Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I came. I saw. I rampaged.

Sales on my Alchemy items are progressing steadily, and no one seems to be flooding or massively undercutting the products I'm selling, although Carbon Fiber sales are a bit slower than expected. Poison Potion has resumed its 30k price-point, and I'm tempted to camp in Bibiki again since most of my stacks have sold. Fingers crossed here. All it really takes is one determined moron to ruin the market for a week.

By the time I put up my last scraps of Sleeping Potion on the AH last night, I was out of materials and didn't feel like schlepping more Bomb Ash from my Bastok mule to make Firesand I put up my flag and grabbed some food.

An invitation came within minutes for the usual Caedarva Mire party. Atrenore and Lycasdemus were in an EXP party out there on their Dragoon and Paladin respectively, so I got to see both of them as I made my way out to... wherever the camp was going to be. There was a bit of milling around until we all arrived and settled.

We checked Imp Alley but two roaming parties were already killing everything there. The lake camps were also taken. So we perched on the hill at the NE corner of K-8 and killed imps, flies, and Jnun for a few hours. The leader was a Bard, so I was able to beat my 1008 rampage with a 1022 on another Jnun. Most other WS damage fluctuated between 400-700, with the occasional 800-900 fluke, usually on the Jnun.

It was a DC-happy night. Between my party and Nore/Lycas, we had about 4 disconnects. One of them was our Ninja, which didn't seem to phase the party: they kept pulling and let me de facto tank, so I had to kill Berserk for awhile and use Defender quite a bit. Fortunately the NIN returned. About 30 minutes later the THF disconnected permanently so we got a WAR replacement and kept going with a pretty good EXP setup: NIN, WAR, WAR, BLU/THF, WHM, BRD.

I kept screwing up the mob alignment to the consternation of the the BLU/THF, and I apologized profusely, explaining that facing the tank was practically programmed into me from years of SATA setups.

We suffered only one death when an Imp slept everyone immediately after the other WAR had rampaged. You can guess who died there. Oddly, the BRD kept ordering the WHM to R3 the fallen warrior, as if s/he didn't know how to play the job. Very...strange. To make matters weirder, this resulted in the WHM blacklisting the BRD for the remainder of the party, and yes they actually stayed. Odd folk.

During the largely uneventful EXPing, I was able to chat sporadically with the shell, and we eventually all waxed nostaligic about old videogame titles (Jingy was watching a documentary on the subject), almost all of us revealing our advanced age in the process. Platforms ran the gamut from Intellivision to Commodore 64, or in my case Odyssey (aka Videopac in France) and Amstrad. And yes, some of us are old enough to have played the first Zelda during our high school years (/em raises his hand), although I failed to reveal this to the group.

At an earlier point, Lycas dinged 69 on his Paladin while my HP was in the deep red, so all he got from me was a 'Woot!'. So a belated, proper, {Congratulations!} to Lycas is in order.

I myself am about 6k away from equipping my Woodville's Axe. But that'll have to wait.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Keeping busy

Just to try something different I had decided to camp Centurio X-I for some nice scrolls on Friday and was getting ready to head out to the Quicksand Caves as soon as I logged in. Coincidentally, Jingy and Minusjoker were both already out there in the spawn room; Jingy to skillup his Guard ability, and Minusjoker to get a coffer key. All three of us were getting some EXP for our NPCs, so it turned into a full party. A couple of people had killed Centurio within minutes of my arrival, so I sorta...gave up on camping it and proceeded to kill pretty much everything in the area for the coffer key.

When Minusjoker went AFK for a minute, I decided to pull another Antican but got a little too big for my britches and linked 3 of them. I killed two, and whittled the third one down, but died in the process. Jingy finished it off, and thankfully didn't die.

Lurick came in sometime that night to level his NPC... I didn't chat with him much but I think he was procastinating: his WAR was still level 70 so he probably hadn't beaten Maat yet. I didn't ask if he'd given it a third try.

We left once MJ's key dropped and I logged out, confused about my experience points since I still appear to be 20k TNL. I must have underestimated my EXP on the last update.

I logged in sporadically throughout the morning on Saturday to buy up Cobalt Jellyfish in Bibiki Bay and craft it all into Mercury. When you're playing in the living room with 2 kids all morning, firing up FFXI every hour or so for a mini-session is actually pretty easy and convenient ^_^. I might make this a weekly ritual on Saturdays, depending on how long the Poison Potion market lasts.

