Saturday, July 29, 2006

Experience Point Water Torture

Sometimes there are just no other words for it. I started at 10:15pm and logged out at 3:30am. I think I have maybe 8k more EXP than I did when I logged in.

The night started off extremely slowly. I logged in around 10:15 PM, put up my flag, and fished for Moat Carp by the Al Zhabi auction house square. In the process, I picked up .5 in fishing skill (I know, what the hell right?) from the Sazanbaligi which also bite the Insect Paste I was using. In retrospect, I probably should have logged out at this point.

Around 11:45 or so, a fellow LS member Tragic formed an EXP party consisting of BLU/THF, BLU/THF, WHM/BLM, WAR/NIN, NIN/WAR, RDM/whatever. The RDM didn't have ToAU installed, so we settled on Steelshell-camping in Boyahda Tree. Despite the multiple announcements of what we were planning, the RDM was taken aback at our 'sudden' departure from Jeuno on birds. Oook then... brushed that one off. The NIN tank was an old acquaintance: the throat-stabbing Taru named Shortysen from my Kuftal skillup session many moons ago. He sent me a /tell partly expressing what I was thinking since we left Jeuno: "Dunno about this party. Hey, you're on my friends list. Do I know you?"

The RDM had neither a map, nor familiarity with the zone once we got there, so the trip to the waterfall took a bit longer than usual. It was 12AM when we finally set up camp and started pulling.

After dispelling the first mob, the RDM proceeded to do nothing. No action whatsoever, for several minutes. Whether he was leeching or passed out we booted him and began seeking for other dispellers while pulling more shells, this time much more slowly. The lack of dispel basically killed the party, and with no replacements coming we warped to Altepa and slowly disbanded...until Shortysen announced he'd found a JP BRD and wanted to camp in an Aht Urgan zone.

Tragic needed to sleep so he left. The WHM, Jeston, had already warped to Jeuno and didn't have his HP set in Whitegate, but he joined us eventually (after a looong boat ride). One of the BLU, Showmo, stayed and I decided to EXP some more as well. Shortysen eventually found a JP BLM to join us. While Jeston was boating to town, we decided to camp the Magma Eruca in Mount Zhayolm. This was the same setup that brought me into level 65 earlier this month and I had fond memories of the camp.

By the time we got out there it was 1:30am and I was kicking myself for staying up so late for what would probably be a 3 hour party. For whatever reason, the JP members didn't want to set up camp at the entrance to the crawler area, but chose the far north... and rather close to a crawler spawn point. To make matters worse, a BST already had claimed the camp. I was the puller. It felt wrong to take his mobs, and I asked the party to move but the JP stubbornly refused, even as I watched an Eruca spawn behind one of them a few feet away. A nice back-pocket chain 5 mob, I'll admit, but pretty damn risky.

Needless to say, that pop eventually caused problems... all it took was a missed pop warning and a sleepy NIN, and the party was agro'd all to hell while I brought back the pull. I succeeded in tucking my mob away and allowing the mages to sleep it, and moved in to kill the pop, but the other awoke before we had really accomplished anything and it all just went downhill from there. Party wipe. What's funny is, the BLU had accidentally brought a /BLM sub from his Rabao->Whitegate warp (hey, it was just one of those nights) and came back from the Halvung staging point with a /THF sub only to find us all dead.

Here's the highlight of the night. Jeston had done the smart thing and cast Re-raise, but a crawler was sitting on top of him. So we were screwed until Showmo arrived and decided to try something. He cast Metallic Body, then walked up to the mob and cast Pinecone Bomb, instantly sleeping it. The WHM was then able to reraise and sneak, and run to a safer spot. Poor Showmo eventually joined us on the dirt, but the heroism wasn't lost on me. Gogo Blue Mages! With Jeston alive and safe, a good dose of Tractor and Raise2 had the party back on its feet again.

The JP members asked if we wanted to move but the BST had left, probably in disgust, so I didn't really care anymore. If we could stop being dumbasses for awhile, that pop might be useful.

We proceeded to pull some more, and with the 3rd chain #5 or so (using that pop to close #5 every time), I started to R0. Once the mob was dead, I warned the party, then /shutdown and rebooted everything. When I got back on, we pulled a couple more mobs until Showmo started to red dot as well. We continued to pull & kill while he was gone, but it was good to have him back when he did eventually re-connect.

At this point I had capped Axe and was working on Great Axe again. I was not dissapointed with the GA performance at all on these crawlers at this level and wished I had switched sooner. I don't know if it was the extra level, extra weapon skill, or new equipment (or a combo of the three), but swings were connecting for 100-130 on normal hits and 200+ on criticals. When my AF feet would proc, this would translate into some seriously dangerous damage.

I could tell Shortysen was losing steam though... Provokes and Ni spells were coming much more slowly, often requiring me to temporarily tank until the Showmo SATA'd onto him. By the time 3AM hit, he announced he had found a PLD replacement, but within minutes sent me a couple of /tells. "Hey" .... "I'm passing out", which he must have within seconds of typing it. He died, I threw on my full AF, Defender, 2hr, and tanked for my life... and we all survived.

It was 3:30 and obviously time to call it quits, so we D2'd out.

One of the subjectively longest FFXI sessions of my life. I of course won't be logging in tonight, since I'll need to recover some sleep.


Faulsey said...

It was just one of THOSE nights, eh?

I get parties like that all the time, though I usually come out with negative EXP >.<

I'm rather surprised the JP members didn't want to move from the BSTs camp, what with their supposed better manners than us gaijins.

Darrett said...

Hehe. I partied for the first time in a ToAU area tonight with my static. We were right outside Al Zhabi in the woodlands fighting lesser colibiri (sp? the pink flamingos). We were doing really well, but a lot of stupid people were taking our mobs for "solo" purposes. I was kind of pissed. I just think you should move somewhere else if a party is there already. I kind of stared at them and got some of them to leave. Eventually we were able to move to another spot and life was good.

I understand your pain though. That's why I fear pick up parties...hehe. Statics (although we are not always the best or have the best gear) you know you can count on people and you don't ever have to find a replacement. Godsend!

GOod luck on your continuing journey. And get some rest!

Paul said...

Yes, Faulsey, I was surprised at the JP members' behavior as well. I always try to treat prior campers with respect, and that applies tenfold with BST. They have few enough camps to begin with, and it certainly doesn't help when 6-member parties trounce in and kill all the mobs.

Anyway, I guess I've had worse EXP rates, just not in such a prolonged amount of time. These types of nights really suck for me since I've stopped playing every evening. I'm settling into a routine of long 5-hour sessions followed by 2 nights of getting a decent amount of sleep. I usually get more done in a long session than multiple short sessions... but that wasn't the case 2 nights ago.

I wish I could static, Verrick! That would rock my world. It's just hard to find anyone with my schedule; when I log in, the player population is largely JP. Maybe it's time I took some Japanese lessons: "So instructor... how do you say Ninja tanks suck?"