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31  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dincrest plays Chrono Cross (and Chrono Trigger DS) PlayLog on: September 18, 2015, 07:11:17 AM
I'll take a guess he likes it because he plays bass.

I like the CT OST but I wouldn't say I'm crazy about it, but then I don't think I could say that about any OST. I don't see how you can't feel anything from Corrodors of Time though, that song is just great.
32  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dice Plays FFIX (1st post now with Table of Contents & Plot Summaries!) on: September 18, 2015, 03:15:05 AM
The mist is actually Gaia's souls getting spat out because they can't return to the crystal due to whatever Garland's convoluted plan is. Really all the crystal, mist, and planet merging fantasy mumbo jumbo is just there to make it seem like it's a complex mystery plot of some sort when it's actually pretty simple. Really all you need to take from it is that in the world of FFIX, souls travel in a cycle of life and death and stop in a crystal somewhere in between, and Garland wants to suck out Gaia's souls so he can stick in Terra's instead. It probably could've been presented better because it actually ties into the themes of FFIX pretty well: there was this whole civilization that was so scared that their crystal (and thus, their whole civilization) was dying that they decided to enact a plan to steal some other planet's crystal just so their civilization could continue existing (they introduced the idea that a planet "shares" memories via the crystal so even though they're all physically dead, assumedly by stealing Gaia's crystal Terra's civilization would eventually come back to life again).

It actually feels more like a scifi plot than a fantasy one, but that's par for the course for Final Fantasy. I do feel the need to point out it's kinda funny nobody in the party stops and says "well shit I guess we kinda just committed genocide by stopping Garland's plan". True there probably wasn't really any alternative (and I get the impression this isn't the first planet the Terrans decided to steal so they don't sound like terribly nice people), I just think it's funny it's not even really brought up.
33  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: keep losing jobs.... on: September 16, 2015, 10:01:11 PM
I'm going to be blunt (because you have indicated multiple times in the past that's what you prefer): If your posting habits are anything like what you act like in real life, you have a hard time distinguishing confidence and indiscretion. Tact is highly valued by most people, even (especially?) when they claim otherwise. Just in this thread you've already had two of your three posts reek of a whole "I'm smarter than all these mindless sheeple" attitude.

If you're simply venting, I guess I can understand, and you can proceed to ignore this post.
34  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures) on: September 16, 2015, 08:05:41 AM
Glad you're enjoying it!

I’ve decided to start making some posts between the main story posts around a couple of the side quests in the game. Don’t worry, I won't bore you guys with any “gather 10 goblin eyeballs for me” quests, but rather quests or questlines that have some kind of relevance to the story or expand on the characters etc. This one's going to be pretty short.

A Minister’s Life

Being a Minister in Windurst is not a lifelong position, and many of these retired ministers decide to spend their retirement living in the Windurst Walls, near Heaven’s Tower. Currently, there are three such Professors, with a nice house for each of them, though The House of the Hero, also near the Tower, is a constant reminder that it should actually be four Professors if not for Karaha-Baruha’s sacrifice 20 years ago.

The Three Professors are Koru-Moru, Yoran-Oran, and Shantotto, former ministers of the Aurastery, Rhinostery, and the Orastery respectively.

Whereas Koru-Moru still continues some work due to the disappearance of the current Aurastery Minister, and Yoran-Oran spends his retirement in mostly private research, the Professor Shantotto is well known for her borderline insane experiments with her matching evil laugh and compulsion to constantly speak in rhyme.

Shantotto once asked Rapifafa to help her with casting of a curse on a Peeping Tom. Unfortunately it didn't exactly turn out the way she expected it to.

Thankfully, that was eventually resolved (by Rapifafa of course), and this time Shantotto asks Rapifafa to take a message to the current Rhinostery minister, Rukususu, up in the northlands. Rapifafa had met Rukususu once when she was given the task of checking the seal in Fei’Yin, but otherwise anytime she visited the Rhinostery, Rukususu was off somewhere doing field research. The Northlands are a long way from Windurst, but at least the odds of accidental homicide are much lower with this task.

