FFXIV Raiding and Chores

There hasn’t been anything eventful happening in the last 2 weeks but that’s kinda good I guess.

Managed to grab some loot from Tomestones and raids, getting Warrior to 570 and Bard to 569 before the patch, now there’s better gear. I just filled my weekly quota of 450 new new Tomestones and have yet to decide what to do, but White Mage is also very close to 570 due to Aphorism Tomestones, will probably buy the rest of the stuff tomorrow.

We did raid in the static for the first time last Sunday, trying Hydaelin (is that EX already? Or just Hard? I am still confused). It kinda went ok (despite not succeeding after a while) but I was a little under the weather that day and felt bad and I guess I also played badly. Anyway, Sunday is our designated raid day now and we have a group of ~10 people with some fill-ins. Let’s see how this will pan out.

A major thing I did today after procrastinating for a while is redoing my hotbars for the roles. This means filling the same (or roughly equal) skills in the same buttons, something that has served me very well in WoW (and to a degree in FFXIV) over the years.

So for tanks (primarily WAR) for example this would be:

  • 1 + 2 Single Target Combo
  • 3 +4 AoE Combo
  • 5 + 6 third step of the Single Target Combo
  • ctrl-1 Sprint (*)
  • ctrl-3 + ctrl-4 situational AoE/spenders/big or on longer cooldown
  • ctrl-5 + ctrl-6 Self-Heals
  • Q – Interrupt
  • E – Stun
  • Shift-E – ranged attack
  • F – Charge (or gap closer as they call it)
  • Shift-F – some sort of damage skill, for WAR a spender
  • G, Shift-G, H, Shift-H, Ctrl-G – mitigations
  • Tilde – Taunt/Provoke
  • Shift-Tilde – Mount
  • Y – Shirk
  • X, Shift-X – big cooldowns
  • C – some sort of special: Fell Cleave, Sheltron, The Blackest Night
  • V, Shift-V – Beast Gauge builders
  • B – Toggle Aggro/Enmity Skill

I gave a Logitech G710+ now, so that’s 6 G keys to the left of the keyboard, sadly not 18 anymore like with the G10.

2021 in review

End of the year means review post, a tradition started in 2014.

Again gaming was (sadly) the number one spare time activity this year, with other things not even really competing. Getting vaccinated at the end of the summer I’m hopeful I can do fun things outside again next year.

But anyway, here are the details.

What I played a lot:

  • World of Warcraft
  • EVE Online
  • Final Fantasy XIV

Other things I played:

  • Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • some Nonogram games (no new ones)

Gaming expenses in 2021:

  • WoW: 206 EUR for 11 months of subscription total
    • 4x 13 EUR = 52 EUR for a monthly sub
    • 2x 17.5 EUR = 35 EUR for server transfers (could’ve saved one)
    • 1x 40 EUR for the Dark Portal Pass in WoW BC Classic
    • 79 EUR for subs, paid last year but running into 2021
  • EVE Online: 576 EUR
    • 8x 49 EUR for 8x a 3 month subscription incl. 3 MCT
    • 1x 5 USD for a 7 day pack
    • 179 EUR spillover from last year
  • Final Fantasy XIV: 103 EUR
    • 5x 12.4 EUR for subscriptions
    • 1x 40 EUR for the Endwalker expansion
    • 2.40 EUR for additional retainers
  • GOG.com: 31 EUR for Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • Steam: 0 EUR
  • Humble: 0 EUR
  • Epic: 0 EUR

And the usual stats:

  • Amount of MMOs played: 3
  • Amount of MMO subscription months paid: 11 (WoW) + 5 (FFXIV) + ~33 (EVE) = 49, so 4 per month
  • Amount of games purchased: 1
  • Amount of MMO expansions purchased: 1
  • Amount of money for ingame/services stuff:
  • Amount of games I got for free and played a lot: 0
  • Amount of games I got for free and didn’t play: too many
  • Amount of games I bought and then didn’t play: 0

The math for next year will be easier again, no weird “I paid so and so many months already” because of course I am not counting single days or weeks in December that spill over, but this time nothing for February onward is paid.

Again EVE takes number one as a spender game, but I did have 3 accounts running all year and they’re now all unsubscribed as well, but 2 still have some time running. WoW also got a full year of subs, but nothing from December onward. Let’s see when the next raid comes and if I will come back. Final Fantasy brought it up to a respectable 5 months, and in that time I didn’t really play a lot of WoW, I just logged in to raid and that’s why I stayed subscribed.

