For anyone who is googling about Stormblood and stumbled upon here let me give a disclaimer: This post isn't about any of the actual content of Stormblood. My highest job right now is Monk level 55 and I just started Heavensward a few days ago. So as much as I'd like to talk about the storyline or the areas of Stormblood it is just not possible for me. What I will actually talk about is the mechanical changes to Monk (that I was able to experience so far) and my impressions of Samurai. Sorry if you came here looking for something else!
Like I mentioned in my previous post, Stormblood came with a lot of mechanical changes that affected pretty much everybody. In case someone hasn't been keeping up with the Final Fantasy XIV news, here is a summary of them, or at least the ones I can remember from the top of my head:
You only need to level one class to unlock a job now, so if you want to be a Monk you only need to level Pugilist to 30.
The additional traits are gone and have been replaced by role actions. Role action are a fixed set of skills that you can choose from. What skills you get depends on your role. So DPS gets some utility skills that help them do their job better, like lowering aggro, recovering some health, some debuff, etc. While tanks get skills that makes their job easier like reduction damage, aggro generation, etc. Other roles get skills that fits their place in the party.
All jobs had some skills removed, changed and some new ones added.
All jobs got a Job Gauge. It is hard to explain it but it is kinda like a graphical way to see how much you have built up of something to unleash a special skill. It will probably make more sense when I talk about monk.
There was a lot of other changes too but for the sake of this post I think these are the main ones.
While a lot of people were taking advantage of the Early Access to the latest expansion to the game, Storm Blood, I was just reaching the lands of the first expansion, Heavensward. That isn't to say however that I didn't get affected by Storm Blood, quite the contrary as it did bring a lot of mechanical changes to all levels of the game. Just for the sake of keeping things tidy and clean I will talk about those in a later post.
As someone who literally has ADD it was hard to focus for long on doing nothing but the storyline to reach Heavensward. But it was so worth it. I said this before and I am certain I will say this many times again but Final Fantasy XIV has one of the best storytelling in games. In fact, I can only imagine how much it sucked for people who played before the expansion was released to wait to see how the story continued as there was so much going on!
Fortunately I didn't have to wait that much because as soon as I finished it I made my way straight to Ishgard, the city that was previously unavailable to me.
Since my last post I have been working little by little to advance in several areas of the game. On the adventuring front I am half-way through the main storyline of patch 2.3. That puts me about halfway to Heavensward. After that it is the storyline of patch 2.4, 2.5 and 2.55 with the last two appearing to be about the same number of quests as the previous patches when put together.
One thing I find interesting is that all these patches have a mini-storyline that seems to be forming an arch that I guess will have a conclusion by the end of patch 2.55. They also seem to serve the purpose of putting the seeds for future content expansions. Well, future for the time they were released. My impression is that they were the seeds for Heavensward and Storm Blood (which should be released in about a week or so)
And of course, they also introduced new content, like the Rogue class and the Ninja job, new Primal Battles and so on.
Anyway, if things keep going smoothly I might be able to get to Heavensward before the end of the week.
Last night I finally finished the main story line of "A Realm Reborn". That is the storyline that came when the game was relaunched as version 2.0. I thought that once I finished it I could start on Heavensward content (that is the first expansion of the game) but no, apparently there is another storyline they added via patches before the release of that expansion. So that is what I will be doing now.
In any case, I liked how it ended. It felt very satisfying and I am glad I saw it through the end. One side note about the way the story is handled is that they make sure to show that the important NPCs aren't sitting idly by while the world is being threatened. Some times you see them helping you directly in cutscenes, or even in some battles. Other times you just know they are doing something important off-screen. This feels very refreshing after so many games where I felt that I was the only one doing *anything* to save everyone while some big shot is just sitting doing nothing but barking orders at me.
It finally happened! I got Rakuno to monk level 50 this weekend!
To be completely honest I didn't want to level him this fast. But then I was hit with what I call "Clothing Store Accident" by which I mean, my character looked so terrible that I just couldn't stand it. It started when Rakuno had to wear another set of gear that looked like the subligar, a look that one of my Free Company (FC for short) mates dubbed "The Voldo Life". ** Anyone who leveled a Pugilist knows the pain of wearing that kind of outfit.
So I tried to level as fast as possible to 45 to do my next monk job quest, get a new pair of pants (plus other monk gear) and go back to leveling at my own pace. That didn't too long and I was relatively happy with my new look. It didn't last very long.
So, yeah, it finally happened. I got bored playing Rakuno as a midlander hyur (Final Fantasy XIV version of ye olde human) and decided to change him into a Miqo'te.
Now before someone point this out: Yes, I am aware of the irony since the original Rakuno in Everquest 2 was a ratonga. So I will just use the excuse that Mr Tyranny suggested on Twitter and say that Rakuno is doing undercover work. Those Miqo'tes will never know what hit them! Mwahahahaha!
