White Mage

My MMO Selves

As my first official post for Blapril I figured I’d break away from the sort of pre-established schedule and do some introductions in the first week instead of in the third. So here we are and I was struggling what I actually wanted to write about. Do I take my readers through my gaming history? Do I talk about what I do for a living? Do I just do one huge post that will become way too long and silly to read? Well I guess I could, but I’m not doing that today. Today I want to focus a bit on my current two MMO mains, my alternate selves if you’d want to describe it that way, and their history.

Although I’ve dabbled in many MMO’s, there have only been two that actually managed to stick around for a long time:
World of Warcraft to which I was introduced by an ex-boyfriend way back in 2007. I think it was right around the launch of TBC or maybe a bit before that. I’ve been playing that game off and on since and thus am almost on 13 years played somewhere in June or July on my own account.
Final Fantasy XIV which I turned to when my motivation to play WoW was dwindling. I fancied a new MMO and from what I could see at the time it looked very pretty. I always enjoyed the whole Final Fantasy range of games and I enjoy all the JRPG tropes so I figured why not try it? So I took the dive at launch in 2013 and have been playing ever since. Even if I have taken breaks there aswell.

Throughout both games I’ve made multiple characters. In Final Fantasy mostly because I switched servers and had no way to pay for a character transfer at the time. In WoW because alting was encouraged to get dabbling in multiple professions and ways to play the game. I’ve made many an alt there over the years and I’m pretty sure I have had atleast one of each class at max level during some point in my career. Especially in Legion since I did all 36 Mage Tower challenges. However there is one character in each game that has been with me since the beginning and whom I consider to be my alternate self in the game.
Let’s start with WoW shall we?

My Warrior: Sandrian. This is actually where my internet handle comes from. She wasn’t named Sandrian all the time, I think I renamed her when I joined my Dragonblight guild in 2010. She was the first character I made on my own account in 2007. She actually started out as a Human Warrior, because weapons were and are seriously oversized on Humans and I thought it looked badass. She was my first character to ever hit level cap, which was 70 at the time in TBC, and I’ve played her throughout all expansions. Sometimes as main, sometimes as alt. I’ve done a lot of PvP on her during TBC and Wrath, even did some arena at the time. I raided on her while playing all three specs, Arms/Fury/Protection, and she will always represent the truest form of who I want to be in WoW.
During my career I’ve been on three servers and changed factions twice. I started out on Vashj, a PVP server where I played both sides and ended up as Troll since Blood Elf Warriors weren’t a thing back then yet. Eventually I made the move to Dragonblight and back to Alliance in 2010 to join a guild for Cataclysm. I’ve hung out there ever since untill very recently. These days she resides on Ravencrest and I’m actually planning to get back into raiding with her again with a group of friends in the Shadowlands expansion. I will probably be doing that as Protection since I actually enjoy tanking a lot. Must be something to do with my inner control freak.

I have a lot of special memories of this character and I can’t believe I’m still playing her after all this time. It feels weird that this character has been with me for almost half my life now. I’ve grown up playing this character and met many awesome people along the way. I met one of my best friends in Wrath of the Lich King whilst raiding in the guild he was in aswell and I’ve met two boyfriends during that time. I don’t think I will ever be able to give this character up and she will remain played untill Blizzard decides to take WoW offline.
I guess it helps that this is who I aspire to be in real life aswell. A strong personality, a leader, a protector. Playing a Warrior just gives all of this and more and it makes me feel like I can finally show my true colours. Too bad I can’t run around in full battle armor and smash things with a shield in real life.

The other character that has been with me for a long time is my current main in Final Fantasy XIV. She’s not actually the original character I made but I’ve been playing her almost as long. I think I made this character in 2014 because I wanted to transfer servers but couldn’t transfer over my original character.

Meet another Sandrian! I started her up as Gladiator/Paladin because I was used to tanking from WoW and I wanted to be able to level fast on this character. And nothing says faster than instant queues for tanks. I think I’ve played a plethora of jobs as main on this character. I started out raiding as Paladin and then switched to Summoner. From Summoner I went to Bard, from Bard to Dragoon and then from Dragoon to Ninja. I finally settled on playing White Mage as main job for the time being. It’s what I love about this game and this character, you can just swap between roles and jobs as your heart desires.

