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Communication: Apkallu Breeding

Communication: Apkallu Breeding




March 14th, 2009     

Ah, true love. *sighs*

Yesterday I saw one of my LS mates shouting about this Assault. As I am now a Sergeant and happened to have a ticket lying around, I went with him and 4 other people to go encourage some Apkallu to make some babies. While many of them were complaining that this Assault is odd and pointless, I like to think it’s a part of FF culture. Wasn’t it in X and X-2 where you’d have a mini game where you had to get different animals to hook up? I think it was monkeys in X-2….

Apkallu Breeding (アプカル繁殖指令 apukaru hanshoku shirei) requires that you decipher the Quarks and Squees made by 16 (8 male, 8 female) Lebros Apkallus. There is a lovely detailed guide with pictures up on FFXIclopedia. The Quarks and Squees can be decoded into words. An easy to understand pair of words will make a correct couple. For example, the male Song and the female Sound go together.

But wait! That’s English specific! In fact, the Quarks and Squees are English specific too! I began to compare my Japanese guide book with the guide from FFXIclopedia. While not a lot of communication is really needed between players to do this Assault, it’s always interesting to look at the little things in the game that are different.

So this week’s Communication is about Apkallu Breeding!
(continue reading…)


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FFXI Books

FFXI Books




March 11th, 2009     

I realized I haven’t really been reading enough lately. That is to say, reading things outside of magazines or manga. So I picked up a FFXI book containing 3 short stories. One of them involved some characters that appear in a new manga series for Comic-Vanatsuu so it was neat to read about them. The manga takes place when they first all meet up. The short story is set sometime well after that. Apparently this author has written many stories about their adventures. I need to track down the rest of them!

I also need to need Tokikake since I bought the novel awhile back. The movie was really good so I’m hoping the book is just as good.

Today when I first woke up, I noticed that my Wii was glowing blue. I went back to sleep and when I woke up again, it was no longer blue. I went to turn on the light in my bedroom but it didn’t turn on. KYA! I went into panic mode, trying my breakers, etc, but nothing worked. Then when I got downstairs and found the landladies, they reminded me that today they had to turn off the power a little while because of construction going on nearby. Normally I’m not home during this time so I had seen the posters all over the complex but completely ignored them. ^^; So I decided it was a good time to get out for a bit and go to a shopping center to pick up some stuff I needed.

While I was there, I visited the tiny bookstore within the department store. They just happened to have one FFXI novel! And by the author of that short story I liked! So I picked it up. They had a zillion Monster Hunter novels and one FFXI novel. One FFCC novel too actually. I really didn’t think I’d find any FFXI novels in such a tiny bookstore.

While talking about books, I plan on doing some different book reviews. I have the Assault book to do. Then there are some comic artists I really like. Not to mention the short novel author. Can’t decide yet whether they will go here in my blog or up on JPB, but keep watching!


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Personal Update and Weekly Goals

Personal Update and Weekly Goals




March 9th, 2009     

Busy with work + Sick + Not much accomplished = no updates! Let’s see if I can get back on track.

Leveling
DRG 55

Still going strong with DRG. I am now free to ravage little pink birdies that flitter about ToA areas making it easy to get parties. I think within 2 parties my polearm skill went from 152 to 177, catching me up from all the easy prey stuff you do for FoV. I have not had much luck with tanks lately. I tend to make my own parties and for these last 2 I’ve had no luck getting replies from tanks or the only tanks searching at the anti-English speaker kind. I actually got one of those kind to reply (I asked out of desperation) and he was nice and friendly enough…. but had also just been invited to another party. Ugh. For the 1st party, a friend I had invited ended up switching to PLD for us. In last night’s party, we went tankless and it was rather exciting. I actually felt glad I had leveled NIN.

I’ve gotten to the level where I need to think about begging people for help for AF. Except, I don’t see much need from the AF right now. Nothing really seems that worth the effort of getting people together to get keys, etc. Plus it’s ugly. Ugly AF = Waste of Space. ;P Also need to go back and level SAM some more. Once I hit 60, I think I’ll probably switch back again and finish up WAR and SAM. I just really needed to get away from leveling subjobs for awhile.

