The 11th Fantasy and Another World

The summer sale with Steam had gone by and I had ended up basically falling with my female instincts of “Oh god its on sale!“… and went shopping. There hardly was a day that I didn’t get something and now that I have “proper” internet, I can download more than I was able to previously. As we say in the Philippines, “Delikado ito…”

One of the games I had purchased was Final Fantasy 11. Now, I am a fan of the Final Fantasy series. Not one of the rabid fangirls, mind you, but someone who has played every Final Fantasy up  till 12 (barring Legends, and Mystic Quest, though I did play Legend of Mana), and finished half of them (FF8 remains my favourite, though I suppose that could be attributed to the fact it was my first Final Fantasy).  Until now I hadn’t been able to try it out because I didn’t have a decent internet line, and I had been running a Mac. Seeing the game plus all its expansions on Steam for $20 a bundle, I figured why the hell not. I heard some good and bad things about it, but figuring as it had still a fairly numerous player base, it wouldn’t hurt to try it.

So I bought it, and installed it. Then it got tricky.

Fair enough, it had its own launcher. Fair enough when you register you get your own @pol.com (Play OnLine) email address. Whence you load it up, fine, theres a Play Online launcher… wheres the FF11 launcher? Several minutes of stumbling around, I get that they’re getting me to register something like a battlenet ID to unify multiple Online Games (PlayOnline hosts other games??). But there seemed to be no indication that this was the case.

After going through each flaming hoop, aha, there’s the button to play Final Fantasy 11. *Click*  Uh… where do I go now? Turns out, when the launcher has you register your credit card details, and despite the bundle telling you that you get the first 30 days of play free, you still have to “purchase” a content ID to get to create a character, even if it doesn’t charge you for anything. Nothing prior to selecting this option tells you that you have to do this. Ridiculous.

It finally allows me to log into Vana’diel, but then… PATCHES. 9 hours of it! Yeah okay, its about par for the course, patching. Its expected.

Finally allows me to create a character, when the game itself actually launches and… it pops fullscreen and everything is pixelised, jaggy edges of all the character models, and no its not the fact it is an old game. Sure, it came out in 2002, but it seemed (to me at least), that it had a fairly good poly count to make it not seem blocky (either that or the texture artists were good enough to make it not seem noticable). But this… the text was pixelised, the models all had jaggy edges, despite me having changing the graphics options on the launcher telling it to go in Windowed Mode, and selecting the better graphics options. WTF? There was no way to skip the introductory cutscene, and the controls themselves, while understandable that it would be simplified to allow cross platform interaction, just the way that it was handled was frustrating at the very least, cumbersome to be polite.

Normally games now a days have the movement keys bound to W, A, S, D, and this is what I have gotten used to and most probably what majority of PC gamers have gotten used to. However with Final Fantasy XI, the movement has been bound to the mouse and how it works is that Left Mouse Button (LMB) held down controls your run and which direction. Therefore, holding it down and moving in that direction causes your character to run in that direction. Right Mouse Button, similarly held down and moved causes the camera to move instead. Any key press in FFXI results in the chat screen opening.

It just didn’t sit well with me and after spending 5 minutes in the game (half of which in a cut scene, a half of the remaining half stuck on autorun and no idea how to turn it off) I promptly uninstalled the game. And unfortunate waste, but at least I can say I have tried it.

In other news, I went into my first at level raid with my guild <Raids without Pants> , and even if it were slightly dated and nerfed content, it still is considered at level.

(Tanking Drunk, the only way to tank)

Also, checking the guild website it seems I am the 2nd top weekly contributor. Interesting.

(I’m the Warrior) Armoury Here (haha, I just noticed that the armoury now tracks how many times you died from the ‘Elevator Boss’ – more on that later)

SO ANYWAY.

I got most my gear enchanted, gemmed, (just missing a couple of reputation enchants but I’m working on that). Have DBM and mumble installed, so I’m mostly raid ready. I signed up for tentative for the T11 raids on the guild event calendar, since I’m not online for the normal raid runs (and that those have core raid teams already) since I’m at work.

Excited and nervous at the same time, as it would be my first time being in an at level raid as a tank (and the only reason at the time I had dual spec was for RP pruposes – TITAN’S GRIP FTW and I had bought this when it was still 1000 gold, not the 10 g it is now).

So I was offtank, and Ritvale (Death Knight) was Main Tank. We had Shaman, Priest, and Paladin heals.

Now consider that most of my gear is either Justice Point Vendor stuff, or even drops from Cata Normals – and I haven’t even done all the Heroic stuff yet, much less get many drops from them – I mean I didn’t even have a tanking weapon, as I ended up resorting to a DPS axe. Even if I had an item level of 349, I was still worried that I would be too squishy to tank properly.

But they still took me in,

And I tanked that shit like a boss.

But not really.

First up was Bastion of Twilight. Nervous about tanking, half the raid has either been in there before or are on there on alts, but they assured me I should be fine. I listened to the raid leader’s instructions, and did my best to do things right.

Halfus was first to go down, and the thing with Halfus is that he’s this weird Dragon Breeder-thing guy. He has 4 dragons with him, but only 2 are active, and the 2 dragons are selected randomly. If you ignore these dragons as far as I know, they assist Halfus in multiple ways.

OH YEAH, dragons going down.

One shot Halfus, and next up was a twin dragon fight, Valiona and Theralion which is a significantly more … complex fight, I suppose. It involves alot of knowledge of the fight and alot of situational awareness, and I suppose that throwing me off the deep end with a suddenly more complex fight with only the knowledge of where to stand, where to go, whats happening at my first time raid tanking would just end up stressing me, I was put on DPS.

