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[FFXIV] Back after a long absence

Wow, last post was August 11?  I’ve very much gotten out of the habit of writing here…


A brand-spanking new Level 1 archer

That said, I’ve not really felt I have much to say in the gaming space.  I’ve mostly just been letting “Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms” run, plus a friend got me started on the mobile game “Raid: Shadow Legends” and that was more or less all the gaming I was doing for a while.  I’d log in to Warframe to advance the daily counter, but then usually log right back out.  When the Atlas Prime frame came out I bought it, but then I didn’t even bother ranking it to 30 until a couple of weeks ago when the new Grendel frame came out.


Level 15 in the “Brand New” gear from the tutorial quests

In my quest for novelty, I even went so far as to buy an ArcheAge Unlimited “box,” in spite of a) not having cared for the original game back when it 1st came out and b) not liking open-world pvp games in general.  I made it up to about level 41 before it just got old.  There’s no penalty for dying in a pvp battle, so it’s really not a big deal, but by the same token I haven’t figured out what benefit there is to doing pvp either, so I just don’t see the draw for the various gank squads that were out there.  I mean, sure, I saw that there was some “honor” points awarded for wins, but I have no idea what that’s for.  The game is frustratingly opaque and I felt I was spending more time alt-tabbed out looking for info on it than I spent actually playing.  SO after a bit over a week, I just stopped, as I wasn’t looking forward to logging in each evening.


Since glamour is now unlocked at level 15 instead of 50, I decided that I liked the racial top and boots, while using the “Brand New Skirt” as the leg appearance instead of the racial bikini bottom

As a result, I’ve been on more of a Netflix kick lately than a gaming kick.  And somehow I’ve gotten in to their Bollywood selections.  I’m not big on subtitles, but the films have been cute and engaging, and even a bit silly, and just plain entertaining all around, so…  There you have it.


And then I dyed it “snow white” for a more “white rabbit” type of appearance

But this weekend I decided to go give FFXIV another go.  I’ve wanted a bunny.. er Viera character since the expansion, but Gotter Dammerung won’t use fantasia to change.  She is who she is — immutably.  But character creation was closed with all the people playing for the expansion, so I couldn’t make a bunny either.  I could this weekend, though.  I’d planned back in the day to name it “Petra Leporidae,” (Petra = Peter, of course, and “Leporidae” is the Latin word for “rabbit,” so I thought it’d be a good joke) but in the moment of character creation I forgot that, so Chyarra Lefey was the name I picked instead.  Chyarra was more or less random, but Lefey has been a last name I’ve used since EQ2 launched as a way of having alt characters be recognizable to friends.


Another angle

Anyway, the plan is for it to be a dancer, but I gotta get to level 60 to unlock that, so I went with Archer as my intro class so that as I leveled it I’d be gathering the right jewelry for when 60 rolls around.  I’ve made it to level 41 in 2 days of play, so it’s coming right along.  As I recall it, I was quite bored with the Archer back in the day until I made it up to the upper 20’s.  With the simplification of skills that has been SE’s goal with the ShB expansion, well…  I was really only using 3 buttons until I hit 30 (granted, there’s a macro I wrote that consolidates 3 into 1, otherwise it would have been a whole 5 buttons).  Even with hitting 30 and becoming a bard, it’s still really only added 2 more buttons in the last 11 levels, and in looking at the skills that will be coming later, a lot of them are simply straight upgrade/replacements for existing skills, so I really don’t see a whole lot changing there, especially as most of the new skills are long cooldown with a high priority, so I can just add them in the to existing 1-button macro I’ve written.  We’ll see how it goes.

Since I took my main to 80 on Dancer, I suppose I could focus this character completely on Bard to 80 for a bit of a change too.  But I probably won’t.  I’m weird like that.


I got a blind invite to a Free Company and figured “eh, why not?” so I joined up. This coffin was in the FC house and made for a silly image, so of course I had to take the screenshot.

