13 August, 2010

Kaiko: A Week of Start and Stop.

Activity has been sporadic this week. My minor accomplishments seem to come in fits and starts, with the rest of my time peppered with extended periods of non-activity. In spite of this, I feel like I have gotten some things done, thanks to the help of others.

I had spent three days running between Valkurm camps, waiting for an opportunity to grab the magicked skull. I tried repeatedly, wandering the Dunes pop point after dark to solo the Ghouls there, only to find three and have one of those pulled before I could reach it. No drop. Thankfully, I happened to hear on the linkshell that someone was offering to escort to Gusgen. I had already tried soloing there as well, but... there were clusters of Skeleton Warriors who I couldn't take en masse, and the Ghouls I could find on their own were too tough. So, we met up and headed for Gusgen.

...it didn't take long at all, or many Ghouls at all, before I finally got my magicked skull! Thanks to this little guy's generosity, I could start on my first subjob! I asked him if I could return the favor, and as it turned out he needed a Carbuncle's Ruby, so we headed immediately for Selbina. I turned in my quest items to unlock the subjob ability, and talked to the Explorer Moogle to warp to Mhaura...

...those little leeches were pretty stubborn, but after a while they finally gave up what we needed. At that point, I decided it would be a good time to rest, and my partner agreed.

Later on, I went home to swap jobs and become a Warrior, and went through the newbie motions again until I hit level 15. Took a little while once I hit 13, but with two decent parties in the Dunes, I was good to go back to Monk. The subjob made a huge difference, both in being more resilient and having those extra Abilities. The effort was starting to pay off...

At this point, I made the decision to try to reach Jeuno on foot. It ended up being much more harrowing than I had expected. First, I had no means of affording any Silent Oil or Prism Powder, and the zones I had to cross were not only big, but the paths were windy and required repeated switchbacks. The creatures were all big and super tough! I was too scared to take any pictures, I just ran...

...someone must have been watching over me, because I made it to Jeuno alive. It's really busy here! After exploring the city with my jaw flapping in the breeze, I decided I'd better prepare for the new XP farming area, Qufim. I stopped by the Auction House and upgraded my gear.


Apparently, I also have an apartment here that I didn't know about. Hope I can afford the rent!

I decided that, in addition to leveling with my shell mates, I should go about getting that Chocobo License. Checking the Auction House, I found only 3 of the 4 Gausebit Grass I needed to acquire the license... it looks like this would take a while. Well, I went to the stables and began the quest, getting through the wounded chocobo's first two feedings (both of which he refused!) in about 10 minutes. Since I would have to wait to feed him again, it was time for my first trip to Qufim.

Luckily for me, a lot of my linkshell members were also using these grounds to train, so parties were not too hard to put together. It's cold here! My legs are freezing!

Don't get me wrong, some times the pickings were slim, and we ended up with some pretty crappy teammates. There was this pair of foul-mouthed kids with underleveled subjobs and outdated gear who were abrasive and ignorant. That party didn't last long...

After a day or two of working in Qufim, without any food, my Signet long since expired... I finally found my last Gausebit Grass! I ran as fast as I could to the chocobo stables and fed the wounded chocobo for the last time. Chocobo License! Time to head home to Bastok (feeling much safer now) to take care of some errands I had been postponing.

What a great feeling, riding a chocobo!

Being broke, though... not a good feeling at all. \( TдT)/

09 August, 2010

Kensai: A Veteran Takes Me to School!

As someone who's used to soloing in network games, I've been left to my own devices and have typically chosen whichever path suited me, often to the consternation of players who lawyer against one another about what is 'best' in-game.

With the advent of FFXIV, I decided to let go of some projects that had grown stagnant over the past few years, and instead jump into FFXI before the world of Vana'diel goes the way of so many before it. I tried to read up on information geared toward beginners and build up a working understanding of the mechanics of the game, and decided that there was a path for me: to fight in the shadows, defeating opponents through cunning and tenacity. Yet, I also wanted to express my flair for the dramatic and add some flourish to the cold passtime of killing.

In games, I know what I like, and I go for it.

Well, as it turns out... I'm wrong. I'm wrong about this game, and thanks to someone who's seen a lot more than I, I think I'm beginning to lose my misconceptions about FFXI.

The path of the soloist is quiet. Managing tasks is easy. Goals are clear, as are the processes involved in their attainment. There are no entanglements, responsibilities, dependencies, or stipulations: simply act and observe the consequences. My problem in becoming involved with FFXI is this very mindset. In essence, FFXI is dependency, responsibility, and as I am learning, unwelcome entanglement with modes of play in which I did not wish to partake.

It's the old mindset that is going to have to go if I'm to continue exploring Vana'diel. It's the perception that WHM, WAR, or any other of the basic Jobs are highly undesirable that I will have to discard. I'll have to adjust to what can only be a collaborative exercise, or surrender my intent to walk this path.

