Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Bye Bye, Kouhai

It's been a difficult, busy, tedious yet somehow incredibly fun and satisfying journey these past two years, but sadly it's time for Strawberry to retract her claws and rest her fists.

I will be moving house and starting a new job in summer and will not have the time to relevel and regrind everything Heavensward has to offer. I am unsure if Strawberry will be returning to Eorzea, but should she ever dust off her good ol' Kaiser Knuckles in the future, I hope that everyone will once again wish her good luck.

To my Free Company, Linkshells, Coil groups, and followers on the Lodestone from all over the world, thank you all for an incredible two years of Final Fantasy XIV!

No go spread your wings and fly! Heavensward awaits!

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Final Coil: Turn 4

After two months of eating dirt, Strawberry finally put an end to a certain elder primal's legacy once and for all...

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

As the group look on in terror, the biggest, baddest boss of the Coil of Bahamut questline finally appears...!

Needless to say, we were terrified! After the insane challenge that was Turn 3's Phoenix, we knew we were in trouble. This was going to be a very long road, and little did we know it was going to get very bloody, very quickly.

Turn 13 has 4 phases, and compared to Turn 3 and Second Coil's Turn 4, is much easier to learn the boss's sequence of attacks, with no technical death penalties other than the disappointment of messing up.

This is because everything hits so goddamn hard. Megaflares, Gigaflares, Terraflare, even the barrage of adds during phase 3, everything wants you dead and they sure as heck prove it.

Our group practised 4 nights a week over 2 months, only focusing on Turn 4. Once it hit Duty Finder, we practised every day. Many members got mad and left, new members joined, also leaving shortly after. Days went by when we would fight alongside new faces only to fail time and time again.

After taking a week's break, we decided to disband the static at the end of the month, but the remaining 5 members were adamant on clearing it before then. Then one night, it finally happened. My heart was in my throat the entire time!

Every single one of these 13 Turns proved to me that with a good group, good communication (despite half of us playing on PS3/4 and zero voice chat support), and lots of practice, it is entirely possible to fell your foes if everyone brings their A-game...or about a hundred Potent Poison Potions!

Now that the dust has settled, clearing and farming Turn 4 (Turn 13) successfully was much easier than clearing Second Coil's Turn 4 (Turn 9). It was not an easy win by any means, but unlike Turn 9, none of us were traumatized by the time it was over!

Going once, going twice...


It has been one heck of a struggle indeed! At last, Strawberry is finally uncoiled from going to bed at 3am every night...

Lastly, the rewards were a little Wind-Up Louisoix minion, and a title Strawberry will wear with pride...

The Final Witness!

Thanks for reading! If you like, you can read Strawberry's year and a half expedition into the formidable Binding Coil of Bahamut starting from Turn 1 right here!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Zodiac Weapons: Kaiser Knuckles Zeta

Patch 2.51 finally brought the end of the Zodiac Weapon questline!

In the simplest stage yet, the quest consisted of buying 12 "Mahatma" with Tomestones and levelling them up  by gathering lights, much like the Nexus stage.

Each Mahatma can be levelled up from any duty, with harder challenges like Syrcus Tower and World of Darkness giving more lights than, say, Garuda Hard Mode!

Despite this, most players still ran Garuda, King Moggle Mog and Shiva loads of times, purely because they can be completed in under 3 minutes with a good party!

Once all 12 Mahatma were completed, Strawberry's Kaiser Knuckles began to come to life!

Finished! The most impressive weapon glow since Novus! Despite the claw design, the glow and animation make them look really awesome! In the end, I am glad I chose Monk as my main!

At long last! It's been a long and tiring journey, but it's finally over. Little Sphairai really has come a long way! Thanks for all your support!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

An Estate Reborn

Oh, hello! This week Strawberry took a break from saving the realm and reconstructed The Esquire Lounge into, well, an actual lounge.

Let's take a peek inside, shall we?

The first floor has been transformed into an extravagant Adventurer's guild! Complete with a vendor, mender, armoire, company chest and summoning bell. All the essentials in one place!

