Sure, when I joined the Alliance I was excited to join the Stormwind Guard, but for some reason here I am now as some sort of commander. I led an army in another dimension or something, and now my fellow Shaman are calling me the Farseer, and I’m helping some weirdo stop an invasion of demons while stationed in a floating city.
Aforementioned weirdo has a habit of popping up in the most irritating of places. I think he was trying to look in my storage boxes, see if there’s any magic paraphernalia he can purloin or something, but he made up some junk story about “oh I need to see you about some chandelier with an odd fixation on Malfurion’s brother” and I don’t believe him for a SECOND.
Life was simpler on the turtle.
I suppose there’s a bright side. I’ve learned some practical skills, like how to mix potions then subsequently sell them at a high mark up, how to fish and cook, how to summon small volcanoes beneath the feet of my opponents, you know, the usual stuff you need to get by. Every time I go near Things of the Past, some elf lady in there keeps trying to get me to learn Archaeology, but who has time for that? I apparently have a world to save for some reason.
For the last six years, I’ve been playing my Warlock. I’ve raided on her, I’ve farmed transmog on her, soloed bosses I couldn’t on other characters, devoted a lot of time and attention to her and her development. I’ve summoned, I’ve given glowy green cookies, I’ve thrown bolts of pure chaos at my foes and summoned legions of demons to do my bidding.
Sure I’m still playing as Shokei, the Warlock formerly known as Raenah. She’s still my main, ostensibly. She’s the character I raid on, with my highest /played and the best, shinest gear, but…
Recently Yopaat has taken over more of my time. For all I said I was going to just level the Warlock, Rogue and Monk, and here I am with a Warlock I don’t have fun on any more, a Warrior I barely log into, and a Shaman that’s simply enlightening to play, whether Elemental OR Enhancement.
There’s issues afoot with the Warlock class. They’ve been acknowledged as such by Ol’ Mister Hazzithingybob, but due to a lack of ideas and ways to implement changes, we’re just gonna have to suffer with them until 7.2 at the EARLIEST, and who knows when that will be? Given that it’s going to be a major patch with a raid in the Tomb of Sargeras, and I doubt they’d want to make the Nighthold a short-lived raid, then we’re looking at five to six months where there’s a class that just feels busted to play. How so?
Affliction’s problem is, on the face of it, relatively simple. It’s one of the worst specs for single target, but arguably the best for mass AoE. You can’t buff the DoTs too much or they make the AoE and cleave utterly eclipse any other spec in the game. Soul Effigy is a concept that Mages bitched about for the entirety of Warlords of Draenor (Prismatic Crystal) and almost universally approved its removal in Legion, so why not give that awful talent to Warlocks instead? And make it so that it’s the only way Affliction can do respectable single target DPS, and utterly frustrating on fights where enemies move around a lot (Cenarius, Ursoc).
Not only that, but you get the feeling that two of Ulthalesh’s golden traits are just out of place. Back in the beta, your weapon would occasionally release souls that you can kill that would end up triggering your golden traits (the first makes a powerful explosion around enemies you kill, the second increases DoT damage by 2% for 20 seconds, stacking 5 times). These two golden traits are utterly useless on fights where you have no adds to damage (Nythendra, Ursoc) or fights where adds die too quickly for you to even fire off a DoT at them (Elerethe, sometimes Dragons, depending on which ones you get and raid setup). Not only that, the Reap Souls ability on single target stacks up terribly slowly, roughly 3-4 per minute (givng you 15-20 seconds of buff time), whereas when you have adds to kill (Il’gynoth, Dragons, Cenarius, Xavius, Elerethe if your team doesn’t AoE the spiders down immediately) they stack REALLY quickly, and on certain fights (Ilgy and Cenarius), it’s possible to have the Reap Souls buff up the entire fight.
The spec I’ve been using most, the one I’m least disillusioned with.
You don’t feel like a mighty conjurer of demons when all you’re doing is throwing small amounts of imps and demon dogs at a target. Demonic Empowerment feels annoying to have to use after EVERY summon; make it a maintenance buff on YOU that makes every demon you summon/have summoned have the usual DE effect, have it give you an aura of power that empowers your demons or whatever you need to do to explain it.
