Thursday, October 30, 2008

I beat Dragon Warrior 3!

I dug out my old Gameboy Advance and found my GB Color version of it. A few minutes later (looking up a map because I only vaguely remember it) I went and killed the last boss that I dropped it at! XD

I actually had a temp save in the last area but never finished it.

I've kind of been in a retrogaming mood lately. I'm not sure why.

Regardless who wins, it will be more of the same...

A great article by the only non-shithead you can find on Fox News, Judge Andrew Napolitano, about our wonderful USG:
In virtually every generation and during virtually every presidency (Jefferson, Jackson and Cleveland are exceptions that come to mind) the popular branches of government have expanded their power. The air you breathe, the water you drink, the size of your toilet tank, the water pressure in your shower, the words you can speak under oath and in private, how your physician treats your illness, what your children study in grade school, how fast you can drive your car, and what you can drink before you drive it are all regulated by federal law. Congress has enacted over 4,000 federal crimes and written or authorized over one million pages of laws and regulations. Worse, we are expected by law to understand all of it.
He starts by mentioning Obama's 2001 radio interview where he mentions how he knows the Constitution expressly prohibits all the garbage he's in favor of.

Although Napolitano doesn't mention McCain by name, he does mention that the 700+ billion dollars of the Billionaire Bailout from earlier in the month was unconstitutional and benefits a small handful of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of everyone else. Which McCain supported, just like Obama, while hilariously accusing Obama of being a "socialist." "Pot, meet Kettle", anyone? (Or perhaps, McCain is fascist because he believes the government should only completely control business rather than outright owning it? But I digress.)

Anyway, really think about that last line for a moment. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" is a quaint old adage. Yet, if you were on trial and asked your lecturing judge for a complete list of all the laws and regulations you were responsible to know and obey he'd laugh you out of court (and to jail) as asking an unreasonable request.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phillies Win!

And my crazy drunken neighbors start shooting off a buttload of illegal (in PA fun is illegal) fireworks!

And I just saw a car drive backwards down the street! O.o;

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Campaign Solo Guide: Part #1

With Wings of the Goddess SE introduced Campaign Battles. They make for OK solo EXP although nothing amazing. I also see people doing all sorts of stupid shit in them. I'm not referring to the /BRD leveling. I did that myself and don't see any problem with it. (Provided you aren't one of the numbnuts who stood out in aggro range of mob spawns MPKing 3/4ths the other people there every 5 minutes. Those people need to die in a fire.)

No, I'm referring to people using blatantly stupid strategies. People not tanking who could be. People who go WHM/NIN and won't raise anyone even after battles. People who use Temp Items but have never done a Supply Campaign Op in their lives.

The first part of this guide to all things Campaign, is Know your Job™. While it's pretty awesome to have a loud retarded kid who finds a way to smash the square peg into the round hole around once in a while (for laughing at I guess?), you don't want to be said loud retarded kid. So, it's important to Know your Job™. Different jobs have different strengths and weaknesses. Exploiting your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses will provide you with a more enjoyable Campaign experience (and make for less time being dead without a Raise).

I see a large number of level 75 people getting their asses handed to them by a single non-NM mob on a regular basis. These things are basically level 70ish Beastmen of various jobs and there's no reason for it.

You need to be able to tank. There's three basic ways to go about this as any job. You don't need to be a Paladin or Ninja to tank. And slapping on /NIN to your Red Mage doesn't automagically transform you into a tank, either.

Play off Existing Strong Points

I see a lot of Red Mages sub NIN. RDM/NIN is great for very strong or hard-hitting mobs. With skill (and Haste gear, something virtually no RDM/NIN I see actually use when trying to melee) a RDM/NIN can straight tank VT or IT+++ mobs even. For weak Campaign mobs though, /NIN is overkill and probably not properly utilized anyway. Red Mages have garbage evasion. Campaign mobs don't hit especially hard. Plus, you get EXP for taking and healing damage in Campaign.

Generally speaking, you need a job/subjob combo that can reduce damage taken, heal yourself, and dish out damage to relatively weak monsters. If your job has garbage evasion, can't Haste itself, and doesn't have a Haste build equipment set you shouldn't be subbing Ninja. There's three basic categories of jobs with three basic ways to go about this: Mage jobs, Melee jobs, Pet jobs. (I'll have job-by-job suggestions at the end.)

Mage Jobs

Most people should recognize from that Phalanx+Stoneskin (with MND gear for Stoneskin) is great at absorbing low per-hit damage. Red Mages would find themselves better served by subbing either WHM (status cures, reraise, etc), PLD (Sentinel, Shield Mastery, Auto Refresh), or BLU (Cocoon, possibly a useful Job Trait from spells?), or even /DNC.

