Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Final Fantasy XIV Online

So I've been playing a good deal of Final Fantasy XIV Online, since the collectors edition got a head start last week, and once i got past the quite steep learning curve, i've been having a good time. The game is beyond beautiful, graphics and animations, but i'd expect nothing less from Square to be honest. The controls are very similar to the single player Final Fantasy games, and once i plugged in an Xbox 360 controller, it played way better in my opinion, although it seem most Japanese players play with only a keyboard (yikes!). I'm curious how the Playstation 3 version will be next year when it gets released, more options are always good. Along those lines, man does this game polarize people, either people love it or hate it, so reviews are pretty much useless, especially ones that don't spend enough time to get the flow of it. It's a slower, more deliberate game than others, button mashing is pointless and actually not a good practice as you can queue up actions. That is where some people are complaining of lag, it's not, they just already selected an attack and are waiting for it to shoot off.

Shot of my character at the loading screen wearing a grey hempen cowl:

Classes are something else people are seeming to be confused by, you can be any one you like, just equip the weapon, and you can level up those skills and pretty much use any skill with any class. Very nice, want to fight with swords and cast spells? Go right ahead. You can also wear whatever gear you want, although some isn't "best" for what main class you want to be. You can also equip any level of item, but won't get the best stats until you are the 'optimal' rank it says. Worth noting is that you have a separate "physical rank" that levels no mater what class you are using, disciples of war, magic, hand or land, you get ranks. Chopping trees, get xp to increase your botanist rank and physical. Weaving things, get weaver ranks and physical ranks. etc, etc. I tend to do lots of different things, so my physical rank is around 22 right now, but my highest job rank is like 14, weaver and botanist.

Which leads me to my few complaints. The story line quests are triggered by what rank you are in a job, not physical. Get one at creation, then 10, then 15, 20, etc (so i've read). These are fun and interesting, with interesting story and such. The rest of time it's levequests, eight of regional, eight of local, every 36 hours or so, reset at a set time server side, not when you do them. I do realize that most quests in most games are just kill X rats, prettied up, but it's nice to have that motivation, i'm not much of a grinder really. So i'm hoping they add something to either cut that time, or add more quests. Seeing as there is a tab for "quests 0/16" in the journal, but no one seems to have found who gives them out, if anyone yet. Also worth noting is that there are no "!" above people who give quests. You kind of have to pay attention, read, and explore, which i kind of like.

My awesome hair style:

Crafting and gathering are actually fun and interesting mini-games, not just click and go make a sandwich. Pay attention, get stuff, it works. Although couple complaints here too, no in game guide on what recipes need, although you don't need to get them like other games, you are told them in game and either write them down or look them up online (second one, really). You can try to make anything you have the mats for, but will most likely fail if they are too hard. Mats are the other problem i'm having right now, as most recipes need varied items from all different crafts (although more realistic when something with leather and metal needs both) but the market wards is borked right now and no way to search it sucks. Also it sucks that most people are selling useless things, not what others really need, so you have to wade through people trying to find what you want, and failing. They have said they will make it searchable, or add an AH later, but for now it sucks. Best off crafting what you can with what you can make yourself.

A shot of me in Ul'dah, just hanging out:

There is a neat official site with info, recipes and more called The Loadstone, with blogs attached to your character. I'm not exactly sure if this will work for others, and haven't written anything in the blog yet, i think this is my site there. It's sort of like the WoW armory, but with a more social bent, and less a "get better gear n00b".

Neat little sig generator for forums and such at this site, which has several styles and looks like this:

So yeah, people probably don't care about this, or don't play, but i'm having a blast.

Menraku Ramen Miso

Also eaten recently was Menraku Ramen Miso, and i have to say, so far my favorite, hands down. Also one with more pictures than normal.

Same as usual, package without wrapping. 

Peel back lid, take out two packages...

sprinkle powder base and dried veggies out on noodles. Pour boiling water and let sit for three minutes.

Squeeze out miso paste on soup (hard to explain what miso is like, but i love it)...

stir and eat. Nom, nom, nom. You can tell how the miso spreads out and flavors it, very good. 

Hands down so far, my favorite. I could live off this, well, mostly, but you get the idea. The noodles are good, and plentiful, a good amount of dried veggies, and the soup and miso are a great flavor. 

I've probably said it before, but i'm really seeing the difference between what we have as ramen and what you can get here. There is more than noodles and a small package of dry powder, in fact more noodles too. Granted, these are generally around $2 each here, probably less there, while our cheap ramen is like a pack of six or more for that price. That said, while the story of a student getting scurvy by only eating ramen is a myth, most of our ramen has had most nutrients fried out and the powder doesn't add much, so seeing ones like this with more actual "stuff" is good to see, although the sodium is probably a bit high. Oh well, got to live like a rock star, heh. ;)

Menraku Ramen Soy Sauce

A little behind here, been playing a bit of Final Fantasy XIV Online and backed up on actually posting these, heh.

One of my so far favorites, Menraku Ramen Soy Sauce flavor.

Package, without plastic wrap. 

Two packages inside, one with veggies and powder, the other one with a liquid.

Powder added, boiling water added after that, wait three minutes.

Squeeze liquid (concentrated soy sauce flavor i'm thinking), stir and eat. Nom, nom, nom. 

I am loving the styrofoam bowls, even though probably not as green of me to, it's nice not having to worry about too hot of hands or burnt fingers. (probably have to explain here, i have one of those water boiling appliances that heats up quick and hot. It does get hot, boiling actually.) I do love this one, pretty much one of my top ones. Yeah, i'm not the most eloquent right now, or ever really, but oh well.