Unlike in WoW I’ve not actually raided that much in FFXIV. I had a steady raid group in the base game for about one wing of the current progress raid, the Binding Coil of Bahamut. I managed to clear up to the 8th boss (or turn 8 as it was called back then) with my raid group and then we split up before we were able to clear turn 9 because we were just not seeing any progress on that boss. Partially it was one of the healers who had no idea what he was doing and partially it was the other Bard in the group at the time who just did abysmal damage. Eventually I cleared it with another group but that was a sort of boost. I just wanted it done.
I skipped raiding completely in Heavensward and also took the longest break of the game then. I came back to a new raiding group and guild group in Stormblood but again it was short lived. We cleared the first raid and then the group fell apart. I’ve not been into serious raiding since. Which is unfortunate because I actually really enjoy raiding in FFXIV and how Square Enix set it up. Maybe I’ll look for a new raid group at some point but with Shadowlands coming up in WoW in a few months I don’t think I will.
So for now I’m focussing on doing other things, like getting all my battle, crafter and gathering jobs up to maximum level. I have 4 battle jobs to go on that front so I’m actually quite close! After that there’s plenty more to do in game so I don’t think I’ll stop playing this character for a long time either.

So yeah. There you have it. The two “loves of my life” as I would like to call them. Even though I’m not as active in either game as I once was I still very much love and play both games. They tend to help me through a lot of bad times in my life and I’m able to just retreat, relax and play whenever I feel like it. With all the hours I’ve poured in both games I’ve made very good use of my subs and I don’t mind paying for both at all. Let’s hope they will continue to give me joy for many years to come!

The garden of Eden?

Not what I would imagine Eden to look like..

Now that I have my house to myself again it’s time to get back on track for my blogging schedule. I remember vaguely that I said I would blog on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. So I guess it’s time to stick to that rhythm. I may actually blog more in August seeing as Belghast is doing another round of Blaugust this year but I will elaborate on that in another post. Today I want to talk about the new 8 man raid in Final Fantasy XIV: Eden.

I have cleared this raid twice now and of course I’m not immune to the ton of biblical references that are going on with this quest chain, and in FFXIV in general in this expansion. From the bible the garden of Eden was the place where Adam and Eve lived and it was paradise.. Untill they ate the apple and got banned for all eternity. I’ve heard this tale more than once growing up seeing as how I attended a Christian school in my youth. I’m not Christian myself but I respect the religion, as I do with all others. As long as no one is trying to convert me I’m cool with whatever you believe in. I wonder if we are creating a paradise in FFXIV though, even if that is the inspiration for the story.

So yeah, the Eden raid. As far as the fights go I have an obvious favourite already, namely the first wing. I really love that first fight with it’s anime feel and all the pretty colours and the music. After the first wing I think I like the Neo-Leviathan and Neo-Titan fights about equally and I hate the second wing fight the most. Luckily people have pretty much figured out the mechanics for that one so we don’t have fuckups like we had in the first week.
All in all I’d say that Square has delivered a solid 8 man raid again when it comes to the fights themselves. I’m ridiculously pleased about the new loot system aswell. Having 8 items drop in these raids has been a massive improvement over the old system. You basically only have to run the raids once per week now to get an item and since we’re still early in the lifecycle all the tokens are useful. I personally lucked out on the final wing and got the pet last week on my first run aswell so I don’t have to roll on that anymore either. So far I managed to pick up an accesory, the belt and the gloves for my White Mage and I hope to be able to pick up the helm and chest piece next week. Or atleast make some progress towards that.

Seconds from being blasted into space

As far as the story goes, I’m more invested in this 8 man raid than I’ve been in the Heavensward and Stormblood ones. The story, like the mainstory for this expansion, is solid and I can’t wait to see what we’ll get with the next iterations. I’m assuming we are going to be fighting all the original primals in a sort of “new form” and I can’t wait to tackle Ramuh and Garuda specifically. Of course there will have to be some other fights aswell since we basically “only” have four primals left to reimagine but I’m sure that Square has some pretty neat stuff for us in store. As far as Savage goes… I’m not sure if I will be doing that. I may opt to pug as I don’t have a steady raid group right now. I mean it worked out for downing Titania Ex and I’m sure I can pug Innocence Ex aswell so pugging the first wing of Eden on Savage mode should be doable aswell right? Especially with White Mage being in the awesome position it is in now, I’m sure to be able to secure a spot somewhere.

All in all I’m quite happy to run this piece of content on a weekly basis and (slowly) gear up my classes with loot from here and from the new tomestones that are coming out next week. With the updated loot system and the fact that people get better and better at these fights as time goes on I’m quite confident this will remain enjoyable content untill the next raid comes out.

Shadowbringers Mayhem

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!