Sunday, May 31, 2009

Green Chocobo!!!

I did an ISNM run a while back and got a Chocobo Egg. Which is rather unremarkable, given them being 100% drops and all. Buuuuuuut, this is my first ever to be a color other than yellow (1/5)! I got green tips at Day 19!!!

It also still really likes me despite not checking on it for almost a week. If only Grain Seeds were so forgiving.

Also, I did my first SCNM run in Castle Oztroja [S] tonight, which I'll write about (and get some pictures off my PS2 of) tomorrow. One of the NMs practically Chainspelled Cure V. It was pretty interesting.

Good night!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

RPGCast 85 - Nerd Rage Edition

The new RPGCast is out. It's entertaining like always, and they had a reader feedback topic last time of "Most Disappointing RPG." A controversial topic to be sure. And one they discussed in the podcast.

As I'm sure many people are already aware, I harbor a certain level of...hatred for FF8. So, when somebody rips on FF9 which I think was pretty decent, if a little ridiculous like the rest of the FF games really, I must respond. ;-)

They also talked about Chrono Cross and mentioned FF8 a few minutes later. So, what follows is my slightly over the top (and tongue in cheek) reply to their discussion.
Firemyst, Chrono Cross is a most disappointing RPG? Did you play it? It was pretty awesome for its time until the last two hours or so when it had the wall-o-text exposition thing Xenogears had. People were all "OMG FF13 IS SO AWESOME!!!" when it completely stole Chrono Cross' encounter system.

The 'tards on 1up.com didn't even have the background to realize it on their embarrassing narrated playthrough. Including their Bonk-skulled editor who wrote a Chrono Cross strategy guide.

Chris, choke yourself with my hand! How anyone could play FF8 after playing FF7 and then point to FF9 as disappointing because it wasn't as awesome as FF6 makes me hope for another Great Flood so all the unbelievers may once again be kept by the Sea.

Victor, you are Evilpaul-approved for crapping all over FF8 as complete and total epic failure and for bringing to point how stupid the imbeciles who like FF8 are. It was feculent garbage in every way, but showed us how some people have a taste for such wretched detritous.

As I continue listening, I shall drink deeply, and tell people how they are wrong more as I progress further through the podcast. Peace be with you. :devil:
The part being mentioned is about 25 minutes into it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

RL & FFXI /sigh

A minor and deliberately vague RL update. I mostly stick to FFXI and miscelaneous gaming here, so it won't be specific or long.

Things have been mundane and a little depressing for a while now. There's finally some exciting and promising stuff though for the first time in quite a while. I'm hoping I can make that stuff work out.

FFXI

FFXI has been pretty boring. Random LS events Dynamis, Limbus (...yay.), SCNMs, etc. about half of which seem to get cancelled.

I haven't felt like grinding out a bunch more merits or another job lately.

I lost a Campaign rank and don't feel like getting it back. It's not like they actually do anything of value.

Getting Smithing from 50->60 is going to take quite a while. Getting Goldsmithing from 47->60 looks really expensive and I'd kind of rather save my gil for another Acc+7 ring or Salvage piece upgrade materials.

Salvage is cancelled the next two weeks apparently, but only two people have even said they're willing to actually do Assault with me anyway, so that doesn't matter much.

/sigh

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Mount Bullets"?

I've been up on Mount Z. doing some mining in furtherance of my Smithing skill up plans. Which is going quite slowly, actually. I've gotten .2 skill in my two trips there the past two days.

As far as gil from doing it goes, it's going quite well. I got one Khroma Ore and ~100k worth of other crap. Looking at the list of possible items you can dig up and what you can synth from the stuff for profit, it's...mostly bullets.

Hence my super-creative title.

So, I thought I'd share a little of bit of info on how you too can break many a pickaxe hoping to see some Khroma Ores too.

There's a few things to consider. The first, is not getting eaten.Sneak/Invis!

If you spend any amount of time in an area of the game with aggro, and don't have the means/desire to solo and kill a swath through where you're going, you're going to need to be able to Sneak and Invisible yourself. And with how much aggro there is on a mining circuit in Mount Z oils/powders aren't going to cut it.

This makes WHM, RDM, or SCH very nice to have as a main or subjob as they get the no recurring gil cost spells. But there's magic aggro at several mining points worth hitting, so you'll need to be a master of Metal Gear, love burning gil on oils/powders or come as NIN main or /NIN for Tonko.

It's also good to have an easy escape route. You'll definitely aggro something eventually. If you can't kill it (and there's VTs where you'll be mining) the mob will be glad to demonstrate its killing skills on you.

If you have the option available, I find NIN/SCH works really well. Aggro something? Sleep it and log out. Can't sleep it? Blink tank it to a nearby Halvung zoneline, Mijin Gakure, or wait for Sleep to be up and try again. SCH/NIN probably would too, but you can't Mijin Gakure if you don't realize there's Besieged soon and aggro say, Garhorlur the Brutal and his two brothers.

