Luck in Alex

What Happened to Bel Folks Stuff?

I figure at this point some of you out there have to be asking yourself this question.  Quite honestly I am not sure what has happened, other than the fact that I am still fighting a bit of a funk.  With AggroChat I am supported by my cast of friends, and we have a specific format that we follow…  and that takes a lot of the pressure to perform off of me.  With “Bel Folks Stuff” I have to be “On” the entire time we are recording.  The end result is a much more draining experience, and I have to be in a certain mindset to make it work.  I walked back and forth on this point in my mind numerous times.  I still have a long list of people that I would like to have on the show, but do I force it just for the sake of keeping what passes for a schedule?

So far the answer I have kept giving myself is “No”.  This blog…  I can make a post out of thin air, but when it come to a podcast…  that is not a skill I have achieved yet.  The podcast and the idea behind it are not dead yet though, even if I am going on two months without a show.  In part I did not set a strict schedule because I wanted the process to feel natural and spontaneous.  The problem being that in order to get this sort of approach I have to be feeling up to the challenge.  Since Blaugust is this big challenge about creating regular content, I thought it was also important to talk about my own failings.  While we are running like clockwork with AggroChat, Bel Folks Stuff on the other hand is a bit of a mess.  Hopefully I will peek through whatever fog I happen to be in and will get back my moxy.  For the time between… all I really have is a heartfelt apology that I have failed to do more shows.

Luck in Alex

ffxiv_dx11 2015-08-03 06-34-19-26 Other than my odd little Minecraft mission, I had one major goal yesterday.  That was to get close to capping Esoterics and finish getting items from Alexander.  Earlier in the week I had managed to get into an Alex group with a few guildies, and in that process knocked out drops from 2, 3, and 4 leaving me only 1 to worry about.  Alexander turn one tends to be the more sane of them, and at this point it is the one that almost everyone knows how to do well.  I had mentioned this goal Saturday on voice chat, and my friend Warenwolf mentioned that he would like to go along with me.  The problem being that I took most of the day to get into the mood for doing some Alex.  However last night we zoned in together, and managed to get through it with absolutely no frustrations.  I myself needed either a Pedal or a Chain which would get me my boots or belt respectively.  It turns out that both Waren and I were on the lucky side as I won the Chain and he won a Bolt taking both of us to 182 item level.

On the other side of the goal, my adventures through the weekend have taken to 30 Esoterics away from capping.  A single expert tonight will push me over the cap, and put me in a good place for getting my weapon either Tuesday or Thursday.  Getting a new weapon is always a huge motivation factor for me.  As a habitual melee player… weapons mean so much and are essentially the soul of the class.  When you get a new one… your class for a moment feels completely new to you as you experience bigger numbers or higher threat values.  While I have enjoyed my level 180 weapon… I am more than ready to toss it in the dustbin because the 200 axe looks freaking amazing.  It is a return to the feel of the original Warrior artifact set that I felt in love with.  Right now the plan is to try really hard to grind out the rest of my esoterics on Tuesday, so that I have the axe ready for our Wednesday night raid.

Hunts are Great XP

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This expansion many of us have been following a little trick on how to make leveling feel less painful.  Clan Hunts are something that I find extremely relaxing as I pop around through several different zones taking out hunt marks and getting centurio seals in the process.  There however has been some method to my madness, and that method revolves around trying to take down as many hunt mobs as I can with a level or under leveled job.  Essentially the plan has been that for Western Coerthas, Sea of Clouds and Dravianian Forelands that I end up using a character around level 50.  Originally this was my Dragoon, until I managed to get him to around 55 and I simply did the entire course of hunt marks with him.  Now I am doing this with my Bard, and while I have not really played him other than this process… I already have him to 52.  The next two in line for leveling like this are my Paladin and my White Mage…  while the Paladin is probably going to be doable… I am questing just how easy it will be for me to push the White Mage through hunts.

What is nice about this process is that I personally focus on my hunts and not necessarily how fast I am gaining experience.  As a result it seems that I magically got to level 52 on the Bard without really trying.  Ultimately as you get higher in level those early Hunts stop paying out quite so nicely in the experience department, and you reach a point where you have to grind to get to the level cap.  However before you hit that juncture… it certainly feels nice to see your classes almost leveling themselves.  The best part about all of this is that this process feeds my ability to keep upgrading Law gear, and the other awesome happening of the weekend is that my Dragoon is a single ilevel away from being able to do Alexander as well.  In the process of grinding out my Esoterics on Tuesday, I should get enough Law to get to 170 and then I have two options for doing Alexander each week.  There are some nights I can stomach the process of tanking that place, and others that I would enjoy sitting in the backseat and dpsing more.  I would be happy if I never had to tank turn two again.

Muscle Memory

Unexpected Happenings

ffxiv 2014-09-14 22-10-22-567 There is a specific moment in my time playing Final Fantasy XIV where I realized that the Cactuar community was something special.  It was the night that we purchased our Free Company house, and all of these neighbors showed up to welcome us to the neighborhood.  Many of those folks welcoming us were from the Howling Moon free company, and over the months of playing I got used to seeing all of these people hanging out at the Marketboard right in front of our house.  Among them the pair that I got closest with was Ayla and Joren Noye.  There were many nights like this one where we did silly things to pass the time between queues.  Then several months ago they disappeared, as did most of the people I had become close with from that Free Company.  I asked around in the guild but no one seemed to know what happened.  It is always hard when friends disappear that you are close with…  but not yet close enough to exchange all of those personal details.

With Heavenward they were back as I had hoped, but started playing a little later than most.  I guess over those months they had some personal stuff to deal with, but I was amped to have them back wandering around in our neighborhood.  Since then at least once a night we exchanged random happy emotes and a flurry of /say conversation as we fiddled with our retainers.  When I got the hint that maybe things were not as wonderful in their guild as they once were, I did the thing that I always do…  offered them a home.  I didn’t really expect them to take me up on the offer, but last night as I was starting my daily hunts… I got a tell out of the blue from Joren.  He told me that things just weren’t the same, and if it was still okay he would like to take my offer.  Needless to say I was absolutely thrilled and delayed a guild dungeon run until they were ready for the invites.  I cannot put into words just how excited I am to have them on board, we may even have to reconvene the council of squishy hats to celebrate.

Muscle Memory

Skyforge 2015-07-25 10-30-27-07 This morning I happened to randomly click through to a re-tweeted blog post from DragonChasers about SkyForge.  On it was a comment from the blogger Jeromai that struck a bit of a chord with me, because I am absolutely the sort of person that would frustrate him.

