Another summer month has flown by at an incredible rate! This one has been kinda crazy for me as a lot of my gaming focus shifted attention to writing, music and role play. It’s been a rejuvenating experience in more ways than one. But, let me talk about goals instead!
FFXIV Leveling Goals
Level Armorer to 70 ✓
Level Ninja to 60 ✓
Level Astro (maybe?)
Start new crafting & battle job leveling ✓
I was pretty close to getting Armorer to 70 and Ninja to 60 when I set these goals, so I knew the question was what would I pick up next.
Not only did I finish Armorer and all the job quests, but I also fully leveled my Goldsmith to 70, and only have the one final quest left to finish that job completely! As for my battle job, I chose to begin leveling my Dragoon, which just dinged level 67 last night. I don’t see having too much of an issue finishing that up next month.
I didn’t pick up Astro at all, but that was sorta a question mark possibility anyhow.
FFXIV Cleanup Quest Goals
Summoner – Lv 60-70 Quests
Ninja – Lv 50-60 Quests
Catch up on Goldsmith quests ✓
Nope. I failed on job quests again this month.
I have been keeping up with the crafting job quests, thankfully. Now I really do want to complete Summoner since it has some lore in it I’d like to explore. It’s just a matter of sitting down and carving out the time to enjoy the story. Maybe next month.
My creative goal was to break 15K words (a very low word count, I know) for Camp NaNoWriMo during July. I did this pretty easily, as I expected I would. What’s blossomed out of it was something I really couldn’t have anticipated, however.
My role play Tumblr has just blasted off at incredible speed and the RP character I’m working on developing has made all kinds of new connections. I’m a very shy person in game, so to be invited to RP sessions, events and music circles is a completely new experience for me. At the same time, I’m loving connecting to the creative side of FFXIV, which is something I’ve desperately needed to maintain my interest in the game.
Anyhow, I won’t go on about this too much, though it’s really been the thing that’s consumed most of my time this month. I’ll just say that it always feels great being inspired to work on creative things, so this has not been something bad at all.
Woke up this morning to a slew of information from the latest FFXIV Live Letter, summarized on Reddit. There’s certainly a lot of interesting things to see here!
Coming in September, we have the next story patch, an addition to the Omgea raids and a lot more. This is the first time in a long time I’ve actually been really, really looking forward to where they’re going with the story. The teaser image did not disappoint.
I’m also really happy that they’ve confirmed we’ll get more Doman Reconstruction. I finished what they provided for this patch, but it still looks like the Enclave has lots of opportunity for further growth. It may just be side fluff content, but I really like it!
The new Grand Company rank also makes me happy, as well as expanded Squad Missions. I’m always up for running with my Squad… it might help me get back on the leveling train for my lowest level jobs.
New Gpose options are always welcome, and Configuration data saved to the server sounds nice (does this mean no more scrambling to reset hotbars if you play between two computers?).
I’m a little worried by what they mean with “Crystal Tower requirements revised.” Does this mean they’re going to do away with the FATE quests that block your way into the first raid? If so, I’m all for that.
If it means they’re going to make these raids harder, though, I think the difficulty needs to be left alone. Folks new to 24 man raids need a first step in… and you can still wipe in any of the CT raids if the party doesn’t know what they’re doing (yes, I’ve even seen a recent wipe in Syrcus Tower and Lab).
Anyhow, there’s a lot of nice things coming.
Monster Hunter World Collaboration
So, it appears the MHW collab is going to take the form of a trial. I’m a little sad about that, as I’d much prefer something more open world, but I understand the need to balance it around a trial. The nice thing is that there are two flavors of trial – an 8 man and an Extreme 4 man.
Hopefully it won’t be too terrible if all you need to have done is complete the MSQ and have ilvl 320 gear for the normal version. I’m usually not one for doing trials I don’t need to do, but Palico (minion?) was confirmed!
