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616  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV Journal on: February 19, 2011, 02:50:23 AM
They still have a long way to go. The new team just put out the second Players Poll as well as added new stuff to the to-do list. They added instanced dungeon and instance raid encounters to the dev cycle but the revision of max group size is upsetting. 4-man groups, 8 man raids. I really enjoyed the 15 man beatdowns but I guess it's another bone for casuals. Hopefully they make the new content challenging for those group sizes. No clue how it's going to affect behest but it's killed alot of grouping for guildleves which means even less links and even less SP gain for even slower ranking. Personally I'm starting to think they have no clear vision for the game and the lack of direction is going to hurt them. There's only so much good will their remaining playerbase will give them.
617  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV Journal on: February 03, 2011, 02:16:32 AM
Journal Entry #6

Patch 1.15a dropped yesterday and for such a small patch, it's had a dramatic impact on the game. SP gain has basically been given an ungodly boost. It's rewarded now based on the rank difference between you and the mob, or you and your recipe. SP gains on guildleves last night were topping off at 890 SP.... a KILL!?!?!?!? I did five ranks in under 4 hours via guildleve links - ARC 20-24 and MRD 20-22. Crafting also, I was getting 500-600 SP per synth non-leve for recipies a few ranks above my craft. The crafting and gathering animations have also been sped up dramatically. It's almost like Abyssea XP... shit is KRAZY.

In other news - FFXIV review is now live on the front page for those who are interested in reading it.
618  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV Journal on: February 01, 2011, 01:16:55 AM
Journal Entry #5

Finally, just over 5 months since FFXIV's release....

DING! Rank 50 Lancer

After killing Uraeus several dozen times, we had enough skin to make pretty much everyone in the LS Silver Tricornes (the silver rimmed pirate hat). Though I wasn't the first LNC to hit R50, I was given our first Champion's Lance+1 which was an extreme honor. The thing hits like a truck, cannot wait to see the top end in 8 chain Battle Regimen. I also got the final Lancer weapon skill: Chaos Thrust, which was a bit of a rush/disappointment. It's basically penta-thrust (5 hits) that does almost double damage if the mob is at 20% HP or less, plus, like Doomspike - consumes TP over 2000 points to boost damage. What really sucks is the animation for the attack. I'll have to FRAPS a video to share, but its basically the Skewer animation (single thrust move) with a rapid rotation of illuminated spike thrust effects that rotate around the lance. I was hoping for some crazy Shaolin spear dance action. Ah well, at least it hits hella hard.

Though now that I've reached this milestone, I'm somewhat at an impasse. I've got pretty much all the other classes at 20+, but what to do next? I'm leaning toward finally laying the lance down for a bit and ranking up a craft to 50 so I can help out the tireless crafters in the LS. At the very least it'd be nice to repair my own gear, which is waaaaay above my current crafting capability lol. Still, having reached rank 50 leaves me a bit melancholy as I've already done all the endgame content they've added to the game thus far - and while I have a blast with my fellow LS brothers and sisters taking down these NMs, I can't help but want more things to do. I know its on the horizon, and there's alot of stuff to occupy myself till then, but the selfish kid in me wants it now.

In other news, my FFXIV review is done and should be up on the main page in a few days. Hopefully those who still follow this game will give it a read and find it informative.

Some late achievements, managed to bag all the Factionleve NMs last week, though the random nature of the Runestone drops for equipment sucks considering how many faction points are required to purchase the quests. I've got vids of the kills here:

Tarhbe Uisge Factionleve NM Kill
Zanig'oh Factionleve NM Kill
Deadeyes Factionleve NM Kill

Enjoy the witty banter, next time I'll dub it to Eye of the Tiger or something equally inappropriate :)

Oh, managed to nab a vid (finally!) of a Bloatbelly kill. He's the unpublicized Goblin NM they added in the last patch.

Haughtpox Bloatbelly NM Kill

This wednesday we're getting the first official numbered patch as well. Patch 1.15a is supposed to add even more UI and Market Ward streamlining (item search will now show sale prices) and revamp how group SP gain works etc. plus the usual unannounced till patch day details.
619  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV Thread on: January 22, 2011, 06:37:55 AM
FFXIV kind of interests me. I've always had problems sticking to one character because I want to heal one day or use magic another or bash stuff another day. I'm more of the casual type when it comes to MMO's though. From the people who play, do you think this game would appeal to someone who isn't into hardcore raiding or dungeons? I enjoy grouping with people for various things, but spending hours in a dungeon that I've done a few times already isn't too thrilling for me.

