Dream Home

ffxiv_02202018_143132Oh No

When FFXIV Stormblood details were announced one thing my FC got excited about was the addition of a new housing zone. They took up a collection and when plots opened up they snagged a (much bigger) fancy new house. Meanwhile I was mortified. I’m a Roe, an officer in the Maelstrom, and a certified Merlwyb fangirl. I love Limsa Lominsa and I loved our little home in the Mists. I was happy that my FC family were happy in our new home, but I was already plotting and scheming to figure out how to get back to Mist.

It was frustrating for a while, because new housing purchases were locked to free companies only. That was a good idea to allow more FCs to enter the housing market, but it was maddening to see all the lovely plots I dreamed about getting locked up before I could touch them. Luckily they finally allowed individuals to purchase housing plots again, and I got to leap in and get the house of my dreams. Eventually.

First I had to figure out how purchasing housing works. One annoying thing was that when a plot is vacated, it gets locked out from new buyers but people can still transfer there. I found several free plots that were just what I wanted, but I couldn’t buy them outright because they still had this timer. In the end I bought a crappy plot way at the back of the zone that happened to be open, and then I could transfer to the one I actually wanted. Sure, it was a giant “waste” of money, but in the end I got my dream home. What is extra funny is that it is a spot that is basically “across the street” from where our old FC house was in the zone layout. It feels very familiar and cozy but also I have a better view of the ocean now 😛

ffxiv_03012018_182331Sadly I used so much gil by having to essentially double purchase my house that I don’t have much leftover for buying furniture. At least now I have plenty of time to settle in and earn more cash for pretty house stuff. I might even fall down the crafting hole to make some things for myself!


Valentione’s Fun

chair pals

I don’t always do the seasonal events in FFXIV. They are usually fun and silly, so I enjoy them. Somehow I don’t quite have the same completionist streak in that game that I do in other MMOs though. Anyway I was totally prepared to skip the current “Valentione’s” event, until my friend asked if I wanted to queue for it together.

valentionesI’m super glad I said yes! A lot of times in FFXIV the seasonal events have you either do solo quests, or run fates out in the world. This one had you queue for a two-person instance to see how “attuned” your characters are to each other. We had to solve a maze while tethered together, and then do a card patching game. We ended up being a favorable match! I never doubted it, we’re two awesome femmeRoes.

flying chair palsIt was quick and fun and at the end of it we each got one half of this ridiculous chair mount. We took them out for a spin together. They are so ridiculous and I love them. They each have one silly wing on the back, and they can fly. I am so happy I took the time to do this event with a friend!

Patch Days are so “Fun”

I was super excited about FFXIV’s new patch that arrived yesterday. As is often the case with FFXIV, there was so much new stuff that I couldn’t even remember everything that was coming. I ran home from work and hurried to get everything installed and ready so I could try out new stuff with a friend. And then I hit a brick wall.

I logged in and spent a few minutes unlocking the new raid first thing. I really wanted to see it, since I love FFXIV’s raids and this one has bosses based on one of my favorite FF games. Raids are also the only way I could play with my friend with us both in our preferred roles (we’re both healer mains). Unfortunately once I got it unlocked, I couldn’t actually queue. My item level is too low.

We ended up running one of the new dungeons instead, since I could actually do that and they drop gear that will help get me closer to being able to join the raid. My mood was ruined though, and I suspect I wasn’t very good company. Instead of being excited to see the new dungeon, I was annoyed that I had to play SMN instead of SCH, and that I was missing out on the raid.

Once we finished I ended up spending some time messing around with the new glamour system and that made me feel a bit better. I’m hoping it will be relatively painless to get geared up enough to catch up. This exact issue is one of the reasons I bounced off of FFXIV last expansion, but I’m not quite ready to give up on it again yet.

The kicker of this story is that after my disappointment and bad mood I went to look at the shiny new races they added to WoW…and couldn’t. There was a bug going around where none of your characters would show up on the server list or login screen, and I was lucky enough to experience it. I took it as a sign that I should do something else, so I spent the rest of the night working on my creative thing for the day instead.

Here’s hoping tonight is a better night for gaming!

September 2017 Gaming Goals

Oh crap it’s September already! Aside from the semester starting and my stress levels kicking into overdrive, it also means it’s time for my monthly gaming goals update.

August Goals recap:

FFXIV: Level my AST. I did it! Hooray! I still can’t decide whether I like AST or SCH better though.

