Oh boy, I’ve not posted in here in ages! Guess that means I’ve been keeping myself busy enough.

Anyway, today is the big maintenance for FFXIV Patch 2.4, which adds a new class and associated job, the final leg of the Coil raids, a new type of token currency, and even more main storyline.

How do I feel about this as very much a casual? Well, yesterday I finally cleared Coil Turn 5, Leviathan Extreme, and Titan Extreme, things I’d honestly been slacking on. Turn 5 ended up being not quite as difficult as I’d expected once I realized the “barrier” around the arena is fire and will kill you. Once that was done, my role as offtank was simple. Helped that I went in with an experienced group.

Levi EX I should’ve completed over the summer, but the high temperatures in the summer where I live coupled with some minor FC drama didn’t help my overall mood when we attempted. Again, went in with an experienced group and cleared it easily.

Titan EX is still a hated fight by me. I’ve gotten over the hate of Titan Hard, and of course Story Titan is a joke, but Titan EX is just frustrating because of tank-swap mechanics. I forget the specifics of the win, but I won nonetheless. Again, with an experienced group.

All that’s left for me to do from 2.3 and earlier, excepting Second Coil, is Ifrit EX, Ramuh EX, Syrcus Tower, and three dungeons: Hullbreaker Isle, Tam-Tara (Hard), and Stone Vigil (Hard). Ifrit is apparently significantly easier than Titan, Ramuh I’ll eventually do I’m sure, ST I just need to queue up and slog through, which is definitely doable now with the removal of loot lockout, and the dungeons I’ll grab help from the FC. Oh, and I’m still on the Atma stage of my relic sword and shield. Oops.

In between all this I leveled up Archer to 34 for Quelling Strikes, Lancer to 34 for Blood for Blood, and Pugilist to 30 to unlock Monk. I unlocked Bard and Dragoon as well. Bard will likely become my next 50 once I get back into the swing of dungeon spam.

And what’s this about an expansion in the Spring? Excitement doesn’t begin to describe my feeling about it. Finally foraying into Ishgard, new jobs, one of which is Dark Knight as a tank, and content dealing with the “heavens of Eorzea.” A new Tu’Lia, perhaps?

I just hope my all-time favorite Final Fantasy job, Red Mage, gets implemented in some fashion. I honestly don’t see how it can be done in this world of specialists, though. Even in FFXI where Red Mage was long the strongest job, once the content approached Lv.99, its usefulness started to taper off, which is par for the course of FF games. In both FF3 and FF5, a Red Mage is a strong asset early on, but as higher tier magic became available, switching the Red Mage to a Black or White Mage or a weapons user was a better use of the party slot. Though in FF1 a full party of them worked very well, so it really differs from game to game. However it’s implemented, if it is, I’m sure I’ll play it.

And thus the withdrawal starts… Tonight’s going to be interesting.

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I’d toyed with reactivating my FFXIV account after reading about the additions in 2.2 and how the game is starting to have more content. However, I decided that if I were to do this, it wouldn’t be on Sargatanas.

Sure, my old friends from Ragnarok FFXI are there, and if I really wanted to, I could raid with them, but that really isn’t one of my in-game goals. Even in WoW I was very “eh” about raiding because of the negative effect on myself when I was in hardcore mode in XI years ago.

So a month or so ago I decided to transfer to Ultros, as an old friend from Phoenix XI and the linkshell we were in together was there, but it seemed a large majority of them had quit, so I laid low, unlocked Crystal Tower, all the new dungeons, and basically got myself set where I could begin playing catch-up before deciding “maybe the LS I was in in 1.0 is still active.” This lead to transferring to Excalibur, where I played in 1.0, and applying to the Free Company the LS evolved into. I logged in the following day and was in.

So far it’s been a good ride. I managed to catch the story up, do some CT runs, and basically math out just how to get myself in full Mythology Tome equipment so that, maybe, if enough people are there, I can actually run Coil properly.

