I thought I would take a few moments this morning to address a few things we are noticing among new recruits to our Free Company. I believe for the most part the majority of this group reads my blog at least sometimes, so here is hoping that my post will find it’s audience. If nothing else this serves as a good reminder to anyone new to Final Fantasy XIV or considering playing it. The first behavior I am seeing an awful lot of is an absolute reluctance to EVER use the Duty Roulette system at all. It seems like most of the players have come from several years in World of Warcraft, where “pugging” has become a dirty word. I fully understand this and quite honestly I was scared to use the Duty Roulette system… that is until another FC mate tiptoed into the water and reported back that it was actually pretty awesome. I dislike random groups in other games more than most people, and I will be the first to say that the community in this game is simply better.
The other thing you should know is that those of us who are veterans are using the Duty Roulette system constantly. On a given night if nothing much is going on I will be queuing for either Hard Mode or Trial Roulette, and at least once a day I am trying really hard to get in at least one Expert Roulette. Sure you occasionally stumble onto an elitist, but it is nothing like other games where you are belittled and kicked from the group for not instantly being amazing. More often than not when a player says they are new, someone will take the time to explain the encounters to them. Honestly I often give my player commendations to new players for having the strength to stand up and tell the group. It makes the run go so much smoother when you know for certain if a player is going to have the requisite ancestral knowledge to understand the common way a given fight is done. More than anything I suggest you give Duty Roulette a chance. I’ve actually met several people on Cactuar through the roulette system, and it makes me happy to see them around.
We Like to Help
One of the other behaviors I am seeing a lot of is players not asking for help. I realize that in some groups this might not be the norm, but in our Free Company for the most part people enjoy helping others. Now there might be times for this or that reason that someone cannot help, and that is perfectly fine. However if we don’t know a given player needs something, it is impossible for us to read minds. Our hope is that this creates an atmosphere where people are freely saying what they need to do, and others are responding that they can help out. A prime example is that we have known for a bit that Neph needed Dzemael Darkhold, so when she popped on the other night we ran the dungeon to make sure she got it. Similarly we have done countless primal fights or lower level dungeons to help our dps players especially fight their way through the queue system. Self service and the Duty Roulette are always valid choices, but when you are confronting a thirty minute long queue… please speak up and pending it is not a raid night folks should be able to pull together a dungeon pretty easily.
Running dungeons in Final Fantasy XIV is not quite like running dungeons in other games. The fact that the game auto scales your level to match the dungeon, and rewards you with money if you are max level… means that running lowbies through dungeons is always a positive prospect. In other game my primarily problem with running low level dungeons was that it ended up feeling like I was babysitting players, because at max level I could just one shot most of the encounters in the zone. In Final Fantasy XIV, these dungeons are still viable, and it feels like you are doing something meaningful regardless of the level range. I will never get tired of running places like Haukke Manor or Stone Vigil, and Primal fights like Garuda still end up being a challenge for our scaled down groups. It is interesting trying to remember how you functioned without your high level abilities, and this alone makes a lot of things far more interesting than you might think. So please if you need help, be it a dungeon or help with some crafted gear… speak up in chat. Right now Tam is doing an interesting census of players to find out if they are interested in raiding, so I highly suggest you fill that out from the guild message of the day.
A Night with Nael
Last night was a bit of a refresher night in many ways. Namely we had a few people out, which meant we snagged one of our new recruits to help out with turn nine. The problem is our group does things a bit different than the “norm” for turn nine groups. So there was a bit of adjustment, similarly it had been over a week since I last set foot in the zone, and I was more than a tad bit rusty myself. I still feel like we made some progress, but we are hitting this wall on the third phase where we are just not pushing Nael hard enough to keep from getting two dragons. In our attempt to push harder, we are getting this awkward transition to phase four and getting a dragon at the same time… which is leading to a wipe. I feel like I am simply not doing enough dps on my Dragoon to really make up the difference. My tank is level 122 gear wise, but my dragoon is only 112. Honestly I never expected to be dpsing in a raid situation, so my Dragoon has essentially gotten table scraps as far as gear goes. I have been pushing to grab a piece of 120 gear our of World of Darkness each week in the hopes of boosting my dragoon dps just a little bit.
This however means repeating World of Darkness over and over without seeing any drops. Last night represented my sixth and seventh run of the week, and thankfully on the final boss I saw a piece drop that I did not already have. Sure it was only the belt, but at the 11th hour on the night before reset… I will take quite literally anything. I was just about to reach the point where I was going to start rolling on everything just to get a piece of gear before the zone reset today. Largely I feel like I am being a boat anchor on our group with this fight. We need more dps, and I am just not going to the extreme lengths that Kodra is willing to to tweak his dps. The optimal dragoon rotation is twenty seven steps long according to the guides I have read… and quite frankly there is no way in hell I am going to be able to pull that off flawlessly every single time. Instead I do a much more simplified and repeated sequence, but when we are on this razors edge of being able to do it versus not being able to do it… it feels like I am failing the group. As such my answer is to try and pour gear into the problem, and as soon as World of Darkness uncaps on the 31st I will be running it until my eyes bleed farming a full set of gear.
Source: Tales of the Aggronaut
We Like To Help