... Ah-hem. Or that is what I would say if the ratongas were plotting something. Which they are not. They are a peaceful and friendly race. This undercover mission is just for the purposes of studying the miqo'te in their natural environment. It is all FOR SCIENCE!, you see?
If I ever regret this I will change him back to midlander hyur. Or maybe some other race.
I was planning to post about something else today but since I've been pretty addicted to Final Fantasy XIV that wasn't possible. So I might as well write what I was planning to Monday now and then figure out something to write that day (spoiler: It will probably be more Final Fantasy XIV. :p)
I a monk!
I became Pugilist level 30 this week. Since I already have the (current) required level 15 Lancer class I went ahead and started on the quest to unlock the Monk job. The quest was pretty amusing with some unexpected moments and the two NPCs that were part of it were pretty interesting.
A long while ago, back when it was announced that version 1.0 of Final Fantasy XIV was going to end so they could relaunch the game with better mechanics, I was totally fine with it. As I said back then the game had a good core but too many systems that were confusing or obtuse to use. Plus during the whole road to the relaunch they were very good at communicating what changes they planned to make, why they were going to make those changes and they also kept channels open for feedback. A lot of it I could completely agree with too. It were changes that the game needed.
Then came the beta for version 2.0, the version where the game was going to be relaunched at as a "Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn". Since I played during 1.0 I was automatically allowed to participate in that beta. But I wasn't able to play more than a few minutes before logging out, heartbroken for what the came turned out to be.
You know what they say about the plans of men and mice.... And so it was for me, with my plans for August being derailed almost to the point where I didn't get any of the stuff I was planning done. It started simple enough, like all my derailings usually happen, by getting more interested into another game, namely in this case Dark Souls. It was one of those games that makes you forget about all other games and want to play just that one. I just stopped playing because I got to a part I wasn't figuring out how to get past and got annoyed enough to get some time off it. Then a few days later after that my CPU started overheating when I played pretty much any game. I was able to fix it but it did end up leading to other hardware problems which I didn't fix yet. But at least I can play games now without my computer getting so hot I could fry eggs on it. :p
There were also a few other things here and there that has left me with a scattered brain but those are the more "note-worthy" ones. So my original intention was to make this a monthly thing, where I'd set some goals to accomplish in Everquest 2 and by the beginning of the next month see what I actually got done and else I intended to do for the new month. But with my current state of mind I really don't feel like playing Everquest 2. In fact, I don't feel like playing anything in particular right now. If I do play anything this month I might just putter around in different games. So for the time being this little experiment ends here. I might pick it up again at a another date when I feel more involved with Everquest 2 (or even another MMO).
With all that rambling aside, what did I actually accomplish in the game? More than I actually thought!
Well, that didn't take long. One of my short term goals for August, getting Kahlef to 100 level warden, has been completed just today. It makes me wonder if they tweaked the XP curve because I remember that before I took my break from the game, getting Rakuno from 98 to 99 felt slow. Now getting those levels felt just right.
What I still have to do with Kahlef is gearing him up. Since I don't have the right crafters in Crushbone I can't craft it nor can I buy it off the broker since Kahlef is pretty much broke. That leaves me with depending on the drops from Advanced Solos and nameds in Tranquil Sea and Phantom Sea. So, yeah, it will take some time.
In a random note, I found doing the Zavith'loa advanced solo instances with a healer is pretty hard. All that because in both instances there is one named fight that requires a bit of kiting. And since the mercenaries are too dumb for these kind of strategy it made things difficult. I found that the hard way when trying to kill Beastmaster Kau'mua. I tried at least 3 times using a regular tank mercenary, Tink-Tank, but failed miserably. Tried several different strategies, just kiting or with Tink-Tank distracting the Beastmaster's pet while I fought the Beasmaster himself or with me distracting the pet while Tink-Tank fought the Beastmaster and nothing worked. Then I tried with a DPS mercenary with me "tanking". That didn't work out well either. So in a desperate attempt, I tried a cheesy strategy. I decided to try a healer mercenary. An elite one at that. So I went back to Freeport and got myself Kluuron V'Lorn. That not only worked but the Beasmaster went down pretty fast. That mercenary is just that stupidly strong.
The other fight I had a similar trouble was with the Fiery Effigy of Clotl'thoa in Hidden Caldera. For that one I already went in with Kluuron in toll but I still died a couple times until I started to manually tell the mercenary to back off when the Effigy's buff started to get too high and just tell him to manually attack the mobs I was attacking. It was annoying but at least it worked and now I know I can do both of those dungeons. I also decided to just keep using Kluuron with Kahlef now even if it feels pretty stupid to use a healer mercenary when I am playing a healer. But you can't argue with results!
So that was my accomplishment in EQ2 for today. Now time to focus in other things in the game!