wrap-up for no weason

Me waiting for any queue pop ever.

Heh, whenever I listen to FFXIV-themed podcasts, the hosts generally like to ask each other, “So, what have you done this week?” They start rattling off the things that have been shiny to them, to which I have to pause the audio so that I, too, can think about what I’ve done in game recently, and then I think about writing here, and here we are.

UMMM, lessee. Recently, my personal daily shinies have been:

  1. mini (daily) and jumbo (weekly) cactpot, because me;
  2. daily turn-ins with the Ixali beast tribe and my grand company, because the Ixali are my last ARR tribe not completed, and the grand company stuffs are a great way to passively/lazily level my various crafters and gatherers;
  3. roulettes, because shiny Shire gear is shiny;
  4. squadron tinkerings, whether I’m sending my increasingly lala gang on the weekly big missions, or doing challenge log stuff to get more recruits (and potentially more lalas);
  5. grand company and centurio hunts for those nummy seals;
  6. and whatever else people need me for.

I am a bad who will never be top DPS, but I am at least responsive and know every dungeon and can explaininate the things to people who might not be familiar with the mechanics of whatever, and avoid the usual derps that incur a wipe in whatever dungeon. Just the other day, an FC mate needed to run a low level thing as tank, and so I happily hopped in to help. DD and AV are not on anyone’s favorites list, but I always volunteer for those because I know them and can help others know them as well. We wiped once because the healer was particularly bad, but we made it through, a little scuffed up but not black and blue and bloody like some of the more memorable runs have gone.

I’ve been leveling NIN, which is now at level 58, doing the above noodlings on that class, and pretty much living in leveling roulette. For one, that levels me up, but nearly every run has also been with a newbie with a bonus, and for the small price of having to guide them through the things, I get a second chance point, which allows me to apply the Wondrous Tails sticker from the lvl 1-49 or lvl 51-59 slot elsewhere and free up the aforementioned slot for another run, and potentially another bonus point later.

I’m enjoying NIN a lot more than I did MNK, mostly because there are minimal positionals and aside from the mudra nonsense, I can happily go to town on single or multiple targets as situationally needed and get on with it. Since my last class leveled was a ranged magic class, it’s kinda fun to get up and personal with some of the bosses and reacquaint myself with some of the melee mechanics I’d forgotten from noodling with DRG and MNK. Anyway, I’ve shot up from lvl 35 to 58 within a pretty short time frame. I’m enjoying the ride. I’m also enjoying the increased retainer inventory space, and converting very smelly, old pink/green/blue gear to grand company seals or materia. The only things left on my retainer now are glam stuffs, and healer/magic DPS gear. BLM will be my next project.

BLM and WHM are in their 40s now, as sometimes people have advertised a low leveling roulette, and while I will never heal particularly well and BLM rotation is not optimal, I can push my buttons and generally have a good go of it. I’m happy to level those with friends, but I’m not sure if I’ll bother with roulettes alone outside of anything under level 40. Meh.

Sometimes I’ll make a go of grinding on fates with GLA and MRD, which are both at level 29 now. I’ve stockpiled vitality and crit materia for almost a year waiting for those to grow into their pink gear I’ve acquired from thousands of dungeon runs, and it’ll be a joy to get at least one class to 60 so that I can unlock mentorship, which is very shiny indeed and a long term goal of mine. Not having a tank at 60 is literally the only thing left for me to do, I’ve fulfilled all the other requirements ages ago. Anyway, I grind on fates until I’m bored and then switch to something else for a bit.

The crafting and gathering bugs are still kinda there, and I tinker with gathering infrequently but persistently, as three of my retainers are gatherers, anticipating that later when I need materials, I can just send the three goombas out for the things rather than bothering to find the things myself, hehe. Like I said, I just do grand company supply/provision missions for them, usually. ALC and CUL are my lowest level crafts at the moment, so I will probably focus on them when I wanna sit still and make stuff rather than do a dungeon run.

Future things I still wanna do but have little motivation for:

  • pony farms/learning the level 50 extremes, I know the hard mode trials well enough, I’ve just been lazy about watching the guides for the tougher ones;
  • bird farms/learning some of the so-called easier level 50-60 extremes, again, I can do the hard modes well enough, I just need to learninate the videos for the extremes;
  • acquiring massive amounts of gil, just my idle daily noodling amasses me about 500k a day, but I keep spending it on friends who need things, or spiffy glam crap. I think it’d be spiffy to hop onto a medium (or large??!) house plot someday.
  • starting this newbie-friendly podcast that’s been in my brain to do for at least two years, my computer is set up in a public area (living room, yay slamming doors) and I never have the house completely to myself, so meh.

A RL couple with characters named Pres and Lady have been slowly getting used to the game, rarely going for MSQ nonsense and instead crafting and gathering their lives away. Recently, they decided to take the training wheels off, and added themselves to the guild that Momo and I are in. I did warn them that some of our members are, err, noisy, and I was particularly worried that Lady would find it too overwhelming and log off. I’ve been very careful and gentle to her, wanting to make sure she enjoys the game and encouraging her to do whatever it is that makes her happy. She’s kinda glomped onto the game, which has made her husband very happy, and Momo and I are happy to see the pair sticking around.

