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Final Fantasy Ishgard Restoration Progress Report

On Friday Balmung became the first server to finish the Mendicant’s Court restoration phase of the Ishgard restoration project in Square Enix’s popular online game Final Fantasy XIV.

Below is a listing of the completed projects, in order of completion, as of
10:00 am, Alaska time zone (-9 GMT), November 16, 2019:
(Note: Timestamps are for the Alaska timezone -9 GMT)
(NA) = North American
(J) = Japan
(E) = European
#. World (Data Center) (Server) (time of competion)

  1. Balmung (NA) (Crystal) (11/15/2019 12:31 am)
  2. Tonberry (J) (Elemenal) (11/15/2019 12:07 pm)
  3. Shinryu (J) (Mana) (11/15/2019 5:00 pm)
  4. Hades (J) (Mana) (11/15/2019 5:10 pm)
  5. Mandragora (J) (Mana) (11/15/2019 6:00 pm)
  6. Anima (J) (Mana) (11/15/2019 7:54 pm)
  7. Cactaur (NA) (Aether) (11/15/2019 9:17 pm)
  8. Odin (E) (Light) (11/15/2019 10:48 pm)
  9. Gilgamesh (NA) (Aether) (11/15/2019 11:00 pm)
  10. Shiva (E) (Light) (11/15/2019 11:25 pm)
  11. Garuda (J) (Elemental) (11/15/2019 11:53 pm)
  12. Bahamut (J) (Gaia) (11/16/2019 12:32 am)
  13. Fenrir (J) (Gaia) (11/16/2019 12:37 am)
  14. Alexander (J) (Gaia) (11/16/2019 12:39 am)
  15. Cerberus (E) (Chaos) (11/16/2019 3:20 am)
  16. Carbuncle (J) (Elemental) (11/16/2019 3:29 am)
  17. Ragnarock (E) (Chaos) (11/16/2019 4:13 am)
  18. Mataeus (NA) (Crystal) (11/16/2019 4:44 am)
  19. Leviathan (NA) (Primal) (11/16/2019 5:06 am)
  20. Titan (J) (Mana) (11/16/2019 5:18 am)
  21. Chocobo (J) (Mana) (11/16/2019 5:33 am)
  22. Ixion (J) (Mana) (11/16/2019 5:36 am)
  23. Excalibur (NA) (Primal) (11/16/2019 7:18 am)
  24. Gungnir (J) (Elemental) (11/16/2019 7:28 am)
  25. Belias (J) (Mana) (11/16/2019 7:47 am)
  26. Ultros (NA) (Primal) (11/16/2019 8:17 am)
  27. Pandaemonium (J) (Mana) (11/16/2019 9:27 am)

41 worlds have not yet been listed as completed as of this posting.

Balmung World First in Final Fantasy XIV Ishgard Restoration

In the 1987 movie The Princess Bride there is a standoff between the hero and one of the villians, Vizzini, where the villian sits across from the hero, Westley, and tells him:

“You’ve fallen for one of the two classic blunders! The first being never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly lesser known: never go in against a cicelean when DEATH is on the line!”

Last night, I paraphrased that quote as I called out:

“I’d just like to note that we did better in the challenge than Vizzini, and… Never go up against a Balmungian when HOUSING is on the line!

Housing is not stated as one of the rewards for the rebuilding of the firmanment, but there is a strong hope that drives man workers that a residential district in Ishguard might be a hidden end result of the reconstruction effort.

The stated rewards are awesome, particularly the new lean emote and the new workers outfit. And those who strive to work on the rebuilding and to earn the rewards get the added perk of gaining levels on their gatherers and crafters. So, whatever the end result of the reconstruction progress it is a wonderful addition to the game and one that I am proud to have participated in and been present for the final stage of the reconstruction of Mendicant’s Court.

As I write this the feelings of acomplishment are strong for the workers of Balmung that achieved world first on completion of the project’s first stage. Way to go, Balmung! Let’s keep this achievement up and prove to everyone that you don’t go up against a Balmungian when HOUSING is on the line.

Tips on Writing a Fantasy Adventure Story

Someone asked for suggestions for writing a fantasy adventure novel, which is part of my chosen genre; I write fantasy thrillers with high levels of drama and adventure.