Merits
2!

Between ENM runs and a little bit of random campaigning, I picked up 2 merit points for a total of 3 and wasted it on ProV. I know it is worthless but I wanted it for looks. Seems so odd to have ShellV but not ProV. So that’s done.

Dynamis
2 runs

Dynamis Beaucedine

We had our first run through Dynamis Beaucedine. It was so much fun! Nice big open areas to run around and fight in. Nearly constant fighting outside of running to new areas (which was good because with ballad and refresh I could gain MP back). The drops were pretty decent too. Didn’t get clear but that’s ok. Somebody was healing or something when the main boss was pulled and so we all got eaten by dragons. Other that that, there were only like 3 deaths? By and large, we are far better at dealing with Hundred Fists than we were a few weeks ago. We’ll need to make runs through again for more AF, etc.

I didn’t have enough points to aim for anything this time. WHM was a free lot but I lost by 70ish points again. (So close!)

Let’s see…

WHM x 1 (surprisingly free lot)
BLM x 2
SCH x 2 (want so bad… but this means fewer people to compete against when I do have the points I guess…)
RNG x 3 (all of them were free lots)
WAR x 2
SAM x 1 (also free lot)
COR x 1 (very nice color… wouldn’t mind one for the mannequin)
MNK x 1

Dynamis Windy

Bad run. Not very much dropped, had a little drama, didn’t get the clear. Ended up having a big LS meeting afterward and talking about lots of issues.

Not sure where we will be going today. I hope we can go north because it was a lot of fun up there and there is a lot of neat AF. WHF body, SCH body, and DNC legs. If we don’t go north, well, probably should go back to Windy to get the clear for people who still don’t have it. I still don’t have my stupid loafers either. Those birds are so stingy with my knee highs!

Assault
1 Nyzul (pick up party… very close but failed)
3 PSC
1 SP
4 LC

Been busy with Assault. I love the Assault book I bought. I’ll have to write about it sometime. In fact, I find it so useful that when my first copy met an untimely demise this weekend, I purchased another copy. It’s so convenient for trying to get Assault pick up parties.

Other than that, I have another group of friends who are about the same rank as me doing Assaults on Tuesdays. So I joined them to do a few runs. I’m probably not far from going up in rank again. In my own Assault LS we’ve been busy too. We have 2 new people (friends from my social LS) so we’ve been doing the PSC assaults for them to slowly rank up. For the meantime, we’ve canceled any Nyzul runs. I think it’s a good idea. We’ve only done one or two per week and it’s not enough to get used to it. Plus, there are some people who aren’t very interested in Nyzul. It’s nice having more people in the LS again and things are going well.

On a whim, I went on a pick up party for floor 1 for Nyzul though. While we didn’t get the clear, it was about the closest I think I’ve ever gotten. It was the first time in for like, half of the people in the group too. Before entering, the party leader went over a bunch of things very carefully and we even practiced how to handle lamps. While some people may find that annoying, it was really helpful and I felt more prepared going in. We got part way through floor 5 before running out of time. I only had one ticket so I couldn’t join them on the second run but when I asked about it later, I found out that they had cleared the floor 5 objective but weren’t able to activate the pole in time. It was a matter of seconds. ; ;

Anyhoo, Assault is great. There are a bunch of interesting Assaults (without fighting) coming up too that I’m really looking forward to.

Missions/Quests
Outpost stuff
Your Crystal Ball
3 nations Promy-ENM
Vahzl-ENM
Boneyard Gully ENM

I didn’t have any plans to do Your Crystal Ball but…. a lens dropped while doing FoV in Xarcabard. It’s such a simple quest so I dropped it off one day and then when doing the Boneyard Gully ENM, I picked it up on the way. ENMs give nice exp. Nothing dropped for us for the 3 nations promies but with 9k worth of limit points, you can’t really complain. The Vahzl-ENM was a close call but paid off big time. We got the Toreador’s Ring. That’s worth a pretty penny. Profits from that will help pay for some of the equipment I need for DRG. Nothing big dropped from the Boneyard Gully ENM either.

