FFXIV: Manderville Madness

I’ve been on a bit of a tear when it comes to Final Fantasy XIV the past few weeks. I’ve been leveling alt jobs and crafters, with getting Warrior, Paladin and Weaver to level 90 and Carpenter sitting at 86 right now. I’ve finished up the Tank story questline for this expansion which was pretty neat and I’ve managed to gear up my Dancer as much as I could with a combination of tomes and the weekly raid. I’ve also started gearing up my White Mage as I may be raiding as that in a few weeks but the verdict is yet to be out on that. It could just as well be Dancer. I guess we’ll see.

My main focus however has been working on getting all the Manderville weapons, which are the relic weapons of this expansion. There’s a bit of a lull in the game right now as everyone is waiting for the new patch to drop. We have a Moogle tome event right around the corner, which has some rewards I definitely have my eyes on, and all in all it’s a great time to turn to something that requires a bit of a grind. I have tried to get a lot of Relic weapons in the years I’ve been playing this game. Some I got during the appropriate expansion, or in case of my Dragoon Zeta right after, and there’s one expansion I’ve completely skipped because I really really dislike Eureka when it was released. Now however we are still on the first two steps of this relic weapon and seeing as how it’s just a tome grind so far it’s relatively easy to obtain them. It’s 1500 tomestones of astrology, which is the non-weekly capped currency, for the first stage of the weapon and then another 1500 tomes for the second. I’ve calculated that it’s about 800 tomes if you do all the roulettes in a day (I know I’m off by a few, but I can’t be arsed to look it up) so that means you get the base and the first upgrade doing four days of roulettes.
All in all not too bad, even though I am slightly disappointed that this is the way Square Enix decided to go for the relic weapon in this expansion. Although the Hildibrand quests tie-in is hilarious, as always, I wish they would make the steps to acquire the relic weapon upgrades a bit more interesting than just “go and grind out 1500 tomes”. Maybe they are listening to the fans, because this is the sentiment that lives in a big part of the playerbase, and the next step will be more interesting than just a tome grind.

Now. I’ve been working down a list of weapons and I’m currently sitting on four relic weapons plus the first upgrade. I obviously got the Dancer one and then I got the White Mage one next. This week I’ve finished both the Warrior and Dark Knight weapons, as shown in the screenshot above, and I’m currently working on the Sage weapon. Eventually I want all the weapons but seeing as how I don’t have all jobs at level 90 yet I have a nice list to work with, making it a doable project. I think I will get to a point where the moment a new job reaches level 90 I will have a weapon for it ready to go. For now though I’m sitting at 4/19 weapons obtained so I still have a long way to go!

Pathing Away

As I’ve spent an hour this morning running around in my Dreamlight Valley I’d figure I talk a bit about that game today. A few weeks ago the new patch dropped giving us Simba and Nala, a new seasonal pass and the Easter event. There were also some quests added and of course a variety of new companions, furniture and outfits. But the big three things were the two new Disney characters, the new Starpath (aka season pass) and the Easter event. Which gave me plenty of reason to return to my Valley again after finishing up all the stuff I wanted to in March.

Unlocking Simba and Nala was pretty straight forward. A new room opens up in the Dreamlight Castle, you enter it, you go to their realm. A few quests need to be done that will require you to travel back and forth between their realm and the valley and at the end of it all they agree to come back with you. After which they start to remember that they were living in your valley all along. When they find out that Scar is there you get a bit of an interaction, but otherwise the process is smooth and they move into their home of Pride Rock without a hitch. From there I’m working on getting both to level 10, which in turn will unlock various other things in the way of furniture, clothes, designs and, with Nala’s quest line, new recipes for me to make.
The Easter event is pretty straight forward aswell. There’s eggs you can harvest from bushes and eggs randomly on the floor of your biomes. These eggs you can combine to plant seeds for a third type of egg and you need all of these to make furniture, some meals and to unlock three spring type bunny companions. All in all something you can be finished with in a week. On top of that you also get a weekly and daily quest from Wall-E to catch rabbits and make flower baskets, which in turn will reward eggs. It’s cute, it’s simple and it’s something to do when you don’t have anything else going on.