By the time I logged in for my evening session, I was sitting on 18 stacks of Mercury and moved on to Carbon Fiber which was selling quite well at 20k per stack. After crafting about a dozen stacks of these, I noticed the LS was gearing up to get a couple of members through LB1, so I threw on the only gear I'd left in my MH and warned the group. They were going to be playing with a male Elvaan warrior in full artifact armor. I remembered to bring Blinding Potions this time.

We decided to do the Papyrus run first, since this usually takes the longest, and we headed for the 'easy' camp in hopes that no one else was going for the paper drop that night. We were the only ones there and proceeded to kill Lichs and other assorted mobs. Zorrandor was working on breaking the latent on his Sapara of Trials for the Savage Blade weaponskill, so he and I eventually set up Fusion (Spinning Axe + Flat Blade) since he unfortunately couldn't use Red Lotus Blade as a RDM.

The paper refused to drop and the Lich spawns were sparse, so the Zorr and I stayed at our camp while the rest of the group took the long trip through the Glacier to enter the Necropolis at the F-5 entrance from Batallia Downs. I skillchained with Zorr until I was close to passing out around 1:45AM and called it a night. I wished the LS luck on the paper and the rest of the items.

It appears they were indeed lucky. Murrdoc posted the following report to the LS forum the next day:

First off...congrats to Mal and Q for getting all three LB1 items last night! After trying to get the drops near the bones camp for an hour or so, we relocated to the northwestern part Necropolis map where it was a matter of what...20 minutes? For BOTH drops! o.O How totally insane...I've never seen the papyrus double drop...well, ever? lol. Someone was smiling on Q and Mal last night^^ Then, we were off to GC, where Zorr solo'ed back to back bombs for back to back coal drops...I think we were there for a grand total of 5 minutes lol. We did spend a little more time in CN fighting exo's for the mold...but that had more to do with the giller pt in the exo room than anything else :P

Once the ball got rolling, though...all three items x 2 in a little over two hours! /hurray

I discovered yesterday morning that Zorr also broke his latent on the mob immediately following our last one. So we got quite a bit accomplished that night, and I was proud to have participated in at least some of it. Some pictures of the group:

Let's kill whatever Zorr's killing...Say {Hello!} to my little {Friend}Waiting for more Lichs

It seemed like the team was gearing up for the Savage Blade WSNM last night, which would include a very interesting run for opening the Altepa Gate. It sounded dangerous and I wanted to participate and take some pictures, but a couple of our mages were on leave for a few days, so we slated this run for a later date.

I spent the night crafting Poison Potion and killing mushrooms in Spore Hollow for Sleepshrooms. I've got 6 or 7 stacks of shrooms and will be ready to craft these into Sleeping Potion tonight.

This and Echo Drops (and perhaps some Firesand) will round out my merchandise for the week:

  • Poison Potion: 18 stacks @ 27k = 486k
  • Carbon Fiber: 12 stacks @ 18k = 216k
  • Sleeping Potion: 7 stacks @ 30k = 210k
  • Echo Drops: 10 stacks @ 10k = 100k
  • Firesand: ??? stacks @ 20k = ???

So it looks like be back up to 1.5 mil sometime this week. Another crafting session next weekend should get me enough gil to grab the Maneater before the holiday inflation maelstrom hits the server.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I feel pretty...oh so pretty

At level 71, I'm amazed at how good I look. Yes, when you reach my level as a Warrior, you too can look as awesome as...this:

249633132_a001f39c48_o 249633120_bd708a44a7_o

I put some little comment tags on that first photo, in case you want to know the proper nomenclature for the components of this amazing gear set.

In fact, I looked so tremendous as Besieged began that I actually caused mobs to /say "o_O;" followed by a weird line in the status log before promptly killing me off:

[mob_name] is intimidated by Frohike's fashion sense.

I've never seen that before. Very cool.

After Besieged was over, I didn't have enough time to spam-shout for a ZM4 group, and I'd spent the last couple of nights fruitlessly doing this, so I put up my flag (sorry Tuuf, I promise I'll get on the ZMs) and got a party with an entirely Japanese group. They took about a half hour to find a tank, and for whatever reason they decided on a Bibiki Bay camp after cycling through several other bizarre options including The Boyahda Tree and Dragon's Aery.

