Dungeons, high fashion, and moogles

boss

In so, so many ways does FFXIV keep reminding me of Lord of the Rings Online (for the record, Hobbits > Lalafell any day). Back in LOTRO’s day, you couldn’t progress all the way through the epic story without hitting a few speedbumps in the form of group-mandatory instances or missions. Those were pretty annoying to hit because there weren’t great tools in place to help you find others on the same part of your quest chain, and eventually LOTRO revised its entire quest chain and got rid of them.

As I’ve discovered this week, FFXIV is fond of this approach with its main story quest, as I wasn’t even level 17 before I was slapped in the face with a quest that basically said, “Go run this dungeon with a full group.” That made me sit back and go, “huh,” because I’m not really used to MMOs telling me that I need to run dungeons before the end game, and particularly not as part of the game’s central storyline. And when I finished one, I was almost immediately instructed to do a second. I kept wanting to tell the game that I hadn’t even hit level 20 yet and I was unsure that it knew that.

Fortunately, FFXIV didn’t make it as difficult as it used to be in LOTRO. For starters, there’s a good group finder in place that got me into these dungeons in under 10 minutes. I’m guessing that the level syncing tech also helps to throw players together of varying level ranges, which opens the field of potential dungeoneers.

duty

I can NOT be the only player who sniggers whenever the game flashes this “DUTY COMPLETE” message. All I can think about is that these four people have had a great collective poop and are very happy about it.

Purile jokes aside, the dungeon runs were more or less standard fare. Straight-forward and visually interesting, although I found myself getting tunnel vision as a lancer, focusing on a single target until it died without much thought about what was going on with the rest of the fight. Good XP, although the dungeons were a little on the long side — about 40 minutes, more or less. I might sound whiny here, but anything over a half-hour for a dungeon feels long to me these days. Especially for intro dungeons.

pose

In both dungeons I got a really nice gear upgrade. The first one gave me a miniskirt, which both raised my stats while it lowered my modesty. Nothing like being a front-line fighter in a skirt that would look short on a cheerleader.

But the second dugeon spat out a really awesome-looking piece of chest armor that you can see above. Unless this is a super-common look, I might be saving it for glamours when I get to 50. I finally feel like my character is starting to look cool.

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8 thoughts on “Dungeons, high fashion, and moogles

  1. bhagpuss January 13, 2016 / 9:16 am

    I’m surprised you didn’t know about the “Dungeons Compulsory” part of FFXIV. The list of reasons that soured me on this game is lengthy but that’s right at the top. From what I hear both the dungeons themselves and getting groups to do them are relatively trivial enterprises these days but when I played at launch it took me the best part of a week to get a group that was able to complete one of them – I think that was Haukke Manor although I’ve tried to blank the details from my memory.

    Someone who actually plays will pop in to correct me, I’m sure, but my impression is that not only are these dungeons unavoidable while leveling but they also need to be repeated ad nauseam later on for some other gear requirement.

  2. Syp January 13, 2016 / 9:27 am

    I’m really going into this game more blind than usual, I guess.

  3. pkudude99 January 13, 2016 / 10:00 am

    There are a series of “leveling dungeons” that are unlocked (and required to be done) by the MSQ, with a couple of optional ones as well. The 1st three come in a rapid-fire chain, but after that it’s only 1 then a lot more quests, couple of levels, then another, 3 more levels, etc. The Duty Finder pulls from all the servers in your data center and as you noticed does the level-sync thing, so anyone who queues for “leveling dungeons” in the DF is a potential candidate for any of the dungeons that they’ve unlocked. I just did Satasha (the level 16 dungeon) a few days ago while working on my Machinist. something else in the DF is that a person doing the dungeon for the 1st time gets put in the front of the queue so on their 1st go they have the shortest wait so as to not delay their story quests interminably.

    I’m surprised that the dungeons took your group so long. Most dungeons take 18-25 minutes, especially the earlier ones.

