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Brenda Holloway
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Brenda Holloway

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Daily FFXIV report: (Sorry, no picture!)

Raid: Alexander Cuff of the Father (A2) (PLD)
Leveling: Copperbell Mines (AST)
Mini Cactpot: 2,000 MGP+
Astrologian to 57
Culinarian to 22

I wasn't really energized enough to spend a lot of time in game last night. Mini Cactpot went well; I'd won the 10K cactpot the day before, and won both the 2nd and 3rd highest payouts last night. Starting from near zero after buying the Gambler's Trenchcoat, I now am just shy of 20K MGP. I've decided my next two purchases will be the dances.

I'd like to do Void Ark with Kasul -- it's just more fun! But his work schedule is bizarre this week. Alexander (Normal) can only give my paladin job minor upgrades, but I have dragoon and, soon, astrologian responsibilities that will need some raid gear. With that in mind, I reluctantly signed myself up for all four Alexander floors. The second floor readied first. That's the one with all the trash and... no, that's it. Just trash.

I keep hoping some other tank will volunteer to be main tank, but often, everyone just waits around for someone else to do it. And that someone else is usually me. You'd think that would be some sort of minor honor, but it really isn't. It's MT vs the mobs and the rest of the raid, as everything that can go wrong is more or less your fault.

Offtank was a dark knight who refused to keep the trash gathered together, essentially splitting the raid. After we ran back from the wipe, I asked if he could bring any aggro to a central point. I'd asked before, but I guess we had to wipe before he believed me.

No useful components from that run.

Leveling roulette needed a healer, so I swapped jobs to Astrologian and signed myself up... for Copperbell Mines. UGH. I told the group that I would probably be DPSing through the entire thing, as one does in these low level dungeons (and, GOOD healers DPS in EVERY dungeon... while still keeping everyone alive). I'm still getting used to knowing my heals well enough to be able to "stance dance" in and out of DPS stance while still keeping the party standing, so these low dungeons are a good practice opportunity.

The gladiator tank thought maybe I shouldn't look forward to too much DPS as he was a terrible tank. I looked over his search info -- he had a level 60 Warrior job. I couldn't believe a max level warrior -- the game's best tank -- would want to start over as a gladiator/paladin -- the game's worst tank. He agreed, but said he needed a cross-class skill.

That started a conversation in the group about FFXI jobs we'd love to see in FFXIV (Blue Mage and Corsair were mentioned; Red Mage was my choice). We got through the dungeon, nobody died, I did a lot of DPS, and dinged 57. Now I can heal the Vault. The Vault, the Healer Killer.

I had the rest of the season of Better Call Saul to catch up on, so I spent the rest of the night as a Culinarian, watching Netflix and cooking up Walnut Bread for experience and leves. That bread got me seven levels.

Tonight: D&D!
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Healer shouldn't be next to you. They will take the tank busters meant for you and die. So that's on them. If you actually did lose aggro, that might be an issue. You should get "Provoke" as a cross-class skill from Gladiator -- that skill puts you at the top of the aggro list, needing only an immediate damage move from you to cement it.

Paladins have easy openers -- Sheltron/Shield Lob/Circle of Scorn/Flashflashflash and then use our Rage of Halone combo whenever things look dicey.

Warriors, though, have far more complex openers. Warriors keep aggro mostly by doing damage, the very ability that makes them the most sought-after tanks. Here's a discussion on reddit about a possible warrior opener. It's tuned for warriors with all possible abilities, including cross-class abilities, but should give an idea of how to immediately put yourself on top of the aggro list and keep yourself there.

But yeah, I would enjoy tanking so much more if people were seeing that they were about to grab aggro from a mob and switch to a different mob. Instead, it's a game to see if they can grab aggro from the tank. That's a "win" for DPS.

In the case where there is only one mob, like in Titan, DPS should still watch themselves, but you'll have "Provoke" and other warrior skills to pop your aggro up if they get too close.

Not sure if you know about the aggro meters next to names in the party list; that's a good way to see where trouble spots are brewing.
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Brenda Holloway

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FFXIV daily report:

Raids: Alexander 1-4 (Normal) (PLD)
Leveling dungeon: Aurum Vale (AST)
Guildhest: Bomb Queen (AST)
Cactpot: Complete loser!
Current ilvl: 190 (PLD)

Before Kasul logged in, I did a little bit of crafting and signed up for the leveling roulette as an Astrologian. And Aurum Vale came up. I don't like this dungeon as a tank, and I don't like it as a DPS. And I guessed I wouldn't like it as a healer, either... but we got through it with no deaths or wipes. Warrior tank was pretty good, but I didn't feel comfortable enough to drop into cleric stance and dps very often.