Our roster was: WHM, BLM, BRD, NIN, RNG, WAR.

It went rather well and everyone was on their game. I saved the Ninja from death a few times when a Hobgoblin would land those nasty crits on the triple-attack. But it happened one time too many and my attention slipped, resulting in tank death. This left me no recourse but to don my full AF and cause the mob to suicide bomb almost immediately. Otherwise the party went smoothly, and my goofy looking gear actually performed quite well...unfortunately. I'm about 20k TNL.

NIN Warcry - {Good job!}

I woke up this morning with 'In the Navy' stuck in my head because my new LS is insane. I have a feeling I'm going to fit right in.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

/sanctimonious drama off

My apologies to anyone who sat through that rant from a couple of days ago. I'm not going to be disingenuous and edit that post. When you cut out all the sanctimonious huff and puff what it comes down to is missing old friends who've mostly parted with the shell because of social forces in the game that I wish weren't there. I really will miss them and several other folks on CC.

That's all for now. Just had to get that out.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The start of something new

I had the good fortune of logging in as the Mamool Ja were retreating from Al Zahbi last night, leaving me with a rather large audience in Whitegate to hear my shout-spam for the Greenman WSNM battle. A Japanese party picked me up within 15 minutes of shouting and we were off to The Sanctuary of Zitah to chop down a tree. The fight lasted 3-4 minutes but was pretty uneventful, aside from seeing the fireworks of Spiral Hell and Savage Blade... and how quickly a DRK can rip hate away from a PLD.

We checked the ??? after the battle to recover the key item "Annals of Truth" and Tele-Dem'd out to Konschtat Highlands for the long walk to Bastok Metalworks. Here Iron Eater gave us a thankfully brief "voiceover" to a rather cheesy sensei-student flashback and awarded us with our final Great Axe weaponskill: Steel Cyclone. It looks pretty in action, but is rather difficult to snapshot, so pardon the crappy picture.

I'd recently offered my help and companionship to an active and small social linkshell by the name of Lifthrasir that I'd found on the Ifrit community forums, and I had received a very friendly response from its members, including the leader. So I had the privilege of meeting several of them last night and helped them out with the San D'Oria Rank 7 fight, which was quite a bit of fun...running around Ranperre and goofing off while we waited for everyone to arrive. They're a very charismatic tight-knit group of people, for the most part grown adults, several with children my age. It really felt...nice being part of such a group. I felt at home in a very brief amount of time. I can only hope they'll let me hang out again sometime.

On linkshells

This is a rant post. The 'report card' post will follow either later this afternoon or this evening.

I've grown disenfranchised and a bit frustrated with the CatastrophyCrafters linkshell, which has become progressively more quiet with the conspicuous absence of several longstanding regular members, either due to a virtual absence (shell on + absolute non-response) or real one (shell off).

It feels much as it did last year, as if the shell were created on a whim by the original leader to just get some people together, then virtually abandoned in favor of other activities with other shells. In essence, it has become a large chat room and nothing more, although it had in fact started out as something more. Yes, I like chatting, but I also enjoy activities with these people, and the leadership seems to have given up in this area...once again.

When I found out last night that several of my friends had basically emigrated to yet another "endgame linkshell", known as PhoenixDown, I became resigned to the death of what I had once known to be CatastrophyCrafters: an active social shell with a nice mix of new and veteran players having fun doing activities together and helping newer members progress.

On general principle, I will not apply to nor join PhoenixDown. I've grown exasperated with the fractured concept of activities in this game and such linkshells are a part of this broken model, in my opinion.

I shouldn't have to switch to another shell to enjoy endgame related activities, nor switch to another to socialize with the people I've befriended. The concept of 'applying' to a linkshell is also broken and detrimental, and mostly a pretense at objective selectivity in most cases.

I want to be in a group of people who don't feel the need to pigeonhole their activities. People who actually focus on coordinating said activities, have fun together, and support each other rather than farming members out to activity-specific shells to 'get the job done.' After 2 years with the linkshell, I think all of us deserve more respectful engagement and participation from members in the existing group. And after 2 years, my own patience is coming to an end.

I would understand this happening in a shell with an unbalanced roster or social schisms. But this wasn't the case with CC. There were so many mid to high-level players in this group who, for the most part, got along and could have accomplished something together. But no one picked up the ball, and almost every one has lapsed into the BS mentality of "graduating into" an endgame LS, with the occasional return to CC to throw the newbies a bone or just... chat until the next pickup party. Sad...

