Author Archives: Syl

My top 3 QoL hardware upgrades for gaming

When I recently updated my blog’s About-section, I thought back on my earliest days of gaming in the mid-80ies. Many of us share gaming as a life long passion and even if I don’t spend 20 hours a week playing with other people anymore, it is and always will be an important part of my personal life. Love and friendships have been facilitated by this hobby of mine, even a few cool job opportunities back when I was a penniless student. Not to mention the decades of social engagement and fun that gaming has brought me, the education and creative boosts, the great talks and fond memories of which there are too many to ever count.

Yet a sedentary hobby such as ours also has its downsides. For some the impacts become noticeable much later in life but sitting at a desk for longer periods of time (when you may also have an office job) just isn’t ideal. I’ve talked about my own posture problems in the past and how raiding in WoW wrecked my back until I decided to give it up. It was one of the better decisions I have made.

Since becoming aware of the health impacts PC gaming has had on me personally, I started upgrading the most essential hardware items and peripherals that I use each time I sit down to play. It’s really made a world of difference towards my recovery in recent years and I would never go back. There are 3 items in particular that I wouldn’t trade for the world and can only recommend to anyone struggling with similar issues or just looking to make their game time more comfortable. While it’s true that some of them are not exactly cheap, it’s worth looking into a good setup for yourself and there’s always sales going on when you stay on the lookout. When it comes to my physical wellbeing and gaming, I’d rather save up on other things than skip these essentials. (This post is obviously not being sponsored by any of the named brands but I feel it makes no sense to not mention them here).

1. Custom cut-out desk

By far the greatest improvement towards my neck, shoulder and back problems has been the custom desk that my partner made for me some four years ago. Materials for this were in fact fairly cheap; you can look into any type of wood board, desk frame and color finish you prefer. The most important part is the cut-out area which enables you to slide closer to the keyboard while your arms rest comfortably on the table. No more stretching your arms out in weird angles and constantly carrying their weight with your shoulders – this was the number one killer for me and has been completely ameliorated since. If you regularly experience pain in your upper body after gaming sessions, I really recommend looking into a custom desk like this.

My custom gaming desk

My custom gaming desk

2. Dedicated gaming chair

There are a couple of brands for dedicated gaming chairs out there and not all of them are great. While they often look shiny and colorful, you don’t want to skimp on quality because nothing goes to hell faster than a flimsy gaming chair. It’s just not worth it and you’ll end up paying twice, trust me I’ve been there.

I spent quite a lot of time comparing offers before getting an Omega chair by Secretlab and I can’t say I’ve regretted the decision. While the chairs can be on the more expensive side (depending also on the required size), Secretlab often run sales which is how I got my own chair several years ago. The materials are sturdy, the chair is comfortable and comes with many individual settings for your arms as well as upper and lower body. I can’t speak for everyone as my chair is within the regular bracket but my partner who is very tall and heavier uses the Titan version and is happy with it. There are different models for people of different height and bodyweight on their webpage.

3. Wireless headset

To say that my life has changed after getting the Arctis Pro Wireless 7 by Steelseries in 2019 would be an understatement. Everything about the way I sit at my desk has changed for me, including more frequent getting up, walking to the kitchen to get a drink etc. while still talking to someone on the other end. The change a wireless headset has brought to my lifelong habits was drastically unexpected and it took several weeks until it had sunk in that I am no longer tethered to the desk while gaming or socializing on Discord. It’s great for remote work too and all those unnecessary Teams-meetings as I can at least do other things in the house now while “listening”.

The best wireless headset for gaming

The headset really is worth every last dime; not only is it lighter than others I’ve used (I am prone to headaches from heavier headsets), the fabrication is top notch, the sound quality excellent, the setup is super easy and the twin-battery docking station just knocks it out of the park. At no time do you ever run out of juice because there’s always a second fully charged battery waiting for you to swap in. In fact I’ve perfected this process, it takes me less than 3 seconds to do these days – sign me up for the Olympics! I have recommended the Acrtis Pro to all of my friends of which many have gotten it since and never looked back. There’s a newer version out since last year (Arctis Nova Pro Wireless) that looks a bit different but has received similar raving reviews. The quality has its price but if I count all other headsets that have gone before, the Arctis Pro has already outdone them in terms of bang for the buck and longevity.

