21 June, 2007

BLM Solo- Operation Desert Swarm

A few people have already solo'ed this particular KS30 fight and have written about it, such as Kaeko, and there have been numerous videos about, like Avesta's attempt (although it is quite old now),

However, I had yet to actually do this myself. I'm not exactly sure what prompted me to throw away some 120 Kindred Seals on praticing and fine tuning, but I started on it, and wanted very much to say that I was now able to comfortably solo the KS30.

Here are the basic facts, from Kaeko's writeup:
- 6 Platoon Scorpions.
- Each has exactly 5,000 HP.
- Not particularly resistant to sleep.
- Run at normal speed.

The basic sequence is as follows:
- Buff with Protect II, Aquaveil, Stoneskin, Blink, Phalanx.
- Rest to full.
- Thundaga III → Sleepga (reapply Stoneskin and Blink)
- Blizzaga III → Sleepga (reapply Stoneskin and Blink)
- Take medicines (Pro-Ether in my case, see below)
- Thundaga III → Sleepga (reapply Stoneskin and Blink)
- Manafont
- Blizzaga III → Sleepga
- Thundaga III → Sleepga
- Firaga III (win!)

Here's the log of my first successful run. I've edited it to remove all the "chaff"- the recast timers, "Equipment changed" lines, and so on.

Although I was successful that time, it was a lot closer than I would've liked it to be. Thus, I wanted to go out and solo a few more orbs to get more practice at it before I felt comfortable with a strategy.

Unfortuntely, four orbs later (two of which weren't mine), I had yet to repeat my win. However, it was not a total loss, for there were two realisations I made that I have since implemented into my strategy.

For those who just want to cut straight to the chase, here they are:
1) Bring a Pro-Ether (just in case).
2) Equip a Terra's Staff in your Sleepga macro.

For those who like explanations and reasoning, here are the more long-winded versions:

1) You will need mana items.
Assuming your gear is not of a very high standard, chances are you will be casting six -ga spells, in between at least five Sleepgas, not to mention reapplying Stoneskins, Blinks and Phalanx.

Doing the math, your mana spent (not accounting for Conserve MP) would be:


Thundaga III: 322mp
Sleepga: 38mp
Stoneskin: 29mp
Blink: 20mp
Blizzaga III: 299mp
Sleepga: 38mp
Stoneskin: 29mp
Blink: 20mp
Thundaga III: 322mp
Sleepga: 38mp
Stoneskin: 29mp
Blink: 20mp
Phalanx: 21mp


Blizzaga III: 0mp
Sleepga: 0mp
Thundaga III: 0mp
Sleepga II: 0mp
Firaga III: 0mp

Total: 1225mp

1225mp spent before the Manafont is very high, even for a Taru. As it is, my current nuking gear caps my MP at 1006, so I'm still 219mp away. Thus, medicines are in order.

Based off my nuking mp, I need to make up 219mp somewhere, so a Pro-Ether comes in handy. This will vary from individual to individual, so be sure to check you can make up 1225mp somewhere without the aid of Manafont.

I have to admit, I really really wanted to be able to do this without the use of anything out of the ordinary (nothing more than maybe a couple of Yagudo Drinks), but given the gap in mana, that does not look likely for me, at least not now. Should I ever get Zenith gear, however, there is a chance I will be able to push my max MP setup to over 1225, thus negating the need for any special medicines.

Of course, should you get lucky on your Conseve MP, by all means save the Pro-Ether for another day! >_<

2) Damage reduction in your Sleepga macro

This is the big one.

You will notice that in Avesta's video above, and in other videos around the net that the general strategy is to run away from the scorpions after your -ga spell has gone off before casting Sleepga.

This makes sense, since if you have Herald gaiters, you could feasily outrun the scorpions, that and you might as well gain some distance before casting Sleepga.

However, I do not have gaiters, nor can I run away because of lag issues. In my case, I have to consciously stop and wait a second or two before I cast a spell, otherwise the server-side will think I am casting a spell while moving, and thus interrupt my spell even though I appear to be standing still client-side.

Thus, I cast Thundaga III and immediately start casting Sleepga while standing at the same spot.

One thing I noticed in my subsequent attempts was that there were occasions where my first Sleepga would not resolve simply because the six scorpions were able to tear down my Stoneskin and land a hit on me, interrupting my Sleepga. Once Sleepga is down, there is no way to recover, so it is imperative that Stoneskin remains up.