You know what’s really frustrating to me? People who can do it (whatever it is), but cannot describe or break down or teach exactly -how- they are doing it, beyond “I dunno, I just do it” or “here, just watch a video of me doing it,” or worse, “lol, it wuz easy, I don’t know how come you can’t do it.”

To me, folks who really know what they’re doing can also break down and explain roughly what they’re doing or the tactics they’re using or what they’re keeping track of, even if execution by someone else requires a lot of personal practice.

Sometimes people say that they don’t really know how to explain it, because they don’t want to explain it.  For  me personally I quite literally cannot explain how I do half of the things I do.  Essentially I try and commit as much of the things that I do to muscle memory as I can, so that I can do them… without thinking about them.  So when I tank an instance… I do so many little things that I can’t really break apart the things that I am doing automatically… from the things that I am doing intentionally.  I’ve always been a player that played mostly on instinct and reflex rather than mindful reflection on strategy.  I think this all comes from why I play games.  Ultimately they are a means of relaxation for me, and many times I find myself zoning out into the sublime motion of playing the game without really having to think about it.    This has strengths and weaknesses, and the big problem that I run into particularly is when I have to unlearn my reflexes and replace them with something else.

For example on the Titan Extreme fight in Final Fantasy XIV there is a place where I absolutely have to ignore every instinct I have built up and stop myself from running back into the boss after an attack.  I struggled with that for our first attempts, because I had to commit an exception to the rule to muscle memory knowing that there would be a follow up attack that would kill me if I ran right back in.  The other big weakness is there are so many things that I do on a daily basis that I cannot tell you step by step what I am doing unless I happen to be sitting at the keyboard and doing them.  At work I am awesome at fixing problems and troubleshooting things…  but I am horrible at trying to walk someone else through the process of doing all of these things.  The positive is…  once something has been committed to reflex it stays with you forever.  I fired up F-Zero the other day for likely the first time in two decades… and I still knew every corner and place to use my booster on the tracks and easily got first place.  Same goes for an MMO, I can sit down in front of a game that I have not played in years… and if I set the hot bars up the same way as i had them before I can return to playing the game like no time has passed.

The Final Stretch

ffxiv_dx11 2015-07-28 06-12-59-16 My big accomplishment for the night is finally pushing across the line and dinging 59.  I was able to replace the lance that I absolutely hated with this pretty cool one from the Ancient Library dungeon.  This is the point where I realize that I have apparently not run the library as much as I thought I had.  When it came to the level 57 gear, I had most of a set… and apparently do for just about every possible class I would care to level.  The 59 gear however from Library, I have only a small smattering of pieces and next to nothing when it came to lancer gear.  Thankfully I had squirreled away a set of High Quality 58 gear from the quests… since at that point I technically had better gear on my Warrior from running dungeons.  That should more than get me through to 60 before really needing anything else gear wise.  When I hit 60 I have waiting on me a 180 weapon, and a bunch of 170 and 160 pieces that should make up pretty much a full set.

My hope is that I will be able to leap frog to 170 the Alexander requirement pretty quickly.  The thing I need to sort out in the meantime is how to do a better job of maintaining the Blood of the Dragon buff.  The problem that I keep running into is that I will get thrown into a situation where I cannot safely get back to the boss in time to hit either a Fang and Claw proc or Wheeling Thrust.  So my buff drops…  and I have to wait whatever is left of the minute long recast time to throw the buff up again.  I assume that once I hit 60, if there is a situation where I know Blood of the Dragon is about to fall… this is when I mix in a Gierskogul to spend the buff on an attack rather than let it fade completely.  Remember the whole muscle memory thing from above?  I had a previous rotation committed to that swap space… and now have to revise it.  Given some time at 60 I will relearn what I need to do, because honestly I am not looking for the insanity of the optimal dragoon rotation…  but instead looking for something that is “passable”.  I don’t care if I beat our top dps… but I just want to make sure I am not the bottom of the pack either.  I feel like I just don’t have enough of a competitive nature to ever be a truly successful dps player.

Fifty Eight Singularity

Blaugust Update

Right now we are three days away from the beginning of Blaugust, and at this point I am happy with the pre-event response.  If my count is correct, we have 35 different people signed up to do the challenge, and as I remember last year we managed to pick up a bunch of people after the start.  This is a bit of a double edged sword for me at least, because while I am amped as hell to see all these fine folks participating…  I am also realizing that in three days time my casual reading of the internet is over.  I flip into stat keeper mode as I tabulate the posts that folks have made on which day to verify that at the end of the month they have in fact made their thirty one posts.

Blaugust is this strange dichotomy in that for most people it has nothing to do with the prizes that will be handed out at the end.  However since I am offering them as an additional carrot…  I feel like I have to perform my due diligence and keep track of everything.  So as we near the start of this event I am a mixture of anticipation and dread.  My hope is that everyone will include the day they are posting for in their post so that I can easily checkmark off a post on a given day.  I struggled so much trying to reconcile timezones last year, and folks proclivity for posting after midnight but meaning it for the previous day.  I remember Joseph Skyrim was amazingly awesome about always including what day he was posting for, which made the whole Australia thing so much easier.  I think in the coming days I will go back through the list of people who did it last year and determine just how many are repeat participants.  Just giving things a summary glance it certainly seems like there are many.

Finally Alex Four

ffxiv_dx11 2015-07-22 21-39-55-23 I am just realizing that apparently yesterday… I did not actually have FRAPS running while playing Final Fantasy XIV.  So that means all of the times I thought I was taking a screenshot, I apparently was not.  As a result you are getting a screenshot from Turn 3 of Alexander instead of Turn 4 as I intended.  For the last several weeks I had been hoping to run Alexander will a full guild group, however last Wednesday we struggled a bit on Turn 2 and only managed to get through Turn 3 before running out of time.  Turn 4 is a huge deal, not necessarily because of the fight… but because the quest turn in at the end of it rewards a Gordian Bolt.  For a little over a week now I have been staring at my 170 ring and grimacing because it was my one sub 180 that I still had.  So the drive to get through Alexander Four was pretty strong for me, because it meant I would finally be able to replace that last ring with a shiny new 190 ring.