So,  I’m back in FFXIV, at least for a while.  I stopped back in July when I realized I just didn’t care about the boss fights and trials and whatnot.  I looked up the guide for the final trial of the expansion and found myself thinking “that looks annoying” and not looking forward to it as a fun challenge, so, if that holds true again, I may not last too long on this run either.  OTOH, I may look up the video on the final ShB trial again and finish that, then get Gotter and this new bunny through the new 5.1 patch’s MSQ and everything will be all hunky-dory too.  Who knows?  Plus I really ought to unlock all the new areas for my daughter to fly around on her Miqo’te.  It was fun to do before, so perhaps it will be fun to do again, right?

Happy gaming out there!

[FFXIV] [SWTOR] [Warframe] I bounce around, what can I say?


Corellia’s skyline is quite nice

In re: SWTOR — My 2 month non-renewing subscription that I bought expired… a while ago?  Not really sure.  But I also haven’t played the game in about a month.  I took a trip and had some back problems, so sitting in a chair was painful so I just didn’t play on the trip… and then never resumed play when I got home either.  I completed 7 of the 8 class stories (I only had 2 done when I began, so that was 5 more) and was pretty close on the final one, but.. well…   I mean, the game’s fine, if a bit lackluster/too easy in the combat department.  But that’s just it — it’s “fine” not “great.”  And the much-vaunted stories are actually very short and not really anything special.  I saw people in fleet chat comparing the better or worse stories, and just kept thinking to myself “Have none of you ever actually cracked a book?  These stories are serviceable, but not really good or bad.”  So anyway…. I had an itch, I scratched it, and … it’s not itching anymore.


A customized smuggler companion named Risha

In re: Warframe — I’ve mostly been logging in to advance the veteran counter, but not playing.  Wukong got a rework, so I did a little with that this morning.  He’s quite tanky without using his abilities anymore, and using his (now) 3rd ability (was 2nd) is a 5s invulnerability that then more or less kills everything in a circle around you when it’s done and gives you an additional 1500 armor making you just that much more tanky for the next 45 seconds or so, and then you just do it again.  It’s a little annoying that using the 3 turns off his sprint, but it’s not hard to turn back on, so it’s not too big a deal.  His #4 exalted staff now does a lot more damage than before and has nice combos, so that’s pretty nice to use.  Solid rework, but nothing that makes me go “now I’m a Wukong main” or anything either.


Pegasus get for my daughter’s character

In re: FFXIV — For the past few weeks since returning from my trip I’ve been picking at it a little here and there.  Mostly I’ve just been grinding out runs of Copperbell Mines and the Tam-Tara Deepcroft so that I could get the moogle stones and finally get the pegasus mount for my daughter that she’s been wanting me to get for a good long while now.  Since she’s got scholar and healers get instant queues and those dungeons tend to take at most 20 minutes…. that’s why I just kept running and re-running those.  It was still quite tedious, but I didn’t do more than 3-5 runs a day, so while it took a couple of weeks it also meant that I didn’t get low-level burnout too badly and my back could handle the hour-ish in the chair.


I like my pirate-y look as a Gunbreaker

The Shadowbringers expansion early access began on Friday.  I logged on in the morning before work and grabbed the unlocks for Gunbreaker and Dancer, but then I had to go to work.  In the evening I decided I’d focus on the “GNB” 1st, so I equipped the starter gear the unlock quest gives you and ran that quest.  The running battle up until the finaly boss was fine, if a bit slow, but then the final boss was simply a massive HP sponge.  He also has an uninterruptible high-damage skill that you just have to absorb and try to self-heal in between everything.  But with my overall gear level being 197 when the game says it should be more like 250 for that quest (and the actual gear level was lower becuz all of the i130 jewelry was caster, not tank, so it might as well have been 0 — disadvantage of having all my jobs at 70 except for the Blue Mage at its cap of 50 — I don’t have lower level gear anymore….), well, I lasted about 6 minutes but then the big hit took me out.  I spent the rest of the evening dusting off my crafters and making myself a high quality weapon, belt, and jewelry.  The armor you’re given shows as standard quality but actually has the same stats as high quality i255 level 60 gear, so I didn’t need to build that.  Not that I knew that beforehand, so of course I made a full suit of armor. 😉  But yeah, it gives you a weapon, helm, chest, gloves, legs, and boots — but no belt or jewelry, so I had to make those at the very least.


On the bright side — Raubahn Savage was avoided. On the other side — that’s a long queue with a blank background where I couldn’t do anything else.