The Starpath is this game’s version of a season pass with rewards. It asks you to do certain tasks, as shown in the picture above, that will reward you with tickets. From those tickets you can then buy rewards like designs for on your clothing, outfits for the various characters in your valley, furniture and premium currency.
Seeing as how this is planned to be a free to play game once it goes out of early access the game needs to make it’s money somehow, so they implemented a premium currency because of course. The premium currency is also needed to unlock the full rewards of the Starpath and the full range of duties you can do for rewards. If you don’t unlock the premium path you will only be able to get certain rewards and the amount of duties you can do to earn tickets is reduced to three instead of six at a time. As you can see in the above screenshots I have six duties at a time, which means that yes, I used premium currency to open up the Starpath. Why? Because at the time of writing this post the game is not free to play yet. You need to buy into it with a founder’s pack and if you do it comes with premium currency as reward. I bought the cheapest pack, which was €29,99 and so far I feel like I’ve definitely got my money’s worth. I’ve spent almost 100 hours in the game so far (96,6 hours at the time of writing this according to Steam) and I’m not nearly done with it yet. I plan to rearrange my entire valley after I’m done with this Starpath so I can put down all the cool furniture I’ve gotten so I’m sure that will take up a lot of time before I’m happy with what I have. And with the new update coming in June, with another Starpath attached to it, there isn’t a lack of content to look forward to.
This months’ Starpath is tied to Disney Parks and it gives you a bunch of iconic Disney rides, clothes and designs that are tied to Park motifs and a few outfits for Donald and Goofy. There is also a community challenge running to place certain furniture, that you partially get from the Starpath, which in turn gives rewards as well. I think it’s a cute theme and it only makes my desire to visit one of the Disney parks in the US even stronger.

I’m just hoping that they will keep the regular updates coming, and that they tone down the prices of the premium shop a bit because it has people up in arms. And finally do something with the Forgotten Lands biome because the fact that there’s not really much up there, and there is clearly stuff that I need to get rid of but can’t yet, is slightly driving me nuts. In conclusion though I’m more than happy to play AND pay for the game in the foreseeable future. Let’s hope it’s a bright one!

Doing Everything At Once

The past few weeks I’ve been completely sucked back into FFXIV again. As I’ve written about it in previous posts and if you follow me on Twitter I’ve been working on multiple things at once. I got my Weaver to level 90 yesterday and have now started working on Carpenter. I’ve also completed the Studium questline associated with Weaver and it was adorable. The Loporrit beast tribe is my main source of leveling crafters for now, together with the weekly hand-ins to Ameliance Leveilleur. Granted it’s not the fastest way of leveling, but just doing 3 dailies per day is something I can keep up with.
Simultaneously I’m leveling my Paladin on the other beast tribe dailies, the elephant people, daily hunts and 10 FATEs for the weekly challenges. It may not be the fastest way to level, seeing as I’m using roulettes for something else right now, but I’m still getting about 1 level every two days this way and am now sitting comfortably on level 85. I don’t really mind leveling like this since I think Paladin has way too many buttons and I don’t think I’ll ever play it seriously, but I do want to get it to max level and this is the least stressful way to go about it.

My daily roulettes I’m using to grind tomes for the army of Manderville weapons that are available right now. I have the base and first upgrade done for Dancer and White Mage and the base for Warrior and I’ll get the upgrade for that tomorrow. I’m going down the list of classes that I have leveled to max so once I’m done with the Warrior upgrade the next one will be Dark Knight. Inbetween all the roulettes and leveling stuff I’ve been going through all the sidequests in my questlog and slowly ticking those off one by one. I need to go back to the Firmament because there’s a lot of them that popped up for me and I need to pick up the quest in Mor’Dhona to unlock the newest deep dungeon as well. But I’m in no rush to do so and I’m actually pretty fine just working on leveling alts and grinding out the many tomes I need for the relics.

