The Future of XI and XIV

I know it has been a terribly long time since I have last updated, and I deeply apologize. Things have been crazy. With my cousin visiting, going to PAX (I never did make my write up, did I?), and then changes here and there in my personal life… its been busy at best and downright crazy at its worst. During the time of being back in school since 2006, studying math after a ten year hiatus (hello rationa-wha the hell is that!?), and being sick here and there… I have managed to squeeze in time to play a little but not as often as before. But today’s entry isn’t so much as to talk about my adventures or lack there of, but to talk about my thoughts on the future of both games I have grown to love and hate.

First off…. Final Fantasy XI! I have actually deactivated my account for a few reasons:

a.) I wasn’t as interested thanks to the cooling off period from my cousin visiting
b.) I was more interested in games such as LoL, XIV, and WoW.
c.) The updates have been lack luster at best.

Since the last patch, I have found little to no reason to log on. Leveling to 95 seems like a chore, as does the prospect of obtaining the spells I had been so previously eager to learn. Then there is the road map that was released earlier this week; was it really something worthy enough to post? Maybe to show that, yes, they do have something planned and are working on something, but overall the reception the road map was given was lukewarm at best. Even I couldn’t help but look at it and go, “That’s it?” I know the game is aging and I know that the PS2 limitations are probably rearing its ugly head even more right now, but its frustrating that we aren’t given any hint of an expansion or something more meaty to sink our teeth into. No, not rehashed areas with an ugly filter on it or even just a few new places. Something bigger and more interesting that will make me go, “WOW! This is COOL~!”

FFXI feels dry and stagnant and I can’t help but feel like they are running out of really cool ideas to implement into the game. Reiokyu mentioned interesting battles with different usage of tactics, but that’s not enough for me. I want content. I want meat. I don’t just want different flavored potatoes! Which brings me to…

Final Fantasy XIV

Being a young MMO, it is understandable that it will probably be the opposite of FFXI. There are updates, there are changes, and they are coming… in a little over a year. Ok, so that was the catch. Though we can anticipate updates every so often (about 2 – 3 months apart from each other), it is still a long time to wait for every single update and promise to be delivered to us.

For this reason, I am siding with a lot of hesitant players. We are being asked to pay $12 for a subscription for a game that Yoshida himself has claimed that is only at 50% of its promise as of 1.19. He hopes that it will get even closer to 100% by a slight margin by the time 1.20 is released. But in these times? When I know money is tight for a LOT of people, it seems crazy to pay a monthly subscription of $12 for a partially finished game. It has and IS much better than its initial release, but even I am hesitant at times to really promote the game at its current state. I can get excited with the die hard fans, but for the players who feel spurned by SE and the initial release of XIV? I’m hesitant.

Not because I don’t believe in what Yoshi-P is doing or the progress that is being and WILL be made. I have seen it and played through it; I know it will happen and will meet and has a chance of exceeding expectations. However, I think the finicky players will be more critical of the game as it is and will still want that meat and potatoes I had mentioned I want from Final Fantasy XI. The meat and potatoes include key features that Yoshi-P himself has mentioned as well as the ability for people to adequately run the game on lower spec’ed PCs. There are also server issues that even make me cringe at times during my time playing the game.

Do I have hopes these players will return? Yes. Am I holding my breath on it? No. The updates and changes are massive and show that the only way to salvage the game is to do a near complete overhaul of many facets of the game, but a lot of people seem very set in their initial review of the game and very hesitant at best to be excited for the promises of 2.0. I am hoping that this will change by the time we come to the release of the PS3 and 2.0 release, because I would honestly like this underdog win.

Maybe because I am clearly taken by the charismatic and intelligent Yoshi-P, or maybe I am more of a XIV fangirl than I would like to admit. Whatever the reason and irregardless of the choices/thoughts my friends and acquaintances make of the game, I am hoping the best and brightest for XIV. It is coming out nicely onto its own and I believe that Yoshi-P and the XIV team is doing the best darn job they can to make sure that XIV lives up to expectations. Speaking to the community, taking their thoughts and suggestions (even as stupid as they are) into consideration, and showing exactly the progress they are making is leaps and bounds more than I would have ever expected from SquareEnix in the first place. While Final Fantasy XI seems like a sinking ship, Final Fantasy XIV seems more like the ship that is surviving the storm with the steadfast hand of its director, producer, and captain. Even if people think poorly of the game, they should at least give him and his team credit for trying so damn hard and doing what a lot of people thought impossible by delivering promises that never were to begin with.

