Monday, August 30, 2021

Home Stretch for my Bard


As the title would indicate, I'm in the home stretch on leveling my Bard, which is the last of the ranged physical dps classes to go.  My Bard is currently sitting at level 74, and I anticipate finishing up sometime during the middle of this week depending on real world demands on my time.

I may go ahead and pick up the healer classes next instead of magic dps, although I still haven't decided for sure.  It will definitely be some combination of both of those groups for the next installment though, and I doubt I will be able to get through both before Endwalker releases.

I'm still really enjoying the game, having a lot of fun adding to the job lists on my character.  I'm really looking forward to starting an expansion at release with Endwalker and working through all of the various raid and trial content in real time instead of after-the-fact.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to run through it all as a Machinist, although I'm not 100% committed to that yet.


I'm back to playing through this periodically and am currently working my way through Auridon on my Caldwell's Silver initiative.  I've also been trying to play some of the new content dungeons that have dropped recently, including the early Oblivion stuff, but so far haven't been having much luck with queues.  I'll keep trying though.

That's about it for this update.



Thursday, August 5, 2021

Finally back into ESO


Since there has been nothing to talk about in this department for quite a while, I figured I'd start his particular blog post with Elder Scrolls Online, where I have been playing again regularly.  I finally got around to finishing all the Coldharbour stuff on my Magicka Templar and have now moved along to working on Caldwell Silver, which for me seems to mean the Aldemeri Dominion next.  I finished the Blackwood main story quests as well, and am now just waiting for next DLC release, which sounds like it's coming fairly soon.  I may go back and do some of other Gates of Oblivion dungeons that were released prior to Blackwood just to make sure I'm current on that story.

I also managed to hit CP 160, which seems to be some kind of milestone, although I'm not sure I completely followed why.  I've been toying with various solo builds and working on my crafting a bit and just in general, enjoying the solo aspects of the game.


It's been an interesting time in FFXIV.  With the latest developments out of Activision Blizzard, a substantial chunk of my old World of Warcraft guild has made the move over to FFXIV.  So I did a quick server move so I could join them and help everyone get the guild up and running in FFXIV.  So I'm now on Malboro instead of Zalera.

I'm continuing to work on my Dancer and my Bard.  The Dancer is sitting at level 72 and the Bard is sitting at level 50.  I'm hoping to get the Dancer finished in the next few days and then move along to polishing off the bard.  I also started a Gunbreaker, so I'd have a decently high level tank to run stuff with the guild when needed.  Might do a little bit of leveling him through dungeons, but I've had some stability issues on the home internet, so may wait until that gets fixed.  Nothing worse that a tank disconnecting mid-fight. It would also be nice to get a tank class done so I'd have that checked off the list towards eventual mentor status.

One thing that I've added to my regular leveling routine is doing the daily Frontline Roulette.  It's a ton of xp (although it seems to be slightly less once you hit level 70 - need to investigate that more).  In the 50-70 range, I was getting about half a level for a 15 minute battleground, with fairly short queues.

I'm leaning toward leveling the magical dps classes next just because there isn't as much common gear with the melee dps class, particularly for token and endgame gear, so less gearing synergies to be had while leveling all of those at once.

That's really it for now. 



Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Strategies for Leveling Alt Jobs in FFXIV

 I'm clearly spending the majority of my time in FFXIV these days.  There is literally no update on ESO because I don't think I've played it at all since my last blog post.  

I managed to get my Machinist to max level within the last few days, so that's my 4th DOW/DOM job at max level.  While I really enjoyed the MCH, I think I still plan to play SAM mostly as my main for Endwalker, although I may try to gear up the MCH as well if I get the chance.  I have gotten the SAM fully outfitted in 510 gear, so that job is ready to go.

With MCH done, I've started to work on both BRD and DNC.  As I've continued to level things, I'm finding Armoury Chest space is becoming an issue.  One of the strategies that I'm using to deal with that is to just keep gear for one job type in the Armoury Chest at a time.  So right now, I only have physical ranged dps gear there.  For healer gear, melee gear, caster dps gear and tank gear, I'm currently storing all of that with retainers.  

