Thursday, September 23, 2010

Loot Whore Qtipus

I've been on an incredible run of luck lately in terms of item acquisition...


Loot Whore mode started 2 Odins ago where I picked up:

To understand how I got all 3 of those items in one run, you have to understand our bidding system. The only item I won outright in terms of bids was the E.Body. The other two items had myself and a couple others placing minimum bids of 4. Normally when someone places bids like that, they kind of want an item, but are willing to lot it out with other people. W.Body and Hofud both saw me win the subsequent lots, which is highly unusual for my level of luck at times.

And before Kreoss chimes in about a golden horseshoe shoved up my ass as it relates to my luck, I need to point out the vast majority of my luck is centered around crafting. I don't really consider most of that luck so much as persistence. The only "lucky" craft I believe I've ever had was a pair of Unicorn Leggings +1 back when they sold for 20 mil. Since then, I've been squarely in the center of the odds. My current 0/72 streak on cursed cap+1 is a good example of that. :)


E.Body was naturally turned into this:

I got the Crimson Scale Mail as well, but didn't really care enough about it to take a picture. However, I do need to thank Alaistair for making it for me.


AF2 from Dynamis has been mostly irrelevant for a very long time. There are some niche pieces that can be used for various sets and a few that are full time (BLU Body, RDM Hat come to mind), but for the most part, the rest of it is junk compared to what you can get in the slots now.

Since it's introduction though, I've wanted Wyrm Mail +1. Haste on any body piece is rare to find, or likely was until the introduction of the AF3 bodies. If you go by the standard of Acc > Haste > everything else, then you already know I'm at or near the Acc cap on pretty much everything I fight. So the only thing that's really been left has been for me to tweak out things with haste gear.

At any rate, we've not had much luck in Tav runs as it relates to body pieces. We've picked up a few BST-1, WAR-1 and "new" job-1 bodies but nothing really substantial until the last Tav run. With the level cap increasing, Tav is becoming increasingly easier to deal with. Before, taking on clusters was pretty much just a "grab your ass, put your head between your knees and pray" type of endeavor. While they still pack a punch if they blow up, they aren't all out devastating like they used to be 10 levels before. This pretty much lent itself to my simple dynamis philosoph of "more kills = more drops".

We finally had a breakthrough.

Kimille was the one that wanted that forever and it would have completed her RDM AF2+1 set. Unfortunately, she wasn't at the run for reasons related to baby, moving, remodeling, etc, so Rudithina picked it up. I dunno if anyone's tested it, but from what I can tell, there's not a huge gain in terms of stats. It's not like the AF2+1 hat where MND+3 gets added to it, but still, it's a rare drop and it's a whitebox for a piece that a lot of RDMs use.

About 1 kill after that...

Can pretty much see in that picture how I felt after seeing that. Holy shit what a relief. Everyone's got that one item they tend to obsess over. I felt like leaving the run right then and turning in all the stuff for it, but I waited until after the run was over then sat at my PC staring at Sagheera trying to fast forward time a week or figure out a way to hack SE's servers and speed their clocks up.

Anyway, I picked this up this past Sunday:

And this has found it's way into my TP build. Next things on my list at this point are a Bullwhip/Goading Belt (haven't decided which...), AF3+1/2 Hat and Feet and a Lancer's cape. Just with the +1 versions of the AF3, the cap and the goading belt, I will have added 6% to my TP build while not sacrificing much in the way of ACC at all. (+2 from body, +1 from hat, +1 from feet, +1 from back, +1 from belt). That would put my TP build at 23% haste. Bullwhip belt obviously puts me at cap, but I have some slight reservations about how much damage I'd be taking. Getting +2 Hat and Feet would pretty much put me at cap w/o having to worry about the amount of damage I'd take, but there's part of me that wants the Bullwhip belt and the AF3+2 just so I can full time in Ares Body (unless AF3 body is just insanely better).

Anyway, I'm sure I'm not the first on the server with a full DRG AF2+1 set, but I'm glad I finished it.


Abyssea is rather...odd. I love it to death, but I really dislike having to figure out how to handle drops given a lot of the high demand items can be obtained by sending in low man teams to deal with, so it's almost a waste of points trying to control it that way. It's also a waste of time trying to kill these things for anything other than atma purposes during a normal LS event.

