Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jailer of Love...Ouchies.

We did another JoL tonight. It started out pretty uneventful. I wasn't even in the alliance at first.Then one of the BLMs died, so I got into the ally to kill some Love Children.™ (That's probably way funnier than it should be to me right now...but it's 2AM, so meh.)And we killed 9 sets of Love Children™, and the DDs went to work on downing JoL.

Our PLD/RDM and RDM/NIN kind of took turns dying back and forth a few times, but we got it down to about 50% when a fresh spawn of Love Children™ went all instant Aerial Collision x3 on the tank who was unweakened at the time killing him. Our RDM/NIN was still weakened, so we were in a bit of trouble. OK, all the Black Mages are dead, but the DDs can handle the Love Children.™Hmmm. I guess I underestimated the pure pwnage of the Love Children.™

I find wipes are great times to practice my misogynist humor.It needs a lot of work, obviously.

But we re-grouped and still had about half an hour to kill Jailer of Love, so we tried again.And we started full throttle on it.

About ten minutes in we were halfway.At this point, all the Black Mages, myself included, decided to give JoL the Freeze II treatment and Manafont.Which rather quickly knocked off another 20% or so.

I was waiting for Elemental Seal to cooldown still and watching as its HP continued to drop.But, it wasn't to be. Verm dropped a 1.6K Great Axe weaponskill on it and blew off the last few percent of HP.

And we got full drops!!!So yet another BLM has a shiny new Novio Earring.

The Novia Earring went to Verm who's going to use it for the Evasion+7 and for reducing the enmity from his DoT slightly. I've been trying unsucessfully to convince our LS WHMs that Novia is really pretty awesome, but not many people seem to care much about it. It's not like somebody did extensive Enmity testing and then theorized and put it into practice on Scholar which can easily translate to White Mage. /sigh

Anyway, that's my come from behind victory for the year I think (and hope!).

Fishing Time!

I spent much of my time online today fishing. I posted on BG to see where people would recommend I go. I've been doing North Qufim, but there's only one fish there that I target that gives skill ups (Gigant Squid) and those are few and far between. The resounding answer was to try Nashmau. Which isn't the most convenient place for me to go as I don't know how to get there from the Nyzul Isle staging point.

So I hopped on the Ferry and started catching Mercanbaligi (i.e. Breams) and Ahtapots (i.e. Grimmonites). I very quickly got .6 skill to hit 63, and then spent about two hours to get .6 or .7 more.

Once I hit 78 Fishing, I can get a Fishing Guild key item that allows me to start the Ebisu Fishing Rod quest. It's the best fishing rod in the game as it's unbreakable and depletes a fish's stamina the fastest. If I manage to complete the quest, then I can sell my Lu's back for about 3 million gil which is twice what I paid for it.

My fishing excursion also netted me enough fish to make about 20 stacks of Bream Sushi. Which nobody seems to be buying. I also caught fish for making a few stacks of Fin and Tuna sushis. Which aren't selling much either.

So, I'll probably go back to catching Squid until I clear out my inventory. Or perhaps try and skill up Smithing further? Once all that stuff sells I'll have enough to get an Acc+7 ring. Which will be sweet.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dragon Quest VIII Review

The Dragon Quest series was started by Enix in Japan and released to North America in 1989. Some believe Dragon Quest caused the fall of the Berlin Wall, but that's never been proven definitively. What is certain, is that Nintendo pimped the hell out of it as OMG TEH BEST GAME EVAR MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!! in Nintendo Power, and when it came out only five people ran out to buy it. So, they bundled it with Nintendo Power subscriptions rather than burying 250,000 cartridges in the desert next to the Atari 2600's E.T.. This is how I first came into contact with it. The game was very simple. Kill a dragon and rescue the princess. Then go kill the Dragonlord who's castle you could see across a narrow waterway at the start of the game. It was also very primitive. You only fought one monster at a time and only had a single party member. You didn't just walk on stairs and go up or down, you had to stand on them, bring up the menu, click and 'Stairs' to do so.
While later installments made larger parties and fixed the interface up, Dragon Quest VIII is still very much an old school JRPG. It is very grindy. Every time you get to a new area you can expect to have to spend at least half an hour fighting enemies. Sometimes it's more like two hours. There is an ability, Whistle, that can be used to trigger a random battle instantly. That makes it very grindy without having to run in circles like a retard for hours. But grindy nonetheless.

