Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I believe I can see the future, don't know exactly what it means...

Growing pains, strangely apropos term...

SE keeps adding additional content. I honestly think it isn't just to keep players interested; instead I think the designers feel it's a challenge to make sure no one ever accomplishes everything! Fair enough, I'm certainly never going to beat them.

The last time I wrote I was contemplating the coming level cap and trying to get my thief to cap before the increase. I came close. I had to spend alot of time solo due to the lack of any need for thieves-at least compared to the number seeking-in Abyssea or any other XP activity for that matter. Obviously, I spent some of that time farming (I like solvency), but I spent a good bit in Campaign. Too bad campaign is largely abandoned these days. Being a thief I don't have reraise so I would frequently be waiting for a random raise from either a pixie/sprite or from the rare passing player. I did get pretty good at knowing the flight paths of the local faeries...

That being said I did get some Abyssea love and a little help from my friends. My friends in LS did keep an eye out for spots in XP partys they got where my 67 thief (yes, I soloed 64-67) was not a complete liability. Generally these parties would get me 1-2 levels-when an Abyssea party starts having to replace people it's usually a sign that the end is coming (but not always), pulling about half the time and melee DD the rest. Too bad the skill-up rate (at least for me) is so low in Abyssea, my ranged skills are now severely lacking and even my melee skills are a bit behind. I understand that I can probably cap all that while farming so I'm not too concerned about it. As I rose in level I was more and more a puller; thief is what you call a spike DD in that we do very little damage until we WS and/or SATA when we put out some of the highest damage in game, instead of just a steady diet of hard hits. Some people refer to it as "just feeding the mob TP" and without a tank (hate control is pretty scarce in all Abyssea areas) to transfer the hate to it can be very dangerous to do.

I got extremely lucky with the level cap increase. Having jobs already at 85 and switching back to them I was able to get both beast and bard to 90 within 1 week, and I managed to get thief there in about 1 week more (82-90), all via Abyssea parties. I'm now back to working the dancer up. However, there are a couple significant changes to the game that bear mention. The 1st is the mog sack, a new storage area exclusive to the player (and equal in size to the safe) which gave me another 80 inventory slots-accessible in the field-so I can keep more gear on Glam making job changes (and available space when farming) much easier on me. The 2nd change is that AF3 seals now drop from Bastion/Dominion Ops too, instead of just quests and NMs. Granted they never drop a seal I can use...

Per my last post, my dancer was 50. I got it to 52 via a short party and some solo work as dnc/bst. 52-56 I got via an Aby party we did in lieu of a scheduled Dynamis run (more on that later) where I was key whore. Annoying, but easy. 56-57 were mostly gotten via FoV, and the last little bit to 58 I got mooching off Fashnek while he solo'd some dominion ops (Abyssea's version of FoV, but with no downtime). Extremely quick XP that way and again my combat skills are capped for a good bit yet, so no worries about skilling up. I'll be seeking as much Aby XP as I can get, but once I hit 75 I'll have another motive, my trial weapons. The only other job that uses dagger much (besides my bard, thief and dancer) is ranger, and that is mostly because of the ranged bonuses on daggers-they uses axes too for the same reason. Because a ranger's melee weapons are mostly for show, I'll have no reason not to finish my daggers (which should also top off my dagger, parry and evasion skills).

Ok, I promised you a Dynamis update and as you can guess it's not that great. We have had to cancel many runs due to no-shows. This sucks for me since I depend on relic as bridge gear until I can get my AF3 upgraded-the base gear is not particularly good. The biggest problem-besides the no-shows-are the people trying to show off. When they try to solo or low-man a mob it leaves all the rest of us vulnerable to AoE and other problems. We are wiping almost as much as we did at 75 when we shouldn't be wiping at all! Ok, XP is easy to regain now, but why lose it for no reason? If we can win easy we can farm the zone after the win but instead we have to accommodate the wipes and are left with no time just as we used to be. I know people in shells getting almost 50 relics a run, we are lucky to see 20 because we lose so much time. What can you do when no one is listening tho?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I said I was the cops, your husband’s in jail, the state looks down on sodomy…

Blink182, we miss ya!

When last we spoke I was thrashing around on random activities in game in multiple jobs, I’ve been continuing to thrash. 1st off, I’ve finished red mage to 49, courtesy of going key bitch in an Abyssea party. 44-49 in I think 2 hours. Those 1000 XP chests add up in a hurry, once you can get them to start dropping anyway. The party was just started however…

I went back to town and saddled up the bard/ninja and came back to the party. Eventually ended up being the puller, and in maybe another 2.5 hours I went from 6k to 81 all the way to the 85 cap! I could have kept on going and gotten some merits but my ass was asleep and I needed to go.

With all my subs now leveled it was time to do stuff with my main jobs. I did some work on my dagger trials using bard/dancer for the most part and knocked out several of them. However, I did look further down the trial path and found that the level to use my trial weapons will be going up and I'll be needing them at 75 and 80 respectively for my thief and dancer jobs, so I stopped so they will be useable when I get them there. That left my beast and his axes.

Now beast was still 80 as of my last post. I did all of my beast leveling 80-85 and several merit points (each merit is equivalent to 10,000 XP, and even match critters give 100/kill to give you an idea), each level requiring close to 50,000 XP. Now as I mentioned before, for those who don't know a trial is performing a specific action with the weapon equipped. There are also armor trials (courtesy of the last update) but I haven't started those so I'll discuss them some other time. Some trials are easy, some hard and some are just tedious. For the most part I soloed my trials, but I got a lot of help from Doncado and/or Woochekitty on 2 of them specifically. I was doing an elemental axe on light element and light weather is almost non-existent in the game. Well, 2 of my trials were in sea, an area with no light weather ever, 100 pet kills on sharks and later 125 pet kills on flowers. The good news is it didn't have to be MY pet, just a pet in the party. So Woochekitty brought her puppetmaster out and Doncado his dragoon (he also needed the XP, being significantly lower level than Woo and I on his pet job) when they were on during light and we went to town. Generally we got about 18-20 per lightsday (which only happens every 8 real-life hours). For those wondering why I'm bitching about the weather kills under weather count as 5 kills while those on the element's day only count as 1. Basically, all of October was spent getting my beast and both of my axes to 85, but they are all spiffy now, excepting the new AF3 armor which needs a lot of hard work.

As some of you may have figured out, I like to combine items on my “to-do list” whenever possible, it's generally more efficient that way. Well, one of the items I combined is my axe trial on vermin with getting my materials to make my Dancer AF1 gear. Unlike the original jobs those that were introduced with the Treasures of Aht Urgan or Wings of the Goddess expansions do not get all there AF from fights and coffers ( a kind of treasure chest) but instead generally require 3 of the 5 pieces to be made by an NPC... with the player furnishing the materials. The materials are generally quite expensive and also fairly rare to find for sale and for the most part require crafting by someone with a skill level above level 70, maybe even above 90. Since I needed wamoura silk in large quantities and the items are kind of a rare drop (and my thief didn't stand a chance of farming it at 61) I used my beast, and some help from Peenut and others to help farm the stuff. Actually, the drop rate is so low I had to keep killing for a bit even after my vermin trial was done. Obijam from my Dynamis LS had the clothcraft skills to make the stuff and was kind enough to do so.

Once I had finished all of the beast trials and leveling I wanted to get to thief. I mentioned in an earlier post that thief has a tendency to really fill-up your inventory in a hurry. Yes, gear reshuffling time again. All my red mage gear went to mules (I can use most of it when I get around to leveling my other MP-using jobs), some craftables were used up, my beast and bard relic gear went to the storage NPC when not in use and I sold a bunch of crap. I still needed room however so I leveled my dancer form 49 to 50 so I could do my AF quests and store the results as well as using up the materials I had stored on Glamdring. I could actually still use some room.

The last several days have been spent-for the most part-leveling my thief. Parties are generally non-existant outside of Abyssea or occasionally a low-level affair so I haven't been making that much progress. Mostly I've been hanging with Peenut (on her 85 dancer) doing her trial weapons. The XP sucks (10-20/kill generally) but I've been taking advantage of it to cap my ranged skills-my melee skills already being capped from leveling bard and beast, excepting parry and shield which are VERY hard to skill-to approximately the level 78 skill cap for thief. Thief has gone from barely 61 almost to 64. It is to be hoped that I can get an Abyssea XP party soon to cruise to 85, we'll see how my luck goes.

Lots more to come...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What’s goin’ on (what’s goin’ on)…

Glammy been a busy boy lately. I’ve been doing a lot of leveling, a lot of shopping, some missions, trials and even farming! Or to put it another way “you’ve been slacking off on your fucking blog!!!” True.

Red mage has gotten a lot of work, but it is not finished. I’ve been leveling through a multitude of means actually. I got a couple of Power levels, I have trio’d in a level-sync on East Ronafure birds (actually level appropriate), I did a conventional party sync on beetles in West Altep, I solo’d a bunch of FoV pages-mostly in Behemoth’s Dominion- for a little XP, I ran around floor 9 of Delfkutt’s speed killing giants for XP and gil, I’ve even been a level 43 key bitch in an Abyssea party (where chests were not dropping particularily well). I made it to a whopping level 44. Keep an eye out for me if you see anything around that level, I really DO want to finish it off.

About the Abyssea pt, I came to the conclusion that I am the weak point in my social and dynamis shells; not from lack of skill, but lack of power. I went to Abyssea hoping to just get through red mage but the party was low-man and so our XP left a lot to be desired. With few chests dropping about all I really did is keep refresh on my party and some weak curing. Had I brought one of my level 80s might I have contributed more? Not sure, but I can’t try if I won’t use them. Consequentally…

I got an offer from an LS mate who wanted to work on some assaults. I need progress too, so I broke out my beast and my brand new Superior Private rank and joined them. Don, Woo, KT (from our defunct Nyzul group) and myself worked on several assaults. After that was done, as I didn’t see a new group I could do anything with I decided to do some ToAU missions and a couple quests that have been hanging for awhile (3 years or so?). Solo’d 9 missions and 2 quests (including getting my Caedarva Mire map finally). Got a tell from Usul wanting to do something. We tried to just pound out some treants, and it was easy until we got Emergent elm but Duo we weren’t QUITE enough to finish him off. So I was introduced to the Campaign-style battles in Abyssea. The XP is just ridiculous it is so fast. I’ll definitely be returning, but I stayed long enough to get the merit I needed and the beast and bard armor bits obtainable through resistance points. I had purchased the bard piece that you get from cruor already, but ran out without enough to buy the beast piece as well. Went to Jeuno and unlocked my 81 cap, so I’m free to level now.