I did receive the Morbul Seedling minion, though, so that was something. Still 56.

Ran the Bomb Queen hest as well, no issues.

Kasul and I had been talking what to do with our story night. We decided to see what Alexander had to offer. We'd done Alexander 1 before, and it went smoothly enough... with me as a dragoon. Could I handle tanking responsibility?

It took a pull or two for me to figure out what specifically I should be doing as a tank, but ultimately it was a lack of DPS which had the raid break up the first time. And the second time (what was up with that bard?). Third time I apparently locked one of the DPS out by starting the encounter too soon. These raids all ended by people bailing immediately. Fourth time was the charm; I knew what to do, the DPS was sufficient, we cakewalked it.

Alexander 2 is a raid with no bosses, just trash. Neither Kasul nor I were that excited to try it again.

Alexander 3 had a lot of interesting mechanics. The main tank explained everything to me; it was a lot of fun.

Alexander 4 was more interesting for me than for Kasul. As offtank, me and a random DPS were transported at times to different areas to duo a mob while the rest of the raid focused on the boss. Healers, though, would kill each other if they got too close... and the other healer got too close to Kasul. Part of my offtank job was to literally intercept damage meant for other players. There was a lot going on, but it was a lot of fun.

Now I understand, to some extent, what people are talking about when they talk about Alexander mechanics. On Savage mode, everything is amped up to eleven, and there's no way a pickup group would last a minute in any of these places. But this fairly low stress kind of raiding works for me.

All of the Alexander floors drop items with which to purchase i190 armor. I got myself some new sabatons, while Kasul got a couple pieces. I think he's at i180 now.

Neither of us were feeling all that well, so we logged out after the raids. Bahamut T6+ is just going to have to wait for another night.
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Sounds like someone is bringing the "It's a Wipe!" ( single player MMORPG gameplay to Android.
Fans of MMORPGs have a new game to look forward to on Android soon called Pocket Guild from indie developers Sad Herring. Unlike other MMORPGs though, this one is a single-player game. How does that work? Mainly by making this game basically an MMORPG simulator of sorts. All of the content you would
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It's 2016, the "MM" stands for Massively Monetized.
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. +Dor Kleiman here's the video of me solving that puzzle from last week. I finally got back to that area. Since this is just the last minute, it shows how I spend most of my time in The Witness -- sitting motionless while trying to solve the puzzle in my head. It pretty much follows the outline from before.

The part I'm figuring out is how to group the last three tetris pieces such that all the symbols are within the outlined pieces. You can switch the pieces around freely as long as their eventual combined boundary contains all the tetris symbols.
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Here's a full list of every game I ever bought:
- World of Warcraft - back when I had spare time it got me through a year of unemployment. I even got an extension or two.
- StarCraft 2
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"Putting the Dragon in Dungeons and Dragons" - Adventure Co meets their first dragon. Comedy ensues!

Adventure Co were well on their way to storm the castle on the backs of their hijacked wyverns. The giant’s floating giant castle was still visible in the gloom, enough for the party to see that there were three ogres standing atop the rearmost tower.…
Adventure Co were well on their way to storm the castle on the backs of their hijacked wyverns. The giant’s floating giant castle was still visible in the gloom, enough for the party to see t…
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Scary fun!
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A bot designed to keep telemarketing scammers on the phone as long as possible by simulating a conversation. Some of these are hilarious -- ESPECIALLY the one with the telemarketer figures out he's talking to a bot and sticks around to hear the whole thing.
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Have her in circles
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Brenda Holloway

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Kind of Queen meets The Hush Sound... bouncy, harmonic, I like it :)
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Brenda Holloway

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FFXIV Weekend report:

Raid: Void Ark, Alexander: Fist of the Father (DRG)
Expert: Saint Mocianne's Arboretum (PLD)
Level 60: Fractal Continuum (PLD)
Leveling: Thousand Maws (AST)
Ad Hoc: The Aery (x2) (AST)
Crafting: Culinarian to 15, Weaver to 37

Got another Cactpot, but was still 5K MGP away from the Gambler's Trenchcoat. So it was off to the Fogfens to play cards with the Indolent Imperial until I had enough for the coat, plus another 750 to pay for my next round of Mini-Cactpot.

