Wednesday, November 28, 2007

615/10,000

Well, I've been fishing for more Moat Carp lately. I'm up to 615 out of the 10,000 needed. Still a long way to go, but getting 100-200 per day and I'll be done in no time.

I started fishing them up in Yuhtunga Jungle which a friend of mine (who not only has a Lu Shang's Rod, but an Ebisu Rod too) suggested. The bites are either monsters or Moat or Forest Carp. There's no junk fish.

The Forest Carp are a pain in the ass to reel in though, so I'm thinking I may go back to the Ferry to skill up a little more before continuing. I'm at 21.7 or .8 now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So, apparently I'm an RMT (and misc WotG updates)

My Secret Life as a Gilseller

Not much to add to this that I didn't say on Killing Ifrit already. Some guy on Hades sends me stupid /tells because, little did I know, I apparently sell gil on the Intarweb somewhere. There's a screenshot in the KI thread. If I post it here it'll get cropped, so I'm not going to.

Wings of the Goddess

Well, after my initial day of mostly exploring I finally got around to flagging and opening Dancer (eww.) and Scholar (yay!). The Dancer quest is started in Upper Jeuno in the present time with this person:
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(Yeah, I have a dirty mind.)

It was easy enough, just a lot of walking around. Which Wings of the Goddess has more than a little of. And...
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Yay...another job that will probably stay level 1 until I cancel my account.

Then, I moved on to Scholar. Which I'd initially decided against opening because it required 12 pieces of Vellum which is crafted and, like all the other high demand items, stupidly expensive.

Somebody figured out that you can get Vellum by trading Rollanberries to an NPC though, so I got all my Vellum for ~13k gil:
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Scholar I actually plan on leveling after I finish Monk.

A Monkish Interlude

I got Monk to 66 in a party last night and halfway to 67. Once I hit 71-73 range I can probably leech most/all of the rest of the EXP needed to ding 75 in a Linkshell merit party. Then I'll need 54 merit points to cap out the useful things in Monk by my rough estimate. Which I'll actually do as Monk probably.

Anyway...

After opening both jobs I spent a good bit of time exploring the war torn past areas. And looking for decent spots for BLM solo and merit parties. Merit party spots seem pretty nonexistant. I found some VTs in the southern most part of Pashow Marshlands that were ok for BLM solo, but not better than the Wamoura Princes or Ebony Puddings of Mount Z.
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You can see me nuking one in my Errant Hpl. there because I walked all the way out there ate an Ambrosia, used a RR pin, and got Sigil (which was mostly useless...more on that in a moment) to find I left my Igqira Weskit in my Mog House.

I saw a melee party attempt to fight one that they aggroed, and they got thoroughly raped. AoE Paralyze, AoE Damage + Bind, some crazy move where the thing's eyes start glowing and it gets a huge attack speed increase, and a 5-hit attack.

It was a mess.

Mo' Money, Mo' Farmin'

I wanted to cash in on the wildly expensive items that come around every few updates when SE adds some sort of quest that requires something in short supply, so I checked the AH, FFXIAH.com, etc, and settled on Gnole Claws.

They drop from Gnoles and are very rare only dropping 5% or so of the time. Gnoles are Monk mobs and have obnoxious TP moves. One gives them a Killer Effect that causes players to be unable to act on them, another cures them for 1-2K HP, and there's probably some damage ones as well. They also attack rather fast.

I killed over a hundred of them as Black Mage, so I only saw them being used on other people as either myself or the Gnole was dead before it had 100% TP. I was rewarded with six claws for my troubles, and made a very nice 270k gil off them.

The gnoles also killed me a few times, but I was killing them in areas with a lot of foot traffic, so I was able to get Raised, or had Reraise, the three or so times I got mauled.

Gnoles also give 105% the normal EXP, but with the ones I killed mostly being DC-EM I only made ~1.5k an hour anyway.

A Dramatic Conclusion...

Is what the currently released missions were severely lacking. The expansion so far is very light on story, and mostly just setting at this point...and most of the setting is from things we already knew before anyway.

