Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Get a job.

Put the job levels away and consider: What job are you?

I'd like to touch on this topic since it was on my mind. It used to be, back when I started FFXI, that you chose your job at the outset and that was you. We all chose a job, we had grand visions of one day being ultra-powerful and saving the world, all that good stuff.

You'd tend to see people choosing jobs that fit their personality, to some degree. Or at least what they perceived themselves being. Mother of two might choose White Mage to nurture her friends. Thirteen-year-old brat chose Monk so he could punch things, etc. I'm speaking in generalities of course, but you get my drift. Everyone wanted to be a _____ . Something, right?

Along the line somewhere, we all found the subjob quest, whereby you combine two job classes. This led to everyone playing a support job, raising its level to complement our main career. As time went on, we've all pretty much started leveling multiple jobs, usually considering a few different classes our "main projects."

If you're reading this, you're likely a player, so one could assume you've also played multiple jobs. So my question is: What job are you? Which job, due to its personality and style, suits you, the player? If we might be allowed to treat FFXI as a metaphor (as I often like to do), each job could represent a different type of person. If not by the job's natural representation, then at the least by its playstyle, or how it is often used.

Take your friendly-neighborhood Draco for instance. I started out as a Warrior, back when WAR was a tank. I naturally moved on to Paladin when the time came. I now have many jobs in the "higher levels" of the game, but which one suits me as a person?

I usually end up tanking on quest/mission/AF runs for the linkies. Being the highest tank in TheSolonavi, if someone needs something dead, I tend to use PLD, if not by choice then by necessity.

In my real life, I am the eldest of five. From a young age, I helped raise and care for my siblings. Now, in XI, I take the "big brother" role once more, leading a linkshell and using my Paladin to protect and care for my friends.

I enjoy playing all jobs and being a jack-of-all-trades, so to speak. When push comes to shove, and something important must be done, Draconum is a Paladin. I feel comfortable in the job, I feel I do the job well, and I will likely always regard myself as a Paladin first, with everything else behind it.

So what job are you? I'd love to hear thoughts on FFXI jobs if you're willing to share. Think I'm nuts and that we don't match our online personas in any way? Send feedback and let me know your opinion!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Panty Raid.

Illicit title, and I'll get to that topic shortly.

Monday was spent in our static party 45~ish again. This time around was much less painful than the previous. We didn't have Noodles on WHM today, so I played main healer on RDM. We picked up a BLM and used my girlfriend on her DRK.

Dungeonwhipper's DRK/WAR as first voke for SATA, Sodako's THF, Galbatorix's NIN, my RDM, a Japanese BLM named Sacrifar who is a very good and fun party member to have, and we had a couple other rotated members throughout the night, a PLD and a MNK if memory serves.

We begrudgingly retraced our steps to Garlaige Citadel, praying the experience was better. It was, and virtually no real problems occurred. I think Sodako pulled 1-2 links the whole day/evening. Before heading off to bed, Galb mentioned the JSE for Ninja being something he'd like to have. The Job Specific Equipment is a series of different body armors acquired through a quest. This quest involves traveling into the Phomiuna Aqueducts, a level capped area, and farming for items.

Well, Galb is one of my closest friends in TheSolonavi, and he hasn't really required or asked for anything lately... plus it sounded like fun to raid the Aqueducts. Therefore, Tuesday afternoon I set up a Panty Raid. This name of course is because the aforementioned item we need to farm is a subligar, which is panties, duh.

The setup was as follows:
Qiron: BLU/BLM
Renzo: COR/RNG
Valion: WAR/THF

All these guys were friends and/or LS members, which was great. Furthermore, this party worked quite well for this area. My only complaint at first was that only a couple of the guys brought Silent Oils. Thus I was casting quite a bit of Sneak spells. When we got a lock on the desired monsters we wanted to hunt, we were in business. The mobs were called Fomors, which are undead versions of our playable humanoid races.

As for drops, it went splendidly. About the second Fomor Ranger, we got a subligar. Valion won the first lot cast. Killed a couple Fomor Ninja, and sure enough, Galb's dropped. This trend continued for the remainder of the run. Pretty much a couple kills per subligar, which is darn good luck. In fact, we ended up getting the Ranger/Corsair JSEs for two people, and that is one of the more rare pieces.

