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Fireworks…. my hanabi pictures

Fireworks…. my hanabi pictures

May 13th, 2009     

I heard somebody got their CD today. Maybe my statue will reach its destination soon too. /anxious

I saw the statue before at TGS (I think it was at TGS…) and again at VanaFest. It’s pretty impressive. And as Fusion mentioned to me again tonight, another thing that I can rub in his face when he talks about tacos or movies or whatever else it is that I’m wanting from the states at the time. (Tacobell…. How I miss thee…) Elmer suggested we start up a JPB trophy page. His shirt, the in-game Stuffed Chocobo, and the statue. heehee

Anyhoo, here is the email I sent to HSSS:

Fireworks! Goldfish! Dancing Tarutaru! Yukata!

What could be better than the Sunbreeze Festival? I have so many memories associated with the Sunbreeze Festival.

Does anyone else remember the Test of Courage? You were magically transported by the Moogles to a faraway place. Your level was dropped down to level 1 and since equipment didn’t sync back then, you lost all your clothes! All the enemies were so much stronger than you but it was okay because the Moogles had casted a special invis/sneak spell on you. The Test of Courage was the first time I had ever been in Ranguemont Pass. I had never seen floating eyes before! It was quite scary but a lot of fun. I think it’s my favorite event out of all the holiday events.

While sometimes the noise can get a little annoying, I also love the big fireworks over the cities. I have spent many nights in my Yukata sitting on the cliffs in Sarutabaruta with friends enjoying the fireworks. One night many years ago I happened to be walking around and noticed that the sky was so beautiful with the colored moon, wispy clouds, and neon bright fireworks. I began taking screenshots and to this day, they are still on my PS2. I can’t bring myself to delete them. I’m attaching my favorite picture taken back in 2004.

Last summer’s event was the first time we had mini games. I hope we get more mini games in the future! I spent a lot of time repeating them because they were so much fun. The prizes don’t matter as long as the game itself is fun.

I have just one request for the Sunbreeze Festival. Can we get a skirt or shorts to match the Yukata top? The Mithra top is so short! Shorts would be fun for any of the races and the set would look kind of like Japanese jimbei, which many children wear to festivals in Japan.

Looking forward to this summer as well,


I was such a noobie when Test of Courage was out. I had never heard of the place before, never been there, was scared I’d get attacked by the eyeballs, and was naked to boot. Naked Mithra = Embarrassed Mithra. But it was a lot of fun. I wish there was a way they could recreate that feeling for even veteran players.

Here are the firework pics from my PS2 HDD…. which I still use…. PS2 for life! >.> until they magically make a pretty PS3 version and I buy a PS3.

Back from 2004…. Probably my first summer in the game.

Today was the first time I played since Thursday. O_o Leveled DRG a bit. Getting closer and closer to 64. 75 isn’t so much a dream anymore! Just gotta keep working on it.

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I won a statue… and other personal updates

I won a statue… and other personal updates

May 10th, 2009     

I haven’t done a regular personal update in awhile. Because of Golden Week and things, I actually haven’t played a lot. Also, most of the weekly events were suspended during Golden Week because people are out and about, traveling, etc.

At some point SAM became 42 so I updated the sidebar. I went and did my SAM AF quest by myself as SCH/RDM. Well…. my fellow was with me so mostly by myself. I had my level 1 sword and the rare/ex item so I figured one AF weapon is better to have around than two useless items. I also had a nice level sync party on my DRG so that’s 63.

I finished “Hoshi no Chikai”, one of the FFXI novels, and started on the newest one about Xarcabard. Hoshi no Chikai is one of Hasegawa’s earlier FFXI novels. The difference between them is really noticeable. Especially when the new book started out in 1st person mode for the first section. It was a nice change. I almost wish the entire book was like that but it soon switched to the regular story telling style. The characters are funny so far.

I also ordered the book that follows Hoshi no Chikai since I don’t have it. It’s the last of the first three FFXI books Hasegawa wrote.

This weekend has been very chill. I’ve barely touched FFXI except to garden. Sometimes it’s nice to get away for a little bit and enjoy some of my other hobbies. Plus, I had a lot of cleaning to do. I still have a lot of cleaning to do. I hate cleaning. ; ; Which is really funny cause one of the running jokes in my LS for about a year was that I was somebody’s maid.