I hate that stupid mountain. I think I’ll blame my cold. I fell twice this time. Then on the third time, I got confused about where to go until I saw another person and trailed them.

Goals for the Week
Clear at least 4 more Assaults
Dynamis
DRG 58


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FFXI in Real Life: Part 8 Hina-matsuri

FFXI in Real Life: Part 8 Hina-matsuri




March 4th, 2009     

The feed to TTTO is working again!! /cheer

doll08items

Yesterday was March 3rd, the last day of the Doll Festival. As with most events in FFXI, this one too is inspired by a real holiday. In Japan, March 3rd is Hina-matsuri. It is a celebration for young girls where their families wish for their safe growth and happiness. There are special foods and decorations like most holidays. Some of these have made their way into the game for the Doll Festival and others are used all year round!
(continue reading…)


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Interview with SE President Yoichi Wada

Interview with SE President Yoichi Wada




February 26th, 2009     

The server stuff for JPB (and so my blog too) is being worked on right now. Moving, redoing stuff, etc etc. The RSS feeds don’t seem to be working at the moment either. ; ; All my TTTO traffic has disappeared! And right when I’m putting stuff on my blog too. /sniffle ah well…

Recently, Yoichi Wada sat down for an interview with news site nikkei TRENDYnet. Mr. Wada is the president of Square Enix as well as the chairman for the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association. CESA is responsible for the yearly Tokyo Game Show and supports game development in a variety of ways.

Here are a few excerpts from the interview I found interesting. (The interview is quite long and I don’t feel like translating the whole thing.) Please keep in mind that this is a rather quick translation done because of my interest in the subject rather than being a strictly literal one for wide release.

For me, I think Wada’s comments on promoting games sheds some light on recent promotional campaigns done for FFXI as well. I’ve always thought it was strange that SE didn’t come back at us with some sort of cease-and-decease for the translated FFXI commercials Elmer uploaded to YouTube. It could be they are just looking the other way because it’s free advertising for them. They are also putting their own videos up on YouTube now and stepping up their use of the Square Enix Members sites. Then you have the Tarutaru blog add-on to spread word-of-mouth about FFXI. It will be interesting to see if SE continues to rely on its player base to share the FF love. This comes at a price though. SE has to give the player base a little more love if they want them to recommend their products. Perhaps the role of the community relations teams will change as well and we will see a bit more outreach? It’s nice to see the president of SE say they will be more user friendly since even in the industry they are known for being more on the reserved and secretive side.

Also, Wada mentions online distribution. This is very timely since SE just started to offer titles on Steam and the future add-on scenarios are also going to be downloadable through POL.

Anyhoo, on to the interview!
(continue reading…)


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Why the Auto-Translator Fails

Why the Auto-Translator Fails




February 25th, 2009     

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything remotely “article”-like on my blog. Right now I’m waiting for a couple new magazines to come out so I’m in-between projects. Seems like a good time for a blog article so here are a few random thoughts on communicative competence in FFXI and issues with the auto-translator. In other words, let’s explore why the auto-translator doesn’t work for general communication between English and Japanese speaking players. (French and German players probably have the same issues but… I don’t speak those languages.) For some people, this may answer the question “Why don’t Japanese players use the auto-translator more?”
(continue reading…)


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Personal Update and Weekly Goals

Personal Update and Weekly Goals




February 22nd, 2009     

I’ve been watching my Assault DVD a bit more tonight. It came with a guide book I bought covering Assault and Nyzul and while it was spendy… it’s interesting to watch. You can see how they did their assaults and learn a few tips and such.

I finished the series on the Localization Team this week. You can see it up on JPB. It was really interesting to me because I’d really like to get a job in that field. I’ll be in my current job for probably another year and a half but then I need to decide if I’ll stay or if I’ll try for something else. Just in case I decide to move on, I want to be ready. So I’m starting to do research into the career, what companies hire for it, etc. There are also professional groups I can join. Hmmmmm….. so much to think about.

