Subjobs are starting to become annoying. I find myself constantly having to go back and level WAR or NIN to keep up with the main jobs I’m pursuing (COR and RNG). I suppose I could just sit down for a month or two and do nothing but level NIN until I hit 37th, but who wants to do that? Until I’ve closed them out, I suppose I’ll just back and forth.
I bought myself an Xbox 360, and while I’m going to play no end of FF XI on it, I need to build up a stable of games. Currently I have Dead Rising and Saints Row—any other suggestions?
NM: Named (or Notorious) Monster. These are the “bosses” in FF XI. On the upside, they frequently drop all kinds of goodies when killed. They are, however, hard to kill and frequently camped by numerous other players.
BCNM: Burning Circle Named Monster. Again the boss monsters, however these are “summoned” by placing an item of some sort into a Burning Circle (which are littered about Vana’diel). BCNM battles are almost always ‘capped’, meaning a high-level character will be deleveled before going into the fight.
As ever, anyone interested in giving it a shot on the greatest server in the universe, feel free to e-mail me and I’ll get you a worldpass.
I can understand impatience, and I really like being able to help my friends, but last night was two hours of frustration that included a delevel and way too much choco’ing around and sitting on my little Taru ass waiting—two things I truly despise.
I’d gotten into a little solo’ing groove when Erador started putting together an expedition to fight the Dark Dragon (which I did a few weeks ago). Erador’s a Fruit Bat (my old linkshell), and I’m partially responsible for him joining the game, so I felt obligated. I changed to the RNG job and trekked ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the way from San d’Oria to the Palborough Mines in North Gustaberg just outside of Bastok. (I need that airship pass. I guess what I need to do is stop saying “I need that airship pass”, get off my ass and go get it.)
Kaizersan, Cupkeeki, Seigrune, Erador and myself dove into the mines and made for the dragon. Our first go didn’t work out well. The dragon fight is really against two creatures. One is, of course, the Dark Dragon. The second is an Ahriman called ‘Seeker’—he looks like a blobby eye that floats around via these teeny-tiny bat wings. We wiped out Seeker with ease. However, we just couldn’t close the deal with the dark dragon; we were all petrified and killed. Welcome back to level 19.
After a kind raise by Aruli, we rested and discussed a change in tactics. Our next time in, Cupkeeki slept Seeker (or tried to, I’m not sure it worked—I was way too busy spamming arrows) while the rest of us fought the dragon. And this worked for us! We wiped out the dragon without anyone becoming petrified or dying, and then were able to take out Seeker. I now have two dragons painted on my armor. Yay! Not only that, but we set the time record for doing so! w00t!
I’m glad for Erador. I’m glad I could help him, but I really wanted to get Corsair to 10th, and I made very little progress. Now I need to solo a bit to gain back my Ranger level before I can go back to Corsair, and that’s annoying.
With Corsair at 10th level after some running around in East Ronfaure yesterday, it was time for Valkurm. With an optimistic heart, I picked up some Prism Powders and Silent Oils (to minimize the ‘Oh-shit-that-goblin-aggro’d-I’m-gonna-die’ factor) and threw up the flag.
Got an invite almost right away from Patsy. I joined his small party still in La Theine Plateau, and we made for the dunes. Man did this suck. From the entrance to Valkurm to our camp in the southeast corner, we lost three people—myself included. With no raise available, I apologized and bounced back to my home point in San d’Oria, effectively leaving the group. I hope they did well.
I returned to San d’Oria after a quick stopover in Kazham to pick up some dice from Verrcetti—thanks Verr!). To my delight, my chocobo hatched! It’s a girl! With the huge list of possible combinations of words provided for names, I was kind of at a loss as to christening my new bundle of joy (that and I was annoyed at not being able to name her Civic). I chose two words that just sound weird together: GalaxyCool. It’s kind of growing on me, even though it’s completely bizarre and makes no sense.
My friend Arikias ran into another player using a bot yesterday. He was camping an NM in King Ranperre’s Tomb when he noted the unusual behavior of another character named Aibc. Aibc would stand quietly and motionless until the exact moment the NM spawned. At that point the bot would bolt for the NM, fight it, kill it, and then return immediately to the same spot. I think Arikias just took note of the name for future reference, but I hope somebody nails that guy to the wall; camping NM’s is hard enough without having to compete with an AI.
