Monday, July 30, 2007

Coming up with good titles is hard to do.

A general question about Salvage: Why do the drops suck? I don't mean the cell drops, I mean the level 25 drops. Ah, well. Every time we do Salvage we do better and better and we have gotten way faster at moving through the first two floors, although the drops are ridiculous sometimes. When we need magic we get all weapons and HP and when we need weapons and HP we get magic. LOL Outside of the lack of drops from Salvage it was a great weekend, and after we finish up getting Achikasama and Lilkathy to Sea we are going to start doing Salvage on Saturday and Sunday which should massively improve our drop rate and the quality of the runs we are doing. I have to say that I am rather inconsistent on what I tell people to bring to Salvage so I am going to list them here as a reminder to myself and others on what to bring.

1. Sanction - Regen or Refresh as needed.
2. Reraise item.
3. Food - Now before I didn't think to tell people to bring specific food, but I think I am going to now. For the first 30 minutes of the run for melee, its better to use meat, then after sushi is fine. For mages, I think that max MP up food is better than cookies for the first 30 minutes, or until the get their max MP up cell.
4. Hi-potions and Hi-ethers as always.

Now, on to the other activities for the weekend. Well, we camped Nue again killed it several more times until we finally got this: It was finally nice to have that out of the way even if we did make a good bit of money from just killing the Tigers and Goblins around the spawn point. The gil made led me to a conclusion about farming that I will go over later. Well, it was nice to have my Nue Fang in my inventory finally
and I got it switched over to my Brown Belt pretty promptly. Since we already had a couple of people together camping Nue, we decided to head out and do an ENM, Sheep in Antlion's Clothing. It was pretty easy, and we actually got amazing drops. The Forager's sold really quick and we made a good chunk of change from it, and the Cloud Evoker went to me for Versus to use at a later date.

Saturday was a long CoP day, but we got everyone through the Three Path's missions, except Potpressure who still needs Tenzen's Path and the Bugbear fight but those are easy peasy. We did two Snoll Czar fights, and man they have really dumbed down that fight. Not only do the Shu'Meyo salts only take 1 second to activate, but it seems to only do Berserk, which over tripled my damage. Making my 600 Sidewinders into 2000 Sidewinders and Barrages of 1800+. Borin and I went as RNG and just destroyed this mission. Kind of pathetic actually considering how hard it used to be. I mean I knew that two RNG's would rip it to shreds but this was just ridiculous. We went /SAM to build TP, but honestly we probably could have just run in and fought it straight up and with Berserk up could have beaten it with no trouble at all. Anyway, after the Snoll Czar we took a peek out the exit of the BCNM because we had run back and honestly I have never been here before because we always just D2'ed out of there. Quite a sight to see, I must say. We were going to try to do the Airship fight, but everyone was pretty burnt out from doing the missions all day, so we will probably do them some time this week, or next weekend at the latest. Airship is tough but with the set up we have planned shouldn't really be that difficult. NIN, RNG, BLU, RDM, BLM, WHM. That is a pretty good set up I think, only trouble will be the Mammets, but we will figure something out I am sure. Once past the Mammets, the other two fights will be easy with all the damage we will have, I just hope I can keep hate off of Borin. LOL

The rest of the weekend was Kirin and Salvage, and I already kind of went over Salvage. Kirin was great too, after the initial kiting I got to switch to SAM to have a little fun because we had so many tanks. The drops were very good. Pole, Osode, Shining Cloth and another D. Body. Soon we are going to have to hand out D. Bodies for free. Since we started doing Kirin again we haven't gotten a single Abjuration outside of the D. Body. I know that W. Legs are supposed to be rare but N. Body? It would be nice if something besides D. Body would freaking drop. Well, we are increasing the frequency of our Kirin's just because we have so many extra sets, and I would like to be able to do more than one Kirin in a day, which I think we can do just have to persuade Omoi on that one.

As for my previously mentioned farming, Omoi and I have been ramping it up a little lately. I need more gil for my Cursed Haidate and Cursed Togi, and its just nice to have some gil, so we have been hunting around in Castle Zvahl, and have gotten a couple of NM's but they haven't been dropping much at all. I wanted to come here to get some Demon Skulls and Demon Horns but they don't seem to drop very often at all from the Demons there, so we may have to go elsewhere for better drops. Making money in this game is just getting so hard anymore. LOL

Friday, July 27, 2007

Nue sucks.

If you don't like gear comparison posts, then this probably isn't for you. So lets dive right in. Versus has a very eclectic grouping of jobs at times, and is a little melee heavy, but new members and a wide variety of jobs were available yesterday and I got to pick my own job for Sky. :) RNG required muling and Omoi and I share a bunch of DRG gear and she has most of it, so I went with SAM. I like SAM but it doesn't get much play because of other factors, like my ability to go to Dynamis has been cut greatly because of my schedule, which was a key area that I enjoyed using my SAM. I originally leveled SAM because I thought Versus might need more SC closers, but honestly we now have more closers than openers so I don't go to Sky as SAM very often. I do like my SAM though so I would like to show my "reasonable" set up for my SAM. I do not write this blog or give advice for people that don't need it. People that are one jobbers, or people that have access to amazing gear, relics, etc. I do write it for those that are like me, regular players that want to be the best they can, or have too many jobs to be able to concentrate on everything into one job.

So lets see what we have here. I have two different TP build set ups, accuracy and haste. Since I do use this occasionally for Sky I need the accuracy set up, and its nice to have on me in case there is a situation where I can use meat, etc. so I will go over that first. I have tended to go over individual pieces, but I think when comparing two TP set ups its better to look at the set differences.
Defense: +116
HP: -2
STR: +16
DEX: +31
AGI: -5
Accuracy: +44
Ranged Accuracy: +15
Evasion: -24
Attack: +62
Ranged Attack: +15
Haste: +5%
Store TP: +7
Subtle Blow: +5
Enmity: +1
Enhances Double Attack effect
Resist vs. Light: -8
Resist vs. Darkness: -12
Resist vs. Lightning: +50

Now for this set up, I think that once I get Amir Boots, I will switch over to those from the Saotome Sune-ate, also once I get Shura Haidate I will also consider using those, but the +5 STR probably will not be as beneficial as +5% haste. I like this set up mostly, it is focused almost exclusively on Accuracy and Attack, with +44 Acc. and +31 DEX making for an effective accuracy boost of +59.5 and with +62 Att. and +16 STR making for an effective attack boost of +70.

Now for my haste set up:
Defense: +138
HP: +37
MP: +30
STR: +16
DEX: +26
AGI: -2
Accuracy: +37
Ranged Accuracy: +5
Evasion: -29
Attack: +34
Ranged Attack: +15
Haste: +20%
Store TP: +7
Subtle Blow: +5
Resist vs. Light: -8
Resist vs. Darkness: -12
Resist vs. Lightning: +50
Enhances Double Attack effect
Decreases Movement Speed

Now, I really like this set up, I think the most haste you can get and not have to get anything stupid like a Blitz Ring is 23% so 20% isn't bad at all. It has a substantial increase in swing speed and stacked with Hasso it is really impressive, this is my default XP set up because I still need to use Sushi without any Great Katana merits. I could always use my Soboro with this set up but there really isn't a need for more WS's for substantially less damage only slightly more often.

Now for my WS set-up:

Direct comparisons to the other set-ups are irrelevant because there is no other set to compare it to in this case, and since I generally just use /THF for SATA with this (though in regular XP, I use /WAR and I might use my Hachiman body instead of the Kirin's Osode) the accuracy stats are pretty much irrelevant. With additional 49 STR, I am doing pretty well, but I would definitely prefer either Myochin Haidate +1 or more likely Shura Haidate. Now, I need to hunt around for some Divine Lumber or Logs, and do some farming.

I really like my gear for SAM and I think it is a good model over all.