So I'm going to work on leveling the BRD and DNC somewhat together next.  Then, once those are both done, I'll desynth all the non-max level ranged dps gear, and switch my armoury chests completely out for caster dps gear and start leveling that (or healer gear, or melee gear depending on which type I decide to do next).  Then follow basically the same process from there.

For caster dps, I only have BLM and RDM to do (I'll leave blue mage off to the side for a bit because of it's unique nature).  For healers, my WHM is at 53 and I need to start an AST.  

I also started a ROG/NIN and have started to level him as well, because even though it's melee dps, below level 50 that job shares generic dexterity DOW gear with the physical ranged dps classes.  

In terms of what I'm actually doing to level, it is still primarily just the suite of daily roulettes - leveling, alliance raids, trials and 50/60/70 dungeons.  I need to add beast tribe quests into that rotation, mostly because I'd like to get all  the mounts from those.  



Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Unlocking Old Content in FFXIV


One of the interesting things that you might not be aware of as a new player to FFXIV is that there is an incredibly large amount of content that is not automatically unlocked as a result of leveling and progressing through the MSQ.  This content includes Trials, Dungeons, Alliance Raids and Normal Raids.  Almost all of these items include interesting quest lines and stories associated with the content being unlocked.

This can also include both Hard, Extreme and Savage modes of different types of content.  

Beast tribes are another type of content that can also be unlocked, none of which are started through the MSQ.  Beast tribes unlock daily quest type content and also various rewards that become available at certain reputation levels.  I'll cover beast tribes in more detail in a later blog post.

For group content, almost everything is unlocked via quest indicator that look like this:


For finding all of this various content, I use the following website:

So here is a non-definitive list

Dungeons Requiring Separate Unlocks:

And here is the list of trials:  

A couple of notes on these lists.  I've left the high-end extreme and unreal versions of the trials off these lists.  These are sort of the FFXIV equivalent of mythic raiding for you WoW folks.  Also, the first trial on here, Relic Reborn, is part of a fairly lengthy quest chain to get your relic weapon for ARR.  The weapon itself isn't particularly useful these days, but could be something that you want for a glamour.

In order to unlock each of these, if you go to the website that I linked above, it'll also include the unlock quest, which you can click on to find out where the quest giver is.  Note that a few of these are part of a larger quest chain, so if there is a previous quest listed, you may need to go back a bit to find the actual starting point.

In other FFXIV updates, I've managed to get my Machinist to level 65 in the limited play time that I've had the last several weeks.  I've also been running Eden's Promise on my Summoner to try to get 510 gear for my Samurai in the thought that I might go Samurai main for Endwalker.  I haven't been having a ton of success with that, so I may just buy the gear I need at some point.

I've also been doing a little bit on both the White Mage and the Thaumaturge.  Can't decide which of those two will be the next job that I level, but I'm keeping them both somewhat in motion just in case.



Thursday, June 3, 2021

Almost done with SAM


I've probably been playing too much FFXIV lately.  I've been working on leveling my SAM job, which is currently sitting at level 78.  I've also been working on White Mage (48) and Machinist (57) during downtime from roulettes with SAM.  Finally, I also started an Archer / Bard and a THM/BLM.  

I also did my first dungeon run on my Gladiator / Paladin which went okay.  I was kind of surprised how long the dungeon queues for tanks were.

I think I'm starting to figure out that I don't really enjoy playing a healer or tank in this game all that much, with Scholar being the one exception to that.  So I may just focus on working on all the various DPS specs for now.  Maybe continue to work on WHM and PLD when I feel the need to revisit.

I also did all the new MSQ stuff from 5.55, which I enjoyed.  I was surprised there wasn't a new dungeon in 5.55, but that's fine.  I'm also going back and working on some of the Resistance Weapon stuff as well as the whole Bozjan quest line, which has been pretty interesting.


