December 23, 2010

Why does this continue?

Among you, who likes to repeat themselves? Do you enjoy the sound of your voice as you dictate rules and actions to other people? I can't personally say that I'm a fan of saying the same thing over and over to people. You know what this is about, so let's jump in.

Good old Abyssea.

Bigger should be better, but...

Remember when I said that small groups are better than alliances? I have been waiting, no...praying for someone to prove me wrong. Show me where an alliance just obliterates a small group in every aspect. Since that post, I have yet to see this come to pass.

Outside of Abyssea, this isn't so simple. We're not talking about that though. Recently, I've been doing some late night runs with new acquaintances of mine. We usually go with about 3-4 people consistently, but have seen times when we actually have a full party. When I first started, I was a nervous wreck. I'm just used to alliance-style fighting. Seeing a low-man group attempt things that I've witnessed 18+ people die to just makes me a little uneasy. Though it's only been a couple of weeks, I can now say that I absolutely loathe fighting in large groups.

Honestly, I'm saddened to say such a thing. Because I love having lots of people around. I like being social and having a bunch of friends or random people come together to accomplish a goal. It's supposed to make things more enjoyable, right? Hell no. It makes things infinitely more complex and wasteful than it should be. Does that knowledge not infuriate you?

Why can't people just listen and do as they are asked? Tell me why alliances take forever to trigger atma on NMs? Or why an NM who can absorb damage at specific intervals go from 10% to 60% in a matter of seconds? It's as if people just become stupid when they are part of a large group. See, I told you people that the Rule of 5 is never wrong.

You get a small group and watch things flow like melted butter. Get an alliance together and that shit becomes as smooth as cold molasses mixed with sand. I'll give you an example.

My first successful fight with Glavoid was done with a small group. I was invited to come along as a Corsair and you know I wouldn't pass that up. It was just over a full party, but some were waiting outside just in case things went wrong. It didn't. The fight I had previously didn't go so well due to a lack of time and plain inexperience, but I don't have a problem with that. The time after that (fight #3) was done with another linkshell, and I was going crazy inside.

Anyone who's read about Glavoid knows that it can absorb damage depending on the action it's doing. When it's doing a TP move, it absorbs physical damage. When it's casting a spell, you guessed it, Glavoid absorbs magic. So let's take a quick look at what might happen in an alliance.

[10:30:01] Glavoid readies Dessication
[10:30:02] Player A readies Tachi: Gekko
[10:30:02] Player B readies Sidewinder
[10:30:02] Player C readies Guillotine
[10:30:02] Player D readies Asuran Fists
[10:30:10] Glavoid starts casting Stonega IV
[10:30:11] Player E starts casting Burst II on the Glavoid
[10:30:11] Player F starts casting Blizzard III on the Glavoid

You know this isn't made up. I have a great imagination, but there are some things that I simply just can't fabricate. The sad part about this is that if you take ANY of those same people and put them into a low-man group, they would probably do just fine. Put them in a big group and their mind goes to shit.

Triggering weaknesses in an alliance is a huge pain in the ass too. I don't know what people think when they're fighting. It's a bit counterproductive to constantly beat down the enemy you're trying to trigger a weakness on, but people continue to use the primary NM as their source of TP instead of the enemies in the surrounding area. Why are people still telling others not to TP on the NM? Why do I see these all the time: "Get off the fucking NM!" "Stop TP'ng the NM" "Use the NQ mobs for TP" "DD get off the NM!"

You would think that people knew that stuff already. I mean, weaknesses are nothing new anymore. Still, people don't get it. Or they use the awesome excuse of lag. I call bullshit on that one. Lag will affect you for a couple of seconds. You might do an extra attack round, or maybe even two. Attacking the enemy for over a minute is not lag; it's just stupid.

Reading is hard.

There is something else that absolutely kills me with large groups: reading chat logs.

