[FF14] [Random] A few days into 2.28, but having done nothing, really. D:

So the new patch (2.28) was introduced a few days ago. I did not have to chance to experience it much even until now since i was super busy this week. Quite a few quality of life changes were made to the game, which are always good to have, as well as several important new stuff. These include the upgrades from relic Animus to Novus, Fantasia potions being sold, which is another rarely-introduced cash item for this game (the previous being extra retainer I think), sightseeing vistas and achievements, and also the option to preview gear/clothing in shops/market board/crafting log while shopping!For the full patch notes: Patch 2.28 patch notes

Firstly, Novus… As we all know, I just got my Animus, and the next upgrade is already available. And even to just start the quest chain rolling, it requires another hefty 1500 Myth. The number looks familiar, and I’m not thrilled at all.

You need 3 Superior Enchanted Ink for the first part of the quest. Bray, again ._.
You need 3 Superior Enchanted Ink for the first part of the quest. Bray, again ._.

As I did not have much time in-game this week (not even capped Sol yet D:), I could not get past this stage to experience the monstrosity following this part of the quest. From what I’ve read, you need A LARGE AMOUNT of an item called Alexandrite, and you need to do fate grinding, with the drop being it instead of Atma now (not sure though, or was it a treasure map, then use the map to hunt an Alexandrite?); or you have to gather another 800 Myth for a treasure map… Each Alexandrite can then be used to meld a materia onto an upgrading scroll, adding one point to a stat of 2 that you choose. So you can choose to upgrade/include 2 stats to your relic weapon, the other 2 being base compulsory stats (for PLD it’s Str and Vit). It’s rather complicated and I’ll probably post on it again once I’ve researched more on it. Right now, I’m in no hurry to get a Novus. Let the pros/grinders try out all possibilities first and identify any shortcuts or “most efficient-way-to-do-it method” before I spend more effort on it 😛

Btw, Pie got Atma pretty quickly, after refusing to farm fates for so long… Good luck to him with Myth farming, while I continue to be busy with project and waiting for our other friends to level.

For some players out there, looks of their characters are of extremely high importance. To me, if a game does not have pretty character designs and customisability,  I would really not enjoy playing it as much. This might be a reason why I’m so in love with Final Fantasy games >.- Thus, Fantasia potions are my best friends (as well as the glamour system, and now, the preview option on market board as well). When I first made my character, it was Hyur. Then I found flaws in the face, and I soon went to try being a cat. Well, if you play a game which has another race as good looking as the “human” race, why not just play that race? But now, I bought the potion and changed back to Hyur ._.

Every trip to the character creation tool takes an hour or 2 easily
Every trip to the character creation tool takes an hour or 2 easily

Firstly, I’m bored being a cat. Cats are everywhere, and it doesn’t feel great being just another cat out there. Secondly, I chose Keeper of Moon the other time, so it’s a fantastic Healer race, but one of the worst Tank races. Hyur Highlander is actually a superb option for a Tank, but meh, imo they are ugly. The fish/shark race, never gna touch them. Lalafell too. So I guess I’ll settle with Hyur Midlander again 😀

Unlike being a cat, Hyur males pull off headgear and earrings REALLY WELL!
Unlike a cat, Hyur males pull off headgear and earrings REALLY WELL!

That’s about all for now 😐 Haven’t got the time to even cap Sols, so I definitely have not tried out vistas and many of the other new features of 2.28. To all, have fun!

 

[FF14] [Guide] FF14 2-Star Crafting and 100% HQ

***A new post regarding macro rotation for 40/40 1* mats is now up @ 40/40 1* Mat Rotation 2.0. Do check it out if you have been using the old rotation!

This is a writeup from a long time ago, but since there hasn’t been many changes made to crafting, the information might still prove useful for many crafters out there. However, I am by no means a full-time crafter, and i definitely do not have all crafts maxed out. Therefore, I am limited in terms of crafting skills that I can use for maximizing effectiveness. On the bright side, it also means that what is described below can be achieved with alot less work and investment into crafting than some of the other methods out there. Hope you like it and find it useful!