The total this year is 916 EUR, which is 76.33 EUR per month – 5 less per month than last year and still providing 90% of my spare time entertainment. Not bad, but overall still a bit high.

The list of free games I actually wanted to have a look at grows. Epic leads the way here, but GOG also gave out a few freebies. I’d actually feel bad if I never bought any and got them all for free, but again my conscience is clear if I’m not touching them anyway, even if that sounds a bit weird.

  • Frostpunk
  • XIII
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker
  • Shenmue III
  • Rage 2

Maybe I should actually set aside a budget of 10 EUR per month for an indie game (or every second month), because this is something I kinda feel bad for. The question is if I’ll play it then.

More grinding

Today I didn’t really have a lot to do except enjoying my spare time, so I did some duty roulettes and managed to get enough Tomestones that I am iLvl 565 on Warrior now and am only missing the headgear on the Bard I think, I even got the weapon. And then I managed to ding 90 on White Mage by doing some Endwalker leveling dungeons, then finally not forgetting to do the role quest this time and then finishing off with 5 sidequests in Sharlayan.

So the plans for the immediate future are now to do the four raid wings for tokens every week, kit out the Warrior with that 580 gear, and get some 570 Tomestone pieces for White Mage, preferably the Accessories again first. What’s next to level? Not sure, maybe pushing Scholar a bit as getting Summoner at the same time is nice. I don’t see much reason to grab Dancer/Machinist right now. Paladin would be ok. Maybe it’s good to have one job leveling in Endwalker content.

Asphodelos Normal

So, apparently FFXIV and gearing up is VERY different from WoW, I published the last post at 1m, in the morning of the 22nd, then went to bed, slept around 7h, got up, did some stuff and then ran all my roulettes until reset at 4 in the afternoon. And then… I was nearly there. My left side equip was all 560s from the role quest and by having already saved up 200 odd tomestones and then just running the roulettes on one day I nearly had enough. Sadly the ring is unique, so had to resort to buying (more expensive boots) and then only 5 were missing, so we did a trial roulette after 4 and just like that I was iLvl 565.

Then we went into the 4 wings of Asphodelos as a party of 3 dps. The first boss was a pushover, the second one is my personal nemesis, number 3 needed one or two wipes and the fourth was also pretty easy. So that was my first FFXIV raid when it was new and at level.

So yes, as a mostly WoW player I am kind of surprised. First of all, it’s actually easy, but not Raid Finder easy. Stuff is actually telegraphed (or foreshadowed by animations/effects) well enough that you can go in without watching a video and succeed, if you have a general grasp of mechanics. I would be even happier if it was a little bit harder, like not oneshotting a boss in week one. But I guess that is what the harder difficulties are for. Overall people seem to do mechanics, it’s not like Raid Finder where there seem to be people every time who have never done a raid boss at all and stand in everything. And by that I mean it’s such a running gag already, when Castle Nathria was new I had to explain tactics every time in RF. But then again they seem to be pretty convoluted and not so learnable as in FFXIV. If you haven’t done the fight in a WoW raid and have not read up I think most people (including me) will just blankly stare at what to do. In FFXIV I feel I can learn this a lot better.

Anyway, got 4 tokens (Legs/Chest need 4, rest need 2 each) and I will save them up for the Warrior, as my iLvl 565 is fine and I’m already at 795 tomestones, which will be 4 tanking Accessories. Or I’ll do some math tonight and see if I should spend them on more Bard gear. I like how easy this gear is to grind out. A couple of hours for a set, not… dozens of hours like in WoW.

Endwalker post-MSQ lull

Apparently there wasn’t enough to post about. I’ve been playing a lot of FFXIV but without lofty goals. After finishing the MSQ and people usually asking for a DPS to come join I leveled Bard to 90, but apparently I didn’t go fast enough because they had reached 90 by the time I had caught up. Not a problem though, I would’ve done this anyway pretty soon – and I even finished the Role Quest. White Mage is also nearly 85 and right now I’m slowly grinding Tomestones for 570 gear. I’ve hardly touched the other jobs, just bringing the three melee to 50 after I had finished the Endwalker MSQ, that only took a few hours combined.