I cannot tell you how crazy it makes me when you have to repeat things you said only seconds before. It happened outside of Abyssea, but I see it much more often inside now. Say you've just warped to Abyssea - Vunkerl and it's time to do your event. Now that you and the leader are inside, the following occurs:

[18:02:05] Leader: Ok everyone, head to Conflux 3 and start killing so we can build time.
[18:02:15] Player A: /
[18:02:16] Player B: /
[18:02:16] Player C: omw
[18:02:20] Player D: which conflux?
[18:02:23] Leader: Conflux 3
[18:02:26] Player E: Sorry, zoned. Which Conflux?
[18:02:27] Player A: #3
[18:02:29] Player F: Hey guys! Which Conflux?

First offense: Player D. Learn to scroll up and read the goddamn chat log. Chances are that everything you're going to ask has already been answered.

Second offense: Player E. Stop lying. How do you know you missed something if you zoned? Text doesn't appear in the window during the zoning, and if it appears just before you zone, guess where it is? It's in the chat log, so scroll up and read it.

Third offense: Player F. Just because you're friendly doesn't mean you can't be stupid. Coming into the group with a great big smile and a friendly wave doesn't excuse idiocy or laziness when asking a question that's already been answered multiple times. Once again, read the chat log.

Free lot??

This is probably my biggest pet peeve in Abyssea. Lotting. There seems to be a few standard rules that can apply to how drops are handled in Abyssea now: Free Lot; Lot if you have the job; Lot if you can use it while in the party; and Auto Sort.

Truth be told, the only rule I will actually stand by is the second one. It makes sense. If you can use the item, then you should be able to lot it. It drives me crazy to see people lotting on stuff that they have no intention of using and simply want to sell it. Sure, people need gil for things and I get that. At the same time, if there is someone in your party who can really use it, why not let them? Is it really necessary to be that selfish? This goes hand in hand with Rule 3, which is really rarely ever used as it applies to mages more than anything else. Still, if there's an 85 BLM in the party and Aspir II drops, let them have it. It's not going to hurt you to pass on that item so someone else might be able to better themselves. Or Kindred Crests. Damn it people, stop bitching when someone lots those. Who gives a damn, it's a crest. If they need to unlock their next level increase, shut up and let those people lot. Or would you rather that they sit at 80 / 85 for the entire time they're in the party and hope that the seals auto sort to them?

Free Lot just encourages greed. It means that anyone with space can just lot the whole damn treasure pool without regard to anyone. Or the worst part is when you have idiots who random or lot on shit and don't know what it's for. I want to kill those people so badly. They're usually the ones who lot 950+ on items and then say "what does this do?" It's a good thing I don't lead alliances because I would be one kick-happy leader.

Auto Sort. Dear lord I hate auto sort. Let stuff like ingots and zinc ore go to auto sort. I can understand that. Spells should *never* go to auto sort. There is someone in that alliance who can use it. People say that lotting slows the party down. I disagree. Most actions are merely an /assist macro while waiting for 100% TP to do your weaponskill. Healers are the only ones who may not be able to constantly check the treasure pool, but things don't just vanish immediately from there. You want to know what slows parties down? The people who have to go afk for 20 minutes every 15 minutes that they're in the party. Those who always have an emergency whenever they're in the party. The kids who join alliances just before dinner time and then go away for an hour while expecting to be able to leech while they enjoy their meal. That is what slows down a party. Checking a treasure pool to get something you might actually need doesn't.

It feels so good to rant, I tell you.

December 3, 2010

A Day in the Life

Truth be told; it's more like a month in the life. I swear I get all of these awesome blog ideas while I'm playing, then I forget to post it or get caught up in an event. Anyway, enough with the excuses. Stories and pretty pictures incoming!

