Monday, June 29, 2009

Kupo de'Lame & King Vinegaroon

So Square-Enix finally announced that they're going to have another "mini-expansion" and this time you can get an Augmented piece of head gear. Which makes this the most recent in a long string of Version Update teaser notes that don't excite me in the slightest.

As everyone who played the short quest-line knows, ACP sucked. And while I do get use out of my weird looking coat on BLM and SCH...I'm still not very impressed. I expect even less out of this "mini-expansion." I honestly thought it was a joke or mistranslation when SE announced it.

So, once again, it's mostly just "Do I want to get this for the Augmented gear?" And, "Does that sound kind or 'RMTy' to anyone else?"

The base pieces this time are less impressive than the ACP bodies. Pick a generic stat for Heavy melee, Light melee, and Mage. Like "Counter +3", "Subtle Blow +3", and "Conserve MP +3."

Slap them on the respective pieces.

Switch the first two, because for some reason the Heavy melee piece that Paladins and Dark Knights can wear gets "Counter +3" instead of the one Monks can use. But I digress.

Then, pick two of these Augments:
Click the picture to make the text legible.
There's some pretty cool stuff you could do with them, don't get me wrong.

A weaponskill piece:
STR+4
Weaponskill Accuracy +15
Accuracy +10 (or Ranged Accuracy)
Attack +5 (or Ranged Attack +5)
A magic damage piece:
INT+6
Magic Accuracy +2
Fast Cast +2%
There's pet job possiblities there too, but I don't care about my Summoner. I like Puppetmaster, but it's Puppetmaster. I don't get to do shit with it. Hell, the Ranged, Melee, and Magic skills aren't even fully capped yet since I never to get bring it out for stuff.

So, I'm not going to ponder the many pet job possibilities. I'll leave that to someone else.

With the "Store TP +4" Augment 2h weapon users and Rangers might find some interesting combination.

But all the stuff I'm seeing is thoroughly...meh. "Another hat to do magic damage with?! Make my Asuran Fists land all 8 hits 66% of the time?!? Nowai!!!"

So I'm thinking I'll be passing on this one.

King Vinegaroon!

So, I'm currently standing around in Western Altepa Desert, and I have no idea why.
lolcats...yes, I apologize.
I'm here as MNK/WAR, so I won't be helping kite it. Assuming it pops and we claim it. And enough people get online to kill it.

But the "kiting" thing is what I wanted to mention. Kiting King Vinegaroon is a lot like masturbation. Everyone does it. Everyone knows everyone does it. We just don't talk about it.

Everyone kites KV. Unless an LS that gets claim has an ally capable of killing it all standing around potentially for 10 hours. Which would be kind of fucking retarded. Everyone kites KV.

And like I said, KV is a lot like masturbation. Everyone kites it, but some dense 15 year olds don't grasp that "We just don't talk about it" part. As annoying as watching somebody walk a gigantic scorpion in circles for three hours may be, if you've ever fought/camped KV (or are trying to) at some point you too will be walking it in circles for two hours.

So, spare me the annoying /tells if my LS gets it. I don't care. I don't even want the stupid hat.

Go do something productive with your time instead. Go masturbate. Or send /tells to some guy pretending to be a girl you're interested in.

Just leave me the hell out of it, please.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

SCNMs, Dynamis, and Bunnies Oh My!

Epic has been hard at work doing SCNMs lately. We did the La Vaule [S] one on Wednesday (right day?). We started with Coinbiter something or other.I think it went well.The NM is a DRK and he spam Shoulder Tackle for massive damage and a hate reset on the recipient of said Shoulder Tackle.

Which makes it interesting as a Black Mage. You can Stoneskin+Phalanx. Nuke until you pull hate, swap to Physical Damage -% gear, rest MP, and repeat relatively safely. Just make sure you pack on MND for Stoneskin because he does hit fucking hard.

On attempt two, we killed his ass.Dynamis - Beaucedine

Last night, I did a Dynamis - Beaucedine run. Of the two Northlands zones, Beauc is the one I don't really want anything from. I've got 4/6 items I can equip from it, the MNK body is junk, and the NIN body...is pretty cool, but I'm "meh" about it anyway. The zone itself is OK to do. Nothing too stressful or irritating about it really.

Xarc, on the otherhand, I would like to eventually get every piece I can equip there. Except MNK. And I don't really want the NIN hands either. But I'm only 1/6 there. The zone itself unlike Beauc I find both stressful and irritating. It's like Dynamis - Windurst only there's cool stuff that drops there.

We were really lucky with Beauc last night though as the first mob dropped an Argute Gown. A few mobs later we got a BRD Justathings, a WHM body, and finally something we haven't seen in at least a year, a Duelist's Tabard (RDM body). Keffka got it which forced me to finally update my Stun macro to not mention him not having it. Hehe.There was a pretty bizarre BLM-onry wipe with that time-nuked Goblin Replica being botched.Other than that it was a pretty good run though.

