Monday, July 26, 2010

Old Man Ring Shakes His Cane.

I am getting cranky. Cranky is a good place for me. I have been dealing with the two-headed beast of camping near irrelevant NM's and a horrible internet connection. I have lost at least two, if not more, Okyupete kills for my second Magian GKT because of my internet connection taking a dump all over itself. You might remember me mentioning how much I love the Magian system because you can do it yourself at your own pace, and it's relatively easy to get an amazing weapon. Yeah, well if you add in a crappy internet connection that all goes out the freaking window.

Ok, so it's not the Magian system's fault that my internet connection is worse that two tin cans and a piece of string, but I am cranky so logic doesn't matter! I will be less cranky once I have killed 6 more Lamprey Lords and then 8 more Chesma's and then collect 50 Carabosse's Gems... wait, what the fuck? Are you fucking with my mind? 50 Gems from a tier 2 Abyssea mob? Now, the kick in the balls that my internet connection has been giving me over the weekend suddenly feels like a gentle cupping compared the giant black dildo that SE has inserted into my rectum. I don't want to hear about how you can farm the pop items for Carabosse in an XP party, and I don't want to hear about the fact that there are a ton of far more difficult drops for other weapons. I just don't want to hear it, I just want this giant black dildo out of my rectum.

Speaking of annoying, I can't wait for people to finish leveling their jobs in Abyssea and realize that there is actual real gear in there. I know people that have spent 16 hours in Abyssea leveling and have somehow not leveled everything they have, merited everything they have, and flipped their XP like the score in an Atari 2600 game. Yeah? You don't know what an Atari 2600 is? Too young you say? Fuck you. Go to a fucking museum and check it out, you can find it right next to the Magna Carta, the Rosetta Stone, and the skeleton of an fucking Allosaurus.

Did I mention I am currently working on something like 5 different Magian weapons right now? I have killed every single moronic NM that SE has ever added to the game. Some of these NM's have to be a freaking joke. Okyupete? Ankabut? Where do they come up with these names? A three-year-old's first illiterate Crayola scrawl? Jolly Green? Killed it, and the fucking thing doesn't even have a last name, and it's not even a fucking giant. Hey, SE, you already have freaking green giants in the game, why don't you call one of them Jolly Green? You know the worst part? I am doing Great Katana and Bow, and they both perfectly overlap, so I have committed genocide against the peace loving Treants of Grauberg, not once, not even twice, but three time, and it's going to happen again because of that Plantoids under weather thing. I make Pol Pot look like Strawberry Shortcake. You don't know Pol Pot, you say? What? You don't know fucking Strawberry Shortcake, either? Get the fuck off my lawn!

And Yilbegan can get the fuck off my lawn too! Fucking shadow-less, but fucking cool looking dragon, that's like the anti-dragon. Tank it on it's rear feet? Only damage it when wings are up? What the fuck? It's like everything is backwards because of some little in-joke at SE headquarters. "Oh, we so funny!" Yeah, fuck you too, buddy! Oh, you dropped a Platinum Ore and a Platinum Ingot? How generous! Let me show my appreciation by jamming a fork in my ear. Oh wow, the fork in my ear does nothing to minimize the pain of the brutal dildo assault...

Internet connection problems make the Old Man Ring pretty cranky. I am sure it's because my roommate is simultaneously uploading and downloading every episode of Top Gear ever created, in every language known to man. My poor GB's and Wifi's don't stand a chance against a full frontal assault from Jeremy Clarkson. You don't know Jeremy Clarkson? Great, you just gave me an aneurysm.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

XPing in the New World Order: A Primer.

Stop XPing. It's not worth it. There is no amount of XP you can get in the real world that justifies doing it anymore. No time investment is worth it. No dual BRD parties can keep up. There is nothing you can do to XP anymore.

You have to go to Abyssea. Abyssea is the best XP in the game, and it is not even close to being a competition. If you are XPing in the "real world" then you are doing it for one of three reasons. 1. You don't have time for a full Abyssea alliance XP run (which can be very time consuming). 2. You don't have enough people for a full Abyssea alliance XP run. 3. You are out of Traverser Stones (though this might never be a problem again for those that are good at XPing in Abyssea).

The History: The last few years has been about the specialization and at the same time marginalization of certain jobs in XP parties. SAM, WAR, DRG and DRK are the main DD, RDM was the main healer. BRD was the buffer and puller. COR was the secondary buffer, and was poor at pulling and DDing. This was moving in the opposite direction of the value of jobs at non-XP events. PLD were the main tank, MNK tanked Salvage, RDM was a healer, but WHM was the go to for the most part. BLM was very valuable, as was SCH. BRD was still very important. Melee DD were either critical or useless.

Abyssea comes along and turns all of that on top of it's head.