I gave them tenant status on my modest hut in the Goblet housing district and encouraged them to play house, to which they’ve accessorized the thing to their heart’s content. If they can ever get enough gil, I will relinquish the plot and they can own it for realsies for the price of the plot and whatever house stuffs they need to afford on their own. Anyway, they’re quite amused with it. I have to visit every so often to keep the plot in my possession anyway, and so I hop inside to see what they’ve done with it. Since they now have a place to stash furniture and house crap you can acquire from each event, I’ve seen more and more event stuff appear in there over time. I also set a stuffed tonberry on their table, which I thought would amuse them. ^^

What else? Hmm. I’ve ignored most of my alts, including the one who owns the FC and mansion on another server I rarely log into but hop into the house to keep it in my possession, and the alt on the same server as my main who has a medium house of her own. My main’s been amusing me well enough to keep going to her. I’ve done the event stuff on every character big enough to do them, and I still do the weekly rounds to get jumbo cactpot prizes and acquire new tickets on each one.

I got juuuuuuust enough MGP on my main to afford the Archon Chair, and pulled the trigger on that. It’s so stupid. lol

OH! I changed grand companies a few days ago. I’m not happy with Ul’dah’s layout, and while it’s a short hop from the main aetheryte to the GC area, if I wanna hit the marketboard or find a summoning bell, I have to run across the map, because there’s no convenient aethernet shard nearby. It’s annoying to have to transport myself entirely out of the area to my FC, as it’s quicker than having to run all the way there, only to run back.

I really like Limsa Lominsa’s layout, and while it’s a longer trip and one more loading screen to get to my new GC’s area to do turn-ins and such, the marketboard and summoning bell are within a short hop of two aethernet thingies. It’s just faster and more convenient. So I did the thing, and have been slowly gaining enough company seals to unlock promotions and higher ranks. I won’t have access to my squadron again until I’m top rank again, but it is definitely a thing to do to add to my daily list of crap to do, and because I’m still doing the challenge log stuffs, I’ll have quite a few new squadron recruits to sift through when I’m able to access them again. Mwahaha.

MWAHAHAHA!

My FC’s leader is so reclusive that she hates voicechat to the point of having an anxiety attack at the thought of it. She’s poked her head into Discord, infrequently but it’s neat to see her there. I suggested she stream music in voicechat, to which she’s taken up the project of DJing in her own room whenever she has a mind to do so. We listen while doing dungeons late at night, and she’ll usually put on something suitable while we’re hacking at things. It’s been really funny. She says she still hates Discord, but she’s using it anyway. LOL She’s been able to share a lot of videos and animated gifs as well. The other night, she was being a dork and I said something like, “Hers is an evil laugh,” to which she created an animated gif of her laughing maniacally while lightning and churning clouds billowed behind her. It was hysterical.

Anyway, I suppose that’s enough of a brain dump for now.

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Bad DF! Bad! *smacks it with a newspaper*

No particular reason for this gif, I just thought it was visually interesting.

Yesterday. Oh my glob, so full of fail.

I got my main’s NIN job to 50+, so I’ve been doing stuff mainly on that class, in particular the roulettes. Yesterday, oh man.

Run #1: In-Progress Qarn NM, 24 minute queue wait. I hopped in to find the crowd not far ahead of me just down the stairs. The Dark Knight tank was tanking weirdly, selecting unimportant spawns to focus on rather than the bees who like to quietly explode upon death and take everyone with them. She was also doing absolutely nothing about aggro, so while she went to town on one, the other melee DPS and I went to town on the important stuff. The healer was new and having difficulty keeping on top of heals, opting for medica II and cure II and running out of MP repeatedly.

First boss, we have to stand on the correct plate to get rid of the Doom debuff, otherwise we die. Tank died from Doom, and the boss went after the healer, who started kiting it around the arena. If she’d stood still, the other DPS and I might have gotten it off of her, but because she wouldn’t stand still, the thing was quite satisfied humping her leg. She died. Eventually the other DPS and I ran out of HP and succumbed as well.

Tank noped out. The other DPS noped out. Then the healer followed. Repopulate the party, or leave? I chose to leave, since there was no penalty and I wasn’t going to subject other people to this dungeon if there was no need for it. Run incomplete.

Run #2: Dzemael Darkhold, 31 minute queue wait. The tank noped out as soon as they saw what dungeon it was. Another tank hopped in after a few minutes, and we did the thing. The SMN DPS with us died on the first boss, and chose to disconnect. We got another DPS just before the second boss, and we did fine. Run complete.

Run #3: Qarn HM. Tank noped out. Run incomplete.

Run #4: Dzemael Darkhold again. The tank and the healer were new but happy to take instructions, we did fine. Run complete.

Run #5: Aurum Vale. We went carefully, the SMN DPS was new and left us before the first boss. We got through it with three people, minus one DPS. Run complete.

