Saturday, April 30, 2011

Portal 2 (No Spoilers)

So I finally got around to finishing the last thing in Portal, and got the sequel Portal 2. If you haven't played the first, then you apparently don't like fun, or missed the giveaway weekend it was free on Steam and didn't get the Orange Box either.

In any case, I've gotten about halfway through it and it's a great game. The writing is again top notch. There's a number of new characters and they're all humorous in different ways. The puzzles are back too, of course, and a number of new elements have been added. There's the colored gels that have various effects on surfaces. I don't remember lasers in the original, so I'm pretty sure those are new.

Something odd I still haven't figured out is heights. I've heard of people getting motion sickness from playing first-person shooters. I have never experienced this, personall. What I've never heard of people experiencing a real-life fear of heights in a videogame, but a few times looking down from somewhere it's made me feel uneasy. So I guess expansive environments that seem realistic is a positive?
There have been a few puzzles like the one above (pic stolen from Wikipedia) that were rather exhilarating. The blue portal is a big drop, and the distance that you're launched from the orange one is pretty long.

So, yeah. I'm going to take the controversial view that Portal 2 is in fact a great game. And if you haven't picked it up yet (the $50+ asking price is steep for a sequel to a game that was free), then check Gamestop or KMart this weekend as its apparently half-off.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Down to the wire!

So, I have been working on a Yama's Staff +2 lately. I went with the Dark Potency route hoping we'll get a dark elemental Meteor/Comet down the line. The previous two staves I upgraded were Ice/Lightning and had trials that could be done on BST pets. The later trials are killshots over 150 or 250 elemental damage. Both lend themselves to -ga3ing a bunch of mobs and/or just one-shotting BST pets. The Dark staff doesn't really have this option. Sure, you could Cataclysm stuff, but mage melee sucks. So, this one took a lot longer than the rest, and I plan to write up something similar to my previous posts about it.

But the point of this post, is that I finished it earlier!
Right down to the wire!

Friday, April 22, 2011

That looks....crazy broken.

They posted some Job Adjustments for the ludicrously long awaited Version Update finally. I'm a bit surprised to see what they are. But first...

King's Quest!

To briefly comment on the changes to Ground Kings: Great! I'm pretty sure that somebody did a detailed mock-up of almost exactly the announced system several years ago and it was floating around at the '06ish Fan Fest, but better late than never. Lowering Black Belt item drops seems kind of retarded, I ended up having to buy mine for 6 million gil because the drop rate on NQ HNMs and KS99s was horrid, but otherwise it's a positive.

I'm not sure if I'll do more KS30 spam for R3 or wait for this. They should probably add BS/KS drops inside Abyssea (or however they changed them due to Genkai Quest problems).

Job Adjustments: Dark Knight

They do know about Desperate Blows merits, right?
Because this looks crazy broken. ~25% Job Ability Haste 60% of the time?


As you may know, I've got my PUP90 and enjoy murdering the shit out of things with Stringing Pummel in Abyssea. So, I was delighted to see this.
For the non-PUPs the Heat Capacitor looks like a Meditate for Automatons. Using Fire Maneuvers provides a boost to an Autos STR and makes Attack boosting fire-based Attachments like Tension Springs provide larger percent bonuses. Unfortunately, having Fire Maneuvers up also affects which WS an Auto will use, and it's not always the better one. Tactical Switch swaps TP between Master and Automaton, so I think it'll be most useful either where you can't use Fire Maneuvers with a melee/ranged frame or with the mage Auto where the Master is meleeing.

Power Cooler looks to make the WHM Automaton slightly more MP efficient. Mana Booster (also an ice-based attachment) reduces the recast time between spells, so it's generally in use already. An Automaton running out of MP is usually not an issue with ADD (Activate-Deploy-Deactivate) fully restoring MP and Deus Ex Automaton allowing ADD even when Activate isn't up. So it's nice to have, but nothing amazing. On the BLM Auto it's not desirable as those Ice capacity slots are useful for damage.

Barrage Turbine is exactly what it sounds like. It'll probably give three plus the number of Wind Maneuvers, possibly based on level, shots of Barrage. And the occasionally makes it sound like a three or five minute recast timer. I don't use the Sharpshot frame much, so I don't see this as particularly useful.

Galvanizer looks pretty nice. There's not much in the way of useful Thunder Attachments for Mage Autos. For the melee and ranged ones Target Marker and/or Stabilizer(s) are usually used to provide an Accuracy boost, so countering attacks after Barraging at the start of a fight would be pretty handy.

