August 30, 2010

Supply and Demand is a funny thing

I was very bored yesterday. So bored, in fact, that I started crafting again. I made 36 venom potions to get a 0.1 skill up. I finally stopped, but only because the auction house was out of scorpion claws and farming them puts me to sleep.

After that, I decided to browse to check the price on a few spells. I'm after the 5th tier of spells, namely Protect, and I've been having the most horrible time with casting lots. I swear, I'll cast a 996 on a Dark Ring and a 112 when Protect drops. I could buy it, but we all know that I'm not exactly rolling around in gil.

I also decided to take a look at some other spells. Specifically, Aspir II and Phalanx. It goes without saying that I nearly screamed.

Not even a week ago, Aspir was 5k. Today, it's 90k. I don't remember what Phalanx cost pre-update, but that's now 300k. In perspective, Utsusemi: Ni is 130k. That's right. Phalanx costs more than Utsusemi. I think this should be emphasized because some people may not get it.

Phalanx costs more than Utsusemi: Ni.

Have people lost their damn minds?? This is absolutely ridiculous. Who's even going to use it? Oh that's right, Paladins can now use it. Before you move forward with the "duh" comment, let me ask you this? Who the hell considers Paladins useful?

I say this because if you look around forums for any given time, it's nearly a unanimous consensus that Paladin is a situational tank at best. Personally, when I think of a tank, Paladin is always what comes to mind. However, a vast majority of Vana'diel seems to think otherwise. RDM, SAM, WAR, or anything else seems to be better suited at tanking, while PLD is reserved for BCNMs or other specialized situations.

So if that's the case, why the price jump? Is there any justifiable reason for this? The same can be said for Aspir II. From 5k to nearly 100k in 4 days...and for what? All because Black Mages will be able to use it. These price increases rarely seem based on the actual usefulness of an item. Seriously, think about it. When's the last time you did an event that went wrong and saw this in your chat log:

"Damn...we would've won if only our PLD had Phalanx."

If I had to guess, my answer would be "never." Yet for some reason, this marginally useful spell is 1/3 million gil and rising. I imagine Aspir II will be 200k by the end of the week. At the very least 150k.

Haste and Refresh are sitting at 23 and 50k, respectively...yet they are a hell of lot more useful than Phalanx will ever be. It always amazes me that whenever SE adds a spell, armor, or weapon to a job that could never use it before, the price skyrockets to out of this world amounts, even if it's barely worth using.

August 26, 2010

You little bitch...

Tonight was a night where shit was just bound to go wrong. I got lost in sky and, being the only healer, my LS wiped to Mother Globe. They ended up leading me to the pile of bodies and we got things together. Sky finished on a good note by the time everything was said and done though.

So now I'm hanging out in Port Jeuno, when I get a tell from Tidis about "turtle time." I'm always up for some turtle action, so we set out to try our luck. The last few times we did it, we had help. This time, it was just us as the damage dealers, and Caldar came to lend us the power of his treasure hunter.

Naturally, Chukwa's not up when we get there. 20 minutes of running around and still nothing. Eventually, it spawns and we get the claim. Of course we would; no one else was there. Shortly into the fight, we get a visitor. An Elvaan BLM named Skimpy. I'm off in the distance, so I can't see what's going on. Not to mention, I'm focused on trying to kill this damn turtle.

I end up getting closer for some casts, and I catch a bit of the conversation he's having with Tidis. Basically trying to find out what items we're after. Since I already had the bow, the collar was the only item we wanted. Well, Tidis wanted it, and that's why we were there. So when Skimpy finds out about it, he says "bah" and goes on his way. Although, he doesn't leave. Instead, he follows us around.

So it begins. He was waiting for us to mess up so he could get a chance. I'm a carebear, and I realize this. If I saw someone fighting an NM, I'd stick around for a ToD, and if they die I'd raise them if I could and either help them out, or ask if they mind me trying. Yes, I'd really do that. I don't expect anyone else to be like that. What I do expect is that people have the damn decency to wait until we've wiped before attempting to claim an NM that you clearly see us fighting.

