Thursday, May 31, 2012

VanaFest News: Stream Schedules Released, and the US Whiners Kill the Random Deal Event

So, they basically do listen, when it is to the detriment of the players.

Announcements on the forum today on the "Random Deal" Event:
  • Relic, Mythic, and Empyrean Weapon coupons have been removed from the event.
  • One try per day
  • Reselling prohibited
  • and Limited # of people can try
In short, the whiners here killed the event.

There is NO REASON, really, now to do this event -- or, doubly, for SE to charge for it (if you're that dead-set on doing it, just make a code item part of the benefit for entry for the ticket!!)

And most of the people are saying, "THEY DID THE RIGHT THING!"

No, the whole premise to the event (especially with the Nomad Mog Bonanza) was so flawed that the "right thing" would've been full cancellation of the "Random Deal" event, or to make 1-2 tags available to every SE account, for the approximate same price.


And the stream schedule is also up.

There will be two streams.  One in Japanese for basically all of the stuff on the main stage, one in English for mostly recaps and the like.

Day 1:  Saturday, June 23 (Friday night PDT in the States)

Opening ceremony is 5:30 PM PDT on Friday.

After that, a new battlefield will be revealed for the game in the 6-7 PM slot.  At 6:30 PM, the English stream will talk about that battlefield for half an hour.

Then the Dev Team, one hour in Japanese at 7-8 PM, followed by a music performance by Naoshi Mizuta for 30 minutes.  At 8:30, the Japanese stream goes dark and the English stream starts up again for 30 minutes, talking about the Dev Team revelations.

Then the Cosplay Contest at 9 PM PDT -- both streams.

Then the History Director of FFXI will come out for an hour.  The Japanese stream will carry this live at 10 PM PDT.  The English stream will delay it by one hour at 11 PM PDT, with a Live Quest quickie on the stage for the JP stream.

Kumi Tanioka of The Star Onions performs at midnight PDT Saturday morning, followed by the Nomad Mog Bonanza.  Tanioka on the JP stream, Bonanza on both.  English recap of day one after closing at 1 AM PDT.

Day 2:  Sunday, June 24 (Saturday night)

Same thing, basically, 5:30 - 9.  Battlefield Examination is in the slots 6-7.  There is a second Dev Team talk, though it is not clear, with two separate admissions, as to how much of the Friday panel would be rehashed, especially with everything being streamed.  Mizuta again at 8, English recap of Dev Team II at 8:30.

Then, the "Trans-Vanadiel Vrtra Quiz", both streams, 9-10 PM PDT.  Probably in the style of the JP game-show "Ultra Quiz", with probable awesome prizes for the one eventual survivor.

Then, on the English stream ONLY, a "Foods of Vana'diel" segment 10-11 PM, with another JP stream Live Quest segment in there somewhere.  Probably to look at some of the recreated recipes which have been talked about on the forum.

The music performance for night 2 is:  Nobuo Uematsu!!!  He's 11-11:30, followed by the at-event Mog Bonanza on both streams, and a day 2 English recap at midnight PDT, one hour earlier than the Day 1 ending.

All I have to say is this:  That battlefield better be something huge, and not just a dungeon crawl that we've seen on the roadmap.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Get the fucking hint!

When the elite of your player-base is a bunch of circle-jerking little Windower shits who take great pleasure in basically raping the remainder of the player base of their game experience (much less human decency), how do you expect Square-Enix, a JAPANESE company, to treat you?

Like human beings, or like the sheep you are??

For those not clear:

Sounds like the latest thing that's gotten the American players up in arms is that the "Random Draw" to be held in a month at VanaFest 2012 is supposed to have quite a number of wonderful in-game prizes:

It appears as if, for 500 yen, you can draw for a whole bunch of wonderful prizes, not un-akin to the Mog Bonanza prizes (the bitchers completely forget that there will be a Nomad Mog Bonanza -- or at least they said one would be!! -- at the event), including relic, mythic, and Empyrian weapon coupons, the big Voidwatch drops, etc.  (And a whole lot of junk too, but hey...)

Well, cue the bitching (this is not counting the JP players who apparently have contributed 40 pages of their own on the JP side of matters -- mostly as to say it's probably RMT (and who would be surprised at that?)) on the US side of things:

Kimble from Sylph on FFXIAH:  "Giving away event items that in no way influence game play is one thing. Selling elite level items for only one group of people is totally different."