There's also a f&$#ton of running from one place to another. But, that isn't as bad now that I've gotten all the Campaign Warps and Cavernous Maws activated. The reward for getting to one of the starting countries and joining their army is a pair of boots with movement speed+12% as well which helps a bit if that was one of the first things you did. Unfortunately, it was one of the last things I did, so I mostly just used them for running around afterwards.

Sigil is teh Suck

Sigil is the WotG areas equivilent of Signet and Sanction. So, you'd think it was pretty cool. Unfortunately, the Sanction-like bonuses of Regen, Refresh, and longer food duration are really weak unless your country is doing well in Campaign.

You also don't get Allied Notes for killing monsters with Sigil, the WotG equivilent of Conquest Points/Imperial Standing, so it makes them somewhat difficult to get and makes partying in WotG areas less appealing.

That concludes this update, TTFN!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

FFXI: Wings of the Goddess

The FFXI Expansion Pack was finally released today. I picked it up, installed it, and waited to hear that they activated all the content. Well, I went to Limbus, and half way through the message was sent out that it went active.

After Limbus, I scrambled off to Batallia Downs and to the Cavernous Maws in the remote northern part of it. Get a bizzarre cutscene, and I find my character sent 20 years back to the past. I went there, because I knew from people's .dat hacking that Smilodons (orange tigers) were found there, and it's the only one of three zones adjacent to Jeuno that has an easily accessible Maw.

Unfortunately, the droprate sucks horribly. I'm about 0/30 or so on them now. I went to explore and hopefully find some higher level ones with a better droprate. And ended up walking in circles and not getting anywhere. I saw a few people from the linkshell Excellence and suggested killing an Orc that was on top of a guard tower where we were blocked in. That didn't work, but they invited me to their party and we walked around for a while, I got separated and a little lost, but ended up in San d'Oria 20 years ago.

I had wanted to unlock the new Scholar and Dancer jobs, but an LS mate needed help with a coffer key in Monastic Cavern, so I warped out and did that instead. We ended up leaving with the damn thing not dropping though, that particular coffer key is usually a pain in the ass.

It'll be turkey and trying to level Monk again today I think. Maybe get the rest of the Maws and farm hides. I'm not sure yet.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's still November, right?

So, I went to the Mall to pick up my copy of FFXI: Wings of the Goddess today. As I opened the front door to my house, I saw my hottie neighbor walking her dog in clothing you'd expect to see in the Spring. And realized the Winter coat I had just put on wasn't going to be needed.

The radio said it was 65F outside. On November 21st. In Pennsylvannia. It should be snowing out right now.

Global Warming $#%^ing rules, I hate the Winter.

Gone Fishin'

Well, I've started leveling Fishing again in FFXI. Mostly, because nobody was inviting my awesomely geared and fully merited Monk to punch things for Experience Points much. Well, basically at all.
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Not that I'm bragging or anything.

Anyway, I had stopped Fishing at level 11 which is where Moat Carp cap. I started it back up again and did some fishing on the northern part of Qufim Island. Catching Yellow Globes mostly, and skilling up pretty rapidly to 14. I caught a LOT of Yellow Globes.

Having Alchemy leveled to 60, I sythed them into Poison Dust. Then I took a trip to Bibiki Bay:
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I bought up a ton of jellyfish and made Mercury.

And finally combined the two ingredients to make so many Poison Potions that people probably thought I was an RMT crafting bot. And made a nice pile of gil in the process.

A little while into level 14 Fishing skill ups slowed down to the point (and I lost the last of my lures to line snaps) that I decided to move on and try somewhere else. I wasn't quite sure where to go, but decided to catch Forest Carp in Yuhtunga Jungle to hand in for the Lu Shang's Fishing Rod quest.

Which requires 10,000 carp.

Which is one hell of a lot of fish.