RDM/NIN, WHM/NIN, etc all would be pretty decent mining job combos.

Next, you're going to spend a large portion of your time walking around looking for a mining point, so you may as well do that as quickly as possible.

Movement+

If you're a THF main or sub THF for some reason you could Flee once in a while. Not really worth it in my opinion though. I prefer something that works most/all of the time.

Herald's Gaiters/Hermes' Sandals are two ridiculously expensive and pretty expensive options (unless you get them free from your HNMLS or something). A more accessible one which works a lot of the time is Desert Boots. There's frequent earth weather on Mount Z, and you'll get +12% movement with it. If you're a SCH main, you can of course use them full-time with Sandstorm.

There's other Job specific ones like NIN AF feet at night, Skadi feet, Trotter boots, W.legs, etc that you probably know about if you have a job that can use them available.

Regardless of your job, you can use Sprinter's Shoes and then switch to something else.

Bard main (or sub) can provide you with Mazurka which is a nice boost as well.

There's really so many options available that you should be able to use at least one.

Aggro!

You should also be aware of what mobs aggro and under what conditions. The short list is that pretty much everything except the leeches and apkallu will try to kill you if its aware of your presence.

Lesser known specifics are that Wamouras (the moth monsters) aggro true sound up close and to magic from quite a distance away. You probably won't be able to outrun one either as they move rather quickly.

Erucas (fire crawlers) will have 100%+ TP from a Regain effect they get during Fire weather and may one-shot you with Incinerate. (Which I personally find quite amuing.) They also seem to aggro from quite far away during earth weather. And they're diurnal unlike most other creatures in Vanadiel which don't care what time of day it is.

The rest of the mobs are fairly standard.

Don't Leave Home Without It!

Things you'll want to bring include the obvious: Pickaxes. You can't mine without them and they break a LOT.

Mining armor gear will save you gil over time with fewer broken pickaxes. (The HQ's effect is the same as the NQ.)

Reraise isn't a bad idea either. Mount Z is a dangerous area, losing less EXP if you die is always a good thing.

Sanction Refresh will keep your mage job/sub with plenty of MP for Sneak/Invis.

And if you plan to mine on Mount Z, you'll definitely need to get a Cast metal plate.

TTFN!

And that about raps it up! Happy Khroma Ore digging!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

So when's the next version update?

July or August? Is another of the $10 fetch quest things being released? Shouldn't we be hearing something about it soon?

Inquiring evil people everywhere want to know.

Persona 4 Mini-Review

If you enjoyed other SMT games and haven't picked this one up yet, I would reccomend doing so! Helpful, right?

To be slightly more detailed, it's about a highschool kid who moves to rural (or more like suburban from my view) Japan for a year to live with his uncle and cousin because his parents are working abroad. Gruesome and mysterious murders start shortly thereafter. The plot progression is a bit formulaic at parts and characters will kind of restate the obvious in blatant expositions a bit for my liking, but it's full of twists and turns I didn't see coming on my first playthrough. What really makes the story for me is the likeable characters and interesting but not particularly difficult "social sim" aspects with Social Links.

You end up with an "Investigation Team" of sorts of a few other highschool students trying to get to the bottom of the murders. Hanging out with your buddies will strengthen your friendship with them and provide in-battle bonuses like them taking a moral blow (which results in an immediate Game Over otherwise) for you, providing additional attacks, and curing status ailments. Getting to a nearly capped relationship level also allows your pals to survive mortal damage themselves.

The combat is a modified "Press Turn" system from SMT: Nocturne. If you score a critical hit or exploit an elemental weakness, an enemy will be knocked down. Further exploiting a weakness can make a foe dizzy and cause them to be unable to act on their next turn. This works both ways though which provides some momentum in battles. If you knock all the enemies down, your group can launch an all out attack that seems to do several critical hits worth of damage and ignores any physical damage resistance. This is pretty cool looking with a very cartoony clouds of dust and "bam!" "splat!" sort of text bubbles.

I'm not sure if enemies can have a similar all-out bum rush, but it would be really hard to get all your party members knocked down at the same time because of their different elemental weaknesses.

The combat takes place in some dungeon-crawly mazes which are integral to the plot (which I'm not going to spoil). Enemies appear as shadowy blobs and you can gain an advantage of a free round of attacks (or a penalty round) by striking by surprise from behind.

Player characters get their elemental strengths and weaknesses depending on what Persona they have. One character gets Ice magic spells and physical attacks and has Ice immunity and Fire weakness. The main character can obtain probably well over 150 different Personas all with varying strengths and weaknesses through a process of fusing existing Personas. Much of the battle strategy is in bringing party members capable of exploiting the more common elemental weaknesses in a particular dungeon and having your main character with Personas that aren't particularly vulnerable.

