FF – Pacing

I’ve come to really appreciate the pacing in FF14, especially the availability of levequests.

It’s tough to get a solid block of playtime during the week, which means I can’t do much in most MMOs. GW2 tries to address this with daily login rewards, plus an ever-changing set of daily/weekly activities – gather X in region Y, kill Z, etc. At least I remember those, I haven’t looked into too much lately. There is always exploring a bit and so on, but most MMOs are setup to require a chunk of invested time per session, which isn’t all the convenient for me anymore.

Take EVE Online, a game with tons to do. EVE is many things, but fast is not one of them. I can’t even fit a ship in 30 minutes unless I already everything at the station the ship is docked in. Sometimes I would spend an hour, roundtrip, just traveling from the wormhole I was farming planetary interaction in, to the nearest market. That’s just jumping through gates, accelerating, decelerating, dealing with market stuff (buy/sell), and often, the initial scan-for-exit. EVE isn’t setup for the person who can sometimes get 30 mins to 1 hour during the week, and then random amounts of time on the weekend.

So in FF14, the levequest system is awesome. They are auto-generated quests you can pick up that don’t take too much time to do, reward xp/gil (money), and in the case of grand company leves, company seals. Those seals in turns can be used for promotions (not sure what that gets you besides access to better stuff I assume), weapons, gear, crafting materials, etc.

The levequests take place in the area of the quest giver, don’t start until you get to the general area and initiate them, and after completion, optionally let you warp back to turn in and collect the rewards!

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After earning enough seals for my chocobo mount, I looked over what else is available and worked on cranking out enough seals for the basic armor set: gloves, boots, cap, overcoat. I think it looks pretty nice! OK, I might hide that hat but it doesn’t look terrible – the overall appearance is pretty good to me. I look like a number of the guards hanging around Limsa Lominsa, haha.

I also picked up a nice grimoire, and am thinking about also getting a hora (weapon for my pugilist class).

Since I can’t play tons during the week, I always have rest experience so that’s a nice boost as well.

Soon I’ll get back to the storyline quest. Aurora is now level 23 in arcanist as well as pugilist – if I can get to 25 in each, do the next set of class quests, I’ll feel well prepared to continue the story!

Favorite Mobs

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I’ve fought plenty of the Sweet Tooth Goobbue’s for various leves, and I think they are my favorite mob. They just look cool, with the giant mouth containing rows of teeth. When they fight their arms get all rubbery and stretch out to pound the ground. One of their attacks is “moldy sneeze”!

A mini-sweet tooth goobbue would be awesome. Heck, so would a megalocrab, I like the name of that mob too. Even better, a megalocrab mount! 😉

FF – Chocobo Mount

After about 45 hours of play in the game I decided it was time to work on getting my chocobo mount. I’m past that part of the MSQ (main storyline quests), joined the Maelstrom Grand Company, and just needed to get 2000 seals required.

I relocated to Moraby DryDocks and took a few of the Grand Company levels – since I reached level 20 as an Arcanist I finally qualified for them.

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I found these new levequests to be more fun! The first one I tried was “Victory is Mine, Not Yours” where the objective was to defeat enough enemies in the time limit. The goal was modest but the time limit was only 5 minutes which made for hurried battles. Plus, the mobs kept spawning, something I hadn’t seen in regular levequests.

The second one I tried was “Throw the Book at him”, a quest that involved defeating a single enemy who kept summoning more adds. Also a variant I hadn’t seen before. As an Arcanist, I made sure my 2 DOTs were on the main enemy, and shifted attention to the adds as needed.

The third on I tried was “Don’t Touch Our Stuff”, a defense quest where my goal was to defeat enemies before they destroyed chests. I saw a FATE similar to this, but not a levequest.

Anyway, those were the 3 various types (so far) I saw and after a dedicated session I finally collected the 2000 seals I needed to advance my chocobo quest.

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Now I can ride around the landscape on my bird mount!

When I visited the quartermaster to get my chocobo license, I noticed they also sell uniforms (armor pieces with a themed appearance, I imagine). My next goal is to upgrade my wardrobe and resume the storyline.

 

FF – Crafting and Conjuring

I took a break from level as a pugilist and decided to try out… botany. I chopped at a few trees and before I even hit level 3 as a botanist I decided this wasn’t something I’m interested in.

I’ve read that crafting is fun in this game… I might come back some time in the future and try a production craft (e.g. culinarian or alchemy) but gathering was too dull for me to want to spend any time on.

Since I was in New Gridania, I became a conjurer. One job I’d like to try is scholar, which requires 15 levels in conjurer and 30 in arcanist, so might as well get started.

Leveling as a conjurer was better, but honestly, kinda dull. There are only 2 offensive skills starting out: stone at level 1, and aero at level 4, and… yep that’s it. Hitting 2 skills until level 15 when conjurer’s pick up fluid aura.

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I was happy to finish my class quest and get a 3rd skill to rotate in, fluid aura, except I never even used it because I immediately went to Limsa Lominsa and switched to arcanist. 😉

Leveling as an arcanist was MUCH better. To be fair, the conjurer picked up other skills on the way to 15, but they weren’t ones to use in a fighting rotation.

