Friday, May 18, 2018

The Adventures Of Pirotess: Crafting With Leatherworker

 Crafting in Final Fantasy XIV is a lot of fun and I have been enjoying it. Today, we're taking a look at the crafting job of Leatherworker. In order to unlock this crafting job, you need to travel to the Leatherworker's guild in Gridania.

Pirotess at the Leatherworker's Guild.

Leatherworker is useful for making armor for adventurers as well as crafting gear. Bards and monks especially benefit from having someone who is a leatherworker because they can make a lot of battlecraft gear and armor for them. To craft items, you can check your crafting log and choose an item appropriate for your level. A check mark will appear next to the item you have successfully crafted. Wind and earth shards are heavily used in leatherworker so having botanist and miner leveled will help gather those for your crafting. You can also buy basic materials at lower levels from the guild supplier. For more advanced items you will need to have certain crafting jobs and both gathering jobs unlocked. You can also shop around for needed items on the market boards. Remember, take your time when shopping on the market boards in order to get the best deal for your supplies. 

Use your crafting log to craft selected items.

In order to craft an item, use your set of skills. Skills such as steady hand will help you craft steadily without breaking any materials. Masters mend will repair item durability while you are crafting to ensure that you complete a finished item without synthesis failure. Leatherworker skills take time and patience, but when you do it right crafting is a cinch.

Use your skills to successfully craft.

Armor and tradecraft gear is not the only thing you can make on leatherworker. You can also make housing items such as furniture and outdoor items. Housing items are a little more difficult to make, but they are worth it because you can make quite a bit of gil on the market boards with them. Just remember to use your skills as necessary, be patient, and you will be able to craft them easily.

Craft housing items with your Leatherworker to make some extra gil.

Another thing you can do to craft is something called quick synthesis. Quick synthesis allows you to make multiples of one item as long as you have all the materials for it. For example, if you want to craft two headpieces, you can do that with quick synthesis. From your crafting log, select the quick synthesis tab and enter the amount of the item you wish to make. This is a fast way to make something, but be warned that it does not ensure that you will automatically have a high quality item and for more challenging items you may have one or two failures. 

Use quick synthesis to craft multiple items.

For all of your crafting needs, food can be a great booster. This is where culinarian comes in handy because there are a ton of dishes that can boost things such as crafstmanship and control points which can help with your crafting a lot. For my leatherworker I like to use baked onion soup because it enhances crafstmanship and I can use multiple servings depending on how long I want to craft. 

Use food like baked onion soup to enhance your crafting skills.

As with the other crafting jobs, when you hit certain levels you will be able to do a job specific quest which you get from the guild master NPC Geva. You will have to use your leatherworker skills to craft the item that she requests and present it to her. When you complete the quest, you will receive an upgraded leatherworker tool for your level and your choice of job specific gear with stats on it that help enhance your crafting skills. 

Pirotess talks to guild master Geva for her leatherworker quest.

Leatherworker is not just useful, it is fun to craft with. There is a vast variety of items you can craft ranging from armor to housing items. It complements really well with jobs like carpenter and blacksmith which opens up even more crafting options. If you're interested in trying it out, head to Gridania and visit the Leatherworker's guild and start crafting. See you at the next adventure!

Thanks for reading. See you at the next adventure!

*Final Fantasy XIV is available to play on the following platforms: PC and Playstation 4

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Adventures Of Pirotess: Crafting With Armorer

 Last time we explored the crafting job of Blacksmith. Today, we're looking at a crafting job that goes very well with Blacksmith, Armorer. Conveniently, both the Armorer and Blacksmith guild are in the same building in Limsa Lominsa so you can unlock both jobs at the same time at the receptionist desk.

Blacksmith and Armorer receptionist desk are next to each other. Convenient!

Again, having other crafting jobs unlocked and leveled such as leatherworker and blacksmith are helpful for Armorer because some crafting recipes require materials or items from those crafting jobs. In your crafting log, you will find items that you can craft according to your level. You will use ice shards and earth shards for Armorer so having gathering jobs like botanist and miner will help with that when you need to restock on them and for supplying yourself with other needed materials. Your two most important tools for your armorer are a hammer and a pair of pliers. 

You have a set of skills for armorer that will help in your crafting. Steady hand for example, helps increase the success of crafting an item without breaking. Using higher quality items and the skills that enhance the quality will help in successfully creating a high quality item which you can sell for a lot more gil on the market boards. Patience is the key because for more challenging recipes, you will have crafting failures. 

Pirotess crafts an iron shield.

