Hatching Tide Art Party

On Sunday, Scylla, I and a few friends attended an art party hosted by the FC Baha Blast! We had a great time dancing and playing in the lovely egg ball pit they had set up. It was a good ending to a pretty social weekend for us, and I hope to continue to visit events and art parties like this more often in the future.

FFXIV: Healer Aggro – Featuring the No-Stack Tank

Scylla says I’m starting to become mean in game now that I’m a level 74 White Mage. I don’t think I’m mean, I just think I have more ability to mete out justice.

For example – yesterday’s Alliance Roulette took us to Syrcus Tower, which is obviously my favorite raid. The tank was no shining star throughout the run to begin with. He was not new to this run – he just seemed not to want to put any more effort into it than he had to. It wasn’t until the final boss when he earned my Healer Aggro.

I got the purple stack marker and brought the circle where it should be – near Xande, not overlapping other circles. The normal deal. At first, the tank and another DPS (and a few folks from another party) were in my circle, and all was well. At the last moment, before the shared damage was distributed, all of them, including my tank decided to step out of the circle, and let me die as I ate all the damage. Then, they happily stepped back in the circle to levitate.

I know this is something some folks do during this mechanic because I’ve seen it done before many times, but in this case, it resulted in the death of one of the healers in the party. Really, stepping out of the stack to avoid damage isn’t needed – the healer will heal up your damage – that’s our job.

Now this is bad sportsmanship on the part of the DPS, yes. But, to me, this is an ultimate failure of the tank to do his entire job, which is to protect the people in his party.

This is RUDE to do to anyone in your party. But letting your healer die on purpose as a tank is like biting the hand that heals you. I was of half a mind to say or do something snarky, but Scylla warned me off from it.

Anyhow, guess who didn’t get heals for the rest of the fight? Once I communicated my anger to Scylla, we both cheerfully decided to not do our jobs for the tank that couldn’t be bothered to protect his healers.

When he died, right at the end of the fight, we also didn’t rez him. I don’t know if he was lying there waiting for a rez or raging about it or what, but he also didn’t self-rez that I saw.

I’ll just state that as a healer, I will run across a boss arena to save someone if I have to – DPS included. In fact, I have a soft spot for healing DPS because I main DPS and know what it feels like to helplessly watch your life dropping with a healer that doesn’t give a care for the DPS in the party.

However, if you’re purposely rude to your party members. Yeah. You get my Healer Aggro. And a lot less heals from me.

FFXIV Role Play – Creating a RP Character Profile and Linking it in Search Info

Whether you’ve already rolled a character and ready to jump into the world of RP in FFXIV… or if you’re just taking your first steps into exploring new character development, creating a character profile is important.

Just the act of thinking through and filling out a profile is helpful for fleshing out your RP character in ways you might not have already considered. This is also very helpful in connecting with other RP players by providing them all the information about your character they need to know in one place.

Once you have this profile page, wherever you decide to put it (I’ll get into that later), you can then link it in your FFXIV Search Info within the game (more on that later, too).

Find A Template

You can make up your own profile template if you are so inclined, but it might be easiest to use an existing one to start out. You can always edit the template to cut whatever isn’t relevant to your character or add to it later if you want to expand on it.

Here’s some samples of templates to get you started. Feel free to Google “RP Character Profile Template” for more, though!

Choose a Platform

The platform where you post your profile is completely up to you. This might be determined by what social media platforms you prefer or the ease of use and access. I’ll list a few that I’ve seen, along with some samples.

FFXIV Roleplayers Wiki

Since I already noted this site in the templates section, I may as well talk about the FFXIV Roleplayers Wiki. This site has been around for as long as I can remember and hosts quite a selection of RP profiles to view. You can select from specially created templates provided on the wiki or create a page from scratch. The templates often look really nice and have interesting sections on things such as relationships, music, stories and more.

The one downside to using this site is that to get the most out of the templates and formatting, you have to have a bit of a grasp on the Wiki markup language. But if you don’t mind a little coding, this is a nice place to keep your profile.