Most mage jobs are in a similar boat as RDM, but lack Phalanx and/or Stoneskin, so they would benefit from /RDM.

Combined with Physical Damage Reduction -% equipment (Earth Staff, Genbu's Shield, Jelly Ring, etc), Phalanx, Stoneskin, and Aquaveil mage jobs can tank a regular mob safely and effectively.

Monk mobs are particularly nice to tank using Phalanx+Stoneskin because their per fist damage is lower so more of it is negated by Phalanx. Same with Gnats.

Melee Jobs

Most melee jobs lack an ability to Haste themselves, heal themselves, don't have Shell to reduce magic damage, and will run out of HP long before a regular campaign mob will just trading blows with one. Some have innate and effective damage mitigation (NIN, SAM, etc) others do not (WAR, DRG, etc).

Evasion varies between extremely high on Thief and extremely like a rock on Warrior. Jobs with naturally high evasion to start with can make decent use of Evasion+/Evasion skill+ gear (Boxer's Mantle and Evasion Torque are great). Jobs with bad evasion to start with shouldn't worry about increasing it and should gear with Haste/DEF/Physical damage-% in mind.

Melee jobs should generally sub DNC for the ability to heal without needing MP. Bloody Bolts and Chakra can provide decent healing for THF/NIN and MNK/NIN, but Evasion can be very streaky and your results will vary (i.e. no problem on your first mob, the second one kills you in 20 seconds). Subbing PLD is also an option for jobs with MP pools to start with, 'Adds Refresh' gear, and/or Shield skill, but less effective. /RDM can also work for jobs with Dagger skill as Energy Drain can replenish MP.

/DNC is your safest bet in most cases though. Multi-hit weapons are awesome for using with /DNC. And Desperate Flourish inflicts Gravity (when it lands) which can be used to kite for some breathing room. Just a few things to remember about Melee/Dancer job combos.

Pet Jobs

Pet jobs are kind of the oddball ones in Campaign. Some the master tanks. Some the pet tanks. Some either could be tanking at any given time. Evasion varies from high to nonexistant. Self-healing varies between very high to none natively. Choice of support job and equipment will vary for these reasons.

Pet jobs that don't have healing pets will want to sub something that provides cures. People playing a pet job generally seem more aware of how their job works than the melees and mages that get slaughtered by non-NMs, so I won't go into those much here.

Job-by-Job Drivebys

Now to mention some things specific to various jobs...

Warrior
Bad Evasion, no native healing (outside Bloody Bolts on non-undead), high damage output.

Gear: Haste, PHYDMG-%, Def/VIT.

Sub: /DNC.

Comments: Multi-hit weapons are great. Make the most of Retaliation.

White Mage
Bad Evasion, extremely high but MP dependent healing, Haste spell, free Reraise, low-medium damage output.

Gear: Auto Refresh, Haste, PHYDMG-%, DEF.

Sub: /RDM /NIN /DNC

Comments: Club+Genbu's Shield is probably your best bet as /RDM. Phalanx+Stoneskin+Aquaveil and /RDM is quite nice and under-used.

Flash is great for recasting shadows as /NIN (or getting Stoneskin back up). Use it.

There's a TON of Haste gear for WHM. You should be wearing most of it if you are going to /NIN.

Regen is very MP efficient, heal yourself with it instead of Cures when possible.

Silence BLM mobs, let DRKs cast their weak spells on you.

Put up Barspells to deal with AoE's (like the Orc Warmachine's fire damage).

Monk
Good evasion, low to moderate healing (Chakra and Invigorate merits), high damage output.

Gear: Depends on subjob choice.

Sub: /DNC /NIN

Comments: For /DNC gear around Haste, PHYDMG-%, Def/VIT/AGI. Genbu's or Arhat's +1 is a decent trade-off for W.turban usually.

If going /NIN you'll need a decent Evasion build and Counter tank while shadows are down. Chakra+Invigorate to heal damage taken.

Black Mage
Bad evasion, no native healing, low physical damage output, very high MP dependent magic output.

Gear: Regular solo gear & PHYDMG-%, Def

Sub: /RDM /WHM

Comments: As BLM you can solo a regular mob via Sleep-Nuke or Gravity-kiting if other people leave the mob alone. You can also Phalanx+Stoneskin and melee with an Earth Staff effectively as well. Or you can start Sleep/Gravity nuking and switch to meleeing when other people pile on to the mob. What's best depends on how many other people are there.

Casting a big nuke on a mob people are fighting and running around like a moron getting beaten to death by it is just moronic and lousy EXP though.

