## 28 April, 2005

### Dynamis-Beaucedine Interloper

With the four basic Dynamis cleared, I was now able to join the rest of the Explorer crew (most of them, at least) on their next scheduled Dynamis-Beaucedine run, which just so happened to be today. ^^

I also decided to pick up an Aquilo's Staff and a Vulcan's Staff, adding to my collection of HQ staves. I'm quite pleased with them, actually. ^^

Anyway, I've heard all sorts of things about the ice Dynamis, in particular nightmare stories about Dynamis-Xarcabard. Hence, I was looking forward to a well-fought battle in Dynamis-Beaucedine. Of course, meeting up with the rest of the linkshell was already quite a journey, and I ended up taking the airship down to Windurst before Outpost teleporting over to Xarcabard and then walking through the Beaucedine stretch back to the Rangemont Pass zone where everybody else was waiting.

There were forty of us on this run.

To be honest, actually clearing the Dynamis-Beaucedine mobs wasn't all that difficult. We pretty much stuck to the same plan of pulling and killing all the way through, with the exception of handling the Orc NMs, since they are a Beastmaster job as well as whatever other job they happen to have. All we did then was make a ring around them and have Frisk tank the NM while everyone attacked with only nukes and ranged attacks. That way, only Frisk would be affected by Charmga. Simple, no?

In addition to that, while the Beaucedine Glacier zone is huge, the mob camps are spaced quite far apart, so we had a lot of running in between camps. I was actually put in the Sleepga party for the first time, and we never really had much problems, well, except for a rocky start when Kitsume accidentally stopped while pulling a Beastmaster mob and tits Scorpion pet cast Breakga, petrifying the entire party and then some. Oops.

I wanted to get my AF2 coat out of this run, since it looks pretty spiffy, and I wasn't really planning on buying my Igqira Weskit anytime soon. The stats on the Sorcerer's Coat is still nice though, and I certainly wouldn't protest against a BLM who had a coat over a Weskit.

Unfortunately, a whopping five Black Mages wanted the coat, but thankfully, I got placed second in line, since I had accumulated quite a sizeable number of points by now. Geo got first dibs, since he has points flowing out of his ears. >_<

Much to everybody's surprise, a Sorcerer's Coat dropped within the first ten minutes of us entering Dynamis-Beaucedine. ^^

Geo took the lot, and now I had to wait for another Sorcerer's Coat to drop (hah, like real) so I could lot on that one. The feeling of being close to your AF is quite...nice, I must say. Unfortunately, not a single piece of AF, BLM or otherwise dropped for the rest of Dynamis-Beaucedine, although two 100-pieces dropped, much to the delight of those who wanted them. Ah well. Guess there's always next time. ^^

We got to the final boss with a good fifty minutes or so to spare. I knew this boss was hard, but I didn't imagine things to be this difficult. The Mega Boss for the area is one Ahriman by the name of Angra Mainyu, who not only has insane resistances to both physical and magical damage, he also can cast Gravity-ga, Dispel-ga, Silence-ga, Death, Magic Barrier, and Warps around the Fei'Yin entrance to boot. That, and he also spawns four NM Dragons at the start of the battle, which are usually pulled all the way back to the Rangemont Pass.

I'm not too sure altogether why we don't engage the Angra Mainyu as the Dragons are being kited to the zone- instead, we waited for Kitsume to bring the dragons to the zone first, before engaging the Angra Mainyu.

My understanding of this is a little sketchy, but from what I gathered, it seems that the hate between the Angra Mainyu and the four dragons are somewhat linked. That is to say that if we were to prematurely engage the Angra Mainyu, the dragons would turn around and come back to its aid, hence the pulling over to the other end of the zone. And so, we were all set to go. Kitsume attacked the Angra Mainyu, and fled across the Beaucedine Glacier, dragons in tow. We all patiently waited for Kitsume to let us know when the dragons reached the zone line before going in to attack the Angra Mainyu.

Kitsume gives the signal. We move in and...

...

...the Angra Mainyu's not there?!

Turns out that someone was supposed to Bind the Angra Mainyu somehow so it wouldn't follow Kitsume (I think). Only Stev saw the Angra follow Kitsume to the Rangemont Pass, while Elmas was assuring us that the Angra would warp back to Fei'Yin where we could engage it. That didn't happen. >_<

Eventually, will all the confusion going on, things started to return. First, one of the dragons returned and we killed it, which is a rather fruitless effort since the Angra will simply resummon it within a minute or so. However, we just needed to buy the time to engage the Angra when it showed up, which thankfully, it did quickly.

This thing is a complete pain to kill. It basically goes on a routine of Gravity-ga'ing everybody, then Warping back to some place around the Fei'Yin zone, which means we have to quickly locate it and deal some semblance of damage before it warps again. All during this time, the dragons from earlier are busy making their way back to Fei'Yin, so we were on a clock, or so to speak.

It actually went down rather quickly compared to what I was expecting, although I guess it may be because we were spamming the heck out of it with Elemental Seal'ed nukes like Blizzaga III, Thundaga III and Thunder IV. Even so, it still took a while to kill it, and towards the end, the Angra Mainyu started spamming Death, and people were falling very quickly. I happened to be one of the "lucky" recipients of Death, so... >_<

Somehow or other, we managed to kill it before things got out of hand, and at the time of its death, many people at already fallen. We ended up Raising (1 ; ;) a lot of people, including myself in an effort to save time, since only seven minutes were left on the clock, and defeating Angra Mainyu does not grant a time extension, unlike the other Dynamis zones.

Unfortuantely, not everybody cleared Dynamis-Beaucedine. Our THFs- Kitsume and Mapper, had both trained the dragons over to the Rangemont Pass, and they couldn't get back to Fei'Yin in time to collect the ??? they needed in order to clear Dynamis-Beaucedine. They are, understandably upset about this, but I guess now that we know what not to do, hopefully our next run through this zone will let everybody clear.

## 26 April, 2005

### Go Nodowa!

I couldn't resist it. With just two levels separating me and capped Smithing (at least, for a Journeyman), I went ahead and practically powerleveled the rest.

There were numerous factors that contributed to this. For one, the price on Darksteel Bolt Heads had plummeted from 43k/stk down to 32k/stk thanks to some fools undercutting like crazy, hence, my old slow standby of synthing Darksteel Bolt Heads for both skillup and profit (somewhat) was now tossed out the window. That, and when I tried synthing Darksteel Bolt Heads earlier today, I broke two Ingots in the process. >_<

Which then brings me onto Nodowa. Nobody disputes the fact that Nodowa is a loss. However, the synth does have some merit to it- that is, it is by far the cheapest synth available, at least in terms of material costs. In a world where practically everything else involves Darksteel in one way or another, a synth that uses just a spool of silk thread and an Iron Sheet stands out. Making the sheets on my own, the total material costs amounts to roughly 60k, while the sellback is about 27k, so I'm looking at a 33k loss over twelve synths.

