This has already been an interesting morning so far, and it is only 6 am. I got up and did my normal routine of making coffee for my wife and I. I heard what sounded like rain so I took a peek outside like I often do, because the pool is an amazing indication of rain. All of those tiny droplets breaking the water show up far better than they do on land. As I stared out at the pool I noticed something moving around in it that I could not quite identify, so I took my cup of coffee outside to investigate. In the pool was this poor little field mouse that looked as though it had been swimming desperately trying to find a way out of the pool for awhile. I basically had two options… either help him now, or fish him out of the skimmer basket later once he eventually lost his battle with treading water indefinitely. I of course opted for the first, and started looking around the yard for something I could use as a ramp to help him get up and out of the water. I finally landed upon using a shovel and then began the battle of trying to convince him that I was actually trying to help. Once I finally got him up and out of the water he essentially collapsed on the shovel making it extremely easy to get him up and out of the water and over onto our deck. The little guy sat there for a bit before realizing that he should be afraid of humans, and eventually scurrying off in the general direction of the green belt behind our house. Sure he was what most people would consider a pest, but to me he was cute and fuzzy and in desperate need of assistance. I am absolutely a sucker for such things.
Last night also was a super interesting night. I had talked about events serving as a bit of a catalyst to get a large number of us back and engaged with Final Fantasy XIV. Part of that was “getting the band back together” as it were, and namely that meant reconstituting our raid team. So we spent last night working through some of the things many of us had sitting unfinished namely The Final Steps of Faith and Containment Bay S1T7. Before going into the fight Morehnai had warned us that the Nidhogg battle is little overtuned, and might be a bit difficult given that a bunch of us were sitting at exactly the 205 item level cap. He was really the only one of us that could be considered even the slightest bit over-geared with the rest between the bare minimum and just shy of 210. We also largely insisted on going into the fight completely blind, so this meant a handful of wipes as we started to learn the mechanics. The first wall was the add phase dps check, which we quickly sorted out and figured out ways to optimize our dps including me shifting to Deliverance stance for that big. Other than that it was largely working through the moving parts, avoiding damage that we didn’t need to take and ultimately more optimization before we ended up getting the sweet sweet kill. Sure normal mode Nidhogg is not exactly extreme raiding, but it felt like a good return to working together as a team.
After that we went through the Sephirot encounter, which was not surprisingly an awful lot easier. With that once again mostly being use learning what various things meant and how to avoid the damage. Sephirot being interesting in that there are a ton of non telegraphed attacks, namely the one where he turns to face a direction and then does a potentially platform wide attack. Other than that it was also learning the dance of his knock back attacks, and within a couple of attempts we had a dead member of the warring triad. Finally since we were short on time we popped back into Bismarck and killed us a sky whale earning Thalen a spiffy looking bow and the rest of us more Expanse Totems. Next week we are going to kill us a giant bug and hopefully clear the second half of Alex. Past that the sky is the limit, but it felt really good to be together and working as a team once more. Past that I wrapped up the rest of the story and it very much feels like we are saying goodbye to everything we have known over this expansion. I am seriously beginning to think that when Fan Fest happens in October that we will be getting the announcement of a new expansion, and not only that but that it will only be a few months away. The Deep Dungeon will serve as something for us to play with in the meantime and a vehicle which allows us to catch up all of those jobs that we never got around to leveling. In any case it feels like a really good time to be back in Final Fantasy XIV and back working together as a team.