Author Topic: FFXI Journal: Prishe Goes Around Annoying the Whole World

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Hathen

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FFXI Journal: Prishe Goes Around Annoying the Whole World
« on: August 04, 2015, 11:23:40 AM »


Quote
Table of Contents
Windurst Part 1: The Federation
Windurst Part 2: Rapifafa's First Missions
Windurst Part 3: The Book of the Gods
Windurst Part 4: The Three Nations
Windurst Part 5: Castle Oztroja
Windurst Part 6: Journey to Jeuno
Windurst Part 7: Magicite
Windurst Part 8: A Red Mage's Story
Windurst Part 9: The Shadow Lord
A Minister's Life
Windurst Part 10: Full Moon Fountain
A Black Mage's Story: The Great Star Tree
Windurst Part 11: The Lost Journals
A Ranger's Story: The Sin Hunters
Windurst Part 12: The Five Ministers
A Summoner's Story: Secret of the Dolls
Windurst Part 13: Doll of the Dead
Windurst Part 14: Stars of Hope
Windurst Epilogue: The Promise
A Thief's Story: Atarefaunet's Band
San d'Oria Part 1: The Tomb of the Dragon King
A Paladin's Story: A Knight's Armor
San d'Oria Part 2: A New Heir
A Dragoon's Story: The Shifting Crest
San d'Oria Part 3: Breaking Barriers
A White Mage's Story: Pieuje's Decision
San d'Oria Part 4: The Heir to the Light
San d'Oria Epilogue: Peace for the Spirit
A Beastmaster's Story: Man's Best Friend
The Starlight Celebration
The Archduke
A Bard's Story: The Circle of Time
A Dark Knight's Story: The Dark Legacy
A Monk's Story: Ghosts of the Past
Bastok Part 1: Crisis in the Republic
Rise of the Zilart Part 1: The Warriors of the Crystal
Rise of the Zilart Part 2: The Temple of Uggalepih
Bastok Part 2: On My Way
Rise of the Zilart Part 3: The Headstone Pilgrimage
Bastok Part 3: The Chains That Bind Us
Rise of the Zilart Part 4: The Chamber of Oracles
A Ninja's Story: The Legacy
Bastok Part 4: The Return
A Warrior's Story: The Talekeeper's Gift
Bastok Part 5: Where Two Paths Converge
Bastok Epilogue: Do You Like Bastok?
A Samurai's Story: The Mysterious Far East
Rise of the Zilart Part 5: Return to Delkfutt's Tower
Rise of the Zilart Part 6: Tu'lia, the Gate of the Gods
Dynamis: The Shrouded Land
Rise of the Zilart Part 7: Divine Might
Rise of the Zilart Part 8: Awakening
Rise of the Zilart Epilogue: A Whisper
Good Deeds

Chains of Promathia
   Intro
   Chapter 1: Ancient Flames Beckon
      い: In the Baptism of Life
      ろ: ROad Below the Arks
      は: HAil the Crystal Which Births Us
   Chapter 2: Isle of the Forgotten Saints
      に: NIlling Invitation Westward
      ほ: HOmeland Forgotten
      へ: HEed a Distant Belief
      と: TO An Eternal Melody
      ち: CHIliads-Old Vow
   Chapter 3: A Transient Dream
      り: RIng of the Wyrmking’s Call
      ぬ: NUbilous Voyage
      る: The Road Forks: RUinous Line of Francmage
      を: The Road Forks: WOman in Black and A Comedy of Errors
      わ: WAtching Over Aged Wounds
      か: CAlling Oneself a God

I have no idea if there's any interest in a journal like this around here. I know only a handful of people around here played FFXI, and even fewer really got into the story and world building. I would like to think that due to the former though, there's a decent amount of people at least curious of the game since it's probably "that one FF I never played because MMOs are for OCD pack rats".

With this playthrough I mostly want to just present the story of the game (while re-experiencing it for myself since some of this content I played years ago), which is what really made me fall in love with it- there’s actually not a lot, if any, sites focused on just the story and lore of Vana’Diel (anymore at least- there used to be a couple but most are now defunct). It’s actually possible to do that now within a sane amount of time, because in recent years they’ve done a crazy amount of overhauls to the soloing experience of the game so that you don’t have to put your trust in total strangers not to suck at the game just to get to the next story section. I’ve wanted to do something similar to this for a while, but I imagine it’s a pretty big time investment even with all those changes- oh well, let’s see how long I’ll last. If there ends up actually being interest in this I’ll keep going.

In retrospect people reading this might not feel FFXI is really anything special in the world building department, but for me personally I feel like it went way beyond any of the JRPGs I had played up to that point, and it was also my first real MMO (the other online games I had played were things like Diablo and PSO)- I had never played Ultima Online or Everquest. The sheer size of the world was also amazing to me, though it probably helps that the game was not released stateside until nearly a year after it launched.

So let’s start grinding those pixel swords!

Windurst Part 1: The Federation

Players are first treated to a pretty CGI opening which, while very cool, is also very misleading because the depicted area is basically only part of the background story and can’t actually be visited (Well, arguably it was a few years down the line, but I’m getting ahead of myself).

I should take a moment to mention that I think even people who don’t like MMOs can probably appreciate the music composed for FFXI, which was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Kumi Tanioka, and Naoshi Mizuta, the last of whom was a relative newcomer at SquareEnix when he was chosen as the main composer for FFXI. He would end up showing a great deal of improvement as he composed more and more music for FFXI and its expansions. That first song in the opening movie was composed by Uematsu, so the first introduction players would have to Mizuta would be the Vana’Diel March- hard for me to comment on it because it instills a lot of nostalgia in me but probably not for anybody reading.

So time to create a character.



I have a choice between a human- I mean, a “Hume”, an elf, a catgirl (no Japanese game is complete without them), a tall monkey/lion man thing, and a loli chipmunk gnome. Well, I know from the Fire Emblem Awakening thread that you guys love your lolis-who-are-actually-adults so let’s go with that last one. Surely she will strike fear into the hearts of her enemies.



Considering where I am, her name will be Rapifafa (a lore-friendly name!) and she even has green hair- it was meant to be. Unfortunately there is no “Green Mage” class in the game, so she shall be a Red Mage- Rapifafa knows she’ll get a spiffy hat at level 60.

Next I get to pick one of the three major cities to start in. It’s a choice between French Elf Knights with bagpipes playing in the background all day, the industrial mining city filled with asshole humans (there are no other types of humans in fantasy worlds),  and the hippie mage city with giant trees. Rapifafa probably will be more comfortable living amongst her own kind, so the hippies it is (she also gets a bonus starting ring for choosing the “right” city- take that, cultural diversity).



Music: The Federation of Windurst

The intro informs us that long ago, starving wanderers were led to the fields of Sarutabaruta by a star, which then returned to the heavens and returned as their sage, the Star Sibyl, leading the Windurstians to prosperity. She brought them magic, which they practiced vigorously. Eventually Windurst formed five ministries and became a city known for its academics. With the cat-like Mithra from the south joining them, the city grew in size and influence.

With that out of the way, Rapifafa wanders into town, spying a pair of Tarutaru concerned about their missing minister of the Orastery, one of the five ministries. They gossip for a bit until they spot a Mithran Sibyl Guard.



The Tarutaru run off, apparently afraid her of wasting their time playing 20 questions. She instead stops Rapifafa, but she seems friendly enough, introducing herself as Semih Lafihna and telling her about the city. Their conversation is cut short, however, when Semih spots a Tarutaru in strange clothing running by. Apparently, she found whoever she was looking for.