Run #6: Guildhest somewhere in the Shroud with the wandering Chanters and the boss guy. We went carefully, though the healer was fussing very hard at the tank and other DPS for clearing the entire thing. “Just DPS down two of the Chanters, leave the archers alone.” She even put do-not-touch symbols on them because the other DPS would not leave them alone. If you can’t handle a level 20-ish, 10 minute quest, then why in the fucking hell do you queue for it? Oh my god. Anyway, run complete after the chat window was completely filled with her bitching.

Run #7: Snowcloak. Clean run, no fussing, no noping.

Run #8: Main Scenario dungeon Praetorium. Both tanks were new and neither wanted to main-tank, and so ensued hilarity with them fighting over aggro and then neither of them using a tank stance, and three DPS who were also new and watching cutscenes. One of the healers kept aggroing the bosses as we came to them, which locked out a couple of the DPS in each boss area. On the final boss room with the big centaur guy, the tank who had pulled and kept snagging aggro from the other tank who was actually trying, died and did not get a res from the healers, who had had enough of his bitching and left him there.

Meanwhile, with as many new people as there were, I hung back to make sure the stragglers all figured out their way in, and gave tips on the final boss like, “We dance around like fools until we see the emote about the Light.” “Okay, NOW we play.” “Lots of ground AOE, just do what you can.” “One DPS might want to focus on the lasers on the sides of the arena, lots of line AOEs and very obvious circles of ack, do what you can.” Because I wanted to get through this train wreck, I made it a point to go whole ham on all bosses, at times getting aggro because the tanks sure as fuck weren’t doing it.

Run complete, and 5 comms for saying the things and shepherding the slow ones. Ninja tank for the win, apparently.

And finally run #10, Haukke Manor, which is usually a really fun one to get. Nope, the tank on this one was a pain in the ass. The other NIN went to town on things that the tank had no interest in getting aggro on, and spammed chat with his Ten Rules of [His Character Name] Tanking, including, “If you pull it, you tank it. If you heal without swiftcast, I’ll get a new healer. If you aggro something, you tank it.”

The run was derpy but manageable, as soon as we hopped into the basement and the newbie healer pulled too much and ran for the tank. The tank grabbed aggro, pulled everything into the basement prison area, a square, and rather than stopping so that we could secure positions and get on with it, he led us on a merry chase for about six laps of the square. I grabbed aggro on one thing and tried to whittle it down, the tank saw, doubled back, grabbed aggro again, and ran off again.

He was being a major ass. We couldn’t kick him out because he (and therefore we) were in combat. My only option was to abandon and get the half hour penalty for him wasting the time of three other people who actually were there to push their buttons and get on with it. I invited anyone to follow me out and reminded them that because it wasn’t a full party of four people, they’d get no penalty like I would.

Run incomplete for douchey tank. Thank the almighty GODS that cross-server blacklist is now a thing. The trash from Midgardsormr can totally stay out of my queues.

After that I stayed out of DF and played with FATEs on my tanks. I have GOT to get those leveled so that other people will get a tank who won’t waste their time. -_-

I’m still missing Asheron’s Call like crazy, and I’m slowly getting used to a reality in which the original/official servers don’t exist. I don’t like that this is a thing, but I don’t have much choice about that. *glares at Warner Brothers* I will never patron that company again, none of their services, none of their products, none of their productions. I’m just one person and my money means nothing, but I’m okay with my choice to boycott.

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the end

All aboard the feels train.

Yesterday was hard. This whole thing’s been hard. Wow. Yeah. Asheron’s Call. What a trip.

Sorry, I’ll try to stop typing in disjointed sentences.

It was announced in very late December that the game was going to be sunsetted on January 31st, 2017. I wasn’t happy that this was happening, but aside from winning a very large lottery pretty damned fast, there wasn’t much I could do about it but wait for the end. I actually went through all of January without feeling any pull to log in. I saw a couple of Facebook groups and subscribed to two, one wherein it was proposed that we try to save the game, and a group devoted to the server I played on.

A number of people wanted to present WB with some sort of proposal to buy the rights and intellectual property of AC, to host it ourselves and whatnot. That proposal was ultimately rejected; for whatever reason, WB was not interested. The end was still coming.

I don’t think I would have logged on, where it not for one fan’s poignant post, in which he wrote, “After I’ve said goodbyes, I’m going to type /house recall, so that the last thing I see on my screen is, ‘[Character Name] is recalling home.’ Rather fitting, I think.” That comment has fueled a great many spirited tears. He posted that the night before the game was to go offline.

I had to go download the client and see if I could log in, and did. I was up late, crying, and looking at my inventory while loitering in marketplace with [Hroth]. I had to go to sleep. I set an alarm early for the following morning so that I could be there.

I was awake at 6am with T-minus three hours to go, and immediately logged in, my eyes absolutely puffy from last night’s waterworks. My roommate, who rarely sees me in any particular strong mood but amusement, ribbed me a bit for crying over a video game. I don’t care. I am unabashed about my strongest feels, particularly for this game, which someone said was the Rodney Dangerfield of video games. lmao Our lovable, goofy, old primitive game.

