31 December, 2004

Prelude of White and Black

Before I begin, a little aside on the recent events in the real world. I'm sure a good many of you have read about the tsunami that was wrecking havoc all over South East Asia, which just so happened to coincide with my return back to this end of the planet. For shame, I myself wasn't aware of this until much later (you can tell I don't read the news very often), and am now intertwining meeting up with friends here, and calling up relatives/friends/friends of relatives to try and figure out who's okay. So far, so good. I guess we just got lucky on that. So, without further ado, in lieu of the disastrous events happening here, I send my condolences and support out to those affected. Now to try and figure out how to donate to the recovery while handling a case of the flu and a splitting headache.

So, back to Vana'diel.

As some of you may have noticed, my computer's device drivers have been crashing, and as long as my FF installation CDs are here with me in Singapore, and the CDs I need to reinstall the drivers are in the United States, chances are, I probably won't be able to get any consistent FF-ing done whilst I'm here. I've already crashed too many times, and personally, I'd rather not do anything while I'd cause massive inconveniences to others. Among others, the drivers have already made a right mess of a Leviathan excursion, crashed multiple parties, including one where I crashed every single fight, not to mention all the times I log in to find myself dumped in Port Jeuno while trying to head to Bastok. In the meantime, I've been sneaking in what I can over at Ben (Glueforever's) house, as his RNG charges onwards to try and use his newfound E. Bow. ^^

Eventually, Gluey and I sat down for an xp party that finally got me my goal over the past three months- Black Mage 60. ^^

I now have a full set of both BLM AF and WHM AF with me, and with that, it's time to move onto other things. I've been giving what to do next a little bit of thought, actually. It seems that I might just make BLM my main, and take that up to 75, although I'd first want to level RDM up a bit. For now though, I'll try to get some sort of buffer going on my BLM so I can safely sell my Seer's Crown +1 (which, by the way, has served me VERY well over this period). Anyway, here's a picture of me relishing my new hat:

Just where all my hair goes in that hat is still a mystery to me...

Still, the question of what to do next looms over my head. I have some minor accomplishments, such as acquiring my Water Staff (very useful now I level up on Raptors pretty often), but in the greater scheme of things, I'm still uncertain. I guess, assuming I want to take BLM all the way to 75, I'll have to level up RDM first. However, I get the feeling that as soon as I level up RDM to any decent level (read: 37), I'll want to take it all the way to 60, and get my 3rd set of AF, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just...Traktor and Railston are already getting rather impatient for me to catch up with them for our BLM "static"...Traktor's 65 now tho, and trying to rush 155k xp to catch up with him isn't the most exciting thing in the world. Then there's SMN37, although I think I'll get my avatars first. Guess I won't be leveling up WHM anytime soon. ; ; I wonder just what Tuuf's calling is...

21 December, 2004

Progress check.

These past two days have been a race to try and get to BLM60 (and my Wizard hat!) before I had to go. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the requisite xp, and as I write, I'm only 12k tnl. That's about a day's work right there, so I'm sure it won't be long before I'm strutting around a full BLM AF set to go with my WHM. Speaking of which, it's been a very long time since I last wore my Healer's set...I kinda miss WHM...

Tried my hand once more at leveling Goldsmithing, too. Lightsday, New Moon. Twelve Mythril Sheets and six Ram Leathers. 96k worth of ingredients, not to mention 1.5k worth of crystals for 97.5k in the end. I end up succeeding five synths, break one and lose the Leather and a Sheet, and sell the Cuisses on the AH for 5k each. That's a 72.5k loss right there, all for, a WHOLE +0.1 SKILLUP POINTS.

Keeping a running tally from yesterday, I have now spent a total of 103.9k on +0.3 skillup points, bringing the extrapolated total to around 347k per skill level. Platinum is starting to look _very_ far away indeed...

I could go on about how three good parties helped me on the way to BLM59.4, but it's 4:50am, I'm tired, and I still have to pack. Let's just say that having two BLMs in a party makes for very good xp, even if one of them is absolutely clueless and made enough successful MBs to count on one hand, if even that.

And finally, to all those reading this, Merry Christmas everybody! :D

18 December, 2004

The Price of Gold.

I actually haven't been FF-ing much today. Something about final exams I need to do, including this mid-term that's actually due six hours ago. Yeah...about that...

Anyway, thanks to my trusty Vana'diel clock, I noticed it was Lightsday sometime while trying to figure out certain things, like the various symmetries of an icosahedron. In a flash, I decided I'd level up Goldsmithing, just because, well, I had accumulated over 600k, but I was reluctant to spend it on anything. Sure, it looks pretty, but ultimately, it's not going to do me any good like sitting there in my walletaru. I didn't have time to go all the way to Bastok to get Advanced Imagery support for Mythril Cuisses, so I struck it out with the one synth left- Gold Ingots. Lightsday, shades, (nearly) a full moon...I felt it was reasonably safe.

Since I really ought to get back to my take home exam, I'll summarize it for now. Fifteen Gold Ingots (and two breaks later), I achieved what I had set out to do for the night.

Yes, I'm finally 53! /cheer

Well, I'm actually Goldsmtihing 53.2 right now, after using some extra Nuggets (breaks ; ;) lying around the place. I actually did some quick calculations, just out of curiosity as to how much Goldstmithing actually costs. Right now, I spent roughly 31,400gil on those two extra +0.2, so extrapolating that out to +1.0, getting from Goldsmithing 53 to 54 will cost me approximately 157,000 gil! Actually, come to think of it, that's not _too_ bad...I think...


16 December, 2004

It's Christmas in the air! ^^

For some reason, my computer has been acting up more and more recently, and I haven't the foggiest idea why. I keep crashing every so often, particularly in towns, and while up to now, it's been just a minor inconvenience, today, things just seemed to go berserk. My computer was inexplicably shutting itself down every two minutes or so. Given the major of the Christmas quests, I almost blew my top off. Some start to a Merry Christmas, eh? >_<

Anyway, it's getting late, so I'll quickly gloss over the details of what happened. I actually ended up starting the Christmas Tree quest first from the Mithra at the West Sarutabaruta gate in Port Windurst. She told me to run all the way to the Mog House in Port Windurst (same zone) and get something for her within two hours, which, I assumed wouldn't be a problem. So I ran as fast as my little-wittle Taru legs could carry me, and just about make it back in time, until I forget that I'm actually supposed to trade her the item, at which point, my time limit had expired.

My next task would be to collect something from the Moogle in Windurst Waters, a zone away. Naturally, I figure that running to the Mog House in Port Windurst, then using the back alleys to exit to Windurst Waters would be the best way to go, and I was fine...until my computer crashed (which, by the way, I'd become very used to ; ;). By the time I log in and everything, I end up an hour late, so no reward for me. ; ;

Next chance I get, she tells me to get something from Windurst Walls. Taking no chances this time- I set my home point in Port Windurst, and run off once again. As predicted, the computer crashes again half way, but fortunately, I manage to get her item before time runs out thanks to a quick Warp back to the Home Point right next to the gate so I wouldn't have to traverse the whole Port Windurst. In return, I get a spiffy Windurstian Christmas Tree to accompany my Cupboards in the Mog House, although I don't know what I'm giong to do with it in the long run. I mean, I'd keep it, but it has Water energy...

Anyway, onto the main event- getting my Santa hat! ^^

For those who haven't done it yet, here's how it goes (at least, from a Windurstian's perspective). Talk to the Moogle by the Windurst Woods gate (where the summerfest moogles were), and the Moogle will tell you the locations (parts of Windurst) of three children, all of whom have a little letter that they want a budding adventurer to give to Santa. The children are random, and are all incidentally Tarutaru children, so unless you're a Taru yourself, the height difference between grown-up Taru and Taru cubs might be a little hard to distinguish. (And yes, Tarutaru children are called 'cubs'!) Once you find the 3 children, completely by trial, error, and a lot of peserverance, you need to head over to Santa Taru in Windurst Waters by the zone to East Sarutabaruta, and trade all three letters that the children gave you simultaneously to him. Here's the catch. I wasn't aware at first that the Santa Taru would quiz me on not only the children's names, but also which child gave me which letter! Suffice it to say, I got my answers wrong, and had to go do everything all over again.

That, in conjunction with my computer crashing every minute or so did nothing to ease the situation. At least I finally managed to attain my goal, so here I am, enjoying my brand-new Christmas look! Don't I look just soooooooo cuuute? ^^

14 December, 2004

Heir to the Great Wind

Garuda, take 3. ^^

But first, something a little different.

I actually worked on two things today, and while the showdown with Garuda Prime (again) was certainly one of the major accomplishments of the day, it certainly didn't take up the majority of my time. No, no. That dubious award goes to the Wizard's Tonban, which is the BLM coffer AF in the Eldieme Necropolis.

I had tried earlier to get a coffer key party going, to no avail, and sometime around 5 in the evening, I noticed someone else was shouting for an Eldieme Necropolis coffer party. Eventually, a group of us, 8 strong, set off to try and find the key. The bad news is that FIVE of us needed the key. For the record, in all the 8 or so times I've been down in the necropolis joining skillup parties with my WHM, I had never seen the key drop. Now that I needed the key myself, the prospect of fighting with four other people for the drop, as well as trying to find everyone a key (for posterity's sake) did not appeal to me. But some of us can be so stubborn sometimes. ^^

I was a little afraid at first since we were bringing so many people down. For some reason, it never occurs to people that the more members you bring down with you to the Eldieme Necropolis, the harder things get. It's not like Davoi, or Castle Oztroja, where more people means mobs die faster. More people means Blood Saber (an AoE Drain which get spammed a lot) means full health for the undead. But I digress. Our camp actually had two spawns right in it, and we never noticed, until eventually, we took it upon ourselves to move camp. Thank goodness for Takhisis, a BLM75, who decided to come down for the ride, since she could at least do a decent job and keeping the link busy while the rest of us tried to pummel the old skeleton.

And I was also pulling as WHM. ^^

I won't go into all the details here about how the keys dropped, but suffice to say, five hours later, we actually managed to get five coffer keys to drop. Even stranger, it soon became an inside joke that we'd get a coffer key only when we had links, which certainly seemed to be the case! Every single key that dropped came from a link, in particular two keys that dropped during an insane chain of links that was at least five skeletons long, and took several 2-hour abilities to beat. There were other funny incidents that happened during that time, including our RDM dying twice thanks to untimely Converts just before a Blood Saber went off, and my computer crashing right in the middle of the links, but in the end, all was good and everybody went home happy. ^^

I then Warped back to Jeuno to find Toefu shouting for another run at Garuda Prime. Between hunting for AF, and getting Garuda (not to mention that it'd soon be Lightsday New Moon for my Goldsmithing!), I eventually couldn't resist to settle the score from last night, and joined in the fun.

