WoW Wednesday: Love Is In The Air 2019!

Love is in the Air once more in the World of Warcraft, and the townsfolk of the world are now spending their days giving and receiving gifts to other amorous citizens. While the war is reaching a fever pitch in the seas, love (and the dastardly actions of the Crown Chemical Co.) are always in the air during this holiday. This week we’ll be giving you the best look at this yearly holiday event, from how to get the most of your achievements to grinding the top toys.

This particular holiday (much like its real-world equivalent) is one that has been created by one of Azeroth’s most dastardly and insidious corporations. The Crown Chemical Co., made up of ejected Forsaken Apothecaries and potentially employed by the Venture Company, work on developing a newer, more horrific plague than anything the Undercity could ever unleash, funding their research through the gift-giving holiday. The Steamwheedle Cartel, concerned about how deeply this new company is cutting into their profits, works from afar to undo Crown Chemical’s efforts. Hiring private investigators, the Cartel works on recruiting heroes throughout the major cities to thwart the Apothecary’s work.

Kwee Q. Peddlefeet and the Crown Chemical Co., ready to spread the love in Orgrimmar.

The biggest draw for players is the elusive Big Love Rocket mount, the rarest holiday mount across any of the events in Warcraft. This can be earned through taking on the terrible triumvirate running the Crown Chemical Co., who have made their residence in the now defunct Shadowfang Keep. Players can queue up for the encounter at any level and defeating the trio will earn players a Heart-Shaped Box daily. This packet can drop toys, cosmetics, the Love Rocket, as well as several pets and accessories. However, only players level 110 and higher can earn the Big Love Rocket.

While several toys are exclusive drops to the Crown Chemical Co. leaders, most can be earned from the seasonal vendors through Love Tokens, which can be earned through daily quests, several holiday-related packages, and by turning in Lovely Charm Bracelets. These items can be collected by slaying level appropriate enemies and collecting Lovely Charms, combining ten of them for a bracelet. These Charms are farmable by the entrepreneurial player, meaning that one could feasibly farm enough for every single toy, cosmetic and mount available through the vendors. This year some of the better locations to farm are the Eye of Azshara dungeon or the Blood Gate in Zuldazar, alongside your grinding for the Eternal Curator’s Set.

On of the main attractions to Love is in the Air is of course the holiday’s meta-achievement, Fool For Love. This achievement is a requirement to the World Event meta What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been. Each achievement for the Fool for Love requires a bit of a time investment and may take some time to complete; getting a head-start on completing your meta-achievement is highly recommended for most players.

Be Mine requires players to eat the eight separate heart candies that can be found in the Bag of Heart Candies. This item has ten charges, and can be purchased from a seasonal Lovely Merchant for two love tokens.

Charming requires players to craft twelve Lovely Charm Bracelets, made from 120 separate Lovely Charms. In order to do so you must first acquire a Lovely Charm Collector’s Kit from Kwee Q. Peddlefeet, located at the seasonal vendors outside of each faction’s major city auction houses.

Nation of Adoration requires players to use up some of those Lovely Charm Bracelets, and participate in the daily quest series ‘A Gift for the…’ for your faction. Turning in one bracelet to each of your leaders will net you the achievement, as well as a few of their personal opinions on the holidays. With the events of “Rise of Azshara,” some of the older Horde members have changed such as Eitrigg replacing the fallen High Overlord. You can still give one to ‘Warchief’ Sylvanas Windrunner, but you’ll need to go back in time to the old Undercity.

“My ‘thanks’ for this Bracelet…”

Dangerous Love requires players to join the Detectives hired by the Steamwheedle cartel and thwart the actions of the Crown Chemical Co. Completing the primary quest-line and then one of the Crushing the Crown daily quests will net this achievement for you.

Fistful of Love will require you to do a little bit of hunting across Azeroth for certain players. You must use a Handful of Rose Petals on several race/class combinations across both factions. These petals come in groups of five, and can be purchased with five Love Tokens from a Lovely Merchant.

Flirt With Disaster is a faction-specific achievement, requiring players of the Horde and the Alliance to get a little free with some of the faction’s more off-putting members. Players must get absolutely drunk, use one of the seasonal perfumes or colognes, throw a Handful of Rose Petals onto either Jeremiah Payson (in Orgrimmar) or Sraaz (in Ironforge) and then kiss them! Make sure to make it count!

I Pitied the Fool is another involved traveling quest and can be quite an investment. Either you or another player must use a Love Fool in each of the five zones, and then /pity the fool that spawns. Be certain to be inside the zone listed, meaning that Naxxramas must be done inside the instance. Players cannot use the Sturdy love Fool toy for the achievement.

Sweet Tooth will require players to consume each of the four candies found within a Box of Chocolates. These candies are the Dark Desire, Very Berry Cream, Sweet Surprise and the Buttermilk Delight. Each box costs ten Love Tokens.

A romantic picnic, for your and your beloved. Or just some stranger you meet on the street.

Lonely will see players enjoying a Buttermilk Delight with a friend in Dalaran using their Romantic Picnic Basket toy. Once you have the Romantic Picnic buff, you can dine on your candy which can be gathered from a Box of Chocolates.

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose can is earned by obtaining either a Bouqet of Red or Ebon Roses during the celebration. Both roses drop off of select Cataclysm and Wrath of the Lich King dungeon bosses.