At the end of the day, I walked away with the DRG, NIN, and one of the two RDM subligars. (Not the RDM one I was hoping for, but circumstances didn't allow hunting the correct mobs for it.) Galb got JSEs for his NIN and BRD. Qiron got BLM, and the last two were the RNG/COR drops. Everyone got what they came for, well, other than me, kinda. I'd rather have received the Glamor Jupon, but I came away with the Cerise Doublet.

All in all, it was a very smooth and successful Panty Raid. I was pleased. For those keeping score (None of you? Really? Too bad.), I now have JSEs for: PLD/WAR, DRG, BRD/BST, RDM/BLU/BRD/PUP, WHM/SMN, and NIN.

June update brings lowered difficulty for Chains of Promathia missions. This is convenient because we've decided to take care of Promyvion missions for a couple LS members.

Stay tuned~

Monday, May 28, 2007

Mamma said there'd be days like this.

Sunday was a trying kind of day. The linkies (read: "LS members") and I made some progress, but we had to take the good with the bad.

First thing's first. Noodles had one last piece of Monk Artifact equipment to acquire. The task at hand was to travel to Castle Oztroja, or what I like to call it, the Bird Cage. Castle O is home to a virtual army of bird-like beastmen, the Yagudo. They will (and have) swarm and kill on sight if you're not careful. We're not your everyday visitors, however.

We start the raid of the castle by cutting a swath through their defenses, a bit of a warm-up. Our team:
Me: PLD73/WAR36
Galbatorix: DRG71/WAR35
Sodako: WHM69/BLM34
Noodles: MNK60/WAR30
Sorjorn: WHM75/BLM37

We were required to reach the top floor of the castle and Noodles had to trade an item to "force-spawn" the NM Yagudo Huu Xalmo the Savage. This enemy is a MNK-type who has many HP and hits often. I have been in the area when other parties try and fail at this NM, dropping like flies to its Hundred Fists ability. My group? We didn't have so much trouble.

I neglected to take a screenshot, sadly. However, it's not too amazing a fight. We built up TP on the surrounding Yags and popped the NM. I opened by Provoking it to me, using Warcry to increase our attack power, then my weaponskill Savage Blade. Galbatorix then used Wheeling Thrust, closing a Light Skillchain for our WHMs to magic burst. Banish III and Holy spells were flying, causing even more damage to this unsuspecting bird-brain.

Huu Xalmo took a while to kill, due to the 30,ooo HP. However, a few Skillchains later, we outlasted him, and Noodles was free to complete the quest for his Temple Hose.

After the NM was whipped, I just started randomly attacking more Yagudos in the area. Up at the top of the bird cage, they drop some decent things. So, until we figured out our next plan of action, I started slaying things. Luckily enough, I got a Bard song scroll to drop and Noodles got his Monk's testimony to be used to complete his level cap quests.

So, operation complete, and it was time to head to Jeuno for our 45~ish static party. Sorjorn headed off and the rest of us changed jobs. We headed to Garlaige Citadel, which is always a hit-or-miss affair. We got going with the XP battles and it wasn't too bad, until one thing after another started going wrong. I had picked up a Bard named Sirdiesalot, who's a nice guy, but he was having some issues with his cat jumping on things, spilling drinks on his keyboard, etc. Cats are evil, by the way, but I'll save that for another post.

Eventually, Sirdiesalot was having too many problems and logged off to try to reset things. Noodles, who was playing White Mage, started getting sleepy, so we had to replace him as well. I invited a Black Mage named Ginal, and she headed out to meet up with us. When she got to GC, she managed to aggro a beetle. She continued toward camp, and died just as she reached us. She made some sort of complaint about the Sneak spell not working... to which I replied "Beetles are sight, dear." Orz.

We raised up the BLM after our current mob was dead. Within ten minutes, Ginal up and says her LS calls, and she disbanded and warped. This, ladies and gentlemen, is lame behavior. Taking off with no warning on a party who's been nice enough to invite you and wait for you to show up, then help you off the ground when you screw up and die... gimp.

