Final Fantasy XIV Downtime
The is something strange about knowing you can’t play something… that makes you want to play it. Right now this is happening for me with Final Fantasy XIV, especially since I knew that more than likely I would not really be able to sink my teeth into it until I got back from Pax South. It sounds from the early reports that World of Darkness is absolutely not the cakewalk that Syrcus Tower has come to be. Then again maybe at one point Syrcus wasn’t either… considering I have never actually been around when one of the 24 man dungeons was “new”. Both Labyrinth of the Ancients and Syrcus Tower were aging content when we came back to the game. So it will be interesting to see how it works out.
Pax is going to pretty much eat all my time starting tomorrow with the planning and packing. So I am not likely going to get to experience much of this patch until I come back Sunday/Monday. In the Pax front I have some exciting but scary news. I guess I totally have a media appointment with a game company. It started with a conversation over twitter and lead to a discussion over email and an appointment. It should be awesome, but it is a new experience for me so hopefully I won’t bore or annoy the devs too much with my questions. I might end up doing more of these but right now this is the only one I actually have scheduled. Its strange that my first convention, is in a way a working one since I will be covering the convention in part for a bigger site than mine.
When Dragon Age: Inquisition first landed it did so during a fairly bad time for me. We were starting raiding in Final Fantasy XIV and I was just then coming back to World of Warcraft for the impending Warlords of Draenor launch. To make matters worse I suffered some pretty crippling technical issues surrounding this game. Every six to ten seconds there would be a hitch in the gameplay, like a record skipping. There were numerous reports of this, and even more fixes but none of them seem to work quite right for me. A few of them made things better but this hitch happened on even the lowest possible settings. Finally I found the solution myself that involved playing the game in fullscreen windowed. However at that point I was just flat out pissed at the game itself and really wanted nothing to do with it. I listened as friends raved about the game but ultimately I would put it away for the time being.
With the force downtime in Final Fantasy XIV I used my day yesterday to restart the game fresh. I feel like this “better” mindset has made so much of the game more enjoyable. The first time I was trying to play the traditional “Belghast” character, aka a Human Sword and Shield Warrior. The problem with that is that once again the first companion you meet up with… is a far better tank than you will ever be for awhile. I wanted to be able to group with Cassandra, so on the second play through I opted to go for a Dwarven Two Handed Weapon Warrior. So far the choice has been a good one, and I am enjoying the game much better. The worst part about restarting is having to play through that section where it flips you into tactical mode. Everything about that mode feels horrible, and it took me a bit to figure out how to flip back to the normal combat. The first quality of life change I made was rebinding “search” from V to R making it significantly easier to hit while moving.
Faffing the Hinterlands
In spite of everything my friends have told me… I faffed about heavily in the Hinterlands. When planted down there with a blazing inquisition eyeball icon showing me the way I needed to go… I chose to go the opposite direction. This has always served me well in Elder Scrolls games and overall I think it was the right choice for me this time as well. It gave me time to get used to combat and explore the world a bit before being locked into more serious dialog again. I am very much a man of action, and the introduction to all games generally makes me deeply unhappy. I keep saying to myself “why won’t it just let me play the game!”. Dragon Age Inquisition was a fairly action oriented introduction, but still there were moments where I was more than ready to move past the talking about things phase. So I puttered around exploring things, picking up quests and figuring things out before the game actually intended me to learn things.
During this time I was thrown directly into the fact that the mages and templars were at war with themselves… and everyone that happened across their paths… including towns folk, the chantry, and the occasional farmer. It was also during this time that I started to embrace the notion that maybe I was in fact the chosen one. I think I did enough objectives to get to 8 or 9 power, closing several rifts before eventually meandering my way to my objective. Ultimately I did end up leaving the Hinterlands before getting entirely mired in them… but I did it in my own fashion without the feel of rushing through them. The game feels better to me now, or maybe I am just in the right frame of mind to be playing it. I’ve added several more companions to my crusade, including the very amazing Sera. So far the only one I don’t really like is Vivienne, but that really isn’t terribly shocking. What does amuse me is how much I actually like Solas, but then again I tend to get along far better with apostates than circle mages. I picked a poor time to start playing, given that I am just about to lose a weekend to Pax, but hopefully I have made it far enough into the game to have the storyline cemented so I can pick it up again later.