Thursday, 10 May 2012

Back in Business

Okay FFXI, let's see what you've got in store for me this time!

Oh, before I forget, I should introduce myself again. I'm Jkun, a Scottish guy living in Japan who has just returned to FFXI after almost 2 years of absence. Watch me try to get back to the top through wild adventures and vulgar language.

Once again the curtain opens on Jkun, the bloodthirsty Dark Knight turned comedic Puppetmaster, and his faithful sidekick E100.

After grabbing a brand new digital copy of FFXI, complete with the Abyssea expansions, I donned my new Destrier Beret...

...and waved farewell to my Prishe figurine.

Aw man, what a cutie patootie. Look at her being all "Fuck you Alexander! I'll kick yo' ass even though we aren't really in the same expansion" but uh, anyway, I wonder what kind of newexciting and dangerous monsters await me in Abyssea?! Just what type of monster will I hit level 99 on? What kind of incredible abilities will challenge my journey to its goal? So many things yet to be uncovered, so little time to waste!

Level 99, here we come, HERE WE CO-...!

Wait, w-worms? In...La Thiene? Wait...I thought...but Abyssea, right guys? Wh-what do you mean "Let's fight worms!"? These...these abominations are one of the first monsters you meet at level 1, they are hardly the kind of creature you expect to fight in order to transcend the power of a regular adventurer!

Well apparently, getting to level 99 means coming full circle I guess. The fastest, and easiest way to hit 99 is by fighting, yeah, you guessed it, worms. How totally zen.

However, thanks to how fast it is to level in Abyssea, there are loads of other alternatives available. Yet, after a painful few days of grinding Rock Grinders, it was time for the final Limit Break!

I admit, the tears bubbled a little in my eyes during this cutscene. Partially because I know Jkun has been through a lot to get to where he is today, and partially because FFXI music, why do you have to be so moving?

Take this you dirty little Black belt wearing Taru! Big thanks to Yuuzuki, her friends, and of course, Rebme for helping me clear this pain in the ass! You've all come such a long way while I was gone!

Okay, now that my limit has reached 99, all I need to do is spend another day or two reaching it. So, three hours later...

Oh, uh, yeah. I forgot how insanely easy it is to level now that I have access to Abyssea. Thanks, Atrociraptor, your deaths were not in vain. Shortly after, I also levelled Dark Knight to 99. I am going to be focusing on these two jobs for now, putting RNG and MNK on the back burner. You'll see why very soon!

Check it out, it's Rebme! Remember her? Albeit she is sticking her knife up some Goobbue's bottom but nonetheless, she has helped me through thick and thin, during the time I played two years ago, and even to this day. I owe all of my progress, drops, and enjoyment to you, Rebs! Without you, none of this would have been possible. Hopefully I can keep the fire alive, and we can have many more adventures in the future!

So as you can see, Rebme is sexually molesting a Dynamis monster! but wait, what's with the casual screenshot? Where is the rest of the alliance? More to the point...

...What is with this Goobbue trying to high-five E100? Well, Dynamis is now free to enter, once per day, with rules that should have existed from the start; Respawning enemies, exploration using sneak/invisible spells or items, and a new battle technique which was introduced in Abyssea; "Weakness Triggering", a system that temporarily stuns monsters during battle and increases their drop rate. With all these great additions, why do you think the first event I took part in was Dynamis?

I don't even need to tell you, if you are a follower of the blog, I think you already know why;

6 lost lots, over 90 Dynamis runs, over the course of 3 years. I could never obtain these items. Yet, like the scumbag that FFXI is, I return to the game for an afternoon and get them both within 15 minutes of each other.

I once told myself, if I were on my deathbed, would I have any regrets? Why yes, I would. I would regret never obtaining a Pantin Cape. Well lucky me, I can now die a happy old man.

Or by getting hit by a bus, whatever, I have a Pantin Cape, take me whenever you like, Heaven!

But it's not all fluffy clouds and angels. Now that the level cap has increased to 99, much more powerful equipment has also been introduced. I am currently on a mission to obtain as much gear in order to be the best I can be, but during this time I am also trying to cap all possible skills for each of my two jobs;

My Puppetmaster of course hit this goal miles before my Dark Knight (Great Sword is so boring I don't want to level it, whine!). Skilling up is a fair challenge, but they can only improve the more I play!