Do you honestly believe that SE is not openly trying to slant the balance of power further in the favor of the player-base they do respect, rather than one they obviously do not?

You also don't think that this isn't why there are so many "PS2 Limitations"?

Look, the only reason I play this game now is that it's getting far too unsafe to walk into the shit ghetto my city is turning in to.

And reading over much of the first several pages of the FFXIAH thread, it's obvious to me that it's not that it's JP ONRY that is getting most of the Americans pissed, it's that it excludes the Americans.

You know why?

Because, as a culture, AMERICAN -- GAMERS -- SUCK!!

You figured that out yet?  I told that to you the day of the Salvage bans.  You don't think Square-Enix hasn't figured it out and made their corporate strategy accordingly?

THEY DON'T LIKE YOU.  They just need your money to keep XIV afloat.

A Canadian player:  Ryuotas from Odin, stumbles upon one of the main reasons why:  "Do people really want the end-all, be-all items of the game handed to them on a platter, wrapped in a bow, with a courtesy card and various cologne samples attached? So what if someone else gets an Empyrean, Relic, or even Mythic without working for it? Spend less time worrying about the affairs of others, and more about your own."

I'd say most American gamers do.  That's why they look for illegal shortcuts like Windower and Clipper and all the stuff which is the only way you can get to about floor 60 in NeoNyzul.

Most Japanese, culturally, may NOT!  I am still reminded when Japan made a version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?", and got criticized by a lot of Japanese about giving away that kind of money (I believe the top prize was 10,000,000 yen.) for that little of "work"...

That might be part of the difference between the cultures -- I mean, 0/500+ is Working As Intended, remember?

So, going to the official forums, Dathus from Siren, on the FOURTH POST, openly advertises an RMT solution to this:  "Anyone going to Vana'Fest and wants to make a couple bucks?"


Why not just state like I did a year ago:  "Please delete my account!"?  At least I was trying to do it to make a fucking point.  Your excuse?

"I wanna make a couple bucks..."


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Method To His Madness II: Is 0/400+ in VW "Working as Intended"?

You aren't going to like my answer.

This post is inspired by the following BG rant by NynJa:

Abyssea era
Playerbase: Theres massive congestion at NM pops, is there anything you can do?
SE: We've reduced the respawn timer of the ???'s to 1 minute
Playerbase: Its a good start, but theres still plenty of DNC soloists and MNK+WHM duos who spend 20-30 minutes fighting a NM, completely locking everyone out.
SE: we have created two additional ??? marks for all top tier NM's

Playerbase: The repop timer of timed NM's is ridiculously long, considering stones are supposed to be worth 30 minutes at base.

SE: We've reduced the repop timer of timed NM's from 30-60 minutes to 10-15 minutes

Cool, thx!

VW Era

*announcement and discovery of relic/mytic 99 trial*
Playerbase: So after 10 trials of grinding out WS kills and teamup NM kills and what not, you then want us to kill ADL 20 (I think it was 20) fucking times PER relic weapon? Are you fucking insane? Do you realize how long that will take PER weapon, on top of the fact you're going to need insane amounts of teamups?
SE: deal with it
Playerbase: No, you're fucking nuts, I'd like to accomplish shit in this game BEFORE i retire from my fucking job
SE: okok, we'll drop it to 10, deal with it
Playerbase: Cool, so I can accomplish shit in this game before I turn 40, awesome!
SE: Fuck, fine, we'll drop it to 5.
Playerbase: Its still a fucking luck based fight, do something
SE: no

Playerbase: I'm 0/300+ on a drop from VW, yet my mule has received THREE of the same drop in 50 kills.

SE: Working as intended
Playerbase: No this isnt fucking working, your individual loot pool looks great on paper, but in practice its fucking stupid, it makes no sense that r/e items should be trashed.
SE: Working as intended
Playerbase: You're going to lose majority of your playerbase if you dont resolve this garbage
SE: Ok ok, we'll add a ticket system, where if you get a r/e item that you own, you will receive a ticket in place to give to someone else so they can trade for the item, they'll need a good amount of tickets though.
Playerbase: Thats not at all gonna fix the problem, but lets see what you can do with this
*10 months later*
SE: Ok we're ready to unveil the ticket system, we've decided to make the tickets EX, and you'll need 3, and they have to be picked up at the time the mob is killed, and you cant mix and match.
Playerbase: ........what the fuck


One step at a time on this one...

