Saturday, 31 August 2013

Strawberry of the Immortal Flames

After defeating Ifrit, not only were the citizens of Ul'dah impressed, but so were the neighbouring nations of Gridania and Limsa Lominsa, too! So much so that they wanted Strawberry to aid in their various causes. What to do, what to do?!

Gridania's plea for help was the weakest out of the three. The Sylphs, annoying as they are, don't seem that bad, and the Ixal are the least scary beastmen of the bunch. they're just big, skinny birds! You guys know magic, you'll be fine!

Limsa, on the other hand, gave a great speech! But with all the references to boats and pirates, I kind of wondered why Strawberry would want to fight for that sake of it all. Y'know, considering she's from the middle of the desert and probably never even saw a boat until, well, now.

Which brings us back to Ul'dah, who nailed it. Plus, Strawberry would be helping out Nanamo, the cutest sultana there is!

It was decided! Let's hope we can bring glory to Ul'dah once more!

...then again, the Immortal Flames outfit and colour palette is just plain disgusting.

Here's to whatever fun, exciting and - if the above is anything to go by - mysterious missions are in store from here on out!

Friday, 30 August 2013

Attack on Ifrit I

Looks like something is troubling the locals of Ul'dah! It appears some aether-munching Primal just can't stop being summoned by beastmen. Well, time to put an end to it!

After a very rude welcome, Strawberry was whisked away to the summoning circle and a very strange ceremony started to take place...

All hail Ifrit! what Strawberry would have said, if she didn't have her head screwed on tight.

Yeah, yeah. Yap all you want big guy, you aren't brainwashing this Lalafell!

After a swift barrage of arrows and a couple hundred rounds of Blizzard to the face, Ifrit was defeat and we could continue on with the main storyline!

But I don't think that was the last time our paths will cross...

Saying hello to an old friend...!

I created my Retainer this week in the form of none other than my Final Fantasy XI character, Jkun!

Y'know, 'cuz after saving Vana'diel hundreds of times, all he really wanted to do was hold onto Strawberry's Goldsmithing materials and Materia.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Dungeon Crawling Company!

After completing the first few main scenario quests during early access, me and my friends started to crawl through the first three dungeons. But first, an introduction!

From left to right we have Mariot, Llyria and yours truly.

Llyria is a friend I met in FFXI when I server transferred to Fairy. Our adventures ranged from beating down dragons in our endgame Linkshell, to conquering the majority of the game by ourselves as we formed an incredibly tight and well-oiled partnership. It's only natural we would once again team up to take on the realm of Eorzea! Llyria's blog can be found here!

Next up is Mariot, who I also met through FFXI. From Tarutaru to Miqo'te, Mariot always brings that extra spark of energy to the party. Some say that one day the student becomes the teacher. In Mariot's case, that might be true when it comes to FFXIV. Always in-training and nested snugly under Strawberry's and Llyria's wings, Mariot is a solid cornerstone of the group. Her blog can be found here!

There are so many more people I want to talk about, so stay tuned! For now, let's quickly explore the first three dungeons of FFXIV! Don't worry, no spoilers here!

Beautiful, glimmering coral reefs disguise the continuous threat of treacherous pirates as we navigated our way through the deep-blue caverns into their stronghold. 

As we hunted down the elusive Captain, we discovered something much more threatening was waiting for us in the Sultana's Lap...!

While Gridania's persistent cries for help echoed through the moss-filled corridors of Tam Tara Deepcroft, we started to unravel the secret behind this mystical, archaic city of ruin.

However, after almost thwarting the sinister plans of the Dalamund priests, it appears whatever kind of ceremony they were holding bore success, and we were faced with something much more terrifying...!

Lastly, we ended up in Copperbell Mines, a maze of abandoned mine shafts that all lead to the same place: dark, crystal-filled caverns with danger at every turn.

The rocks broke open to reveal not only an army of enraged titans, but an incredibly dark secret that should have died with them a long, long time ago...!

Duty Complete! For now...

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Launch Day!

Final Fantasy XIV's launch day is here! No more beta tests, and all data from the final test was carried over successfully.

Here's a sneak peak of some of the things Strawberry for her little mitts on in the Collector's Edition!

Despite unlocking my very own Chocobo before release (more on this later!) After riding around on this special coeurl mount, I don't think I can ever go back. It's beautiful, and even has a separate BGM track for when you want something more relaxing to run along to.

It also makes me feel bad for fighting them!

Speaking of Chocobos, here is mine, complete with bonus Behemoth barding set! No worries, I'll introduce him properly in the future!

Collector's Edition owners also got to experience another side of Behemoth, in tiny minion form!

And for those who pre-ordered the game, they can get their mitts on this little, raggedy Cait Sith doll!

For a full list of things you can receive from pre-ordering the game or upgrading to the CE edition, check this link out! 

My favourite minion will always by my little mammet automaton, though!

Thanks for reading, there's loads more to come!

Lastly, if you like, you can follow me on the Lodestone here!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Strawberry-flavoured Origins

The Open Beta Test has just ended! 

