Friday, April 30, 2010

Some of us have fucking lives...

You know, I more than happily was prepared to leave Siren after the conquest update and the billings...

Now, I don't know if you could pay me to log back in to that server...

You're down to the point, frankly, that people know that the good gear has to be cockblocked or everyone is going to go after the level 99 cap and stuff...

JPs trying to enforce a line basically blocked us from getting in to Fiat Lux. Wait on Siren now appears to be 2-3 hours unless you really want to piss off the JPs.

I might log back on tomorrow -- probably will on Sunday morning to pick up my Allied Ring and take a big dump at the unplayable server. I'm out of here.

Leviathan, don't think I ain't comin' back pissed!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hmmm... Gotta figure out how to avoid those imps...

Well, a quick update, nonetheless:

-- Alchemy to 38 and the test item already turned in. Smithing to 11.

-- Did a lot of Campaign and associated, and Siren now has the four Northlands zones and Fiat Lux is open.

HOWEVER: Some brave idiot at Square-Enix put two true-sight Imps on the bridge of Castle Zvahl Baileys (S) and there's *no way around them*!!

So, after getting my XP back from the latest attempt, I'll try again to get to the Keep and the Throne Room tonight.

-- Scored two Polearm merits, now up to 4. Want to max out Polearm merits before the level cap starts going up.

-- Magians: Doing dagger for the OAT one, about 180/400 for the Arcana part, then 300 Hippogryphs (eek!!), and then a decision -- the easier and longer way, or the shorter but much harder way...

-- Probable schedule for the transfer: After the Conquest update next week, make sure the May fees have actually been billed (so I pay for the transfer in June, and Abyssea in July), then, if won, grab the Allied Ring, and then hopefully be able to transfer back to Leviathan (with limited malice for Siren, more because the server is rank unplayable most of the time) in time for Lengendary's Sunday Dynamis run.

Yeah, I'd like to take some cool Shadow Lord gear back with me, but...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I guess I should get to those thirty-six comments...

... and I will sometime this morning.

But I have a message I just sent to the Special Task Force:

Starcade from Siren (soon to be Leviathan again):



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Abyssite/Maw-gate -- a conjecture that may well open Pandora's Box...

I don't ask a lot of people to read this blog with an open mind, because I know most won't. (Volkai, I know you're different with respect to all that.)

This, I want you to try to read with an open mind, because it's the result of me doing some thinking as I was doing some RL work tonight, out and about doing some walking.

What you are about to read, over and above, is complete conjecture. I don't have evidence to it, but if it were to be true, I do believe it would be quite explosive.

Let's begin from what I understand to be the process involved:

What a number of Japanese players (and possibly others, but what we learned was that this was a set of Japanese players who at least had it advertised) did was that they used the Porta-Furnace (the picture posted here shows it in present Saruta), and then somehow used the Cavernous Maw (they literally had to be right on top of the damn thing with the Furnace) to go to Saruta [S], where, immediately upon zoning in, they received a Black Abyssite, completely (or at least partially -- we aren't clear as to whether the parties had a Tier III Abyssite or not) jumping the VNM Tier system.

(FWIW, I propose any player who popped the VNM Wyrm using an illegally-acquired Black Abyssite in this manner be banned, because of the massive proposed abuse which could well be involved.)

Now, if this is the case, we have a problem:

First off, the process of Synergy should've been simply terminated upon zoning.

Second, all that the use of a Cavernous Maw should be is as if one had crossed a "zone-line" into the corresponding zone in the Shadowrealm. It's basically a simple "zoning" plus a small cutscene.

Third, and here's the important part:

What has happened here is a crossing of codes involving Synergy, the Porta-Furnace, zoning by use of the Cavernous Maws, and the gaining of Black Abyssite.

Now, the only legal way to gain a Black Abyssite is to have a Tier III Abyssite, and use it to pop a Tier III VNM, which your alliance must defeat.

Even THEN, it's a probability situation only.

With all this in mind, my conjecture:

Unlike the Salvage dupes, which could clearly be excused as "spaghetti code" (that Salvage is done by one party of 6, the drops are allocated per party, but it's an action through Salvage itself), this exploit appears to me to be an intentional exploit, unauthorized by Square-Enix.

My conjecture is that somebody put in some code that wasn't supposed to be there.

I believe this was an act of commission, rather than omission.

The number of intersecting game mechanics, and the wide variation of those game mechanics, appear to make it not simply a matter of spaghetti code.

The clincher to me is the acquisition, upon zoning, of a key item only legally obtained through killing a monster (in this case, a Tier III VNM you popped, and, again, only through a probability motif).

Either this was somebody within Square-Enix coding, or someone got in. But I do not believe this was authorized (the only way it could be would be if Square-Enix intentionally put this in to get players banned), and I think Square-Enix, as it investigates players to ban, needs to isolate this code, find out who put it in, and deal with them accordingly.

This is going to get very interesting, I do believe.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

MORE Fun for the Special Task Force

Well, it sounds to me as if we have a real problem here...

