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By on Sep 9, 2014 at 7:00 am, in FFXIV, Guides, MMORPG  |  Comments: No comments yet

So you’re level 50. Congratulations, you have come a long way. But what’s next? Whether you are a fresh adventurer or a returner, at this point, there are a lot of things to catch up on currently in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. You might want to go back to level another class or hurry up to hop on the raiding wagon. If you choose the latter, then here’s a list of things you would want to do in Patch 2.35.

 

1. Complete Main Scenario Quests and Job Quests:

This will open the doors to most endgame content.

 

By on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:30 am, in Guides, MMORPG  |  Comments: No comments yet

Greetings, Junkies, Vitality here. In this article we’re taking a look at the Harani starting zone focusing on rushing through to level 10 and obtaining our small farm with enough gold to plant stuff all in under an hour and a half. If you aren’t leveling a Harani, you can also check out my speed leveling guides for the Firran starting zone, the Elf starting zone, and the Nui starting zone.

Let’s jump in with the setup:

  •  Load previously saved character customization data file
  •  Choose Battlerage for its intrinsic area of effect (AoE) attack built into its starting ability Triple Slash
  •  Re-bind UI assets most notably to have the bow attack hotkeyed, and optionally set your strafe keys up if you’re used to them being A and D (Pro Tip: Set Shift+A and Shift+D up too if you use a shift modifier for other things like attacks and stuff like I do. If you don’t your character will not respond to your movement commands while shift is held down).
By on Aug 26, 2014 at 7:30 am, in Guides, MMORPG  |  Comments: No comments yet

Yo, Junkies, Vitality here. In this article we’re taking a look at the Elf starting zone and how to blast through it in an hour and keep our pockets stuffed full of gold at the same time. With all the closed Beta action going on, knowing how to get out of the newbie zone as fast as possible is critical. If you aren’t leveling an Elf, you can also check out my speed leveling guides for the Firran starting zone and the Nui starting zone.

By on Aug 25, 2014 at 7:30 am, in Guides, MMORPG  |  Comments: No comments yet

Greetings, Junkies, Vitality here. In this article we’re taking a look at the Firran starting zone, focusing on rushing through to level 10 and obtaining our small farm with enough gold to plant stuff all in under an hour and a half.

 
Let’s jump in with the setup:

  •  Load previously saved character customization data file
  •  Choose Battlerage for its intrinsic area of effect (AoE) attack built into its starting ability Triple Slash
  •  Re-bind UI assets most notably to have your bow attack hotkeyed, and optionally set your strafe keys up if you’re used to them being A and D. (Pro Tip: Set Shift+A and Shift+D up too if you use a shift modifier for other things like attacks and stuff like I do. If you don’t your character will not respond to your movement commands while shift is held down)
By on Jul 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm, in Guides, MMORPG  |  Comments: 1 comment

Hey there, Junkies! Vitality here, coming to you with the fruits of this week’s ArcheAge challenge. I have been tasked to search out a quick way to crush the first ten levels of ArcheAge‘s western (Human) continent while keeping the gold gained per minute as high as possible to facilitate that all-important day one land grab.

Let’s jump right in to some basic preparation tips you should aim for before starting:

  • Load a previously saved character customization data file
  • Choose Battlerage for its intrinsic area of effect (AoE) attack built into its starting ability Triple Slash
  • Re-bind UI assets most notably to have the bow attack hotkeyed. Optionally set your strafe keys up if you’re used to them being A and D. (Pro Tip: Set Shift+A and Shift+D up too if you use a shift modifier for other things like attacks and stuff like I do. If you don’t your character will not respond to your movement commands while shift is held down)

Estimated setup time: One minute

By on Nov 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm, in MMORPG  |  Comments: No comments yet

If you’re playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, there’s a good chance you’ve at least tried out crafting in the game. It’s an interesting crafting system, for sure, and one that I must admit is rapidly growing on me. I appreciate its complexities. I think most players tend to either hate crafting in FFXIV or love it. Either way, if you’re interested in leveling up a few crafting classes, it’s best to take the most efficient route possible in order to minimize your downtime and lessen the amount of raw materials you need. There’s definitely a solid strategy to best go about leveling and making the most out of your endgame crafting. Interested in learning more?

Lauren Connally on our sister site FFXIV Junkies wrote up an excellent Crafting 101 guide that touches on general resources, leves, cross-class skills, class skill info, gear, and offers some great tips for maximizing your chances of creating High Quality items.

Here’s a sampling:

“Often times, you’ll find that you won’t be able to get an item to 100% HQ and still have enough steps to finish. This is where Rumination comes in handy: dropping your Inner Quiet levels to recover CP, then turning that CP into durability, then using Manipulation to recover durability. With the remaining durability, you should (and I say should, since we’re dealing with the evil RNG deities here) have enough durability to progress the rest of your craft with the help of a few other skills.”

For the full guide and list of valuable resources, check out her full crafting guide.

