Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Scythes, Patch 4.1 Hype & Yo-kai Watch Returns!

Today was the FFXIV Anniversary 14 hour broadcast, which included a Live Letter with information about Patch 4.1. I didn’t watch any of it because a lot of it took place while I was asleep… and it’s also Splatfest, which meant I woke up and got right on to splatting this morning.

However, though I don’t see this announced anywhere, one thing that was also released today (on the Mogstation) was the full Edda cosmetic outfit, including her scythe weapon for specific jobs. I knew this had been teased before, and had forgotten about it. But then, Reddit posted the news.

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It seems like only the jobs that can use two-handed weapons can use this as glamour. But this included Dragoon.

Now, Tai’s signature weapon in my stories has always been a scythe. And while this one is a bit dainty, it’s still black and the closest thing I’m getting to having one in the game at this point.

I bought one for Dragoon, though I’m wondering if Dark Knight would look better (and I’m happy for all those Dark Knights who finally got their scythe!). I don’t think the weapon animations look terrible for Dragoon, though some of the attacks are obviously meant to stab with a spear, rather than swing about with a scythe.

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Doesn’t matter. Scythe is scythe.

Live Letter Highlights

There’s a lot of exciting information from the Live Letter for Patch 4.1. We don’t know the release date yet — just that it’s coming sometime early October, as I suspected.

Here’s some of the takeaways that are important to me:

  • Housing releasing in 4.1
  • Squads can come into dungeons (no in-depth info on that)
  • Squads can level higher and have glamour (!)
  • New Beast Tribe Quests
  • Alliance Raid Roulette (took them long enough)
  • Canals can go deeper than floor 7 with a new map!
  • New type of PvP
  • Bards can PLAY MUSIC on instruments (think like LOTRO or GW2)
  • Cross world friends and /tells
  • New Hildibrand quests
  • The FF Tactics content will begin
  • Ventures and Beast Tribe currency will now be put in the currency section (So much yay!!)

If you want to check out all the slides, here’s a great gallery for that.

Yo-kai Watch Again!

Also, it was rumored that the Yo-kai Watch event might return… and sure enough, it was announced to start tomorrow.

It’s a little sad that there won’t be new Red Mage or Samurai weapons. But understandable seeing that it’s an exact repeat.

And while some people groan at the thought of running all those FATES, I’m actually happy to get a second chance to earn the minions and mount on some of my other characters. Last year, I only focused on getting them for my main. I’ll happily pick up some minions on Ben and Tai this time around, maybe even work up to the mount for them both.

I actually earned three of the weapons last year on my main, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to put the time in to grind the rest for that alternate mount. Not if I’d rather get minions on other characters.

Overall, I’m just glad that new players get a chance to earn some of these. It may be the last one we get.

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Crafting and Alt Progress

I don’t have a picture of me crafting because crafting is not all that visually stimulating. However, I did want to take a moment to express my approval of some changes to crafting I’ve found in Stormblood.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m more patient or the leves are faster or easier, but I’ve found myself leveling Weaver, the first crafter I’m attempting, very fast. I went from 60 to 65 in the space of a few days.

This may not be fast for some folks, but for me, who gathers all my materials, this is blazing fast. I remember struggling through leve turn-ins in Heavensward so much that I could only stomach doing two levels of any crafter a week… and Weaver used to be a tough one.

Fantastic Crafting Job Quest Changes

I’m really stoked about the changes to the crafter job quests in Stormblood. I used to ignore them because they were frustrating to attempt and didn’t give anything I felt was worthwhile. Not so in Stormblood.

How have crafting job quests changed:

  • They give a LOT of experience. I mean A LOT.
  • They give new skills and gear/tools you really NEED.
  • They are now like Moogle or Ixal quests – the quest giver gives you the materials you need to craft the item!!!

This last one is the most important one (though all points are very good). Previously, the quest giver told you to craft a (usually) High Quality item that required lots of gathering, sometimes of rare nodes, and often lots of pre-combines. Then, if you were really, really lucky, and had the proper gear and stats, you might have a chance at making the HQ item you needed for turn-in.