Getting the 2023 GOTY refunded on Steam

A recent humorous post over at Redbeard’s blog about “thirsty RPG memes” reminded me of my brief intermezzo with the much lauded Baldur’s Gate 3 last fall. I should have known that BG3 wasn’t going to be my cup of coffee but sometimes the glowing reviews by friends outreason all better judgement. It’s not even that I disliked the thirsty romance aspects of the game, which I absolutely would have tried to ignore as much as possible, I never actually got that far into BG3 for it to become a potential issue. I couldn’t stand the combat and controls of the game, not that I was oblivious upfront but I’ve never played any Baldur’s Gate titles and underestimated how much I would hate the RNG dice rolling of the round based combat, the constant clicking of things and general movement style and camera. I’m sure that BG3 has great world building and storytelling and whatnot once you get out of the intro stages of the game, it just isn’t for me personally.

Having spent 70$ on this misadventure, I was eager to get a refund. I was also still below the 2hr mark of playtime that’s part of Steam’s refund policy. Or so I thought because much to my surprise the title had logged over 10hrs of playtime in the Steam profile; this is due to me letting the startup launcher run during the longer install time and then forgetting about it in the background, as I was busy doing other things elsewhere that day. So while the ingame BG3 save file clearly indicated that I hadn’t played for more than 2hrs, the Steam log showed a difference of over 8hrs – just great. I opened a ticket anyway and took a screenshot of the ingame save time.

Baldur's Gate 3

The first support ticket was squashed rather quickly by a Steam support agent telling me that I had played the game for much too long and so their refund policy didn’t apply. Every support ticket on Steam ends with the question of whether you’re happy with that and want to close the ticket which I promptly declined of course. I started pleading my case about the launcher’s runtime having been added to my effective playtime which was actually below the 2hr mark. The next support person (they change every time) completely ignored my argument and denied the request again. I remained persistent however, because why wouldn’t I – it’s not like I had anything to lose. At least two more times did I restate my issue, adding a bit more information every time as to why I wanted a refund and why the game, including its control scheme, was unplayable for me and therefore a complete loss.

Lo and behold, between the fourth or fifth attempt (I should have screenshotted this whole conversation) I was told they were going to make a “one-time exception” due to special circumstances. My 70$ were refunded and I was very happy with myself. So happy in fact, I spent the 70 bucks on Starfield right away which I haven’t played past the first few hours since.

The moral of this story: persistence is key whatever a policy states and you can always waste your money on the next big thing! It’s slightly comical when the official GOTY of the 2023 game awards is the only game you refunded that year but I still call this a win in my book.

DD2 Character Craze

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is only 5 days away and I mentioned briefly last week that the character creator has already hit Steam. Having spent a few hours on it myself over the weekend, I second that the customization options are pretty impressive. It still has its limitations in some departments though (height, hair, eyes, colors…) which is a deliberate choice to fit the overall world building and lore, I believe. To start off, the game lets you choose from 3 different races which are the humans, elves and beastren. You then get to create your main character, aka the Arisen, as well as your main companion, aka your Pawn. The game lets you have up to three of these AI companions which are essential to group combat in Dragons Dogma. The other two pawns will come through accessing the game’s online network called Riftstones and they will have been made by other players of Dragon’s Dogma 2 which is a really cool feature.

Booting up the client on Saturday, I meant to only have a quick look and erm, riiiight….you know how these things go! In the end I created an Arisen for myself and two more character models. The game lets you export these pre-made characters to official release, so at least it’s not like you’re wasting your time completely – and a lot of time it is! I spent around two hours learning different sliders and submenus for my Arisen after which I decided I was going to model my main pawn after the better half. This was a good laugh and I dare say he approved of the final result!

