FFXIV Getting Started

There are lots of help videos for Final Fantasy XIV on Youtube. But most of them assume you have already started to play the game. How do you get started playing the game in the first place? I suggest starting with the Benchmark to see how it will run on your system and then starting with the Free Trial. Here’s how you can do that.

Start with the Benchmark

First find the FFIXV Benchmark page here. This will show you how the game will perform on your machine. I suggest not using a laptop. While the game is somewhat forgiving and the graphics can be downgraded quite a lot, it’s still a modern game, so it’s going to cause a lot of strain and heat on your laptop unless you have a high end gaming laptop.

The benchmark is about 2 GB. Very much smaller than the full game, which is about 40GB. I suggest you load the benchmark, and the game, onto an SSD – Solid State Disk – if you have one. Also, you probably want to install the benchmark and the game into a folder such as “C:\FFXIVBench\”. Here’s a video with all the steps to install and run the benchmark.

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FFXIV vs WoW

There have been plenty of articles and Youtube videos comparing Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft. I’m not trying to do a comprehensive guide to the two games, but compare them on two key areas that I find interesting. I played Wow for many years. I finally left in December 2017 when Universal Level scaling was introduced. But with all the hype surrounding the upcoming Wow “Shadowlands” expansion, I’ve had some thoughts about how FFXIV and Wow compare and how I think Blizzard is messing up again with their designs.

I’ll talk about two key areas and compare the two games:

  • Gear Upgrades and New Expansions
  • Class Specs and Talents

There are some important differences between the games that World of Warcraft could learn from as they move forward to Shadowlands and beyond.

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Dress Your Dancer

While I like the Dancer job in FFXIV, the initial outfit is not as nice as I’d like. Above on the left is the Original outfit – Softstepper gear. The top, gloves, and headgear [ if you choose to show it] are really fine. But the pants and shoes don’t really fit the style I like for my female characters. I prefer a thigh boots look with a little leg showing. Fortunately this look is easily obtained, as you can see on the Right above.

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Witcher vs Elric

It would seem that there are too many similarities between “The Witcher” by Andrzej Sapkowski and the “Elric” by Michael Moorcock.

A quick youtube search will show you some references to this topic.

Rageaholic’s hour long rant is an extremely detailed coverage with examples from all the Witcher properties compared with the Moorcock books. Warning for Volume and Language.

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Bad Audio Recording

A Few Headsets

I have a nice gaming headset. Logitech G430. Works fine with Discord. However, it fails when I use it with Corel Video Studio, or with Windows 10 Gaming Capture for captures in a game. It clips and drops parts of the audio, especially at the beginning of phrases. I’m in a very quiet space, so background noise is not the problem.

I decided to purchase another headset by another manufacturer to see if that fixes the problem. We’ll see. But in the mean time, I already have another device to record audio.

Headsets used to be very expensive. The G430 started out at $99 and is now $39, like the EKSA. Lots of choices on Amazon and elsewhere. Looks like they probably all use the same USB – Audio chip.

Older Headsets Have Their Own Problems

Plantronics USB Headset, circa 2000

This older headset has it’s own problems. Turns out the hard plastic parts rub against each other, causing pops and snaps during recording. I guess the plastic got old and sticky over the years. The pops and snaps are so loud that the headset is unusable for recording.

Also notice that I had to replace the muff with some cloth. The foam had rotted away, as foam of that type does over time.

Enter the Webcam

I’ve had this Logitech C510 webcam for a long time. And it still works fine. But has long since been superseded by newer models. However, the problem with this device is that it hasn’t worked for sometime, for audio. Works fine for video, but Windows 10 has not seen the microphone for some time.

Let’s use google to find out why.

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Cities Skylines – Addictive

I’ve been watching Youtube videos about various simulation games. Factorio, Automation Empire, Satisfactory, and Cities Skylines. Of course, Cities Skylines is very different from the rest of those. But there’s a sale going on Steam for Cities Skylines, so I gave it a shot.

I started with a tutorial file and made a little town and learned how to get it going in about Four Hours. I didn’t get the cheapest package.

There are several bundles to choose from. The one I got is about $20.

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Adventures in Eorzea

In this midst of this world wide tragedy and horror, I want to share a light spot that my daughter and I are sharing.

I want to share this in a way that is accessible and possibly inspiring for folks that have not played MMO video games before. Not to necessarily encourage you to take them up, but to show you a little of that world.

I have been playing video games for many years in my retirement and have shared these games with my daughter, who lives 500 miles away and who has a busy career. We have been playing various games together for some time – a few hours twice a week. But recently it has become more like 5 or 6 days a week. Our current adventures are in Eorzea playing Final Fantasy XIV. Above, you can see recent mounts we acquired in an event that is going on for the next few weeks.

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Additional Retainers – Don’t Do It!

Back in December I started some serious Crafting Gathering Training.

But after a few weeks, and raising all DoH / DoL jobs – except fishing and culinary – to about 50, I gave up on this. There was an increasing curve of time to get each new level on the jobs. I completed Shadowbringers with the 430 quest gear.

In support of that crafting experience, I purchased two Additional Retainers.

FFXIV_2020_03_16_11_42_14_711x.png

Normally you get two retainers for each character on the account. These serve as bank and sale-agent for the market. They each provide 175 storage slots and the ability to sell up to 20 items at a time on the market board. They also can be leveled to gather additional materials for crafting or other needs.

Now that I have decided to not continue with DoH / DoL leveling, I no longer need the additional retainers, which cost $2/ mo each for an additional retainer or $12 for each 3 month subscription period for two retainers.

But cancelling the Additional Retainers Service is a Nightmare. I would avoid it at all costs. It took about 10 emails with support and then waiting on the computer for over an hour and a half for a chat with a support person to clarify how to cancel the service, and I need to wait about 2 months and then re-enter my credit card to complete the process.

Cancelling Additional Retainers is truly a nightmare.

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Tera Latest Update

I periodically check in with games I’ve played to see how they are doing.

Tera New Launcher

So Tera got a new launcher and has a new update. Yet another new class for Elin, of course. One track mind those folks, don’t we think? Anyway.

The problem is that the update is downloading so slowly that it will take over 7 hours to get it, and I have a very fast internet connection.

And yet the download speed for Tera is 1-2 MBytes / sec, which if you convert to bits / sec is about 10-20 Mbps. What a joke. Looks like they don’t really want me to play.

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