Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Alexander Midas, FC Growth and FFXIV Fan Fest 2016

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Alexander & Final Steps Clear

Last weekend, our FC cleared some folks through A1-A4. This weekend, we cleared all of Alex Midas Normal.

Overall, it wasn’t too terrible. A5 was fairly easy, but we had people who knew what they were doing. As a melee, I know a whole bunch of mechanics were going on behind my back, but I don’t rightly know much (aside from purple puddle).

A6 was annoying. I don’t like the the whole high and low arithmetic mechanics in particular. It’s difficult for me to watch my debuff, try to decipher what it is, keep my rotation up, and figure out which platforms are higher or lower. I tend to play with a screen zoomed out quite a bit, so seeing upraised platforms was not intuitive to me – they needed to make more floor indicators IMHO.

I actually liked A7 the best of all the floors. The mechanics made sense to me. I thought there were some original things I hadn’t seen in other instances before.

I disliked parts of A8 for the same reason I disliked A6. And while I understood the mechanics for Brute Justice, I still ended up doing my Dragoonly duty through most of the fight. : /

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I think that the overall Alexander storyline is improving, and I feel like I might have some interest in moving on to the next set of raids when they come out.

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Whether I’ll run any more of these? I don’t know. They certainly weren’t as intense as Final Steps.

Speaking of which, it took a number of wipes, but we got Zuri and a handful of other FC folks through Final Steps this weekend, too. Just glad that is over with.

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Misc Things

On the other hand, I also did a number of less intensive things this weekend. For one, I finally upgraded my Alchemist’s tools and gave another try at earning the Alchemist Book II. I really wanted these recipes because I was locked out of crafting a number of Orchestrion scrolls due to missing this book. There was still a good bit of challenge to it, but I did finally get it!

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Our FC also finally made it to the 7th chamber of the Aquapolis this weekend! Treasure hunting fun!

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FC Growth and Fan Fest 2016

Something crazy has been happening lately in our FC. We’ve had a pretty large influx of new players, and I’m not sure why! Being that it’s summer time, I expected things to wind down and recruitment to be difficult. Instead, we’ve picked up about 5 people over this weekend, most whom found us through my online recruitment efforts. The funny thing is, I didn’t even put out new posts this weekend and haven’t tried to find new people.

Our FC is as large as I can remember it being at this point. It’s a little scary because while we welcome new people, I also worry about getting too large. We try to keep things pretty balanced, and the more stretched a group gets, the harder it gets to communicate and make sure no one is getting left out.

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Another crazy thing that happened in our FC this weekend: people are seriously discussing a FC meetup at the FFXIV Fan Fest this October. Now, I’m a hermit, and I don’t travel all that much, so this is a pretty overwhelming concept for me. I’ve never been to a fan fest for any game, and had not even considered this one. But here I am, with a presale code, thinking about buying tickets for myself and Syn when they go on sale tomorrow.

The thought of being in the same building as other FC members (and Yoshi-P) is pretty mind-blowing. And I have a hunch that we may see the first visions of the next expansion announced there (maybe)?

I’ll keep you updated!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Alexander Gordias & The Aquapolis

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Click for full-sized image!

It’s been a pretty eventful weekend for our FC, KoM, as we decided to work some of our members through all of Alex Gordias (Normal) for the first time this weekend. This included me, as I have never passed anything beyond A2. I still claim I’m not really a raider, but having a full FC group for this made it significantly better.

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We went in with more than half the team having never played Alex through before, and a few experienced folks who taught us on the fly. Everything went just fine, and to be honest, Alex 3 & 4 were much easier than I expected them to be. I suppose a lot of things seem easy after the Final Steps. XD

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Folks in our FC have also been having fun doing treasure maps in hopes of spawning the new Aquapolis mini-dungeon. Having a level 60 gatherer, I’m able to contribute to this, and went with them for the first time last night.

I have to say that for something so quick and simple, it’s really great fun. I’m happy that S/E spends time adding neat little challenges that folks can do casually like this. I know my FC enjoys it, and it gives them a reason to group together to complete things.

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tai’s New Look

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As expected, I’ve gone back to playing Tai for the new patch and a round at gearing up and clearing content. I didn’t work on earning Lore Tomes, but I was just a few short of earning my chestpiece, so we unlocked and finished Hullbreaker’s Hard tonight. I got Tai’s Slipstream chestpiece, which is interesting and certainly different from the previous mail he was wearing.

I’m also trying out one of the new hairstyles on him. I’ve not decided if I’m going to keep it or not… it’s hard to change a character when he was a certain way for 2 and a half years! This hair is a little more wild and emo, but it was kinda a bummer to have the same hairstyle so many other people choose when rolling a male Midlander.

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Zeb and Tai being dorqs.

I finally did have the time to watch that final cutscene for Heavensward, and I’m pleased with how the story ended. I now have a little Amyeric to follow me everywhere too!

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Tai of very mis-matched armor!
Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Final Steps of Faith Down!

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Last night, a group from my Free Company, KoM, downed the final boss of the Dragonsong War in the Final Steps of Faith. This was not an easy fight to do in Duty Finder, and one of the guys in our FC was on his 9th try. But seeing we made up most of the party and we were on voice chat, I think we had the edge over a normal PUG.

Another victory pose, where you can see everyone's face.
Another victory pose, where you can see everyone’s face.

