Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Death Knight to 60 and Working on Shadowland Reps

 I was able to get my death knight to level 60 last week and have started working on the druid.  I've always enjoyed playing a frost death knight but was disappointed that it seemed too squishy to level that way reasonably.  I tried a few times over the course from 50 to 60 but ended up switching back to Blood fairly quickly both times.  Death strike was just not keeping up with the amount of damage that I was taking.

I am now working the death knight through the Kyrian covenant campaign, which as I have gone back and checked, is the only one that I didn't finish before giving up the game.  The druid I am leveling as balance.  I was hoping to go back to just straight story campaign leveling with the druid, but apparently, I had already made that selection before I quit playing, and there is no way to change it back.

In addition to all of that, I've been doing all the dailies on my Warlock, working on getting the reputations for everyone up to exalted, finishing up the Korthia Chains of Domination campaign storyline, and have also run all of Sepulcher at least once in LFR.  I now have two pieces of tier gear, and will keep running the wings that drop tier until I'm able to get my four-piece bonus, and maybe a weapon upgrade.

Korthia zone

I am likely not going to do anything to advance the various Shadowlands professions.  My two professions on my warlock, Tailoring and Enchanting, are both maxed, but I don't really see the need to do that on the other four alts that I'll have sitting at max level.

It's enough to keep me fairly busy these days.  The only other game that I've still been dabbling in a bit is FFXIV, where I've continued to run ventures on my retainers and slowly working on leveling my Astrologian and Red Mage.



Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Flying in Shadowlands Fully Unlocked

This has probably always been the case late in an expansion, but it's hard to tell because I've never stopped playing early in an expansion before.  But getting fully caught up in Shadowlands really took very little time.  There is no question that the new zone in Zereth Mortis and the quests associated with it were designed to make that happen very quickly.  With fairly limited play time because of my IRL schedule, I was basically caught up within two weeks, have unlocked flying in both the Shadowlands and Zereth Mortis, and am geared enough that I've run about half of Sepulcher in LFR.  

I'm still playing as Destro, because I love the AOE abilities that it offers on the large trash pulls in Sepulcher, although I'm still not fully gear optimized for that.  I've finished the first two wings and also picked up my first tier piece.  I'm still working through the full Zereth Mortis storyline and knocking out the world quests there each day.  Having flying unlocked now will certainly help a lot with that.

Unlocking flying was surprisingly straightforward.  The only challenging part was getting through the 10 rares achievements.  With most folks having flying unlocked now, it required some degree of luck to have rares spawn nearby.  Otherwise, they were generally dead before I was able to get there.  It wasn't impossible, it just took some patience.

The only negative that I've seen so far is that with the newest patches, they seem to have taken an expansion that was already overloaded with too many currencies and game systems and added a few more.  Hopefully, they will learn to dial that back a bit in the next expansion.  

After I finish Sepulcher on Joar and the Zereth Mortis storyline, I may go back and finish leveling the two members of the original five that I never finished when Shadowlands was first released - my Death Knight and my Druid.  We'll see if either of those is any easier than it was then.

That's it for now.  



Monday, June 13, 2022

Returning to World of Warcraft

 After 15 months away, I've been logging in to World of Warcraft a bit lately.  There is actually a surprising amount of content that I have missed including the whole Korthia / Chains of Domination storyline and the new Zereth Mortis storyline.  The catch-up mechanics seem to be pretty good so far.  They've done a nice job of adding clips and little cut scenes to help you better understand how you got to where you are now.

From what I've seen so far, it feels like they're doing a decent job of trying to pull together and wrap up some plot strings that have been dangling out there for the last few expansions now, so hopefully things can start somewhat fresh with the next expansion (although I think we're still ignoring the giant sword sticking out of Silithius)

I've been trying to get into LFR for the raid that I missed, but there don't seem to be many people doing that, so I haven't had any luck so far.  I need to grab a bit more gear from Zereth Mortis world quests in order to be able to run the new LFR raid, but I'd like to see the old ones at some point.  

At this point, I'm only playing on my warlock, and have been sticking with Destruction so far.  It feels a bit squishier than I remember, but that may just be that I'm not quite geared enough yet.  I think I'm still outfitted mostly in the blues you needed to get access to Castle Nathria LFR, although I've been steadily upgrading those with rewards you get from the Zereth Mortis quests.  I am going back and running the Korthia campaign quests just to unlock flying, and then I'll look at how to unlock flying in Zereth Mortis.


