With the introduction of the Tomes of Esoterics, I’ve been logging in daily to at least to the daily hunt logs and 1 expert dungeon so that I can get the weekly cap for the “Eso” tokens in order to upgrade my gear from the current i180 to i200. There are only the 2 dungeons in the expert rotation right now — Neverreap and The Fractal Continuum, and of the 2 Neverreap is considered “easier but more annoying” because there are a ton of mechanics to dodge even when fighting the trash mobs between bosses. This is especially true for Black Mages that are “turret casters” who can’t move during their long cast times. The final boss in Neverreap is particularly egregious because he summons tornadoes that randomly move around the dungeon which do about 1,000 points of damage and toss you up in the air plus when he summons adds he drops aggro on the tank and randomly flies around and it’s a decently large hit if you don’t get out of the way.
As you can probably tell, this makes for a lot of running around to avoid the mechanics. Black Mages at 60 need to keep track of their Astral Fire and Umbral Ice buffs (which last only 10 seconds but need a stationary cast of 2.5 seconds to re-apply) while also keeping up the 30-second duration Enochian buff in order to be able to cast the Fire 4 spell which is the primary damage spell now. They also need to be able to be stationary for about 7 seconds in order to change over from Astral Fire to Umbral Ice in order to cast Blizzard 4 in order to refresh the Enochian buff before it falls off, else they lost the ability to cast Fire 4 for 30 seconds and have to go back to using Fire 1 instead. Sometimes this is hard to juggle even when stationary, so when you have to dodge 3 tornadoes and the boss while trying to keep everything going and kill the adds asap then when they’re dead run to the boss so that his knockback doesn’t toss you off the side of the dungeon for an instant kill on you……
Yeah, it’s kinda rough. So anyway…… as we were about to go into that fight, I commented in group chat that this boss was a PITA. And he was, though as I do the fight more often it seems to get better. Hopefully that means I’m improving. Even so, after we downed the boss I said “Man this guy’s annoying.” But then the healer piped up “You’re one of the best black mages that I’ve pugged with.” And I got all 3 player commendations for the run that I could. So that was really nice. I don’t completely suck! Validation!
I still haven’t tried out the 2 Primal Extreme fights yet, nor set foot in Alexander. I have been logging in daily and running an Expert dungeon and my daily hunts logs though. The daily hunts are to get the seals needed for equipment upgrades, and with last weeks patch, the new “Tomes of Esoterics” were added to the game. These can be traded in for i200 equipment (which can be upgraded to i210) and are capped at a maximum of 450 per week. Since an Expert roulette yields 75 (35 for the dungeon, 40 for the daily bonus), running 6 expert roulettes in a week is enough to cap you out. I’m currently at 375 for the week, but I’ll get the cap tonight and then it will reset tomorrow. The i200 weapon costs 990 Esoterics, so it will need 2 weeks and 2 days to get. I’ve compared it on the vendor to my existing weapon and even though it’s “only” a jump of 20 ilvls, it’s a massive jump, so while the other Esoterics pieces of armor cost less and could be gotten more quickly, I’m planning to discipline myself and get the weapon 1st, then probably the jewelry, and then the armor last. Though I may just do 1 ring to jump it from 170 to 200, then do the armor, and then the jewelry last. We’ll see.
Still and all, with the weekly cap and given the fact that the pieces cost more than the Tomes of Law gear, this “gear grind” will take a lot longer to get through. Meanwhile, since I’m doing the hunt logs on my Summoner job, it’s leveling up nicely and this in turn brings the Scholar job on up to boot. Only doing the 1 Expert roulette each day has significantly reduced the number of Law tomes I’m bringing in, though, so while I’ve manage to at least buy the i170 (and upgrade it to i180) Scholar book, and I’ve also gotten the i170 chest piece for healer gear, there’s still a long way to go for the healer set. Fortunately it will be a while to get the WHM and AST jobs up (WHM still 50, AST still 42) so there’s no rush on it. I’ve got nearly the full i160 healer set out of the Expert dungeons, so it’s not like the SCH will exactly be hurting for gear once I get the ACN class to 60. Although….. even though both the SCH and SMN are 58 and both wearing the level 58 HQ quest reward gear and both using level 58 weapons, the SMN has an iLvl of 142, while the SCH is sitting at 133. The difference is the jewelry. As I leveled BLM I also managed to get a decent set of level 56-58 jewelry which the SMN now takes advantage of, but the SCH is still mostly wearing the level 50 i115 jewelry, which drags down the overall gear level. But the jewelry upgrades appear to be of only marginal benefit with an extremely high cost in gil on the market board, so I’ve not worried about that and will just upgrade it all when the SCH hits 60. And that means I probably should focus more on the jewelry with Tomes of Law going forward, since I’ve got all the “left side” i160 pieces waiting, but still have gaps in the jewelry line-up.
