Thursday, May 27, 2010

Magian Update Notes

Trial Objectives Revisited

Certain trial objectives have been reevaluated and will see target quotas reduced among other adjustments. You need not fear if you've already embarked on a trial, for these changes will also be reflected in trials underway at the time of the update.

Mother Fuckers...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Manly Man Award

Every now and then, stories come across that you can't really describe as anything other than "Manly". I'm not a huge proponent of Hockey. As a matter of fact, I go out of my way to make fun of it at times. Not to the level of soccer mind you, but yeah...

So this story about a Chicago Blackhawks defenseman named Duncan Keith taking a puck to the mouth, getting 7 teeth knocked out and coming back a short bit later to assist on a goal comes across my reader this morning and my first reaction was to cringe.

Then I read the story.

I've always known hockey players are either the toughest bastards, dumbest bastards or a combination of both in sport today. It's pretty much the anti-soccer. Soccer guy gets kicked in the shin and he flails around on the ground like he just stepped on a land mine. Hockey guy gets his neck slashed open and is already questioning how soon he can get back out there to play. I've always known not to piss off a hockey player. Soccer guy however, open season.

Anyway, back to the Manly part of this post. Duncan Keith took a puck to the mouth. He lost 7 teeth. He went to the bench, got nova-caned up and went back out to the ice. Obviously, losing teeth is nothing like getting your neck slashed open, but that shit still hurts. The part that makes this the most interesting would be some of the quotes that came out of it:

Duncan Keith:

I took one breath and it felt like my whole mouth was missing, so I knew there were some teeth gone. I saw a couple fall out, and I had one in the back of my throat. I could feel it and coughed it out. A bunch of them disintegrated, it felt like.

He furthers this by saying:

I had seven needles in my mouth. It's all frozen right now. Just a bunch of needles in my jaw, gums to freeze it up. Might need some more soon, because it's starting to wear off. I can feel it.

He later goes on to say:

I just wanted to get out there as quick as I can, and the trainers and dentists and doctors did a good job," Keith said. "Honestly, I was fine. You get hit in the teeth, obviously it hurts the gums, but it's not like you got your jaw smashed in or anything like that.

"It's tougher talking, but it's not as bad as you think it is.

No sir, trust me. It's exactly as bad as I think it is and I want none of it. You get a Manly Man Award.

The humorous part of this comes from his teammate, Patrick Sharp.

He'll have a great smile in a couple of weeks. "He's spitting out teeth in the locker room and comes back and assists on the Bolland goal. He created the whole play, taking the big hit to set it up. And he's skating around before the power play, telling us what to do, but he's mumbling. I don't think anyone understood what he was talking about. But he's one of our leaders.

So kudos to Mr. Keith. You made me respect Hockey for at least a short while. Even though I don't like the sport much, I do like the toughness of it's players.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Trial 1040, Campaign and Subjobs

Trial 1040

Hours spent:

Wed: 6PM-11PM
Thurs: 6PM-11PM
Fri: 4PM-1AM
Sat: 12PM-1AM
Sun: 8AM-4PM

That's what it took from a time standpoint to finish up Trial 1040. For those sucky with math, that would be 40 hours. Yes, I practically spent an entire workweek upgrading an item I already spent an entire year of my life sitting in my mog house completing. That doesn't even include the time I spent in Trial 1039. I get that SE wants you to spend time with their game and all, but adding that after the amount of time necessary to finish the weapon in the first place is just dumb.

Huge thanks to Kaylea, Drakus, Lectrikelion and Mav for spending huge chunks of time with me to make this go faster. I likely wouldn't be finished with this until the end of summer at the solo pace.

Just to recap:

Trial 1040 requires me to use Geirskogul to land the killing shot on anything classified in the lizard family. Sounds easy enough right?

On paper it is. Certainly these critters aren't hard to kill, but it's what isn't on paper that makes this maddening.

For starters, I'm swinging a weapon against creatures that don't have enough HP for me to really build up TP, use a WS, build up TP then finish it off with Geirskogul. So this means I'm essentially forced to just whittle down the targets with normal melee swings.

