Samurai For Hire
Another happening over the weekend is that I appear to have fallen back into the habit of logging into Final Fantasy XIV on a regular basis. It had been roughly six months since I was last regularly playing the game, and in that time I went from being just about as well geared as you could be… to being woefully and insanely behind the curve. So much so that the gear coming out of the expert roulette is often times an upgrade over the piece I was wearing. The positive however is that the game does a pretty damned good job of helping you catch up, and I now have a huge amount of content I could be running. I’ve been trying to do an expert a day to get back into the swing of things, but I still greatly prefer to wait and do said expert with friends. The other interesting sequence events is something that I talked about on the AggroChat podcast this weekend. Not long ago I had returned to World of Warcraft and was attempting to be part of a raid group run by some friends of mine. So much so that I even managed to recruit a bunch of other friends who were not actively raiding. All of this sounded amazing on paper, until we actually sat down and started raiding. From the first outing… I kept wondering what I was doing wrong because it just didn’t feel all that fun.
What was happening was this was my first time tanking in Warlords of Draenor other than a times where I had to fill in without notice. It just didn’t feel the way I remembered tanking in World of Warcraft to feel. Even more so I had started wondering if I just wasn’t really a tank at heart anymore. I spent the majority of Warlords as a DPS, and I really enjoyed doing that… even though I never really hard the drive to put up big numbers. In fact while we were raiding Blackhand, I even went so far as to uninstall my DPS meters because I didn’t want to be bothered with the guilt of not topping the meters. Ironically not having meters made my performance go up significantly. All of this said I started to wonder if I just was not a tank main at heart anymore. I developed this mental block against tanking, and started looking for ways to avoid it. Then last Tuesday I participated in the Pony farm night, and the only gear set I was certain of happened to be my tank set. My hope was that muscle memory would take over and it did… and ultimately I had a blast tanking again.
The Feel Matters
The reality is that I still very much like tanking… its just that I don’t enjoy taking in World of Warcraft. In part I think it is because I have gotten used to a game where the fights are messaged extremely clearly. In Final Fantasy XIV there is never a question of “did I move far enough out” of this or that effect because there is a clear line on the ground showing you the effected radius. In World of Warcraft there is never really this line because the areas of effect generally extend out quite a bit further than the graphic being drawn, meaning that as a tank you are constantly second guessing. WoW also still feels very “mash a bunch of buttons and pray” at least while playing a Warrior, whereas FFXIV feels more deliberate and purposeful. Maybe its just that I fell into bad habits over the years, and cannot seem to break myself of them. Whatever the case I have been having a blast tanking in FFXIV and am thinking that while I will probably level tanks in WoW… I won’t return to actively filling that roll in group content anytime soon. It just doesn’t feel right anymore, however if you need an Expert tank in FFXIV I am your man!
Also as you can see from the above image… I have started down the path of madness that is the relic 2.0 weapon… or 3.0 depending on how you want to count it. As a result I spent a good deal of my weekend running FATEs and have suddenly remembered…. that I actually LOVE doing FATEs. I checked and I am actually dangerously close to the 3000 FATEs achievement, which should tell you something. This step in the weapon is reminiscent of the Atma step in the previous weapon, but it feels a lot less egregious. You need to get three of each elemental drop… however the drop rate of each individual crystal seems significantly higher than Atmas. At this point I have 3 earth, 3 ice, and 1 fire… and have been spending time out in Churning Mists as of last night not having any luck getting a single one yet. I did however decide this was a perfect opportunity to do something I had been considering for a long while. As of last night I am not longer an Immortal Flame but now a proud member of the Maelstrom. I’ve made decent progress already in pushing up my rank and I believe I am currently sitting at the 5000 seal step. However doing doing these FATEs for the weapon the grand company seals seem to be coming insanely fast. Hopefully before long I will be sitting at max rank yet again. The only negative is… all of that awesome Immortal Flames gear is now essentially dead to my alts… until I repurchase the Maelstrom equivalents.