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.

Playing FFXI on Nasomi

keen-ffxi-nasomi

A couple of members in the K&G Community insisted that I give Nasomi, the new(ish?) FF11 “community” server, a try. I thought it was pretty new, but looking around I think it has been here for a few years. I know that people are starting to talk about it more, and there’s a lot of buzz around the population growing with new players to almost 1000 people. Now, I’m one of them.

It took a lot of insisting for me to finally buckle and go through the rigorous installation process. The detailed instructions are 12 pages long. Having played FF11 when it very first came to NA, I can tell you it wasn’t very easy back then either. PlayOnline sucks.

I’ll skip the boring details of my epic installation adventure, and how it took hours to get my controller to work, and get right to the details.

My character is named Keen, and I’m a Red Mage. I decided on Red Mage because I like the idea of being good at lots of stuff. I know that RDM are decent combined with other classes — or I hope so. I’m probably going to do RDM combined with Summoner. Can people confirm that this is a good combination of classes?

FFXI is confusing. I come from the EverQuest era of MMORPGs, so I’m typically okay with little to no hand holding, but this is on a whole different level. Much of the confusion stems from the UI, which is designed to hide menus behind menus behind odd labels. Using a controller makes it seem less wonky (keyboard/mouse forget about it), but that’s just the controls. Finding things in-game confuses me. Knowing what to do in-game confuses me as well. I pretty much had no idea where to go or what to do.

Thankfully I’m playing alongside one of my friends. He is guiding me by the hand around all the places in town where I’m supposed to go. Otherwise, I think I might still be running around trying to find out how to leave the city.

I reached level 5 last night. Seems like leveling up is similar to EverQuest: Go out and kill stuff. I like that model! I like it even more when I’m in a group, which apparently starts around level 13. I’ll give it a shot until then and see what the game is supposed to feel like.

Anyone else playing? Anyone have FF11 advice? I’m going in pretty open-minded while hoping that find that MMO experience I crave.

Class Orders Won’t Be Garrisons, But Close Enough?

WoW Class Order Hall Missions

I haven’t followed WoW’s Legion expansion development very closely, but seeing that I am now back in WoW and playing on a weekly (not daily) basis it might be time to start following it a bit more.

You might recall from my last trip into WoW that I liked the Garrisons introduced in WoD. I also enjoy games like Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, etc., where I’m building up something and nurturing a city form or whatever it may be. I like having my own space and upgrading it based on playing and making decisions. I thought most of the Garrison features were quite nice.

My biggest gripe with the Garrisons were that the rest of the game didn’t matter. Looks like Blizzard agrees that this was a main problem — perhaps most people agree? In the three months I played WoW, I think I went to Orgrimmar or a main city once — ONCE! My last month was spent logging in to send my guys out on missions, running a dungeon or two, but mostly just focusing on my Garrison’s rewards. They were too good not too, and as a result deflated the rest of the game.

I realize that Garrisons are/were quite polarizing. People either like them (like me) or they loathe their very existence. This loathing came into light yesterday when a WoW designer/dev commented on recent statements from Alpha testers that the new class Order Halls were starting to feel the same way. Watcher (the dev) seems pretty open about making it fact that “mission tables” are not the plan, and that questing (this big epic quest story thing) will be the main reward mechanism; AKA getting out in the world and having a quote, “proper MMO experience.”

I’m glad to see Watcher noting that there are players who enjoy aspects of the mission-table experience — that’s me. I like the idea of the epic stories tying into my experience. I seem to be getting the best of both worlds.

Class Order Halls and their missions are on the top of my anticipated-feature list.

Nostalrius Shuts Down, People Still Want Fun

The WoW emulator Nostalrius was shut down a couple of days ago.  Though I enjoy playing on and supporting many emulator projects, I never partook in the nostalgia of the classic WoW experience on Nalstalrius. It’s not a pleasant experience to remember plaing 15 hours a day, competing to be the first to kill all of the raid bosses and get the best loot.

My sources tell me that Nostalrius broke the cardinal rule of running an emulator by asking for money. If that really was the case, then shame on them. They were brave for doing a WoW emulator anyway since Blizzard actually has the money to defend their properties.

People crave nostalgia. That’s why Nostalrius was attracting people, and why P99, SWGEmu, and so many others bring in people by the tens or even hundreds of thousands. If what was is fun, and what’s now is not, then we want what was. If you followed that, it’s that simple.

Blizzard has no plans of starting a WoW Emulator — I’ll put an “at this time” in there since they are a for-profit company and they’ll go where the money goes. But other companies like Daybreak Games have seen the interest and capitalized on it by putting up official “legacy” servers for players to enjoy.

In a world where people think something is a failure if it doesn’t have millions of players and millions of subs, it’s always nice to see that people flock to small experiences in numbers that can be profitable. The hype and inflated sense of what should be really seem to be completely ignored if something isn’t ‘new’.

I encourage people to keep playing on ‘classic’ or ‘legacy’ servers whether official or emulated (As long as its legal or not yet deemed illegal). I think it’s all about finding what’s fun for you, and if that’s playing EverQuest how it was back in 1999 or WoW how it was back in 2004 then so be it. The more we tell video game developers what we enjoy, or show them by playing those games, the more likely we are to have them provide it for us.

Google Glitches, WoW Leveling, and Clash Royale

coalfistgronnling

Today was a crazy 14 hours work day, and I didn’t accomplish any of the gaming things I wanted to do.

Google glitched out and their Google My Business Knowledge Panel disappeared for half of my clients. I had to figure out my own fix while Google gets their act together. If yours disappeared, simply go into your Google My Business profile, Manage Location, Edit (red button) your profile, click the Edit button (pencil) in the address section, then Edit marker location. Then simply move the map marker a tad. In five minutes your Knowledge Panel will be back, your reviews restored, your local listings back, etc. April Fools turned into a nightmare.

I did end up playing WoW for about 40 minutes with my friends. We went into a couple of dungeons, I gained a few levels, and we got a little bit closer to getting out of Burning Crusade. Oh yeah, didn’t I tell you? I’m playing again while waiting for Legion. ::shrug:: Whatever, it’s fun enough.

My friend who has always kept the faith with WoW and never stopped playing (I don’t know how you do it man…) gave me a really neat Gronnling mount. Awesome looking thing! Very cool.

As for Clash Royale, the only rock in my life of gaming right now, I think I have a deck that works 75% of the time. I’m bouncing between 1300 and 1400 trophies. The key is Giant Skeleton and dual pushing. If I get overrun and forced to play defense I lose pretty fast. Still no Baby Dragon or Skeleton Army. Bleh.

Hope you all had a relatively good tongue-in-cheek-no-funny-at-all day!