Chill professions leveling


Blaugust has started, but many people have written extensive Day-1 posts with lists and info, so I’m pointing towards Belghast’s blog post and will continue with the normal stuff.

I was pointed to this Fishing & Cooking guide for TBC Classic and I’ve been doing that for a bit today because my left arm hurts and didn’t want to play “properly” today before the raid

The first 90 minutes in, I got Fishing at 170 and Cooking at 150.

Another 90 minutes in I’m at 225 Fishing and 225 Cooking.

Totally not a staged shot in Un’Goro

Already been to Gadgetzan (a little earlier than the guide) and finished the Cooking quest, then it’s off to find Nat Pagle’s four quest fish, so now the progress will probably a lot slower, but it’s only 75 each left in Azeroth.

Another 90 minutes in it’s 255 Fishing and 255 Cooking, perfectly timed. Already in Feralas, this should be the final stretch, let’s see if 30 minutes are enough to have a round 5 hours.

And of course it took another 90 minutes to get to 300 Fishing and 290 Cooking, so off to Silithus for Sandworm Meat because I don’t feel like going to the Eastern Plaguelands now.

Too bad, the first 4.5h were kinda relaxing, watching stuff on YouTube, listening to podcasts, and so on and then the “final stretch” was kinda tedious.

It’s Blaugust again and this is post number 1.

Free login campaign was a huge success

So, my 14 days of FFXIV have come to an end and apparently I miscalculated or missed the starting day because today I can’t login anymore, I thought I still had today 🙁

Anyway, I do plan to subscribe soon[tm], but probably not this weekend, which is a bit of a shame, but I’ll probably use the time to get my TBC Classic Druid to 70, and come back in a week or so.

I am quite happy with all the things I managed to get done in these 14 days, despite flailing wildly at the start and not really knowing what to do, so thanks to the people in Discord and the Novice Network on Omega. It’s fascinating to see the exact names as mentors as 2 years ago, when I started playing. Too bad I didn’t notice when I got booted from my Returner status, I had wanted to say thanks.

In my case I think the free “come back and remember how awesome this game is” has definitely worked, I don’t see any reason not to resubscribe in August.

So, what did I achieve?

Story progess: First of all, I made it to Shadowbringers content. I finished the Stormblood MSQ and then all the Post-Stormblood quests, and then I even did the starting quests in the new city, although I already forgot the name. Did not manage to continue the Hildibrand questline, but finished the Make It Rain seasonal/limited time thing.

Level progress: If only I’d written this down, but I think I did:

  • Bard 68 -> 72
  • White Mage 65 -> 70
  • Warrior 65 -> 66
  • Paladin & Dark Knight 50 -> 52
  • Machinist 33 -> 52
  • Dancer 60 -> 63
  • Most Disciple of the Hand Jobs 50-52 -> 55-62
This time I’m not forgetting to post this.

First I pushed Bard with Stormblood MSQ, and side quests. Then once I had seen the MSQ roulette dungeons again I healed them, then I also tanked them. In the end I was tanking “Leveling” and “Level 50/..” dungeons and queued for Trials as Dancer.

I think my next “goals” are: Shadowbringers MSQ on Bard, to get to 80, more tanking and getting all to 60 to be able to throw away some gear. Catch up Machinist to Dancer and continue to ignore melee 😛

I really still love the Bard and plan to keep it as my main job, although the opening rotation is a bit nuts. Dancer is also really fun, but a bit lacking. Machinist started really boring at 30, but now at 50 it’s a lot better. Although the gauge mechanic is a bit weird in a dungeon, you kinda struggle to get your resources to full before the first boss because you’re usually only AoEing, which doesn’t build them.

Gear progress: I did a lot of duty roulette, MSQ and Level 50 most days, Leveling and Trial on many days. I have a full (minus 1-2 parts where I had 385, rings/earrings) Level 70 iLvl 400 set for Bard, White Mage, and Warrior now.