Woke up Sunday and decided to get ready for bard leveling, bought 5 songs for about 300k, so I’m poor again. Well, I’m already on beast, might as well farm and work my trial weapons. Headed to Pso’xja to kill lizards, but that was a bad idea, poorly laid out for cycling and slow repops so I left when lightsday ended without a lot of progress. Then I went to Davoi to at least work my level 80 weapon skill axe. Took about 200 off when Don and Woo logged on and we decided to continue ToAU content. Did the mission I stopped at, 10 fomor in 5 man waves, went pretty smoothly. Then we switched to assaults. 1st one went quite well, Sagelord elimination. Ran into a bit of trouble however on Troll Refugees with links, and had to bail after several deaths.

At this point we are coming up on Lightsday again and I ask if they want to work on trial weapons with me. Wouldn’t you know it? Don needs lizards on Firesday, I need on light. So we go to the Den of Rancor, MUCH better place for cycling lizards. In our approximately 3 hours there I manage to finish my Lizard trial AND my WS trial, and Don finishes his lizard trial as well. So I go and get my new trials, not as compatible for working with Don, but maybe I should check with Woo…? I don’t know because I’ve switched to bard since it is needed more often and I can generally solo on the beast.

We’ve done a couple Dynamis since I last wrote, last week getting our long-awaited win in the Dunes (yay!) getting Tavnazia access for MOST of our newer people. The answer seemed to be just a couple more bodies-which we got-courtesy of Peenut, our resident brit cheese fiend. That last little bit of damage goes a long way. Unfortunately, we didn’t have those extra bodies for Monday’s Xarcaband for-the-win attempt. We did ok… a bit sloppy early and it cost a bit of time, but with the power we have we are able to recover THAT fairly easily. However, Dynamis Lord is a different kettle of fish. He has to be taken down FAST or he just spams AoE 1 or 2 shotting everything around. In the time where he just stands there we took off about 70% of his HP, after that the death began, but even dying we took off maybe 10% more. I think 2 more level 85 DD or nukers and we would have had zone, and to be honest we WERE light on nukers. The rule used to be for a real chance to win you wanted 5 black mages, but I think with the cap increase 3 85’s could get it done, our 2 did fairly well on time nukes, but they often ended up dead because they couldn’t take out ALL of the group. We are working on revising our strats, but we are heavily dependent on who decides to show up on any given night.

Which leads me into last night and my temper melt-down (directed at me, so no worries people). I need money and some crafting materials and I also need to work the bard to 85, so I decide to combine all that farming as bard/dancer while working on my 80 trial dagger and my Nyzul dagger-note the order I listed there. I went to Onozco to work on torama , but it is VERY difficult without a 2nd, preferably with paralyna, to farm coeurl meat for pet food zeta (I’m almost out). Unfortunately, an 85 summoner was there farming so my 80 bard really didn’t stand a chance. I moved to Davoi to harass Orcs since at least they drop cash. Well, I was getting off about 3 WS/orc, 4 on the monks taking a nice bite out of my 80 trial dagger. What about my Nyzul dagger you may ask? I know I did… well if you remember the order listed above you’ve probably figured it out already; yes, it’s been in my off-hand. I’ve probably wasted 450 WS points-200 more than I need to unlock-using the thing in my off-hand. I reequipped my weapons in the proper hands and finished off the approximately 60 Viper Bites needed to finish my 80 trial. Went to Jeuno and triggered the next trial, dumped some inventory and I’ll be back at it tonight, most likely a bunny hunt in Ulegeurand Range, 300 AoE Weapon Skills, that doesn’t sound like a pain in the ass at all…

Talk at you soon I hope ;)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Over under sideways down...

SE updates, poorly managed, super-congested and just plain past capacity. It took me an hour to get a connection to the server to download the update that wouldn’t “bump” me. Yes, that was just to connect. The download took a bit over 9 hours, and I have a hi-speed cable business connection at my house. I think that SE just hires like 3 people to work a telegraph to load people up with the updates. I mean really? You just took half your servers off-line a couple months ago. Retask them and daisy-chain to the servers that are left to accommodate the load from the update. SE even had the nerve to post (after the fact) that there was a problem logging in to get the update, but that it was all good now. Yes, after 98% of your player base has made their download one WOULD expect that the update would be easier to get for those still needing. Jack-asses…

As mentioned in my last post, it is my intention to finish red mage to 49 before doing beast or bard to 85, that still holds true. Thursday I soloed the remainder of the way to 30, but mostly I spent my time reading up on the new content as the information became available (there is still a lot to get posted). I really didn’t accomplish much.

Friday was Dynamis, we ended up in Bastok getting a needed win for a member. I also got a repeated invite to GreatBigSea, another social LS that one of my Dynamis buddies is in and this time I accepted it. SK has been hard to get things happening in lately because there really haven’t been that many on so despite my loyalty to SK I have to accommodate MY to-do list too, and more bodies make that easier to do. For example, finding a party to level my red mage with, Abyssea (on a more regular basis), missions and the like; I know my friend is one of the more accomplished players you will encounter. Just don’t get between her and a pile of cheese…

In any event, as has become usual lately very few of us showed up on time. There actually are penalties for tardiness and no-shows but we haven’t been keeping things up to date on the eligibility board so noone is aware they have BEEN penalized. Maybe leaders are handling that stuff privately, I just don’t know. Well, despite it only being 2 days after update we had several people already at level 85. As you might imagine, the run got much easier. Good thing, since we fucked up the timed nuke and could have all died easy. We ended up getting win fairly easy. Wasn’t a great night for the LS in terms of NEEDED relic, think 11 pieces dropped and 9 got floored.

Started my Saturday on bard. SK had an Abyssea run planned but it was in a zone I haven’t done before. I decided to go in early that morning to get my time capped and to get all the confluxes. Luckily, it doesn’t take much time to get the cruor for maps and the like so I’m able to use the map (in comparison with the map on wiki) to get around and get all confluxes. Had some close shaves running past the agro mobs and their respective NMs but I have both skill andthat day luck and managed to avoid getting any agro. Did have one very tense moment though at the last turning to the last conflux as a group was fighting the boss NM right in the bottleneck I needed to sneak through. I wasn’t part of their group in any way but the boss was able to do an AoE attack that damn near killed me (about 1200 of my 1305 HP went up in smoke). Didn’t realize Abyssea was like the old days where AoE could affect anyone so I took absolutely no precautions there. I wonder… if I had just dropped in a finale or requiem, could I have gotten my win?

Saturday-despite my words above-I managed to get a duo with my bud Chrispy with a power level at level 19 on my red mage. Well, we both picked up 3 levels (think Chrispy was almost 3) before we had to split for Abyssea. I thought this was either an XP run or a crest farming run (needed item for the 81 limit break quest is 5 kindred quests) but I was wrong. We were actually farming “azure abyssite of celerity” which are a bit weird. The idea is to get more time in abyssea by getting stones quicker. There are other boost items too. In any event, only the person who pulls the item is eligible to get it (presumably if the puller dies in the fight the 2nd and so on person is eligible but I’m not sure). Well even the tougher mobs are only a 7% drop rate. Still, in I think 150 minutes or so we got the item for 7 of us? We’re going back for the few who missed it soon and no doubt for the people who couldn’t be bothered to come unless there was something in it for them.

Sunday I started out clearing out a bunch of inventory (mostly level 25-ish gear as I was now level 33 and in full RSE [race-specific equipment] or other level 30-ish stuff). After that it was time to go shopping and raiding mules. I sent all the gear and spells I’m going to need until 49 that I had from my mules and then ran around buying the rest, took about 75 minutes since I had to go to Selbina and Jeuno. After my running, I switched back to red mage and managed to get a party. That took me to 35 on my red mage. I was told the whereabouts of the Warhorse Hoofprint and that's been dangling for some time so I finally went and got it; I'm now a "Superior Private". I logged to watch some football at that point (Go Pack!) and didn’t come back for hours. When I did, I found that I’d finally uncapped sword and so I need now to XP off EM to 35. I had no luck however, so I think I’m going to have to do Toughs with my NPC once I get the chance. However, soloing took too long so I logged leading me to…

Monday, Dynamis day, and a pile of no-shows, again! We had 12, that’s it. Well, that killed off any real chance at a Dynamis zone so we ended up in Abyssea, doing the same key item I did Saturday, but with more level 85’s in the mix. Only 11 of us ended up going, and 4 of us had the item, we just went to help. I think we picked up 4 or 5 of them in the time I was there. I started out as escort for the newer people who didn’t have the fluxes necessary to warp closer to camp since it was fresh in my mind from doing it on Saturday morning. Poor Creaper, it was his very 1st time in Abyssea so he wasn’t able to do much of anything before he ran out of time. I did manage to get the last of my crests for 81 limit break, and 2 of the 3 merits I need (I already have 1, so 1 more will do it). I finally called it a night as I was starving. Tonight should be back to the red mage…

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

a-looey looway o-o we gotta go now

Confused? You should be…

When last we “spoke” I was leveling ninja. Leveling ninja was a bit like having a high colonic—painful and degrading but strangely cleansing when all was said and done for something that’s completely full of shit. Also a total pain in the ass when you get the final bill. Don’t tempt me, I can keep this up all week. Well, I’m done with all that crap, after flushing about 1,000 tools…

Started out by doing the quest for my AF weapons (ninja used to be the only people with dual-wield, consequently they were the only job with 2 AF weapons). Unlike my dancer AF, I could use a different job for the fight, so I solo’d the fight in about 2 minutes with my beast. Yes, ninja AF weapons suck, but since the whole job sucks I was damned if I was gonna spend any $$$ on it or any time I didn’t have to. They were free, that’s why I used them.

Although I did do a bit of ninja/dancer solo, about 90% of my time was spent in East Ronafure (S) tanking synced birds parties. Apparently I missed something the last time I read the Terms of Service; the only permissible places to level in a party are the dunes or against birds, I’ll have to read them again, whatever. There were several times when they actually synced below 37. Advice to any ninja invited to one of those parties: think VERY carefully before accepting. Having only 1 Utsusemi spell means you’ll be doing most of your tanking without shadows and ninja are almost as bad as black mage taking hits without shadows. Not to mention problems holding hate since ninja mostly hit like a pillow fight. Personally, I was spamming ninja spells for all I was worth, fuck the red mage enfeebling. I also got pretty voke-happy.

It took awhile (roughly 18 hours all told), but I finally finished off LEVELING ninja. Now I needed to deal with my 9 level skill gap. I went /anon at this point to keep down the rudely irate “requests” to come tank more birds parties. This is a very important thing to do if you need to do something other than XP if you’re on a needed job (tank, maybe healer) unless you like being harassed by people desperate for a tank. Seriously, what part of “sorry, I’m done” is so hard to understand? I looked into it carefully and decided my best bet was to go to Misreaux Coast and kill molboro and flytraps (which cap at tough to me at 49) with my NPC set to tank. Martial master was up, so I had that going for me too. It took about 25 kills to get me to caps on ninjitsu and katana, so hopefully I’m done with this job forever now.