As mentioned previously, I have gone back and started to work on leveling my Astrologian again.  That job is currently sitting at level 66.  And because I don't really like healing the level 50+ dungeons, I'm simultaneously working Red Mage through the daily leveling roulette.  I really just started that today.  

I still have been debating the housing situation, but I think I've decided that I'll be better off just grabbing an apartment somewhere instead.  Particularly given my tendency to spend time away from specific games.

That's the update for now.  I'll try to provide additional feedback on WoW Patch 9.2.5 in next week's update.



Tuesday, May 24, 2022

It Has Been A While

As the title of this blog post notes, it has been quite a while since my last blog post.  I recently changed to a new role at my IRL job, and have not had much time for playing or blog writing as I've been getting up to speed.  I have probably sacrificed more on the blog writing side since there are quite a few updates on the playing side since last I posted.

Guild Wars 2

This is probably where I made the most progress since my last blog post since I have now completely finished End of Dragons and so am completely current on content.  End of Dragons was, in my mind, the best Guild Wars 2 expansion yet.  I really enjoyed all of the zones and the storyline was really satisfying.  It brought everything together quite nicely.

It is interesting to me that both Guild Wars 2 and FFXIV seem to deliver increasingly better expansions while World of Warcraft tends to head in the opposite direction, probably since Pandaria.  

I've now been going back and working on completing the original Tyria maps since my current main, my necromancer, was actually a boosted character since I did the full play through the first time around on a ranger, who just didn't seem up to the task once I got to Heart of Thorns.  I also started fleshing out a Scourge build, but I haven't really started gearing up for that particular build yet.

Elder Scrolls Online

I also had fairly major accomplishments on this one as I managed to finish the Aldmeri Dominion storyline to get Caldwell Silver.  I've now started the third storyline, Ebonheart Pact, to work toward Caldwell Gold.  I also did the handful of intro quests for the new High Isles expansion, which should be a lot of fun when it arrives.   Expansions in ESO are less of a big deal than they are in some of the other games that I play as they tend to be less overall story content.  But that works fine given the amount of time that I'm spending on other games.


Last but not least, I recently dove back into FFXIV again, back to working on leveling my Astrologian.  I had taken so much time away from FFXIV recently that I was quite surprised to queue for the MSQ daily roulette and discover that it was now a four-man dungeon.  I still made it through just fine even though I hadn't healed on the AST in quite a while.

That is it for now.  I will try to post more often now that I'm getting a little bit more settled into the new job.



Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Approaching the End of Icebrood Saga

I've gotten pretty bad at writing and publishing regularly again.  It's not for lack of consistent play time as I have been making a fair amount of progress on both of the games that I've been playing regularly lately, which continue to be Guild Wars 2 and Elder Scrolls Online.  I've still been trying to figure out why I've dropped Final Fantasy XIV.  Perhaps Endwalker felt like more of an end to the story that I was expecting.  Hopefully once the new patch content starts coming out, I'll feel a little bit more interest in getting re-engaged in whatever new stories they're looking to tell. 

I think I've also finally moved on from the intense commitment to lots of alts that really inspired this blog in the first place.  I feel like now I'm more interested in having a single character that I'm connected to and immersed with, focused on playing through the content and experiences on that particular character, but doing that across a variety of games instead of a variety of races and classes.  It also makes me debate picking up OG Joar and trying to get current on World of Warcraft, just with Joar.  But that also raises issues about a certain company filled with...checks Twitter for the perfect phrase..."cromulent shitcrustibles."

So here are the updates on the various games that I'm currently playing:

Guild Wars 2

I finished Living World Season 4, which was a story that I really enjoyed.  The zones were generally pretty great, although there were a few that were pretty challenging to navigate.  It did unlock the possibility of grabbing a Skyscale, although the time commitment and cost of doing that seems to be outside the scope of what I'm interested in doing at this point.  Maybe once I'm caught up on the content though.

I've now moved on to the Icebrood Saga, which is effectively Living World Season 5, even though it doesn't appear that way anywhere.  The early part very much gives me a "Scar from Lion King" kind of feel, but that might just be me.  I'm about halfway through that at this point, at which point I will be moving on to actual current content.