Combat itself is quite pretty like the rest of the game. The enemies are all nicely animated. The general strategy is either to one-shot weaker enemies or to use the 'Psyche Up' ability to charge for a much stronger second round attack and kill all the enemies. This is really kind of a problem in a game that requires you to kill many enemies at practically every new town, area, or event to gain some levels. Battles that give lousy EXP/gold can take several minutes. Harder enemies take even longer. You can't always run away from battles, and you'll spend many hours in them to finish this game.

The boss battles are also more battles of attrition requiring your party to be of sufficient level and just hit the boss over and over while one or two party members spam healing magic/items than in any way strategic. They remind me of the first Breath of Fire in that regard.

The final boss in the game took over an hour to kill. It wasn't possible to use 'Psych Up' or keep any of the Attack, Defense, or Agility buffs up because the boss gets two turns each round and constantly dispels them. Which drags the fight out even longer. On more than one ocassion I shouted "Just fucking die already!!!!" at my TV.The game's story, something that is the main reason many people play RPGs, is nothing to write home about. Evil power threatens the world, turns cute girl into a horse, and it's up to you to save the world by defeating the evil power.

There is also a system of item creation, the "Alchemy Pot." You put ingredients into it and run around until it pings! and you get an item. It immediately rejects combinations that don't work. And you can find partial recipes in books all over the world. In practice, the recipes you find in books are so vague that I doubt anyone actually created anything useful without a complete item listing or a FAQ.

Overall, I'd recommend this game to somebody who finished DQ7 (I didn't) and likes the old school, extremely grindy JRPG. If you cut your teeth on Final Fantaay VII or X and love the Cinematic RPG of the 2000's, then you probably won't enjoy this game. I personally would have enjoyed it a lot more if the EXP requirements were reduced by about 1/3 or so which would cut about 20 hours out of the game. I ended up logging just over 75 hours on it, and I haven't touched the optional post-game dungeon or gotten the "true" ending. A good bit of that time was level grinding to gain some levels so I could kill the boss fight I got stuck on.

It's hardcore, and not in the good way that Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is hardcore. It's hardcore in a "go grind for two hours and come back!" way, which at this point is my life I'm not really that big a fan of.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Totally Awesome.

It trades in for this in case you're wondering.

62 Fishing & Dynamis - Xarc

I did some more Fishing yesterday, and finally hit level 62!I was hoping to get to do some more fishing today, but my PS2 is overheating every few minutes making that rather difficult. Which also kind of ties in to the next topic...

Dynamis - Xarcabard!

We did another Xarc run last night. We got a decent amount of drops in general.Several BLU bodies too.

For what has to be the third time in a row, somebody managed to aggro the entire group of NMs at the SMN tower. (We were doing the NMs one at a time and sac pulling.) I guess it would help if people don't go and walk up to them and then run back to the rest of us probably. >.>

Anyway, I started soloing the SMN while people finished off the PLD (right job?).In the end the Haste from my gear and the RDM's spell wasn't enough to keep shadows up, so it killed me somewhere between 80-90% HP. With Elegy and a little luck with TP moves I could definitely solo that thing though.
I'll get you next time, Nebiros!
And as I mentioned before, my PS2 overheated a little while afterwards and gave me shit for an hour, so I didn't get to see the end of the run.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

JoL! Proteus Solo! Also, Alexander Returns!

We did another Jailer of Love last night!

This was after going to camp Shikigami Weapon w/o the precise ToD for two hours. The correct answer was 10PM, not 7PM, so we didn't get to fight it. Or watch anyone else fight it.

