30 January, 2005

Heir to the Great Thunder and Fire (and Ice)

It's been a while. I've sinced moved back to the United States, and am now trying to fight jet lag before my classes begin. At least FF is going a pretty good job keeping me awake, unfortunately, at the wrong times. ; ;

I've been trying to level up my Red Mage more as of late. My White Mage is stuck in a pseudo-static with some friends online, and my Black Mage is stuck until I get my paws on an Elemental Torque. Of course, I could spend my time mining, and actually, y'know, make gil, but that's not my kind of thing any more. I don't know why, but mining seems to have lost its appeal as of late. Then again, it could just be me. I've friends telling me I should go into HNM, but I'm rather reserved about joining an HNMLS, since from what I hear, drama's aplenty, and I'd like to actually try to find an LS that's pleasant- I hate enemies. >_<

Anyway, I was seeking with my RDM up in Kazham earlier, when Vengesim and Redherr (two friends from my Windy missions) ran past, and asked if I was up for fighting Ifrit. Of course, I agreed, and switched over to my White Mage to head down to Ifrit's Cauldron and the Cloister of Flames.

It's funny coming back to Ifrit's Cauldron after all this time. The Bombs no longer con Incredibly Tough to me (although they'll still kill me ; ;) and for some strange reason, I don't feel all that threatened by the place anymore. Of course, we had the obligatory death en route to the Cloister, when one of the BSTs failed to Charm a creature to fend off an attacking Bomb, but Raise II fixes pretty much everything. ^^

I've heard Ifrit's easy, and to be honest, he wasn't that much of a challenge at all. Not as easy as Titan, (Titan's laughable) and we did get the obligatory death from Hellfire (1600+ damage on Redherr, ouch!), but there was nothing really to be alarmed at. Part of this may be because the avatars who are supposedly "harder" are the ones who are able to cure themselves, namely Garuda and Leviathan (and Garuda was a pain), but without some curative skills, the avatars just go down too quickly. Especially when you have level 70s after you.

As it turned out, Ifrit wasn't enough to settle things, and we wanted more. So off to the Boyahda Tree it was. ^^ Had a little bit of a hiccup when someone had to stop by Mhaura to pick up the tuning fork, but we managed to make it to the Cloister of Storms without much of a hitch (although people somehow, did get lost in the Boyahda Tree...)

Ramuh kind of breaks the rule about non-healing avatars being easy. Well, not quite. Compared to Garuda, Ramuh was still a piece of cake, but he has other abilities that make fighting him a pain. Thunderspark, for example is an AoE Paralyze, and I unfortunately got hit by it when I ran up to Ramuh so I could cast Barthundra on everybody. The end result was that I was spending the next few moments trying (and failing) to Paralyna myself, and unfortunately, Barthundra wore off, and Ramuh 2hr'ed. ; ;

At least only one person died. >_<

It's a bit hard trying to keep track of who's Paralyzed though, since his Paralyze attack does not say who got hit in the text box, so I resorted to watching lines of "so-and-so is paralyzed" before Paralyna-ing them.

After beating Ramuh, we headed back to Mhaura to collect our rewards, and then started discussing what we could do next. Redherr had to leave since by now, it was past two in the morning, but the others wanted just one more fight. I suggested Leviathan, since it's the hardest to get to (and is the one I'm missing), but we decided to leave Leviathan to the next day. In the end, we grabbed a Chinese NIN70 gilfarmer and headed off for Shiva since it was Firesday. Fighting Shiva also marked the beginning of my whispers collection, en route to fighting Fenrir. ^^

The conversation with the gilseller was funny though. According to Anora, the conversation went something like this:

Anora: Are you Chinese?
Wadian: Yes. Where you from?
Anora: USA ^^
Wadian: Cool, but I am gil seller. ^^

I didn't mind him too much, and he only came down for fun, or so he said, so it was easy to ignore the fact that he sells gil online.

So we fought Shiva, and once again, somebody died! >_<

For some reason, avatars have this recent knack for using AoE effects whenever I'm about to run up and reapply the appropriate Bar-spell. In our case, Shiva cast Sleepga just as I was trying to run away after casting Barblizzara, and unfortunately, caught all of us in the midst. ; ;
She then used Diamond Dust, and Serephia died. ; ;

At least it was Firesday, so other than poor Serephia, the rest of us managed to escape unscathed. I have to say though, after fighting all the other avatars, I'm still not sure which is more majestic- Shiva, or Garuda. I'm inclined to believe Shiva, but there's something that doesn't quite feel right. Oh well. Might have something to do with me leeching her off when I first got her. ^^

Anyway, we all decided to disband at this point. I now have my first whisper to keep, and we plan on meeting again tomorrow to get some work done on getting Fenrir! That, and for some reason, I forgot to take the usual screenies of me summoning my new avatars...grrrr...

