Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Naja = Dominatrix

Naja Salaheem:
Why didn't ya speak up?
My morningstar gives ya goosebumps, does it?
Heh... That's why ya kept quiet...?
Let me tell ya somethin'.
This isn't just a weapon. It's a tool with which I exprrress 'affection' for my employees!
If I ever make ya bleed with this mace, just think of those drops as my crrrimson tears!

Yeah, I rest my case...

I've reached Aht Urhgan Mission 12 (Royal Puppeteer) but will need to defer the key item (Vial of Jody's Acid) until I can get some assistance in duo'ing or trio'ing the Morbol family mob that drops this RA/EX item.

For further amusement I decided to flag the Dvucca Isle Staging Point, which has a ridiculous walkthrough on the wikipedia. For the edification of adventurers who come after me, please ignore those directions and click on the 'discussion' link on that same page. The alternative mentioned there is faster and less dangerous.

Bring 1 silver imperial coin (100 ISP each), and some Sneak and Invis tools. Either take the ferry to Nashmau (yawn) or use the Runic Portal to access the Azouph Isle staging point and hike to Nashmau from there (or use that trusty bird whistle).

If you hike from Azouph, I'd recommend doing it during the daytime to avoid Jnun aggro, otherwise you'll end up consuming more Silent Oils than you need to if the zone isn't crowded with EXP parties. While making your way to Nashmau, beware the true sight Imps, sound-aggro Elder Treants, and sight-aggro rams. Leeches, birds, and Puktraps will not agro, and thankfully there are large areas with nothing but these mobs on your way to town. Just keep your eyes peeled.

Zone into Nashmau, and take the west exit to Caedarva Mire.

Head west and find the NPC at a cave entrance @ E-11. Trade 1 silver piece to enter the empty Alzadaal Undersea Ruins. Take the teleporter from here to another entrance to Caedarva Mire and talk to the NPC at the end of the tunnel to zone (be sure to do this before using Invis ^_^). Before taking the home stretch to the staging point, use Sneak and Invis since there will be Lamia mobs a few strides away. Then simply follow the right wall, pass the Lamia mobs, and zone to the Dvucca Isle Staging Point. Done.

Now, isn't that better than running around in the Arrapago Reef without a map?

Real Men of Genius

Murrdoc from our linkshell stumbled across this gem, and I couldn't resist posting it.

It's a parody of the Budweizer commercials that have been circulating on the radio since 2000, and oddly enough, manage to remain funny.


Rampage marathon

I logged in with the intention of catching up on my ToAU missions and proceeded to complete the Mission 7 cutscenes, but was soon dissappointed that I couldn't launch Mission 8 until the next day (midnight JP time). So I put up my flag and gathered my fishing materials together for some carp collection in Al Zahbi, hoping for a Besieged event as a nice diversion.

Of course, I received another Caedarva Mire invitation before I had a chance to cast a line.

The zone wasn't as overcrowded as the night before and we were fortunate to secure the camp at J-8 on the ridge, so we never ran out of mobs. Amazingly, this party went for hours without a refresher. The WHM had subbed SMN, had plenty of hMP gear, and somehow never seemed to run extremely low on MP. Fortunately the leader was BLM, so this added to the MP pool a bit. Nevertheless, I made a point of sending a compliment to the WHM, since she was clearly doing an amazing job. The rest of the party consisted of NIN, THF, WAR, DRK, all in the 72-73 range.

The party was quite lucrative in EXP and absolutely uneventful. There were a few close calls due to last-minute pops, but we pulled through. A BRD was eventually rotated in to replace the leader and a RNG replaced the DRK, and the pulls went into overdrive. By the time I left, I'd been in the party for about 4 hours and it was still going strong.


I'm currently 8400 EXP into level 73 and can finally off-hand the Maneater. My DoT seems to have increased remarkably: the latent effect on the Maneater is an increase from 43 to 49 DMG, supplemented by "hidden" effects of Accuracy +5 and Attack +18. Unfortunately, Amnesia doesn't do wonders for the trigger, since I can remain stuck at 100+%TP for awhile until it wears off, actually leaving me at a disadvantage compared to the Reserve Captain's Pick, which was at least giving me +10 Atk. But I can see the Maneater/Woody combo being very powerful in merit parties that don't involve these blasted Imps.