It’s not FFXI related but I picked up a new manga by Shin Takahashi. He wrote Saikano (Saishuheiki Kanojo) which is one of my favorites. The characters in the new manga are completely different but look similar to the main couple in Saikano. I like that sorta stuff. It’s like seeing the characters in an alternative universe. Anyhoo, the new series is called “Hana to Okutan”. I’m curious to see how the series will play out. Like most of Shin Takahashi’s works, it ties an interesting story and setting with social commentary. I love finding new series to read! I like older series too. Hagaren is still great and the manga will probably be coming to an end soon. The new anime series is out. I actually randomly caught it on TV today. Not crazy about the new voice actors. Would have been nifty if they could have used the same ones as before. It’s the same story I’ve seen countless times but I still enjoy it. Now that I know when it’s on TV, I’ll have to keep up with it.

As for FFXI related updates…..

I always check my blog stats to see where people are coming from. Almost all my visitors come from TTTO or JPB, which makes a lot of sense. Got a visit from somebody behind the SE proxy, so, hi!

Got a bunch of nifty projects going on at JPB. Elmer’s leading the Q/A between English speaking and Japanese players. I’m working on the survey project. People have been giving me feedback on how to make it better in the future as well so I’m really grateful. There is stuff I really didn’t consider so I’ll have to change it a bit in the future. It’s going to be fun to type up all the comparisons and results, etc. Been awhile since I wrote a paper ;)

JPB Radio Episode 5 should be coming out soon. It’s just Elmer and me this time around. We did all the recording and editing ourselves. Our first home-grown episode! Maybe the sound quality won’t be as good but… it was fun to play with the software and add in music, etc. Took me a long time to edit though! My respect to all those people that edit their own podcasts. It’s a lot of work.

Still no Security Token here. Elmer doesn’t have his either. ; ; It’s been like…. what… a month now? An email update would be nice. Even if it was to say your shipment has been delayed.

Biggest news of the week tho…. I…. uh…… won a statue. O_o

He Says, She Says Episode 11.5 “Square Enix Says”

So, I know some people know this but…. JPB wasn’t allowed to be discussed as part of the SE Community Team Podcast Tour. I have a lot of feelings about the issue but whatever. While we heard different “reasons” from our friends, in the end, we never really got told exactly why. We’re calling it the SE Sanction. I keep thinking we’re gonna disappear from the official POL site.

Anyhoo, knowing that we weren’t allowed to be part of the Podcast Tour, I didn’t have much hope for my email. I didn’t send one to PFA’s episode as I was still feeling huffypuffy. However, I really enjoy listening to HSSS and I like in-game events so I sent in a little email. I really didn’t think I’d get picked for a prize. My dream was as big as a CD to replace mine which got scratched. So I was really shocked when I got an email from TamTu saying I won the grand prize. I actually had to re-read it a couple times to make sure I was reading it correctly.

So…. yeah…. a Shadow Lord Statue for me. I gave TamTu my addresses. Not sure if it’ll go to my house in the states (where my brother will take care of it) or if it’ll come here (where it’ll become a playground toy for the chocobos). To be honest, I half expect it never to show up. (pessimistic ^^;)

I am very honored to have had my email be picked though. There were a lot of great emails with memories and ideas for the future.

TamTu, Sooraya, Opal Flame, and Matt.
Thank you!

No goals for the week. Just gotta get back into the swing of things.

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Lying for Parties and Profit?

Lying for Parties and Profit?

May 5th, 2009     

A few things got me thinking about this subject and so I wonder how other people feel about it. Maybe I’ll end up in the minority.

The problem: JP Only people or just trouble in general with getting invites from Japanese players.
(continue reading…)

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New FFXI Novel!

New FFXI Novel!

April 30th, 2009     


The newest book from Hasegawa Miyabi is out! The cover is so much prettier than the other books!!

I finished the last series set in the past. It gave me more insight into some of the minor characters in the novels and it sounds like maybe some of them might appear in the new series as well after reading the author’s notes.

