Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Bound by Faith

In order to reach my goal of getting my final two FFXIV jobs to level 80, I’ve been running Trusts with my Gunbreaker this month. I’d already leveled half of my Trust party a long while back, and those who were left required a Tank for team composition. So this made sense to do.

I absolutely love Trusts when it comes to going through MSQ on a second or third or fourth character, as I tend to do. However, using them to level alt jobs, while it’s pretty quick to do, is not my method of choice. I’d much rather take my time and just do beast tribe quests every day – that’s a quick 5 mins of work vs. the 40-something mins the Trust party drags out dungeons to be.

That being said, I did much of it for sake of earning the achievement: Bound by Faith.

I don’t often chase titles and achievements in FFXIV, but I decided long ago I wanted my main to have a fully leveled Trust group. I’m not even sure why. I guess I do like the title that comes with it: Trusted Friend.

Speaking of titles, I did decide to take part in the leaderboards for the ongoing Ishgard Restoration on Tad. I realized quickly that he first needed a crafting job leveled to 80 – all of his of any mention were in the 50s. So I speed-leveled his Goldsmith and have been slowly pulling him up the ladder to secure a spot for when the event ends tomorrow.

I’m pretty happy with this spot, just as long as I’m in the top 100 to get the title. I have a stack of materials in his inventory with plans to continue turn-ins for the next few days.

I’ve sadly had NO luck with Kupo O Fortune in earning either the trike or the new casual attire coffers. I’ve kept my eye on them price-wise and they’ve slowly been coming down. But I’m still not keen in plunking down over a million gil for the outfit just yet. I like the outfit, but I don’t know that I’d use it a whole lot, so I’m holding back.

Anyhow, I’m hoping my luck will turn and I know that the Kupo rewards aren’t going anywhere in the long run, either. So hopefully once the new hotness wears off, it’ll become more affordable.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Ishgard Restoration 5.41

It’s that time again! The Ishgard Restoration is underway and the Skybuilder Rankings are open again! I do believe this is the final leg of the Restoration story-wise. I’m not sure if this will be the final leaderboard rankings as well.

While I’ve earned a title for my main and my RP alt, I have yet a third character, Tad, whom I’ve leveled all gatherers to 80 on. He started the Restoration with only three crafting jobs in the 50s (he now has one in the 60s after last night’s efforts), and I’d like to make progress on these as well.

I’d considered working on a title for him, but I quickly realized that you don’t actually get points in the ranking if you’re not crafting the higher level recipes. So everything I did on his level 50-something goldsmith didn’t count yesterday. If I really want to be ambitious, I could push to get this job into the 70s, where I think you start accumulating points(?) It wouldn’t be impossible to get on the leaderboard for my server at this point still.

Because I had to mine up lower level mats to level his crafting jobs, Tad didn’t get much in the way of points for his mining or botany, either. I’m somewhat tempted to just buy the materials (since they’re already cheap) and focus on leveling my crafting job up instead. I just don’t know how much effort I feel up to putting into the title a third time, though I always enjoy gathering in the Diadem when other people are around and active.

The Diadem itself has undergone quite a change, too! Gone are the heatwaves and yellow, thank goodness. Welcome is the gentle snowy weather instead. Much easier on the eyes!

If you’re taking on the rankings this time around, I wish you luck! I still need to catch up on a lot of the quests in Ishgard, but it’s been pretty fun to see content built just for crafters and gatherers, and how much of a crowd it always draws.

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Taking Amazing Screenshots with GShade Filters

Link to the GShade website. Download and see help documentation there.-

Several years back, I wrote about how I’d installed Stormshade as a filter for my FFXIV screenshots. Sadly, over time, I noticed that Stormshade had not updated and was far from using the newest version of ReShade. Neither was it adding any new filter presets that I could see.

It wasn’t causing any technical trouble, but I decided I wanted to explore more maintained and up-to-date options. This meant trying out GShade, which I’d heard so much about.

Not only was GShade extremely simple to install, but it came with so many preset filters (the website notes there are 450+ presets) by default that I simply was beside myself! Installation was as simple as downloading the .exe and running it. No fiddling with folders – it knows where to find a standard FFXIV install.

It gives you the option to install the presets, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t. This was so much simpler than having to download the presets yourself and find proper folders to put them in for use.

And then, once you launch it, GShade gives you a bit of a tutorial walkthrough on how to do stuff. I was so used to my Stormshade settings that I quickly customized GShade to work the same way (which is not GShade default). And now I’m as happy as I can be every time I sit down to take an artistic screenshot with filters.

An example of the same picture with several different filters. Click to see bigger images:

There’s lots, lots more to choose from than that. So, if you’re looking to spice up your /gpose in FFXIV, give this a shot!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Mogtome Bird Mounts

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!

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Eden Normal Raids Cleared

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!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Level 70 Gunbreaker Complete!

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.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder – BWAAAA!

I know that I generally use Tales from the Duty finder as a place to vent about unpleasant party members… but this will be an exception, because you meet plenty of good folks, too. Three of the Posse queued up for Leveling Roulette, and I being yet a noob tank, was nervous we were picking up a random as a DPS.

We popped Halatali, and got a Ninja as our fourth. She seemed friendly enough, and was even asking for some help with her Ninja on things like skill choice and attribute points. I told her what I could from what I know (not a whole lot), and the dungeon went pretty smooth despite my noob tanking.

So we get to the final boss and it’s so… so… so… hard as a tank who usually plays DPS to resist pounding the Limit Break button when that pops. Up until now, Xaa was handling Limit Breaks, so we had no idea that when the Ninja did it, she would rip out with this macro…

bwaaaa

I’m so glad she waited until the end of the fight to Limit Break because that tickled me so much I’m sure my tanking skill dropped even lower than normal.

