Hey gang, and welcome back to 'Moogle Stole My Bike', my weekly look at the life and times of a newbie in Final Fantasy XI. In this week's installment, I'm going to cover my first few hours with the game, my likes/dislikes of various aspects, and a sneak peek at some pretty cool features that will tie in directly with this feature.
First off, here's a shoutout to Shawarma, Delphin, and Hirogon, all friends from Penny Arcade, who have shown nothing but patience in my first wobbly steps in Vana'Diel. Shawarma is a name you'll want to remember, as he'll be a recurring teammate and overall 'friend of the show' in the future, but more on that later. Before we get too in-depth into my thoughts thus-far, I'd like to introduce you to the character we'll all spend countless hours cheering, jeering, and probably checking out his ass: Icewind!
He's my very first character, and his class is Monk. Essentially, the Monk in FFXI is a key tank, someone who does hand-to-hand combat, buffs his accuracy and hit damage, and is a great character for drawing aggro. It's been a very enjoyable class so far, as it's not only easy to use, but it's very rewarding once you learn the queue of abilities/attacks, and which rotations work best for certain circumstances. For instance, if I'm fighting a tougher enemy by myself (an Orc Mesmer, etc), I can cast 'Boost', which buffs my accuracy/hit, followed by 'Hundred Fists', which buffs my attack speed, and finish it off with a hearty dose of 'Combo', a barrage of attacks that packs a mean bite. The attack animations take longer than games such as World of Warcraft or City of Heroes, but I'm starting to prefer that. It adds a sense of tension, knowing that if you queue your attacks at the wrong time, it could make or break a fight. If there's one thing I've learned so far, it's that Final Fantasy XI is NOT a game to take lightly: No shutting your brain off here, not even for random lowbie enemies. Watch your back, or something's going to trample on it.
I can easily say that the most enjoyable thing thus far, though, has been the people. Coming from World of Warcraft, I was absolutely amazed at how helpful, insightful, and knowledgeable the population of Vana'Diel is. Anytime I'd have a question about game mechanics (best ability rotations, goals for armor upgrades, questchain NPC locations), I'd get responses that ranged from to-the-point, to literal conversation starters. I've met many cool people through the most minimal of things, and for that, I'm grateful.
I'm currently at level 9, and I'm excited to hit level 18, so I can 'dual class'. Basically, like Final Fantasy Tactics/Final Fantasy V, there are specific jobs that you can be, that do many different things. As I said previous, the Monk is a melee fighter, while my friend Shawarma is a Red Mage, a sort of offensive wizard, using spells to not only buff me during battle, but to do his own slice of vengeance to the enemy. It's a great combination for group-play, and I think we'll go far. At level 18, I'll be able to pick any other class in the game, and once I get to a certain point (half of my main job's level, essentially), I'll be able to use it as my 'subjob', or secondary class for you WoW players. I'll get the spells and tricks from both jobs, getting the best from each. I've heard various things, but it looks like White Mage, Ninja, and Warrior may be the best Monk subjobs. Any advice?
The highlight of this post, though, and something I'm VERY excited to unveil, is the Video Archive. If you look above this post, on the main toolbar at the top of Nitrobeard's main page, you'll see a 'Video' tab. This area is exclusively for Nitrobeard's official livestream, and has an embedded player in the page. This way, you can enjoy any video content we have to offer, from the comfort of this very website! The first (and main) pieces of video content are dedicated to this very editorial! You can watch archived (or live!) footage of myself playing Final Fantasy XI, at any time of the day, for however long you'd like! As of this posting, we have roughly 4 full hours of video content already published, and we'll be bringing you MUCH more as this feature continues. To give you a taste of the fun we're having in Vana'Diel, here's a look at Shawarma and I's play session from today. Shawarma was nice enough to record from his side of the chair this time, so the perspective will be from the ever-lovable Taru Taru.
Enjoy this 1.5 hour session, and know there will be many more! Highlights from this episode are:
- Icewind hitting Level 9 as a Monk
- Shawarma mocking Icewind at every possible turn
- A very embarrasing ten-minute-span of me not being able to un-focus on Shawarma, essentially making me worthless
- Hilarity ensues because of my incompetence
Keep it tuned here to Nitrobeard, as I'll be getting more footage and playtime with Final Fantasy XI, and hilarious things are bound to happen. Also, if you or a friend have played FFXI before, and would like to help out your fellow (noob) adventurer, feel free to comment on this article with any advice, tips, tricks, and strategies. I'd like to thank everyone for their help last post (big shoutout to MarcoStryder), as it was insanely helpful in this play session.
As always, take it easy, and I'll be back next week with more fun, hilarity, insights, and off-the-wall memories from my time in Vana'Diel. Dont think you have to wait an entire week to enjoy making fun of my inabilities, though: Be sure to keep an eye on Nitrobeard's Official Livestream, also available from the Video tab at the top of this very page! Happy adventuring!