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)