Unfortunately, in about half an hour I was only able to reel in 3 moat carp. Which also bite there, and was unable to pull in a single freaking forest carp which was what I needed to skill me up. Rather annoyed, I went to Bastok Markets and decided to just try for moat carp there. The bite rate is better, and being in town I wouldn't be able to reel in monsters.

Much to my surprise, I ended up getting about 250 more Moat Carp and to level 17 from the occassional Tricolored and Gold Carps (neither of which are useable in the Lu Shang's quest). Gold Carp do NPC for quite a bit though, so they paid for the Insect Balls I used as bait.

Having hit level 17 I decided to quit fishing for Lu Shang's and slow skill-ups, and instead go for some money and fast skill-ups on the Ferry.
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Nebimonites are a level 29 fish and what I was planning on getting and using to skill up fishing. Noble Ladies are a level 66 fish(!!) that's used in high-level Cooking.

I happen to have level 100 Cooking. So, I was able to make sushi with them. I made black ink with the Nebs and leveled my Woodworking from 26 -> 29 on Shihei. I'll find something to cap that at level 30 for the pretty blue number eventually.

I also saw the dreaded Sea Horror several rides, once back to back. It killed everyone on the ship the first time I saw it, myself excluded, so I decided to return the favor.
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Interesting fact: Shall shells NPC for 306 gil.

A little more fishing on the Ferry last night, and:
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Ta da! 21 Fishing! Once I get to 25 or so, I think I'll go back to fishing more Moat Carp for the Lu Shang's quest. And possibly try fishing up Devil Manta in Kuftal Tunnel when there aren't many RMTs there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ron Paul Rally in Philly

My Dad mentioned to me that there was going to be a Ron Paul Rally in Philly and asked me if I wanted to go about two weeks ago. I said yes, so I was woken up bright and early and we hopped on the train from 69th Street into Center City and ended up at Independence Hall.

Oh, it finally started feeling like November here, by the way. But I was kind of used to the 70F weather of the previous three months and I didn't bring a heavy coat. Or gloves. Or a hat. Or anything else one might bring when he's aware he'll get a seat in the 'Veteran's Only' section (it was on or near Veteran's Day) with his Dad. So, I froze my ass off pretty well.

You can see me in the pictures on the Red State Eclectic blog here. You'll also see that THOUSANDS of people must be "Internet spammers" as the mainstream media has been portraying all of Ron Paul's support. The crowd was huge. I'd guessed it was probably over 1,200.

Media outlets have said I was off by 3-4x the actual amount. Which I guess is what I get having never tried to guess how many people were in a crowd (that I couldn't even see all of) before.

Ron's speech was great. He talked for about 45 minutes and articulated his message quite well.

Ron Paul basically wants the US Gov't to stop slaughtering foreigners indescriminantly and dismantle it's empire of 700 bases abroad. Instead, focusing on actual national defense. Talking with people instead of threatening to nuke them if they don't do exactly as Washington tells them to do, etc. That's his traditional foreign policy of non-interventionism: Peace and trade with other countries, but minding our business politically.

At home, Ron wants to stop expanding the welfare state, and slowly shrink it. With the trillions of dollars saved by stopping our Interventionist foreign policy he'll fund Social Security for the existing commitments it has (to old people and those retiring soonish) and allow young people to opt-out of it. All these reductions in spending would also allow him to abolish the income tax and IRS. And he's not in favor of a bait and switch or shuffling the deck around with Fair Taxes or national sales taxes or whatever else either.

The plan basically comes down to increased freedom and prosperity for the American people, less foreigners who are inclined to strap bombs to themselves and blow us up, and less of the complete secrecy about what our government is actually doing both at home and abroad.

And with the biggest single fundraising day of US Presidential election history and possibly another one on December 16th there's a real chance of a President Paul next January.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Yeah.

So, I went to UPS this morning at 6:45 to see about the thrower job. It was supposed to be in my crappy hometown, and moving boxes or something. It turns out it's in the city by the airport. And it's not moving boxes, it's moving gigantic pallettes of boxes off planes from a platform thingy that's 35 feet in the air.

