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Archive for July, 2015

So I was reading through Belghast Blaugust challenge post and usually I shy away from such things because I like my free blogging style but one line that caught my attention was the part where Bel says how blogging everyday breaks down walls and made him more brutally honest with his readers. To be honest, I’ve had a lot on my mind lately when it comes to my MMO playing but both Bel post and Tamrielo recent posts about levels and gear separating people  push me to talk today.  It could also be the lack of sleep but I’m willing to live with the consequences. So let’s be brutally honest today.

I’m in an awkward spot right now in FF14. Or rather I should say I feel like I’m in an awkward spot but it could all be in my mind. I’m writing this because I want people to understand that what I’m writing here is my perception of things and I could be entirely wrong.

I love FF14, I love the expansion a lot and I’ve been playing it almost exclusively since it came out. I got to 60 amongst the firsts Greysky and I’ve been plugging away at the raid content in Pugs. I’m doing all this not out of a desire to be the first or the best but simply because I enjoy the time I’m spending in game and this leads to me spending even more time playing. It’s a cycle.

But as Tamrielo points out it leads to me being farther ahead than most of the guild. I do my best to help out catch up people when I can but the rest of the time I’m most likely found in a pug doing Ravana Ex or Alexander because in terms of progression it’s where I’m at. Reading Tamrielo post, I can’t help but feel responsible for that awkward phase he describes since I’m likely creating pressure on some people to catch up. It’s the last thing I want to do but I can see how my talking about Ravana Ex might make someone who’s still leveling feels like he or she is behind.

To add to the issue most of the people I raid with on Wednesday are in a similar spot progression wise so we’re heading into the new content and yet again, it’s likely contributing to some people feeling like being left behind. Again, not the intended effect but I can see how it can be seen as such.

I’m pretty much in agreement with Tam here when he says he wish those level and gear discrepancies wouldn’t exist. I want to do cool stuff with the people in my guild, not create pressure on them.  Like I said, I do my best to be helpful to people by answering questions and healing runs whenever I can, often despite what I would have wanted to actually do. I’ve set aside my Mondays for months just so I could help out the Monday group clear T9. I do all these things because I want to give back to a pretty awesome guild and I want include people, not exclude them.

But here comes the big But, I don’t believe I should feel bad for playing the game the way I want to. I genuinely want to help out my guild but at the same time I also want to go pug Ravana Ex and be excited about it. I hate that it seems to be creating this sentiment of me being hardcore when I consider myself to be anything but. For me being hardcore means putting progress over people and I’ve always put helping people before anything else.

This is all likely a temporary situation that will partly solve itself as time goes on and people catch up. On my end I’ll keep helping out whenever I can and I’ll keep pugging things and doing the new stuff on Wednesday. I just hope that people will understand that I’m not doing that out of a desire to leave anyone behind.

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Hello insomnia!

Something personal today because why the hell not! It’s my blog and I can do what I want!

I have chronic insomnia, specifically Circadian Rhythm disorder, more specifically Delayed sleep phase disorder.  TLDR: my body refuses to fall asleep at a time that is considered normal by society.  It took forever to diagnose, I had to consult with multiple doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and other specialists before finally getting an official diagnosis on a piece of paper. I often joke I should laminate the thing and put it on my wall.

Like many disorders out there, there is no cure for it and the best I can do is manage it through a disciplined sleep schedule. It’s very important for me to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekend. This way I can train my body to sleep at the time I need so I can function normally throughout the day and do things like have a job that requires me to be up in the morning.

But sadly, even with the best discipline, things don’t always work out and insomnia will strike out. Usually it comes in phases, like I’ll have a bad week where sleep is harder to come by, or I’ve noticed that February is usually a harder month, likely due to lack of light or something like it. But there’s also the once in a blue moon sleepless night because reasons. Today though I know fully well why I’m messed up, I had to be up at 2 am because of my job and now I’ll be paying for it all week long.

So right now with about 5 hours of sleep combined over the past 2 days I’m alternating between feeling miserable and wanting to murder anything that comes within 5 feet of me.  A developer had the misfortune of submitting to me a buggy version of the app he’s working on and I decided to pass the review to someone else for fear of what I might say. I know I can’t even trust my own judgement right now and it sucks, a lot.

So what’s the point of today’s post? None really. I needed to vent and this felt more constructive than running after people with a fireaxe.

