[Blaugust Day 31][FFXIV][SR:HK] And here we are

My Blaugust post-mortem:

Fighting under the fireworks

Fighting under the fireworks

What I’ve learned:  I *can* write every day, but I don’t want to.  I like the idea of sharing my gaming experiences with the world, but if I’m blogging at home I’d rather be playing than writing about playing.  If I’m at work there’s usually something else that I should be doing, even during lulls, so it again feels like I’d rather be doing something else.  So my old once-a-week schedule is just fine for my blogging wants.

I’ve also learned that Blaugustinians use feed readers.  As noted in last Friday’s post, my page views and visitors have been flat for August compared with July, but the number of comments has about tripled, from 18 to 64.  Of course, 5 posts prompted 18 comments in July, where 30 posts (since today hasn’t hit yet :-P ) prompted 64, so the comments per port has dropped.  Since my style is more or less to simply report on my play experiences, I never expect a lot of comments though.  I say “I did this.”  What is there to comment about that other than something like “Cool” or “Glad you had fun?”  And who visits a site to say something like that instead of marking it read in the feed reader and moving on?

So anyway, I’ll be returning to my 1-2 posts per week schedule.  That works for me, where doing it daily doesn’t.

***

Ishgardian Full Barding on the left, Half Barding on the right.

Ishgardian Full Barding on the left, Half Barding on the right.

I fired up Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong for a few hours this weekend.  Since I know it uses the combat AI developed in the Dragonfall Director’s Cut and I therefore will need a melee person to go flush the bad guys out of cover, and between reading a little about other people’s experiences and a friend telling me about it also so I know that my crew of NPC’s includes a ranged guy, a shaman, a decker, and a rigger, I decided that I would be that melee guy, so I went with a Troll and put all my karma points on creation into body, cyberware, strength, and close quarters combat.  So far it’s worked out fairly well, though I’m going to need to get some quickness and dodge trained up soon.

It’s really the same game as the 2 prior SR titles, just a new story.  And of course it’s pretty over the top.  You get a message from your foster father who you haven’t seen in 8 years asking you to go to Hong Kong and the second you get there you find yourself the subject of a terrorist manhunt and the police attack you.  And it goes downhill from there.  In all honesty, I got bored pretty quickly, so this will probably be a game I do in short spurts here and there.

***

Doing the Moonfire quest again

Doing the Moonfire quest again

In FFXIV, I capped out on Esoterics again, plus I did the level 35 job quests for the Monk and the Ninja.  Both were quite easy, so no big deal there at all.  I actually spent most of the weekend working on my daughter’s character.  Since she likes to play dress-up and liked the various swimsuits I’d gotten on my character in the Moonfire Faire, I took her there and ran the Out to Sea leve quest over and over while doing the event FATEs as they popped up.  I got her White Mage to 34 to unlock Stoneskin and I got her Scholar to 35 since that’s her “main job” due to her love of the fairy.  I intended to only get to 34 to unlock Eye for an Eye, but I didn’t have enough tokens to get all the swimwear yet for her, so I just kept on going.  I also started in on Thaumaturge as well since I want to get it to 26 for Swiftcast.  I only got it to level 9, but I didn’t really work on it either, pretty much just did the low-level hunt logs, a FATE or 2 as I ran across them and the level 1 and level 5 job quests for it.  I plan to use the remaining week of its run to finish getting her all the clothing from it.  I already set up various gear sets of the swimsuits that she can just click through, so it should be nice and easy for her to play with her look as she runs around in “my world” as she calls the housing zones.

***

And silly me I fired up Civilization 5 last night at about 9:30.  And I was in a good stopping spot at about 11:30, but wanted to do just 1 more turn…… and I went to bed at about 1:30.  Still compelling game play.  I think I’ll go grab some caffeine now.  Happy gaming out there!

[Blaugust Day 30][FFXIV] Esoteric Leg Armor is Mine!

