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Archive for the ‘FF14: ARR’ Category

FF14 raiding log, turn 9 continues

Yesterday was raid night with our buddy Turn 9 and now that I had the chance to sleep and think some let’s get into it. Yesterday raid was one of “those” raid nights. The ones where everything seems to be a bit harder than it has to be and where there’s a general feeling of meh. At least it was for me but maybe the rest of the group loved their evening but it’s not really the feeling I got.

Objectively, we made progress in what is arguably one of the hardest fights of the game right now. We got more reliably to the second meteor phase, we saw the Heavensfall part a few times and we hammered some execution details of the first phase. We’ll likely change how we handle the second set of meteors so we get more reliable results but at least we were getting there without much issue so improvement!

But I was dead tired and it made the whole thing feel so much harder than it should have been. I’ve been assigned to a rush project at work and as we enter week 4, it’s starting to take its toll. Long hours, impossible deadlines and lots of expectations all around and while we’re pulling through it does tire me and I tend to be in bed pretty early.

I was looking forward to raiding to change my mind but we had to struggle again to get the group together and we did get going but with a half-hour delay. I was stressing about having to pug T9, I was stressing about the other people in the group leaving or hating their raid night which would mean more trouble to roster next week and ahhhh…

If you want to know what turns me off raid leading and what part I hate the most is, rostering a raid is pretty much there at the top of the list. But anyways, nobody left and we made progress so knock on wood I suppose.

Anyways trying to get back to positive. We did get going without having to pug, we did made progress and I think we’re headed in the right direction for next week. We can do this!

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Time for some FF14 adventures update! Since we’re getting real close to that one month mark, I figure this is a nice time to revisit my pre-expansion goals.

  • Black mage to 50. Done!
  • Finish Zodiac Weapon. Done!
  • Extreme Primals. Done!
  • Coils of Bahamut: Working on Turn 9.

And to that I’ve since added

  • Finish relic step of Black mage zodiac   Done!
  • Get Quelling strikes. Errr… working on it? Maybe?

So overall I’ve done pretty great progress on all my pre-expansion goals and while I might not have cleared Coils I was expecting this result. That said, there’s still a few weeks to go and I’m confident Monday’s group will get it down soon and my own static on Wednesdays has been making pretty fast progress so there’s a good chance we get it done just in time. That would leave the final turns for post Heavensward launch and I’m ok with having something to do while we all level our characters and get ready for the new endgame.

As for the Quelling strike issue I really should buckle down and get to it but I keep getting distracted by crafting. Last time I was speaking about how I was standing on the edge of a bottomless abyss and now I can say I fell in and will likely never get out. Since I’m in no hurry for crafting I’m taking the long way and leveling all the classes at the same time so I can be self-sufficient. It’s slow going but it has the merit of actually netting me some money and it’s a pretty absorbing game in itself.

For the leveling itself I’m working in 5 levels increments and trying to craft one of everything in the crafting log. At the moment I got everything to at least level 7, a few to level 10 and above in the case of Weaver who’s getting close to 15. My gathering professions are leveling themselves nicely so it’s all working out so far. Might not be fast but it’s progress nonetheless.

So the plan for the next few weeks should be to buckle down on getting Quelling strikes and keep crafting until the end of times!

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On the building of statics

A belated update post today simply because work has been utter madness and since I usually do most of blogging while drinking my first coffee at work it got kind of tricky this week. But here we are and there are a few things to talk about, most of them about raiding.

I spoke before of my efforts to get a static off the ground and yesterday it finally felt like things are starting to fall into place. There’s still a lot of work to be done I feel and I want us to be better at starting on time, have a full roster get people settled into their roles and a lot of other small details but it’s hard not to be positive this morning. We cleared Turn 7 and 8 in a single night with over half the group who had not cleared those fights before. Plus we had a few attempts on Turn 9 to get people situated. It was an awesome raid night, people had fun and it feels like we’re headed into the right direction.

It’s also a big relief after last week where we hit a small bump in the road. It’s not that last week was awful but you always wonder if it’s just a bump or if it’s a sign of deeper issues. Thankfully after last night I think it’s the former.

So now we’re headed firmly into the dreaded Turn 9 and I can’t wait to see how it goes.

Building

And this is where I’m going to shock everyone by saying I’m not especially interested in clearing Turn 9, I’m way more interested in doing Turn 9. The ultimate goal of the static I’m building is to have a good team to attempt harder content with. I want it to be a group where I don’t have to do a lot of handholding and where people are pretty good at raid awareness and thinking on their feet.

But between here and there, there’s a lot of ground to go over and I know it’s not going to happen overnight. There’s going to be though nights, some drama, people moving on cause of real life or interests some will want to switch classes, we’re going to have fights that will be the nemesis of someone in the group and I’m sure a ton of things I haven’t even thought about yet. At this moment, we’re not even a full group yet so like I said, lots of road ahead.

So why again am I not that interested I clearing Turn 9? Because I see more team building value in practicing the fight than in clearing it. If ever there was a raiding exam this is it and I think it’s going to do wonders to help us practice working as a well-oiled team. Eventually the end result should be a kill but I treasure more the experience we’re going to gain doing it.

Being thankful and paying it forward

I want to take a moment to thank my FC, Greysky Armada for making this possible. Tamrielo, Belghast, Ashgar, Solaria, Tyauv, Cylladora and many others have helped us over the weeks get things off the ground and without them I wouldn’t even have gotten started. So a big thank you everyone. Also, a special thank you to the guild as whole for having such a great atmosphere and having this focus on being helpful to one another.