As for yesterday, a good Sky day and a good Limbus run, after that Omoi and I camped Nue. Hey, the fight pic may look familiar, well so was the drop. Black Tiger Fang... :( I hate Nue, I don't know how many kills that is over the course of my time in the game, but it is a lot. Since I didn't feel like going to bed Omoi and I headed down to camp Deadly Dodo, which I have heard has a better drop rate on the Brown Belt item. Didn't take too long for it to spawn and the apparently "they" are correct about a better drop rate because I ended up with the Dodo skin! Well, its back to camping Nue now, hopefully sometime in the distance future I will have a Nue Fang and I can finish up that damn quest, LOL.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Things you dont see every day.

Well, pretty much as soon as I got home Ailee sent me a tell looking for a party on her BRD. Found that as a bit of a shock as I thought she would prefer to level her PLD, but she wanted to get some xp on her 73 BRD so that she could move closer to finishing it up. So I grabbed Hellz, and I won the JP random invite lottery. I got a very good and attentive NIN, who was faster at engaging and voking mobs than I am, and I think I am pretty good at that on my NIN; a Black Belt MNK, who just pretty much kicked ass; and a JP WHM that I really did see much of during the whole party. This was that result: That is the highest chain I have ever gotten in this game, and the party was just one long chain. From the first mob to the last (well there were two more after we decided to stop but those don't count) we got something like 40k XP. It was super fun and it kept everyone busy the whole time, even Ailee was happy with the party which was even better. ^.^ Anyway, in this party I started at 26K into my 75 buffer with about 2k into my 8th merit. At the end, as you can see I got my 10th merit. I spent them on 3 levels of Hand-to-Hand and one level of Double Attack for my WAR. Now, I think that I would persue my WAR more if I had any chance at E. Body or a Ridill (or if I actually owned a lot of my WAR gear, LOL) but since those just are not an option with my game play and the LS that I am in, I am going to merit it, but I will focus on making my MNK my next "uber" job like my NIN. Honestly, I don't have many ways to improve my NIN; I could get Salvage gear which I am slowly working on; I could get an Unji to pair with the Perdu Blade that I will be getting soon, but I like my Senj and although this could be sour grapes, I think paired with the Perdu Blade and my understanding of how comparative delay reduction works, I think that Senj is at least equal to if not stronger than the Unji. Outside of that I could tweak some improvements like a Forager's Mantle over my Amemet Mantle +1 or maybe even a Charger Mantle. But these are small tweaks, not game breaking tweaks. For my MNK all I would need is a Black Belt and the requisite pieces, although this is hard to do, its not as hard as trying to get a Ridill or E. Body. Well, anyway, that party was ridiculously good and it was just plain neat to see 10/10 Merits. After I spent these, I actually XPed some more afterward and got another merit. :)

On a complete side note, this should be filed under "I just don't get it." Yes, that is a Ridill, yes, that is an R. Body, yes, those are Armanda Hands, and yes, that is an NQ Amemet Mantle. I mean if you have all the gil and all the gear, why not just get the NQ? It's cheap, it's easy, and not having one is just plain weird. I am generally not a gear snob, but this just doesn't make sense. No LS pearl on, maybe a bought account? Who knows, but with gear that good, I don't think its much to ask.

In reference to yesterday's comment about Byakko's Haidate vs. Shura Haidate, I got some really crappy information from a bunch of people that had no idea why they were correct, and a few decent responses and a direct use of the in-game mathematics to prove one being generally better than the other. As for the people that were right but had no idea why, I have to say this: You are just as bad as being wrong. This goes back to the common act of parroting what you hear other people say, just because you lucked out and happen to be right doesn't mean anything really except that you can repeat what you have heard from other people. You just won the flip of the coin. Making a statement without proof or without knowing why you could be correct just proves that you are ignorant. Opinions are fine, expressing personal preference is always acceptable especially when it is backed up with reasoning, but making "factual" statements without any facts is just vacuous. But the ultimate conclusion from VZX is that Byakko's Haidate is the better choice because in this case the bonus from the secondary modifiers from the 15 DEX is more than the fSTR and secondary modifiers from the 5STR. He provided the exact calculations that I was looking for, and answered very well the question of fSTR vs. secondary modifiers. I also found out something I did not know, which is that, although slightly modified for level, the secondary modifiers actually increase the base damage of the weapon during the WS, which I did not know (I thought that it was just some independent damage input in the calculation). So you ask good questions, you get bad and good answers. Its the ability to glean the wheat from the chaff that provides us with the best information and thus knowledge.

Oh and I made this little pic to respond to a joke in that thread, because apparently You are not just your fucking O's Kote, you are not your fucking O's Kote pants either.

That was fun, and I just got an IM from Achikasama that said that Borin is back! God I miss Borin, talk about a great guy, and his hatred of Omoi is of epic proportions! I really hope that he is back for a while and not just checking in. Also got an IM from Achi saying that Sholo (Exodus/Wargod) got his Sirocco Kukri, which is awesome after the debacle that happened last night with a bunch of us showing up just a bit too late to try to assist Achi and Sholo in killing Kreutzet.

Ahh, well, Sky tonight and Limbus. Aiming to get Achikasama, King, Lilkathy, Crlmsonking and Ashhhhh to Sea this weekend, so maybe, just maybe on Monday they can come to Limbus.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Have a nice day.

I was discussing cutscenes in FFXI yesterday with Ailee, and we are completely opposed on our opinion on the matter. She hates them, I love them. I believe they add depth to the game and is one of the key points that differentiates FFXI from other MMOs (along with the massive play style difference), this is a key component of the Final Fantasy line of games. I have played FF I, II(US), III(US) and VII, while this is her first FF game, so I can understand the difference in perspective. There is also a general difference in attitude that can present itself in the appreciation of cutscenes between her and I. I think that cutscenes are a vital and critical part of FFXI and must be a part of the game, while she make an alternative and I believe somewhat valid point, in that people should be able to choose to skip the cutscenes. You can always go back and see them again at Goblin Footprints, and sure you can just Enter right through them all, but I don't know why we can't just be given an option to skip them if you wish. I mean it is SE's game, and we just play in their world, but there are many aspects to this game and we tend to focus on the ones that we enjoy the most, and I think SE knows this, so why not just let us do it?

Anyway, I have pondering a bit about WS gear for my NIN, and this is something I have been considering; Is Byakko's Haidate really better than Shura Haidate for Blade: Jin? I have put a bit of thought into it and I have my own conclusions, but I am going to pose this more as an open question and then I am going to answer my question with my limited understanding of game mechanics after it.

Just for reference Blade:Jin's modifiers: Three hit WS, with an additional hit from the off-hand katana. 1.00 damage modifier for all TP levels but increasing chance of Critical Hit with increased TP, and a 30% secondary modifier of both STR and DEX.

A quick look at each and secondary benefits;
Shura Haidate:
* HP -35
* Strength +5
* Accuracy +7
+ Improvement to fSTR?

Byakko's Haidate:
* Dexterity +15
* Resist vs. Lightning +50
* Haste +5%
+ Accuracy +7.5
+ Improvement to Critical Hit?

So, just a quick look would favor Byakko's Haidate, it has slightly more accuracy and a higher secondary modifier. But what about the improvement to fSTR from Shura? Am I even thinking of that the right way? Wouldn't the additional STR improve both the fSTR and the secondary modifier on Blade: Jin? Does the improvement to Critical Hit from more DEX on Byakko's Haidate matter if you don't reach the next "tier" for Critical Hit rate improvement?

Most discussions on this subject have just gleaned over things and favored Byakko's Haidate because of the really high secondary modifier and the essentially equal accuracy. But that doesn't really delve that far into the issue, and my knowledge of fSTR and how to best improve it for a weapon's base damage is too limited to understand it completely.

