Sunday, April 26, 2009

A small update, and BluGartr is turning into shit...

Oh, I read the freshest one today...

But, before I do that, I might as well let you guys know what's been going on...

Bit of an interesting week. Finished Bastok Rank 10 on Sunday morning last, then basically got the word, over the course of the week, that our Dynamis LS was diversifying a bit.

We're now doing Moblin Marble farming runs on MMM, we're doing ANNM's every once in a while, and maybe getting into ZNM's as well.

As a result, on the side, I started some Pankration and some Zeni farming to get ready for the time that I might head into ZNM's.

Dynamis Sunday: Xarcabard farming. UGH!!! Sleep nerf really has sucked the life out of Dynamis.

Wednesday: Sandy. Win. Not sure how.

NIN got to 25, as I want to try to get it to 37 eventually because it seems that the leet just need to /NIN.

Sinval has been trying to get CoP 4.2 going -- no success.


Speaking of what leet absolutely needs, I must've read the most arrogant single forum post in the history of Final Fantasy XI. Sure, it's his LS and his forum (and, though I have an account, I don't post, and, now, refuse to...).

I want you to catch this gem from Sonomaa at

The moderators can now ban, if your post is crap, you will be banned for an amount of time the moderators will now decide.

Keep your topics and posts in line with being end game elite level players and stop all the bullshit.

How about making your fucking forum into something that end-game elite players (there's an oxymoron if I've ever heard it -- more on that in a second) might actually be proud of...

Frankly, if BluGartr is any indication, to be an "end game elite level player" in Final Fantasy XI would entail being an arrogant idiot stroking your e-peen while you got yours while you took it from everyone else.

(So why do I read it? Cheating recon for STF reports...)

I mean, here's the reason I truly believe Square-Enix has been so silent on many affairs and really refuses to talk further about things like AV: They can't fucking entrust you to kill more than bees in Gustaberg without botting, cheating, or Windower.

To be an "end game elite level player" probably requires at least a half a dozen violations of the Terms of Service. It probably requires Windower, several illegal add-ons, several illegal tactics, and every ninjar trick in the book...

You see, this is why they laugh at me because my gear is so gimp: To get the "end game elite level player" gear, you almost have to cheat.

I went through this "you must cheat to win" bullshit in Magic: The Gathering, and that's one of the reasons I quit (as both a player and a judge).

This is one of the reasons I solo: I don't trust most of the players not only not to cheat, but to take the rest of the group down with them, as if it is the "end game elite" thing to do to torpedo everyone else.

And since people take their affiliations more importantly than their principles (that's you, Pet Food Cheater), I can see why much of FFXI falls short these days...

So, basically, the rule in Advanced of BluGartr is either to suck Sonomaa's (or the other mods, if they need some "service") dick or get banned.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This form of inflation is bullshit, Square-Enix!!!

So I log in this morning after the next door neighbor decides to wake me for the second time this week, and Square-Enix is at it again.

Square-Enix, in an obvious horn-tooting press release, has claimed a population (for the first time in the game's history) of two million players.




The latest figures I've read, from neutral sources, would indicate that this would be a fourfold increase from the number of players in the game.

And, of course, I presume you counted all the mules as separate entities.

There is no way, especially with the aforementioned lackadasical attitudes of Square-Enix toward player misconduct and the rules of the game, that the population of all the servers on Vana'diel is even close to ONE MILLION, much less two...

So stop bullshitting us, Square-Enix. On a lot of different fronts.

Forgive me if I'm more than a little pessimistic about this "tour"...

Well, it sounds as if the Community Team at least wants it to be known that they will kiss the ass of at least some of the representatives of the player base and deign them (and, by extension, us) with their presence.

The Community Team, over the next several weeks, will be appearing on several of the podcasts, starting with Pet Food Cheater on the 29th of April. Tamtu and Sooraya will get another ".5 episode" as they have the Community Team for an "Annual Events" session one week later. And Aneiro and his merry band take their shot at the Community Team one week after that.

