Tuesday, July 16, 2024

A Look At The Active ISK Delta In June 2024

Another fiscal quarter is in the books as CCP published EVE Online's monthly economic report for June 2024 on Friday. After a one month hiatus in order to publish a series of posts on the Equinox patch notes, I'm back to look at the Active ISK Delta.

The Active ISK Delta is the net effect on the New Eden monetary supply of players leaving and returning to the game. The Active ISK Delta also includes any reductions due to any and all GM actions. In June, 14.8 trillion ISK actually poured into the economy from the movement of players into and out of the game. The change turned the Active ISK Delta from the 7th largest ISK sink in May (4.7 trillion ISK, tied with skill books) to the 6th biggest ISK faucet (behind Sansha Incursion payouts of 16.8 trillion ISK) last month.

The positive Active ISK Delta at this point in EVE's Second Expansion Era is expected. In 3 of the 4 expansion launch months since November 2022 the measure has increased the supply of ISK in the New Eden economy. While far below the mark set for the Havok expansion, year-over-year the Active ISK Delta went from a 34.2 trillion ISK decline in June 2023 to a 14.7 trillion ISK increase in June 2024.

Looking at the Active ISK Delta by quarter, the measure declined from 14.2 trillion ISK in the second quarter of 2023 to -14.4 trillion in the second quarter of this year. Equinox marks the first launch quarter since Q4 2022 with a negative Active ISK Delta. If the measure is a reliable indicator of player sentiment, null sec players weren't as thrilled to see Equinox as low sec residents were to try out Viridian and Havok.

Null sec is a place I spend as little time as possible in, so I don't know what player sentiment is in null sec. Is EVE hitting an upper limit on former players curious about the game and willing to return? Are the changes just unappealing to null sec players? I'm beginning to think the latter given what Wilhelm is posting. Putting together my monthly Dotlan data post I wasn't as confident about what I wrote as I usually do. The numbers looked okay, but I just had a feeling something wasn't quite right.

I'm still not quite sure what to think, so I'll have to wait for additional data to roll in, because I think the numbers can swing either way in the third quarter.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Dawntrail Diary - Halfway Home

Another week of playing Final Fantasy XIV's latest expansion Dawntrail is in the books. When writing about my experiences I really want to go on and on but FFXIV is one of those story driven games. I want to give people a chance to experience the game with as few spoilers as possible. For the next few weeks I'm going to use my free company's rules as a guide: no story elements, no zone or dungeon names, and no MSQ elements not already published by the developers. My FC leadership imposed the embargo until 30 July.

I will touch on some things in Dawntrail in the most general ways. Hopefully I've erred on the side of caution and won't spoil the story for anyone.

Running from spoilers - So far I've done a pretty good job avoiding spoilers. I did run into a YouTube thumbnail which partially spoiled the story in zone 2, but only a segments. Also, I know there is some sort of controversy about the MSQ story. As the title of the post indicates, I'm a little past the halfway point of the MSQ. I think I might know a couple of the criticisms already, but I won't speculate on the blog until the 30th.

Earning flying - By this point in FFXIV's history, the method of earning flying in a zone is pretty set. Find 10 aether currents and complete 5 quests. One of those quests is the main MSQ quest for the zone. The other four quests appear in pairs using criteria I still don't understand. One is a single quest and the other leads to a series of quests.

I believe the story writers want the player to do the quests as they appear. I also do the series of quests although to get credit for flying only the first quest requires completion. Doing the quests winds up earning accessory (right side) items which helps meet iLevel requirements for dungeons.

I should add that doing these quests does not lead to really outleveling the content. Currently I'm in zone 4 doing level 96 quests. My white mage job is currently 97, so I'm about one level above. Then again, I haven't gotten carried away doing FATEs. If I did, I'd probably be level 99 or 100 by now.

Zones 3 and 4 - Over the last week I entered and completed zone 3 and got a fair bit into zone 4. The landscape in zone 3 is too tied into the MSQ to describe now and not give out a spoiler or two. For now, I'll just say I found myself taking lots of screenshots and not just to follow the story. Shout out to whoever designed the zone and the art team. I thought the design was great.

Zone 4 was somewhat spoiled for me from comments by someone on the media tour. Still, I've liked the content so far and the music when I first entered the zone was perfect. At this point I don't know which music I like more, that of the capital of Tuliyollal or zone 4. I do look forward to doing a lot of gathering in the zone.

Solo-friendly - As I mentioned before, I'm currently running through level 96 quests. So far, I have not run content with anyone else. The game gives the options at duties and trials but the Duty Support system also handles trials so far. Is the game easy? The last duty I ran I look 73 minutes out of the allotted 90 minute time limit to complete. I also needed to learn the final fight and not just follow Krile around, as Krile died. And Wut Lamat, our main character? She killed me by deciding to run up to me at the wrong time. Still, I didn't have to worry about others getting frustrated with my slowness of learning the mechanics.

Dressed for success - Okay, my glam is still the original Eorzean outfit I started the expansion. But I have been tempted to switch to local garb. One of the dungeons has a set I really like for glamour. Unfortunately the gear is not sellable on the market. But the end game glamour enjoyers have new outfits to earn.

My retainers - As I progress through Tural I don't have to just worry about myself. I have my army of retainers I need to level at the same time. I need to acquire a lot of accessories for my retainers. For the gatherers, accessories usually only provide gathering points. But each one can also hold a materia. With 5 slots, that totals up to an additional 125 gathering if I use Gatherer's Guerdon Materia X.

For my two white mage retainers, I was able to upgrade the gear using gear provided to me completed quests. That's right, I have shed to sets of gear already. Later on I'll set up my retainers' glamours, but for now the current gear they wear has the same glamour I'm wearing while adventuring.

