Another Day, Another Slime Monster…

Slime boss!
Slime boss!

FFXIV Daily Report:

Level 60: Neverreap
Level 50: Halatali (Hard)
Leveling: Thousand Maws (AST)
Trial: Typhon & Ultros (AST)
Raid: Void Ark (DRG)
Mini Cactpot: Big Loser (40K MGP)
Dragoon gear level: 190
Stone, Sea, Sky: Failed A1S test

The healer I got in Neverreap REALLY HATED the zone. But I kinda like it. The pulls are mostly easy, there’s a lot of time where even as a tank I can drop into DPS stance and do my best. On the other hand, there is no useful loot there for any job, given how easy it is now to get far better gear. The only reason to do this particular dungeon is for tomes.

I’d only done Halatali (Hard) twice before; most everyone else only dimly remembered it. But we were so overgeared that we could just largely ignore the mechanics, and I did remember enough of the boss fights to get through their ultimates.

Switched to Astrologian for the leveling dungeon. I just DPS’d through the whole thing, pretty much. Crashed at the end when I hit some key or other that brought Forge.gg up during the final boss fight. I tried desperately to close it and get back to the game before anyone died, but by then FFXIV had frozen and I had to abort the game and log back in. When I got back, the instance was over and I got two commendations.

Not bad for essentially missing the most important fight….

Continued as Astrologian for the trial. This was my first time healing the Ultros fight. The other healer was a White Mage who refused to get out of Cleric Stance for any reason. This isn’t the first time I’ve been partnered with a DPS healer in a trial…. I dropped into Cleric Stance where I could, but since SOMEONE had to heal, I mostly just remained a healer.

Nobody was around when I logged into Discord for D&D. I thought for some reason that maybe it wasn’t happening based on a misreading of a tweet? So why not round out the dailies with a quick Void Ark run. I went in as Dragoon and just poked everything that got within poking range. Got a new pair of gloves. I used the upgrade token (when I logged in again AFTER D&D WHICH TOTALLY HAPPENED) to upgrade my dragoon’s lance. With two upgrades that brought the job to a significant 190 gear level, I took on the Stone, Sea, Sky challenge for Alexander 1 Savage but narrowly lost.

There’s a new event tonight — you’re supposed to choose and vote for your favorite pop idol among “The Little Ladies”. Sooooooo dunno about that.

Stone, Sea, Sky

An Evil Plot?
An Evil Plot?

FFXIV Daily Report:

Level 60: Aetherochemical Research Facility
Level 50: Amdapor Keep
Leveling: Tam Tara Deepcroft
Trial: Ifrit (Hard) (AST)
Stone, Sea, Sky: Alexander Gordias (DRG & PLD)
PLD gear level: 195
DRG gear level: 188

This was my first night playing post-patch, and there was a lot of stuff to get used to. All the level 60 dungeons which were spread out among two roulettes and didn’t include every dungeon, are combined into one roulette. We rolled up in Aetherochemical, NOT my favorite. Previously there were almost no rewards for doing this dungeon, but now there are esoteric and lore tomes to get. It was a smooth, if lengthy, run.

Two of the people in the party had the “mentor” icon next to their names. I have the leveling requirements for mentor — level 60 jobs in each of the three roles — but I’m still shy a couple hundred dungeon runs.

Amdapor Keep was, as usual, a quick run. Healer was new, so I had to slow down the pulls.

In Tam Tara, it became clear the healer was not playing the same game the rest of us were playing. She was too low level for glamours, but her outfit looked glamoured. Turns out that she just picked out clothes she thought looked cool, with no thought given to their stats. At least three items were crafting clothing with no combat or healing stats. Another item had no healing stats. Her earrings were chosen because she liked the look. Also, some of her gear was broken. We did manage to finish the dungeon.

I swapped to Astrologian for the trial. Tank was needed, but after Tam Tara, I was done with tanking for the night.

I haven’t been playing the past several days. I was a little shocked to see that I had no free company when I logged in last night. They said they had to kick me in order to destroy my room when they sold the old guild hall. I was let back in, and even given access to the super sekrit linkshell the old timers use.

Last night the free company got their new home, a large plot in the Ul’dah residential district. I bought my room back, but didn’t feel like decorating it last night. Just another reason to finally change my grand company back to the Immortal Flames. Seems like Ul’dah is my true home….

I grabbed the Stone, Sea, Sky quest and started the fights to see how my paladin and dragoon jobs stacked up. Both jobs completed the basic level 60 test without any issues. Dragoon failed on the Bismark (Extreme) test. I popped into Idyllshire and bought a new BP for paladin, and a new weapon for dragoon, with some of those easy esoterics that I got from the roulettes. With this new gear, I was able to clear Bismark Ex and Alexander Gordias with both jobs. It was close, though, on that last.

