Monday, March 31, 2008

Crafting

I've been working on getting all my crafts (besides Cooking which is 100, and Fishing which can't be quickly skilled) to 60 for those pretty blue numbers. So far:
Smithing 30
Clothcraft 60
Alchemy 60
Woodworking 60
Goldsmithing 47
Leathercraft 2
Bonecraft 60
Cooking 100
Fishing 38
I've decided to put them on hold for a while. Partly, because the combination of farming a ton of beetle/scorpion/whatever body parts, and then making something out of them, and trying to sell it on the Auction House is somewhat tiring and pretty boring. But also, for another reason.

Crystal RMT?

I'm not sure what the hell is going on in FFXI right now, but there's barely 50 stacks of crystals on the AH. And the prices, of course, have all doubled on the Wind/Earth/Water crystals that were barely worth listing two weeks ago. Not a replay of the height of the 2005-2006 inflation that had Fire Clusters up to 18k/each (which I completely failed to take advantage of), but still doubling in a week.

I'm not entirely sure what people are doing. There appears to be some push to making Coffee Muffin +1's instead of Cherry Muffin +1's. The latter used to be able to be made using ingredients entirely from NPCs and a skilled chef could make them for a substantial profit.

In any case, it's retarded, so I'm going to give craft leveling a rest for a bit. Smithing and Goldsmithing were going to suck to get to 60 anyway. I could do Leathercraft, but I just got that to 58 on my mule and don't feel like re-doing it on my main char too.

Fishing for Pearls!

I'm thinking that in the meantime, I'll do more Fishing leveling. With 60 Bonecraft, I can turn Shall Shells (55 Fishing) into Pebbles, Pearls, and Black Pearls (60k for 12). The last two are HQs and I can get those ~25% of the time.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Jailer of Justice

Jailer of Justice. He's a squid that makes lots of little baby squids. Baby squids that go boom and kill everyone. JoJ also likes to charm the tanks and DDs and have them kill people.

Epic tried killing it two or three times before, and despite our best efforts, it ended badly. We ended up getting overwhelmed by exploding babies that killed everyone.

But Earlier that Day...

Today, I joined up with a bunch of people for some early Sky farming. I went on Monk and got there to find that Mother Globe was up. We had 10 people and after a bit of a delay in getting everyone there, we pulled it. As it turns out, everyone wasn't there yet and one of the two NIN/DRKs immediately died leaving us barebones. I pulled the Slave Globe spawns off and killed them as we worked it down. Our missing WHM and RDM arrived and the NIN/DRK unweakened, and we finished it.

Next, we moved on to try and pop Steam Cleaner. I wandered off to see if I could find the coffer in V.palace that I had a key for. (I found it later in the day and got 11.3k gil. :-P) I met up and went to the SC spawn area. The NIN who had been out looking for it said it popped and was incoming. We beat it's cermet ass down and went to check Zipanca.

Zip was up, so we killed it, and went on to Faust.

Faust was fun. I Chi Blasted it three times, after a corpse-recovery detour, and then ran in with defense food, damage reduction gear, and high Def/VIT equipment on and Hundred Fists on it. Of course I did that at 10% HP and still nearly died. LOL.

Then, we went to farm Ro'Maeve Water. I had to go after a while to go to a Beef & Beer with my Dad that was in support of Ron Paul's presidential bid. Which, as one of the speakers noted, was pretty much over so it was pretty pointless.

I returned later in the evening and found that I'd missed a 1:54min Kirin burn. /sigh

Now we're back!

That brings us back to Jailer of Justice. I met up with everybody down in Al'Tieu as Black Mage, and found out we were going to be attempting JoJ again. We had more people in Epic, an Aegis, and more experience under our belts. Tanks and melee DDs would damage the Jailer, 4 DDs and a party of BLMs would kill the babies.

We popped it, and sure enough JoJ's HP was dropping and we were killing babies as fast as they were spawning. A few charmed people slept later, and it was down. I wasn't in the alliance that killed it, so I didn't know what dropped initially. But we got everything! Brim got the torque, and one of our RDMs got the sword.

We popped another, and we had another happy RDM with a weird-looking gold sword. But no torque.A final pop for the night, and another happy RDM and Neo got a shiny new torque to go with his Shura Haidate+1, that he got from Byakko earlier in the night, giving him 304 Great Katana skill.