For some reason I had misunderstood my FC (and the others in the soon-to-be raid group) and I kinda missed that the normal raid launched last night and I could’ve been working on iLvl 565 to be able to join it on normal mode. Yeah, it was in the patch notes but I guess I misunderstood our schedule and was still waiting for people to speak up and catch up. Now they’ve surpassed me, but I guess I still can get some stuff done over the holidays.

Endwalker? It’s great, I actually liked it a lot more than Shadowbringers, especially the leveling dungeons.

Level 90 Bard Job Gear, iLvl 560

While I wasn’t a huge fan of the Warrior gear, I kinda like the Bard one.

Endwalker, so close

Apparently I was too busy playing so I didn’t write anything.

Back on Friday I actually managed to log in very late and do some stuff. And then there was the weekend and 2 days of vacation time and last night I dinged 90 on Warrior.

“Warrior” of “Light”

I had planned to leisurely finish the MSQ today, so I got into the queue about an hour before work was supposed to end, it jumped from 1150ish to 1250ish, then I got in and played for like 4h, then I got booted in the second to last dungeon (duty, not the final trial) after wiping on the first boss 2-3 times, getting a replacement healer at 13%. When I managed to get in again the queue was at 5000, so I logged out for the night. Too bad!

Impressions? It’s been pretty cool but I guess I’m not a huge fan of playing for speed. I was #2 in our guild to reach 90 and maybe I’ll be #2 for the MSQ, but it only happened because of the 4 days I had time. I didn’t skip reading a single quest or cut scene and I tanked all duties, so no dungeon finder queue. Time well spent, but in no particular need to rush to max level in a game soon. But it was fun, but parts of it were very weird. Pretty cool to have it without spoilers, I like this so much more than in WoW.

Also I totally forgot to take note how many hours it took and I absolutely did idle a few hours somewhere, dutifully moving every 5-10min because of the fear of not being able to log in again. Showers, cooking, food, everything timed in 10 minute bursts. I’ll be glad if that is over.

Endwalker day 1

Probably not happening.

Due to work and some errands I forgot to switch on my PC in my lunch break and start patching, so this is how it looked at 7 pm my time:

And now, nearly an hour later:

So even though I technically could still start playing at midnight, the queue will probably still be there.
I’m keeping an eye on this but I don’t have high hopes.

Of course it’s my own fault to a degree, but for WoW… I’m pretty sure I could download the expansion with 5-6 MB/s or whatever my connection is able to stomach. Guess there’s some potential to improve for Square Enix. (I have a 100 mbit/s line from Germany’s biggest ISP).

Shadowbringers goals

So today is the day of the Endwalker prepatch, which means Shadowbringers is officially over.

It was a weird beginning for me, starting FFXIV in February 2019, staying for half a year, preordering Shadowbringers, then stopping to play at Level 68, so close to the Shadowbringers content that everyone had lauded so much. Not by that time, but the hype was real already. But the MSQ had gotten to me and around fall I simply stopped playing, to return only in summer 2021, basically 2 years later when everyone was already finished with the expansion.

I had managed to finish Stormblood in my 14 day free welcome back trial, then needed around two weeks to get through the Shadowbringers MSQ and to reach Level 80 on the first job and here we are now, 3 and a half months after I started, with 6 jobs at 80.

The jobs on December 1

I think I did a pretty job catching up (and not wasting EXP as they’ll round down everything to just the current level), compared to when I resubbed:

The jobs mid-August

Sure, the optimum outcome would’ve been getting a few more to 80, the 3 melee jobs to 50, and the casters to 60 – but I’m not complaining. I deliberately didn’t powerlevel and stopped when I didn’t felt like it, I’m happy with the outcome.

And so I just desynthesized all my belts, spent all my irregular Tomestones from the event, paid for a 2nd retainer which I can only create on Friday because I want a Bunny Boy and semi-cleaned up my bags. But it’s just too much stuff with leveling gear for all the jobs, so I guess another retainer isn’t the worst choice. Funny how I said I’ll cancel my first paid retainer once I sold all my mats, and then I bought all the Poetics gear for all jobs at 50, 60, and 70.

Anyway, this will be my first expansion launch in FFXIV, and I’m looking forward. I have no big plans, WoW is cancelled, and I even got a few vacation days left that I had to spend anyway. Not on Friday, but early next week.