These two day diary entries are a killer, especially given them that I usually pen them before or during the morning’s first cup of coffee. Still, I soldier on in the hopes that future generations will realize the true greatness of GameCola.net.
Or more members of current generations. That’d be good, too.
With two days to spend I figured I’d split them between Corsair and Ranger. One day went great, the other was fun in that I got to adventure with friends, even if it didn’t really go anywhere. Though I did, on that day, decide it was time to try out the gun.
Walking from San d’Oria to Ghelseba (which is the Orc stronghold, if I’ve never mentioned it), I took a shot at a Forest Hare. BLAM! 190 points. Gibbed. I figure I’m never gonna see that against other mobs, so I continue the field test:
Orcish Fodder – 170
Orcish Grappler – 150
Orcish Mesmerizer – 160
Orcish Stonechucker – 120
Orcish Grunt – 100
So it’s falling off against the tougher mobs, but still doing at least 20-30 more points per shot than the Power Bow +1 and 50-60 more than the Crossbow +1. The ammo is very expensive, but…damn.
That and it looks dead sexy. Finn whips out the gun, lines up the shot and BLAM! Oh that was good for me….
Tonight I’m going to take RNG to Qufim and see how things go. If it’s a bust, I’ll go try my luck with the Corsair job in Valkurm. Getting to sound a little routine, isn’t it? Maybe it’s time to concentrate more on missions or camping NMs to spice things up.
Corsair really is kind of a lame job pre-15th. I enjoy the dice rolling, and every party likes a good series of buffs (especially one that awards more xp per victory), but as I progress I become less and less effective as a DD. I figure that will change once I can begin packing heat at 15th, and especially when I can start using real bullets at 22nd. Until then, I’m a weak tea DD with some minor buffs to sell the package.
GalaxyCool, my chocobo, is sick. I fed her some greens which will supposedly cure her ailment. Poor little girl.
Tonight I want to score 15th and then shelve Corsair for a bit to work on Rangering. I need to get to a point where I can participate in Blackwind events with that job, and that probably means building it up to at least 30th and preferably higher.
‘Ya betta keep yo’ mouth shut ’cause I’m fully strapped’ – The Beastie Boys
Finally, my Corsair is packing heat. I’m finding there’s a lot of running involved with this job. A Chaos Roll for the melee fighters is followed by a retreat and a shot or two, then back up front for a melee attack and a Ninja Roll (or Hunter’s Roll). Back for another shot or three, then somewhere between the front and back lines for a Corsair’s Roll to boost everyone’s xp. I wonder if Bards have the same problem.
GalaxyCool is all better! Yay!
I need to start crafting again. Even bronze bullets are outrageously expensive. I think I’ve found a way to supplement my income nicely: Fang Arrows auction at about 1,000 – 2,000 gil a stack in San d’Oria, but they go for circa 5,000 gil in Jeuno. Erador hates Jeuno for this very reason – the AH is very expensive because they hold a captive audience. I say make lemonade and sell some darn Fang Arrows.
Tonight’s the Red Bull Diary (although I’m thinking it’ll be No-Carb Monster tonight). I plan to take my RNG job to Jeuno and push it through to 30. I’m not looking forward to it, but I fear somewhere along the line I’m going to have to unlock NIN and do the incredibly distasteful repeatable fame quests to make it a good sub for RNG. We hates fame quests, precious, we hates them.
After Erador and I enjoyed a fine meal at a small local bistro (read: cheesesteaks and beers at Hooters), I settled down to spectate on his game for a while. I was struck not as much by his character or his game or his adventures, but by the amazing quality of graphics and sound on the PC version of this game. Granted, Erador has a top notch monitor with high quality speakers, but still…it made my PS2 look rather feeble by comparison. I wonder what the Xbox 360 version looks like.
Not an invite to be found in Qufim for me. I did duo some worms with a Blue Mage named Marsilis, but it was somewhat unsatisfying. After a few hours I called it a wash. Spent a little time moat carping to build up my bank account before I hung up my spurs.
Today I’m doing a BCNM with some folks from Blackwind. Fight on.