Utterly crippled by movement, Demonology can pump out some ridiculous numbers but the second you have to move? You’re not generating shards, you’re not summoning demons, you’re not empowering them, you’re losing all the DPS forever and you’re not catching back up. Demonwrath tickles, especially on one target, and Doom, once applied, doesn’t need to be recast for, like, EVER. You may be generating shards with Demonwrath, but if you’re moving, you sure as shit can’t spend them.
Admittedly I’ve left Destruction twisting in the wind this expansion, so maybe I’m not best placed to comment on it, but hang on? I spent nearly 5 years as Destruction, from the last patch of Cataclysm up to the first of Legion, so what went wrong? What made me drop the spec I loved, stuck with through the Great Pandarian Revamp and loved even more?
Burning Embers were the perfect resource. It just made the spec flow properly. They generated at, seemingly, the perfect speed, and you spent them at the perfect speed too. The shift to Shards made the spec, ugh, clunky at best. Chaos Bolt, that fantastic nuke we all knew and loved, doesn’t feel like it hits very hard at all anymore, especially for the cast time it has. Another spec crippled by the slightest movement, but whereas Demonology shines in single target and has passable cleave/AoE, Destruction shines in cleave. Trouble is, if you can’t cleave, Destruction’s a waste of time, thanks to its single target numbers being so damn low.
There was going to be a moan about the current talent setup where you have to choose between doing passable single target or passable AoE and nothing in-between when other classes/specs don’t HAVE to make that decision and can do both and MORE! with just a cookie cutter build, but thanks to a rejiggling of the talents, that’s not as much of a problem in 7.1.5 anymore. Huzzah.
I think my main issue though was that it just doesn’t feel FUN any more, but I can’t put my finger on specifically WHY and that really annoys me. It’s not purely the numbers, as I was still using it when it was the worst Warlock spec (pre-SoO days!) and enjoying myself. There’s just something missing from it and my inability to specify what is a frustration.
General Warlock Stuff
- Healthstones feel junky compared to potions
- While having specific demons be better for specific specs is great for class fantasy!!! it makes for a boring time. I don’t do PvP so my Succubus sees absolutely no sunlight any more, and while I could just summon her regardless, I feel bad that I am gimping my numbers just to satisfy her wanting to see some scenery.
- Make Mortal Coil trigger the healing again, even if the target isn’t affected by the horror. It’d make for a nice “oh shit!” cooldown and provide an actual CHOICE on that talent tier, otherwise everyone’s just gonna take Circle forever.
- Speaking of that talent row, Shadowfury having a cast time kinda sucks. Things move!
- I want my Wrathguard back.
- That’s probably it.
It was light outside when I started writing this and now I’m sitting in the dark. Here’s Yopaat. Bye.
Anyway Final Fantasy XV has been released FINALLY, it’s the 30th anniversary of the series next year (or of XV’s announcement ohoho) and I figured I’d do a brief look at that perennial figure within Final Fantasy games; Cid.
Note that I’m only going to include the main numbered series, plus side games I’ve actually played!
THERE WILL PROBABLY BE SPOILERS FOR GAMES THAT AREN’T XV.
Final Fantasy I
Interestingly Cid originally didn’t appear in the first FF game, but subsequent rereleases of the game added in dialogue making mention of a Cid that was the inventor of the airship, a theme common to a lot of the Cids we see! The addition of Cid into FFI was probably the result of Square wanting a Cid in every game, so they had to chuck one in here.
Final Fantasy II
Originally a knight, this Cid jacked it all in to be a glorified taxi man, charging people for transport on his airship and using the money to maintain it. Dies when Emperor Fabulous throws a cyclone his way, but not before he gives the hero the airship! What a nice guy.
Final Fantasy III
Cid Haze is, shock horror, a creator of airships, and turns your regular old sailing boat into a soaring airship for you because that’s totally a thing that can happen easily. He also joins your party briefly and is summarily useless with a basic Fire spell, but he does like to twat things with a hammer occasionally too.
His wife gets sick when he’s with you, but she gets better.
Final Fantasy IV
Cid Pollendina is, GUESS WHAT?! Yes, an airship designer! He rebels, he’s imprisoned, you free him, he joins you. Likes to hit people with spanners, but then who doesn’t?
When Cecil and Rosa get married, he’s the best man, because let’s be honest he IS.
Final Fantasy V
Cid Previa is an
airship engineer who helps you out by building a ship for you that requires neither magical crystals OR the wind to use. The fire-powered ship!