Pre-Dynamis Dragon Extravaganza!

As I got to the Trail Markings for dynamis, somebody said in LS chat "Biast." Which is usually BS. I do it all the time. It's fun to annoy people/dash their hopes of a funny blue hat.

But sure enough, he was up. I pulled him from the zoneline and started soloing him. And realized he had 30-40k HP or something similarly ridiculous and it would take all day. I decided to just pull it back to the spawn area, sleep it, warp out, and go to Dynamis. It went unclaimed part way back and Suow (also in my Dynamis LS) claimed it and started beating the piss out of it as Samurai. He invited me and with a few outside cures from other people in the LS we killed it.The hat didn't drop (I didn't want it anyway, dunno if Suow did), so my reward was 940 gil which means it only cost me ~1.3k gil to go and kill the thing altogether with OP fees.

Still fun to do stab a dragon in the face for being a dragon though.

King Vinegaroon!

Apparently, people in Epic want to join Team Robocop™ again and were there for ToD.

I went to go /poke it and see who was going to kill it.I rode my pretty chocobo ForestNeo to get there.

(Incidentally, If you're on Hades and want a choco-card from him I'll give you one for whatever the NPC sells them for. Just send a /tell in-game.)

Bunnies, Oh My!

I decided to get some of the Rare/Ex stuff I'll need for Ranger lately. I got O.bow and Franscica already. I could camp the Rare/Ex E.bow in Fei'Yin, but that place is full of botting assholes.

So, I decided to go for Selene's Bow instead. You pop the NMs for it by trading a Sandy Carrot during New Moon or Full Moon and then kill them and pray to your deity(s) of choice that it drops.

I went a few days ago for White Coney during the Full Moon.And I went 0/2. I would have stayed longer but the Moon phase changed.

I went back earlier today on New Moon, and 1/1 on Black Coney!

I emailed myself these pictures before that though, so I don't have one of Black Coney to post right now. Just picture the same rabbit, except black and barely visible in the blizzard of Ule. Range instead of white.

Now if SE will just increase Combat/Magic skill merit totals so I could have 8/8 Marksmanship (or Archery).

That's it for today!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sarcasm

My past three FFXI posts have been entirely a tad sarcastic. But, really the update teaser notes aren't packing much punch, so what can I do?

The update is supposed to be 'late July' which I assume means third or fourth week in the month. So we can expect 3-6 more of them plus the usual surprise on the day of the update.

But maybe give us a juicy tidbit somewhat early?

Throw out something like "Black Mage and Ninja can expect job adjustments in the July update!" Sure, it'll be Black Mage getting some further nerf (pet soloing?) and Ninja getting a "go eat the mages while I recast shadows job abilty" for temporarily shedding hate. But at least it would be something.

Speaking of that Fanfest 2007 Ninja JA, how cool would it be if it was subbable? For 15 seconds you can halve your CE/VE enmity? It would be useful in a variety of situations. (A downside would be the emergency maintenance when SE realizes it also doubles enmity accumulated while it was active when it wears off.)

/sigh

I Can Has Goblin....Too?

Fear not young adventurers!

For the past five years adventurers have gone about their business of bunny killing, botting, and more bunny killing without the aid of Goblins. But the Dev Team™ have been hard at work and they knew what needed to be done!

Now not only Beyonce Barbie can has Goblin!You too can has Goblin!

Well, when you find someone willing to come do Moblin Maze Mongers with you, anyway.

What is Moblin Maze Mongers? I have no idea; I've never done it. I assume it's a lot like sniffing glue in that you feel lightheaded and unfulfilled afterwards though.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Walkthrough for the WotG Missions in the Coming Version Update!

The Version Update is almost upon us, so your lowly blogger-slave Evilpaul has prepared for you a walkthrough of the upcoming Wings of the Goddess Missions!

When we last left our Missions/Quests, there was a Battle of Jeuno! Now, it is to the Northlands to uncover the mystery of the winged woman.
She totally has two wings!

On your way through Beaucedine Glacier you'll need to travel to a remote and annoying to access part of it. But beware!
Lilisette and Cait Sith demonstrating proper bewaritude.

Beware of the truesight truesound, evil and impetuous Kindred's Gargoyles that patrol the Glacier in search of adventurers to feast upon!
Adventurers need only fear the Kindred's Gargoyles (pictured left), the Gigas (pictured right) are primarily there to build Shadow Lord snow men.

Once you reach the furthest depths of Beaucedine Glacier you'll face mysterious winged woman along with six Kindred's Gargoyles in an epic Burning Circle battle. The key to winning will be to bring Rangers and Summoners to do ranged damage.

Upon her defeat the winged woman will reveal herself to be Ayame who traveled from the distant future of Vanadiel to return to the past where she could effect Time Kompression.™ She will also reveal that her wings were fake.