Moving along...the best part of any JoL fight is probably chatting while doing it. Because unless you're doing it completely wrong it's a pretty boring fight.Around 4% HP our tank got blown up or crush and oscillated or something. So I ran to the brim of JoL's hood and started Stun/Blind/Dispel and ate two nukes before being charmed.Naturally, I died shortly thereafter.But AV popped and killed everyone else who didn't, so muwahahahahahaha!!!!

We got full drops (Torque, both earrings, etc.), so I think I'm next up for a Novio Earring. Which, other than the 12mil Morrigan's Robe, is the biggest upgrade available for my nuking damage. I'm not sure when we'll be killing another one, but there's apparently 3 popsets left.

Proteus Soloing!

I forget why exactly, but I decided to go and try soloing Proteus. Sure enough, it popped. I claimed it as SCH/RDM. And started kiting+DoTing it. The ideal method to kill it is to deaggro it repeatedly up by the Captain's room. But you can't really do that with other people on the ship because a) you might MPK them and get jailed/banned and b) they might steal it or even accidentally claim it and CFH voiding your progress.

Needless to say, I got screwed with super short Gravity/Bind durations (Thanks, for that known issue, SE!) and promptly died. But then, so did the SCH and RDM who claimed and tried to duo it after me.They ended up timing out with about 25% health left at Nashmau.So, I'll have to try again today probably. It's definitely doable if I'm by myself on the boat.

An Interlude...

Again, it's unclear to me why exactly, but I didn't have /shout filtered when I went to help with ToAU 42 and 44. And I saw this:I think it went on for 30+ minutes.

ToAU 42...Ick.

Sleep wasn't working for its normal duration where the Wiki said it worked. And the WHM there didn't seem to Haste me much. So we lost twice and I died like 5 times. No EXP loss though, so other than the aggravation it didn't really matter.

I should also point out, that the Imperial Gears had 100% accuracy on me in Evasion gear as Ninja (297 skill, +30 Evasion, AGI+19, etc). They did miss somebody else once in the logs, but it was an RDM, so it was just the hardcap kicking in.

We won on our third go at it, so it was on to Big Daddy Alex.

ToAU 44...Again.

I finally beat this for myself a few months ago. It's a fairly challenging battle of attrition, so I volunteered myself for it yet again. The BLU went down fairly easily. Formless Strikes counts as magic damage and served in place of having a BLM come along to solo the second RR.

When we got to work on Alexander things were going fairly well.We got it down to 50% or so and had some MP problems, but Convert was ready again in a minute or two and we continued to work him down.

Around 10% Alex got nasty and combined with low HP started to wipe us. We all managed to die in safe spots and RR with 10 minutes remaining. Unfortunately, the last 4% proved too much.So we lost.

Had Alexander gone with damage TP moves instead of his 1.1k HP healing move 10 times (I counted), we'd have won with time to spare probably.

/sigh

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Of Mirrors and Raptors

Archaic Mirror Soloing

I've been soloing on Black Mage the past two days to get my fourth INT merit. (Mission accomplished:76 Base INT as BLM/RDM, Yay!)

Anyway, as I was heading to the West Wamoura Princes camp I stopped along the way to solo the Archaic Mirror. There's two Ebody Puddings in the North half of the tunnel. Killing those there's a clear path to the zone line.After that, there's two VT Scorpions and two True sight Troll Mirror Guards. The two Trolls seem to be a DRK and WAR and are easily zoned. They're NMs technically, so they don't depop but do walk back pretty fast.

A little bit of Bio 2 and a final AM2, and:It seemed to repop pretty quickly being back in under four hours. The Troll Guards depopped after I killed it too.

Hand it in in Whitegate, and get some free IS!Around ~200 or so it seems.

So, if you're a RDM at the bird camp or something and your party disbands or a BLM just heading to the Wamoura island, consider taking out the Archaic Mirror on the way.

I'm not aware of any others that are in similar sort of spots making them easy solo fodder. I'll have to check out Mamook and Arrapago though.

