Monday, June 21, 2010

I don't even know where to start.

It is going to take me forever to get through all of this. Don't expect an update until at least tomorrow. Sorry, I don't know what else to say. I am in a state of complete shock.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ridill Me This Podcast Episode 1 is a Go!

We completed the first episode of Ridill Me This (yes, we are fully aware that the abbreviation is RMT) last week and it was posted to the LimitBreakRadio site on Friday.

We encourage you to check it out and give us any feedback you may have about it!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Feast and Famine - The New Job Abilities.

The new update notes have all of the new Job Abilities, Spells and Job Traits that are coming in the update, and there are a ton of them. Way more than I think anyone expected. Some are amazing, some are interesting, some look useless and some leave me wondering what the fuck SE was thinking. So basically it is a standard update from SE. :)

I am going to try to go over everything today, but there is so much that I don't know if that will be possible. If I don't make it to everything then I will finish it up tomorrow. Ok, lets get down to it.

If you need a reference to follow along you can see the update notes here.

Restraint (WAR Lv.77 Ability Delay: 10 min. Effect Duration: 5 min.)
Enhances your weapon skill power with each normal attack you land, but prevents you from dealing critical hits.

Interesting name for a Warrior JA. The real questions for this is how much bonus it gives to WS damage and what effect the prevention of critical hits has. If the critical hit prevention applies to weaponskills then that means that Raging Rush is out and King's Justice is in. This one might initially be hard to judge because you have to consider the critical hit damage lost on regular melee swings, and the stacking effect of the swings before you use a WS. Finally, do the stacks reset when you use a WS or do they stay for the entire 5 min. duration?

Perfect Counter (MNK Lv.79 Ability Delay: 1 min. Effect Duration: 30 sec.)
Allows you to counter the next attack directed at you.

Very interesting but does the utility over come the fact that you have hit a macro and get the job ability delay every minute? Two factors to consider: First, you can use this before a fight when you know you are going to get hit for a bit of a damage boost. Second, can this be used to counter mob WS?

Mana Wall (BLM Lv.76 Ability Delay: 10 min. Effect Duration: 5 min.)
Allows you to take damage with MP.

Earlier today this mistakenly had the duration listed as 5 sec. but it has already been corrected to the appropriate 5 min duration. I know that some people probably have have mixed feelings about this bit I am convinced that this is a benefit to all BLM. The ability to take damage on BLM is very important, this can already be seen in the general adoption of the "standing" set with the goal of decreasing any potential incoming damage. It basically gives a BLM a second HP pool every 10 minutes for 5 minutes. I suspect that Tarus are going to to love this ability while Elvaan and Galka aren't going to care for it. Tarus have the MP to waste to save themselves, and Elvaan and Galka don't worry about HP as much but don't want to waste their precious MP.

Despoil (THF Lv.77 Ability delay: 5 min.)
Steals items from an enemy while inflicting a status ailment upon it.

Honestly, I have no clue how this is going to work. It sounds a lot like a reverse aura steal, but it gives a status ailment instead of stealing a buff. Where does this status ailment come from? Is it random? Given from the debuffs the THF already has on them? The best thing about this is that it is it's own ability and isn't just stacked on every steal like Aura Steal.

Divine Emblem (PLD Lv.78 Ability Delay: 10 min. Effect Duration: 1 min.)
Enhances the accuracy of your next divine magic spell and increases enmity.

Seriously, fuck PLD! LOL. I don't really hate PLD at all but they got good stuff and NIN gets nothing. I can't say that this is an amazing JA or anything but it is just one more boost to PLD enmity at the beginning of a fight or more importantly right after the PLD loses hate. With the number of hate resets and crazy nuking taru BLM, this is going to be a life-saver.

Nether Void (DRK Lv.78 Ability Delay: 5 min. Effect Duration: 1 min.)
Increases the absorption of your next dark magic spell.

LOL DRK. This is one of those JA's that we will have to see how much it adds before we judge it. Or I could just judge it now. :) Unless this modifies Drain 2, this it will probably be marginal. I suppose if Absorb-TP or Absorb-STR get a huge boost then it could be good but it will just add more time spent not swinging and thus not doing damage.

Double Shot (RNG Lv.79 Ability Delay: 3 min. Effect Duration: 90 sec.)
Occasionally uses two units of ammunition to deal double damage.

SE is paying RNG back for all those months of suffering after they nerfed it into the ground. It is almost like a double attack trait for RNG, which should work with my new OAT bow, but it won't give extra TP. The rpoblem it that RNG doesn't really need more damage right now, it need more enmity mitigation. I am not saying that I won't take it, but it just means that /DRG is now completely mandatory. There is no other option.

Sengikori (SAM Lv.77 Ability Delay: 3 min. Effect Duration: 1 min.)
Grants a bonus to skillchains and magic bursts initiated by your next weapon skill.

Skillchains may be a thing of the past but their are times when a SAM is either self-skillchaining with Sekkanoki or really are trying to make a skillchain with someone else. It is just more damage for SAM, and more e-peen for BLM at Fafnir. the recast on it is lower than Sekkanoki, so their might need to be some coordination if you want to use them together multiple times in a fight.

Futae (NIN Lv.77 Ability Delay: 3 min. Effect Duration: 1 min.)
Grants a bonus to your next elemental ninjutsu by expending two ninja tools.

SE hates NIN. There is no other explanation. Unless this turns elemental ninjutsu into a fully merited and geared BLM tier 4 nuke then no one is ever going to use this. NIN has to get another tier of DW in this update at the very least, or it is just going to fade into history.

Spirit Jump (DRG Lv.77 Ability Delay: 90 sec.)
Delivers a short jumping attack on a targeted enemy which suppresses enmity. Effect enhanced when wyvern is present.

My only question with this is if it does damage and if it does, how much does it do? It does say it is an attack so it almost definitely does damage. It is anotehr boost to DRG TP generation, something that they are not really lacking to begin with.

Blood Pact: Rage "Holy Mist" (SMN Lv.76)
Deals light elemental damage to an enemy.
Blood Pact: Rage "Lunar Bay" (SMN Lv.78)
Deals darkness damage to an enemy.
Blood Pact: Rage "Night Terror" (SMN Lv.80)
Deals darkness damage to an enemy.
Looks like they are offensive blood pacts for Carby, Fenrir and Diabolos respectively. We can't know how good they are until they are tested.

Bolter's Roll (COR Lv.76)
Increases movement speed for party members within area of effect.

A mazurka roll for COR. Pretty simple.

Caster's Roll (COR Lv.79)
Enhances "Fast Cast" effect for party members within area of effect.

Fast Cast is nice but I can't see many places this would be useful for "casters" that might benefit from it because there are other more powerful rolls for them. The place this would be more useful is for tanks which can benefit from the decreased cast time as well as the decreased recast time on their spells.