Tumblr

If you’re a Tumblr user, you can create your profile as a post on your blog. This tends to be the foundation of the most-used template that I’ve seen going around on that site. Tumblr is easy to use and your post will be easy to update should you need to. Also, good use of tagging will help to promote your character’s profile to other RPers on Tumblr.

The downside is that the URL for a Tumblr post is too long and convoluted to use as a quick link in your FFXIV Search Info. You can always use a URL shortener if you want, or you can create a static page version on your Tumblr for a shorter URL. I’ve done that here.

Here’s some samples of character profile posts on Tumblr for you to see.

Carrd

Creating a free site at Carrd is also a popular option for many RP profiles and RP functions/events/groups/locations. I’ve never personally worked with the platform, but seeing how many people use it, it must be fairly easy to jump into.

I’m going to post a few samples of Carrds that friends have made – I hope they don’t mind! These were just very good examples!

  • Character Profile – See how they placed all social media links there, and grouped info by AU
  • Tavern Page – Includes RP info, event info and a menu
  • RP Group – Read about who they are and how to get involved if interested

Another plus is that the URLs for Carrds are pretty short, so linking them in Search Info isn’t a problem!

Google Docs/Sites

If you have far too much to organize about your character, you can always go with the tried and true Google Docs. Most folks are pretty comfortable using Google Docs – it’s functional even if it’s not pretty. However, the downside is, again, a very long URL for linking – a URL shortener will be needed. You’ll also have to make sure you have sharing permissions open so that folks can see your doc.

Though I’ve personally never tried Google Sites before, that’s another option. It seems easy to use and you can set a custom URL for your site, so that helps with the URL length issues. It’s more fancy than a Google Doc, so if Google is your preference, that might be a way to go.

Add the RP Profile to Your FFXIV Search Info

Now that you’ve got a public profile on the net (and hopefully a short URL), it’s time to put it in your character’s Search Info for everyone to see.

To Write a Search Comment:

  1. Click the letter O on your keyboard.
  2. Right-click your name and select Edit Search Info.
  3. Type your information in the Search Comment box. Note that you only have a limited number of characters.

And there you have it! Other RPers can now find a link to your character’s RP profile in game!

You can view other players search comments through search itself.

To View Someone’s Search Comment:

  1. In the Social menu, select Player Search.
  2. Click Search Conditions.
  3. Enter the character’s first name if you have a specific character in mind. Another good option is to toggle the RP flag and just search for people who are currently looking for RP.
  4. Click Execute.
  5. If someone has a search comment, you’ll see a talk bubble with three dots next to their name in the list.
  6. Right-click the name and select View Search Info. Their comment will show at the bottom of their search info box.

Now get out there and make yourself a profile. Or if you have one, make sure it’s linked in your search info!

FFXIV: Roleplaying a Bard – Music Performance Made Easy

It’s obvious that Bard has been one of my favorite jobs in FFXIV for years because I just like how it feels in battle. However, when you choose to roleplay as a Bard, it comes with some expectations.

On one hand, being a Bard is pretty great. You can get away with being a little eccentric, outgoing and over the top. I’ve noticed that being a well-traveled storyteller or musician serves as an icebreaker when meeting potential RP players across many different situations. Especially if you have a fancy glamour or hat!

On the other hand, if you introduce yourself as a Bard in RP, sooner or later, people are going to have the expectation that you can actually play music, recite poems or tell stories. So before you decide on roleplaying a Bard, it’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeves for those occasions!

The good news: FFXIV has a music performance system in game for your Bard to use. You can unlock this feature at level 30 Bard. The quest is in Gridania near Mih Khetto’s Amphitheater.

The bad news: Unless you’re a PC keyboard music wiz or a musician who has a MIDI keyboard linked to the game (I’ve met some who do), it’s not so easy to use the music system.

BUT… let me introduce you to Bard Music Player.

This is a tool that allows you to sync MIDI music for use with the performance feature in FFXIV. I’ve used it for years and watched as it’s become a more and more robust program over time. It can now impressively handle multi-track MIDI files, which tend to sound especially nice on the Violin family instruments that were release last year.

