Quirk And I

Dynamis, Streaming, and Relics

Oh, hello there, I didn't see you come in!  Let me get you a drink, whiskey?  Grab a seat by the fire and lets talk, intimately.


So I know I've been. . . lax on updating my blog, especially when I promised you (Yes, you) that I would update with my thoughts after having come back after 2 years.  And I feel terrible about that, believe me.  But that's all over now.  I'm here.  I'm here to talk to YOU personally about Dynamis, streaming, and relic weapons.  More specifically, my experience with the first, how I do the second, and what I want with the third.

Dynamis was always a passion for me before I quit.  The requirement for consistently competent performance and strong teamwork always drew me to both running and being part of shells.  When I first came back I was so excited to get back to that. . . until I heard what they had done to my baby.  My poor baby had been redone!  No more 1-group-per-zone rule, no more 3 day waiting period, easier drops, it was just too much to handle!   That is, until I realized that they just took dynamis and made it AWESOME.  All of the things people HATED about the system were replaced with good things!  The redone system is great, and really rewards active players.  Go in a lot and you'll make good gil/currency/AF2(lol).  If you can manage it solo/duo it's even better, as you don't end up splitting coins as much/at all.

I three man Buburimu with a few of my old friends from Alexander (Tufrabza and Drago are amazing) as PUP, MNK, THF.  On average we pull in 100-130 currency each in about 2 hours, depending on the BST count in the zone.  We do one of the standard paths (Either Ravens/Rabbits/Scorps or Ravens/Efts/Dhamals) via JA proc.  For those who stopped play awhile ago, or are unfamiliar with the new Dynamis, the system works as follows:

You can "proc" (trigger a 30 second terror like affect that opens additional drop slots and increases overall drop slots) in one of the ways, depending on the time of day and the mob you're attacking (For Nightmare mobs, beastmen follow different rules depending on job).  Procs can be achieved using either JAs that target/touch a mob (Ventriloquie does NOT proc mobs), WSs, or Magic.  My group procs via JA (we all sub DNC) which means we spam Steps and flourishes as often as we can.  There are three possible mobs for each, though our paths only use alternates for 2
0-8 is Nightmare Ravens
8-16 is Nightmare Efts/Rabbits
16-24 is Nightmare Scoprs/Dhamals
In buburimu, extending the EP Raven camp east of the start of the zone in both the North and West directions are the next two sets of EP JA mobs, making it very easy to get a rhythm between the three areas.  Ravens are almost always a battleground as it's the common mob of both paths, but we make do, mostly by disregarding common courtesy and stealing any excess mobs off of players who pull more than they should (i.e. more than 1 per player, just because you can fight 4 at a time doesn't mean you're not an ass for doing so).

Due to the fact that we can run this once a day, I've gotten into the habit of streaming our runs on my Twitch.tv channel (SHAMELESS PLUG: twitch.tv/dantaro).  It's nice to be streaming fairly consistently again, I haven't really since I stopped laddering on SC2 with any regularity.  If you're interested in watching how Dynamis works, want to chat about the game, or otherwise just watch FFXI, feel free to stop in.  Keep in mind that I do stream other games, so don't be surprised when I stream SC2 instead.  If people are interested in getting started with Streaming their own FFXI adventures, let me know and I'll write up a guide to getting started.

All of this dynamis starts to add up, currency wise.  As such, I'm finally getting around to doing a relic!  I'm currently collecting for relic club (BECAUSE USEFUL RELICS ARE NOT MY STYLE) and it's going quite fast, given the fact that I'm delaying really buying currency until stages 4 and 5.

Stage Wise after 1 week:
5/5 M. Silvers
2.76/16 100 Bynes
0/62 L. Jade
0/100(70) M.Silvers

I expect to be done in 4-6 months, if I'm consistent about Dynamis, so wish me luck!

Quirk And I

After 2 years. . .

No, seriously, I'm playing again!

Come on guys, stop laughing, I'm serious this time!

Aww, come on, don't go- no, stop it :(

ffxi_2012.06.24_23.30.26

Seriously though, after 2 years I'm playing again.  The biggest factor that really stopped me from playing was that when I left I didn't have a core group anymore.  Most of my core group had stopped playing, or had drifted apart, so I just kind of stopped.
After seeing the expansion announcement, I thought I'd log on and give it a shot again.  I'd kept my account active (and had stopped in every now and then over the past 2 years) so it was pretty easy to jump back in.  An old friend of mine, Haimon, happened to be on at the time and I sent him a tell.  That was either the biggest mistake or the best choice I've made in a long time.