I’m glad that the FC has some very helpful and friendly people that, despite not needing any drops directly, don’t mind helping out. It’s nice to be in a casual environment that doesn’t put unnecessary pressure on the members to gear up with the latest things.

Now if I’ll just update this more often!

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Well, it’s been quite a while since I posted here! In the past, oh, 8 months or so since my last post, I played through the FF14 beta phases and did some goofing off in FF11 between them, all leading up to the release of FF14, which I jumped into with both feet.

I ended up getting my Paladin to 50 within a week or so, saw my name in the credits, and started the arduous “token grind” to get endgame gear. While waiting on a friend’s Scholar to hit 50, I leveled Fisher to 50 over a weekend, and soon after that the grind began in earnest. However, after fitting myself with full Darklight and a +1 relic, I hit a wall and really didn’t know what to do, so I took some time off from the game, popping in if people needed things tanked or to level Miner more.

But all this is done now. A friend asked if I wanted to run Bahamut’s Coil in a set party, so I said I did. Sadly, the second week things went sour, and myself and a friend have all but quit the game.

Which leads us to where things began with in the first place for me: Phantasy Star. I was looking for a new game to play, and discovery of the English patches for PSO2 got me to log back in to the account I set up to attempt to slog through with my very limited Japanese reading ability.

It’s actually very fun! I think it’s nostalgia right now, but I’m really not minding the grind. Plus, the fact that most of the characters are voiced by anime voice actors is nerdishly fun.

I’m on Ship 02, and the “About” page will have my character info there. Hope to see you there!

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Ugh, Excel is both the most awesome program ever and the most dangerous. I took some time this morning to tabulate up how many merit points I need to fully merit my 5 99s and associated categories: 691. Ouch. Guess I got a lot of worm parties or whisker burning to do…

On the less daunting side, however, I managed to get up to the 400 plantoids stage of the OAT Great Sword and got enough skill to use Resolution, which has one merit in it now. This is definitely doable if I put my nose to the grindstone.

Patch day today, whee!

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Thus far the use of Ninja to collect seals and +2 items has gone rather nicely. Wednesday night I killed Pascerpot a few times with a friend’s BLM to get the 8 seals for Iga Kyahan +1, and we killed 3 Bukhises as well, which weren’t nearly as smooth, even with another NIN to help, heh. After we left Abyssea, I researched what NMs dropped both Voyage Stones and Voyage Cards, which was what we were hunting Bukhis for to begin with and found that Ovni in La Theine fit the bill, so he became last night’s target. My friend got enough Voyage Stones to finish her PLD feet +2, and I ended up 2 shy of RDM feet +2, and one Voyage Card shy of NIN feet +2. Tonight is ADL, and I’m going to try to get a group going for Fjalar to finish T1 of Tavnazia VW afterwards, so the great seal/+2 hunt will resume tomorrow.

Speaking of seals and +2s, every time I end up with a large amount of merits stored, I go through the list of merits to decide where to put them and usually end up throwing them in to DRK’s Group 1 and 2 steadily, which makes me want to sit down and finish skilling Scythe and GS up and actually see about reequipping it. I logged on at lunch today and picked up another Break Blade with the intent of actually finishing the OAT Fulgrante this time instead of abandoning it midway through the ladybug extermination stage, and last night I joined in an Arch Omega fight with a friend and some others because the legs are good for DRK. I guess the need for a heavy DD is growing in me again. Sadly, the seal/+2 hunt will be extended to that job too…

And speaking of +2 equipment, I’m lacking 1 Vision Card to having 5/5 on BLU, and several other miscellaneous ones for the other jobs. Soon, I hope!

Back to the workday for now…

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It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote anything over here, so it’s time for some recap action!

I’d started work on finally finishing the Lu Shang’s Fishing Rod quest, even going so far as to compile a spreadsheet to track remaining fish, stacks of fish, and full 200-catch fishing days, but some reading about utilizing Requiescat on Red Mage lead me to the decision to finally finish up the Wings of the Goddess storyline to acquire a TP Bonus/Attack Moonshade Earring for that and many other weapon skills.