There’s also a sweet looking Rathalos mount, but I have a feeling that’s only going to be a reward for the Extreme version. (not confirmed, just a guess)
This is coming August 7th and doesn’t appear to have an end date.
I’ve been a bit quiet blogging as of late, despite the exciting news that Blaugust is returning (a full post to come for that later). It’s not because I’m not writing… but just the opposite.
I noted that I’d signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo on a fiction/RP project, and I’ve been focused on pounding out words for that. As of yesterday, I’ve actually by passed my meager goal (I made one easy to reach), and I’ve almost written to the end of the foundational phase of the story I wanted to tell.
Once I’m done there, I hope to keep writing short stories and fun snippets about the characters I’m beginning to explore. But it won’t take up my writing time like it has the beginning of this month.
In the meantime, I’ve still be working on all my other FFXIV goals. I’ve reached two of the low-hanging ones this week: Armorer to 70 and Ninja to 60.
This puts me in a pretty good position. I’ve been enjoying Namazu quests so much that I didn’t realize I only have 3 more crafting jobs to level to have them all done!
Of course, I need to catch up with crafting quests for each of these jobs. I have the level 70 quest to do for Armorer — I’ve been good about keeping up with these quests. And then, I need to see where I stand with old Goldsmith quests.
I also haven’t really worked at gearing up my level 70 crafters too much beyond the one Scrip set I have for Weaver. So I’ve got a long way to go before my crafters are in good shape.
Finally getting Ninja to level 60 means that all of my melee DPS are now at 60.
It felt so good to go through and sort all the gear I’d been holding on to for Ninja all these years. I was able to toss a bunch of it to the Grand Company, which nicely frees up some space in my armory chest.
All I’ve got left under level 50 is Warrior, Dark Knight and Astrologian. These three jobs have a mess of gear sitting in my inventory waiting for them to level up. I’ve just been too lazy or distracted to work on these, despite the fact Squad runs are fast and quick for leveling.
One of my overall goals for the year is to get all jobs to 50. So I’ll be focusing on this sooner or later.
It’s odd how one of the most enjoyable parts of the new patch for me is the crafting beast tribe quests. To say that it’s renewed my desire to improve my crafters and learn about crafting in FFXIV is an understatement.
The Namazu quests are the last things you’d expect to strike home in the heart of an artist/creator. But this weekend, that happened for me.
I’ve become more endeared to these quirky little creatures as I spent time helping them rebuild a cultural celebration meant to save their race. I still didn’t expect to be moved by the ending of the final quest the way I was. Especially this:
Suddenly, I was reminded as an artist… writer… creator… why I should do what I do. And that it shouldn’t matter if someone else sees the value in the act of creation. That’s hard to remember sometimes in the age of the Internet when we’re conditioned to constantly seek out feedback, reinforcement and positive feelings.
For just that moment, I felt like the creators of these quests — the writers, the artists, the musician, the designers… all of them — were speaking to me on a personal, creative level. It’s not always easy to remember the people behind the game and all the time and effort they put into making something for your enjoyment. It’s far easier to criticize a game for what you don’t like (I’m guilty of it, too).
But there in that quest, these game creators were speaking to the players. “Not everyone always sees or values what I create… but there’s something in me that makes me create anyhow.” And that’s a powerful, noble value… that mysterious drive is why we have so many of the creative works we do in this world.
…Not that there was any lack of feedback and reinforcement from the Namazu for your help.
As a matter of fact, as if all the easy crafting levels, enjoyable quests, and other perks weren’t enough, the Namazu gifted me with something quite unexpected.
Yep. That’s right. My own wearable Namazu Bell necklace!
This was something I didn’t even know that I needed until I got it. Sadly, a lot of my outfits cover the necklace area, so despite instantly taking it and glamouring it over all of my neck pieces, it only showed up on a few of my jobs.
I was also being good this weekend and went back to work through all my Alchemist job quests that I needed to do in order to catch up to my current level. Thankfully, I left off at level 53. Most of these were easy to either craft or purchase, so I blew through them, earned at least a level and some for my efforts, and a bunch of Allagan pieces to throw at the Domans on reset.