Yesterday afternoon I finally got the courage to pug it with zero guidance from the guild, and in truth it was not nearly as painful as I had expected.  Firstly the fourth turn is a blast and is one of the few fights where I find the off tank role far more enjoyable than the main tank.  There is a mechanic that works somewhat like C’Thun’s swallow mechanic from World of Warcraft, causing the off tank and another player to get sucked through a series of tubes into another room.  There you have to burn down a “Doll” add within a certain timeframe before getting pulled back into the main room again.  For me personally this meant rationing my cool downs so that I could survive, but also hoping and praying that I got a heal upon exiting…  because you literally get sucked in back to back if the dps is going too slowly.  There was a bard that each time I got paired with her, which is strange because you would think with all of the recent buffs that would have been a great choice to burn the add.  Anyways… it took about four attempts but we managed to get it.  I did both the main tank and off  tank roles, but like I said I absolutely prefer to off tank it simply because seeing my tiny Lalafell self go flying through the air is hilarious.

Fifty Eight Singularity

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Yesterday I had a decision to make, and I think I hinted at it in my blog post (truth is I rarely remember what I write from day to day).  Essentially I could either grind out all of the esoterics I needed to cap, or instead I could work on my Dragoon.  In truth I split it down the middle and pushed my Esoterics a little higher, before ultimately retiring for the evening to work on the Dragoon.  I ran a course of three Vaults, and still am coming up short in experience to push across the finish line. As a result as I was starting to get more sluggish right before bed time, I decided to do my first Levequests of the expansion.  One of the strange things about Heavensward is that all Levequests come from an NPC in Foundation just up the ramp from the Aetheryte crystal.  This means that the game freaks out slightly when you attempt to accept the port after finishing one.  In the Dravinian Hinterlands it kept dropping me off at the Bigwest Shortstop instead of actually porting me back to the foundation.  This makes me think that the game initially intended there to be Levequest vendors in every zone, but ended up deciding that they wanted to try a centralized vendor in Foundation instead.

The problem being that Fifty Eight still seems like a hellaciously long level, even with the Armory Bonus firmly in place.  I did a grand total of six level 58 levequests, and each one barely made the xp bar move.  However I was able to whittle it down to just enough that I think by doing my hunts tonight I might actually be able to ding.`  The reason why I want 59 so badly is somewhat stupid…  mainly I am tired of the lance that I am using.  I think it looks ugly as shit… but for the single level I am using it… I cannot bring myself to spend the money to glamour it to something more enjoyable.  Especially when I know that I have a level 59 lance waiting on me.  It is at the very least giving me that added push to get the hell out of this level on onwards to the final push for 60.  I have also gotten a little sick of running the Vault.  It was awesome the first dozen times I was in there, but now the music is grating on my nerves.  I also simply think that the Library is a much more enjoyable dungeon, and does not have a death trap of a boss quite the same way as The Vault does.  I still find that final encounter in Vault to be the hardest in the leveling dungeons, and I feel sorry when I see a healer struggling to keep up with the massive room wide damage.  Hopefully tonight will see me dinging 59, and I can move on to more enjoyable pastures.

The Gearing Game

False Starts

Yesterday I made an attempt to go to work, but ultimately was told to head home by my boss.  Over the last few days I have been pretty much living on the couch with my leg slightly elevated and alternating icepacks on it.  The problem being that I don’t exist like this in the real world, where sitting at a desk generally requires that your feet be on the ground.  While I love the arrangement of my cube at work, it really does not allow for me to elevate my leg at all.  Not surprisingly within an hour of being at work my knee was swelling something fierce.  So I headed home and started the process of icepacks over again until it started to behave somewhat normally.  The positive is however that the area that is actually swelling is rather small and contained as compared to the day the fall happened, so I guess I am recovering quickly.

The biggest problem, the one that effects this blog is the fact that my wrist has hurt an awful lot.  After struggling through yesterday mornings post, I was pretty much typing one handed for most of the day.  I wore a brace most of yesterday and as of this morning it is feeling much better.  It is still extremely tender when I move my wrist too quickly or to any extreme of motion…  but overall it is more functional.  Hopefully this means I can return to normal typing instead of this frustrating one handed mess that I dealt with yesterday.  Since it is also my “mouse hand” that is effected I have been surprised that really using a mouse doesn’t hurt much at all.  I guess in general I am used to keeping my mouse sensitivity so high that I barely have to move my hand at all to send the cursor flying across the screen.  Hopefully today will be a much better day and I will continue to mend quickly.

The Gearing Game

ffxiv_dx11 2015-07-07 20-00-37-22 Like most players in Final Fantasy XIV, my life revolves around the acquisition of Tomestones of Law.  To get a full set of “law” gear it takes roughly 3500 and they have given us many options on how to get them.  Firstly there are three dungeons that reward 80 tomestones each, and an additional 40 if you can manage to catch someone who still has their first time bonus or “virgin bonus” as we have taken to calling it.  In addition to that you get 100 tomestones for both a low level roulette and a high level roulette each day, and an additional 60 for a trial roulette.  The one that surprises me however is that Expert Roulette is only worth 80, but I guess in theory it has a face value of 160 to 200 since you are getting stones from the dungeon proper as well.  In order to get into Alexander, the raid that just opened players need to reach a combined ilevel of 170 which also happens to be the level of the tomestone gear.  So in theory you need a full set in order to step through its doors.

Where you can cheat a bit is through those ubiquitous “Clan Hunts” that I have been using as filler leveling.  It turns out all of the items needed to upgrade your gear from 170 to 180 come from Centurio Seals.  Hopefully you have been doing these religiously because in order to get a full set of gear upgraded to the next step it is going to take a grand total of 2795 seals.  Now granted you can hop on the hunt train like you could in the previous expansion and in theory grind this out in a weekend.  Personally I happen to find the daily hunt mechanic rather relaxing, as I can log in… fly around the gorgeous zones and pick off the mobs one at a time.  Right now I have four pieces of gear… chest, helm, ring, and weapon.  Currently I have upgraded the weapon and ring to 180, and am saving enough hunt marks to upgrade the chest piece next.   There will come a time when I stop messing with anything other than three star and elite hunt marks, but for the time being they also serve to help level my dragoon for the lower level ones.

Dragoon Dungeoning

ffxiv_dx11 2015-07-07 21-59-43-32 Right now if there is a moment when I am not engaged doing something else, or tanking something that can gain me law stones…  I am pretty much in the dungeon queue on my Dragoon.  Right now the dps queue seems relatively manageable sitting around the 10 minute mark for “leveling” dungeons.  As a result it is my hope to ride this queue for as many classes as I can manage.  After running a couple of max level dungeons, I settled into a couple of quick runs on the dragoon who is now up to “Sohm Al” level.  I have to say I find this pretty relaxing as well, because I can just sit back and poke things with a stick.  I opted to go ahead and record my dungeon run to add it to the stack of dungeon videos I have on my youtube channel.  I had not actually recorded any when I was not currently tanking, so it gives a slightly different perspective of the fights.  I have to say I am really digging the “tribal” look that comes from Sohm Al.  That helmet is freaking amazing, and is likely going to go in my glamour bin for future usage.  At this point I am roughly halfway through 53 so I figure it will take two more dungeon runs to hit 54, and then five to six past that before I can do the next dungeon at 55.  Embedding the video and cutting this post short today without a second paragraph.

