Friday, December 27, 2013

That's what SHE said, Dammit!!

One of the best advancements in Final Fantasy XI in recent months is the Trust Initiative.

So leave it to Karah of Carbuncle to try to dump water on it.

"I used to be able to /sea area, cool, there's only 1 person there, no possible way that he'd get in my way.... but now every ONE person, is actually 4 with this trust crap.
Just wanted to vent, I think it's a pretty stupid thing, but its the only way the people that use them are capable of accomplishing things, so "necessary evil" I guess."

So trying to counterbalance against the 9-boxing bot-bullshit is, well...

You know what?  I'll just let my friend Tohihroyu say it best...

Read her response to Miss Wet Blanket up there...

The young Padawan is learning.

Friday, December 6, 2013

I Dream of Mog Bonanza 2014, brought to you by Campbell's Alphabet Soup!!

Well, while I'm downloading one of my Christmas presents to myself (Final Fantasy VIII for Steam) -- damn false positives on McAfee... -- I decided to take another look at the new Mog Bonanza for the end of 2013 and start of 2014.

BTW, next version update:  December 11th.

SIGNIFICANT number of changes for the ilevel 119 stuff, and a lot of stuff is getting Mog Kupon Alphabet Soup-ed...

Level 6

Losing tickets get a Mog Missile, again.

Level 5

Matching the single number of Level 5 gets the normal array of special BCNM entry keys (of which I think I have them all), most of the statues (Ark Angels, Adamantoise, etc., Shadow Lord) plus a number of new entries:

Mog Kupon I-S1:  Your choice of any one simulacrum piece, Level One.

Mog Kupon I-Skill:  Pick the skill of your choice, and you will get (I presume a usable) item which will increase that skill.  No word yet on whether it caps the skill or just gives a set amount of skill increase.

1 Rem's Tale Item, Chapters 1-5:  Your choice of one chapter, one item, for the Artifact Armor increase to ilevel 119.  You still need 5, I believe, to actually upgrade the item, plus either a Delve boss win or a win of one of the Sacred Kindred's Crest BC's at harder than normal level.

Probably a skill item for my black mage, frankly.

Level 4:  Two-digit number drawn, last two digits of any marble you have match to win.


Mog Bonanza S2:  It's upgraded to S3 for this one, see below.
Redeyes:  Given out commonly in the BC events.
The Ark Weapons:  Nice costumes, but little else.


Odin Statue
Choice of one Skill Up Ring
Choice of one Black Belt item


Mog Kupon A-De:  Single ilvl 110 armor piece and three Airlixir +2s.  Demoted from Level 2 to Level 4.
Mog Kupon A-E+2:  Empyrean Armor +2, one choice.  Demoted from Level 2 to Level 4.


Bomb Masque
Chocobo Masque
The Chocobo Suit
Statues for Cardian, Goobbue, or Atomos
Rolanberry Delightaru (probably a Cooking enhancement furniture piece)
One Sacred Kindred Crest Orb (either type)

And then FOUR different Mog Kupons:

Mog Kupon I-S3:  One Simulacrum Piece, Level Three
Mog Kupon A-PK109:  Bayld armor ilvl 109 -- basically the initial Bayld armors, +1.  One choice.
Probably a Skill-Up Ring, probably Magic.

Level 3:  Three-digit number drawn, match last three to win.

Gil options are the same as they've always been.  Gil for the May 2013 Mog Bonanza was 27% of the total gil put in.

Nomad Moogle Rod is gone, for the same reason Redeyes left Level 4.
The Neo-Nyzul Mog Kupon is gone, as is the one for Neo-Salvage.


Mog Kupon I-S5:  One Simulacrum Piece, Level Five.
Frayed Sack of Abundance +1:  12 Verdgris Stones +1
Galley Kitchen
Speed Belt


Arise and Meteor fall from Level 2 to Level 3.


HQ Behemoth, Fafnir, and Adamantoise pops, one choice.
One choice of a box of items to upgrade your relic, mythic, or empyrean to ilvl 119.  (The box contains the largest number of beitetsu, Plutons, or Riftborn Boulders, but not the full amount by any means.)

New Mog Kupons:

Mog Kupon I-AF109:  1 choice of a stack of 12 of any chapter (1-5) of Rem's Tale.
Mog Kupon W-EWS:  The Empyrean Weapon Skill weapon for any one of the weapon types.
Mog Kupon AW-WK:  One Wildskeeper Reive good drop of your choice -- think of it as a mega-Rela from the Celennia Library.

Tough call.

Level 2:  Four-digit number drawn, last four digits to win.


23% of the gil pool split by number of winners.
Black Belt
Cat's Eye
Opal Silk
Saber Shoot
Shaper's Shawl
The Boss Delve crafting items, choice of one.


Mog Kupon A-DeII:  Delve Boss armor drops, choice of one.  Demotion from Level 1 to Level 2.


Scarletite Ingot (Unless you are needing one to craft, a few of them dropped in the BC events, dropping their value under 2,000,000 gil on Leviathan.)
Ormolu Ingot
Delve Boss Weapons, choice of one.  (Which makes several of the Rank 1 prizes ridiculous.)
Alza'daal Table:  The classic table on which battles were drawn out.  High-end storage piece, not clear as to any Moghancement, but there'd have to be a nice one for it to be THIS high.

Probably one of the boss weapons.  Depends on what I have when the numbers come out in February.

Level 1:  Five-digit number drawn, marble must match it.


Actually, I was wrong about one thing:  The Ridill was removed after the Homecoming Bonanza, before the May 2013 one.


Basically, most everything.

Relic, Mythic, or Empyrean, Level 90 (but the Delve Boss weapons are Level 2...)
10,000-piece for Dynamis (I know it's cashable, but on equal terms with the 90-Relics?  With a gil prize that probably far exceeds the 40-70 million gil the 10K piece is saleable for?)
Ebisu Fishing Rod


Mog Kupon I-RME:  Basically, if you have a Level 99 Relic, Mythic, or Empyrean, Congratulations...  It's now ilevel 119 -- 300 (the full required number to update) of the respective items to upgrade.

If I win this, they'll peel me off the ceiling first, and then it's a REAL tough call.


Also, the Return to Vana'diel Free Client Edition for everybody starts today until December 23.  RMT and Troll Alert!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Final Fantasy XI has an Oprah Moment...

I give this game the end of the fiscal year -- March 31, 2014.

The next stunt for the XIth Anniversary is...





Yep, straight out of Oprah...

I mean, you can choose something else, and there are some interesting choices on the list, but the fact is that FFXI is giving away (for free, to anyone who was an active player from October 1 to November 30 -- at any time in the timeframe) a choice of one of the following:

50 of any one set of the seals except the new Sacred Kindreds
25 Sacred Kindreds
3 copies of any of the new "Rem's Tale" upgrade situations (upgrading artifact armor to ilevel situations)
50,000 of any expansion's main "conquest currency" -- Conquest Points, Imperial Standing, Allied Notes, Bayld
50,000 of any one guild's points

Undecennial Ring

Nocturnus Mail
Nocturnus Helm

(Fiat Lux)


(Khaimara's prize drops - were Level 3 Mog Bonanza Prizes through 2010)


(Cerberus' prize drop -- was also a Level 3 through 2010)

Valkyrie's Fork

(Einherjar Odin I prize drops -- these were Level 1 GRAND PRIZES in 2010)

Suzaku's Sune-Ate
Seiryu's Kote
Genbu's Shield
Byakko's Haidate

(Each Sky God's main prize drop -- Byakko's was a Level 2 in 2009 and 2010)


(This was a Rank 2 in 2010.)

and... RIDILL...

(The worst offender of all.  This was a LEVEL 1 GRAND PRIZE SIX MONTHS AGO!!)

Yep, they're done.  I give it about three more months into the first of the year to give XIV a bit more time to ferment.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New SP's: So, after all this time, this is what we get...

Haven't said much lately, but the word is finally out on the November 2013 update having the new Special Abilities (the "one-hours").

So, after, what, two years of waiting?, here they are...

WAR:  Blazing Rush:  Increases Double Attack rate.

That's _IT_?  Unless you mean it allows the WAR to bust whatever caps on DA rate that their gear give or something, that's all the WAR gets?

MNK:  Inner Strength:  Increases Max HP

Unless the harder Adoulin stuff is meant to be SO HARD that you literally need a MNK with over 9000 HP...  Not a very promising start.

WHM:  Asylum:  Massive party increase to enfeebling magic and Dispel.

So kinda half-Perfect Defense plus a little bit...  OK, this one makes more sense than the first two.

BLM:  Subtle Sorcery:  Decreases emnity, increases magic accuracy.