My conclusion is that Byakko's Haidate will still probably better for a couple of reasons. First the obvious ones; slightly more accuracy, massive bonus to the secondary modifier, potentially improved Critical Hit rate. Second, the not so obvious ones that I believe are true but I may not understand the mathematics correctly; for lower damage weapons it is easier to hit the fSTR cap, so the additional STR from the Shura Haidate would not be as beneficial if this is the case and I am hitting the cap for fSTR. If this is true then the benefits of the Byakko's Haidate would definitely shine through. This is not something that can be tested on bunnies in Ronfaure I believe because you would only be testing the maximum damage and not the potential damage of mobs that are higher level than I am. Additionally, I almost always use Sole Sushi and I am unsure how the the difference between meat and sushi would effect the calculation but I don't know if it would matter that much over all. So I pose this question to everyone here, and I think I am going to post it on BG forums to see what some other people say.

I think I have mentioned that I have completed my missions up to what is available for Aht Urhgan, and I have also completed the Sergeant rank mission, in which I got to assist a cute little Qiqirn. And our cute little Qiqirn goes through a wide variety of emotional states, including sadness: and joyful plotting: and also, I got a job offer in case that stupid cat doesn't give back my Glory Crown. As I mentioned yesterday, I am really digging Assault right now, and some of the higher level Assaults are getting to be pretty fun, like escorting this little Automaton around for him to destroy these blockades in a level 4 Assault. The benefit I have is that I have achieved several ranks by just doing the same low level Assaults repetitively so I have tons of Assaults I can do to level up. The only bad thing is that the whole group doesn't match up, so I am balancing out new high level Assaults with those that I have already done, and actually this is working out better than I had thought as I am building points around at all of the Assault Points. I don't know which pieces I am going to get next but I will likely pick up some combination of Amir and Pahluwan pieces, but its nice to be getting more and more points. Also, tonight we are going to do the Salvage that we missed on Sunday because everyone was tired or not in game. Kitty has managed to build up those points and here is a pic of the Amir Boots that he picked up on Monday. Maneater and Amir Boots in one day, I hope that made a happy Kitty. :) Speaking of making happy Kitty WARs, here is my happy WAR the day that I got to 75. We were fighting Trolls and doing pretty damn well on them, nice higher base XP than other camps, but its harder to maintain chains because of the distance between mobs and the tendency to use Diamondhide. But this one gave enough on a chain 5 to get me to 75. Since then I have had two more really good parties in which I have gained over 26k toward my XP cap, and after capping XP I am going to start meriting my WAR, while xping my MNK. Still only 44 and without a Brown Belt, but I am really looking forward to it still.

Finally, last night we did another Kirin which for some reason always takes us forever to get going, but when we do we really do a great job. The mini-gods are a piece of cake really, and we have taken to a really good strategy that makes Kirin much easier and much faster. And I was thinking of adjusting my gear to make it more effective, but it's hard to find places that I would want to swap to be honest. Since I need /WAR for kiting, I can't make as many concessions in the enmity department I could other wise, and their isn't a whole lot of wind resist gear that makes sense. Honestly, looking at the Sky God gear, it looks like Seiryu's Kote should have 50 wind resist on it, but sadly it doesn't. So right now I am going with a normal /WAR tanking set up with an Aquilo's Staff instead of a Earth Staff, then stack that with Baraera and Wind Carol. I am not looking for so much of a resist set up but they do come more often than not, I am more looking for a way to decrease the max damage from Great Whirlwind. Heat Breath seems to do a a flat 500 damage, and Great Sandstorm just doesn't do enough damage to worry about it. With this set up, I am able to hold Kirin for quite some time, usually 20% of his health before the healers start running low on MP and having to start kiting again. Usually we try to SC it for the BLM's but today we were more "TP burning" it, not like a lot of LS's, we just don't have the people or the damage to do that, but we are able to integrate different tactics to do what is best for us. In the past we have started to kite again when it casts Stonega but this time we didn't kite it and either tried to interrupt it or just sucked it up, and I don't believe that anyone ever died from it, though some got hit for more than others. Straight tanking Kirin is actually relatively easy because he barely ever uses real melee attacks, just mostly spamming Great Whirlwind, Great Sandstorm, Tail Slam, Tail Smash and Deadly Hold, with the occasional spell tossed in. So most of his TP moves just go through shadows so that leaves lots of time for shadows to refresh. I don't even have haste gear on at all I believe for this fight. Now, I am not trying to come up with something fresh or new on how to fight Kirin, but I would like to suggest to other LS's like mine (medium-sized, non-HNM) on how they could make their fights more efficient. Here is what I wear for straight tanking:

Main: Aquilo's Staff
Ranged: Ungur Boomerang
Head: Genbu's Kabuto
Neck: Evasion Torque
Earrings: Eris' Earrings
Body: Arhat's Gi
Hands: Seiryu's Kote
Ring 1: Mermaid's Ring
Ring 2: Bomb Queen Ring
Back: High Breath Mantle
Waist: Warwolf Belt
Legs: Koga Hakama
Feet: Suzaku Sune-ate, Fuma Sune-ate or Ninja Khayan +1

Now, I could improve some slots, like the neck is obvious and a Harmonia Torque is likely in my future, and I would love to get a Ritter Gorget but I am not doing Einherjar so that is right out. Also I could improve my waist with a Trance Belt. But improvements aside, I am trying to focus on HP and Enmity and ways to reduce Wind damage, then on defense. There is no real focus at all on haste which is pretty much not worth my while when most of the time I can just go Ni to Ni with just the Haste spell on me. This set up lets me hold Kirin pretty much indefinitely when using Carbonara to boost max HP, and the healers have MP. Even taking a solo Stonega IV will not kill me, as I have over 1700+ HP and it caps at I believe 1660ish, the only thing that is a real risk is the rare Deadly Hold for like 2k+. Even back to back bad Great Whirlwinds are manageable. Holding Kirin in this manner allows my LS to be able to do much more consistent damage, do it faster, and do it without having to worry about gaining hate. Generally, it is actually easier for me to maintain hate like this even without SATA just because I can more consistently voke, cast spells (which actually land pretty often if not for very long) and generally maintain hate better. I would like to get to the point that once we have killed the mini-gods, that we will only have to kite it after Astral Flow, and hold it for the rest of the time. Honestly, I don't know if there is enough MP to do this realistically but its a worthy goal.

As for last night's Kirin we finally got some decent drops. The Pole went to Lilkathy, the D. Body, for which we have been getting just a ton, went to Mirra, and the Osode, well, I got lucky on that one. :) I was lotting against four other people, and lotted about my average something like 540, but everyone else had really low lots and I managed to get it. This now completes my Sky God gear set, and I have to say that I am really proud that I got it with Versus. It makes me really impressed over all, and I want to help get ones for everyone else that needs them.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How the other half lives?

So, I was think about how FFXI could become better in the next expansion, and I think there are some things that they could glean off of other games like WoW, that would definitely provide an improvement to the game over all. My first thought is about Assault. Assault is great, I really, really enjoy it, and if it wasn't for the Perdu Blade I wouldn't have thought to start doing it. It actually started out as a Nyzul Isle group but since we weren't doing to great at that because of our party set-up we switched to just doing Assaults and then start doing Salvage. We have been much more successful doing Salvage than we have at Nyzul Isle. Also, we opened up Assault for anyone that wants to do it in our social linkshell and it has been a resounding success. Almost everyone is at least Rank 3 and most are Rank 4 or higher. There are two Assaults in the first couple of levels that aren't worth the effort, so sometimes we need to repeat to get people to Rank up but everyone needs the points. :) Anyway, I do have a point here, and that is that people enjoy doing these instanced zones. There is absolutely zero competition, and their is generally a fun objective to get done, and it can cater to different play styles. This is what WoW gets better than FFXI, because their instances are huge, and well time bound. FFXI has Dynamis, which was initially fun and complicated, but has become far too long of a slog. It has Assault, which is still fun but is very short and not very complicated, also the rewards are a mixed bag. It has Salvage, which is very fun, but the limitations placed on it are pretty weird. If I had to pick, I would ask for something like Salvage. Something that is time bound but not to limit the chance of winning, but more to limit the ability to cover all objectives in one run, but without the strange limitations of the Pathos.