The newest series will contain 3 parts and cover the rebirth of the Dark Lord arc. Not only that, but the author mentioned wanting to recreate the feelings and environment that players had at the time.

I picked my copy up yesterday and as soon as I finish the book I’m working on (Hoshi no Chikai), I’ll start on this one.

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Quality of Life: Part 2

Quality of Life: Part 2

April 29th, 2009     

So last week I got my Japanese PS2. I need to find a better way to organize all my gaming things. Next to my bed at the moment I have 1 PC controller, 2 PS2 controllers, 2 Wii controllers, 2 keyboards, and my laptop. Too much stuff for my little table. The Japanese PS2 also is sitting on the floor and I’m not too keen on that. I don’t have space for it in my TV stand at the moment and even if I did, I’m out of sockets for the outlet closest to my TV.

Space isn’t the only issue. Using the Japanese PS2 means everything gets switched into Japanese. This isn’t really a problem for the user interface and menus. They are set up and work the same way. Relearning the spelling for spell names, abilities, etc will take a little bit more time. The ability to save macros and settings and transfer them to other machines was a lifesaver for me. All my color settings transferred, chat filters, etc. However, since I use English in my macros for spells and abilities, I had to fix them all. That took a little while. SCH took the longest due to the wacky hard to read names SCH abilities have in Japanese. I gave up trying to figure out how to read some of them and just pulled them up via the auto-translator.

Being able to type in Japanese is definitely interesting.
(continue reading…)

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Personal Update and Weekly Goals

Personal Update and Weekly Goals

April 27th, 2009     

An exciting and frustrating week. At the end of the week, a lot of times I feel like I didn’t get anything done but once I sit down and type it all out, I feel like I’ve made a little progress. Blogging is good for online gamers! Or at least keeping a record. CESA said so. ;P

DNC 42

Before Sunday was over last week, I made my goal of DNC 40. Yesterday we did an LS party and I picked up a couple more levels on my Dancer. The pretty clothes in my Mog House are calling to me! Only 30+ levels to go. /sigh Since a lot of DNC has been level sync or FoV, my dagger skills are woefully woefully underskilled. I need to find some worms or something this week. Once I get a bit higher on DNC, I think I’ll try leveling my fellow a bit too.

DRG stayed put. It’s not that I’m burnt out on DRG at the moment because I’d love to level it. I’m just worried about hitting the higher levels and not having any semi-decent-won’t-get-me-laughed-at armor for it. Maybe I should have gone for the DRG armor after all. ^^;


I spent my two points on another MP upgrade. I guess HP/MP merits should probably come first huh.

2 runs

For a while I’ve been calling my main Dynamis LS… LS, while the other one is a Pickup party. Except… it is pretty much the same people coming to the pickup party each week. There are a few people that change but for the most part it is the same group. I stopped throwing my pearl away each week too. The LS leader always writes where we will go next early in the week so it is easy to check. So I think it is now more like Main LS and Side LS.

Main LS: Xarcabard! Our first trip into zone. We didn’t get the clear and we had a lot of partial wipes. However, our LS leader said we got pretty far for our first try. We defeated all of the NMs we needed to attack whatever big thing came next. I think we had a total of 4 AF pieces drop. At least one BLM and PLD. I think the other two were RNG and COR. It was exciting to try for the first time but it wasn’t as fun or enjoyable as some of the other zones. The music was nifty though.

Side LS: Jeuno. Last week, I went for 100 and the AF I wanted dropped. This week I went for AF and two 100 pieces dropped. orz One thing about the Side LS is that we usually don’t go for the clear. If we get the clear, it’s nice for the extension but it’s not the main goal. So the order we kill things is always different from my Main LS which makes it a little more exciting.

3 runs

We did 3 Corporal Assaults. I think this rank is my favorite so far. I often do the bridge building one (aka dodge the bellydancers) with pick up groups. Only 3 more runs in that area and I think I can get a piece of Assault armor. Normally I am very bad at it though. This time was different! I managed to safely trigger 2 of the zones by myself. WOOOOO Then, we tried the one where you find the troll. We lucked out and the big baddie was the first one we picked. Since that went by so quickly, we did a third Assault and led some rat people to their leader. I got the first two in and was quickly followed by someone with a 3rd. However, the other two kept running far away and we didn’t have enough time. Thankfully you don’t need all five to clear. 3/3 Yeah!

