To whomever may be still following this blog. Holy shit dudes. Talk about persistence OR you seriously need to clean your RSS feeds. lol.
Friday, January 04, 2013
Posted by Alachia at 10:45 AM
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Breaking this down into Buffs (things I love) and Debuffs (debunking a lot of misconceptions of the game that led me to believe I might not like it) and Curse (what sucks).
I’ll just start with the awesomesauceness of the game.
*The graphics. It has not been since Final Fantasy XI that I have encountered graphics that really impressed me and so it is quite appropriate that it’s FFXIV that trumps the last time I was truly wowed by a graphic engine. The renderings are just spectacular, the details are as crisp as I remembered the last time.
Did I mention the graphics are just awesome? I definitely would not recommend anyone try to play this game without the bare minimum system requirements for sure. You will lag, your screen will look like the original nintendo, and it won’t be worth your money to try to play this game unless you can fully appreciate it.
* This game rewards you for exploring and figuring things out as you go. Spending the time to click on the NPCs and talking to everyone often yields really cool stuff you wouldn’t know about. The wiki for this game is still pretty small so I am finding the need for exploration a really fun change from having every zone and NPC memorized.
*Minimal questing. You only get like 8 quests per week and then the rest of your leveling is done through grinding mobs or crafting. I think I hated this in FFXI but now love it having been totally burnt out from quest grinding in WoW. It’s just nice to not have to worry about everyone being on the same quest etc.. just go out, explore, and kill shit that’s within your level. It’s nice because…
*The combat is a lot longer than in WoW for sure. You spend many minutes on one mob which might sound tedious if it weren’t for things like Battle Regimens which require group coordination to perform special debuff abilities on the mob when performed correctly. It’s not easy so far and that challenge alone makes game play not as boring as “spam spam spam spam kill.” The combat system also offers Tactical Points which let you set off special moves as well which break up the spammyness of your typical fights. And you know the game mobs are only gonna get more complex when a simple beginners mob dodo bird can blind, slow, and sleep you. lol.
*Crafting graphics are awesome (not just twisting your fingers around in the air while being hunched over). You actually see saw blades and spin wheels for tailoring etc. And so far I love the actual crafting mechanism too. I actually feel like I’m performing a skill when I’m fishing or doing botany (chopping down wood off trees). It’s like a mini game inside the game.
Problems I heard people have in FF that I didn’t think were bad at all.
*Controls. Movement controls are fine for me but I’ve always used the awsd keys in conjunction with my right mouse click to navigate in WoW. If you are used to the arrow keys, I can see how you might really have a hard time but the plus side is that once you learn to move with your mouse and keyboard, it’s way more fluid and nice…good habit for game play anyhow.
*XP Fatigue. This is the one I’ve heard people bitching about the most but I think it’s probably the most misunderstood mechanism of the game so far. In FFXIV, ONE character can be any class and a class is defined not only as say like a conjurer or lancer but also as a fisher or botanist or miner. You can be all of them if you want. To change classes, you only have to change out your weapon and bam, you are a new class.
XP Fatigue begins after 8 hours of ONE class and then diminishes to zero XP gain after 16 hours (per week). This means you can go to another class and level that up after those hours. They are encouraging people to not just be mono-classed and seriously, who the hell can do more that 16 hours of grinding a fuckin’ wharf rat or doing 16 hours of mining per week.
They did this so you wouldn’t feel guilty about leveling up another class during the week..time you would otherwise pour into perfecting your main class etc. I rather like this system a lot because it frees me up to do other things in the game rather than to level chase and encourages me to try other things in the game than grinding a mob.
There are 18 classes in the game and 18x16 = more hours than in a week…so it’s not like you have to turn off the game at any point for you crazy mmorpg addicts *looks at self*
*No Epic Loot Drops. I guess I actually like that there is no looting in the game. Random crap just goes directly into your inventory and you don’t have to waste time pick up crap off the mob. Gear and weapons are pretty much crafted although some crappy stuff occasionally drops off mobs or are received through quests. The majority of loot you will want though will be from other players in the game who spend the time to gather and craft etc. THIS is what makes crafting in a game actually useful…demand. When awesome crap falls off of mobs, who the heck wants to five days crafting a shield? Not me.