This morning (in fact, during JP prime time), the game had to be shut down for an emergency All-Worlds Maintenance for two hours -- and, for three servers, three hours!

After the Maintenance, we found out that the use of the Porta-Furnace (the portable Synergy furnace) has been discontinued until further notice, and there was discussion on BluGartr as to whether this had anything to do with Japanese linkshells being able to pop the VNM Wyrm at the top of the VNM tree and gain so many drops from it.

It turns out, according to Fusionx, that might well be the case!

Apparently, players using a Porta-furnace just before entering a Cavernous Maw (unclear as to whether this was true in both directions) could receive the immediate pop key item for the VNM top-level Wyrm!

Ban the fucking lot of them if this is true. ANY use of a Black Abyssite for this purpose should ban, at minimum, the popper, if not all characters who gained items with any degree of knowledge.

This most certainly compares to the Salvage bans.

In lieu of a weekend report, several additional points:

Wow, what a week -- RL as well as all the other stuff.

Anyhoo, instead of the normal "this is this level, that is that...", a few points while I do some low-level SCH levelling in La Thiene...

First, there are other reasons I decided to make the move back to Leviathan:

1) Siren is far too static at this point. It's a great server with players who actually give a damn about playing the game. The problem is that getting into as fair a system like Lengendary (to whom I shall return once I return to Leviathan, probably just in time for their May 2 Dynamis run) is not that common.

2) The game, as I have stated here a number of times, has become unplayable on Siren -- even a Nyzul 21+ climb group I latched into took over two hours on prime-time US Friday night (about noon or so in Japan Saturday) to set up. Damn Chariots prevented a shot at 35 for my Disc, but oh well...

3) If things are going to deteriorate as badly as I've seen in this game, then the claws need to come out, and I need to take my (bad) reputation vs. a lot of the players to even the next level and force the GMs to finally make a decision whose side they are really on...

So that's the first part.

Secondly, just to note that Kimiko and I had a meaningful discussion last night, and we hashed out a few things (including, if that person from a LONG LONG time ago who challenged me to condemn Kimiko is still reading, pointing out just that). I do wish them well, but, since Kaeko left, the linkshell has kinda gone quiet.

Thirdly, and in response to Robonosto's latest bleating, I decided to go over to BluGartr and read up on a bunch of the drama around that (alleged) 3,000-character list of people paying for and using a (purportedly) non-working packet bot.

I just want to repost a bunch of the gems I've seen in this thread and my comments to them:

Thorny, responding to a spat with Draylo asking what makes him a better player than Draylo:

In no particular order
-My gear
-My knowledge of game mechanics, including intricacies many people have no idea even exist
-My job spread
-My ability to 2box efficiently with any combination of jobs
-My leadership/organizational skills
-My ability to use jobs other than BLU when they're better(always)

Well, that's nice... *sarcasm*

Problem: Not a few posts before, they listed at least three illegal Windower plugins, on top of Windower itself, so the gear was obtained dirty, the knowledge of game mechanics requires illegal conduct to actually effect, the job spread was obtained dirty, leadership/organizational sounds like more of that MDIYM skill, and I don't play BLU that much either, but know it has benefits.

Gethsemane basically debunks the "lack of necessity of cheating" argument:

"When it comes to using an advantage in the game that is illegal it only comes down to a few things really. The main issue would be morals. Do you believe in cheating and using any advantages in life to get something you want? Some would argue that is how people should live life to achieve everything they want in life and be successful and there is many cases that prove this works. There's also cases that also show that you knock down a lot of people to the ground and walk all over them while doing so. Main point in the end is what kind of person are you?

Okay well with all those issues aside, most people have done everything in the game and realize to get the very few items left that they need they will be facing an endgame shell that uses bots. Maybe not all their members do, but rest assured at least a majority may. Since Square Enix has no way to detect these bots and cannot do anything about them; wouldn't it be justified to also bot as well to have a 100% fair claim against them instead of being at a disadvantage? Another way to look at it really.

And to all the people that are LOLing over people supposedly purchasing bots with money that these people somehow have shit out of their asses for this bot; a majority of the bot users did not spend one single penny of real life cash for this venture. Most of them have sold drops to other people on their servers and then sold the gil, traded the gil for cash for the packet bot. Basically only a short time investment into the game. More a shell could dominate the more they could get all the money drops and equip their members with bots all the quicker.

You either do or your don't. You will always be at a disadvantage when it comes to endgame HNMs. Perhaps this post will be a clear message to Square Enix that they should put in items to pop all these NM/HNM etc. We shall soon see. Sorry for the wall of text, that was my take on all of this anyways."

Answer that, those who deny the social necessity to cheat to be declared a successful FFXI player. Since it's not me talking about it, I'll just leave it up there...

As I will do with Thorny's nonsensical justification, equating cheating, success, and intelligence of FFXI:

"Fair enough.

Since FFXI requires no reflexes, simply thought, we can assume that a good player is both an intelligent player and has learned many things about the game already. Keep in mind that intelligence is a measure of ability to learn and adapt, while knowledge is that which has already been learned.

