2015-04-21_00001

That MMO Itch: Final Fantasy XIV

It has been several years since I have played any MMO for an extended period of time aside from dabbling with WoW for short spurts to poke at new raid content in LFR or to say hi to people. Nevertheless, I guess the thing about being any MMO gamer is that the urge to play, though dormant, never truly subsides and rears its head from time to time to sneak $15 or so from my pocket. So what I am getting at is that I had a big MMO itch and a small hole to fill. So, the small hole that was once filled with WoW at some point is now being filled with Final Fantasy XIV, at least for the time being (ie: at least through the free month of play that came with the client purchase).

Final Fantasy XIV A Real Reborn is without a doubt, unapologetically an MMO down to the fetch questing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it is what it is. My FFXIV ARR beta character was a gladiator if I recall correctly. I decided to step outside of my plate/paladin class box and roll a pugilist which to my understanding is kind of like a rogue but with a lot of dancing? I like the movement based combat abilities. Pugilist abilities as a whole thus far seem to revolve around being able to use certain abilities in certain stances. Suffice it to say, I do not yet fully or even close to fully have a grasp as to what I a supposed to be doing with this class but I am only level 5 at the moment.

I don’t have my Logitech G13 configured for FFXIV yet so using a WASD configuration for combat is mildly irritating because I am use to being able to move my character with the thumbstick while having my other four fingers free to do whatever. It feels rather limiting having to choose between the ability to use my middle finger to press the ‘W’ key to move forward or the ability to use my middle key to press one of the combat hotkeys to punch punch.

The game is pretty fun so far if not exactly what I was expecting down to a tee.

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Loot Crate April 2015: Fantasy

Obvious spoilers if you haven’t received your crate yet. I caved and purchased one of those Loot Crate subscription boxes that the internet seems to love out of curiosity and a general love for all things fantasy. Pretty fun, awesome loot, though I am unsure I will continue my subscription; Not because I am disappointed but more because of every desk like surface being already overly saturated in random geek doodads. Oh I love me my doodads. The box includes:

  • Dungeons & Dragons T-Shirt
  • Harry Potter Luggage Tag
  • Inflatable Crown
  • RPG Bow Tie (exclusive)
  • The Princess Bride Playing Cards
  • Game of Thrones USB Flash Drive (Exclusive)
  • Game of Thrones Magnet Set

The obvious highlight of the box being the Loot Crate exclusive Game of Thrones 4GB thumb drive. I really like the shirt by the way. It’s not made of the ultra soft T-Shirt cotton that I prefer, but the sizing is on point and I don’t really have too many geeky shirts that aren’t black.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper: Of Shinra and Legends Tips and Notes

I have been playing Final Fantasy Record Keeper lately, which has occupied most of my phone gaming time. Yes, it is another stupid F2P social RPG but it is surprisingly fun and well done for a game of that sort. The pricing structure and stamina per minute regen rate seems decent enough where I do not feel like the game is actively trying to shoehorn me into spending real money; At least at this point in the game (to my understanding, inventory space becomes an issue later in the game). Anyway, an event titled “Of Shira and Legends” started a couple of days ago. Some of the key rewards being Tifa and Sephiroth.

Invest in lightning damage. At least a third of all mobs and most bosses seem to be vulnerable to lightning damage. It’s also needed for the current event. If Rydia isn’t leveled and a part of your normal party, it is definitely worth spending time and growth eggs to bring her up to par as she is by far the most powerful black magician in the English game at this point. Two of the bosses (floors 60 and 65) are immune to melee attacks and weak to lightning.

Ideal level range seems to be at about 30. I have heard that it’s doable but difficulty at level 25-ish as long as you have an idea party setup. It’s really only the last 3 bosses (floor 60, floor 65, and floor 70 the final boss) that are difficult. Everything else was trivial, especially with maxed out FFVII armor.