For the rest of the night, I referred to Limit Breaks as BWAAAAAA!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: 3.X Story and Scions (Spoilers)

So, as the patch has been out over a week, it’s finally time for me to talk about the 3.5 story. There will be spoilers… for pretty much all of 3.0 as I want to think out loud about story things in general.

Since Heavensward launched and we started to gather the Scions again, I got the feeling that the story team was making some choices in the main characters they would keep going forward. What do I mean by this? Continue reading “FFXIV: 3.X Story and Scions (Spoilers)”

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Dun Scaith Week 2 & Stormblood Preorder

Pictured above – I got the Bard hat drop from Dun Scaith last night. It’s a pretty neat design, but I instantly glamoured to Amon’s Hat right after taking this shot. 😀

Week 2 Dun Scaith Impressions

We took a mostly-FC group in with us, including several who were brand new to the raid. Overall, people are starting to understand it better. That’s probably in thanks to the Dun Scaith guides that are finally out for it now.

What I wouldn’t have given for Mr. Happy’s guide a week ago!

While I haven’t actually watched the guide (I probably should), I’ve heard about some of the mechanics that were tripping me up, especially on Ferdiad and his Atomos.

I still say that it wasn’t super obvious that he was force-feeding one Atomos a certain color orb only for it to come out of the opposite Atomos, and that you had to respond accordingly. But now that I know what to look for, the biggest piece of that puzzle has been unraveled.

The raid still wiped on Scathach, but only because too many people ignored the add the first time. They learned from that mistake.

The raid also wiped on Diabolos the first time. The second time, we came very close to wiping, but a small handful of people were able to whittle him down at about 5%. This is how we earned the win last week, so overall, the final boss is still tripping up the raid as a whole.

I, myself, have not remained alive for the whole final fight yet. Either I stacked on someone when too few people were stacking (so we all died) or something like that happened. So I’ve not had the chance to actually practice through the final phase of earthshakers and stacks to feel like I have an understanding.

Dun Scaith vs. Weeping City

So my final thoughts on this raid is that it’s more difficult than Weeping City, but for different reasons that Weeping City is difficult. The mechanics come fast and hard. But once you get a group of people in there who know what to do and how to respond, this raid may end up being easier in the long run.

For example, we did a Weeping run right after Dun Scaith (yeah, looking for punishment), and there are still people who are dropping meteors on the party during Ozma. Some new folks coming through at this point seem to think its been out long enough that they don’t need no guide (to get a carry). I watched this happen with the randoms we picked up last night — they didn’t have a clue on how to handle mechanics, and it punished the rest of us hard.

ffxiv_06072016_212830

Now, I’m not one to yell at someone to watch a guide, but in this case, Weeping City places a lot of responsibility on individual players. You can still blow your party up with meteors and bombs!

To Newcomers: Please know the basic mechanics of Ozma if nothing else! You can’t just get through Weeping City without having to perform mechanics!

In contrast, there are a few times that Dun Scaith places this kind of punishment on the party for one person’s mistakes. Maybe a bit on the final boss with stacks and earthshakers… and maybe that’s why teams have so much trouble working through that section. But for the most part, if you screw something up, you die. You usually don’t take out the rest of the party with you.

I still think that Dun Scaith is challenging, but I wonder that if in the long run, I will like it more than Weeping City. One way or another, I’m gearing my Bard up with drops, and my Dragoon through Shire gear upgrades.

Stormblood Pre-order

So pre-orders opened up for Stormblood yesterday. I picked up the digital CE, mostly for the mount and the chicken blade. I’ve never been super partial to FFV, so the CE items were only so-so to me. But that’s mostly because I’ve not actually put time into playing FFV (despite owning it)… probably something I should do one day. I heard it had a fun job system.

stormbloodpreorder

I was actually looking forward to the Red Mage pre-order minion, but they haven’t passed those out yet. It was a little confusing to go and redeem the pre-order code only to have it say “Code Pending.” At first, I thought this was the head-start code they were talking about, but reading over the email again, it seems like all pre-order items won’t be given out until sometime next month.

Overall, I’m trying to feel hyped for Stormblood. But, to be totally honest, I’m not that big on the whole Ala Mhigo conflict as a plot backdrop.

I could get into Ishgard because of the dragons, but Ala Mhigo doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning to me as a player yet. They may charm me somewhere down the line, though — FFXIV has a way of making me care about things I didn’t know I’d care about. So, I’m trying to stay open-minded.

The one thing I am hyped about is Red Mage, of course. It’s really the one thing I want out of this expansion, aside from re-worked Bard, and hopefully tweaks to the job system we keep hearing about. Swimming and diving sounds cool, but it’s no where near as exciting as flying mounts were for Heavensward.

One way or another, I plan on taking time off of work for the pre-order head start, mostly to level the job and get used to it.  In the meantime, I’m gearing up jobs, suffering through Relic, and working on leveling Paladin next.

Oh, yeah. And I also finished leveling my Squad last week. Wonder where they’re going to take this feature in the future!

ffxiv_01192017_221527

Posted in Black Desert Online, Blogging, Gaming, MMORPGs

Black Desert Online Gaming Blog Banners

I didn’t realize a post about blog header banners would be of interest to so many folks! But because it was, I’m making a short follow-up on a few new banners I added this morning. Yesterday, I didn’t have my BDO screenshots on hand, but now that I do, I’ve whipped up a few more banners from that.

I couldn’t just choose one horse riding screen from the many, though. So I threw in two. I wish I had a good uncropped screen of my favorite dappled horse for this. I might have to hop in game and take some new shots. 🙂

The three new banners are below, all of my character Aywren in BDO:

banner9banner10banner11