Honestly? I haven’t finished a crafting job quest without buying the item from the marketboard since I was in my 30s. It was too time consuming, expensive and frustrating. And don’t get me started on the level 60 Heavensward crafting job, which forced you to get your Master III book to complete (at least it did for my weaver). Let’s just say, that’s the only crafting job that I’m up to date on my quests for.

So it was incredible to see a change that actually just lets you hone your crafting rotation and work with your skills without fear of destroying all the time, gil and effort that went into gathering materials for the quest item. Good, good change! I’m telling all my casual crafting friends to hang in there — it gets better.

Progress on Tai

So, as I noted last week, I realized that I needed to level Tai’s Dragoon in order to level his Dragoon retainer in order to bring back the hides I need to level my Leatherworker. Whew.

So, I’ve been working on that. I’ve found an approach that seems to work pretty well. As I noted in another post, I’m somewhat reluctant to go through all of the Stormblood MSQ a second time so soon. I feel like I want to let the story settle in my mind for right now.

So, I’ve been fast-forwarding through all the MSQ cutscenes on Tai… but stopping to do all the side quests that I didn’t finish on my main character. I heard that these quests don’t give a whole lot of experience overall, but they have been a fun follow-up to explore, giving me something different to do on my second time through.

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She’s asking Tai to show someone his wrath? Does she know what she’s getting into?

There’s a lot that I’ve missed, actually, by not doing side quests. I’ve cleared all of the early Fringes and Kugane. I even discovered the one jumping puzzle that takes you on top of the bathhouse in the city. I haven’t attempted the larger one that I know is out there on the main tower (I think).

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Taking a break after failing a simple jump puzzle too many times.

Overall, at level 62, Dragoon feels alright (and even fun) to play. I am rusty, but I still found a bit of that melee excitement rush back as I was fighting bosses in the Sirensong dungeon.

The weekend’s Live Letter hinted at class changes, so I’m hoping that Dragoon will get some love in tonight’s patch. Since I’m leveling the job out of necessity, I may as well hope the best for it.

Zuri Progress

It’s weird to wrap my head around thinking of Zuri as an AuRa. But I’m still happy that I made the choice I did in moving and combining this character. Since she’s the leader of <Alts>, I have been logging into her here and there just to mess around and ensure she maintains ownership of the FC (no risk in losing that, actually).

It’s kinda nice to go back and work on leveling lower jobs again. She’s in a situation where I originally was leveling her to be a Bard, but stopped at level 24. I think this was because I was frustrated about the changes to Bard in Heavensward back in the day.

I picked up Dragoon at that point, and took it to level 33. But now I don’t want to level Dragoon anymore! XD  My MSQ is at level 33… so now I have to level my Archer to 33 to pick up where I left off.

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I’ve been doing this VERY casually. I leveled her to 25, then went back and worked through all the Novice quests to get her the Brand New Ring. That got her about half a level. I did open PotD, but haven’t had time to start on it.

Though I like her rustic appearance, I’m also kicking around changing her hair style and color. I picked up the Samsonian Locks and the ponytail from the Gold Saucer and messed around with her looks a bit. I didn’t pull the trigger yet, though.

Aside from that, the Posse has been playing the new Alpha 16 stable release of 7D2D. So my time is a bit split between games, in a good way.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Stormblood Alt Intimidation

Congrats to FFXIV Stormblood. It’s done something that no other MMO has done pretty much ever… It’s intimidated this alt-aholic to the point of not leveling alts.

Let me start by saying this is not a bad thing. But for someone like me, who is known for rolling up characters over and over just for the fun of having different races, classes or aesthetics, this is not a feeling I’ve felt before.

I kinda knew that 4.0 Dragoon wasn’t something I wanted to pursue. Reading feedback from players on the job, I feel my hunch was justified. So, I switched to Red Mage on my main, and decided to give Samurai a chance on Tai.

Only… I’ve had exactly zero motivation to actually play Tai or any of my other alts. Yes, I am engaged in moving through the story on my main, and I’ve been kept busy with that. But even back in Heavensward, I was leveling both characters through the story interchangeably. Both characters have several level 60 duplicate jobs, and finished the expansion in full. Heck, there was a point where Tai was more my main.

However, something about the scope of the Stormblood storyline is stopping me from wanting to go through it a second time. I know this sounds strange… but the story is so vast that I don’t want to spoil the experience by committing it to memory just yet.