Drawing from this, an intelligent player is also an intelligent person, as intelligence itself is a general quality.

An intelligent person will realize that kings are botted and most(all?) other NMs are not competed for enough to merit a bot. While they may or may not camp kings, they realize that bots will not end there as there will always be a way to simulate simple actions through programs and there will always be people aiming for an unfair advantage.

An intelligent person will either avoid kings or use a bot.

If someone does not avoid kings or use a bot, they are not intelligent.

Since they are not intelligent, they're not a good player, and as such, incompetent."

Another example:

Priran: "I've yet to see a legitimate defense for botting."

Eanae: "No one cares to have an excuse. I have claim, you don't. Reason enough."

That's basically the central point. The defense is that you cannot play the game (or, at the least, that portion of it) without one, because the game has been modified by the shitheads to require it.

Oh, and, by the way, to those who think like what Eanae says: Fuck you.

Priran was asked for a solution, and responded, to the immediate dissatisfaction of posters:

"This game is beyond saving. They should have banned the shit out of anyone botting back in the day and put the fear of fucking god in anyone who even thought about it, but instead they dragged their feet with their useless GMs and burden of proof that would frustrate the ACLU.

FF14 needs to get rid of this client-side BS."

Priran is right. The game now requires illegal third-party program content to be socially accepted within the game, at least on the American side of matters. To say otherwise is either ignorant or lying.

Fact is that the only real solution to botters is to ban them -- if the game is not able to survive without them, shut the whole damn mess down. Period.

This is one of the reasons I will tell Square-Enix to go fuck off on FFXIV. Anyone who doesn't think that game won't be reverse-engineered to irrelevance before the release date is real fucking funny. You don't think there aren't efforts _RIGHT NOW_, during the Closed Beta, to build illegal 3PP (or at least the basis of them, depending on how much of the game is truly unfinished) for XIV? You're real funny.

Tsuko from Asura: "A problem without a solution, by definition, isn't a problem- its an inevitability. If one has no opportunity to alter said inevitability, for the better or for the worse, why is one at fault for participating in it?"

At that point, all the people who DON'T bot should then be removed, because THEY are then the problem, compromising the enjoyment of those who do -- if their whole enjoyment of the game doesn't come from the botters lording over those who don't.

It's like the old saying: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." I gave my solution: Ban all your fucking asses, shut the game down if that isn't going to work.

Rog sums it up: "No one is entitled to anything."

Hence why I would commit criminal acts to a lot of you if I had the same mentality as a lot of you.

In fact, as I have said repeatedly on this blog: You are committing criminal acts against not only the other players, but Square-Enix, by your continued illegal conduct.

Tsuko says, in response: "This isn't logical. Square Enix simply owes me the opportunity that everyone else has at the present time."

To which Yugl responds: "Why does SE owe you the same opportunity as everyone else at the present time?

- Non instanced zones
- Any HNM (Only 18 can fight at one time unless CFH)
- Missions with progress requirements
- Events with minimum LV requirements"

Why not just then, say, that third-party programs are a requirement to play FFXI and everyone who doesn't just GTFO? SE damn fucking well owes me that opportunity, and you fuckers justify taking it away.

Weeks: "As a rule, the few anti-botting people left acknowledge that Square's half-assed enforcement of their rules is as much to blame for this as the people who choose to cheat. But no, nobody is off the hook for their own actions as long as there are people in endgame or being kept out of endgame who refuse to play along."

One of the reasons that there are days I openly fantasize about taking a baseball bat to the remaining XI servers.

(Let's see if that gets me labelled a terrorist.)

Basically, because that's about the equivalent of what the botters are doing to the rest of us!


One more comment:

You see, this is why Kaeko was a bit of a rarity, and why I can't call him all of the words that he might think I do. (See post on the revelation)

Most of these botters and their ilk derive their enjoyment from denying it to others and making it clear that they have no place for their $12.95 a month.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Robonosto, I'm not THAT stupid...

Kimiko wants to talk, but was AFK when we were on together tonight. Might try later, but I wanted to update the list with some comments from an Robonosto, a user of Kaeko's blog and his post, regarding me and my stands on cheating.

Just really sounded like he came across as a little BluGartr bitch.

Don't believe me? Read what he has to say...

First comment:

"Second, the thing is that players like Starcade seem to think that "if you're not cheating, you're not trying" is a categorically true statement, so they take the contrapositive to heart, yet both are generally false for the most part. But they are more concerned about being right than the fact that being asocial/antisocial is part of why they can't "succeed." It's kind of like the C-student douchebag who points out in a lecture that the cell counts in a 2x2 contingency table are 1 more than what the total is supposed to be. D-bag is technically right but about shit that doesn't even matter. The most pathetic part is that still they subscribe to the "cheaters'" standard of success rather than develop their own intenral standards of success."

Let me debunk all that.

First off, the statement of Los Guerreros (and, a variant on old Jesse Ventura) is absolutely true with respect to Final Fantasy XI. If Square-Enix continues to turn it's back and allow the game to be made into an abject fraud, in the very legal sense of the term, I'm going to call them on their shit and basically tell people to run as quickly from both of their MMOs as quickly as they can!

