Updates and pictures

It’s been rather quiet on the blogosphere of late. Maybe it’s because of the holidays, maybe it’s because a lot of people quit playing Wildstar (myself included) or maybe it’s just because there is nothing to blog about.
I myself fall into the last category. Well not entirely. I have tons and tons of things to blog about, but I just can’t seem to get it in writing.

Right now however I have achieved a lot of things on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that I just HAVE to share it with everyone.

First off: my static Coil group has made it to turn 9. Or the Second Coil of Bahamut Turn 4, whatever tickles your pickle. Unfortunately I wasn’t there for our first turn 6 clear, but I am there on the kill screens of the turn 7 and turn 8 kills.
On the turn 7 picture I’m standing to the far right, on the turn 8 one I’m standing on the far left. And no I’m not the big burly Roegadyn 😉

I’m very proud that my team has come this far. We are currently competing over the first turn 9 clear in our Free Company with another coil group and we hope and pray that we get it first. But for that we will need some more gear…

Speaking of gear, my Animus bow is coming along nicely, I’m currently working on book 7/9 and I hope to be finished next week. After that the big grind for Novus begins, but I’ll comment about that in another post.

Speaking of gear. I have been having fun with some glamours to make my character stand out among the crowd (see above picture). You need to see glamours as a sort of transmog from WoW but a bit different. Luckily for me one of the healers in my coil group is a master crafter and had an awesome looking chestpiece “lying around”. Mind you this chestpiece is worth 1 million gil on the Marketboard so I was kind of stunned he just gave it to me. For reference, it’s the Augmented Saurian Tabard of Aiming and for anyone who plays endgame, you know how ridiculously expensive this thing is as normal quality… This one is high quality. Anyway, I do believe Sandrian looks awesome in this look so I think I’ll keep her this way for a while.

Another interesting thing that I did was finally bring Sarella over from Shiva. And turn her into a Hyur because having two Miqo’tes is kind of meh.
I’ve been mostly using her as Botanist so far, currently level 31, but main Monk on her, a class that I thoroughly enjoy. I’m currently in what I believe a very sexy gearset for botanist so ofcourse I had to share this with you guys. The set that you see here is one that I crafted myself on Sandrian and I’m damn proud of it!

For the near future I hope to level Sarella to level 50 botanisht and show off that gear and clear turn 9 and get my Animus weapon on Sandrian. Which I ofcourse will show off aswell.
I can’t make any promises about blogging more, but I will try to put an update of my activities every now and then.

The Road to Animus

Last week I finally finished the Atma grind on Sandrian. I absolutely hated every step of the way. Whoever came up with it at Square Enix can go jump off a cliff.

In theory I don’t really mind grinding FATE’s, aslong as I know there will be some sort of certain reward. Which an Atma isn’t. They drop randomly and thus I’ve spent somewhere inbetween 5 mins to 7 hours trying to get one to drop. The zone I spent the most time in was Central Thanalan and I’m pretty sure I screamed with joy when I finally saw the damned thing drop. It does make for a nice picture if you have all 12 of them though, as you can see to the left. Yes I color coordinated them to make it look pretty. Having done this once tho, I’m not very likely to do it again for a different job in the near future. Almost going insane with grinding isn’t something you would like to happen more than once a year.

But I finally got my Atma weapon, which I’m quite thrilled about. I lost the glow, but I like the colours more than the ones on the original weapon.

After I finished up my Atma I immediatly went to  Mor’Dhona to pick up my first Animus book. You can get 9 books in total, each costing 1500 tomes of mythology, and they upgrade a stat on your Atma weapon. Finish all 9 of them and your Atma turns into an Animus.
The books contain 4 pages of stuff you need to do. One page for Enemies you need to kill, one page for Dungeons you need to complete, one page for FATE’s you need to complete and one page for Levequests that you need to do as you can see below.

Personally I try to work from zone to zone, clearing out everything in a certain zone that I need to. Ofcourse this also means that I have to wait on FATE’s a lot, but I find this to be less annoying than running FATE’s in the hope of something dropping. I tend to save dungeons for last and ask guildies to help me out with them if needed.
I’ve currently just finished up my second book and am about 500 myth tomes away from buying the third one. Since patch 2.3 myth has been a lot easier to get so I’m aiming to get a book every two days, something that should be easily achieved right now.

I’ll keep you updated about my progress on this weapon and ofcourse show it off once I have it. And then the next big upgrade starts… Novus!