Boss fights tended to be against targets with no particular weakness which makes them fairly long, so having buffs and debuffs available is very important for them. One particular boss spams a variety of super charged elemental magic on your entire party and is very difficult unless you have a spell that reflects the damage back onto it. In general you will be able to win boss fights unless your characters are grossly undereleveled or your main character has no suitable Personas.

The music is...pretty repetitive. There's about 20 tracks or so I'd say, which isn't much in a game that can take over 100 hours to finish your first time through. Most of it I find catchy or at least tolerable though, so I can't complain much about it.

The game progresses through about a year of time and each day is split into several segments. You choose what activities to engage in whether it's soccer practice, going into a dungeon to kill shadows, or trying to impress and date whichever one of your female classmates strikes your fancy. Managing this is something of a balancing act, but not overly difficult with a list of what activities you can do when being available in-game.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend Persona 4 to anyone that's a fan of JRPGs. With the interesting Social Link interactions it may also be something that you could play with your significant other (maybe minus some of the dungeon crawling) and both be entertained. The story is interesting, though hardly mind-blowing, and the characters are likeable. There is also Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulty modes available for people who aren't too hardcore on learning about the battle system.

And this was supposed to be a mini-review, but it's long as hell, so I'll say it's mini because I'm too lazy to add spoilerfic pictures.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

Show your appreciation for the people who stopped Hitler and whatnot!

(And may the police not excessively grope your genitals like they did mine three years ago today.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Does anyone actually like doing Assault Missions?

I'm curious, because Red Vs. Blue seems to be the only one that exists apparently.

I could actually go from Corporal to whatever rank is two full ranks higher and not touch any newly opened missions on the way if I got new mission clears. But actually finding people to do the damn things is more difficult than nearly all of them.

/rant off

Dynamis-Xarcabard, Smithing, and Salvage!

Dynamis - Xarcabard

Was quite lame.I arrived a bit late, but we were still at the beginning more or less. On the hill where you kill the three eyes and their demon spawns one at a time we had a bit of a problem. A certain BLM cast Thunder IV on the next eyeball too early. And our resident Maat's Cap guy/lootwhore/idiot aggro'd other shit. (He was probably busy telling everyone how the Condemnation TP move works and how you shouldn't face the demons at mages for the 34th time in the last 5 minutes and didn't notice where he was standing or something.) And both decided to blame it on me rather than 'fess up. At least Astral Flow went off to fuck up everyone.

It would have been pretty awesome if I had aggro'd though. I could as MNK/NIN in Haste/Acc/Att gear do shit that THF/NINs can't with Perfect Dodge and magic damage reduction gear. Piss off one eyeball, one statue and five demons and not get so much as a fucking scratch. That's some hot shit right there.

Anyway, I'm not going to make a whole post about Hamichin being retarded. Moving along...

Smithing!

I finally decided to grind out a few more levels of Smithing. And I got from 45.something to 50.2!I mostly made Gorgets. I NPC'd about 2/3rds of them and have the rest muled to sell on the AH to people getting Sea WS gorgets.I turned in a Mythril Pick and am uncapped until my final goal of 60 Smithing. I'll mine on Mount Z to get mats for Steel Ingot synths.

My overall plan looks like this:
34 - Plain Caps
36 - Steel Sheets
40 - Steel Scales
44 - Mythril Bolt Heads
47-48 (53 cap) - Gorget
51 - Steel Finger Gauntlets
54 - Steel Ingot
56 - Steel greaves
60 (66 cap) - Nodowa
I'll just switch over to Steel Ingots a level earlier than previously intended. Those are practically pure profit, and I will hopefully get lucky and be posting about how I got 8 Khroma Ores in two hours mining. Or more likely post bitching about all the POS hacking RMT.

Whatever happens it will involve pickaxes.

Salvage!

I did some more Salvage with my LS subgroup static. Another Arrapago Remnants run. Morrigan's Legs, Are's Legs, and Marduk Feet 15s dropped towards the end from Archaic Gears. We were only 6/7 members, and ended up timing out on Floor 6.

I think we need to speed up our first floor. We spent close to half the time down there and I don't think we needed all the weapons and whatever other thing we got from it (waist/back?) was.I'd also really kind of like two things.

First, somebody to do some Assault missions with. I don't do that whole /shout in Whitegate for hours thing.

Seriously, fuck that.

I spent about three hours today watching /shouts for some Assault of some kind while surfing these here intarwebz and listening to podcasts. Every single shout for Assaults was for Nyzul Isle. I've cleared floor 100 already and other than mediocre WS don't have much to show for it. Goliard Hands, Body, and Feet would be cool to have for Scholar, but not that great really.

If I'm going to do Salvage I kind of need to be getting up in rank and getting some Assault Points for a Remnants Permit.