Nael in the Coffin

Strange Dreams

For the last few nights I have had the strangest but at the same time most vivid dreams.  The problem is that they are for the most part utter nonsense.  For example this morning I woke up from a dream involving writer Beau Hindman.  He had reached out to me to ask if I had any gmail invites…  and for those of you for whom that makes zero sense…  Google mail was once upon a time invite only and invites were rationed and carefully guarded.  I told him that I had a couple that I could hand out, and he asked me to send one to someone.  Turns out the person in question was an old man that lived in the small town my wife grew up in.  Apparently Beau really needed to get ahold of this person… and apparently using the phone was just too cumbersome?  Trust me…  I fully understand a lack of wanting to call someone… so I too would probably go through strange lengths to avoid it.

When the guy didn’t accept the invite, I had to drive up to the small town and talk to him in person.  He was afraid that the internet would steal his soul, and by having an email account he would be supporting the terrorists or something.  So I spent the next hour talking him into accepting the invite, all so Beau would be able to contact him.  Sure it is madness, and honestly Beau and I are not even in contact that often, but somewhere in my brain it made all of this make sense.  That is the crazy thing about dreaming… is at the time none of this seems as irrational as it does when you are trying to break it apart later.  I guess Beau got pulled in because I know that he is originally from Oklahoma, and my wife often gets a staring role in my dreams…  so it is strange the way the mind weaves this seemingly plausible tapestry out of bits and pieces of leftover memories.

Nael in the Coffin

ffxiv_dx11 2015-07-06 20-24-04-24 Monday nights is traditionally our Final Fantasy XIV raid group night, and last night was no exception.  For months… literally… we have been working on learning the dance on Turn Nine of the Coil of Bahamut.  For a long time now we have been super close to pushing over the edge, and held up on the madness that is the dive bomb phase.  Last night we wanted to defeat Nael by any means necessary so we could move on with our lives.  Not sure if it was true for all of our group, but I have developed a love and hate relationship with this fight, and was more than ready to put it behind me.  One of the features added with Heavensward is the ability to queue for something as an undersized group.  What this does in theory is zone you into a place without scaling your level down to the appropriate place.  What this means in practice is that you can now wreck certain zones for the purpose of collecting those dungeon drops you missed in the past.  Since several of us were sitting at level 60, we decided to give this option a shot on turn nine and see what would happen.

The truth is the very first attempt out of the gate we straight wiped to mechanics and over confidence.  After that it still took us a few tries to get the dance close enough to being correct to be able to finish off the encounter.  The funny thing is… that even with 20% echo and 10 more levels… the fight can still straight up eviscerate you.  I think we managed to down it on our fourth attempt last night, and can now move on with our lives into Final Coil.  On one level it bums me out that we didn’t “do it for real” by facing this encounter at level 50.  On the other hand however I am happy to be done with being in there.  There comes a time when you just get sick of seeing the same encounter over and over, and I remember our group reached that same place back in WoW’s Blackwing Lair with the Firemaw encounter.  It is going to be interesting to see what the next few weeks bring us as far as content goes.  Today is the official launch of Alexander, but as it stands right now… none of us are even vaguely closed to “geared enough” to tackle it.

Ice Packs and Grinding

ffxiv_dx11 2015-07-07 06-43-39-47 Yesterday I stayed home from work because I was struggling to walk around.  So my key focus in life became making sure I was ice packing every hour or so for maximum effect.  This meant that most of the day I spent it hanging out on the couch with my leg propped up a bit.  It also means I spent a lot of time piddling around in Final Fantasy XIV.  Throughout the day I worked on getting all of my Clan Hunts for maximum upgrade token goodness, and did all three of my bonus law roulettes, which left a lot of time to work on my Dragoon.  Now previously I had managed to get it to level 51, which is key because that unlocks access to the dungeon Dusk Vigil.  So yesterday I spent the majority of my in game time queueing for Dusk Vigil over and over.  Before raid time last night I was but a sliver away from 53, which should grant me access to the second dungeon… Sohm Al.  The only problem with Dusk Vigil is that technically nothing in it other than the jewelry are strictly upgrades from what I had been wearing.

Sohm Al on the other hand… everything in there should be full of upgradey goodness other than maybe the weapon.  The other good thing about running all these dungeons is that I am able to soak up gear for my alt jobs for when I finally get around to leveling them.  I like that pretty much every dungeon in Heavensward offers an item set, which is unlike the old world where only every so often did a dungeon actually drop something cool looking.  I really want to finish the Dragoon set from Dusk Vigil because it looks kinda amazing.  It is a blue set of armor that looks just like the one that Lucia is wearing in the cut scenes.  In the news of me… well I am largely functioning better thanks to the constant ice packs.  At this point the swelling is down significantly and I am hoping I can function today without a lot of pain.  I am sure come this evening I will need to ice pack once more but for the time being… life seems to be grand, or at least getting there.

Moggle Mog Extreme

Bowling Aftermath

It feels like I have been on this sequence of strange posts lately, so this morning I am trying to get back to the normal swing of things.  This weekend was spent mostly recovering from Friday night, and not in the way that you might think.  We had a “team bonding” outing with my co-workers to go bowling, and it had been about a decade since I had last attempted to hurl a large marble down a wooden plank.  We bowled three games, and it feels like that was one too many for me.  The biggest issue I had was the fact that the shoes were absolutely awful.  At some point they changed from what I knew as the standard bowling shoes to these strange velcro things that I never could get to fit well at all.  I have a size 13 shoe, but my foot is not all that terribly wide at least not anymore.

I am not sure if they handed me a wide width or if they just make them insanely wide to accommodate lots of different feet but in any case my foot was sliding around like crazy in them.  Normally I would be able to fiddle with the laces to get it tight enough to work for me.  However the hook and eye velcro strap mess just would not synch terribly tightly.  Leaving my foot sliding around in the shoe most of the night.  At the end of the evening I had what felt like a stone bruise and it still hurts to flex my toes.  Other than that the evening was rather enjoyable, apart from the fact that I have zero skill at bowling these days.  The absolute best game for me was around 100, and I am not sure if I got any strikes.  The thing I did learn is that I apparently throw the ball exceptionally hard.  The lanes had a miles per hour readout saying how hard you threw each ball, and most of my coworkers were in the sedate range of 10-13 mph.  The hardest I saw from me was 22.5 mph, and the slowest about 18 mph…  apparently I was angry at the lanes.