For anyone who has done crafting in FFXIV but did not put much effort and time into researching the stats needed for 100% HQ, or has absolutely no clue what/how 100% HQ can be done, here’s some of my experiences with regards to this matter.

 

What is 100% HQ?

In FFXIV, crafting is done with 2 progress bars, one for craftsmanship, and one for quality. The progress made on the quality bar will determine the percentage chance for a HQ product at the end of the craft. Thus, a 100% HQ rotation used is simply using crafting skills in a specific rotation, and obtaining a full bar in quality, while at the same time, successfully crafting the product before durability goes below 0.

The reason why this is significant is that even though HQ products can be made at quite a steady rate even with less stats than what I displayed before, the normal method is through a combination of skills that rely on RNG, like Hasty Touch, Tricks of the Trade (ToT), rinsing and repeating before finishing with a Byregot’s Blessing (BB). Even with Steady Hand 2 (SH2), Hasty Touch is at 80% success rate for a 100% increase in quality = RNG factor 1. For ToT, only “Good” procs allow you to use it to replenish 20CP = RNG factor 2. Without enough procs of Hasty Touch (HT), BB will not be very effective and without enough ToT activations, you might not get enough durability back to spam more HTs, or worse, miscount the amount of CP you have left and end up failing the synthesis altogether. Yea, failing synthesis sounds stupid, but trust me it’s very easy to lose count of the CP needed for the finishing sequence, especially on 40/40 durability mats.

 

Minimum Requirement in Stats Needed for 100% HQ Rotation

Nothing much to explain here, black and white figures. Craftsmanship 357, Control 344, CP 355. This applies to the specific rotation I use for my 100% HQ. I do not have enough CP so I use CP food to achieve 355. When melding, do remember that you can leave ONE of the stats slightly below the requirement and make up for it with food.

 

Minimum Cross-class Skills Needed for 100% HQ Rotation

50 Weaver for Careful Synthesis II, 50 Carpenter for Byregot’s Blessing, 37 Culinary for Steady Hand II, 15 Blacksmith for Ingenuity and 15 Leatherworking for Waste Not.

Careful Synthesis 2: 100% chance for 120% craft progress, one of the best synthesis skills since it requires 0 CP, and automatically has 0 RNG involved, allowing it to be used outside of SH2 charges.

Byregot’s Blessing: OP crafting skill. Single best quality skill by a mile. Anyone keen on crafting higher level stuff should work on getting this skill. Your eyes will pop when you see quality increases by 2000+ one of these days.

Steady Hand 2: After learning and using this skill, I get the same feeling I did when I forced myself to get to Black Mage 26 for Swiftcast. Might not seem that needed at first or second glance, but once you learn it and start using it, you will feel like all the time spent to get it was sooooo worth it. 70% to 80% chance on HT is A LOT of difference, and in our case here, it makes Basic Touch 100% success. Imagine if you only have Steady Hand I, you will need to use Standard Touch (80% quality skill) for a no RNG quality increase, and that requires 14 more CP per try. Good luck with getting 400+ CP on your character… which is impossible.

Ingenuity: One would not realise the importance and usefulness of this skill until he/she crafts a twinthread or higher item. Drops the item level to your own level and increases quality gain by a significant amount, and even more so for synthesis progress! Try it and you will be surprised how much durability you can save just by popping this skill before completing a craft.

Waste Not: Often deemed as useless, since Manipulation is better for durability issues most of the time. I agree with that as well, but in our case, we cannot use any other durability skills, simply because of the CP restrictions. The skill description says half durability use in 4 turns, but in actual fact, if you only use it once in your whole rotation, having the effect up for 3 turns is the same. Completing the craft at 0 durability or -5 durability doesn’t make a difference. At 56 CP cost, it’s the only one we can use to add 2 durability turns to our rotation.

 

The Rotation

In fact, there a few rotations that can be used to achieve 100% HQ. Different ones require slightly different stats and cross-class abilities as requirements, so choose yours accordingly, the one which is closest to what you possess currently.

