More Colors for Cards!

Having all gray cards seemed a bit dreary, so I went ahead and added a bit of color to the FFXIV cards.  Much of it is mostly aesthetic, making visual information that’s already available on the card.  (For instance, hostile monster cards are red, while passive monster cards are blue.)

The one exception is something I find very helpful.  Armor is now color-coded based on who it’s for.  The colors are based loosely on the in-game role colors (blue for tank, red for DPS, green for healer), with a few changes to add some granularity.  The primary change is that magic DPS is purple instead of red, since magic DPS uses an entirely different set of gear than other DPS.  Different shades are also used (dark blue is for tank gear that is also usable by Lancers, bright red is used for ranged DPS).  This change should make it very easy to see at a glance who a piece is made for.  As a general rule, the color coding should correspond somewhat to who can roll “Need” for a given item on the loot list.

More Items, Better Data

The guide underwent a pretty comprehensive update overnight, adding a whole bunch of new data and tables.  The new stuff is focused on where you get items: from Grand Companies, from trades of other items, and from FATEs.  I’ve also filled out the class quests and job abilities that were missing.  For the most part, the guide should be functionally complete, but there’s still plenty of content left to be added.  Next up: convenience tweaks for gatherers, and better card color-coding, especially for gear.

Interactive Recipe Breakdowns

I’ve added a feature I’ve been thinking about for some time, and I think you’re going to like it.  The site does a good job of telling you where to find or purchase all of the materials needed for a given craft, but it’s not as good at helping you make a shopping list for crafting.  Well, no more!  Now every recipe page will break down each material, and you can select how you intend to get each one.  If you want to focus on your crafting class to the exclusion of everything else, choose to buy items from vendors, or choose ‘other’ and get your materials from the markets.  If you want to level a range of crafting and gathering classes, you can pick which ones you would like to use in the craft, and the system will break down the level requirements for each.  It’s that simple!

Monster Locations

I have been playing a lot of FFXIV lately – that game is well beyond my wildest dreams of how good 2.0 could actually be – and that means a lot more data coming in.  One thing that seems to be a bit frustrating is actually finding some of these hunting log monsters.  To that end, I have been gathering specific coordinate information on where to find monsters within in an area, and at what level.  The data is far from complete, but that should change quickly as I prioritize hunting log monsters specifically.  It should be very helpful data.

Final Fantasy XIV Guide Launched

With the game officially releasing tomorrow, it’s time to announce the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn guide.  This guide is akin to my original FFXIV guide, in that it’s based on my own personal experiences and is therefore much more useful for mid- and low-level play than endgame content.  I will continually update it as I advance, so keep checking in for more information.  The most useful features are the recipe lists, which will tell you not only where to find the components for a recipe, but will tell you where to find components for the components; and the armor filters, which let you remove the clutter and focus on what’s important for your class (particularly for Disciples of the Land and Hand).

Colors!

The original idea that actually led to the card system was to color-code links on the site, MMO-style.  This wasn’t feasible at the time, but the card system is (ironically?) what made it possible.  The only problem is, aside from FFXIV, none of the guides are actually for MMOs.  This means the colors will be editorially driven.  I’ve added them to the Final Fantasy (NES) guide, and will be adding them to other guides in the future.  I’m definitely open to feedback about whether this is overdoing it or actually useful.  The exact meaning of the colors necessarily differs by what they apply to, and I’m not restricting them to items like most MMOs do.  I’ve put definitions in the key for the Name column on the appropriate table, but generally the colors will mean something akin to the following:

  • White (or black on white backgrounds) is normal, run-of-the-mill stuff.  For items this generally means things you can buy or get your hands on very easily
  • Green is less common, but not necessarily too noteworthy.  These might be treasures that don’t really outclass white items, monster drops that you aren’t going out of your way to collect (like consumable items), or the like.
  • Blue means rare and possibly unique or of notable power.  Blue monsters are bosses, blue classes have to be unlocked, and blue items need to be found and are usually worth keeping.
  • Purple means endgame.  The sort of things you find in the final dungeon, super bosses, and things like that.  They are always worth paying attention to.
  • Red is the color I’ve reserved if white-green-blue-purple doesn’t cut it – these would be even more noteworthy than purples.
  • Gold is the color of required plot items.  These may or may not be of particular power, but they are always important to the game.  Just for fun, I’m also using gold for final bosses.
  • Orange is the color of significant quest items.  These are usually on par with purples, but you have to go out of your way and complete a series of challenges to get them.
  • Gray is garbage.  There isn’t a lot in single player games that qualifies, but this is anything that is just not worth your time, doesn’t do anything special, or is good for nothing but selling.  For the moment I’m also using it for status ailments that end when combat does, at least in games that have permanent effects.

Like I said, I’m open to other ideas on how to use these colors, how to expand them to other lists, and whether they’re just not worth using in some places at all.  So far I think they’re pretty helpful, though, giving you even more information at a glance than you had before.  This is particularly nice on touch devices, where you can’t mouseover to see a card.

Facebook Comments

Inspired by ESPN, I’ve finally decided to stop stalling and add Facebook comments to individual pages on the site.  I’m not honestly sure how much discussion static data warrants, but I guess we’ll find out.  If all goes well, I may add them to other page types, such as lists, in the future.

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