In case you’ve missed your stop on the Stormblood hype train, the expansion’s Official Benchmark for the PC version was released today. There’s a lot of neat stuff inside, with snippets of new abilities for (almost?) every job and a closer look at some of the expansion areas. You can download the benchmark here. My PC’s more up to the task than I was afraid it would be (and I’m really excited about some of these new Artifact Armor designs!):
If you’re away from your XIV PC, you can also watch the benchmark trailer below!
If I hadn’t gone into today with a glamour ready to post, I’d probably be talking at length about all the cool stuff, but I’ll let the action inside the benchmark trailer speak for itself.
I’m currently in the process of figuring out a new caster glamour, since I want my level 60 one to be more fitting for Red Mage when the time for that comes, but I’m currently a bit stuck there. While picking up a piece I wanted to play with for that, I also bought the Makai Markswoman’s Battledress, and then promptly forgot that I did so until several hours later. Once I remembered I had and decided to try it on, I knew pretty much right away I needed a new glamour.
Head: Scintillant Circlet of Aiming (Jet Black) | Body: Makai Markswoman’s Battledress (Pure White) | Hands: Demon Bracers of Aiming | Legs: Aoidos’ Tights (Jet Black) | Feet: Oschon’s Sollerets of Aiming (Jet Black)
After realizing that I was going to have enough Scripture over by the end of Heavensward to pick up a weapon for an alt job, and after some thought I settled on a weapon for Bard, since I already have Anima weapons for tank and healer. I might have done Machinist, but I’m probably going to use that as my alt’s DPS class, so I thought it would be better to have a distinction there. Alahra’s supposed to be trained as an archer canonically, too, and I ended up gearing and playing Bard before the end of A Realm Reborn, so it all comes together pretty nicely.
I think that’s part of the reason I was so drawn to the Battledress, really. It’s definitely a piece of gear that seems far more fitting for Bard than Machinist. It makes me think, a bit, of my last Bard glamour, with the stark black and white patterns. The Battledress has a very elegant look to it, though, one that I was really taken with once I actually had it on outside of a preview window.
On top of that, it provides a foundation on which I can build a glamour that doesn’t use that same core look I’ve been using forever on Aiming glamours (which I talked about a bit alongside the Leonhart glamour I posted recently). I came upon the Demon Bracers pretty quickly—they don’t really stand out (and you probably wouldn’t recognize them unless someone told you they were there), but I didn’t really want to draw attention away from the sleeves of the gown at all, so that worked out well.
From there, oddly enough, I don’t care much for the Makai Markswoman’s Quartertights alongside the Battledress. Since I knew I was going to focus on Bard for an Aiming class, I didn’t have too much trouble finding something to replace them, though. I’ve wanted to use the Aoidos’ Tights since 3.0, but I’d never found something I like them with. I like how the gap between the left leg of the Tights and the gap in the right sleeve of the Battledress play off one another quite a bit. If I have one minor quibble, it’s the barely visible bit of non-dyeable orange on the sash from the Tights. It doesn’t particularly standout, but whenever I notice it, I really wish I could dye it.
Going with the whole elegance theme from the Battledress, I went with the Oschon’s Sollerets over other options for thighboots mainly because of the heel. They’re also a more subdued sort of black when dyed, which I think fits in with the black on the gown better than something like the sheen on the Bogaytr’s Thighboots of Aiming. The Scintillant Circlet is mostly just for a little something extra—despite this being a Bard-specific glamour, I didn’t want to go with the Augmented Choral Chapeau, as it seemed to take away from the gown’s really regal feel a bit. The final result is the first Aiming (well, Bard) glamour I’ve had in a long time that’s gotten away from those core pieces I always use, and that feels really nice.
Honestly, I’m a bit mad at myself for not picking up the Battledress sooner. I’ve always liked how it looks when I see it on others, but everytime I tried it on in the preview window, I felt like it wasn’t worth getting just yet. I couldn’t have been more wrong, though. With this glamour in place, I think Bard is now completed for Heavensward, joining the ranks of Ninja, Striking DPS, and healers, none of which I imagine will change at all before Early Access begins, barring some surprise Mog Station shenanigans.
The last two items on the list, glamour-wise, anyway, are a new casting glamour and something new for Dragoon. I’d love a new tank glamour, too, but as I talked about earlier this week, that doesn’t feel very likely.