…But why is it all of the Alchemist quests have to do with either killers or dead bodies? Really?
I also focused my weekly deliveries on gearing up my Fisher a bit so that I’d be in a better spot to try and finish up the level 70 job quest. That’ll knock out another goal for this month.
Yesterday, I reached another goal for this month — to level my White Mage to 70. This one I was glad to get done with since healing is often stressful for me, even in Alliance Roulettes. I haven’t been doing Alliance lately since Syn hasn’t been around, and I don’t like running it on my own (especially as a healer). But I was already level 69 at the beginning of this week, and a few days of Beast Tribe quests got it done.
I’m not real sure what I’m going to work on next… or if I’ll just take a little break on my battle classes. I’m still leveling my Alchemist through Namazu quests every day, and I don’t see the crafting portion of beast tribes going away any time soon for me.
I’m actually doing pretty well on getting all of my jobs leveled at this point:
Especially if you consider that this was where I was when I started this year:
I still have an overall goal to get all of those lower jobs to 50 before the year is done. Obviously, heals and tanks aren’t my favorite.
Right now, I’m kinda strapped on Grand Company seals, which are used to pay the squad to run dungeons for fast experience. I spent most of mine on the materials I’ll need to make the Odder Otter Walls… which I haven’t quite done yet, either.
I still need to put some time towards those lower jobs, though, because it’s a huge help to consolidate gear when overlapping jobs are on the same level. It’s part of the reason why all the ranged jobs were leveled first — they use the same gear. Whereas other than Monk and Samurai, the melee often use their own sets of gear. There is overlap on some of the accessories, I suppose.
I guess Astro would be the next logical thing to level seeing that would put all my healers in the same gear at 70. Dunno. I’ll have to see what happens!
Last week, the Make it Rain event started in FFXIV. This doubles the amount of MGP you win for things in the Gold Saucer and gives a huge bonus for doing well (and just dropping by) the Fashion Report. There are also cosmetic items on discount during the event.
While I enjoy this event, I wasn’t super excited for it this year. I’ve already gotten my Fenrir. Though, there are plenty of other things I could save up for.
I dropped in for the Fashion Report on Friday since it was paying out well, did the event quest… and suddenly I found myself rushing in on all my alts to do the quests, unlock the Fashion Report, pick up any hairstyles and cosmetics I wanted and…
Yeah, that was an unexpected use of a Friday night. And while it was all silly fluff, I found myself enjoying it greatly. In fact, the momentum from that carried over into the next day, where I found the energy to push through several of my monthly goals.
Crafting… Crafting Everywhere
You can say that the Namazu quests have me fired up for crafting…
I’m still finding these quests extremely enjoyable. The fact that it shot my Leatherworker up to 70 so painlessly is a huge perk. I was a good crafter and actually stuck by all of my Leatherworker job quests straight through the end of the level 60-70 quest line. So there, job quests done!
My plan was to pick up Armorer next, since that was always one of the jobs I knew I’d neglected, despite leveling it to 60. I just had no idea how bad it really was…
Holy crud! I hadn’t done any of my Armorer job quests since level 35!!!
That’s awful! I’ll blame it on the Moogles for being a bad influence!
Soooo… I sucked it up and got to work on slashing away at these old quest lines. Some of the lower level ones I had the mats for, and just crafted. Some of the more annoying ones I straight out bought. But, there were a few that buying wasn’t an option.
All in all, it took me several hours to finish everything. I wasn’t too engaged in the story at first, but then it became more interesting after the level 60 quest line started. The level 70 quest line has some promise, too.
I’m happy to report that I did catch up on all my Armorer quests in the end… and even netted a level and a half from them all. This put me at level 63.
I also started in on my old Fishing job quests. I’ve finished those up to level 70, and just have one final one to go to complete them all.
