Friday, March 12, 2010

Running up that hill...

Leveling thief is always a pain, parties are few and far between because there are just so many people leveling thief at any time. Virtually every player wants thief for farming purposes so we almost all take a stab at it at some point.

While the folks at SE (the makers of the game) generally are pretty high on player's shit lists a while ago they saw this trend and decided to have mercy. Enter Fields of Valor at lower levels, Beseiged and Campaign for higher levels. Fields is what I'm currently working with.

Essentially, in FoV you pick a list for a scavenger hunt (kill this many of this specific mob) and you get bonus XP, $, and points that can be used for bonuses/services in the field. They can really add up. When you couple that with using an XP bonus ring your leveling rate rivals what you get in a good XP party, although nothing beats a top-flight XP party. In addition, in FoV you still skill-up as normal, not the case in Campaign. However, it can get boring like any other activity in game that you do alone.

Now I'm a guy who firmly believes in picking your battles, choosing prey that plays to your strengths. When I solo on thief my sub-job is dancer. For those who don't know, a sub-job lets you use the skills of a 2nd job in a support capacity at reduced strength. Most people sub ninja for everything melee and even a fair number of casters sub it solo. Not I. Dancer brings a couple of moves to the table, a drain effect on all melee attacks-excepting undead-, the ability to cure yourself or party members, and eventually the ability to specifically weaken enemies and to remove status ailments from yourself or your party, as long as you are hitting or at least getting hit. Of course, you don't want to sub dancer for everything, for example it's fairly useless to sub for casters until after 50 and even then only if they melee and only if the mob has MP. Too many "ifs" for me...

In any event, the great enemy of anyone depending on /dnc to keep them alive solo is paralysis, an unfortunately fairly common status effect from enemies. About the only thing that can stop a dancer from using one of its moves is paralysis or stun. So I find 1st, a level appropriate page, and then find one with mobs that don't have the ability to paralyze me. Pretty good XP all told, get about 800 from kils and 725 for the completion bonus. The problem with pages is that you can only do 1 per game day (57minutes, 40 seconds real life if I remember correctly) so the key is what time you start. If you time it right, you should be able to do 3 pages in a row before you have to wait for the clock. Granted, you can pick harder pages so that there is always a page up everytime you finish one, but the XP is actually slower that way, not to mention the greater risk.

Of course you could use the field support Reraise to accomodate the harder page, but if you die in game you lose XP, meaning you have to earn it again. Despite all my time on beast-and thus dead-I'm not a proponent of doing the same thing again, so I think I'll pass. About the only field support I routinely use is either refresh or regen (depending on the job and if any mobs have Dispell) and the food. Oh, and repatriation if I'm in a hurry when I finish up.

I'm holding off on skilling up marksmanship until 40 because I have a level 40 crossbow with some bonuses that should make it easier. Throwing I will use until I pause thief at 50. When I hit 50 I'm going to switch to leveling white mage, ninja and dancer to 50 to accomodate the new 99 level cap that will be coming soon. Both ninja and dancer use throwing (I think both are better at it than thief iirc), so that should get it capped to 50. After that, it'll just skill-up as it can, skill-ups are very fast in Dynamis. I put about 16 levels of string on in 2 runs with my bard.

Just gotta keep grinding away between all my end-game stuff.

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