It’s a rare thing to find a guild that says they want to help their members and actually mean it. It’s something I treasure greatly and something I want to bring over to my static. Yes I want us to be efficient and clear hard content but I also want us to be doing it while having fun and being helpful to others when we can. It’s why whenever we’re missing someone I’ll always favor picking someone from the guild no matter their experience and it’s also why on Mondays I do my best to be online when the other static starts raiding just in case they need extra hands.

Ultimately, once the static gets rolling I’m hoping people in it will keep logging and helping out the other members of the guild with their own raids and dungeons and not become one of these groups that only show up at raid night and that you never see the rest of the week. Just as clearing a hard fight is fun, it can also be fun to just carry someone who’s been struggling to clear a hard fight and I’m hoping this is something we’ll be able to do in the future.

This post is running long so I’ll end by saying thank you everyone. There’s still a lot of work to do but I think we can do it.

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Yesterday, our budding static group got to go to the second coil of Bahamut: turn 1, more commonly known as Turn 6.  The Rafflesia Reaper, a giant flower is one of those bosses that are part of a group that I consider the “not fun but essential” bosses in the sense that it sucks but it teaches important raid skills. In this case, this fight is all about reacting to everything the bosses do. Deal with debuffs, deal with changing posisiting, deal with boss casts, just be on your toes. It’s not that hard once you master it but it can be really frustrating getting there since the tiniest mistake will make everything spin out of control.

As a raid leader however I was dreading it because I knew it was one these fights that can get people on edge. I was also really looking forward to it because it was our first fight in the second tier of content and I wanted to see how it how group would handle the increased difficulty. In the end we killed the flower a bit under 90 minutes, including replacing a pug, which is blinding fast considering the fight but in the process tensions rose a bit and the evening turned out to be not so great for everyone, a point that does not sit well with me considering that Belghast has been real helpful to us.

That said, people did not start screaming at one another and I think that by the time we started turn 7 everyone was in a much better mood so it might end up just being a tiny bump on the road but it’s something I’ll watch out for going forward.

The one thing that really made me happy however was not the killing of the boss itself but two very important behaviors I saw displayed yesterday that I feel are necessary for successful raids. First, at one point we stopped calling the vines in order to clear up Teamspeak so it was up to everyone to be on point on that aspect of the fight. It worked like a charm and everyone was breaking their vines without having to be told so. Second, and this one happened all by itself, when someone would get caught in a bad position due to devour, the rest of the group would react accordingly and move out of the way even if that wasn’t part of the normal fight dance.

More than the killing of the actual boss, seeing that raid awareness in action was the real victory for me and it gives me great motivation to keep moving forward.

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Crafting and me always had a weird relation when it comes to MMO. Back when I started playing WoW seriously I was all about crafting and I would hunt down every single recipe. I spent hours farming Azshara giants so I could complete my StormShroud set even though I didn’t really need to craft it. I wanted to be able to craft it all whenever someone needed something and I took pride in that.

But as I started raiding more seriously and getting into the “proper” endgame, I found out that crafting was more often than not a waste of time and effort compared to the other more productive activities I could do to improve my gear. Sure you needed enchants and potions it was often more efficient to grind money and pay for those services rather than going after them yourself. Of course, having maxed profession was often useful for one specific item or improvement but beyond those very specific items, no real need to do it. My stance toward crafting changed, get it to max level, get the special improvement, move on to better uses of precious time.

Other MMOs seemed to follow the same pattern of crafting and I discounted it as a side activity that required too much time for too little reward. It doesn’t help that most MMOs also have pretty boring crafting systems, gather mats, press button, obtain item. So with FF14 I did the exact same thing I did before, ignore crafting, level to max and go grind dungeon and raids for gear which has worked out pretty good so far.

But as I was doing my Zodiac weapon chain I came in contact with the crafting world a few times. I needed material melded, I needed crafted items and I needed to sell stuff to crafters so I could make money. Altough I didn’t quite understand all that I was reading in guides at the time, I got a glimpse of high level crafting in FF14 and got the impression that it had its own endgame with special unlocks, 4 stars crafters and quite a bit of mystery about crafting rotations of all things.

The abyss

These past few weeks as I was getting close to finishing my zodiac I started looking at those 8 crafting classes I had on my character sheet and wondering what it would take to level them before the expansion hit. I knew that crafting in FF14 is like another whole game, complete with gear, achievements, quests, skills and rotations. That high end crafters can make tons of money and have the same amount of respect we give people who have cleared all the raids on hard mode. It got me curious.

So yesterday with nothing much better to do I figured I’d dip my toe to see how things would go and I found myself very quickly get suckered in. I started with Weaver and saw that to make pants I’d need linen which is made from grass that botanist gather. So off to become a botanist to gather grass. Then I needed leather so I also took up leatherworking and used up the animal skins I had gathered so long ago. But I saw that leatherworking could make belts which my weaver could use so I wanted that but it required a bronze ingot so miner and goldsmith got added and down goes the rabbit hole.

This morning I checked a crafting guide which went into a bit of detail and I realized just how deep the hole goes, a black abyss from which there is no return and I’m standing right on the edge. Do I dive in, forget reason and see what happens? I’m very tempted to do so but it all seems so insane…

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