Basically, NynJa is stating that Abyssea killed FFXI, probably not only because of the fact that it created a bunch of high-level players whom, IHODO, had no business wielding that kind of power, but also because, once Tanaka came back to FFXI after fucking FFXIV straight up the asshole, Tanaka began to effectively rage by allowing Voidwatch to happen, and, well... 

You see, there's at least one person I know who claims (and, from the amount he is shouting for it, I can believe him!) that he is well over 0/400 on the body drop on Kaggen (the Mekira Meikogai).

It is my personal opinion that, for two very strong reasons, Tanaka would be, in fact, CORRECT to state that the ridiculously low droprates on Voidwatch are EXACTLY "working as intended"!

1) The ridiculously low droprates are the only thing keeping FFXI afloat right now, and, with (as an example) Leviathan now averaging about 1200 players during the week when I'm on (and maybe 1600 on the weekends?), any further drop in the playerbase is basically the end of the needed revenue stream for the online division to survive until they try to cram FFXIV 2.0 down our throats later this year.

2) It is no secret that Square-Enix vastly prefers the Japanese players and their attitudes to their American counterparts, especially since it appears as if BluGartr has successfully established itself in the last year-plus as the forefront of discussion on the game with the decline of the FFXI podcast community (especially LBR).

People tend to forget that most of the Final Fantasy games are little more than hyper-grinds once the main story is done, if you truly wish an "elite" experience.  One of the more flagrant examples for me is FFX-International.  I can finish the main game in about 40 hours.  Be competitive with the Dark Aeons?  Especially with the blitzball requirements, TRIPLE THAT.

The online division needs the money that FFXI players are providiing it to tide it over until they can basically cram XIV down our throats.  This is why I'm not 100% sold on the probability that the main announcement yet to come from VanaFest in a month or so is that the game is going F2P.

But when you literally make the drops a lottery-level situation -- where players are openly claiming 300-400 kills of the given monster and NO desired drops.  (I think I'm more like 0/32 or something, and 3/32 on the Rare/Ex Mantis Eye drop -- making for fun times in organizing my loot...)  Beyond about 1% or so (about 100 attempts), I believe it becomes obvious that, in fact, the droprate is so low, and intended as such (Salvage, anyone??), that it is meant as a time, gil, cruor, and real-life money sink -- the last as in your $12.95/mo.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Legality of the Fell Cleave Leech party...

My God, two posts in one day. 

Earwig of Asura started a thread on the official forums (link to page 1) that he was sick of all the "FC group 300K/3hr" leech groups.

Everyone knows what they are, and many of the groups are RMT.

But are ANY of the groups legal?

The first post on page 2 asks that question.

Alikhat of Odin posits the following:

"It's only those who are making gil from Fell Cleaves that don't really care that much, though I'm pretty sure they'd be happy to kick someone after taking their 1 million gil before their exp time is over because they were AFK so they can get a new person to replace them. But joining those are optional; you aren't forced to use that service. Seeing as using this service and then going AFK for this period of time is against the ToS*, a player can't really argue that they lost out on their gil; they'd get banned for reporting it as it is an admission of breaking a contract."

with the footnote:

"*It's under section 2.2: "You may not play the Game for the purpose of [...] advancement in game play on behalf of a third-party" if anyone wants to dispute that because that is exactly what getting EXP for being absent from the game is: an "advancement in game play", the "third-party" is the person doing the Fell Cleave."

They are now technically termed as License Limitations, and, from the Square-Enix Support Center page on the subject, section 2.2 reads as follows:

2.2  Real Money Trading, Farming and Power-Leveling.  You may not sell, purchase or exchange for real-world money or value any in-game currency, accounts, characters, in-game services, or in-game virtual items.  You may not play the Game for the purpose of acquiring virtual items or advancement in game play on behalf of a third-party or for the purpose of selling any virtual assets to a third party for real-world money, specifically including “gold-farming” and power-leveling services.

The Fell Cleave parties appear to be ILLEGAL, upon a strict reading of that rule.
"You may not play the Game for the purpose of acquiring... advancement in game play on behalf of a third-party."

This is above and beyond what I think the intent of 2.2 was, but, as appears to be written, the Fell Cleave parties are illegal, because the people running those parties are playing "the Game" "for the purpose of acquiring" "advancement in game play on behalf of a third-party".

They are playing Final Fantasy XI ("the Game") for the purpose of power-leveling ("for the purpose of acquiring advancement in game play") on behalf of the leeches ("on behalf of a third-party").  The third party is also committing absentee play.

