Real Life is Full of Fail
Of the things that make me sad perhaps I should be more direct, I'm looking at you cancer. About three weeks ago my grandfather, the only stable male role model I had growing up, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer. I'm not certain of the name, but I imagine it is something horrible. At any rate without chemo he was given 6-8 weeks to live, with chemo they think they can add another six months, and there is a rare outside chance that he could last another six years. For that last time-frame one must be a very healthy person to begin with, which my grandfather is not, he's already in the early stages of Parkinson's and he just had quadruple bypass surgery in October, oh, and did I mention they discovered the cancer while he was in the hospital for pneumonia? To further complicate things my grandfather has stopped prepping properly for chemo (drinking fluids), I think he's giving up and the worst part is, I would to if I were in his shoes.
So on top of my grandfather, I was talking to my brother this weekend and it seems his cancer fears are creeping back into the picture. My brother, whom some have met in game as Abile, has suffered most of his life from bouts of Melanoma (skin cancer), he's had least three incidents and fortunately each one was caught in time. Now whether his concerns are a manifestation on what my grandfather is going though or he really has something to worry about is irrelevant, he needs to go to the doctor for a check up. The problem is he's unemployed with family and too proud to ask for help, and since he lives nine hours away I can't always play brother's keeper and make sure he gets his shit sorted out.
And it doesn't stop there, I spoke to my vet today (the cats had their annuals on Friday) and my oldest cat had elevated calcium levels in his blood tests. Now this can mean many things for cats, but one of them is cancer. The vet doesn't seem to think this is a likelihood since he appeared to her as happy and healthy, but he's been awfully needy lately and I'm concerned. We'll be doing a followup in July or so on his blood tests to see if the calcium levels were an anomaly or not. I hope it's not cancer, I had a cat die from Leukemia when I was a teenager and it was an awful experience for me, and probably even worse for my cat.
Wings of the Goddess
I started the new missions for this and as usual, it seems all the action and dialogue revolves around San d'Oria. It's frustrating because all the cool shit is going on in Windurst and Bastok, but the main story revolves around a gay dude and a bunch of elves talking about how awesome the are. At any rate, I'm as far as I can go, and unfortunately me and Rudi's static fell apart when Dean and his wife quit the game. We're gonna have to go back to the drawing board and find people with all the city missions complete if we want a 100% finish to this expansion. Sigh.
I checked out two of the three new areas that were added, Baileys and the Keep, for anyone hoping that they could warp directly to these zones, guess again. It's like the other Beastmen castles, you gotta walk there, which means inv and snk the whole way. The layout is a bit different than it is in the present and there are some new "structure" NMs throughout the castle. I avoided these when I found them as they looked like a belfry and I was worried something might pop out if I hit them. I've since discovered you can "kill" them, though their exact purpose has yet to be determined.
They also introduced the last two medals, and I'm happy to report that I was one of the first people in the world to get the Medal of Altana and the Lex Talionis sword. Personally I was disappointed with both, you get a slightly longer cutscene with the medal, but nothing memorable and for something that, at the very minimum, takes 95 days to complete, I was hoping for a bit more. And speaking of hoping for more, I can't begin to describe how disappointing the new Campaign only weaponskill Glory Slash has turned out to be. Here is something that you need the Medal of Altana AND 100,000 Allied Notes to obtain and at best it does 450 damage, my Blade: Jins routinely top that. Yes, Glory Slash is AOE and yes it does stun the mobs, the AOE is nice if you can get group of mobs corralled by the NPCs, but other than that it's more likely to get you in trouble than anything, and the stun is damn near useless, it lasts maybe three seconds at best. Very, very disappointed, I was hoping for a WS that routinely did 1k damage and if not that then at least make the stun last like 10 seconds or more. Sigh, I guess at least NIN can cap ACC on Campaign mobs with a sword, some of the other jobs that can wield this don't even have native sword traits, it must be a massive wiff-fest for those folks.
Overall, I find the new WotG content to be a disappointment, sure there is some great gear to be had if your are a PLD, but beyond that, no one really benefits from any of it.
Trial of the Magians
There is one word that best describes this new feature: frustration. Nothing is overly hard to do at this point, but it's insanely conditional (be it weather, weaponskills, triggering additional effects, etc) and as such can be very disheartening. That said, in the end all the frustration is rewarded worth some fucking awesome augmented weapons!
Lots of folks seem to be flocking to the super damage weapons and the Occasionally Attack Twice weapons, but imho, the really kick-ass stuff is in the other weapons. The super damage ones I understand, the Ninja katana Mozu, for example, has a DPS of 11.37 when fully augmented, there is only one katana in the game with a higher DPS and that's the relic Kikoku (which, ironically, can be augmented to a DPS of 12.86 through the Trials). The Occasionally Attacks Twice stuff, though, I simply don't get. Not only do they do low damage, but fully augmented they have longer delays, these Trials are too much of a pain in the ass for this nonsense if you ask me. Using NIN as an example again, a fully augmented Isatu has a DPS of 8.79, which is surpassed by a metric shit ton of katanas, many with much better attributes, for me the term "Occasionally" isn't going to cut it if I'm trying to hold hate, it needs to be "Often".
So what does have me so damn excited? Well it's the Kuina katanas, there are two types with buff and debuff attributes. The buff katanas have a DPS of 10.75 and the debuff katanas have a 10.86 DPS, there are only two katanas that can top those and I discussed them in the last paragraph. For me, I'm looking at three buff katanas in particular, AGI +4/EVA +12, VIT +4/Physical DMG Taken -5%, and MND +4/Magic DEF Bonus +5, any combination of these three will go a long way to making me an awesome tank (and should I be able to wield two of the same katana at the same time, then holy shit!). All in all, I think the addition of the feature is a plus for the game, for me, I now have something else to do on my own when I'm bored with Campaign, I can't wait to get some fully augmented katanas!
This weekend Obsidian plans to do some passes at the new VNMs, which drop some insanely awesome rings. The system looks similar to ZNMs and should be a lot of fun to test out.