Friday, May 22, 2009

Shut it down!

That's it kids! This is the last post before I head off to vacation for a week. When I get back, there will be a lot of things to go over! The staff for the new website. The columns that will appear on the new website. Our goals, agendas and schemes for world domination!

Have fun while I am gone and I hope you are looking forward to the new site as much as I am!

Morning in Vana'diel: The Rapture Cometh!

Morning in Vana'diel is your daily dose of FFXI and all things Vana'diel. Give us your thoughts on the interesting topics of the day! This morning we consider the end of times and what it means for FFXI.

You might have heard of SE's next MMO project if you don't live in a box. We really don't know much at all about this project besides the fact that it is codenamed Rapture and that they are using the Crystal Tools engine to design the game. That is the same software engine that is being used for FFXIII and it's siblings. Those are the only concrete details we have on the game itself so far, but there has been some other information about it's development. For example, it has been stated that the FFXI team is also working on this new MMO, and that it will not be Final Fantasy XI-2 or Final Fantasy related. This information is rather old though and there has been little confirmation besides random comments during unrelated interviews. There have been several pictures released over time of FFXII renderings using Crystal Tools which are supposed to depict this new MMO, but those should be discounted as just tests and demos of what Crystal Tools can do, in much the same way as this old picture.
The really funny thing is the rampart and mostly false or baseless speculation involved with Rapture. SE has dispelled many of these online myths but rumors and uninformed internet "media" still report things like the death of FFXI, Rapture being FFXI-2, or game design decisions. Don't believe the hype. The real truth is that we don't really know that much, but that should be resolved pretty soon. It has been heavily speculated that SE is going to reveal Rapture at E3 this year. While I still have my doubts (like why reveal your flagship MMO in the US instead of Japan?), it looks like there is some evidence that this might be the case.

I have no doubts about the life of FFXI, because MMOs basically never die, but if the same team is now working on two games instead of one, what does that mean for FFXI? Will content slow down? Does it explain the lack of content in Wings? Does it explain the completely unambitious and underwhelming "expansion scenarios"? Assuming resources were shifted to Rapture in the short term to prepare it for a demo at E3, will things start ramping back up in FFXI? Tell us what you think of Rapture, what it means for FFXI, and what you think of the situation!

Why bring this up two weeks before E3? I am going on vacation all next week! That means when I arrive back it will right around E3, and we will probably have some solid information on the situation finally!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Holy Crap, I'm a Black Mage.

Yes, BLM. The job you were afraid I would level. Well, that much at least you can blame on Izman as he was the one that came up with the idea of us doing this, but I can’t say that I didn’t think it was a good idea. We have duo’ed a lot of the way to where we are now (which is halfway through 73 for me), but lately we have been able to leech or synch down some of our friends to us. Since I am going on vacation after today, I am sure that Iz will and should be 75 by the time I get back. Then it’s on to merits.

I have to say that I am both excited and apprehensive about using Spellcast, which is pretty much requisite for most BLM these days because of all the conditional combinations of gear you need to use to maximize your damage and efficiency. I have started lobbying a few windower developers through a thread on BG to try to get them to make a graphical interface that you would input variables into and it would spit XML out at you. Some people think it should be easy and some think it might be difficult. Being an optimist in general and blissfully ignorant of the programming acumen necessary to design something like this, I think it should be totally possible. I am even considering offering a cash prize to the first person that develops something that works comprehensively.

Although I have put a lot of thought into the process of playing BLM, the real pain is being felt in my pocketbook. I have spent close to a half million on things that I know I am going to replace with better gear inevitably, but it is gear I can’t go without in the mean time. At least some of the gear I was able to pick up in Einherjar and some of it I am ignoring until I have the gil to deal with it. So let’s look at my shopping list.

Igqira Weskit: Check
Igqira Tiara: Check
Mahatma Slops: Check (Yes, Ailee I DO want signed ones from you, but you need to make them and we can swap)
Cursed Mitts: Check
Those are the things that I have picked up so far, but they aren’t the only things that I need. For example, I am missing a bunch of different spells. Fire IV, Blizzaga III, a bunch of Stone spells, and of course Poison II, which I will not buy just out of spite. Why the hell does a BLM need Poison II anyway? The gear I still need includes Snow Rings, Enfeebling Torque, a better second nuking earring, maybe a Demon Helm (Is 1 INT worth the MP lose from the Wizard’s Petasos for an Elvaan?) and Yigit Feet.