Shafted will require you to use a Silver Shafted Arrow on ten players who do not have non-combat pets out, burdening them with Kwee Q. Peddlefeet. A stack of ten arrows cost ten Love Tokens.

Last, but certainly not least, The Rocket’s Pink Glare requires players to set off ten Love Rockets in twenty seconds (or less!). This is easy enough to simply hotkey the rockets and spam them away to your achievement. Ten rockets can be purchased from the Lovely Merchants for 10 love tokens.

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WoW Wednesday: Pilgrim’s Bounty 2019!

The fall turns again in the World of Warcraft, and Pilgrim’s Bounty has arrived for the adventurers and claimers of the continents of Azeroth. Breaking bread with friends of all kinds, holiday goers can enjoy the wonderful food in every major city and brush up their own skills to provide the greatest feast for revelers throughout the land. From November 25th through December 2nd players can partake in Pilgrim’s Bounty and garner the rewards found therein. This week I’ll be your guiding hand to getting the most out of the holiday and how to fill out your achievements for the Pilgrim title and Plump Turkey Pet.

Most of the holiday festivities take place at the Bountiful Tables across Azeroth. These are located in each of the faction’s major cities and every minor town with an innkeeper, as well as Light’s Hope Chapel and the Ruins of Thaurissan. At any of these locations you’ll find that the tables have been stacked high with food which you can sit and eat at, even the enemy factions! Major city tables also have vendors selling seasonal goods such as toys, transmog, and recipes for the season. Eating five helpings of each available food will give players The Spirit of Sharing buff, which increases reputation gains by 10% for an hour, a vital addition for anyone grinding reputations through Timewalking or world content! This year, with the event overlapping with the 15th Anniversary now is a GREAT time to stack both reputation buffs from the holiday (along with Darkmoon Faire on Sunday) to DESTROY any remaining reputations you might be grinding!

Best known for its aid in leveling the profession, Pilgrim’s Bounty has a host of recipes that can quickly level players’ cooking skills. Gathering these is the easiest and fastest method of leveling the Classic tier of the profession, as the vendors selling the recipes also sell most of the ingredients as well. Mixed into these are also static seasonal quests and the ongoing daily quests, rewarding the Pilgrim’s Bounty satchel which contains the Turkey Shooter as well as potentially the Silver-Plated Turkey Shooter, Fine Pilgrim’s Hat or the Frightened Bush Chicken.

Two of the Pilgrim’s Bounty vendors, still celebrating amidst the war effort.

Of course, Pilgrim’s Bounty’s main draw is the nine unique achievements that can be earned towards the Pilgrim meta-achievement. It is worth noting that Pilgrim is not required for What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been, the World Event meta-achievement that requires a solid year of meeting every other holiday achievement (aside from the Day of the Dead, Pirate’s Day and other micro-holidays). All in all, you’ll need the following achievements to complete Pilgrim and claim your Plump Turkey:

For this achievement, you’ll need to find a free seat at one of the Bountiful Tables in the world, and share food with a fellow reveler until you, “miss,” and bounce the food off of a player’s head! This will happen when the player the food is getting passed to already has the maximum amount of food, so just simply sit at a chair and pass the dishes until you’ve earned this achievement.

Sharing is Caring
In line with the premise of “FOOD FIGHT!” this achievement simply requires you to sit in each of the chairs at a Bountiful Table and pass the food to another seated player. Sit at each of the five chairs and pass a dish to earn the achievement, something you’ll more than likely do on your way to claiming the previous (and for more mischievous) entry.

One of the many Bountiful Tables located outside the major cities of the world.

Now We’re Cookin’

For this achievement, you must cook one of your faction’s specific Pilgrim’s Bounty Dishes. These recipes can be learned from Miles Standish for the Horde, or Gregory Tabor for the Alliance. Nearby holiday vendors will sell all the reagents you’ll need to cook these recipes and you’ll need at least 280 in your Classic Cooking to learn all of them.

Pilgrim’s Paunch
For this achievement, you must have a complete meal and earn The Spirit of Sharing at each Bountiful Table in your faction’s major cities. Simply travel to each major city and get five healthy helpings of each of the foods to complete this achievement!

Pilgrim’s Peril
This particular achievement requires you to put a little bit of risk and reward in. First, you’ll need to obtain an article of Pilgrim’s clothing, either the Pilgrim’s Dress, Pilgrim’s Robe or Pilgrim’s Attire which are awarded from one of the daily cooking quests. After you’re garbed in the universal attire of peace, you must then seat yourself at the Bountiful Tables in the enemy factions’ major cities. With the introduction of War Mode with the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch, this achievement has become far easier to complete by simply toggling it off.

Pilgrim’s Progress
This achievement is one of the easier on the list, merely requiring you to complete each of the Pilgrim’s Bounty daily quests. You can get each quest from the quest givers outside of your faction’s classic major cities, and all five are available every day. Keep in mind that you don’t need to cook for these dailies, all you have to do is turn in the food!

One of the Wild Turkeys currently plaguing both Elwynn Forest and the Tirisifal Glades.

Terokkar Turkey Time
For this achievement, you will need to first collect a Pilgrim’s Hat and one of the seasonal chest pieces from the Pilgrim’s Bounty dailies. Afterwards, you must then travel to Terokkar Forest and the Sethekk Halls wing of Auchindoun. While there, simply defeat Talon King Ikiss while wearing your seasonal attire on either Normal or Heroic! This is an easy one to incorporate into your daily mount-runs, but can only be completed by players who are of level to zone into Sethekk Halls (level 63).