As it gets closer to the 10% mark, I would fire Geirskogul. Upon firing one of the following things would happen:

1. Target would die and I'd get credit towards trial.
2. Geirskogul would miss.
3. 2.5x Damage would kick in and kill before I could fire my WS.
4. Geirskogul's humongous damage range would prevent me from getting the kill shot.
5. I'd get petrified (Baleful Gaze, yes I know you can turn away and I did most of the time) and Qiqiru would finish off the lizard before I could get disengaged.

Conversations with most relic owners will show that it would seem the relic WS's have a higher rate of missing than most other WS. That or maybe I'm just spoiled by all the multi-hit WS I use. Despite it's animation appearance, Geirskogul is a 1-hit WS.

Number 3 wasn't a huge issue, but always seemed to show up when I was on a particularly bad stretch of Crapskoguls happening.

Number 4 was, by far, the most maddening out of all of these possibilities. The same TP return for Geirskogul presents a damage range anywhere between 350-1200 on the lizards and raptors I was fighting out in Teriggan. I would usually try to have a Daedaleus Wing handy from the chests and hope that I could get it slept (with Airybreeze as my mule) long enough for me to use it and finish it off with the wing. This wasn't the case most of the time this happened. Usually it'd have just enough HP left to kill itself on my Shock Spikes or enough for Qiqiru to finish it off in one blow.

At any rate, for the third time (original, trial 1039, trial 1040):

That photo turned out a lot larger and crappier than I thought it would. Gogo iPhone camera...

Between trial 1039, 1040 and minimal effort in campaign to rank up, I pretty much went from start to finish in capping Desperate Blows on DRK from the XP I picked up. That would be 22 merits primarily just from 2 Magian trials. If that alone isn't any indication how much of a time sink these things are, I don't know what is.


Been working on the medals for this since Fiat Lux happened the past week and the allied ring is available. Picked up {Wings of Honor $ $ $ $} late Sunday night, so I should be able to get an Allied Ring at some point Friday evening or Saturday morning.

I enjoyed Campaign when it first came out. The main pros for it are generally along the lines of it being a way to kill that down time while seeking a party and because there are genuinely some good pieces of gear you can get from it. The primary con, and the main reason I stopped caring about my medals, is the whole 30-day bullshit SE implemented. To be fair, I thought the 30-day stuff was crap when they first released campaign, but I didn't mind it as much as I do now.

Campaign is the only thing in the game you have to maintain in order to participate in various events associated with them (Splitting Heirs and Fiat Lux being the 2 primary ones). I get why they implemented it, but it's a really poor way to keep people interested and paying their monthly subscriptions. When this started feeling more like a chore instead of a game, I stopped caring. At one point, I had the Starlight Medal. By the time Fiat Lux came out in late March, I had fallen 4 ranks.

I can't really say I'm motivated now to get the top rank specifically for Fiat Lux as I'm not overly excited about the gear itself. Given these are the final ranks, I'm just going to get up to the top and hopefully have the patience to maintain it so that I can participate in the XP loss with my friends whenever they need me.


After an old man nap upon completing Trial 1040, I came back to find that Gawayne was seeking someone to replace a member of his subjob party in E.Ron_S. I needed a couple more levels on SAM, so I joined them. I popped my Emp. Ring and one charge from my Anniversary ring and killed level 47-50. This got me to thinking a little bit more about what subjobs I actually need to finish up.

For DRG, SAM and WHM are pretty much the only two that I ever use and I can't see that changing much. RDM or BLU might become more prevalent, but I'm still not sold on them as full time subjobs when WHM offers so much more in terms of self-preservation. WAR becomes somewhat tempting with the ability to use Bergressor in tandem, but it's not a deal breaker as Hasso is essentially the same thing. DRG is pretty much done.

For WHM, I'm not completely sure I want to even level this past 75. I may do it out of sheer boredom one day, but given my feelings on the job in general (despite the fact it's max-merited), I just can't see myself using this job enough for me to dump more time into it.

For PLD, I gotta do WAR, NIN and RDM. All 3 of these are at 37. This job, unfortunately for the most part, is going to force me to level subs that would come in handy with my other jobs in niche situations. The exception here being RDM will turn WHM into a juggernaut.

