Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Caldwell's Gold and More FFXIV Leveling


The first update for the week is related to Elder Scrolls Online, where I managed to finish up Caldwell's gold.  Ebonheart Pact was the last faction that I had to get done.  When I finished the main story quest, I discovered that I didn't actually have everything fully checked off in the almanac for all zones except one, so I had to go back, do some quick research, and knock out one more "non-main-story" quest in each zone to get the final achievement.

The reward for this achievement is a helm appearance that looks just like Caldwell's, which comes in handy if you ever feel the need to wander a major city looking like a crazy person.

I also opened up the Wrothgar / Orsinius zone because that's where the crafting station for the Julianos set is.  I was able to craft two pieces to start and will work on the rest.  I either didn't have the trait that I wanted to be unlocked on other pieces yet or, for gloves, didn't have enough traits in total unlocked to make the piece at all, so more work to be done there.


I'm continuing to work on my Sage and Black Mage.  The Sage is sitting at level 83, so I've gotten quite a bit done there.  The Black Mage just hit level 60.  After these two are done, Paladin will be up next.  I may initially try doing this one without simultaneously leveling a dps spec.  I'm also running the 50/60/70/80 roulette on my summoner each day to accumulate the tomestones that I'm assuming I'll need for the next relic weapon stage, and also doing Euphrosyne each week.  

This past week, I completely screwed it up, though.  Three pieces of caster gear dropped, but two were pieces that I already had.  Gloves dropped on the last boss, but I clicked on Greed by mistake on a piece of tanking gear and ended up getting that instead of the Caster gloves that I'd rolled Need on.  So that sucked.

Beyond that, it has been a while since I set foot in Warcraft.  I'll probably give it another shot when the next patch with the new zone drops because I haven't entirely given up on it.  Just other stuff that I'm more interested in playing right now.

That's it for now.



Tuesday, March 14, 2023

On To Black Mage and Sage and Maybe Some ESO?

As you probably could have forecast from my last post, I managed to finish my Ninja and Warrior on their respective paths to level 90.  I have picked up both Sage and Black Mage and am working on both.  I've made decent progress; the Sage is around level 75, and the Black Mage is around level 56.  I'm enjoying both jobs so far.  The Sage initially felt a little underpowered to me, but as I've gotten the hang of it more, I'm getting a lot more comfortable handling damage spikes.  I've even run some of the Stormblood Alliance Raids on the Sage and have done just fine.

Once these two jobs are done, the next ones up are Paladin, Monk, Dark Knight, and Dragoon, probably in that order.  There is no particular reason Dragoon is going to be last.  It just seemed to roll out that way.

I also managed to get the next level of my relic weapon on my Summoner.  I've added the daily 50/60/70/80 Dungeon roulette to my routine just to ensure that I'm adequately stocked on the appropriate Tomestones for the next round.  I'll cut that off as soon as I've maxed those out.  I continue to have absolutely no luck in Euphrosyne, having now gone something like 4 weeks in a row without a single piece of caster gear dropping at all in the entire run, now even counting my chances of winning the roll.

In Warcraft, I've continued to do basically nothing.  I may try the new zone out when the next patch drops, but I'm still not feeling it right now.

There are two other games that I've dipped my toes back into over the last few weeks.  With new content out in Guild Wars 2, I did start that process.  I've also gone back into ESO with a new Chapter coming soon.  I only have one zone to finish now to wrap up Caldwell's Gold, so I'm working on getting that knocked out.  I hadn't been focused on crafting as much, but I somehow got my clothier skill up to level 50, so the next stop after Caldwell Gold will be the zone with the good crafting recipes for Magicka Templar - it's the Mother Julianos set, or something like that.  I don't remember what zone it is, but I know it's one I haven't played yet that's not part of the main storyline.

That's the update for now.



Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Home Stretch for both NIN and WAR

 I have played almost no World of Warcraft in the last 14 days.  Not even just logging in twice a week to knock out world quests on my main to keep his renown levels progressing.  My attention has swung back to FFXIV, and I may even pick up my Reaper in GW2 with new content available there.

In FFXIV, I'm in the home stretch on leveling my NIN and WAR to max level.  My Ninja is at level 87, and the Warrior just hit level 81.  The Arkasodara dailies are giving the Ninja a nice boost, which is why he is pulling ahead.  I managed to hit Sworn reputation level for them, so I grabbed my styling new hippo cart mount.

I've also started going back and making orchestrion rolls out of all the faded copies I had in my bags.  It took me a while to figure all that out and how to get the needed books, but now I seem to be on a roll.  Taking the time to gather ingredients and do the crafting has been a nice distraction.