Strangely enough, Rapifafa finds Rukususu not studying plant life as expected of a member of the Rhinostery, but rather studying the magic golems found in the ruins of Fei’Yin.

When Rapifafa returns from her delivery, Shantotto sheds some light on the issue. She reveals that Iru-Kuiru, the man who had participated in the multinational expedition 30 years ago, was a former minister of the Rhinostery, before Yoran-Oran. He had mentored Rukususu personally in her youth, and now she is determined to find out why her mentor disappeared.
35  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: September 16, 2015, 07:33:29 AM
So an update on that weird Pokemon posted a couple pages back.

As expected, the big shadow was Zygrade, it gets to turn into a giant...robot? The little thing that showed up with it isn't a "new" Pokemon though, Zygarde is made up of a bunch of cell things apparently and it lets it assume various forms. It also turns into a weird doberman thing. At least "cute anime girl" isn't one of the forms.

They also revealed a weird form of Greninja that gets to have Ash's sideburns that's going to show up in their animu. If I had to guess, maybe they're advertising whatever gameplay gimmick is going to be in the next game- maybe you'll get to dress up your Pokemon instead of the trainer this time? Dunno.
36  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2015 on: September 13, 2015, 08:58:52 AM
1. Mass Effect 3
2. TES III: Morrowind + Tribunal/Bloodmoon
3. TES IV: Oblivion + Shivering Isles
4. Cave Story (PC)
5. Planescape: Torment
6. Shovel Knight
7. .hack//G.U. Vol. 1: Rebirth
8. .hack//G.U. Vol. 2: Reminisce
9. .hack//G.U. Vol. 3: Redemption
10. Deus Ex
11. Bastion

12. South Park: The Stick of Truth

It was surprisingly easy to 100% the game, but I don't really mind that. Better that than having lots and lots of padding.
37  Media / Game Journals / Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind on: September 13, 2015, 08:30:05 AM
Windurst Part 9: The Shadow Lord

Rapifafa again travels back to San d’Oria, through the Ranguemont Pass, past the Beaucedine Glacier into Xarcabard.

Before Rapifafa had only entered the outer bailey of Castle Zvahl, and now she must venture deeper in.

Music: Castle Zvahl

The keep of Castle Zvahl contains of a maze of hidden passages and many teleporters, filled with beastmen of every race Rapifafa has seen, as well as many Ahriman like the one she had fought on Horlais Peak.

The most formidable enemies though, are the personal soldiers of the Shadow Lord- Demons.

It takes the better part of an entire Vana’Diel day for Rapifafa to reach the other side of the Keep.

Before her was the Throne Room of the Shadow Lord. It was said that it was here the Mythril Musketeer Volker delivered the final blow which ended the Crystal War 20 years ago.

The bridge across is marked with the familiar symbol of the Beastmen- Rapifafa had seen it on Horlais Peak and other areas occupied by Beastmen.

Now that Rapifafa had arrived, she had to figure out how to stop the Shadow Lord’s resurrection.

Inside she finds a familiar sight- Magicite.

For once Zeid enters close behind Rapifafa. From his reaction, it's clear this isn't the first time he's been here.

Before they can take any action, the Magicite begins to react- they have come too late.

The Shadow Lord has returned.

He seems familiar with Zeid- it appears that it was Zeid who had defeated the Shadow Lord 20 years ago, and not Volker. Zeid is confused how the Shadow Lord could have survived that encounter, to which he responds that he cannot die until he has eradicated them.

This statement makes little sense to Rapifafa, but this confirms the suspicion Zeid has- the Shadow Lord used to be Galka. In fact, he used to be Raogrimm, the lost Talekeeper, who had traveled to the northlands on an expedition 30 years ago, only to be betrayed by one he trusted with his life. When Ulrich killed Cornelia, somehow the rage within Raogrimm had transformed him.