I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to salvage my connection to the group.

All I know is I can't keep the shell on permanently anymore.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Greenman, here I come

Thanks to a skillup/latent party this evening, I've successfully broken the latent effect on the Axe of Trials and traded it for the key item (Map to the Annals of Truth), which I'll use to force-pop the NM Treant by the name of Greenman to acquire my final Great Axe weaponskill: Steel Cyclone. This WS is STR modified and TP-multiplied, and therefore typically used at 200% TP...or less if using the Martial Bhuj for the TP bonus.

I took a couple more parties after the last one I reported to gain the full 300 WS points. I was forced to take a Kuftal party for the last leg of the process, since I wasn't getting any bites for a party in the tree and someone else was spamming for a latent-busting party in the aforementioned zone. So I acquired no Great Axe skillups beyond the 250 I reached last night, which is actually pretty good considering the cap was 251 right before I dinged 71.

I'm going on our first family camping trip with the kids tomorrow, so I probably won't have any updates until Monday.

Happy gaming, everyone, and have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why I probably won't be endgaming in FFXI

I think this thread pretty much sums up the morass that comprises Ifrit's endgame "community". What a disaster.

Even if I had the time, I'd probably have to say {Thanks for the offer but I'll have to pass}.

Two birds, one stone...or...Great Axe

And we weren't killing...birds. Oh I give up. Frohike misses the Post Title.

In order to simultaneously skillup Great Axe and break the latent on the Axe of Trials, I've spent the past couple of nights killing lots and lots of crabs in The Boyahda Tree, closing level 2 chains with various people. I haven't had the fortune of closing level 3 chains yet, but I basically took all the help I could get.

Les and Lee (Gimppy and Rocco respectively) helped me last night on the first leg of the latent break before passing out. At midnight, I still managed to recruit another skillup group, but 2 of the 6 didn't understand the skill vs. mob level concept and had to disband.

I had a much faster response shout-seeking in Whitegate rather than Jeuno tonight, and ended up landing a BRD and WHM, and 3 WAR and a SAM, within about 15-20 minutes of shouting. I added "190+ skill recommended" caveats to the shouts, but one of the WAR still "discovered" the principle once we started killing crabs and he announced his GA was level 120 and wasn't connecting very much. He still stuck around long enough to unlock Calamity on his regular Axe.

The process has been very relaxed, and actually enjoyable until the sleepiness sets in.

I'm now roughly 177/300 on the latent (I think I forgot to log a few WS here & there).

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What next?

The past couple of nights have been inviteless, and I've been unable to scrounge up enough people who are willing to party. So I've mostly been fishing, and thinking about next steps. The O-hat and a couple of 2 million gil axes, among other things, loom out there. I have no sky access, haven't cracked the promies, and need to progress further in my crafting.

To be honest, crafting and fishing are becoming more alluring by the day, but I'm hesitant to fully go in this direction, since I believe part of that impetus is self-doubt. Can I really push the rest of the way to 75? Am I ready?

But another part of it is an attempt to be realistic. I'll probably never participate in more than a few random sky runs, and CoP, while nice, sounds like a monumental pain for ... what? Some storyline and sea access for Limbus? Am I Limbus material when I play such weird time windows? Maybe I should look into Dynamis, but that effort just seems so time-consuming and draining with the Dynamis LS mentality.

In mulling these thoughts, discarding some, shuffling others, I'm wondering if it's time to prepare for another job. And this, of course, brings me back to the gil to support a new career. I need more ways of making it, and I'm tempted to go for 100 on Alchemy and pumping gil into Goldsmithing, slowly, over the course of fishing and leveling other jobs.

Anyway, as far as actual actions in the game, I helped Jeston, a career WHM, get the parasite skin drop for his Warrior AF2 last night. It was a fun run through Castle Oztroja, and we only needed to dodge aggro on the third level so it was rather easy. It was funny to think of my crazy solo LB3 run through this place, in mortal fear for most of the final stretch. {Adventure}!

I got a nice comment from a reader named Feon last night as I was fishing in Jugner, and this made my evening a bit brighter. So, thanks!

In fishing news, I've broken into level 27 and have now officially traded over 1000 carps. 1047 to be precise. Only 8953 more to go! {Adventure}!