26 January, 2005


Thanks to my computer still crashing, I've been unable to xp. At least there's always crafting. ^^ Smithing's slowed down now I'm approaching the Darksteel Ingot cap, and I don't really have much plans to take it past 52, although I'll probably end up working towards Smithing 60 just for completeness' sake. But by far the more important progress was something else.

Watersday, Waning Gibbous. Two Combat Caster's Boomerangs on the AH. (Turns out Wyred was pumping Boomerangs into the market to fund something of his)

Rabao. Four Mythril Earrings and many Lightning Crystals later, I have two Mythril Ingots.

My Mog House. Fire Crystal. Watersday. Tried synthing a Combat Caster's Boomerang +1, and lo and behold, it finally happened:

Tuufless’s goldsmithing skill rises 0.1 points.
Tuufless’s goldsmithing skill reaches level 54.

For the record, it's been just over two months and two weeks since I hit Goldsmithing 50. At this rate, goodness knows when I'll finally reach my goal of attaining Goldsmithing 100. But I'll worry about that later. ^^

I was going to craft up the second Combat Caster's Boomerang, but the computer crashed. Too lazy to log back in again. Too content to do so as well. ^^


22 January, 2005


I finally got around to doing it. I'm not sure what spurred me on to finally completing the Gobbiebag III 'quest', but oh well. It probably was that long BLM partying in the Boyahda Tree, when, 8 stacks of Water and Wind crystals later, I found my inventory full and unable to receive any more items. Having to pass on all the other crystals, not to mention Beastman Seals, was quite annoying, I have to admit.

And so, something possessed me today to actually go about completing the Gobbiebag, Part III.

To the uninitiated, the Gobbiebag is a series of six quests, each of which increase your inventory's carrying capacity by five items each. All the quests involve are bringing four items, primarily crafted (and then bought on the AH) to this goblin who is in Lower Jeuno. As one might imagine, these items are not cheap, but they are bearable. The combined total for all four items for Gobbiebag I, for example, definitely cost less than 20k in total.

Then comes Gobbiebag III. Among the items required are a square of velvet cloth and black tiger leather, which is none too difficult to get. The kicker comes in the other two items: a gold ingot, and a painite. The gold ingot cost me 30k, and the painite, 40k. Both Goldsmithing items. In total, I spent roughly 80k on Gobbiebag III alone. Fortunately, after that, things were rather smooth sailing, and I managed to complete both Gobbiebag IV and V without much of a hitch, especially since the materials for V are so very cheap, especially when you can make some of the required items. (Now VI, on the other hand...let's not go there yet ^^)

Why, one might ask, didn't I make half the Gobbiebag III items for myself when I am a Goldsmither? The problem lies in the items themselves. A Gold Ingot's cost of production is either 4 Gold Beastcoins at 7k each, plus the Fire Crystal, so about 28,300 gil. That's assuming I can get Gold Beastcoins at 7k each, but in reality, they go for 8k each instead. That already overshoots the AH listed price, and that's assuming I do not fail in the synthesis, which is by no means guaranteed (see below to get a better idea). The other item, the Painite comes from a Level 20 synth of a Black Rock, which Goldsmithers use to 'carve' out black jewels. The problem is that the Painite is an HQ2 synth, and is rather hard to get, even though I'm about 34 levels higher. I would also require a plentiful supply of Black Rocks, of which there were no feasible ones, and every non-Painite jewel I make is a loss. So in the end, I just bit it, and bought everything.

On the plus side, I now have 55 slots in my inventory, and figure I could fit a ram in my bag- I have no idea what I'd use all that space for! ^^

Also tried my hand at skilling up my crafts (as usual). Alchemy went okay- I'm at the Silent Oil stage where synthing it is a loss, since Beeswax is so expensive, but I only lose around 3.5k for each stack of Beeswax that I use, so that's bearable, at least. 4 stacks of Beeswax later, I find myself at Alchemy 21.9, and good to keep going. Smithing, on the other hand...well. I thought I could synth up some extra Darksteel Ingots for profit, since the Ingots are quite a good way to make a quick buck. Materials cost around 11k, and they sell quick for 15k each. Unfortunately...