Everybody was quite happy. :-)

We also killed two Om'UFOs between ??? repops, so people should have WS gorgets in the near future.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dynamis - Windurst

Another Friday, another Dynamis - Windurst. It was unique in that it's my first Dynamis run ever that I wasn't there as Black Mage. I had been farming Scorpion parts for Bonecraft most of the afternoon, so I was a little late having to mule the Shells and break down the Claws into arrowheads before I'd have enough room to swap gear to Black Mage.

I got a /tell just to go Monk if I wanted though, so that's what I ended up doing.

Method to the Madness

I knew basically what to do: Assist whoever is lead assist, don't melee stones (I punched two by accident during the course of the run, and found Chi Blast with ~110 MND sucked horribly on them), and don't wake up slept mobs, set /Autotarget: OFF, etc.

(Heart) Low-manning?

We had a lot of people there, and it seems that a bunch of them still haven't figured that out yet. Which got a bunch of people killed, and pissed off quite a few people (myself included). In theory having nearly 40 people there should make it easier than having barely 25, but in practice it seems otherwise.

Surprisingly Nice to My Buffer?

I only ended up dying once though, in large part due to good support. I had at least two people keeping Haste on me and a SMN spamming Earthen Ward.

I used my shiny new Faith Baghsomethings and burned a few stacks of Virtue Stones. They get 100%+ TP much faster than Destroyers and had enough DoT that I ended up tanking on mobs that didn't die to five Weaponskill immediately a bunch of times. Which wasn't really a problem due to having capped -50% on Utsusemi recasts due to the aformentioned (and quite welcome) Haste spam.

Lessons Learned

Most surprising about the whole thing was that I could eat Meat for Attack+% and had no trouble hitting any of the mobs except for the damn birds which I think I had ~50% Acc on even with Focus and swapping in my Optical Hat and Life Belt instead of W.turban and Brown Belt.

They were always Familiar'd though when we fought them, so maybe that's why?

I was also under the impression that Formless Strikes worked against Perfect Dodge, but it doesn't. It did work on Invincible though.

FTW?

We ended up getting the win even after somebody kited a stone past and popped the infamous Death House.™

All-in-all, it was a fun experience. Nice change of pace from BLM-onry.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Winston Smith Who?

Via Paulunteer.com:
Look at this:

http://youdecide08.foxnews.com/2008/01/03/wyoming-to-hold-fogotten-caucus-between-iowa-new-hampshire-primaries/

“Only Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter have passed through since September.”

and compare it to:

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/01/03/america/Wyoming-Republicans.php
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/printedition/2008/01/04/wyoming0104.html
“Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul have passed through since September. Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain have not.
The quote above is from an AP story about Republican candidates who visited Wyoming to campaign. Apparently, Fox News literally pays people to go back and rewrite the news to remove undesired people and information from it. How chillingly, literally, Orwellian of them.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Faith Torque!

I picked one of these up tonight on a Sky/Sea run with Epic.299 Hand-to-Hand skill is darn sexy.

Now I have to not lot anything for at least a week or two to keep from being a total loot whore. lol

UPDATE: It's about twenty minutes later than when I posted this and I'm getting Faith Bagsomethings too.
The second Torque went to LT.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

6/6 Sorcerer's Attire!!!

After about two years of Dynamis I finished my Sorcerer's Attire Set today! Much thanks to everyone in Oops (and either DirtyCucumbers or whatever the short-lived FinalFantasyLS dynamis shell was called for the Sabots..idk which one I got them with).

Also, congratulations to Grondor on Melee Gaiters and Shefki on Summoner's Bracers.

I'll post a pic of me in full Sorcerer's gear later. I guess I should figure out what set I want to make my main lot for dynamis also.

UPDATE:

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Additional thoughts on my next job to 75... (And some crafting)

At least a few people have voted now, and I've talked with a number of people in-game about it.

Red Mage
- I don't have any support jobs leveled, except Summoner which kind of doesn't count, so RDM would provide one should I need it.
- RDM/NIN solo or tanking fun. Then again, I can already solo lots of things as BLM, NIN, SMN, or MNK, and don't get to tank at all at events as NIN anyway. Epic doesn't use RDMs to tank things in general either. So, it would probably be limited to Bind+DoT soloing NMs.
- I have all the merits done except the Job-specific Group 1s basically.
- I have most of the non-JS gear except a pricy (but affordable) Enfeebling Torque.