There’s not much setup involved, and all the information you need is on the website itself. You just:

  1. Download the tool from the main page.
  2. Bind all of your performance keys in FFXIV properly – see the manual here.
  3. Wherever you place the tool’s EXE file, create a separate folder called “songs”.
  4. Put MIDI files in the songs folder.
  5. Run the Music Player in Administrator Mode and follow the manual on how to launch a song for performance.

This may seem like a lot but once you’ve set it up and tried it a few times, it’s not that difficult to use. You can make playlists of your favorite songs and just let your Bard play through the list, or you can select specific songs and impress your RP partners!

You can edit your own MIDIS or find a load of MIDIs that the BMP community has created here. You can also join their Discord server for lots more music, or for support if you run into any snags trying to use the program.

Just keep in mind that FFXIV does not allow players to upload video of Bards performing copyrighted material. This can result in a ban if you do. You can play those songs in game, just don’t record and post them anywhere.

So now that you know how to do it and what to use, go out there and make some music, Bards!

This video gives a great overview of installation and setup if you need further guidance:

FFXIV: The Art Party for Socially Shy Gamers

Back in November 2020, I was introduced to the concept of an Art Party in FFXIV.

I had no idea what to expect my first time – was this like an art stream that you attended? Did everyone just kinda sit quietly and draw? I mean, what is an art party?

It turns out, an art party is exactly what it sounds like. This usually entails:

  • A host that organizes the art party, often at a private estate where everyone gathers
  • Lots of music and dancing
  • Bringing your best glamour (sometimes the host sets a theme)
  • Artists and screenshot artists discovering characters to draw or take pictures of
  • Posting art and screenshots of other characters on Twitter, usually under a specific art party tag
  • Most importantly… Socializing without actually having to socialize (for shy folks)

In fact, if you want to get involved in a social experience in whatever FFXIV data center you’re on, I highly suggest art parties as a place to start. Yes, there’s often a lot of folks there, but most of them are just silly-socializing, dancing and having a good time. All you have to do is hang out, listen to music, and maybe make a few friends if you feel up to it. But you don’t even have to say a word if you don’t want to.

I’ve actually connected with several people who are now Twitter mutuals through art parties. And also, as a bonus, you might get your character drawn if you catch an artist’s eye! I have a whole section of art I’ve received as art party gifts in my gallery (scroll to the bottom)!

If you’re an artist – no matter your skill – you can bet that your art will be appreciated by those who attend. And you might make friends with folks that you draw!

It’s really a thrill to receive art from someone. Though a lot of interaction happens on Twitter, even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can always upload your art somewhere and /whisper the character with a link to it – I’ve had that happen a few times, and was super happy to receive art and chat with the artist.

I tried to search and see if art parties were a part of other MMOs aside from FFXIV, and didn’t find anything. The moment you Google “FFXIV Art Party,” though, you find lots of stuff about them. So maybe it’s a social side of FFXIV that doesn’t exist in games like WOW or ESO – but why not? I wonder if art parties might catch on in other MMO games?

Anyhow, if you’re a shy FFXIV gamer who wants a social experience where you really don’t have to interact unless you want, art parties provide a way to do that. I’m super shy myself, and encouraged a number of shy folks to come to these – they always seem to have a good time. So give it a shot!

How to find an art party on your FFXIV data center? Again, a lot of this is based around Twitter. I’d suggest checking out and following the FFXIV Art Parties account on Twitter. They retweet party announcements, and it’s very helpful to have one place to check for upcoming art parties.

Have you ever attended an art party? Is this something that seems interesting to try?

Do You Know Your Gamer Motivations?

In a previous post, I mentioned a couple of matrix used to consider a gamer’s interest and motivation. It just so happened I was reminded in a post from The Ancient Gaming Noob (thank you!) about the Quantic Foundry’s Gamer Motivation Profile.

By taking a short online quiz, you can discover more about what your gaming interests are through a pretty cool in-depth report on your gamer type. If you sign up for an account on the site (you don’t have to – you can do it as a guest without an account), you can save your results, take the quiz again at a future time, and explore various other interesting topics across the site.