That sounds more a Job Ability than a one-hour!!

RDM:  Stymie:  Greatly increases next enfeebling spell.


THF:  Larceny:  Steals one positive status effect from the enemy.

Independent of Aura Steal and the like.  OK.  Has it's uses.

PLD:  Intervene:  Shield attack to greatly reduce attack power and accuracy of the enemy.

So an OFFENSIVE PLD 1-hour...  Interesting.

DRK:  Soul Enslavement:  Blood Weapon, except TP this time.

Weapon skill still has to hit.  :)

BST:  Unleash:  Shortens recast timers of Sic and Ready, increases chances of Charm.

Ummm...  No.

BRD:  Clarion Call:  Adds one more song effect that can be given to players.

The more songs, the more you are of worth to a large-scale hyper-game/Adoulin event.

RNG:  Overkill:  Reduces ranged attack delay, increases double and triple shots.

Nice for ranged fights, of which there are at least a few.

SAM:  Yaegasumi:  Evasion of techniques increased, TP bonus as you evade more.

So is this Weapon Skills or something else?

NIN:  Mikage:  Grants bonus number of attacks to main-hand weapon to the number of Utsusemi shadows you have.

So now we finally get Hundredhanded-Whateverhisnameis in Mamook's main effect...

DRG:  Fly High:  Shortens Jump recast.

Ergh.  Could be great, could be terrible.  Hope these SPs work on a different timer.

SMN:  Astral Conduit:  Reduces Blood Pact recasts.

SMN is becoming more and more useless with the Perfect Defense nerf!!  I mean, what, Garuda and spam Predator Claw???

BLU:  N. Wisdom:  More BLU spells become available.

Probably most of the Adoulin stuff and other overpowered stuff.  Which see the JA post-75, I think.

COR:  Cut Cards:  Reduces SP time for party members.

Note:  Doesn't take it to zero, probably.  Probably cuts it by a percentage/half or something.

PUP:  Heady Artifice:  Puppet uses it's SP, SP depends on the type of head.

Probably the list we had before.  One of the few initial survivors, it looks like.

DNC:  Grand Pas:  Flourishes cost nothing.

Isn't that part of Trance?  Ew....

SCH:  Caper Emissarius:  All party emnity goes to the party member of your choice.


GEO:  Widen Compass:  Geomancer spells now have wider effect.

Again, that seems like a lesser Job Ability.

RUN:  English Name Unknown:  Greatly reduces magic accuracy of enemy.

Yeah, sure, whatever...

God, do most of these suck.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

XIV: Oh Shit, The Entire Hospital Might Be Dead On This One

I read a political/economic blog that's about to go down for good that characterizes the US Dollar as having one form of lesser STDs while the rest of the world has a killer virus.

That might be an analog for Final Fantasy XI vs. XIV right now.

Reading a massive BG thread on what might be a game-killing exploit:  Some players figured out how to change the database on player's on the PLAYER SIDE.

This means:  They could be whatever level, with however much gil, items, crafting levels, etc. and so forth and so on.

Word is:  This actually was discovered during the latter stages of the Beta test!!!

We're talking complete hackage of the game here.

And NOW, there's word that characters on XI are being deleted with no cause whatsoever -- the characters are not being banned, hacked, or anything, at least that we know of.  The characters are just... gone!

Basically, players were giving themselves gil, according to the cheaters, and selling them to RMT for ridiculous amounts, probably making a massive penny in the process.

But, as one person so well put it:  The game is fucked.  You rollback again, you're basically now on XIV-3.  You don't, and you basically let everything stand.

Wow.  Just -- fucking -- wow.

ETA:  And, yes, BG:  What they did to get money for the added gil was quite illegal under California Law.  We're talking felonious grand theft here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's Official, The Patient Is Dead

It won't be long now.

Not after the pop-event they just did the last almost-72 hours, to end in about six.

Several of the uncommonly-played Kindred Crest/High Kindred Crest Battle Circles were severely augmented this weekend.

How so?

Every boss monster in the BC (and, for the Dragon Scales one in Chamber of Oracles, that meant two sets -- and for the three beastmen KC50s in each of the BC areas just out of towns, that meant four sets) dropped some version of the following:
  • A Mog Kupon S (full set of seals for any one +1 Empyrean armor upgrade) -- this sometimes would be a Mog Kupon L (Lumoria Sea Torque drops), and even an A was in there someplace (AV!!!)
  • A Monstrosity Mog Garden drop -- either a Monarch Beetle Saliva or a Golden Seed Pouch
  • Most of the time (at least until I had the full set), an Ancient Black Magic scroll would drop.This is where the situation often got fun...  Very common substitutes for this included:
  1. Phalanx (taking the value from about 1.9M or so on Leviathan and gutting it to basically 0) -- got three before I stopped trying to add to that number
  2. Raise III (taking THAT value from about the better part of a million to about 0)
  3. Utsusemi:  Ni (same drill)
Give you an idea of how bad those three got:  The FIRST DAY of the event, I got 3 Phalanxes (gave one to an alt of Tohi's boyfriend), and two each of Raise III and Ni.


4.  High-end Geomancer spells, both of Black Magic and Geomancy
5.  The two big-ticket Provenance Watcher spells, Arise and Meteor.  Got an Arise on Saturday night.

  • A crafting item.  This could be anywhere from a Saffron Blossom, to a Scarletite Ingot (the latter WAS 11,000,000 gil on Leviathan, until the undercutting bitches halved the price, possibly permanently).  Yes, I'll have one to hold on to for a bit...
  • Often, a food item of some value would drop, usually either Dragon Meat or Hydra Meat (cratering at least the latter's price).
  • A +2 Empyrean item/Walk of Echoes drop of some sort.  This could be anywhere from a Card/Coin/Stone/Jewel to a Frayed Pouch.  A Heavy Metal Pouch was claimed to have dropped.
And the event was also a normal Double XP event too!!!

I mean, if this wasn't the...


event, I don't know what is.

There have been times that servers on XI have reported under 300 players on -- of course, that would mean about 1 legit player, 50 alts, 200 bots, and about 49 bazaars.

November and the new areas (if we make it that long!!!) can't come fast enough.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

So how many legitimate players are there per server? Three or Four??

Someone posted this screenshot to FFXIAH, and I will let it stand without comment, but for the question as to how many legitimate players there are to a server these days...
For the record, I count 26 players in this picture.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Haven't posted here in a while, but some XIV-related BG tears motivate me to.

Really, haven't had much to talk about in quite a while.  XI is surviving, the Yorcia Skirmish gear is sick (so sick I'm soloing Walk of Echoes confluxes, Caturae, and came within 15% of soloing the Dynamis Lord (and his dragons).  (Damn Tera Slash.)

But it's something I saw today on BluCheater got my attention.

Sounds like some people got banned from XIV for the amount of gil they had, or so it appears.

There was another one of those interesting maintenances on the new game a few nights ago, and now, a number of players have been banned from non-legacy servers (basically, where all the players started at nothing with the ARR release) based on the amount of gil they had.

And, of course, Churchill telling people who actually are in tune with reality to shut the fuck up.

No, Church, you take your cheater ass and YOU shut the fuck up.

Basically, what this move was designed to do was exactly what people said:  To set a maximum income at this point in the game.  Above that, there has to be the belief (and there are numerous RMT trolls on XIV already, apparently!) that the gil is being prepared to be sold or the like.

I mean, even in XI, gil has a more and more limited use after a certain point.  Basically, the STF of XIV is doing what the STF in XI should've done all along.

And, once again for emphasis, Churchill:  Shut the fuck up.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rude Awakening (and not the type most of the BG Brigade would want)...

Tohihroyu and I often used to do Dynamis, in a group I informally called Dynamis Tonight.

She got me and her boyfriend and we decided to go to Dynamis-Xarcabard and hope we could get a camp.

We, largely, couldn't, but that's not the gist of this post.

What we did fight went down far too quickly for us to even proc most of the time.

So we decided to go farm some Animated Weapons.

We got the sword pop, then I decided, "What the hey?"

75-90 seconds later, one dead Animated Longsword.

As time was running down in our run, we did the Claymores next.

Once we got a pop and got full, maybe 90 seconds, goodbye Animated Claymore.

So then I decide to get brave (read that as:  Stupid) and try to get the Scythe, remembering how much of a bear it was to get Tohihroyu her item for her scythe.

4 minutes to go in the run, we pop the Animated Scythe.

2 minutes, it's dead.  Easy.  None of us got hit, my pet maybe twice.  Would've been probably a minute and 15 seconds if not for Phalanx by the enemy.

Where am I going with this?