With that said, I did some experimentation last night. I grabbed Drakus, Kaelis, Kaylea, Mav and Theora and we ran around to kill a few NMs. Chasmic Hornet, Khalamari, Gangly Green(?) and Bakka were at the top of the lists. The set up was DRG/WHM, BLU/NIN x2, THF/NIN, RDM/BLM, and BLM/Beard. Hornet got killed twice and I picked up:

This made me very happy. I had semi-bad luck with this drop, having killed the hornet at least a dozen times during the course of normal LS events. Was rather convenient for us to kill this since it was often on the way to a gigas pop we were farming and it dropped a semi-decent piece of abyssite to the puller. I knew I'd get it eventually, I just didn't expect it in this fashion.

Short while later, we found ourselves in Highlands looking for the other 3 NMs. Bakka was being taken down by a group of BSTs, so no go on that. Khalamari was up and was an easy kill, especially since Raiden Thrust terrorized it and we pretty much knocked 2/3 of it's life off while it was frozen. Mantle Pierce didn't even hit me that hard, just 600 damage. Killing it netted me this:

Although I have to say I didn't mean to lot that. I have a bit of mixed emotion about this hat. I want cursed cap+1, which essentially gives better modifiers, just no attack and w/o the acc penalty. I tend to think this helm, for non-relic users, isn't going to be as powerful as they think. But yeah, I lotted it accidentally over Mav's 80 point lot and I didn't realize I did until I saw the screenshot above. It was no big deal though, we'll kill it again very soon and get Mav this hat.

Anyway, I'm expecting an insanely unlucky thing to happen at some point soon. Not sure what, but it's completely rare for me to go on streaks like this. Part of me thinks I'm already suffering the bad luck just from the simple fact no one's found the quest to give DRG head seals yet. Most have a suspicion, but nothing confirmed. Just the NMs that drop it that aren't all that much of a pain, just requires more than one person. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shitty Computer Techs Part 2

At this point, I'm rather enraged. Nothing ever goes right with this software. Essentially, I knew how to check and verify the validity of that error that popped up, but I didn't have the expertise or the tools to really fix it. This was especially true since any modification to the SQL backend required a tool only the Xactware techs could use.

So I went to check and sure enough, "xm8_shared" didn't exist. In it's place?


Worst thing is, I couldn't connect to it at all via the SQL command console. Only thing I could really hope at this point was that the Xactimate backup actually backed that up.

I ended up calling the Xactware techs and spending the next 4 hours on the phone with one who seemed to know how to handle SQL databases with ease. He webex'd into the server and verified the xm8_shared database actually still existed and fortunately, it did. Now the question became how to get it corrected. Changing the XML files that point the client software to the database location didn't work. Recreating the database didn't work. Uninstalling SQL server and reinstalling it didn't work. It was pretty obvious something was there cockblocking the client software from seeing that database.

Eventually, we got the software to work, albeit patchwork. When they'd open it up, it'd still give them an error, but hitting retry or cancel would let them access their data. At that point in the day, that was good enough. They could work and it meant the Xactware tech and I had a chance to step away and think about what we could be missing that's causing that error.

So we basically button up all our work and I go back to finish setting up what started all of this crap to begin with...that Blackberry app. Come to find out, most of it had already set up, I just needed to verify it was working, which it was, so thankfully I didn't have to spend more than another 10 minutes on that.

Tuesday of next week rolls around and I'm still poring over Xactware support docs trying to figure out what could have happened. I get a text from my favorite employee/successful woman stating:

"can't upload estimates, got some due. xact tech says it's a network hardware issue."

Man was I annoyed.

I replied with: "give the xactware tech this case no. and tell him he's an idiot."

How in the hell can one say it's a network issue when clearly everything else on the network is running fine? Internet's fine. Their accounting software is running fine. Their printers are all working fine. Hell, even their remote web workplace was running fine. To further that point, how the hell was said tech webex'd into her damn workstation if the network wasn't fine? Wouldn't you think if there were some sort of network hardware issue something else wouldn't be working as well?

"he says he can't ping the server"

... . . . ."what's his name?"


"click start, click run, type 'cmd', type 'ping'. does it say 'request timed...' or 'reply from...'?

"reply from..."

"now type "ping 'servername'"

"reply from..."

"tell him to call me."

"ok, but be nice."