If you take a look at the predominant communities in this game, either all of them cheat or the vast supermajority of them do.

You cannot do HNM's at all without cheating. You'll be run off without bots.

Windower = Cheating and should = Ban, if it didn't mean the end of FFXI outright. Where's the hammers from the December 24, 2009 statement, Square-Enix?

I just read a BG thread in which someone has apparently outed a list of almost three thousand characters (truly or otherwise, still not quite completely clear) who bought a (purportedly) NON-WORKING packet bot for upwards of a $45,000 profit for it's creator, just for the right to even be able to play the elite-level content.

There are dozens of other examples from the last 18 months all over this blog.

No, Robonosto, it is true in FFXI, because of the very social nature of the MMO that Kaeko speaks of: "If you aren't cheating, you aren't trying.", and the social pressure to do otherwise is quite intense!

Because, to go to your last statement in your first comment: I would love to believe that my standards of success meant a god damn in this game, but the people at Square-Enix (much to my utter chagrin, and perhaps in perpetration of the legal fraud which is FFXI), they don't. You need that elite gear that most of you cheat your fucking asses off to get to play much of this game, and numerous illegal third-party applications (many paid for - see above and the 12/24/09 statements by Square-Enix) on top of that.

THAT, Robonosto, is why what Kaeko said about me is true. That also is why I take the revelation that he was the one helping me quite badly. And that, combined with the utter death of Whitegate in the time of this Trial of the Magians nonsense, is why I'm relocating to Leviathan and my old Dynamis shell after the May 1 billings.

(And the claws are going to be out, and the shit is going to hit the fan. I expect to be banned by the second release of Abyssea, if not before.)

Because, again, this is the social nature of the game -- for exactly the reasons you give. I'll give you another school analogy: It's like the social outcast who's the A student and working hard in his classes seeing his high school (like one in Florida I read about this week in Yahoo) building an $80,000,000, 18,000-seat football stadium.

Why am I going to even study, when it's clear the only reason the school exists is to allow the football team to rampage the cheerleaders and run over the opposition in their new crystal palace?

The social fabric has already declared educational success USELESS. The very nature of the fabric, plus the pressure of the others, makes educational achievement a zero while the football team's success becomes the sole focal point of the school.

As it is with FFXI, with comments I've posted from all over the Net. If playing fair had one iota of value left, especially in the American FFXI playerbase, we'd probably have at least 8 fewer servers than we do now! (In fact, given the stated context from Vana'Fest, one almost has to admit that the first lopping off of 8 was because of how much illegal conduct was upholding the population on 32 servers.)

You don't understand something: If I used your styles of tactics to "succeed", a number of you would be having me arrested for the criminal conduct I would commit against your accounts.

I cannot operate in your world. Therefore, I wish to destroy it, and, if Vana'diel goes down with it, that's evidence that Square-Enix never wanted to enforce its stated rules in the first damn place.

As for "being social, rather than being 'right'", if I were to operate in the socially accepted modes, I'd be "compromising others' standards of play".

Kaeko responded:

"As far as Starcade, your analogy probably works, but for me it's just about accepting (or maybe tolerating?) someone with different views. I made a strong effort to be social and interact with him and found him to obviously be very socially awkward (even online), but not a bad person at heart. For that reason, I'm not going to bad mouth him or overtly try to cause trouble for him regardless of what he does now. It's probably out of pity more than some personal self-righteousness but whatever."

The problem I have is that it never should've been that way in the first place. It's like this Jim Cornette interview I'm reading. He has now been referred to the Federal and Tennessee governments as a terrorist for stating to a (former) old wrestling friend (Terry Taylor) that he would like to see Vince Russo dead.

(As would a lot of us who would've rather wanted to see Bischoff/Turner win the Monday Night Wars over Vince McMahon. There is a glorious "shoot" from early NWA/TNA in which Roddy Piper just rips him several new assholes.)

The thing is that he spent three years in TNA working with Russo, compromising his principles to the point that he could not look himself in the mirror anymore, and that, frankly, is how I felt after I learned who I was lying down with, with all other parties in the equation knowing what was going on.

Pity me if you must, go ahead. But the facts remain that if I hadn't worked with you for so long, I would actually openly accuse you of trying to sabotage my character (both in-game and personally). FWIW, I don't know what I can say to that now.

Robonosto (I assume) continues: "Actually, I did not mean to minimize the cheating that exists. I'm just more irritated with do-nothing, passive, excuse-making attitudes of which Starcade's is representative. (I would consider the STFU reporting he blabs about to be merely "fake hustle.") Maybe I'm totally biased here, but Japanese players have way more of a "pickup" culture (doing pickup Salvage for one) than non-Japanese do. But I'm someone who's done most things by pickup, so it could be argued I'm just bitter.

Also, his being upset about being "deceived," making "concessions," the "rank necessity of cheating," putting moral purity on a pedestal, as it were... you would think this "people out to get you" B.S. would eventually become tiresome for the one promulgating it, but I guess not.

