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Archive for April, 2015

One of the features that get often praised about FF14 is the clever social engineering that gets people running older dungeons over and over again. There’s roulettes to complete for tomes, pets, cards and Zodiac weapon drops to get just to name a few. The veterans get something out of the experience, the new players get to run stuff and it adds diversity to endgame content.  One of the key elements of this feature is to sync levels and items to certain ranges just to make sure that you still have to pay attention to mechanics. It’s simply a great system.

Today I saw this post from Blizzard announcing Timewalk which will be Blizzard version of dungeon syncing. Your level and gear get scaled down to whatever is appropriate for the dungeon and off you go! At first I thought they were stealing FF14 system but then I realized it’s only a weekend event that will net you some cosmetic gear. I’m quite puzzled by this move.

New players not included

Right off the bat the first thing that strikes me is that in order to be eligible for Timewalk you have to be of a higher level than what the content was originally intended for. For BC content which was level 70 you have to be 71+. This means that new players coming up the levels won’t be included in the runs. Sure they can go at 71 and still benefit some but by that point they are in Wotlk content and might just want to continue leveling that way instead of running old dungeon for cosmetic rewards.

The strength of the FF sync systems is that it populates the lower levels with veterans who have multiple, meaningful incentives to run the old content. They might be grinding their legendary weapon, gearing tokens for high level gear. Being paired with newer players will even grant them a bonus which encourages the vets to take the newbies under their wing. Sure there’s also cosmetic incentives here too but I find that character progress remains the stronger motivator.

And on the new player side they get to have people to run dungeons with, to show them the rope and get integrated in the community before they reach max level.

WoW system on the hand feels made for players already at endgame who just want to get a few transmog items and maybe a token or two. The new player, which is the point of the whole system, gets left behind.

Weekends only

The other big surprise is that Timewalking will only be available certain weekends. Why would you allow access only during certain weekends and create pressure on the players to play at these specifics time. With only marginal incentives (cosmetic and a few tokens) I don’t think the pull will be strong enough to get players to subscribe only for that. I think that it might just become a source of frustration for people who might not have time to play during the specific time slots.

So why gate it that way? I really don’t get the reasoning here.

 

So really… why Blizzard? Why would you not take the opportunity of Timewalking to bring players of various levels together ? FF14 did it and it’s a resounding success so why not just steal that idea like you usually do? Nostalgia alone won’t revive the old dungeons so why?? What are you thinking?

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The quest for the Zodiac weapon goes on and now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel it seems to get ever farther. Currently I am missing exactly 6 items drops from various endgame dungeons and nothing else. I’ve already gathered all the seals, the tomes and crafting items I’ll need. I’ve been grinding hard for the drop but the progress feels slow. Between now and last week I managed to snag 6 drops so there is progress at least.

I’ve been keeping track of my runs and here are the results

  • Wanderer Palace: 4
  • Copperbell Mines HM: 8*
  • Aurum Vale: 6
  • Hullbreaker: 0*
  • Haukke Manor HM: 1
  • The Lost city of Amdapor: 3
  • Dzemael Darkhold: 2
  • Brayflox HM: 1
  • Amdapor Keep: 2
  • Snowcloak: 1
  • Qarn HM: 0*
  • Pharos Sirius: 5
  • Sastasha HM: 7*
  • Tam-Tara HM: 8*
  • Stone Vigil HM: 0*
  • Halatali HM: 5

Total 53 and counting. * are ongoing

A few people have been keeping track of their drops rates and most of them seem to end up between 45 and 85 runs totals with a drop percentage of about 25% if you average. So far I seem to be heading right for those numbers even if my drop rate is a bit lower (20%). In any case, I’m moving closer to my zodiac weapon and I just can’t wait.

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*Warning* *Sirens* *Loud noises*

Today’s post is spoilertastic!!!! If you don’t want to read about the end of Realm Reborn storyline then I suggest you do not go past the huge dragon! You have been warned.

This dragon is protecting the spoilers

This dragon is protecting the spoilers

(more…)

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Long weekend, busy weeks, so you get a Tuesday posting. I’ve been struggling a bit in my resolution to blog more lately but at least it’s for good reasons and not just plain laziness so I got that going I guess.

Since it’s been a while since I’ve done this I suppose it’s time to do the rounds of my pre-expansion goals.

  • Extreme primals: Done! Been so for a while but still feels good to say so.
  • Coils of Bahamut: No real progress for a while now. Done some T9 practice but I still need to complete 7 and 8. Truth is that I’m always feeling pulled by other things and since these demand a fair bit of commitment I’ve been putting them off.
  • Black mage to 50: Done! Sorta… kinda… Well my black mage hit 50 during the weekend but I’d still like to finish it proper and that involves doing the first step of the relic quest and ideally getting quelling strikes. This would mean leveling Bard to 36 and Pugilist to 15 in order to get bard… didn’t like getting archer to 15 so not especially enthused about it.
  • Zodiac weapon chain: With black mage to 50 I started back on the grind. The pause did me good and I’m now attacking the dungeons drops with energy. I got 4 out of 16 drops so far so not a bad start and I got Aurum Vale and Dezmal out of the way so that’s a relief. I got all the crafting items and the only real other thing missing is around 2800 tomes of soldiery. Still a way to go but feels like the worst is behind.

Greysky Armada

So it’s no big secret now but I’m still going to break my rule about online presence and admit I joined up with the crew of Greysky armada thanks to the world famous Belghast. It’s a fun crew that has very diverse roster with veterans, new players, people in every time zone and a real love of helping one another.

I’ve been doing my best to get in the mood of things and help out when I can while balancing making progress on my own stuff and so far I think it’s been going well. It’s just fun to run stuff with new players and see how they react to all the awesome stuff. Makes old stuff seems new even to someone like me who might have run Wanderer palace over a hundred times. I’ve also started to get the ball rolling on a hard mode static so I’m curious to see how that will go.

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