I have this strange thing where if I run something in a game 2 or 3 times, it becomes ingrained in memory. This has one of two effects: either making something more sentimental or fun due to familiarity, or making it rote memory and dulling the experience.

Seeing how many alts I’ve run through some MMOs in the past, there are some starting areas I could still run through like the back of my hand, even if I haven’t played the game in 5 or 10 years. XD

Xaa on several occasions has asked me how I remember so much about where FFXIV NPCs are, which dungeons are which, and all the boss mechanics. I laugh and tell him I’ve just done it so many times! It’s like I just inadvertently absorb all this silly and needless MMO information as I play. I wish I could do that with other things in my life!

For this moment in time, I don’t feel like absorbing Stormblood and committing it to memory. I’m playing this a different way, and going into most of the dungeons blind, even. (Not primals, just dungeons.) I might pick up my alts at another time, but for now, I just want the pure experience, straight through to the end.

Sorry, Tai. 😦

 

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Alt-stravaganza

I was in a strange and restless mood this past weekend, and the Hatching-tide event encouraged me to dust off my alts to get the new mount. So, I found myself making progress on various alts instead of doing much on my main.

Hedgemouse

I’d left Hedgemouse off at the point right before you choose a grand company and start working on unlocking the company chocobo. I’m not sure why I lost steam at that point, but I did last month, and just haven’t worked on her much since.

So, I picked back up and got the chocobo unlocked. She’s a happy Lala now.

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I remember hearing that the chocobo quest was severely nerfed a while back, but this was the first time I took an alt through it to see these changes. It used to take 2,000 GC seals to unlock the chocobo voucher. That has been nerfed to 200… which only takes 2 Grand Company Leves to earn.

I’m not complaining, mind you, but it was still a bit of a wake-up call. No matter. A chocobo is a chocobo. I’m taking it!

Tai

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about Tai. I haven’t done much on him since I finally made the choice between him and my main as to who to progress with. I think that was sometime last year back when I was still trying to run Weeping City for two characters every week, and simply got burned out.

But I thought it was a real shame that Tai was left lingering two patches behind to not finish the 3.0 story… mostly because his ilvl wasn’t high enough. He’s still got a number of ilvl 210 pieces, with an assortment of Weeping City, Lore and Alex gear… if that tells you how neglected he is.

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Look at that face. How could I ever forget him?

I didn’t have the desire to grind for tomes for him, especially since expert was out of reach until he got to ilvl 230. And while I could have run PotD for a weapon, I didn’t have the resolve to do that either.

What Tai did have on him was over 4 million gil… from whatever. I have no idea, since he wasn’t a crafter (until this weekend). My real crafter still can’t touch making the ilvl 250 stuff yet. So, I ended up breaking down and buying Tai’s way to a proper ilvl.

I’d already bought a couple of 250 accessories, and it was not cheap. But then I saw that there was a HQ Heavy Metal Lance for sale for under a million on the AH, with an ilvl of 250. Seeing that my weapon was 210, I snapped it up and that pushed me up from ilvl 228 to 233. Which was enough to finish the 3.0 story (the final dungeon requires at least 230).

So, now Tai is a bit more broke, but has successfully completed the 3.0 story. One more Lore accessory later, he’s only one point shy of making it into Dun Scaith… but I’m not sure if I have the motivation to start running that again weekly. Those promised 270 accessories would be really nice, though.

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Tai’s new glamour

I also started being crazy and began leveling my crafting and gathering jobs on Tai as well. I’ve considered doing this for a while to have an alt that specializes in jobs that my main doesn’t. I’m not sure how far I really want to go down that rabbit hole, though.

I just felt like leveling something this weekend, I guess, and it wasn’t my black mage, like it should have been. It still felt nice to zoom through the lower level stuff — I have four crafting jobs at level 6 now and working on my gathering jobs, too.

I also put a good chunk of time into Black Desert this weekend, but that’s info for another post!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Little Ladies’ Day, Glamours and Dead Lalafells (Oh My!)

Warning, this post is going to be a screenshot dump! But, hopefully, good screenshots?

