Category Archives: MMO

[LOTRO] Trying It Out Again

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Rivendell sure is pretty

A rather long time ago… late 2006 or early 2007, there was a beta release/playtest period for Lord of the Rings Online.  I took advantage of it and played with some friends who loved the idea of a game in Tolkien’s world, but at the time I was very heavily invested in EQ2 still, and to be perfectly frank, I liked the story of LotR well enough when I read it back in high school, but I’d also never felt the desire to re-read the trilogy, so the world itself didn’t really have much in the way of a draw for me.  I was single at the time and a raider in EQ2 with several characters capped out, so the thought of starting a new MMO didn’t have much appeal for me, so I played in the beta a few times, but didn’t end up buying the game or subbing to it, despite the entreaties of my friends who loved it and bought lifetime subscriptions.

After it went F2P I at least installed it, thinking I’d give it another look, but I was into other games at the time and what little I did try didn’t really “click” with me either.  I vaguely recall “working hard” to get a Lore-Master to level 14 to unlock the bear tank pet, thinking it would be a nice change from the raven pet you started with then, but then was disappointed in the bear pet and ended up deleting that character to make room for a minstrel.  I picked at the minstrel here and there over the years, but when I logged in and found it again, it was only level 12, so I obviously didn’t do too much with it.

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That is a rather large statue. A colossus, one could say…

Anyway, this all leads up to with this summer and Standing Stone Games doing that “free quests” giveaway due to all the craziness in the world this year and Syp’s posts about it over the summer, I decided to give it another go.  Apparently in my prior attempt to get into the game I’d tossed some cash at it, as I had a decent stock of the cash currency in-place and I want to say I have a vague memory of having to pay to unlock the Warden and Rune-Keeper classes, so….  I logged in to the Brandywine server, as I recalled that name, and my old characters were there, but I didn’t really remember any of them, so I decided I’d just do a fresh start, so I moved over to the Landroval server instead.

My beef with the game before was that it introduced skills so slowly that no matter what class one picked, it still largely felt like “MMO #217” rather than anything unique, and since the world itself had no draw for me…  This time I researched the classes a bit more and found that I could level to the mid-teens in just a few hours (I remember feeling like leveling was a slog before), at least.  Still and all, the 1st little bit still played like “MMO #217” and didn’t impress me, so I decided to try each class and get it to level 23 (where the final Virtue slot unlocks and almost halfway to the original level cap of 50) figuring that should give me enough under the belt to get more of a feel for what’s unique about the different classes in this game.

I also subbed to the game as paying for 2 months gets you 3 and gets rid of a bunch of annoyances, 2 bonus character slots, and gives cash-shop currency equal to $20-ish in value, all for $30, so… seemed a good deal.  I also feel more inclined to play a game I’m subbed to in order to feel like I’m getting my money’s worth from it, so it may encourage me to stick to the game a bit more than before.

I’ve almost reached my goal of everything to 23.  I’ve actually got the Hunter to 33 (this was planned initially to be the “ez-mode main” before I got the idea of trying everything) and I was enjoying the questing enough on the Warden that I didn’t notice that I skipped past 23 to 26.  Oddly, enough this happened despite my not really caring for the warden much.

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My Hunter

I tend to favor ranged/mage classes in any game anymore, and that seems to be holding true here also, as my 2 favorites are the Hunter (blue line, to allow mobility despite this being said to be the “bad” specialization) and the Rune Keeper (yellow line, to allow mobility and also said to be better than the red line anyway).  Lore-Master’s not bad and I note that the tanking bear is now granted at level 1 with the raven coming later.  I enjoy all the CC the class has got, but when solo questing it’s more about mowing through mobs and other classes do that better.  Minstrel’s fine too, but doesn’t seem to “do it” for me.

The melee classes are all “fine” but none really do much for me either.  I think I like the Beorning the best of them, though after a slow start the Champion really felt like it took off in the late teens.  Captain’s ok, but doesn’t quite “click” with me.  Guardian’s designed as a tank class, so even the red dps spec they gave it for solo leveling just doesn’t quite feel like it’s got the “oomph” I want, which is further compounded by the skills not being reliably available since so many rely on a defensive proc in order to be able to use them.  Warden’s got so many skills to use in order to create the gambits that the learning curve feels steeper than I’d like for “optimum play.”  It’s been fine mostly just using the base skills so far, but in reading up on it the rotation for use that goes from the various mastery skills to the basics and back seemed overly complex, so… meh.  I’ve never been fond of stealth/rogue style gameplay in MMO’s so I held the Burglar for last.  I’ve got it to level 18 now, so it’s got a little to go before I hit 23 on it, but shouldn’t be much more than another evening or 2.  But as it is, I’m thinking I’ll just continue with the Hunter as my main once I have the level 23 baseline established, with a possibility of doing the “RK” from time to time for a little bit of variety.