That filled the evening, so I didn’t get to re-try that quest until the next morning.  And I got put in a queue.  To join a solo instance.  At least it avoids the problem of “Raubahn Savage” I suppose.  After an 11.5 minute wait, I got in.  The trash mobs in the running battle died faster, and then the final boss mob… it’s still an HP sponge, but I was able to do more damage to it and take less with the better tanking stats from actually being i255.  I did some roulettes to get to 61, then started spamming out the SB dungeons.  Since I had a full rested XP bar, the levels came fast and furious and I made it to 70 on Sunday evening without ever having completed a full dungeon gear set becuz I didn’t have to re-run the dungeons often enough to ever get me to fill out a set.


A Viera in her racial outfit. My daughter might have me use a fantasia on her Miqo’te to make one. We shall see. For my own, nope — she’s a Roegadyn forever.

What to say about Gunbreaker?  It’s, well… an FFXIV tank.  While I’ve not played any of the “prior 3” since the 5.0 changes, I’ve at least looked them over and since TP isn’t a thing anymore and there’s no damage reduction from using your aggro stance anymore either, any of them can just spam out their AE combo on trash mobs and be assured of holding aggro.  Versus bosses you can use your single-target combo.  There’s no “aggro combo” anymore — it’s all just dps.  The single-target one does higher damage to the 1 mob of course, but I found that just spamming the AE combo on trash was enough to make it so that a Black Mage and a Dancer going full AE burn didn’t even show on the aggro meter, so… tanking was never “hard” to hold aggro before, but now it’s just that much easier, so it’s really more about positioning and knowing when to use the defensive cooldowns.  The biggest differences now seem to be more how the combos play out.


I saw some weird samurai-looking Lalafell running around.

For Gunbreaker (from 60-69, at least) you have your base 3-hit combo which grants 1 “cartridge” resource which you can use for either a 4th hit on the single-target combo, or you can use it to begin a 2nd 3-hit combo that does higher damage than your base combo but also a 30s CD on being able to be done.  Rotation seems to be 3-hit combo, 2nd combo, then 3-hit plus bonus 3x while waiting for the 2nd combo to come off CD, then repeat.  There is a DoT skill on a 60s CD you can use at the beginning, and an OGC extra hit on a 30s CD that you can use on the pull to get a solid aggro start, then use on CD during the fight also, but mostly it’s just the “4-hit combo” with the occasional 2nd combo thrown in.  Easy peasy.  At 70 the skill reads that as you use the initial 3-hit combo that you can do a bonus hit after each skill, so it will actually be a 6-hit combo.  Unless I read it wrong.  I’ll see tonight when I get home from work, I suppose.


This is the level 68 crafted gunblade. Quite ornate, doncha think?

Paladin no longer has an “aggro combo” versus a “dps combo.”  You simply have your typical 3-hit combo but with 2 possible finishers — Goring Blade and Royal Authority.  Goring Blade applies a DoT so you use it 1st, then you use Royal Authority on subsequent combos until the DoT needs to be applied again.  It’s still got its single-target spell it can use during burst phases also, and there’s also an AE version of the spell too.  But really, that appears to be it.

I haven’t really looked at WAR or DRK yet.  No one’s mentioned WAR that’s I’ve seen, but in guild chat people were saying that DRK is an AE monster now.  I don’t see how, since all the tanks now appear to have an AE combo, but… I’ll get around to DRK eventually since I’ll eventually be leveling every job to 80.  “It’s a moral imperative” to quote that silly movie…


This dropped from the level 69 dungeon. Too bad I dinged 70 while running the dungeon so never actually got to use it…

They’ve added a vendor that sells the i390 top-tier dungeon gear for Poetics, so I’ve got a full tank set using Poetics now and I’ll probably just tank my way through the rest of the Stormblood MSQ and then move on in to Shadowbringers.