You don't have to just craft armor. In your crafting log there is a tab for housing items. You can craft furniture, lamps, and windows for housing. These can also be crafted according to your level. Housing items are a little more difficult, but practice makes perfect. You can also use food to enhance your crafting skills which is very helpful. Remember to use your skills to successfully craft these housing items. You can decorate your own house or sell them on the market board for a good amount of gil to help fund your adventures. 

Craft housing items on armorer from your crafting log.

Once a recipe is completed you will get a notification that it is done and a check mark will appear in your crafting log next to the items you have crafted. This is a great way to keep track of items, levels, and things yet to be crafted. 

Crafting complete message appears. 

At certain levels like level 10 you will get a notification that you can do a job specific quest. For Armorer you talk to the guild master NPC H'naanza and you will have to craft an item and present it to her. Once the quest is finished, you get upgraded tools and your choice of gear for your armorer. 

Pirotess gets her armorer quest from H'naanza.

Armorer is a lot of fun and it's fairly easy to get materials for it when you are first starting out. Because the blacksmith's guild and armorer's guild are in the same building and right next to each other, you can easily purchase the things you need to craft from the NPC guild vendors. 

Pirotess buys supplies from the guild vendors.

For higher levels, you can either have other crafting jobs properly leveled or you can visit the market boards to get the materials you need. Do be picky about who you buy from on the market boards. It's okay to shop around for the best price. Sometimes you need to wait a few days for prices to drop and that's okay too because you want to make more gil than you spend. Once you get what you need, you can keep crafting away. 

Pirotess shops the market boards. 

Armorer is not just fun, it's useful. You can make armor, shields, and housing items for yourself, your friends, and your fellow adventurers. It's a perfect complementing job to blacksmith because you can make weapons also. It's a great crafting job and a nice break from adventuring. Head to the guild in Limsa Lominsa and check it out for yourself. See you at the next adventure, everyone! 

See you at the next adventure!

*Final Fantasy XIV is available to play on the following platforms: PC and Playstation 4

Friday, April 27, 2018

God Of War, New World And Masterpiece Adventure

I have been playing the new God Of War game nonstop and I have been enjoying every single second of it. Kratos is back, but he's not the Kratos many of us remember. He's older now with a lot less of the rage from previous games. Now Kratos is in a new world with Norse gods and he has a son named Atreus and a wife who has recently died. This is where God Of War begins its story with a bit of sadness and then a powerful bang.

This also introduces you to a new weapon that Kratos uses, the Leviathan axe and the combat system tutorial. This gives you a tutorial on how to direct Atreus to use his fighting skills as well. It is well done and battles are fun. Atreus is not just a weak sidekick, he has useful skills that complement Kratos' fighting style. In the user menu, you can level up skills for both Kratos and Atreus on their weapons. It is easy to navigate and straightforward in telling you what each skill does.

Level up skills in the user menu.

The combat is excellent and while the world isn't completely open due to some areas being locked until later on in the story, it is quite vast and there are a lot of areas to explore. Besides the main story you can do a lot of side quests that offer rare items such as runic enchantments that enhance your weapons and armor. 

There are all kinds of enemies to fight in the game and there is a lot of freedom to figure out tactics and strategy for working with Atreus to take them down. There are even a few battles where you can use the terrain or items in the area to fight. It makes things pretty exciting and when you are successful in defeating an enemy like an ice troll, it's quite a rush.

Fighting an ice troll is intense.

In order to extend Kratos' health bar and rage bar you need to find Nornir chests. These are locked puzzle chests with a set of three runes on them. To unlock them,  you need to break three pots or ring three bells with the matching runes on them. Some are easier than others, but when you unlock a Nornir chest you find either an Idunn apple (health meter) or a Horn of Blood Mead (rage meter) and you need three of each to increase the meters.

Of course all that health and rage are no good to you without properly upgraded armor. This is where the two Dwarven smiths Brok and Sindri come in. Not only can they craft armor for Kratos and Atreus, they can upgrade the armor too. The better the armor, the stronger Kratos' and Atreus' vitality are. You can also add runic enchantments to weapons and armor that enhance things such as defense and evasion.

Find Idunn apples to increase the health meter.

There is so much to see and do in God Of War. There are Norse gods naturally and a variety of mythical creatures. There are also incredible landscapes and views throughout the game. I would often just stop and look around at everything because it was absolutely stunning. The music for the game is fantastic and fits the tone of each moment. While I was disappointed that T.C. Carson was no longer voicing Kratos, I have to say Christopher Judge did an excellent job as the new voice of Kratos. The entire voice acting cast is great and they really brought the story to life. 