Raistlin from Dragonlance

Having browsed the Steam community page which is naturally overflowing with doppelgangers of famous actors and fictional characters, I also decided to give Raistlin from Dragonlance a go for a mage pawn. I got lucky that the customization options mostly agreed with me and other than lacking a wavier hairstyle as well as the option for golden skin and hourglass eyes, I dare say he turned out pretty alright. However, this now puts me in the difficult position of having to decide between the better half and Raistlin Majere, Master of the Past and Present, for my future main pawn – a real quandary I tell you!

The many problems of owning a house in FFXIV

Scrolling through my last few blog posts from two years ago, it occurred to me that I never talked about finally and I mean F-FINALLY getting a house in FFXIV. It happened on April 2nd 2022 in fact. I still know this because the momentous occasion warranted a tweet and big exclamation marks.

Now if you are at all acquainted with FFXIV, you will have heard about its notoriously deplorable housing system. Plots are very limited and before 2022 players would have to cycle through endless tabs of different housing zones in the game’s capitals just to learn if a plot was actually vacant. That was the easy part because then you would have to go and camp that specific plot for hours clicking its placard, together with another 20+ people, hoping the house would be released within an unknown multi-hour window and praying you’d be the timely clicker when it happens. It was truly humiliating.

For this reason many players gave up on housing in FFXIV before a somewhat useful change was rolled out in Endwalker. Instead of camping a placard, you could now enter the ‘lottery’ for your elected plot for a fee and then get notified if you actually won. It’s not a fix of all of FFXIV’s housing problems by a long shot but it solved one of its most egregious aspects. And so it happened that I too won a house after a new housing zone was rolled out in Endwalker. Only took me 8 years to beat the final boss in FFXIV!

And yet, new problems arise once you have your own house. Among them is the requirement to log back in frequent intervals, lest your hard-won abode be demolished by the ingame timer and returned to the lottery pool. 45 days doesn’t sound like much when you’re subscribed and actively playing but it’s short when you’re on hiatus. There’s also no real taking a break from the game and un-subbing for the summer. And I get it, inactive players sitting on land is irksome but that is just another issue the game is creating for the community through artificial housing scarcity.

Nobody in their right mind is going to give up a housing plot they waited 8 years to acquire. You bet am gonna log in every 44 days just to make sure I don’t lose my virtual real estate, even if I loathe the system. That is, until I’m fully fed up and done with the game anyway – a day I feel is slowly but surely approaching!

Two years, many games!

Two years is a long time to be absent from blogging but it’s never too late to return to a good thing.

Maybe I will write about everything that happened down the line some day. For now, I’m happy the blog is up and running (including the dreaded SSL) and I look forward to some more regular writing about games again! I’ve not been idle on that front, even if MMORPGs have taken a backseat in recent times. I tried Palia some months back and I’m currently signed up for the BitCraft Alpha in April for which you can join via my buddy link, just in case you’re interested.

Other than that, I’ve played many an indie game as well as some interesting titles from the open world survival crafting genre which doesn’t seem to lose its popularity. Enshrouded is a very promising game that’s taken notes from Valheim and that my partner and I are currently enjoying quite a bit. I imagine I will write more on this in the coming days.

The most exciting thing right now is no doubt Dragon’s Dogma 2 releasing on March 22nd. The first title having been a cult classic among high fantasy RPG fans forever, it’s only taken Capcom 12 years to release a sequel. I guess they too felt it’s never too late to return to a good thing. While we wait, the free character creator has already been unleashed on Steam and judging from all the player creations already out there, the game is very impressive in the visual customization department. For me, it will need to bring back the magic of the golden days of yore – the dust of long and dangerous roads to travel, the fear around the campfire at night, the sound of dragon wings up in the sky. That just never gets old, that said I’ll keep managing my expectations until I’ve been able to sink some hours into the game.

For now, a very warm /hello! to all of you out there who may chance upon this post and everyone still lurking or actively blogging in this old neighborhood of ours! It feels good to be back blogging.