I was in a brief party tonight which brought me about 1.5k into level 71. So I guess some immediate goals to accomplish will be re-capping Great Axe, which I've let slide for a level again (and I call myself a Warrior... pshh) and breaking the latent on the Axe of Trials for my Steel Cyclone WSNM.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Blowing on Dice

That's what all of my gear swaps feel like after quite a bit of experimentation tonight. The massive numbers from the night before were clearly the result of frequent crits and enhanced accuracy from the COR BRD combination. The best I could do tonight was land 500-600 Rampages more consistently during the last couple of hours of my 5 hour session when I gave up on meddling with accuracy and only swapped in STR on the head, hands, and sometimes the legs (if it seemed like I was connecting adequately with no Life Belt). Anything else would either cause misses during the weapon skill or low enough Atk to essentially negate any STR modifier that might be happening.

I'm already starting to covet that Optical Hat... and I appreciate all of you BRDs and CORs more than ever.

I spent tonight in a largely Japanese party that launched around 9PM and disbanded around 2AM. The setup was initially SMN (the same leader who put together the Bibiki Bay party a few nights ago), RDM, WHM, NIN, WAR, WAR. We camped a bit further north in Caedarva Mire tonight, on the southern end of the alley at J-7. Well, I wouldn't call it a 'camp' exactly since we seemed to roam quite a bit, but we hovered around that area, killing flies and imps and the rare Jnun when we would drift far enough south.

I was fortunate that the fellow Warrior, Steelreserve, was a US player and an acquaintance, so I didn't have to party in complete silence. He was chomping at the bit to get to 70 since he had a Rune Axe and Juggernaut waiting for him.

Since the zone was crowded (as usual), the SMN puller Bubukitty was ambitiously setting up mobs in the queue by sleeping them and/or sicking Titan on them while we killed the current mob. Sometimes she would do this within seconds of pulling the first mob, which surprised me. The Ninja also roamed and pulled imps as he found them. I dinged 70 sometime within the first half hour of the party.

There were deaths, including my own, due to linked imps. Handling these was a bit of a crapshoot since Amnesia can completely destroy hate control in these situations. Sometimes we would come out unscathed, sometimes the NIN would die, sometimes I would die, and the party wiped once.

When we wiped we were around the 2.5 hour mark and the WAR had to get to bed, so we took a breather in Whitegate to refresh supplies and Sanction while the leader found a replacement.

He was a Ninja, US player by the name of Tekmo, who had just picked the game back up about a week ago after a long hiatus. He didn't have the Azouph staging point flagged, so it was a long ship ride for him to Nashmau. The party decided to continue killing mobs with just the 5 of us, and we were still hitting chain 5 somehow (I suspect the SMN was pretty active). I gave Tekmo directions to camp and he joined us shortly after getting off the boat.

The Ninja died once during an Amnesia attack (so excrutiating to watch helplessly), but otherwise the killing continued unabated until the crew got sleepy and disbanded, showing Tekmo to his staging point along the way.

5000 Experience Points until level 71.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

When old Warriors get together and have pints

This is what we talk about. I put in my 2 cents on the thread and don't think they need to be re-articulated here, since you all already know I'm a bitter and obstinate old man.

Attack of the Pointy Hats

Hey, I look at a blog title, I get bored, strange things happen...It is, however, germane to the entry so keep reading before doing that little o.O emote in your head m'kay?

After buying some more gear and juggling around with Acc/Atk/STR stats, I put up my flag and went to work on an Excel spreadsheet to dynamically calculate my statistics tradeoffs for WS macros. Yes, I'm that geeky -_-. No, I'm not looking for the 'holy grail' of perfect balance between these three statistics because that would ultimately be futile. There is no gear set compatible with all EXP situations since there are too many intertwining variables that force you to change things on the fly:

  • Atk or Accuracy buffs from your job abilities
  • Atk or Accuracy buffs from another party member's job abilities (BRD/COR)
  • Mob Defense and Evasion
  • Mob Job Ability Effects

So what I'm looking for is a quick calculator before I change my gear macros or start manually fiddling with equipment mid-fight. Something that emulates the GUI behavior in game but with the bonus of Attack and Accuracy differentials and the ability to group gear sets.

Hey at least I'm not setting up a database and a quick PHP application to do the job. I'm totally not thinking of doing that. Ahem.