Second, Arrapago Remnants is kind of the perfect storm of a place that drops absolutely nothing I want.

The boss, which I've never seen, drops the 25 piece for Usukane hands. Usukane head, hands, and feet are all pretty awesome, but the other two are better, and we haven't made it to the boss yet anyway. So, assuming we do get there and kill the boss, and the 25 hands drop...I don't know if the others are going to lot the stupid things.

The only other Usukane in the zone is the 35 leg piece. 35 pieces are rare as fuck apparently and people go 1/358 on them routinely. Which makes it a very rare drop for a piece I would not consider using on Monk unless I already had every other drop and the millions of gil to upgrade them from the Usukane set. Usu legs are pretty nice for PUP, but I only go PUP to stuff I'm doing by myself once in a while. There's no "EP, can you come PUP to whatever we're doing, please?"

I'm going to stick to Usukane only as far as lotting goes, shouting for hours to get AP and spend them all over and over on a zone that doesn't drop anything really isn't very appealing.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

9th Vanadiel Census...Predictions!

There's a preliminary survey for the 9th Vanadiel Census up on POL.com. It's actually kind of interesting and makes it look like the person who wrote it actually plays FFXI. (There's a question that mentions merc'ing HNM drops, for instance.)

So anyway, I've decided to go look at the 8th Census and see if I can guess what will be different this year. Mostly, because I'm waiting 8 game hours for the Smithing Guild to open.

The first page is Login Distribution. I have no ideas/don't really care how this changed. I bet a lot of people logged into Bahumat and Odin. And I still think Lakshmi server isn't real. On to page 2.

Main Job Level Distribution will look about the same I think. I'm not sure how they calculate or determine your main job though if you have a bunch leveled like many players do. Maat's Cap Acquisition will be higher, obviously. I'm thinking about 8,500 from the 6,575 last year. It's a remarkably un-awesome piece for most jobs, so I'm not planning to ever attempt to get one. I haven't even beaten Maat on NIN or MNK yet. On to page 3.

Main Job Distribution I'm going to go out on a limb and say the percentages for Samurai and Scholar have doubled or tripled from 1% to 3%. I see lots of people leveling those jobs, they're kind of the bandwagon melee and mage jobs at the moment.

I'll also predict the 9th Census text mentions something about the WHM and RDM changes having had some impact on a tiny change in those job's popularity despite how unlikely that is to be true.

Main/Support Job Rankings are probably going to have WHM/SCH showing up. It's taken quite a while, but /SCH is really picking up in popularity. Onward to page 4.

Racial Distribution much like real life I don't care what race people are. Unless you're a Galka. Fuck those guys. (I'm kidding. :-p) To page 5 with much haste!

Face Type Distribution the Shantotto tarutaru face is much cuter than the one most people pick. Screw most people. To page 6!

Linkshells the average number of people in them hasn't changed much/at all since I've been playing, so I think it'll stay about the same. What lies in wait on page 7?!

Goods Most Placed On Auction these are unsurprising if you know what major quests and/or crafts are located in which cities. Moat Carp in San d'Oria?! You sunk my battleship!

In Jeuno I think we'll see some changes. Bahuts are no longer the storage solution and will be back down to not listed. I think Crab Sushi and/or Marinara Pizza may make an appearance on the list as well as they are both new, popular foods.

Relic Acquisition (4th stage and final stage) there will be more than last year. Mostly Great Katanas, Scythes, Guns, Shields and Horns like last year.

They'll probably also include Mythics and we'll be shocked to find out there's a bunch nobody on BG even knows about. To page 8!

Synthesis Skills the general trend of Veteran percentages going up a bit will continue. More Craftsmen too. I've gotten to 60 in a bunch to help that this past year.

Is this over yet? Find out on page 9!

Chocobo Raising they're mostly yellow, and there are people still doing it?! Shocking! 10, go!

Home Point Area Ranking well, we'll see Bastok Mines as quite popular due to the move of the OP dude and the RMT gardener craze. North Sandy may go up as well. Other than that it'll be basically the same.

Page 11 is all about where people are in the expansion missions. More people will be finished CoP and ToAU than last year obviously. I don't see much changing in Assault rankings though. If you're serious about finishing to First Lieutenant you probably did already.

On Page 12 they cover GM calls and the STFU. Since both are basically useless, I don't really care about either.

Lucky page #13 is the end! Yay!

Now to go synth up some Gorgets.

20.

20.

37 + 63 vs. 21 + 12 (well -60 too, I guess).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This Week in FFXI (Now with pictures!)

I've mentioned some/most of these things previously, so it'll be brief.

I did some Arrapago Salvage:We timed out after killing this thing.I thought it was the final boss. lol

I pulled it and couldn't find it for quite a while until it finally popped (or showed up through the lag finally).