Esoterics leg piece

Esoterics leg piece

As I said in yesterday’s post, I know myself, so I ran a 2nd expert in order to get enough Eso tomes to buy my leg piece.  Results are to the left.  The skirt’s shorter than I would like, but I really like the ribbons around the lower legs.  The reason the skirt’s so short is that the foot piece is this really fugly puffy thighboots thing that I will most definitely be glamoring to … probably the current leather sandals, frankly.   Unless I feel like buying the Thavnairian Sandals — those have a really nice look too, but they’re so very expensive.  I can afford them, but it would take almost all of my cash, so I’m not terribly keen on that purchase just yet.  But yeah — I wouldn’t let my daughter out of the house in a skirt that short, but in a computer game I can live with it.  I’m usually looking at the robe’s long green skirt from behind anyway.

I also got the Monk and Ninja to 35 last night, but I was really tired when I did so, so I’ve not yet done either job quest.  I had a bunch of level 35 gear waiting for them to hit that level, so they’re upgraded out of the Infantry set.  I still never found the Infantry Shirt piece, but but I had a level 31 green chestpiece that was just as good and when I glamored it to the Foestriker’s chest piece from the Satasha dungeon it looked like a coherent set, at least.

Today’s plan is to do 1 more expert to cap Esoterics for the week, at least do the 2 job quests at 35, and then I’m wanting to check out Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong.  Or maybe fire up Civ5.  I’m kinda jonesing for a round of that again.  A part of me is also wanting to install Wildstar and give that another shot.  Or I could fire up… well, you get the idea.  So many options!

Happy gaming out there!

[Blaugust Day 29][FFXIV] Almost there

Midgardsormr is pretty ugly.

Midgardsormr is pretty ugly.

Title has a double meaning today — almost there for the end of Blaugust, but also I’m “almost there” on being able to afford to buy my next Esoterics piece in FFXIV.  I’m typing this while alt-tabbed out of the game waiting for today’s expert roulette to pop, actually.  That will take me to 810 Eso, and I’ll need 825 for that next piece, so even though I could just wait and run another ex-roulette tomorrow which would cap me for the week and get me to having enough Eso for the leg piece, I know myself — I’m gonna queue right back up and get another 40 from a 2nd run which will let me buy the piece today.  And then tomorrow I’ll cap out for the week :-P

I’ve also gotten both Monk and Ninja to level 34.  Each did a leveling roulette dungeon — 1 yesterday, 1 today.  Coincidentally, they both got Haukke Manor.  The tank on the monks run was an obvious dps player trying his hand at the new “awesome class” of DRK.  How do i know?  He never stopped moving around.  i had to point out that Monks need to be able to position themselves so the tanks need to plant themselves in 1 spot so the mobs aren’t moving around either so that I can get into the monk dance (which with the inclusion of a new dot that grant greased lightning has no become “doesn’t matter, flank flank, behind, behind, behind, behind, flank flank, then 4x behind again, 2x flank,” and so on.  It’s actuallygotten to be slightly easier with the new “behind the mob” skill, so that’s pretty cool.

Today’s tank was also a DRK and said as we entered the dungeon that he’s new to tanking.  And then he turned off Grit.  1st fight he lost aggro every which way and was using Flash as his AE builder, so I piped up and said “DRK’s use Unleash — it’s better than Flash.” I also asked him to turn Grit on.  He started using unleash from then on, but it took a couple more fights with him struggling with aggro and the healer and other dps also asking him to turn on Grit before he finally did.  And then he never lost aggro again.  Amazing how using your tanking tools means you can tank effectively, isn’t it?

Of course, gear is also a factor.  Last night’s es-roulette run we had a tank who “only” had about 14K hitpoints, indicating that his gear was a little low.  I popped a quick examine on him and he was in mostly i160 drops from the expert dungeons, with a few law pieces here and there, but nothing upgraded to i180.  He appeared to be doing everything right in his skill use and positioning and such, but between me and the BLM (this was a good one who was always in Enochian) he couldn’t keep aggro for anything.  Well no… he was fine on the bosses, but if the trash fight had 5 mobs, then I’d have anywhere from 2-5 of them on me for most of the fight.  We had a good healer who got my commendation on that run — I never went down, so it was still an excellent run.