Sanctum of Domination – finished

We did it!

After 86 wipes on Sylvanas and after nearly 2 months we finally finished Sanctum of Domination, Shadowlands’ second raid tier.

A bad achievement screenshot .

Today we had 17 people and not the usual 13-15 – maybe that made the difference, or the practice of the last two weeks, or everyone actually giving their best. It might have been slow but I am so glad that we did it. More relieved than happy, actually.

My first AOTC

This is also my first AOTC (Ahead of the Curve) achievement for killing a Heroic end boss before the next tier arrives, something that eluded me in Castle Nathria, the first raid tier of this expansion, and that didn’t even exist when I last raided in MoP.++

So this was one day after our raid week #21 concluded. We’ll see if we can redo the kill on Sunday, or a bit later.

But… my sub is running out in 8-9 days, so I maybe have 2 raids left. I had acquired a WoW token as a backup plan if it would run out before we’d killed here, but now I’m looking forward to a little WoW vacation. I think I’ve been subbed since early BfA, that’s quite a while, one month more and it had been 3 years. I don’t know when 9.2 will hit, but I plan to come back and raid again with my current guild that I joined in early July, 5 months ago. But of course we’ll see how I’m feeling about WoW and ActiBlizz then, if we will have managed to raid in FFXIV and everything.

++ footnote: Because I don’t like writing wrong things I looked this up. This page on Wowpedia says there were some AOTC achievements in MoP (for Normal), but I have 4 out of 6, jus this one is weird: Sha of Fear before patch 5.2.0 – that patch came on March 5, 2013 – my “Defeat the bosses in Terrace of Endless Spring.” achievement says 2012-11-25, clearly before 5.2.0 but I don’t have it.

Evergreens and has-beens

When changing WoW servers recently (actually I dug out this draft and July 3rd id not so recently) and reserving my old names, creating bank characters and so on, I ran into the 50 character limit per WoW account. I think that’s happened for the first time, ever. 50 sounds a lot, but I’ve started playing this game in 2005, that’s 16 years. So only 3 new characters per year, right?
But how did we end up here?

Well, there’s the server where I started playing in 2005, which also was my main server until 2014, when I stopped playing for a few years. Mostly Horde, and that one Alliance Rogue I brought into the guild I’d been raiding Castle Nathria with recently, back in 2009. When I came back for Legion I started more Alliance characters on the server connected to this one – so basically one realm, but 2 connected realms. 19 on the original one, (now) 12 on the other one.

Then there’s the server I transferred to, 7 characters. And the Horde one where I went to visit those friends, but playing Horde, that’s another 5 characters. So we’re at 43 already.

But now to the outliers. There’s this one Level 11 (ex 24?) Warrior on a German PvP server, where I started to play with some people from another MMO, probably 12 years ago. I guess I can delete that one. Then I have a 30 Hunter (used to be 61 or so?) on Argent Dawn, where some bloggers started the guild named “Single Abstract Noun” – I would’ve saved that one via transfer if leveling was still a thing, but Level 30 can be done in like 5h, so hard pass on 17-25 EUR for a transfer 🙁

And then there’s the server where I had transferred my main over to raid, just before I stopped playing. I had started a DK and a Priest while playing there. The DK reached max level, the Priest only 5x (now 28). I think I transferred my main back for a normal price and the DK when the transfer was marked down, years later. Again, Level 30ish is easy to reach, so I guess the priest will be deleted at some point.

But… if I remember correctly, we had free transfers to that realm, so I brought my Level 19 Twink Hunter. The only Battlegrounds Twink I ever made. Now she’s Level 9 and I surely didn’t play her since 2014 or earlier, and I don’t know if twinking like this still works.

I didn’t go over the top with all the expensive BoEs, but she still had some nice gear.

So how did this post start out as an idea about twinks in WoW and ended up talking more about the 50 character limit? I don’t know.

One noteworthy thing is that before the level squish I didn’t want to delete old characters on random servers because of the time invested. Now it’s so quick that if I don’t have a nostalgic connection… that 10 year old toon can absolutely be deleted without a second thought, but there are just so many exceptions. Maybe the best way is to do it like people who clean up their apartments do it. Take a screenshot, write a few paragraphs in the blog about the story, delete, and go on with your life.