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
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
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.