...I try my hand at seven synths. Break five of them, and lose 3 Darksteel Ores and 8 Iron Ores in the process for a total of 30k down the drain. The two synths I do make barely even cover that kind of loss, and I'm both mystified and miffed at how I failed that much. Must be something about Earthsday..../fume.

On the xp front, I've since taken to leveling up exclusively in BLM parties. Spoilt rotten? Probably. It's sad when I get a /tell in Japanese, and I reject the party offer, since for the most part, it's just not worth it to try and xp in a regular party setting anymore. Over the last two days, I've had just three BLM parties, and have since gained a level and a half since the first one. Given that tnls are in the 30,000s right now, you can imagine just how fast we were going. It's interesting to see the Black Mage community look out for one another, and I keep contact with many Black Mages from all ends of the planet, since to my recollection, only two Black Mages have refused a BLM party. Oh well, their loss.

That, and knowing Bards around your level are also pretty darn useful. ^^

Last, but not least, the best part about BLM parties is that it's a show in {Tarutaru}{Power} :D That's right, the little people are up, and let's not forget the awesome postcard-like screenshots one can take with fellow Tarutaru:

That was the 2nd BLM party out of three that day. Not the standard 5 Black Mage setup, but I dragged Fishura in as well since he was curious what a Black Mage party was like, and I figured with Refresh, Ballad, and Ballad II on, we'd keep the chains coming. And keep them coming, we did. Fishura commented how he'd never have to use Convert in such a party, and while we couldn't quite kill the mob with the initial Freeze volley, the subsequent Stun and three Blizzard IIIs would put an end to that. Needless to say, we were all very happy, though I wonder what the other party must've thought. There wasn't any real competition for mobs, although we did notice a significant improvement once the other party left and we had the place to ourselves. As I write, Hirushi and I are still in contact about trying to get another BLM party going, Epps is a good friend of mine who has been leveling with me since I first met him around BLM55, and Tearl has signed up for any form of a BLM static that we make. Hah!

BLM-ing does have its disadvantages though. I hardly recall any skillchain, and this newfangled Level 3 skillchains (ala Light and Darkness) are all gibberish to me. Not to mention that you drive all the other parties nuts by literally killing everything (one crowded weekend night, we ended up killing Elder Goobbue and Korrigan as well!), and are probably a huge annoyance to all the other parties who need a Black Mage, but can't get one since five of them are in your party. Oops...

21 January, 2005

Crafting again. ^^

Actually, I'm not too sure what to call this entry. The important part is simple enough, really- I decided to buy a Combat Caster's Boomerang via Conquest Points, and tried making the +1 version on Watersday.

Not only did I succeed the synth, but more importantly, I got a nice +0.2 to my Goldsmithing! :D

Some of you may be wondering why I'm so ecstatic about a piddly +0.2 skillup. Simply put, crafting post 50 has a very noticable decrease in the number of skillups, and in addition to that, Goldsmithing is by far the most expensive craft out there. Take this as a comparison- the materials needed to make a Gold Ingot at Goldsmithing 50 cost about 32k. In comparison, the materials for a Darksteel Ingot at Smithing 50 (Smithing's reputedly the second most expensive craft) cost a mere 11k.

In fact, Goldsmithing is so expensive, that if I hadn't stumbled across my current skillup recipe of a Combat Caster's Boomerang +1, I'd probably still be at Goldsmithing 52. Then again, I'm sure I've mentioned all this before, but what the heck. ^^ Other than that though, I was also crafting up a bunch of Darksteel Ingots after I noticed the price of Darksteel Ores in Bastok had reset to somewhat sane prices, and at the time of writing, I am now Smithing 50.4...just over one and a half more skill levels to go...

Partied with Gluey again this morning in the Boyahda Tree for a very, very long time. I think we played for about 6-7 hours straight, since I know I didn't eat breakfast that day, and by the time we finished, my stomach felt like it was about to implode. >_< On the plus side, I ding'ed BLM64, and now I get to cast both Blizzard III, and my Erase once again!

What I'm going to do from here on though is still up in the air. I'm tempted to just finish that one level and hit BLM65 so I can at least join Gluey's sky LS. On the other hand, I would like to level up my Red Mage, at least as a viable sub (Dispel at BLM64/RDM32), although knowing me, I'll probably end up taking RDM up to 60 just for kicks. The other problem with leveling up BLM is having to save up for an Elemental Torque, and somehow getting my hands on a Penitent's Rope, which I'm starting to want more and more...


