My next side quest milestone was the next leveling expansion – Stormblood, and I’m happy to announce that it is now done on both alts.
As always and as hoped for, I’m now fully aware what is happening in all the quest hubs and zones of the expansion. Nothing too epic, but a number of moving stories was present, and lifestyles of the locals explored in full. The Far East was more about educating us about cultural perks and lifestyle, especially the Steppe part was so good across all 4 major settlements. Gyr Abania questing dealt mostly with the aftermath of the war, reestablishing the ruined settlements, economics and society. I liked a final couple of level 70 quests so much, quick, but addressing the most vital parts of Ala Mhigo arc: the return of the refugees from Thanalan’s Little Ala Mhigo and the establishment of saltery operation, a new source of wealth and trade for a newly born nation. Can’t get enough of sultana, especially in her playful moments :)
What I have left now is just a number of side raids and dungeons to complete and include into daily roulettes. Few hard dungeon versions of previous expansions, an Omega “normal raid” streak as a counterpart for Heavensward’s Alexander, Royal City of Rabanastre (alliance raid, is it?) and several standalone dungeons like Kugane Castle. I’ve got access to all of them unlocked, might just queue there now, but I think I postpone until Shadowbringers ends, and then make it a streak of group content days from both expansions. Now I’m too eager to go for the First!
Sanya Ginsu the Mi’qote, my main, is now totally devoted to Shadowbringers – 72 for her dancer and 70/70 for Monk and Samurai.
Lolo Poppa the Lalafell alt is now at 72 with her machinist main, starting to dig the MSQ, black mage is 70, and ninja/bard are at 68/68, still a couple of Stormblood dungeons and roulettes left to transfer for Shadowbringers, but I think it will be done today.
I liked the monk story so much, all previous questline stars join again for a plot twist and queue epic battles, what’s not to love. Bard story poses an interesting moral dilemma, can’t wait to see it through resolution at 70.
As always, the weirdest thing about FFXIV as a Japanese product, the most Japanese jobs, Samurai and Ninja appeared to be the most boring questlines of all. Ninja quest 68 I just clicked through the dialogues and cutscenes, which never, ever happens when approaching a new story in my camp. Samurai – I saw it properly, but apart from cutting a villain, it was also one of the least inspiring experiences. I wonder why: it’s your field, developers, your native field to play at, and it’s the least interesting, same as with Hingashi and Yanxia zones.
Of all the 8 jobs I’m currently playing, DRG, MCH, NIN, SAM, BLM, DNC, MNK and BRD, I can’t really tell that I made any wrong choices. Even if it sits well with me to have my “canonical” Warrior of Light being a dragoon (fits so well with a knightly, stalwart archetype), I’m equally enjoying all the other 7 jobs, and it’s never “oh no, now I have to level this to catch up, not again”. I’m totally comfortable with all their rotations and playing styles, and I want to see them through till the end and eventually keep up. But are they enough?
Well, of course not :) I need to remind you that you’re dealing with an altoholic, and it was a question of “when”, not “if” when I try all other jobs, master them at least to a dungeon valid, if not perfect level, and see if I like them. So in the course of the past couple of days I’ve added another couple of jobs that were itching my head for a while – Red Mage and Warrior.
Red Mage was a job I initially hated – but that was due to a lack of knowledge. On the first approach, it seemed like I have to be in a melee range all the time, despite it’s manifesting as a magical ranged dps, and do melee strikes and casting in turns to fill the white/black mana gauge. The reality, when I read the spell description and assigned my hotbars, appeared to be a lot simpler and a lot more interesting.
Most of the time you’re range-nuking from afar, and when the gauge fills enough, it’s a quick jump in for a round or two of slashes, and a quick retreat to proceed with casting – hell, they even have special buttons for in-and-out jumps! As rotation and boss encounters roll, you spend most of the time nuking from afar, and you’re only into melee for a couple of seconds for a melee burst damage – maybe once or twice per fight. That cleared, I now find it a very compelling job to level and play in a group content! Assigned for mi’qote, as red mage garbs would look best on her, and she does not have casting jobs yet.
Did just a roulette dungeon and an alliance raid, barely level 51, but I’m already happy with the job.
Warrior – with a gunbreaker previous fiasco (too many buttons to handle for my liking, but hey maybe it needs to get used to…. someday), it was my next choice to try tanking. Paladin and Dark Knight will probably be my last jobs to try for vibe reasons: I’m not a fan of “dark”, “evil” classes tapping into the void and demon powers, and Paladin is so classical and pure that it seems boring to the bone. Warrior, on the other hand, is interesting: a zweihander axe is an Asian tank archetype which is fresh (Western games always go dps with dual-wielding classes), and also… kawaii :)
There’s nothing more boring than a big bulky dude wielding a big bulky axe or sword, like a draenei, or a roegadyn, or a highlander huyr – I guess it was exactly Asmongold’s choice when he started his FFXIV experience. On the other hand, give a big ass axe to a gnome or a lalafell, and you die from cuteness. So when I observed lalafells tanking my roulette dungeons, it was just a matter of time when my own one wields the axe as well. She finally grabbed one, and in a matter of 2 hours she’s already 27 and tanked her first dungeons!
Well, what can I say? I succeeded, at least in the first simple dungeon experiences. Of course, trash picking pacing remains a problem yet, but nothing some practice can’t heal – by the end of my second dungeon I already felt a lot more confident with aggroing trash and running ahead of the group. Warcraft tanking experience helps, of course: turning the packs and the boss away from the group is a built-in perk to me, as it appeared. There also remains the case of learning hundreds of bosses – tank swaps, mitigating the big tank-only booms which I’m not aware about so far, but nothing that practice won’t heal, again. At least I’m aware of most mechanics due to multiple runs of practically every group content on other jobs, so what is left is to build tank ideas and gameplay on top of that.
Long story short, now I see warrior tanking as a valid leisure pastime, and it’s gonna be fun to level when I’m tired and done of everything else, the primary jobs.
My next candidates will be healing – sage and white mage intrigue me most, and as a very low priority – trying the few remaining dps, arcanist and reaper, as well as remaining tanks and healers. Yet, apart from sage and white mage, I’m not itching to roll them anytime soon. First things first: level cap on 8 “major” jobs, story for lalafell and side questlines for both alts done, leisure leveling of warrior and red mage, and only then I proceed the job range exploration.
My, what a ride.