Wednesday, September 30, 2009

January Update!

In Persona 3: FES, not FFXI. :-p Some non-plot specific spoilers follow, so you've been warned.






I'm up to floor 254 of Tartarus. I tired out all my people except Aigis and Ken, so they ditched me.

The Floor 244 boss fight was a HUGE pain in the ass. It's three of the grotesquely muscular, leather clad dudes who are chained to large spiky wheels. They spam Primal Force and other devastating physical attacks at high HP and AoE Lightning and can use Last Resort (self-destruct, it hurts) at low HP.

They handed mauled portions of my ass back to me about five times before I decided to enter at a lower floor and build up some levels getting back up to them. I got back up to them, now with two people on my A-Team tired out, so I went in with two people from my B-Team.

There's seven SEES members, so you may be wondering how I can make two teams of three with that. The answer: Fuck Ken. Annoying little bastard. I wish I could bring his mom back to life so I could be the one ot kill her.

/fume

Anyway, I brought in Aigis and Koromaru to replace Akihiko and Mitsuru who had to go back to the Dorm because they were tired. I tried the boss again. It turns out that only Ice and Wind damage is worth a piss on them, so we slowly worked them down while barely staying alive until around 30% HP when we wiped yet again.

A new strategy: Physical Mirrors! I'll spam those and let the Pulp Fiction Gimp wannabe fuckers take themselves out. Which didn't work very well. No Mitsuru/Yukari doing Ice/Wind damage and the Gimps take shitty damage from Slashing and it was using regular attacks that got repelled and Primal Force would be the faceraping followup.

To ~30% and we wiped.

AGAIN.

Ugh, so I take the B-Team back into Tartarus a few floors below the The Gimp Rape Squad of Doom and try to level up a bit more and see about fusing some more useful Personas. I get back up to the Gimp floor again, return to the entrance, and it's off to the Velvet Room to fuse!

It turns out I can now fuse Abbadon of the Devil Arcana which is a Rank 10 Social Link (Tanaka is a huge piece of shit by the way). Which learns...Null Slash, Null Pierce and Null Strike!!! The Gimp Squad of can't fucking touch MC Paul Evil is going to get it's comeuppance!

So I fuse me up some Abbadon goodness (badness?) and head back to Floor 244. It turns out while they can't hurt MC Paul Evil now, my dude is only hitting for 12 damage each round. I hit triangle to put the battle into 'Rush' and go make a sandwich.

Five minutes later I've got one of the three Gimps down to 75%. (Of course my other three party members are dead, but screw those jerks.) But this just isn't going to work. I hit reset and head back into the Velvet Room.

It turns out I can fuse Abbadon with two other Personas I have lying around to make Michael of the Judgement Arcana. Michael can learn Mabufudyne (heavy AOE Ice damage) and can inherit (after 20 minutes of re-rolling) the Null Physical stuff from Abbadon. Now we're in business! They can't hurt me, but I can hurt them! (At this point I wasn't aware of the Mazionga or Last Resort abilities, but Michael is also strong to Lightning coincidentally.)

I have part of my B-Team plus a level 36 Ken's AI set to Support/Heal, so they mostly stay alive on their own (except fucking Ken) and cast some useful buffs. I ended up just blasting the hell out of them with Mabufudyne and finally managed to finish the battle with everyone, even Ken, alive!

I go back to the entrance and save, and continue up the tower to the next boss at 253. This one's a joke, but Koromaru is worn out so he leaves when I return to the entrance again to save. Go back in a final time and the stairs to the final floor are right next to where I started at.

The top! At last!

Now I just need to kill the Reaper, kill one more gold hand monster, and get some Social Links maxxed out and I'm ready for whatever's coming January 31st!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NOBODY CARES ABOUT MOBLIN MAZE MONGERS.

Seriously, Square-Enix, leave the dead horse alone already.

And what the hell is the comingling of MMM and Fishing supposed to mean? The usual shitty translation and vague update teaser has me about as confused as it usually does.

