## 30 May, 2005

### Sabotenderさん、おつかれさまでした～

Not too much has happened recently, which explains the lack of updates over the past week or so. I feel I am approaching the point in the game where much of what I do is rather superficial to the overall FF experience, sans the occasional mission or two, which is basically all that's really left for me to do.

If you were to take a look at my list of things I wanted to get done in the game, I have pretty much completed all of my goals that do not require leveling up of some form, and attaining Goldsmithing 100, but the latter's a real far cry away. There are some other minor goals that I've also managed to accomplish, and for that, I am rather satisfied with all I have done thus far.

TrueRune is slowly working its way through the Promathia missions, with us having started plans on tackling Riverne Site #A01, which is the next "real" mission following the Phominua Aqueducts. Our numbers are dwindling though, but hopefully there'll be enough interest in those who have made it this far to carry on until the end of the Promathia storyline, or at least, what there is of it.

All this talk sets up the stage for introducing Sabotender, who was a Galka friend of mine. I actually met him through Gluey one day, when Gluey asked me to say 'Hi' to Sabotender, and we ended up chatting a little bit that way. Since then, we've befriended one another, although we didn't really talk. Come to think of it, the only times Sabotender really spoke to me was when he wanted me to come along to something, although most of the time he tried, I was busy.

I ended up doing a grand total of one thing with him- farming the Sea Serpent Grotto with some of his friends. Many Wooden Hakutaku Eyes later...^^

And so, I was chatting to various people in my Mog House when out of the many /tells I received, I got one in Japanese that (for obvious reasons) stood out from the rest:

Sabotender>> ア コンバンハ～
Sabotender>> トツゼン デスガ {Final}{Fantasy} ヤメマス^^;

(He likes talking to me in katakana...:P)

The above basically translates to "Ah, good evening" and "Might be sudden, but I'm quitting Final Fantasy. ^^;"

I don't like it when people quit, I really don't. I can see why one might quit, whether it be out of frustration, or a sense of finality, but needless to say, regardless of the reason, it is sad when someone does. Sometimes when a person is just having a bad day, all it takes is a little breather and some persuasion, and they're back into the swing of things, but when the person is genuine about his or her intentions, it's just time to let go. Yes, I don't like Sabotender quitting, but asking him to stay behind even though there is little left for him in the game would be all-too selfish of me.

However, I could at least send him off. He and his linkshell had gathered in Mhaura, since I guess he felt taking the ship away would be a fitting end to his FF career. I hurriedly rushed down to Mhaura to see him off (with a 3k chocobo, too -_-) where, thankfully, they decided to wait.

We ended up exchanging goodbyes, and wishing each other luck, but I couldn't help thinking about when my time would come. You could say reality just /slapped me in the face just then, and put a lot of things into perspective, but ah well.^^

I could go on with some additional musing, but it's a little too melodramatic for my tastes, so I'll leave it here for now. ^^ On the down side, I didn't get a chance to meet Sabotender's linkshell at all- they kinda followed him to the ship, and I didn't get a chance to talk to any of them. -_- Oh well.

The next ship arrived shortly, and that was the time to go. Sabotender thanked me to coming down to see him off, and with that, boarded the ship to sail off. Rather picturesque scene for a goodbye, but I guess it was rather fitting for him. ^^ I managed to get in one last goodbye before he left for good,

Tuufless: おつかれさまでした！^^
Sabotender:　ありがとう！

And that, as they say, is that. ^^

Also, while I'm thinking about things, where has Onekomaru gone?? ;;

## 22 May, 2005

### Divine Might

For the past few weeks, Kyubigokou was planning a run at Divine Might, which is basically a super-charged version of the 14th Zilart Mission, called "Ark Angels". Ark Angels is actually a series of five 6-man BCNM battles against the five Crystal Warriors, which correspond to the five races in the game.

Each of these fights is challenging, supposedly harder than the ZM8 fight against Kam'lanaut, since each of the Ark Angels have two different jobs (both presumably at 75), and can use the 2-hour abilities of both jobs. Yes, that means that the Ark Angel EV (Elvaan) who is a PLD and a WHM, can use both Invincible and Benediction. Not fun. >_<

Add to that a whole slew of extra special moves that are bot high-damage, AoE, and inflict multiple status effects, like the Ark Angel TT's Amon Drive with is AoE, Petrify, and Paralyze, and you have a very challenging battle ahead of you.

That was "Ark Angels". Got that? Good.

Divine Might lets you bring in an entire 18-man alliance instead of a 6-man party, but puts you against all five Ark Angels at the same time.

It is the hardest BCNM style battle in the game, for very good reason. Many people attempt Divine Might for the challenge, others attempt it for the special reward at the end- one of five RA/EX level 72 earrings that have very, very nice stats to them. Divine Might takes lots of planning, co-ordination, and skill. Some say a little bit of luck as well, but I don't really like factoring luck into things like this. ^^

Alternatively, you could just bring 15+ Black Mages down to get the job done. Yes, you read that right. The hardest BCNM battle in the game just became a walk in the park with a full Black Mage alliance.

Because of this, a lot of people have scorned upon Black Mages who choose to clear Divine Might this way, since it's not exactly the hardest thing to time eighteen people to all cast one spell at the same time. Admittedly, the fight was very easy, but boy, was it fun! ^^.