Discovering amazing areas like this is one of the best things in the game.

The best thing hands down for me about the new God Of War is the story itself. This isn't just a story about Kratos. This is also a story about Kratos and his son. This gives such a strong in depth look at how Kratos is slowly finding his humanity again because of Atreus and Atreus is learning how to become a man and trying to understand who his father really is and what it means to him when his father tells him to be better than him.

Some of my favorite moments in the game were of Kratos and Atreus in a boat on the Lake of Nine just having conversations here and there about Atreus' mother, about what it means to be a man, and sometimes bits of humor when Atreus tells his father he's not very good at telling stories. It was excellent storytelling and it made both characters seem more real. 

The entire story is amazing because it does not hide the fact that Kratos never really was a good person and shows that he is facing that and acknowledging it. It shows his struggle with that on top of struggling to try to figure out how to connect with his son and how to teach him to be better and do better. There are a lot of great complex layers in their story and it made an incredible game. Even after the main story of the game is completed, there are still things I have missed side quest wise and I'm having fun finding all those things. God Of War is a masterpiece adventure with great gameplay and truly excellent storytelling.

Kratos and Atreus admiring the view.

*God Of War is available to play on the following platforms: Playstation 4

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Adventures Of Pirotess: Crafting With Blacksmith

 Our next adventure in crafting is Blacksmith. Blacksmith is a great crafting class to have for your adventuring and other crafting jobs because you can make a variety of weapons for your adventurer's melee and mage job classes and make tools that are used in the crafting classes. To unlock the Blacksmith job class you will need to travel to the Blacksmith's Guild in Limsa Lominsa.

Pirotess at the Blacksmiths Guild.

As with the other crafting jobs, you have a journal with a list of recipes you can craft for your different levels. You will need your primary tool, a hammer and your secondary tool, a file to craft these items. There is a tab for tools and weapons recipes. It shows you a list of the materials needed in order to craft the item. This is where the gathering job classes of Botanist and Miner come in handy because you will need fire and earth shards to craft as well as various metals and ores. It is also a good idea to have Leatherworker unlocked because some of the items on Blacksmith involve working with leather.

List of weapons and tools in the crafting log for Blacksmith.

You can also craft housing items such as tables, chairs, and windows. This is in a separate tab and just like the items list, it shows you the list of housing items you can make and the materials needed to craft them. These are a little more challenging, but they are fun to do and you can make quite a bit of gil on the market boards with housing items.

List of housing items that can be crafted on Blacksmith.

When you start crafting, you have a set of basic skills that you can use to create your item and sometimes enhance it to better your chances of crafting a high quality item. With more challenging items, expect a few synthesis failures. One thing that helps with pretty much most of the crafting is food. Culinarian comes in handy for this because there are a lot of foods that can add things to help your crafting such as increased crafstmanship. Weaver is another good one for this job because Weaver can craft gear that has crafting enhancing skills on them.

Use the crafting skills on Blacksmith to create items.

For some of the basic materials needed and regular things like sheets of metal or brass plates, you can buy these from the suppliers at the blacksmith's guild. This is cheaper than buying items from the market boards. For fancier items you will need to buy from the market boards or use gathering classes such as Miner and Botanist.

Buy supplies for blacksmith from the guild suppliers.

When you reach certain levels such as level 25, you can talk to the guild master NPC Brithael, to do a quest for Blacksmith. This requires you to craft a specific item and present it to him. For completing the quest, you receive the tool or gear of your choice for your Blacksmith.

Talk to Brithael for job specific quests.

There you have it. Blacksmith is great for helping to gear up crafting classes with the right tools and giving adventurers the weapons they need for their melee and mage classes. Blacksmith can also help adventurers take some time to decorate their houses with furniture and other housing items. Blacksmith is a lot of fun and it's a nice break from adventuring. There's a great variety of items you can make that are useful all across the board. So if you're interested in checking out Blacksmith, head to Limsa Lominsa and start crafting. See you at the next adventure!

See you at the next adventure everyone!

*Final Fantasy XIV is available to play on the following platforms: PC and Playstation4

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom A Fun Fantasy Adventure

 I had been excitedly waiting for the sequel to the first Ni No Kuni so when I got Ni No Kuni II I started playing right away. The story is set hundreds of years after the events in the first game and begins in the kingdom of Ding Dong Dell. This introduces you to the characters Evan who is from Ding Dong Dell and Roland who is from the same world as Oliver in the first game. Roland gets transported to Evan's world and the two meet just as a coup is happening in Ding Dong Dell.

