Final Fantasy XI Journal – Entry 3 – Returning Players Tips and What I’ve Been Up To

Revenant Wing LS - Photah, Siani, Exbrau, Crosed, Purg, Deaco, Kieto, Twitchiepoo, Aauron, and Rexish (me!)

Revenant Wing LS – Photah, Siani, Exbrau, Crosed, Purg, Deaco, Kieto, Twitchiepoo, Aauron, and Rexish (me!)

 

Rexis here!

How’s it going, internet? I’ve had an amazing four days in Vana‘diel and I’ve been preparing to write this third journal entry all along. So much stuff has happened! I can’t believe it’s possible to cram so much in such a short period of time. In my journeys, I’ve discovered a lot of new things that I wish I had known before returning, so before we delve into what I’ve been up to, I want to start off with a focus on returning players, particularly those with new characters to build up. It took me awhile to get the hang of this stuff, but this should give you a good basis for more efficient play from level 1 and on.

– TEN TIPS FOR RETURNING TO FFXI –

Survival_Guide

1. Survival Guides – (level 1+) – This is a new teleportation system. You will find these floating books all over the place and they appear on the map. Read them. Using gil or tabs you can teleport between any two books that you’ve discovered This has made everything so much easier to accomplish. Seriously, if you see one, stop what you are doing and read it. More teleport points only benefit you.

Homepoint

2. Home Point Crystal Teleports – (Level 1+) – Returning players will remember home point crystals. They’ve been improved! Similar to survival guides, you can teleport between any two previously discovered crystals for gil. If you are in a city affected by the Super Kupower “Thrifty Transit”, you can move between crystals for free! This makes accomplishing missions a simple task.

FOV

3. Fields of Valor – (Level 1+) – You probably remember Fields of Valor. You were constantly reading the floating book, getting pages that told you to kill certain mobs for experience. These are still in the game, but with the added bonus of the pages automatically repeating. No more pausing your party to run back to the book. As a reminder, these books allow you to earn tabs which can be used for various field supports. My favorite is “Repatriation” which will send you back to your home nation. It’s good to be familiar with every method of travel.

3. Records of Eminence – (Level 1+) – Go into your quest menu and do the tutorial for this. It will send you to a certain NPC who will explain the system in detail. To make it simple, it’s like having Fields of Valor right in your own quest menu. You can choose what “quest” you want to accomplish and you are rewarded experience and Sparks of Eminence, Capacity Points, and Unity Points – all new forms of currency that can be traded for armor! The “quests” range from things like “Kill 10 enemies” to “complete Bastok Mission 1-1”. Couple these with Field of Valor pages on the battlefield and you’ll be flying through the levels. The RoE NPC in your starter town has awesome armor sets you can get with those sparks so utilize this!

Rhapsodies_of_Vana'diel

4. Rhapsodies of Vana’diel – (Level 1+, Rank 3, Lower levels will need help with battles) – This is like a final storyline for the game that ties all other heros together for one last mission. I recommend getting started on this immediately after getting to rank 3 (required). You will receive two key items along the way that will permanently boost your experience gain and skill-ups as well as lower the costs of all those previously mentioned teleporting options. Once you’ve gotten past the first NM, you’ll need rank 6 to continue. I haven’t gotten there just yet.

Trust_Magic

5. Trusts – (Level 1+) – I mentioned this in the last post, but it’s worth mentioning again. Imagine having a full party at your disposal anytime. That’s what these do. There is an NPC in your starter city who will give you a simple quest. Afterwards, you will gain trust magic and the ability to summon a follower of sorts. You can’t interact with them much, but they will engage in combat with you after your first melee on a mob. They come in all different job categories so you can make up a party of your preference. I HIGHLY recommend traveling to all three starter cities and doing these quests for your first three trusts. As you progress through Rhapsodies of Vana’diel, you will unlock the ability to call four trusts and eventually five of them, completing your party.