The Turkinator
This achievement can be one of the trickier ones on the list, simply for the level of players often trying to complete it. The Turkinator requires you to be back, and kill 40 Wild Turkey critters, with no more than 30 seconds apart per kill until you have obtained the Turkey Triumph! buff. Wild Turkey can be found in both Tirisfal Glades and Elwynn Forest, and you can choose to kill them in either zone. Using items such as Tracker Snacks or class abilities like Track Beasts can help track the turkeys and chain your combo killing spree together.

Turkey Lurkey
This achievement is no doubt the hardest on this list, requiring you to use your trusty Turkey Shooter on a Rogue player of each race (aside from Pandaren and the Allied Races), transforming the poor stealthies into a turkey! A Turkey Shooter can be obtained from the Daily Quests, but it’s consumed after a single use, meaning you’ll need to do at least 2 days worth of dailies to earn enough and complete the achievement. Be careful, if you shoot a player who has the buff and is in a vehicle (such as the Bountiful Tables) you will get an error message and be unable to earn credit towards the achievement.

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WoW Wednesday: The Brewfest Bash!

Celebrated by both the Horde and the Alliance, the Brewfest is a time to enjoy the fermented fruits of the harvest: pretzels, cheese, and of course BOOZE! The competing breweries all come together outside of all the major cities in a bid to outdo each other with their special meads, ales and beers. Brave adventurers are invited to sit back, take a pull, and sample the finest wares these brewers have to offer. Based on the real-life Oktoberfest, Brewfest brings the wildest companies in Azeroth to a near month-long event of fellowship and drinking.

Originally fostered by none other than Chen Stormstout, the famous Pandaren Brewmaster challenged the Thunderbrew Distillery to a drinking contest. After having been recommended his brew time and time again, the Pandaren had finally had enough and was dead-set on discovering who was TRULY the best. After nearly drinking themselves into a coma, and still in debate over who’s brew was superior, they decided to host a contest in Dun Murough for all dwarves to decide. Whining his way into the contest, the Dark Iron brewer Coren Direbrew received a measly two votes while the other two stayed neck in neck. In his anger, the Dark Irons attacked the site and were driven away (and uninvited). After winning, Thunderbrew began to host the festival annually (with some aggression from the Dark Irons), and it has since expanded. Even now, Brewfest holds appeal among all the races of Azeroth who celebrate both Azerothian and Draeneic brewing culture through the newly rediscovered Mag’har Orcs.

Brewfest’s main currency are Brewfest Prize Tokens, awarded by completing events tied to the holiday such as Ram-Racing and assisting the brew stands. Players can participate in these challenges, and the holiday in general, just outside of Orgrimmar and Ironforge. Keep in mind, both stations are there for their factions specifically so encroaching upon them may result in your opposite-faction character getting mugged rather roughly!

Players can participate daily in taking on Coren Direbrew in Blackrock Depths. The infamous Dark Iron overlord plots with his mug-mashing minions to disrupt the Brewfest, hoarding his few tokens from the original brewfest! Players who can access the Dungeon Finder can queue up once daily to receive rewards. Those at maximum level can receive item level 395 gear from the daily Keg-Shaped Treasure Chest. Players level 110+, however, can receive the ultra-rare items of the season including the Tremendous Tankard O’ Terror and the two seasonal mounts. The Great Brewfest Kodo and the Swift Brewfest Ram both award the feat of strength A Brew-FAST Mount.

The meta-achievement for Brewfest is the Brewmaster, certainly a fitting title for any monk out there. It’s a requirement for the meta What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been. This is one of the shortest world event lists, despite the length of the holiday. However, due to the high cost (especially for EU players) it’s recommended to grind out your required items across two characters for the initial Brewfest tokens. To complete the Brewmaster achievement you’ll need 400 Brewfest Prize Tokens for EU players, and 200 for other regional players. There are, however, an incredible plethora of toys and transmog especially for those Roleplayers who enjoy a little drink in their adventures.

Players can receive Brewfest Prize Tokens through a number of ways. Players will earn a significant amount by picking up the starting quests from revelers in their capital cities and following them to their Brewfest grounds. Defeating Coren Direbrew will net roughly ten tokens per day, with another twenty five coming from daily events. Players can also ferry brew kegs on a Racing Ram through the quest Daily Ram Race. Choosing the quest will allow players to ride a ram for 4 minutes to ferry the kegs in question. Completing a trip rewards both 2 Brewfest Prize Tokens and adding 30 seconds to your Ram Buff. You can do this as many times as you like, though the maximum recorded time is at most 15 minutes.

We break down the needed achievements for your title below:

The Brewfest Diet requires you to sample all of the available foods from the Brewfest vendors. However, in order to sample some of the higher end your character must be at least level 65.

Brew of the Month is completed by joining the titular Brew of the Month Club! This club will mail you new samples of liquor monthly, most with strange effects. While another achievement, Brew of the Year, requires you to receive each of the 12 liquors and sample them, this one only requires you to join it. This can be completed by purchasing a “Brew of the Month Club” Membership Form from one of the holiday vendors in the Brewfest Camps for 200 Brewfest Prize Tokens. If you like what you get monthly, you can purchase more from one of the brew vendors located in Orgrimmar or Ironforge!