Scholar
- Desert Boots:I've got a pair signed by my secret Leathercrafting mule, Luaplive. Scholar gets Sandstorm at level 46, which would give me ghetto Herald's Gaiters. Which are nice for 16k gil instead of 16mil gil. Movement+% gives a significant boost to Black Mage as illustrated by Kaeko in his Black Mage guide.
- SCH/RDM has much greater versatility than BLM/RDM. The White/Black: Addendum Strategems and the native spells already available provide nearly all the benefits of mainjob BLM & RDM to the Scholar (self-Refresh, Tier IV nukes, Protect/Shell IV, 50% recast reduction via Alacrity/Celerity) in addition to Reraise II. Single-target nukes can do roughly the same damage. The oft-linked to Kaeko goes into more detail on this.

Dancer
- A good combination of healer and DD.
- I have most of the gear already.
- I can't merit Dagger skill at all because I'm maxxed in Combat Skill merits. :(
- As I'm thinking about it more, Dancer seems more like Thief or Blue Mage: It would be cool to have at 75, but I'm not sure I really want to level it.

Crafting
I've been leveling several crafts a LOT lately. I'm trying to get all the crafts to 60 that I hadn't touched in ~3 or so years for those pretty, blue numbers. I've also kicked leveling Leathercraft on Luaplive into overdrive and gotten 5 levels in the past day skilling on Catoblepas and Tiger hides to 58.

The results thus far are something like this:
Woodworking 29->49
Smithing 30->30
Goldsmithing 47->47
Clothcraft 4->60
Leathercraft 2->2
Bonecraft 0->40

Woodworking and Bonecraft have kind of worked together in leveling. I farmed Black Tiger Fangs and Tiger Hides (bought a bunch of the latter), and skilled Bonecraft off Fang Arrowheads and then used the arrowheads to skill Woodworking on arrows. That sort of thing works out pretty well, but it is somewhat slow. I still need a TON of Ram Horns to get Bonecraft to 44, and then I live in Crawler's Nest and farm Scorpion Claws which will nearly cap both.

Goldsmithing looks like it could be break even or a small profit to 50, but Smithing just looks horrible. I'm not sure how I'll approach those two.

Overall, I got a decent chunk of them done, but still more to go.

TTFN!

Happy Easter!

Hopefully, you weren't woken up by the firemen coming in to put out a fire in your kitchen like I was.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What I've been up to...

I've posted a pretty long update/commentary on the patch, but no pictures for a bit. This post aims to remedy that.

The Recent FFXI Update

Here's Retrace:It looks the same as Warp except for being green and glowy instead of purple and glowy. SE went into creative overdrive for this I think.

That's my main char, Evilpaul, outside the Weaver's Guild yesterday shortly after capping Clothcraft at 60. Which means I have 2/6 non-Cooking/Fishing "subcrafts" done at 60 now.

I'm in a crappy level range for Leathercraft on Luaplive, so I haven't done much with that lately. I did get it from 52 to 52.9 with the pile of Catoblepas Hides I bought up in the past two days though. And I've gotten suggestions on another (highly profitable) recipe to help get to the mid-50s at least.

Anyway, moar pictures:Meet Dyinyinga. He/she/it is a real bastard. As it turns out, it drops the MAB+2 feet I wanted. It also turns out that it "sticks" to you if you aren't Slowed, and when it does that it gives you Amnesia and Silence. Which is really fucking obnoxious.

Its attacks have an Added Effect: Slow, so you need to get hit and then not cure the Slow status ailment to make fighting it not completely retarded. I didn't know this at the time because it only came out the day before (I thought maybe 2+ status ailments kept it from "sticking" to you afterwards), and ended up wiping to it at ~20% as NIN/DNC. When I came back there were two people killing it who didn't get the drop.

I, of course, had to run around and get the Recall-Place crystals, not that anyone uses those spells.Now that I think about it, I'm still missing the Passhow [S] one.

I thought I had other update-related pics, but they all sucked so I'm not posting them.

Dynamis - Beaucedine

Back by popular demand, Evilpaul resting MP in Dynamis!And I rested later by the Orc NM spot too!Always the most excitement at The Pie Blog™!

Limbus Solo Style!!!

I'm not very good at Limbus solo apparently.

I probably should have practiced on some Puddings first or something as I was a little rusty. I missed Limbus with Epic last night due to Comcast Cable being run by a bunch of monkeys that I assume are communist cannibals of some type. So, I decided to try Apollyon NW solo today for the LOLz.

The first Bardha killed me due to hitting me like five times in a row for a sh*t-ton of damage each time. Then I Reraised too soon and blood aggroed. I slept it, applied Reraise, and died again.

