March 23, 2013

It's different this time...

I came to realize something last night.  Well, I suppose you could say this morning.

I went back to work on making my little popsicle semi-useful by finishing my Itzpapalotl trial.  As I mentioned before, it wasn't nearly as difficult as Glavoid.  I am so glad to be rid of that stupid-ass worm forever.  Of course, I know I'm going to end up fighting it again to help out friends and that doesn't bother me.  They would be the ones feeling the frustration, not me.  As a matter of fact, I happened to notice that I had a little something extra in my belongings, and I'd like to share what I did with it (in the chat log).  While it may seem trivial, it feels so good to know that there is nothing that I will ever need that item for again.  So long Glavoid, you ulgly, cheap-ass, good-for-nothing bastard.  The next time I see you, I'll probably use a brew just on principle.

With that said, I owe many people thanks.  Of course, I said thank you to some when I received the level 80 version of the Twashtar.  It doesn't matter.  People helped me, and I want to thank them.  It was actually kind of funny with the amount of people who came out for Itzpapalotl.  Some were there who honestly didn't need a thing and just wanted to help.  I can never thank you all enough for the kindness.  There are many days that even I struggle to be as selfless as some of you, and it's humbling.  Sometimes, it's even embarrassing.

This marks my 5th functional Empyrean weapon.  As a matter of fact, having five Empyreans is probably laughable by the standards of most high-end linkshells, to include my own.  I never talk about what I have in an LS chat because I know how some people can be.  They'll include a link to the items they have which are better than mine, followed by that horribly sarcastic smiling emote, " :) ".   A constant show of e-peen to let others know that you'll never be as good as they are.  I'm certain some of you have tons more than I do, but that isn't the point I'm making right now. Quite truthfully, this can be a blog post in its own right, so I'll save my thoughts for then.  Back to the subject at hand.

While in Attohwa, I happened to say thanks to the group that was helping me at the time.  What I received were some comments that somewhat surprised me.  LB said thanks for being so cool; Boss said "anytime, babez", and Goddess said it's "cause we love ya."  Even Dier thanked me for being a great friend.  I've been complimented before...many times, in fact.  But last night, those compliments stung a bit.

We had some difficulties getting the last few scales.  Mainly because I was a fool and didn't pay attention to how much time I had left.  So, with several people who came to help out...I timed out in the zone.  I don't think I've been so embarrassed.  Even still, they waited.  They went to play other games or go eat, but they waited.  I felt so bad, but they stayed until the end.  After gathering the items and taking a screenshot for this blog, everyone left to get a good night's rest.  That's when it happened.

There I was, standing in Ru'Lude Gardens with my shiny, and truly useable, popsicle.  I hadn't even used it to see Rudra's Storm for myself.  It doesn't matter how many times you've seen someone else use a weaponskill, it's a different feeling when it's done by you.  Almost immediately after finishing the trial, I began to think about what to do next.  I don't mean in terms of another weapon since we all know that I have several others in my sight.  However, that's exactly what caused this thought.  I realized I wasn't satisfied.  Here I am, sitting pretty with five Empyreans.  I have friends who don't even have one, or just managed to finish their first.  Yet I'm the one who's always down on myself, saying how gimp I am or how little I have.

That's a problem.  A very big problem.  When I signed off, I thought about that for awhile, and I became angry.  Over the years of playing this game, I have let other people define me.  I put aside my own self-worth and let the words of complete strangers dictate how I feel about myself. I've made mention of things like this before, and I promise that this won't be a "woe is me" post or anything like that.  What was different between then and now is that I never bothered to say how I felt after the thought.

What I want to say to everyone, is that I'm sorry.  I am so sorry that I lost sight of myself for all this time.  I have been so busy chasing after others that I've literally left myself (and my friends) behind.  Believing that nothing I do is ever good enough.  I feel like such an idiot right now.  Leferich, you were right.  It's a game, and to those who can't see it and treat this as more or have to show off and put others down to make themselves feel better...well, as you say, "fook 'em".

Don't get me wrong.  This isn't a "I'm quitting" post, and I'm still going to play.  I'll be here in the early hours just like always, but the difference is that I'll be here because I want to be.  Not because I feel that I must validate myself in the eyes of others.  I will finish my weapons, eventually, and continue my little quests to improve.  I realize that I don't have to be good enough for others.  I have to be good enough for me.  Why it has taken me 4 years of playing this game to see that is something I'll have to figure out at some point.

That's why those compliments hurt.  It hurt because people believed in me when I didn't believe in myself.  So to have you tell me such nice things was slightly painful.  Sounds pretty stupid, I know.

I'm going to do something that I haven't done before.  I'm going to post this on Guildwork.  Not to the entire FFXI community, because I'm pretty sure they could give less than a damn on how I feel or what I deal with internally.  However, there are several people who are on my Guildwork list that probably don't ever see this blog.  So, while most of my posts are things that I say just for the hell of it, this is something that I want people to see.  At any rate, there's a Qilin shout that I'm about to join, and I might even get to fight Omega afterwards.  Off I go.