But wait! 33k is worth less than two Darksteel Ingots! Assuming I break twice per twelve synths of Darksteel Bolt Heads, it's actually cheaper for me to go with Nodowa instead. Of course, there are times where I burn through all twelve Bolt Head synths without a single break, but with the market having collapsed, I didn't really want to take my chances. I was already losing 56k every twelve synths of Darksteel Bolt Heads with the collapsed prices, anyway, so Nodowa was just the better synth.

And so I powered. For some reason, I didn't really feel the sting of a 7-8 level gap, probably due to Earthsday, Full Moon and an Earth Staff to boot. Two and a half stacks of Silk Thread and Iron Sheets later:

That also remains the only time to date I have ever bought a stack of Iron Sheets. What can I say, all the AH'es ran out of Iron Ingots to "sheet" up. >_<

That wasn't all that happened. As with all my crafting binges, I also paid some attention to my "main" craft: Goldsmithing (whether it can be considered my main craft with two crafts higher than it, is another question altogether). For some reason, I had forgotten to pick up some Platinum Nuggets off one of my mules the last time I tried synthing Platinum Ingots and as a result, I had just eight Platinum Ingots, and was scratching my head wondering what happened, at least, until I found the missing nuggets.

And so, some smashed crystals, nuggets, and (thankfully) just one Platinum Ore later...

Two crafts at 60, and Goldsmithing to join them soon. Given the rate at which I'm skilling up Goldsmithing, I'd imagine I'd hit Goldsmithing 60 in about six weeks or so. ^^

In other news, I was also invited to a pickup sky run, consisting of just Zip, for the Gem of the North that was needed to spawn Genbu. Actually, Darya contacted me out of the blue regarding my helping, and since it was something new, I decided to go along with it, much to the chagrin of everybody else who sent me /tells asking me to do something. Seriously. I logged on just to check something, and within the first two minutes, I got Railston asking me to xp with my WHM, Stev asking me to xp with my BLM, Darya asking me to go on the sky run, and someone asking me to help them with their Genkai 1 Papyrus run. >_<

Anyway, back to Darya's sky run. The trick to this was that we were hunting sky with just seven people- the alliance ended up as WHM BLM BLM RDM BRD THF PLD, and we first went to try and find Zip, who hadn't spawned yet. Three hours later, I'm thinking of leaving, but given that Zip's spawn window was almost up, and nobody else was in the zone, I decided to stay for a little bit longer, and presto, he showed up. Killing him wasn't too difficult, and now with the Gem of the North in hand, we went over to spawn Genbu. ^^

Genbu is basically one huge tortoise, and is the easiest of all the gods, hence good practice for starting sky LS'es. I personally had never fought him before, but I had a good idea of what a typical Genbu fight would look like. However, doing it with just seven people took a little bit of extra planning, especially since our PLD had never done this before.

Since the gods have ridiculous magic resistances, the main source of damage would come from DoT spells, namely Shock and Dia II. Genbu is water-based, so Shock was really the only thing that'd stick onto him. The PLD would run around in one large circle, kiting Genbu, while the RDM tried to keep a Gravity on him. The two BLMs would alternate Stuns on any major spells (i.e. Water IV, Waterga III or Flood), while the BRD and WHM helped keep the PLD alive and the rest of the party functioning. The THF just ran behind Genbu, poking it a few times with her dagger whenever the opportunity rose.

Building TP on sprinklers in the main section of the Ru'Ann Gardens, we were soon off to the main event. Opening with a 300% TP Spirits Within and a good SATA, the PLD was off to a good start holding hate. And then, little by little, Genbu's life slowly started to inch downwards.

Yes, this took a long time. Just over an hour and a half, to be precise.

We had a few accidents here and there, and people died on occasion, but there was nothing too serious along the lines of a wipeout. Things got interesting when I decided to log out to reset hate since I felt I was riding the hate line a bit too closely (I got hate off a Shock ; ;), and then logged out only to discover that I was unable to connect to the lobby server to log back in. What then followed was a good twenty minutes of frantically trying to reconnect before actually doing so. When I got back in, thankfully the others were still going, except I think Cheb was lying face down on the ground, but other than that, we were sitll functioning.

Eventually, all those Shocks, Dia IIs, Thunder IIs and Thunder IIIs added up, and we were definitely winning. I dealt the final blow when Genbu had just a bit of life left, and Hitori (our PLD) had somehow died. Backed by my newly-acquired Jupiter's Staff and Black Cloak, I dealt the killing Thundaga III for 925 damage, killing the mighty (?) god. ^^

All-in-all, the drops weren't fantastic, with just an Oxblood, a martial abjuration: hands which we gave to the PLD, and a Genbu's Shield which went to the RDM. But it was fun, and ultimately, that's what counts. ^^ Oh, and three Earth Crystals too...strange, I thought Genbu was water-based...

## 25 April, 2005

### Seventy. Five.^^

It is finally over.

Joined in a BLM party down in King Ranperre's Tomb for what must've felt like the umpteenth time. They say every journey must have an end, and after burning through everything in King Ranperre's Tomb (quite literally), I get the following:

Yep. One year and twenty-three days from when I first set foot into Vana'diel, I am now finally Level 75. ^^

It feels really good to have finally dinged the level cap, with me slowly counting down the tnls in /linkshell chat, with the rest of the TrueRune guys /cheer-ing me on. It was great fun. ^^ Of course, there're still merit points and stuff like that to worry about eventually, although I don't think I'm all that interested in completing my merits. To me, actually hitting Level 75 was the more important issue at hand.

Of course, now that I have hit Level 75, there's the question of now what to do. Perhaps I can divert my attention towards other pursuits, both in-game and outside. I'd hesitate to call this "The End", but who knows? ^^

## 24 April, 2005

### 22 people? No problem!

The plan for today was simple. Hop onto Explorer and finish up a Dynamis-Jeuno run, then pop back to TrueRune to get Promyvion-Mea done.

Unfortunately, it just so happened that the servers inexplicably went down, and as a result, emergency maintenance had to be performed, which lasted about three hours. >_< That threw all that timing to whack, and I logged back on as soon as I found out that the servers were back up, trying to figure out what to do from here.

First stop was the Dynamis linkshell. By the time I logged on, quite a few people were also there, and people were talking about going ahead with our Dynamis-Jeuno run anyway. The problem was that we were drastically short on people. Sure, we were the linkshell that cleared Dynamis-Windurst with just a scant 25 members, but we were definitely in the low 20s on this one. Still, we went ahead as more people slowly came back online.

