The expansion. Yeah, it hit. Boy did it hit. *smacks lips* Lessee…
Class changes… oye.
SE tinkered with every class, removing some skills, adding some others, and rearranging optional stuff. They spelled out what they were tinkering with before the expansion became accessible. I parused the pages for summoner and bard because those were the two classes I have previously enjoyed and had geared up most thoroughly in anticipation of hopping right into the new content once the servers were live.
Upon logging in, I spent some time removing every battle thing from my hotbars, in anticipation of reading tooltips for each skill (to note changes, there were quite a few) and placing them once more on my hotbar in an intuitive order. I do this whenever I level up a new alt as well–I pay very close attention to the help text, and figure out the best rotation for me. I like to have an instant something-or-other first, followed by DoTs, followed by the basic rotation that each class has. I don’t have much of an opener, I build things up and work from there. Quite a few power players like to hit things with a particularly stronk baddaboom before settling into their rotation. I lay down the mortar, then the bricks of my particular job, and then start dealing with whatever has the most HP and knocking them and their friends down. I’m not interested in top DPS, I’m interested in using my class most effectively no matter the situation. I leave the min-maxing to others.
Anyway, that took some time to figure out a new rotation, peering at whatever new
cross class role skills are available to me and choosing some at random that I think might help. I may tinker with that over time. We’ll see.
They changed Summoner and Bard, and I’m really not happy about either change. They removed some AOEs on both, and removed one particular skill that was entirely required for me, Sustain, which provides a heal-over-time spell on my summoned pet. Without that, a pet is hella squishy and a couple hits kills it fast. I was in Dzemael Darkhold with a new tank, and between the start of the dungeon and the first boss, I had resummoned Garuda seven times, wasting a cast of Swiftcast that might have been used to resurrect someone if the run had gone that bad. #1 reason why I like summoner, I’m hugely aware of my party, and if one particular player is being a derp, I can keep an eye on them and help heal/res them to cover the healer who’s probably busy mashing buttons like mad trying to keep them alive. I’d rather slow down the run to help shepherd the derp than to watch them wipe the party while I stick strictly to my rotation and watch my party die one by one around me.
I’m SO not happy with summoner right now.
They added some role skills to Bard that make songs more complicated, there are now buffs that supplement what the songs do, making things even more situational. I played with that class’ hotbars and wrinkled my nose and switched back to Summoner because I was so turned off by it.
After that long and unnecessarily complicated DD run, I thought long and hard about other classes I might tinker with, dug out the slightly less-well-geared Dragoon, and started tinkering with that.
One of the most major changes is the addition of more visual clutter in the form of gauges of different sizes and functions. Instead of a simple box next to my name in the party list that shows a buff that I have put on myself, I have to take my eyes off my party list and my hotbars, to now spend time trying to suss out what this newfangled gauge thing is telling me. It is an unnecessary distraction, and I would have liked the option to retain the older, compact, minimal HUD element, but hiding it is not an option, there’s no other way to show me what buffs I have going on now.
Anyway, dragoon is making me less cranky and there’s no stupid gauge to deal with, so I’m heading into the new expansion as a close-range DPS class. Mrm. I enjoy dragoon, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not summoner or bard, both of which are ranged and I feel I am much more effective at. Oh well.
I did finally make it past my personal windmill, a lvl 54 required dragoon class quest I have died to for about a year. I felt brave enough and geared up enough to try again. I’m caught up now, so that’s off my damned journal list.
Wuv and Fwiends
The expansion has inspired some of my old friends to log in a little more frequently. It’s gratifying to see more of my friends list light up.
Another FC member and I have had some really deep conversations of late, and she’s been feeling warmly about someone and not quite knowing how to tell them so I’ve been amused watching her spazz out. It’s quite adorable. 😀
Momo hopped online today for the first day of what we hope is a summer of him being on more frequently. He took frequent breaks as he tried to figure out his hotbars again, get used to how and where to gear up to current standards, and even poked at MSQ a little bit. We didn’t get too far before bf pulled me offline for the usual crap.
I was down and cranky about that but fighting about it only makes it worse.
I’ve spent very little time in the expansion stuff so far because every time I sit down, bf’s there to get me right back up for whatever bullshit he’s concocted to keep me fairly offline. No matter how many dishes, loads of laundry, meals, and whatever else I try to do at optimal times so that I can actually sit and play this thing I’m paying a subscription for, bf fusses about something ELSE that I’m not doing, whether it’s a small pile of mending that I like to do all at once and he’s always adding to, or things roommates have piled on the kitchen table and counters, etc, etc, etc. It’s always something.
Time with Friends
My friends are flailing their arms at me for not being further into the expansion than I am. Believe me, guys, I am too, I’m paying a subscription for a game I’m apparently not allowed to play. My first day was spent madly skipping cutscenes and trying to get as far as I could before being distracted, my tunnel vision was so bad that I didn’t even really notice my surroundings, I was just tearing around trying to get as much done as I could. Oh my god the amount of clicking to get through ten paragraphs of dialogue that could be summed up as, “Go do this thing” or “go kill that and come back” or “now let’s lead you to the next area.” Ugh.
I’ve been helping some newer friends who aren’t quite to the new content. I at least know that stuff well. *sighs*
Thoughts on Expansion So Far
So far, I am not impressed with Stormblood. Between real-life distractions (thanks, bf), queue times, server crashes, bugged quests, and class changes (tinkered with for no damned good reason), I’m not very hyped about it. I know a lot of this is situational and will calm down over time, but I feel like I’m missing a lot. I’ll grok it as I get farther, I’m sure, but I’ve spent the majority of my time online so far rearranging my house, that’s one thing I can do when I have to afk as often as I do. I’m so cranky. I hope that fades soon.
Anyway, servers are back up so let’s do this.