No risks this time. Same strategy as before- Toefu tanks Garuda while everyone else keeps him alive. Yagudo Drinks and Pineapple Juice included. Two WHMs. Our party was RDM THF PLD WHM WHM BLM, and mana conservation was critical here. The other WHM and I would alternate between sitting down and healing the active members. That way, our collective WHM pool would always be gaining mana. The THF could Trick Attack onto Toefu, so he could hold hate better. The Paladin was there for a SATA partner, and the BLM was to apply the coup de'grace.

Even then, we still almost ran out of mana. It was a little dicey when Aerial Blast left Toefu with a sliver of health, and _decimated_ the THF, and we Raised II'ed the THF in the middle of battle, who then went on to fight weakened. Thank goodness Garuda doesn't do any AoE attacks other than her 2-hour. There was also a time when Toefu Converted whilst tanking, but between Fast Cast, Stoneskin, and a well timed Cure V, he managed to survive that with no problems. It sure took a while, what with a RDM and PLD meleeing, but eventually, we managed to wear Garuda down until the BLM stood up and started the chain of Blizzards that turned her name grey. We beat Garuda Prime! :D

So all was good. Toefu got his dagger (a mighty fine one, I might add, too), as did the THF who couldn't resist after seeing its stats. Take a look- Garuda's Dagger; (RA/EX, obviously :P) DMG19, Delay 183, AGI +3, Attack +7, Additional effect: Silence. Mmmmm....

I got Garuda to accompany Shiva, and Perroevil, our PLD took Garuda as his first ever avatar! Of course, I couldn't resist running outside to take a screenshot. ^^

Three avatars down (Carby included), five to go. There was brief talk on taking on Ramuh, but it was late, and when we got to Mhaura, neither the PLD nor the THF had enough Windurst fame to get the quest. And so, we called it a night.

Well, except for me. I went around to look for my AF. ^^

The Eldieme Necropolis coffers are much like the Garlaige Citadel coffers, in the sense that thanks to the door system on the upper level, and the tiered floors on the lower level, you cannot reach all of the coffer spawns solo. At least, you can reach four of them, although one involves coming all the way from the Beaucedine Glacier, and I didn't really want to walk that far just yet. Fortunately, I bumped into Codelogic (RDM75 Taru!) inside the necropolis, and he offered to help me look for the coffer. It was very discouraging, really. Hunting this coffer is very much like the Castle Zvahl Baileys coffer, where there are spawns, but because of the nature of the Necropolis, you have to exit and reenter the Necropolis each time you're aiming for a new spawn point. The worst was when, after searching through all the non-Beaucedine Glacier spawns, I head up through the Glacier, come down, and find...empty space.


We make another last minute check at the top floor's spawns just in case it had popped up there during this time, to no avail, and eventually drop down to the Hume Bones to check the spawns there, again, finding stone wall. We decided to call it a night then, and I Warp II'ed Codelogic and logged out at the Hume Bones for the night.


This morning, when I woke up, I decided to randomly check the two spawns at the Hume Bones, and as luck would have it, guess what I found sitting on the side:

At long last, I see the words appear on the screen:

Obtained: Wizard's Tonban.

I can level up BLM again.../sniff.


Trail by Wind

It's a nice break from the regular scheme of things. You know the drill. I go on about my xp adventures, how my parties rocked, or how my parties sucked (today was mostly of the latter), and end with a little whining about how expensive Goldsmithing is (for the record, I just spent 38k on 7 synths with a break and no skillups ; ;).

Today was pretty much the same except for one little thing, which if you read the title, is pretty obvious. Trail by Wind.

Garuda Prime.

I'll get around to that eventually though. I actually had a rather memorable party earlier on with my Red Mage, which I finally got around to leveling after Glue reached RNG20. Our original party was horrible, and things just weren't going right, and dissolved pretty quickly. That was when Glue and I made a new party with only four people- RDM RNG RNG BRD. ^^ It was good times. We hit Chain #5 on IT Land Worms for 260xp. What was funnier was that I got /tells from assorted melee players all wondering if I had space in the party.

Well, I _did_ have space, but we didn't really need the extra members...

Eventually, once I hit Level 21, and Worms were giving us a little less xp, we brought in two more members- a WAR, and a BLM. ^^ We still ended up killing Land Worms for the most part, although we'd bring in the occasional Clipper to maintain a chain. Too bad the BLM fell asleep at the keyboard and died when a Land Worm spawned right next to him. ; ; RDM22 so far. ^^

So, onto the Trail by Wind.

I was randomly idling around Lower Jeuno having just logged on, and debating whether I should go level or not. I then saw a /shout from a RDM70 named Toefu recruiting people for the Garuda Prime fight. People seemed to sign up quickly enough, and soon, we were off. RDM, BLM. BLM, PLD, DRG, and me. For the record, we were probably horribly underleveled. Our job levels were like RDM70, BLM66, BLM64, DRG55, PLD61, WHM62. I guess it was worth a shot. Besides, I wanted to do something a little different for a change. ^^

So we headed down to the Cloister of Gales, which until now, I hadn't the faintest idea where it was. Apparently, it's tucked away in the hidden areas of Cape Terrigan, right off the marked area, guarded by Greater Manticores aplenty. Fun stuff. The cloister itself, compared to the Cloister of Frost in Fei'Yin, is a lot more vibrant to look at, at least, in my opinion.

We come up with a preliminary strategy- Apoc (our PLD) tanks, obviously, while the mages spam Cure II and Regen + Haste to keep things flowing. All this, with an Ice Staff-powered Baraera, and we were good to go.

The fight started out well, Apoc got, and held hate as expected, and while he was taking damage rather quickly, it was certianly manageable with myself, Toefu (our RDM), and Krutoyhooligan and Tearl (our BLMs) alternating between nuking and healing. The first obstacle comes when Garuda used Aerial Blast. 800+ damage on all the melee killed off both Apoc, and the DRG55, Chalky who came to help.

So now it was an all-mage fiesta. WHM RDM BLM BLM. I have to admit, Toefu did an admirable job tanking Garuda Prime. Between Stoneskin, Refresh, Regen II and Haste, we could go on for a very, very long time. There were, however, some problems that soon brought itself to light. Like what to do with the second Aerial Blast.

Toefu died, and soon, it was a mad rush to the protocrystal to try and get out of the battlefield. I ended up dying, and then suggested that since we had gotten Garuda to a sliver of health (5% or so), I could activate Reraise II, Raise II the BLMs, then just nuke it to death. That sounded like a fine plan, until I scouted Garuda Prime back in her nest to see she was at full health. Oh well. ; ;

So we left the battlefield, and while I'm going through the long process of Raise II'ing everybody, we come across a high level party who was out to help Kayla with her SMN AF3 fight. They ask if we want to help out, and after some internal discussion, we agree only to find that we are locked out of the battlefield when we try to enter. >_<

So our perspective of the SMN AF3 fight is basically watching the alliance HP bars go up and down, and watching status remarks fly across the party chat. In the meantime, we're busy trying to figure out how to go about beating Garuda Prime the second time through. Eventually, it boiled down to grabbing someone from the SMN AF3 alliance, since Kruto had to leave, and then trying to take on Garuda that way. Eventually, Kayla, the SMN who was getting her AF3, ofers to help us, and after a minor mishap whereby she got a Warp II from a Japanese BLM who "had trouble reading English quickly" >_< we're off once again.

This time though, the plan was different. Toefu would be main tanking after Shiva took on Garuda. Everybody else would, well, just try doing their thing. Unfortunately, Apoc and Chalky still die first after (you guessed it) another Aerial Blast wiped out the two of them. Apac was a little bit too fixated into his PLD role, forgetting that it was the RDM that was supposed to tank, and Flash'ed Garuda Prime twice, both times meeting resists! First time I'd ever seen a resist on a Flash....

And so once again it was 4 mages versus Garuda. Once again, we almost beat her, except that Tearl nuked a bit too hard, and got aggro, during which he got hit, and ran over to rest. For some reason, Toefu's attempt at holding hate didn't work after that, and Garuda went halfway across the battlefield just to slap Tearl around a bit and ten seconds later, we have another party face down on the floor. Even worse, Reraise II wears off. ; ;

Things are getting dire, and barring major heroics or miracles, we weren't going to beat Garuda. It didn't really help that Toefu didn't seem to have the time to Refresh me, and as I write this, I'm very sure that if I had mp, we could've won. But you know the drill. Stoneskin wears off. Toefu gets hit. I Cure V, and all the mages are out of MP. That means Toefu cannot Convert, and is literally trapped. I try some heroics and Benediction (without Reraise up ; ;) and die soon thereafter. Toefu follows suit, and Kayla runs out of the battlefield so she can Raise (1 ; ;) me.

So I didn't get Garuda Prime, and sucked up 3100xp (or all today's work xp'ing) in the process. Ah well, at least it was fun, and in the end, isn't that what it's all about? (Still sucks tho...)

10 December, 2004

I got it!

On the 22nd of September, I hit Goldsmithing 38, and attained my Novice status. It was also the time when I could start handing in items for Guild Points to get that one item all the Hume and Elvaan Goldsmithers /drool over.

Two months, three weeks, and ludicrous amounts of gil later (okay, so I'm one day short), I finally have it:

Too bad they don't look half as cool on a Taru... /sulk

09 December, 2004

A plan of action.

I feel...burnt out.

I'm not too sure why either. I mean, feeling burnt out from leveling is one thing, but then again, I haven't leveled in the past three days. Nope, not even BLM (need my Eldieme Necropolis coffer first... ; ;). I guess it’s one of those things that happen if you play too hard at one thing, I guess. I mean, I've been playing hard in FF and have gone back to my studies with somewhat of a renewed vigor, so I guess I need a bit of a break. Oh well, at least the update's going to take a while. ^^

It's funny. I took a look at my past entries, and noticed upon two lines I wrote a little over a month ago:

Tuufless's goldsmithing skill rises 0.2 points.
Tuufless's goldsmithing skill reaches level 50.

Now, just over a month later, I'm only Goldsmithing 52.3. Damn, the 50s are harsh! Gold is pretty much at an all-time low at the moment, and I frankly haven't the faintest idea why. Gold Ingots are flowing into Jeuno like water, and Beastcoins are waiting in line by handfuls in the Auction House. I remember seeing over fifty Beastcoins in Jeuno, which is certainly more than I've ever seen at one go. 40+ Gold Ingots on sale, too. The price of a Gold Ingot has plummeted to 28-29k per Ingot. Stacks of Gold Ingots are now 360k. And the prices are still high.

The Gold Nuggets have more or less stabilized at 51k/stk. That's 33,500 gil to make one Ingot, so I lose 4-5k a synth. I don't even skillup that much from Gold Ingots that way anymore, not even on Darksday with no support. I mean, I know there is a drastic slowdown, but six synths for no skillup at 52 is quite...outworldly.

