Monday, March 26, 2007


I got to see both sides of Valkurm last night.

The side we all enjoy to decry was actually pretty comical. The party consisted of a random assortment of melee, all rank 1 or 2, at least a couple of sub-less players, and an anon player whom I discovered was to be our backup healer. I didn't really check anyone, and frankly didn't care. The night was young, and if things went wrong there would be plenty of time to recover.

The party self-destructed within 20 minutes.

We were having fun with flies at the outpost, which gave me some good practice on my Poisonas, and a retrospective note-to-self to use Barwatera more often to mitigate Cursed Sphere damage. But the players were just kinda clueless. One of them had to leave within 5 minutes of starting and was wondering what job to bring in, NIN being one of the options. He was a melee, so it didn't really matter, but the PLD stated NIN would "make a better tank". Ooook then...

Meanwhile the puller was grabbing anything by the OP that con'd...anything. The taru "backup healer" ran out of MP at almost every fight and grabbed agro constantly. The puller of course eventually got a sheep, which AOE'd as I was running in for a Barsleepra. It put everyone to sleep and pecked away at a single player (not the PLD, incidentally) killing him pretty quickly. We eventually defeated the sheep with 3 melee before one of them logged randomly. The dead guy lay there for quite awhile before I asked about his home point (as if I had to). Jeuno.

The NIN who showed up to the OP refused the invite, probably because of the epic sheep battle he'd just witnessed.

When the party disbanded, the /anon backup healer remained anon and put his flag up. That's when I checked him. He wore a random assortment of melee gear with a few +INT here & there, no rings, no earrings, no hand gear, no waist gear. I had to explain the anon status to him, and explained how to turn it off. Once it was off, he checked as a subless 18 RDM. He then proceeded to do his version of a /shout...only in the /say channel.

"I need a party."

"I will main heal."

Every 10 seconds or so, with only the two of us as an audience. Yeah, I was scared too.

Anyway another invite came within minutes and I accepted. Thankfully this party consisted of higher-ranked players (8-10), with a couple of new players, one of whom still needed a map to the area ^_^. Zorrandor had volunteered to help me out with my next party, and these folks needed a tank, so he came out on his PLD (18). We headed out to the secret beach, only to find a surprise PL waiting for us.


Fortunately, the PL got tired and left within a half hour. I shared healing and buffing duties with a SMN, who incidentally loved to spam the /p and /s channels with dorky RPish dialog with her avatars >.>;

{/echo} {Please check it.}

But it didn't interfere with my job or hers so I didn't mind so much. It's just fascinating to see what levels of geekdom people can take their fantasy worlds to ^_^. I know, pot kettle black, right?

The puller was kinda crazy, but I liked it that way. I let her pull at 100MP just to see if I could swing it, and for the most part it was fine although it did cause me to drink more Melon Juice than I was accustomed to, and any post battle Curagas would drain my pool down to 20ish MP. But I figured I'd better get accustomed to the faster-paced fighting that would lie ahead, juggling resting time with the right amount of cures/buffs etc.

The party went really really well, and I dinged 19 & change before I needed to log for some sleep.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

White magery

Since I'm growing a bit bored with my Warrior job (hey, it only took me 3 years), I've picked up WHM again at level 13. I took a couple of evenings to re-orient myself with the job: reading all the FAQs, muling and updating equipment, updating my spells, creating a new macro register, buying juice ingredients, and selling my Promy gear in a desperate attempt to compensate for my inevitable loss of 300k gil to an Astral Ring purchase.

I'm Elvaan. I had to do it.

I had a grand time in the dunes last night, getting from level 13 to a little over 1k TNL until 16.

Within seconds of arriving in Sandy with my flag up, I received an invitation which was a bit inauspicious at first, but I tried to remain positive and I'm glad that I did: BLM,WHM,WHM,BST,MNK. Although the leader (BST) first assumed that the MNK would be de facto tanking, he eventually found a PLD for the 6th slot.