Haimon is an amazing fellow, that single tell got me a link pearl full of old friends, a teamspeak server with familiar voices, and a knowledge base that I've been able to go to whenever I've had questions about the new content.  On top of that, Haimon helped me get to level 92, got me some atmas, and has just generally been super amazing and I can't thank him enough.  The rest of the linkshell has been just as amazing!

And I can't forget about Kibble, Taolen, and Vivicide!  They helped me get my WHM partially regeared (it's actually at a place that's acceptable.  I wont be happy until I completely revamp my merits and get a couple hard to get items, but I'm in a good place to be useful to people.

And some old JP friends of mine are still around (and still remember me)!  Amice and Sleet ran me through my level 99 cap earlier today, which let me finish getting to 99,

Well, this post is a complete mess, but I'm just trying to get some of these thanks out.  I'm going to buckle down and write some real first impression posts soon (mostly my thoughts on the new game play style that came with Abyssia and the 99 cap).  Once I get some time to really relearn WHM in this new era I'll write up something about that too.

My goals are pretty straight forward right now: 
Regear WHM
Remerit WHM
Get PUP and COR to 99

Lots to do! Can't wait to give it a shot!

  • Current Mood
    accomplished
Quirk And I

SC2 - Match ups and Me (TvT)

Again, apologies to the TTTO crowd. I'm sure you can find a way to filter SC2 posts out.

For those unfamiliar with SC2, a “match up” is just a fancy was of saying “Race A vs Race B.” For a Terran player in SC2, there are three match ups: Terran vs Terran (TvT), Terran vs Protoss (TvP), and Terran vs Zerg (TvZ). I’d like to start here by talking a bit about my experience in each match up, my strengths, and my weaknesses. I’ll be addressing basic early thought, my standard build orders for each, and where I know I falter. Additionally, I know that I’ll be describing these in a simplified fashion, but I’ll talk about each in more detail at a later time.



TvT

Terran vs Terran, probably my best match up. Most TvT games come down to two things:

- Who wins the siege tank war

- Does the person who loses the siege tank war abuse their better mobility?

Obviously that isn’t the end all way to describe TvT. There are plenty of ways to counter siege tanks (early pressure, for example, can be very effective as a way to stifle the siege tank count of your opponent) but in the current state of the game where marines and marauders make of the majority of a Terran army it’s hard to argue that siege tanks aren’t a major part of a TvT.

I’ve found that, on my way up the ladder, these three strategies prevail:

1) Mass marine timing push.

2) Fast siege mode timing push

3) Banshee rush (both 1 and 2 port)

The old fall back for many starting players is the 2-3 rax mass marine push. With some micro and a very short ground distance this can be a pretty effective start. It also helps set players up for a heavy MMM build in the mid to late game. However, getting three barracks is both expensive and time consuming, as well as being easy to scout. Early siege tanks will shut down a marine only push without much issue.

Siege tank rushing is a very common strategy, relying on the fact that siege tanks shut down almost all early ground aggression by another Terran, as well as prove to be extremely useful in the late game. The biggest downside is that siege tanks make you VERY immobile later, but at the start you can defend your main and natural without much issue with only a couple tanks.

Finally, my personally favorite, the early banshee pressure. Early banshee provides an easy way to safely harass an opponents mineral line and prevent counter pressure, similar to mutalisks. With the ability to cloak and a high damage shot, banshees can decimate an early mineral line. If scouted, it forces the opponent to either waste money on turrets, or to pull back marines to defend (effectively taking pressure off of you). However, fast banshee suffers from a few drawbacks. To have the money/gas to throw down a banshee/cloak as fast as possible, you take a large hit to your marine count. Early pressure can be a real issue, and you’re almost forced to wall off in some fashion.

Of course, there are merits and issues I haven’t talked about in these builds, as well as other builds you’ll see (marine fast drop, hellion harass/drop, fast thor push, early ghosts, to name a few). From my experience though, I’ve seen these three far more often than the others (though hellion and marine drops come up a decently close 4th).