Clear at least 1 boss of Omega Savage. Nope. We got the first boss down to something ridiculous like 0.1%, but that group ended up disbanding. Sadness.

Diablo 3: Finish Barbarian set mastery. Nope. I’ve been super unmotivated in D3 and combined with terrible luck with drops I still don’t have the last set I need to try the 4th dungeon.

WoW: Get back to the Robo-squids project. Yes! We got through Blackfathom Deeps and Gnomergan this month. News flash: I still hate Gnomer just as much as I ever have (which is a lot).

I got half of my goals for the month done. That’s not too terrible!

September Goals:

WoW: Get my shaman class mount. I leveled her up to 110 in August. Now it’s a matter of gearing up and getting through the Broken Shore quests to unlock the mount questline.

Do more Robosquids stuff. I’ve been loving this project but it’s hard to find times when all 4 of us can play. I resolve to pester my friends until we get it back on the schedule. (You’ve been warned, guys!)

Horizon Zero Dawn: Finish a second playthrough to see all the updates. It’s this month’s Aggrochat game of the month so I’m doubly motivated!

D3: Finish the Barbarian set mastery. I know I can do this. I just need a push. And I really need to get it done before Destiny 2 releases on PC and starts filling the “murder monsters, get loot explosion” slot in my gaming time.

Legendary: Get a maxed-star card of every color. Legendary: Game of Heroes is a mobile game with a super boring name and very sticky gameplay for me. It’s like a much slicker-looking, slightly less confusing Puzzle and Dragons. The weekly-ish events give pretty good chances at strong cards and materials to upgrade them, so hopefully I can get a maxed-out team by the end of the month.

You’ll note that FFXIV has fallen off the list. I’m just not into it lately, and forcing myself right now is likely to end in a full stop instead of a brief pause. I do still want to try to show up for raid nights more to hang out with my friends than anything else.

I think this month’s goals are pretty reasonable. I just need to remember to play HZD for the main story and not all the side content or there’s no way I’ll finish in time…

August 2017 Gaming Goals

I’m a few days late with this one since I’ve been AFK for most of this week. I had set a few somewhat ambitious goals for July and did a decent job on them. Let’s see what August brings!

July Goals recap:

FFXIV: Clear both EX primals.  Check! I still haven’t done this with a FC group, but I did at least get my kills.

Advance at least one of my Anima weapons at least one step. Nope. I dialed my play time back and mostly focused on current content.

Level my AST.  Not really. I did get a couple levels, but AST is still not 70. The problem here is that they fixed some of the problems with scholar, so I felt way less motivated to have the 2nd healer job.

Figure out how to buy a house. I do know how to buy a house now so I’ll count this as a win. I haven’t actually bought one because I’m still waiting for people to move out to the new zone so I can find open property in Mists.

Diablo 3: Complete the basic season 11 journey with a necromancer. Done! I haven’t gone much past the first 4 chapters but this is still a win.

Complete the challenge rift every week. Nope. I did attempt it every week, but last week’s build was really difficult and I didn’t manage to clear it under the timer.

Master all the crusader set dungeons. Done! I was an overachiever and got monk and witch doctor too!

August Goals:

FFXIV: Level my AST. I’m so close it really is silly that I still haven’t finished this.

Clear at least 1 boss of Omega Savage. This might be a matter of flinging myself at pugs until I smash through, but I’d love to get this done.

Diablo 3: Finish Barbarian set mastery. I’ve only got one barbarian dungeon left to master in order to get my fancy wings. It might mean giving up on much seasonal progress this time around, but I can do this!

WoW: Get back to the Robo-squids project. There’s an awful lot of dungeons left for our little undergeared, underleveled, undersized group to get through, and now that the new game shine is starting to fade from Stormblood I’m ready to jump back in.

I think these are pretty modest goals for the month, and they’re all things that I really do want to get around to. I can’t wait to post about my pretty new wings!

Stormblood for the Holiday

I had a very long weekend for the holiday and spent most of my gaming time with FFXIV. Our Free Company is still very active and it feels so great to have tons of people around and looking to group. I spent a good share of time helping folks knock out story dungeons or just getting faster queues for roulettes. Yes, even as a healer my roulette queues are almost instant right now, while the poor DPS are waiting and waiting. I would love to see the data on the effect adding 2 new DPS classes had on queue times. I suspect it isn’t as drastic a change as we might think since many folks are happy with their chosen role, but I’m sure it did make things at least a bit worse. There’s so very many red mages now.