Tonight will probably consist of reading through more ToAU cutscenes, which are quite enjoyable, although Naja seems to have a bit of a dominatrix complex.

Not that Frohike seems to mind.

Monday, October 30, 2006


I picked up a collection of SF short stories by Ted Chiang last week and favored reading that on a few evenings, particularly on Thursday and Friday night of last week. Thursday evening greeted me with a Besieged event as soon as I logged in and it was getting a bit too late to hop into a pickup party by the time we repelled the Undead Swarm. So I logged out and read.


I was unable to log in until 10PM on Friday, and I was rather tired. A series of "/sea all" revealed a smorgasbord of melees seeking a party, so I figured an invitation would be slow... if at all likely. I went the lazy route and left my flag up, turned on the /tell chime, and went AFK to read more stories. By 11:30PM, all was still silent, and I logged out.

In case you can't tell, Ted Chiang is quite good. I highly recommend his collection to anyone who enjoys a good Borges-style brain massage. You can get most of his stories in one volume "Stories of Your Life, and Others." I can't wait until he actually writes a novel.

Rather than go the lazy route last night, I jumped on at 9PM and saw a paladin, white mage, and red mage all seeking. I immediately sent the /tells and worked for about 25 minutes to form a party. The RDM wanted a BRD and was too high-level for the rest of our members, so I eventually grabbed a level 70 BRD as soon as he hopped on (thank heavans), and relied on him for Refresh for the rest of the evening. I found Lurick (WAR) seeking and knew I could count on him to stick around; I grabbed a DRK because... I dunno, they seem to need invites, and I think they make fine DD.

Our setup became WHM BRD PLD WAR WAR DRK.

EXP in the mire was slow due to overcrowding, so we picked up the stakes and moved to Bibiki Bay, chaining Hobgoblin Alastors, Toreadors, and Blaggers for awhile until moving to the Hobgoblin Angler camp further south. The transition to the new campsite was messy, leaving Lurick and me to duo a goblin while the rest of the party was stranded at the old camp and the BRD, who had brought a /NIN sub by mistake, kept screaming at us to disengage so he could sleep it. -_- I'd 2-houred and was fairly close to killing the thing, but disengaged in the hopes that the mob could indeed be slept.

In hindsight, I should have gone down swinging. Lurick died as well, and the poor BRD followed soon thereafter.

Fortunately our WHM used Raise III, so the only significant penalty for the incident was down-time. Lurick bowed out around 11:30 and I found another WAR pretty quickly. This one was a Joyeuse-toting rank 10 with a Rajas Ring and was quite fun to watch in action. I complimented him on the sword and ring, and he complimented me on my damage as we proceeded to hack away the hours.

The DRK eventually disconnected but remained on my party list due to a glitch, so I was unaware of his departure until some other folks asked me about a replacement. Once the WAR dropped and I re-invited him, the glitch was fixed and we hobbled along with 5 until I could find a melee. I was favoring WAR/MNK/THF/DRK/SAM in my searches and had completely forgotten about DRG. -_- Shame shame on me. Once we got the poor DRG that I had been ignoring, the party cruised along, and the dragoon had the fortune of working on his latent in the process.

Sleepiness started to take hold around 1:30 AM (which felt like 2:30 to me thanks to stupid DST... you know kids don't really know about DST, so they don't sleep in that "extra" hour), and I brought in a Monk to replace me, passing the lead to the uber-WAR.

I'm currently 22K into level 72, and I'm effectively bored of EXPing again. That... didn't take much, did it?

