Tuesday, September 04, 2007

New perspective.

It will be an epic feat if I can get this blog entry done anytime today. Besides the fact that long weekends lead me to long blog entries, they also have announced Pankration which I would like to at least cover some of my opinions on later.

I would like to make one last comment on the two-handed weapon issue. There is something in the way damage is calculated in the game currently. This may get esoteric for a moment, and I can not say that I am some genius about all of this but, when looking at the damage the way that it is functioning right now, my guess is that there is a problem with either the level correction function of the damage calculations or the actually pDIF, which is a function of the difference of between attack and defense. The problem applies to both dual-wielders and MNKs as well as two-handers. This problem, to me at least, is rather obvious. Ridiculous two-handed weapon damage even with very low base damage weapons, and capped damage with dual-wielded weapons. This means, not that this is how things are going to be, but that a mistake was made somewhere along the lines and needs to be fixed. In fact, SE has already announced that they are going to fix it. I have two comments finally about this. First, that people that refuse to end their whining about this problem are not deserving of sympathy. They need to take a deep breath, look at the evidence around then and come to the realization that their position in the game has only been temporarily diminished. Second, those that say this is "just another one of SE's horrible mistakes" again need to come to grips with what they are talking about. This is a massive game and requires far more effort to keep going than 99% of games. Mistakes will happen and its just time to accept that. It will be fixed in due course and soon this will all be forgotten.

I will try not to bring up anymore two-handed issues until at least the adjustment that SE has already mentioned is in place.

I have been doing a bit of meriting recently because I really feel that I am lacking in the extra tweaks that make some of my jobs more beneficial in different situations. I think that while I am leveling my MNK, I will still be focusing on gaining merits. I think a goal of at least 6 merits a week, though ambitious is a good possibility. Unfortunately, I help to run a linkshell, and it is a linkshell with varying levels of completion of quests and missions which call my attention for large amounts of effort at times. Monday, for example, I took a group of our new members to Sea to complete all of their missions up through, and including, Promathia. (I still love the look of that BCNM, its very epic.) They should be able to pick up their CoP rings sometime today if they do all of their cutscenes. I am very happy to see people get rewarded for their hard effort, and I am even more pleased when people pressure themselves to move forward and pull people together to get goals they want to achieve. I do have to say that this means that sometimes I lose out on time that I could be using to further my own merits and leveling and this can cause an unbalancing for me. Ah, the burdens of leadership in a video game. LOL

As for my merits, I would like to review them quickly. Currently, I am focusing on my SAM for obvious reasons, and even if the update is rolled back at least partially my SAM will still be in a much better position than what it was before the update. I had been focusing slightly on my WAR, and I don't really like stopping in the middle of things, but I think this shift is prudent and necessary considering the circumstances.

HP: 4
MP: 4
STR: 5
Katana: 8
Hand-to-Hand: 8
Archery: 1
Critical Hit rate: 4

Double Attack rate: 2
Flashy Shot: 1
Store TP: 3
Meditate: 1
Overwhelm: 3
Angon: 3

146 merits total. Not as many as some, but a decent amount, and something I am quite proud of at this point. I still feel I have many, many holes to fill, and I will work on them over the coming weeks.

In related news, I have been working on a new haste set-up for my NIN. Now, and yes, Aable has already mocked me for this, I have had to make some changes to my gearing to make this work, and I haven't yet decided if this is something that I want to focus on or keep the way things used to be. I have shifted even further away from the remaining Accuracy and Attack gear that I have been clinging to for quite some time, and over to fully utilize every bit of haste and dual wield that I have at my disposal. This means using the dreaded Ninja Chainmail. I am still testing thing set up but the real incentive for me to switch to test it was that Omoikitte purchased a Hayabusa and let me borrow it. I might as well list all of the gear for this set up at this point:

