Thursday, May 31, 2007

3/8 and done!

I realized I still hadn't finished my Anrin Obi last night. The Anrin Obi makes dark elemental spells always take advantage of the chance to get a 10% bonus from being Darksday or having gloomy weather (Why hello thar Dynamis!). JP players discovered double dark weather gives a 25% bonus instead of 20% as had previously been believed. To get the Obi you need to kill a bunch of mobs in Sea until they drop organs that are the 'recipe' for the particular item you want. The list can be found here.

I already had 3 Xzomit Organs, 3 Luminian Tissues (well more, actually as they drop constantly now that I don't need them anymore), and 4 Aern Organs. So, let the great Aern massacre of 2007 begin!

I popped my Tavnazian Ring and headed on down to Sea. Right by the entrance I ran into a SMN from the LS I'm in. He was killing Aerns too because he wanted a Snow Gorget for his Samurai weapon skills. I declined to team up and went to wander around a bit to find more spawns rather than compete over them and have this take forever.

I saw another group that was fighting Aerns not far away, north of the Aural portal thingy, and towards the palace entrance. Two actually. And then a third joined the party. Being the wonderful guy I am, who wasn't really feeling like looking all over for more Aerns to kill, I stunned their third and gravitied it. Then nuked the hell out of it. (Did I mention I went to sea as Black Mage?) No organ. Not even more luminian tissues. My altruistic thoughtfulness was only rewarded with a {Thank you.} from the party in the auto-translate.

Not really knowing where more Aerns pop, I walked around a bit watching out for the usual Sea horrors like sharks and UFOs. After a bit of wandering I ended up east of the south tower used in one of the CoP missions. As it turns out there's a SMN, NIN, and PLD Aern that pop there. I killed the SMN and got an organ (5/7). Killed the others and nothing. A couple repops later and I was 7/7!

So, I walked back to the Auoral whatsit and returned to the Tavnazian Safehold to claim my sweet, sweet Anrin Obi! Which will be sooo cool in Dynamis and Apollyon...which I haven't done in a month now. A another subject for another post.

I had to get the other organs and tissues from my Mog Safe because I don't have much inventory space on me when I use my Sorceror's Ring with the equipment I carry to trigger the latent in addition to all my other crap. Unfortunately, the items were in my Mog Locker, not Mog Safe, so I had a nice Warp back to Whitegate and run all over before finally:
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I went back down and killed some more Aerns for the guy from my LS who was still there. The first dropped on the first kill. The second shortly thereafter.

We had a close call too I was /healing to recover MP, and he got caught with no avatar (and being /THF no real buffs). The 'Manafont + make it die now' strategy worked as expected.

The Aerns are only DCs anyway.

Now having ice, thunder, and dark elemental Obis, and a Breeze Gorget for Blade: Jin I think I'm done farming organs in Sea for quite a while.

Anyone know what people will buy H.Q. Xzomit Organs for on Hades server?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More merits!!! And more!!!

Merit catagories expanded

Square-Enix announced this morning that they're expanding Combat & Magic skill merits from 12 to 20 and from 8 to 16 respectively!

I was currently setup for my NIN to be pretty pimped with a tiny bump to PUP & MNK with my combat skills capped at 8/8 Katana skill, 3/4 Evasion, and 1/8 Hand-to-Hand. Which is 12/12 for the group.

So, as I stand looking for a party on Puppetmaster and comptemplate giving up and trying to level MNK which people shit all over slightly less. Well, MNKs are widely recognized as beasts in EXP parties and on HNMs when properly geared and played, so I guess that makes them pretty much not shit on. But back to my merit conundrum.

In magic skill I had 6 Elemental Magic skill for my BLM and 2 Enfeebling Magic skill to boost BLM soloing (and RDM if I ever get around to leveling it).

I have problems sticking ninjutsu enfeebles on merit mobs quite a bit, but couldn't bump that up without hosing my BLM. Now I can go 6 Elemental, 6 Enfeebling, and 4 Ninjutsu.

Notsuppa and other juicy goodness

At the time I leveled BLM and SMN (my first two jobs to 75) I never planned to level a melee one. Then I decided to level RDM to 75 (still 38 to this day, the parties were the bad parties of legend), and wanted to have NIN to 37 for Utsusemi: Ichi and Ni.

