Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Hildibrand & Gilgamesh & Odin, oh my!

The final set of quests ending 2.0's Hildibrand saga came to a close, and went out with a bang! It felt like I was watching a movie most of the time!

 I was so engrossed I forgot to take any screenshots, but to keep you free of spoilers I'll only discuss the final battlefield: Battle in the Big Keep!

The battle is split into two sections, one against Gilgamesh together with a rather un-chicken-like Enkidu and one against Gilgamesh's true form!

Gilgamesh has this nasty habit of tying healers up in chains. Perhaps a fetish, thought Rie, donning her purple garb while smirking as she watched Strawberry's bones being crushed.

All's well that ends well - for the time being!

After the fight, Gilgamesh even apologized. Kind of.

The final rewards are a Manderville coat, pants, a sparkling new pose and Hildibrand minion. What a fantastic questline - I really hope you check it out!

Speaking of battlefields, Odin once again took form as a lag-free, 8 man trail!

The fight is somewhere between Hard Mode primals in terms of mechanic difficulty, and Extreme Mode primals in terms of overall HP and one final Ultima-esque DPS check. It's apparently slightly harder than the version which was available to play at Fanfest, but still fairly easy!

The rewards are a full set of DoW and DoM gear - this time as separate pieces - for glamour purposes.

Along with some other questionable chest contents.

Sadly, his sword Zantetsuken, can only be obtained via the FATE version. Oh well!

Dingalings II

Strawberry was made to walk the plank by Jhul and his crotch.

Shiny weapon glitch dance party!

Jhul sniffs Strawberry's butt for the last time.

Dungeon Darlings

Esquire is back with some new members, tackling these new Patch 2.5 dungeons like never before!

Talk about a blast from the past! Wanderer's Palace makes it's triumphant return to high level content as players must now extinguish a new threat! No, not Tonberries, something much, much nastier!

No, it's not frogs. Look more closely...!

That's right, Mamool Ja! This time, the whole cast of iconic FFXI Mamools are back with a vengeance, and some new names to boot. Can our heroes save the Tonberries and help them reclaim their palace, or will the Mamool Ja turn it into the next Bhaflau Thickets?!

Speaking of triumphant returns, Amdapor Keep is also back again, with a load of new bosses, hidden passageways, and a brand new DPS check!

This screenshot is actually quite misleading. There's not just one demon wall, there's four of them, all on a mission to crush your party unless you can take out an entire room that constantly spawns enemies! No problem, right?

The final dungeon - unlocked via the main scenario questline - is set in Mor Dhona, as players climb up a demolished Garlean vessel in order to convince Midgardsormr that us Eorzeans are a pretty rad bunch of people and to stop being such a giant dick.

He didn't like us doing that one little bit, however.

And as a reward, insisted he watches over us in a little minion form. How can anyone stay mad at that little thing? He's adorable when he isn't trying to revive a bunch of dragons and bring about the end of the world.

Patch 2.5 & The World of Darkness

Patch 2.5 landed last week and as always brought with it a plethora of changes and a truckload of new places to visit, items to obtain and adventures to be had!

The biggest addition was World of Darkness, the final chapter of the Crystal Tower saga, rewarding players with ilvl 120 armour, craftable ilvl 110 weapons, and a new weekly challenge for clearing all three Crystal Tower raids once a week!

The most challenging Crystal Tower raid to date, World of Darkness features brand new and exciting mechanics stapled onto traditional Final Fantasy III bosses.

My favourite mechanic is the entire Cerberus boss fight. Being a huge fan of ol' Cerb since the Algol hunting days of XI, I was wondering when this three-headed mutt would rear his ugly head(s), and how players would go about defeating him.

Here's a shot of Cerberus's belly. That's right, his belly. Throughout the fight, Cerberus will break loose of his chains and start eating players that shrunk due to a (usually) deadly debuff. In this case, it gives those players a chance to rip this bitch a new asshole from the inside, before being pooped out. Normal-sized players remaining on the outside must then chain Cerb back up to prevent any more outbursts while he recovers. While you are inside Cerb's belly, the battle music still plays, but it's muffled to mimic actually being inside a stomach. The enemies are also much larger than they normally would be, too! It reminds me a lot of XI's Sandworm, actually, where an alliance would get gobbled up and sent to another zone to fight a new boss inside.

Like Cerberus's belly, the entire raid area is suspended in a literal world of darkness, and feels like it goes on forever!