Hey, Yoshi-P, here is my $12 monthly fee! I’m looking forward to the ride you are going to deliver from here to the land of 2.0!

Life Happens

I know its been an extremely long time since I have last updated any of my blogs (here, or even Things have been crazy since August and for a time I just didn’t either think of writing or feel like writing. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things though, so bear with me.I’ll hopefully have something more fleshed out tomorrow or sometime after that and not months later…

Late Night Ramblings on the Podcast and Other Stuff

Its late, I’m tired but I can’t seem to go to sleep. So here I am attempting to update a few free MMOs, check e-mails, and some blogs, and flesh out some thoughts I’ve been bottling up inside for the past few weeks. There is stuff on PAX, but I’m conflicted if I want to blog about it or not and will most likely revisit the idea of it at a later time or date.

So, right off the bat; the podcast. Last week we got a lot of attention- more than I ever really wanted. A lot of it had to do with miscommunication and misunderstandings. It made me remember what was went through with last year and my desire to get away from it as much as possible. However, that didn’t happen since I was unable to say no or immediately clarify my intents and purposes to the others, and was unable to say no to Derrick/Orophen’s desire to do something big despite me desiring something more low key and for personal enjoyment. So the incidents that happened after the series of posts on G+ and then on forums were not really my idea, but I feel like I have no choice to accept blame for them because it wouldn’t have happened if I had been clearer from the get go.

That said, I can’t cry over the negative feedback we get because it was deserved and also warranted whether I liked it or not. When you put yourself out there, there are going to be people who like you and those who don’t. The problem, however, is when on a personal level, I become hyper obsessed with wanting things to be perfect. I did, at one point, follow the links back and read the comments, and had driven myself mad thinking I needed to fit people’s perceptions on what a good show is or isn’t. This didn’t go well on top of many other personal issues going on, and nearly drove myself to a mental breakdown and became one of two reasons why I didn’t make it to the fifth episode recording (the second reason being I needed to pack for PAX and make sure the other three people were ready as well).

At this very moment I am still in a weird mental and emotional state. I’m trying to take things in stride, but my personal life is becoming an ugly mess and is probably making it harder for me to just completely shrug my shoulders and not care. I’m stressed over things I know I shouldn’t be stressed over, and Derrick/Orophen has been the only one capable of calming me down and letting me know that I DON’T have to worry over every little comment. Being busy in real life helps, and puts many of these online dealings in perspective and also what to do to make things better. That’s the good thing about feedback (both positive and negative), because you can tell if its a consistent problem that needs to be addressed or that can be improved upon OR that certain elements ARE appreciated by others and don’t need that much fixing up if at all. Though my ideal situation would be to please anyone, I am hardly going to strive for it.

The podcast and its elements (even if it is not amusing to others) is meant to be for fun. The links will no longer be promoted on community websites because its just not what I want nor what the others seem to desire with the exception of Derrick/Orophen and maybe Frei. I can’t tell what he’s thinking so… I’ll put his name there for now.

Do I feel bad about it? Yes, I do. I feel that I have taken away something from him again, and I can’t seem to wipe away that feeling of guilt that I’ve had months prior to this situation… first with and now his desire to turn into something large and impressive. He’s told me I didn’t need to feel guilty, but I do and continue to do so even after he has told me otherwise. I had considered stepping down from both and Go Team Derp! in order for him to be able to achieve what his intents and desires are, and am still considering it to this day. Am I running away? Probably. Will I really do it? Who knows? Am I tired? Hell yeah. Time to sleep. おやすみなさい~

ps. I apologize in advance if I am more incoherent than usual. >_<;

Nice to meet you again, Eorzea!

First of all, I apologize my updates are very sporadic. I haven’t updated in awhile and it hasn’t helped that most of the time I have been busy with other things. Hopefully things will level out by the start of September when things start to settle down a little bit for me. Sort of. Eep!