I should add that the non-white mage gear I receive running dungeons I'm turning in for expert deliveries for seals. So far I've earned enough seals to purchase 200 ventures to pay my retainer army. I'm a little behind the pace as the way I'm currently deploying my retainers costs 126 ventures per week. Luckily I built up a significant reserve of ventures before the expansion launched so I don't have to worry for 8 more weeks.

For those wondering, my white mage retainers are level 95 and my gathering retainers are level 93.

Gathering and Crafting - In order to keep my army of retainers levelling I need to level my gatherers. By the end of the second week I have botany and mining at level 94 and fishing at level 96. Now that I'm looking to partake of Tural cooking, I don't need to do fishing ventures anymore. Instead I just need to look for a recipe needing seafood and fish. So far each fish caught has netted me at least 400,000 experience points.

After two weeks, the only crafting classes I've advanced past level 90 are culinarian (93), goldsmith (93) and weaver (91). I need to get those classes up to 95 to continue the next step of Wachumeqimeqi Deliveries. Until then, I made a stack of 30 Royal Toast (+critical hit and +vitality) to last while adventuring overland. I should also get a level or two for my goldsmith equipping my retainers accessory slots. Leveling goldsmith means also leveling blacksmith or armorer and I've chosen blacksmith.

I should add one nice mechanic I forgot about. Since all items gathered and crafted in Dawntrail are a higher level than my Endwalker crafting gear I am getting a lot of materia from spiritbonding. I really do need to mix up some of the medicine that gives buffs to spirit bonding to enhance the effect.

That's all for now. I do have a self-imposed deadline for writing this post. I return to work on Monday so I'd like to get as far as possible into the MSQ this weekend. Ideally I want to finish the MSQ by 30 July so I can blog about everything I've experienced. Also, I really want to read all the hot takes on the Internet. I have the feeling I'm missing out on some juicy blogging subjects.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

EVE: Vanguard News - The July 2024 Press Release

Last Friday CCP Games published a press release on its website unveiling a roadmap for its upcoming first person shooter, EVE: Vanguard. In the interest of full disclosure, I don't play first person shooters. If I didn't cover Pearl Abyss' finances, I'd wonder why the company insisted on trying to make me care about a game I have no interest in playing for the last six months. But since the company wants me to care so much, I'll cover the latest news.

The new roadmap does offer up some useful information. CCP plans to continue testing and refining the new Solstice map introduced in June. The private monthly playtest periods presumably will continue until November when the developers plan to unveil a new update. Based on the past, I would guess an additional map since I think CCP would not want to open up early access on Steam without at least three maps.

As I am not that excited about CCP's fourth attempt at producing a first-person shooter set in the EVE universe, I'll turn to the press release for some hype.

The 'Solstice' era roadmap showcases how EVE Vanguard's evolution will continue, including expanded gameplay elements, enhanced player agency, and deeper integration with the EVE Online universe. Private Founders' Playtests, part of the game's gated pre-alpha development phase, will be conducted through to the end of the year.

A major update is planned for November 2024, which will introduce new features such as stronger economic links to EVE Online, a strategic deployment map featuring diverse planetary environments, engagement with multiple factions, weapon chipset crafting, and more emergent activities.

Further out, plans are in place to launch EVE Vanguard into Steam Early Access, with the exact timing to be announced at a later date. In the interim, interested players can add EVE Vanguard to their wishlist on Steam.

These additions and future plans aim to create a more immersive and interconnected experience between EVE Vanguard and the broader EVE Universe, furthering the game's evolution and accessibility.

Looking at the timeline I do wonder a bit about the presence of EVE London on the roadmap. The Vanguard development team is in London, so their presence at the event would be natural. I just don't know if Vanguard information will be presented at the event.

Finally, CCP produced a short 5 minute video covering the future development of EVE: Vanguard. The video is described as "detailing the development team's vision for EVE Vanguard in the ‘Solstice’ era and beyond, including plans to deepen the gameplay loop with more content that strengthens the connection between EVE Online and EVE Vanguard."

Overall, the press release didn't provide that much new information. I still assume a major announcement about Vanguard will occur at Fanfest 2025 in May 2025. I think the press release did reveal CCP's plans to announce the early access release on Steam in 10 months. The question is whether the company will announce an immediate release or one in conjunction with the release of the Summer 2025 expansion, presumably in June 2025. My guess is the latter based on the integration discussed in the various materials mentioned in the press release. But until CCP puts up a compelling case why I should care, I'll only follow the game's development for blog content.

Monday, July 8, 2024

The Server Meshing Wars Have Begun

Any discussion about large-scale player-versus-player fights in an MMO eventually includes EVE Online. The title from CCP Games not only holds world records for largest fight in a video game (8825 players), but most concurrent participants in a multiplayer video game PvP battle (6557) as well. Any game offering EVE-sized battles will attract players just out of curiosity.  Currently two companies, Cloud Imperium Games and Intrepid Studios, are working on a technology they believe will put them in the conversation of games capable of hosting large-scale battles.

The technology is called dynamic server meshing. Both Cloud Imperium Games and Intrepid Studios published videos last week proclaiming their progress on the technology. But before diving into the videos, I perhaps should explain what server meshing and dynamic server meshing mean in the real world.

I turned to Copilot to summarize the technology as my backend server infrastructure knowledge is from ten years ago. First I asked: What is server meshing?
I then wanted to know about dynamic server meshing and what the dynamic part of the term meant.

All links, at least according to Copilot, lead to CIG and its MMO under development, Star Citizen. What led to this article was the company posting a documentary-style video about server meshing and CIG's pursuit of the technology. The video concludes with a statement about how the developers will deploy static server meshing to the Persistent Universe in Alpha 4.0 and the conditions in which the company will proceed with the development of dynamic server meshing. I liked the video for the history, but for a 13 minute explanation of CIG's version of the technology, I turned to a well-respected YouTube creator, Space Tomato.

