Final Fantasy XI « AstralCandy

Opinion: Dragoon Pets Can GTFO

07 November 2011

This was originally posted on Zantetsuken.net, but I’m reposting it here since it was originally intended to be posted here anyway. <.<;

I love Dragoons. Final Fantasy IX is one of my favorite games and I really adored Freya Crescent both on the battlefield and in the story. I’ll even admit to having a childhood crush on Kain Highwind from Final Fantasy IV, and thinking how awesome he was with his Jump abilities. So when I say I don’t want to see a wyvern as a damn pet for Final Fantasy XIV’s Dragoon, it’s for a damn good reason.

The aforementioned Dragoons are especially strong characters, and even the current LNC abilities in XIV is powerful enough to warrant some players to employ tactics that include a party largely made up of Lancers. Their Jump abilities is where they especially shine, allowing them to leap up into the air to great heights, avoiding their enemy’s attacks, and come crushing down on their opponent with great damage. In these games prior to XI, none of these Dragoons or Dragoon-like equivalents (more akin to being just a LNC or hybrid) had a pet. They didn’t need it! So then now comes the question regarding XI: But why did DRG in XI have a wyvern!? I’ll be frank; I have no damn clue and I won’t try to play it off like I do. I do, however, remember the time early in a DRG’s career when they were nerfed in the world of Vana’diel. The Dragoons had suffered in its reputation due to the fact their Wyvern easily fell in battle and could not be summoned again until after the two hour ability timer had refreshed. It had gone from awesome to lol to awesome again, but a lot of that took time for SE to fix the reputation that it had given DRG during its dark era. Time that I’m not very confident SE should devote to using for a pet job at this time.

Now some will bring up the argument for the Dragoon in FFXIII and that Fang herself is a Dragoon and has a “pet” and thus creating the argument that Dragoons for any game hereinafter Final Fantasy XI should have a pet. Why? Because Fang is apparently able to summon and use her Eidolon Bahamut in battle! First, let’s look at a few things here:

Eidolons. Typically in the Final Fantasy universe they are magical beings summoned by practitioners of the Summoning class. Its etymology is listed being a Greek word for a phantom image and Latin uses the word Idolum from which Idol is taken and is defined as a image or representation of something typically used in areas of worship. Both definitions seem to largely make up what we know about Eidolons/Summons/Avatars/Aeons/Espers/Guardian Forces. In many cases these creatures are typically summoned in times of great need; it’s not often you get to summon them nilly willy like it is in Final Fantasy XI.

The lore in Final Fantasy XIII regarding them is that they appear to I’Cie who are in deep despair to give the person hope and test their willpower and determination as evident of their ability to push them in a crisis situation with Doom. It is not to be confused with a pet that is a tamed creature that is kept as a companion and cared for. Beastmasters care for their pets and keep them as companions, and DRG in FFXI keep the wyvern as a companion that they care for and have are cared for in return. Summoners, on the other hand, do not keep their Eidolon as a “pet” and may only summon them for assistance. Even at that point, the Eidolons are not capable of always being with you and have to return to the astral plane at one point or another. And if you still want to argue that Bahamut is a pet, try imagining yourself telling that to Bahamut’s face and tell me if you honestly think you will walk out of that conversation unscathed.

That all said and done, I don’t believe that Dragoon can’t walk away with at least something here; I just firmly don’t believe that it has to come in the form of a pet. As Yoshida has mentioned, if they give the Dragoon a pet then something will have to give since they are now trying to balance two forms of damage into one without making it either too weak or too strong. However, if FFXIV dev team decided to take upon the route that they did for FFXIII with PSICOM Dragoon’s, then that is an altogether different story.

The PSICOM Dragoon ascribes to the original definition of what a Dragoon is; a mounted infantryman. They don’t use pole arms and instead use guns, but they are mounted fighters and work on perfecting their mounted fighting abilities. This is typically hard to implement in a game, and I can imagine why Final Fantasy XI took the idea and instead made it into a pet. Does that mean XIV should have a pet? Heaven’s no! Pet jobs are a mess. Final Fantasy XIV is still in a state that it has to prove itself to a largely skeptical community; adding in a pet job that could very well not be properly implemented the first time around like it was in FFXI could be disastrous for the game’s environment. Getting the job right the first time around and not turning it to another scenario of loldrg is what needs to be focused on. The inclusion of a pet and more specifically the wyvern is a superficial add-on that doesn’t necessarily add much to the game and adds more complexities where none need to be added.