The final head count for the run was just 22. (Thankfully, the run was sponsored, so we didn't have to pay 46k each ^^)

Well, suffice it to say, we might've been small, but we sure managed to pull things together. To be honest, it didn't really feel like there were just twenty-two of us all alone in Dynamis-Jeuno. We were still pulling and killing pretty much at a reasonable rate, and while we nearly ran out of time (probably because while it didn't feel like it, the kills must've certainly been slower), we were rewarded with this, emphasis on the highlighted parts:

The ??? basically says we beat the final boss of the area, and the search result shows all 22 of us who participated. Actually, the search result only turned up 21 names, since Kitsume did a suicide pull on the {Mega Boss}, and then dropped her hourglass to get booted from Dynamis, hence the one name short. I like small Dynamis LS'es. ^^

Tried getting my Sorcerer's Sabots today, which Stev assures me is the best BLM AF2 piece, and I had accumulated enough points to be the second in line in terms of drops. Unfortunately, not a single piece of BLM AF2 dropped that day, although two WAR AF2s did.../fume.

## 21 April, 2005

### Jupiter...

Maintainence was funny. It looked like half the playing community couldn't get the patch to download, so even after logging in for a few hours, there were still roughly 800 players on Odin. ^^

In any case, itchy fingers led me to check the price of a Jupiter's Staff, and I just couldn't resist. I now have a Jupiter's Staff in my possession for 1,010,000 gil. Hopefully there'll be a rebound and it'll skyrocket back up to 2m+, but if not, I can always keep it for my own use. ^^

But my, I hate spending that much money like that! >_< Oh well, one down, seven to go...^^

## 20 April, 2005

### I'm a Lumberjack, and I'm okay!

I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay,
I sleep all night, I work all day...

Yep, today marks my foray into Woodworking, which as I mentioned in my last entry, will probably be my next craft to level alongside my other two main crafts, Smithing and Goldsmithing, both of which will probably take a while to level up. One's reliant upon waiting for plants to grow, so I can only skill that up once every two weeks or so, while the other is dependant on waiting for Darksteel Bolt Heads to sell. Given the droves of people who have flooded the market at the moment, that, could also take a while.

And so, I decided upon Woodworking, since it felt rather useful to have, that and assuming things get really bad, I will get to use my own Darksteel Bolt Heads from skiling up Smithing to complete the run to Woodworking 60. Of course, I very much doubt I'll hit Woodworking 60 before Smithing 60, but you never know. Gizzle claims he actually made a profit most of the way, and Mikejustice says he did 0-60 in around twelve hours of powerleveling. So, there. >_<

I was going to keep an account of how much things cost me, but realised that with Woodworking skilling up as fast as it would be, such a journal or an account would best be saved for my post-60 craft, which will be Goldsmithing, since that actually skills up slowly enough to write something about. Anyway, after literally emptying Bastok out of Wind Crystals, I headed over to the Woodworking Guild in San d'Oria to begin my new craft.

I was greeted with this:

Evidently, quite a lot of people need stuff from the guild. Elm Logs, perhaps? >_<

The early levels of Woodworking went like a breeze. It's strange to synth again at a stage where your crystal is worth your other materials multiple times over, although I have to admit, with my newly found wealth (not to mention newly found ways of making even more money), I was incredibly reckless at first. Normally, one would do Arrowwood Lumber to Level 2, then Maple Lumber to Level 5, then Ash Lumber to Level 8, before settling upon Willow Lumber to Level 13.
So I dutifully started upon that. 28 synths or so was all it took to get me to Woodworking 2. No problems there. I then started synthing Maple Lumber, before the guild inexplicably ran out at Woodworking 3. Undaunted, I ran downstairs to pick up Advanged Imagery support, then went ahead with Ash Lumber, before the guild closed for the day. When the guild reopened, I continued turning Ash Logs into Ash Lumber, until they too, ran out of stock. By this point, I was just Level 5.

I then ran down to get Advanced Imagery Support yet again, and started synthing Willow Lumber. Yep, that's an 8-level gap. Yep, the resale is practically non-existent. Did I break quite a bit? Yep. I didn't really want to wait an entire day just to get more Ash Lumber-- I wanted to synth, now! Such is the mindset of one spoilt by the cheap, cheap prices of a new crafts once you are used to the costs of Goldsmithing in the 50s. Ugh. Besides, even thought it was an 8-level gap, it was also Windsday, which helped me greatly. I didn't break all that much in the end, losing maybe 2000gil worth of (mostly crystals). Still, I must've dumped about 25k or so into Willow Lumber before Nappycat set me straight again, and gave me a much better synth to skillup on- Bloody Bolts. Stack of Ash Lumber costs 3k, handful of Bloody Bolt Heads go for 5.5k, the crystals cost another 1k for 9.5k total. That makes four stacks of Bloody Bolts which sell like Distilled Water in the middle of Altepa (okay, maybe not quite, but still...) at the Jeuno AH for 4.5k/stk. 8.5k profit and skill up at the same time? {Yes, please}!

However, if there's one thing Alchemy has taught me, it is the value of multiple crafts supporting one another. While Woodworking does not have as many cross-synths, there are obvious dependencies upon products made by the other crafts, the most obvious being Horn Arrowheads and Scorpion Arrowheads from Boneworking. On the flip side, part of Woodworking involves churning out lots of Maple Sugar, which I hear sells very slowly, even in Windurst. That being said, I can then use Maple Sugar to up my Cooking skills a little here and there, at least putting it to some use, rather than NPC'ing it. Thus, for maximum efficiency, I'll need to level up both Cooking and Boneworking. The former is not a problem, but the latter...

...well, we'll just see if I can bring myself to level up what seems to be the most disdained craft of all...>_<

## 19 April, 2005

### Certified Alchemist

Some time ago, I started up Alchemy as another craft, to occupy myself when Smithing or Goldsmithing were in a bit of a dry spot. Well, it's true what they say, about Alchemy being very cheap compared to both metal crafts, although in my experience, having both Smithing (and especially Goldsmithing) were a huge help in leveling Alchemy, letting me cheat my way through tough spots with profit synths instead (mmm...love Bullets...).

The last few levels in the 50s were a bit of a pain granted, and after churning out many, many Sleeping Potions huddled by the Goblin cook in Lower Jeuno, it was a mad rush to gather as many Flint Stones as I could in all the AHs to make that final push to 60. Gathering hundreds of Flint Stones, by the way, proved to be quite a task, although I struck lucky in the end when Bastok happened to suddenly have 30+ stacks on the AH, probably due to all the weekend gaming that just finished.

And so, my accomplishment for the day, one which I'm very proud of too: ^^

To answer Nappycat's question: Yep, I'm all done with Alchemy. ^^ The craft's been very good to me, and was well worth the investment. I can easily churn out Bullets for profit with little trouble now, not to mention HQ'ing random things like Animal Glue, Beeswax, and Black Ink all for nice profit.

