WoW & FF11

Little bit of an update on what I’m up to for you guys. Right now I’m playing two MMOs: World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 11. It’s the oddest feeling swapping between these two radically different games.

Where I’m at in WoW

I’m still on the Fenris server. You’ll recall I returned to WoW and followed my friends here to the Alliance side after spending most of my previous years as Horde. Thankfully, this server is PvE so I don’t have to worry about the ganking I experienced on Emerald Dream. I’m playing a Monk right now, and while it’s decently fun, I just don’t see myself playing one for too long. I was glad to see that Legion is announced for the end of August, and that I’ll be able to hopefully start my Gnome Hunter in the prelaunch patch in July (hoping it comes in July).

Right now I’m level 88’ish questing in Pandaria. My friends and I were leveling pretty tight together for 1-70, but due to play time conflicts and ::cough:: patience issues ::cough:: one person shot up quickly to 90, and has since jumped to 97 in like a day. Our spread looks like this: 85, 88, 98 (probably 100 now). My friend who is 85 hates questing — I do too, can’t blame him there — so he’s leveling slowly through BGs and the occasional dungeon.

With 4 months to go until Legion, I think I’ll keep my sub active. I have 3k gold to my name and I would like to see that number grow substantially before Legion launch. I’ll likely fiddle with my Garrison a bit and experience the Alliance side of WoD. I can already tell you that I think I like Alliance better. Something about the way everything looks appeals to me more than Horde.

Noobing it up in FF11

I’m playing on the Nasomi FF11 server with some of my other friends. I still have no idea what I’m doing. I orginally rolled my Taru RDM in Bastok, but decided that I would go San d’oria instead, so I deleted Keen and rerolled. Getting to level 5 really took no time at all, and I’m already level 7.5 again after just an hour or so of grinding. I’ve changed my mind and decided that instead of SMN/RDM I’ll go RDM/WHM. I think that’ll be a really good support character and welcomed into groups.

FF11 is way more complex than EQ. In EQ you simply pick a class, level up, and get abilities/gear. FF11 requires a lot more from the player in terms of decisions and what to do. I find myself at a complete loss, but that’s part of my adventure I suppose. Right now my goal is to slay rabbits until I can’t stand it anymore, then hopefully reach level 10 or so and head the this renowned “Dunes” place where supposedly grouping is easier.

The interface is FF11’s biggest problem. Everything from targeting to executing abilities takes an extra step. I feel like I’m slow and clunky to respond as I try and figure out something as simple as targeting a member of my group. I’m using a controller to make the experience feel less wonky, and with macros I think I might be getting the hang of it somewhat. I created a macro where if I press left trigger then A, I can cast cure on myself immediately — that’s pretty useful. I just have to figure out how a group will even work, and what’s expected from me. Should be interesting.  Again, if you have any FF11 tips — quests I should do, items I should look for, places I should go, etc. — please let me know. I’m a sponge ready to soak up the useful knowledge.

Stardew Valley Update: Slow Spring But A Very Profitable Summer

I have been completely enthralled by Stardew Valley this past week. It has definitely become the game I come home wanting to play.  I have always loved the Harvest Moon formula. I like planting crops, tending to animals, expanding my farm infrastructure, forming relationships, and exploring. Stardew Valley perfectly executes on each of these.

I like making decisions and I’m realizing more and more how decision making is absent from gaming. Even big AAA titles are launching as RPGs but lack true decision making. I like how I can choose what crops to plant, what animals to raise, how to build up my farm. I like that I literally wake up each morning, crawl out of bed, and decide what I do that day — the entire game depends on what I do each day.

My farm is coming along nicely. I started the game off slow. I think Spring was about 3/4 over before I really found my rhythm with daily chores. Summer came and I was ready! I planted 40 grape plants and got myself to the point where every 3 days I was making 20,000 gold from grapes alone. This allowed me to rocket ahead and purchase a coop, 4 chickens, tons of fencing, an expansion to my house, and upgrade just about all my tools to Steel. Oh, and I also built a horse stall. Summer was REALLY good to me.

Throughout the summer there were multiple thunder storms which allowed me to explore my way down into the mine because I didn’t have to worry about watering crops. I wasn’t met with any challenge whatsoever until level 80. Now there are caster monsters who also curse, and I’m being hit for 20% of my health each time. Definitely a difficulty spike that I will have to prepare for before I go back.

I’m now on the 10th day of Fall in Year 1. I decided to once again go with a renewable crop option: Cranberries. These give quite a lot of money and once you get past the 7 day initial growth they’ll pop out a few cranberries every few days. I think the profit/month numbers ended up being the highest @ 1101 gold per plant. I planted about 45 of them, so I’m hoping to see about 50,000 this Fall in crops. Sadly that’s a little lower than I was hoping, but I think I’ll make up the rest in animal products.

Sprinklers have introduced an interesting change in my daily routine. With all of my crops being watered automatically each morning, I quickly thought I had made the game a less interesting by having so much left over energy and time each day. I then felt silly when I realized I was only using 10% of my farm space and that I could easily let my sprinklers water some and I could double my production by manually watering another set. Doubled my output!

By the end of Fall I hope to have my barn complete with cows and pigs. I hope to be ready for a long winter. That’s all for now. I’ll let you know how the rest of Fall goes!

Adventure Log Update on Games I’m Playing

I’m slacking hard on blogging. Honest truth here is that I have a lot of games I’m enjoying right now. So let’s dive into an adventure log update!

Keen’s Adventure Log, stardate 2/10/2016.

