Good morning you happy people in digital land… I am somewhat awake and once again sitting at the keyboard in the morning.  I know that over the holiday weekend I was a slacker and ended up logging late in the day for two days… but now it is time to return to reality and as such the morning posts begin once more.  All in all it was a pretty good Labor Day weekend, we ran out and did quite a few things and I managed to get in a decent amount of playtime in on various games.  I even managed to hit the suggested point in the NDA title, so I call the weekend as a whole a success.

Another Cool Find

Lego_Gungan_SubYesterday my wife went shopping with her mother and sister and I pretty much stuck around the house doing laundry, changing the ferret cage, and playing a lot of Final Fantasy.  Right now there is a lot of closeout going on at the various Wal-mart locations around us, and she said she would check the ones in Joplin if they ended up there.  I had honestly pretty much forgotten about it when I got a series of texts asking about various sets.  I still think it is so damned cool that she is more than willing to feed my addiction to all things Lego.

At the first store there were many sets that I already had, and one that I had picked up at our store… but in amongst the various heavily marked down boxes was a gem.  The Gungan Sub is a set I have thought was cool for some time, but it had an $80 pricetag that like all the bigger sets makes me not willing to pick them up.  However yesterday she found it for only $40 so it was a definite buy especially considering this one is another out of print set from 2012.

This apparently is a re-release of a model by the same name that came out in 1999 for the release of the Phantom Menace.  It looks like the model has been improved in every way, and in addition there is the first Queen Amidala minifig which is pretty sweet looking.  Of course in the travels my wife found lots of stuff for herself, including a bunch of scarves that were on clearance and a few tops.  It sounds like she had a good time hanging with her family, but I still think it is awesome that she thought to check the Legos and actually found some.


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Now that I managed to get to 30 on my main class and pick up the Warrior job I have backed down a bit from pushing through the levels.  One of the frustrations with specialization is that you can no longer access all of the cross class abilities.  So by switching into Warrior I lost access to all the nifty toys I had from my Lancer sub class.  As it stands currently, Warriors only have access to cross class abilities from the Gladiator and Pugilist classes.  Since there are quite a few good low hanging fruit in the Pugilism tree, I decided to swap over and run up a few levels there.

I have to say I enjoy the way pugilist feels.  In many ways it reminds me of the way the martial arts hero felt in City of Heroes.  You have lots of awesome kicks and punches and a really interesting combo system.  Basically how combos work in this game is that when you hit an ability, it will highlight the next ability in sequence… and if you press it you get some special added effect.  The problem is if you miss the second attack, it is a lost opportunity. 

With the Pugilist, each attack applies a short term buff to your character, and this buff is what controls the ability to proceed through to the next attack.  This means even if you fail to hit the target with the second attack, there is always a chance to pull out a second attempt at the attack and proceed down the combo tree.  Additionally they get a third step in their combo building process amazingly fast, within the first few levels.  This makes the class design feel extremely responsive early on in the leveling process.

Right now my goal is to hit level 12, which will give me access to a few really nice cross class abilities.  First we have Featherfoot, which increases evasion by 25% for 15 seconds.  Next we have Second Wind, that is a variable heal that builds off attack power.   Lastly we have Internal Release, which increases Critical Rate by 30% for 15 seconds.  I have heard that the Marauder ability Berserk which increases attack power by 50%, will greatly buff Second Wind.  While Berserk keeps you from using special attacks for 30 seconds after its duration… it could be a handy combo in a clutch situation where you are tanking and need a large heal NOW.

Primetime Patching

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At the point of posting about the prime time patch, I had not really don’t the time conversion myself.  Essentially the “Wednesday patch” is actually a Tuesday evening patch for the United States.  I feel as though a million oceanic players are reveling in the frustration saying “see what it feels like”.  The maintenance period is essentially 7 pm to 1 am central time, so pretty much encompasses the entire playable time period I would normally be in a game.  All will be forgiven if this fixes the issues and we can finally stop the “1017 shuffle”.

I heard an interesting theory about what is happening to the servers and why they cannot support any more players.  The theory states that it is not actually a problem with the individual shards themselves, but a problem with not having enough resources on the “instancing server”.  The game makes constant use of throwing players into instanced scenes in the game as you complete some of the games more epic quest moments.  This additionally is supposedly the same server that is used by every dungeon in the game.  The majority of player disconnects involve going into or coming out of an instanced area.

The theory further poses that it is this instance infrastructure that was just too small to support the current deluge of players.  This server was supposedly scaled for around 100,000 concurrent players, whereas we have well over that on a given basis.  This is also why in the final beta test, before they imposed the caps… the main issue at hand was the complete and total failure of the instance system halting players from progressing in their quests.  If this is in fact the case they may literally be able to throw servers at the problem…and after this maintenance all may be resolved.  I really hope this ends up the case…  because the game is far better than its shitty infrastructure shows.

Wrapping Up

Well it is time for me to take the trash out, feed the cats and get on the road.  I hope you have a great short week ahead of you.  My hope is that no real crisis arise and I can get some things knocked off my extremely long list.  More than likely tonight I will be back in Rift, as I am sure the guild thinks I have fallen off the face of the earth.  Looking forward to trying to get some more dungeons going this Wednesday for guild night.  Crossing my fingers that the maintenance fixes everything, and I will be able to play FFXIV at will, and not feel like I need to play it whenever I can actually connect to the game servers.

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