So naturally, when I did the Divine Might BCNM I picked an Abyssal Earring as my reward. The INT +2 and Dark Magic skill +5 are the best stats on any of those earrings for a Black Mage.

However another possible reward, the Suppanomimi, has "Enhances Dual Wield" on it. Which makes a NIN or /NIN who is dual wielding weapons swing 5% faster. Which as a DoT job, is a huge deal. And when I dinged 75 on NIN around two months ago, I was destined never to have one.

But SE seems to be on a roll lately. This update it'll be possible to exchange my Abyssal Earring for a Suppa...somehow. People on BG speculate that it'll require doing the BCNM again. I'm really hoping not, but they could very well be right. At least there will be lots of people who want to do it again though if that is the case.

The update is on June 4th, so I'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Ron Paul Effect

Upcoming major TV appearances

It seems that Ron Paul is going to appear on both The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on June 4th, and the Colbert Report June 13th. Each appearance is before another Republican Presidential Debate on the following days. Link c/o the LRC Blog.

In the second debate, by far the most exciting moment was:
1) Ron Paul answering a question on foreign policy,
2) the Faux News host reply implying Ron Paul said the 9/11 attacks were "invited" (pro-tip: he didn't say 9/11 was "invited" nor justified),
3) Ron Paul further elaborating on non-interventionist foreign policy,
4) Adolph Guiliani interrupting and demanding Paul withdraw his statement and that he's never heard of "blowback" before,
5) Ron Paul replying again further elaborated--asking Americans to put themselves in the shoes of the people US foreign policies affect, and how we would react to them.

Sean Hannity had his usual shameful display after the debate when he interviewed Ron Paul. Apparently, addressing the points a person actually makes isn't good TV. Implying someone is anti-American for comments they didn't make is. (Hannity's liberal sidekick is admirable for his intellectual honesty in the same clip.)

All the Fox News talking heads that were initially saying "every vote counts!" in their text message poll were, by the time Paul was interviewed, dismissing it as auto-dialing Ron Paul supporter tainted. On the Fox & Friends morning show the next day the hosts made fools of themselves demonstrating their ignorance of how to send a text message. It was a funny-pathetic display. On Fox News. Seems to be a strange pattern with that.

The evening overall served as cheap applause line for Guiliani who after the first debate was being called a RINO. It also catapulted Paul into the headlines and sparked an actual debate on whether the US should be intervening abroad. Rather than the "safe" false discussion over just how much intervention where, and whether it should be to "spread democracy" or for "humanitarianism."

Major media exposure

Like many people who are dissatisfied with the garbage-quality candidates both parties have offered for as long as they've kept track, I've been interested in Ron Paul (and to a lesser extent Dennis Kuicinich who's name I sure just butchered, former Alaskan Sen. Gravel, etc) and pretty much any candidate who wasn't arguing about the best way to perpetuate our current policies.

So, when I saw the following day's Daily Show and Report I was expecting a grilling of the pro-war, pro-torture, more of the same candidates, and some old footage from Paul Wolfowitz or a half dozen CIA experts (none of whom are dove-ish, liberal peaceniks by any stretch of the imagination) showing that Paul was right and Guiliani was flat-out lying + wrong.

More than 50 minutes into the hour block of TV, it was clear neither Jon Stewart nor Stephen Colbert was going to deliver. I fired off an email to a prominent libertarian blogger who quickly replied, "Paul, I still have hopes of his being on both shows; more as soon as I know for sure."

Sure enough, Paul will be appearing in the next two debates despite efforts to silence him. And on top of that he'll be appearing the day before on news satire/parody shows that have ironically become two of the best news shows on American television (with an obvious comedic twist).

Both shows are huge with younger demographics. Age groups that are overwhelmingly not devoted to one of the two parties, and have been skeptical on what they've been told about the Iraq War. Age groups that are looking at a draft (and being run through the Federal meat grinder) in a war with Iran that seems to be getting more and more likely.

Those of us with basic cable may not know...

Paul also appeared on the Bill Maher show on HBO via satellite linkup. He was ridiculed over his opinions on the Civil War, and dismissed as a kook.

