27 September, 2005

The Hills are Alive!

Tonight, Eratosthenes invited me to join Evilstar and his BLM crew on what might become the next generation of BLM-supported BCNMs: The KS99 Themis Orb uncapped fight, "The Hills are Alive!"

This particular KS fight pits a full alliance of 18 people against one Adamantoise mob named "Tartaruga Gigante" for some reason. He has various abilities, including Silencega and Flood, but most dangerous of all, he will, at some point, draw his head into his shell. Once inside, not only is he almost impervious to damage, he also starts to regenerate HP at a ridiculous rate. He can also cast Slowga, but that's usually not a big problem. ^^

Reading the Alla forums, he also can cast Waterga IV (didn't see this), has a Regen rate that's much much faster than either Aspi or Genbu, and is generally a whole lot harder than either of the two aforementioned turtles. >_<

Hence, you call in a whole bunch of Black Mages. Or about 14 or so in my case.

The plan was simple. Just like Divine Might, everybody opens with a simultaneous Elemental Seal-Blizzaga III. From then on, the BLMs all scatter to minimise damage and continue to unload the various Blizzard-line nukes onto the Tartaruga Gigante until it dies. All BLMs should bring a couple Echo Drops per run to counter Silencega. Some form of drink is also highly recommended, since a bunch of us needed to Manafont in order to actually kill the turtle. >_< At some point, as mentioned before, it will withdraw into its shell, but the sheer amount of nukes we cast on it will cause it to pop its head out again without too much setback. Overall, it doesn't take too long to clear the battle- only about 5 minutes or so if everyone knows what they're doing.

I have to admit, after all this time, it felt very good to be back with all my fellow Black Mage peers. I don't mean the junky "I want to MB Freeze at level 64"-type Black Mages which seem to be all the rage these days, I'm talking about the Black Mages who were already there before the Ranger "nerf" convinced half the FFXI population to take up BLM and completely ruin our reputation.

Of course, the other fun part is seeing big Blizzard IVs go off. ^^

...Blizzard IV is just so purrrty sometimes...^^

Anyway, this particular KS99 drops all sorts of juicy items, including a whole host of job-specific weapons that I have never seen before. Both runs we did dropped a Damascus Ingot, so I'm quite curious just how much the rest of the items are worth.

Like I said, this could very well turn out to be the next generation of BLM KS-business. The way Evilstar chose to run this, the client gets to keep any one item that drops, and the BLMs split the rest. I'm not entirely sure what kind of deal that is, simply because I don't know the value of just about everything that drops, but hey, whatever works. ^^ I hear really high-end items like Shining Cloths and Black Belt items can also drop from this KS fight, so that's definitely something to look forward to.

Time will tell what happens to this, I guess. ^^

25 September, 2005

Welcome to Bastok / Job headaches.

A few days ago, I said farewell to my dear Windurst, and set out to transfer my citizenship over to Bastok. For one, I was in need of something to do, and switching over to a new country would let me explore that country's particular storyline (which by the way, are generally very well done).

It's just too bad I already miss Windurst. ; ;

Everytime I go back now, the people talk to me as if I'm some foreigner. Ah well, I shall return in time! (And with Windurst's greatest victory yet...mwahahahaha...)

Tearing through the initial rank missions as a Level 75 BLM is frighteningly easy, even the really long-winded quests that require me to teleport all the way to the Crag of Dem, trade a crystal to the telepoint, and Warp all the way back. However, I've hit a little bit of a road block at Mission 2-3, which is the 25-cap Dragon fight. It shouldn't be too much of a problem, but I'm just waiting on Eratosthenes and Chummy (both of whom jumped over to Bastok with me) to catch up so we can do it together. That, and I think Onekomaru is also stuck as a Rank 2 San d'Orian, so that's 4/6 down.

I've also been having a bit of a mid-life crisis as of late regarding what job do I consider myself as. With that, I've been reassessing my options, figuring out what I really should do.

First on the list is Black Mage. My option here would basically be to twink out my BLM. In terms of gear, that's a fairly sizeable price tag, with a Phantom Tathlum, an Uggalepih Pendant, an Igqira Lappa, and a pair of Snow Rings on the "can buy" list. However, the problem with trying to twink out Black Mage is getting the pieces that I cannot buy, in other words, Rostrum Pumps, and most of all, my Sorcerer's Coat and Sorcerer's Petasos.