One thing that is getting very annoying with assault is the time it takes to get into a zone. We end up waiting 15 minutes or more at the Runic Seal sometimes. Before it seemed like only certain zones would have problems but now we have trouble getting into any zone. We could usually do 4 runs before but now because of the time wasted at the Runic Seal we can usually only fit 2 or 3.

SE, please fix this problem!! I can only imagine it must be much much worse on more heavily populated servers.

Missions/Quests/Other Stuff
Progress on WotG nation quests
Chocobo Raising
New Character!
PM 6-2 (help)
New PS2 stuff

I didn’t manage to finish any of the nation quests this week. However, I did make progress so I’m now up to the point where I can do the fight for either the Windy one or the Sandy one.

My chocobo, Sakurabelle, doesn’t like me as much as she used to. Probably has something to do with the fact that I forgot to feed her or drop by for a couple of days. oops

A friend was shouting for help with 6-2 in Whitegate so I went along as SCH/BLM and got to nuke and sleep some little orby things. Drain is pretty powerful sometimes. heehee Easy win.

I’ll leave the PS2 stuff for another post but I did use the codes from the Japanese PS2 software to make a second account. I haven’t decided if I’ll keep it or not yet so it’s only on the free trial at the moment. To make a bit of gil, I grow chocobo food. I usually just NPC it but I was wondering how much I could make if I put out a mule in front of the stables all the time. Thus, the little Tarutaru named Chocobofeed was born. I like his hair color. Right now he only has different grasses but maybe eventually I’ll be able to add carrots, pastes, or other common chocobo foods. If he can make more money for me than I can get NPCing, maybe I’ll keep him. The other mule that used to be there all the time disappeared so the timing is nice too.

Weekly Goals
2 Dynamis runs
3 Assaults
DNC 45
Cooking +1 level

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Quality of Life: Part 1

Quality of Life: Part 1

April 22nd, 2009     

Out of all the selfish requests I could make of SE in regards to Rapture, I think highest on that list would be the ability to support multiple languages without having to hack your registry, install software in unconventional ways, or use third party plugins. If you are going to be truly international, expect that people living in different countries around the world will speak different languages. It’d be nice to switch the language a game is displayed in somewhere in the settings easily. After all, all the files are on the computer already. Also, multilingual support. I should be able to type in multiple languages as well especially if a large portion of the player base uses that language.

Elmer mentioned to me the other night he was surprised I have never played the game in Japanese before. Not having a Japanese version of the software, I didn’t really think about it. I’ve had the PC software for a long time as well but it ran poorly on my old laptop so I only used it in case of “must-check-plants!!!” emergencies, etc. I didn’t realize that the Japanese software was included until somebody pointed it out to me.

This isn’t to say I’ve never seen the game in Japanese. I’ve watched DVDs, movie clips, etc, with the Japanese interface. There are always screenshots too. Just… never played it.

I actually only have a partial interest in playing in Japanese. I play games to relax and it is far easier to play them in my native language. I have played some other games on my DS in Japanese but if there is an English mode, I’ll often switch to that. For example, I played a lot of the older Pheonix Wright games in English but the latest one didn’t have an English mode so that stayed in Japanese.

What I really wanted most of all is the ability to type in Japanese. English game text/Japanese language support without any fancy tricks would be my ultimate dream. And on my PS2. This dream is about as likely to come true as is a native PS3 version.

If they made a PS3 version, I would buy a PS3 and play on that.

I’ve thought about this a lot of times. What would improve the quality of my “gaming” life? For some people, it’s a nice controller. Something that fits well in the palm of your hands. Or maybe a nice keyboard. I love my wireless keyboard. I loved my old wireless keyboard that I used for FFXI for years before it broke on the trip to Japan. I have a regular wired-USB Japanese PS2 keyboard. I just pulled it out. It is like half the size of my wireless keyboard. For some people, it’s a nice monitor. I remember when we got our first computer my mom was really picky about the quality of the monitor. Or perhaps it’s having two monitors. One for playing the game and one for doing other stuff. I imagine if I was a PC player, I’d want two monitors.