FFXIV: The much delayed Endwalker verdict

I finished the Endwalker questline sometime around Christmas so this post is laughably late, I know. I am terrible at keeping a schedule and should refrain from ever writing things like “more to come soon”. Alas, at least no one else is writing Endwalker reviews anymore, so I can leave my final impressions without haste. Needless to say at this point, this post contains all the spoilers in the known universe.

Endwalker is a great expansion. I wouldn’t go as far as some and call it the best ever, but it is another wild example of Square doing what they do best which is telling stories. Nobody, and I mean nobody in the world of MMO gaming comes close to their at times Simarillion-level epic storytelling. And oh, does Endwalker lay it on thick! Where Shadowbringers themes were already complex and timelines and parallel worlds would wreck player’s brains at times, Endwalker takes everything up a few notches. Each of the new main characters have at least three different names and as many lives. In fact, no one ever seems to be truly dead in this game as re-incarnation is a thing and we aren’t quite sure what spirits can still do from the forever lifestream. Once more, the warrior of light (WoL) manages to save the world, nay the universe, from ultimate destruction. Square really love the player hero trope but at least they’re going all in. Much to my delight, we also got to meet our old pal Ehmet-Selch much sooner than I ever expected. A special shout-out also to my new homie Hythlodaeus who was another greatly written character this expansion. There’s some fabulous dialogue in Endwalker, beautiful zones and epic battles. All in all, it was a very worthy conclusion to the past 7 years.

Endwalker chilling

That said, the expansion is not without hiccups, some of which I already mentioned in my last post. Pacing is a big one and so are the onerous new ‘follow me quests’ but I am also left with some chagrin about Endwalker’s antagonists. Color me surprised when we already faced and then finished the much hyped Zodiark at level 84. The whole Fandaniel and Zenos exchange was pretty bleh at that point and then Zenos just disappeared until the very end of the expansion, when the game suddenly shoves him back into the player’s face. Rather late into Endwalker we learn about this expansion’s real antagonist: an Entelechi called Meteion who later on becomes a hive mind which culminates in the ultimate destroyer of the universe, the Endsinger. This character goes from annoying and enigmatic to detached alien force and never makes for nearly as compelling a villain as some of the other FFXIV personas. There’s simply not enough time to develop this new character and make players feel either way about him/her/it. It doesn’t feel personal, maybe because it isn’t.

Endwalker Endsinger

What I did enjoy a lot was the Hydaelin prep encounter which featured a fantastic musical track. The Endsinger showdown also made for one of the most visually impressive encounters in the entire game at least. Unfortunately, they had to bring back Zenos after that and things went downhill from there. What would cause such a decision I cannot say but it was mind-boggling that Endwalker would force me into a cartoonish arena-battle with Zenos, not once but twice in a row, shortly after having been through the epic one-hour-or-so Endsinger finale. At this point I felt so deflated, I hated every minute of it. There was no satisfaction in watching Zenos finally get his silly ‘anime death’ – which was probably no death at all again. (I have this theory about Zenos being another shard of Hydaelin’s which would explain why the WoL can never really defeat him as they’re equally matched. I guess time will tell how wrong I am about that!)

Endwalker finale

So that was more or less the Endwalker MSQ before the game went back to its usual pace of tomes and token grinds. Square have been busy releasing updates and holiday events since December and I feel comfortable with the usual tune of things. I love the improvements to Bard and Black Mage and look forward to more 6.1 news soon. I need more bagspace badly and a house, surely I deserve as much after saving the entire universe!

FFXIV: Endwalker First Impressions (no MSQ spoilers)

As I am sitting in another queue at the FFXIV login screen, I decided I may as well put the time to some use and post. Endwalker has been out for a week now for us early access subscribers and it’s not been smooth sailing. Queues have been horrendous which puts a damper on a ton of people’s excitement. I don’t know how it is for US or JAP players but on my high-pop EU server, I either login at noon to be able to play 4-5 hours later or it’s not gonna happen. SE’s queuing tech is incredibly frustrating and you better not get an error during those four hours or chances are you can go re-queue from scratch.

