24 February, 2006

Burier of the Illusion

I'll cut to the chase and spoil the suspense with this:

Yep- we beat the final Zilart Mission, Eald'narche with just three people. ^^

It was all completely unexpected. I had come from a rather eventful day skilling up my Goldsmithing (hit Goldsmithing 77 now, by the way! ^^), and decided that, I'd need a whole lot of Fire Crystals for me to make the Iron Sheets I need to make Targes in order to finally make the Gold Bucklers I would be skilling my Goldsmithing on.

Fortunately, as a Black Mage, I can quite easily and reliably solo the VT Fire Elementals up in the Ru'Aun Gardens for both xp and profit. It was also one of the few ways I could get something like twelve Fire Clusters and not feel somewhat funny about it (I don't like holding crystals myself- so I buy them sparingly).

I was flipping the first pincerstone when I bumped into Xmode, who I /waved to, and asked what he was up to- he said he was going to try and solo the final Zilart mission. Of course, I didn't believe him, and figured that it would be quite a show, and asked if I could just tag along and watch.

He then told me that there was another Red Mage with him, Aelesia, who also planned on trying to solo Eald'narche, and that it would be okay for me to watch, but I must not interfere. Fair enough- I respect the integrity of what people try to do as a self-challenge.

So I abandoned by Fire Elemental farming and headed straight on towards the Shrine of Au'Avitau, and through that, the Celestial Nexus. Initially, the plan was that I'd follow Aelesia in, and just stand by and watch as Aelesia tried to solo Eald'narche. Xmode would then try his own solo attempt afterwards.

At least, all went well until, for some inexplicable reason, one of the Orbitals ran over to me and starting attacking me, even though I hadn't done anything to get aggro, other than walk into viewing distance, -_- Anyway, I was explcitly told to not interfere, so I reluctantly ran into the corner where I died. Aelesia was too rushed, and wasn't used to things yet, so she lasted a few more minutes before she too, also fell. ; ; More specifically, she forgot her Poison Potion, and Eald'narche opened with Sleepga II. >_<

Outside, Xmode Raised Aelesia and I. Aelesia told us the mistakes she made, and was determined to give it another shot. After weakness wore off, and she recovered her MP, she did just that- and entered the battlefield a second time. During this time, Xmode and I were getting bored waiting, so we figured why not duo this?

And so, Xmode and I both entered the Celestial Nexus, where we came face to face with...

The plan was simple- Eald'narche comes in different stages- the first is dealing with the Exoplates that surround and protect him. He is also assisted by two Orbitals which are generally weak, but respawn quickly, so it's generally accepted that sleeping them is the way to go here. My task was to keep the Orbitals under control.

However, one thing of note is that the battlefield is huge. As such, the lag here is nothing short of stupendous, and I had a lot of trouble just doing anything because I'd hit my Sleep macro when trying to sleep an Orbital, and by the time my Sleep started going off, the Orbital would already be beating down on me, whereby I'd get interrupted, and die. Well, it's not quite like that, but suffice to say, I died a lot earlier than I had intended because one of my Sleeps were resisted (because of lag- I was manually typing in my commands, and forgot to switch in my +Enfeebling gear after Sleeping), and I couldn't get the second Sleep to even resolve.

Xmode did a pretty good job solo'ing the Exoplates though. It really doesn't look all that difficult- you just need to keep a cycle whereby you juggle between keeping Utsusemi up, and keeping the two Orbitals slept, which isn't too difficult with enhanced Fast Cast going on. Utsusemi is particularly nice because Eald'narche uses ancient magic a LOT. The hard part comes though, when Eald'narche fires a Sleepga II your way, but that didn't happen all too often, and you have Poison Potions to counter that.

Anyway, Xmode managed to solo the Exoplates all the way down to 30% when a mistake with Utsusemi left him exposed for a short amount of time, which was unfortunately enough for Eald'narche to land a Freeze, which took too much HP such that Xmode never really managed to recover from that hit, even with a desperation Convert (trying to stay alive at the cost of his mana. ; ;)

So we both were kicked out of the battlefield, Reraised, and rested outside, when we got the news that Aelesia had managed to almost managed to beat Eald'narche's second form (more on this later), but because she had already used her Chainspell in her first attempt, couldn't finish the job, and so she was confident that he could, in fact, be solo'ed by a single RDM/NIN. We just decided to trio him anyway, since we were sure we could beat him now.

RDM/NIN, RDM/NIN, BLM/RDM for the win! ^^

I told Aelesia and Xmode my concerns regarding lag issues, so all I did that one fight was concentrate on sleeping a single Orbital, while occasionally tossing some Cures towards Xmode and Aelesia. I'd didn't really nuke the Exoplates- only sent over a single Thunder II, so my contributions in the first part were minimal, other than sleeping an Orbital, and dropping some Elemental debuffs on the Exoplates to speed things along a little.

Eventually, they managed to break through the Exoplates, where Eald'narche was left exposed, and a sitting duck. Stage one completed!

Now onto Eald'narche's second form:

There is a little bit of rest time in between Eald'narche's first and second forms to recuperate- you spawn back up at the entrance of the Celestial Nexus, however, within a minute, Eald'narche comes up to the front and starts attacking. To be honest, I don't know too much about his second form, because we were on {Full attack} mode!

Because Aelesia had already used up her Chainspell, only Xmode Chainspell'ed and started nuking Eald'narche with multiple Blizzard IIIs. Eald'narche, unfortunately, opened with Sleepga II, catching all three of us, but at least the Red Mages had remembered to kep the Poison Potions on, so after I got Cured by Aelesia, it was my turn to manafont and join in the fun.

One Thundaga III and a Blizzaga III later, we had defeated Eald'narche, and completed the Zilart storyline! I won't say what the ending cutscene entails, so you'll just have to find out for yourself, or at least read about it elsewhere if you really want to. It's definitely worth a watch though, I can say that. ^^

In any case, it was a strange (but fun!) night- congratulations to Xmode and Aelesia for completing the Zilart storyarc!

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