As I mentioned early, my TvT opening tends to favor early 1 starport banshee with cloak when the map is either very small (Steppes of War, Desert Oasis, for example) or closed positions on 4 player maps (Lost Temple, Metalopolis, Kulas Ravine, etc). Beyond that, I like the early siege tank builds, they provide a good way to move out against a terran as well as allowing you to keep up your marine count a bit more, which is great against banshee and fast marine drops. As a rule of thumb, I tend to like to get my EBay quickly, not so much for the 1 attack, but for the sensor tower. I’m a HUGE fan of the sensor tower. While not as good as an observer, the sensor tower as a whole I think is very underused by most Terran players.

Certain conditions as Terran do make me uncomfortable though, and I’m working on that. If I’m losing the siege tank race (that is to say, I’m behind in my tank count) I find it hard to find a good time to move out. I need to work on getting my drop play up in those situations and abuse the fact that I’m more mobile than my opponent. Also, like many players, I need to work on my timing for a third base.
  • Current Music
    Horizon from the Mass Effect 2 soundtrack
  • Tags
Quirk And I

SC2 - The Other Game

FIrst off, sorry to the TTTO folks who are going to see a non-FFXI/FFXIV related post on the site and probably flip out about it.


Hi. I'm Dantaro. I play Starcraft 2. A lot of Starcraft 2. Not like "Holy crap, all he does is play SC2," but enough. In the past this blog has focused on FFXI, and it still will, but SC2 has a major place in my gaming life right now so I'd like to talk about it too. This wont be ultra-high level analysis, I am not Day9, but I am a big fan of the game and of talking about it.

Most of what is going to go here will be replays of myself, analysis of my game play, and will provide me a permanent record of both my ladder games and my private 1v1s. Additionally, once I work out the kinks, I'll be posting my shoutcasts of professional SC2 games and providing background on the players.

So yeah. For those who like SC2, I hope you'll get a kick out of reading what I put here.
  • Current Music
    The Star Onions - Kazham
  • Tags
Quirk And I

Returning home

So.

About 5 months ago I got my first post-college job. Then Starcraft 2 came out. Needless to say, between these two things I kind of fell out of FFXI. FFXIV was in there too, but not really.

Anyway, after a break I've started playing again. Not like I did before, I don't have time for that, but I'm dedicated to playing again. First order of business is getting something to 85! Because of my terribad subjob leveling I only have WHM and RDM with appropriate subjobs for leveling, and I much prefer my WHM (though I don't like what SE did to the job, there was no need to add 10590128% cure potency). Currently 77, going to try for 80 this week and next, maybe 85 if I do really well.

Regardless, I'm going to go back to posting often so I can force myself to play more (well, force is a bad word, but it'll give me a reason to drag myself away from SC2 which I dedicate most of my gaming too).

In terms of returning home, I was astounded to see how many people were happy to see me. I've been able to pick up more or less from where I left off, which is great. I can't wait to hit 85 WHM and do HNMs with everyone!

So yeah. Vana'diel, home again I am!
Quirk And I

.DAT modding: Making Your Game Your Own

So recently I've been reading in many of the old .DAT I used to use and it's got me wanting to write about how one implements DAT mods.

What are DATmods? Data Modifications (DATMod) are modified .DAT files used to change client side representation of textures/models/names. Generally these are used to adjust otherwise undesirable models into something the user finds pleasant. They have other uses as well, but I'll get into that later.

Going about swapping DAT files for modded ones can be confusing, and can be a terrifying experience for the first timer who simply wants to make their errant body look much nicer. To start, I'm going to show you the process used to swap out classic the tarutaru unisex errant body for the Cornelia Tarutaru Errant Body.

Obviously, the first step is downloading the DAT file. FFXIdats.com is a wonderful source of FFXI DATMods, as is FFXI Mod Community. In this case, follow the link I provided above as this example may not work with other mods you download. Our new DAT file comes zipped in a .RAR file. You may need to download WinRAR if you don't already have it to open this file. It's free, and many files are saved in this format so I highly suggest you download it.

Upon opening the file, you should see the following:

Photobucket

OK, so what exactly does this mean? Let's break it down between the two files. We'll start with the easy one: ErrantPreview.png.

