Weekend of the Dead

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This weekend it finally happened… I finally reached a point where I am full saturation once again in Final Fantasy XIV.  I am not really sure if it was the Fan Fest news trickling out over the weekend, or the introduction of Stormblood.  Whatever the case I spent the majority of the weekend plunked down on the sofa playing FFXIV.  Now the bizarre part of this however… is that I played a bunch of classes that I traditionally never play.  I almost exclusively played finger wigglers, which lead my guild to wonder if I had been replaced by a pod person.  Would I even know if that actually happened?  I mean do the pod people actually know that they are pod people?  Whatever the case two different things were happening this weekly.  Primarily I was using the Palace of the Dead to level classes that would be cool to have at max level… but that I don’t really want to level properly.  Namely Scholar and Summoner, which admittedly is the same leveling process…  but I spent most of the weekend running around with Garuda Egi in dps form.  I finished the grind Sunday Afternoon and then went rummaging through my vault to find something to wear.  Thankfully I managed to scrape together enough gear that I picked up along the way to hit somewhere in the vicinity of 110.

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From there I spent a good amount of time catching the Summoner and Scholar up on their quest chains…  which were laughably easy now that I overgeared them by a significant portion.  The thing that is making the leveling process awkward is that I switched Grand Companies between now and the last time I leveled… and as a result my vault is full of a bunch of Immortal Flames gear that I cannot actually use.  Side note…  Maelstrom completely fails because the low level Black Mage weapon is a one-handed item.  Regardless I managed to catch up quickly and now have four sets of awesome gear… 2 for summoner and 2 for scholar because I guess they just straight up give you the recolored version now?  The recolor was pretty different on scholar so I went with the good ole classic.  On summoner however they both looked pretty samey and I went with the evoker set not really knowing if that is the original or the reskin.  Side note… summoner “Egis” are hilarious as a Lalafel since they are always larger than you are.

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After getting Summoner and Scholar to 50… and through their class content…  I shifted gears and started working on Thaumaturge.  I had managed to get it to 26 a long time ago only because it was the level needed for a cross class ability.  I stopped there expecting to never pick it up, but instead tonight I dusted things off and tried to make a viable build work.  I guess in part I am wanting to get all of my casters to 50… so I can have a massive cleaning out of my vault given that I have so much gear laying around and there is zero way I can survive another expansion with the vault in its current state.  In truth I think it would be kinda cool to get ALL of my classes to 50, but given that I have not even started on Machinist and Astralogian…. and only have Dark Knight to 33 that might be awhile off.  I do however find Palace of the Dead extremely relaxing, especially the manner in which I am running it.  I am simply running 51 to 60 over and over which still seems to move the bar up nicely on weapons.  The other side benefit of the weekend is that I can now purchase my next weapon upgrade for the Warrior…   however in order to do that I am going to actually have to beat level 100 at some point.  I can begin pestering my friends about that now…  but having run 1-50 for a friend this weekend… I know just how much of a slot doing an entire PotD can be in one sitting.

The Family I Know

Of Large Families

I grew up Catholic which also means I come from a long line of extremely large families.  My Grandfather was one of five children, and each of them for the most part had five or six children of their own.  My mother for example is one of six siblings, and my “aunt” that just passed away is one of five.  The end result is that the get-togethers on that side of the family where relatively massive.  As a child I was completely comfortable with the way that “mom” and “dad” worked and “grandma” and “grandpa” but most of the other relationships just baffled me.  As a result pretty much any adult female that was not either my mother or my grandmother ended up being my “Aunt”.  No one decided to correct me so it stuck.

My Aunt Marilyn while technically my first cousin once removed, was an Aunt in every since of the word that actually mattered.  She was this quiet presence in everything that happened in my life from the occasional little league game, to getting my eagle scout and to countless band concerts.  She had a way of showing up at exactly the right moment.  She also had this magical way of knowing exactly what was hip and trendy and whatever us kids might be into at the time.  This morning I woke up to an alarm clock that she got me when I was 12 or 13, and every time I wake up to it I think of her.  It was little things like that, something that she knew I would need but I didn’t even realize myself that just baffle me.

The Family I Know

At the Rosary on Tuesday night I got up to talk about my Aunt which is something I had wished I had been able to do at my Grandmothers funeral recently.  I had regretted not saying something then, so I figured I shouldn’t pass the occasion now.  In many ways this is the family I knew the most growing up and as a result they feel most like home.  As kids my mother and my aunt Margaret Ann decided that me and my second cousins would be closer than that.  As a result they tried to create as many opportunities for us to get together and play.  Growing up I spent huge swaths of time either at their house or them in my hometown.  When my wife and I decided to elope, it was my cousin that I called upon to stand up for me on the spur of the moment.

As we have all gotten busier we have drifted apart but seeing them yesterday was an extremely good thing.  We exchanged the most current cell phones and promised to make plans to get together, and I sincerely hope we will.  My generation is just going to have to start putting out the effort to make occasions to get together just like my parents generation did.  As each of these members of the previous generation passes on what is going with them is more than their life.  What is leaving is the glue that held us together.  We will have to step in to make sure that bond doesn’t break.  Each of us has reached a point in our lives where we are more or less stable, so it is time to start trying to see each other more often.

Down the Rabbit Hole

ffxiv 2014-08-27 15-13-35-284 When I finally got home and put out a few fires, I was able to log into Final Fantasy XIV and check out the festival that started today.  It seemed fitting that while I had been remembering family, the game had been having an in game remembrance event called the rising.  For those that do not realize it, “A Realm Reborn” or FFXIV 2.0 is both literally and figuratively rising from the ashes of the previous game.  When 1.0 came to a close they destroyed the world with the dread comet Dalmund and the arrival of the Primal Bahamut.  The Rising event commemorates the rising of the world out of the ashes of the previous one.  There is a single relatively short quest,  that comes long with an extremely charming bit of storyline.  Completing the quest gets the players a “Huzzah” emote that at least as a warrior causes me to jump up high into the air with my axe held aloft.

My focus over the last few days has been on getting my White Mage to thirty four so I can cast stoneskin.  The problem is I have noticed I am sorely lacking another ability that comes from Thaumaturge.  There was a point last night when I was healing a dungeon that I simply could not cast fast enough to save the tank who had moved out of range of my healing.  If I had swiftcast which is a Thaumaturge cross class ability I likely could have saved him.  Seeing the need for it I opted to start working on my Thaumaturge to at least get him to level 26.  This is the way that everything seems to go in Final Fantasy XIV.  In order to be truly efficient in one thing, you need a whole bunch of other things leveled as well.  For the moment my goals are gearing the Bard through the hunt quests, and then working on Thaumaturge to 26 so I can continue onwards with my White Mage to the level cap.