Wrong About Wildstar

More Initiates

ffxiv 2015-04-13 21-12-58-11 For as frustrated as yesterdays post was, today’s is all the more hopeful.  Lately on Wednesday nights I have been assisting a fledgling second static group in our free company out.  While it still struggles to get a full eight people, we are making some progress.  As more people level to the cap, more people will be available to join in the raiding fun and hopefully this will smooth the process out significantly.  For the last few weeks we have been working on Turn 5 of the Binding Coil of Bahamut, aka the first major hurdle and the gateway to the second coil.  Last week we made decent progress but were still struggling to get through the dive bomb phase.  That phase seems to be the biggest frustration with the fight, and once you figure out the timing the rest goes smoothly.  While I barded it up last week, this week I tanked it because that was the role that was needed.  Since my health was significantly higher than Damai we swapped roles and I took the Twintania role and he adjusted quickly to dealing with the adds.

Now our first group of the night was less than successful because we ended up having to pug in half of the players.  The positive was that we noticed that the people screwing up were not our own people.  As the evening went on more people got in game and we were able to fill out the rest of the slots with some other seasoned veterans.  From here I think it took four attempts before we downed the 5th turn and keyed a whole new group of players for the second coil.  This is awesome for a bunch of reasons… because firstly it means that second team is progressing nicely apart from issues getting people online at the right time.  Secondly however it also means we can start drawing on the pool of players available for Monday night turn 9 attempts as well.  I know Grace is itching to see t9, so hopefully this will smooth out some of our own attendance irregularities.  It is almost summer after all and with summer comes folks going off and doing summer things.

Wrong about Wildstar

WildStar64 2015-04-22 22-58-27-92 This morning I am questioning if I have been wrong about Wildstar thus far in feeling that the game was just not for me.  Granted we gave it a good shot and played this game at launch but it felt like something was off.  Now coming back and playing it again I am really enjoying myself, but there are a large number of details that are significantly different that I think are effecting my enjoyment.  When the initial video was released talking about the Exiles and Dominion, I naturally felt an immediate affinity with the Exiles…  the problem being most of my friends had that same immediate attraction to the Dominion.  I struggled with this choice until I found the Chua and for the most part enjoyed my time playing an Engineer.  The problem being…  I just did not enjoy that style of tanking.  What I should have played was a Warrior, like I did every time I actually enjoyed myself during the beta.  So this time around I am playing a Human Warrior and enjoying smashing faces and jumping around like mad.  The Exile side has this whole “Firefly” vibe that works for me, whereas the Dominion feel more like playing the Empire from Star Wars.  Both are interesting but at this point in my life… I feel more kinship with the rebels.

The other thing that is helping significantly is due to the whole promotion I have a hover board starting at level 1, which makes roaming around the zones so much more enjoyable.  Additionally thanks to the promotion I have some spending money from selling extra items on the open market.  Knowing my character is set for awhile on upgrades and spending money makes all the difference in the world.  Finally the pace I am playing with makes a huge difference.  Wildstar is the sort of game where piddling around feels more enjoyable than focused leveling.  I am stopping to smell the roses, and boulders, and landmines… well you get the idea.  Additionally I went the Soldier path, meaning I get to smash more things in the face and while I enjoyed Explorer…  smashing things in the face is just more my style.  At launch I had this overwhelming feeling of a need to keep up with everyone else, so that I would be viable for dungeon running.  This time since I am playing all by myself for the most part…  I am taking my time and poking through the content at my own speed.  All of which adds up to a completely different experience for me.  All of this proves that the circumstances you go into a game greatly colors your end experience.  So far I am enjoying playing this game as a secondary “cooling down” from the action type game.

Wrong about Marvel Heroes

MarvelHeroes2015 2015-04-20 21-57-03-00 Another game that I have recently picked up that I am more than willing to admit I was wrong about is Marvel Heroes.  I have avoided this game like the plague because of a whole slew of reasons.  Firstly at its core it is a Diablo clone and while there is nothing wrong with that…  click to move and attack games and I generally do not get along that well.  Thanks to League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm I have learned to tolerate them… but my preferred means of control will always be WASD.  Secondly everything surrounding this game gave the impression that it was a free to play money grab of the worst type.  I played a tiny bit of this game in beta and was not terribly excited about any of the heroes I was able to play, so I filed this away in the “not for me” bin as well.  The thing is over time I have continued to watch people I know and love and respect playing this game as seriously as they have played any traditional MMO.  When I see something like this I start to wonder, what are they seeing it in that I am not.  I’ve had these same feelings surrounding games that I just did not previously understand like Guild Wars 2, and after finally hitting my stride in that game I figured I might as well give Heroes a shot too.