The queue still hasn’t popped and we’re well past the “average time” on it now.  The life of a dps…. ;-)  OOH!  POPPED!  Gotta go!

Happy gaming out there!

[Blaugust Day 28][FFXIV][Wildstar] A little here, a little there

A Churning Mists sunrise

A Churning Mists sunrise

Back in the day I tried out Wildstar for a couple of hours during their open beta.  TL;DR of my impression of it then was “It’s ok, but a confusing mess of stats and way too visually busy, so don’t plan to pick it up.”  When the announcement went out that it was going F2P, though, I figured it might be fun to dip a toe in from time to time, maybe try a few different classes and see if anything clicks.  It’s not F2P yet, but in looking at their conversion plans something that jumped out at me was that free players or even subbed players who don’t buy a box will get 2 character slots per server (though they can buy more), but someone who bought a box gets 12.  Boxes are currently selling for $10, so the alt-oholic in me went “$1 character slots!” and yesterday I ran down to GameStop on my lunch hour and bought a box.  I haven’t installed it yet, and probably won’t until there’s a firm F2P conversion date announced, that way I’ll be “subscribed” in the 1st 30 days included with the box purchase when the switcheroo happens.  With how much FFXIV is still consuming all my gaming oxygen I don’t know how much I’ll actually play it, but it will be nice to have the option with lots of space for my alt-oholism to be satiated for if/when I ever do want a change of pace.

Fireworks over Ul'dah

Fireworks over Ul’dah

On the FFXVI front I got my daily hunts in last night as well as an Expert run.  Since the Astrologian class got buffed this past Tuesday I’ve yet to get an Expert group that hasn’t had an AST as the healer.  Last night was no exception.  Interestingly enough, in spite of the fact that the Noct stance still being considered “trash” on Reddit, the AST last night ran in Noct and didn’t have any trouble keeping us up at all.  DRK, AST, BLM, and SMN (me) in the group, and … that BLM wasn’t very good.  I didn’t pay all that much attention to him, but I only saw him drop Ley Lines 1x in the entire dungeon, and I also only saw him using Enochian 1x on a trash fight.  And things were taking a very long time to die, so even though I wasn’t parsing (since I’m already so over that) it still took a noticeably long time to get through the boss fights.  Fortunately the AST liked to toss The Balance on me and was often able to extend it so I was getting the 10% damage buff for anywhere from 45 to 85 seconds when he’d throw it on me, so I know that helped, at least a little.

The full Cavalry set

The full Cavalry set

I also got my Monk to 32 so it’s now got 5 of the 6 infantry pieces from Brayflox equipped.  I just can’t seem to get the chest piece to drop on my un-sync’d runs.  It’s getting really annoying.  Of course it wasn’t until last night that I finally got the Cavalry gloves to finish out the tank set either, but I didn’t actually care about those since they aren’t so visible, plus my DRK’s already leveled mostly out of the set.  That said, they were a slight upgrade to the DRK’s current gloves, so on that job I’ve got the 2 HQ crafted level 35 pieces that cover 4 slots, then the Cavalry gloves and belt right now.  I put the full Cavalry set on this morning and the starts are extremely similar — 2 points less STR, same VIT, 407 defense vs 417 defense, but… that 10 defense and those 2 points of STR were still enough to have me put on the level 35 gear.  I ran my Ninja job through a leveling roulette dungeon as well and between the xp and the roulette bonus made it to level 33, so there’s progress all around!  The tank had the green leaf and I actually had more HP than he did and ended up tanking a lot of the mobs, including the final boss.  I gave him a few pointers — shield lob, then flash 2x, then do the hate combo, where he’d been doing shield lob, hate combo on 1 mob, then 1 flash if he remembered, but by then the mobs would already have peeled to me and/or the healer… it was pretty funny, really.  But he was noticeably better toward the end of the dungeon and I got 2 commendations so I figure the healer and other dps were grateful that I tried to help him out a bit.

