Friday, 8 May 2009

Something Unexpected

There are always times in game where you do something that you aren't quite sure will work, and they do, but you are not quite sure why, and it exceeds all expectations.

I had one of those moments the other night.

Salvage time but most of the crew were either MIA, unavailable, dabbling in the heady world of real life or just not around so we went in with only 6 members, and a slightly inventive party.


Red Mage
White Mage

Both Dragoons were /SAM. We went and did Arrapago Remnants and took the Soulflayer route.

We killed every rat on every floor we could, we took down the soulflayer, chariot and the boss and we finished the entire zone with 16mins left on the clock.

Dragoons are devastating in Salvage. I had an ENORMOUS amount of fun as well, true this quite possibly could have been because I was one of the aforementioned dragoons, lol and I derive a great deal of pleasure from playing my favourite job but even hardened Dragoon haters like Iceblazek had fun. By his own admission he had to grudingly admit that as a job class the Dragoon has come a long way and no longer deserves or merits the lolDRG moniker of yore.

I guess some people would wonder how you would tank the chariot boss with just Dragoons, and this is one of those nasty bosses where Mortal Revolution can be easily absorbed by shadows that as /SAM we simply didn't have. Agreed neither of the Dragoons are what you could call gimpy, Qtipus is running around with a Gungnir, both of us have taken a lot of effort and time to strive for the best gear and equipment for our job but a lot of that can be removed from the equation in Salvage as gear particularly from Arrapago is slow and erratic to land.

We saved our jumps to serve as provokes for the bard pulling and rotated them instead of using them for tp build, which proved to be a surprisingly effective strategy save the occasional blip where we both went at the same time, although this didn't really cause any real upsets on the whole run.

And we bounced light skill chains back and forth between the Dragoons and the thief all the way to the top. If you haven't experienced it yet, well timed and effective skill chaining in salvage can have a devastating effect on the mobs, they just melt in your path as you push forwards. Of course you can't be sat around constantly waiting for skill chains, but a bit of communication and skill chaining when the tp is available and ready yields some fantastic results.

Saturday, 11 April 2009


People come and people go from FFXI, it is a very transient population. There is an on-going joke in my ls that you never really quit, and that if you say you are quitting (specially if its for WoW) then its met with the "sure sure, you'll be back" sort of retort.

I think how much you immerse yourself in the game, the people you meet and the roads you take greatly influence how much of a draw FFXI can be if you do decide to quit. A lot of the people I have know to quit have come back occasionally and dabbled but mostly stay away, but they also never really got as involved as myself and some of the friends that I have now made.

Of course, there are many many varied reasons to leave, from being served divorce papers, to a change in circumstance that makes your departure involuntary.

One such was Elfaria, who had a drastic change of circumstance resulting him taking a break from FFXI. Sadly this seems to have been a greatly extended leave of absence. There are people who I really do wish were still around, one such being Elfaria.

Crazy, French and Taru! He was just a lot of fun to be around, with his sly remarks which were always spot on, his determination and dedication to his jobs, insane magic bursts or busting out the WS on his SAM he was intense and hilarious and I miss him ooodles >.<

So a toast to those who have gone on and yet still remain in our memories. Wish you were still here. I think a nice red would be appropriate about now LOL and some fine cheese.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Salvage Superstars!

The natives are getting restless and to be quite honest this was just such a spectacular moment lol I don't mind if it gets posted twice. Ring can wax lyrical about Izman's Ares Legs finally dropping and a huge congratulations go out to Izman, Mr. Anti-Legs-Dropping himself for finally getting his mitts on these sexy legs.

I know it might come across as kind of smug, but we all agreed there is a degree of satisfaction gaining them before the update is due, we got them the "hard way" although how significant the adjustments for SilverSeas Remnants and Bhaflau Remnants are remains to be seen, all we can do currently is speculate.

Celestria and Blaize have been doing Salvage for a very very long time, and it was down to just 2 more remaining drops, Ares 35 from SSR and Marduk 35 legs from BR so we have been doing a LOT of both zones. With Izman's success in SSR we were just down to spamming the heck out of the Bhaflau run, with poor Blaize being a class act every single time on the timed gears floor.

We have been through so many runs where we got to the floor, and just saw no Peryton at all, and quite frankly I was at the point where I didn't even really think that they were going to drop even if we did get the big bird, we would just be inundated with Skadi bodies, which while marvelous isn't what I was looking for LoL.

ALL that changed!!! With this stunning end to our Salvage run the other week. 8 Perytons not a sniff of a drop from 7 of them, Ring d'cs and an 8th spawns with 60 seconds on the clock. Ring reappears JUST in the nick of time, but we STILL get the "This mission has failed, leaving the area" message when Iz busts out a Raging Rush and boom! EVERYTHING drops, AND POOLS.

