TSW – Finished Solomon Island

TSW had a double AP week, so that prompted me to put aside other MMOs and focus. I jumped in head first and also bought a 3-day timed AP injector as well as a 3-day timed SP injector. While under the effect of these buffs, I’ll get a bonus skill point for every skill point earned, and a bonus ability point for every ability point earned (thus 2 extra, one from the AP injector and one from the bonus effect). Time to make some progress!

As much as I like this game, I’ve been somewhat sluggish moving through the content. Lolly-gagging, unfocused wandering, whatever you call it. Basically at about 100 hours in the game – according to Steam, and this game (unlike many other MMOs I play) I’ve only ever played via Steam – I was only in Blue Mountains, the 3rd explorable area of the initial zone. Essentially, not even finished with the storyline that shipped with the game ~4 years ago (!!).

So I entered Blue Ridge Mine (tier 13 of the Dawning of an Endless Night storyline mission) determined to finish it off.

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I crept through dark mines, fought shadows, and eventually fought Freddy Beaumont, who I vaguely remember from an earlier cutscene (Tier 6, but it has been a long time since I completed that stage).

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We fought and before I could gloat too much, I was pulled away into another mysterious place.

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A disembodied voice offered me power and wealth, if I would only choose to accept their gift. Which I did. 😉 And in classic TSW fashion, the contents of that mysterious box are as-of-yet unrevealed.

After a short interlude back at Dragon headquarters in Seoul, I unlocked the Scorched Desert. Finally!

But, before I hurl myself into Egypt, I’d kinda like to finish off a few things in Blue Mountain. I’ve probably only done 80% of the quests there and would like to finish up before moving on. While I plan to get further into TSW, at the same time I don’t want to hurdle the content along the way. I figure what I really need to do is just work TSW into my gaming rotation.

My only real criticism of TSW is many quests seem to me to be unnecessarily drawn out… many quests go a little too far overboard in throwing mobs at you or having you do that same thing too many times.. Somewhere between too few and too many is the right balance, and TSW often leans to the “too many” side.

The Dreamcatcher quest has you step into the spirit world and see what’s bothering the ancestors. Turns out it is a Hound of Corruption, and on the way to fighting the monster, you’ll fight shadow creatures, ones the Hound turns on you, and ones just sitting off the path. Again, you don’t just fight one, five, or 10, but somewhere around 20+ along the way, in groups or 1 or 2.

An non-combat example is Treasure Hunt, where you are tasked with completing a search started by a deceased Orochi agent. Using a metal detector, complete with a sonar ping when you get close to a dig spot, the quest has you dig up 5 items twice. The quest is fun and there is combat as the beach is filled with wandering undead, but 10 items? I don’t think anything would be lost if the quest slimmed down and required 2 or 3 each time – you’d have the quest mechanics but not as repetitively.

The biggest example I have for this is The Haunting, where partway through you fight Billy Lee manifestations. Not one, not 5, not even 10, but around 20 or more? I don’t remember, I lost count. Seriously, it is that many, in groups. They come one, two, three at a time until you advance to kill the actual Billy Lee: at least 10 defending Frida Diaz, another 6 or 7 more while escorting Harriet Braun, and around 4 more on the way back to the attic. That should be more like 5-8 for all phases of the quest.

Basically, I think the quest flow would be vastly improved with some streamlining; in particular, thinning out the number of mobs or tasks per tier.

This is one thing FF14 really gets right – every time I’m sent out to kill X number of mobs for a quest, it is usually less than 5 or 6. I can only think of one quest (so far) that requested more than that – 8 or 10 – and that was a Thamaturge class quest. That’s much better balance to me: enough so it isn’t trivial but not so many it become tedious.

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