Friday, January 29, 2021

Black Desert Online Account Transfers Available Until 31 May 2021

I haven't played Black Desert Online in a couple of years, but I pay attention to the quarterly Pearl Abyss earnings calls because I write about EVE Online. When BDO experienced its record peak concurrent user mark in Japan when the company began self-publishing the game in that country in April 2020, it was only a matter of time before PA began publishing the game globally. Financial analysts asked about self-publishing games on the earnings call back in November. This week, the analysts got their wish, at least as far as BDO is concerned.

I first heard the account transfer process from Kakao to Pearl Abyss is active now from watching a YouTube video this morning. Once I was able to log off of work for the day, I went ahead and went through to transfer request process.

I realized just how much of the game I've forgotten as one set of transfer awards makes no sense to me. I'm including them for those who do.

Another set of rewards includes a tier 4 limited cat. I remember cats are important for doing tasks like looting.

If I haven't played the game in years, why bother with the transfer? As the biggest pay-to-win game I've ever played, I don't want to lose any of the items I purchased in case Pearl Abyss gets the cash shop into some kind of control and I decide to play again. Besides, I get an excuse to reinstall the game on my new computer with a nearly up-to-date video card. The character graphics in BDO were always a little off-putting. Perhaps a new computer will help.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.45 Launching Tuesday

I am currently finishing up patch 5.3 (Reflections in Crystal) and trying to learn the final trial, The Seat of Sacrifice. I thought I would have a little more time to catch up to current content, but patch 5.45 drops on Tuesday. 

I haven't run into any of the Bozja content. As far as I know, the big attraction of the content is upgrading the level 80 relic weapons. Patch 5.45 is adding resistance weapons quests called "Save the Queen" Square Enix is also adding something called "Delubrum Reginae". I'm not sure if  the content is a dungeon, raid, or just a big melee area. I haven't even started the content, so perhaps the description makes sense.

Beneath the wastes of Bozja Citadel lie the ruins of Queen Gunnhildr's kingdom. The temple at its heart, once a shining beacon of hope for Bozja, now remains forever shrouded in darkness. And it is there the Warrior of Light must lay the queen's legacy to rest.

Something I have no interest in is the Blue Mage update. The Blue Mage is a ranged magic DPS job that has a lot of limitations. Maybe if I run out of other jobs to level, but currently I only play White Mage and crafting/harvesting classes. But I'm pretty sure a raising of the level cap from 60 to 70 plus a lot of new spells and gear will make those playing the job pretty happy.

The part of the update that really interests me is the Skysteel Tools upgrade. From the description on the Shadowbringers website, the final upgrade for all the crafting and gathering tools drops on Tuesday. I have three tools, Botanist, Miner, and Weaver, already at the current maximum item level. I can't wait to see the capabilities of the last iteration of the tools.

As far as I can tell, not a huge patch. Then again, I'm still trying to finish the MSQ and haven't really paid much attention to anything involving fighting outside the story. Not even the beast tribe quests. So maybe I'll hear a lot of excitement coming from my FC's Discord over the next few days.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Fleet Finder UI Improvements

I have to admit I've never used the fleet finder function in EVE Online. Every fleet I've ever joined has been through "X"'ing up and being invited by the fleet commander. But I can see how the fleet finder is useful. On Tuesday, CCP published a dev blog with upcoming improvements.

Looking for a fleet

From reading the dev blog, the activities are better defined and fleet commanders can indicate whether new players are welcome or not. Back when I started playing in 2009, I was warned to never join a public fleet. Now CCP makes it easier for new players to join fleets. Times have changed.

Advertising your fleet

I hopped on Singularity to take a look at the UI myself. I can see why the fleet finder is useful in corporations, alliances, and coalitions. Fleet commanders can set up their fleets to only fly with their closest friends or just take anyone who comes along. Spies can still get into a fleet, but at least the UI can perform some basic filtering.

I still probably won't use the feature, as I prefer puttering around in EVE than doing super serious things. But I do like that CCP is still working on quality of life issues.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Final Fantasy XIV - I Bought A House

One of the pleasant side effects of participating in the Ishgard Restoration title contest was raising my liquid wealth from 2 million gil up to 7.5 million gil. Of course, I couldn't let that amount sit around. I wound up getting involved the highest level of PvP in FFXIV: housing.

