Monday, June 7, 2010

I have become comfortably numb...

Sorry, been too long since my last post.

I've been leveling on several jobs as I work on the subs for the new level cap due sometime this month (at least the 1st stage). There's alot of speculation as to how this will be handled in game, but SE has been able to keep it pretty quiet so far, and not confirming anything that's been rumored, so most of what you are hearing is speculation.

I've gotten both black and red mage to 25 last week preperatory to leveling white mage. I guess this is a good time to talk about the mechanics of XPing. XP is gained whenever you kill an XP-elligible enemy (one that isn't "too weak to be worthwhile"). You can also get XP scrolls as rewards for specific quest or as drops in Dynamis Xarcaband or for participating in Beseiged and Campaign battles and certain quests/battlefields. You also lose XP if you die (in most areas outside certain battlefields). Gain sufficient XP and you gain a level, lose too much and goodbye level. Simple.

Now as most people know you can get XP solo or in groups. Technically, even solo is a party-a party of one-but you get the idea. As you've probably realized different jobs have different abilities; because of that their survival potential varies, meaning some jobs almost have to level in groups. As an example, my bard doesn't solo very well, but my beastmaster is probably the best solo job in the game. Conversely, my bard is one of the best party support jobs in the game, while my beastmaster can be slow to act in a fast-moving party because I have to get my pet on to the correct target before I join the fight as my pet does much more damage than my beastmaster.

Party invites have gotten heavily tainted by what goes on in end-game. Because killing Greater Colibri has become the way to level and merit and black mages are a liability against birds, they don't get party invites much anymore. Pretty stupid actualy, as against almost anything else in game black mage is the best single source of all-around damage there is. On the other hand, red mage gets invites all the time to be main healer/buffer because they are so good end-game, but before level 41 white mage is clearly superior as healer/buffer because they can make better use of their MP with AoE buffs, and they are still the best way of saving XP throughout the game due to their superior raises. But people get caught in the trap of conventional thinking...

In any event, I didn't get my 1st party invite on black mage until level 21. However, we cruised from 21-25 in 4 hours and would have gone quicker except for having a revolving door on party members. My red mage 1st sought a party at 20 and got one in 7 minutes, an invite to main heal in a 19 level sync. This party only really moved because we had a power level as I kept running out of MP. Elvaan rdm are only out-sucked by Galka rdm on the MP front. I was actually more effective in the party as a DD (and silencing worms while we did those), plus using barwatera (from my whm sub) and dia on crabs and pugils. Regardless, I eventually got both jobs to 25.

Now that I had my sub-jobs in place it was time to break my white mage back out. Now I haven't played whm main in about 2 years, but the red mage leveling has gotten me a little bit back in practice. Unfortunately, some time in the last 2 years I've become a party snob and so I hate pick-up parties. Maybe it's because for the most part I've only partied up for difficult things (ASA Final fight comes to mind) and so I don't really trust people I don't know. Whatever. What I do know is that this is going to hurt me leveling white mage, at least in terms of speed.

Before I start in on the white mage however we are supposed to do Dynamis on Friday. Ends up not happening. Although we had enough bodies to low-man a city, the job mix left something to be desired. We claimed blm shortage, but 3 blm is actually our usual. We claimed a DD shortage, but we had enough of that too. What we were actually short was healers, and those are very important, especially since heavy DD love to ignore hate control in Dynamis. It's actually a point of pride amongst some DD to be able to take hate from the tank or whatever, but the point of having a tank is that heavy DD don't take hits as well, meaning their healers have to pull massive ammounts of hate keeping these guys alive. Regardless, we had to cancel.

So we tried to do something else and help a guy with a CoP mission. Unfortunately, he had NOT progressed to where he thought he was, and had alot of prereqs to finish. By the time he was getting caught up people willing to help were logging due to the hour (the sun was coming up for Peenut) and it was just too late to realistically continue. So the fight was postponed to a time to be determined later.

I raided all of my mules for white mage spells that I already had and then I had to go shopping (like I had any $$$), so I taxed all my mules for a total of about 110k. Spells have eaten most of that, joy. So I go out and solo, starting against beastmen so I could get some $$$, working in Davoi and the basement of Delfkutts. But XP against DC and the like is slow and the tower at least is high traffic by duos working on their trial weapons or (I suspect) paid power levels, making my XPing damn near impossible. So Once I hit 38 I moved to East Altep (using my handy-dandy new Tele-Altep that has been sitting on a mule for 3 years) to do FoV on spiders.

Drop rates have been crappy, so no $ coming, but I manage to slowly improve my XP. Eventually Woochekitty comes out to join me, leveling her ninja with my whm. After some time Doncado also joins us, but he has to leave very shortly due to RL stuff. I call it a night shortly after that as I haven't been sleeping well lately and would like to catch up.

Sunday I finish up getting to level 40 on the whm, killing bats and leeches in SSG. I also farm up my scroll of Cura (saving myself about 6k tyvm); I had previously just NPC'd them as the drop rate is quite high and I had no immediate need of them. I'm actually going to have to do the same thing for flash down the road a bit as I'm told spamming Flash (and Repose) are the best ways of skilling up Divine magic. However, I've been playing alot and need to get a bunch of RL stuff done so I log shortly after.

Monday is Dynamis again, this time Jeuno. We actually had a decent run although the lag is getting to be a considerable problem. We lost 2 players during the run to disconnects that simply never came back. Personally, I suspect SE of pulling servers for retasking or simply for sale. We ran pretty well until after the win, but then people got sloppy (as frequently happens), losing focus, not obeying commands, etc. I hadn't died at all until after the win, but after that I died 3 or 4 times in rapid succession. Not fun. Oh well, now you are up to date.

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