What a night! You guys are SOOO cool! I can't thank you enough. I do feel bad that I ended up with the Skadi body when it could have gone to better use, but we will be back! I of course, immediately got lost in the Undersea Ruins in an elated high trying to get back to Whitegate so I could FINALLY go get my Marduk legs made. I have been waiting even longer than Iz has for his Ares pants for these, but I was always unlucky on the lots or it was just a plain old no-show on the NM's. SUPER sexy for bard though. I am thrilled to bits AND I can shelve all that horrible bard af.

Here is the moment, in glorious technicolour!

*dances again* I am soo grateful to all you guys and Celestria for helping me get them, and not threatening to kill me for doing Bhaflau for the umpteenth time!

In a different vein, I want to spend a moment talking about Thazienne. Thaz is a super cool guy for all those who have crossed paths with him, while he won't sit there and tolerate nonsense, if you get close to his fuzzies you can find out what an awesome guy he is with a razorsharp wit. Ah Kallo, you love it really ^.^ Hahah.

Totally selfless in his willingness to come along and help you out what ever it is you need, be it a bit of TH for farming, or some random quest, so it is always fun when I can help him out! And this time we managed to get him his full set of sexy SAM af. This was NEARLY doomed when the quest was blocked by the final mission in the Celestrial Nexus, but I hijacked our ZNM group (Big thanks again to Celestria, Blaize and Izman) to go knock this fight out for him so he could finish it all up. And as you can see he is looking miiighty fine in it all now ^.^ Congratulations Kitty ^.^

Saturday, 28 February 2009


One of the oddest things that struck me when I was at the Fan Fest this year was the prevelance of comments along the lines of "Oh your from THAT server that is always crashing."

It was such a random thing to be told, considering that crashes and downtimes on Odin are NOT that common, after all I have spent 5+ years on the server now, I would have a good idea wouldn't I. Infact it was with some amused excitement we got to witness large chunks of our sever keel over and die on Wednesday evening. Whitegate was the first to go swiftly followed by Xarcabard, Dynamis-Xarcabard, Kuftal, the Woodlands and Arappago that I KNOW about.

Since we experienced this down time, I thought a little intermission might be in order to fill the void.

Normally you would get the "Best of Burt Bacharach" for your intermission, but sadly all I have are these few morsels for your delectation and delight ^.^ Enjoy.

Quotes out of Context Series 9 - 14

Monday, 23 February 2009

MrBooboo's Big Day

This is not going to be a particularly wordy post. Shocker I know. I am going to let the pictures do the talking for me, that is all it is going to need.

Aside from 1 hiccup where Boobs decided to d/c right as he traded the coins this all went off without a hitch.

Enjoy these as much as me and not nearly as much as Mrbooboo.

And what do you do after all that hard work? Well...

Friday, 13 February 2009


I first started playing FFXI when it was released in North America. I remember it very distinctly. My friend; who no longer plays, by the name Buttons bought me a copy of game and I was over in the US visiting at the time. We set up an account for me so even though I lived in the UK I wasn't squeezed out by the speed (or lack thereof) of the transition into the EU market.

So that is a fairly long time now. I've been playing for a very long time, as reflected by my "Playtime", which isn't "enhanced" shall we say by long periods afk, if I am not playing I log out. Saves any confusion and the long string of missed /t's you inevitably get.

When I first started out I was in love with Ranger class from the RPG world. I had aquired this love after encountering a character called Kivan, an Elven ranger from Baldur's Gate who you can add to your party in the High Hedge. He is just an AMAZING strong character to have on your team, he was graceful, powerful and invariably the top dog in my parties I made, able to carry the most weight and do the most damage.

Armed with my love of rangers I was determined to become a ranger in FFXI. Now, usually when I play RPG's I play Mage classes, just a quirk of mine I guess, I always have, lol when I first created my Baldur's Gate character I had NO clue at all what I was doing and created a Sorcerer with 11 INT and no VIT. Took me a year to complete the game with him, a stiff breeze would kill him and he failed every spell learn at least 6 times before the load in the game that was in my favour. LOL.

He was a terrible character, but even with his horrendous build by the end of the game, he was able to blast things very satisfactorily. *chuckle* This time! I was determined to break the trend and started off as a Warrior. I even remember my glee when I finally got all my Scale Mail gear and looked "menacing" hahaha. Of course it only lasted a short while till I got fed up with the lack of party invites and went and leveled White Mage instead.

I think if I recall correctly, the first time I ever knowingly was aware and saw a Dragoon class was in Jeuno, back when seeing someone in AF was a big deal. I was just coming out of the moghouse and I got a fleeting glimpse of it and was immediately captivated. I remember babbling to Buttons about it, who had gotten to a higher level before me and was somewhat amused at my excitability.

Of course that was really about it, a flash of purple armour and an expression of delight and not much else for quite a long period of time. I was focused on leveling WHM to 75, and this was back in the day before the update that turned a Dragoon from the laughing stock of melee to one of the best damage jobs in the game.

My first real encounter that sparked it all though, was from a player called Cuja. We used to hang out and chatter and such and he would spend a lot of time seeking and planning to take over the world with fish. I think watching him play, observing the innate grace of the job was the time I became totally smitten with Dragoons.