Why am I even typing this? "LOL""

Do-Nothing, Passive, Excuse-Making...

I will swear on my parents' graves that you do not want the alternative to what you consider to be "Do-Nothing, Passive, Excuse-Making", as far as that goes.

I've already said that, if they ever held another FFXI FanFest, that I would have to be restraining-ordered from the event. I do mean this quite seriously. There are a number of top people in the player community against whom a criminal incident would be a very real possibility.

I have to hold a lot of that back, because I have other things in my life which are more important to me than this game (Hell, this is basically true of all of my passions at this point -- if I were to attend Fanime next month in San Jose, I'd be going to prison. I still have grudges from that specific con three years standing that would end very badly. That's why I've already told them they better have me banned from the event, similarly to why I am physically banned from AX. Put me in a room with the head of Crunchyroll? Ditto.). That's why I take three nights a week off so that my dear roommate (who is not of this Earth much longer, if aggravations continue) can work on her Net project.

The thing is that I assume (and this is probably, more every day, a VERY BAD assumption) that I can at least try to work within the system and take the cheating in FFXI down.

Fact is, you want the programs, the bots, the RMT, and all that stuff, to gain every conceivable advantage over those (like me) you consider lesser.

I pay my $12.95 a month with the expectation that the game will be administered according to the rules. If that's not going to be the case, Heaven help FFXI.

I'd like to try to work within the system. If that's not going to work, they better ban me, and quickfast.

"Fake Hustle", huh? Do you read half the shit about FFXI, or do you just accept what is being rammed down your throat and ask for "another"?

If playing by the rules has zero value in this game, you don't want me around.

People are not going to like what I just did...

Frankly, though, I don't feel I had a choice.

After what I learned yesterday, I felt I was down to, logistically, three options:

1) Abandon the principles completely, and basically come down to the level of everyone else. The anger I hold for most of the other players on FFXI, though, would lead to criminal action, in that respect.

2) Leave the game, and the same people win who would've won if I left 15 months ago.

3) What I did -- I reported myself to the Special Task Force and asked them to get a look to make sure that nothing illegal happened.

If I had to guess, I'm not sure I can say I'm not bannable.

Here's the letter:


I severely doubt that you will believe that this is me, especially when you hear my request.

This is Starcade, soon to be formerly of Siren (and perhaps formerly of Vana'diel, depending on what is found or whatever).

Yesterday (4/15/10), I received word that a departed member of our linkshell (Keichan, when he was on Siren), who aided me in an immense number of missions and assaults and the like, was one of the most prominent Salvage banned back in January of 2009 (Kaeko).

First off, I have a _SEVERE_ problem understanding why any player banned from the game is allowed to continue with alternate characters. Not only does this effectively nullify the ban, but, as most have stated, they still have access to a number of other exploits and the like, and most claim (with reason) that they can advance back to their former status much faster than a fair player ever could.

To this latter end: I must now request an investigation of my own account, as to whether actions taken either by myself or by Keichan may have gained unfair, illegal, and bannable advantage over the time we were working together. I cannot give a specific situation, but I have grave suspicion that violations of the Terms of Service may have occurred, with or without my knowledge, during the time we worked together.

I will continue to play until such is completed, but, after what I learned, I have to ask to have my own situation looked at to ensure that I'm still clean.


I already have a "we need to talk" situation from Kimiko, and I will try to be on tonight to deal with it.

But anyone who thinks this is a joke can go laugh elsewhere. You don't want me to play as a dirty player. I'll be put in jail for what I would want to do to some of you motherfuckers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Extensions of comments on the previous post...

I have read at least a couple of responses to Kaeko's post (linked in previous blog post) referring to how I might react, and I want to react to them as well:

vedderffxi: "I find it delicious that you became friends with Starcade and helped him out with quite a few things in game. I'm awaiting his reaction to this news as well, could be interesting."

Without the deception he outlines, though, it doesn't happen.

"but at it's core, FFXI is a social game and no "lone wolf" is going to be able to progress very far without making friends or making concessions on their goals."

I've already made too many fucking "concessions" as it is! If this is truly a "social game", then get me banned from it before I do something the entire FFXI (and FFXIV) community may regret.

You are all but stating, face-up, about the rank necessity of cheating. Do you realize how sick that makes me? The "social game" nature of FFXI basically forces Square-Enix to become fucking enablers of the cheating and that you cannot play the game without it.

You know what, then? Fuck Vana'diel, in that case.

kindred_tari: (Probably from Leviathan) "Starcade was briefly on my server last year, and in that time managed to make quite the name for himself as well as cause mass amounts of drama during Besieged. With this huge reputation looming over him, as well as his often violent-riddled blog posts, one could make very easy assumptions about his personality in-game.

Surprisingly, he was never really like that in-game, and was actually fairly easy to get along with."

I don't think you saw much of the other drama that came about in-game other than Besieged. The only reason I'm "fairly easy to get along with" is that I don't see how bad people are plunging the daggers into my back on a fairly consistent basis.