Final Fantasy Explorers

I’m really drawn into FFE. Graev and I are having a good time taking out Eidolons and building up our characters. This is one of those weird situations where I know there’s no story, I know there’s not true ‘end’ to the game. Things just end when I feel like I’ve gotten the most out of making a character and I want to quit. I’m playing a Dark Knight right now, but I think I want to switch over to Red Mage. Something about chain casting and doing more magic with a balanced sword-wielding class seems fun. I’d feel more useful and less one-trick pony, though a DK’s one trick is to do a ton of damage.

A few of you asked about multiplayer. The multiplayer work where you turn on multiplayer mode in your singleplayer game. You then can choose local co-op or multiplayer co-op. You can make a room and have others join it, or join someone else’s room. These are like lobbies. You can password your room and let your friends join — that’s what we do.

Albion Online Closed Beta InviteAlbion Online

Really, really falling hard for Albion Online. Despite so much about the game being centered around GvG combat and taking territories, I find myself harvesting and crafting. What I’m worried about is the benefit of zerging. Zergs will win everything. Zergs will control the map, and despite it being huge it’ll still be that way. Zergs will feed crafters and outperform a solo crafter, or even a crafter backed by a group of friends or group of 10-15. It’s all about numbers.

The more I play, the more I realize there’s still a ton left to do to fix the balance. I think the devs know this. For example, crafting really is borked. To truly master one line of crafting would take like 2 years, but to get that far in combat takes 2 months. While needing to make crafting easier, they can’t make it something anything can just do on the side, otherwise they’ve ruined crafting. The entire game hinges upon how they balance this out. Please, PLEASE, get this right.

I’m about to upgrade my house and add more laborers. I’ll write up on those sometime here soon.

EverQuest

Every day I come home from work, go to the gym, and then log into EverQuest. It’s my routine. I think to myself, “I’m going to get a group and play!” Then I can’t find a group for 20-30 minutes. I get frustrated. I log off. None of this changes my desire to group. I -WANT- to group. I’m playing a Cleric FFS… It must be my schedule. I’m trying to play around 5:30pm Pacific time. Am I too late? Too early? It’s becoming frustrating enough that soon I’ll come home and go straight to Albion Online or FFE.

Double XP Weekend on Phinigel

We had a really fun weekend on the Phinigel EverQuest “True Box” Progression Server this weekend. Daybreak turned on double experience, even on progression servers, allowing us to propel ourselves forward at a little more reasonable rate. If you recall, experience on Phinigel is 66% slower than Ragefire and Lockjaw servers. Doubling the exp brought things a little closer to what they were on the other servers which is crazy since this weekend it felt like exp was absolutely flying. Discussions of experience gain always throw me into a catch-22.

EverQuest, for me, is entirely about the journey. I could not care any less about the end-game or raiding or my end-game gear, etc. I enjoy grouping, gaining experience, the challenges, and the world. All of that resonates with me in ways no other game can. Then double XP comes along and I’m loving how it accelerates the leveling process.  Wait, aren’t those two things on opposing ends of my enjoyment? I know, hence my catch-22. I think I like how it allows me to push characters has a rut or into new areas. People in general seem to be a little more focused on working together to take advantage of the XP gains, so groups are aplenty.

I ended up getting my Necromancer to level 19, and my Cleric was able to reach level 6 (almost 7) thanks to a few crushbone belts from my friend. So despite the fact that some people have already killed the dragons on this server (yes, it has been up for just over a week) and are decked out in amazing gear, I’m enjoying myself in the Estate of Unrest killing the undead while leveling up at a now snails pace thanks for having to work on the last day of the XP bonus.

There are about 10 weeks until Kunark comes out. I think that should be enough time to get 50, or close to it.

Phinigel Progress Report

I was crushed by sickness for 9999 points of damage over the past few days and completely unable to even think straight. I somehow managed to reach level 14 in EverQuest with a foggy head. My regular group consists of a Paladin, Rogue, Druid, and Necro (me) which can easily take out most of the group locations around our level. Unrest is, of course, the place to be at level 14 clearing yard trash and the main floor of the mansion.

I’m still working my way through understanding a lot of the changes to pets, exp, etc. on Phinigel. Daybreak hasn’t been very clear about why the changes were made, and players like me have had to really dig to not only identify the changes but try and formulate an understanding. EXP was nerfed hardest at a 60% hit. That means we’re leveling 1/3 the speed of Ragefire. My pet’s mitigation was nerfed quite hard at what feels like a 50-75% hit. Lastly, I think the damage is nerfed as well. I feel like the pets are back to true vanilla necro pets now and little more than a decent DoT.

Economics on Phinny are interesting. Krono will be in far less demand, and that shows. Right now a Krono is going for ~300-400 plat. People are trying to trade them for items that should only sell for 100 plat or so. That’s $18 (if you buy from Daybreak and not a RMT site) value for quite a pittance in-game.

Potions are the real draw. EXP pots cost 270 Daybreak Cash for a 25% increase which lasts 4 hours. Other potions like mana regen, attack speed increase, and stat gains are available. I haven’t dabbled in those at all, but I have purchased 2 exp potions to get me past tough spots. Can’t say I’ll be buying too many more.

Population wise the server is healthy. I feel like there are slightly fewer people than Ragefire, which was to be expected. Unrest has 6 zones going with 30+ people each.

All-in-all I’m captivated with my Necro and the server. I’ll hold off on participating in Krono or the economy until Kunark. Things are simply fun and EverQuesty! If you’re playing and want to join us, we’re in the level 14 range. We’d love to have you.