I typically don’t like pet classes, and the arcanist gets a pet, but in this game it isn’t so bad. The lengthy GCD lets me quickly check the pet is doing something useful so it isn’t too much of a burden to micro-manage. Meanwhile, it does help me fight and draw aggro.

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Eventually I’ll switch back to pugilist, but for now I’m on track for playing as a monk and a scholar: I’ve got lancer and conjurer done, and need to level pugilist and arcanist. Later, I’ll come back and look at what cross-class skills might be useful and think about picking those up.

Speaking of that, I was excited to have access to so many low level conjurer skills while playing as an arcanist – protect, cure, another damage skill… except it seems that I can only use one of those at a time! Maybe this will change later, but for now it is just one. Even though protect is nice, I decided to slot a healing skill from conjurer, cure, and that seems to work decently.

I do really like the arcanist weapon – a book. I love to read so toting around a grimoire as my weapon seems fantastic to me. 😉

FF – Copperbell Mines

Following along in the storyline I quickly arrive at Copperbell Mines. Once again, I watched the excellent summary video that MTQCapture made:

I queued up and found a group in a few minutes.

This wasn’t quite as smooth as my previous 2 dungeons. For one thing, the healer ran ahead and did all the pulling. This prompted our tank to say “hey, what’s going on” (paraphrasing) and eventually “that could be dangerous for you” (paraphrasing) but after that… silence.

Yet, we didn’t have any mishaps and downed the boss and every fight along the way no problem.

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What I think was going on was the healer, being level 20, felt OK to pull, fight, and keep themselves alive through it all, especially if we joined in. We were all a few levels above the minimum – I don’t know how level scaling works here but I imagine since we were all about the same level, the enemies weren’t that much stronger.

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For all I know, the healer whispered the tank and said look, I’ve been through here dozens of times, I’m leveling my umpteenth alt class, let’s just crank through it. Because after that warning, nobody said anything until the boss fight – I left to fight the adds and after the 2nd one, the tank said “ignore the adds”. So I did. And we finished up everything with no problems.

By the end, I leveled up to 20. Now I need to figure out how to get a Chocobo mount, because something obvious like visiting a Chocobo porter didn’t point me in that direction. Instead I did my level 20 pugilist class quest, finished it, and upgraded to a slightly better weapon.

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Something else cool was I got a commendation! My 2nd one in 3 dungeons (previously I received one in Tam-Tara I believe). Well that’s a nice start to me FF career. 😉

Ah, I found out about Chocobo mounts by reading through some pages on my favorite FF14 reference site. Looks like I just need to get a little further in the main scenario questline.

FF – Sastasha and Tam-Tara

After taking a break to level up a pugilist to 15, and finish the pugilist level 15 class quest, I resumed the storyline. Soon I was tasked with checking out pirates in Sastasha, a nearby dungeon.

Since this was the first FF14 grouping I’ve done, I decided to study up a bit. I found this short video summarizing Sastasha:

 

 

Sounds like a training dungeon, which is great!

I queued up in the duty finder and after about 7-8 minutes, it popped.

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The fights started out as promised, trash mobs in beginning part with cool looking mushrooms.

OK, I won’t bore you with a blow-by-blow report. I’ll just say it went smoothly and was fun. I even got a helm upgrade so that was a nice bonus.

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We fought the final boss and adds and then left. Back to Gridania to check out Tam-Tara Deepcroft.

The same person who did the excellent video summary of Sastasha also have a Tam-Tara Deepcroft video, so I watched that too:

A brief wait later, we were in.

Group battles in FF14 are, for the lack of better description, pyrotechnic insanity. Huge spectacular effects, colorful explosions, etc. It is almost overwhelming and since I only recognize the “sparkle” effects of my own skills, I assume all those other crazy ones are due to my group and their skills. Basically, if the mobs are doing some I’m in trouble since I’m only looking to move out of an orange arc on the floor.

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After a while, we defeat Cthulhu, er I mean Galvanth the Dominator, and earned our reward.

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The XP in dungeons (duties) is really good. I entered Tam-Tara about level 17 1/3, and by the time we finished and I turned in the followup quest, I was level 19.2!

Sub Thoughts

My included 30 days in FF14 is ticking down, and I’m leaning towards subbing. I am enjoying myself enough to sub, and even though I don’t have tons of time to play, what I’ve seen so far is enjoyable. I’ll be relying on the Duty Finder to find groups for storyline dungeons/duties, and so far it doesn’t seem that bad.

I am intrigued by the class system – being able to switch classes by switching main weapon, and of course how jobs build on classes. I’d definitely like to level pugilist to 30 and try out the monk job. (I already leveled lancer to 15). I’d also like to try out healing, starting with conjurer and eventually attaining scholar. So I think I’ll sub for a few months and get further into the game.

FF – Pugilist

I traveled over to Ul’dah and started in on Pugilist levels. Looking back, I should have began a character with this class since I need Pugilist levels for both Monk and Ninja. I’m not sure my Archer levels will be of use since I’m not interested in trying Bard. But, it was just 15 low levels and a decent intro to the game I guess.