Next to FFXIV I’ve been working on the newest content in Disney Dreamlight Valley, which includes the Easter Event, and I’ve started a new playthrough on Bravely Default II on my Switch. Oh and I’m leveling my Warrior in World of Warcraft to prepare for patch 10.1 seeing as I’m going to reroll to her instead of my Mage. I just really needed a game away from my computer and not something where I have to stare at a small screen on my 3DS so I figured I finally start tackling my Switch backlog. I think I have about 60 hours of gametime staring at me in Bravely Default II and I don’t think I will finish it in the next two weeks, but it’s something I can play when I feel like it or when I have some extra time on the weekends or my Wednesdays. I expect that I’ll have more time for it once I finish my stuff in my valley, but I’ll see when I get there. For now I’m going back to hunting down eggs and doing all the new content that dropped with the patch on April 6th. It’s a busy time with my games but I’m enjoying it! So let’s hope that sticks for a while.

Please Don’t Skip The Sidequests

A new Disney Dreamlight Valley update dropped last week and I’ve hopped right back on the train again. This update has brought both Simba and Nala to my Valley as well as new quests for Buzz, Remy and Minnie. Not to mention the kick off of the very first Easter event and all the new recipes, furniture and companions that come with it. We also have a new Starpath, which is their version of a season pass, and this time the theme is Disney Parks! I’ve just unlocked all the rewards of the first tier and am working on the second while cleaning up my Valley and working on the Easter stuff and leveling up Simba and Nala. All in all it’s giving me enough to do for the next few week(s) I think and I’m happy to fiddle about in my valley again. I’m also slowly reshaping it and making it more functional and prettier than it was before, but it’s secondary to just unlocking everything that I can unlock. I guess I’ll need to make a bit of a theme park corner though, considering I’m getting a bunch of rides from the Starpath and I do want to display them somewhere.

Next to my valley I’ve also been playing a lot of Final Fantasy XIV again. I’ve gotten the White Mage Manderville Weapon, plus first upgrade and got another step done for my White Mage Anima weapon, leaving me on the last two steps to do there. I’ve also been working away on tieing up lose ends in the form of sidequests. Like any other MMO(RPG) FFXIV has a lot of them and I realised that I still had some lingering in my quest log, not to mention that I was still seeing exclamation marks on my map. This would not do so I got down to business and picked all of them up and played my way through them. Some opened up some new content for me, like making crafting/gathering deliveries to Ehll Tou in Ishgard and Ameliance Leveilleur in Sharlayan. I’ve also unlocked the Loporrit beast tribe, which is centered around crafting, and am using that to level up my crafting jobs. As I am doing that I’m also doing the Studium crafting questline for Weavers/Leatherworkers/Carpenters as Weaver and experiencing that story as well. When I was in the Firmament working on unlocking Ehll Tou I realised I had a few stray sidequests there to finish as well so I did, as well as finishing the really interesting Shadows of the Past sidequest line in Radz-at-Han. All of these have added lore bits and pieces that enrich the world we play in and provide extra story to enjoy. It’s why I can’t understand why there are people out there who are content to skip everything. I realise that not everyone plays MMO’s for the story and that doing all the sidequest content can be very tedious, but it brings so much more life to the world and fleshes out so many characters, areas and backstories. Especially in FFXIV that is more an RPG than an MMO and where they can lean on years of Square Enix storytelling experience.

In any case I’ve caught up for the most part, there’s still some quests in my questlog but they’re not easily tackled. Slow and steady wins the race though and I’m sure that eventually my log will empty out. And then it’s setting my sights on new goals to achieve for as long as the game will keep my attention. Hopefully that will be for the forseeable future because I’m truly happy to be back in Eorzea.

Dancing Again

I’ve been poking around in a lot of games lately. I’ve finished Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero while I was away to Portugal for a few days. I’ve caught up to all the Disney Dreamlight Valley content and am now just waiting for the new patch to drop next week. I’ve started Bowser’s Inside Story on my 3DS and after I farmed out March’s Trading Post in World of Warcraft I’ve made a return to Final Fantasy XIV. A game I haven’t touched in a while outside of a few seasonal content quests.
I’m also playing Power Wash Simulator since they added a few new things for free in recent patches (Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy 7 collabs) so I’m happily cleaning the Croft Manor and various FF related vehicles. I’ve noticed that it’s nice gameplay in the evening when I’m tired and I still want something to do.