Playtime has been, unfortunately, been as sporadic as my updates because of my schedule and not being able to clearly focus on scheduling events properly. Despite that Team Derp has moved on and we have managed to pull through with podcast recordings and also playing a bit of XIV together this past week. Part of the reason is two fold: as it stands FFXI isn’t that interesting to me at the moment. The updates are lack luster and the sheer amount of time needed to put into things at this very moment is something I am lacking at the moment. The other reason is that updates and news for XIV HAVE picked up a lot of steam as noted in the recent podcast episodes for Go Team Derp! If you haven’t already heard/read about the upcoming changes to Final Fantasy XIV, I highly encourage you to check out the last Letter from the Producer or simply check out the updates posted on Also listening to our podcast is a super bonus!

Playing FFXIV again has reminded me what it is good for: allowing you to get that same sort of feeling that you get in WoW by doing quests. What is that, pray tell? Doing something that allows you to get some sort of reward at the end even if its a short run. Of course, the rewards in WoW are usually greater and most of the time don’t require you to be on a 30 minute timer as is the case for leves. But! Hey! At least its SOMETHING. I’ve always been able to manage my time rather well on XIV vs. XI, and in crazy times like this such things is helpful and makes me more inclined to log on vs falling asleep exhausted.

There has also been many changes since XIV’s initial release, making it fun to learn what is new and what isn’t. Its fun having done a leve so many times in the past only to come back and that -for once- the location of the mobs isn’t where it used to be before or that the mob AI in leves is a little different than what was remembered almost a year ago. Even the inclusion of finding quests more easily is fun, although I am less inclined to actually read the quest log since its not as interesting when its mostly the same format as it is in WoW. I like my cut scenes, darnit! I’m hoping for more compelling quests as is found in XI’s Windurst areas, but I won’t hold my breath on it. I’m already satisfied with the fact sweeping changes are being made in the future and that we will actually see the vision Yoshi-P has vs. speculating on what it is or will be.

Most importantly I am looking forward to chocobos. Walking is a pain. No matter what game you are in! I’m hoping that chocobo raising and riding isn’t similar to XI, but its hard to imagine what it will be like and if its possible for it to be different than how it was executed in XI. Maybe I’m not imaginative enough, but I’m about 95% confident that it will be quite similar to what is in XI. Not that its bad, because at least I know what to be prepared for. I’ll be very surprised if it isn’t like it and its something completely different altogether, but no matter the outcome… I do want my own chocobo. A white or black one if possible.

A Day or Two in Victoria, BC

I know this almost a week late, but here it is! A recount on my trip to Victoria, BC! It has been over a decade since I had last visited Victoria, BC but it is just as beautiful as I remember it so many years ago. It was also as long a journey as I remember it, since we had to wake up at about… 4 a.m.? However, since I went to sleep late, tossed and turned, and set my alarm to wake up before the rush of 4 a.m., I had gone on this excursion with as little as three hours of sleep. Maybe less if you account the tossing and the turning and waking up to hear myself talking to myself. To say I was excited as an understatement. I love Canada. I have several Canadian friends and visiting Canada has always been a treat for me. Its a gorgeous place to be, has weather like Washington, and is just a few hours north of the border. Can’t beat that!

During my last visit, I had remember fondly of wanting to visit the Royal BC Museum. To my younger self it was large and impressive and to my older self it is still large and impressive. Though half the visiting party seemed to want to just breeze through it, the other half was thoroughly enjoying the collection of preserved insects, bugs, marine and avian life. I’ll leave you to guess which group I was a part of. Needless to say, it took a decent chunk out of time because there was so much to do and see! At one point the human life exhibit made me think of Disneyland and I had quite a bit of fun tromping around exploring the exhibits. Even more amazing were all the scents that they managed to pack in there but that was always overrun by the overpowering smell of overly buttered popcorn. Mmm, yum?

We then went to eat and if you find yourself wanting something quick and delicious, try out Sam’s Deli and Bistro: Home of the Extraordinary Sandwich! Not only are their sandwiches tantalizing delicious, but so are their pastries and soups! My mother insisted we returned the following day for more clam chowder and myself? I never had better corn chowder than I had here! Just thinking about it makes my mouth water and almost consider trying to make a return trip sooner rather than later in the future.