Of course, the question is what to level next. >_<

I haven't decided for sure yet, but I think I'll probably go with Woodworking. I don't want to jump contracts though, and lose all my Goldsmithing GP, so it looks like I'll probably have to do this without the aid of Lumberjack, which could hurt me quite a lot. ; ; Then again, I don't know just how much Lumber I'd actually synth up, so only time will tell, I guess. I'm certainly looking towards being able to make Shihei, and especially Bast Parchment. I also have an end-plan to hit those last few levels with Alchemy by using Darksteel Bolt Heads from my Smithing skillups, now that the Sandy AH is starting to get flooded with those. ; ;

Oh yes, and one further note- be wary of skillup guides! The Smithing guide I used to use listed Darksteel Bolt Heads as being 55-58. Thus, I've always been thinking up until now that they capped at 58, at least, until I took a look at how I could use Darksteel Bolt Heads of my own, and found that they cap at 62 instead! >_<

In other news, BombBrigade went for their second weekly (we hope) run at KS30, ferrying a total of eleven clients for sixteen runs total. Sad to say, not a single Venomous Claw dropped. >_< I think it's odds must've fallen down to something like 5% drop since SE found how much BLMs can literally abuse this KS30 battle. We did, however get a Damascus Ingot and a Damascene Cloth, so this looks like a tidy sum of money for us all.

Speaking of money, the proceeds from our last KS30 run and my Platinum Ingots have officially given me the most money I have ever had in my one year of playing. Sad that most players have crossed the 1-million threshold before their 60s, while I've been struggling all this while to maintain 500k in my walletaru (which, by the way, is still a decent sum!). But as for now, I'm sitting on a very comfy 2.5 million gil, with another 1.6 million on its way thanks to this past KS30 run, where my own orb dropped a Damascene Cloth! ^^

I do, however, have a bit of a dilemma right now. I have enough money to purchase a Jupiter's Staff, which is going for quite cheap at the moment, at 1.15 million gil. However, I see little use for it, although I do not dispute the fact that I want it. Getting it at least starts me on my "quest" to get a complete set of HQ staves, not to mention that the price might very well go back up to the near 2-million mark. I feel that the money would be better saved on crafting though, and as such, decided to give it a pass, although I guess I could look at it as an investment. The sad thing is that writing this has made me want to go buy that staff now...but my 2.5 million gil just looks so purrrty! >_<

Ah, to have money...^^

## 18 April, 2005

### Dynamis-Bastok Interloper

This past Wednesday, when Explorer went on to do Dynamis-Beaucedine, I couldn't join them because I was missing just one of the four basic Dynamis-- Dynamis-Bastok. For some strange reason, this one proved to be the most elusive. The first time we tried to do this, we don't know what happened, but we somehow managed to aggro the entire section of Bastok Mines leading up to the Alchemy Guild. Needless to say, we wiped twice and the hourglass ran out on us. >_< The next time we tried, my computer suddenly started crashing again, so I decided not to go, for fear of endangering the linkshell. As it turned out, they didn't manage to clear Dynamis-Bastok that time either, running out of time in the process.

This would be Explorer's third attempt (since my inception) at Dynamis-Bastok. >_<

Elmas had also been on a bit of a recuiting drive as of late, and our crew for Dynamis-Bastok resembled nothing of the scant 25 members that we took to successfully clear Dynamis-Windurst a while back. Granted, we did not have the full 64 players allowed in, but for Explorer, 42 people was plenty enough. ^^ That also meant that our entry fee was considerably cheaper than normal!
Dynamis-Bastok turned out to be a very frustrating experience, at least for me. I was under severe lag at the time, and wouldn't start casting my spells until a full three game minutes. The other BLMs didn't seem to have this problem, and they'd finish off the mob in their required five nukes or so, while I'd still be trying to cast Blizzard IV. As such, I was perpetually topped up in mana, which was quite embarrassing. >_< Anyway, we took our precautions this time, clearing out any mob that stood a chance at linking before attempting a run at the Alchemy Guild again. This time, things went smoothly, although I was reminded just how long that street really is. >_<

In terms of AF, our drops were insane. While no BLM AF dropped (/sigh), we had three Saotome Kotes (SAM AF2) drop during this run, and needless to say, we had some very happy Samurais. Heck, all of us doubted two would drop, yet alone three...

In the end, we beat the boss, which was in one ridiculously big (even for Elvaan standards) turtle, with a good hour or so to spare. How we managed to do so well on this run and not on earlier ones is beyond me, since I really don't think our increased numbers had much to do with that. We ended up getting all ten BLMs together and -ga farming the Bastok AH, which met with some accidents early on, but we managed to wipe out the whole place in two volleys of Thundaga III, tenfold. It was fun. ^^ (Too bad we only got one 1-Byne Bill and one Mythril Beastcoin from everything...>_<)

This -ga farming was all very well, at least, until we tried to clear the gate that leads to South Gustaberg. Unknown to us, five of the Quadav there are super-NMs, so we all Thundaga III, and...got mowed over in very quick order. >_< Ah well, it was still fun. ^^

Also kicked off the start of TrueRune's runs at Promyvions. To be honest, I was rather disappointed at the lack of a turnout, given how I was trying to let people know in advance of this. In the end, we only sent one party in. We managed to scale to the top without too much difficulty, and we sat outside the chamber to the final boss discussing plans and everything. We had what to do down to a 'T'. That is, until Enron and I both disconnected. >_<

When we got back, all six of us were lying face down on the ground, and boy, were we in a bind. Since we were capped at Level 30, we had no way to Raise ourselves, since I was lying face down as well, and we dreaded the thought of having to walk all the way back up here. Fortunately, as we were getting kicked out of the arena, who should just be about to enter, but some of the Equilibrium guys! ^^ Saved by them, I got a Raise, and then proceeded to Raise the rest of our party so we wouldn't have to make the climb all over again. Phew! ^^
Promyvion-Dem down, Dynamis-Bastok down...it's been a pretty productive day, I must say. ^^

## 13 April, 2005

### Ballista!

It was all quite a blur. To be honest, I'm not quite sure how it all started, but I think it went something like this. Akanea was (once again) trying to get some xp going, to no avail. Bored, he eventually discovered that there was going to be a Level 60 capped Ballista event in the Pashhow Marshlands, with Windurst against Bastok.

I did not join in that particular event, although I believe Enron and Ncloud went in to fight as TrueRune (Windurst) representatives, since after all, 95% of TrueRune in Windurstian anyway. In the meantime, I decided to go level up my Summoner. About an hour later, the linkshell was filled with chatter. Windurst triumphed over the forces of Bastok, and from what I gathered, it looked like a blast to play in, as well.