That is going to take some gil and time, but it going to be nothing compared to my Macha’s Coat. I am still paying back the gil I borrowed to get the Imperial Wootz Ingots for my Usukane Harimaki and I am going to need to get 12 more after that. :( Iz is going to have the same problem, but he is lucky that he already has all the pieces for Morrigan’s Body, Hands and Feet. I wouldn’t be surprised if he already has the hands and the feet already completed. I will also get to level into my Omega Ring, which will be very nice for Dark and Enfeebling.

Now, you might have noticed that I said I need a better second nuking earring. That is because you grand old gimp has finally gotten a Moldavite Earring. I just wanted to pick up a Sacrifice scroll for my WHM and the Goblin Alchemist that drops the scroll could be found in Labyrinth of Onzozo, so I figured why not try to get my Moldavite while I was there. So, I not only got a Scroll of Sacrifice for myself, Omoikitte and Iceblazek, but I also got my Moldavite Earring and I am not so gimp anymore. A special thanks to Iceblazek, Izman, Omoikitte and especially to Whmrock who helped me get it even though he still doesn’t have one (while still being a very capable BLM). We are going to help Whmrock get his earring as soon as we can!

So, there I am as a BLM. I was happy to find out that level 73 is “good” level when BLM gets their end-game gear and moves from being pretty lame to pretty cool. Only 20k to 74 then 42k for 75, and then another 44k to cap my XP. And then I need to merit, and merit for all of my jobs not just BLM. My WHM has been pretty much completely neglected when it comes to merits and that disappoints me really. My RNG is also in dire need of merits because it barely has any at all. At least BLM will let me solo some of those merits if I can’t drag Omoi and Iz to merit with me! ;)

Play Better, Suck Less: New Windower 4 info!

Play Better, Suck Less is a column dedicated to getting the most out of your FFXI experience in game and out. Whether Windower improvements, new game-play techniques, sweet strats or new tech, it will all be covered here!

Azaril, the person that appears to be the main developer for Windower 4 has been slowly releasing more and more details about the features that will be included as part of Windower 4. Most recently he has released pictures of what he simply calls "Bar" which is a much more eye-pleasing and integrated space for add-ons to appear on screen. Azaril has also indicated that we will not just be seeing the graphical improvements of the interface for Windower 4, but many useful plug-ins will now essentially be directly integrated into this "Bar" function, including popular add-ons like Infobar.

Additionally, Azaril has indicated that Windower 4 should be able to parse information without having to have all information unfiltered. This will be a godsend for those that want to be able to collect data from the game and actually still be able to read the combat log. It will also mean that things like an enmity meter might actually be possible in the future, although that does not appear to be a project that Azaril is personally working on.

Here are a few preliminary shots of what the Windower 4 "Bar" will look like inside: and outside: Are you as excited about this as I am? Well, maybe not, because I am probably a bigger nerd than you, but you can tell us what you think anyway!

Morning in Vana'diel: Tuning Out on New Gear.

Morning in Vana'diel is your daily dose of FFXI and all things Vana'diel. Give us your thoughts on the interesting topics of the day! Today, a quick look at Mythics and gear statistics.

The problem with the Mythics so far is just like the problems that SE has with almost all of it's gear. They can't decide how good they want their gear to be. Too many times they just make the gear without considering the alternatives that people use, instead of tuning the gear they are making to fit in some kind of pre-existing order. For example, why doesn't SE look at the highest tier of regularly available gear/weapons before making new gear. I believe the only time they may have actually considered this was when creating the Salvage gear. I don't know why, when creating a different tier of extremely hard to get weapons, they don't consider what is already available as a benchmark.

This is true of Mythics and Relics as much as it is true that there hasn't really been anything added that can beat HQ staffs. It's like Blizzard and SE are the Odd Couple. Blizzard is all math and formulas and DPS, and SE is all crazy ideas, weird innovations and huge spikes in damage. What all MMO'ers need is World of Fantasy-craft XI! What do you think? Does SE just make new gear without consideration of older gear? Does SE actually like how gear currently works and likes the itemization that already exist? Tell us what you think!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

POL News: Podcast Tour post is a day late and a...

