Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Anyone tried farming Uleguerand Tigers?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright

I'm dipping into my last 100k.

Granted my mule is sitting on a dozen stacks of Poison Potions, waiting for the stock to deplete on the AH before putting them up, and I've got a few stacks of Sleeping Potion. But until any of that comes back in the form of gil, I don't have much to spend to... make more gil.

So I'm farming while I bide my time. These tigers seemed OK at first, considering the Snow Lily goes for about 6k, but the drop rate seems bad. I had fun with about a dozen of them before I passed out, netting me a few teeth, some skins, one lily, a KS, and a BS.

Killing for gil is actually a nice change of pace from crafting/fishing, especially when the mobs are EP and make you work for the kill. It's definitely a slower method, but might be a nice alternative when I'm just not in the mood to crank out consumables.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Off of the beaten path

As I settled into my dune party, preparing for another comical grind to 19 or 20 on my BLM, I was invited to tag along on some more adventures with Feon and his LS DarkEden. Ishmael had just gotten his joy toy and the group was apparently on a roll. On the menu for the evening was Cactrot Rapido, with a side-order of ZM5, time permitting.

I waved farewell to a new friend I had made in the party, a Scottish player by the name Fushia, who already has a petulance belying her level and rank. The server had better clear a path for her ^_^. Feon's group kindly teleported me to the Holla crag and I took the slow hike back to Sandy to get dressed for the fight, hoping for the new title we all coveted.

The {Gather together} stage took a bit of time, but we ended up with 8 participants, most of whom brought their NPCs to spread out the 10k Needles damage. Feon handed out the Icarus Wings and we established weapon skill orders for Light.

We didn't need to drag our half-dead Sabotender around for long before Rapido ran to the rescue. The fight was lightning-fast, and it ended with most people dead. Fortunately, Rapido was one of them.

Cactrot Rapido. Dead.

Cactrot Deascelerador

After the fight, Cozmos, Feon, and Littoguy stuck around for a trip to Ifrit's Cauldron to finish up my last ZM5 fight and to assist Littoguy in getting a key item. The fight with the Opos from hell went pretty well, although I'd inadvertently killed my Provoke STNPC macro, so Cozmos had to deal with one of the monkeys a while longer than I would have liked.

ZM5 Monkey

When we arrived back at the Holla crag, Feon noticed the spawn point for the Goblin Archaeologist was up and giving the message "You hear a voice from right beneath the surface of the ground." So he popped it, and I ran back to help kill it off before logging out for the night.

Aw, I hate killing scientists

On the following night, DarkEden was getting ready to have some adventure in Den of Rancor. Littoguy needed to kill a NM by the name of Carmine-tailed Janberry.

But first on the agenda was a Leviathan Prime fight, which I had somehow missed in the chat log so I merrily accompanied them to the Cloister of Tides and stood in front of a giant crystal wondering why I couldn't go where they were going. Frohike noob moment #3123.

No tuning fork -_-

After the fight was over, Feon and Cozmos came back and Escaped me to the temple entrance. We killed every Wespe we came across on our way back to the Den of Rancor, but none of them wanted to drop the pop item for Death from Above.

Farming Bee Larvae

We wreaked havoc in the Den of Rancor for awhile, and it felt good to run around with this area like we owned the place, killing most of the Tonberries in sight. Thankfully, I'd remembered to bring my Pick of Trials this time around, so Ninjax and I were Light chaining with Dragon Kick and Mistral Axe to work off my latent.

Janberry didn't take too long to pop and was a fairly fast kill, dropping the Asklepios for Littoguy on our first attempt.

Told you not to look up...

Having some time left to kill, the group made its way to Bastok for some tuning forks and we gathered at the Cloister of Tremors for a Titan Prime fight, which also went well, although our two Tarus died to what I'm assuming was bad Geocrush timing.

Titan Prime

We established a new record for the fight! 3 minutes, 14 seconds.

After this whirlwind of adventure, I ended up with a few things in my inventory.

Unlit Lantern
Fish Bones
Dammit another key for my locker

I felt badly when I noticed this one:

Ninja's Test

Feon had lotted on this and I had neglected to pass on it, and somehow it ended up going to me anyway ><;

A huge thanks to Feon & Cozmos et al for letting me in on their adventures. I definitely needed a vacation from the dunes for a few days, and it was good to meet some more members of the group.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Black Magery

Another job through the dunes. Almost. I hit 17 on BLM last night, starting out a few EXP below 15. And yes, there was the usual procession of subligars, newbies, overhunting, and powerleveling that we've all grown so fond of out here.

As of my last post, I had solo'd BLM to 12, and actually had quite a bit of fun until things started killing me too quickly when Bind wouldn't stick (or stick long enough). EXP in parties after that point was pretty uneventful, and I'd venture to say quite boring actually.