After we had our fill of delicious food, we meandered towards the Butchart Gardens which is where most of my images will be from since I am, at this time, too lazy to find my usb cord for my Droid X. One of the coolest places I had a chance to visit was a path that was cut beneath where the trees were. It distinctly reminded me of the Sanctuary of Zi’tah from an MMO I play known as Final Fantasy XI. The upwards screenshot is also something that I have remember seeing many times in my trips there and when trying to pan the camera to see what is above my head. Now quite frankly, I would have typically been very wary of visiting this place and especially walking amongst a lot of trees or even underneath them. I have very bad allergies that can quickly turn to something else if I am not careful. However, a mid August visit + cooler temperatures = one happy tourist. It also helps I made sure to take my allergy medicine even before we went into the car. Which really helps make my visit more enjoyable, as I could really take the time to walk around and look at places from different angles. The picture on the left, for example, was from a little hut that many people walked by going down to the Sunken Garden. Its a shame because it gave a wonderful view of the garden that isn’t ridden with ant like tourists.

When we were done, we made a return trip to Milestones Grill and Bar. I had vaguely remember eating at a restaurant at this very location and whether or not it was Milestones at the time is beyond my recollection. Whether or not it was the same place over a decade ago, the food here is also wonderfully yummy. We had Baked Goat Cheese and Slow Roasted Garlic Flatbread Plate, Crispy Asian Chicken Bites, and I had the Thai Noodle Salad for my main course. I wish I had taken a picture of the food but we were so hungry that we devoured our food and enjoyed every bite to the last. It is quite expensive, but worth every delectable bite. The highlight of the visit, however, was not all the fun things we saw and did but being able to have a meet up with Nancy and her two daughters. It had been a few years since I had seen them last and since I am not a frequent visitor of Facebook, I had been sort of out of the loop in regards to her life and vice versa.

We caught up on a lot of stuff, but what especially touched me was a comment on my parenting skills. Parenting is a big thing for me. I’m not sure I want it, but I feel that if I made the choice to have a family with Derrick then my biggest worry is if I would be a bad mother. This is especially because as of late I am especially wary about myself as a human being and whether or not I am a decent one. I know there are arguments that can be made that I’m not doing x, y, z and therefore am not scum, but it is something I think about frequently and am tormented about on a regular basis. Regardless of my own personal issues, I’m really glad I had the chance to meet up with Nancy and her children. It put some things in perspective and also made me feel invigorated that my choice in switching careers was a good one for myself and that it IS ok to make such changes in your life. I’m already missing them and her two adorable daughters. It is times like this I wish I were Canadian and could babysit them myself! Though I’d have to restraint myself from wanting to nom on their cute cheeks!

The second day of the trip was a little less lackluster than the first day. We were exhausted and also down trodden when we found out we couldn’t catch the 3 p.m. ferry back. If you are a Washingtonian and thinking of making a trip to Victoria BC and back via the vehicle ferry? Make sure you make your reservations and when they say “First come first serve”, it means “Booked and you are shit out of luck.” We did make reservations but when I read the former message, I thought we had a chance of making it on as long as someone was with the car and in line early enough. Seems like others had the idea and ended up waiting just as long as we did for the final voyage at 7 p.m.

Not that it was bad, but if I had known this were to happen I would have planned the trip a little differently on my end. All-in-all, I felt it was a very enjoyable trip. My cousin, sister, and I had a lot of fun speculating whether or not we were going to die in our creepy looking hotel room, we had tried all sorts of yummy food, had seen a lot of new and old things, and I got a chance to meet up with a person whom I respect as an old friend and an older sister. Now to make plans to return for another trip with Derrick in the future…

Stumbling Through the Door

After a long and rather rough ride home from an otherwise very pleasant and enjoyable stay at Victoria, BC, I am back home! I have quite a hefty entry to write but am too fatigued both mentally and physically to write it just yet. However, I wanted to announce that I have linked this blog onto my Livejournal account! Hopefully it will be easier for friends who are on Livejournal to keep up with my escapades or at least let them know I DO exist! I am also going to make some sort of attempt at promoting the podcast I am on since the others are trying their best to promote its existence. It is mostly Final Fantasy XI and XIV related, so it will probably never make any sense to the random listener… but! At least you know its there!