If Alpha 4.0 does indeed launch during the current quarter, it likely will conflict with Intrepid Studio's release of its Alpha 2 test for Ashes of Creation. During a 3 July broadcast, the company revealed plans to introduce dynamic server meshing in the upcoming test. Following the link leads to the video embed on the Ashes of Creation website. Tech nerds should definitely watch the video. But for those who don't have 75 minutes, I found the below 13 minute video by Narc, a long time Ashes of Creation YouTube creator, an excellent watch.

What I found most interesting in the video was the comparison of the tech in Ashes of Creation with that in Star Citizen and World of Warcraft.

I've addressed the topic of server meshing from this post's title, but where does the concept of war come into play? While the games exist in different genre (science fiction vs fantasy) they have three things in common. First, both games are PvP titles. The second is both are crowd funded, with the Star Citizen Kickstarter raising $2.1 million in 2012 and the Ashes of Creation Kickstarter bringing in $3.2 million in 2016. The final similarity is both are much delayed from the estimated dates of delivery given on their respective Kickstarter campaign pages.

How delayed? Star Citizen famously gave an estimated deliver date of November 2014. Missing a delivery date by 10 years and counting is quite a feat. But Intrepid Studio, with an estimated deliver date for Ashes of Creation of December 2018 isn't that far behind.

And now we get to the matter of content drops. Both Star Citizen's Alpha 4.0 and Ashes of Creation's Alpha 2 were both expected to launch sometime in the third quarter of 2024. With the announcement of Alpha 3.24 last month, I no longer expect Alpha 4.0 and server meshing to launch in 2024. I expect CIG to launch Alpha 3.24 in the weeks leading up to CitizenCon on 19-20 October.

Intrepid Studio, on the other hand, has an incentive to launch its Alpha 2 in October instead of during the third quarter. The next World of Warcraft expansion, The War Within, is scheduled to launch on 26 August. Perhaps more importantly, Throne and Liberty, a game more comparable to Ashes, should launch on 17 September. The Intrepid Studio leadership might want to delay the launch of Alpha 2 to mid-October not only avoid completing with either title, but take advantage of the extra development time.

In the end, does all the fuss and commotion over server meshing really mean anything? For Intrepid Studio, I think so. The company's story will change from a company making a vaporware game to one that took the time to not only upgrade Ashes' engine from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5, but also develop a solution allowing for massive fights where a much bigger company with even more financial resources failed. As for Cloud Imperium Games, they still have Squadron 42 to launch next year. The launch should make up for any decrease in Star Citizen related sales. And for the rest of us, lots of Star Citizen white knights telling us how we should think about the entire situation.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Dawntrail Diary - Early Access And Launch

I decided for Dawntrail to try writing about my game experiences once a week. Since early access for the expansion began on a Friday, the end of the week is when I'll make my posts. The only spoilers going forward might be zone names, but for this post I'll refrain from naming zones. I don't want to spoil the story for anyone and at this point, heavy self-censorship is justified.

I won't run through a day-by-day breakdown of my experience. Instead I'll just put down my feelings on certain subjects.

Login and stability issues - FFXIV's Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida took what happened during the launch of Endwalker badly and as a personal failure. The steps he took over the last two years, and especially for the launch of Dawntrail, showed how important a repetition of Endwalker did not happen again.

I'm happy to report on a personal level I had a much better experience. The biggest login queue I faced was on the first day of early access at a little over 2600 and I got into the game within 15 minutes. I may have experienced a 750 player queue on the second day, but I forgot to record the length. For the rest of the week, including the official launch day, I never experienced a queue of over 80 and was into the game within 5 minutes.

I don't want to claim no issues occurred on launch. especially players on XBox. But I think Yoshi-P needing to hand out 2 days of gametime to affected players is a vast difference from Endwalker, where he handed out 3 weeks of gametime and stopped sales of the expansion.

Two channel dye system - Let's face it, an adventurer needs to look their best for all the cutscenes a FFXIV expansion offers. I wound up picking out a simple outfit and both the tunic and boots had two dye slots. I fumbled around a bit but the system is pretty simple. Most importantly, I was able to take a grey and black piece of equipment and give it the white mage colors of white and red.

Right before accepting the first quest

I actually wound up using ruby red dye and the texture of the cloak turned the color into what I wanted. And for those who have not entered the capital city of Tuliyollal, bright colors fit right in.

The graphics upgrade - Creative Studio III took full advantage of the capabilities of their new graphics engine. I finally bought a new computer after 6 years or so because of the promised graphics upgrade and the increase in system requirements for FFXIV, along with the increasing requirements in EVE Online. While my rig doesn't meet the recommended system requirements for Star Citizen, what I have is far from a toaster. And what I have to say is, "Oh my!"

The devs decided to show off the new engine on the ocean voyage from Old Sharlayan to Tuliyollal. I have never seen a video game look so gorgeous. Admittedly I don't don't play a lot of video game, but this was special.

The lighting in a cutscene

What really impressed me is the increase in the distance objects are drawn at in the game. The below shot is from a ocean voyage cut scene, but the same occurs during normal gameplay.

I was so excited when I spotted my character

Perhaps most important, I am not running any type of graphics enhancement programs. Perhaps on older systems something like ReShade is still needed, but I'm not finding the need.

The MSQ without spoilers - I am not a player who demands lots of combat, but I found the start of Endwalker very slow. So slow that I decided to time how long it took to receive a quest involving killing anything in Dawntrail. The answer was 5 hours and 10 minutes, and that was taking out all time not spent running the MSQ.

The MSQ itself, as is the norm since Shadowbringers, split into two optional branches in order to manage server load before reuniting into a main branch. I have finished up the content of one zone and am into the second zone. As a judge of levelling speed, I am at level 93 on my white mage job.