This left me with 1 more important sub-job to level, red mage. I checked my spell list and luckily I had almost all the spells I would need already between my 49 white and 25 black mages plus a few scrolls I’ve managed to pick up through the years and pitched on to mules or my other characters. Still needed were Bio II, a couple bar spells, water II and phalanx. All but phalanx are fairly reasonable, but phalanx is currently going for 300k on my server. That’s bullshit! I have 1650 seals and I refuse to spend that kind of $$$ on 1 scroll. The problem is getting a group together to do the BCNM (Royal Jelly, highest drop % of the BCNMs that have it according to wiki) even if it is only a 3-man event. I looked (in LS and friend list only as pick-up groups are kinda hit-or-miss) for about 3 hours the 1st time, then I logged. Came back on about 5 hours later and was able to get a group together for 5 cracks at it. Won all 5, set the record every attempt but no luck on phalanx. Incidentally, 2 beast/dancer and 1 ranger/ninja rock on that BCNM.

The next day I get lucky as 2 guys are looking to do it when I get on. This doesn’t go quite as well. We wiped on the 1st attempt, and I think it was because I had autotarget on since one of the guys is /assisting me (apparently the zone is too dark for him to target). The job mix was different too. I was still beast, but my partners are pup/healer now and the damage was simply not as fast in coming from us. The other runs we won, but I think the queen jelly formed on every run and no records on any of the wins. Phalanx finally dropped on the 4th (and final) run. This is where shit got weird. We had lotted/passed with no difficulty on any of the other runs. For some reason that didn’t work this run; I lotted, Samonosuke passed but Darthstoner said he was unable to lot since I already had everything (about 20 seconds after he said that I got the system messages saying that all had dropped to me). In the total 8 other runs, as well as the probably 40 other times I have done BCNMs this has never happened that someone was not “allowed” to lot. I even confirmed that quartermaster was off (although if it weren’t then treasure drops would have been affected on all the other runs too, wouldn’t they? The back-door implication that I was cheating in some way bothers me.

As you may have guessed, I’ve been trying to level red mage since I got ninja finished. We started with another gear reshuffle to get rid of ninja stuff and replace it with level 25-ish mage gear. So, after about an hour I’m done shuffling shit and decide to solo FoV pages while I seek. I got good at the pages. All my skills are currently capped for red mage, so there is no need to fight EM and up, just kill and XP fast. Red mage/ninja may be a good soloer, but it is not a FAST soloer, at least at 25 it isn’t.

You may recall above I said you might want to /anon “and maybe healer” if you don’t want to be pestered? The “maybe” is in there because between the 1.5 days I spent 9 hours seeking before I got my 1st party. Yes, I am on red mage, and yes, I had turned /anon off. I think the reason I got invite is because I had just called up NPC with my tactical earring. Of course the invite comes just in time to completely waste the charge. However, the party was excellent. I had only partied once in the past with one of them, Midniter, but the mix was right. We had a dancer, a scholar, a paladin, a warrior (who ended up pulling since the dancer forgot her throwing weapon), a beastmaster (later replaced by a dragoon after he left) and yours truly on red mage. We were a level 22 sync in qufim and got the sync to 25 without a single non-tank death (and that was on a 291 screwdriver). In fact, we had so much surplus healing (with 4 of us having curing ability) that about all I did was enfeeble prey. After we moved to jungle (which is when the beast left and the dragoon joined us) we had a couple of hiccups, both resulting in the puller’s death. Luckily, the dragoon must have been leveling another job since she ran back to town and came back to raise 3 the puller. When she got back, I took over pulling until the warrior lost weakness). Poor guy, smithy agro is an ugly thing, especially at level 25. Well, unfortunately it was the last day of the holiday weekend and it was getting kinda late. We got the sync to level 26 and then we broke the party. Happily, I’m almost level 30 on red mage and expect I’ll be moving right along.

The cap increase and the next Abyssea expansion come out tomorrow and that might take awhile to download, so I’m not sure how soon I’ll be able to finish red mage. I’ve decided however that I will finish it before I work beast and bard to 85. I’m so close to finishing my primary subjobs that I don’t want to leave this hanging out there on my to-do list if you get my meaning.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Please allow me to introduce myself,..

Time for another update I guess.

1st off, I finally finished off my dancer subjob to 49. Luckily, all that time leveling thief and bard has kept my skills capped on dancer, so really all I needed was XP and practice. It shows in no uncertain terms however that a fully skilled character is MUCH more effective than those with a skill lag.

The next level cap increase is set for early September and it will be 85, not 90 as I was suspecting. New content is being announced every couple days, but already I’m excited for my beast and bard. Beast is getting a TP ability for pets, important since my meriting has me trying to pop special attacks faster than the pet has been getting TP; there’s also an axe I want from Abyssea that will help that. For my bard the biggies are a Phalanx type song and the long-awaited Mage’s Ballad III. Bard/red mage may end up becoming my permanent job combo for missions and groups. Lots of good stuff for most of the other jobs too, but check another forum for those as I don’t have them. There is also going to be new augmentable job-specific armor coming out, no details I’ve seen as yet, but the clear implication is that it will be the new end-game armor of choice as it is customized to your style of play over and above some base stats good for your specific job. We’ll see.

I spoke before about my trial weapons and such. There’s not much happening on those as I’m currently working almost exclusively on my subjobs. Outside Nyzul Isle and Abyssea I’m not fighting any XP monsters, so I’m not able to make any real progress on them. IF I manage go get subs finished before the update I’ll end up working on them a bit, but taking my thief main to 80 will be my priority at that point so we’ll have to see.

Once I finished my dancer sub I had a big project shuffling gear to mules. My current job is ninja, that means 11 stack of toolbags as well as 11 tags of tools plus all the wearable gear I needed had to get to Glamdring. To make space for all that, I sent all my non rare/exclusive mage gear to mules (excepting the bits I use brd/whm) as well as all the bolts and quivers I use on thief. I also crafted a few consumables to use them up. However, I’m going to need to make a few more tools as I’m keeping my ninjitsu up this time and due to how I use ninja.

I hate blink tanking; I’m not even fond of partying with a blink tank. Unfortunately, I happen to be a GREAT tank. I just happen to believe ninja is more effective as a puller and melee DD, using the wheel as a DD tool while a paladin (or a warrior to a lesser extent) is better as a tank. As a matter of fact, I would like to do party builds with a pld/war, thf/rng or /nin, nin/dnc, healer, and 2 whatever, using the nin/dnc as a drain source, back-up healer, DD using the wheel and the thief’s SATA buddy, unless the nin is taking hate from the tank in which case the thf can SATA the tank when that happens which is who you want the thf to SATA in the 1st place.

Unfortunately, the only place I can consistently get parties is East Ronafure (s) on birds as the tank. This leaves me with weapons and ninjitsu that are highly skill-gapped. Unlike dancer, the only way I can skill up ninjitsu or katana is by playing my ninja, and since I hate the job, once I hit 49 it is done until almost every other job is at 99 and capped and fully merited as well (the only job I hate more being scholar). I do however want my ninjitsu capped as things I’ve read lead me to believe that skill also helps with interrupt on casting and I do need to /ninja situationally on my beast, bard and will need to on dancer and thief eventually.

Enough about my squishy tank, let’s talk Dynamis Dunes. NOT our lucky zone by any stretch. We’ve tried it now the last 2 Mondays and it has not treated us well. Subjobs are a pain in the ass to start as you are not seeking a ???, you need to actually pull a fly that is buried in group of other mobs. The fly itself is an easy kill, but the critters it is with are not. Just to add to the fun, the little fuckers move around too. As you start with 1 hour and the only time extender IS the Mega-Boss you really need to knock them out quick so you can get to work on the NMs you need to weaken the Mega Boss to a manageable level.

The only NM I can actually discuss is Fairy ring as we haven’t gotten past him. He’s a funguar, one of the toughest regular critters in the game. He hits like a truck, moves VERY fast and hides behind a pile of yagudo. I’m not sure why (as the guides are mute about it), but the normal way to pull him is to sacrifice pull the yags away, shadowbind him in place, voke and run back to camp, presumably so he can link as many yags as possible when they return once Shadowbind wears. Well, OUR 1st attempt we kind of expected to fail, we were light on people and hadn’t been there in at least a year so not many (including yours truly) were particularly up on the strategy. Our pullers couldn’t even find the NM.

Last night we did find him. Once shadowbind wore he proceeded to come for us, linking a Yag bard on the way. I luckily saw the bard and was able to sleep it. However, we didn’t do so good of a job on the NM. Melees did not all engage at once, and we could not keep hate off the nukers. Consequently, the NM was running all over the place one-shotting everyone and generally making life miserable for all. I ended up as the last one left (not from skill, just wasn’t doing enough to put a lot of hate on me) and we had mabe taken off 40-45% of its HP. At this point, the yag woke up and between the 2 of them they managed to off me as I was sleeping them (actually died with 1% left on casting time before lullaby would have gotten the yag, think the NM is immune). With 2 of our players dying where they could not be raised, requiring another sac pull, we simply ran out of time to have a realistic chance at win. We’re looking at other strategies since the most likely to work (the LS showing up) isn’t really likely to happen unless we start offering real-life cash payments to people as near as I can tell.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I can see for miles and miles…

Big weekend in Glam-land gaming-wise.

Friday ended up as Dynamis Xarc. We did fairly well, but we had a problem on job mix. We lost a healer due to a disconnect so one of our thieves had to change to a healer. Good on the healing front, but bad for pulling. I was asked to step in. Now bard is a good puller most places… Dynamis is NOT one of those places. The problem is I come /whm to help on healing and to save a bundle on Reraise (hairpins ain’t cheap). If I knew I was pulling I would /nin or /thf; I think thief would be better to help with sacrifice pulls, but ninja for overall pulling. I’m not on the raise+ priority list but I don’t worry too much about that as I always bring a XP buffer to the game. I think I’ll just /nin in the future.

It turns out the best way for me to pull is NOT to use a song on a statue, it’s to run in and get agro while under Mazurka and then run like hell. Using a song costs me my Mazurka while simply being detected does not; I can keep it until I get hit with something. All that being said, I had issues on Friday with pulling. Where else? The Eye wall, everybody’s favorite place. 1st pull went well, surprising considering I’ve never done it and did not come in my pulling configuration, and that it wasn’t a double-sacrifice (there is a point to a puller having a group sleep ability). It was the 2nd that caused problems. I tried to pull the next set of stuff but died too quick to make it back to camp. Next I tried to just pull the time extension around the solid wall of mobs; for experienced pullers the distance LOOKS ok for a clean pull but it turns out its link range is HUGE. Nonetheless, we did manage to get the extension. We may want to try an alternate strategy, holding a ranged attacker in reserve when we do the 1st pull to attack the TE and bring it in the 1st wave as the conventional strategy only brings the bottom 1/3 of the wall to camp and the TE is in the middle. That way we don’t have to fuck with the rest of the wall on farming nights unless we want to.