But back to FFXIV. We’re currently at patch 6.35 and I’ve been slowly picking away at all the content I’ve missed since I quit back in patch 6.2. I’ve caught up to the mainstory, and am very curious to see where that will go (no spoilers, I promise!) and I’ve finished the second stage of the Manderville Dancer Relic today as you can see in the screenshot at the top of this post.
I pushed my Warrior to level 90, so that’s another job off the tally and as I’m passively getting a lot of tomestones I’m slowly gearing up my Dancer as well as working on the Heavensward Relic for White Mage. I’m at the Umbrite and Crystal Sand step and I need 28 more points until I’m done with that step.
I’ve yet to unlock the second wing of the 24 man Endwalker raid, so I think my focus for this weekend will be to unlock that, as well as get through all the side content that I haven’t touched yet in my quest log. All in all I’ve wandered back into my favourite MMO and I will be enjoying the stay for as long as it lasts.

I’m also planning to finish Bowser’s Inside Story in the next few weeks. I’ve been playing 1-1.5 hours per session and seeing as it’s not that long of a game I think I’ll be able to finish it if I just keep myself playing and not put it down to not pick it back up anymore. Seeing as I have a bit of momentum right now, I’ve finished 4 games already this year, I hope I can keep that going to get small chunks out of my backlog and finally get my money’s worth for all the games that I bought over the years. So far I’m enjoying the game, even if it is a bit repetitive with the fights but maybe simple mechanics is what I need to push through and finish it. And then I can add it to my 2023 finished games Twitter thread which you can follow here.

For now though… it’s bedtime so I can make it through the work day tomorrow. Night!

A Week Of Disney Magic

I had the week off this week. No work. No adult responsibilities besides keeping myself fed and happy. It was nice. And way too short, but I guess that’s how most time off is. I spent a lot of my time on the couch with a blanket watching Drive to Survive on Netflix, the Mythic Dungeon Invitational on Youtube and the various F1 related practices and later today the qualification for the first race of the season. It was nice being able to relax and not worry about any appointments, work or other “mandatory” things.

I started the week with playing Pokémon Violet. I’ve had the game since it came out but never really put a lot of time and effort into it. I’m currently about 7.5h in and I’m getting the hang of the whole open world exploration. I’m working on my 3rd gym badge. I’ve defeated the first Titan Pokémon and I cleared out the first team Star base. At the same time I wandered into a high level zone and got absolutely clapped by the wild Pokémon there so I knew I went the wrong way. It took a bit of adjusting, I really liked the old linear formula, but exploring the world and finding out where to go without following a guide has been a very fun journey so far. I tend to play the game an hour or two at night while having a show or Youtube in the background and it’s working out for me that way.

The big game that has gotten me completely hooked over the last week has been Disney Dreamlight Valley though. I bought it when it was released as early access game back in September last year and put a few hours in and then put it down. However with the latest update being released and me looking for a new game to fill my time with I started it back up a few days ago and I have been playing it ever since. I had the base game to chew through as well as three content patches, thus making it a bit hard to do everything in the proper order. I kind of went along with whatever the game asked me to do and right now I’m in a spot where I have unlocked almost all biomes and characters. I’m still missing Prince Eric (who is tied to unlocking the Forgotten Lands biome), Olaf (who is tied to unlocking the Frosted Heights biome) and Stitch (who is gated behind a multiple day quest). I’m working on unlocking the Frosted Heights as we speak and I’m slowly leveling up the friendships with all the inhabitants I do have unlocked as I go.

I think what has me hooked on the game is that it has a lot of quests and storylines but also a farming sim element to it as well as a design element for your character, your own house in the village and the village as a whole. I’ve not really looked at how and where I want everyone to live yet, I’ve mostly been focused on unlocking everything I can first. But once I have I think I can start working on the layout of my Valley, how to decorate it and where I want everyone to live. It’s taken a big chunk of my time already, I’m currently around 30 hours in, but I’m enjoying it and I don’t see myself playing something else anytime soon. At least, not until I’m done with unlocking everything the game has to offer me.