One of the goals I had for the holiday was to complete the two EX primals that are available. I got halfway there. It only took a couple attempts to get a Lakshmi clear, but I’ve been trying Susano over and over and over to no avail. I am hoping that once I clear it I’ll be able to get into the farm groups that actually know what they’re doing, because I’m so sick of watching the other healer (it’s almost always the healer) stand in the group with the lightning and kill us all. I’d really like to get the weapon from him, since it will be at least 6 more weeks before I can get a weapon upgrade anywhere else.

The big excitement really came yesterday when the first wing of the Omega raid opened up. As is now standard in FFXIV, it had 4 bosses with the token loot system used in Heavensward’s Alexander raids. I got pretty lucky and won items off the first 3 bosses on the first try, so I only had to run V4.0 a couple extra times to get all my gear for the week. I ended up with a belt, a pair of gloves, and 1/2 of a hat. Not bad. I’m hoping to farm Lakshmi a bit so I don’t have to depend on jewelry from Omega as much and can focus on “left side” tokens. Loot aside, the raid was super fun and I’m quite happy with it. I’m curious to see where the story takes us, but I think I already like it better than Alex. I loved the music and a lot of the fights from the Alexander raid, but the story left a lot to be desired. Omega seems to fit in much better with the overall plot of the expansion.

Stormblood has definitely been keeping me busy so far. I am hoping now that most of our raid group is at 70 that we’ll set up a regular raid night again and work on clearing the EX primals and Omega. I’ve been flirting with burnout a bit, mostly because I’ve been running a lot of things on my own and pugging is bad for my mental health. If I can do fun things on the regular with my friends I’ll be a much happier Grace.

July 2017 Gaming Goals

A belated post for my July goals since I was too busy playing games over the holiday weekend to blog about playing games!

Review of June Goals:

WoW: Level one more class to 110. Done! I ended my temporary return to WoW with only the Shaman, DK, and Warrior below the level cap.

Subnautica: Rebuild my sweet sea base empire. Done? I’m going to call this a win. I didn’t build quite as fancy a base as I did in my earlier playthroughs, but I did build two of them and that should count for something.

FFXIV: Play Stormblood. Done! Yes this goal was a gimme but I don’t care. I didn’t want to stress myself out with goals I just wanted to enjoy the expansion for a couple weeks.

I actually completed all my June goals! I guess the secret to success is having really easy goals.

July Goals:

FFXIV: Clear both EX primals. I got Lakshmi this weekend but Susano still eludes me. I want a fancy weapon and maybe a doggo.

Advance at least one of my Anima weapons at least one step. Hopefully an easy goal but I’m being intentionally vague with it. My SCH weapon is on the light farming step, while my AST weapon is on the “do a bunch of dungeons in order” step. I should be able to finish at least one of these, especially with a certain friend who has been encouraging me to do these silly things.

Level my AST. After leveling roulette last night I’m at 65, so this should be easy. I am very curious to see how different the healing feels compared to SCH. It will be easier to compare the two when they’re both 70 and equally geared.

Figure out how to buy a house. My FC is moving to the new housing district when it opens, and I would like to continue living in the Mist. That means I’ve got to buy my own place. I’ve been saving up, so hopefully I can afford it when everyone abandons their property to move to the new zone.

Diablo 3: Complete the basic season 11 journey with a necromancer. This will be a somewhat short timer since the season doesn’t start until near the end of the month, but completing the 4 chapters should be easy.

Complete the challenge rift every week. I’ve done the first 2 so far and they’ve been quite fun and not too punishing so hopefully I can continue.

Master all the crusader set dungeons. I have been slowly working on this since season 10. I just finished Roland’s set dungeon last night so all I have left is Akkhan’s. I just need to finish farming the set.

I have some actual goals this month for a change! Hopefully keeping them focused on just 2 games will help me meet them. Wish me luck!

Stormblood: Roll Credits

I “finished” FFXIV Stormblood this morning. By that I mean I got far enough through the MSQ to see the credits. This is a pretty leisurely leveling time for me, clocking in at 9 days to 70 and 10 days ’til the credits rolled. Part of that was due to the launch difficulties and part was simply being willing to take my time more than I usually do in a new MMO expansion. Now that I’m 70 and through the main story, there are expert dungeons and primal fights to tackle, along with the sacred ancient rite of grinding bookrocks for gear upgrades.