Errant Preview is just what it sounds like, a photo preview of what the new DAT file will look like. PNG files are a lossless format, meaning it's a true recreation of the original data, with no loss of information through compression.

Next is the important one: (Errant Body)1-127-7.DAT OK, what in the world do these numbers mean? I'll break them down one by one. 1 (the first number) refers to the ROM folder. The 127 (second number) refers to the folder within the ROM folder, and 7 (third number) refers to the specific DAT file this one is meant to replace. I'm sure I've lost some of you with "ROM" folder, so before I let's take a look at that.

We're going to take a trip now into your computer. Open up My Computer, open your primary hard drive (Normally the C:/ drive) or the drive you have FFXI installed on, and find the folder labeled "Program Files." Please note that on 64-Bit machines, you need to access the "Program Files (x86)" folder instead. From here find the "PlayOnline" folder. If you have a lot of folders, hit the P key to jump to the Ps and save yourself some time. Once you open it, drill down into the "Final Fantasy XI" folder (Drill down means to keep going into the progressive folders within the directory) and enter it. This folder will contain a lot of stuff, from .ANI files to .SYS files. Whatever you do, don't touch ANY of this.

Photobucket

Locate the folder titled "ROM," you will notice there are eight (8) total folders. This is where our first number comes in! The 1 from the downloaded DAT file tells us that we need to enter this folder. Once you enter the folder we can use the second number, 127.

Photobucket

The 127 refers to the specific folder you find the original DAT file in. Go ahead and open up that folder. The third and final number on our DAT file tells us the actual DAT file we're replacing. At this point you should take the "(Errant Body)1-127-7.DAT" file and place it into the folder we just found. Just two more steps and we're home free!

The first step is to rename the ORIGINAL .DAT file. We want to make sure we keep the original in case we don't like it, or need to change it back later. Some people create knew folders and move the DAT files, but I tend to simply rename the original DAT file something like "7Original.DAT" and keep it in the folder.

Now we just need to rename our "(Errant Body)1-127-7.DAT" file to "7.DAT" and the conversation will be complete. Your finished folder should look like this:

Photobucket

If you decided to do this while logged in, you will have to zone once before the changes are reflected on your screen. Otherwise, simply log in and enjoy the new tarutaru errant body design!


Swapping DAT files is a fun and effective way to improve your FFXI experience. It can even be used to change the names of pop mobs and salvage mobs to reflect various conditions. However, four things should be noted when considering DAT mods:

1) NEVER open a file before scanning it with anti-virus. Similarly, don't download off of shady sites. This should be pretty obvious.

2) ALWAYS keep a backup of the original DAT. I can't stress this enough. There may be a time when you accidentally replace a wrong file and not notice only to find that mithra who equip Walahra Turbans suddenly have no head and a turban on their leg (If that seems awfully specific, it's because it is.)

3) NOT ALL DAT files come in this easy format. Some ONLY have a DAT number, some ONLY have a name. I'll explain how to properly install these mods in my next post.

4) THIS IS 100% AGAINST ToS!!!!!!!!! There is no way around this fact. By changing DAT files you're manipulating game data, which is a serious breach of ToS. That being said, BARRING USER FAIL, this is 100% UNTRACKABLE. ALL changes that occur are CLIENT SIDE ONLY, meaning only YOU can see that sweet knew errant body or hot new mithra haircut. The same rules for safe use apply here that apply to windower, don't talk about DAT swapping in game and you'll be fine.


Hopefully people found this at least somewhat useful. I'll post a few more things like this in the coming couple days to show people how to install DAT files that aren't well documented, as well as some other nifty DAT mod tricks aside from changing appearances.

Till next time,

Dantaro
Quirk And I

Real post coming soon

Seriously, real post coming soon. Final year in college kind of killed my play time (and my inner child) but I'll make a post sooner than later (hopefully). Probably about RDM. Cause it's fun. Yeah.











OK bye
Quirk And I

On leading a Dynamis shell

Roughly 1 1/2 years of leading my current Dynamis shell. 1 1/2 years of both extreme euphoria and scathing disappointment. 1 1/2 years of yelling "Sleeps! SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEPS!" 1 1/2 years of dealing with all the political bullshit that come along with leading a shell.