The battle was quite mechanically intensive and really required a lot of coordination from all people in the party. The times we wiped, it was often because it wasn’t understood that “STACK NOW” meant “EVERYONE MUST STACK OR DIE!” Yes, that means you, too, random PUG member.

Mechanics aren’t optional if you want to clear, folks. That is the message that S/E is speaking loud and clear with this fight and what I’ve seen in the Wiping City raid.

The final round, we got him down under 10% and I had to do my duty as the party’s dragoon: ie. sacrifice myself for the LB3. There just wasn’t a good time to be locked in long animation in this fight, and not but 2 seconds after I popped the LB, the circles rose up under me and claimed my life. Sad that I had to watch the win from the floor, but them are the breaks.

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Doing my Dragoonly duty.

I won’t go into to anything of the story at this moment, mostly because I haven’t finished watching all of it. It was so late at night by the time we did beat the fight that I only completed some of the following quests. The moment the game warned me an extended cutscene was coming, I looked at the clock and had to call it a night.

So, today when I get home from work, I’ll get my reward and finally find out what happens with Estinien! It’s going to be a long wait. 😦

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: More Eureka!

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Zeb and Tai got their Eureka emote today. Thanks to Syn’s help I was able to get the good ending to the quest, too. I very much recommend it! I felt much better about the whole thing when I got to see what was really happening. 🙂

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: What Dog?

Folks on the FFXIV Tumblr tag are doing this thing where they input their FFXIV character pictures into the What is your dog? site to see what dog breed matches them. I decided to do it.

Zuri – Papillon 

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Haha… awesome! My sister and her husband have two papillons, so this was a neat outcome!

Tai – Dutch Shepherd Dog 

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Yep, that sounds like Tai.

And because I had to do Syn’s character…

Zeb – Irish Wolfhound

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Yep, knocking things over sounds like Zeb.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tanking, Healing and Everything In Between

Poor Zeb has to deal with Zuri tagging along as a healer to all these things
Poor Zeb has to deal with Zuri tagging along, shadowing him as a healer in raids

This weekend I spent a significant amount of time bashing zombies in 7D2D, but I still got a good bit done in FFXIV, too. In fact, I’ve accomplished a number of my goals since I wrote my goal post a week ago. I’m practicing healing at end game as much as I can, though I still haven’t taken on an instance as a single healer yet.

Working on Goals

ffxiv_02062016_012928Friday night, Zeb and Zuri bombarded Alex 1 Normal in my attempt to gear up all White Mage accessories. Some of the groups were very good, and some of them were still just hardly making it due to their frustrating lack of attention to mechanics. I can’t be the only one who is tired of DPS who ignore the adds, because we even had a Dragoon who announced at the start of one run, “1 Alarum to each DPS – Ezee Peezy.” Thankfully, the other DPS were mindful of that.

Also, luckily, some people running Alex weren’t always there for the drops, so I was often able to snag the bolts I needed for accessories. It still took more runs than I’d like, but we got it done.

I’m also knocking out the dungeons I need to complete Bard relic, but that’s been much slower than I like. Mostly, that’s because it’s pitching hard mode dungeons I’m not familiar with, so I try to run with FC folks to feel better about it. We’ve even been unlocking some of these for other people!

So, my goals for end game stand at this now:

End Game Stuff

  • Level White Mage to 60 ✓
  • Collect all crystals for second relic and make the first-stage relic for White Mage ✓
  • Complete the second-stage relic for Bard
  • Gear up White Mage enough to play Void Ark ✓
  • Gear up Bard accessories from Alex 1
  • Gear up White Mage accessories from Alex 1 ✓

My crafting goals are going a lot slower at the moment. I pushed Weaver to 59, but it takes a million chimera manes to keep leveling, so I’m waiting for the ventures to bring those all in. Once I have the mats, actually crafting to 60 isn’t a big deal. I plan on specializing in Weaver, and promptly starting on melding my end game crafting gear. Then on to blue scrips for the Weaver III book.

FC Fun and Tanking

We’ve had a few new additions to the FC this weekend, which is nice. Recruitment is slow between patches, and we’re not exactly known for attracting the masses. This is okay, though, as we are looking for a rather specific, family-friendly, group of folks to run with. And while things have been quiet-ish waiting for the new patch, I’m still pretty happy with how far the FC has come since last year when I inherited it.

So, FC folks needed some unknown-to-me hard mode dungeons run early Saturday morning, and Syn roped me into tanking them. Now, these are dungeons I didn’t even have unlocked, had to watch the video for, and I haven’t tanked any dungeons in a good long while. But it was a FC party, so I swallowed my apprehension and brought Tai’s paladin out for the runs. They actually weren’t too bad. In fact, I’m finding a lot of the hard mode level 50 dungeons I avoided over the years aren’t too terrible and are somewhat fun. Even Pharos Siris wasn’t as punishing as I remembered.

I’m not going to claim I’m an awesome tank, but I’m getting more comfortable with it.

I really like the Void Ark chest piece, even if it doesn't look paladinly.
I really like the Void Ark chest piece, even if it doesn’t look paladinly.

For Crystal Tower Sunday, I healed Labyrinth of the Ancients for the first time, and we helped a number of FC members get their first-time win. I had to chuckle a bit when someone asked “Wait, this is an 8-man right?” We got through with some fudged mechanics (as to be expected), but no wipes. It’s actually the least healing-intensive raid I’ve run, though it’s the one I enjoy the least.

It’s still great to introduce new people to the Crystal Tower.