In other news, the xp for FATEs in the Heavesnward zones was massively boosted in last week’s patch as well. The speculation, which certainly seems plausible, is that the FATE xp was deliberately set low at 1st so that it would be more efficient to level by following the main story quest on the 1st job, and once that 1st month-ish was over and “everyone” had their 1st 60, then the FATE xp spigot was opened up so that the alt-jobs can now level at a decent speed in the new areas, rather than endlessly grinding away at the FATEs in North Thanalan while level-sync’d down. As it is, most FATE’s seem to give 32-40K XP now, with some that chain into each other progressively increasing in xp rewards. The “DD” (sorry, I don’t recall what it stands for) FATE in northern Churning Mists is a 3-FATE chain with the 1st yielding only 18K xp, but the 2nd gives the typical 40K, and the 3rd one gives 118K. Anyway, the point of me typing all this out is that I spent enough time grinding FATEs in CM to get a complete level on the ACN class. I specify as ACN, becuz while I mostly did it as SMN, there was a point where the Party Finder group had only 1 open slot and it specified healer, so I swapped to SCH while in that group ;-)
My 5-yr old daughter also decided that she wanted to “make a little kid like me” for a new character, so we fired up the character creator… and she went with an Au Ra instead. She directed all of the appearance customizations, though I did the actual clicking and she just told me “I want the butterfly tatoo” and whatnot. And of course now it needs to have a unicorn and a fairy and so on, so I spent a lot of time leveling it up as a CNJ this weekend. Level 19 CNJ, level 10 ACN and level 10 THM so far. I’ll probably not play it again until next weekend, since she can always play my character if she wants to fly around, and of course she still has her “cat with red hair and red ears” too. She actually did have me also create a Lalafell for her, but it’s still level 1 and she wandered away from it after only a few minutes of the tutorial. We’ll see how it goes if she has me work on that one too. Time will tell.
Happy gaming out there!
I don’t know why, but I seem to have some sort of psychological block about getting into anything called a raid anymore. Which is odd becuz back in EQ2 I was in a raiding progression guild that actually fell apart after the Rise of Kunark expansion becuz people actually took their time leveling to the new cap instead of rushing so we could raid the new content ASAP, but up until then we raided the hardest content 2x per week or as often as the coooldowns would let us. Ever since that guild, though, I’ve not really had much interest in raiding at all. FFXIV’s raids tend to simply be 8-man affairs, though, so not really “raids” as I perceive them (24/25 people), and I’ve got the gear levels to do the Extreme trials — I know people ni the FC with lower gear levels that are doing them just fine too. But for me I just kinda go “Whatever. Maybe someday.”
So… I still haven’t done Bismarck or Ravana Extreme, nor stepped foot into the Alexander raid floors as of yet. I plan to soon, but I’m also still having fun getting the Tomes and Seals for the other gear. Gear level is currently 178 and I just need another 2 days to have all the seals needed to upgrade the last armor piece to 180, which will either leave the gear level at 178, or maybe bump it to 179. We’ll see. (Edit to add an update: I misjudged the number of seals I had, so was able to upgrade the final piece last night, and it did indeed put me to i179 for the overall average.)
After that, if I want to get higher gear, getting the Hive weapon from Ravana Extreme or doing Alexander raids will be the only way to go, so I might give it a look-see then. Or I might not. I like leveling my alt-jobs too, and I’m happy to say “my gear’s good enough for what I like to do” and leave it at that.
I worked on my Summoner some more this weekend and got it to level 55. Mostly the daily hunts still, but I also looked up a guide and flew around and got all the sightseeing vistas. I’d found a few here and there while leveling as a Black Mage but didn’t actually realize what they were until later and I didn’t want to “waste” the xp they award when I was already level 60. I had 36 or 37 left to get, so at 18,000 xp a pop, it was pretty decent for simply flying around. Some were pretty well hidden even with the guides giving coordinates and screenshots, so there was still a little bit of challenge to them in spite of the external aids. This got me about 1/3 of the way into 55 toward 56, so it was a nice boost. Too bad I can’t do it again. I almost wonder if I shouldn’t have done it on my Astrologian or Dark Knight. It would have been worth 2 or 3 levels for them. No biggie though.
I also got the Astrologian to 42 so it’s coming along nicely. After I get it to 50 I’ll probably try to level it simultaneously with White Mage so that I don’t have to keep multiple healer gear sets around, but we’ll see how I feel when that time comes. Happy gaming out there!