World of Warcraft Brewfest
Direbrewfest is perhaps the easiest achievement to complete on this list. Simply queue up and kill Coren Direbrew in the Blackrock Depths!

Does Your Wolpertinger Linger? requires players to complete the introductory quests and obtain their Wolpertinger’s Tankard. EU Players will have a tougher time completing this than their US counterparts; due to a piece of EU legislation, Activision-Blizzard had to pull the original quests regarding it. Now players will need to purchase their pet from the vendors for 200 Brewfest Prize Tokens. Purchasing the pet off of the Auction House WILL NOT fulfill the achievement, you must get it from using the Wolpertinger’s Tankard.

Have Keg, Will Travel will require you to ride some version of the Brewfest Mount outside of your main daily quests. This can be done in a plethora of manners, the first and most obvious being the mythical Grand Brewfest Kodo or Swift Brewfest Ram from Coren Direbrew! Those who completed the Brewfest in 2007 and had their hand stamped can also get the original Brewfest Ram and use that to complete the achievement. Players not so lucky can purchase Fresh Brewfest Hops for 2 tokens which will turn your mount into something more festive.

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WoW Wednesday: The Noble Garden!

The great feast of Noblegarden has long been celebrated by the races of the Alliance, and in more recent years has been adopted by the races of the Horde. During this joyous celebration it is customary for the nobles and lords from each race to hide coins, candy and the occasional treasures within special eggs painted to look like wildflowers throughout Azeroth. Based in the long druidic festivals of old, Noblegarden as the denizens of Azeroth now know it is a blend of ancient Kaldorei history and modern youthful vigor.

During the celebration of Noblegarden, the World of Warcraft takes a different tone, even far more relaxed in comparison to other World Events dotted throughout the year. During the Feast of Noblegarden the towns of Azeroth are sprinkled with treats and surprises hidden inside the simple Noblegarden Egg. This week we’ll be taking a look at the holiday and giving you the steps needed to become a noble yourself!

Unlike other major holidays there is no large event associated with Noblegarden. Everything tied to the holiday can be completed by picking up Brightly Colored Eggs around the towns of the Alliance (Goldshire, Kharanos, Dolanaar and Azure Watch), the Horde (Brill, Razor Hill, Bloodhoof Village and Falconwing Square) and Shattrath. These eggs will often drop Noblegarden Chocolates which isn’t just a delicious sweet treat, but also serves as the currency for the season to purchase vanity items. Players may also find cosmetic equipment in their eggs, such as bunny ears, entire dresses or a small fluffy friend to call your own.

An Adventurer and his fluffy friend!

As such, both your desire to collect items throughout the event and completion of the Noble Gardener meta-achievement are entirely tied to your want to collect eggs. As such, we recommend you look at hunting eggs during VERY off-peak hours for your server, lest you find more competition than you’d like. Its also recommended you go searching in either Brill for the Horde, or Dolanaar for the Alliance with the recent world changes in Battle for Azeroth. Simply speak to Zidormi and you’ll be transported to a point in time where you can collect these delicious treats.

The meta-achievement for Noblegarden is the Noble Gardener, which is a requirement for the holiday meta What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been and will award the title <the Noble>. The list is actually much shorter than most other World Events and can easily be completed in an evening if you find yourself lucky or without much competition. All in all, you’ll need roughly 305 Noblegarden Chocolates to complete your meta-achievement, though each clothing item you’ll require can also drop from your egg-finding. It’s recommended that you don’t spend a single egg until you’ve found all the ones you’ll need.

I Found One! is the easiest to complete by far. Simply loot your first Brightly Colored Egg!

Chocolate Lover and Chocoholic are two achievements tied to the same meta-chain. All you have to do is go searching for one hundred Brightly Colored Eggs and eat the delicious Noblegarden Chocolate found within! And don’t worry, unlike Hallow’s End you won’t get an upset stomach from eating too many sweets.

Desert Rose is the first of the several outfit related achievements. First you must collect the Spring Robes by either purchasing them from the holiday vendors for 50 Noblegarden Chocolates or finding them inside a Brightly Colored Egg. Equipping the robes will enable you to activate its Use ability, which plants a flower at your feet. Once you’ve got them on simply travel to each of the five zones listed and plant a flower anywhere within them.

Blushing Bride requires you to kiss someone wearing an Elegant Dress while you are wearing a White Tuxedo Shirt and Black Tuxedo Pants. These clothes also have a chance to drop from Brightly Colored Eggs, reducing the chocolates needed to complete your meta. Completion for this achievement will only be rewarded to those using the Spring Tuxedo two-piece set, and not the tuxedo set that tailors can craft. As these items are not bind on pickup, however, you can also purchase them on the auction house or swap clothes with a friend (if you’re feeling adventurous).

Hard Boiled is perhaps the most complicated achievement on this list sheerly due to logistics. After being polymorphed into a bunny, either by opening Brightly Colored Eggs or being transformed by a Blossoming Branch, you must travel to the Golakka Hot Springs in Un’Goro Crater and lay an egg. As most of the egg-collecting towns are either too far north of Kalimdor, and mounting up will dispel the polymorph, either you must run to Un’goro on foot (taking care not to enter combat or get hit along the way) or have a friend transform you in the Hot Springs.