    It is easy to get tunnel vision as a dragoon since they’re so focused on single-target. Early dungeons are fine for that, but in the 430’s they start throwing in random aggro dumps, environmental damage things, charge in on this attack, but jump out for that one…… That said, for a Lancer/Dragoon generally it’s just “stay out of the front cone and hit as hard as you can.” You do eventually get some decent AE skills, to use on trash packs, though. I ran Dusk Vigil the other night with a Black Mage and in the areas where you get swarmed the 2 of us took them all out quite rapidly. Was very fun!

    Yikes. Am I becoming a melee convert?

  4. Aywren January 13, 2016 / 10:12 am

    Dungeons remain mandatory throughout the whole main scenario questline, even to the end of Heavensward. You won’t get hit with three in a row like you do in the very beginning, however – never was sure why they did that. These first dungeons are for teaching and learning, as they’re probably a player’s first try at group play. So, the mechanics start out very easy at first.

    But by the time you get to your 30s, you’ll want to look up boss strategies, or at least have a friend who is willing to talk it through with you. This isn’t to say that any of the mechanics are terribly hard – some of these dungeons were actually nerfed not too long ago! But being aware of what you need to do in boss encounters makes things go more smoothly for the group and is something I do recommend. Going into dungeons as a DPS also helps because you can learn the flow of things without having to worry too much about group responsibility.

    I am not a forced grouping lover (as most folks may know). FFXIV really pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I’ve managed to learn a lot because of it. I almost gave up at the same point as Bhagpuss did (early 30s), but I’m glad I stuck with it.

    There are many dungeons (and casual raids!) that are so worth experiencing in FFXIV. And if you’re rocking in a good Free Company, getting a FC group together for your first experiences make it 100 times better! Our FC always tries to run our new members through the first three dungeons (if they want to) to help them get comfortable with group play and teach them the basic party mechanics.

    Also know that as a new player who is trying a dungeon for the first time in story context, you will always be bumped to the front of the dungeon queue. This helps you get those dungeons done much faster than back when I was first starting!

    Looking forward to seeing more of your experiences!

  5. pkudude99 January 13, 2016 / 11:03 am

    Just remember — your job in a dungeon as a loldrg is to tank the floor 😉

  6. ironweakness January 13, 2016 / 11:26 am

    I remember that chest piece, it was one of my favorite for my character until I reached 50 and got the full Ninja set.

    Most gear in this game looks pretty good but some of it is questionable. I have this shot of my male character looking pantsless because his “armor” was nothing more than reinforced underwear.

  7. Shintar January 14, 2016 / 2:24 am

    I like the combination of mini skirt with what looks like giant plate mitts.

  8. Rivalyn Crimson January 20, 2016 / 12:06 am

    So far as I can recall that armour look is unique to that level range… as for the forced grouping, it’s not so bad as a DPS although queues can get pretty ridiculous which is always frustrating when you’re levelling and it breaks the pace.

    While you’re levelling up, the healer you want to see most before level 30-35 or so is the Scholar. At that level, Eos is perfectly capable of healing the group, even if DPS stands in the fire. That frees up the scholar to whip out Cleric Stance and DPS, boosting clear speed.

    As a Scholar, I love getting those first three dungeons… especially with a novice tank. Two healers for the price of one, plus one of them is more-or-less on automatic. As long as the healer sticks with the rest of the group, one really has to try quite hard to die.

    And in a pinch, they can overheal the stuffing out of themselves and tank it, if the tank is out to lunch.

    Anyway the first truly frustrating dungeon I encountered as a healer was, I think, Stone Vigil. Especially being undergeared and levelling up. Aurum Vale was no picnic either, and remains one of many players’ most hated dungeons. You may find Trials to be far more challenging on your way up though, as these are single-boss fights that require much more attention to mechanics. That said, I have never had a group refuse to explain encounter mechanics if I said I was new to the instance. By far some of the nicest player bases I can think of.

    I guess the biggest warning you should have is that as a Dragoon your Limit Break is by far the preferred one for most final bosses, so that wonderful scrapperlock you’ve got going on there can really annoy the party if using the LB is part of “the plan.” Fortunately, it usually isn’t.

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