Each of the three shows is going to take a look at the different aspects of the Community Team and events within Vana'diel. None of the shows, at least in concept, will overlap.

... and pardon me if I don't see this effort as one bad piece of PR after another -- one heaping, steaming load of shit from a company which has definitely deserved its reputation as one of the worst with public relations, rules enforcement, and basically anything having to do with the actual player base.

I expect a steaming load of nothing in these three shows, with the exception of mutual ass-kissing and dick-sucking from the shows to the Community Team and maybe one off something that might appeal to 5% of the player base.

Why? I've said it before: Square-Enix has stopped caring about Final Fantasy XI.

Final Fantasy XI is their two-dollar whore that they pimp out for everyone's $12.95 a month so they can stay relevant in an MMO market which has left them firmly in the dust.

ACP is a perfect example of this: A completely half-assed "storyline" with a quarter-assed system which basically almost turns the beastmen in six regular zones into bot-fests if someone actually can pull something decent from the "goodie box" in Jeuno.

The thing is: I can understand, especially in the age of RMT and all that crap (I'll address that in a moment...) about the augments and the like, but FFXI is really beginning to appear to be in a situation where most real upgrades need you to RMT -- with Square-Enix.

Mog Satchel? $10.

New content? $10/3 months, with no real expectation that the 3 mini-expansions will come close to what you paid $30 for before with the regular expansions.

And that is my beef with "What are we paying for?" I said a number of times that I felt that the three expansions, in total, should have as much content as a full regular expansion, and, if ACP is any indication, not close...

(So that covers that part of it...)

It's clear that they really have put most of their efforts behind a game which, given the current market, may never make it, especially if Square-Enix continues to fall on it's ass and not deal with some of the real issues with what's going on, in FFXI and beyond.

So forgive me if I'm more than a little pessimistic about this as anything more than "Square-Enix supports PFA and LBR and the like..."

If they really wanted to answer some questions about the game, how about a few of these??

When the Hell are you going to ban Windower-users?

When the Hell are you going to actually start prosecuting RMT???

When the Hell are you going to basically admit openly to the player base that the reason you won't tell them anything more about Absolute Virtue is a tacit statement (sotto voce) that most of the people who would take on AV have no real idea of how to play the game as Square-Enix allows under the rules?

When the Hell are you going to ban all the botters?

How about this: When are you going to make it actually worth it to play the game legally???

Of course, none of this would get answered, by anyone at Square-Enix, because, to do that, would be basically an admission of what I've said all along... Since it's all about the fucking gil and gear, the rules are meaningless unless the abrogation is flagrant enough to deal with, but not widespread enough so the hooker can't get her fix.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

An interesting week -- not necessarily a _fruitful_ one...

So, now that I finally have the Security Token (more like "now that I finally have the Mog Satchel"), let's see how this week went between confrontations with the local authorities (and I just saw another one just minutes into writing this post -- hey, they want to "beautify" us out of Riverside, and we'll push back, hard):

Sunday Dynamis: Windurst. Win, though, as seems usual for our crew, God only knows how. :)

Wednesday Dynamis: Only could be there for part of it again -- Jeuno. By about 90 minutes in when I had to leave, NO AF had dropped, I got no coins, and the linkshell, eventually, ended up not winning. We know there has been a somewhat significant upgrade in the monsters (especially vis-a-vis how they deal with Sleep effects) since the version update. But the run was not productive anyway, and apparently didn't go that well after I had to leave.

Wednesday-Thursday: So, when I get back after I had to go to help my friend, I go to Whitegate and find out that someone is actually calling for the Cerunnos fight. I'd been stuck there for some time as far as the WotG materials went, so I decided to go along (I had already planted the bulb and was just doing the NM fight.)

We eventually got five together (and, thank you, though I do not have your names remembered -- sorry), and, after one mess-up and wipe (with some job changes), we felled the big tree and I now am at the Battle of Jeuno. Actually tried it solo the first time (got further than I thought I would -- the fact that only the NM (or DoT effects) can finish off the main generals of the fight may have had something to do with that), and it's a fun fight -- just going to have to see if I can find more to eventually do that and get caught up.