I've contemplated heading over to the dreaded Mythril Cuisses route as recommended by others. I can make two Mythril Ingots for about 9000 gil. The Ram Leather goes for another 1k or so, and the Cuisses sell for 7k at the Jeuno AH. Assuming I don’t flood the market. I guess that’s really not too bad. At least, my loss is less than the Gold Ingots, although that all changes if I vendor them. The Cuisses are, on the other hand, 9 levels above me, so I will break. A lot. I guess I'll give two or three a shot, depending on how many Sheets I can make in time. Firesday, Full Moon in about 6 hours. I'm sure I can piece together something by then.

My main goal here is to just hit Level 55. From there, I can make a reasonable shot at Platinum Ingots via Nuggets, which reportedly are breakeven for me at 55, then slowly turn into profit all the way to Level 64, where they cap. I imagine I'll be making quite a lot of Platinum, given the way I'm skilling up at the moment. Hopefully the Platinum Nuggets won't undergo a ridiculous pricehike like Gold did. I'd imagine there won't be as many Platinum crafters, since they might all be scared off by the prospect of taking Gold past 50. After all, they got their shades, there isn't any real need for them to take Gold to 60...or so I'd hope.

I'm also saddened by the number of people that are leaving the game. To their credit, FFXI's been out for quite some time, and with EQ2 and World of Warcraft, I can very well see them move on. Elowen was the first to tell me she was quitting, then a few days ago, Accolade came to say his /farewells. The very next day, Erieta announces in the TrueRune LS that she will terminate her account upon the new year. /sigh. I guess people have to move on. Anyway, for posterity's sake, I took a screenshot of Accolade's last moments with his linkshell:

It's not a very good picture, mostly because it was nighttime. Frankly, there needs to be something done about the screenshots- they're all very very dark, especially at night. It is really so hard to ask for some way to take screenies without the use of third-party editing software?

Anyway, while I'm on the subject of people quitting, I have to admit that the thought has crossed my mind a couple of times recently. There are, however, a few things that I want to accomplish before I do leave, although knowing how things go, these probably won't all be complete:

And so without further ado, I present Tuuf's list of “Things to do before I...die?”, or whatever the more appropriate term is. ^^

1) Have a Lvl 75 Job.
2) Goldsmithing 100. (This will probably not happen, but one can always dream. ^^)
3) Go to Dynamis.
4) Participate in an HNM run. (*cough* Kirin, anybody? *cough*)
5) Get BLM60.
6) Defeat Fenrir.
7) Attain Windurst Rank 10.
8) Go through the Ru'Avitau teleport scene myself. ^^ (At request of Gluey ^^)
9) Whilst I'm in , complete “Divine Might” (the one with 5 Ark Angels)
10) Get a good amount of experience with NIN/BLM at Level 60+
11) Get RDM60. (Must have that hat! >_<)

That's all that immediately comes to mind...wow, that’s a lot of leveling I need to do. Oh well. I'll get around to it someday...^^

Hmmm...Gluey has mentioned that he wants to Level up SAM as a second 75 job...I guess I can take my Ninja with him then, although that WAR sub’s really going to bug me...

05 December, 2004

Lotsa, lotsa parties!

It seems that this past week has been treating me really strange. For one, I think I've partied more during this past week than I have in recent memory, and to be honest, at the time of writing, I'm feeling quite burnt out. It all started when I decided to activate Mission 9-1. As I may have mentioned already, the plotline for the Windurst missions is really quite well done, at least, in my opinion, and as such, I wanted to get 9-1 and 9-2 done. The problem is, I'd need at least a WHM65 to do 9-1, and WHM70 for 9-2. That, and at some point, I would like to try joining an HNM LS (though I still do not know how to go about finding one) and it'd be easier for my WHM to reach the requisite level before my BLM. (People say one starts looking for an HNM LS around Level 65, although I know of many who are in one at lvl 60...)

So I started partying once again with my White Mage. Let's just say that WHM plays very diferently post 60 than pre-60. Other than the Monastic Cavern, the prime xp spots all require you to fight something that spams status effects, and that's where the White Mage comes in. Silena and Paralyna against Toramas in the Valley of Onzozo; Silena and Stona against Cockatrice in Cape Terrigan; Erase, Poisona, and Blindna against Anticans in the Attowa Chasm (more on that later). I find myself spamming Cures very little nowadays, well, unless we have a bad tank. That, and Cure V is a godsend. Too bad many people don't let you use Cure V to the fullest, and half the party freaks out and starts casting Cure III once they see the tank's HP turn red.

It seems that my parties alternative between good, and downright horrible. I have no idea why. There're the parties that I can easily stay for 10k xp or so in say a couple hours time. My Cape Terrigan party was such an example. We were chaining on Cockatrice there, and getting xp at around 200 a kill, which is pretty good for 60+. I even got a compliment from one of my party members to add to the "warm and fuzzy" collection:

Marlo: Tuufless is awesome WHM. /grin

On the other hand, I got invited to an AWFUL party in the Boyahda Tree, where the leader was actually Level 64 and was on /anon so I wouldn't know. He then proceeded to bring a 61-64 party (mostly 61-63) to the Boyahda Tree to fight Steelshells when they are normally xp fodder for Level 65 parties. Needless to say, the party couldn't chain at all and we got a whooping 3k xp in 3 hours. I would've left, but the leader's insistence at getting him his level (500tnl, which I equated to an extra 30 minutes) let me grudgingly stay. I'm probably too nice sometimes.

'Course, that's when he pulls a black mandragora along with the Steelshell which kills me and wipes out the 3k xp I had built up over the past 3 hours. If it weren't for the WHM70 that was around and gave me a Raise III, I would've blown my top.

At least the next party made up for that, at least, in fun factor alone. Unfortunately, it wasn't for my WHM, but rather, for my BLM.

Yep, I finally managed to put it together. The. Best. Party. Setup. Ever.

BLM BLM BLM BLM BLM BRD for the win!

To be honest, I wasn't quite sure how a BLM party worked, but after a few practice kills, we soon got down to business. I had brought along Shortee to be our BLM, who has since been a convert to the BLM party (/grin) and Zenyu. We then found three other Black Mages, and soon, we were off to Kuftal to start off a Robber Crab massacre. Shortee probably never imagined he'd end up pulling as a Bard before, but he did a good job. Luckily we were the only people at our camp, otherwise our kill rate (and the amount of lag we created) would've probably driven any competition away. We even moved to a spawn zone just because the pulling distance started getting too far to chain effectively!

Anyway, here's how it worked: Shortee would pull with Ice Therondy after singing both Ballads on all 5 BLMs. When we caught sight of the crab, one of us would Stun, while the other four Sleep II. (Chances are, one of them will hit). We all Aspir, and wait for my signal:

/p {Freeze} in 3 seconds! Get ready!
/p GOOOOOO!!!!!!
/ma Freeze

It only took 4 Freezes (and the occasional Blizzard II) to put a quick end to whatever Shortee brought back. ^^ I don't recall what our exact xp rate was, but I remember mentioning something like 1.5k in 10 minutes to Shortee. Needless to say, it wasn't long before I dinged BLM55 in this party. ^^

The funny part was that when we disbanded, Shortee went out and boldly /shouted across Lower Jeuno something along the lines of "hahaha, all you melee are now useless!" I wonder what they must've thought. ^^

Following the pattern, the next party was a disappointment. With my WHM, and with Railston, we went up to Cape Terrigan again to try and xp off Cockatrice. Unfortunately, for some reason, the PLD was taking a very large amount of damage, and after a bad start which wiped out the entire party, we get going for a little bit before a premature pull meant I ran out of mana, which meant a dead tank. In the end, Railston and I spent 3 hours and got a net gain of only 1k xp. We tried partying in the Valley of Sorrows, but despite what people say, I am not a fan of chaining lots of 100s together, when it is perfectly possible to chain at least 150s elsewhere.

Finally, the Attohwa Chasm party. I wasn't actually seeking at the time, but the /tell came in nonetheless. The fact that it was in Japanese already got my hoeps up, and after asking where they were planning on going, I mentioned that I had never been to the Attohwa Chasm before.

Not that that mattered, since the leader hadn't been there either, but had heard it was a good xp spot that has yet to be explored. Feeling somewhat adventurous, I agreed. The chasm is a rather pretty place, although very hazardous. Once you reach the surface, all sorts of things can kill you, from HNM Dragons (Tiamat) to even the scenery that occasionally belches out poisonous gas that takes off very large chunks of your HP per tick.

We were leveling off Antlions, which really look more like giant lobsters than anything, but I digress.

The kills were decent. We were getting at least 150 a kill, and chaining up to 180. For some reason though, we could never actually get Chain #5, but the kills were very steady and constant. It's rather surprising that not many people know of this place yet, and as Kohen told me, word is slowly starting to go around. Heck, even the party (all JP) were discussing the possibilities of this place, for they certainly weren't aware this was a decent xp spot. The AoE Blind was a bit of a pain, but with three mages, all /WHM, we set up a system where each mage took care of a melee character. That way, we avoided overlapping -na spells. Ah, systems.

The result of all this work? I'm a Level 62 WHM! :D

Finally, in terms of crafting, I've finally begun work on the Lu Shang's quest. After all, I figured Fishing's pretty decent profit later on, and since I have the capital to support myself for now, I might as well turn in ALL the Moat Carps I get while skilling up, instead of AH-ing them and starting later. Goldsmithing's still on hold until I get my sunglasses completed- I only have 10k GP to go, and with tomorrow's prediction being Silver items, I could very well be strutting around a pair of shaded spectacles in Lower Jeuno within the week!

In preparation, I also bought up eight Cupboards from the furniture shop in San d'Oria (15.5k each! >_<). Only time will tell how a Fire Moghancement will affect my Goldsmithing. I guess, as long as I save at least one Gold Ingot, that's already two Cupboards paid for. I tried synthesizing Gold Ingots via Nuggets without any imagery just to see what happened. I got +0.1 out of 4 synths and no failures. Hmmm. Only time will tell, I guess.

30 November, 2004

Paragon of Black Mage Excellence

After a long weekend celebrating Thanksgiving with my friend's family, I suppose you could say I returned to Vana'diel with somewhat of a vengeance. I was literally involved in something or other from the get go until I slept, whether it be crafting (not much), fishing (even less), xp-ing (yea), or working on AF (hell, yea!).

The three main achievements of that day: BLM54, Wizard's Gloves, and the Wizard's Pestatos. ^^

I actually got the hat first, after Veelea told me that there was a BLM AF3 alliance being formed. They agree to let me tag along, even though at the time I was only BLM53, but figured that since the alliance was about 12 people, there shouldn't be too much of a problem. I was quite amused at the fact that there were two THFs in the alliance, even though they probably couldn't tell which side was the 'back' of the Magic Sludge for Sneak Attack. /shrug.

