Quarter of the Way

I’m grinding most of the professions and have made over 25% progress toward the Level Cap of 80.

FFXIV_2019_12_11_Jobs Done Analysis Private

So far, the Gil cost is about neutral. I’m mostly grinding using Miner and Botanist. But there are a few items that can only be obtained by Fishing, and those I’ve bought off the Market Place.

Also I’ve run across some examples of how Leve’s are scaled between Battle and Field/ Crafting jobs.

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Training DoH / DoL Jobs

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As you can see I’m making progress training my Disciple of the Hand and Land jobs. It’s going pretty well. Sometimes I spend a little Gil on some items to avoid chasing around to mine or gather items, and sometimes I go out for a long Mining / Chopping session and then combine that with running around to fill in some of the Gathering logs. Mining and Botany were already open when I started, so they are a little ahead of the others. I tend to go to a capital city and then work there a while to level the jobs that are placed there. So Carpenter / Leatherworker in Gridania for a while, then off to Limsa for Blacksmith / Armorer. Tomorrow it will be Weaver / Alchemist turn in Ul’dah. I’m hoping I don’t find out later that Culinarian / Fishing is required for Facet armor.

Preparing to Craft

One of the big problems that took an  hour or so was to clean out my inventory, armory and retainers to prepare to craft. After saving quite a few gear pieces, and other nonsense encountered while leveling, it was quite a chore to clean up to free up space for leveling nine crafting jobs at the same time.

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Solo Job Quests are Out of Control

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.

Borrrrrrrrrring. Image result for eyeroll emoji

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.

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But the Role Instances are a whole other thing.

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Squads and Trusts

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:

Bottom Line:

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.

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Trusts Can Be Smarter

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.

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Holy Cow! Trusts Actually Work!

FFXIV_2019_11_04_20_16_30_324x.pngI’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.

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FFXIV Upgrade Gear

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.

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Purchase a single Carbontwine for Armor and Weapons, and a single Carboncoat for Accessories.

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Mercenaries – Missed Opportunity for MMOs

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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 HeroesSee 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.

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