Thursday-Friday: About at that point, Sinval is calling for the Ouryu fight. (About the only name I remember from a lot of people getting out and actually trying to do something this week...) Problem is: TWO two-hour waits later, I'm still waiting. He feels bad, but, let's face it: Anyone around this game for any length of time knows that people don't really care anymore about anything that doesn't benefit them. I mean, there's not one PLD left who needs 4.2??? He'll get in touch in a few days (he doesn't want to leave us all hanging)... Sinval and a couple others are trying to get Sea access from the CoP line (which would require getting us through Sacrarium, Three Paths, Airship....)

Friday: Just about the moment that Sinval calls off the dogs, I get a tell from Illuminati -- he needs someone for Bastok Mission 7.2. Yeah, the good old Bastok nation storyline I haven't finished yet. That goes swimmingly with our party of four, and then we do 8.1 -- damn Anticans with Spectral Jig going down and all... 8.2 follows, and then we call it off for the night.

Had my friend not been called in to work on an emergency, I wouldn't be posting from here at the library -- I'd probably be doing 9.1 (the plasm fight) right about now.

So, an interesting week...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

If I said what was on my mind right now....

... they'd be coming to take me.  Many days are not pretty ones anymore.

The last few, especially in Vana'diel, are good examples.

This is about as unfulfilling of an update as I've ever seen.  The ACP content was nowhere near worth $9.99...

Augments are basically more likely to be penalties than real benefits...

The FoV stuff is decent, but only decent...

Dynamis??  OK.  But the drop rates seem to be deteriorating.

The only question is how long I might want to take an enforced vacation to the Crowbar Motel come July...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A first addendum to The Letter (about RMT), and who's the freaking Greedalox now, Square-Enix???

Square-Enix, I made one severe mistake in The Letter -- posted, as promised, as the "Light Reading" before the update.

(And I was going to write this even before I caught wind of how much it's going to cost you to actually upgrade the Gobbiebag to 80 items.)

Square-Enix is losing the fight against RMT, hardcore, now. Short of abolishing the 14-day trial or moving it to its own server, the gil sellers are actually winning, being able to inundate players with spam tells without a care in the world. Delete our characters? Here's 100 more!!!

And then we get to the update and the Gobbiebag quests...

By my rough math, upgrading on Leviathan runs somewhere between 1.1 M and 1.3 M.

That's million...

I've heard some estimates that the eight items are going for around 2 million.

The gil sellers (and their friends who are farming one of the main items for the craftables you need for this) have got to be licking their chops.

I am really getting the impression Square-Enix stopped caring a long time ago...


Let me count the ways, and there are probably dozens more, but just the ones I've become aware of since the update.

1) There are people already finished with the Crystalline Prophecy content.

If we're going to pay $9.95 for this mini-expansion stuff, then the bare minimum we should be expected is, not only in storyline, but also in other stuff, about a third of what one would expect in a full major expansion.

And we get this: An expansion that people can feasibly finish in one night (if they probably bot the mega-camped beastmen stupidities I've been discussing...)? With no real extra content other than the storyline? What is this???

Oh, that...

2) The first two ACP quests basically require you to camp regular beastmen to the point that we've now turned standard beastmen into near bot-fests, with absolutely shitty droprates.

I mean: I lucked out at Jugner and only needed 2 orcs there.

But 11 Quadav in mega-camped Pashhow?

6 Yagudo in Meriphataud was OK, but the second half -- the Goblin half...

14 in Batallia, 20 in Rolanberry, and TWENTY-FIVE in Sauromogue???

What the living fuck is all of this?? I spent an hour in Rolanberry because of all the competition, and at least 40 minutes (largely without it) in Sauromogue...

And THEN you have to find the isolated areas of each of these three zones (running around half of Vana'diel to do it) to do the NM's involved...

And then you have to hope the next NM fight in Qufim works...

For the dear love of God...