Level 60: Hundred Gunner & Level 65: Heligunner
Both are immune to melee attacks and immune to all status effects exceot for Slow. Vulnerable to lightning. Equip Rydia with Thundara and keep her in the back. Have Tyro equipped with a ranged weapon, Cura, and Thunder Strike. Heal Rydia when she is damaged, if everyone is full assist with damage by using Thunder Strike. Equip Wakka with a ranged weapon and Salve to assist with damage and self heal. The melee only party members can either Boost Rydia or Defend to soak damage.

Level 70: Rufus and Dark Nation
Rufus is vulnerable to Blind and Poison. Dark Nation will buff Rufus. Blind Rufus with Dark Attack and Poison him if you have Poison. Kill Dark Nation then Kill Rufus once Protect and Shell Have worn off. Having Dark Attack is key to this fight…

Necessary Spells and Needed Components:
These are the materials that are needed for both crafting and upgrading the following spells. I don’t have the exact amounts because, too lazy to check.

  • Dark Attack: Lesser Power and Lesser Dark
  • Cura: Lesser White an Lesser Holy
  • Thundara: Lesser Black and Lesser Lightning
  • Thunder Strike: Lesser Power, Lesser Black, and Lesser Lightning.

Ideal Orb Farming Locations:
Figaro Castle is an ideal orb farming location since it is, if I recall correctly, the only location that exclusively drops orbs needed by the spells listed above.

  • Figaro Castle (VI): Lesser Power, Lesser Lightning, and Lesser Holy
  • Imperial Camp (VI): Lesser Black (and Lesser Earth, Lesser Wind)
  • Mt. Kolts (VI): Lesser White, Lesser Dark (and Lesser Non-Elemental)

Final Fantasy VII Armor Farming Locations:
Remember record synergy: FFVII dungeon + FFVII character, weapon, armor = Massive bonus. There doesn’t seem to be much in the ways of FFVII weapons aside from the ultra rare relics that you can roll for, but there are a few armor pieces:

  • Iron Bangle: Mt. Hobs (IV)
  • Protect Vest: Antlion’s Den (IV)
  • Mythril Armlet: Baron’s Castle (IV)
  • Bronze Bangle: These will drop during the tower, unsure if there is an idea floor to farm on

Final Fantasy Record Keeper: Light Against the Darkness Event Notes

A new FFRK event started that allows you to recruit two more characters: Dark Knight Cecil and Paladin Cecil. It’s similarly structured to the Shinra event but shorter and way easier. As of now, my party members (Cloud, Tidus, Sephiroth, Tyro, and Rydia) are in their low to mid 30’s and have breezed through the event. Don’t bother spending mythril to finish the event, there is plenty of time.

Spells and Needed Components:
The event is pretty easy to brute force but having at least Fira + Rydia just decimated everything.

  • Fira: Lesser Fire and Lesser Black
  • Cura: Lesser White and Lesser Holy
  • Curaga: White Orb, Wind Orb, Holy Orb

Ideal Orb Farming Locations:
There are other places to farm the orbs other than what I have listed below but these are the locations that I have found to be most efficient. Also keep in mind that the Thursday Daily Dungeon is just around the corner.

  • Abandoned Mineshaft (VI): Lesser Fire, Lesser Black (and Lesser Ice)
  • Figaro Castle (VI): Lesser Holy (Lesser Lightning and Lesser Power)
  • Mt. Kolts (VI): Lesser White, Lesser Black (Lesser Non-Elemental and Lesser Dark)

Strategies:
Bring Cure and Fire spells. All bosses except for the last two are weak to Fire. Equip Rydia with Fire spells for massive damage. Some of the bosses that were supposed to be weak to Holy weren’t?

  • The second to last boss on Level 6 is technically weak to fire but will do an AoE status effect on your party if you cast it. Use Cura/ga on him to reach the target condition. I think there’s a typo in the game hint in-game.
  • Some of the bosses (zombie dragon…) were supposed to be weak to Holy but weren’t when I had encountered them. I am unsure that was an English localization change or a bug /shrug
  • My party members are in the low to mid 30’s and just breezed through the event and bosses.

