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.
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
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
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.
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.