A whole weekend of adventure, exploration, meeting old and new friends, and Strawberry's first footsteps into the grand world of Eorzea has come to a close. With just 4 days until Early Access and the release of Final Fantasy XIV, let's recap on what I got up to!

The first class I took on was Pugilist. It's currently at level 15, which means I can now dye my gear a different colour than their usual Captain Planet defaults! However, getting this far wasn't exactly full of eye candy...

Oh subligar, my old friend, why must we meet again?

As far as Disciples of War go, Pugilist wasn't the only job I took a liking to. I am really interested in trying out some of the magic classes, so levelled Conjurer up to 15 for Raise, Protect, and Cure! Maybe I'll take it further on release! Some of the quest battles were pretty gruesome, but I managed to pull through okay!

Moving on, Disciples of the Hand! My main craft is going to be Goldsmithing, partially because of my fetish for Automatons, but mainly because Serendipity, the guild master, is the most adorable and lively character I've met so far. I hope she continues to cheer me on!

My Goldsmith hit level 20 during the Open Beta and is currently my highest class! I couldn't have done it without meeting Llyria, my local Weaver, and long time FFXI friend. We crafted and HQ'd a whole bunch of crafting gear for each other using or respectable classes as we climbed up to the level cap. More on him in the future!

Lastly, introducing the third class type: Disciple of the Land! I levelled Botanist and Miner to 12 alongside Llyria, to help him gather up a bunch of cotton and for my own Goldsmithing needs. 

Even though I was mainly gathering up quest items, another long time FFXI friend, G'rahz, dumped a whole load of raw jewels on me, and I spent most of the days polishing them up. it was thanks to him that I managed to hit level 20 on Goldsmith so quickly! Again, more on G'rahz in the future!

Now, what should I dig up next?

As much fun as crafting and gathering are, nothing gets the heart beating faster than the sense of danger! I completed all the missions required to get access to dungeons and the Duty Finder, which allows players to team up across multiple servers and take part in instanced raids. 

I found the missions a lot easier this time around, especially the one above. I'll try not to spoil things for those who are waiting for release, but playing an MMO with top-notch Japanese voice acting and an incredibly interesting and deep storyline is bringing back those old FFXI memories once again. Only this time, the sense of adventure seems much, much bigger!

The last thing I did before getting disconnected from the test was obtaining my Airship pass! This allows me to fly between the three major cities of Ul'dah, Limsa Limosa, and Gridania any time I want!

My heart swelled up as the loveable characters that I spent the weekend with wished me a safe journey...

...and as a new world literally opened up beneath my feet, only one thing really came to mind.

Aside from the spectacular draw distance, I felt - just for one weekend - that I was really a part of Eorzea.

And that's all for now! Time for a week-long sleep!

Thanks for reading, see you on release!

Friday, 16 August 2013

New Game

Introducing Strawberry Daifuku!

Hello, nice to meet you! 

My name is Jkun, but you're not here to read about me, are you? Here's a little information about my Final Fantasy XIV character, Strawberry Daifuku!

★ Name & Birthday: Strawberry Daifuku 01/05

In Japanese, "Daifuku"「大福」means "good luck", but is also the name of a popular glutinous rice cake (mochi), that is usually stuffed with a variety of different sweet bean pastes. Strawberry Daifuku「イチゴ大福」is a very popular type of rice cake with a strawberry in the centre, and is usually pink or while in colour. These are commonly sold throughout Japan during springtime.

Strawberry's birthday is 01/05. When written in short form Japanese, this reads as「1月5日」 and is pronounced "ichigo"「イチゴ」, which is the Japanese word for "Strawberry"!

Race: Lalafell ♀ Dunesfolk

During my time in Final Fantasy XI, I played a giant Elvaan character, so wanted a change of, let's say, perspective as I begin my adventure in Final Fantasy XIV. While Strawberry may only be 37 inches tall, she is full of energy and always has a smile on that little, cheeky face of hers.

Deity: Nald'thal

As mentioned before, Strawberry's last name, Daifuku, can mean "good luck", but it can also mean "great fortune". What better deity to look over her shoulder than the Nald'thal trader twins? Here's hoping she'll always have enough gil in her pocket during her adventures in Eorzea!

Starting Class & City: Pugilist, Ul'dah

Jkun, my Final Fantasy XI character, was a master of hand-to-hand combat. Boasting great skills as both a Monk and Puppetmaster with his little automaton sidekick E100. Now, it's time to pass that torch onto Strawberry as she continues to lay the smack-down on enemies, proving that height means nothing if you fists are full of hellfire!

The Pugilist's guild is conveniently located Ul'dah, which is very fitting for a Dunesfolk Lalafell with a great belief that the guardian deity Nald'thal has her back!

What now?

In Final Fantasy XI, I focused on dealing damage and never really took the time to sit down and study all this bogus, hocus-pocus magic nonsense. While Strawberry will always keep Pugilist on Monk up there at the top, I would also like to try out Conjurer, White Mage, Arcanist and Scholar, too!

Thanks for reading!

Wish me luck, and see you in Eorzea!