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Absolutely Helpless…. Powerless….

Absolutely Helpless…. Powerless….




April 10th, 2009     

Here is my PSA for the week.

Thursday night is Assault night. Even with the update yesterday, most of the members were able to get together. We did our first round, no problems. As we started to get ready for our second round, one of our members dropped.

Happens all the time, right? Somebody has connection problems or something.

We waited a bit for him to come back. Then he appeared again in the Assault tag area where I was waiting. I told the PT to invite him but then he suddenly disappeared. We figured he had lost connection again.

Except… a few moments later, when looking at the LS list, he was suddenly a WHM! In LaThene! He still had the pearl on so we kept asking what was happening and sending tells but there was no response. It didn’t take us long to realize that our friend had probably been hacked so we went into action.

Everyone in the party called a GM. A few people went to track down our friend’s character. They caught up with him in front of the AH being closely followed by another person. We figure that character also belongs to RMT. Our LS leader had our friends cell phone email address so he sent him a message.

The reply: “I can’t log into my character!”

Some people had our friend on their friends list so we were able to track when they changed characters. They started going through all of the mules.

Being Japanese prime time, there were probably fewer people needing NA GMs. Anyhoo, the first GM response came to me. I explained the situation to the GM who told me that if I couldn’t confirm account details I couldn’t ask for the account to be locked. I had given him the character name and server info as well as letting him know it was a Japanese friend with a Japanese account. So…. no luck there.

I had our LS leader ask for our friend’s phone number, got him on the phone, and then made another GM call. After waiting awhile again, I got another GM. (This was my second GM before any of my LS mates had gotten a response.)
I told the GM (Sebina? Sevina? something along those lines) I now had my friend on the phone so I could answer account questions. I told her up front that the other GM had told me before as well as that it was a Japanese friend with a Japanese account. The GM asked for the character name and server info again. I gave it to them. Then they come back and say they can’t help cause it’s a Japanese account.

Um…. hello? WTF? I’m not allowed to help out my Japanese friends? And did they BOTH completely miss where I had told them that it was a Japanese friend with a Japanese account?

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

It’s crazy that GMs can’t help you in those situations. If I have the friend on the phone, I can confirm account details.

Anyhoo, I asked if they could get me a bilingual GM to help. They said no.

Just to make sure we didn’t waste any more time, I double checked. If another Japanese friend of ours contacted a Japanese GM, could they get the account locked? They said yes so that was that.

The only thing I could do for my friend was talk to him on the phone and keep him updated on what everyone was doing. He was taking it pretty well. If it had been my account, I would have been crying my eyes out.

If it had been my account….. none of my Japanese LS mates would be able to help. I’d have to get a hold of somebody on Skype like Fusion to contact a GM for me. But the time difference doesn’t always make that possible.

Our LS leader finally got a response from a GM and was able to get the account locked. Who knows how much damage was done and how much could have been prevented if NA GMs could have been more helpful. In the end, we are hoping he can get an account restoration and get most of his stuff back. :(

All of us felt powerless though. Our friends following the characters and writing down the names of characters that it looked like he was interacting with a lot wished there was more they could have done. I was able to talk to TWO GMs and still wasn’t able to do anything. Feeling that powerless and helpless is a really horrible feeling.

Everyone talks about account safety and stuff. I have anti-virus software, use firefox with all the blocking plugin thingys, etc, but I still feel nervous logging into FFXI with my laptop. The vast majority of the time I’m on my PS2. With the new security token, I really didn’t think about needing it. The bonus was the deciding factor in all honesty. However, now going through this and realizing how powerless my friends would feel if my account got hacked, I’m glad I’m getting the token and will make sure to use it.

For all those people out there thinking you are safe and plan on deactivating the token after you get your Mog Satchel…. don’t. Even if it takes a little bit more time to log into your account, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


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An experiment in being cheap…

An experiment in being cheap…




April 8th, 2009     

The original plan: Buy token, have it sent to my address in the states, pay some stupid-high amount to send the tiny thing from the states to Japan. Whole process taking 3 weeks or more probably.

New plan: Buy token, put my Japanese address as the shipping address, hope to avoid the stupid-high shipping fees. Whole process….. if I’m lucky, 2 weeks. If I’m not…. fodder for the blog ;)

I wonder how they came up with the list of countries for the shipping address. Are there actual players in those locations or just a random list of countries? I did check through the token agreement pages and didn’t see anything about the shipping address being in a different country than your account region. There is a little paragraph about the fact they will contact you if they can’t ship to the address you entered though.