*No Auction House at game launch. This one I can see why people are going nuts but at the same time I still applaud SE for trying something bold with the market wards. Yes, they are laggy and horribly time consuming but at the same time they generate a community that is normally vacant. Secondary class systems have previously just been useless and interaction for trade systems in WoW was rather annoying because of the amount of spamming you had to do. I get the feeling they will bring in an AH system later but for now, they want people active in the market wards. And quite frankly, the awful truth is that if you find yourself saying “I don’t have time for this” then this game is probably not for you..stay far far away. (I spent thirty minutes just looking for the fishing guild on three different levels of an area cursing in frustration the whole way but being so excited when I finally found it…that’s FFXIV)
So the stuff about the game that just plain sucks!
*TABing to another window while running FFXIV will crash the game. I’m not sure if that’s just beta or if that will be the case in the title release.
*(my BIGGEST gripe of FFXIV) Software Mouse sucks but hopefully someone will make a mod so we can use the hardware mouse instead.
*/tell Firstname Lastname to talk to friends sucks! there is no /r yet which makes chatting in the game a pain. Maybe they are trying to encourage people to get in a linkshell ASAP.
*Party invite only seems possible when you are physically near each other and can click on the player..seems cumbersome.
Gonna go ahead an list a few things I learned that might make game play easier for anyone just going in:
*Shortcuts I love:
[Home] = open and close main menu
[C] = Target Lock
[F] = Toggle Active/Passive Mode
[B]= Open/Close Emote
The rest here:
*Talk to everyone more than once…sometimes they have more to give you…ie.. I got my extra spell by talking to the main barkeep in town a second time.
*Macro Guide: http://www.ffxivcore.com/wiki/Macro_Guide
*Like @Ejji says: put everything you know and love about WoW on the shelf before playing.
I set up a bindpoint channel for FFXIV to spam random crap about things we've figured out:
Sign up here at bindpoint.im
Instructions for Aidum (mac) and Pidgin (pc) here
Posted by Alachia at 8:21 PM
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Eh. Need to put in a new post here so the Chinese stop spamming my comments.
Here's an old chat I had a few months ago with Flipmax regarding mages in Wotlk.
Alachia: since playing a mage in vanilla wow, do you find it harder to play a mage in wotlk?
Flipmax: well its a bit more challenging than b4 cuase arcane was never a viable spec until wotlk
Flipmax: compared to fire and ice
Flipmax: which were the main specs in vanilla wow and bc
Flipmax: so harder? id say yes compared to vanilla
Flipmax: we done do as much cc compared to the old instnaces either...we used more buttons back then
Flipmax: thru the expansions...everytiem they change talents and trees...mages would suck at the beginning of the patch...like hunters and rouges out dps mages...but after awhile when gear catches up and new set bonuses kicks in they come back on top as you saw last night
Alachia: more buttons how?
Alachia: like counterspell, sheep, decurse?
Flipmax: strategic novas
Flipmax: running around doing specific jobs mages have to do
Flipmax: but there's not much of that anymore. its very point and shoot nowadays
Flipmax: dps is more of a blunt object now in may of the newest fights
Flipmax: the old fights were were always maximizing where we could stand and dps the most time. now there's not much of that
Flipmax: cept for festergut, putrid, and rotface wing
Flipmax: you guys dont even need our portals as much anymore
Flipmax: i can't roulette you guys now anywhere near as much as I could in kara
Flipmax: sounds like im on a podcast interview
Alachia: you are lol
Alachia: so what proc are you looking for the most with arcane?
Flipmax: arc blast
Flipmax: if you look at recounts that's what crits the most
Flipmax: as far as proc...you're alwasy looking for the arc missle proc
Flipmax: it's the most mana efficient thing to use now since it's free
Flipmax: but the challenge is to minimize mana consumption and maximize dps still
Alachia: so you arcane blast until arc missles proc?
Flipmax: for the most part right now
Flipmax: we think that might change once we get 4 piece bonus
Flipmax: since haste is the big stat for this t10 it seems
Flipmax: t9, crit and int were the big stats to get
Flipmax: now that you have haste. your mana is goign down faster. So you actually have to manage mana again. We thought we were going to have to do a lot of management just getting the 2 piece bonus, but not too much yet
Flipmax: getting that trinket that givies us 123 int is the reason mana is really plentiful right now
Alachia: does your counterspell silence mobs now?
Alachia: or did they take that out?
Flipmax: no that's still there
Posted by Alachia at 6:54 AM
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
So I got this email today asking me some really interesting questions regarding why I pursue what I pursue in all my mediums. It made me really think about what drew me to the form of podcasting in the first place.