Saturday was a leveling sub-jobs day. I started the day at level 45 on my white mage. I was able to FoV to 46, then I got an invite to a Dunes party which I decided to take. It lived up to my misgivings. The party was level 13 and I expected they were by the lizards (as no one would answer my position question) so I did a Tele-Dem and ran in to grab FoV Refresh and Reraise on the way to party. Well, they are on the far side of the tunnel and say to grab page 2, which I do. I fight my way through the bats in the tunnel with the help of a pixie that took up residence there and eventually get to the party. We kill the crabs easy enough but instead of pulling lizards from where we are, we run back to Lizzyville, changing sync to 10 on the way. We barely make it to camp and I lose my FoV buffs in the process. We I renew those and rejoin the party, which is very bad at partying normally. The low guy eventually levels and in 2 hours I made about 4k in XP.

So I decide to go back to FoV, but I got an invite to a synced party in East Ronafure (S) through an LS buddy, Chrispy. I take him up on it (I had been checking for a level-appropriate party for me at 46 all day but there were never enough people). This goes much better as the noobs were not involved. I do make it to 49 in this party in about 2 hours, moving smoothly because I had healing help from the dancer main that was our sync. However, no skill points at all. I logged for the night.

In the middle of Saturday however was Abyssea. I geared up the bard/dancer in hopes of another recapping of XP and 10 merit point day. It was not meant to be however. We had bad luck on light and were just not getting our XP anywhere near cap. Not sure why, maybe just luck of the draw. In the almost 2 hours we were there I think we got about 20k. I’m going to need to go again soon as it’s the best place to merit. I might want to set-up a run in Konschtadt though in hopes of getting the pop item for the NM that drops the beast axe. I’d love to use that when I’m not able to work on trial weapons.

Sunday comes and I had some RL obligations, so my playtime was cut shorter than usual. I 1st did a gear shuffling with my mules to stow my mage gear and get my level 40 dancer stuff. I also maxed out my Abyssea time and triggered the quest for my dancer AF weapon. When I got back from my RL things I was ready to do the quest which unfortunately requires me to stay dancer throughout. I call for help on the LS and Loraa and Orague show up. 2 level 80 samurai is a bit of overkill for this NM so I got my War Hoop easily. Now it’s time to level my dancer.

I had already decided to dancer/beast when solo to make life easy. Strangely enough dancer main doesn’t seem to be too popular with parties, no idea why. Well the job is ridiculously easy if you pick the right camp (although the fact that I have all my skills capped at this level certainly isn’t hurting me either). Pretty much you just charm, make 3 kills, zone to get rid of (and heal via repop) the pet, zone right back and repeat ad nauseum. I didn’t get a level, but only because I ran out of time before Nyzul.

I changed to beast/dancer 80 for Nyzul as it seems to be a bit more useful than my bard, unless we don’t have a blue in which case bard is needed for light-based dispel. We did ok, 2 runs went very smooth (in fact, our 1st run we did 6 floors because our pole person didn’t know to choose exit). The last run we ran into time issues. We had multiple kill all floors and one was packed with undead. 2 of the kill all floors also had the “do not destroy gears” thing as well which just sucks. We ended up running out of time on the 15th floor while fighting the leader who was hard to find.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You don't know what it's like...

To Power-level or not…?

Tough question. Like a lot of players, I have jobs that I am not interested in, but need as sub-jobs. I could find a PL and level fast, but at what cost?

I’m not talking about paying one of those services that bury us with almost incomprehensible tells in game, I’m speaking of legitimate players just helping out a bud. Now it’s very rare that one of those guys is going to want anything from you, maybe some return help down the road but certainly no fees or anything. However, XP is just one of the things you need to build in this game. What else? Here’s a list…

1. Skill with the job! This is a biggie… if you don’t practice with the job combo someday you may join a party and people will be depending on you to know something—and you won’t. People are going to be hurt by bad play. It may take a bit for them to figure out who the guilty player is, and MOST players won’t tell you it’s you in the interest of not breaking up the party. For most people, the only way to get that almost instinctive reaction is repetition and a PL keeps that from happening as much.
2. Resists/underpowered spells and such. I’ve mentioned this before, keeping skills up is hard enough in general, and a PL has you exercising skills less and less. I’ve been playing the game for 7 years now I think and my parry and shield skills are maybe half-way to cap. Certain skills have gained in utility over the years as SE has added content. For example, divine magic for white mages; in my experience very few whm’s were popping banish on undead and that was about the only use divine had (flash is not a whm priority), but now we have repose, a light-based sleep to help us bard-types out as we used to be the only other significant light-based sleep out there. Obviously I’ll be using this in a couple levels when I get it, but in the mean-time I’m building one hell of a skill gap.
3. Accuracy/attack power. Yep, that repetition thing again. You gain skills by whacking stuff. For a healer job a PL is good in this category; if we don’t have to heal, we can whack stuff instead. But melee-types and rangers need to skill-up multiple weapons usually (samurai need bow, great katana and pole-arm usually, warrior needs half an armoury, etc.) With fewer kills you get fewer whacks so fewer skills etc.
4. Treasure. Leveling usually costs money for food, gear and other such stuff. The drops you do get while in XP partys off-set SOME of that. Well, if you kill less stuff you get less stuff. I off-set some of that loss by not using food when I have a PL. However, the stuff would still be nice as I am working on my crafting as the opportunity arises.

Now, the current leveling method used by most seems to be level 1st, skill later. I hate that tho’ because I never have the time for a skill-up. Having solo’d the way up on beast I got very used to always having my offensive skills and my evasion capped, but with my pet usually holding hate my defensive skills have suffered. With bard I was in parties almost all the time so my melee skills suffered. String is generally frowned on due to the range so it tended to lag behind on skill but a couple runs in Dynamis spamming Horde Lullaby sorted that right out. I took advantage of the fortifications in Campaign to fix my bard’s melee skills until they took that option away. I’ll just have to do some of my farming as bard/dancer to keep melee up to snuff.

I haven’t really answered the question on taking a PL when it’s available. My personal feeling is this… I don’t ask for them. I don’t turn them down either. Any gaps in my play I try to fill via farming and to a lesser extent via using the skill on another job (ex. skill dagger via leveling thief). All hail King Wishy-washy!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The thing that should never be…

As I mentioned in last post, I’m now 80 on both beast (my main job) and bard (my “works well with others” job). The intention was to work on the thief as you may recall. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the heist… SE announced the next version update for early September and the level cap is going with it (we don’t know how much, but I’m guessing 90). So, it’s time to break out the subjobs again. Those I have to get to 49-50 are white mage (currently 44), ninja (40), red mage (25) and a special case, dancer (40, but it will follow thief as my next job to cap).

I’m doing white mage 1st as I sub it in Dynamis and a lot of missions. I will break to do dancer as it is my primary beast sub. Then back to ninja as I need it to sub when pulling on bard. Finally, red mage which was always a good bard sub and the only other job that can consistently recharge people’s MP. I think bard/red mage is going to replace bard/white mage because it gives another sleep option, MP refresh, another dispel and a few other goodies, especially fast cast and convert. The minuses are I lose reraise (but that’s just my XP that gets hurt so why would anyone else care) and my feeble elf MP will be even feebler. Look for me to enspell and melee just to piss people off if they get too demanding.

I think I’ll need to break in the middle there to work on my funds as all those red mage spells are going to get expensive. I have most of the ninja spells already. I’m also going to need to do some BCNM for my phalanx scroll. I’ve got the seals, but finding the beasts to help might be a problem, at least beasts I know. We’ll talk about that as I get around to it.

Leveling the white mage is harder than it used to be. We already lost out to red mage after 41 because of refresh. Now with everyone in end game I need people to sync down to get a party. White mage can solo (slowly), a bit better with a decent NPC. As mentioned before however my NPC was not built along tanking lines, but healing—now healing is my job. It’s definitely kind of makeshift.

I’ve been concentrating on FoV as the missions give me an XP bonus and you can do 1-2 per hour. To get any speed out of it I can’t let the mobs past EM to me so skill-ups suffer a bit. Another player is a great help, while NPCs use abilities other players generally use theirs intelligently. With my crap MP I’m forced to wear gear that helps with that, leaving me squishier than I really like to be when I get hate.

I did get lucky with a duo and a power level over the weekend. Made it to 43 without much trouble and got some nice skill-ups in the process. Last night I did a besieged for the first time in ages (XP was ok, skill-ups sucked), then got the ubiquitous birds party in East Ron. Again, skill sucked but I did get 44. Looking forward to trying out Regen 2 going forward.

Monday we had to cancel Dynamis. For the most part only the vets showed up. We probably could have low-manned a zone and farmed but we mostly don’t need anything, we generally do Dynamis to help other people, hang out with friends, build our points for gear we may eventually want and good karma. So giving away perfectly good XP seemed stupid and we cancelled for the night. I was supposed to look for leveling help after I finished supper, but I got a call from a friend and spent hours talking to her instead.

That does it for now folks, more later…

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Streak

Just a quicky post, a longer post will follow.

Finally got bst to 80, the current cap. I've put bst on hold, excepting specific missions, just as bard is.

SE just posted that the next version update and level cap increase will be early September, although they didn't say to what level. My money would be on increasing to 90. Naturally, the subjobs need to be finished. Currently working whitemage to 49-50 1st. Expect to go ninja, then dancer next, and lastly red mage (yes, red) as I believe the expectation will be to have both types of refresh on my bard. The fast cast can't hurt either.

So if you see me seeking...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sittin’ on the dock of the bay, wasting time...

So, as last reported I finally started my trial weapons. For those who don’t know I’m not going to spell the whole thing out, but a trial is to beat a certain number of whatever under certain conditions i.e. my last trial was 50 Evil Weapons under Fire, Wind, Thunder or Light weather. Now there are both level 75 and level 80 trials, presumably there will be more as the cap increases. Personally, I would make it a continuation of the 75 trial so that it keeps pace with your rising level instead of being something you finish just to put it away forever, but that’s just me. Oh, what is it you ask? A customized, augmented weapon with bonuses you choose to work for.

Not sure why I even started a 75 axe, I’ll be 80 shortly on beast and none of the other jobs I’m currently planning to level actually use axe, it’s different with the daggers, as both the thief and dancer I’m leveling use daggers. Whatever, I’m currently off-handing my 75 axe on my 79 bst/dnc.

1st trial was 50 crabs under any weather condition, did Vunkerl Inlet (s) and it was easy, just spent a fair amount of time waiting for weather, but it’s fairly active there so it took 2 days. I actually could have managed it in 1, but I started late in the day. The 2nd however was a bitch, the afore-mentioned evil weapons. The only truly quick way to do it is to level-sync to a qufim level and do weapons there as the weather cooperates frequently. Finding such a sync-especially as a beastmaster-is hard. So I tried Ro’Maeve but no joy; weather was infrequent, the wrong type half the time and the few occasions when there was weather the roving bands of Japanese players (judging by the bogus claims of not speaking English, most Japanese having at least a rough command of it) claiming and killing everything made progress all but impossible. I think I managed 6 there, total.