Lots of glamour came at us in FFXIV this week, including the Yuna and Tidas outfits from the Fan Fest, and the new outfit from the Little Ladies’ Day event. I have to admit that I’m a little meh when it comes to how the more frilly gear looks on my very tall Elezen female. There’s just something about it that doesn’t look right to me.

Yuna’s outfit, for example…

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It’s not terrible from the front. But the open back on it just seems odd on a larger-built female frame.

On the flip side, Tidus’ outfit didn’t look right on Tai at all!

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Oh, no no no no.

Pair that with the new Songbird emote….

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And you get dead Lalafells (Xaa)…

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The new Little Ladies’ Day outfit looks a bit better on Tai (forgot to take a screen), but again, doesn’t look quite right on my Elezen.

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I don’t know. She’s meant for more ruggid wear, I think. Bows, lace and frills just don’t suit her.

With the release of the new /playdead emote, we’ve been seeing piles of dead people in cities lately. We had some cute interactions with random folks, including dead Lalafells, singing/dancing people, and other such fun.

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That cute little Lala girl on the left there isn’t in our FC, but I love how the new outfit looks on her. And her adorable /playdead on top of Xaa’s adorable /playdead both influenced me to roll a Lala yet again.

I keep rolling Lalas and deleting them or race changing them, though I really, really want one. I didn’t have a lot of time to mess with hair styles when rolling mine, and will probably go back and change it more later.

But until then, I’m dorking around on a new little Lala named Hedge Mouse.

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Starlight Celebration Arrives

Yesterday marked the beginning of FFXIV’s Starlight Celebration for 2016. The big rewards are the lovely, dyable Starlight Robes and the Starlight Celebration Orchestrion scroll.

Here’s a non-spoiler overview!

The quest itself is a sentimental story, much like you’d expect at Christmas, revolving around children, family and holidays. They give you the robes straight up front, so if all you want is the cosmetic, you don’t have to try too hard to get it.

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Tai is not amused.

It’s not a super long quest line – I’ve run it through on three characters already – and the interesting thing is that finishing it opens up a repeatable daily quest. The scenario changes depending on what you choose, but the rewards appear to be all RNG. If you’re curious about the rewards, folks are gathering information about it on Reddit.

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Strike a pose!

There’s also holiday decor for inside and outside of houses. Last year’s selection was a bit brighter, but hey… you get piles of snow that allow you to throw snowballs at each other!

In closing, have a creepy holiday paissa.

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“Have you been good this year?” *stares into your soul*
Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Relic, Second Coil, and MMO Discouragement

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Syn has worked really hard to finish the Hyperconductive Anima stage of the White Mage Relic for Zeb, which she just obtained this weekend. While I’m happy for her, Zuri seems to question the situation.

I promised Syn that I’d post some screens of Zeb with his new weapon, so here they are!

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And me? Hah. I’m not even close to being done with my relic for Zuri.

Granted, part of that is because I wasn’t trying all that hard to get it done. I’ve finished gathering all the Unidentifiable Bones, mostly from stored-up Beast Tribe seals, and have just started on Ore and Shells. I blew a lot of Poetics and Eso on things other than relic tokens, and it took me a few months to finally finish all the dungeons I needed for stage 2 relic, so I’ve eternally been behind on things.

Feeling MMO Discouragement

Which leads me to the next topic… something I think all MMO players feel at one point or another. I’ve been discouraged with progression in FFXIV. Warning, this is going to be long.

There is so much that I love about the game. There is so much that it does right. I enjoy the people in my FC and I know how fortunate I am in so many ways. There’s a lot of content I could never see if it wasn’t for their help, and I do appreciate that!

Despite this, I’ve been in a funk for quite a while. It all has to do with overcoming the gear tread-wheel that most of us acknowledge exists at FFXIV endgame. This was never a reality to me until after Heavensward, when my characters were actually at end game. Previously, I touted around in Crystal Tower gear and didn’t even think about capping Poetics for anything better. The first Relic wasn’t even a possibility to complete… and it was just fine. I didn’t need any of that to have fun doing what we were doing.

