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Members of the resistance by their campfires

Stormblood's release was something I was really hyped about for several reasons. The main one probably being that we finally get to see Ala Migho, a place I've heard about since back way in 1.0 and always imagined how it looked.

Back then I didn't have much of a point of reference to imagine it since all mentions were always like "Oh, yeah, Ala Migho that place that was conquered by the Garlean empire".  With ARR I finally started to have some image of it with the existence of Little Ala Migho. Even that paled in comparison to what I saw when I stepped into the soils of the real Ala Migho. 🙂

But I am getting ahead of myself. This post will be mostly what I've seem so far which is about from level 60 to 64. Also MILD SPOILERS ABOUT THE STORY ahead.

...continue reading "[FFXIV] Stormblood – First Impressions"

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.

...continue reading "Returning to Final Fantasy XIV"

Rakuno sitting in front of the monk temple in Qeynos

This post is part of The 30 Days or ARPil event created by Pizza Maid of Pizzamaid.moe. You can find more information about it in here and the 30 questions here. If you are interested on seeing who is participating on the event there is a block to the right with all blogs that are part of it too. Let me know if I forgot someone or put someone in there by mistake. 🙂

All my answers  will be about my character Rakuno, my ratonga monk in Everquest 2. From this point on it will be him doing all the talk!

Question 2: What is your character’s most prominent features?

My most prominent features? You mean, besides being a ratonga in Qeynos? Alright, maybe being a ratonga in this city isn't such a big deal anymore since the queen gave her blessings for the entire race to just move in and become citizens. Something about correcting an historical mistake or something. I don't care much about politics so I don't really know what that  was all about. And it is not like I mind it either, I mean, Qeynos is a good city and any ratonga with right mind will end moving here anyway. Plus it makes less people give stare at me when I cross the street.

Uh... What was the question again? Oh, yeah, my most prominent features. After people get over the fact I am a ratonga then they get curious about my eye-patch. It is one of those things that when you lose a part of your body people wonder how that happened. Of course, people don't go outright asking that right away. At least not the polite kind of people. Most try to get to know a bit about yourself first then try to ask about it in a tactful manner. I never mind telling the story about that though. I figure there might be a lesson to someone in there, specially if they are kids. Although lately I decided to use an eye-glass instead. They can be uncomfortable but at least it makes it easier when I need to use my goggles to tinker something up.

You want to know how I lost my eye? Well, keep buying me drinks and I will tell you.

2

Resolutions - Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Seems like the fashionable thing to do in the blogosphere right now is to make a list of planned games to play in 2016. Although I am not fashionable by any meaning of the word I still thought it might be fun to do. :p

Anyhoo, like any kind of list like this there is no absolute guarantee I will follow it. But these are definitely the games that have been in my mind lately therefore making them the most likely for me to play next year, even if it is just in the first few months of the year.

MMOs

I haven't played any MMO for months. I just haven't been in the right mood for them. This is also unlikely to change in the following months. Still there has been a few that have been swimming in my head in case my mood changes.

Final Fantasy XIV - At the time of Final Fantasy XIV relaunch I found it just wasn't for me. To be fair, it isn't like they lied or anything. A Realm Reborn was exactly what they were promising for months when the whole thing was announced. It just wasn't the kind of game I wanted to play back then. Still I have a lot of respect for them for being honest and communicative about what they were playing. Plus it was exactly what the game needed, not to mention much better than it was before. Again, it was just a case of not being my type of cup of tea back then.

And despite all that I still miss the game world. There was a certain beauty and artistry to it that few other MMOs have managed to rival. So it makes me wonder if it isn't worth just dealing with the parts that I don't like much to partake in the parts that I do like.

Guild Wars 2 - My relationship with Guild Wars 2 has been complicated. I never really disliked it but I stopped playing for various reasons, part of them being a depression I was going through and my friends disliking the game and leaving it. So much time passed, so many changes went by that I just found hard to come back. But recently I have been reading "Sea of Sorrows" a novel based on the game that tells the period when Orr rose from the bottom of the ocean and Lion's Arch turned into the place that it is today. This novel has been making me really miss my charr, my asura and other characters. So I think it is about time to leave behind all the complicated emotions I got associated with the game and move on with it.

The Repopulation - This is a game that I got more because my friends are interested into it. But there are some interesting features about it plus it is a Sci-Fi game. I am all for playing games just to check what kind of interesting, unique features they have. The fact it is also a Sci-Fi game might be a good change of pace from all the fantasy games I have been consuming the last years too.

Single Player Games

There aren't that many games I am looking forward in the 2016 but these are all games I am drool just thinking about them.