Moggle Mog Extreme

ffxiv 2015-03-28 20-39-39-78 From an accomplishment standpoint, the highlight of my weekend is definitely Saturday night before the  podcast when we pulled together a raid.  One of the fights that we held in almost a state of reverence is Good King Moggle Mog Extreme.  It seemed like the pinnacle of difficult fights because it was so different from the normal version.  Anytime we brought the fight up, it was quickly ushered away as being too much of a pain in the ass for us to try.  Maybe it is the progress in turn 9, or maybe it is something else… but when it was brought up this weekend there was more of a chorus of “might as well” than anything.  What makes Moggle Mog extreme so difficult is that you have a very limited window to perform the fight.  At roughly 90% Mog stops taking damage from player attacks.  Instead when any member of his “court” of Moggles dies, he saps his own life healing all Moggles to full health.

From a functional standpoint this means that you need to drop the health of every single Moggle before finally finishing one off.  Two make this more complicated there is a tank swap mechanic, and at certain points during the fight the White and Black Mages will cast a spell that needs to be interrupted by dealing a damage to them.  You get three rounds to lower Mog’s health, before he starts channeling Ultima, which will wipe the entire raid if it casts.  Mog is also immune to any damage while any member of his Moogle court is alive.  This means that on the final turn you have to make sure every single Moogle is down low enough to be able to finish them off in a few hits, and jump straight on the boss and burn like hell.  I am not sure if it was on our third or fourth attempt but we managed to get everything to work just right and finished the fight.  It feels extremely good to have beaten a fight that all of us had declared was “complete bullshit”.


ffxiv 2015-03-28 23-14-40-50 I spent most of the rest of my in game time alternating between two activities…  World of Darkness and Botany.  In World of Darkness I have once again had zero luck in getting one of the two pieces of Dragoon loot that I need to drop.  Right now I am down to the boots that drop from the very first boss, and the chestpiece that drops from the second boss.  This makes for some demoralizing gameplay late in the instance when I know I have zero hope of getting anything cool apart from maybe a puff of darkness minion.  Sunday is a notoriously bad day for running raids in any game, but it seems like this is doubly the case in Final Fantasy XIV.  The worst was a dungeon where we ended up having to fight the Cloud of Darkness boss five times before we finally did things well enough to win and get our loot.  That run was fraught with other issues however so it was not a huge surprise that we were failing at the end of the raid.  I spent more than my fair amount of time tanking adds a a Dragoon.  Hopefully I can get in tonight and maybe just maybe pick up a chest piece before the raid.

Saturday during the podcast and last night during the 90 minute season finale for The Walking Dead I worked on leveling Botany.  My goal with trade skills thus far has been to brute force my way to 25 without the assistance of leves, while I have my recruit a friend helm experience bonus.  Once I hit 25 I start working on leves allowing me to shoot up quickly from that point on.  During the podcast I managed to hit 25, and then last night I started working on leves in the South Shroud area.  Botany has one of the best named leves I have encountered called Appleanche where you are asked to pick a bunch of Sprite Apples from this grove within a set amount of time.  Not sure why but that quest just makes me happy, and overall there is something amazingly calming about harvesting flowers and chopping down trees in this game.  After a few hours of Botany I found it rather easy to get to sleep last night, so maybe that is something I should indulge at the tail end of the night every night.

We Like To Help

Reluctant Roulette

ffxiv 2015-03-04 23-21-10-21 I thought I would take a few moments this morning to address a few things we are noticing among new recruits to our Free Company.  I believe for the most part the majority of this group reads my blog at least sometimes, so here is hoping that my post will find it’s audience.  If nothing else this serves as a good reminder to anyone new to Final Fantasy XIV or considering playing it.  The first behavior I am seeing an awful lot of is an absolute reluctance to EVER use the Duty Roulette system at all.  It seems like most of the players have come from several years in World of Warcraft, where “pugging” has become a dirty word.  I fully understand this and quite honestly I was scared to use the Duty Roulette system…  that is until another FC mate tiptoed into the water and reported back that it was actually pretty awesome.  I dislike random groups in other games more than most people, and I will be the first to say that the community in this game is simply better.

The other thing you should know is that those of us who are veterans are using the Duty Roulette system constantly.  On a given night if nothing much is going on I will be queuing for either Hard Mode or Trial Roulette, and at least once a day I am trying really hard to get in at least one Expert Roulette.  Sure you occasionally stumble onto an elitist, but it is nothing like other games where you are belittled and kicked from the group for not instantly being amazing.  More often than not when a player says they are new, someone will take the time to explain the encounters to them.  Honestly I often give my player commendations to new players for having the strength to stand up and tell the group.  It makes the run go so much smoother when you know for certain if a player is going to have the requisite ancestral knowledge to understand the common way a given fight is done.  More than anything I suggest you give Duty Roulette a chance.  I’ve actually met several people on Cactuar through the roulette system, and it makes me happy to see them around.

We Like to Help

ffxiv 2015-03-16 19-51-20-83 One of the other behaviors I am seeing a lot of is players not asking for help.  I realize that in some groups this might not be the norm, but in our Free Company for the most part people enjoy helping others.  Now there might be times for this or that reason that someone cannot help, and that is perfectly fine.  However if we don’t know a given player needs something, it is impossible for us to read minds.  Our hope is that this creates an atmosphere where people are freely saying what they need to do, and others  are responding that they can help out.  A prime example is that we have known for a bit that Neph needed Dzemael Darkhold, so when she popped on the other night we ran the dungeon to make sure she got it.  Similarly we have done countless primal fights or lower level dungeons to help our dps players especially fight their way through the queue system.  Self service and the Duty Roulette are always valid choices, but when you are confronting a thirty minute long queue…  please speak up and pending it is not a raid night folks should be able to pull together a dungeon pretty easily.

