For some reason I’ve been feeling the leveling itch in World of Warcraft again. The current endgame content isn’t really appealing to me, I just can’t be arsed with the Horrific Visions and all that nonsense right now. So instead I rolled up a new baby Warlock on a different server where a bunch of friends reside on and made her a Void Elf since I hadn’t unlocked the Void Elf Heritage armor so hoping to hit two birds with one stone this way.
So far the puttering around has been pleasant. I went straight to Duskwood from Stormwind and have been making my way through the zone while also spending time queueing up for random dungeons to keep things interesting. I ran Scarlet Monastery, which on retail is the lovechild of old Graveyard and Cathedral I guess, and everything went pretty smoothly. Being fully decked out in heirlooms will do a lot for your damage and as such things just melted inbetween my slightly overpowered Fel Guard, summoned Dreadstalkers and Imps and me cackling with spitting out Shadowbolts and Hand of Guldan left right and center. Truly it’s an amazing time to be a Demonology Warlock and their army of minions. The dungeon alone gave me around three levels due to being rested, having two quests to hand in and just the completion of the dungeon in general. Fun times.
Back in Duskwood I unleashed the monstrosity Stitches unto an unsuspecting Darkshire. Honestly it’s that I get a good chunk of experience from this quest and a nice piece of gear, otherwise I would let Stitches have it’s way with the town. Who doesn’t like sitting back and watching a sewed up undead monster wreak some havoc around unsuspecting townsfolk? I’m always a little intrigued how the creature seems to light the whole town on fire without actually carrying a torch. Maybe the buildings just spontaneously combust when faced with danger?
Anyway, I quickly took care of that menace and then moved on to the west side of the zone that is centered around the Raven Hill hub. Unfortunately I had to take a bit of a break inbetween due to some max level Horde players deciding that terrorizing lowbie Alliance levellers in Duskwood is the best way to spend their Thursday evening and as such I had to wait untill the Flight Master respawned to actually get out of there. Oh well. I guess the time came in handy so I could make myself a nice cup of coffee.
Once in Raven Hill I set about doing various tasks for the hub. One led to an emotional reunion between Jitters and Sven Yorgen, which ended in Sven nearly choking Jitters to death whilst blaming him for getting the family killed. Ah reunions. So bittersweet!
In the meantime killing Morbent Fel all those years back (pre-Cataclyms) apparently had no effect so Sven asks me to investigate what is up and how it’s possible that Duskwood is still crawling with undead while the necromancer responsible for raising them should be dead and buried in a catacomb. Oh apparently I’m also to kill some of the undead and get some bear brains while at it. Righto!
I find Morbent Fel in the catacombs under the Raven Hill Cemetery where he is very much alive. Death was obviously merely a setback. As I kill him again and hand in the quest I only really have one more questchain to go in Duskwood that I picked up around the cemetery and which revolves around killing Mor’Ladim. A cursed elite mob that wanders around the Raven Hill Cemetery area. I took a quick detour to Darkshire, to pick up the quest to kill him, and then went hunting for the mob that usually wanders around the northeastern corner of the cemetery.
After picking a bone with Mor’Ladim the Skeleton and getting a fancy sword as reward for putting his spirit to rest I’m finally done with all the quests in Duskwood. I aided Darkshire and their Worgen problem. I got rid of undead and even attacked a few Ogres to get back stuff they stole. I set loose a terror and killed a Lich aswell as helping the fine folks of Raven Hill. Not bad for two hours work eh?
Next destination? Northern Stranglethorn!
After hitting the gym for the third time in eight days I came home quite exhausted this morning. It’s a good type of exhausted though and a phase that I need to push myself through as I start getting my health and stamina back on track properly. I may have set a bit of a harsh schedule for myself with trying to workout four times a week but I know that if I limit myself to once or twice a week it’s so much easier to just start skipping days than when I do it like this. So far the hardest thing has been getting up and actually getting myself to the gym or the pool. Once I’m there it’s fine and I’m happy to push myself as hard as I can before returning home sore and exhausted. Because I went in the morning this time I have all the rest of the day to do other stuff, so I went out and did groceries for the weekend, folded the immense pile of laundry that had been collecting over the week and vacuumed my bedroom and hallway. I still have to do some more vacuuming and I’m about to start working on the dishes once I finish writing this post but I feel like I’ve actually had quite a productive Saturday so far.
