28 February, 2005

Shattering Stars, Take 2

"Shattering Stars, Take 2." I'm not sure what to call this entry, really, and whether my second attempt at fighting Maat was worth the title is quentionable in itself. Other possible candidates for the title include "The Party that does not end," or just "70! ^^"

I guess some explaining is in order. ^^

The morning was pretty much spent idling around, hoping to see if someone was /shouting for a Beadeaux skillup or an Ifrit run (they weren't). For some reason, I have a great abhorration to /shouting for missions and stuff like that, although I have few qualms trying to start up an xp party. And so, a lot of the morning was spent doing other things. Zimo, a Ranger, had previously invited me to a party, but I had to decline since at the time, the Doom LS was about to start their escourt run. And so he tried to invite me once again, except that I actually had my party flag up. ^^

And so, we went down to Bibiki Bay, despite the fact that I personally quite liked Kuftal Tunnel. That, and I wasn't quite sure where we'd camp in Bibiki that was worth it, since I only knew the camps up to the Dhalmels. As it turned out, the party setup was BLM WHM RDM RNG DRK NIN. We camped in some cave at the south of Bibiki, where all the assorted Hobgoblin Fishermen gathered, namely Hobgoblin Anglers, Hobgoblin Fishers, and the occasional Hobgoblin Physician. I was initially dismayed at first when I was told that I couldn't Magic Burst Firaga III off {Light} as there were Tartarus Efts in our camp, and for a while, I stuck with just plain old Thunder III Magic Bursts. Eventually, I soon noticed that whenever both Efts went to the back of the cave, there was ample space to Magic Burst Firaga, and so, that's how I got my fix. I have to admit that as time wore on, I grew more daring in my perception of what a safe distance was, and I had to cancel many Firagas (and consequently miss MBs) thanks to an Eft that decided to get out of the cave and have a breath of fresh air.

Tuufless slaps the Tartarus Eft.

Anyway, we were fighting pretty much nonstop. Thanks to the fact that Arching Arrow to Spinning Slash for the Light skillchain dealt so much damage, I only really had to stand up to Magic Burst a fight. Indeed, all I'd do to start a fight was to to my usual Frost, Rasp, Drown triad, then Blind and Drain to skillup, and then the rest of the fight would basically consist of me waiting to MB while spamming Dia to skillup Enfeebling Magic for my Maat fight. When I mean we were fighting non-stop, it was pull after pull after pull. I'm not sure how many people know of that particular camp- I personally had no idea such a camp existed, but the mobs were plentiful and the respawn time didn't feel too long either. Granted, we'd occasionally miss a Chain #5 (when I had to cancel an MB), but we were making a little about 5k an hour, and everyone was happy.

Happy to the point where nobody wanted to leave.

Well, that's not quite true. Actually, quite a few people left, but in the NA players' tradition, replacements were sought. ^^ First, Zimo (RNG) left, and we brought in Dyson (another RNG) to replace him. Then, Unstopable (WHM) left, and we grabbed Fishura (RDM). Then, the other RDM, Neiru (JP) was feeling sleepy, after having played through the night until 9am JP time, and apologising, he left as well. We then brought in Izsa (BRD) to replace Neiru after some coaxing. After that, Fishura had to leave, and so we brought in Awo (RDM) to replace. From then on, we played for two more hours before finally disbanding the party.

The party, in its entirety, lasted about eight hours, during which I personally got a whopping 35k xp points, and better yet, I dinged 70! :D

'Course, it was a little-wittle bit embarrassing to ding 70 without my scroll of Water IV, but even if I did have the scroll in my possession, it would've almost assuredly been left in my Mog Safe. After all, who brings scrolls for the next level when you're 34k tnl at the start? >_<

What was also odd was that the Ninja, Reikiyoki (or something like that) complimented me on my Black Mage-ing. Personally, I found it quite nice, since as I'm sure I've mentioned before, I've had quite a number of people complement me on my play as a White Mage, but in the 70 levels of Black Mage, I've only had one person tell me I was a good Black Mage. Perhaps the difficulty to play a Black Mage is somewhat underestimated?

Anyway, with Level 70 came the opportunity to fight Maat once again. The fact that it was Darksday was just gravy. And so, remembering mistakes from last time, I set about to try again. This time, I even managed to borrow an Enfeebling Torque from Fishura to help out with my Sleeps, and had everything macro'ed, just to be sure. I entered the battlefield with nothing on, except two Electrum Rings and a Gold Hairpin, based upon the assumption that Maat is a mirror image of yourself upon entering the battlefield, so hey, why not make yourself gimped with -50 hit points to boot? ^^

And so I went through the routine performance of getting Blink up via the Blink Band, and then, now knowing that Maat doesn't engage you until your first spell resolves, I opened with Freeze.Maat started to cast Blizzaga II, and then I hurriedly Stunned, then Sleepga II'ed him. It's a little difficult to tell when Maat's actually slept, and as he kept moving forward after I cast Sleepga II, I thought he must've resisted, and so hurriedly Elemental Seal'ed and cast Sleep II...only to find that the Sleepga II landed successfully. >_<

I then cast Flare on him, which almost did the job. Maat started casting Blizzaga II and I tried racing with Sleep II. Besides, I was still at full health, and Blizzaga II, while it'd hurt, it wouldn't kill me like Stonega III. Then Maat came running up to me and started attacking. I figured Maat had interrupted his Blizzaga II and decided to go melee instead, so I kept the Sleep II running.

One of his physical attacks connected, and....Blizzaga II resolves??


Suffice it to say, I died. ;

Oh well, lessons learnt again. I've rewired my macro set to be almost fool-proof (of course, we'll see how foolproof it really is the next time I try), and now I had to somehow procure yet another Black Mage's testimony.

And so, I trooped down to Beadeaux again to try and get a testimony (and Water IV), except this time, I was doing it solo. Like I said, I hate asking other people for help on missions and stuff like that, preferring to solo when I can. That, and I'm sure some people know how expensive Water IV is, and should Water IV drop and people insist on lotting for it even though I need it more than they do, I, for one will be a very mad taru. >_<

Soloing the Sapphire Quadavs aren't particularly difficult- it's just a very tedious process. In essense, anything that can be reliably slept is fair game for me, and all I have to do is Silence, Thunder III, Stun, Sleep II, Aspir, rest and repeat, keeping up Stoneskin and Blink all the while. It takes me a little over five minutes to kill one Sapphire Quadav, but at least I'm not wasting my time killing the other assorted Quadavs like in a skillup party. Of course, sometimes pulling the Sapphire Quadav out of the clump of other Quadavs is a little bit of a chore, and one basically has to wait it out, hoping that the Sapphire will separate itself from the others and then pull with Silence (this is to ensure the Sapphire Quadav doesn't stay back home casting spells and not moving, giving the other Quadavs opportunity to link.) It takes about ten minutes to kill one Sapphire Quadav, so it's not a terribly fun thing to do for long stretches of time, but we make do with what we have, I guess.

In the end, I got neither the testimony, nor the scroll of Water IV. At least one Quadav dropped a scroll of Waterga II, although that wasn't quite what I was looking for. >_<

Then the skillup parties began to trickle in. Once the second skillup party entered, I pretty much gave up, since judging from their pulling styles, they certainly weren't going to let me have the Sapphire Quadavs to myself, unlike an earlier group. Heh, /fume-ing over potential links with a Thief is quite fun. ^^

More to come... ^^

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