I played a touch on my daughter’s character as a Summoner.  With the new expansion out now, people in the new areas have “extra gear” that they’re dropping on the market board for really cheap, so I bought her a full set of HQ i385 caster gear (nice boost from the i322 she was at…) so I’ll be able to easily move her through the MSQ after I do it on my own character.  I’m sure my daughter’s going to want to fly around the new areas, after all.  Summoner is vastly changed now.  Some of the skills that used to need Aetherflow stacks no longer do, they’re simply on cooldown now, and you get Aetherflow stacks by using Energy Drain or the new AE Energy Siphon skills.  Your pet has its basic attack that it does on its own, but you have to manually tell it to use its 2 bigger attacks.  Those are now set with 2 stacks.  You can use the stacks back to back if you want, but there’s a 30s cooldown on building a stack.  Those skills are what trigger your Ruin 4 now, so you definitely want to use them in your rotation and not think of the pet as simply bonus damage that you just put on sic and then ignore it.  I’m not used to it yet, and haven’t figured out a comfortable way to re-do my hotbars yet either, but that will come with time and familiarity of how it all works.

So anyway… even though I’m not even in the new areas yet, I’ve enjoyed the past few days with Shadowbringers so far.  People in my guild are saying that the story line is simply amazing, so… we’ll see.

Happy gaming out there!

[Blaugust Day 15][FFXIV] Working on Machinist

Level 30 MCN in Costa del Sol

Level 30 MCN in Costa del Sol

With all of the FATE running in Costa del Sol or the current event, I decided to run it as a Machinist and see how far I got.  I’m not big on suspense…. made it to level 40 from 30, so it went nice and quick.  I did a few leveling roulettes and once those daily bonuses were exhausted also kept the 2 highest dungeons in the duty finder on queue at all times.  Getting over 3,000 xp per monster kill in a dungeon is still very nice, plus possible gear upgrades from dungeon drops… what’s not to like?  And of course the daily bonuses don’t hurt either.

Level 34 MCN in Brayflox

Level 34 MCN in Brayflox

I found out that MCN is a little different than the other classes.  I’d heard people talking about their “proc-based combos” but I’d misread the tooltips on the skills.  I thought they were combos like any other and the proc was simply for bonus damage, but nope… not the case at all.  The proc is to enable the next skill to even be part of the combo.  The opened is 140 potency, and the other 2 skills are both 100 potency without the proc so it’s a case of “If it ain’t glowing, don’t hit the skill!”  You do have a skill that gives 5 guaranteed procs on a 60 second cooldown and another that gives 50 TP and 1 guaranteed proc every 30 seconds, so there is a bit of management of the procs as well as their 50% randomness.  Assuming all 3 skills can be used in the combo you get 140, 180, and 200 potency.  If a proc doesn’t fire, you start over from the beginning.  It can be annoying, but according to reddit the math works out that it’s really not that big a deal and simply “how the class is, so get used to it.”

Level 39 FATE grinding in Coerthas Central Highlands

Level 39 FATE grinding in Coerthas Central Highlands

At 40 you get your rook autoturret, which apparently is a damage booster.  Looks like at 42 I’ll get the skills that turn it into the MP or TP generator instead of the damage dealer and will finally start to be a support class.  I didn’t like the procs at 1st, but it’s growing on me.  One of my dungeon runs was with someone who’s got MCN to 58 and he said that there are some nice bursty skills I’ll get later on too, which should be nice.  Seeing how quickly I’m getting MCN up (10 levels in a day) is making me want to get Rogue and Pugilist to at least 30 this weekend to unlock Monk and Ninja.  It will enable me to clear out some bag space, if nothing else.  I’m capped on Esoterics for the week again, so I don’t need to run expert roulette unless I want to go after Poetics.  Which might not be a bad idea since MCN shares gear with the BRD and I’ve only got the level 50 set there to i109 as of yet.  That actually should be fine for getting it up to level 53-ish, and then I can use dungeon drops or cheap market board gear to keep going, but… I like complete sets.  I’m funny like that.

My daughter took this shot.  She *loves* fireworks, even pixel ones in a game.

My daughter took this shot. She *loves* fireworks, even pixel ones in a game.

Happy gaming out there!

[Blaugust Day 14][FFXIV] Who is pkudude99?

Fully upgraded non-raid healer!

Fully upgraded non-raid healer!