And yes I know, the devs are doing what they can and the hardware shortages due to Covid have basically kicked us in the shins this year – it’s still soulcrushing to sit in fickle queues or get disconnected and have your planned playtime ruined for the rest of the day. I’m no FFXIV late adopter, I’ve been playing this game for 7 years and I really looked forward to Endwalker. Now it sounds like this situation may not be resolved for months. At least SE are communicating with the player base which goes a long way.

My VERY early Endwalker impressions

I’ve been able to get to level 84 on my BLM which is not far at all but has introduced me to the first three zones as well as the first two dungeons and first trial in Endwalker. I’m not going to spoil anything about the main storyline here but leave my overall first impressions which so far, are very mixed.

What struck me is how long this expansion takes to get going. There’s a great number of walking and talking quests before you ever get to see any action and there are pacing issues early on. There’s also an abundance of very long cutscenes that feel more self-indulgent than necessary. It’s clear the devs were having fun with the main cast but I got really tired listening to them exchange pleasantries and juvenile chatter after a while. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me getting impatient to get going after four hours of sitting in queues but I remember Shadowbringers feeling a lot more tight from the get-go.

endwalker cast

The other glaring thing for me is the lack of remarkable music tracks so far. The last expansion greeted us almost instantly with the fantastic themes of Lakeland and the Crystarium, yet I’ve heard nothing remotely as gripping in early Endwalker. I like the new combat tracks and there are some sweet, quieter tracks but nothing that gets the heart beating faster. Alas, I hope there’s a lot more to come and soon! Soundtrack is everything to me in this game.

Another thing that the devs seem to have had fun with is the whole new questing mechanic with NPCs following you around or alternatively you having to follow them and better not lose them. There are added stealth elements sometimes and I’ve had quests fail on me because I missed a cue or then the NPCs aren’t smart enough to join you in battle during the escort. While that can be dealt with, it throws me out of immersion having to do these ‘console gamey intersections’. This is a strong departure from classic MMORPG questing and it’s been used multiple times already in every zone I’ve been to. Clearly, this is a matter of taste but I don’t care for it personally, at all. I hate to think how much more of this is to come ’til level 90.

Now this might sound like I’m being mostly negative about the expansion so far. The truth is, I expect things to get a lot better and I’m confident SE will deliver. I do however also think that after the successes of Shadowbringers, this new expansion has an almost insurmountable amount of expectations riding on it. Add to this the somewhat ungrateful job of wrapping up the entire story-line since the beginning and dealing with all the lose ends. Not an easy task, so I will cut them some slack for having to cover that much ground.

endwalker moon

And that’s it, my very brief first report – several more to come. Above is one of my highlights for now, the moon vista in Endwalker which is truly stunning! This expansion has a darker theme overall which makes beautiful moments like that all the more magical.

FFXIV: Give me your tired and your poor

I think it’s safe to say that 2021 will go down as the year of FFXIV’s third coming. A Realm Reborn being its second coming literally, it was with the release of the Heavensward expansion that Square proved to the world they are still capable of creating wonderful RPG experiences with a mass market appeal – and that they can also deliver this experience as an MMO themepark. The title has been going from strength to strength since and has known a notable influx of new players in 2021, to the point where FFXIV is now officially Square’s most profitable Final Fantasy game in the entire series. The hype is so big that even the father of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, has started playing the game this fall and is apparently racing through Eorzea like a champ. Good times.

Shadowbringers on Omega

Welcoming Captain Grim to Shadowbringers on Omega

Along with the increasing player base, many more well-known WoW streamers have jumped ship this year which has led me to follow Twitch for the first time ever. Honestly, I never expected that many grown up men to cry over an MMORPG (yes really, it’s everywhere on twitch and youtube), to the point of where several streamers confessed they had forgotten what this genre “was really about”. It’s been a real joy to watch these tired old WoW players discover Eorzea and break the shackles of toxicity that are Blizzard and their abusive shenanigans. And that isn’t even related to the Californian lawsuit, no – I am talking about the state of WoW and Shadowlands. This is where you’ll have to bear with me while I rant.