Just as a personal opinion, I was not a fan of the female Hrothgar seen in the Dawntrail trailer, Wuk Lamat at the end of Endwalker. The story, as I should expect by this point from the FFXIV writing team, isn't as simple as Wuk Lamat was made out at in our brief introduction to her. At one point in the story, I even shouted out "I knew it!" in real life.

Role quests and the Wachumeqimeqi Deliveries - Without giving out spoilers, I want to say I like the timing on when the devs introduced both role quests and the Wachumeqimeqi group of quest giving NPCs. Basically, the Wachumeqimeqi Deliveries are the crafting and gathering equivalent of role quests. For hard core levelling and grinding a level quest giver is located between the inn on the docks and the Wachumeqimeqi district of Tuliyollal. Thanks to the natural break in the story, I chose to start both the healer role quest and the first two deliveries for each of the five quest givers in Wachumeqimeqi.

The inn - Oh my, the inn located at the docks in Tuliyollal. A five-star establishment! And the worst thing is I can't find all the screenshots I took. The inn is two rooms with a wonderful balcony views. I might write a stand alone post just about the inn room in Dawntrail.

Alpacas are not just for Johnny Depp - Up until now the most I'd heard about alpacas was in connection to the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial. But without spoiling the story, I can report that alpacas make an appearance. Remember in A Realm Reborn when chocobos were used for transportation? Alpacas are the same in Dawnwalker

Alpacas are a common site in one of the starting areas

A lot more happened, of course. But for brevity reasons I'll end here. Oh, and next week I'll definitely post pictures of the inn room. I kind of want to redo my cottage in the Lavender Beds in Tuliyollal style now.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

A Look At June 2024 Activity In EVE Online

Another month, another expansion. In this article looking back a year compares the launch of the Equinox expansion on 11 June to the launch of Viridian (13 June 2023). I like looking back a year since the same seasonal effects will impact player activity in the same way. When an expansion occurs almost on the same date in both months, who can resist comparing the months?

Now, I did have some concerns when I looked at Jester's average concurrent user graph I had some concerns. I'm pretty sure the steep decline wasn't entirely attributable to the testing of the new map in EVE: Vanguard. From looking at the graph with the naked eye, the 7-day average dropped back down to the 23,000 ACU baseline following an initial peak of interest.

Then I looked back at the launch of Viridian and saw the same percentage of decline, just in a more compact period of time. Last year didn't have any testing of a FPS game to affect the players from logging into the main game. Still, such a decline is concerning and something to keep an eye on.

Jester's graph does show EVE maintaining a large increase in players year over year and the number of explosions recorded on Dotlan shows everyone isn't just ship spinning. Year-over-year, the number of player ships killed in high-sec are up 53.6% and not just because of increased ganking.

Yes, I realize player ship losses increased by 285% in Uedama from June 2023 to June 2024, but total losses in the high sec choke point system still only make up 5% of player ships lost in high sec. And given CONCORD probably accounted for 60-70% of the increased kills? I think increased use of visits to career agents has a bigger impact. For example, players lost more ships in the Minmatar career agent system of Malukker than the top ten most violent null sec systems in June. In other words, the NPCs are racking up a lot of kills on new characters.

I did want to look at low sec to see if the new expansion had an impact of PvP activity. At least during the launch month the security band seems to just chug along. June's 228,242 recorded ship losses were even up by 8,000 compared to the previous month. Compared to June 2023, player ship losses increased 11% and NPC kills increased by 22%. Once again, something to watch, but the activity seems on par.

Equinox, however, is an expansion introducing a new sovereignty system. How are players handling the changes? While the numbers inched up 2.9% compared to May, the big structures didn't come online until the 20th. Still, year-over-year the number of player ships exploding in null sec increased by 36.5%.

The key statistic in null sec is the number of NPCs players kill in null sec in order to help pay for their ships and modules. The number of NPCs dying rose 6.3% from May to June up to 218.2 million. The month did see a milestone reached, as players killed more NPCs than in October 2020. That month was the last full month before the developers instituted the Dynamic Bounty System. Combined with other changes, the DBS kicked off the beginning of Scarcity Era. June's total of NPC deaths exceeded that of Viridian's launch month by 49%.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Dawntrail Launches Today And The Board of Turalism

All of the preliminaries are over. Today the latest expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, Dawntrail, launches. Before going on, a bit of housekeeping. Make sure to register your copy of Dawntrail if you have early access. In one of those moves the Square Enix website is famous for, registering an early access key for the expansion doesn't register the expansion itself. I have the feeling accounting is involved in the form of counting deferred revenue. But no mater. Players have until July 5th to register their key.

Launch day is here

I will admit as I get older I begin taking enjoyment out of some of the surrounding content around an expansion launch. CCP Games did so with its Upwell Consortium website. Very corporate and in keeping with the EVE universe. Creative Studio III published its own special website for Dawntrail, the Board of Turalism's

Both are trying to sell something. But where the Upwell Consortium knows internet spaceships are serious business, Tural's Board of Turalism is a more light-hearted affair as the below video shows.

Honestly, I can't wait for the new cookbook for Dawntrail bound to come out. I also anticipate a few hangovers.

From the Board of Turalism website

I also want to point out someone over in Creative Studio III decided to include a customer support chat.

Even offers customer support

I haven't tried the feature out yet. Hopefully the design is better than the typical Square Enix website I'm used to using.