So once again, I'm back in the Toraimarai Canal, except that now it was my turn to go about examining the ??? that represented magic stagnation underneath the depths of Windurst. I find it quite amusing that all the Black Mages were rather worried about when to use their Manafont to absorb the stagnation, since it is pretty much spelled out to you when the time comes, although I suppose if screwing up meant having to wait another two hours, I guess you'd exercise greater caution.

So after getting to the two ???, having all the Black Mages use their 2hr ability to absorb the magic stagnation and getting to the site of the Magic Sludge NM battle, for some reason, the two PLDs have to go. Then others have to scoot as well. In the end, we are left with just seven of us- two THFs, one WHM, and 4 BLMs. I conjure up a plan to try and see if there was any chance that we could take on the Sludge given that I've heard that a single party can handle it, but alas, things mess up, and we all Warp/Escape out to safety. Well, except for the poor WHM who died trying to keep things together. (Thank you, Reraise II...)

Fast forward a few hours later.

I'm busy helping out Brahk with his AF2 quest, which involved killing an NM giant bird down in the Labyrinth of Onzozo. Brakh, being a fisher, has helped me out several times with his fishing up Silver Rings for me to desynth, and he had managed to enlist the help of Fulayg, a NIN75.

Then Veelea tells me that there's another BLM AF3 alliance in the making. Perfect timing, wouldn't you say? WIth that in mind, I literally rush Brahk over to the Labyrinth, and try to kill the bird as fast as we could. Things get a little hairy when we're fighting a little too close to an Air Elemental that conned Tough to me, but I run over to the back of the room we're fighting in and don't get magic aggro from there. In the meantime, Veelea's trying to stall the alliance from setting off without me, while I'm relaying the progress down at the Labyrinth to her. She asked me how long we're going to take, and I tell her that the bird's almost dead.

Brahk then tells me that the bird can use Benediction. I inwardly /groan.

Fortunately, he was either mistaken, or the bird just chose not to Benediction, but it died sure enough. We say our goodbyes, I Teleport Brahk out while Fulayg Instant Warps back to Jeuno, then I go on a mad rush back to Windurst. Thank goodness I decided to do the Norvallen supply quest- a quick chocobo from the Crag of Holla to the Jugner Forest Outpost, and within five minutes, I'm standing in Port Windurst, ready and raring to go.

I join the alliance, and this time, only four BLMs need the fight. We bring along an alliance, this time with Lvl65+ help aplenty for the ride, and go through the motions once again. Thankfully, nobody decides to leave this time around, and we're soon trying to beat upon the Magic Sludge with whatever we have.

For those who think this is an easy fight: Of all four times I've done this, the Sludge has been anything BUT easy. For one, its magic resistances are literally through the roof, and nothing is more discouraging than seeing Freeze hit for 120 damage and Firaga IIs for 56 or so. Our PLD did a great job tanking this thing, then again, I think he was in full Adaman gear, or something like that. The PLD end-game gear. Yeah. That.

Eventually, we kill the sludge once for all four Black Mages who needed it, and after many thank-yous, /bows, and promises of lifetime supplies of Warp IIs, we (the BLMs) literally run as far as our little-wittle Taru legs can bring us back to Heaven's Tower before receiving our hat and /cheers all around. I still have six more levels to go though...

Finally, I manage to get my Wizard Gloves. Throughout the day, I had been paying the Garlaige Citadel occasional visits, trying to get a coffer key. Danatoth and Deathdealer try for a bit in the afternoon, before the first AF3 alliance, and we fail to get the key. Veelea joins in after helping a BLM AF2 party in Castle Zvahl Baileys, and while we kill faster, the Magic Pots, Weapons, and Fallen aren't feeling terribly co-operative, and no key drops from them. With the alliance scheduled to leave in an hour, we pop over to the Sea Serpent Grove to try and get Danatoth a Golden Eye for his Optical Hat. That, also didn't turn out good at all, although we did randomly get a Grotto coffer key off a crab that we fought to clear the room. We then decided to lot on the key.

Veelea lots first with 841. It is more or less a foregone conclusion, even Danatoth comments, "It's gonna be hard to beat that."

I then lot 917. ^^

Even better, the Grotto coffer just so happened to be right next to us, and within five minutes, I have a map of the Sea Serpent Grotto! Although to be fair, I guess Danatoth should've had it, since it would've been so much more helpful with Widescan. Ah well.

Later on, Gluey and I head back down to the Citadel to try and get a key. Once again, we're under time pressure, as Gluey has Simurgh to camp out in the Rolanberry Fields in an hour. One hour later, we still have no key, but fortunately, sheer dumb luck, or some divine sense of a climax kicks in. On the very last weapon that we decide to fight, Gluey lets out a little "ARRR", I guess in some effort to coax a key to cough out.

You find a Garlaige coffer key on the Over Weapon.

We both had a good laugh about that one. ^^

The last step was to actually get the coffer, which is no easy task thanks to the ridiculous layout that is the citadel. In the end, I round up Veelea (once again), Traktor, and another BRD I met the day before named Shortee. The plan was to get inside the Citadel, go behind both doors, and worst come to worst, leave me behind one of them to log out. Our first problem was when we reached the second set of banishing gates, and in the middle of talking, I forget that we're next to Dromas and Explosures that aggro to sight. The net result is that we have Shortee face down on the ground. Ouch. Sorry about that! >_<

The other problem is that there is another RDM that's trying to hitch a free opening from us. Now, assuming the coffer's behind the gate, I don't want to open the gate only to have him run through it first and take my coffer. In the end, he must've gotten the hint, since he eventually goes to step on a switch. Traktor, Shortee, and Veelea move onto the other three, and I rush inside, trying to find the cofer before the RDM does.

It was all for naught, as inside, at the last spawn point, I see a Mithra mage healing. Traktor asks if she got the coffer, to which she replied "yes". We give our congratulations to her, a little disappointed that we couldn't get it. The Garlaige coffer really is atrocious, and is probably the second hardest coffer to get, next to the Castle Oztroja one. Part of it is probably because it's such a pain to get to the coffer spawns to begin with, but oh well. ; ;

Traktor Warp IIs Veelea and Shortee, while I log for half an hour, hoping that the RDM wouldn't be there when I got back. Fortunately for me, things perk up. I log back in, and find the RDM still in the Citadel, but not behind the 2nd banishing gate (or so it seemed). I make my way through the coffer points, spamming the Tab key to try and find the coffer. I tabbed over a Trasure Chest, but that wasn't quite what I was looking for, although granted, I also brought my Garlaige Chest Key just in case.

Then there it was, innocuously tucked in a corner behind a Chamber Beetle. I immediately shout in the linkshell:

Treasure Coffer {Found it!}

Gluey and Traktor go berserk. I see "omg!!!" and "GOGOGOGOGO" fly across the screen. It's really quite hard to capture the excitement of opening something like this without actually doing it yourself, and wary of anyone else who might take it from behind me, I Blink up, and when the Chamber Beetle guarding the coffer is turned away, I drop Invisible, trade my Coffer Key, and receive the old gauntlets!

I then take Gluey up to Castle Zvahl Baileys to kill Dark Spark, and help fight Chinowhat some more with his Zvahl Coffer Key. The two of us could duo Dark Spark easily enough, with Barfira and Stun between us, not to mention Gluey and his new-favourite /NIN sub. We even got a skillchain going: Guillotine -> Seraph Strike for Impaction. Fun fun. ^^ After getting the shadow flames, we pop down to fight Ahrimans and Demons with another RDM, Phalyx to get the key. For some reason, luck's not with us once again, and when I had to leave for time reasons (it had been a very intensive day), we still had not gotten the key. ; ; At least we spiced things up with a fight against Marquis Amon, some NM Demon near our camp:

I go back to Jeuno, switch over to BLM, and lay the old gauntlets and the Shadow Flames in the toolbox. The guantlets are restored, and I receive the Wizard's Gloves! Talk about a productive day.../grin

24 November, 2004

'Ere be Dragons.

Several things happened in the past few days that're worthy of mention. I have been leveling my White and Black Mages, and they are now 61 and 51 respectively. I've had my share of accidents, however, and the party in the Monastic Cavern was no exception. Let's say it involved a wrong turn into an HNM that wiped out half of us. Bad times. At least I still got Level 61, and learned Cure V!

Speaking of Cure V, this spell is a godsend. My only complaint about it is that it has a rather long casttime, but when you can heal 667hp in one fell swoop and gain LESS aggro than a Cure IV for 440, what's there not to like? Granted, the Paladin might not appreciate you letting him hit the red just so you can Cure V him back to full, but if nothing goes wrong, what's there to complain about?

I've also been dithering around in numerous crafts given the situation of Gold at the moment. It seems that 50k stacks of Gold Nuggets are here to stay, and I find it ironic that at this price, the cost of production per Gold Ingot is 33k, while the cost of production for a Platinum Ingot is only 37k. Suddenly, Platinum doens't look that bad after all! But first, the problem with Gold.

The market's flooded, and the prices for materials are soaring. In the end, I decided to take a break from leveling Goldsmithing, and concentrate on other things instead. For one, I've picked up Smithing again, and some Rusty Picks later, I'm quite pleased to find out that they sell to an NPC for very little profit even at 3k a Rusty Pick. That, and the skillups are good, even on Lightsday. For the record, I'm 25.7 Smithing now. ^^

The next one's a bit of a shocker. I'm not sure what got into me, but after some thinking, printing, and reading, I bought myself a set of Fishing Gear, a Sabiki Rig, a Carbon Rod and went off to find a quiet little spot on the jetty in Port Windurst, and started to fish! And I have to admit, I actually quite like fishing. There's something rather relaxing about it, especially when you're engaged in conversation with several friends at the same time. It's really not all that bad, and it's a nice change in pace. Of course, ask me what Fishing is like in about a month or two, and I'll probably give you a different answer. Fishing 5.1...gotta love those bites on Darksday, New Moon. ^^ Other than that though, I took the opportunity to grab a little bit of Clothcrafting in, since I was in Windurst. I find that I'm getting very stingy with my money now, even though I have about 250k left on me. Must be those instincts kicking in or something. 'Course, Totipotent's claims at how easy coffer picking in Castle Oztroja is kinda makes me wonder if crafting's worth the money. I guess camping a coffer's not much better at camping an NM, be it Leaping Lizzy or the Valkurm Emperor, so meh.