I pretty much now have to retire from Dynamis, save work for the other two.

It got so sick that, had we 20 more minutes and the pop, I might've tried the Dynamis Lord himself!  (To wit I almost WISH we would've wiped.)

I'm, literally, way too powerful with a Delve axe/Wildskeeper Axe combo, full merits on Beast Affinity (which makes my pets, what, Level 123?), and most of the Delve armor for BST or DRG.  (Steelflash combo for earrings, Haste belt from plasm...)

Just, wow.  I feel sad.  After getting my fourth Wildskeeper KI by finally winning Foret (only one left is Yorcia), I now have both my Mandau and my Gungnir in storage.

I know there are other things to do.  More plasm to farm, etc.  But Dynamis was good to me -- VERY GOOD.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Another dupe-fest going on? Wouldn't shock me in the slightest...

With only ten minutes warning (and much to the chagrin of any Dynamis, Wildskeeper Reive, etc. people), Square-Enix took the game down about 12:30 PDT this afternoon.

It's almost 4 as I type this.  The game is still down.

The longer it's down, the more I think we've got another exploit-fest on our hands.

The reason is in the follow-up that was posted about 30 minutes later.  "Unimplemented items" have been dropping in certain battlefields.

That's either a fire-able fuck-up (either the coder or someone in QA), or we've got another STF problem on our hands.

And given a lot of the gear that's already been announced (and the scruples of much of the NA playerbase), I wouldn't put it past anybody to start duping the shit out of these +188 weapons to break the game completely.

The thing is, this isn't just some small situation.  This is either a major code fuck-up or a straight-up exploit.

My money's on the latter.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Could SE finally be waking up, or is there something else at play here?

Been noticing a couple of heartening developments that the GMs appear to be doing:

The first is that it appears that a single GM has been scouting Empyreal Paradoxes (or, more, the lobbies for the Shinryu Abyssea boss fights) for bot-skillers -- those people outside every...  damned....  possible...  area who repeatedly use spells or the like to bot themselves silly, or so it often seems.

Well, somebody's been looking for them in some of the more out-of-the-way places.

Also, a report from FFXIAH stating that a PLD was caught flee-hacking to sac in Delve.  (Geez, you fuckers too cheap for Mazurka???)

Reactions have been predictable, but there is one ominous overtone I do need to make note of:

It is not much of a secret that it really does appear, Adoulin notwithstanding, that the absolute future of the MMO division of Square-Enix is whether they can get Final Fantasy XIV off the ground again.

It should also be no secret that the real word about that Square-Enix was going to start de-emphasizing Final Fantasy XI into what was then called "Rapture" (think of how that term is used!) came about just after the largely-North American Salvage bans of January 22, 2009.

It is widely believed that Square-Enix is deliberately attempting to kill Final Fantasy XI.

Frankly put, the easiest way to do it is also the one thing that Square-Enix needs to do if they are going to have an MMO division at all -- enforce their damned rules.

Conservative estimates are putting it at 80% of the North American playerbase which would have to be removed if the rules were enforced.

Keep all this in mind as the Mog Resort and three new areas are opened this week.

Monday, July 1, 2013

So it's July 1st, 2013. Let's rack up the evidence that Square-Enix wants us all to play Final Fantasy XIV this fall...

  • Seekers of Adoulin has been out for three months.  Zero storyline updates, with the biggest update being a single mechanism which has effectively obsoleted everything else in the system.  (So much so, I end up bored to tears if I can't find a Delve plasm shout.  (Have three weapons and three armor pieces now.))
  • The game is rapidly devolving to where a F2P model would actually be preferable to what we have now.  If things are allowed to continue as they have been for the last three months, you are looking at about 4-6 players controlling the server with RMT tactics and basically all control and access to meaningful content.
  • It has been eleven months since the new SP 1-hours began on the server.  They appear to be nowhere close to implementation.
  • Cait Sith?  (or any reasoned explanation to play SMN at level 99 other than game abuse)  Nowhere to be found.
  • Only reason to even THINK of RDM is as a solo Refresh-monkey.  (And as a subjob.)
  • Most Colonization is now blocked off.  Unless someone has to work their way through (and, often, that's a one-shot deal -- which see if you want to go to the Morimar Wildskeeper Reive), they basically can't do many assignments, can't do some of the quests, and are basically at the mercy of an, at best, ambivalent server.
  • Relics, Mythics, and Empyreans are largely worthless, sans entry pieces to current content.
  • No address/mass bans to any of the real problems in the game (Fell Cleave illegalities, mega-box botting, Windower).  Nothing's been addressed.
  • Whether it's simply the mega-boxers or a deterioration of the casual player, the player-base is degenerating back to a closed-minded bunch of pieces of shit.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

XBox Done: They're still done...

More non-FFXI.

Well, Microsoft is backpedaling like a bad cornerback.

No more always-on requirements for XBox One.

Used game restrictions taken down.

So why are they still fucked?

Not only because they have the spying abilities of the new Kinect, but, now, they have to not only change the architecture around how the One is going to work, but also confront the reality that their entire economic model for the XBox One is now done, at least vis-a-vis games.

I fully expect, either after the One or during, that Microsoft will fully divorce from the gaming industry.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Non-FFXI: I thought I saw everything, until I saw Microsoft's arrogance this week...

On occasion, something happens which just goes so far beyond the pale that it just has to be brought to attention.

What Microsoft did at E3 this week, in releasing what is only-purportedly a gaming system later this year, most certainly qualifies.

In fact, I will go even further:

Not only do I believe that Microsoft has permanently killed the XBox brand with their arrogance and general fucked-up attitude on things, but that Microsoft (with almost certainly help from a lot of parties which people do not want to know about!) is attempting to kill the entire gaming industry in the United States and replace it with an entertainment console...  Excuse me, surveillance device... industry.

Moreover, any person who even puts one of these XBox Done s (not my name for it, but far too good to pass up) in their house not only deserves what they get, but they are too stupid to be part of any reasoned society in this day and age.


Let's take this step-by-step:


Microsoft gets the plum opening spot in a full day of release press conferences at E3.

The price point is $499, for starters.

This got me to start immediately calling it the "XBoxOnePercent", as Microsoft opted to completely disdain all the backlash Sony got at the start of the last generation.

Combined with the farcical release conference Microsoft did last month, I set off the following diatribe on Twitter:

"People really need to get together and call this what it is... is the . Priced for the 1%, for 1% of gamers. FU."

And wouldn't you know it, within THREE MINUTES, I get this stupidity:

" get a job! Do u own any new tech? An iPad? A computer? A cellphone? $500 is nothing for what it getting."

So, Brad. what am I getting for that money that you feel I need to have a job for?  (BTW, only the computer, no iPad, no cellphone even...

Two trailers started without sound, and a rape joke was thrown in for good measure...  Gee, almost sounds right at home with some of the male gamer types running around these days...

But it's what happened the next two days that should've really gotten antennae twitching:


Wired UK came out with a highly-disturbing situation from the patent application Microsoft filed for the XBox One Kinect (which is mandatory for the system at all times).

The application indicates that the Kinect actually will have the ability to monitor the number of people in the room and compel (as a condition of licensure and the ability to play the game/view other content) the owner to pay for an additional license fee based on the number of people viewing the content.

And it may well not stop there.  As Wired UK reports, the patent application says:

"delivering audiovisual entertainment has progressed from physical media to digital downloads...In delivering such media, content providers often seek compensation based on the number of times content can be presented on a particular system."

So, at it's end, what could happen, for just ONE example, is that you may only be allowed to play an XBox One game a certain number of times (or a certain length of time!) before you would be forced to pay an additional license fee.

In an extreme case, your next purchase of Madden for the XBox One could well be by the hour of playtime!

Then it starts getting really fun. as the Wired UK article continues:

"The limitation placed on the content might simply be a fixed number of users views, a number of user views over a certain time period, a number of simultaneous user views or views tide to user identities. This could even allow for age restriction -- i.e. if the Kinect recognises you as being under 18, it won't show 18 movies."

The only way it could feasibly do that is for the Kinect to be able to actually have full view of the living room involved, and that view might well be transmittable to a third party!

(By the way, one of the other bugaboos revealed this week by Microsoft is that the XBox One must be connected to the Internet for authentication purposes once every 24 hours, or the system is an effective brick -- NO content can be accessed.)

Especially with the Edward Snowden leaks (for which, frankly, he will be most-certainly executed without trial once finally cornered), this leads to a number of highly-frightening scenarios:

1) A number of parties have already come up with the "Microsoft is watching you masturbate."  Consider the ramifications for the likes of that in the Bible Belt.

