Playing FFXI on Nasomi

keen-ffxi-nasomi

A couple of members in the K&G Community insisted that I give Nasomi, the new(ish?) FF11 “community” server, a try. I thought it was pretty new, but looking around I think it has been here for a few years. I know that people are starting to talk about it more, and there’s a lot of buzz around the population growing with new players to almost 1000 people. Now, I’m one of them.

It took a lot of insisting for me to finally buckle and go through the rigorous installation process. The detailed instructions are 12 pages long. Having played FF11 when it very first came to NA, I can tell you it wasn’t very easy back then either. PlayOnline sucks.

I’ll skip the boring details of my epic installation adventure, and how it took hours to get my controller to work, and get right to the details.

My character is named Keen, and I’m a Red Mage. I decided on Red Mage because I like the idea of being good at lots of stuff. I know that RDM are decent combined with other classes — or I hope so. I’m probably going to do RDM combined with Summoner. Can people confirm that this is a good combination of classes?

FFXI is confusing. I come from the EverQuest era of MMORPGs, so I’m typically okay with little to no hand holding, but this is on a whole different level. Much of the confusion stems from the UI, which is designed to hide menus behind menus behind odd labels. Using a controller makes it seem less wonky (keyboard/mouse forget about it), but that’s just the controls. Finding things in-game confuses me. Knowing what to do in-game confuses me as well. I pretty much had no idea where to go or what to do.

Thankfully I’m playing alongside one of my friends. He is guiding me by the hand around all the places in town where I’m supposed to go. Otherwise, I think I might still be running around trying to find out how to leave the city.

I reached level 5 last night. Seems like leveling up is similar to EverQuest: Go out and kill stuff. I like that model! I like it even more when I’m in a group, which apparently starts around level 13. I’ll give it a shot until then and see what the game is supposed to feel like.

Anyone else playing? Anyone have FF11 advice? I’m going in pretty open-minded while hoping that find that MMO experience I crave.

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X Tips

Graev KHUX

So apparently Graev is like a savant at Kingdom Hearts Unchained X (KHUx). He’ll downplay his awesomeness by saying he’s the worst player in his group (like a guild) but last I checked he’s in the top players (the above image is old) in the game. I started picking his brain for all kinds of tips and he schooled me on how to become great at KHUx.

Know Your Medal Types

I completely glossed over this earlier, but the medal types are Red (Strength), Blue (Magic), and Green (Speed). Red beats green, green beats blue, and blue beats red. Enemies will come in different varieties and can be countered more easily when using the appropriate medal type.

Level-up-medals

Level Up & Evolve Your Medals

Here’s something I didn’t really know much about, but apparently leveling medals is not only important — it’s imperative. Huey, Dewey, and Louie are used to level up medals corresponding to their color. Leveling up my Mickey Medal, I want to use Dewey medals. These get dragged into the Mickey Medal and combined into it (with some Munny) to create a stronger version of the medal. Once max level, the medal can evolve using special medals like the Three Fairies — also conveniently color coded for the 3 medal types.

get-better-medals-in-khux

Get the Daily Deal

When starting out, the Daily Deal (600 Jewels for 3 Medals) is really good. I received several 5 star with ability medals that have propelled me waaaay ahead. Considering how easily they flood you with gems early on, this can be a good way to spend them.

avatar-board-in-khux

Unlock Bonuses on the Avatar Board

Definitely visit the Avatar Board and spend your Avatar Coins to get bonuses. Don’t worry about going for the cosmetic upgrades, unless you really want them. The bonuses are worth it because you’ll get more AP (used for running missions), more HP, and more Keyblade cost capacity.

Play Lots During the Grand Opening Celebration

All month long the AP cost for all quests is HALVED. That means you’ll be able to do twice as many missions before having to stop and wait for AP to recharge. Yes, this is a gimmick to get you to spend money to regen your AP. It’s a common mobile game tool to limit how much you play in order to get you to pay to play more. But when you unlock the Avatar Board bonuses and play during this event you’ll be grateful you didn’t wait — especially for those special evolve mission rewards.

Class Orders Won’t Be Garrisons, But Close Enough?

WoW Class Order Hall Missions

I haven’t followed WoW’s Legion expansion development very closely, but seeing that I am now back in WoW and playing on a weekly (not daily) basis it might be time to start following it a bit more.

You might recall from my last trip into WoW that I liked the Garrisons introduced in WoD. I also enjoy games like Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, etc., where I’m building up something and nurturing a city form or whatever it may be. I like having my own space and upgrading it based on playing and making decisions. I thought most of the Garrison features were quite nice.

