15 August, 2006

The End.

I never thought the day would come, and it feels a little strange typing all this out, but I'm afraid the time has come to hang up the wand (or staves), and move on.

Yes, I'm quitting FFXI.

Nothing against the game or anyone, really- I've been rather fortunate in avoiding all the drama that comprises the endgame, just that, well, thoughts of leaving have been with me for a very long time, but now recent developments in my real life demand my attention. In short, it's time to move on.

Strange, isn't it? To leave behind a game, much less a video game that you've been involved in over the past two years (and four months). I can't say that I regret playing, after all, I got to meet many people, made a whole bunch of friends (although I'd really like to meet people irl ; ;) and went on to creating a player resource in Campsitarus as a means of "giving back" to the community.

This blog in particular, has chronicled Tuufless' progress from the time I was a lowly WHM55 on my first job, fighting my first Prime Avatar fight all the way to now. Within the some 190,000 words that make up this blog are my experiences and trials, information that I hoped would help others facing the same situations, information that I wanted to see used. I'm generally satisfied by the responses I've gathered so far, although I suppose at some point it might be a good idea to quickly go back and index all the useful posts, although it would probably be too rushed to actually be a half-decent guide.

The following picture summarizes my thoughts and feelings quite nicely. It's a little cheesy, I'll admit, but it gets the message across.

(Full-sized image can be found here)

To all my friends who I have met in game, Thank You. There are far too many of you to list out, so forgive me for not mentioning names, but you know who you are when I say that.

A group photo with everybody would be nice, but ultimately quite a pain to organise, not to mention that half the people you want to show up, don't, but to just abruptly leave without warning, giving people no chance to say their own farewells isn't particularly fair, so...^^

I will make it a point to log in again Friday night around 11PM EST (Saturday, 12 noon JST.) It'd be nice to see a bunch of people one last time, at, say, Windurst (where else?). Five days is ample warning, isn't it? ^^


P.S: Several people have asked me about Campsitarus, so here's what's going on.

This blog, Shiny Things, and Campsitarus will remain up, since Blogger is (thankfully) a free host for this sort of stuff. ^^ However, Campsitarus will undergo some changes. I don't know how many of you noticed, but Campsitarus will be merging with the Vana'diel Atlas to create a new resource on the internet. At least, that's the plan. >_<

08 August, 2006

How not to win an ENM

Completely out of the blue, I was reading the Killing Ifrit forums, when I stumbled across a thread under the Red Mage forums regarding soloing the Monarch Linn ENM, "Fire in the Sky."

As the strategy relies heavily on nuking, I went down to the local AH and rummaged through all my mules to pick up whatever Level-50 gear I could find that added INT. It wasn't too expensive, until I bought a pair of Sly Gauntlets for 650k, and now the total bill came up to be around 1 million. (Guess this ENM had better be worth it, huh. -_-)

I was feeling pretty confident about my chances against the Cluster Bomb in the ENM itself, but the problem was procuring the Giant Scale I needed to get to Monarch Linn, and solo at that too.

Fortunately, TrueRune happens to have a PLD74 who is fairly desperate when it comes to getting xp....heheh.

So I conned Seraphpdh into joining me on my suicide mission. He went down to the storage NPC to pick up his 50-cap gear, and the two of us set out to duo some Pyrodrakes in Riverne Site #B01!

Actually, I arrived there first, so I solo'ed the first Pyrodrake with a combination of Gravities, Binds, Water II and Sleep. It took a while (just under 15 minutes -_-), but a Convert later and some more nuking, it got the job done. No Giant Scale drop. ; ;

Fortunately, Seraph had arrived by then and we set out to duo another Pyrodrake, this time with DoT tactics involving kiting with Gravity and Bind, and DoTs (Bio II and Poison II). Killing the Pyrodrake now was a much more exciting affair, and slightly quicker, too. Strangely enough, not a single Bind got resisted, which kinda makes me happy. ^^ This time, the Giant Scale dropped, and we were off to Monarch Linn!

...That is, until I got lost and accidentally traded the Giant Scale to the Unstable Displacement to get onto that island at (G-7), and then walked out the other Unstable Displacement. >_<

So now we had to farm up another Giant Scale. -_-

Fortunately, it only took three more Pyrodrakes before the second Scale dropped, and with that, we headed over to Monarch Linn for real this time, picking up the ??? for a Rivernwort along the way (more xp!).

Inside Monarch Linn, we restd to full and then prepared to enter the ENM, which then led to the following exchange,

"Oops," indeed. >_<

Armed with nothing but a Warp Cudgel and a Goldsmith's Apron, our fearless duo went in to battle the Cluster Bomb anyway, and got surprisingly close to beating it, except that I didn't have all the +INT gear that would've been nice for victory, and I thought I could Water II, Chainspell, then Fire, and have the timer reset for a second Water II, which...wasn't the case. I should have Chainspell'ed from the start, but oh well. The bomb blew itself up much faster than I anticipated and we were blown out of the arena, Snoll Tzar style. Ah well. But with no xp loss, at least HP'ing back to Aht Urhgan was easy! :D

That, and I now know to come with 40-cap gear... -_-

05 August, 2006

The Circle of Life

I was making my usual rounds through the various blogs when I came across Kirsteena's entry, lamentably entitled "Blm woes".

To summarize, the advent of ToAU and the very nature of the mobs now mean that TP spam parties are all the rage now. Practically everything from the mid-50s are taken apart by some combination of a BRD, a RDM, a WHM and three melees, generally /NIN. The unfortunate side effect of this is that I'm hearing cries from other players, like Kirsteena and Gorokai, trying to level up this once sought-after powerhouse job: BLM.

