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Brenda Holloway
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The Odd Kupo

We're used to being challenged on our FFXIV story nights, but it sure didn't look like any sort of challenge was in the cards last night. We did start out with Ifrit (Hard), but essentially the same encounter as the normal Ifrit with double the players just wasn't memorable. Maybe before FFXIV started shoveling great gear at new players, and people had to gear up... but with ilevel 115 gear cheap in the auction house and ilevel 120 gear easily obtainable via poetic tomestones, most of the fights that included gear checks are pretty trivial -- Ifrit included.

The story continued with the preparations to move the Scions of the Seventh Dawn from Vespers Bay to Mos Eisley. It's not really Mos Eisley. I just can't remember the real name of the place because "IT'S A WRETCHED HIVE OF SCUM AND VILLAINY AND THE TOMESTOME ARMOR VENDOR" is stuck in my head.

Since we've just saved the world from the Garlean Empire and given the (omg they're baaaaaack) Ascians a bloody nose, obviously what we need to do next is some trivial jobs like sweep a floor and clean up a spill on aisle three and ask someone if they'd like fries with that. Sure, I know you have to reset the action somewhat so you have something to build up to once more, but why can't they at least be more imaginative about it? Ultima Weapon could have erased everyone's knowledge of the Scions that beat it. Odin could have done it. Something.

Instead, we do some fetch quests, do some easy guildhests, run through Qarn in normal mode (we did it unsynced with a guildie)... and eventually the story comes around to something new.

The Moogles have summoned a not-really-a-primal, King Mog, who (in the old tales) held the rope that let the Moogles climb down from heaven to Eorzea. That's a problem. We Eorzeans like our gods dead. Deicide is literally the prime mission of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn.

While waiting for the mission to start, Kasul and I unlocked Garuda (Hard), because killing the Moogle god would just be a good start. We need to be killing the Ixali god ASAP, too. Seems the Ixali are feeling that the player races are getting a little too powerful, and we just can't be sharing the planet with any sort of empowered beast-folk. They figure they need Garuda back just to have any sort of independent existence. We need to teach them the error of their ways by killing their god.

I'm not entirely sure that we're the good guys, here.

Pretty much as soon as we unlock Garuda (Hard), the King Mog encounter pops, and in we go.

We immediately see that the vast majority of the people in the raid are unsynced 50s, just as are Kasul and me. Usually I can chip up with the astonishing revelation that I've never done this content before and the other people will give advice, but here, most everyone admitted that they, too, had never been here before. Well, I did have (as I usually do) the walkthrough up on the other monitor, and there were a couple people who HAD done it, but that wasn't enough.

I got voted to be main tank, though, so I eventually realized I had enough spare time to be marking the moogles (who have to be killed in some sort of order) for focus fire. That helped, the two healers who would mutually raise each other helped, and on our third try we succeeded in destroying the only hope of the Moogle people and congratulating the good Moogles who knelt and allowed the boots of the Eorzean people to rest gently on their head balloons.

I'm REALLY unsure we're the good guys.
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Well, the truth can be told: Yes, my character was vital to completion of Final Fantasy XIV's main plot. I can only imagine that player after player was wondering who this "Nina Tanglewood" paladin-type that always seemed to be the star of every cutscene. Frankly, I'm surprised I'm the first "Nina Tanglewood" out there, considering how central she (and that is to say, "I") is to the main plot.

It must be that Square Enix have sworn everyone to silence about my pivotal role. That's over, now. I KNOW!

You may bow down before me.

YOU! YOU THERE! That was more a "genuflect" than a "bow". Do it over!
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I LOVE the music!
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I have no idea why this song was running through my head this morning when I woke up. I think Estefan's version is better than the original.
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I honestly have no idea. I can only think I must have heard it somewhere just before bed.
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The Jig is Up!