I put FFXIV in the title becuz, well… okay, I played it this morning.  Did my daily roulette and hunts.  This got me enough seals to do the last upgrade for the healer set jewelry and my daughter picked out that she liked the blue striped 1-piece swimsuit for the healer set’s glamour, so… there’s that update.  And in a good surprise, putting that top with the white shorts covers up that weird seam that I didn’t like in it, so… that works.  But now I have to pad this out to 10 sentences to meet the Blaugust requirements so……


Who am I?  No one of consequence.  And with that Princess Bride reference out of the way… I’ve been a “computer geek” for about as long as I can remember.  I hit 1st grade just as Apple was really taking off with their Apple 2+ line of pc’s and schools were buying 1 for every classroom.  At least they were in Illinois School District 15 in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago, anyway.  And while in school they’d of course try to use them “only” for educational purposes and thus they wouldn’t even get turned on for weeks at a time, I always had a fondness for that thing in the corner and the magical world of Oregon Trail where I didn’t know it but I was learning about scarcity of resources, dealing with unexpected events, that some things just take time and if you try to rush it it all blows up, but I thought I was just playing a game.  Still and all, that was the beginning of my love affair with computer gaming.

Over the next several years my mom bought me those code books where they’d tell you the code and you’d laboriously type it in for 2 hours so that it would do a 5 second graphics loop, though eventually you could type in simple games, except they weren’t any fun to play since you learned how to beat it before you even played it since you typed in the code and they lasted at most 20 minutes either.  But that at least got me a little used to the idea of coding and how much work goes in to so little output, so I can laugh at the current forum warriors who proclaim that “this 5 minutes of coding would fix all your bugs!” since if that were true it would have already been done.  Anyway, as I got into my teen years I started seeing the computer as more of a gaming machine than a tool for increasing productivity, and while I’d write my own autoexec.bat and config.sys files for the boot floppies that I had to use to make certain games work, I felt like coding was a ton of effort for only a small reward, so other than for games, I really lost interest in them and planned to go into aerospace engineering.  I have crappy eyesight so I can’t be a pilot (at least until my LASIK about 6 years ago), but I reallllllllly wanted to be one.  Love the idea of flying.  So I figured if I couldn’t fly the planes then at least I could build them.

Life happened, though, and so I was married with a kid at the age of 24 and working full time in the day for a cellular phone company in their customer service call center and taking some night classes, and things were tough.  My parents had moved to Utah by then and then divorced, and my mother offered that we could move there and live with her while I went to school to at least save on rent and utility costs.  I didn’t want to leave Illinois, but my dad actually convinced me that it was a good idea, so move we did.  The plan was to work for a year and save up a bit while establishing residency and then go to the U of Utah since they’ve got a good engineering track.  But life happened again and my wife at the time thought that since I liked computer games so much that I liked computers themselves a lot also, and convinced me to go into one of those “accelerated night class” programs for computer science.

That worked out pretty well.  I was able to get a full BS degree in Computer Science in about 4 years of night classes and got hired into a tech support call center during that time.  Found out that I still don’t like coding, but the hardware and support side of things is right up my alley (originally an engineering major for this reason)  Tech support in those days might involve a little bit of remote support, but this was still well before broadband was common, so mostly it involved getting completely non-technical people to describe the problem in such a way as made sense and then talking them through the steps to fix it.  It was challenging, but in the good way, not the frustrating way, so I quite enjoyed it and did very well at it.  Of course, working in an IT environment like that I was surrounded by like-minded people and we all loved Star Wars, so when SWG came out they invited me to join the guild they were putting together in it.

My “main game” at the time was Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind.  My wife accused me of being completely addicted to games, in spite of the fact that between working full time and going to school for 4 hours every night as well and thus not really having time to play games at all, I was lucky to get in 6 hours a week on the weekends.  As a result, and the fact of the $15 a month subscription cost, I was not really thrilled with the idea, but…. STAR WARS!  So I did it.  And in an odd quirk of fate, my wife decided that she liked that game and got completely addicted to it, usually playing it for 16-17 hours per day (and 20-21 wasn’t unheard of either), started a cyber-affair with a guy she met in the game, and then she moved back to Illinois and we divorced.  So far as I know she never even met that guy in real life either.  Weird, no?