So "Devin" calls me and he sounds pretty much like I expected. Like a complete and total f***ing moron. How the hell did this guy get hired? I could only surmise that he was exceptional at reading flow charts and not thinking, which seemed to fit the bill for most of the level 1 Xactware techs. Anyway...

"Forgive me for saying this, but how can you screw up a simple ping command?"

"What do you mean?"

"You told her you couldn't ping the server and I just walked her through the process via text and pinged it by it's DNS name and it's IP address with successful responses."

"It wasn't replying when I tried it."

"Can you spell ping?"

At this point, I was remoted into the workstation he was remoted into. I told him to duplicate what he did.

ping 19216812


"Does your period work?"


"Ok, you missed about 3 of them in that command."


"Send me to a better tech. I don't want you touch the shit here anymore."

Then I called SCPSW back and told her he was a complete fuck up and to be expecting a call from a different tech, hopefully the one I had been dealing with the previous Friday.

Later that afternoon, I got another text from her stating they had band-aided the problem, but they needed me to talk to them ASAP. I called them up, got the same tech I had from before and was informed that I would most likely need to uninstall and reinstall Xactimate completely from the network along with SQL server before that error would go away.

That didn't sit too well with me. The next day I was going to have to actually be able to do something on that scale was the upcoming Friday, which was 3 days out. That or go burn the midnight oil and pull an all-nighter. So before getting off the phone, I double checked to make sure they were mostly functional and they were. So I scheduled them for Friday and at the very least, it gave them a heads up on how to plan that day as it related to Xactimate.

Thursday rolls around and apparently, another issue has come up and SCPSW has taken it upon herself to talk to the Xactimate techs again before asking me.

On a mostly un-related note, I should probably rethink how I train people in the art of asking for technical support. I probably need to add "If I tell you shit's broken and it will be fixed on X day, don't try to get it fixed sooner or have anyone else screw with it until it's fixed..."

Common sense? Maybe...

Anyway, she managed to get "Devin" again.

"'devin' says we can't open a profile cause of network hardware issues"


"And you believe him?"

"I don't know..."

"I do. Tell him to fuck off and go shove his head through a monitor."

"That's not nice."

"I'm not in a nice mood when it comes to this issue. Last thing I need is some sort of imbecilic, training wheels wearing, flow chart reading idiot getting in there and making things worse. Tell him to escalate you and to never answer a call from your login again."


About 20 minutes later, I get another phone call from her. This time I'm on 3-way with her and...Devin.

Big. Big. Mistake.


"Yes, I'm here."

"Oh Hi. I just wanted to say there's definitely some sort of network har...."

"If you say those 3 words again, so help me I will come to your facility and get you fired. Use your goddamn head pal, not your flow chart."

"It can't be anything else if I can't talk to the server."

"Really? Everything BUT your application is talking to the server. Your application was talking to the server before we uninstalled the workstation off that laptop to set up the blackberry app base. Don't give me this shit about network hardware. So unless you can tell me everything the uninstall process does, which was the point the issue was created, stop wasting my f***ing time with your flow chart bullshit."

"I don't know then sir."

"Awesome, a non-flow chart answer. Did you check the firewall? Did it maybe do something to that?"

"Yes, the firewall is off."

"Off? There were exceptions written for SQL and Xactware. Did you turn it off?"


"Are you in the server right now?"


"What about DNS entries, have you tried changing the XML file's pointer to the server's IP address instead of it's name or running the ipconfig /flushdns command?"

"I can try that now."

Few seconds later...

"Didn't work."

"Ok we'll just proceed as planned tomorrow. You're just going to have to call your insurance carriers and either fax them a copy of your work or tell them it will be there before close tomorrow."

Not satisfied this guy was capable of actually checking those things and somewhat pissed off at myself that I didn't think of the server's firewall sooner, I made a beeline for the nearest computer so I could check for myself.

Normally, when a program uninstalls, it's not going to modify firewall entries on ANOTHER computer. Maybe on it's own if necessary, but not on a different computer. When I had initially set this server up about a year ago, the firewall cost me about 2 hours of time. I had incorrectly assumed that the SQL Server 64-bit installation package would write it's own firewall entries/exceptions, but it didn't.

Knowing the Xactimate installation process was already a piece of shit, I didn't want to leave anything to chance at this point. Upon logging in, I see...

The server firewall is on.


The exceptions for SQL and Xactimate commands were missing.


