Another week, another hype train, and some interesting topics to discuss!
FFXIV – Eureka, The Masked Carnivale, Maybe Tank Mount Farming? The reason I’ve given for gravitating so hard to FFXIV is goals, and that remains the case this week yet again. While all my jobs are now capped, there remain a number of things to do. I spent a bunch of time this weekend soloing Shisui of the Violet Tide because the set armor from it is particularly good looking, although maybe too revealing…
With the tanking set farmed with only about two hours of effort, I turned back to the Masked Carnivale. The Blue Mage, being a “limited” job, hits a lower level cap than every other job and has only the endgame content for that level and below available (but not through roulettes), and their own endgame content called the Masked Carnivale. It is a set of fights tailored to the modifiable skillsets of the Blue Mage, with some fights being harder than others, and a set of fights at both the original pre-Shadowbringers BLU launch level cap of 50 and the current as of patch 5.15 cap of 60. The fights have fun and interesting twists and mechanics – enemies frequently bring various defensive strengths and weaknesses against types of magic, so you often need to read the fight card before going in and tailor your abilities to match. I haven’t tackled the other BLU endgame activity, the Blue Mage Log, mainly because it is just finding groups of all Blue Mages and doing most of the dungeons and raids in the level range BLU can be. It does seem like something I’ll want to do at some point, but not now.
That leads me to Eureka, the next major goal I’ve set in my path in-game. For each range of content, FFXIV provides a weapon that is usually the second-best weapon you can equip at that point in time, requiring a grind to obtain and then further grinds to upgrade it with each patch and increase in item level. In ARR and Heavensward, and thus far in Shadowbringers, this is done through mostly normal means – you gather items via the easily-farmed Allagan Tomestones of Poetics, buy those items, bring them to the quest giver, and he smacks an anvil and it spits out a weapon, repeat for each job you want one for. Afterwards, it is run dungeons or complete normal gameplay objectives for additional power, and while it is made to be long and somewhat tedious, it is fairly straightforward. Well, in Stormblood, the dev team instead tied the weapon, a corresponding set of armor, and a lot of gameplay all up into a single zone – Eureka. To be more accurate, each phase of the weapon corresponds to a new Eureka zone, with 4 zones in total – Anemos, Pagos, Pyros, and Hydatos. Each zone requires you to gain Elemental levels, with each one having a cap and ending at level 60. The elements tie to a wheel you can place crystals into and spin to match the weakness of an enemy on the go, requiring some degree of simple strategy, but basically, you just zone into Eureka in the level range you currently sit at with Elemental level, grind through mobs, and special FATEs (world quests for the WoW set) called Notorious Monsters. The game’s challenge log gives bonuses for killing large numbers of monsters aspected to certain elements to help the process, and every few levels, you get a new quest to investigate some aspect of the so-called Forbidden Land. Enemies drop crystals, and with enough crystals, you can take your Antiquated weapon rewarded for hitting level 70 and upgrade it to the equivalent of the previous Zeta and Anima weapons.
Eureka is…odd. It is intensely grindy in a specific and sometimes bad way, and as I’ve personally only done Anemos, it is sometimes dull in a really bad way. When people are in the zone at the same time, it can be more interesting, because the most efficient way to your goals is generally to train the NMs in the zone as they pop up and grind until then with other players within 2 levels of your current elemental level. As the zone is instanced and scales gear and character level, being level 80 and highly geared offers no benefits outside of just scaling to the peak available. Later on, my understanding is that the zone turns up things to 11, with zone specific actions you can learn for a single instance by using Logogram items acquired on the island, and Hydatos, the last zone, has the Baldesion Arsenal, which contains a difficult raid boss sequence intended for challenging with 56 players and rewards a cool pet and a mount. It is my end goal to be able to eventually enter BA and get these items, but to get there, I have 3 zones of content and 49 elemental levels to go, so yeah!
In general gameplay, I’ve been slowly turning attention to gathering scrips, unlocking botany folklore for Shadowbringers and gearing up with 470 tools to help my collectible gathering. Next is to finish the current expansion folklore unlocks, then to get the 470 white scrip gear for non-tool slots, and to finish repping up the remaining two custom delivery NPCs I’m not already at max reputation with – Adkiragh and M’naago.
Lastly, each tank in the game gets a mount for running a high number of dungeons, and corresponding titles, and then an upgraded version of the mount at an even higher number of dungeons. The dungeons only need to be level 61+ for higher goals and the Gunbreaker in general, but I can solo Shisui of the Violet Tides (a level 63 dungeon) as a tank in around 12 minutes a run, so I may end up doing that as it is still faster than queuing and running them with groups and given the availability of time in my schedule lately, it works!
WoW: I played 20 minutes this week, no mount drops to report. They did finally reschedule the Shadowlands stream for 7/9, which is great and I fully expect we’ll be seeing Collector’s Edition and release date details still along with maybe some sort of content drop. Datamining is something I’ve been slacking at keeping up with, but there are a lot of interesting things I’ve skimmed over that I may end up posting about later!
Battlefield V: Still largely sticking with the single-player campaign on this one, but I’ve enjoyed it and I think I will set aside some time to try a large-scale multiplayer match.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster: Final Fantasy X was my JAM as a teenager, with an original save with all content complete clocking at 120 hours on my old PS2 memory card. The remaster is a game I got for PS4, played a little bit, and dropped, but I was able to score the PC version cheaply at some point (I don’t remember even buying it, but it was there in Steam looking at me the other night, and I don’t drink to regretful purchase levels!), and so I’ve been playing with that a little bit. Reminders of a simpler time when I was young are a thing that has some specific level of appeal to me right now, and so the nostalgia trip actually works now!
Well, that ended up being heavy thanks to all those FFXIV goals, but that is my week and I’ll revisit in 7 days when next we get hyped! For posts here, I have the third addendum for my leveling/starting experience series, I’ll be diving into WoW datamining a bit for some Shadowlands goodies (still no alpha, come on Blizzard) and a couple of other concepts I’m less ready to share but working on!