Incentives

While I’m not actively playing it, I am logging into Guild Wars 2 for the daily rewards quite frequently, which means I have a ton of the things they hand out for that. Not that I was lacking those things back when I was playing actively, it’s always the same stuff after all…

So today I log in and see not one, but two of the blinking twisting animated icons in the bottom right corner.

“Preorder ‘End of Dragons’ and get a free Level 80 boost!”

Hmm, couldn’t you have made it in any way less interesting?

So many XP/level rewards

That’s my bank. 1 Level 60 boost, 2x 50, 1x 40, 7x 30, 12x 20. 604 x “grant one level”, that would be 7 more Level 80s on their own. If I combine them in a smart way I could boost 13 characters to Level 80 right now, and the leftovers would be one more Level 34. (then I discovered 109 writs, so that’s another 5 Levels more)

I didn’t have to make this ridiculous calculation, but come on, ArenaNet – could there be ANYTHING less exciting for anyone who has played in the past than a Level 80 boost? Even an ugly mount skin would have been more interesting.

But this wasn’t supposed to be a complete rant and finger pointing. I’m probably over my GW2 days but I am genuinely happy there will be a new expansion, for all the people who still play it. I meant to keep getting back into it, but the other games seem to just be more interesting to me right now (and the last 2-3 years).

If you’ve never played GW2, you should actually try it. Sadly I won’t be able to hand you one of my 13 Level 80 boosts, but you should try leveling in a normal way anyway. At least if you’re like me, who kinda stalled out more on the whole “horizontal progression” thing at the end, that’s why I have 5 Level 80 chars (without much or any boosting), one Level 70 (with quite a bit of boosting), and 1 lowbie.

Too busy?

Currently the day doesn’t seem to have enough hours for all my plans.

First of all there’s TBC Classic, while we’ve started a summer break on our group for now due to people going on vacation, there’s still the Druid/Hunter duo. I got to 68 on the weekend and learned flying, but I’m not really motivated atm as I don’t have any real goals at 70.

Trying to get the dailies done in Retail on my main, that’s 15-30 minutes, and I’m probably not gonna be able to squeeze an M+ in this week, maybe after the raid tomorrow. In any case I’m happy I’m not raiding 3 days per week anymore. 4h + a few minutes before is really nice.

Then there’s the war in EVE which seems to be pumped up again as of the weekend, at least there should be stuff happening in a few days.

But mostly my time is spent in FFXIV atm, although it warned me today that I had only 5 of my 14 days left, but I’ve been a busy bee. Daily MSQ roulette has yielded me the Level 70 Healer set already (after the ranged DPS one), Warrior is nearly 67, Machinist is 51, Dancer is nearly 63, and I got White Mage to 69 today and started handing in crafted mats to the Grand Company again, trading Gil for XP if the stuff is available for cheap. Also I did the intro quest for Gunbreaker but I’m not sure I like the playstyle. I think I’ll stick to Warrior and try to level Paladin and Dark Knight. And I slowly continued on the Level 70 post-Stormblood MSQ.

When I started to play 2 years ago, the release of Shadowbringers was imminent and I didn’t manage to get to 70 before it launched. This time Endwalker is imminent, so I really want to be there at launch, but that means I need to catch up quite a bit. I hope the autumn is long enough that I can do that.

So FFXIV will end in a few days, then I need to decide if I will instantly resub. WoW Retail can be put on the backburner a little, I’m not 100% happy just raidlogging and doing dailies+weeklies, but that’s a plan for a few weeks at least. Classic needs a two level push then I can probably dial that back a bit as well, unless I am renewed in my interest to run dungeons at 70 (and prepare to be able to do Heroics for the Epic Druid Flight Form quest when it is coming). EVE is a wild card atm, day to day maintenance is currently low, but we’ll see how August shapes up…

But yeah, I guess that’s a good problem to have.

Blizzard and this train wreck

I’m usually not one to comment here on anything that’s going on in the outside world, I have other outlets for that.