The Shrine of Ru’Avitau, not a place many go to hang out (especially with sky gear being outclassed by much of the newer, easier to obtain pieces for the most part) seemed to be the answer, and for the most part it was. Decorative Weapons give XP and skill-ups, according to wiki all the weather types occur there (all I ever saw was wind tho’), and with no competition there were plenty available. That being said, they are all EM to T+ to me, meaning that kills are slow (relatively speaking) and I can’t survive links without luck, expensive consumables or help. So Sunday I was in there for the 3rd day in a row and I got killed on a link.

I decided to go back to Ro’Maeve and kill there as (for once) the place wasn’t neck deep in Japanese parties, and what should appear on my Wide Scan but Shikigami Weapon. I know this NM drops THE uber robe for summoner so I holler for anyone in SK who wants it to come out. No one was responding, other than to ask what it was. Now this is a rare pop and a hard item to get so I keep asking. Finally, Woochekitty (who already has one) comes to join me thinking that I need it (maybe someday, but not now). While waiting for it to show up I learn that a 79 beast/dancer with a coeurl pet and a 70 NPC set to soothing healer is not soloing this thing without a lot of luck (read I died). Woo raises me, we fight it together, death. Don finally joins us-FYI other people were trying to kill, they did no better than Woo and I. We finally trio it (without the NPC and using a bunny as pet) and got the drop which went to Don (my smn in level 7 and staying that way for the foreseeable future). TOD was 1:28 pm CDT btw…

As usual, once they come out to help me they stay, helping with my trial weapon. We go back to the Shrine and go to town. I went in with 38 left to kill. By the time they left (after a few hours) I was down to needing 5, so TYVM you two. Well I stuck around hoping the weather would pop before I had to head to Nyzul, but no joy. I ended up going back to Ro’Maeve this morning and finishing up (got lucky to find weather as I zoned in).

Nyzul was interesting. We only had 3 tags so we finished off 90-100 for a member of the static who wasn’t there Thursday when the rest of us got it. The floors were actually pretty easy, good thing since we had a noob subbing. Tide got his great katana too and someone got werebuster. We tried again on 95-100 to get Tigerelf the monk weapon our time issues cost him on Thursday but now the floors were not so kind. We ran into the lamp from hell floor and naturally I found the bad lamp. Ordered lamp floor and my lamp has Wounded Wourfel, Simurgh, an NM I can’t remember, a bhoot and an archaic rampart sitting on it on floor 99. I already know we are screwed but I try anyway… send in the bunny, pop a whirl claws to get hate on him, hit the lamp and run for it. No luck and I die too close to use RR considering all the blood agro in that pile. Well we hit the rest of the lamps in hope that we got lucky 1st try and raise on boss floor, but naturally we didn’t and we really don’t have the bodies to make another try at it. We exited.

I mentioned being in sky 3 days in a row. Well that’s because we cancelled Friday’s Dynamis run due to attendance issues. I’d rant about it here but it would just rile me up again and I already have to repaint my apartment since my cursing peeled the paint off the walls on Friday. If it happens again, I have to decide whether to try to work on trial weapon or just XP. My new trial is 100 anything on lightsday/weather, and weather is VERY rare, I’ve only seen it in qufim, once in batallia I think too and one other place I forget, plus Nyzul. So I’m guessing day may be my way to go…

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lord I was born a ramblin' man...

I have GOT to start keeping up with this…

Well, it’s been a month so obviously things are happening. As mentioned in my last post I was taking the bard to 80; well I got there eventually. In point of fact, the bard is currently only trotted out for specific events (dynamis and this Saturday I’ll be using in an SK Abyssea alliance) now as I’ve been working on beast. Of course it will be used to recap its own XP and that will give me an excuse to unlock my Nyzul bard dagger and to work on my trial weapons. I think I might have to bard/beast to do that tho’, my bard is squishy.

Now on to the beasty… I’ve been leveling beast and unlocking my Nyzul axe for most of this last month. I did have quite a few weapon skill points from soloing in that time. My Primal Rend unlocked as soon as I hit Nyzul floor 90, maybe 85 as I wasn’t actually watching. Regardless, think I had about 900+ points on it.

So I needed a new project and I finally decided to work on my trial weapons. I picked up a level 75 axe, a level 75 dagger and a level 80 dagger, and I’ll be needing 1 more 75 and 80 dagger. I’m debating a staff for the healing, but I really don’t heal much on my bard so probably not. I actually don’t anticipate any issues with all of the daggers; when I melee on bard I bard/dancer or /ninja and I dual-wield daggers, and my next to jobs to level 80 are thief and then dancer, both of which primarily dual-wield daggers. That means I’ll be needing about 500,000 XP at levels that can use trial weapons or Nyzul weapons, not to mention however much I need recapping bard and/or meriting. Actually, the beast axes will be more of a problem as my focus is on the job levels more than the weapons, so I’m not sure how much time will be spent on beast once I hit 80.

We had a LS payout from my dynamis group. I can’t say how much I got, but coupled with what I had it was enough to get me gobbiebag 10 (I had 9) as well as some of the food I need. I’ve actually been able to keep my money somewhat up due to the low price of materials for some of the new jugs (especially since I farm almost all of them) and all that time soloing beast. A bit about the new jugs, they are largely AWESOME! I have used them leveling, farming and even in Abyssea where they hit so hard and effectively that good tanks cannot hold hate and big damage dealers don’t keep hate long enough to take much damage. Couple that with my pet taking a great deal more damage (it varies from jug to jug but all have several thousand HP) to take down, VERY low cost per jug, and at least 1 good special per pet (although the new mandy is borderline on the good special) and beast is one of the best jobs in the game in any party. Naturally, we don’t get partys…

Abyssea is all about controlling “light”, actually a status effect given due to HOW a kill is made that allows you to aim for certain rewards (notably time extensions for the area). People believe (currently still only a theory) that pets screw up the light you are aiming at; actually, if a pet does kill it simply counts as a melee kill unless they use a special, however of the new specials (at least on the jugs I’ve been using) the only one that would count as something else is Leaf Dagger from the mandy and I don’t use that anyway. Regardless, once again beast (and dragoon, summoner and puppetmaster for that matter) are getting no love even though we are quite possibly more effective than the jobs that are getting the love. I hope SE fixes this in the next go around before it gets ingrained; after all, it took 4+ years for people to realize that beast doesn’t hurt party XP (the pet just counts as 1 more member), and if this is allowed to continue for too long it will take just as long to debunk.

Now Abyssea has been mentioned a few times, well that’s because I’ve only done it a few times. It’s a strange way to play, and I have strange jobs to do so. Bard I might just have to retire as I did from merits and for the same reason; I’m being asked to do more than the other jobs, no one is doing anything to keep me alive and all I hear is bitching about speed if I take a few seconds to try to see that I don’t eat dirt because the chain might fall off. Now I love pulling, always have… it’s challenging, easy to screw up and not something everyone can do. I seem to be pretty good at it too. Both bard and beast are excellent pullers, albeit by different methods, and I’m very good at both (soloing will do that to you), but in abyssea you need some cooperation from the party too. My bard sleeps have been totally ineffective against the enemies where I went bard (bees, pixies, frogs and mandys) and the other sleepers weren’t sleeping to get stuff off my back. My beast has not been able to charm any mob in any area of Abyssea yet either, although that is not that much of an issue due to the strength of the new jugs. I still need people to take the hate off me and/or the pet if you want me to keep pulling. Enough about that.

I alluded to the exorbitant price of stuff a couple paragraphs ago. With everyone leveling and/or meriting so much the auction house just isn’t getting replenished the way it should and what consumables there are get gobbled up immediately, with inflation running rampant on almost everything. I’ve started to get back into the crafting part of the game (i.e. I try to XP off things that drop items I can use to level my crafts). I got to 59 cooking when I restarted beast making a bunch of pet food zeta- that meant a day farming coeurl meat in Onozco where I also soloed an assault jerkin. I’ve been killing a lot of scorpions for shells to take care of my bonecraft- in the last 2 weeks I’ve gone from 54.1 to 58.9- but my attempt to do demon arrowheads was stymied by the abysmal drop rate of demon horns without a thief along. My brief attempt at gnats didn’t go very well as pandemic nip allowed them to chew my pets up in short order; I’ll need to find an area with ample pets before I try again or else a different clothcraft recipe to 57-60. As far as black and goldsmithing, that is a matter of finding the right recipes, hopefully ones that use each other as sub-crafts. Leatherworking is just waiting for me to get the other crafts up, as I have 150k guild points stored, all key items done and for the most part leather materials are easy to farm. Fishing is waiting on the invention of the 36 hour day. Consumable shortage is just going to remain a problem for the foreseeable future.

I do need to get to work on the ToAU, WoTG and Abyssea mission lines soon, not sure when that will be happening. I’ve put so much on hold working on my character’s power and such that I tend to neglect progress through the various storylines. Hell, once I get the 80 jobs out of the way I need to jump back on my subs to accommodate the eventual 99 level cap!

Dynamis is getting to be a problem. Yes the fights are easier and more survivable and we’re getting better at revising our strategies to accommodate that fact. Now the problem is attendance and timing. Our start time is 7p.m. my time, and attendance is 6:30. We have been consistently entering at 7:30 or later for the last few weeks with a lot of people not showing until after we enter, if at all. We even have people having other people log their characters in to get wins or drops on nights when they are scheduled to be there and haven’t requested time off! I’m sorry for being pissed about this, but if you can’t be bothered to do the work what right do you even HAVE to a reward?! We need to get a handle on this, but luckily it’s not my place.

I think that’s enough of this for now, I’ll try to be better at posting here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It’s not easy being green…

As you all know, I’m trying to level the bard to 80. Since Martial Master is also active, I thought it would be nice to work on my skills at the same time. Apparently, the rest of the server doesn’t agree…

Unfortunately, bard is not seen as a combatant job. In addition, the common leveling “wisdom” (read “idiocy”) is that you get XP now and skill-up after, a function of Campaign, level sync and the take-over of RMT power-leveling style of play. These do have their place, but when the chance is there to speed up your skill ups (and thus your effectiveness at your true level) why wouldn’t you take it? There is only 1 answer; because you’re a fucking idiot.

Now bard is not thought of well as a melee job, but /dancer or /ninja we certainly aren’t to be disregarded. Yes, there is always the argument that lower damage weapons only feed the enemy TP, but that doesn’t wash as partys frequently use thief as a DD who are “just feeding the mob TP” outside of their SATA WS, or ninja tanks (who also hit like a feather duster compared to other melee) and don’t have the spike damage of thief either. The point is, my bard can and does hit things. What I don’t do is function well solo, not being the most durable of jobs with the weak armor I can wear.