In the meantime, this week’s update!

Leveling
NIN 38
DRG 49

After a series of awful parties on NIN, I finally finished the job off with a bunch of friends who were also leveling jobs in the mid 30s. We set up camp at the telepo-spot in the jungle and had fun with the crawlers there. Even did a few gobs when they came up. The exp came in fairly quickly considering our level.

While dual-wield katanas look super cool, this is it for me and NIN. I sold my katanas right away but some of the rest of the gear I am holding on to for just a bit longer to see if I’ll use any of it on SAM. I need to pick up U:Ni too but it’s not really a priority for me.

As for subjobs, I still need to finish leveling WAR and SAM, but I really need a break from leveling in the same spots. I decided to pull out my DRG gear and put together a PT. We used two camps in Quicksand Caves (about when the exp was getting blah in the first camp, another lower level PT came in so we let them have it) and got a decent amount of exp. Our level was definitely on the low side for the second camp but we had enough firepower to take on even the ants. (NIN/DRG/DRG/DNC/SAM/SCH) DRG is a lot of fun for me. I can’t wait to see how things go in my first birdie camp. That’s only a few odd levels away.

Merits
none

Dynamis
Dynamis-Windy

We already knew that we wouldn’t be going north this week because our LS leader had to work late. So instead, we tried Dynamis-Windy. It really felt like things just weren’t dropping very much. Both money and AF. I guess we also worked slower than we normally do because we didn’t clear. There are a few new people who come in each week so we try to get the clear each time just in case somebody doesn’t have it.

It wasn’t all bad though. AF still dropped. SCH didn’t drop but… DNC did! I was the only person who wanted it (everyone else is saving points for the northlands) so I got
Bangles

YAY! My mannequin is now wearing them until the day I can use them.

This next week should be Northlands. I know there is the whole /random battle between the LS leaders but… since we haven’t had it for 2 weeks we might get a shot? The LS leader made it sound like we’re going.

Assault
1 Corporal Assault

I actually did this assault with a pick up group. 2 members of our static had to work late and then 1 person didn’t show. Actually, they were in Dynamis. There is a new Dynamis shell with a bunch of people I know now doing runs on Mondays (which competes with us ; ; ) and Thursday. Thursday is our Assault night so we think we may have lost one of our members to Dynamis. /sigh

Because of all these things, we are trying to recruit more people. It means starting the Assaults back over but…. it can’t really be helped. Plus, I do want to see more of my friends advance and we know like 4 people who are interested and maybe a few more who might help from time to time. This should help when people can’t make it.

I went with a pick-up party to see how things would work. I do exp parties with Japanese players all the time but I’ve never done Assault or Nyzul unless it’s with my friends. Having them around and having them know me is like… a security blanket. But I want to be able to do things when they aren’t around or they are busy, etc. So I waited around in whitegate until somebody shouted for an Assault I wanted and tried my luck. I got invited (yay!) and was set for my big adventure when…. just by luck, two of my dynamis LS mates joined. We did that “AH!” thing. heehee So much for my big adventure but… we got the clear so it’s all good.

Speaking of which, while we’ve still only done one LC Assault, I managed to have enough points to make Corporal! I had to search a total of 4 zones before I found that stupid hoofprint. Yay for moving up in ranks tho!

Missions/Quests/Other
Sandy 5-1, 5-2
AM 13, AM 14
Outpost stuff

On Assault night, since we were short people, we did the fomor fight I needed to advance in ToA missions. Then yesterday, I logged in and like 2 seconds later I was invited to do 5-1 which then lead to doing 5-2. So now I’m Rank 6 and can start on the Sandy line missions. WOOO!

Also, Sandy has a ton of zones this week including Sarutabaruta. I did a couple supply runs so I’m slowly getting more and more zones.

Goals for the Week:
DRG 52
WAR 33 (I need a new axe first probably…)
Dynamis
clear at least 2 more Assaults


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FFXI in Real Life: The Return of Part 1

FFXI in Real Life: The Return of Part 1




February 17th, 2009     

Back in Part 1 of this series, I mentioned a Ninja snack which was disgusting.