So like an airship engineer but in water. Okay. Of course when you DO find an airship, he’s the one that activates it because all Cids like to play around with unfathomable vehicles.
Final Fantasy VI
Cid Del Norte Marquez invented Magitek things in this game. He rips magic out of espers and plonks it into machines and people. What a nice man. He’s the one who made Kefka the insane murderclown we all know and love. He ends up helping you out, and tries to help Setzer rebuild his airship. Cid’s advice falls on deaf ears though because Setzer (rightly so!) doesn’t want to remove his casino.
Dies if you feed him shitty fish, so watch out for that.
Final Fantasy VII
Cid Highwind is a
prick mechanic and wants to be the first man in space. He blames his wife for his first failed launch attempt, and is pretty damn keen to express that at any interval. She was doing a safety check as she wasn’t confident in the rocket, and he didn’t want to kill her in the takeoff.
Oh hey, turns out his wife was right about those safety checks, ’cause an oxygen tank exploded and damn near killed Cid. He mellows out a little after that.
Final Fantasy VIII
Robin Williams Cid Kramer is your headmaster the husband of a sorceress. No engineer here, though he does reveal to you that your school is capable of flying around so he fulfils that traditional Cid role of throwing airships at people.
Used to run an orphange with his wife until he needed to train children to kill her.
FFVIII is a complicated game.
Final Fantasy IX
Cid Fabool IX is
a philanderer the ruler of Lindblum that got turned into an insect, then later a frog, after his wife discovered an affair he had. Plans the kidnap scheme at the start of the game, kicking the events of FFIX into motion.
Designs airships even as an insect. Also retains that ludicrous moustache.
Final Fantasy X
Cid *mumbles* is Rikku’s dad and is therefore awesome. He leads the Al Bhed, he captains an airship, he dug said airship OUT THE OCEAN, and much like any old man, is a bit of a traditionalist, which is why he ends up falling out with his kids.
Ends up turning some sacred ruins into a tourist trap, as you do.
Final Fantasy XI
Cid *something* has bare shoulders and muscly arms. I’ve not played FFXI but he’s already become Best Cid. Engineer and inventor, of course.
Final Fantasy XII
Cidolfus Demen Bunansa is the first Cid you actually get to beat the shit out of! Airship creator, yadda yadda, he also comes across a bit mad, babbling about gods and whatnot. Turns out he wants to wrest control of mankind’s destiny out of the hands of the gods and into ours.
Oh and also become a god himself, as you do. Overthrow the gods, but then take their place. Bad boy.
Final Fantasy XIII
Cid Raines is another Cid who wants to return control of fate to humanity from the gods! Also not an engineer, but a military commander! Stationed on an airship though so I guess he can’t shed that part of his fate.
Easily the youngest, probably the most typically handsome, and he’s another you get to kill! Yay him.
Final Fantasy XIV
Cid nan Garlond is the leader of a group of engineers who don’t like The Evil Empire and supports the player character in their fight against them. Yes, he makes airships, but more importantly he gives you your own suit of Magitek Armor!
He apparently uses a gunblade when in a fight. Stole that from Squall, I bet.
Final Fantasy XV
Cid Sophiar is from Final Fantasy XV and NO SPOILERS ‘CAUSE I’VE NOT PLAYED IT YET.
Sure LOOKS like a mechanic. Probably made the boybands’ car. Also ancient.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Ah, the BEST Final Fantasy game. Cidolfus Orlandeau, commander of the Order of the Southern Sky, and probably THE game breaker of the whole series. Seriously, he pretty much trivialises most fights he participates in. Probably a good job you get him really late into the game.
Fakes his death with Delita’s help so he can sneak off and join Ramza defeat a bunch of demons. Delita framed Orlandeau for the death of Goltanna, a death Delita himself performed. History is dictated by the victors.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Cid Randell doesn’t make airships in this one. Cid in this one is the awesomely titled JUDGEMASTER. He enforces the law. HE IS THE LAW.
Judges in this game are annoying. Oh sure, ban all the things my units are good at.
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
Cid *mumble* is the leader of Clan Whatever You Call It and is our first (only?) non-human Cid!
He’s a nice guy. That’s about it.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
Cid is not a person in this game, but a title bestowed upon the greatest engineer in all of Lapis. The girl pictured above is called Lid, and she aspires to be the next Cid. She has an almost aggressive love of money, and a bit of a grudge against her brother who DID get the title of Cid.