You assist this wandering minstrel during the event fate.

You assist this wandering minstrel during the event fate.

The anniversary event was kinda funny.  Started off normally enough “oh there’s a problem, go do an event FATE” for the quest, but after doing it it got a little epic.  Sort of.  I dunno how they pulled it off, but they broke the 4th wall without actually breaking the 4th wall.  It was very neatly done.  And that’s all I’m saying since I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

Happy gaming out there!

[Blaugust Day 27] Blaugust is winding down

I’m not generally one to blog about anything other than my gaming experiences.  And I am a casual-to-midcore gamer, so I don’t play all that much and thus don’t generally have all that much to post on, and that’s why I tend to post only on Mondays during “the normal year” — I play more on weekends, so I’ve actually got gaming experiences to talk about/progress to report on Monday mornings.  As a result, I didn’t really care about Blaugust last year, nor do I really care this year either, but I enjoy Bel’s blog and he’s my FC leader in my most-played game right now, and due to actually logging in (almost) daily to get my Centurio Seal hunts and Tomes of Esoterics, I actually sorta have play-time to talk about, so I decided to participate in Blaugust this year after all.  I didn’t (and still don’t) expect to “get anything out of it.”  Even assuming I make it through the last 4 days (which I will, it’s not like it’s that hard to type a blog post for a few minutes each day) there’s no guarantee that I’ll “win” anything from his random drawing.  And even if I do win the grand prize and get 1 game off my Steam wishlist (there’s only one game on it, and I added it *after* Blaugust started for “just in case”) the game would be for my son and not for me.

I don’t expect to gain insights into my character and my stick-to-it-iveness. I already know that I stick to things until they’re done.  I find ways to make things work, even when it’s hard.  Blaugust ain’t gonna tell me anything there.  I’ll admit that I hoped for a bit more readers and thus perhaps a few more comments and discussions, but then again… I really only report on my play time and right now it’s pretty much “Logged in, did daily hunts, did daily expert roulette, almost got that new piece of gear.  Go me!” so what’s there to really discuss?  Something I actually find interesting is that my view stats are really pretty much unchanged since Blaugust began — 596 views the 1st week, 621 the 2nd week, and 626 the 3rd.  Compare this to July — week 1 593 views, week 2 562, week 3 582, and week 4 703.  and I only had 5 posts in July vs the (so far) 26 in August.  My big jump in views actually came when Elder Scrolls Online released for consoles — my most viewed posts in the past 2 months are almost all year-old ESO posts, and my most viewed post of all time is the one I did as a guide of sorts about leveling up the Enchanting skill in that game.  I know it’s gotta be out of date, so I hope it’s still useful.  My most viewed post in a single month, however came from this past February when I did a throwaway post about the FFXIV Valentine’s Day event.  I got 1532 views on that post for some reason, even though all it says is “I did the event and got a screenshot of the silly chocobo barding that it gave out.”

So anyway… that’s really why I’m participating in Blaugust — to support my FC leader’s initiative, and to hopefully increase blog traffic a bit.  I don’t know how well I’ve succeeded at the 1st simply becuz how do you measure that?  And the stats say I’m not getting any more blog traffic, so failed at the 2nd.  On the other hand, I do have 64 comments this month, where I only had 18 in all of July, so at least the participation rate is up a touch. . . .   I have added a lot of new blogs to my Feedly due to Blaugust this year — enough so that I have a hard time keeping up on all of them anymore, so it’s been nice to have more reading material.  I can’t help but wonder how much it will drop off once next Tuesday rolls around though.

So anyway… that’s Blaugust for me.  Happy gaming out there!

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