Black Mage (and Puppetmaster?!) Pet EXP at 75!

I've written before about soloing BLM EXP at the top of the Greater Colibri Nyzul Isle camp, but want to mention it again.

This is really an amazing spot to get some easy EXP. It's a little dangerous, but you can prepare for that. So let's get started.

When you arrive, kill the two Mamool's Wyverns up top. Rest. Kill the repops.

At this point, the Mamools will be Wyvernless for ~20 minutes, so Invis-up and go down the hill ahead on the left. You want to get slightly below the first bump on the hill. Here's my attempt at a crude drawing.From this spot you shouldn't get aggro from the top and definitely not from the bottom.

Kill the first Raptor and then wait about 20-30 seconds. Kill the second raptor. Then start resting MP. AM2 will one-shot them as long as it doesn't resist. If you get a resist at any point doing this you'll want to hit your panic macro immediately and get the hell out of there. As they are only Toughs, resist won't happen very often and you can pretty frequently get to Chain #5 depending on how much the Raptors are walked and stand out of range.As for the eventual resist, it's generally a Very Bad Thing.™ You'll have a half-dead Raptor, it's owner, and probably one to three other Mamools coming to pay you a visit. For this reason, you'll want to keep Phalanx, Blink, and a MND-boosted Stoneskin up while you kill. The instant nature of kills makes this less annoying and potentially chain breaking than other BLM soloing that involves multiple nukes and kiting, however.

You'll also want to make an "Oh shit!!!" macro for the inevitability of when you do eventually get resisted and have 5 adds. The key here is just to swap in all the Physical Damage -% gear you have available as well as decent DEF/VIT pieces, use Manafont, and Warp out. Terra's Staff, Jelly Ring, and Sorcerer's Earring are all good starting points. You can also get Goliard Legs from Nyzul Isle and if you have a Defending Ring somehow use that too.

Make sure to put a '/wait 1' between Manafont and Warp as well or it won't fire off properly. You also need to wait for the casting bar to mostly finish or Manafont won't go off and you'll probably be interrupted. There's a delay between a spell going off and being able to use Job Abilities. (This is probably obvious to Scholars, NIN/DNCs, and DNC mains.) Keep in mind there's no need to panic, you'll nearly always get out fine if you had buffs before hand and Manafont Warp at the first sign of massive trouble.Another nice thing about the Pet Solo EXP is that if you plan on heading there and it's taken either by a party or by a solo BLM or PUP, you are right up the hill from Halvung. From Halvung you can go through the tunnel to Wamoura Princes or Escape and be on the Pudding camp side. It's such easy EXP though, why would you want to?

So, if you are soloing on BLM go check it out. Unless you're on Hades, then I might be there and you should go pre-charge some birds with -ga3s or something.

Extra Gay Irvine?

Is it just me, or does the Royal Redingote look like something Irvine from FF8 wore?Uncanny, isn't it? It has this weird sway when you run in it too. Kind of the weird Elvaan F running animation almost.

I'm predicting the reward for the Kupo De'tat (however it's spelled) add-on will be Kuja's G-string. And further predicting a Haste+3% Augment being available for it.Now that's some zazz!

TTFN!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Final Battle Approaches!

A Quick Dyna-Xarc Recap...

Many people starting up FFXI consider defeating Dynamis Lord to be beating FFXI. I think that's a pretty decent assessment. I've killed him before and my dynamis LS attempted him again on Friday.I think it went well.

Anyway, more ACP stuff...

Temenos - Delkfutt

The second to last mission (oops, spoilers!) has you climb Delkfutt's tower and collect key items that are surrounded by beastmen. No biggie, right? I can slaughter those things three at a time on Monk! Well, it's level capped to 30 making it fucking annoying.A little "Metal Gear Evilpaul" as NIN/BLM and I was at the top.It was pretty easy actually, although it does rely a bit on luck and patience.

After that I cashed in my Colored Key key items in Tenshodo.I also got an Elixir. Totaling about 27K gil worth of crap. Assuming the Elixir sells.