While the Rostrum Pumps isn't too difficult given my connection with BBQGold, the AF2 pieces, on the other hand, are proving to be very difficult.

Here's the situation. Due to my class schedule this semester, I can only make one of Explorer's two Dynamis runs a week. In addition to my computer breaking down for six weeks awhile ago, and my only being able to attend once weekly when I was back home (4-8am Dynamis runs {No thanks.}), I'm at the point where several of the "newer" Black Mages have accumulated more points than I have. As I write, I think I am the fourth BLM waiting in line for the Sorcerer's Petasos to drop.

The problem is, I don't feel we spam Dynamis-Xarcabard enough to get the hats, or we just have horrible luck when it comes to getting the Petasos. So far, I think just over three Duelist's Chapeaus have dropped, while just one Sorcerer's Petasos has. That, and as the linkshell grows, more and more Black Mages are coming in.

I don't even know what our Dynamis schedule in the long run looks like. Previously, all the ice runs were saved for Wednesdays, which is the day I cannot make it, while the regular zones were reserved for Saturdays. I think that might have switched now, and I hope it has since that means I'll actually be able to come to any Dynamis-Beaucedine or Dynamis-Xarcabard runs we do.

However, the problem still remains. In the long run against all the new BLMs that can attend twice a week, I lose. Right now, I'm fourth in line, and I think I have a 100-point buffer between myself and the next BLM (I'm last in line from my "generation", or so to speak ; ;). That gives me roughly a ten week buffer to get my hat before the rest catch up and I have to wait even longer. Can we get four Sorcerer's Petasos in ten weeks? Somehow, I'm not so confident about that.

In addition, I've been feeling rather...saddened by Explorer. Call it a lack of respect, or what you will, but I've been in Explorer for quite some time now, and while I love some of the people in the linkshell, it seems like my existence isn't even acknowledged. I posted something on the BBS letting them know because of school conflicts, I couldn't make this past Saturday's run. Kitsume also had plans, and such , couldn't make it either. But what does Elmas post in reply to both our posts? "Ok Kitsume, have a nice day," leaving me somewhat speechless about it all. Do I even exist? I mean, sure, I haven't been able to attend as of late due to circumstances outside of my control, but it's getting to the point where I'm wondering if I should even stick around Explorer.

I might have disappointed Elmas in the past. I know there was one time when I said I couldn't make it because it was late at night (I was at home) and Elmas asked me to join, to which I apologized and said I couldn't make it. /sigh...it's unfortunate, but what can I do?

Anyway, next on the list is White Mage. Several members in TrueRune knew me first as WHM, and as such, they feel I should finish the job. In addition, it would be nice to actually use that scroll of Raise III that's been collecting in my mule's Mog Safe (and has since depreciated by 300k, too -_-). Another candidate would be Red Mage, but other than a Joyeuse, there's nothing else I really want from it. Finally, there's Summoner, which is one of the more appealing classes to me, at least in idea. Going Summoner main also solves the problem of getting my AF2 done, since of all the mage classes, it is the one with the lowest demand.

There's also the question of "Why am I leveling up all these jobs, anyway?" It's not like I'm in an endgame linkshell where flexibility with jobs is nice, and even then, they'd want me as BLM anyway.

Argh, enough of that. I'm getting a headache again. Besides, this is getting long enough already. >_<

19 September, 2005

Warrior Party!

In what seems to be a rarity nowadays, I actually went xp'ing. :D Given conflicting schedules between myself and Aka, it doesn't look like our pseudo static between Aka, Sao, and myself will work out. >_< And so, I took it upon myself to level up my RDM once again, although to be honest, I've been reconsidering all sorts of other jobs, including leveling up BST given my current state of affairs.

Parties nowadays have become...somewhat bleh, to be honest. Last night was spent in a horrendous party (with a chinese (presumably) gilseller BLM) in the Monastic Cavern where the members just seemed unable to create anything past a Chain #2. This afternoon, I was in a decent party in Bibiki, although a few things got to me. In the end, I had some ruffled feathers and didn't really think it was worth it in the end.

