Monday, 1 July 2013

See You in Eorzea!

''It all began with a stone, Or so the legend says.

In ages past, a sentient jewel, enormous and beautiful banished the darkness. Its many-colored light filled the world with life and brought forth mighty Gods. 

Bathed in that light, the world entered an age of bliss. Until, after a time, the Gods fell into slumber. That world was called: Vana'diel."

Yet now, it is time to return to the crystal and once again take an extended break from the world which has been my home for over eight, long years...

...on and off.

Much like the last time I left, it is due to my real life changing. My contract in Japan is nearing its end, and I will have to look for another job either here, or back home. I need to improve my Japanese, and build up a portfolio of work if that is going to happen.

My weekly webcomic series also eats up a lot of my free time, leaving me with barely any time to play the game I love the most; Final Fantasy XI.

The main problem with FFXI is the amount of time it takes to do anything. At endgame, even things like Salvage II, Delve, and Skirmish get incredibly monotonous after a while. With the direction the game is heading in terms of "equipment levels", I don't think I can actually be bothered putting time and effort into getting items that will be replaced every month by something better.

"But isn't that the point of an MMO?" is what you are probably asking yourself. Yeah, pretty much, but there is no denying that FFXI takes the crown when it comes to time and effort outweighing reward, especially when it comes to things such as Mythic weapons, which I had started to take seriously near the end.

Maybe I've just grown jaded over these eight years, or turned into a much more casual type of player as I suddenly became an adult, and all the free time I had after school vanished. 

However, I do believe there is another world out there.

A world built upon Vana'diel, one that welcomes players with no time as much as players with no life. A world with many new and exciting mechanics, possibilities, challenges, friends, and a sense of adventure that I have missed for the longest time.

That world, is Eorzea.

So, I will be moving to Final Fantasy XIV as a casual player in August, and unless a miracle happens and I win a Rank 1 prize in this year's FFXI Mog Bonanza, I might not ever return to Vana'diel.

Spoilers: I didn't win anything.

I want to thank everyone who made the memories I still hold dear to my heart possible, whether they were in the same Linkshell, server, forum or not, you all played a very special role in keeping me hooked to the game this long. Without all of your support, I would have left years ago.

You can follow my new adventures with both old and new friends here on my brand new FFXIV blog. It's similar to A Puppet's Slumber, so I hope you can transition easily!

And that's all there is to it! If I ever come back to XI, I'll keep this blog updated.

Lastly, if you like, you can read the very first FFXI blog entry from 2007 here, and view my personal website here.

Thanks for all your support, and goodbye for now!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Packing it up

There's just two months to go until Final Fantasy XIV is released! Before I decide to abandon FFXI entirely, here are some little things I got up to over the last few months...

It's 8 years too late, but I levelled a mage job!

I...don't really have any good gear for it but shh, don't tell anyone. White Mage 99!

The incredible power of the Alternator allowed me to do something I wanted to do for ages: Pit E100 against Ob in a one-on-one battle! Zophar was the referee, and E100 clearly won. Ask him yourself.

I had so much fun with ob that I decided to continue soloing/duoing ZNMs.

I managed to solo an entire Hydra set, and with some help from Zophar, and entire Cerberus one, too. I'm almost done with Khimaira!

So then I wondered what else I could solo, and ended up obtaining pops for Omega II and Ultima II after clearning every Limbus area, with a little help on the basement runs.

To think this event used to take 12 people to clear it back in the day! I barely even engaged anything!

Now, for some depressing news. I have officially run out of Kindred Seals, after going 0/25 on my last Black Belt piece. On the last run I called upon the power of Rebme's Treasure Hunter and we decided to use all the Blue Pondweeds we got instead of selling them. On the very last one, we got an Aspid pop.

Rebme hammered it with Treasure Hunter until level 11. This was the best chance of getting that darn egg!

And after some incredible damage from E100...

Nothing. Nothing dropped. Not even a crystal. Jkun's luck has always been abysmal, but I just wish the game would stop teasing me. I'm already down, no need to keep kicking me!

Dynamis! There was a double experience points weekend a few weeks back, which meant finishing Relic+2 augment trails without wanting to blow my brains out!

Delicious 60 second Hundred Fists for Salvage II bosses, Delve, and more! 

All MNK and WHM skills are capped and complete!

Let's not forget about DRK! Earlier this year, Sylph reclaimed the Northlands in Campaign, and the Fiat Lux BCNM opened it's doors to the public once again. After 6 or 7 annoying trips between San D'oria [S] and the castle, I actually got something out of it!

The defeat of the Shadow Lord!

...and a very silly hat.