Her Halloween unit variant is one of the best 5* attackers in the game. Hoo boy Hex Strike is awesome.
Confirmed to be set in the same Ivalice as Final Fantasies XII and Tactics, Vagrant Story doesn’t have a Cid per se, but it DOES have a Sydney!
Levitatin’, dragon summonin’, teleportin’, functionally immortal, even being shot right in the heart with a crossbow or having his fake limbs cut off barely stop him (though in the case of the latter he just slaps them back on). He’s one of the antagonists of the game, leader of a cult that preaches about the END OF THE WORRRRRLD.
He carries the Blood Sin tattoo, which is apparently key to mastering the dark magics of Lea Monde. It was passed to him by his father to save his life after an unknown, near-fatal accident. If one dies, the other dies with him.
In trying to give the powers of the dark to either his brother or the main character (something about ending the curse, finding a person who “doesn’t desire power” because they tend to not misuse the power they DO get), he ends up being attacked by Romeo Guildenstern, and having the Blood Sin ripped literally off his back. Painful.
Fujikomine. Rogue extraordinaire. Her biggest weakness is a cold breeze, but I suppose that’s not really happening here unless she ambles into the mountains.
Huomofa is on her way to Stormheim too. She’s a bit more covered up, considering she’s a Frost Mage and doesn’t like being too cold.
Poundshopwig probably wonders why his mother even called him that.
Lunchi has a big stick and isn’t afraid to hit you with it.
Yopaat will tell you a different story about how he lost his eye every time you ask him.
He hasn’t actually lost it at all. He just thinks an eyepatch makes him look badass.
Well Muirisc COULD go out and save the world, but she’d much rather stay indoors.
Shokei, seriously, you’ll catch your death of cold.
Still adamant that the best things in WoW right now are the talkative artifact weapons, and the transmog wardrobe. Thal’kiel’s a veritable stunner.
Normally at this stage of an expansion, I’ve levelled at least 6-7 characters, maxed professions on my main, and am soloing old raids for mounts. Let’s see how that’s going shall we?
Well those sure as shit aren’t maxed out. My issue with profession levelling is that the recipes seem to go green very quickly. I’ve been stuck at 790 for weeks now, making Imbued Silkweave Bracers whenever I can and just not getting skill ups. Similarly, I’m struggling to level Enchanting because while I’m swimming in Chaos Crystals and Arkhana thanks to being able to disenchant unwanted greens from questing and epics from raiding/mythics, I’m rarely if ever getting anything blue drop so I have hardly any Leylight Shards.
In previous expansions there were recipes to shatter your purple crystals into the blue ones, and blue into green, and while there’s a recipe to shatter Leylight Shards into Arkhana, there’s nothing to shatter Chaos Crystals into Leylight Shards, at least that I have seen. I could go and run dungeons for a small chance at a blue, but no thanks. The Blood of Sargeras vendor alleviates this somewhat, but then I run into a shortage of Bloods, which means I can’t craft other stuff.
As for levelling other things, well. The artifact system effectively puts me off wanting to. I mean, the weapons are awesome (particularly the talkative ones, as mentioned) but while my Warlock has a high-levelled Demonology weapon and two other semi-levelled ones, the other classes will endlessly be playing catch-up. I like to feel my characters are powerful in their own right, but right now all I can think of is “they’re OKAY but my Warlock is practically a god compared to the rest.”
Then there’s the neglected 4. The non-maxed and the ignored Demon Hunter that hasn’t even been to New Dalaran yet. I do enjoy Holy healing on the Priest, mind.
I know it sounds like I’m being negative, but it’s important to look at this sort of thing. I love this expansion, it’s not up at Mists level (and never will be because PANDAS) but I am having a ruddy good time, but I think it’s good to look at how some things can be frustrating too.
Some high points as a counterbalance?
- Raid encounters are fantastic. Il’gynoth and Odyn are my highlights so far.
- THE STORY, oh my goodness. THE CINEMATICS!
- Thal’kiel. Aluneth. Xal’atath. That Thal’kiel has conversations with your demons is even more awesome. The Succubus is a particular highlight. Voidwalkers just hate everything.
- I actually like World Quests.
- Demonology in general. Fuck Metamorphosis, those demon rejects can have it. NOW I HAVE AN ARMY.
- Pirate Rogue spec. Or Outlaw, whatever. Grappling Hook is great for ascending mountains!