It is doubtful the Shadow Lord has regained all of his power so soon, so Rapifafa and Zeid prepare to destroy him before he has a chance to recover.

Zeid is bound with a spell, so Rapifafa won't have his help in the fight.

Music: Awakening

The Shadow Lord constantly alters between physical and magical immunities. Luckily, Rapifafa has no trouble doing either one.

It is not an easy battle, but the Shadow Lord eventually falls.

If something isn’t done, however, he can just as easily come back in the future as he had this time. Zeid calls out, attempting to contact any part of the Shadow Lord which may still be Raogrimm.

Raogrimm has returned, but Zeid is still not sure how any of this could have happened. Raogrimm explains that as the Talekeeper, he not only had his own rage, but the rage from centuries of his race's memories. Something in the northlands caused him to lose control and become what he was.

What happened next is a blur to Rapifafa. For some reason she cannot remember it clearly, she only knows that they had to escape the Throne Room in a hurry, and that the Shadow Lord was once again defeated.

When Rapifafa comes to, she finds herself at the entrance to Castle Zvahl, and sees Lion and Zeid before her.

After a brief conversation, Zeid and Lion both turn to leave. Lion leaves behind a mention of her homeland, however. Rapifafa has plenty of questions about what just happened, but for now, it is more important that she reports her success to the Star Sibyl.

Upon her return to Windurst, Rapifafa receives a personal thank you from the Star Sibyl.

With the immediate threat of the Shadow Lord gone, Windurst can once again place its focus on internal matters.

38  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Developers vs Publishers (whose game is it anyway?) on: September 13, 2015, 04:01:04 AM
Kickstarter has been an interesting view into what things might be like with less pressure from a publisher. What I've taken from it is that a great deal of the time, publishers are a necessary evil, because a lot of game developers have no idea how to budget or organize things.
39  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: September 13, 2015, 03:57:59 AM
I don't know why any of you bother ever engaging Lard in any kind of discussion anymore. He has a history of throwing temper tantrums even though the amount of time he's been around here would imply he's like twice the age where such tantrums would still be appropriate.
40  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Is open-world too open? on: September 06, 2015, 09:28:57 AM
The general gist of the TES quest debate was not with the writing, but the technical execution. Mainly, in Morrowind you don't follow the big arrow pointing to the next destination, but you read it up with the stuff that should be done and use stuff inside the actual gameworld to find your destination (mostly signs and NPC dialogue, in some cases the landscape). Sure you can turn the arrow off in Skyrim, but the quest menu is actually shit so you don't really get anywhere doing that. It might seem menial, but a lot feel like it gave the game more immersion, which I think is not a too far'fetched of an idea.

Oh yeah, I can agree with this for the most part. I do agree they should bring back a better journal since Skyrim's was pretty terrible, but I don't really have a problem with the quest pointer itself (in Bethesda's case it's pretty much required since Oblivion depending on what kind of quest it is since NPCs have a "life" so to speak).

Yeah, the difficulty scaling is garbage in Oblivion and Skyrim. It's not like these games actually have much in terms of strategic combat or finesse so you end up pouding common enemies that are now massive meatshields and highway bandits that don full Daedric gear. That's not quite what I expect an RPG to be. I mean at the very least after 60 hours you should be able to wipe out generic shite within seconds (without doing some cheat). In Oblivion I eventually just got a 60 seconds invisibility spell and never fought again.

Oblivion and Skyrim basically were polar opposites in terms of why level scaling is just one of those "sounds good but is probably impossible to implement well" things.

In Oblivion, unless you leveled your character perfectly (which really broke immersion because you'd spend the whole time counting how much of x skill you leveled) you'd end up spending several minutes fighting random goblins and shit because they had gigantic health bars at high levels. The "bandits in daedric armor" thing was here.