Fortunately my friend Feon pinged me about joining up with a group to complete the ToAU missions. This was a fortuitous offer and I, of course, accepted with caveats about my limited time windows, which can shrink when my son refuses to go to sleep. I'll work my way as far as I can tonight, since I'm currently sitting at mission 7, and I assume they need help with one of the BCNM further down the line.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Musical chairs

That's what some people seem to want to play when they agree to join a party. I joined one in Caedarva Mire last night with the intent of getting a ways into level 72 and testing the use of meat rather than sushi. I did accomplish this, and I'm now 7000 EXP into 72 and wearing the Woodville's Axe rather than the old Tabarzin. The Reserve Captain's Pick will remain in place until I reach level 73 and can finally equip the Maneater.


I need to address the people who like to play musical chairs rather than EXP. When it's 10PM and the party gets off to a rough start, immediately dropping out of it doesn't solve anything, and dropping without warning (the dreaded fake DC) is certainly a great way to sabotage the EXP of the people who are left behind, and garnering a questionable reputation in the minds of people who actually remember names. How hard is it to simply state that you don't think the party is going well and that you're searching for a replacement? I mean... give people 10 minutes. That's all it takes sometimes; to either get into the groove or find a replacement. It's not like leaving will free you up for another party at such an hour.

This happened several times in our group, and it had all started due to inevitable overcrowding and slow pulls. The WHM suddenly dropping out got the ball rolling nicely. We kept plowing forward in fits & starts, and people kept getting discouraged and DC'ing. In the final stages of the party, we actually had a very nice setup, supplemented by mutual respect for the members who decided to tough it out while the party kept mutating. But...we could have earned twice the EXP if people had just calmed down a bit, and used their head.

In any case, my consumption of Meat kabobs rather than Sushi led to some interesting results. With Aggressor and Berzerk up, almost all hits connected for 75-95 damage. Rampages flucuated between 750 to the low 900's ... without a Bard or Corsair. I was wearing gear amounting to +37 accuracy, and Aggressor added 25 to that. Unfortunately, somewhere in that extra 25 from Aggressor lies the magical accuracy level I must acheive to truely use meat in EXP parties. I missed more than I cared to until I could get Aggressor back up. I can't parse to determine whether the increase in DoT during the Aggressor phase was outweighing the decrease during the cooldown. So it was back to Sushi once the food wore off. The damage from there on out was respectable and more predictable, but the numbers when using meat were much more promising.

I'll definitely try this again when I have an Optical Hat. I might even experiment again once I can get the funds to add some accuracy on the ring slots (swap out the Venerer for a Woodsman/Sniper) and ear slots (exchanging Spike Earrings for Assault Earrings).

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dunes: 1 - Frohike: 2

I'm at level 13 on White Mage, verging on 14, and I'm now prepared to put it down for a bit, at least until the folks on my LS feel like partying with their level 12 jobs.

The first party I got was fabulous: PLD tank and no PL. It got off to a rough start with a crazy puller who basically ... wouldn't stop, even when vehemently told to stop, and he spoke English. After I threatened to let him die on the next pull, he spared us the pleasure of booting him and dropped out of the party. We found a sane puller within seconds. I went from 10 to 12 with no horrible incidents besides one over-ambitious pull... I used Benediction and the PLD used Invincible and we all lived to see some more EXP.

The following night was devoid of invites, until a blind one came in. No blind invite I have ever taken has turned out well, and I should just make it a rule to never take one again. To convey the quality of this party I will quote the MNK leader (Rank 2): "Any melee job can tank at these levels. Besides, we have a backup healer." He had asked the Warrior to disband right after he dinged "out of our level spread"... on the first fight (?!). However the leader himself was the same level. He proceeded to invite a Thief replacement. The party became MNK MNK THF BLM RDM WHM. Hate control was a disaster, they pulled IT goblins, no one wanted to actually tank, and several people died with home points in Bastok and/or Jeuno. I disbanded and wished them all good luck, then sent a /tell to the leader letting him know that he was dead wrong about the whole... tanking thing.

Last night's party was complete crap until I fixed it and got rid of the PL. The setup was initially DRK WAR BLM BLM RDM WHM. The Red Mage, a 16-year-old rank 1, was being powerleveled by his father, a 60ish WHM. The DRK would end up tanking most of the time because the WAR didn't know how to do it.