That ring looks fucking useless.

If you get Fishing Guild Support you can decrease fish stamina more easily? Umm...it's not hard to start with unless you're catching Ebisu fish and then you want to be using two other rings anyway.

Minor Update: I posted on BG about MMM too. (I got pretty hilariously pwned.)

But the point is still true: SE needs to try adding stuff that (non-JP people) might actually consider doing and make it something that's not the 1 in 300 lotto odds to actually get something decent.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Well that was Lame. (Microsoft)

I went to a Windows 7 Launch Event with my brother and his girlfriend earlier. I got up bright and early at 7AM for it, drove 35 miles, and met up with them. We go inside and I get some coffee and pass on the bagels/donuts (no non-boring food, MS?), and go into the theatre to grab some seats.

There were three sessions each about 45 minutes long aimed at software developers. The first was a general overview of what's different in Windows 7 compared to Vista/XP. The next two covered some specific new things.

The interesting one was next. About support for things like light sensors that would allow developers to automatically modify their application's behavior. A useless but cool demonstration of that had a racing game, that the guy presenting it was hilariously terrible at crashing back and forth between the guard rails, switch between day and night depending on how much light was reaching the sensor.

The last seession was about touch screens that you can do different motions with multiple touches at the same time to do different things. So if you moved two fingers apart it zoomed. Yay.

After that, everyone made a massive clusterfuck of a line to get our free Windows 7 Ultimate copies as we went out the door. The fucking lame as bullshit part of it is that these are 32bit ONLY.

How fucking cheap is Microsoft they can "splurge" and give out Ultimate, but can't be arsed to give both varieties of it? If you buy it in a store you get both FFS.

Sure, my current PC is old as fuck and can't run a 64bit OS, but my brother only went because he wanted a free 64bit copy. And any future PC I get will obviously support it and probably need it since I'll get 4GB or more of RAM. So, I could wipe my drive to install a legit copy or not bother and save myself a few hours.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yeah, I hit it.

So, I've been playing Persona 3: FES since finishing Persona 4 a second time. It's made me appreciate how well Atlus looked at the shortcomings in Persona 2 & 3 and fixed things up to make 4 totally awesome.

It's not a bad game though. Quite a bit darker than 4. There's no "Investigation Team" there's the "Student Extracurricular Execution Squad." And they call their personas by doing what looks like shooting themselves in the head with a pistol.

But by far the most hilarious thing I've seen in any videogame in recent memory is Elizabeth. She's the girl who hangs out with the massively nosed Igor in the Velvet Room. Igor helps you fuse new Persona to use in battle. Elizabeth gives you quests with nice rewards to do.

One particular string of these is to take her out on dates in various places around town. If you've seen Mannequin or Encino Man where there's a character who knows nothing about the modern world, or maybe the Doctor Who Christmas special on the Titanic with the "earth historian" guy who had the completely wrong idea about everything, then you've got an idea what Elizabeth is like. She's a slightly insane space cadet character if there ever was one. And tonight Paul Evil, blue haired emo main character of Persona 3: FES, hit that! Funny how the date where you get laid is less interesting than the one where you go to the mall and your date "Feeds money to the gods of the foutain for good fortune." And proceeds to dump 2 million Yen into the wishing fountain. Hehe.

I'm really just posting this to show that I've got my TV card hooked up and working again. Now back to exploring Tartarus! 214 floors down, God knows how many to go!

And it seems I can't go up any farther currently. /sigh

So Modus Veritas Isn't Actually Totally Useless?

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of Helix spells or Modus Veritas merits. Sure, they're unique to Scholar like weather spells and hat/glasses combos. Their initial damage is the same as Aero I (or Thunder I I don't remember which) and then repeated every few tics of the game's clock until they wear off.