And more importantly, it inspired me to sit down and do Episode 46. I forgot how much I love to just ramble to myself. And I thought it’d be a good idea to let people know what the future of the podcast is since I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about its mortality. lol.
Funny note: The background music is Philip Glass Morphosis 1-5 and the lengths of the full set was the length of the podcast. I really love how reflective the music is. Hope you enjoy it too.
Google Buzz Link: http://www.google.com/buzz/alachia.me/g3HXrZr2Ewv/The-Fat-Lady-hasn-t-Sung
Posted by Alachia at 3:48 PM
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
So I thought I kind of nerd raged too much at my last raid this week (muted of course) but apparently a few moments of yelling at the screen is nothing compared to the guy who tried to strangle his mother. That’s nerd raging to a whole new level.
I hesitated on posting this or even commenting on this because it obviously has nothing to do with WoW in particular except he happened to be playing the game while the incident occurred. The guy was drunk and obviously has some issues. The whole incident was beyond absurd.
I just HATE news like this because this is where people get really really misleading impressions about the gaming culture. There’s rarely a news article about how WoW united a family or helped a group of friends stay in touch. The media has to report what happens but I’m afraid that’s all non-gamers tend to see and it severely mars the image of those whose lifestyles revolve around gaming.
Full Article on Tomshardware.com here--->
Posted by Alachia at 8:25 PM
I just loved this tid bit on ReRollz.com featuring R.A. Salvatore:
Rerollz: What do you think is the most successful medium for delivering a storyline inside a MMOG? Is it text in a Quest Log window? Is it dialogue bubbles popping up from NPC’s on screen? Or is it perhaps voiceover work like with what they are doing at Bioware’s Star Wars game?
R.A. Salvatore: It’s definitely not the text bubbles. Of that I am certain. How many people read the text of a quest carefully, compared to those who just read the objectives to get it done? I think it’s a combination of a lot of things: some text, sure; voiceover helps, but even that can get tedious if it drones on too long (the opening of Culling of Stratholme…); cut scenes can do phenomenal things to evoke emotion in the player, if they’re done well; and finally, as I said above regarding Icecrown, the idea that your actions actually change the environment is probably the most powerful thing of all.
How cool is he!? So glad someone out there gets it. Of course, being one of the foremost writers in fantasy adventure, I suppose he would. lol.
Posted by Alachia at 10:49 AM
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Having pulled a crazy work week, I wasn't sure if I had it in me to hit up the photowalk this evening. I had just told Azyxa I didn't have enough brain juice to do it when I was going through IF to Stormwind to turn in some charms and came across this shot.
At that point, I was mesmerized and had to continue with the screenshots. I am beyond pleased with the photos of Ironforge. I think it has a lot to do with the lighting ambiance and textures in Ironforge. They give you the most amazing glows and shadows.
Out of all the sets so far that I've taken in Azeroth, the Ironforge ones are now my favorite. I have no idea what Catacylsm holds for Ironforge or if we'll even see any changes but I hope to see more areas like it.
One of the things that makes IF so intriguing is how autonomous you feel inside of it. There are just so many nook and crannies and room and shadows that you really feel like it's actual space you can explore. It'd be a great place to play virtual hide and seek for sure.
I also got to visit my old WoW room! Next week, we hit up Wetlands! Woot! I plan to massacre a ton of murlocs in the process!
Posted by Alachia at 4:34 AM
Thursday, February 04, 2010
What’s more annoying than having two attempts out of twenty left on a boss you were able to down in two attempts the week previous? It had been a long and frustrating night where everything seems to be going in reverse! However, second to the last attempt of Professor Putricide, we had worked out all the crazy kinks we were experiencing. People were finally moving where they were supposed to and focusing on what they were asked to and no one was dead by phase 3.
Just as phase 3 comes up, we get set in position and everyone is hard nuking him and he’s going down so fast (35% to 18%) in just a matter of seconds. He would have been defeated! As I’m loading up a chain heal, bam!!!! Stuck in place! OH NOES!!! Damn internet went out. NOOOOO.
Shatai, the other healer of the group, (holy priest) was able to keep everyone up until the boss was at 4% but then they had casualties. He almost lasted though! That would have been epic! But as anyone dies in that fight, Professor Putricide gains health back so it becomes a losing battle fast as soon as you have casualties.