Oh no, not this guy. We get this turtle down to 40%, and I run out of MP. I tell Tidis that I'm resting, and for them to maintain hate. Chukwa goes yellow for just a moment, and Skimpy hits it with Sleep II. Now as I understood it, you have to be high enough on the monster's hate list in order to to claim it from someone else. That's how it is in Terrigan or any other place I've seen. If something aggros you and another person tries to hit it, the monster still chases the initial target until the other person does another action to move them higher on the hate list. How the hell Skimpy got it with a Sleep II just boggles my mind.

Regardless of the mechanics, the little fucker took the NM. Go ahead and say the famous "yellow is fair game" bullshit line that so many people like to spout. Yes, yellow is fair game when no one is bothering it. When said enemy goes unclaimed because you're out of range for half a second, then that's not fair game. You know you're trying to steal it; stop hiding behind bullshit technicalities.

You might say that I'm "butthurt" or whatever the hell people say now, but I'm just flat-out pissed. I don't care what kind of "game mechanics" you try to say in order to defend yourselves. What was done was wrong and pretty childish. Skimpy's from Armada, an HNM shell here, if I'm not mistaken. Guess what? Chukwa's not an HNM. It's an NM on a 30 minute timer. Are you really so desperate that you can't wait for 30 minutes while we kill this thing and go about our way? Do you honestly have to lurk around the corner and try to take whatever opportunity you can to take an enemy that you clearly see someone else fighting...and actually winning?

Those are redundant questions, because his actions clearly shout "YES" to every one of them. Luckily for us Skimpy is about as smart as his name implies. He wasn't actually damaging Chukwa. I almost want to say he was attempting to just hold it, because spamming Bio II would never kill it. It wasn't long before he made a mistake and got killed. So we took it right back.

I'm normally a passive person, and I don't like confrontation or the "eye-for-an-eye" way of thinking. However, this wasn't done to just me. If I were there by myself and this shit was pulled, yeah I'd be just as pissed, but I'd just say hell with it and come back later. That wasn't the case. This was done to my friends, and that made this very personal.

Now we're back in the game. Skimp gets up, and now has friends. Tidis takes a look and finds that they are also with Armada. These two were a bit more aggressive with their "bitch tactics" that Skimpy was. Staying right behind Tidis, blocking his path, and just being a general annoyance.

Dizzmal comes out to help, along with Caliburn. Neo and Shaan are heading towards us to give a hand too. I made some mistakes and got myself killed, which caused a domino effect and Chukwa goes unclaimed again. As expected, they took it. On that claim, I was pissed, but not as much as before. We screwed up and they took advantage. Lo and behold, they died again and we took it right back.

Shortly thereafter, I just said fuck it and started casting whatever. Of course I died again, but I wanted to make damn certain that I hit it hard enough that it wouldn't go unclaimed. The rest of the guys took it down and we got another bow.

Perhaps judging an entire linkshell based on the actions of 3 people is harsh, but I'm a believer of guilt by association, or in this case, bitch by association. So to the Armada linkshell (and especially Skimpy), if this is the kind of player behavior that you condone and practice, all I have to say is fuck off, and fuck you.

August 20, 2010

What I am not.

This one might seem a bit odd. I'm not ranting, but expressing my opinion this time. Silly as it may seem, this really is relevant to this game. I'm not sure why I'm talking about it now, but I feel like getting it off my chest. Anyway, let's begin.

I am probably too sensitive for my own good at times. There are some things that just really irritate me. Usually, I just say "this is a game" and keep moving but that doesn't always work for me. Sometimes, I tell myself to grow up and do my best not to care. Other times, I wonder if I'm really the one who needs to grow up.

Yeah, I know. What am I QQ'ng about this time, right? Let me stand on my soap box so you can all hear this one loud and clear:

I am not your whore.

You might be wondering: Huh? Well, it's simple. Maybe it's a part of internet speak that I'm just late to realize, but I find that term being used more and more in FFXI than any other online venue I come across. When a person is asked to focus on a single task for an extended duration, and only that task, they become the [insert task] "whore."