But because of the low base damage of helix spells on things with very high INT they are thoroughly mediocre (Kirin). Also many mobs have innate magic damage reduction which also hurts their usefulness further (Wyrms, Proto-Ultima). Using DoTs is also a no-no in many places where you would want to Sleep the mob and be unable.

With merits in Modus Veritas you get a helix that does double damage every 10 minutes. Given the limited usefulness of helices as I mentioned in the preceding paragraph that makes SCH Group 1 generally not that exciting.

They're somewhat interesting now because the cat's out of the bag: You can kill Absolute Virtue with them.

I was surprised because it's not exactly a secret that you can stack Modus Veritas. Kaeko links to a thread from 2007 about the exact subject. So now, it's wait and see what SE's response is. While the people experimenting with this were keeping it secret mostly, that it works wasn't a secret.

There's an obvious comparison to be made to the Salvage Bans, but because that was using a convoluted method to exploit a glitch and dupe items and this is...kind of using a Job Ability to do what it's intended I don't think we'll see bans for it.

Well, at least not for solely stacking Modus Veritas. Lots of people on BG are talking about using bots to automate the process to have many Scholars use it simultaneously. Which is something Square-Enix won't have any qualms about banning people for.

If SE will be stupidly widereaching with bans, like the gardening bans from a few months back (that were mostly later reversed), and ban everyone who did it is certainly a possibility though. That I think would be pretty stupid both from a PR standpoint and feed the conspiracy theories that SE is actively trying to kill off FFXI some more.

In any case it's the first time in recent memory that BG has had two drama threads that are moderately interesting and entertaining at the same time. Maybe the spam forum is more interesting, but I stay out of there. It's like the /b/ of BG.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

#$%&ing Really?!

The trailer for the Shantotto "mini-expansion" is up...

How is it the mini-expansion that I thought was an April Fool's joke is the best looking of the three?

And how do I know that it'll be some retarded fucking fetch quests? Oh, right, because the other two were.

And where's the "Buy this because you get some piece of augmentable armor!!!" teaser at? I mean I probably won't buy this one either when Youtube was made for watching cutscenes in terrible games so you don't have to actually play them, but I'd like to see what SE has come up with. Pants? Hands? Hands in my pants? Evil minds want to know.

Version Update!?

There's also an announcement on POL that SE is in fact continuing to update FFXI and will finally roll another one out in October.

From this picture I'll predict what they're doing.
  1. They're adding Daggers for Dancer.

  2. Black Mages are going to get Attack Bonus IV and A- in Dagger and will be the new Greater Colibri killers of choice.

  3. Lactomel or whatever his name is (Elvaan kid from lolOldSandy) has further hijinks ensue.

  4. And Sage Sundi still hasn't figured out that ABSOLUTELY NOBODY GIVES A FUCK ABOUT MOBLIN MAZE MONGERS.

    NOBODY.

    EVER.

    WILL.

    SERIOUSLY, FUCK OFF WITH THAT SHIT ALREADY.
You read it here first, folks!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

FF13 Developer's Journal

The only way this could be funnier is if it were real.
All I know is that if I have a breakdown and they let Akitoshi Kawazu anywhere near this game I will murder every single person at Square-Enix with my bare hands. Kawazu, if you're reading this I want you to know one thing, motherfucker: you suck at what you do and I use copies of SaGa Frontier as toilet paper.
Kawazu is the guy reknowned for such masterpieces as the SaGa series, Final Fantasy 2 (on the NES, not the one with Cecil, Kain, and Rosa), and the quote, "yeah, I'm aware that the games I've made have never been, you know...good."

Also, if you, like me, hate Tetsuya Nomura, there's this:
Planning on FFXIII began today. Whoop-de-fucking-doo. We discussed character designs, even though Tetsuya Nomura, the character designer, was conspicuously absent, most likely off at a Hot Topic buying belts and zippers.

