Archive for the “Final Fantasy XI” Category

The Magian Moogles are going to see a lot of me as things progress. Between getting my AF3 and some AF2 upgraded, I am working on a few weapons for various purposes: a STR Shikargar for my eventual Almace offhand, Almace itself, the Occasionally Attacks Twice Fulgurante, the Occasionally Attacks 2 to 4 Times Ogresse, and I have aspirations for an Apocalypse and an Ochain or Aegis, perhaps.

Yesterday I camped various NMs to get caught up on Almace’s trials to the VNM portion since one of them leads to Krabkatoa, whom I need 10 shells from for the OAT Great Sword. I took down Tottering Toby 3 times, took down Drooling Daisy once, then went to blow up the Rank 3 dragon for a friend before heading out to dinner. After dinner, I logged back in and got my other 2 Drooling Daisy kills, helping out a BLU on the first kill, as he only needed one more kill and I had wide scan from /RNG1 (really need to level that up at some point).

After those I sent him a tell asking if he was having any luck with Gargantua, as he was in Beaucedine, and I told him I’d finished Trial 152 and wanted to know if he wanted help on Trial 153. Turns out that since it’s for the Katana and Great Axe Empyreans as well he had a group going, which I joined up with. I had to go to bed at 11 PM, so I stayed AFK in the party and they got 2 kills of Gargantua before disbanding around 2 AM. Tonight will be spent up there for sure if my LS friends aren’t on.

These trials for some reason are more fun than mindlessly massmurdering the same class of mob a few hundred times. I know that I’m going to have to pretty much go into Zen mode for the OA2-4 Scythe’s long string of death. Oh well.

Perhaps I can finish up Trial 153 and get ready for the further trials tonight, but I’m hoping we can go seal hunting for RDM or DRK stuff too. We’ll see what happens in about three hours!

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“Your level limit is now 99!”

Time to finish leveling stuff up now~

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Sometimes one has to fall further than they ever have to find where they should be.

{removed}

I entertained returning to WoW, playing The Old Republic, or merely returning to the addiction of Quake 3 Arena, Counter-Strike, or some similar FPS. However, in the end, just over $600 and a new machine later, I returned to where I had gone to long before: Vana’diel–Final Fantasy XI.

After a series of false starts week before last, I began playing again more often this past weekend upon finishing the machine. Thus far, I have completed Red Mage AF3+1 Head, I have all the seals for Dark Knight AF3+1 Hands, and a smattering of other seals for DRK and Paladin as well.

Things are shaping up to thrust me into where I should be, and I merely need to work on getting leveled up ASAP. I reconnected with old friends, and with my sudden amount of free time, I should be able to get caught up quickly.

Fortunately, Vana’diel is full of things to keep me busy between Magian Trials, farming Dynamis, Voidwatch, and all the other things out there. The future looks exciting in its own way!

The hopeless addict has returned. Pray this isn’t a mistake on my part!

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About a year ago, I decided to quit FFXI for WoW, like a lot of Vana’diel veterans, then quit that not too long afterwards after a very bad run in the Pit of Saron, went MMO-less for a couple of months, then went back to Vana’diel for a short while. That was very short-lived as at that point I wasn’t ready to mess with Abyssea, even though I acquired a Stone Gorget for myself.

I then went back to Azeroth and played WoW until late October when a minor change in life coupled with Patch 4.0.1 made me rethink what I was doing with my time. Fortunately, the day before, I acquired [The Horseman’s Reins] and had a horse that galloped through the sky if I decided to return, and sure enough I did a few weeks later.

A friend of mine had moved his characters to Shadowsong and changed to Horde for Cataclysm. I had adjusted to 4.0.3’s version of Protection Paladin and had fun questing to 85. Then came running instances. I will definitely say that Wrath’s instance model was a lot easier: grab everything and AoE it down. Cata’s reliance on crowd-control and the small number of instances to run is just plain irritating, and I still haven’t done a Heroic.

