We have seen an increasing escalation of difficulty for Job Quest Instances. Of course, for Shadowbringers, there are just too many “Jobs” to have a train of Job Quests for each job, so the designers have given us “Role” quests.
Well, the instances for these are way over the top. I’m not interested in learning to RAID. I spent an evening watching the Eden’s Gate (Savage) Raid on Twitch. I’m no expert, but the whole fight was about a dozen failures, one after another, as one or another member messed some fiddly bit of mechanics by being off by a foot length and causing a wipe. And the whole fight was one Boss on a platform.
I like the design of the MSQ dungeons. Near the end of Shadowbringers, Mt Gulg is a nice dungeon. and I’ve done it a few times with a Red Mage. It’s a little fiddly at the end, and the Boss animations can cover the Trust members that you need to follow to avoid the hits that are not well Telegraphed. But I’ve made it through several times.
But the Role Instances are a whole other thing.
Grand Company Adventurer Squadrons and the Shadowbringers Trust System share some common goals apparently, but each have their own advantages and drawbacks, as well as some common drawbacks. We’ve talked about Trusts here before. Since then I’ve had some more experience with them and have started to use Squadrons. Here are some observations:
Maybe Adventurer Squadrons are popular. Only Square Enix knows. Nobody can see your squad members. And nobody can participate with you and them in a dungeon to see how well they are trained. Nice Gear, Mounts, Minions, Glamour and Dye are popular features in all MMO games because they can be seen by other players. I’ll bet that Hidden features like Retainer Glamour, and Squads are not popular because they are completely hidden from others.
Ok, so we can play the Leveling Dungeons of Shadowbringers using an AI. But have you noticed?
- The Trust Members don’t have MP bars? Shouldn’t they be playing with the same rules that we are using?
- Have you noticed that Trusts seem to rez healers? I mean without Alisaie [a Red Mage with Heal and Rez] in the group. I noticed that Alphinaud [scholar] died and Alisaie was not in the group I chose, but all of a sudden he was back quick as the blink of an eye. Someone cheated. Another Trust Member had Rez that shouldn’t have.
- Things happen too fast. We are not just doing this for their benefit, but we are playing for my benefit and if Trust AIs do things too quickly then I don’t get a chance to learn. For example on one run with me as GNB, playing Holminster, and fighting Tesleen we wiped. Ok, I don’t expect perfect runs with Trusts. But what happened? Did I not stack quick enough so we lost too many Trust members? I did not die, but all of a sudden, quicker than the eye could follow, we were back at the beginning. Please don’t do that. I didn’t get my learning opportunity.
But these minor issues overlook a larger issue. I think the restrictions show that the AI for Trusts have been programmed the wrong way. I don’t think they are using Deep Learning. Here’s why I think that and why I think they should.
I’ve recently started playing Shadowbringers in FFXIV. The first time through Holminster Switch, the first dungeon, I used a matched party of real people and played as a Red Mage. I’m playing Gunbreaker as my primary job, with White Mage and Red Mage as secondary roles.
Typically I don’t play Tank on high level dungeons, but choose DPS roles since they draw less comment if I mess up. However, I have found that Tank Roles are more survivable and more fun in the Solo Instances. For example, in The Oracle of Light solo duty, the tank is a lot of fun to play, and the earlier, tougher A Requiem for Heroes was reasonable as a Gunbreaker.
I need to level my Gunbreaker. I’ve decided to push it ahead to 80 or almost 80 before continuing with Shadowbringers.
When FFXIV announced Trusts for Shadowbringers, I was skeptical. I had played Mercenaries way back in 2011 with Guild Wars. But there are no complicated mechanics or skill combos in Guild Wars. The skills are separate and each have their old cool-down / resource issue. Also, the mobs [no dungeons so no bosses] don’t have complicated mechanics. They just do their skills at you and you do skills back. GW Mercenaries work pretty well. FFXIV skills and mob / boss mechanics are a lot more complicated.
The Moogle Treasure Trove Event is underway. In case you want to see which mount you might like, here are a few pictures: These are the 30 Tome mounts.