Adventurers will then experience an exciting ending cutscene that mixes together previous Wings of the Goddess cutscenes together in a nonsensical fashion.

I'll post an update later for the Nation Quests.

Two Days with 0 Internets.

It was terrible.

Hold me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sundiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!

I had kind of forgotten about it, but SE finally released the yearly Vanadiel Census today.

It turns out most of my somewhat lame predictions were correct. The only surprising one would be that WHM/SCH did in fact appear in the top job combos as I had anticipated.

By far the most interesting part of it was the merit point breakdown.

Some of the stuff I found interesting:

  • People actually merit DEX.


  • No one merits Staff or lolThrowing.


  • Everyone has 4 Evasion skill merits.


  • Five people capped lolGuard merits.


  • More people have 8/8 Elemental (or Enfeebling) magic skill than all others combined.


  • Everyone has Critical Hit Rate +4.


  • People apparently agree with me that Spell Interruption -8% is more useful than Enemy Crit -4%.


  • 5 people merited Dodge Recast.


  • Those same 5 people merited something other than Ice and Thunder Potency on their Black Mage.


  • I'm one of the 5 people who capped an AM2 spell in Black Mage Group 2.


  • Teeves lika da Triple Attack merits.


  • People merit Beastmaster.


  • People merit things other than Nightingale and Troubadour on Bard Group 2.


  • There are Samurai with capped Zanshin Attack Rate. (Why?)


  • Everyone with Ninja leveled thinks its merit categories suck. Except Tool Expertise.


  • Unlike Evilbron, there's lots of Dragoons with capped Angon merits.


  • My Elemental MP Cost 5/5 merits weren't enough to make a sliver appear on the chart.


  • Everyone merits Puppetmaster exactly the same. Except for the guy who merited Repair Recast. Fuck that guy.


  • Despite everyone on FFXI forums telling me how stupid I am for getting Max Sublimation merits over Modus Veritas Duration merits nobody actually merits Modus Veritas Duration.
The only other thing that was interesting is that there's more Burtgangs than all other Mythic Weapons combined.

And that's about it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

You are not your f&$%ing Desert Boots.

To blantantly plagiarize someone else's theme/idea, I wanted to point these out to anyone who doesn't know about them.You may see "Sandstorm:" and think "Wow, that's really useful."

But as the Wiki points out, "While under the effect of Sandstorm this latent will be activated."

Scholars may not be a dime a dozen (yet), but there's plenty around and more than likely one in any endgame shell. Either as a Scholar yourself or with a little help from a Scholar friend any job in the game can get some Ghetto Gaiters.

Movement+12% can be the difference between kiting/training successfully and running away to die somewhere (hopefully) safe.

One Dynamis-Jeuno run the Mega Boss pull got messed up and all the mobs were popped. While people waited at the Auction House again for the boss I went and aggroed all the mobs as SCH/RDM with Desert Boots and Sandstorm. I dropped my hourglass, took off for the Mog House entrance, and was warped to safety in Ru'Lude Gardens. No movement+12% and I would have died before getting away and probably been unable to reraise due to repops. Handy indeed.

There's plenty of other applications in groups (and many more for solo Scholars).

So if you haven't already, consider checking them out!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Snark is Strong With This One.

I listened to the Gamespy Debriefings #86 earlier today. It's generally entertaining. I had to offer them a little feedback though today.
Dear Anthony, Ryan, and other fellows,

Did you guys really just spend 25 minutes talking about about third person action clones of a going on three year old game, and then spend 10 minutes complaining about JRPGs being derivative and unoriginal?

Maybe it's possible people can like different types of games and not just be mindless fanboys? Or maybe not, but then I guess you guys shouldn't be throwing stones?

Just a thought.

Cheers,
evilpaul
They literally spent 25 minutes talking about which game that was like Crackdown (which came out in 2007) was better, Prototype or Infamous. Then they spent 10 minutes bitching about JRPGs all being the same and how anyone who likes them is just some fanboy.

Either they're really good at satire far too subtle for the Internet, or...lol.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Campaign Body Speculation

In a month and a half or so, SE is going to finally add the body pieces to the three Campaign Rare/Ex armor sets (1, 2, 3).

I'm interested to see what Square does with them. The Cobra Unit set in particular is appealing because it may have some Counter+ on it. I'm also wondering how much Accuracy the pieces will have. If it's +10 we'll see a whole lot of Scorpion Harnesses hit the Auction House.

So, without further ado, here's my predictions:
Cobra Unit Harness
[Body] All Races
DEF: 40 Accuracy +7
Store TP +5
Enmity -4
Counter +5
Set: Enhances "Counter" effect
MNK / THF / RNG / BLU / COR / PUP / DNC
It would be pretty cool to actually be an Acc+10 piece, but I get the feeling that might be a bit too awesome. Counter+5 is purely a guess, but it would be pretty awesome if it turns out to be correct.