Then there's BLM. In two separate parties today (both gotten while Fishing, too!), I had managed to come from Level 50, to just 2k away from 52. Yes, I missed my Elemental Staves very much, and I now get to play with two new additions in the collection- my Ice and Thunder Staves. :D Other than that, there isn't too much to note, except for one rather...interesting, if not, amusing occurance that came upon all those leveling in the Kuftal Tunnel:

Yes, that is Guivre, and that is me lying face down after an unsuccessful attempt at running away. (For some reason, it didn't strike me to cast Invisible- I guess I must've thought it had True Sight or something.) Kuftal was a right mess as Guivre went about its rounds. People were getting one shotted all over the place as they scrambled for cover. I'm not sure what happened in the end, but when I went back there to look for a Kuftal coffer, Guivre was nowhere to be found. Guess some HNM group must've taken him out.

21 November, 2004

Catching up.

Thanks to this thing called "midterm exams" in this other thing commonly known as "real life", I haven't been able to play too much as of late. On the bright side, I'm almost done, and with Thanksgiving coming up, I'll have plenty of time to catch up on things then.

For those who actually keep track of my Profile (which is probably the most updated part of this webbie), you'll notice that not much happened, either in levels, or crafts, although I did start off Clothcrafting for kicks. I did level some- I just haven't hit a level yet. Actually, both my WHM and my BLM are very close to ding'ing, but these parties have a nasty habit of splitting up when I'm like, 1.5k tnl. Not close enough to justify everyone wait another 10-15 minutes for me to level, not far enough to let me shrug it off. Oh well.

I (finally) got myself to complete Genkai 3. I already had the Orcish crest from an xp party there, but I went ahead and got myself a crimson orb just in case I would need it in the near future. Beadeaux was a piece of cake- easily the easiest of the lot as long as you're equipped with Echo Drops for those nasty Mutes, but boy was the Yagudo crest a pain in the neck.

It took Akanea and Totipotent to come with me on a long-overdue trip to Castle Oztroja to complete this part of Genkai 3. The lazy had struck again, which probably explains the delay. Well, that, and leveling up BLM. THe positioning on the second statue's particularly henious, and I decided that Escaping out and walking back in would've been much faster than just walking all the way back. Scary part is, I was probably right about that. Toti came along with us in his THF AF to try and earn himself some money (since he was broke), and helped us until the drop that lead us to the ???.

WIth just Akanea and I, all that stood between us and completing G3 was the Yagudo High Priest (that has True Sight). It took a bit of waiting, but eventually, he (and the other two Yagudos camping the ???) turned around. Aka and I rushed forward, got the ???, run back to the door, high-fived, and Tele'ed back to Jeuno for a brand new level cap. ^^ Well, not quite. Aka still had to get the Orcish Crest, and I wanted the Crimson Orb, but that was easy compared to this.

I have also received my Wizard's Sabots and my Wizard jacket (whatever it's called) after some thought. Aka had died and was 200tnl, so we ended up duo'ing Exorays and Helm Beetles in the Crawler's Nest for skillups and 14xp/kill until it rained. We actually got Aka his level back and my bag of starseeds, and with the Whine Cellar Key I got with Gluey and the other CT members awhile ago, I have my boots! As for the Davoi coffer (which is actually in the Monastic Cavern), what can I say- the coffer is really a piece of cake, but the key...good grief was the key drop hard. I'm glad I managed to randomly get it off an Orcish Dragoon whilst doing M8-1, otherwise I would've been subjected to many many skillup parties in Davoi. Not fun.

Finally, going back to crafting later tonight. I'm particularly annoyed since the price of Gold Nuggets had shot up a whole 5k in just a few days, which means that synthing Gold Ingots are now a _loss_ to me. I mean, I was quite shocked at first when they first made the jump from 45k/stk to 48k, but when I bid 48,500 and still didn't get the Nuggets? It's actually cheaper for me to synth Platinum than it is to synth Gold (well, not really, but you get the idea). I was debating whether I should bite the bullet and buy them at 50k each, when I decided to synth up some of my Beastcoins.

I failed a synth, and lost 21k right there.

That, surprisingly enough, put things into perspective. I can shrug off a break for 21k with little hassle. At 50k/stk, I lose 24-25k per stack? I'm a Goldsmither, I'd better get used to such things quick, and besides, what's 25k? /em looks away...

I now have 6 stacks of Gold Nuggets and 12 Gold Ores just waiting for Darksday to come...I am also trying to ignore the disaster that is my walletaru. ; ; Wish me luck!

15 November, 2004

Rank 9!

Yep, this past Saturday, I managed to get together a rather rag-tag party together and go get Rank 9! We had to improvise quite a bit, since while the guides recommend a 12-man Lvl 65+ Alliance to beat the NMs, we went with a single party consisting of five people around 60-65 and one BLM75.

To any other Windurstians who feel like attempting Missions 8-1 and 8-2 in the near future, this takes AGES. All in all, we spent a whooping eight hours completing this, upon which we immediately disbanded and ran to go eat. We had a bit of trouble beating 8-1, partially because the endless links and aggros that surrounded the hut wherein lay Dirtyhanded whatshisname was a right pain to get by. We ended up killing the Orcs, my getting aggro from inside the hut, then having to Reraise, then killing the outside Orcs again before we all went in and killed the NM for the first time. Once that was done, we camped the corner to prevent aggro/links until he spawned two more times. Easily done, no real sweat.

Okay, so maybe Aeroga III was kinda scary, but a quick Stun and Baraera fixed that.

8-2 was a right pain though. Not because it was difficult, oh no. We actually cheated on the last two Queen Cardians, with me subbing my Summoner (you can tell I wasn't very happy about going WHM60/SMN10), Sneaking up, spawning the Cardian NMs, then Carby pulling one of them in he process back to camp. (Carby very quickly learned the meaning of 'pwned', too >_<) By the time we killed the pulled NM, the other had despawned, and voila! Cutscene!

The real pain was traversing all of Vana'diel to get the four rings we needed, and coming back to visit Apururu goodness knows how many times in between. We went from Windurst Woods, to Waters, back to Woods, to Fei'Yin, to Davoi, back to Woods, to the Horutoto Ruins, back to Woods, to Walls, back (again) to Woods, over to the Horutoto Ruins, back to Woods, back to Walls, back again to (you guessed where) Woods, before getting the final cutscene.

Simply put, it was a LOT of running. The random accidents that happened in between didn't help much either. Oh well. In any case, I got my Rank 9, and loving it!

The 80,000 gil I got also managed to boost my finances so that I could now fund an entire stack of Gold Ingots! Profit? Immedaitely went, crafted a stack out of Gold Ores and Nuggets (all for +0.2 ; ;) and waited about a day before a very sweet 371k appeared in my d-box. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any Nuggets anywhere, so I've had to take a forced break from skilling up Goldsmithing for a bit. ; ;

So, I found other endeavours. I dabbled a bit in Alchemy, as you know, and since the pricess of Chips haven't reset, I won't be leveling that up in a while. I leveled up my Smithing, throwing away about 10k to get Level 24. Somewhere in there though, I found the joy of desynthing Silver Rings. Let's just say that I've had okay experiences with desynthing Rings, but after meeting a fisherman who had 20-odd rings on him, I spent an hour (and about five stacks of Lightning Crystals) breaking them up. The results? 33k profit, all in one hour, without even leaving Jeuno. I now have a new addition to my shopping list whenever I go visit the various AHs. ^^

Finally, Tuuf is now a BLM50! If there's anything to enjoy about BLM50, it's the /cheering everybody does when a Freeze MB goes off, not to mention that being in charge of the skillchain to begin with is a very refreshing break from having to monitor when people do their weaponskills. First time I ever had to look at melees' TP as a BLM...

I was so excited, I built a macro, demonstrated it a few times, and then clarified with everybody how it worked. We pull an Antica, the melee say they're ready, and I hit the Freeze macro. The announcements fly by, the weapon skills come, but I'm standing strangely still.

I had forgotten to put "/ma Freeze" in my Freeze macro! ; ;

Yes, yes, it was very embarrassing. >_<

Three tries later, we were 0/3. Seems that we couldn't quite get the timing down right for the Ranger to get in a Sharpshot and Piercing Arrow, but eventually, the fourth time was a charm.

Skillchain: Distortion.
Tuufless casts Freeze.
Magic Burst! The Helm Beetle takes 1081 points of damage.


Crafted up a little bit tonight as well. By my calculations, once everything sells, I'll have about half a million gil! :D Okay, okay, so many people have hit their first million before 60, but cut me some slack here, okay? ^^

10 November, 2004

Gold! Gold!

It's far too early to create a new post here, based on what I've been doing, but I'm just too excited to keep quiet until night.

Two lines of text in particular:

Tuufless’s goldsmithing skill rises 0.2 points.
Tuufless’s goldsmithing skill reaches level 50.

w00taru~! ^^

Actually, it's not that big a deal, but I feel proud of it nonetheless. I actually kinda rushed into this, since the Gold Beastcoin situation hadn't fixed itself. I skipped ahead and went on to another recipie some 4 levels higher. Three stacks of Gold Nuggets later (along with the requisite number of Gold Ores), I get my +0.4 points I need to hit level 50, and I'm happy! 'Course, I smashed 5 nuggets along the way (thank god I didn't break any Gold Ores), but hey, even Goldsmtihers have their reckless times. Besides, those nuggets were only worth 20k gil...

...wait a sec.


09 November, 2004

Return to White.

It's been a long while, but I finally got around to leveling WHM again, and to be honest, I kinda miss it. I've always found it rather irritating that I can't just teleport over to Rabao to check the AH with my party flag up if I'm playing my Black Mage. That, and a recent series of deaths that began with the Balgas Dias BCNM fight way back when had finally taken its toll.

I have since then, helped out in several AF3 fights. I already mentioned the RDM and DRG AF3s that I did the other day, I have also recently helped Fangryn (and a bunch of other BLMs) get their Wizard hat in the Toraimarai Canal. To all those who wish to partake in this fight- it is HARD. Much harder than the WHM AF3 fight or RDM AF3 fights, which already have a reputation for being some of the more challenging ones. The Magic Sludge had an insane amount of hit points, magic resistance through the roof (we're talking Firaga II for 12 damage here) and took down five of us (myself included) before it finally died. That, and it didn't help that one of the BLMs inexplicably went afk as we were fighting, and didn't tell any of us. Hrrmph.

Also helped a few of the Doom RDMs get the first part of their AF3 fight done in Fei'Yin. Miser Murphy really wasn't all too difficult, and with a bunch of Doom's Level 75 members chiming in to help, the fights were quick and brutal.

The final straw was in a very unfortunate series of deaths that happened to me in the Kuftal Tunnel. Simply put, I died three times in under five minutes and before I knew it, I was back to Level 59 and /fume-ing.

So I got around to getting my level back. I was only 425tnl, so I hit 60 on my first party. I then ended up partying again tonight when I was switching gear over to my WHM so I could Teleport to Rabao to make a quick check of Gold Beastcoins before heading over to Bastok to craft (Darksday, Full Moon). A BRD by the name of Niambe sent me a /tell, asking if I wanted to party, and apparently, they were willing to wait for me to go to Rabao, pick up materials, come back, miss the airship to Bastok, grab the next airship to Bastok, craft, Warp, and finally list my stuff on the AH.