This helps lead into the tutorial on how battle system works. No longer turn based, it is now action based and you can equip up to three melee weapons which you can swap in and out. You can also equip one ranged weapon. The items menu is easy to navigate and this is also where you can equip armor and accessories.

Roland and Evan escaping Ding Dong Dell.

Another thing that is different with the battle is that there are no more familiars. You now have adorable elemental beings called Higgeldies. Higgeldies can help you in battles. You can have 3 different groups of Higgeldies with you and you can direct them to use their attacks on enemies. There are a variety of Higgeldies to choose from with powers ranging from water based attacks to dark based attacks. You can also recruit Higgeldies when you come upon Higgeldy stones. If you give the correct item that a Higgeldy wants they will join you.

Recruit Higgeldies from these stones.

The battle system is not the only thing that has changed. On the world map, your characters are in chibi form as they run around exploring everything. It is very cute and does make exploring a lot of fun. You also have fast travel via trip doors. When you unlock a trip door you can fast travel to that area. It is a good idea to find all the trip doors to make traveling a little easier because there is a lot of back and forth between areas. 

Explore the world in chibi form.

As the story progresses, you also get introduced to skirmish battles. Skirmish battles are a fun distraction from the main story because you plan out tactics with up to four units and have a mini battle that lasts from 3-7 minutes. Evan can lead his army in these battles and give commands to use abilities specific to them. My personal favorite was a unit that could build siege towers because those came in handy in some more difficult battles. You can enhance your army's abilities before battles start by buying power ups like enhanced might. There are skirmishes all over the world map, some are story based and others are fun little side quests. Even if you lose a skirmish, your army still gains experience and levels. This does encourage repeating a lot of the same skirmishes, but it is worth it.

Skirmish battles are a fun distraction.

As the story progresses, Evan and Roland meet new allies and Even tells them his dream of building a kingdom where everyone can be happy and live happily. This is a great lead in to introducing the kingdom building function. Throughout your travels, you can request that people move to the kingdom of Evermore and each citizen has an ability that they're good at such as farming so you can put them in a building suited to their abilities in order to grow your kingdom. You can recruit citizens with the Swift Solutions side quest guy or doing specific quests for citizens and when you complete them they move to your kingdom. This is another fun aspect of the game as you level up your kingdom and add more buildings.

Have fun building your kingdom.

One thing that amused me was Leafbook. I thought this was a fun nod to social media because Leafbook shows pictures of your adventures and citizens you can recruit for your kingdom with commentary from the people in your kingdom and all over the world. There are also hints for various treasure hunts and elite monsters you can fight. There are also a ton of side quests you can do that offer rewards like rare weapons and armor.

Take a look at Leafbook.

As for the story itself, I liked it a lot. It was interesting and it felt nostalgic visiting the towns while discovering some new areas as well. I liked Evan, but I did not feel the same emotional connection to him that I did to Oliver in the first game. I did take issue with some of the skirmishes as well because they aren't as balanced as they should be. Some can be easy while others are ridiculously hard. I also did not like the fact that there are story driven skirmishes especially with the final leg of the journey so if you fail the skirmish you have to try again until you actually beat it in order to progress. That is really frustrating.  In some parts of the story the characters felt a little underdeveloped, but everyone is charming and the game play is good so it is forgivable.The artwork is beautiful and the music for the game is great as well. Ni No Kuni II is a fun fantasy adventure and I had a good time exploring all of it.

The artwork in the game is great.

*Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is available to play on the following platforms: PC and Playstation 4

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Assassin's Creed Origins Curse Of The Pharaohs

I have loved playing Assassin's Creed Origins because it has been a lot of fun to play and just explore ancient Egypt with Bayek. I could not wait to play the latest DLC Curse Of The Pharaohs. This is set four years after the main events of Bayek's story and opens a completely new quest while exploring Thebes as well as a ton of new side quests. There is now an atlas feature that makes fast travel easier from the global map. The level cap has also been raised to level 55.

Fast travel is now easier on the map. 

The story has Bayek investigating a mystery about why dead pharaohs are walking around and if it's an artifact causing it. Curse Of The Pharaohs is so well done. It explores the mysticism of the time and themes that are relevant to the era. The combat is great as always and with a heightened sense of danger added when a pharaoh's shade rises because you can fight them, but they are a little more difficult than regular enemies. If you defeat one, they go back to the Land Of The Dead for a time. You get an alert when a pharaoh's shade rises and you can find out where they are by looking at your map. Be prepared for a challenging fight because they are designed to be challenging and after a certain amount of time they run away so you definitely have to plan out strategically to fight them in the open world. 