Finally, I'm continuing to run Euphrosyne each week on my Summoner.  I think I've now hit three weeks of the 6 or 7 that I've done it that not a single piece of caster gear has dropped in the entire raid.  A bit frustrating, but I'll keep at it.  I assume they'll lift the one-piece-a-week gear limit at some point, making it slightly easier.

That's the update for now.  I should have more play time again starting next week, so hopefully more to report.



Thursday, February 16, 2023

Shaman Hits Level 70

 As is normal lately, this update will be broken into two pieces, World of Warcraft updates and FFXIV.

World of Warcraft

As the title mentioned, I hit level 70 on the Shaman yesterday.  This is the first character that I leveled almost entirely through dungeon runs.  At 8 hours and 17 minutes played, it was about an hour and 20 minutes faster than my previous record holder and significantly faster than the average has been so far.  So that appears to definitely be the preferred approach.  And that's with dps queues.

The demon hunter is up next, and it goes without saying that I'll be following the same approach.


I'm continuing to work on both the ninja and warrior in FFXIV.  The rogue is now at level 78, and the warrior is at level 77, so I've made solid progress on both.  I'll be able to use the new Endwalker beast tribe quests on them starting soon, so that will speed things along a bit more.  After these two are done, the next up will be a combination of Sage and Black Mage, and those two will be followed by Paladin.  I may try including the leveling roulettes on the Paladin and doing that one straight instead of mixing it with a dps class.  Everyone tells me the leveling dungeons are okay with a tank, but I've always been so bad at it in WoW that I'm hesitant to try it.

That's it for now!



Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Thoughts on Some New Things in Both Warcraft and FFXIV

 I've been able to get through a few of the new things that have come out in both World of Warcraft and FFXIV recently.  On the Warcraft side, I had the chance to visit the Trading Post and also complete this month's challenge to get the mount on offer for the month.

It's a cool-looking mount.  As it turns out, you can get about 75% of the monthly points needed to obtain it just from completing various Love Is In The Air activities, none of which take terribly long.  Of course, you get quite a few points just from doing your regular stuff each month, so not sure using the holiday is all that necessary, but it ended up getting it done for me quite a bit faster than I likely would have done otherwise.

The other mount on offer from the Trading Post this month, for purchase with the coins you get, was the Celestial Steed, which I already have, so I can save those coins up for next month.

In other World of Warcraft news, I've mostly been doing World Quests and weekly quests on Joar to continue to work on faction renown.  I did dip back into leveling my Shaman, although I've been mostly running dungeons to avoid the higher-level squishiness issue.  I'm currently sitting at level 67, so getting pretty close.


On the Final Fantasy front, I finished the latest installment of the Tataru questline.  I also got a 2nd piece of gear from the alliance raid, so hopefully, that's a sign of better luck in the coming weeks.  Beyond that, I continue to focus on leveling the Ninja and Warrior, who are sitting at levels 71 and 70, respectively.  

With Square's most recent earnings release making it clear that the next FFXIV expansion won't be coming in 2023, I'm confident that I should be able to level all of the remaining combat jobs to max level before the next expansion hits.  Besides the Ninja and Warrior that I'm currently working on, the others that I still have to go include Sage, Black Mage, Paladin, Monk, Dark Knight, and Dragoon.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

More Balanced Play Time Between FFXIV and WoW

I had very little play time last week because of some work-related travel, so this update is delayed by a week.  Despite those limitations, I have had some exciting developments in both games.  

In World of Warcraft, I managed to get my four-piece set bonus on Joar.  Three of the four set pieces came from my Vault rather than as raid drops, but I'm okay with that.  I'm mostly doing regular world quests and other activities for more renown, and I may go back to leveling the shaman and other alts now that the Joar gearing process is pretty much done.  The only downside to those plans is that I really don't enjoy leveling in this expansion as much as I have in the past.  The warlock, hunter, and tank classes have generally been acceptable, but most of the other classes end up feeling a little too squishy to me to be all that enjoyable.

While I still enjoy Warcraft, the leveling process was always the thing I enjoyed most about it, and they seem to have killed that.  It definitely hasn't been the case since Battle for Azeroth, and that makes me pretty sad.

In FFXIV news, I also managed to get a house finally.  With the extra wards, it seems that everyone wanting one was finally able to close the deal.  Mine is in Shirogane.  I probably should have tried for Mists if I had known it would be that easy since I spend most of my time in Gridania, but I enjoy it just the same.

I've also spent more time leveling some of my alt jobs.  I've gotten the Warrior to level 66 and the Ninja to level 65.  Still a ways to go on both of those, but I'm trying to do a split of roulettes each day between the two now, so hopefully, it starts going a little more quickly.  The plan is to start leveling Sage after I have both of those done, and I will probably do BLM through the leveling roulettes simultaneously.