6. Kazham sans Airship Pass – (Level 1+) – You can totally get to Kazham without an airship pass! Rhapsodies of Vana’diel has a mission that will teleport you to Norg very early on (at the price of three bee pollen). Make sure you get the home point and survival guide there. Once you’ve got the chocobo license, teleport to Norg and ride your chocobo to Kazham. Grab the survival guide there and you are all set to never need that airship pass! You’re welcome.

7. New Subjob Quest – (Level 18+) ­- Following that Rhapsodies line has a lot of benefits. Those three bee pollen will also get you a Gilgamesh Pass which can be traded to the subjob NPC to unlock subjobs. No more farming those annoying items.

8. Unities – (Level 1+) – Near the Records of Emergence NPC will be another NPC who will allow you to join a Unity. You will have a separate chat menu for your Unity group and it will be led by a famous NPC (mine is led by Maat). Joining a unity will open more options under your Records of Emergence quests! As a bonus, Maat became a trust for some reason, so now he helps me fight.

Festive_Moogle1

9. Festive Moogle – (Level 1+) – This is in regards to the Seeker’s Collection. You should have gotten a code of some sort and registered it on the Square Enix site. If you visit a Festive Moogle, you will receive a Destrier Beret and Chocobo Shirt that give you huge advantages for up to level 30. I didn’t know about this when I bought the game and it took an angry email, but I got a reply with my codes this morning.

10. Login Points – (Level 1+) – You will receive yet another form of currency called login points. You get these for, well, logging in every day. They can be used at a Greeter Moogle for various items. My favorite is the Goblin Stew 880 which can be traded to Bluffnix in Jueno to increase inventory capacity. This is also a campaign, so it comes and goes.

Bonus: A beastmaser can’t use tame with a trust out. 😦

((This page gets lots of hits: Click here for more tips from my time in-game.))

So there you have it! Ten tips for new players. I hope this helps you on your journeys because a guide like this would have come in real handy a week ago. I’ve seen a lot of things out there saying what you should do, but nothing that really breaks down those learning experiences from the first few days returning to the game.

AlZhabi

Speaking of my return to the game, I have had a busy time leveling. For those keeping tabs, I finally managed to unlock corsair. It took some doing, but I farmed all six subjob items with beastmaster, and then headed over to Al Zhabi. Using red mage for sneak/invisible, I did the corsair quest solo. I also managed to unlock dancer. That was a challenge in its own right because it requires traveling back in time through Wings of The Goddess cavernous maws, which I haven’t done in years. Neither quest was too difficult.

In any event, I am currently a 47 beastmaster. Dancer is at 49 and will stay there as my preferred subjob. Corsair is at 26 now and I will probably wait until I’ve broken all the level caps before I come back to it. I’m having such a blast with beastmaster! Once I hit 47, I headed back to Bastok and started working on some of the missions I mentioned above. Getting rank 3 was a snap because I’d already visited the other starter cities and those teleporting options definitely paid off!

I have to give some shout outs here: Newkazel helped me with Mission 2-3 BCNM. I feel like I could’ve done it solo, but I always like a guaranteed win. Having his trusts made it even easier! Clydeburrow helped me out with RoV mission 1-2-3’s NM, Yztarg. Another simple fight I probably could have done solo. I say that because not everyone has assistance. You can handle these things without much issue. I also got to do some leveling in Delkfutt’s Tower with Chrysothemis. It was a pretty cool party with the two of us and 4 trusts. Trust magic is simply amazing.

Trust_Mumor_II

As fast as the leveling goes, I was still feeling a bit burned out from it, so last night I sat down to figure out what was going on with this Fantastic Fraulein event. I’d seen a lot of people running around with a Mumor trust so my LS explained the event. You are supposed to talk to a moogle, and then watch a play. (I guess you would call it a play. Re-enactment, maybe?) As the main character performs dance attacks, you are supposed to perform them as well by using /dance emotes while targeting the enemy. Doing it correctly (repeatedly) gets you rewards culminating with Mumor as a trust.