Unfortunately for me I am not allowed to melee in pick-up parties (actually, the way bard is used end-game I would also be too busy to even draw a weapon as the all-mighty chain [which doesn’t actually increase in XP given after 5] might break). This is one of the main reasons I avoid pick-up parties actually; people I’ve worked with before know that I know when and when not to fight, but strangers don’t.

So I’m seeking on my bard and the invites are slow in coming. Funny, generally not being /anon (without seeking) is enough to get me an invite on Dynamis nights within 5 minutes. I do eventually get an invite to a 75 level sync. 4 of us are 77, 1 is 76 and one is 75 so naturally we sync to the 75. It’s a 2 bard party and I am “lazy bard” which simply means I am not pulling. I actually run just as much because I am refreshing the red mage with ballad and buffing the melee with Minuet and Madrigal and back-up healing the whole bunch, as the pulling bard was doing the double march. Had there only been 1 bard (me) I would have been responsible for pulling, double march, double ballad and healing myself, all while having to listen to the rest of the party bitch every time the chain broke just because I thought I might need to renew shadows before the next pull while they can’t even be bothered to take the critters off my back in a timely manner. And people wonder why I won’t do merit parties…

The XP is ok, but not great. We get about 41k in 2.5 hours, and that’s with rings. Just to put my blood pressure through the roof the melees all take random AFK breaks to slow down the XP even further. Unfortunately, the red mage isn’t of my philosophy of not wasting healing on people who aren’t there, so we don’t get to let anyone die for it. Oh well, so much for educational opportunities. The party breaks up with everyone getting a level or multiple merit points EXCEPT me, I’m left 3.5k short. Grrr… I logged for the night in disgust.

Last night I try to log in but the maintainance is running long. By the time I’m allowed to log in it’s a bit late for a long XP party. In addition, not many are on to form a good XP party, and I refused the level 19 party that was available through my LS, wanting my skill-ups. I do one campaign battle (after wasting time and AN porting to 2 that finish as I arrive) and get 3.7k XP, thus getting level 78. I do some research, but I’m not really finding anywhere I can survive a solo skill-up as a bard/dancer, the only remote possibilities being over-crowded as it is. I try to solo in Meriphtaud Mountains (S) with my NPC, but SE has yet to allow them to level past 70, thus survivability is virtually nil, both for NPC and myself once she dies. So I only manage 3 kills before I’m on my own. In addition, Martial Master doesn’t apply in the past areas, so I only manage 1 skill-up (on parry). Just not my night. My usual cronies are not available (either not logging on or doing something else) so eventually I log again.

Maybe tonight I can get the bard dagger in Nyzul, the mythic weapon being augmentable via Trial of the Maigans. That might just get me a shot at the skill-ups I’ve been trying for. I’m pretty sure you can work off WS points while doing the trials too, so double-whammy. Beast would certainly be ok to get too, since I only need 2 more levels on bard to reach cap and then it’s the beast’s turn. I can always melee in dynamis for my skill-ups on bard, although people may look at me funny.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy days are here again...

...makes me feel like a corrupt New Orleans political candidate in the 1890's, where did I come up with thatsong?!!!

I’ve been having difficulties with leveling caused in part by my in-game finances and partly by not finding people I’m comfortable partying with. Firstly the finances… bard songs are not free, shehei are not free if I need to /ninja to pull, food is not free, even getting to and from battlefields costs some money and it does add up. I can craft shehei to save a little money (although not that much), but the materials are often hard to find; for the rest I’m at the mercy of the server economy. As to finding people I’m comfortable partying with, I’ve spent too much time solo to have a good group of party buddies to draw on. As I posted a couple ago, I’ve also dropped confidence in some of my social LS members (those that haven’t been with us that long). Granted, I’m not willing to be driven ragged as a bard unless it is for good friends and we are showing results, so I might not be the bard you want to party with.

That being said, things are changing some in game for me. 1st off, Dynamis has actually been kind to me of late. As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I finally got my bard pants (probably the best bard pants in the game to date, outside of situational changes) after over a year of waiting. Well Monday I got my thief gloves-we had 2 drop and the only person in-line ahead of me wasn’t there so I got them, despite my thief only being 61. I will be leveling thief as soon as bard and beast are 80, so I was legitimately in-line for them. This means that as the levels come I will have my full treasure hunter bonuses (and until then I can store the full set on the relic NPC).

Last night I got a late start on XPing. It’s the summer, and so everyone has this stupid idea that it’s nice out. I don’t agree; if I’m quite literally drenched in sweat, smell, and am dehydrated 90% of the time it is NOT nice out. In any event, I get volunteered for a lot of family stuff and it cuts into both my playing and my real life free time (I live alone so if the housework is gonna get done I’ll be the one doing it, I won’t be doing it if I’ve been volunteered elsewhere though). Whatever, suffice it to say my game time is being severely curtailed (about 12-15 hours less per week than normal).

SE has a feature in game called a “friend list” that needs a bit of work. I check it when I 1st log in to see if any of them are on and want to do something (success increasing greatly with people you know, trust and genuinely like), but that is usually it. If SE is looking for elements to improve play they might want to consider a notice that a friend has just logged in. Otherwise I don’t know until I see a post from them or I just trip over them.

So I thought I might farm scorp shells, but Xolotol decided to eat my face. So I decide to Campaign battle. Hard to find a battle, but I eventually land on one in Grauberg. Decent XP, but a lot of downtime between waves now with the level cap raise. So, while waiting for wave 2 I get a tell from Mousie (making me happy) asking me to come XP on my bard. Naturally, I finish my battle and head out (with a stop to change subs and regear). XP was good—not great—but I got about 30k, leaving me 12k short of level 77, which I hope to knock-out tonight!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Good day Sunshine...

Much has happened my faithful few fans in the weeks since my last post, but I just have been unable to find the time to put things into words. After all, playing the game is supposed to be more fun than writing about playing it… Still, you deserve to get your dose of dish so here we go.

Dynamis has been… interesting of late. Most important, a pair of bard pants is mine! Absolutely butt-ugly but the stat boosts are awesome. This of course means we have done a Dynamis Xarc (farming run, without a shitload of luck a win is out of the question with our current line-up only). I am now 5/5 on beast and bard and the only relic I still need is thief hands (also from Xarc), which are one of the most sought after items in the game due to their bonus to treasure hunter. I’m way down on that list and my thief is still my alternate lot until I get it to 65, I think. Checking with the Dynamis LS on the rules there.

The biggest thing is that they finally got around to announcing the update that was done on Monday, including the size of the 1st level cap increase, level 80 this go round. This defined the minimum I needed to finish leveling my subs to be ready for it. My leveling of white mage had already gotten me to 41 so I could put it off a bit. I worked dancer 1st, then ninja to 40. I didn’t worry about keeping my skills up as I leveled as I usually would because while they 1st announced the size of the increase they left the date unfilled for a few days. Limited inventory space confined me to 1 lower job at a time and I just powered through as best I could, 8 days as best I can recall working around Dynamis days and such.

Outside of leveling the subs to 40 minimum I went back to taking white mage to 42, with the eventual goal of 49-50. SE is raising the level cap to 99 eventually, so all subs will need to get to 49 eventually anyway, and white mage is my primary bard sub. I may want to do red mage soon though as at 82 bard that would leave me with 2 forms of refresh and another fast cast, weakened raise and reraise options though, hmm…

Started into a static group doing Nyzul climb, a form of assault that gives some good weapons and armor (if you are lucky). Not sure if the weapons will remain viable to the new levels, although they can be augmented as a trial weapon and they are one of the current 2 Uber weapons (mythic, the other being relic) that SE planned. Let’s just say some are more uber than others…

My biggest problem is money (why should the game be any different than real life, eh?). I don’t even have enough to cover the 3 bard songs I get with the current increase, and there is no gil in the areas most parties level so going forward this is going to be a problem methinks. If I get lucky, I can party with Mousie because she is cool with farming with me, but she has limits to her playing time so she is not often available. Of course I can always drag my beast out to farm/level, but that takes me away from the bard that benefits my Dynamis LS… Life will be so much easier when I can get back to working my thief. I do have plenty of stuff I can craft or fish or make supplies with if I take the time away from leveling, but I want to hit 80 ASAP so I am as useful as possible.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

C'mon baby, don't fear the reaper...

So I'm on last night trying to unlock 76, and I'm about to go out and solo it on beast (needing only 31 XP to cap XP) when Tigerelf from SK mentions he's in an LS party that's 5/6 72 level sync at Mamool. I had checked Unsocial out 1st but the only one on was Usul in regular Xarc, not where you want to XP at 75 you know? So I figure what the hell and decide to join the SK party. I decide to switch to bard tho’ as it works better in parties, they don’t have a healer, and a little voice in the back of my brain is saying 6 /dancer ain’t gonna get it done. Good idea.

From the start I have reasons for misgivings. Turns out our sync is actually AFK for the entire time he’s there getting XP on a free ride. I don’t mind that if I know that I’m carrying someone before I come out, but it seems rude not to mention it before I join, at least to me. Despite having 4 active guys /dancer Drain Samba isn’t up half the time, a major no-no unless you are XPing off undead. Guys actually die while I’m changing gear to bard melee gear (relic body). Yes, I know I’m /white mage and should have healed them but I was told when I came out that they were taking care of it and I could have come melee so I just wasn’t watching that close; and I’m not that good of a healer on /whm due to low MP and low spells at 75 since mobs can 1 hit for more than Cure III can recover. The samurai/dancer was pulling, ok, he DOES have the bow and all…

Shortly after I get there (maybe an hour?) the sync disconnects and we are now 75, but 5 manning. We had to 5-man entirely too much. When we got our 6th (Krazytrane) he pulled an NM and we wiped. Dorm refused to get up without a Raise III so we had to 5-man with him down, slowing our XP. We managed to get enough XP to more than cover the hit he would have taken from the Raise 1.5 Hymnus gives in the almost 60 minutes he stayed down, and had he been up he probably would have been enough to add 12-1500 XP through his damage output during that time. Whatever, I’m a big believer in taking whatever raise is available and getting more XP, you are earning 0 XP, gil, skill-ups or whatever you are after while you lie there waiting to save 8-1600 XP.

The tank leaves and we get a 2nd bard. Fine with me, 2 bard parties are usually fast. I end up taking over pulling when the samurai leaves and things go wrong. Someone else zoned a bunch of mamool and our party grabbed one that I hadn’t pulled so we had too many mobs, another wipe. I go back to WG to change to /ninja as I’m more comfortable that way when I’m pulling. Turns out the other bard had come /nin (I didn’t know since the taru had MP comparable to mine) so now we had no healer (I did mention our /dancer guys weren’t keeping drain up).

I suppose I should mention that the area was tremendously overcrowded and I was forced to pull Wyverns as the only prey available. We were there before all of them, so courtesy should have had the other groups moving out of our area but courtesy took a flying leap from the game years ago… I spent more time fighting for pulls than I care to.