Thief
Very high evasion, no native healing (besides Bloody Bolts on non-undead), medium-high damage output.

Gear: Haste and Evasion

Sub: /DNC or /NIN

Comments: The biggest problem THFs have is being /NIN with a crappy haste build and no way to heal themselves. If you can keep shadows up go /NIN and bring some Bloody Bolts. If not, go /DNC.

Red Mage
Bad evasion, good MP dependent healing, Haste and Refresh spells, low-medium damage output.

Gear: Depends.

Sub: /WHM /PLD /DNC /WAR /BLU /NIN

Comments: Unless you have a good Haste build and are actually really good at /NIN tanking you really shouldn't be /NIN. Phalanx+Stoneskin can provide plenty of protection on non-NMs. (You could still kill NMs by kiting them anyway.) You aren't the amazing JP RDM Avesta who solos IT+++ crap. You're fighting weak Campaign mobs. Taking and healing damage gets you EXP. Remember this.

Gravity and Bind work and can be used to get breathing room and re-apply buffs.

Joyeuse and Justice Sword are both nice for faster TP gain and DoT.

Silence BLM mobs. Let others cast their weak spells on you.

Put up Barspells to deal with AoE's (like the Orc Warmachine's fire damage).

Paladin
Bad evasion, high defensive capabilities, good MP dependent healing, medium-high damage output.

Gear: Auto Refresh, Haste/DEF

Sub: /RDM /DNC /WAR

Comments: By getting Phalanx from /RDM and using a Sword+Shield PLDs can reduce their damage taken to a trickle.

Using /DNC provides extra cures from TP (use a multi-hit weapon) and Samba DoT.

/WAR really should only be used if no other subs are available.

/NIN is pointless without native Haste on a job with terrible evasion.

Dark Knight
Bad evasion, low-moderate healing via Drain spells and Bloody Bolts on non-undead, high damage output.

Gear: Haste/Def

Sub: /DNC /WHM

Comments: You see oddly few DRKs doing Campaign battles, so I'm open to comments on this. DRK has bad evasion and lacks a Haste spell, so I'd just sub DNC and use as much Homam gear as possible.

Drain I&II, Aspir, and Absorb-VIT (Waltz potency is increased with higher VIT/CHR), and Stun should all be put to use on non-undeads.

DRK has a variety of multi-hit weapons available that would be good as /DNC. I'd probably not use KC or Mkris though as they do rather bad damage without BW+SE.

Beastmaster
Bad evasion, Reward to heal pet/no self-healing, medium to high damage output.

Gear: DD gear or same as soloing

Sub: /DNC or /NIN

Comments: Using /DNC for self-cures or /NIN for when your pet doesn't have hate. The WS+Snarl trick when using jug pets is quite effective.

Bard
Bad evasion, high Regen songs available/no native Cures, low-moderate damage output.

Gear: Haste

Sub: /DNC /NIN

Comments: Bard is an odd job for soloing Campaign because it doesn't have native magic skills other than Song-related ones, so being hit recasting Stoneskin will interrupt it almost everytime. Subbed Phalanx will only absorb about ~9 damage as well. For these reasons I'd suggest going /DNC or /NIN and using March songs. /DNC will probably be better EXP/hr. If you go /NIN don't put DoTs on the mobs so you can Lullaby to re-apply shadows if necessary.

Ranger
Bad evasion, no native healing besides Bloody bolts, high damage output.

Gear: Varies.

Sub: /DNC?

Comments: I've seen fewer RNGs in Campaign than DRK and they mostly seemed to Sidewinder and then die right afterwards.

I would probably go /DNC for self-cures. A Multi-hit weapon would be very nice as Slugwinder puts up huge numbers but you wouldn't get to use it if all your TP is used by Waltzes.

I'm open to suggestions for RNG solo.

Samurai
Good evasion, no self-heals, high damage output.

Gear: X-hit build, Haste, Soboro

Sub: /DNC

Comments: SAM/DNC with a Soboro can pretty much spam WS and Waltz and still have TP left over.

Using an Osode or Arhat's +1 body instead of Hauby is recommended as Hauby hoses Samurai's otherwise decent Evasion. Using a Boxer's Mantle and Evasion Torque instead of DD pieces might be a worthwhile compromise too.

Alternate between Seigan and Hasso depending on how your TP gain is keeping up with (or exceeding) your TP needs for Waltz. WS when you've got 100%TP and in safe HP.

Ninja
High Evasion, no self-cures, moderate-high damage output.

Gear: Haste and/or Evasion for when shadows are up. PHYDMG-%/Def/Eva for when shadows are down.