AltepaBST

Where am I now? Geared up and ready to level beastmaster in Altepa. The level 50 limit break quest has changed, as well. Instead of farming three items from mobs, you can now acquire the items by finding ??? points in three different zones. I’ll need spectral jig for that, so once I hit 50 I’ll be able to go on and break the cap.

This return to Vana’diel has been interesting for all of these reasons. I can see why it would be intimidating to come back or to start playing for the first time. Thirteen years ago, you could just login and figure it out. I remember discovering macros for the first time and coding my own weapon skills. Experience was slow back then, especially starting out as a white mage. It took me the better part of a week to reach level 10. Even in those simpler times, players were turned off by FFXI’s learning curve. I hate to think of what they would feel logging in now, in an age where the system message covers half your screen, new RoE quests are popping up, fireworks are blasting in the background, and people are standing around watching an NPC dance. Couple that with /say, /shout, /linkshell1, /linkshell2, and /unity chat flooding your text box and the game can be overwhelming at times. (Not that all of these things are mandatory.)

Nostalgia has an interesting effect on us. We all remember how the game used to be and look back on it with rose tinted glasses because we grew up playing it, but the changes have really made it better. My linkshell has been nothing less than amazing at helping me out so far. Without them, I wouldn’t have gotten where I am so quickly. I’m not referring to power leveling or helping kill NM’s or anything like that, either. They help most of all by providing me information. Yes, I could look it up online, but to hear from first-hand experience helped a great deal. This is what Square-Enix wanted to accomplish in this game from the beginning. It is the reason we had the six man party system. This game, above all else, was meant to be social. It seems that aspect has been absolutely perfected. Complain all you want about nerfs and the way things used to be, but always keep in mind that whether you are complaining, bragging, joking around, or you’re just excited to be back, there is someone on the other end listening. We are a community, just as intended. Well played, Square-Enix. Well played.

 

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What is Twitch?

twitch-logo

Rexis here!

It occurs to me that I haven’t done a Plugged-in Players for you guys in ages. This is my little segment where I try to teach you something gaming related you maybe didn’t know. Sometimes I forget that not everyone is up to speed on terms and such that I take the knowledge for granted. Today, I’m going to talk about Twitch.

It’s a word we hear a lot in gaming these days, but what is it and what does it refer to? I had no idea really until I bought my XBOX One and experienced it firsthand. You see, watching other people play video games use to be a ridiculous concept. No one wanted to watch when they could play it themselves. Somehow, YouTube changed people’s minds. Charismatic gamers took to their computer to embrace this new medium and we now have a slew of different game video genres, so to speak.

These genres (that I’m mostly making up, but you get the idea) include Let’s Plays where you literally watch someone play a game, comedy gaming like Angry Video Game Nerd who make fun of games, scripted videos using in game characters initially made famous by Red vs. Blue many years ago, How To videos, unboxing videos, and even videos of people shopping for games at flea markets. I’m sure there are many other types out there, but these are the ones that readily come to mind.

So how does Twitch fit into all this? It’s actually very simple. Twitch is a video streaming system that allows gamers to play video games in real time for a live audience. There are other forms of streaming content that don’t relate to gaming, but the majority of its content does. Some channels do live speed runs of games while others play for charity.

Who runs the channels? Anyone can! My XBOX One has a Twitch app that allows me to broadcast live. Users on Twitch.com can see what I am doing and choose to watch. Of course, it is easier to gain an audience if you already have a following of some sort. To make it easy, think of it like YouTube, but with live videos.

Can you get paid doing it? Yes, absolutely! I will post a link at the bottom of this paragraph for those who want to make a profit gaming, but the bottom line is this; if you can’t build a big audience, you won’t be getting paid. So don’t expect to open the app and start collecting. You’ll need to market yourself and to do that, you’ll need to find guidance elsewhere. This is a blog about gaming, not marketing.

http://www.dailydot.com/esports/twitch-streaming-money-careers-destiny/

That’s basically all you need to know about Twitch as a casual internet surfer. I’ve watched a number of my favorite YouTubers doing live streams and the best part about it, for me personally, is interacting with them. There is a chat room beneath the video and sometimes the streamer will react or give you a shout out. That’s awesome!