Bayek prepares to fight a pharaoh's shade. 

There are some nice rewards during your adventure. Some are from doing the Trial Of The Gods which offer weapons and armor. There is a very cool Warden's Oath armor set you can get with the Ubisoft club rewards just from participating in community events like Trial Of The Gods or the daily quests. 

Warden's Oath armor. 

The temples and areas in Curse Of The Pharaohs are beautiful. One of the places I enjoyed exploring was the Land Of The Dead. Steeped in ancient Egyptian spirituality and folklore, this was such an interesting place to explore and gorgeous. I read all the scrolls I found here because they were interesting and you learn a lot about the history and people not just in this area, but in the history of Egypt itself. 

One of the beautiful views in The Land Of The Dead. 

There are a ton of side quests in the Land Of The Dead also that play alongside the main quests. Bayek does travel back and forth often from the living world to the dead one. Sometimes it can be a little confusing to follow the main quests because they are not as streamlined as the quests were in Hidden Ones so it can be a little odd trying to do the main quests in the right order which detracts a little from the game, but not enough to make it a deal breaker. 

Bayek explores a temple in The Land Of The Dead. 

I liked the main story of Curse Of The Pharaohs a lot because it was interesting and exploring the new areas was a lot of fun. Sometimes taking a break from the main events and discovering new areas and looking around offered great views and I appreciated how much detail and thought went into everything. It really showed how much research was done to make everything just right. I was also thrilled that you get a new mount, a horse of Anubis. 

Horse of Anubis is awesome!

I liked Curse Of The Pharaohs a lot. The main story is interesting and well done. The ending felt a little rushed to me, but it was not a bad ending. The entire DLC itself is fantastic because of how great the gameplay is, the awesome rewards from quests, and the exploration of beautiful areas in the living world and the mystical one. I found the historical aspects incredibly fascinating as well as the closer look at the ancient Gods and the stories about them. Curse Of The Pharaohs is a lot of fun to play because it doesn't just offer an interesting story, it offers a rich tapestry of experiences immersing you fully into Bayek's ancient Egypt and allowing you to explore it to your heart's content. 

Another amazing view.

*Assassin's Creed Origins is available to play on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Assassin's Creed Origins Discovery Tour Is Fun While Learning

The latest DLC installment for Assassin's Creed Origins is out and one of the things is the Discovery Tour. The Discovery tour gives you a museum experience within the game. Working with egyptologists it not only shares interesting facts about ancient Egypt, it also shows off historical items from museums all over the world. With 75 guided tours to choose from, you just follow the highlighted trail to several locations to hear historical facts from the NPC narrator about historic buildings, cities, and people.

Just follow the trail for a guided tour.

You can choose from a list of guided tours from your user interface menu. You can fast travel to these areas and start the tours. You can also choose from a variety of characters ranging from Bayek to Cleopatra to Julius Caesar in order to walk the tours. Discovery takes out the combat of the game and allows you to explore the areas in depth while learning about them. 

You can choose avatars like Julius Caesar to explore Discovery Tour.

I loved the Discovery tour. I have always been a big history nerd and ancient Egypt is one of my favorite subjects. It was interesting and fun learning about things such as what daily life was like and learning about how the city of Alexendria was built. I loved seeing the different artifacts from museums all over the world. I also found it interesting that they also gave insights into things they used in the game, what they changed and why, and showcasing various architect designs of the various areas.

You can see artifacts like this one with Discovery tour.

When a guided tour is ended, you can free roam and explore. This is really cool because you can observe things like how people made bread. It gives a lot of great small details that add to the experience. You can also take photos of things that capture your interest while on these guided tours.  You can take in beautiful scenery and sites. It was a lot of fun for me just taking pictures of things I really liked seeing like the city of Alexandria at night. 

One of the great views in the tour.

One of the most interesting things to me was learning about the history of  the architecture of historical buildings and learning about the city planning of Alexendria. It was cool learning all the ins and outs about that and how it was done. There are a lot of great maps of the city and various locations within the tour. 

Learning about the city planning is quite interesting.

Taking a break from the main game and checking out Discovery Tour is well worth it because it really lets you see just how much thought and research went into everything in the game. You have freedom to explore and have fun while learning about ancient Egypt and the historical figures that lived in it. 

One of the museum artifacts shown in the game. 

*Assassin's Creed Origins is available to play on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One