I'm working with Yoshinori Kitase on this game. Kitase is a personal rival of mine due to the fact that he had a hand in FFVII. Sometimes while he speaks I completely tune him out and imagine exactly how many sleepless nights he must've spent dreaming up the tortured psyches and poignant backstories of Cait Sith or Yuffie. Yeah, great writing there, Yoshi.

And then there's Final Fantasy VIII. What the hell was that all about?
It's funny stuff, go read the rest.

UPDATE: Another awesome part:
Like today, for instance, that jackass Nomura came into my office around 10:00 AM, which is my publicly announced private time. I even hung this sign on my door:


I asked him if he could read and he became extremely defensive. So I believe he might be illiterate. But that's beside the point. He came in with a basket of fruit, which he said he brought to welcome me back. The only thing was that he wasn't sure which fruit I liked, so he filled it with broccoli, which he called "The Fruit of the Gods".

He smiled and asked me if I liked it, and I asked him where the fuck the picture of my wife was. I had it right here on my desk when I called him in a while back, and then when he left it was gone. I told him I knew he had it, and he admitted that he couldn't read, which was somehow supposed to be relevant. When I asked him what that had to do with this he said he didn't know because he couldn't read.

Tired of talking in circles, I told him to leave my office. He told me that he'd make it up to me somehow, and then he walked out.

I glanced at the mug holding my pens and noticed that three and a half of them were missing. That smug kleptomaniac bastard.
The rest.

Organizing Your Screenshots

I was reading an interesting article on Windows 7 on Tech Report just now and saw this.
You don't have to constrain yourself to boring old folder view, of course. With photos, for example, it's possible to sort a whole library by day or month, which will pool all images together and display them in chronological order. How cool is that? Too bad Windows 7 still has no native support for RAW images, unlike Mac OS X.
With my rather old PC, it's not exactly lightning fast to get done building, but the info is cached so I only have to wait for the first time. The still in-progress result looks like this:Which is pretty cool I think.

Also, I'm probably going to hook my PS2 back up to my TV card again soon, so my updates will be slightly *ahem* more interesting visually.

Dynamis - Valkurm!

I went on a Dynamis - Valkurm run tonight. We just farmed for an hour and didn't attempt the boss. Drops were decent a THF cape, Dancer cape (belt?), and a SMN Horn -1 piece. The NQ SMN horn I've still never seen drop in person and the LS has only gotten one ever. We've gotten at least two -1 Horns though.

I played around with Ascetic's Fury again some more. I have to say I'm really impressed by that WS now. 1,024 on one of the regular mobs in there, and I was making Light with random people. Light's not too awesome with the double Dark weather, but still nice added damage when it isn't resisted.

I'm also beginning to strongly suspect that like Mandalic Stab and Tachi: Gekko that it gets a large bonus to Attack. Somebody would probably have to go punch a few hundred Greater Colibri or something to know for sure though. I'm also wondering if it would be worth it to get Alky's Bracelets for it or if I should just stick with O.kotes?

All in all it was a fun run. If there's one thing that's nice about CoP dynamis it's that they're short compared to the snorefest city zones.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Endurance Run has come to an end!

The Giant Bomb Endurance Run of Persona 4 has finally drawn to a close! The guys got the True Ending and finished this pretty awesome game!

You can watch the final episode below:










It's obviously got spoilers being the ending. The rest of the Endurance Run can be found here.

Some additional comments on it (also containing spoilers) from myself follow: I have really enjoyed both playing through Persona 4 twice personally and watching Vinny, Jeff, and Drew take a trip through it.

As cheesy as it is so say it, the sort of "lesson" at the end that regardless of how far away you are from people you care about the bond between you remains was really heartfelt. (Having just had a bunch of friends move away recently myself.)

Atlus did an amazing job with P4.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dynamis - Windurst Cancelled.

So, I go to take a shower ~45 minutes after Dynamis was supposed to have started, but hadn't yet, and come back to find out it's now cancelled because there's only 10 people on. And that's somehow my fault apparently.

Or something.

I don't know/care.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Videocard!!!

I just ordered one of these!