Finally, I got in the zone and killed the first Bardha, which opened the portal, then a second, which cleared plenty of kiting room for Pluto the Doomed Toad boss. The Wiki says that it has 11,000HP. Someone at the Wiki needs to go die in a fire. It had to have had more than that. I had to blow my Manafont on the first ghost to avoid dying without RR, which made the fight more difficult, but with luck:and the HP/MP chest+Manafont...I killed the bastard!

I didn't wait around with only three minutes left, so I ran to the center area where the chest pops with only three minutes left...and found it wasn't there. It dropped where Pluto died at the entrance. >.>I made it back with about 30 seconds to spare and with two Bardhas that I carelessly aggroed in tow. Two coins and...a Samurai upgrade item. No Diabolic Yarn now in ~8 months of Limbus once a week. /fume

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Old School Final Fantasy

Pat over at Sockmakepeoplesexy.net has written up articles on the whole FF console series. Well, from #1-8 so far. The last two are forthcoming. (I hope.)

They aren't your typical review, per se. He includes much more detail and pictures and ruins the endings (like the FFVII television promotions that showed parts of the ending FMV). They're also really goddamned funny.

So whether you've played the original FF1 ten times, but missed FF2 and FF3 which weren't offcially released in English until recently, or played and beaten them all, go read it!

Legacy of Kain Series

I picked up Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain back when I got a PSX as my first 32 bit game ever. Despite the horrendous loading times, it was a delightfully dark adventure game, and quite a contrast from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past I had been playing on my SNES a year or two earlier.

It had a great story despite the shortcomings. A trend which continued throughout the series (except Blood Omen 2, which we will never speak of again), and which overcame the various gameplay shortcomings that could be found in each one. Unfortunately, Eidos killed the Kain series off after the most recent one (LoK: Defiance), and there are no plans to revive it.

If you're an old fan like me, or never played much/any of them, you can still see nearly all the story on Youtube. Some guy uploaded them all about a year ago. That's page #7, they are there in reverse order.

Monday, March 17, 2008

FFXI Update finally arrived...the aftermath.

SE finally decided to release an update for FFXI this past week. It had been about four whole months since the release of the Wings of the Goddess expansion pack, which was pretty lacking in content after the first week, so this one was eagerly anticipated.

Some of the noteworthy things from the patch were (I'm not going to quote the whole thing, go read it on POL):
The following new quests have been added for dancer and scholar jobs:
- Artifacts
Players can obtain job-specific attire (artifacts) as rewards for the completion of these quests.
- Limit Break (level 70 to 71)
The character's level cap will be increased to 75 upon successful completion.
Artifact armor for both Dancer and Scholar. Both sets were surprisingly great.

Scholar Changes

I predicted on the BG forums a while back the Scholar Artifact set should have, "...An "Enhances Arts Effects" which should probably be on the AF or meritable. Let's you get A-/+ range on your active Arts, but penalizes the other with an E rating." Which is fairly close to what SE ended up doing:
The AF pieces give +15 skill to the White and Black magic skills when you have the matching Arts active. Which puts them into A+ skill territory (and still better with merits) which is what you need in the 60s when mobs start to become increasingly resistant.

SE also packed a bunch of delicious surprises for Scholar.
The following changes have been made to the scholar job:
- The maximum number of charges for the job ability “Stratagems” has been adjusted.
Lv. 10: 1 charge
Lv. 30: 2 charges
Lv. 50: 3 charges
Lv. 70: 4 charges

- The time required to regain one charge now varies depending on the maximum number of possible charges.
Maximum charges: 1 → Time to regain 1 charge: 4 minutes
Maximum charges: 2 → Time to regain 1 charge: 2 minutes
Maximum charges: 3 → Time to regain 1 charge: 1 minute 20 seconds
Maximum charges: 4 → Time to regain 1 charge: 1 minute

- The following scholar job abilities have been introduced:
Sublimation (Lv.35)
Stores MP while reducing HP. The effect ends once the MP limit is reached, HP is too low, or you are attacked. Stored MP is gained when the ability is reactivated.


...

- Scholars will now be able to cast additional white and black magic spells while using the new job abilities “Addendum: White” and “Addendum: Black”.
These additional spells will be added to a scholar’s magic lists after being acquired, but will only be selectable when under the effect of “Addendum: White” or “Addendum: Black”.

- Scholars have gained the job trait “Conserve MP.”

- “Light Arts” will now also increase the enfeebling magic skill.

- Scholar job abilities now have unique status icons.
This stuff is just HUGE.

Sublimation is essentially a 2MP/tick Job Ability Refresh that works all at once the second time the JA is used. It gets bumped to 3MP/tick with the AF head.