As of right now, there is no good reason to allow Dragoons to have a pet that could potentially do more harm than good in the overall scheme of things. Arguments for its inclusion are non-existent to weak at best, with one primary one being, “Final Fantasy XI had it, so why can’t XIV?” Final Fantasy XI and XIV are two separate games now being directed at two entirely different people. Each Final Fantasy itself is different and right now XIV is hurting the most. If inclusion of the pet means that either: a.) DRG is pushed back or b.) DRG’s more deadly and more characteristic move Jump is nerfed then the addition of a wyvern is for naught. I’d rather see DRG kept to how it is at this time (without the inclusion of a wyvern or a pet of sorts) and see more focus placed on game mechanics and balancing of other current jobs in the game vs. implementing a pet system that is troublesome to begin with.

The Future of XI and XIV

21 October 2011

I know it has been a terribly long time since I have last updated, and I deeply apologize. Things have been crazy. With my cousin visiting, going to PAX (I never did make my write up, did I?), and then changes here and there in my personal life… its been busy at best and downright crazy at its worst. During the time of being back in school since 2006, studying math after a ten year hiatus (hello rationa-wha the hell is that!?), and being sick here and there… I have managed to squeeze in time to play a little but not as often as before. But today’s entry isn’t so much as to talk about my adventures or lack there of, but to talk about my thoughts on the future of both games I have grown to love and hate.

First off…. Final Fantasy XI! I have actually deactivated my account for a few reasons:

a.) I wasn’t as interested thanks to the cooling off period from my cousin visiting
b.) I was more interested in games such as LoL, XIV, and WoW.
c.) The updates have been lack luster at best.

Since the last patch, I have found little to no reason to log on. Leveling to 95 seems like a chore, as does the prospect of obtaining the spells I had been so previously eager to learn. Then there is the road map that was released earlier this week; was it really something worthy enough to post? Maybe to show that, yes, they do have something planned and are working on something, but overall the reception the road map was given was lukewarm at best. Even I couldn’t help but look at it and go, “That’s it?” I know the game is aging and I know that the PS2 limitations are probably rearing its ugly head even more right now, but its frustrating that we aren’t given any hint of an expansion or something more meaty to sink our teeth into. No, not rehashed areas with an ugly filter on it or even just a few new places. Something bigger and more interesting that will make me go, “WOW! This is COOL~!”

FFXI feels dry and stagnant and I can’t help but feel like they are running out of really cool ideas to implement into the game. Reiokyu mentioned interesting battles with different usage of tactics, but that’s not enough for me. I want content. I want meat. I don’t just want different flavored potatoes! Which brings me to…

Final Fantasy XIV

Being a young MMO, it is understandable that it will probably be the opposite of FFXI. There are updates, there are changes, and they are coming… in a little over a year. Ok, so that was the catch. Though we can anticipate updates every so often (about 2 – 3 months apart from each other), it is still a long time to wait for every single update and promise to be delivered to us.

For this reason, I am siding with a lot of hesitant players. We are being asked to pay $12 for a subscription for a game that Yoshida himself has claimed that is only at 50% of its promise as of 1.19. He hopes that it will get even closer to 100% by a slight margin by the time 1.20 is released. But in these times? When I know money is tight for a LOT of people, it seems crazy to pay a monthly subscription of $12 for a partially finished game. It has and IS much better than its initial release, but even I am hesitant at times to really promote the game at its current state. I can get excited with the die hard fans, but for the players who feel spurned by SE and the initial release of XIV? I’m hesitant.