I’ve taken the quiz before in 2015/2016 – I believe back when it was version 1 – and it was no where near as in-depth as it is now. You can peek at my old scores here on my other blog.

So, as a MMO player who has proclaimed that I value creativity, some social interaction and immersion, what do I get when I take the Gamer Motivation Profile quiz?

Well, this is fitting. Especially since Amon (my main RP personality) is a bard!

Here’s a few more interesting bits:

This is pretty close to some of the scores I had before. But this time, the Foundry also provides secondary motivations.

I feel like this gives a much more in-depth idea of motivations, actually, despite being labeled secondary.

You can see my entire profile here, too, if you’d like!

So what’s your motivations for playing the games that you do – be they MMO games, app games or single player games? Why not drop by the Foundry and see what your profile says – let me know if it’s accurate for you!

And maybe, if you feel like you’ve been in a gaming rut lately, you’ll discover something about what motivates you that helps you determine if the game you’re playing is just not checking all the boxes for you. That happens sometimes, and there’s no shame in it. Remember, we play games to have fun, so if you’re just going through the motion in your MMO, or whatever game you’re playing, then maybe it’s time to access where you are and figure out if that’s where you should be.

Enjoy yourself and keep on gaming!

Shifting Gears: Creative Gamers in MMOs

I’ve been a creative soul for just as long, or maybe longer, than I’ve been a gamer. I often find myself in the conundrum of needing a creative outlet in all the things that I do, including gaming.

Perhaps somewhere down the line, you’ve heard of the Bartle Taxonomy of player types. The one that defines gamers by four quadrants: Killers, Achievers, Socializers, Explorers.

I don’t find myself identifying with any of these, to be honest. I’m a bit of an explorer, and sometimes a socializer, but really, I need to express myself through creativity and immersion. Be that in game by designing a neat house or glamour, or outside of game through drawing art or writing stories.

I’m much more inclined to lean towards the Amy Jo Kim’s Social Interaction Matrix because of this.

-Source-

I feel like this matrix captures of how I see myself interacting with a gaming world more than the Bartle taxonomy. Namely, because it acknowledges those who “Express” and “Collaborate” – both activities that I find enjoyment in when playing a MMO.

All of this rambling is to preface this announcement that I’d like to make: This blog is undergoing a slight change in direction.

When I launched Spot of Mummery two and half years ago, I was establishing a creative outlet that I really needed to keep me engaged in my MMO of choice – Final Fantasy XIV. I’d played the game since the relaunch of ARR without a break in my sub, but after so many years, I knew I needed something more than just running roulettes or raids… or even glamour and housing.

I’m a bit of an oldskool MMO player, and immersion in a living world is a big part of what inspires me to play MMOs. I desired to make a character who was part of Eorzea. I wanted to write stories and develop my own plots with the amazing backdrop that FFXIV provides. Such a lush lore and story-driven game gave me all of the foundations to do just that.

This began as a RP interaction Tumblr. But last year, I decided to broaden my horizons, and moved it to WordPress, a platform I’m quite familiar with as a blogger. My other gaming blog just celebrated 7 years of being in existence, something I’m pretty proud of given how difficult it is to launch and maintain a blog now days. So for me, long-term blogging projects are a thing.

Now, I’ve decided to expand Spot of Mummery even more. I’ve spent over 20 years writing online stories and interacting in various role play environments over the years. I’ve also been pretty involved in the FFXIV community as a creator and a collaborator – helping to welcome players and encourage them to create, too. From all of this, I feel I have ideas that are relevant that I can share with other like-minded creative souls.

I’m going to be launching a series of post for folks who feel like me – those yearning to be part of a living online world and who want express their creativity. This is especially for folks who are shy as I am, but desire to connect, create and share with others in whatever MMO community you’re part of.

I hope you’ll join me as I explore various topics, some from the beginning level on up. Much of this will lean towards FFXIV since this is the community I know best. But I hope some of it can be an encouragement for players of any MMO.