Addendum: White adds -na status fix spells as well as Reraise I/II, Raise II, and Erase. Addendum: Black adds Sleep I/II, Dispel, Bind, and Tier IV nukes. Can you say "never show up to Dynamis as BLM ever again?" I knew you could. Free Reraise II for your party also? This job will be soooo fucking popular in events like Dynamis and Einherjar that can quickly turn into death-orgies.

Basically, the only real drawback to SCH/RDM at this point compared to BLM/RDM is slightly less Magic Attack Bonus gear and no -ga3 spells. Elemental Magic skill is still significantly lower too though, so on resistant HNMs Black Mages will still be ahead there as well most likely. A minor inconvenience is that SCH/RDM has no trasportation spells. You can't Warp or Teleport, so you need to bring a Warp Cudgel, Tavnazian Ring, etc or you'll be walking your ass home.

Enspells now are calculated based on the caster's Enhancing Magic skill though, so they'll add significant DoT when combined with Accension and Light Arts in dual wielding-heavy parties. It won't make up for no native Haste entirely, but helps a little.

Dancer Changes

The update wasn't all peachy though, SE just had to throw in this:
- The effect of attributes on Waltzes will now be calculated differently depending on whether dancer is set as the main job or as the support job.
This sucks and just pisses me off. I recognized immediately, and later verified by checking the Wiki, that SE halved the effects of CHR and VIT on subjob Waltzes. As a result as NIN/DNC, and to a lesser extent MNK/DNC (because of MNK's high VIT), I now only get about 75% of my previous HP recovered. Throw in the supercharged Campaign mobs (I'll get to that later), and it severely screws up Dancer as a subjob.

The Dancer Artifact set reminds me of the Monk set kind of.I say it's similar to the Monk set, because all but the legs will at least be a useful macro piece depending on what other gear is available/affordable for the Dancer in question. Plenty of CHR+ on it to use for a Waltz macro too.

The next thing I level?

Both jobs look very good and worth leveling now. I'd probably go with Scholar over Dancer first just because it's so interchangeable with Black Mage now, with free Reraise II, and that's what I get stuck coming as to events. Dancer would end up being like Summoner, Ninja, or Monk...leveled and fully geared, but dust-covered anyway.

Dancer is still hilariously ghey, but with the addition of /dance1 (and /d2, d3, /d4) it seems less so now. Those need to be added to any macros I have that have some room left now that I think of it... ;-)

Summoner...Update?!?

It turns out that Square-Enix hasn't forgotten that they added Summoner to the game several years ago.
The new summoner job ability “Elemental Siphon” has been introduced:
Elemental Siphon
Drains MP from your summoned spirit.
*Only effective on spirits summoned by the summoner.
This ability was done right. If you use it on the Elemental Spirit that matches the one of the current day it restores about 270MP instantly (with a cooldown of five minutes). It can restore about ~300 something with matching weather. I'm unsure how much enmity it generates. That's something I should probably test out (or bother people on BG to figure out, muwahahahaha).

When combined with /SCH and Sublimation it's huge for solo MP recovery.

Misc new spells!

SE added a number of new spells with the update, notably Retrace (55BLM)! It warps you to your Hometown [S] in the past. Which saves 15 minutes easily for Bastokers.

There's several Recall-Place spells for White Mages (don't care).

Monomi: Ichi was added as well which finally gives Ninjas a Sneak Ninjutsu spell. It uses tools made with two Cotton Threads, and two Cotton Cloths. Combine that with the guy from the Al Zahbi guild being kidnapped, and it's throughly fucked over my Clothcraft leveling (stalled at 57, was skilling on Hunter's Cotton Cloth).

Blue Mage also got some new spells (again, don't care #@%^ them.)

New Items!

There's a bunch of new items this update, and some of them actually look sort of good! Notable ones include:Nice alternative for those of us (read: me) who can't get into a decent Assault static.I use a Jaeger Ring on my R.ring slot and end up at 99%TP fairly frequently on Monk. If I get one of these babies, it should solve that.

These three are from popped NMs that look to be a pain in the ass, but I want to get them all. LOL(Since SCH can't use Zenith Mitts...)
Poison Taster's cape
[Back] All Races
DEF: 7 MP + 20
Poison: Adds Refresh effect
Lv. 75 BLM / WHM / RDM / BRD / SMN /
BLU / PUP / SCH
This would make me consider Poison Potions a standard "medicine" to carry with me on mage jobs.
Sothic rope
[Waist] All Races
DEF: 5 MND +4 INT +4
Full Moon: MP +20 MND +6 INT +6
Lv. 55 MNK / BLM / RDM / THF / DRK / BRD /
SMN / RNG / BLU / COR / PUP / DNC / SCH
A free Penitent's Rope -1 most of the time, and the highest damage waist piece during the Full Moon. Also, SCH can wear it. Did I mention it was free?

