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Archive for January, 2015

Luck vs perseverance

If I’m to achieve my goals of beating all current content before the expansion, I need to gear up some. However since I have a lot I want to do and my time is limited, I have to be efficient about it. So in order to preserve Tomes of Poetics, FF14 currency for high level gear, I’ve decided to farm World of Darkness for the Demon healing set which is roughly equivalent to the poetic gear. My plan right now is to use Demon gear for the main pieces and complete the accessories with Poetic gear.

World of Darkness works a lot like WoW LFR raids except that instead of being a simpler version of another raid it’s a unique raid, part of a chain of tied together raids. The main difference between WoD and WoW lfr setup is that in FF14 you can get only one piece per week but can attempt the raid as often as you like until you get a drop. WoW on the other hand allows you to get multiple pieces but you can loot the bosses only once, meaning that you can have raids where you don’t get anything.

This means that in FF14 you can just run the thing over and over until you get a drop, like I did yesterday when I ran WoD four times. It wasn’t exactly super fun by the fourth run but at least I wasn’t coming out empty handed like it happened to me a few times in WoW. On the other hand, you sometimes get lucky in WoW and just make out like a bandit meaning you won’t have to redo the run multiples times.

I’m debating right now which is the better system. Slower but mostly guaranteed drops as long as you persevere or trust to luck and be less likely to burn yourself over a short period of time.

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Monday gaming updates

More gaming updates today because I can! First, following my last WoW post where I was wondering if I had any future with the game, Alas and Zel (well Zel did most of the explaining) both talked to me about some of the old gang looking to do some casual raiding together. Mostly drunken LFR or maybe some normal Flex mode but nothing more complicated. I can see the glorious rebirth of our EffingDrunk channel where we could bitch and moan about the awful puggies so maybe there’s something there. I’m curious to see how this will go.

I’ve also been playing some Wolfenstein 3D (the old one!) after going through the excellent Wolfenstein: The new Order. To my surprise the game is still surprisingly fun after all these years. There’s something very cathartic about these games, just shoot Nazis and don’t bother too much with realism or fancy story. It’s simple, to the point and highly entertaining.

On the FF14 front I’ve worked mostly on the Atma books during the weekend. Managed to finish the second book and made some good progress in the next one so I’m hopeful to get the third one down during the week. I tried some Ramuh EX with Duty Finder to learn the fight and this is a fight I’ll have to find a group for. There’s a lot of coordination required and I’m not sure a random DF group can do it unless I get real lucky. That still won’t stop me from trying but I’m not expecting much.

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Pre-Heavensward bucket list

Anytime an expansion looms closer we all make that bucket list of things we’d like to complete before it hits. With Heavensward raising the max level to 60, it’s highly likely that some current endgame content will be harder to complete since most players will have moved on. To FF14 credit it’s no certain thing thanks to the way their progression is set-up but I’d still like to have everything in order.  So here’s my bucket list before Heavensward hit.

Complete coils of Bahamut

This might be the hardest item on the bucket list. The coils of Bahamut are pretty much the hardest content available right now and just getting a group that can beat any of the last four turns is an achievement in itself.  Myself I’m at turn 7 out of 14 and working on bettering my gear a bit before trying to make some more progress in there.

Finish extreme modes

I’m missing Ramuh and Shiva which I’m told are not the hardest ones to complete. I often see groups advertising for them so getting a group shouldn’t be that hard either.

Get Black mage to 50

My main class is White mage which I love but I’d like to have some options and be able to dps too at some point. Right now the Black mage sits at level 30 so it’s really a matter of putting in the time to finish leveling it.

Finish the Zodiac weapon upgrade quests

Another item that will probably be very hard to complete since its super time consuming but I still want to try it. Right now I’m working on the second book of the Atma step so I have quite a while to go. I’d probably be happy with just finishing the books but who knows.

So those are pretty much my big ticket items I want done. Of course I’ll probably try to do other stuff like the Sightseeing log but those are my main goals right now.

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Realm reborn patch 2.5 first impressions

Patch 2.5, Before the fall, hit yesterday and I spent most (all) of the evening running around and gorging myself on the new content. I should probably take it slower but hey, I was having fun so who care right? I managed to do quite a bit of content and unless I’m mistaken I’m missing the Hildibrand quests and a kill of Odin and that’s pretty much it.

Main storyline 

The main story this time around is a bit shorter than what the past few patches offered us which I’m perfectly fine with. I love the main storyline but the quests do tend to get very verbose and have long cutscenes so I’m not mad that it’s a bit shorter and more to the point. Storywise, there was a nice twist this time around and while it’s obvious they’re setting up the expansion plot I’m curious to see how it will all link up.

New dungeons and trials

Amdapor keep (hard) and Wanderer’s palace (hard) both were great fun even if Wanderer’s is a bit on the longish side. The fights themselves were not too hard but still had a few interesting mechanics. The difficulty was pretty much in line with the others hardmodes we’ve been offered so far. Wanderer’s palace last cutscene was a nice surprise and I highly recommend you don’t skip it.

Keeper of the lake on the other hand left me a bit puzzled. Maybe it was the group I was with but I came away from it with a very “meh” feeling. The bosses in themselves were pretty average considering the impact this place has on the story. I suppose I was expecting more.

Odin and the new story trial (won’t spoil it) were pretty neat. The story one was surprisingly challenging considering it’s part of the main story which tends to feature content that’s a bit easier. Took the group a few tries to get the hang of everything. Odin himself was pretty fun despite the fact that we couldn’t kill him. He felt like a proper primal and his normal mode is on the upper end of the difficulty scale as far as normal mode primals go.  He doesn’t have an extreme mode yet but as we were discussing in guildchat yesterday, it will likely be insane.