I’d postulated that with a healing job and a burst-damage job at 99, both quite sturdy in their own right, I would be able to fairly easily solo my way to the end. Excepting one open-world and one BC fight, I was able to solo them all, including the final fight. I feel proud of my ability to finish them all off so easily after being stuck at Crossroads of Time since 2009 or so. Champion of the Dawn, indeed.

In between all this, a friend of mine sent me a tell one day asking if I was interested in doing ADL. Seeing as my money supply is slowly dwindling, I asked her what times she was planning, and they were sufficiently early enough in the evening for me, so I signed up. Thus far we’ve not been able to pick the correct ADL clone, but otherwise we’re doing great! I brought my Red Mage out of retirement for this event, which is quite awesome!

Once I’d finished the WotG missions and all the cutscenes, I almost immediately suited up Ninja, bought three stacks of Inoshishinofuda, went down to Quicksand Caves, and started nuking spiders and Antica til 230-ish skill at which time I went to the Boyahda Tree to nuke Steelshells til somewhere around the old 75 cap. I was pretty close to running out of tools at that point, and it was getting late, so I headed off to bed, shelving the great skillup experiment for another day.

Well that day was the past two nights. I bought another few stacks of Inoshishinofuda and went to Abyssea-Grauberg to nuke Glen Crabs, ending up somewhere over 300 Monday night. Last night I went out there again and skilled while waiting for a LSmate to log in for Ulhudashi spam, ending up at 396 by the end of the night. I’m very close to capping, and even with uncapped skill and my totally-not-amazing gear I was able to enfeeble Ulhudashi and not get interrupted too much when recasting shadows. I think I’ll be able to easily acclimate myself to true shadow tanking after far too long. Tonight I should be able to cap Ninjutsu for sure, which will be one less skill to cap. Next up after that will be Dark Knight and Paladin’s skills. Joy. And to make matters worse, Red Mage’s still aren’t capped either! At least Blue Magic capped while I was doing WotG missions last week, heh.

But for now, it’s back to the rest of the day at the office!

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I’m back in Vana’diel for the Nth time. An old friend of mine, the original owner of my second account in fact, started playing it again and posted on Facebook that he needed an Earth Staff. So happens I had one on a mule signed by someone who was in our old HNMLS on Ragnarok that helped the two of us camp Wyvernpoacher Drachlox all those years ago, so I reactivated and let him borrow it.

My first priority was finishing my stupid Fire Shikargar, which I eventually did. After that I finished the Wind Shikargar for more evasion and dual-wielded them for a bit until the recent update that made Coins of Glory and the other Walk of Echoes coins sellable in bazaars. I quickly bought 30 of them and turned my no-helms-turned-in Nobilis into a Badelaire, which became +1 and +2 right away, thanks to the plethora of Kindred’s and High Kindred’s Crests I had stored up. I guess I wanted a CdC-equipped sword to use until I get motivated to camp the NMs and VNMs again then farm up helms, skins, and horns to make a 90 Almace. So far it’s impressed me a lot, being very effective for taking down old content and for dealing large damage in Abyssea despite being the cheap knock-off version.

On the jobs front, I now have Ninja at 99. That is one job I swore I would never take past subjob levels, but after reading this excellent guide on the FFXIAH NIN forum one day, I realized I had equipment already in my inventory to get started once I’d completed the NIN AF quests. So a couple of Fell Cleave parties later and my NIN was 99, all ready to be skilled up. I capped Evasion and Katana a few days ago, and Ninjutsu is in the 150s, so I still have a ways to go before I can really start using it to farm seal NMs or just goof off.

