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And the writing continues

I got a last-minute tap to write a backup gift for ff_exchange, and it is now posted! "Political Considerations", a story about Ashe and Balthier and how they might manage to negotiate something of a life together, written for the lovely lassarina.

Five thousand words, the bulk of which were written in three days. And now there are other stories crowding my brain, waiting patiently, and not so patiently, to come out. Not just FFXII stories either, although there are certainly a share of those. I do suspect that this story single-handedly doubles the totally number of words I've written for FFXII. I suppose it's time to admit that I might actually be in this fandom, instead of just lurking around at the edges of it....

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
lassarina
Aug. 30th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
*still happily squealing*

*makes more happy noises at the idea of a KJ in FF12 fandom* :D

Yay! Maybe my poor tiny dead fandom can revive? :D
auronlu
Aug. 30th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
As long as ellnyx is around it's not dead! But a KJ could do good stuff with it! (Yes, going to read now)

Just so long as we don't lose KJ from X, which is lonely.
owlmoose
Aug. 30th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Oh no, I'm not going anywhere. Promise. Although I can't promise that I won't be somewhat distracted by the shiny new toy for a little while. ;) I like to think that the process of finding new fandoms can be additive. (Although I realize this may not be the case for everyone.) I still get a lot of enjoyment out of reading and writing X and X-2 fic, and I have stories yet to tell.
owlmoose
Aug. 30th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
I only wish I hadn't come to it so late. But this has cemented for me what I've always suspected: I need to play a game at least twice before I feel truly ready to write fic.

Since I've been mostly observing so far, this is only a guess on my part. But I hope it will be like FFX fandom, where once the first burst of creativity is over, there's a strong enough core of people who keep coming back to keep at least a bit of a spark.
auronlu
Aug. 30th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
"I only wish I hadn't come to it so late"

I do that with every single game. Silly me! I wonder what it would be like to be in a fandom when it starts, instead of 5 years later.
pearlrose86
Aug. 30th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
New fandoms are always fun. I'm sure XII is happy to have you. :) (Especially coming from one on the teetering-over edge of it myself...)
owlmoose
Aug. 30th, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)
Heh, I hope so. The thing about finding a new fandom, is that it takes awhile to find out which stories have already been written fifty million times and which have not, or have been but are ready for new angles. I got "lucky" with FFX-2, because my OTP is fairly rare, so there was still a lot of room to play with it. (Although it's also sad that there's so little of it out there.) I haven't delved into FF12 fic enough to see if that's true here also.

It's interesting that, now that the game has been out for three years, there are a number of folks around who are just venturing into it. I wonder if FF fandoms always travel in waves like that?
pearlrose86
Aug. 30th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
It would be something to consider, maybe!

I don't know--I'm not really on the up and up with fandom and my home final fantasy fandom (IX) is so tiny, I'm not sure it exists? Some days, at least.

I got into XII because a friend of mine was also playing the game for the first time and I wanted to play along with her so we could talk about it. I intend to play all the games in the series at some point--some long off far away point that might take many years--so I suspect I'll be looking into every FF fandom at some point.

XII seems not too big and comfortable, so who knows. I might try to stay in it for a little bit. (I only got my PS2 about a year and a half ago, which explains why it took me so long to get into XII. I also played X first, and considering how slow I play? Haha.)

I tend to look at Final Fantasy as one big fandom, with several smaller niche fandoms based on the games (some bigger than others!). I tend to like some of the hole-in-the-wall games and pairings best in the series, so it keeps me interested. I float from one game's fans to the next, like a kind of butterfly.

What is your OTP for X-2? And it's interesting to hear your take on cliche'd works. Sometimes, I like to see different authors takes on the various standard plotlines, because a similar idea can often be taken in very different directions depending on the imagination and thought behind the author writing the fic in question.
owlmoose
Aug. 31st, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
I've played most of the main titles, not quite all. (My big glaring gap is FF6.) But until now, the only one I've really been part of the fandom for is FFX/X-2 (which I consider a single canon, although I know not everyone is with me on that one). I'll read and meta FF8 and 9, and FF4 now that I've finally played that (yay DS ports), but I've never done fic myself for any of them. I do adore FF9 -- fun game, neat world, wonderful characters -- and wish it had a larger fandom.

I agree that, for the most part, FF feels like one big fandom, but it's more fragmented than most outsiders understand. I think people who don't really get how it works look at the masses of fanworks created for the FF7 universe and think that it must all be like that.

My OTP for X-2, and for all of Final Fantasy and for all of media ever in history (seriously), is Paine/Nooj. It's sort of ridiculous how much I ship them. It was actually an overwhelming urge to write about them that got me into writing fic in the first place. And then I started reading and discovering how much else was out there, and then the plot bunnies came, and the rest is history. ;) I do definitely agree about writers having different takes on the cliches. That's a large part of what makes fic interesting, and why we can still have active fandoms for games that are over 10 years old.
pearlrose86
Aug. 31st, 2009 11:36 am (UTC)
FF6 is pretty good, but I'm not allowed to comment, because while I've played and been exposed to most of the games in the main series, I've only actually beaten three of them. This is why I lurk a lot, I suspect.