Things get more interesting in the later levels no doubt, when memorizing your elemental wheel becomes a bit more important, and stuff like link control and cure assistance come into play more often. But it's a snoozefest from down here; I won't lie. For some reason I find it more monotonous than WHM, if only because I'm not as directly responsible for keeping the party alive. I'm sure it'll pick up at some point.

In any case, no more bloodwarping for me! Woohoo!

I expect to take this job to 20 or so to ensure that I can at least go to 40 on WHM before making the decision to take that job any further. I must admit that, with the state of my current shell, BST is starting to draw my attention. I'll probably start poring over Halifirien's blog archives when I finish up WHM.

During the drudgery of the dunes, I was treated to a /tell from Tog, a long-time FFXI blog lurker, commenter, and just recently a blog writer. He let me in on his crazy social shell, and powerleveled one of my parties for a bit while exchanging inscrutable conversation over /say with a shell-mate. Good to meet you and your friends, Tog.

Feon, Raikoh, and Gimppy continue to check in and seem to be doing well. Jingy from Lifthrasir looks to be making a return to the game after an extended hiatus. I'm sure I'll find him leveling MNK when I log back in tomorrow night ^_^.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Some people play with their Wii

I'm playing with my whammy bar:

I just needed a break and had pre-ordered this awhile ago. I'm a Guitar Hero noob, and I'm completely hooked. The game also introduced me to a band I'd never heard of before. The song was Freya, and felt like a tune from the Black Sabbath era, and it sounded...really good. I'd forgotten how much I liked some of that early 70's style metal. I was surprised to discover that the song was by a recent band, with a debut album early last year. I've been listening to them almost non-stop since I've downloaded their album. Good stuff!

Another distraction has been Zelda: Twilight Princess which my son and I have been playing on the cube since we don't have a Wii yet. We both prefer it to Wind Waker, which we finally finished a couple of weeks ago. He still likes me to retell the final battle with Lord Ganon though ^_^.

Anyway, I'll be back sometime this week. I just needed to take a step back for a while.

See you soon.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Sun's a settin'
This is what I'm gonna sing
Sun's a settin'
This is what I'm gonna sing
I feels the blues a comin'
Wonder what the blues will bring...

Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been fumbling in the sunset of Lifthrasir for the past week or so.

A mere four days after we completed our third Promyvion run, Murrdoc announced that he was taking a hiatus from the game. I was really sorry to see him go, but I totally understood the need to take a break. After all, I've done so myself a handful of times over the past few years, and Murrdoc had been playing this game for at least as long as I had. Taking a month off here & there can be a good thing.

However, in a matter of a couple of days, Murrdoc's character vanished from the linkshell community roster. And not just 'greyed out because I resigned from the community' gone. I mean... gone.

The shell has been almost entirely vacant ever since.

A few people log in briefly, but for the most part, I've been watching the imaginary tumbleweeds roll by, and silently saying goodbye to the people who may never come back.

In an obvious act of denial, I tried to coordinate ZM4 runs for the folks who needed it, and only Raikoh and I signed up, resulting in 3 consecutive weekly cancellations of the event. I tried to be angry and indignant about it, but all I could muster was sadness.

Something happened between that Dem run and Doc's departure, and I never really got the low-down, and probably never will. Which is fine by me actually. I really don't want to know what transpired.

This sounds cloyingly sappy, but I honestly can't find another way to articulate it: I hadn't realized how much of my heart I had invested in this group before they went away. I'm also saddened that I never got the chance to let them all know how special they were as a group, how uncharacteristic and refreshing it was to find a tight-knit group of balanced adults playing this game, people who would actually get together for dinner and play with their kids. It was my privilege to have been with them for the time that I was given.

It is a game after all, and people, especially adults with kids, move on.

However, the relationships we forge here are anything but virtual. As casual as they may be, they become a small part of the fabric of our lives. And it hurts to see that part fade away, almost inexplicably.

It's unfortunate that it had to happen like this, with such a whimper, and such a quiet, unresolvable resentment hanging over those who remain. That sounds dramatic, but I'm trying to be honest.

I've always carried a certain amount of pride with me when it comes to this game.

I pride myself on toughing it out where some folks would have probably quit and moved on to WoW or something. I still look back on my first post and feel the full weight of that moment at the waterfall, when I honestly wondered how much further I could go with this game.

However, I've realized that behind my pride is a sadness at the friends I've seen come and go in Vana'diel. A sort of ongoing mourning for the people who couldn't keep going with me, even as they were the ones who kept me going.

Not all of my friends are gone. There are several people on my list, and they know who they are, who continue to check in with me and make me feel like I'm more than a mote on an endless chain of redundant servers. Know that I value each and every one of you.

I'll continue to chip away at new facets of FFXI. But I won't lie and say that the wind hasn't left my sails a little, for the time being.

I'll miss you, Lifthrasirians. And I really hope to see some of you again. In the meantime, you know where to find me.

The adventure continues.

Sun's a risin',
This is gonna be my song.
Sun's a risin',
This is gonna be my song.
I could be blue but
I been blue all night long.
Langston Hughes, Hey