Running dungeons in Final Fantasy XIV is not quite like running dungeons in other games.  The fact that the game auto scales your level to match the dungeon, and rewards you with money if you are max level…  means that running lowbies through dungeons is always a positive prospect.  In other game my primarily problem with running low level dungeons was that it ended up feeling like I was babysitting players, because at max level I could just one shot most of the encounters in the zone.  In Final Fantasy XIV, these dungeons are still viable, and it feels like you are doing something meaningful regardless of the level range.  I will never get tired of running places like Haukke Manor or Stone Vigil, and Primal fights like Garuda still end up being a challenge for our scaled down groups.  It is interesting trying to remember how you functioned without your high level abilities, and this alone makes a lot of things far more interesting than you might think.  So please if you need help, be it a dungeon or help with some crafted gear…  speak up in chat.  Right now Tam is doing an interesting census of players to find out if they are interested in raiding, so I highly suggest you fill that out from the guild message of the day.

A Night with Nael

ffxiv 2015-03-23 20-28-37-77 Last night was a bit of a refresher night in many ways.  Namely we had a few people out, which meant we snagged one of our new recruits to help out with turn nine.  The problem is our group does things a bit different than the “norm” for turn nine groups.  So there was a bit of adjustment, similarly it had been over a week since I last set foot in the zone, and I was more than a tad bit rusty myself.  I still feel like we made some progress, but we are hitting this wall on the third phase where we are just not pushing Nael hard enough to keep from getting two dragons.  In our attempt to push harder, we are getting this awkward transition to phase four and getting a dragon at the same time…  which is leading to a wipe.  I feel like I am simply not doing enough dps on my Dragoon to really make up the difference.  My tank is level 122 gear wise, but my dragoon is only 112.  Honestly I never expected to be dpsing in a raid situation, so my Dragoon has essentially gotten table scraps as far as gear goes.  I have been pushing to grab a piece of 120 gear our of World of Darkness each week in the hopes of boosting my dragoon dps just a little bit.

This however means repeating World of Darkness over and over without seeing any drops.  Last night represented my sixth and seventh run of the week, and thankfully on the final boss I saw a piece drop that I did not already have.  Sure it was only the belt, but at the 11th hour on the night before reset…  I will take quite literally anything.  I was just about to reach the point where I was going to start rolling on everything just to get a piece of gear before the zone reset today.  Largely I feel like I am being a boat anchor on our group with this fight.  We need more dps, and I am just not going to the extreme lengths that Kodra is willing to to tweak his dps.  The optimal dragoon rotation is twenty seven steps long according to the guides I have read… and quite frankly there is no way in hell I am going to be able to pull that off flawlessly every single time.  Instead I do a much more simplified and repeated sequence, but when we are on this razors edge of being able to do it versus not being able to do it… it feels like I am failing the group.  As such my answer is to try and pour gear into the problem, and as soon as World of Darkness uncaps on the 31st I will be running it until my eyes bleed farming a full set of gear.

A New Lance

Curiosity Abated

image I ended up getting into a conversation yesterday based on my post regarding the longevity I have played Final Fantasy XIV.  Like I said yesterday I have been back in Eorzea since July so this will be going on four months… which for me in my recent MMO history is a really long time to be playing any one thing.  I have officially played Final Fantasy XIV longer in this one stretch than I did both Elder Scrolls Online and Wildstar combined if you just count time spent playing the production clients.  This got me thinking and my friend as well… what my longest played games might be.  So this morning I turned to Raptr, which I have always just left running in the background quietly logging time spent in whatever game I happened to be playing.  When you do this you end up with some unexpected results.

For the purpose of this chart I ignored anything with less than 100 hours played, which it turns out is a surprising number of MMOs including Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer Online, Guild Wars 2 and a few others.  The fact that almost 40% of my time spent playing MMOs has been in World of Warcraft was not a huge shocker, considering I played that game for roughly 7 years without taking much of a pause.  The fact that Rift weighs in at number two is also not a huge shock, considering I have played it off and on since release.  What did surprise me is that I fully expected Everquest 2 to be in third place, as it is one of those titles I keep cycling back to periodically.  I guess the thing is that I don’t end up playing it for terribly long before the combat system ends up frustrating me and I move in.  In the year it has been out Final Fantasy XIV has shot to the number three spot in total time spent in an MMO with 536 hours.  If nothing else I feel like that is pretty telling of just how much I am enjoying this game.

The last revelation is that I found it interesting that I spent roughly the same amount of time in Elder Scrolls Online, Star Wars the Old Republic and Wildstar.  Wildstar was the lowest of the 100 hour plus club weighing in at only 122 hours.  Elder Scrolls Online was the highest with 163 hours, but were we able to include the year I spent testing that game I would have probably overtaken Everquest 2 at least.  With Star Wars the Old Republic I could have sworn I spent more than 127 hours playing the game, so it really makes Wildstar and SWTOR almost exactly the same…  which is strange considering that I never got a character to maximum level in Wildstar, but managed to level three in SWTOR.  I guess the content grind really was that much faster in SWTOR than I realized.  In any case it is interesting to look at the data and see where your time has been spent.  Raptr by no means is an exact science, but I have it running on both my desktop and my laptop so in theory the data should be relatively complete.

A New Lance

ffxiv 2014-11-02 21-47-07-232 For some time now I have focused on my Warrior job in Final Fantasy XIV as my main.  I figured it was the one that I needed to be geared the most since I was going to end up tanking for my free company when we raided.  However since launch I have also really liked playing a Dragoon, and for the purpose of Duty Roulette I almost always queue as DPS.  Ages ago I got all of my jobs that I have at 50 to ilevel 90 so that they would be viable doing pretty much anything I cared to dip my toe into.  However before we started contemplating raiding, I picked up a handful of pieces out of Syrcus Tower on my Dragoon placing him slightly ahead of the pack.  Since the unlocking of loot in Syrcus I have been spending most of my time there trying to get him gear.  Right now I still figure that most of my soldiery needs to go to finishing getting the warrior to ilevel 110 or better, however at 108 I am still leaps and bounds ahead of a lot of my guildies.

ffxiv 2014-11-02 11-28-35-404 Factoring that in I figured I could splurge a little on my own wants for awhile.  When playing any class my focus has generally been on getting a new weapon.  It always feels like the most significant improvement, because it is that object that is most visually noticeable when you swap out a single slot.  As a result it has annoyed me for some time that I still had my Gae Bolg Zenith weapon on my Dragoon.  I could after all start the Atma grind, and the Animus book grind…  but really in the grand scheme of things I do not have the money to get through the Novus step…  so while I want to finish these for the sake of finishing them, it is not exactly a pathway to a better weapon for me.  With the uncapping of Syrcus Tower it means that we have ready access to Unidentified Allagan Tomestones, the precursor step for getting the Weathered(100) and eventually Unweathered(110) weapons.  So while I started out running ST over the last few days to pick up level 100 gear for my Dragoon I have ended up essentially grinding out one of the weapons.