XCom 2 - When the first XCom was announced I was apprehensive. There had been so many shallow and soulless remakes of classic games. I was afraid XCom would just be another one of those. Nothing could be further from that. XCom turned out to be able to keep the spirit of the original game as well as being its own thing.  And with XCom 2 it seems they are taking all the good parts of the first one, adding a bunch of new cool stuff and making it much bigger and better. I also like that the sequel goes from the premise that we lost in the first game, the aliens conquered Earth and now we are rebels that have to take it back. The only thing I find funny is that for some reason the XCom organization wants the same leader who lost everything to begin with to come back to lead them. I mean, doing such a terrible job does not lead much faith that this time things will be different. :p

In any  case, this is the game I am most looking forward to in 2016. 🙂

Deus Ex: Manking Divided - I loved Deux Ex: Human Revolution. It was a pretty fun shooter/stealthy game with a decent story and good characters. There were some parts the story just didn't work out so well for me and the required boss fights were silly. But at least in the latter they seem to have learned their lesson and there will have a lot more freedom on how to deal with bosses in the second game. As for story... I am not sure I buy the premise of it but at I am willing to see where it goes before judging it.

Dinivity: Original Sin 2 - I kickstarted the first Divinity: Original Sin by a recommendation of a friend and because I liked what the developers said in their campaign and in interviews. Turns out this was a pretty good investment since the game was one of the best RPGs I played in quite a while. So when they launched a Kickstarter campaign for the sequel I backed it up without a second thought.  The day this game will be released can't come fast enough! In the mean time I will just have to content myself with playing the Enhanced Edition of the first one and following every update of the development of the second one!

The Backlog

My crusade against my backlog of games may never end but there are a few I really want to get out of the way as soon as possible.

Dragon Age: Inquisition - When this one was released I was feeling a big fatigue of Bioware games, to the point I wasn't even sure if their games were the kind I enjoyed anymore. So I decided to sit this one out, see what other people thought about it and if it turned out I liked what I heard then I would buy it whenever it had an Ultimate/Game of the Year/Super-Uber-Duper-Really-Complete Edition of the game AND it had a nice enough discount. Well, that happened and I Intent to play it... as soon as I recreate my first (and cannonical in my head) character for Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2 since I lost those saves and I want to see what kind of impact their actions had for the third game. Yes, I know I could just use the Tapestry to set the major decisions but it is not the same thing. :p

Fallout 4 - Kind of in the same boat as Dragon Age: Inquisition. The difference being that I hated Oblivion and Fallout 3 to the point that Bethesda dropped of my list of "Developers That Makes Games I Enjoy". Skyrim helped to regain my trust in them somewhat but I was still skeptical about Fallout 4. Even more so when they announced that the player character would be voice acted. Considering how Bethesda's dialogue goes it just didn't inspire me with much confidence. Still, from what I hear they did quite a few things right with Fallout 4 so I am going to do the same thing I did with Dragon Age: Inquisition: wait for a definitive edition, that contains the base game and all DLCs, to be released, wait for that to go on sale and just then buy it. The only annoying thing is to avoid all interesting discussions about the game until then. :p

Pillars of Eternity - I tried to begin playing this game a couple of times. Although I loved what little I saw of the story and characters I just had trouble with the "Real Time With Pause" combat. You see, I hate "Real Time With Pause" combat. It isn't as good as actual real time combat, much less Turn Based combat. It is the main reason I was never able to get into the Baldur's Gate games (don't ask me how I got into Icewind Dale back in the days. I have no idea). Still, I think this is one of the cases where it is worth just sucking up the bad parts because the good parts are so good that you will be remembering them for years.

The Witcher - No, I am not forgetting a number in there. It is the actual first Witcher game. You see, I really want to play the Witcher 3. But before that I want to play the first and second Witcher games. And my problem with the first Witcher game is that the combat  mechanics are just clunky. I can see what they were trying and there were some good ideas in there. It is just the implementation is just not that good in my opinion. Still the story seems good, some of the characters are interesting and if Witcher 3 turns out to be just as 10% good of everything I hear then it will be more than worth to deal with any terrible mechanics its predecessors may have.

 

I think those are the major games that I want to play next year. There are a few others of course, but I don't have as much strong feelings about those games as these ones. And to end this off, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year and all the best in these holidays! 🙂

2

Casimir doing a hello... supposedly!

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!

...continue reading "[EQ2] My goals for August 2015 – The results"

Kahlef sitting at the docks of one his houses

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!

Rakuno pondering

Usually the way I play is a pretty ad-hoc way with some nebulous goals in mind. But I thought it might be interesting to try formalizing these goals for a month then look back next month to see how many of them I accomplished, which ones I didn't and why. If this works out I might make it a regular thing. So these are my goals for EQ2 in the month of August. Keep in mind they aren't in any particular order!

