Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ramble On!

Trying to get 75 in a hurry when you really have no interest in the intervening levels can cause some problems for you.

When I was leveling bard I was able to carry over a lot of my gear from my quite well equipped beast. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case with thief. You see, beast and bard are primarily driven by Charisma, but thief needs Dexterity and Agility and the combat skill of accuracy, all of which are weak points for Elves. Now I do have a fair amount of decent gear to 50 for all of those problems, but then there is a long gap to cover until the 70s.

I have a few items from Shdwatch I can use, and I’ve made thief my Dynamis alternate lot so I should be ok once I hit those levels. Other than that I have a couple items I can quest and my artifact gear to carry me through to those levels. Now most people tend to think the AF armors are largely useless because there are better pieces available. That’s true if you make it your mission to have the best gear at every level. I just don’t think that’s a great idea. The idea is to get past those intervening levels as fast as possible, so investing significant money in gear seems kind of stupid to me. The fact is AF armor is designed to complement your job and while there are some specific pieces that might be better, using AF will lead to a decent character in the interim.

In any event, I decided to get my AF before I level anymore on thief. Now you have to be on thief to trigger the various quests, that’s not a problem, but you have to be on thief to pop your coffers, that IS a problem. To survive in those areas you need to be in your 70s solo, and trying to pop coffers with tools and such is a good way to have your face eaten by a mimic. So you need to farm keys… Let’s see, my level 50 thief with no buffer against level 68 mobs that like to stay in linking range…; where do I sign up? Sure I could take my beast or bard out to farm the keys, but even sub thief I would only have Treasure Hunter 1, which has no effect on rare/exclusive drops anyway. I did use my beast to get my Davoi coffer key, but it took something well over 50 kills to get it. Beast 75 makes very short work of Sparky for those who don’t know.

Now I had a Zvahl coffer key lying around the Mog house collecting dust so I decided to pop the coffer while I was in Castle Z anyway. This is how I was reminded that I have to be thief to pop the coffer, although the 11,520 gil was a nice consolation for being an idiot. I logged over to the Unsociables and chatted with Mousie about what was going on, as we are somewhat a static duo for leveling. She was just finishing up what she was doing and generously offered to help farm coffer keys and bodyguard me in popping them along with Usul’s help as well. I of course offered to help with her AF in turn when she wants to go.

As an aside, I should probably introduce you to some of these people I’m continually naming. Mousie is the owner of NewDawn, the Dynamis LS I run with (Monday and Friday 8pm EDT, Caitsith, look us up), and just has become a good friend in general. Usul is a sack in ND and the de facto run leader. Doncado is the owner of the SuicideKings shell, my social LS and is also a sack and leader in ND. Woochekitty is a sack in SK and a member of ND, she and Doncado are also RL husband and wife and tend to usually be a duo in the game. The other people I’ve mentioned are mostly members of these various shells. In fact, I am the owner of Futility, a dedicated CoP shell for helping folks get through that most annoying of mission lines and a sack in GuardiansofHonor, a social shell that suffers whenever Dessie, our leader takes a protracted absence from the game which she has done often the last few years. In these other shells I am a lay member with no official leadership duties, which is probably a good thing since I get nasty when I am a leader and am confronted with people who don’t follow directions. Enough of this…

Now Mousie is already a 75 thief and between her level and gear has Treasure Hunter 4 (the highest possible being 5 as of now) which does help with rare/exclusive drops. So we head out for Castle Ostroya to see about my AF there. Naturally, there is competition when we get there, although I am lucky enough to find the coffer in an accessible location. We got the key in fairly short order in terms of kills, but it took a good bit of time waiting for repops what with the competition. I popped my coffer and got my culottes (what a butt-ugly piece of clothing). My helpers want to keep helping so we were off to Castle Z. This doesn’t go quite as well. Usul had some issue where he didn’t engage a monster and we had hate on 2 and a pet. Well after Usul went down his playmate turned to me. I believe I already mentioned the level gap? Well the results are fairly predictable and I end up worm food. How Mousie survived I have no idea. Well Usul came back and raised me, saving my level. Mousie bit off a bit much while soloing some bad guys and damn near died, but she eventually got through it. The key eventually drops and in the course of getting it we eliminated most of the possible coffer spawns. I found the coffer and the bad guys were conveniently far away so I popped it and warped home.

Thanked the guys and I logged for some mulled wine and a meal of Italian sausage with peppers and onions over mostaccolli tossed in a vinaigrette, yum!

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