Now, the only real problem with this is that it is fairly clear that what this rule is INTENDED to stop is the people paying real money (which often has happened!) to RMT "players" to power-level them 1-60, 1-70, 1-99...

But the rule appears written such that it does NOT discriminate (the "or" in that last sentence of 2.2, as well as that the relevant clause in that sentence does not speak to real-life money) on the basis of whether real money changes hands -- unless it is written as follows:

"You may not play the Game for the purpose of acquiring... advancement in game play on behalf of a third-party... for real-world money."

It's clear that RMT FC parties are illegal for all parties involved.  The question comes down to whether 2.2 is actually written with that last bit in mind.

Now, "absentee play" is illegal:

"Basically, absentee play means that the player leaves the controller unattended for a long period of time while the character is doing something. The player needs to be able to react to anything that happens to the character during the game. If characters can be made to do things like mine or fish while the player is away, the game will be thrown out of balance. Players who have been engaging in absentee play will be reprimanded by the GMs. If you leave your game for any period of time, be sure to turn off any macros you have running. Please not that macros provided with FINAL FANTASY XI, such as AutoRun and /follow are NOT considered absentee play."

I would have to think that this constitutes absentee play under this definition.  That, if you are in that FC alliance, you need to react if things go badly.

So it appears that, either by the "Power-Levelling For RMT" rule or by Absentee Play, the Fell Cleave parties are, in fact, ILLEGAL.

Method To His Madness

I've been reading quite a bit (some on BluGartr, and some on the official forums) about some of the changes lined up in the 2012 Roadmap.

All I have to say is three things in general:

1) This game better hope they're holding something back (of the level of the cap increase or Abyssea, at the least) for VanaFest next month.

2) Tanaka does not trust the American style of gameplay one damn bit.

3) They're trying to blow up Windower.

Hiromichi Tanaka is probably the bane of most American players' experience, at least by what I'm reading in the discussions about some of the changes, especially to the UI.

Tohihroyu (the Galka stalker) and I have talked about this a bit in the last few weeks, and she immediately (and I today) came to the conclusion listed in #3.

And this comment from Tanaka is what did it (quoted from the forums, much to the consternation of at least two posters):

To this request:

"Please increase the number of lines for macros. There are 16 locations that gear can be equipped, so more lines are necessary. I would be happy with about 20 lines." 

Tanaka responded:

"We have received this request many times before, but there are many issues with this, so we cannot look into this at this time. Similarly, we have no plans to transmit additional data besides what is currently being transmitted between the server and client. Our goal is to improve the operability of what is currently displayed in the current UI. We appreciate your understanding."

That second comment, which I bolded for emphasis, is what makes me certain that this is a targetted attempt to scuttle Windower and force the players to use the first-party client.

It really is down to either that (and possibly lose the US Windower cheats) or abolish all console support and make the game PC-only (which probably takes out much of the remaining JP playerbase).

I believe that decision has already been made -- in favor of the Japanese.

I believe that the developers have largely spurned (and correctly so!) the American player-base.  Much of the legitimate (such as it was) US player community has gotten bored/moved on/banned/sick of SE dicking around with XI and XIV/etc.

Final Fantasy, as a series, is a brutal grind for completionists.  Always has been.

Tanaka, I believe, is fully intent to make sure that the elite of the game effectively demonstrate the complete ignorance (and consequence of such!) of the "Get a life!" statement from every time you enter the game.

1,500 Heavy Plates (and not even for the last tier) at 1 at a time or 3-19 if you get a pouch on very high level or > 100K each in bazaars to get to completing your 99 Empyrean?

Are we trying to promote an RMT approach to this?

I also believe that, when Tanaka was (pre-XIV) in charge of this game, there were at least two elite bosses that were specifically designed that they could not be defeated (by a 75 alliance) legally.  PW and AV.  Tanaka's modus operandi is exactly what I believe most of the BG community does:  That he openly creates material to fuck over the players.

Now, I'm going to give you an opinion as to why, and it has two parts:

1) Unless SE is holding something back hyper-seriously for this VanaFest, we are at the final amount of meaningful content we are ever realistically going to get.

2) Final Fantasy XI, in it's present form at ten years, exists ONLY as a revenue-generating stream for the boondoggle which is Final Fantasy XIV.

Ergo, his open plan would be for people to go 0/200 or more on the meaningful Voidwatch body drops.  Why?  $12.95 a month, bitches!!