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Two weeks have come to pass and Alexander, Heavensward first raid has been out since Tuesday and has been conquered in the very same day. Myself I cleared it yesterday and I took notes while I was in there so I could share them with you today. Overall, Alexander is a pretty fun raid and I can’t wait to see the rest of it. I want to say that the difficulty is on the easier side of things, at least for the first two floors but then again it’s hard to evaluate difficulty this early since the Duty Finder crowd at this moment is anything but standard. Alex F4 (or A4,still not sure on the nomenclature) is a good challenge for sure and it felt to me like they structured the raid a bit like Coils was, meaning that F1 to F3 is a bit easier and F4 acts as a gate keeper for the next part.

Alex F1

Real easy strategy that reminds me of Coils Turn 1. Nothing special there except maybe a bit of a dps check at the beginning. Took me a few tries to get a group that could pull it off despite the simplicity. I think a few too many people got in there with the idea that it was going to be Crystal Tower and were surprised when we wiped because they ignored mechanics.

Alex F2

Unending trash gauntlet boss. Really not so bad as long as the tanks are on the ball and split the adds so they don’t explode to damage. Had one of the most awful tanks I’ve seen in a long time in there and the guy had “The Final Witness” title. Sad proof that being in a group that can kill one of the game thoughest boss is not a guarantee of talent.

Alex F3

The first actual proper raid fight of the place. The boss has three phase with varying mechanics for each phase. Phase 3 in particular gave us the most trouble since there’s movement involved combined with a dps check plus having to watch tethers and debuff. Real easy to get tunnel vision, miss a mechanic and wipe the raid.

Alex F4

This is a boss that I think will become easier with an FC group. This guy deals absurbs amounts of damage and the fight is pretty much about being smart when dealing with all the incoming damage. I lucked out with this boss and got a great group on my 5 or 6th attempt but this boss actually made me reach for the Party finder and pre-made groups.

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Heavensward, Extreme edition!

It’s been a week since my last post here and with me moving on July 1st it has been an incredibly busy week. Still, I really wanted to get as far as possible before Alexander comes out tomorrow and even have both Extreme primals done. I managed to get Bismarck Ex down and spent a good amount of time on Ravana Ex yesterday so it’s possible I might get it tonight but there’s a bit of luck involved with party finder.  The downside of all this focus on primals is that I’ve been less available for guild runs since I would often be in a party when calls went out. Hopefully they’ll forgive me.

But let’s get to the point of this post, the Extreme primals.

Bismarck Ex

Bismarck I feel is a gating mechanism. It’s a gear check with a pretty strict dps check, in fact the whole fight is a dps check. The more dps you have, the easier the fight gets, simple as that. The mechanics themselves are not too complicated but everything is dependent on whether or not stuff is dying fast enough. If you fall behind at any point it all gets out of control pretty fast. If you’re wondering, the fight is best done at ilvl 170 and up, meaning that it’s meant to be done in Law tome gear.

Beyond the mechanics of the fight, Bismarck Ex is a pretty awesome fight. It has a pretty unique set-up and it’s up there with the most original fights I’ve seen in an MMO. I feel it’s going to stay fun as we progress through the expansion.

Ravana Ex

My first encounter with Ravana Ex can be summed as “Holy ****, this guy hits so hard the tank disconnected and then it murdered me so hard my character got deleted.” Then I did it a few more times and found out, with a bit of disappointment, that Ravana Ex is not the character deleting avatar of death I thought it was.

Where Bismarck was a dps and gear check, Ravana is an execution fight. Can you do the dance properly for about 10 minutes straight without messing up? If the answer is yes, you win! If not then you die a horrible death. Ravana is extremely punishing when people mess up but as long as people do the proper thing it’s actually not that bad. I don’t even have to watch my mana that closely on that fight which is a big difference from Bismarck.

I still have to beat Ravana but I’m confident it’s just a matter or finding the right party and practicing some more. I’m pretty good right now up to Swift Liberation where I’m still struggling a bit to get it down perfect. But considering it’s pretty much it’s second to last attack in the entire rotation I feel like I’m close to being done with the learning part.

Overall, it’s been fun times and I can’t wait to get there with the people of Greysky. Knowing ourselves, I think we’ll have a tougher time with Bismarck than Ravana but we’ll see how it goes!

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