Then came one thing I had sort of secretly been hoping to hear from this same friend: he was considering going back to Vana’diel. I like WoW, but I also like the relative simplicity of FFXI vs. WoW’s ludicrious “you must have a thousand addons and one that yells at you to be good.” Another friend of mine said it pretty well: “WoW is fun half the time, but FFXI is halfway fun all the time.” I think I like the latter better because there’s usually something fun to figure out in XI.

Magian trials haven’t driven me completely nuts yet: I need about 100 more elementals to die on lightsday to get to Surya’s Staff, then another 175 of the same for the +1, and 15 light geodes (easily acquired from the AH) for the +2. I’m still trying to decide if I want to make an Almace (which would require joining an endgame linkshell) or Badelaire +2 for my “final” mainhand sword. The only good thing about this is that the STR Shamshir +2 is easily done, as will be the remaining damage staves.

I do have a lot of work to do on support jobs, however. WHM was already 49 from my time over the summer, and BLM is close, hitting 43 last night, but beyond that, the melee subs will be painful, but I can do FoV + /DNC to make those easy, and of course the remaining mage sub of SCH will suck hardcore as it is a mere 10.

All in all, I probably shouldn’t have departed Vana’diel back last March, but it was probably best at the time. I will probably play this game until the servers are switched off, and perhaps at 99 a new “full” expansion will come out to solidify a true “endgame” area for the “true” max level. Abyssea feels too much like a “farming” area once you’ve hit 90 and capped all your merits and such as opposed to a true “endgame” area like Sky or Sea or a “raid” like Dynamis or Limbus. But enough banter, now we get to the real meat of this entry.

As one who has long considered Red Mage to be his main job, I would always check patch notes when a new one occurred to see what RDM got or didn’t get. The lack of Cure V as of now kind of sucks, but getting Regen II again was rather nice. Additionally, access to the Tier 4 elemental nukes is amazing, and we are sure to get Thunder IV in the next update. The removal of caps on Enhancing Magic is crazy. By my calculations, at 400 skill, which should be relatively easy to accomplish, I will have a Phalanx that absorbs 38 and a 25-damage Enspell. Furthermore, with capped enhancing at 90, I can cap Stoneskin with any support job naked. Haste/Fast Cast ahoy! I am happy with this paradigm shift of 100% curebot to backline support with enfeebles, though I’m not sure where RDM’s place in a party is in Abyssea with ridiculous Refresh available from Atmas and a lot of the awesome things RDM brings to other party members directly is available as /RDM. Refresh II is nice, though probably somewhat redundant, and apparently people don’t like enfeebles anymore? I can’t imagine why. When a BLM will soon be able to Haste and Refresh himself, I’m not sure that RDM will really have a slot in a party. Maybe I’m just seeing an unfortunate shift of RDM to how it originally was back when the game first came out: a job without a party slot so long as one of the “specialists” were available.

Maybe some amazing thing will happen in the next update to allow RDM to have a guaranteed party slot once more. RDM is still the strongest soloist, but is that relevant in a world of lowmanned things where a WHM can Refresh himself and heal many times better and a MNK tanks? I still love RDM, but I’m not sure I like this brave new world. But hey, none of this is relevant until I get my other support jobs up to 49 and decide which job(s) I want to take to 90 as well, right?

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“There ain’t no gettin’ offa this train we’re on.” -Final Fantasy VII

This past weekend’s VanaFest saw Square Enix make a series of announcements that will forever change the face of Vana’diel.

The one most people are reacting to is the announcement of the level cap being raised to 99 from 75. The last time the level cap was raised was in late 2003 when the cap was raised to 75, just over 6 years ago.

My response to this was to immediately cancel my content IDs out of protest and quit the game. I absolutely do not want to level my support jobs to 50 and my jobs to 99.

