Video Game Tuesday: Thoughts on Blue Mages in FFXIV

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with my thoughts on a big announcement that happened a few weeks ago. It’s my Thoughts on Blue Mages in FFXIV!

Blue Mage?: So announced at the Las Vegas Fan Fest was not only the upcoming Shadowbringers expansion but also the announcement that Blue Mages would be coming in Patch 4.5. This has been met with some major ripples in the community and it’s pretty torn up about it.

What do we know?: That it’s going to be the first “Limited Job”. It’ll start at Level 1 and will be capped at Level 50 for a while before the cap will be raised in the future. In addition it’ll be barred from doing anything with Matchmaking, from PvP to the Random Dungeon Roulettes and the current 24 man raids if it ever reaches the current level cap. What it won’t be barred from is premade groups which means you can tackle any older content and theoretically any newish content that’s still level relevant as a Blue Mage in a group. We know we’ll be learning various abilities from monsters, including bosses like Shiva, and that the powers are going to be pretty freaking broken (as in really imbalanced in the favor of the player) with a total of 24 usable at any one time but with 49 in total that we’ll have to pick and choose from. To learn the abilities we need to merely see it in action and we may learn it. It’s not a guaranteed thing, so there is an RNG element added into it. We know that they’ll gain XP much faster than any other job in the game, so it shouldn’t be a burden to level them up just by killing mobs out in the world or doing level relevant FATEs. We know that the weapon will be a cane and the aesthetic will be the more classic take on the class rather than the more Middle Eastern versions from the Tactics sub-series. Finally it’ll have a special Blue Mage specific solo instance or challenge area called the Masked Carnival and that it’ll take players using their various abilities with high amounts of skill to perform well.

How do you feel?: Pretty excited, because Blue Mages have always been more than a bit overpowered if they had the right skills in the right situations and could pretty much kill anything with ease when those conditions were met. That doesn’t seem to be changing with it’s implementation into FFXIV. If anything this will make playing as a Solo player really fun, and those who use the class skillfully will be able to solo stuff much easier and be able to do older content without having to worry about sharing loot with other players. That isn’t to say that they can’t and won’t do content with others, if anything people will be running old group content with a mix of higher leveled classes and Blue Mages to learn certain abilities from specific bosses.

However I’m not a huge fan of the class aesthetic, and would’ve preferred the Tactics version’s. Especially since they had a perfect region in game that would make a lot of sense to have Blue Mages hail from if they went that route.

BUT WHAT ABOUT ME MAINING BLU?!?!: Look, it was never going to happen while feeling like playing a real Blue Mage. Having only limited monster abilities is just taking the class and making it another Black Mage/Warrior/Scholar depending on the role it would’ve been limited to. And before you bring up Red Mage being in a similar situation, it never was at all. They did an amazing job bringing the class to FFXIV and making it work in the classic holy class trinity without being either too overpowered or a completely underpowered class. Blue Mage could never fit in any of those roles without pissing off the other 2 roles and the developers know that. So they did something completely out of the box and made it the class to play as a solo player. Red Mage was going to either be a DPS or a Healer, and honestly they don’t need another Healer class, as they’ve got the entire spectrum of healing covered from HoT healing to Shields. So they took the White Magic spells and mixed them with the Black Magic and made it a Spell DPS class that mixes them together to make Red Magic, which was always the core concept behind the class. It makes sense, and while they have a heal that’ll help in a pinch they shouldn’t be using it unless they’re in an emergency.

That’s my thoughts on the situation and I’m looking forward to playing Blue Mage as it sounds like it’ll let me solo some old content without other people which suits my generally lone wolf nature perfectly.

Video Game Tuesday: What Makes Good Seasonal Events

the_rising_2015

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic many MMO players will recognize! It’s all about What Makes Good Seasonal Events!

Seasonal Events?: I mean stuff like Brewfest in World of Warcraft, or The Rising in Final Fantasy XIV. These events come up every year and celebrate either a real holiday or a game related one, Brewfest is WoW’s version of Oktoberfest, and The Rising is FFXIV: A Realm Reborn’s launch anniversary holiday.