Hiking all the way from Sandy without benefit of bird or OP warp, I rediscovered how excruciatingly slow transit can be at this level. Finally getting to the Valkurm outpost alive felt like a feat unto itself, although I was kicking myself for having forgotten Signet since the OP was owned by Windurst at the time.

We camped at the southeastern corner of I8, killing VT and IT Snippers for the remainder of the evening. The pulling could have been a bit faster, but we were competing with a couple of parties in the area, and I actually appreciated the pace since it allowed me some time to get familiar with the job again. The other WHM was subjob-less and had a substantially lower MP pool, so he enfeebled and backup healed while I main-healed.

I must confess that I had a couple of ACK! moments where I was completely flubbing my macros, and mistargeting, and letting nerves interfere with my performance, but for the most part I'm confident that I did a good job. No one died on my watch.

I'm getting a feel for how much juice to drink (kinda overdid it at first), and how long it takes to regain MP to a passable level for a pull, etc. I never hit a point where dipped below 25% MP, and for the most part the juice and cookie-resting kept my pool at a steady 60-80%.

I had a lot of fun, even when the backup WHM eventually had to go to bed. It was a very different feeling, this remote responsibility for the survival of the party, and I may very well end up taking this job past the 37 levels I was begrudgingly planning. Who knows...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Making your screen pretty...

Sorry I've been so tardy in updating and responding to comments. I'm currently writing this in the airport as I wait for my flight back home. It's been a long week -_-

I've been asked by several people to explain how I got the 1440x900 resolution to work and how to upgrade the UI.

Before I proceed, I should warn you that none of this is sanctioned by SE, and can introduce glitches into your game if not done properly. Always write down or record original registry key values before editing them and back up your DATs before changing them. Please.

OK, first the easy one. Resolution. Using the FFXI Config menu enables you to expand the 'Overlay Graphics' resolution to a pretty high degree. However this only affects the menus, fonts, windows, etc. This, at least to my understanding, does not increase the resolution of the actual graphical content (i.e. the 'background resolution'). The most you'll get via FFXI Config is 1024x1024.

This is why I edited the registry to get the Overlay and Background to have identical resolutions.

Hold down the Windows and R buttons to bring up the Run command. Type regedit in the box and click OK.

You'll see an Explorer style directory. The following is the path to get to the FFXI registry:

My Computer

As soon as you get to FinalFantasyXI and select it, you'll see a list of 21 registry entries, ranging from 0000 to 0033, and a (Default) which we won't be touching. In the Data column for entries 0001 and 0002, you'll notice the familiar values that you set as the 'overlay graphics' resolution (they'll be listed in parentheses).

Now notice that entries 0003 and 0004 have the values you set for the 'background' resolution (1024x1024 for most people with large monitors). These are what you're going to edit.

Double-click 0003, which will bring up an "Edit DWORD Value" window. Toggle the Base button from Hexadecimal to Decimal. This is important, so go slowly and make sure you've done this. Once in Decimal mode, change the Value data to the desired horizontal resolution (in my case, I set this to 1440). Click OK.

Double-click 0004, and repeat the process (remember that Decimal base) and set the value to your desired vertical resolution (in my case, 900). Click OK.

If you want to get rid of the annoying flickering of distant backgrounds, you can also bump up your mip mapping value in this registry. This is updatable in key 0000. The suggested value for smoothing distant textures is 4. This enables you to turn off anisotropic texture filtering on your card to improve performance.

Close your registry editor, and you're done.

If you'd like to know what the rest of the registry keys do, check the allakhazam guide. Note that some of these options are now updatable via the FFXI config screen.

Ok, now you want your fonts to look all nicey nice, so it's time to download a .DAT pack. I got mine from I browsed the application skins section and found what I wanted here.

Once you download the pack, look at the ROM files and folders in the set and be sure to back up the original SE versions of these files to a separate directory before you mess with them. Whenever a .DAT mod even touches a directory, I personally back up the entire directory before moving the new files over.