Danku, if you can find someone who is willing to give you a friend code, you can play indefinitely for now. Right now they've addressed almost all of the gameplay performance issues and made the UI more user-friendly. The addition of world NMs and faction NMs are the only "endgame" available right now, but they don't require a large investment of time (30 min max). The game is still lacking in content outside of guildleves and behest. If you like gathering and crafting, the games got that in spades. If you're a solo player, you'll find you run out of quests every cooldown very quickly, but if you can get into an active linkshell you'll find they last alot longer and are much more rewarding. The game really lends itself to people who aren't able to dedicate hours on end, but the gameplay itself can be time consuming (no travel options, limited warping resource). The armory system is great but can be hell on inventory space if you decide to level more than just a couple classes.

Honestly it sounds like the game might be up your alley, but I will warn you that solo play gets very tedious in FFXIV very quickly. If you can hook up with similarly leveled people who share your degree of dedication, you'll get alot more out of the experience.
620  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV Thread on: January 21, 2011, 08:27:21 AM
For the few that actually follow the game or are still on the fence. This may interest you.
Letters from the Producer and Poll Feedback
621  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV Journal on: January 20, 2011, 11:24:21 AM
Entry #4

It's been several weeks since the last entry. It's been a busy time crafting and ranking up. As I write this I'm close to hitting 48 on my LNC, with aspirations to hit 50 cap by next week. Just in time for the publication of the review. We've got some neat plans for it, I hope the community receives it well - it's a tremendous body of work. Anyway, enough with the self-plugs, some interesting developments in-game this week.

Firstly, we managed to defeat Dodore a few weeks back, you can view the kill video here. We also managed to kill Elder Mosshorn, but I wasn't present for that kill, and no one seems interested in farming him, so no video has yet to be published for us. As our LS has continued to grow, we've picked up some new techniques for gaining SP in leves as well as mob grinding. This week we nailed an LS first - 50K+ SP in one evening of guildleves across two camps (6 quests each person) as well as a personal best of 87K SP in one day. Fatigue be damned, 50 is just around the corner.

We did some experimentation with Battle Regimens (BR) and found them to be ungodly powerful. I was hitting R60 raptors for 1.5K damage consistently with Doomspike II - an ability that seldom breaks 500 when used on its own on ranking mobs. I managed to break 2700 damage on them last night as a 4th stack on the BR. Basically, the tutorial on lodestone is only half true - the effects can be multiplicative the more of a certain order is stacked. We found that using stacked spells from different classes before stacking weaponskills from different native combat classes gives a damage modifier of upwards of 400% damage to the last attack on the stack. For example:

CONJ spell > THM spell > PUG weaponskill (150%) >MRD weaponskill (200%) > LNC weaponskill (250%+) etc.

Now most people don't like using BR's because they lock you out of what you're using till the stack is executed. That's where macro's and voice communication comes into play. All BR's can be macro'd for a stack - its just up to everyone to communicate what they're doing and when. Even though mages have to cast their entire spell before it shows up in the BR UI, the moment they start casting they reserve that ordered spot in the stack - so everyone else can stack in their order and once the spells are finished casting, they are inserted into the proper timed order and are cast INSTANTLY once the BR is initiated. We were one shotting typical SP mobs in under 7 seconds with an average BR damage total of 5K. We even tried it on the terrifying Rank 65-69 Flame Drakes and took them out in about 15-20s each. Cannot wait to try it on Great Buffalo. Will definately have to FRAPS that.

Finally, I managed to accept and complete the FINAL Ul'dah storyline mission currently available in the game. It ends on a cliff hanger of course - but wow... I cannot wait to see what lies next. I'm uploading some videos to Youtube now, but you can view the HQ voiced cutscene from that mission's climax.

Rank 46 Ul'dah Mission - "Futures Perfect"

I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoyed playing it.

622  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV Journal on: December 22, 2010, 12:19:03 PM
Man, has it been busy busy lately. Some pretty noteworthy announcements in-game. They've implemented the first stage of the item search feature in the market wards. It's by actual item selection ala the AH in XI - the UI is eerily familiar. Its a little weird however, as you can search any ward, but the items have to be in the appropriate ward for them to be searchable. Ah well, its a step in the right direction - and they said there would be several upgrades to it over time. The holiday even was alot more enjoyable than I had anticipated and my LS had a HUGE holiday even in Uldah - pics will be forthcoming when I get them cropped etc.

I do have some other neat news. We took on Great Buffalo, the second of 4 new world NMs last night and took it down on the first attempt. Also got a new video of a Uraeus kill as well. Wish we could embed on the forums, but I guess links will have to do.

Great Buffalo Kill

Uraeus Kill

623  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV Journal on: December 17, 2010, 05:54:25 AM
It's been several weeks since my last entry but it hasn't been for a lack of activity. My new LS has been moving and grooving. Couple hours after the patch on 12/15 we went out and found Uraeus - one of the new world NMs (notorious monster) and kicked his ass. Here's the full story here. It was like fighting an easier version of Fafnir. Here are some action shots Arla took of the fight.