Against all better judgement, I joined a few old WoW guildies this late spring for the odd dungeon run and raid night. You could say the timing of my return couldn’t have been more ill-advised. Despite all the bad press that literally broke about two weeks after my resub (after 10 or so years), I decided I would judge the expansion myself and I really tried my best to find anything redeemable. But what I’ve encountered was a disgusting, manipulative shell of an MMO that is frankly insulting in the way it’s treating its playerbase and its players’ time. I cannot believe what passes for content in WoW nowadays, all the lazy micro-management and RNG-infested gear sub-systems and stupid re-grinds…for what? Raising another 0.5 item level on the third iteration of the exact same gear item or exact same skill conduit, so you can go have a shot at the third iteration of the exact same raid. Oh and shards and legendary slots and currencies and timers and cooldowns for almost everything! I’ve never known another MMO to grab such exclusive hold of its playerbase the way WoW does, by design and very deliberate engineering. And don’t get me started on the joke that is Oribos, lackluster circle in the sky hub, the Maw and Torghast. Nothing in WoW feels alive any more – 99% of the world is dead, pugs are toxic and players hate the devs. Now I understand why this community is so resentful; the hamsterwheel Blizzard have created demands constant playtime in a joyless world full of recycled, meaningless rewards. Heck, they don’t even design tier sets anymore.

If you ever felt MMORPGs were about the whimsy, world building, community, diversity and social interaction, WoW 2021 is not for you. Sadly, it isn’t even killing it on the endgame side of things anymore either. FFXIV has hundreds of epic fights and some of the hardest raid/trial encounters in the genre right now. There is not enough COPIUM in the world to keep me playing this game anymore. It is truly and veritably over!

FFXIV Community Highlights

No time in MMORPGs is more exciting than when the community is collectively psyched and waiting for the next expansion. Endwalker is three weeks away and you can feel the excitement in the air whenever you log into Eorzea. Especially since Yoshi-P’s recent media tour, where he gave a large number of streamers personal interview time, message boards have been ablaze with new info and speculation. I was personally very happy to hear that some of my most wanted class changes are going to happen and I love the new armor sets and class designs. Sage and Reaper make older jobs look like nubs.

ffxiv concert

Pop-up concert in Limsa Lominsa

The anticipation of Endwalker has led me to some personal milestones and discoveries too. For one, I’ve finally founded my own FC on Cerberus as more mates are flocking to the game. We’ve hit rank 8 last night and I am both antsy and weary in equal amounts for a shot at the housing lottery in 6.1. The housing system is my biggest gripe in FFXIV bar none and now that we have an FC, I would love nothing more than a (small) house for our daily business. Here’s to hoping fortune will smile on us come Endwalker.

ffxiv Dance Party

Dance Party at Slayers FC on Cerberus

Our server’s community has also been very lively of late with concerts, house parties and Halloween events. The clubbing scene is one of FFXIV’s many subcultures I had never looked into before. Having finally experienced a Halloween event, I am positively surprised as it was a completely enjoyable and friendly experience (with a live DJ via standalone webpage, no less). It’s interesting how effortlessly fun and joy are spread in MMOs when everyone’s having a carefree time. That’s what I’ve really come to appreciate so much about FFXIV; after so many years it can still surprise you and while it has all the trappings of a traditional themepark MMORPG, a bottomless well of side-activities and creative opportunities lie underneath. You never quite know what you may encounter next.

FFXIV: Useful sites and resources

My group of FFXIV friends on Cerberus EU has been growing these past few weeks. Returners and newcomers alike are flocking to the game and the excitement for Endwalker lies heavy in the air.