I've beaten IX, IV, and XII. I've played most of VI, VII, VIII, X, and V. I, II, and III I've just gotten access to. I like reading lots of different stories from the games I've actually played, but some of the fandoms are pretty small (or I've read most everything already for some of the older games).

I started writing fic because FFIX fandom is pretty tiny. Essentially, about six months ago it got to a point where I was tired of looking for cute, sweet fanfic that didn't exist. So I took the ideas for things I wanted to see and started writing it myself. It seemed to work well enough (to varying degrees of success). I sort of am starting to branch out, with a little bit from X, and some XII, and well, who knows what else. That's one thing that I do like about Final Fantasy fandom. It's easier to branch out to other games. It's like exploring a new fandom without actually leaving the current one.

I do see X/X-2 as a single canon, despite how some people feel about X-2. I um, haven't beaten X-2 yet, but it was a decent, fun game. Not quite the trainwreck that much of the fandom suggests.

I think in that way, it shows how divided Final Fantasy fandom is. Not everyone likes every game in the series, and that's why the smaller groups and cliques get created. Fans may like the series as a whole, but each game in the series is usually pretty radically different, which means that there's a great deal of diversity from the fandom. It's interesting to see two FF fans who are fans of different games and points in the series debate things--when it can stay civil. All too often, it doesn't, and it hurts the reputation of fandom more.

Paine and Nooj? I knew that, somewhere in the back of my mind. I think maybe I've seen some of your X-2 stuff before, then. I might have to check on this now. ^^ And yes, keeping fandoms fresh for older games is nice. New takes on old ideas and other creative endeavors are actually what brought me back into Final Fantasy and its fandom, well that and the games themselves. ^^
peachespig
Sep. 2nd, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC)
Hi there.... So, a couple days ago I started playing FFXII for the first time. Finally! I'm just a few hours in since I don't play too much in one sitting. But so far I think it's great, most especially because I really didn't like the random encounters of other FF games. I actually enjoy running around grinding mobs to gain license points and stuff this way.

I was wondering if I could ask something? I get very anal when playing games sometimes, because even when I'm given a lot of freedom, my urge is to do things the "right" way or the "best" way so that I have the best experience possible. And I just got Penelo as my first party member and I'm trying to decide what licenses to buy for her. So I guess the question is: is there a "best" way to level each character? Does the fact that she started out knowing white magick 1 mean I'm best served following that route for her? I was also thinking about getting some black magick for her.... Sometimes it's not until you've finished a game that you realize how you should have leveled your characters, so I guess I'm trying to tap into your wisdom here. I don't want story spoilers (I've avoided reading the posts) but I don't mind learning the fruits of your experience. :)

The other thing I notice is the quickenings around the edge of the license board. I assume those are good to get, which makes me think it is profitable to send each character off in kind of straight in a certain direction on the board so as to get to those more quickly, rather than moving more slowly in every direction?

Anything else that comes to your mind that you wish you knew when starting out would be appreciated. :) Also things like "Don't bother with character X too much since the game takes them away from you again pretty quickly," not that I'm bitter from FFIV on the GBA or anything....

Oh, I was also going to ask: is any of the "Loot" worth anything besides selling it for CASH? I kept my teleport stone but I'm selling everything else (wolf pelts, fire stones etc.) Will I regret it at all if I turn all of that stuff loose?

Back to running around Rabanastre....
owlmoose
Sep. 3rd, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
Awesome. I look forward to hearing what you think of it!

For the most part, you can do whatever you want with the character development, but they do start out with different base stats. You *can* turn one of the characters with lower base magick stats into a mage, but they'll never be quite as good at it as someone who has a higher base magick. Same for melee damage, playing tank, etc. Penelo and Vaan both have high base magick stats, but Vaan is both tougher and quicker, so you would be well served to take Penelo down the mage path. (The white mage/black mage distinction is pretty much non-existent.) But the differences are subtle. And I definitely recommend giving everyone the basic curative and elemental magicks -- you get a lot more flexibility that way. Running out of license points isn't a huge issue, especially once you really get going, and if you're having fun with the grinding parts of the game.)

The quickenings are *very* useful, and you should give everyone the maximum of three as soon as it's feasible. I'd say it's even worth it to give them licenses they can't use yet to get to the quickenings, once you have some LP to burn.

Any character who joins the party as anything other than a guest is going to be a long-term member eventually (although people do come and go a little bit at first), so feel free to develop everyone. Guests are completely run by the AI, so you couldn't develop them even if you wanted to. I hear you on FFIV taking away a character just as you had them all shiny and nice. (Or changing their character class and dropping them back to level zero...) You'll miss some of the guests when they're gone, but at least you won't have put hours of time and effort into making them buff.