There have been some nice changes in this patch as well as a few discoveries I've made about the gameplay. Firstly, the additional free retainer was a sweet holiday treat from SE, though it didn't take me long to make my new servant a pack mule. The indefinite extension of the free trial was also awesome. Even if it's just another month, you can't beat the value. Especially since they keep polishing the game. Interface is a tad faster since patch, retainer interface is much faster too but still has room for improvement. The fixes to durability are SO incredibly welcome. We now have a percentage as well as a graphic indicator on the item stats box (looks like mobile phone bars) as well as lists what craft is actually necessary to repair the item. Also the item icon gets color coded in the inventory menu and equipment display when they get damaged. There's even a text display when you equip broken peices. Repairing is now a snap as it will automatically select the repair materials for you when you enter the repair menu.

Crafting recipes as well as repair requirements/materials were adjusted and make much more sense, e.g. Repairing a plate belt now requires armorsmithing and rivets rather than leatherwork and strips of leather. For the consummate crafter they've added a recipe book that remembers your last 8 synths and last 8 local leve orders, which saves so much time. Unfortunately the  leve recipe memory only remembers completed leves so it's only effective if you retake the same ones.

I bitched about how hard the SP gain was after rank 30, and it seems there is a better way than endlessly grinding. Guildleve linking is the way to go. Basically the more people who are on the same leve as you who link their quest to yours boosts the SP of mobs exponentially. I did 3 hours of leves with my LS mates across 2 rank 40 camps and walked away with 42k SP as well as 500k Gil. While still time consuming, it's nowhere near as tedious and there's some variety to be had.

Regarding the NMs that are fought via Factionleve, they're a bit involved. It seems that getting the actual quest for the NMs require you to complete a Factionleve chain before the real quest can be purchased. The faction point requirements are enormous. The first 2 in the chain are 100 a piece with the third and final Factionleve costing 400 points. For those that aren't familiar with faction points, these are awarded after each successful guildleve, between 4 and 12 each quest. Considering you need 600 points to even attempt one NM, your looking at at least a month before your first attempt. The one caveat you do have is that everyone who helps kill the NM gets a runestone to redeem for sweet gear. Though the stones are unique they can be traded, so I anticipate some crazy bazaar pricing.

All in all, pretty happy with the changes so far, though I'm anxiously looking forward to the new class and nation missions and the introduction of Companies. Everyone in LS is frothing at the mouth to build our ship :)

That's all for now. Will keep you all posted of new happenings and impressions as they occur. Happy Holidays!
624  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV Thread on: December 12, 2010, 02:44:29 AM
Are any of you still playing FFXI? It seems to be the game with more content and polish. I'm just curious, are some of you playing just because of the graphics were upped and it's a new FF online installment? Or are you playing because you do believe that XIV is the superior version and just needs some time to clean things up a bit?
I don't play either of them and don't plan to, but I'm interested to see what fans think about it.

Well of course XI is going to have more polish, it's been out for 7 years and has 4 expansions and 6 mini expansions behind it. Not many people on these forums are playing XIV right now though I still am. Without a doubt right now XI is the superior of the two. XIV still has content and control issues that they are addressing. If SE is as committed to turning the game around as they say it could be a contender by summer next year. My main draws to the game are the crafting, the customization freedom of the armory, some aspects of the combat are great fun as well as the storyline. I'm really enjoying the lore so far, but it's a shame the missions are so far apart and that you have to rank up all the classes that have guilds in your city to get all facets of the storyline. I guess it's incentive for completionists but with leveling broken it sucks.

To Hathen, in my experience the cut and paste of terrain has never been noticeable to me. While the maps might be copied in some instances there are so many elevation variations between zones I really don't see this as an issue. Some of the maps get boring because of how large they are, i.e. one end of Thanalan looks very much like the other, but there are some panoramic vistas and little nooks of beauty there if you look for them. For example there's a hidden shrine to the deity of the underworld (don't recall the name) tucked away in a remote cave in NE Thanalan, and the various small hamlets in Coerthas are really very charming, the view from the great bridge is stunning. I think there's alot more to explore than what the maps tell you. There's alot of areas that aren't on the map too. Don't let the anti-hype fool you, there's stuff there worth finding.

In regards to XIVs casual nature it's kind of a confused beast ATM. Like Parn said the rank gain early on is stupidly fast but becomes really slow later on. I did rank 1-10 on Gladiator in two level 1 guildleves with Guardians Aspect and 3 star difficulty rating. As a 36 Lancer I need to spend 2 weeks doing guildleves every cooldown or grind easy mobs at 100 SP a pop for 56k points (560 kills).  Considering the cap is 50, ranks 49-50 is 100k you get the idea. Unfortunately they killed any benefit for grouping up for skill gain, so ranking up after 30 is a major chore. Hopefully they will fix this before too long.