Uh.

What?

*stares at gear* I… have no DPS gear aside from a heroic two hander mace, a level 81 sword, and a couple DPS trinkets. That and that “RP” fury spec.

Previously, I only had the experience of Fury DPSing at level 60… and I realised that comparing it with my protection spec DPS, I was doing more damage as protection. Using that knowledge, I stayed protection for the first pull for Valiona and Theralion… and we wiped from people standing in fire.

I get a whisper from our raid leader, surprised that I didn’t have a DPS spec, and I replied that I concievably could, but expect lower DPS than I was previously doing as protection… but surprisingly I actually did 1000 more DPS as fury! Okay, thats not much considering that the tank was doing around 6000+ Damage Per Second and I was doing roughly 5400 DPS, but come on, look at his gear! Combined with the fact I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and looking at what I had on me, full on parry, no hit, and no glyphs. Ha!

Second time through went with nary a hitch, and we got past the Dragon Siblings.

The next fight for BoT was supposed to be a council encounter, but they mentioned that we didn’t have time to try and each the newer members the fight so we exited Bastion of Twilight and headed then to Blackwing Descent.

Yes, I was bored and started turning people in bunnies.

Everyone was ready and we headed towards the Sentinel Overlook to get ready for the Omnotron Council fight. This is a fight that apparently needs two tanks, as there are 4 Tronbots but the way it works is that initially only on would be up, and at a certain point, a second one would activate, requiring the second tank to pick it up. The first Tronbot gets a shield on him shortly before he deactivates, in which at that point the third bot activates so the first tank picks it up. Its a cycle and all the Tronbots share the same healthpool.

In the middle of the Omnotron Council fight, all of a sudden I hear the phone ring. And sure enough, I get disconnected as for some reason whenever someone initiates or terminates a phone call on our landline, my ADSL gets disconnected briefly. I am still trying to figure out whats wrong.

Luckily I was able to log back in quickly, and pick up the second Tronbot with nary a hitch, and we got through the Omnotron Council.

Next up: Magmaw.

Now, before pulling Magmaw, he has three mobs before him that need to be brought down. The first one is a simple tank and spank, the two remaining are a two tank affair and they need to be tanked at opposing ends of the room or else bad things happen.

Apparently Rit and I weren’t tanking them far enough from each other, as when they switch (because they switch tanks at random intervals and the raid needs to kill them at the same time or else the remaining one enrages, and kills everyone), for some reason one of them would target the DPS/Healer group and basically two shot the group.

Hence the pile of skeletons above.

Took us a third time to get them properly distanced away from each other without a hitch and then we said hello to Magmaw. WITH MY AXE.

Got Magmaw down, go back to the entrance where the elevator that would bring us down to where Atramedes, Maloriak, and Chimaeron was.

There are two winged drakes (Pyrecraw, and Maimgore) patroling the area before Chimaeron and Maloriak, so we hit one first with no problem and tag the other one. The latter drake has a thing where it doesn’t like melee dps stabbing it in the butt (who does?), and if anything melee’s it from behind it enrages and grabs the tank in its mouth and starts chewing on him like a tin can. Hard.

Guess what happens?

Maimgore somehow enrages, and Rit dies, then I get to ride in his mouth. He spits me out after having had his way with me and goes after the rest of the raid. Everyone starts running away back towards the elevator, Ortensia, our pally, in the lead having bubbled herself and preparing to jump back on the elevator, hoping Maimgore will reset.

She gets to the top level, and breathes a sigh of relief when the elevator comes back up… WITH MAIMGORE RIDING IT, HOLY SHIT. He noms her dead and starts riding back down, when the rest of the raid zones in and heads back down to try again, only to find out that he doesn’t reset when the raid wipes! He turns around to see the first few people within aggro distance and starts chasing them back towards the elevator. Rit and I get nommed again.

We manage to all zone back in at the same time, with me in the lead. Realise that the moment you zone in, you see the elevator right in front of you.

Imagine our reaction when we’re running back through the entrance, and the elevator comes back up STILL WITH MAIMGORE ON IT. Okay, you don’t have to imagine, I first saw it and yelped in mumble, “OH GOD RUN.”, and almost turned around before I saw Maimgore’s health.

16%.

We can do this.

I start running back towards Maimgore to hopefully hold him off and I charge at him with only half my health up.The rest of the raid almost turned back with me but then started DPSing the shit out of that damned Dragon. One of our raid healers yelped an “OH NO” as she was accidentally on the elevator when it rode back down, causing her not to heal me and me subsequently dying.

We killed him, finally. Hilariously. I was busy /bonking the shit out of that silly dragon when I didn’t realise where I was running…. and died due to the elevator boss (lol, fall damage). Raid leader demoted me to Derpy Hooves. :C

We hit up Maloriak first, and I think I mucked up my interrupts but otherwise two shot the dragon-human hybrid thing, then ran towards Chimaeron that was basically was a two tank ping pong fight.

Unfortunately during Chim, they neglected to tell me they needed to activate something before I pull him… and basically was nommed immediately causing a raid wipe. … oops.

The slotted scheduled time for the raid ran out, and after downing Chimaeron, we called it a night. Even if I didn’t get any tanking loot, I still had loads of fun and the experience is well worth going again.

And because of my small experience with 85 Fury, that’s pushed me to try building a proper DPS spec and at the moment, even if I’m just middling around with some greens and trying to build things from Normal Cata dungeons, I still am pulling decent DPS for someone who has no idea what she is doing… at least for Fury.

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