Campaign Changes /fume

"When it ain't broke, don't fix it?" SE took this to heart with Monk and Red Mage, not so much with Campaign where they went and fucked it up good and proper.
-The strength of NPCs, troops, and monsters appearing in Campaign battles has been adjusted.
-The calculation of enmity for NPCs and monsters in Campaign battles is now the same as for player characters.
The monsters in Campaign are probably 5-8 levels higher than they were which makes them from "kind of wimpy to the point I could hold five of them while I killed them one at a time" to "two of them just kicked my ass hardcore."

New Missions...where?

After four months waiting, there's not really much to do as far as new storyline. New quests that advance the Hometown [S] stories a little (Bastok's is interesting). Not a single new mission though advancing the overall storyline though.

What's Caitsith's plan? Why did the cavernous maws appear? What in the flying fuck is that comet in the North sky for? I don't know, apparently nobody will for three more months.

Conclusion

The job updates and additions were nice, there's a few new pieces of gear that look nice, but overall: What the #@%^?

No new missions, minimal new storyline, broken and throughly #@%^ed up Campaign battles, and nerfed /DNC. Along with other nerfs that I don't really give a shit about (hi2u Rune Chopper DRKs).

Given that I'm working on getting all my crafts to level 60 right now and not leveling any new jobs, I'm disappointed and somewhat bored with the game. All the items I'm interested in getting are either ridiculously expensive, rare NM drops, or just popped NMs and I hate organizing runs for that sort of shit. Swift Belt being one of the latter, and once people get one they'll never come help with it ever again.

P.S.

SE did add one last new feature: 200 screenshot storage capacity (up from 99). So, when emergency maintenance is over, I'll hopefully have some pics to post here.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Dynamis - Beauc and Jeuno; Proto-Ultima Down!

Dynamis - Beaucedine

We did a Dynamis - Beaucedine run last week. I only mention it, because it was mentioned in a previous post that we had a little mishap with the Orc NMs...they charmed half the LS.
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As I snapped this picture Liltifa ran out of my view and disappeared due to lag, so I didn't get to kill him. :-(

So, I killed Ameyna and Jamarn instead. Still wasn't the same though.

Dynamis - Jeuno

An oldie, but boring-ie. We got a fuckton of Relic Armor (along with two Shields and a bunch of useless weapons too). Literally about 15 pieces.

Some highlights:
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Here, you can see me healing MP.

And here:
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You can see me healing MP at a different spot.

About a third of the way through Melee Gloves dropped.
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It's a piece I wanted for a while, but decided to pass and let Abydos have it. He suggested we just both lot and the winner gets it. So we did, and I didn't get them. LOL. But with how much crap we had dropping, I figured another would drop again later probably.

And sure enough:
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I now have an additional 0.6x VIT modifier to my Chakra macro.

Now to finish up those last two Invigorate merits.

Proto-Ultima Down!

With many Proto-Omega kills under my belt, Epic fought Ultima a few days ago.
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Above you can see me healing MP at Proto-Ultima. I seem to do that a lot.

We whittled it down. 3 of the 4 or 5 Dissapation moves got stunned. One that got through literally had my charater frozen in the "Stun is about to go off" animation. The last 20% was kind of messy. My last Reraise I was Holy II'd back to death despite six people standing there beating on it.
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I snapped this one right as it died.

The drops where Body, Legs, and Feet. I don't remember who got what exactly.

I had wanted the Hands for my SMN. /sigh

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Evening Weekly News with Evilpaul

Well, it's time for your 32nd weekly installment of all the news that's fit to link with your host, Evilpaul.

We start with Confessions of an Obama Cultist by Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com. I generally agree with Raimondo, but I think he's finally drank the water of the Bizzarro World we fell into on 9/11 (as he often mentions), and it muddled his brain.

A choice between the crazy, evil Neo-cons of the McCainiac variety, and the sane, evil Realists of the Zbigniew Brzezinski variety is an easy one for me. As a person who I think can fairly be called an "antiwar voter – that is, the single-issue voter who conditions his support on the candidate's generally pro-peace foreign policy stance" as Raimondo puts it: I'll stay home, thank you. Or not vote for one of the two awful presidential candidates, and just vote on the other races and ballot questions.

