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...