So, Vrykerion (the character, not me. I’m the Vrykerion that controls that Vrykerion. Got it?) has finally gotten his first relic weapon in Final Fantasy XIV. The Gae Bolg and ultimately the Gae Bolg Zenith is now in my possession and I finally have a spear that goes with my wicked looking dragoon drachen mail outfit. I’d like to say that it was quite the accomplishment if it wasn’t for the fact that every step along the path was full of face faults, walking into doors, and the occasional “OH GOD NO!”
For those who don’t play Final Fantasy XIV, at level 50 each class can begin a quest chain to unlock an upgradable weapon unique to your job. Dragoons for instance get Gae Bolg which matches their outfits general aesthetic. The quest chain is a mix of random tasks totaling up to some twelve (okay it’s actually 10) labors that you must perform to resurrect a long lost weapon back to its true power. Some of these tasks involve attacking beast men strongholds to find items or kill a certain number of various monsters. The first big stumbling block is really creating a base weapon for the relic and then attaching two specific materia to it. Materia are kind of like enchantments that occupy slots in weapons. They are really complicated and I haven’t the slightest clue how their various limits work (Like if you have two +10 crit materia in it, but it has a hidden limit of 12 crit or something, your second materia will only give you +2 instead of the full +10… I think?) But that means finding a crafter with max level to craft and meld the materia, or level it yourself, or just do what I did and shell out several hundred thousand gil for one with the materia already attached.
The real thing that was just a slog for me to do was the trials and dungeons. To complete your weapon, you need to do one max level dungeon, and five trials (trials being essentially one room, one boss mini-dungeons) including three hard mode versions of the earlier primal fights and two fights that are unique to the quest chain – the Chimera and the Hydra. This is my personal hell. I don’t know how many of my readers have done max level content in Final Fantasy XIV but it was very much a pan to the face, no joking around, do the dance or die kind of experience. Lag will kill you. Not knowing exactly where to stand can kill you. Standing in bad will naturally kill you but sometimes the ‘bad’ is 90% of the area and you only have seconds to GTFO. Oh, I died. I died A LOT. And I studied the mechanics. Not one fight did I go into blind. But damn is it another thing to actually see these fights up close versus reading a strat. I am so glad I’m doing this at the end of 2.0’s lifespan and just before an expansion dropped. If it weren’t the copious amounts of people overgeared for this stuff I don’t think I’d ever finish.
Again, it’s not that I’m bad. Far from it. There’s just a lot of crap going on everywhere, and if you aren’t quick or have a bit of lag, it can kill you quick. But I was usually dead from either insta-kills or because we were strained from a healer death and took too much unavoidable area damage. I did the dance, and still would die. Granted, sometimes I was dumb. I got smacked by the Primal Titan and went flying off the platform and spent the last third of the fight at the bottom of a hole (still not bad compared to the bard to ended up there in the first minute every single attempt to make many of us wonder if it were intentional).
The whole thing was kind of an eye opener for how the end game of FF14 works. As far as I know there is some ‘easier’ content, namely the Crystal Tower raids. But damn if I am not in a rush to try Titan (Extreme) or even Leviathan (Hard) for a bit. I got my Gae Bolg. I’m happy with that. With the expansion dropping in only a few months, I think the rest of my time will be more so spent working on quests. The main scenario, the Hildebrad and Moogle Delivery quests – fun stuff. Also leveling all my other classes and jobs up. Then there’s triple triad coming… oooooo…
I guess really I should say that while it was a good crash course in the difficulty to expect (WoW Raid expectations: know the fights roughly, try hard, do the dance. Also that people are really nice in this game and as long as you are trying to darnedest and not just blatantly dying on purpose, they seem willing to work with ya.) but I’m also grateful that I’m sitting at end game with a wide spread of alternate stuff to do. Maybe not necessarily progression based, but fun nonetheless. Now if you excuse me, Gae Bolg and I have to get us a cactuar mini-pet! *runs off to adventure!*
So since my girlfriend and I spent this last weekend holed up in the house sick as can be, we decided to explore a new game. The game in question as I’m sure you already figured out from the title was Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the newish MMO addition to the Final Fantasy series. It was on sale for $15 on Amazon, I was curious, and it came with a free month. So we bought it to give it a try. Before you even ask: No, I am still playing SWTOR and I am still working on the class reviews. And yes, I am still playing Final Fantasy 13-2 and actually enjoying quite a bit, and I’ll be writing about some of that soon as well.
So 12 painful hours of downloading later, we finally got to play. She made an Arcanist and I made a Marauder. Kind of a tanking/healing duo. Which works out nice as we can tackle a lot of content like the random world events ala Guild Wars 2 called FATEs (Which is an acronym for something I couldn’t be bothered to remember) that it would frustrating or painful to do solo. I smack the thing, she keeps me alive, I keep the thing from killing her. It’s the circle of MMO roles, Simba. Don’t be a n00b. Lionesses don’t dig n00bz. Sorry! Tangent. Sick. As I said before.