The biggest thing that would improve the quality of my FFXI gaming life would be being able to type in Japanese. Being able to communicate with my friends without having it made so clear to everyone that I am a foreigner. I get that enough in Japan, tyvm.

Elmer told me how I could make my PC version Japanese-friendly but then I’d have to play on the PC. If I had a nice desk with a comfy chair and a couple monitors and a bigger apartment and a desktop instead of a laptop, it’d probably be the best option for me.

Instead, I went for the option that fits my lifestyle.

Used PS2 Midnight Blue BB pack. It’s used but it’s in perfect condition. Even the sticker on the back of the BB pack hadn’t been removed. And it was going for the same price (buy it now kind of option) as other systems which weren’t in nearly the same condition. Still expensive considering it’s an older generation console but about $100 less than I’d pay if it had been brand new.

He also threw in a copy of FF8. *happy


New PS2 software. US version for my PC: $20. Japanese version for my PS2: $70. >.> software is more expensive here. btw, that’s the price for all versions.


About the only thing I play on my Wii is Animal Crossing. The manga is FFXI…. on top of several other FFXI manga. The rest are stored in different places around my apartment. I should really organize my stuff better.

Initial installation is also complete now. Just have to download the updated software. This is something I’ve wanted and thought about for awhile now. In the end, I think it will increase the quality of my life in FFXI. ^^

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Personal Update and Weekly Goals: I can climb too!

Personal Update and Weekly Goals: I can climb too!

April 19th, 2009     

There are so many interesting projects and things I want to do out there. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to do them all. One project that I wish I could help out with is the revamp planned for Campsitarus. This site has been a great resource for me over the years. Now the creator, Tuufless, is going to create a new version and update a lot of things. But it’s too much work for just one person. This is a great way to be more active in the XI community.

If I wasn’t already busy with JPB stuff, I’d love to help out.

On with the update!

DRG 62

So my goal was DNC40. After all, I have a ton of great DNC gear waiting for me. However, I ended up taking DRG out more this week. A couple parties and a little bit of FoV with my fellow NPC and I got up to 62. Only 13 more levels until 75! And then I have something I can use in merit parties. woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

There’s always a chance I still might make DNC40 this week though. We have a low-level exp party planned for our LS tonight and I’m going DNC.

edit: DNC 40~ wooooooo

One more~ Now I have two saved up.

two runs

LS run: Jeuno
Another big run through Jeuno. No DNC shoes but I did get Wyrm Finger Gauntlets which are supposed to be good too. ^^b

Pickup run: Sandy
Quite a few drops this time! But…. the one time I decide to go for a 100 instead of AF…. the SCH and WHM pieces dropped. Not a single 100 piece dropped either! I like going with the pickup group because it feels more relaxed somehow.

3 runs
Nyzul 1-10

We still managed to get 2 runs finished during Assault night. I did another one with a pickup group for points. Actually, I went because the person shouting was a friend of a friend of mine. Or so I thought…. see, I’ve done several runs with this person and my friend was always with them. Same thing happened today. I mentioned why I decided to join up with them to my friend and he said…. they actually aren’t friends! He just replies to his shouts from time to time. O_o what an odd coincidence.

Yesterday, after my exp party, I asked if some LS mates were interested in climbing Nyzul. One other person hadn’t climbed at all so out of our LS we had 5 people willing to go. I happened to be talking to Razorcat at the time so he agreed to help out too. We did two runs and cleared 1-10. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Thank you Razorcat!!! I’m not a Nyzul newbie anymore. Only 90 more floors to go. And somehow getting the weapon for my DRG to drop so I can get Drakesbane.

Heaven Cent
WotG stuff

My Sakurabelle grew up some more! She’s a black chocobo! I was very surprised. I tried to run her in the beginning race but no luck. Still gonna take some training and raising before she can beat it. Once she’s old enough though, I’ll make a baby chocobo using a chocobo card I have. heeheehee

Heaven Cent is a Windy quest. I had a lens from doing FoV so I figured I’d put it to good use. I’ve seen this quest talked about in manga before too. It went really smoothly. Even got the rusty key drop on the first mob.