Now Rapifafa is left alone to explore the city. Windurst is probably the largest of the three starting cities- it was also the one I picked when I first started playing. Even now that I know my way around, it still took me a few hours to go around talking to everyone. One thing I really like about the major cities in FFXI is that the way they’re designed shows that there’s a Residential Area, which if you walk into just takes you into your personal house, but I do like that there’s the implication the city’s actually even larger than what they give to explore- it’s just one example of the verisimilitude the director emphasized during development.

Rapifafa’s conversation with the people around the city lets her quickly learn the present state of Windurst. During the war 20 years ago, Windurst was saved by a hero by the name of Karaha-Baruha. Since then Windurst made a peace agreement with the Yagudo, a race of bird-like beastmen. While the official stance is that Windurst is in a time of peace, some of the citizens don’t think that’ll last very long. Recently, Semih Lafihna has been seen around town a lot more often, though most assume it to simply be due to the activity of the local cat burglar. Generally things are as they seem though, most are going about their daily lives, and the local children even invite Rapifafa to join their little ragtag group known as the Star Onion Brigade- the “S.O.B.”s- at least they probably won’t run into naming conflicts with any local gangs I guess.



Not before she agrees to go on a fetch quest though!

While running around town Rapifafa also runs into Doctor Shantotto, a highly respected (and feared- mostly feared) mage even amongst the Tarutaru. Some of you may recognize her from Dissidia or from some events held in FFXIV.



Now familiar with the city, Rapifafa goes to a guard to see if she can find some work. She’s told that one of Windurst’s ministries, the Orastery, needs help with an experiment of some sort, probably since most are too worried about getting blown up to get close to the mage training academy. Upon entering, she immediately recognizes the two instructors- they were the two Tarutaru she had spotted when she first arrived in the city.



They take some time out of their day blowing up dolls to tell her that the minister had already left long before she arrived, and to catch up with him in the nearby Horutoto Ruins to help him perform his experiment. She nods and leaves them to their work, but before she leaves she decides to speak with some of the staff at the academy- apparently, it has been almost 20 years since the last War Warlock has been born. With no talented youths to replace the aging army, Windurst cannot afford to have a large-scale conflict in its current state.

All Rapifafa knows is that a lack of new talented mages just means she gets more jobs like this one, so with her cheap sword in one hand and a dusty old spell scroll in the other, Rapifafa makes her way to her first adventure outside the city!

(Sorry for the huge post- tried my best to keep it short but I had to introduce the game and all that. Pretty sure any future entires won't be this long. I failed pretty badly on that promise, I suppose.)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 01:07:06 PM by Hathen »

Hathen

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2015, 10:57:30 AM »
Well, no idea if I have any potential readers yet, but I guess I might as well at least try to get the Windurst storyline done before I consider stopping.

Windurst Part 2: Rapifafa's First Missions

The areas outside each of the cities are relatively large, and they served as a nice introduction to the scale of the game. Outside Windurst is the steppe area of Sarutabaruta. The textures are laughably bad now (and it looked even worse on the PS2 since it had like a third the resolution I do) but at the time I thought it looked amazing, especially compared to other online games. The music in the area is also a personal favorite of mine from the game.



Music: Sarutabaruta

Like many MMOs youd begin your journey by watching your character do nothing but autoattack enemies. Exciting stuff. Red Mage tends to have a lot more to do though. Compared to when I first played the leveling speed is pretty crazy, enough so that I basically never have to rest. Unfortunately XIs still stuck with the old MMO design where you spend lots of time killing bunnies and giant bees but theres no adventure in that, so Rapifafa gets to take on plenty of the local Yagudo too.



Oh yeah, I guess I should post the battle music, but personally I think its among the dullest battle themes Ive heard (thankfully the game got a lot better at that as expansions came out).

Rapifafa gains more than enough experience just travelling to her destination, so she looks for the Orastery minister. After making her way through the grimy tower, she arrives at the room she was directed to, and spots two Tarutaru bickering. They appear to be siblings, and she recognizes the brother- he was the man that Semih Lafihna was in a hurry to chase earlier.



The brother, named Ajido-Marujido, is apparently seeking some form of forbidden magic, outlawed by the Star Sybil after the war ended 20 years ago. This is likely why the Sybil Guard was chasing him. It seems that the great hero Karaha-Baruha used this same magic back during the war, and it had killed him in the process. Regardless Ajido-Marujido is determined to pursue it due to the aforementioned dearth of new War Warlocks to replace the older, dying ones.

After the sister, Apururu, storms out in a rage, Ajido-Marujido tells Rapifafa that he is already done with his experiment, so he sends Rapifafa on a menial task of collecting a broken Mana Orb before returning to the Orastery, and asks that she keeps quiet about what she had overheard.



After returning to Windurst and returning the Mana Orb, Rapifafa receives her next task- she is to report to another one of Windursts ministries- this time its the Manustery, the place where Cardians- strange dolls used throughout Windurst- are created.



Rapifafa immediately recognizes the minister of the Manustery- its Apururu, but she mustve been too angry when she stormed out of the ruins earlier to remember Rapifafa. She explains the importance of the Cardians and how they are made with materials from many sources, with the most important material, Mana Orbs, being an exception. Its considered important enough so that only citizens of Windurst are entrusted with handling the recharge process, which involves another trip to the Horutoto Ruins.



Rapifafa completes her task quickly, only interrupted by some rogue Goblins, but as she exits the ruins, shes confronted by a group of Cardians. They demand that she hand over the recharged Mana Orbs, and she capitulates due to the nearby guard suggesting to her that a fight with the Ace Cardians would be suicide.



When Rapifafa returns to the Manustery, Apururu explains that some Cardians from the war went wild and began stealing Mana Orbs and attacking people. They do so to revive any of the other rogue Cardians who run out of juice, but apparently thats meaningless because the Mana Orbs are only useful if theres a mage to apply them.

With her task for the Manustery done, Rapifafa is sent on yet another task, this time for the Rhinostery, a ministry dedicated to the cultivation of plants. The Guard explains that the peace between the Yagudo and Windurst is kept through a tribute of food and water, and this time the Rhinostery has the task of preparing them, and Rapifafa has the task of delivering these offerings. After receiving the offerings from the Rhinostery worker Leepe-Hoppe, Rapifafa heads towards Giddeus, the local Yagudo camp (where I forgot to take screenshots at so have some concept art instead).





The Yagudo gives Rapifafa quite an attitude before taking the offerings. Not exactly the friendliest of truces, apparently. With her task done, Rapifafa returns to the Rhinostery. As she approaches, she overhears a conversation- its Ajido-Marujido again.



It seems Leepe-Hoppe and Ajido-Marujido both want to access the canal under Windurst, which have been off-limits for- you guessed it- 20 years. Theres something about a great beast, Karaha-Baruhas laboratory, and someone called Rukususu, but Rapifafa cant make all of it out before Ajido-Marujido notices and takes his leave.

Leepe-Hoope thanks Rapifafa for her service while noting how odd it is Ajido-Marujido is running around doing supposedly forbidden things while rumors continue to circulate all around the city. He then sends Rapifafa back to the Town Guard, who declares that for all the work she has done the past few days, shell be promoted to Rank 2. Hurray! Maybe if she keeps getting promoted someone will actually bother telling her what the heck is actually going on.

« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 12:42:15 PM by Hathen »

Rucks

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 11:30:50 AM »
This is a pretty good read. 


Hathen

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2015, 02:15:44 PM »
Thanks Glass. I just needed to know I wasn't being a crazy old man telling stories to the corner of the wall. =P

Starmongoose

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2015, 02:57:48 PM »
Quality post here mate. =3

I have very little MMO experience, but when I was a little kid, not quite understanding what an MMO was and just thinking FFXI was the sequel to FFX, I begged my dad to get me this game and subscription. I picked Tarutaru, so this starting area is a little nostalgic for me - though my disapointment that this wasn't anything that I hoped for eventually won and I quit FFXI :P


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Hathen

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2015, 08:55:25 AM »
though my disapointment that this wasn't anything that I hoped for eventually won and I quit FFXI :P

Yeah, FFXI was probably a shock to the fans of FF who tried it back when it came out, since back then the biggest MMO around was Everquest (which heavily inspired FFXI), and JRPG fans probably didn't care to learn much about that one. WoW wouldn't come out and change everything and go on to basically become synonymous with MMO until like a year after the US launch of XI.

Generally speaking I'd say MMOs struggle the hardest to have strong characters because you play as a silent character and adventure with other silent characters played by other people. I've actually heard some JRPG fans say they don't like games like DQIX for the same sort of thing.

Hathen

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2015, 09:11:36 AM »
Windurst Part 3: The Book of the Gods

The Gate Guards have no missions for Rapifafa yet, so she decides to take the time to check up on the S.O.B.s. Recently theyve been spying on the local cat burglar, Nanaa Mihgo, and they have found that she seems to like hanging around the abandoned House of the Hero in Windurst Walls. Formerly the residence of Karaha-Baruha, its been rumored to have become haunted since his death.

The Star Onions ask Rapifafa to bring them onions so they may make some stink bombs to ambush the Cat Burglar with, but luckily she already had some on hand from cutting down goblins around Windurst. With the stinkbombs ready, the Star Onions travel to House of the Hero, where they await the Cat Burglar on the roof. As she approaches the house, the Star Onions unload all their stink bombs. The Star Onions go downstairs to find the Cat Burglar knocked out.



Unfortunately, she isnt out for long, so the Star Onions have no chance to tie her up. She isnt too happy waking up to the smell of onions, so the Star Onions make a tactical retreat before she can kick all their asses. Back at the S.O.B. base, its revealed that one of the girls picked up something dropped by Nanaa Mihgo, a Mana Orb. Naturally the Star Onions assume that Nanaa Mihgo must have stolen it from somewhere, so they begin planning their next operation to capture her.



That will have to wait though, because the Gate Guards have another mission for Rapifafa, and this time they want her to go help the Optistery, the ministry dedicated to restoration and storage of magical books and documents, as well as analysis of Celestial bodies.



Here she speaks to Tosuka-Porika, who came into the position of minister after the death of Karaha-Baruha. He informs Rapifafa that for the first time since being named minister, he is facing a crisis. Of the Library of Magic, there exists a restricted section which contains books not allowed to be taken out or read. As per rule of fiction, one of these books disappeared- in this case, 20 years ago. It seems there is a rumor that Nanaa Mihgo has come into possession of this book, and to find some way to confirm the veracity of the rumor and reobtain the book.



Rapifafa finds Nanaa Mihgo in her base in Windurst Woods, most likely planning her next heist. Before Nanaa Mihgo is willing to give any info to Rapifafa, she asks for something in return- shes to travel to the Maze of Shakhrami, far from Windurst to get a piece of lapis coral for her.



After some preparation, Rapifafa again leaves Windurst, this time past the fields of Sarutabaruta  to the twisting Tahrongi Canyon, formed thousands of years ago from the rivers which ran through the region.



Amongst the wildlife here she encounters large creatures called dhalmel. In the past people used to fight these things in groups- or not at all, since they generally weren't worth the risk. Shes not too put off by that, though.



While travelling through the area she comes across a strange white construct.



While they are a mystery, its known that the crystals they hold can be used for teleportation, so she takes a shard for herself in case she needs it.



She finds the Maze of Shakhrami in the northeast of Tahrongi Canyon, and maze is appropriate, as its a rather large complex of underwater tunnels, with impassable chasms spread throughout. The fact she has no map to guide her here doesnt help matters much.



Rapifafa soon finds herself utterly lost, and she cannot find lapis coral on any of the rocks she checks in the cave. As she ventures deeper, shes ambushed by multiple goblins who she knows are too much for her, and she hurriedly makes an escape. Shell have to come back later (and maybe stop using a sword 15 levels below her).

She opts to travel to the Buburimu Peninsula in the east of Tahrongi Canyon instead. The area is ideal for a port town, as the area contains a rock formation called the Kibubu Lighthouse, which gives off a fluorescent light to guide nearby ships.




Rapifafa decides to train her skills off the local monsters for some time, and when night falls she even fights some Bogies, which have been known to wipe out entire parties in the past. However, since elemental magic is completely ridiculously broken at low levels now, Rapifafa has no trouble nuking them into oblivion.



After some training, Rapifafa takes a break and restock items at the local port town, Mhaura. Here she meets some crazy old lady who says shell teach her some adventuring skills if she brings her some Dhalmel spit, a Bloody Robe from a Bogy and a Rabbit Tail. She already has these things on-hand from her adventuring, so she hands them over. The old lady teaches her how to use a support job, and claims the items were simply a test to see if Rapifafa was worthy of the skill. She doesnt completely buy that, but shes not sure shed like to know what the lady actually has planned for the three items anyway so she decides not to look a gift horse in the mouth.



Music: Mhaura

One thing that was kinda cool was that the boats in the game actually make scheduled dockings and departures based off the in-game clock, so it added to the immersion of the game. Of course, it also meant needing to wait like 20 real time minutes if you ever missed a boat so you better have a book ready or something.

Since Rapifafa doesn't need a boat, she makes some preparations and returns to Shakhrami to get her revenge.



By being a complete weenie and just casting invisible on herself so she can sneak past everything. She finds the coral she was looking for on a rock deep in the maze and quickly leaves the area with a warp scroll back to Windurst.



Nanaa Mihgo is pleased with her new treasure and tells her that if she wants the forbidden book, shell need a more private area within the Horutoto Ruins to make the exchange.

Rapifafa makes her way to the appointed area, and Nanaa Mihgo enters the room with her two cronies, ordering Rapifafa to drop all her money and take off all her equipment (presumably in that order). Rapifafa takes a moment to reflect on why she fell for such an obvious ruse.



Unexpectedly, the Ace Cardians come to Rapifafas rescue, demanding that the Cat Burglar return them the lifeforce of their leader, and claim that she stole their lords belongings. Whatever they are, Nanaa Mihgo knows even she cant stand up to an Ace Cardian, so she spills the beans- she has hidden the items in the House of the Hero.



Unfortunately it seems the Aces were never intent on leaving anyone alive, so they ready their attack- until Rapifafa gets her second lucky break of the day and Ajido-Marujido shows up to ambush and defeat one of the Ace Cardians. In exchange for saving Nanaa Mihgos life, Ajido-Marujido demands to be handed the key to Karaha-Baruhas residence, and Nanaa Mihgo is only too happy to give it up, if only to stop the Ace Cardians from pestering her again.