Inner Quiet > CSII > Waste Not > SH2 > Basic Touch x 5 > Great Strides > Steady Hand > Ingenuity > Standard Touch > Great Strides > BB > CSII x 2

One might ask, is it really 100%, since it looks like it barely achieves the goal. What happens if I get a POOR on my BB turn? Well, I personally have not experienced that before, and I too, am rather fearful of that chance. I am not 100% sure whether it will still be 100% in quality bar if that occurs (one should never underestimate how much GS + BB combo can do), but I can safely tell you that by using 2 HQ mats along with the other mats needed while crafting, odds can be overcome.

 

Example Given

Vanya Robe of Healing. For me, I will simply synthesize a NQ vanya silk by using ING and CSII. Next, Vanya Robe Lining is 80/80 durability, and that’s what our rotation is made for. HQing this robe lining should be a breeze with our rotation, and further gives you the confidence in the 100% HQ method. Finally, put all the mats together and tada, HQ Vanya Robe of Healing is made.

The question here is, which other mats should I use as HQ mats for the final step? Personally I use those that I can make myself from simple NQ mats. Yes I am referring to Twinthread. Why buy the HQ mats from other professions and pay them processing fee (the amount they charge more than the cost of mats) when I can make my own weaver HQ stuff and use their cheap NQ ones!? And then you ask, so how do I reliably HQ Twinthread?

 

40/40 Durability Mats Make me Mad

Tbh, this was the main reason why I thought of posting on this topic. There are many guides around on the topic of 100% HQing 80/80 Durability i70 stuff already, so it seems I’m just repeating. But when I search for 100% HQ i55/70 40/40 mats, or specifically TWINTHREAD, nothing comes up. After a long search, I deduced it is impossible to do it, and slowly, I realize it’s true. With only 40 durability, there is no way we can have enough Inner Quiet stacks into the rotation with only WN, but by using Manipulation, we will still not be able to achieve 100% quality through the use of BTs alone. But there must be at least a best possible way to do it in a fixed rotation, or rather, how high of a percentage HQ can we achieve if we use a fixed rotation?

 

The Rotation, for 40/40 Mats

Really, only bother with this when you are looking at ilvl 55 and above stuff. But actually, using this method will 100% hq 40/40 mats of lower item levels, so why not?

Inner Quiet > SH2 > BT x 2 > Manipulation > BT x 2 > SH2 > Ingenuity > Standard Touch > Great Strides > BB > Standard Synthesis

HQ %: ~75-80%
Fail %: 0%

This is done using the same stats for the Vanya stuff, however, only CP and Control must be at that specific figure as described above. Craftsmanship, on the other hand, can be as low as 296 to pull this off. I generally use this all the time now to craft my Twinthreads, since I can macro the rotation up and stop being stressed over Twinthread, pressing left and right over HT/ToT all day… But if you are a perfectionist and want all HQ, well, go ahead and try the HT RNG method then. I’ve tried both and I would say the yields are similar. When HT procs do not go well, which happens quite often for me, it’s a NQ for sure. And you waste so much time and energy going through the “HT/ToT/hoping for success and procs/screaming cos of repeated 80% success chance failures” rotation.

***A new post regarding macro rotation for 40/40 1* mats is now up @ 40/40 1* Mat Rotation 2.0. Do check it out if you have been using the old rotation!

 

Conclusion

The hidden message from this post: I’m lazy, and so are most serious crafters. If we can guarantee 100% HQ on something, we will use that method. If we can get by with 80% HQ rate on smaller stuff like Twinthread, we will (or at least I WILL) happily macro it and enjoy chatting with friends while semi-afk crafting mats.

**I mentioned “Macro” in my Twinthreads section, but I have to remind you, though both rotations are fixed, I DO NOT recommend using a macro while crafting the main items like Vanya and stuff. This is to prevent accidental delays/lag that will skip certain steps if the animation from a previous step somehow has not finished. Only use macros for making mats like Twinthread or below, or the mats in your respective classes.

***The reasons why I simply made NQ Vanya Silk in my example given:
1) There is no need to HQ it at all, since the next step that uses it up is a 80/80 step and I can HQ it no matter the mats used anyway.
2) Vanya Silk is a i70 40/40 mat and is a pain in the *** to HQ. Twinthread is already hard enough to HQ reliably, let alone an i70 version of it.