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There’s a concert and dancing by the Prancing Pony in Bree on most nights, it seems.

Happy gaming out there!

[FFXIV] Job Progress Complete!

At least until the next expansion, anyway…  Yet another picture post —

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First up — my new Dancer glamour.

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Gunbreaker Artifact set

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Dark Knight Artifact Set

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Warrior Artifact Set

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Finishing up Warrior got me the Soul of War title!

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You’d think there’d be a title for completing “both sides” of the physical/magic jobs, but a mount is still nice!

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My 1st ride on my new mount

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And my amaro in flight too.

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And, of course, I gotta have the “official summary screen” too 😉

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Among the other leveling, I finished up my Qitari beast tribe too.

Now that all of my “leveling chores” are out of the way, I guess it’s time for me to actually finish up the 5.2 MSQ and start doing the expert roulette for the new gear grind.  Or maybe I’ll actually look in to Ishgard Restoration.  Or trying to finish up my Blue Mage spellbook.  Or… Or… Or…  So many choices still!

[FFXIV] Still more Job Progress

More pictures —

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Monk level 80 Artifact Gear

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Monk level 80 Facet gear

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Red Mage level 80 Artifact Gear

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Red Mage level 80 Facet gear

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Red Mage Level 80 Neo-Ishgardian top

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I made that last piece of gear myself. Might as well put that pentamelded crafting set to good use, right?

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Black Mage level 75 “Ravel Keeper’s Set”

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Black Mage Level 80 Artifact set

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And BLM finished off the magic classes, so I got this lovely title.

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When going through the MSQ it gives gear coffers for you. i saved all of mine figuring that tanks are most gear dependent when leveling, so now that I’m working on the tank jobs it’s times to crack those coffers open. This is the “Bluespirit” set usable at level 74.

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Bluespirit again

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The Zonureskin set at level 76

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Zonureskin again

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The Dwarven Mythril set at level 78. Makes me look like a giant dwarf. Oxymorons are the best!

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Paladin level 80 Artifact set

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Paladin in the Neo-Ishgardian fending set

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After completing the last of the role quests, you get this title – and you may notice, I’m back with Greysky Armada. I missed the FC, so I joined back up!

Happy gaming out there!

[FFXIV] Job Progress

A picture post —

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Dragoon at 70 and ready to level in the Augmented Scaevan Maiming set from Poetics

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The glamour I used instead of the Scaevan appearance while leveling. Scaevan looked fine, but I liked this more.

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Level 80 Dragoon artifact set. I rather like this look, so I’ve glamoured in on top of my Facet set.

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Summoner level 80 artifact set

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Summoner in Facet gear

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Scholar level 80 artifact set

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Astrologian level 80 artifact set

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White Mage level 80 artifact set. I quite like this one and would love to glam it on to my Facet set, but that wouldn’t work if I chose to play the other 2 healers with the shared gear. 😦  Of course I don’t really like healing anymore, so it’s unlikely I’d play any healer so it probably wouldn’t matter…

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White mage in the i450 Facet set. I’ve dyed it white since I took this, but I don’t have a screenie of that somehow. I thought I’d taken one. Ah well.. too lazy to log in to get one either 😛  But yeah, even though I said above that it’s unlikely I’ll play healer, I still like to be geared up so I have the option should the need arise.

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Samurai level 80 artifact set

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Samurai in the normal combat pose and without that odd-looking mask. Now for monk so I can get rid of the “striking” gear that’s cluttering up my bags…

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Overall combat job progress as of today. Yes, I still need to finish the Facet set of Striking. Won’t be long, as you can see why in the next picture —

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As you can see here…. I’m fully pentamelded on my crafting gear, for all 8 crafting jobs. I used the “Comfy Melds.” With the announced crafting changes for 5.2 next week this might not be ideal anymore, though. Time will tell.

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My daughter’s “cat with red hair and red ears” modeling her new red and black dress from the Valentione event. I’ve been running MSQ roulette on this character a decent amount to gear it with Poetics for running through ShB, with the side effect right now that I was able to buy the Warring Lanner and the 2 primal horse mounts for it… and it’s level 78, in spite of barely being in Il Mheg in the MSQ right now. MSQ roulette gives a *ton* of XP. I’m still not fully i400 from Poetics yet. Honestly, I’ll probably just toss a set of Facet gear on her when she hits 80 and forget about the Poetics at that point.