Sunday I ended up playing this game for awhile, and wound up playing it for I think five hours without really meaning to.  I feel like the piece of the equation that I was missing to really enjoy it, comes from the fact that I did not even realize I was in need of that Super Hero MMO fix.  I happily played City of Heroes for about six months before moving on to World of Warcraft.  When Champions Online launched I was extremely excited about that game…  until the first patch wound up killing the combination of abilities I wanted to play with.  With the launch of DC Universe Online that was yet another game I really enjoyed, but struggled to get traction in for reason I still don’t know to this day.  Marvel Super Heroes seems to be just a bout the right amount of depth for me to consume as far as super hero content goes, and the ability to swap between heroes freely helps significantly.  Right now I am focusing on Captain America but by the same token I have gotten rather fond of Gambit and Deadpool.  All of which I really want to play more of, and ultimately this seems like the perfect sort of game to play downstairs on my laptop while watching television and movies.  In fact I am hoping to do just that this weekend, and see what mischief I can get into with my shield bashing self.

Dances with Fish

A Good Insanity

greysky_thirdplace So this happened yesterday… and I am completely floored by it.  Firstly I thought last weeks 6th place was pure insanity, but to see us jump to third place in guild activity in a weeks time is just surreal.  For those wondering this is gauge is based on guild activity, or moreso the guild going out into the world and doing stuff.  This means we are leveling, crafting, doing fates, running dungeons, in apparently huge portions.  But to think we are the third most active guild on the server just seems so strange.  Anecdotally I did notice a few weeks back that regardless of what crystal I teleported to, there seemed to be some [GREY] members nearby so I knew we were getting pretty huge, but I guess this simply quantifies that.

The thing is I still feel like this has very little to do with me, and more to do with getting a critical mass of people in the same place for a long period of time.  We have been growing extremely fast, but at the same time very organically.  I invite someone, who has fun and invites their friends… and then they go off and want to invite their friends and so forth.  This all just seems to have snowballed into the amazing situation that we currently have on Cactuar.  It is a combination of a great game with great people, and the end product is this upwelling of awesome.  Last night Tam our fearless leader ran some numbers.  We currently have 135 members of Greysky Armada, and of those 89 have been online within the last two weeks…  and even more impressively 63 had been online in the last 24 hours.  We have a really huge active population of players… and it is pretty damned awesome.

Turn Five Revisited

ffxiv 2015-04-13 21-14-39-12 We have been struggling a bit to get our turn nine ship righted, as it seems each week we have been down some people required to make that happen.  Last night we opted that rather than standing around waiting and hoping for an 8th to show up… that we would do something more proactive and key another guild member by running them through turn five.  I still find t5 an extremely enjoyable fight, and it was a little challenging given that some of us were playing different roles.  We had to give up Kodra’s insane dps in favor of him picking up the mantle of the Paladin tank.  He did a great job at interpreting all the random commentary I said by not really understanding fully the job that Ashgar does on a regular basis.  Ash just takes care of so many details that it took us a bit to replicate all of them with someone else.  The funny thing is at this point in our gear level… the dive bomb phase seems to be far more forgivable.  I think we managed to defeat the turn on the 5th or 6th try…  but most of the attempts were really us trying to adjust to the twister phase.

ffxiv 2015-04-13 22-48-09-34 While the first coil is not exactly a great way to get people gear, they do have some nice looking items in there.  Last night I managed to get some achievement for defeating turn five multiple times in a row.  Ashgar has always been super awesome about letting me pick up the various pieces of plate gear that drop in there because I liked the look of it.  After the raid last night I went rifling through my inventory and realized that I had all of the cosmetic slots.  As such I opted to pick up a brand new glamour to show off my Heavy Allagan gear.  Now the weapon from t5 doesn’t really go with this set of gear, so I opted to use the 110 weapon instead.  I am sure I will get tired of it eventually, or I will complete some other set of gear that I want to use…  but for the time being I am pretty happy with looking like I spent a lot of time grinding the early coils.

Dances with Fish

ffxiv 2015-04-13 21-45-59-44 We took long enough last night to defeat turn five that we didn’t really have enough time to start in on turn nine.  Instead we opted to set our sights on the  lord of the whorl, Leviathan extreme.  We had made attempts on this in the past but struggled a bit at the time, so never really came back and revisited it.  However in the meantime I have run a lot of Leviathan hard mode for various guild members as they needed it for their storyline.  Each time I have pretended that I was doing it on extreme, and have gotten significantly better at avoiding “stuff”.  The challenge for extreme mode is that during the middle of the fight Leviathan knocks the barriers off the platform you are fighting him from.  This means that if you are not careful and do not adjust to his deck slams… you will slide directly off the platform and into the water… where you will be unrecoverable just like on Titan.  All of this pretending to not have rails seems to actually have made the real thing significantly easier, because for the most part we were not dying to folks sliding off the platform.

On our best attempt we managed to get Leviathan down to 24% and largely we were dying to either insane amounts of damage…  or the horrible add that fears players off the platform.  Mostly the timing of the stuns is a bit odd there, and Kodra was doing this for the first time.  After looking at a quick guide this morning it looks like we need to start stun locking that add around 70% health.  Essentially if you see a castbar at all.. it is apparently already too late.  There will be nothing you can do to stop the fear effects from going off.  I feel like on this fight I have the easy job which is just soak up a lot of damage and be ready with cooldowns if it looks like I am taking a burst of damage.  The offtank does pretty much everything else… stun the adds, pick up the adds, tank the four blue balls of doom etc.  Thought I feel like given a solid night of attempts that were not abbreviated… we can totally do this fight.