POL, awesome as ever at delivering news to us in a timely manner, has reported that the Podcast Tour is now available for people to listen to... or you could have just gone to their respective sites when the final Podcast Tour event was finished last week on Limit Break Radio. The other two Podcast Tour "stops" were released even earlier, both happening two weeks ago. Along with LBR, the Pet Food Alpha and the He Says, She Says podcast were pretty much complete fluff pieces, there were a few nuggets of information provided about how in-game events are handled, how the community team communications with the development team and how the community team keeps up with the community.

It was interesting to learn that the community team does read multiple forums and blogs. Add that to the fact that the community team actually posts on some of the forums, although still very, very rarely, and you have some actual customer contact from SE. Now, if it was just 2004 instead of 2009 it might be groundbreaking. But I guess we shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth on this one, right?

Morning in Vana'diel: What would you do if you won?

As you might have heard the Mog Bonanza is Imminent but what would you do if you won a first place prize? Would you go for the Gil? Or would you go for the items? Unlike last year there is no way to know how much Gil you will win before hand, and I doubt it is going to be as much as it was last year. 100 million was a whole lot of Gil, and I can't see this Bonanza handing back that much Gil again, but you never know. The items are a mixed bag just like they were last year, with some impressive items from different HNM from around Vana'diel, and some are definitely better than others.

So what would you take? Would you even level a new job to make use of some of the more impressive items? Would you level SAM just to be able to use Futsuno Mitama? Would you level DRK just to be able to zerg your heart out if you picked the Kraken Club? Would you take the Gil even if you didn't know how much it was going to be?

Let us know what you would get by leaving a comment!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

POL News: Kupofried loses treasured relics again.

You would figure if these were treasured relics of all Moogle-kind that Kupofried would keep better track of them, or at least like put them under a mattress for safe-keeping or something.

SE has posted Mog Tablet Quest Redux! on the front page of POL. It's just an update to the initial post on the subject but it does provide new information about the on-going event.

Interestingly enough, from the description, it looks like the normal Kupofried event is going to be slightly different from the first week. The time frame for the tablets reappearance is 8 to 24 hours which can put it into any timezone. This is a good choice on SE's part, not only is there variation based on when the tablets are picked up but also on when they reappear. Also, beside he fact that we will only be getting three random buffs instead of all eleven buffs, it looks like the targets will be harder to find now, but I am sure that those that use Ap-radar will be able to pick them up faster than everyone else. :(

Forum Fishing: Magic Damage Calculator with backsolver for mob INT.

Although this thread is a necrobump by the author, Bashfr, I think it's one that we should all be glad that got bumped because it looks like he has created one of the best looking, easiest to use and most capable Magic Damage Calculator that we have available right now. The best part is that if you provide a little bit of testing you will be able to solve back the INT of just about any mob in the game.

It's too bad that really interesting and valuable resources like this are lost so often in forum drama and complaints. To prevent that from happening as often, I will be adding them here and onto the new site so people will have them into the future. This new column will be called Forum Fishing and will provide any interesting tidbits that may float across the variety of forums and websites that support the FFXI community. Hey, when you don't have Blue posts to latch onto, who else is going to sort the wheat from the crap posts, right? Anyway, this one is definitely worth a look at even if it is just to get a better understanding of the math behind the damage calculations. If you are going to use this MDC I would suggest that you take the time to do just a few of those requisite tests to figure out the INT of whatever you happen to be nuking at the time and just add it to the wiki, so that other people can have the information in the future.

Monday, May 18, 2009

You are not your fucking Noble's Tunic.

Not everything is going to be rare or hard to obtain, sometimes even the most mundane items are incredibly critical to playing your job and that is definitely the case of the Noble's Tunic.