I purchased some Thick Mufflers and Thick Breeches for my Acc/Atk build, and held off on the Sipahi Turban for my STR build until the price dips back below 300k or thereabouts. I might grab it tonight anyway, since the head is really a great gear slot for swapping at the moment: I can add and remove Atk vs. STR without compromising Accuracy, freeing up other slots to give the alternate bonuses.

Anyway enough gear talk. I barely had time to build the pick list and stats on my spreadhseet when I got an invitation to party in Caedarva Mire. I got to the staging point before anyone else did, and the party took a good 30 minutes to form, which gave me additional time to obsess over gear swapping.

The party eventually formed as COR (leader), BRD, WHM, WAR, WAR, NIN. I was the only sub-70 player there and the highest was 72, I believe. I could tell this was shaping up to be a strong TP-burn party and couldn't wait to experiment with my gear. Did I say I was going to stop talking about gear? My bad.

The WAR and NIN both had Optical Hats, which I think are the most unfortunate aesthetic mistakes in the game considering what wonderful pieces of equipment these are. I do plan to own one in the distant future, but for now I was the odd one out... It must admit that it did feel kinda cool to be killing things with Pointy Hat people, although I'll probably get pretty tired of seeing that Scorp Harness + Optical Hat combo after awhile.

The zone was quite crowded but we still found a nice scenic overlook at J-8 which was a short jaunt from several fly and Jnun spawns and nearly on top of an imp spawn. The WHM was self-admittedly not in top form (long workday burnout) but did well enough for us to hit chain 6 a few times.

I and the WHM died due to an epic link of Fly + Fly + Fly + Imp. The WHM ran out of echo drops and was silenced by the Imp, which I futilely tried to tank while the others killed the remaining fly that AOE'd poison all over everybody. We eventually took down all the mobs, but not before the WHM was poisoned to death. Watching my HP quickly go from 70 to 50 to 30, I did a /wave and "/em chokes" before lying down to gaze at the stars for awhile. The BRD quickly returned on her WHM to give us Raise III.

The WHM eventually hit his level 70 EXP cap and hadn't mashed Maat yet, so he brought in a replacement. And this is when things really started to click.

The new WHM didn't miss a beat. There was rarely a moment where I noticed any Silence/Poison/Blind effects lingering on me and I seemed to be Hasted quite frequently. The BRD puller never seemed to run out of mobs. Both the COR and BRD were doing amazing things to my stats, and we were plowing through mobs quite quickly. When the other WAR got a MNK replacement (also wearing a pointy hat), the damage really started... and we hit chain 10 at some point.

My favorite mobs were the Jnun, which had terrible evasion and allowed me to go all out on STR swaps, and therefore just crumpled to Rampage: I eventually hit for 1008 damage with Aggressor+Berserk only, no 2-hr, no Warcry (although the buffs from the COR+BRD probably influenced this quite a bit). The rest of my WS were consistently high unless I missed a gear swap or was overambitious in swapping out accuracy. I started considering 400-500 to be the low end of the WS damage and would occasionally go into the 800-900 range.

I'd never seen numbers this high on my Rampages on EXP mobs before so this was very exciting for me. BRD+ COR + squishy mobs = fun.

But what was even more exciting was the fact that the Ninja was absolutely holding hate. Again, major kudos to the Ninjas who know what they are doing in these types of parties.

I participated in the party for about 3 hours and gained around 20-21k EXP before calling in a MNK replacement. I was 3k away from the big 70, but it was 2 in the morning and I needed to decide between 'tired at work' and 'zombie at work'.

I chose the former.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Maybe Bibiki Bay isn't so bad...

The EXP is definitely slower, but now that most people are choosing the new zones, the competition is thinning out a bit in the southern camps.

I started the night in Al Zahbi, joining 300 or so people in failing our server miserably and losing the Astral Candescence. I put up my flag immediately upon completing the event and got an invite fairly quickly from a largely JP party: SMN, RDM, COR, WAR, WAR, NIN

The initial plan was to go to the Azouph staging point, but since the AC had been taken, this was no longer a good option. So we all opted for Bibiki Bay and went for the southern G-10 camp, targeting the Hobgoblins once again, and avoiding the Blaggers when possible. We then decided to move to a Dhalmel camp ag G-9, performing quite well even when we managed to get 2 adds for one long camelfest. Then another party showed up so we moved yet again into a little nook between G-9 and 10 and targeted both the Dhalmels and Hobgoblin Alastor's when possible.