Unlike games like Everquest 2 and Elder Scrolls Online, housing in FFXIV is not instanced. Because housing plots are limited, players wind up camping empty plots for hours trying to acquire their first house. Once a player buys a plot, the next step is to purchase a housing permit. Players with housing permits can use the relocation feature to move to a better location. They just need gil to purchase the new plot.

Over the past couple of weeks or so I noticed the free company's Discord starting to chat away about available housing plots. That's right, the FC had scouts out providing intelligence about which plots were available and, more importantly, which plots were uncamped. I think the idea is to get all the players who might want to purchase housing plots in Ishgard a house so they can use the relocation feature to get one of the new plots when Square introduces the new district.

On Friday and Saturday, a lot of plots were available and uncamped, so I wound up camping a ward in The Goblet with 3 plots open in the 31-60 positions. I wound up logging off outside one of the plots, sleeping 30 minutes, then logging back in. Around 3:30am, I was able to buy a plot. Ward 17, plot 59.

Getting a plot was just the beginning. I then had to figure out what type of house I wanted. I wound up selecting a composite cottage, as I purchased a small plot. After spending another 450,000 gil, I had a nice little house.

Admittedly, the exterior needs some work. But the game does allow for customization, including the use of dyes.

The interior, on the other hand, looks nice right out of the box. The picture above is of the top floor and entrance. I don't feel like I need to start changing the appearance right away, I can concentrate on obtaining functional items like NPCs and bells.

The bottom floor is dug into the ground and a lot longer than the top floor. I placed my character at the far corner to try to give some sort of idea just how large the interior of a "cottage" really is.

When including the miniature aetheryte used for ease of travelling to my house, I've spent approximately 3.6 million gil so far. Looking at the wiki page and some of the videos on YouTube, housing in FFXIV is pretty complex. I have the feeling my new house will take up quite a bit of time and money.

Monday, January 25, 2021

December 2020 Monthly Economic Report: Interesting Facts

I had a little difficulty with the December monthly economic report (MER) for EVE Online's Tranquility server. I'm still not used to the fact that some of the bounties from ratting go into the Encounter Surveillance System and thus are included in that line item on the main faucets & sinks graph.

For December, adding the two line items comes out to 23.6 trillion ISK in ratting income. The RegionStats.csv file in the MER comes out to 22.8 trillion ISK.

Bounty income is heavily skewed toward null sec, as seen in the below chart.

Yes, players might expect a big decline in ratting income due to a major null sec war. But ratting income didn't decline for the first four months of the war. I'm pretty sure the latest EVE ecosystem dev blog is an indication CCP doesn't believe the war caused the drop in the ISK faucet.

The other fact that stuck out at me was the amount of destruction that occurred in null sec in December. Despite the largest titan fight in EVE history occurring on the last day of the year, the amount of destruction for the month was listed at 19.2 trillion ISK. The figure is the lowest amount for a month in 2020. More surprisingly, media reports indicate that in the first battle of M2-XFE, both sides lost a combined total of 22.1 trillion ISK. Meanwhile, in the RegionStats.csv file, the total losses in Delve in December were 3.2 billion ISK. Perhaps the losses will show up in the January 2021 MER.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Ishgard Restoration - Stage 4, Day 10 - Final Status

Yesterday was the final day of the competitive season of stage 4 of the Ishgard Restoration. I need to emphasis "competitive season" because the content is still present to do. If I understand correctly, the gathering and crafting will stay available until the next expansion, so still plenty of time to get some of the items I've described over the last two weeks. If I had to guess, the competition was to kickstart the construction so that the area is finished by the players.

Two worlds in the Japanese data center have successfully completed construction for stage 4. Tonberry on the Elemental server was the first to complete construction, followed by Hades on the Mana server 27 hours later. In North America, Balmung on the Crystal server is out in front, currently working on Snowsoak Springs (29). My world, Hyperion on Primal, is currently working on the 3rd stage of The Eastern Risensong Quarter (23).

Since I participated as a weaver, my server's leaderboard is of interest. Freya Albarn jumped out to a huge early lead and then stopped. The number of points the top 12 players accumulated is beyond my imagination and those earned the "Saint of the Firmament" title definitely earned it.