Let's do the math:

* A Platoon Scorpion hits me, in Enfeebling gear for, on average, about 90 damage/hit.
* With capped Enhancing Magic skill (200), Phalanx reduces all hits by -18 damage.
* A scorpion thus hits me for around 72 damage/hit.

* With 114 MND, Stoneskin is capped at 350 damage.

So, with Stoneskin and Blink up:
Case 1: Two shadows absorbs, 4 hits- 288 damage (Good)
Case 2: One shadow absorbs, 5 hits- 360 damage (Risks interruption)
Case 3: No shadows absorbs, 6 hits- 432 damage (Risks interruption)

As you can see, the problem above lies in the reliance of both Blink shadows absorbing two hits from the scorpions. Should even one fail, then you risk being interrupted, and thus lose the KS30.

So, I needed a way to prevent some more damage while still in my Enfeebling gear. Fortunately, this can be solved by using a Terra's Staff instead of a Pluto's Staff in my Sleepga macro.

Now, with the damage reduction from the Terra's Staff, the numbers look like the following: (Note that the damage reduction from the Terra's Staff is applied first, then Phalanx is applied.)

* A Platoon Scorpion hits me, in Enfeebling gear for, on average, about 90 damage/hit.
* With capped Enhancing Magic skill (200), Phalanx reduces all hits by -18 damage.
* A scorpion thus hits me for around 72 damage/hit.
* With 114 MND, Stoneskin is capped at 350 damage.
* Terra's Staff reduces all physical damage taken by -20%.

Thus, I take:
(90 x 0.8) - 18 = 54 damage/hit.

Giving us the following three cases
Case 1: Two shadows absorbs, 4 hits- 216 damage (Good)
Case 2: One shadow absorbs, 5 hits- 270 damage (Good)
Case 3: No shadows absorbs, 6 hits- 324 damage (Good)

As you can see, the inclusion of a Terra's Staff dramatically improves Stoneskin's duration. Now, there is almost no way the scorpions will be able to break through your Stoneskin before your Sleepga goes off, even if all six Scorpions successfully connect, and you even have some room to play around with should a scorpion land a critical hit on you.

In fact, even if you gave yourself an error margin and assumed that scorpions hit you for 100 damage/hit instead of 90, a Terra's Staff setup would still let your Stoneskin last five hits without wearing off.

What about Magic Accuracy?

When I first considered Sleepga-ing in a Terra's Staff, my immediate concern would be the accuracy of my spells. After all, while it has not been conclusively proven to my knowledge, there are many people out there (including myself) who seem to vouch that equipping the corresponding staff to your spell increases its accuracy.

By wearing a Terra's Staff instead of a Pluto's Staff, my Stoneskin will go off, but the chance that it will actually stick may go down.

Fortunately, when I went to test this out (yes, on yet another orb -_-), I was pleasantly surprised at having absolutely no difficulty landing my Sleepgas whatsoever.

For reference's sake however, my current Enfeebling gear puts me at an Enfeebling Magic skill of 285, which would've also helped.

Is there a way to keep Stoneskin up and still wear a Pluto's Staff?

This idea also crossed my mind, and resulted in a quick flurry to the Bostoneaux Oubliette in search of a Jelly Ring before I changed my mind. The idea was that with a Jelly Ring and an Umbra Cape, I might be able to prevent enough damage and still hold my Pluto's Staff for Sleepga, but doing the math unfortunately proved me wrong:

* A Platoon Scorpion hits me, in Enfeebling gear for, on average, about 90 damage/hit.
* With capped Enhancing Magic skill (200), Phalanx reduces all hits by -18 damage.
* A scorpion thus hits me for around 72 damage/hit.
* With 114 MND, Stoneskin is capped at 350 damage.
* Umbra Cape and Jelly Ring reduces damage by 11%.

Thus, I take:
(90 x 0.89) - 18 = 62 damage/hit.

Giving us the following three cases
Case 1: Two shadows absorbs, 4 hits- 248 damage (Good)
Case 2: One shadow absorbs, 5 hits- 310 damage (Good)
Case 3: No shadows absorbs, 6 hits- 372 damage (Risks interruption)

Which is only slightly better, assuming the Cape/Ring effect is applied first, otherwise Stoneskin still falls within five hits. In fact, if Phalanx were indeed applied first, then any percentage reductions, we'd need:

(90 - 18) * 5x < 350
x < 0.972

13% damage reduction, which is only available by having a Jelly Ring, Cheviot/Umbra Cape and Goliard Slops, which aren't exactly accessible to everyone. Even then, you still get interrupted within 6 hits, so for now, I prefer to just stick with a Terra's Staff.