In Skyrim, for the most part I found the level scaling to be a huge improvement over Oblivion, but I have to assume that's only because they removed so many variables from the game so the game was easier to balance (No attributes being the biggest one). I found the game laughably easy start to finish, but I personally never ran into the issue where I was swinging a sword for god knows how long on a single rat because it had leveled up with me. They also got rid of the bandits in Daedric Armor thing (I think they put some kind of weird lock on it so bandits would only come in Ebony at the highest so Daedric would "feel" rare like it used to- I kinda liked how in Morrowind there was basically only one set of the stuff in the whole game though).

The massive modding community for Skyrim really deserves a lot of credit for how much they did for the game. Enjoyed my vanilla playthrough when I first played the game, but now I don't think I can play Skyrim without at least like 10 gameplay mods or something.
41  Media / Game Journals / Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind on: September 06, 2015, 09:09:01 AM
Windurst Part 8: A Red Mage's Story

Travelling to Port Jeuno, Rapifafa travels to docks with the airship bound for Windurst.

As the consulate told Rapifafa, the airship was a far faster mode of transportation back to her home country than by foot or chocobo.

(One of the cool things about boat/airship travel in this game is that they bothered making the landscape when you look out the side look roughly like all the areas you had traversed on foot. It's one of those details that helped reduce the immersion break from having zoned areas.)

Music: Airship

Back in Windurst, Rapifafa is relieved to find that the Star Sibyl is fine. However, during the attack on Windurst, the talisman Rapifafa had seen in the Horutoto Ruins had been stolen. The Star Sibyl was also visited by a strange “bearer of darkness”- an agent of the Yagudo, perhaps?

The Star Sibyl tells Rapifafa that they will go check on the seals in Bastok and San d’Oria, while she is given a different task. Rukususu, the minister of the Rhinostery, explains.

Rapifafa is to travel to the northlands and enter the ruins of a lost city called Fei’Yin. Rukususu explains that long ago, another race inhabited Vana’Diel, called the Zilart, and that these ruins were likely left behind by this civilization. Thirty years ago, a group of representatives from the three nations of Windurst, Bastok, and San d’Oria were sent to investigate Fei’Yin and the strange powers which emanated from below. The expedition was a failure. After the Great War, however, the ruins were successfully investigated, and it was chosen as the place for a fourth seal.

Needless to say, they want Rapifafa to investigate this very seal.

Rapifafa accepts the task. She travels to San d’Oria by airship and takes a chocobo to the northeast of the Ronfaure forests, where she enters the Ranguemont Pass.

The pass is sealed off because of the danger beyond- if Rapifafa wishes to venture further, she will need to find her own way back.

The Ranguemont Pass is filled with enemies far beyond Rapifafa’s capabilities, but fortunately she can still cast those sneaking spells and makes her way past them. On the other side of the pass was the northlands.

The Beaucedine Glacier is a massive series of passageways and cliffs too high to scale, so Rapifafa needs to make her way through the passageways.

Near the bottom were the ruins of Fei’Yin, which Rapifafa instantly recognized as being made of the same white cermet which also constituted the Delkfutt’s Tower and numerous other structures she had seen throughout the continent.

Inside, she runs into Lion and Zeid, apparently doing an investigation of their own.

Zeid recounts a story, which Rapifafa recognizes as being the visions she received from the Magicite- 30 years ago, an expedition travelled to the northlands, consisting of Raogrimm, Cornelia, Ulrich, Francmage, Iru-Kuiru and Rabntah- all known as great heroes in their homelands. After the loss of Raogrimm and Cornelia in the northlands, the other four returned to their homelands, only to suffer mysterious deaths one by one.  Zeid speculates that perhaps they had awoken some curse in these lands, prompting Lion to tell him about what we had seen under Davoi. To this, Zeid recites the lyrics of an old song.

The great bane will devour the fair land of Vana’diel.
The ancient seal will be broken, awakening nightmares of ages past.
The blood of innocents will soak to earth, and the world will fall into fear and despair.
But as one bright star shines through the clouds at night, and as one song rings clear above the roar of beasts, we hold to one hope in these darkest of times.
That they will come, with the wisdom of ages and the strength of thousands, to deliver us from our plight. We await the awakening of the Warriors of the Crystal.