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My bunny’s current glamour. She’s now completed the Doma portion of the MSQ in Stormblood and has just returned to Gyr Abania, so it won’t be too long before she’s done with that and working the 4.1-4.5 content. In the meantime, she’s level 72 already and has Poetics saved to be able to get the i400 gear when that vendor actually opens up for her, though at present she’s still mostly in the i270 level 60 gear from Idyllshire in the Heavensward expansion. She’s gotten a little gear from the leveling dungeons the MSQ takes one through, but I’m pretty much biding time until I can improve that, though at this rate she might be 80 before I finish Stormblood and I’ll just toss Facet gear on her too. Who knows?

And there you have it.  Happy gaming out there!

[FFXIV] Omnicrafter complete

So I had a 1500-word ramble in my drafts about leveling up the gathering classes and my progress on the crafting jobs, but well… it was a ramble.  And it was from almost 2 weeks ago, so it was really out of date too so… It’s deleted and now this is in its place.

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Right as I got my last one to 80. My gear’s better now…

I’m a full-on omnicrafter again — all my crafting and gathering jobs are level 80.  And I’ve even done enough collectible turn-ins that I almost have my “BiS” crafting gear fully pentamelded — just have the rings left, and I may even see about finishing those up this weekend.  Thing is, though…. I really only have ever leveled the jobs up for the sake of “completionism” and not becuz I ever really planned to craft anything, so I’m not really sure why I suddenly put so much effort in to crafting on this go-round.  Maybe becuz the recent changes to the xp awards made leveling up crafting and gathering to be more or less trivial, so with the ease of leveling i just blasted through it to “get it out of the way” and then since I was already “in the mode” it was easy enough to just keep doing it?  i don’t even know.

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Level 80 Bard artifact gear

But anyway, so far as my FFXIV progress goes….  All the dex-based jobs are to 80 now, so that’s Dancer, Bard, Machinist, and Ninja.  I find that given the skill changes from 5.0 that I prefer bard, as I generally play for relaxation and Bard’s skills can almost all be put into a single-button macro.  “Dot 1, Dot 2, Spam the Macro” is about as simple a playstyle as one can get.  and while on the one hand, the lack of skill queue on macros is considered “bad” by serious players, but since Bard actually relies on a bunch of procs and so you not only have to register that the proc hit but then select the skill, I find without the macro I’d often (maybe 1/3 of the time) miss procs entirely.  Then there are the longer cooldown skills that I always would “save for a burst phase” or something…. but I don’t raid, so there really aren’t any burst phases for me to ever worry about.  Add in that since I was used to NOT using the skills since I was always saving them, and then I’d always forget to use them anyway, so… yeah, I’m a bad player 😉  But anyway, putting all those skills into a macro means they’re actually being used, so… my macro might honestly be increasing my bard dps just becuz I’m bad at hitting procs and using the big-hit cooldowns.

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Level 80 Machinist Artifact gear

I’ve taken a page from Aywren’s book and been getting all the other jobs to 71 so I can run trusts with them, if I desire.  I’ve not done much with trusts yet, only unlocking up to the level 73 dungeon, but if I use trusts to level characters up, then I’m sure the rest will come rather easily over time.

Oddly enough, for the tanks, my formerly least favorite — the Warrior — is now my “Holy Hannah this is awesome!” tank job.  Go figure, right?  Yet in groups, it seems Warrior is the rarest to be seen.  I mostly see Dark Knights, then Gunbreakers, with Paladins being a distant 3rd, and hardly ever seeing a Warrior at all.

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Level 80 Ninja Artifact Gear

Anyway — in the interest of cleaning out gear from my bags I was planning on leveling Dragoon next, followed with Samurai and Monk, but in the interest of being able to level my retainers, I may just to Summoner and Black Mage instead.  I think I’ve got a decent handle on Summoner now with its 30-second phases for the Bahamut summons and whatnot, but Black Mage is still somewhat throwing me for a loop.  I like how Enochian is now up while your Astral or Umbral buffs are up, not running on a separate timer anymore, and the A/U buffs are 15 seconds now instead of 12, so it’s much more forgiving on being able to keep the buffs up (especially since Transpose is available on 10 second cooldown, so if you remember to hit it you can always keep the buff up anyway), but even so, it still just feels as clunky to me as it did back in 3.0.  I still feel like I’m fighting the job to play it, not just fighting the monsters.  Red Mage feels a it underwhelming, but is fun to play, at least, so between the 3 casters it shouldn’t take me long to get them up to 80 so the retainers can cap out and I can clean up space in my bags 😉

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Ye Olde Nutsy Mount

I finally caught up the Stormblood beast tribes, so I’m allied with the 3 of them now.  I also finished getting to Bloodsworn ranks with the Pixies just last night, and I even saved up enough Nutsy seals to buy the Lion Sin-Eater mount.  Which is so big it blocks half the screen and that’s annoying, so I took some screenies and will probably never use it again.

And this is only 800-ish words, so it’s far less of a ramble than the previous draft…  Happy gaming out there!