I do have the feeling I'll go back every so often and see whether the website is just a bit of launch fun or a site worth checking up on. But for now, may the queues not swallow you up logging into the game.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Cloud Imperium Games Posts A 13.1% YoY Revenue Gain In Q2 2024

After a horrendous first quarter of revenue, Cloud Imperium Games pulled ahead of last year's sales numbers in the second quarter of 2024. The company closed out Q2 with $7.3 million in sales in June according to the CCU Game dashboard, a 7.4% year-over-year increase over June 2023's $6.8 million. For the quarter, this year's Q2 revenue of $37 million was 13.1% greater than the $32.8 million posted in the second quarter of 2023. For the year, CIG recorded $54.4 million through the first half of 2024, a 1.3% increase over the same period in 2023.

For those who keep track of new accounts (aka "new citizens"), June's 21,554 was 37.5% smaller than the total of 34,504 in June 2023. For the quarter, CIG attracted the creation of 141.453 new paid accounts, a 55% decrease over Q2 2023's total of 219,223. For the first half of 2024, account generation is only down 25.9%, 262,541 accounts over the first 6 months of 2024 vs last year's number of 354,406.

I have the feeling we can put to rest any link between account creation and sales generation. However, for those who feel account generation is a sign of health of the company, I'll continue reporting the number.

Overall, the recorded sales tracked on the CCU Game dashboard is $711.7 million since the launch of the Kickstarter in October 2012. But Cloud Imperium has additional funding sources not tracked by the dashboard. Overall, the company has recorded $810.3 million in confirmed revenue (the funding page & the 2022 financial report).

  • Sales/Pledges: $711.7 million (through 30 June 2024)
  • Subscriptions: $33.0 million (through 31 December 2022)
  • All other sources: $65.6 million (through 31 December 2022)
In addition, the company has received a total of $63.25 million in outside investment. According to the 2022 financial report, $4.8 million of the amount was returned to investors in 2020. Including the outside investment money, the total amount raised by CIG to create Squadron 42 and Star Citizen is $866.4 million.

While CIG has increased year-over-year revenue, the company has not pulled itself out of financial concern. Over the past 5 years, sales have grown an average of 27% per year. Back in February, I calculated (aka guessed) CIG would need to keep up with that average revenue increase to keep up with costs. We also know CIG does not have enough cash in reserve to cover paying out the Calders if they decided to exercise their put option in the first quarter of 2025. Due to the way the deal is structured, I believe the Calders will wait until the first quarter of 2028 in order to get a piece of Squadron 42 sales. Still, that's a minimum of a $130 million hanging over the heads of the owner of Cloud Imperium Games in three years with the need to keep the company funded and functioning in the meantime.

Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Patch Notes - Text Commands

The early access period for Dawntrail began yesterday. I thought I would try to cover the patch notes like what I have done for the last few EVE Online expansions. I have to put in similar because I do have a real life job and CCP drops their patch notes on Fridays so I have the weekend to work on them. 

One day until the official launch of Dawntrail

This fifteenth post in the series will cover information labeled "System" in the patch notes: Text Commands. I do not plan on covering all the items in the System section of the patch notes as some of the items are a little to esoteric even for me, but I figure these additions and updates are of enough interest to warrant a post.

New Commands - The following commands were added in Dawntrail.

Updated Commands

The following text commands can now be used to adjust volume levels even during events such as cutscenes:

  • /mastervolume
  • /bgm
  • /voice
  • /systemsounds
  • /ambientsounds
  • /soundeffects
  • /soundeffectsself
  • /soundeffectsparty
  • /soundeffectsother
  • /performsounds
  • /systemsoundsspeaker

New parameters have been added to the /hud text command: JobGauge1 and JobGauge2. These parameters can be used to toggle the display of job gauges.

The following parameters have been added to the /alarm text command:

  • se00/se01/se02/se03/se04/se05
  • mute

New parameters for new jobs and areas have been added to the /search text command.

New parameters have been added to the /petsize text command for Solar Bahamut.

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail - The Blacklist, Mute List, And Term Filter

The early access period for Dawntrail began yesterday. I thought I would try to cover the patch notes like what I have done for the last few EVE Online expansions. I have to put in similar because I do have a real life job and CCP drops their patch notes on Fridays so I have the weekend to work on them. 

Two days until the official launch of Dawntrail

This fourteenth post in the series will cover information labeled "System" in the patch notes: Blacklists, Mute Lists, and Term Lists. I do not plan on covering all the items in the System section of the patch notes as some of the items are a little to esoteric even for me, but I figure these additions and updates are of enough interest to warrant a post.

The Blacklist - Many of the features were requested by those who wind up with unwanted fans or toxic enemies. New blacklist functionality will not be applied to characters tied to a blacklisted character's service account if they were registered prior to Patch 7.0

  • Characters registered to the blacklist will be hidden. When joined in a party or alliance, their character will be displayed; however, their name will display as "Unknown" in the party list and on their nameplate.

  • Messages from characters registered to the blacklist will be hidden. When joined in a party or alliance, a notification will be displayed when they speak during duties.

  • After receiving a notification of blacklisted messages, players may elect to temporarily see what was written via the subcommand menu.

  • Blacklisting will apply to all characters tied to the blacklisted character's service account.  Blacklisting for party recruitment will now also apply to all characters tied to a service account. A system message will be displayed if a blacklisted player joins a party you're in, or if you join a party that contains a blacklisted player.

  • The Blacklist tab has been removed from the Social window, and will now be displayed in its own window found under Social in the main menu.

  • Players can now save comments regarding blacklisted characters.

  • Blacklisted characters and all characters tied to their service account will also be subject to the Lodestone blocked users list.

The Mute List - The Mute List is an addition for Dawntrail. The Mute List can be found under Social in the main menu.

  • Messages from Muted Players

    • Muting will apply to all characters tied to the muted character's service account.
    • While their messages cannot be seen, if they are members of your party or alliance, a notification will be displayed when they speak during duties.
    • Players can also save comments regarding muted characters.

  • Temporary Display of Muted Messages

    • After receiving a notification of muted messages, players may elect to temporarily see what was written via the subcommand menu.