But the Shadow Lord fun doesn't end there! I joined a little Japanese LS that focuses on Delve and Arch Dynamis Lord, and we defeated him for the first time a few weeks back. I had only defeated the original Dynamis Lord once until now, so it was great fun!

With Absolute Virtue obliterated, Pandemonium Warden quelled, and now the Arch Dynamis Lord defeated, I feel I have achieved a lot of closure in FFXI over the last year or so since I came back. Sure, there's going to be tons more tough stuff being released, but the feeling of sweet success after years of sour defeat is a priceless memory.

This holds true for any veteran player. Sure, FFXI may have gotten "easier", especially by increasing the level cap and introducing loads of new groundbreaking equipment and weapons, but victory... something that will never be forgotten.

Yeah, keep telling yourself that, big guy.

Thanks for reading!

Savage Salvage

Recently, Rebme and I have been duoing Salvage. Once a day for about 3-4 months, and we've almost finished every set!

...Give or take a couple of casualties.

Anyway, now that Square Enix introduced a two month long double plan drop campaign for Salvage II, we decided to give it a try!

Our usual setup was PUP, Sharpshot (+Alternator), WHM/SCH and THF/WAR, but sometimes I would go MNK for certain bosses that have a wham bam thank you ma'am attack under 30%. Lookin' at you, Khimaira.

Salvage II is a lot more fun than the original, takes less time due to lack of dicking around with cells, and focuses on killing bosses to obtain upgrade items over killing countless fodder for a tiny chance of obtaining, well, anything.

Each area mimics the layout of the original event, but enemy location, type and level are totally different. Bosses are also much stronger than their chariot counterparts, but not impossible by a long shot.

The addition of 100% Linen Pouch drops from mega bosses is great news for my Kenkonken, and Reb's wallet. So far, we've defeated every boss and obtained a good 80% worth of 45 pieces, and also upgraded a few +1 pieces, too!

Sadly I only have a screenshot of this...

...mainly because that stingy Dvergr refuses to drop the feet!

We'll continue to do the event, focusing on plan NMs until it's over, then we'll probably take a break from it. So far though, it's been a great month!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Adventures in Adoulin 2

We begin our little adventure outside Adoulin with one of these. A leafkin. Our relationship didn't last long.

Then, myself and E100 proceeded to head underground with a handful of active quests and a burning sense of adventure in our, uh, bod...framework...? How do Automatons work again?

But something else got there before us! Watch out, it'll Cure you to death!!

We returned to the surface, and something worse was waiting for us...

As the colonization rate rose higher and higher, new areas opened up before our very eyes.

This lead to new events, such as Reive, where handfuls of adventurers wail on brick walls or trees in order to clear a path through each area.

Clearing these Reives time after time again, allowed us to advance into the darkest corners of the currently known world and take on fearsome bosses during Wildskeeper Reives!

Clearing Wildskeeper Reives allowed us to delve into the deepest parts of Adoulin and take on even stronger enemies, and gave us access to the first of many to come treadmill equipment grinds in FFXI history. Let's take a peek:

First up, the legendary Alternator. On paper it gives all Automaton stats a whopping +70 attribute bonus, and much more thanks to the testing of a bunch of braniacs (myself included!) as we tried to knock out (get it?) exactly what it did. Other hidden traits include greatly enhanced evasion, accuracy, attack, and a staggering magic attack bonus +40 to your Automaton. Basically, Everything a career Puppetmaster has wanted for their Automaton in one, er, two little pieces of wood. Thanks, Square Enix!

Next up are two lovely little capes for PUP, one to enhance the incredible magic attack bonus from Alternator, and another for idling in!

Earlier I mentioned Wildskeeper Rieves, and I actually got a neat pair of Hand-to-Hand from the boss, which instantly replaced Verethragna of all the things. 

With the sour taste of weeks wasted farming Chloris still in my mouth, literally 20 hours later I obtained a pair of these baghnakhs, which replaced the Hand-to-Hand that replaced, well, you get it.

Oh, but it doesn't stop there, these can be further augmented with even more game-breaking stats, or replaced entirely with an even better drop from an even more difficult Delve NM.

So that's the treadmill thing I was talking about, basically.

Either way, a huge boost not only to PUP, but to DRK aswell, through an insanely overpowered Great Sword, and equipment that replaces Ace's gear and just possible Nyzul Isle Uncharted equipment. In a word, unbelievable. None of it is hard to obtain, either! Which probably means it'll all turn to junk in a few updates, and so on and so forth.

So, with this treadmill in mind, let's see if Jkun can keep his speed up and try not to fall off, eh?

Thanks for reading!