20 January, 2005

Heir to the Great Earth (and other happenings)

The problem with writing an entry in the middle of the day is that the stuff that happens afterwards gets added onto the next day's entry. As such, I'm more or less covering two days here, starting from where I left off yesterday afternoon. Quite a bit has been happening, so here goes: ^^

As the title suggests, yep, I now have Titan to add to my collection of summons. After writing yesterday's entry, I logged back onto FF after a bit of a break doing other things, just to see what else I could do other than party. As it turns out, someone was /shout-ing for people willing to go on a Titan run. Of course, I leapt at the chance- after all, I've been burnt out of the usual xp grind, and really needed a change of pace. A good 'ol BCNM-style summon fight would be a good way to go about fixing things. ^^ Furthermore, friends have told me that Titan is also one of the easier summons out there, so I was pretty relaxed about the whole thing.
The obligatory screenshot at the Cloister of Tremors, as per what the other summon battles have been like:

The levels of our party were all over the place, from RDM58 to WHM75 and RNG75. Fortunately, the reports were correct- Titan WAS indeed easy, in fact, compared to Garuda, this was a walk in the park blindfolded. No ridiculously high evasion, no massive self-healing, heck, even his 2hr did pittance in comparison to what I had seen before. All this time though, I was quietly mashing my Aero II macro (first time as a BLM!) before going into the good 'ol Aero III -> Aeroga II to finish Titan off.

And then the screenie of me and my newly acquired summon: ^^

Moving on, that was not all that happened, oh no...there was questing! And NM camping! And the Best Party Setup Ever! (those of you who read this should know what I'm referring to.) I was randomly walking around town when Ladyrikku from the Doom LS messaged me asking if I wanted to go do the quest for the Attohwa Chasm map. Given that I'm quite the sucker when it comes to maps (I can't stand not knowing where I'm going), I agreed. The mission involved travelling down to Bibiki Bay, then from there, taking a Manaclipper (a boat) over to the Purgonurgo Isle (and I'm sure I spelt that wrong) to confront somebody about the ownership of the island.

While the ownership may have been in dispute, the fact that the island was just gorgeous was certainly not. The island was like your typical tropical getaway island- clear seas, white shining sands, palm trees, and the rest of the works. We had to walk all the way to the center of the isle (not a hard task when all the mobs con Too Weak to you) and confront something. This "something" turned out to be five NM black Mangragoras, none of which were particularly difficult. The initial plan was to have Evasama (another BLM) and I Sleepga them, then kill them one at a time, but it soon degenerated down to Evasama and I nuking -ga spells to kill them off instead.

I still haven't completed the quest yet though- it seems that there's a second part to it- to locate a Mithran tracker in the Attohwa Chasm, and goodness knows when the next time I'll pop down there will be. >_<

Next up on the agenda was camping Wyvernpoacher Drachlox for Gluey. Like, Mysticmaker Profblix, Wyvernpoacher drops a very desirable item for a certain job (in this case, RNG), that is RA/EX. Mysticmaker dropped the Moldavite Earring, while Wyvernpoacher drops the Othnius' Bow, arguably the best crossbow in the game. Both goblins seem to spawn on similar conditions, with a two hour repop time, although Wyvernpoacher is also based off a lottery pop off Goblin Mercenaries. So Glue, his LS mate, Yasu, and I head down to the Gustav Tunnel to try and camp the goblin, who happens to spawn very close to where the Level 58s xp off Robber Crabs and assorted Goblins.

When we get there, we find two parties there, killing things. It didn't strike us immediately, but one of the parties was actually camping Wyvernpoacher as well, although from their level and jobs, they could've very well passed off as a rather unusual xp party. 59-62 with two NIN tanks? Erm... Glue, I, and Ladyrikkyu (who came to join in the fun) were busy scratching our heads when Wyvernpoacher popped. The other party got the claim, and we all ran over. Despite Gluey saying out loud, {Leave}, they continued to fight while we just stood there watching. Suffice it to say, they were not prepared for the fight, and almost pull out a win before the entire party dies with a sliver of health remaining on Wyvernpoacher. In the meantime, Gluey, Ladyrikku and I are busy preoccupied with a Robber Crab that happened to spawn while the other party was fighting Wyvernpoacher, and if things were dicey enough already, another Goblin Mercenary decided to pop right where all the action was happening.