- That floating Khadgar head pet. I wish it could battle though, I’d send it out to
die constantlybring me victory or something.
Legion is in full swing, 7.1 is out ALREADY, there’s a new raid coming next week, and all is looking rosy.
But there are other games in the world, other things to play and other worlds to experience, so let’s have a look at those!
Street Fighter V
I’m not playing online much with this game yet, instead I’m primarily playing against the boyfriend and his plethora of favourites. He favours Laura, Karin and Nash, relatively fragile but speedy and strong characters, whereas I am currently favouring Rainbow Mika, Urien and Cammy. Mika is all about getting you in the corner and making you guess her next move. Guess wrong and she’s gonna murder you. Urien’s all about those heavy hits and Aegis Reflector setups, as well as being fabulous in a thong. Cammy is more like the bf’s characters in that she’s fast and packs a hefty punch, but can’t take too many hits due to her low health.
99% of the reason I play as Urien is because if you hold 3 specific buttons as the fight loads, he starts the match by BURNING ALL HIS CLOTHES OFF. Why would you NOT play as him?!
King of Fighters XIV
Another fighting game, this time by SNK, KoF14 features considerably more playable characters than SFV and thus it was initially difficult to choose a favourite.
But then I played as Hein.
The fabulous German butler of Geese Howard (yes, he’s alive again somehow) who seemingly has the power to create hugely powerful gravitational fields, and is prone to a bit of posing, and we all know Panda Steve loves posing.
The combo system is a lot more complex in KoF14 (though simpler than previous games in the series) and a lot of characters have rather daunting commands (I struggle particularly with double half-circles so much), but at least they removed Geese Howard’s infamous “pretzel” command for his Raging Storm.
He’s also delightfully Engrishy and loves to counterattack every damn move you ever do, same as he’s always been. PREDICTABO!
In the two weeks it has been out, I’ve sunk 32 hours into this game, and do bear in mind I’ve not only raided Emerald Nightmare a few times, but I was on holiday in Newquay for about a week, so that cut my potential playtime down a bit.
Put short, this game is FANTASTIC. I’ve not worked out all the little quirks yet with districts and whatnot but I’m slowly getting used to them, and the wanton aggressiveness and flip-floppy nature of the AI is still entertaining to me (though to be fair it always has been, it makes shit INTERESTING!). You’ll be pleased to know Gandhi is still an absolute wanknoodle who shouldn’t be trusted as far as you can SPIT him, let alone throw him.
I’ve enjoyed playing as Japan and China. I’ve always tended to gravitate towards the Asian civs in these games (Korea, Arabia and China in V for instance) for some reason, but we can probably add Rome to the “Steve Likes Playing As” table too, if only because it means I’m not up against him.
Rome is terrifying.
But you know who isn’t?
Well fancy that, Xavius gets his own wing of LFR all to himself. Good for him.
Horny tentacle goat.
- 3 phase fight. You have a Corruption bar that adds mechanics to the fight the more full it is. At 33%, avoid giant circles on the ground. At 66%, avoid small ones too. At 100% you deal 150% more damage/healing for 20 seconds, then you become mind controlled.
- When Xavius hits 95% health, Ysera puts half the raid to sleep. At 60%, the other half sleep. When asleep, you are affected with Dream Simulacrum. When this debuff is removed (either after 3 minutes, on death, or when mind controlled) your Corruption is reduced to 0 and you awaken from the dream to continue the fight as normal, with all your cooldowns reset.
- There is a tank swap mechanic. At three stacks of Darkening Soul or Blackening Soul, you need to tankswap and move out of the raid. Healers then dispel you.
- Phase one: Two players will be affected by Nightmare Blades which run in a straight line between them. Move yourselves so that it doesn’t hit anyone else. Kill the huge Corruption Horror add asap. If fixated by a Lurking Terror, run away from it if not dreaming. If you ARE dreaming, make sure you touch it before anyone else.
- Phase two: Stack for Corruption Meteor so the damage and Corruption gain is split. A number of Inconceivable Horrors spawn at the side of the room. Kill them before they reach Xavius, and dreaming people soak the pools they leave.
- Phase 3, Nightmare Blades and Corruption Meteor are still a thing. Tentacles spawn when he casts Writhing Deep; frankly you can ignore these and just focus on Xavius. Hero/lust here to end this as fast as possible.