I didn’t have any problems ordering just a moment ago. Yesterday I tried once a few hours after they went on sale and it was all busy so I decided to wait a day. I haven’t tackled the whole SE Account part yet. I figure it won’t hurt to wait until I get the token. Plus, whatever bugs or issues people are having with passwords or something now might get fixed if I wait. *crosses fingers


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That time again….

That time again….




April 6th, 2009     

I think about getting a Japanese copy of FFXI every now and then. It’d make my life a lot easier considering the timezone I play in. I know there are ways you can type in Japanese on the PC version if you use unofficial software but I’d like to avoid that. I have the US software on my PC.

That leaves me with getting a Japanese PS2 (and the software) or a Japanese Xbox 360.

However, even my friends that play on Xbox 360 say they have troubles with certain parts of the game like Beseiged and then there are all those people who have problems getting it to load, etc. Doesn’t seem like a good investment considering there aren’t too many Xbox360 games I’m interested in playing. At least… interested enough to pull me away from FFXI.

That leaves me with getting a Japanese PS2.

This may surprise some people but they still sell the BB Unit here. You have to buy it with a special Playstation 2 pack. It’s a pretty Midnight Blue color and comes with the PS2, the HDD, the network adapter, etc etc etc. Price: around $240 US.

blah

The software runs between $60 and $70 too. It’s not nearly as cheap as in the states. (And even at this price there are people who comment on Amazon about how cheap the collection packs are.) The software is pretty much set… however, I wondered if there was something I could do about the PS2/BBUnit part.

Thank goodness for Yahoo Auctions! There are a few up for auction now that are under $50. That would bring the price down quite a bit. I don’t mind a used PS2….

There’s a bit of a reason behind the timing too. Pretty soon I’ll be getting some extra money from work for stuff we did back in February. At least, I vaguely remember it being given to us in April in previous years. Then there is the assistance money from the government. It’s like the subsidy that was given in the states while ago. It can be a lot of money if you have a big family with kids but for a single person like me, it’s just around $130 or something. Not a whole lot but enough to cover a FFXI-PS2 for me. That assistance money won’t come for awhile though. hmmmmmmmmmm


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Personal Update and Weekly Goals: Vacation

Personal Update and Weekly Goals: Vacation




April 5th, 2009     

Vacation flies by way too quickly. Probably cause I spent a lot of it sleeping in. zzzzzzzzz

Leveling
SAM 41
DRG 59

SAM is finished as a sub job for now! WOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo! I had some really good parties this week for it. The best party was in Ronfaure [S] though. I was getting a level around every 20 minutes. No ring. We did have a COR using Corsair’s Roll and the WHM was powerleveling (I think it was the thf’s second character?). Other than that, it was like a merit party. I learned so much about front line job dynamics in that party! How to position myself, balancing hate, etc. I went from 35 to 41 in just over 2 hours.

My second leveling goal of the week was to get DRG up to 59. I only had about 8k to go. I managed to get it in a party last night. Took a bit of time due to various factors. The party locations for our level sync level are few and they were taken. After awhile it got better but the exp still seemed slow. Bright side is… I’m now 59! Wooo so close to 60.

Merits
none

Dynamis
2 runs

Dynamis-Sandy

Dynamis-Jeuno

Nothing exciting about either run. Got the clear in Sandy for those people that still needed it. Jeuno was with a group I did a pickup run with before. It looks like about half of the members are regular members of that LS and the rest are pickup members like me. Didn’t do the clear for Jeuno but no biggie for me since I already have it. More stuff dropped this time than our last run but nothing I was interested in. The recent interview in VanaTsu#7 said that things have an equal chance of dropping but it sure doesn’t seem that way.

Assault
Cleared 2 out of 3 runs

This week we continued with getting the newer people caught up but we only had 5 people. We got through 2 of them but that one with all the orcs…. or trolls or whatever they are….. that didn’t go well. From the start it didn’t seem like we had enough firepower and weren’t moving fast enough. Sure enough, we got like half way through. :( I’m sure it’d be better if we had 6 people.