ESO has been getting pretty heavily ignored over the last few weeks while I was very focused on my SAM in FFXIV and also just generally busy irl.  I even missed the launch day of Blackwood.  I did hop into it yesterday and started working my way through the main quest story line.  

I also created a Stamina Nightblade character which is what I may work on next.  Was thinking about trying to just level him through dungeons and also maybe do some of the Thieves guild and Dark Brotherhood content on him, since neither of those seem to fit with a Magicka Templar and its super bright glowiness.

That's about it for now.



Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Progress on my Samurai


It was pretty fun watching some of the content from the Final Fantasy Fan Fest over the last few days.  I'm really looking forward to the new Endwalker expansion and some of the interesting new things being introduced into the game.  

One of the things that I have really come to appreciate about this particular game is how incredibly friendly and supportive the whole atmosphere and community is.  Combine that with seeing how the game developers interact with each other, and it really gives you a good feeling about supporting this company.

In game, I've been mostly working on leveling my Samurai job, which is currently sitting around level 67.  I'm mostly using Leveling, Alliance Raid and Trial roulettes for leveling as well as trying to do at level dungeons.  I had started the process of unlocking old normal raids that I had missed, but I've discovered that the xp from doing those is not particularly good, so I may stop that for now (although I've gotten about 2/3 of the way through the Alexander raid at this point).

Finally, I also managed to get to 510 ilvl on my SMN, so I feel like I'm fully ready for the next content patch.

After I finish up the Samurai, I will likely work on some combination of the Paladin and White Mage jobs next.  I've been surprise to discover that tank dungeon queues can actually be fairly long.


In ESO, I finished up both Skyrim zones and am working on the epilogue quest series for that particularly set of content.  I'm sitting at 100 CP at this point.  After this is done, I'm going to go back and finish up all the Coldharbour stuff, which I never did on this particular character, and then go back and work on Caldwell Silver and Gold for the other two alliance zones.  Blackwood will definitely be out before that happens, so there will be all that stuff to work through as well.

I also have started putting skill points into my various crafting skills, which is definitely helping with things in those areas as well.

That's about it for my game updates for this week.  



Tuesday, May 4, 2021

My First Max Level Elder Scrolls Online Character!


I hit level 50 on my Magicka Templar this past week in ESO.  It's my first and only max level character in the game.  I've finished up the whole Elsweyr / Dragon storyline and am ready to head off to Skyrim for the most recent major content release.  

I may actually do the intro quests for Blackwood since it will be coming out soon, and then go back and work on Skyrim after those are done.  It's actually one of the things that I like about this game is the ability to just handle the content in whatever fashion you want.  If I want to stop and do some of the newest stuff to get ready for the next major expansion, it doesn't matter at all that I haven't done anything on the last expansion.

I'm also working on figuring out how the whole Champion point thing works now that I have a few to allocate (I think I'm around 25 already).  Having really enjoyed the original Oblivion / Morrowind games way back in the day, I really enjoy the feel of this game and how things work.  And with all kinds of things that I haven't even touched yet, it feels like there is going to be plenty to keep me occupied for quite a while.


In Final Fantasy, I've mostly been working on improving my Summoner gear so that my ilvl is high enough to run the dungeon that comes with the next patch without having to buy a bunch of gear.  I'm hoping the cutoff is ilvl 500, but I'm shooting to be at 510 just in case.  Looking through the last few expansions, I think it was a 20 point jump on the ilvl minimum for the dungeons between X.5a and X.5b, so I'm just trying to be ready for that.  I'm at 505 now, so I'm getting pretty close.  

I've also been working on leveling both my Samurai and Machinist mostly through regular roulettes.  I've been prioritizing the SAM, thinking that I already have a ranged dps in the SMN, so having a melee in the mix might be interesting.  Using that same rationale, it will probably make sense to max the Paladin next to have a tank to play with as well, but I may finish up the White Mage, since I like that healing style a little bit better than Scholar.