I played two different games yesterday. Both called Final Fantasy XI, of course, but still two completely different experiences. One was awesome, the other was…less than awesome. Lame would fit, but perhaps completely unproductive and dull would be les mots justes.
During the day, Mindfreak, Verrcetti and myself took three swings at a BCNM that consisted of three badass crabs. I was playing my RDM, and in my defense I haven’t played a RDM in party for better than a month.
The plan was to have Mindfreak and I bind two of the crabs (casting at the same time), I silence one of those two, then we go in and melee them one at a time.
The first time out, I was late with my bind and wound up targeting the wrong crab when we went into melee. We still beat up two of the crabs, but we were unable to carry the day. For battle number two, I completely spazzed and bound my crab before Mindfreak even started casting. I did, however, keep him silenced and we won! It was a narrow thing, but we emerged victorious. The rubber match didn’t go as well. Even though we timed our binding spells perfctly, I cast four silence spells on my crab before one would finally stick. That gave him plenty of time to Waterga the crap out of us—we died. One for three—not great, but not a shutout. I love BCNM fights. I don’t even mind the level down.
Fast forward. Night time was not the right time. Setsuni was chatting with her boyfriend online and had asked Verrcetti and I (who were resting nearby) not to do or say anything. In retrospect, maybe we should’ve behaved ourselves, but come on…could you have laid off that pitch? Verr and I wound up trading words with the boyfriend’s brother before being the bigger men and walking away. I think they were testy because they wore a hot pink linkpearl and were intimidated by our dark and menacing (and infinitely cooler) charcoal gray one.
Maybe it was a bit of instant karma. I sat around with the flag up nearly 60 minutes with the RNG job in Qufim Island and then 40 minutes as a Corsair in Valkrum before throwing in the towel.
Joining Ashrok, Blazingapple, Silias, Dude and Yamamae in Pugil Alley, we beat the crap out of Pugils and Clippers to the tune of about 3,000 xp: 23rd level and then some.
My last pull of the night went poorly – I drew a Pugil link. A kindly Dragoon running through responded to our cry for help, just annihilating both of them with the greatest of ease. Still, Ashrok and Silias both died. It happens to everyone who pulls eventually: you draw one mob and accidentally acquire the attention of one of his friends. You just hope you see it before you’ve dragged death back into your camp. This time I didn’t. Everyone was very gracious, which was nice, but I still feel responsible. It definitely soured the sweet taste of 23rd level.
I watched a friend play World of Warcraft today on his PC. Totally underwhelmed. Who are these legions of people who believe WoW is superior to FF XI? Are they all permanently high? Blocky graphics, truckloads of clipping and a choppy framerate (even on my friend’s badass gaming rig) would make for a frustrating and ugly game by themselves, but the clumsy presentation of on-screen data (character names, combat results, conversation, pets, modes of transportation, etc.) would just drive me mad. In short, FF XI >>>>>>>>>>> WoW.
Probably take a day or two of rest after this rather fruitless weekend, but then it’s back out to finish up my term in Qufim Island.
I’m kind of reluctant to write a diary entry on a such a solemn, tragic day in the history of the US. Without getting overly dramatic or preachy, I’ll just say it seems weird that such a horrible thing happened five years ago, and today I sat and played games for two hours.
Okay. Enough of that.
You have absolutely no idea how tired I am of waiting for a party in Qufim. (Alright, well, some of you know exactly how tired I am of it – you’ve either sat through it yourselves or listened to me bitch about it at length.) I mean just dying for a party. It’s brutal. While I’m getting some reading done (‘Temeraire’ by Naomi Novik is outstanding) and I’m now better than $40,000 ahead in my World Series of Poker game on my Nintendo DS, I’m still getting very little done, and that’s frustrating.
Erador and I tried to break down why this happens. I think it might be because new players don’t really have a solid grasp of what having a Ranger in your party means and what they can do for you. They don’t realize this is someone who can consistently deal out big damage and never has to rest for MP. This is someone who can expertly (or perhaps in my case semi-non-clumsily) pull mobs over distance. This is someone who can inflict status ailments with ammunition. I wonder if they just don’t know this.
An hour into the night I duo’d up with Orbital, a Taru WHM. We duo’d some worms around Qufim Island for about an hour, earning myself a whopping 800 xp. Orbital picked up level 25 – he’s likely off to Kazham. I’m jealous.
