Thursday, June 15, 2006

Note to self: stop being such a noob.

I took a break from crafting and fishing to EXP a little, since it has been several months since I've partied and I'm feeling the itch to level up a bit.

It's been so long since I've partied, in fact, that I made some really dumb mistakes, which made me literally blush with embarrasment at one point. It worked out OK, but my performance was far from superlative.

I had put up my flag around 10PM, assuming an invite would be unlikely, but I could at least multitask and craft tons of Mercury while LFG. When I noticed I was 200k away from affording the Amemet +1, I was getting ready to take my flag down and push onward with crafting, but got an invite before I could take it down.

The party was forming in Aht Urghan, which is not currently my HP, so the trip out there took a good 15 minutes (teleporting, waiting for the ferry, yadda yadda). I did some light research during the idle time, looking at camp information for Bhaflau Thickets and Wajaom Woodlands. But I wish I had instead spent that time reminding myself of basic crucial things I should do before getting to camp (in no particular order of importance):

  1. Signet
  2. Sneak/Invis Tools
  3. Food
  4. Shihei
  5. EXP Ring
  6. Macro check
  7. Bring Great Axe to skillup when level goes up
  8. Check party for SATA and/or SC partners

Back when I actually EXP'd semi-regularly, these were just automatic for me. I'm obviously rusty now: out of the above, I forgot number 1, nearly forgot Invis tools, and spaced on items 4-8.

We set up camp at G-8 in Wajaom Woodlands (near the Leypoint), targeting the lower level birds (Lesser Colibri), which spawned frequently & close together, didn't agro, and didn't link... I had initially assumed we would be targetting slightly tougher mobs in Bhaflau Thickets, but this party was going the T-VT & no downtime route. And they started immediately, no discussion.

The pace was something I was not ready for at first. I also didn't have the time to look up mob TP and AOE characteristics, so I wasn't aware of how differently the party would function because of these and how quickly we would need to operate...constantly.

The birds have a couple of TP moves. One of them removes all food effects (that's one Sole Sushi I'm never getting back). The other resets your TP to 0%. Because of the potential TP reset, holding out on a WS for skillchaining was not much of an option, so it was one big accelerated WS spam-fest. That's when I thought about hate-control and noticed a THF was in the party (see missed item #8) and realized I had not been doing my job as first voker for our SATA setup (Ninja Tank), which must have been frustrating for him. Of course as soon as I caught this, the THF kindly asked me to first-voke. Embarassment #1.

Once I started provoking, I nearly fell out of my chair when I realized I had forgotten my Shihei. I begged the NIN for some and she kindly forked over 2 stacks (which I paid for later). Embarassment #2.

I'd recently changed my /attack macro to stnpc rather than bt, which didn't work so well when the camp was surrounded by mobs. I hastily reverted to the old macro during the nanosecond between mobs. Embarassment #3.

After hitting a chain #10, I realized I could be getting a great deal more EXP if I'd bothered to bring my Empress Ring, not to mention some nice Conquest Points if I hadn't forgotten to get Signet. Not really an embarassment, just a "/slap me" moment.

The frustrating thing for me was that I barely had time to digest the mistakes & correct them before I had to voke/engage the next mob and watch shadow counts. It had the cumulative effect of making me feel like I was always a step behind the rest of the party. I can only hope most of this was just self-consciousness on my part, since the party was extremely kind and patient.

In any case the EXP was pretty good, and the party members were very kind. The session lasted for about 3 hours before people started falling asleep. In that time we earned somewhere between 15-16k exp (I'll have to verify this when I log on later, may have been 1k lower or so), and I dinged 61 during the second hour (I had been 11k TNL).

Tomorrow night might consist of another EXP session to get some more practice and refine my rusty combat skills a bit. I'll certainly be working on the last 200k gil while LFG. After that, I think I'll have fun with Genkai 4.

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