Things I try to keep in mind while I am writing:

1. Magic needs to remain consistent and have a purpose. Decide what limitations your magic has and stick to those limitations, do not break your magical laws just to avoid having to think of a non-magical solution to your story problems. Also, make sure that the magic can in some way be important to solving story problems. There is no reason to have magic if it never benefits the story. Also, consider how magic will impact the adventure: If the hero can fly, then a chasm in the path is no obsticle – not unless dragons live in it and will fly up to eat anyone flying over it.

2. The story is about the adventure the character is on, not about the boring stuff that the characer has to do to get to the adventure. Leave out boring stuff like the character waking up unless they are in a wayside inn and wake to the sound of enemy troops searching the inn for them. Shorten travel times by indicating a long journey – look how far the Hobbits traveled in Tolkien’s stories, not every mile needs explained.

3. Consider religious and political things and how they might impact the adventure. Is the character needing to go onto forbidden grounds that the king or local religious group has forbidden anyone to go to? Does the characer have connections in high places that allow them to call on the king’s troops for help when needed?

4. DO NOT build your whole world before you start writing it. You can spend years building the world and never use 99% of it. Build the world as you go, then add details to it when you revise your novel. I built a wonderfully detailed port city once, mapped out the streets and many buildings I thought I would need, even started making it in Blender (3D program)… then when I started to write I discovered my city is too high above the ocean to have a port. That map is on my wall now as a reminder to write the story THEN build the world.

If you have any questions please, ask in the comments and I will do my best to help you find the answers you need. Also, please feel free to leave your own suggestions on writing fantasy adventure in the comments, I would love to hear what you think and what you enjoy to read in the fantasy adventure genre.

Getting used to Bifocals

I remember when I was a kid, my dad complained about having got a new pair of glasses that were a bifocal prescription. At the time I though I had understood the irritation that he was experiencing as he tried to get used to he new alernating focus of his glasses, but there is a level of annoyance that one just can not really undersand without having actually experienced it.

It seems simple enough- look though the upper part of the glasses when looking at something in the distance, and through the bottom part of the lense when looking at closer objects.

They sort of forget to mention that there is a band in the middle of the vision that is always blurry as your eyes track back and forth across it. It is this band, I think, that causes the issues such as headaches, balance issues, and what people define as objects ‘jumping’. I noticed right away that the new glasses were making walking more difficult, particularly in situations where I had to navigate steps or look down to step over something.

I’ve overcome that literal obsticle by just… not looking. I don’t look at the path for any longer than it takes to see where my foot is going, then I just navigate the obsticle.

The headaches are the harder thing to overcome, but according to what I have read will stop being an issue with time and adjustment to the way bifocals work.

Web MD suggests building up a tollerance by wearing the bifocals for a few hours each morning, not moving my head or eyes when reading, and looking sttraight ahead when walking. For now I am just trying to limit how much I switch between the two focal types until I am more used to how the glasses work and am glad that I can watch TV and work on the computer, things I could not do with the first pair of glasses I had got.

Bed is all set up

Got my new mattress at long last yesterday and got it all set up. I really did not want to get out of bed this morning, ended up sleeping until afternoon. I’m not sure it will help me sleep any more easily, but I think I am going to be getting a more restful sleep when I am able to sleep.

FFXIV Freecompany Leadership Change

I have found myself in a position that I am not used to being in- in fact, I’ve never been in this situation before.

Let me start at the beginning, though.

I have an alt that I did not want to use for roleplay, she was intended to simply be a character I could play the story on and not worry about any need to develop a backstory or do roleplay with her.

Shortly after making her I saw someone shout for members to join their freecompany and decided “why not?” The freecompany was not a roleplay focused one, and it would give me the experience buff for leveling her, without the need for me to be asked by others to roleplay. Seemed like a good fit for her.

Everything seemed to be going okay, aside from members kept leaving the freecompany. Then the few who were in the free company stopped logging in. I kept trudging along, leveling up my character. Then today, the free company dropped out of the leader’s posession and into the posession of my alt.

It is a rule by Square Enix that if a freecompany leader does not log in for 35 days, then the freecompany changes ownership to the next person in the ranking that has contributed the most to the company in the previous seven days. I’ve been the only one contributing anything so even though I was the lowest rank, I ended up being the new leader for the freecompany.

Now I face a “what do I do?” I want to rebuild the freecompany, but… is there a certain timeframe one needs to wait before they declaire an abandoned freecompany as actually being theirs to rebuild? I’ve been getting a few suggestions on that in my looking around, most of the suggestions seem to be that as soon as the freecompany changes hands it’s the new leader’s to do with as they please. But I plan to give a bit more time on it.

