November update and first party

The November update’s dropped, and there’s quite a few changes that have happened. On the UI side, there’s now things like an icon showing chats in your active LS (otherwise you might forget which LS /l will go to, since you can have eight LSes but only one that you can talk to at a time — no /l1 sort of commands), rank and level bars in the main view (instead of just numbers visible only when the menu is up), new views for attributes and gear, and auto-sort for inventory. Retainers are now also able to wear gear they’re selling, both to help differentiate different retainers with the same model (there’s only a few models for each race/clan/gender) as well as to show potential buyers what the gear actually looks like.

There’s also new mob types (mites, three different varieties), changed mob distribution (in general more mobs running around), and a big change is that SP is now constant rather that awarded for random actions (so a given mob and level will have a certain XP and SP value to give). So instead of killing mobs as slowly as possible to let SP accrue, now the goal is to kill as quickly as possible since there’s no benefit to letting mobs live.

Unfortunately, one downside to the new SP system is that it seems like the SP isn’t based on the highest-rank party member (or is, but the dropoff in awards is too low to matter) and participation isn’t required to get SP, and so there are people out there running “AFK PL” parties where people will just /follow (or lock-on and auto-run since there’s no /follow in XIV) a higher-level around (often an R50) who kills mobs quickly while the other people (who are basically AFK) rack up SP at seemingly-obscene rates. In XI this wouldn’t work because if nothing else the level difference would destroy what little XP was being awarded, but here it seems like that’s not the case. I’m hoping that this issue gets fixed rather soon, because it’s a huge exploit and ends up affecting those who are trying to party legitimately in a particular area (since the R50 will be clearing a huge area of mobs that several normal parties would’ve been able to coexist in). If nothing else, it allows RMTs to build up characters quickly and since RMT seems to be SE’s main focus (rather than necessarily the player base).

Speaking of partying, I had my first “real” party last night (other than the duos with Nym). We tried doing crabs near Bloodshore, but one of those R50 PL parties was destroying everything in the area and didn’t leave anything for the couple of normal parties trying to skill. Eventually we ended up in Cassiopeia Hollow running around one of the lakes destroying cassiopeia and sea puks for around 50 SP each (for around 5-15 seconds per fight, unlike the 100 SP crab we fought down there for several minutes). It was basically the XIV equivalent of a TP burn, worked out nicely with getting some obscene amount of XP/SP (legitimately). I didn’t make note of where exactly I’d started, but I got over 11K SP on my R19 MRD and over 28K XP in lvl 25. If I didn’t have to take off because it’s was late and I was feeling sick, I probably could’ve hit R20 (possibly even lvl 26 though that was about 15K off). Good times. ^^

Rank 20 leves

Well, finally tried my first solo R20 leves at Horizon on my R17 MRD just to see what it’s like (R20s previously with Bif were hit and miss for sure, and imps’ difficulty scales really fast); I was able to pick up two imp-related leves (one where they’re hiding as dodos and one where there’s wisps and lala assassins) and one bandit one.

The first imp leve was extremely easy. The other imp leve was really ugly, but that’s only because one pair of assassins just wouldn’t die! I’d get them to 1 HP each and then nothing. o.O Ran away, killed everything else just fine, and came back. That’s when I noticed there was something in my menu in the Interaction area: Detect. >.< In the dodo leve, you just attack and the imps show themselves (if they're pretending to be that particular pair of dodos), but in this one you have to manually select Detect for them to be spotted. So if you forget and can't kill one of the mobs, it's apparently an imp in disguise. ;) Bandits were a little more difficult (though they were all red to me), but still manageable solo (though only just, it could get a little hairy if I missed more often than I already did). So now I've got R20s that I can start doing in addition to the R10s, though the R20 rewards were about as pitiful as my R10 leves lately (on the absolute lowest end possible, 2-5K instead of the nicer 8-10K). Did have two R20s that were PGL guild marks, though, so I got nothing for those (since you have to be on that job to get the marks). -.- The other new thing I tried was some Behest (basically just like a leve but you sign up at a Battlewarden during the 5-minute window to participate) at Drybone. Easy at R17, the worst was the pair of ladybugs at the end, only because they could Spoil for around 190 or so, which hurts. Everything else was way too weak against me (the rule of thumb seems to be camp rank plus five for soloing it). Not sure how many people really do Behest, but it was mildly interesting, I got some "free" skill points (seemed pretty decent considering how few hits the mobs would take), and about 2500 gil at the end.

