A Quiet Night

Second Time Just as Sweet

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Every now and then things get left on the cutting room floor for one reason or another.  For example I really wanted to make my post about the possibility of making our own convention…  but I had lots of other things to talk about as well.  In Final Fantasy I am presenting sitting in this interesting position being a part of two very different static raid groups.  Last week in the Wednesday night group we managed to get Bismarck Extreme, and I was absolutely over the moon about it.  This had been one of those challenges that we had struggled with over the course of a few weeks, namely in getting enough geared people online at the same time to take it down.  That has been the biggest challenge for Wednesday nights honestly is getting people to commit to regular attendance.  With my original raid group on Monday nights, attendance was never the issue.  The struggle there was mostly gearing, or at least the fact that we did not have two geared tanks for awhile.  However that changed as soon as Ashgar got his Paladin to 60, and geared it in record time.  Over all the gearing levels of Monday still lag behind Wednesday, but we found out this week that it apparently doesn’t really matter all that much.

Last Monday we finished up turn 13 of the Final Coil of Bahamut and started the first turn of Alexander Normal.  This week I figured the plan was to run all four phases of Alexander normal, mostly to help folks get some gear pieces.  I did not realize that we had intended to do attempts on Bismarck at the end of the night.  After struggling so much to get through that fight on the Wednesday group, I honestly expected us to walk away with a lot of experience but no kill under our belts.  I was absolutely wrong, and I am shocked at just how amazing getting a first Bismarck kill felt with my second raid team.  In the past in World of Warcraft, the first kill of a boss is special, but additional kills feel significantly less so.  I remember getting my first 10 man Arthas kill several months ahead of us getting it as a 25 man raid and that blunted the excitement considerable.  I have to say getting through Bismarck Extreme a second time is just as sweet as it was the first time.  My hope is that both groups can start doing this on a semi regular basis which will give me access to so many expanse totems.  Now I guess I really do have to get serious about the Ravana Extreme fight.

A Quiet Night

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I had every intent of coming home and working on getting my Alexander drops for the week, but that didn’t really pan out.  I hit somewhat of an irrational low spot yesterday, and as a result I didn’t really feel like being around all that many people.  As such I avoided logging into Final Fantasy XIV and instead played a few other games.  Mylin started a discussion over twitter about the Everquest II Time Locked servers, which I guess was responding to some comments I had made earlier in the week.  The problem being that I was spending the evening downstairs on my laptop, and I guess I had never actually installed Everquest II on it.  There is a streaming client for these occasions, the problem is that the EQ2 streaming client is horrible.  The performance halts every few minutes as the game downloads more assets, making the game experience nigh unplayable.  I should have simply waited the thirty minutes to an hour that it would take to download the full thing…  but I was being impatient.  The end result was a frustrating stutter stop experience as I attempted to quest my way through Freeport.  Honestly this is a dual problem for me, because no matter what I try the new Freeport always performs like shit.  I really miss the old multi-zone Freeport because I never had these issues back then.  Now I generally want to avoid going to that town like the plague.  I noticed both the Neriak and Gorowyn ambassadors were offering me a switch in my allegiance, but I was uncertain if Gorowyn even existed in this version of the game.

Ultimately I need to do some reading because I will more than happily pop to the Darklight Woods starter experience if given an option.  I consider it the absolute best starter zone in the game.  I’ve burned through my stockpile of station cash and I feel made some awesome decisions.  I ended up picking up a handful of the bags that are being offered since I did not really want to go tailor just to make bags, and I ended up picking up a set of shadowknighty looking cosmetic armor.  I have long felt that if you look good you feel better about playing your character.  Finally I spent the last of it picking up the tanky rhino mount, but I’ve never really cared for the way mounts look in this game…  so I tend to have it permanently hidden.  As a result I feel like a bard in that I am just running irrationally fast for no apparent reason.  Mounts can make moving around cities awkward as you ultimately end up blocking some of your view as you try and get into buildings and such.  I am still only level 11 because really… I had forgotten how slow progression used to go in this game before all of the assorted experience bonuses.