For sprouts (FFXIV newcomers) it can be an overwhelming start in Eorzea. The game is 8 years old and packed to the brim with different activities, some of which are their own game inside the game. I noticed many are struggling to find the proper resources to look things up, as it can be a bit difficult at times to find the best resource for something in FFXIV. Beginner’s guides (like this one) are fine for the first few days but you will quickly outgrow them. So below you can find my own (ongoing) list of recommended sites to help you navigate your beginner experience!

The FFXIV Link Collection

Basic info & MSQ

All things gear & progression

Side activities

Fluff & Collecting

FFXIV Status Update and my Endwalker Wishlist

FFXIV is all the rave right now and I’m liking it. It’s fun to observe some people’s new found enthusiasm for a game that you’ve enjoyed for a long time. There’s been discussions on twitter as to how long the ‘WoW trenders’ will hold but frankly, it doesn’t matter. Any influx of cash to FFXIV is great and supports the devs, whether temporary or not. Meanwhile, Yoshi-P showed how transparent communication and public apologies are properly done, over something they had no control over, no less.

Character Status Update

My three max level jobs are ready for the expansion. I don’t really have any goals left or gear to grind on my BLM, WHM and BRD as all of them are over ilvl 500 by now which is good enough for me. All three have some stage of the new legendary weapons which look shiny but turn tortuous fast. Even my retainers kick some serious butt by now, even if they still bring me back useless junk most of the time. My FC room is maxed out on deco items. My Chocobo, Dandelion, is well fed and happy. I’ve accumulated a lot of hours in Shadowbringers and it’s been a fantastic run – but now it’s time to look to a new expansion.

Shadowbringers BLM

Sometime during Shadowbringers, I gave up on BLM as my main after a couple of rushed, frustrating savage trials. I’m a bit sad that I fell out of love with the class but the lack of mobility and very strict rotation around Enochian are incredibly grating. I get that BLM is the highest raw DPS in the game but in order to get there, it requires so much prepwork and learning encounter positions by heart in advance that it ruins the fun for me. I like learning encounters as I go and being able to improvise, without falling out of sync with a 16-step rota that then locks you out of your most important abilities. This is also why I switched to BRD which is vastly different but also pays a high price for its mobility. I don’t think BRD party buffs are where they should be right now.

Shadowbringers WHM

That leaves my WHM which is the most well-balanced class and a truly enjoyable healer to play. I think it’s fair to say that no other FFXIV healing class comes close to WHM, no matter what some die-hard Scholars like to say. I am still on the fence about trying out Sage in Endwalker; maybe it’s time to finally try Astro, as big changes for that one are coming (and their glams are superb). The way I see it right now, Endwalker come I will level BRD first, then go WHM next and BLM third. Whatever else needs to get in line.

Endwalker Wish List

My personal Endwalker most wanted are as follows:

  • A house in Ishgard
  • Better glamour system, bigger inventory
  • BLM changes (kill Enochian rota, improve mobility)
  • Make BRD DPS suck less (OR proper party buffs)
  • Dragons (you can never have too many of them – can you?)

It’s been revealed that instead of a chaotic housing rush start of 6.1. there will be a lottery system for players who’d like a housing plot in the new residential zones. This is good news as the current housing situation is nothing short of tragic. The artificial scarcity and cumbersome plot hunt is one of FFXIV’s worst designs. Fingers crossed I’ll get a shot at a small or medium plot at last, after so many years of cramming deco items into a small single room. One can only hope and pray!

Up to this point, the SE devs have still not said a peep about glamour revamp or glamour expansion for Endwalker. It’s not just me who’s got their glamour dresser, plates and retainer inventories bursting with set gear and other fluff, so I sincerely hope they address this too. A game that specifically lets you play up to 18 combat classes (as well as other non-combat ones) on a single character cannot get away with a glamour system as dated and restricted as that forever. Physical item transfers need to go, the dresser needs to become unlimited and plates need to be 10 per job, not overall, at the very least.

We’ll see what other news come out before November 23rd. I’ve a feeling we haven’t heard all there is to know about new Endwalker features just yet!