They make it worthwhile

As you all can probably guess, I really dislike doing things alone. Sure, I can solo a lot of things at this point in my Vana'dielian life, but I choose not to. I didn't come to this place to be by myself, and I certainly don't like it when I am. For those times that I do get to do things with friends, even when they have to drag me out to do it, I appreciate it. So to my friends, thanks. ^^

Git 'er Done!

It's great to actually feel like you are making progress in FFXI. Well, in anything for that matter. Of course, I usually accomplish some small task every time I log on. I get very frustrated to simply sit around and do nothing, so I make it a point to do something productive, even if only get a few merits. Unfortunately, nothing in this realm screams accomplishment like the latest piece of gear or level cap. No matter what's going on underneath the hood, the paint job is what gets people's attention.

With that being said, I've actually picked up some new "paint" for several of my classes, and it does indeed feel good. The upgrade process is still a bitch and the quests are beyond stupid, but I don't believe SE will ever come to understand just how inane the quests they make really are.

This makes it sound like I have never received anything good before, which is far from the truth. Though what makes me notice my accomplishments more is because of one simple thing: Guildwork. I joined the site a short while ago just to see how it is, and I like it so far. What I really like is seeing the live feed of what everyone has recently (in Guildwork time) accomplished. Seeing when people reach that new level or get a new title is just nice. Guildwork doesn't judge the importance of what you get. It simply shows that you got it. I like that. When I feel that I haven't done anything recently, I just look at the site. It quietly reminds me that no matter what I *think*, the fact is that I certainly am moving forward.

On the subject of accomplishments, both myself and my LS have been making some progressive strides recently. I'm finally starting to fight (and defeat) the Abyssea quest NMs, and hopefully I'll be taking on the actual zone bosses very shortly. I've fought more Abyssea NMs that yield Abyssite and Atma upon defeat as well, making me considerably more effective while inside. Aristocrats beat Dyanmis-Qufim awhile back, which now opens up Tavnazia for us all. I've done Tavnazia a couple of times before, so it will be nice to finally go back. Maybe we'll even clear it. I'm in need of a new title.


Nothing ever comes easily, and it seems like I spend more time waiting for a raise than actually fighting or healing. I'm either extremely awesome and just pull way too much hate for anyone to ever take back, or I don't have the slightest clue of what the hell I'm doing and just get myself killed a lot. I prefer to think it's the former, but the end result is always the same.

Oye, I'm tired. I'll see you all later. Looking at myself dead on the ground makes me want to take a nap.

Is it still awesome?

Think back to when Abyssea was first introduced. Let your mind wander to the Magian Trials' introduction and our first level increase.

The game we had come to know and love (or despise but can't leave) was about to be turned upside down and inside-out. The majority of end-game content that we were used to was soon to become obsolete in the eyes of many. The only thing we were missing was an appearance of the Silver Surfer delivering his quote from the Fantastic Four movie.

All that you know, is at an end.

Despite all this, people rejoiced at the perceived rebirth of FFXI. We now had actual new content, and not just a cheap event that people could finish in a day. As time went on, we figured out the key to obtaining never before dreamed of experience points. Jobs were leveled at amazing rates, and everyone loved it.

Then we discovered Abyssites and the NMs within the zones. Yet again, people were overjoyed and championing SE for their efforts. Soon after this, the discovery of Atma was found, and the hunt began. Weeks of research, theory speculation and much to do. Then the second update came, and now there is new Artifact Armor. Once we received the base items, it was discovered that we needed upgrade seals. Etc, etc, etc.

Abyssea has a staggering amount of things for players to do. When you look at everything this new content has to offer, it's mind-blowing. Now, there's even more content coming in just a few days, and we haven't even chewed through the stuff we have. Some of the major linkshells on my server, such as Excellence, Whirling Wind, Teletubbies, and others have managed to make phenomenal progress with Abyssea. How the hell you manage it is something I hope to one day understand. For now, I tip my Tricorne to you. For others; however, Abyssea is becoming a curse. Especially for some LS leaders. Unless you are a shell that is all-out Abyssea, you're going to run into the major problem that this content brings in terms of your members: time.

