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.

Friday, March 15, 2013

So, according to the bitches on the FFXIAH forums......

... I'm Tohi's boyfriend now.

Half of me wants to laugh -- she's well taken, thank you very little.  (Wonder what her boyfriend would actually think of all that garbage?)

Part of me wants at the trolls for their blatant misrepresentation...

Until I realize...  That's about all the fuck they are good at surrounding FFXI!!

EDIT:  Tohi's answer to the "rumors":

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I just realized something last night in yet another argument I've had with Leviathan's elite...

Got into it again -- no trouble this time.  Just got into it again.

Oh, which of the big-time Leviathan players was it this time?

Well, no matter for the moment.  If his name comes up again, I'll edit or mention it later.

What's important is something I realized:  He had the same "I pay my money, I have the right to play the game how I want." routine.

Well, got news for you:

No you don't!!

A player has no right to play the game at all, except under the terms the absolute owners of the game, Square-Enix, set forth.

If a player's play is in contradiction with that situation, he does not have the right to play the game the way he so chooses.  He does not have the right to bot the game, hack the game, use an illegal user interface to the game, or gain advantage by any of those or other known or unknown exploits!

I'd love to stand around and call people out and basically take names and addresses of some of you motherfuckers for when the shit finally DOES hit the fan.

I don't have the right to play the game like that.  So I can't.

This is why I've had to crack the ol' "book", 100 Ways to Go "There" Without Going "There".

(No, it's not an actual book, but should give you an idea of what I'm trying to go with here.)

The fact is that Square-Enix grants you a limited license, where the players (except when it politically suits them) claim unlimited license.

Kinda reminds me of how piracy has killed my love for anime!

Shall we make it the end of my love for the Final Fantasy franchise too?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More evidence that Windower is Cheater for "Hack My Computer To Pieces"

You know, there's a reason Square-Enix never has explicitly allowed Windower, and some details which have been leaked out about the next version of the cheating piece of hack-ware (v 4.0) shows it well.

(Hat tip to my usual friends who keep an eye on such things so I don't have to all the time!)

It turns out that the usual pieces of shit who make this crap have added all sorts of tracking devices, so that anyone who can really monitor the stuff (including RMT who are already on the prowl, according to at least one player who got hacked waiting for his Mog Bonanza numbers last night!) not only the IP you are playing FFXI from, but the unique identification number of your computer.

Does anyone not realize that, with the right software and all that shit, they can actually take control of your computer entirely?

Look at the compiled code for yourself.

I mean, a lot of players aren't above RMTing accounts and then recalling them later.

You think some of these people who know they are all but hacking FFXI to allow a different user interface aren't trying to extract a little bit more out of the equation?

And keep this in mind:  Let's say Square-Enix someday does the unthinkable and closes down Windower -- this would give them the opportunity to know who is playing where...

Not good, cheaters.  Not good.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

There are days I wonder if I should've stayed in jail...


I think I had to run into two of the biggest troll douchebags in Final Fantasy XI history tonight.

Needless to say, what they want, they eventually got:  Dwb and Nepptunez have been GMed for at least two charges, harassment through trolling and purported admissions of the use of Parser.

I guess I should rewind this to about 3 1/2 hours ago.

For only the second time in about three months, and because I was bored after a (Old) Nyzul climb was aborted at 40 for the night, I decided to join a Voidwatch group.

It was a Pil group needing a Dragoon, and there you go.

Unfortunately, Dwb appeared as the last person to join the group, at least by my view of the alliance.

The wins were uneventful and almost too fast.

It's what happened around them that got things rather agitative:

You see, the _moment_ Dwb and Nepptunez see me in the group, they're trying to drive me out.  They fail.  They feel I am so weak that it would be better for the alliance to go with 17!

But it literally is constant, and, after the first kill, they start purporting Parser usage.  Given their linkshell, I would not be shocked.

And both players claim XBox usage, and I think they are lying through their teeth.

This continues for the rest of the run, and I try to hold tongue before I get tossed by the alliance leader for the exchange.

Fortunately, that doesn't happen.

I get in another of my shout wars, and that goes predictably.

Then we "take it to tell".

Basically, they're refusing to understand one very fundamental problem:

If my presence in the alliance is so damaging to the alliance (even as a Relic (and a 90 Relic at that) DRG) that it would be better to not have me there (news to me, it seemed like I was proc-ing Polearm the entire set!), that's illegal under the User Agreement.

3.2  Disruption.  You may not in any way disrupt or interfere with the Game experience of other players, including the disruption of SQUARE ENIX’s computers and servers.

Note that this DOES NOT have a limitation to physical computer/network disruption.

This is a point I've been making since my 24PB back several months ago:  If I am perceived, as a non-Windower player, to be so weak that my presence in the game hampers other players, that is actionable under User Agreement 3.2.

About an hour to an hour and a half of tells later, I get to the precipice of wanting to punch them out.

I believe I stop just short.  I got as far as:

In response to a comment of "I'm a man.  I can handle it."

saying:  "Unless you are willing to handle this in-game with a GM or to meet me real-life and address it there, I don't think so."

I realized I could go no further without a direct threat.  So they got what they wanted.

I would like to threaten people.  For the last 15 years, I have come to the conclusion that only the threat of violence prevents violent conduct.  Law, in and of itself, is a threat of violence.  Where I come from, violence was the ONLY law.  You fucked up, YOU GOT FUCKED UP.  That's how Lower 1 and 3 worked on the Island.  It got bad enough, you get killed.  Sometimes very brutally.

The fact is, and one player very correctly noted this to Square-Enix directly shortly before my banishment from the Official Forums in 2011:  I'm basically a threat to anyone I come into contact with.  In any social situation I am in, the potential exists for violence, at any time.

Hell, I got so pissed off at a security guard two weeks ago for fucking me over he had to put me on the ground (and the only reason it got there is because I knew better than to give him what he wanted -- though I definitely wanted to punch him hard) and call the cops.

I don't give a fuck.  I really don't.  Most of the people here (and that's as much in my locality as it is on Final Fantasy XI) are so far beyond help that only two options are left:  Within or outside the law.  What makes me angriest is that I still have to (because of considerations completely outside FFXI) try to operate within the law, when it is clear that I believe that a lot of the people administering it have been compromised, hence operating in that manner does limited, if any, good!

You let these little troll shits run Adoulin like they've tried to do the rest of XI, and they will finish killing the Final Fantasy franchise.  These little shits who are your audience, Square-Enix, have done more damage to the Final Fantasy franchise than anyone save the abortion of a Development Team for Final Fantasy XIV.

I don't play this game to make friends.  I do it to spite people like these motherfuckers.

I make no secret.  We met face-to-face, and it would be on.  Again, they have no regard for anyone but themselves, so that regard has to be forced, street-style.  I just have to (and it's becoming harder and harder) keep it within the limits.

And that's what makes me angry:  Those limits are more to keep my butt-cheeks spread while my principles get violated -- principles I must have to prevent some very bad things from happening soon -- to let the socially-accepted motherfuckers in this game basically do what they want.

Fuck the lot of them.