February 25, 2013

It's a Monday

This is going to be a short post.  My day just hasn't been right.

Long story short, I found out that due to all this government budget nonsense that I may not have a job in another week.  That always makes a person feel motivated, you know?

So I come home and get online with the hopes of taking my problems in reality and shoving them to the wayside, at least for a couple of hours.  I see a Provenance shout with Ephexis.  Awesome.  I always enjoy going on runs with him.  They make the alliance and we head out.  Naturally, we have drama.  Two Scholars he tries to invite don't know what Embrava is.

What. the. fuck.

That's really all I can on the matter.  How you're a Scholar and don't know what that is just boggles my mind.  A note to people...learn your shit.  If you can't, change jobs or play a different game.

Anyway we get to Provenance and it's an hour until my event.  We start fighting and the BLMs miss the stuns constantly.  I lose my Mighty Strikes on the first fight.  Not feeling so great about this.  We keep it moving through the next battle and it's much smoother.  The third fight, both Ephexis and I die because of missed stuns and no triggers to replenish items.  This is where it gets sad.  I don't toot my own horn and everyone of you that knows me is aware of it.  However, when the two of us died, it took forever to kill the final two Caturae.  What the hell.  I'm gimp as shit, so why did that happen?

Whatever.  Moving on.  No sooner than we finish that fight, our Corsair jumps right into the Provenance Watcher battlefield.  No resetting our abilities, or even waiting for people to unweaken.  So naturally, people see the BC icon and go inside.  Ephexis and I are wondering what the hell is going on and he gets pissed.  So pissed that he signs off, leaving me as the only Warrior.  We're already here and I've got six minutes to get this done.  We go inside and start the battle.  Guess what?  We died.  Kind of saw that coming, but that's not the half of it.  No one in the alliance had Twilight gear but me.  So I end up zombie tanking.  The alliance unweakens after God knows how long, and they resume the fight.  No good.  We time out.  Fucking awesome.

We'll skip my actual LS event because that went well.  It's Tier III Einherjar.  You can't really screw that up.

Tyler, Lef, and myself then head out to Neo Salvage.  I still don't know all of that and haven't had the time to read about it.  I get asked to go as a Warrior this time.  I'm happy, but nervous.  So nervous, and with my head all screwed up about my job, I mess up left and right.  Caused the entire run to go horribly wrong.  Now we're about to enter Limbus.  I can only imagine what I'm going to fuck up in there.

I need a drink.  Or something.  I don't know what I need, but today is just not a good day for me.

February 24, 2013

Progressive Realizations

Almost two weeks since my last update. Surprisingly, it's not because I haven't been motivated to play. I've actually been online non-stop like a fool. Wake up on the weekend, jump out of the bed, sign on. Check shouts in Port Jeuno and if nothing's happening, go take a shower and get all pretty so I can wait around in Jeuno when I get back to my desk. I am a true FFXI addict. Well, at least I admit it.
I said earlier that I would keep you all informed of my progress on the myriad of goals that I've set for myself. So that's what today's post will be about. With a few pretty pictures, of course.

Ragnarok / Mandau

I'm somewhat torn on this one. Ever since the video release of the merited weaponskills, I've been in love with Resolution. This is before the whole FFXI community jumped on the Ragnarok / Dark Knight bandwagon after the people at BluGartr did their testing and found out that Resolution was the shit that put nearly everything else to shame. I went out and leveled a job that I swore I would never do (Dark Knight), got a Hoarfrost Blade, and even capped my great sword skill after hours upon hours in Abyssea. All so I could swing a big sword around and look pretty doing it. Anyway, I got the weaponskill and I was happy. Life was beautiful, everyone was smiling, flowers blooming and all that cute shit.

Then of course, more testing was done and it was found that a Ragnarok would best a Hoarfrost Blade / Borealis after level 90. I should have known it was coming. With the "ease" of getting relic weapons now and more people able to kill Arch Dynamis Lord, the Ragnaroks started coming out in full force. According to FFXIAH, there are 4,121 Ragnaroks between level 75 and the 99 Afterglow version. By the time you read this, there will probably be an additional 100 more. If you had any other great sword (except the Magian double-attack one...go figure) you were shunned, more or less. People switched to the "Ragnarok or GTFO" mentality. So basically, I had to get the fuck out. Obviously, I didn't like that. Thus began my quest to get this ugly ass relic weapon. Truly, Hoarfrost and Borealis are blue. That should make it better than a Ragnarok all on its own.