I also did My First ISNM: Puk Edition.™It's hilariously easy.

I'd still like to get some Royal Ramble KS30 runs going. Apparently two SAMs can kill the NMs in a few WS per NM. They're supposed to be very weak unless magic is cast on them. And it's a guarranteed 200k+ gil per orb. No 30mil potential like a Speed Belt from The Early Bird Gets the Wyrm, but nice easy gil and doable with 6 people for mere mortals.

There's also the Crit+6% Polearm, Destroyers, Sword, and something else I forget at the moment.

After ISNM, I went to try skilling up Guard with King Kupofried's magic blessing of whatever.Which is how I verified that Guard skill ups don't work with it.

Then on to Dynamis - Qufim and to maybe get Evilpaul his belt of Argute goodness.Unfortunately, the CS stun didn't start until after Antaeus used his AoE rape throwing attack and some other TP move killing half the alliance.We got a bunch of regular relic drops though, so it wasn't a total loss.

I leveled my 25 Bard from 2005 to 32 the night before last. We stopped part way to do Genkai 2 for our LS's WHM alt character.They did something weird with the NMs when they weakened them further a year or two ago. Garuda completely tore them apart while my Monk WS were unspectacular.

After the G2 detour, it was back for more leveling Bard.In Qufim earlier I had just been Minuet+Madrigal and meleeing. At Kazham I switched to Min/Mad+Ballad and pulling.A fun late night party.

To close out my mid-week, we did Einherjar last night.I got tentacle raped.

The Morbol Emperor is a bastard, so we timed out at 15% HP left on it. Still got 960 amoules of ichor at least. (Why can't those be traded in for a Smouldering Lamp?)

Some Limbus tonight. Omega I think. I'm really looking forward to it. >.>

I'm fishing in Nashmau as I type this and just hit 64. I'm hoping to get to ~78 or so here and start the Ebisu quest. And make gil towards a second Toreador's Ring in the process.As I was able to finally get one yesterday.

I should also probably get to work skilling up Smithing and doing the mining Mount Z phase of my skill up path as it will be quite lucrative.

TTFN!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kupofried Bonuses

At about 3AM Eastern time last night the Kupofried quests became active and a bunch of JP players all got 100% bonus EXP rings. But I'm not complaining about that, good for them.

I've since messed around with the bonuses to Signet to see how they work and looked to see what others have discovered on BG.

The bonuses and their explanations follow:
"Thrifty Transit": Outpost teleport sites will operate free of charge!
Free OPs. If you don't know what OP warps are you probably aren't playing FFXI, so I don't feel the need to explain it.
"Martial Master": As an added Signet effect, battle skills will increase more rapidly!
OMG GUARD SKILL UPS ON EASY MODE!!! Unfortunately, Guard/Parrying and probably Evasion (which was never hard to cap anyway) aren't affected, only offensive combat stats.

Healing Magic doesn't seem to skill up any faster either. I'll try testing Divine Magic later tonight. All my other offensive magic skills are capped already.
"Blood of the Vampyr": Signets will be boosted with the abilities of Regeneration and Refresh!
I'm not sure why this has anything to do with vampyrs, but you get a 2HP tick Regen below 50% HP and 1MP tick Refresh below 50% MP.
"Treasure Hound": Signet will grant you the Gilfinder and Treasure Hunter abilities!
Again as the description says, you get TH and Gilfinder. The effect is quite noticeable too.
"Artisan's Advantage": The chances of losing ingredients due to failed synthesis will be significantly lowered!
No real info on how potent this is yet. It would take a ton of synths and recorded data to know for sure anyway with how random synthesis can be.
"Mystery Boxes: San d'Oria": Treasure Caskets will appear more frequently around San d'Oria!

"Mystery Boxes: Bastok": Treasure Caskets will appear more frequently around Bastok!

"Mystery Boxes: Windurst": Treasure Caskets will appear more frequently around Windurst!

"Mystery Boxes: Frontier Lands": Treasure Caskets will appear more frequently in the north and other distant lands!
This has had mixed results. I'm personally 0/~50 on chests popping in Ru'Aun Gardens (and the message about Kupofried appears there). Other people are reporting getting tons of chests. Which makes it sound like not much has changed.
"Swift Shoes": Adventurers who are fully rested and healed will temporarily be able to run with great speed!
This one's pretty convoluted.

First, the speed boost is variable. I've gotten +12% and +25%. The variable seems to be time spent /healing to activate it and another tick or two to maximize the effect at +25%.

Second, fully rested, but not fully healed? I've gotten the Quickening effect while in less than 100% HP as Monk. So either it's your "natural HP" like certain equipment latent effects (i.e. Sorcerer's Ring) or just /healing for a while. I'm leaning towards the former.
"Ease of Exploration": A teleport service connecting the towns of Mhaura and Selbina to the three nations will appear!
There's an Explorer Moogle by the OP Warp dude in Bastok. There's similar ones in the other nations. /RNG or /BST if you're having trouble finding them, they're at the bottom of the list.