I spent some time with my friend from the Netherlands, Pol, who I had known back when I started my main character in 2002. Pol was my grand-patron at the time. She’d friended me on Facebook after seeing me come up for air in the groups, she asked if I had logged on, and logged on with me. I had packs full of stuff and no particular need to do a quest or do anything. I had a mind to log out in Hebian-to, where I had spent literal years with my patron, who eventually faded away but who I will always think fondly of. It seemed like a good place to view whatever was to happen.

Pol asked if I wanted to do a quest, I answered in the negative, and just hung out by that town’s lifestone, watching a few other people come and go on their way to wherever they were going. It didn’t take her long to do her quest, (for posterity, it was Walking Boots) and then she asked if I wanted to visit the old Hub, I said sure, and we galumped our way to the underground city portal. We ran around for a little bit in there, before I mentioned wanting to go back to Hebian-to, as it was now an hour before whatever was going to happen happened. She wandered off to do other things.

I had kept an eye on allegiance chat this whole time (I didn’t know anyone who was typing, but they tolerated my presence well enough), and I saw that a large number of them had decided to go to Eastham, and then to Asheron’s Castle, to spend their last moments there. I decided that sounded like a good place to go, and galumped my overburdened way there as well. I mentioned to [Skyla] where I was going, and she ended up there too.

A large number of us gathered there, before the NPC Asheron himself. We faced him, and either knelt before him, or stood around emoting various things. A few people were PKLing each other because why not, and so there were various magic spells and attacks flying around willy nilly. I chose to *meditate* before Asheron, kneeling on my knees, head bowed.

I watched chat as I waited. There were a large number of people on, and so chatter was lively, and I saw character names I hadn’t seen in more than a decade. It was good to see. Chat scrolled by almost faster than I could read it. That was gratifying.

The appointed hour neared, and I split my attention between my own in-game presence, and someone who was streaming the end on their own server. The streamer was choked up and becoming more emotional as the moment neared, and I shed my own tears. I’m very, very certain that most everyone in that streamer’s chat and live in this game were experiencing a similar sense of loss, dread, and anticipation.

It became time. We all became more tense. The PKL noise stopped, for the most part. And we waited. 9:02am PST, the green text of a global message appeared. Shutting down in two minutes. Please log out.

One minute. Please log out.

30 seconds. Log out now.

The servers are shutting down NOW. Log out!

The moment had come. I had tissues ready, and was using them quite liberally, eyes glued on the screen. General chat was now flying by so fast that I couldn’t keep up, but most everything was a message of love, gratefulness, invitations to join the Facebook groups, and a few jokesters either typing about seeing a bright light, or wanting to buy a lockpick key or a group to do a run of some quest or another.

I watched my character rise to her feet. I saw everyone else stop what they were doing, emoting, kneeling, waving, running, and collectively, we all raised our hands, the pink swirl of impending disconnection enveloped us, and our characters disappeared.

My character is in here somewhere. Image credit to Skyla.

I could not have anticipated what happened after, but for several minutes, we hung there that way, in whatever spot we had been in last. Our characters were not there, but our weapons were floating at our sides, rising and lowering as if a character were still holding the weapon. The world remained. The clouds continued rolling above. There were the ambient sounds of crickets, insects, birds, and people.

The game streamer had taken off his headphones to blow his nose, and laughed when someone said, “Ghosts in the servers.” That seemed very apropos. Finally, the game client shut down completely. “Server connection has been lost!” The dialog box read, with a single button to click, “Quit”. I let the game client hang there like that for about five minutes, before I clicked that button. As someone else would mention later, “That last click was really ominously loud…”

I took a little time to collect myself, everyone who had just been streaming the shutdown stopped their broadcasts, and I browsed on Facebook to see how people were reacting. There were other videos of peoples’ last moments, and a lot of threads of disbelief, sadness, and recounting where they had decided to log off for the last time. Lots of screenshots, a few videos, and a lot of text. A couple threads appeared that I contributed to, people identifying the characters they’d played, and where they are located in real life.

I did not see my patron’s name mentioned anywhere. I wasn’t expecting to, but it would have been a really neat surprise. Perhaps I will be bold and ask.

There’s talk of potentially working on an emulator for our erstwhile game, or continuing the fundraising and negotiating to acquire ownership of this game’s servers. Even if we had to start over from level 1, I think quite a few of us would take that over not having a game at all. Anything would be better than this permanent-feeling limbo.

Someone wrote about what this game meant to them this morning, and they mentioned that they felt as if their childhood home were being sold, or that they had lost a favorite, old relative. *nods* It isn’t from major sadness or despair that I cried (and still cry), it’s just intense feels for 17 years of memories in this goofy little virtual world. It’s the loss of a game I quite enjoyed. I’m not thrown into a deep depression about it or anything, but it definitely had and made an impact on me.

Good feels, just good feels. I’ll blither more about this later.

Janky, but lovable.

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the lifestone flinches

NOOOOOOOo….