Refresh Whore, Ballad Whore, Key Whore, Cure Whore, Provoke Whore, Weaponskill Whore, Fishing Whore, or whatever type of whore you can think's just maddening. I realize we live in a time where people are not as sensitive or concerned with the original meaning of a word, but when did it become cool or acceptable to be considered a whore, regardless of how innocent your intention may be?

I'm sure some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking, "Is she fucking serious?" Yeah, I am actually. I find it extremely pathetic that anyone considers this type of...classification as minor. I just don't see how it's acceptable to anyone. Guys, girls, kids, anyone. I wouldn't even consider this to be permissible in a setting full of adults. FFXI most certainly is not full of adults, so I damn sure don't think this is ok here. When you have teens running around saying they'll be such-and-such whore for whatever, it's a problem.

Sure, we're on the this game to have fun. To not care about what's happening beyond the keyboard and the room we're in. Losing ourselves in a fantasy that stays with us long after we've logged out. At the same time, we are interacting with people and affecting them in ways that we may not even know.

I'd be unrealistic to believe that we will all be kind and respectful to one another. We won't do it in reality, so it would be just a foolish notion to think that we can do it in a game made of anonymous people. I can't speak for how other people react to this. Something tells me that I might be part of only a handful of people to actually give a damn. However, that doesn't matter. I don't like it, and I don't want to be called that.

I will be your refresher, your healer, your key person, or any number of other things you need me to be in this game. What I most certainly will NOT be, under any circumstance, is your whore.

I'm thinking it's time for a screenshot post soon. I need something funny to talk about.

August 16, 2010

My Thanks to Abyssea

What's the most overused and utterly annoying word in the FFXI lexicon? I'll give you three guesses. Come on, try it.


Nah, that's more of an expression. Although, I suppose it could be annoying if you actually heard someone laughing as much as they type "lol" in conversation. Something along the lines of this:


Oh that's so close. However, that's relative to the user. Some people shout it all the time, while others rarely say it at all.

Give up? Here it is:


Dear lord, I want to kill people with this one. Congratulating someone should be done when it's something important. I find that this word is used to cover practically any given situation where something remotely positive happens to someone. The worst part is that it's usually something trivial. The more you congratulate people over trivial dealings, the more they're inclined to tell you about said trivial dealings in order to be congratulated more. It's a never-ending cycle, and it's got to stop.

This doesn't mean that I feel the word is pointless. It isn't. It's actually a very important and meaningful word which should be used when the time calls for it. We don't do that. We congratulate everything. It makes no difference if the event is something that matters or not.

You just unlocked a job? {CONGRATULATIONS!}
You have 12 stacks of keys? {CONGRATULATIONS!}
You reached level 12? {CONGRATULATIONS!}
Holy shit, level 24? {CONGRATULATIONS!}
Your skills are gimp as shit?? {CONGRATULATIONS!}
You randomed a 321? {CONGRATULATIONS!}
You reached level 78 for the 7th time? Dude, {CONGRATULATIONS!}

For the love of all things holy, stop congratulating people over pointless shit. Bring back the significance of praising someone on a job well done or a true accomplishment. Maybe this really gets to me now because of Abyssea parties. Someone levels or gets a merit point roughly every 10 minutes. The amount of congrats that go on in one of those parties is mind-blowing.

I swear, I've never had a reason to want to blacklist an entire alliance. Thanks to Abyssea parties, I've found that reason.

Minor Ramblings

This past week was pretty interesting. I came to a few realizations about my performance, dealt with some personal matters, and even got a couple of nifty items. Where to begin?

Stop! Turtle time.

Tidis will get that reference. Last week, he mentioned an item he wanted from Abyssea. It's the Creed Collar from Chukwa, and it looks to be pretty nice for pld/war tanking. Maybe more for pld/nin since you have less tools for getting hate. Hell if I know, but he wanted it. On top of that there is a freaking awesome bow to be had, and that got my attention. I never mind helping someone, but it's extra groovy when you can get a reward in the process. So off to Abyssea we go.