Term Filter - Once registered to the Term Filter, any messages containing designated words can be hidden from the chat log.

Display of Filtered Terms - The Term Filter can be applied to hide the display of registered words in one of two ways:

  • Display the applicable term filter's number. A system message will be displayed, indicating the term filter applied to the chat log. (e.g. "Message could not be displayed due to Term Filter 1.")

  • Hide the affected message in its entirety. Messages containing a registered word will be completely hidden.

Registering Words to the Term Filter - Words can be registered to the Term Filter in one of two ways:

  • Players can freely register words as they see fit via the Term Filter List window.

  • Select a desired word in the chat log, then register it via the subcommand menu.
    Half-width and full-width spaces, as well as words from the auto-translation dictionary, cannot be registered.

Up to ten words can be registered to the Term Filter list, each with its own individual settings.

  • Shout
  • Yell
  • Say
  • Tell
  • Custom Emotes

Saving Registered Words

  • Term Filter settings are saved locally.
  • When playing on a different platform, words you wish to be filtered must be registered anew.

Final Fantasy XIV: Dawnwalker Patch Notes - Miscellaneous Item Changes

The early access period for Dawntrail began yesterday. I thought I would try to cover the patch notes like what I have done for the last few EVE Online expansions. I have to put in similar because I do have a real life job and CCP drops their patch notes on Fridays so I have the weekend to work on them. 

Two days until the official launch of Dawntrail

This thirteenth post in the series will cover information labeled "Items" in the patch notes I have not covered in previous posts.

Breaking Good - The following changes have been made to desynthesis:

  • The level cap for desynthesis has been increased from 650 to 710.

  • When using quick desynthesis, canceling will now close the window if all items have been desynthesized.

  • After checking the "Desynthesize entire stack" box in the Desynthesis window, this option will remain checked even after desynthesizing unstackable or single items.

Sundry Splendors - Rowena has opened up a new shop in Old Sharlayan just to the east of the Aetheryte.

Exchanging Gear for Allagan tomestones of astronomy, causality, and comedy - The purchase of the Endwalker gear has changed.

  • Gear that required the exchange of a base item and upgrade material can now be obtained directly in exchange for Allagan tomestones of poetics.

  • The base items and upgrade materials for such gear can no longer be obtained from shops, dungeons, or retainer ventures.

  • Players who possess the base item for such gear may upgrade them in exchange for 100 Allagan tomestones of poetics.

A Realm Reborn Receives Some Love - The developers made some specific changes for A Realm Reborn content.

  • New items are available in exchange for societal currency from allied societies in 2.0 areas.

  • Verdant Scepter and Warlock's Buckler will no longer drop separately in the Aurum Vale, and instead drop together as Black Mage's Verdant Arms (Lv. 47)

Can I Have That Back? - Calamity salvagers have received some updates. Calamity salvagers are located in Limsa Lominsa Upper Decks (11.4,14.4), Old Gridania (10.0,8.4), and Ul'dah - Steps of Thal (12.6,13.1).

  • New items have been added to the inventory of Calamity salvagers.

  • These pairs of items can be obtained in exchange for a single Silver Chocobo Feather
    • Doctore's Scimitar and Warded Round Shield
    • Doctore's Cudgel and Nightprowler's Targe

Time Has Expired - After using the following items to grant a boost to experience points earned from synthesis, a system message will now be displayed when their effect expires:

  • Company-issue Engineering Manual
  • Company-issue Survival Manual
  • Company-issue Engineering Manual II
  • Company-issue Survival Manual II
  • Commercial Engineering Manual
  • Commercial Survival Manual
  • Revised Survival Manual
  • Revised Engineering Manual

Not So Unique - The following items are no longer classified as unique.

  • Moonward Ring of Fending
  • Moonward Ring of Slaying
  • Moonward Ring of Aiming
  • Moonward Ring of Healing
  • Moonward Ring of Casting
  • Augmented Radiant's Ring of Fending
  • Augmented Radiant's Ring of Slaying
  • Augmented Radiant's Ring of Aiming
  • Augmented Radiant's Ring of Healing
  • Augmented Radiant's Ring of Casting
  • Augmented Lunar Envoy's Ring of Fending
  • Augmented Lunar Envoy's Ring of Slaying
  • Augmented Lunar Envoy's Ring of Aiming
  • Augmented Lunar Envoy's Ring of Healing
  • Augmented Lunar Envoy's Ring of Casting
  • Augmented Credendum Ring of Fending
  • Augmented Credendum Ring of Slaying
  • Augmented Credendum Ring of Aiming
  • Augmented Credendum Ring of Healing
  • Augmented Credendum Ring of Casting
Gender Unlocked - The following items are no longer gender locked.
  • Faerie Tale Prince's Circlet 
  • Faerie Tale Prince's Vest 
  • Faerie Tale Prince's Gloves 
  • Faerie Tale Prince's Slops 
  • Faerie Tale Prince's Boots 
  • Faerie Tale Princess's Tiara 
  • Faerie Tale Princess's Dress 
  • Faerie Tale Princess's Gloves 
  • Faerie Tale Princess's Long Skirt 
  • Faerie Tale Princess's Heels

Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Patch Notes - Crafting And Gathering

The early access period for Dawntrail began yesterday. I thought I would try to cover the patch notes like what I have done for the last few EVE Online expansions. I have to put in similar because I do have a real life job and CCP drops their patch notes on Fridays so I have the weekend to work on them. 

Two days until the official launch of Dawntrail

This twelfth post in the series will cover information labeled "Items" in the patch notes: Crafting and Gathering. The post will begin with changes that apply to both, then split into crafting and gathering specific changes.

Level Cap - The level cap for Disciples of the Hand (Crafters) and Land (Gatherers) has been increased to level 100.


