done this month, and I’m pretty happy about the progress!
One of my goals for this past month was to work on completing the FATE log challenges in every zone of Shadowbringers. This expansion changes things up a little, as FATEs now drop gems which you can trade in for various things across the different zones. There’s three ranks you can achieve with each zone, and it takes 66 FATEs per zone to max it out.
At the beginning of the month, I was Rank 2 with each of the zones, and about 10 FATEs into the 60 I needed to go to Rank 3. I wanted to knock this out on my main, and while I enjoy FATEs, I knew I’d burn out fast if I did too much.
So my goal was to do at least 10 FATEs in a zone per day until I completed that area. I’ve been able to do that (and a little more) to finally reach this point last night:
Finishing up the Lakeland area gave me access to purchase the Deepshadow Barding for my chocobo. I wish I’d tackled that one first, because the barding is pretty spiffy, and a nice change of pace from the Yo Jimbo set I was using before. I like that set, but it really doesn’t fit with the feeling of the First.
Needless to say, this has been a pretty drawn-out undertaking. Usually, I’m the only one out there doing the FATEs since most folks are either done with this, or done with leveling and just don’t need it anymore. I was off doing other things while people were rushing the FATEs during launch, so now I’m dealing with that trade-off.
Because it takes so long, and because I’m the only one out there most the time, I learned really fast that taking a sub-80 class in hopes to level with FATEs really doesn’t work well. I mean, I can do it in the lower level zones, but it makes it far slower and there’s no promise that you’ll be able to take the NM FATEs at all.
So, I did all of this on my already leveled and mostly geared Red Mage. It’s sad that all that experience went to waste. But the trade off was time for me, and given that I want to do other things in a night, losing the experience was what I sacrificed.
I’m in my final zone now – leaving Tempest to last. I’d really like to get all of this finished up by the end of the month and just put it behind me. Especially since the Mogtome event starts on the 30th, and I want to focus on that. So, I’ve been doing a bit more than 10 each day to put me on track to be done by the final day of September.
Eventually, I might do this again for Amon. But if I do, it won’t be for a while. I’m ready to take a break from FATEs!
I’m quite happy with my Mudpie minion, pictured above — I’ve only seen it drop once and got the lucky roll to win it! Usually, I have no luck in rolling on minions, so I was stoked when I managed to snag this fellow.
A perfectly messy minion to talk about coming clean. Well, not that I actually have hidden my side-blog activity. I’ve actually linked to my RP Tumblr and discussed my move to the RP server and all the motivations behind it several times before.
But still, I feel a little guilty that this blog, which I’ve maintained for years, has slowly seen a decrease in content as a lot of my attention has gone towards my RP and creative endeavors. I have to admit that part of this is that due to whatever fluke, the response to my Tumblr writing has been quite strong.
In fact, since I first started seriously RP blogging in the last week of July, I’ve earned more followers there than I have all the years of WordPress blogging here.
Also, given that this blog has exactly 1,440 posts over its lifetime, it’s crazy to think that in just a matter of a few months, my RP Tumblr has 1,338 posts. Granted, what I write here is generally longer and more in-depth in terms of content, and some of the Tumblr content is just silly stuff, images or reblogs. But I’ve also posted some lengthy fiction pieces there, as well.
The interesting thing is, I’m playing far more FFXIV since I got involved with my RP alt and I’m having a lot more fun doing it. Yet, I’m blogging about it less here, mostly because I don’t know if this kind of content belongs on this blog.
I feel like folks who read this blog might not be interested in RP fiction and think the whole thing is silly. Maybe I’m wrong about that, though. I mean, we do all roll up digital avatars in fantastical worlds as a fun pass time, right?
I’ve also just found myself playing my alt, Amon, more than my main. I’ve come to view my main as a progression character — the one who has all the stuff cleared and unlocked and is doing Expert runs for Tomes. She’s maxed out on leveling crafting and gathering and I’m slowly nudging her battle jobs up to 70.
But really, I’m still quite burned out on raids and dungeons in FFXIV. Gear progression doesn’t interest me much since it just gets reset every patch and washed away come the expansion. So as long as I have the ilvl to get things done, I don’t feel the need to work on gear. As much as I would have liked to try Eureka, I didn’t jump on the early train there, and I’m still only level 4… so the whole grind for the weapons and gear there passed me by this expansion.
While I have a few things I want to work on with my main, really, I have so much more I want to do with my alt.
For one thing, I ensured that Amon didn’t unlock anything I didn’t want to play. This means most unrequired dungeons will never be unlocked unless there’s glamour I want. It also means I’ll never unlock anything beyond Void Ark for Alliance because I still have no desire to run Weeping City or anything beyond.
Instead, I’m leveling gathering, and eventually crafting, all over again. I know that seems pointless, but I’m having fun doing it. I get to work through Namazu tribe quests again, something I didn’t do on my gatherers, and eventually other beast tribes as a whole.
The bottom line… I get to cherry pick only the content I have any interest in and throw the rest of it out the window. No raids. No unwanted dungeon runs. And instead, I can focus on things like housing, glamour, performing music, lore, connecting with the RP folks who want to write with me, and doing much more creative stuff.
I’ve been so much more inspired and have enjoyed the game immensely once I’ve broken away from the run-run-run mindset. Sure, I still do my share of roulettes, even on Amon. But I also know that there’s an ending point for him.
Once I’ve got the jobs I want leveled on him and he’s cleared MSQ… and maybe cleaned up a lot of the quests he’s outleveled (I hate leaving quest markers everywhere on the map)… Then he’s free to just be a creative outlet for me without the worry of needing to progress. And if I do choose to progress something else on him, well, it’s because I wanted to.. not because I felt pressured to keep up with anything.
There’s a certain freedom in that that I’ve been missing in FFXIV for many years.
So What Happens Here?
But that leaves the question of what I’m writing on this blog.
Doing less on my main means having nothing of real interest to share here. And while I’d never directly post RP on this blog (that really wouldn’t fit), I’m not sure if some crossover posts (such as links to the RP fiction) would be welcome?
Would progress posts on Amon be welcome? Or would it be boring to see me retreading the same ground on a second character?
I suppose I could talk about the face of RP as it stands in game and on Tumblr. But I don’t know if that is interesting to anyone, either.
If anyone has suggestions or feedback, I’m happy to listen! I really don’t want to see this blog go inactive, but I’m a poor judge of how much of the creative content would be acceptable to cross-post here.
Last week, I said enough’s enough and really buckled down to finish my monthly goal and push my level 43 Astro to level 50. This mostly just required a handful of squad runs, like I knew it would, and at one run a day, I had that knocked out on Saturday.
I even braved going into Aurum Vale with my squad… which… wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The Coincounter boss can be pretty devastating on a squad if they stand in his swing, but other than that, I found it surprisingly okay. In fact, I earned level 50 on my second run of AV. I’m glad to be rid of that place for now.
I did stay dedicated and ensured all of the job quests for Astro were also up to date. It was nice to finally sort out all of my sub-level 50 gear for healers, and clear up some of my inventory space. This is, after all, the whole reason I’m leveling these jobs.
I suppose my next goal is to focus on my Ninja quests from 50-60. I also would really like to try to tackle the last remaining sub-level 50 jobs I have — Dark Knight and Warrior. Like Astro, just a squad run a night would take care of this… it’s all in keeping the motivation to do these things.
Especially when I’m more interested in working on cleaning up quests and finishing MSQ on my RP alt. All in all, still having fun, and still got lots to do. The All Saint’s Wake event can’t start soon enough, however!