Other winning replacements:
  • Another BLM, who ended up having connection issues, disconnecting on and off.
  • A Ranger, who was an old acquaintance of mine and fared decently until pulling linked monsters and getting us all killed.
  • A Puppetmaster named Idalis, who was a Rank 10 player (thus I hoped she would know what she's doing) and couldn't seem to grasp the ever-complicated operation that is SATA. For those uninitiated, her role was to "stand in a straight line, behind the mob." I'm going to save a rant on the general population's failure at SATA for another time.
  • Second THF, who performed adequately enough, but in light of the overall path of FAIL this party was on, there wasn't much that could be done.
Finally, after we'd seen enough death, slow XP, and sheer idiotic frustration, we called it quits. At the end of the day, we'd come away with about a level's worth of experience, but Sodako noted that our EXP-per-hour was barely over 2K. Our static party usually rides at least 5K/hour as a general rule, so this was ugly.

After the party, I went away from the game for a while. When I came back, Sodako and I were the only ones left in TheSolonavi for the night, so we decided to go skill-up Marksmanship. Wasn't terribly exciting, so I won't go into detail, but we made good progress. Was a good idea to cap off the night.

As I write this, it's Monday, May 28th: Memorial Day. I'd like to take a moment to say that despite political affiliation, thoughts on war, or any other military-related topics, it's important to remember a few things. As a US citizen, our military has provided us with the posh, hustle-and-bustle lives we lead. Many US lives have been lost to ensure we had the rights we enjoy and the freedom we take for granted.

Complain all you wish about our government or actions our country takes on the global scale. In fact, I encourage the debate and challenge of authority. These are but a couple of the things that make our country great. We're allowed to think and speak freely.

Today, even if you're not reading this on Memorial Day or if you're not even from the US, take time out to recall and ponder just how much you as an individual are truly dependent on those around you and those "above" you in power. We as a civilization depend on others, and I as an individual acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifices of my country's heroes.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

King of the Opo-opos.

Well, it took long enough. For those who do not know, the Opo-opo crown is an elusive piece of gear to acquire for anyone with Attention Deficit Disorder. I'll count my lack of ADD as a definite blessing, but that doesn't change the fact that this thing's been annoying.

Nevertheless, early Saturday morning I finally finished the questline. I had to help a rather shady Elvaan who had "overstayed his welcome" somewhat in Kazham. I kept paying his lodging fees, and he'd give me more pieces to the puzzle. Eventually this led to me tickling the fancy of ten Opo-opos in Kazham, giving them each a gift. These gifts ranged from simple purchased items like a wooden workbench, to a dragon's skull I had to travel to a volcano to extract.

After trading in each item in order, I was presented with a crown, signifying that the Opo-opos regard me as their King. Guess I'm moving up in the world...

Practical application for this crown is most importantly for my 65Bard. When worn while eating a Pamama fruit, a hidden effect triggers which gives +50 HP and MP, as well as +14 Charisma. Offset with the -7 CHR on the crown initially, the net gain of 7 is quite a chunk for one armor slot. The MP will help with the light white magic duty Bards find themselves doing.

Overall, Saturday was something of a mixed bag. In the afternoon, three LS mates and I set out to XP with our 45ish jobs. This being my Red Mage, Sodako's Thief, Galbatorix as Ninja, and Noodles on White Mage. Grabbed a Black Mage and a Monk for some beetle-killing in the desert.

Party lasted a couple hours, taking each of us up one level. Not terribly impressive, but a decent party so I can't complain. Afterward, Galbatorix was off to Dynamis-Bastok. Enter Omoikitte.

Omoikitte (Japanese for "to dare; to be bold" as I understand it) is a relatively new friend of mine. She leads both a social LS and a Sky LS. She also happens to be one of the more cheerful and helpful people I've run across of late. I met her through Ringthree, whom I've known for a long while now. Omoi helped me obtain the Savage Blade technique, and I'm on the verge of applying to her endgame LS.

Anyhoo, she offered out of the blue (which rarely ever happens to me) to take me to the Labrynth of Onzozo, where a Notorious Monster named Ose resides. Why? Because I have my big, Elvish heart set on Ose's treasure drop, the Assault Jerkin.

As you can see, this is a body armor wearable by nearly every job in the game. Most notably for me: DRG, THF, BRD, and RDM. That's a lot of Attack for one slot, and 3 Accuracy never hurts.