Once there simply simply sit anywhere at the Hot Springs for a few moments until you lay an egg!

Spring Fling requires you to go to your Faction’s four towns celebrating Noblegarden and find your pet Spring Rabbit someone to mate with. The Spring Rabbit Battle Pet is one of several items that has the opportunity to come from the Brightly Colored Eggs. With your pet in hand you can head out to each of the four towns and find another player with a Spring Rabbit pet. After a few moments of the rabbits noticing each other, the magic will happen. Yes, its exactly what you think it means.

Noble Garden requires players to hide an egg in their respective city of nobles. These eggs can be purchased from the Vendors and can be looted once you’ve set them down for a Noblegarden Chocolate and perhaps another item. Horde players will need to hide their eggs in Silvermoon City, while Alliance players have to hide them in Stormwind.

Shake Your Bunny-Maker is the last achievement for Noble Gardener and is the most difficult on the list to complete. Players must first collect their Spring Flowers from the local vendor or a Brightly Colored Egg before going out to hunt their would-be victims. With your flowers in hand players must now seek out other players of at least 18th level, placing rabbit ears on their head. Yes, it’s exactly what you think it means.

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Star Trek Online Introducing Captain Killy for Mirror of Discovery

Star Trek Online is introducing Captain Killy and the I.S.S Discovery in Mirror of Discovery. Mirror of Discovery will take players through two new episodes that feature Captain Killy in the events that took place after the TV series. Captain Killy will, of course, be voiced by Mary Wiseman, the actress who plays Ensign Tilly on Star Trek: Discovery.

But Mirror of Discovery isn’t the only thing Star Trek Online players have to look forward to right now. This month Star Trek Online is celebrating their 9th anniversary! To celebrate they’re bringing back the ever-popular Omega Molecule Stabilization event. Players who stabilize Q’s Omega particles can earn free Omega Particle tech upgrades as well as prize voucher which can be turned in to get a new T6 Vulcan Scout Ship as was seen in Star Trek: Discovery.

A new Personal Endeavor System is also being introduced. It will allow players to complete daily challenges to earn account-wide performance boosts. Plus, by popular demand, the Battle at the Binary Stars Event is now available as a Task Force Operation.

There’s also a whole lot more Star Trek: Discovery to come to Star Trek Online in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for a new Task Force Operation that takes players to Pahvo for another uprising against the Terran Empire. There will also be new Discovery related Task Force Operation rewards. More information about those will be available on the Star Trek Online official blog in the near future.

Also, if you enjoyed Star Trek: Discovery season 1 this is your reminder that the second season has started and the first episode is already available on CBS All Access.

Be sure to check out the trailer for Mirror of Discovery below.

Source: Press Release

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Global Community Project Celebrates FFXIV 5th Anniversary

ffxiv anniversary

One of the most precious things about Final Fantasy XIV is the sheer amount of players willing to go above and beyond to create communities, content, and foster one of the kindest communities I’ve experienced in an MMO. In today’s article, I talk with Varicray about his global initiative project to mark the five year FFXIV anniversary which intends to not only bring the wider community closer but to also raise money for the ‘1000 Dreams Fund’. Hundreds of content creators have already joined the community, offering their time, support and creative energies to the project.

Each year Final Fantasy XIV marks its anniversary with an event called ‘The Rising’. This year we aid Dural Tharal from the Mythril Eye in his quest to discover more about the Calamity from those who experienced it. The quest sets to highlight the history of this devastating moment in Eorzean history along with highlighting the heroic actions of countless adventurers.

Once again, Naoki Yoshida reprises his role as the ‘Wandering Minstrel’ in order to convey his and his team’s heartfelt message to us, the players, who have found ourselves a home within his world. We also gain access to instanced content called ‘The Calamity Retold’ where players take to the streets of Ul’Dah to battle against various challenging monsters with other adventurers in a recreation of the events preceding the Calamity. Players are rewarded tokens for each monster they kill, which they can spend on event items. The Rising also rewards a minion and orchestrion roll.

To me, this is one of the more special events as it feels like a direct connection between each and every player to the games’ producer and director. I just want to blub at the monitor ‘thank you Yoshi P!!’ Everyone on the development team at Square Enix has given us such an amazing world to build very special memories within.

Which leads me onto what this article is truly about: community.

Hydaelyn International

What is it? Hydaelyn International is a community project which will be organizing various events, streams, and creative projects to celebrate the FFXIV 5th year Anniversary and beyond.
When is it? September 14-16, starting at 7 PM EDT, or midnight in the UK.
Founder: Varicray
Community: Discord link

ffxiv anniversary

Image credit: Yomi

This year FFXIV celebrates their 5th year anniversary and I’ve been lucky enough to be included in this global community project, founded by Varicray.

Vari very kindly agreed to answer my questions listed below and provide all the information you could need about the project which will be going live this coming weekend.

What is Hydaelyn International?

Hydaelyn International is a community collaboration project which will run events and streams. There will be fundraising in aid of the 1000 Dreams Fund which is an organization that helps young women in tech to get financed to achieve their goals, be it education, content creation or otherwise. We think that’s an admirable and important goal as gamers ourselves that enjoy and use a lot of tech on a daily basis.