We died pretty quickly too. >.>

Our first attempt was just a failure. No other way to put it. Dizzmal came out to help us, but Tidis had a crappy day and his connection kept dying. With him being the only RDM, he was more or less the lynch pin keeping things together. We went as RNG/RDM/BLM, but things just didn't work out. We kept trying and were on the verge of giving up when Dierdren volunteered to help a few days later. The fight went much smoother, save for Dizzmal constantly pissing off Chukwa and getting himself killed. We didn't get the collar, but I went 1/1 on the bow and that made me happy. So now we have to go back and get the collar. Watch another bow drop. I'm calling it now. By the way, those regular turtles are the cutest things. If BST can charm them, I'm definitely leveling that job just to have a turtle pet.

Scholarly Pursuits

I've been finding myself as a Scholar more and more recently. Maybe it's because Stormsurge is just full of freaking win, or perhaps it's my personal goal to do an event and keep Breathem alive in Dynamis the entire time. Regardless, I'm having quite a bit of fun, and it's definitely one of my favorite mage classes next to RDM.

I think other people are enjoying when I'm a Scholar as well. During that Dynamis run with the botched pulls, I even got some tells saying that I was awesome at being a healer. That made me feel pretty good. It's always nice to know that you are appreciated. Everyone could use a pat on the back from time to time. Of course, different people have different ways of showing appreciation, such as Tidis deciding to use me as a mat while he fought a Groundskeeper in sky. He was so thankful that I was there to keep his new Perle from getting dirty.

Pew Pew Power and Jellyfish Troubles

After I got my bow from Chuckie, I obviously had to run out and try it. You get a new toy; you have to play with it. That's just how things work. So I talked to Cal and headed out to Wajoam Woodlands to poke some birds in the brain. For the record, I hate Colibri. I'm trying to build TP and the bastard tickled my TP away...twice in a row. The first few Sidewinders were pretty decent, but then Dierdren came out. She was a bard, and all I can say is HOLY SHIT! Seriously, I had to do a double take. I was in awe at seeing how much better I could do. (Yes, I'm leaving out numbers because it's not that important to know.) We wandered around a bit, testing gear combinations and whatnot to see how much better I could get. It's so awesome to see improvements in your job classes, and I was one happy Ranger.

During a break, we started talking about a few other things, and the topic of inventory space came up. As usual, I don't have any space. One reason's because I've been holding on to organs from Al'Taieu. I had just enough for a couple of gorgets, but damned if I wasn't missing the jelly organs. Turns out that Dier and Cal were more than happy to help out, so we changed jobs and went to play.

Our first fight was a bit rough and we had to logout to keep from wiping. Interestingly enough, it was against the lower level version. We roamed around and found a harder one, and destroyed it. Doesn't make much sense, but we didn't question anything. In no time at all, I had my jelly pieces and all was well in the world. Then we went around to get some shark organs, but that wasn't nearly as simple. Those bastards are selfish. Still, we had lots of fun. I couldn't help but hum the Under the Sea tune while we fought.

An hour or so later, we got what we came for. A bit of shopping after that, and I got my flame gorget. It was my intention to get that and the breeze gorget, but I made a miscalculation. I went back later and got the rest of the organs. Thanks to the economy crashing, I was able to afford a Jupiter Staff and that made a hell of a difference in my ability to solo. So now I have Snow, Flame, and Breeze, which takes care of just about every weaponskill that I use on a consistent basis. Although...I have enough miscellaneous organs to get a Soil Gorget.

With the exception of a jelly organ. Naturally.

August 13, 2010

A hard choice

The September version update was recently announced, and I'm certain that many people are eager with anticipation to see what comes next. I'm personally excited for more of the WotG storyline to unfold now that we have the individual city stories resolved. I'm also anxious to see the story behind the Abyssea and if there is any connection between that and WotG since they both share the cavernous maw that has been symbolic with Atomos.

My biggest source of anxiety comes with another arrival due in September: Final Fantasy XIV.

I'd be a fool to completely overlook this, and I'm fairly certain that many others have this on their heads as well. I don't think there is going to be a mass exodus of people from XI to XIV, but I'm certain that the presence of this new arrival will be felt.

In some instances, this is good, but I am on the fence. As I've talked to people more and more, I'm seeing a particular pattern. Those who have played XI for several years or more and are still active have the mindset of not wanting to leave XI. If they do leave, it will not be for XIV, but they will probably just leave altogether.