Ninja Snacks

The one I bought was supposedly salt flavored. I never saw them in my supermarket after that so I figured they had been banished back to the horrible place they came from.

Unfortunately, the company has decided that people need more Ninja Snacks and they now come in flavors like shrimp, sea urchin, and citrusy pepper. You can check out their website with pics and a little ninja quiz game here. I’m too scared to buy them.


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Personal Update and Weekly Goals

Personal Update and Weekly Goals




February 15th, 2009     

Be careful what you wish for? Or maybe… the grass is always greener on the other side? Something like that….

Leveling
NIN 35

After all of the soloing and duoing on NIN, I really wanted to try a regular 6 person pickup party. I ended up being in two this week. And… I wasn’t the main tank in either of them. At least, it didn’t seem like I was. I was a replacement both times. Kind of odd and scary to be a replacement. You never know why the other person left or if the group itself is going to end soon, etc. In both parties I seemed to be sharing the tanking duties with a WAR which worked out I guess. The downside is that both parties were around level 25 and we had to struggle with goblins and other parties out pulling us. Either party was really DD heavy. Ah well. I got to 34 and then finished the rest to 35 yesterday soloing on my own a bit working on skill ups. Now that I’ve over 30, I have Curing Waltz with /dnc and it’s so handy!

Merits
none

Dynamis
Dynamis-San d’Oria

There are 3 other groups around the same Monday time slot for Dynamis. The leaders get together and /random to see who gets to use the Northland zones. We…. lost. So we started to look for another open zone. Windurst seemed to be taken because someone else was already shouting about it in Whitegate. We did Bastok before and Jeuno looked like there could be a group. So, I camped out at the tree in San d’Oria and that’s where we went.

Odd run. For the first hour and a half or so, we had a whopping two drops, both things nobody wanted. Then a 100 dropped so that went to a friend of mine. The run kept going without any decent drops until the last 40 minutes or so and then it started raining armor. One after another. It was kind of scary how different it was from the beginning of the run. There were some things people wanted, most of it stuff nobody cared about. Another 100 piece dropped and got collected. In our new LS rules, it says you can trade in 25 points for a 100 piece. Nothing for Scholar dropped, so at the end of the run I put my name in for the 100 and got it. Bummed nothing for Scholar dropped but at least I’m not broke anymore.

Tomorrow will be the same thing, LS leaders lot and then we’ll see where we’ll be going. [excitement]

Assault
2 runs in Nyzul
1 Assault

Our bad luck in Nyzul continues. I almost wanted to cry after the second run. blah
The Assault went smoothly though.

Missions/Quests/Other
Mannequin
Valentione’s Event

I found the feet in a bazaar for a semi-reasonable price and finished collecting the pieces for my Mannequin.

mannequin-pieces

Then it was lots of running around to do the quest and get my Mithra Mannequin. YAY! I wish the hairstyle was different but its neat to have. I’m going to hold off on buying another one until I have more pretty armor to put on it. I also finished the other two quests in the Mannequin quest line to be able to request special poses.

And Fusion hopped on over to Valefor to do the Valentione’s Day event with me and help me get my cutie heart wand. He also drooled and did odd things to my stuffed chocobo. (Is there a laundromat in Vana’diel?) Ah well, thank you Fusion!

Goals for the week:
NIN 37 (YAY!)
Dynamis

After I finish NIN, I’m not sure what I’ll work on next. I want to level DNC and DRG but I’m wondering if it’d be good to go ahead and take SAM up to 37 as well for a DRG subjob. It’s been so long since I leveled on DNC or DRG though.


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Personal Update and Weekly Goals: SHOPPING!

Personal Update and Weekly Goals: SHOPPING!