Of course, if watching others game isn’t your bag, then you can skip over the whole Twitch craze and you won’t be missing anything.

How I Became a Dinosaur on Twitter!

brianthecarno

Rexis here!

I am kind of a YouTube watching veteran. Shocker, I know.  Who’s not now-a-days? I fell in love with the medium when I ditched cable a few years back and discovered amazing channels like VSauce and The Game Theorists. I would go on to find Video Game High School, Game Chasers, and a slew of great content that has given me many, many hours of entertainment I could have never found on TV. Before YouTube was a thing, gaming on TV was limited to the channel G4TV and if your provider didn’t carry it, too bad. Thing is, G4 wasn’t even that great.

Prior to 2004, if you broke out a Game Boy or told people you wanted to stay in to play a new game, everyone would think you were crazy. I whole heartedly believe that YouTube gave credence to gaming, and its not hard to see why when content creators like Pewdiepie are raking in millions. A new market emerged that filled a niche. It wasn’t something we knew we wanted until we had it, as most niche sales go. And despite the appeal of video game videos, nothing I know of on TV attempts to emulate it. As a matter of fact, watching others game has become so predominant that it spawned a whole new content medium called Twitch, which allows gamers to live stream their adventures.

This is how I found Minecraft. (Stop sighing haters. This isn’t about Minecraft, I promise.) I started watching Minecraft videos from a creator by the name of Spumwack. I never thought I’d enjoy watching someone else game, but the way he conversed with the audience drew me in and it wasn’t about the game he was playing. I actually developed an interest in this guy’s life, his virtual life as well as his real life. Artists have known for a long time that in order to make a solid connection with your audience you have to reveal yourself, and that is what he did. Watching him play on a server led me to other “Hermits” as they called themselves. I became an addict, getting to know each hermit through their YouTube content. Eventually, I was subscribed to more people than I could keep track of. I had to cut some out of my life.

The decisions weren’t easy, but I did what needed to be done. Spumwack has since stopped making Let’s Play videos, but does make amazing science videos using video game footage. I had to replace my favorite Let’s Player for someone else, and that someone was Sl1pg8r. Quick plug, he is absolutely great and you should watch his stuff! There has been an interesting recent development in his channel. He managed to gain something like 300,000 subscribers in a very, very short time. How did he do it? I have no idea. As far as I know he promotes his channel on different social networks like any other YouTuber would do. If I had to guess, I would say he found the right game to play at the right time. That game is called Ark: Survival Evolved. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

Before I go on about that, let me insert here that I love doing what I do. I enjoy writing. I’ve dabbled in video making, but my life is too hectic with the full time job, kids, and all that to make it a full time hobby. I prefer to just play games when I have free time. The writing I do, this blog, is for me more than anything else. I don’t expect to get world famous. I don’t expect to be paid or get job offers. I just want to put words on paper. That’s been a love of mine since early high school. I will never have a million followers, or even 100,00, and I’m okay with that. If I even hit 1000 I’d be shocked. The point is, I don’t do this for likes. I do it for the love of doing it. This is SUPER IMPORTANT to get across right now, because this next part is my own little experiment.

Something that I do find to be a bit of a pet peeve is when I see someone on twitter with hundreds or thousands of followers and they produce nothing original. No blogs. No videos. Nothing. Jealousy? Maybe to a point, but then I remind myself that this whole thing is for me, not followers. If someone wants to read what I have to say, good. If not, I won’t lose any sleep over it. Yet, here they are, these accounts with nothing to add to the world, but popular none-the-less. This was my thought process the night I came up with a fun little experiment. How could I create a Twitter account that does practically nothing, but accrues followers. Then it hit me.

ark

You see, the game Sl1pg8r was playing, Ark, is about dinosaurs and survival. The dinos can be tamed and named. Sl1pg8r, early on, caught a Carnosaur and named it Brian. Eventually he created a voice and an entire character around this dino. This was my ticket in. I registered the @brianthecarno Twitter account and the followers began to flock over. All I had to do was watch the Ark videos, which I was doing anyway, and make comments based on what was happening in the series, particularly involving Brian. Every once in awhile I would receive tweets from people wanting to interact with Brian and I would respond accordingly. The account, on the first day, surpassed my own Twitter account and started to become a time consuming endeavor.