The Stats: This is the first item where we can look the bonuses and see how good they on it's face. The Noble's Tunic is a key piece of WHM end-game gear. The DEF like almost all Mage gear is pretty much irrelevant, and the MP is actually pretty meager but that is also pretty irrelvent once your WHM can wear this item. The reason this item shines is because of it's additional stats. Even though there are other items with Refresh on them, there are none that have Cure Potency on it. Some people choose not to spend the money on the Noble's Tunic, instead preferring to go with something like a Cleric's Briault, Dalmatica, or even a Marduk's Jubbah. The problem with this is that even if you can find the refresh in other places you can't find the Cure Potency, and for some people that is even better than the Refresh. The Cure Potency scales as you use heal for more, making it scale with the higher level of cure that you do. In essence this means that you are actually saving MP over time which probably amounts a different kind of Refresh. There are other ways to increase the strength of your Cures without increased Cure Potency like by increasing MND, but they don't compare to the abilities of a straight increase in Cure Potency percentages. Here we can see a baseline Cure strength graph for a WHM without any Cure Potency and here we can see what happens when we add just 20% Cure Potency from a Noble's Tunic and the standard issue Light Staff. The difference is pretty huge and it gets stronger for stronger Cures. So, even if other body pieces have Refresh on them that is no reason to pass up a Noble's Tunic as you will be gimping your Cures, and stronger Cures can mean fewer Cures and more MP saved. This is especially true with the introduction of Afflatus Solace and it's additional Stoneskin effect.

The Get: The Auction House of course, and it's a pretty penny too. It's also worth all of those pretty pennies. If you are looking to get one crafted, the main ingredient you are going to need to pick up is that Shining Cloth, which you can buy off the Auction House or get from various high level NM's or KS99's. If you are going to buy the parts and go for the HQ, remember that your Clothcrafting is going to need to be at least 87, but that does mean you should be able to get to Tier 1 on it.

Mr. QQ says "Emergency Maintenance for Kupofried? Oh Noes!"

Looks like we are in for a little bit of maintenance in the near future to fix something with the Kupofried ongoing event. SE did a bit of maintenance last week to fix the issue with mobs moving too quickly when they were in a fully rested state. Insert jokes about spaghetti code here. This might bring back the considerations I brought up in my late post about whether SE should or should not take down the servers in the case of a minor but important repair that might need to be done.

As much as I don't have a problem with it, the issue of King's is relevant for those that do camp them. It is important that the times of King's rotate through the day so that all time zones get a chance to claim the different King's. This actually can take quite a bit of time depending on when they previously spawned, so it is important to keep the servers up for extended periods of time. It may also raise the question of why there are still mobs that require this situation to exist, and that it is far past the time to consider doing away with 21-24 (or longer) spawns.

A site note: This is the beginning of the new format style even if the new format has not yet changed. Mr. QQ will be the column for information on technical issues, server issues and other minor SE issues.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Reversal of Fortune.

So a couple of weeks ago, I was getting a little bored with the game, and little sad with events and a little bit emo in general. I would space out during events and not play my best. Hey, it happens to everyone. But now I am super happy about the game and ready to do events! The problem is that I am now super busy and about to go on vacation! LOL But things flip-flop like this all the time, and I am sure that better soon I will be going to events and getting bored again. :)

Anyway, I have been working and arranging a few things, and starting Monday I will be starting to post in a closer manner to how I hope the new site will function. I think once I start doing that it will make it clearer exactly what I plan on doing. I have already lined up a few people to help, and I am aiming for mid-June to be the launch window, but that is all up in the air still.

Remember even after I start the new site, I will still be maintaining this site, but it will become more of a personal blog than an informational or instructional blog. Those kind of posts will go on the new site and the new site will also have much more input and it will have input from people that have actual real-world experience with writing. I will go over the initial line-up of writers closer to the date of launch. I am still looking for additional people to work on this project, so if you have any experience writing or designing a website, just send me a message or e-mail me.

I found something a little thought provoking while scanning the internets today. It seems that WoW has issues with their programming too. It seems that one of their classes isn't putting out the right amount of damage, and that Blizzard knows about it, and most surprisingly, they don't know what is causing it. This isn't a problem for me because I know that coding games this dynamic and this huge are incredibly difficult tasks, and that changing one thing can unexpected change things somewhere else no matter how good your code is. Now, I know all the script kids out there are going to tell me that I am wrong and if they were doing it there would never be any mistakes, ever and they would give everyone Ridills and make Behemoth pee gil. The fact is that some people act like they know anything at all about the programming behind the game when they don't really. They don't know the tools that are used by the programmers in-house and they don't know how many different people with different ideas and styles have programmed before the current team.