Main: Perdu Blade
Off-hand: Hayabusa
Ammo: Bomb Core
Head: Walahra Turban
Neck: Chivalrous Chain
Earring1: Brutal Earring
Earring2: Suppanomimi
Body: Ninja Chainmail
Hands: Koga Tekko/Dusk Gloves
Ring1: Sniper's Ring
Ring2: Raja's Ring
Back: Amemet Mantle +1
Waist: Swift Belt
Legs: Byakko's Haidate
Feet: Fuma Sune-ate

This set up gives me +21% Haste (at night, +20% during the day), +40% Dual Wield delay reduction, and a base delay of only 380, leaving me with an adjusted (if I did the math correctly) delay of 181. Now, I could actually decrease the delay of that even more if I used Koga Hakama instead of Byakko's Haidate, but there is no way I am doing that. LOL The swing speed is incredibly fast and a double attack will cause the animation to break. :) I have yet to even try it with Haste and double March, or better yet Soul Voiced double March. Oh the poor animation glitches. The problem, of course, with this is that it even further requires using Sushi, and even though I always used Sushi I always questioned whether I should be trying to make a meat build (I never did, my accuracy on XP mobs was far too poor and would require giving up precious Haste to get enough). The problem may be a blessing, removing that concern I had over Sushi, and just making it a plain requirement for this set-up. Another problem is a further reduction in Attack and base damage, we will see how that goes, and I will try to parse out the differences.

The next thing I would like to mention is the fact that we were able to claim Overlord Balgodek on Friday night. I don't know exactly what Stonedsophist was doing in Monastic Caverns but he ended up getting killed by the Overlord and sent Omoi a tell about it. We immediately teleported out of the TAU mission we were about to start and headed over. The fight went smoothly, with Izman and I tanking, but sadly nothing of importance dropped, but I think that Izman was pleased with his new sword. LOL We did get a spiffy new title though. After we dispatched the Overlord, we headed to the church on the top of the hill for the San d'Oria mission there so that Iceblazek and Lucella could finish them up. Apparently back in the day this was a very difficult mission but with 8 people and contemporary gear, this mission is not bad at all.

Speaking of TAU missions, a few of us got through a good bunch of missions and are now on the second to last fight, which I will get to in just a bit. It appears that many nefarious actions were taking place in the palace of Aht Urhgan. And the poor puppets were the victims of this, and the evil Vizers attempt to recreate Alexander. The cutscenes are becoming rather interesting and involving at this point, its too bad that the story is so short and all of the BCNM's before this update we relatively easy. Well, Alexander was created and was used to take out my infiltrating airship. I actually love this screen shot and I now have the full screen version of it as my background on my computer. It is amazing what they can do with the cinematics of the game when they try. Anyway, it appears that the Vizer has a new set of robes, or at least a new set of Askar gear. :) Alexander looks very cool behind him, lots of detail in the design, and even though I am not up to the fight yet the look of Alexander is still awe-inspiring. We then went to Nyzul Isle where Naja was looking to pick a fight with the Imperial Guard there. Our set up was four melee and one WHM, a rather DD heavy party. Lets just say that even with ES, a WHM sleep still doesn't last very long. LOL We failed a couple of times with just five, getting pretty close to the last form for Amnaf, but never quite taking out the last one or two gears before we could just focus on Amnaf. Naja didn't help all that much, she is definitely no Prishe. Once Borin gets back on we will be able to do this pretty much with ease. I like that, for once, the missions in Aht Urhgan actually take some effort and work to do right. Even though if we just got lucky or people could have stayed up later we would have probably beaten this fight, its still nice that we actually had to think about the fight rather than just going in and doing it.