A rather fun night considering the zone, mostly because I think I decided to be engaged and really try to get the most performance out of my setup: staggering Aggressor and Berserk cycles rather than simply synchonizing them in a macro, gear swapping based on individual mob evasion, more gear swapping during WS based on the particular mob, and timing Rampages appropriately on the camels to get the chains closed before Healing Breeze kicked in.

Another good, productive night.

My only regret was in letting Great Axe slip again during all the fun.

I'm about 11k into level 69 now.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A series of fortunate events

I did some more Jugner fishing while LFG a couple of nights ago and eventually dinged 24, and soon thereafter landed a Mount Zhayolm party around 11PM. It wasn't exactly an epic party, but it lasted long enough to bring me within 1300 of level 69. Since it was a TP-burn and we couldn't get past chain 5 or 6 on the crawlers anyway, I got my Great Axe back up to cap at level 241. Between the RNG and I doing 600-700+ damage on our WS spam, I was amazed at just how well the PLD maintained hate throughout the party. I logged out around 1AM, tired but satisfied... and mighty tempted to go up against Maat and get it over with.

I was fortunate to be able to log in at 5PM yesterday and attend Sannobia and Lilrusso's wedding in Chateau D'Oraguille. The event was cute and touching, although the GMs really should have told the couple that there would be a 15 attendee limit beforehand, as well as warned them about a few of the FFXI wedding rules:

No weapons or hats allowed.
No running. Auto-walk only.
All attendees must be wearing the same pearl.
No emotes (out loud).
No one can enter area before the appointed time.

I think that about covers it. As you can imagine, getting everyone to follow these guidelines, especially when there were close to 40 of us, was a bit like herding cats. Only one person found it appropriate to mess with the rules, refusing to take off his pimp hat (or alternately putting on his halloween hat), shouting, and running... and I believe he was booted from the area. Faulsey, you can probably guess who that person was -_-;

Anyway, I took a few pictures and hope they turn out. I'll post them here and on Flickr as soon as I can. We all had fun with fireworks at the end of it.





Last night was a 'dry' invite night, but I continued to fish for awhile. I was unsuccessful in coaxing a WHM and BRD who were both seeking a party into forming one with me and some assorted melee (we were the only English speakers on... what were they all waiting for, the second coming?).

When that didn't work out and 11:30PM rolled around, I was resolved to make something of this night and felt that it was time. Time to gather my items, set up my macros, read the strategy one more time, and trade my testimony to Maat. Dun dun duuuuuuun!

Here was my gear:
  • Colossal Axe
  • Bomb Core
  • Walkure Mask
  • RK Collar
  • Spike Earring x 2
  • Hauby
  • AF Hands
  • Venerer Ring
  • Woodsman Ring
  • Amemet +1
  • Life Belt
  • RK Breeches
  • AF Feet
And my Maat fight prep items:
  • Icarus Wing
  • Opo-opo necklace
  • Stack of Sleeping Potion
  • Blink Band
  • Meat mithkabob
I equipped the Opo-opo necklace and consumed 11 sleeping potions, bringing my TP to around 240 (I had panicked and eaten one before I even entered the BC, lol). I took the opportunity during the down time to put on some mellow ambient music and finish my pint. Once that was done, I put on my Blink Band and used it, then switched everything to my battle set and popped a meat kabob.

When I got within range to engage, I drew my weapon and cast the Death Warrior sequence: Aggressor, Berserk, Mighty Strikes, Warcry. I did as the guide said and ran at him "screaming like the crazy viking you are at heart" and the following transpired (due to the 2-hour, all hits were crits):

Frohike hits Maat for 233 damage.

Maat misses.

Frohike hits Maat for 236 damage.

Maat eats one of Frohike's shadows.

Frohike readies Raging Rush: 1133 damage

Frohike uses an Icarus Wing

Frohike readies Raging Rush.

Maat eats one of Frohike's shadows.

Maat: "Hmm that was a mighty fine display of sk..."

Frohike hits Maat for 911 damage
Fragmentation: 68

Frohike hits Maat for 191 damage

BCNM over.

Clear time - 8 minutes, 21 seconds

Frohike walks away without a scratch, and promptly has a heart-attack when he realizes he'll never have to worry about another Limit Break ever again.