To put it succintly,
Skillchains have died. Spamming weapon skills is all the rage. I fear when we get the next batch of players, who have only really known spam parties, through to endgame. Their precious rampage is going to do squat on Gods, and we are going to have players with little skill coming through.

Sound familiar?

It wasn't too long ago that BLM parties were all the rage, and many a melee-party looking for a BLM to round off their party, was left behind in the dust as BLMs formed groups with one another for round after round after round of good 'ol manaburning (something which I was rather guilty of).

Interestingly enough, these very same complaints were voiced throughout the community. Disgruntled parties unable to get that elusive BLM so they can set off. People worrying about noob BLMs as their precious Freeze does squat versus Gods, or their Sleep II gets resisted time and time again. Or, even worse, BLMs who couldn't land a Magic Burst to save their life.

To a certain extent, all this did happen. Our justification for manaburning was that we were familiar enough with party dynamics that we could easily hold our own in a regular setup, which I still believe now. However, the same could not be said for everybody, and therein lies the faults of "BLM PT ONLY."

I know BLMs who manaburned their way to 75. I know some of them who couldn't perform any of the aforementioned basic functions of a BLM. I've heard the horror stories of a BLM opening a fight with Flare with a NIN tank, and those who still equip their Ice Staff on Wind nukes (and gets their MBs resisted too, although I suppose at the time, I would've been surprised at just the MB part alone.)

On the flip side, I've seen the search comments, comprised of "{Black Mage}{Party} Only," or something resembling those lines.

Interestingly enough, we're seeing the same things here, except with the roles reversed. "{Burn}{Party}Only" litters the search comments of many an lfg BRD75, and I remember coming across more "If you have DRG DRK PLD BLM SMN (etc.) in your party, don't invite me" type of comments than I really cared to count.

And then, of course, just like those who worried about the state of endgame Black-magery, there are those today that worry for the state of endgame melee. The cycle continues...

02 August, 2006

My favourite zone of all...

The Sanctuary of Zi'Tah may be pretty, the The Ru'Aun Gardens, strangely tranquil. The Tavnazian Safehold has one of the better pieces of music in the game (in my opinion), with Gustaberg following closeby behind.

But my favourite zone of all? The Misareaux Coast and the Lufaise Meadows.

I can't quite describe just why I like the place so much, but I'm sure gorgeous scenery, nice music to just chill to, and flying dragons overhead have something to do with it. Granted, technically they're two zones, so if I had to pick one, I'd go for the Misareaux Coast simply be merit of the waterfall that lies outside the Sacrarium, which is unrivalled in anything else in Vana'diel.

Several months ago (back in February, to be exact), I scouted around Vana'diel in search of potential camps to explore as Campsitarus was picking up speed and I wanted new places to put in. At the time, Treasures of Aht Urhgan had not yet been released, but for some reason, barring the occasional merit party off Abraxas in the Lufaise Meadows, there was a complete dearth of xp parties in the Tavnazian Archipelago region.

And that made me a sad taru.

On a bit of an aside, I have to say that all things said and done, I think I prefer Chains of Promathia over Treasures of Aht Urhgan. Don't get me wrong, ToAU did a lot of good things- but it feels all-too detatched, and made things a little too easy for players. Talk about pampered xp parties, with Sanction Refresh, a 15% xp bonus, physically weak mobs, and even a teleportation service straight to camp! On the one hand, all this is great, but I think some of that, y'know, adventuring, and actually travelling to camp has been lost (along with people's strange disregard for an already overpopulated camp. -_-)

But I digress.

So I was wandering around the Lufaise Meadows and the Misareux Coast looking for ideas when I happened to come by a pair of Beastmasters leveling off the Bigclaws and Makara. Crabs and Pugs are no stranger to xp parties, and at the very worst, they're friendlier than say, Leshachikha and Leshies that I still don't believe I managed to convince a JP party to go to. I wandered around the water for a while, following its trail upstream, marking down any potential camps I saw, and lo and behold, it led up to the waterfall.

"This is somewhere I want to party someday." I thought to myself at the time, and I scurried off to make my entry.

Unfortunately, I couldn't quite test the spot out myself, which I demand out of the vast majority of the camps I post on Campsitarus, mostly because I didn't have any jobs of the correct level range. However, my static group with Strawberrie and co. finally got me to the point where I could concievably drag a party there, although Darya who had just rejoined Odin after running away to Remora (he would later learn the error of his ways!) did not have Tavnazian Archipelago access.

Fortunately, Darya happened to go to sleep early today, leaving just Vagus, Strawberrie, Ristin, and I to party. All four of us had access to the Archepelago, and even better, all of us were actually willing to go to the Archipelago Gears started to turn.

Some hunting around later, I catch Masasume (who had just returned to the game) off guard on his WHM38, and we pick up a Japanese PLD41 for the ride as well. With that, all of us were off to xp at the Misareaux Coast!

XP was a little strange there. I won't say it was the easiest xp I've gotten (the mobs aren't as squishy as say, Worker Crawlers in Yhoator), but it was enjoyable nonetheless. In between Strawberrie yelling at Vagus and I to line up so that the Paladin would not get hit by Chaos Roll, I was busy happily snapping away at us fighting mobs for Campsitarus. Sometimes, I get a really nice shot, that is just too big for use in the compilation. So, I decided to make another copy, one that placed less emphasis on the mob itself, and post it here:

Seriously, how could you not want to party there?!

I think we ended up partying a little longer than expected though. Some of us hit Level 42, which leaves Darya now trailing at WHM40, so I guess he'll have a bit of catching up to do. ^^ Vespermoo is also trying to catch up again, given his absence for the last few days, so with any luck, we'll be all back and storming whatever strange location I come up with before too long.

And if you're thinking of dragging a party down there yourself, here's the link to the Campsitarus entry!