Does the Legion finally fall?

Despite spending the majority of my time recently in Eorzea, that doesn’t mean I’ve been completely ignorant to the recent announcement about Legion over in WoW. I’m honestly just… cautiously anxious about what’s coming into the game in 7.0, considering how dissatisfied I’ve been with WoD so far. There are, however, a few things coming with Legion that I’m not excited about at all.
Continue reading “Does the Legion finally fall?”

A Long Overdue FF14 Post

Miri and her waifu, Puff of Darkness

Miri and her Waifu

Dear WoW, I’ve been cheating on you for quite some time with Final Fantasy XIV, and I don’t even care who gets angry about it. My character is an adorable little Dunesfolk Lalafellin lass named Mirian Miri. I picked the game up on a friend’s suggestion back in late October (the same day patch 2.4 dropped, which introduced the rogue class and Ninja job), and I’ve been having a blast since the I created my lalapaladin. Though paladin (PLD) is her main job, I’ve gotten all of the 2.0 jobs up to 35+ on the same character, with most of them hitting level 50 and including the crafting jobs as well. Swapping a job in FF14 is as simple as changing your main-hand weapon/tool, so there’s really very little need to roll multiple characters to play different jobs unless you’re really into it for RP/raiding reasons. If you haven’t tried FF14 yet, I suggest you check it out with their 14-day free trial. Be sure to get a Refer-A-Friend code from the /ffxivraf subreddit, which rewards you with a cute little headband that gives you a 25% experience boost up til level 25. The trial version caps you out at level 20, however, but it’s a good chance to pick up and try out other jobs as well. If I had any one real complaint about the game, it’s with how much Square Enix babies you at the very beginning. The first 15 or so levels are literally one very long, very extended tutorial that treats the player as someone fresh to the MMO genre. As such, it gets a lot of heat from people coming to FF14 from other MMOs for being “too slow” and “boring.” I myself wasn’t very enchanted with it during my trial period, but after I got past the level 15 hump and was able to try out the other jobs, I really began to enjoy the game so much more. Please, please don’t let this act as a deterrent… the game tells a great story AND has familiar gameplay reminscent of WoW. Another common complaint about FF14 is the fact that there is one very large, very meta questline (henceforth referred to as the main scenario quest, or MSQ) that everyone is forced to go through just to get from level 1 to level 50. Then there’s five patches of additional MSQ questing just to be able to reach the point where you can start with the recently released expansion content. It’s all worth taking your time to play through and enjoy–don’t rush through it, and don’t try to skip too many cutscenes. Yes, there are a lot of them (especially towards the end of the level 50 2.0 stuff), but they’re worth every second of watching. So, now with WoW basically being free to play for me thanks to too much gold with nothing to spend it on but WoW Tokens, I can pay $13/month for my FF14 sub and not feel guilty about it at freaking all. Expect more FF14-related posts from me!

Silver PG is NOT Hard

As you probably noticed, it’s been a while since my last blog. I’ve honestly not played WoW much recently outside of Saturday evening raids of BRF normal mode with my friends, and that hasn’t been exactly exciting for me due to a few reasons. But that’s for another blog entry.

I know I’ve talked about this on and off since the launch of Warlords, but honestly I’m pretty damn fed up with the vocal minority whining and bawling over the silver proving grounds requirement for random queuing Warlords heroic dungeons, especially now that we’re nearly six months into this expansion. I’ve done the tanking, healing and DPS PG scenarios up to gold on several different classes and specs with gear literally straight out of Nagrand/Spires of Arak in one or two shots. Continue reading “Silver PG is NOT Hard”

Blackrock Foundry Gear Boost

For those of you who may have been living under a rock, or just frankly don’t really care about raiding in general this expansion, Blizzard has decided to boost the item levels of all gear within the Blackrock Foundry raid zone by 5 item levels. This puts the gear on par item level-wise with higher difficulties of Highmaul. If you need a quick reference:

Highmaul difficulty & ilvl Blackrock Foundry Difficulty & ILVL
LFR – 640 LFR – 655, 660 for “LFR Set” pieces
Normal – 655 Normal – 670 (all)
Heroic – 670 Heroic – 685 (all)
Mythic – 685 Mythic – 700 (all)

Obviously add 6 item levels for what your warforged pieces out of BRF will have when you go to the armory. Despite some of the stupid comments I’ve read on MMO-C, Blizzard Watch, and the forums, the fact remains that this change was needed.

My raid group this tier consists of myself and a few friends who honestly don’t have the time to raid with a guild on a set schedule for 9+ hours a week. We’ve also unfortunately left our previous guild due to a raid team merger for mythics in Warlords that simply wasn’t working out for all parties involved, so we’ve opted instead to stick to raiding normal mode. Highmaul as an introduction raid for the expansion wasn’t too terribly overcomplicated with mechanics aside from Ko’ragh and Imperator Mar’gok — we started raiding in the ogre city nearly a month after the zone launched and managed to get 6/7N our first time in there, with a group comprised of half pugged raiders. Heroic modes in general don’t change mechanics at all, therefore the only real “challenge” is that things hit harder and that mechanic that might not have outright killed you on normal WILL one-shot you on heroic difficulty.