I don't have time this morning before to work to write up last night's FFXIV Story Time, so I'll just leave you with this until later :) Kasul and I doing a jig in front of Castrum Meridianum, as we prepare for the penultimate (their words!) encounter in the story of the fight against the Ultima Weapon.

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Riding along with New Horizons using the NASA Eyes on the Solar System app. It should be zooming past Pluto just about the time I have to go to work.
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Now that's cool!
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Life at 50!

It's tough to be so close to 50 but not actually BE 50. I figured I'd better work on that. Sunday morning I used a combination of roulettes, hunting logs and fates to bridge that gap.

The level 50 quest was suitably wonderful, and goddammit if I didn't feel like a member of the Sultansword afterward. I can't imagine how I'll feel the next time I get a job to 50 -- oh wow, looks like I (yawn) saved the world again, and just in time for brunch... The first time means something. I imagine the job quests didn't always grant both an iLevel 50 and iLevel 90 armor set. I'm grateful that they give newbies like me a little head start, especially since I'm not planning on buying Heavensward just yet. Level 50 is the hard cap for me now.

The first roulette dungeon I got was Garuda. I'd done it twice before; the first time was a struggle, the second fairly smooth with just one wipe. This time, though, everyone knew the fight, and it was a perfect run. First try, everyone survived the Reckoning in fine shape, it was over and done with in minutes. Next roulette was Sastasha, and lastly Stone Vigil. This turned out to be the problematic run. Everyone kept dying in the cannon room. Not sure why. I finally guessed it was because the dps and the healer were all camped out next to the cannons. I suggested they only go up to the cannons when they were shooting Isgebind, and we succeeded after that, though I'm not sure that had anything to do with it.

I finally made level 50 finishing the 3rd level gladiator hunting log.

I had a baby shower to attend, so I couldn't really explore much. I did add my new spell, Circle of Scorn, to my taunt macro. It'll be useful for grabbing that initial aggro. I also got an ability that will make me nearly invulnerable for 10 seconds. That might also be useful on large pulls. It has a seven minute cooldown; I'm not sure if I'll remember to use it very often.

Level 50 opened up a couple of PvP scenarios with my grand company, the Immortal Flames. I also got a new PvP roulette to play with. I signed right up. Half an hour later it popped me into a three-way PvP match between the grand companies of Ul'Dah, Gridania and Limsa. Standard capture and hold scenario. Enemy PCs are labeled only with their class, so you have an instant idea of what they can do. I, as a paladin, was largely ignored or ganged up upon. I had no idea what I was doing, but I did appreciate being stunned and kicked off a plateau to my death. That was a pretty slick move :)

Doing my first PvP got me another title, Flame Puppy. I found I'd also gotten the Flamelady title for earning over 100K company seals, so.... I'm the Heart of the Party no more. Flame Puppy for me.

Omuro, who'd finished the main story quest and started on the hard dungeons, grabbed me for a hard level dungeon, but newbie me couldn't play those games. He signed us up instead for Dzemael Darkhold. Not really a fan of that dungeon. I fell off a ledge, again, when a toad stomped me. Even though I'd done the dungeon twice before, I barely remembered the encounters, and nobody else in the group seemed to remember the second and third boss fights, either. I kinda had dim memories, and shared them. Second boss, dodge AEs. Third boss, kill the corrupted crystals.

Mostly Omuro just wanted to show me his cool, hard-mode armor. Which was suitably awesome. I defy anyone to prove to me that playing dps is ever hard mode. compared to tanking and healing. I've got my Dragoon job into the 30s, with Archer and Pugilist on their way. When I do dungeons or hests as dps, zero stress. If the tank is new, sometimes I can offtank (Dragoon is great for this), but mostly... after the thrill of tanking, merely doing dps -- as vital a job as this is -- seems a little boring to me.

Tonight's our story night. I'm looking forward to dealing with the new threat we encountered after defeating Garuda last week!
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The story in the expansion is awesome and hooks right in where the original left off.  Gogo 50 >:D
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Not a huge Muse fan, but I do love me some Knights of Cydonia now and then :)
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+Chris Smith oh come on.
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Everyone's a hero in their own way...
You, and you, and mostly me, and you!