Tactical Switch (PUP Lv.79 Ability Delay: 3 min.)
Swaps TP of master and automaton.

Who cares? Really. I don't even know if it is better for the PUP or the Automaton to have more TP.

Presto (DNC Lv.77 Ability Delay: 15 sec. Effect Duration: 30 sec.)
Enhances the effect of your next step and grants you an additional finishing move.

Super low delay and recast, this might help DNC to truly enfeeble end-game mobs. More finishing moves are never bad either because more finishing moves means at least more TP back with Reverse Flourish.

Divine Waltz II (DNC Lv.78 Ability Delay: 20 sec.)
Restores the HP of all party members within a small radius.

A bigger Curaga for DNC. It will probably be pretty weak but cost a ton of TP. Just like all Curaga style cures.

Climactic Flourish (DNC Lv.80 Ability Delay: 90 sec.)
Allows you to deal critical hits. Requires at least one finishing move.

The description of this finisher makes it sound like DNC can't crit without it. My guess is that it will guarantee a crit on the next hit kind of like Sneak Attack, but it won't guarantee that the hit will actually land. Just my guess.

Libra (SCH Lv.76 Ability Delay: 1 min.)
Examines the target's enmity level.

Might as well just call this Kaeko's Spell. Hopefully, it will be pretty accurate, but we have managed to live without any kind of enmity instruction for 8 years, this is not going to be a make or break ability now. If it just tells you the mob's target then you could just get the same information by just using /assist.

And that is everything that we are getting in the form of JA's for this update. Tomorrow we will go over everything else, including new Job Traits, spells, and BST jugs.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Walk of Meh?

I suppose it makes logical sense to have Walk of Echoes be a Campaign style zone. Logical sense doesn't make me happy though. Unstructured end-game? Random lotting on good gear and crafting items? Is there any incentive at all to do this with my LS? I know they never said it was going to be an end-game area... wait, didn't they say it was supposed to be an end-game area? I think they did. If you squint really hard, maybe you can make yourself believe that this is end-game. I just don't like it because they promised me a better focus on end-game at Vana'fest, and this isn't what I had in mind.

Maybe I thought SE was going to pitch a perfect game on this update? Maybe I was letting my expectations get too high. Maybe they are making end-game content for people that don't do end-game.

Maybe all those people that constantly bitch about not having enough low-man stuff to do are reaping what they have sown. Go find some friends and stop ruining my game. Just so you know, this is your "low-man" content. You get to go to the Walk of Echoes with 50 of your closest friends, and then hope to win lots on actual end-game gear.

I am left a little confused, a little bitter, and a little cold.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, this really doesn't bug me all that much. There is still more content in this update than we have gotten in over a year. There is also the problem of trying to predict what SE is delivering from their update notes. This could be a super-awesome new event and everyone will love it. Or it could be Garrison. While I love to flex my precognitive skills when it comes to FFXI, my powers are not strong.

I think we might be heading to Walk of Echoes one way or the other because the update notes seem to suggest that our new Magian friend is going to be sending us there. Which means we are going to need to get kills or drops from the area. If we just need kills, hey, that's fine, I don't mind that. If we are going to need to win lots from a union type system then I am going to fly to Japan and disembowel myself on Sage Sundi's desk.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Promises Unfulfilled.

WARNING: This post may bore you, or you may be completely uninterested in the topic. I suggest that you read it to better understand the way games are made and developed, and why developers can never please all players. If you still don't want to read it then piss off, hoser.

There are three kinds of FFXI players, ones that don't follow anything about FFXI and just play the game, ones that follow all information about FFXI but nothing about other MMO's, and ones that follow all information about FFXI and also keep abreast of other MMO's. The first group are pretty insular, so they probably don't even read this blog. The second group might read this blog, and I think this post might still be interesting to them. The third group will love this post. This post is about a recent series of announcements made by Blizzard about WoW. Just let me explain.

Over the past weekend Blizzard made some major announcements regard it's newest expansion (which I might have mentioned before has some striking similarities with Wings of the Goddess), and for the most part these announcements weren't very good. Now, I don't play WoW very much, but I play it enough to be abreast of changes to the game. To a WoW player many of the announcements for this new expansion were orgasmic. To a non-WoW player, the reactions seemed really familiar. There were to be limited expansion areas, but mostly redone but still recycled older areas. The level cap was to be raised again, but no new talents were to be added. There was to be an "alternative advancement" system akin to merits. There was going to be a new crafting system which wasn't a new crafting type just a sub-crafting system (synergy anyone?). There was also to be "Guild leveling" where in your guild gets points for doing guild type events that can then be spent to get bonuses for the entire guild.

As I said, most WoW players were in love with this new expansion, but someone looking from the outside might wonder what they were so excited about compared to what they have gotten in the past. I could go over everything that was to be added but it doesn't really matter. What matters is that over the weekend, they announced that they were scrapping or substantially cutting down a whole lot of what they were planning on doing. They are keeping all of the game world changes, but a majority of the character customization is being cut out or replaced with a much less expansive system. Many of the frills that were supposed to come with the expansion are now gone. This needs to be considered with the fact that outside of the pretty radical reorganization of the game world.

Why does this matter to FFXI? Well, it has a lot to do with the comparison for how Blizzard deals with their players versus how SE deal with FFXI players. SE has definitely made promises to players about content in the past and failed to deliver. The Colosseum is famous as being one of those things that SE wanted to give to players but eventually gave up. The latest round of Summons that took over two years to deliver is a case where they might have promised something far before they were ready to deliver it. The saving grace for SE is that these were marginal goals. The Colosseum was supposed to be a kind of PvP system, which is not all that interesting to most FFXI players. Summons are something that SMNs care about patiently but it doesn't effect over all game content. Blizzard made promises to add several large game systems and has now had to back down on those promises.

Blizzard is famously known for their commitment to quality, often quoted as saying that they will not released content until it is ready to be released. Usually that has meant that it would take longer than expected to get content out the door, but it appears in this case that it means that they are ditching new content. I don't think this speaks well to the planning that is going on at Blizzard. When SE announced the level cap increase for FFXI they also mentioned that a new merit system was going to be coming with it at the end. While this may take some time, I do not believe that it is even an option for SE to cancel this content at anytime. Blizzard currently has very little and limited alternative advancement. Yes, they do have a system that is baked into the game, but that system is very cookie-cutter. There is a "best" allocation, and it has limited flexibility. In SE, for one job the same could be said, but as players can level multiple jobs there can be much more variation in how players choose to allocate merits.