The Iron Ram set is really nice for PLD tanks because of the Enmity+ and the MDB on it for things like Jailer of Love or Wyrms that are in the air.
Iron Ram Breastplate
[Body] All Races
DEF: 47 HP +35 Enmity +5 Magic Def. Bonus +5
Set: Increases all elemental resistances
WAR / PLD / DRK
I think Magic Damage taken -% is also a possibility on this piece instead of MDB.

The third set, the Fourth Division Cuirass set is more commonly known as "that one nobody uses or cares at all about" because it only provides small STR and Evasion boosts. Here's what I think we'll see with it.
Fourth Cuirass
[Body] All Races
DEF: 40 STR +5 Evasion +7
"Subtle Blow" +5
Set: Increases Attack
Lv. 68 WAR / PLD / DRK / BST / SAM / NIN / DRG
There might end up being yet another "Increases chances of critical hits" on it too, I think.

Your thoughts on the Campaign bodies? Are my predictions crazy and improbable? Would you use such a piece if it were released?

UPDATE: As pointed out by Anexia in the comments, I completely forgot about the Cobra Unit Mage set. It's a pretty nice set for the level you can equip it, and if you're too lazy to do /shouts for Halvung Assaults to get Yigit Feet (like me), the feet aren't too bad at 75 either.

Anyway, here's my take on what we may see from the body piece:
Cobra Unit Houppelande
[Body] All Races
DEF: 34 HP +30 MP +30
Magic Atk. Bonus +4
Conserve MP +3
Set: Increases Magic Accuracy
WHM / BLM / RDM / BRD / SMN / BLU / PUP / SCH
eldephia makes an interesting point that Squareenix could make it so there's a pretty cool stat with the ultra lame "Campaign:" on it making the new bodies more or less novelty pieces.

I'm still hoping that they'll be good enough to replace some of the ACP or relic body choices. Which may seem a bit outlandish an expectation, but if you think about it it takes MUCH longer to get to a Wings rank in Campaign that it does to get through ACP.

But who knows, we'll all find out next month.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's like real-life Persona 4...

I just checked Weather.com and we're scheduled for 10 days of rain. I guess it's nice I don't have to rescue people from the TV world before the fog sets in, and I know you can't accurately predict the weather 10 days in advance, but seriously...it's Summer.

It sucks here weather-wise like...10 months of the year.

Maybe I could get some weather I can get sun burned in for a week or two before it's cold and fucking miserable again?

It's Not Easy To Get Crabs...

I spent about 7 hours off and on today camping Aquarius to get an awesome axe of awesomeness +1 for my Ranger. It drops off Aquarius which I normally would see up and unclaimed every time I came through the Boyhada Tree, but like all NMs if you're looking for them they're smoking crack with Ulli in his Aery and nowhere to be found.

Eventually, Aquarius did show himself though, so I began to cordially stab it in its face.It turns out that its accuracy is pretty terrible, but it attacks at Colibri speed with Hojo: Ni on. And I'd swear it got faster attack speed at low health, but I could have just been imagining it.

In any case, despite its ridiculous DEF I managed to kill it in about 20 minutes and got a shiny new axe.

I also killed a poor old man and took his 10 grand from him while I was at the Boyhada Tree.Mog Bonanza wasn't particularly awesome for me, but sucked less than last year.An Adamantoise for my mule and two EXP scrolls for my main's Ranger. I'm now halfway to 38.

I've also been busy with unlocking Garland of Bliss for my Summoner.Tragically, it sucks like most Summoner related things. It's cool to have it unlocked though.

And that's about it for today!

TTFN!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And the results are in!

After much baited breath and anticipation, the results of Mog Bonanza 2009 are in!

I'll double check to make sure I didn't mistype my numbers on the blog posting, but from the looks of it I won two last rank prizes on my main and one on my mule.

I'll probably go with two EXP scrolls and maybe an Adamantoise Statue for my mule (to commemorate all the times I killed it and have never seen an egg drop).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Have you ever seen an armored car spinning at 70 MPH?

As the title of this post would suggest today was not the most awesomely fun day to go down to the homebrewing store on I-95. I ended up having to very quickly go from the left lane to the shoulder to get past the spinning Brinks truck and it's huge plume of blue tire smoke.

Only a minute earlier I had thought "This is fucked." as I navigated my way through the mess of 18 wheelers and people tailgating them to get all the way over to the left lane. Then the next minute I'm swerving onto the left shoulder with the dude behind me doing the same to drive past the mess of stopped cars and smoldering tire.

I turned on the radio about 15 minutes later and they said there was an accident there. I'm not sure if spinning your vehicle in circles and laying tire at 70MPH counts as an "accident" or if you need to hit something/someone else.

On the otherhand, it was sort of cool seeing something that big do things it really should never do.

The rest of the ride home was thankfully uneventful.

Hauteclaire Mule in 72 Hours and Counting!

It's only three days until Mog Bonanza 2009!

