Final Fantasy XIV
It’s been about a month-and-a-half now that I’ve been playing FFXIV as my MMO main and I’m generally pleased with the decision. Sure, there are annoyances and the whole game took some time to get used to, but now I’m in a nice groove and genuinely looking forward to logging in every night. I try to run my roulettes while pushing the main story quest further, and that seems to be working for me.
I hit level 35 or so with my Archer, which now became a Bard thanks to backtracking to do a couple of class quests and unlock my first soul stone. Final Fantasy has a passionate, inexplicable love of both stones and crystals in all their forms. It’s kind of a fetish that I think fans politely ignore. I hadn’t heard great things about the Bard, and after several levels with it and looking ahead to what future skills offered, I decided that this would ultimately be a disappointing track.
So I switched up and went back to my Arcanist. I spent my FFXIV time this weekend mostly leveling that class up from the low 20s to 30 in order to pursue healing with the Scholar. It’s weird that I can’t use the Arcanist to queue as a healer, so I have to wait until 30 to be able to do that with one of the class’ jobs. But I’m pretty happy with the decision to go this route, since pets and DoTs are always a safe bet with me. The only downside that I have to the class is the generally unsightly outfits (variations on wearing giant cones and puffy pants) and having a book as a weapon instead of something cool-looking. Then again, my LOTRO Lore-master used a book a lot and I was on board with that.
Last night I got my Arcanist to 30 and tackled the final class quest, which was a doozy of a fight that took me about seven tries to successfully complete. Nice to know that the game can be challenging in a fair way. Following that, I immediately went to get my Scholar soul stone, which apparently comes with Tinkerbell packaged in. It’s not the first game where I’ve had a fairy pet — thanks, RIFT — and as long as she pulls her weight, I’ll tolerate her presence.
Actually, I loved the switch over to Scholar. I jumped right into a guildhest and then a dungeon to give healing a try. Both popped really fast and the guildhest even gave me a nice bonus to rewards because there was currently a need for healers.
Having the fairy pitch in with healing was pretty awesome (especially since I only have two healing skills myself right now). Depending on how each fight was going, I could still toss out some DoTs to keep the damage going. I think I’m really going to like this job, although I’m a little dismayed that at some point I’m going to need to level the Conjurer to 34 to get the stoneskin cross-class skill.
The Secret World
I’d been drifting back in the direction of doing a lot more Secret World, but this past week’s announcement of subscriber improvements actually helped to accelerate that process. I kicked my Secret Adventures series back into gear (as you have already seen) and wrapped up Blue Mountain in a couple of sessions. It was a great time and made me go, “Man, I have *missed* this game!”
So with newfound determination to get my playthrough done before the game’s demise some day, I joined a new cabal and decided to splurge on a grandmaster pack. The GM pack is going away this week and was on sale at 25% off, and since I knew that I wanted to sub up, I ran the numbers and realized that if I got more than 10 months of playtime out of TSW from here on out, I’ll be coming out ahead. Sure, it’s one of those long-term gambles that might have me kicking myself, but so far I haven’t had any buyer’s regret. Those new subscriber perks sound great (and will really help flesh out my AP wheel) and I like some of the loyalty rewards that will be heading my way over the next few months.
Now on to Egypt with my playthrough character! I also want to jump back into Yeti’s shoes and do the latest issue, both the 4 regular missions and the 4 side missions. It’s weird having two characters like this, and maybe one day I’ll abandon one completely for the other, but for the time being she’s all the way at the end and I’ve run her through most everything to date. Would be a shame to give that up now.
Diablo III’s been an on-again, off-again gaming experience. It’s definitely been enjoyable but it’s not always clamoring as loudly for my attention as my MMOs. I’m pleased to say that I’ve now progressed further than I ever have in the game, having wrapped up Act II and started Act III. I’m still experimenting with my build, but mostly I’m using strafe for my main attack complimented by a bat pet and three homing rocket-firing sentries.
The desert wasn’t totally my thing, but man I love the art and detail in this game — especially with the enemy mob models. I’m not quite sure at this pace if I’ll have everything in the season done before it officially ends, but I’m having a good ride and I suppose that’s what matters most.