From someone looking from the outside in, I would not appreciate SE dumping their new merit system. I would not like it if SE bagged other major promises. A lot of WoW players don't even know that other MMO's exist, so I have to wonder what they think about these things. Is there a problem with setting your target too high then not delivering? Blizzard used their standard response when talking about dropping their new "merit" system. They didn't want to rush out something that wasn't "fun", they didn't want to have to fix something later just to have it out now, and no they were not cutting it so they had to rush out their new expansion. But I have to ask if the lady doth protest too much... It sounded like everything that was announced this weekend was a scrap or a toning down of previous plans. At least SE didn't lie to us about moving their FFXI people over to FFXIV, but Blizzard assures us that they are not moving people over to their new MMO. How could that even be possible? They have to be moving some people over out of realistic necessity. Even Blizzard doesn't have infinite resources.

With all of Blizzard's chopping and scrapping it seems that they are begging off an awful lot. I have to wonder if this is the first big blunder that Blizzard has made? SE has made a lot of blunders, but right now there isn't as much space for Blizzard to make mistakes. Around the launch of Cataclysm (the new WoW expansion) there will be several other MMO's cropping up. With all these new changes to remove the things that were supposed to be added, I have to wonder what the WoW players think they are getting besides some new versions of things they already have?

Maybe it is just the right time to be playing FFXI. We are getting a real level cap increase, we are getting a whole new end-game, new relic-style weapons, Magians, new HNM, end-game content, and a refocused development team. WoW seems like it is going in the opposite direction.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tell Me Something I Didn't Know.

I suppose there is someone out there that didn't know the level cap was going to be raised to 80 in the next update, but I haven't met them. The update notes from today were nothing more than a rehash of everything that we have heard so far. At least it did include some specifics that will clear up a little bit of confusion.

I did find a few things that they said to be interesting not because of the information that was provided, but because of what they didn't say. There is a little bit of reading between the lines necessarily. It is time to bust out the SE-nese to English book of translations to see what they really meant.

What SE says:

Q: What inspired the decision to increase the level cap?
A: With the cap set at level 75 for quite some time now, a wide variety of monsters, equipment, and game content has been introduced over the years for players who had reached this limit. With such content having been fleshed out to the development team's satisfaction, it was deemed that the time was right to usher in the sort of new challenges that could only come with the ability to achieve higher levels.

The English translation:
Q: What took you so damn long to increase the level cap when you said you could never increase the level cap for so long?
A: Ok, we always knew that it was easy to increase the level cap. We got to a good point with level 75 and it was easier to make content for a stable level cap than working on adjusting mobs all the time for an increased level cap. We know that the last year of content sucked Vrtra balls and we decided we really needed to kick it up a notch to satisfy all the people that we pissed off with a year of shitty updates.

What SE says:
Q: What changes can we expect to see after the cap is lifted?
A: Beginning with the upcoming version update, the level cap will be gradually increased to an eventual maximum of 99, with new job abilities, magic spells, weapon skills, and equipment to be made available at these higher levels. These additions, as well as refinements to existing abilities and spells, will focus on preserving and strengthening the unique roles that each main job serves, while increasing the tactical options available to each support job. Needless to say, new game content will also be introduced that will demand every onz of adventurers' newfound might.

The English translation:
Q: Do you have any fucking clue about what you are going to do when you raise the level cap?
A: Hey, if we had a fully staffed development team we would have released this with a real expansion! Give us a break! We are going to give you new toys and since those are going to kick ass you aren't going to notice that it is going to take us a while to get everything adjusted. Sure, we didn't give a fuck about class balance for the last 5 years but we are going to do something about that now. This guy on the staff, Itsuki, just walked into the office one day and said "We are so stupid! Everyone spends their time doing end-game, but we don't really ever do anything about end-game, so lets do something about end-game!" and everyone in the office was like "Well fuck, that's a damn good idea!". But just so you don't get too much confidence in us, we are going to promise to increase the uniqueness of each job while at the same fucking time we are going to promise to give more jobs the ability to fill more roles. Yeah, noodle that one for a while!

What SE says:
Q: What specific changes will be implemented in the coming version update?
A: The level cap will be raised to 80, and new abilities, magic, weapon skills and equipment for players up to this level will be added. Level restrictions placed on certain areas will also be removed, creating additional high-level battlegrounds for players to explore. The level cap increase will also result in a number of existing skills becoming newly available to support jobs, with a few exceptions and adjustments to preserve balance and ensure that main jobs do not see their thunder stolen.

The English translation:
Q: You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?
A: We told you about the CoP zones already didn't we? Sure, they have a whole bunch of mobs that no one is going to want to fight, but they are still going to be there, and you are going to have to go there if you want to level up! Did we mention we are giving you new toys? Look over here! Bright shiny toys! And you will get new stuff from sub jobs, and since that stuff is already in the game we don't have to do anything new there! Score! Oh, but we aren't giving you the really cool stuff...

What SE says:
Unusable by Support Jobs
- The white magic job abilities "Afflatus: Misery" and "Afflatus: Solace", and the ninja job abilities Yonin and Innin will not be available to support jobs.
Usable by Support Jobs, with Altered Effects
- The ranger job ability Shadowbind will be subject to an accuracy check, with a miss generating no effect.
- The scholar job abilities Accession and Manifestation will triple (rather than double) recast time for the spells used.

The English translation:
- We know that the WHM and NIN stances aren't game breaking or anything, but since those are the least unique jobs anymore we have to give them something, right? We know that it won't unbalance anything to give Innin to WARs and THFs, and we know that PLD is already so overpowered that giving them Yonin isn't going to make a difference either. Why don't we take the negative accuracy off of Yonin and give NIN's tanking katanas? Don't ask questions that we don't have answers for!
- Ok, you guys have to admit that this one makes a little bit of sense right? COR can already solo a lot, even if it takes decades, but giving them a free Shadowbind is a bit too much right? It's not like COR has access to a lot of accuracy gear and food, right? Wait... don't answer that question!
- This one was just to kill any hope for mages to sub something besides RDM! We knew you weren't going to sub SCH anyway! HA!

And there you have it, a proper translation of what we heard today! It might have been a smidgen sarcastic and cynical, but I can't be happy go lucky everyday.

In other news:

Congrats Rob! LOL

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Learn and Burn: Gear From the .dats.

Back for more education? Well, like yesterday you are going to get less real edification than the day before. The first part of the June 2010 update was available for download today, and with that comes part of the new .dats for the coming update. It's like finding part of your Christmas present stash two weeks early. There are many pretty things going on in the .dats, new gear, new job abilities, new spells, new... other stuff. Today, lets take a quick look at some of the new gear and make some educated guesses about who might be getting this gear.