I'm oddly psyched about it despite the mediocre odds I'll even win something mediocre.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What I've been up to lately....Again.

Campaign!I got the highest rank Campaign medal back. Again.

They really better not make you keep doing Campaign constantly to keep whatever the top rank is introduced next update.

Pankration!For reasons not even I understand I want to cap out at 1,000,000 Jettons. I'm 65% of the way there.

Jerks keep running their shitty monsters that give me no EXP while I'm there and use something that can kill my brickwall Dark Elemental when I leave though which is slowing down progress.

Einherjar!Either a Tier 2 or Tier 3 area. We ended up timing out with the boss at about 20% or so.

The past few runs we keep getting screwed with stuff like Attack+Accuracy Down Bats and Puddings that take shit damage from physical attacks. We could really use maybe 5-6 more people and less crappy mobs.

It would also help if people Hasted me more often. I swear I only have it like 50% of the time.

Maybe rotating Bards for normal mobs or something too. I've heard people say that's what their LSes do in Einherjar.

But getting solid info about how people win in there seems kind of sketchy. Half the stuff I hear about it reeks of Forum Bullshit Syndrome.™

"We clear Tier 3 rooms with 16 people and no Bards!!!" and similar nonsense.

Or they just forget to mention they have 12 DDs with Amanomurakamos (however it's spelled), Bravuras, and Apocalypses and ~20 billion gil worth of gear/relics.

But whatever.

Moving along.

Fishing!We use Formless Strikes on Thunder Elementals while we fish.

Anyway, I'm still stuck at 64 Fishing. I've been doing Nashmau, but it's lame getting there, and some days not a fucking thing will bite my fishing line. I still make 100-200k for an hour or two of doing it though on a good day, so it's OK.

Slowly but surely getting closer to a second Toreador's Ring.

Guns, Chakrams, and Swords!I'm taking full advantage of the "Martial Master" Kupopower and have gotten my Marksmanship up to 174, Throwing to 227, and Sword up to 200 something.

I'll try to cap Throwing before the Kupo Tablets are scattered again.

I'm not sure how practical it is really though. If I'm throwing something as Ninja it's probably a Wind at a Sky god. In which case I'm eating DEF food and tanking.

Dynamis - Buburimu!We did a Dynamis - Buburimu run on Tuesday. Killed several dragons and a WHM NM, and then went looking for the Mega Boss. Who did its usual "hide for 10 minutes thing" somebody found it and pulled it back to where we were camping. It was dead before I got back, but whoever pulled it also brought back 20 Goblins which killed everyone.

After that we farmed some crabs. And then went on to bunnies. For people unfamiliar, the mobs in CoP Dynamis split into multiples when pulled. And we got like 15 bunnies. They have fun AoEs and a potent Blind TP move.

I ended up being the Last Man Standing. I finished off the bunny we were fighting in critical health. Then I pulled the rest a bit away from the group and died (as you can see in the second picture).

We got a decent number of drops including THF and RDM Hands -1.

The Wiki claims that the SCH Belt drops there, but nobody has been able to find it yet so far as I can tell. /sigh

Garland of Bliss!I still don't have it despite killing a fuckton of stupid spiders.

I did make ~140K gil and counting working on it so far though.

The WS is light elemental, so it doesn't suck using an Apollo's Staff. Well, it does, but not any worse than anything else a Summoner can do with a Staff.

Einherjar Part Deux!Last night we did a Tier 3 and got triple bats, buffalo, and a khimaira boss. We ran out of time after finally finishing off the buffalo.

I used my patented LJ-all-out-attack technique and hit the khimaira for about 10 damage before being ejected from the chamber. I didn't get any picture of that though.

SCNM - The Buried God!We did the BCNM for Beaudeux [S] last night. It took over an hour to get everyone to the BCNM area.

The fight itself went OK, I guess. It was kind of bloody though. I may have been the only person who didn't die.

After killing the NM we popped the chest and got the Set: earring and the Great Axe +3 ring.

I guess we were doing another run of it, but I didn't know so I warped after.

I wasn't feeling so hot with some carpal tunnel wrist, stiff neck, and generally tired/shitty feeling, so I went to bed.

TTFN!

And that's all I've really done in game the past two weeks or so. I hope to have some more exciting stuff to post in the next few days.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Galkan Black Mages

Seriously, people, race isn't everything.

Sure if you create a character to play Black Mage I wouldn't suggest you go with Galka. They have low INT and low MP, afterall. And those are the two stats most relevant to all things Black Magery related.

But, believe it or not, there's a person playing the char whether Tarutaru, Hume/Mithra, Elvaan, or Galka. So, those superficial differences in FFXI are about as important as the ones in real life. (i.e., Not very.) More important is whether the Black Mage shows up to group events and is good at what he does.

So, when you read stupid shit like this on Killing Ifrit recognize it as such and move on.