As soon as Wyvernpoacher's name turned white again, we took over and tried to kill it. Yasu came to the rescue, charming the Robber Crab we were fighting, but alas, the Goblin Mercenary takes out both Ladyrikku and I. Thankfully though, nobody actually engaged it, so Gluey managed to avoid the aggro altogether and just focus on Wyvernpoacher. It was a close fight, with Gluey emerging victorius at a whole 51 health with dead bodies littered all over the ground. And yes, we got the Othnius' Bow. ^^ So far, that makes me 1/1 on Myticmaker Profblix, and 1/1 on Wyvernpoacher Drachlox- not a bad record, eh? ^^

Unfortunately, I detest camping, so I don't think this'll be an activity I'll be taking much interest in. >_<

Finally, it's onto the Black Mage party. I won't go into much details here, since the insanity of putting five Black Mages together with a Bard to fuel the fire is well known. In about two hours worth of partying, we racked up about 14k xp points, or about 7k/hr. Heck, I even died twice with no Raise II, and that didn't hurt all that much, either! However, for some reason, it was really hard to actually put this party together, despite the fact that we had plenty of Black Mages seeking. The problem, as usual, lay with trying to find a Bard. It got so frustrating that I was briefly considering leveling up a Bard, simply because so many parties are dependant upon having a Bard in the party, in particular, both "uber" parties- the 5x BLM party, and the 3x RNG party. Eventually though, I managed to grab a Bard through sheer luck, and after sending a few /tells to seeking Black Mages, we were off!

What was surprising was that despite being this far into the game with a Black Mage, two of the members had never been in a BLM party before. Needless to say, they were fitting in very well after the initial "getting-used-to-this" session, and we were chaining off Steelshells and Skimmers like it was second nature. It was certainly a very nice, refreshing break from the same old regular-style parties (no offense to them, of course ^^) and I feel like I can go back to playing BLM with a somewhat renewed vigour. Anyway, for those who are curious what things look like…

I'm about 2/3rds of the way through Level 63 now- time to start working on my RDM sub...gotta have that Dispel! ^^

19 January, 2005

Ode to a Dragoon.

/sigh. It's one of those days again.

I'm actually writing this entry in the afternoon, as opposed to the wee hours of the morning, just because I'm quite frankly burnt out. Combinations of bad parties, and other assorted messiness has taken quite a lot of the joy out of playing this morning, so I figured I'd take a break for a few hours. I really don't know how it happened. The setup was great. RDM BLM BLM PLD THF RNG. My only gripe was that a NIN tank would potentially serve our party better, since we were without a dedicated healer, but then again, a NIN tank would send the mob flying in all directions thanks to the good 'ol RNG BLM BLM. Having a Eurytos' Bow on the RNG probably wouldn't help the hate control, either.

On the plus side, the PLD + THF managed to hold hate pretty well, and I don't recall the mob ever turning to me once the initial SATA had been settled. Unfortunately, for some reason, things just kept going wrong. It's not like the players were horrendous either, since I've partied with pretty much all of them before. Things just didn't...click together, I guess.

Anyway, that's not the main point of this entry.

Rewind about an hour, when I'm trying to build the party. As per Gluey's and my "pseudo-static", I start off with RNG BLM. I invite a THF in to get the Sidewinder -> Dancing Edge skillchain for Distortion. Standard procedure, straight out the textbook. It was then I noticed my LS member, and good friend, Akanea seeking. I guess it's time for a quick introduction.

Akanea and I go back a loooong way. Well, not that long, but you get the idea. Looking through my archives, Akanea (hereafter shortened down to just "Aka") and I first partied together in the Boyahda Tree, way back when I was around WHM54. Take a quick look at the archives at the 22nd September entry. See that DRG I mention there? Yep, that'd be Aka. Come to think of it, that was almost four months ago. Wow...

Anyway, Akanea's a great person, and I really enjoyed my time partying with him. There's just one problem. Aka is also a Dragoon. (Which you should've realised from the previous paragraph.) For those who aren't quite familiar with party setups in Final Fantasy XI, the standard party build is one tank, two melee for a skillchain, and three mages. Actually, "mages" are rather generic, since Bards can also fit in there, but you get the idea. In addition, one of the mages needs to be able to contribute a mana refresh effect to the party, which means either a Red Mage, or a Bard. But that's deviating from the point.