So, I discovered I was capped on Creation Tomes this weekend. I don’t really have a lot of need for them in the armor department, so I asked Syn what she’s been using them for. She noted that you can buy crafting materials with them, and sell those for profit… so I went to check it out.
That’s when I learned that these materials were what you needed to make the level 70 omni-crafter gear. This is something I eventually do want to try to do, so I did some research on what that requires.
While a few pieces require something from a metalworker, just about all of them require stuff from a level 70 Alchemist. Bleeeeh… mine’s only level 60.
So… despite all that work I did to catch up with Armorer, I decided to shift my Namazu leveling to Alchemist so I can work towards crafting some of this gear. I know that I at least finished the level 50 quest on Alchemist (I faintly remember the storyline), but it’s another job I know I haven’t progressed on job quests in a while. So, I’ve got my work cut out for me… again.
One of the nice things about finishing so many job quests it that it showers you with Allagan silver and gold pieces. These have been fantastic at helping me max out my Doman restoration project this week, with lots left over for next week.
In fact, that’s a huge encouragement to get me to go back and do some of these quests as I’m honestly curious what’s going to happen with rebuilding the Doman Enclave. I mean, they already have a plushie store…
I did complete the first phase of restoration and moved into the second. The bonus you get for selling to them increases, which is nice, too. I wonder what they’re going to make this place into in the end, and whether they’ll keep expanding it after this patch cycle. I hope so. I’ll start saving all my stuff for selling to the Domans! 😀
Now, for an achievement that’s not mine.
Syn got her Parade Chocobo mount for earning 3,000 commendations this weekend!
Dang. As a DPS main, I’m lucky to break 300, much less 3,000.
She’s been actively working at it, throwing her healer into the worst of the alliance roulettes night after night, looking for souls to save. Sure enough, she made it to 3,000 and above.
It’s the first thing she actively ever farmed, and first time she’s wanted to get a fluff mount. What’s funny is that I encouraged her to play the Fashion Report this week, too, and she even sat down with the Glamour Commode for the first time ever, and made some glamour plates for Zeb.
Uh oh… Amoon and I are being bad influences on her! 😀
The way I see it is… if you’re not having fun in an MMO, what are you having?
Right now, I’m having fun again. I have a whole lot to work towards, and I feel like I’m making pretty good progress. I’ve also been taking time out to do fun stuff in Second Life on the side, and figuring out how to balance the two. But that’s a post for another blog.
Though our Free Company, Knights of Memory <KoM>, was actually founded May 1st, that was a busy time for both myself and Syn. She was out of town for work, among other things. So we decided to push our anniversary event back a bit this year.
I didn’t mean for it to get pushed back a whole month, but you know…
We did hold the event this past weekend, finally. There was a really good turnout, maybe about the same in size as last year’s event. Different faces, but the same sort of enthusiasm.
The celebration featured events such as aquarium swimming….
Nah, just kidding!
But we did have several activities that Syn and I put together including:
A community scavenger hunt (Using hints, find specific houses in our Ward with guestbooks and sign them)
A Palace of the Dead race to the first boss – both group and solo
Lowest roll greed only raffle
Hide and Seek
The last one wasn’t planned, but requested (we had a Hide N Seek event last year, and people wanted it again). So Syn got on one of her lowbie alts and tried to find a hiding place out in Central Shroud. Only, she died doing it… so the hint ended up being, “Find the dead player in the Shroud… and dance on the body.”
Yeah, a little morbid… but you know. The alt got a rez afterward.
And, of course Tire-Track Zeb had to make an appearance to give out raffle prizes. That’s starting to become a thing.
Anyhow, in the end, we got a lot of positive feedback about the activities, the prizes and the event as a whole. I was a little worried that people would think the idea of signing guestbooks for the scavenger hunt was dumb, but they didn’t. Someone even commented that we should go through housing wards and do this more often (nothing is more sad than an empty guestbook).
It’s surprising that another year has gone by, and the FC is still going. Especially since I’m not always as attentive to the FC as I should be. It’s really a testament to the members and their desire to keep our family-friendly environment a great place to be. I hope there’s been friendships forged and positivity that keeps people coming back.
