The Time for T9 Has Come! (FFXIV)

FFXIV: It's time for Cake to kill Nael Deus Darnus in T9!

My Free Company and I have been spending the last few weeks in the Holocharts working on downing The Second Coil of Bahamut Turn 4, also known as Turn 9 or T9. For those of you who either don’t play or aren’t familiar with the raiding system of FFXIV, Coil is the end-game 8-man raid of the game, beginning with the five turns from the Binding Coil of Bahamut, followed by the four turns of the Second Coil of Bahamut, and finally the Final Coil of Bahamut which we are eagerly anticipating for the near future! The last turn of each Coil is notoriously a skill-gate of sorts, as they often have difficult mechanics to overcome. T9 is definitely no exception and this week is our seventh week working on it.

I have been a little quiet lately, and this is part of the reason why. I’ve been watching and reading guides, practising in between raid nights, and generally being quite addicted to FFXIV all over again. I had never stopped playing, but I was feeling a little demotivated and all this work and excitement has got me hyped up!

I’ve also felt a renewed love for my FC and how our group works together. I tried out a few party-finder groups at the weekend for additional practice (and I certainly wouldn’t have said no to a clear if it had happened!) and realised that sometimes, the group you’re comfortable with really is the best way to go. I can’t wait to feel like we’ve made a major achievement on our journey together, and start looking into finishing of the Coil storylines in time for the upcoming expansion!

Goodbye, Avatar! (FFXIV)

Goodbye, Avatar! T8 has been downed by Cake!

Thursday night was a night of progression for myself and my Free Company in Final Fantasy XIV. The last few weeks we’ve primarily been working on the Primals and trying to clear 2.5 dungeons (as well as World of Darkness together), and any content that people were missing. We’re far from a hardcore raiding group, but we enjoy progressing together, and in the last few weeks we’ve cleared something every raid night. Thursday night was no different!

We started off by trying Ifrit EX, after only clearing Titan EX last week. I was genuinely surprised that Ifrit was pretty simple, and we cleared it second try! First try we just had a few sloppy mistakes and had to start over, but afterwards it was smooth sailing. Sadly no pony drop, but now that we’ve cleared all of the Extreme modes I’m hoping we can get on to farming them sometime.

After the Ifrit EX clear, we jumped straight into T8. It was pretty tough, mostly because most of us hadn’t seen the fight first-hand, and I sure didn’t contribute with my lag and a few disconnects strategically placed throughout the fight. In fact, I disconnected just as we were about to get the kill! The group stopped DPSing til I could get back in only to wipe at 1%, I felt so bad! We took the Avatar down shortly after that though, so not too much time was lost! I’m proud of us, because we’re completing the content while having fun. Sure, we’re quite far behind as we’re only starting work on T9 now (which is really crazy, by the way!) and still have all of the Final Coil of Bahamut to go, but we’ve done a great job of clearing content and progressing together, without treading on anyone’s toes.

I even managed to score the kill for Battle in the Big Keep, unlocking Trial DR for the first time. I’ve been so bad at keeping up with that! It was a really fun fight.

Onwards to further content and progression! No more will Cake be known as “All the fun, none of the content”.

Just Sayin’: Hardcore Is Not Better Than Casual

Just Sayin': Hardcore is not better than casual. (Screenshot shows my raid group in FFXIV)

Hi, I have an unlimited amount of time to spend playing my MMO of choice, and I do so every day, every week. But my friend, who only plays two hours a night because of work, is able to get the same gear as me. This isn’t fair! He’s such a filthy casual, and him having the same gear as me completely diminishes my achievement!

This is something that has bothered me for years. I don’t consider myself a “casual”, however nowadays it seems that if you don’t invest your entire day in one game you no longer can call yourself a hardcore player. Hardcore has stopped meaning anything about skill or effort, and instead simply means, “I have more time to invest in the game than you do, therefore I am better than you.” Timecore, if you will.

Since when did gaming become about time/reward? Since when was it okay to exclude a huge proportion of the gaming community because they have to work to pay the bills and their subscription fee? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for telling people that they don’t deserve to get gear if they don’t put the effort in at all, or are mediocre as far as skill goes. I also don’t believe that a “casual” player should get the same amount of high level gear in the same timeframe as someone who puts in more time. That would be ridiculous! But why is someone with less time — not less desire, that’s different, I’d play my MMO of choice all day long if I could — worth less than a person who just happens to be free at this particular time in their life?

Let’s take a case study. Player A can play 12 hours a day. They clear all of the content available to them, and have a fully equipped character. Perhaps multiple characters/classes with the best gear available. They raid often. Then Player B comes along, can play for a few hours on a few days a week, but might have other commitments on other days. They are clearing the content, maybe they’ve dipped their toe in raiding and want to do more, and they’ve attained some pieces of the best gear available, but maybe they haven’t completed it.

Time and time again I see Player A complaining about Player B having access to the same items as them, like there’s some kind of time gate — if you play this many hours per week you can get gear, otherwise tough luck! I’ve even seen them say that Player B’s accomplishment takes away from theirs. How does this make sense? How does someone else receiving something, not even as much as you, take away from what you have worked hard to achieve? Is their work less valuable because they spread it out over a longer time?

Really, what I’m trying to say is: time invested is not a measure of skill. Don’t dismiss someone just because they play less often than you do.

Just sayin’…