However, once in a while, you get an invite from that gem of a party that's well worth remembering. Basically, I had pretty much just come from my Bibiki Bay party when Eunhye sent me a /tell asking if I wanted to join his group up in the Uleguerand Range. When he told me that the setup would be WAR WAR WAR BLM RDM BRD, my interest was piqued. ^^

And so, I went. ^^

I have to admit, Warrior parties work out a lot better than I expected. Sure, there may be no real "tank", but if you're all DD, there's no need for a tank- besides, you can easily bounce the hate all over the place with three Warriors. Should something go wrong, help is but a Provoke away to get Utsusemi back up, although Provoke was something that wasn't really used all that often.

Sure, there may not be any decent skillchain between the members, but who needs a skillchain when you have {Rampage} -> {Rampage} -> {Rampage}? Hey, if the mob's dead, what's there to complain about? ^^

Our style of play was very reminiscent of sky parties at 75. Basically, let the melee DD go nuts on the mob with a BLM's damage-on-demand helping out when needed. Myself and a Bard are there to provide mana refresh support, as well as the buffs/debuffs needed to keep everything going. Oh, and the Bard pulls. Usually before the first mob's even dead.

I timed one of our fights- we downed a Nival Raptor in about 48 seconds. That's pretty impressive, and if it weren't for long(ish) pulls, we could've gotten some pretty insane chains.

Speaking of insane chains, how's this on for size for a 61-63 party? ^^

Oh. Yeah. ^^

It's a good thing we were the only party up there- it would've been rather annoying if we had to split the place with another party simply because we were just obliterating everything there. Thank goodness the Nival Raptors in the Uleguerand Range are on a 5-minute repop timer, but even then, we had to pull the occasional Polar Hare or bomb to keep things going. >_<

In any case, this is something I'd definitely like to try out again someday. Not only was it a welcome change from the usual party setup, it was actually a very intense, and fun party!

(Oh yeah, and as the screenshot shows, I'm finally at the stage where I have to skillup my Magic Skills again. ; ; Hopefully all the Refreshes will keep things up to scratch. ^^)

In other news, I decided to help out Slautman on some Operation Desert Swarm runs of his, except this time with a normal party setup as opposed to BLMs. After doing this four times, we didn't get any good drops, although I'm rather surprised just how easy the battle actually is- all you need are two sleepers and some good DD to take out the scorpions in an efficient manner. I'm kinda curious why people just don't get their own groups and do the BC themselves, really. The amount of time I've heard people had to wait for their turn in a BLM's queue could've easily sent six people through the BC six times, and then some more for good measure.

Anyway, as we were about to finish, I got a /tell from Xmode asking if I wanted to xp with him on my BLM. Recently, I haven't been xp'ing my BLM, although the few times I do, it is with Xmode and Sakurato, and I've gotten to like them quite a lot. ^^ The atmosphere is friendly, the xp is fast, the party is fun. Unfortunately, at this point, it was also approaching midnight, and I wanted to go to sleep. >_<

Despite this, my typical party invite from Xmode looks something like this:

As promised, Saku was very-wery /angry that I didn't really want to go xp with them, and so sent me a very threatening tell!

My typical party invite from Sakurato:

Little did she know that I was the wrong taru to messy-wess with!

Hee...<3 Saku. ^^

18 September, 2005


As one might have been able to guess from the sudden lack of updates, I really haven't been playing as much as I used to, which is probably a good thing seeing as how there are other things that I really ought to devote more time to.

In any case, Railston invited me to help out on a private KS30 run. Since I had some Kindred Seals of my own lying around, I decided why not, and cashed them in for another Lachesis Orb. Eventually, we were off to Operation Desert Swarm yet again, BLM-style.

However, something occured to me as we were heading off- even if a Venomous Claw dropped on my orb, I wouldn't know what to do with it. It's not like I'm really short on money, even after splurging 1.75m on an Enfeebling Torque which I've been meaning to pick up for some time now, although I wish I had bought it back when it was 800k. -_-

There's very little for me to actually purchase in terms of gear. The only things I really could upgrade to is a Phantom Earring, an Elemental Earring, and an Enfeebling Earring. Maybe a Dark Torque, or an Igqira Lappas to complete my Enfeebling set. The only real things I want are a Sorcerer's Petasos and Sorcerer's Coat. And maybe a pair of Zenith Mitts, although if I got the abjuration, I don't know if I'd drive myself nuts trying to get the +1. >_<

Anyway, Swifty went first and to our delight, a Venomous Claw dropped!