But when I read the California sues Blizzard thing I became more than a little mad because it doesn’t sound like a single case (which would be bad enough) but more like a general problem there, and probably in the whole industry.

But Blizzard should be ashamed at every level of management, but the higher up, the worse it gets.

As someone said so aptly, it shouldn’t be too hard to not be a sexist asshole, but apparently the low bar is too high.

As I wrote in a comment in Naithin’s blog, I find the phrase “separate the art from the artist” very problematic if you talk about something like a book by one author on the one end of spectrum and a 15 year old game like WoW on the other hand, where hundreds of people were and still are involved.

So for all the people who think just voting with your wallet and unsubscribing right now is the correct way of action, my hat is off to you, I think it’s the best way to proceed.

For those others (like me) who spend like 50% of their spare time in WoW at the moment… I think it’s valid to not sabotage that for yourself and keep playing, after all we should assume that the majority of people working there are decent. And yes, you can call me a hypocrite for that, but currently it’s not simply “one of many games” I play, so unsubscribing to vote with my wallet feels a lot harsher than many things I can imagine in regards to any form of brand loyalty regarding physical goods.

Blaugust 2021

It’s that time of the year again and Blaugust is upon us. Belghast wrote about it last week, and many people already chimed in.

Blaugust logo shamelessly stolen from Belghast, as usual

Last year we had Blapril instead, 2019 I sat out, 2018 I did the full 31 days. This year is a little bit like 2019, I’m not highly enthusiastic, but I’ve written between 3 and 9 posts every month this year. I’m busy playing WoW, Retail and TBC Classic, I’m playing EVE, and now I’m playing FFXIV again. And I’m writing about them regularly but not overly often. I might miss the start of Blaugust by doing outdoor things anyway and I might be writing 3-9 blog posts in August anyway.

Not sure why, but this time it feels a little bit like cheating to participate when the goal is simply 5 posts for Bronze (which I think I should be able to do, or which I think will happen anyway). Everyone else is of course free to strive for 5 posts, I think it’s a fine amount of posts per month, without Blapril it would’ve hit my 2020 average pretty nicely – but if I’m not enthusiastic about committing, just grabbing the badge feels odd.

On the other hand this is not a competitive writing contest so I could try for 15 posts for silver and fall back to bronze if I’m not being pumped up, which usually happens with discussions and writing prompts and what not. I’m definitely not completely noping out like 2019, where interestingly I ended up writing 11 posts in August 2019 anyway and 96 in the whole year, so I guess I’m just being weird about it.

The good thing is that I still have a week to decide, and I’m hanging out in the Blaugust Discord anyway. Also writing this down has already nudged me a little bit towards signing up…

FFXIV, 7 days later

Yeah, I can’t really believe it, but 7 of my 14 days of the free login campaign are already up and I guess their plan worked out, because I’m having a blast. Nothing I have tried so far was blocked or paywalled (I do own Shadowbringers, after all) and I think I might sub again when this 2 week thing is up. Actually thinking about pre-ordering Endwalker to get the 30% XP bonus to 81 via the new earring, the one I have was only good until 71, and I reached that on Bard already.

Waiting for a duty

Today I managed to bring Machinist to 40 and then catch up on 4 class quests I hadn’t done. Machinist at 35+40, Paladin at 50, and White Mage at 65. For now I switched my MSQ Duty Roulette to White Mage until I am 70/71, then probably gonna use Warrior. The Leveling Roulette for the Machinist for now, and the 50/60 dungeon one for Dancer, although the XP doesn’t seem to be awesome for that one, but I want the 70 White Mage set for Poetics, having completed the Ranged DPS one already.

So I seem to have a steady pace of 2-3h of content per day, but not a lot more. I dug out the Challenge Log (I think it’s weekly) and filled up a few bars for extra XP there, which meant doing a few Levequests, but I’m not keen on grinding those out. Same for dungeons, really.

I also stumbled upon the Restoration of Ishgard quest line and did a bit of that.

