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.

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