Remember. Have enough space in your inventory before you enter! >_<

12 September, 2005

One Year Ago...

Most of my readers will probably not remember today for what has happened in the past. While in the real world, this ubiquous day marked the day the whole world was turned upside-down some four years ago. I, quite by coincidence, also decided to pen my very first bloggaru entry on this very day, one year ago.

I'd like to take today to look back upon this past year to see what has changed between then and now.

For starters, I've completed my three sets of mage AF. One year ago, I was just a fledgling WHM54, and hadn't met most of the people who are my linkshell mates yet. In fact, I hadn't even met Akanea and the rest of the TrueRune gang at this time. One year ago, I was fighting Shiva, my first prime avatar fight, and would go on to clear Genkai 2 in an alliance within two days. Within a few weeks, I would embark upon leveling my Black Mage with renewed vigour, and would eventually take Black Mage up to 75.

I've also leveled my Red Mage to level 60. I've since tried my hand at both sky, and HNM, as well as the odd Dynamis run here and there and have faced two of the big CoP dragons. Rank 10 in Windurst is also mine.

Strangely enough, my Goldsmithing has not improved all that much. While I don't remember quite what level I was at the time, my records hint at Goldsmithing 37. Right now, I'm Goldsmithing 68, so gained 31 skill levels in one year. Either that is a testimony to how difficult Goldsmithing is as a newish player, or just how stingy I am with my money. >_<

Looking through my archived entries, here is how 'ol Tuufless has grown over the past twelve months:

September 2004: Attained Rank 6, completed WHM AF. ^^
October 2004: Leveling BLM, Attained Rank 7, got my Moldy. (First try, too! ^^)
November 2004: Attained Rank 9. ^^
December 2004: First BLM party, got my Shaded Spectacles ^^
January 2005: Completed my NQ staves set, BLM overtakes WHM. :P
February 2005: First Hakutaku run, Defeated Maat. ^^
March 2005: Beat Fenrir, first Dynamis run, gained sky access, first KS30 Operation Desert Swarm run, first HNM fight (Serket)
April 2005: First god fight (Seiryu), Alchemy 60, Smithing 60, Hit BLM75. ^^
March 2005: Kirin Captivator, Goldsmithing 60, beat Divine Might. ^^
June 2005: Completed my HQ staves set. ^^
July 2005: Computer broke down...orz
August 2005: Completed RDM AF, first dragon fight, Dynamis Lord {fear}

I've seen many things in this one year. I've seen many friends come and go. Looking at what other people have accomplished, I can't help but feel that I go about things a whole lot slower than others, but I guess that's just me.

In any case, this is a /cheer to all that this bloggaru has been dutifully noting down in its archives. ^^


For interest's sake, here is the very first post that I entered into this bloggaru, which long-time readers might remember as originally being hosted on Freewebs.


September 11, 2004- Hier to the Great Ice

"Who interrupts my slumber?
Was I dreaming for but an instant,
or an eternity?
The radiance that illuminates all, lost...
Which is the real world, and which is
the dream?
Am I...?
But enough...
Wager your life to prove your skill.
Let us see if you can provide me
with a moment of amusement.
Are you ready, you who is one yet many?"

Ah, FF. For the first time since I got here, the school network is actually giving me little trouble to the point where I can (finally) play FF again. And what can one accomplish in one day's worth of Final Fantasy?

Okay, so performance just had to be at its peak in the morning as I was about to go to class. Boo. Hoo. At least things eased up later at night, and tonight marked the beginning of the road to becoming what Tuuf was always meant to be (before that fateful encounter with a Taru in WHM AF)- a Summoner.

The above quote comes from the introduction to the battle with Shiva Prime, and I imagine all the other summons are more or less the same. After Ben told me that a WHM54 could take on Shiva (with the appropriate party), the deal was set. He went off, became a Roc Star again (cheesy titles R' Us) while I was furiously feeding some Selbina farmer's sheeps stacks of moss until the either the cows came home, I ran out, or the sheep exploded, whichever came first.

At least I got this when I spoke to the guy at the inn:

"Lady Tuufless! There isn't a soul in the kingdom that doesn't consider you a hero! As a representative of the people of San d'Oria, I humbly ask you to continue your efforts for the good of the country. May the light of the Goddess shine upon you!"