The Red Mage meleed the entire time. Strike 1.

The PL was so aweful that he didn't know how to handle a 3-lizard link (the WAR was pulling), and let the entire party die. I was already annoyed at not being able to do my job, but this was ridiculous. I was getting the worst of both worlds. Strike 2.

The WAR, in some powerleveled stupor, brought in a WHM as replacement before he left. OK.

The DRK eventually left and passed me the lead, and I found a Ninja. I noticed the RDM was level 10, and the BLM had just dinged 14. Everyone else was in the 12-14 range. Hmmm... /em taps his fingers.

I didn't need to wait long before the kid started asking me to kick out the BLM, and threatening to leave and 'take his PL with him' if I didn't. I told him the decision to leave or stay was his, and asked him how close he was to 11... 300 EXP. He was ready to kick someone over a gap that was going to be closed in a few mobs. Strike 3.

On his second complaint, I told him I wouldn't be kicking the BLM and repeated that the decision to stay or leave was his. So he took his stupid PL and walked away, leaving me to create a proper party. Unfortunately this is what I had to build from: NIN, WHM, WHM, BLM, BLM. I found a WAR seeking within seconds. The next part sucked for me, but I think benefited the Rank 1's that comprised the rest of the party. I invited a WAR to replace me.

So it went from a powerleveled death-trap to a survivable party where people could actually learn their jobs. I walked to Bastok, helping a few folks along the way, and checked on my party before logging out. They were doing well, and I hope all of them continue to do so. Without a powerleveler.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Nunyenunc and Tom Tit Tat

I camped the bird NM as soon as I got on tonight and was promptly slapped by a level 20ish monk, and checked by another /anon camper in the area. I ignored the rude monk and asked the other camper to kindly notify me of the ToD if he got it.

About an hour and a half later, I gave the ToD and position to both campers and walked away with my Pilgrim's Wand. As Tsakiki advised, I hung around the positions indicated on the ffxi-atlas map rather than the FFXIclopedia entry, and the NM spawned just south of the path in that area, a little ways up the Starfall Hillock grade.

While I was camping, I stumbled across a Mandy NM by the name of Tom Tit Tat, who dropped Fruit Punches. Unfortunately, I didn't take a close look at them and failed to notice that they were RA only, not RA/EX. So I threw them out... I was kicking myself later when I saw that they were in fact sellable and worth about 40k on the Jeuno AH (although sales are quite slow on them).

Ah well.

The rest of the evening was spent getting to Jeuno and chatting along the way. I bumped into Atreiyu in Windy Waters and caught up with CC goings-on, and explained to him why I hadn't been on the shell much. He understood and we agreed to keep in touch. I do look forward to his wedding with Gunda, which is slated to happen sometime next year. That'll be quite the momentous occasion.

I turned in early since real estate agents would be invading our home early the next day. On that side of things, we've finally purchased a bona fide house, which I'm very excited about, and we're on the verge of selling the condo (fingers crossed). Things are going to be... busy in the coming months.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Microsoft, why hast thou forsaken me?

Xbox Live experienced an 'unscheduled outage' last night, and I was unable to log in. So I occupied myself with Oblivion while watching the season finale of Project Runway.

Screw you Jeffrey; your Gwen Stefani crap annoyed me from day 1, and your final collection was no better. Grrr... It should have been Ulli.

I took my anger out on poor Adamus Philida. And I was tame; sticking to the mission and killing him with the Rose of Sithis and taking his severed finger to his successor's desk for a little bonus.

Some people find extremely creative ways to vent, however. If you've had to deal with the 'Adoring Fan' in the game, you'll appreciate the sadistic glee in this video (the player obviously modded stuff quite a bit):

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Why people need to stop freaking out

About the deflating economy.

I've tried to phrase exactly why the deflation isn't catastrophic when compared to the overall value of gil, but this post did it for me.

The only caveat I would give is that this explanation only holds water if you actually use the profits in a timely manner. If you sit on the profits and the market skyrockets again, you just shot yourself in the foot (skilling up Marksmanship?).