I don't know what I want to work toward now. The future flying turtle is 200K, there are two new dances at 80K each, and the rest of the gambler outfit is probably about 60K for all the pieces. But for about a minute's worth of effort each day, it's something that can just take its own time.

The trenchcoat did not go well with my current glamours, so I looked through all the things I could make and settled on an armored look for hands and feet -- Cobalt Mitt Gauntlets and Iron Sabatons. I used the new Hasty Touch Culinarian action to make them. They both ended up high quality. I intended to sell them after using them for the glamour, but it turns out I cannot sell things used for a glamour.

Kasul logged in Saturday. We were hoping to join the free company in a raid of the Second Coil of Bahamut, but that didn't happen. We did Alexander 1 normal instead. I went as Dragoon as it looked like a pretty involved fight for tanks. I was the lowest DPS of all the DPS jobs in the raid, by far. At least I did more DPS than the tanks and healers -- if just barely. Humbling.

Even though I've done Void Ark twice as a tank, I went in again as a dragoon. I should have gone in as paladin.

I'm capped on Esoterics for the week, so I really couldn't play my level 60 jobs any more. I didn't mind; I love leveling the Astrologian.

The first time through The Aery was a little bumpy. I accidentally started the run in cleric stance, and was scared (until I noticed) that I would have to abandon the group as the content was way above my ability to heal. But once I noticed CS was on and dropped it, it was a lot easier. The DPS was terrible, though, and we wiped several times on Nidhogg. If I focused on keeping Estinien alive, we didn't have enough DPS to get through the DPS check. If I did DPS, Estinien died because the tank wasn't getting the adds taunted off.

Second run was smooth as silk.

It's really instructive to play in different roles. I'll be a better tank, knowing what DPS and healers are going through.
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Ars Technica UK does a nice review of D&D 5e, 16 months in.

The Adventure Company started in the tactical battle rules of the fourth edition, but our latest efforts tracking the Hoard of the Dragon Queen (status: found) have been entirely under the 5th edition rules. And it feels, more than ever, like it did way back in the 80s when I started playing "Advanced" Dungeons and Dragons, except without all those weird tables.
Streamlining, self-publishing, annual stories—if you left, it's time to unretire for 5E.
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Brenda Holloway

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Hold on -- American Truck Simulator only simulates California and Nevada? No New England?

Forget that. I was almost excited for this.  Let me know when Boston, New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and all the other cities of the great Northeast Corridor are in the game. (And Hartford!)
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Just watched the video on their site, and I have to admit they nailed California's look. Lived there 23 years and it felt like being home.
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FFXIV Daily Report:

Expert: Pharos Sirius (Hard)
Levelling: Brayflox Longpause
Gold Saucer: Working on it
Beast Tribe: Vanu still at max

I coerced Kasul to get online after work and we did the Valentine's Day quests. They're corny fun, but you have to do them with someone else. Rewards were earrings, a Mario cap, a bed and two halves of a loveseat. Appropriate!

While he was online, we did a quick Expert roulette and Pharos Sirius (Hard) came up. I hadn't seen this since we unlocked it with that > 1500 dps Monk making things simple. This time we had two Black Mages and it wasn't all that simple. I messed up a few times but no wipes and we made it through.

It takes me a couple of times to learn a dungeon.

Leveling roulette needed a healer, so I changed to Astrologian and rolled into Brayflox. I usually dread this dungeon, but the buff Warrior tank was on point and needed so little healing that I spent most of the dungeon DPSing. Quite a change from my normal Brayflox experience.

That left me just short of level 54. I knocked out the rest with a round of Vanu quests. Now that the reputation is maxed out, the experience from the quests is not inconsiderable for the effort.

Since I won another mini cactpot the other day, I'm sitting at around 80K MGP, within range of the Gambler's Trenchcoat. I spent a couple hours working on the Gold Saucer challenge log for more MGP until Kasul logged in.

It's just good, clean fun.

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Lessee... start by grabbing the two dots, then below the white squares, up and beneath the black squares, then over and outline the L tetris piece. Use the shifted placement property of tetris symbols to shift the horizontal line down two, with the L on top and the L in an F orientation on the bottom, outline them and down for the win.

Oh, hi. Never mind me. Playing The Witness in my head at work.

Just like every Witness player.
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Yeah, I can. I haven't solved it in game yet, maybe in the morning :)
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Brenda's Collections
Web developer, bicyclist, gamer, writer, Supra and Celica owner.
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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