My first thought when I saw this, especially now that we can see the Yagudo head used as a necklace, is that a clothcrafter out there some where was doing the doing the nasty with Hoo Madoo the Fornicator. It does look pretty cool with the feathers and all, but it is a little bit creepy to have a Yagudo head on your chest. It's going to look like it's trying to motorboat all those female characters out there. My first thought is that this is going to be THF AF3, just because it looks a little bit like Denali gear. Alternatively, it looks like it could be WAR AF3 because WAR does have that certain barbarian aspect to it, though in FFXI they have mostly been seen as the "master of weapons" kind of figher, even if they do prefer the Great Axe. After I put some thought into it and remembered that I had seen this body piece previously, I have come to the conclusion that this might be BST AF3. I think this shows an obvious break from the previous line of AF gear. Older BST AF looked like it was made out of sheepskin, and had a pretty good look to it. The feathers give it the same kind of look, but I think it does look a little too much like a Yagudo and not enough like some kind of bird that a BST could charm. In the picture that this gear appeared in previously, the character wearing it was using an axe. While axes used to be quite ubiquitous, since the two-handed update they are mostly the sole dominion of BST. Even WAR that still stick with Axes usually do so with an off-hand Sword like a Ridill or Joyeuse. Finally, the base model for this body piece is taken from the Bison set which was also used for the Khimaira. Taking this all together, I am definitely leaning toward BST for this design.

This one is pretty obvious to me, I believe this one is the RNG AF3. One of the things that I love about RNG AF is it's lack of symmetry. Any archer is going to have have an unbalanced look to them because they have to have certain protection against the bow string and freedom to maneuver and to nock an arrow. The RNG has always had a hint of rugged woodsman to it, a master of the wilderness, and I don't know how well the orange of this gear fits with that, but I do like how one arm is much more heavily armored than the other, and the other arm has an enlarged elbow guard. This is actually pretty close to how heavily armored archers would look. I also like the pouch that matches that of the original AF (not just because it made it easier to figure out that this was RNG AF). It does look like the armor on the arm is directly lifted from the graphics on the Shantotto expansion legs. I suppose this could also be for Corsair or even for Thief, but I just don't see it.

This could be a lot of things, and I think most people's initial impression would be that it is BST AF3. Well, that can't be the case because I already said something else was BST AF3. :) And there are other good reasons too. The first and most obvious reason to me is that it is in the togi design, which is the basis of most "Far East" gear so far. You might as about the sheepskin, and I might answer that you should take a very close look at Usukane gear. While Usukane is very elaborate, if you look at the layers of the gear you can actually see some fur underneath part of the designs. I think that is because it is partial designed to be realistic looking and that is the backing that you would get on armor like that. So that leaves us with Samurai, Monk and Ninja. I think that Samurai is going to get something that is more like traditional Domaru, and this is not that. A Ninja may not be really Ninja-like in game, but the design of their gear still generally follows the Ninja-design style. That leaves us with Monk. Monks are supposed to be austere and this gear does have a very basic and unadorned look to it. There are a few other visual clues too. There is a very basic brown belt tied around the waist, another Monkish adornment. Also, it has a waist support that looks a lot like a muscle belt, which just seems to be something that a person that relied on their hands as weapons would use.

This gear screams Dark Knight to me. If it is then of the new AF3 piece this one follows most closely in design to previous AF gear. The dark and steel look to this gear says "I am emo and I need to cut things with a Galka". The design of this gear is based on the pretty much useless Einherjar gear. It has similar shoulders, but it doesn't really have the purple that is found in most of the Dark Knight AF gear. While I think this one is definitely Dark Knight, it is also possible that it could be a number of other jobs, especially Warrior. It would fit in with the heavy armor aspect of the Warrior archetype but the Warrior AF in the past has tended toward showing off a lot of skin, and not actually protecting vital organs. It could also be for PLD or DRG, but there are obvious problems with that. For PLD, this gear is just too dark, and well, we have already seen screenshots of what looks like PLD AF3. As for DRG, it doesn't have anything that really resembles anything Dragon like on it at all. And I think they would probably go for something a little more purple.

This is the one that gave me the most trouble. I originally thought it was going to be the BST AF3 back when I thought the one that I finally picked to be BST AF3 was THF AF3. It has that same rugged look that you would see out of a BST related piece, but it also has more metal protection, which made me think it was for another job. I finally came to the conclusion that it was probably WAR AF3 because I really couldn't think of any other job for it. If SE decided to go with that barbarian look for fighter that I talked about before, then this would probably be what it would look like. It's got the battered hides, with the metal chains for extra protection. I do have to say that I am not sure that all of this gear is actually the AF3 that SE has promised. Of all the body pieces that were in the update today, I would say that this one is the most likely to not actually be AF3. There are also a bunch of other jobs that this could be associated with like MNK, NIN, RNG and THF.

I find this body piece to actually be the best looking for the bunch so far. I also found it pretty hard to make a guess as to who it would belong to. My ultimate conclusion is that it is BLU AF3. It has the design of an Aht Urhgan style body piece, with the cloth under the metal armor and everything tied on. Like the body piece that I guess is going to be WAR AF3, I think there is a good chance that this piece might not actually be AF3. While you might think that BLU don't normally get heavy armor, keep in mind that AF3 will be coming from Abyssea where things are a bit more rough than they are in our version of reality, so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that they would get heavier armor. Also, when it comes to game play, improving a classes armor level is not without precedence as DRG was given access to heavier gear after Aht Urhgan was released. The style of the gear just speaks BLU to me, but I could easily be wrong on this one. It could be DRG, it could be WAR, it could be PLD, hell, it could even be THF.

So what do you think of my picks? Did I get the right jobs? Do you even think this is going to be AF3 or do you think it is something completely different? Leave a comment, I would love to hear your interpretations!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Getting Your Learn Off: Abyssea Monsters.

Yesterdays column took some time to research both for the historical and mythical stories behind the weapons and for the Final Fantasy aspects behind them too. This column will be a little bit less informative than that. While some monsters in FFXI have a deep and storied history, most of them do not. And that is where I come in. I believe that several of these new mobs have in-joke back stories, and if they don't then I will just create them.

The very first thing that should probably be noted is that all of the monsters in this first expansion look like they have gone through the laundry with your brand new purple sheets. While this is going to make Omoi as giddy as the first time that she saw Titinia in campaign, I don't know what most people are going to think of the purplization of all of these mobs. Some of them are new of course, but some of them are not and some are just funny.


Being an airborne crustacean endemic to Abyssea, endowed with a robust carapace and elongated forelimbs wherefrom razor-sharp pincer reach rapaciously for prey. Bereft of a counterpart in Vana'diel, biologists theorize that these shelled hoverers have undergone evolution in dimensional isolation. They have emerged as a pervasive species following the great cataclysm that befell the land.
This floating Horseshoe Crab is probably the least purple of the new monsters, and the most obvious in naming convention. Limule is French for Horseshoe Crab, and the Latin form is Limulus. The name is not too creative on SE's party, but the mob looks pretty interesting. It also has a shocking familiarity to it. While the description provided by SE indicates that there are no counterparts for this monster in Vana'diel, I believe a deeper look at the evolutionary tree can provide something analogous. What else in Vana'diel has a shell and pincers? That's right, you basic generic crab. The on going joke about crabs is that they were one of the only mobs you ever fought in XP parties back in the day. So much so that people joke that the game could be called Crab Fantasy XI. SE can deliver a good joke sometimes, and we are going to need some new leveling mobs. My prediction: You are going to be seeing quite a few of these things on your way to 99. Oh, there is something else that is a bit familiar about this mob. It is a "sea" creature and the beginning of it's name is reminiscent of the mobs that are found in Sea. Is there some relation between Abys"sea" and Sea? Mobs in sea also have bright but weird colors in general.