I also want to finish up the whole Ruby Weapon / Emerald Weapon / Diamond Weapon story line as well at some point, but I haven't gotten to that yet.  I feel like there will be plenty of time for that once 5.5b drops and is done.  It might even be something I can do on my SAM once I get that job to 80.

That's it for this week.



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Omni-80 Crafters and Gatherers in FFXIV

I managed to accomplish one of my near term objectives last week, hitting level 80 on all of my DOH/DOL jobs in FFXIV.  The Crystarium Mean quests ended up helping quite a bit for that final push to level 80, but beyond that, I still mostly just used Beast Tribe quests and Grand Company turn-ins for the entire process.  I now have all of the excess materials that I gathered in the process that need to be sold off, which is going to take a considerable amount of time across my three retainers.

Now I'm going to finish trying to get my SMN to ilvl 510 so they'll be in decent shape for the next content patch next month, assuming there will be another new dungeon with an even higher ilvl requirements.  And then I'll work through the other jobs that I started, which at the moment consists of Machinist, White Mage, Dragoon, Samurai and Paladin.  


I've neglected Elder Scrolls Online a bit for the last few weeks while I finished the push on FFXIV crafting and gathering along with the new content patch there.  However, I'm diving back into that this week.  My Templar is currently sitting at level 47 and working his way through the Northern Elsweyr story line, which has been pretty decent so far.  Plus, any time dragons are involved, it adds a level of excitement.  And these are big, scary dragons.  

That's about it for now. 



Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Initial Thoughts on Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.5

 I managed to finish the MSQ for the FFXIV Patch 5.5 that released yesterday.  As usual, the story for this game continues to be very compelling.  The patch also added a ton of content that I haven't even been able to touch yet.  

Since I've mostly been working on my DOH/DOL jobs, I was a little unprepared for this patch, having not done anything on my level 80 SMN/SCH since the last patch.  As a result, I had to purchase some gear to qualify for the ilvl minimums on the new dungeon in order to complete the latest storyline.

That's probably one of my primary issues with FFXIV to date.  As the main story quests roll out, particularly in endgame patches, there is content that is gated behind an ilvl requirement.  In this case, you would have either needed enough tomestones saved up from older content to exchange for upgraded gear.  Or you would have need to be relatively current on going through the most recent raid instances.  

In the case of this patch, the minimum ilvl for the new dungeon was 490.  If you had been spam running the dungeon from the 5.4 patch, you still wouldn't be there, since that dungeon dropped 485 gear.  The most recent raid from the patch 5.4 dropped tokens each week for 510 gear, but you would have needed to be running it basically every week to get the drops you need.  

The raid version before that, which did not have a weekly limit on drops, only dropped 480 gear, so that wouldn't do the trick.  The alliance raid that was available before Tuesday also had a weekly limit for 490 gear.  So you would have needed to be grinding each week just to have the gear for a main story quest dungeon.  Maybe that's the intention, and there are likely other sources of gear that I'm missing, but if the idea is for you to see the story, it seems like it would be helpful to have a story mode version of the dungeon without an ilvl requirement.  

I could also just suck it up and do the raids.  

On my DOH/DOL jobs, I'm making pretty good progress.  Basically everything is at level 76, other than mining, which is 77, and fishing, which is 75.  I'm still mostly using GC turn-ins and Beast Tribe quests to level, but thinking about switching to Crystarium levequests and Crystarium Mean quests for the homestretch.  The odd thing is that there doesn't seem to be any general consensus on the fastest most efficient way to level crafting.  I hear levequests a lot, GC turn-ins and Ishguard Restoration.  So your mileage likely will vary.  I'd recommend just doing whatever approach you enjoy the most.


I'm also really enjoying playing my way through ESO.  I'm basically almost done with the whole Daedric War / Morrowind arc, being about one quest away from finishing Summerset.  What a beautiful place!

Also, this picture is from Clockwork City, but still pretty cool.

