Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Level 16! I decided to stay in Tahrongi Canyon until I hit level 16 or I completely ran out of inventory room. Both ended up happening at about the same time. This was a pretty major undertaking for me. It took about 3 hours of smacking goblins, bees, rabids and saprolings with my staff to make the xp I needed to reach level 16 *(about 3500 xp). It seems like leveling is getting harder as I go. What I mean is that it looks like my offensive and defensive capabilities are not keeping up with those of the monsters that I'm fighting. I need to do more damage!

Right now my damage is coming from just two sources, Dia and my staff. Both are pretty lame. I very, very much wish I had Banish. I'm also considering switching over to club and shield. I like staff a lot, mostly because it looks cool and I really feel that a White Mage should have a staff. I guess it's time to give up on looks and go for utility. Function over form, right?

Stuck! So after hitting 16 I ran back home to buy new spells and shop the auction house. Except I forgot that I'm super poor! While browsing the shops at Port Windurst I fell through the dock and ended up stuck on a boat and unable to leave! I tried to escape for about a half hour before calling on a GM for help!

Canyon blues

Exploring Tahrongi Canyon has been a lot of fun. I'm at level 15 now, and I've made it through 4/5 of the Training Regiments for the area. What I'm having some trouble with is the big giraffe creatures that hang out in the area. They all read Decent Challenge or Even Match for me. I was playing it safe and sticking to Easy Prey like Saprolings and Rarabs, but I finally got impatiant and cornered one of these things (They're huge by the way). This was a huge mistake, since I ended up getting killed even faster then when that Goblin ambushed me outside Selbina. I guess I've learned my lesson: Stick with Easy Prey.

I haven't been playing too much the last few days. Part of the reason is that I've been busy with a work related project, but mostly it's because I'm not sure what to do next. I had decided to hang around Tahrongi Canyon until level 15, with the idea that I'd have some better insight into where to go next. No such luck! Valkrum Dunes is the only answer anyone has given me, but from what I saw on my short trip there the enemies are so tough that I wouldn't last five seconds! I've been wanting to explore a little more, but I haven't really had the chance. Anyway, for now the canyon seems okay. Although I did hear about some mines that sounded cool.

I found out a little more about Chocobos. It looks like I have to wait till level 20 to get a liscenes, and ths will involve taking a trip to a city called Jueno. I'm actually pretty excited about this, even though I have no idea how to get there. I was a little cofused because someone told me that I could rent a chocobo for short trips starting at lvl 15. This doesn't seem to be the case, unless it somehow involves Chocobo Tickets, and item I've seen on the auction house but have never had a chance to buy.

Also, thanks so much to Sargon, who tracked me down in Tahrongo Canyon to say hi and share some food. I really appreciate the gifts and advice! And the company. It's always nice to meet people!

Next post: I'm heading back to the canyon tonight. Maybe I can find a party to help me kill those damn giraffes. I'll tell you all about it next time!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fields of Valor and Chococbo

So I keep running into these floating books. I guess there's one at the entrance to each area, and they offer you training regiments. These tend to be a list of monsters that you should go out and kill, and the reward is a bit of experience and some points that you can spend on odds and ends stuff. That's pretty cool. I've been working my way through the training regiments in Tahrongi Canyon, and I'm really appreciating the bonus experience. I'm also appreciating that I can use the points I earn to teleport back to Windurst instead of taking the very long run! Right now I've worked out a system. I adventure in Tahrongi until I need to go back to Windurst (usually because my inventory is full). I catch a teleport back, sell off my stuff, check the shops and auction house for cool stuff, then catch a teleport to the outpost at Buburimu Penninsula and take the short run back to Tahrongi Canyon. I've only done this a few times, but I feel like it's saved me a lot of time and frustration. I'm curious whether I should be saving my points for something better/more useful?

Also, I'm pretty confused about the aElite Training Regime. I don't understand how to do that at all!

Also, I keep seeing people riding Chocobos. I've found out I can rent a chocobo starting at level 15 (which is next level). I'm really, really looking forward to this! Is there anything special I have to do. I asked someone about it and they said there's a quest? But someone else said you have to raise a chocobo? And I keep seeing chocobo tickets at the auction house. I haven't had a chance to explore the chocobo building in Windurst yet, so I'msure I'll be able to answer some of these questions on my own.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Magic and making friends

Magic: Spells have been a little bit of a puzzle to me. I had assumed that as a White Mage I might learn new spells automatically as I leveled up. It didn't take me too long to figure out that spells were actually purchased, but it wasn't until after lvl 10 that I discovered that I could get spells at the Auction House. This is important because until then I hadn't realized how many spells I was missing!

