Real Name: Cathy
Character Name: Catwho
Character Race: Tarutaru F
Character Job(s): WHM BLM RDM BRD 75
Nation: Permanent Sandoria resident, will not change again
Rank: Rank 10 all three nations
Linkshell Website: http://www.catwho.net/yamato/
Real World Location: Athens, Georgia
Career / Employment Industry / Current Level of School: IT Marketing, BA in English from UGA, class of 2002
Hobbies: Cosplay and sewing
Family: Enganged to Brent Allison of www.animefandom.org, one beloved cat named Weaver, extended family from Greenville SC to Fargo ND.
Your Website: www.catwho.net
Besides Final Fantasy XI, what other MMORPGs have you played and how do they compare to Final Fantasy XI?
FFXI is my first real MMO. However, back in the late 90s I was a participant in virtual worlds such as Dreamscape, AlphaWorlds, WorldsChat 3D, and Cybertown. I was a moderator/GM for Dreamscape known as Acolyte Catherine, and a "reporter" for Cybertown. However, none of those worlds had a gaming element, unless you count Bingo and the other plugin games in Dreamscape. There's a universe of difference between a free form virtual world and an MMO. Essentially, they were glorified chat rooms with pretty pictures. But worlds like Cybertown pushed the envelope; I witnessed the world premiere of an Orgy album in that world, which is something FFXI could never do.
How did you find out about Final Fantasy XI, and when did you begin playing?
My room mate in 2004 was Enmablaire on Seraph. He had picked up FFXI shortly after the US release, and my first memory of the game is watching him solo bees near the Crag of Dem. Between him and a coworker who was a 50 BST on Ramuh, they managed to convince me to give it a shot in September 2004. Wouldn't you know, they both quit a month afterward. But by then I had made enough friends in the game to keep me interested.
Do you know anyone in real life who plays Final Fantasy XI?
About 300 people, thanks to Anime Central! I've run the FFXI panel there for three years now. My best friend in real life, Lahurah of Seraph, started playing FFXI when she went to vet school in the Cayman Islands around three years ago, because it was an easy way for us to hang out together even though we were a thousand miles away. I also consider Rosalie, Mando, and Narwen of Seraph, and Sygin on Pandemonium to be friends in real life, since I'm met them and partied with them at ACEN.
How did you come up with your main character's name?
I've been Catwho or Catherinewho on the 'net since 1997. It's a Lillian Jackson Braun reference, a Dr Who homage, and a Dr Seuss homage all at once. Shortly after I joined, I realized it wasn't a very good Tarutaru name, so my character's *real* name is Taprara, and Catwho is a "nickname."
What is your favorite job and why?
My favorite job is black mage, but my best job/main is white mage. I'll never be perfect at black mage because I don't like to solo. I like being part of a team, so all my jobs tend to be support role or back line jobs. Being in a party of black mages is my favorite way to earn experience points, even if its not the most efficient.
Which forum(s) do you frequent the most?
You'll find me in the main FFXI forum, the End Game forum, the Suggestions forum, the White Mage and Black Mage forums, and the Seraph forum. I'm also a regular in the Asylum in the Cross Site forums. Outside of Allakhazam, I co-moderate the FFXI Livejournal community.
About how often do you play Final Fantasy XI and how long is a typical playing session for you?
6 days a week, for anywhere from two or three hours on a Wednesday to a 13-14 hour marathon session on Sunday. Friday is my No FFXI Day, and my real life fiance and I will go out to dinner or some other real life activity instead.
How do you spend your time in game?
Endgame, endgame, endgame! I'm an officer for Yamato and for NoSephiroth Dynamis, and I'm a webmaster for both as well as Shogungummy Limbus. The rest of my time is spend leveling or farming. Maintaining a buffer on black mage is a never ending cycle. I usually merit on red mage.
Do you craft? If so, what are your skill levels?
I craft on mules due to space constraints. My highest is 75 cooking on Elinor. She's just starting out on subcrafts. I do a lot more HELM than crafting, since it's a nice relaxing way to earn gil with little risk. I have two mules leveled to 20 just for harvesting and mining!
Approximately how much of Vana'diel have you experienced?
I'd say about 90% of the content. The only zones I haven't visited are all in the past, but I haven't done much there yet and I'll visit them eventually. I'm a bit behind on Wings of the Goddess. Oh, and Dynamis-Tavnazia, I haven't done that yet.
What is your favorite expansion?
CoP. I had an amazing static about two years ago, and we burned through everything in roughly three months. It was difficult, but the story was worth it. Each of us ended up leveling a brand new job to 60 just for the airship fight.