By on Nov 7, 2013 at 1:52 am, in Article, FFXIV  |  Comments: 2 comments

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Crafting and gathering are two of the most important things in this game if you’re looking to make some gil. Many people choose to just buy their gear, even if it’s not off the Market Board. If you’re in a large free company, you probably have a go-to for every kind of armor, weapon or resource. They’re also needed (especially at higher levels) for melding materia to your gear. Rather than spending time shouting for someone to do it for you, you can hope to find someone in your FC to meld or, better yet, do it yourself.

By on Oct 30, 2013 at 7:30 am, in Console  |  Comments: No comments yet

Breeding has gotten a lot simpler in the newest generation of pokemon. IVs (think your pokemon’s DNA) have gotten more predictable, the friend safari option gives you access to high-stat breeders, and a little ball of string called “the destiny knot” should help you keep the generations needed for a “perfect pokemon” down to under a hundred. The folks over at Kotaku have a nice little overview of why Pokemon X/Y may be the best time to get into poke-breeding. There’s little I can add in terms of accessibility and explanation for those who may be new to breeding except in the terms of experience, but perhaps some person experience can help shed some light on this.

I did breeding in the second generation, but sadly, I had to calculate IVs using a formula I can barely understand now but was similar enough to what I was learning in high school that it provided me with math practice my parents probably didn’t know about. All they saw was my usual scraps of paper around my gaming area, which always had a calculator nearby (my computer couldn’t handle windowed mode). I spent most of the summer trying to breed the perfect squirtle. I had several setbacks, such as realizing I had been forgetting about the gender differences and not inbreeding pokemon (yes, it’s pretty much expected you need to do this while breeding, even now). I quit before school started without so much as a nearly perfect one. I think I only managed to get one with rather high defenses, which was more advanced than the few other people I knew who were playing in high school who didn’t use cheats to max out their monsters.

I’m breeding again, but I know I’m doing it “wrong.” I’m not putting in half the effort I did before, but using the destiny knot and , sadly, in breeding, is making my results a bit better. Kotaku’s advice is great for those who want to get into the competitive play, but I find Nugget Bridge’s simple guide and explanations more useful as someone who’s got some experience. Between the two, there’s also enough there that a casual trainer like myself can take away a few tips and feel like he’s improving his game.

By on Oct 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm, in Console, PC, Review  |  Comments: No comments yet

If you have never played Dark Souls, or played a few hours and quit because you felt intimidated or overwhelmed, you have done yourself a great disservice.  It may not be for every gamer, but if you are even remotely interested in RPGs or fantasy games you need to experience this title.  To that end, I have compiled a short list of tips and tricks to help you hit your first few Dark Souls milestones, and hopefully whet your appetite enough to see it through to the end.  I want to stress that this is not a comprehensive how-to guide– it’s very general, spoiler-free information that I wish I had known before I sat down to play.  I hope it helps. 

 

Take your time and explore 

Dark Souls Explore

For me, the most rewarding part of Dark Souls is the exploration.  Every area of the game is designed to encourage you to explore, and is littered with interesting things to find.  Be careful not to focus so hard on overcoming a particular challenge that you miss out on all the hidden treasure, shortcuts, and breathtaking scenery.

Each time you reach a new area, take the time to look in every nook and cranny for the game’s secrets.  There are literally hundreds of them scattered throughout the world, and they may hold just what you need to overcome that next challenge.

 

Spend your souls! 

Dark Souls Bonfire

Souls, obtained by killing enemies, serve as currency for everything you do in Dark Souls.  You will spend souls to level up, raise your stats, buy and upgrade equipment, and purchase items from merchants.  They are incredibly valuable, and incredibly easy to lose.

Since souls are such a valuable and volatile asset, it is imperative that you spend them every chance you get.  Whenever you sit down to a bonfire, level up as many times as possible.  When you reach a merchant or blacksmith and want to buy or upgrade some equipment, don’t hesitate.  Eventually, you will reach a point where souls come more quickly and you know the terrain well enough to know what you can safely handle, but until that time comes, spend, spend, spend.

 

Don’t beat yourself up 

Dark Souls Death

In Dark Souls, it’s easy to get yourself trapped in a cycle of wasting time and not making progress.  The quickest way to get stuck in this rut is by being stubborn and trying to rush through new areas.  I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you this, but you will die in Dark Souls, a lot.  In fact, death is one of the core mechanics of the game.

Each time you die, take a second to think about what happened.  Nine times out of ten you will be able to identify what went wrong, and if you take the time to make a mental note, each death will make you a better player.  I’m not just saying this– try it a few times and I promise you will see improvement.