What will happen is that most, if not all of our streamers will plan server or region-specific events, inviting everyone to play with them or together with other streamers. The idea is to flood Twitch and lift the game up in the game directory and celebrate its 5 year anniversary as a combined community to show our appreciation. Everyone else who’s not a streamer may contribute in whatever way they can and play with a lot of us as well live on various streams.


  • The event will focus on celebrating the FFXIV 5th anniversary, HI will together as a community celebrate with events, streams, articles, art & other things. It starts at 7 PM EDT / 12 AM BST on September 14 or September 15 at 7 AM AWST for the people in Australia. We will run an optional to join charity with this.


  • Each datacenter has leaders planning events with fellow streamers, friends and viewers. Everyone involved with streams will be listed under the FFXIVHI Twitch community. Some of our partners will also run events, streams, podcasts and do things on their own, or with others.


  • The event goes on for 48H to give everyone plenty of time to take part, stream or undertake another project within the allotted time frame. It’s very relaxed & it had to be this way due to short notice, up to 16 hours time difference with participants & just the sheer size of HI itself.
  • Once the event is done, HI will move on to expand its features while also planning for the next event, this time with a lot more prep-time. The ultimate goal & also my original idea & intent is to turn this into a social gathering hub for all sorts of creative people to come together.


More about the Founder

Before we skip on ahead to more details about HI, let’s find out a little more about the leader of this project, Vari, and his experiences in relation to Final Fantasy XIV.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Vari, a 29-year-old Swedish full-time FFXIV focused streamer with a passion for community relationships and building long-lasting connections between people. I work part-time in IT privately and I usually play video games on a daily basis.

In FFXIV I main a Lalafell Bard (Vari Cray) on Odin on the Chaos datacenter but I also play a lot of other jobs quite frequently. I lead our FC’s static and I’m one of it’s officers as well. At heart and skill, I’ve always been a more raid focused player in any MMORPG.

Varicray by MyutoEve.

I come from a long history of playing MMORPG’s. I found FFXIV during Patch 3.3 and quickly got involved with the game’s existing community which I really enjoyed. I enjoyed the game and its open job system and most of the content it had to offer. I found friends, like-minded people and a place to fit in more than I used to in other previous game communities. I actually never even met people I played with in real life until FFXIV and that was also big for me. My experience with the game and the community around it has been mostly positive, for me, in overall.

What inspired you to create this event?

The developers (Square Enix) just recently did a 14-hour long celebration stream and have many other things going on worldwide. So I sat there one evening thinking “This is something we as players could do as well, let’s see how many content creators I can get in on this”. From that point on everything just expanded and escalated extremely quickly. We included everyone who has a creative spark within themselves to freely contribute FFXIV content.

How did you begin to organize such a large-scale event?

I started with asking fellow co-streamers that I’ve done work or projects with before, in the end, I think I’ve contacted or been contacted by probably 150-200 people during this process and more come in as word spreads.

I started out alone but have since got a bit more extra help from other project members, it’s been a crazy ride these last four days of planning, to say the least.

Event Example

Although events will vary in game content, here’s one of the events put together by Tarno from Mateus:

ffxiv anniversary

Poster by Yomi.


Date: Friday September 14th at 8:00PM EST
Server: Mateus
Location: Plot: Mist Ward 13, Plot 5

Genisys is a popular Nightclub FC that throws server wide, Mixed-RP events for the Mateus community; rewarding such as Mogstation prizes. To celebrate the 5-year anniversary with the Hydaelyn International project, our nightclub theme is Hydaelyn Adventurer. Come as your best you. We will not be judging glams this time around as we understand that there will be alts joining Mateus for this event. Instead we’ll be rewarding over $50 worth of Mogstation prizes through our door raffle. Partygoers will have a shot to win the new Mogstation mount Red Hare an account wide item!

Our events are Mixed-RP. You will find RPers and non-RPers in attendance. For RP purposes we have a custom-made drink and dinner menu for the club we will also be providing a RL music playlist.

Taking Part

How many communities and countries are currently involved?

Right now we have six official community partners and there will likely be many more on the way. The reception has been incredibly exciting, strong and at this time everything is incredibly busy. Right now we have Aetherflow Media, a fan magazine who will do a podcast during the event and cover what transpired during it with some articles. We have The Wandering Unity, a FFXIV creator hub, who will help promote the event and just back us up with planning. Another fan magazine called Fat Cat Chronicles will be taking part, they have been helping out by listing participants, promoting the community and just doing a lot of grunt work. They will also make some content post the event to showcase.

ffxiv anniversary

We also have two screenshot communities with us, FFXIVSnaps and GPOSERS. FFXIVSnaps will provide us with image coverage of the event and take character portraits of attendees. GPOSERS will provide their own streamer coverage and do a few articles as well after the event. Lastly we have Maelstrom Media, a stream podcast who will help us with promotion, streaming and more. We have other participants pending community and project requests from others that needs to be communicated and agreed upon.

How can other players contribute to the project?

Anyone who has a drive or passion for anything creative can take part and contribute however much they like into the project, it’s all fully optional.

It doesn’t matter how small or big it is, we leave that up to you!

If you are not a content creator can you still take part?

Yes, we don’t define the ‘content creator’ to strictly live streaming or video editing. We have artists, writers, cosplayers, musicians, community leaders, screenshot editors, designers and all sorts of creative people on board.

Creations by the HI community. Credits to Eli, Yomi, Mochibuni, Ameme and Aria.