The other thing I wanted to talk about in this post is my return to the World of Warcraft. I spent about an hour and a half playing my Warrior just now, slowly working my way through all the quests in Tiragarde Sound. Even though I don’t really read the quest text anymore, seeing as I’ve done this zone on my Rogue at the start of the expansion, it’s nice to retrace some of the old quest steps again. I’ve adventured with Flynn to Freehold and beyond to stop the assault on Katherine Proudmoore. I’ve been fighting the corruption in Anglepoint Wharf and I’ve been doing horseback riding in Norwington Estate. It’s quite a nice zone all things considered and being able to fly everywhere has been a major boon. I’m about halfway to level 117 as of writing this and I’m not sure what level I’ll be once I finish up all the quests in the zone.
What I do know is that I’m taking it easy and just enjoying the ride. I really want to get back into the groove on my Warrior and start working on the Legendary Cloak that has been introduced in the latest Patch. I’m not sure how fast I can start tackling the new content once I hit 120 but I hope it’s fairly quick. I mean there were catch up mechanics present for Nazjatar so I hope there will be now aswell. For now I’ve parked my Rogue, and my other characters, and will solely focus on the Warrior for the time being.
Another thing I’m slowly leveling is my Bard in Final Fantasy XIV. Choosing to level it up with Trusts has kind of slowed down progress a lot when it comes to my goals in that game. It’s a concious sacrifice though. I’m kind of scared that if I ignore Trusts and just powerlevel everything to level 80 I will never go back to level them up. So I figured I might aswell combine it with leveling up the last few battle classes I still have left. Right now I’m trying to do one Trust dungeon a day and Pixie dailies and nothing else. It’s really easy to outlevel your Trusts if you do anything besides those dungeons and I’m probably going to hit level 80 way before any of them do. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do in that case. I may just park that particular group of Trusts and use my Machinist to finish off the final few levels as I’m leveling that up or I could just bite the bullet and keep leveling up my Trusts with a class that is level 80. I guess I’ll see when I get there. For now it’s just slow going and that’s fine by me.
With me reserving two evenings a week for working out and effectively my weekend mornings aswell I am even more limited in the time I can spend on playing games. It doesn’t help that the League of Legends NA and EU championships have started up again aswell, meaning that I’ll be watching that whenever I have the time. I guess it becomes more important now than ever to have a bit of structure to my days and weeks instead of just seeing where stuff goes whenever. So I’m trying to figure out what I want to do in my games, how much time said activities take and then when the best time to play them is. For FFXIV it’s easy since I just do my three Pixie Dailies and a Trust dungeon so I’m done in about 30 minutes. For WoW it’s a bit trickier. I want to level my Warrior and that can take whatever time it takes. So I’ll plan an hour or two to just play WoW and see where that takes me. Anyway this is starting to turn into a ramble a bit, so gonna stop right here.
I kind of fell off the face of the planet when the early access for Shadowbringers launched, like a lot of people surrounding me who were going to play aswell. I have posted a Twitter update here and there but didn’t really got around to get myself to sit down and blog about this entire experience. Now that I’ve hit a wall in endgame though I figured it was time to drag my attention away from my console and the game and write a blog post instead. I will give a heads up now, since the game has been out for well over a week there will be some spoilers in this blog post. If you don’t want to be spoiled don’t read any further!
So at this point in time not only have I finished the Mainstory, I’ve also gotten all the tome gear for Healers and I managed to beat Titania Ex and get the White Mage staff. The only endgame content that I haven’t finished yet is Innocence Ex but I’m probably going to tackle that somewhere during the weekend with a few people from my FC and then wait for the raid to drop next week. Seeing as I’m done with the big “get my White Mage geared” grind I’ve already started leveling my next battle jobs: Scholar/Summoner. They’re sitting at level 74 now and with the roulettes that I’m doing I get about a level a day. Add to that the fact that I can do hunts, FATEs and sidequests to level up these classes and I’m sure they will be level 80 in no time, after which I’m going to pick up Astrologian and get rid off all my sub level 80 Healer gear.
All in all I can say that Shadowbringers has been one hell of a ride. I have thoroughly enjoyed the story with all it’s twists and turns. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried. The ending with Emet-Selch was really well done and although I’m not exactly sympathetic to the Ascians mission I can get where they’re coming from. From start to finish the story had me enthralled. The zones were amazing with the highlight being the music in Rak’tika Greatwood and Upper Kholusia and the remade Ascian city in the Tempest. I loved seeing Graha’Tia again, even though he was not the one from our timeline. I love how the relationship between me as Warrior of Light and the Scions has developed. It really feels like we are a group of friends and that you’re completely accepted among them as WoL. The fact that we’ve said a final goodbye to Minfillia was really emotional aswell and I felt especially sorry for Thancred. All in all this expansion so far has managed to tug on a few heartstrings and I can’t wait to see how Square Enix will expand on the story and how the Scions will eventually return to the Source.
