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.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I went down to the crossroads...

Lots of stuff over the weekend.

Friday was supposed to be Dynamis but we ran into the dreaded body-count issue. I personally hate canceling runs. The worst part however is that we tried to do alternate activities. Doncado settled on helping Umbrao with part of the 3 Paths mission for CoP. For whatever reason CoP statics always seem to die at 3 Paths. So Don was trying to put a party together for that and asked me to lead a 2nd party on something else. When I asked if anyone had any needs or wants I was getting no response. People just started logging out of the LS and Don wasn’t getting a full party because so many are unwilling to have anything to do with level-capped missions. Not exactly a shining example of “team spirit” if you catch my meaning. I ended up joining Don’s group because I had some utility in the fights he wanted to do.

This really illustrates one of my pet peeves. People in the game frequently will only do things if there is some benefit in it for themselves, and it shows a lack of foresight on their part. Using the above example, it clearly never occurred to the people that just disappeared that they might want to do sea or Limbus with Umbrao someday, because until he is further in CoP he doesn’t have access. If people were willing to help maybe we get him further along; hopefully he remembers those that weren’t willing to help when someone is looking for a party there and needs him to flesh out the group. I’m not saying that you have to always be willing to help but this was scheduled NewDawn time; it should have been spent helping with ND members.

Ok, enough with the rant du jour. Saturday, I started out with my red mage and trying to work more towards level 20 (my next major gear swap and spell shopping trip). For whatever reason, a lot of people were on MUCH earlier than usual this weekend. Mousie sent me a tell when I wasn’t even looking for her as she’s never on at that time inviting me to join her and Usul on killing puks. Point of fact, Usul is killing puks, we are just there leaching XP. I had to do some major gear swapping, but I broke out the thief and joined them. I really didn’t contribute much other than my Treasure Hunter 2 ability so that we had something to sell after the fight. Mousie had to go after a bit, and eventually Usul did too. He’s right, when you start dying to critters you should be able to beat easily it’s a clue that you are not on your game. I did pick up about 10,000 XP before all was said and done.

Sunday I woke up and decided to finish thief to 59, as I only needed another 6,000 XP. Yes, I had to try to solo. Now I blew a lot of money on Friday (about 20k on stuff for Umbrao and another 40k on food, although the food will last me about 2-3 weeks of Dynamis), so I decided to kill stuff that drops money. Davoi has usually been good to me in that department when you have to solo; at that level Castle Ostroya is just too prone to links and Beadeaux is really inconveniently laid out. It’s actually just kind of a black hole on decent soloing from about 57-62 if you like killing beastmen while soloing. The kills are coming slow even with my NPC (I discussed the damage problems of my NPC and thief combo earlier, Triple Attack helps but it’s still a struggle). Merrit invites me to join him on FoV in Cape Terrigan, another XP leaching basically, but he has to leave after only 1 page and I died on that, meaning I only netted about 500 XP (not his fault). I logged for awhile, and when I came back I decided to do FoV in Western Altepa on scorpions to get shells for my bonecrafting, which still needs skill-ups before I can switch to making Demon Arrows and arrowheads. It took about 2 hours but I finally finished off the 4.5k I needed. I also finished off the weekend getting about 35k gil. Not good, but certainly not bad considering I wasn’t working on decent gil fights.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

don't look back look straight ahead, don't turn away 'til the voices say...

Was a little late getting onto the game last night, did some RL grocery shopping after work, no biggie. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. Mousie had only been on a few minutes before me. Not sure how long Usul had been on, but he was in or waiting for a Besieged when I got on. I wasn’t sure if the guys had other things planned or not but Mousie put me at ease. She still wanted to play with my thief. I dumped some inventory from the day before and headed out.

Incidentally, if you are playing thief it is VERY important not to forget that step. You are probably leveling thief to help with your income (among other reasons). Inventory space is thus very important, and even the crap drops are worth a little gil. If you don’t have much space and end up in a marathon session you can very quickly end up having to toss drops to keep room for hopefully more valuable drops. In my case, I’m carrying a boomerang around along with a crossbow and 5 different status bolts as I’m trying to keep my range skills up as well, and I had another dagger on me for when I hit level 58. I really need to clean up Glam’s inventory, but with me leveling 3 different jobs, needing to keep my bard and beast gear convenient and having a lot of r/ex stuff piled up for quests I need to do and a few crafting supplies there really isn’t a lot of space.