3) Leviathan has been absolutely sucky since the update, needing to go down twice already because of problems with the server.

And I don't need to go into a lot of the other complaints (read them across the TTTO)... Nice Augment system, morons...

It's becoming obvious to me that Square-Enix stopped caring, in any real capacity, about making this game. It's becoming obvious that SE is trying to grab every penny it can.

More things that will piss people off about the update...

Round 2: Goblins in the areas around Jeuno, and pop items to pop Goblin NM's to complete the second play mission of ACP. Wheeee... 1/14 in Batallia. Now 0/10 in Rolanberry, and at least 8 people were here at 2:13 AM PDT running roughshod over the goblins near Jeuno in Rolanberry. It's now 2:36. I'm just waiting for the bot-shit to start here too. (And, according to one reporter, it already has!!)

Finally, SIXTY-SIX MINUTES after I entered Rolanberry -- 1/20. Square-Enix, you are going to be in for one fucking nightmare of a weekend if you think this is going to stand.

Update: 4:16 AM. I give up for the night. 0/20 in Sauromongue, and then I have to go through the past to get to this ??? if I ever do get the pop item, and THEN a mandy fight that might not work...


Who the fuck do you think we are, Square-Enix???

Let's see: Banging on Fortifications in Campaign now USELESS. Capped at about 20 XP.

GOOD! Finally... Now people won't be doing that anymore, and will actually pay attention to taking on the actual opponents. I can't tell you how many times I've been in Campaign, trying to actually take on a mob while shouting to the others to get off the Fort.

Now, no one will actually be on the Fort anymore, without going to Slaughterhouse or somesuch...

I'll edit this more later, but just to get some of it out there.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

They have turned normal beastmen into camping situations, I see...

As I just said in-game, GOOD GRIEF!!

The first ACP mission (well, the second -- the first is just the opening cutscene when you zone into Lower Jeuno) has turned Pashhow Marshlands into a campsite.

As in, everybody is trying to kill every Quadav so that the key item that they need can drop to them so they can advance the ACP storyline.

(And the same probably goes for the Orcs in Jugner and the Yagudo in Meriphataud. At least I was 1/2 in Jugner. I'm 0/6 as of the moment, and completely cock-blocked from finding any open Quadav at this point.)

Nice design. Can't wait to see the bot-masters (which probably aren't out yet) completely cock-block this shit for their own entertainment. Nice design, idiots...

(Finally got the Pashhow one, on edit... 1/11 -- whoopeee!!)

(And about 1/6 on the Yagudo in Meriphataud. But done with it -- off to Qufim, and the next mission.)

I promised a little light reading for the update...

So here's The Letter I wrote, with no one to really send it to, it seems.

It could be said Square-Enix doesn't care about me personally, but I wonder openly if Square-Enix cares about anything anymore. I'll get to some more comments in a bit, as I'll post an addendum to the blog here.

This was a letter in which I state what I believe to be necessary demands if Square-Enix doesn't want the game to continue to be the fraud it is now. I wrote it about six weeks ago, wanting to send it to top-level FFXI staff -- finding none who had any real contact info there.

So, you get it, as promised: Flame away. Some of my thoughts might have changed a little in the interim, but here it is... (No scribbles... :) )

There have been some changes in what I believe -- I'll get to those in a later post. Enjoy..


February 19, 2009

To all concerned parties at Square-Enix:

My name is Starcade, and I play (for now) on the Leviathan server of Final Fantasy XI. I really, really wish I were writing this letter under happier circumstances.

I am about as close to quitting Final Fantasy XI as I ever have been. In fact, about the only reason I am still playing is out of spite for a player-base that I, sadly, can only have real contempt for. They have rendered the entire game unfair, not fun, and not sustainable (even by your own tacit admission).

On January 22nd, you took the first real step toward dealing with what, unfortunately, has become an epidemic problem in Final Fantasy XI: The rampant end-game cheating and misconduct which has basically stunted the demographic growth of your game. You have, by my last reading, the same general level of players you had in 2005.