Then I sort of fell into endgame, with my first sky ls Equillibrium which led to Versus and that is probably where my obsession for the Dragoon job class started to manifest itself, long before Versus became known as a linkshell in its own right, even before people had any idea I might be the leader of said linkshell it was known as "That ls with all the dragoons in it" for I ran the sky ls to go to if you wanted to be involved in the action as a dragoon.

I would insist that any dragoon come in their full AF LoL it was fabulous, At one point I managed to have 5 dragoons and me all in 1 party at the same event all in their AF. It was so funny although perhaps I think my ls watched my giddy insanity with a sort of benevolent amusement at my antics.

Of course the inevitable step was taken and I embarked on leveling the job myself. It took me the better part of a year to get t to 75, struggling against the flow of opinion that Dragoon was a weaker class due to our inability to do any massive spike damage, Penta Thrust was our strongest weaponskill and that was so hideously unreliable you could range from 0 to 700 if you were lucky, but still we existed as a peculiar brotherhood of dogged persistance and resiliance. You instantly felt kinship with any other dragoon because they too understood the struggle against the tide of popular opinion.

Over the time you spend playing FFXI, you inevitably level more than 1 job to 75, and in the midst of all those jobs and classes you end up with just the one job that you really love, while the others are either retired as jobs you loathe, or used as practical jobs for the events and needs of the group. Thus it is for me, I love Dragoon, but I am mostly always to be found on bard or white mage simply because those are the classes I am required to use the most. I am hardly ever on ninja because there are plenty of career tanks in Versus that I am never needed as that job, and it is fun to play but not an all consuming passion for me like Dragoon.

I try to be economical with my gear, while I strive for the best, if I can do something just as efficiently in 1 piece of gear instead of 30 I will go for the former, I just don't have the inventory space to accomodate vast sweeping gear swaps even for the mere 4 jobs I have leveled currently. Dragoon is the exception, if there is something that only improves my dragoon by the smallest margins I want it, I pour all my time, energy and effort into making a well rounded job class that has everything and anything it needs to perform at the top of it's class.

Some of my upgrades may seem like a fools errand, but I am an extremely persistant person and once I set my mind on something I invariably get it if I want it badly enough.

I am starting to run out of gear improvements to get for my dragoon although I can still see a few places for improvement.

My set-ups for Dragoon -

Weapon - Thalassocrat
Grip - Pole Grip
Ranged - Smart Grenade
Head - Walahra Turban
Neck - Love Torque
Ear1 - Brutal Earring
Ear2 - Assault Earring
Body - Ares's Cuirass
Hands - Homam Manopolas
Ring1 - Raja's Ring
Ring2 - Ulthalam's Ring
Back - Amemet Mantle +1
Waist - Swift Belt
Legs - Homam Cosciales
Feet - Homam Gambieras

Now, as much as I dislike the appearance of it, I think an Askar head would be better for me than the Turban, and at some point I really think I should get a Forager's Mantle instead of the Amemet I have been hanging on to for some time now. Other than that the most intrinsic change left for my TP gear (ignoring any future updates) is changing my Thalassocrat for Gungnir, but that will be something that is on going rather than immediate, short term I would like to switch it out for the Skyraider and the Supremacy Earring, but that swine of an Orc in La Vaule will not drop it.

Weapon Skill
Weapon - Thalassocrat
Grip - Pole Grip
Ranged - Smart Grenade
Head - Ares's Mask
Neck - Depending on WS Light Gorget or Darkness Gorget
Ear1 - Brutal Earring
Ear2 - Triumph Earring
Body- Ares's Cuirass
Hands - Ares's Gauntlets
Ring1 - Rajas' Ring
Ring2 - Flame Ring
Back - Amemet Mantle +1
Waist - Warwolf Belt
Legs - Ares's Flanchard
Feet - Ares's Sollerets

Now, WS gear becomes a much greater spot for flexibility, I COULD "improve" my gear to hecatomb, but to be honest, with all the benefits and bonuses I get from having a full Ares set, why would I? I much prefer my WS set up as it currently is, I don't really miss very much and I get some extremely satisfied with my damage output

Ok yes yes, Salvage isn't always the best test, but it is still authentic and a WHOLE lot of fun, you might as well say that Qutrub don't count because their DEF is so low. Anyway that's my arguement and I am sticking to it! /grin

When I do get to play Dragoon it is thrilling, I love it, it is so much fun, completely exhilarating. Everyone should level dragoon and stop pretending that they don't want to be part of the class of top dd's in the game!

Sunday, 1 February 2009


It is snowing. In Central London... /disgusted. Snowing!!

Yes yes, I realise the world thinks that we are a grey, cold and overcast country, but it isn't always the case, London is quite warm compared to the rest of the country and it rarely snows, even less likely for it to stick, and today it is doing BOTH!