I woke up early this morning to head down to the Ru'Ann Gardens where we were all meeting up. Kyubigokou was actually organising this run, but unfortunately, his computer blew the night before, so we were at a loss as to what to do. In the end, we decided to go ahead without him, since it would be too much to get seventeen people to cancel, unfortunately for Kyubi. ;; Fortuantely, Nanahara was also planning his own BLM-style Divine Might run, and together, we had more than enough Black Mages who were all seeking that Abyssal Earring from the mission.

The plan was simple. Everyone go in, test their range with ancient magic, then wait for the alliance leader's signals. One Elemental Seal and eighteen Thundaga IIIs later, all the Ark Angels are now defeated, with perhaps one or two left alive, which can be fixed with a few Blizzaga IIIs.

It was Black Mage elegance at its finest. While so incredibly simple, there is nothing as satisfying as seeing eighteen Thundagas go off at the same time, wrecking death and destruction upon those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end. Suffice to say, we cleared them out in no time at all, and a few minutes later, I now have my Abyssal Earring! ^^

We then went around, ferrying non-BLMs through Divine Might so they could get their earring as well, and boy, did that take a long time! All in all, I think we spent 6 hours there, killing off the Ark Angels, which also meant that some of the people there spent 6 hours just sitting outside the La'Loff Amphitheatre waiting for their turn. We started off sluggishly at first, but we sped up once people got the hang of what to do. We still had some accidents though. Occasionally, the nukes weren't enough to kill off the Ark Angel EV and Ark Angel GK (the Galka always survives this) and they'd kill a few Black Mages before the others could finish casting Blizzaga III on them, completing the job.

Then, there was the one time someone was in autorun and lagged, and so ran in too far and aggro'ed all the Ark Angels, who then continued on their merry way obliterating the entire alliance. >_< I think I lost about 10k xp from all the Reraises I ate- better go xp my Black Mage again soon- one more death and it's back to Level 74 for me! >_<

Also, clearing Divine Might gives you the title, "Pentacide Perpetrator", although that didn't exactly go well as a title for today's entry. ^^ I'd very much like to try Divine Might again, the regular way though, since I like a good challenge, even though I do not regret the fun I had in doing it BLM style. I figure we'll all have to do it again someday, when Kyubigokou gets his computer back online!

## 21 May, 2005

### Goldsmithing. Sixty. ^^

It took a while, but here it is, my major accomplishment for the day, it being the culmination of goodness knows how many months of work:

Say it with me: "AWWWWW, YEEEAAAHHHH!!!^^"

Actually, it wasn't all that bad, since the last time I left off, I only had 0.4 skill levels separating me from Goldsmithing 60. However, these last few skill points proved to be a lot more frustrating than I thought.

Earlier today, I decided I would desynth up some Mythril Earrings, and ended up with three stacks of Mythril, with seven extra Ingots. I decided to then sell two of those stacks, and then use the last for skillup. After all, I had the means for nine synths, which would hopefully get me my +0.4.

The first +0.3 was easy. I ended up synthing those with no shades and no support, on Lightsday, and got that quickly. The last 0.1, on the other hand...

Take #1: Synth up a pair of Mythril Cuisses. No skillup.
Take #2: Synth up another pair of Mythril Cuisses. No skillup.
Take #3: Synth up yet another pair of Mythril Cuisses. No skillup.

That was the last of my stack of Ingots, and so, busting out another stack of Fire Crystals, I started converting the seven extra Ingots I had into sheets, for the next round of synths.

Take #4: Synth up another pair of Mythril Cuisses. No skillup.
Take #5: You guessed it. No skillup, too.
Take #6: Ditto.

Now
I was fully out of materials. I decided to try desynthing the cuisses to recycle materials, and ended up getting two Ram Leathers, and four Mythril Ingots, I think. Of course, no skillup on any of these, but then again, skillup rates on desynths are next to non-existent.

Take #7: This time, I failed the synth, and lost a sheet. No skillup.
Take #8: Failed again, and guess what? No skillup.

Getting desperate now, I resorted to extreme measures, since clearly, a 2-level skill gap was just too easy to skillup on. And so, I tried my hand at Platinum Ingots. I grabbed two Platinum Ores from my mule, and tried to buy a stack of Plaitnum Nuggets from the Jeuno AH. Note: "tried to". The price of Platinum Nuggets have shot up, and what used to be 60k/stk, now couldn't be cought at 75k/stk! Cursing, I ran over to Bastok, thanks to Teleport-Altep, and faced the same dilemma there, except this time, I bought a stack for 72k. I figured, with the ingots worth 60k each, 72k plus 40k for the Ores would still turn over a small profit, so why not try? ^^

Take #9: Made a Platinum Ingot. No skillup.
Take #10:
Failed on the synth, lost three Platinum Nuggets, or 18k. At least I didn't lose the ore. >_< No skillup.

It then turned to Darksday, where I decided to give the Mythril Cuisses yet another try. Buying two more Mythril Sheets off the Jeuno AH for 9k apiece, I hoped that Darksday would make things better.