For those who stocked up on scrips for Dawntrail, I have bad news...

Orange crafters' and gatherers' scrip 

  • Available to level 100 Disciples of the Hand/Land
  • Exchangable at Splendors Exchanges and custom deliveries at level 100
  • Can have a maximum of 4000 or each at any given time

White Crafters' Scrips and Gatherers' Scrips

  • No longer obtainable from completion of quests and levequests. All activities which yielded white crafters' or gatherers' scrips will now yield purple crafters' and gatherers' scrips.

  • Can no longer be used for item exchanges. Items currently obtained with white crafters’ and gatherers’ scrips will be obtainable with purple crafters’ and gatherers’ scrips respectively by speaking with the scrip exchange.

  • White crafters' and gatherers' scrips can now be exchanged for purple crafters' and gatherers' scrips at the scrip exchange in Revenant's Toll (X:22.4 Y:6.7)

Yellow Crafters' Scrips and Gatherers' Scrips

  • Yellow crafters' scrips and yellow gatherers' scrips have been removed.

Purple Crafters' Scrips and Gatherers' Scrips

  • The number of purple crafters' and gatherers' scrips required in exchange for items has been adjusted.

Custom Deliveries and Collectables

  • The amount and type of crafters' and gatherers' scrips received from custom deliveries have been adjusted.

  • The experience points rewarded when delivering collectables will be standardized per item, the amount received no longer being reduced at lower levels.

  • Experience points rewarded when using a class at level 90 or above to deliver collectables that are level 90 or below have been capped at 1,000.

Crafting Actions and Traits

The Crafting and Gathering Guide has been updated with the latest additions and changes.

The following crafting actions were removed.

  • Focused Synthesis
  • Focused Touch

The following modifications were made to the following 

  • Reflect - Efficiency has been increased from 100% to 300%.
  • Advanced Touch - Now acquired at level 68 (previously level 84).
  • Both Standard Touch and Observe are now combo actions.

Special Recipes - The categories under Special Recipes in the Crafting Log have been adjusted.

  • Restoration (1), Restoration (2), Restoration (3), Restoration (4) have been combined into Restoration

Gathering Actions and Traits

The Crafting and Gathering Guide has been updated with the latest additions and changes.

Gathering Quality of Life Changes

While not listed as such in the patch notes, the changes below I consider to be quality of life changes.

The following miner and botanist actions can no longer be used when a gathering point is at maximum integrity:

  • Miner
    • Solid Reason
    • Wise to the World

  • Botanist
    • Ageless Words
    • Wise to the World

The Gathering window will now display the integrity of a gathering point.

  • Fishing UI

    • The Bait & Tackle window will now also display swimbait, a new form of bait obtained using the level 91 fisher action Spareful Hand.
    • The Fish Guide will now indicate whether a fish requires Precision Hookset or Powerful Hookset to catch.

  • GP will no longer be reduced to 0 when players are incapacitated as a non-gathering class

Ocean Fishing Rewards

The Ocean Fishing rewards were updated for Dawntrail

  • Level 1-49
    • Experience points

  • Level 50-99
    • Experience points
    • Purple Gatherers' Scrips

  • Level 100
    • Purple Gatherers' Scrips
    • Orange Gatherers' Scrips (certain conditions must be met to obtain this reward)

Spirit Bonding

  • Spiritbond gained when gathering will now be based on gear's equipping level rather than its item level.
    • Spiritbond bonuses when gathering at unspoiled or legendary nodes has been adjusted.

  • Players will now receive a bonus to spiritbonding when landing a big fish or legendary fish.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

FFXIV: Dawntrail Patch Notes: Facewear And Dyes

The early access period for Dawntrail began yesterday. I thought I would try to cover the patch notes like what I have done for the last few EVE Online expansions. I have to put in similar because I do have a real life job and CCP drops their patch notes on Fridays so I have the weekend to work on them. 

Three days until the official launch of Dawntrail

This eleventh post in the series will cover information labeled "Items" in the patch notes: Facewear and Dyes.


Facewear is a new form of accessories for the head, separate from other equippable accessories. The feature addresses a desire among many players to wear eye glasses as well as hats.

Equipment slot - Facewear is equipped via a new equipment slot in the Character window, or by accessing the Facewear interface under Character in the main menu. Facewear will also appear in portraits.

Acquiring Facewear - Facewear is acquired by using corresponding items such as a copy of The Faces We Wear - Oval Spectacles. Once acquired, they can be freely equipped or removed at any time, and customized with a selection of twelve colors.

The following fashion accessories have been converted into facewear:

  • False Oval Spectacles
  • False Shaded Spectacles
  • False Classic Spectacles
  • Rose-colored Spectacles

Calamity salvagers - The fashion accessories listed above will no longer appear in the Fashion Accessories window. However, players who acquired them prior to Patch 7.0 may obtain corresponding facewear free of charge by speaking with the Calamity salvagers located in Limsa Lominsa Upper Decks (11.4,14.4), Old Gridania (10.0,8.4), and Ul'dah - Steps of Thal (12.6,13.1).

Pre-existing items -  Items used to acquire these fashion accessories have not been removed from the game. If one is in your inventory or obtained via trading or the market board, it can be used to obtain corresponding facewear.


  • Up to two dyes can now be used on a single piece of gear.

    • Gear that allows more than one dye will display two separate dye tabs in the Item Dyeing window.
    • Additional gear that allows for multiple dyes will be added gradually in future updates.
    • Following this change to dyeing, currently selected instant portraits may need to be edited.

  • Undo Color Selection and Redo Color Selection buttons have been added to the Item Dyeing window.

  • After selecting a color, it can now be set as a favored dye.

  • An option to preview preferred color schemes using favored dyes has been added.

  • An option to preview a previously applied color scheme has been added.