Most people, Tarutaru or otherwise, aren't soloing the Bionic Bug ENM in Newton Movalpolos if for no other reason than you can't even get there by yourself legitimately. The ones who are aren't just doing it purely based on how awesome they are, but rather rely heavily on awesome gear and movement+% feet.

So please stop saying this stupid crap, it's really getting old.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mog Bonanza Drawing Approaches...

A mere 7 days from now Mog Bonanza 2009 winners will be determined!

Since I have no doubt in SE's ability to have maintenance on that day and make me wait to figure out that none of my 20 randomly selected marbles won anything, I'm posting them all here now so everyone will know not to bother me for some of the free stuff I didn't get.

Main:
93183
05371
58520
35418
90837
07479
56551
13411
64088
27823

Mule:
40888
11973
08440
92696
44267
70124
86341
49214
57936
13292


As I understand it everyone who played with a mule character last year won a Hauteclaire for that mule, so I fully expect to get one this year.

I wonder what Hauteclaire NPCs for?

5/5 INT Merits!

I finally did one of those "daunting things I may never do in FFXI," I capped my INT merits at 5/5!

In a possibly related note, there's not much left of my Anniversary Ring.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread?

Other thoughts on the Version Update... where's the sliced pizza?

It would be awesome for things like Colibri where one-handers need accuracy and attack. I know many people don't bother with food at all in bird merit parties, but it would also be useful for things like Limbus or Dynamis where you tend to go from 100% health to instantly dead because of things like Hundred Fists or from pulling hate at precisely the wrong time.

Anyway, GIVE ME SLICED PIZZA, Sqeenix!!!

"I'm not quite dead yet!?"

It took a while, but SE finally has what I guess is passing as a Version Update teaser today.

Next Version Update Scheduled for Late July! (06/08/2009)
We're pleased to inform you that the upcoming version update is on track for a late July release! The development and quality assurance teams are hard at work cooking up a whole slew of exciting new content that will feature the continuation of the Wings of the Goddess missions, new areas in past Vana'diel, job adjustments, additions and refinements for Campaign and Moblin Maze Mongers, and much, much more.

Details on all the new features will be released here in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes glued to this space!
It isn't like me to complain ("orly?"), but I was kind of hoping to have something kind of awesome sprung on us about the next of our three yearly version updates...and this really isn't it.

Do people...care about Moblin Maze Mongers? It's like Assault except without the rewards. The crafting mazes seemed like they could have been cool, but turned out to be rubbish.

Wings of the Goddess has been pretty anemic an expansion, but what little of it there is is actually pretty decent. Just don't pick Bastok [S] or you'll be stuck half way through on an easy mission like me because only five other people are allied with the steampunk republic.

/sigh

Here's hoping we'll get a "Black Mage and Ninja won't suck anymore!" teaser next week. At least give Ninjas that temporary hate shedding ability promised back in 2005 when SE was teasing job adjustments at Fanfest (and when Ninjas were still allowed to tank stuff) or something.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Does anyone actually walk around his/her Mog House?

My character is currently idling AFK in his Mog House, and I had an odd thought...do people actually walk around or do stuff (besides crafting I guess?) in their Mog Houses? I just click to leave and exit to wherever when I'm done and almost forgot you can even walk around in there.

I personally just have a bed (Moghancement: Experience, ftw), some of those 20 Storage shelf things, and two flags for completing Missions. I know some people actually decorate theirs and have used the "Open Mog" feature.

Since every post on a FFXI blog has to have some sort of FFXIV tie-in, I'm wondering what sort of Mog House-like thing FFXIV will have? Does WoW have something similar?

With the lack of PS2 Limitations™ would players be able to actually carry around 100 or 200 items on them and eliminate the need for Mog Houses entirely? Will the traditional Inn of past Final Fantasy games make a return?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sequels

I'm sure anyone reading this has already heard that FF14: Online has been announced. I'd call it "FFXIV" like a normal person, but don't Roman numerals start to look a little ridiculous at some point?

Anyway, I'm both intrigued by the possibility of a sequel or much improved follow up to FF11, but at the same time, not sure I personally ever want to devote anywhere near this amount of time to an MMO ever again. To do all the cool endgame stuff in FF11, such as it is, you really need to devote at least a few nights a week to an LS. If you've got a job, significant other, school, or any of those things on the list of things SE warns you not to forget about everytime you login to FF11, that can be a little much.

I had planned to write a reply/rebuttal to Pitchfork's FF11 article, but in thinking about it, he's not really wrong on that much. (The rest of the series on hte other FF games is both entertaining and informative, check it out.)

So, instead I want to focus on sequels in general, what I would hope to see in a spiritual successor to FF11, and what would really need to be different about it to consider ever playing an MMO again.

Morrowind Vs. Oblivion

I played quite a bit of Morrowind and finished most of what there was to do in that game including its first expansion. It had some definite odditities though. A presentation like a first-person shooter, yet stabbing or shooting your target accurately didn't necessarily make your attack land, a hidden d20 style roll did. Most of these were changed to be more intuitive in Oblivion, but the latter is still regarded as a weaker game as far as its story goes.