An Exhausted Gamer

I did it. I’m done. Or well, I’m done for now.
3 out of 3 goals in World of Warcraft reached in this first raidtier and first Mythic+ season. I got Keystone Master, including one of the ugliest mounts in the game. My guild carried me through Raszageth Heroic and a few days ago I maxxed out the final reputation I needed on my mage: the Tuskarr.

It didn’t exactly go smoothly. Frost Mage isn’t that good in terms of dps right now and me being completely new to playing the class in any sort of end game doesn’t help. Tears have been shed, carries have happened but in the end I managed to do everything I wanted to do and maybe a tiny bit more. I leveled my priest and healed some Mythic+ and I leveled my hunter out of boredom. Right now though I feel like I need to step away from WoW and evaluate what I want moving forward. Do I stick it out on mage and try to get better at it? Or do I switch to a class I’m more comfortable on and if yes, which one will that be and how will that look? Stuff I don’t really have to think about right now but maybe when the next season of M+ makes it’s appearance.

Outside of WoW I’ve managed to complete two short games that I bought on a Steam sale: Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion and Marsupilami Hoobaventure. Both fun in their own right and both well under a 10 hour commitment. I’m noticing though that as it’s been very stressful at work and my levels of exhaustion have been going up I’m enjoying gaming less due to the tax it has on my brain. Instead I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix, taking naps, taking walks and going to gym. It helps me relax after work and it isn’t as mentally taxing as other things may be.

I’m looking forward to my week off the week after next and the fun times that come with that. For now though I’m just an exhausted gamer trying to make it through the week. Oh well. Atleast I’m able to cross off my WoW goals!

Sunday Gaming Summary #3: A Little Smörgåsbord

I took a break last week from blogging since I was at family for New Year’s Eve/New Years Day all day and honestly nothing much interesting happened in the week between Christmas and New Years. I did my dailies on my Mage in WoW, we raided a bit and life kind of moved on.
I have however dipped my toes into other games than WoW over the past two weeks and there are a few that I’m dedicating some time to and, hopefully, finish.

The first one is Rayman Origins. I’ve owned this game for a very long time but never have never gotten around to play it. I wanted a reasonably relaxed platformer to play and I landed on this one after trying out Celeste and getting really frustrated with it. I’ve finished the first two worlds and am currently working my way through the third which is an icy world filled with food. It’s fun and relaxing and I’m sure I’ll be able to finish the game sooner rather than later.
I’m also playing Dead Cells and streaming it to Twitch. I’ve been wanting to stream for a while and didn’t really know what game to show and then Dead Cells was on sale and I figured… Why the hell not. It’s not exactly the platformer I thought it was but I’m figuring out the pattern of the first boss now and hopefully should get past it during my next session.

Finally I’ve decided to finally do something about the massive RPG backlog I’ve built up over the years and hope to tackle one RPG per month. I’m currently working my way through “I am Setsuna”. I started it up earlier but never finished the game. It’s a shorter one compared to some of the others on my list but I need to be able to cross something off to give me a bit of a boost to pick up longer games. All in all I’m playing a variety of things right now and it’s making me pretty happy to do so.

Oh I’ve also put a tiny bit of time into Final Fantasy XIV and unlocked the Dancer weapon from the Hildibrand questchain. It doesn’t look nice yet but hopefully it will with the next step of the weapon. It was nice spending some time on my bunny again but I really can’t play two MMO’s at the same time so I’m putting it down again for the time being.

Sunday Gaming Summary #2: Saving Cats and Killing Dragons

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s a weird feeling that the year will be coming to an end in less than a week. I feel like the past three years have just gone by in a daze for various reasons and I’m back to where I started in 2019: Playing World of Warcraft and raiding with a team of people.

This week we managed to down Raszageth on normal and with that lorewise I’m almost done with the new expansion. I still have some quests to unlock through renown and there’s probably some side stuff that I’ve missed but all in all I’ve done what I set out to do: kill the first big boss of the expansion. Of course this just sets up for the rest of it (spoilers incoming!) where Raszageth may have died but we were too late to prevent the fact that her kin has been freed. I guess we know what to expect for new content though and it involves killing at least three more angry Proto Dragons. We’re actually quite in the dark who the real big bad of the expansion is this time and I have to say it’s a refreshing take. I like to see where the story unfolds next and what the ultimate goal of us returning to the Dragon Isles is. I feel like we’re not done with the Old Gods yet and there have been some mentions of Galakrond that I won’t get into now.