ffxiv 2014-11-03 22-25-12-711Last night I finished my grind to 1300 Tomestones of Soldiery and as you can see in the above screenshot I am the proud wielder of a shiny new Liberator lance.  Unfortunately this happened like moments before bedtime for me, and I never really got to try it out.  So tonight my plan is to run a quick Syrcus or Labyrinth to see how good it feels to have bumped up 20 levels in weapon ilevel.  When I got my 110 axe on my Warrior, it was a massive and immediately noticeable difference, and I am hoping it will feel the same on my Dragoon.  After dumping this 1300 “bookrocks” on a weapon, I will now return to gathering them up for the purpose of finishing out my set of Soldiery gear.  That means I will need a ton of Sands of Time however to get those pieces up to 110 ilevel, which means I will still be running a truly silly amount of Syrcus Tower.  In the grand scheme of things though I enjoy running it.  I never see it as a grind, because it still feels very epic to me.  I feel about ST the way I feel about various WoW raids that I used to solo for fun.  It feels like I am doing something epic and important, even though it is content that is very much “on farm”.

This morning I am going to get by with just a two section blog post.  Each of those sections took awhile to write so I figure it all shakes out in the end.  This morning for my Month of Thankfulness post I figured I would talk about something fairly unlikely.  Yesterday at work I had my annual performance review, and even though I am in many ways the pocket expert on so many systems we have…  it is still a process that I find stressful.  I think most sane and rational people have these moments where they feel like they are a giant fraud, and these seem to hit me just before I go into my yearly performance review.  Yesterday was the same as every year, lots of anxiety for no reason.  Once again I had a fairly glowing review, but I am kinda just beating around the bush here.

What I am thankful for is my boss.  When I started out in my current position my little sub group got passed around like a hot potato.  At one point I had been under six different managers, four directors and three CIOs… and had only been with the  company for two years.  Then my current boss took the position.  I have to say when he took over I was suspicious, because I had never seen him in a managerial light, however he has done an amazing job.  I really respect the focus he has placed on making our environment not only productive, but a very fun place to be.  Each of us has our own “kitch” and for the most part he supports it all.  It is the first time since my very first job… that I felt like I had a work family.  This is also the first group I have ever willfully attended the Christmas Party for… and we do all sorts of outside activities like most recently going to the RiffTrax showings.  So this today I am thankful for the effect he has had on improving how I think about my job, and the fact that for the most part I look forward to going into work each day and seeing my team mates.  Sure each of the members of our team is a self starter, but it is his focus on morale that has made the entire thing work.

White Mage Soul

The Best Intentions

Yesterday I read a post by Missy Mojo lamenting just how “un-fun” Blaugust has become for her.  I fear that there are a lot more people out there feeling the same.  I hear the same sort of lament in Kodra’s voice each night as he says he really needs to do his blog post.  The idea behind Blaugust was simple, to challenge people to do the same thing I do and write something, anything every day.  The thing is that the challenge grew legs of its own and sucked in a lot of newly minted bloggers along with the veterans.  I figured I might have five or so veteran bloggers take up the challenge as I did a year and a half ago.  The thing is I didn’t get there over night, and in fact had been blogging for around four years before I decided to post regularly.

This is probably the worst kind of event for someone new to the craft to start under, and we had huge participation by folks who started just for this even or started under the Newbie Blogger Initiative.  I promise my intention was not to grind people down with daily blogging, but instead to fill the gap that often happens in later summer for content.  In many ways it has worked better than I could have imagined, and tragedy in my own life has caused me to fall behind in the reading department.  My biggest fear is that this whole experiment will cause large lapses in content for the newer folks like Missy.  If you are doing this every day and not enjoying it, then it kinda defeats the point of blogging in the first place.  I give you complete permission to drop out of the contest with no hard feelings or lamentation.

White Mage Soul

ffxiv 2014-08-27 06-41-19-389 The primary goal of yesterday for me was to get my conjurer to 30 so that I could become a White Mage.  Since I already have a 50 tank, 50 ranged and 50 melee…  I felt like I needed some sort of max level healer at my disposal as well.  As far as healers go, I have enjoyed my time healing dungeons on the conjurer far more than I have enjoyed any healer in a long time.  The style just feels natural and I can usually land in a relaxing rhythm during each dungeon.  I figure the healing will get more complicated as I get more tools at my disposal but for the time being I am enjoying myself.  I had leveled Arcanist to 15 over the weekend in preparation for nearing 30 conjurer, since White Mage is a combination of the two.  I might return to leveling Arcanist at some point so I can become a scholar, but I feel no real pressing need to either.

The thing I found funny was that the level 30 Conjurer quest was far more difficult than the quest to actually become a white mage.  Even moreso I found it odd that in order to do my quest to get the unicorn mount I had to shift back to Conjurer as well.  In any case I finished both and am now an up and coming white mage ready to take on the world.  After coming home from the rosary last night I worked my way up to 32 so that hopefully someday tonight I can start running Brayflox for gear.  I have two pieces of the battlemage set but I would really like to get the rest of it, or at the very least the robe.  Additionally I would not mind seeing the white mage ring drop either.

Gearing the Warrior

ffxiv 2014-08-27 06-51-03-594 Since it is pretty certain that I will be needing my Warrior for when we start Binding Coil of Bahamut hopefully soonish, I opted to start rolling on Warrior gear in Syrcus tower.  Yesterday Tam and I decided to queue together for our weekly loot run.  Unlike other games you can run Syrcus as often as you like, but you can only take a single piece of loot from there each week.  The nice thing is this allows you to keep running it in the hopes of getting that one item you need.  Since most of the people  in there are after the item to craft their weathered weapon almost all of the gear rots, or at the very least it isn’t terribly contested.  The run started off really smoothly, and our group had a warrior tanking… which to some extent made my heart sink a little.  My goal going into the place was the pick up some warrior loot, but I brought my dragoon just as a backup in case something phenomenal dropped.

The first boss went extremely smoothly, and I was feeling like our tank was doing an amazing job.  On the first boss the warrior gauntlets dropped and moments afterwards the tank was asking for us to pass or roll so he could equip them.  We all did as asked and the moment he got the loot he dropped from the party.  This was the first time I had seen this happen, but apparently it is a frequent occurrence in Syrcus.  The awesome part though is that he was replaced by a really well geared Gladiator, and on the very next boss the Warrior chest piece dropped, allowing me to pick it up easily.  So that combined with picking up the soldiery tome ring takes my Warrior to 91 ilevel and more than ready for the Coil.



