Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The good news.

Ok, so SE has given us two updates on regular intervals since the released the info about the patch that is coming. This is good, and I will explain why right after I post the info about the update:

Dancer and Scholar Quests: The Journey Continues (02/12/2008)

Exciting new quests for both dancer and scholar jobs have been scheduled for the next version update. Through these action-packed quests, you will be able to learn more than ever before about the Vana'diel of the past, as well as get your hands on new artifacts and even break higher limits!

What fate awaits our courageous adventurers? The following is just a taste of what you can expect in the next version update:


Learn about the establishment of Troupe Brilioth as well as the shrouded past of its charismatic founder and leader, Laila.
Who was the mysterious piper by the lake?
And what is the significance of the seemingly innocuous glowing pebble?
All will be revealed as the wheel of fate sets the stage for the final dance-off...


The grimoire--a tome of tactics and strategies in magic, penned by Schultz II... What secrets are concealed within this artifact of immeasurable value? Bear witness to the rise and fall of the Schultz School of Martial Theory during the Crystal War, and discover the truth lost within the dark passage of time.
Brace yourself for the shocking finale!

*Certain job level requirements must be met in order to undertake the above quests.

The reason why this is good is because, unless SE is going to keep us in the dark for the next two to three weeks, we are looking at getting a bunch of version update information. The version update teaser was released last Tuesday, on Thursday we got the Campaign info and today we got the AF and Limit Break quest update. If they didn't have a lot to offer in this update I highly doubt they would have given us the main thrust of the update information in the first two update notes. This goes to support my hypothesis that this update will probably be giving us a lot of the stuff that SE wanted to include in the original expansion but did not have time to include because of the specific release date. There will still definitely be at least a mission info update and probably at least a gear update and a job adjustment update. But even with those predictable updates, I think there is more coming. My guess is there will be some semi-endgame addition, in the vein of Assault, but not necessarily the same function. I doubt we will be getting something like Salvage yet, but there will be something with endgame style rewards but nothing too earth shattering. My guess is they will use the Assault-style zones that are currently used for the incredibly light Campaign Ops missions. It just seems to me that there is no way that SE intended these zones to be for such a limited use. Probably an obvious statement there, but sometimes you have to explain that to the people that think that SE is run by a bunch of monkeys, and yet love playing their game. Finally, I wouldn't be surprised if we get at least one info update that no one expects. SE has been playing their cards pretty close to their chest on this expansion. I think there is concern at SE that they over-promised with ToAU and they don't want to do that again. I think this is why the Fan Festival this year didn't cover anything close to what the last one covered. I don't think they are as worried about delivering things late (i.e. the timeline too longer to release than they promised) so much as failure to delivery things at all, like the Coliseum. That is probably a JP based fear more than an NA derived one as the NA's tend to complain about things that are in the game rather than worrying as much about things that they have promised to come. Don't get me wrong, you will still get NA's wondering where exactly the Coliseum went, but in our culture, and especially in our software development culture, delays, empty promises and vaporware is the norm not the exception. Promise the sun and deliver the moon, I guess. But anyway, I digress. One more thought on this then I will move on, I think it is time for SE to delivery on a real raid like instance. Now, you might think that they already have something like that, but the closest thing that they have is Salvage. Now, I love Salvage, but I think you can take the zones like in Salvage, actually start people off with the gear that they have earned and create something similar but with different branching goals. Some groups may be able to kill all the NM's in a Salvage zone and the boss but for most of us, we have to pick and choose. I don't think this is a bad concept at all. Create a zone with branching paths, at the end of each path is a reward or part of a reward for something from the zone. It could be as close or far from Salvage as SE pleases, in that there can be multiple zones which have items that are combined to form the new gear, or they gear could be gained directly from the zone. Either way, the idea of an intermediate reward must be implemented. I think this is something that is missing from Salvage, and Salvage could definitely benefit from a system like in Nyzul Isle where you could use points to purchase items to boost yourself for the boss instead of relying on the randomness of drops and chests. A branching paths instance could be as small or large as needed, and would have high replay value because choosing one path would lock out the other paths for the run. Meaning that a group would have to be constantly repeating runs to get the gear they want, or to achieve goals they need. I think that some combination of a Limbus or much more limited Einherjar system could also be good to ensure high replay value also. Minimum of 6 and maximum of 18 and I would make the difficulty higher so that the more you included the better off you are, instead of a Salvage system were more people is actually bad because of cell distribution, but I would also make it so that even a low number could do at least some portion of the event. Keep it a timed instance so that people can know what to expect and how long they are going to be occupied with the event. Finally, toss in some mysteries, not "how do you lock AV" mysteries, but "how do you spawn the Madame" style mysteries.