The party turned out to be good, and fun to play in. It wasn't the best I've been in personally, but it was nice to come back to Cape Terrigan after slugging through the Quicksand Caves and Crawler's Nest all over again. We had a little argument about what skillchain to do. No skillchain seemed particularly enticing at first. We even had the capacity to fire off two different skillchains, with one of our members being RNG/SAM, but he questioned the validity of two skillchains when firstly, there was no BLM to MB off, and that one of the skillchains needed Flaming Arrow, instead of the almighty Sidewinder/Slug Shot. We argued about it for a bit more, until I noticed a little gem tucked away in the corner of Aden's Renkei Chart:

{Nightmare Scythe} -> {Slug Shot} = {Transfixion} MB {Light}

Can you say, double MB with Banishga II and Holy? ^^

That party sure cured my BLM fix from having to deal out damage- I even managed to equal the RNG's Slug Shot damage when I successfully timed the dual MB for 600+ damage. It was great, and I was actually running out of mana, which is something I hadn't done in a long, long while. That, and I was the only mage, so filling in for both the RDM debuffs and the BLM's MBs certainly kept me busy. I even got to test out my new Ice Staff, using that in conjunction with Paralyze so it'd stick more. ^^ Whoever said WHMs don't have anything to do is underestimating the job, really. True, there are the boring moments, but they aren't a terribly common occurance. Anyway, the end result is that I am now just about half way through Level 60 (yea, the party lasted quite a while) and actually getting around to completing Genkai 3 is looking mighty appealing.

Still kicking myself for forgetting to pick up that Yagudo Crest when we went to the top of Castle Oztroja for M6-2 though. Now I'm going to have to traverse the whole damn castle, passwords and all again.

One quote particularly made my day:
Niambe: "just had to tell ya u are an awesome whm 8)"


Anyway, after we disbanded, I pretty much loitered around. For some reason, there seems to be a sudden shortage of goldsmithing materials around. It's getting very hard to get Mythril or Gold now, and Gold Beastcoins are in a bit of a tug-o'-war between 7k and 8k. As I write this, there're 16 Gold Beastcoins on the Jeuno AH, and none of them are selling for 7.1k, which is odd, given that the AH history is dominated by 7.1k sales, well, except that that one stray 8k purchase.

I popped down to the Labyrinth of Onzozo to try and get myself a map with the random Onzozo Chest key that's starting to collect dust, and failing that, headed over to the Maze to get a Divination Sphere worked on, then decided to visit the Attohwa Chasm for a little bit. The place looks very pretty, at least, some parts of it. Otherwise, it's basically a bunch of tunnels. Everything there conned to me though, yet, there were lvl 70+ Beastmasters there. I probably missed something, but it's a bit hard when you don't have the map of the place.

Ah well. ^^

04 November, 2004

I'm a Journeyman!

Finally managed to get that last elusive +0.1 skill point today. Successfully crafted another Gold Ingot on Iceday, and watched and grinned as the magic words, "Tuufless's goldsmithing skill reaches 48!" flashed past, or at least something along those lines. Traded in a Mythril Ring that I had been saving all this time for this moment, and voila! I'm now recognised as a Goldsmithing Journeyman!

Incidentally, I also just crafted another Gold Ingot, this time on Firesday, and got +0.2 skill points and a successful synthesis. So that makes my Goldsmithing 48.2. ^^

I do, however, have a problem. Goldsmithing's taken its toll, and I am now the poorest I have ever been in a long, long while. I have a grand total of something like 3,000 gil left on me /cry. Of course, this doesn't include the stuff I have listed up on the Auction House- two stacks of Mythril Ingots and three Gold Ingots for about 240k total, but oh well. I'm rather alarmed at how little profit making your base materials turn out, to be honest. Mythril isn't the great moneymaker it used to be (partially because everyone was jumping on the Mythril bandwagon), and as for Gold, well, making Gold Ingots out of Gold Ores is actually a loss. I think when the time comes, I'll just skip the 4x Gold Ore stage and go straight to 1x Gold Ore, 6x Gold Nugget. Some other people have mentioned this on the forums, so I can tell I'm not the only one feeling it. Oh well.

With Journeyman status, I can now buy my sunglasses, too! Unfortunately, I also need about 40,000 more guild points before I can get them. ; ;

Helped a bunch of people with thier AF3 fights today as well. We (finally) got around to getting Akanea his purple helmet, so he wouldn't get so many funny looks from people, and since we had an alliance together, we might as well head down to the Garliage Citadel to help the Red Mages get their hat. Neither fight was particularly difficult- all I did really was Haste my party members to counteract the RDM AF3 NM Guardian Statue's Slowga in the Garliage Citadel. The location was a lot closer than I thought, in fact, it's just behind the first banishing gate. Sooner or later, I'll have to pop back in here to get my BLM AF, but for now, that can wait.

Akanea's DRG AF3 took place in the Temple of Uggalepih (which marks the third time I've been here in four days /grumble). Fortunately, his fight, too, wasn't terribly far away, and to be honest, I haven't the foggiest idea just what we were fighting. I think it was a pair of NM Dolls, but I didn't really get a very good look at it. I do remember that this fight was brutally quick, and I don't mean in the NM's favour, either.

After heading home (and finding that nothing sold! /fume), I soon got the urge to try on my Moldavite Earring, which meant that I had to get level 47. Railston was online as well, so we decided to try and party together. Problem was, we didn't really know how to set up a party that had two Black Mages in it, especially now that Dispel effects are important. We eventually settled upon an initial party of two Red Mages, three Black Mages and a Paladin to tank. Went down to Revelation Rock to practice before eventually heading down to the Quicksand Caves for the real fighting.

One of the Red Mages, however, was a disappointment. He was drunk, at least, or so he says, and after seeing stuff like him not switching between melee and mage gear, casting Stone II on Beetles and not Refreshing/Enfeebling, I suggested he take a break for his own health. The fact that he had to leave for a bit to get his medicine since he had trouble breathing didn't help either. The party was a disappointment, since things were slow, and just felt very clunky. We Warp II'ed him back, and then carried on fighting with 5 people (since we were essentially doing that) until I found a Bard to come.

Once the Bard came in, things were all good. The Bard was a great sport at pulling (since she played a Ranger as well, so was used to it), and she and I would duo pull- she's Requiem, and I'd Sneak her up so she could get back to camp safely. Pulling's pretty hard work, and I have newfound respect for all the pullers who can consistently return with a Helm Beetle on their tails when there are so many Anticans around. The Paladin was great, too. He said he'd be up for a challenge, trying to take a half-BLM party, but he managed to pull it off. I don't know how, but once we got going, it soon became apparent that I could literally cast Blizzard II, Blizzaga, Blizzard over and over again without stopping. The Paladin only rarely lost hate, but that's what Blink was for. ^^

That all changed once I dinged 47. ^^ Once I equipped the Moldavite Earring, my nukes went through the roof. Blizzard IIs for 280 damage as opposed to 230. I had to tone down a little bit, lest I get aggro (and I did die two or three times :P), but overall, the party was very fun, even though we weren't hauling in the xp of a regular party. I guess stubborness pays off, sorta. If I were to do it again, I suppose it is definitely possible with more or less the same configuration. The Red Mage could be replaced with another Black Mage to speed things up a little, since the RDM debuffs weren't really needed, and all we wanted was Refresh. Ice Therondy probably should be prioritised next to Mage's Ballad too, since with Therondy, our Blizzards hit for full damage, and we saved both time and mana. Hopefully I'll get to try this again sometime. ^^

02 November, 2004

Awakening the Gods

Goldsmithing 47.9.

It's really quite something I'm proud of, yet, at times (well, twice today), I kind of wonder how much further I could've been had I not chosen Goldsmithing as my craft of choice. That, and breaks are now veryveryveryveryvery painful. :(

So far, I've successfully made six Gold Ingots, and lost five coins in the process. At 2k profit for each success (yea, and you thought Goldsmtihers were rolling in money, 'eh?) and 7k for each coin, that puts me at a deficit of 23k gil.


I wonder if my little prayer of "pleasedon'tbreakpleasedon'tbreakpleasedon'tbreak…" has somehow jinxed things. Both times I tried saying that, I had a failure. Coincidence, I think, but just to be safe...^^

Anyway, I was aimlesly wandering around Lower Jeuno with my RDM19, hoping to get a party, when all of a sudden, I got a /tell asking if I was interested in Rank 8. Of course, I leapt at the chance, and the 60k reward at the end would certainly help pay for my Goldsmtihing and Black Mage spells. Well, actually...maybe just the Goldsmithing. /sigh

Slowly, I start to gather members together, as people from the Rank 7 missions come back online, and we have a little bit of a reunion. Eventually, we have 11 people gathered together, and we set off for the Toraimari Canal to try and find a rumoured sixth ministery, the place where one of the pioneer tarus conducted his research into summoning magic.

So we head back down to the Canal, which a lot of the missions seem to involve now, and we head towards a different section, a marble door that's guarded by four NM Slimes- Hinge Oils, to be precise. These guys have a nasty AoE attack, one that can one-shot a mage easily, which I, unfortunately found out the hard way when, despite the leader's announcements of "full med!" he then goes on to pull one of the Hinge Oils when I'm announcing that my MP is only 60% full. Fluid Spread for 703 damage on a little-wittle taru is not nice! /fume

Alliances are such a pain to organise, sometimes.

Once we dispatch of the oils, we trundle into the ministery- a place with cobwebbed books, records, and whathaveyou of just about any aspect of ancient history and magical research one can imagine. It looked nothing like any of the other five ministeries, and had a distinct library aura to the place.

Flipping through one of the magic books, though, who else would show up but the Star Sybil! Evidently, the only other way into this place is through the Star Sybil's Vestal Chamber, and long story short, I technically wasn't supposed to be here. Ah well.....oops?


She let me off this time, at least, although threatening me that should I ever cross the 3-mage portal again, trouble would be afoot. I don't think I'll have to cross the portal again anytime soon, although my Black Mage AF is inside...hopefully she'll forget by then.

I get back to Windurst to find that one of the researchers, the Taru with the french accentaru I met in Fei'Yin, had run off all of a sudden after some things happened. It seems that there is another such old library in the Temple of Uggalepih, and this one supposedly held the Book of the Gods! Time to head out again!

Getting to the temple, on the other hand, proved to be quite a chore. People couldn't seem to talk to the Mithran Chieftainess in Kazham to get the Sacrificial Chamber Key, and Traktor had to do things the long way, chocobo-ing all the way to Norg, get the Zilart Mission 4 (which incidentally uses the same key) before Warping back to Kazham and getting the key for real. Akanea couldn't get the key either, and since the time was getting late (roughly half past one at this point), he called it a night and wished us luck. Our Ninja, Thibrebaud, also had to leave at this point leaving us at 9.