DRK pretty much goes along the lines of DRG. The only other exception here is THF. This brings my tally of subjobs to level to 4. WAR, NIN, RDM and THF. All of these are 37. With the Gungnir trials out of the way and with my minimal participation in campaign, hopefully I can knock a couple of these out each week and be done with subjobs entirely before the June update hits.

Anyway, still working on a complete breakdown of the Noct helm and Noct body as it compares with other items in those slots for the jobs that can use them. Hopefully that's done sometime this week...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Trial 1039, Dynamis Run Jacking, Stuff.

Trial 1039

I knocked a huge chunk out of Trial 1039 yesterday. Started the day needing 898 more Geirskoguls on Amorphs and ended the day needing only 240ish more. The primary reason for the surge is that I finally relented and took a mule down there to two box. Normally I just leave the mules in the Hazhalm area cause it's such a pain to get them back out there at times, especially when I'm running late by my standards.

While I'm glad that I'm about done with this trial, the next one I'm dreading will take far longer. The primary targets I'm considering for Trial 1040 are Bugards in Vunkerl Inlet, Raptors in Uleguerand Range or some Lizards in Cape Teriggan (can't remember what they actually /check). With Geirskogul's damage range being kind of random, it's going to be a little on the difficult side gauging when to use it to try to kill a bad guy, much less 1500 times.

Should have 1039 done tonight and with any luck...1040 done by 2011...

Dynamis Run Jacking

Part of me understands when our run gets jacked by a JP group that doesn't use the Dynamis Calendar. I don't like it, but short of getting up early to break a glass on the zone to delay the group, it's pretty difficult to actually communicate effectively enough to prevent it from happening. For a 2 month stretch late last year, we had an issue with a group led by Aatst called DynamisBunpai or something to that effect. The first time it happened, we just changed runs. The next week when it happened again, we tried to communicate with them about it, but were ignored. This was something that continued the next couple times it happened. Finally, I just got pissed off and started breaking glasses, which got their attention and we haven't had an issue with them since.

For the most part, Odin's NA Dynamis scheduling seems to get along fine. Aside from me f***ing up and scheduling a start time later than it should have been that caused us to bump LB from a Tav run and a random JP shout group that delayed a San d'Oria run by an hour, we haven't had any issues. At least until yesterday...

I'm down killing leeches when I caught wind of BBQDynamis gathering for Dynamis Tavnazia. Our run leader pointed out the calendar and Namicat's response was "I know, we'll try to hurry" or something to that effect. Naturally, our reaction was to try to hurry everyone down there to preserve our time slot, but that didn't happen and the obviously rushed-together BBQ group got into the zone before us about a half hour before we were scheduled to start.

My understanding of the conversation that took place afterward between Namicat and the run leaders led me to believe he knew what was posted on the Dynamis Calendar and didn't give a shit. A quick look at the calendar itself showed BBQDynamis scheduled for their customary time slot in Dynamis-Valkurm and our runs in their correct slots.

Nothing we can do about the run jacking aside from prepare our crew for when we could potentially enter now. So I started going over what to look for in order to determine how long they were going to be in there. The extensions in Tav look like this:

Start: 15 minutes
Nightmare Bugard: 15 minutes
Nightmare Antlion: 30 minutes
First floor ???: 30 minutes
Second floor ???: 30 minutes.

There's a grand total of two hours in there and you pretty much have to start moving the second you enter. I explained that the main thing to look for was their subjobs. While it's relatively common to get the first two extensions before completing the subjob requirements, it's safe to say a group isn't going to make it very far if they don't get their subjobs unlocked ASAP. So worst case is, we push our run back by 1.5 hours at most. Best case is...they don't get any extensions at all and pop back out 15 minutes after they enter. Most likely case was failing to get past an hour, which made us 30 minutes late.

They entered with 12 people. This was something else that worked out in our favor as a good portion of the stuff in there is kind of slow to take down even with 18. After about 10 minutes, their numbers grew to 14.

...then dropped to 10.

...then grew to 14.