It wasn't long until the next Ballista match was to start. Once again, Level 60 cap, this time in the Meriphataud Mountians. Only this time, it was Windurst versus San d'Oria. ^^

Those Elvaan were going DOWN! ^^

One death warp and a quick flurry of job and equipment changing later, I found myself riding a chocobo from the Crag of Mea over to where the others were assembling. Having never done Ballista before, I was obviously nervous. It was a little annoying since I had to make sure I had my full AF with me, due to the Level 60 cap. Even had to dig up my old Druid's Rope that was starting to collect dust in the Mog Safe since my Hierarch's Belt was Level 71 gear. Unfortunately, I forgot that my Elemental Torque was Level 65, although by the time I realised I had left my Black Silk Neckerchief in my Mog Safe, I was in the Meriphataud Mountains and registered for Ballista. >_<

Anyway, the match was starting shortly, and I spent the time reading the rules of the game. It seemed simple enough. Use /quarry to dig up stuff, and hopefully get a Petra. Once you get a Petra, defeat somebody on the opposing team to get Gate Breach status, and with that, toss the Petra into a Rook to score. There were other things I found out along the way- one could not change equipment during Ballista-- doing so gives you a penalty, which is basically an extended Stun, so I had to lock myself into one gear setting, particularly annoying with all my Elemental Staves. In the end, I chose to stick with my Dark Staff to enable my Sleeps, since Sleepga II is a very good thing. ^^ Meanwhile, registration was going on.

When the match started, it would be a good 10 versus 10 skirmish. This particular Ballista session would be played best of three style, with each session lasting a fixed amount of time.

Well, I'll spoil the surprise and tell you how it ended.

Windurst OWNED San d'Oria, taking the opposing team down 3-0! ^^

Of course, the grizzly details are to come. First off, Ballista is FUN. There's so much going on (and nifty music, too), not to mention that this was a completely different way of playing the game. It was time to exploit each person's weaknesses to one's own benefit. At least, that's how it looked like when both Ncloud and I opened with an Elemental Seal-powered Sleepga II on the San d'Orian team, and from there, it was easy picking them apart. We really should've gone with Sleepga II -> Blizzaga II, but it seems that the melee didn't want to co-operate with this plan, so we ended up doing whatever we pleased. I ended up trying to stop everybody who was trying to run away, with combinations of Stun, Bind, and Sleep to immobilise people so that the others could catch up. Unfortunately, I was lagging quite bad, and so a lot of my spells were interrupted midcast. >_<

One thing though- Red Mages and Bards were annoying! >_< Their RDMs were pretty good at getting around to Silencing us efficiently, and I always found myself slept with a Horde Lullaby of some sort. Eventually, I realised that /quarry could dig up Poison Potions and Echo Drops to counter both of these, and that Blink was very good for stopping RDM Silences and Sleeps. I figured out what Provoke actually did in Ballista, making you unable to target anybody else, and realised that RDM melee still wasn't very good. SATA wasn't terribly good when I can just turn around to counter its effect, and I even managed to score a few kills here and there, courtesy of sneaking in a Blizzaga II in the middle of chaos, to a simple Aero III on someone about to eat dirt. ^^

Actually, I ended up playing the role of WHM most of the time, trying to squeeze in some Cure IIIs on people, especially Enron who had a knack for running off into someplace where nobody could find him, then yell bloody murder, demanding a Cure when everyone was on the other end of the battlefield. Course, I would've preferred it if Enron actually stayed with the rest of the group, but I guess that didn't work. ^^ For the record, I didn't die once during any of the three matches, although I did come close twice. Some DRG tried to Super Jump me, but fortunately I had Stoneskin up and as a result, a Stun and a Bind later, he was on the receiving end of many many jabs from fellow Windurstians. ^^ Another time was that WAR who Provoked me. Since I couldn't change my target, I decided to run away (because my health was rather low ; ;), then, spotting the other members of my team, ran to them for help, and that poor WAR suddenly found himself ambushed by eight Windurstians out for blood. Good times were abound. ^^

We're planning on making this a weekly LS event now. I'm certainly looking forward to our next match. ^^

In other news, my plants were finally ready after many days of checking and fertilising, and so, I reaped the benefits of twenty Tree Cuttings, getting seven stacks of Platinum Nuggets in the process. A little disappointing, since I was expecting something around 9-10 stacks, but oh well. I also got Rock Salt for the first time, too. >_< It was then a matter of time waiting until today, where Firesday, Full Moon would allow me to synth up those Platinum Nuggets I had been saving for.

Despite Firesday, Full Moon, powerful Fire Moghancement and Goldsmithing shades, the 9-level gap still meant that I failed a lot. I didn't keep stack of just how much material I lost, but it didn't particularly matter to me since most of it was grown, and as such, had minimal financial investment. I think I lost something like three Platinum Ores and twenty or so Platinum Nuggets trying to synth, but I was getting skillups insanely fast for something in the 50s. By the time I had successfully completed my first stack of Platinum Ingots (yay!), I had gained a whopping +0.8 skill points, which is practically unheard of in the post-50 crafting world. Of course, that meant...*drum roll*...

Ta-dah! ^^

If this keeps up, I'll be able to get a skill level every week or so, which will take me up to the cap at Level 64, or two months from now. Then, I can figure out how I'm going to fund all those Platinum Rings I'm going to have to make... >_<

Finally, I'm back to leveling up my Summoner in preparation for this weekend's scheduled Promyvion runs. But would I xp in the Dunes? Hell, no! ^^ Let's just say that after killing many many Worms in the Maze of Shakrami, then in Korroloka Tunnel, I'm a nice Level 20, and quite still quite a whiles away from the Level 30 that I need, it's still a good start. ^^ The rate of xp isn't great- only 2k/hr, but it's nice to know that I can at least solo that, and I don't have to put up with bad players in the dunes. it's also very nice to see yourself solo a mob for 200xp, too, although Incredibly tough mobs are just that- {Incredibly tough.} >_<

## 11 April, 2005

Certain things have happened that are worth mentioning. As it turns out, that Japanese sentence reads "Kitsumeメイン釣りから はずす わw " (with artificial spaces), and that translates to "(I will) remove Kitsume as main puller w". The particle "ha" turned out to be the source of my confusion here, and ended up with me trying to look up the wrong word. Anyway, my computer started to crash again just as we were about to go on Dynamis-Bastok, so I had to withdraw at the last minute. /sigh. As it turns out, they ran out of time and didn't manage to clear Dynamis-Bastok again. I guess quite a number of regulars were missing that day. Strangely enough, nobody opted to spend points on BLM AF2 either! At least it didn't drop, otherwise I would've been pissed! >_<

I also have a newfound interest in Fishing, of all things! Grabbed my rod, dusted off my Angler's set, and went to town, armed with nothing but fishing gear, a Mithran Rod, and lots of Insect paste. Over the course of two nights, I went from 9.1 up to 12.1. That's a lot of Fishing! >_< Trying to get my Lu Shang's Fishing rod now, although with a pathetic 222/10000 fish handed in, that will take some time. >_< At least Fishing has also led to me improving my Cooking skills, and I have also managed to raise my Smithing up another level to 56! ^^

I've also been helping out Railston a bit with his Goldsmithing, taking his Silver goods and trying to turn them back into Ingots for further use. I believe he's ont the Silver Rings stage now after having worked with Silver Hairpins for a while, and is progressing along nicely. Soon, he'll be in the Mythril stage of things where he can finally attain his goal of being able to synth up Mythril Ingots from the golem drops during Merit point parties. Yep, you read that right. >_< In any case, I've discovered a little delight in making Bullets. Not Silver Bullets, mind you, just regular ones. All for one reason- I can HQ them! :D

Picked up materials for twelve synths, or four stacks. Ended up HQ2'ing twice for a free extra 10k in the process, and I'm certianly not one to complain about that! ^^

Anyway, a while ago, I read about a group of Black Mages who would offer their services to people who wanted a shot at a Venomous Claw via Operation Desert Swarm KS30. The catch was that if the claw drops, you keep it, but the BLMs keep all the other drops. Given that most people just go for this particular BCNM fight just for the Claw, that's not too bad a bargain, although other goodies like a Damascene Cloth and Damascus Ingot can also drop. I brought this up during one of my BLM parties, and we kind of left the idea hanging up in the air. Until tonight.

