Thursday, March 18, 2010

Have you heard about the lonesome loser?...

I had to call in sick to work yesterday (nosebleeds, plural, you don’t wanna know) and I can’t really do anything because every time I do here comes the gusher. Well, noone ever described FFXI as strenuous (well, unless it was sarcastically) so why not?

I had just reshuffled my Noct gear over, not really needing my Mercenaries Captain stuff since my melee skills are already capped, probably until at least level 50 defensively and 70ish offensively, excepting ranged skills. For those who don’t play I’ll give you a crash course. In addition to having a job level and a sub-job level you also get skill levels in various things and the combat/magic skills have a cap at each job level. Different jobs are better at different skills (a warrior will be better at swinging a sword than a mage but will have no real skill at any type of magic, etc.) so the cap varies a bit, but you get the general idea. When you hear me referencing skilling-up something you do that by using the skill in question, successfully.

In any event, my dagger and evasion are capped as a 75 bard which I think is about the same as a 70-71 thief’s skill cap. On the other hand, my throwing is at 109 (fairly close to level) and my marksmanship is at level 40 starting the day, suffice it to say, a bit off the cap. I head out to skill-up and XP. Continuing the crash course, when you skill-up a combat skill—done by fighting a hostile whatever—you can only skill as high as the cap for that level monster. So, if I’m a 37 thief fighting a 37 goblin that’s an even match and I can skill all the way to the level 37 skill cap of let’s say 110. However, if I’m a 42 thief fighting a level 37 goblin I can’t get better than a 37 thief. The problem is as levels rise even match monsters are increasingly capable of kicking your ass, especially if your skills aren’t up to par.

Now I can hear the masses out there yelling at their screen telling me to sub ninja. My reply is “ARE YOU NUTS?!”. A thief/ninja has 2 choices for healing, potions and bloody bolts. Potions aren’t really viable, they don’t stack, they really don’t heal very much, and they cost money. Conversely, I can’t hit my target more than 1 time in 15 with a crossbow. Hello? That’s why I’m out here? Is anyone paying attention? So I sub dancer. This works fairly well.

The problem is, when you are so far below your level you miss… a lot. In addition, you do NOT skill-up on every successful attempt. There are 99 bolts in a quiver. It took me 11 quivers to get to level 113 on cross-bow, and I still haven’t capped it. That’s 1098 bolts fired. I may be crafting sooner than I think. And these things are NOT free. At least I can craft most of the bolt heads (the exception being bloody bolt heads, the most expensive of the bunch), and if I can pick the right days I can HQ (meaning getting extra) fairly often.

Now as I approach getting marksmanship to match my current job level I need to fight harder monsters, making survival an issue. So I try my NPC set to tanking mode. It might have worked, but one of the monsters on the FoV page I decided to do is a doll-type. Well, its 1st special move was of course Meltdown. By the time I notice he’s started the move I have no real chance of running away and my NPC won’t run away so I switch to sleep bolts in hopes of interrupting the special. Of course I miss, boom, dead. I seek a party for awhile, but I’m actually fairly tired of the game for today, so I decide to log for the day.

Now bloodloss, especially when you end up swallowing it leaves you nauseous, meaning St. Patty’s day or not, no stout or corn beef for me. Nothing decent on the tv either, certainly nothing Irish for the holiday unless I want to watch HGTV or the Fashion channel or something and I haven’t lost THAT much blood. Lovely…

Slonshall you lucky bastards!

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