...then dropped to 10.

...then grew to 15.

~50 minutes into their run and they still did not have their subjobs unlocked. Our group also observed a number of people that either HP'd or warped out presumably due to a wipe or 4. If I had to guess, I'd say the Nightmare Worm had it's way with them via Draw-In and some Nightmare Bees spawning from a nearby door right on top of them. We've all been there at one point in our Dynamis Tavnazian lives.

An hour after they started, they popped out in a body pile as expected. I felt this was the best time to point a couple things out to them.

The first being, if you're going to jack someone's run, come up with a better excuse and don't be a douche about it. It's pretty obvious Mr. Namicat that you're aware of the Calendar's existence. If you guys didn't have enough for Valk, then check the damn calendar and find a zone you do have enough for that won't interrupt another shell's schedule. While Obsidian was being bumped by JP groups, we've always respected what any other shell had scheduled, including yours. If you don't want to return the favor, then I truly hope you can cash the checks you're writing.

The second being, if you're going to jack someone's run, then at least succeed and make it worth the time of the people you put in a position they don't necessarily want to be in. Your crew lost God knows how much XP while you tried to rush them in. You would have been better off going to Bastok or Sandy. I'm not saying people don't have issues with Tavnazia, we certainly have, but the fact you rushed them in intentionally trying to jack a run combined with the fact you failed miserably in said run certainly provided us with some comedy. Your crew failed to get subjobs until ~50 INTO the run. Both of our crews had subjobs unlocked within 10 minutes of entering.

Amazing what a little preparation can do...

...also amazing what Karma can do.

It speaks volumes when members of BBQ that don't do Dynamis with that group talk about it's poor organization and compare it to the arm of AIG that lost billions in the financial collapse.

At any rate, I suppose it's our move next...

Might be time to revisit the old EU Run Setup and have a Tavnazia around midday Wednesday...


Spent most of Saturday evening running our crew through the various T2 VNMs along the different paths. Lamprey Lord and the two Fairies are some serious bastards if you try to tank them straight up. The rest of 'em were relatively easy to take down.

My biggest issue with VNMs at the moment is we either have too many people there or we don't have the right job combination for what's been proven effective against them.


Up until this point, we've tried to get at least one event per week in. It's pretty obvious now what our strong attendance times are and where we have most of the interest, but for some of the more mundane stuff like farming in general, it's getting kind of irritating having low numbers show. Our group is small enough to where if someone is a little patient, they'll basically get leftovers for minimal effort or cost. I've never been a huge proponent of making everyone pass items and essentially destroying them, but there's part of me that thinks we should consider doing this on the bigger ticket items. Or at least forcing everyone to lot/pass stuff instead of letting it auto-distribute.

Overall, I'm still relatively happy with turn out, but as with any shell expanding into areas like we have, it's still a learning process. Aside from the item distribution, I think we still have issues with perception and communication about "official" events. It's kind of a general belief that when the new website is done and running, this will be fixed.

Summer "Get Together" 2010

This year's Get Together will be from July 15th-July 19th at King Cranky's abode in West Virginia. The currently RSVP'd list of people include Kay, Suraph, Lectrikelion, Kreoss, Kaelis, Erimentha, Yoteo and myself with invites sent to a few other people like Mexibishe, Cuban, Kimille etc. Due to space limitations, we're probably not going to have more than 10 people there unless some don't mind tents/sleeping bags or spooning with other men...

The primary caveat to this year's invite list is:

King Cranky Cat has to like you. He generally likes everyone despite his gruff online appearance. This caveat has actually been present at all of the Get Togethers, but since it's King Cranky, we like to point it out as it's a rather humorous facet of his personality.

General plans at the moment are for everyone to make their travel arrangements to either arrive at the Baltimore Airport on the 15th by 1:00PM or drive up from wherever they live. Then to have their flights home leave from Baltimore Airport no earlier than 5:00PM on the 19th. King Cranky will pick us up from the airport and I'll be renting a car for the haul back to Cranky Caverns. (Anyone that wants to pitch in for the rental fees and whatnot, feel free to...)

