Tag Archives: MMO

[Moonlight Blade OL] [Review] A Quick Look at Moonlight Blade Online 天涯明月刀 OL, Day 1

Finally a chance to enter this up-and-coming Chinese mmo! As usual, TX games are always in CLOSED beta, and keys are very hard to get D: Fortunately, a friend (identity hidden to protect his PM box) is sharing his account with me now and im happy ^^ So after a day in the game, I had a quick look at how the basics of the game works and to try out a few of the classes. Here we go.

Classes and Combat

There are 6 classes now, TaiBai (太白), ShenWei (神威), TangMen (唐门), GaiBang (丐帮), ZhenWu (真武) and TianXiang (天香). TaiBai is a sword-wielder with melee combat, with fluid, flashy moves and good aoe. ShenWei uses a spear and a bow, capable of both melee and ranged attack (more melee) and has many knock down moves to permanently lock an opponent down. TangMen is a ranged class that uses flying weapons and puppets to kite his opponents down. I have not tried the other 3 classes, but GaiBang seems to be a melee fighter specializing in fist brawls, ZhenWu a flashy swordsman which uses shadow for enhanced damage and control while TianXiang is a support/dps hybrid class that can heal.

WARNING: The above opinions are given by a NUB (me) who have only played the game for a few hours ._. Pros (大神) please do not be too hard on me.

Combat in this game is really enjoyable! Movements are swift and cool, skills from each class is distinct in style and the sound effects make the combat feel so real and satisfying! Each class has their own unique mechanism, which makes the combat more interesting, and makes each class harder to master. For example, TaiBai has skills that charge up Qi (剑气), and other skills that spend them to deal extra damage; while TangMen needs to keep track of their mana (机巧) and ration their puppet skills spamming.

Sample Vids (1st day play, low skill level. Please do not mind..):

Graphics, Plot and Questing

Pretty awesome graphics. It’s the style that I like, and this should be the benchmark of mmos of this age. What surprised me more is the quality of some of the cutscenes, since they pack the same oomph as the combat in game.

The main storyline is based on an original martial arts novel by Gu Long (古龙) and thus, the plot of this game shows some promise. It’s also one of the rare times i bothered reading quest texts and following the storyline seriously. If you really cant stand all the texts or simply cant understand them, at least try enjoying the beautiful combat cutscenes 🙂

Action-packed combat cutscenes :P
Action-packed combat cutscenes 😛

The transition from regular play mode into a story instance is also extremely fluid. One moment you may be standing beside an NPC out in the open, but once you click past the text conversations with the NPC to accept the next part of the quest, you get transported into the mission instance, with no loading screen or lagtime :DDD And of course, these instances are entertaining as well. Not only do they have more mobs and bosses you have to take care of, they are also key points in the storyline, often filled with cutscenes or NPC dialogs that are fully voiced. IMO this is a very well-done part of the game. Most games that have quick and easily acceptable/completable quests do not frequently have quality cutscenes or voiced dialogues or even instances, while those with well-done quest and plot contents make you travel here and there riverdeepmountainhigh to reach those instance entrances D:

Questings in mmos have mostly been about kill x rat, deliver y to Mr. Boring, collect z by right-clicking the pile of sand on the ground, 10 times by finding 10 different sand piles. It’s not that we can really change this questing structure of mmos. If there could be better and more entertaining ways to gain our XP, something good would have surfaced by now after so many years of the mmo genre. But XP is crucial in any mmo and the amount of xp from main story quests will never be enough to cover you to max level. Hence, repeat quests (repeat in structure) will be littered here and there to fill in xp gaps and to keep players working for a longer period of time (subscription). Well, nowadays more mmos are using the F2P system, and they do not need to keep players in game for a whole day doing repetitive stuff, or wait extended hours for that mob to spawn just cos 20 other players are at the same location trying to last hit it whenever it spawns.

However, the instances and questing here still needs abit of polishing in the sense that some progress can only be triggered when you move onto a specific area, which might not be the path you took. It makes you go round and round searching for the specific spot until you finally find it to trigger the next part of the quest. Um.. they could make the area larger o.o

For this game, kill quests come once in a while, but the pain is lessened quite alot since the mobs spawn in groups that respawn really quickly (like… 5 seconds?). And there are many mob groups in the area. So you probably see 6-7 groups of 7-9 mobs in the area, but by the time you kill the 2nd group, the 1st group has respawned and you will somehow attract aggro from the 1st respawned group and kill them too. And quest is done 🙂 The other good improvement here is that mobs DO NOT aggro you once your quest is done. This saves players soooooo much trouble but game developers just dont get it till now ._.

