Monday, October 21, 2013

FF14 News & Exalted! Some WoW

Hello Readers (all..two of you?), here are some updates in my world.

So....I'm thinking I will probably quit this game, at least until they have some content patches.
There just is not much to do. A lot of people have fun leveling alts, and I really have never been big into leveling alts. To me leveling an alt I do not intend to raid with is an excuse to waste time because the MMO did not have enough content. No I don't expect that I should be bemused by a game at all times, but FF14 missed a lot of necessary content at release that occupies my time generally in games outside of raids, those being:

  • PvP
  • Dailies
  • Some Rep Grind
  • Leveling Crafting
  • Upgrading My Gear
FF14 does not have the first 3, and the last two are a bit pointless. Let me explain.

Building your own gear is for the mostly pointless. By end game you can invest about an hour or so per piece of gear (About 4 for chest/legs) to get your 'pre raid' items (Dark Light). The total time investment is a long for your first good 'max level' item set but not terrible. You COULD craft a better set but the time investment is rather immense. It requires leveling a whole new class, a large investment of Gil (or grinding the same instances that provides the prior mentioned Dark Light Gear) and a Materia and a bit of luck. It ends up becoming a rather excessive amount of effort and the end result is gear that is actually at best subjectively better than the aforementioned gear. In effect, crafting your gear is something you do to really pass the time, there is no benefit to doing this yourself. 

Upgrading My Gear
On Materia..this is final fantasies 'enchant' or 'geming' system, however almost NO quest gear can be modified with materia and infact, none of the dark light or raid gear you get can be adjusted. This means you can go the entire game and never use materia once! This makes gearing yourself very dull. In WoW (by comparison) you are geming, enchanting and altering states commonly to ensure you reach certain stat caps without going over. This is actually a little fun, although its not as deep and detailed as I would like, but the lack of any decisions in FF14 is killing me.


Combat is also really very boring as a Tank. A Paladin in this game has very few options; one combo (a set of three attacks done in order) and a few cooldowns I can pop for added survivability. Thats combat is combat as a Paladin: hit three keys in order, hit a macro or two to trigger some other powers, throw up cooldowns as you expect to/start taking significant damage.

On the flip side something I LOVE in FF14 is the telegraphed AOE's and how you can move in and out of these to mitigate lots of damage. This is the most interactive part of the game but it is also soured for me because as a West Coast gamer I'm forced to connect to a Canadian east coast server. No problem right? Not so.

Right now I'm playing on a east coast WoW server and my connectivity is at 35 ms of ping. Things happen pretty much immediately, no noticeable input lag. I can throw an interrupt on a target a moment before they finish casting a spell and it will interrupt. In FF14 I have tracked my ping against the server between 130-240 MS. Add to this that FF14 seldom has true 'instant' off GCD attacks as effects coincide with their animation (which for many abilities take a full second or more to fire off) before taking effect. The result is I can throw an interrupt the moment a 2 second cast appears on my screen and have a 50/50 chance of actually stopping it. The same applies to escaping telegraphs. On a number of fights I will move the moment a telegraph appears, escaping it well before the monster stops casting its ability (in FF14 the time where you are 'hit' by a spell is based on the cast bar of the monster, not the animation of the effect) and again still get hit 50% of the time despite being many 'yaums' (yards) away. Some nights I have stopped bothering and its very disheartening because the telegraphs right now are the best part of the ff14 combat.

What does all that amount to? I think FF14 is a great game, has great potential, but I think Square Enix has a lot of work to do to get the game into a position where its truely satisfying. I think a lot of the fan base (FF11 players) are not experienced playing in what I would consider a proper end game and are more apt to consider these aspects of the games part of its charm and somehow spin them into positives, and they are welcome to that. I believe until patch 2.1/2.2 comes out I will look for other pastures. 


So last night I ran the second to last game in my Pathfinder arc. My players are ascending the tower of a vile necromancer in the midst of a ceremony seeking to bring back an ancient evil (which they are only dimly aware of, unless they read this which case SURPRISE!). Was a good game but MAN do I loath Pathfinder. Combats take long, are generally pretty boring and heavily penalize players. Want to charge? Good luck with that. Fire a ray into a melee? Good luck, without two feats your at a -8 to hit most times. I really dislike the system in which 3/3.5/Pathfinder are based on and really wished some of my players did not cling to it so tightly and dislike 4e on basic premises which I think are false. "Its like an MMO" seems a strange allegation to me. Healers heal in Pathfinder and do so in 4e, they just heal AND can damage in 4e. Damage dealers do damage in both systems, its just more interesting in 4e since you can move creatures around, stun them and apply other effects. The only thing remotely like an MMO is that in 4e Tanks have a way to 'encourage' enemies to fight them instead of their allies, although point of fact this was something introduced late in 3.5's life cycle and was a common complaint of every 3.5 tank I was are of because at a certain level when monsters could teleport/fly/burrow they could avoid the hard to hit tank and butcher the tasty healer and if they didnt it was generally the DM not playing up to the intelligence of most of the monsters they threw at the party (Honestly why would a Red Dragon waste 5 rounds attacking a fighter getting healed and NOT just take out the healer and the rogue sneak attacking them for 6d6 added damage every hit?).


So with the end of the aforementioned arc we return to Creation with a brand new Solars campaign. My intent here is to get a game going with a circle of Solars that will transition into 3E when its released. So far I understand Jill will be playing a Night caste and twin to Trisha's Zenith caste (God Help Me). One of our new players, Michael has opted to play a Twilight caste and James is interested in a Dawn caste. Why is it no one ever picks Eclipse? That anima banner is insane, and Fae cannot attack you unless provoked (super awesome!).

For system we will just use the 2.5 errata and not my custom house rules because while I adore my house rules, I would rather not worry about tweaking them so close to 3e.

World of Warcraft
Hit max level with my Paladin, doing content. Pretty fun. Man do they give you epics easy now, but it seems that something being purple does not mean as much anymore as the iLevel difference between the 'free epics!' you get shortly after hitting max level and the stuff I see from raids is pretty significant. That is good to know! Game still looks like shit but its fun.

EVE Online
Thinking I might resub. Hrm...

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