Due to last week’s IRL trip, I delayed finishing up the 3.0 story missions until I got home this week, and while on the one hand I’m glad I waited, on the other, unlocking the end of the story also unlocks 2 more dungeons and the Expert roulette, making it possible to get 360-400 Tomes of Law per day for 3 dungeon runs, which I did on both Saturday and Sunday so now I’ve got my robe, legs, and helm from the set — just gloves and feet to go! Though upgrading them all from 170 to 180 will take a while since it takes 3 days of the daily hunts to get enough seals for 1 item, with a touch left over, unless I want to jump on the hunt train. I’ve already upgraded the robe, but there are still 4 more pieces, so that’s 1200 seals — 11 days (110 seals per day from the hunts, so 11 days is 1210). And of course, the Alexander raid has been released and it enables one to get i190 gear and I’ll be looking into getting into that soon. Some FC members have already cleared all 4 floors that are currently available, and while I feel no need to “catch up” it sounds like the raids are a lot of fun, so… why deny myself the fun of doing them too?
I’m still working on the Summoner with the daily hunts. I can do them all up through the level 59 mobs anymore, so no loss of 2 hunts worth of XP like I was doing from 50-52. I’m within a day of level 54 now, so should get that tonight. Something I’d forgotten when I got to level 52 as a Summoner was that Scholar had leveled up simultaneously, so I went back and did the quest for it to get my level 52 skill for that job also. I’ve also done a little work on my Pugilist, getting it to level 23, and then spent some time with the Astrologian, getting it to 38 and rather close to 39 now. This past weekend I tried a few low-level dungeons as the AST, but without the roulette XP bonus the low-level ones like Satasha and Tam-Tara Deepcroft really don’t give much xp at all for the time spent, and after doing 2 of them where I was the tank becuz the 1st timer Marauder or Paladin couldn’t figure out how to use Overpower or his aggro combo, even with me and a dps telling him how to do it (I got LOTS of commendations for being (and I quote) “the most patient healer in the world”), I packed it in and rode the FATE train in CCH for most of my XP instead. It was actually a lot faster.
So yeah, that’s it for today’s update — story’s done, all dungeons are unlocked, Alexander’s unlocked but not done yet, gear average is level 172 and in less than 11 days will be the maxed out 179 that’s possible to get without doing the extreme primals or Alexander. I’ll see about doing them this week also. Should be fun! Happy gaming out there!
In my last couple of posts I’ve mentioned that I feel that leveling additional jobs to 60 is going to be a long process due to the massively increased XP needs for each level. I still hold mostly to that, but I had an experience this morning that makes me think it might be possible to work short sprints in as well.
I’ve been at a ranch in the central mountains of Colorado for the past few days and had a laptop with me that was capable of playing FFXIV, so I was able to keep up with my 2 roulettes per day schedule on the BLM and then do the daily hunts on the Summoner for the XP from those. I’d do it early in the morning since the day’s activities would wear us out and we’d be in bed before 10 pm, but my body likes to wake up after about 6.5 hours of sleep no matter what time I go to bed, but… up at 4:30, it’s still dark, everyone else is asleep…. I’ll kill the time playing FFXIV! Anyway, we made it home last night and got the 5-yr old to bed and I planned to get my 2 roulettes and the hunts in, but then we had a power outage. I actually could have set my fully charged phone to hotspot mode and used the laptop on battery and played even then, but meh. I just went to bed. (If you’d like to see the pictures I took on the trip — click here and here )
I woke up this morning about 6, and knew I’d only have time to run 1 roulette before I had to go to work, so I decided to run it on the summoner to get the bonus xp for leveling on it instead of worrying about the 100 Tomes of Law that I can get in other ways also (like finishing the story and unlocking the expert roulette and the 2 final dungeons in the expansion, for example). I also grabbed the daily hunts for yesterday (since it was well before the reset time) and headed out to work on those. I was at about 900,000 XP of 1,000,000 needed, so I was going to hit 52 easily from just the hunts since there are 15 of them and they give about 20K XP apiece at level 51. While working on the 2nd of the hunts the queue popped and it was Dusk Vigil. I’ve only done it the 1 time on my BLM so far, so I didn’t actually remember much of it but it’s pretty easy and I did just fine. Dinged 52 while in the dungeon and equipped all the level 52 caster gear that the BLM had acquired back in the day.
From there I finished off my hunts and then looked at my XP bar and… wow. I am just shy of 700,000 XP earned toward the 1.2 Million XP needed for level 53. I gained nearly 800,000 XP in less than and hour and a half just from hunts and a single Duty Roulette. This makes me think that dungeon roulettes will actually be a pretty viable way to work up the lower jobs rather quickly after all. And then I went and did my level 52 SMN quest and got the Pain Flare skill too, so… go me!
Happy gaming out there!