Cosmetics and Character Customization

Mounts. People seem to like mounts in mmos. For me, i dont really care, as long as they are pretty if they do exist. In Moonlight Blade, mounts are essential since it’s a martial arts era based game. Mounting action is nice and the galloping… it’s fine. You get the free mount really early in the game and there are very expensive versions available at NPC shops, and have improved movement speeds. All these are fine i guess, im just waiting to be blown away by some fantastic horse designs and stuff. At least you can interact with NPCs while on mounts, unlike in FF14 when i have to dismount and mount whenever there is NPC interaction :/

Basic, white horse.
Basic, white horse.

Costumes are plentiful. I dont really understand how the sytem works yet, so i cant comment on it much, but they do look pretty. The back accessories cost like 1000 gold at some NPC vendors, which is great, because at least some parts of the customization (or some items) is not just readily accessible to all players.

You can try on costumes from a full list of available ones!!
You can try on costumes from a full list of available ones!!
Unique back accessories that give your character more character :|
Unique back accessories that give your character more character 😐

Character models are beautiful. Though the specific facial customizations are not available yet, the current customizations are already showing promise. Just like in Blade and Soul, one can expect those detailed tweaks to eyebrows, pupil designs, skin color and complexion and much more.

As for skill builds customization, im not too sure how much this game offers yet. Theres this “sphere grid” look alike thing (经脉) that allows powerups using various kinds of stones, but im not sure as to whether they do offer significant customization for players. Maybe ill read up on that before commenting.

QingGong 轻功

Last but not least, a staple in most Chinese mmos of today, qinggong. Here’s a vid displaying some low level qinggong skills available to me. It felt great being able to soar through the skies and the sound effect made it so much cooler 😀 Looking forward to more awesome qinggong skills once i reach the higher levels!

That’s about it for now 🙂 Hope you enjoyed this short writeup and im glad to be able to share my experience of day 1 with TianYaMingYueDao. Here’s a bonus vid, of the ultimate skill of TangMen, along with a short battle after that. Laterz!

[FF14] [Guide] Maxing Leatherworker, the Way of Leve-ing!

So i recently got Leatherworker 50, and wanted to share my way of leveling (leve-ing), and hopefully provide everyone with a quick analysis of which leve costs the least at each level checkpoint. But i got busy and before i know it, i got Alchemy to 50 too ._.

However, this post will still be about Leatherwork, which is an important craft for most (to craft caster/crafter hands, gloves and stuff, and also for the really useful Waste Not skills if you ever do venture further into crafting).

 

Assumptions

Before we go further into the details, there are some things you need to take note of before you follow. Make sure:

1) You have plenty of leve points, like… 99.

2) You have some spare gil (maybe 100k+?) sitting around, and you can afford to spend on crafting.

3) You are not full hardcore about the leveling speed. If you are, then i suggest you go to party finder and start recruiting a crafting power-leveler.

 

Things to Do at Each Level Checkpoint

1) Go to the Marketboard. Search for each of the leve products required and look at the pricing. If they are priced cheaper than the mats (remember to count in shard pricing!!), buy them. More importantly, if the HQ ones are priced acceptably, you might want to buy those and save time and leve points. This is especially true for the transportation leves, since they give much more xp than local leves, and doubling that xp is simply amazing.

Check the prices out! Mass crafting mats is a good way to level since you can often earn gil from NQ products too :)
Check the prices out! Mass crafting mats is a good way to level since you can often earn gil from NQ products too 🙂

2) Analyze each of the leves before choosing to buy/farm/craft. Different factors can affect how efficient a leve will be for leveling. For example, although a product for a leve can be cheaper than others, but it being a transportation leve to and fro Gridania and Observatorium will immediately deter me from choosing it.

If many leves are acceptable for your level, determine the sequence you will hand them in. For example, first pick up local and transportation Gridania leve, hand it in, teleport to transportation destination, pick up local leve at destination, then hand them all in together.

Typical local leve
Typical local leve
Typical transportation leve that requires you to travel to a destination to hand in the product. They usually give about 1.5x XP of local leves!
Typical transportation leve that requires you to travel to a destination to hand in the product. They usually give about 1.5x XP of local leves!

Last but not least, OPEN YOUR EYES WIDE and look at the required amount of each leve product! Some are 1, some 3 and even 5, and these results in very huge cost differences. As a result, i do not recommend doing the leves that require turning in 3 x 5 Leathers. They simply cost so much more than the other local leves, and xp gained isn’t much better.

Ones you should avoid. Not worth the little XP it rewards! D:
Ones you should avoid. Not worth the little XP it rewards! D:

 

Leveling

1-15: You will notice that for most leve reference sites, they only start listing leves from lvl 15 onwards. That’s because before that, leveling is too easy and quick. Simply make the stuff in your crafting log (i would suggest making mats) and most of the materials will be available at the guild supplier. You can even quick synth the mats if you want since breaking won’t cost you much at all at this point.