While CWD certainly isn't the pinnacle of small man dynamis, we haven't done to bad for ourselves. Sure, I've had to cancel runs now and again, and we've had our fair share of irreparably wiping in city, ice, and CoP dynamis. In the end though, it's all been fun. From our first Jeuno run where I learned going up the center was much easier than the stairs, to our most recent Sandy run it's been a learning experience. It may be late in the game now, but I'd like to share some thoughts about leading a dynamis shell with people.

1) Know from the start what kind of dynamis shell you're going to run.
I don't mean "small man vs large group," I mean "for casual or for power players." This can often impact how you run a shell. Let's face it, 90% of all power players have some sort of ego which is going to lead to conflicts if you let it. Many have issues giving up lots on things to another person of the same job because they feel they're superior at it. This means that using a "Courtesy Rules" lotting system is going to cause serious issues. Stick to a point system, or something similar, it'll quell a lot of fights and save you a lot of headaches. If you're running a casual player shell, you might consider forgoing the point system for some variation of free lotting. It's not fool proof to go this route to avoid drama, but generally the egos are lower in the casual crowd and they don't mind passing on a nice drop for someone.

2) Be wary of mixing casual and power players.
Lets face it: Casual players don't have the same gear sets and haven't crunched the numbers to know the best gear for any given situation. This can be a huge sticking point for any sort of drops. Almost all power players will argue that giving, lets say, RDM hat to an NQ MP ring RDM is a waste, and that it should have gone to them since they already have 4/tic, a relic, every HQ staff, 17 different Slow macros, and have killed AV. This will cause drama. Drama is the enemy, so avoiding these situations are ideal. On the other hand, casual players almost always have a much shorter fuse with power players, which can result in arguments of elitism and lootwhoring, even if neither exist. If mixing is unavoidable (such as in my situation), make sure the rules are well known, and do your best to make whoever is coming in part of the "family." Something as simple as forcing people to make friends can cut down on a huge amount of drama.

3) Know how funding works.
Some shells let members sponsor. Some shells are part of larger LSs that fund everything. Some are funded by the leader. Others, (like mine) are self funded. Know how you're handling this. If you're members are sponsering, make sure they know they're expected to host Ice and CoP too. If the shell is funded by you (as the leader) ask yourself what you're going to do once you finish your relic. If the shell has an LS bank, figure out some way to do payouts and what you're doing with coins. After you figure it out, stick to it and don't give into pressure to change.

4) Remember: Rules are only rules as long as they apply to everyone.
Did you miss a run when your LS charter says "If you miss a run, you can't lot the next run?" Then don't lot on anything the next run, even if it's that RDM hat you wanted so bad. By applying rules to yourself, you let the entire shell know that the rules are the rules, and they're not going to change because someone whines. This may be the most important rule

5) Make sure you trust your leaders.
If you have leaders, do you know you can leave a run and they'll uphold all the rules? If not, you might want to consider different leaders, or talking to your current ones. Don't forget, they're your face when you're not at a run, don't let them give you a bad name.

6) Keep cool.
Yelling is Ok. Sometimes you need to give a stern talk to a shell to get them off their asses. This does NOT mean you need to be a total ass. There is a fine line between motivation through negative statement and straight negative statements. Watch yourself, you'll know when you've crossed it.

7) You're infallible (most of the time).
You're right. If someone tells you that you're running the shell wrong, or doing pulls wrong, or wrong for having them come BLM over WAR, fuck them. You're the one that runs the shell, you're the one that makes the decisions, you're the one who has to deal with the long term consequences, and you've got the final word. That being said, don't just simply dismiss someones comment with a "No, this is my shell, back the fuck off." Listen to what someone has to say, even if you end up saying no. You may be infallible, but you're still human.

8) Know how to adjust to the unexpected.
Only have 8 people? don't frown, know how to make that work out for you. Got 24 for a Tav run? Be ready to think quick and come up with a solution. This is extremely important.

9) Listen
This goes back to number 7. If people have complaints about how things work in the shell, or that X got Y drop, or that you've done too much Xarc and not enough Jeuno don't just push them away. Listen to what they're saying and either provide an explanation (or counter example) as to why you do things a certain way, or make a note to talk to whoever the issue is with (AND DO IT). Brushing people aside only makes them angry and pushes them out of the shell.