So, has all this helped?

After the changes, I made one more trip into the Waughroon Shrine armed with a new Sleepga macro and a Pro-Ether. Suffice it to say, I was very happy with the results, particularly the staff as you can see from the above chatlog excerpts.

In fact, I would've won by a very comfortable margin, except that in order to play things extra safe, I popped my Pro-Ether, cast Sleepga II (just to be sure), then Manafonted into Blizzaga III.

I then Sleepga'ed, Thundaga III'ed...

...then found out my Sleepga II still had six seconds on its cooldown. >_<

Oops. >_<

In any case, I still haven't quite gotten the technique quite down for myself just yet, which is something that's been frustrating me. I went on another run after the Sleepga II blunder, and this time, one Scorpion woke up prematurely, causing me to have to run back into the Scorpion cluster to sleep it, and then my final Sleepga was partially resisted by two scorpions just before my Blizzaga III would go off, so it missed a scorpion.

In essence, there are still a few things that can go wrong. For now though, I'm at least satisfied with the breakdown thus far, and with a little bit more practice, I should be able to do this without any further hitches.

Of course, the problem now is that I'm about 10k experience down from all this testing...>_<

19 June, 2007

Big Update! Part I - Storms of Fate

Once again, I haven't actually made any meaningful updates in a while, so I'll compensate by making one big update covering three different topics! The other two parts to today's entry can be found below. ^^

But first!

Ever since TrueRune (with the help of Fishura) beat the main Chains of Promathia storyline, I've been wanting to move on and finish the fights that represent the culmination the storylines of both Chains of Promathia and Rise of the Zilart.

Fortunately, I had already completed the Rise of the Zilart storyline quite a while ago, so after beating Promathia, I was all set for the first showdown against Bahamut himself.

All that was missing, as usual, was a team to do it with. >_<

Fortunately, Fishura was here to the rescue once again. :D

For some reason, I had managed to get the TrueRune sea group out in Al'taieu farming Phuabo organs for Saoirse and Akanea, when Fishura and I just so happened to be chatting with one another via /tells. It was then I found out Fishura was up in the Celestial Nexus completing ZM16 for some people, and there were plans to take on Storms of Fate afterwards, so I asked Fishura if there was room for us to join, and sure enough, there was!

The alliance that went in to take on Bahamut was as follows:
Lucimon (SMN/WHM)
Magicman (SMN/WHM)
Akanea (SAM/THF)
Drilex (BLM/RDM)

Khimari (NIN/WAR)
Eratosthenes (WHM/RDM)
Seraphpdh (PLD/NIN)
Rife (NIN/WAR)
Gunblade (SMN/WHM)
Blksatin (RDM/WHM)

Fanya (NIN/WAR)
Tidusany (SAM/THF)
Keebu (WAR/NIN)
Depon (BLM/WHM)
Sneakee (WHM/BLM)
Xichi (SMN/WHM)

For the record, that's three Black Mages, four Summoners, two White Mages, two Samurai, three Ninjas, a Blue Mage, a Paladin, a Red Mage and a Warrior. Not exactly your standard setup, and actually, we paid very little attention to what jobs were going, but it was enough to get the job done.

I'll be the first to admit that strategy-wise, I can't actually say a lot about the fight, simply because well, I was too busy taking screenshots as opposed to actually concentrating on the fight itself.

I do remember that my first impression was that Bahamut is huge. I do not have some Distance measuring thingymajig, so coming into the fight, I had no idea just how big or how far Bahamut actually was until I was able to actually step close enough to cast a spell on him, which was a lot closer than my first guess turned out to be! >_<

As you might except from a haphazard, cobbled together setup like ours, the run did not go perfectly, although we did fairly well considering the alliance we went in with.

Basic strategy for the Black Mages would be to look out for Firaga IV and Dispelga to Stun. Bahamut starts the fight fully buffed with Protect V, Shell V, Phalanx and Stoneskin, all of which need to be removed before any real damage can be dealt to him.