The setup was Kyubigokou, Nikku, Gigoonleegoon, Wegina, and I. Together, we sent several people through the KS30 fight (some even multiple times!), although overall, the drops rather sucked. Enron was actually one of our clients for this, and while his first attempt didn't have much, his second attempt yielded the one (and only) Venomous Claw we saw that night. I think we must've done something like twelve runs in total? I kinda lost track after the eighth run or so...

Of course, one might wonder why people would even do this. Operation Desert Swarm, as you might have guessed, is a complete cakewalk for a BLM setup. All it takes is a Thundaga III, a Sleepga II, and a Blizzaga III from all five BLMs, and the BCNM is won. However, I hear that trying to beat this BCNM battle with a regular setup is like walking through hell. In addition to that, many jobs don't even have the chance to participate in these battles- THFs, NINs, RDMs, and other assorted jobs all need some way to use the Kindred's Seals they've been accumulating, and we provide them with a surefire way to get that chance at a claw. Given the difference between the Claw and all the other drops, to most people, this is a bargain.

On the BLM side, we don't actually get much per run. Assuming one person drops 150k, we get 35k a run, which pales in comparison to the 5 million Claw if it drops. However, we make up for that in volume, and in expensive drops. Overall, I think we came out of that very well, with Adaman Ingots, Orichalcum Ingots and two Damascene Cloths falling into our hands, so we certianly weren't complaining. ^^ I think our total haul is around the 800k region, which is very good for a night's work. ^^ We've since decided to band together to make a LS just for the professional look, calling ourselves BombSquad. As it turns out, that name was taken, so I ended up calling the LS "BombBrigade" instead. We even have a list of future clients who are willing to give up their Kindred Seals for a chance at the Claw, which means more money for us! As for the actual linkshell, Nikku really wanted a light-green pearl, except that it was a right pain to get. In the end, I accidentally hit the right button when I was trying to cross over to the OK symbol, and ended up fixing the pearl colour on a sky-blue colour instead. Oops. ; ;

Enron then took his Venomous Claw to one of Gluey's Bonecraft friends, who was 100 Bonecrafting with all the extra +skill guild items. He'd made several Scorpion Harnesses before, including some +1s, and so Enron approached him to turn his Venomous Claw into that Scorpion Harness he had been eyeing. Earth synth. New Moon, Windsday.

Perfect conditions for HQ'ing.

Unfortunately, as many veteran crafters know, an increased chance at HQ also comes with it an increased chance of failing the synth. And so...

I edited out much of the extra chat that was going on at the time, but yeah...

OUCH! >_<

The Scorpion Harness caps at 86, while this was a 100+ Bonecrafter. The chances of failing are small, but unfortunately, the die rolls just did not turn out right, and just like that, five million gil went up in a poof of shattered Earth Crystal fragments. I didn't know what to do. Nobody likes seeing something that valuable break, and nobody likes failing a synth. Sure, I can imagine Enron must be very upset about losing the claw, and I imagine his Bonecrafter must've been very disappointed to have failed. The synth is beyond trivial, yet things do happen. Looking at this, I don't know how endgame crafting's going to be like for me. On the one hand, it's nice to make the best gear around in the game, yet, having someone place a lot of their time, effort, and money into your hands only to have it shattered must be an awful feeling. I guess that's why I always warn people beforehand, reminding them that there is a very real chance at failing a synth, no matter what the level, but still, such things are unpreventable sometimes.
Enron's disappointed enough at the game as a result of this, and might be quitting the game.

/sigh.

## 07 April, 2005

### Lost in Translation

I'm kinda down from today after messing up in what I thought was a good start. Today was Wednesday, which meant it was Dynamis time with the rest of the Explorer crew. As of late, there's been increased interest in Dynamis-Beaucedine, although as an LS, we lack the manpower to take on Beaucedine. Granted, I suspect our first attempt would probably be a rout regardless since we don't know what to expect, but oh well. Given that I've heard the {ice} Dynamis are much harder than the four basic Dynamis, I can understand why Elmas wants more members first before proceeding.

Hence, Elmas started an open recruitment of members (or so it seemed), and as a result, we had quite a few new faces join us today. Lothar, from Equilibrium joined on this particular day, and given that Starfox can't make it on Wednesdays due to work, I was appointed unofficial translator for a short bit. It wasn't much, but I felt warm and fuzzy. I like warm and fuzzy. ^^

Anyway, we went on with Dynamis-San d'Oria. There isn't much to say that hasn't already been mentioned, except for the oddball occurance here and there. I didn't know that the trigger NMs here had two main jobs, one of which is BST, so when we got to one NM down by the Chocobo Stables, I was in the middle of an Elemental Seal-ed Thundaga III when the NM then used Fanatical Dance.
Otherwise known as Charmga. ^^

And so, I was charmed for the very first time. It was actually quite funny- I ended up trying to twack Lothar around a bit with my Staff (thank goodness they don't make you cast spells), and later on when my Charm fell off, I had Frisk coming after me interrupting my spells until I finally managed to resolve a Sleep on him after a little bit of {/slap}ping. Unfortunately, at the same time we were Charmed, the NM also summoned Leviathan and used Astral Flow, so pretty much the entire linkshell died at that point. Eventually, Charmed fell off the people still alive, who then went about trying to kill the NM. We were very close- actually just one nuke short, but I was positioned in a way such that Leviathan stood between the NM and I, so I couldn't F8 to the NM, and I couldn't Tab through all the dead bodies in time to cast a nuke before the NM was upon me and sent me eating stone floor. Oh well. I felt really bad after that since we had to fight the NM again as a result of my not nuking... /sigh.

We ended up wiping out again when another pull went awry and we had just too many things to deal with. The second wipeout now made running out of time a real possibility, and so, after getitng the obligatory Raises and everything done, Kitsume went off to pull a time extension boss, as opposed to the {Mega Boss} of Dynamis-San d'Oria. It worked. Barely. We killed the time extension NM with just two minutes left in the perpetual hourglass, and with an extra ten minutes bought, we easily dispatched the final boss of the area without further ado. Actually, I don't recall us ever killing the final boss that quickly before. Hrrm...