For the first time since Stormblood released last year, back when we got a flood of new players in our FC, we’ve opened our recruitment again. Though limited in who we take, we are seeking new friends to add to the roster. This has gone well so far, too.
I have no idea where FFXIV is going in the future, but right now, things are still bright for <KoM> as I see it.
Yeah, I know. That’s me just not being as lazy as I was the past three months. But hey, it’s progress.
I decided to keep moving forward with leveling White Mage. And while I didn’t reach level 70, since I’ve been slack on the Alliance Roulette this month, I did level her to 66. So that’s not too bad. I’ll shoot for level 70 next month.
To add to all of this, with the introduction of crafting beast tribe quests, I will hit level 66 today on my Leatherworker. That wasn’t on my list of goals, but it’s pretty darn good progress, so I wanted to note that here.
FFXIV Cleanup Quest Goals
Ninja – Lv 40+45 Quests ✓
Warrior – Lv 40 Quest ✓
Summoner – Lv 60-70 Quests
Scholar – Lv 60-70 Quests
Machinist – Lv 60-70 Quests
Paladin – Lv 60-70 Quests
Miner – Lv 70 Quest ✓
Botanist – Lv 70 Quest ✓
Fisher – Lv 60-something – 70 Quest
Check all Crafters to make sure they’ve completed up to Lv 60 Quest at least
Finished the Leatherworker quests ✓
I actually got some of these done this month! Granted, it wasn’t the hugely long job quest lines, or all of the crafting quests I left behind, but it’s progress.
I decided to pick the low-hanging fruit and get the Ninja and Warrior quests done, since I only needed to clean up a couple for each of those jobs. I also pushed through finishing all the job quests on Miner and Botanist last weekend.
Since my current focus is on Leatherworker, it also made sense to catch up on all the quests for that job while I’m leveling it. I think going forward, I’ll be doing that with each of my crafting jobs, rather than just lumping them under “complete all crafter quests.” Those quests get expensive!
I’m a little sad that I didn’t add something about Steam to my goals for May as I actually spent a good deal of time playing Steam games — mostly RimWorld and PixARK. I’ll blog about those soon!
To finish out this post, have a shot of Ramza from FFXIV that I liked but didn’t find a place to fit into the Lighthouse post.
After spending two posts grouching about the difficulty of the trial and the new raid in FFXIV, you might be wondering why I’m even playing the game if I’m not enjoying any of it. Truth is, I still enjoy plenty in FFXIV… it’s just easier to write about what’s frustrating me. 😉
So let’s talk about happy things today!
I’m really, really enjoying the new Namazu beast tribe quests! I generally really like beast tribe quests, though I was a little iffy on how this one would be. Turns out, the team funneled a lot of time and humor into these quests, and I totally appreciate it.
Add to that the fact that it’s helping me level my left-behind crafting jobs, and it’s a complete win-win. I dusted off my Leatherworker, mostly because the mats for it are annoying to get for leveling, and have moved from level 60 to 65 since the patch dropped. That’s… five levels in a week!
I also spent some time going back and working on some of the gathering and crafting quests that I’ve overlooked. This was part of this month’s goals.
I discovered that I’d left off at level 55 with my Leatherworker quests. I’m probably going to be seeing that a lot across most of my crafters since I really disliked most of the requirements for the crafting quests in Heavensward. I’m so glad they changed how they do the crafting quests at level 60+.
I admit that I bought my way up to 60 and then started those quests in earnest from there. I’m really not looking forward to getting the rest of my crafters on par, but it’s got to be done.
Another thing I unlocked over this weekend was the new dungeon – Swallow’s Compass.
I know that I said I was going to keep this post positive, but one catch that really annoyed me was that they forced you to complete the Byakko fight in order to unlock Swallow’s Compass. So, essentially, the trial gates your ability to take part in this round of Expert Roulette.