Maher shortly after the debate when speaking the with the Democratic candidate Chris Dodd asked why he and other '1% candidates' won't speak the truth about Iraq as it could only help their polling numbers, and described Paul as his "new hero." Dodd, like the Democrat politicians people have actually heard of before, is in favor of intervention in Iraq, Iran, and whereever else, so he offerred the usual excuse that it was just the incompetent Bush Administration doing it wrong, and that Paul was wrong about "blowback."

Paul later appeared again on Maher's show with a much warmer reception. This time he was live in-studio alongside Maher, the wildly untalented Ben Affleck, and the anti-government satirist, turned liberventionist P.J. O'Rourke. He was actually allowed to speak, and Maher, who was sh*t-canned himself shortly after 9/11 for pointing out the Politically-Incorrect obvious, defended a few of Paul's points against mischaracterization.

What a change two months can make.

What it all means

Maher describes himself as being somewhat libertarian, although many would describe him as pretty liberal, so seeing the complete turnaround is what makes the Daily Show/Report interviews so promising. If Paul gets a fair hearing, and both Stewart and Colbert can be tough interviewers with questions that actually inform their audiences, he could end up moving to double digits in the national polls. At that point state Republican party bosses won't be able to try and exclude him from future debates.

And with more exposure there's a chance he'll be a real contender for the nomination.

Young people (such as this quarter century year old blogger) will appreciate the non-crazy foreign policy and mortgaging our futures on entitlements we can't afford. Older people will see him as a Reagan Republican. Who would probably actually spend less money, bomb fewer people, etc, than Reagan himself did despite his rhetoric to the contrary.

Hopefully, my well paid blog editor *cough* did a decent job proofreading this as I'm posting it rather late.

Although, I'm confident I can produce run-on sentences and grammar errors at any hour of the day. Muwahahahaha!

Something that might actually interest three people about FFXI (with pictures!!!) is in the cards for tomorrow.

I'm thinking screenshots of people getting the crap kicked out of them (read: me) in a hilarious manner assuming I can find enough.

Leveling Puppetmaster

The Treasures of Aht Urhgan (I wonder how badly I misspelled that?) expansion to FFXI added three new jobs. Blue Mage (BLU), which learns the abilities used by enemies and fires them right back at them. Corsair (COR), a pirate that shoots a six-barrelled handgun at enemies and has phantom rolls to buff party members. And Puppetmaster which has...a funny-looking puppet to follow you around.

BLU is a very powerful job. At lower levels playing it I was able to chain EM-VT enemies pretty easily. It's also one of few jobs that at higher levels can go head-to-head with VTs (using a /NIN, of course) and not find it's ass in the Delivery Box the next morning.

COR is highly desired because their dice rolls make the whole party a lot stronger, and with a B (or B+?) in Marksmanship they can do respectable damage as well.

PUP is highly "LOL"ed at. Shortly after the release the puppet wasn't great because there were few attachments that enhanced it available. And the masters subbed White Mage, stood back, and watched the puppet fight which didn't help much either. It's since gotten quite a few boosts, with more announced in the future. It's still the most crapped upon job in the game though, stealing that "crown" from lolDragoons.

So far I've gotten it to level 24. I'm about 3,000 EXP to 25. And I've been standing on the stairs in Port Jeuno keeping it real for about four hours. OK, so there isn't enough people on to make a party right now, but looking for a party still blows.

It's a fun job and with the Tier II attachments and some of the basic ones my puppet's damage combined with my own has lead the parties so far.* Once I get to 30 I can quest the final puppet frame, the Stormwaker, and try to skill up it's magic skills. Which are horribly underleveled from not using them...basically at all.

*My damage isn't so great when we have a retarded party with a powerleveler and a no-Provoke "tank." Because I'm forced to either have my puppet stand there looking pretty or get raped by an IT++ fish.

Particularly with the Ninjas who spam their craptastic elemental Ichi Ninjutsu.

Hojo: Ichi would slow the monster's attack speed substantially.

Kurayami: Ichi would make it miss quite a bit. (For the NIN and myself with evasion merits and the PUP Evasion Bonus.)

Elemental Ichi will do...well, basically nothing. It's pathetic on EP mobs when you learn it at 15, and it doesn't start suddenly being awesome at 19 or 22 on IT mobs without even wearing a freaking INT ring.

Seriously, stop it /NIN levelers.

Cliff's Notes

I was reading this post on Antiwar.com. It has to be the longest winded way I've ever seen to say, "Micheal Ledeen: Still An Idiot."