Short term goals

These are the goals I believe can be achieved in a month. Well, as long as nothing happens to keep me away from the game or my fickle nature kicks in and I go on a sabbatical from MMOs. :p

Getting Kahlef to level 100 adventurer and gearing him up

Getting the levels should be pretty easy. He is already level 99 and some percent towards the next level. That should happen in the next few days in fact. Gearing him up will be a bit more complicated. I do not have a tailor in the Crushbone server yet to make him some level 98 mastercrafted gear. Actually I don't have any crafter that could make him some level 98+ mastercrafted gear. I don't even know if I have  enough rares to do it anyway. So I will have to rely on whatever I can get as drops from the Advanced Solo dungeons and Yellow Gems to upgrade those gear. It will take a while and depend on the RNG gods so might not be all that feasible in a month.

...continue reading "[EQ2] My goals for August 2015"

All of Rakuno's Antonia Bayle characters in one picture!

One of my longest goals in Everquest 2 has been to have one of each crafting (there are 9) at the level cap. Well, this weekend it finally happened! Heusuni, my weaponsmith (the second ratonga from left to right in the picture above) finally dinged level 100 on... Friday night, I believe (my memory is a bit hazy from the whole weekend). And with that I have full independence as far as crafting goes which should make it easier to gear up my characters as they level up.

There are still some crafting related things I have to accomplish with them. Some quests for advanced recipes and finishing Qho's (aka the little devil spawn) questline for the harvesting pony. But I will do those slowly over time.

I will also have to repeat the same feat over in the Crushbone server because... apparently I am a masochist and playing at another server at the same time seemed like a good idea at the time. This is another thing I won't worry much about right now though.

What I really want to spend some time now that this goal has been accomplished is spending a bit more time on the adventure side of the game and doing some more decoration. I have been neglecting both a lot and it is about time the alts got some love in those areas. As always, we'll see how it goes!

4

Rakuno and Perrin scheming

After many months camping for the elite mercenary Perrin Wanderhoof I was finally able to hire him. Now he is mine! All mine! Mwahahahaha!

Now for those wondering what an elite mercenary is and why it is a big deal for me, let me give a quick explanation about the mercenary system in Everquest 2. Back in the expansion, Age of Discovery, the Everquest 2 developers introduced a system where we could hire mercenaries that had the same classes as players and would take one slot in the group. The idea wasn't for them to substitute real players but to make it easier for certain classes to solo as well as to make small parties of two or three people into something viable. The common mercenaries are weaker than regular players and can be found in any of the player cities. All you have to do is go them, talk to them and choose the option to hire the mercenary. Each player can only have one mercenary hired at a time plus they need to pay an hourly rate for them (dependent on level).

Now there is also the elite mercenaries who are much more powerful than the common mercenaries as well as more costly. The first ones you could only find if you were lucky to see one of them in the overworld and beat someone else to hire them. Because once they are hired they aren't available again for a few days. I  guess the developers were dismayed about how little use those mercenaries saw as they eventually changed the system for those to a contract drop in certain dungeons that can then be used to hire certain mercenaries. I believe the contracts may also be tradeable, not too sure about that right now.

Anyway, Perrin Wanderhoof is one of those old elite mercenaries, where you need to find in the overworld. He is a healer so I was hoping he would be a good help for Rakuno to tackle some more challenging content. My strategy to get him was to camp a known spot where he spawns. I would log out Rakuno in that spot so every time I played him I would log right in to see if Perrin was up or not. That took months and yesterday, I logged on a whim, just to check it out, not expecting him to be there. Much to my surprise Perrin was there and I didn't think twice before hiring him!

I haven't been able to test him out yet though as I am suffering from a flu from hell (I am getting better as you can see. :p). I also feel a bit bad about retiring Raffik now since that little ratonga saved Rakuno's hide more times than I can count. But after trying to get Perrin for so long I intent to make this mercenary earn his pay. :p

2

Grulog worshipping by the altar of Erollisi Marr

Considering the popularity of Erollisi Marr, the goddess of love, I always thought that she taking worshippers again would come with a lot more fanfare. Instead it only came as another announcement in a paltry patch note. Said patch note even announced in their site either!

In any case, Grulog (pictured above), my troll dirge can finally worship his chosen deity (and yes, it isn't insane at all). It also means I won't have to build a custom, non-functional altar for Erollisi Day whenever I build Grulog's house. As for the quest line, I tried to do it but in the middle of the second one the servers crashed and stayed down for a long while. More than I was willing to wait. But going from what I was able to do I imagine it is like all the other deity quests: doing something completely tangential to understand better the deities' "teachings" and thus getting closer to them. Oh, well. I am just happy Grulog can worship her!