Level. Ten. Fame.

Oh, yeah. ^^

After fighting Shiva Prime in the Cloister of Frost battle arena, I am somewhat disappointed. I had previously cleared my PlayOnline screenshot gallery to make room for pretty pictures of Shiva, but the battle was intensive, and I forgot to take any pictures. Sad, ain't it? It was a hard battle, although probably not as hard as actually starting the battle, given the numerous things that happened to the party along the way, culminating in a "All right! Finally here!"

"Wait, isn't it Iceday?"


Nonetheless, just over one hour later, we fought (and beat) Shiva Prime. It was a tough battle, and Ben almost died (just to give you guys an idea). Some 2-hr abilities later, we have a defeated Shiva with just one casualty to boot. All in all, a good day, but one that's leaving me very tired out. At least this'll get me over jet lag. :D (I get the feeling this entry's overly rushed...)

Peace out.

"...Impressive, child of Vana'diel.
We sleep in a time that is neither
an instant, nor an eternity.
Is this world a dream,
or is the dream world an illusion...?
Very well, child of Vana'diel.
I will grant you a fragment of my power
to bring order to chaos."

11 September, 2005

Recent ongoings...

Classes have now started, which means I'm back in the U.S. of A.

It also means that my playing time has been rather...cut short, for obvious reasons, but oh well. I still manage to get in a little bit here and there, but all I really do now is craft up a bit here and there.

I've finally managed to get my Woodworking up to 60, capping my third craft. I'm not sure which I will work on next, whether I will move on to Clothcraft, complete Bonecraft or Leatherworking, or just focus full-time on Goldsmithing. I suspect the latter won't happen due to an in-built reluctance to shell out 1 million gil on a stack of Platinum Ingots. I guess I might end up doing so anyway, but until then, I'll be taking things slowly.

Recently, a lot of TrueRune's members have been leveling up Summoners, and as such, I seem to have gotten quite a few requests to make (and sign!) a pair of Energy Earrings +1, which are well, quite a pain to make. Contrary to popular belief, an Energy Earring +1 is not the HQ2 of an Onyx Earring, rather it is the HQ1 result of a different Onyx Earring recipe. By combining an Onyx with a Silver Earring, you stand a chance to HQ into an Energy Earring, but if you want an Energy Earring +1, you need to HQ using a Silver Earring +1.

Silver Earrings +1 fetch a pretty penny at 20k each too, so trying to make an Energy Earring +1 isn't exactly for those who are tight with their cashflow. Then again, I've reached the 51-tier for Silver Earrings so I can just make them myself, although I still cringe at all the potential profits I throw away just to make a pair of Energy Earrings +1. Then again, selling the Silver Earrings +1 are a little difficult so I can try to make Energy Earrings +1 for faster sales...

...that's assuming I stop trying to sign them and actually release them to the AH. >_<

03 September, 2005

Silver Smelter!

While I now have a Goldsmithing blog that contains all the nitty-gritty of my Goldsmithing career, this event is major enough to warrant inclusion in the main Bloggaru. ^^

Simply put, after a grueling round of turning many many Platinum Ingots into Platinum Earrings, I had finally attained Goldsmithing 68! That let me take my guild rank test to become a Goldsmithing Artisan. ^^

The test, unfortunately, wasn't exactly for the faith of heart (but then again, what part of Goldsmithing is?). The item I was asked for was a Mythril Breastplate. Upon checking the Jeuno and Bastok AH'es, they were going for around 50k each, and none were in stock. That did not bode very well, since it probabl meant that the cost of production was a lot higher. >_<

As it turned out, making a Mythril Breastplate wasn't too much more expensive- all I needed was two pieces of Ram Leather, two Mythril Sheets, and two Darksheet Sheets. Thankfully, with my Smithing and Leathercraft, I could make all of that, and ended up saving a tidy sum of cash in the process. :D

Fortunately, the Mythril Breastplate did not break while I was making it, otherwise I'd be a very /angry taru! >_<

But the real reason why I was so excited was that getting Artisan status finally let me trade my long saved guildpoints into something I always wanted- my Goldsmith's Apron. This is the guild's gear that is only attainable by Goldsmiths ranked Artisan (68) and above, and costs 100,000 guild points.

I've had the guild points for a while now, but because of the cost of skilling Goldsmithing, haven't been able to skillup to Goldsmithing 68...

