Friday, April 23, 2010

Follow mine leader!

I actually managed a Blue thunder reference, I'm so proud...

Futility is my CoP Linkshell, as I believe I’ve mentioned before. The idea to do a shell as opposed to a static party is quite deliberate. A static party is a group of 6 people dedicated achieving a single goal at set times for whoever the static is formed to benefit (often, more experienced/progressed players will form a group to carry a few needy people through whatever). This is all fine and good, but it isn’t exactly flexible, although it tends to be very organized and focussed. The LS on the other hand is meant to be flexible and less organized by design.

The shell is meant to make this more like a social LS helping members than a static group. Ideally, members will be needy people, veterans willing to help and hopefully leaders who can expand available run-times beyond the Thursday evening, Saturday afternoon and Sunday mornings I have established for runs I will manage. The lowest progressed guy in the CoP mission line determines which run will be done, and all shell members are required to be willing to back-track to help. The primary goal is to get everyone past Diablos for Dynamis Dreamlands access, the secondary goal is to get everyone sea/Limbus access. Both of these end-game activities are popular and have rewards that make them worthwhile, but few groups really seem determined to get people qualified to do them. CoP has never been easy to get through as the missions are very annoying and few people are willing to face them again. This may change if the level-cap is removed as advertised. Members are expected to do their cut-scenes and easily soloed missions on their own time, coming ready for the fight at run times.

Unfortunately, missions like these do have a cost for helpers too. Reraise items, food, meds, none of these are free so this is not an insignificant commitment. This also lowers the appeal for helpers/leaders to join. And let’s face it, losing the time to work on your own character is probably the biggest cost of all.

Now I am not the most qualified guy to lead these missions that you will find. I do not have maps for many of the areas as they are quested items that hardly anyone does. I have not carried groups through before either, merely being a participant. I don’t have a large selection of jobs either to flesh out parties. Nonetheless, I am willing to do what needs doing, and those who have offered to help are all great people. The shell is supposed to make this a step above a pick-up party; we will all develop a degree of “chemistry” with the other players in the shell so we can better work together on the tougher missions.

Now I have had problems with attendance with this shell since I had to take a break due to some real-life activities, nothing bad, just family stuff with a sister coming back from Hong Kong and another who was about to have her 1st child. Those have since resolved and I have been trying to revive the shell through my social and Dynamis shells (this is very much a “word of mouth” operation). Unfortunately, for the last couple weeks noone has been showing up at run times. That changed last night.

Laro got my name from Laili, a player in NewDawn, and I pearled him over the weekend. Well he actually showed up last night. Unfortunately, all of my normal helpers were unavailable, most not even logged in. Noone in my social LS was available to help either. So unfortunately Laro ended up getting the other 4 helpers because I got nothing (although I did ask around), not an auspicious entrance to the LS for what I wanted to show to a new guy. Now Laro’s progress was… weird. He got to mission 2-3 with pick-up partys, and he managed to beat the Minotaur. Now for whatever reason the pick-up party didn’t get him through the torch door?! VERY strange. So all we did last night is help him kill a few stegotaurs and body-guard him incase we got blood agro from fomors (luckily everyone had hate within reason, as fomor start to detect even through Sneak if your hate is high enough). Well we finished his mission easily and he went off to get his cutscenes. I told him to be ready for mammets (barring anyone else showing up) if he can be ready for Saturday afternoon.

Now both before and after last night’s CoP I was working on leveling thief. Initially, I was soloing scorpions and goblins on FoV in West Altep. Mousie offered to join me for a duo with her dragoon after the CoP run which I thought was damn decent of her. I consult the Dancer solo guide for my level since I am unaware of any thief solo guides. The suggestion of Werebats in Bostaniauex Obuilette seems doable. We decide to go and work on them. Well, we get to camp, I neglect to tell Mousie it is a very good camp as we are maybe 8 steps from a zone line. Things go well until one bat out of hell eats Mousie’s face. After RR is when she finds how close the zone line is, again, my bad. Well Usul comes to power level us (a higher level player with healing abilities who stays outside party and heals members of party, may or may not tank as well). The only problem is now the kills are too quick. There are only 5 bats by camp and we are killing them much too fast now to maintain a cycle, so the XP suffers. I do manage to cap throwing and pick up 5 of 10 needed levels on marksmanship, so that’s good. We study some of the other solo guides, mostly due to a lack of duo/trio guides and get some ideas. However, it’s already about 10 minutes to midnight central and I still need food before bed so we call it a night.

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