Janky Combat

I would kind of expect FF14 to be a similar evolution in this regard. Things like being frozen in place unable to move because somebody casts a spell on you, being unable to re-draw your weapon for a period (even if you would have to wait to auto-attack again until the delay cooldown), "Unable to cast spells at this time.", "Unable to use that ability.", and probably half a dozen other things make FF11's combat kind of clunky.

Why couldn't most of those actions be sort of queued? I accidentally put my weapon away before killing something, now I have to wait 8 seconds to draw it again? I couldn't draw it and have to wait for the delay? Why am I completely immobile for 5 seconds when somebody casts Haste on me? There's no good reason for these things to happen.

It's like having "ineffective attacks" in FF1. Dump that crap in a follow-up.

HNMs/Endgame

As it stands now, many parts of endgame can only be enjoyed by a handful of people per server simply because of mob respawn times being 3 days in real time, or even just being several hours which means if one NA Sky shell gets an NM no other NA Sky shell will that night. The same is true of Sea and SCNMs.

There's other scheduleable events like Dynamis, Limbus, Assault/Salvage, Einherjar, etc, that have their own problems. A major one is that there's only a few zones and they aren't instanced. If FF14 doesn't have every single similar endgame event instanced then it's conclusive evidence that Square-Enix does not understand their own game or the playerbase at all.

There's also the matter of HNMs that spawn only once a day at most and drop Rare/Ex that people sell or wildly expensive items like Herald's Gaiters. That really doesn't make the game particularly enjoyable for people who get cockblocked entirely or have to spend massive amounts of gil to the few who monopolize the NMs.

The Zeni Notorious Monsters kind of got around that, but obtaining Zeni is kind of retarded and a pretty big timesink. I would hope to see a better designed ZNM-style system in FF14.

Character/Equipment Progression

There's also a bit of a problem with character progression in FF11. Everyone looks exactly the same. There's a handful of gear for each slot for a few different builds on every job, and if you don't have that you're considered gimp.

Group 1 merits are nearly the same for everyone on every job. There's a few that are clearly superior with only a little bit of variation in what's most desirable based on a few niche activities.

Group 2 merits were introduced as a way to make it so not everyone would have all the same spells and abilities as everyone else. They really only created another thing you must have or be considered gimp. For most jobs there's one build that's good and a bunch of others that are really kind of idiotic or crazy.

While I haven't seen WoW in person since it was in beta a few years ago, I've seen that it has some different character progression schemes which are considered valid and efficient by the player base. (And, amusingly, Blizzard is going to get people to pay them $20 to be able to switch between two builds on the fly.)

While there is some obvious differences between WoW with single classed characters and FF11 where every character can level every class (and some sorry bastards do) I would like to see a more flexible Job System. And not just some new features that nobody with some understanding of game mechanics might do for everyone else's lulz (WAR/WHM, etc).

Possibly make more subjobs genuinely useful. Or perhaps allow subjobs to be switched in the field.

I'm not sure what exactly, but the Job System has been improved in every incarnation and for FF14 to be more than FF11: DirectX 10 Edition, it's going to need to find some ways to improve.

Trans-Time Sinks

"Trans-Time Sinks" is a shiny new term I'm coining for things that really shouldn't be in any MMO ever. They're like the transfat of time sinks. As "immersive" as it is to stand around waiting 22 minutes for a Ferry to arrive, it really isn't that enjoyable. 11 minutes of auto-running at a wall so I can catch the Airship while I attend to real life does not good gameplay make.

Wouldn't a massive world with international trade have more than one fucking boat anyway? Either get instanced Airships running every 3 minutes, ubiquitous teleportation services or spells, or something else new entirely.

FF14 shouldn't feature "waiting 35 minutes for people to get their asses to Einherjar."

Missions and Soloing

FF11's biggest fault is probably how grouping dependent it is. People shouldn't be able to solo Tiamat, but it also shouldn't be amazing that somebody level 75 can complete a quest by himself for his level 56 Artifact Feet or whatever.

Missions that require a bunch of people shouldn't have EXP loss penalties for people who come along to help and shouldn't be so rigid in who is even allowed to enter the BCNM to help. Offerring some worthwhile rewards would also really help in this regard.

(Note to SE: This is 2009, 1,500 EXP for wandering through level capped zones and winning a hard fight is not a worthwhile reward.)

Perhaps there could also be non-retarded NPCs that could be hired to help with Missions? Wouldn't it be great if Bob the WHM could hire an NPC Paladin to come and tank his San d'Oria 2-3 Black Dragon BCNM? You know, instead of /shouting for two hours and begging for help with it?

Maybe even give those NPCs better AI and greater player control than Stop-Start and Leeeerooooy Jenkiiiinnnnnnssss!!!!'ing into the boss at a BCNM fight? I've played Half-life 2, I've seen NPC helpers don't have to be 100% retarded like it's 1992 still.

