SeraphPDH: Paladin Man!: March 2006

Thursday, March 30, 2006

"And So I Have Fallen..."

It all began at level 55. As a mid-level Paladin I set out with complete strangers to defeat the Shadowlord in what I thought was a mission to bring peace to the land. I later learned this was not the case, but reguardless, I was successful:

The once mighty Raogrimm had finally been released from his hate, and was able to find himself yet again. It should have all ended there. With forgiveness found, his soul should have found peace.

It did not.

Our paths crossed once again, 10 levels later. Upon reaching 65 Paladin one of my first acts was to travel to the frozen northlands, the cursed realm of Xarcabard. This was at one point the location of the stronghold of the enemy, of the Shadowlord. It seems things do not change.

I found his soul wandering, barely able to hold on. His time was short, he was only able to relay a simple message:

His soul had become trapped in Dynamis, a shadow realm which echoed our very own. Once a potential safehold from evil, it had been corrupted by the darkness, by the very soul of the Shadowlord himself. Raogrimm was no longer at peace, his darkness still ate away at him in the other realm.

He still needed to make peace with those whom betrayed him...not just his lost love.

With this new task at hand, I got lucky and was able to join a great Dynamis Linkshell: "ExplorerII" with the hope of assisting in the completion of this mission. So far, I have cleared Dynamis-Windy, and Dynamis-Bastok. Sandy and Jeuno still escaped me, since they are usually done on Wednesdays, and I am not usually free on Wednesdays. I made an exception this once, with the hopes of clearing the zone. To clear the zone, you must defeat a "Mega Boss" monster, and click a ??? it leaves behind, essentially obtaining a piece of the Hydra Corps. gear left behind by the northern expadition where this all began.

Our run looked like the following:

What you see is what you get. We attempted to clear it despite the low turnout for the day. Just 18 people braved the madness of this zone, and we actually came very close to beating it. A lack of time and a messed up Mega Boss pull cost us the run, but I was still impressed with the effort of the team, being so shorthanded.

I played my usual role; one of two Paladins in the "Sleepga Party." This party has the job of handling adds, and links on pulls to the main alliance(s). PLDs voke the mobs to get their attention, and BLMs sleepga them to keep them at bay. The PLDs voke any new mobs, and try to keep hate on existing ones. The alliance then picks them off one at a time, to keep it all under control. Usually, my party consists of something like PLD, PLD, BLM, BLM, WHM, RDM. Being short on BLMs though, we subbed in a BRD for a BLM for increased mana recovery.

Now, in five of the six Dynamis zones (Excluding the new additional zones, I have no experience with those...yet...) there are Relic Armor drops for the jobs. It just so happens that Dynamis-Jeuno is the zone with nothing to offer Paladins in the relic armor department. I was strictly here for the clear, and the points. (...and the money drops, who can pass up the chance to make a usual 300K?) The Relic Shield drops here however, but we got no such drops, and I am not interested in the Relic weapons and shield at this point, strictly the armor.

I came out 400K ahead in my pocketbook, but due to a nasty death at the end, and me having to leave the computer before I could be raised, I ate a nasty -2400 exp loss. ...and no clear, the main reason I went. Ah well, it was still an experience, and I am glad I went.

As an additional note, the cool effect in the level 65 Dynamis unlocked CS made me look something like this:

See you in Upper Jeuno, I have some Dynamis currency to bazzar... (^.^)v

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ye Shall Be As Gods...