  • An option to invert colors selected as dye 1 and dye 2 has been added.

  • A marker indicating no dyes have been applied to an item has been added.

  • When previewing your character's appearance while using a gamepad, players can now press R1 (RB) to switch between color categories.

Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Patch Notes - PVP and Crystalline Conflict

The early access period for Dawntrail began yesterday. I thought I would try to cover the patch notes like what I have done for the last few EVE Online expansions. I have to put in similar because I do have a real life job and CCP drops their patch notes on Fridays so I have the weekend to work on them. 

Three days until the official launch of Dawnwalker

This tenth post in the series will cover information labeled "Battle System" in the patch notes: PVP and the Crystalline Conflict. 

PvP actions for viper and pictomancer have been added. I'll point to the pages in the Jobs Guide for both Viper PvP and Pictomancer PvP actions.

Wolves' Den Pier

  • New items are available in exchange for Trophy Crystals.

  • New items are available in exchange for Wolf Marks.

Series 5 ends and Series 6 begins.

  • Rewards from Series 5 can only be claimed until the end of Series 6. To claim rewards, select Series Malmstones from the PvP Profile window, then select Previous Series.

  • Series 6 will be held from Patch 7.0 to the release of Patch 7.1, during which time you can earn Series EXP and increase your Series level by participating in any PvP duty. Increasing your Series level will unlock various Series rewards.

Crystalline Conflict - Season Eleven ends and a pre-season begins

  • When the season ends, the top 100 ranking players from each data center will receive vouchers via the moogle delivery service.

  • Players finishing in the Bronze tier or higher can claim rewards by speaking with the Seasonal Quartermaster at the Wolves' Den Pier (X:4.9 Y:5.7).

  • Tier rewards for Season Eleven must be claimed before the release of Patch 7.1

Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Patch Notes - Armory Bonus, Duties, Trials, And Hunt Trains

The early access period for Dawntrail began yesterday. I thought I would try to cover the patch notes like what I have done for the last few EVE Online expansions. I have to put in similar because I do have a real life job and CCP drops their patch notes on Fridays so I have the weekend to work on them. 

Three days until the official launch of Dawntrail

This ninth post in the series will cover information labeled "Battle System" in the patch notes: Bonus experience point gains, Duties, Trials, and Hunt Trains.

Bonus Experience Point Gains

  • The Armory Bonus - The Armoury Bonus is a bonus applied to EXP gained by combat classes when below the level of your highest class. The bonus is +100% from level 1 until reaching the lowest level of the current expansion. Despite what the in-game Active Help entry implies, this bonus does not otherwise change depending on the discrepancy between levels. This bonus only applies to defeating enemies and FATE rewards. Other sources of experience, such as completing Duty Roulettes, are not affected.

    • The armoury bonus granted below level 90 has been increased from 50% to 100%. From level 90 onward, the armoury bonus is a 50% increase in EXP gained.

  • New World and Preferred World character bonuses

    • New World and Preferred World character bonuses now apply to all jobs at level 89 or below.

Dungeons and trials

  • New dungeons have been added. The patch notes showed four images of dungeons.

  • After beginning a boss encounter in dungeons newly introduced in Patch 7.0, the shortcut warp will take players to the boss area's entrance.

  • Players can now gain experience from level 90 dungeons, trials, and 6.x alliance raid dungeons.

  • Certain status effects granted by class and job actions will now be removed when changing areas or entering an instanced duty.


  • New trials have been added.

  • Unreal trials have been temporarily disabled.

    • --Players may still exchange Faux Leaves for various rewards.
    • --A new unreal trial is scheduled to be added in Patch 7.1.

  • The Power of the Echo. As a game mechanic, The Echo is a flat percentage buff: "Maximum HP, damage dealt, and potency of HP restoration actions are increased." which may be provided to players after failing a duty. The following Endwalker trials received The Echo in Dawnwalker.

    • The Abyssal Fracture and The Gilded Araya
      • Players will be granted a 10% Echo effect boost, which increases each restart up to a maximum of 50%. If a player restarts after battling for less than three minutes, they will not be granted this effect.

    • The Abyssal Fracture (Extreme)
      • Players will be granted a 5% Echo effect boost, which increases each restart up to a maximum of 25%. If a player restarts after battling for less than three minutes, they will not be granted this effect.

  • In Pandæmonium: Anabaseios (Savage), players will receive the Power of the Echo, increasing players' maximum HP, damage dealt, and healing potency by 20%. This bonus does not increase upon the entire party being defeated.

  • The Spire of Trial, an expansion of Stone, Sky, Sea, has been added.

    • --The Spire of Trial offers trials tailored to various high-level duties in which players will be tasked with destroying a level 100 striking dummy.

    • --To access the Spire of Trial, complete the quest offered by Eccentric Researcher in Solution Nine (X:19.9 Y:17.1), Trial by Spire. Players must first complete the final quest of the Dawntrail main scenario and the quest "A Striking Opportunity."

  • The weekly restriction on receiving Cracked Anthoclusters upon clearing Thaleia has been removed.

Hunt Trains - Officially The Hunt, I use Hunt Trains due to the social gameplay that evolved in FFXIV.

  • New elite marks have been added in the new Dawntrail areas.

  • Marks defeated in the new areas will also yield Sacks of Nuts, which can be exchanged for various items.

  • Characters with a Disciple of War of Disciple or Magic level 90 job must first complete the quest, A New Dawn, a New Hunt, before taking up the Hunt in these areas.

    • To obtain the quest, talk to Wing of Protection Scout in Tuliyollal (X:11.8 Y:13.7).
    • Characters must first complete the quest "Elite and Dangerous" and progress to a certain point in the main scenario.

  • Characters can exchange Sacks of Nuts for items with Ryubool Ja in Tuliyollal (X:13.9 Y:13.4)