Saving Farmers

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I could only handle the stutter and stop gameplay of the streaming client so long before I jettisoned Everquest II for favor of Wildstar.  This is a game I want to devote more time to playing because I am really enjoying myself.  It scratches the World of Warcraft style game itch pretty well, and playing the Exiles has this fun firefly vibe to it.  Quite honestly I think had I started Exiles I probably would have stuck around longer than the initial month.  I was not a huge fan of the Dominion, but the Chua made playing them tolerable for awhile.  Personally I still think red versus blue faction divides are extremely dumb, and this game is just another reason.  My friends wanted to play Dominion, so I joined them there and had a fairly miserable time being a cartoon bad guy.  If I could have grouped with them on my Exile it would not have been a problem.  Instead there was a faction wall, and I am pretty much universally against faction walls.  The difference this time however is that no one I know actually plays Dominion on Entity.  This is actually somewhat sad as I can log into my Chua and the Dominion capital city is an absolute ghost town.  I roamed around for a good ten minutes one night before seeing a single other player, and when I finally did it was because there were a few people hanging out at the bank.

As of last night I dinged twenty two and finally can use a spiffy sword that I had been holding in my inventory for awhile.  There is just something about a weapon upgrade that is special.  I could be wearing ten levels lower of gear in every other slot, but if I have a current weapon… I feel good about my life.  There were some oddities going on with the server, because it seems like the opening of the free to play beta made more people realized that the game still existed.  I admit I am guilty of forgetting to log in.  I get caught up in Final Fantasy XIV and doing Eorzean things, but I think I am going to make an effort to start logging in more.  Since I have friends playing over there already it might be easier to remember.  I am trying my best to push through the Galeras content as fast as I can because I am just ready to see new areas.  I did move into the desert region of the zone so that was a bit of a welcome change, although as of last night I was back in rolling hills and farm lands.  At some point I need to do the two dungeons I recently unlocked to see if I can get any spiffy upgrades.  The highlight of the night however was getting to the next Shiphand mission, because so far those are my absolute favorite part of Wildstar.



Spending Time with Carby

Sleep Hates Me

I am getting a fairly late start this morning because insomnia is a pain in the ass.  Last night we recorded an episode of AggroChat like normal, and ran around two hours in total recording time.  By the time I did my initial edit pass and exported the show to MP3, it was already midnight.  I decided to save my progress and finish things up this morning instead, and my hope beyond hope was that I would get a good nights sleep.  The problem being that the moment my head hit the pillow I was awake.  I kept thinking that if I laid there long enough I would eventually drift off to sleep, but as 2 am came and passed I was really wishing I had just stayed up long enough to publish the post last night.  This is the worst part about insomnia is not necessarily the inability to get back to sleep, but the feeling that you are wasting your time by TRYING to sleep.  Had I gotten up I could have done any number of things until sleep finally claimed me…  but the harder you attempt to sleep the harder it seems to be to finally have it happen.

I’ve struggled with bouts of insomnia most of my life, and figuring out how to function on a couple of hours of sleep is an unfortunate survival skill I have had to learn along the way.  Thankfully this happened on a Saturday night… and not a Sunday night…  because I have done the sleep walking my way through work because I couldn’t sleep thing and it sucks.  The key fault yesterday was that I ended up taking a nap thinking that it would help me stay up and edit the podcast.  My system is wired in such a way that if I get any additional sleep I am screwed.  I can take a thirty minute cat nap, and it will completely upset the balance of things can cause my body to think it got a full nights sleep.  Granted a “full night” for me is between five and six hours of sleep… and realistically anything more than that causes me to get groggy.  Essentially I live my life in a permanent state of sleep deprivation, but unfortunately that seems to simply be the way I am wired to function.  All of this aside the show was an extremely enjoyable one to record and we talked about a big umbrella of titles from Final Fantasy XIV, to Wildstar, to Sword Art Online…  to the elephant in the room… the World of Warcraft Legion expansion announcement.