P.S.
I won’t be blogging about Wildstar for a bit seeing as I have no playtime and thus not much to talk about. I WILL post about FFXIV tho.

Levelling Through Algoroc

I arrived in Tremor Ridge in Algoroc before logging of from levelling Verana last time, but since it was already late then and I didn’t feel like pulling an all nighter I decided to continue levelling yesterday. And I took pictures!

Coming in from the Northern Wilds you get a bit shocked when you arrive at Algoroc. It’s prairie/farm country and suddenly a very suitable climate for short shorts and sheep!

Rowsdowers are a peculiar species to see. Spacesheep essentially. I’ve seen them already on my Aurin but not really as I’ve seen them here in Algoroc. According to game lore they appear to be quite resistant for anything so that they can be kept in hot and cold climates. They’re mostly just silly to see.

I hopped into questing straight away and was sent up a ledge to collect Loftite Crystals and discovered a camp at the snowy top! It appeared one of the spaceships crashed and started leaking radioactive material. This led to radioactive creatures which weren’t very happy to see me (maybe because I was smashing their eggs?) and some vessels of radioactive material spread out over this particular zone. And yes those did hurt when you got close to them. It was also the first bit of underwater questing I had to do there. It seems Mordesh have a bit longer before they run out of breath than other classes but even then it was nice to have streams of air bubbles under water.

After supplying Tremor Ridge with Loftite I went on my merry way to the next big town in the zone: Gallow. Where the first part of Algoroc is mostly prairie and cliffs, and apparently still some snow, the second part as you head to Gallow transforms into green farmland surrounded by woods…. With cows! Which ofcourse were under attack by wolves and predatory birds. Go figure. 
Gallow is a lovely village, probably as rural as a space village in Wildstar can get. They send you on various quests, from saving cows to tracking down townsfolk to protecting the town against Dominion forces. A small note: When it turns night in Wildstar and you are in this zone you get a very fun challenge… Cow Tipping! When I activated that I laughed my ass off while running for my life because tipping apparently makes sleeping cows angry.
Unfortunately as you try to protect Gallow from Dominion Forces a lot of innocent townspeople are killed. Even the funeral isn’t safe which leads to coffins with corpses in there just standing at the graveyard.
Kind of creepy.

I didn’t manage to do the entirety of the zone unfortunately. I was outlevelling the main story quests fast because I got distracted by many sidequests and didn’t want to be stuck in Algoroc forever. So I saw some area’s that I didn’t enter, like this mysterious arch.

The ending of the zone is quite epic and a first real encounter with the Eldan. There is this monstrous robot, the Annihilator, wreaking havoc and it’s your job to find a way to shut it down. 
Funnily enough most of my Scientist path missions were in that particular zone. So far I’m enjoying the Scientist. There is a lot of lore involved and you get to know a lot about the wildlife on Nexus aswell. It can be a bit tiresome to find all the data cubes in a zone, I didn’t find all of them in Algoroc, but apart from that it’s a fun path. 
It was a bit of a pity I couldn’t clear the entire zone though, but I didn’t want to wait to get my house and mount.

I did however get a cool hat from my Scientist path somewhere near the end of my questing in Algoroc.
So now Verana has made her way to Thayd where she started working on her house in the sky. I don’t want to spend too much money on it since I also want a mount. But a small start is there and I might do a small post about it when I get the housing plot to look cooler.
For now I’ll dive back into Nexus and will see you next time with more screenshots!

Meet Verana

I’ve been getting some more Wildstar time in and decided to roll a little alt. I wanted to try out the Warrior class, but didn’t want to play Aurin or Human. So I made a Mordesh, called her Verana and hopped into the game.

With and without her amazing hat. I like the way she looks. Kind of menacing, but pink! I have to say that I’m actually liking the Mordesh movement more than Aurin right now. It’s all a bit slower and easier to control rather than my little Aurin stalker who bounces all over the place.

I figured I would start in the Human zone for a change, Northern Wilds, and was immediatly awed by it. Yes yes Everstar Grove is bigger and very green, but all the snow was just amazing to see. You get in when there is a huge snowstorm going on.

The little dudes you see in the snow are actually Wildstar’s idea of yeti’s. I felt bad for killing them, they were so nice and furry… Also avalanches! And yes they hurt if you got caught in them.
After a while I got send to a special station, as seen below, and when I came out, the storm was gone! You can also see my trusty Data Cube on the second screenshot, I called her Dixie by the way. I’m a Scientist on this character and loving it so far.