Keep the teleport stones, sell most everything else. Monsters drop loot instead of gil, so selling loot is the primary way you make money. Once in awhile you'll get an item from an NPC that goes into your loot inventory that shouldn't be sold, but it's almost always clear from context which things those are. The first time I played, I held onto almost everything because I kept waiting for some sort of item synthesis shop to manifest, but as far as I know, there's nothing like that in the game.

My other suggestion is to do hunts when you can. Not non-stop, and don't take on anything way harder than you can handle, but you can start with lower-level hunts as soon as you have a stable party. The first time I played, we didn't really start hunting until we were almost done, and the rewards we earned for the earlier hunts were clearly tailored for a much lower level party.

Feel free to ask more questions if you want. :)

Edited at 2009-09-03 07:34 am (UTC)
peachespig
Sep. 3rd, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
Thanks for the advice :) It was perfect! I cleared out the Giza Plains area since I wrote my comment. I am always amused by RPG's recursive chore-boy stuff.... Vaan wants to get into the palace so I'll talk to this guy in Lowtown.... he says I need a sunstone so I go to the nomad village.... they say I have to find the missing boy.... I find the missing boy and he says I have to find all the dark crystals.... after a while it's like, I'm doing what again? Fortunately, it's just an excuse to run around, beat up on things, level up and look at pretty scenery, all of which is fun.

Here's a question: will I still have access to Rabanastre for a while? There are things like a hunt out in the western area that I don't think I'm ready for yet, but I wonder if I go to the palace whether new events will occur and I never get to come back to do the hunt. I'm guessing I will get to come back, I just wasn't sure; sometimes you have to do sidequests before proceeding with the main quest or they are gone forever.

Right now I have a bunch of gil and a bit of LP, Penelo especially has a ton, but I'm still waiting for anything worth spending it all on! I don't want to spend LP when I don't have any of the items it unlocks for me yet. I did get them both basic white and black magery and cleaned out the magic shop's shelves.

I'm off for a few days tomorrow, but I'll get back to it when I come back.... thanks again!
owlmoose
Sep. 3rd, 2009 11:06 am (UTC)
Once you get into the palace, the game goes on rails for awhile. But the rails take you back to Rabanastre, and everything will still be waiting for you. If there are any hunts or other optional sidequests that disappear at any point in the game, I don't know what they are. And -- despite what I said about not waiting too long to get started on hunts -- you'll be better equipped for them after the palace.

I think I had more fun grinding in this game than in any other I've played: getting to choose your battles, the pretty scenery, the flexibility of the battle system, racking up impressively long chains. I hope future FFs are more like this one.

You're welcome, and any time! Now that I'm working on the second time through, I feel like I have much better advice to give.
peachespig
Sep. 11th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Well, I just got done with all the rails after going into the palace and am back at Rabanastre. All my new friends have left me. I went immediately and took care of the Thextera I had postponed fighting before, and then went off to the Clan headquarters and got showered with praise for all the things I'd killed. So I've got that going for me.

I'm definitely having a good time. It pushes the right buttons for me to enjoy an RPG — story is fun enough, but also the combat is enjoyable, and even things like equipment management I am into. On some RPGs I've tried I just charge through the story and don't pause to notice what I'm equipping because I'm not interested. But on FFXII I spent a half hour or so at a merchant's somewhere in the dungeon, carefully spending gil and allocating LP for the 3 characters I had at that point. If I'm happy to sometimes spend time with the story and sometimes running around buying equipment and sometimes go grind monsters, then the whole experience is better. And either I leveled up a little more than expected at the beginning or I'm just paying a lot of attention to the combat, but all fights have been very easy, even bosses.

I do like Balthier. And Vaan, well, he's the sort of character that can be very annoying in these sorts of stories, so I'm happy that he manages not to bother me at all. :)

Will probably run around town a bit more, maybe do some mark hunting, before I let the story take me wherever's next...
peachespig
Sep. 12th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
Hey, I have another question! I did something or other and now there's a FORGOTTEN GRIMOIRE for 18000 gil in the Bazaar listings. I only have like 7000 gil and I was going to spend it on weapons and spells and stuff. Do you think it's worthwhile spending a lot of time grinding hyenas or whatever to be able to afford that thing as soon as possible? I was inclined to leave it alone for now, but maybe it's super useful?
owlmoose
Sep. 12th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
The Grimoires (there are multiple and will slowly show up over time -- those and the other bazaar items are triggered by selling certain amounts of loot) increase drops by monsters/ They are definitely worth picking up, although there's a balancing act with upgrading weapons/spells/etc. One tip: if you get back onto the rails of the plot, the next dungeon will be a much better place to grind out money than Giza or the Estersand.

Glad you are having fun! I am very fond of Balthier myself. (This was my only FF12 icon for a long time.) I like Vaan, too, although I am known to have a fairly high tolerance for the "every-kid" characters common to Final Fantasy games (Tidus, for example, who I always liked a lot). I think the game does a pretty good job of ramping up the battles at a reasonable pace -- once you get past the first few, the bosses are a challenge, but mostly not so hard as to be super-frustrating.
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