Kasul and I finished the last two "full party" encounters of the main FFXIV scenario last night. I honestly don't know what it was like for Kasul as one of the two healers, probably chaotic, but as a tank it was BORING. I didn't know anything about anything, the other tank would tell me where to stand occasionally, and nobody let me take time to watch the heroic cutscenes where I, the heroine of Eorzea, the Champion of Light, the one who whipped the Scions of the Seventh Dawn into shape when their incompetent leadership failed at the task, single-handedly saved the world.

Then I'd have to skip out of the cutscene because the rest of the raid was already off to the next boss and the arena would be sealing off in fifteen seconds. Well, I did get SOME movies of me being the most important there by far, and I'll be assembling those into a supercut of me being super later today.

We did find out what the Seventh Dawn meant. I probably missed the explanation for it before, but it's broken out here. I expected to, but did not, find out what happened to the Wonder Twin's sister. The two went their separate ways fairly early in the plot, with the boy joining the Scions and the girl... well, this being Final Fantasy, the girl will have joined the enemy. I expected to see her in the post-credits scene setting up the new plotline, but if she was there, I missed her. I'll have to go back and check, but I think I met up with all the dead scions to defeat Lahabrea. Who, naturally, somehow survived being killed by a raid, then killed again by me in the spirit crystal realm. Didn't even slow him down.

Kasul and I took a quick break, and then continued with Wanderer's Palace. None of us had been there (or at least, seemed to remember being there) before. It was a pure crawl, and we figured out the mechanics on the way. Yes, I read the boss strats on the walkthrough, but there was a lot more going on that the walkthrough didn't mention at all. The loot is pointless, since FFXIV boosted us up in order to prepare us for Heavensward, but I did get a little slime companion, the envy of everyone else in the group. And it was a really, really fun run.

After that, back to the main plot for a bit. It looks like we're opening up Tam-Tara hard mode, Ifrit hard mode, and I'm not sure where the main storyline is going at this point. Ifrit and Tam-Tara are sidequests. There's a new dance quest, too, that I need to finish, because I need more dances. This seems to be the Manderville dance. I still need to figure out how or when to get the bomb dance quest. The NPCs aren't there when I go looking.

I have the maximum number of Grand Company seals, and need to spend some. Problem is, nothing's an upgrade. I suppose I can buy furniture for my room.

First time in awhile I've finished story night and not had an idea what we'd be working to the next story night. I'm sure it's leading to a hard mode dungeon, but, which one? Anyway, looking forward to seeing what's been happening with the terrible healer who let her tank die and then started carrying his head around. Apparently, they're getting married now.
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I let people take the time to watch the story in dungeons -- you can tell when someone is watching story, after all. Usually people let me do it in new dungeons. These raids were entirely different.

Kasul pointed out that I could just watch them all at my leisure in my free company room, but the ones at the time of the raid include the other raid members (as background characters, true, but they're there).

I have to do the first of the raids again to get the triple triad card (Kasul got it; I did not). I hope to have another chance at them then.

I also prefer to play with others. Sometimes we get chatting, and it's a lot of fun. I get so much more out of the game when I play with others. Some games, people are just so much better that it discourages me from playing. Here, things are at a decent pace that you can see what the other people are doing, and it informs future runs. Then, on those future runs, I can relax and pay more attention to what's going on, what other people are doing, and so on.

It bugs me that people are so afraid to talk in MMOs. Then, once you break the ice, it's like a flood, and after that everyone is having a great time. Almost everyone has had experience filling every role in a group, so everyone has advice.

I have had people correct my mistakes as paladin and dragoon -- not in a bad way, but in a helpful way. And I appreciated the advice and did better. I ask people about stuff, and they are willing to answer.