Being a mollusc of mischievous bearing and ghostly aspect, much given to rollicking in the air in a dance at once graceful and deadly. Alongside the Limule, they have grown to prominence in the wake of the great cataclysm, spreading as a plague across Abyssea. Of the little that is known of these invertebrates, their proclivity for aggression towards mankind is well-documented.
I don't know how anything that has never been seen before can be "well-documented" but apparent we have been out of the loop. I give SE an A on the background research for this mob. A Clionid is basically a sea slug that is called sea angels. These shouldn't be confused with the sponge of a similar name though. They are in fact mollusks, so the description is quite accurate. It is also another sea-related creature, and it has that vaguely Limunian appearance, so maybe there is something to that Sea connection. It also looks vaguely like a ghost but that might not mean anything.

Being and uncommonly large saurian possessed of virulent temperament, it's distinct coloration is a dread warning of lethal venom to all would-be predators. Biologists have called attention to a likely relation in the now-extinct variety of lizards that inhabited the marshlands of Quon in vast numbers until the outbreak of the Great War.
Meet the purple people eater. Obviously a purple reskin of the Peiste, and most likely very venomous. Remember to bring your Antidotes. Again, SE has done their homework with the name for this mob. Sibil- is a latin root meaning "to hiss", and sibilus as a noun is a hissing noise. Quite appropriate for this mob. I don't see much else that that unique about this mob besides the fact that SE's new favorite color is purple. If they still have Grim Glower then people are just going to avoid them, but if they actually have decent attacks, they could be interesting.

Being a subspecies as that hulking beast known as the Behemoth, albeit of such gargantuan proportions as to render the moniker given its Vanadielian cousin. Warlike markings emblazon their muscular frame, needlessly intensifying their fearsome mien. Claims that their mighty roar can fell stars from the heavens are received with skepticism, though none disputes that it can stop a man's heart in his chest.
Ok, this is the grandpappy of all Behemoth, not just because of the description but also because of it's snowy white beard. Maybe it is just the Santa Claus of the Behemoth world, giving the little Behemoth boys and girls huge spikes and asteroids to fling at people. More purple in this design, but at least it has some cooler markings. This might be the Behemoth that stole the nerd Behemoth's lunch money. Hey, all the chick Behemoth love tattoos. I do find the description interesting because of the reference to Comet and Meteor. The only reference I could find to Elasmoth is in the video game Fossil Fighter... it was probably just a coincidence.

Being a mutant strain of that odious breed of carnivorous frond known as the Morbol that has adapted to thrive in the aberrant ecosystem of Abyssea. Fouler of both breath and temperament than its Vanadialian counterpart-if that can be believed-it has been observed gnarling with perverse pleasure as its grossly distended feelers suck clean the lifeblood of its hapless victims.
Seriously SE? Seriously? Purbol? As if the color wasn't enough, you are now naming the mobs after purple? I get the pun, but man, you didn't have to make it that obvious. All this purple is going to make Omoi very happy though so I am OK with it. Sounds like it is going to have all the basic Morbol attacks but a bit beefed up. Even Worse Breath? Worst Breath? Really Stinky Breath? Dog Fart Breath? You already gave one Morbol Death Breath, what are you going to make this one do? Maybe it will inflict Zombie (ST20). It also sounds like it is going to use that draining roots move too.

Being a bipedal, sentient vegetable that resembles a Mandragora in every aspect save for its prodigious size and ruddy complexion. Does this curious pigmentation derive from the selfsame phenomenon that has crimsoned the Abyssean sky? Is it merely abashed at having grown to proportions unseemly for one of its species? Further observation is required to unravel these vital questions.
An ashamed Mandy that has turned red in embarrassment? Ok, that was a little bit clever SE. This is like the second mob that they have mentioned as being of huge size, but the other one is that new Behemoth. That said, all of the new tier 3 VNM's are huge versions of standard mobs already. Who wouldn't love fighting a ginormous Mandy? Also, another place where SE has actually spent some time naming the mob, the Adenium is a kind of flower, more commonly called the Desert Rose. I don't know what it's flower move is going to be, but I expect more pain than sleeping powder for some reason.

Being of the Caturae, a family of most unnatural lifeforms of utterly indeterminate composition and origin. Said to have been sighted across the realm shortly after the first tremors sundered the Abyssean landscape, their true nature remains shrouded in mystery to this day. Fringe researchers have posited a relationship to a recreational activity of a long-lost civilization, but this theory has yet to draw much support.
That "recreational activity of a long-lost civilization" is Chess. You see Caturanga, Catur for short, is the Indian name for the game that is the basis of modern day Chess. Caturae would be creatures of Catur or more simply living Chess pieces. The game originate on the Indian sub-continent and spread across the world. The mob itself is very unique looking, and the hands and the feet look so familiar but I don't remember where I have seen that design before. It might not even be FFXI, it might be another SE game, which would be an interesting cross-over in design. Iratham is the name of the chariot piece in Caturanga and it behaves exactly the way the modern Rook does. It is also an anagram for "A Mithra" but that is probably just coincidence. In the future, expect to see Kutharei ("Horse" in English) it is the equivalent of the Knight piece and Yaanei ("Elephant") which is a close amalgamation of the modern Bishop. We will see when the next expansions drop.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Getting Your Learn On: Abyssea Weapons.

Visions of Abyssea has been announced and is available for pre-order. The version update is coming June 21st (Rob won that bet too), and we got a much needed update to the rewards from Abyssea.

I love the nomenclature that SE uses for naming their weapons, especially in FFXI. They don't just create random ass names like WoW (e.g. this or this), SE actually does some research and invests some time in coming up with names for their weapons that have some historical background. Not all of them are historically accurate, but many of them do have some historical underpinnings. Hell, the Nanatsusayanotachi is an actual sword that is currently on display in Korea. The names of the weapons that have been released with the Visions of Abyssea announcement are actually quite amazing. They also have a lot of historical and mythical importance and their stories may give some clue as to their strengths or weaknesses in FFXI.

Sword: Almace
This sword looks simply amazing. It is also freaking huge. Historically, the Almace was a sword given to Charlemagne along with the Durendal and Curtana (other familiar weapons from FFXI and other Final Fantasy games). It is described mostly in Norse mythology though it is mentioned much less than the other two. It is later given to Turpin, the Archbishop of Reims. It might also be confused with or replaced by Joyeuse in some historical records. It was described as an incredibly well-designed and strong sword. In the Song of Roland, Turpin wielded it in the Battle of Roncevaux Pass were he died. Yeah, that is ill portent for those that might get this weapon, but it definitely looks cool enough to use it anyway. Alternative names for the Almace are Almice and Almacia. There is no previous mention of a weapon by this name in the Final Fantasy series.