Windy's Moogle for Ease of Exploration is right next to the Mog House in Port Windurst. San d'Oria explorer moogle is next to outpost warper in Northern San d'Oria. (Thanks to Starcade and Kimiko in comemnts for these.)

So that's what I've learned about the new Kupofried Signet enhancements so far I hope you found it informative.

Slight Format Change, Salvage, Acc Rings, and ISNMs oh my!

Mondays/Tuesdays are days of change here at The Pie Blog™!

Some good, some bad.

The most notable, would be that I hooked my PS2 up to my TV again instead of my PC's TV card. This means that I can only get screenshots taken in-game in FFXI and can't take any of other games. I had to do this for a few reasons.

(Note: the next paragraph is almost entirely technobabble, so skip it if you're not a geek.) The primary one being that my PC is blue screening occasionally with several different error messages while viewing full screen Flash videos (Youtube, GiantBomb Endurance Run, Spoony Experiment, etc). They're either PAGE_FAULT_NOT_PAGED_AREA, IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, "Shutting down to prevent damage to your hardware", and something else regarding my onboard sound's driver I'm forgetting at the moment for anyone who is interested. Which is kind of odd now that I think about it, because I'm using a Soundblaster Live! for my audio needs. I should probably look into that. It also blue screens consistently when I try to use DVDFlick to encode a certain awesome FF8 review to .VOB for burning to DVD to show Internet-less friends.

I had thought of switching back to my TV so I could watch movies, flash vids and listen to podcasts on my PC while playing FFXI and Persona 4 (which is quite awesome, I'd highly recommend it to any JRPG fan). The whole "it blue screens now" would seem to make that a stupid idea, but I also got BSOD'd right before fighting Shikigami Weapon and that's quite unacceptable. So, in-game FFXI screenshots only (for a while at least)!

I also downloaded Windows Live! Writer and plan to see how it compares to Blogger's editor. If I can upload pictures more quickly it'll be a keeper. So that's kind of a format change but completely transparent to readers. So it's not really much of a format change.

Anyway, on to slightly more interesting FFXI stuff.

Salvage!

I did my first Salvage run in quite a long time tonight. We did Arrapago Remnants. We got to the fifth floor and ran out of time after killing a Chariot NM there. The drops were level 15 Morrigan's legs and some Marduk's thing from the chariot NM that I think interested no one.

The run itself was pretty fun though compared to my previous Salvage experience. I'll need to get some Assaults done to be able to keep going as my AP is virtually nonexistant.

I decided to go for the Usukane feet and head piece first. The feet are just awesome for both DDing and tanking as Monk or Ninja. The head is probably better than Walahra Turban when your accuracy isn't nearly capped. Anyone with advice for obtaining either please share it.

I think I'm going to go for Usukane-only. Although a bunch of other people in the group have MNK/NIN/SAM/PUP leveled they're not targetting any pieces. I could equip Morrigan's and Marduk stuff, but Marduk mostly blows for SMN and I can't use Morrigan's on SCH. Full Usukane is freaking awesome for Monk, so I'll go for that and let everyone else get the other stuff. I wouldn't really want to save up 10 million gil for multiple Salvage bodies either.

I'll pull a few pics off my PS2 tomorrow and hopefully get them in here.

Accuracy Rings!

I've been saving up gil for some end-all-be-all Accuracy rings lately. Toreador's have gone from 2.6 million in that time to over 3.01 million. Sniper's +1 are more and none are on the AH. The Toreador that's on the AH now has been re-listed once already. I have no idea who's it is, but I'd like to throw a huge "Fuck you!" out to him or her for jacking the price. I'll piss myself laughing if somebody undercuts him and I get it tomorrow or the next day.

Just because there's only one of something listed doesn't mean people will pay more for it. I sure as hell won't and I could. I'm hoping to see the seller eat another 30-60K gil AH tax and make less than he would have listing for 3mil in the first place. Then again, Hades is fucking retarded so somebody will buy it for 3.5mil or some nonsense overnight. I could likely afford it now, because I did my first ever ISNM tonight. Speaking of which...

ISNMs!

I did my first ever ISNM3000 tonight. I went with LS people and we did six runs of the Puk NM one. It's like the Operation Desert Swarm of ISNMs. I was really surprised by how easy it was. I went BLM/RDM and we had a BRD/WHM, RDM/WHM, SAM/NIN, SAM/NIN and MNK/NIN.

I more or less entered and stood around until it used the clone spawning TP move and then nuked them all down with Blizzaga 2. I could probably have one shotted them with Blizzaga 1 with how much damage they took from Blizzard spells (over 1200 with only 500HP). The NM takes considerably less damage (roughly -30% I'd guess), but still a pretty decent amount. On the second and later fights I free nuked and tried to magic burst Freeze 2 off the DDs Darkness SCs. I did a few times for a 1,754 MB.