Not because I don’t believe in what Yoshi-P is doing or the progress that is being and WILL be made. I have seen it and played through it; I know it will happen and will meet and has a chance of exceeding expectations. However, I think the finicky players will be more critical of the game as it is and will still want that meat and potatoes I had mentioned I want from Final Fantasy XI. The meat and potatoes include key features that Yoshi-P himself has mentioned as well as the ability for people to adequately run the game on lower spec’ed PCs. There are also server issues that even make me cringe at times during my time playing the game.

Do I have hopes these players will return? Yes. Am I holding my breath on it? No. The updates and changes are massive and show that the only way to salvage the game is to do a near complete overhaul of many facets of the game, but a lot of people seem very set in their initial review of the game and very hesitant at best to be excited for the promises of 2.0. I am hoping that this will change by the time we come to the release of the PS3 and 2.0 release, because I would honestly like this underdog win.

Maybe because I am clearly taken by the charismatic and intelligent Yoshi-P, or maybe I am more of a XIV fangirl than I would like to admit. Whatever the reason and irregardless of the choices/thoughts my friends and acquaintances make of the game, I am hoping the best and brightest for XIV. It is coming out nicely onto its own and I believe that Yoshi-P and the XIV team is doing the best darn job they can to make sure that XIV lives up to expectations. Speaking to the community, taking their thoughts and suggestions (even as stupid as they are) into consideration, and showing exactly the progress they are making is leaps and bounds more than I would have ever expected from SquareEnix in the first place. While Final Fantasy XI seems like a sinking ship, Final Fantasy XIV seems more like the ship that is surviving the storm with the steadfast hand of its director, producer, and captain. Even if people think poorly of the game, they should at least give him and his team credit for trying so damn hard and doing what a lot of people thought impossible by delivering promises that never were to begin with.

Hey, Yoshi-P, here is my $12 monthly fee! I’m looking forward to the ride you are going to deliver from here to the land of 2.0!

Team Derp Returns to FFXIV

02 August 2011

We’ve talked about it and we did it. We came back to XIV. To what capacity? I have no idea. At the moment we are currently on Mysidia which seems to be a server largely populated by the Japanese. Some are ranking up quite nicely while there are others like myself and Orophen who had waited to level up together and then managed to get levels pretty quickly thanks to the patches.

Right now its a good change of pace. There are still things wonky in XIV, but its also apparent things are different and are changing. There are a handful of changes that have been good and others that aren’t as much. Personally, I’m enjoying the auto-attack. My boyfriend has been very adamant against it and still doesn’t seem to like it very much. He even scorns those that now complain the battles are slow because of the introduction of auto-attack. I don’t personally see it, especially since I’ve had to deal with cool down timers a lot as a mage. What DOES suck is how much more easily I seem to get hate now than I did then (unless I am remembering things incorrectly). Curing, for example, can easily get me killed if I don’t let Orophen establish enough hate via weapon skills. It is almost as though I have dumped a bunch of Cure IVs on him and bam! I’m mowed down like a punk ass. Nuking in and of itself is also a crazy mess but it has also inadvertently saved the day many times thanks to the high amount umbral and astral damage it does; definitely more than I remember it having done when I was leveling THM aeons ago. However, I’m still eagerly waiting for BLM as it is far more potent and suits my tastes far more than the debuffer position that THM holds. Though I guess I should be more aware of how many more deaths I’m going to eat when I do make the switch over…

As for our XI exploits, they will sort of be haphazard during the month of August. My schedule will be chaotic due to a visiting relative, and I’ve left care of the team in the hands of Hiroshiko, Rubicon, and Orophen. Two of them I know I can count on. One of them is questionable at best, and has me worried if anything will happen at all during my absence. There has also been an issue within the linkshell itself, of which I go into detail here. Since then more bits of drama had been pasted onto it, and I’ve found that neither party is willing to make its move; which is fine by me. I’m OK with a stalemate because I personally see no reason to do any chasing and I’m sure the other person is feeling the same way. My only desire at this point is for my members/friends (for me and my ls the two are synonymous) to stop being stalked and checked up on for absurd reasons. Example of absurd reason: fear of being replaced despite having a.) left and b.) me asking members to overlap on jobs if they are both willing and able even when said person was still with us. We are a small LS that fills in holes for others when they aren’t there or needing to cover other areas; I would be doing us a disservice not asking them to cover jobs if they are willing and able to do so. There are also people that just want to level the job because they want to without me having to poke and prod them; who the fuck am I to tell them to stop? That is their prerogative and I won’t kick them just because they are doing something that the other person does out of sheer boredom.