The next test starts on the Alexander Savage turns. I didn’t have a chance to give that a shot, but I doubt I’ll succeed without some more upgrades.

Thancred vs The Evil League of Evil

Soooo Eeeeeevil
Soooo Eeeeeevil

It’s been FOREVER, and I know it! So long that I just remember the highlights of what we did on our last “story night” before we ran out of main story quest and moved into the side stories of the level 60 content.

But clearly, I had to mention the Warriors of Darkness. We stumbled across them while following rumors of a well-dressed mysterious stranger who was performing feats of derring-do for the residents of the Dravinian Forelands. The rumors led us instead to a monochromatically coordinated adventuring group making short work of Ravanna. A sudden Echo flashback showed them confronting an Ascian who seemed to be about to deflect their attack with an idea for better work they could be doing. Naturally, we have seen the leader of the Ascians conspiring with creepy-elf Urianger on some means to restore the balance, now that we, the Warriors of Light, have had our connection with Hydaelen restored and her power once again at our command. So clearly they have been turned.

And, clearly, we still don’t know what game Urianger is playing. We’ve only seen the scenes of his betrayal as players; our characters haven’t seen his betrayal in an Echo (yet). We all await that happy day. But, we wait without the Evil League of Evil, who all ported away as they joined Yet Another Alexander Run. Or so I imagine. I couldn’t think of any other queue that would have room for a warrior, a paladin, a white mage, a black mage, and a bard.

With Thancred finally again found, and Yda and Papalymo (we find in OOC cutscenes) making do in hiding, only Minfilia is still entirely unaccounted for.

With Ravanna out of the way (though not by any of our doing), our pact with the dragon Vidofnir was fulfilled. The primal danger to the local Dravanians had been removed. She promised to take our offer of alliance with the Eorzean compact nations to her father, and get back to us well within a normal mortal lifetime, probably.

Satisfied, we returned to Ishgard.

There, we found that the Holy See was pushing back a little on Ser Aymeric’s grand plan of reunification with the rest of Eorzea. Sure, the Archbishop and his elite Heaven’s Ward turned out to be frauds (and also now: dead), but that was no reason to burn down the entire Church. Everyone else needs THEIR chance at gaining superpowers too, after all, and who really wants to grind levels when you can just hitch a ride on the uncritical worship train and gain power from the prayers of the faithful?

Pushing back with a knife, as Aymeric was stabbed by an agent of the Church. Stabbed, but not killed. Other Church agents had been sent to burn the homes of any who would follow Aymeric, as well as some small charring at sites near the Church in order to draw away suspicion. But such evil cannot hide, and soon the bishop responsible was pinned within the Vault with several hostages. Aymeric, even in his wounded condition, took on the bishop and his lieutenants while I and the Fortemps boys freed the hostages, then joined Aymeric in a final battle against the bishop.

The bishop escaped at the last moment, and took a final hostage, a young girl, with him to the parapet and dangled her off the side of the wall, daring us to try and take him.

Saved by the Lizard!
Saved by the Lizard!

The bishop was so busy monologuing that he forgot what he held, and dropped the girl into the air, where she fell, and fell, and fell, and fell onto Vidofnir’s back. The dragon had been flying to Ishgard to tell us of Hraesvelgr’s decision to consider an alliance, when she saw an opportunity to show the true nature of the good dragons.

Her other news, however, was not so great. The reincarnated Nidhogg had gathered together the remains of the Dravinian Horde and taken off. Whether or not Estinien can ever become separated from Nidhogg… is unknown even to the dragons.

And that’s where the main story quest as of patch 3.1 ended. Next week, Kasul and I start on the 3.2 story. Between now and then, I’ll be reposting some of my daily logs as posted to Google+.

See you in Eorzea!

Mister Estinien Loses an “O”

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Do I have to say by this time that there WILL BE spoilers here, as there are for every post? The guides for this part of the quest were VERY CAREFUL to avoid any specifics about who or what you’d be fighting.

When we left off, we were JUST ABOUT to ride on mini-Midgardsormr’s back to “The Flagship”, Azys Lla’s center of power. That power is due to the Warring Triad, which, Google assures me, are three primal Primals that were caught and frozen into stone. We first met the Warring Triad in Final Fantasy VI/III, but this was the first I’d heard of them in Final Fantasy XIV.

Kasul had done a ton of quests, fates and dungeon runs to get to 60, so it was with some anticipation that we took our two-seater chocobo to the steps of the Flagship and spoke to Wedge’s Guidance Node for the last time. Once it had granted us access to the Aetherochemical Research Facility, it promptly turned chalk white and smashed, lifeless, to the ground. We’d have to do something about that at some point.

