FFXIV: A dragon’s snow day

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I feel like I’m making good progress in FFXIV. It’s, what, the middle of February, and in the span of a month-and-a-half I’ve gotten up to level 43 in both my main job and the main story quest. In fact, last night was the first time that the MSQ caught up to me and I had to pause my progress in the storyline while I leveled up to meet the requirement.

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I really like how the writers take the time to build up the storyline. It’s not moving at a whiplash or fragmented pace, although there are a lot of Russian nesting doll quest objectives. Every plot point is clearly laid out and in many cases repeated just in case I missed it the first time (which happens).

I think the story started getting interesting for me about the time that the Empire came in and smashed up the Seven Scions base. With the core team captured, killed, or fled, it’s up to me, one weird white-haired guy with a midriff, and an amnesiac engineer (Cid!) to form a new company. That took us up to the snowy region of Coerthas for the first time as we went on an overall quest to find Cid’s airship (the Enterprise, and couldn’t Square-Enix have thought of a better name considering the much more famous Enterprises out there?).

This simple search got bogged down into local politics, as the snobby residents there (Elves, of course) kept throwing up roadblocks left and right. Plus there was some sort of inquisition going on, the mystery of which took us to some slightly disturbing places.

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That zone culminated in a trip through the Stone Vigil dungeon, a ruined castle infested with dragons. Elves, dragons, oh FFXIV you are hitting all my buttons, aren’t you?

Stone Vigil definitely represented a step up in difficulty, at least from a healer’s perspective. I had to keep up a steady stream of heals just to keep up with the damage pouring on the tank. The second time running this we had a pretty experienced tank, and even then I couldn’t take my eyes off of the screen. Happily, I clocked two successful runs (and only one personal death). Even better, the dungeon spat out a few really nice gear upgrades, so hopefully that’ll help with future healing runs.

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Good advice. Too bad I don’t have a rez spell on me… oh wait. Why am I not helping to keep the entire population of this world alive?

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So yes, I’m back to being a girl again. After all of that fuss, I found that I just didn’t really like growly faced guy; plus, it felt like I was betraying the character I had led through this experience so far. Expensive lesson, that.

Speaking of shelling out money for the game, I finally picked up Heavensward. Yes, I still have a way to go before getting into the expansion, but it was on sale and as I’m starting to round the corner to level 50, I didn’t want to waste XP after that.

What am I looking forward to? The glamour system and finding an outfit that doesn’t make me look like a frumpy marshmallow. I have to believe there’s one out there.

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8 thoughts on “FFXIV: A dragon’s snow day

  1. lonomonkey February 17, 2016 / 9:07 am

    Just so you don’t get blind sided, you’re going to be spending a bunch of time with level 50 stuff as you need to clear the entire MSQ of the original game before going on to Heavensward. It’s all great story stuff but it can a few weeks to get through everything before stepping into Heavenward content proper.

  2. Syp February 17, 2016 / 9:39 am

    Thanks for the heads-up — yeah, I’ve hard that and that’s totally fine. I just wanted to get Heavensward so at least that XP will go toward pushing past level 50 even if I’m in the middle there.

  3. Aywren February 17, 2016 / 9:40 am

    Congrats on your progress! I just ran Stone Vigil as my daily roulette yesterday, myself. It’s been a while since I’ve been in there, and it can be tricky with a new team. Everything went fine, though. Glad it’s moving along for you! 🙂

  4. pkudude99 February 17, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    I ran through Stone Vigil and Dzemael’s Darkhold the other day on my daughter’s Scholar myself. I’m familiar with the dungeons as tank and dps on my own character, but I’d never healed them before. I was surprised at how easy it seemed to be — I assume it must be due to me knwing the dungeons already and thus knowing what to expect. I even healed Garuda and that’s considered to be a PITA, but we all knew what we were doing and had a wonderfully smooth run. Before leaving we even commented how that was probably the easiest Garuda run any of us had ever done. It’s really amazing how much of a difference dungeon familiarity makes.

  5. pkudude99 February 17, 2016 / 3:29 pm

    Crap! Forgot to mention — at level 45 your class job will give you 4 pieces of an armor set. You get the 5th piece to complete the look at level 50. Also, the level 44 dungeon drops 2 sets that work well for you as a healer, either the Harlequin’s Acton or the Coliseum Shawl. They’re fairly common drops, so you can buy them off the Market Board fairly cheaply, and the level 45 gear from your job quest is Blue quality and ilvl 50, so it’s actually better than anything you pick up in the level 47 dungeon or in quests so you’ll definitely want to use it. Due to Heavensward coming out, you also get the i90 class set as well to easy you into the Heavensward difficulty mobs.

    This is an example of my daughter’s character in the level 45 Scholar set and the Coliseum Shawl

    The HW MSQ will give you i115 HQ as you work through it at level 50 also. It actually will give you enough gear to get both a caster class and a “war” class fully geared every 2 levels, so if you plan to ever level up bard, melee, or a tank choose wisely and save that gear! Healer and Caster sets also are differentiated post-50, so if you continue to level as a Scholar, be sure to choose the healer gear.

    Make sure you do the “Hildabrand” quest series once you hit 50 also. It’s *hilarious!*

  6. Silverangel February 17, 2016 / 6:45 pm

    MMO writing almost never uses repetition to hammer on critical plot points and characterization, and that’s a mistake. Even more impressed that you’re mostly not level-limited on the main quest constantly, like in Guild Wars 2.

    I refused to play ARR after feeling ripped off by the original failure of a launch, but it’s time to forgive and pony up the additional $20 to play a solid subscription MMO. Thanks for the insightful blog articles.

  7. Hugo February 18, 2016 / 5:19 am

    Reading your eXperiences in FFXIV makes me wanna resub and continue my character in this game… choices to make since after a break im also getting back into SWTOR and enjoying that again as well and dont really feel like paying 2 subs :S Choices, choices, choices…

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