I believe that WoW may have better implemented instancing, but doesn't match the social aspect of FFXI. Honestly, FFXI better matches real life in its social construction than WoW. FFXI basically encourages groups of friends to stay together, much like a click, while WoW is more individual play with the occasional grouping. WoW is almost like a Libertarian fantasy world, where individuals interact only with others for the achievement of their own good. While FFXI is more how people really interact, groups of friends generally together, but people willing to work with others to achieve more simple goals. Sure, there are dicks in both games, but generally the dicks will migrate toward the more individual based games, while those that are able to interact move towards the more social games. Of course there are exceptions to the rules, but this is generally what I have found. Since this is the case, I think that 18-person based instancing would work very well in FFXI, something like a combination of Limbus, Salvage and Assault. The more I think about it the more I think that FFXI really has a good basis for this, but I think that these zones would be better served if they had more of a storyline involved with them, something WoW does very well, and has more shaped ideas of the goal for each run. Of course I am just dreaming here, and maybe being a bit of a backseat developer, but I don't think it would be hard at all to implement.

Ah well, those are my thoughts about this whole things, Einherjar is a pretty big failure at this point because it is actually a move backward to Dynamis, which was too big and too long. Now Einherjar is too big, too short and too ridiculously hard. At least, SE has been listening to us, in that they made Einherjar as an alternative way to get abjurations, but they kind of failed in that they made it very unrewarding and too easy to lose. As I said, Limbus, Salvage and Assault are the best way to map out the future of instancing in FFXI, not Dynamis and Einherjar. Maybe not even limiting the number of people in the instances so that larger linkshells can do the events, and maybe scaling the instances to the number of people entering.

Those are just my random thoughts for the day, and for a bit of a recap we did Limbus, a quick win to work toward finishing EP's Omega set. I managed to die like three times, one of course from Gigascream from the Greater Birds, which ALWAYS happens. LOL Then Assaults (probably the impetus for subject of the post), which were a mixed bag, but helped a bunch of people get to level 4. For some reason Iz appears to be trapped at level 3. LOL Has to be just one Assault away from getting level 4. And Thaz was able to finally get his Amir Boots which we got to test out afterwards in a burn party along with his new Maneater. In fact in the party Iz, Thaz and I all had Maneaters that Iz had a hand is getting from the Like the Wing ENM. It was a pretty fun and full night. Although we didn't do a bunch of new Assaults to get a rank up, we can do them on Friday and we will be pretty close to getting another rank up. I would like to have Achikasama and Izman up to level 4 and if King is there, getting him to at least level 3 (which he may already be at, I don't remember exactly).

I have to apologize for not having pics lately, I just keep forgetting to upload them at night. >.< Hopefully, I will have some more tomorrow. :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Fast Going.

So WAR really turned around this weekend, I finally got to 75, and Kira got to 74, but she needs to get one more level on WHM to get it to 37 so that she feels comfortable at 75. Also she needs to quest the Teleport scrolls and do some other things. But what I can tell you is that she is an AWESOME BRD for a burn party, always on time with pulls and songs, hitting that additional cure when needed. It was awesome this weekend, we had two different parties where her abilities just were just stunning. One was an awesome WAR, WAR, WAR, BRD, BRD, RDM party, in which we made a TON of xp at the Greater Colibri camp. The second was NIN, WAR, WAR, WAR, BRD, RDM and we got really good chains in a heavily camped Mamool Ja staging point. Kira managed to pull, buff and cure all while this was going on.

So, WAR is now complete for leveling, but I need to start looking at merits, but even before that I am going to get 8 Hand-to-Hand merits for my MNK. When that is done, I will need to actually level my MNK. LOL I did get level 44 on my MNK in a horribly long party, like 1:30 before we even started to kill things and then it was just mediocre at best. But that is neither here nor there. And a bit off from what I want to handle today.

Lets see, on Thursday I went over why comparative gains can make the idea of "maximizing" gains not as important as some people think. I want to emphasize the fact that the problem I had with the reasoning is that you should choose between difference gear because of the way you are "maximizing." I have found an better example on my WAR that better illustrates the difference between always "maximizing" a certain statistic (haste/weapon delay) is not as beneficial as comparing the benefits and making them work for you, and just because you can't "maximize" everything doesn't mean that you should just give up and go the other way. Now, I use Maneater in my main-hand and a Juggernaut in my off-hand, and I also "maximize" haste by wearing Dusk hands and feet. As I am "maximizing" haste, does this mean that I should give up on my relatively higher delay Juggernaut for a Martial Axe? Of course you would never do that because the gain in delay could not make up for the loss in additional stats from the Juggernaut. This is the same for NIN except that the differences are even more small.

Now, I have to say that equipping a level 75 NIN is actually very hard as there is a wide variety of equipment available to NIN, and much of it is very good. And there is also the consideration of variance in playing style. Honestly, I am not in general opposed to "maximizing" on important statistics, in fact I am very much for it. But there are decisions that just boggle my mind, like AF body over a DD body. Ultimately, I think this is because most people don't think about their gear, but instead, just parrot what they have already heard. In the thread where I was discussing the point of diminishing returns on haste for the difference between two katanas delay in the off-hand, someone actually said that I was wrong and then posted how haste effected weapon delay. Literally they completely ignored everything that I said then made a completely irrelevant comment, one so irrelevant as to cause one to wonder if they could even comprehend that the conversation was completely beyond their grasp. Now, I don't mind at all that people want to participate in these discussions because they encourage better understanding for all. But these parrots actually work to make people more stupid, because instead of making a statement about how they are hoping to interject into the conversation or provide more information, they claim that those that are having a discussion far above their heads are actually wrong and that they are providing the correct information. It happens all the time, the stupid like to muddy the waters of discussion to flex their completely unfounded sense of superiority. Perhaps it appears that I have that sense of superiority, but I often doubt my gear selection and I am always in pursuit of information on how to make myself a better player. And some might say that differing opinions make the discussion irrelevant, and I would say that it would provide better debate if we all brought those opinions together and compared them, creating a new synthesis of understanding. Instead of acting like a pigdick and making idiotic claims. But thats just me. :)

Intelligent debate is what we need, and for that we need intelligent people. People should not be afraid of debate just because stupid people engage in it also.

Anyway, lets have some fun. By this point, Thazienne has received at nice new shiny Maneater that Izman, Omoi and I got for him from an ENM. I hope the tail is curled around it as we speak. For some more fun, this is tell conversation that Omoi had with an JP player yesterday during sky. Now, some LS's may have taken this offer depending on the circumstances, but I think this was just plainly an RMT attempt. They did not offer to supply the gems, they just wanted to pay gil straight up for the Byakko's Haidate. Even NA RMT players don't appear to be this brazen about paying for items. It has to make you wonder, as most NA's prefer to just pay for their gil online and have it delivered discretely, but are JP's just not concerned with how other people very them? Well, Uduki you are like the 5th JP RMT solicitor I have seen in sky so far. And it's too bad for them because it appears that SE has become very good at squashing the RMT there, because although they are still around (as they got a Despot just the other day) they are barely any competition anymore. Maybe, just maybe someone is going around and stabbing their eyes out in my stead. That would make me happy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Slow going.

Man, the last couple of levels to 75 take forever. At 72 you are still vulnerable as a melee because you don't have Ni yet. The gear isn't the top notch gear yet, well at least most of it. A lot of it comes at 73 and 75. Last night our RDM was trying to erase Amnesia, and our replacement THF didn't use any macro switches so was full-timing a level 14 Balance Ring. It's these kinds of things that makes a man loss his mind. I may just start asking people what their qualifications are before inviting them to a party. I mean I am partying with Glacian and Kirameki, so the initial party set up is NIN, WAR, BRD, at that point I can get a bit selective with the members. I invited a THF, DRG and RDM. The first THF was fine, actually pretty good, the DRG just fine, the RDM left much to be desired. The replacement THF was questionable at best. When I asked them why they were stacking SATA, they said they couldn't figure out who the tank was... so I told them it was the NIN *gasp* but at least at that point they started switching up SA and TA.