How in the hell did that happen. "Devin" has proved his idiocy yet again by essentially lying about the server firewall and Xactware's developers have some explaining to do. Well they might. I could have been that "Devin" was in there screwing around with the server. I turned the firewall off and magically...

...that error and all their communication issues disappeared. Fucking imagine that. So I write up the exceptions again and their problems are fixed. I wasn't altogether pleased with myself, but relieved at that point that I wasn't going to have to spend an entire day monkeying around with this software again.

At least until I got a call from the owner about 2 hours later...

"Hey we can't find this new profile we signed up for."


"It's for Nationwide."

"And they're on 27.1?"

"No, 27.0"

"Sonofa...Xactware support strikes again."

"What do you mean?"

"They told me when I installed 27.1 that it was just a service pack and no dual license version of it would be necessary. You should have the chat log in your email."

"This mean we're seeing you tomorrow anyway?"

"Yep, just shouldn't be an all day thing..."

To round things up:

- An online chat rep didn't have a clue about the disappearing text issue.
- An online chat rep lied about the need for a dual license version.
- An online chat rep didn't have a clue about "No version selected."
- The Blackberry app installation apparently screws with server firewall settings (not completely verified).
- The rep named "Steve" knows his shit.
- The rep named "Devin" needs to find another profession.
- The rep named "Jonah" needs to learn how to back up all data.

And this is all before I install the dual license version of version 27, which fortunately was a blank database because they haven't done any work with the one, single, insurance company that's still using it. Even then, there were still unnecessary hassles that could have been prevented if the Xactware techs were competent and the developers actually tried to install their software on stuff other than their own machines before releasing it to the public.

And as usual, all force-fed shitcakes have the icing that appears after the initial taste of shit subsides. That icing?

On my way home last Friday, text from the franchise owner where I live...

"Hey, we need 27.1 and blackberry app set up."


Cue the Castle Crashers them. I'm out.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shitty Computer Techs Part 1

Sorry for lack of updates lately. This post would be partially why.

Most of you know, I "work" as an independent contractor for a company here in town. I'm contracted out through my computer repair business that I've been running for the past 10ish years. Over the years, I've built up a clientele that's generally sustained me during my best and worst periods as a business owner.

A few of my clients happen to be franchise owners all working under a nationwide network of insurance repair/restoration specialists. Basically, the company you pay insurance to, contracts out companies like these to do the work. Each of these insurance companies generally require estimates to be written in a piece of software called Xactimate.

Most people will sing the praises of said software. It does what it's supposed to for the end user.

For the techs installing it and, to an extent, supporting it, not so much.

Xactware is the publisher of Xactimate. My first install of Xactimate came back in 2001. That install was easy since this franchise hadn't used it at all and we didn't have to worry about data. Pretty much every update since has sucked major shit.

And not just major shit.

Shit through a coffee straw for at least 10 hours a day.

This is further compounded by their approach to technical support. Before I get into that though, there's more to explain.

Basically, the Xactimate software operates in profiles. Each profile is basically the insurance companies the particular business wants to deal with. State Farm, for example, has their own set of price lists to build estimates with along with a number of other guidelines. All of that is different for someone like Allstate or USAA or Metlife.

The single biggest issue is that when one insurance company starts accepting the standard for a particular version of Xactimate, then the business itself has to carry licenses for multiple versions of Xactimate until the rest of the insurance carriers catch up. This costs extra $$ each month to the tune of at least $50 per user license you want to "upgrade" to a multi-license.

Nevermind the fact the Xactware techs could just make some goddamn software that's backwards compatible. Or at the very least, give them the option to "Save As..." in an earlier version's format. Nope...probably affects their bottom line way too much.

There's also fault with the insurance companies mandating X version of Xactimate or we won't do business with you. Pretty much every other business model I deal with will accept information at least 3 versions old. Quickbooks comes to mind with their internet banking/support/end of life model. You got a version over 3 years old, sorry, no support for you. To me that's fair enough. To top it all off, it's not even a complete number change for versions. Quickbooks at least goes by year for example. Quickbooks 2008, 2009, 2010, etc. Xactimate? 25.0, 25.1, 25.4, 25.5, 27.0... and NONE of them are backwards compatible. So if State Farm says "25.5 only!", it doesn't matter if you're on 25.1 or 25.4, you have to upgrade if you want State Farm reps to do business with you.

That, my friends, is complete and utter bullshit.