2) One of my FFXI "agents in the field" found another meme poster which indicates that the only people who might even be allowed to access the content are people who only allow those who have license to the content.  In an extreme case, your brother walks into the room, and the game stops.  Since your brother does not have a license to the content, you now don't either, until he leaves.

3) If it can go that far, consider the possibilities that, since the XBox One must be allowed to access the Internet at some point every day (perhaps at all times, for certain applications), the possibility that Microsoft could contract with third parties for surveillance purposes (say police, NSA, Homeland Security, etc.).  I give it literally January 1, 2014 (unless someone does the smart thing and sue this abomination off the market once and for all before then!) before we find out that someone got arrested for something they did in the "privacy" of their own home (har har), or that the Kinect can recognize a fugitive from justice and catch them.

And I could come up with numerous others...


In the biggest Fuck You to it's customers, Microsoft executive Don Mattrick openly said that anyone who either does not elect to or cannot consistently access the Internet has no business on the XBox One and should, instead, remain in the previous inferior generation with the 360:

""Fortunately we have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity. It's called Xbox 360," he said."

Fuck you, Don Mattrick.  It's almost as if you are saying that those of us (including me) who would much rather play offline have no business in "YOUR WORLD" and will be eventually taken out of the equation...

And then we get to the summary of a lot of the limitations which XBox fanboys are going to have to subject themselves to for the XBox One:
  • Not only does the system require Internet connectivity once every 24 hours in all cases, that requirement, under certain conditions, can be as strict as once an hour!
  • Your system becomes a brick, in that no games can be played on it (nor, I would assume, any other content), if this limitation is not met.
  • No lending of games to a friend without that friend buying the (license to play the) game.  You still have to put it on his system's hard drive (all games must be loaded from disk to drive -- there is no play from disk on the XBox One), but if he wants to play it himself on his own profile, he must buy license for it.
  • Since all games are effectively loaded onto the XBox One similarly to PC gaming, used game discs become effectively worthless!  The only "used game trading" which would be allowed would be with Microsoft-authorized retail outlets, and no one knows what that process is going to entail.
  • Although Sony loses some points for requiring Playstation Plus for online play (you can almost expect some attempt at hacking Sony's servers not only for information, but to take down PS4 online play, at some point), Microsoft does something Sony does not:  To access Netflix, you must not only have a Netflix subscription, but an XBox Gold one as well.
To me, the only way this idiocy could ever see retail is if there is a grand master plan here.  (And one which would require a lot of help.)

Bluntly, let's get real here:  The end-game (probably coming with the XBox One) entails the following (and I fully expect these announced before release):
  • Any attempt to circumvent the ability of the Kinect to have full, unblocked access to the necessary information it is attempting to receive and transmit immediately ceases all content on the system.
  • Microsoft, at it's sole discretion, can terminate any system with a kill-code, and, since the XBox One must be connected at least once every 24 hours to work at all...
  • The Final Insult (and Microsoft has done this already with it's PC software -- Microsoft Office 2013 can only be used one-to-one -- one machine, one copy of Office 2013.  That machine dies?  So does that license of Office 2013):  You aren't buying the console or any games at all.  You are only buying the license to the console and to the games, which can be revoked by any legal or relevant party, without appeal, at any time.
In that last case, you're buying a $500-deposit cable box you will never see the money back on.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Next shoe drops at Square-Enix... US President out, Euro President to oversee both regions...

Can't say any of this shocks me.

Reading Anime News Network (via Polygon), and this comes up:

"Square Enix America president and CEO Mike Fischer officially left the company this month. Fischer declined to comment on his resignation other than to say he left on good terms. Square Enix announced plans to let go of Fischer last month after laying off half of its marketing staff and around 20 employees in accounting, IT, and events. He has moved on as vice president of digital music and video for Amazon in Japan. 

Square Enix Europe CEO Phil Rogers will be taking over Fischer's former position. Rogers will now supervise both the European and American divisions."

Just more to keep in mind as time goes on.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Video Games and The Law of Unintended Consequences

(There's FFXI material in this one, but only peripherally.)

An interesting (and perhaps, for some, ominous) story came out of Nintendo over the weekend.

Nintendo (on the surface, not surprisingly) has finally formally slammed the door on what is called the "Let's Play"-ers -- video gamers who use their expertise and/or personalities to gain money by streaming or uploading playing of certain video games to various video social media.

Basically, Nintendo has decided (in a move which has already largely ended most of the relevant Let's Play's of their content) to seize the videos, and, instead of taking them down, they get the ad revenue now by putting their own ads on -- effectively putting many of the Let's Play-ers out of business.

On the surface, not surprising at all.  Read the statement provided by Nintendo through Anime News Network on the subject:

"As part of our on-going push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a YouTube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the YouTube database. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips. We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube, and that is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property."

OK, fine.  The game is the property of the IP-owner.

But what this decision means is, so is the gameplay.

In short, though I'm no lawyer, the statement is obvious:

An IP-owner of a video game not only owns the copyright to the code of the game and the trademarks, etc. of the distinguishable characters, but owns the copyright and rights to ALL GAMEPLAY of their intellectual property.

And, in fact, this is true on an a priori basis -- it's true BEFORE the material ever gets uploaded to YouTube/streamed on Twitch/what have you.  This basically means (and this will become more and more relevant in 8th-generation consoling) that the IP-holder of a game owns your gameplay.

Else, Nintendo would have no right to register their copyright material with YouTube and stop people from making money off of their gameplay.

Except, the gameplay itself is not the players' either!  It belongs to the IP-holder, as a condition of playing the game.

And, again, on an a priori basis -- no attempt to make money is necessary (though it is the issue here) for the IP-holder (in this case, Nintendo) to do this.

So what would this mean if it were extended?  The end of the charity streams?  The end of all IP-unauthorized tournaments, streamed or otherwise?

And THEN you get to an interesting FFXI issue...  Once again, on the Official Forums, one of the (S?)GMs has had to smack down (at least verbally) calls for people to use Parser, an illegal third-party program.

But if Square-Enix owns all gameplay to their intellectual property, would this not mean that, by extension and force, that all "third-party" programs become, by a matter of legal definition, first-party?

Does this mean Square-Enix technically (whether it wants to admit it or not) own Windower, etc.?

Something to keep in mind!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Uncennial (XIth) Anniversary Mog Bonanza Prizes up

Well, they just put up the XP ring and the Mog Bonanza for the Uncennial (eleventh) anniversary, which is today.

Uncennial Ring:  12 hours, double XP, 10 charges, each charge is eleven thousand one hundred eleven maximum bonus XP.

Mog Bonanza:

L6:  No wins at all at any level. 

The consolation prize has been changed to a throwing-ammo Bonanza Ball, minimum damage, just something to have.

L5:  Last number matches the L5 drawn. 

No deletions (entry slips, Ark Angel/Etc. Statues (none of the new Shadow Lord II and III statues though)).

Two additions:

Copse Candy.  Assume that's the new Leafkin costume item.

and Mog Bonanza Kupon O.  No, not that valuable.  If you win, you get to add to your Mog House (not Rent-a-Room, just the Mog House), if you got that musical instrument made over the holidays, either the Eastern or Western Adoulin music.

Probably get the Eastern Adoulin music with this one.

L4:  Last two numbers match the L4 numbers drawn.

The two Kupons at this level at Homecoming were both removed (the +1 Seals for any Empyrean job and some of the Sea Torque drops).

The Mass Chalemie (BRD Instrument) and Abdhaljis' Honor (Legion) slots were also removed.

No other deletions -- still have a Black Belt item, Odin Statue, skill-up ring, and Ark Angel weapon to choose from.

In exchange for the four deletions, a new Mog Kupon has been added, as well as an item:

Kupon S2 will allow the winner to pick any ONE Simulacrum Skirmish piece (head of either zone, body, OR feet -- one piece) at level II.

The item is a Frayed Sack of Mortality +1.  My guess is that it contains Skirmish +1 stones, but I'm not 100% certain,

And that's probably what I'd pick, the Frayed Sack +1.

L3:  Most everything in this area got dumped from Homecoming.  Gil option still remains, same pari-mutuel percentages from Homecoming.  27% here.

Pretty much the only retentions were the Galley Kitchen and the Nomad Moogle Rod.  (WHY THE HELL IS THAT ROD L3???)

An actual demotion from L2 for Homecoming to L3 and an expansion:  Kupon Ny.  One piece of Neo-Nyzul Isle top gear, wider selection than Homecoming.

Another addition:  The Speed Belt, the saleable Haste +6% belt.  (About 8-10M gil.)

Kupon Sa is another addition:  One piece of Neo-Salvage +1 gear.