Sub: /DNC /RDM /WHM /WAR

Comments: Subbing /DNC is ideal you get further your Evasion boosted further and self-cures. Ninjutsu debuffs make the mobs very easy to solo.

/RDM or /WHM can work OK as subjobs too. Using a Dagger for Energy Drain is recommended with those subjobs though.

/WAR is great for DDing, but doesn't provide much in the way of added survivability. I wouldn't use it unless you have no other subjobs leveled.

Dragoon
Low evasion, potentially unlimited healing from Wyvern at low HP%, and moderate to high damage output.

Gear: Standard DRG soloing gear. Wyrm Armet and Drachen Armet are very nice.

Sub: Either mage sub (/WHM /RDM /BLM /BLU etc) or /DNC

Comments: As a pet job, where the player tanks with a healing pet, DRG is very nice soloing in Campaign. Unless the mobs use heavy AoEs or Counterattack (face the mob away from your wyvern). (The first can be dealt with by avoiding certain zones as DRG, and will be dealt with in Part #2 or #3 of this series.)

Mage support jobs work very well when combined with Sigil Refresh and possibly a body piece like Ares' Cuirass. Throw in an Ethereal Earring and you'll have more MP than you could ever use. Artifact (and hopefully Relic) head(s) are required.

/DNC works like any other low evasion melee job. Homam all over and spam Waltzes.

Summoner
Low evasion, limited healing from Avatars/no native Cure spells or abilities, low to medium damage output.

Gear: Artifact and Relic armor, HQ staves, etc.

Sub: /WHM or /SCH

Comments: Summoner can get really nice EXP in Campaign battles by spamming AoE buffs on other people. (Hastega is by far the most useful.) It's also possible to solo fairly well with Fenrir or Garuda.

With /SCH's Sublimation and Elemental Siphon it's easy to maintain MP. /SCH doesn't provide a free Reraise though.

Blue Mage
Low Evasion, good self-cures and self-Haste spell, medium-high MP dependent damage output.

Gear: Haste gear (Homam).

Sub: /NIN /DNC

Comments: Many Blue Mages just slap on /NIN and go to town. Which works well when backed up with a decent amount of Haste gear and Refueling.

Using /DNC and Cocoon also works quite well though. Blue Mage doesn't get any multi-hit weapons (that I know of) to provide extra TP, however.

Corsair
Bad Evasion, self-regen no native cures, moderate damage output.

Gear: Haste/Def.

Sub: /DNC

Comments: With rather bad evasion and no native Haste, Corsair like most melee jobs is probably best slapping on /DNC and using Waltzes. Get a Joyeuse for faster TP gain.

Puppetmaster (yay!)
High Evasion, cures from pet, low-medium damage.

Gear: Haste, Evasion

Sub: /NIN /DNC

Comments: Because PUP has rather high evasion and can be cured by the Soulsoother/Stormwaker Automaton /NIN is a viable subjob. Using /DNC and the melee Automaton might work out as better EXP/hr. Both are viable subs though.

Dancer
High Evasion, potent self-cures, Moderate damage output.

Gear: Haste, Evasion

Sub: /DNC! ...I'm kidding. /NIN /WAR?

Comments: With high evasion and more potent Waltzes than other melee jobs are subbing Dancer to get /NIN is a no-brainer.

/WAR may be viable as well. It would have to be tested.

Use Violent Flourish to stun and help get shadows back up when necessary.

Scholar
Bad Evasion, good MP dependent self-cures, Sublimation, low physical damage output, moderate-high magic damage output.

Gear: Standard soloing gear.

Sub: /RDM

Comments: Scholar in Campaign should be played basically the same as BLM or RDM. Sleep/Gravity nuke or pull out a PHYDMG-% weapon (or weapon+shield) and whack the mob silly while keeping Phalanx+Stoneskin+Aquaveil up.

That's it for the job-specific section!

And for the Campaign Solo Guide Part #1: Knowing Your Job™!

Stay tuned for Part #2 What Titles May Come™ which will be named sometime in the future and will be about which Campaign battle areas are most hospitable to which types of jobs.

Seiken Densetsu (spelling? And how do you say that anyway?)

I was listening to RPGBacktrack #3 earlier and around 1:03:00-1:09:00 or so, they mention that kind of an odd thing about how people play RPGs, MMOs, and other stuff with all sorts of weird words in them, and really have no idea how to pronounce half the words in them.

Whether it's Secret of Mana's sequel (great game, worth downloading ZSNES or SNES9x and Googling "Seiken Densetsu 3 ROM") or "Byakko" nobody's really sure how to say the thing 100%.

Just kind of a random thought for the day.