My main problem right now seems to be differentiating between quests with a blue mark which are interesting (like the Restoration), which are completely useless or not interesting (Extreme Trials), and which are important (no idea, maybe none?).

But yes, overall I’m very happy. And I can’t wait to get familiar with the dungeons again so I can tank and heal and not just DPS.

Sanctum of Domination, 2 weeks in

Second week of raiding has come to a close yesterday, and we’re 8/10 Normal. Not great overall (~9700 world rank[*] according to raider.io), but I am 100% happy with this result and my decision to transfer and raid with the other guild.
It’s not that my old Alliance guild had any major problems (and they’re 6/10 Normal as well, which is ~12300 world rank[*]), but everything feels a little better suited to my needs so far. Not so much hemming and hawing, just proper analysis of what’s wrong, people being assigned jobs and doing them. My old guild did 3 days of 3 hours per week, now it’s 2 days of 2 hours, but people are focused. No idea how it will work out when there’s actual tedious wiping involved, but we’ll see. So first week 5 bosses in 2h, then 8 bosses in 4h. I really can’t complain.

Having forsaken M+ completely in 9.0.5 I got into this raid as one of the lower geared people with my 216/217ish iLvl I’ve gotten to nearly escape the bottom third with my 220 now. I’m not one to brag or fret a lot about damage meters, but I simply don’t want to be in last place, and even with up to 7 iLvl less I wasn’t. I’m most happy when I am in the middle of the pack.

I also did my first M+ since 9.0.5 hit (a +10 DoS, 15 minutes over time) and I think I hate the new mechanic with the powers even more than Spiteful. First of all I was on a timer while deciding which power to take, and then the first boss seemed a lot harder than anything else, so it got progressively easier. Why?

But in the name of gear I will probably try to get one in per week from now on, and maybe set a loose goal of timing them all at +10, for the gear upgrades and the achievement. I don’t think +15 is worth it or feasible if you kinda hate doing them. There was a really short time in 9.0 when I enjoyed them because they were new, and with the right people. Yes, I’d say I was being carried a little, but having no prior experience it was more like learning in the correct environment. I did my interrupts and damage, and they told me the tactics and routes. After all you’re probably not supposed to get it right the first time. We’ll see if this works again.

As long as we’re doing normal I don’t see much point upgrading all my 213 gear to 220 in Korthia (did my MH weapon which I have since replaced, got a 226 2hander both weeks), but if we’re stalling a little longer and I don’t get gear quite so easily, I might fill a slot or three. Also on the one hand the Korthia dailies are mostly short and nice, but the 2 assaults per week are a little meh already in week 2 or 3. I get it, one is fine to get your weekly bar filled up, but if you put these into your weekly routine.. why two of them?

Overall impression of 9.1? I like the dailies, Korthia isn’t bad, the raid is nice but looks boring, I hate everything with anima powers, be it Torghast or the Tarragrue, or M+. Not convinced yet that there are new Legendary powers and that I maybe have to craft another one. And I’m not a fan of the story so far, it’s kinda dull. The game I’ve been playing a lot for 8 months now.. new patch comes out, I blitz through the story bits and they are meh (except the one big reveal, ok). Contrast this to FFXIV, where I come back after 2 years, play for 1 day and instantly love the story again.

[*]: I think it’s kind of meaningless to measure this directly, once you leave the top 500 or top 1000, but I like it as an indicator of “how many guilds are raiding this tier” and “how many of them cleared normal and heroic” after a while, I think this is the first time I write it down. Also we’re ~165th on our realm with 8/10 and my old raid guild is in the top 20 with 6/10 – just shows how dead that server is (also 60 guilds with at least 1 Mythic kill versus 2) 🙁

Getting back into FFXIV

Oh wow, so much to do and so little knowledge left in my WoW-contaminated brain.

