So, I tried to log in for the day, to find that, once again, Al Zahbi is under attack, from the various shouts going about the Aht Urhgan Whitegate. Of course, my first instinct was to check the Besieged status to see just how strong the enemy invasion was, and to my surprise, I saw this:
Since a recent update, which adjusted the Beastmen level during Besieged, Besieged itself has gotten a lot harder. Gone are the days of wimpy, Level 1 Besieged, which you could easily wipe out half the incoming enemy forces with a bunch of Thundaga IIIs. Nowadays, it seems that just about every single Besieged is a whooping Level 5, and with the increased level of the mobs, each mob takes over an alliance to take down with any noticable efficiency. Oh, and did I mention that the beastmen mobs have 2-hour abilites? Mijin Gakure took more than a few people down with 4000 damage to everyone within its radius.
All this added up to one thing:
Lots of it.
Quite literally, one third of the time, you're standing around with your recieved packets plummeting down to zero, another third is spent standing around waiting for people and mobs to appear on your screen, and the last third is spent playing "Find the Mamool Ja Spotter" in the middle of everybody who's trying to beat on it.
We had 750 people in Al Zahbi alone to fend off the triple assault from all the Near Eastern beastmen. The server was congested to the point where people could not zone into, or even log into Al Zahbi, or they'd time out and disconnect. The lag also makes Besieged, something that is supposed to be exciting and fun, into something that's a drag, as you're sitting around trying to cure people who have run off long before the system even registers your spell, or wondering how on earth you died to unknown causes.
I wonder what goes on behind the design and development team over at SquareEnix. Conceptually, Besieged is a fantastic idea. It's unique, on a large scale, and forces all the players to band together towards a single goal. That, and how exciting is it to have to defend a city under siege?
Unfortunately, the communications are the big let down here. I seriously haven't the foggiest idea how SquareEnix thought they could somehow animate and render some nine-hundred characters in a single zone (NPCs and beastmen mobs included), and still expect people to play as normal. Players can barely do the job they are supposed to do, and as a result, there's a lot of disgruntlement at just standing there waiting. At least, it's gotten to the point where I'm thinking of just staying away from Al Zahbi during a Besieged event- it's too frustrating for me, really.
But hey, at least the xp and Imperial Standing Points you get kinda make up for things, right?
It's unfortunate, but to me, Besieged falls under the same category as Dynamis- a great idea, but terrible design and development. It's too bad, since it's a bit of a black spot in what is otherwise a very good expansion. Hopefully player numbers will dwindle once more and more people get tired of Besieged, but the question then becomes if there will be another update to tone down the mob levels?
In any case, as I said before, today was special as we were under attack from all three beastmen strongholds at once. However, not all three types of beastmen mobs would be in Al Zahbi, instead it would be a continuous sequence of three Besieged events, basically an extra-long Besieged.
I couldn't zone into Al Zahbi during the first Lamia wave, but managed to sneak in once the Lamia retreated, and the Mamool Ja came in. Fortunately, I managed to last all the way through to the defeat of the Troll army without disconnecting. How, I don't know, but hey, I'll take what I can get. XD
I went as White Mage, since one observation that people have found out is that you can't actually get limit points from Besieged, which meant that participating as my RDM or BLM was rather out of the question. Looking back, I guess White Mage was the best job for the task- I basically ran around town as a medic, dishing out Raises and Cures to random people I passed by.
Amazingly enough, I only died once during both Besieged events I was there for, netting me some 1400 Imperial Standing points, and 800xp in total. I usually die a heck of a lot more than that, but I guess a WHM can afford to play chicken at some points. ^^
At the end of the day, I'm not sure whether or not I want to participate in the next Besieged though. Perhaps if I really have nothing else better to do...>_<