I found it off-putting that my choice in that was taken away, especially since in Heavensward, the trials were totally optional. I never did any of them, and all was well with the world. I thought that would be the case here, so I completely dropped the quest to unlock Byakko… only to find that I had to redo it all from the start (including a run of Hell’s Lid) to unlock the primal fight.
The fight itself wasn’t bad at all. But that’s going in with a full FC party of helpful people who mostly knew how to do the EX version well. I’m actually enjoying the storyline around the funky group of talking animals in the cavern, so I can forgive them for forcing a primal fight on me. I guess this is just how it’s going to work from now on.
Swallow’s Compass was a walk in the park after the struggles with the trial and the Lighthouse. In fact, Syn, Amoon and I went in blind and only really had a few moments of trouble with the second boss. Even then, it was mostly stumbling around learning mechanics.
Each section of this dungeon was really well designed. You have an underground temple area with lots of oriental flair, a neat underwater area with glass domes to view the fish above, then a windswept mountain area that’s above the clouds. I wish I’d taken more screenshots of it, but I was more involved in looking and fighting than I was snapping shots.
I can’t say that I actually look forward to specific dungeons in the roulette, but I hope to get to play more of this one in the future. Actually, most of the dungeons in Expert right now are pretty laid back, so I really have nothing to complain about in this area. I just need to actually start running it more so I can get Tomes of gear! 😉
This month is almost over with, so it’s near time to take a look at what all I did accomplish with my goals… tomorrow!
Each time a new 24 man raid comes out, I hope that it might take us back to the days when I could say to just about everyone, “Oh, this is fun, and not too hard end game content for a large group to enjoy together.”
Every time, this game moves further and further away from this very thing.
In fact, and you might laugh, the Lighthouse has me questioning whether my hand-eye coordination and reaction time can physically keep up with the demands of the bosses at this point. It’s not just about figuring out mechanics and patterns, it’s the speed at which mechanics stack.
Maybe for younger players with lots of twitch-response time, this stuff is fun and challenging. Again, I feel it’s something that has no business being here if the intention of the raid is to be a “catch-up” for gearing alt jobs.
After my first run, I said I’d probably not do it again. I found nothing fun there. We’d won and I got a drop, but I felt totally defeated by the place.
When Amoon needed to run it again last night, I sighed and buckled down to do it again. I came out with a much stronger understanding of mechanics, but a deepening hate for the final boss.
The big issue I have with this raid is that it just takes too long. Every fight is tough, fast-paced, punishing and lethal. Every fight draws out forever.
For example, last night’s fight with Construct 7 took us 25 minutes to beat… without a wipe.
We came close to a wipe, and people started rezzing back at the start thinking it was over with. But we pulled through and did end up finishing it. Thankfully, people can opt to come back into the boss arena now, instead of remaining locked out. Once they realized we weren’t giving up… and we were in fact learning mechanics quite well… the raid rallied and came back at the fight.
It still took 25 mins to complete one boss. And that’s just too much.
In fact, our tank had to leave right before the final boss because he needed to go to work. Just not enough time to make it through the whole raid, which was a shame.
Part of the problem is that the mechanics demand you to constantly be disengaging to stay alive. DPS can’t put out damage if we’re always running for our lives. And just about every fight is about running for your life.
Will it get better with ilvl increases? Probably.
Are the mechanics learnable? Yeah.
Will I try it again? Probably, yeah.
Is it fun? Not for me.
Like the Royal City of Rabanastre before it, I won’t ever run this by choice outside of simply doing a weekly for the coin or drop. I probably won’t do it more than once a week, whether I get a drop or not.
This whole forced-Greed drop thing makes running this raid even more of an RNG crap-shoot than it already was. If I can’t walk away from it without at least a little reward, it’s seriously not worth the stress and time sink.
It’s a shame because the location is stunning and beautiful, the music is fantastic (Tactics FTW) and the mechanics are actually interesting. They’re just so punishing.
Oh well. More time for crafting. (An update on that later!)