Near the infamous admiral portrait - who keeps a keen eye on our battle plans - is a discussion table covered in very important documents... and some spilled tea.

In another corner is the bachelor's pad. Or study area if you will. Filled to the brim with research papers, encyclopaedias, freshly gathered veggies and kegs of wine. Y'know, for brain power!

Let's head downstairs! Oh, mind the Behemoth.

Gone are the basement's beds and dining furniture, and in their place a brand new spa and bathing area was erected behind some rather nifty sliding doors!

Now with 200% more privacy... unless you tilt your camera upwards or someone walks in on you. New additions to the bath include towel rails, hanging baskets and strawberry scented bath salts, yum!

The Demon Wall has been refitted next to our Aetherial Wheel, just incase a rogue plans on stealing the magical core of our home sweet home!*

*It is unknown if Aetherial Wheels are the core of housing estates.

Lastly, the lounge area. Comfy seats, comfy rug, comfy fireplace...

...and most importantly, more tea!

Thanks for reading! Drop by any time! The old Esquire Lounge (formerly Heaven's Tower) can be seen here when we first moved in! What an improvement!

Lavender Beds, Ward 5, Plot 20 (Tonberry)

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Final Coil: Turns 1-3

After the climatic ending of completing The Second Coil, our group disbanded due to real life changes. New jobs, new schedules, and new babies made it impossible for us to play together.

But Strawberry didn't want to give up there! With a new group of Japanese adventurers, she dived into the depths of Coil, one final time!

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Enter the Final Coil of Bahamut's first guardian; a gigantic, augmented, lightning-based Coeurl named Imdugud, as in, "I'm gonna do you good, right up the pooper".

While FCoB Turn 1's boss encounter is easier than the previous SCoB Turn 4's in terms of mechanics, tighter DPS checks and excruciatingly strict positional requirements really ramp up the difficulty for first-timers.

Our first few battles took a lot of getting used to. After all, we were still getting used to the group's synergy and playstyles. After a few weeks, Imdugud literally left us in shock during our first win, as we all ended up dying at the same time, boss included!

After a few more weeks, during Christmas break, it was time to tackle Turn 2, set inside a giant, secondary Dalamud!

After a lots of jumping and extremely painful trash mobs, we laid eyes upon Kaliya for the first time. A three headed, armoured Hydra, which was very reminiscent of FFXI's Hydra, bringing back the classic Nerve Gas attack!

Kaliya really helped us grow as a group, mainly because a lot of her mechanics revolve around partnering up with another, random party member, making sure you never get separated from them or accidentally killed - else you both die!

With Turns 1 and 2 down, Turn 3 heavily laid on the story, revealing that Bahamut is alive, and he's regenerating faster than we can imagine. At first it was just head, then both his head and body, now his entire upper half is almost complete. There's no time to lose!

However, the toughest adversary this far was naturally blocking the way. Enter Phoenix - the primal of rebirth - that dishes extremely painful bursts of damage, and has the ability to revive fallen comrades time and time again.

Phoenix was, by far, the toughest fight we had encountered in all of Eorzea. If any player died, Phoenix got stronger. If certain adds died too close to his body, Phoenix got stronger. If players didn't mitigate certain abilities, Phoenix got stronger. Every single mistake is punishable to the point that one little slip up will result in certain death...

...but that's not to say it wasn't incredibly fun. My heart was throbbing during the last 1% of our first win. We would fail at 10% consecutively, then at 4-5% consecutively, until we raised our equipment level high enough to finally down him. Phoenix tested our synergy and fortitude as a group, and after beating him, in a way, we were all incredibly thankful.

Phoenix, or should I say, Louisoix, now free from Bahamut's tempering grasp, bid farewell to his grandchildren and Strawberry, leaving the future he started to create for Eorzea in their hands.

After a months of fighting, it's time to find our resolve!

It's finally time to travel to the centre of Bahamut's heart and stop him once and for all!

Wish us luck!