Here I was, a mysterious Twitter user posing as a dinosaur and riding the coattails of another persons success, all the while conscious that this was not my own success. Regardless, the followers kept coming. The positive response was… satisfying. On some level, I felt like I was achieving something, but in reality I had accomplished nothing (except maybe putting a smile on someone’s face). When I write for this blog, those positive feelings last, but with Brian they dissipated quickly. I had to follow up on this and found the following article.

http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/02/addicted-to-likes-social-media-makes-us-needier.html

The final words really put it all into perspective. Those people who create nothing, those who ride the coattails of others success, those who pose as characters from TV shows, those who post pictures of clouds and nothing more, they just may be the lost souls of this world reaching out for something more than the indifference we would show them otherwise. Every little like, every retweet, every time you click a thumbs up or a heart, it validates them. Even the people who troll you or write hate inspired nonsense, whether you know them personally or not, it doesn’t matter. As long as, on some level, even for that brief instance, the universe has acknowledged them in some way. Its like a momentary relief from the thing that a lot of people fear; being forgotten.

Or, just maybe, the people behind those accounts are doing something more. Perhaps they are allowing us that opportunity to interact with whatever they represent because of a passion they have for sharing experiences. That is something I can definitely relate to.

If you are reading this, @Brianthecarno will no longer be an active account on twitter. If you’ve ever interacted with him, I hope he brightened your day a little because that’s exactly what Sl1pg8r would have wanted. Its an attitude I am going to try to adopt on the blog more. If I’m going to put my thoughts out there, I only hope they can be entertaining to some extent. I have other projects to move onto (not putting my hands in blenders), but if you want to keep up with what I do, I’d be glad to have you along for this awesome trip.

sl1pg8r

Finally, I want to take a moment to say thank you to @Sl1pg8r. Honestly, without him and people like him who strive to do what they love, I wouldn’t have been inspired to start writing this blog in the first place. I wouldn’t have this outlet that means so much to me. Keep doing what you love because you love to do it.

Final Fantasy XI Journal – Entry 2 – Changing Directions

WAR_Ghoul

Rexis here!

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by to check out my first FFXI journal entry! There was an unprecedented turn out for that and it took me completely by surprise. As such, I’m throwing a few pics into that entry and will try to do more pics from here on out. That was literally the only feedback I got, which leave me to assume either people liked what they were reading or just clicked it and didn’t read it. I love feedback peeps, so hit me up and let me know what you would want to see in this journal or the blog in general.

As for my adventure in game, last night held some disappointing times, but was on overall success. Getting my red mage from 21 to 30 was a breeze as gaining experience is less of a grind and more of a glide. I opted to do the subjob quest the old way when I hit 27. Yes, the old way. Did you know there is a new way to do it involving a pass from Gilgamesh. I didn’t feel like running all over so I slaughtered a number of ghouls in Gusgen Mines for the magicked skull and went to unlock my sub. The genocide of the skeleton people also concluded my leveling of red mage at 30.

Misplaced-Confidence-TU

Imagine my utter dismay when I went to trade in the skull and found it was missing from my inventory. I’m almost positive I left it in the treasure pool as I zoned out of Gusgen Mines. Total noob mistake. So back to the mines I went and I couldn’t find another skull to save my life. I did manage to score a cushion of experience, though. Somewhere along the way a thief named Yossarianprime must have heard me grumbling to myself about how I “should be on my way to Jeuno to unlock corsair right now” and asked if I needed help. Players who offer assistance, a rarity in the days of old. (I should probably take a moment to clarify here that I wasn’t shouting for help. He simply saw me there and offered to help in a /tell. I’ve received lots of help from people over the years, but usually after requesting it. This guy straight up offered to help me out just because he recognized my situation. In my experience, that’s the rarity.)