I'm still working through the Aldmeri Dominion storyline on this one on my Magicka Templar for Caldwell's Silver.  I'm in an area called Greenshade now, which has a pretty interesting storyline so far.  Tree spirits, undead armies, old enemies raised from the dead as shades.  All that kind of great stuff.  And talking cats, but not like FFXIV cats.

I've also been steadily leveling up my professions as I go, mostly through gathering, researching and deconstructing stuff that I get.  I'm not terribly far off from actually being able to make some useful stuff for my character at this point, which should be fun.  I think there are some craftable sets that are pretty decent for Magicka Templars that I will need to look at.

That's about all the updates for now.



Wednesday, March 16, 2022

On To Living World Season 4

Guild Wars 2

For this week's update, let's start with Guild Wars 2 first.  I'm continuing to progress through the story line with my Necromancer.  I managed to finish up the Path of Fire story line and have moved on to the Living World Season 4 stuff.  As part of the process, I managed to grab most of the hero points in the Path of Fire areas, and that got me enough to fully unlock a good Reaper build, that I'm now using.

It's definitely quite different than a normal Necromancer Minion build, but so far I'm liking it a lot.  It clearly hits a LOT harder, which helps when working through some of the new story content, particularly some of the harder boss fights.  I'm not normally a big fan of melee, but it feels like that's pretty much always the better option in GW2.


I really should play this game more than I do, as it fits much better with my playstyle and availability.  I've picked up my Magicka Templar again and am working my way through the Aldmeri Dominion story line in order to get Caldwell's Silver.  A new dungeon also released this week, which I haven't tried yet, but it seems like there are some pretty decent armor pieces in there that my character would be able to use, so I might try queueing for it if I get the chance.

I do need to update my gear a bit.  I haven't paid much attention to it once I got past CP 160 because I basically shred everything I come across anyway.  So I may try farming some dungeons to see if I can improve that at all. 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Spending More Time in Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2

I've gotten a little tired of running the MSQ roulettes every day, so I've jumped back in and am spending more time in Guild Wars 2.  I've still been running with my Necromancer, with a fairly straight minion build.  I haven't unlocked enough hero points to run a good Reaper build yet, although I should probably work on that.  I'm mostly focused on getting caught up on the story content at this point (although having a good Reaper build running would probably be helpful with that).

I managed to finish up Living World Season 3 yesterday, which I really enjoyed.  It definitely jumped around a bit, and some of the fights were pretty tough, but overall I thought it was well put together.  I'm now going to be starting on Path of Fire.

I had originally thought that since I had done the first episode of Path of Fire in order to get the raptor mount, that I'd be able to skip that now, but it doesn't look like that's the case.  It's possible that I did that piece on my Ranger instead of on the Necromancer though, which might explain that.  My plan for right now is to get caught up on the story and then work my way back through map completion, but I can't decide if it makes more sense to work on a little bit of map completion in order to get the hero points for a Reaper build.  My Necromancer was boosted after doing the original leveling slog on my Ranger, so really only has the hero points from Heart of Thorns.


In FFXIV, all the jobs are at 50 now, other than DRK, which is at 47, so not far off at all.  I've also started working on leveling my Astrologian, who is somewhere around 54 at this point.  While I've stepped away from FFXIV a little bit, I'm planning to at least finish getting the DRK to 50 for now, which shouldn't take more than one or two more runs.

That's about it for now. 



Thursday, February 17, 2022

Lots of Jobs Hitting 50

 I'm down to only having 5 jobs left to move up to level 50 - Paladin, Monk, Dragoon, Dark Knight and Blue Mage.  Then it will just be the slow one at a time grind that I talked about last week.

Things have been a bit busy in real life, so I've had pretty limited time for gaming, so it may be a while still before I get very far on this.  I just need to grind out those last 14 levels on Blue Mage, which really doesn't take all that long, but just need to dedicate a couple of hours to it.

As you can see from the above, I'm also pretty far along on White Mage at this point.  And after that, I'll just be following the leveling order that I set out last week.

On the Guild Wars 2 front, I've still been working my way through the Living World Season 3 story.  I'm about half way through at this point, and will be starting Path of Fire after that.  I already did the first part of Path of Fire to get the mount, so I've got a tiny bit of a head start on that one at least.