So an incident last night along with general rumminations have prompted me to do a post about my linkshell. The incident in question was an impromptu change in the schedule to do a Jailer of Love instead of a Kirin that I had hazily thrown out there. This caused a rather unexpected amount of resentment amongst the ls members who voiced complaints about the unnannounced change and bothered me enough that I did consider just throwing in the towel right there and then and just finishing all events for that day. But, I am stubborn and persistant and I have wanted to pit the ls against the new version of Love for a while, but it can be so incredibly hard to get everyone to show up at the same time, on time and I wasn't about to let this opportunity pass me by because of a few gripes over nonsense things.

As with most of these things, it is perhaps better to start at the beginning...

Versus is a sleeper ls, people know about it on the quiet. It isn't one that is trumpeted from the hills. We don't have the notoriety of Ressurection, we don't have the ground-breaking-headline-news-making fights of LimitBreak, and we don't have the dramafest of BBQ. Infact, I think our general reluctance to ever enter into the HNM fray; and fray is a very good word to sum up the poor attitudes and greed that tend to come with the highly competative HNM scene at end game, has meant that we generally tend to be under the radar when it comes to new people hunting around for an end game ls.

How we DO maintain our membership is through word of mouth. This is an extremely powerful tool in the Versus arsenal. Ex-members will constantly refer people to Versus if they are looking for that ls that isn't quite the points-driven environment of some of the other ls', and yes I appreciate that we have been used as a stepping stone more than I care to admit, we have a great core membership that are dedicated and loyal to the linkshell.

Time and time again, I have had people say the same thing to me or to my other members, that while they may have gone on to bigger and different things, nothing was ever quite like their time in Versus, love us or hate us there is something quite unique that we have managed to capture in the spirit of how the linkshell works.

Since we started around 5 years ago, we have had around 300 different people pass through our little community, all bringing their own interesting facet to the linkshell, some have polarised opinion, others have brought the linkshell to its knees but we always manage to get back up again and pull together through the leaner times till we are once again at the top of our game.

After casually talking to people about what they do end game wise in their ls, you never quite really comprehend how much we do as a team. We are constantly working together, getting under each others skin and heckling from this end of sea to that end of sky as we go along. As it stands at the moment, through the linkshell we offer Sky, Sea, Limbus, SCNM's, ZNM's, any forced spawn NM within reason, KS99 runs, Assaults, Einherjar and Salvage. All of these events across a 7 day spread, where we only really have no events scheduled on a Wednesday because most of us have Dynamis and Saturday because it is a PAIN to get ppl to show up to events on a Saturday, its the weekend and everyone wants to go hang out with the girlfriend or read Bible stories to their nan some such thing for those people who profess to have a real life LoL.

One of the great things about Versus is the sense of communal spirit, short of food, someone will shore you up, forget those silent oils, here have mine. There is no real resentment and no sense of permanent IOU's filling the spaces inbetween, we are simply working together for each other as well as to better our own interests.

I have noticed that you tend to get things done more efficiently when you are not just being completely self-indulgent about the matter in this game. Sure there are plenty of people who have come before who will use up and toss aside to gain something, but that is such a short-term temporary attitude. If every person in your linkshell didn't think about themselves but worked to further someone else's goals everyone would get what they wanted. Of course this is not Utopia, we have our disagreements and foilables but that is a natural state of existing in a unit, it would be somewhat unrealistic to assume otherwise.

I do find it hard at times running the ls, I am increasingly beginning to wonder if the more someone gets things from the ls as a whole, the more they begin to resent the fact that I do not facilitate the gaining of what ever it is that is left for them to obtain. Of course this is not strictly speaking true, I am not out to "get" anyone LoL, but I do have to maintain a balance and there are a lot of people now who only really need one or two items left from the ls before their store of goodies is complete as far as the ls can take them, attendance at that point becomes wholey for someone else. I think that lack of progress towards what you want can wear down your spirit and let those little niggly demons sneak in.

The BEST thing about the whole linkshell is the banter. I have said it before and for us it still stands true, if you aren't getting heckled, you most likely are not fitting in. We thrive on the double entendres, the play on words, the sly wit, the innuendo and the raucous humour that is rife in the linkshell. You need to come prepared to have a bit of fun and not get too uptight about our rather cavalier attitude. We are a flamboyant and funny group to be around and you really should never be above sending yourself up, it's all part of the fun.

If there has been one thing that has remained the same in the history of Versus it is our ability to be accomplished at what we do, but always with a light step and a smile while we do it. And that makes it worthwhile for all that hard work and effort.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

In Demand

There are days when you do nothing at all. Time trickles by a drop at a time and you find you've spent the entire day on your own, with barely a peep out of the ls. Invariably on those days you are sat wondering what to do barely able to motivate yourself at all to do anything even though you know there are about 10 different things you COULD be doing none stimulate you enough to actually make the effort and go out and do it.

Then there are those days where you just can't get a second at all to yourself. LoL not that this is a bad thing, but quite unexpected and a bit of a pain in the neck if you have set up to do something fairly complicated and inventory dependant, such as crafting.

Last Wednesday was one such day. Having nothing to do I had decided to embark on a bit of crafting, in my spare time between events I had accumulated 5 stacks of bone chips to turn into scorpion arrowheads, all I needed was the time, motivation and a lot of on-site crafting as scorpion claws do not stack.