Magicked skull in hand for the second time, I teleported back to Valkurm and unlocked the subjob. Such a big achievement, I know you’re impressed. The next step was to get to Jeuno post-haste. At this point I was glad I chose red made as my starter job because sneak and invisible were so very vital in my long run. Somewhere in the middle of Pashow Marshlands, I noticed I didn’t have to recast them. The linkshell informed me that the effect duration had been increased! Lucky day!

Arriving in Jeuno felt unreal. So many hours spent in this magnificent city and nothing has really changed. I was itching to get corsair started as the night was wearing on and I had to get to sleep. Looking ahead, I knew I would need to go to Whitegate, which meant attaining a pass for the airship, which meant joining the Tenshodo. This is where things got spotty. Siani came through for me once more with a Tenshodo invite, but as I followed along the quest line I discovered I would need all six of the items that allow for unlocking subjobs OR 500,000 gil to get that stupid, stupid pass. This put a damper on my whole evening.

Corsair wouldn’t be a possibility for some time, mostly because I hate farming items with such a passion. I would have to settle for my favorite job, beastmaster. That’s right, people, I’m going to make beastmaster my main, at least for now. (Corsair will come in the future.) The first part of unlocking it was to attain the chocobo license. This was so easy! It used to take liked 6 in game days to do this. Now it takes 6 real life minutes or so. To make a long story short, I managed to get myself killed by a goblin in Qufim Island and found out the hard way that the flower you need to pick doesn’t spawn until after 21:45. My first death. I’m sure many are to follow.

With my new job opened up and ready to go, I made a bee line for my moghouse in Bastok, grabbed my gear, and went outside. With a pet bee, an empress band, and three trusts, I’m not kidding when I say it took me ten minutes to get to level 11. And do you know what 11 brings?

SS1

50 Shades of Beastmaster. /sigh

Equipped and ready to move to Konschtat Highlands once more, I signed off and laid down for some much needed rest. Current goal is to get beastmaster to 40, with a red mage subjob, then pursue dancer as a new sub. Dual wielding axes, here I come!

Final Fantasy XI Journal – Entry 1 – Humble Beginnings

Ff11_logo

Rexis here!

Welcome to this new category of writing for my little corner of the internet. This will be the first journal entry regarding my return to Final Fantasy XI. Honestly, I’m not sure how long this will go on. Fallout 4 is right around the corner, after all. So we’ll see. In the meantime I have decided to begin FFXI anew and I want to chronicle my journeys. Why? Let me explain.

My first experience with the MMO was watching a friend play on PC. He was only level 12 at the time and died to a bogy in Konschtat Highlands. (That’s an area in the game. I won’t be explaining all these references.) I was immediately hooked. It was March 23rd, 2004 when I moseyed into GameStop with my hundred dollars and bought the PS2 bundle. This game became my addiction for the next eight years. When I wasn’t playing, I was thinking about playing. I don’t want to get into the negative aspects this had on me, just suffice it to say this game was a big part of my life.

I started out as a white mage on Diabolos server named Tyrian (before Game of Thrones made it cool). Honestly, I just made the name up. (Shout out to Ryuru if you’re out there man. You were a great friend.) Also, I just realized this is going to turn into a paragraph about how I got the name Rexis. I left Diabolos and a created a character named Shire (I don’t recall the server). Again, I was a white mage, my first love. After some time passed I handed the account to a friend and took another break. He transferred my character to Bismarck server and renamed him Rexish. When I asked why, he said he “Kingdom Hearts 2’ed the name” in reference to Sora and his doppelganger Roxas. Rearrange the letters and add an X (Shire à Rexish). I reclaimed my account and have been known as Rex ever since. As Rexish, I became quite the skilled beastmaster. I was able to solo pretty much everything. Eventually, I had to stop playing. It was becoming too time consuming and I needed a retreat.