Remember: I left Leviathan because Square-Enix was turning it's back on cheating vis-a-vis the Astral Burn bullshit. I may well return, but only so far as to see if my Dynamis LS might want me back or I might just go off, get banned from the game, and be the end of it.

The fact of it is that much of the worst of the material I see vis-a-vis FFXI is not in-game, but on shit like BG and all that kind of stuff (including that I think it was BG RMT ads which were propagating that damn virus I had to clean off...).

Kaeko responded to that: "There were times when I got really frustrated with the things Star was ranting about - for instance that PW cannot be beaten without 'cheating' (logging astral flow), even though beyond the first 1-2 kills, no one ever does that now. But over time, you just kind of learn to ignore those things - after all they are said more out of ignorance, not having seen the event, than anything else."

The problem with that being that a lot of this was not just said from stuff that was done (and, as I said, I must now question whether I am bannable, known or not), but also from stuff (and especially attitudes from all over the FFXI Net.

This isn't just a one-source situation. I mean, do you realize that, chances are, if you actually RMT-buy someone else's account, you're only really renting it until the "seller" decides to shit in your face and plead to a GM for it back?

The problem is that I truly see (in the attitudes of many of the endgame players, of which you were one of the few exceptions I've ever seen, much less encountered) that the whole matter is the advancement of the individual player at the expense of others around him or her -- if not the whole server. I don't think that Square-Enix, as an off-topic example, ever expected Campaign to be as sparsely done as it is.

"But to give him some credit, a large percentage of the players I met had similar ideas of "endgame" and everything it entails. "Endgame" players are often associated with shadiness and cheating (I'm not one to disagree considering how I ended up on Siren), but I feel that they try to dehumanize the endgame player as if we don't help others and have fun as well. I know that during my stay there, everyone thought I was really helpful with everything, but I was pretty selfish compared to what I used to do on Odin. "

As I told you when we were on Siren: Most don't -- and, in fact, I'll go further... I believe most players want to keep "endgame" as exclusive as possible, so they deliberately block or impede others' progress (which see: Campaign hoarding, bot-lotting, HNM-botting, etc etc and so forth...).

(to go the "MMO -> social" route: they want to keep the social circle as small as possible)

Much of that association comes from the abject necessity of multiple cheat devices (Windower, bots, exploits, what have you...) to even be welcome in that much of endgame. It's one of the reasons I believe that hypergame is the last real hope for FFXI, and, more and more, I begin to wonder if that wasn't a year or two too late.

"Overall, if there is 1 thing I would want people reading this to know about Starcade, it's to echo your sentiments. He's really a lot more mellow than he appears on his blog. I won't lie and say he wasn't awkward sometimes, but he's not a 24/7 ranting machine. He offers help quite often and if anyone on Siren is willing to give him a chance, he's definitely not a terrible guy."

I try not to be, because, as I have said to my roommate, they don't want the alternative. I liken myself to what Jim Cornette is now having to deal with: He made a death threat to one of his former associates that he now despises.

He's passionate, and really wants something better than what is going on now. Fact is, with what IS going on now, that's not possible.

It's like what someone has said as I've lost my anime fandom completely as much of current anime fades into child porn: If it isn't worth caring about, why be involved in the first damned place?

Well, that's about all I see for the moment. More, I assume, will come later.

I'm really, really sorry I had to make this post...

Today, I got a bombshell dropped in my comments. At first, the person just basically mentions it, without sourcing it, and then, after I asked, I did some research and got it confirmed through Kimiko's blog.

Everyone, please do me a favor, and read this other post first that I found just a few minutes before I started my own:

Kanichan - Coming Home

He gives me two paragraphs of that post, for very very good reason.

Keichan = Kaeko. (One of THE most famous Salvage bans in the entire 1/22/09 banning list.)

To say I am pissed off would be more than an understatement.

I feel my character has, bluntly, been tainted, backstabbed, and defrauded -- I do not say this lightly.

I have literally spent the last four hours trying to talk myself out of just deleting the character and throwing an Internet-wide rampage disgracing Final Fantasy XI as a bunch of cheaters and Square-Enix as a bunch of fucking enablers.

I almost do feel the only justifiable thing I can do is, at the very minimum, leave Siren -- which I almost-certainly will do now, but will need to wait at least to the next billing period to do so (I have plans for the first full week of May) -- if not, by the only moral move I have left, leave the game.

From all of my dealings with him, Keichan seemed like a reasonable person, but we definitely butted heads a couple of times over the things I have said in this blog.

He and Medicinebox (what, another Salvage ban-ee??) took a lot of what I had to say personally. I didn't realize the extent to what he meant before today.

I wrote an article to him, condemning him in much the same way I did Chinchilla and the rest of Pet Food Cheater. I have it up in another tab, and put the link here.

He never revealed to me who he was, until Monday's post.

He, and quite correctly as such, told everyone to keep it from me. (If I had known, I'd never have joined Cloak and Dagger.)

