Eff.

I played quite a bit last night and even took screenshots, and I had some thoughts about what I wanted to write, but I found out this morning that my brother was killed last night, so I am just going to post some pictures and go pack to be with my family. It’s a priority check, for sure.

2 from FFXIV, showing the VDay stuff and my new clothes. One from Riders of Icarus because there is an NPC named “O’Beaver.” One from Bless because I liked my mage’s hat– kind of an original look.

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Introducing… (FFXIV)

Here’s the FFXIV character I have just started (on the character selection screen, like it says right there at the top):NNileya

And a couple of in game screenshots:

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I probably won’t get a chance to really play until this weekend. This is the constant plight of the working mom gamer, I guess.

FFXIV Plan

I already had a base game account through Steam, but I am a super cheapskate and decides to take advantage of the Twitch offer to try FFXIV again, so I downloaded the launcher and created a new account. I had no issues with any of that.

I created a Duskwight Elezen Arcanist A cave elf of one of the magic user classes, essentially. She’s got a nice dark elf look to her. I am pleased. In fact, I was going to hold off posting about this until I had screenshots to show, but I have decided to outline what I plan to do with the rest of my free month.

Obviously, FFXIV didn’t stick for me when I tried it a couple of times in the past, but I tended to play it much the same way I have played other games in recent years, which is to say, without paying much attention to story, or quest text, or voice acting, or… well, you get the picture. I have heard so many good things about the story in FFXIV that I have decided to actually pay attention to it this time.

Last night, after spending way too much time on character customization (as I always do), I got into the game and actually watched the cinematic and read all the text. Altogether, I played for a little over an hour in the middle of the night, and only got as far as arriving in Limsa Lominsa and signing up at the adventurers guild.

I enjoyed it. I will do more of that. And I will try to be social in this game too. I think that might enhance my experience.

Look at me, being social

Last night in Riders of Icarus, I accepted help from a much higher level player. Tonight, I chatted for quite a while with another player about the game and other games we’ve been playing. This is about the most social I have been in an MMORPG in quite a long time. And this is supposed to be a main feature of online gaming!

Part of the problem is me. It is not that I am antisocial, but I don’t really engage with the communities of games I am playing. I feel bad that my schedule tends to be erratic, so I often don’t even join a guild for fear of not contributing enough. And I am mom, grandma, wife, friend, and employee before I am a gamer, so sometimes I cut my sessions short or disappear entirely for days or weeks. I am not super reliable in game because I am all kinds of reliable out of game.

I won’t take all the blame. Some of the games I have played have ranged from toxically competitive to cesspools of sexism, racism, and harassment. Other games are so soloing friendly for leveling that it gets to be almost mandatory. This isn’t so bad if you are joining an old game late, but it doesn’t do much for you if you are looking to play with other people and make friends.

I have enjoyed interacting with people the last couple of nights. I will do more of that.

FFXIV FYI

Hey, just a quick heads up… If you have Amazon Prime, then you have Twitch Prime. And if you have Twitch Prime, you can get the starter edition of Final Fantasy XIV for FREEEEEE until May 3. Also, there is a Runescape Valentine’s bundle and all the usual free games of the month. A link for your convenience: Twitch Prime [opens in a new window]

EDIT: And here’s an additional post about this over on The Ancient Gaming Noob, another blog you might want to follow if you are following this one.

Briefly: Somewhat relevant podcasts

My day job is data entry for a chain of grocery store pharmacies, which allows me a great deal of time to listen to podcasts. There are a couple I thought I would highlight here.

The first is actually very relevant for MMO/MMORPG players: The Massively OP Podcast. It is published every Tuesday and features Justin Olivetti and Bree Royce talking about what they are playing, MMO game and industry news, and discussing listener email. Their banter is light and cheerful, even when one of them is ranting. Sometimes they have other people from the Massively OP staff on as guests. I enjoy this podcast enough to check my podcast app all afternoon to see if it is out yet.

The second is more of a general gaming discussion podcast: The Gamers With Jobs Conference Call . It’s a larger round-table discussion that covers not only video games, but sometimes board games and the like as well. The banter is fun, with the usual hosts teasing each other a bit at times. They talk about what they are playing, then have a discussion topic, as well as highlighting listener emails and a forum thread of the week. It can run a bit long at times, but I usually don’t mind, since I am tethered to my desk for 7.5 hours a day anyway.

There are a couple of others out there that I sometimes dip into, but can’t really recommend those due to content issues or just generally sucking more often than not.

Enjoy.

My week in gaming

For the last week or so, I’ve been cycling between BDO, Bless, and (weirdly) Riders of Icarus. I am not sure what to say about that except that if you had asked me in 2005 if I was going to get heavily involved in games imported from Asia, I’d have laughed. Asian games seemed pointlessly grindy. (As if I didn’t grind and grind and grind some more in EverQuest. HA.) The sky seemed the limit for Western MMOs.

And I’ll be damned, the chicken was right– the sky fell. Crashed right down to what we have today.

Anyway, I ran errands, brewed beer and got my workers all working in BDO. That took some time. I did this all with my low level striker, who was already in the vicinity of Velia and Heidel.

They’ve got the place spruced up for Valentine’s day, so I took a couple of screenshots. My dude looks like he is trying to remember what he came here for.

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Then I played 3 hours of Bless, in which I figured out that I needed to do some upgrading of my character’s skills and the like to get through the Underground Prison in Marta. It was simple enough after that and I ended up breezing through twice, once for the main quest in there, and then to get to the dwarven chest at the end for a different quest. Then I ran around and did some other questing, until the game told me I had been playing for 3 hours and that playing games too much could affect my real life. My initial reaction was somewhere in the range of “You’re not the boss of me!” to “Did you just call me a loser?!” But the nanny game was right– I had other things to do.

The real surprise is the time I keep putting into Riders of Icarus. I am enjoying the taming aspect, and I have had some fun with my different characters running through quests. Mainly I just like catching things. I like that in Bless also. Gotta catch’em all, right?

I don’t know why the game didn’t stick when I tried it when it was new. It seems right up my alley. At first, I didn’t see many people around, and I thought maybe it was pretty “dead,” but as I move on a bit and spend more time in the game, I’ve started seeing more people.

Outside of the MMORPGs, I also played Dragon Age: Origins a bit, but it crashes a lot, at least in Windows 10. I tried some of the fixes I found online, but none of them worked for me. Alas.

So, that was my week in gaming. Woo.