Take #11: I finally get that skillup, and it's a +0.2 to boot! ^^

With Goldsmithing 60 in the bag, it's time to start up my plan on keeping a separate journal, specifically for Goldsmithing, although I shudder to think how difficult it will be. At least I have plans made up to Goldsmithing 70, but from what I hear, the 70s will not be the least bit pleasantaru! >_< For the record, each Mythril Cuisses is roughly a 20k loss, since I desynthed a lot of them, and so, that last 0.1 skillpoints cost me roughly 198k!! /cry

## 17 May, 2005

I was idling around today, whiling around Port Jeuno when Starfox asked if I wanted to go camp an HNM with him. Upon this, I popped on the BBQ linkshell, where I couldn't see any coherence as to where the members were, so I needed to double check just where Starfox had in mind:

I could only think of one HNM there, Za'Dha Adamantking. Actually, the Adamantking isn't really in Beadeaux, but the Qulun Dome instead, but that's a small matter. Long ago, before the various updates, Za'Dha was one of the few ways a person (read: White Mages) could get a scroll of Raise III, the other being Kirin, although from what I hear, Kirin doesn't drop Raise III very often. The result of that was that the asking price on a scroll of Raise III was high serverwide, easily fetching 2 million or more gil. Most HNMLS'es seemed to sympathise with this, and would end up giving their White Mages their Raise III, but this was an issue a lot of up-and-coming White Mages had to deal with.

However, with the introduction of the ENM battles, the availability on the elusive scroll suddenly shot up, and now, with a much higher supply, the price plummeted down to 300-400k, certainly much more manageable than 2-3 million.

Anyway, the scroll is a 100% drop off the Za'Dha Adamantking, so we decided to try killing it just for kicks. I'm not quite sure how he spawned. I think someone popped him (he is a HQ pop off an HQ Quadav, so Quadav +2?) and then contacted Starfox to see if he was interestd in helping. That then led to BBQ coming down to kill the Adamantking, quickly, before anybody else found out. Because this was not a scheduled linkshell event, and we had outsiders helping, everyone agreed to just cast lots for the items that dropped.

We pulled him over to the west zone that goes back into Beadeaux, and then engaged. Starfox and I were the only Black Mages there, and our strategy was simple: unleash the biggest Thunder-based nukes we had, then zone out into Beadeaux to reset hate, and maybe catch a breather, zone back in ad nauseum.

His resistances actually weren't all that high, although he had a lot of HP! Eventually though, we wore him down, and then watched as the drops scrolled by. Of course, there was the scroll of Raise III. But other than that, there was just a Phoenix Feather, a Platinum Beastcoin (I have never seen these before), and a petrified log. We then started casting lots on the items, as agreed upon.

The numbers people were putting up were insane. I think someone got the beastcoin off a 995, and the petrified log off a 998! For some reason though, the lots on the scroll of Raise III weren't all that high, and I ended up casting my lot last.

Tuufless's lot for the scroll of Raise III: 737 points.
Tuufless obtains a scroll of
Raise III.

Me: !!

Well, that was certainly unexpected. Now that I actually have a scroll of Raise III, I finally have reason to level up my White Mage again, but whether I will actually get around to doing so, is another thing altogether. Ah well, one more spiffy title in the bag, "Adamantking Usurper!" ^^

Za'Dha Adamantking: I a-am finished. Hear me, wa-warriors of the Quadav! The throne of the Adamantking and the line of Za'Dha pa-passes to my brother...

## 14 May, 2005

### Distant Beliefs

After nearly two weeks, my plants have finally grown, and are ready to harvest. ^^ The net result of my gardening? Just over 160 Platinum Nuggets, enough to supply me with plenty of material to advance my Goldsmithing. That, and I’ve also been accumulating the odd Platinum Ore here and there while waiting for the plants to grow, so today was a long time in planning. ^^

Last time I tried skilling up, it was in Rabao, after I had very nice desynth results on Darksday, Full Moon. I decided to try skilling off Mythril Cuisses on that same day, but compared to the next run of Mythril Cuisses, that skillup session was very disappointing- I ended up spending some 240k just for +0.3. Ah well. Thankfully, the harvest gave me enough materials to produce two stacks of Platinum Ingots, during which I managed to get a very nice +1.3 skill levels. ^^

That means, it’s obligatory chat excerpt time!

Just 0.4 separate me from Goldsmithing 60, at which point I can look into starting up anoter journal, completely dedicated to Goldsmithing, although I still don’t know what the details would be like. >_< Time will tell, I guess. ^^

TrueRune also had our Phomiuna Aqueducts mission planned for tonight, which took a very long time! We had sixteen of us head down to complete the next chapter in the Chains of Promathia storyline, led by Woulfgang and his crew. It was my first time inside the place, and I was a little nervous. We had to wait for Saoirse’s party to complete their Promyvion-Holla run though, after someone botched up her last two attempts at completing that particular Promyvion, so…

Anyway, our target was a Minotaur that was lurking inside the Aqueducts. In order to get to him, we had to get past Fomor (dark, shadowy-like beings), Stegotaurs, and assorted Slime Mobs. That, and the Stegotaurs have true sight. >_< Our plan was to initially Sneak and Invis everybody through, but with a sixteen-man alliance, that just wasn’t going to work, especially when some people didn’t bring their own Silent Oils and Prism Powders! Yes, I know they’re expensive, but the mission was jeopardized on a few occasions because of that. In any case, after getting aggro for like, the third time in the first ten minutes, we just decided to screw the sneaky plan, and just bash our way through instead. ^^

Eventually, we came up this huge beast, which instantly used some sort of special attack that drew the entire alliance in! Literally, one moment, I was somewhere minding my own business, next thing I knew, I was stuck right in the middle of combat with this giant thing breathing down my neck…it was scawy! >_<

He hit quite hard, and I remember my mana being taxed, even as a Taru with a Summoner subjob. He also had this AoE attack that dealt a huge amount of damage to everybody, and I believe he also has an attack like the Fomor’s AoE Drown, which not only gives the normal STR-Down effect, but also deals 15 damage a tick! >_<

That, and he also has this ability called “Mortal Gaze”, which inflicts the status “Doom” on somebody. This status can be remedied by Cursna or Holy Waters, with a chance of it failing, and once Doomed, you have roughly ten seconds to get it off you before you drop down dead. Something like that. Add that onto a bagful of other shenanigans, and you have quite a challenging fight.

