FFXIV – Back in Eorzea

On a pure whim, I went back to Final Fantasy XIV – A Realm Reborn, about a month ago. I have no idea why, aside from the fact that World of Warcrack just doesn’t appeal at the moment (I really need to cancel that sub), EQ2 seems like way too much trouble to get back into right now, and FFXIV lets me scratch the harvesting and crafting itch relatively well. And it’s a very pretty game, which EQ2 really isn’t no matter which way you slice it.

So here I am, having transferred to @Psychochild’s server – Midgardsormr – because I am nothing if not obedient to my friends’ orders. That was actually my first paid (and possibly first voluntary) character transfer ever, now that I think of it. Aside from not being cheap ($18), it was remarkably painless. And I’ve been taking screenies, because FFXIV is a game that sort of demands them, at least from me, and there are plenty of cutscenes as I whittle away at the main story quest. The good thing is the action pauses every time someone says something, so getting decent screenshots isn’t all that hard.

I probably wouldn’t have posted about it — the blog remains weak in me these days — but yesterday I acquired some new gear that made me look like a total ho and I figured I should share it. As one does.

The original pirate-ho look. Yes, it’s a plate-mail bikini… but at least I have a stylish tricorne and eye-patch! And the first thing I did after acquiring said armour was a dungeon (no really, me, in a dungeon) in a howling blizzard. Of course.


The pirate-ho look, slightly modified, now with shorty-shorts. Marginally less mortifying.


Psychochild found my deep embarrassment extremely entertaining. Admittedly, he’s been there himself.

A few other things I encountered in the last few play sessions include:

A cool dragon skelly in the snow. Oh yeah, and some plot and bad guy (actually corpse of the not-so-bad-guy that the bad guy murderised and impersonated).


A super cute but also mean sylph. Sylphs are awesome. I would totally roleplay one if I could. (You need to read the text. They all talk like that, only not all so scathingly. Though the NPC was remarkably stupid, I have to admit.)


A level 50 group-hunt type mob. I don’t really know much about those other than seeing them around, since I’m not level 50 in any class that matters (i.e. adventuring). It was the name/model combo that made me laugh. Also, me on a beach in pirate-ho costume, which seems appropriate.

Dark Helmet

Camp Dragonhead at sunrise. The landscapes are beautiful in the game and the weather is very well-done. Even the lens-flare stuff is awesome as opposed to overblown and tedious.


Me and my buddy Cid flying through the Eorzean skies in the good ship Enterprise. Yes, someone said “Engage”.


And finally the Mor Dhona loading screen because the loading screens are so pretty I want them for wallpapers. Minus the Moogle and text, ideally, but beggars and choosers.

MorDhona Loading Screen

And there you have it. As @Stargrace always says: Happy Gaming, no matter where you find yourself. And may the RNG be ever in your favour.

IntPiPoMo – final miscellanea

I was going to write about how the Sims seems to have ended up as my go-to solo game for the last 6 years (since the Sims 3 came out, in fact), but I can’t seem to find my old Sims 3 screenshots. They’re not lost — they’re just buried in what is now a secondary-secondary drive slaved in from the computer I had back in 2009. And I can’t be arsed to go find them.

Instead, here are a few of the other screenies I came across while looking for the ones you’re not going to see.

Guild Wars 2

I didn’t play it for more than a few weeks, but it sure was pretty.






FFXIV – A Realm Reborn

After a very unfortunate beta and first launch (tried one and therefore skipped the other), FFXIV came back better, stronger and faster. I thought I’d play it until the earth got swallowed by the sun, but like so many other MMOs I’ve played in the last decade, it didn’t stick. I’m not sure why, because I have very fond memories of it — aside from the need to do dungeons to progress the main story whether I wanted to or not — but as I wrote elsewhere I think that has a lot more to do with me and the lack of a constant group of known-people (friends, even) to play with than with any flaws in the game itself.





…Aaaand, that’s 50 (52 for the nit-picky). If Thanksgiving weekend food-excess and torpor allow, I might post a few more before November becomes December, but don’t count on it. Thank God for IntPiPoMo, or I might not have posted at all this month! Ahhh Blaugust, where art thou?

Happy Thankstuffing, US folks. Belated Thanksgiving, Canadia folks. Booyah, everyone else.

Eeheehee, ahhaahaaa


I’ve downloaded the FF XIV open beta client and started making a character. Warning, this is about to get blunt. And it’s not pretty. AND it’s not a review, so move along if that’s what you’re here for. It’s a personal rant.