As Tal said, everyone wants to Get Shit. Everyone also understands that their desire to Get Shit won't always match with the desire of others. Some people will spend days farming AF in Attowha Chasm, while others chase NMs in Misareaux Coast. People are farming seals in Vunkerl Inlet as others are running after the Caturae. When it comes time for events, not everyone has the available time to participate.

The first reaction is to blame the members. If they want in on the event, then they should save the stones. Seems logical, right? Now pair that with the undeniable reality that people are judged based on what they have. Add to the fact that they know their shell simply can't do everything that they want them to do because it's not fair to the other members. Can any one person expect their shell to run out and do an event based primarily on their individual desires?

Of course not. Since I've started, there has always been a certain mentality of FFXI: If you want something, go out and get it. Don't expect your shell to do it for you. You want CoP cleared? Don't wait for an LS event; get out there and shout. You want the Razed Ruins Atma? Join an Atma LS. That awesome body armor you want? There's no telling when your LS will fight that NM, and you certainly aren't guaranteed to get it if they do. This thought process has carried over to the limited timeframe people are given within Abyssea, and it's not always a great result.

Do you take the selfless act and wait for your shell, hoping that the points you've accumulated will be enough to get the things you want? Do you sit back and ignore that shout for the NM you've been dying to kill, when it's not even on your shell's radar? From what I have seen, most people are not waiting. Like I said, I see the major players making progress, but I don't seethat same thing happening for many others. If you guys could share your methods, I imagine so many others could enjoy the happiness that you all have. I doubt that will happen, but it's a nice thought.

So to the LS leaders who have watched your shell crumble and the individuals who have been searching for a way to navigate this content, my question is this:

Is Abyssea still as awesome as you thought?

Let the lulz commence

Just like clockwork, SE has released more notes about the upcoming version update. As expected, it contains quite a few surprises, both good and bad. While I'm always nervous that something will inevitably break or become nerfed, one thing that I can always count on is crying.

Currently, the loudest whiners are the Dark Knights. See why I chose not to level this class? Imagine how emo I'd be right now as opposed to just bitchy. Yes, you got a crappy and ultimately useless job trait. We know you can't parry worth a damn, so a trait that rewards you for something you more or less never do is insulting. I completely agree with your anger. You even got another shitty ability to intimidate arcana, which has been non-existent in Abyssea. Again, useless.

I understand your frustration. I'd be pissed too. What I wouldn't be crying about is this bullshit concept that your class has been put in a grave and can no longer be considered a viable DD option just because Warrior and Monk got some nifty stuff that you didn't. If you couldn't do shit to keep up with them before, don't get pissy about it now. While I'm sure their new abilities are going to be nice and shiny for now, you don't know how they're going to actually be used until the update. For all you know, there might be something else in store for DRK around the corner.

What I find especially amusing, with any class that feels left out, are the people who spent their FFXI lives on a job and then make all these threats to quit. Stop that already. You're only as useless as you make yourself. I remember a DRK in an Abyssea party who bragged non-stop about how he rarely needed to be healed as long as he had haste due to the curative properties of the Catastrophe weaponskill. Going on and on about his awesome damage and whatnot. Now that he got two useless abilities that don't hinder his current performance, he's threatening to quit. Really now. You're going to quit because SE seems to be leaving you in the same state that you're currently in? You'll still do great damage, won't need healing, and can still kick ass...yet you want to quit? Do you guys think about the things you say before you say it?

Cry when things are taken away. Scream and shout when they reduce your effectiveness. Threaten to quit when they take everything good about Dark Knight and reduce it to rubble. But seriously, don't bitch just because you got something you probably won't ever use.

If it makes you feel better, just remember the skillchain bonus trait that Dancers got. Cause you know, everyone wants Dancers to use their TP for weaponskills and not healing / sambas.