...until today. ^^

When the person in charge of the guildpoint items asked me if I wanted to trade 100,000 points for a Goldsmith's Apron, I couldn't select "Yes" fast enough. ^^

WOOHOO! My goal for over the past year had been achieved! :D

Words cannot really describe how happy I am to finally get my apron. Granted, it's a rather spiffy (and expensive!) piece of "in-town" gear, but wearing the apron just makes you look so...accomplished. :D I feel like one of the select few advanced Goldsmithers, despite the fact that I'm only 68 and have a looooong way to go, but that can wait! ^^

For now, I think I'll just take a break and celebrate. ^^

01 September, 2005

Tiamat! {Run away!}

While I was randomly checking the Windurst Woods AH for some materials to skillup my Bonecraft a little further, I happened to chance upon Donnie, the leader of BBQGold. Giving him my customary /poke as I walked by, he waved back and told me that BBQ was going to go for Tiamat in a few hours, and asked if I would like to come along.

Well, since he asked so nicely....umm...sure! ^^

Unlike Jormungand, I was put into the main alliance for the fight, mostly because I think we had a shortage of Black Mages. When we started out, there were just four of us, and the BLM party consisted of us four, a BRD, and a RDM/DRK. We didn't have that many tanks either, just two, and so Donnie cooked up this plan to tank Tiamat with few Ninjas.

The plan basically involved having the Black Mages assist with curing the tanks, although that soon led to certain complications afterwards, which quite ruffled my hat. In the end, we went through four different Ninjas, and a Paladin who had to quickly step in when all the Ninjas died and hell broke loose for about two minutes, but I won't go into the details. For now, I'll just give you the Tiamat fight from my viewpoint, from the Black Mage alliance.

For one, I think there was a lot of room for improvements in this fight. Despite the fact that the alliance was feeling a little cobbled together, the core was in place, being the Ninja tanks, the Black Mages, and the damage dealers/Trick Attackers. The plan was to pull Tiamat over to one of the cliffsides, and tank Tiamat with him facing the cliffwall. The Black Mages would stand on Tiamat's side, in a nearby tuft of grass that supposedly was close enough to hit Tiamat with magic, although because Tiamat was on a higher level, the Black Mages there would not get hit by Tiamat's AoE damage.

However, things rarely go as planned.

For one, the Ninjas had a lot of trouble holding Tiamat to one spot, facing the wall. This wouldn't normally be a problem, but remember that Tiamat is a dragon, and as such, can Spike Flail. Thus, direction is very important in this fight since if something goes wrong and Tiamat turns his back to the alliance, one Spike Flail is pretty much "game over".

However, there were numerous times where Tiamat's back was facing us, and I was getting very concerned about what might happen should a Spike Flail come. Because the Ninjas had trouble securing hate, for some reason, the people who could Trick Attack also could not get their trick attacks to land. As a result, Tiamat was mving around a lot, and as such, us Black Mages had a problem regarding that little "sweet spot" where we'd be safe.

First off, Tiamat moves, so we have to adjust accordingly. The greater concern is what happens if Tiamat moves out of range? Tiamat is so large, it is rather difficult to judge just how far away he is, and now we have a dilemma. Initially, our plan was to stun Firaga III and maintain a Stun "rhythm" while Tiamat is in the air, and Stun once more when Tiamat readies Touchdown. However, that soon changed to just Stunning Firaga III.

Firaga III is rather bad for us since, other than the obvious damage implications, dealing such damage to our Ninjas cause them to lose hate, as well as erasing all of their shadows. As such, it was our job to make sure that Firaga III does not resolve. But if Tiamat moves, now what? If we stood where we were, we'd be safe from the AoE, but risk Tiamat being out of range for Stun. If we moved closer, we could be sure we'd hit the Stun, but we'd take damage from the AoE. Either way, we got yelled at. The fact that Tiamat kept moving wasn't exactly helping, either. -_-

Stunning Firaga III isn't exactly terribly easy either. Tiamat essentially has a pseudo-Chainspell whereby he casts Firaga III incredibly fast. Fast to the point where yelling {Stun}! in /party chat is not enough because by the time you see it, it is already too late to Stun. That being said, it is still very possible to do so, but to catch the "Tiamat starts casting Firaga III" amidst all the battle spam, is rather taxing.