— I’m barely halfway through character creation and already I feel nauseous. The cutesey! It’s killing me! I detest the stereotype of the shrieking, cheerleader like “wooo!”ing perky girl-child-but-oh-yes-definitely-old-enough-for-sex female and, well, I’ve been bludgeoned by it more in the last 5 minutes than in the last 5 months. It’s so bad I’ve had to invent a new post tag for it.

— Yes, I know it’s anime-ish. Yes, I know that’s what the most popular MMO artistic styles are like over there. All I am saying is I’m more Ando Hiroshige than Curse of the Multiprick or whatever that movie was called.

— The music… oh good god the music… Torture me with that Bontempi-created plinkety plink for about 10 minutes and I will break down and tell you everything I know, everything I don’t know, and everything I can possibly pretend I know. In that sense the Final Fantasy tradition is alive and well.

And every time I confirm a character creation choice my… abomination of a character squeals and jumps and goes heeeheeeheee! haaahaaahaa! and I want nothing more than to just walk away. Before I do something terminal like shut down the client and never, ever touch it again.

I’m sure this will cost me some devoted FF-whatever fans. I just say it the way I feel it, and she is just not something I’d want to feel. Even if I were that way inclined it would make me feel like a dirty old man when of those three I really only conform to the “old” bit.

I didn’t really expect anything else — it is what it is and it’s Final Fantasy. In that sense, it’s exactly what I expected. It just hit me before I was sufficiently caffeinated (and therefore tolerant).

Well, back to it. For MMO science!

The things I do for you guys.

Now you see me, now you don’t

Work > RL. I am living proof of this today and this is all the blog post you’re going to get.

Still no luck with the FF XIV beta — anyone else?

EDIT – the BetaForce is strong in me. It seems to be working now, at least as far as getting to the “OMG OMG LET ME IIIIIN!” page. Applied. Waiting.

EDIT – and in. Code sent. Now I get to spend 17 days downloading the client. Good thing I have a lot of work to do, eh?

Once you get your code, the process is Account Management –> Select Services –> New service blah blah. Thought I’d add this because it’s not clear where you should go once you hit the account management page (unless you actually read the whole mail *cough*).

Your application to the FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test has been accepted.
Please read through the e-mail we have sent to your Square Enix account’s registered e-mail address.

Waiting for a better beta

Still not quite ready. Sorry kids. But Soon(tm). Real soon.

FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test Will Start on Sep. 1!

We would like to take this opportunity to provide an update regarding FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test, which was announced to be postponed on Aug. 31, 2010.

Along with the completion on investigation and correction of the critical issue, we have decided to begin FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test on Sep. 1, 2010 at 19:00 (PDT).

Starting on Sep. 1, 2010 at 19:00 (PDT), acquisition of registration code required for FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test will be available.

We are looking forward to your participation in FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test!
Please note: This page is for North American applications ONLY.
For Europe and other PAL regions, please select the relevant option from the beta portal.

I’ll try it, I suppose. But.. well.. not frothing at the mouth here. I’m also wondering why it’s not possible to download the client beforehand; that’d make things easier when service does commence. It can’t be that big a bug… can it?

BUT WAIT, there’s more! From Stillwater who got it from twitter:

Thank you for your patience! FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test will begin on Sep. 2, 2010 at 02:00 (GMT)!

Dunno what region that’s for. The whole region thing – don’t like it. Will ignore it as much as I can. If I can’t see it, it’s not there. (Does that go for my ass too?)

Oh I know! WTT The Secret World beta invite for FFXIV Open Beta invite. What do you mean, it’s a crappy trade?!

Okay, ew! Do not go googling “Big Bug” images unless you have a strong stomach or are an entomologist or something.


Betas – gotta love ’em

I got this in the mail this morning:

In preparation for the official release of FINAL FANTASY XIV on September 30, 2010 and the early release on September 22, we will be starting an open beta test to help put the finishing touches on the game. We ask that all users who can participate in the open beta test apply from the following website.

1.Access the following URL.
* The page will become accessible starting at 19:00 on Aug. 31, 2010.

I didn’t get into closed beta, but then I didn’t really expect to, having only followed this game from a very great distance (as opposed to, say, my frothing mania regarding The Secret World).

Even so, beta is beta and I am a self-avowed beta ho — and O. M. G. that game looks pretty, at least in the screenies — so off I clicked.


FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test Postponed

FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test, which is scheduled to begin at 19:00 (PDT) on Aug. 31, 2010, will be postponed due to a confirmation of critical bugs. New schedule will be released at a later date.

Along with the postponement of FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test, the issuing of registration code for FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test will be postponed as well. With the download of client software’s installer, it will be suspended at 19:00 (PDT) on Aug. 31, 2010.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the way Square Enix seem to be saying “There’s Japan, North America and Europe — and the rest of the world basically doesn’t exist.” Sorry Africa. Sorry, gigantic tracts (and vast populations, even if most of them don’t have an internet connection) of India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea… Oceania? What’s the deal with Oz anyway, for this system?

It’s either really really thoughtless or it’s actually just plain callous. Sorry, you guys don’t have enough critical internet mass for us to want to even offer you our game. You’re just too freaking backward. Get modernised and maybe then we’ll talk, hai?

I really hope I’m wrong on this one, because that sounds pretty freaking cold. And yet… it’s the kind of thing large games companies — and not just the far Eastern ones — do every damn day. Someone remind me why, again, we still have server/region segregation in this day and age?

Follow the money.

And don’t even get me started on the whole “Thou shallt play this long and NOT longer unless thou shallt also log over to an alt” xp-throttling business. I actually think we’ll get used to that because, ultimately, if you want to play this game you’ll have no choice (assuming they don’t back down). That doesn’t mean I think it’s right. It doesn’t mean I think a game developer gets to dictate how and how often I play their game that I pay a MONTHLY subscription for.

But maybe I’ll rant about that tomorrow.

Anyway – betas. Gotta love ’em.

Don’t quote me

Did I say I wasn’t going to do any more beta tests? Me? Surely not.

You’re imagining things.

It’s Lars’ fault at MMOMent of Zen for mentioning that he was looking forward to Final Fantasy XIV. “XIV?” thought I. “Surely he means XIII, which just came out but isn’t an MMO?” Goes to show what a newb I am and how far Final Fantasy in general had dropped off my radar. As I said t’other day, I always enjoyed FF stuff but I was never a rabid fan — but then, I’m not really a rabid fan about games in general, because said rabidity usually seems to involve wearing all kinds of blinkers and being all kinds of asshat.

Nonetheless, that small difference in numerals sent me over to Google, where I quickly confirmed that I am a clueless newb and that there is a new FF MMO in development; and Lars was, or course, entirely right with the numbers. So I clickied on linkies and after a few “where the hell in the world are you, byotch, we’re a huge company and you have to narrow things down unless you can read kanji, m’kay?” I eventually ended up on the North American FF XIV page.

And I suddenly remembered one of the things I always did love about Final Fantasy, which is how damned ridiculously pretty it is.

That’s art from the main site, I don’t think it’s a game screenshot, but DAMN! The amount of texture detail there is one of the things I love about the relentless march of computing progress. And I like maps so this one was a no-brainer.

Long story short, I saw the BETA HERE!!! button on the main site page and, being the monkey-ridden MMO addict that I am, I had to click it, and seven short hours later I had applied for beta.

Okay, maybe not seven, but I do feel as though I just got grilled by some MMO-making company equivalent of the Gestapo. “You will NOT be able to change your answers after they are given!” “You MUST have a Square Enix account before you apply for beta.” “It is vital to us to know what your middle name is, so yes, it’s mandatory you slippery fecking player!”

Many many system details needed. Be easier to just send ’em a dxdiag file, wouldn’t it? Not beta rocket science, but okay, I looked up all the relevant data and ticked all the little boxes, making sure I got it right because if I didn’t IT COULDN’T BE CHANGED and if I screwed up real bad and tried to apply again I would automatically be REJECTED! So, caveat emptor.

“How much do you love the FF series?” (I’m paraphrasing.) On a scale of 1-100. So… what brain-dead flatworm is going to put 13 in there, or 47, or anything less than 100? Talk about trick questions! Which makes me a brain-dead flatworm because I answered it honestly and gave it an 80. I do like the FF series and I enjoy playing them when I do, but I don’t lie awake at night waiting for the next one or trying to figure out how I can turn Sephiroth into a real boy.

And finally a question I don’t think I’ve seen before on a beta app: “Do you run a fan site?” Weeelll… kinda-sorta. I don’t think this blog is a fan site per se, but in the interests of full disclosure I gave them the URL anyway. I now fully expect never to get a beta invite.

As far as I can tell the release date is 2010, no other details. Anyone with more info is more than welcome to enlighten me.