But the biggest highlight is finally getting my White Stratum Abyssite to VI. Over the past few weeks I watched the live shouts page for Voidwatch Jeuno Tier Climb shouts, taking one that started out fine, easily felling the Tier 1 NMs in the present, but it went sour after we lost nearly an entire party and the group disbanded after several wipes on the taurus in Sauromugue [S]. Thankfully, another one popped a few days later, and that one got me to Tier 3, but it was far too late by the time the group hit Tier 3, so it disbanded pending completion the next day. Well, I didn’t join in that group because I was helping a friend with CoP missions, but another potential full climb happened a few days later on a Friday night. I had to work the next day, but I decided I’d go with it and see just how far I’d get before it got far too late. The answer is Tier 4, leaving me with Stratum Abyssite V and very little sleep for work.

In the meantime, a person from my old Dynamis LS, who was frequently the WHM in my party in fact, was in need of Jeuno T1-6, and very nearly got into the second T1-3 climb, but due to her not logging on soon enough missed out. I told her I’d keep an eye out for tier climbs, and one popped the following week after my run to Tier 4. She ended up getting through Tier 4, so we were then on the same stage. This past Saturday night I did a repeat, sort of, of my Zilart M6-12 run years ago by standing in the midst of Port Jeuno shouting, well /yelling, for a long while to get a full alliance that stayed pretty much together for the entirety of 1 T3 fight and T4-6, excepting Botulus Rex and Ig-Alima. I used two Void Clusters on Kalasutrax and refused to take payment for them, as I’d wanted these done as much as the next person.

Thus far I’ve not touched the expansion too much besides unlocking Rune Fencer and Geomancer. I guess spending so much time away from the game in the past 3 years since I quit for WoW has my in-game priorities shifted to a very different point than it was years ago.

But there is still plenty to do in Vana’diel!

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TERA is a game I was never certain I would play. It’s not that I thought it was a bad game at first, I just didn’t feel like playing it as I was still figuring out what game I wanted to play between FFXI, WoW, or FFXIV since I finally had a computer capable of playing Unreal Engine 3 games.

So far I am having a blast! I tried Lancer, got it to 12, then rerolled as a Warrior, which I got to 24, but I kept reading forums and stuff, so I rerolled yet again as a Lancer. This, coupled with the Kingsguard skin off the cash shop, cements it as my main. Tank 4 lyfe, yo! …or something like that.

I’m Level 44 and having a blast. One of my good friends is playing a Sorcerer, and now that I’ve caught up with him, we are duoing quests and other things, but I’m not totally up on taking care of BAMs. Now that I’ve got a strong weapon, I might go back to lower levels and slag those.

At any rate, the leveling experience in this game is vastly different from other games I’ve played: it’s the usual quest-to-cap-with-dungeons-thrown-in that WoW started, but it also has the auction house interface in every city or town, instead of just the capitals, which is awesome. The journey really does feel like one where you only return to “home” (i.e. the capital city) on occasion instead of every other day to make sure you have materials for crafting or new armor or other similar.

And the story isn’t bad either, though somewhat predictable.

As for being on a role-playing server, it’s interesting. I occasionally see people role-playing in the field or in the towns, and a few of the more RP-oriented guilds have events. In time I’m sure I’ll acclimate myself to a story or similar, but for now I’m just trying to hit 60 before the FFXIV beta starts.

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It’s been a while since I blogged here, hasn’t it?

Since last July, I’ve waffled between FFXI, FFXIV, and Guild Wars 2, which I picked up on release date. GW2 was fun at the start and I actually enjoyed doing some PvP as a Guardian. I quickly got a little tired of it, however, once work trips returned, so I answered Vana’diel’s siren call once more in addition to logging into FFXIV on occasion.

In XI, I ended up joining what Petezag@Phoenix had created as kind of a new HomingMissiles, Neosutra@Phoenix’s LS, comprised of members from HM and a few people like myself who knew people within HM from ages ago and had returned. We started hunting ADLs and doing other events. The ADLs were late in the evening, around 11pm my time, so most days I was up far too late and had started going to work tired like back in ’06 when I was a Kings Hunter. Eventually things came to a head and I decided to just log out in between ADLs and go away from the LS.