My biggest gripe with the Garrisons were that the rest of the game didn’t matter. Looks like Blizzard agrees that this was a main problem — perhaps most people agree? In the three months I played WoW, I think I went to Orgrimmar or a main city once — ONCE! My last month was spent logging in to send my guys out on missions, running a dungeon or two, but mostly just focusing on my Garrison’s rewards. They were too good not too, and as a result deflated the rest of the game.

I realize that Garrisons are/were quite polarizing. People either like them (like me) or they loathe their very existence. This loathing came into light yesterday when a WoW designer/dev commented on recent statements from Alpha testers that the new class Order Halls were starting to feel the same way. Watcher (the dev) seems pretty open about making it fact that “mission tables” are not the plan, and that questing (this big epic quest story thing) will be the main reward mechanism; AKA getting out in the world and having a quote, “proper MMO experience.”

I’m glad to see Watcher noting that there are players who enjoy aspects of the mission-table experience — that’s me. I like the idea of the epic stories tying into my experience. I seem to be getting the best of both worlds.

Class Order Halls and their missions are on the top of my anticipated-feature list.

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X released in North America this past week for iOS and Android. Unchained X reveals the origins of Kingdom Hearts, taking place before any of the other games in the series. Unchained X’s story will connect to the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III game.

You are a Keyblade wielder — one of many — on a quest to rid the world of Darkness and fight with your Union over control of the remaining light.When you start the game you get to choose a Union. This Union is your faction of Keyblade wielders and each week your points are tallied to see which Union wins. There’s a neat multiplayer element to KH Unchained X where you get to fight raid bosses with members of your union, though it’s not truly playing with others in real time.

The presentation is in the form of a fairy tale. In the very beginning (while the game is downloading a good amount) you are presented a fairy tell in popup book format. Kairi’s Grandmother is telling her a favorite story from the past (the story you’re going to be playing) about how the whole thing got started.

KH Uchained X is free to play. The cash shop doesn’t appear to be too invasive. I’m not super far into the game by any means, but from what I can see it all appears to be cosmetic/”I want to be in the top 100 players” kind of stuff. It  doesn’t appear necessary for the story gameplay at all. Medals can be purchased with in-game currency in a form of random packs, and I feel like the game gives you plenty of in-game currency to avoid needing to spend money.

Gameplay happens in “quests” or missions. So far they seem pretty quick, taking no more than a couple of minutes to complete. These missions involve a main objective like killing a particular encounter. Combat is handled well. Tap the screen to attack, swipe to area attack, and drag medals off of your Keyblade to use abilities. Combat in general is somewhat turn-based. Each action you take rotates the medals in your Keyblade. When the enemy’s action comes around, they take a move. So you’re trying to utilize your actions knowing that the enemy’s action is likely to come around soon.

Customization is pretty good too. You’ll get to slot the medals you want, customize our character’s looks/outfit, and level things up with a bit of choice as to what you combine. Overall, a decent system. It’s like a mix of Days and CoM.

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X comes across very well on mobile devices. The story telling methods they use work for both mobile and the KH narrative. There are plenty of familiar faces, lots of Disney which is great, and the feeling of Kingdom Hearts is all there. The price is right, and KHUx is one of the most ‘complete’ feeling mobile games I’ve played.

Nostalrius Shuts Down, People Still Want Fun

The WoW emulator Nostalrius was shut down a couple of days ago.  Though I enjoy playing on and supporting many emulator projects, I never partook in the nostalgia of the classic WoW experience on Nalstalrius. It’s not a pleasant experience to remember plaing 15 hours a day, competing to be the first to kill all of the raid bosses and get the best loot.

My sources tell me that Nostalrius broke the cardinal rule of running an emulator by asking for money. If that really was the case, then shame on them. They were brave for doing a WoW emulator anyway since Blizzard actually has the money to defend their properties.

People crave nostalgia. That’s why Nostalrius was attracting people, and why P99, SWGEmu, and so many others bring in people by the tens or even hundreds of thousands. If what was is fun, and what’s now is not, then we want what was. If you followed that, it’s that simple.

Blizzard has no plans of starting a WoW Emulator — I’ll put an “at this time” in there since they are a for-profit company and they’ll go where the money goes. But other companies like Daybreak Games have seen the interest and capitalized on it by putting up official “legacy” servers for players to enjoy.

In a world where people think something is a failure if it doesn’t have millions of players and millions of subs, it’s always nice to see that people flock to small experiences in numbers that can be profitable. The hype and inflated sense of what should be really seem to be completely ignored if something isn’t ‘new’.

I encourage people to keep playing on ‘classic’ or ‘legacy’ servers whether official or emulated (As long as its legal or not yet deemed illegal). I think it’s all about finding what’s fun for you, and if that’s playing EverQuest how it was back in 1999 or WoW how it was back in 2004 then so be it. The more we tell video game developers what we enjoy, or show them by playing those games, the more likely we are to have them provide it for us.