Link to the Final Fantasy XI & XIV blog and podcast website:

Too Busy To Think

Since the arrival of my cousin, I’ve found myself increasingly busy. Not that its a bad thing; in fact quite the opposite! Because I am often busy trying to juggle several things at once or think of ways to entertain my guest, I’ve found that it has kept me from dwelling too much on things and succumb to depression. Too much thinking = depression or anxiety or what have you. Of course, the downside is sometimes not having enough down time for myself to do the things I need to do, but its something I am feeling quite content with. Probably the only constant thought that has been plaguing me is being unable to contribute enough financial resources, but I am going to hopefully be able to recoup the losses if I can land the part time jobs I’ve applied for. Here is hoping!

So far, everything has been going pretty smoothly. I say this because at times my temperamental sibling can often really drive a rift between parties with her anger management issues, and it has been the case during previous visits from my cousin. Thankfully it hasn’t scared her away 100% as is proofed by the fact she came to visit us again this year.

This year, we had even done something I never once thought I would do or enjoy doing: ride a duck. Now this might seem strange and you might be asking yourself, “Calaera, how on earth are you able to ride a duck!?” Easy! By riding one of these:

During my time working in Seattle, I had often seen these vehicles and the faces of the poor tourists who looked embarrassed to be sitting with people daring to sing, dance, clap, scream, and wave at nearby people who are either in their car or out or even on another duck vehicle. I swore that I would never ride one. It seemed silly and ridiculous and really weird. Then, of course, I was given an opportunity to ride one this month. Typically I would have said no but the choices left to me by saying no left me were less than desirable and I decided to ride without shame and even touting a loud and very annoying duck whistle. The ride itself was actually enjoyable. Silly? Yes. Embarrassing? Without a doubt! Fun? Most definitely! I actually learned more useless facts about Seattle, Sleepless in Seattle, and found other little areas that I had trouble finding on my own during previous excursions. Would I recommend it? Yes! But if you are in town and want to ride it, definitely take it from the West Lake center. They allow more time to float in the water and are able to talk about more interesting trivia info that you may not have otherwise heard on the Seattle Center location.

I also had experienced my first 3D movie at the Seattle Pacific Center IMAX theater and was sorely disappointed and also justified in my view point of the uselessness of 3D. We had seen the last Harry Potter movie a few days ago (Harry Pottery and the Deathly Hallows part 2), and I had suffered through too many cons to actually find the 3D experience worthwhile. They were:

1. Eye Fatigue
2. Lack of meaningful 3D moments. The instances they did use 3D was very short and few and far between.
3. Made me feel more tense because of the constant eye fatigue

Ok, so that was just three points I was able to make and I will make the concession that I realize that this movie in particular was probably not the best way to experience 3D for the first time. Yet even knowing this, I doubt I will really want to experience a 3D movie again. It is paying extra money for watching a movie that is often not originally shot in 3D and has the effects tacked onto there as an after thought. What do I get out of it? Eye fatigue, physical stress from trying to continually adjust to the glasses, and then the realization I paid a few extra bucks for an experience that leaves me walking out of the theater wishing I could have been able to watch the movie in 2D instead and without the feeling of wanting to gouge out my eyes. Whew.

Aside from the awful experience, the movie was great and has me feeling sad that the series has now come to an end film wise.

I would honestly like to write more at this point, but I know I should start heading to bed. The weekend will be kicking off to a Jazz concert at Benaroya Hall, a day of racquetball and maybe badminton, and a two day visit to Victoria, BC. Exciting, no?

Journey to Lose Weight

Since I was about six or maybe seven years-of-age, I had been struggling with weight issues and had brought a lot of contention in my family and home since, well, I was a chubby Filipina kid. I remember frequently being scolded to exercise when I had no concept of the idea, and it didn’t help at all that running around brought upon fits of asthma attacks that created  frequent trips to the hospital. Years later, I had went through phases of losing weight, gaining it back, and continuing that cycle up until now.