I hope I have answered most of the questions I raised :/ And I hope this helps fellow crafters in FFXIV! Though I cannot find any guides on 100% HQ 40/40 mats, I DO NOT doubt the existence of them, or other rotations with higher HQ% than mine. If you are aware of one, please kindly share with me and others. Thanks!

This article was written back in 2013, and stuff like 3-star recipes and i70 crafting weapon has been introduced. I hope to have the time to delve deeper into crafting again (since my return i haven’t been crafting much), and hopefully share more about the “new” crafting stuff ^^

 

Sources:
http://www.reddit.com/r/ffxiv/comments/1p8t6q/the_100_hq_0_rng_2_star_rotation%5D(this
http://www.reddit.com/r/ffxiv/comments/1mh6um/crafting_guidetheorycrafting_dont_let_crafters/

[FF14] [Guide] The Road to Animus

The road to Animus… is not short at all, and it is even more so if you start from scratch. After my exams, and a long break from MMO gaming, I got drawn back to FF14 by Pie and Bella (now Minty). Many things have changed throughout the 6 months that I have been away from the game (I hope I will be able to write on that as well, soon…), but the first thing I was interested in was whether any cool-looking new weapons have entered the game. One flaw of the game back then was that everyone at end game looked the same, since the choices of gear you can choose (while not compromising stats) are very limited. I am glad that the game has improved miles in this aspect, both by increasing the number of viable items and ways to getting them, and also by introducing the awesome glamour system.So, I noticed that relic +1 has been renamed Zenith, and it can now be upgraded into Atma, and finally to Animus. Zenith has the glow that everyone loved, but oddly enough, the upgraded Zenith (Atma) has NO GLOW, and only by working damn hard and getting that Animus will you ever see your weapon glow again ._.

So, I went to take a look at the Animus versions of the Zenith that I have for Scholar. As usual, books with glow don’t appeal much to me. I needed something flashier. As I went through the list, wow, look at that Curtana Animus shiny sword, too bad it’s for Paladin (tank). I’ve never ever played tank in mmos, like not even ever creating one in any game I played, since I’ve always preferred ranged, or melee dps at least; some lighter character that has less armor on. I sighed to myself, as I really wanted that thingy. Then I realised I can be a cloth armor-wearing tank with a shiny sword cos of glamour, and that was when my eyes lit up.

I’ve not even unlocked Gladiator, and never had any experience tanking anything in my life (except self-tanking single mobs while leveling, which every class can). I will have to go through 50 levels of torture, and endure learning how to perform a role well from scratch. I will have to face sharp criticism and bad manners from pug teammates due to bad tanking from my part, and feel useless and helpless for the next weeks of learning. I will have to wait patiently and calmly for the reactions of Pie and friends as they hear this news of me changing a main class to a tank, like “Brushy? A TANK? Oh comeon, continue working on gearing your Scholar/Summoner PLOX”.

But for that shiny sword, let’s go.

Sturdy-looking Paladin :D
Sturdy-looking Paladin 😀

So leveling to 50 is a little different now. In the past, everything was about fate grinding to 50. Now, people do dungeons, which imo was a good change. Fate-ing is not a useful way of leveling. It doesn’t help players in any way, other than training their teleporting speeds, or mounting chocobo reflexes, along with their alertness of the area map. Grinding dungeons help almost everyone gain experience in playing their class. The way you play a class in a regular dungeon might not be the same as how you would in end game content, but it definitely gets you thinking about what your job and skills can do. “Who needs Riot Blade on the skill bar? You don’t run out of mana as a tank, um.. do you even use mana other than for a few flashes?” Well, you do run out of mana all the time, especially if you are tanking for geared people, or/and if you wna do a dungeon at a faster pace. “What’s Cover? Huh, it’s a Paladin skill? When do you learn it?” When White Mages spam Holy, which I think all good White Mages need to learn how to do, you will start valuing Cover as a skill. And in Brayflox speedruns, Cover calms everyone’s tits, simple as that.