Lets see, in the next month this is what I would like to get done: 1. WAR to 75 finally, at this point I have almost all the gear I need for it except N. Hands which I have been waiting on longer than any other abjuration so it can wait some more if need be. 2. MNK to at least 60, AF done and ready to rocket on up through the levels, also have my Brown Belt completed. 3. Rank 9 in Assaults and my Perdu Blade. 4. At least one drop from an NM in Arrapago Reef.

So far this post is just a random conglomeration of things that are on my mind, so continuing in that vein I have been seeing suggestions to NIN's that the should adjust their gear for the katanas they are using because of the difference in delay, which causes my mind to scream. I have seen some people go so far as to suggest that if you are using Senj in main hand you should switch to meat and accuracy over sushi and haste. So I did a few calculations:

The starting raw base delay difference of several katana pairings:
S/P = 417
U/U = 402
U/P = 391

Now, with 35% Dual Wield and 20% Haste (from gear) the numbers become the following (and here is where my math breaks down, I don't know when each are applied, but for that sake of argument I will apply Haste then DW to have the smallest amount of reduction, I think [double checked the order doesn't matter]).

S/P = 217
U/U = 209
U/P = 203

So essentially people are trying to justify changing gear based upon a difference of 14 delay at most and 6 delay at least. This is all before haste spells and songs are applied to the equation which would further decrease the difference.

Honestly with a difference that small, I believe that the discussion could actually be turned on its head and good justifications could be made for the higher damage and critical hit bonus of the Senj outweighing the tiny difference in delay. The Perdu blade is so good that it can justify this comparison. I am not suggesting that a reduction of delay is not something you should aim for, but that making a gear based decision on a difference in delay of 14 doesn't seem to be sane. And that suggesting that the difference could some how justify giving up haste gear for accuracy gear is boarding on lunacy.

I like posts were I use a little math to justify theoretical positions on gear selection, especially to justify or deny differences of gear at the margins. Too much of this game is based upon doing what others do instead of formulating what is best for the player with the gear they have available. I think I would like to delve into other discussion like this, for example, which should a DRG build their gear around, Ares or Homam body? That would be an interesting discussion for another day.

Anyway, just so you know, in two weeks I am going in for surgery, the blog will be updated at my convenience during that time. Sorry, but I will be all stitched up and may not want to type. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

So, about that guy...

Lets see here, I wanted to talk about this guy for a while now: Now, this is not a post designed to bash anyone, because you never know the circumstances of their situation. Could be that they are just messing around, could be that they just got hacked and this is all they had available, but at some point we do have just misguided players that just don't know what they are doing and or how to properly equip themselves. Lets start with the obvious here, the off-handing of a Martial Axe. This is obviously not a wise choice for off hand, the damage is relatively low, without a major improvement in delay, and most importantly assuming of course that they are using Rampage (at the Greater Colibri camp) the TP Bonus effect is near useless, even worse for the off hand where it would only effect one hit of the WS, if it even has an effect at all. The weird thing is that there are much better very cheap alternatives to this. 2 Tabarzins, or Main hand Tabarzin and off hand that Reserve Captain's Pick. Maybe it's just me, but I would not enjoy this game so much if I did not have at least a simplistic idea of game mechanics. I mean what is the point of getting new gear if you have no idea what you are going to do with it or why the gear is good. I suppose there are those rear creatures that just play the game to do quests, but ultimately our gaze falls upon those with better gear and we wonder if that gear is attainable. But if we don't know that the gear is better, why would we even care? Mind-boggling really, and these people are all over the place. I wonder if the case is that their friends are just afraid to mention the problem to them? Are they stubborn and refuse to take criticism? Perhaps for some reason they prefer the set-up? I don't know, but I doubt it.

I look at my gear for jobs like my NIN, and I wonder how good it is. I use a Raja's Ring full time, instead of another Sniper's Ring, perhaps because I am cheap, but I do like it even though the Sniper's Ring would likely be better. I do not generally use meat while XPing on my NIN, while it has been suggested that people do otherwise, because I do believe that more haste with sushi is more damage over time than more accuracy and meat. Is this a preference? I don't know, because I believe what I am doing is the correct action to achieve the best damage. Could I be wrong, perhaps, but in my experience the difference has panned out in my favor. Other decisions I make because of the situation. In my XP parties, I generally tank so I prefer my Koga Chainmail over my Haub +1, as it can make my life a bit easier during longer XP parties. The difference is minimal, but likely there. This is a preference that I have decided fits my needs best. Also, I compare gear, and I find that my Koga Chainmail is much better than Ninja Chainmail, honestly I don't understand why people use it, I never have. Yes, dual-wield is great, but it still needs to be compared to what else is available in those slots. Giving up the bonuses, especially the accuracy and attack seems like far too much for me for a non-haste based delay reduction. What I guess I am asking is that, to myself, I have justified my gear selections. Do other people do this? Or to they just say to themselves, this is an axe, its as good as any other axe. Or perhaps, I don't really care about this so I am going to make no effort. Or even, durrrrr shiney! Makes you wonder...

This is all going some place, trust me. Now, most people usually XP with at least a few people they know to start off with, but often they have to pick up other people, and when searching for those filler slots there is only a limited amount of information provided. For example, there are things that we don't get in our search comments like: I have good gear, I care about getting XP in the best way possible, I am willing to share responsibilities with people in my party. Other, perhaps more important things we don't get include: I am going to leech, I just bought this character, I have an IQ of 12, I am dual-boxing another character in Einherjar (yes, this really did happen). The thing I wish more than anything else is that I could instill into each player that they may be playing to enjoy the game, but that their enjoyment effects other people's enjoyment also. So when you do a crappy job, you are likely ruining someone else's day also. Sure, in our culture, this may be the way to do things, people are so self-centered anymore that they couldn't care if they ruin a complete stranger's experience, and in fact I wonder if sometimes people actually enjoy doing just that. The point is if everyone would just try a little harder to do the best job they can, then everyone will benefit.

Ah well, yesterday was a bit of a wash. A decent day in Sky, and we did a Seiryu which finally dropped something nice. In fact, I was almost ready to call "crap drops" again, but we did get W. Hands and Kote from it, not so bad at all. I did find something interesting during the fight. After Seiryu did back to back Fang Rushes I was left with no shadows for a good 20 seconds, and during this time while fully buffed I was taking sub-200 TP moves and critical hits and around 100 for regular hits. Phalanx 2, Cocoon, and other buffs helped I am sure and I wasn't checking to see if they had been dispelled or not at the time, but I thought these numbers were great. I even took a Fang Rush with no shadows later in the fight for less that 450. This was with my full defense gear on except for Suzaku's Sune-ate, I have to say I was rather impressed with my damage reduction. Oh, and this was without food. I wonder if I would be able to straight up blood tank Seiryu reasonably. I doubt anyone would let me try, but it would be fun. ^.^/

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Picture recap.