From missions to Assaults, we are still progressing quite well on them while helping Izman and Borin catch up as fast as possible. Izman is now Rank 6 and Borin just needs to find the Warhorse Hoofprint to finish ranking up to 5. Eternalpain is almost rank 7 but was having problems with the last drill sergeant mini-game before Assault so couldn't quite rank up before we started our runs. Also, everyone is pretty quickly moving toward their goals in Assault Point gear. Since Friday we have done two new rank 7 missions: Blitzkrieg and Wamoura Farm Raid. Blitzkrieg was very fun but for some reason in all the fighting we never even saw the NM that was supposed to be there to get the drop for the second wave of fighting to start. I think we will try that one again after we get more of the Assaults done. As for Wamoura Farm Raid, it was supposed to be very difficult but with 5 people we completed it with just under 10 minutes to spare. I enjoyed it very much, and for those that have read the description of this Assault on the wiki, it is much easier and if you just follow a good pattern for killing the mobs it can be done very quickly. We also got a Palladium Dagger while doing the Supplies Recovery assault. The dagger went to Eternalpain, because no one could really use it that well in the party that got it, but I bet it would be a pretty good solo dagger for a THF as the stats are pretty good, but don't stand out that much as a DD knife.

Looks like I just have odds and ends to cover from the rest of the weekend at this point. Izman, Omoi and I made some decent money by doing Antlion in Sheeps clothing as a trio. It wasn't that hard but the time limitation was the real concern and a legitimate concern at that. 8 seconds to spare, very nice. :) The mantle sold pretty quickly and we made a decent chunk of change on that run. At some point over the weekend, I finally broke down and purchased a pair of cursed haidate, which I have been meaning to get for quite some time. I took them right over to San d'Oria and had them uncursed... I had no idea just how bad they look on NIN, especially when paired with my gear, but I needed to get them for my SAM WS gear and this is the last piece I needed for my SAM for a while. There are a few places I could tweak and overspecialize but I think what I have now is very good considering the balance of jobs that I have.

I got my MNK to level 58 in a decent party that didn't really last long enough. MNK is the only other job I am going to be focusing on besides meriting. Like my WAR I am very disappointed in how slow the leveling is going but I think a couple of decent late nights and I will be close to where I want to be soon. I would like to start growing into the gear that I keep saying I will grow into and actually start looking like a MNK instead of this horrible monstrosity of gear that I have currently slapped on. It would be nice to start using more of those Hand-to-hand merits that I already have stacked on.

And now of the random stuff and grand finale to my information from the weekend. First, I saw this neat little ditty while finishing up Assaults on Monday night: I would have gone for Scythe myself, but after this update, who cares? Its about 1000 times better than what it was before. Apparently, Aable did a pick up group for Nyzul Isle and got Goliard Cuffs out of the run, so congrats to him. And he is back by the way, and feeling better I suppose, at least he is up and moving around. :) There was also a nice Besieged before we started Assaults on Monday night, and we fought and defeated Gere, and I even did it without dying one time.
Finally, there is this, and no greater truth has ever been told.
Now, it might seem that there couldn't really be anymore to fill this already huge post but there are two more announcements coming from SE. First is Pankration, the Pokemon like event where you capture monsters and pit them against each other in battle. It seems decently interesting but I don't know how much of it is of interest to me.

After years of petitioning by the people, the Empire has finally agreed to open the Pit's gates and allow Pankration matches to be held once again. Soultrappers from all across Vana'diel have already begun to arrive with their trusted pets, eager to take part in what is destined to be one of the most heated events in Aht Urhgan history!

What is Pankration?

Pankration (pan-kra-tee-on) is an ancient sport that pits fierce beasts against one another in a winner-takes-all melee. Clawing, cleaving, slicing, striking, enchanting, eviscerating, butting, bashing... Once in the battlecage, anything goes! Does your monster have what it takes to rise to the top?
Here is a brief explanation of how to participate:

1. Gotta Catch 'em
Your first step in becoming a soultrapper begins with obtaining an image of the monster you wish to enter in Pankration. Head down to the Pit with some Imperial credits and purchase a soultrapping device (also called a "Soultrapper") and some blank soul plates. The Soultrapper acts as a type of camera which records the vital information of monsters onto soul plates. Once you have equipped these items in your Ranged and Ammo slots, sneak up on a ferocious fiend and snap away. If you are successful, you will be able to use your newly acquired soul plate to create an item that will allow you to call forth a monster, or apply the monster's skills to another monster.
You'll be happy to know that pictures can be taken of most all monsters residing in Vana'diel, even the more "notorious" ones, such as behemoths and rams.

