Thursday, August 16, 2007

Standing on the crest of a hill, looking into a fog-filled valley.

And that valley is filled with gold and jewels and abjurations.

To what am I referencing? The future of FFXI. We know things are coming. These things are big, these things are bold, these things are gilded. These things are like the bronzed baby shoes of the future. We have entered the golden age of FFXI, and it all started with the Ullikummi update. Where SE stripped control of the game from the RMT and handed it back to the players and themselves. RMT are barely in sky anymore, let alone major NM camps. They farm like leeches and as they suck more blood they slowly kill their own sources of income. Inevitably, if SE remains vigilant the RMT will be gone from the game because even the worst gil-buyers will prefer to farm for the ridiculously low-cost of gear rather than spend waste sums of real money for paltry amounts of gil. Ah, but I spiral off on RMT's again. Back to my focus, which is that SE is hitting on all cylinders right now. They are doing a great job of listening to the players and balancing that with their vision for the game. These are just adjustments that fix older problems with the game. Major issues that perhaps should have been resolved a long time ago, but the improvements for the future show forethought, and an engagement in how the players play the game.

The two-handed weapon adjustment, was not a required change. It was not something that will make the game better or worse, but it is an attempt to balance an imbalance in the game. There were some complaints about how dual-wielders were better for XP parties but in all honestly, it was just XP not over all. Places like God's, HNM's and other more difficult fights two-handers were just as capable, if not more so. This is a good correction, and hopefully it will do a good job of removing the "lol" preface to some jobs. SE says that improvements are coming for PUP and a damage improvement for DRG would do a lot to help them out. This is even before the changes to jobs and WS's have been announced. Even though people did anticipate the new grips, most people thought it was going to be one or the other, not both and I don't think anyone though there was going to be an improvement to weaponskills. All three is just astounding. Combined improvements to damage, grips and changes to WS? Will this shift things back toward two-handed users?

In just this update we have job adjustments, and ones that no one knows about and no one expected. But this is just the glint we can see through the fog, what lies further into the pea-soup? What does the expansion hold? Just new areas, and new jobs and something besieged-like is all we know. I want to see through the fog, but the anticipation is fun also.

In other news, I have been engaging in a discussion about how hate works and what happens to hate later into fights once the hate cap has been reached. Now, not everyone knows this but there is likely some kind of cap on the amount of hate a tank can gain. And once you hit that cap, you can't get more anymore hate, and this causes a nice balance when you have two tanks at the hate cap. The discussion was directed at how hate degrades over time, and just because a translation of a random JP chart said that one type of hate does not degrade, people actually believed that that kind of hate literally never went away, never mind the fact that this interpretation would mean that the healers would eventually be tanking all fights. LOL The other problem I had with some people is their failure to realize that +enmity is great for getting to the hate cap but once you are there you can decrease the amount of +enmity you are using because you will be wasting all of the hate that you are gaining that puts you over the cap. So other factors can be more important like haste and hp, because you can only gain so much hate. It's sad sometimes, because people don't like being proven wrong or their ignorance exposed, so they fall back to claims like they are from an HNM LS so they know how hate works. LOL Ah well, it was enjoyable to read and engage in the discussion.

Yesterday, was again kind of blah, I did a set of BCNM 60's for the Cross Counters and E bow, but we got nothing really for drops, with the best being Marine M Boots, and most being crap. Made 120k on 5 runs, kind of a waste but the big drops are worth it. It was very easy to do with the set up we used NIN, RNG, RNG, BLM, BLM, RDM/BLM. The mobs actually don't hit for very much at all, the only risk really is just getting overwhelmed, but it can probably be done with a wide array of jobs too. Apparently Divine Punishers can be done similarly, but I haven't attempted that one yet. Also, we have gone about a week without doing an ENM and its time to make some easy money on that one, I am thinking maybe if we can get the right people and the right jobs, maybe trying to get a Blau Dolch from Totentanz, but honestly there are better rewards from the Antlion in Sheep's Clothing and you can do that with 6.

Today is more Sky and I believe we have something like 5 Despot gems now, LOL. Have some water finally, just need to pair it up with some Zip and we will have at least several sets for each god. Then afterward is Limbus, which will be something besides Omega today. After two successful Omega wins, we just need to build up some more chipsets and move toward doing Ultima. I am looking forward to Ultima, because its something that I wont be tanking in all likelihood. We will be using PLD/NIN's for that fight, EP and Izman in their new shiny Homam gear for Haste, and a NIN/DRK as back up. EP and Izman have been working to prep their gear for this, with lots of HP and Haste, and I know they will rock it. :) We have a bunch of mages that would really like some Nashira gear, and man I would like to help them because their isn't a whole lot in everything else we do that favors mages. In fact, there isn't a whole lot from end-game that most mages want. Dynamis, sure, but the stuff we do in general doesn't provide a whole lot for them. At this point there is very little that Versus doesn't do, so I hope that we can provide items for everyone in the LS and fill their needs.

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