We'd probably need all nine of us just to make it through this alive.

First time we head into the Temple, we Invisible our way past the Tonberries that guard the passageway through to the inner chambers, and get there, only to have someone cast a spell right in front of an Iron Maiden (which incidentally, aggros to magic). One Iron Maiden, a Tonberry, and a Magic Pot that decided to join in the fun, half the alliance Escapes out, which the other half, unfortunately, end up eating temple stone floor. (Mmmm, moss....)

Fortunately, the group that managed to get out had the most number of people, and we eventually make our way back in, and somehow or other, manage to clear the area of all the magic-aggro mobs. Once all of us are back on our feet, it was time to try and get some cursed keys from a NM Tonberry by the name of Bonze Marberry.

We had to kill him four times in order to get all eight Windurstians a cursed key. Clearing the room at first was a bit of a pain, but after the room was cleared, keeping it that way was comparatively easy, well except for poor 'ol Redherr, who seemed to be the prime target for a Throat Stab. One hour later, we have all our keys, and now it was up to trying to find the door that the key unlocks. By this time, all our hiccups have brought the clock up to 4:30 in the morning, and I was on the verge of falling asleep. I even took a bit of a shuteye in the 15-minute gaps whilst waiting for Marberry to respawn, hehe. ^^

Thankfully, the locked Marble Door was very close to where we were, really just one or two passageways down with very little in the way of aggresive mobs. In it, I am confronted by an old being, from some ancient race, known as the Kuluu, but they were supposedly the ones who helped construct and lead us to build Windurst, and helped build the Horutoto Ruins, whose aim was to contain the energy of the moon. (I think)

Needless to say, this person wasn't very pleased to find out that the Horutoto Ruins has ceased functioning twenty years ago, warning that with the towers off, the energy it contained was now free to roam about. This released moon energy would manifest itself in the shape of a night hound when the moon was full across the plains of Sarutabaruta. Hmm...Fenrir, anyone? I even get mistaken for the Star Sybil, due to the energies of the blank Book of the Gods I'm holding. As a parting gift, or warning, the ancient person cast a spell that restored the Book of the Gods to a legitimate state, before leaving with a warning of things to come.

Five thirty, and the sun's beginning to rise. I waste little time in returning home to Windurst and reporting my findings to the Rhinostery, who sent me out to begin with. As usual, after swearing to lot speak of what I have learnt (the beliefs of the common Taru and Mithra of Windurst are somewhat misguided, and exposing the truth would result in widespread /panic, not that that's a bad thing), I am given my reward.

60,000 gil, and the best part:

Rank 8! ^^

On an off-note, Kareath also said something to me at the start of all this that just made me /smile:

"You have to have probably one of the very cutest taru names I've ever heard of."

/blush ^^

Thanks to:
Akanea (DRG60/WAR30)
Danatoth (RNG63/NIN31)
Kareath (WHM67/BLM33)
Mittens (RDM70/BLM35)
Redherr (SAM65/WAR32)
Sketchballs (MNK72/WAR36)
Thibrebaud (NIN64/WAR32)
Traktor (BLM61/WHM30)
Veelea (BRD64/WHM32)
Vengesim (RNG65/THF32)

31 October, 2004

Gold and Mold.

I kind of feel that detailing all the various parties I have during the course of the past few days will degenerate down into a repeated "this party was great!" or "this party was horrible!" For some strange reason, the vast majority of the "good" parties were Japanese, and the vast majority of the "bad" parties were made up of English-speaking members. Those of you out here who'd moan and complain about the unfairness of this statement, well, I'm afraid the English speaking community has a rather disturbing trend at this. At least, in the pre-50 levels (Maybe the chaff all quite around Genkai 1?)

Case in point- my party last night was fantastic. I (somehow) managed to piece together a WHM BLM RDM THF NIN RNG party, made up entirely of Japanese players (sans myself). I think I was probably the worst player of the bunch there, missing Stuns on Bomb Tosses left, right and center (I might have to rethink sitting down during combat to be able to Stun Bomb Tosses). The Ninja and Thief rarely lost hate, the Skillchains were flowing, the Red Mage could maintain his Refreshes well- it was a very nice party.

We were up in Yhoator Jungle, a place I hadn't explored during my WHM44 days. We ended up camping by the Ifrit's Cauldron zone, and fought the various Goblins there. The fact that you can steal Mythril Beastcoins from the goblins and they have Gold Beastcoins as a rare drop makes it very enticing to try farming there with someone that has a Thief, but seeing as how only one Gold Beastcoin dropped in the entire 3-4 hours or so, that might not be such a good idea.

Simply put, I dinged 45. Soon enough, I dinged 46, and was rather embarrassed about not bringing a scroll of Thunder II along. Seriously, I hadn't considering leveling up twice in one sitting!

Compare and contrast to my last party in the Crawler's Nest. The leader (Rank 5) was a WAR/NIN tank (I think). Not only was he impolite, he also never gave a TP report, booted a RNG from the party who was trying to get him to report, and on the very second pull, they link three Rumble Crawlers, and I have to quickly Escape everyone out and hope things work out. 'Nuff said.

Anyway, as the title suggests, I have begun working on the next stage of my Goldsmithing career- Gold. It's nice to finally make some semblance of money again, although the price range for Gold Beastcoins isn't as flexible as Mythril. It, also has a pretty darn high startup cost. I initially figured to slowly teleport/mine my way up to 48 Gold Beastcoins, until practicality kicked in, and I just bought 8 Beastcoins and synthed those on Iceday in the Goldsmith's Guild. Surprisingly, I got +0.1 skillups on two synthesis, and later in the night, I tried the same thing again, with both a +0.1 and +0.2. Not bad for 16 Beastcoins worth! Of course, now I have 120k+ worth of Gold stuck in the Auction House, which'll hopefully clear soon.

In comparison to Mythril, the sudden jump up to Gold is a nigh heart-stopper. From Mythril Rings, which cost 8k to make, suddenly the cost of production almost quadruples. I remember feeling _very_ nervious when I started making my first Gold Ingot, and was very relieved to see the skillup and successful synthesis. I do not doubt that at some point, I will fail a Gold Ingot synthesis, although I could just luck out like I did with Mythril, and not break anything. At least thus far, I have a pretty good record- 4/4 Gold Ingots made. ^^

I also forgot to mention earlier. On the 25th October, I finally hit WHM60 and am now wearing full WHM AF. My goal, as they say, is now complete. ^^

The problem I have now is the ever-persistent, "Now what?" I don't really have plans to level WHM past 60, and as I mentioned earlier, RNG looks very appealing to me, but so does BLM. For now, BLM has more of my attention, since it's obviously higher, but I wouldn't be surprised if I decide to switch back to RNG anytime soon. Of course, I'd have to hit WAR15 and NIN30 first, which I suppose is the real problem behind things. I do have one solid goal though- level up Goldsmithing. Aren't things simple? ^^

Finally, it is Halloween today. While I chose not to participate too much in this event (only getting myself a Trick Staff), I did end up having a little bit of fun scaring innocent bystanders around Windurst Waters for a wee bit:

Happy Halloween!

Anyway, I log off in a failed attempt at actually trying to get some real-life work done, and a few hours later, I'm back in again. Wandering aimlessly around Lower Jeuno, I bump into Xiaoke and Trebla. Xiaoke and I eventually start chatting again- he tells me about how he had just lost his fight to Maat, and how he plans to go again once his 2hr resets, and he gets another Bard's testimony. For some strange reason, I decide to ask him if he'd like to go camp Mysticmaker Profblix with me.

So off we go, trudging down to the Labyrinth of Onzozo. I had never actually been to the Labyrinth before, so I wasn't quite sure how to get there, although at least now I know. Fortunately, I remember the map from memory, and we walk over to the spawn area, where I soon discover that the mobs there do, in fact, aggro to Level 60 characters. Darn easy prey Cockatrices. Seeing as how Xiaoke's a cook, we go on farming cockatrice meat (ended up only getting two) and skilling up our weapons (or in Xiaoke's case, Evasion, since he was tanking :P). When we first got there, only one other Black Mage was there killing off Goblins and Cockatrices. I think he must've been at least BLM66 due to the black cloak he was wearing. There was also a high-level Paladin farming Cockatrices, although I'm not sure if he actually meant to camp Mysticmaker Profblix. I can only assume he was.

Anyway, as time passes, it is becoming apparent that more and more people are slowly, but surely, trickling into the Labyrinth. People are coming in, including a Japanese Thief, and other people are logging into the spawn zone. Fairly soon, we have seven people camping the area, and I'm starting to get rather worried. Kohen logs on, and offers to help us camp the NM, and so, he rushes down from Jeuno on chocobo to join us. I'm getting increasingly worried (or nervous, depending on how you want to look at it) about our chances, and set about building a Dia macro:

/ma Dia

I try spamming that around to test it. First time, I grab a normal Goblin that happened to spawn, and ended up casting multiple Dias on it, making me look very silly in the presence of everyone else. Later on, I accidentally Dia away a Cockatrice from the Japanese Thief that was farming them when one of them wandered too close to me. Now _that_ was embarrassing.

Time passes, and I'm getting more nervous. A Black Mage was camping Mysticmaker as well, and my Dia stood a very slim chance against his Stun. Kohen arrived, which made me quite relieved, since now Xiaoke and I had a fast voker. We kill a few more things, before, while I'm rotating my camera, I see a goblin with an unusually long name.

Mysticmaker Profblix.

I barely had time to register his spawn before I hear Stuns firing off. I look up at the screen to see the results, all fully prepared to accept the worst.

Mysticmaker Profblix's name was red.

Evidently, Kohen's Stun had somehow beat out all the other Stuns in the room, and shouting things along the lines of "We have him!" in the CT Linkshell, we immediately rush over and engage. I soon disengage and move to a safer location after an Aeroga III goes off, but oh well.

The fight wasn't nearly as hard as I had made it out to be, possibly because Mysticmaker decided not to cast any Ancient Magic spells for the duration of the fight. Gluey and Traktor were busy firing off advice in the Linkshell as to how to best handle him, and my heart was pounding away. We had overcome one hurdle, and actually managed to claim the NM, but would this be a dud? Mysticmaker Profblix's last moments went like this:

Kohen uses Souleater!
Kohen readies Crescent Moon.
Kohen uses Crescent Moon.
Mysticmaker Profblix takes 681 points of damage.
Xiaoke hits Mysticmaker Profblix for 62 points of damage.
Xiaoke defeats Mysticmaker Profblix.