Missions/Quests/Other
helped with Mino-PM run
DRG AF

I have most of my DRG AF now! Just missing the head and I’ve done all the quest prep-work too. Had a tiny mishap with the Ifrit’s Cauldron piece. I went as WHM. -_-;; I couldn’t remember which job I went on when I got the Quicksands Coffer piece. Anyhoo, we get the key and then got lucky cause the coffer was in the closest spot to the entrance! I go, open and….. MAP! orz So I learned that lesson. Changed into DRG, the coffer popped in the same place! Only to have somebody open it. orz Got another key and then the coffer popped again… in the same place O_o so I ended up being pretty lucky for all the silliness and bad luck. Also got my hands which led to the question: Just how many times has Dark Spark been killed? poor lil flamey.

Goals for the Week:
DRG 60
1 Dynamis Run
4 Assaults maybe…. update being thursday could change this

The new add-on scenario and update comes out at the end of the week. I’m going to try to put together a static with people from the different LSs I’m in. Still not sure what to get from the end when we get there though! Do I get a piece for my DRG since I probably won’t ever get any of the nifty armor from Nyzul… at least… not for a very long time….. or do I get a piece for my SCH that isn’t a ton better than what I use now. Plus the mage coat is ugly.


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My Life With Chocobos

My Life With Chocobos




March 31st, 2009     

Derzerb mentioned that I should post a picture of the flock.

flock

My lil brother made them the collars at Christmastime. I had originally planned on making colored chocobos so I bought a bunch of them but…. after buying the dye…. I chickened out. I couldn’t put them into the dye knowing it might not work and they might turn out all weird.

From left to right: Zerbie, Squirt, Taro, Chester, Grace

Zerbie is named after his uncle Derzerb. He’s a little strange. I talked about naming Squirt before. The other 3 had to wait awhile for their names.

Speaking about Squirt… the other night he gave me quite a start. I was moving my bed and picked him up only to find that his seam in the back had come undone! ; ; This required some surgery today. I picked up some light yellow thread and hoped for the best. After all, there isn’t a Chocobo hospital in my area I could take him too.

The result isn’t too bad. You can’t really see any thread but his back is a bit puckered. His tail area was odd from the start.
squirtbackshot2

Compared with one of his brothers….
squirtbackshot1

Squirt was very good and stayed still during the entire operation. (Granted…if he had moved… I’d probably scream….)

In-game, my chocobo raising is going well. My PS2 has decided to throw fits about it though. If I try to take my chocobo on a short walk, the screen goes completely black and I have to restart. The server still records that I took her on a walk when I log back in though. I tried checking the files but it still does it. Anybody else have ideas? (No, I’m not going to switch completely to PC.)

She’s so cute! I wish they didn’t have to get bigger. They are so cute as chicks.
sakurabelle1
This is my second chocobo, Sakura Belle. In the future she’s gonna make me some more chocochicks. heehee

Because we go on walks every day, she often picks up odd things. Pebbles, chestnuts, etc. Today was kind of surprising though.
sakurabelle2
An axe?! Tell me how a tiny chocobo chick could carry an axe back without me noticing. And how does a chocobo chick even carry an axe! O_o


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Personal Update and Weekly Goals: Hand-me-downs

Personal Update and Weekly Goals: Hand-me-downs




March 30th, 2009     

Hi Chat! So, last week, I mentioned having trouble finding some equipment I needed for DRG. Some old friends of mine have leveled DRG in the past as well so Chat asked what I was missing and I got some hand-me-downs that used to belong to another friend of ours who no longer plays the game.

チャット君、大切にするよ~

cor090329205658a

Trying them on…. they are kinda ugly. But, the stats are good. ^^b Thank you!

I also picked up a new polearm so now I’m ready to start leveling DRG a bit.

Also, awhile back, we did the Mercenary Camp BCNM. I had one pic from it but they are so far away! ; ;

cor090318093936a

Leveling
SAM 31

I leveled SAM a lot this week. Almost 10 levels. I was getting tired of soloing and did a few parties. They turned out to be odd groups job wise (I’m seeing more of these lately…) but both were successful. Now I only have 6 levels to go until I hit 37 and have a full subjob for my DRG. Unlike WAR or NIN, which I never plan on touching again, I’m trying to keep my skill levels up on SAM in case I decide to level it more in the future.

I’ve also been tossing around the idea of leveling BLU again. I hate learning. But, it’s a really strong and interesting job.