Apparently, LS people did the final BCNM last night without me, so I'll need to find a group to come kill the final boss.

Story Woes

Also, I'm up to the very ending BCNM and this story makes no goddamned sense. Could they somehow tie it all together? Maybe, but I'm really not thinking it's going to happen. Hopefully, the other two expansions will be less retarded. Fetch quests, level caps, and lame stories don't make me excited for them.

UPDATE: I beat the final battle! We went in and CS Stun melee zerged it. It ended up being down to the wire as CS wore off, but we beat it down for the last 1% and won!

My final key from the mission yielded this:I decided to go with the BLM&SCH option for the body piece reward.It'll make a nice body piece for nuking. It's fuck ugly though.

The story itself is kind of bad. It's pretty out of left field and although it does tie together some loose ends, it doesn't really make any sense how it does it. I can't say I'm excited about the next two at all. They're going to basically be selling them soley by dangling a shiny new item from here on out.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Expansion Thus Far...

I completed the "Those Who Lurk in Shadows" mission yesterday. I've got to say that the fight was pretty anti-climactic. It was actually harder to get people together for it than it was to win it. Which is kind of surprising seeing as you don't need the expansion to help and get an Ivory Key for potentially cool shit (STR+2 earring with Attack/Ranged Attack+2~4 possibly, MND earring, etc) from the Tenshodo.

The people I went with liked my wacky forum sig that Rowec made for me.It's certainly better than my old MS Paint one I made myself. Much funnier.

Anyway, the fight was a joke.The mobs are DC-EMish beastmen. If you use a melee burn Operation Desert Swarm strategy it's quite easy. We had MNKx2, SAMx2, RDM, WHM. The Monks (me and the other guy) and the Samurais each paired up and slaughtered a mob and then picked one of the two others.

The Goblin teleports around Goblin Rushing people from behind. Somebody on the Wiki made that sound astonishingly powerful, but I get the feeling it was on a Monk with Counterstance up. It was nothing a Cure IV couldn't handle when I did it.

The strategy I would suggest for anyone trying it is to take a similar setup, but different kill order. Pair off and take down the Quadav (WHM) and Goblin (THF) first. The mobs seem to share hate somehow, but I'm not sure exactly how it works. Maybe in a circle of sorts? The Orc came and attacked me when I had hate on the Quadav. The Goblin seems to assist the Yagudo. But anyway, then just kill the first two and then switch off and take down the Yagudo (RDM) and Orc (WAR) afterwards. The WHM and RDM might come /NIN so that they have some protection and melee the mobs too. If possible separate the mobs similar to ODS as they all have annoying AoE TP moves unique to this BCNM.

It's not a hard fight, so I'm sure a lot of strategies would work fine. The last two missions though look to be a pain in the ass.

Rewards?

I've been thinking about what I'd pick as the final reward for finishing the expansion. There's a decent amount of Augments that would make something good for SMN or PUP, but I already have body pieces for both jobs. That leaves BLM&SCH and MNK&NIN.

For BLM I could go with:
Fast Cast +5
Magic Atk. Bonus +4
or
Magic Acc. +4
Magic Atk. Bonus +4
According to tests people have done, this comes out only slightly behind a Genie Weskit.

For SCH I could do some sort of Light Arts piece (Enmity-5 and Fast Cast+5), but I don't really use SCH to buff/heal very much. So I'd probably go with the second BLM option on SCH too.

Monk could use a Hauby rip-off (Accuracy +10, Attack +10), but I've already got a D.body so it would be little/no improvement.

Ninja could get a pretty nice TP piece from Dual Wield -3%, Accuracy +10. This would be pretty sweet actually. I use the NIN AF body for TP usually, and nearly as much a delay reduction with Acc+10 would be better nearly always. But I very rarely go as NIN to DD, so I'm not sure how much use it would really get.

I'm thinking I'll go with the second BLM option probably. It's a solid nuking piece for BLM and SCH, so I'll get plenty of use from it.