Yara Ma Yha Who

I killed this Tahrongi NM before I had the chance to take a snapshot. I lucked out and he popped on my second Distilled Water trade, so total camp time on this one was only 50 minutes, fortunately.

With my Fasting Ring acquired, I ran over to West Saruta to try the lottery spawn on the Pilgrim's Wand NM. No luck on this one, though I suspect I was camping the wrong positions. FFXIclopedia gives one location whereas the ffxi-atlas map, gives another. I'll have to try the other spot on Wednesday.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The mage honeymoon is over

With both BLM and WHM at 10, I now need to take the plunge and go partying. Solo'ing these levels was quite fun, although I'm surprised at how much easier it was to level WHM. BLM just seems extremely anemic outside of a party at these levels, especially for an Elvaan with a limited MP pool. I probably died around 4 or 5 times on BLM, while WHM only garnered 1 death.

I spent last night shopping for all the new equipment I'll need. Due to my race, I'm going to need compensatory equipment which will not come cheaply or easily. This includes the Astral Ring, which goes for 700k or so on Ifrit, and the Fasting Ring, which is 'free' in terms of gil but not in terms of time. This RA/EX ring drops from a force-popped sapling NM in Tahrongi Canyon, but the pop doesn't always occur and can only be fed once every 50 minutes or so (some recommend after 22:00 Vanadiel time). Needless to say there are horror stories of people going 6-9 rounds with no pop. I'll give up after 4, since I need my sleep and sanity.

Next on my list will be the Pilgrim's Wand, which gives a nice +2 hMP effect. I can macro this in along with a cookie before resting (assuming Ginger Cookies hMP effect stacks with this wand's hMP?), then macro the standard +MND wand when I get up. This wand drops from a lottery spawn bird NM in West Sarutabaruta, so I'll probably camp it on Wednesday night.

Tonight will be spent pouring Distilled Water on the ground in the Canyon (zzzzz), and tomorrow will be Xbox Live maintenance, so no FFXI for me then.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Noobin on up

On a whim, I'd decided to get to work on my White Mage sub after acquiring the Maneater. Solo EXP in Ronfaure just seemed like it would be a nice vacation after the two weeks of crafting. And my hunch was correct.

I went the melee route as recommended by "those who came before me", on various boards or wiki pages. Loading up on Selbina Milk helped to reduce the down time while leveling White Mage to 8, but I was still burning through my MP with Dia pulls and Healing Magic skillups. So I still had some down time here & there.

Last night, I prepared to level up BLM, since it was now a gimped sub for my WHM, and decided I needed a nice cheap MP refresh to complement my HP regen. I went the lazy route and simply asked the LS, since many folks have leveled mage jobs, and Jingy recommended Pineapple Juice. This was something I could craft cheaply, so I purchased 8 stacks of Kazham Pineapples from the regional vendor in Port Bastok and put most of them on Frohike, along with a partial stack of water crystals.

Then Jingy recommended a Jack 'o Lantern, which I remember being a nice lowbie accuracy and evasion food. I looked up the recipe and did a double-take... As long as one of the towns owns Lower Elshimo, this synth is super-cheap, and people sell Jacks for 6-7k (probably because most buy the beeswax rather than HQ'ing it). So that's another recipe to tuck in the back of my mind as a good Bazaar synth. I have a few stacks of Ogre Pumpkins for now.

Before I headed out, Jingy kindly gave me some Pamama Au Lait which were quite a bit more effective than the Selbina Milk, albeit unstackable: 2 HP regen for 10 minutes. Nice!

When I finally made it into the forest I ate the Jack o' Lantern, the juice, and the au lait... and marveled at the contrast from my early days here. I simply had no down time. At all. The pugils in particular were wonderful targets because Stone killed them quickly, and they would drop water crystals which I'd forgotten to stock up, so fortunately I never ran out of juice ingredients.

Loading up on all this food led to over-confidence, and a few close calls. But the MPK adjustment made it rather easy to come out alive, especially when a linked mob happened to be a mage and would stop to cast...only to despawn. And since I wouldn't disengage from the target, I could still pause to throw some newbie-nukes at the more persistent chasers and continue running as my HP regenerated. A bit of this and I could just turn around and finish off the mob. Fun stuff!