Rapifafa follows Ajido-Marujido back to the House of the Hero, where he predictably makes a straight dash for what hes been looking for- a book by the deceased Karaha-Baruha. Ajido-Marujido cant contain his curiosity and opens the book immediately- only to find the pages blank. It seems all the effort was for nothing. It seems the pages going blank is some kind of bad omen though, so Ajido-Marujido tells Rapifafa to report back to Tosuka-Porika immediately.



Upon revealing that the Book of the Gods has gone blank, Tosuka-Porika responds by becoming Sheila Broflovski.



Tosuka-Porika then commends Rapifafa on a job well-done, and tells her to keep quiet about the situation while he reports it to the Star Sibyl. Looks like Rapifafa's going to have a wait a bit again before she'll get any new orders.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 02:31:43 AM by Hathen »

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2015, 10:58:10 AM »
Quality post here mate. =3

I have very little MMO experience, but when I was a little kid, not quite understanding what an MMO was and just thinking FFXI was the sequel to FFX, I begged my dad to get me this game and subscription. I picked Tarutaru, so this starting area is a little nostalgic for me - though my disapointment that this wasn't anything that I hoped for eventually won and I quit FFXI :P

Lucky.  I begged my folks and just got a 'no'.  Hell I even got a 'no' when *I* wanted to pay for it (it sucks when your dad is a cop, he's all afraid that I was going to blurt stuff about my personal life and meet people and obviously get raped and killed...so eugh).
Ironically, these days I don't play because I'm worried it would be a huge time-sink that I'm too scared of and want to avoid.

I actually like the Tarutaru more than the falalala's of FXIV... I think it's because in general, FFXI was a bit more committed to cartoony appearances than 14 is (or the limited graphics made that happen).

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Hathen

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2015, 12:20:01 AM »
I actually like the Tarutaru more than the falalala's of FXIV... I think it's because in general, FFXI was a bit more committed to cartoony appearances than 14 is (or the limited graphics made that happen).

I'd say both (in terms of the actual game) have that quasi-realistic anime style modern Final Fantasy games (bar IX) tend to have. I'd say the difference is that the XIV races just seemed like they went "let's go copy the XI races and make a new game" without all the imaginative concepts they came up with to create them in XI. The only difference is that they softened the animalistic features of the Galka, Tarutaru, and Mithra when they transferred to XIV (Roegaedyn have no tails at all, Miqote look a bit less feline, Lalafell have more normal child-like proportions) because generally audiences seem to respond better to more human-like races. I feel this removed a lot of the creativity that went into these designs in the first place.

Given the disaster of XIV's initial launch and how unpolished that whole game felt, I wouldn't be surprised if all the lore that people love from the game today was created under Naoki Yoshida's watch. They were basically stuck with the races they had though.

Here's some concept art of some of the ideas they went through while creating the races in XI.



« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 12:21:49 AM by Hathen »

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2015, 03:06:29 AM »
Windurst Part 4: The Three Nations

So far, Rapifafa has received a mission from every ministry in Windurst, except for one- the Aurastery, dedicated to teaching children. This time they have a job for her, and surely it’ll be important with what all the other ministries asked her to do.

One of the teachers at the Aurastery asks Rapifafa to gather some information for the children’s next school assignment.



Well, they can’t all be exciting.

As soon as she’s back from her task however, she receives orders to go to Heaven’s Tower.



Music: Heaven’s Tower (I like this song, kinda reminds me of the Zeal music from CT)

The secretary Kupipi doesn’t think she’s ready for the task ahead, but Semih Lafihna herself enters to review Rapifafa’s file, and approves of her assignment in light of her recent achievements.



Rapifafa is given the important task of travelling to two other major nations, Bastok and San d’Oria and speak with the consulates at each of these nations.  She is to gather information at each of these nations, but avoid anything that may be seen as aggressive. The quickest (and safest) route is to take the ferry in Mhaura, so she once again travels across Sarutabaruta, Tahrongi Canyon and Buburimu Peninsula to arrive there.



Music: Voyager

It is quite a long trip, as she is not only leaving Windurstian territory, but actually leaving the continent of Mindartia, travelling to the west end of the continent of Quon.



After what feels like ages, Rapifafa sees the beaches of the Valkurm Dunes off in the distance.



Rapifafa arrives in the port town Selbina.



Music: Selbina

Selbina is a small independent village which sustains itself through its harbor. Airships, however, are forcing Selbina to invent its own industries, which can’t be easy on such a small town. The local weaver, for instance, adopted a girl named Mathilde who was apparently orphaned 20 years ago during the war.



Rapifafa cannot waste too much time here though, so she prepares for the long trip ahead by buying some magic from a local merchant- one even lets her put magic into her sword swings, like she always dreamed! With that, she sets off into the Valkurm Dunes.



Rapifafa decides to turn south towards Bastok for now, and past the sands of the Valkurm Dunes are the large grasslands of Konschtat Highlands, where Bastok has contructed many windmills to take advantage of the winds which often pass through this area.



Here she first encounters a Quadav, another race of beastmen which often pester the Bastokans. They’re not particularly friendly, so Rapifafa takes the chance to test out her new sword enhancing spells.



She also finds another massive structure which looks identical to the one she found in Tahrongi. It also contains a crystal for use in travel, so she pockets a shard.



Rapifafa continues south, and arrives in the desert-like region of Gustaberg, which, while devoid of plant life, is filled with large amounts of ore, which is perfect for the industrial city of Bastok.



Music: Gustaberg

Past Gustaberg, she finally ends her long trek by taking her first steps into a foreign nation- Bastok.





Music: The Republic of Bastok

Not wasting any time, Rapifafa travels to the Bastok Metalworks, where the President’s office and the various consulates are. There, the Windurstan representative Patt-Pott fills her in on the situation.





Patt-Pott is clearly tired of staying around Bastok, and Rapifafa soon sees why- many of the politicians in Bastok need to be buttered up considerably before they agree to anything, so Patt-Pott likely spends a great deal of his time kissing a lot of the bottom to get to the top. Thankfully Rapifafa only needs to get permission to travel to the nearly Palborough Mines to gather some ore- a pretext to give Windurst a chance to study Bastokan technology. It won’t be easy, however, since apparently lots of Quadav have moved in recently.

After gaining the permission and information she needs, Rapifafa runs into another adventurer on her way out, who introduces herself as Lion.



Rapifafa already gathered from a few people in town that Bastok was far more aggressive against the Quadavs than Windurst is against the Yagudo, and Lion further informs Rapifafa that the Palborough Mines is actually a sacred place to the Quadav as opposed to just a mine of Bastok. The Humes of Bastok think that they are victims minding their own business, but the truth is that they are simply too apathetic to the world around them.

Rapifafa decides to spend some more time speaking with the locals before setting off for Palborough, and quickly confirms what she had only heard through rumor.  Bastok is a city established by the Humes, and the Galka were forced out of their home in the islands of Kuzotz long ago, escaping to Bastok. To this day they have been a great help to the nation by providing a great deal of the physical labor needed for their mining and forging operations.



The Galka do not strictly speaking have any gender- when the time comes they embark on a spiritual quest as part of a reincarnation cycle. When this occurs, they lose all their memories and for all intents and purposes become a new individual. Occasionally there are Galka who keep not only their memories, but the memories of all their people for the past several centuries. These Talekeepers are recognized as the leaders of the Galka. However, since the disappearance of their last Talekeeper, Raogrimm, 30 years ago, there has not been one to replace him.  For this reason, the eldest of the living Galka, named Werei, had been their leader for the past few decades.