I really need to get back into the swing of things when it comes to screenshots, but honestly a lack of good drops and a lack of new things to do it really killing it right now. Screenshots do such a good job at filling in blog space. It gives it life, and beauty and makes it look like I have written much more than I actually have :) Anyway, lets see, I have finished the Treasures missions up to the maximum available, and man, they are just awesome. This is the part where a nice person would warn you about spoilers, but honestly, someone has probably spoiled it already for you, and seriously, there is no reason that anyone shouldn't be at the end already. I mean, the other day three of my friends trio'd the Black Coffin fight. The only semi-difficult fight is the Gessho fight, which is actually the first semi-real challenging fight in the storyline and we did it with only 5 people. Honestly, these new missions are like missions-made-easy, you don't even have to go very far to get the next set of CS's. CoP was challenging, and the CS's took you all over the world. Here, its one zone, hop to another zone, done. Well, after Gessho, we get our first real look at Odin when he is presented as such. And Lazuf's little rebellion from the Lord of the Underworld. Ok, seriously, SE needs to let players get neat particle effects like Lazuf has on his rapier and knife, and let them do that bad-assed swing your sword over your head move. PS2 limitations my ass, there is no reason that if they can do it in a CS, they can't do it on a regular player. Ahh well, the plot further develops, and this is what I like about the new storyline the most, their is no real good and evil sides like CoP. Sure the Empire looks bad, but what about Aphmau? Gessho a bad guy, but he is just trying to stop the Empire? The Beastmen are just trying to stop the clash of Alexander and Odin, but they still kill people and stuff? Then there is the Allied Forces, that want to stop the Empire but where does that put them, with the Beastmen? Don't forget Lazuf and Odin, who are out to destroy the everyone in the Empire and clash with Alexander, but Lazuf doesn't so now he is opposed to Odin. The spiderweb of alliances and enemies is actually quite interesting. Besides, its finally nice to see that Bastok is getting involved in all of this. I don't know if they plan on doing a whole lot more with the storyline or not, but it seems to me they could. We are only just now getting to the characters at the heart of the conflict. Honestly, I don't even know if that was Odin that was making an appearance, or if it just was an avatar. Alexander still hasn't been risen, and really I would like to see some more BCNM's from this expansion. SE still has time for at least two more updates before the next expansion, so we will see what they are going to give us. If its just the Pit, then I am stabbing someone in the eye.

I heard someone come up with a good idea to help to fix the overabundance of melee burn parties. Introduce new mobs that have two aspects, first, they have high defense and HP so they are less vulnerable to traditional burn WS's, but are weak to Skillchain damage and Magic Burst damage. Second, have them give an XP bonus or uncapped XP, to equal out XP to those that can kill weaker mobs faster. This would be something like Qutrubs maybe, but would act as an alternative to the standard melee burn party, not a replacement for it. And the way to prevent abuse is by controlling the TP moves of the mobs to prevent over reliance on a certain job (Kuftal Tunnel basement comes to mind) and by having the additional bonus damage from Skillchains and Magic Bursts limited by the Tier of the SC. Tier 1 SC's would have a very weak bonus, Tier 2 slightly better, then Tier 3 would be massively better. This would mean that SC's again would be a consideration in building parties, and you could have the mobs elementally based so that a BLM would actually have to use spells that aren't necessarily Lighting or Ice based, and the mobs could be Light or Darkness susceptible so that it NIN's couldn't just be plugged in as the sole tank all the time. It would provide an opportunity for more jobs to be invited to parties.

Anyway, I thought that would be a decent way to create an alternative to the burn party mentality. XP per hour is the major determination for how people create parties, at least for intelligent people, if an alternative was created that allowed for a comparable XP per hour, people would embrace it.

As I have mentioned I got WAR to 72. And I got to XP it some more yesterday, but it still feels like my WAR is just floundering, not really going anywhere. Blargh, we will see if I can get a little xp in this weekend, and maybe on Wednesday.

Finally, here is a shot of a dropless Qiqirn Astrologer from Salvage. I can't wait to finally get one drop from this zone so that we can move on to kill the Bhaflau boss, because once we have one piece from Arrapago and have the piece from Bhaflau we can essentially finish our first piece. And we should have some other pieces from Bhaflau to then go back and focus on from Arrapago. SSR is the easiest place to get gear from so it will be the last place we will go. LOL Wishful thinking so far. :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

I need about 8 more hours in a day.

So, after a long weekend with little ability to get anything constructive done on any of my leveling, I am really tired. Real life stuff is so much more tiring than game stuff, LOL. Lets see, I did get my WAR to 72, which is nice because I can now use all of this borrowed Dusk gear and my Suppanomimi. I kind of need to just focus on getting WAR to 75, I think completing it will improve my mood about the whole run, and if Izman ever gets back, I think it will let us dual-tank things like Limbus better. Speaking of which, I am thinking of trying a different job for Salvage too. Ninja is ok, but with our focus on trying to get level 35 gear from Arrapago it is a little dependent on cells to be effective.

Anyway, as for Arrapago, we managed to kill the first Astrologer, skipped the first Treasure Hunter, killed the second Treasure Hunter then tried to get to the Archaic Chariot but ran out of time. We are definitely getting faster at killing the NM's, but no luck yet on drops. Well, we will keep trying and I will keep trying to find a day to do another run, doing it only once a week doesn't seem very good for being able to get gear in a decent amount of time. We did manage to get some random level 15 drops but that really isn't that great for what we are aiming to do. We are getting close to what I am looking for a consistent group, and we are getting to be very efficient at the first floor. I have started cutting out some of the Qutrub's because we are actually getting too many weapons. Right now, we pull the NW quad then pull the first room of the SE quad to get some HP cells, then back to the SW quad and zone up from there. We are getting overly efficient at this and we can start to skip mobs now. The next thing we are going to do to save time is once we have one healer and our BLM's set with a magic cell we are going to zone up, and just try to do the first Astrologer with whatever we have. It's a hit and miss mob to begin with anyway, sometimes it stands and casts and sometimes it just warps out. Since we are going to have to clear the way for the Treasure Hunter on the third floor we will be able to get more cells on that floor. The more that we do this zone the better we are getting at doing it.

Ok, now for the news from the weekend. Now, I said that there was a new trailer for the expansion last week, but it wasn't the official one, and the official one is way better. It is especially interesting because of the Besieged-type battle that appears to start at the very end of the trailer. Besieged-style battles have been mentioned in several different interviews about the expansion, also Assault-style missions, which I hope that they really expand on over what is currently available, which is nice, but its just a short run mission, not like a full-instanced zone like WoW or EQ2 has. Also, they mentioned that there will be more than one new jobs in the expansion which is all that had to say about those new jobs, even when indirectly questioned on the type of jobs that will be available. There will be over 30 new zones, which they said would be about equal to the number of zones in the first release of the game. Some were confused and thought that this meant that the new zones would only be upgrades of old zones, but it was pretty clear that it just meant 30 new zones some of them being "older" versions of the current zones, not all of them.

There were a lot of interviews with SE at E3, but they were all very repetitive, and after the first few, provided very little information. The funniest thing was watching people on one website making fun of the interview of another website. Not only was it just retarded, but it was like they thought they were in high school again, on the cool kids website. Honestly, all of the interviews were about the same providing information, nothing really groundbreaking at all, just little peeks at new information. The pathetic nature of someone that would make fun of another website's interview is really mind numbing. It makes me want to stab my eyes out, really. And the funniest thing is that they end up looking like people from the website they claim to hate. This is all before considering the completely moronic nature of website competition. Apparently, we play this game with 8 year olds.

Anyway, I may go over that guy with the off-hand Martial Axe at some point... its starting to bug me that it is falling behind.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The bevy's gonna break.

The title is a play on words, that likely will only make sense in my head. Yesterday, we were inundated with news from SE, one might even say it was a bevy of information concerning the new expansion. It was like a proverbial flood, or as described by Led Zeppelin, as if the levee's gonna break.

Yeah, it sounded awesome in my head (maybe this headache had some influence on it).

Anyway, lets take an in-depth look at what we have got so far:

Here are some pictures of the expansion that have been posted and some speculation and discussion has arisen around them. These look to be Ochu from older Final Fantasy games, but there is already a Morbol type mobs with the name Ochu, so either they will be changed or these guys will be changed, or maybe they will explain it with some kind of genetic mutation?
This is pretty obviously a Basilisk. The design is right, and SE hasn't even used the Basilisk name, although they have used something close "Basilic" probably some kind of alternate translation.

The rest of the pictures are of new zones with some indication that they are related to old zones. Some obvious relationships occur with the church in the center of Davoi, fortifications in Ronfaure or Jugner Forest, areas that could potentially be pre-Crystal War Lufaise Meadows or Misareaux Coast, shots of a much more vibrant Gustaberg, Konstacht Highlands and finally an area that appears to be a far more fortified Castle Oztroja. Honestly, these shots make the zones look amazing, but they are very limited. I get the distinct impression that we aren't seeing the really neat things yet because they are either being the traditionally tight lipped JP company or they haven't finished development of the most neat-o areas like Jeuno.