What is your least favorite expansion?
So far Wings of the Goddess. I'm still a single § because I don't have a job that can really shine in Campaign, so I have to force myself to go and I forget about it for long stretches at a time.
How far have you progressed in missions?
Other than Wings of the Goddess, I've completed all the storyline of FFXI, including all the three previous expansions and all three nations, and extra material like Apocalypse Nigh and Bahamut V2 and Dynamis (except the aforementioned Tavnazia.) But I'm only a second lieutenant in Assault, because I put Captain on hold to focus on Nyzul for a bit.
What is your favorite zone?
I adore Hall of the Gods. It's so peaceful there, and the fact that SE made no monsters there makes it a quiet, safe place to relax.
If Shantotto was your mom, give a good excuse for coming home 6 hours after curfew.
Shantotto! She is my mentor, not my mom, thank goodness. She's followed closely by Trion and Curilla of Sandoria. They're the reason I stayed in Sandy; I love their story most of all. I have a 100K bet with a friend that they'll get married eventually.
Describe your most memorable moment or proudest accomplishment in game.
The first time NoSephiroth Dynamis took down Dynamis Lord. We were the upstart newbie linkshell on Seraph about two and a half years ago, and for us to have come that far was the most amazing feeling. I joined them when I was a 66 white mage, and became an officer not too long after that when linkshell leadership changed. We had some dark times in there, where the shell almost dissolved, but we stuck it out, and beating DL was a vindication for us since we did keep trying. We've beaten him many times since, but that first time will always be special.
What is the largest amount of gil you have ever had at one time, and how did you go about accumulating it?
During the height of inflation, shortly after I reached 75 WHM, I had a series of lucky events -- a string of BCNMs where Utsu: Ni dropped on my orb, a friend quit and left me 750K, then another quit and left me one million. I reached around 7 million gil. Then I spent it all on Blessed gear, which was pricey at the time! These days, I usually have around 2 million to 3 million on me, but most of that is bank for my Dynamis linkshell and not really mine. (I regularly scrounge up enough from farming to cover limbus and reraise pins and food, but that's about it. Mage jobs are cheap and all the gear I need now is rare/ex or drops in an event.)
What are some things you would change or implement in order to improve Final Fantasy XI?
I think that the effort to exp rewards for IT++ mobs should be tweaked a bit. I'm one of the party-style black mages that got pushed aside because of TP burns in ToAU. If difficult mobs provided a greater reward of exp per kill, then traditional setups would be able to compete with TP burns. Instead of the 200 exp cap, for IT++ it should be more like 500 at 75, with an big exp bonus for a successful magic burst on a skillchain. The reason ToAU TP burns got so popular can be traced directly back to the 15% experience points bonus when the AC is in town, which unfortunately killed the need for elegant skillchains and magic bursts on more difficult mobs.
If you were stranded on Purgonorgo Isle what 5 items would you most want to have with you?
I'd like a stack of mithkabobs to eat, a book from the Opistary to keep me occupied, my black mage relic hat to keep off the sun, a stack of distilled water since I don't recall seeing any fresh water on the island, and my linkshell so I can have someone to talk to while I wait to be rescued.
How do you describe Final Fantasy XI to your coworkers or computer-illiterate friends?
Fortunately my coworkers are all IT nerds like me, and many of them play MMOs although I'm the only one on XI. But to the rest of them, I call it a "group video game" and leave it at that.
What is next for you in the world of Final Fantasy XI?
I need to buckle down and do Wings of the Goddess. I'm also considering taking a melee job to 75, so I can actually do well in Campaign. My long term plans are finishing up Mjollnir, and eventually I'd like to learn every spell in the game. I've also been picking at an FFXI music video, but I've got a lot of work to do before it's anything more than just a twinkle in my eye.
Special thanks from Catwho:
First off, thanks to Usagichan for giving me a good fight for this. We had fun this week! And to Dekusutaa who probably nominated me even though he denies it. Thanks to Ulric and Pravus for all their work in Dynamis, as well as Ayashi, Deku, Ismarc, Yelic, Sidus, Ladypharis, Aelreth, and everyone who regularly comes together to pull off a miracle twice a week. NoSeph Dynamis *is* open for recruiting! Also mad props to my ACEN team, and to the fine folks at FFXI Livejournal Community.
My fiance Brent also deserves credit for sticking with me through four years of this game. (Then again, fair is fair, I've been putting up with him and his dissertation for six!)