We weren’t the only ones fighting the Minotaur—another (Japanese) alliance had also come down here to complete the mission, and they were very helpful when we practically wiped out later in the mission.

I’m still not sure how it happened. We were supposed to walk through this room of Fomors, which aggro to sound, so everybody Sneak’ed up, and went in. Still, some of them aggro’ed, and I’m not sure why. Long story short, many deaths ensued, with those of us still Sneak’ed unable to do anything, since there was practically no way we could handle the crowd of Fomors. We tried making a retreat, but by this time, the two Stegotaurs had respawned, cutting off that route as well. Eventually, the whole alliance wiped out, and only Saoirse, Akanea, Maijke, and I survived. Or at least, I died, then Reraised when a Stegotaur turned around, then ran as fast as my wittle taru legs could take me. >_< The Japanese alliance eventually caught up with us and helped Raise all the dead people, so we wouldn’t have to go do everything all over again. ありがとう！^^

I shant spoil the rest of the mission, but suffice it to say, there are some very nice cutscenes afterwards that I am still trying to find a Goblin Footprint for, just so I can watch them again. Hee…I never thought Memoro de la Ŝtono would play such a role in the game. (By the way, for those of you wondering, I think the words are in Esperanto.)

### Shooting Fish

Tried duo’ing the BCNM20, Shooting Fish with Starfox tonight. ^^

For those who are unfamiliar with this particular BCNM, it is, as the name implies, Level Cap 20. The party is pit against three Pugils, two Archer Pugils and one Sniper Pugil, whose attacks have a rather significant knockback effect.

This particular BCNM is also a cakewalk for a pair of SMNs, and actually can be solo’ed by a single SMN, although that option is of course, far more dangerous. ^^

Here’s how it works. Starfox and I both went up to Horlais Peaks, with Cloudy Orbs in hand. One of us would get ready to Astral Flow, while the other didn’t. Upon reaching the arena, we’d both summon Ramuh. The person who we agreed would Astral Flow now uses it, then chugs a Yagudo Drink. Then, slowly inching towards the three Pugils to avoid aggro, Ramuh would then walk up to the Sniper Pugil and Judgment Bolt (the 2hr ability). That would then place all the hate firmly on that Ramuh’s shoulders.

The other SMN would wait until Judgment Bolt has resolved, then command his or her own Ramuh to Thunderspark, which is also AoE, although with lesser range than Judgment Bolt. Both Ramuhs then continue whacking away at the Sniper Pugil, with the one that Judgment Bolt’ed tanking. Eventually, Ramuh will die, whereby the three Pugils will then turn their attention to the Thunderspark Ramuh.

In the meantime, the first SMN simply resummons Ramuh, and have Ramuh join in the fun. Eventually, the Blood Pact timer will reset, and then he or she can fire off another Judgment Bolt for the kill. {Easy prey.} ^^

I didn’t get much out of it, only 750 gil, a Mythril Beastcoin, a Shall Shell, a pair of platoon cesti, a scroll of Horde Lullaby, and a Mannequin Head (which I will be keeping), but it was fun to do. ^^ Starfox got a Mannequin Head (it’s a confirmed drop), and a Thunder Spirit pact to go with it, as well….lucky {cat}. >_<

## 11 May, 2005

### Craftsmanship.

Spent today synthing, skilling up Woodworking and Bonecraft, and surprisingly enough, Goldsmithing. I had originaly planned to skill up Goldsmithing off grown Platinum Nuggets, but I was just feeling rather impatient, and also had seven pieces of Ram Leather stuck in my Storage taking up space, so I decided to bite the bullet and synth up Mythril Cuisses. Besides, I could afford to take the financial hit, since the past KS30 runs I've been organising have been a great help (possibly too great, but that's something for another day), and I can desynth Mythril Earrings for profit, at least most of the time.

Mythril Earrings are actually very frustrating, or at least, they have been today. The results vary so widely, I've gotten everything from -20k loss in an hour of desynthing, to 180k profit in one hour. Most of the time, I can average out something around 80-100k/hr profit, I think, although I've recently shifted focus to trying to find optimal time conditions for long-term desynthing, so it's been a slow process of data collection. On the bright side, I think I must be one of Scamplix's favourite customers by now...

Anyway, so I decided to take a stack of Mythril off the Auction House, and set about converting it into Mythril Sheets for use. Just to reiterate, the recipe for a pair of Mythril Cuisses is a square of Ram Leather, and two Mythril Sheets. Total material costs are around 21k per synth, and they sell for...3k to an NPC? I much prefer desynthing them for a shot at another synthesis. >_< Last time I tried these, I was very disappointed though. I make about six of them for a piddly +0.1, if memory serves me correctly, so suffice to say, I was less than enthusiastic about that happening again.