So by the time I get to 50 as Paladin, which was a short 5 days after I unlocked the class, I already have 8 Atma stones out of 12, by farming them with Omnilex Zenith when I get bored of leveling. So, I started the relic quest, and it was surprisingly easy this time round. Chimera and Hydra are now accessible using duty finder and the Primal hardmodes are so easy now after going through some of the most annoyingly difficult trials/dungeon mechanics in a mmo in Primal EX modes. So within a day, i80 relic is obtained. And by farming some myths the next day, Curtana Zenith is born!

The glow from Zenith!
The glow from Zenith!

So anything beyond Zenith will be new to me. According to various sources, to get Atma you need Atma stones, 12 of them. You get 1 from each of the 12 stated maps, by completing any FATEs on the map. The chance of getting an Atma stone is low. From my experience, it should be below 5%. So with some determination and lots of luck, I got all 12 within a week, or like 5 days? Some people complain about spending days on a single Atma stone, and that’s just really bad.

So far, the game did really well in terms of gear progression and the ways to obtain end game gear. There is no cash shop in FF14, and therefore, no “shortcut” to getting good gear for raids. There are mainly 2 ways to obtain the several sets of end game gear, either by being skilled and hunting them from difficult raids/trials; or by farming them and purchasing with Myth/Soldiery tomes. The reason I like this system a lot is due to the fact that players EARN their gear. Seeing someone with godlike gear in this game is much different from , say, seeing a shenhao in DN. These guys really have the skills, or if they are equipped with many items of Sol i100 items, have spent much dedication and effort in that particular job. They definitely did not get that through throwing a couple hundred bucks at the screen and get all the gear everyone dreamt of overnight. This, allows them the right to boast about their gear (but normally they don’t, they just know you worship them, and they enjoy that silently), and it makes people less unhappy about rich people irl dominating the game in terms of gear but without really having the skills to back their tools up. Also, the way to get high tier gear without hunting is to farm myths/sol, NOT by gil (currency of the game), so even with illegal gil-buying from 3rd party sellers/scammers/spammers will not get you the best gear around. Yea you can still get crafted i90 and spam materia IVs, but most of them aren’t remotely as good as i100 sol gear, while costing a bomb. Also, I like how the hunted gear and farmed gear have different names, and hunted gear will always be of higher item level (better) than farmed ones. I personally may not be the best raider/player out there, and I have none of the High Allagan, but I definitely respect those players who have these pieces of gear equipped.

This brings me to my small complain about the Atma upgrade process. If you want to make it a grinding process that requires time and dedication, then do away with the RNG. Myth/sol farm takes time, but at least it’s definite progression, and people see the light at the end of the tunnel. For Atma stones it’s so different. You can get the stone from the next FATE, or you can get it after 1000 more of that pointless grind, or more. Simply put, relic is a weapon that was originally designed for the majority of players. It may not be the most powerful weapon at any one time (except when it was still called +1), but most players can obtain it just by putting in some effort in the game. For the base i80 piece and Zenith, no RNG factors were involved, so why introduce such a super RNG for Atma? Many people I know don’t even want to start on getting their Animus, since grinding FATEs for them all over again, with no obvious destination or time of completion, is just anti-fun.

Another factor that deters people from embarking on this journey of Atma is the reward. Well, I understand that can be a major encouragement to getting you from Atma to Animus, but giving just a color scheme change to the weapon by upgrading your Zenith is slightly discouraging. Zenith is item level 90 (i90), Atma is i100, but their stats are EXACTLY THE SAME, at least until your start upgrading the stats more with books, which I will explain later. So, it is really not a lot of reward for going through all that fate farming for this part of the upgrade, except allowing you to squeeze into higher ilvl groups in party finder 😐 For me, losing the glow was the major pain. Although the new color scheme is a lot prettier than for Zenith and earlier, the tradeoff wasn’t worth it imo (reluctantly did the upgrade since it was needed for the eventual Animus T.T)

Curtana and Holy Shield Atma, no glow D: but nice color scheme ^^
Curtana and Holy Shield Atma, no glow D: but nice color scheme ^^