I expected to meet up with the Archbishop pretty darn quickly, but it wasn’t to be. We first had to fight our way through a company of Garlean Imperial soldiers, then several groups of cloned Allagans. They do like their clones… would Azys Lla really be considered abandoned if Allagans, even cloned ones, were still running around? The Allagan clone twins that showed up during the Crystal Tower quests still seemed to be fairly aware of who they were and where they came from….

We caught up with Regula van Hydrus, the coward who abandoned his solo fight with us to run ahead into the facility. But to no avail. His attacks were weak, and Kasul were getting the impression that life was going to be easy from now on. We weren’t wrong. The optional dungeons AFTERWARD, wellllll……

The second boss was a strange Allagan amalgam that changed forms, each of which came with its own strategy. But that couldn’t stop us. Even the weird one way down lifts (well, “drops”, technically) couldn’t stop us.

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I guess we should have expected the Ascians ever since Urianger showed up with the White Auracite that had swallowed another Ascian in the past. I expected to see Lahabrea… but I didn’t expect to see Igeyorhm, the sole female Ascian we’ve seen, with him. We’d have to fight them both. At the same time.

Which became even more literal when we had them on the ropes. They refused to back down, instead, they drew upon their cores of power and melded together to form… LORD ZODIARK!

Lord of the Dark
Lord of the Dark

But perhaps Lahabrea and Igeyorhm were still weakened from their fight against we warriors of light. Or perhaps Hydaelyn’s crystal gift blunted his powers. Lord Zodiark was forced to withdraw….

…. but that was denied to him by Hydaelyn’s power, and he was forced out of the Ascian Shadow Void and back to us. Too weak to continue, he dissolved back into Lahabrea and Igeyorhm.

We had White Auracite, and we had Estinien’s Eye of Nidhogg. We used the auracite to trap Igeyorhm, and the power of the Eye to burn her out of existence.

White Auracite, eating an Ascian
White Auracite, eating an Ascian

But that left us without the necessary power to take on and destroy Lahabrea once and for all. The Eye had immense power, but it would take some time to store enough aethyric energy to make it a danger to any Ascian.

It was THEN that the Archbishop arrived, with six of his Heavensward Guard carrying a stone coffin.

The coffin of the ancient King Thordan, the one who first betrayed the Dravanians and began the Ishgard nation on the legacy of blood, treachery and power. On whose body lay Nidhogg’s second eye.

The Archbishop could have handed us the Eye, and we could have used it to destroy Lahabrea, but he had different plans. He finally took the power that had been given him by all the worshipers of Ishgard’s false religion… and powered up. As the resurrected King Thordan, the original betrayer. He took Nidhogg’s second Eye and put it into the crosspiece of the aetherial sword that had earlier just been his staff.

As King Thordan, the Archbishop took a swing of the sword and Lahabrea was no more.

An Uneven Fight
An Uneven Fight

He and his knights weren’t finished with us. We pursued them into the Singularity Reactor, where they would free the Warring Triad and take control of Eorzea and probably all of Hydaelyn.

They were ready for us. King Thordan threatened us with his sword, zapped us with the power of Nidhogg’s Eye, and sent his Heaven’s Ward knights at us, and maybe if it had just been one Warrior of Light, it would have happened. But eight of them was too much for him. We killed all his Knights, and then we killed him. Hydaelyn was spending all her power to make sure his strongest attacks were ineffective. Thordan lost hold of his power, reverted back to a lowly Archbishop, and then went screaming into the void, leaving behind only his sword, with Nidhogg’s Eye still pulsing in the crosspiece.

Nidhogg Reborn
Nidhogg Reborn

Estinien finally caught up to us. He had the Eye of the Azure Dragoon back from us, noticeably already starting to show signs of power. When he spotted the second eye in Thordan’s sword, he had to have it, have BOTH eyes. That was his undoing. Estinien had the strength to control one eye’s power, but not two. Like all Ishgardians, dragon blood runs in Estinien’s veins, and only needs a small awakening to transform them into a dragon. Nidhogg’s spirit used the power of the eyes to awaken the transformation within Estinien in such a way as to make him into a new body for the dragon’s spirit — with both eyes intact.

Nidhogg reborn, more powerful than ever before, leaped into the sky and was gone.

And that was the end of the Heavensward main story quest.

Lord Commander Aymeric brought Ishgard into the Eorzean Alliance. Lord Haurchefant was laid to rest in the mountains above Ishgard. Elidibus, the white robed Ascian, is worried that the balance has shifted toward the Light, and decides he must do something to shift things back toward the Dark. He is last seen talking to a mysterious Warrior on the surface of Hydaelyn’s moon. And finally, outside Idyllshire, a mechanical primal, the fortress Alexander, shrugs to life.