Anyway, what I'm torn about is the relic path to take. I've been getting invited to Salvage more and more recently, but not as a Dark Knight. Instead, I've been a Thief. Granted, beyond capped Treasure Hunter, there isn't anything special about the gear I use with that class. Which is part of the issue. Lux Pugio and a Thief's Knife just doesn't cut it for damage. I'm still working on my popsicle, but even that pales in comparison to the Mandau. So what do I do? Go with a dagger so I can stay in Salvage, or stick with the great sword and blend in with the other billion Ragnaroks out there? Truth be told, I'm kind of pissed that Resolution is good and kind of want it be nerfed. Then people will find something else to fawn over and I can go back to happily swinging my Hoarfrost Blade.

Now with that long explanation on why I'm making a Ragnarok out of the way, on with the progress. Currently, I'm almost finished with Stage 2, which is pretty slow in terms of how others do it. I've gone into Dynamis a few times by myself but, I usually wind up dead or I manage to get an awesome total of 40 shells, even with triggers and all time extensions. As THF/DNC, I honestly just don't have the damage output to kill things fast enough and get the currency I need. So, I buy whatever I can find at prices that don't immediately put me in the poor house. Or further in the poor house, I should say. Key's been a tremendous help in that regard, as has Misii, Patchou, and Swk. When I finish this in 3 years, I'll be sure to take a screenshot and send it to whatever game you guys have moved on to.

Popsicle Lovin'

Ah, the Twashtar.  My first attempt at an Empyrean weapon since the initial release.  It's also the one weapon that has been sitting in my Mog House in its incomplete Kartika form since that initial release.  You know how it is when you want to be a White Mage, but have to level Scholar, Red Mage, and possibly even Ninja before you can get everything out of the job you initially wanted?  That's how I feel with this.  I just wanted a pretty knife.  That was it.  This dagger isn't super strong, and there are a lot of options out there to use instead of this.  However, this dagger is damn cute.  Do people not understand that I am all about the cuteness?  None of the other weapons look pretty on Dancers.  The mythic dagger is horrendous and looks like some rejected prop from a Freddy Kreuger movie.

I've been trying forever to get this done. If you look at my profile, you'll notice that I have an Ukonvasara.  That and the Twashtar are on the exact same path, so why didn't I get it when I had the chance?  That's a great question, and the answer is simple.  Stupid, but simple.  Pressure and low self-esteem.  I wanted to be one of the cool kids.  My option of being a Dark Knight was fading without a Ragnarok, and I got tired of always being a Corsair.  Don't get me wrong, I love Corsair.  What I don't love is just standing around, buffing everyone else and can't even get enough TP for myself to use Wildfire before all of the enemies are dead.

The only place that I can even remotely enjoy Corsair is during an event that I don't particularly care for, which is Voidwatch.  I have fun shooting things because the NMs have so much HP and I can spam dusty wings for TP.  Unfortunately, I have to waste the first half of a fight with Chaos and Fighter's Rolls, which do jack-shit for a magic weaponskill such as Wildfire.  So, halfway through the fight (if I'm lucky), I can give myself Wizard's Roll and do more than 400 damage when I fire a round.  Most of the time, if I go to any other event, I'll just run around naked and not even bother attempting to shoot anything.  It's a waste of time and my bullets, and I don't have enough gil to waste either.

So, in order to join the crowd and actually participate in fights, I took Warrior to 99 and made myself a Ukon.  Honestly, it was hard.  I don't mean the trials to get the weapon but, knowing that the chance to make that dagger was right in front of me and I kept passing it up.  However, that's behind me.  I still feel the twinge to have that dagger.  At any rate, I'm back to it.  I'm at 32/50 shells and hopefully I'll be able to get it done within the next month or two.  Then I can move on to Itzpaplotl.  People seem more willing to help with that than Glavoid.  We'll see.

Oh yeah, I hate Glavoid.  Just putting that out there.

Aside from those main two things, I've been learning the ropes in Salvage, Meeble Burrows, and have become a regular in Einherjar again.  Salvage is pretty enjoyable since everyone starts out the same (ie, gimped to hell and back).  Despite my lack of awesomeness in there, I do enjoy it.  I've also had a few lucky runs with Nyzul Isle.  More unlucky than not, but I have scored some cool gear. 

Oh, here's one for the cuteness album.  Key and Detzu invited me to do an old-school Salvage run yesterday.  While fighting a frog, Detzu and I got charmed and chased poor Key around the area.  It's one of those moments where you know that you can kill your friend, but you have to laugh anyway.  It's kind of cool killing an avatar when you're a toad.
Detzu was just a tad close, don't you thnk?

February 10, 2013

On Task (kind of)

We all know I need a plan so I don't stress the hell out while playing this.  The next step is actually making one.  This is where it gets messy, because every class has so many things to do for it.  Simply saying that you're going to "gear up" whichever job is far too vague and could also take months to do.