My personal finish was satisfying. I finished in the top 50. I thought I could do 6000 points and finished with over 10,000. I also managed to finish 85th amongst botanists and 89th on the mining list. 

I also did very well financially. With the flurry of activity on the final day, I pulled in 706,992 gil as I sold off most of my unused crafting materials. I had a goal of earning 2 million gil, but due to selling so much, I lost track. If I ignore all the sales on the first day and before, I made 4.5 million gil over the last nine days of the event.

Overall, I'm glad I participated in the event. I now have enough gil to purchase a small plot, if one is available. I also still have 8172 scrips to spend on a variety of items. I'm not sure I would play in another event, but I'm glad I did at least once.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Ishgard Restoration - Stage 4, Day 9 - Craftsman's Glamour

I'm running out of major items to purchase. One of the last purchases on my list was to complete my collection of glamour items. I still haven't won the Casual Attire set from the Kupo of Fortune game, but I now own all of the Craftsman's glamour pieces.

I've created three sets out of the six items. The first is made up of the Craftsman's Coverall Top, Craftsman's Coverall Bottoms, and Craftsman's Leather Shoes. I think the set makes my character look like an auto mechanic. Definitely a look for running around Garlemald.

The second set is pretty much leather-based. In addition to the leather shoes, this shot includes the Craftsman's Singlet and Craftsman's Leather Pants. I really like the shirt tied around the waist.

Finally, I replaced the singlet with the final piece I purchased, the Craftsman's Apron. I like the effect as the pants and shoes merge pretty well, which is the reason for using the leather pants.

Going into the final day, I think I'm assured of finishing in the 40s on the weaver list. I plan on only crafting 20 items or so, just so I can say I finished with over 10,000 points.

On the botanist list, I rose three places to 92nd. I'll gather another hour or two, just to get the scrips.

I have the same plan for the final day with mining as well. I think even placing as high as 95th place as I was at the end of day 9 is a little silly.

Finally, the money making potential of the event is at an end. I only made 247,972 gil yesterday. In fact, Kiri didn't even sell all the items she put up for sale overnight. But since the Sunday afternoon before the competition began, I have made over 4.7 million gil.

As I publish this, the competition has a little over 4 hours left to run. Quite frankly, I'm ready to move onto other subjects. But I might as well go ahead and play to the end.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Ishgard Restoration - Stage 4, Day 8 - Server Progress

 Last night, my server finished up the Western Risensong Quarter, so it is on to do the eastern half.

I think we trigger another in-game event once we complete this final building phase. My server, Hyperion, is leading our data center, but we are well behind a couple of the EU worlds. I'm pretty sure progress will slow once the competitive event is over.

Activity is already slowing down, allowing me to rise to 45th place amongst weavers on my server. Right now, I'm not crafting not so much for the title as for the scrips to buy things. Right now I am up 5565 points over 100th place.

My accidental placement on the botanist list continues. I'm not too worried about staying on the list, as I believe I am only able to get one title, and my weaving performance pretty much guarantees I get it.

And hilariously, I managed to get on the mining list. Yes, I'm in 99th place and I doubt I'll finish on the list. Still, my performance shows that you always have a chance if you just keep going.

Finally, I managed to sell another 425,917 gil on the market yesterday. As activity declines, so will my income. But I still have a chance to reach 5 million ISK.

And a final note. The Kupo of Fortune game gives players a chance to win crafting-themed minions. I managed to win a Paissa Threadpuller, which is nice since I'm competing as a weaver. I think my minion dresses better than me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Ishgard Restoration - Stage 4, Day 7 - Hairstyles

Yesterday I earned 5162 Skybuilder scrips, which meant I could purchase the three new hairstyles purchasable in The Firmament. One of the problems with the hairstyles is knowing what they look like before purchasing one. The way they look on a female Miqo'te is below.

Modern Legend

Controlled Chaos

Saintly Style

An important note is the short hair style. No worries about clipping with these three options. I've used the same hairstyle and glamour throughout Shadowlands. I think I might change my hairstyle to Modern Legend once I finish the MSQ.