Fortunately, such fears were unfounded. In six synths, I managed to get a whopping +0.5 skillups, thanks to a +0.2 and +0.1 in the initial run, then I desynthed the Cuisses for some materials to go again, which gave me the last +0.5. That got me fired up. I then went back to the Auction House, and took another stack of Mythril Ingots down, and started synthing that up into Mythril Sheets. ^^ Unfortunately, I discovered at the last minute that I didn't have enough Ram Leathers on me to continue, and the Jeuno AH had none in stock! >_< Fortunately, Opticon is a Leathercrater, and he just so happened to have six pieces of Ram Leather on him, which I bought off him, Altana bless his soul. ^^ And so, the synthing went on. It's already rather nervewrecking throwing away 18k a synth when you probably won't even get a skillup, but I guess if I am really to fulfill my goal of the big one-hundred, I'd better get used to it. >_<

First skillup I got off the second batch, was a +0.2. ^^

Then nothing.

And nothing again.

Then +0.1!

Then nothing.

Nothing again.

Last two sheets. Realising I could be left feeling very annoyed at a 57.8, I crossed my fingers and started to heat up some Mythril one last time...

+1.0 in materials meant for twelve synths? Heck, I'd take that anyday! ^^

With me now at Goldsmithing 58, I was now able to take the test to become a Craftsman. This was a first for me as, while I have two other crafts at 60 (Alchemy and Smithing), I kept both of them in Journeyman status so that I wouldnt accidentally skillup past 60. This is because the way the crafting system works, one can get all the crafts to 60, but then only has an extra 40 points to distribute between all the crafts (Fishing does not count). So, if I were to hit Goldsmithing 100, and accidentally skillup Smithing to 60.1, Goldsmithing would then fall to 99.9, and I wouldn't want that! >_<

And so, I headed over to Reinberta of the Goldsmithing Guild to see what item I had to make to get my Craftsman status. Given that this is the crossing the threshold into the advanced stages, Reinberta had something different to say to me:

Reinberta: I see you have matured into a fine goldsmith. Perhaps it is time you entered the leagues of the greats. Try your hand at a mythril gorget.

Reinberta: If you are able to complete this task, you will be worthy of the title of craftsman. However, you must realize that with the title of craftsman comes certain responsibilities. More will be asked of you. I do not mind you becoming a craftsman of another guild, but remember that your status among other goldsmiths may fall...

Normally, I would buy my rank-up item off the Auction House, but there were none in stock! >_< Looking at the Jeuno's price history, Mythril Gorgets were a very rare thing that only came up once a month, or so, and the Bastok AH doesn't even have any transacted history of a Mythril Gorget! >_<

Which means...I had to make it. ; ;

Looking it up, the ingredients did not make me a happy taru:

1x Gold Ingot
1x Mercury
1x Mythril Chain
1x Mythril Sheet

Okay, I admit, I was impatient. I spent a lot more on this than I should have. For one, I thought Jadeites was the NQ result of carving a green rock (that's what you get for not carving rocks). So, when I saw no Jadeites on the Bastok AH, nor Green Rocks, I went over to Teerth of the Goldsmith's Guild and bought a Green Rock for a little over 2.5k. I carved it, and got...a tourmaline. >_< Also, the issue of a Mythril Chain. The Bastok AH didn't have any in stock, and I certainly wasn't going to make one, since they take two Mythril Ingots to make. With that, I turned back to Teerth, who was willing to sell me a Mythril Chain for the low, low price of about 15k.

This is all fine and well, until one realises that I should've just asked an LS-mate to check the Jeuno AH for both ingredients. I actually ended up asking if the Jeuno AH had Jadeites in stock, which they did for 4k each, and when I Warped back later, I found that the Jeuno AH also had Mythril Chains in stock- for 4k each, as well. >_< I ended up buying a Mythril Sheet off the AH instead of making it myself, and the Mercury as well, because I didn't want to go all the way to Bibiki Bay to get some Cobalt Jellyfish. The Gold Ingot, I already had on me, for some odd reason. In total, the materials set me back some 80k. >_<

Given all this trouble, this was not something I wanted to fail, and so, taking whatever precautions I had (very little), I got ready to make me a Mythril Gorget:

Fortunately, I didn't fail the synth, otherwise, I would've been a very-wery angry taru! >_<

Getting back up, I immediately turned back to Reinberta, and handed over my accomplishment to her for evaluation...

Reinberta: I must commend you on your exquisite work and hereby grant you the title of craftsman. Feel free to become a craftsman of another guild, but do not forget that it may be difficult to maintain your level of goldsmith skills.

You are now recognized as a craftsman of the Goldsmiths’ Guild.

YAY!

Only two levels separate my Goldsmithing from the big sixty. Once there, I think I will dedicate myself to another project, another journaru of sorts, fully dedicated to my Goldsmithing experience. Part of this is because unlike the other guilds, there is so little information out there on high level Goldsmithing, that I feel some data needs to go in. Furthermore, there is a lot of disagreement as to what to do, and so, someone over on the Allakhazam forums suggested that it might be interesting to see a Goldsmither's diary as they skillup past 60 "and lose their sanity". Oh well...hopefully my goldsmithing website will be an interesting read, although first, there's Level 60 to get. ^^

## 09 May, 2005

### Kirin Captivator

"I am Kirin, master of the Shijin. The one who stands above all. You, who have risen above your mortal status to contend with the gods... It is time to reap your reward."