Naturally, that's exactly what I'm doing because I'm an idiot.

Sometimes, you just have to accept your flaws and keep it moving.  So let's discuss what I'm doing and check my progress.  I figure by telling all three of you that are reading this about what's going on, it will help to keep me focused and maybe even prevent me from losing my mind.  Maybe.

It doesn't exist...

Ah, good old Voidwatch.  Lately, I've been spam-joining groups that I find for Ig-Alima.  Yes, I'm still searching for the ever-elusive Borealis great sword.  The Hoarfrost Blade gets the job done, but I want my shiny death blade.  I've been in the group with Ephexis most of the time, and he always makes an interesting alliance.  Aside from that, the drop rate on this is beyond horrible.  I have seen more Wroth Scythes in this run than all other weapons combined.  Stupid scythe.

Playing with Wyrms

I can only imagine how many lude comments will be made from the above title, but I'll leave that your imagination.  I think I am part of a hopefully dying breed of damage dealers who still don't have the E. Body armor.  Unfortunately, Nidhogg hasn't been to helpful in getting me out of that group.  Instead, he lovingly hands over some scales and other useless nonsense.  Not even a Ridill.  The good news is that once I have it, I can stress myself out over getting the actual cursed armor.  It's good to know what your future holds.  Although it hasn't dropped a damn thing except a load of disappoint for me, Bey was lucky enough to get her first piece of "king's gear," the Dalmatica!

Even though it's old...

With me and my awesome self-esteem issues, I was somewhat thankful when the Empyrean armor came out.  My reasoning?  I never got anything completed in Salvage.  While it sounds like a poor excuse, which it is, it was good to know there was an armor option out there that I finally had access to.  No longer did you have to wear Ares if you wanted to be a damage dealer, or Skadi if you were a thief.  Mages weren't confined to the stigma of being considered pitiful without a Morrigan's Robe.  In a way, it's comforting that some of the "casuals" could finally take part in end game.  Of course, now there are too many casuals who have no clue what the hell they're doing in these types of events, making things harder for many.  I suppose there really isn't a happy medium for this sort of thing.

Anyway, now there is the Level 99 Salvage, commonly referred to as "Neo Salvage."  Adding "Neo" to the name apparently makes it more epic sounding than "Level 99."  As I'm sure you already know, now the original Salvage armor can be augmented to be even more awesome than it was before.  So you know what that means...everyone and thier mother is rushing to get through the original tier.  This also means that I once again have felt the pressure to get this gear.  Well, I don't have a group for it, and since my gear was never really all that awesome originally, it's difficult to convince people to let me in now.  However, Lisamarie and Milhouse have been supportive enough to invite me when they have go in.  It's been an interesting experience, to say the least.  I do want to get better so I don't feel like such a third wheel, but I know that will come in time.

Rush to 100!

Speaking of Neo and remakes, there is also the new Nyzul Isle Uncharted Survey.  Granted, while neither Neo-Salvage or "Neo Nyzul Isle" are actually brand new, they are new as far as I'm concerned.  The Askar, Denali, and Goliard sets have made a triumphant comeback and you can once again see people standing in Port Jeuno with this very pretty armor.  Well, except Goliard.  That was never pretty.  The armor has new names (Phorcys, Thaumus, Nares) and very awesome stats to go with them.  The new Salvage armor can beat out this new gear, but no one is going to look at you in a negative light for showing up with NNI armor.

While the new Salvage is considerably easier than before, that's not the case with NNI.  Square-Enix decided to make this event particularly difficult for the players.  The worst part about NNI is the fact that there are no save points like before.  Now, you have to make it from 1-100 in 30 minutes.  Even with the floor jumps, you are heavily dependent on luck to get you through.  Because of this, players have to bring their A-game every single time.  There truly is no room for screw ups.  Finishing with only seconds to go is far from uncommon.  I've joined a couple of shout groups that went horribly wrong, but luckily Rocko recently invited me to his group and I've been having a lot of fun there.  Hopefully, I can make that a common thing and stick with them.  I'm more or less a standy person at the moment, but it's better than nothing.

Trials, trials, trials

Yeah.  I set myself up for all types of issues with this.  Why I have so many Empyrean trials active is beyond my understanding, but it's what I've done.  So, I'm slowly trying to get through whatever I can when I find the opportunity (and people) to do so.  Bey and Frice have been extremely helpful, and Misiisii / Dierdren have helped out whenever possible as well.  The flavor of the month for now is this Twashtar, since it was the very first Empyrean I ever attempted to complete.  With luck, I'll have my popsicle knife soon.  That would be kind of nifty.