I cleaned out all my inventory and wandered off to the Crawler's Nest as DRG/WHM. Iz and his friend even came out to help, I was there for all of 30mins before I got a /t from Samuraisoldier asking if I would be interested in doing a Nyzul Isle run floor 95-100. Pondering I was, SURE why not! Lets go. At that point he didn't have the 6 people required for the run, so I thought cool, I can stick around and do more crafting. Nooooo.

3mins after the /t from Sam, I get a /t from Coejus saying would I be interested in a quick BC fight. Considering I thought it would take a little while for Sam to get the 6 people together for Nyzul I agreed, only to slope back to town and empty my inventory from crafting. So much for THAT idea! LOL

One quick Superman style change and voila! I am WHM.

1 hour later, voila BRD for Nyzul.

3 full job changes in less than 2 hours. It's exhausting! The more jobs you have at lvl 75 the worse your congestion in your storage spaces becomes. I am maxed out in my moghouse, my mogstorage, my moglocker and my gobbie bag. I don't even comprehend those who haven't upgraded their gobbie bag to 70. It would drive me insane. I am struggling as it is currently and I only have about 9 slots free!

Quotes out of Context - 6 & 7
These two compliment each other so well I just couldn't bring myself to separate them, I am so bad. Teeheehee. Of course, in keeping with the theme of being out of context they are not related AT all.

But I digress! LoL
Back to the matter at hand. Zipping off the the bc which I found to be The Buried God out in Beadeaux_S, I thought it would be a breeze. Error, Error! Never ever assume anything will be quick in Final Fantasy unless it's your death, in which case it will come far swifter than you desire.

I felt terribly embarassed that I held up the Nyzul group for an entire hour doing this bc with Coejus! Of course, I have to turn down Coejus for a lot of things when he asks, either the timing is just not right or I am knee deep at events. This is one of the few times I could say yes and so I did.

This is Coejus! His hobbies are hat collecting and sitting in people's laps. He is a really really cool guy, although beware his mewp mewps !! They are addictive and will ensnare you in their cuteness before you are aware of it. His tarutaru-ness will inviegle it's way into your concious mind and you will be forever addicted.

As a side note, I have to say going in the past is one of the few times I enjoy taking Chocobos. They are not expensive and very easy to obtain with Allied notes which are equally easy to earn. Plus! They look SUPER cool!

This Past SCNM fight is not one I have done before, I was quite pleased to be experiencing it first hand I thought it would be great to get some relevant action experience for when I took Versus to do the fight.

It is a very small BC zone, with a super shiny Quadav, and his 4 minions 2 BLM and 2 WHM. The set up was predominatenly mages, with SMN, RNG and BLM being the main damage dealers, a BARD, SCH and WHM as the main healers, 2 PLD and I think maybe 2 DD? I can't remember, I remember Coejus being there SAM lol as he had to peel an imp off me as we were huddling against the corroded gate.

It is extremely easy to kite the main NM in this fight around a small patch of wall at the top and on the left of the bc area, while everyone else takes out the Quadavs in Supertank mode. Meaning you have your PLD aggro everything and kill things one at a time while they all beat on him, it really was not hard to keep Aable alive and once they were dead even the main NM wasn't hard as a straight tank fight.

Hate was re-established pretty quickly after each reset and it was just whittled down until death. As it appears with all these fights, once the "aura" of each NM vanishes, they actually become very easy. The auras are often incredibly debilitating, gravity from the Yagudo, slow from the Quadav and flash from the Orc, along with a huge boost to its defense.

Most of the fights seem to be endurance and survivability until you can get rid of the aura then bring out the big guns and mow down the mob before it reapplies its aura.

This was a very successful run with the silly hat and the GA dropping. Some very satisfied customers left LOL and I got a new snazzy title to boot. I can't wait to do this with Versus, I think we should be able to handle it quite easily.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Controversial Conflictions

Quotes out of Context - 4

My journey to work in the mornings is fairly simple. Considering my habits in game, my work life is really compatabile with my virtual existance on EST instead of GMT. I set off around 11:30am, and work till 9pm, get home and log on, it works out brilliantly.

Today was one of those days that just makes me roll my eyes. This is pretty indicitive of every single weekend I work at the moment (and I work all of them), it drives me insane, so finding it happening on weekdays is less than thrilling.

I have to take 2 trains to get to work most of the time. An overland train from The Back of Beyond to The Outskirts of Civilization, and then I switch to the Underground to get into central London and into work. All in all takes about 45mins if the trains are being kind. Today I reached the change in my journey only to find that "The Jubilee line has been suspended between Waterloo and Finchley Road" apparently due to a power failure at Green Park. Much grumbling ensued, LoL fortunately it is very easy to correct my journey at that point, and I just hopped on the District line for two changes to the same destination.

While waiting for the train, an announcement boomed over the tannoy explaining that the line had been suspended due to... a signal failure. Ok. Story has changed again.