Next to raiding I’ve been steadily working on daily quests, world quests, weeklies and whatever I can do to up my renown with the different factions. In the process I’ve unlocked accelerated renown for my alts and it will definitely help me if and when I decide that I’ve done enough on my Mage and feel ready to put time into my Warrior or another character that I enjoy playing. A lot of the quests I do are really cute and fluff filled, like the one where you have to save animals from a river and a cat desperately clings to your head as you get it to the riverbank. Obviously the best place to dig in those claws right? I’m really in love with all the cute hunting dogs of the Maruuk Centaur and all the ducks that can be found on the island, and the fact you can pet them all! All in all this expansion feels really whimsical right now, inbetween the more serious things going on, and I’m totally here for it.

As far as other games go… I’ve taken a long hard look at the steam winter sale as well as the various other sales going on and decided that I’ll pass on everything except one game for my PS5, namely that being Horizon Forbidden West. I’m getting some Playstation credit through my work Christmas gift and will be buying the PS4 version that comes with a free upgrade to PS5 and it’ll cost me total of €15. Best deal I can get on the game for sure and one that I’m excited about. For now though it’s time to head off and prepare for the four course Christmas dinner that will be served later today. Untill next week!

Sunday Gaming Summary #1

World of Warcraft is back on the menu. And so am I.

I’ve spent the last three weeks playing Dragonflight. I wasn’t planning to play the expansion. Hell I wasn’t planning to play WoW anymore at all. Yet here I am. I found a new guild to call home with a nice group of people to play with. I’m playing Horde and maining a Mage for the first time since starting up the game back in 2007. My pinky is slowly starting to get tired from all the Ice Lance spam but playing Frost has been a really fun time so far. I’m not sure how long my newfound interest for WoW will last, but for now I’m pretty much invested in both raiding and Mythic+. I like the fact that I don’t feel like I need to log in every single day to remain relevant and I can’t wait for the Mage buffs this coming Wednesday. I hope it brings Frost more in line with other dps because I refuse to learn Arcane. My brain just can’t handle it.

As far as the expansion itself goes. It’s been fun so far. I very much disliked Shadowlands. I hated what Blizzard did with the storyline and how “the Jailer was behind everything that happened up until this point”. I hated the Sylvanas story line. I firmly believe she should have been killed by Tyrande when she got the chance. I much rather would have faced an evil Tyrande than get Sylvanas her “redemption”. But I guess that choice isn’t up to me. Right now this expansion feels very much like Mists of Pandaria did. It’s whimsical, fun and low stress. The big bad, so far, has a clear story about why she is doing the things she does and the story so far has been pretty okay. I’m not as invest as I am in the Final Fantasy XIV story but for Blizzard standards it’s decent story writing.

The zones are beautiful, I love the Azure Span and Ohn’aran Plains a lot. It’s taking me back to TBC era Nagrand and WotLK Grizzly Hills respectively. I like the factions and the fact that I don’t have to grind reputation with them for anything. I want to see how the whole Wrathion vs Sabellion storyline will play out and the Tuskarr have been a very wholesome breath of fresh air. Not to mention the brilliant alternate Murloc timeline and the hunch that we will be dealing with Nozdormu/Murozond somewhere this expansion.

All in all I’m happy to be back. I’ve been pushing some Mythic+ keys this week and got a few 7’s in and our guild has cleared up until Razageth in the raid on normal mode and got a few attempts in on her tonight. The coming week we’ll only have one raid day due to Christmas but I guess we’ll see how far we will get then.

Next to WoW I’ve been playing Pokémon Violet here and there. I picked my starter, Quaxly, and have caught every single unobtained Pokémon I encountered so far. I’m not that far into the game yet because WoW came along and took all of my attention for a while but I hope to be able to pick it up again soon and start working on the various challenges the game has to offer. For now though I’m still finding some sort of balance in what I’m doing between work, social engagements, going to the gym, keeping my apartment clean and playing games. I guess that will always be a struggle. Oh well. Untill next time!