625  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV Thread on: December 10, 2010, 02:47:29 AM
Interesting info. Yoshida, the new producer and director is SE's R&D director. His only direct game tie-in is Dragon Quest Swords. Hopefully he's got more common sense and sensibility than his predecessors.
626  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV Thread on: December 10, 2010, 02:28:27 AM
Free trial extended indefinitely, PS3 release delayed and dev team mixup.

Wow, no words I can say. Looks like Tanaka was probably asked to step down. Hopefully this new guys got the balls to be competitive and competent enough to bring things around.
627  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV Thread on: December 03, 2010, 01:28:50 AM
It's insanely fast 1-10, 11-20 is much speedier, 21-30 is sluggish, 31-40 is very slow and from what I've been told 41-50 is a brick wall. At 35 LNC I can do about 5-8k an hour reliably with 53k TNL and feels like an endgame grind. I can't imagine how the 40+ players feel. Not surprisingly nobody 30+ has seen fatigue since patch. Looking forward to the NM faction leves though, that Harlequin set looks nice. It looks like they're going the key item drops from mobs for NPC turn in for gear. Hopefully they give us master loot and fix the auto-fail on DC for this patch because there will be blood the first time this happens on an NM leve.
628  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV Thread on: November 30, 2010, 04:11:45 PM
Hey Tenchi. Can this game be maxed out on the Asus G73?

You can with the exception of Ambient Occlusion. The game doesn't handle it well at all on any hardware I've read. I can't really recommend the G73 because Asus has the clock speed and memory speed on the GPU set so low that most DX9 applications will grayscreen. I cannot play FFXIV on the G73 without upclocking slightly through GPUTool. It runs an already hot system a little warmer but it's stable.

Oh, ok Thanks for letting me know...  I'll keep looking or just get it on the PS3.

Just a heads up Cesta, they fixed the GSOD on the G73 - you have to flash the vBios but it works great now. I highly recommend the laptop as it runs great now.
629  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV Thread on: November 30, 2010, 04:09:37 PM
Solo SP is low, though the SP gain before rank 20 is very high. Your best bet if you want to grind is find mobs you can kill quickly for 50-100 SP and fast repop and go at it. Its all about SP/hr and the easy mobs are more reliable If you want exp for physical level, rank up a craft.  Recommend puks or colbyns since they have low hp and fast repop. Moles are also decent targets.
630  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV Thread on: November 27, 2010, 08:53:16 PM
Don't agree on the auction house.  Not only do they explicitly mention it on the bonus item cards that came with the collector's edition, but they mentioned in past interviews that they weren't going to put in the auction house until after the economy "balanced itself" (whatever the fuck that was supposed to mean), and there is an area reserved in Limsa Lominsa that is blocked off, but the auction house symbol from FFXI is upon the sign at the entrance.

The fact that they're adding all these features to the wards after people complained was an unintended consequence of their lacking an auction house, but they could avoid the whole redundancy factor easily while having features like a search engine.  I would do something like this:

Wards - 5% surcharge at time of sale
Bazaar - 10% surcharge at time of sale
Auction House - 10% surcharge at time of listing, listing lasts two weeks

The wards would remain localized to each town, which would mean that the negative side is that the items are only sold at one location.  The positive is that it's the cheapest option to sell goods, and you can change your prices at any time to account for a fluctuating market.  The bazaar surcharge would apply to all areas and not just towns, so that would get people to use the wards or the auction house to sell goods and crowd adventurer's guild areas a lot less.  Private transactions without surcharges could be done via trade.  The auction house would be universal to all towns, which would be its advantage.  The con is that you pay the surcharge upfront, so if pricing adjusts in the marketplace and you're forced to relist the item, you'll have to pay the 10% surcharge again.  The two week listing limit gets people to price their stuff appropriately and prevents the database from being overflowed by endless listings of marmot pelts and shit.

I hope your right, it would make trade so much more efficient. I didn't know they alluded to that on the cards. Just that they've made no mention of the AH in recent interviews and with all the restructuring planned for the MW it seemed to me they were going to be bullish with their little social/economic experiment.

I'd revise those taxes though cause it's only 2% sales in the appropriate Ward. Sadly very few people sell just one class of items so the division of Wards isn't nearly as effective as it could be. Here's hoping we see an AH or at least a  browser friendly MW by PS3 launch.

On another note guildleves for level 20 and below are insane. 320-500+ SP per kill at level 17, one star with no favor buff. This on top of the SP power leveling makes me feel like SE is herding the playerbase to 20+, probably to capitalize on the NMs being added to Faction leves next month. The new mobs with this patch are pretty cool. Diremites rock :)
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