10) Have fun.
Despite all the responsibility and bullshit you have to deal with as a leader, it's still a game. If you're not having fun, do what you can to fix it but know when it might be time to step down. If you're getting so stressed that you're having more fun when the run is over and the stress is gone, then you might wanna step down.

And the most important rule of all:

11) Don't E V E R teach other people how to run a dynamis shell
This is very important in the success of the shell. The only people who need to know the pulls are YOU and your dedicated puller. If you give people the knowledge to do what you do, why do they need you? Sure, you might think the friendly environment and AF/gil would be enough to keep people, but you'd be surprised how many times you'll have people splinter off to make their own shell. This happens to every shell at least once, so don't feel bad when it does. Just know in the future that you answered too many questions about pulls, or the best way to deal with MNKs, or how to properly deal with annoying members.

Well, I hope that helps anyone who is interested in starting a shell. There are plenty of other things to know, but most of that can be found on wiki or by asking your current LS leader who doesn't know rule 11. Best of luck to all of you!
  • Current Mood
    apathetic apathetic
  • Tags
Quirk And I

A Return To Basics

Wow, long time since I've posted here. Not much time to play, let alone post, these days. Finishing up my last year of University with a double major so my play time is. . . limited.

When I do get on, its mostly for either a short merit session (Hour to an hour and a half) and then leading Dynamis. Things go well in the dynamis shell, but that isn't what this post is about.

Lately I've been making time to get on and level SCH. Its currently 39 (er, 40, just dinged) and I'm honestly a bit surprised at how much fun I'm having just leveling. Now, this isn't SMN burning, or power leveled exp fests in West Ronf S. These are just honest to goodness parties in Yhoater Jungle.

I know, I know, "fun" and "leveling" in the same sentence is generally not allowed, but there is just something really calming about getting a party and just leveling again. I'd started to feel really cut off from the general FF community as my interest in end game fell off. First I left HNM, then I stopped doing everything but dynamis and sea, and now I don't even do sea. Most of my friends that still play are still very focused on end game shit, so I hardly get to play with them the times I am on, and the small social group in my shell mostly runs salvage together (barring me). I'm almost always just on the outskirts not doing anything, and that really takes its toll.

Even more than that, I think I was just sick of the stress from leading shit all the time. Its refreshing playing with people I don't know, and don't feel I owe anything. I'm just there to get levels, same footing as everyone else in the party. Its oddly nice to know that I'm, for all intents and purposes, just a lowbie again.

I guess all I'm saying is that if you're getting fed up with the game, or feeling mad at end game, or getting stressed, or really whatever, try leveling another job up the normal way. Don't go in with the mind set that you want to be 75 asap, just have fun with it. Don't worry about the gear of the level sync'd PLD, or that the BLU isn't in the idle TP setup. Getting 10k/hour all the time isn't nearly as fun as just enjoying yourself with a slower group.
Quirk And I

PUPdate

Wow, been a LONG time since I've posted here, mostly due to being in my final year of college (For anyone interested in that, or computer science, you can check out my RL blog at botw3.wordpress.com /selflessAdvertisement off). After I received my Shenlong's I started putting a lot of focus on melee PUP again. However, due to my limited play time, I've been forced to find alternatives for Usukane gear, most notably feet.


TP Gear


This is my TP gear at the moment for /DRG. You'll notice That I hit 22% Haste, which is fairly solid. I tend to run with pizza in this setup, for the obvious benefit of the extra attack mixed with a good acc boost. The Promptitude Solea (Only pair on alexander atm? Only NA pair at any rate) took me ~4 days to get, as the NM was a HORRENDOUS bitch. No words can properly express my hatred for that bomb. The legs are augmented with +7 Acc +3 Haste, the body is +10 Acc +10 Atk (They double as COR TP pieces). That IS an Animator +1. If I do go /WAR, I use a +2 acc earring in place of the Wyvern earring.


WS Gear


This is my WS gear, its pretty straight forward. Heavy focus on Acc. since Stringing Pummel is a multi hit. I need to get my other Temenos piece still for AF+1 feet, but those zones hate me something fierce. I've been camping the new +12 Acc. +6 Atk. belt NM too, and I need to get the new DNC/PUP WS legs, but I haven't had any luck yet.


So yeah, that's my quick gear update for PUP. I'll hopefully make a more interesting post some time soon, as time permits.