The story, for the most part, has been some of their best so far. There is one villain whose writing I really disliked, but otherwise I’ve been impressed. They even got away with sticking me with Alphinaud again after letting me enjoy hanging out with his much cooler sister. They also managed to make me care about the fight for independence from the empire on two fronts. I know that “fighting the evil empire” is a solid FF mainstay but in FFXIV I’ve never cared about them that much. To be honest they’re still my least favorite type of enemy in the game, but at least this time around they’ve been a clear and constant threat instead of just popping in for inopportune plot points. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the aftermath of the 4.0 MSQ and how all the still-loose ends get woven together over the life of the expansion.

Stormblood’s group content has set a very high bar. FFXIV has some of the most interesting, beautiful, and complex dungeons and raids I’ve ever seen and this expansion does not disappoint on that front. The dungeons start off fairly simple but ramp up very quickly in complexity.  There are 6 total that unlock while leveling, and only one of them is not tied directly to the MSQ. The theme of the first dungeon is my favorite, a haunted shipyard. The second dungeon is the optional one, and is the most beautiful in my opinion. I’d love to live there once we clear out all the creatures who are trying to kill us. The third dungeon has the most flimsy story premise (“go face this challenge before we’ll let you get to the real fight”),  but it has my absolute favorite boss fight in any of the Stormblood dungeons so far. This game is absolutely making sure that by the time you get through the story, you’re also prepared for the challenges you’ll face at endgame. Dungeons 4, 5, and 6 are so deeply tied to the MSQ that I’m afraid to talk about them much for fear of massive spoilers. Of those three I think dungeon 5 is my favorite, but I haven’t run them as many times as I have the early dungeons, so I’ll reserve judgement a bit.

There are also three trials in the Stormblood MSQ. They are each very distinct and challenging in their own way, but the final trial is the most difficult by far. It took me 4 different pug groups to finally clear it. The start of the expansion is probably making this more difficult than it should be, since many folks (like me) are still in leveling gear and don’t know the fight yet. It is also a very long fight, with a truly ridiculous number of moving parts to keep track of. This is the one I’m most looking forward to the EX version of, when I’m safely in a group full of my friends and we can take the time to learn whatever nonsense amount of dancing will be required to win.

If you’re playing Stormblood, I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am, and if you’re not, now’s a great time to hop in and try FFXIV for yourself!

Stormblood Stuff

Stormblood is finally upon us and boy did the early access weekend have an extremely rough start. On Friday I woke up at butts-o’clock so I could log in and get a head start on things before I had to go to work. I did as much as I could of the main story quest until I ran into the roadblock of the first instanced solo duty. Being an optimistic sort, I ran to work and figured that I’d pick up where I left off when I got home. I spent all day at work worrying that my friends who had taken the day off were going to race past me and I’d be playing catch-up all weekend. By the end of the day I discovered that was not true. The instance servers were still overloaded and after a lengthy queue to get in my reward was being disconnected immediately when I tried to start my story quest.

All of Friday evening and Saturday I smashed my face against that quest, along with the thousands of other people milling around the questgiver and giving “insightful” commentary in the zone chat. In some other games this road block wouldn’t be quite so bad, but FFXIV gates their content heavily with their story. That means that all the new group content and zones were locked until we could get past this quest. On the plus side, I got some IRL crafting done, finished off my dad’s fathers’ day gift, and got to watch a movie. On the down side, I was so frustrated and angry I was about to just go play WoW and swear off FFXIV for a few weeks until I could calm down and they could fix the game.

Luckily, on Sunday morning when I got up the quest let me through on the first try. After that was a full day spent catching up on all the questing and dungeons and things I had wanted to do earlier in the weekend. I’ve seen the first dungeon and the first trial, and as much of the story as I can through level 64. The next step of the MSQ requires another level, and I’ve unlocked the second dungeon so I suspect I’ll be running that a few times until I can progress again. Some of my friends are doing all the side quests, but I prefer to level through group content if I can, so that those side quests are still around when my other classes need to be leveled. I greatly enjoyed the first dungeon, and ran it quite a few times as my friends got to that point in the story.

The story has been good so far. It is far too early to be posting spoilers, but I will say I am enjoying myself more than I thought. It is no secret that I didn’t care much about where the initial Stormblood story was taking us, but the MSQ is doing a good job of making me care. Also getting to travel around with Alisaie and Lyse has been one of the highlights of questing in any game I have ever played. The story leading up to the first trial was a joy, and if they swap out Alaisaie and make me go back to traveling with Alphanaud again I might never forgive them.