Well, there's more for me to blog about and I have a few more pictures to add, but Swk's on me about going to finish these iron plates. Yes, I'm working on that too. I know....I know.

February 3, 2013

Coming home

Sometimes stuff happens and you find yourself away from the people that you have practically grown up with.  Moving, new jobs, marriage / divorce, and all sorts of other things.  It's a part of life.  One of the awesome feelings you can get is when you not only catch up the people you haven't seen in awhile, but when you can truly return to them as more than just a passerby.

While that scenario is for reality, the same is said for linkshells.  For me, my "homes" would be Epic and ShieldsofValor. This time; however, the post isn't about me.  It's for another friend of mine... Dierdren.

She's very well known around the server, for various reasons.  A former member of Excellence, Dierdren has accomplished many things in game, and several of them were done before the FFXI era that we know now.  Without going into too much detail, Dierdren left Excellence roughly one year ago.  While she was there, she was very devoted to the shell.  I remember her talking about wanting to join when we were back on Hades.  We would stand in Whitegate and she'd talk about how exciting it would be to join a shell like that.  When she finally got in, she was like a kid at Christmas.

Since then, she devoted most (if not all) of her time to the linkshell.  You could tell that she had a lot of pride when it came to the shell.  So when she left, she missed it.  Everyone now and then, we'd chat about things and how she was.  Now that Excellence is rebuilding, she hoped that one day she might be able to return.

Turns out that day was sooner than she thought.  Not only did she miss Excellence, but some people in there missed her as well. You already know where this is going, but Dierdren has been invited back to the place she once called home.  With that said, welcome back Dier!


As anyone who has read more than two blogs here can tell, I get stressed easily by this game.  Which is funny when you consider my line of work requires me to have a calm disposition and analyze / solve problems.  Great at my job, horrible at this game.  Well, whatever.

A conversation a few days ago put me on this huge thinking path.  I was just bitching (well, whining) to one of my friends about things here, and he asked me a very simple question that I couldn't directly answer.

"What's your goal?"

Damn you, Swk.  Making me think so much.  Honestly, I couldn't tell him.  You know how you have people that are experts in certain aspects?  They can work magic in any one thing, which makes them seem like they can do anything.  That's not me.  I'm no expert in anything, but I can do some of everything.  I realize I'm that way in life as well as this game.  However, that doesn't work so well for FFXI as it does in reality. 

He asked me what I was working on, and I started listing several things.  I have partial currency for a relic, items for 5 Empyrean weapons, a plethora of +2 items, all sorts of abjurations, and various sorts of other things that aren't done.  The first thing he told me, after saying "wow", was "focus".  That has always been my issue, and I believe it could also be the source of my stress.

I'm too scattered.  My fear of being inadequate for linkshells and groups has put me on this path to improve without focusing on what I want to improve on.  When it comes down to it, you can spend your entire time in FFXI working on one single class.  Me?  I'm working on everything that a person could ask me to change to.  Stressing out over getting a Tessera Saio, or my Enhancing magic capped, or pissy because I haven't got an Armada Hauberk yet.  Upset over my perceived lack of usefulness due to not having level 99 weapons.  All this stuff can make you crazy.

So now, I realize what I need is a plan.  This is harder than it sounds, because planning means I have to do something I am definitely not comfortable with: asking for help.  Most of what I do is by myself, which is also what leads to me being so scattered.  I do what I can by myself, and then switch to something else until someone happens to be available to help me with what I was doing before.  Of course, since I won't ask for help, I end up moving on to several projects by the time someone is available.  Then I stress out because I don't have inventory space and all these unfinished projects that I've obligated myself to do.  It's a vicious circle, and I understand that it's my doing.

The next question is, "What do I do to fix it?"  Well, I'm not going to just trash everything that I've done and promise to do things one at a time because that would be stupid.  I'm going to need some help, both with getting projects done and also keeping myself from getting into this position in the first place.  Easier said than done for me, but it has to be done.  I know I'm not going to stick to a single project because I'll get bored if I can't work on it constantly. So I'll do a few things and leave it at that.  Truly, just a few things.

One other thing that I've been having difficulty with is money.  Not only in making it, but spending it.  Granted, I don't have the umpteen bazillion gil that I see many of these others with, but I can afford to spend some money on a few upgrades.  Which is exactly what I started doing.  Part of improving requires some purchases.  Sure, there are better options out there which are r/ex, but until I can get that, I have to get at least something.  Small upgrades here and there, but they will all help out in the long run.  Not to mention, it's hard to be taken seriously if you're too afraid to put in effort or risk being broke just so you can make yourself better.

Speaking of scattered, I'm trying to write this blog while doing Voidwatch.  I really need to stop multi-tasking so much.