 

Equipment and stats 

Dark Souls Stats

Equipment is a huge part of what makes Dark Souls special. It is one of the main reasons to explore the world and take on new foes, and is also what defines your character and the way they play.  Every style of weapon has a unique feel, not just in the moves it can perform but in the way your character animates while wielding it.  Finding weapons you enjoy using is vital, and so is knowing how to read each weapon’s stats and how they apply to your build.  Here are a few specifics on what to look for:

Attribute Bonuses – Every weapon is given a letter grade in relation to each of the combat-related attributes.  The higher the letter grade, the more effect that attribute will have on the overall performance of the weapon.  Basic weapons are usually tied to either strength or dexterity, while magic-oriented weapons will often benefit from higher faith or intelligence.  You will reach a point where a quick glance at a weapon’s stats will determine if it’s a good fit for your build, and which stats you need to invest in for the weapon types that you prefer.

Dark Souls Blacksmith

Upgrade Paths – Most weapons in Dark Souls can be upgraded and modified by blacksmiths in a variety of ways.  Some of the earliest weapons you find can become some of the most powerful weapons in the game if you invest the resources to get them there.  Then there are other weapons that start out with higher stats but have a much more limited and expensive upgrade path.  As you play, you will become familiar with the different options for upgrading, identifying special weapons with unique upgrade paths, and how to efficiently spend your resources to get the best results.

This information generally applies to shield and armor upgrades as well, but they tend to have much more straightforward paths of advancement.

Dark Souls Flavor Text

Flavor Text – I cannot stress this enough– read the flavor text.  The last page of stats on every item in the game is a written description.  Not only can this description reveal unique traits not covered by the hard statistics, but it gives character, story, and depth to everything you find.  Many important items – equipment, expendables, even random knick knacks – may seem meaningless if you don’t read this text.

 

Unexplained mechanics

Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls are very light on tutorial.  There are some very basic (and very important) mechanics in the games that were intentionally left for the player to discover naturally.  I have to preface this section by saying that discovering these things on your own can be a very rewarding process, but a little heads up might be enough to keep you going when the going gets tough.

Estus Flask and Fire Keeper Souls – No matter your build or playstyle, the Estus Flask is going to be your best friend.  It’s a permanent healing item that, each time you rest at a bonfire, will be replenished for you.  Like much of the equipment in Dark Souls, the Estus Flask can be upgraded, which makes every drink from it replenish more of your health.

To upgrade the flask, you need to bring a Fire Keeper’s Soul to a Fire Keeper.  There are a few Fire Keepers in the game, but the first and most accessible is at Firelink Shrine, one of the first areas you will explore.  There are a limited number of Fire Keeper Souls in the game, so be careful not to waste them, as they are an expendable inventory item.

Dark Souls Kindling

Humanity and Kindling – Humanity is a thematic element to the world and story of Dark Souls, but it’s also an important game mechanic.  Humanity is found in game as an expendable item that can be used for a variety of things.

For one, it reverses hollowing.  When you die, you respawn as a hollow; this has no effect on your hard statistics, but it does change a few things behind the scenes.  You must be non-hollow to do things like participate in cooperative and competitive multiplayer, have a much higher chance of finding rare loot off enemies, and most importantly, kindle bonfires.

Kindling is one of the most important things you’ll be doing as a new player, and it’s something I went much of my first playthrough without knowing about.  It’s very simple, each new bonfire you find will refill your Estus Flask to five drinks whenever you rest at it.  Kindling (at a cost of one humanity) will raise that bonfire’s number by an additional five.  In the early game ten drinks in your flask is max, but after obtaining a certain item you will be able to kindle bonfires even further.

Movesets – Every weapon in Dark Souls has around five unique attacks.  The obvious ones are mapped to the two right triggers, and are usually a light and heavy attack, respectively.  The more advanced moves, and the ones that are easy to overlook, are performed by pressing up on the left thumbstick and pulling one of the right triggers simultaneously.  These maneuvers range from a simple kick to dashes and leaps, and can be some of the strongest and most versatile attacks in the game.  I would encourage you to try out all of the attacks with every new weapon you equip, as the animations, speed, and angles vary dramatically from weapon to weapon.        

 

A few secrets to get you started

If you have already incorporated the rest of these tips and the game still seems like more trouble than it’s worth, read on.  I have put together a collection of early game secrets that might give you just enough advantage to muscle through Dark Souls’ steep learning curve.  I promise that once you feel the rush of your first few boss kills and start really exploring this world, you won’t want to stop.

A side note, most of these secrets require you to start the game with the Master Key.  This is an item that you select as a bonus during character creation, or receive by default when you choose to play as the thief class.

 

Astora’s Short Sword and Dragon Crest Shield

Early Fire Keeper’s Soul and Crimson Armor

 

Drake Sword

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS0x5OpEt8M

 

Thanks Marz, Toxifies, and IGN for the YouTube tutorials.

By on Sep 17, 2013 at 10:45 am, in Article, Guides, RIFT, Rogue  |  Comments: 9 comments

marksman rogue dps guide header

This is a guide for the 61 Marksman spec that’s suitable for most types of gameplay in RIFT including leveling, raiding, and all types of endgame group activities. It’s a pure ranged Rogue spec and features fantastic mobility, solid utility, and a rotation that’s fairly simple to learn. It won’t do quite as much DPS as most melee Rogue specs, but as a ranged spec it performs solidly.

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