In any event, I changed to /nin, and the other bard changes to /whm, pulling goes much faster and the XP finally starts to flow. So now Usul shows up with a couple friends of mine in tow that I KNOW are good players (my party was not playing reliably, unannounced AFK, no sambas, lack of consistency, etc.). Rather than moving deeper into the zone they decide to set up shop right on top of us and the other party I’ve been competing with for a couple of hours for mobs. Now we have 3 parties in an area that is strained to support 2. At this point the more charming side of my personality comes out. I am very civil usually, so lack of common courtesy infuriates me. When I’ve been putting up with it for 2.5 hours on top of dealing with a weak party I let it out, getting into a verbal shouting match with Usul (who you may remember from earlier posts is a bud).

Let’s put it this way, when I 1st came out my bard needed 7k XP to cap and another 7k to get the merit I need to unlock 76. In 2.5 hours I have 12k, that’s with using a charge on an emporer’s band and a charge from my anniversary ring. In this same area with a decent party I would have had about 35k (without XP rings) considering I had to compete with another pt for desireable enemies. I get invited to change groups and I’m tempted. However, my pt is all SK which is my social shell and I don’t want to create ill will there, and by the time I get the invite I only need 700 points to get that merit I need and I plan to log after. So I stay put, take care of business, unlock 76 and log out needing 1 XP to get my new level.

Hopefully, I can get together with Usul’s group tonite. If nothing else it’s got to be better for my blood pressure…

Monday, June 7, 2010

I have become comfortably numb...

Sorry, been too long since my last post.

I've been leveling on several jobs as I work on the subs for the new level cap due sometime this month (at least the 1st stage). There's alot of speculation as to how this will be handled in game, but SE has been able to keep it pretty quiet so far, and not confirming anything that's been rumored, so most of what you are hearing is speculation.

I've gotten both black and red mage to 25 last week preperatory to leveling white mage. I guess this is a good time to talk about the mechanics of XPing. XP is gained whenever you kill an XP-elligible enemy (one that isn't "too weak to be worthwhile"). You can also get XP scrolls as rewards for specific quest or as drops in Dynamis Xarcaband or for participating in Beseiged and Campaign battles and certain quests/battlefields. You also lose XP if you die (in most areas outside certain battlefields). Gain sufficient XP and you gain a level, lose too much and goodbye level. Simple.

Now as most people know you can get XP solo or in groups. Technically, even solo is a party-a party of one-but you get the idea. As you've probably realized different jobs have different abilities; because of that their survival potential varies, meaning some jobs almost have to level in groups. As an example, my bard doesn't solo very well, but my beastmaster is probably the best solo job in the game. Conversely, my bard is one of the best party support jobs in the game, while my beastmaster can be slow to act in a fast-moving party because I have to get my pet on to the correct target before I join the fight as my pet does much more damage than my beastmaster.

Party invites have gotten heavily tainted by what goes on in end-game. Because killing Greater Colibri has become the way to level and merit and black mages are a liability against birds, they don't get party invites much anymore. Pretty stupid actualy, as against almost anything else in game black mage is the best single source of all-around damage there is. On the other hand, red mage gets invites all the time to be main healer/buffer because they are so good end-game, but before level 41 white mage is clearly superior as healer/buffer because they can make better use of their MP with AoE buffs, and they are still the best way of saving XP throughout the game due to their superior raises. But people get caught in the trap of conventional thinking...

In any event, I didn't get my 1st party invite on black mage until level 21. However, we cruised from 21-25 in 4 hours and would have gone quicker except for having a revolving door on party members. My red mage 1st sought a party at 20 and got one in 7 minutes, an invite to main heal in a 19 level sync. This party only really moved because we had a power level as I kept running out of MP. Elvaan rdm are only out-sucked by Galka rdm on the MP front. I was actually more effective in the party as a DD (and silencing worms while we did those), plus using barwatera (from my whm sub) and dia on crabs and pugils. Regardless, I eventually got both jobs to 25.

Now that I had my sub-jobs in place it was time to break my white mage back out. Now I haven't played whm main in about 2 years, but the red mage leveling has gotten me a little bit back in practice. Unfortunately, some time in the last 2 years I've become a party snob and so I hate pick-up parties. Maybe it's because for the most part I've only partied up for difficult things (ASA Final fight comes to mind) and so I don't really trust people I don't know. Whatever. What I do know is that this is going to hurt me leveling white mage, at least in terms of speed.

Before I start in on the white mage however we are supposed to do Dynamis on Friday. Ends up not happening. Although we had enough bodies to low-man a city, the job mix left something to be desired. We claimed blm shortage, but 3 blm is actually our usual. We claimed a DD shortage, but we had enough of that too. What we were actually short was healers, and those are very important, especially since heavy DD love to ignore hate control in Dynamis. It's actually a point of pride amongst some DD to be able to take hate from the tank or whatever, but the point of having a tank is that heavy DD don't take hits as well, meaning their healers have to pull massive ammounts of hate keeping these guys alive. Regardless, we had to cancel.

So we tried to do something else and help a guy with a CoP mission. Unfortunately, he had NOT progressed to where he thought he was, and had alot of prereqs to finish. By the time he was getting caught up people willing to help were logging due to the hour (the sun was coming up for Peenut) and it was just too late to realistically continue. So the fight was postponed to a time to be determined later.

I raided all of my mules for white mage spells that I already had and then I had to go shopping (like I had any $$$), so I taxed all my mules for a total of about 110k. Spells have eaten most of that, joy. So I go out and solo, starting against beastmen so I could get some $$$, working in Davoi and the basement of Delfkutts. But XP against DC and the like is slow and the tower at least is high traffic by duos working on their trial weapons or (I suspect) paid power levels, making my XPing damn near impossible. So Once I hit 38 I moved to East Altep (using my handy-dandy new Tele-Altep that has been sitting on a mule for 3 years) to do FoV on spiders.

Drop rates have been crappy, so no $ coming, but I manage to slowly improve my XP. Eventually Woochekitty comes out to join me, leveling her ninja with my whm. After some time Doncado also joins us, but he has to leave very shortly due to RL stuff. I call it a night shortly after that as I haven't been sleeping well lately and would like to catch up.

Sunday I finish up getting to level 40 on the whm, killing bats and leeches in SSG. I also farm up my scroll of Cura (saving myself about 6k tyvm); I had previously just NPC'd them as the drop rate is quite high and I had no immediate need of them. I'm actually going to have to do the same thing for flash down the road a bit as I'm told spamming Flash (and Repose) are the best ways of skilling up Divine magic. However, I've been playing alot and need to get a bunch of RL stuff done so I log shortly after.

Monday is Dynamis again, this time Jeuno. We actually had a decent run although the lag is getting to be a considerable problem. We lost 2 players during the run to disconnects that simply never came back. Personally, I suspect SE of pulling servers for retasking or simply for sale. We ran pretty well until after the win, but then people got sloppy (as frequently happens), losing focus, not obeying commands, etc. I hadn't died at all until after the win, but after that I died 3 or 4 times in rapid succession. Not fun. Oh well, now you are up to date.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Shout shout! Let it all out, these are the things I can do without...

As I mentioned at the end of the last post I needed to recap bard, turns out I was down to 17k XP, and I am not comfortable that way. So I went to Campaign. Yes, I know I could probably knock all the XP out in about an hour in a decent merit party, but bard (and red mage) is expected to do too much work in merits while everyone else does nothing but bitch if the bard's pace falls off a microsecond. Not interested except with very good friends, and I never saw enough of them at once to fill out a decent merit.

Tuesday and Wednesday I spent in campaign, mostly in the early zones where my bard/ninja is at it's most effective. I probably did half of that time solo, the rest of the time partying with Peenut and a few random SKers that dropped by. My XP really jumps in a party so I think SE did something to the system that calculates it since I used to Campaign regularly. All told I think it took me about 7 hours of playtime to recap the bard.

I had to log early on Wednesday tho'. I was on SK since Unsociables was basically unoccupied for the last week, and one of the SK dramaqueens was in full voice. Now I have two things in this world I can't stand, drama for the sake of drama and stupidity. She qualifies for both. I had to log or I was gonna snap and tell her to take it to facebook where drama is apparently de rigeur or shut the fuck up because I honestly don't care about her problem of the day. I honestly don't know how the guy who knocked her up puts up with her, she must be either extremely hot or he's extremely desperate. Whatever, I left.

I made a decision on Wednesday night after I logged. The thief is going on vacation for awhile unless I really need to farm for gil, and even that I'll prolly do on one of my 75's, maybe with thief as a sub. The next version update is approaching fast and I really need to get my subjobs up. So I'm gonna finish red and black mages to 24-25, then white mage, ninja and dancer to 49 in that order. Personally, it's more important to me to keep beastmaster capped, but for my LS's it's bard that is needed, so I'll work my bard subs 1st. This is assuming that Dynamis will not be capped at 75. For that matter, the level cap is supposed to go up in stages, and I have no idea what size the stages are. I don't even know exactly how 76-99 are going to work spell or ability-wise. Beast is just job ability driven but bard needs to get their songs from scrolls and I don't know how those will be acquired. In addition, the current merit system is supposed to stay in place, but a new one post-99 is also supposed to be rolled out. We'll just have to wait and see...

Thursday I reequipped the red mage and went out to do some FoV. I got to 19, then had to shift some gear. I also had to turn in some items for leather guild points. Tonight's Dynamis so I doubt I'll be doing anything on the red mage front, but I fully expect to have red and black at 25ish and be working the whitemage before the holiday weekend is up.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One more sacrifice to the machine!

Done a few dynamis now with our new guys, one of whom-Bloodyaries-has been there for all 3 runs since joining, meaning he now has 3 city wins in his 1st 3 runs. Actually, we had the same luck when I first joined, the difference being they didn't do 3 city runs back-to-back so I had to sit out a couple. All told tho' we have been doing well. A few more deaths than I like from wipes, but we have been trying some new things too that even the vets are not practiced at.

Friday was Bastok, and it was probably one of the smoothest runs in a year. The only thing that went wrong is that Fash hasn't pulled this zone before and we missed a TE (one of those pops that hides behind a pillar at the AH). However, since the whole area was clear we managed to get it and keep going. I really like Fash's pulling, he keeps them manageable and at a decent pace, at least those that aren't designed to be hell. Consequently, we live. We have had some bad luck in Bastok for awhile now so the win was good for morale too. Bastok used to be an automatic win for us for a long time and I think this makes 2 in a row there now.

Saturday I played with the thief again. FoV on Antican Secutors and Lanistas until 61. I don't actually like doing them at all because of the distance from the FoV book. Curing waltz 2 helps alot tho', the only problem being I didn't leave waltz 1 in the macro for when I don't have the TP (or sync down) so if I need one right after a WS I'm kinda screwed. Easily fixed however. I moved to Castle Ostroya to get buffer XP. Kills are relatively quick even without NPC and I make a better profit. I logged after I finished getting my buffer and took some cracks at my DVR.

