Sunday, May 3, 2015

Grover Eyeveen's FFXIV Adventures - May 2015

(Warning: Spoilers are contained below in the "Final Coil" sub-section!)

It's been a little while since I got to talk a little about my adventures in Final Fantasy XIV. Come this September I will have been in Eorzea for five years. Time really flew on the adventure.

Though I really don't have a lot of play time as much as I used to in my XI days or even in the 1.0 era, I'm still working on my achievements. I play FFXIV as a whole as an Achievement Hunter, which gives me the desire to want to experience everything in the game, even if only once, so I can get as many clears and achievements as possible.

I recently hit my original Heavensward goals of getting a Paladin Zeta Weapon and finishing the Zodiac Weapon questline as well as obtaining 5000 achievement points! Top-tier player I would be considered based on the ranking, but I still consider myself a mid-core player at best.

Paladin Zeta!

I've also gotten far better at Triple Triad and Chocobo racing, and I have working on those as secondary to my progress in the Final Coil of Bahamut. I also got my personal chocobo some cool looking Dragoon barding in preparation of the upcoming expansion!

My chocobo "Wonder" and the Dragoon Barding

But perhaps the biggest piece of recent news as I'm shifting my own free company and goals to match my personal playstyle and preferences going forward.

The Future of Viva Eorzea:

Viva Eorzea - Taken January 2015

In the past few months or so, Viva's been on the downward trend. A lot of friends have left the free company because it's not what it used to be, the player mentality not only in our free company, but as a whole as shifted. I wouldn't say it's worse than what it used to be, but it's certainly different. I want to say that the downward trend started around the release of the game Destiny, but it could have been earlier or later than that, at least that's when I noticed said changes. A lot of the regulars went into hiatus and stopped playing. Scheduled event attendance went into all time lows with frequent event cancellations, and the Coil Statics formed for the regulars had to be cancelled/disbanded due to waning attendance and an all around drop in participation. Our Ventrilo used to be full of members and dropped down to mostly myself and Elieris with Sutaki popping in here and there.

After a few months of this, and a lot of talking Elieris and Sutaki, we decided that a change was necessary if we wanted to keep Viva running for the future. From 2010 until now, I was creating events with the lowest common demoninator in mind. (I don't mean this in a derogatory tone). Events were originally designed to help the members furthest behind to catch up to current membership so we would constantly have participation from those willing to backtrack and people who need wins. Due to the bonus soldiery offered to first time winners and drops from these encounters that were still useful, we would have a full house most nights.

Due to the rapid power creep introduced every two patches and echo being added to current endgame content, tomes were increasingly seen as an obsolete method as a bonus incentive to keep people willing to help, and rare drops like ponies or others aren't a good enough factor to keep people reeling in the content. Mix that with the downward trend in attendance, and events were more or less a ghost house.

For the reason above, I made the announcement a few days back that Viva Eorzea was going to have a format-flip of sorts come June, shifting what used to be a mid-core do everything Free Company, to a progression-based Free Company. While current members from Viva will be grandfathered into the new paradigm, those coming back from a break or hiatus will need to catch up to relatively current content on their own or ask on non-event hours. There will also be an expectation to fill out their character information on a Progression sheet and have voice chat available for attending events.

My open letter to Viva members

This change will personally allow me to enjoy FFXIV way more, reduce overall stress on attempting to keep everyone on a same page, and redefines the goals and expectations of Viva members, and allows us to focus on events on the current members who regularly attend events to be able to progress further every week come Heavensward to be able to see all new content at a reasonable pace.

New Expansion!

Heavensward is releasing in June, can't wait to finally see Ishgard and fly in the sky. I won't be changing my race, but I hope to explore Alexander, Floating Continent, and playing around with the new jobs!

My benchmark results on my laptop which I call "Cosmo".

XIV Heavensward Benchmark - Grover Eyeveen (Hyperion)
Directx11 Benchmark Results - So beautiful :)
Posted by Grover Wimberly IV on Monday, April 27, 2015

The Final Coil of Bahamut:

After having trouble getting assistance working through Final Coil of Bahamut, I've found a group that is working on learning and progressing through the turns, so I can get a chance to learn it. I don't like being carried through the content and like earning the clear. I found a group of players called the Friendly Coil of Bahamut, and invited Elieris to join with me. When I feel like I've learned enough of the encounter to hold my own, I ask my real life friend Azu who also plays (and has extensively cleared Coil) to help out with the final leg or whatever phase I was having trouble with in progression. Though I'm not a world first player by any means, I'm grateful to have a group to practice with that I can go with at a more casual pace and still be able to complete the content.

Adventures in Turn 10

With the assistance of Friendly Coil of Bahamut linkshell, I was able to learn the phases of Turn 10. With Azu and his static's assistance I was able to complete Turn 10 and 11. And now I'm working on Turn 12.

Turn 12 Adventures

Currently I've progressed to getting Phoenix to just about the start of Phase 3.

The very first time I entered the turn, before practicing with the group, my tank friend Elieris and I queued up in duty finder hoping (at least in my case) to learn the fight without being judged by people who know me. After watching the 5-7 minute cutscene, I was grouped up with some very nasty rude players who were Duty Findering expecitng a farm run. Bad idea, and a catch-22 of sorts. How is one expected to ever learn an encounter if they've never seen it before?

That's why I'm all for having a "Practice/Watch Cutscenes/Never Cleared" option for the Duty Finder. I would like to be able to practice with like minded players without being chewed a new one.

Other than that, my Final Coil experience has been a lot more easygoing and fun than the Binding and Second Coil runs. While I do appreciate the people I've ran with in past static parties, and they are certainly very skilled players with good playing chemistry, there was underlying tension between certain people which caused a fallout from the others. A few friendships were lost along the way, too.

It may also be the case that Turns 10 and 11 are just outright easier and more forgivable then Turns 6 and 7 were in the same progression. 6 and 7 our group was stuck on for a very long while and it took a lot of time to get anywhere and wore down the group and morale as a whole. 

Though I don't have any current realistic goals of beating turn 13 in time for Heavensward, I would at least give it an honest effort and then get help with it at the very least after the hype for the expansion dies down a little bit.

I think that covers my current adventures in Eorzea for now. Until next time!


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