With the recent departure of Werei on his quest of reincarnation, there is unrest amongst the Galka, many of whom escape into their belief that their Talekeeper will soon return. It adds to tensions that exist by default between the Humes and the Galka. Like the Mithra in Windurst, the Galka largely live separately from the Humes in their own part of the city, though the Mithra are on much friendlier terms with the Tarutaru.



Rapifafa also learns a little about the Mythril Musketeers, the elite guards of Bastok who are hand-picked by the president. She had met two members, Naji and Iron Eater, at the President’s Office earlier. A young Galka named Gumbah recalls a recent visit to his home to Rapifafa from Volker, the Captain of the Mythril Musketeers. In it, Volker asks Werei about the whereabouts of Zeid, a missing Galkan Mythril Musketeer.  It seems Zeid disappeared due to Volker being promoted to Captain over him, and Volker himself has his doubts if he earned enough merit for such a position.

Satisfied with her knowledge of Bastok, Rapifafa travels to the far northeast of Gustaberg, where the Palborough Mines are.



The inside is overrun with Quadav as she was told, but she goes through the process she was told, mining for some unrefined gravel and running through a machine to turn it into mythril sand.



She makes her escape from the mines through one of the boats inside the mine. It cuts down on all the walking Rapifafa will have to do, and she’ll take any chance for that since she had to walk all the way from the Valkurm Dunes to Bastok just a few days ago. It takes her to the Zeruhn Mines, which are right next to Bastok.



As she exits the boat, she spots a Galka in black armor. This Galka tells Rapifafa that he is Zeid, a Dark Knight. Rapifafa recalls that Gumbah had mentioned that the Dark Knight arts were from the homeland of the Galka, and that Zeid had added some of his own touches to the art. Zeid senses that Rapifafa has felled many enemies and hands her a greatsword, offering to teach her the Dark Knight arts, but only if she bloodies the blade before seeking him out again. Rapifafa doesn’t have the nerve to outright reject an offer from such an intimidating man, so she slips the greatsword in her bag. Perhaps she’ll consider it later.



For now, Rapifafa returns to the consulate and gives the mythril sand she made to Patt-Pott. He informs Rapifafa that he’ll handle it from here and shoos her off to her next task- San d’Oria.

After a short respite, Rapifafa embarks on the long walk ahead. She backtracks her way north through the large wastelands of Gustaberg and the hills of Konschtat Highlands back to the Valkurm Dunes, where she travels straight north this time to the fields of the La Theine Plateau.



Here, she runs into Orcs, an especially violent race of beastmen, and another of those large structures she saw in both Tahrongi Canyon and Konchtat Highlands.



Travelling further north through the La Theine Plateau, she finally arrives in the Ronfaure forests surrounding San d’Oria.



Music: Ronfaure

Feeling she was in the final stretch before a warm bed, Rapifafa quickly makes her way to the city of San d’Oria.





Music: The Kingdom of San d’Oria (I wasn't joking about those bagpipes)

Despite her fatigue, Rapifafa first reports to the consulate. As she nears the consulate, she takes notice of the Chateau d’Oraguille, where the royal family lives, and the Cathedral of San d’Oria, where she sees excited crowds gathering. All of them speak praises of their religious leader, the Papasque Shamonde, who apparently is the leader of the nation more than the King is in many ways.



Rapifafa hurries to the consulate, where they don’t tell her much of her mission, and instead simply tell her to speak with Monarlais Halver in the Chateau d’Oraguille for her mission when she is ready. Rapifafa rents a room in the residential area of San d’Oria to get a good night’s rest before continuing.

The next day she goes to speak with Halver, who informs her that despite the Orcs being “quite stupid”, they have started to use more complicated weapons, including machine-like contructs. He guesses that somebody must be supplying them, and asks that Rapifafa investigate Ghelsba Outpost, the vanguard base of operations of the Orcs northwest of San d’Oria.



Before she leaves, Rapifafa tries to learn a little bit about the Elvaans. She first speaks with the leaders of their two major orders of knights- Curilla and Rahal.



It seems they have continued to battle the Orcs aggressively even after the Great War ended 20 years ago, contrasting with Windurst’s peaceful solution and Bastok’s defensive position. Because of this, the Royal Knights and the Temple Knights both still have bustling ranks. It reflects the strong emphasis on knighthood in the Elvaan culture, who are very chivalrous and pious, but also incredibly arrogant. Indeed, many of them turn their noses up at other races, especially Tarutaru like Rapifafa.

Rapifafa also learns that the Queen Leaute passed away many years ago, leaving behind her two sons, Prince Trion and Prince Pieuje, as well as a daughter, the Princess Claidie. The rivalry between the brothers Trion and Pieuje is well-known throughout San d’Oria. The former is well-known for his prowess in combat, whereas the latter is more known for his intellect and piety.



The more aggressive nature of the Elvaan is a concern for Windurst, but for now, Rapifafa’s task involves investigating the Orcs, so she makes her way to the Ghelsba Outpost, sneaking her way past many Orcs to the top of Fort Ghelsba.



On the highest mountain above Fort Ghelsba, Horlais Peak, Rapifafa encounters something she had never seen before- a dragon, led by an ahriman.



Thankfully, the dragon and its master seem to be distracted by a pair of Elvaan. San d’Orian agents, perhaps?



The demons prepare to attack, so Rapifafa is glad the Elvaan are here to lend her assistance in the coming fight.



Or maybe not.

Music: Tough Battle (Not a fan myself, but I heard some people like it, so I guess I'll post it)

It’s a rough fight, but Rapifafa manages to defeat both the floating eye and the dragon. Lion decides to pick this moment to show up, and while Rapifafa’s glad to see a familiar face, about two minutes earlier would’ve been even better. Lion seems shocked by the dragon, saying that they have not been seen since 20 years ago when the Shadow Lord was defeated, and even then they were generally only seen in the Northlands.



The ahriman, named Spotter, declares in classic bad guy fashion that he is only the vanguard for the return of said Shadow Lord before kicking off for good. Lion tells Rapifafa what she already knows, that she should probably take this information back to Windurst.

After reporting back to Kasaroro of the San d’Orian consulate, Rapifafa receives a report detailing everything she had seen in both Bastok and San d’Oria, and is told to take the report back to Windurst. Considering the long road back, Rapifafa momentarily wishes she had long legs like an Elvaan, or at least a country considerate enough to give her a personal chocobo on such an important mission.

Travelling through the forests of Ronfaure, the fields of La Thiene Plateau, taking a boat from Selbina on the sands of Valkurm Dunes back to Mhaura in the Buburimu Peninsula, and finally through Tahrongi Canyon and Sarutabaruta, Rapifafa arrives back home in Windurst. The trip took several days, but knowing the urgency of the message, she takes it to Heaven’s Tower immediately.

On the ground floor Rapifafa once again speaks to Kupipi, who says she’ll take the report up to the Star Sibyl. Rapifafa might’ve done a lot, but access to the upper parts of the tower is still only allowed to a small select few. Still, they do recognize all the work Rapifafa has done, so she’s given another shiny promotion. Hurray!

« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 10:12:34 PM by Hathen »

Hathen

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2015, 01:21:52 AM »
Windurst Part 5: Castle Oztroja

It seems the Star Sibyl needs time to take in the report Rapifafa gave last time, so after spending some time making some money to buy new armor, she checks up on the Star Onions.