So anyway, back to the Xactimate portion of this story. When they release a new version, I cringe. It's never just a simple upgrade. There's always something more complicated involved. Usually I have to uninstall a version that won't be used anymore or I have to uninstall the client software completely and reinstall it.

The version I installed for my customers in late May/early June was version 27.0. Oddly enough, the install went smoother than I had expected. Shortly after the install though was when the problems started to surface. Across all 3 of these franchises and one completely separate insurance repair business that uses said software, they were having issues with "disappearing text".


The first I heard of it was when the owner of the franchise in Elizabethtown called me and told me about it. She was irritated that they were having to save their progress essentially every minute or two in order to avoid losing work. She had already done what I had trained her to do prior to calling me. She had spoken with the Xactware reps to see if this was a common issue. The Xactware reps told her:

"It's a Keyboard/Mouse driver issue."

She says that to me and, I admittedly gave it some thought as long as it was an isolated incident. While researching it further, I got it out of her that it was happening on 6 of her other workstations.

The local franchise had it happening on 2 of their workstations.

The Owensboro franchise had it happening on 1 of theirs.

The independent company out of Morgantown had it happening on 1 of his.

So quick math:

10 workstations having this problem across a 4 city area.
7 different sets of keyboards and mice across 2 different interfaces (PS2 and USB).
A generic Keyboard/Mouse driver that hasn't changed in at least a decade.

...and the Xactware rep stood by his Keyboard/Mouse driver issue claim.

So I jumped through his hoops and some of my own. I tested out every possibility from a malware infection, to uninstalling/reinstalling everything completely from one of the smaller franchises to even all out wiping a workstation exhibiting the symptoms and reloading everything, including Windows, from scratch to no avail.

Now I'm convinced it's a bug in the software or some sort of simple setting. After getting nowhere with the Xactware reps, I pretty much just told the franchise owners to just save frequently and wait for the next patch and that if it got too maddening, keep hounding Xactware about it until they fix it.

This brings us to earlier this month. Version 27.1 is now out. During the course of any upgrade, I'll get online with a rep and ask for shit to look out for. Am I going to have to uninstall a previous version? Will they need to activate their license key for the new version? Will we need to install a "D" (for dual license) version of the previous one in case some insurance companies aren't up to the latest version yet? The answers to those questions were No, Yes, No respectively. He even said "this is just a service pack, not a complete upgrade".

I also brought up the disappearing text issue again and my confidence in their support staff dropped further when he sent me a link to a support bulletin that had nothing to do with text disappearing. Matter of fact, it didn't even use the words "text" or "disappearing". It was related to a database issue where estimates would get their names changed.

So I pretty much rescinded to the fact that I was in for a long day. I did the backup before the upgrade and started it. The initial part went smoothly, converting all of their data over to the new version, etc. The subsequent workstation upgrades sucked. The installer kept giving me an error at the point where you select which version to install (27.1...). The error?

"No version selected."

...there's a green check next to 27.1.

"No version selected."

...gotta be fucking kidding me.

So back to the Xactware reps I go. His response?

"You need to rename the Xactimate27 folder located in the Application Data and Program Files directories to something like "Xactimate27Old".

Ok really? WTF does that actually have to do with an installer not being able to recognize a f***ing checkbox?

I put him on "hold" while I followed his instructions. Not believing a damn word of them, I RDP'd into another workstation to test my own theory out while doing his instructions on the actual workstation I was at.

Renaming Directories? Fail. Same error.
Uninstalling/Reinstalling? Win.

Despite seeing this with my own eyes, the Xactware rep said it wasn't necessary to do that. I pretty much cut him off after that and just went about the task I was assigned. The installations on the rest of the computers went smoothly and just when I thought I was going to get out of there relatively quick...



So I go look at this app. This app looks useful and time saving for writing estimates. Unfortunately, they have to do the following to get it to work:

1. Set up a local install of Xactimate 27.1 on a dedicated machine.
2. Buy an entirely new license key. Note: This is not the same as a client access license to even access the data. This is just the key to install the software and identify your account on the Xactware servers.
3. Buy/modify an existing license.


Mostly because I knew explaining this to her was going to be an entirely pointless endeavor, but she'd hound me for the answers to "Why?" anyway.

Although I do have to say it was rather entertaining watching the look on her face when she realized her laptop was going to end up being the guinea pig for this. So...