The problem is that while the mage roles are pretty much set in stone since you pick three jobs from WHM BLM RDM BRD SMN, of which one has to be either RDM or BRD, you have no less than six different melee jobs (that's more jobs than mage) all competing for two slots. Of those two slots, the most desired is Ranger, due to their ridiculous damage output, rivaled only by the Black Mage. With the Ranger, you also have a Thief, which has (imo) the most powerful closer to the Distortion skillchain in the form of a SATA Dancing Edge, which can, on occasion hit the fourth digit with relative ease. It's a beautiful thing to see a Ranger, Thief, and Black Mage get to work with a Sidewinder/Slug Shot to SATA Dancing Edge skillchain with a Blizzaga II Magic Burst on top. Mobs can go from full health to zero in that one skillchain alone. I'm getting ahead of myself again here...

The problem is, Dragoons are well, pretty low on the recruit list. Other than the fact that they look cool in their blueish-purple AF armour, they don't contribute all that much to parties, at least, not in my experience. As such, Dragoons can spend days on end trying to find a party to level up with while everybody else cruises ahead of them. The situation is similar to Thieves before they reach level 15- nobody wants them.

So, going back to Aka.

In the time it took me to level my Black Mage from level 35 to 63, Akanea has managed to get from Dragoon 60 all the way to 62. The disparity's astounding sometimes, and since I really do like partying with Akanea, I'd want him in. Unfortunately, I already have my skillchain all set up. Bringing Akanea in would make the mage ranks very tight, and generally, three melee classes aren't really recommended. So, once again, I leave Aka in the lurch and go off to party yet again. Honestly, it doesn't feel good. At least the party didn't turn out well at all, so Akanea wasn't missing much, but that's not the point here.

Partying with friends is a very good thing. It's nice to be back in the 60s, where many people have slowed down and taken time off to explore other aspects of the game. I'm back with many of my friends whom I've made during my White Mage days, and the company's good. But right now, I'm rather preoccupied in getting my Black Mage up to 65 so I can join Glue's sky LS, who reportedly need Black Mages, and to be honest, that goal is quickly falling out of sight. It may be the grind, which is indeed, harsh. A good party gets about 5k points an hour. Even then, it'll still take over six hours of leveling just to get one level. Suffice it to say, I'm looking at roughly fourteen more hours of mashing macros and casting nukes at mobs while watching my "To next Level" bar crawl forward at a crippled snail's pace. But when did leaving old friends behind come to be? Logistically, partying with Akanea is no longer sound since he's a whole level behind me. I could wait, and party with him once he hits 63, but given the rate at which things are going, that's a very far-off thing.

Aka, if you're reading this, {I'm sorry.}. Since I don't level up my WHM all that often now, hopefully we'll be able to party again once you and Avar hit Level 63. Then it'll be good times again! ^^

17 January, 2005


Sometime tonight, in an Attohwa Chasm party that wasn't terribly memorable (in the sense that it was only so-so), I dinged 63 on my Black Mage.

Once again, the ever-familiar string of {Congratulations!} and {Congratulations!}-variants flew across the bottom of the screen as I proudly activated my scroll of Stonega III which I had oh-so-conveniently acquired from that party in the Quicksand Caves not too long ago.

Dinging to BLM63 also meant that now, Tuuf's BLM had finally caught up with her WHM. Suffice to say, it was time to make a decision.

I miss WHM. I really do. I can't quite pin down just what it is about the job that I like, so I guess it's the overall feel. I'm sure people out there will think I'm insane thinking WHM is a job to like, or even find fun, but I can't exactly change those peoples' viewpoints. Sure, sometimes you get the WHM RDM NIN parties where you are basically twiddling your thumbs. Other times, you get into those areas where only a WHM can bring the party through, like cockatrice in Cape Terrigan. It's nice to use the awesome power that is Cure V, which really seems to be a spell only fellow WHMs can truly appreciate. I've barely even had time to cast my newly-learnt Protectra IV since dinging WHM63 in the Labyrinth of Onzozo some time back. Even though way, way back then when Tuuf first set foot in Windurst Waters, she was a BLM, I've since considered Tuuf to be always a WHM by heart. Like I said, I just don't know why. There's something about your first real job, the one that you set out to do from scratch, and level up, discovering new things along the way. All I've been doing as BLM is pretty much recalling everything I did as WHM and rinse-lather-repeat. I imagine when the time comes to level up another job, it'll be the same deal all over again. So, yea, I have a soft spot for WHM. Not to mention that I look soooo cute in WHM AF. ^^

But people don't need WHM. Do they?