Final Fantasy XI does not appear to be growing with the times, and the main reason for this (in my honest opinion) is that the game has become, bluntly, corrupt and/or corrupted. I'm not exactly sure which (or both!), but it is clear that Square-Enix needs to address several real issues before very long, otherwise it would not be productive for any players to continue to play a game which Square-Enix now appears to see as obsolete.

First Point: The representation by banned players for the player-base and the game communities.

One of the most concerning aspects of the January 22nd bans is the number of high-level, prominent, and, bluntly, “famous” players which were impacted.

The message from Square-Enix must be clear here: Any conduct which results in the player being banned must nullify everything the player has done in and for Final Fantasy XI, since the character has been removed from the game, and, to my knowledge, it is illegal for the player to institute another account and restart. The player is being banned, not just the characters.

When I heard of one specific ban (though the concept I will apply is a general one, and I shall state it as such), I was spurred to write this letter. As you may well know, one of the banned players was Chinchilla from the “Pet Food Alpha” website and podcast.

It is my position, and should be Square-Enix' as well, that no former player, now banned, should have any place of representation whatsoever with respect to any game he or she was banned from.

Additionally, any podcast, website, program, club, linkshell, or other construct which has status with Square-Enix can not be allowed to have any banned former players in them. Failure to do so (and this is what I ask be done to Pet Food Alpha) strips all recognition between Square-Enix and the construct involved.

As of the writing of this letter, it appears as if Pet Food Alpha is a Community Site (I had, erroneously, believed they were, in fact, a Premier Site, when I made this request of Pet Food Alpha's remaining staff – which was largely mocked...). Any Community or Premier Site represents the game and the player communities. Hence, any Community or Premier Site which refuses to remove from their programming and site all banned players should immediately lose their status with Square-Enix, and all rights, privileges, and honors attached to that status.

Specifically, it has come to my attention that Pet Food Alpha's official position is that they do the website and podcast for themselves and that Chinchilla's friendship is an integral part of that goal. I believe this statement means they consider Chinchilla's presence on the podcast and website to be more important than the rules of the game, as well as it's credibility. Therefore, I am asking Square-Enix to remove Pet Food Alpha immediately as a Community Site, and strip all honors, privileges, and rights of that status from its hosts and other staff.

The sites you choose to list on your website as Community Sites and Premier Sites represent the game., and supposedly the players on it. Actions by the people on these Sites which result in their removal from the game should result in the immediate removal of those people from all representation of the game. If the construct fails to do this (and this should apply to all sites on the Community Page, not just PFA), then it should be removed as a representative of the game.

These players should be held to much higher standards. Else, there is no value in retaining such statuses at all. They become as much a fraud as the game either is becoming or already has become.

Point Two: Rampant End-Game Cheating and Possible Inconsistent Rulings

It is my position, especially given the recent bannings of several hundred of the most prominent players in the entirety of Final Fantasy XI, that enough has to be enough with respect to end-game misconduct and cheating.

It is time for Square-Enix to take several steps to this end:

First, a specialized branch of the Special Task Force needs to be created, with it's goal being the enforcement of the Terms of Service.

The STF has actually done a fairly decent job dealing with one specific type of violation: Trademark infringement through the real-life money trading (RMT) of gil, items, and characters. Frankly, I am surprised that legal actions (civil and criminal) are not being pursued.

The fundamental pretext behind the Special Task Force should be one very simple fact, bold-faced in the Terms of Service. The players own nothing in this game. It all belongs to Square-Enix. Hence, since Square-Enix has full ownership of the virtual property players rent in the game, any action taken to subvert the amount or legal manners in which the property can be gained, moved or exchanged must result in player removal and probable criminal or civil action for trademark infringement and, perhaps, even theft. (In that they are stealing it from you and using it for their own purposes.)

The fact is: Cheating at the end-game level is so rampant that it has debased the game to the point where many end-game situations are coming down to whose claim-bot is working the best, or which exploit is being used to gain items, victory, fame, gil, whatever... It is my belief that the top reason the game has become stagnant in growth the last three years (and, hence, why the game is no longer sustainable, long-term) is the rampant cheating going on in end-game, where the game can no longer be played fairly with any expectation of success.