...I uninstalled the network versions of Xactimate off said laptop. Then as I'm getting ready to install the version she needs to sync up with the app, I start getting people asking why they can't get into Xactimate. I go to a workstation and try to open the software.

"Unable to connect. The database 'xm8_shared' doesn't exist."

...oh fuck/shit/piss/goddammit?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Jumps

Just a quick blurb to point out...

The tweak to Spirit Jump and the addition of Soul Jump essentially gives me 100TP instantly.

Dragoon is broken.

That is all. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Obsidian Site Down...

Obsidian's website is hosted on a server in or near Dallas. For those of you that don't know...

...that's been the tale of the tape the past couple days. That line isn't moving east or west at all, it's moving north. So far, estimates are that it's dropped 6-15" of rain in the Dallas area. It's name is Tropical Depression Hermine...

Guessing the company that hosts it lost power long enough to drain the battery backups.

That or the webserver is sitting under water.

Time will tell... :)

In the meantime, for those of you wondering, yes we canceled dynamis today. Likely too many people going to be caught up in download congestion hell for us to get it started on time with a reasonable amount of people.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

...That's It?

Day before the update and we get, Walk of Echoes notes, Fishing notes, a blurb about an additional search option and some Abyssea notes. Nothing overwhelming in my opinion. Did we really need more fishing options for Inside the Belly? I hate magian trials with a passion, so that blurb is just useless to me. Walk of Echoes...had to be living under a rock if you didn't at least assume it was going to be changed.

The Abyssea notes however...Horst <3.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not fapping to the Abyssea notes or anything, but it seems SE was listening a bit. Even just a tiny bit.

Now if they'd just let us buy entire stacks of keys in one go, make key items 100%, and let us turn our excess time back into stones...

Kind of a fizzle so far after coming out strong with update notes. Hope the final version update has a number of surprises. Can't wait to see what the stats are on AF3. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Job Adjustments (Part 2)

As previously announced, the September version update will see the unveiling of a variety of new job abilities, traits, and spells. Besides these additions, existing job abilities will also see wide-ranging adjustments and refinements.

The following adjustments will be made to existing job abilities:

- The warrior ability "Restraint" will no longer prevent the user from dealing critical hits.

- The thief ability "Despoil" will have an increased success rate, and the status ailment inflicted upon the enemy will be displayed in the message log.

- The beastmaster ability "Call Beast" will receive four new jugs:
Curdled Plasma Broth / Goblin Bug Broth / Bubbling Carrion Broth / Chirping Grasshopper Broth

- The beastmaster ability "Reward" will have minimum level requirements placed on pet food as follows, and the healing effect will be increased accordingly for food of higher levels:
- Pet Food Alpha (Level 12)
- Pet Food Beta (Level 24)
- Pet Food Gamma (Level 36)
- Pet Food Delta (Level 48)
- Pet Food Epsilon (Level 60)
- Pet Food Zeta (Level 72)

- The bard songs "Chocobo Mazurka" and "Raptor Mazurka" will be effective in non-field areas.

- Elemental ninjutsu will receive a damage increase.

- The dragoon ability "Spirit Jump" will be affected by the "Jump Recast" merit point skill.

- The enhanced effect of the dragoon ability "Spirit Jump" when your wyvern is present will be increased further.

- Wyverns summoned with the dragoon ability "Call Wyvern" will be able to level up with experience gained in Abyssea.

- Summoners level 76 and above will see a decrease in the amount of MP required to sustain summoned avatars.

- The following blood pacts will have their effect duration lengthened commensurate with summoning magic skill, regardless of whether or not the skill has been increased to its maximum:
Shining Ruby / Glittering Ruby / Hastega / Crimson Howl / Frost Armor / Rolling Thunder / Lightning Armor / Ecliptic Growl / Ecliptic Howl / Noctoshield / Dream Shroud

- The maximum amount of MP drainable using the summoner ability "Elemental Siphon" will be increased.

- The maximum amount of MP restorable with the blue magic spell "Battery Charge" will be increased. This will be accomplished by reducing the rate of MP restoration slightly, but increasing the total duration of the spell effect.

- Your assigned set of blue magic will remain stored even after changing jobs.

- It will now be possible to accumulate TP and increase marksmanship skill using the corsair ability "Quick Draw."