Marksmanship: Armageddon
Armageddon is a name that is actually more in line with SE's own naming system for guns than it is with some historical or mythical weapon. Names already in FFXI that spring to mind include Annihilator and Death Penalty. The relic and mythic weapons have names in a similar vein if not in historical continuity. SE has preferred the WoW-style naming convention for guns in a lot of Final Fantasy games. The name appears in all sorts of Final Fantasy games but usually as part of an ability or special attack name. Armageddon itself is the Judeo-Christian notion of the end of days. More specifically it is the site of the epic battle at the end of the world. This is your traditional Revelations story with Jesus fighting Satan and fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes! The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Great Sword: Caladbolg
Poor Great Sword got completely skipped over in the last round of epic weapons, but SE brought it back this time in impressive fashion. Originally, Caladbolg just generally meant "great sword" and it's original translation was something like "hard sheath" or "hard cleft". In Irish mythology, Caladbolg is the sword of Fergus mac Róich. The sword itself is said to create a rainbow arc when swung and is able to chop the tops of hills. The name of the great sword could be the source of the name of King Arthur's sword, Excalibur. Caladbolg is also a Celestial Weapon from Final Fantasy X belonging to Tidus in the US version, but that could just be a weird translation error.

Axe: Farsha
Found in Hindu mythology, the Farsha is translated to mean "battle axe" and was the favorite weapon of Parashurama, with his own Farsha known as the Parashu. A Farsha was generally double bladed or had a blade and a spike and could be made out of wootz steel (which I just found out isn't just something that SE made up but is a historical-mythical type of steel). The blade itself was as big or bigger than the haft (the part you hold). That means that SE followed the design pretty closely when they designed this new weapon. No prior Final Fantasy references this weapon.

Club: Gambanteinn
Another Norse myth, this club literally translates into "magic wand". This in itself is very interesting because it implies there is a magical component to the item itself and not just another worthless melee club. This is a more generic term than some of the previous weapons and it doesn't refer to a specific magic wand. That said the wands that are mentioned in Norse myth appear to have cursing or charming aspects to them. Interestingly, in the Norse mythos it sounds like you actually have to hit someone with the club to bewitch them. So maybe SE does want you to use it to melee. This club has not be used in any other Final Fantasy games.

Archery: Gandiva
Created by Brahman, the supreme Hindu god, the Gandiva was passed down through Hindu mythology by some pretty big names like Shiva and Indra before making it into the hands of Arjuna. Arjuna then used the bow to kick a major amount of Hindu ass. The bow was covered in gold and the tips of the bow glowed, this might be the tie in for the new Archery WS "Refulgent Arrow". It is also said to sound like a thunderclap when an arrow is shot from it. It has a very nice model compared to all other bows in the game and I hope that SE improves the design of bows like this in the future. With the advent of the Occasionally Attack Twice bow though, SE is going to have to do something really special to make this bow worth it. While a bad ass weapon, it is a name that has not be used before in Final Fantasy history.

Staff: Hvergelmir
SE just loves using unpronounceable names for a lot of there weapons and this is no exception. Like the Armageddon, this weapons name doesn't come from a weapon from the historical record. In Norse mythology, it is actually in reference to a spring that is near the world tree, Yggdrasil. Above Hvergelmir, Nidhogg is chewing away at the roots of Yggdrasil. I have to wonder if this is finally going to be the "Rainbow Staff" that SE mentioned they are thinking about adding to replace the Elemental staffs. The Hvergelmir itself means "bubbling boiling spring" in Norse, and is the source of all cold rivers to the Norse. I don't know if this means it will have any relation to Blizzard or other ice related spells though. As this is not really a specific weapon but more of a reference this name has not appeared in a Final Fantasy game.

Katana: Kannagi
These weapons get more and more interesting. Though I thought for sure that this weapon would be related to Japanese mythology because of the root word "nagi" it actually has nothing to do with that, and it is actually a vengeful woman (shocker) from Tamil (Indian) mythology. Basically, her husband is stupid but tries to make up for it up, gets falsely accused of stealing from the Queen and is beheaded on the spot. Kannagi gets pissed and proves her husband didn't steal, and the King and Queen are so upset that they die. Kannagi is still pissed though, so she tears off one of her own freaking boobs and chucks it at the city of the King and Queen which causes it to burn down. I could be wrong in this, but I searched for a while and couldn't find a direct reference to this as a weapon. It is also an anime and I have no idea about it so it might have the same historical roots that are unknown to me. There is a lot of cross over of Hinduism/Buddhism into Japanese culture over time, so there might be some correlation between this story and the weapon, but I don't know of any better connection. Kannagi has not be used as the name of any weapon in the Final Fantasy series.

Great Katana: Masamune
Ah, Masamune, one of the traditional katanas from SE games. Masamune is actually not a sword in historical context but actually a swordsmith, though the katanas that he made were often called "Masamune Swords". Masamune was revered as the best swordsmith in Japanese history and his blades were considered to represent zen-like aspects in the warrior. Several of Masamune's swords are already in FFXI in the form of the Fudo and the Hocho. As I mentioned above the Masamune has appeared in Final Fantasy games before, and in fact, it has appeared in every Final Fantasy game except FFXI until now. It is also Sephiroth's weapon, which means that it is game-on for fan boys. It has had a Haste effect associated with it in past Final Fantasy games.

Scythe: Redemption
Though this again does not represent a specific weapon in real life or mythology, it does have a very interesting name for a weapon that is used almost exclusively by Dark Knights. Redemption is part of the overall story lines for several DRK related characters within FFXI, Zeid for example. The notion of redemption itself is based around the idea of being absolved or forgiven of sin or evil acts. DRKs aren't really considered to be the most pious people in the game, so giving them a weapon with the name Redemption may indicate that there is some kind of deliverance from their own evil through the weapon. Or it could just be a bad ass name for a weapon because it means that the DRK is going to redeem those that he uses the weapon on by introducing them to their maker, a bit prematurely. It is not used in any other Final Fantasy game.

Polearm: Rhongomiant
This one is pretty simple. Rhongomiant is King Arthur's spear that he used to run-through Sir Thomas of Wolford in rather dubious fashion. King Arthur challenged Sir Thomas to a duel and Sir Thomas accepted. As King Arthur advanced, Sir Thomas tripped and fell stabbing himself through the back of his head with Rhongomiant. It sounds more like a Brittney Spears song than an Arthurian legend. Some say that this weapon just resembles a Cermet Lance that were popular back before even CoP, but there are obvious differences in design and style, and essentially everything in the game is a reskin by now. There is no reference to this weapon in any other Final Fantasy game.