As far as loot goes, 5/6 of the drops sucked. I lucked out as the only person who got a Khroma Ore which netted me 410k off the AH. For ~435k or so total. Which is not too shabby.

With how easy the ISNM is, I'd kind of like to spam it for a while and hopefully make more gil off it.

I should also really get back to skilling up Smithing as my plan for it has me get a bunch of post-50 levels field synthing Steel Ingots from minding on Mount Z. Khroma Ore is incredibly rare, but a few of them would get me pretty close to Acc+7 Ring number 2. If I can ever find one at a reasonable price that is.

TTFN!

I'll probably add some pictures to this post tomorrow, but no promises.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

SCNMs and some Shiki-revenge!

I did some Beaudeux [S] SCNMs for the first time tonight as part of an LS event. We finished one BCNM pop set and have about half of a second.So, we'll probably go do the BCNM sometime this week for it.

Shiki-Time!

I got a /tell as I was about to log off to go play Persona 4/pass out asking if I could come kill Shikigami Weapon. About 50 minutes later, it aggroed me and I got to fight it. Our duo was NIN/RDM and SCH/RDM. Apparently, Red Mage is an awesome duo sub. Or something.

But we got it down slowly but surely to ~50% HP.And then to ~25%.And then to 3%.Which makes me 4/~25 on the robe.It was a fairly mellow fight. We fought just West of the ramp that runs straight up through the place (and is only accessible during the full moon), and we didn't get any adds. I spammed AoE Stoneskin and tried to keep up other buffs like Enfire, Aquaveil, etc, up.

It was nice to see the robe actually drop after all of that.

TTFN!

Friday, May 8, 2009

JP Button Q's & My A's

My answers to Elmerthepointy's Q's from JP people over at JP Button.
1. Do foreign players have a lot of interest in joining social Japanese Linkshells? (Especially ones with only JP members) I ask because when I recruit for my shell in Japanese, I get a lot of tells from foreigners looking to join. Personally, I feel like even if they could understand my /shout, it still would be hard to keep up with regular conversation. They wouldn’t understand pop-culture references to old TV shows, for instance.
I don't speak a word of Japanese. So I wouldn't really want to join a LS where everyone's mostly/only speaking Japanese because I wouldn't understand what anyone was saying.
2. Parties that cycle in replacement members seem to be popular amongst foreigners, but a lot of times the party will just disband once the replacement arrives. Of course, there are times when the replacement is contacted before they get all the way there, but there are many instances when no one says anything. There are also many cases where inappropriate jobs are invited and the party can no longer function well.

To me, this is a big reason behind some of the negative images Japanese players have about foreign players. What do you think about this?
Both these things have happened to me before. I'm generally hesitant to head out to Nyzul Isle birds or whereever to meet people unless I know the person sending the /tell because of it.

I'd also rather join a party with people I know and just disband after an hour or three and getting some merits.
Why does it seem like many foreign players don’t bother to bring medicines and potions to Missions and BCs? Many Japanese players make sure to have Vile Elixirs, Hi-Potions and/or Reraise Earrings.
Well, I'm cheap. But when I'm doing missions for the first time I'll bring appropriate meds.

If I get duped into helping with CoP or something I'll let whoever needs the thing buy their own stuff, none of it is Rare/Ex anymore.
4. Sometimes I see foreign pick-up parties recruiting for members using Auto-Translate, but then when I join the party, all the conversation and battle planning is in English. I’ll ask for them to {Please use the Auto-Translate function.} but nobody ever does. If you are going to /shout for help with the Auto-Translator, why not use it in the party? It feels like I was tricked.
I've never seen this happen personally. I mostly join parties with people I know though or solo on BLM or SCH.
5. How many NA and EU players do Campaign? Any thoughts about the recent nerf to Fortifications?
I do Campaign semi-regularly. I leveled several jobs mostly in it. One pre-/BRD nerf. One pre-Fortifications nerf.