Today was all about breaking the rut. Instead of planting my ass on the cold ground of Qufim Island and sacrificing a cat to the gods of Vana’diel in hopes of creating/joining a good party, I left Jeuno to finish up a couple of the San d’Oria missions. With Shadowblade riding shotgun and Erador joining on, I went to Davoi.
Davoi is this big, badass orc stronghold that makes Ghelseba look like day care. Mission one of rank three (referred to as 3-1) is pretty straightforward: Enter Davoi, sneak around and locate a San d’Orian scout inside, get a report from him, go back to San d’Oria. The process took a slightly more violent turn (carve through anything that moves, locate scout, etc.), but we completed the mission and were back to San d’Oria. Touchdown!
However, the goddamn guard wouldn’t offer me mission 3-2. I apparently hadn’t earned enough “rank points.” Bastard. So I offered to repeat 3-1 to make up for it. Which was dumb, but instead I think I’ll refer to it as a learning experience.
3-1 redux consists of sneaking through Davoi, finding three secret stashes (not that kind) and retrieving some intelligence material. Pass this on to a different scout, return to San d’Oria, and you’re done. It sounded so easy I told Shadowblade and Erador I could handle it. After four tries and four panicked escapes from Davoi, I had hit all three stashes. Back to San d’Oria.
And the guy STILL won’t give me 3-2! Having learned my lesson, I fork over the crystals and voila! I can access 3-2. Mission 3-2 involves catching a certain fish. So we’re going from twice infiltrating an orc stronghold of death to a day at the lake. Being the lazy ass I am, I go buy the fish at the auction house. I make my triumphant return from my valiant shopping exercise only to be informed thieves and struck at the castle in the castle in North San d’Oria, and I have to go check it out.
Wait a minute here, Chuckles. You wanted a fish, I got you a fish. Why are we not done? I hate this guy.
Tomorrow it’s off to visit the castle and finish 3-2, then back to Qufim for a little more assal horizontology.
The 13th was mission day! With a little help from some mates in the LS, I finished the Rank 3 San d’Oria missions. The first two were dull, but we got through them.
The 14th was a big sine wave of a day. I started off bringing RNG to 24th inside of an hour. I even built a comfortable death buffer. Even though one of our party members got a little shirty with me when a Clipper I shot lost me on the chase back, it was a good experience. That party dissolved, leaving me alone and clear across Qufim.
After the run back, I sat with the flag up for 40 minutes – no joy. This got old, so on the advice of countless colleagues with greater experience and knowledge than I, I set about unlocking Ninja (NIN).
This, however, required releveling my RDM from 29 to 30. I remember being so frustrated with it I had to remind my daughter that those were ‘grown-up words’ that good little girls shouldn’t say. I partied up in Kazham and made 30th, as well as a comfortable little death buffer. On to unlock NIN!
I enlisted the help of Livetotank and Mindfreak from Blackwind. I bravely sneaked into a corner and hid while the two of them just obliterated the NMs that guard a piece of coral necessary for the quest. More back-and-forth’ing to Bastok, Norg, and Bastok again (thanks to Verrcetti for guiding me to Norg…I hate Yuhtunga, I hate Yhoator, I hate tunnels, I hate jungles, I hate this entire bleeding area), and I am Ninja!
So far Ninja feels a lot like Corsair – a watered-down Warrior. The katana (at least at early levels) is mediocre at best, and it’s the same bronze harnass bondage gear every martial class starts with. I worked it to 4th before calling it a night.
This weekend I’m going to run through 3-3 with Erador and Seigrune. With any luck I’ll solo NIN up to 10th and maybe even get it to Valkurm. I’d like to get it to at least 15th before temporarily putting it aside.
I know I’ve bitched a lot about quests in the past, but slugging through the rank 3 and now the rank 4 missions has been a true pain in the ass. Thankfully, I had some very expert help in the form of Shadowblade, and yesterday I touched down at rank 5. Let the airshipping commence!
