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.