The Set-up: Balance is critical. While in the past people wanted to have a high concentration of buffs and DD, this isn't as required now. You still want to have a high rate of damage, but you need a variety of damage. Melee, WS and magic damage are all critical to get the balance in "lights". There are also new roles. Now you will need people that are pretty much dedicated to opening chests. Two people is probably best because you start to get a whole lot of chests after a while and you can't open everything with one person after a while.

The most important thing is to have a variety of kill-shots. Some melee kills, some WS kills, and especially some magic damage kills. This will give you pearlescent, ruby and azure light, respectively. The idea is that you want to build up these lights as quickly as possible, so you want to kill things with your different damage sources. Personally, I think it is a little better to go on streaks. Kill a few with melee and WS, then kill a few with magic, and go back and forth. The point is that you need all three sources of damage to make sure you are getting the most sources of light. While the message will never say anything more than "you gain a feeble amount of X light" you will still be building them up behind the scenes.

The beginning: Some people say to go with all magic kills to get to time first, and some say all melee to increase your drop rate of chest, but I have to say that mixing it up is probably the best. I don't know the exact way the system currently works (no one does) but I have found that going on little streaks seems to be the best for me so far. Kill about 5 with melee to up your pearlescent light, then kill 5 with magic to up your Azure light, and toss in some WS and Elemental WS kills to increase your Ruby and Amber lights. The important thing at the beginning is to just focus on killing, don't worry about chests too much and having a good assist.

The mid-game: Don't freak out! That is the best advice I can give. The XP doesn't start rolling until you are well into the time chests, but the time chests usually don't start rolling until about an hour into the run. The worst thing I have seen done to runs so far is people start freaking out about an hour into the run and over focusing on one type of kill. Remember, balance is the most important for good chest generation. You need high tiers of all the different lights on a good run. If you start freaking out and don't keep things balanced, then you end up ruining the run by not getting enough chests or not getting time chests. Once you start getting time chests it's time to relax and enjoy the run.

The end-game: Put on some music, get used to your assist macro and go to town! You still need to keep a balanced light progression because things can still go out of wack if you are not careful. Additionally, the longer the run goes the more likely people are going to cap out their levels and merits, or get tired and want to go to bed, or shave their cats or AFK banging hot chicks, etc, but the important thing to remember is that lights are saved individually. What does this mean? Normally, if you are there for the whole run you are capped out on lights and will be getting the top tier lights all the time, but if you leave and come back or if you are new to the run then you will have zero light and need to build it up again. It appears that the person that kills the mobs determines what the light level is for the chests. That means if you have someone new get a kill shot the chest, if one even appears, will be at the low level. In general, if you are coming into or back into a run in the middle then you want to avoid getting a kill shot for at least a half hour. Also, if you have to swap around quite a few of your melee or BLM then you need to consider the fact that it could take quite some time to rebuild their lights to the point that they are worth anything.

A final note: Bring Forbidden Keys! You don't want to lose a time chest just because the Random Number Generator doesn't love you (the Random Number Generator doesn't love anyone, everyone is the bitch of the Random Number Generator). Don't forget about Ruby and Amber light! Ruby light comes from WS kills and give you other lights for the most part. This is nice at the beginning to get more Azure, Ruby and Pearlescent lights, but later in runs you need the Ruby lights to boost your XP and Crour per kill. XP caps around 300 per kill without Ebon, Silver and Gold lights, so you will definitely need them toward the mid to end of the run. Amber light gives you more treasure chests with potential pop items in them, so they are worth it if you are doing it as a group of friends, but less important if you are in a pick up group.

Friday, July 09, 2010

My Magian Projects: Kokushitsunotachi

I have noticed something slightly disturbing since the update; a lot of people are still using their old pre-75 weapons. There are a huge number of new weapons available through the new Magians system, and while the new top-of-the-line weapons will require some time to get them done there are still some people that haven't end gotten the ones from last update done.

Personally, I already have my Kurodachi fully upgraded to the last update. I also am working on my Goshawk for my RNG and staffs for my WHM and BLM. I really like the design of the trial system, so maybe I can help be a good motivation for everyone else!

Right now, I have a Kurodachi with DMG+28, Delay+20 and Occasionally Attacks Twice. To upgrade it to the highest possible level right now, I need to do the following:

Trial 1557: 10 Chasmic Stingers
Trial 1558: 20 Mikey's Silver Nuggets

That will leave me with the horribly named Kokushitsunotachi with the following stats:

The Chasmic Stinger comes from the Chasmic Hornet in Abyssea-La Theine. The Chasmic Hornet is an NM spawn from Great Wasp placeholders. It looks like the stingers are drops like other Magian items and two can drop at a time. The respawn on the Chasmic Hornets is still unclear right now, and there is differing reports from 30-1 hour.

The Mikey's Silver Nuggets come from Megamaw Mikey which is also in Abyssea-La Theine. It also spawns as an NM from placeholders, in this case they are Rock Grinders.

While I am working on my Kokushitsunotachi, I am also working on the high damage Great Katana path that eventually leads to the Masamune. I will go over that tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Gone away and come back again! But mainly a short discussion about Abyssea.