Ha, I remembered /gpose

What I managed to do today:

  • Run Duty Roulette (MSQ and Dungeons) for Poetics, got to 71 on Bard
  • Run Duty Roulette (Leveling), got Machinist to 35
  • Double checked all my bars and keybinds for all classes (I am so glad that all the roles share a few skills and I have the habit of having roughly same skills on the same keybinds anyway)
  • Bought iLvl 400 gear for Poetics: Bow, Chest, Gloves, Belt, Pants -> iLvl 345 for now, saving up for Helm and Boots, then maybe accessories
  • cleaned out the 7 left side parts of the Armoury Chest, 5 right side are a TODO
  • sold a lot of stuff on the market board

And then there are a few things I deliberately didn’t do:

  • played Tank or Healer
  • continued the MSQ
  • figured out how to level Machinist. Probably Duty Finder, Levequests, FATEs, Palace of the Dead?
  • Crafting. Oh wow, had I forgotten how complicated that was. Did one Trial Synthesis and gave up. I need to read up a few things. First of all, what to craft (IIRC crafting an item for the first time gives an XP bonus), then how to craft (omg, so many buttons), and then there are the Ixal and Kobold quests. Not sure Ixal is still good at 52-56. Would be nice to get them all to 60 though, but this is not an immediate goal
  • start a Melee DPS class

And then a list of things I actually want to get done in these 14 days:

  • finish the whole pre-Shadowbringers MSQ
  • get Machinist to 50 or preferably 60
  • try to run some duty roulettes regularly
  • try to play Dancer a little bit
  • maybe try Gunbreaker
  • maybe get Paladin and/or Dark Knight to 60, but I guess that is stretching it

Back in Eorzea?

It’s been 23 months since I had last posted about Final Fantasy XIV, but for now I am back.

There’s a nice “come back for 14 days” free login campaign since July 9 and today I actually used it. Apparently I had stopped playing while in The Peaks, at Level 68.5, and not in The Azim Steppe, as I had thought. The wiki (as usual) told me that I was 18 MSQ steps away from finishing Stormblood. Not a lot if there are really 122 steps as the wiki says. The first 8 went kinda fine, then I was blocked by my level, so I mopped up most quests in The Peaks and got to 69, then it was off to a Duty Finder, 7 quests more, then I already dinged 70. 2 Quests to go, but also 2 instances, one normal one and one Trial. The normal one went fine, but then I messed up my Duty Finder and didn’t unselect the one I had just done, so of course it popped first and I had to run it again. Ah well. In the trial we actually wiped twice and then needed a mass rez in phase 3, but then we did it. Not sure how many other hadn’t done the fight.

I’m still the blue-haired Miqo’te

Anyway, so I came back and finished Stormblood on day 1, which is pretty nice. That was enough for one day though and I stopped doing MSQ stuff, but went to Limsa and did the Dancer quest, which was pretty fun. But oh boy is that first dungeon painful if you forget to set up your bars correctly because you don’t actually think they’d let you do normal things with 20 buttons when you just learned the class… but they do.

Before I stopped playing 2 years ago I had already bought Shadowbringers, so we’ll see if I get there. I was planning to play FFXIV for the new expansion anyway, but first I’d have to make it to Shadowbringers and then through that. Not sure yet if I will instantly dig out my Warrior and White Mage or if I will try to push the Bard a little further, and concentrate on one class.

Overall it’s been pretty fun and enjoyable. I rejoined the Novice Network and also had Discord to ask people. My only initial roadblock was not being high enough iLvl for the last 2 duties, but buying a single ring on the market board already fixed that. (And I learnt that you can’t buy Level 70 Poetics gear before you have finished the last Stormblood MSQ. And then the NPC in Rhalgr’s Reach actually appears.)

A really unfun thing is that my Armoury Chest and bags are completely full. And my 2 retainers as well. I don’t have access to the 3rd (that’s the one I paid for), but probably full as well. As much as I love the Armoury system, it’s simply too small for that amount of classes, especially if you are still leveling. That’s one of the reasons I had originally also leveld Paladin and Dark Knight to 50, to get rid of old gear. And Machinist to 33, same reason. So maybe learning to be a Dancer now was a bad idea as well, now I also have that gear… oh well.