So after obtaining the Atma, it’s time for MORE grinding. If you think grinding for 900 myth tomes to upgrade i80 to i90 Zenith was tough, or if you think 825 myth for the i90 upper/pants gear for your toon is a lot, then say hi to the 13,500 myth you need in total to get from Atma to Animus. The process requires you to complete 9 legendary books. Each book requires 1,500 myth to purchase, and each book involves killing 10 types of high level mobs found across the world (10 each), completing 3 dungeons (at least 1 hard dungeon or Pharos/Lost City included), 3 Leves and also 3 FATEs. I normally start with FATEs, which are your limiting factors to completing a book. Some of the FATEs require camping, since they spawn once every few hours, and some are hard to be soloed. With FATEs out of the way, the rest are just easy stuff. Well, if you can’t even do a hard mode dungeon as that class you are getting your Animus for, then you probably don’t deserve it anyways. Camp for FATE while queuing for more Bray HM runs, or party find them and wait for good, reliable members. For me, I mostly only take i90 and above dps, healers maybe i85 and above. This is to ensure more consistent runs in terms of speed and rate of success (you’ll know what it means when you do more of it. Some call it “smoothness”). Each run of the first 2 bosses gives 50 myth, so 270 runs… Each run takes between 5 minutes plus to 10 minutes (my fastest timing being 5:36), depending on how good your team members are. By completing a book, one stat on your weapon increases. In a sense you are simply growing your Atma and maturing it bit by bit into an Animus!

One of my faster runs, the key being a White Mage and his Holy =P
One of my faster runs, the key being a White Mage and his Holy =P

For me, I started getting books slow, like I spent 2 weeks getting the first 2 books. After the live letter came out, announcing the next upgrade for relic weapons to an eventual Novus in the near future, I went crazy and got the rest of the books within 6 days. On some days I farmed more than 2,000 myth and completed more than 1 book, which was rather tiring. Having obtained the Animus now, I feel like it was all a dream, and I pretty much don’t remember much of the Animus process, just mindless going through the motion. Getting it is no joke, really. The journey is long, grindy and not meant for most of the players anymore, since that sheer amount of myths you have to farm is no walk in the park. It’s likely more than all the myths several players will farm in their lifetime added together should they not go the Animus way. One can consider comparing Animus to a legendary in Guild Wars 2, just several notches lower in terms of effort put in. But then, there’s still Novus and likely, more upgrades in the future in stall, so who knows? It may well become the grand daddy of “waste-your-life-away-to-get” weapon of the mmo world.

Seeing this huge wording across the screen after each book completion is just pure relief. Now onto the next, and before that, 1,500 myth... #fml
Seeing this huge wording across the screen after each book completion is just pure relief. Now onto the next, and before that, 1,500 myth… #fml

So in conclusion, relic at i100 is no longer an easy way out for end game weapon. The easiest way to an i100 weapon now is actually Leviathan Tidal Wave weapons farming. Or if you are not that anal about i100 and can settle for i95, Levi weapon without mirror upgrade, or t5 farm for i95 Allagan are really easy ways for an upgrade from your Zenith. If you don’t mind the farm and grind for Animus, or if you are determined to upgrade relic anyways in view of further upgrades in future patches, then go ahead and work for it 🙂

of course, if you are like me, who’s just in it for that glow… start nao ^^

I'm wearing healer clothes cos I needed to change class to unequip main weapon ._.
I’m wearing healer clothes cos I needed to change class to unequip main weapon ._.
Finally, quest complete :)
Finally, quest complete 🙂
DO NOT be mistaken. My weapons are Animus, but Pie's bow is still Zenith. Different weapons have different colored glows and it just so happens Paladin relic Animus glow and Bard relic Zenith glows are similar in color :P Pie don't be sad, and go get your Animus! >:O
DO NOT be mistaken. My weapons are Animus, but Pie’s bow is still Zenith. Different weapons have different colored glows and it just so happens Paladin relic Animus glow and Bard relic Zenith glows are similar in color 😛
Pie don’t be sad, and go get your Animus! >:O

Fyi, Bard relic Animus glows like this:

kekeke^^
😛

The games Brushy plays, and whatever fits