I started a few of the WotG new nation quests but haven’t finished any of them yet. Still need to do some HELM stuff.

Weekly Goals
1 WotG quest finished
DNC 40
3 Assault
2 Dynamis

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My ACP Prize

My ACP Prize

April 14th, 2009     

I was gonna wait….. but….. wanting to see it and have it got the best of me. I went for the design I liked best and had fun checking it out last night. Very cute! How can it be used by assassins? :O


Someday I’ll be able to wear it on DNC! I took the advice of my friend Chat and Fusion and did Accuracy and Dual Wield. If I get the DNC body some day, I’ll see how they compare. If I don’t like it, I can always see if friends are willing to try again and I could get something for my DRG.

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Personal Update and Weekly Goals

Personal Update and Weekly Goals

April 12th, 2009     


Today I went to look at the cherry blossoms. They are so beautiful! Sadly, they are already starting to fall.

This week was very busy. I’m soooooooooooooooo tired.

DNC 38

Didn’t really have time for leveling this week. Very early in the week though we went out to Qufim as an LS to level a bit and I picked up one level.


two runs

LS run: Dynamis Bastok
The moon was really pretty…. too bad the picture didn’t capture it.
Fairly successful run. Didn’t get a lot of AF but a fair amount of Wootz dropped. A couple 100s dropped too. I used a bunch of points and bought one of the 100s. I also got the DNC tiara! Now 3/5 on DNC relic. All that’s left are the feet and body pieces.


Nora (pickup party) run: Dynamis Windy
Nothing for me but I had fun. It’s a pickup party but…. a lot of the same people come each time. The SCH piece dropped but I lost the lot. I wasn’t originally planning on going but somehow… when Friday rolled around… I felt like going.

1 Assault

I already mentioned how Assault night went. ; ;

ACP (Complete)


Sakurabelle has gotten a bit bigger. And uglier. Chocobos are so cute when they are small. Since my goal is to make a racing chocobo, I’m working on strength and that sorta stuff. So far it’s going well. I think….

Then… as everybody knows…. we just got the version update this weekend. So far I haven’t touched the WotG stuff. I’m not really seeing what the effects are of the new WHM abilities but having stoneskin after Curing is very sweet. I still need to pick up my new spells though. Like… esuna :)

ACP feels short. I know people say it’s possible to breeze through other mission lines but… somehow… even then it feels short. The story didn’t quite feel like it was entirely developed. They could have done a lot more with it. They had people from the three nations in the beginning… hmmmmm I won’t say anymore for the people that haven’t finished yet. The ending cut scene was good though. I feel like I still have questions though!

I did the vast majority of it from start to finish yesterday. This afternoon I did the final BCNM with a pickup party. We went over all of the fight details that we knew of ahead of time. Got in and things went pretty good. And then… when it gets very low on HP…. ooooooooooooo boy does it get tough. Most of us went down. I kept getting pulled in. People with reraise used it. I had like… 33 HP after reraise and went to hide next to the door. It looked like we were gonna lose with just a tiny bit of time left. So the SMN used reraise, sent Garuda after the crystal, and miracle of miracles, with only two of us (me and the SMN) alive, we went 1/1 on the BC.


I’m still kinda shocked.


I haven’t turned in my key yet. I want to get something for DNC or DRG but neither are 75 yet so I’m not really sure what stats I want to put on it. I’m leaning towards DNC because I like the design better. However, DRG might be more useful. I have to check into my options more carefully. On the forums, people compare equipment but some of the things they talk about are out of reach for me since I’m not an NM camper, don’t do endgame outside of Dynamis, etc etc.

There is a lot of debate about whether ACP is worth the 10 dollars. I think it was. There are a lot of parts I wish they had done more with. I wish there were more story segments. However, for what it was, it was fun. It brought new life to some old areas. Climbing the tower as a lvl 30 without help was a bit challenging but lots of fun. I think that idea (limiting your level) was fun. It’s gonna be scary if they do that for the dark lord’s castle in the Moogle scenario though.

Weekly Goals
2 Assault (gonna be down people for awhile…)
2 Dynamis
DNC 40
Some of the new WotG quests


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