15-20: Choke Hold local leve in Gridania (1 Hard Leather Choker). Cheapest leve, although like all Grid local leves, the running to and fro can be quite tiring. You can mass synthesize Aldgoat leather too if you want. Making a stack of them will probably take you up more than 1 level.

20-25: Hands On, Quarrymill local leve (1 Fingerless Goatskin Gloves).

25-30: No Risk, No Reward, Quarrymill local leve (1 Toadskin Cesti). You can also mass craft Toadskin Leathers.

30-35: Slave to Fashion, Costa del Sol local leve (1 Boarskin Choker). You can also mass craft Boar Leathers.

35-40: Soft Shoe Shuffle, Gridania local leve (1 Peisteskin Crakows). You can also mass craft Peiste Leathers.

40-45: Foot Blues, Whitebrim Front local leve (1 Boarskin Moccasins). You can also mass craft Raptor Leathers, especially if you frequently Bray farm, and have loads of raptor skins.

45-50: Tenderfoot Moments, St. Coinach’s Find local leve (1 Hunting Moccasins) or Fuss in Boots, St. Coinach’s Find local leve as well (1 Raptorskin Thighboots). They differ very little in materials required and they are located in the same place. To save time, craft both, and you can hand in 2 leves at a time instead of 1.

And hurray, you have maxed out yet another craft! Below are  few useful sites for crafting and leves, so check them out! ^^

1) Leatherworker Leve List – Lists all leves available, and lets you compare the mats required at a glance.

2) Database – This site allows you to check up on a mat and determine where you can obtain them. Many mats you need for crafting are indeed obtainable through NPC merchants at a much much cheaper price than what people price on the Marketboard. Hence, it is a good practice to regularly check them out before purchasing large quantities from the board.

 

References: http://www.gameskinny.com/i5dpa/ffxiv-complete-leatherworker-leves-guide

[FF14] [Guide] A Short Guide to Brayflox Speed-run [PLD]

I don’t know what got into me, but I woke up today feeling ready for some Bray grind ._.

It’s true I haven’t been working all that hard for Novus upgrade (only 6 melds onto scroll now), and grinding 800 Myths per Alexandrite isn’t gna speed that up alot. So Pie was farming Myths for his last book, and it sounded like a good idea to go Myth running together. And that’s when we got Mei in my team again 😀 This time, I did one of my shortest Bray runs, at 5mins 26secs. (I changed the video to a better quality and faster run record of 5m 16s. This one displays better execution on everyone’s part :D)

 

Bray Speed-running

I shall summarize what to do in each of the stages of this run as simply as possible.

1) 1st big pull: Try to land a Shield Lob on every mob as you run past them, helps immensely, especially if some lame healer decides to cast Eye4anEye before the pulling ends, or squeeze in an adlo/cure, causing stray mobs to immediately charge at the healer D: Sometimes if you run too slowly, tiger might paralyze you before you reach the safe fence area, which is quite problematic. Healer should try to Esuna/Leeches asap to minimize the damage you take, and that might pull aggro too. So, Shield Lob all (you should at most leave out 2 of the mobs at the end to prevent waiting for global cooldown and letting mobs catch up) and run straight to the safe fence area.

Next, wait for mobs to get close and flip the Hallowed Ground switch. This skill allows many interesting things to be done for 10 seconds. Cast all the aoe aggro generating stuff you have (Circle of Scorn/Flash) and wait till the 10s timer is up. Try to turn on Sentinel next (or whatever you feel is enough to keep you alive) and continue spamming flash until your mana dries up. That’s about all for this stage. With experience, you will learn which defensive cooldowns to pop first and how to position yourself to land all your flashes. If you run out of mana too early, and see that mobs are still far from dying, do use a couple of Riot Blade combos to continue flashing! Yep, before it’s too late (BLM suddenly double Flaring).

If you can successfully tank this first big group, congratulations, you are perfectly qualified for speed-running Bray.  This group requires the most amount of group tanking skills and raw stats.

2) Door: After downing the previous big mob group, proceed on and Lob the plant once, and then the monkey 2-3 times. By lobbing the plant once, you make sure the plant won’t do much to your squishy teammates before it gets put to sleep. You need to Lob the monkey a few more times since it’s following you through the door. I recommend 3 Lobs to be safe.