Magicite. The rank 4 mission is all about sorties hither and yon for Magicite in the epic Rank 4 mission. It starts with a lot of back and forth in Jeuno, setting up a trio of side quests to gather some required items on the way. One of them is really easy – fetch some coeurl meat and voila! You’ve got access to this secret area in Davoi. Another just requires hitting a series of cutscenes featuring Verena, daughter of the local organized crime godfather, and Fickblix…a goblin. You ask me, Verena’s a little too sympathetic to the cause of goblins and beastmen. She’s got the goblin fever! Freaky goblin love! The last one requires a trip to Bedeaux (the Quadav stronghold), which sucks because you actually have to go back to Bedeaux later to pick up one of the three pieces of magicite.
Anyway, without going into too many gory details (we’re talking about 3-4 hours worth of questing here), I bravely sneaked and invis’d myself through the beastmen strongholds while Shadowblade just walked right through them (the beastmen fear his mad skillz). Each piece of magicite I retrieved revealed a lengthy and very interesting little cutscene. I like that I’m getting into the story more. One of the really great things about the Final Fantasy series are the really deep and captivating stories they tell, and it’s nice to see that coming around. (44 days until the release of FF XII! w00t!)
After retrieving the magicite and scoring rank 5, it was back to San d’Oria, back into the Ninja clothes and time to go to work. I drove it up to level 9 before calling it a night.
I like days when I learn a lot, provided I have a good teacher; I’m happy to report that today I did. I started off the day solo’ing Ninja in East Ronfaure, bringing my 9 to 10.
My first dilemma was whether or not to bolt for the dunes at 10th or hold off to 12th and go in with Utsusemi in place. Mindfreak from Blackwind had a good idea for a compromise: put the flag up at 10th, but solo in the Knightwell area of West Ron while waiting for an invite. I gave it a shot.
Where oh where has Knightwell been all my life? It’s a large lake in West Ron surrounded by crabs and goblins that pop frequently. I simply circled the lake and destroyed everything in my path. I never moved for more than 10-15 seconds between fights, and within 45 minutes I’d picked up the 2,400 xp necessary to make 11th. I love that place.
From there I jogged over to Konschtat Highlands to duo about with Fatcharlie from Blackwind (Happy Birthday FC!) with Amiraphe along as an advisor (She wasn’t PL’ing! Honest! She told me so!). During that time, I got some really good tanking and macro advice from Ami. Blink tanking takes a little getting used to – it requires keeping a weather eye on time and providing information to your party (especially when that last shadow goes down and the monster is now tearing away at your comparably small cache of HPs). I field tested those macros with FC and they worked great. Now it’s time to take them to the big show in Valkurm.
I miss RNG.
‘I look forward to killing you very soon.’ – AskANinja.com
Today was the big day: blink tanking goes live.
One thing I really like about playing either tanks or healers is you never, ever wait for invites. I had one last night within five minutes of putting the flag up. After my party broke up, I had two more within ten minutes, and I wasn’t even looking for a party!
Anyway, blink tanking. It went very well. I joined a party with Dankk, Qatnip, Erador and a few others in Valkurm. We also had the services of the extremely capable Forbiden as a PL. At first I had a little trouble managing my Utsusemi and Provoking in a timely fashion, but that gradually became routine. I’m really pleased with how it was working out there towards the end.
I worked from 12 to about halfway through 14th going from lizards to goblins to snippers. I’m only about 1500 to 15th, and 15 is where I’ll temporarily put NIN on the shelf. I boasted (foolishly, perhaps) that I’d make 30th RNG by Saturday afternoon. Realistically, I can squeeze in about 10-12 hours of gameplay between now and then, meaning I’ll need to be picking up one level for every two hours in game. That’s optimistic, but hopefully possible.
The reason for the big rush is Ballista on Saturday evening. More about that later.
Once again, RNG proves itself to be a trying little job.
I got started in Valkurm with Cupkeeki from Fruit Bats Revenge, Erador (who now has a Blackwind pearl! Welcome!), Dankk and Kuroe. PL’ing us was the always effervescent and kind-hearted Setsuni from Blackwind (with Mindfreak standing by to help out while modeling his FABULOUS Paladin armor). It was quick work and aside from the little Cirque du Provoke that went on; I picked up the xp I needed for 15th Ninja and made my way out. I get the feeling I bruised some feelings with my early departure, but I think I made it pretty clear from the start that I was only in it for 45 minutes or so.