Merits
one

I forget when I picked it up but it was at a really random time. Saving it for now.

Dynamis
2 runs

Dynamis-Beaucedine

We totally didn’t expect to be in Dynamis-Be again this week. However, the 4 normal areas got filled up and nobody was trying to Be so… off we went! SCH dropped but it went to a person who had more points than me. I should be next in line for SCH though. Wooooooooo

I did end up getting my DNC tights. They are now on my mannequin. This puts me 2/5 on DNC Relic.

Dynamis-Bastok

Bastok was a Friday night pickup group. I like the pick-up groups because sometimes I can go as SCH instead of WHM and I don’t have to worry about points or anything. Sadly, only 4 AF pieces dropped. -_-;; The last piece to drop was the DNC piece and I lost the lot by like 10 points. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Assault
3 failed Nyzul runs

I’m never getting past floor 1. seriously -_- We started the night by helping an LS mate look for the hoofprint but despite diving up across zones we didn’t find it after searching for over 30 mins. That meant if we were going to do anything “Assault” related, we’d have to switch to Nyzul. So, we did but…. we just can’t kill things fast enough. The jobs we have available in our LS just don’t create enough firepower to get through Nyzul. blah

Missions/Quests/Other
NM Tree
Battle of Jeuno
Carby Mitts

Last night somebody was shouting to do the NM Tree for the past missions line. I know how hard it is to be shouting in English during Japanese prime time and I didn’t have anything else planned so I went with them. (building karma?) We killed the evil tree. One of the people that came along joined because the leader promised to help him with getting his Carby Mitts. So, most of us stayed to help and off we went to the land of the Carby Mitts. There we met up with an RDM trying to get his testimony. It dropped on our first (and second!) mobs, so he stayed to help too. We did three Carby Mitt runs including one for me. That means I now have Carby Mitts for my lvl 1 SMN. Better than having the offering sitting in my storage. heehee

When I logged in this morning, somebody was shouting for the Battle of Jeuno. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO It was just 4 of us but we got through it. That is a fun battle. Nice wide interesting zone, 3 different groups to fight with…. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

cor090329205500a

Goals for the week:
SAM 37
DRG 59
4 Assaults
2 Dynamis Runs

I’m on vacation this week so I’m hoping to finish up SAM this week.


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Personal Update and Weekly Goals – I met Chitto!

Personal Update and Weekly Goals – I met Chitto!




March 22nd, 2009     


drgkitty
Color-coordinated and sexy!

Leveling
DRG 58
WAR 37
SAM 22

Movin’ on up~ I am now level 58! Unfortunately, I’m having troubles getting some of the equipment I want. It’s just not on the auction house! AHHHHHHH I’ve checked the bazaars each day too.
Yesterday I was searching as DRG when I heard a shout looking for a tank for a level 31 party. I switched to WAR and off we went to the desert. The party’s leader was a Tarutaru named Chitto. Normally I don’t name people but… this time the name is important. See, in the novel I’m currently reading, there is a Tarutaru named Chitto. I asked if he was a fan of Hasegawa Miyabi and he said I’m only the 5th person to know where his name came from! It was a really fun party. Everyone was really talkative and shared info about different jobs. There were two people who were relatively new to the game too. I got up to 37 and after the party ended, I sold all my WAR stuff. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WAR is finished! It’s over! It’s done! One more subjob completed. Which means, on to the next one.
I pulled out the low level armor once again and went out to Buburimu to do some FoV. Went from 20 to 22 until I decided I needed a break.

Merits
none

Dynamis
Dynamis-Beaucedine (twice)

Monday was our normal run. Nobody showed up to challenge us for the zone so…… northlands!! This time I wasn’t in the main tank party so I did more sleeping and kept an eye on the fishing party. I love how open the zones are. It makes it a lot more fun. Not a whole lot of stuff dropped. Still waiting to get even a single piece of SCH AF…. We got the clear though! It took a lot of work at the end but we stuck with it and was able to kill the guy and make sure everyone was able to check the ???.

Late Thursday night after Assault, I saw a shout for an early Friday morning run for Dynamis-Beaucedine. It meant waking up early but I decided to go for it. I was asked to come as SCH and was put into the BLM party. This was a brand new experience for me. No SCH drops.

