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Updates loom heavy on the horizon2009 Mar 19 (Thu), 12:51
So I've not updated in a while, and many people thought I'd quit the game entirely. Truth be told, I was tempted to, but not because I'm bored with the game.

See, back in November 2008 Microsoft unveiled the New Xbox Experience (or NXE). This was a pretty radical overhaul of the entire Xbox 360 interface. For the most part, it's been a good update (the one exception being the annoying time it takes to pre-cache your downloadable content whenever you go into your game library from "My Xbox"). However, for some FFXI players, the NXE update was extremely destructive.

Apparently the NXE caused some sort of DRM bug to be exposed somewhere in the works (could be FFXI, could be NXE, could be people who had consoles replaced due to RRoD, could be some combination of things). This bug effectively forced you to do a reinstall. This, in and of itself, isn't a bad thing. It's a nuisance to have to perform an 8 hour reinstall, true, but that's not too bad. What is bad, however, is the fact that you lose all of your settings and macros.

In the March 2008 update we gained the ability to save our macros onto the FFXI servers. This meant that you could restore macros after reinstalls. There was much rejoicing, and I happily stored my macros at the time on Square's servers.

Unfortunately, I never updated the copy on the server afterwards. It wasn't until after this update that I actively started leveling BST, and so the 50+ levels of BST macros were never stored onto Square's servers.

So, when I was forced to reinstall, I lost all of my BST macros (and I actually had 3 tiers of BST macros for various activities such as specific BCNMs, Promy farming, etc.) I also lost a few end-game NIN and MNK macros I had added after some major item purchases early in the year.

Long story short, I had a mountain of work to do before I could even start to enjoy the game again, and that depressed me greatly. I stopped playing, and considered quitting entirely.

Several months passed, and Schultmc (who I introduced in the last post) kind of floundered in FFXI in obvious need of help. Additionally, several friends of mine were itching to play again. So last week I forced myself to get on and redo all my lost macros.

So I'm now back in the game, and have some updates to this site in the queue. I expect them to come in the next day or too. Stay tuned.

One more thing....2009 Mar 19 (Thu), 12:59
Oh, there's one more major thing I lost in the reinstall that I forgot to mention in my last post. One more thing that made me not want to come back to the game.

I had ~3 months of screenshots I hadn't gotten off of my 360 and onto this site from before the bug hit me. As usual, I kept putting them off and putting them off, and ultimately lost them entirely.

Without the screenshots as reference, I can't remember dick about what happened or what I did in the game. So I couldn't remember anything to update this site with.

So there's going to be a gap in the record on this site. From approximately Aug 2008 to Nov 2008, I simply can't recall what we did. I know it was a lot of things, I know we went and did magecite again, and did more WoTG missions.. but other than that, I have no clue.

Back in the saddle again2009 Mar 19 (Thu), 19:07
Several of us returned to the game to help Schultmc level up his support job. We all got together and went to fight flies in Meriphataud. We had a small party, 5 people, so we started out in the mountains chaining flies and lizards. After a couple of levels, we headed to the dunes to the secret beach to take on crabs, flies, and bats. While we were camping there, the Golden Bat spawned so we un-synced our levels and took it down. No drop. If you recall, waaaaaay back when I was first leveling NIN seriously I camped this bastard for days trying to get his drop. This was the first time I ever saw him spawn. Stupid bat.

A fairly new addition to the game is the Field Manual. They were added to the game during the time I was away. The purpose of these field manuals is to provide Yet-Another-Alternative-EXP-Source-To-Parties as well as a way to soup up the EXP gained from normal parties, and they are an addition I whole-heartedly support. The basic gist of these manuals is as follows:
  • Interact with a manual out in an area that is mob-appropriate for your level (or the level you are synced to).
  • Select a task from a number of different pages. The tasks usually are along the lines of "Kill 5 of these types of enemies, then kill 4 of these types of enemies".
  • Carry out the task either alone or in a group. The enemies you defeat must be EXP mobs for you, although they can merely be "easy prey".
  • Once you have completed your task, you collect a specific amount of EXP as well as points that can be used towards temporary boosts as well as teleportation to your home nation.
You can use pages from these field manuals once every hour (Earth hours, not game-time) and, depending upon your level, the area you are in, and the page you pick, can gain upwards of 1100 EXP from them.

Anyway, I had been feeling kind of bummed about BST because I had gotten too high for Bostaunieux Oubliette (which I had absolutely loved) and was still too low for Wajaom Woodlands. My only options were ones which either required me to duo with someone (my playtime tends to be entirely too sporadic for that to work), or get someone to help me open doors that require multiple people to open (such as Garliage). I was sitting there looking at my 14k needed to level and couldn't figure out what to do (it was another reason I took off so much time after the bug hit my FFXI install).

Well, I found out that a field manual in Xarcabard was appropriate for my level and would give me between 900 and 1000 EXP based upon which page I picked, so I decided to check it out. In the end, I wound up gaining 3 levels in as many days by simply chaining EPs and doing these pages. Plus, it's been damned enjoyable to boot.

There's a nasty NM that spawns there, Biast, which just happened to spawn when no one over 58 was around to kill it. So we formed an alliance and took it down. No drop, but it was fun as hell.

I then proceeded to spend a lot of time leveling in the hauntingly beautiful landscape of the north. I seriously never expected to ever come here to level. Pretty soon I'd gained enough levels to don my Beastmaster AF (sans legs).

Meretrix had returned to the game as well, and was leveling his DNC again. He was at a point where he needed some help getting his AF throwing weapon "War Hoop". So we headed out to Grauberg and then to a lovely and tranquil location in the northwest section of the zone to kill his AF-related NM. Here we are just before he spawned the NM, and here I am resting after casting reraise. Soon he spawned the Migratory Hippogryph which we promptly beat down. The fight went off without a hitch with me as a 75 NIN and him as his ~45(ish) DNC. Afterwards we checked out a nearby waterfall, and I returned to the north to do another field manual page or two with Xill.