AggroChat 69 – Ahk Mourn and Key Limes

Content Density

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I have this strong desire to level to the current cap in Wildstar, but the problem I ultimately have is this is an exceptionally content dense game.  Normally speaking this is a good quality, but the problem is that I struggle to keep up with the quests before out leveling them entirely.  In a game like Final Fantasy XIV it makes sense… so that you can save quests for other jobs, however in a game like Wildstar it just feels daunting when you realize that you are completing less than optimal quests just to dig down to the ones that matter again.  I spent a good chunk of time yesterday playing around on my Human Warrior on Evinda yesterday, poking my way through the quests.  Right now I am mostly focused on working through my path quests, but unfortunately I have only actually done about half of the ones available for the Galeras zone, and I am already feeling overwhelmed.  I have to say this is not really my favorite area of the game, and I am more than ready to push past it… even though I know Whitevale is waiting on me.  Whitevale more or less was the zone that killed my progress on my Chua Engineer, because the content was just so tightly packed.. and simply moving around became tedious.

As of yesterday I am sitting at level twenty, and I am considering just pushing through some dungeon runs rather than spending a bunch of more time questing.  I had this overwhelming feeling yesterday that I spent a lot of time doing something…  but whatever it was didn’t really accomplish much in the grand scheme of things.  I did however set up a new outfit which I am pretty happy with.  At some point I need to spend time searching the auctioneer for interesting appearances.  Right now I don’t have any hats that I really like, so I am going with the cybernetic monocle as the best of the worst.  This game so far is reminding me a little too much of Warcraft in the hat department, because I can’t really find any that I like.  In World of Warcraft I habitually hit every single hat offering because they all looked stupid, and I am afraid that might also be my fate here.  This is so strange since in Final Fantasy XIV I have dozens of hats that I love wearing…  including the very awesome Bunny Samurai hat that I have been wearing most recently.  Maybe I just have yet to find my way to the really cool threads yet.  Right now I plan on leveling some more today and seeing if I can get a group going for a dungeon.


Spending Time with Carby

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Arcanist has been the class that has eluded me the most in Final Fantasy XIV.  I want to like it, because I adore running around with a giant sparkly carbuncle pet.  The problem being it is a “finger wiggler” and quite possibly the “most” finger wiggly of all classes.  I however thanks to the help of my AggroChat crew at least “get” how to play one.  It is essentially put up dots on all of the things and check to see if it is dead yet.  Generally speaking I pick something to play during our podcast and this week that honor fell to playing the Arcanist.  I keep telling myself that if I can ever manage to get it to 30, then I will become a Scholar and life will be golden.  I get to queue as a healer and see how the other side feels when it comes to dungeon healing, after playing a fair amount of White Mage.  As of last night I am sitting at 26, and man does it feel like a really long ways to 30.  The problem with dungeoning as an Arcanist is that it just feels so damned awkward.  You have this strange mixed bag of tools, but only really end up using your dots and ruin as a spell of last resort.  Occasionally I throw a heal if the tank is getting exceptionally low or if I am, but otherwise cycle through the adds… dotting each of them.. then returning to the first one and starting the process all over again (which is rarely needed because they are usually dead by then).

Essentially going forward it is my plan to run a low level roulette each day on  the Arcanist because yesterday I managed to get a full level and a half out of it.  Doing this should get me to thirty in good pace, and then I can figure out how to scholar heal!  If nothing else now that I have gotten in my Carby plushes I have a minion Carby to follow me around.  I have to admit that is part of my reluctance to level is the fact that I know going Summoner causes me to loose my Carbuncles.  The  Egis have grown on me, but they are in no way as cool as the Carbuncle.  I can’t believe I am saying this… but I am actually jealous of Alphinaud and his Ruby, Onyx and Obsidian Carbuncles.  Part of me hopes that they introduce a quest line that gives you these three Carbys as optional replacements for Garuda, Titan and Ifrit Egis.  If they did that… I would absolutely have renewed vigor in my desire to become a summoner.  As it stands now I feel like this is a class that has beaten me, and I want to push past any frustration and not let it win.  If nothing else I do think the book casting animation looks pretty sweet…  you know for a finger wiggler.  Yeah…  i’m going to go stab something with a sword or hit something with an axe now.