If you don’t possess any creative skills, you can still contribute just by supporting us as well and join us during the various events. We’re all inclusive, that’s our goal.

Do you have a list of events/times per-server and what types of events will be taking place?

We don’t have a list right now but have several leaders for each region planning loads of in-game events and our partners are planning their own things. Each individual streamer will be dealing with their viewers or other streamers as well.

How can players support the event during the week?

Watch your favorite streamer during the event, give us feedback and play some Final Fantasy XIV with us. You mean as much to us as we do to you!

Logo by Yomi.

What do you hope will be achieved?

We are hoping to achieve nothing less than a tremendously big, active, fun, heartfelt and inclusive event to celebrate the game and its community.

Will you be looking to leave a lasting legacy?

Yes, once the event is over the community will keep existing and become a hub for all content creators to plan future events and also advise/teach our skills to others.

Do you have a dedicated website where updated information can be easily found?

We have a Discord server that will become public in the next few days, but also started an official Twitter account and a Twitch community for everyone to check out. No website plans as of right now, but the future isn’t fully decided yet!

Social Media Links


Huge thank you to Vari for finding time to provide so much information for us during this Incredibly busy time. I wish everyone the happiest of 5th year anniversary celebrations and lots of success to all those participating in the HI project!

ffxiv anniversary


Thank you for reading! Please accept my sincerest apologies for being unable to produce articles lately, hopefully I’ll be back very soon with a continuation of the Photography to Screenshot principles series, ReShade and GPose guides. I will also be trying to take part in the HI anniversary celebration by streaming a creative take on FFXIV by purging my current filter package and starting ReShade from scratch and offering up the filters in return.

If you would like me to write on a particular topic later down the line in relation to today’s article or screenography just let me know in the comments below or via Twitter.

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A Guild Wars 2 Wintersday Giveaway for Fanzine ‘Chimes’

It has been quite a year for Guild Wars 2. We saw the conclusion of Living Story Season 3, the launch and successes of Path of Fire, and we will start the last dash of the year with Season 4.

Guild Wars 2 Wintersday Giveaway

There have been some ups and some downs but throughout it all there have been fans hard at work and hard at play around Guild Wars.

We will cover the Living Story Season 4 more in-depth before its release but we certainly can all say this, if they keep to the traditions begun in Season 3 we can expect a new zone. If we’re that lucky, we’ll get to see exactly what sort of scale we can expect the game to continue on from here on out. Mounts gave them the opportunity to create vast gorgeous zones with few waypoints and plenty of places to go. Will the season stories bring us zones with the same broad borders and open vistas to explore? Only time will tell. We certainly can hope though that the world continues in this new broader vein, both showing off the beauty of Guild Wars and letting us spend time atop our mounts exploring that world.

Before we get into that rollercoaster ride to the finish, we should look around the community that makes up such an integral part of the joy of playing in Tyria. Make no mistake, it will be a rush to the end of the year. We have just under a week until Thanksgiving is upon the gaming world, two weeks to Season 4 and after that, before you know it we’ll be deep in December, Wintersday and the looming end of the year.

So let’s focus on a particular fan effort this year.

Chimes is a Wintersday themed zine being put together by some passionate Guild Wars 2 fans. It’s a book that features art from more than 70 artists and writers who have given their takes on Wintersday and Path of Fire. It has 100 pages of full-color illustrations, comics, and custom art. The book itself comes in a physical or digital version and is available for purchase now on the Chimes website. Order before December 1st if you want a physical edition.

Best of all the net proceeds from Chimes will go to Doctors Without Borders. It makes a wonderful gift for any Guild Wars 2 fan and helps support a great cause.


To help you get into the Wintersday spirit we’re giving away a copy of Chimes! We’re giving you multiple chances to enter. Just follow us on social media, leave a comment, and check back here every day until November 28th when the contest will end.

If you’d like to order your own copy head over to the Chimes website and reserve your copy before December 1st for the physical edition. The ezine will be available afterward.

Chimes GW2 Wintersday Fanzine Giveaway

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Junkrat Explodes Into Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm fans are getting a double helping with this week’s Tuesday update. Not only is the incredibly popular Overwatch hero Junkrat joining the fray but the Hallow’s End Halloween event is also kicking off.


In Heroes of the Storm, Junkrat will fill the role of a highly mobile assassin that causes chaos on the battlefield with his grenades, remote mines, and traps. His main ability is Frag Launcher, which can fire up to 4 grenades that can bounce and ricochet off terrain and Concussion Mine can be remote detonated to launch enemies and Junkrat away from the initial blast. A well-timed blast could even land enemies in his Steel Trap that deals damage and roots enemies for 2 seconds. His Heroic abilities consist of the iconic RIP-Tire and Rocket Ride that launches Junkrat into the air and explodes on a location dealing heavy damage and activating his passive ability: Total Mayhem.