If there's anything these last few levels as BLM has taught me, you really don't need a WHM all that much. Sure, you could get a RDM or SMN to main heal, but throwing out Cures is something everyone can do, and for the most part, the mages can always sub WHM and split the non-Stona status effects. More importantly, WHMs don't contribute to a party's damage output, which in a party that starts out as WHM BRD PLD, you'd better have RNG RNG BLM as your last three members, or you could be looking at some loooong fights. Sure, losing Raise II hurts, but when you're killing so fast, the extra hit can always be handled. Besides, there's always the kindhearted other WHM that'll probably Raise II you. (It seems that I have a bit of a reputation as WHM, so other "fellow" WHMs usually don't hesitate to give me a Raise II. ^^)

Gluey's asked me if I was interested in joining his {sky} LS, which I've been interested in for a bit, really. They're looking to recruit BLMs, or so he says, which is fine by me. I'm just not sure if this is something I'll like in the end. Put it this way, my BLM and WHM have their major goal completed- full AF. The question of "Now what?" looms pretty much right in front of my nose with neon lights glaring. The end-game? I suppose a few HNM hunts would be fun. A dedicated LS to hunting would also be nice for my summons and Raise III, should the time come. In other applications, it'd be a very good place to practice my Japanese- party related talk isn't exactly the most varied of conversations, and only really strays to where I'm from.

But I'll need BLM65 for that. /sigh. What to do?

(On another note, with Stonega III under my belt, all the Toramas in the Labyrinth shall learn PH34R! ^^)

15 January, 2005

To companions lost.

This entry's going to be a little bit different from the norm, simply because, well, not a whole lot happened. Sure, I got the obligatory xp party with Glue in there somewhere, working on Cockatrice in Cape Terrigan. I could spell out in more detail how Glue, at RNG61 was missing Sidewinders with Sharpshots left, right, and center, and how we wandered around Cape Terrigan for 40 minutes trying to find an xp spot after our initial choice of camp had two other parties already there. I could tell you all about today, where I couldn't do anything because I didn't want to party because of the computer, and I couldn't craft because the AHs were all out of Iron Ore. I could tell you about how I ran all over Vana'diel to get my map of Fei'Yin, and started signing up for Ballista. But that's all besides the point.

Sometime during that aforementioned party in Cape Terrigan, Shortee sent me a /tell.

I guess a little bit of an introduction is in order here. Shortee is a BRD friend of mine, who I partied with around my BLM54 days in Kuftal. Since then, Shortee and I had only partied together one other time, when I had made my first BLM party, and needless to say, he liked this newfangled BLM thing. But things started to wear out on him, and he eventually bounced around other jobs, trying them out, at least, to the best of my knowledge. Last I knew, he had this sudden urge to level up a Summoner, but that too, is besides the point.

Anyway, Shortee sent me a /tell saying that he was going to quit FFXI and move onto World of Warcraft. I can't blame him, really. Warcraft really does look like a good game, and FFXI is starting to get a little old. It's been what, two years since the Japanese release? Even the Japanese players are starting to rotate out. It's almost as if every day, somebody well known in the FFXI community decides to leave the game for good. Of course, there will come a time when I have to hang up the wand (no wait, I use Staves now ^^) and call it a job well done and done. It's still sad when somebody leaves. So many people have left in my time, just recollecting their names bring back memories. My first "static partner," Kenjuurou. The rest of the Doom (my first LS) crowd: Apocalypse, Sollanon, Shikari, Kristara, Crixis, Lorec. Elowen. Accolade. I'm sure I've forgotten a few more. And now, Shortee.

I really wonder when my time will come.

13 January, 2005

And the collection's complete! ^^

Wow, does time fly...I guess it's easy to get caught up with things, but it certainly didn't feel like 4 days since my last entry. Glue and I have been leveling up together in a static party of sorts, duo-ing as damage-dealers for hire to all who would need us. Course, we've only really set out for like, one or two parties together, but both times, the sheer amount of damage we do is just ridiculous. Part of that might be because we (for some reason) keep getting a second Ranger into the mix, leaving behind some very frustrated Ninjas, and some er, happy Paladins?

Then again, the problem with this set is that my computer is still the berwonkers (yes, I made that up) when it comes to actually staying online without overheating and crashing. Enron says it might be a power supply issue, which is certainly possible from what I've been reading, and for now, elevating the computer up about half an inch seems to ease things a bit. Because of that, Glue could party while I was busy struggling trying just to stay online, not daring to party in the meantime. So, as for today, while Glue's caught up in that alternate world we usually refer to as "real life", I decided I'd catch up with him. My first party went just fine- chaining Toramas in the Labyrinth of Onzozo despite not having a White Mage- the SMN and I ended up splitting -na duties, depending on whoever wasn't midcast. My second attempt at a party, on the other hand, left much to be desired. I have never seen a party member die three times before the first chain was even completed.