At this point, I'm pretty much guaranteed to receive the title "Beatus of the Firmament". I keep puttering along making 40 collectables each day, resulting in 1199 or 1200 points. I may finally crash into the 40s. As of now, I jumped up 4 spots to 51st place.

My accidental botanist ranking continued into a second day. I even jumped up 4 spots to 93rd place. What the rankings don't show is that I stayed up late gathering and over 4000 points are not showing up.

The extra gathering paid off ... literally. I sold 549,322 gil worth of materials and other items yesterday. That brings my total since the afternoon of the 10th to over 4 million gil. My character now has 6 million gil.

I only have a couple of days to go. Since I'm already grinding, I have a few more pieces of glamour to purchase before moving on to dyes. After that, I can finish up patch 5.3.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Ishgard Restoration - Stage 4, Day 6 - Emotes

Yesterday I earned 5030 Skybuilders' Scrips, enough to finish purchasing the rest of the emotes introduced through all stages of the Ishgard Restoration. I thought a list of them might prove useful.

/bread - Ballroom Etiquette - Well Bread

An illustrated manual providing instruction in the eating of bread, a deceptively nuanced act that philosophers have likened to a good marriage. Use to learn the /bread emote.

/broom - Ballroom Etiquette - Next, Godliness

An illustrated manual detailing how to operate the quaint device known as a "broom" in event of dire circumstances involving the absence of one's servants. Use to learn the /broom emote.

/highfive - Ballroom Etiquette - Uncouth Congratulations

An illustrated manual of congratulatory gestures best avoided in polite company. Use to learn the /highfive emote.

/insist - Ballroom Etiquette - Emphatic Elucidation

An illustrated manual of how to speak powerfully and persuasively, drawing upon techniques employed by the finest orators in history. Use to learn the /insist emote.

/lean - Ballroom Etiquette - The Winsome Wallflower

An illustrated manual that is nevertheless instructive in warding off potential dance partners--and looking good doing so. Use to learn the /lean emote.

/read - Ballroom Etiquette - Intelligent Impressions

An illustrated manual of how and when to employ books in a social setting so as to appear well-read to those around you. Use to learn the /read emote.

/riceball emote - Ballroom Etiquette - Concealing Meals

An illustrated manual detailing how to best conceal Eastern foodstuffs about one's person in the likely event the hors d'oeuvres on offer are insufficient to sate one's hunger. Use to learn the /riceball emote.

My position in getting the event title for helping in the Ishgard Restoration continues apace. I only dropped one position, down to 55, yesterday. I'm not really concerned at this point, as I have a score 3696 points ahead of 100th place. Before the event started, I speculated that I'd only need a score of 6000 to get a title. Looks like another prediction will come true. Still, I do need the scrips.

I did have a bit of a surprise when I checked and found myself in 97th place on the botanist list. I didn't think I harvested that much. I'll probably fall off when I check tomorrow, but I did chuckle in real life.

Finally, I had another good day (at least for me) on the market. I sold 417,296 gil yesterday. My sales include my normal food and raw material sales, but I know have over 5.5 million gil, with 3.5 million of that coming in the last 8 days.

I expect to see some dips in my output as I took a nap this afternoon and have to get to sleep early because I have to work tomorrow. Still, I think everything is going according to plan, if not better.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Ishgard Restoration - Stage 4, Day 5 - Consumables and Additional Crafting Materials

With the day spent acquiring scrips and Skybuilder points, I had some time to consider some of the necessary things required to keep myself in the middle of the pack for the "Beatus / Beata of the Firmament" title. I thought I'd list a few things out.

Food: I carry food around for both crafting and gathering. For crafting, I eat Popotoes au Gratin. Until I can upgrade and overmeld the rest of my crafting gear, the food helps with all normal requirements. Still, the dish only allows me to qualify to do expert recipes. I can't do them. For gathering, Mushroom Saute works to boost my stats high enough to trigger all node bonuses.

Potions: The two potions I make the most use of are cordials and watered cordials. The potions restore the gathering points required for special actions. In effect, the potions mean I gather more. Very useful for reducing my gathering time.

Dark Matter: An item very easy to overlook, I use Grade 7 Dark Matter to repair all my gear. Yes, crafting & gathering gear loses durability when used. But with a stack of the repair material, all I have to do is wait until an item reaches 10% durability and then I can repair everything I am wearing. No leaving The Diadem or your preferred crafting area required.