So I guess all that is left is not only to reiterate what I have said on my January 26, 2009 post to him, but also to respond to some of what he said to and about me on Monday:

The biggest problem I have had with the Salvage bans is that only the characters were ever banned. The players involved were the ones needed to be banned.

I said it for Chin, it applies to Kaeko, and to all the other people involved. Else, why in the Hell remove the characters at all, or their ill-gotten gear, or anything else?

The standing assumption anyway is that the vast bulk of top-level players (of which Kaeko clearly is one) have so many undiscovered exploits at their disposal that it is of no value to ban them -- they will clearly lap the fair-players in any realistic event.

(Some have said as much quite arrogantly on BG, and I've reposted some of it here. Kei was not happy with me for not understanding why it took 220 days for me to do what took him 20. Well, now I think I know why it took him 20...)

When the characters were banned, the players behind them needed to be banned or all they have lost is (an increasingly-smaller amount of) time.

So, Keichan, let me address what you said specifically to and about me in your blogpost:

"This one I'm going to spend a bit more time on. When I came to Siren, the first person I saw in LS other than Kimiko was Starcade, who I found was the same player that rants non-stop about cheaters and Salvage Dupes (in fact, I even had a post written specifically at me). Kimiko asked me to try not to cause any drama, so I never really mentioned who I was; but I wanted to take the time to understand him since I was going to be here anyways. At this point I would consider him a friend, regardless of how he reacts to finding out that I'm probably one of the more notorious LM-17s out there. If he ever reads this, I hope that he can see things in game as more than just black and white."

The problem I have always had with the Salvage bans is that Square-Enix did not go nearly far enough in doing what they had to do to save FFXI from the likes of the BG-parsers, HNM-botters, and the whole other freaking shooting match.

As a result, even you yourself have admitted that, without a lot of that illegally-based action (you said: "Having now played without the perks of a top tier HNM LS, I can confidently say that FFXI is dying.", and I don't think I need to say that "top-tier HNM LS" basically implies every damned cheat exploit one can come up with...), FFXI is dying.

The fact is is that you confirm to me one of the reasons why a lot of what you said about me in the second paragraph is absolutely true: WHO THE FUCK CAN I TRUST IN THIS GODDAMN GAME???

As of right now, frankly, I probably stand bannable now for some of the tactics we may have used (with or without my knowledge) over the last months.

You all but basically come down that playing the game outside the terms of the Terms of Service (so much that Square-Enix has to openly turn it's back on same Terms to keep the whore pimped out long enough so their new call-girl Eorzea can be trained and perfected before "working the streets") is a necessity to play this game.

How are you any different from the likes of Chinchilla, and how is the linkshell any different from Pet Food Alpha?

"In maybe 3-4 years of playing, I was surprised to find that Star had no sky ZM4, was stuck on Ouryu in CoP, virtually no assault rank, no nyzul isle - virtually everything that requires more than 1 person, he didn't have. in about 2 months, I rushed with him sky, the entire CoP, about 2/3rds assault, and 1/3rd nyzul. It's unfortunate, but outside of help that involves me, I don't think he has ever been able to consistently get help for anything."

And now I understand why.

For the very same reason I never got myself involved in Salvage, I couldn't trust anybody enough not to get more than a menial (failed) attempt at Ouryu once in a while. I just laid Zilart down for the longest time til that one day we decided to run the table. I was PSC when I came to Siren.

And you are right, Kaeko, and we talked about this: It's not that I wouldn't want to ask for help if I knew I could trust somebody -- it's a matter that I know (an absolute and declarative KNOW) that I will not get help that I ask for. And I'm not sure I care how much of that is me, how much of that is trying to keep the top tier as exclusive as possible, or whatever.

"The irony that someone he would probably label as an "elitest cheater that's too good to help others" is the one to rush him most of this is not lost on me."

"Cheater"? Most certainly.

"Elitist" and "too good..."?? Not as much, and we discussed as such.

But I should've realized at some point that I was getting in where I should not have gone. I can't place exactly when, but it was clear that I should've realized something was up.

I play this game to try to be "better than the cheaters", and to spit in their faces. There is no other real reason for me to continue in FFXI, and hasn't been since the Salvage bans, for the very reason Keichan closes my section with:

"MMOs are about interacting with others, and I hope that when I return to Odin, he is able to continue interacting and find others to work with."

Especially after what I know now, how the Hell can I do that? Serious question.

What has now happened is the main reason I say that I don't play this game to make friends -- because I don't know who my friends are.

I've already not had a good week -- I had to spend four hours yesterday talking my friend down again, as things continue to disintegrate in RL all over the place (speaking generally, not specifically).

Keichan, frankly, never should've existed. That that character did is Square-Enix' fault, because any such bans should've been on the players. I say now what I said then: Square-Enix is basically enabling a lot of this because they refuse to take the actions needed which would've saved XI (we'll see if hypergame is workable) and wouldn't make XIV an abject non-starter.

I'm sorry, but I now feel all of the forward progress I've made on Siren has been tainted.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And the anniversary Mog Bonanza is announced...