Wednesday, February 9, 2022

My Remaining Leveling Order

I managed to get my Bard to level 90 this week, and I'm now working on the White Mage, who is the last of my pre-Endwalker level 80's to be leveled to 90.  I've also been making good progress on all of the other classes, which are all rapidly approach level 50 - most of them are around either level 47 or 48, except for my Dark Knight, which is 41, and my Blue Mage, which is level 35.  

I also managed to completely finish getting all of the Asphodelos gear on my Summoner, including the Radiant weapon, having accumulated 7 weapon tokens.  So I think I'm now done with this raid tier for now.

The caster set, which is on the far right in the picture below, looks a little odd on a male Hyur.  In addition to the shoulders, it's also backless.  The Eden healer stuff was the same way, but I always end up coming away feeling like I'm auditioning for the next season of Drag Race.

Once the White Mage is done and everyone else is sitting at 50, I'm going to go back to leveling my alt jobs one at a time, so I've been debating the leveling order for the remaining classes.  Here is what I initially came up with:


Except for the last four spots, I think that gives me a good balance of types.  I may tweak this a little bit as we go, but for now that's the plan.  

I also finally broke down and bought an apartment room in my Free Company house and spent a little bit of gil furnishing it nicely.  With that in place, I'm not entirely sure I need a house once the new area comes open, but I guess we'll see when that happens.

In Guild Wars 2, I've been working my way through Living World Season 3, which I've been enjoying so far.  There's no way I'm catching up on content before the next expansion comes out, but I'm not in a huge hurry for that anyway.  I'm still not sure that Necromancer is long-term the class that I want to be playing, but at least for now, I'm sticking with that, and haven't picked up my Ranger again.  

That's it for now.



Thursday, January 27, 2022

The New Perils of Leveling Through Alliance Raid Roulettes

One of the main strategies that I used while leveling new jobs in Final Fantasy XIV is to do a handful of daily roulettes that usually give a lot of xp and other rewards.  The ones that I do every day for jobs over 50 are the MSQ, Frontline and Alliance Raid roulettes.  With Endwalker, leveling jobs from 80-90 using the Alliance Raid roulette contains a bit more risk now because of the likelihood that you could pop up a one of the Nier Automata crossover raids from Shadowbringers

Maybe it's because I've done the older alliance raids a lot more, but the Shadowbringers Alliance raids all just seem to have a much higher level of difficulty than the alliance raids from previous expansions, as well as taking probably about 15 minutes longer on average.  

Paradigm's Breach seems to pop a lot, so I'd encourage folks to watch the video for that one a few times before doing alliance raid roulettes between 80-90.

One advantage to getting this raid, is if you're working on gearing alt jobs, the gear that drops in Paradigm's Breach is relatively just as good as the Cryptlurker gear that you can buy with Poetics, so it's also a decent way to stock up level 80 gear for alt jobs.

I finished all of my DOH jobs last week as expected.  I now just having Fishing to complete in order to be completely done - just waiting for the time to do a few raids out of Limsa, which should finish that up pretty quickly.  I'm also sitting at level 89 on my Dancer, so expect to start on Bard by tomorrow, and then will finish up on White Mage.  I may take some time off from leveling these guys from 80-90 in order to grind up some Astronomy tomes on my Summoner so I can grab the 590 weapon after I finish my 7th run of Pandaemonium.  Although that will probably only actually take a day or two.

Most of the other jobs that I'm working towards 50 are sitting around level 44 / 45, other than DRK which hasn't moved since the last update.  

That's about it for now.



Thursday, January 20, 2022

Big Progress on Crafting and Gathering and More Jobs to 90

 The big news since my last blog post update is that I've gotten quite a few of the DOH/DOL jobs to 90 at this point, most within the last day or two.  Mining is done on the DOL side, and Leatherworking, Blacksmithing, Armorer and Goldsmithing are all done on the DOH side.  Most of the rest are somewhere around 89, so the rest should be done fairly soon.

I did end up making a full set of level 87 crafting gear, just to make finish all that up a little bit easier.  Thought it looked pretty good:

Once all of the DOH/DOL jobs are done, I'm going to start working through all of the ilvl 560 crafting and gathering gear, so I'm not in the same spot for the next expansion that I was for this one.  All of that is obviously absolutely no rush at all, so I will likely just work on single pieces here and there as I have time.  