The quests in Northern Wilds are funny and sad at the same time. I managed to rescue someone from the snow, but not everyone was that lucky.

 I also talked to someone in a bubbling pot…

All in all the zone was great. I wasn’t really taken away with the story. Sadie Brightland randomly dies (sorry for the spoiler!) and I felt a lot less sympathy for the Exiles here than I did in the Aurin Starting zone. Poor tree! Also, the rewards for questing were a bit inappropriate for the climate. I do your bidding and you give me short shorts in the snow? Silly Wildstar…

I did like the Northern Wilds as starting zone a lot. It was nice to do something different from Evenstar Grove and it’s not a huuuuuge zone to start in. As you can see in some of my screenshots I no longer use the standard Wildstar UI. I installed Potato UI instead. It seems to have helped with my FPS issues so I do like playing it more now. Unfortunately my sub runs out on July 3rd and I’m not sure if I’m in the financial position to renew it. I’ll have to wait and see.
For now I think I found my new love: Warrior. It feels very much like the Warrior I’m used to from World of Warcraft and I’ve completely fallen in love with my little Mordesh. I’m taking a lot more screenshots on her aswell (as you notice) so expect more screenshot filled posts the coming two weeks!

Annoyed At Wildstar

After reading fellow Blogger Jaedia post about her FPS issues I figured I would make a little post of my own about that and how it’s making me feel towards Wildstar as a game.

I have tried out Wildstar in beta phase and noticed that the game wasn’t optimized very well. I was having horrible FPS drops, even on Low settings, and although I did like the game play itself, the graphics made me not want to play it at launch initially.

As launch came closer I started to itch. I wanted to get on the hypetrain that was Wildstar but was afraid that I would still have graphic issues. Inspite of this I decided to buy the game after all. My fears however were justified. I still had those horrible FPS drops that I had way back in the beta. It became a bit less after removing the old roaming folder, but it was still horrible. On Low settings I would jump up to 90 FPS, but drop down to 30 aswell. On Medium Settings I’m bouncing somewhere between 15 FPS and 50 FPS. It all seems very random too.
There is a little area in Celestion where you have to do quests that require you to jump on waterspouts. Water, as animation, is very difficult for graphics cards. However I didn’t seem to have any issues there. I could just ride the spouts, land and have minimum FPS loss.

I had to land on top of a statue with the help of those waterspouts for a Settler quest. Wasn’t easy!

Moving over to the next zone however, Thayd, gave me horrible framerates. I’m not really sure if it’s the enorm amount of NPC’s there (because honestly I didn’t see many players at the time) or if it’s somehow coded differently. Either way, my graphics card chokes.

What I described above has affected my gameplay significantly. I’ve tried a few solutions to make my graphics better but to no avail. This causes me to be annoyed at the game after a while. Having random almost freezes is never fun. It’s also made me a bit reluctant to play, even though I unlocked my personal housing and mount.

Which obviously is an utter shame. I’ve already found so many interesting things in Wildstar. So much humour. It reminds me a lot of World of Warcraft from “ye olden days”. Although I find Wildstars lore not very attractive as of yet, the gameplay itself feels very refreshing. And if you encounter a tiny village full of cowering mini rabbits, who wouldn’t fall in love?

As it stands now though I don’t think I’ll go for a renewal of my sub once my first month is over. The lack of optimization of the game is driving me crazy. And unless Carbine finds a way to fix it playing Wildstar is more frustrating than fun for me.

Wildstar Beginnings

Wildstar arrived yesterday and I’ve logged quite some time on it since. Working out graphic issues, unfortunately I have to play the game on low settings, getting accustomed to playing Stalker again and trying to figure out what the hell a Settler is supposed to be doing.

I’ve taken some screenies along the way. I was still devastated that the Chua killed the elder tree in the Aurin starter zone. Luckily I managed to get a screenshot of him before his horrible demise.

Poor chap deserved better than that. But well, atleast it gives the Aurin even more of a reason to hate the Dominion. And wow… the Dominion. They seem to really go all out bad guy in this game. Their primary focus, next to conquering Nexus, is making sure the Exiles suffer. Evil right there I tell you. I have started a Dominion character on Zhur (EU) but didn’t play her much yet. You all might get a glimpse in a future post.
Anyway… Back to screenshots.