Well, one of two or three.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Final Fantasy Series

I've linked to a great write-up about the FF series in the past. Well, over on RPGamer.com they linked to a very cool FF Retrospective.

It's a 13 part Youtube-like series of videos on the FF games, spin-offs, and the themes that tie them together. However, unlike much of this shit on Youtube (post a comment with suggestions to horrible Youtube content to link to bolded here, I didn't feel like Rickrolling ;-P), they're all very professionally done. And at 8-15 minutes a pop worth a few minutes to take a look.

There's a main page with other Retrospectives (which they're still updating) on games like Fallout, Warcraft, Star Wars, Zelda, etc. Which I think is also worth a look. I found the Fallout link in the end of the first part of the Warcraft Retrospective (which covers WC1 and WC2).

So, if you're looking for something to waste time with at work (and have headphones), I can't recommend anything more!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

PUPdate v5.1

I've been quite busy with Puppetmaster lately. I hit Level 51 earlier soloing in Campaign Battles!

I tried to solo the AF3 BCNM.You can kind of tell how that turned out from the second picture.

I went back today with some friends:And we demolished it!

The cutscenes were really good too.The story was cute and the Automaton had a boatload of 'tude. And all's well that ends well.I'm now a "Paragon of Puppetmaster Excellence" or some nonsense. :-D

I also got a few of my NPC crafted BS thingies:And I finally got the two horribly expensive Automaton attachments off the AH I've wanted for a while.If I get a Coiler off of Ob sometime soon then I'll have the last attachment I need for the RNG and melee frames.

Just my Automaton would wipe the floor with most DDs at this point in a level 51 party...were I able to find such a creature. ~10% Haste and Double Attack. Ignores 15% of a mob's Def and Eva. It has "free" Haste, /WAR, and sushi 24/7 in effect.

The BLM head is also the last frame/head piece available and supposed to be quite good at endgame stuff.

So, my PUP is coming along nicely. Now if I could just get a few decent 10k+ EXP/hr parties and get closer to 75 that would be really great.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

45k for Sh*tty Boots?

Just hand over:

Ruby
Wamoura Cloth
Marid Leather
Platinum Sheet
Imperial Mythril Piece x 2
i.e. 45k gil worth of stuff and get:

Which are rather...crappy.

The rest of the set needs Rubies (no more on the AH...to Qulun Dome I go.), another platinum sheet, a bunch of wamoura cloths, and a few other 5k gil items.

Considering it's the most crapped on job in the game SE could have made Puppetmaster a bit less expensive. People bitch about the cost of Ninja or Ranger (if you're doing them right), but both pale in comparison.

SE certainly did get smarted with Scholar and Dancer though. Both sets of AF are good and they're much cheaper/easier to obtain.

I don't just bitch about things though, I got these earlier.

This made me LOL.

But it's not work-safe.

Warning: May cause you to throw up a little in your mouth.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

PUPdate #50!

I've been leveling PUP some more!

I decided to take advantage of large inanimate level 50ish objects that I could pummel mercilessly without them eating me.Both for EXP and to get my RNG Auto's skill up from 100-something to closer it's 150 cap and to getting the awesome ranged WS, Daze! Which took horrendously long to do.But I finally did it!I have no idea what it does on actual mobs, it does ~40 on Fortifications.

We did a Dynamis - Qufim run just now tonight, which could have gone better at parts...But it started strong...

With this!
Neo is mean and wouldn't let me has. ; ;

Of course nobody else was interested, so...I got the best DDing back for PUP! :-D

I dinged level 50 earlier (hence the title of the post). I also flagged the first Artifact Armor quest and hope to get that set acquired in the next few days. Apparently part of the set is "NPC crafted" and takes expensive shit to make. And I handed in the items to get the BLM head made for my Automaton.

I really need to get the Alchemy PUP attachment making key item as the Mana Converter attachment is never on the AH and it rules for the BLM head Auto. Unfortunately, Alchemy GP has been retarded for the past two weeks so I haven't started it yet.

PUP's pretty cool so far. I just wish I could get an actual, normal EXP party invite. I get stupid shit like invites to East Ronfaure [S] level 37 cap on Colibri. Which I hear are amazing, but no party I've ever been invited to there was killed a single mob.

/sigh

It's slowly, but surely getting to 75 though. (The Easy Prey mobs giving half decent EXP has helped quite a bit as well.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Financial Calamity Caused by the Free Market?

Anthony Gregory has a great article on LRC.com today. He points out the utter stupidity that is nearly everything pundits on Cable TV, Radio, and Newspapers/Internet sites have been saying lately about the chickens coming home to roost on the crooks on Wall St. and at the Fed.