Anyway, onto the title. Once we had all returned to San d'Oria proper, chatter was once again abound. Somewhere in the middle of all the "Otsukaresama"s, the following line popped up:

kitsumeメイン釣りからはずすわw

Well, maybe not quite like that, since I haven't figured out how to input Japanese characters into this webbie just yet, but you get the idea. Kitsume was naturally curious as to what was being said about her, and basically asked "What does it say? I can't read ; ;". I jokingly replied "heh, you don't want to read that. ^^"

That turned out to be a mistake. Kitsume thought she did something wrong, and was now pressing me for answers. For those who do not understand Japanese, this was my interpretation at the point: "'Kitsume' 'Main puller' 'because' (something) w." The problem was what the "something" meant. I've only seen it in a few cases where the speaker seemed to be in disagreement with something, but when I tried looking it up in the dictionary, I didn't get anything that would help. My current understanding is that it's something like "oops" (and Starfox, you're free to correct me on this- I need to know for sure >_<), but the "w" at the end led me to believe that Elmas was joking about the situation at the end, when Kitsume was pulling to beat the clock (because we were in fact under quite short on time. :P)

So basically, I gave Kitsume a general answer, saying something along the lines of no big deal, or "nothing serious."

One hour later, I get a very unhappy Kitsume sending me a {/tell}, saying "You are bad translator." Further inquiry then tells me that it was actually quite serious, in fact, it seemed that Elmas was unhappy with Kitsume's pulling, and as such, Kitsume will no longer be our puller.

I was rather shocked at this. While granted, Kitsume is not perfect both in personality and as a puller, she certainly tries. Our previous run which had just a scant 25 people showed Kitsume's nasty side, with her yelling at the poor new (and only) WHM who was lost and couldn't do what Kitsume wanted quickly enough. As a result, Kitsume hp'ed multiple times on that Dynamis run in the interest of completing Dynamis within the alloted time. As far as I am concerned, she is dedicated to what she does- after all, she has no need to clear Dynamis-Windurst, and could easily wait things out and lose just 1 or 2k xp as opposed to the 11k she lost over the course of that run. Those sacrifices were made so that the linkshell could clear Dynamis-Windurst, and the new members could get one Dynamis closer to Beaucedine. As a result, we managed to beat Dynamis-Windurst with the fewest number of participants I've ever heard of. Thus, I was very surprised to hear that Elmas was upset at Kitsume after our Dynamis-San d'Oria run.

{/sigh} I don't know what to do now...I should've just kept quiet. So many problems both this, and previous ones could've been avoided if I had just remained silent instead of saying/asking something...

## 06 April, 2005

### To get a map...

Despite the horrid experience last night, I ended up heading straight back to the Temple of Uggalepih today in an attempt to get that accursed Prelate's Key. This time, Enron and his TH2 powers came along for the ride, although they didn't particularly help out that much, at least outside. Fortunately for us, we soon got tired of killing Tonberry Choppers, and proceeded to head inside the Temple to kill Tonberry Stabbers instead.

Guess what dropped on the first Stabber? ^^

Eventually, while Enron and I were killling off Wespes for the Hornetneedle item, Akanea logged back in. Literally dragging him over to the temple, we make a quick run-through to confirm that the coffer hasn't moved. Personally, I wasn't expecting it to move since it certainly didn't look like it had in the past month, so it was to no surprise that we couldn't find it. That meant it was in the one place left- the double-locked doors. With Aka and Enron tagging along, we had a bold plan to ensure that both Aka would get his SAM AF, and I would get my Temple of Uggalepih map. WIth both the Uggalepih key and Prelate's Key in my possession, we figured we could sit in the Prelate Key room for 30 minutes, waiting for the coffer to respawn, and then work our way back out should the coffer not be there. Unfortunately, like everything else that happens, it didn't go according to plan. >_<

Sometime whilst farming up Tonberries for keys, I noticed two people running around the Temple- a RNG, and a SMN. I didn't know it at the time, but SMNs also have an AF coffer in the Temple of Uggalepih, and to my surprise, when I used the Uggalepih Key to gain access to the first room, I saw both of them dead on the floor. My only guess is that the SMN got aggro and the RNG tried to save him. Unfortunately, they were just outnumbered by the number of Tonberry there and were both killed. When I chanced upon them, I couldn't do anything since I was /RDM at the time, so no Raise. However, I decided to try to Tractor them somewhere more accessible to others so they could then be Raised. Unfortunately, I hit the wrong macro by mistake and ended up resting, which the Tonberry aggro to. ; ;

Fortunately, there is one thing that BLMs are very good at- crowd control. A few Sleepga IIs later, I had the entire room in a frozen state, but time was now against us. Opening the Prelate Door, I then spotted the Treasure Coffer lying behind some kind of offering platform of some sort. Rushing, I dashed inside, visible, while Aka and Enron (both Invisible) followed suit. I was in such a hurry, that I did not notice that the Tonberry in this room were of the higher-level ones, the ones that aggro me. >_<

One Water III later and many stabbings, I was lying face down. I tried to run to the Sacrificial Chamber, only to find that it was a drop from the Sacrificial Chamber exit to the room, so there was no way out. Another hp death for me. ; ;

At least Akanea managed to get his AF, so all was good. Now, my map.

Unfortunately, I couldn't bring myself to go grab a map right in front of the SMN, who was evidently also trying really hard to get that elusive coffer as well, and so, I offered to help them out after Aka's coffer. The problem was, they were inside the room, I was outside with no key. At least Enron and Akanea were still stuck inside, so what resulted was a rather amusing scenario of them opening the doors, Enron drawing aggro away from Aka and then using Perfect Dodge to survive while I dashed in to Sleepga II, whereby both Aka and Enron activated their Warp Cudgels home. It was fun! ^^ I then Raised the RNG, Sleepga II'ed the room again, Raised the SMN, then Escaped out with the room all pecking away at me with their daggers while the (Invisible) SMN was watching.

So I decided to let the SMN have the coffer first on condition that they stick around to help me get mine, which they agreed to. It was also during this time while looking for the coffer that we became acutely aware of a JP Tarutaru SAM also looking for a coffer, and we were now in a bind. We managed to race him to the next coffer after the RNG and I killed the Temple Guardian and I rushed up the stairs to find the coffer waiting for the SMN. We now had my coffer to worry about. And so, we waited another half an hour.