Now when I show up in the tunnel Usul is still doing Besieged, so it’s just Mousie and I in a duo. Now I mentioned in yesterday’s post that the crabs are a bit much to duo, but that is synced to my level. With Usul I had no choice but to do my level as he is level 75. If we fought at his level we’d be lucky to be getting 10 XP/kill. Mousie on the other hand is level 61, meaning she is just hitting the level where XP might start to suffer (crabs are ranging from Decent Challenge to Tough). She was actually capping her polearm skill with her NPC as I got there. So I do a straight party with her, and with my XP ring we probably picked up 4k XP for me before Usul got there. This is pretty respectable for the jobs we are running.

Once Usul shows up things change a bit. First off, Mousie has already capped her pole-arm skill so she has nothing else to skill up. We level sync to me as survivability of a trio is much greater than a duo at level 57, and the XP/kill is much better when all the mobs are Tough to Very Tough+. The fights do take a bit longer tho’ because our accuracy and damage are reduced; well theirs is, this is my natural level. Except for breaks for RL issues we manage to keep a more or less constant chain going. I never worry about breaking chain as staying alive is more important, but it’s nice when you can keep the chain bonus going. Of course, my XP bonus ring is used up shortly after Usul arrives, but even without it the XP is reasonable. All told I think we trio’d for about 90 minutes and I got my level, got a buffer and managed to cap throwing to the level 58 cap. By this point Mousie had to go, I wanted some supper and I think Usul did too, so we called it a night.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

it is the evening of the day...

Monday was Dynamis night again. We were supposed to be doing Xarcaband, we did eventually have the bodies for a good farming run, but probably not enough for a win. However, another shell had actually reserved Xarc on one of the voluntary scheduling sites. It seems noone is actually using those anymore, but considering the shells that just jack zones whenever they want (Straymetal, etc.) it could be argued that what’s the point if it’s just going to be ignored anyway? Interestingly, Samsara was no more prepared to enter at 8pm EDT than we were. We had entered so late on Friday that we had no chance of holding Xarc anyway. So we moved to Sandy for a farming run that we entered very late for.

The run was ok for the most part. If you look back a few posts you’ll find another post about our last Sandy run which I think went better. The main difference is in pulling. If you pull stats 1 at a time you keep the enemies safe and manageable, if you pull multiple stats to keep up the pace the safety factor goes out the window and the deaths increase. We were pulling much larger groups Monday and we had 2 full wipes plus several other fights that had significant body counts. The numbers of mobs killed was probably a bit higher on the night with the smaller pulls too. Not really that hard to figure out, if you have to wait for the whole group to recover you aren’t fighting anything. I apparently did a bad thing putting DoT on a mob we wanted to sleep. I didn’t see it, but it could easily happen with just a missed keystroke in my macros so I’m not going to argue it. The run was mediocre as far as drops.

Tuesday I called in to work. Had issues in my back (actually my chest wall muscles where they circle in to my back), very painful spasms, not fun at all. Having them today too, just at a different point in my back and chest. Started out the day in game crafting beeswax, full moon so I got pretty good results and I freed some inventory up. I then took my red mage job out and soloed to level 18. I ran into Mousie, one of my favorite people as I think I’ve mentioned. She offers to duo and I agree, but after lunch. When I get back and get changed into my thief duds Usul has also logged on. So now we decide to trio instead of duo.

We decided to go to Ulegerand Range to kill variable hares. Not usually a lot of competition there and the enemy level is right. Mixed results. We were able to kill bunnies fairly easily, but they are too close to other critters that we can’t kill at my level and so we had to keep breaking chain. All the down-time really killed XP. We decided to move to Kuftal tunnel to kill crabs. Now the crabs are higher level than the bunnies and with much better defence, but they don’t hit as hard or as fast so in a way they are better prey. But they are a very popular prey for people wanting to skill-up, which is always a major need in this era of level sync. When we got to the tunnel the place was almost deserted, but in the 1st 10 minutes we were there probably 5 people or groups showed up. We managed to keep our camp and the XP was starting to flow nicely when all of a sudden Mousie goes poof! Unfortunately, Mousie lives in the back-end of nowhere when it comes to communication technology so she has to use a satellite modem, which is not the best choice for gaming to begin with but even worse when the signal strength is not there. We gave her a good long time to try and get back but apparently it just wasn’t in the cards. Although crabs aren’t that bad, they were a bit much for a duo to handle, so eventually Usul and I decided to call it a night.