Specifically of note, is this:
Anyone under fifty who went to public school probably remembers this lesson: We used to have laissez-faire, and it caused great inequality, poor working conditions and bank panics, so we had the Progressive Era and the creation of the Federal Reserve. But we still had too much economic liberty and it (not the Federal Reserve) brought on a Stock Market bubble that burst in 1929, so we had the New Deal, the FDIC, national economic planning and the like. While that didn’t quite end the Depression then (perhaps World War II did?), it did guarantee that we would never have one again. Thanks to government interventions from Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson, our modern economy will never have the troubles it did in the 1930s. Central banking and millions of pages of federal regulation keep this economy afloat and comfortably growing.

Now all of a sudden the statists claim we are having the same kinds of troubles, and once again it’s all the free market’s fault – the same free market they said no longer exists, due to decades of intervention. It’s the freedom to buy and sell, to contract with one another, to exchange within a framework of free association, free pricing and property rights that has, once again, brought on economic calamity. Not the century of interventions that they said have guaranteed no such catastrophe would ever again happen. No, the remaining pockets of liberty are at fault.
Anthony Gregory goes on to tear some idiot from the Wall Street Journal a new one over various stupid things he says in his recent article.

He also quotes Ron Paul from five years ago when he warned of the housing bubble and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in particular:
If Fannie and Freddie were not underwritten by the federal government, investors would demand Fannie and Freddie provide assurance that they follow accepted management and accounting practices.

Ironically, by transferring the risk of a widespread mortgage default, the government increases the likelihood of a painful crash in the housing market. This is because the special privileges granted to Fannie and Freddie have distorted the housing market by allowing them to attract capital they could not attract under pure market conditions. As a result, capital is diverted from its most productive use into housing. This reduces the efficacy of the entire market and thus reduces the standard of living of all Americans.

Despite the long-term damage to the economy inflicted by the government's interference in the housing market, the government's policy of diverting capital to other uses creates a short-term boom in housing. Like all artificially-created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, homeowners will experience difficulty as their equity is wiped out. Furthermore, the holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss. These losses will be greater than they would have otherwise been had government policy not actively encouraged over-investment in housing. . . .

. . . Congress should act to remove taxpayer support from the housing GSEs before the bubble bursts and taxpayers are once again forced to bail out investors who were misled by foolish government interference in the market.
So, if you get the opportunity to bitch slap someone who blames the "deregulation" and "the Free Market" for the government's latest crisis of its own creation, by all means please slap the stupid out of them.

Nyzul Isle (Now with 20% more Turtle!!!)

We did three Nyzul Isle runs again last night. Our replacement 6th member needed 11-15 and 16-20 cleared, and people only had 3 tags, so we only did three runs. We lost one to the stupid sequenced lamps. The other two we won. Including one 16-20 one against Adamantoise.

Adamantoise is actually harder than the Valley of Sorrows version. It spams Tortoise Song which clears Ninjutsu and possibly some other buffs as well (I know it does BRD songs; we didn't have one). No pics of that though.

We're now:
4 Fafnir
1 Adamantoise
0 Behemoth

Anyway, those of us with 4 tags did a random Rank 1 Assault afterwards to get some Assault Points. We did the worm killing one and got a ??? Ring.My first ever decent ??? Item appraisal I think. I lotted 950-something for it and I'm not sure if anyone else actually wanted it, so:I've got an awesome ring for DDing in Assault (and possibly someday Salvage).

26% Haste is the actual equipment Haste cap (people say 25%, but it's 26% due to a hexadecimal base and rounding), and I can now hit it and still use Kick Boots as Monk! :-D

I'm hoping to get to floor 40 on Thursday when we go again. I'm 3/25 by my count for my next rank up to...Corporal I think? I'd like to get a Shark Gun for some NIN/RNG fun. And after that it's a long road to whatever next to the top rank has the Perdu Blade.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

12k EXP/hr Black Mage solo (Or: Why KillingIfrit: BLM Forum is mostly useless)

Back around September 13th, FFXI was updated. I posted to Killing Ifrit's BLM forum about a change. Notably (among many other things) was that ToAU and WotG beastmen pets had been "adjusted."

The obvious implication to anyone familiar with BLM soloing BST pets was that they had normal mob HP instead of the miniscule (around 20-25%) the amount that other BST mob's pets had compared to regular mobs of their type for their level previously. Which meant it wasn't possible to one-shot them and get crazy EXP/hr solo as a Black Mage off of them.

Of course, as I've said before: Killing Ifrit sucks. Nobody replied at all for about a month. Although, eventually, two people did confirm that the pet HP was lowered.