Kupon S5 has been added as well.  Same drill as S2, except at Maximum level (V).  One piece of statue, level V.

And the Frayed Sack M2 -- probably the +2 equivalent of whatever the M1 sack does for +1s.

Tough call with the expansion of Neo-Nyzul and Neo-Salvage and the like..  Have to think that one over.

L2:  23% gil option.

The Voidwatch stuff is gone.  The Neo-Nyzul was demoted to L3.

The four new choices:  The Delve Boss crafting items from the Delve bosses.  Probably worth a shit-ton once they become available...

Eek.  The Black Belt or the Shaper's Shawl, probably!

L1:  50% of the gil goes in this pool.

The Ridill and Sagasinger are gone.

From here, it's pretty much a ripoff with Delve and Skirmish around.  K-Club, D-Ring, 10K currency-piece, Relic/Mythic/Empyrean at 90, Ebisu...

One addition:  Kupon D.  Delve Boss Armor, from this update.  The six armor drops from the bosses.  Can we say off the F-ing charts?

Almost certainly a Delve Armor choice, once they peel me off the ceiling after getting L1...

One comment:  It's almost certain they are NOT expecting ANYBODY -- even CheaterGartr -- to clear the Boss Delve stuff any time soon, given this prize table.  (Otherwise, we'd have seen the weapons too.)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Matsui's latest Official Forums discussion on advancement through gear highlights why I'm pissed...

Matsui, in trying to placate the growing controversy on the effective uselessness of Relics, Mythics, and Empyreans at 99, just highlighted the main problem I have with the whole mess.

What he did was posted the general scope of the level of content in Adoulin content.

He posted not only what he believes to be current content levels, but also what is being planned for future updates...

What he wants people to look at is the level of gear (and of play) being above and beyond 99 -- hence, even beyond "hypergame", as I've called it.

So I'm going to rescale his chart a little bit, based on what I've seen in the 6-ish weeks since release:

Level 100-102 (T to a 99):  Regular monsters in Adoulin Start Areas:
Level 103-105:  Caves and second areas (Foret, Morimar...)
Level 100-104:  Colonization and Lair Reives (Present six areas -- Starter and cave/seconds)
Level 105:  Skirmish
Level 106:  Wildskeeper Reives
Level 105-108:  Colonization and Lair Reives in the next set of areas.
Level 110:  Delve NM's I II and III
Level 112:  Skirmish, new update.
Level 113:  Delve NM's IV and V
Level 116:  Wildskeeper Reives, new update
Level 119+:  Delve NM Boss

So the question is, is the point of entry the bayld gear (99), augmented (101 or so), or this cheater-led NNI and Legion gear that Matsui has probably put on his list somewhere around 105-106?

That's the problem.  If it's the latter, then, basically, our efforts at legitimate play are worth nothing.

At that point, legalize EVERYTHING.  Turn this game into WOW.

One law for everybody, or no law for anybody.

Anyone with an ear to the ground knows most every prominent EGLS/HNMLS player uses Windower and/or RMTs by selling gil.  If I, by not cheating, am now so far behind the loop that I can't catch up without not only cheating, but buying gil for the number of (sabotaged) runs I'd need, then I need to have a talk with Square-Enix' Legal Department.

As things stand now, I do not believe I will be able to complete even storyline Adoulin content without illegal software.  That should not be.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mr. Matsui, you're about one more bad move from a lawsuit...

One I would lose (which is why your predecessors didn't get one), but too much more of this belief that you are in the Suck Less BG-esque camp, and it won't matter to me whether I lose a civil lawsuit, because, frankly, it's either that or a criminal action the people around me who rely on me in Real Life (*gasp!* -- remember, Square-Enix, there is such a thing!!) cannot afford.

This "You Need Best-In-Slot Gear Or Don't Fucking Think of Doing Adoulin Content Without Windower, Scripts, and Other Illegal Bullshit" bullshit has to stop.

Or you will lose all of your remaining legitimate players.

Of course, listening to the North American side of things, do you have any legitimate players LEFT?  What have you got, about three menial players like that:  Me, Tohihroyu, and her boyfriend?

If it's not a gil-selling asshole who is more than happy to merc out illegally-gained wins (both his initial and the ones you're paying for) because he and his gear now control the content, it's a stupid motherfucker who basically won't take you at all because you don't suck cock, or will watch the entire alliance desert him if he takes me.  (Yep, had one earlier this week!)

What, you fuckers run or something behind our fucking backs?

Basically, finally started Delve content last night, got about 10K plasm in a farming group over several runs.

Quetzacotl, the bitch he is, probably tried to MPK us to sabotage one run, and we had to toss the cheating fucker Chromatics for leeching.

(And yes, you piece of shit, I'll more than happily say it to your face.  The problem is I've already got two strikes on my account with the game for my language, and I'm really getting to the point where it's either language or getting addresses.  Already got one guy's city and zip code, and have stored all that for safekeeping...)

So tonight, Perdurable Raptor in Morimar.  Not sure what his trick is, but we easily beat it if the fight is 30 minutes.

But no, it's 20, and I gotta go, Real Life calling!

You know, I'm already aware, Square-Enix, that your fucking "Note to the Players" "Get A Life Statement" is a fucking joke.  For the first time, I now believe the necessary level of gear to play content I desire to play is no longer legally possible.

To paraphrase what Hulk Hogan said to Vince Russo before he was fired by WCW, there's a reason your fucking company lost 13,000,000,000 yen last year.  (That's 13 BILLION -- now about $128M in a badly-devalued yen dropped 30% over the course of the last seven months.) 

You are catering to the wrong people, and doing it badly on top of it.

You are catering to a bunch of subhuman cretins, frankly with the wrong type of product.

The only reason you got the badly underperforming number of sales of Tomb Raider you did is because these shit-for-brains gamers in this country equate Lara Croft with Jiggle.

JRPGs will not sell well to the Call of Duty Fuck Everyone Over club.

Most of these guys basically badly need baseball bats to the skull.

I shouldn't have to bend my Real Life to this game.

At this point, frankly, we're back to where we were two years ago.

Sorry to say that, but all the promise you had in this game went away with the barriers you set to entry.  Between making all the work on Relics, Mythics, and Empyreans irrelevant and then making the entry fights to the new material basically unwinnable without cheats, you've taken all the promise of the 99 cap and blown it to shreds.

Congratulations, and may you reap the whirlwind.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Has Matsui screwed the pooch?

As of tomorrow, all field NM fights with Delve NMs die in 20 minutes.

This basically means no more Key Items for the rank and file of players, perhaps leaving Delve to the fucking BluGartr cheaters.

Listen, if the BG fuckers are right and you are truly telling us to "SUCK LESS", then please run the rest of us off your fucking game because you have no clue what you're doing.

You are effectively REQUIRING illegal conduct to play any kind of material in Adoulin save menial start-farming and slave-labor, effectively.

You'd have to be Windower-ing and far more just to have any degree of an idea what's going on to kill these assholes in 20 minutes.

And that's part of the problem:  If you're telling us we shouldn't even be ATTEMPTING this material, have the honesty to come and say so.

The problem is:  The only people who WOULD be worthy have no right to be in this fucking game.  Cheaters, every last fucking one of them, at least on the North American side.

If you're going to make this game that stratified piece of shit that this game was at 75, where cheating was effectively required for meaningful progress, then count me out.  And ban me for Game Disruption By Being Too Gimp (which would be actionable under 3.2, especially if this is Matsui's idea of the future of Final Fantasy XI...)

Give us some fucking reason to abide by the rules, or we won't.  And that'll include making a few bucks on the side!!  Wake up, or have your game put to sleep -- for good!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Major banning has been rumored to have taken place, but to heck if I can find out more...

Been talking to my "agents in the field" the last several days, where references have been made to a nearly-6,000 player ban (probably related to the recent Fell Cleave notice posted on the website), but the devil if I can actually find anywhere that is confirming it.

That said, I cannot be surprised.

And what has not surprised me even more is that responses to the notice have been completely and utterly wrong.
The Fell Cleave parties are illegal, even outside the scope of RMT involvement.  There are two problems with the belief that the Fell Cleave parties are legal for legitimate players.  (For the record, I believe the previous statement the North American Community Team has made to the contrary has been overridden -- it no longer is in force, as of April 25th.)   The first is found in KB12522, the concept of Absentee Play:

"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."

Even though the character is doing nothing, the player is still receiving the benefit of someone else doing something for them.

The concept, then, becomes even more crystallized in the User Agreement, Section 2.2:

"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."

I'll bring out the relevant part for those who may not see where I'm going:

"You may not play the Game for the purpose of acquiring virtual items or advancement in game play on behalf of a third-party..."