It seems since last time Nanaa Mihgo has demanded for the Mana Orb back, saying whoever after it is dangerous. Naturally the Star Onions don’t bother listening, and now Kohlo-Lakolo asks Rapifafa for the minister’s ring to open the door to the House of the Hero. Rapifafa of course knows that the ring was taken from Nanaa Mihgo by Ajido-Marujido, so the easiest way for her to find it would probably be to continue her investigations for Windurst.

The Gate Guards tell Rapifafa that Semih Lafihna wants to give the next assignment herself, so she makes her way to the Heaven’s Tower.



This time, Rapifafa is being allowed access to the tower, a great honor.



On the second floor she meets the various ladies-in-waiting serving the Star Sibyl. One woman explains that once a year, the five ministers will gather here to hear the readings from the Star Sibyl to determine how the nation will move forward. Another woman explains that in order to become a lady-in-waiting and have the chance to view these divinations, one must be a female Tarutaru with no martial, magical training, or worldly desires- then follows it up by whispering that she would actually really love a mutton tortilla right about now. Rapifafa can only smile understandingly at her and move on, not wanting to ruin the good will she has built up to get this far.



At the top of the Tower Rapifafa finds the entrance to the Vestal Chamber, where Star Sibyl resides, as well as the Star Spring, where the Star Sibyl performs her Star Readings. The Star Sibyl is believed by the Tarutaru to be the physical manifestation of the goddess Altana, so it’s no surprise that as she approaches, Semih Lafihna comes through to stop her before she can enter- no matter how much Rapifafa may have done the past few weeks, she’s far from being allowed to meet a living god. Even some of the ladies-in-waiting have never met the Star Sibyl despite devoting their entire lives to serving her.



Semih Lafihna explains that the Star Sibyl had in fact already sensed the Shadow Lord’s impending return even before Rapifafa had delivered her report- she was simply asked to come here so that she can keep quiet about the affair to avoid widespread panic. She’s assured that the officials will handle the situation, and that she may return to her freelance adventuring.

As Rapifafa turns to leave, there is a commotion coming from downstairs- Ajido-Marujido runs up to the top floor of the Tower, somehow magically stunning any guard who tried to stop him. Semih Lafihna is not happy about this attack, accusing Ajido-Marujido has gone mad in his quest for Karaha-Baruha’s power.



Ajido-Marujido is furious at this accusation, and reads the riot act to Semih Lafihna, criticizing the inaction of the WIndurstian officials while presenting the blank Book of the Gods as evidence. He demands that Semih Lafihna show the blank book to the Star Sibyl, and storms out, muttering about how he’ll be the one to save Windurst under his breath.



Semih Lafihna isn’t about to just let this madman run around doing whatever he feels like, so she calls Rapifafa back and assigns her a new mission- she is to follow Ajido-Marujido and figure out what he’s up to.

Questioning the men at the Orastery tells Rapifafa that Ajido-Marujido has left for Castle Oztroja- the home base of the Yagudo, far away from Windurst. It seems Rapifafa has another long journey ahead of her.



Travelling to the Konschtat Highlands, Rapifafa heads north to the Meriphataud Mountains, instead of east to the peninsula where she had previously traveled. The most striking feature of these mountains is a large bone-like structure known as Drogaroga’s Spine, said to have been left behind by the mythical dragon Drogaroga from the beginning of time. On the eastern end of these mountains was Castle Oztroja, the home of the Yagudo.



Castle Oztroja, like most of the other beastman strongholds, is one of the largest dungeons in the game, with enemies still threatening at higher levels. Thankfully, Rapifafa doesn’t venture too far in before she finds Ajido-Marujido leaning against a wall.



Rapifafa rushes forward to see if he is okay.



Ajido-Marujido only suffered minor injuries apparently, and is mostly just tired. He quickly deduces that Rapifafa is only here on the orders of Semih Lafihna. He explains to Rapifafa that while Semih Lafihna may have been raised amongst Tarutaru, she was still a Mithra and did not understand the seriousness of everything that has been happening. The Book of the Gods that he had handed to Semih Lafihna dates back to the founding of Windurst, when the first Star Sibyl had gained the powers of the stars at the Full Moon Fountain. The fact the Star Sibyl has remained silent despite the book becoming blank drove Ajido-Marujido to a desperate act- he came to Castle Oztroja to obtain information from the Yagudo King, as the Yagudo are also witnesses of time. He apparently gained some information, but he does not share it with Rapifafa before taking his leave.

With her mission accomplished, Rapifafa also prepares to leave the castle, but not before she notices that Ajido-Marujido had dropped something- the Minister’s ring, the key to the House of the Hero.



Returning to Windurst, Semih Lafihna commends Rapifafa on a job well-done, and assures her that Ajido-Marujido will receive a warning to the minister for breaking yet another one of their laws (because the last 10 or so warnings have worked quite well of course). She also tells Rapifafa that it seems she can’t be going back to her freelance adventuring as soon as she thought, as another mission will come soon.

With that in mind, Rapifafa knows she can’t leave the city for now, so the next day she goes to the Star Onions once again. With the ring to open the house now in their possession, they can enact another plan to catch the Cat Burglar.

At the House of the Hero, the Star Onions confront Nanaa Mihgo, and Rapifafa finally learns some information as to what Ajido-Marujido has been seeking. Nanaa Mihgo tells the children that if they’re so intent on stopping bad people in Windurst, they should be turning their sights on the minister of the Orastery, who is trying to bring back a type of magic long forbidden by the Star Sibyl- Summoning Magic. As Rapifafa contemplates this and the Star Onions quibble amongst themselves, the Cat Burglar slips out and locks the door.



With no choice, they explore the house for an alternate exit despite rumors of it being haunted. Not long after, one child screams that there’s a dead body in the corner. As the Star Onions approach it, the Mana Orb begins to react, and the body rises out of its coffin- it’s a Cardian, who introduces himself as Joker. All questions directed at Joker come back with no answer, as his memory functions seem to be damaged. Thankfully he is able to free the Brigade from the locked house, and on their way out they invite Joker to join the Star Onions.



Rapifafa lets the children run ahead back to their base, as she receives word that the head lady-in-waiting, Zubaba, has a task for her, so Rapifafa heads for the Heaven’s Tower, conveniently located near the House of the Hero.



After the persistently cranky Zubaba finishes her 5-minute rant about adventurers always being late, she tells Rapifafa a little story. Apparently the Star Sibyl had seen the war before it had occurred 20 years ago, and upon finishing that vision, she collapsed and lay in bed shivering for days.

When Ajido-Marujido brought the blank Book of the Gods, the Star Sibyl began gazing into the Star Spring every day until last night, when she collapsed, in the same manner as she did 20 years ago. Something has gone wrong in the Horutoto Ruins, where part of a talisman used to seal the Castle Zvahl is kept. Rapifafa is to investigate the room where it is kept.

Rapifafa travels to the Horutoto tower in the far east of Sarutabaruta, and descends to the deepest levels of the ruins. There, she finds a magical door which can only be opened with the combined efforts of a White, Black, and Red Mage.



She only fulfills a third of that equation, but after asking for some help from some fellow adventurers, she is able to break the seal and enter the hallway.



Inside, she finds the room with the talisman fragment. As she approaches, a voice tells her not to approach it- it’s Ajido-Marujido.