Just now I was going to recoup 3-4k EXP on BLM due to some Limbus fun last night.Anyway, I took the Bhaflau Thicket's/Nyzul Isle (Greater Colibri) Runic Portal and was heading to kill some Wamoura Princes on Mount Z when I saw some Mamool's Wyverns and decided to get some cheap EXP.

I one-shotted two of them and their repops for an easy Chain #3. Unfortunately with ~20 minute repops after the first one when they've been left alone for a while, Wyverns have never made good, sustained pet EXP. I recalled my KI thread and decided to do some further "testing" on Mamool's Raptors.
Pretty, aren't they?

Anyway, I killed a bunch of them and have to say the results are pretty nice. The camp is on the ramp opposite where you drop down for the upper bird camp.

The Raptors themselves have between 1200-1250HP and take about 7% less magic damage than the Wyverns did making AM2 a necessity to one-shot them. My nuking gear for reference purposes:Not the greatest by any stretch and I'm Hume to boot. Tarutaru could probably pull off consistent kills with Tier IV nukes and better gear.

What really matters though, is the results. Which I think speak for themselves.About 6k EXP and the Mamool's Wyverns hadn't even repopped when I warped.

If it isn't taken by a TP burn party in the future I'll definitely stop there when passing by. Pet EXP is a lot less work than actual Gravity-kiting BLM solo on Puddings and Princes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Make-believe Maverick

An interesting piece over on Rollingstone about one of the two vile and disgusting excuses for humans running for Emperor of America '08.

The article is ten pages long, but well-written and not hard reading.

Basically, everything John McCain claims about himself is complete bullshit to give you the Cliff's Notes version of it. The actual specifics though are more entertaining (and frightening).

Thar Be Dragons!

We did three Cloud Evokers tonight. First was kind of messy with elementals running around attacking people and an add party that didn't seem to do much with the adds. We won in 54 minutes though. Second went much smoother 45 minute win. Our last run for the night went quite well and we cleared it in 36 minutes.I went Scholar, and apparently Helix spells aren't very good on it.Long boring fight once people know what they're doing.

Now we get to go up against the Wyrmking himself sometime soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Secksy Feets!

I mentioned it, but no SS as I forgot to put one in, but:
Also, I bought two more Bahuts yesterday and now have 79/80 possible storage.I've been completely cramped for space lately since I have some gear I've been leveling PUP with on Evilpaul from my "secret" mule.

I like to keep melee stuff in my Mog Safe and mage stuff in my Mog Locker and have been unable to do so with the few extra pieces.

But, 14 more slots (+16 in storage, -2 in Mog Safe) and I tossed all my SMN gear into Storage as I rarely use it and my Homepoint is in Bastok Markets, so I can access it very quickly anyway.

I could throw away my Bastok Flag (I've got a Aht Urhgan one that does the same thing) and three snowmen, but they're so pretty I can't bare to lose them. I also don't want to buy a 9-draw almirah to replace them as they are expensive.

Lance Corporal!

27/25 Assault points needed to rank up with three Nyzul runs earlier tonight. After touching green pools of nasty water tainted with toxic heavy metals outside town:I hit Lance Corporal rank! :-D

I paid Asrahd a visit and:I got a ring I had wanted for my Scholar's Light Arts (AoE buffs have the same Enmity as Provoke, Cure IV, etc) for a while now. I think that puts my Enmity- to around 20 or so.

<3 Big Bird! :-D

I've gone to help kill Kreutzet a few times for a friend who's got THF leveled.Grats, Petro!

May you poke many non-Puk things with it in the future! ;-D

Only having a MNK/NIN, THF/NIN, and WAR/NIN for the beginning of the fight made it pretty exciting. XD

4/4 Fafnir!

Seriously, what are the odds of getting Fafnir 4 times in a row on Nyzul Isle? He's hardly monstrously difficult, but the turtle is completely LOL and so is Behemoth. Anyway, we killed three more of them today and got Askar and Denali feet! :-D

Brim got the Askar and I got the Denali! We also got two Bard Daggers, a DRK Scythe, COR Gun, and other crap nobody really wanted weaponwise. :-/

Our Second Fight

Monday, October 13, 2008

I thought so.

At the end of my "Fafnir Slayer!" post, I mentioned I thought the "Somebody defeats the Fafnir." looked weird.

Well, scroll down to the picture here, and it seems my memory served me correctly.

Moar Torturer

We camped Kreutzet and Adamantoise after maintenance today. Kreutzet didn't pop on the day that could have wind weather, so I went to the other side to try for some turtle abusing fun.