- The duration of the corsair ability "Double Up" upon a roll of 11 will be reduced to five minutes.
*To compensate for this, enhancements to "Lucky 11" rolls are being planned for future updates, so please stay tuned!

- The puppetmaster ability "Deus Ex Automata" will be added.
- Deus Ex Automata (PUP Lv.5 / Ability Delay: 1 min.)
Calls forth your automaton in an unsound state.

- When level restriction results in a puppetmaster's automaton being deactivated in a state of full or nearly full health, the ability "Activate" will become immediately usable.

- The following items usable with the puppetmaster ability "Repair" will provide immediate HP restoration in addition to their existing Regen effect. Their purchase price will also be reduced.
Automaton Oil / Automaton Oil +1 / Automaton Oil +2

A number of things to note here, so going job by job...

Dragoon: All I have to say is, FUCK YEAH!~ Hopefully they make High Jump's merits work with Soul Jump right out of the gate too, but it is SE and they might just want to observe it. The "enhanced effect of Spirit Jump" being increased has my interest piqued a bit too. Right now, with wyvern present, you basically sacrifice your random VIT jump modifiers for 1.5x the TP you would normally get.

For me personally, I haven't noticed a huge difference in terms of damage between Jump and Spirit Jump. More often times than not, I'm between 250-400 on Spirit Jump. Jump was always about the same for me with a slightly higher floor and ceiling. Yes, that means I'm sacrificing some damage every minute and fifteen seconds, but if I'm getting to a WS faster, trust me, I'm overcoming that really easy.

Now they're talking about enhancing that effect further. I won't complain, but I will ask:

What's made them think it was really necessary?

As for the whole wyvern leveling up in abyssea thing, truthfully, I never noticed it didn't. On top of that, most of the stuff I'm fighting in Abyssea tends to wipe the wyvern out pretty quick anyway unless it's just an xp-fest.

Ninja: Elemental Ninjutsu getting a damage boost is something that's long overdue. Likely makes those Group 2 merits a lot more useful as well. If it's a 1% increase, then SE is just cockteasing the poor NINs. However, I don't think it'll be that minimal.

Summoner: Less MP consumption for keeping Avatars out post-76 is always a good thing. I believe this is directly aimed at either trying to extend the life of Avatar Favors or trying to get the SMNs to use their Avatars in melee situations more.

Increased MP from Elemental Siphon is never a bad thing.

The blood pacts blurb I'm not really sure I understand, so if I'm wrong, feel free to correct me. It looks like summoning skill effects the duration of those instead of the effect?

Corsair: Getting TP from Quickdraw = Awesome. The other part...wut?

Beastmaster: More pets each update seems to be the norm. The last batch of pets given to them were rather awesome and the names of these jugs seem to imply they're about to get stronger. Pet Vulture is about the only one I could guess with any certainty. The others seem to imply they're going to get a couple vermin pets and maybe a clot pet?

Not sure what to make of the food. Never really paid attention to their affects to begin with. Adding levels to it seems rather logical unless you used the strongest food early on while leveling BST. Increasing the food's effects as you level up can't be a bad thing and given the multiples of 12 they've gone by, is a new level 84 food coming soon?

Cooks start making some Zeta...I suspect there's going to be a spike in demand.

Warrior: Uh...what? Restraint will allow you to deal crit hits now? Wasn't the point of the JA to begin with the exact opposite? Oh well, if it's just a reduced chance to land crits while still building up WS power, no one will complain.

I still somehow get the feeling SE's fucked something about this up...

Thief: Anytime you add information, it's a good thing. Being able to see what Despoil actually does isn't going to be game breaking, but it's a nice touch. Increased success rate is never bad either.

Bard: Long time coming. Don't know why this song never worked indoors.

Blue Mage: That right there was probably the single biggest reason I never leveled BLU for a sub. I don't want to think about what spells I have to set every single time I change jobs. Despite Mazurka being in the game longer, this particular aspect felt like it was far more overdue than the aforementioned mazurka.

Puppetmaster: Meh, who gives a shit. That automaton's gonna die in about 2 hits anyway. :)

With the update looking like it's going to be Sept 8th and Labor Day in there before hand, I wonder if this is the last bit of update info we'll receive before the actual update. Hopefully not. I suspect there will be Abyssea adjustments (stone counter please...) that they'll announce prior to the update, but who knows. They may just reserve those notes until day of.

Qtipus' Information

FFXI subscriber since NA release.