Zeid apologizes for the tangent, saying it’s just an old song he thought of before running off. Rapifafa also couldn’t stay here much longer- she had to go check on the seal.

As Rapifafa approaches the seal, she is attacked by numerous undead.

They put up quite a fight, but soon they all fall to Rapifafa. Taking cues from Lion, Zeid decides to show up after the fight is all over.

Zeid asks Rapifafa what she’s doing here, and upon her answer he promptly tells her that the seal will no longer be of any use, as the Shadow Lord died 20 years ago. Rapifafa knows what she saw with her own eyes however, and completes her task before returning to Windurst.

The Star Sibyl seems concerned as all four seals were displaced, so she tells Rapifafa to stand by for her next mission as she calls for the five ministers to discuss the situation.

Rapifafa doesn’t expect a quick answer given what's been happening in Windurst, and she knows she will need to prepare for the journey ahead, so Rapifafa instead decides to trace a rumor about a powerful Red Mage she had heard in San d’Oria. She passes through Jeuno on the way to San d'Oria by airship, so she pays another visit to Maat who sends her on another task.

In the Lion Springs Tavern of Southern San d’Oria, the Elvaan Sharzalion tells Rapifafa  he will give her the information she wants if she’ll run an errand for her in Davoi.

Rapifafa has little trouble in completing the task, and return to Sharzalion.

Sharzalion is happy to tell Rapifafa the recent rumors that a ghost had been sighted in the church. He even confirms that he had seen the ghost himself- it was the ghost of Rainemard, a powerful Red Mage from the days of the Great War. There is not much else to the story, but the bartender and Sharzalion gossip about how he had a daughter-they take some time to remember her name, but they finally spit it out- Curilla, the Captain of the Temple Knights.

Curilla is troubled by the rumors of her father’s ghost, but she is not comfortable being around the church despite being a believer. Rapifafa has no problem fulfilling this request, so Curilla hands Rapifafa her father’s old watch in case it comes in handy. Rapifafa then travels to the lower floor of the church she had heard about in the rumors, and proceeds to pray.

She soon feels a strange presence behind her, creeping close. Just as Sharzalion had described, she could not move her body.

The ghost asks if Rapifafa is Curilla, and then drops a pair of boots in her hands before leaving.

When Rapifafa awakens, the priest nearby tells her she seemed to be in pain as she prayed. Just then, the papasque walks in- quite the occasion, as many San d’Orians would be honored to meet the holy man.

Shamonde asks Rapifafa why she is here, and Rapifafa answers truthfully. The papasque is very disturbed by this, cursing Rapifafa as a blasphemer and telling her that she should pray to Altana for forgiveness before leaving the room. The priest joins in the condemnation, and tells Rapifafa to reflect on her sins.

Upon return to Curilla, she is shocked at Rapifafa’s story, and attempts to put the boots on. It seems they are cursed in some way, and the nearby Prince Trion pipes in, saying that such boots could probably be exorcised if they were buried in a place where light shines in the Crawler’s Nest. Curilla says for all her work, Rapifafa may do with the boots as she pleases, but to return to her if she has clues of her father’s death.

Traveling back to Jeuno and then out to Crawler’s Nest, Rapifafa has little trouble finding the strange area in the lower levels. Soon, she walks away with what she assumes were the Red Mage Rainemard’s boots.

(To put the item in perspective in gameplay terms, back when these came out the majority of equipment had nothing but defense on them, so getting these felt like a really big reward)

Returning to Jeuno, an armorer named Guslam spots her new boots and tells her of the legendary hands of Borghertz, each one unique. He tells him one of them may be found in the nearby Eldieme Necropolis, so Rapifafa decides to take a look.

