FFXIV: My progress is on the rails, I’m in my routines – which is one of my happiest spots in MMOs. Not boring, exciting, and a palpable progress with every next day and week.
Crafting/Gathering: I’m just a few days away from level cap:
What I need is just a bit more leves, and I’m almost there. I’m covering Armorer/Blacksmith with leves alone, and Goldsmith has Studium deliveries saved to help with leveling. I’m looking at the end of the week as the end of the leveling journey.
What’s next? I’ve explored the purple scrip options, and paved a path. I’ll be earning crafter’s scrips from custom deliveries weekly, as it’s the best gil and time saving option. The income is great there, and I’m not in a hurry at all, so it’ll be a breeze. Crafting rarefied objects is a pretty challenging process with my gear levels, and requires grinds and gil, so I’ll pass on that.
For gathering though, I’m out to the field. I made a spreadsheet of rarefied spots and timeframes, and so what I need is a good movie and circling around for an evening or so per alt, and I’ll be done:
My goal is: crafted 560 jewellery, and 590 tools and gear for scrips, and I think I’ll settle with this gear level. Perfectly enough to earn gil, as I’m not pushing the master recipes. Like with combat jobs, I’m not into a high end complex content :) Hopefully this item level will allow me to explore the upcoming tool questline.
Combat: raid it is, as always. Carrying out a fresh piece per alt every week, swapping to a job that I feel like running at the moment – my normal patch routine. Upcoming upgrade for Manderville weapons would likely take me to some farming, so I need to shake off craft gearing and leveling before that! Anyways, there will be more than enough time – I finished the previous step in a month, and a cadence between iteration is 6 months, so.
Reputations: I’m happy to be done with Omicrons, Qitari and Dwarves on all alts. Currently I’m focused on Arkasodara, Pixies, Namazu, Kojin and Moogles – all in all, the idea is to go from top to bottom, from latest expansion towards vanilla. Reputations are fun, yet crafting/gathering ones are a bit annoying – the daily process, I mean, not the stories and quest lore, of course. But I’ll be there. Yep, considering Loporrit, I think it’s gonna be summer or so when I catch up.
Custom Deliveries: I need to explore whether the previous expansion’s guys give you purple scrips – probably not. If so, I’m doing Anden/Ameliance past-exalted for currency until I gear up, and only then I’ll go exploring the previous expansion guys. I mean to do them all, of course – there’s lore involved.
So, I have a well marked content map, there’s lots to do and have fun!
Genshin Impact: yes, I’m having extreme fun, and I’m playing it and staying. As for progress, I finished the first story chapter with the dragon and local “Europe”, and they send me off to local “China”. My characters and their weapons are approaching level 40, and that’s the cap for the current story chapter that I could earn, I guess.
I like the idea of a self-made adventure a lot. The story XP will take you only so far, and you define how you level to unlock the next chapter. You can do dungeons, fight world bosses, do sidequests, explore, find treasures, hone your combo skills in a special arena dungeons – it’s all up to you where to go, as long as your skill and gear level allows it. You just login and decide what you want to do today, and where you want to travel.
Leveling has an interesting concept. To advance through the story and unlock new features, you level Adventure rank – a small chunk of XP for every sneeze, literally anything you do levels it. You found a chest? Adventure rank. You did a dungeon? Adventure rank. You unlocked a fast travel point? Adventure rank. You completed any quest? Adventure rank. What is most interesting, of course, you could define the best ways to level it and do the activities that bring the most XP – but you don’t feel like it. No road maps, I just feel like I want to do what I want at the moment – no pressure, no pushing.
But! your characters grow in power independently – by leveling their own level, trinkets and weapon. And for that they require items from the open world, which you earn from chests, drops or merchants. The system roots from a multi-character/gacha system, and works very well. Did you just get a fresh character from gacha or by story, and you want to throw him/her right into the fray? If you have enough leveling items in your bag, you can level your new member of the band in as much as a click. It’s super interesting and well-thought of, and I’m actually admiring how all these complex systems really work here.
Of course, you have a long term goals, like advancing through the story, leveling and exploring the new lands (the world is seamless, btw, and your only limit is open world enemy level), but all in all, you login and have an adventure of your choice – and everything you do matters and takes you up. Any gaming session, big or small, is super fun, interesting and rewarding – wherever you go, you get a shower of rewards that will advance you this or that way.
The combat is another big bonus of the game. You can’t just click the enemies off or overpower them, you need to consider their elemental strengths and perks, and pick up the characters that will cope with them. For example, if there’s a guy wielding a big stone shield, you can bombard it all you want with spells and blows and barely chip it, but a character with a heavy zweihander smashes it in mere seconds. If there’s a shaman wrapped in an ice or water bubble – a character with a fire arrow or a lightning spell is what you need, etc.
The combat is super intense and fast paced, quick sprints and dodges are required to survive and avoid the attacks, or you’re toast. In a most dire situation, you can open the food bag menu and refill health or even rez a K.O. character, but – there’s only so much a character can eat, so it doesn’t replace skill, just smoothing your mistakes and learning curve )
As for gacha, I still don’t feel like I need the shop. I earn all the upgrading items by normal gameplay, and basically every day I earn enough specific currency to try and win new characters for the roster. After several gaming sessions, I already have 10 to make the squads for the most different combos and cope with any situation, and I haven’t spent a single IRL cent. So: not required. I’m not against spending money for the game that I like, but certainly not for random.
That’s a journey that will take me a long way. I’m glad I found it.