That was long and rambling, but I do think it is a good idea, and hopefully we might get something like that soon.

By the way, if the Sandworm ever drops anything decent, it might actually be a good idea for an HNM. Spawning in one of six zones is a good idea, it would be even better if it had a wildly open spawn timer too. Sure, all the bad people would just plant a mule in each zone with the hax to detect when a mob spawns, but at least if people were quick and lucky anyone could get out there to claim it.

On with the show. Limbus last night, the run was kind of ugly but we got two wins and I finally got a Plaited Cord! Now, I am either going to get the Ninja Chainmail +1 which is nice I guess but I am a bit hesitant on it because with Koga Chainmail or Haubergeon +1 it just doesn't seem to appeal as much as Ninja Tekko +1 which will finally give me some good WS hands for my Ninja. My poor, poor Ninja, not only did I delevel it last week for the first time ever after a low man Hope went bad and I had to sac it while everyone recovered, but I also am deleveling my Katana merits. My first Combat merits ever. :( Well, they are going to a good cause, my SAM! :) I am now just 2 levels away from capped Great Katana and with a new Divine Might coming in a couple of weeks I will have a brand new shiny Bushinomimi. :) I am also going to finally get my last two WS gorgets made for my SAM, just need about 13 more Phuabo organs and I am set. And maybe, just maybe if we can get a Skirmish Pephredo to drop some feet I will be able to massively upgrade my SAM. The +7 Store TP on the Usukane Sune-ate would free me up to use the Peacock Charm (until I got a Justice Torque) and would add +2% Haste to the 17% that I already have. They would also be amazing for my MNK, more Accuracy, Attack, Haste (netting me 24%), and that Store TP would even help because I keep getting to 99 TP in my current set up.

After Limbus we had Assault, and I decided to try to get a win on a Rank 10 mission. I really love doing Rank 10 missions but it can be troublesome at times because there are a lot of people that need them finished but not enough to do 2 runs so people get excluded, and I just hate excluding people. But at some point I have to pick and choose who gets to go because we do need to get them done. I am going to get everyone through them, but these Assaults are much more difficult than the other ones so you need optimal set-ups to ensure that they have a chance at success. Last night's adventure was Bellerophon's Bliss. The first run didn't go so well. We regrouped afterward and reshuffled the party line up a little and gave it another go. NIN, SAM, DRG, RDM, WHM, BRD. With this set up things went much more smoothly, still at 20% it used a nasty Fulmination, but we survived for a little while until it did another one which took me down. So Glacian and Hellz tanked it while I got up and out of the way until it dropped another Fulmination and killed Glacian and Hellz, so I had to come in weakened and tank it. With long shadow recast timers, Omoi, Skur and Achi just over cured me to keep me alive until it was at one percent when Hellz and Glacian just came in and finished it. I died right before it did because someone tried to kill it at 1% with a Holy. LOL ^.^ Anyway, a win we had, and that puts me at 2/5 for Rank 10 missions, and I have heard this is the hardest one to beat. I think that it would be easier if people used teams to fight it. For example, have two NIN, two healers, a BRD and maybe another DD like a SAM. Fight it until 40%, then pull one of the NINs and one of the healers off of it and out of range of Fulmination, once the Fulmination lands have the other NIN head in and tank it with the other healer. Pull the other team out of range and let them either raise or recover, then rotate like that until it is dead.

Did I mentioned that I miss Iz? Well, I do, and since I was leveling Scholar as a subjob with him and Omoi, that is now on hold. So back to leveling BLM again, the job I loath, thanks Iz! LOL Anyway, Omoi and I duoed on SMN and BLM and that was really effective. Man, I can SO easily level BLM now that I have Thunder. Worms just cry, hehehe, and if I am MP efficient and don't get resisted, I can usually kill two Worms without having to rest. This may not come as a shock to 99% of you, but man, do I have BLM, so I don't know shit about it outside of endgame. Omoi was able to do some great damage on SMN with Fenrir on the worms and I got to 22 on BLM before heading to bed.

To wrap up, I hope you find this as disturbing as I did.
Oh, and here is another sweet Elfie video that he made of his parties epic Alexander mission fight. Iz is tanking, of course. He tanks everything.
See you tomorrow.


Myrna said...

Cord doesn't exsist. That pic is a lie.

Ringthree said...

Tell me about it. I haven't seen one in like six months.

Anonymous said...

this is king just letting everyone know ill be back in a few days my brother passed away in the middle of me coming back so it has been a long delay.

Skurlover said...

Hellz likes it smooth.....

King, I'm really sorry to hear that man, I wish you the best.

JESS said...

.... I feel ya Ring....
King sorry about your brother and all when you feel like coming back we still have your spot open for ya...... no one comes close to making the crazy jokes that you come up with.