The new weaponskills both look good. The first being a crit WS could potentially be amazing in Abby. The second being multi-hit should outperform Armor Piercer which is single-hit.

Job Traits

These look OK.
I'm not sure how Tranquil Heart will work, but having some innate Enmity- on Cure spells can't hurt. It'll help make White Mage even more awesomely broken. For subjobs only /WHM will probably give the Tier II trait at 90. /RDM probably will at 99. Unless Scholar gets Gravity nobody will care if /SCH gives the Tier II trait..

Stalwart Soul looks to...what the fuck is a "DKN Lv.45"? Fuck.

Ranged crits just get a 25% damage bonus, unlike melee attacks, so maybe Dead Aim will have them act more like melee ones?


And there's this stuff.
The VIT change sounds good for Counterstanced Monks. Probably broken in an Emergency Maintenance awesome kind of way. (I'm calling it!) Also nice, because I like using the Atma of the Mounted Champion which gives VIT+50 soloing or when I'm not sure about having dedicated healing.

EXP loss change is something people have been bitching about for years. If you haven't read Pat's The Rise and Fall of Final Fantasy it's interesting, informative, and pretty entertaining to anyone who's a fan of (or hates, I guess) the FF series. His FF11 experience was ruined in sizeable part by the death penalty. Rhete hated much more of the game overall, but EXP loss was a part of it. Losing EXP after level 5 is kind of a steep difficulty/learning curve bump. So yeah, evilpaul approves this change.

Now if they can just add those Targeting the Captain attachments somewhere else or make them Synergy'able or something. Somebody post that on the Official Forum for me. :-P

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Needs Moar Tier III. Also, Merit Points.

So like most people I was happy to see Fusionx delved deep into the Mysterious Dungeon that are The Square-Enix Official Forums and emerged alive with news contained therein of some stuff planned for the next Version Update. Whenever the hell that's actually arriving.
Merit caps are going up! I'm not sure what I want to put mine in though...

HP or MP? I went 8/8MP previously, and don't regret it. Nobody uses Sorcerer's Ring in Abby (you can swap your yellow gear, cancel the HP buff, and swap back to nuking gear), but I've still got one. HP would be good to have for tanking stuff as Monk or Ninja, obviously. Suggestions?

Attributes is easy: More INT! It continues to be the most noticeable base stat for my jobs.

I'm curious as to whether the increased Combat Skills are going to raise the category totals? The really nice thing unique to Hand-to-Hand skill is that as it goes up so does the base DMG of bare fists. So I'll raise that as much as possible. Evasion is also an easy pick if we're allowed to raise it further.

If it's just we can cap out additional categories, then I'm basically stuck with Parrying and Guard as I'm not about to merit Club or Staff. I guess I could do Dagger as I use it on NIN and PUP a little, but meh.

Magic Skills are also easy: Ninjutsu! Sure, I could do SMN magic, but resisted Ninjutsu makes soloing/low-manning stuff more difficult and I use Ninja way more than Summoner.

Others goes without saying that it'll be more of the same. So Critical Hit Rate +1% and Spell Interrupt Down -1% more.

Crafting Changes?!

Most intriguing is Sqeenix possibly allowing an increase in the points over 60 for Crafting.
If I could get another craft to 80, then I'd definitely go with Woodworking. Tier 3'ing Shihei would be fucking awesome. I'm forced to make my own as they sell for twice the cost of materials pretty often.

I'll have to check synth recipe lists, but Alchemy would probably be the other craft I'd want to get to 100. Not because it's a huge money maker, but because in this Abyssean World we live in consumables are really the only stuff worth buying.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What I've been up to lately...

I haven't been posting much lately.

In-game I've mostly been working on getting AF3+1 seals. That's going pretty well. I've finished all six pairs of feet (they've been done a while now), finished all six pairs of pants (and plus +2'd three doing Sobek spam), and have +1'd all but one of my head pieces. I'm working on SMN as I type this.

I don't want this to be a "look at my shinies" post though, so something completely different: I've been doing Wings of the Goddess Missions! They really put some effort into the cutscenes. They're not the usual canned /emotes and dialogue. There's people flying inexplicably, throwing swords through the air and into Orcs, and all kinds of crazy. Here's a few pics I grabbed. I guess they're technically spoilers, but unless you've done WotG already they don't reveal much really.
I'm hoping to get up to and past the next battlefield/NM fight/whatever later today. If you're playing FFXI and haven't gotten around to them it's really worth it.

Also, take a look at this:
Is Square-Enix fucking with me?