When the time came, we all started running around the place, trying to find the coffer, and discovered that it wasn't behind the Temple Guardian door. Those three spots out the way, we then went back around to look for it in the other five spawning points, again to no avail. I was very discouraged by this, since that then meant that it had spawned in one of the locked doors, and was very disappointed at having to find yet another Uggaleph key, or even worse, another Prelate Key to get my map. Fortunately, while we were killing Tonberry Cutters for the Uggalepih key, the JP SAM sent me a /tell letting me know that he had found the coffer. I was bth annoyed, and yet, relieved at the same time. On the one hand, I didn't get the coffer. On the other, at least it wasn't in the locked doors area, although how he got the coffer when we were ahead of him still mystifies me. I can only guess I must've missed it, although I'm sure my tabbing would've at least caught it. Oh well.

We wait another 30 minutes. >_<

This time, we literally trip over the coffer itself. We were busy killing Tonberry Cutters around one of the hollowed out square "pillars", when I decided to pop inside just to rest up MP. Lo and behold, there it was. ^^ I can now (finally) see where I'm going in the Temple of Uggalepih! Yay! (Now for the Den of Rancor- that'll be fun ; ;)

## 04 April, 2005

### Suzaku Falls, and trouble with a key. >_<

Not much to say about the past few days- hit BLM74 in a JP party up in Ro'Maeve that lasted six hours. Partying's getting harder and harder now as mobs start conning VT to me, so in addition to larger tnls (at 74, your total tnl is 43k ; ;), one also has to deal with lower xp gain/kill. Sure, you kill faster, and that's when you have BLM parties in King Ranperre's Tomb, or multi-Ranger parties, or moving parties, which are also a lot of fun, although they are hell on the mana pool. >_< There's also the option of leveling up in the Uleguerand Range, which I hear is very good from Onekomaru, so I'd like to try there someday...someday...

To be honest, I haven't been playing as much as I used to. THat's probably a lie since I'm stuck here at half past four in the morning trying to farm Tonberry Choppers for a key, but more on that later. We did successdully complete Dynamis-Windurst after very few people showed up, and even more people disconnected, so in the end, we had just 25 people in our Dynamis run. We still beat Dynamis-Windurst though. Go us! ^^

Anyway, I digress. The main event: Suzaku.

By now, I think I've more or less settled on Equilibrium as my {sky} LS. It's been two weeks, and I've barely heard a squeak from BBQ, so I'm assuming they're all settled as far as members go. That, and word has reached me that their recruitment method was changed under my nose and I wasn't informed without actually asking. It may be that my approach is wrong, but I figure since I can waltz between sky LS'es, and that I don't really need a sky LS per se, it is not my part to express interest in joining. The least people could've done was keep me informed without my having to grovel every 24 hours, because yes, I'm aware that gets annoying. Real. Quick.

So I've been semi-active in Equilibrium's sky activities. Actually, there've only been two events that I was aware of, and both times, I couldn't stay for the full duration. There was farming sky for the various items needed to spawn the Gods, and for a while, I was lost in the entangled web that is the Shrine of Ru'Avitau and the Ve'Lugannon Palace while names like "Mother Globe" and "Zip" were being tossed about. Yep, I was pretty much clueless, so I just tagged along.

That then led up to today's god event. I wished I could have stayed for longer, but I had things to attend to, and people showing up late so we didn't start until a full two hours after the scheduled time didn't help, either. In summary, Suzaku was my first "god" fight. Based on Fire, he will at some point activate Chainspell and go into a volley of various Fire-based spells, which include Firaga III, Fire IV and Flare. I was informed that our basic plan against his Chainspell was the standard approach:

{Stun}...

...{Run away!}

There are, of course, problems when someone accidentally deals Suzaku damage while he is bound, but fortunately, we had that case covered. Other than that, all the fight really involved was me keeping my place in the Stun order, cutting off all -ga, IV and Ancient Magic spells, while spamming the various -IV spells as I had time for. As Kyubigokou put it, "there is no way you will get hate with IV spells." And after you see volley after volley of -IV spells hit for around 200 (or less!) damage, I'd agree with him, too. >_<

Later during the day, I tried to help Akanea out with his Samurai AF in the Temple of Uggalepih (coffer). I pity the Samurai. I thought the Garlaige Citadel coffer was bad enough- the Temple of Uggalepih is far worse! Getting the key itself isnt' too bad, other than the fact that you have to farm Tonberries, but actually finding the coffer is a whole new ball game. Put it this way: there are ten total spawn points. All ten of them are behind a wooden gate that you need to be visible in order to open, hence assuming you are pre-70, means you have to drop Invisible, open the gate, cross over and Invis up again, all without getting aggro from the two Tonberry in the area.

Once that is done, there are five coffer points that you can access, and all five are behind doors, which means that yes, you have to drop Invisible once again to open them, and there are Tonberries on both sides of the door, too. Basically, it is a very good idea to bring along a friend who is 70+ so he can open doors for you safely. But that's not all. Assuming the coffer was in none of those areas, it could be in one of three places behind a locked door, guarded by a Temple Guardian, which is a level 65 doll. I personally haven't tried solo'ing it because it seems to have a rather large amount of hit points, and I can't rest up MP for the Tonberries there will aggro me. (You can see how hard this would be for a SAM58, or whatever level they get their AF gloves).

Should the coffer not be in any of those three points, there are just two points left. Unfortunately, both points are behind locked doors. To get to one of them, you need a Uggalepih Key, found off Tonberry Cutters. To get to the other, you need a Prelate Key in addition to the Uggalepih Key. The alternate route would be to win a battle in the Sacrificial Chamber, but getting to the Chamber itself requires, well, four Unlit Lanterns, a paintbrush, etc. I don't really want to do _that_ again. >_<

Having searched the Temple numerous times, I had come to the safe conclusion that the coffer lay behind the double-locked doors. I have an Uggalepih Key- all that remains is getting a Prelate Key. And so, Chummy, Akanea and I set off to get ourselves a key. At first, we tried Tonberry Stabbers in the Temple of Uggalepih itself. However, trying to get to the Stabbers proved to be way too troublesome with all the surrounding aggro (even to me), and we were also endangering the other parties who were there (for the Thief's Knife NM, as I later found out). The Stabbers in the Temple aren't the only mobs that drop the key though- Tonberry Choppers on the outside ledges in the Yhoator Jungle also drop the key, and they are also considerably easier to both engage safely, and to kill.

Unfortunately, the drop rate leaves much to be desired. When we first set off on this, it was 10pm. I am now solo'ing the mobs (including all the other random Tonberry jobs) in an effort to try to get the key.

Two Gold Beastcoins.

Three Beastman's Seals.

Three Kindred's Seals.

Four Ninja's Testimonies.

Seven Hours.

ZERO Prelate Keys.

Thank goodness for the Windower-- at least I can type up this entry while waiting for my mana to regenerate. ^^ I think I'd go nuts otherwise.

@#$!@$#$^$#%

I just died. ; ; Trying to get the killing Blizzard in, the Chopper readies Throat Stab. I can't interrupt my cast in time to Stun it, so get hit down to 53 HP, then the Chopper scores a successful hit for 61 damage, killing me before that last Blizzard resolves. Screw this, it's 5am. I'm going to sleep. >_<