As far as the grinding at endgame goes… As I mentioned before I managed to get all the gear I need on my White Mage fairly quickly. Due to this I’m able to scale back a bit and start focusing on other things like picking up levelling my Crafters again and slowly levelling up my Botanist and Miner to level 80. The Crystarium hand-in quests are interesting but unfortunately only a one time only thing. So I can either choose to use them on my Botanist or my Miner but not both. For now I’ve chosen to level Botanist first and catching up with Miner via levequests. As far as my Crafters go… My Goldsmith got up to level 66 today and my Alchemist should be level 56 tomorrow. I’m a bit unwilling to set any particular goals when it comes to leveling those seeing as I have two weeks off the next two weeks and I have guests coming over so I probably won’t be playing much of FFXIV at all.
Anyway with me slowly coming out of the expansion high I expect to be posting a bit more again about what I’m up to in FFXIV and other games. I’ve attempted to make a bit of a weekly schedule where blogging is set to happen on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I just hope I have enough to write about for that schedule to really make sense. I guess we’ll see!
Today I’m proudly showing the video of our first Omega 1 Savage clear as header. We’ve started up raiding as a static and we have been slowly progressing through the content. It started with some ex-primal farm (untill everyone had their weapons and accessories) and now we’re tackling the current hardest raiding difficulty bit by bit. Now honestly I have to say that O1S isn’t the hardest fight out there. They added maybe one or two new annoying mechanics but overal it’s mostly knowing about when to slide to the sides and when not to. It’s a great fight to get you warmed up for the harder content later on and even though I died in a very silly way here I’m still proud of my part in the play.
We cleared this last week and recleared it again last night where I didn’t die and pulled much better DPS than I did before and afterwards moved on to O2S. We had been struggling with O2S on our first night of trying it mostly because people kept on dying. It’s a lot more complicated a fight than it is on the normal version and if you don’t really get the “dance” you will die to silly mechanics. Last night however things started to click together and we killed it on our 5th or 6th pull of the evening. On our kill we actually only had one death if I recall it correctly and the rest of the run was done perfectly. We cheered, the beast was dead. I also got lucky with winning 3 pieces of loot from that particular boss. The Ninja headpiece dropped (yay!), I won the Dragoon boots for my offspecc (yay?) and I won the token that will allow me to purchase my 330 weapon the moment I manage to scrape together 1000 Creator tomes. All in all I was pretty content. Then we peeked into O3S and all the sense of achievement kind of fell away as we got obliterated. Hard.
It feels like the ramp up in difficulty of Savage is quite steep. Where we killed O1S in about 3 pulls we had been struggling on O2S for almost 4 hours of pulls over 2 nights before it finally went down in the end. While in theory O2S isn’t actually that hard it’s just the damage that is punishing and any mistake made will immediatly result in death. Have too many people die and you will eventually hit enrage due to lack of DPS. It was hard to figure out and we had to replace a few people in our first week but eventually it seemed to come together. The new challenge, O3S, is a gigantic ramp up again. The first phase alone is riddled with mechanics and we’ve seen up untill she summons the dragon in the second phase. It’s a mess really. There is so much to remember. Stack, stand away, sprint to corners, stand on the right tiles, kill adds. We barely made it to 75% health on her and I was already overwhelmed with the complexity of the fight. It takes me back to raiding days in Coil where learning mechanics and timings was the most important thing you’d do in progress and there was almost no way you could brute force through stuff. They’ve brought that back in Creator Savage and I can’t wait to learn the rest of the O3S fight before advancing onto the big boss: Exdeath. We’re raiding again tonight and although I don’t expect us to down O3S I do hope we will progress farther into the fight while also perfecting the mechanics of earlier phases.
Next to progressing as a static I’m also learning to be a better Ninja. For the first 50% of the O2S fight all of our DPS were over 4k. For someone that’s barely played Ninja and is still perfecting her rotation and timings it’s a grand feat. I’m still miles away from the best of the best but I’m slowly climbing up getting better at my class as I play it more. Ten-Chi-Jin is still an ability that I need to get used to but I’m learning to incorporate it into my rotation better and my DPS is going up for it. I still have some issues timing TA/Bhava right but I’m getting there. I had briefly thought to give up Ninja and go back to Bard instead now that the class is actually fun to play again. But persistence and the fact that I’m completely in love with how Ninja looks while you play it (seriously it has the best battle animations) I’m sticking to the class and will aim at improving myself as the expansion goes on.