2. Soul Reflectors
Now take your soul plate back to the Pit and trade it along with an ice crystal to the proper attendant. If the plate is one that contains the image of a summonable monster, you will receive a soul reflector infused with the information from your soul plate. But before you can call your monster up for a Pankration battle, you must first submit the reflector for inspection. If it passes all of the Pit's quality assurance tests, it will be deemed an official soul reflector and you and your monster will be one step closer to the battlecage!

But what can you do with those soul plates that can't be forged into soul reflectors? Some monsters (such as beastmen) have such strong wills that it is impossible to coerce them into fighting for you. However, that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of their skills and teach those techniques to more impressionable monsters. Try trading one of these unforgeable plates and a reflector to a Pit attendant. If certain conditions are met, the attendant will take the skills from that plate and add them to the monster on your reflector! Imagine the sort of havoc a forest hare with deadly dark knight abilities could wield upon its enemies!

3. Red Tape
The Pit consists of four "battlecages" where Pankration matches are constantly being held. Once you have acquired an official soul reflector, take it to a registration officer to sign up for one of the following two types of battles:

- Exhibition (Battlecages "Annihilation" "Bloodlust" "Carnage")
As long as there is an opening, soultrappers can enter their monsters in exhibition matches at any time they wish. However, there are no level restrictions in any of the three cages, and no records of winners or losers will be kept. If you wish, you can have your monster pit against the monster of your choice by forming a party with the monster's owner and reserving an entry slot for your opponent when submitting your application.

- Tournament (Battlecage "Diablo")
Pit your monster against the current cage champion. If it wins, it is declared the new champion and will continue to battle opponents until it is dethroned. How many matches can you win?

4. Round One......Fight!
When your monster's match is about to begin, you and your opponent will be paged. Proceed to one of the cage officials and you will be transported to the control platform where you will be able to give simple orders to your monster via the speaking tubes. Once the battle begins, the monsters will fight it out until one collapses, with the one still standing declared the victor. If both monsters are still alive when the gong sounds the end of the round, the creature with the most HP remaining is crowned the winner.
Adventurers whose monsters are not currently participating in a match can take in all the excitement of the other matches from an elevated stage in front of each battlecage.

5. Level UP!
Once your battle has ended, trade your official reflector to a registration officer to confirm match results. Only after confirming match results will you receive your reward and your monster earn experience and skill points. DO NOT forget to complete this process!

Customizing your Monster

In addition to earning EXP through participating in Pankration matches, there are other methods through which your pet can become stronger.

1. Feral Skills
All monsters have unique inherent characteristics such as abilities, battle techniques, and magic spells. These are known as "feral skills." However, certain skills often remain dormant until monsters attain a certain level. It is not always a good idea to dismiss a monster as weak until you have had the chance to see it perform at a level where it can call upon a full arsenal of skills.

2. Discipline & Temperament
The following traits will change depending on the type of orders you give your monsters, as well as the frequency with which you give them:

- Discipline
The more disciplined your monster is, the more likely it is to correctly respond to orders given during a match.

- Temperament
Monster temperament is measured in two ways:
Wild vs. Tame
Aggressive vs. Defensive
A monster's temperament directly affects how it acts during battle. For example, a tame and defensive monster may choose to use stunning techniques on an opponent attempting to cast a powerful spell or use a weapon skill.

The second bit of information is that SE is taking the servers down on Sept. 5th from 12-3PM EST, probably to fix all of the mistakes that were made made with the two-handed weapon update. I am looking forward to this to see what the real change was supposed to look like and just so that the whining will finally be at an end.

I hope that was enough for you, because it was certainly enough for me.


Anonymous said...

Well done. ^^)b

Robert said...

good post. Except for the parts about ppl whining. We have valid complaints and its no different then all the emo 2handers complaining before the update about how they never got parties.

Thiefs need love too


Moe said...

Thanks again for the news Ring