I guess the only other definitively undefined information that has come out of E3 so far is that there will be new jobs. Yes, plural. 2? 10? Who knows. But there is one very obvious option for a new job considering the content of expansion. That is Time Mage. How would it work? Well, I already made my suggestion sometime ago in a blog entry around the time of the initial announcement of the expansion. I think it is a workable job, but I am not a game designer and they have far more to work with than I do. I also want to make a comment about several complaints I have seen about the new expansion that were actually made the last time around too. The complaint is that there are things that still need to be done with current expansion and older content. The problem with this logic is two-fold, the first simple critic is that SE perceives the same issues as the problem with things that need to be corrected. SE just isn't going to "fix" something because you don't like it, they are going to fix it if it really is a general problem. The second problem with this logic is that it presumes that the FFXI development team can only work on one thing at a time. This presumes incorrectly that the development team is some how monolithic and can only focus on one programing issue at a time. The quick logic check on this is to apply it to another company, for example a car company, like Ford. Ford makes Mustangs, Mustangs have problems, therefore Ford should do nothing but improve the Mustang until it has no problems at all before they move on to making F-150's. (Maybe Ford is a bad example, because so many Mustangs have problems. XD) Anyway, the point is that the development team for FFXI is broken down into many sub-teams. To be efficient, it is actually a bad idea to have everyone working on one issue at a time. Fixing old content, working on current content and developing new content do not trade off. If SE needed more people to work on FFXI they would just hire them, if they had to many people, they would let people go, but ultimately the point is that they have the right number of people to do what they think needs to be done. Posting on forums to complain that SE isn't doing what you think they should do only speaks to your mentality and ability to understand these concepts. That might sound a bit harsh, but put simply these are generally the most harsh critics of SE and their development of FFXI. So bring on the new expansion and the new jobs!

Other quick mentions about activities that will be included in the expansion include large-scale Besieged like battles, mostly high level content (at this point that should pretty much be a given, because a larger and larger portion of the population is at end-game) and other trinkets, but nothing else really to sink our teeth into.

Well, I will be waiting for more expansion information, but I wont be able to post about it tomorrow because I am on a conference for work. So, see you monday!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Myriad of ideas.

I have stuff I want to go over today, but I have a doctor's appointment soon, so the post will be late today.

Man, I had a good entry for today and everything but I have been busy all day. Oh well, I will do what I can in the time I have left. First, expansion news. Actually there is not a whole lot disclosed, just more hints at the past and the Crystal War but nothing more concrete than a few drawings and their descriptions, and a lot of screenshots. Honestly, I could post them here but they are already well documented on the FFXI wiki, and it would take too much time. I might post them with commentary tomorrow. Anyway, its still early in E3, and SE has said that we should be getting a video trailer and the FFXI wiki people are getting an interview also I believe. I REALLY want to go over the expansion, but honestly there really isn't much information besides screenshots. Once I get some gameplay information that I can delve into I will put some more time into it.

I am going to go over our Byakko's from yesterday with a simple smilie. ; ; Yeah, still getting absolute crap drops. Yesterday, we got E. Feet and a Behemoth Hide on our first one, then D. Legs and 2 Behemoth Hides on our second one. Now, I do have to say that I did want the D. Legs for my SAM (current WS legs are absolute crap, I just use normal AF which just have 3 STR) and eventually for WS gear for my MNK. But honestly, I would easily give them up or get them much later so that we could have gotten N. Hands or most importantly Byakko's Haidate. We have gotten only four total Byakko's Haidate, and one of them left Versus shortly after getting them... It sucks, I just want to get gear for other people and all of the gear has been falling to me because no one else wants it. LOL Ahh, well, need to start saving for Divine Logs or cursed togi and haidate.

After Sky, we pretty quickly put together an XP party, and went to fight Greater Colibri. The camps there were surprisingly open so we did pretty well. Our BRD was a bit low for the area so was getting a bunch of resists on sleep so couldn't really pull for us. After a while they left and honestly we weren't doing that well because I was the only person with voke and I was getting beaten up pretty badly. Kingscissom was in the area at the time, so after the BRD left we picked him up and Omoi switched over to WHM and things really picked up, actually we could have been OK with just Achi healing at that point because Sholo and King were doing a great job of SATAing each other or me. I got two merits and am like 600 xp away from a third. I forgot to put them into Hand-to-hand last night but that is where they are going.

We will talk about this misguided soul tomorrow, and more extensively how to properly equip yourself even if you don't have 1337 gear. There is a very large distinction between not having 1337 gear and not being knowledgeable at all about what you are doing or the gear you are using.
No doctors appointments or other distractions tomorrow. So it should finally be a full and interesting entry.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It happens from time to time.

So, happily, I guess I was wrong about SE doing anything at E3. If you don't follow the game industry, E3 used to be this huge event that showcased tons of new games but it developed out of an industry conference. As of last year the show became too big and expensive for most companies to justify any longer, so this year, they returned to the smaller format. Luckily though SE has announced that they will exhibit some information on the new expansion, the only question I have is will this information be new if E3 is now smaller and more closed to the public. I am not worried about this too much because apparently some of the people that run the FFXI wiki have been invited to the event. So hopefully we will hear something relatively soon, because E3 starts tomorrow.

As for yesterday, its was kind of meh, Limbus sucked, but the Assaults were very good. Almost everyone is to Rank 3 or very close to Rank 3. Then got to camp Nue, still no drop though. Nue is my nemesis right now. LOL The drop rate on the fang is definitely lower than I expected, but at least when it is done, I can focus on leveling MNK and trying to get the Black Belt items. Glacian wants them too, so maybe its time to do some KS99's :) I am really digging Assault and Salvage right now, and that with Sky is my main focus right now.

I want some more information or something new to post in the blog today, but nothing was even screenshot worthy yesterday, so thats it for today. Had some work today, so maybe just maybe later on I will spend some time working on my MNK gear post. :)

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Doldrums

Its been a month since the last update, and over a month since the announcement of the expansion... and we are getting no information. I live and breath information, I need it to survive, it is the sustenance of the mind. And without sustenance the mind dies, or at least gets really bored. I am expecting some more information soon, there is E3 soon, but that is definitely not what it used to be, then there is some kind of E3 replacement, but SE has never announced much FFXI information at these events anyway, they are mostly focused on new games and they would probably not waste one iota of space on FFXI when they have FFXIII coming so soon. I know that FFXI has their own independent team and actually over the years it has seemed to be rather coherent and consistent, at least from what we have heard. This hasn't been the case with most US based MMORPG's where the staff sometimes can turn over rather quickly, to head to a new MMORPG. Where is this line of thought going? I don't know exactly, something about how even though FFXI isn't in the spot light, it is obviously still an important aspect for SE, and we should be getting more information from them, but they are a tight-lipped JP company so we probably wont see anything soon. /sigh

We did another Salvage run last night, which was even more successful than the last run. We are still focusing on the Arrapago Remnants because the key level 35 items drop in that zone so we are aiming to kill the Qiqirn Astrologers and Treasure Hunters. The first QA warped out on us after using Sleepga on everyone and our MNK's didn't even get a chance to two hour it. Slightly disappointing but it happens. :) The QTH on the third floor took us a little longer to kill but we got it down, no drop obviously, because I would be screaming about that at the top of the post, then onto the fourth floor where we quickly killed the QTH there also with no drop. I think our goal for the next run will be to farm less on the first and second floor, leaving us more time to farm the NM's. We are generally getting to many cells which means that we could skip more of the first two floors. I have a very good idea for how we are going to do this next time, cutting out even more time from farming and working on the strategy for the QTH on the second floor. Which is just kind of annoying with how difficult it is to melee damage. I wish there was also a way to kill the QA on the second floor faster than we are doing now, but I think next time we should have Achikasama there and Izman back. Also the addition of Sholo as THF is making things better, but I will stop talking about that before I jinx it again. I am thinking about trying to do this on another day so that we have two runs available. Maybe something like Saturday afternoon, in addition to Sunday night. But we have bigger fish to fry on Saturdays, like getting Achikasama and other members to Sea.