(Zbigniew Brzezinski is Obama's foreign policy adviser. Yes, I Googled his last name, which I somehow guessed the correct spelling of to find out how the hell to spell his first.)

Next, is is former CIA agent Philip Giraldi's Terrorists or Maybe Not in which he reports the recent comments by the FBI's assistant director on counterterrorism who suggests that if there are Al Qaeda in the U.S. he's unaware of any evidence for it. He also calls into question whether any of the "terrorism" arrests in the past 7 years haven't been total bullshit and reviews all of them.

Everyone's an Actor in Minnesota where bars are getting around the state's totalitarian smoking ban by using the freedom-hole that establishments with plays and theatre are exempt.

Before you complain about gas prices again, read Gas Prices: It's the Money, Stupid by Thomas A. Olson on LRC.

Glenn Greenwald has an interesting article Shocking new revelation: Unchecked government powers get abused. Greenwald is always interesting because although I disagree with him on many things, he's intellectually honest and cares more about freedom than playing partisan politics.

That's it for this week's installment. I'll probably post an update related to FFXI (I notice that side of my updates has been lacking lately), so stay tuned for that!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Puppy Killers?

Link from a dutch Youtube equivilent.

I guess Mike Vick just was in the wrong business? Sickening.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Waterboarding

I've seen quite a few people, including Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, call waterboarding "simulated drowning". You know, it just seems like you're drowning, and really unpleasant, but you aren't actually drowning. And it doesn't leave a mark, so it's not torture.

Well, like pretty much everything else mouthpieces of the US Government tell you (I'm not lumping Stewart into this category), this isn't quite true. It's actually quite the opposite. As Malcolm Nance, former instructor at the Navy's Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School a guy who has been waterboarded and overseen it done to Navy Seals type guys writes over at the Small Wars Journal,
1. Waterboarding is a torture technique. Period. There is no way to gloss over it or sugarcoat it. It has no justification outside of its limited role as a training demonstrator. Our service members have to learn that the will to survive requires them accept and understand that they may be subjected to torture, but that America is better than its enemies and it is one’s duty to trust in your nation and God, endure the hardships and return home with honor.

2. Waterboarding is not a simulation. Unless you have been strapped down to the board, have endured the agonizing feeling of the water overpowering your gag reflex, and then feel your throat open and allow pint after pint of water to involuntarily fill your lungs, you will not know the meaning of the word.

Waterboarding is a controlled drowning that, in the American model, occurs under the watch of a doctor, a psychologist, an interrogator and a trained strap-in/strap-out team. It does not simulate drowning, as the lungs are actually filling with water. There is no way to simulate that. The victim is drowning. How much the victim is to drown depends on the desired result (in the form of answers to questions shouted into the victim’s face) and the obstinacy of the subject. A team doctor watches the quantity of water that is ingested and for the physiological signs which show when the drowning effect goes from painful psychological experience, to horrific suffocating punishment to the final death spiral.

Waterboarding is slow motion suffocation with enough time to contemplate the inevitability of black out and expiration –usually the person goes into hysterics on the board. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch and if it goes wrong, it can lead straight to terminal hypoxia. When done right it is controlled death. Its lack of physical scarring allows the victim to recover and be threaten with its use again and again.

Call it “Chinese Water Torture,” “the Barrel,” or “the Waterfall,” it is all the same. Whether the victim is allowed to comply or not is usually left up to the interrogator. Many waterboard team members, even in training, enjoy the sadistic power of making the victim suffer and often ask questions as an after thought. These people are dangerous and predictable and when left unshackled, unsupervised or undetected they bring us the murderous abuses seen at Abu Ghraieb, Baghram and Guantanamo. No doubt, to avoid human factors like fear and guilt someone has created a one-button version that probably looks like an MRI machine with high intensity waterjets.
If that's not clear enough for the "waterboarding is only simulated drowning" people, I don't know what could be.

It's a monstrous torture technique, and anyone caught doing it for reasons other than preparing soldiers for the possibility they'll be subjected to it at their enemies hands richly deserves to find his or her neck on the end of a rope.

The "best" part about this, is that all those people in Guantanamo Bay who are being held without trials or charges for years, and tortured continuously are mostly innocent. Seton Hall lawyers investigated and found there wasn't really a reason to hold 80% of them. Things like sarcastically saying, "Yeah you got me; I'm a terrorst." are being used as "confessions."