Much like Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring during tier 14, Blizzard decided to delay the openings of those raid zones by a few weeks to get people’s feet wet and to make the previous “unlocked raid” viable. Where they fell short during Mists was unlocking HoF and ToES (both raids which dropped not only the actual tier sets, but also had higher item level loot in general) far, far too soon and almost completely made doing normal-mode MSV absolutely pointless.

Fast forward to Warlords, and you have almost a similar issue arising before this change was implemented. BRF’s opening was delayed by Blizzard for TWO MONTHS. That alone gave people and guilds in general two months to farm gear out of Heroic Highmaul (670) and go into Normal BRF (665 at launch) completely outgearing it as a whole. Yes, mechanics on certain fights (BLAST FURNACE, arguably Kromogh and Iron Maidens) can’t be overpowered by gear alone, but for these people who went into normal mode in full (or near it) heroic+ gear out of Highmaul? Yeah, you’re going to have a hell of an easier time beating fights tuned around 660+ than someone who is coming out of normal HM.

With how powerful the normal mode and higher tier sets bonuses are this tier for many specs, it’s easy to see why a heroic guild would be farming and replacing 670 pieces for 665 tier. And speaking from the point of view of someone who has only cleared normal mode Highmaul and is sitting at 3/7 heroic, it’s disheartening to do some of these BRF fights for gear that might only be slightly better optimized than what I already had.

TL;DR: Good change is good, if it helps get more people motivated to trying normal BRF without completely negating Highmaul, fantastic. It also gives people a reason to try higher difficulties in Highmaul as “farm” content when they hit a brick wall in BRF as well.

What Do You Like To Play?

My first foray into “MMOs” goes back to the days of me playing on a SMAUG-based MUD called Realms of Despair. Unlike most people who started playing the game, I wasn’t introduced to RoD until I was in my second year of college thanks to a long-time online friend who had played it for a couple of years before I started. Before that, I played classic FPS games such as Doom and Duke Nukem 3D, as well as Descent (all three titles, though the third installment was severely underwhelming) so I wasn’t completely new to the types of folks you’ll encounter in various facets of online gaming. Doom, Duke Nukem, and Descent were pretty straightforward games… you ran around until you found you opponent and blew them to Hell and back.

The class I started playing on RoD, oddly enough, was a vampire. Queue the “lol emo” comments, but for the MUD that was actually a decent all-around class to start playing the game with, as you didn’t have to worry about being overly squishy (like a mage) or constantly running out of mana (since your ‘energy’ was gained from leeching life out of enemies). It was there I learned concepts of “aggro”, “damage”, and group play–things you’d find in a regular graphical MMO today. It was also the game where I learned the beginnings of situational awareness. You see, since RoD was text-based, there weren’t any telegraphs or graphical warning signs to tell you when things were going to go south while fighting a particular mob. You had to pay attention to the scrolling text for emotes or room descriptions that warned you about a particular ability or danger ahead, or else you could find yourself without weapons, armor, or your life.

It was also the game where my altoholic bug began to manifest itself. By the time I had stopped playing the game nearly six and a half years later, I had leveled or owned over 50 characters, with multiples of each class in some cases. Unlike on WoW and other MMOs, I was able to create characters and trade/give them away. (Password = ownership was the philosophy of that game, and each character had the ability to have their own unique passwords.) One of my favorite classes to level and eventually play at max level was a paladin, which much like its WoW counterpart, could go sword and board for extra survivability, or could go two-handed or dual wield (which makes it more like a warrior or DK in this aspect) for added DPS. Paladins there had some healing capability and other utility (blessings, a “revive” skill) as well.

When I later emigrated over to MMOs, the first class I picked up in a game called Runes of Magic was the Knight, which when you cross-classed it with their Priest, was essentially a protection paladin. It did pathetic damage in raids, dungeons, and open world, but you were damn near unkillable and acted as a bastion of light-empowered fortitude for your groups. The reverse combination, Priest/Knight, was one of the best classes for raid healing, though it did share a similar playstyle to the holy paladin outside of being unable to wear plate gear. Eventually I made my way to WoW and fell in love with the Paladin class there, though sometimes it’s waxed and waned depending on whatever stupidassed decisions the devs have handed down with their gameplay. When I hung out in RIFT I enjoyed the hell out of playing the Justicar (Cleric-based tank that was essentially MoP-style Protadin, generating the majority of its threat with self/overheals), ArcheAge I played a tanky-toon for about 20 levels similar to a paladin, and now with my recent foray into Final Fantasy XIV I’m playing, you guessed it, a Paladin as my primary job.

I still haven’t nailed down what exactly it is about the paladin class that draws me to it, but I can absolutely say without a doubt that I enjoy tanking in general, and not JUST because I can level faster via dungeon grinding. Perhaps that’s the biggest draw of it to me, but I just love being a plate wearing badass with a huge shield and sword/mace in hand, ready to be the frontline for the rest of my friends/groups. How about you?