Mr. QQ says "Don't QQ about downtime, kids!
It's just like people that complain about servers going down in FFXI. They really have no perspective at all. WoW's servers go down every Tuesday like clockwork and since their last update they have had continual extended and unexpected downtime. Couple that with the myriad instabilities, hot-fixes, glitches and other unknown problems and FFXI looks like the rock of Gibraltar in comparison. So, lets try to keep some perspective when it comes to server uptime, fixes and things like that. Especially considering that SE has definitely improved in that department as of late.

Would you be ok if the servers were down more often if they fixed problems faster? Or do you think SE should keep the servers up even if they know there is a problem? Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On the strange damage effects of the mythic weaponskills.

In general the new mythic WS's are pretty unremarkable, they don't do a huge amount of damage (normally) but they do skillchain very well. There is Drakesbane which is very good and on par with Dragoons other very good weaponskills. But I am not really interested in the general usefulness of these weaponskills, I am more interested in the strange spike damage that sometimes occurs on these weapons.
This is my hypothesis: These weaponskills have the same kind of damage multiplier that the relic weapons have on normal attacks. That would mean that two-handers should get a 2.5 multiplier and the single-handers and hand-to-hand would get a 3.0 multiplier.

This is just my hypothesis right now, and it is going to need some testing. It would explain the spikes in damage and it's randomness. I don't know the frequency, but I am going to keep a parser open and I am going to doing a few more Ranas than I was doing before.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A face lift and a new look.

I am going to be gradually changing the format and the style of my blog. As you can see this has already started with the addition of the "You are not your fucking..." and "A Deeper look at..." series, and it will continue until I see fit! :) In the end, I don't think this place is going to look much like it does now. There is going to be more varied content, more reporting on other blogs that I find interesting or relevant and much more useful content.

No one wants to read daily reports of things they already do in game, so that will slowly be phased almost entirely out of the new format. I do still want to keep a blog of what I do and the fun stuff that I achieve, but that will be held separately in a different location, which will keep the name of this site. The new site, where all the universally relevant content is going to go will be linked but will be all new, and I am looking to coordinate with a few people to have them add content to that blog (usually just through the reposting of their own blogs and a few unique pieces of content here). If you are interested in having your blog linked to this new site, or helping to contribute to this more global blog idea just let me know. :)

You are not your fucking X's Knife.

In the second installment of my gear review we will be going over the dagger that almost every THF drools all over, even in their dreams, the X's Knife.

The Stats: Looking at this is almost like looking at the Hagun, but the base stats are even a little better in this case. The X's Knife is the very simple bone-style knife design, and looks no different in game than a Behemoth or Bone Knife. Again, in following with SE's general laziness when it comes to recycling weapon models this is rather generic, even more so than most other weapons. In general, this is a bit higher on delay than most daggers, but it does have a pretty high weapon damage so this is probably going to be a main hand dagger for non-relic users. The damage does put it in the upper echelon of daggers too, but that really isn't the main benefit of this dagger. That is in the simple additional bonus of "Increases critical hit damage". This effect not only works on regular critical hits, but also on forced critical hits like from Sneak Attack and Trick Attack which means that for a THF this bonus will apply to almost every WS they do and to Evisceration also. As you can see, this damage will apply pretty often for just about any THF, and since it can be used so often we should look at what exactly this bonus does.

Now, for a long time this dagger was known about but not really tested, but after the testing the realization about how good and how important this dagger really is started to spread. There is still a bit of speculation on what effect the X's Knife has on critical hits, but the generally accepted idea is that it raises the pDIF (that is basically the damage range of any damage on by a weapon) for critical hits by 0.3. That is a pretty complicated way to say that you are looking at about a 10% increase in damage on critical hits across the board. It is going to be higher for things that are lower level and have less defense and lower for things that are higher level and have more defense, but that is true of anything that effects pDIF. The effect on pDIF can be seen here: There are some people that believe that it is a straight 10% increase in critical hit damage, but I kind of doubt this because when it comes to weapon damage SE generally likes to do the changes within the damage formula, unlike magic. This bonus applies to both the main hand and the off hand, so you don't necessarily have to main hand this dagger, but there are very few situations where you would not want to main hand this dagger, especially because you can still use a Blau Dolch in the off-hand and still maintain it's bonuses too, and it is wicked quick which is what you are generally looking for in an off-hand dagger. There are some higher damage non-relic daggers that could justify off-handing the X's Knife but using those would mean giving up the much better Blau Dolch.