World of Darkness

Last but not least was the last part of Final Fantasy 3, the Crystal tower World of Darkness. I love how they took the end part of FF3 and reused it in Realm reborn and I hope they do that again. The WoD itself looked awesome, had great music and the Cloud of Darkness fight was a lot of fun. I even got an awesome pointy hat out of the place that made me remove the hide headpiece option for the first time in years.

Another great patch from Square Enix! Keep it up!

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I suppose the writing was on the wall and I didn’t want to see it. Because of reasons outside my control I won’t be able to keep raiding in WoW, at least not in any meaningful way. I won’t go into details because frankly, the whole thing sucks. I was having fun raiding with a good friend of mine and now that won’t be possible anymore and no matter how one’s logic tries to rationalize the whole thing, the whole thing feels like a failure.

Where does that leave me with WoW? I’m not sure anymore. WoD had a great storyline, fun zones and even decent dungeons and raids if you don’t count LFR. The questlines have been done, the dungeons completed multiple times and now that raiding is dead I’m not left with much. I could do the horde side once but beyond that, things are looking grim. I’m pretty sure I’ll be back for the expansion, even maybe renew to see the new raids as they come out but that’s it for now.

I could start guild hunting, try to find the rare gem of a guild who magically fits all my criteria and me theirs but I’m not sure I have the energy to go through the motions again. Meeting new people, hoping things fit, hoping the guild doesn’t fall apart because reasons and so forth. Like someone else said, I’m getting too old for this.

If anything the whole thing drives home the point that my best time in WoW was with Eff the Ineffable back in Cata which became Snark side in Swtor. I’m still pissed at Bioware handling of the game which killed us in the end. I know Alas tried to bring back part of the gang together for WoD and I didn’t really help which in hindsight I probably should have. Hopefully I’ll learn some lesson out of the whole thing.

I wish I didn’t have such a downer of a post today but the combination of this BS and RL issues has been messing with me and just writing this did help sort a few things out. Thanks everyone for your patience.

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My gaming week

Quick update post today to talk about what I’ve been up to this past week.

WoW: We killed Ko’ragh (6th boss) on normal and went to work on The butcher heroic mode. We got close to killing him but we were short a few % dps. I feel partly responsible for this as I’m on the lower end of the dps spectrum in the guild right now. I’m still above the tanks and wasn’t dead last on our best attempts but still, I know I can squeeze out some more.

I’ve been agonizing some over how to improve my dps in WoW lately and that fight drove the point home. According to simcraft I’m about 1.2k from my theoretical max considering my gear and I did change spec to unholy which did net me about 2k dps. Right now I need to be better at getting Defile down and be more consistent with Soul reaper. Still, if someone knows of a good current Unholy Dk guide I’m all ears (currently going with the icy veins one).

FF14: The smell of the expansion is getting stronger and I’d like to clear more of the current endgame content before it hits. I’ve been farming a bit of Bahamut coil Turn6, getting ready for 7 and been trying to get a clear of Thornmarch extreme but that place is a bit of a blocker. Nobody really goes there except people who haven’t cleared it takes forever to get going and you start fresh every time.

I still have a few Hildibrand quests to clear and then I’ll be ready for the patch which hits next week. This will be the last big patch before the expansion, getting excited!

WoT: Had a bit of a breakthrough yesterday with my T-54. I had two awesome games, one of which I went over 4k damage done by applying what I’ve been learning and not just lucking into it. Feels great to make some progress.

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Putting stats in context

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been playing quite a bit of World of Tanks lately and trying to improve both my winrate and my wn8, WoT’s skill rating system made by the game’s community. Wn8 is calculated by measuring various factors like cap points, enemies spotted and most importantly, damage done to the enemy. The statistician overlords behind the metric claim that damage done is the most direct contributor to a team chances of winning. In order to be more precise, each tank has their own expected value which means that in order to get a good rating you need to do more or less damage depending on the tank.

So for the past two weeks I’ve been making a conscious effort to try to improve my damage done in the game by reading up on strategy guides and trying to apply what I learn. Pretty similar stuff to what you’d do if you wanted to improve your Dps in WoW for example. After two weeks I was expecting improvement but when I looked at my stats they were pretty similar to what they were when I began which kind of sucks  when you apply yourself and try to get better.

Yesterday I was chatting about this with one of the trainers in my clan to see what I could do to start getting better and not get stuck at my current skill level. He listened to me for a while, went to look at my stats, asked a few questions about how I approached the games and what I felt I was doing better or worse and then he asked me a few important questions.

Him:  “What was the tank you were playing the most before the holidays?”

Me: “T-44” (a tier8 medium tank)

“What is your main tank now?”

“T-54” (tier 9 medium, the one following the T-44 and one with relatively high win8 expected values).

“I see you also have a Auflkl. Panther that seems recent. Did you buy that recently too?” (Aufkl. Panther is a tier 7 light tank with a reputation as a bad tank that is very hard to do well in).

“Yeah got it during the holidays”

“So, you’re getting similar stats playing the T-54 who has higher expected values and see tougher opponent more frequently and also while playing an Aufkl. Panther which is an awful tank.”

“….. crap I’m dumb.”

So a big thank you to my clan mate who reminded me that improvement is not just measured by a number and that it’s also important to put said numbers in context.

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