I’ve admittedly been pretty sporadic in my gameplay of Final Fantasy XIV since just shortly after the launch of Heavensward. For whatever reason the story this time never quite clicked in the same way that it did during A Realm Reborn. Additionally Alex never felt nearly as interesting as Coil… so it just felt like I was grasping at things to tie me to the game but struggling to find them. More than all of these I think the two dungeons per cycle business hurt the most, because it turned something that I used to love… Expert Roulette into a grind because there was always the dungeon you enjoyed… and the dungeon you disliked in every patch cycle. All of this said I have been poking my head in periodically and was at least aware of the mentor program. The idea being that Square would create a way to identify players who know lots about the game… which was an interesting theory. In practice it largely just means you have a Tank, DPS and Healer at the level cap. Also as I found out last night it apparently makes you feel like you need to run around barking orders and throwing shade on how bad you feel the rest of the party was doing. Even though I was attuned for it… I never actually ran the second of the 25 player raids called the Weeping City of Mhach. Collectively folks just call it the “Wiping City” and for good reason… because we died an awful lot but given that it was the first time myself or Grace had been in there… I thought we did largely okay.
The funniest part of the night was the Forgall fight… which involves becoming zombie but not going full zombie and avoiding some things while absolutely standing in others. In short it is the traditional insane dungeon fight that simply requires constant execution… and has mechanics that will straight wipe entire parties. It is a rarity that there are fights where you need to use the healer level three limit break… but during the course of this fight we used it at least twice… and there might have been a third time I didn’t realize. We were at a point where we had no tank and maybe three people total still up, and a bunch of us assumed we were wiping it out and running back. We were wrong… as the “Mentor” continued barking orders and telling people to rez this person or that person… during a contorted fight that felt like it took 20 minutes to finally beat. The truth is I had no clue what I was doing, but I finally got finished off by an actual fight mechanic as one of the attacks takes you to 1 hit point… and requires chain healing to keep the tank from instantly dying afterwards. We had maybe a single healer up at the time and I fell down hard… but just in time for another tank to get rezzed and pick it up. I feel like this was the sort of fight where we needed to play Yakety Sax … but slowed down to the point where it almost sounds like a funeral dirge.
The fight that I got the most enjoyment from however had to be Ozma… an encounter that I had heard about for awhile now. Largely I had heard about it being the group killer, in that it required a lot of moving parts that rarely got coordinated properly among the alliances. Thankfully I was on voice chat with my Free Company and they were able to give me enough of a heads up about what I should be doing. It also helps that early into the fight we lose the entire B alliance, giving me a run seeing the mechanics the first time and then allowing me to take that experience into the second smoother attempt. All in all we nailed it pretty well on the second go, and for the most part by the end of the encounter I learned everything that I needed to do to appropriately tank the fight. The reason we were running Wiping City however was to get me some gear… and unfortunately not a single tanky piece dropped. However I do feel confident enough to probably solo queue tank for the place and start soaking up more gear that way. The risk of playing FFXIV irregularly is that the game moves on without you… and I hit yet another wall with the latest patch. I was sitting at 220 from my last attempt to catch up… and this time around the first dungeon requires 230. There are of course a lot of more grindy ways to catch me up… but we were trying to take as many short cuts as possible.
Before disappearing and flaking out last time I had managed to put in some progress on the 235 weapon from Palace of the Dead and as I talked about yesterday our little run pushed me pretty far… but not quite over the tipping point. So last night once finishing the Wiping City, we broke up into a smaller group and did some Palace of the Dead and over the course of a few runs managed to get me to 39 weapon 32 armor. During all of the stuff I managed to accumulate enough Lore tombstones to upgrade my earrings to 230, and at some point during the evening Tam hooked me up with a set of 250 legs to replace my then lowest slot. I had enough cash accumulated to manage picking up the 250 ring as well since my next lowest slot was that. All together those four pieces of gear pushed me up to exactly 230 item level, and thus makes me viable for a lot more content including the dungeon that is blocking my quest progress. Unfortunately however I have had this patch cycle spoiled for me, because before I remembered to turn off player titles… I actually happened to be running Deep Dungeon with someone that was showing their new title off. Now I am not sure exactly how it is going to go down… but I know something is going to go down. Ultimately that is not necessarily going to ruin the impact, just a bit of a bummer to have it spoiled in a way that really should not have even been a thing. While I wouldn’t necessarily count myself as “caught up”, I am at least in a much better place than I was. I need to do a lot more palace of the dead so that I can pick up the next weapon… but that one requires 60 weapon/armor which is still a very very long ways away. My only revision of that content would be to make the end of sequence mini-boss drop one of whatever your lowest rank happens to be armor or weapon. Also of note… you can see that thanks to the new weapon I did some glamouring and am once more the Bunny Samurai.