This is because any subsequent updates from SE can potentially introduce glitches with your custom DATs. For instance, the latest update made some changes to status icons, and I had the custom set of status icons included with the aforementioned pack. Cancelling 'Defender' would bomb my Playonline session until I restored the original DATs.

Be sure to peruse the readme file on the .DAT pack. It will explain the function of the files, enabling you to pick & choose which ones you want, and it will tell you how to upgrade your window style as well.

Another tourist enters the Safehold

Voila. Hope this is enough information!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Light of Dem

I just want to quickly report that Lifthrasir was successful in getting through Promyvion Dem on Saturday night. With the exception of a party wipe at the 'bottleneck' area on the third floor (agro'd a Gorger and Wanderer/Weeper), we had a fairly straightforward run. I took point on the sprint though the gauntlet and made it to the spire zone with 120HP left. {Adventure}!

I've left Frohike sitting in the Tavnazian Safehold as I attend a conference in Orlando. Yes, I'm in a Disneyworld resort, and yes, it is an exceedingly bizarre location for a convention. >.>

I'll be quite busy tomorrow but hope to upload pictures soon; love...Lufaise Meadows!

Congratulations to everyone on the team who made the run a success.

Addendum: Here's the photo set (click the image to launch the set).


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Good timing!

Looks like Lifthrasir decided to get the CoP stuff underway at the right time. The current update has made a couple of adjustments:

  • Players will no longer lose experience points when KO’d in Chain of Promathia mission battlefields.
  • It is now possible to seal memories and reset Promyvion missions using the “Shattered Telepoint” found at the crags.

It also looks like it's a good time to take up some lowbie jobs and get them leveled. Namely WHM for me:

The following bonuses have been added to the Signet effect.

- Increased Healing HP while resting
The initial value for Healing HP (based on the character’s level), as well as the incremental jumps in Healing HP (based on the character’s maximum HP), will be increased.

- No TP loss while resting
While this bonus is in effect, TP will not be lost while resting.

- Bonus experience in small groups

- Increased defense and evasion against attacks from your auto-attack target

I was wondering when/if they would spruce up Signet to be as advantageous as Sanction, and I think it's a fair idea, especially if SE wants to continue to draw new players into the game. However, considering how many RMT countermeasures they are taking with this update, they might not want to make it too easy to level.

For example, some exploitable quests have now gained level requirements, so the prices of some scrolls will probably rise again, making it easier for legitimate players to make some cash on these quests without competing with RMT bottom-feeders... assuming those bottom-feeders don't level too quickly.

If you read the rest of the update, you'll notice a large number of adjustments to drops, drop rates, and additional pop items, a sign that SE is actually trying to do something about bot-campers since they're obviously not able to hit 100% of them with the ban stick. Good to see.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Light of Mea

Last night, Lifthrasir had a very successful Promyvion Mea run. We were all a bit saddened that Murrdoc wouldn't be joining us, and not necessarily for the selfish reasons of enjoying his company and help... He was dealing with one of his dogs, who had become very ill, and probably lethally so. I know what it feels like to go through something like that, and my heart goes out to him.

The run to the spire went extremely well. Not a single death was suffered by anyone in the group, although we unfortunately lost Lexxi to a disconnect between floors. She had been graciously escorting us to the spire, since she's already on CoP chapter 2-3.

Unlike the Holla run, we had to sprint through quite a gauntlet of enemies on the final floor. And in a strange reversal of the last Promy, I neglected to take snapshots until we were actually at the spire and in the BC fight. Go figure.

Well, Delver, I guess this is the part where you get pwned.

The final battle went extremely well, despite a couple of un-hystero'd Carousel moves. We barely got through our hysteroanima rotation before the battle was over, setting a new time record.

A special thanks to Zorrandor for his navigational skills, and to Quan for stepping up to the plate and coordinating the anima rotation. Good job, everyone!