I can not, in good conscience, recommend your game to any player looking to enter the world of Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) gaming at this time. I do not have faith that the player base is willing to abide by the Terms of Service at all. One discussion, just after the emergency maintenance which led to the January 22nd bannings, places the number of players in violation of the Terms of Service at at least half the entire Final Fantasy XI player base. By what I've been reading since, that even appears to be a low number.

The present set-up of the Special Task Force is wholly insufficient to deal with this, as has probably been evidenced by the fact that the Salvage-dupe exploit was being reported to your company and your game staff for 18 months, and it only appeared as if when someone finally blew the whistle outside the game (in a way which would disrupt the future in-flow of players, possibly) did Square-Enix take action against the exploit and the players involved.
It is time for Square-Enix to add a new branch to the Special Task Force, with its task being dealing with in-game misconduct separate from RMT. There's too much of that misconduct to be ignored.

Second, address the crisis of confidence which is strangling Final Fantasy XI.

There is a crisis of confidence which has cast a cloud over Final Fantasy XI and it's future.

Without stern actions to force the player base to abide by the Terms of Service, this game will not survive. If it has become policy to allow ToS violations, given that the removal of most violators would result in the economic end of Final Fantasy XI entirely, then, frankly, it's time to pull the plug. (More on that later.)

The players have no confidence in Square-Enix vis-a-vis Final Fantasy XI. Their conduct shows it. Some of the comments I've received, even doubly so. One person, responding to my blog and slamming my commentaries has even charged that Square-Enix and the GM's can manipulate the drop rates and items dropped at their own whim and for their own amusement:

(A poster named “Orinna” to my blog gave this to me several days ago...)

"Oh..and just another tid bit.. TELLING SE THEY ARE WRONG won't get you anywhere. Do me a favor.. make sure you send them your pol ID too.. hopefully they'll be annoyed by you so much that a cppl GM's will follow you around and make your life a living hell. I know that would make a lot of people who play this game a lot happier.. Maybe if you never get another drop, get agro constantly and die all the damn time.. you might learn to not fuck with the big guy who ALLOWS YOU ACCESS to that character that you've omg never done anything wrong on."

Understand what Orinna is implying (save the flamage, which I more than happily return):

Orinna is basically saying that your company can screw with the drop rates for no reason at all and, on top of that, for your entertainment and agendas. Who would want to play a game like that? Serious question.

There is no confidence, right now, between the player base and Square Enix (and, given what I've been reading in several media (and your recent financial disclosures), it sounds like that no-confidence is in BOTH directions). If you want another example, listen to the latest production from Limit Break Radio: A “Limit Breaking News” concerning the January 22nd bannings.

The better part of the last 45 minutes of the program was one simple message: Square-Enix has so little communication with the player community that there is no confidence, right now, in Square-Enix vis-a-vis Final Fantasy XI. Though I believe many of their hypotheses as to what would happen with communication are flawed, the fact is that it does not appear the players have any confidence in you.

This must be addressed if you desire Final Fantasy XI to have a future. (More on that statement in a little bit...)

Third, consistent and forceful enforcement of the rules and Terms of Service.

Generally speaking, it appears as if there is no standard of enforcement for violations of the rules.

I'll give you a number of examples: Third-party software usage is, to many end-game players, a necessity to even play the game. When the Hell are you guys going to ban Windower and force players to play with the proprietary Windowed Mode? When are you going after claim-bots, basically a “feature” of most highly sought-after Notorious Monsters?

And then there's the Allakazham article I saw linked to and essentially posted on your official site regarding the first Pandemonium Warden “defeat” at the hands of the Apathy linkshell of Remora.

I want an investigation (and have already sent such a request to the Special Task Force) under Article Q12652 of your Q&A section in your website, where you state that use of game mechanics outside the manners those game mechanics were intended for is a violation of the rules (under creation of an unfair game advantage), subjecting the parties to item, experience, gil lossage, up to bannage from the game.