/sigh Now I need aspirin…

Blurring the lines between online and off

22 June 2011

In my own little group, I have met three people from the ls:

1. My own boyfriend (duh)
2. Hiroshiko; I grew up with him since he was a wee little ankle biter
3. Reiokyu during Sakura Con 2010

Well, make that four:

4. A friend of Kiln’s who was in my Chinese History class at the University of Washington and whom I remember fondly as the guy who turned in his final paper just minutes after the final had started.

Other than that, I have known players to live close to or around the area, but have never really met any of them. Then in comes Maiev who isn’t even from Ragnarok and whom I have only played briefly with during my brief stint on the Fenrir server. I’ve known the guy mostly due to the fact we are bloggers (go go blogger community!) and at one point we were on BBM and working on FFXIVblog.com together.

Last Saturday we met in downtown Seattle along with Nomnom from the Dalmatica Network. It was fun listening to stories about Ragnarok then and of course now, and then talking about the state of XI as it is now. Its a conversation piece that seems to be prevalent in many circles I am in, but one I will not explore here since its now isn’t really the time. But it made me think of just how much more fun the people I meet online are than those I know offline. It has been a realization I have come to when talking to people I know locally, because although they are great people… they just aren’t as full of super-duper awesome sauce as the more competent players I’ve met on FFXI (cause the dumb ones are just that: dumb). Sure we’re talking bits of code and digital data, but… even so, a lot of people had a lot of passion for what they did. Its always fun to see that passion in people’s eyes and in their intonation when they speak. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly is all there and you can’t help but relate because part of you has also experienced that to some degree.

I guess what doesn’t help me at all is that a lot of my friends in real life are mostly, um, older ladies who have a spouse and kids. Ring on finger? Nope. Carrying a child for nine months and popping them out from between my legs? Most definitely no. Sure its hard talking to others about my gaming life, but… when I actually do talk to these people who understand, its like a whole new world of excitement and joy.

I guess that’s why I can’t seem to be thankful enough that I got TeamDerp on my side and was able to meet Maiev and Nomnom in person. They get that part of you that not many in the “real” world would, and are much easier to be yourself around because, hey, we’re all dorks/geeks/nerds/whatever anyway, right?

Now if only I can think of a cheap way to get the rest of TeamDerp onto the west coast for a convention get together.

Welcome back, Hiroshiko!

21 June 2011

For about a month and a half, TeamDerp just didn’t feel the same without our little servant boy er, kick ball.. no, um… “friend” around. Not that any of us really missed him…

In all seriousness though, we did really miss the guy and we really happy to see his brief return until his internship is over sometime this week. His presence really helped especially during our Ultima run the night he dropped in, and allowed everyone in the party who didn’t already have it to get:

Next week will be interesting once Hiroshiko comes back full time for sure. :D Hopefully we can add another day of events and maybe finish up the stuff we’ve been unable to finish up outside of the TeamDerp nights. Here’s hoping…

Frustrations abound…

13 June 2011

Since I have made my Twitter private for an undisclosed amount of time, some intrepid followers may have noticed my weekly grumblings on the days of Mondays and Tuesdays. It is on these days that I am with another LS doing Abyssea events, of which I had been invited into the LS by my friends who had been in this particular LS for a number of years doing other events with them. It has also been an LS that had helped me get many atma, clears to Shinryu, and a number of goodies I would not have otherwise gotten. Which is why I feel conflicted and utterly pained when I feel like I have to drag my ass and force myself not to complain so much with the turn of events as of late.