Linkshell and Nymwae

I now have an LS with a population of more than two (being my personal “Legion of Evil Kitties” LS that I created for Nym and myself), thanks to Bif becoming a sackholder. The LS is called “Being”, and honestly has a similar feel to it that AS did (or other “family” LSes like EM), it seems like a nice shell with a bunch of weirdos. ^^ Everyone’s ahead of me with main jobs and stuff (usually people are doing R30 leves), so still pretty much on my own usually as far as playing, but it’s good to have conversation going.

And Nym’s finally starting to come back. We just the other day started up new R1 jobs because she wanted to get Second Wind from PGL for her MRD, so she did PGL and I did THM and in around an hour or so we busted out R6, so mission accomplished (and I got Sacrifice, which is so much better than Cure, since it’s Cure+Regen for 10MP instead of Cure for 12MP). She’s not going to be on all the time at least yet, but hopefully at least one or two nights a week we can go beat stuff up together. ^^

I’m back!

I had a bit of a break due to some surgery that Nym had (between having the surgery done and recovery, which tended to involve Nym on the couch watching TV, which is what I play on), but have recently been able to get back on.

Since my pugilist is staticked with Nym’s marauder and she’s not quite back yet, I’ve been working on doing crafting leves and taking up some miscellaneous jobs. I’m a little frustrated with how slowly leve-only crafting goes (unlike regional leves that have a separate list for each camp and rank, local leves have a single list of leves per job that can include any available rank), so haven’t kept up as much as I would like, just getting about three additional ranks on each (most 9-10 and weaving 7).

For other job support, I started conjurer (for cure and stoneskin) which I got to 8 and have been doing a lot of marauder (now rank 15) as a non-staticked melee job so I can smash stuff without leaving Nym behind. I could stand to take up thaumaturge at some point, as well, so I can get access to some additional support spells, but shock spikes and stoneskin work well and I have three methods of healing right now: Second Wind (from pugilist), Bloodbath (from marauder) and Cure (from conjurer). It’s nice to be able to mix and match abilities that you know from other jobs, but it of course means that you have more choices to wade through and figure out what you want (and you’re limited to a certain number of action points and all actions you want to use must be on your action bar, so you can’t do any random ability you want).

In addition to slaughtering random woodland (or desert, mostly, as I’ve been near Ul’dah recently) creatures, I’ve done some additional exploration, getting all the camps and quite a few gates in Thanalan, as well as getting all in Mor Dhona (and getting to see the airship dragon myself). I tried to start on Coerthas, but got sneezed on by a stag and died (those are powerful sneezes). At least I’ve gotten Revenant’s Toll in Mor Dhona, which is close to the Coerthas exit.

Last night I got on and did a bunch of various leves with Bif, from rank 10s all the way to rank 30s. We tried to do most (other than R30, of course) with my R15 marauder and Bif’s R10 pugilist, though 3-star R20 leves ended up kicking our butts and he’d break out his R28 marauder so we could complete it. Imps, especially, were bad: we did a 2-star R20 fairly easily, but the 3-star ended up with very very red imps that would AoE us for 900+. >.< After the R20s we went down to Casseopeia Hollow to do a couple of R30 leves Bif had lying around, and I tagged along on those at 2-star: one doing mostly goats (and two antelope at the end), and one doing elementals. Neither was all that bad even with me at R15, though I did have to be careful of AoEs since they could get rather strong at times. The only death I had was to a random AoE of a sea hare; they apparently sometimes get scared and as a defense mechanism secrete mucus as an AoE (and I was destroyed by this when running past). Live and learn (or die and learn, I suppose). ;)