"I hope nobody is scared of heights!" the manager/trainer guy who was giving the tour said. A tour I wasn't expecting, and neither were any of the other 10-15 people who were there were either.

Well, as it turns out your humble author gets disoriented standing on chairs. I'm badass though, so I didn't say anything, but kind of had to be careful not to walk on the giant metal slot thing that seemed to drop several feet into darkness in the concrete beneath me on this big runway that there were two cargo planes landed on.

The trainer guy also said to get a ski mask and some heavy gloves and that nobody would look twice at you in them. What with you working at 4AM in December and all.

So, while it would have been cool to have a few grand a year for school, health insurance, etc, ...yeah. That's not going to work out. I also looked like a bit of a jack ass being in dress pants and shirt while half the people wore much more comfortable jeans and t-shirts.

Pretty bizarre fucking bait and switch if you ask me. I'm not an expert, but I think you're supposed to get the other party to commit before you pull the switch.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Yinyangs and Merit Points and Accidental NMs, Oh my!

So, I've been looking for a job for a while, and will probably get one about twelve hours from now being a thrower at Oops. ("Package handler" at UPS) Which, by most accounts, sucks horribly. But it's only 4-5 hours a day, early in the morning, so I can still go to the Friday Homebrew meetings, hang out with friends, and play FFXI in the evenings. And when school starts back up there's no classes at those hours, so I could continue doing it then.

Yinyang Robe at Last!
Well, I went to camp the Yinyang Robe twice again this week with a couple people from the new Hopeless LS. It's been the bane of my FFXI existence for about two years now since SE added Shikigami Weapon and YYR. The NM itself spawns invisible and runs around Ro'Maeve stupidly fast, and can only be made visible if someone aggros it with magic.

As everything else there aggros to magic, and mage jobs don't have Widescan (to be able to tell where it is), you pretty much need at least three people. Getting 3+ people to come camp an NM every 21 hours later until you get the claim on Shikigami and the thing to actually drop is a massive pain in the ass.

But, despite all this, Doggy, Lilbunnyfufu, Seral, Shavra, Lytoma, and a couple others came to camp it with me a few times. And this past Wednesday, I finally got it! I've moved my trusty Austere Robe and Vermillion Cloak off to my mule for now. I'm not sure whether I'll keep or sell them yet.

Merit Points

I have been 7/8 Hand-to-Hand merits for a while now. The eighth one kicks in at level 65, which is one level higher than my Monk currently is stuck at 64. I'd gotten most of my past two merit points doing Sky farming....which should give you an idea how much luck we usually have getting Diorite to drop for Ullikummi or getting Despot to pop. (We actually got three Diorite last time and Despot to pop almost right away, though, so whatever.)

I went out and soloed 7k limit points as BLM again, and voila! 8/8 Hand-to-Hand merits now. If I had a Faith Torque, my Ninja would have only two less H2H skill than a Puppetmaster with no merits.

Accidental NMs!?
I just went to help a friend with the Tonberry NMs in Carpenter's Landing. Only him (a 64 PLD/NIN) and a 75 MNK were there, so we were waiting for a few other people to show up. And slaughtering all the lowbie monsters in the area. One of those was the Birdtrap:
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Pretty isn't it? Well, I kill a bunch of them, and then attack another one. After a few seconds of Carbuncle beating on it I start to wonder "Why isn't it's HP going down?" as previous one would get 20% of their life blown off per attack.

Then I notice it's the Notorious Monster Orctrap! So, we killed it and it dropped a Katana worth 70,000 gil. The other two people lotted ~450. I lotted 951, and got the Katana. I've had pretty decent luck with making gil lately, and that will pay for the next two Limbus runs.

We popped and killed the Tonberry NMs without incident. Although the BLM one slaughtered my Fenrir with a well placed Flare. That Fenrir couldn't interrupt a twenty-something second spell was kind of sad though. lolSMN.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Just because it's awesome...

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A kind of random picture of the day thing for you.