Dagger: Twashtar
I don't like this design at all even though it slightly resembles the Vajra, likely because of their similar origins. Twashtar is wielded by the Hindu god Twashtri, who is known as the "heavenly builder". The Twashtar is an Astra, a weapon that is imbued with the power of the god affiliated with the weapon and only unlocked with a specific spell granted by that god. The Vajra is another Astra weapon. The Twashtar's specific Astra ability was to cause confusion in a group of enemies and cause them to fight each other. This could have some application for FFXI as an additional unlockable effect. The Twashtar doesn't appear in any other Final Fantasy games.

Great Axe: Ukonvasara
This Great Axe may be the most historically accurate representation of a weapon in the entire group. The Ukonvasara is a magical weapon of the Ukko in Finnish mythology. The name of the Great Axe is likely a derivation of the name of the god. Across cultures, this weapon could be equated to Thor's hammer, Mjollnir. Another very interesting aspect of this weapon is that the exact translation is actually "Ukko's Hammer", and the model for the Great Axe actually looks more like a great hammer than it does an axe as it is basically lacking a blade. Clubber suggested something to me; if this is actually a great hammer, and SE recognizes that fact, does that mean that this weapon will do blunt damage? It's a very interesting question, indeed. In Finnish mythos Ukko created lightning by using the Ukonvasara. As with most of these weapons, this name has not yet be used in a Final Fantasy game.

Hand-to-hand: Verethragna
Our final selection actually is the reason that I started looking into all of the names of these weapons. Verethragna is the divine embodiment of victory in Zoroastrianism and it literally translates to "smiting of resistance". Now that is pretty bad ass. Huge horns form the punchy part of these weapons, and have a shocking similarity to Behemoth's horns. Even more interesting, Verethragna is a constant companion of Mithra (the Persian god, not the guy pretending to be a girl). These are probably one of the coolest looking new weapons. This is their first appearance in a Final Fantasy related game.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Gorilla Radio.

I probably mentioned that a few weeks ago I was on Limit Break Radio. Well, I am going to be on it again. Episode 53 should be coming soon, and it is about the changes to the Chains of Promathia areas for the most part, and a little bit about the upcoming version update. If you like listening to me rant about FFXI, then this is the show to listen to. The structure of this show is definitely different than most of the LBR shows, as it is more of panel discussion. It is the same structure that we have been planning for our new podcast. Oh? I didn't mention that yet? :)

Coming very soon, we will be creating our own podcast. After looking at the big guns in the FFXI podcasting community we noticed that there was a complete lack of a podcast focused on end-game. We also noticed that there is generally a lack of discussion time spent on some of the shows. They are excellent as information sources but at end-game a lot of things are not as cut and dry as just providing information. We will be discussing gear selection, NM strategy, even linkshell management. I think the best way to approach a show like this is to use a discussion panel for every show. The episode I did on LBR this week was a good learning experience for our new show. I don't know if we will follow the same exact format, but it will be something like that. The first show line-up is already set. I will be the moderator for the discussion and the panelist will be Omoikitte, Izman, Blaize and Iceblazek.

The only problem we are having right now is that we don't have a name for the show yet. We could just use this blog as the name, but that seems a little bit redundant and not everyone on the show is going to be from this blog. We could call it the Ringthree FFXI News Hour, but that is a little lame. If you have any good ideas then please leave them in the comments and we will definitely consider them. We are looking to record the first show this weekend, but I don't know how long it is going to take for the show to be fully produced. Hopefully you will be able to listen to it sometime very soon. :)

Friday, June 04, 2010

Dissecting the New Weaponskills.

It's not very often (ever?) that SE randomly releases videos for new content. It's also pretty rare that SE raises the level cap and gives us new WS's. I decided to watch the video and dissect the animations and the etymology of the titles of the new WS's. Here is my run down:

Tornado Kick - Why does a WS called Tornado have flame animations? Wouldn't Firestorm Kick be a better idea?

Blade: Yu - Ok, seriously, WTF hax? That Mithra is dual wielding Nagi's. SE dupes too! Blade: "Boil" looks about right for the WS. While it does look water based, it also has a geyser look to it, and it has a cloud animation at the top of it. Looks appropriate.

Aeolian Edge - Aeolus is the greek god of wind. Obviously wind based, and it looks AoE. Probably wind-based in line with the Gust Slash and Cyclone WS's.

Numbing Shot - Two-hit, melee ranged WS? Name implies it might be a stun WS.

Sanguine Blade - Obviously referring to blood in this case. Appears to be a one-hit HP drain WS. Like PLD needs more useful WS's. Also, I think that the sword that he PLD is using is a new weapon model.

Bora Axe - The Bora is a wind along the southern to south-eastern coast of Europe on the Mediterranean coast. Derived from Boreas the greek god for the cold North wind. Boreas was one of the Anemoi, the greek gods of wind. The Roman equivalent is Aquilo. I think the WS is an interesting combination of the throwing aspect kind of being derived from the wind as there are small swirl animations, and the main animation is obviously of ice which is why they used the cold North wind.

Herculean Slash - Obvious reference to Hercules, but I don't think there is any specific relation to ice in the name, but the great sword WS line have some ice effects.

Cataclysm - Stolen directly from WoW . Looks Dark based with magic runes and symbols. Cataclysm actually means "wash down" in greek and refers to the Deluge mythos that runs back pretty far throughout history.

Infernal Scythe - Infernal is anything in reference to hell. Probably the most interesting looking WS to be added. It has an initial dark effect effect around the player which is kind of neat, and then two huge blades or perhaps claws reaching up from the ground/hell.

Tachi: Ageha - Ageha being Japanese for Swallowtail Butterfly, the little effects flying off of the animation are indeed butterflies. Looks like a single-hit WS.

Sonic Thrust - Looks pretty standard, though it might be ranged. As sonic means anything about acoustics, perhaps it has a silence effect?

Flash Nova - I find this to be one of the most interesting WS so far. At the end of the animation there are flashing lights over the head of the mob. Add that fact with the name of the WS and we can conclude it probably causes a Flash effect. This WS might be useful for PLD?

Refulgent Arrow - Refulgent means radiant or radiance. The WS has an animation on the player before the shot is fired.

Fell Cleave - This could mean a couple different things. Fell are mountains or a mountainous area. To fell can mean to chop down, but so can cleave. Fell can also be in reference to an animal skin or hide. So, it could mean a lot of things. I am leaning toward mountain cleave or hide cleave though. Outside of the name though, there doesn't appear to be anything that significant about the animation.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Magian Torture Center Now Open for Business.