Rydia’s FFIV record synergy + FFIV gear record synergy + black magic bonuses + massive fire weakness on most bosses = massive damage.

ts4gtw

Sims 4 Get to Work Expansion Pack Initial Thoughts

The amount of gameplay content in Get to Work is at least on par with, if better than Open For Business. It not only adds the ability to open businesses, but the interactive base careers (ala Ambitions), Aliens, etc. One of the great things about the new career paths is that you are given the option to either join your sim or not. If you want to interactively partake in their career, you can or if you feel that it’s just too much micro¬†management¬†or have other things in mind, just let them vanish for most of the day like any other sim job.

There are a couple of irritating differences between Open for Business and Get to Work. First and foremost, it is not currently possible to create a true home business because the residential and retail lots are separate. In order to purchase a retail lot, you must own a residential lot. If is possible to add a bed, fridge, and all living necessities on the retail lot but the game still does not consider it your own. It’s not that big of a deal, but my original plan was to start a home business themed legacy challenge. Not being able to start a business on the legacy lot puts a small wrench into my plans. Doors are also not lockable. Even though you can create a bedroom, employee kitchen/bathroom, customers will still wander behind the counter.

All that said, it’s a pretty solid expansion pack.

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Keiya’s Battlestation: March 2015

Now that we’ve moved and have unpacked most items, I figured I should update the battlestation gallery. Same equipment as the previous battlestation photo in the gallery save for a new UPS that we picked up at Costco recently. Now that we have an actual dedicated office for the computers, the television sadly, is no longer being used as my third monitor (via Synergy). If I wish to watch TV on the actual television and not on one of the screens, I now have to walk to another room. Oh the struggle is real /sacrasm.

I am in dire need of things to hang on the wall. The picture of the vulture by the way is a family inside joke.

On BlizzCon 2015

Caught up on gaming news recently and noticed that not only had BlizzCon 2015 had been announced, but the tickets are going up for sale in just under a month. For $200 a piece. I have absolutely no doubt that tickets will sell out literally within a minute of going up for sale but ugh. Meeting guildmates and attending BlizzCon, particularly the year that I went with my (now) husband was fun to an epic level, but a two hundred dollars is a bit expensive for a two day event showcasing one publisher; So in that regard we are most likely going to pass for the time being.

All that said, I would love to purchase a virtual ticket one of these years, but I have mixed feelings about burning a day of PTO to sit in front of the TV. Prediction wise, I am assuming that we are going to see what the next WoW expansion is as well as more information regarding the Legacy of the Void and Overwatch. If I recall correctly, a Diablo 3 expansion is rumored to be announced as well, which could be interesting.

As a side note: I would like to attend PAX Prime one year.

Odds and Ends: Moving

I haven’t written anything here or really played much of anything lately other than iOS games; Due mostly in part to having recently moved as well as the fact that electrical work needed to be done before we were comfortable with plugging in our computers. As a result of the aforementioned events, we have been mostly unplugged for the past week and some change which, to be honest, wasn’t all that bad. Though, as we ran out of items to unpack and organize, we quickly ran out of things to do. But alas, now that computers are finally setup, we can once again do whatever. 

  • Currently watching The Walking Dead. I am pretty sure that reading the comics spoiled the television series for me (even though they are quite different). The series was distinctly more interesting once I had passed the point where I had stopped reading. Almost caught up with the current episode in season 5. 
  • Had a brief affair with SimCity 5 once again because it was the game flavor of the month at work. Truth be told, aside from the addition of an offline mode, I am not entirely sure that I have noticed all that much of an improvement since the last time I had played this game. To be fair though, none of my cities had reached critical mass.
  • In that regard, the new Cities: Skylines games looks interesting. Dave picked it up along with Homeworld Remastered. I’ll bum those off of the Steam Family Share at some point in time this week.
  • Cautiously excited for the Sims 4 expansion pack that is coming out at the end of this month. Open for Business was hands down, my favorite Sims expansion. I was pretty disappointment when equivalent content was never released for The Sims 3.
  • I have a small queue of airsoft videos to sort through, edit, and upload. By small queue I mean about 5 to 10 hours worth. :/

Also, we do have every intention of continuing the podcast soonish once things are more settled in. Yay for having an actual office.