"Wait, does that mean we're immortal? ^^"

Earlier this week, Pinpong sent me a /tell asking if I was interested in joining BBQGold (one of the sky LS'es on Odin). I was interested at one point, back when I first got sky access, although now, it seems that I just do not have the interest to commit myself wholeheartedly to a sky linkshell.

For one, setting aside eight hours a week to Dynamis already eats up enough of my time, and working around sky schedules with Equilibrium is just too taxing to the point where I don't even participate in Equilibrium sky activities. Secondly, I do like my social linkshell, TrueRune, although we are now at the point where several members are approaching their late 60s and are moving into the home run stretch that is the 70s, so they'll be looking for an HNM and/or sky LS soon. Personally, I prefer the social aspect to the game, and I don't really like the feel of a committing myself to a "business" LS.

Granted, these LS'es have the best of intentions, to outfit members with their endgame gear, many of which require the RA/EX abjurations, but from what I've seen, such things usually don't happen. Not to mention the politics involved with competing LS'es, I for sure chose to stay as far away from that as possible. Hence, the stance I've been taking is much more of a "I'll pop along for fun" type of ideology. That way, I get to join the fights for the experience whenever a friend of mine invites me, although I decline any form of monetary compensation for it, or at least, anything significant that could later be used to try and press a guilt stamp on me should things sour, like "Why are you leaving when we got you this, that and the other..."

On a side note, I finally got myself an Igqira Weskit. Saw some listed on the AH for 2.2 million each, then randomly decided to bid 50k below the last transacted price just for fun. I didn't think it'd clear. After all, who undercuts by 50k on something like an Igqira Weskit?

You buy the igqira weskit for 2,150,000 gil.

@#$&*#$%!

Oh well, at least now I have one, although I'm looking to sell it back once the price rises again (if it ever does). Worst come to worst, I can take the 40k hit listing the Weskit when things get desperate...

I don't really like the way it looks on me, either. >_<

Anyway, going back to BBQGold. I basically told Pingpong that I'd be happy to tag along for fun, and although I don't think he quite understood me, but I actually meant that in the "I don't want anything out of this" sense. Besides, a lot of my friends are in BBQ, so I figured it'd be nice to join them in on a Kirin run, if at least that. ^^

The night before their scheduled god run, I met up with Pingpong, and he passed me a linkpearl to BBQ, so I popped in to say Hi for a little bit before turning in for the night.

Their run today would consist of two Suzakus, followed by three Kirins. I wasn't particularly interested in Suzaku, since I had already fought him before with Equilibrium, but fighting Kirin would be interesting, at least, since I haven't had the chance to actually go on a Kirin run just yet.

Party dynamics with BBQ was a lot different from what I was used to though. Given my limited sky experience, I am used to fighting with small groups like Equilibrium, or Darya's LS (I think "Unfinished"?), where we take in an alliance at most. When Equilibrium did Suzaku, we were just shy of the full eighteen people, and I fought Genbu with Darya and co. with just seven people. With BBQ, about forty people came down for the fight, although from what I hear, they didn't always use to be like this- the linkshell just grew. ^^

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it makes killing the gods really quite easy from a mage's standpoint since all you do is unload everything you can on the target, then when your MP is out, just drop from the alliance and have a different mage replace you. Suzaku was easy enough such that we didn't have to do any rotating, but I switched out a few times during Kirin.

Actually, I felt Suzaku was a little bit too boring, since with so many people, only eighteen of us were actually engaging Suzaku, with the other twenty-two standing on the sidelines watching. Some have criticised this as being "zerg" (taken from Starcraft), but I guess it all depends on your point of view. If your goal is just to kill the gods, then sure, send everybody against it. If you're in for a challenge, bring less people. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, respectively, so it'd be too pretentious of me to say one is better than the other.

For Kirin, eighteen of us would concentrate on keeping Kirin occupied, while everybody else was standing on the sidelines waiting to be switched in, or waiting to handle Kirin's summons. What would happen was that Kirin would summon one of his 'brothers', a lesser version of the four sky gods, and then someone on the outside would claim it, and then Call for Help. That way, you have everybody beating up on one poor lesser-version of a god, while the main alliance is still keeping Kirin occupied. Okay, there was still the issue with Kirin's Astral Flow, but for some reason, not too many of us died, I think.

On the bright side, I did get to see Stonega IV and Stone V. ^^

I wasn't quite sure how BBQ did things, so I basically asked Starfox what to do. Turns out that we'd just enfeeble with DoT spells until all four gods had been summoned before opening fire with nukes and the works. Kirin's Stone-based, and has very high resistances, so we'd nuke with just Aero spells. Even then, I had more than the occasional Aero IV for 97 damage, although an Elemental Seal-powered Magic Burst'ed Aeroga III caught Kirin for over 700 damage, I think. ^^

I would basically run a little in front of Kirin, nuke him until my mana pool was drained out, disband, run over to a corner and eat a Ginger Cookie while waiting for my mana to return. Once topped up, I'd put up my party flag again, and be brought back in for another round of nuking, and this would go on until Kirin was dead, although I hear the main damage dealer against Kirin are the Rangers. Oh well.

Nuking continuously was a little harder than I thought, mostly because with so many of us there, the lag was horrible. I'd literally hit my macro and not start casting anything until several seconds later, so unless Kirin stopped to cast something, he'd usually move out of range. There was, however, one time when I evidently resolved the nuke, then lagged, so to me, it appeared like I nuked him from across the room (which by the way, is a pretty big room ^^)

Anyway, many many nukes later...