The Get: Now, this one isn't that easy to get, and it is Rare/Ex so you can't even try to save up and buy one. The X's Knife only drops from the quest battlefield in Boneyard Gully called Requiem of Sin which requires another Boneyard Gully quest battlefield called Tango with a Tracker, all of which requires you to complete CoP and talk to Despachiaire in Tavnazian Safehold for a key item to start all of the quests. Sadly, it can only be done once a week and it has about a 10% drop rate, so you will be doing this quests for a while. There are a bunch of strategies available, but if you get a couple of friends together and pick a time weekly, you should be able to get this after a while.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A Deeper Look At... The Future of the Past: Walk of Echoes.

Another new event here for my blog, I am going to start doing a series of posts about places you might not know about because they are unreleased, because they are hard to get to, or because you have never needed to go there. This week we will start with a look into the Future of the Past: The Walk of Echoes.

So, a while ago I wrote about some information on the zone that would eventually turn into the area used for Einherjar. I found this zone interesting because it was absolutely huge, 9 consecutive chambers all the size of a small zone but just small enough so that you can see the other side of the zone, leading to a huge chamber at the end that was even bigger than the rest of the chambers.

Now, I thought they could have done a little more with this zone, but after some tweaks Einherjar turned out to be pretty challenging, and not as daunting as it first appeared. The adding of ampules even if you didn't have the zone completed really was the clincher for general use of this zone. Now, I think that people that whine about making content easier are just assholes that can't think about anyone else besides themselves. I don't know why it would bother someone that someone else was able to do something if it doesn't hurt your enjoyment. It's not like they really made Einherjar easier. I also take a bit of umbrage with those that wanted to Einherjar to scale, because I don't remember them ever saying they were going to do that, but I do remember a vague reference to them considering it. The point is that some things should be kept for larger groups and small groups shouldn't really be able to do all the content in the game. Let me preference the next statement by saying that I very much love doing small group events, in fact that is how I do Salvage and ZNM's right now, but that being said, I think that some people take the ability to small group things as justification for being completely antisocial and justification for being a douchebag.

That was a long-winded rant that I didn't mean to start because it is completely off of the topic of what I want to get at today which is new end-game events in the past. This is what I really wanted to talk about: That is the area that is designated the Walk of Echo's, or at least that is an rendering of the area by a kind JP fellow. Much like the Einherjar area this area is apparently friggin' huge if the size of the Hydra is to be believed. I have basically two ideas for this area. Either it is going to be one comprehensive area like Sky or Sea, which I kind of doubt because there is no map for this area, or it is going to be broken down into sections like Einherjar or Limbus, which I think is a little more boring but at least it means that SE is listening to requests for individualized or instanced content. This area also just plain looks cool. :)

The general area looks much like what appeared in the trailer for the Wings expansion, but lets take a further look at some of the areas of the zone. First of there is the battlefield area and this is the entrance to it. Pretty impressive and pretty big, because the Taru should be to the correct proportion. Though that is pretty impressive, inside looks even better. This is a great area to have almost any battle. Something like Salvage? Maybe. Something like a Limbus final areas? Maybe. Something all new, maybe even like a raid in other games? Maybe. Here is an overhead picture of the area. This I want to touch on because we don't really have areas like raid in other games, in that our instanced areas don't really tell a story like other the instances of other games. I guess they might in that I just have done them so many times that I don't really think about it, but to me they more seem like puzzles that I have already solved rather than something that has storyline importance whenever I do it. I don't know, it just seems different in my mind but I have never done instances in other games so I might just be romanticizing them. Anyway, the next picture shows depth the pit in the center of the zone, which is pretty deep. There is also quite a regal entrance way, and you can see Lilith for comparison because I don't think necessarily that she is bound to this area. The entrance way overlooks the pit but it is kind of unclear how exactly you would enter the pit area, probably some kind of intra-area teleporter. Here is one last shot of Lilith looking down on the pit area. I want to finish this up with two youtube clips that go over both the arena area and the entire Walk of Echoes area. I hope this whets your appetite.