On another hand, there are people who haven't been here as long, and are very eagerly awaiting the arrival of XIV because they fear that they have missed the boat on XI and are simply too far behind to really enjoy things. I think these will constitute the majority of the people who make the initial switch. These people and the ones who quit FFXI awhile back.

Then you have people like me. I'm not a veteran to Vana'diel, but I also have been around long enough to have memories of "the good old days." Before Fields of Valor and Campaign Battle, when Hagun was 4 million+, and even before Ninjas were granted sneak and invisible. A lot has happened to this place in 2 years, it seems. If I'm not mistaken, I was here before Dancers and Scholars had relic armor and group 2 merits.

I digress. For me, there is still so much to see and explore in this world. At the same time, I want to experience it with those closest to me. A big majority of those people are the ones who have been here for so long. The veterans, if you will. When XIV arrives, what will happen then? If they decide that it's time to leave XI, then what is left here? I don't think this place will be empty by any means, but a world full of strangers has very little difference than an empty one. If I'm going to explore an empty world, I would rather it be one that I am unfamiliar with, and not a world where I find myself constantly wishing for the company of those who were once there with me.

So, I am left with a question that will require an answer very soon. Decisions, decisions. What about you? What have you decided for your FF future?

August 12, 2010

The fear of Abyssea and Astral Burning

No, this isn't a OMGIHATESMNBURN post. Personally, I don't care anymore. However, I came across a video while doing some forum browsing and I just had to share it.

To everyone who ever says that powerleveling is harmless, I challenge you to do an event with this gentleman. I can't say anything about his skills in whatever other jobs he has leveled, but I dare you to do anything beyond attempting to kill a rabbit with this guy as your BLM.

Ladies and Gentleman, a 75 BLM with absolutely ZERO magic skills.

Just keep this guy in mind the next time you want to party with someone who's level 80 now and used to be a chest opener in your Abyssea party the day before with that same job.

August 11, 2010

Childish Antics

I like having fun. I enjoy being silly and doing stupid things while I'm online. It breaks up the monotony and helps keep people's spirits up. There's usually always a time to have some fun being a harmless delinquent.

Until you get people killed. Then it's not quite as funny.

Now some people don't mind this sort of thing and laugh it off. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those people. I get pissy when I die. Always have and always will. If I fall due to my own stupidity, well I just suck it up and deal with it. When it's because someone decides to try being funny and mpks people, then I have a problem with it. Especially when it happens during events. Obviously, some details are needed. Story time!

Last night was Dynamis-Bastok. Oh how I love the dreary environment of that place. (Extreme sarcasm for those of you that might be new to this blog.) The night wasn't starting off on a great note. I wasn't in the greatest of moods so I got to the zone and sat down. (August 10th is a sensitive day for me; long story). I was all dressed up in my pretty gown, ready to attract the wrath of the necro-pedos that might be lurking around the corner. We had a long wait ahead because I had forgotten that we entered an hour late Saturday. Just before entering, I was asked to change to WHM. Honestly, I don't understand why I'm so against this job class now. Granted, I'm not big on main healing, but I don't have a problem with it as an RDM or even SCH. Just something about doing it as a WHM that makes me cringe. I'm guessing it's because Sumarok's gone and being a WHM has lost its meaning to me.

Anyway, I was given the ok to stay as SCH and just focus on healing the party. No biggie, I've done it many times before. We go in and the run is going well. We got all of the time extensions, killed the mega boss, and were basically doing just great. Very few deaths in the entire alliance. This is how I like Dynamis to be. It's boring as all hell and the last thing you want is to be both bored and frustrated during an event.

So naturally, something had to frustrate me.

Around the 20-25 minutes remaining mark, we started getting really large pulls. I mean really large. Now these things happen, and sometimes it's either accidental or can't be helped. However, when you're doing this shit because you think it's funny and trying to kill us, allow me to be the first to say that I am not amused in the slightest.

Yes, this is me whining and bitching. If you didn't know that I was bitchy before, allow me to introduce myself. Hi, I'm Jacinda. I'm bitchy. Moving on...