I won’t use this tag very often, but today’s blithering is centered around the first MMO I ever played, Asheron’s Call. Warner Brothers, who owns the content, is shutting the servers down tomorrow. I figured this day would come, they announced a couple of years ago that they would no longer be updating the game or producing any more content, and beyond maintenance and in-game admin, they were going to just let people enjoy the content there is.

My server was Thistledown, also known as “TD”. I met some really neat people in it, including [Hroth] (who abhores social media) and [Skylatron], who has made a living out of gaming since. TD has also been home to a small number of (known to us players) celebrities like Maggie the Jackcat and the team who, out of all the servers, succeeded against Bael’Zharon during an early event in which players defended the crystal so much that the devs finally had to intervene to get the damned thing to die. rofl

I have many, many memories of this game, mostly under the tutelage of my patron, Butterfly Soul, who showed me the unique server memorial from the above event, helped me figure out how this whole game thing worked, and patiently tolerated my many “yay, I leveled!” exclamations. He faded away, but he will always be well thought of. I parked myself under Hroth later. My guild didn’t talk to me much, but tolerated dragging my newbie ass on all the things. It’s there that I realized I like shepherding newbies more than advancing my own character, and I developed some really deep friendships as I went. Their character names are lost to the sands of time.

Sometimes I owned a house, and occasionally a villa, but I wouldn’t play for a spell and forget to pay rent, and the property would go to someone else. It was still fun.

I printed out many, many, MANY MANY pages of notes, maps, and quest guides over the years. I may still have that binder somewhere.

I lost interest in the game after the introduction of luminescence and higher level caps. It got too complicated for me to grock, after having played the original game for so long. I did try, but it never grabbed me like it had. Also too, they never upgraded the polygons, so it looks dated, for all the literal thousands of years of lore they’ve produced for this game over the years.

My favorite NPC was Ulgrim, who was always chugging a beer and muttering nonsense about Easter eggs that the devs wrote into his ever-changing dialogue each patch. Close behind would probably be Martine, who collected some interesting things in his underground room.

And I always thought the amuli pants looked like a quilted blanket wrapped poofily around one’s legs.

I’ll always have a soft spot for Turbine titles because of this game.

I don’t want it to go away, and I hope some company is someday allowed to take this abandonware and create the ability for us old farts to log in again, or create private servers as was once spoken about as a thing they wanted to have happen.

A few friends will be streaming it today, and I will watch. And probably cry.

I hope he attuned before the servers went offline.

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the things, let me sum you up them

I needn’t have worried.

So, Patch 3.5 dropped. There are some new quality-of-life improvements, some shinies, and of course as is the case with most major short-digit patches, dungeons. All the old expert roulette duties are now shuffled into the level 60 stuffs, and we have two new dungeons, Solm Al HM and Baelsar’s Wall, to play in. The newest and final raid of the Void Ark series is now a thing.

I poked at MSQ when Momo was on, and we ended up at the Wall for a go. We threw caution to the wind and decided to see what duty finder foisted us with. We got a tank new to the dungeon who lost aggro to the first trash mobs but started pushing his buttons when he saw us going whole-ham, and a healer who seemed to have been in there previously but offered no tips. Thankfully, I’d seen a guide video before hopping in, and was able to give some strats on bosses as we got to them. Mechanics are few for these new dungeons, but that last boss proved a little difficult, wiping once before avoiding enough of the things to get past it and get our clear. Good enough. And that cutscene just after, lords.

I slept terribly and was up early the following morning, to which my tanky buddy Neo happened to be online and asked me what I was up to. I made noises about Solm Al HM, and he invited me on a run. I decided to hop in, having only seen a guide video once but judging it to be an easy time. It’s one of the easiest dungeons in the level 60 tier, and while our item levels are low for this newest selection, we made quick work of the entire thing. It was really fun.

I invited Momo to participate in a run when he was able to log in later in the day, borrowing Neo once more and making quick work of it.

The remainder of the day was spent foofing about, partially offline for a nap, partially offline because the data center crashed, and now partially offline because of hot fixes currently being applied. Izzy expressed interest in leveling her SMN a bit, I dragged her to Eastern Thanalan to do a fate and pick up an orchestrion roll, and then dragging a bunch of FC mates to South Shroud for more fate grinding until Izzy wandered off to do other things, lol. When the data center went offline, I spent a bit of time on my alt in the Primal cluster, reconnecting with some people I knew who had switched servers some months before. I got a couple of levels in a needed secondary class before Momo let me know he was able to log in again, to which I followed.

Anyway, the new dungeons aren’t terribly difficult at all. I might even get reluctant friend Aisu in on a run of each tomorrow.

And as to that new Void Ark raid, which I’ve partially watched a guide to a number of times:

Nope nope nope nope.

Maybe later.

And now, I have a coloring book to dink with while I’m waiting for the game to be operational again. Or sleep. Probably sleep.

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it’s been a day

Wheeeeeeeeee!

(Hi Raist!)

It’s been an eventful day, and so I thought I’d yack about it.