The drops roll by:

Tuufless obtains 2000gil.
You find a Goblin mask on Mysticmaker Profblix.
You find a scroll of Thundaga III on Mysticmaker Profblix.
You find a moldavite earring on Mysticmaker Profblix.

I could scarcely believe it. I was so excited, I could barely hold a pencil in my hand, let alone contain myself from shouting "YEA!" in the Linkshell and /cheer-ing. The other campers were all curious, asking whether we got the drop, to which we elatedly replied "Hell yea!" They offered their congratulations, and were really good sports about it. Even now, it still hasn't quite sunk in. I've heard horror stories of people trying to get their moldavite earring. Camping the NM every two hours for nights on end. Claiming the NM multiples times, each time without a drop. To claim, and get the moldavite earring on one's very first try is something to be thankful for, which I most certainly am.

With regards to the other campers, to those who might doubt karma, I'm actually tempted to go camp Mysticmaker again, just for one of the other people who were there at the time. In any case, I lot, both Kohen and Xiaoke passes, and I am now the proud owner of a brand new spankin' moldavite earring! I am one happy taru! ^^

/em huggles the moldavite earring.

/em huggles Kohen and Xiaoke too. ^^

Thanks to:
Kohen (DRK63/THF31)
Xiaoke (BRD70/WHM35)

28 October, 2004

Victor of the Balgas Contest

Wow did that Mission take a long time. Much longer than expected, actually. But then again, seven hours later (I think), I am now strutting around a brand new Rank 7 badge attached to my name!

I logged on to quickly check the Jeuno Auction House for Mythril, which I normally do from time to time. However, within five minute sof my logging in, I get a /tell from Akanea:

Akanea: !!!
Me: ?
Akanea: Wanna do Rank 7?

Of course I couldn't refuse. We gathered together eight people together (six Windurstians and two San d'Orians) to go to the Horutoto Ruins to fight the four NM Cardians for Mission 6-1, and then we slowly accumulated a few more people along the way. The four cardians were by no means difficult, and I'm sure a party around Level 60 could take on the four of them with little trouble.

We then tailed Arujido-Marujido all the way to the Full Moon Fountain in the Toramarai Canal, which is beyond the Horutoto Ruins, evidently locked behind the all-mystical (and very-wey pretty!) three-mage gate, that needs the presence of a White, Black and Red Mage to unlock. Then again, Fangryn had the key, so we kind of skipped that part. :P

We eventually caught up to Arujido in the Full Moon Fountain, but alas, he got arrestaru'ed by Semih Lafihna and the rest of the Mithra high guards. Unfortunately, since it was my mission to track him down, I guess I was misunderstood, and was called to the Star Sybil yet again to clear my name, by participating (and beating) the Yagudos in a contest held at Balgas Dias. It seems Arujido was trying to revive (and subsequently master) summoning magic, which for some reason is a big no-no in the books of the Sybil, so he got life imprisonment, which Apururu was none-too-happy about. But I digress.

The party for the Balgas Dias contest was WHM DRG SAM RNG BRD BRD. After a few hiccups along the way, partially due to me buying up Mythril Beastcoins and forgetting my Mushrooms, we figured that the SAM could do a decent job at tanking, since he was SAM 65. We reached the Burning Circle, entered, and went through the obligatory announcements regarding the contests, to which I was referred to by the sorry title of "Tuufless the Unremarkable." Bloodthirstly to actually gain some respect, even though it be among Yagudos, we engaged in battle.

If you've ever seen a SAM65 tank four NM Yagudos, it isn't hard to see that the result about two minutes later was this:

Yea, we kinda lost that one hard. It was quite funny though, since the battle time limit was 30 minutes, after everyone was dead, I activated Reraise, Raise II'ed everybody else, and then we went back to trying to kill off the yagudos yet again, which the other members were quite receptive to. Let nobody scoff at the indestructibility of a White Mage! :D

Of course, we got owned again, except this time it was the Summoner Yagudo whose Tidal Wave (Astral Flow ; ;) knocked three of us out of the contest. The other three soon followed suit.

We were about to give up when one of the Ninjas we sent a /tell to earlier actually replied to us. Fast forward a few minutes later, we have a Japanese NIN75 helping us out, and as they say, third time's a charm. We beat the Yagudos this time without too much difficulty (although I died yet again) and we were soon off to Castle Oztroja to complete the third and final part of the mission.

Navigating through Castle Oztroja wasn't too bad, since our Ranger knew where you get passwords required to progress all the way to the top floor of the castle. It was rather interesting to note that we also passed by the rarity that is an unopened Castle Oztroja Treasure Coffer, and suffice to say, we were all rather disappointed we couldn't open it. ; ; No Astral Rings for us, it seems.

We reach the top, where the door is guarded by two Yagudo High Priests, both of which have True Sight. By now, everything is conning IT to a party of Lvl 60+ players, so suffice to say, we're rather nervous. Akanea got aggro and died when his Invisible dropped, and after much dodging of Yagudo Assassins and what-have-you, we got him standing again. Using Veelea's Judgement Key, we quickly slipped into the door, got the oath from the Holy One (???) and a Teleport-Mea later, we're riding chocobos back to Windy to get our Rank 7!

My summary's rather rushed, but then again, it's past 5 o'clock in the morning now, and I'm quite tired. Of course, I need to give the obligatory credits when I leave. Taru~! ^^

Thanks to:
Akanea (DRG60/WAR30)
Chihiro (NIN75/WAR37)
Danatoth (RNG62/NIN31)
Fangryn (BLM59/WHM29)
Redherr (SAM65/WAR32)
Veelea (BRD64/WHM32)

…and the other people I forgot who helped out with M6-1. ^^

27 October, 2004

The Fanged One

Have you, my child, trod on many a land, drank from many a rrrainfall, fought many a fine battle and lived to see many a dawn? Then truly I say onto you, unless you are aprrroved by the earth and the sky, how is it that you can say you are accepted by Mother Nature?
If you so desire to submit yourself to the laws of naturrre, my child, then go, meet with the fanged king of the beasts, and bring back one of his grrreat teeth. Listen to the voice of nature and wait for nature to run herrr course. If nature accepts us, then even we who lack fangs will be perrrmitted to hunt as her rangers.


It all started quite a few days ago, during one of my Cape Terrigan parties. I was partying with a Ranger in AF. Not just any Ranger, mind you, but a Taru Ranger. Those of you who know why I ended up becoming WHM will understand what my newfound goal is when I say:

Tarus in RNG AF are soooooooo cute! ^^

And that was that.

Fast forward a few days (or was it weeks?) later. I'm randomly surfing for AF pictures whilst visiting my friend's room, and eventually, it dawns upon me to show him a picture of a Taru in Ranger AF. Finding one was hard, and the AF pictures page (sorry, don't remember the link) only had the guy Taru's picture. I needed to double check if girls got the same deal.

Fortunately, I stumbled across this picture:

Yep. Other girl tarus. All in AF. Well, AF2, to be precise, except for that bottom one who's in a wedding dress. But that confirmed it for me- I wanted to take on RNG.

Of course, there were multiple problems in the way. First, I'd have to somehow fund my Ranger. Not only arrow-wise (which I hear is cheap up to level 20 or so), but gear-wise. Leaping Boots at Level 7 will probably take a while. I could possibly camp Leaping Lizzy and join the masses (WHM/RNG for laughs) but I get the feeling the Boots don't drop for a WHM59. Then, there's the matter of subjobs. I don't mind leveling up Ninja, since I was thinking about doing so after seeing the monstrosity that is the almighty Taru NIN/BLM spamming second level Ninjutsu.

The problem lay with having to level up WAR.

I am not a huge fan of brute melee, and WAR is one of those jobs I never ever thought of leveling up. However, I'll need it up to RNG24 when I can switch over to NIN for Utsusemi: Ichi, and then should I actually get around to completing my goal of Ranger AF, I'll need WAR15 to support the traditional RNG60/NIN30 setup. This, suffice to say, if going to take one heckuva long time. That, and my Mog Safe is starting to overflow from WHM and BLM gear.

I headed home to Windy to activate my Ranger quest, meeting up with the Mithra tribal chieftainess who gave me the above speech. It's rather strange coming back to Windurst and being surrounded by Mithra all of a sudden, without another fellow Taru, but I like Mithras. They're much more down-to-earth and friendly that some of the other races. The elf guards in San d'Oria always seem to think I'm trying to assassinate their prince or something. The Humes of Bastok are okay- haven't really talked with them much. I probably wouldn't like meeting Galkas much, except they're so fun to huggie-wuggie! *ahem*

The quest was a lot easier than I thought. I had heard horror stories of people being assanine and killing Old Sabertooth, so I was rather curious just how long I had to wait. As it turns out, I walked up to the cave, found no tiger, walked inside the cave, saw the pile of Tiger Bones, picked up an old tiger fang, then Warped back to Jeuno to catch the airship back to Windy. Piece of cake!

When I got back and activated my Ranger, I set about the long task of leveling my subjobs. I bought myself a set of Bronze Armor and an Axe (Bronze Subligar.../shudder), whipped out my THF06 that I had leveled earlier for goodness-knows-what reason, and five minutes later, I was clanking outaru of Windurst as a WAR01/THF01. Eventually, after eating down Mithkabobs (which are essentially +50% STR for me ^^) I hit Level 5. Just for kicks, I go back to Windy again and buy myself a Longbow and some Stone Arrows. On my very first arrow, I one-shotted an EP Savannah Rarab for the kill. (And got +0.1 to my archery, too ^^)

I think I'm gonna quite like shooting arrows.

Incidentally, Gluey was also wondering whether he should level up RNG as well. At first, I thought if he stuck to NIN, I can take up RNG and we can go level up together, but it soon dawned upon me that a much greater plan could hatch. If Gluey were to become a Ranger, that'd make him...

*Warning, BAD Magic joke coming up*

...it'd make him...



...an Elvish Archer. \^o^/

(or an Elvish Ranger, but those who know Ben will understand the significance of being an Elvish Archer over a Ranger. ^^)

Wow, I think even Pants would be impressed by that.

So, at least, for now, I'm (somewhat) started on my path to becoming a Ranger. I'm actually kind of going through a bit of a mid-life crisis, as now with my WHM fast approaching Level 60 (a late-night party in the Valley of Sorrows for a few hours has put me within striking distance of the elusive 60), I really don't know what I want to do next. Black Mage, perhaps? Work on Ranger a bit more? Concentrate on being a full-time Goldsmither? (Speaking of Goldsmtihing, I'm 46.2 now! ^^)

Time will tell, I guess.


For the hunterrr, the fangs are not just a tool vital for existence, but also a witness to its death. If the fanged one loses its fangs, it can no longerrr live. Yet when the fanged one dies, only its fangs remain. To hunt like the fanged one, you must live by the fang and die leaving only the fang behind.

Onto you, new ranger, I bestow the witness of the life and death of the grrreat fanged one...