What this means is very simple:

The act of playing the game to advance the other players in a Fell Cleave party (or ANY such XP-acclereative situation) is illegal in and of itself. 

This does raise the possibility that Power Levelling in and of itself might not even be legal, outside any compensation.  But payment/compensation to advance in this manner most certainly is.

So why do I feel the need to bring this up again today?

It appears as if one of the most popular (deemed to be not RMT) Fell Cleave announcers either has a friend or has been forced to make an alt.

I'm talking about you, Mandragora, and Mandragoras too.

Already reported the latter last night, and made it clear I did.

You should've heard the shitstorm.

I have been threatened with "backlash".

Unless this piece of shit and his cheating cohorts want to find my address and come on down (and they better be damn well armed if they do, because someone's leaving in a hearse or Coroner's van if that comes down), they can't "backlash" me.

This game is becoming perilously close to a criminal enterprise -- in that criminal acts on the part of the playerbase, in conjunction with a blind eye turned by a desperate-for-cash Square-Enix, basically dictate play.

That day needed to stop with the Salvage bans four years ago.

Frankly, at least 80% of the North American players need to fucking go, and go yesterday.  If that shuts down the game, bye-bye to an illegal criminal enterprise, because even the money Square-Enix gets from it, then, is dirty cash. 

You want to "backlash" me, boys and girls?  You either better get the cops or better be ready to get your hands dirty.

You are the type of motherfuckers that make American gaming and gamers look like the jokes they are.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

At The Precipice: The Obsole-tion of Gear

Square-Enix may finally have jammed their ass in it one time too many with this Delve content, and the rewards thereof.

They, correctly, note that this is the greatest gear Vana'diel has ever seen!!

Too bad it is so far above anything else the game has ever seen, that Square-Enix now has a very prescient problem...

One Tohihroyu talks about in another Final Fantasy XI forum:

"First my ToM scythe gets beaten by an AH scythe, now my relic I worked my butt off with my friend (and worked on 2 of his with him includeing trials and fighting the NM's to get the Test & Fragment) is getting beaten by 3 fucking scythes! the only upside being Apoc has haste aftermath and the very nice drain effect."

That "friend" being me -- my Mandau (now 80 and on the last trial to 85), and my Gungnir (now 90).

It's now clear from a later Official Forums post from Matsui that I'm going to have to get them to 99 before we can even talk about what efforts WILL be made to improve them.

Here's the problem:

Gungnir at 99:  DMG 159 Delay 492 ACC +40 Geirskogul (which is not the world's greatest relic WS -- Drakesbane is better, and that's why Tohi and her friends helped me finish off Nyzul just a few weeks ago, to which I basically got Drakesbane after about two hours of spiders in Abyssea).

Here are two polearms that were in the new update.  One is purchase-able with Delve "currency".  The other is probably a Delve HNM drop.

Ophidian Trident:  DMG 181 Delay 396...


So you spend upwards of 18,000 Ancient Currency units and 100M gil on top of it to get the Gungnir to 99.  You now have a weapon in the game (and this is the weapon which is probably purchase-able from the NPC!) that is 22 more damage AND almost 100 less Delay.  FOR A POLEARM!!!

That 396 Delay is comparable to the very low end of Polearms, and the DMG blows the Relic (and the Mythic and Empyrean) out the freaking door!

AND it has +8 DEX, VIT, and ACC.  OK, so 32 less ACC than the Gungnir, but STILL...

And then we get to this piece of ridiculousness, which is almost certainly a Delve HNM drop:

The Upukirex.

The Delay is 492 and ACC + 40, just like the 99 Gungnir.

But wait...  STR +13, Attack +25, a 2% increase in Critical Hits...

And the damage is only ...  266.

Before this update, the Gungnir 99 (and the Empyrean Rhonogomiant at 99) had the highest damage, ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN fewer points worth.

How about MAB +50-+70 on the staves?

How about this for a headpiece:  DEF 80 STR and VIT +20 Accuracy and Attack +25  Store TP +4 and we'll throw in 7% Haste...

What are you trying to do, Square-Enix?

You really put your entire enterprise on the precipice.  Allow only the Windower/bot elitists these things, and no one else will play.

More than a few people are already quitting, coming from the Official Forums.

Oh my word...  Just...  No...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

It's clear they've been taking action on the Fell Cleavers, but this takes it to another level.

SE posted this today:

"We are currently investigating players who advertise power leveling services via Shout/Yell, collect gil from the participants, and then use that gil to engage in RMT-related activity. Our investigations thus far have revealed that these players regularly advertise in the Jeuno area and we have responded by terminating the FINAL FANTASY XI service accounts of those found guilty of this behavior.

Please be aware that advertising in such a manner in itself can be disrupting to other players and we may take action against players who continuously advertise for the above kind of parties. This also includes behavior that helps facilitate such activity. Please take caution in not supporting RMT-related activity.

In addition, if you witness other players engaging in this behavior, please report the details to the Special Task Force via the Square Enix Support Center.

The Fell Cleave parties are illegal outside the scope of RMT, on the basis of Absentee Play.

Also, since we're looking at very serious Level 99-Extra content (based on the gear and the like), it may no longer be sufficient to be Level 99 and actually do anything within the game.

Hence, even participating in the FC groups is disruptive to the game.  Unfortunately, this means that even non-RMT FC players (both advertisers and participants) need to be removed.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

So Delves mean we have to have defeated all seven Naakuals?

Then why is it coming out in THIS update?  We don't even have the zones to face all seven Naakuals yet.

On top of that, it appears that one also must be able to complete Skirmishes as well.  I'll be more than happy to try Skirmishes when they decide to actually allow more than a .000002% drop rate on the pieces (so much so that they still run ~10M gil apiece on most servers.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The New Reality: Gear As A Barrier

One of the things that Matsui said just before the release of Seekers of Adoulin is that, with the level cap now firmly in place at 99, what he wanted to do was use the advancement of one's gear as the "Level Up!" sort of a thing to go from simply being Level 99 to something that could actually deal with some of the material probably coming later in the Seekers storyline.

That said, it appears as if, already with the next (probably within the next 10 days) update, the "next level" of things beyond the first Naakuals is going to be released, apparently called "Delve".

So I, before I even find out what Delve is, I find this quote from Karbuncle (one of the BG types) from the Official Forums, talking about what he believes Matsui is talking about:

Comments interspersed:


Legion has no other entrance requirements outside of an I.Q At or above 50, Which... Lol, Yah, only 1-3% of the Population can enter. I kid i kid.

There's not a single event in FFXI That cannot be done with a pick up group, the only problem is, the term Pick up group is generally synonymous with "Bunch of morons and gimps".

A large part of that, Karbuncle, is that there have been clear efforts made (and, to date, thwarted by the designs of early-Adoulin content) to bring back the stratified Level-75 power structure to Level 99 content.

The problem is that, frankly, under that scenario, there should be hard barriers that Square-Enix should've began to employ several years ago.

Want to get into Abyssea?  Let Joachim test your strength...
Want to even be allowed to teleport to Adoulin material?  Here's the next test...

Basically, the reason I disagree with the "all events can be done with a pick-up group" mentality is that it would devolve into what many elites feel Abyssea did -- too many powerful characters who had no right to be that powerful, if even in the game at all!

Remember my contention:  A deliberately underpowered player is Game Disruption under the ToS.

These events are only as hard as you make them. This new director is going in the right direction if you ask me, "Event's too hard? Try sucking less." - I'm not saying you need to spend 16 hours a day on FFXI, I'm saying if you walk up to an event in Full Aurore/Perle/Teal with 17 other people in the same gear, You're not going to win.

Then you have no right to even be in the content.  You're getting in the way, and, in fact, at a further level, one should then reevaluate whether Final Fantasy XI serves them or not.

At the end of the day, if you don't have the time, energy, or schedule (and, for me, that third one can get to be a bit of a bear) to actually be forced into the higher-end content to get the gear to take the next step, then does, after a certain amount of time and content, your presence in the game disrupt the server-wide progress of the game for the other players who can?

You see, this is where I think Matsui's stand (and Karbuncle's interpretation, doubly) becomes dangerous:  If it is about "sucking less", Square-Enix needs to get rid of a good number of it's players and substantively changes their Terms of Service to allow those allowed to remain the maximum ability to get the necessary gear as a prerequisite for play.  (Yes, IMHO, that includes Windower and bots -- as I believe much of the gear Karbuncle lists is not available to those who can't or won't use at least the former.)

I think what the gear scale basically looks like right now is something like, from "Lowest" to "Better", in terms or difficulty and "Gear tiers"

Abyssea baseline (Teal/etc)
Emyrean +1/+2
Assorted VW Gear.
Reive Baseline

How about Relic +2/Augmented?