Back to San d’Oria. GalaxyCool, who’s grown up a bit, lost her second race to another chocobo named ‘Best’. She’s now 0 and 2 against Best, and I’m unhappy about that. I’m gonna have her doing stadiums until her legs fall off if she doesn’t step up her game.
I’d planned to talk about Ballista today, but it seems we’re actually going to be participating in an event called Brenner. Aside from venerable stand-up comedian David Brenner, I have no idea what Brenner is. Must research.
It’s official. RNG has ground to a complete halt. If it were a car, I’d be calling AAA. It’s hit a point where I have to take a break from it or I’ll simply go mad.
Last night I spent 30 minutes in Kazham and about two hours in Jeuno with the flag up both looking for a party and trying to set one up, completely failing in both endeavours. When setting up a party I got numerous reasons why people (who had the flag up, mind) weren’t interested. Some didn’t want to join a party unless it was established and already in the field. Some didn’t want to join a party because I don’t speak Japanese. The rest of them just didn’t respond or didn’t even bother to give an excuse. As for drawing an invite of my own, I got nothing. Not one single invite. Not one single tell inquiring about the character.
I suppose last night wasn’t a total loss. I crafted my ass off, working my Woodworking skill from 14 to 19. I’m starting to get into an area where some of my wares will sell consistently and profitably, which is heartening. I can already make specialty crossbow bolts and some furniture, with ninja tools and some of the more powerful ranged weapons right around the corner.
Anyway, I’m taking a break from it. I’ll spend a night playing COR and decide whether I’m going to shelve RNG for a while or get back to it. I had high hopes of making 30 by this weekend, but the way things have been going I’ll be surprised if I make 25 by then.
After making yesterday an early day, I got in some rare daytime play. Good stuff. A lot more people on during the day, thus a lot more parties. I had an invite inside of 15 minutes.
I joined Blackangels, Baddabing (not sure if he’s related to Baddaboom), Crazyunicorn, Pauleta and a series of rotating tanks (we just couldn’t get one to stick around for more than about 30-40 minutes at a stretch) and went to work in Pugil Alley on Qufim Island. We worked for about two hours. I earned about 5,000 xp and made 25th level. Yay! I flew to Kazham before I needed to log for the day, but not before getting to say hi to Sincerestjokerx. I don’t know if it was just a quick stop or if he’s returning, but it sure was great to see him on.
There was one really distasteful thing about yesterday’s party. At one point a Taru thief named Genie popped by to ask if we had room in our party. I politely said no and explained we needed a tank. He pointed out we had a MNK/WAR who could tank (bad idea). After we said no again, he and Blackangels made with the childish name-calling and it dissolved rapidly into kind of a pissing contest. This continued sporadically all through the afternoon, with the two of them shouting insults back and forth. I considered leaving the party, but with the way my luck is been, I stuck it out. I guess it just further demonstrates that there are immature jerks in every arena where people gather.
After spending far too much on a new toy, I bought, installed, updated and resumed my adventures in Vana’diel on a shiny new Xbox 360. Ooooooh. Pretty. It’s really the same game, no real changes at all. Lots of little things jump out – the water looks fantastic. The airships look amazing when they land and taxi up to the dock. Cutscenes are beautiful. It’s all about the pretty.
One small thing I noticed, and perhaps I’ve just never employed it before, is it seems to allow the player to position the camera at such an angle where it renders mobs further out. I was pulling Mandys for my late night party and could see them from waaaaaaaaaaaay downfield – certainly made things easier.
I found my way into a Yuhtunga party late that night with Estaban, Boolo, Yuya, and Rizzi beat up Mandys for about three hours. I died twice pulling (two unlucky goblin aggros), but did manage to pick up the 4,000xp necessary to hit 26th level. I think I’m getting a little better at pulling, but I’m dreading having to take on the task in Yhoator, where the geography is straight out of a nightmare.
I took the long trip back to San d’Oria to take care of GalaxyCool. We ran two more races against Best and kicked his ass twice! Suck on it, Best! LOSER! Guess those stadiums helped out.
Next Time: My first experience with PvP in Brenner, The first defense of Al Zhabi in Beseiged, More Rangering, More Corsairing, the maturation of GalaxyCool and the continuing push of RNG!