Next week: Other unreleased past areas.

Monday, May 04, 2009

You are not your fucking Hagun.

Starting a new Monday morning trend here. I am going to profile a piece of equipment every Monday morning and discuss why it is a good piece of gear, why it fills your needs, why you should get it or any other reason it could be useful. It could be something obvious, or it could be something off the beaten path.

The Stats: So to start off lets go with something completely essential instead of something interesting, the Hagun. The Hagun is one of those big-bladed Great Katana's that look more like a gigantic meat cleaver than a Great Katana. The look is good but it is so ubiquitous that is does get a bit tired after a while, especially considering the fact that it is a mostly recycled model (bad SE!). The base delay on it is completely unremarkable, because it is the same as just about any other Great Katana except for exceptionally rare versions. This means it has the standard requirements for Store TP to reach a 6-hit build, and that most people with just a little bit of work will be able to put together what they need even if it means a few trade-offs. The damage is actually quite remarkable in that it is so low, at 77. The damage really is a deception thought because it has a quire remarkable extra stat that makes up for the rest. The TP Bonus on this item is what makes it stand out from the crowd. The TP Bonus adds an addition 100 TP to any weapon skill done with the Great Katana. Now there are a bunch of different weapons that have TP Bonus on them and most of them are mediocre to poor because the TP bonus really doesn't do anything compared to other available stats. For Samurai though the TP bonus is huge, for example on Yukikaze, Gekko or Kasha the modifier for damage is increased by 20% at 100TP which for a SAM STR based weapon skill is huge (and just remember, if you are spamming TP always use Gekko, it's stronger, it's been tested). In the end this increased TP modifier turned poor and unremarkable stats into the best Great Katana you can get off of the AH and by far. There is nothing short of the super-rare that you can get that even comes close to the damage.

The Get: As I said before you can get this on the AH because it is a pretty old piece of gear, made back when SE thought it was OK to actually use the AH to by and sell end-game gear. Right now though you will pay a pretty penny for one with most servers going for around 3 mil to pick one up. If you don't want to pay to play you can always try to do get it through the ENM Sheep in Antlion's Clothing. Up to two of them can drop but the drop rate isn't that high at about 10%.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The return of Fire Resist.

I had put together a Fire Resist build for my NIN a long time ago, but I never had much use for it, so I ended up selling it off. But recently, I have developed a use for a Fire Resist set for my SAM, and I wanted to go over that now.

I wanted to say something first about Fire Resist. In general for most things, even really hard things Barfira and Fire Carol will keep you alive in the case of an AoE fire move, but that's about it. You will still take a chunk of damage and you won't be able to take sustained damage this way. It is in the Fire Resist gear that you really spike your resist rates and see those ridiculously low damage spells from very high level mobs. But without Barfira and/or Fire Carol, the Fire resist gear isn't really going to cut it for anything at all. I think this is because the spell buffs include a good amount of Magic Defense while the gear only includes Resist stats. I am doing some more testing on this as I type this but in general, make sure you have those buffs because without I don't know if the straight Fire resist is going to help you all that much.

So, for my SAM this is the gear I am looking at.
Head: Wyvern Helm - +10
Neck: Buburimu Gorget - +10
Earrings: Triumph Earring x2 - +22
Body: Scorpion Breastplate +1 - +10
Hands: Hanzo Tekko - +6
Rings: Ruby Rings x2 - +18
Back: Cerberus Mantle - +10
Waist: Water Belt - +20
Feet: Suzaku's Sune-ate - +50

That gives me 156 Fire Resist, which most people consider above the cut off for an effective Fire Resist set which is about 150. I don't have a Cerberus Bow because it is very expensive and completely useless outside of a Fire Resist set. I don't have anything in the legs because really they items for that slot for SAM on Fire Resist are pretty crappy. The really expensive piece for this set is the Cerberus Mantle, but I think it was worth it. I will use it on NIN for tanking a little too, so it's not a complete waste.

And there you can see the effect of a good Fire Resist set on the Groundburst of the ZNM mob Gotoh Zha the Redolent.

Now hopefully soon we can put them to the real test. :)