I had been buying my spells at the little magic shop at Port Windurst, but I know now that this shop doesn't offer a complete selection. Now that I see which spells I have access to, I'm a little unsure about what I should be using and what I should buy. I was happy to have Protect early on, and immediatly upgraded to Protectra when I had the chance, assuming it was an enhanced version of Protect. Instead, the spell offers the Protect bonus to other party members as well. Which is great, but now I'm wondering why I ever bothered with Protect at all, since Protectra is clearly better and has the same mana cost and cast time!

Right now my spell casting ritual is pretty simple. I always make sure I have Protectra up,a nd if I'm facing a tough enemy I throw up an Aquaviel as well. I start fights off with a Paralyze, followed by a quick Dia. After that I rely on swings from my Staff for damage, replacing the Dia half waythrough the fight if I need to and casting Cure on myself as much as I have to. That's carried me pretty well so far.

Now I'm wondering if I need to invest in some other spells. I keep seeing stuff like Barstone and Barsleep, which I understand protects against specific kinds of attacks. Are these spells worthwhile? They are very, very expensive, so I'm really hesitant to invest in them. Right now on my must have list is Banish (which never seems to be on the Auction House). I feel like I do very little damage, so having a damaging spell will really help. I hope!

Making Friends: I've been having trouble talking to other players. Part of it is that I play late at night and there just aren't many people around. Part of it is that I'm shy. But also part of it is that a lot of people just don't seem to want to talk to me. I guess I understand that. There are a lot of really high level players on Shiva, and I'm sure they don't want to waste their time with a new player who doesn't know anything. I've been trying to restrict myself to players who are close to my own level (once I figured out how to check), but it took me awhile to realize that just because a character is in the level 1-15 range doesn't mean that they are a new character. I guess there's something called sub jobs, and a lot of characters have multiple jobs? It's kind of confusing!

Anyway, I've had two bits of luck! First, over on this thread on ZAM (which I'm sure you know is a FFXI community site) I was told I could join a Linkshell called Ichiban. I haven't found any of the Ichiban members in game yet, but hopefully I will soon.

My other bit of luck was that I made some friends. While walking through Tahrongi Canyon a Warrior named Artillery and a White Mage named Sythi asked me to join a party. They were really nice, and showed me how to add their names to my Friends List. So now I have two friends! This was my first party experience, and it was a lot of fun. I ended up just healing, since I didn't want to accidentally let anyone die. It seemed to work out okay, and I'm looking forward to doing it again!

Next post: Who knows? Let's see what happens tonight!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My first days in Windurst

Hi. Here's a recount of my first few days in the game getting from lvl 1 to 13.

Race and starting city: I was pretty set on playing either a Galka or Taru Taru, but I forgot how cute the Hume starting outfits are! After playing around with the character options for a few minutes I was pretty set on a Hume female with mid length brown hair. I think for the most part the Humes are the least interesting of the races. The others are just so much cooler. But.... I really like my characters smile, and the way she looks kind of shy.


I decided to start out in Windurst simply because I'd already seen San d'Oria, and Bastok just didn't sound appealing. Unfortunately, Windurst is huge and fairly confusing! It's taken me several days to even begin to get used to the city.

Why I choose White Mage: Actually, I choose Red Mage! I knew I wanted to play a healer of some kind, but I was afraid that I'd end up soloing too much to make White Mage viable, so I started out as a Red Mage. But before I ever left Windurst I changed my mind. I really, really want to work with other people as much as possible, and I think if I had started out playing it safe with the idea that I could still solo easily, I'd be giving myself an out. Giving myself permission to not party! So I found my Mog House and switched my job to White Mage!

Getting started: I was a little surprised by how little instructions or directions I was given at the beginning of the game! There was a nice little cutscene that directed me to one of the Cardian guards, who gave me some money and told me that I could leave the city to fight monsters by going through the gate. But that was pretty much it.

I put off my trip to the gate and instead did some exploring, looking for the auction house and my Mog House. I'm embarrased to say that I got lost pretty quickly! After talking to a few townsfolk and familiarizing myself with at least part of the city (Windurst Woods and Port Windurst, which I now think of as my neighborhood), I set of for the nearest gate.

At the gate I met a War Warlock who told me all about Conquest and gathering crystals (which I later discovered could be sold for a good price at the auction house!). I agreed to have a Sigil cast on my, and stepped out into the wilderness for the first time!

Exploring, fighting and leveling: As soon as I stepped out into East Saruabaruta I ran into a floating book, which offered my some kind of training options. I'm still not really sure what that's all about, but I accepted and set out to kill some Bumblebee's and Tiny Mandragora's. I learned some lessons really quickly. First, it's a good idea to check the toughness of a monster before you attack, and a monster marked Decent Challenge or Even Match is not actually either! I got eaten twice before I decided to stick to Easy Prey.

It also took me awhile to figure out why I didn't seem to know any spells. I had assumed that I'd start out with one or two spells. Turns out that the spells come as scrolls that have to be learned.