We have Limbus then Assault tonight. Assault in the LS is getting to be pretty big and I hope it stays that way, its relatively easy to get people the first three levels of Assault, and that makes things easier for a larger group to get more Assaults done. After Assault I am going to probably try to camp Nue again. I really want my Brown Belt before I do much more leveling on my MNK. God, I love MNK. Talked to Ailee about RNG vs. MNK this weekend, and we both obviously concluded that MNK is the greatest thing ever. :) We also did another Kirin on Sunday, and another set of crappy drops. Just D. Body and a Kirin's Pole, this is getting to be a bit frustrating considering that nothing we have been doing lately has dropped anything of import. Cursed, we must be. >.<

Hopefully, I will have something more to report tomorrow, either a Nue fang or maybe another Assault rank, or maybe, just maybe, a triumphant return of Izman.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Monk.

Another short entry today because I am leaving early to go out of town tonight. This entry is about MNK, the best job in the game. Man, I am loving MNK. I can do everything with it. Tank up to EM and T's, do ton's of damage, heal myself, man it is sweet. My MNK is now 42 and I have some good gear for it. I now have to focus on Nue, because once I get my Brown Belt I am not taking it off for anything. This is the first job I have put merits into before level 75. I still love my DRG and my NIN, and I know that I will still be using NIN in sky for tanking, but MNK is my love now. I can not wait to level it even more! Only three more levels to Counterstance. Counter is just so freaking sweet right now, it can only get better with Counterstance! I just wish that someone had told me how great MNK was a long time ago LOL. So, I am going to be going over a lot of MNK related issues in the next couple of days, because honestly some of the best gear in the game is available to MNK and then some of the crappiest. Like what do you do about WS feet for MNK? Like should I invest in Cross-counters? Is tanking gear for MNK any different from regular gear? What is tanking gear for MNK? What else do I need to know about MNK? Meat vs. Sushi... that is my real goal right now. I think I like meat better right now, but the question is how is my accuracy. I am not one that parses things, but I would really like to know for this case. We will see.

Anyway, MNK is the best job in the game. Love it!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I am my O's Kote.



I love MNK. I wish this had been my first job.

Evasive, can take a hit, deals damage with the best of them.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

WTF?

I am obsessed with this tree. It wasn't there before. I know it wasn't there before. Does anyone know what I am talking about? This mangled old tree just outside of Rabao. It wasn't there before the update, I swear that it wasn't. Why is it there now? Why am I obsessed with this tree? Someone please go check it out, it doesn't fit the scenery around it much. It just kinda sticks out. I don't remember seeing a tree like this anywhere else in the Altepa Deserts. And strangely people have mentioned seeing them elsewhere. They are likely part of the new event that is going to happen after this bamboo-haiku thing. But why stick them in now? BAH! TREE WHY DO YOU HAUNT MY DREAMS! Here is another shot of this tree: Ok, off of trees but onto other weirdness. Since when do SMN mobs elementals drop stuff? And it wasn't like it was killed either, just died when the SMN mob died. I know there are special cases like Alastor Antlion and Steam Cleaner, but these are special mobs with special drops. This was a normal summoned elemental and a normal drop. Just weird I tell you, weird!

Anyway, onto other stuff. Did some skilling up and Assault last night. Had a bit of trouble with Escort Professor Clavauert Assault simply because we were limited on healing and Omoi was running after the professor and the DD were falling behind, which left the professor getting overwhelmed at one point, and we just barely lost when the professor died while digging to complete the mission. Ah well, we will get it next time. On a better note the other group completed Mamool Ja Tier 1 which is the last one that a bunch of people needed, so they can start working on Level 2 now. I think Lilkathy should now be able to get Level 3 Assaults also. We have about 12 people that do assaults now, and we do them with 6 people per group usually. Not the best way to build up AP but it is the best way to rank everyone up pretty quickly. People have been moving very quickly through the missions, and we will soon be able to split down into smaller groups to build AP much more quickly.

I am now getting quite obsessed with my MNK, it is just so much damn fun. I thought it was going to be all "engage and punch" but really I am able to pound through EP and DC mobs so fast that its not even a challenge. I can go through my Empress Band soloing in a Promy (I was helping to farm for animas for the Promyvion-Vahzl run that a bunch of Versus people are going to do) killing like 5 EP and DC mobs in a row without resting. After getting my Boreas Cesti I am quite pleased with the neato wind effect on every hit. LOL I can't wait for counterstance, because once I get it I can just use it and have Berserk up because its not like that is going to hurt me anymore. LOL I counter a decent bit just on regular mobs, and I already have capped evasion from NIN so soloing is a piece of cake. I got my MNK to 32 with a little assistance from Omoi and no real help what so ever from Hellz. In fact I believe Hellz was searching the bush in the Jungles to find more Goblins to hump. We have also rather unsuccessfully been camping Nue for its stupid fang. Been losing claim mostly, but even when we get it, it doesn't drop anything. LOL Outside of this, I am still looking for Black Belt items if anyone wants to sell them to me for cheap, or is doing any KS99 I can leech off of :) Ah well, once my MNK can actually wear it I will consider it more intensely.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Full tilt.

There are 8 NM's in Sky. Despot, Faust, Mother Globe, Steam Cleaner, Brigandish Blade, Zipacna, Ullikummi and Olla. And yesterday in the span of 2 and a half hours we got them all. A full on Sky clear. It was great. Haven't done that in a LONG while, but actually it is a lot easier to do now that Ullikummi is spawned and the RMT just got wacked. In fact, while we were getting the NM's they appeared to be wiping to statues in the Shrine, apparently from magic aggro. The sad thing though is that we did fight Suzaku (trying to get it to drop the N. Feet for the long line of people that need them) and when we got there someone was already fighting. It was the RMT, and this weeks buy was Kahl. I was AFK at the time so don't have a screenshot, but I don't mind calling out gilbuyers whenever I get a chance, and before they try for plausible deniability, its hard to deny that you are with the RMT after they D2 you out... anyway, it was a great day for Versus, as we are sitting on a bunch of God sets, and next Sunday we have another Kirin. But I don't know what is happening with our crappy drops, but putting THF's in the alliance just nets us two Siren Hairs, D. Hands, and the scythe... In Versus, we never let anything go to waste but, handing out D. Hands is just ridiculous whenever already has them >.< Oh, well, drops will have to turn around soon. We have been doing very well collecting gems in Sky, but when none of the Gods drop anything we need then it just crazy.

Now, for the rest of the weekend, not much excitement. Did Arrapago Remnants but without much luck. It was our first time, we didn't get many drops at all, and our family BLM's (Lilkathy and Eternalpain) had a family emergency so we only had seven, we did pick up Rygar for our group, and I think Sholo is going to come next time (I did ask about it a little late, and he wasn't back until after we started). So with no BLM we were not able to kill any of the Qiqirns, but we have a much better strategy to do so next time. I know this Remnants sucks a LOT more than the rest of the them for cell drop rate, but it is what we are going to need to do first, because the gear in AR is the key gear for the rest of the zones.

I had some pictures to put up today, but of course I forgot to upload them. >.< I was late today anyway. I got my MNK to 32, its actually getting pretty strong, and I can pretty easily solo DC and EM mobs without any assistance, and with the new Signet, I don't have to take forever to rest, and Omoi's assistance tends to help a lot too. :) I think I can get Impact Knuckles now, they appear to be a little better than my Boreas Cesti, but the Cesti are so cool! Wind additional effect on every hit just looks neat. LOL Well, I don't really have much more for today. I wanted to talk about all the neat things that SE talked about for the expansion at the Anime Expo... but guess what... they didn't talk about the expansion AT ALL. Argh, I am so interested in the new expansion and they are giving me nothing... in fact they are going back, as they have updated the Aht Urhgan website to include Einherjar. Great, thanks. Ahh, well, maybe we will get some new information eventually.