Monday Morning Coming Down

This morning I quite literally could not remember if it was Monday or Sunday.  I had to turn on the television just to make sure it really was Monday and that I should be getting up instead of heading back to sleep.  This is not the best possible start to the work week, but I am slowly climbing my way to consciousness as I sip this coffee.  Not quite certain why this morning is such a struggle, because in theory I got to bed at a decent hour last night.  My wife and I both spontaneously decided it was bedtime at roughly 10pm.  Ultimately I managed to get to sleep a little bit after that fact, but this morning I am still periodically trying to type with my eyes closed.

I would say it was a medium busy weekend as far as weekends go.  We spent a good deal of time attempting to clothing shop for my wife, which means I spent a good deal of time messing about on my phone.  Sadly in both our excursion to Muskogee and our outing yesterday afternoon she did not find much of anything.  I did however find more severely discounted Legos and added a couple more Lord of the Rings sets to my collection.  Other than the shopping excursions and dropping my jeep off to get oil changed and a flat fixed…  the bulk of my weekend was spent in Final Fantasy XIV.  Overall it was an extremely productive weekend all around.


ffxiv 2014-08-17 11-10-30-815 One of my goals this weekend was to catch up on the main storyline quest to be prepared for the eventual 2.4 patch.  So far there have been three major content patches in Final Fantasy XIV and in each they have progressed the main storyline adding a new primal to fight.  The first patch added Good King Moggle Mog, the second Leviathan, and the third patch added Ramuh.  Before yesterday morning I had caught up in the quest chain to Leviathan, but had limited luck in getting a group.  However yesterday I managed to get a group within ten minutes of queuing.  The fight takes place out on the ocean.  The storyline is that they have built a special platform to help neutralize his abilities and allow you to fight him.  So you are towed out into the middle of the ocean and left to fight him off alone.

The fight feels deeply foreboding and the music that plays in the background only serves to reinforce this.  They are after all asking you to duel a god.  During the fight itself the platform is attacked by the head of Leviathan and his tail.  The DPS shifts back and forth between fighting the tail and destroying these globules that spawn up on deck.  I am not sure exactly what killing them does, but I know that ignoring them completely wipes the raid.  Every so often Leviathan will do this attack where he lays his body across the bow of the platform causing it to rock violently against the waves, and tilting the entire platform to one side dragging everyone there.  Seeing this in action looks amazing since the entire horizon shifts slightly as the platform lists in the waves.  It took a few tries but we managed to down him without much issue.

Lord of Levin

ffxiv 2014-08-17 17-20-35-077 After defeating Leviathan a large chunk of us from the free company moved on to do Battle of the Big Bridge which is an optional primal like encounter where you face Gilgamesh the samurai.  The most awesome thing about this encounter was the fact that we managed to pull it together through the use of several different linkshells.  We picked up a person from our housing linkshell and then another person through a social linkshell that Tam was a part of.  The fact that people are willing to drop what they are doing and help out with things like this makes me happy.  The Big Bridge encounter doesn’t really reward much of anything, and there are no drops to speak of, just a crazy time running around.  The best part about it is almost all of the Dialog that Gilgamesh speaks comes directly from encounters with him in Final Fantasy V.  Speaking of which… I really need to finish my play through of that game for the four job fiesta.

After finishing the Gilgamesh encounter, I spent much of the afternoon working my way through the main storyline to get caught up and ready to take on the next encounter the Striking Tree.  In the Final Fantasy mythos Ramuh tends to be a friend to humanity, helping them along the way.  In Final Fantasy V it is Ramuh that teaches your party more or less how to channel the power of the Espers (summons) and call them in battle.  In this game his role has shifted slightly, but he still acts with reason and wisdom rather than fury and rage like the other primals.  The Striking Tree hard is a battle about proving your worth to this elder god more than defeating him.  We failed miserably, or at least did not succeed.  Our time ran out before we managed to defeat him.

It seems like when you are dealing with the newest tier of content they completely remove the echo buff system.  Meaning that as we wiped, we did not get a stat boost allowing us to slowly overcome the obstacle.  I knew this was the case for the various Extreme mode versions of the encounters but I was shocked to find it as the case for Ramuh.  Ultimately we simply lacked the DPS to burn through a series of adds.  Ramuh has a similar wipe mechanic to Ifrit, in that if you don’t dps down the adds you cannot survive the next attack.  We were able to limit break one round of adds, but this was short lived as we lacked the dps to continue on after that fact.  Basically I reached a point where I was one of the most geared players in the instance, and could simply not carry the group as a whole.  I plan on giving it a shot on a night that is not Sunday, since that tends to be a lousy time for MMO groups in general.

Fully Geared Dragoon

ffxiv 2014-08-18 06-35-21-469 Through all of this running around this weekend I managed to “finish” gearing my dragoon.  I say finish in quotes because there are still several things I can get that are upgrades, however they are all much slower prospects and either involve getting lucky drops in Syrcus Tower, joining a Coil of Bahamut raid, or saving up Soldiery bookrocks which the game tends to reward 5 to 10 at a time.  At this point I have level 90 gear or better in every single slot, with a level 100 ring from the soldiery vendor and level 100 gloves from Syrcus Tower.  I feel like my Dragoon dps is as good as I can get it for the time being, and more than ready for us to begin Coil when we have enough people.  Now my focus shifts to gearing out my warrior who right now is sitting in the low 70s, but in part only because of me using some of my DPS jewelry to buff him up a bit.

ffxiv 2014-08-17 20-20-37-784 There was a huge sense of accomplishment last night when I bought the belt that replaced my final sub 90 item.  In a few weeks time I have managed to catch up to Cylladora who continued playing the game long after we all left.  Last night I also tanked my first dungeon since coming back and overall I think it went smooth enough.  I was pulling pretty quickly and trying to figure out how to maintain aggro again.  It feels like the win condition as a warrior is the fact that I have steel cyclone, and the goal of every pull was to build up enough rage to be able to start the next fight with this attack.  When I managed to do so things stayed fairly glued to me.  When I didn’t I struggled to play catch up with overpower.  Tam was playing his summoner and there is always going to be a point where I lose control of adds to his dots, however for the most part I was able to mitigate this pretty successfully.  I guess the real determination is going to be whether or not I start pugging for duty roulette or not.  If they rewarded me extra bookrocks I would do so in heartbeat, but the extra money may or may not be worth the headache.

#FFXIV #Blaugust