Yes, I want the members of the Apathy linkshell of Remora involved in the “logging hate” fight with Pandemonium Warden sanctioned, up to and including banning them. I, personally, would like to see the involved members of Apathy banned from Final Fantasy XI.

Unless Square-Enix wants to tell me that there is another use to logging out of the game than leaving the game (either entirely or to switch characters), the strategy of logging out most of the players to avoid an attack which would end the fight in Pandemonium Warden's favor (the Astral Flow) is illegal, and, hence, all the items and fame they have received from their “victory” was as illegally gained as the Salvage duplicates.

Personally, this is where I do feel Square-Enix is badly wrong. Within about 10 days of the largest end-game banning in the history of the game, Square-Enix appears to have fully sanctioned, as legal AND legitimate (rather than the Kraken-Dark-Zerg'ers of the Absolute Virtue patch being just legal, but not legitimate), a strategy that, by its own policies, should be punishable with a ban.

Are you willing to enforce your Terms of Service? Can you enforce your Terms of Service?? If the answer to either or both of the questions is “no”, then shut the game down.

If Square-Enix wants to declare this win legal and legitimate, we need a listing – in the Terms of Service – as to what game mechanic uses are intended, and which are not. Where can we exploit, and where can't we?

On top of this, the January 22nd bannings are wholly unfounded and unfair if you do not add the Pandemonium Warden “defeaters” from Apathy to their number and sanction them for their conduct. They are little more than selective prosecution, and inconsistent with the allowance of the Pandemonium Warden “victory” declared afterward.

You are leaving the players with basically two questions: Which exploits, therefore, are allowed?

Which players, then, are allowed to use them? You are raising accusations of selective prosecution of exploits. You are raising the sceptre of certain players being allowed to get away with basically whatever they want, in that they have the “juice” or “stroke” (to use two American colloquialisms) to do so.

That places you at the point of a game which is nothing more than a sham, a fraud, and not worth playing or paying for. If you want this game to continue, you cannot let this happen.

But do you want this game to continue??

This gets to my final point, which was raised in a heated linkshell discussion by one of the participants in the Limit Break Radio round-table referenced above:

Last Point: Make a commitment to the future of Final Fantasy XI, or thank us for our service and end the game before the game further degrades and you lose interest in Rapture as well, as well as the rest of your company.

(This is to what I've referred to at least twice above that I would come back to.)

Sonomaa, of BluGartr, about 90 minutes into the program, raised an interesting question:
We know that the same people who are in charge of Final Fantasy XI are also in charge of getting off the ground Square-Enix' next MMO, Rapture. There have been a number of concerns (among which the use of the PS2) which lead some players to believe that Square-Enix may no longer really be interested in actually seeing Final Fantasy XI have a future. They believe you will continue to support the game, but only insofar as enough players put up with the game to allow it economic viability.

And then, as I'm writing this letter, we get the word that Rapture is essentially going to replace Final Fantasy XI, from your financial reports. (I know that the article essentially claims that you plan to replace FFXI only as the premiere MMO in your company. How, at that point, FFXI retains survivable, especially with a demonstrated 25% decrease in the income your company received year-to-year March-December (while the rest of your online division leaped 175%!) is beyond any sense of my comprehension.)

If that's what it's come to, I want my money back. (I won't get it, but that doesn't mean I can't say I wouldn't want it back.)

Seriously. The game has seriously degraded in the last 18 months. There are zones, now, which are patently unplayable (both infrastructure-wise and through player conduct), and the attitudes of (especially the American) players have gone completely berserk.

There's been much speculation that you really don't care about Final Fantasy XI, except as a profit-generating motive. How do you expect to keep the players you have (even if the only goal of keeping them around is to eventually sell them Rapture) if it's clear that Final Fantasy XI has no long-term future, no long-term prospects for growth, and, hence, will be eventually phased out? The only logical result of that is that the game goes to abject garbage and you lose any expectation that sane people will be around to play Rapture when you finally roll it out.