This time, I am trying hard to beat that cycle and continue to stay healthy. I’m not getting younger and I my desire to live long to enjoy life with my loved ones has become stronger as of late. It hasn’t been easy, however, as two persistent problems have cropped up to make things difficult: my lower back and my chest. My chest has only started up recently and I’m not sure what exactly is wrong. I think it may have been an adverse reaction to Advair that I had experienced a year ago, but the lingering pains has me worried it might be something else. I’ve had to turn down my workouts quite a bit just to ensure I do not end up in the ER, again…

As for the back pain? Proper lifting technique and knowing ones limits goes a long way. I had foolishly attempted to lift an extremely heavy box with awful lifting technique and tweaked my back. Its gotten better, but I always need to be careful of what I do or else the pains will come back. I’m currently laughed at because the pains make me look and feel as though I am 60 or older.

Despite these two continuous problems I’ve faced in the past few weeks, I’ve also made great strides thanks to my sister, brother, and boyfriend. They have said that success rates for exercising is greater if you have a partner to help encourage you; it doesn’t work if you have someone who will demotivate you or be the little devil to tell you its ok to go for one day, then another, and another! I had practically begged for her help in being my workout partner at the newly built YMCA, so that I would not be alone and that I could have someone practically nag me to go even when I didn’t feel like it. My boyfriend does almost the same thing but in a different way. Because I manage a linkshell on XI and XIV, I often worry if I am neglecting it and if I need to do more or be on more. Couple this with the occasional bouts of depression and anxiety, it brews for rather anxious ridden times when I feel reluctant to want to go exercise. Derrick is the one who will then give me the permission I have trouble giving myself to go do what I need to do to take care of myself. My younger brother, however, is an anomaly. He doesn’t really get me to workout, nor does he motivate me. In fact, he taunts me in subtle ways and is possibly mocking me as well. Actually… he’s more of a pain in the ass. Yet I cannot deny that his actions amuses me at times and that before my persistent chest pains, he was able to push me further than I would have originally done on my own.

Since the eight weeks I’ve started to workout, I haven’t really lost much weight except for the initial water weight loss. I have, however, began to build up more muscle mass and have started to tone up my body. Though I guess I have lost quite a bit of weight as certain articles of clothing have either started to become loose or have started to become noticeably baggy on myself. Hah! I have a long way to go, however, but I am not really caring about it. I feel that loosing weight is sort of the natural result of me just getting back to being active. Hell, I had a <i>blast</i> just playing Racquetball even if I sucked at it. Then again, who would have thought that the goggles really would have come in handy and I would have my eye hit within minutes of starting play? Did you? I for sure did not. Thank goodness my normal glasses were not on, because I shudder to think about broken pieces of glass shoved into my eye… *shudder*

Would you ever get a tattoo?

Topic #207:

Would you ever get a tattoo? If you had one, what made you decide to get your first? If you don’t have one, why or why not would you ever consider getting one?

According to one survey, 36% of American’s aged 18-29 have tattoos, the highest number in history.

I don’t have a tattoo because I never really saw the need to get one. Its kind of a permanent thing to do to your body, and knowing just how fickle I am about things? It just doesn’t seem really ideal for me to get one when I know years later I will regret it and would want it removed. There is also the very unappealing aspect of what happens to your skin if you get fat, lose weight, or get old and then what will happen to that tattoo in return.

Though… my favorite kind of tattoo are ones on the backs of other people. ;X

Going Back to School

For many months, I knew I was going to go back to school in some capacity. I had been considering it and decided that I was going to go ahead and go through with it. I’m fairly excited about going back to school with the exception of the fact that I am still uncertain about the future and what my second career path would be (although I am VERY keen on doing Nursing to some capacity…) down the road.

I am currently taking a math course that I had originally took ten years ago (hah!) and an English class I had miraculously not taken during my time there (I was fairly certain I had taken a good portion of them). More courses will be taken as I figure out exactly what I want to focus my realm of studies in and when I feel I have a solid footing of looking at books again.

Now if only the Magic 8 Ball could accurately tell me what kind of career is the right fit for someone like me…