I won't waste time with Fortifications at all now. I've been doing Campaign a lot less since the nerf as well just because it's harder to get OK rewards from it. After arriving, running to get tags, and having battles end for the 10th time before I get to kill anything it gets pretty lame.
What equipment do you think has great stats but horrible looks?
What equipment do you think has the best graphics?
Awesome.
I think the Igqira set looks pretty cool. Scholar relic does too.
7. Outside of your normal party gear, is there any equipment that you go out of your way to get strictly for looks? What are your favorite pieces of casual equipment?
Nope. I think it's why I have more jobs and crafts leveled than many people and don't complain about storage (pre-Mog Satchel BS) anywhere near as much.
8. I’m a Mithra, and I find that a lot of foreigners seem to be into Mithra fashion. They examine me and ask where I got my equipment and such. Do you think male players enjoy dressing up their Mithra in cute outfits?
I'm going to say "Yes, probably." and would probably go with a word more pervy than "cute."
9. I wonder if you calculate the XP/hr of parties, and if so, do you think that Skillchain/Magic Burst or Weaponskill spam produces the best results? Before parsing became widespread, Japanese players used to think Skillchain/Magic Burst was the best.
Unless the melee burns didn't have any Bards or Corsairs I'm not sure how you could confuse traditional SC+MB parties as being superior. The numbers aren't close in any Aht Urhgan areas compared to Lufaise Meadows, Sky (Aura Statues) or wherever.
10. How come it seems like so many people don’t utilize Search Comments properly? Why don’t they write their camp location for others to see? Also, it’s strange to see so many people seeking without basic information written like available jobs and where they can access. Don’t you want an invite?
I hate when people use the colored dots for something that they aren't meant for so my /search looking for Bazaar'd goods brings up 30 people's Dynamis lot comments and two guys letting the world know they want "Goliard."

When I try to get a party I put that I have 6/6 Runic Portals and whatnot. Of course I don't seek as a DD that can equip an Ace's Helm (or Great Axe WAR), so I tend to stand around a while anyway.
11. If you know you are going to be busy, how come you don’t alert people at the beginning of the party instead of surprising everyone at the last minute?
I mostly party with people I know and won't LFP unless I have several hours to spend meriting. So this doesn't apply to me.
12. Honestly, the largest difference in thinking between Japanse and foreign players exists in the Merit party.
You often say 5 DDs and a RDM is so good, but having a single, solitary healer is hard on the RDM.
Japanese realize that healers can be in short supply, so we make sacrifices to lighten their burden, like subbing a mage job, or using Utsusemi.
I feel like many people don’t show proper respect to healers.

When we say JP ONLY, it isn’t always an issue of language, but the fact that we feel there are other dangers and demerits associated with a non-JP party, stemming from our different play-styles, that we wish to avoid.

This key difference in thinking, more than any race or language issue, is what really sets us apart as players. They are just looking to sit back, relax and earn some decent XP.
I wouldn't be caught dead in a merit party that doesn't have at least one, preferably two, Bards (or BRD+COR). In other words, there's going to be more than just a RDM with Cure spells present. And the RDM is going to have some other MP refilling buff in addition to Refresh.

The 5 DD parties I've been in were pretty mediocre EXP/hr and I usually ended up tanking more than 1/5th the time which is pretty annoying with less than 50% Haste to hit the recast reduction on Utsusemi.

I'd also like to get to go MNK/WAR sometime, but outside leveling a second account WHM or RDM character that seems unlikely to happen. Plus I'm cheap and like Tonko/Monomi. :-P
What type of sushi do you like best?
Pretty much anything except eel. It had an odd bitter taste I didn't care for. I'm also not that big a fan of salmon as it has a more chewy texture. (Smoke salmon tastes awesome enough I'll ignore the texture thing though.)

I liked spicy tuna rolls I had a while back. I think they had a cayenne or wasabi mayonaise in them? And I don't remember what exactly it was, but a "dragon roll" was pretty good too. Unfortunately, I'm poor and sushi is pretty expensive so I don't get to eat it very often.

And those are my answers to the JP Button questions. ^^

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Melee Rings

I've been saving up gil for a while now (since the update, more or less) for a shiny, new Accuracy+7 ring. There's two obvious candidates. Sniper's Ring +1 and Toreador's Ring.

There's other possible rings for melee, of course. The Imperial Ring is great in the places it works. There's Ulthama's with 4 Acc/Att. There's the Acc+3 one from Einherjar with VIT/AGI/DEX+3 on it too which makes it Acc+4~5 depending on your DEX. The Divisor Ring would probably be one of my rings of choice if I could get one with 6 Acc and 3 Att. But those are all hard to come by, so I'm stuck with the AH alternatives.

Based soley on stats, the Toreador's is better.
Toreador's Ring
[Finger] All Races
DEF:1 HP+10 Accuracy+7
LV 57 All Jobs
Sniper's Ring +1
{Dark Resist}-25 Accuracy+7 Ranged Accuracy+7 DEF-12
LV 40 All Jobs
DEF+13, HP+10 and no pesky Dark resistance -25. But it's also only equippable 17 levels later. There's no Racc+7, but Bacc+7 isn't anything to write home about for the jobs that would want it in the Ring slots.

Toreador's were also cheaper until recently. 2.5-2.7 million gil instead of 3 million. Some dumbass bought a Toreador's for 3mil though instead of letting it be de-listed for a third time, so it'll probably be a while before I can get one for 2.7 million again.

So what does everyone think? Which is the ultimate in melee rings?