I fought through the first few levels fairly easily, and came back the next day ready to try some tougher enemies. I discovered that one of the characters at the gate I was using could give me Missions. I completed my first two missions that evening, leveling up to lvl 9 in the process! These missions were a lot of fun, and really let me explore both the city and the surrounding areas as well as the history of the game. I went back for the third mission the next day (which was a little tougher), but was then surprised to find out that I couldn't get any more missions until lvl 20!

What I'm doing now: At this point I'm not really sure what to do next. I finished my last mission at level 11. I've explored East and West Sarutabaruta pretty thoroughly, and I've just started poking around in Tahrongi Canyon. It seems like my options are:

-Explore Tahrongi canyon, leveling up while fighting Goblins, Rarabs and little plant monsters.

-Hunt around Windurst for more Quests.

-Go to Valkrum Dunes.

The last option is the one I'm the least sure about. Every guide I've read says that Valkrum Dunes is the place to level from 10-20. It took me awhile to figure out how to get there, but I took the very long trip out there and was surprised to find that every monster seems to be either Very Tough or Incredibly Tough. I explored for about 15 minutes before dying to a Goblin. My assumption is that I'm supposed to team up with some people and tackle these monsters as a group, but I'm wondering if I should level up a little more before I do this? Are there other places to level from 10-20 besides Valkrum Dunes? Like maybe places that aren't all the way on the other side of the world?

I'm also wondering if maybe I'm missing some stuff. It seems like the plot of the game is mostly explained through missions and quests? Are there other missions and quests that I can be doing at this level? I feel like I kind of stumbled on the missions I've done by accident, and I'm wondering if there are more out there I can do.

What I like:

-Windurst and Sarutabaruta are very pretty. I especially like the quiet desolation of Saruabaruta, with it's ruined magical towers.

-Windurst is big and fun to explore. There's all kinds of people to talk to and plenty of things to see.

-Missions are a lot of fun. I really, really enjoyed meeting the different characters in Windurst, then going off to explore the magic towers and Giddeus. The is was my favorite part of the game so far. Unfortunately I did all that by level 11, and I was really disapointed to find out that I couldn't get another mission until level 20!

What I don't like:

-I really, really wish there was one large map of Windurst, so I could see how the city connects. It took me forever to find a few of the buildings for the missions!

-The controls are awful! I can't understand why the game seems to start with the gamepad as the default controller setup, but offers no instructions for switching to a keyboard setup. It took me close to a half an hour to figure out how to switch it! The keyboard controls took some getting used to, but I'm fairly comfortable with them now.

-I wish there was a little more direction. Or rather, I wish I knew what I was supposed to do next. I don't want a linear track like the classic FF games, I'm just not sure where I'm supposed to go or who I'm supposed to talk to.

Next post: I think I'll talk about trying to find a party, meeting people and selecting spells and equipment.

Wish me well as I start my journey!

Hi. I've recently started playing Final Fantasy XI. I'm enjoying the experience so far, and I've decided to start this journal to keep track of my adventures, talk about my experiences and discuss some of the things I like and don't like about the game. Also, as a new player I have a lot of questions, and if you're reading this I hope you'll consider answering them! First, let's get some of the questions you may have out of the way.

Who am I in game? My name is Keelut. I'm a Hume White Mage (currently lvl 13) on the Shiva server! Here I am:

Why am I starting FFXI? I've always been a big fan of the Final Fantasy series, so I've wanted to get into FFXI for quite awhile now. I'm currently working at home so I have a lot of free time! I looked at a lot of MMOs, but I choose FFXI for a few reasons. First, I have some familiarity with the game (which I'll talk about in a moment). Second, I'm totally in love with the games visual style and character designs. Third, it will run on my computer (where sevral more recent games won't!).
What is my MMO experience? Well... this isn't actually the first time I've played FFXI. I had an account very briefly after the game launched way back when. I only played for a month before school got the better of me, and I only made it to about lvl 10 as a Mithra Warrior. So this really is a fresh start for me!

I've played a few other games here and there, mostly for just a few weeks at a time. I had some nice experiences with FlyFF, World of Warcraft and Raganarok Online, and some poor experiences with Everquest, City of Heroes and World of Warcraft :)

My playstyle: In the past I've been a little bit of a solo player, mostly becasue I'm a little shy, but also because I usually play late at night and havetrouble finding anyone to play with! I want to be more forward and friendly as I explore Vana'diel, and I'm hoping I can make some friends!

Why I'm starting this journal: I have a few reasons. First, I hope that keeping a journal will help me engage with the game as more then just a somewhat passive player. Secondly, I'm discovering that this game is pretty complex and confusing! I'm not sure where to go next or what to do, and while there are plenty of nice guides online, most of them are pretty information sparse and seem to assume that you know te game already. So any help or advice that any one could give me would be appreciated! Third (thirdly?), I'd like to meet some people who play the game and make some friends!

Next post: I'll be talking about my first few days in the game!