Good morning you happy people in digital land, I am easing my way into cognizance this morning. Last night I slept fairly well, but not as deeply as I had been recently. The primary difference is I decided not to take a Tylenol pm last night and it seemed to still work. Essentially I had hoped I was over whatever hump was causing me to wake up every few hours… and it seems to have been the case. I really did not want my sleep patterns to become dependent on a drug… even if it was simply an over the counter one.
The funny part about our Wednesday night “un-official” guild night… is that we never end up doing exactly what I had planned on doing in the first place. Originally I had posted on Twitter and the guild forums that it was going to be a lure liquidation night… and while we did a lot of that we did not start the evening doing it. I logged in around 6:30 or so and at that point we have only a few people around. After I had finished with my dinner I noticed we had 5 characters that were 50+ online. So I started trying to put together something that would make a workable group make-up for a dungeon.
Lukian bravely specced his cleric into healer and worked on his setup for doing just that. I on the other hand built a quick bard build and attempted to remember how to do that. That left Psynister as our tank, and Fynralyl and Vernall to dps things down. Initially we started the instance and then quickly realized that it was grey to all but one of us. I thought maybe this would change after we actually started the fight it might change… but apparently Exodus of the Storm Queen uses old world logic for determining how something cons to players.
After the first boss we all left the instance… and manually mentored down in the 51-52 range. This is really something Trion needs to fix. You need to be able to queue with a mixed level guild group and it automagically mentors everyone down to the closest fit for a given dungeon. This would really simplify the process of mixed level groups doing things together. After manually mentoring… we realized that we had the deserter debuff… so one of us ran over to Iron Pine Peaks and manually zoned us into the instance. Quite honestly… this process needs a lot of work. It is awesome that it is viable… but it should be just a thing you click a button to do.
After the initial hiccups the instance went relatively smoothly… and we only had one wipe… namely because I could not really remember any of the boss fight strategies… or at least misremembered the wrong parts. Granted not a single piece of viable gear dropped, but we got some useful rune crafting mats out of the process. I had been wanting to run ANY form of a dungeon for weeks… so this at least filled that niche. It was fun and each of the players fell into their roll pretty naturally. I figure I suck at barding… but there really isn’t much to do with barding now that codas refresh the cool down of motifs.
After the dungeon we noticed we had a few more people online, so we decided to start by opening some crafting rifts… since we each had a stockpile of grandmaster lures sitting unused. Previously when Lukian and I had done this… it seemed like the best chance of crafting materials was when summoning them in the high end zones like Ashora or Infinity Steppes. The only problem is… I was on my 56, Fyn and Psyn both 57 and Dethbridge that joined up with us 54. None of us had any of the porticulums out in any of the zones. However we had some ports relatively close to Ashora, so we set our sights there. Lukian stepped afk to grab a bite to eat as we caravanned across Kingsward.
Deth was not with us yet, so when we got out to Ashora we dropped a guild banner to let him port his way out. I have to say that is an extremely cool addition to the game… I just with the cool down was not quite so heinous. An hour just really limits the usefulness especially when the guild is trying to bounce around the world and do something. We opened the one Outfitter lure I had on my rogue, and quickly realized that one 60, a 56, 2 57s and a 54 was simply not enough dps to close level 60 crafting rifts and hit all the timers. So after we got one phase away from completion… I decided to take one for the team and grab my warrior that is raid ready dps.
After this switch up the rifts closed extremely smoothly and we were able to burn through the crafting lures. The only problem with Ashora is that this tends to be the place where everyone and their brother open rifts. As a result the world was littered with abandoned Hunt rifts… but we decided to go ahead and try a few of these as well. With a 60 healer, 60 dps, 57 tank, 58 and 54 dps we we able to close them pretty effectively. We had talked about doing some hunt rifts, so I was more than willing to latch onto someone elses effort. I know hunt rifts spawn in the wild… but since every single one in Ashora seemed to be a hunt… I am figuring someone is spawning them with the hopes that someone else would come around and close them behind them.
I have to say this random running around and doing things together was exactly what I had needed after the recent days of frustration and anger over the generally botched state of the Final Fantasy XIV launch. This was pure and simple fun, running around aimlessly as a group of guildies finding mayhem as it lay out in our path before us. We got at least one ding out of the action, and I think our 54 got a large amount of xp from each of the 60 rifts we closed. I know we each walked away with a fair stack of catalysts for crafting epicy goodness, and a bunch of random level 60 materials on top of that. The hunts each provided quite a bit of Torvan Hunters rep and a decent number of infinity stones as well.
After a couple of hours of running around, Fyn decided it was time for bed for her… and as a result we broke up the rift running party. Lukian asked if I had ever done the level 60 chronicle and I had not. Since it was supposedly pretty fast I agreed to group up and knock it out. I am extremely impressed with what I saw. The previous chronicles had essentially been dumbed down version of the raid encounters to date… but this one appeared to be a unique beast of its own. Essentially you are invading an architect hive… and the NPC you are helping out is pretty much my favorite in the entire Rift universe… Atrophinius. There are a couple of repeatable quests that you can perform for him, giving you writs of notoriety for your faction of choice.
The fights were all pretty simple, and while I died a few times out of a mix of not knowing the encounters and the trademark Belghast overzealousness… we never actually wiped as a group. The gear you get out of the chronicle is relatively nice, and it can be upgraded to essentially pre-elite blues at best. It is a good way to get your feet wet and gear over the course of a handful of days. Additionally it rewards a little bit of the elite dungeon currency for finishing each run… so you could eventually buy elite purples if you were diligent enough. Essentially it seemed like there were three encounters and a bonus chest that spawned randomly in the zone.
It was a really fun and simple dungeon designed for two players. The visuals were just amazing looking.. and there was an added mini-game in that they have hidden artifacts scattered throughout the dungeon… so while you are clearing the place you are constantly keeping your eyes peeled for them. At least in our run, they seemed overly fond of hiding them in the various lighting fixtures of the dungeon. I am not sure if I would do this as an every night thing… but I definitely enjoyed myself and would gladly run it again.
Like I said above… this was precisely the kind of night I needed to wash away all the frustration from previous nights. Before starting up rift last night I decided to try logging into Final Fantasy XIV and encountered the World Full 1017 error for 15-20 minutes as I ate my dinner. So while I was able to get in multiple times over my lunch break… it seems to have been mostly a fluke. However my guildies are reporting that as a whole it is far easier to get logged in… or at least you only have to leg hump the login server for 30 minutes or so before you get access. I do hope they get things sorted out… having a mostly unplayable game over the labor day weekend is a pretty massive sin. Speaking of that… I have one of those NDA events going on… if you too have an NDA event going on this weekend let me know… it may very well be the same one and we can work towards a shared goal. Anyways… enough cryptic talk aside… I hope you all have a great day.