When it comes down to it, Adoulin Baseline gear is absurdly good for how easy it is to get. a combo of that + EMpyrean+2 and you have a pretty good baseline set for WS and TP Phase, Its how you use it that makes events easier or not. The reason only 1-3% of a pOpulation might go to these events is because everyone else is either too stupid or too lazy to put in any effort into it, frankly they've been spoiled by easy mode and expect the game to continue suit to where they can jus throw a BST pet on it and call it a day.

Then invoke Game Disruption and force the company (through the GMs) to eliminate from the game those who can't or won't.  The process is already within the Terms of Service, and it's no longer a point-and-laugh thing.

Now, In the midst of this, I would like to mention, Even the most casual of casuals can get Reive armor, and Empyrean+2, It make take a few days or weeks, but you can do it. Problem is you'll have to make friends.

Fuck that noise.  Seriously.  You want to actually force people to "make friends" to "suck less", you can't have me on Final Fantasy XI at all!  To have too many friends on this game requires a level of trust I can't have in more than maybe a few players (and sometimes I have questions about some of those).
So either shout for a pick up group a few times, and try not to make people hate your presence, and you can form a static, which might form a friendship, and there you have it. Linkshells are also good for this... some of them.

Once you do that, you can do just about anything, Unfortunately you have to learn the basics.

1) Macro's and Gear Swaps are not "Optional" if you want to be a good player.
1+) Make Macros. WS gear, TP Gear, DT set are pretty useful baseline for DD.

Basically, the day and age of having 15 jobs at 99 should never have existed in the first place, then.  Realistically, the jobs themselves should've been treated similarly to the crafting levels.  You get so many jobs at such and such a level.  From there, it's gear.
2) Some jobs are useless for some events, sorry.

Then get rid of them.  (Looking at you, RDM.  I'd also get rid of SMN from the game completely, for the level of abuse it has created within FFXI.)
3) Elitists exists, but theres plenty of people just trying to help and give advice, accept it.
4) You can't be angry at someone for not wanting to invite you cause you're below their standard.

But at some point in the equation, that means there has to be a minimum "standard" to be allowed to continue play, lest you disrupt the game experience of the other players for whom the new content is being created.

There's a lot of key things in this game that are the same for every MMO, You can't pick up crap gear and expect to steam roll end-game content in FFXI anymore than you can in any MMO on the market. Plus, If you're failing events, its not because the event is too hard, its because you or the people you're with are incompetent, gimp, or not trying.

Then get rid of them, off of FFXI as and when necessary.  The fact is that there is also certain mechanisms which cannot be cleared under the rules, as written.  So, basically, with a wink and a nod (and what I love called "The Azure Underwear School of Secret Ninja Techniques"), those rules are ignored, and basically that's the scale by which the material gets tested (NNI, Legion, etc.).  This attitude that "failure = incompetent, gimp, or not trying" basically is an attempt to recreate the power structure which existed at 75.

Not only that, but it would not be good for the players who are that good to have the unfit players around, at that point, especially with dropping server populations almost implying that there may be too few "fit players" to allow servers to advance content (which see some of the waypoints/bivouacs blowing up because not enough players maintain them in Ceizak while some of the betters are working out in Morimar/Foret de Hennetiel).

I also keep using the word Gimp, i should explain, its not "You should feel bad cause you suck and your gear sucks", its more "You can't do this event with the current gear". I know working for something is really hard and it'd be so much easier of jeeves would hand it to you on a silver platter... But working for gear in an MMO is not super hard, you just can't go "Well, I'm fresh out of abyssea, may as well go try NNI" then fail, and complain its to hard. Follow a gear ladder and work towards the best.

The problem is that some of that necessary "gear" (and I use NNI as an example) has nothing to do with anything put on the character -- it's illegal "gear" that you must put on (your computer -- and note that it only exists, as known, for one of the three platforms) to functionally work within the content.  Else, you WILL (non-disputably) get left behind by so far that you will disrupt the game experience.

Every player has the ability to be good at the game and progress through all content, period.

False.  The realities of the amount of time involved for a lot of the gear on that ladder (and moving up said ladder, especially as it relates to multiple jobs and what awaits up top) make that a false statement.
The only thing holding you back is either your company or your own descisions. Like it or not, FFXI has always had a gear ladder, it just some people circumvented it by abusing Linkshells or so forth, in this day and age, a lot of events can be formed in shouts, so the ladder is skewed and people just try to leech better gear through other people pulling them along. Even if you play 1 hour a day, try to devote some of that time farming a +1 seal or two, or doing a Reive battle or two... Just do your best and don't expect everything to be handed to you or to be so easy you can breeze through it in level 78 armor.

I would then say, if I agreed with you, that my staunch opposition to Windower limits my ability to play the game so much that I, then, fall into violation of the Terms through disrupting your game, right, Karbuncle?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Well, at least one concern averted...

All that in the post below, apparently dying wiping out all contributions is NOT intended.

Current Known Issue:  4/18.  They're checking into the resets upon dying and raising and also those of logging out or being disconnected.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Oh, both Square-Enix and my friend have pissed them off again...

We finally have people who have started winning against the giant bee Colkhab.

Apparently, the Server First on Valefor yielded one very interesting result.

You die, you get NOTHING.  Your "contribution" is reset upon raising.

Willy Wonka-style.

"Good day, sir!!!"

And I can understand, especially since the entry fee for the battle is 100,000 bayld (howinhell you going to farm that quickly under the current situation?) each time, are you going to lose out because your (nerfed) Perfect Defense wore at the wrong time and you got 0 for it?

Well, there is the other side of the argument, though, as my agent in the field noted:

"Oh no! you can't zerg things down in 2 seconds anymore? THE HORROR! THE HORROR! WHATEVER SHALL WE DO?!"

The problem is, that is, as she said, "Working as intended."

Matsui has made clear, on several levels, that he does not like the direction that Final Fantasy XI had gone in, with respect to tactics, even up to and including Voidwatch.

Unlike what several respondents said to her, it IS about the zerg.  They want to stop it.  They want to stop a number of other things as well -- been noting that the possibility exists that they seriously mucked around with Dynamis with the Adoulin update underneath the surface.

Fact is, I think Unctgtg of Ragnarok said it right, in saying Square-Enix' stand is:

"SE's Response, this was working as intended, skilled players don't die. Please redo your strategy."

Emphasis mine.  They seriously want to muck the whole way we fight monsters.  You think this is bad?  Just wait til the next level of updates and the like hits...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You know the story of "opening your mouth and removing all doubt"?

I have a candidate.

For the STUPIDEST FFXI player today...

Numquam on Phoenix, more like Numbnuts after this piece of dreck:

"I think it would be smart for the rest of Seekers of Adolin to be DLC stuff. FFXi needs a lot of work still and to help make the changes possible, I think players shuld do there part in helping the companey make the dream cum true. Please like this if you guys agree!"

Even if this is a troll, you don't post this there.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Short Review of Seekers of Adoulin: Wow.

I like the expansion -- as frustrating as it can be.

I mean, I REALLY like the expansion.


Because the storyline makes the current state of the expansion being abject balls-hard make sense.

It makes sense after Adoulin sealed the walls off for, what, 300-400 years?, that the monsters just outside the gates are starting off at T to 99 (levels 100-102).

The Reives make sense that they are hard.  And will someone actually learn how to deal with a fight that isn't:
  1. Run to the Objective.
  2. Zerg.
  3. ????
  4. Profit
  • Square-Enix finally gets to set the terms on which any continuance of the game will be done.  The players no longer have fundamental control of the future of Final Fantasy XI.  If the players want to act as if "It's my $12.95, I can do what I want...", Seekers will die, FFXI right behind it.  Square-Enix has forced server cooperation (yes, this means that, though I don't believe him and he believes me to be a twit, Comeatmebro will have to cooperate for now to ensure that he gets the content he wants) as a condition of continuance.  We'll see how some servers do in that regard.
  • Even the new bayld armor shows Matsui's conviction on advancement through gear.  It appears as if my full-augmented BST AF2+2 set is going to be a Charm-macro set real good and quick.
  • Incompetent players will be pushed out of the game.  This should be obvious, on not only the social end, but that they truly will get nothing done at all.
  • A rich storyline with diversified options as far as how to go about getting a foothold in Adoulin.  Coalitions, Quests, Missions, straight XPing...
  • People actually have (and, in some cases, get) to play their jobs again!  Old-school BST fights!  /NIN being brought back.  Fighting from distance being a point of emphasis of Matsui here.
  • The new areas are just sick.  And the Reive mechanic is quite engaging.  We'll see how this holds up over time, though...
  • If enough players either don't care or are too stupid to play this content, servers will eventually wilt off.  If you think you can Abyssea-zerg your way through this content, as the old song goes, "You've Got Another Think Coming".  And if enough people walk away or fail, servers will not see advancements in the mission storyline, nor the new gear, etc. and so forth.
  • It's going to take a while.  QUITE A WHILE.  Is the player-base going to be patient enough to actually *gasp!* WORK AT THINGS?
On balance, there are some very strong concerns.  An apathetic player-base kills a server, now -- kills the game outright, frankly.