And play I shall, not just with Rebme in GMT, but also in my local JST! Now that I have rudimentary knowledge of Japanese, I can apply it to things I enjoy, such as FFXI. Thanks to my studies I can now communicate a fair bit with Japanese players, can join Voidwatch runs or farming parties, and even made some new friends who to this day still help me with grabbing gear and clearing missions!

Meet my new little Japanese family, Hinarinn and Voke. A Japanese couple that play 4 characters at once. With the addition of me, E100, and Windey (not pictured), our little party of 6 have traveled through every Abyssea zone, killed a plethora of NMs, and even took on Shinryu, all within a couple of weeks of me returning to the game. Now that I have "access" to Japanese I can play any time I like, understand all the shouts in Port Jeuno, and can have some pretty amazing conversations with other players. It's great!

And of course, let's not forget the most beautiful comrade a person could have...Even if she looks a tad sleepy here.

Anyway, getting back on track, you might wanna double check the weather forecast. Because today it's raining gear! Get your umbrella!

Puppetmaster Empyrean+2 4/5! Just missing the head. Can you blame me? Most of the jewels drop from that horrible, horrible Coarse NM in Abyssea-Attowa! Does anyone want to help?

Also, a set wouldn't be complete without some accessories, right?

Puppetmaster Empyrean Accessories 3/3! Unfortunately I don't have a screenshot of the sash, because it was the first NM I fought in Abyssea (and holy hell, what a fight THAT was...)!

As for DRK...

I have full Empyrean+1, with a whole bunch of jewels ready to upgrade to +2 once I top them off. I've also replaced Justice/Prudence torques with a Bale Choker, but again, couldn't grab a screenshot of the drop!

I fought the final boss of Abyssea, Shinryu, three times! Twice with Voke and and gang and once solo for my very first Primeval Brew run! While I did manage to successfully proc the drop rate weakness solo, it never dropped any good items, but on the two runs I did with Voke and Hinarinn, it dropped the belt, torque, and scythe!

I have a feeling it's not over yet, though! See you soon, you giant world-wrecking monster, you!

Let's talk Dynamis again. Because of how incredible Empy+2 gear is for PUP, the poor Relic+2 set was overshadowed and became nothing more than situational at best. In saying that, this Taj, along with the extra Optimization effect, is a fantastic idle piece resulting in +2 HP and MP recovered a tick, anywhere, anytime!

Time to get DRK geared up now methinks! Starting with this new mantle, which unfortunately blows Abyss Cape out of the water. Yes, I do look back on all those wasted Dynamis runs, but alas, Abyss Cape will always be awesome Town Gear, nobody can deny me that!

Next up, after clearing Abyssea and being thirsty for more stories, I decided to finish off the Wings of the Goddess missions! I had a lot of catching up to do here, 2 years worth to be exact! So, onwards and ...inwards?

With Rebme and Zophar's help we managed to clear all the main missions up until the last two San d'Oria questline battles which I solo'd myself, surprisingly, without dying!

I still have two more battles left before completing WotG and getting closure, so no spoilers, please!

Now that getting Merit Points is as easy as, well, breathing, I decided to recap and max out my merits. This was hella fun, but since I can't spend any more merits unless I level up RNG or MNK, I guess I am, gasp, finished with experience points? 

Additionally, you can see a full list of current merits to the left of the blog!

Since most of sea can be low manned, I thought it was time to solo myself one of these for DRK. Gorgets were always a pain, but now thanks to Rebme's "Stop being scared, everything is weak!" attitude and her reliable TH9, we decided to farm some!

Lastly, time for some left over screenshots. It really has been a crazy first month back. Now that I am in Japan, busting my ass teaching, studying, drawing and maintaining my new webcomic (shameless plug!) I rarely have time to play as much as I used to.


However, coming back from two years ago, most of the game feels like a ghost town. It feels lonely. There are still some old LS members kicking about, and there are still plenty of shouts for events, but now that the game is easier and more accessible, it has lost a lot of its charm and challenge. Sure you can grind an Empyrean weapon or Relic if you put the solo/duo/trio work into it, but I miss the old strict tactics, the challenge and teamwork needed to overcome what can now be done by yourself.


As I said, FFXI feels empty, but I intend to fill that emptiness with new friends, adventures, and memories, all of which will be posted right here. You know, just really sporadically, with more swearing next time.

So, see you in-game, Sylph server!  Don't forget to compliment my hat if you pass me by.

 It really is a nice hat.