February 8th, 2009     

monsterhunterI am a poor kitty. I like pretty things to put in my Mog House. I like things I don’t even need. The developers said they are going to put more cool looking equipment in the game (like the eyepatch) and I know there are some people who don’t care, but it makes me happy. I’d rather have cool looking stuff to wear around town than more grind-for-2-years equipment. One of the big trends over here for online gaming or other co-op games is fashionable equipment. I drool over all the pictures for Monster Hunter. Like the cute cupid outfit? I would love something like that to wear in FFXI! (This was even made as part of a contest of sorts between the company and Connect!On Magazine…)

Anyhoo, one of the things I bought this week was a bench to go with my harpsichord.

cor090206081346a

Leveling
NIN 29
WAR 32

I ended up doing a lot more leveling this week than I had planned. Did a little bit with my main duoing partner. Then a little bit solo. And then yesterday, another FoV party with some old friends. There are more people coming back from the days when I first played the game. A bunch of old LS mates. It’s fun to see them again! I bought some more equipment and upgraded a few pieces that I use when leveling a couple jobs. NIN has slowly become more fun for me. I really hated it at first. Now… I think dual wield katanas are kind of cool… but… this is probably stay a subjob.

cor090204061306a

WAR out on the isle was just an extra little thing. I had a Great Axe from one of the boxes when doing FoV on my NIN earlier so I just used that. Only 5 more levels to go and then that subjob is finished. YAY!

Merits
1

I ended up finishing my merits using the exp gained from ENMs and then ended up earning one more in the process. I got Devotion for my WHM. YAY! It was helpful during Dynamis which is all I really need it for. Now I’ll slowly start to save up some more merit points for other things on WHM or SCH. No real goals though.

Dynamis
Dynamis-Bastok

The start of our point system. Hmmmm…. ah well. It was a good run. We killed lots of things. I think we had more Wootz and 100 pieces drop than actual AF though. I got one Wootz (LS rules is one per person) which funded some of the shopping this week. Nothing dropped for SCH or DNC though which was sad because I was the only person this time who wanted either of those two jobs. /sob

Assault
1 Nyzul run
1 SP Assault

I sat out one run because we have to rotate members. Didn’t clear this week either but we did go farther. Someone went with us this time that didn’t go last week so the whole communication and “what to do” problem popped up again. Ah well. :/ We did have more time leftover after floor 4 but it was only like 4 minutes or something so we took the tokens instead of trying to clear. I think we would have cleared if they hadn’t tried to kill an NM thinking it was the ItG enemy we were looking for. I had found it but they had already pulled the NM so…. time loss.

SP run was also for the person who wasn’t with us last week. No real troubles. Points are points.

Missions/Quests/Other
More NIN scrolls
ENMs
The Swarm!
Level 20 BCNMs

Got a few more scrolls for my NIN. One quest it seems I had already done a long time ago so I ended up having to buy that scroll. I got a nice piece of cloth from an ENM which sold for like 100k. Last week when I was updating, we were getting ready to do the 3 country promy ENMs. Those went fine and we actually got drops from a few of them. After those, we did the Boneyard Gully ENM where I got the cloth. Then we went to do the special BCNM for people who attended VanaFest or Fan Festival.

cor090201064949a

Once we got inside it was crazy fun and…. I forgot to take pictures. orz

Then for some reason (I blame Fusion… ) I decided I just have to have a mannequin in my Mog House. I haven’t decided on which one to get but I’m gathering the pieces. I bought the legs and the head. Then I found two LS mates who were up for helping me and we did two of the level 20 BCNMs. They have a 100% drop rate and on my runs we passed both of the ones we did. (My friends weren’t so lucky ; ;) I just need to find the feet now. I saw one bazaar with them for 500k but I’m not paying that much.

cor090207043127a

After that, we went to the tunnel for awhile to help my friend work on unlocking a weaponskill. Normally that’d be a pretty uneventful thing, but an NM kept walking around killing people left and right. And then coming back later to kill them again. I’ve heard of this NM before but all the times I’ve been in the tunnel I’ve never seen him.

cor090207075020a

Goals for the week:
Outpost quests
NIN 32
Nyzul/Assault
Dynamis (Northlands if we win… we have to lot for it against 3 other LSs)


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