...I am now a Kirin Captivator. ^^

I don't remember what our drops were, other than a shining cloth and a Damascus Ingot. I think a Kirin's Osode dropped off the second Kirin run though.^^ Anyway, it was a nice insight into how other people do things, although I'm still not sold on the idea of joining a sky LS just yet. I still prefer to be content with my social linkshell and going about with what I want to do in this game, like pursuing my crafting, and well, I guess I'll still be a helping hand to the various sky linkshells out there, at least for now.

## 04 May, 2005

### Economics 101 >_<

I am an angry taru. >_<

The silly thing is, I can't believe it is all over 90k. Well, I accept the fact that 90k is a lot of money to some, but the fact that two people are fighting over something as simple as 90k gil is rather >_<, if you were to ask me. Of course, by now you can assertain that one of the people involved was me.

Here's the scenario.

A few days ago, I went with a group of friends to fight the BCNM40 down at the Waughroon Shrine (you can tell I've been going there more and more often) for the Worm's Turn. We did a total of six runs, and was pretty successful overall. For those who are interested, the party setup was BLM BLM BLM WHM RNG RNG. Five of us walked out with either Erase or Utsusemi: Ni in our hands, one of us actually got both.

I personally got a Spirit Torque, Phalanx, and a scroll of Utsusemi: Ni, so I was quite pleased. I could use the Spirit Torque and Utsusemi for my Ninja, at least, whenever I actually hit NIN37. Given that my RDM still isn't RDM37, I figure that will take a while. So I held onto both items for a while, pondering over whether I should sell them or not.

Couple days later, I gave in and decided to sell them. I was quite pleased to find out that Utsusemi: Ni is actually more expensive than Erase by about 100k, and the Spirit Torque was still rather high, but falling. I undercut on Spirit Torque, and it sold for (I think) 150k. I think I undercut something like 20k or so?

The problem is, one of my LS-mates who also came on the run also got a Spirit Torque, and was looking to sell both the Torque and his Erase to buy an Elemental Torque. Except that while I undercut, he didn't. Obviously, mine sold quickly, and the price soon came tumbling down and now he was stuck.

He only brought this up to me in LS chat this evening, when I was commenting on prices of certain scrolls. Poison II, for example, sells quickly, and you can easily make 20k out of just buying five scrolls from the Selbina NPC, and selling them in Jeuno. I also noted that a scroll of Raise III is down to just 320-340k, and still falling. I'm seriously debating whether I should buy one as an investment, but there's no sign that the price will pick up again anytime soon, so I withheld for a moment.

Then, the /linkshell showed up: "Tuuf, spirit torques are now 4k, thanks a lot."

Sarcasm, no? I went to check the Jeuno AH, and indeed, a Spirit Torque sold for 4k. Guess somebody must've been desperate to get rid of his. Also, the going rate for Spirit Torques were now 110k, instead of whatever they were before. Two more Spirit Torques had been sold since the 4k one, both times at 110k.

What things basically boiled down to was that he was upset that he couldn't sell his Spirit Torque for 200k (I don't ever remember seeing them past 180k, personally), and I had basically shafted him out of 90k by undercutting. While a lot of us frown upon undercutting, there are times when it makes sense, and this was one of them. When I went to list, there were several Spirit Torques up for sale, given the number of people that go on BCNM40 runs. Also, they don't flow that quickly, with only five or so selling a day. I don't remember what the last transacted price was when I listed mine, but I felt this was something I wanted to get rid of quickly, so I undercut fairly drastically.

Basically, I anticipated a price drop, since supply > demand (your Economics 101 part), and so undercut to sell the Spirit Torque quickly, before the price dropped.

The end result is that I sold a Spirit Torque for 150k instead of 180k or so, while my LS-mate is left with a stuck torque, and is faced with the prospect of having to relist his for 110k, instead of his desired 200k, or whatever.

Naturally, he blamed me for this, to which I explained to him my reasoning above.

In addition to that, as a crafter, AH slots are very valuable to me, and I would rather undercut and take a small hit than have a clogged slot and have constricted flow while waiting for things to sell. This was also just before I started burning through Silver Arrows (which I am still trying to get rid of! >_<), so I really did want those slots open.

Of course, it was as if he just refused to listen to reason, basically taking my reasoning and throwing it back in my face,

"I almost guarantee you didn't consider all that, but that's okay."

Sorry, but {Huh?!}

I felt really insulted by that. Not only was it showing complete disregard for me trying to teach you something, it is also just downright rude. I may be fairly patient with people, but those who know me can assure you that if anything really gets on my nerves, it's rudeness. I abhor being insulted, and probably would've added him onto the "People-I-don't-want-to-associate-with" list if it weren't for the fact that we were LS mates and already knew each other. So mad, that I immediately unequipped the TrueRune pearl, and brought that to an abrupt end. Hmph. >_<

For crying out loud, I'm an applied mathematician by training (in real life), and I have training in dealing with the real world stock market. Yes, that means I'm trained to spot, identify, and react to trends, so don't go saying I don't know what I'm talking about, or that I didn't do what I said. Continual exposure to the ever-changing nature of the in-game economy also helps out in this respect, too! Some people, honestly...

