Ah, production. Sundays. A smooth connection (for the most part).
When I last fell asleep at my keyboard, I was only 1,700 experience points away from Level 55. This morning, after a quick breakfast of pizza (America, d'uh) and melon, I log on at around 10:00 to try and get my level.
I got my level at 2:00 in the afternoon.
Those four hours were an aggravating (although rather amusing) example of just about everything that could possibly go wrong in a party.
I seek, and see a tank and a Bard seeking, the Bard being Zim from my previous party. Both players accept and now we have healer, tank and support. How hard can it be to get the other three (largely miscellaneous) members? Okay, with a Ninja tanking, we needed a Thief. No problem, we got a Thief. Then we got a Dark Knight (Dandarf, who for some reason always seems to get into my parties when things don't go well)
WHM, BRD, NIN, THF. DRK. How hard can it be to get a 6th?
Evidently, very hard. For some bizzaire reason, everybody disappeared after that, sans an extra WHM or NIN, not that we needed either. Eventually, we settled on a Warrior which turned out better than I expected, given that I haven't partied with a true blue Warrior since...Ben's WAR35.
With no Bard and no Red Mage, we head down to the Boyahda Tree to fight spiders. We try to grab a chocobo from Port Jeuno, but decide that the 1,700 price tag for a chocobo was daylight robbery, so we Teleport over to Mea to try and grab a chocobo from there. Of course, the chocobo vendor at Mea's offering his birdies for the low, low price of 1,800 gil. /frown.
We eventually reach Boyahda and we fight one Spider. Then, our poor THF discovers that all the other spiders decided to get all lovey-dovey, and we cannot pull for a good while. By now, it has been over an hour since I first started making the party and we're +150xp so far. Eventually, we manage to find a lonesome spider which ends up killing our Warrior with a Sickle Slash for 621 damage that lead to much gaping. At least the Warrior was not the whiney sort.
Wondering how we could've been lacking in the healing department, Zim (our Bard) makes a shocking discovery:
He Warped back to Jeuno to party and forgot to switch his subjob to WHM.
So as our Warrior's resting, Zim Warps back (/BLM ^^) and switches over to /WHM and forks out another 1.7k on another chocobo, which gets a few chuckles out of the Japanese members and I. He chocobos back, and then lo and behold, it's 12:30. He hits the Sanctuary of Zi'Tah when he lets out another announcement: it's lunch time and his Mum insists he eats at the dining table.
At this point, the Dark Knight has had enough, what with one death, two kills, and 300xp for over an hour's work. So he logs out without saying anything, leaving us to wonder whether he intended to even return. Of course, that was just when Zim finished eating his (very quick) lunch.
So we eventually find a Red Mage to replace the Dandarf and end up sitting around the Boyahda Tree /poke-ing Spiders for another ten minutes while he arrives.
Then the Warrior disconnects.
Fortunately, he returns about five minutes later, but that's just another addition to the list of "things that went wrong". We go on to fight Robber Crabs with our newfound Dispel powers (although with a Bard's Magic Finale, I wonder why it didn't occur to any of us to do this sooner) and our first crab gets us 200xp each. The first chain gives 230xp. Things are looking better as we start work on Chain #2 then disaster strikes.
The Ninja disconnects.
Let's say fighting an IT crab with 5 people and no dedicated tank was not a very fun experience, although it sure was entertaining to see what we could do. Our Warrior did a good attempt at tanking wih his gear set to damage, and somehow held hate despite my having to repeatedly Cure III him. Fortunately, all is saved when the Ninja reconnects and we finish things off shortly thereafter.
One chain down, we begin work on the second. We're fighting another Robber Crab when disaster strikes again. All of a sudden, I see Zim's life go red, and I cannot figure out for the life of me what could've possibly hit him until I rorate my camera around and see it.
Three more Robber Crabs standing right behind him, pecking away.
To now, we still haven't the faintest idea how three Robber Crabs got there, since they certainly don't spawn in trios. It is quite possible that some idiot trained them there, but how they got there isn't the concern anymore. We try to move away to some other corner to avoid links (which actually worked), unfortunately leaving poor Zim nibbling away at grass while we try to finish off the crab we were working on. At which point, the Red Mage is having a chuckle at our misfortunates, saying something along the lines of "Two disconnects and one death. Good start ^^."
I replied with "You have _no_ idea ^^"
Fortunately, this is where it all ends. We start pulling, chaining, hitting #5 regularly, and the experience flows in. I hit my Level 55 when Zim has to go help his LS with the Shadow Lord. He sets off on the long walk back to Jeuno while we get Fangryn (BLM) to replace him. Fangryn's the BLM who helped me get my Giddeus chest key for Kazham way back when I was a WHM25 and he was BLM30-something, so it was nice to see him again. Eventually, the Japanese Thief levels up at which point it's 3:30 in the afternoon (4:30am for them) so they call it a night.
The Ninja decides he's had enough too, and all the melee disband, leaving a WHM, BLM and RDM behind. We try to piece another party together, but the people aren't seeking, so a few Warps later, we bring the party to an end.
I was about to log out, when out of the blue, I saw someone /wave to Fishura, my Taru RDM friend. I say the obligatory "yo" and /sea him out, and see he's leading a party. I then send him a /tell: "Putting an xp party together?"
He replies: "No, Genkai 2 ^^."
To make things even better, Fangryn was also looking to kill Dark Spark for his gloves (said he'd been trying to get the people for days already) and when Fishura's G2 alliance reaches 12 members, I point out that Fangryn's assembling a Dark Spark party and would probably be more than happy to help us out with Genkai 2 if we help him complete his gloves.
Ten minutes later, we have 17 people in the alliance and we're off to Xarcabard.
The school network started crapping out on me, and the lag was bad. People would teleport all over my screen, and I'm surprised I didn't disconnect in the middle of things. With seventeen people, all three fights were really a cinch. I'll summarize since it's getting late. One hour. Genkai 2 complete and Healer's Mitts received.
Along with Level 55, it certainly was a good day to play FF. ^^