Sucks. Found out today that there was a lose wiring in fitting that held all the cable wires. Every time the wind would blow, connectivity would go out. Damn wind had to blow at the worst possible second. If it had happened like twently seconds later, we would have had our much needed successful attempt!
Posted by Alachia at 2:33 PM
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Today's photowalk was in Badlands. I can't say it's that exciting of a zone. In fact, the rest of the Eastern Kingdom doesn't seem all that interesting until we hit Ghostlands. Kalimdor is where it's at I think.
I did manage to take some nice desert shots though throughout the Badlands. All I can think of in this zone is mining tin. lol. It's also one of the first places you get a trinket, [Nifty Stopwatch].
This is another zone that we all agree we won't mind if they completely overhaul. Sure would be nice to see an alliance town in this area as well.
Posted by Alachia at 10:18 AM
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I was trying to catch up on the Warcast forums today and was reading some commentary (http://www.worldofwarcast.com/forum/showthread.php?p=15872&posted=1#post15872) on the homogenization controversy we keep bringing up on Warcast. I keep getting the feeling after reading a lot of emails and comments that people just think I'm qq-ing over a feeling and not a fact. So anyhow here was my reply to the forum posts. I hope it brings to light more of the point I keep trying to get across. I also had an example about priests I wanted to use to directly speak about stat changes but left it out because the reply was getting too long. This one deals more with class homogenization.
I think it's really important to look at the over-all picture. I'm not qq-ing because of a few changes over the past months. I'm making an observation over the last five years. And while I have come to terms with these changes (it does take old dogs longer :)), I know for a fact that the homogenization is real. It does make the game simpler but it doesn't mean it hasn't made the game more fun... for some.
A lot of people point to the example of mages when they try to make this argument that the homogenization = more complexity in class play. "back in vanilla wow, all mages did was spam fireball or frost bolt" and now with wotlk, you're seeing mages use mods to monitor arc missile procs from arcane blasts assuming you don't have your four set bonus yet. They have to be careful with their timing and not waste procs. It's more fun for sure. It's more complex than spamming frostbolts for sure and you do amazing pew pew.
However, that's not the whole story. Five years ago, shamans could not decurse and resto tree druids couldn't do it in form. This left the duty mainly to mages who had decurse assignments. In addition to that, mages were always in charge of crowd control. Setting up focus macros to maintain your cc'd target was huge. Counterspell was also very common in a lot of the boss fights which were directly assigned to mages as well. In addition, there were a lot of really fun nova rotations you had to factor in and as well as a few really nifty aoe blizzard or flame strike combos with a mixture of frost and fire mages.
Homogenization has made it less critical for cc, aoe, counterspell, and decurse specializations from mages. Now they are pretty much prue dps soldiers. Shamans do the the decursing and can also counterspell, everyone and their mother can aoe effectively, and CC is almost an urban legend. These used to be part of the arsenal of a certain class and they are all but gone. You can ask almost any mage now that played in vanilla and they'll say, "yeah, it's a little bit more work than spamming one button but we sure as hell have far less buttons to worry about."
It's the tiny nuances that I struggled with losing. I'm not saying it's not for the best as I have submitted that this game isn't designed for the likes of me anymore. I had a great love/hate relationship with unbalanced chaos of class warfare.
And that's fine but I'm not just lamenting over some grand lie about how WoW is shifting to simplifying roles and gear. They are and their blue posts don't try to deny it. Does this free the devs up to create more balanced and fun gameplay for each class? Maybe. But I think the reality is that it's just creating more accessibility of gameplay for a wider audience who just don't give a crap about that stuff and just wanna pew pew and get phat lootz and play with their friends.
Posted by Alachia at 3:09 PM
Monday, January 18, 2010
I'm guessing the purpose of the new armory feature is to post your character in your blogs and be able to link what your toon looks like in full 3D model? Avatar Na'vi peeps eat your heart out! This chic is the KING of the floating islands of Nagrand. lol.
I'm a little confused at the new armory change, particularly the select stance style which requires you to log into battlenet to save. There have been so many reports of scams and recent account hacks. Why add a superfluous little item like this that you know people are going to have to do. Everyone loves to customize. I don't know many players who don't. This just seems irresponsible on Blizz's part. It's like giving teens the option of sex and then not making sure they have protection. That being said, check your HTML address like 10 times before you enter your full account info to customize your armory 3D toon.
Posted by Alachia at 12:25 AM