For a number of weeks we we will typically see the insides of Altepa or La Theine (it was formerly Misareaux) farming for (or attempting to) Empyrean weapon items. Once in awhile we will go do something else, but… I am so honestly sick of those two zones that I feel like its pulling my teeth to go. It doesn’t help when I feel people are ignoring the memo on farming Tiger King’s Hide out of Gold Pyxis is better than killing that stupid Ansherekh over and over and over again and week after week. But what do we end up doing week after week? Killing that damn tiger in hopes we get the hide to get the pops, to get the KI, and then to get the items needed for someone’s weapon. I honestly wouldn’t mind this if it were more efficient, but its not… and its driving me batty. I guess I just need a change of pace as well. There are other members who could use +2 items or more of it, but we hardly go out to get those items. Even my friend is put off when she is overlooked for getting seals for her Empyrean armor, but feels like she can’t say anything because of the same situation I am in.

Meh! At least me going to the gym to workout has proven to be a good exit out of runs I am starting to find tedious and displeasing. It also gives me fuel to work out intensely once I get there and want to burn off some steam… so, eh? Other than that, it did make me think about what Hiroshiko had said before and why he felt the need to join another LS. I’m wanting to do the same myself, but finding the time for it is what seems to be the most challenging of all… I already have enough on my plate that I either have to do or would rather do because its with great people that I can laugh and have fun with (yes, that’s a shout out to mreh/TeamDerp!). Now if only Hiroshiko and Kimiko would stop acting like they were too good to hang out with us~ ;o; We need more lulz thankyouverymuch!

A Calaera-style Welcoming Party

04 June 2011

Well, probably more of a… “Here, let me show you how I can lower your IQ points by THIS much.” If you are following me on twitter, most likely you have seen how I refer to my LS as #teamderp. That is not just because I have a separate LS named TeamDerp, but because Reiokyu has made claims we can severely lower IQ points if we really go at our hijinks I get tired and just go to the deep end. The sad thing is, I barely remember what I say and I’m pretty sure I will be horrified when someone does tell me the specifics! On the other hand, I do remember laughing! Laughing and lots of fun! I just hope Kimiko and Chakura’s friend decide to come back and not be scared off cause I was undeniably crazy last night.

mreh/TeamDerp has had a wonky time for the past few weeks. Hiroshiko had left for a two month break (the little snot lied about coming back mid June!), people traveled, I had found my hands full of work, and in genera things were a little crazier. Thankfully it picked up again thanks to Rubicon simply voicing what I had been thinking for awhile: we needed to go back into the swing of things. Though we are pretty much a casual LS, we still have our laundry list of things to do that we would like to get done! There are a few of us who still do not have complete +1s on our primary jobs and there are some who want to get more atma. Thursday and Friday was a push towards those goals by getting more Limbus out of the way for fabricated atma, and then going off to Vunkerl Inlet to hunt feet seals. Mekare has now completed her WAR feet, Orophen has his RNG feet completed, Lexshu is now 6/8 on DNC, and (sadly) Rubicon had barely made a dent on his by netting only one or two last night.

To try and make things a little better for the Ragin’ Cajun, we had also made a venture into Dynamis-Bastok late Friday night/early Saturday morning. It was the first time I had gone inside since the update to Dynamis and Rubicon’s first time in there at all! My thoughts on the new version of Dynamis? It was definitely not what I had expected at all! We got the boss within minutes of entering, we were able to get time extends without demolishing an entire zone (just having to deal with nasty pulls and links; something we were dealing with quite frequently in Vunkerl anyway), and even netted some gear and a few coins for people. It also just felt really nice to wander in without having to kill every. single. damn. mob. in existence. I’m looking forward to more ventures into Dynamis with smaller parties and walk away with old but still attractive gear!

Hidden Trait: Vs.Mandragora DMG+60%

14 May 2011

No, that’s not a real trait. Well, maybe in the minds of Kyoshin, Hiroshiko, and Reiokyu who know my strong desire to one day have a ginormous Mandragora (larger than Chloris mind you) try to destroy the world and me fighting it in amazing glory. Because there is no one else better to rule the world than moi and I ain’t letting no damn onion do it! Unless it wanted to be my pet, then that’s another story!

These numbers don't really exist. It is just a part of your imagination!