Anyway, back to work for now. Slow day here today, so I had some time to do some blogging. Hopefully that trend continues as I have a lot of other stuff to blog about. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Betty White on SNL

I admittedly am not a huge SNL honk. Typically, my viewings of it consisted of the marathon variety with a bunch of buddies, some booze and some snacks. I, among others, understand when change to a cast has to happen, but a lot of the times, don't have the patience to watch week in and week out as sketch comedy writers/actors work to establish themselves. I've always been of the mindset "just show me the highlights".

Earlier this year, when I heard Betty White was the subject of a Facebook campaign trying to get her to host SNL, my first thought was...why? I had seen a lot of her in Golden Girls thanks to my Mom's religious viewing of the show (even to this day...) and didn't think anything particularly fond about it. I didn't think much of it, but blurbs about it kept showing up around the various sites I read. seemingly had something about her hosting almost every other week, but usually inserted into other ideas like "SNL plans Women of Comedy Show".

So, we get to earlier last month and Betty White is all but confirmed and people are going crazy happy about it. A lot of news websites are starting to wax nostalgic about Betty White and use that as a platform to discuss the power of social networking. I still wasn't sure what the big deal was, so I started doing some reading up on her. I knew she was old, but wasn't sure just how long she had been in the business (the answer to that is 70+ years). I also knew I laughed hard when I saw her in that Snickers commercial with Abe Vigoda.

As various news outlets started running more and more clips of her along with her newest interviews, I started becoming a fan. A lot of the reason I did I think relates to how similar she was to one of my grandmothers. No subject was off limits with her. You had to pay close attention or some of the jokes she would make would just go right by you.

What eventually sold me on tuning in to my first live SNL in probably 15 years was her appearance on Jimmy Fallon's Late Night. Typically, as someone ages, things start to slow down and the brain is among them. For her to be 88 years old and playing Beer Pong (even if the liquid in her cups was water...) was impressive to me. On top of that, she actually busted Fallon up with one of those Grandma-esque jokes. Here's one segment linked from Hulu, so I fully expect it to be taken down at some point in the next 3 weeks:

Seriously, at 88+ years old, I can only hope my brain is working a fraction of the speed hers is working if I make it to that age.

Onto the SNL episode itself...

By the time it aired, I had a pretty good idea what to expect. There was going to be lots of perverted old lady humor. Betty White's recent success pretty much revolves around the idea that someone who looks like such a sweet person couldn't possibly say some of the things she says. She certainly didn't fail to deliver on that part.

The skits they did were more or less rehashes of things I've seen them do in the past. Skits like Delicious Dish (think Schweddy Balls with Alec Baldwin), the MacGruber stuff that's been rather prominent since they produced an upcoming movie about it and some variation of a couple talk show format skits that usually end up being boring until the punchline hits.

Where I thought she was at her best was during the Scared Straight skit:

...and the digital short SNL produced:

(Yes, I know that's a's the end that cracked me up.)

A few other notable quotes:

"You know, if I could go back in time, I would lez it up 24 hours. Believe me, one thing I would not miss...


Terrible little things."

On her Mexican son's admission to being gay:

"Aye yi yi...that explains why he doesn't like tacos!"

Anyway, the episode was probably among the best I've seen. There wasn't a huge variation in content from skit to skit, but at 88 years old, Betty White delivered with a near perfect sense of comedic timing that pretty much shows age really is just a number when you compare it to the performances of some of the past hosts I've seen.

There's also a number of Web-only related SNL skits with Betty White available on

Bottom line is this:

This lady is probably one of the last links to a generation of TV stars that really laid the ground work for what we view today. Big props for anyone that took notice of the Facebook page and got the wheels turning to get her into the spotlight at least one last time. Not that I think she's going to any time never really know, but the fact that the cast paid tribute in a manner I've not really seen from an SNL show speaks volumes about her contributions to the industry as a whole. She's not necessarily someone people list when they start talking about influences or things of that manner, but she's been around long enough to gain a lot of respect.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Batman: Arkham Asylum

I know I'm about 9 months behind in playing this game but...

Holy shit this is a great game.

Qtipus' Information

FFXI subscriber since NA release.