First thing this morning, I got online to find that tanky green friend Raist was online and in a mood to do roulettes. We hopped into Discord to augment our merry romp through the things, hopped into A12 for our weekly gear, I won a thing, and that took up my morning, until bf dragged me away for stupid RL things like food (pfft).

Upon returning, I saw that Raist was offline to go to work, but Momo was in a mood to log on and do things. Momo and I had been talking about something for a few days, and decided to act upon it, hopping out of our existing FC and hopping into a friend’s. The FC members swarmed around us and we kidnapped two for a set of roulettes. It went really well.

Momo hopped offline, I fooded once more, and derped around for the afternoon and evening, spending time with our new FC’s leader, browsing Reddit for housey things (the FC is looking to upgrade from a small to medium plot), and doing whatever else I felt like.

I ended the evening with some treasure maps (the first was mine, I led us all the way to floor six before choosing the wrong door noped us out). I then schlepped FC leader Izzy around the Hinterlands, as she picked up aether currents and I flew her as directly as I could to Idyllshire, the quote-enquote end-game loitering area, lol. She advanced enough in MSQ to bonk into the “sorry, you must be this tall to enter” level-restricted area, lol. She had to go to the FC house for a few things, had me do a couple things, upped my rank for the privilege, and we goofed around with emotes until bedtime.

I thought I’d have more to write but sleep sounds really good.

Also there is (*looks*) six inches of snow on the ground and more slated to come before morning. Good times.

B-dehbedehbedeh–g-g–g’night, everyb-buhbuh-b-bbody!

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another DF story

Pretty much how it happened.

So, Momo (BLM) and I (SMN) had a little span of time to play together, and Momo mentioned needing a couple things from Alexander 10 and 11 normal mode. 11 popped first, and we headed in to do the things. I had only done 11 once or twice before, and so I was way rusty on the mechanics. So were a couple other people, as people kept dying and the healers ran out of MP. It took a wipe and a redo to get ‘er done, but we done did the duty.

Next, we queued up for expert roulette, and sashayed our way through Gubal HM in about 12 minutes, as the MNK was going whole ham and the healer was crit-healing for 10k per cast, as well as contributing heavily to DPS, and between them and my DoTs of doom, that went really quickly.

And then, it was time to conquer Alex 10, where we fight a single boss for the most part and keep an eye out for mechanics, three buttons that, if pressed by players or boss, various stuff happens. We mostly did okay until the boss was at about 40%, to which the healers had a couple moments of bad luck and both went boom. There was another SMN with us who had also succumbed. It was just me. I had swiftcast. I had resurrection. Let’s do dis.

Healer 1 was up instantly, and I started long-casting res on the second healer. Him up, I selected the SMN to start long-casting on him, but about .5 second before I could finish, I succumbed to something I wasn’t paying attention to because I was trying to res as many people as I could for as long as I could. I went boom but both healers were by then full of MP, rebuffed, and pushing their buttons very admirably. I got ressed with about 2% on the boss left to go, so I couldn’t really contribute meaningfully before the thing ended, but I was up for what it was worth. Momo got the drop he needed.

I checked my comms after we left, and found I’d accumulated five of them.

Thank you, thank you.

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another brain dump

Been a while, so let me tell you the things.

I’ve been working randomly on three characters, Gin@Cactuar when [Momo] is around, Woo@Cactuar when Momo isn’t around, and Woo@Behemoth when I’m tired of the Cactuar alts or I wanna spend a little time with [Silver] and [Jing].

Gin has mostly been collecting dust, though I’ve made an effort to fill up the Wondrous Tails sticker book each week. I generally just run a bunch of roulettes and use second-chance points to distribute completed stickers elsewhere on the board, rather than actually doing the harder content. I keep meaning to watch videos to brain the extreme content and actually get used to those, but we’ll see.

Woo@Behemoth got to level 58, and she’s still stuck on that one quest out of Idyllshire that has her playing with goblins in a solo duty. I can’t quite get past it because she doesn’t quite have the oomph to kill everything, or to survive the bombs that overlap conveniently where she happens to be standing. I do try to knock them all away but I just can’t quite get past it, no matter what buttons I’m madly mashing at the time. In fact, I’m so annoyed with the bard class that I’m slowly leveling up SMN to get there instead.

Woo@Cactuar is still the boss of her own FC, and I’m very, very happy with that. I’m continuing to perform the Wondrous Tails books with her too, the slow grind to get her geared with Lore and Scripture items. She’s still rocking a lower level weapon and I really need to go through the Alexander gauntlet of quests in order to upgrade that a bit.