Also, I felt that the Stun cycle was all too long. When we started out, we had a chain of five stunners. While that is all fine if the intention is to keep a Stun rhythm up while Tiamat's in the air, it leads to a lot of confusion over whose turn it is to stun Tiamat's next Firaga III, especially when a rather lengthy amount of time has elapsed. That, and while frequent, Tiamat doesn't cast Firaga all that often, so I felt this was one area that could have definitely been improved upon.

Finally, there were a lot of conflicting orders. On multiple occasions, I was watching the chat box for the almighty "Tiamat starts casting Firaga III," when suddenly out of the blue, a Ninja starts getting hit and now lines of "KEEP (so-and-so) ALIVE AT ALL COSTS!!!" comes flashing across the screen. Now then, what exactly does "at all costs" entail? Giving up the Stun duty? Or do I keep my finger on the macro to make sure that I am ready to Stun? Spend my Stun prematurely (which was what I ended up doing)? Sometimes, we'd go and Cure, then miss the Firaga and get yelled at. Other times, we'd keep Stunning, and accusing yells of "Nobody in the black mage party even bothered to Cure me!" would come by soon afterwards.

I really was contemplating just Warping back to save myself the trouble of dealing with all this. Honestly, there's enough to cope with already without having people bark out orders and complaints. I'm not so sure I even want to go to another dragon run now. Respect is one thing I feel is very important to a linkshell, and I found such conduct rather offputting.

Anyway, some four hours later, we're about to defeat Tiamat (5% HP), when, evidently oblivious to what happened at Jormungand, someone activated Chainspell and started Stunning. That set everybody else on {Full attack!} and before we realised what was going on, it was too late to stop the gears set in motion.

Unlike Jormungand, Tiamat doesn't go nuts within inches of death, so there was no need to start the Chainspell-Stun cycle that early. Secondly, there was one aspect about Chainspell-Stun that Donnie was suppusedly going to address before it started, but didn't get the opportunity to do so- The Chainspell Stun must be done at Tiamat's front leg.

This is to ensure that after getting hate from Tiamat, Tiamat does not turn towards the mage alliance. As it turned out, the Red Mages got hate, and Tiamat turned to deal with the offender, except unfortuantely, Tiamat turned with his back to the alliance.

What happened next is a perfect example of why you should never have Tiamat's back to the linkshell. At 1% health, Tiamat turned around, and...


BBQ is pretty much unofficially known as the "1% LS". It's really quite embarrassing, and annoying that because of a failed lesson against Jormungand, four hours of forty people were wasted. Not to mention that with LimitBreak watching from behind us, I'm pretty sure that the HNM world now knows that BBQ wiped to both Jormungand and Tiamat with both at 1% health...ah well.

I'm not sure if after what transpired today, I want to go on another dragon hunt. Sure, it's cool and all that, but the way people yell at each other and all the pointing fingers and accusations, I'm really not sure I want to go through all that again.

Finally, I'm not sure if anyone from BBQ will read this, but there are some improvements I could see being made to the Tiamat strategy. For one, the Ninjas and the trick attackers really need to sharpen their act. It might be little odd, but if you create the tanking PT to be NIN, NIN, NIN, healer (leader), and two melee. have the leader swap out members as necessary, including replacing dead tanks, and also have everyone who can Trick Attack build TP and get Trick Attack ready. Then, have the leader swap in Trick attackers, and swamp them out after TA has landed. Kinda similar to how one swaps out BLMs versus Kirin, and this should help plant hate onto the Ninjas.

Secondly, the BLM party could be organised as BLM, BLM, BLM, BLM, BRD, RDM. However, instead of keeping a Stun cycle of 4 (or 5, if RDM/DRK), split the BLMs into two pairs, and have each pair alternate stunning Firaga III. Sure, one Stun will probably have no effect, but if that's the case, then Firaga has been stunned and the job is done. Since Tiamat doesn't cast Firaga III that often, this should provide enough cover against Firagas, and provide better Stun cover for Firaga, since it is not affected if one person is a little slow, or gets lagged out. Having just two alternating groups also makes it easy to remember whose Stun is next. You can even take this further by having the BLMs pull back after they've stunned, where they can move to a safer distance, and them come forward when it's their turn.

Ah well, that's all the thoughts for now. ^^