I'm sorry, but at Level 61-62, if you cannot get to the Valley of Sorrows by yourself in one piece, then, okay, maybe there was an accident. Not only did he go to the wrong zone (despite my saying "north entrance"), he also died again en route to said north entrance, and then died once more when he pulled a link, by which time he had about enough, and got really angry at the Ninja and Samurai for not provoking both mobs off him. Too bad the Ninja didn't understand what he was saying, since he was Japanese. In the end, he and his WHM friend just left in a huff, and that was that. Talk about leaving a good impression for people...now if only I could remember their names so I can add them to my mental list of people who didn't get into my "OK" book.

In terms of crafting, Goldsmithing is starting to look bleak. Not only is it really, really hard to get skillups, but the so-called "golden time" where I synth Platinum Ingots for profit has now degenerated into Platinum Ingots for a small loss assuming I succeed. I'm getting Gold Nugget nightmares again. Seriously, it's been a very long time since I could last skillup on Ingots and make profit. Unlike, say, Darksteel Ingots. ^^ Contrary to Goldsmithing, Smithing's been doing great! I am now 47.9 after churning out lots of Darksteel Ingots, and after selling 18 Ingots, for about 3k profit each, along with other assorted crafts, I finally have some semblance of a sizable walletaru. ^^ Of course, that means I just spent it, which gives rise to the title above.

Yep, the "collection" refers to those infamous elemental staves all mages are supposed to get. I just used my newfound wealth to purchase the last two Staves I need for my set- an Earth Staff and a Wind Staff, and with that, the full set is complete! :D (Now to start working on the HQ versions.../groan). But until then, I'm just going to sit back, and look at my collection. They do look pretty spiffy sitting there in my inventory...^^

08 January, 2005

Cloud Breaker!

Yep, I finally got around to completing it. Genkai 4, otherwise known as the easiest Genkai there is, and for good reason, too. No mobs to fight, no Sneaking around the place, no chance of death (unless you happen to be really, really unlucky). Just locating, and finding 4 NPCs that match certain descriptions, and trading them one of the many Kindred Seals you have picked up along the way and haven't used, since Kindred BCNMs are best done with 70+, and it's kinda hard to be 70+ without first completing this quest. ^^

My four "clues" as to who these people were as follows:

1) A Galka child who is great at hiding.
2) The smartest looking Mithra child.
3) A girl who is positive robes and bronze subligaria are the latest fashion.
4) A young man looking for a job where they’re not too rough with him.

Many, many thanks to the internet later, I eventually got around to handing over four of my Kindred Seals over to these people, taking a tour of Vana'diel in the meantime. 'Course, it was a good way to pass the time while waiting for Darksday to roll around. (Full Moon...Mmmm...^^)

Which brings me onto my next major accomplishment for the day: Smithing 45! Yep, I decided to bite the bullet and just powerlevel through those last few stages of Iron Subligars to the magical level 45, where I can feasibly start Darksteel Ingots (Profit? {Yes, please.}). Well, it wasn't really powerleveling, since I would've spent pretty much the exact same amount, but you get the idea. I bought up two stacks of the requisite materials, and come Darksday, Full Moon, I sat down and started synthing. It didn't even take that long, and I actually overestimated how much I needed to get those last levels. As a result, I'm stuck with half a stack of Iron Sheets, Lizard Skins, and Cotton Cloth, but that's of little worry. After all, I'm Smithing 45! ^^

And so came Firesday, Full Moon. Equipped with the power of Firesday, a powerful Fire Moghancement, and a Fire Staff (just a casual observation of mine- my elemental staves seem to affect the success rates of my synths), I was getting some very nice skillups with Darksteel Ingots. It feels so good to be making profit again, really. Oddly enough, Darksteel Ores have shot up in price, and are now a steady 8k each! That's as expensive as a Gold Ore! Fortunately, the price of a Darksteel Ingot has similarly risen in price, so I'm not one to complain there. Thank goodness Darksteel Ingots use 3 Iron Ores though- I failed twice, and lost a grand total of 3 Iron Ores. Had the synth been 4x Darksteel Ores...

So that's where I am now. Smithing 45.7, and waiting for the next Fires/Ice/Lightsday where I'll be awake, and where there's plenty of materials in stock. I should probably go back to mining Oldton for my Iron Ores, and pick up the occasional Platinum Ore for my Goldsmithing, once I finally reach that confounded level. Just 1.4 skill levels to go...