Sunday I didn't play long but I took my 61 solo thief to campaign. Imagine my surprise when I was actually hitting fairly often and my SATAWS was working too. Of course I died but with no XP loss on death who cares? I did 3 battles and picked up about 3k XP. Not as fast as a good XP party and you cannot get skill-ups at all in Campaign so I need to ration my time there, but it looks like that will be what I do while seeking. Although I can certainly do skill-ups in Kuftal solo or with NPC now to get my ranged up.

Monday did not start well. I started gardening again some time ago and my cactus stems were finally ready to harvest. I followed the recipie for the Adamant ingots but lo and behold Earthsday was the only day NOT included in the full moon. So I harvest as close to full as I can get (waxing gibbous 2% short of full) and I got 39 and 42 little worms respectively. Guess it's time to fish a bit huh? I still have 6 pots of tree cuttings to finish yet, but those should just yield saplings, prolly 6. Tree cuttings are frustrating that way, they take forever and then you have to plant them a 2nd time, that takes even longer. No yield results in the adamant ingot that I need for the last stage of my Gobbiebag either.

So Monday night is Dynamis again, this time Windy. I already said we won, so no surprise there. We did wipe a few times from trying to kill the Summoner house and one other set. The icons were sleep happy last night. That is very annoying as we'll do 7 runs without them trying to sleep us once and then like last night they sleep us 3 times a pull. Not fun to be slept, knowing you could do something if you could just move at all. Personally, I was praying to be hit with a Diaga or Poisonga but of course that wasn't happening. The coolest thing was that on the last pull the last 2 mobs dropped thief bonnets (which look like black baby bonnets) so I got my 3rd thief relic. It also means that when I hit the 70s I won't need to use any of my expansion gear as thief which is good as I went all beast on the builds; the base stats are helpful for an elvan thief, but the relic is better.

With all the death the last 3 runs I'm going to need to XP the bard again so don't expect alot of thief progress for awhile. I also need to scramble to level my whm, nin and dnc subs before the level cap increase in a few weeks. I expect to be on alot the next few weeks.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Do the hustle!

Been a few days obviously. Monday was Dynamis, we ended up doing Sandoria. The good news is we got some new faces again. Recruiting has been hard lately, and we had been a down on our luck LS for quite some time with more members leaving than joining, so this is a good trend. Now one of these members, Bloodyaries, has been expected as some of us SK peeps have been talking up ND and the times work for him. Apparently there are 2 more guys in BA’s regular group looking to join and that is to the good (a blm and an rdm iirc, and they should both be full-time members).

Bit of a rough run actually. Sure we got the win, but we had a few more wipes than I’m comfortable with. Our new guys were still learning the ropes, but that wasn’t why we had wipes. I think it was due to 2 things, lack of red mages and size of pulls. I had to roll with the blms as our only other refresh option would be Creaper’s corsair. We actually had 6 of the summoners at 1 time, which we never do, largest I’ve seen before was 4 at once-hell, even the night I pulled we were only doing 2 at once... So it was interesting. It always bodes well when we get new guys a win on their 1st run too, so that was gratifying.

Tuesday I had to go to the doctor, turns out my bronchitis never went away, or at least that’s the present suspicion. Meds make me a bit loopy. Did do some XP farming in Davoi, had a nice chat with a friend but I had to log early. Hallucinations are probably not a good thing when you are trying to pay attention.

Wednesday I was going to enter later, but the Internet went down for at least an hour (I stopped checking after that) so I went and watched TV. Stupid, since I should have been cleaning my kitchen instead but what the hell.

So we get to last night. I was going to Campaign at 1st now that my thief is 60, and I spent a fair amount of time looking for thief campaign guides, unsuccessfully as it turned out. SATA is gonna be a bit tricky since you usually solo Campaign, and on top of that the mobs move, a lot so there is no guarantee of even getting that off. I’d also be hamstrung waiting for raises as I won’t just spam Reraise earrings, and if I can’t connect reliably my dancer sub may not be able to do much to heal me.

I decided to XP farm instead with my NPC in Davoi. Ran into a string of bad luck on the 2nd mob we faced, an Orc Dark; it hit my NPC for a lot of damage, stunned her, did an absorb TP on me, I did a Weapon skill (still had about 173 TP after the absorb), hit her with a 2nd stun and promptly did a 1-shot critical hit that killed her as I tried to heal her. My NPC was clearly NOT going to have any luck that night. So I took Mousie up on an offer to sync to 42 in East Ronafure (S) on birds. I switched to /ninja as Mousie was Dancer main. I was puller, although birds are easy to pull as they don’t link or aggro and a bunch of them spawn in a very small radius from camp. Hate control was a problem from the get-go as warrior is not a great tank beyond level 35 or so and Usul was getting hit for a bunch of damage. Mousie kept pulling hate by curing and I was pulling it off both of them by SATAing myself. We still managed to not die at all, and everyone leveled except me (however I needed a lot more XP for my next level than they did, so that was to be expected). Oakami even brought his summoner towards the end and got a level.

Tonight is Dynamis again; it’ll be interesting to see how many of the new people show, as how often you show up when you 1st join ND is a fairly good indicator for how dedicated to the shell a new member will actually be. We haven’t really been enforcing the probationary rules because so much of the relic that drops all the vets have, and we would much rather see someone get the drop than letting it go to the floor just because they are all probationary.

Monday, May 17, 2010

It’s better to burn out than to fade away!

So, a full week since last post, bet you thought I forgot about you. I didn’t. This blog is about my gaming adventures and I just haven’t been on much. Yep, I was burning out and needed a break. I picked a great time to restart gardening in the game, huh? For those who don’t know, you have to check your plants every RL day or they can get sickly and eventually FAIL to push up daisies, so to speak. Hopefully, the tree cuttings and cactus stems are a bit more resilient that way.

This isn’t to say that I wasn’t on at all, I was. Last Monday was Dynamis Xarc farming. I did my commentary on the NewDawn site tho’ so I needn’t repeat it here. Lemme just say, if you are on Caitsith, looking for a Monday and/or Friday evening shell and not a complete and total fucking idiot or asshole (I am the asshole of ND and it consists of my calling YOU a complete and total fucking idiot) look us up, we like new peeps. Tuesday and Wednesday I just didn’t stay on long at all.

Thursday I started out doing a bit of XP farming (XPing off mobs that drop crap of value or cash but tend not to be above DC, mostly EP) on the thief. I don’t even have my seek flag up. I’m not very far along, maybe 20 kills, when I get an invite to a party in a level appropriate place. I almost shit my pants. I mean you have all seen my obvious frustration with the constant level sync and thief doesn’t get invites and the server is LOADED with leveling thieves anyway. So to get an invite out of nowhere from someone I am only vaguely acquainted with just threw me.

So I headed out to Whitegate and got invited only to find I’m now 2/6. Now I was a bit miffed about this because Usul had just asked if I could sub for him in Nyzul and I declined because of the party invite which I might not have had I known that he didn’t actually have a party. I see Mrcaldwell is in Al Zabhi so I zone in- only to find myself in Beseiged. OK, a bit of free XP and maybe a skill-up or 2 so I go nuts spamming attacks and using AoE buff items, die like 8 times, the usual for a level 59 melee fighting level 80+ mobs when there is no fear of losing XP. After Beseiged we flesh out the party and head to birdville. I hate doing birds, but they are the quickest XP at this level for a party and at several level ranges later on. The party went through several different line-ups, but it stayed together long enough for me to hit level 60. Now I need to practice using assassin and Trick Attack separately from Sneak Attack and Dancing Edge; I assume I SA+DE 1st to get a hate spike, then TA the tank to give it to him, but we’ll see what works.

Friday was of course Dynamis again. I was late as I had to take my Father-who is blind-to the airport and his flight time was wrong. However, we were late starting and I have a perfect 2 year attendance record with the shell so it was a no-harm no-foul thing. We ended up doing Windy. Things were going fairly well I thought until we had to do the summoner NM sac pull. Something went wrong-I’m not in the sac pull grouping so I couldn’t say what- and we blew the pull. Well, I tried to redo the sac pull, but we just confirmed that bard cannot do it, Flee is required (maybe bard/thief might work), so I died with only minimal success. We ended up doing a fight to a controlled wipe (death of all participants), then finishing the strays off. Unfortunately, with the multiple wipes we just ran out of time. I’m not sure why, but I’ve been taking on more of a leadership role in Dynamis, this is a good and a bad thing. Truth is, I’m not a very good leader; I get to frustrated when people do something wrong and I know it shows which is a problem since I don’t believe in public criticism or reprimands unless something is SO egregious as to warrant punishment. On the other hand, I’m taking some of the load off Oakami our run leader which I know helps him to avoid burn-out (a risk for any kind of leader).

Saturday I decided to work on recapping my bard’s XP. With all the Dynamis and leveling other jobs I was down to an 18k XP buffer, which is lower than I’m comfortable with; for end-game activities I always like to keep a minimum of 20k in my buffer. So I decide to campaign. Considering I’ve been working on lower levels I haven’t been doing campaign, so I start off by giving up my current medal. Now that I’m 60 on thief I’ll be in campaign a good bit again, but obviously that is a recent development. Well, the XP isn’t kind, nor are the drops, so I decide to do something else. Attowah Chasm farming scorpions, but I decide to get my map 1st. I do the fight for the map, but by now the burn-out thing is back and I log for the day.

Sunday I finish the map quest and start to farm scorpions as bard/ninja. Luck is not with me however and I get a reminder that I should have had my NPC with me, or come bard/beast. Mousie is on and so after my death I decide to join her in a level sync (everything on my bard is at skill cap except parry so the sync doesn’t bother me). We only need 1 page of FoV to get her ninja to 50. About this time Usul is available and we decide to go kill puks for XP. We powered through Puks for about 2 hours, but by this time Mousie’s ass has fallen asleep and I have a bunch of RL stuff to do (laundry, grocery shopping, etc) so we log. I intended to come back later, but recuperating from an insomnia bout on Saturday night catches up with me and I pass out on the couch watching Terminator Salvation.

The last episode of The Pacific aired on Sunday. It was very good. The ending was sad though. They showed the people portrayed in the series and a very brief bio of each, of all the people they showed I think only 3 were still alive. That’s with only 2 of the people dead in combat (in the summary, obviously many of those characters that were shown dying in combat weren’t in the summary). Those who wrote the books the series was based on obviously survived the war (few unsolicited books ever being published posthumously), but it’s still sad that so few people remain from an event that helped define the 20th century. They did a good job of showing the aftermath of the war on those who fought it and on those who loved them. They didn’t show the parades and the parties and such, some soldiers got those, but the majority did not; they were too busy with the clean-up and the other tasks that are never talked about in the aftermath of a war to be in time for the party. A fair showing all told I think.