Assault
4 PFC Assaults

4 for 4! Including the evil hand out the rations one. That was a close call though. We skipped the box and had less than 30 seconds left when somebody was able to make it to the goal and get us out of there. Next week we start on the next group of Assaults. I have a feeling there was a tricky one mixed in those.

Missions/Quests/Other
Past Missions
Mercenary Camp
Chocobo

In the middle of the week, some LS mates helped me beat up a big tree. Now I just need to do the Jeuno fight and I’m all caught up! After doing the tree, since there were 6 of us and somebody suggested we all do something fun, I went to get my Mercenary Camp BCNM voucher from Vanafest and we did that. At nearly 2am in the morning. I was so sleepy! But, we beat them! I wish the nifty pic they flash on the screen of everybody would last longer or it’d auto-save on your hard drive or something.

My new baby Chocobo was born today too! I got an egg from a BCNM a long time ago (before Christmas?) and finally turned it in this week. Her name is Sakura Belle. I hope she grows up strong. My goal is to get a racing Chocobo and maybe someday I’ll get that baby chocobo costume!

Goals for next week:
SAM 26
DRG 59
4 more Assaults
Dynamis
Jeuno-Past Mission


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Reading….

Reading….




March 20th, 2009     

Here’s what I’ve been reading lately.

First, the set of short stories written by 3 different authors.
ffxibookshortstories

I think my favorite was the second story. I wish that author wrote other FFXI stories.

Right now I’m working on a series by Hasegawa Miyabi called “Message from the Past”. At least, that’s the English cover included on the inside of the jacket. It’s a three part series. I finished part 1 earlier in the week. This is the cover for part 2.
ffxibookmessagefromthepast2

Once I finish the series, I’ll do my little book review.


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Real Life in FFXI: Valentine’s Day and White Day

Real Life in FFXI: Valentine’s Day and White Day




March 16th, 2009     

Valentine’s Day!

The custom in Japan is for women to give men chocolates. In the past, I’ve made truffles for my coworkers. I also make signed chocolates in game for all of my male friends. It takes a lot of gil and a lot of chocolates but in the end, I think it’s worth it. People are happy to get chocolates on Valentine’s Day, even if it’s not real.

3/14 is White Day. That’s the day that guys are supposed to give the women back something in appreciation. The presents vary widely depending on the relationship.

Late Saturday I was leveling WAR again on my own when one of my friends (LS mates) asked what my POS was. He came by on a chocobo and gave me a signed fishing rod! And if it breaks, he can fix it for me. *happy happy* I love signed equipment because it reminds me of all the friends and people I’ve met in the game over the years.


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Personal Update and Weekly Goals

Personal Update and Weekly Goals




March 15th, 2009     

I got close to a lot of my goals and exceeded some others so…. all in all, a good week!

Leveling
DRG 57
WAR 34

I’m about 10k short of 58 for DRG. It’s been fun there in the birdie camps but mainly because most of my parties have had very odd setups. No tank? No problem! I was actually really happy I had spent all that time leveling NIN because having Utsusemi was really important this week.

There were a few times where I had just a little bit of time to play at odd hours during the week so I did some solo FoV on WAR. Actually about 1k short of 35. I just couldn’t get myself to stay awake to finish it.

Merits
none

Dynamis
Dynamis-Bastok

Hardly anything dropped. It was a good run as far as taking care of the enemies but our luck with the drops was beyond terrible. I keep hoping something for SCH drops for me but not having any luck so far.

Assault
2 times Building Bridges
2 times Nyzul (still no clear…. orz)
1 time Apkallu Breeding

I didn’t think I’d make it to Assault night this week so they started to do something else. I ended up getting back early so we headed to Nyzul with the people we had. We got so close to clearing! ugh ugh ugh Building Bridges was done with a pickup group. It’s so easy to do and earn points. Apkallu Breeding has the potential to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to doing it again with my Assault LS once we get that far.

Speaking of which, I am now Sergeant Corinth!

Missions/Quests
DRG AF
Random Sandy quests

The pieces aren’t very good but I want to get them all, if only to be able to store them later. Some friends came to help me out and we took care of the tiger. I already had one key so I picked up that piece too. I also did some random Sandy quests that were in my quest list. Now that I’m living in Sandy, I think I’d like to do some more of those little quests to get to know the area and people better.

Goals for the Week
4 more Assaults
Dynamis
WAR 36
DRG 58


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