At that point I basically decided to just play offline games and occasionally pop into XI to hang out with a friend and her LS, slowly working on the VNM phase of Almace and the fire trials for the STR Shikargar, both of which still lie incomplete, though the latter is on the gil-sink phase.

I’d deactivated XIV once I got Legacy status in anticipation of 2.0. I actually liked the game and the graphics are truly amazing, but while playing it I had this urge to overclock my CPU… Not really the best idea with the stock cooler. Plus I felt like I was too far behind to get things done like AF, job quests, and a Relic. I’d chosen Paladin as my job as Red Mage doesn’t (yet?) exist in XIV, and I suppose I’ll go back to that once 2.0 comes along.

Somewhere in the past few months, however, I reinstalled WoW and found out my old friend Yael@Ragnarok was playing Alliance on Runetotem, so I decided to roll a Death Knight there and goof around. I moved my Paladin over as well, but once I got to Zangarmarsh in Outland after the always fun DK intro, my friends from Phoenix XI had finally convinced me to give the Mass Effect Trilogy a shot, which I did in spades.

I’ll say that the Mass Effect Trilogy has one of the best stories of any game series I’ve played in quite a long time. Plus, Tali is insanely cute. One vote here for renaming straws emergency induction ports.

So here we are 8 days into the year that wasn’t supposed to exist: 2013. What’s on my agenda for this year? First and foremost is the soon arriving A Realm Reborn: FINAL FANTASY XIV Closed Beta, Phase 1, which as a Legacy member I am eligible for. I am quite pumped for this and can’t wait for the client to be released.

This will be a great year, I’m certain!

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Apologies to J. R. R. Tolkien for mangling “There and Back Again” for this post’s title.

By the end of March, after a few weeks of slogging through Vana’diel mostly on my own or with a couple of friends, relegated to being RDM or a rather gimp non-relic DRK, later on a very underequipped, underskilled, and missing-many-spells BLU, I decided that I wouldn’t log in for a bit. I played other games through April, including The Old Republic, which while fun was plagued by a very low population and a rather unexciting battle system.

I decided to go back to Eorzea and give it an actual shot. I had been somewhat having fun but by the end of May, my life clock rolled over to the thirtieth year, and my mood returned to the general doldrums I’d been in since January.

Then an old friend of mine from high school told me exactly what I’d needed to hear, and I returned to the perpetually happy person I had been years before. I proceeded through in Eorzea, acquiring Paladin and basically having a good time, but I still read the information on BG from Vana’diel and wondered if maybe I wanted to go back.

Finally, a friend linked me an interesting character that was being sold: it was her old linkshell leader. I inquired as to where she was hanging out now, and by this point I’d read Prothescar’s BLU guides on FFXIAH‘s BLU forum and thought “Why the hell not?”

I joined up with ProjectVoid, and so far I’m having a good time. It’s a good group of long-time players like myself, and I feel like I fit in somewhat.

Anyway, it’s time for “what Jukor has been doing in Vana’diel since returning!”

BLU lacks 26 spells and has all the proper “solo” spells for /NIN and /RDM both as well as for /DNC. I need to get /WAR to 49 so I can abuse BLU/WAR and for DRK as well. Finally on the support job front I need to get SCH to 49 for RDM. I’m working on building out Charged Whisker, but until I get my AF3 hands and feet to at least +1 I’m not sure how my numbers will be.

Magian trials are progressing very slowly. I finally got the 15 Light Geodes for Surya’s Staff +2 last night, picked up another Side-sword to make the AGI Shikargar, and my STR Shikargar is stillborn as I need to round up a bunch of Aquans on a Firesday in the future. Almace is on Ratatoskr, so I’ve still got a ways to go.

I compiled a list of what +1, +2, and accessories I need for my jobs and the list is staggering. I should level another job to 99, but until I get my existing 90+ jobs finished out equipment-wise, not to mention merits, I shouldn’t try to equip something else.

Until next time!

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