It’s been three years.

Squeenix has offered the entire collection for 10 dollars and I’ve burned out on Minecraft. I need something to fill the void before Fallout 4 releases and I have been dying to get back to Vana’diel for so long. I committed and here I am, a fresh new Hume from Bastok on Asura server named Rexish, already a member of the linkshell RevenantWings, and looking to have a lot of fun. This journal is to commemorate this time because I don’t have anything left from my past but stories. This will be my love letter to a game that has provided me countless hours of entertainment, great friendships, amazing adventures, and a sense of belonging in an otherwise grim world.

————————-

My journey began two days ago as I logged in for the first time with my new character. It’s strange to be penniless in a world you know like the back of your hand. Fireworks were popping overhead to celebrate an event; I’m still not sure which. There was simply too much to do and see. I chose RDM as my starting class because I thought it was well-rounded enough and partly because I wanted to make it my main.

Immediately and instinctively, I went outside to start leveling. Fields of valor training is exactly as I remember it except that I don’t have to return to the little floating book every time I complete a training regimen. That’s a huge help! I was immediately surprised at how quickly the level ups were coming. The experience is like a flowing river now! It used to take HOURS and HOURS to accomplish anything, but in no time at all I was ready to grab some new gear and move on.

It was about this time that I found the NPC for linkshells in Bastok and grabbed one for RevenantWing. I found the players to be friendly and super, super helpful. This is where I learned about “trusts”, and, oh man, if you don’t get a trust, you’re playing wrong. This was a new feature to me and I had to look up the quest. In short, I now have a copy of the Mythril Musketeer Naji who follows me around and tanks for me. With this in my pocket, I headed to Konschtat Highlands.

I also discovered that you can now teleport between home point crystals you’ve discovered in exchange for gil. Survival guides, those floating books out in the wild, will also allow you to teleport to other guides you’ve already discovered for gil or tabs. Couple that with the tele crystals at the crags and traveling is BALLER! (And I never use baller lightly.)

Sarutabaruta-west-pic

My second day in Vana’diel I spent on the road. I was about level 15 and I wanted to get another couple of trusts from the starter cities of Windurst and San d’Oria. This would be an arduous task, no doubt. With no maps and not enough cashola to truly fund the expedition, I set off. A wonderful member of the LS named Siani helped me cross the dangerous bat infested tunnel of Valkurm Dunes. I stopped by the port town Selbina and touched the home point crystal, made my way through La Theine Plateau to the Holla crystal, hoofed it to San d’Oria and acquired my second trust, Excenmille. I touched a few home point crystals to get back easily and return to Selbina by way of one of them. Seriously, the travel, so easy!

If you’ve played, you’ll remember the noobiest boat ride ever from Selbina to Mhaura. The 15 minutes I spent sitting in the cargo area afk. When I returned after dinner with the family, there I stood on the dock of Mhaura ready to continue my journey. I grabbed another home point crystal, ran to the Mea crystal, and then made my way through to Windurst where I was subsequently lost. ( I was doing so well running by memory without maps.) I dislike Windurst so very much. I had to pull up a map on my phone to get through it, but I got my third Trust, Kupipi. Selbina and Valkurm Dunes were only a teleport away.

I spent some time leveling in Valkurm Dunes when I decided to see if anyone wanted to team up. That’s how I met Agnite. She was a returning player as well who had been away since 2009. Seems the 10 dollar deal convinced a few “on-the-fencers”. I used my three new trusts to fight alongside us as a super effective five man party and we chatted a bit. Eventually I invited her into the LS. Thanks, Agnite, for being my first party member on my triumphant return and for everything else. We have a long road ahead of us and I doubt this is the last time we’ll team up.