Board the train, and get yet a different reason "A serious passenger incident". So three different reasons as to why the line is closed and there are delays, possibly correlated, possibly not. Who knows which is the truth and what the bigger picture is here, all we are getting is a series of confusing and potentially conflicting dribbles of information that affect your journey.

I am sure after regailing you with the facinating tribulations of trying to get into work, you are starting to wonder, umm.. whats the point? HA there is a point, it's sharp and stabbity and finely honed.

Well, maybe not! But I can relate it to the furore that has been going on in game over the weekend. I am speaking of course about the rather direct action taken by SE over the now infamous "duping" ploy in certain end game bc's.

For the uninitiated, although honestly I don't know why now considering how much gossip there has been on the topic, the duping ploy was a method of duplicated ANY drop, be it a humble water crystal or a piece of 35 gear from Salvage. The three zones affected were Salvage, Nyzul and the Sandworm bc's. Through a rather complicated system of disbanding and reforming the parties you could trick the game mechanics into replicating gear, cells and treasure drops which has been monopolised by the end game community under a veil of secrecy so that SE wouldn't find out and fix it.

Well, I say a veil of secrecy, it had purportedly been reported to SE, but I am sure it was one of those "yeah, there's this.. thing.. that's wrong with the thing" kind of reports, where you aren't entirely sure. If you have ever worked in IT you know exactly what I am talking about. Those calls that you dread where someone calls and is as generic as possible for a problem that could be 1,001 things, and you end those conversations with an irrational desire to poke the eyes out of kittens.

So, operating under some supercilious moral imperative that "if you know then you should do, and if you don't then you obviously aren't deserving" whether through a desire to just fast-track getting gear or in an effort to gain a large amount of money, many end-game players used this kink in the programming to their own benefit.

Now a lot of the furore over this has been particularly virilent. We have the Holier-than-thou crowd that you would usually associate with religious santimony, who are quite happy to crow and laugh as the mighty are felled by SE for cheating. Then on the other side you have those who got caught and burned decrying SE for being poor programmers, opening loopholes that obviously should be exploited if they are there and it wasn't my fault, it was their's for not forseeing this kind of attitude. Personally I think both are as bad as each other, there are no black and whites in situations like this.

SE seem to have been fairly indescriminate in their bans, selecting those who they can dicernably recognize as exploiting the loophole and then assigning a punishment dictated by what ever arbitary conditions they have set amongst themselves.

Yes as a community this is shocking, but one can't help but feel that is the point. If you are going for a particular aim, you start with an object lesson and let the fear from that become a forerunner for you, enabling you to exploit that. In the case of SE, this is a very direct object lesson on cheating. These are not RMT, they are the people you know day in day out, they come to your events, you talk to them, you heckle them at the AH. They are your friends and fellow adventerers and now they are gone.

Now, my feelings tend to be, if you cheated you shouldn't be surprised if this happens, but it is such a grey area, complicated by the fact that 2 people who I think the world of got caught up in it for experimenting with the glitch on a water crystal. They didn't get permanent bans, but they did get a 3 day suspension for it which was upsetting.

I can rationalise why it happened, but I don't have to like it, I also don't think that SE are unjustified in their actions on this matter, this was a fairly clear cut case of the players exploiting a glitch that is inevitable in a programming project on the scale of an MMO, in a way that was unfair and exploitary rather than coming clean about it.

It is all about how much information you know about something, it alters your perspective every time. It changes how you think, feel and react to a situation. London Underground have a passenger charter that states if your journey is delayed for 60mins or more, you are entitled to a refund for your trip. A passenger incident is outside their domain of control and therefore null and voids that agreement, but a signal failure is entirely their own fault.

Shifting the blame after getting caught is a childish response, over reactions are inevitable but just as despicable in either extremes, gloating over someone losing their access to FFXI is not funny even if what they did was wrong, and for those who wish to say "It's SE's fault for not making it me proof", grow up.

On to brighter things!

Ring and Iz have been leveling their Black Mages together, kind of. LoL, it seems a more comical affair rather than any really productive leveling effort, whereby they have come together maybe twice that I can think of to gain meaningful exp, rather than just death or disaster in one form or another. It is quite entertaining.

I was invited along, but honestly, I don't really want to level BLM right now, I am quite happy to leave it at lvl 40 for the time being. I could have gone along as RDM, and up till level 40 I did tag along on one of their runs, but again by the time I hit 40 any urge to level RDM had somewhat dwindled and I was back to wondering whether I should save up for the next stage in Gungnir, my Marduk imperial wootz ingots finally, or could I possibly entertain the notion of leveling another job.

Running around farming on my various jobs, which I do quite a lot, I was struck by the ridiculousness of not having THF to do this on. To all accounts and purposes it would be certainly more productive of my time BUT and this was a fairly big stumble in my thinking, I didn't enjoy leveling thief. I got it to lvl 15 under duress simply because I had decided I needed some form of TH in my farming, but I left it there 50exp from lvl 16 quite happy to abandon t he job.