Not the latest or greatest, but I'll be able to play some PC games and use Aero.

/exited

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Neato!

Windows 7 actually looks like it'll be pretty cool.It's ashame my PC is a piece of shit.

On the plus side, I got around to reseating the heatsink on my CPU and reapplied some thermal goo, so it stopped overheating.

I really need to find a job and get some money. :-P

Update:

Oh, I forgot to mention it: FREE WINDOWS 7 ULTIMATE!!!

If you're reading this you should probably see about going to the event near you and get a free copy. It looks like a worthwhile upgrade over Windows XP. (Something Vista was not.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

200/200

Why is there is there a 200 screenshot limit on PS2s? It's not like there's other uses for the 40GB drive in the things.

Anyway, no pictures for some reason, but I did some Sky on Saturday. A Seiryu & two Byakko as BLM and then a Kirin burn as MNK.

Between INT merits, a Creampuff, and decent gear Seiryu was surprisingly easy to land unresisted nukes on. 8/10 landed for full damage.

Byakko seems to have some innate MDB like Genbu, but wasn't particularly bad either. We did get lucky and got one or two Haidates off him too. Thankfully, none went to Evilbron (for whatever her brave new occupational failure she's into on now).

I went BLM/SCH for the lulz. It is a nice subjob other than the complete lack of any real defensive capability. Dark Arts, some Parsimony AM2 spells, and Sublimation are quite nice. And it isn't like BLM can really survive long against level 90 mobs anyway, so meh.

Kirin went off without a hitch. Other than an hour plus standing around waiting for people to get their asses there.

The fight itself was the typical ~1 minute 12 people punching/stabbing the crap out of him until he falls down. Drops were limited to an N.body and some money drops. :-/

Shockingly, 100% of Evilbron's party survived the battle. (I don't know, either.)

I really hate Evilbron.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I think he meant Squall?

If you didn't see it, from Penny Arcade last week.It kind of makes me want to go on Youtube and watch the cutscenes with Squall. I think I could possibly increase how much I hate him if I had some horrible voice acting to go with his emo g-tardedness.

Oh, and if you're wondering why voice acting in video games is so frequently fucking horrible, read this.
To answer the NA Voice Actor mediocrity question people seem to be throwing around...

The NA Voice Actor of Kuja, JD Cullum, has a youtube page apparently. A lot of FF fans asked about how it was to voice act for Kuja... some of the responses were pretty surprising.

Basically, they just gave him a vague idea of how Kuja should have sounded like ("Be feminine and breathy with your voice") and... that was it apparently. No directing, no background checking to see what the character is like. Nothing. He apparently said it was actually quite difficult to voice Kuja since he knew so little of the actual character itself.

Hell, he even admitted he hasn't even played the damn game.

His comments:

===

I will say this about the job, and then I'll leave the discussion, but perhaps it might provide you some insight into how these things work. I was being directed by a director who spoke to me via a translator, and she was trying to get me to literally imitate the Japanese actor who played the part. Now, it's one thing to try to imitate George W. Bush or anyone else in my native language, but it's absurd to try to imitate an unseen actor in a completely foreign language. Also, you may notice...

cont'd) ... that I extend my speech patterns in bizarre and unaccountable ways. That is because I am trying to match the time of the Japanese phrases. Well, Japanese is perhaps quite not as economical as English, at least for certain phrases. Sometimes I had to slow down and extend my voice to an absurd and unnatural degree to fit with the animation.

Finally, I was given no information about the character I was playing and I still don't really know, but I do know I was encouraged to sound breathy and feminine. Not my preferred approach but my job was to try to deliver what the director wanted. If you want a better sample of my v.o. work, you can hear me as the Frosted Mini Wheat...

I confess I'm not familiar with the rest of the project. They simply provide me with the lines for my character and then I record each one individually, while watching video playback. The whole thing took about 20 hours of work.

===

And... that's it!
Awesomely bad.