Is this a knee-jerk reaction? Not really. I was already burning out beforehand, and that pushed me over the edge. I still remember the old days of overcrowded exp camps, and I strongly think this is SE’s final attempt to stop the bleeding of customers that’s been going on for quite some time. It’s probably backfired.

It’s been fun, Vana’diel. I won’t be joining FF14 after this announcement.

And no, nobody on Phoenix can have my accounts. I’m putting my token away in a place I’ll forget where it is.

My train’s reached the end of the line… Time for me to disembark.

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In +1’ing my Duelist’s Chapeau, I now permanently have -5 inventory as I am 99.9% sure I will never get another NQ one. While having Duelist’s Armor claim slip as a key item was fun for a while, not missing out on another 3 MND for Slow II reallly is worth the inventory space loss.

I’ve passed on several -1 Duelist pieces before solely because I was looking forward to the day I’d be able to store my relic armor set and regain some needed inventory space; however, now that I have “the” +1, I may start working on the others. The hands, legs, and feet should be easy to get as they all drop from easy things: Buburimu for the hands, Nightmare Hornets in Tavnazia for the legs, and Qufim for the feet. The body, however, drops off Tavnazia’s Nightmare Clusters, a mob we rarely are able to get to, let alone fight, so it will be quite some time before I acquire that particular piece. … If anything, full Duelist +1 will make killer town gear!

Of all my semi-lofty goals for this game, I think that full Duelist +1 is the most lofty: a Dalmatica will eventually find its way to me, same with that infernal Goliard Saio that refuses to drop, same with a myriad of other items. But HQ’ing an entire relic set is two-fold: time and money. Each piece requires a token amount of ancient currency as well as the corresponding armors, so I find myself pricing them all out and hoping it takes a while for them to drop!

With FFXIV due out at some point this year, I wonder how sharply Vana’diel’s population will be cut. I don’t intend to switch to XIV: in fact, I may “grow up” so to speak and quit MMOs at some point in the not-so-distant future. That all depends on how badly XIV takes a toll on the overall population.

Needless to say, 2010 should be an exciting year for me in Vana’diel!

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Inventory -5 :(

But, MND+3 for Slow II :D

Guess I’ll work on +1’ing the entire set after all, hehe.

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Last year, JPButton asked FFXI players to submit their 「10大ニュース」”10-Dai News” or “Big 10 News” of the previous year. I didn’t do this last year and was looking forward to contributing this year, but Elmer and Corinth didn’t post an official post about it.

… I’ll list mine anyway.

Quoting Elmer’s post from last year:

What is 「10大ニュース」?

10大ニュース (juu dai nyuusu), is literally a list of 10 big(大) bits of news(ニュース) or events that have happened to you over the past year.

In Japan, the end of the year is filled with parties and drinking, much more so than the beginning of a new one. As the next year fast approaches, people will hold a 忘年会 (bou-nen-kai) , or a gathering (会) to forget (忘) the current year (年). This is accomplished through copious amounts of alcohol, and often times, the telling of one’s 10大ニュース. It’s like a personal Top-10 list.

This list can contain any 10 events that you feel have affected you deeply, most often in a positive way. As we all close another year here on Earth, (and thus another 25 years in Vana’diel), I felt it would be fun to combine a little bit of Japanese culture with the community’s penchant for touting in-game accomplishments. Everyone likes sharing their success, so here’s a perfect chance!

Here’s an example of what a list might look like:

You can include equipment you’ve gotten:

10. Acquired Dancer AF Attire

9. Completed all Automaton attachments

You can include things that were special to you.

8. Got promoted to Sackholder in my LS

7. Convinced my friend to sign up for the game

Maybe you conquered some personal challenges, however big or small.

6. Beat all the Level-20 Avatar quests

5. Solo’d all my Scholar Artifact quests

Perhaps endgame is more your thing.

4. Completed Relic Weapon: Claustrum

Or e-peen.

3. SOLO tanked Cerb against ally of DD’s

The more creative of you out there could write from your character’s point of view.