You'll lose both Final Fantasy XI and Rapture, at that point.

You're actually better off pulling the plug on FFXI now, in that scenario.

Square-Enix, you are running a sham game in Final Fantasy XI, at this point.

Again, for emphasis, Final Fantasy XI, through the conduct of it's player base and the lackadasical attitudes in your company vis-a-vis enforcement and communication, has become a sham game.

If steps to correct this are not taken, you're going to lose even more potential customers for Rapture than you already have. Most of the FFXI players I've read want no part of your new game. They have no confidence in your company, and you don't appear to have any confidence in them either.

If that's the only motivation which can get you to do anything, that's fine. You've made it clear that FFXI, at best, is brain-dead on life support.

In closing:

If Final Fantasy XI is any indication, I have less than zero interest in your future products, of any kind. I've been a Final Fantasy fan, fairly hardcore, since VII came out. But what I've seen done to the franchise by this purported “game” and a player base who doesn't care about anything but themselves sickens me.

I'll continue to play until I'm either banned for “conduct unbecoming FFXI” or the game ends. I don't want to leave the game to a player base that I believe mirrors real life in the contempt they show for anyone who isn't as “leet” as they are.

Do something about this player base, or continue to lose customers until neither FFXI nor Rapture are financially viable.

I thank you for your attention.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

So, if today is like _this_...

One can only imagine what tomorrow's update will be...

They opened up the Security Token sales and the Square-Enix Accounts website today, and promptly had to issue congestion warnings...

Not that I particularly trust that the Security Token will do Jack nor Shit, because I truly believe that most of the contaminants are already able to get in server-side in the first place and really will just find another work-around.

This, basically, is $9.99 for the Mog Satchel. That's it. I do not trust Square-Enix to put out a secure and robust system at this point.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

An interesting week... Next week's the update...

Too many more of these weeks (speaking RL, more reading the news and the latest massacre bodycount), and I'll start wondering if I'm one of the saner ones...

As for the game:

Sunday Dynamis:  Jeuno, win.   Blah on drops.

Wednesday Dynamis:  Partial run on Windurst before my roommate needed our network's undivided attention.  Low-manned as it was (I think we were barely at an alliance -- no word on win...)

Thursday:  One of our other Dynamis LS BSTs decides to get together a BST BC run in Qu'Bia, and I also add the Clash of the Comrades BC to that alone.  Memo to Square-Enix:  MORE SOLO BCNMs PLEASE!

Basically, then I found out that Bastok on Leviathan had taken control of Sarutabaruta!!!  SWEET!  (And embarrassing for the little taru brats from Windy...)  So got that OP warp done.

Then, decided, as a project to do before the update (which might get some "light reading" on the blog, if I decide to finally post it...), start levelling some low-level jobs to 15.  BRD and COR done, SAM next.

Update is Wednesday, should be interesting...  *smirk*

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


And people think I'm nuts...

Umm, for those who aren't keeping score, Elmer the Pointy, with probably some help from his friends Aneiro and Fusionx, decided to lampoon ME for April Fools' Day.

(JP Button has been "repossessed" and is now back to normal, Elmer disowning any knowledge of "my" takeover. I should've translated everything on this page to Japanese or something...)

Good grief, Elmer -- if you're going to do it, DO IT RIGHT!! :) A handwritten letter would've already been sent by now! Even if I printed out the letter I've already typed...

PS: Homestyle Orange Juice is OK as long as the last couple of swigs aren't all pulp.

PPS: Other things which could go on their list: The New York, San Francisco, and Riverside Police Departments... The LAPD TMU...

One thing which probably won't: Jail.

I _really_ didn't want to do a post today, but they did hype up MMM...

Oh dear God, April 1, April Fools Day... Bleh...

I usually boycott the Internet today over all the tomfoolery, but...

So FFXI has a legitimate report about MMM...

Basically trying to make the synthesis mazes worth something...

I'll take MMM more seriously when they make it more soloable without gimping the monsters beyond repair. Otherwise, it's not worth it.