Another type of progress that I’ve been making is in leveling my alt jobs. I have gotten Red Mage to level 60 and am now turning my focus on White Mage. I’m not sure what happened to my love for Astrologian. It’s still there, I still think it’s a great job, but for some reason I’m enjoying White Mage a lot more right now. She’s currently sitting at level 53 and I’m mostly running roulettes for the experience instead of spamming PotD like I did on my Red Mage. Instant queues help a lot with that and it’s less boring than running the same 10 floors of PotD over and over. I’m in no real rush to level either since I met my goal of atleast one level 60 battle job per month. However if I could get her a few more levels over the coming days that would be nice.
All in all I’m content with how FFXIV is going now. I’ve set clear goals for myself and I’m hoping I can stick to them. Breaking them down into weekly chunks has been nice because I don’t have to look and plan ahead that much. It also means that I’m putting less pressure on myself to actually attain stuff. It mostly helps me focus on doing one thing at a time. Static raiding will take away some of that time but it’s time well spent. I really hope we will down O3S soon and that we all get a little better geared so that we have an easier time clearing and reclearing the content.
I feel pretty pleased with myself today. After a bit of a tumultuous week I’ve had a very nice relaxed weekend with lots of gaming and fun. I made some progress on both of my characters on FFXIV. My Astrologian is now level 54 after finishing Palace of the Dead completely for the first time yesterday. I’m sitting on +18/+21 after that complete run so I shouldn’t be too far off of getting my weapon. I’m still undecided which class I want to give it to, I don’t really play anything besides Ninja, but since I’m already working on my Relic there I want to give it to some other class. Now the only other battle classes I have at max level are Bard and Dragoon. Seeing my little rant earlier about Bard being horrible to play and me not being able to adapt well I don’t think I’ll get that weapon first. I’ve not really touched Dragoon either since I switched to Ninja and I don’t think I will anytime soon, so that one is out of the question aswell. I’m strongly leaning in the way of giving the weapon to my Astrologian. I like having a non-DPS class at max level and am actually having a very nice time playing the class so it would be a logical decision no? The only downside there is that my Astrologian isn’t 60 yet, but I don’t think that will take me that long at all to reach.
Difficult decisions indeed. So instead of grinding out that weapon I turned my attention to some other stuff instead. I’ve gotten almost everything I wanted from the Moonfire Faire on Sandrian, bar the Orchestrion scroll. I have to say man, the absurd amount of people doing those damn two fates makes it really annoying to grind the Faire tickets. Plus the first time the FATE’s didn’t even register me participating, forcing me to drop the quest and pick it back up again. The idea this year is fun though and speaks to nostalgia. Power Rangers and all that. I had hoped for a bit different rewards like maybe a Barding, we haven’t had one of those in a while now. But I guess I’ll have to make do with (ugly) glamours, emotes and an Orchestrion scroll. It could be worse I guess.
Next to the Moonfire Faire I’m also still working on my Yo-Kai grinding. Halfway through weapon number 4 on Sandrian now and I’m working on my second weapon on Sarella. I’ve also completed my weekly Crystal Tower so only two more Aether Oils to go!
All in all I feel like I’m making some progress in FFXIV again. I might not be back on the cutting edge of raiding, but I’m slowly completing the stuff that I want. I really hope I’m able to get all my battle classes to 60 by the end of the year on Sandrian. I know it’ll take a lot of work, but with some dedication and concentration I’m sure I’ll make it. I mean, I only have three classes below level 50 now and with PotD, roulettes, FATE grinding and Crystal Tower raids levelling goes fast enough.
After dinging 58 this week on my Bard I got my ass in gear and picked up the Bard quest where I left it and landed at Moghome. Curious to see the ending to the search for the Ballad of Oblivion I pushed my Bard hard this week… And managed to ding 60 tonight!
After I dinged I set out to complete the level 60 Bard quest. Where we were pitted against a harpy (of course).
And where Guydelot comes to “save the day”, telling us instead of looking for the Ballad of Oblivion, we should write our own about how we killed this particular wretch.
Needless to say, she didn’t like us much.
After all of it I finally got my last Bard skill: Sidewinder. And the achievement for completing the level 60 Bard quest!
This is now my third class to level 60 and so far I have to say I’m a bit disappointed in the route Square Enix has decided to take on Bard. They effectively turned them into casters, basically “forcing” us to use Wanderer’s Minuet when we are able to stand still on a fight. Although I’m sure I can get used to this new type of gameplay (switching in and out of WM according to fight needs), I’m not too keen on having my mobility taken away on a hunter type character. I’ve always loved the hunter/archer archetype and I feel like I’ve become some sort of melee mage now. Nevertheless I kind of enjoyed the Bard story to 60, my search for a non-existing song and the five new abilities I have gotten.
Also I totally need to show off the Dravanian Set of Aiming, which are dungeon drop items from the new Ex-Roulette dungeons: Lost City of Amdapor (Hard) and The Antitower. Don’t I look absolutely amazing with my hat?