I know the day after an update is not a great time to go away for a couple of weeks, but it had to be done. :) I am back now, and several things have settled in the mean time. I have been trying to keep abreast of all of the changes, but I might have missed quite a bit, so bear with me and please leave comments if I leave anything out!

Lets get started with Abyssea, which may be the coolest thing that SE has added to the game since Salvage. It might even be cooler than Salvage itself! Abyssea is like a great combination of all the fun NM hunting already in the game all mixed up with a few twists thrown in. Essentially, it looks like there are three different kinds of NMs in the zone, but even those distinctions aren't exactly clean cut.

When you first enter your Abyssea zone, you will come across different groupings of mobs. They will all be named similarly, but will come in different sizes and they will con at various strengths, usually between DC to T. In general, these mobs can be killed to get a pop item which will spawn an NM of the same type in the area. The drops from these mobs are pretty good in general, with a little bit of SE's weirdness thrown in. They also can drop another set of pop items or key items depending on the mob that are then used to spawn a new tier of NMs, but that gets a bit weirder. In addition, some of them can drop a key item that gives some permanent benefit while in Abyssea. There are a wide array of key items that give buffs depending on the NM you kill. The second and third tier of NMs come from either several pop items or several key items depending on the NM you are spawning.

Wandering about the zone there are NMs that are already up, and some that spawn just from killing mobs in the area like a regular NM. These are kind of like the popped mobs in that they have there own pretty good drops and they drop key items or pop items that are used to spawn the next tier of NMs. It looks like they have a pretty fast respawn time, so you could get multiple NMs in the time you are in the zone. The mobs that are up and wandering around to begin with look to be pretty tough and have quite a few drops. The mobs that are spawned by killing their respective non-NM mobs aren't quite as hard (but they are not anything to be taken lightly) and it doesn't look like they drop as much loot, but things are still a bit unclear on drops.

Finally, you even have a VNM system in Abyssea. These are spawned just like the ones in the regular world, but at least in Abyssea-Konschtat they are Empty-type monsters. I have only experienced the first two tiers so far, but they didn't appear to be anything that difficult. I expect the third tier to be significantly more difficult though. When we did these we had our Abyssite upgrade on the first kill of both of our kills. I don't know if this means that these have a higher upgrade rate or if it was just dumb luck. We will have to see. It isn't completely clear yet, but it appears that the tier 3 will also drop a key item or pop item for the next tier of NMs in the zone.

Additionally, Abyssea has some interesting characteristics when it comes to what happens when you kill mobs there. Unlike the standard XP chain that exists in our timeline, Abyssea has a different forum of scaling XP. First of all, the amount of XP you get appears to be rigidly standardized. You start at a base amount of XP gained, and then you gain one point of XP per kill based on the way the last mob was killed. If a mob is killed by a melee hit, then you will get an additional point of XP the next time you kill a mob of the same type with a melee hit. If you kill a mob with a weaponskill it adds one point to that category, and the same with magic. The nice thing is that these can't really get that separated because they can only fall behind by about 10 XP points. It gets a lot more interesting as time goes on though. After time goes on, several different things happen. First of all, the mobs that respawn, and they start respawning pretty quickly, will start getting more difficult moving up from their starting difficulty until they are IT++ to level 80 characters. This will not change the amount of XP you get but what will happen is that the various chests that the mobs drop will start to drop more often and they will be more rewarding. There appears to be a tier system of some kind involved, with a bit of variation in the rewards, but the chests are the real key to the whole adventure. You can get temporary items or augmented items, which for the most part aren't incredibly interesting, but you can also get chests that give XP and Cruor in increasingly larger chunks. The most important chest though are the Time extension chests, which usually don't start spawning until you have been killing mobs for about an hour. A time extension chest will grant you 10 extra minutes inside of the zone. The reason that time extensions are so great is that the amount of XP you get increases over time so that at the end of your time in the zone you can get up to 360 XP per kill and 1000 XP per XP chest. That means that your XP per hour rises dramatically at the end of your run, and extending your time means more XP during the high-end XP time. That is not to say that going without getting Time chests is bad XP. Last night we got no time chests at all, and we had to run to camp at the beginning of our run, but in the 90 minutes we were in the zone we got 46k XP and 13k in Cruor. You can do this with basically any set of mobs in the zone, but some are better than others. The main problem is that if you kill a different kind of mob it will break your "chain" and you will go back down to base XP when you start on the mobs you were focusing on. So tell your pullers to be careful. Also, since the amount of XP you get per mob is predetermined, it doesn't matter how many people you bring with you. You can bring a party or an alliance. It's fun for everyone!

Abyssea is a lot to digest. There is a whole lot to do, and I only went over some of the NMs and XPing in the zone. There are still a huge number of quests that are available and monsters that are related to that. This isn't the last time I will be going over these awesome new zones!