And, given the story-line, that makes sense.  Early indications look decent.  We'll see where we are later in the spring and summer.

EDIT:  Large Reive Hint!   Beastmasters can Wide Scan for Reives within the range of their Wide Scan.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Oh for the love of God...

Still 800+ files to go.

The update server tapped out on me at about 11:15.  Do the math!

It's 4:45, got back from whatever run I was doing, and got a congestion update circa noon!

So, Take 2...  Who knows when I'm getting in!!

An 1160 getting on POL, and another 1160 getting on to the update.  We're into the check phase now.

EDIT:  5:55 PM:  Done.  In game.  Expansion content not in play yet.  Total update time:  8 hours and 30 minutes.

I've said a lot of things about how ridiculous FFXI can be...

But this damn update takes the cake!!

I guess I should count myself as fortunate that my wireless hasn't borked the last six hours.

In any event, I started the update almost as soon as I could get on it.  3:57 AM PDT.

It's 9:45.

I still have 1200 files left, and I have not been interrupted.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Methinks the game is just about over...

Two things that can only portend great ominousness about any future Final Fantasy XI has or may have had...

1) An Absolute Debacle on the part of their third-party partners, Digital River, regarding the supposed release date/time of the Seekers of Adoulin digital download...

Some of us aren't just trying to get the code to farm whatever information we can get out of the expansion files, people.

Some of us actually welcomed an early-morning download time so that we could keep from over-straining the networks we're on -- some of us share bandwidth with others.

So, imagine my disgust when it becomes evidently clear that the right hand had no clue as to what the left hand was doing, and that the expansion wasn't available on Digital River's services until this afternoon, by all appearances, for many people...

Yes, at the end of the day, it really makes little difference -- the game servers will not have Adoulin content up for at least another 24 hours (as of time of writing, they said the evening of Wednesday).

But, owing to that at least one digital game provider had the expansion, and the right idea to release it (if it says Tuesday, it should be available Tuesday as if the stores were open at midnight for it!), I decided to cancel the SE Store order (they can have their freaking music box, for all it matters), ordered from Amazon, and had everything downloaded and installed within about 30 minutes...

... which then led to about a 45-minute Check Files "update" which, though annoying, was what it was.

I've said this company is in trouble, and days like this are an indication.

2) But, boy did I not have any idea how much trouble SE is in!!

Square-Enix, perhaps not coincidentally, and largely owing to poor console sales in western territories, is announcing a corporate restructuring, top-to-bottom.

Filings as of the 26th (JP Time) (.PDF file here) show some very ominous signs for the company:
  • Earnings reports have forced a revision of the profit margin of the company for the fiscal year ending 3/31/2013 from a 3.5 billion yen profit to a 130 billion yen loss!  (A loss of approximately 113 yen per share of stock.)
  • Reason:  Largely, the console games are not selling well in Western territories.  Even as it is apparent that Square-Enix is trying to grab money anywhere it can get (sources, today, indicate Square-Enix sold off four of it's free-to-play titles to another company for a cash infusion), Square-Enix is forced into a major corporate restructuring.
  • As a result, Yoichi Wada, head of Square-Enix, is out.
They aren't going to be around much longer, people.

I've really gotten the impression that, if Square-Enix doesn't get bought out by some point in 2013, it'll be a surprise.

I wouldn't be shocked if the Evil Bastards at EA come in and swoop up the remains like a vulture picking at a carcass.

I think, honestly, they've made one or two mistakes too many.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Livestream of Adoulin blog

8:04 Starts with overview of town of Adoulin.  East Adoulin first -- castle into main part.

East Adoulin music:  "Sacred City of Adoulin"

Large zone.

8:06 Huge statue of Altana with a waterfall.  Nice early landmark for first visits.

Large circular library -- can be explored in the Adoulin storyline.

So large of a zone, it has multiple waypoints.  Walking will be an issue.

8:08 And then to West Adoulin...

Music:  "The Pioneers"

Center square for a nice meeting point (that's so 2006 or so!)...

Absolute ton of waypoints...

Auction Houses in Adoulin are linked up with the main Auction House.

8:10 Starts discussing Coalitions (the six "guilds" which were mentioned at VanaFest 2012) by visiting the Pioneering Coalition building.

Pioneering Coalition is basically Colonization assignments in the Ubulka Continent.

And we leave Adoulin to the west (two nice Galkas at the gate for Tohi!)...

8:12 And the rest of the Community Team joins Camate in the Frontier Station.  Kind of like an Outpost front line for the Colonization Coalition.

Bivouacs can be built to extend the line and create bonuses.  Gather supplies, ease of transport, etc.

Bayohne:  Galka GEO
Rukirii:  Mithra DRG
Okuipuit:  Tarutaru RUN
Camate:  Forgot (Elvan)

8:15  Battle Time!

Start by looking at Geomancer.

RUN gets Flash as a pulling mechanism.

Two different kinds of runes -- they DO stack with BRD songs or other Magic.

Indi-spells are cast on self to do a bubble.

First one shown is Indi-Fury -- gives everyone inside the bubble a Fury (probably increased attack, decreased defense).

Geo-spells use the Loupans to create a bubble around a spot.

Geo-Paralysis is the example shown -- all opponents in the circle are subject to paralyzation.

4 person-120 XP for the first one.

Only one active Luopan at a time, so Full Circle eliminates.

You can also enfeeble a single opponent with an Indi (Indi-Slow) spell and then a beneficial Loupan (Geo-Refresh).

However, such an Indi-spell will only effect monsters of whom you have hate with.

Luopans can take damage and also lose HP over time.

A Geomancer can use Life Cycle to heal a Luopan (just like Spirit Link in DRG), and another ability (Ecliptic Attrition) will allow the GEO to increase the effect strength at the cost of increased decay.

A party of 4 99's can chain on the Blanched Mandragoras shown...  :)

8:22 Bit deeper in now.

New one:  Fernfelling Chapuli.


Elemental ra-magic is demonstrated here.  It's elemental magic centered on the caster, rather than on the mob.

8:26 Now, it's time to go to Reives.  (What I called "Besieged in Reverse" last year.)

3 kinds:


We'll see two of them -- first, a Lair Reive.

Campaign type tags, but this one is actually easy to jump in and join.  Run in and get started.

However:  You get a penalty (no entering a Reive for 10 minutes) for leaving.

Lair Reives is basically to destroy certain things -- like a Wasp Nest for a bug lair.

Rewards contingent on participation, like Besieged and Campaign.  XP, another point-type based thing for Adoulin (bayld is apparently what it is called).

8:31  To the next zone...

Environmental blockages shown now.  Colonization Reive this time.

Good idea to clear the area out BEFORE you deal with the blockage.

Indi-Attribute spells shown.

Nice battle music for the Reive.  :)

Colonization Reives open up pathways and open up the ability to use Bivouacs.

You need actual Skills to open up the blockages once you clear the way to attack them.

8:36 Time for Rune Fencer.

To the Morimar Basalt Fields.

RUN gets many of the same buffs that you might expect for a PLD-type job.

Also gets Spikes spells too!

RUN-exclusive spell, not revealed as to what:  Foil.

Opponent:  Sinewy Morimata.

RUN is the new tank spell -- harnesses power of runes.

Runes can be used like Finishing Moves on a DNC.

Releasing runes can be done in two ways:  One is Fusion...  That's elemental damage.

Gambit reduces elemental defense.

Swordplay shown -- increases accuracy and attack until the next critical hit is scored against the Rune Fencer -- which won't happen, because they have GM Invincible on.

Valiance:  Reduces damage from elemental spells of certain types the runes used determine.

Liemont:  Absorbs elemental damage of certain types the runes used determine.

8:43 Last destination of the stream.

The Aydeewa Subterrane????

A cool surprise:  The Music Box Bonus item...

Just played the Music Box from this zone...

They then show the bonus items for the Ultimate Collection - Seekers Collection.

End of stream.

Not much to the actual stream itself.  Good introduction for people who haven't been keeping up.  Some stuff for the other people.