I also finally got my first piece of gear out of the new Alliance Raid.  It doesn't fit with the last Pandemonium set, so I had to glam over the whole thing.  Hopefully, that will mean better luck with the new raid going forward.



Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Thoughts on FFXIV Patch 6.3 and Warcraft Renown Strategies

 That's a wide range of topics to be covered, right?  But those are the two games I've been playing, and with the new patch in FFXIV, the playtime has been pretty evenly balanced between the two for the past week.  


As I have come to expect from the team at FFXIV, the MSQ storyline with the new patch continued to be excellent.  The latest dungeon for the patch was exquisite, and the boss fights in it were great.  I also loved seeing the character of Zero fleshed out a little bit more in this patch.  

I also took a crack at the new Alliance Raid.  I went in before any strategy videos were available, so I ended up dead quite a bit.  But we made it through.  I screwed up my gear rolls, so ended up with absolutely nothing to show for it, but I'll do better this week, at least in terms of roll strategy.  The fights are very challenging, with some pretty interesting mechanics.  

I know there's some new Island Sanctuary stuff, but I have yet to mess with any of that.  I did put a bid in on a housing plot in one of the new wards, so we'll find out how that goes on Friday.

World of Warcraft

For the past week, for the limited period that I haven't played FFXIV, I've mostly just been doing World Quests on Joar.  I have unlocked the cataloging and climbing world quests, which have been a pleasant addition to the routine.

I also decided to go back and knock out all of the quests in each zone on Joar to get my faction renown up and unlock a few more faction campaign sections.  If you haven't already taken that approach, I highly recommend it to increase your Renown.  For Joar, pretty much all the factions were slightly lower than 10.  I'm not entirely done yet, but I managed to get to Renown level 15 with everyone just by finishing up all the various side quests in each zone.

Note, this is not my actual renown

This week, I'm also looking forward to the final wing of LFR opening up and seeing if the final LFR boss is as challenging as it has been for the last several raid tiers.  There has been no leveling on the Shaman at this point, and it likely won't be again until Joar has finished gearing up and has his entire four piece set bonus.

That's it for now. 



Wednesday, January 11, 2023

A Lot of Warcraft Leveling

Since my year-in-review post two weeks ago, I've mainly been focused on leveling in World of Warcraft.  Not only did I finish up the hunter mentioned in that post, but I also finished up the paladin, death knight, and druid.  For the last few, I focused on doing all the quests in a particular zone and the main story quest, so that let me knock out Dragonflight Loremaster for my account as a whole.  At some point, I should probably go back and do everything on Joar just for the additional reputation, but there's probably no time for that right now.

Right now, out of all of those alts, the leveling time for the death knight came in fastest at 9 hours and 38 minutes, while the paladin ended up slowest at 11 hours and 30 minutes.  Oddly enough, the hunter and the druid had the exact same leveling time, to the minute, at 10 hours and 11 minutes.  These are definitely much faster leveling times than previous expansions.  Granted, I only leveled two alts in Shadowlands before quitting, but the average for those was around 13 hours.  And for Battle for Azeroth, the average was 13 hours and 50 minutes.  Of course, all of those pale compared to Cataclysm, the earliest expansion for which I have data, which came in at an average of 23 hours and 20 minutes.  

For many classes, the leveling process gets to be highly challenging, particularly later on in the process.  I ended up leveling the death knight exclusively as blood for survivability.  I did level the paladin primarily as retribution, although a lot of the reason that the leveling time was so long was that he died frequently.  I switched to feral from balance for the druid because I saw feedback that was easier.  As someone that generally enjoys leveling alts, I'm not particularly thrilled about this particular aspect of this expansion.  I like being able to level my alts in whatever spec I choose, so having some that appear significantly less viable than others is a bit frustrating.

In other developments, I knocked out the newest raid finder wing and have done it twice on Joar.  I also got my first piece of tier gear yesterday morning, not out of LFR, but out of my vault.

Next up in Warcraft will be the shaman and demon hunter, the last two I need to round out a complete set of professions.  My priest is the only other character that I leveled to max in Shadowlands, and I haven't decided yet if I'll level them up in Dragonflight or any of the other of my 42 or so max level alts.

Of course, the other big news this week is that there was a new FFXIV patch yesterday morning.  I'll provide my thoughts in my blog post next week.  I did finish the latest MSQ release but have not done the new 24-man raid yet.  

Caldwell's Gold and More FFXIV Leveling

ESO The first update for the week is related to Elder Scrolls Online, where I managed to finish up Caldwell's gold.  Ebonheart Pact was ...