I guessed the right approximate time for the window, heard some stomping behind me, spun the camera around and hammered my Chi Blast macro. And claimed it!We demolished it pretty quickly (I went as BB MNK this time! :-D) and got two adaman ores. :-/

I have to be like 0/20 on that thing by now.

Kreutzet finally popped while we were fighting the turtle, but somebody else got it. Knife dropped at least, so they won't be back.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fafnir Slayer!

Our 6th didn't show for Nyzul Isle tonight, but we went on a 16-20 run anyway to hopefully get some Nyzul Weaps and Boots.

We had quite good luck with the floors. They were all straightforward kill one or more mobs with no Archaic Gear limitations or Lamps 'o Doom. I went as MNK/NIN. We had a SAM/SAM/MNK frontline and RDM/SCH/BRD backline this time around.

I think I prefer going as NIN/DNC (or /WAR) since I do terrible damage compared to (relic) SAMs or RNGs so I don't actually have to tank much of anything. I actually tanked probably ~50% of the time as MNK. LOL.

Anyway, we got to Floor 20.And we got Fafnir. The worst of the three boss possibilities. I was kind of hoping for an Adamantoise as they are just hilariously weak.

But all went well, and:We whooped Fafnir's scaly ass!

We got the Windslicer which is the SAM Nyzul Weapon and we have two SAMs, so it was much desired. And we got Denali boots. I've been looking at the three sets again lately, and decided to let somebody else get Goliard boots because 1) I'm hoping to get Yigit eventually and don't need both and 2) because I could get Denali and use them for WS on my MNK and NIN. I'm currently using either Fumas (NIN) or Dune (MNK) which don't provide any benefit (outside of Dragon Kick with Footwork up which doesn't count*) to WS.

Unfortunately, one of us is a premature ejector and exited before anyone had a chance to lot on the Denali (I think I was the only one who wanted them?) and the Great Katana which only Brim wanted but hadn't been passed yet.

(*) While mostly useless, if you have a 300%TP wing and Dragon Kick can do some pretty nice damage.And isn't "The Fafnir" a bug? I thought King NMs were considered proper nouns and a specific monster rather than "The Sand Lizard" or whatever. I know Kirin is anyway.

Meh. Whatever.

We won and we'll do Floor 20 bosses plenty more times, so losing two items doesn't matter. It was plenty of fun and kind of a rush with the frenetic pace of it.

Plus, I only need 1 more repeat clear to get Lance Corporal! I think Akanne from our static can rank up in 1 more too. I'd really like to get a Trooper Ring for SCH Light Arts and a Shark Gun so I can have some NIN/RNG fun sometime.

PUPdate!

I made a punny, yay!

Anyway,I was soloing on PUP some more and dinged 44!

Now I'd be able to use Raging Fists if I didn't have merits that had allowed me to for several levels already.

Got Hat?

I'm going to go test it out on some Puddings now.

We did Limbus last night. Apollyon NE.We lost a WHM on the first floor who never came back.

We timed out on the Magic Pot/Doll floor. I ended up being the last man standing on one of the Dolls. With Slow on Utsusemi isn't so hot. I threw on full Evasion gear and did horrid but steady damage. I was evading about half the hits. Then with one shadow left.The fucker literally strips it and then Panzerfausts me for ~300 more HP than I had at the time. I kind of think I only got hit with two of the three hits though as I had Counterstance up and it hit like a truck on regular hits anyway.

Oh well.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Progressive Insurance

I really hope Progressive Insurance goes out of business soon.

They have the second most annoying commercials ever. They are second only to tied in first place Head-On the repetitive shithead commercial people and WaMu the recently bankrupt bank with their "Banker's Pen" and annoying black guy (who now does annoying cellphone commercials).

WaMu died and I like to think their terrible commercials were the cause, so I hope Progressive follows suit.

Um...

WTF.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Nyzul Isle!

We did a few runs last night. Went pretty well:We also got a BRD and DRK weapon which people actually wanted which is cool.

I should only need to get two more clears (23/25 points) until I can flag the Lance Corporal rank up as well. We're going to do a level 16-20 run on Sunday, so hopefully we'll get more weapons and maybe some feet off the boss.

Moar ZNMs!

From just a few minutes ago when I checked to see how my Dark Elemental did...There's a Dark Elemental in there now that's champ that is insane. Mine nuked it three times for 0 damage. While mine got blocks of HP blown off with each of the nukes it took.

I'm guessing it has either INT Bonus, INT+25, and/or Instant Shell. Or some combination of the three. Those would all reduce magic damage taken and the first two would boost it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm not sure why...

But I decided to finally go and re-obtain this AF piece as well today (the other is in storage).It's the best Drain/Aspir pants, so I really should have gotten new ones quite a while ago.