This type of stuff is just frustrating as hell to me. First off, you're making my job as a healer / support job more difficult than it should be because now I'm spamming heals all over the goddamn place and taking hate instead of the damage dealers. It throws everything into chaos and makes things generally unpleasant.

To make matters worse, you lose exp in Dynamis. I don't like that. Yeah, it's just exp, but it's MY exp. Until you become the person responsible for recapping my jobs when I die, don't screw around with my exp. I don't care if I get raise 3 or not. Each time I die, that's less time I spend on meriting and more time recapping my buffer.

Finally, Dynamis is about 2 things: gear and coins. Both of these things are completely random, and you never know what you'll get from an enemy. As such, it's important to maximize your time by killing as much as possible, and quickly. Dying gets in the way of that. Dynamis gear helps you improve yourself and coins are either for relic upgrades or for shell payouts. In my case, it's the latter. So it's pretty damn important to get as many coins as possible. Get us killed, and we can't get coins. Less coins = smaller payout. Don't mess with my exp, time, and definitely don't fuck with my monies. Who you are and your standing doesn't matter to me. It's bad etiquette. Go do dumb shit when you're with your buddies and just playing around. Don't pull that when you're doing events.

It's never a wise move to piss off your healers. Some would do well to keep that in mind.

Not a happy healer...

August 3, 2010

Rule of What??

Everyone knows I don't like being /checked. Never have and probably never will. It's taken me awhile to finally be able to resist the urge to gear swap at every chance when people look at me, but now I just shrug my shoulders in reality and keep it moving.

Since I'm not swapping my equipment all the time now, it gives people more chances to read my bazaar comments. My latest one is getting quite a bit of attention, and I'm guessing it's because people don't know what it means.

"I'm a huge advocate of the Rule of 5."

The obvious question now is, what the hell is that? First off, it's a personal rule of my own, not to be confused with Lipinski's rule, which explains why you've probably never heard of it. Grab some juice and let's go on a learning adventure of what goes on in my head.

Jacinda's Rule of 5:

The collective thought process of a group of individuals experiences a rapid decline or an unnecessary state of complexity as the number of participants approaches or exceeds the number five.

It's pretty simple and easy to understand. I don't deal with more than five people at any given time when I am out to accomplish a specific goal. When I'm just messing around, I could care less with how many are involved. When the time comes to getting something done; however, five is the limit.

My rule shares some similarities with the law of diminishing returns, except it applies to human behavior and not economics. Also, diminishing returns does not have a fixed value associated with it.

This may seem silly to some of you, but I am a firm believer of it. I've noticed in both reality and in game that when people are working towards goals, it becomes harder and harder to achieve / explain the goals as the number of people involved goes up. You can apply this to practically anything. Forums, gaming, your job, anything where more than one person is needed.

The easiest place to witness this rule in effect is the flow of a conversation. Take two people who are tackling a serious issue as our starting point. You will come up with a fairly engaging debate, but it's usually one opinion vs. another. Add a third person, and you have someone who will challenge the other two parties to come up with the best means of supporting their argument in order to gain the confidence of the third party and win by majority. This third person can also become the source of a completely original idea / presentation, but it can become difficult for their idea to even be considered because they will have to get the initial debaters to abandon or reconsider their own ideas. If a fourth person is brought in, you now have the possibility of either an overwhelming majority win, a stalemate, or yet another source of original ideas.

Eventually, you reach a point where there are too many original ideas at one time, and managing the conversation while both presenting and defending your own point of view becomes increasingly difficult. Bringing in a fifth person is basically an act of desperation. This person will now have to act as a mediator, or "the voice of reason" in order to establish balance and maintain order until an agreeable end to the conversation can be found. Of course, there is a chance that this fifth person will become opinionated and voice their own idea as well. The flow of the conversation is now at a critical limit. Another person, already one of the five, will have to step back and take on the role of the mediator. Adding a sixth person will only make things worse, and so on and so on.

So that's the meaning behind my bazaar comment. You may think it's the world's dumbest idea or the best thing I've ever posted. Whichever side you're on, you're more than welcome to challenge my thought process or agree with it. Just don't do it with more than five people. :p