The comment about my supposed hidden traits came last night after a fluke which I will stay firm on until the day I die. After all, the mob was DC AND an onion! So of course it would just magically spike up that way! That is going to be my reasoning and excuse for Reiokyu who just laughed with the others when I feebly cried help after I aggroed a mob and didn’t have buffs up after I pulled those numbers out of no where. TT_TT I swear, maybe it was just the whole Friday the 13th vibe because I did damage that I normally wouldn’t do that night.

At any rate, since the merger I’ve seen so many new faces on the server that I have to at times take a double take because there are either names close to people I actually know or knew formerly. One name that had me nearly choking on water was the thought that Cozma had come back. I distinctly remember so many people practically celebrating with delight when they found she was leaving the server so many years ago. To think it was that long ago that I was playing, too!

The numbers itself on Ragnasith is in and of itself phenomenal. It has been such a long time since I have seen the server so full of people that it had brought back many memories of being a lowbie in the crowded areas of Lower Jeuno for the first time and being awestruck at the higher level gear at the time. I had that nostalgic feeling seeing more people in decked out +2s and Level 90 Empyrean weapons and being in the gear that I am in. Though I am only thankful I haven’t been told outright I am a gimp because I know that has happened to a few friends of mine since the merger…

The increase in competition hasn’t affected us so far though, since we were able to get Orophen and Newbus their +1 hand seals, get Lexshu a zone clear, and even fulfill my desire of killing Amarok. Didn’t get the seals I was hoping for, but at least I have the Steaming Cerberus Tongue for when Hiroshiko returns and we can get people in the LS their Atheling Mantles. I just hope I can get the seals before I get 9/9 on Jewel of Ardor from Prophecy…

Oh, and one last bit of news! I am back on TTO! Thanks to the admin (Erik) for getting my details back onto the server! Huzzah!

{Black Mage} {princess} {You can have this.} /slap

08 May 2011

I will feel almost like a hypocrite writing this because I have understandably leveled mostly the “princess” classes since I started playing XI: WHM, BRD, and then BLM as it has been reseated with the advent of Abyssea. However, because I think I usually played as those classes, I never really encountered the whole princess attitude until last night. Maybe I have, but I just don’t remember. I just can’t stop thinking of the Elvaan male BLM cocking his head, snapping his fingers, and swaying his hips with gusto as he demanded chests to be opened for him and wonder… “Why?”

I know BLMs are needed. I know people want the azure, the nukes, and people who can sleep all the mobs that are pulled. My problem is that I don’t get why people need to pull an attitude and feel they are above others when they really aren’t. If you see there is something in a chest and can’t open it, to me that just screams you are stupid and lazy. If you don’t bother going off to solo mobs near the party at level 90, then you are still stupid and lazy. Its like this cancer that is dressed up in pretty clothes and high damage numbers, but is still in the end a cancer that is feeding off of others and inflating an ego that is too large for its own good.

I guess what bugs me the most is that I know if I were there, I wouldn’t be pulling the unnecessary attitude because it just screams bullshit. BLMs aren’t the end all be all of XI. Especially when there are so many others that can fill that space and not pull out the princess wank. In fact, I’d probably take a BLM that wasn’t doing as much damage if they had a better attitude over one that has a piss poor attitude. /rant

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I am happy to announce that my BLU is now 90 and that I was able to upgrade my Goetia Gloves to +2.

I feel a bit weird about BLU at the moment. I feel as though I am not doing sufficient amount of damage, and that is attributed to several things that correlate to gear, merits, and possible spell choices. The gear choices I am sure will take some time as BLU isn’t my primary focus in any of my LSes, and that merits and such will come as I get back into the groove of playing that class again. Though a part of me is wondering if maybe I am over thinking things and I am actually doing ok… something I doubt as I can’t help but get a nagging feeling at the back of my head every time I am playing as a BLU. Quad. Cont. for example has numbers flying all over the place with the lowest at 479 and the highest clocking in at 2413… but I can’t complain too much since I was at least dealing the most damage before Reiokyu joined in the fray. So, eh? ._.;