More Technical Stuff

Now, I want to move into less directly gameplay related things and more technical and social issues regarding FF11, FF14, and MMOs in general.

Casual Players

Much has changed since FF11 launched and in FF11 itself to allow more casual players to enjoy the game. Solo EXP being possible and not completely horrible has made leveling subjobs by yourself on your own randomly available time pretty viable. Burn parties have made getting hundreds of merits pretty reasonable compared to 2005.

But soloing to 75 is still kind of ridiculous. And there's several jobs (BLM, BST, etc) that aren't wanted in conventional parties and Square-Enix seems completely unable to adress this.

I'm not sure how you would go about fixing this really. Probably just increase EXP and EXP from IT mobs.

As far as FF11 endgame goes, being able to play casually is...kind of bleak. Other than Nyzul Isle, there really isn't much a pickup group can do escpecially without some Rare/Ex gear you really need a large static group (LS) to obtain in the first place.

I'd really hope that FF14's endgame is a little more accessible for casual players.

I personally am thinking I won't play FF14 for that reason, and quite a few people over on BG have said the same. Not just the "starting from scrach" thing and "needing to figure out how to make gil again" stuff either. It just takes too much time to play an MMO and I could be experiencing dozens of other games in whatever time I have for gaming. At my own pace and accomplishing things in them instead of grinding out some incremental improvement in FF14.

Importing Characters?

Probably the most entertaining conceit being discussed on BG and elsewhere is will we be able to import characters from FF11 into FF14.

While it might be more tempting to hop into FF14 being able to bring my pretty well geared/merited character from FF11, I don't think I'd want to do it. That would completely kill both the ability of SE to drastically alter (for better or worse) the gameplay from FF11 and make it so new people would be unwilling to start playing who hadn't been playing FF11.

People also point out that no other MMO ever let people do this. Those are both good enough reason for me to be fairly sure we won't see our FF11 dudes running around FF14 (even if we can make ones that look almost identical as the trailer seems to suggest).

Regional Servers?

Probably the most interesting thing I've seen mentioned is will there be regional servers? Or perhaps no-region servers and regional servers mixed with players choosing on which type they would like to play?

Being able to be on an NA-only server could be interesting. There would be times when most of the playerbase is sleeping, so timed spawns would be less camped. Then again, timed spawns are...kind of lame. As I mentioned above already. So, I'd prefer to see less of them in FF14.

There's also the issue of "JP ONRY!!!!!!! \(O.o)/". Which wouldn't be an issue on NA-only servers. But at the same time, it probably wouldn't be an issue if there were no-region servers and region servers mixed. Japanese who hate everyone else for whatever reason could go to JP-onry servers and leave the rest of us the fuck alone.

So, I would kind of like to see a mix of regional and non-regional servers. I personally like being able to meet people from all over the world playing, it's pretty neat.

TTFN!

That's about all I have to say on the whole FF14 thing.

There's plenty of stuff to read on the TTTO as well as additional info on FF14 as it becomes available, so have a look there if you haven't already.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Duke Nukem Forever Review

Yahtzee lays it all out about the greatest game EVAR made.

I'm buying a copy for everyone I know.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Castle Oztroja [S]!

I did some SCNMs the other day in Castle Oztroja [S]. Despite Evilbron being there, I only died once.

The first NM we hit was a Ninja mob. It was interesting because whenever it casts Utsusemi it spawns clones of itself. They're pretty weak though and a single nuke was dropping them.

Next, we went upstairs to get a few more NMs.Did you know that these things are truesight?

I didn't.

So, I found out the fun way. With a Tough MNK Yagudo and this WHM NM wacking me in the face. For Toughs the Yags aren't very strong. And this particular WHM NM has the odd habit of spamming Cure V on itself, so it just stood there doing that instead of helping its MNK friend kill me.

As everyone else arrived we finished off the MNK and then started on the NM. It was a stalemate for a few minutes and then we dropped two or three Darkness skillchains and magic bursts on it and killed it pretty rapidly.

After that, we moved further into Castle O. and found the Taurus NM was up. I should really take a look at the Wiki next time, because I was quite surprised when it popped Hundred Fists and killed our Ninja who was tanking it. I took off and kited it around the lamp looking thing. It's pathing was pretty horrendous, so it was easy to stay out of its melee range. (It took a circle around it that was way bigger than the lamp.)

I'm pretty sure it could be DoT kite soloed. Unfortunately, its drops both suck and aren't worth anything...so why bother?

The last NM for the night was a gnat.What could possibly go wrong, right?I hate #@%^ing gnats.

It killed a bunch of people, but we returned the favor.And then we called it a night. We've got most of three or four sets of sealed boxes for the BCNMs now.

I'm not sure what if any items I want from them. I'll probably just stick to stuff that's sellable.