Any thoughts on this are welcomed. What seems like a good hold period before a new leader can start rebuilding an abandoned freecompany as their own?

Replacement Glasses Finally in at Wal Mart

I fially got a call from Wal Mart to let me know that my glasses are ready to be picked up. Should be able to have someone grab them for me today with any luck, I am really looking forward to getting them. Been waiting far too long for a pair of glasses I can see with. So excited!

New Washing Machine and Bed

Through the kindness of some folks I am going to be gettin a new bed and a new washing machine. I’m rather excited about this! I was not expecting to get either one, and it has been years since I’ve had either a washer of my own or a good bed.

My bed for the past several years has been a foam pad on a sheet of plywood. Last year I got a thin pad that is supposed to be used on a toddler bed passed to me by someone and have been using that with the 2″ foam pad on top of it, but it is misery to sleep on and I don’t get a good night’s sleep on the things.

Went in to pick out a bed and washer today. Ended up getting not just the bed, but sheets and a pillow as well. My last new pillow was bought around 2007.

The washer is a odd thing – I went to hook it up and… did you know washers have a connector port for hooking them into wifi now? It’s weird!!! I’ve never seen a wifi connection on a washer before, but I assume it is for telling your washer to start the laundry when you are not home? Preload it like you would a timed coffee maker and monitor it from your cell phone? Or maybe just so you can tell is the wash cycle is finished? I dunno. Would be useful to have an app to let you know when to add softener and stuff I guess?

Someday I will explore what those settings are, for now I am just excited to have a washer!

Have to wait a couple days to pick up the mattress, did not have room for it and the washer in the truck.

Who Are Your Protagonist, Hero, and Lead characters?

I was working on the outline I had wrote for my first noveland made a curious little note in the revisions notebook that got me to thinking:

Chapter One Must:
Present my world
Identify book’s hero/lead/protagonist

After I had wrote that I realized that the three were not neccessarily the same person in my story, and that got me to re-thinking the definitions of the words.

My quick note on what they could identify in the story:

  • Hero
    • The most heroic person in the story, the person who takes risks and drived the action of the story.
  • Lead
    • The person that the story is about.
  • Protagonist
    • The person who most opposes the antagonist.

If you look the definitions up online then you will find:

Hero

  • a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
    • “a war hero”
    • synonyms: brave man, champion, man of courage, great man, man of the hour, conquering hero, victor, winner, conqueror, lionheart, warrior, paladin, knight, white hat; More

Lead

  • an advocate or champion of a particular cause or idea.”a strenuous protagonist of the new agricultural policy”
    • synonyms: supporter, upholder, adherent, backer, proponent, advocate, promoter, champion, exponent, standard-bearer, torch-bearer, prime mover, moving spirit, mainstay, spokesman/spokeswoman/spokesperson”the EC is a great protagonist of deregulation”

Narrow that to leader:

  • the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.”the leader of a protest group”
    • synonyms: chief, head, principle

Protagonist

  • the leading character or one of the major characters in a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text.
  • the main figure or one of the most prominent figures in a real situation.”
    • in this colonial struggle, the main protagonists were Great Britain and France”
    • synonyms:chief character, central/principal/main/leading character, chief/central/principal/main/leading participant, principal, hero/heroine, leading man/lady, title role, lead, star, (leading/key) player, (leading) figure, leading light”the very first line of the play is spoken by the protagonist”

So, my conclusion is that while the three are often used to mean the same person, the character that the reader is to be cheering for in the story, they are not neccessarily the same person. You could have one character who is looked to as the leader and so is the person who will have the most impact on the direction the story will go in, a second person who takes up the fight when there is trouble or who places themselves at risk going out into the world to get things done, and a third person who has the most reason to be trying to stop the antagonist from getting what they want.

This is exactly what I realized I have in my story, and I think that looking at my POV characters as identifiable lead, hero, and protegonist, I will be better able to drive their arcs in the story.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this idea and on how you percieve these character identifiers or others.

Overwatch: Bastion’s Brick Challenge

Overwatch has a new skin for Bastion, interlocking blocks like Lego’s. It is an amusing look, but not sure I will be putting the time in that is needed to get it. Too much else going on for me to be too worried about dealing with Overwatch challenges right now.

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