I never thought it'd actually happen, given the lack of partying I've been doing thus far this week. When the day started, I had all but a lonely 1,000 experience into Level 57, and getting 19,000 more was a daunting task, even for the two days I had left if I were to keep to my plan. But as the title says, somehow, it happened.
Probably because I didn't do a whole lot of anything else. I actually played in two parties over the course of today, my first being a party in the Gustav Tunnel in the afternoon. We couldn't stay for very long, somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes, with a RDM, WHM, BLM, SAM, NIN, DRK setup. After the DRK (Totipotent, who's on my friends list) accidentally pulled way too many goblins to start things off (three IT Goblins and a Leech took him down real quick), the xp started to flow in after that.
Some things learnt: I am personally not a huge fan of the trio mage configuration when accompanied by a Ninja. I literally ran out of things to do. Normally, I'd Frost or Slow/Paralyze in the absence of a Red Mage or Black Mage, but since they had both parts covered, I'd do my usual spiel of Haste, Barwatera (or Fira), Regen II, possibly, and end up waiting for the Haste timer to reset for the other melee, or Bubble Shower so my Erase can get to work. If it were late at night, I probably would've fallen asleep.
Unfortunately, people had to go, so I went back to the Jeuno waitbench. I myself had things to do personally, so it was many hours later that I finally went back to party searching, although now, the Japanese were starting to log on.
I'm not sure what it is now. I'm now somewhat uncomfortable with partying with the Japanese, and I suspect it's more than just the language barrier. I ended up seeking for a bit before a tell came in from a Ranger named Vani:
"ii yo ^^"
This party was one I did not want to leave. Two Rank 10 members, one of which was our Ninja fully equipped with a Scorpion Harness +1. As a quick recap, the party was NIN/THF/RNG/WHM/BLM/BRD. We were killing and chaining literally nonstop, and we even hit 302xp gained on a Chain #4- even the Japanese were commenting on how they've never had 300+xp before, and our ridiculous pace of killing things. The full Distortion would deal about 1,400 damage to the mob, and with my Hasting the Thief and Ranger, you can get an idea of just how often we pulled off the skillchain. In fact, the only time we missed Chain #4 was when a new arriving (NA) party came running in shouting "RUN", dragging behind them three Robber Crabs and a Velociraptor to the Valley of Sorrows zone. Needless to say, the Japaneses' impression of the North American FF community wasn't improved in the least, although they were certainly good conversation with me. Heck, I wonder if they even know I'm not American.
While I'm at it, I might as well put down my opinion on this NA vs. JP debacle. Yes, there are bad players from both sides, and there are also very good ones. Unfortunately, in my experience, the general quality of an English-speaking party is less than that of a Japanese party, and it's something I really don't want to see. But by the time you're Level 58 and Rank 5 or 6, you should know better than to have an underleveled sobjob. You should know better than to ignore the BLM's choice of skillchain. You should know better than to train mobs into three other parties when someone in your party messed up and got aggroed. These are things I'd expect to see down in the Yuhtunga Jungle, not Cape Terrigan, or the Kuftal Tunnel, or wherever. Granted, to categorise all English-speaking players under this blanket is grotesquely unfair (although to our credit, people at their 50s seem to have their gear and spells up to date), but there are certainly more English players who just do not present themselves to their full (or near-full) potential.
At least the conversation's better.
Anyway, the party went on. And on. And on. Many many hours later (more like three, really), I had reached 15,000xp into Level 57, and was actually smelling my jacket that I had brought with me in the faint hope that the party would actually give me my requisite 12,000xp. A little under an hour later, the stars flew, the lights shined, and the golden lettering of "Congratulations!" popped above my head. I am Level 58!
All the Japanese were happy to see me in my jacket, and to be honest, I am very happy about it too. The jacket (okay, Briault) makes me that White Mage I saw on the chocobo goodness knows how many months ago that inspired me to take the White Mage route. It makes me that White Mage I've wanted to be for all that time. I am finally an accomplished White Mage (not to mention the difficulty of getting the Briault in the first place...) All that's left now is to don my Healer's Mitts at Level 60, since the Devotee's Mitts do look rather gray...
About one hour later, I had called for an end. I was 2:30 in the morning, and we had been going on for 4-5 hours. I helped our Bard (Takeke) hit level 58, since he was just 700xp away when I said I'd go, and we all gladly stuck around for one last chain.
The Ninja (Wecker) MB'ed Mijin Gakure to finish. ^^ All in all, a very good night.