Which leads up to the iconic final boss, the Cloud of Darkness, now in 3D!

A giant suspended head and torso with a habit of sucking in stormclouds and firing gigantic lazers, she's actually quite tough compared to the previous Crystal Tower bosses. As always there's a tiny DPS check, and a gigantic idiot check, but now that a week has passed, more and more people are getting used to how she works. I've only ever tanked this raid and will keep doing so until Strawberry gets all her Warrior gear!

The end. For now?

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Go Big or Go Home!

Hello! Thanks for reading over 200 entries and cheering Strawberry on every step of the way!

Due to some real life changes I will only be blogging about big FFXIV events, such as clearing difficult content, obtaining extremely rare items, or random Free Company antics in big chunks from now on instead of consistent updates.

2015 will be a very busy year for me, but I won't be leaving Eorzea any time soon! I also feel readers should experience content first hand for themselves. Especially the Hildibrand questline!

Thanks again, and have a great New Year!

Straight as an Arrow

Bard 50!

After hearing news of Machinist coming to FFXIV's expansion Heavensward, I wanted to test the waters of playing a ranger job, and took BRD from 35-50 over the winter break.

Machinist, a DPS job that utilizes guns and robots, resembles FFXI's Puppetmaster in more ways than one. There's no doubt Strawberry will get her hands deep into pools of oil and buckets of gears come patch 3.0, but until then, it's time to hone those shooting skills with Bard!

Bard is a lot more fun than I imagined. I have come across so many bad Bards throughout my XIV career, I really wanted to find out if it was because the job was difficult, or they were just, well, bad. It turns out the reason is sadly the latter.

The entire questline from 30-50 teaches you how the power of support can make of break a battle. Through music, Bards can replenish a party's MP, TP, debuff monsters and even increase player's movement speed outside of battle, all while doing some incredible damage of their own. It comes packed with AOE abilities, dots, and some fantastic traits that trigger further damage if you notice them in time!

To me, the half-support, half-DPS aspect of the job is incredibly appealing. The kind of "I've got your back!" attitude - much like White Mage - is something that really drew me in. I wonder if Machinist will be the same...!

The gear, too, is incredibly nice to look at! Syrcus Tower's Amon set, the Divine Light set, and even the original Choral Attire which I am a huge fan of, feel great to see in motion as Strawberry dances across the battlefield.

Currently, my Bard rocketed to ilvl108 thanks to all my item hoarding, putting it on par with Summoner! It was the first job to obtain a fully-upgraded Diamond weapon from Shiva, and every piece of Syrcus Tower gear.

Bard is an absolute pleasure to play. Even if Machinist turns out to play completely differently come patch day, I have no regrets as it has been one heck of a fun and lively journey to 50 and beyond!

Wedding Crashers

Over the weekend, some Free Company members crashed a wedding.

Well, not exactly crashed! Esquire recently created a Linkshell in order to befriend players who are already part of another Free Company, but want to make new friends! One of the members, Kayla, held a wedding and invited a bunch of us. She's there in the middle with her husband on the right!

The wedding - or Eternal Bond as it's technically called - is a non-instanced event that players must pay for through the Mog Station, schedule and hand out invitations, just a like a real wedding!

The actual event includes incredibly touching cutscenes, amazing rewards such as clothing, mounts and minions, and lots of opportunities for making memories and tanking screenshots.

Perhaps Strawberry will find her special someone one day! Until then, maybe she'll keep attending everyone else's!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Christmas & New Year 2015

This year was a very busy year in Eorzea, as the Starlight Celebration rested on the shoulders of Strawberry and other adventurers alike!

The Starlight Celebration event consisted of daily quests that ran for almost two weeks throughout the three housing regions, where adventurers had to find letters from children and deliver presents on time!

Rewards included a new Santa outfit, complete with fake moustache, and Hoary the Snowman - a brand new minion with a face only a mother could love.

Free Comapny members also traded gifts! Strawberry received this adobale Nana Bear from local Weaver Llyria!

As for New Years celebrations, 2015 is the year of the sheep! Strawberry joined forces with a tiny little lamb and after giving it a grand tour of Eorzea - while testing out its abilities to put people, children, and Chocobos to sleep - they both safely returned to Limsa Lominsa.

As a reward, the usual animal-themed Heavensturn headpieces and an extra little lamb minion! I hope everyone had a great 2014! Here's to 2015 and beyond!