I've also continued to make progress on leveling my other jobs.  I finished getting both Gunbreaker and Samurai to 90 and am now working on leveling Dancer, which is sitting at level 82.  After that, it will likely be Bard and then White Mage, and that will finish up the jobs I had previously gotten to 80.  My Astrologian is sitting at level 50, so that will be the one to go after White Mage.  I also finished the Tank role quest, leaving only the melee dps role quest to complete, which I've already started on.

I've also made good progress on working the other various jobs towards 50.  Most are sitting around level 44.  I did realize that I had never started a Dark Knight, so I went back and rectified that, and have gotten that job to level 35.  I am just working Dark Knight through dungeons trying to catch that job up with the rest of the sub-50 jobs.

Finally, I've been trying to do Pandaemonium every week and am only still missing two pieces of gear from that raid - gloves and boots.  

Till next time.  Cheers,


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Thoughts on Endwalker so far

 On of my New Year's resolutions is to try to do better about posting to this blog on a regular basis.  I realized now that I look at it that it has been over a month since my last post.  Much of that is because I have been very much head down working my way through the new Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Endwalker, and I've also been trying to honor the generally accepted one month ban on spoilers.

But we're far enough along, I feel like it's time to go ahead and start posting again.

So first, lets' do some quick status updates on where I stand.  I ended up playing my Summoner for the MSQ despite my initial intentions, and was glad I did.  I really like the changes that they made to the job for the expansion and am finding the rotation to fit my playstyle a lot better than it did before.  Since finishing the MSQ, I have also managed to get my Machinist to 90 and am almost there on my Gunbreaker (currently at 89).

I've also finished the role quests for both caster dps and for healers and am about half way through the ranged dps one.  If you haven't had the chance, I would highly recommend going through the role quests.  For this expansion, they involve going back to some old places and tying up a few loose ends on older storylines, all while working through issues that are in keeping with the themes of this expansion.  They're very well done.

I've also started to work on getting my DOH/DOL jobs up to 90.  I quickly figured out why I should have updated all my gear for those jobs to the level 80 gear as it became apparent that it was going to be difficult to do much of anything in level 77 gear.  

I also regretted not finishing the job quest lines for each of the DOH/DOL jobs as it also became apparent that with the changes in abilities for each crafting job that I would probably need the ability Manipulation for each job, which is unlocked separately for each crafting job through those quest lines.

That was the bad news.  The good news was that working through those quest lines got me enough xp to get up to level 82 on each job, which enabled me to use the level 81 gear from the new expansion.  I wasn't able to craft it, so I had to drop about 1.5M gil on the market board to buy all of it, but I've already pretty much earned that back through my regular activities.

The level 81 DOL/DOH gear is actually pretty decent looking.  It's a nice improvement over the dwarven-themed level 77 stuff that I was using.

I've been working through Studium delivery quests in Old Sharlayan, which are very similar to the Crystarium delivery quests, but have mostly been using Grand Company turn-ins to level those jobs.  They're all sitting between 83 and 85 at this point.

After I finish Gunbreaker, I'll work on my Samurai next and then finish up the rest of my level 80's, before I embark on getting the rest of the lower level jobs to 90.  I've been using the daily leveling roulette to work on my lower level jobs a bit at a time and all of them are above 40 at this point.  Once they get above 50, I will go back to doing them one at a time, rather than all at once.

I'm not going to get into much here on spoilers for the expansion story line, other than to say that I really enjoyed it.  You can tell that the developers poured their hearts and souls into this one and the story did a great job of tugging at the emotional heart strings throughout.  I was pretty pleased that it was essentially a fairly clean happy ending, because I definitely wasn't expecting that, particularly since they kept consistently foreshadowing that it was going to be anything but.

I've also done a couple of weeks worth of the new raid, Pandaemonium, which I'm also enjoying.  It's only the 2nd FFXIV normal raid that I've ever done as current content, and so far I like both the fights and the story line.  The fights are challenging and take some time to figure out, without being frustrating.  Your mileage may vary.

That's it for now.  Until next week.



Death Knight to 60 and Working on Shadowland Reps

 I was able to get my death knight to level 60 last week and have started working on the druid.  I've always enjoyed playing a frost dea...