Other crafting components: Because I make my own food and potions, I do have to take some time out to gather those items. I also need to gather up wind crystals and make Lignum Vitae Lumber for crafting the Grade 4 Skybuilders' Awnings required by the event. Except for extreme situations, I can let my retainers gather all of the ingredients for the food & potions, as well as all of the wind crystals I need. What I have to gather is the logs to craft the lumber. I've settled into making 40 of the awnings every night, which means I need to gather 160 logs and craft 40 pieces of lumber each day. I also run through 360 wind crystals. Thankfully I have 3 retainers that can keep up with the demand.

With the reflection on the logistics of the event out of the way, how am I doing? I won't look at the leaders because I'm so far behind, I get a little depressed. But my situation is still rock solid.

I did drop two places down to 54th place yesterday. I've been between 52nd and 55th place the entire event, so my strategy is working. Halfway through the competition, I am 3,135 points ahead of 100th place. 

My financial situation is definitely better than it was seven days ago. If I emptied my retainers' wallets into my own, I'd have over 5 million gil. Yesterday was one of my best days yet, earning 745,882 gil. Normally I collect the gil on Sundays, but due to the event I'll wait until next Sunday.

Finally, I started to have issues with the scrip cap. Players cannot hold more than 10,000 Skybuilders' scrips at a time, so I started purchasing emotes. I have 3 of the 7 available now and hopefully will have the other 4 purchased by this time tomorrow.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Ishgard Restoration - Stage 4, Day 4 - Skyworker's Attire

Yesterday, I completed the last of my secondary goals for the final season of the Ishgard Restoration in Final Fantasy XIV. According to my math, I earned 6291 Skybuilder's scrips yesterday. I now own a set of the new Skybuilder Worker's Attire.

If Square Enix had not decided that The Diadem I would switch to the new set. The helmet and boots are really cool, and the top comes with an arm tattoo. However, since the weather turned chilly in stage 4, I'll keep wearing my poncho glamour set.

On the wealth front, I accumulated another 522,665 gil. I supplemented my event gathering with a lot of food sales. Most of the food sold was related to gathering and crafting, but I did sell some raiding quality food.

In the competition for the top, Freya is so far out in front she took Friday off and is still comfortably in first place. Not just among weavers, but all crafting classes.

Finally, the one goal I have not secured. A title from the event. I'm still in good shape, having moved up three spots to 52nd place. More importantly, I extended my lead over 100th place to 2,640 points. As long as I keep up my current level of effort, I should receive a title as well.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Ishgard Restoration - Stage 4, Day 3 - Trike

Yesterday I managed to get the new minion introduced in Patch 5.41. Trike is a cute little dinosaur one can win by playing the Kupo of Fortune game in The Firmament. 

Kupo of Fortune is a game of chance that can be played by delivering certain items to Potkin and collecting stamps on a voucher.

Once you have collected five stamps, you may exchange the voucher for a Kupo of Fortune card. Upon each card, there are four treasure chests depicted by hexagons - one on the left and three on the right. You may choose one chest to scratch open.

The lone chest on the left offers second to fourth prize, while the three chests on the right offer first to fifth, with the fifth being a consolation prize. The prizes available change each time, and we recommend that you review the prize list before playing.

I think Square Enix rigged the game to make getting Trike easier. When I saw Trike, I immediately chose the three hexagon option. I've never seen the top prize icon show up twice on the card before.

In the rankings chase, Freya Albarn is still far ahead of not just all weavers, but all crafters. The crafter with the most points gets immortalized in a statue. Freya really wants that statue.

In my personal quest for a title, I fell back down to 55th place despite posting a personal best 1176 Skybuilder points. I'm still doing well, with my total 1828 points over 100th place.

On my monetary goals, I earned another 337 thousand gil on day 3 of the event. The income is slowing down as the amount of crafting material on the market catches up to demand. At this point, the materials sell within an hour or two as long as I keep on top of the market. 

Finally, I earned 5160 scrips. I almost have enough to purchase the new Skyworker's Attire introduced with the event. Hopefully I get to show it off in tomorrow's post. Yes, I'm planning on posting an update on a Saturday. I'm still having fun.