I arrived at Woodhaven… And it was just as gorgeous as on Beta. The waterfalls were still immense and everything looked much more finished. There were tons of things to do for me as Settler aswell. Apparently I’m responsible for decorating the towns with flowers and banners. Too bad that they keep respawning and are not permanent once you planted them. Next to that I’m the one in charge of the pop up HP/XP/Stat increasing booths. It’s quite awesome.
This is the point where I had to turn down my graphics aswell. I was getting major drops and almost made the game unplayable for me. So now everything looks a little bit more ugly, but atleast I can play and that’s what matters!

Also, I’ve been trying to find every bit of lore I possibly can in the big open world. Sometimes you really need to keep your eyes open for hidden datacubes or books or leaflets. Especially data cubes are fun to find because you don’t have to read, someone will actually tell you what it says! They’re just scattered in sneaky little spots, thus making some very hard to find…

At the end of my furious leveling on launch day I was a level 8 Stalker, arrived in Woodhaven and very pleased with the game so far. I like the combat system, as Stalker mind you, and Lightspire is bustling with activity and new players. I can’t wait to advance further and unlock mounts and housing, which I’m sure will take up a lot of time aswell.

Meet The Aurin

So, my copy of Wildstar arrived today and ofcourse I immediatly installed it and got it rolling.
The first thing I noticed was that damn, I still have graphical glitches when I try to play the game on High or Ultra High settings. It seems my graphics card can’t handle that. On Medium everything still looks pretty and I have a lot less graphical issues, I mostly get glitches on cutscenes and when zooming in and out on my character, so I will probably keep playing it on those settings.

In the meantime, meet Sandrian… Aurin Stalker Settler extraordinaire!

I took this screenshot on high settings, although I find it too be almost equally as pretty on medium. I haven’t found out how to hide the UI yet though 🙁 I did however scale it down to a normal size now.

So yeah, I chose to be a Stalker, the class I had insanely much fun on when I was playing Beta, and as path I chose Settler. Why? Pop up mailbox! Among other things anyway.
I have made it to level 5 right now, and level 3 Settler, while waiting for the lovely Jaedia from Jaedia’s Menagerie to log so I can add her as friendsies and join the Twitter/Blogger guild that has sprouted on Lightspire.
Other than that I’m going to look into making a Dominion character on the Zhur server where Wabbage from Wabbage’s Den plays on.
Anyway, now that I’ve given you a little glimpse of the Aurin I’m off to play some more!

About Boarding The Hype Train

Now that I’m at the brink of graduation from university I find myself in the position that I have a lot, and I mean a lot, of free time. Due to the jobmarket being as is I don’t expect to find a job soon so this will leave me with days to fill.
So far I’ve been entertaining myself with FFXIV. My character, Sandrian Noble on Moogle EU, is slowly levelling up all jobs and seeing most of the game. I have a Paladin, Scholar and Summoner at level 50, a Bard at level 41, both Black and White Mage at level 30, Pugilist (Monk) at level 20, Marauder (Warrior) at level 11 and finally Lancer (Dragoon) at level 10.
If I want to get all of them to level 50, and I plan to do so, I will have to make some sort of playing schedule because honestly I will get burned out if I don’t. Even if I love playing Final Fantasy as a whole, levelling the classes through the same content gets kind of tedious if you do it for the 5th, 6th, 7th time. So I need a break from the game every now and then.

Now queue Wildstar. It’s hyped up a lot, I’ve been following it myself, and a lot of people I know are going to play it. It seems to be one of the first “sci fi” based MMO’s to draw my attention, I tried SWtoR 10 mins and hated it, and I would actually have the time to play it. I’m just really doubting if I should jump the hypetrain.
First off, it’s another sub-based MMO. Although they’re introducing a system where you can buy your sub via ingame gold, it requires a lot of playtime to actually acquire those things. I’m quite sure that people will sell them for impossible amounts of currency, which in turn forces everyone to buy the sub anyway. Considering that I’m already paying my sub for FF and that I will probably pick up WoW around Warlords of Draenor again I don’t know if it’s very smart to pick up a third MMO, especially since my income has very much diminished over the past month.
Secondly I’m not really sure if I can commit to playing yet another game. I notice I get bored with things fast lately, I thought I would be playing much more Diablo III than I’m actually doing, and it looks like Wildstar isn’t very casual friendly (please correct me if I’m wrong). I’m afraid that Wildstar will suck me in which will lead to me dropping FFXIV, a game where I’m finally happy in. I’m not sure if this will happen mind you but my previous attempts of playing two MMO’s have miserably failed because I’m bad at setting boundaries. I have trouble saying “no” if people ask me to do stuff and in turn don’t do what I want to do myself.
Thirdly, I’m not sure if I actually like the game itself. I have played some Wildstar beta and found it to be very graphically glitchy then. Watching the streams now it seems that a lot of players are using add-ons to help them level. The only class that has gotten me immediatly hooked was Stalker. I didn’t try much of the rest but noticed that I don’t really like the battle system with ranged classes from the bits that I did play.
Lastly I’m really worried that Wildstar will be yet another “overhyped” game that will draw a bazillion players at the start, but die out after one or two months of play. It’s happened to so many MMO’s. I know that there’s still thousands of people playing Guild Wars 2, Rift, TERA and whatnot but I’m used to the massiveness of Warcraft and that’s probably making me biased.