It takes her a while to find a treasure coffer containing the gloves she was searching for in the mess of the Necropolis, but she soon takes her prize back to Jeuno. After tracking yet another rumor, she meets the spirit of Borghertz, who is willing to repair the old gauntlets if she brings some Shadow Flames from the Castle Zvahl.

It is the perfect opportunity for Rapifafa to scout the area, as well as complete the task that Maat asked her to perform, so she flies back to San d’Oria and travels back to Beacedine Glacier. Travelling to the very top of the Glacier, Rapifafa arrives in the heart of the northlands- Xarcabard.

Music: Xarcabard

She first completes the task Maat had given her, involving killing three powerful monsters and obtaining the stones they guard.

Afterwards, Rapifafa travels into the Castle Zvahl at the far end of Xarcabard, home to the demons which fall under the Shadow Lord’s direct command.

There, she scouts the area preparing for her mission ahead, as well as fights the powerful Dark Spark, after which she obtains the Shadow Flames she needs. With that, Rapifafa returns to Jeuno.

With his work done, Borghertz returns to his rest.

After Maat finished teaching Rapifafa the new techniques he promised, Rapifafa decides to follow some other rumors she had heard about lost armor pieces, finding them in the coffers of Castle Oztroja and Garlaige Citidel.

With that, Rapifafa returns to Curilla wearing the boots she had exorcized earlier. She notes that since the boots were created for Red Mages, it was very likely to have been owned by her father. She is closer to being convinced that the ghost is indeed her father, but she has no further leads.

Rapifafa returns to Sharzalion to see if he has anything else to tell her. Upon seeing her boots, he thinks aloud that the rumor seemed to be true after all- when pressed further, Sharzalion tells Rapifafa and the bartender that there is a rumor that Rainemard was murdered for knowing too much about something. However, he is unwilling to say much beyond that. The bartender pipes in and tells Rapifafa that if she wishes to speak with the dead, there’s another rumor that throwing an antique coin into a fountain in Fei’Yin will allow for this. It's an adventurer's job to follow rumors, no matter how stupid, so Rapifafa sets off.

Traveling to Fei’Yin, Rapifafa procures an antique coin from a ghost nearby. It’s in no way an easy task- it nearly kills her multiple times. Upon throwing the coin into the fountain, Rainemard ghost appears- he doesn't seem particularly chatty however, and only mutters something about being trapped in darkness before disappearing.

Rapifafa returns to the Lion Springs Tavern to see if there’s any new information, but Sharzalion is not willing to divulge any more information. Thankfully, a nearby Galka gives Rapifafa some information- or at least, the only thing fitting the description Rapifafa can give. There’s a chest in the Garlaige Citadel that he was unable to open.

Like with most anything else in Vana’Diel, there’s always something defending anything even slightly important.

This particular Guardian drops a nail puller for Rapifafa to open the box with. To Rapifafa’s dismay, it didn't contain something particularly pleasant, let alone any treasure.

Rainemard, however, is thankful for Rapifafa’s assistance, telling her that someone had killed him a long time ago and hid his remains in the box. He claims he still has something he needs to do before disappearing. Rapifafa knew where he was likely to go.

Returning in San d’Oria, Rapifafa noticed there was a commotion at the church. The Temple Knights arrive at the church, but Rainemard simply wishes to speak with Curilla. He first thanks Rapifafa for all her work by handing her one last item, and tells her to be careful of the church. He laments that he is incapable of giving any details before bidding his final farewell to Curilla.

It seems Curilla is satisfied despite not knowing how exactly her father died, and she thanks Rapifafa for her help.

As they all leave the church, Rapifafa turns and takes one last look.

Rapifafa has little reason to investigate further, nor did she think she had any more time to waste. Rainemard's armor should be the edge she needs for the task ahead.

(She finally got her spiffy hat too)

As soon as she returns to Windurst, Rapifafa receives another Star-crested summons. Rapifafa is asked to return to the Star Sibyl’s Vestal Chambers.