2. Teamed up with Lilisette to catch Cait Sith

And game-related stuff is okay too

1. Opened a new website and received amazing support from the best MMO community in the world.
What’s your 10大ニュース?

10. Becoming a Multi-75
In January, my PLD hit 75, then as the year went on, BRD hit 75 as did DRK, so after sitting idle as just RDM75 for a very long time, I broke free and now have more jobs at 75. While it’s made inventory management not very fun, it’s made me a more versatile player. And fortunately, I have other useful jobs so I’m not pigeonholed into being BRD for everything like I’d feared.

9. Becoming a Leader of 3 Endgame LS
I eventually gave in to the temptation and went back to doing Dynamis, which led to eventually becoming a leader in the LS. Additionally, I helped start a new Sky shell and was privileged with leadership in a new Einherjar shell as well. I’m very grateful to my fellow leaders for putting enough faith in me to let me lead alongside them!

8. Finally Acquiring Crimson Cuisses
I’ve made a few posts about my “Three Old Sagas” regarding equipment I should have had by that point but didn’t due to quitting at the top of several lists. Being able to run 12% faster on 3 of my 4 jobs is quite nice for getting to places and getting out of bad situations!

7. Acquired a Runic Key
Climbed to the top of Nyzul Isle with a pretty well set up static. Only 250 WS points for Mythic WS ftw!

6. 6/6 Paladin Relic within 6 Months
Fortunately, the line for Paladin relic pieces in my Dynamis LS is rather short. But the real awesome is how I got my Valor Cape: a ludicrous Valkurm that dropped three of the things.

5. 6/6 Dark Knight Relic
This completed last night. Yay for inventory +5 and finally being able to feasibly work pieces into macros.

4. Bard’s Roundlet +1
Whitebox ftw. Also the best non-Salvage headpiece for a Bard. Doesn’t get used nearly enough, heheh.

3. Finally Got Into Doing Limbus
After a couple of false starts over the years, I finally got into doing Limbus on a regular basis. All I’ve gotten from Omega or Ultima is Homam Manopolas, but I’m sure I’ll get the rest of that set in due time. Nashira, though, not counting on it.

2. Got to Souleater+Blood Weapon Kraken Club Bahamut
This was just pure awesome. I need to get one of my own at some point!

1. Duelist’s Chapeau
Rightly considered to be one of, if not the, best drop from Dynamis, this item had eluded me for quite a while. Between not doing Dynamis for a very long time, the item refusing to drop period when I was at the top of the list years ago, and the line in my present LS being quite long with people leveling Red Mage and jumping ahead in line. Admittedly, I did spent a fair amount of points collecting other relic armor, but in the end, my spot didn’t really change too much for the hat. Finally having this drop to me just under two months ago was such a great day. Now I need to get a Dalmatica to finish the Old Sagas.

Happy New Year, Vana’diel!
あけましておめでとう、ヴァナ・ディール!

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One common thought on leveling jobs up is to use a “set” or “static” party. I find this to be the most efficient, provided the group can meet more than one or two days per week, since the time spent finding members is removed completely if the set is six members. Additionally, knowing who the members are lets the leader pick out a camp ahead of time.

I’ve read several accounts of successful set parties and participated in several over the years. But with the advent of Level Sync and the removal of the restriction that all members must be within x levels of one another, are set parties really so necessary anymore? I believe so. Why do I say this? Is it an old bias against the general population of Vana’diel? I will tell you.

First of all, the removal of the wait for x job to pop on seek and pray you get them is a godsend. While Level Sync alleviated this slightly, the fact that a healer, or tank, or a Bard or Corsair may never pop still stifles the “awesome” parties. A very efficient set includes a Bard or a Corsair, so the lack of one being on seek alleviates that problem.