I love the concept of the Trials of the Magians (even if my plot to have it called the Trial of the Moogles™ has failed badly). I love the idea of killing stuff to fulfill requirements to improve your weapons and armor. I love the idea of progressive upgrades even if the weapons aren't really progressive upgrades to current levels of gear. Progressive upgrades may be more apparent after the next update and the expansion of the system and the increase in the level cap. Anyway, that is off the subject. The problem I have with the trials of the Magians is the camping of the NM's part of the system. I can deal with everything else, including the farming mobs under certain weather conditions. I just hate camping NMs. I always have hated it from the first time I found out that people camped them.

Now, it is better than competitive camping of NMs because you can always team up with other people to kill the NMs, but that was never my real complaint. The real complaint is the absolute waste of time waiting for an NM to spawn. You have to wait an hour at least, and that is just for the window to open. Then after that you have to hop that it actually spawns. The worst part is that you usually can do anything else in that time. You have to stand around for the 5-15 minutes waiting for the damn thing to spawn if it is going to spawn. We still have no idea what determines the real chance of the NM to spawn. For example if your name is Iceblazek, the chance of Triple Black Stars to spawn is so abysmally small that you might as well just move in with the Crawlers in Rolanberry Fields. He could be like the boy that was raised by wolves, except by Crawlers...

I like the "kill X mobs" even if it is "kill X mobs under X weather" because it can be done at your own leisure. I completed the last couple of trials for my Kurodachi much more quickly than the first couple of trials because I could do them at my own speed. I didn't need to wait for a stupid NM to spawn. I didn't have to leave and come back later because I didn't want to wait at least another hour for a chance for it to spawn. I actually like the fact that you have to get the tier 3 VNM drops to upgrade the Occasionally Attacks Twice weapons. It is hard work, but it is something that everyone can do with relative ease. If I could just skip the stupid NM trials I would be a happy man.

Even with all my complaining, I love the Trial of the Magians. It is something that SE has needed to add to FFXI for a long time. Long term upgrades are very good for the game I think. It's kind of like a more manageable version of Salvage without having to dump 10 million into the body piece. I actually like the idea of them taking this further. They just need to make sure that relics and mythics upgrade as well as the regular weapons upgrade. I have never invested the time in a relic or mythic because I prefer medium term goals in a video game. Relics and mythics are long term hardcore goals, and most other gear are either grinds or short term goals. I think Trial of the Magians weapons manage to split the difference both in terms of effort and reward. If you want to take the short cuts like not getting the VNM items, then you can get the less powerful version of the OAT weapon. I wouldn't suggest that, but I am sure that someone out there can justify it to themselves.

SE, I can't wait to see what you are going to do next with Trials of the Magians just don't make me camp anymore stupid NMs...

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The End is Coming... Are You Wearing Clean Underwear?

I haven't done a list post in a long time, but what should I do a list about? I have already gone over everything that I am looking forward to in the next update. Hell, I have already gone over a lot of things. But there are a lot of things that still need to be completed before the next update. That would make a good list!

10. Finish Kurodachi - DONE - This one was my main focus for the last couple of days. I got all my Krabkatoa shells and turned them in on Monday. I love it so far. I can't say whether the damage is better or worse over time than Hagun, but it is looking good so far.

9. Finish meriting BLM - This should have been done a long time ago. I did just dump 8 more merits into Thunder and Ice potency, but I still need 10 more to top that off. Then I need to do Enfeebling Magic merits. And then I have to see what I want to do with tier 2 merits.

8. Finish Radennotachi - Haven't even started working on this, and it is probably going to be back burner for other Magian weapons I need to get done. My math shows that it is slightly better than Hagun, but not by much. Even with Kurodachi, there are still places for the Radennotachi, like on Salvage bosses or just about any place that you don't want to feed mobs a lot of TP.

7. Finish the Cure Potency Teiwaz - This is probably my next highest priority not only because it is an amazing piece of equipment, but also because Omoi has one and we are close to being on the same stage. She owes me some dead Trents. :)

6. Finish the Thunder Potency Teiwaz - Another hot piece of gear that I need to get done. Especially if the weapons are going to get better as SE extends trial of the Magians. My BLM would love this, especially now that I am getting closer to having a good Elemental set on my BLM.

5. Finish the OAT Goshawk - This weapon is just insanely good, but you have to understand the math to understand why. 600 Delay makes it look really slow, but for a job that can get to a 5-hit build the extra Delay means you have a lot more space to mess around with the Store TP you are wearing. This one is going to kill a whole lot of RNG.

4. Finish the Wings Missions - While this one isn't as important for this update, unless they require the current mission set complete to finish the Wings quests, it is still good to be ready for the end when it does come. I don't want to be locked out of Walk of Echoes when it is opened.

3. Finish the Wings Quests - I am all caught up in Bastok, but I still need to finish the Sandy and Windy quest lines. Iz is almost caught up to me on the Sandy quest line so I will probably do that with him, but Omoi is way past me on the Windy storyline. Maybe she will help me go back and finish them. :)

2. Start really meriting my RNG - While my gear is great on my RNG, my merits for the job are pretty lacking. I will occasionally toss a merit hear or there, but it's really time I knuckle down and get them done, especially because the tier 1's are pretty darn good for RNG.

1. Finish my Morrigan's set - I don't know if I will get this done in time, but it is a pretty big goal for me. I already have two ingots and I should be able to get at least 1 more before the end of the week, but I am only getting about 1 or so a week, and I will never be able to get all 12 before the update. And then I need to get the O. Ingots for the head.

Those are what I wish I could accomplish before the June 2010 Update, but I won't be able to finish them all. What do you wish you could finish before you have to level all your jobs to 80?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

No One Cares about MMM... STILL!

Look guys, give it up. Sure, sure, we know that the JP's love MMM, but us over here on this side of the pacific, we just can't be bothered. It's for shut-in's and soloers. I knew this was coming. They even said they were expanding it again in at VanaFest, so it was a surprise. Then again, everyone knows that death is coming inevitably, but everyone just ignores it because it sucks. I ignore MMM for the same reason. MMM update days are like eating your vegetables so your parents would let you have ice cream. I know that some really amazing stuff is coming in this update, but I also know that the JP's and shut-in's need their MMM.

It doesn't mean that I don't want them to go die in a fire any less.

Ok, I sound like a broken record on MMM? Sure, I do, but I do have a new concern about MMM. What if they turn MMM into a real event? What if they give it drops for jobs that I actually care about? Shudder to think.

The update notes today are not encouraging for me. There are new mobs, hard mobs that are going to be available in the randomness of MMM. New mobs that drop new loot. Hopefully it will be just like the loot from the past MMM updates. Good for jobs like BLU and PUP, but nothing that any real job is going to care about. But I do have a fear that at some point SE is going to add something to MMM and I am going to have to do the event. Collecting marbles or something, maps and map pieces, and now getting my membership card. I swear that MMM has to be the most convoluted contraption ever created in the evil minds at SE.

There are already too many events in FFXI, please for the love of god, don't make me do MMM. I would rather level BLU. Shudder to think.