To be honest, I don't know if I can do it. I'm a creature of my own comforts. Though I have enjoyed the time I have spent with others in my Linkshell, the idea of having to walk unwanted paths, delaying my own progression towards my desired end, is worrisome. Yet, on the other hand... supporting my team, even as an 'ugly job', well... maybe that's the 'hidden end-game' of FFXI. One you can play from the very beginning, but only if you're willing.

I'd like to thank this veteran for providing me with valuable insight into the nature of this network game, and the rest of the Linkshell for understanding that what happens along the way is what makes this game worth playing.

The path to glory just got a whole lot longer. I'm gonna stick it out for a while, and see what happens.

Zasetsu: It Was a Rough Day

I began the day working on my Valkurm Fields of Valor assignments, but quickly realized I had forgotten to empty my pack from the kills I made in Konschtat on the way to the Dunes. I decided to head back...

...which was really most of what I did today: ran back and forth between Valkurm and Bastok. I seriously spent hours just in transit. Frustrating.

I finally unloaded my stuff, but my auctions weren't moving like they used to. After resetting prices, I went to the Conquest Overseer to start the Gustaberg Supply Quest. It took about ten minutes to get to the Outpost, and that was it: my first Warp point!

Afterwards, I went back to the Dunes to finally restart Page 1 of the Valkurm Field Manual. Found my first target, and within ten seconds another Hill Lizard spawned and linked... it didn't look good. I polished off the first, fired up Dodge and headed for the Zone exit. I made it all the way to the black screen... only to reappear in Valkurm dead!

So bright!

It wasn't long after that we got a group going, but without a tank we were forced to chain pull in Konschtat. It was still good fun.

Our fearless leader got a couple tells from some elite friends of his and so we were headed back to Valkurm to brave the bats, lizards, and goblins. I was leveled enough for do the subjob quest, but without the items needed to unlock the ability... all I could do was keep leveling.

Finally, after all that leveling help, we had some replacements arrive who also needed their subjob items. We headed to the oasis, and, finding it deserted [get it?], we camped for some time.

Now... there was this Tarutaru who was tanking for us as a Ninja, who was apparently doing a pretty poor job. I couldn't tell the difference, but eventually he ate the dust of the Dunes and just laid there for what must have been 20 minutes. The party leads decided to boot him and he disappeared...

Well, shortly thereafter I committed my first party blunder by pulling when I didn't see the other Monk pulling. This was the result:

Needless to say, I have much to learn about: effective party communication; observing my surroundings; and timing my movements. I have so far to go...

...anyway, if you take note of that photo there is a little guy standing in the midst of us... that is our little buddy, the bad-tanking Ninja. He proceeded to praise the creatures that pummeled us, and once we were raised, pull all of the creatures we needed so that we couldn't get the items for the subjob quest. It was actually pretty funny, but we filed a grievance with Support anyway.

I also met a really cute Kunoichi who acted as our puller. I hope I'm that cool when I become a Ninja.

In the end, I got two of the three items I needed... I still need the magicked skull of a Ghoul. I don't have high hopes about finding a party for this one, but I'm way more leveled than I need to be, and I'm over being a Monk. Maybe I could solo it?

08 August, 2010

Akuruhi: the First Weekend!

Soundtrack for today: Masashi Hamauzu's "Vielen Dank".

Early on in the day it was pretty quiet in Valkurm, so I decided to head back home to pick up a few magical maps that I had been missing. On the way there, I got a tell from a Prophecy member who made the drop-off of my first Linkshell Pearl! Yeah!

I collected a few grand from completed auctions and stopped in at home to say 'hi' to my Moogle. It doesn't really feel homey yet, but it's still a relaxing retreat. Boy, is he cute.

I headed back to the Dunes only to find that all my compatriots were on the other side of the map. It was way too dangerous to try to make it across! Thankfully for me, after a couple of failed attempts, someone came to grant me safe passage to the meeting place...

It was time for my first party. We synced levels at 16 and headed for our camping location. It seemed like things were busy without being too busy, but we really didn't have to wait to pull so I'm guessing we were making good time. Anyway, we had a great little group (at least I thought so), and we got some EXP chains going. That was pretty cool, though my understanding of it is still pretty basic.Things didn't always go smoothly, however...

Those guys laying down on the job were actually pretty awesome, and probably took the bullet for my inadequacy as a newbie. Go on, you two!

Anyway, we kept at it for a while and there were a few 'Level Up!'s along the way. It was a lot of fun playing with these guys; great support, and I learned a little about what not to do in Dunes groups.

Later on our group got shuffled around, and shortly thereafter I had to say 'goodbye'. I'm glad to have met these other adventurers. Life still seems to be bustling in Vana'diel.

Thanks again, everyone! Hope to see you soon.