Even with that bad experience, the love of games continued.  It wasn’t the game’s fault she did what she did, after all.  And SWG and the big co-workers Player association where we had Ventrillo while in-game and a big group chat the next day while at work to talk about what we’d done the night before and to make plans for the next night… that got me really hooked into the social aspect of MMO’s.  We wound down from playing SWG just about as EQ2 released, so most of us swapped into that game and kept a friends-and-family guild going there for a while.  Since I was again single, I even got into raiding for a while, though after the divorce wound down and I started dating again my gaming time began to be more limited.  Still, one lady I dated started playing EQ2 so we could “do something together” even on the nights we couldn’t physically meet.  And as a result she met the guy she actually ended up marrying (he was the guild leader of the small guild I was in at the time and they got to chatting and the rest is history).  Another friend from SWG who was in the guild in EQ2 also met a guy in-game that she ended up marrying, and she now works for the Gaiscioch Family.  Not sure how, exactly, but it’s listed as her employer on her Facebook page, anyway.  I was in Gaiscioch in Rift and in Elder Scrolls Online, so that was neat to see, even if she and I don’t really keep in touch anymore.

And I’m well into simply rambling now and I think I’m well past my 10 sentence minimum for the Blaugust requirements.  The TL;DR of all this is — love games, always have. Mostly good experiences with them, though a few bad.  Good far outweighs the bad though.  Nerds rule!  And happy gaming out there!

[Blaugust Day 13][FFXIV] Moonfire Faire Day 2

My new swimwear collection

My new swimwear collection

Last night, I hopped into the game, swapped to my Machinist job and headed for Costa Del Sol, figuring on grinding out the event FATEs to get a level or 2, like I did the day before with my Dark Knight.  But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum.  Okay, not really, but I did my retainer maintenance stuff in Foundation before heading out and since the market board was right there I checked the pricing on Battered Fish and it was pretty cheap so I bought a stack of 50 and  took them to the beach with me.  Turning that many in took a while, even using the “stand in front of the quest giver and spamming the number pad’s 0 key” method.  Long enough that 2 FATEs popped that I went and participated in and then returned to my turn-ins.  Between the FATEs and and the 50 tokens from the turn-ins, I got all the swimwear I wanted and still had some tokens left over, so I grabbed a few more colors.

A possible look making use of the white shorts

A possible look making use of the white shorts, but that seam. . . .

I was thinking that the shorts that go under the yukatas would make especially nice glamour items, though when running through a few looks this morning I wasn’t actually liking them as much as I thought I would.  There’s a rather prominent seam running up the middle of them that wasn’t visible in the “try on” window, and it gives the white shorts a somewhat camel toe-y look that I don’t think I like.  It is better hidden with the black shorts at least, but I find I prefer lighter colors for healer gear for some reason. Perhaps I’ll find more tops to pair them with later or something.  We shall see.

I didn’t quite get the MCH to 31 but got pretty close.  Doing that precluded my daily hunts and Expert Roulette, but since I was tired and went to bed early, that meant I woke up pretty early this morning, so I did those before starting this blog post.  I had enough Law tomes to buy another i170 weapon after that, so I went with the White Mage’s staff.  And now after I finish upgrading the last piece of jewelry on the healer’s set, then it will be time for another 395 seals to upgrade the staff, then another 395 for the Astrologian’s Planisphere  and I’ll have all the healer stuff fully taken care of and it will be time to work on the tanking sets.  Meanwhile, the Esoterics acquisition moves forward at its measured pace.  I still haven’t decided if I want ot fill out the left side armor for Summoner-only, or if I want to work on the right-side jewelry that the Black Mage can share 1st.  I’m leaning toward the armor, but since I can get the jewelry so much faster AND share it, that’s a somewhat compelling argument for the jewelry too.  On the other hand, I’ll eventually have it all, so it’s not like it really matters either.  1st world problems, right?

I've almost got the Bard into full Ironworks gear anymore too, since the Poetics flow fairly quickly from the other roulettes

I’ve almost got the Bard into full Ironworks gear anymore too, since the Poetics flow fairly quickly from the other roulettes

Happy gaming out there!

A random trio of players .  I don't think the one in the middle quite understands the concept of "beachwear"

A random trio of players in Costa del Sol. I don’t think the one in the middle quite understands the concept of “beachwear”