Secondly, familiarity with the party members works wonders for picking out a camp. Some camps in the game are just too out of the way or dangerous even to consider bringing a party consisting entirely of pick-up members to. Case in point is one of the older camps: bones in Gustav Tunnel in the late 60s. Another good example is Dragon’s Aery around 70. Having to walk through the entirety of The Boyahda Tree to reach this camp creates many opportunities for aggro. Aht Urhgan’s Runic Portal system alleviated this issue somewhat, but many camps exist before the Aht Urhgan levels that present this problem.

Finally, with the advent of Level Sync, the requirement that members could not do anything on their “party” job for fear of going too far ahead of the others no longer limits set parties. Did someone get an invite and get a level or two? Just sync them to the person with the most exp to level and go with it.

In general, I still find a set to be the most efficient way to level from 10-75. Provided you can find someone in your circle of friends to take up Bard or Corsair or a healing job, you can pretty much work your way up without too much difficulty. Of the four jobs I’ve levelled, three of them have been, at least in part, in sets. I had a set early on on Red Mage to get to 37, then later in the 60s got one with the same people. Bard was in a semi-set from 10 all the way to 75 and Dark Knight from 40 onwards to 75.

I suppose the vast disparity in party quality I’ve had on various jobs leads me to believe this. Flagging for a pickup really is leaving yourself to the masses. On some jobs, that is a very scary proposition.

Tonight is Dynamis-Bastok (/doze). I hope at least one pair of Abyss Sollerets and Saotome Kote drop. I need the sollerets to complete Dark Knight relic 6/6, and a good friend of mine needs the Saotome Kote for his SAM. Maybe multiple kote will drop and I can pay for them for my up-and-coming SAM. Hit 47 Monday evening in a party that ended badly. Ah well, such is life.

And now, we return to the grind of daily work.

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Today and tomorrow mark the Fourth Anniversary of my obtaining Sky access and entering into endgame officially. On November 16, 2005, I spent two hours in Lower Jeuno shouting to form a party to finish Zilart Missions 6 through 12. The following day I was pearled for the now-defunct ObscuraNox endgame linkshell.

That decision changed my viewpoint on the game forever. Was it for the best? At the time, probably. I’d long wanted to experience endgame, but it burned me out after 7 months. I guess one can only spend so much time in The Aery never fighting anything before he decides he wants no part of it.

Do I consider myself an endgame player? Ringthree of “You Are Not Your O’s Kote” describes an endgame player in his “On the Cheap” series as the following:

You have to really be an end-game player. I am not expecting you to have every title in the game, and have done ever mission everywhere, but I do expect you to have done main story-line content. This should be a goal of an end-game player at the very least. Zilart should be finished up to at very least Sky, CoP should be finished up until the end, and Aht Urhgan up until the end. If you don’t have these, or at least most of it and trying to get to the end, then you aren’t an end-game player, you are just lazy or your are just making pretend.

By that definition I am one. I also do Dynamis twice a week, Limbus once a week, have a Nyzul Isle static, a Sky LS, an Einherjar LS, and have done Salvage in the past. My social LS also does some sort of endgame-related content on Sunday mornings. My inventory is also clogged with various rare/ex items that drop from Internet Dragons and the like.

So why do I continue to gravitate towards endgame content? Because there really is no end to it. EXP and merit parties do have a means to an end: achieving x level or x amount of merits. While one can always level all jobs to 75 and spend the entire rest of his life reconfiguring their merits, eventually he’ll end up 43,999/44,000 EXP and 10/10 merits and 9,999/10,000 limits on all jobs with the max amount of merit points spent. At that point, what can they do? Events ranging from campaign battles (/shudder), Dynamis, sky, sea, and all the other endgame content that will usually result in at least one death, thus producing the need to continue building up EXP.

I guess I’ll always have the lingering feeling to do endgame as long as I play FFXI. Do I consider myself “better” than those who don’t? Probably one on level. But I do respect those who exist in the game without doing any sort of endgame. Different things to different people.

As for me, though, I will continue doing endgame things while leveling jobs to increase the versatility of my role in endgame.

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