No, no solo dungeons for me. I have Pillars of Eternity, Dragon Age Inquisition, and so on for solo play. Any time spent in an MMO not interacting with other people in some way just feels wasted. Even just riding a fate train can be fun because it's with other people. Everyone crafting together in the Grand Company hall is fun :)
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There probably isn't a better city than Hartford for a Death Fest....

Oh hey, same venue has Fates Warning a couple weeks later. I haven't even thought about them for years and years... from back in my prog metal days... wow.
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Not without my Magitek!

The aftermath of the Garuda fight and the emergence of the ancient, god-eating, Ultima weapon left us more than a little discouraged. All this, and the Garlean Empire was just going to cause another Calamity to match the first one, just out of spite. Some problems are just too large to solve, and all you can do is solve the little ones and hope the big ones take care of themselves.

Maybe we wouldn't have a chance against Ultima, but we could save Minfilia, Tataru, Biggs, Wedge and the other remains of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. And, more importantly, grab us some of that Magitek Armor, the two-legged personal tanks I first remember seeing in Final Fantasy III-slash-VI, when the Empire was in pursuit of Espers.

Unfortunately, even though Kasul and I had to gather the materia to FIX the thing in the first place, it was handed over to Cid's assistants to use. Grrrr. That was MINE. It even pretty much loves me. Whenever we saw it using its Magitek Vision, it gazed lovingly on me. My Magitek. Mine.

Gunblade gauntlets. Magitek armor. The Empire has all the COOL TOYS.

The daring excursion into the Garlean citadel was all I could have hoped for, except for it being solo only. One of the things I like best about these story nights is sharing the story with someone else, but for most of the night, Kasul and I were forced to play apart. Omuro offered to help out, but since he'd done the story, he'd only be able to join in on any potential dungeons.

He'd logged out by the time we finally got to the first group content, the trial of Cape Westwind. This was only our second time in a Full Party -- eight people. Most of the content before now has been in a Light Party -- four people. The last Guildhest is a full party, some of the PvP stuff is full party, and now this. The fight was a simple tank and spank, and more set up, I think, the sort of waiting you'll be doing for a full party than any sort of special mechanics. A couple adds spawned that I was supposed to offtank, so I did.

Completing Cape Westwind let us continue the story to the gates of Castrum Meridianum, which sounds like a fairly lengthy full party raid. Kasul wasn't to level 50 yet, so we were obliged to stop there for the night.

Still having fun with the story. I do worry, though, that doing any of the pre-expansion full party content (these mini-raids, the pvp) is just going to mean frustrating waits. Last night, I could not get the pvp to fire. I did a guildhest roulette (the one with the goblin bombers) as dragoon, and then a low level dungeon roulette (Cutter's Cry, a favorite) as paladin for the tomestones. Did a hunt for a few alliance seals, but then I looked at the alliance seal rewards and there was nothing much there to want. Maybe some of those minions. Any job high enough level to use the alliance seal armor will be high enough level to get ilvl 50/90 armor from their job quest.

It's likely that most of the pre-expansion high level content is pointless. But, Kasul and I are locked at 50 for now. We still really have a lot of stuff to do.
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But they are always wanted :) You will always have significantly smaller queues than dps
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I know this is kind of an oldie, but I don't think I'd ever heard a live version of this song before Pandora decided I needed to hear this one. And Pandora was right. I DID. The Breeders were an obsession for me back in the 90s.
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No one hates a puppy as much as a puppy who's been hated. :-/ You poor thing!
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Tagging this for when I get home.
The original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook, known these days as the AD&D 1e PHB, is now available as an officially licensed digital file. The watermarked, searchable PDF is available...
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Finally a Player's Handbook in a handy .pdf format.  Thanks for the share.
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Web developer, bicyclist, gamer, writer, Supra and Celica owner.
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Interested in web development, programming, photography, 80s Toyotas, gaming, blogging, bicycling, puns.
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Tipa Tanglewood, tipa, tipa16384
Brenda Holloway's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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