Patch 6.35 dropped on Tuesday – as promised, it was late February/early March, so within the expected timeframe. Like I said, my top attractions here are Loporrit tribal quests and Hildibrand/Manderville update, and that’s what I’ve been exploring.
On the Moon, the Loporrits feel kinda lost without a new cause once Etheirys was saved, and so we start a streak of quests to help them find it. Turns out, it’s not some massive joint project like Smileton, but rather helping certain Loporrits to find their way, which will in turn inspire all the others. For that end, we were given a special room in the compound which we will improve along with reputations ranks. There’s also a hint of some very mysterious person in the end, not dressed as your common Loporrit and observing the whole thing from around the corner – so a little detective story will be involved.
The room itself looks gorgeous – first thing they did is installing a dance floor with a DJ, and it’s already a party attraction for players and Loporrits alike. It’s not gonna be just a quest hub like with the other tribes, players are supposed to hangout here – and they do!
I didn’t do any dailies yet, just unlocked the tribe on my main so far. With my left side and tools at 590 and jewellery at 560, crafting of the first quest item seemed a bit challenging, and yet I didn’t need more attempts, so probably this item level will be quite enough. Maybe it seemed so in comparison to Namazu/Moogles that I just did. Obviously, previous expansions’ tribe crafts are done in a couple of buttons, so I shouldn’t expect it to be that way in Endwalker – the same as defeating opponents for Kojin takes a hit or two from combat classes, but I require almost a whole rotation round for Arkasodara quest enemies.
Before I go all the way with Loporrits though, I need to complete one of the running reputations, and that’s gonna be Arkasodara or Kojin – whichever ends first. Midway to Bloodsworn already, so it’s not gonna be long.
Speaking of crafts, there’s also a new supertool questline in Crystarium in this patch, and I haven’t visited it yet, but I plan to do it in the nearest future to see whether it’s worth my time :) Any new lore here is my main attraction, but like I said, I have enough item level for my current goals. If it appears that I have to grind unsanitary amounts of anything, or the questline is designed for 620 melded gear, then probably not my piece of cake in the current expansion.
Hildibrand Questline. Like with MSQ lore installments, Hildibrand started very, very sloggy at ARR and gradually improved expansion by expansion. It’s always been about silly, slapstick comedy, but earlier you had to survive endless silly face and repetitive slapstick shots instead of making them brief and in fast sequence, like slapstick comedy actually should be. The approach actually drifted in the right direction expansion by expansion, and by Endwalker it finally reached the destination.
I have zero criticism for the current expansion’s Hildibrand chapters from that – or any – angle. Today, it delivers as good as MSQ does, yet maintaining its trademark silly humor and shenanigans. I guess that it’s a natural evolving process of making questlines in the game as a whole, but also it’s very probable that writers made an extra effort now that it is obligatory for getting Manderville weapons, which everyone should do – not just a side questline.
Picking up from the previous chapter, we continue to investigate the case of a missing alien’s friend, and the chapter takes us across Thavnair jungle and Garlemald, with Dr. Lugae as an archenemy. This installment seemed quick, interesting and super fun, but what I did not expect at all was the climax solo duty.
I mean, it was just a matter of time when we’re treated with a vehicle fight with a Manderville or two… And it happened. The duty is very fast-paced, super fun and of course, hilarious! It’s not too hard – I completed it on my first attempt without a hiccup, and yet it’s long enough, with mechanics to follow and not just standing in one place and mashing a single button. This was simply amazing, and I do want to replay it with my alts by all means!
Manderville Weapons. As expected, Manderville weapons augmentation requires some combat activity grind. Turns out, it’s very same as the previous installment – which is good. Duty roulettes are your bread-and-butter, with the very same 1500 pink tomestones per weapon upgrade – like I said before, it’s a very reasonable, fast and – due to roulette variety – non-tiring way to acquire them. On my first evening, I immediately upgraded one of the weapons with saved tomestones, and acquired 1000+ in roulettes to augment another. Yes, it’s about a month of combat-centered gaming sessions to get all of them.
The new item level is 630, which is my highest level gear so far.
The great thing is that I can work on tribe dailies simultaneously. As I tested yesterday, the queue times are exactly where I put them, and by the end of duty streak I also have 12 daily quests completed. The only thing to care about is not to queue while on a vehicle quest, or you’ll have to return and mount again at questgiver, otherwise, you can distract yourself for a duty run at any given moment and resume doing dailies exactly from where you accepted the invite.
So, just as planned, my upcoming month will be duty-focused, with tribal quests woven in between. I plan not to spread out thin, and acquire weapons alt-by-alt. I really need to shake off the Warcraft-inflicted legacy of a “missed opportunity” feeling, dictated by daily sessions – no one is chasing me, and I have all the time in the world to level my alts’ weapons and farm the tribal quests. So if I didn’t complete all available duties, or missed visiting a current tribe, or didn’t even login on another alt – so what?
It does not matter how much I managed during my session – I advanced, palpably, in any case, and I’ll be there eventually – and fast. The key goal is to have fun, and to make a break immediately if I start feeling stretched thin.
The patch is great. I appreciate the return of combat activities, which dilute the tribal grinds, so I’m in a proper, active and varied phase of a fresh new patch. It’s never been a lull to me before, and it’s a very busy and exciting time today.