After running out of things to do in Gridania while leveling my 2nd class there (Lancer), I skipped Arcanist. Now, instead of doing every quest outside Ul’dah, I’m skipping a few and instead relying on Levemetes and Fates more. That way should I decide to level up something else from Ul’dah I won’t be entirely screwed.

One very annoying this about Fates in this games is there is no partial credit. Over in GW2, if a dynamic event fails, you at least get something. Here? Nope, just the xp you got from grinding the mobs trying to accomplish whatever the Fate was.

For example, there is a Fate outside Silver Bazaar involving collecting earth sprite cores. GW2 has very similar events as well – collect X thingys and turn them in. I had fought earth sprites, picked cores up, and turned in 33 of them. While on my way to hand over the last bunch and finish the Fate, some mob aggroed me, and of course, you can’t speak to the NPC when aggroed. Because I then had to defeat whatever was fighting me, I ran out of the time and the entire Fate failed. Instead of getting something, partial credit for some part of the reward, you get zip.

So in the future, I’m going to be leery of starting a Fate if I’m the only one doing it. It’s pretty disappointing to get no reward at all; I’m way better off doing Levemetes or just grinding random mobs in general – at least I’m not racing some countdown timer and charging into battle without recovering.

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One thing I’m happy with is the armor I’m getting over in Ul’dah looks decent. No annoying subligar bikini armor thank goodness.

FF – Starting Out

Over the weekend I started up Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. It was on sale 50% off on Steam, so I figured what the heck. It was frustrating getting an account setup with Square Enix due to some problems with a bad password validation error message and dropped/delayed reset confirmations, but eventually I jumped through that hoop. The Steam integration is lousy as well, because I had to type the registration code (cut-and-paste only worked for the first block). But finally I was able to log in and create a character.

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Once in, I made a female Roegadyn Sea Wolf and started as an archer. I had to choose a nameday (birthday) and a guardian (patron god)… does this factor into the game at all?

The game plays smooth, looks great, sounds great, combat is straightforward… the game is a very polished experience. There are some detailed cut-scenes, in the league of TSW style cut-scenes, even if the ones here are occasionally bizarre.

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I’m following the storyline and my guild quests, which have been pretty standard fare: fetch, kill X mobs, use the item in the correct spot, visit the guy in the next area, etc.

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I reached level 15 on the Archer, and plan to finish my class quest before switching to Lancer. The big draw of this game is playing multiple classes on one character, and eventually taking jobs (fancier classes that combine two basic classes) so I’m going to take advantage.

My only real complaint is that the armor appearance is lousy. I hate my armor and am hoping to replace pieces that don’t look completely stupid.

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This is literally the armor I’ve gotten from questing. It is so terrible I am embarrassed to play. A few levels ago it wasn’t so bad, but as I’ve swapped out quest gear upgrades, the armor has become more and more bikini-like and worse and worse in appearance. I need to figure out the cosmetic system, if there is one, ASAP.

One nice thing about FF14 is you don’t have to supply credit card info to play. Lots of games do even when they include a certain amount of time for free. I have 30 days and never entered any subscription info, so if I decide not to sub, I don’t have to remember to cancel. There is a sub level at the $12.99/month where I can have 1 character on up to 8 worlds. Since in theory I wouldn’t need alts, that sounds perfect.

Sometime Later…

Well I finished the level 15 archer class quest. It was slay some guy making trouble nearby, yadda yadda yadda. Midway through a friendly NPC showed up to help me, which was nice.

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After that I turned the quest, got a level 16 armor item I can’t yet equip, and went to the Lancer guild to switch classes.

I had some questions, like “what happens to my level, stats, armor” and so on when I switch. It turns out you get busted back to level 1 stats since you are level 1 in the new class. The side effect of that, because I had been selling the armor I previously outgrew while leveling up as an archer, is that… you guessed it… I have no armor at all I can equip.

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The almost naked Lancer.

Yes… I’m just not so happy with how things are going on the armor issue.

What’s funny is I’ve seen several characters around, fighting in their skivvies. And I always thought to myself, ah man another creep. Now I’m that player and I suddenly realize that maybe those other people were like me and didn’t realize the need for hanging on to lowbie armor sets for class switching.

It seems obvious in retrospect. Dammit.

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After getting to level 6 as a Lancer, and still not receiving any armor (ok… I got boots and gloves) I gave up and bought some at a merchant. The two kinds of armor seem to be Disciples of War armor, for the melee classes, and All armor usable by everybody, so the Disciples of Magic too. Since I’m ultimately going to switch to Conjurer I figured I’d just start buying/collecting armor usable by every class. Thus my not-so-melee-looking armor.

I’m having a different issue now, running out of quests. I’ve cleared pretty much every quest below level 10 already, which leaves me scrounging. I had to do 2 levequests just to get to level 5 and don’t have many options now. I’m not going to be excited grinding mobs to level until I can get some quests again. For that matter, I might be totally out when it comes to leveling a Conjurer.