The Cardians guarding the talisman will attack people who get too close, excepting the five ministers. Since they were built by Ajido-Marujido’s father, the inventor of the Cardians, it is safe to assume they are far too strong for Rapifafa to handle. Ajido-Marujido notes to himself that the fact they are still functioning mean his father is still alive before asking Rapifafa about why she has come here. Upon learning that the Star Sibyl has collapsed, he runs off, mumbling something about the Full Moon Fountain. For Rapifafa’s part, she has already confirmed that the talisman fragment is intact, so she returns to Windurst.



Upon reporting to a Gate Guard, he congratulates Rapifafa on a job well done and prepares to give her a new assignment- he is visibly troubled when he hands Rapifafa the orders, telling Rapifafa he reconfirmed it several times. Rapifafa opens the orders- it’s a writ of summons with a white star emblem on it. The writ was nothing like she’d seen before, with writing which twinkled like starlight. More shocking, however, were the contents.

Rapifafa was being summoned to the Vestal Chambers of the Heavens Tower to meet the Star Sibyl in person.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 10:23:43 PM by Hathen »

Hathen

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2015, 04:34:23 AM »
Windurst Part 6: Journey to Jeuno



The Star Sibyl isn’t quite what’s expected- she doesn't look any different from any other Tarutaru, save her fancy robes and long flowing hair. The Star Sibyl tells Rapifafa she is to become an envoy to the city of Jeuno, quite an important task as Jeuno lies in the middle of the other three major nations, built on a bridge connecting Mindartia and Quon.



Rapifafa accepts the task, despite mentally noting that meeting the Star Sibyl was a little less breathtaking than one would assume when meeting a God. One thing’s for sure though, the Star Sibyl has a very nice room.



Music: Sauromugue Champaign

The long trek to Jeuno involves running past Sarutabaruta, Tahrongi Canyon, and Meriphataud Mountains into the Sauromugue Champaign, another barren area, same as most of Mindartia barring Sarutabaruta.



Her long journey over, Rapifafa arrives at the city of Jeuno.




Music: The Grand Duchy of Jeuno (Not a big fan of this song. Probably had to listen to it way too much back when Jeuno was the place you formed parties/waited for one.)

She decides she doesn't have much time to speak with the locals and gets to work, traveling down the main road and up several flights of stairs to reach Ru’Lude Gardens, where the Archduke’s palace and the embassies are.



Music: Ru'Lude Gardens

As luck would have it, the ambassador is investigating the Delkfutt’s Tower, located on Qufim Island directly under Jeuno. The receptionist tells Rapifafa if she wants anything done soon, she should probably go find him herself.

The first thing Rapifafa notices upon exiting into Qufim Island is a strange spine-like structure, similar to the ones attached to the telepoint constructs. She had also seen some spines like this earlier in Sauromugue Champaign, though far fewer in number.  Following the spine away from Jeuno, she arrives at Delkfutt’s Tower.



As the name implies, traversing Delkfutt’s Tower involves a long, long climb, with plenty of nasty beastmen along the way. They’re not much trouble for her though.



After going up (and down) more flights of stairs than she could count, Rapifafa finally finds the ambassador. He’s unconscious, but otherwise fine. After he comes to and has a moment to rest, he decides to run back to Jeuno, Rapifafa closely following behind.



Back in Jeuno, the ambassador rewards Rapifafa with the title of embassy, alongside giving her a promotion.



He informs Rapifafa may be needed for a mission soon, but for now she can only stand by for orders. Seems like the perfect opportunity to get to know this city.



The biggest point of interest in Ru’Lude Gardens is the Archduke’s Palace. While she can’t get an audience with him, she is allowed to take a look around. An old man by the name of Maat senses that Rapifafa has reached the limits of her training, and offers her a way to break past this limit. She’s intrigued, and Maat sends her off to go find some items from the surrounding dungeons.



She decides to explore Jeuno a little bit more first, walking downstairs to Upper Jeuno, mostly known for its bell tower and its cathedral, and also known for issuing Chocobo licenses, which Rapifafa would not mind having one of.



Taking a moment to visit the cathedral, Rapifafa gets to once again hear the story known to all in Vana’Diel: That they were all created by the Dawn Goddess Altana, and that upon seeing this, the Twilight God condemned the races to eternal struggle. Rapifafa offers up a prayer and leaves for the Chocobo Stables.



The owner, Brutus, is only too happy to offer Rapifafa a license, but like with anything, there’s a price- instead of simply allowing her to buy it, she is to nurse a wounded chocobo back to health.

She tries several times to feed the chocobo a clump of Gauzebit Grass, but it seems whoever had previously owned the chocobo abused it in some way, leaving it distrustful of humans. The stable boy suggests that it simply needs some time, so Rapifafa decides to instead spend some time finding one of the items Maat had asked for.



Music: Batallia Downs

She exits to Batallia Downs, known for many historic battles during the Great War, leaving the place as essentially a giant graveyard. Here, she once again finds one of those strange spines. More importantly, she finds several entrances which lead down into the Eldieme Necropolis. While previously a simple burial ground built by the Elvaans, the large scale of death which had taken place during the war has left the place full of undead- exactly what Maat wanted Rapifafa to find.



The dungeon consists of several hallways, many of which have been blocked off, and many requiring switches demanding multiple travelers, so it takes a long while for Rapifafa to get what she needed. With her treasure in hand, she returns to Upper Jeuno, where the stable boy tells her that the chocobo she was to nurse back to health had started eating again. Over the next few days, Rapifafa feeds Gauzebit Grass to the chocobo. As it nears recovery, its owner, Dietmund, comes to demand for it back, but neither Rapifafa nor the stable boy was going to have that after what he had done to it. Brutus, satisfied with these events, rewards Rapifafa with a Chocobo License. Hurray, no more walking!

Rapifafa spends a little more time speaking with the locals. It seems many decades ago, Jeuno had been a very simple fishing village, until a fisherman saved two boys, one of whom became the current Archduke. Under his leadership, Jeuno grew into the massive city it is today- one that attracts merchants of all races, even including a Goblin store which is found in Lower Jeuno. After gathering this infromation, Rapifafa decides to give her new chocobo license a spin by taking one out of Lower Jeuno into the Rolanberry Fields.



Music: Rolanberry Fields (This one's really nice IMO)

While travelling through Rolanberry Fields, Rapifafa once again notices another place where the strange white spines coming out of the ground. She ignores them and takes this opportunity to find the next item Maat asked for, found inside the Crawler’s Nest in the south end of the fields, known for its winding passageways and abundance of crawlers (naturally). This time, it doesn’t take too long for her to find what she needs.



Her last destination is the Garlaige Citadel, in the south of the Sauromugue Champaign she had passed earlier on the way to Jeuno. Like the Necropolis, the former military fortress is also a graveyard to many from the Great War, and contains several gates which normally can only be opened by at least 4 people. Thankfully, there are other ways past these doors, so Rapifafa finds the treasure she was sent here for, and returns to Jeuno.



Maat is pleased with the three items Rapifafa has found, and teaches Rapifafa how to expand her abilities. It seems Maat has plans to teach Rapifafa even more when she reaches her limits again, so she makes a mental note to come visit Maat every now and again.



For now, it seems the Ambassador finally has Rapifafa’s next job for her, so she travels back to the embassy.