My Templar is now sitting at level 42, and I'll be heading off to work on the Elsweyr stuff next.  Once I get relatively current on content, I'll go back and finish Coldharbour on this toon and do the other two covenants.  Assuming I have time before the next xpac drops, which is doubtful.



Wednesday, April 7, 2021

On To Morrowind!

I was off for spring break last week.  Didn't really do much in the way of gaming, so there really isn't a whole lot of progress overall since my last update.  But here goes:

Elder Scrolls Online

I finished the Daggerfall Covenant content on my Magicka Templar early this week.  It really was a very interesting story line and I'm looking forward to doing the other two alliances as part of the Caldwell Silver / Caldwell Gold thing later on.  I think I've definitely found my class in the Magicka Templar as well.  With the xp boost from the Jester Festival, I've managed to get him up to level 37.  I've now started the next major content block of Elder Scrolls Online with the Morrowind / Clockwork City / Summerset storyline.  I'm about half way through the Vvardenfell story line and have been enjoying that so far.  The area itself is quite odd looking, but the story has been pretty compelling so far.

I'm also still diligently doing research and deconstructing stuff for crafting, which seems to be leveling up my crafting skills.  I'm still not sure I fully understand what the point of the whole exercise is, but I'll keep at it for now.  At least at the moment, I don't seem to have the ability to craft anything particularly interesting, but I'm guessing that may change later on as I get more of the researches done.


I've continued to make really good progress on my crafting and gathering jobs.  All of them are now sitting at level 74 except for mining which has surged ahead to level 75.

We also have a new content patch coming in FFXIV next week, which I'm really looking forward to.  This will be the start of the wrap up of the current expansion, bringing the max level storyline to a close.  I guess we'll see if that involves bringing some closure to the story of Gaius van Baelsar.  The biggest decision for next week is going to be whether I want to run the content as a Summoner or as a Scholar.  The queues obviously promise to be shorter on the Scholar / healer class, but that can also be a lot more pressure, especially on brand new dungeons and trials.  So we'll see.  

That's about it for now.  



Friday, March 26, 2021

Shadowbringers DOH / DOL Leveling

There are quite a few updates this week, but I'm going to start with FFXIV.  I managed to get all of my DOH/ DOL (crafting and gathering jobs) through the Stormblood levels and have now moved on to the current Shadowbringers content.  This involved crafting new sets of gear for both gathering and crafting, both of which had full usable sets of level 71, which was nice!  This gear also looks quite a bit better than the later Stormblood stuff did.  Gathering gear is the top picture and crafting gear is the bottom.  

Shadowbringers also brings two new beast tribes which also provide experience for these jobs - the Dwarves, which provide daily quests providing crafting xp, and the Qitari, which provides gathering job xp.  As far as I know, this is the first time we've seen a gathering dedicated beast tribe, which is nice.

They were fairly involved quest lines to unlock both of those, but the stories for both were definitely engaging and worthwhile.

Here is where I currently stand on all of these jobs:


Carpenter - 72
Blacksmith - 73
Armorer - 73
Goldsmith -73
Leatherworker - 72
Weaver - 73
Alchemist - 72
Culinarian - 72


Miner - 73
Botanist - 73
Fisher - 72

Elder Scrolls Online

There is an in-game event this week called the Jester's Festival that gives an automatic 100% boost to experience with an item that you receive from the intro quest.  So I'm going to try to leverage that into some significant progress on my Magicka Templar.  He's currently sitting at level 30 and finishing up the Daggerfall Covenant story line, which has been really fun and engaging.  I'm really looking forward to going back and trying the other two at some point.

After finishing this one up, the plan is to do some of the intro material from Cyrodill in order to get the mount speed boost, and then keep working chronologically through the content.  The Templar looks pretty decent so far.  The armor you get always seems to be nicely coordinated.

That's about it for this week.  



Home Stretch for my Bard

  FFXIV As the title would indicate, I'm in the home stretch on leveling my Bard, which is the last of the ranged physical dps classes t...