But when Heavensward deposited us at level 60 with Law and Eso armor to grind for, the reality of what other folks had been doing was heavy upon me. The truth is, the only way you progress at end game is to run (what feels like) a million dungeons/raids… and do it over and over every single day. And then, you know in about half a year, a new set of Tomes will come out and you have to do it all over again. 😦

Now, while I can do this, and I’ve been told I’m not terrible at doing it… it’s not fun to me. I am still not a dungeon runner. I’m still an introverted player who has a low threshold for group activity, even when I’m playing with people I like. And the moment there’s a dungeon I don’t like among the pair of dungeons that make up Expert Roulette (Sohr Khai, I’m looking at you), I simply refuse to run the roulette… because I don’t log in to waste my time in frustration in a game.

The result is, of course, that I struggle to keep my gear up to snuff with everyone else. I hardly have any Lore gear on Zuri (mostly accessories), and Weeping City drops are catch-up for me. When I don’t get a drop week after week, I start to feel discouraged. I don’t feel that WC is fun at all (Void Ark was), and it’s not at the point that I’ll put myself through that stress more than once or twice a week.

So I feel behind. I’m discouraged because I’m a perfectionist, and I feel like I’m holding groups back with my DPS (even if I’ve been told that’s not true). The catch 22 is the only way to fix that is to play content I don’t really enjoy and that wears me out… so I feel further discouraged in knowing that. That’s a fast track to burnout for me.

It’s easy to forget that running group content can be stressful for some players (due to personality), and just because someone can do it, doesn’t mean they like to do it… or that it doesn’t take a toll on them over time. Sometimes I just want to do something peaceful to refill myself after work in the game I’m playing. But everyone else wants to run run run run run… which isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s what the game is telling them they should do.

Working Through MMO Discouragement

I sat down and discussed my feelings with Syn this weekend — though I’m pretty sure that she’s aware of these things. I’m a difficult friend to get along with because I’m a hermit, and she is not. While she can easily social butterfly around, I feel the need to bow out of voice chat and excuse myself from running dungeons after about the second or third one. It’s hard to express to FC folks that it’s not anyone’s fault — it’s nothing anyone said or did — it’s just who I am. I know I need to keep a balance, because the alternative is burning out… and not playing at all.

Syn actually confessed that she was feeling a bit discouraged as well, but for a different reason. She wants to continue to progress with her Anima weapon, but she feels like it is significantly easier for crafters/gatherers to do so (she’s right). She finds crafting dull, so the thought of leveling up a crafter is like pulling teeth to her – similar to how I feel about running dungeons every day.

I requested a list of what she needed for her Anima sands, and discovered this was no sweat for me to craft at all! We gathered up the materials and I got straight to work providing her with some of what she needed.

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In turn, we discussed low-pressure strategies on how she could help me get the Lore, Eso and Poetics to work on my gear, and eventually my Relic as well. I’m not quite sure why neither of us thought to bring our troubles to each other before this — my crafting can easily solve her progression troubles and her patience/time/understanding makes a world of difference for helping me deal with my discouragement in return.

I guess that’s why we’ve been best friends for so long.

Second Coil Win

Talking about running stressful content…

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I had no idea that this weekend was dedicated unsynced Coil Clearing weekend. Somehow, I got drafted for both Sat and Sun runs of First and Second Coil with FC folks who had never cleared before. I’d finished all the way to T5 on Zuri previously, but had never cleared anything on Tai. So it was a good chance to catch up with him, as well.

Our Saturday group pretty much pulverized most of it — even Turn 5, which gave us trouble so many months ago. I don’t know if we just are that much more geared than back then, but it was no sweat on either group.

It was really Turn 9 that taught us a few things on Saturday. We did eventually beat it, thanks to the patience of everyone in the group and awesome raid leadership by Eva, who knew the mechanics well.

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The Sunday group, which I ran on Zuri for the clear and Poetics, beat up to Turn 8, but needed to call it a night at that point. So, we’re saving the “fun” of T9 for another time. Bleh.

More than anything else, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Palace of the Dead drop. Yes, I know that I said I don’t enjoy dungeon running… but this is non-forced-group dungeon running. It’s very different! I’m totally looking forward to trying to push my way through on different classes, leveling some of my tanks on Zuri, if I can. I’m all about randomly generated rogue-like gameplay…

I hope it turns out as good as we are all hoping for. This could be a new direction for side content that would make me very happy… if it’s done the right way.

Anyhow, I want to close this long, rambling post with a screenshot I took from Coil. I just love the colors. 🙂

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