SS1

As level 21 rolled around, I was ready to get out of my BDSM looking subligar. I looked like 50 Shades of Red Mage for most of those levels. I disbanded with Agnite and teleported back to Bastok like it was nothing. The auction houses are all connected now so there is no need to go to Jueno to find gear. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any gear! It was Kieto (I’ll double check this name later too) to the rescue! He was in town and offered to get me some gear from an NPC in exchange for some kind of points I’m unfamiliar with. Decked out in red Trader’s gear and prepared to do battle in the dunes once more, I Iogged off for the night.

SS2

The story doesn’t end there though. I hadn’t decided on my main job just yet. Beastmaster? White mage? Red mage? Something new? I didn’t know. Then, like a bolt of lightning, it hit me. If you don’t know this about me, I have a love for all things pirate. My Minecraft friends will recall the marina I built, my pirate ship, and my pirate outfit. One of my favorite games is Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. I dress like a pirate every Halloween and rum is my go to drink for any occasion. So it makes sense that I would choose to be a dragoon, right? I’m kidding! Of course I’m going to be a corsair! How could I not be?!

The story gets even better as I have been texting a lifelong friend who says he may be joining the game again with me real soon. Time will tell. For now, I am super psyched to be back in the game. I love all the nostalgia as it hits me like a truck. I have missed this so much it is hard to put it in words

I hope you’ll stick around for my journey, and if it’s your first time here, check out some of my other writing. It’s not all journal entries or quite as long (haha)! That’s just my excitement overflowing onto the screen. And if you see me in game, say hey! This game is all about the social experience for me and I always have room for a new friend.

Movie Review – Pixels

Pixels

Rexis here!

I’m back from vacation and wanted to kick off the return with a review of a movie that’s been getting a lot of crap from the critics. As the title says, I’m taking about Pixels, which is based off a short film by Patrick Jean, which you can watch here. You’re welcome.

Let’s get the elephant out of the room immediately and say that if you don’t like Happy Madison Productions or Adam Sandler, this movie isn’t for you. Seriously! I’ve seen a number of negative comments just because this movie stars him. Your review is biased and you should feel bad. I, personally, enjoy many of his movies but I’m not about to sing praises for it just because I like his other work. So let’s get on with it shall we? (Spoiler free.)

The film itself had an interesting premise, albeit unrealistic in every conceivable way. Therein lies the fun! When aliens challenge Earth to an actual arcade influenced battle, a few nerds from the 80’s step up to save the planet. This is a fantasy we can all relate to. Wouldn’t you love to be the slayer of Alduin in the real world because you are the only one who can use the Thu’um?

This movie is obviously meant to be fun, not taken seriously, and I had a great time watching it! Some of the jokes fall flat while others hit the funny bone a little harder, typical for Adam Sandler films. The story is told in segments. We go back and forth from character development to arcade-war scenes. A lot of alien invasion films build up to a one hour long final battle, but this movie breaks up the action in order to tell the story of the characters. Are they likable characters? For the most part, yes.

Acting is on par from what you would expect from the Happy Madison crew. (Paul Blart is in it, so you know what you’re getting.) It does seem like Sandler has grown tired of making movies and his performance suffers from it (unlike his bank account, badum tss). There are a few triumphant moments where you could see the youth in him, but overall I think he could have done better. Kevin James is the usual aloof fool. Peter Dinklage was amazing, as usual from Tyrion Freaking Lannister! Michelle Monaghan did a good job as well, but I mostly didn’t like her character. I personally feel like Josh Gad stole the show, though. His character was hilarious and over the top.

Should you see it? If you love classic arcade titles, yes. If you want to see Q*bert on the big screen, yes. If you ever wished you could live in a video game world, absolutely yes! (If you don’t like Sandler, no. In that case, stay away from this.) This isn’t the best movie out there, I won’t pretend it is, but it is a good video game inspired movie and we get so few of those. (Isn’t Agent 47 failing right now?) Let your judgemental nature go, put down the controller, get to the movies, and have a fun little adventure. (If its still in a theatre near you.) For 8 bucks, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. As a game collector, the Blu-ray will occupy a spot on my shelf beside The Wizard and War Games.