And that's it.  There's nothing more to it.  I do not believe the SE brass in Japan has one remaining ounce of respect (nor should it!) for it's American players.  Their money, another matter.  The players themselves?

Personally, FWIW, I don't think the quality-of-drop cells do a damnated thing to actually help the quality of the drops, IMODO.  It's all about getting you to come back.

"ronin sparthos" on BG:

"What SE eventually did was create weapons that were deceitfully easy to get to 90 and then kicked everyone in the crotch with an arbitrary 1500 item slog just because they regret making Abyssea too simple. I always just took it as Tanaka coming back and doing what Tanaka does best - fucking everything up."

It's now more expensive to get that ONE step than to get a Relic.

1500 Heavy Metal is at least 150,000,000 gil, and that's the cheap end

My polearm?

About 5M for step one.
About 17M for step two.
About 49M for step three.
About 75M or so step four.

That's about 146,000,000 gil.  Cheaper than 1,500 Heavy Metal.

But they need the revenue stream -- they're already (by most player accounts) on a shoe-string budget.

Of course, Apelia then speaks for the Windower apologists:

That if they actually did break Windower:

"Or as I would call it: Hey, I wonder why half the playerbase stopped logging in?"

My position on that is clear:  If that's the case, shut it down and be done with it.

It's obvious (to anyone who cares) that my fears about XIV have been completely realized.  They can't do one MMO right, so what makes anyone think they can do two?

If they are seriously going to go ahead with XIV 2.0, they need to shut down XI.  Soon.

One or the other has to go.  It's clear, though, that the money is not coming in as "Corporate" would like, so they stick the remaining (shrinking, again) playerbase (so much so that I think it's clear we get Server Merge Round III at VanaFest 2012!) with such a colossal gil-sink (both in bazaars and in Voiddusts, for which my bank account thanks you!) that they can't complete it.

Or is that the intent, Tanaka-san?

Friday, May 4, 2012

And people wonder why I am glad that most of the game is soloable...

Reading my favorite cheatinous-motherfucker farming, and I spy this from a "Churchill" on Lakshmi:

"People were just tired of this shit. I always attribute it to the increasing lack of drama as the game aged, but that may just be why I got more bored as the game went on. Epic trolls and drama llama's became more and more rare and I don't think I'm alone in saying that was the best part of HNM's. There was no PVP, but you sure could fuck other people over pretty hard. Monopolizing stuff so only your shell had the best gear, etc."

 So the main excitement you got from the game is to fuck other people over.

Well, sir, FUCK YOU.


When I heard of all the announcements at VanaFest 2010, I was happiest about the move from 75 to 99 -- though I felt it took way too damn long to do it -- in that, in the right hands, it would BLOW UP THE ENTIRE FRACKING POWER STRUCTURE.

Well, it took to 99, but it probably has.  I don't mind that most of the game is soloable.  In fact, glad to do it.  Glad that I don't have to depend that someone else in my shell is a griefing bitch like this fucker.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Oh come on... Griefing has now come to THIS...

From the Official Forums, through FFXIAH's forums:

Rukkirii, the Community Rep, posted:

"Currently, the way that spells/abilities are set up fall into one of three categories: Self/Party Members/Anyone. Therefore, we can’t just make an adjustment to allow something to reach alliances only. If we were to do this, it would have to be done so that the spell applies to "Anyone."

In that case, we have to worry quite a bit about harassment and griefing that could result from that change. For example, when players have to be visible to interact with something (like a door), someone can cast invisible on them to grief them repeatedly. Secondly, players would be able to disrupt someone who is trying "pull with sound aggro" by casting sneak on them before hand.
Furthermore, casting invisible on someone else and making them disappear without their consent is a major point of harassment.

These reasons are why we haven't moved to change the properties of Sneak/Invisible beyond their current party member limitation."



You motherfuckers have to wish you could start resorting to grief-invising (thereby preventing most door/NPC interactions) to disrupt people's play because you think this shit is FUNNY?


I mean, I know that griefing is effectively legal in FFXI (servers would probably have to be halved again -- beyond the probable impending post-VanaFest 2012 server merge -- if they really enforced that it wasn't), and content denial can be at an all-time high (just try to do Dynamis-Valkurm during Hippogryph JA-proc times), but you idiots have basically decided that you believe it right to go around and just start invising people to prevent them from actively being able to take part in the game?


Please go kindly take a flying leap...