I logged off with BLM at 6, and plan to take it to 10 tonight. Then I'll switch back to WHM and probably attend a few Valkurm parties once I hit 10 on that job. I'm still reading up on how to not suck as a WHM, in case this whim snowballs into something else. But I have a hunch the Dunes will probably beat the 'noob allure' out of me.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Finally got the Maneater

I dropped the Black Ink market, crafted all of my Echo Drops and sold them, and took on Poison Potion again, while keeping an eye on Sleeping Potion and a few other cheap synths. I managed to sell about 200k worth of the product before more overcrowding brought the price back down to 20k/stack (from 25-27). Sleeping Potion remained a joke, and still does.

It seems to me that the 60ish Alchemy market is bottoming out again. Granted I didn't exactly put in 100% focus, but it still seems like the 2 weeks dragged themselves out longer than they needed to. It should not have taken this long to make the gil.

I barely had the 2 million but needed some quick buffer money in case someone put a Maneater up for an additional 100k. And I also didn't want be a complete pauper by the time I actually did get the Axe. So I quested the Teleport-Dem scroll and sold it for 200k. I can always buy one later if I ever feel the urge to... tele-taxi?

So I took my wad of money and did a lot of this:

You can't see it, but my cot is a little off to the side. And my megaphone is on the ground.

I spent awhile fruitlessly camping the Auction House and shouting for the Maneater in Whitegate and Lower Jeuno. Of course there were a few people who couldn't resist responding to "{Maneater} {Can I have it?} {Reward:} 2,000,000 {Gil}" with a witty pun on the weapon's name. Yeah, that didn't get old fast ;-_-.

When 10:00PM came around, I decided that it was time to have some fun while the night was still young and go back to my home town to level White Mage and Black Mage in preparation for leveling Beastmaster. As soon as I got off the airship, I sent 2 million to my Jeuno mule and decided to check the AH there again... just in case.

And whaddya know. I didn't bother trying to haggle. I bid the 2 mil, sent the Maneater to Frohike, and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

I now have 200k in my pocket, and some peace of mind in knowing that my expensive gear purchases are now mostly done before the holidays. I can weather the storm with what I've got for awhile.

I spent the rest of the evening drinking Selbina Milk and clubbing things to death. White Mage is at level 5, Black Mage at 3, and I can't wait to play around with BST.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mercredi sucks

This yahoo has succeeded in dropping Black Ink from the livable 12k-10k range to an embarrassing 8k or less. If anyone on the Ifrit sees him, please give him a nice /slap. I mean what the hell? It's barely worth filling AH slots with these now. I can HQ these like crazy, but it's almost to the point where I'd be better off selling the Nebs. But... too late for that, since I'm now sitting on upwards of 20 stacks of this product. I oughta smack Mercredi into next Jeudi.

The Poison and Sleeping potion markets have recovered from a week-long slump so it may be time to pick those up again for a quick 200 or 300k jaunt. And I have tons of honey that I held onto for ... no reason really, so it's probably time to sell some Echo drops. Still not sure if they're really worth my time, but I hate staring at multiple stacks of ingredients, especially when I'm so close to the coveted 2 million.

In other news, I went for an easy 80k and completed the quick and painless Sandy quest: The Rumor. This basically involved going to the Oubliette and giving a vial of Beastman Blood (1.5k) to a vampire in exchange for a Drain scroll (worth about 80k). The vampire's description of his 'affliction' and 'research' for a 'cure' made me wish there were such a semi-permanent status effect in this game... they use vampirism quite well in the Elder Scrolls games and I could picture it being used effectively in FFXI as well: weakness in daytime, strength at night, some DRK'ish absorb abilities, strength vs undead, weakness to light spells, and a quest to remove the 'affliction' if needed. Meh, daydreaming I guess.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Savage Blade

After Zorrandor broke his latent, the LS tried to put a Savage Blade run together but people's schedules didn't allow for it that week, so the event had to wait until last night. It was an adventure, in parts, even though a large percentage of it was spent waiting for poor Zorr and Lycas to run around to all 4 columns to unlock the Altepa Gate.