I gave Mousie my phone number some time ago in case she ever just needed to chat, and she called me about the time Usul and I were hanging it up. We had a decent conversation, although my small-talk skills are atrophied as I don’t date without a regular job. In addition, my voice has been shot since I stopped smoking (kinda like laryngitis) for the last 3 weeks and this is the longest I have spoken since that happened. I didn’t know just talking could start to hurt after awhile. So we talked, but eventually I got a business phone call and had to go, hope the Mouse doesn’t think I was being rude, I wasn’t, but my lawyer father has no concept of time or other people having lives sometimes. I look forward to talking with my friend some more soon, she’s a great lady.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Where do we go from here...

Friday was Dynamis night again, and again attendance issues. I gotta tell you tho’ that I’m happy with the way Oakami has been handling things lately (Oak has become the new de facto run leader for NewDawn). We had cancelled the last 2 runs as chronicled in recent posts and I’ll admit it got my back up a bit. Nobody who knows me in real life would ever think I have a temper, but I do. I just don’t let it out to play much because it tends to play rough. Oak decided that he was NOT canceling a 3rd run in a row and I respect that. When it comes to end-game activities like Dynamis sheer perverse bloody-mindedness has a lot to recommend it. We decided to do Jeuno, but just as a farming run. For those that don’t know, a farming run is one where you do not go after the Mega-boss (going for the win), but instead are there just to get drops.

All in all the run went fairly well. Not much relic but we got plenty of currency which will pay for the run and hopefully the next one too. Fash again demonstrated his abilities to keep pulls reasonable (for the most part, Jeuno has some pulls that just can’t really be done clean) and so deaths were not bad. I honestly think that if we needed to we could have gotten the win, not easily but we could have done it. I even got some saleable drops, so it was a good run on a personal level.

The rest of the weekend was spent working on the mage jobs. In other words, noone showed for CoP runs. I got both red and black mage to 14 on Saturday morning, so I did a big inventory reshuffle early Saturday afternoon. I also got to do one of my least favorite activities, camping an NM. Since this is the 1st time I’ve done this since starting the blog I’ll detail it a bit for you, at least how I do it. I was camping an unpopular NM in West Sarutabaruta for a Pilgrim’s Wand, which allows the holder to recoup MP quicker than they otherwise can. This means that I had no competition and had a 100% chance of success on the drop, avoiding some of the annoyances of NM camping. Just to make the task a bit more annoying, I used to have one, but I tossed it when I believed Glam would never need to level a mage job again to make room. NMs have certain conditions that have to be satisfied to pop, which vary by NM, in this case a timed lottery pop. That means that I had to run around killing the placeholders until sufficient time had passed since its last pop. I used my 75 beastmaster for widescan, a great ability for camping NMs as it lets me see all the available mobs in range and to track them instead of just having to run in circles and hope I get lucky spotting the thing. Long story short, 3 hours and I finally got the thing.

So Sunday I started out shopping for spells I’m going to need until level 20, no biggie. I also organized my inventory so I can get gear as I level out of my satchel instead of having to go to town to change. I ran some FoV pages in the highlands and picked up 2 levels, but not without some difficulty. There was a series of high-level players passing through and they were killing the prey I needed for pages, I guess just because they could. Really aggravating when you are trying to keep up some kind of cycle that works with the game clock and the FoV timer. I eventually returned to Sandy, but forgot to speak to my Moogle as I’m eligible for the last Mog House expansion quest. Definitely need to get that done.

On an unrelated note, this was a big weekend in Wisconsin for veterans. There was a free flight to take a group of World War II vets to see the new WWII memorial in Washington, rather important as we are unfortunately losing those vets to age and age-related illnesses at an increasing rate, and we took so long making a national monument to that war. In addition, we had the moving wall (the traveling Vietnam Memorial) at Lambeau Field. I can’t go to that memorial personally. I saw the original in DC once. Both my father and my 1st step-father served in Vietnam and when you look at that immense wall it is all too easy to see where-but for a little luck-another 2 names could be resident on that wall. I break down every time I even think of it. My father is one of only 2 survivors from his Marine unit, the other being a quadruple amputee, my father had a grenade fragment skim his scalp. My step-father earned his Bronze Star in the battle of Danang when he stayed in his position for the entire night after his 2 closest friends had been killed sharing the same fortification, he was wounded but he held his position. Follow that up with my watching the latest episode of The Pacific and it was a big weekend for reflection.