Overall, the game seems fun. We’re fairly early on it only getting to level 10 so we could unlock all the other classes. See, in FF14, you don’t just play one class like you do in WoW or SWTOR. Okay you do. But only for the first 10 levels. Then you can unlock the other classes by visiting their trainers/guildmasters and taking a short quest. Once you do, you can switch between the classes by switching to a different weapon (more Guild Wars 2 flashbacks with the whole ability sets being tied into weapon choice) and each class keeps its own level. So I may be a Level 10 marauder, but only a level 1 Arcanist, and a level 5 cook! Because yes, even your professions are baked into the class system. On one hand, this is pretty cool. You can pretty much experience EVERYTHING you want with a single character. Play any class you feel like. Level all the professions! On the other hand, it seems like doing that will be insanely grindy. See your base class levels pretty quick at first because you are doing a lot of unique low level quests. But those quests are gone once you do them. That means you’ll eventually have classes to level and have nothing to do it with except for FATEs and grinding mobs. But hey, you don’t have to level the other classes right? Well, sort of. See on top of the classes, there are Jobs. Jobs are kind of like Advanced Classes, or even more accurate a LOT like Prestige Classes in the sense that they have a requirement tied to them. Like the Warrior job requires having Marauder leveled to 30, and the Gladiator class leveled to 15. And jobs are like where it’s at. You want the job. The job is cool. For uh… reasons. I guess? I assume the usual MMO rigamarole of more abilities, more power, more etc. And you can unlock all of those too but that pretty much will mean you need to get every class to at least level 30 (out of 50). Be prepared to kill a whole lot of lady bugs and rabbits.
However, the game is still fresh and fun and the grind has yet to set in, so I plan to fiddle around with it for this first month and see how it goes. Maybe it will be added to Vry’s Regular MMO Arsenal of Killing Time. There is one thing I am dreading but haven’t quite reached yet, which is apparently around level 15 in the main storyline (the main storyline being the thing that sets when certain in game capabilities like being able to make guilds, use airships, get mounts, etc are unlocked with) you have to do a series of dungeons to progress. Oh. Oh boy. Um yea. Forced grouping to advance. Lovely. I’m sure someone is rolling their eyes at that and saying “Oh forbid you interact with people in a MULTIPLAYER game” or some such. But yea, I’m all cool with interacting with people. When it’s my choice to do so. It was bad enough in school whenever we had a group assignment and had to find a group of students to work with and no, doing the project by yourself is NOT an option, Lil’ Vry. I’m not good in those situations. Never have been. So why play an MMO? Because I like the idea of a living world that updates and changes as time goes on where as single player games remain static and unchanged year round unless you have massive modding support (I ❤ you, Bethesda) or are something like Animal Crossing but even that just repeats every year with nothing new being added (Oh, imagine Animal Crossing meets Skyrim. Real time calender and time events in the game? How cool!) Anyway, back on topic. Yea. Forced groups. Not looking forward to it. Especially since you need to do them to do things like… use a mount. And I know there’s a dungeon finder tool but the horror stories of 4-5 hour waits for each of these three consecutive forced dungeons does not exactly leave me hopeful. Oh well. We’ll see I guess.
Finally, I suppose the Final Fantasy series has a uh… reputation for more… er… “Feminine” male figures than most game series out there. I mean, you could play a game of what sex is this character with a great number of both main characters and random NPCs throughout the series since it went to CD format (And the earlier concept art for the NES/SNES games by Amano was the same way, don’t get me wrong. But that seldom got translated into the game sprites. If you even could.) But can we please discuss the early armor quest reward I got for my Marauder?
That is not a tabard, chest piece or tunic. That is a dress. A pink dress, with pink gloves, and pink sneakers. On my MARAUDER. Normally I’d compliment the game on trying to buck gender stereotypes here, but honestly I can’t think of a situation where any gender would find this acceptable clothing for an axe wielding barbarian. But I won’t deny that jokes of Pretty Pretty Barbarian Princess were uttered all night long at this ridiculous outfit I found myself wearing. Oh, and those little pantaloons sticking out from beneath the “tabard”? Those are his pants. They are described as such in game.
On your first guess, would you say those were pants? Or even shorts?! I know that was the first thing that came to our mind. Oh no. And what about that poor kid I’m saving from the vicious giant crabs of doom? Kid is scarred for ****ing LIFE. Look at his face:
To be fair, if you just got saved from giant evil crabs of death-like doom or doom-like death (GECDLD for short) by someone wielding a giant axe and dressed like that of any gender or sexual orientation, wouldn’t you have that look on your face too? Seriously, Square Enix. WTF?