The group gathered at Rabao:

  • Atrenore - 70 DRG
  • Lexxi - 62 WHM
  • Lycasdemus - 69 PLD
  • Minusjoker - 75 BLM
  • Murrdoc - 62 DRK
  • Zorrandor - 75 RDM
We headed out to J-9 in Western Altep and made our way through Quicksand Caves (the Tribunus VII-I map) to the 'waiting room' just south of the Altepa Gate.

For anyone unfamiliar with this quest, it involves zoning into four different entrances to Quicksand Caves from Western Altepa, and in 2 of the 4 cases, opening weight-triggered doors which give you access to sand pits, which drop you down to passageways that lead to the activation points for the 4 pillars. The weight-triggered doors require a duo unless the player is a Galka (no joke). And of course the path to each pillar is littered with Anticans and Spiders that will aggro anyone below 71-2ish. Once all 4 pillars are active, the Altepa Gate opens, giving access to a special area in Quicksand Caves populated by high-level Anticans, several NM's, and of course containing the ??? point for the WSNM.

Although Zorr had cleared the 2 solo-able pillars earlier (Topaz and Ruby), they had apparently been reset by the time we all made it out to Altepa, so Lycas and Zorr headed out to trigger the remaining pillars while we sat in the waiting room and killed the single Ant that would pop there occasionally.

After awhile we started goofing around while Zorr and Lycas did the heavy lifting. We pulled the occasional mob for fun. Murrdoc and Minusjoker used their Chocobo whistles and raced their birds up and down the trench.

We did eventually make it through the gate.

While waiting for Zorr and Lycas to return from their last pillar, I zoned into QC and went poking around downstairs to check for the Ant NM that typically blocks the path to the ???. I didn't get very far before I felt quite uneasy and turned the hell around. Most ants there conned DC to me, and I didn't want to put the group in the awkward position of attempting to raise me in such a place.

Once we all zoned in, I did my best to warn everyone about the NM Antican Praetor that agros through Sneak and lurks at the 4-way intersection on our way to the ???. But one of us ended up agro'ing the NM anyway and we all ran back, poisoned, battered, and laughing.

Our second attempt was successful once we waited for the NM to move a bit south, and we made it to the room we would need to clear before triggering the WSNM. To my recollection there were around 6 DC ants here, but they didn't present too much of a problem to our group.

Once the room was clear, Zorr triggered the ??? and the Scorpion NM Girtablulu appeared. Lycas took on the tanking role, and within seconds the scorpion used its dreaded move: Death Scissors. This hit poor Lycas for upwards of 1200 damage, resulting in death. I immediately 2-houred, dropped Berserk, lost my shadows pretty quickly, and took a few hits before I could get my shadows back up. Each strike took a good 200+ chunk out of me.

I tried skillchaining Mistral Axe after Zorr's Decimation but failed miserably as my Utsusemi spell interfered... so we kept slashing, piercing, and nuking away at it. I'll admit I lost my head a bit when Lycas died and by the time I got my wits about me the process was more than half-way over.

We eventually defeated the NM and Zorr got his key item for Savage Blade.

My sincere thanks to the group for a very fun evening, {Congratulations!} to Zorrandor for unlocking a very powerful weaponskill, and {/comfort} to Lycasdemus for the being the unfortunate victim of such a nasty mob skill.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Sorry for the lack of updates. I could have done a few posts, but all of them would have simply consisted of several shapshots of myself crafting and camping shops. That's about all I've been doing...

I'm making steady progress to the 2 million gil I'll need for the Maneater. I'm currently at 1.33 mil and have a few more stacks of Poison Potion, which if sold at the 30k average will bring me to close to 1.5 mil. I'll let the Poison Potion market cool down a bit and move on to Black Ink this evening, fishing up Nebs on the ferry.

The 2 million should be reached around the end of the work-week, freeing me up for...anything other than crafting for a bit.