Second Time Just as Sweet
Every now and then things get left on the cutting room floor for one reason or another. For example I really wanted to make my post about the possibility of making our own convention… but I had lots of other things to talk about as well. In Final Fantasy I am presenting sitting in this interesting position being a part of two very different static raid groups. Last week in the Wednesday night group we managed to get Bismarck Extreme, and I was absolutely over the moon about it. This had been one of those challenges that we had struggled with over the course of a few weeks, namely in getting enough geared people online at the same time to take it down. That has been the biggest challenge for Wednesday nights honestly is getting people to commit to regular attendance. With my original raid group on Monday nights, attendance was never the issue. The struggle there was mostly gearing, or at least the fact that we did not have two geared tanks for awhile. However that changed as soon as Ashgar got his Paladin to 60, and geared it in record time. Over all the gearing levels of Monday still lag behind Wednesday, but we found out this week that it apparently doesn’t really matter all that much.
Last Monday we finished up turn 13 of the Final Coil of Bahamut and started the first turn of Alexander Normal. This week I figured the plan was to run all four phases of Alexander normal, mostly to help folks get some gear pieces. I did not realize that we had intended to do attempts on Bismarck at the end of the night. After struggling so much to get through that fight on the Wednesday group, I honestly expected us to walk away with a lot of experience but no kill under our belts. I was absolutely wrong, and I am shocked at just how amazing getting a first Bismarck kill felt with my second raid team. In the past in World of Warcraft, the first kill of a boss is special, but additional kills feel significantly less so. I remember getting my first 10 man Arthas kill several months ahead of us getting it as a 25 man raid and that blunted the excitement considerable. I have to say getting through Bismarck Extreme a second time is just as sweet as it was the first time. My hope is that both groups can start doing this on a semi regular basis which will give me access to so many expanse totems. Now I guess I really do have to get serious about the Ravana Extreme fight.
A Quiet Night
I had every intent of coming home and working on getting my Alexander drops for the week, but that didn’t really pan out. I hit somewhat of an irrational low spot yesterday, and as a result I didn’t really feel like being around all that many people. As such I avoided logging into Final Fantasy XIV and instead played a few other games. Mylin started a discussion over twitter about the Everquest II Time Locked servers, which I guess was responding to some comments I had made earlier in the week. The problem being that I was spending the evening downstairs on my laptop, and I guess I had never actually installed Everquest II on it. There is a streaming client for these occasions, the problem is that the EQ2 streaming client is horrible. The performance halts every few minutes as the game downloads more assets, making the game experience nigh unplayable. I should have simply waited the thirty minutes to an hour that it would take to download the full thing… but I was being impatient. The end result was a frustrating stutter stop experience as I attempted to quest my way through Freeport. Honestly this is a dual problem for me, because no matter what I try the new Freeport always performs like shit. I really miss the old multi-zone Freeport because I never had these issues back then. Now I generally want to avoid going to that town like the plague. I noticed both the Neriak and Gorowyn ambassadors were offering me a switch in my allegiance, but I was uncertain if Gorowyn even existed in this version of the game.
Ultimately I need to do some reading because I will more than happily pop to the Darklight Woods starter experience if given an option. I consider it the absolute best starter zone in the game. I’ve burned through my stockpile of station cash and I feel made some awesome decisions. I ended up picking up a handful of the bags that are being offered since I did not really want to go tailor just to make bags, and I ended up picking up a set of shadowknighty looking cosmetic armor. I have long felt that if you look good you feel better about playing your character. Finally I spent the last of it picking up the tanky rhino mount, but I’ve never really cared for the way mounts look in this game… so I tend to have it permanently hidden. As a result I feel like a bard in that I am just running irrationally fast for no apparent reason. Mounts can make moving around cities awkward as you ultimately end up blocking some of your view as you try and get into buildings and such. I am still only level 11 because really… I had forgotten how slow progression used to go in this game before all of the assorted experience bonuses.
I could only handle the stutter and stop gameplay of the streaming client so long before I jettisoned Everquest II for favor of Wildstar. This is a game I want to devote more time to playing because I am really enjoying myself. It scratches the World of Warcraft style game itch pretty well, and playing the Exiles has this fun firefly vibe to it. Quite honestly I think had I started Exiles I probably would have stuck around longer than the initial month. I was not a huge fan of the Dominion, but the Chua made playing them tolerable for awhile. Personally I still think red versus blue faction divides are extremely dumb, and this game is just another reason. My friends wanted to play Dominion, so I joined them there and had a fairly miserable time being a cartoon bad guy. If I could have grouped with them on my Exile it would not have been a problem. Instead there was a faction wall, and I am pretty much universally against faction walls. The difference this time however is that no one I know actually plays Dominion on Entity. This is actually somewhat sad as I can log into my Chua and the Dominion capital city is an absolute ghost town. I roamed around for a good ten minutes one night before seeing a single other player, and when I finally did it was because there were a few people hanging out at the bank.
As of last night I dinged twenty two and finally can use a spiffy sword that I had been holding in my inventory for awhile. There is just something about a weapon upgrade that is special. I could be wearing ten levels lower of gear in every other slot, but if I have a current weapon… I feel good about my life. There were some oddities going on with the server, because it seems like the opening of the free to play beta made more people realized that the game still existed. I admit I am guilty of forgetting to log in. I get caught up in Final Fantasy XIV and doing Eorzean things, but I think I am going to make an effort to start logging in more. Since I have friends playing over there already it might be easier to remember. I am trying my best to push through the Galeras content as fast as I can because I am just ready to see new areas. I did move into the desert region of the zone so that was a bit of a welcome change, although as of last night I was back in rolling hills and farm lands. At some point I need to do the two dungeons I recently unlocked to see if I can get any spiffy upgrades. The highlight of the night however was getting to the next Shiphand mission, because so far those are my absolute favorite part of Wildstar.