I was on that character, doing random fates, when I met a gentleman who was also grinding on fates, struck up a conversation, invited him to my FC, and he AND his wife ended up in there. Wife is slowly warming up to the game, and he’s keeping pace with her. There was one day I logged in to find them playing the heck out of the Gold Saucer, to which I threw on the FC +MGP buff which amused them greatly, and another day I threw on the FC gathering and crafting buffs, to which they’ve gone to town with those classes as well. They seem happy to be in a small, quiet guild, and they’re easy to talk to. I’m not going to worry too much about whether they’re happy to stay, or if another FC might be shiny to them, but they’re quite enjoying mine for now. I upgraded their rank the other day so that they could play with the buffs themselves when I’m not on. I log in later to find that things have been used, which makes me happy. 🙂

All three alts mentioned in this post are also top level in their grand company, and playing with squadrons. My main character’s squad are the highest level out of the three, and I recently upgraded her rank to the newest available. Woo@Cactuar is not far behind, and the one on Behemoth is progressing nicely as well. It’s just a thing to do daily.

Yesterday, I was in a bizarre mood to level some gathering skills, and so I logged into my FC leader alt and went to town on that. Real life interrupted the trend, but I think I shall tinker at that again this morning. Finally, an excuse to use up levequest allowances.

In fact, I think I will do that now.

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eight tries later…

*unenthused robot voice* Whee.

Those HeavenSWARD dungeons, though. Solm Al, the Aery, the Vault, and the Library really kick it up a notch–no longer can certain mechanics be ignored, no longer can people fall asleep and watch Netflix while reflexively pushing their buttons or letting their crappy combat macros do all the work *COUGHAHEM*. Nope, it’s time to not stand in poo, be situationally aware, be ready to explain the things if you see someone derping hard enough to incur a wipe, be ready to absorb someone else’s less-than-optimal way of playing in order to get done with a thing.

This week, I’ve been focusing on a character I very, very rarely hop into, my first character in fact, born on Leviathan back in my introduction to this game, hence moved to Behemoth to keep in contact with the two streamer friends whom I still joke around with nearly daily in Discord. With Momo MIA with school, I’ve been quietly fooling around on my other alt on Cactuar, and bored with the quietness of Cactuar and my want to spend time with my friends on Behemoth, I thought I’d hop into the ol’ alt there and see what I could poke at. I’d left her somewhere in the middle of 2.0 MSQ and level 53, and since Heavensward is a nice carrot to dangle in front of anyone looking for motivation to finish 1.x and 2.x, I thought I’d at least try to get miss lala somewhere closer to the expansion content before I ran out of steam. She’s now level 58, and managed Bismarck tonight, with an eye on the Library tomorrow (and a somewhat gnarly solo duty to finish before she can get there).

To get to the flying narwhal trial, I first had to get through the level 57 dungeon, the Vault, which takes place in a really stark but impressive indoor church setting. This can be an impassable hurdle, particularly if one is matched up with either a new tank or a new healer.

I’ve been very unlucky, waiting in DPS queue for about 40 minutes at a time, getting matched up randomly with tanks AND healers who don’t quite know how to push their buttons. Many, many runs failed because either the other DPS wasn’t having it with a less-than-optimal group, or the tank conveniently disconnected, or the healer noped out. It’s the last boss that presents the most challenge, a gnarly embiggened pope guy who summons a row of linebacker horsey chess pieces to march their way across the arena attempting to run the players over in their wake. There’s some poo to avoid and not getting run over by the freight train of horses, but really our saving grace is a good healer.

Good healers have been hard to come by.

I let [Jing] know I was going for attempt #7, and he decided to hop in with me as healer, curious by my lamentations of bad DF groups and particularly healers who couldn’t do the things fast enough or enough enough. He hopped into Discord with me, and we settled in for a grueling but necessary run.

The tank biffed it on every single boss because he was decidedly undergeared, and not for lack of cooldowns. The second boss was several wipes in the making because he simply would not step out of the poo he was tethered to and taking repeated damage from. I kept my healer friend’s MP up as much as I could, but it was no use, the tank was suicidal and taking us all with him. lol

I joke a lot with my Behemoth friends about tanks who get scared at a bard’s circle of fire, and seek to drag all trash/bosses out of the circle, thinking it some oddball attack from the NPCs we’re fighting. I’m not sure if bards are just that rare, don’t use that particular AOE, or if the tanks are just that stupid, but good lawdy, no amount of explanation/teasing will alleviate the practice. On this particular run, my seventh in a long line of fails to get past this dungeon, this tank just wasn’t having it. My healer friend joined me in facepalming as fire circle after fire circle was wasted with the tank dragging everything out of the thing that did about 30% of my total damage.

We got to the final boss, both of us expressing huge concerns over getting through it successfully. I did let him know ahead of time that if we wiped enough, I had no emotional attachment to this run and he was quite invited to nope out with me and perhaps help me attempt this another time. The tank took on too many debuffs for my healer friend to both heal him and remove the debuffs, the tank died, the tank got ressed, the tank died again, the healer died, and it was a wipe, more than once. More than twice.

I’d had enough, with the other DPS doing minimal damage and my healer friend getting sore fingers from mashing keys trying to keep this terrible tank alive. I let healer friend know I was hopping out and taking the penalty, to which he wisely followed.