Basically, all I did was nuke in front of Bahamut (to prevent Sweeping Flail) and stun whenever appropriate to keep things going. Occasionally, the chatlog would be filled with calls of "Megaflare!" to let people know Megaflare was coming, although really, it's very hard to miss Bahamut's warm-up taunting. All my nukes were in Elemental Skill gear.

When Bahamut was getting low on life, the call for a {Full Attack!} went through, which was where I Manafonted and started blasting Bahamut with whatever I had from behind. Evidently, I managed to turn Bahamut after just three nukes, which turned out to be a pretty good thing, considering he spun around and then used Gigaflare, which hit all of five people standing behind him, including myself.

One quick Reraise and a few more nukes later, Bahamut gave up! A quick run back to the Ru'Lude Garders later, and we were now primed to take on Apocalypse Nigh and Bahamut's second, and more deadly form.

Unfortuntately, it looks like once again, it'll be another one of those "try to hop on another group's run" type of ordeal, except for Apocalypse Nigh, which TrueRune should be able to do, although not everybody has completed the Zilart saga just yet.

Big Update! Part II - The State of my BLM

With my current time restrictions, I came to the decision that it was time to just focus and concentrate on just two jobs- in my case, my Black Mage and my Red Mage. I enjoy playing both jobs, and each has their own unique challenges that come along with it. Furthermore, with people appreciating the benefits of a RDM/NIN tank, the combination of these two jobs would allow me to play four different roles in any setup- direct damage, healing, support, and tanking.

For now though, much of that remains in the future. As my first job to 75, much of my time has been spent working on my Black Mage. Of course, the ability to solo faster xp off Ebony Puddings is also pretty good incentive as well. -_-

As far as merits go, my choice of jobs echo the Magic category upgrades very well. Whereas previously with only 8 total upgrades, there needed to be a conscious decision between splitting Elemental Skill and Enfeebling Skill merits for BLM (I am of a firm stance that BLM needs some Enfeebling skill merits, not to mention that I had RDM considerations as well), now with the maximum capacity expanded to 16, I can simply just go for 8 merits into each category.

So far, most of my merits have gone towards my Black Mage, although if you want a complete map (also for reference's sake), here are my merit upgrades to date with respect to my Black Mage:

Max MP 4 (10 merits)

INT 5 (36 merits)

Black Mage:
Lightning potency 5 (15 merits)
Ice potency 5 (15 merits)

Freeze II 1 (3 merits)
Burst II 1 (3 merits)

For a total of 82 merit points in total. (I know, this is a lot less than those with 200+ points, but still...>_<)

More recently however, my social, Singapore-based linkshell, Doom, has started to do a few low-man (<6 members) Limbus runs, and after a lucky week where the BLM upgrade pieces finally dropped from both Apollyon and Temenos, I can finally say I have one of the best BLM hats in the game to add to my collection:

I hope that this will be a more regular event, as I would like to complete a set of upgraded AF1 for my BLM, as well as for my RDM (although the BLM upgrades are more notable, in my opinion). I have no idea if we will be able to move onto Ultima and Omega because of our numbers as well as our available jobs, but I'll figure out how to cross that bridge once I get to it. ^^

So, gear-wise, at the risk of embarrassing myself, my Black Mage gear (as of today) is as follows:

There are still some glaring things missing. For example, I have no Zenith pieces, not even Zenith Mitts for that matter. The only piece of relic gear I have is my beloved Sorcerer's Petasos. I'm still carrying around my self-signed Wisdom Ring instead of a Snow Ring. Speaking of Rings, I don't even have a Sorcerer's Ring, nor the HP Convert gear required to activate said Sorcerer's Ring.

As far as purchasable gear goes, I'm missing a Sorcerer's Ring, a Snow Ring, as well as HQ versions of most other pieces. Outside of what money can buy for my Black Mage, I'm missing a few Zenith pieces, most notably a pair of Zenith mitts for nuking and Convert gear. Other than that, I'd like to pick up a Static Earring from Apocalypse Nigh, as well as complete the BLM's relic set, seeing as how all my remaining pieces (Sorcerer's Coat, Sorcerer's Tonban, Sorcerer's Gloves) have some relevance.

Unfortunately, a mishap with my (now ex-)Dynamis LS that resulted in the leader accidentally deleting all my points (without any backup records, too I might add -_-) has seriously discouraged me from continuing Dynamis with that linkshell. I'm up for suggestions on how to re-enter Dynamis though, and I've often thought about low-manning Dynamis as well, although I do not have the resources just yet for such a venture.