Here are the 50 Tome Mounts: Yellow, Purple Eagles and Falcon Airship.
Good luck with your Tome Grind.
I made this post so that I could easily upgrade my Ironworks and Shire Gear. There are a few places to find the info, but they are not convenient to refer to. This is designed to be easy to use.
Note: Next time I visit Rhalgr’s Reach, I’ll add the guide to upgrade the level 70 Scaevan gear. The purchase and upgrade NPCs are all at the same counter for the Scaevan Gear.
Upgrade Ironworks – Level 50 Gear
Purchase of Ironworks gear is in Revenant’s Toll, Mor Dhona. Purchase the gear from Auriana at the counter on the upper level. Auriana also has Upgrade Mats under the Other category of her store.
Purchase a single Carbontwine for Armor and Weapons, and a single Carboncoat for Accessories.
I think we will look back on 2019 as the Year of the Rise of the Player.
- There were several things that happened in the world of video games this year. In no particular order, and without links since they are easy to google:
- The Failed announcement of Diablo: Immortals as a mobile game at Blizzcon. The jeerz from the crowd was loud and emphatic.
- The failure of the Anthem release and the player outcry that followed.
- The continuing slip of World of Warcraft from the top of the stack of games folks want to play.
- The announcement of ArcheAge Unchained as a separate but equal pay once to play release in response to the overwhelming panning of ArcheAge as “Pay to Win”.
- The universal dislike for Loot Boxes, both by the players and by governments around the world who have called these out for what they are, gambling which is made available to minors. While some countries do not classify these as technically “Gambling” due to a technicality in the wording of the laws, most folks see the hidden, and very small odds, real monetary costs, and designed in addictive nature of these schemes as predatory on the players who have large amounts to purchase the games or pay subscriptions for the games.
Youtube, Twitch, Reddit, Twitter and other venues are full of reactions by commentator / players who voice their repeated loud analysis of these and other issues in the gaming industry.
I think modern MMOs are missing an interesting opportunity, and the ones trying it are getting it wrong. We should be able to build teams / parties from the other characters in our own account.
Guild Wars May Have Invented This
Guild Wars 1 or just Guild Wars added a feature near the end of it’s popular life called Mercenary Heroes. See my previous post here. The idea was to allow other characters from your account to play along side you as party members. This was incredibly useful. You needed a party to play at all times since GW is an instance based game. And it was a money making opportunity too since you needed to purchase Mercenary Slots. There was a trick too that you could play. There are two kinds of characters in GW – PVE and PVP. And PVP characters are always level 20 – max level. So the trick is to buy your Merc Slots, then create a PVP character, assign it to a Merc, then Delete the Character. Your Merc remains. Then Rinse & Repeat to build a whole squad of characters of the classes you wanted. Necros and Ritualists are especially useful in your Merc list since there are some powerful Necro skills and Ritualists do powerful heals as well as damage. The Elite Necro Skill Discord does powerful damage and of course the Necro raises every mob you kill into another member of your army. Ritualists cause conditions, which empowers Discord. Anyway, you get the idea.
Why is this interesting?
Let’s take a couple of examples: ArcheAge and Final Fantasy XIV.
I recently looked back at a game I spent a little time with a long time ago – ArcheAge. A long time ago I tried it out, created a character, spent a few hours and dropped it. I don’t remember why I dumped it so quickly. I didn’t even have enough interest at that time to review it here on this blog, so I can’t find out when I did this. But things have changed and I’m spending more time there now.
If you are looking for an “old school” but beautiful MMO with some modern features and good graphics, a wonderful open world to explore and some interesting challenges, ArcheAge may be interesting.
It had been a while since I’d played Tera. They have made some changes. I noticed that they added Popo Brawlers, so I made one. My friend joined me and we were playing together as Elin Brawlers, which aren’t new. We were both around 20 when we came back in and we noticed several changes, many of which made the game less fun.
We had some fashion coupons left from ages ago, so we were able to wear pretty nice looking costumes.