{/fume}

## 03 May, 2005

### Forumer

In all honesty, I've been rater preoccupied with stuff in real life, so I haven't really found the time to write anything substantial as of late. I helped Starfox out a little getting three RA/EX items that he needs to complete the quest for his Evoker's Ring, end ended up stumbling across Centurio X-I along the way, who dropped a Shaman's Cloak! Three of us needed the cloak, and we lotted. It fell into Starfox's lap, who was then wondering what he actually needed it for some ten minutes later. D'oh! >_<

In other news, the Kindred Seal's thing is going on. Had a little bit of trouble finding BLMs this time, with Gigoonleegon, Nikku, and Starfox offline, meaning that only four of us were around, but eventually, I brought in Traktor to fill in as the fifth. I didn't think we had that long of a run to go, with me bringing just some of the TrueRune folks down, but by the end of the day, we completed a whole twenty-five runs of Operation Desert Swarm, with three of them dropping a Venomous Claw!

Unfortunately, none of the TrueRune guys got anything big, except for Ncloud, who got a Damascene Cloth. ^^ Poor Aka got the real short end of the stick. His drops were so bad, he actually ended up with a 1.3k profit, which the chocobo ride to Palborough took away. >_<

Also, Butcher came down to the Waughroon Shrine with an Atropos Orb to try out. He wanted to try out this other KS30 battle that supposedly can also be BLM'ed, that involves four Giant Birds. We'd all Thundaga as usual, except that the problem was that two birds would immediately charge forward after being attacked, while the other two Birds would stay in the back row and cast spells. Hence, a Sleepga II would miss one or two of them. I think we lucked out on that one personally, as one of the casting Birds completed its spell early and then ran forward into Sleepga II range. That meant that we only had one stray Bird to deal with, which we handled with multiple Sleep IIs. A fully volley of Blizzaga IIIs later, three Birds were down, then a lot of nuking afterwards took out the lone Bird. Some of us had to use our Manafont though, so this is definitely not a run to do en masse, unlike the scorpions.

Butcher was after some sword of his, which didn't drop, unfortunately. To make matters worse, we all passed on the loot, then sat down to wait for Butcher to lot on his drops so he could take them. Unfortuantely, Butcher zoned, and since all of us passed, all the loot was lost. >_< Ah well, accidents happen, I guess. ;;

In any case, I've recently gone back to skilling up my Woodworking, and to a lesser extent, Bonecraft. A lot of us feel that Bonecraft 60 just isn't worth it- it's a money sink, with no real profit maker, the stuff you make either doesn't sell well, or doesn't stack, resulting in NPC resales, and overall, Bonecraft is just a disdained craft. I, however, want it so I can make my own Fang and Scorpion Arrowheads when the time comes in Woodworking to skillup off those, and I might as well get Bonecrafting done in the proess. As Gizzle put it, killing two {Chocobo}s with one {Stone}. Erm, never mind that. >_<

Many, many, many, many Silver Arrows later, I'm finally Woodworking 29.8. ^^ All too many arrows. I tried selling them in Jeuno, but people just don't buy them quickly. I have all three mules trying to sell arrows, until I noticed that Silver Arrows almost never sell in Bastok, so my San d'Orian mule is a little overloaded for the time being.

Despite having four character's AH slots filled with Silver Arrows, I still had some eleven stacks on me, and I had no idea what to do with them. Level up Ranger? Not for thirteen levels just to use them. How about skillup Archery? {Yes, please.}

While neither my Black Mage nor my White Mage can use a bow, my Red Mage certainly can. ^^ And so, I trooped down to the Korroloka Tunnel to begin the long, arduous task of shooting Land Worms down for skillup. I was joking that I'd hit the Archery cap before I ran out of arrows, although that won't happen- I used up half of them (that's about 500 arrows!) and gain a good 20 skill levels in Archery or so, with another 30 to go before hitting the cap.

I've also conducted some tests to see just how much money I actually make synthing. After many calculations, and notes, it seems that I can churn out anything between 50k/hr to 110k/hr just by plonking myself in Rabao and desynthing Mythril Earrings, which isn't too bad, I think. Of course, one's idea of a lot of money is all relative, and it seems to me that one's "major" unit is one tenth of the highest unit value he or she currently holds. For example, I have 3.5 million gil on me at the moment, so to me, I feel like denominations of 10k aren't that much, while 100k gives me pause. Or I could just be imagining things. ^^

Also tried farming elementals in {sky} to see what it is like, having been partially inspired by a video that's floating around the place. I tried it out, and it's really quite easy. I had a few hairy situations when lag meant I couldn't cast my Sleep II in time, and so got hit by a Firaga III on numerous occasions, but fortunately, I didn't die. Came back with ten Fire Clusters and 2k xp in about an hour. I probably make more money desynthing Earrings, but at least I get xp and the occasional Kindred Seal from killing Fire Elementals in {sky}. I didn't bring Ginger Cookies with me, so I couldn't regenerate MP fast enough to chain, but now I have some cookies on me, I'm gonna try to solo a Chain #2 for 300xp the next time I pop down. ^^

Anyway, I've since taken to posting in forums more often as of late, and I'm not entirely sure why. Normally, I read, but do not post in either Allakhazam or Killing Ifrit, but I've been compelled to take a more active role as of late. Right now, there's an interesting thread brought up in the Allakhazam tradeskills forum that attempts to discuss what exactly caused the serverwide price increase that's going on right now. I posted my thoughts on the subject matter, which you can read there.^^