  • Frag Launcher: Launch a grenade that explodes at the end of its path or upon hitting an enemy, dealing 117 damage to nearby enemies. Grenades can ricochet off of terrain. Deals 50% less damage to Structures. Stores up to 4 charges. Frag Launcher’s cooldown replenishes all charges at the same time.
  • Concussion Mine: Place a mine on the ground. Junkrat’s Trait can be activated to detonate the mine, dealing 180 damage to nearby enemies and knocking them back. Junkrat can also be affected by Concussion Mine, but takes no damage. Limit 1 active mine.
  • Steel Trap: Place a trap on the ground that arms after 2 seconds. Deals 130 damage to the first enemy that walks over it and Roots them for 2 seconds. Limit 1 active trap.
  • RIP-Tire: Create a motorized bomb with 500 Health that lasts 15 seconds. While active, Junkrat is immobile but gains control of RIP-Tire’s movement. RIP-Tire can be reactivated to detonate immediately, knocking nearby enemies back and dealing 450, 600, or 750 damage to enemies depending on how close they are to the center of the blast (with the highest amount near the center).
  • Rocket Ride: After 1.25 seconds, Junkrat launches into the air. While in the air, he can steer the landing location by moving. After 3.5 seconds, Junkrat lands, dealing 780 damage to nearby enemies and activating Total Mayhem. 5 seconds after landing, Junkrat reappears at the Altar and gains 150% additional Movement Speed until dismounted.



Tier 1:

  • Put Some English On It: Increase Frag Launcher’s travel distance by 50%, but does not increase its speed.
  • Extra-Wound Timers: Frag Launcher grenades last an additional 2 seconds before automatically detonating.
  • Bouncy Bouncy: Upon colliding with terrain for the first time, Frag Launcher grenades deal 20% more damage.

Tier 4:

  • Taste For Explosions: Hitting a Hero with Frag Launcher increases its damage by 0.75, up to 150.
  • Bonzer Hits: Quest: Hit enemy Heroes 12 times with Concussion Mine. Reward: Concussion Mine deals 30% more damage and knocks enemies back 30% farther.
  • Gotta Trap ‘Em All: Quest: Hit 8 Heroes with Steel Trap. Reward: Reduce Steel Trap’s cooldown by 3 seconds and increase the maximum number of active traps to 3.

Tier 7:

  • Tricky Shuffles: While Frag Launcher has no charges left, gain 15% Movement Speed.
  • Big As: Increase Steel Trap’s radius and damage by 50%.
  • Sticky Wicket: Steel Trap no longer Roots enemies, and instead Slows them by 90% for 3 seconds.

Tier 10:

  • RIP-Tire: Create a motorized bomb with 500 Health that lasts 15 seconds. While active, Junkrat is immobile but gains control of RIP-Tire’s movement. RIP-Tire can be reactivated to detonate immediately, knocking nearby enemies back and dealing 450, 600, or 750 damage to enemies depending on how close they are to the center of the blast (with the highest amount near the center).
  • Rocket Ride: After 1.25 seconds, Junkrat launches into the air. While in the air, he can steer the landing location by moving. After 3.5 seconds, Junkrat lands, dealing 780 damage to nearby enemies and activating Total Mayhem. 5 seconds after landing, Junkrat reappears at the Altar and gains 150% additional Movement Speed until dismounted.


Tier 13:

  • Ripper Air: Junkrat is knocked back 50% farther by Concussion Mine. Additionally, Concussion Mine’s cooldown is reduced by 12 seconds if only Junkrat is hit.
  • Bogged Down: Enemies launched by Concussion Mine are Slowed by 60% for 2 seconds upon landing.
  • Chattering Teeth: Steel Traps will slowly chase nearby enemy Heroes.


Tier 16:

  • Burst Fire: Frag Launcher fires all of its charges in a continuous burst, its cooldown is reduced by 6 seconds, but it loses 1 maximum charge.
  • Endless Nades: Hitting an enemy Hero with Frag Launcher reduces its cooldown by 1.5 seconds.
  • Spread Volley: Activate to make Frag Launcher fire 2 additional grenades in a spread. Works for up to 4 total charges, or until Frag Launcher runs out of charges.


Tier 20:

  • Extra Oomph: Increase RIP-Tire’s knockback distance by 50%, and its cooldown is reduced by 20 seconds for each enemy Hero hit.
  • Puckish Scamp: Reduce Rocket Ride’s cooldown by 70 seconds.
  • Cannonball!: Increase the radius and explosion radius of grenades from Basic Attacks and Frag Launcher by 50%.
  • BOOM POW: Hitting an enemy Hero with Concussion Mine reduces its cooldown by 10 seconds.


Hallow’s End

If that wasn’t enough content for a single patch, Hallow’s End has also started up and players can earn all kinds of new skins, emojis and sprays.

  • New Skins: Fallen Junkrat, Dr. Wolf & Stein Greymane, Vampire Hunter V, Phantom Stallion, Spectral Stallion, Bewitched Brightwing, Paper Bag Gazlowe, Garden Shambler Murky, Creepie Chromie, Pumpkin Cho’gall
  • New Skin Variations: Scarecrow Xul, Vampire Slayer Valla, Crimson Count Arthas, High Gravity Zarya, Pirate Queen Cassia, Dragon Genji, Oni Genji
  • Hallow’s End Emoji Packs
  • Hallow’s End Quest: Play 2 games to earn the Cartoon Headless Horseman Spray, 8 games to unlock the Hallow’s End Warcrest Banner, and 15 to score the Headless Horseman Portrait before the event concludes in November.


Our Thoughts:

It’s great to see Blizzard continuing to put a lot of effort into the major holiday events for Heroes of the Storm. The new Halloween-themed skins look great and I’m sure many players will have a blast with Junkrat.

Source: Press Release

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