Btw, if any BLM or WHM refuses to sleep the plant and let it roam through the door… Idk, but I rage-quitted. There used to be a time when nobody cared about the plant and all, and the tank simply has to stand on the line while tanking the plant, the monkey AND the boss until the boss area is sealed. It’s perfectly doable, but any good BLM should know that this is all ABSOLUTELY UNNECESSARY if he simply sleeps that plant. Less healing stress for the healer and less risk of the plant passing through the seal line due to inappropriate aggro distribution. So, whenever I see people leaving the plant awake, I get irritated. Also, when both dps just run to door without picking the key up… ye, time is wasted and plant wakes up before seal is up and strolls into boss area 😀

3) 1st Boss: I use this boss as a DPS check, to determine how well my DPS mates are doing. If they can down the boss before the second sniper appears, well, we’re in good shape. If the boss is above 25% HP by the time the 2nd sniper appears, then this isn’t gna be a speedrun.

For this fight, simply take the sniper aggro by intercepting the line and tank the boss, while dodging ground aoes. I prefer to lead the boss near to the sniper so that my mates will not intercept the line again by mistake (or while dodging aoe). Nothing special to take note of, other than that more snipers spawn the longer you take killing the boss.

3) Goblin Trios: Lob each of the first 3 goblins at the start once and run along the right side of the terrain. Reach the last group of goblins at the end and Lob one of them. Doing this should also aggro the group on the right. You only need to kill these 9 goblins, so all members should stick close to this right side to not aggro the raptors. From here on, same old group aggro work for you. Sometimes I will throw a Cover onto the healer, especially if he starts to Holy spam.

4) 2nd Boss: The most annoying mechanic here is the spawning of adds every now and then, and killing them off doesn’t stop more from spawning. But that does not mean you should not kill them off. Some bards prefer to kill once they spawn, and enjoy a period of peaceful dpsing the boss until the next spawns. Other groups prefer to simply ignore and focus boss, while running out of the adds’ aoe circles when they come. Both work fine, so it’s really up to the DPS to decide. To add on, some more experienced WHMs will stay close to the boss and wait for the goblins to go to them. If DPS does not hit goblins, goblins will most likely get aggroed by healers. So when goblins get near, healer uses Holy and deals respectable damage to both boss and goblin, while also stunning the goblin 😀

For us as tanks, if the add spawns quite close to you, feel free to plant some aggro on it asap. The goblin will most likely follow you and throw aoe circles at you instead of your mates. Since you do not need to stand still to do you job (unlike BLM/WHM), you are the best target for those goblins. The only hard part is to maintain aggro on boss as well, since the DPS will have total freedom to unleash their might while you do the dirty work (high ilvl BLMs WILL steal aggro from you very quickly if you do not pay attention, if they crit >_o). However, if the adds spawn too far away, meaning you have to turn the boss too much, then just forget about the add and let the DPS handle it. The last thing you want to do would be to face the boss towards your mates and let the cleave attack hit them, or further mess with their channeling if boss uses straight line aoe.

You will notice that periodically blue areas appear on the ground. Just step out of them. If the whole area around you is covered with blue (mud), find a spot where there’s only 1 layer of mud ._. Ye, if you stand on the spots where 2 circles of mud overlap, you get hit twice when they explode. Most of the time they explode after the boss uses Oversurge, but then most of the time you don’t get hit by it anyways. Furthermore, it doesn’t do a whole lot of damage.

Basically, this boss is more about DPS and healers. The tank simply keeps aggro, Halone combo and dodge ground aoe.

5) Profit: Grab chests and you’re done. Yay!

 

Conclusion

After so many Bray runs, I have started to get more and more picky about the composition. Nowadays, I would prefer to run with PLD, BLM, BLM/BRD, WHM.

Black Mages and Bard for the 2nd slot both work fine, and the difference in timing between the 2 most often depends on the skill rotations and gear level of the players. I have run 5min + runs with BLM+BRD as well, so, I really do not mind either combination. I like at least 1 BLM for sleeping and for double Flare bursts to end aoe pulls faster.

As for healers, I generally have much shorter runs with WHMs, especially if they use Holy. In fact, this is the main reason why I only run with WHMs now, in hope that they have learnt the art of Holy. Holy spam cuts down so much time during aoe mob pulls (in the first 10 seconds when you have Hallowed Ground on and they do not have to heal you, several Holys can be casted to deal massive damage and allow you to position better for Flash casts) and is icing on the cake at 2nd boss. Try it and you will realize the difference ^^ (For reference, refer to the above linked vid. The healer (Libera) executes some of the best Holy spams I have seen, and it’s a joy running with such fantastic mates <3)

 

To end off, let’s congratulate Pie in obtaining his Animus (Stardust)!

ffxiv_06202014_164944

ffxiv_06202014_165225

ffxiv_06202014_165234

:3