Just before hopping out, I let the other DPS (and by proxy the tank) know that they could nope out without penalty and follow me out, and I let the tank know he was bloody awful. We had clued him in to all the stupid poo he was getting all over his shiny shoes, and that the healer could not compensate for his level of stupid regarding avoidable debuffs that could be easily mitigated by simply not getting them in the first place. A level 58 tank has nearly every single skill he will ever get on his hotbars. You don’t get to level 58 by mashing your keys willy nilly and hoping something works enough to cheese by. Of all the roles, the tank is required to keep firmly up on gear, and to figure out how to do the things. Oh yeah, he had lost aggro to my DoTs too, no direct damage from me on one particular trash pull, I’d simply applied my DoTs and was refreshing them every so often. The heck?

I got through it today, with healer friend hopping back in, and [Silver] joining in the other DPS slot. The tank was not nearly as stupid or squishy as yesterday’s specimen, as I called him in Discord to which [Silver] and [Jing] lost it laughing.

I don’t claim to be a bad ass or to get top DPS in any dungeon ever, but if I’m the last one dying over, and over, and over, having been able to successfully avoid whatever killed the tank, the healer, and the other DPS, I can’t imagine I’m doing something terribly wrong.

All the good ones must be playing FFXV of late. Hopefully they come back soon, my salt level over mediocre players is rising with every failed run that DF foists me with.

Today, I hopped into an in-progress Tam-Tara normal mode, where the healer and the tank had disappeared, leaving me as THM, with another THM sproutling who needed to get past this dungeon to get on with MSQ. A friend was online at the time and happy to hop in as tank, and I healed him (yay cross-class win) enough to carry the sprout through the rest of the dungeon without incident. On another run, I met a really nice tank who I praised highly because while I was pushing DPS hard with muh fire, he was barely losing aggro and positioning things beautifully. I saw he was on my server and added him to my friends list. He’s brand new but is already doing things fantastic with the few skills he has, I felt I needed to nurture this one carefully. ^^

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took an Aery to the knee

Dear diary...

Dear diary…

Today’s DF story is ultimately a good one, featuring me-as-Summoner, a MNK, a PLD, and a WHM tearing around in the Aery. The PLD was new-ish, the MNK was seasoned, and the WHM was very, VERY new. The PLD was unsure of her skills at aggro-keeping, and so numbered every damned thing as we went. I did my best to comply, but she kept wanting us to DPS the bomb on the second boss, which dragged out the fight much longer than it needed to be. I ignored the number at the end and DPSed the boss to death.

It was a fairly easy and fast run, until the final boss. That is a crucible, my friends, wherein the skills of the healer are tested and situational awareness can make or break the fight.

Try #1: WHM dies, begins lamenting in chat about being dead, meanwhile I’m ressing her because SMN can do that, she stops typing and finally accepts the res, but by this point, the tank and the other DPS has died, to which it’s just me, Garuda, and maybe the healer if she can get off the floor fast enough. Because I had just used Swiftcast on ressing the healer, I had to make a snap decision as to whether to attempt to res another party member, or try to get Titan out and do what I could while the healer figured out how her buttons worked again. By the time I made that decision, I was almost dead and knew I couldn’t get the tank summon out in time. I advised a wipe, but by the time I had typed that, the healer had died again.

Try #2: We get to the add phase where the DPS needs to kill things quickly, and I waited for the second big guy to drop down, to which my finger was on the Limit Break button, ready to hit it as soon as they were both in range. I hit it, and just as it went off, it was suddenly too late as Nidhogg just wasn’t having it and cleared the arena. lol

Try #3: I died because the Blood Price rapture thingie immobilized and killed me before it could be killed instead, the NPC died, and that was a wipe.

Try #4: We mostly had it together, the healer was on it, the other DPS was aware and helped kill the rapture-thingie before it completed its cast, and then it was time for adds and the NPC. The Bubble of Healy Shame, as Momo and I like to call it for some reason, went up, my Shadow Flare went up, and things were ded. Just about the time the tank was yelling for LB, I was already completing the stupid three second animation to get it going, killing the last two adds quite nicely and shielding us just in time for the big baddaboom. I had time to type, “I haven’t seen the husbando and the kids for three years, let’s go home,” to which the tank lost it, the healer got raptured but we rescued her quickly, the other DPS got raptured but we rescued him quickly, and just about the time LB was looking shiny again, we finished the task.

I was expecting the healer or the very patient tank to get the comms, but while writing this, I thought to check, and saw I had three new ones to add to my collection. I had complimented everyone on their good humor, and the jokes kept things quite fun despite the repeated runs of shame back to the final area. The tank shared that she’d endured nine hours of college and needed the laugh, the healer had had a rough day at work and was similarly amused, and the MNK was quiet but seemed willing to keep going, so, yay.

There have been other runs that weren’t quite as spiffy as this one, to which I didn’t feel like sharing them.

On the alt, I’ve now finished MSQ, and I’ve unlocked rank 3 of the ARR beast tribes aside from the Ixali, which requires a crafter that I haven’t leveled enough to do anything with yet. She’s at i229, which I don’t think is too terrible for three weeks of hard work. Good stuff.

I haven’t logged into my main at all.

I still really love SMN more than BRD, something I never thought I’d say.

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