Granted, a Novio Earring would be nice, but alas, is much too far in the future to really consider with any seriousness right now.

Big Update! Part III - /emo Taru!

I guess it's about time.

In Part II, I spoke about my Black Mage, here, I'd like to talk about my Red Mage. My Red Mage is not as developed as my Black, although thankfully a lot of their gear overlaps. However, the subjob demands of a Red Mage are considerably higher- I have /WHM, /BLM and /NIN leveled for their various purposes, but I have yet to level the last, very important subjob for RDM, which you can probably guess from the picture above.


Yes, as much as I hate to level DRK, and as much as RDM/DRK does not fall within the typical template of "damage, tank, support, healer," the RDM/DRK's 30-seconds of pure awesome in Chainspell-Stun is just too powerful (arguably the most broken thing in the game, next to Blood Weapon, KC-DRKs) to ignore. And so, reluctantly, I take up the scythe and get to work.

I'll admit firsthand, I don't like melee. Up to now, the most "melee" I really committed myself to was RNG and NIN, of which one is ranged (i.e. doesn't really go in there and brawl with the mob) and the other's effectiveness is more based on casting than actually beating things up.

So you can imagine my reluctance in leveling up my Dark Knight, not to mention the pains of having to go through the newbie levels and whatnot all over again.

Fortunately, I have yet to spend any charges on my Anniversary Ring. :D

In any case, I'm slowly working myself up the leveling treadmill. As I write this, I'm now DRK13, and have yet to get myself into a party (not that that's a bad thing). One perk I've noticed is the benefits of having capped Dark Magic skill from my BLM, which lets me easily solo Even Match mobs with good Drains.

However, there are two things that are driving me nuts about this job- capping my weapons (Great Sword and Scythe), and omg, DRK's Accuracy is terrible!

Hopefully this will be done sooner, rather than later. >_<

15 June, 2007

The Tarutaru Times Online

One of my good friends Wyred has been working on a little bit of a projectaru of his own for some time now. He has recently decided that it was ready for launch, and voila, check it out at...

The Tarutaru Times Online!

09 June, 2007


In drastic contrast to my lament last week, this weekend was really, really productive! I'll try to keep things brief:

It all started when myself, Trebla (BLM) and Sodalitas (SMN) were busy doing our own things when someone happened to ask on the linkshell if anything was going on. Since I had picked up my Zephyr fan last week, I offered up the Brothers ENM. I thought it'd take a while, but as it turns out, both Sodalitas and Trebla also coincidentally had their Zephyr fans as well. :D

So, our first order of the day was to plow through that ENM for some easy xp.

Unfortunately, nothing good dropped (drops were only worth 4k in total -_-), but it was the start of what was to come. We were contemplating what we could do with BLM BLM SMN when I offered Apollyon NW as an option, which was quickly taken up on.

I know Limbus has been around for quite some time now, but I've certainly been taking my own sweet time with it. Part of it is because I don't have a Limbus shell, but also because I prefer to duo Apollyon- just I don't have a fellow BLM I can go with on any regular basis. Thus, I take whatever duo offers I can take. :D

To be honest, I've only duo'ed this twice before (yeah, I wasn't kidding about the slow part). Both times we got up to Kaiser Behemoth, but couldn't kill him in time, probably due to unfamiliarity with him, but still net somewhere around 15 coins each for the run. This time, with a third person (SMN), I went in with the idea of killing Kaiser Behemoth.

It was Trebla's and Sodalitas' first time against Kaiser Behemoth as well, and while we did have a couple of mishaps, it was still a very fun fight, probably because of said unfamiliarity. XD

There was a point where a freak accident killed all three of us close to one another, so I ended up having to kite Kaiser Behemoth, weakened, while the other two rested off their weakness. Then, as Kaiser Behemoth was around 2% health, a Meteor-gone-wrong killed off both Trebla and I, leaving a weakened Sodalitas to fend off Kaiser. Fun times ensued. :D

But in the end, Kaiser went down! To make things even better, both Sodalitas and I went in hoping to get the BLM and SMN upgrade items, and voila, my Diabolic Yarn dropped off Pluto, while Kaiser dropped the Astral Leather for Sodalitas. Congratulations to him in advance for his Evoker Pigaches +1! :D In addition, after splitting the coins, I now had enough coins to purchase my first Limbus item...