So it is with some puzzlement that I have taken it up again. LoL and am kind of surprised to find that I am enjoying it as well. I don't know why, logically nothing has changed, just my attitude and I again, don't know why. It isn't like I have had an ephiphany of understanding or any dawning of great wisdom. Most peculiar.

I am lvl 26 now, lol I have been running around with ThazCat in various zones and a variety of jobs for Kitty level syncing down to my level. We tried out Fields of Valour, a first for Thazienne and a fantastic way to level up if you can spend the time and effort getting a page.

LoL we have had somewhat mixed results, the chests proving a deadly temptation as I failed to notice Thaz dying as I lay entranced by the appearance of a brown casket OOPS. Heheh. Although generally it has been quite successful and a LOT of fun in the process it is slower than some of the jobs I have leveled, and I do spend a great deal of my time soloing on the job more than being in a party.

Saturday, 17 January 2009


A lot of the arguements and conversations that go on over at the BG forums seem to revolve around a cyclic repetition of "you are wrong, I am right" that sucks the intelligence out of you just for reading it, never mind engaging it.

Some people just will not be told, regardless of how right or wrong they are there is nothing else but their opinion and there is no room at all in their way of thinking for anything else at all.

I find these kinds of people extremely frustrating to deal with. Although I also know better than to try and argue with them as well, you might as well be dripping water from a pipette to put out a furnace than explain rational and reasoned thinking to these types of people. The former would be far more productive.

Now, I can understand the notion of doing something one way because you know it works. Experimentation is a difficult thing to know when to do and when to play it safe, as an Ls Leader my own whims suddenly become subject to the fact that I am also responsible for everyone else as well. Questions need to be addressed before you just plunge in. Can we do it, do we have the man-power, or the technical skills to pull this off, can we afford the exp loss, is it worth our time.

I tend to err on the side of caution a lot of the times because I am not just toying with my own exp and time, but everyone elses as well, which means that when it comes to the linkshell, I will be more conservative MOST of the time. I have been know to throw caution to the wind and just trust in blind faith that the ls can carry it through. Winging it like that is so exciting, the ls pulls together because you have the trust that they will unite behind you and achieve the goals you have set out.

Now we have been doing End Game for a long time, the same fights over and over in the same way pretty much with some tweaks here and there. When we first started I was 1 WHM and we had PLD/WAR on Byakko. Now its PLD/NIN and NIN/DRK and far more cure back up, lol I wouldn't ever want to put that much stress on 1 mage for a fight like that, I know it was mind numbing when I did it, but it DOES hone your skills.

MP Conservation, timing and judgement brought together to win. It is when you start becoming blase and casual about things that you lose, when you really really REALLY shouldn't be doing. There is little excuse for people these days to fail fights against certain end game mobs, it isn't hard to research out the basics of the fight, and while nothing can beat raw experience you should be able to adapt fast enough to a changing battlefield to cope with the quirks of a fight that you never read about.

You do need a strong leader for that, it is too easy to lose a fight with 20 voices all chiming in contradictory information turning your ls into a Push-me-pull-you that unravels at the seams and you are suddenly all dead and your WHM is having to home-point to come raise everyone.

There is more to running a linkshell than just throwing your members at a mob, it is a multi-faceted role that requires you to be patient, durable and innovative. It also requires you to be a rock regardless of the turn of events. You are in a position where people will hate you and idolise you. Neither of which are an easy mantle to wear both as damaging and open to chiping away at your humanity to make you vulnerable and bring you low.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


So, today is only going to be all about the Moblin Maze Mongers which I had a chance to (very briefly) try out at Fan Fest '08, and slightly more time to try out in game now they have finally gotten over most of the speed bumps that let players use it with any degree of regularity.

BUT, before I digress! Since I have two for you today, I am going to start with this beauty!

Quotes out of Context - 02

OK, now that is out of the way *grin* (Q manages to provide both of the quotes for today LoL)

On to the MMMmmmmmm's. So! Moblin Maze Mongers. New ingame event introduced by SE to tantalise our tastebuds. The trial of it at the Fan Fest was lukewarm at best. About 5mins of effort for a bit of a confusion with a weird selection of jobs to achive the target, which was to kill 1 nm.

The live demonstration was hilarious for all the wrong reasons. First off it broke when they were trying to zone in, so it took about 15mins of surreptitious fiddling to finally get into the maze, with a fantastic "The hand of darkness is preventing you from entering" which sadly they have lost for the general release.

Then the PLD they had walking around doing the demonstration took on a triffid and got flattened, so they got to talk about the remainder of the demonstration with a dead hume in the foreground. LOL a resounding success.

So after that rather limp introduction, my enthusiasm for it was also equally limp. But, as is inevitable with these new additions to the game, someone in the Hive wants to try it out, and I get roped in along the way LOL! Not entirely unreluctantly I have to add ^.^

If you have never started it before you have to go have a natter with 2 goblins in Muckvitz's Junk Shop in Lower Jeuno. Goldagrik and his/her/it's companion Chatnachoq. Goldagrik will provide you with your first maze pouch, and a few basic runes to kick things off with and have a little bit of a play with which SE have had the blessed intelligence to make a key item and NOT something hogging even more space in your inventory.