Wolfeinstein, WoW, Etc

I picked up Wolfenstein: The New Order, a game that I would have normally blown off, at the end of the Steam Winter sale at the recommendation of TotalBiscuit’s YouTube channel. Wolfeinstein is surprisingly fun and had no right be as good as it was. It is an odd combination of old school run and gun with modern gameplay and narrative. It also has a functional if not basic character progression system. I liked the combat flexibility but I really did not enjoy the boss fights as they seemed to be little more than poorly integrated trial-and error style encounters. Great gameplay, decent characters, decent narrative. Definitely worth picking up; Probably one of the more fun first person shooters that I have played in a while.

I haven’t logged into WoW in about a month. My WoD fixation lasted about 2 months and some change, which is about what I had originally estimated. You can only poke the good old garrison so many times before it becomes routine I guess. In all seriousness, I will probably return and resub when 6.1 is released to finish the last wing of Highmaul, complete my ring, say hi to people, and what not. We should hopefully be less busy by the time the patch is released

Speaking of busy: The podcast is on hiatus until further notice. Though, if all goes well we should have an actual office and dedicated room to record in within the nearish future.

A Year in Gaming: 2014

The gaming resolution for 2014 that I had posted a year ago was as follows.

 I shall make no more purchases off of Steam until I finish some of the games that I already own; And by ‘already own,’ I am specifically referring to the 4 games that I had just purchased the other week.  

3/4 games that I had purchased last Steam Winter sale were at least beaten or at least played to a significant degree. As far as the rest of the unplayed games in my Steam Library? They for the most part remained untouched sadly. 2014 was another fairly light gaming year for the both of us; Likely in no small part to the majority of the first half of 2014 being occupied by wedding stuff and the second half of 2014 not really offering a whole lot in terms of games that we absolutely had to play on the spot.

As stated in my previous post, the older we get the more patient we seem to become in regards game releases and the date at which we choose to purchase them. Unless there is a title that I am really must play immediately (there are probably only about 3 a year nowadays), I don’t really see the need to spend upwards of $60 on 4 to 10 hours of enjoyment max. Plus, waiting = 80% off eventually on Steam. Without further adieu:

Allison’s game of the year: The Sims 4
The Sims 4 isn’t perfect or really even close to perfect, but if there is one game that I played and enjoyed the most this year it was The Sims 4. Few other titles have captured my attention for such a great length of time. 

Dave’s DLC of the year: Hearthstone Goblins vs Gnomes
Dave doesn’t feel that there was any new release that he played in 2014 worth nominating for game of the year so he chose Hearthstone for a second year in a row.

Mobile game of the yearIngress
By “fairly light gaming year” we were referring to PC/Console games. It was however, a pretty decent mobile gaming year for the both of us. This one was a toss up between Ingress and Threes for me. Ingress wins out by virtue of something that we enjoyed playing together and something that we enjoyed playing on top of other activities. Plotting to overthrow the green portals at an art museum for example, was something that we greatly enjoyed doing in addition to visiting the art museum itself and so forth.

Best half finished game that I really want to finish: Transistor
I don’t remember why I put Transistor down. I think either a game or some show game out that I was fixing on back in June? If I had to nominate a game for best aesthetic it would go to Transistor.

Game from 2013 that I most enjoyed playing in 2014: Brothers A Tale of Two Sons
Brothers is a beautiful and fantastic game. Gorgeous cartoony aesthetic, perfect marriage between narrative and gameplay. I really enjoyed playing this game and highly recommend it. 

Game from 2014 that we are most interested in finally playing this year: Wolfenstein The New Order.
To be honest, if it wasn’t for TotalBiscuit’s 2014 recap videos, I probably would have continued to brush this title off as a piece of crap. Apparently multiple sources considered Wolfenstein FPS and/or game of the year so I figured it was worth picking up on sale for $20. 

Most disappointing game of the year: None
If it looked even mildly bad we didn’t buy it. So go us I guess.