Ta-dah! :D

(Too bad I only put it in my standing macro. >_<)

We then went outside into Al'Taieu to farm organs to complete Trebla's Hyorin Obi, since he was fairly close to completing it. In doing so, we also got the organs I needed to complete my Karin Obi. :D

And finally, all that ENM, farming and whatnot let me complete something I've been working on for a while now...

84 base INT ftw. :D Now to work on maxing out Elemental and Enfeebling skill! This weekend really goes to show just how much can be done if people really set their minds to things. ^^

03 June, 2007

A disgruntled taru.

I'm well aware that I haven't written anything for just over a month now. It's not that I've completely ceased playing, I haven't. However, my time spent online has taken a drastic cut. Gone are the free-wheeling days where I could log in everyday and burn a good chunk of time in Vana'diel.

My current occupation only gives me some 36 hours a week to do my own things, and with this change of environment, said free hours have grown to be very precious.

Which begs the question, just what has Tuuf been doing in-game, anyway? To be honest, I'm not sure myself. Nothing substantial, nothing that I feel worthy enough to write a blog post about. I've just been slowly chipping away at working on my Black Mage, picking up the occasional merit point here and there, and I've since funneled the proceeds from my Noble's Tunic into a Mahatma Slops and Prism Cape.

In terms of purchasable BLM gear, I just need to pick up HQ versions of the various pieces, and get myself a Sorcerer's Ring, although without access to any Zenith gear, the Ring doesn't look mighty tasty at the moment.

But anyway, I digress.

I was doing my usual rounds of people's blogs, when I came across this entry, entitled "On CoP" by Frohike.

His words strike home to me. Admittedly, I do not know much about Frohike, being on a different server, so all I know comes from his blog and his comments. What I do know is that in his real life at least, he is happily married (at least, I certainly hope he is! :D) with a baby son to take care of. As he explains in his entry,

I'm faced with a choice when I stare at the Playonline screen: do I want to spend the 2.5 to 3 hours of free time that I have tonight playing an MMO? And "spending" that time is really what I do. It has a cost, consisting exactly of what I could be doing rather than carrying out a virtual life in Vana'diel.

In the brief span of time between my kids' bedtime and my own, I could read one of the slew of books I've deceived myself into thinking I actually have the time to read. I could watch a good film with an appreciation that can't really be achieved during the kids' waking hours. I could continue to hone my writing, or finish the odd number of poems I began years ago. I could have a meaningful, uninterrupted conversation with my wife. Hell, maybe I could play something other than FFXI for a change.

What I think some of the other adults playing FFXI don't understand is the impact of this trade-off. We can't just come home from work, put in a few hours, log out, and go do something else in RL. Those few hours are it for some of us.

What Frohike writes echos my current real life quite well. With not a lot of time to do my own things, the opportunity cost of logging in increases. At the risk of sounding /emo, my one (and a half) days that I have a week need to be divided amongst all my responsibilities, my family, my friends and relationships both online and offline.

But when you only have (okay, for practical purposes) one day a week, how do you spend it? The question that faces me each time I log in is, "what can I accomplish now?"

I fully sympathise with those struggling to maintain their packed RL schedules on top of FF. I know a common complaint about FF is its time-consuming nature, and that has become even more apparent to me lately with my limited time. Suffice to say, with the clock ticking, I'd rather not spend my time sitting in my Mog House looking for a group, or staring in front of an empty screen camping some NM. Thus, I've just been soloing, making little progressions here and there on my own.

Sadly, for the most part, these little progressions are just that- little. An ENM here, some solo there, farming organs or crafting materials, and that's it for the week.

Oftentimes, I find myself wondering what all this is for now. I only log in four days a month (if even that), and I've seen people level up and overtake me, and subsequently, outperform me because they are able to participate in endgame activities while I am not.

It's good that SE is moving away from massive timesinks like the original Dynamis areas onto something that's more friendly for those with tight schedules. But how much of FF's timesink nature is inherent within its basic idea that everything should be done in a group environment?

For now though, the news of increased merit capacities have got me interested in pursuing the two jobs I love the most thus far, BLM and RDM. The real question though is how much can I really hope to get done on my own, and should I just ditch everything and start anew with a different job instead, or even a different game?