Having used your precious items and stashed them in your key item pouch, you are just left with the Maze Tabular, which is your building board for creating your maze. As it currently stands there are only 3 voucher types. These dictate the specific goals of your maze, 01 being OBLITERATE ALL to win, 04 is a synthesis run and 07 is an NM run. The numbering suggests there is plenty of room for SE to add a variety of different objectives and goals to the mazes if they want to. After selecting the goal of your maze, you move onto what is IN your maze and this is where the runes come into play. There are 100's of these as far as I can tell, as drops from the chest at the end, or purchasable from Chatnachoq for marbles gained from completing your objectives, like a finite game of tetris you can squash as many or as few of these runes into your tabular as you can squeeeze onto the board to make your maze like a walk in West Ronfaure or an attempt to solo Einherjar Tier III as a lvl 10 THF.

After you have spent 10mins going... "But how do I rotate the pieces?" you can take your completed tabular to the pothole that serves as the Moblin Maze shopfront bizzarely set in the floor of the chocobo stables in Lower Jeuno. First thing that struck me when they announced this was, "wait.. this is .. a tunnel, underground... and under Lower Jeuno is definately Port Jeuno.. so where is this tunnel leading to?" Followed rapidly by the realisation that while other servers may not be particularly busy, Odin has a thriving populous and so the lag in doing anything around this one single target is going to be horrendous.

I am not wrong. You have to spam trade your item to the pothole constantly to get anywhere, and you get tantalised with it negotiating only to find out someone was half a second faster and beat you to it. Since it is a very slow loading time it is kind of frustrating and you do tend to stand around for 10mins twiddling your thumbs while the party leader attempts to get you in.

Once in, your timer starts immediately, you have the chance to fiddle around in a rather pleasant open grotto airly lit and actually rather idyllic in tone. In one corner lurks the moblins who will take you into the maze or sell you temporary items.

It is worth remembering that you only have 30mins to complete the objectives in here just like with Nyzul, and equally just like with Nyzul it is prudent to get your items and get started without gawping too much at the pretty scenery or you are likely to run out of time and fail your objective, particularly with some of the harder settings for the maze.

Even with 6 people it can be quite a challenge on the harder settings. We did a few on the basic settings killing T mobs for about 30exp. They seem squishier than regular mobs to be honest, except the elementals who seem infinately more resiliant. I have not seen how they fare versus magic damage though so I don't have a definitive opinion on this. But just from watching them take down Manticore and greater birds, it is easy to see that these usually high HP mob types were taken down a lot easier than you would have expected for something of the equivalent difficulty outside of the maze. I did win a rune that made everything in the zone IT to the party, and we tried that out. The mobs were considerably harder and we did end up running out of time.

So after getting buffed up and ready to go in, you visit this chap who sends you deeper into the maze and you can begin to wander around. It's the same well lit, airy open cave type inside the maze, and lets be clear here. Maze is a VERY loose term for this. LoL it's not a maze in the traditional "hedge maze" sense with winding paths and booby traps and dead ends, false corners and changing walls.

LoL, I only remembered to take a SS of the first map, but this is what the zone looks like in the first arc.

It is just an inside zone with a series of challenges to overcome peppered with mobs along the way. There is a LOT of space inside between the mobs, I have to say I thought when I watched the demo at fan fest the zone looked different to what I remember seeing in the maze. So possibly there will be different zones coming up? But for now it seems to be the same map and area. There is a passage to a second map on the far East side in the little wriggle that looks like a colon, but that is just a large circular room filled with even more mobs.

If you do get elementals, it will be the elemental corresponding to the day you went into the maze, but it is not always guaranteed you will get them, it can be just two mob types as well. Since we weren't specifying what exactly we wanted in the maze I presume you just have a preset basic list that the maze can generate from. It is MUCH easier when you don't get elementals LOL I have to add.

I love how everything is called the same in this particular tab, we only did the kill everything in your path setup, which is full of "Maze Lurkers" which is the default name of any mob you get in the zone. Lurking with INTENT! *giggle*

*elevator music*

Quotes Out of Context - 03

Q on top form in the last few days *chuckle*

One of the grand delights of doing events is hanging around with your friends, having a laugh (usually at someone else's expense, we heckle a LOT in Versus, if you aren't getting heckled it is more than likely you are not fitting in) as well as doing our events. Events have just started up again in Versus, as I gave the ls 2 weeks off over Christmas.

Now, I know this is a bit unusual, most ls' don't suspend their events or give their members "half-terms" or "ls holidays". But I think it is a productive incentive. It keeps people interested and eager to come to events, you don't feel beaten down because you get a refresher every now and then, and remember how much you enjoy doing events lol and it lets me do something else OTHER than events.

I love hanging out with my ls! It is SO much fun. Hilarity ensues with great regularity, particularly if you happen to send a classic mis-tell to party chat in the middle of Limbus /grin!