However, so far the last year or more has proven fruitless. I have claimed and killed Ose a few times, when I manage to get people to go, but no drop. My patience wears thin as DRG has already hit 75 without help from this piece, while BRD and THF approach its level rapidly. I shan't relent; with a smidge of luck and a heap of friendly help, I may just have it soon.

Current objectives, in no particular order:
1.) Occasional DRG meriting, of little importance to me as of yet.
2.) Paladin topped off to 75 with two LS mates.
3.) Static party with RDM, now at 44.
4.) BRD and THF in the 65ish range moved up whenever possible.
5.) Join a Dynamis LS, for acquisition of relic armor.
6.) Continue the hunt for a few NMs (AJ mentioned above and O-Kote for sure).

Much of this is dependent on timing with other people, so having something like BRD to work on that pretty much sails without incident is a breath of fresh air. After a couple things are finished up, I'll be removing a job or two from the equation of priorities, replacing with a new toy. Warrior, Monk, Ninja, and Dark Knight are frontrunners in consideration.

Well, I'm off to do a little meriting before bed. Memorial Day weekend is only halfway through!

Friday, May 25, 2007


I'm at a loss. I really don't know where to start. I think what I shall do is spend some time setting a bit of a backdrop, then I can focus on specific topics or what I'm thinking about at the time. I'll warn you now; I'm almost always a long-winded writer.

Therefore, allow me to introduce myself. I am an adult male. I'm originally from the Midwest US, but currently reside in Hawaii. I have lived a relatively chaotic and interesting life, which I won't get into here. Years ago, I finally broke down and decided to try out Final Fantasy XI. I have been playing the Final Fantasy series since its North American inception. I previously was not interested in playing an online-only installment, but I did, and the rest is history.

Draconum, my character in FFXI, was created on July 24th, 2004. He's actually my fifth overall character, after I experimented with other races/nations/servers. He is a "Large Elvaan Male," which is to say he's very tall and lanky. This was chosen as a pseudo-reflection of my real self. Only I don't have fiery-red hair.

My character has had a few nicknames. As time goes on in this journal, you will find that nicknames for people / places / things are a definite part of my life, in this game as well as out. I will try to keep it from being too confusing. I am or have been called Drac, Drak, Draco, Drac-man, {Prince} or {Knight}, and more recently, "loldrg." There are more, and it largely depends upon the person. I'll generally just shorten my name when I write.

On the day I created Draconum, I also purchased and created a Linkshell. I named it TheSolonavi and colored the pearls a turquoise-like shade. This Linkshell has been my pride & joy for years now. I'm happy and proud to know the friends I have met. In short, I log in to FFXI for these people, for the community and relationships that have been created therein. I hope to recall & post various stories and experiences with TheSolonavi for this journal as time progresses.

TheSolonavi has gone through what I refer to as four seperate "generations." This is to say that when I created it, members and perhaps mission statement were different than the three fairly seperated periods of time to follow. These generations were divided by my absence, essentially. I have taken extended breaks for months at a time, and when I return, it seems not only my personal feeling toward the game changes, but the LS does as well. Nowadays, TheSolonavi is a social, helpful LS. We are a tight-knit group with few members but I am quite familiar with each of them. Their personalities are what fuel my interest in FFXI. I will introduce them as needed.

My main job for a long time was Paladin. Tank extraordinaire, I prided myself on my ability to keep the fight under control. Later, my side project Dragoon began to catch up, and eventually surpass Paladin. I've always been one to hop around to different jobs a lot. I am a versatile kind of player, and I like to think I have a good amount of knowledge of nearly every job class in this game. I have the well-rounded experience to act as tank, healer, damage dealer, and most importantly, leader. There aren't always leaders to be had, so our responsibility is important.

My friends (LS members or otherwise) can often be caught discussing statistics, gear, and general playstyle practices. These discussions sometimes go on for hours. I am not an elitist nor do I exclude people who don't see things my way. In fact, I'm of the mindset that I find a way that works well, but recognize that other people will either disagree or find that they enjoy something else. This is all well and good, because above all, FFXI is for our enjoyment. That's why we pay for it, right?

I have not been writing about my adventures thus far, but there has been a photo-journal
for quite some time now. Hopefully I can adequately document some of my travels between the two. Check out the photo album at:

Until next time~