The Guantanamo detainees/torture victims are the "worst of the worst" yet there's not much evidence they ever did anything wrong. And most Americans are stupid enough to believe this horseshit.

Sometimes I think FFXI's auto-translate needs some work

Case in point:
[JPguy] [Saturday] [Slow]in [Rear]jp time am 11:35+ [Saturday] 15:00-[Time for work!]
[Evilpaul] [Rear]=dynamis?
[JPguy] yes
[Evilpaul] ok
Is Japan going off daylight savings time? Does the JPguy have to work late? Or early? I honestly have no idea.

Unrelated, but amusing to evil people who have only gone to Dynamis as Black Mage except for one Dynamis Lord zerg attempt, was that I killed Amey our Aegis PLD when she got charmed even with -25% magic damage. I also killed our Dark Knight/Beastmaster guy, but that was only because I couldn't find one of the people I wanted to kill. With the patch from a while back, they didn't lose any EXP, so it was all in good fun.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Copteria: A New Word

Copteria, n:
A police officier's (aka cop's) criteria by which he approaches and stops/molests random persons. That is to say, it's arbitrary and completely made up like the word copteria.

I've wondered if there was a word for the reasons the local police pull me over while driving and stop me while walking. They always have some "reason", but they and me both know that it's false and just dreamed up as an excuse for the police stop.

There apparently isn't, so I've created one. Use it. Spread it. I don't care one iota who gets credit for it.

(P.S. If you know a word that matches the criteria in my second paragraph feel free to drop me a comment. You don't need to be registered. Just don't tell me how to make my penis and big as my home mortgage for free or anything. :-p )

Pure Excitement?

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Exciting pic, eh?

What was behind me was a little more interesting.
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No, I haven't started camping Kings, but I did hope to catch lots of Crescent Fish (it was a Waxing Crescent moon, which is the only time they bite) and sell my assload of High Breath Mantles. I ended up getting insane skill ups more than two levels in two hours. I left when the dragon finally popped and the people fighting it pointed it's fiery breath'o'death in my small fishing perch's direction.

Jerks didn't buy any HBMs, but I did have a little fun bullshitting with people in /say to the extent that anyone talked at all. I know some LSes have a no /say rule at King camps. Then again, there was a decent amount of chatter but half of it was in a german-like language and I didn't understand any of it.

I did some more ferry fishing again, and ended up getting about four levels that day to take me almost to 38 Fishing.
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Pirate ships don't look very enviromentally friendly.

Crafting subs to 60

I've been leveling Clothcraft, Bonecraft, and Woodworking to 60. I've done some farming, but mostly just buy shit from the NPCs, synth, desynth, etc until I've hit the cap on it. That's obviously not very profitable, but I'm not spending large amounts of gil on it, so I don't really care.

The practical reason for doing this is very philosophical. To have nice even blue numbers there instead of 0 or something random.

That, and I don't feel like starting to level a new job right now.

Operation: Aegis

Epic's first relic was completed this afternoon!
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Congratulations to Ameyna! Now get a Bahumat's Mask! :-)

Hopefully, we'll be able to finish two unspellable Great Katanas in the next few months as well.

Shinobi-tabi

The tool used in casting the Ninjutsu Tonko: Ichi and Ni is Shinobi-tabi. In three or four years I've cast it 182 times.

These and other useless facts, brought to you by The Pie Blog.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Domestic Warrantless Spying

As our Fearless Leader always claims that he needs more power (only to be used wisely for our own benefit, of course) to spy on us domestically, it's interesting to see these statistics about the existing FISA "warrants."

Since 1979, 5 "warrants" were refused.

I'm rather curious what, exactly, the ones that weren't allowed were for? Spying on ex-girlfriend's phonecalls or something?

Ron Paul 2008 Update

Well, it's pretty obvious he's not going to win by this point. Although as one commentator said, there's always the chance McCain and Huckabee's planes will crash into each other tragically killing them both.

The official campaign has been something of a disappointment as well. The TV and radio ads mostly sucked. "Hey, Ron Paul is just like all the other Republicans!" was the jist of half of them. None of the antiwar or economic topics are emphasized, which are kind of the selling point as opposed to more of the same from every other guy (or cankly gal) running.

I'm still somewhat involved with the local Meetup group though. They're trying to canvas the entire county with door hangers about Dr. Paul. I did most of my neighborhood with my Dad this afternoon. I never realized what strange-looking neighbors I have. LOL

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Great Presidents

What is the criteria historians use to judge a president's "greatness"? And why are the ones who are at the top of the list always the ones who jailed their critics?