Okay so what’s an example of a good Seasonal Event?: Last year’s The Rising was an amazing event that brought the players and developers closer together than any other in game event I’ve ever participated in. To give some context, I did the “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been” Achievement in WoW, twice (Switched mains right after Wrath launched.)  But more importantly it needs to allow spontaneous engagement and disengagement depending on the player. Having to wait to participate in the event sucks, and should be an open world thing. Not something locked behind a Matchmaking tool.

What’s an example of a bad Seasonal Event?: Sparrow Racing League from Destiny is a great example, to get anything useful out of the event, other than having fun, it took tons of races to unlock even decently relevant items and the dreaded RNG still might screw you over (I know it did for me!). Not only that, but SRL hasn’t returned since it’s one and only launch, despite constant requests by the community to reactivate it. Oh and it didn’t fulfill the above requirements, at all.

Here’s a list of my favorite in-game events: 1. The Rising, for reasons I linked above. 2. The Wrath of the Lich King Pre-launch event, aka The Zombie Plague (Yes it was a one time thing, but damn if it wasn’t some of the best fun I had in that game outside of ICC25H.) 3. Children’s Week, Because I loved to hear people complain about bringing the orphans into PvP for the achievement (Pro-tip: Do it on the very first day of the event, although I think they made it a Feat of Strength and it doesn’t count towards What a Long Strange Trip anymore.)

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! Are there any fun Seasonal Events you love? Leave a comment below!

 

Video Game Tuesday: Games That Make You Reflect

heavensward

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m doing a bit of reflection. It’s all about Games That Make You Reflect!

What do I mean “Reflect”?: Well I’m not talking about returning attacks or bouncing things back like Pong. I’m talking about games that make you really ponder about various things wether it be as simple as the story of a game or even as far as your own life.

Why am I talking about this?: Well with the most recent update to Final Fantasy XIV one major plot thread of the Heavensward Expansion came to a close. After completing the main story of this latest patch, a sidequest opens up. Doing the sidequest leads your character on a journey of reflection regarding their journey in Heavensward and all the various people you’ve met and adventures you had. It was very oddly reflective for an MMO, and while some people will complain that it’s merely a go and talk to various people quest, those people are completely missing the entire point.

What is the point?: It’s to take a step back and look at what has brought you to your current place in life. The entire quest lead me to think about how I got to where I am today, and it’s not less winding a journey than the one my character experienced in the game. I took Japanese in High School, a choice that ended up completely reviving my love of learning and leading me out of a really bad point in my life where I seriously hated myself and wanted to die. I also took the class Tech Support and Programing and learned that while I understood how to code, I lacked the creativity to make code myself. Later as a High School Senior I started to really write and found that I could enjoy a thing I thought I’d always hate, because my own handwriting is terrible I had always hated writing reports in school.

After graduating I chose to move to SoCal and attend an art school to learn how to make games, and learned all about how to use Photoshop, and 3D Studio Max and learned all about how to design games. It was a interesting period because while I enjoyed learning about it, my issues with my gross motor functions prevented me from successfully completing the most basic of art classes that required me to draw everything by hand. Further complicating the problem was that a mere 7 months after moving down to SoCal I learned that the school would cut a lot of various 3D Modeling classes, the main reason I was there. So I moved back to Oregon and transferred to the local branch of said Art School. There I found that they taught a completely different program, Maya, and that I had the same issue with modeling that I had with programming, the lack of creativity that allowed me to create something new.

However I still tried to learn and even took some Political Science courses. After having yet another run in with depression I transferred to the local university, and started learning Japanese again. Unfortunately for me I shouldn’t have chosen said university as the program there for Japanese was 35 years out of date, our text books talked about the USSR for god’s sake, and that their way of teaching was completely different from the way I had learned in High School. A few years pass and I decide to leave that university, then after taking another year to deal with yet another bout of severe depression, I started writing a blog about something I had a true passion for, Stories. Six months of uninterrupted daily posts later while I’m on vacation with my family I get an email about posting my blog posts onto a site called gameindustry.com. The rest is history.

So yes, I seriously enjoyed and appreciate what this simple quest did for me. I did all this reflection because of a single rather simple side-quest in an MMO. I even wrote a blog post on my thoughts about it.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! Are there any games that have made you have some serious self-reflection? Leave a comment below with the game and, if you feel like it, your own reflections.