The Star Sibyl gives Rapifafa terrible news-the ministers have decided Windurst will not be taking any military action against the Shadow Lord. A sudden mobilization of their army would destroy the peace they had worked for with the Yagudo, and there simply wasn't enough information to make that sacrifice. Instead, the Star Sibyl tells Rapifafa that she is the alternative: she must travel to the Castle Zvahl and prevent the resurrection of the Shadow Lord alone.
42  Media / Game Journals / Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal on: September 06, 2015, 04:11:39 AM
I'd love to see someone do a Let's Play of that godawful PC port Grandia II got shortly after its DC launch. It's pretty bad when the first incentive people give to get this new PC version is "it works".

Anyway, like Dice, I think I'll enjoy playing the game again vicariously through someone else instead of spending the 50 hours or whatever going through it myself. I've always had a bigger soft spot for the first game myself, so it's more likely I'd give that a replay if I really felt like going back a decade.
43  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Is open-world too open? on: September 03, 2015, 04:40:15 AM
I enjoy both open world games and more linear games, just depends on my mood. I've probably put thousands of hours across open world games (MMOs would probably count) but there arn't a lot of games which get questing right. A common complaint is that open world games don't have narrative focus, but for me, an open world game should be about letting the world itself be the story. The problem is that every open world RPG thinks it needs to attach a grocery list task to everything. The Elder Scrolls, for example, has some really cool backstory/lore and the terrain is usually interesting to traverse through a couple times (I've tried playthroughs with no fast travel and it quickly becomes tedious), but so many of the quests are just shallow gopher tasks. There are some more interesting ones amongst them of course, but generally if you stick to the main story quests you'll probably see more than half the quests actually worth seeing. Contrary to what a lot of people think though this was just as true of Morrowind and Oblivion as it was of Skyrim (arguably moreso, Morrowind just copypasted dialogue for more than 90% of the NPCs in the game).

Like, the stereotypic quest we all know about would be to put some lady telling me to go collect 10 bear nostrils for her or something. It'd be more interesting if instead you just came across a village that has a local bear problem, and killing lots of bears would result in some kind of change in the village, and maybe that'd open up a questline or something, I dunno. I know someone will point out that in either case all you're doing is going around killing bears anyway, but I think the way it's dressed up is pretty important.

Also the world itself needs to be interesting to traverse, otherwise what's the point? I'll just go hiking in real life instead. Oblivion is probably my go-to example for a game with a boring overworld. It had some neat quests, but most of the time I play it I just fast travel everywhere because there's no point to taking the scenic route.
44  Media / Game Journals / Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind on: August 29, 2015, 06:01:39 AM
Yeah, these days the game is practically all soloable. There's a couple things that require a party but there's probably less than 10 major story missions that fall under that category. The major story missions also no longer have level caps so you can simply outlevel them.

I do do some grinding in between the story missions that I'm not showing, but I've been doing it all solo. Back when RPGFan had a couple people playing at the US launch, it would take weeks to reach level 30, even in groups. I can do that in a few hours now. Back then you'd earn like 75 EXP for killing an Decent Challenge monster. Now I can get like 1000 each depending on what I'm doing.

Another huge boon is that I can summon NPC helpers which act as party members. You can see them in a couple of the screenshots I took, I do try to leave them out of the shot though.
45  Media / Game Journals / Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind on: August 28, 2015, 11:07:22 AM
For the most part, I'm only presenting the main story quests of XI (In November of this year, they'll be releasing the final story quest of FFXI so the story will be as "complete" as it will ever get) along with a couple side quests which tie into the main story (The Star Onions storyline for example, is a sidequest). I'm actually trying to target any folks who had never played this game or even just MMOs in general, because I do think XI's story is pretty nice. Any feedback is welcome too, believe it or not I try to keep my posts as short I can while still keeping all the plot points in. That's why I actually haven't said too much about the gameplay.

Good to know you're still reading by the way! I actually lurk a couple of the journals around here but now that I'm writing my own I guess I should try commenting more often in said threads because now I know it's nice to get some assurance people are reading. =P
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