Still a bit stinging about being one number away from the Level 4 on the VanaFest situation (I know L5 was the new Alexander statue, from what I heard.)

Anyway, the original Mog Bonanza is back for the "8th Vana'versary".

Inventory Space -10 effect (marble purchase period :) ) can take effect any time from the second half of May through the first week of June. Three weeks to buy the marbles this time.

Winning numbers announced June 24 (a Thursday) at 1 AM PDT.

Two weeks after that to cash in.

Many of the changes were announced or hinted at at VanaFest in February, but here's a quick peek:

L5: Addition of Alexander Statue to the "consolation prize" rank.

(Shadow Lord Statue was added to the New Year's Bonanza)

Yeesh... Almost no longer worth it for me to actually do what I've done for the Mog Bonanzas I've played which have simply been in-game: I'm almost out of prizes I actually would want that I don't already have. Maybe the Alexander Statue, but that's about it!

L4: Odin Statue the only addition. (Now I can confirm from research that it was the L4 VanaFest Nomad Mog Bonanza Prize. Why a simple storage: 4 piece would be considered on par with a Wootz Ore, a Vilma's Ring, a Yoichi Sash, or a lot of the other craftables here, I have little idea.)

(Yoichi's Sash and Vilma's Ring were added in January.)

The gil breakdown percentages for the top three tiers are the same as the January Bonanza. (An option for each of the top three tiers, again, is a share of a percentage of the total gil put in sales.)

L3: (Gil is 27% -- was about 573K in January)

Only one addition, and it's another Mog Kupon list.

In addition to that you can choose a Beaucedine Dynamis piece (Kupon B), there is now a Kupon L.

Kupon L is Sky Torques - the Jailer Torques, plus some of the Ix'Aern Vice trades (Merciful, Altruistic, and Astute Capes). So, basically, mid-level Sky drops.

L2: (Gil is 23% -- was about 4.6M in January)

No changes from January.

L1: (Gil is 50% -- the 43 winners, across all servers, could've pocketed 120,000,000+ gil each in January.)

Two additions to the Grand Prize list from January.

The first is the outright Ebisu Fishing Rod. (Two of the L2 prizes are, in fact, the two things you must get to obtain it through the quest Indominable Spirit.)

The second is the P Kupon Series. (The A Kupon Series still is up -- and that's the AV drops.)

The P Kupon Series, as proposed, is the Pandemonium Warden drops.

Hachiryu Haramaki: PW Body Piece -- DEF 52 Acc and Att + 20 Crit hit rate +5% Enhances Zanshin and the set enhances Store TP.

Nanatsusaya: PW Weapon -- Great Katana DMG 77 -- Delay 420 -- STR and DEX +7 -- makes Zanshin 100%. L72 SAM

Dorje: PW Weapon -- Staff DAM 42 -- Delay 420 -- MP +20 -- Magic Attack Bonus +25 -- HMP +10 L72 Mages

(to give you an idea of how rare this is, the Wiki page itself says that no one has ever sold this weapon on the AH)

Shenlong's Baghnakhs -- PW Weapon -- HTH DMG +21 == Delay +51 -- STR +3 -- ACC +10 -- Double Attack +1% -- Subtle Blow +3 L72 MNK and PUP

(I have seen someone try to sell this in Siren WG for 115,000,000...)

So, once again, let the drooling commence.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

So the end of the Vegas adventures lurks...

About two hours before I check out of here and three more before the bus leaves for Riverside and home...

Had a good time. Hard to believe the downtown area and the Strip are considered in the same city!!

Did about $10 of gambling on the NCAA title game (won a spread bet, lost the money line), got to talk to some people about a couple of TV shows and get paid for it, and just generally had a decent time of it.

In-game, basically did as I thought I would do. With the shitty Net connection (far worse than anything I've dealt with in previous Motel 6 stays), I decided, in the spirit of making lemonade out of life's lemons, I'd actually do some stuff that I had been neglecting because of endgame and Campaign and meriting and all that jazz.

So I took and finally got SAM to 60, BLM to 25, and SMN to 35.

Congratulations to Chaite and Alohilani, who had a scare about their three dogs in Hawaii. Fortunately, it sounds like they were recovered in the nick of time. Really sounds like a scammer almost got at least two of them killed (probably for food or something...).

Anyhow, back home and to the home network tonight after roomie work.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

*cough* *sputter* *wheeze* *puke*

Good news: I'm in Las Vegas for a few days.

Good news: I'm getting a mental break while my roommate gets some P&Q.

Good news: I have wireless, and a $30 room and $3 wireless is not bad, a block from the Strip.

Bad news: I literally have 3-4 second lag between entering a command and it executing -- the wireless is that -- damn -- slow.

So, no real end-game stuff til I return late Thursday night (returning earlier in the evening, roomie working Thursday night)...

BUT, in the spirit of making lemonade:

It gives me the opportunity to work on some levelling that I would probably be too busy with Magians or waiting for Nyzul/Assaults, etc. and so forth... -- and it needs to be done. 2 months or so, and the level cap goes up the first group...