Once again, to everyone...I am sorry, and I thank you.

March 13, 2013

To plug or not to plug?

Where do ethics fit in the context of gaming?  If this is an area where we are here to relax, do we truly need such stringent rules of conduct?

I think I probably take these rules to heart a bit much.  When I buy games, I've never used any plug-ins, game hacks, or even pc mods.  As a general rule, I refuse to even look at a guide, Youtube video, or any other source of assistance until I have finished the game.  It's just a quirk of mine.  I feel that finishing a game with the help of those materials takes away from the overall experience.  There's no surprise or emotional connection when you play with a guide.  Call me weird, that's just how I am.

That carries over to FFXI as well, and it makes me wonder.  Now that I have a computer and the ability to use things such as Spellcast, Cake, and whatever else is out there, am I truly holding my linkshell or other groups down because I refuse to install them?  When I first started, even mentioning those things was considered taboo.  Power leveling was looked at as being lazy, and bot-claimers were the bane of Vana'diel.  I remember how morally conscious players used to be, and I felt at home among them.

It's not the same anymore.  Now, people take screenshots which blatantly show the plug-ins they use.  Claiming Tiamat with a bot and almost proud to show it off.  The entirety of Beaucedine Glacier filled with people using fishing bots to acquire gil.  Running through Nyzul Isle using whatever it is to see through walls and find enemies in seconds and flee-hacking all over the place.  Square-Enix isn't doing anything about it, and the general public seems to be embracing it.

So is it still an ethical no-no, or is it just me being stubborn?  Afraid to step from the pillar of imagined purity that I started on when I first began playing?  What keeps me from using these plug-ins?  Hell, if I use them and get banned, that would actually help break my addiction to this game and maybe I could have a social life again.  I can probably keep playing this game for a few more years, but there's no way in hell that I would start from scratch.  No matter how "easy" this game may be to some, I have emotion and time invested in Jacinda / Carinde.  If she every goes away, that's it for me.

Still, I continue to wonder.  Am I taking the ethics of gameplay too seriously?  If I did the things that so many others are doing, I wouldn't be so stressed out about what I don't have here.  I could have max gil in a matter of weeks.  I could have the most complex macros in the world and let the game nearly play itself based on some conditional statements.  I already have a product key for a second account when I bought my PC version, so I could make a heal-bot and never worry about finding help again.

Is that really the path I want to take though?  I'm tired of feeling like I have to struggle in this game but, is taking the stance of "everyone does it" really enough to justify the action?

Popsicle sticks

Two weeks ago, I was talking about the possibility of not having a job due to America's budget crisis.  Well, it seems that I was able to dodge the bullet, metaphorically speaking, and I'll still be working next week.  Which is awesome for me since I enjoy this little thing we call eating.  It's pretty neat, and lots of fun.

With that bit of stress out of my head (for now), I can get back into the groove of FFXI.  I should stop lying.  I didn't stop playing even while this was going on.  It helped keep my mind off of the possiblity of being unemployed.  Naturally, that didn't save me from my natural stress which is brought on by me simply logging on, but whatever.  Speaking game-induced stress, let's talk about Glavoid.

To hell with Glavoid.

I can't express my hatred for that NM enough.  Maybe it's because I already went through the pain of making an Ukonvasara, so to go back and do a Twashtar is borderline insane.  Then again, we all know I'm pretty insane when it comes to playing this game.  So anyway, it's been roughly two years since I began my quest to get my own little popsicle dagger.  Admittedly, I haven't been 100% focused on it.  That's obvious due to the other Empyreans I've managed to obtain since they were released.  However, this dagger is probably the one weapon I've wanted the most, next to my Gandiva.  Let's get back to my hatred of this damn worm though.

Of all the NMs I've ever fought, Glavoid is the one I can't stand the most.  Nothing but gimmicks.  Absorb damage and all that nonsense.  Plus that stupid-ass Gorge / Disgorge move.  Nothing pisses me off more than being 30 seconds into the fight and it lets loose a 3k Disgorge without even using Gorge to start.  It's got to the point where I just homepoint when I die and hope that I can make it back before another group steals it from the group I'm with.  You know how you become anxious when you're close to a goal?  I've been at less than 20 shells for quite some time.  Bey and Frice either haven't been around, or they've been busy doing their own thing with Ninja.  As much as I want to send little tells and ask them to come fight Glavoid, it would be pretty selfish to do so when I see them having fun doing things for themselves.  So I naturally get frustrated when I can't find others who will help.

Thankfully, I managed to make a couple of friends in the "new" Excellence LS that came to my rescue.  Leferich and Swk came out in force to help me get the shells I needed.  A special appearance by Tyler, Alertih, and Dierdren was made as well, which was very nice to see.  Long story short, I finally have my pretty popsicle and I can feel like I've actually accomplished something.  So to everyone who helped me on yet another Empyrean journey, I truly thank you.

Of course, there's still Itzpapalotl and Orthrus that I have to contend with, but they aren't nearly as annoying as this goddamned worm.