I could be worried about nothing since FFXIV has around 1.5 million people subscribed and playing and is still bustling with activity after almost a year after launch. But there’s still that little bit of me that’s concerned. Nevertheless I caved in and bought the game, against a discount, and am now taking a risk. Again. There are some Wildstar posts to be expected the coming week. I won’t stop playing FF14 however, and I did promise some Rafflesia pics.

Sceneries and the Wildstar hype

I really love the world of Final Fantasy 14. Square Enix made a beautiful MMO.
Their world is breathtaking, especially in 1080p HD. Which I can actually see thanks to playing on a Playstation 4. The shadow details are amazing, as are a lot of the other details. Even the weather is gorgeous.
My two favorite zones have to be Central Shroud, which you can see below and the coast of Eastern la Noscea with the Costa del Sol town, also below.
Square Enix really managed to capture the pristine white beaches and ancient forests and I can just sit in either of these locations for ages.

Next to all the running around in Eorzea, I’ve been more or less interested in the hype that is called Wildstar. I’ve taken part in an open beta weekend, when the game was still rather glitchy on graphics, but apparently a lot of people are very hyped up to play it. I’ve been seeing squee’s about early acces everywhere and blogs about Wildstar are sprouting like weeds.
I have to say I’m a bit jealous about this. It really gives off the vibe of being the next big MMO and I can’t really take part in it due to financial reasons. Luckily I’ll probably get a 7 day guest pass but even then I feel a bit left out.
Then again, a lot of MMO’s have been very hyped up over the past few years only to die a silent death. FFXIV was bustling with activity for the first few months but has dwindled down a bit aswell now. I’m lucky to be in a nice free company with a steady raid group, but I can imagine it’s not much fun if you don’t have these things. I really hope Wildstar lives up to the hype though and that Carbine/NCSoft can push out enough content to keep people interested.

And who knows. Maybe I’ll pick it up aswell and use it as another blogging topic. For now I’m going to head back into Eorzea and roam the beautiful lands again.

I’m Still Around!

It’s been a while I know. I’ve been busy and then the blogging get’s chucked to the background unfortunately.

I haven’t sat still during the time I wasn’t posting. I’ve been playing Diablo and Final Fantasy 14 a lot, and finally found a nice static raidgroup for the latter.
We’ve tackled turn 5 of the Binding Coil of Bahamut and are now struggling our way through turn 6. I also picked up my lovely ilvl 100 Soldiery Chest, that doesn’t look to bad from the front…

But rather horrible from the back… Really SE? What were you thinking when designing this!

I was very very excited to finally get Twintania down with my new group though. We had been struggling for a while, our tank kept dying, and at some point we had to make a decision to either replace the tank or one of our healers. Luckily for us, and unfortunately for him, the healer we wanted to replace decided to announce that he would retire from the game due to lack of fun. We got a new healer in, an amazing Scholar, and downed Twintania, and turn 5, in less than an hour of trying. So happy faces all around!

I’m trying to take more screenshots of my adventures in FF14 so expect a bit more picture posts from me. I’ll take a screenie next time we enter Turn 6 so you can see the horror that is Rafflesia. But I’m also planning a little scenery post because gosh, even after playing for almost 10 months the scenery in FF14 still impresses me.

On another topic, I’m probably getting a 7 day trial pass through Wabby for Wildstar. I’ve been very undecided if I actually want to play the game and this is the perfect mid ground. I can try it out for 7 days and then decide if I’m getting it or not. Win/win no?

Expect a few more posts coming from me soon! For now I just wanted to let everyone know I’m still alive and kicking…