It seems Rapifafa has another big meeting ahead of her- this time, it’ll be with the Archduke of Jeuno.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 05:41:35 AM by Hathen »

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2015, 09:42:09 AM »
Windurst Part 7: Magicite



The Archduke Kam’lanaut tells Rapifafa of her mission (while his brother keeps butting in)- the beastmen are digging up strange stones called Magicite within their home bases of Davoi, Beadeaux and Castle Oztroja, and she is to investigate. This is supposedly linked to the return of the Shadow Lord, which is enough of a reason to undertake the mission, but as an extra incentive, Kam’lanaut also offers an airship pass as a reward when the task is finished. The first part of the mission involves gathering information from the underground organization of smugglers known as the Tenshodo, who have their bases in Lower Jeuno.

Their leader, Aldo, tries giving Rapifafa some clues on how to enter the deeper parts of the beastman strongholds, but the conversation is interrupted by Aldo’s sister Verena and her goblin friend Fickblix.



Verena pleads with Aldo to not assist me in fighting the beastmen as some of them have learned to be peaceful, and Aldo gives her some excuses before sending both her and Rapifafa off.

Rapifafa gathers all the info as per Aldo’s instructions, including some from the local Goblin shop. There, she meets Fickblix again, who tells the store manager he’ll be taking a break so he can travel to Castle Oztroja to try to calm down the beastmen causing trouble.



Rapifafa herself starts by taking a chocobo from Lower Jeuno out past Rolanberry Fields into the Pashhow Marshlands.



Past that is the nest of the Quadav, Beadeaux.



Travelling through Beadeaux requires passing by multiple structures, called either The Mute or The Afflictor.




As the name implies, the former kind causes Silence, but it is required if Rapifafa wants to avoid the effects from The Afflictor, which causes a curse that lowers HP, MP, and movement speed significantly. Silence heavily cripples a Red Mage like Rapifafa, but thankfully she has brought a couple Echo Drops with her to solve that problem once she makes it past The Afllictors.



Inside Beadeaux Rapifafa finds the strange stone she’s been looking for. As she collects a piece of the magicite for part of her report, it gives her a vision.

Rapifafa sees a discussion between the Galka of Bastok about their recent excavations. Amongst them is the Galkan Talekeeper she had heard of, Raogrimm. From this, Rapifafa knows this is a vision of events from more than 30 years ago. Some of the younger miners tell Raogrimm they tried to stop the progress of further excavation into Quadav territory, but none were willing to listen.



Music: Hopelessness

Rapifafa sees another vision of the former Mythril Musketeers Ulrich, Cornelia, and Raogrimm, killing numerous Quadav. After the battle Raogrimm surveys the area and confirms his suspicions- that the Quadav were only defending their eggs.



Finally Rapifafa sees one more vision, one of a confrontation between Raogrimm and Ulrich near the Castle Zvahl which ends in tragedy.



With the first piece of Magicite in hand, Rapifafa travels once again to Castle Oztroja.



Rapifafa ventures deeper into the castle this time, where she finds a collapsed Fickblix.



Unfortunately there’s nothing Rapifafa or Verena can do for him, and he dies. Before leaving the castle to return to Jeuno, Verena reminds Rapifafa to remember there were beastmen who thought like Fickblix did.

For now Rapifafa can’t worry about that though, so she ventures further in, finding what she came here for.



Once again, the Magicite shows Rapifafa a vision.



Music : Repression Memoro de la S^tono

Karaha-Baruha is telling the Star Sibyl about the summoning magic he learned from ancient texts. The Book of the Gods depict the Star Sibyl commanding a great beast, and Karaha-Baruha believes he has unlocked the meaning of the Horutoto Ruins and the Full Moon Fountain which lies below.





Rapifafa sees another vision of Ajido-Marujido’s meeting with the Yagudo Avatar. The Yagudo tell Ajido-Marujido that the towers of the Horutoto Ruins are evil, they drain the areas around Sarutabaruta of their magic- contrary to what the Tarutaru think, the barren wastelands that surround Sarutabaruta are not the result of the Yagudo, but the towers. The Tarutaru only have themselves to blame because they activated those towers. The Avatar further tells Ajido-Marujido if he wishes to see the truth, he must travel to the deepest part of the central tower of the ruins himself.



She sees one more vision, this time of the Star Sibyl. She is clearly under great duress, and asks for the assistance for one man: Karaha-Baruha.

This only seems to raise more questions about what's going on in Windurst, but for now there are more pressing matters at hand. Rapifafa travels to the final beastman stronghold. Past the Battalia Downs is the Jugner Forest.



Past that is the Orcish base. The Orcs are actually not from Quon originally- they came from a faraway land to the north. Since the takeover of the Elvaan Monastery of La Vaule however, it became the main base of the Orcs in Quon and was renamed Davoi.



Compared to Oztroja and Beadeaux the Magicite didn’t feel as deep inside the stronghold, and perhaps it was because of this Rapifafa now noticed that all the Magicite that she had seen up to this point was surrounded by the white cermet structures she had seen used to construct the telepoints and found in spines near Jeuno.



Touching the Magicite, she once again receives a vision.



Music: Anxiety

A man named Francmage is in an audience with the King Destin and the former Papasque Muchavatte. He is carrying the news of the Bastokan’s investigation to the Northlands, and Francmage is ordered to join in the investigation to see what their plan is.



The vision flashes forward to the expedition itself, and Francmage is speaking with the representatives from Windurst, Iru-Kuiru and another from Kazham, Yow Rabntah. Francmage notes that there’s nothing here as he expected, and that they should probably return home soon. The other two are not sure about that, as Iru-Kuiru senses something wrong with the area, and Yow Rabntah notes she smells nothing, which is odd for a Mithra.



They don’t have much time to discuss the issue however, as Ulrich interrupts them, telling them that Raogrimm and Cornelia were attacked by beastmen. Despite a long search, they were unable to locate the two, and agreed they had to return home to avoid any further risks.



A final vision shows Francmage taking a walk through the dungeons of San d’Oria. Soon after he leaves the sight of a nearby guard however, he lets out a scream- the cause of it however, is unknown to both the guard and Rapifafa.

With the vision over, Lion shows up, late as she always is. She wonders aloud what the beastmen could possibly be doing with these stones, when a shadow appears before both of them.



Music: Shadow Lord

The Shadow of Darkness tells them that they are too late, and all the rage, cowardice, envy, arrogance and apathy which runs through the races will be the undoing of Vana’Diel- The Shadow Lord has returned.



Rapifafa returns to the Archduke with the three shards of Magicite, as well as the news of the Shadow Lord’s return. The Archduke hands Rapifafa her reward and notes that the seal within Castle Zvahl should prevent the Shadow Lord’s return, so the time has come to stop the beastmen threat.



The conversation is interrupted by one of the guards, with the message that all three nation leaders were attacked by beastmen- it seems they are one step ahead of the nations. Kam’lanaut instead tells Rapifafa that she should return to her nation and assess the situation.



On her way out, Rapifafa runs into Eald’narche, the Archduke’s little brother. He seems to hold some strange powers, apparently reading Rapifafa’s mind and seeing how Verena was able to become close with the beastmen. He then asks one of the guards to bring Verena to him so they can play together. Seems like a good idea, Verena could probably use a friend right now.

Rapifafa wishes she could have that luxury herself, but for now she prepares for her return to Windurst. Before she leaves the consulate, they tell her to use her new airship pass for the fastest way back to Windurst, and promote her another rank.



Hopefully, the Star Sibyl will be okay.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 08:28:54 AM by Hathen »

Rucks

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2015, 10:04:24 AM »
I read this every time. I don't usually comment though because I've never really played an MMO.  Kind of wondering what your end game is since you can't really "beat" XI.


Hathen

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Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
« Reply #14 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