This weekend my sky linkshell decided it was once again time to take on the gods. I have never done all the gods at in a row before (In fact, I have only done Kirin once before this whole thing...) so I was looking forward to a fun experience. We fought the four standard gods on Saturday and took on Kirin on Sunday. Our first fight was against the tiger god Byakko:

Getting to the fight was more challenging than the actual fight in my opinion. Apparently, there are still mages at this level that do not get the "magic" in "magic agro" and as such we had a few deaths. I decided to take one for the team so to speak, and use my 2 hour Invincible to clear the area and train all the mobs to the zone so people could be raised since the Raise spell will draw agro. The fight itself went smoothly, very few deaths and the standard assortment of drops. Unfortunately, there are no drops off this fight that I want, so I was there merely for points, and to backup cure. Ironically, that is what i pretty much do all the time in sky is assist cure the tanks, since I am by no means teh best tank, or even PLD in the shell. After this fight, we took on the dragon god Seiryu:

Now, this battle drops an item I am after. The Matrial Head Abj. drops from this mob, and is used to uncurse the Koeing Helm making it usuable. Amazingly, I was one of only 2 people who wanted the drop, and won lotting rights with a 25 point bid. The battle went very well for about 50% of the mobs lifebar. All of a sudden, I see /linkshell chat full of "Hundred Fists, Run Away!" This is one of the nasty god 2 hours, and can kill alot of people. Usually, we shadowbind the mob, and all is well. This time however, a new BLM decided to keep nuking, and the shadowbind was broken, allowing the dragon terror to literally wipe out all of our tanks...

...except me, who was safe at the time in the backup healing alliance. Faster than you can say 'MPK' I was kicked from the healing alliance and brought into the tanking alliance. Now, up until this point, I had little hate since all i was doing was dropping the occasional Cure III, and it was up to me to try to gain hate over all the DDs in the fight. I proceeded to go through every hate gathering move I had, and once i went to Invincible, it didn't go off. In a flash, I recalled that I had used it to save the alliance wipe before heading to our first fight. It happens that Provoke was up again, and this time I got the mobs attention. May I say, I don't think he liked me, and his 40% lifebar made me worry I wasn't going to live very long.

Now, consider the following; I am a level 71 Paladin / 35 Warrior. I have no God gear (yet), I am wearing full PLD AF. The only thing standing between me and this monster is my trusty Terra's Staff. With that in mind, I was able to solo tank Seiryu for the rest of the battle, only losing hate briefly once to a MNK going all out to kill him. Soon following, I was greeted with the following sight: My item didn't drop, but a few others did. I was given a pat on the back for saving the run, and the melees jokingly said, "I have never seen to many cures in my life!" It was the first time I had even tanked a god, and I lived. (^.^)v

Still a little shaken from the battle I gathered myself up and we moved on to mob #3, the turtle god Genbu:

I should really say god #3 and #4. We fought Genbu twice since we had the needed pop items. Now, Genbu drops TWO (2) items I want. The first and more important is the Martial hands Abj., used to uncurse the Koeing Hands. The second is the W. Feet Abj., that is used to uncurse the Crimson Feet. With the rule that you can only lot on one item per god, I decided to take the item I wanted more: the M. hands Abj. As it turns out, everyone that wants this item, has it, and I was able to bid 20, the minumum number of points for it, since I was the only one who wanted it. Both fights went smoothly, Genbu can be taken with as little as 6-7 people. Luck was not with me however, since my item didn't drop after either fight. The W. Feet Abj. did drop however, and went to one of the DRKs in the linkshell. After talking with a fellow PLD, I was told this should be the absolute last thing I get, since it isn't all that much better than my AF feet, so I didn't feel so bad about not lotting on it. After a quick regroup, we went on to fight the last battle of the day, the greater bird god Suzaku:

This fight is hard for a single reason, this bird likes to cast magic. Nasty magic. Flare, Firaga3, and so on... Now, being a fire based mob, we can prepare for it (Now is a good time to take off that Bomb Queen Ring...) and take the needed precautions. Again, as with many mobs, this mob doesn't possess any drops I desire, so I didn't bid on anything. After defeating the nasty bird with few complications, we called it a day. On Sunday, we went to tackle the god of the gods, Kirin:

Now, Kirin is a sort of special fight. Getting to him involves a 'trick' with one of the teleoprters in sky. When teleoprting to his room, you need only take a single teleporter, but you can ONLY teleport on a time ending with an even number. Times like 11:52, 11:54, 11:56, 11:58, etc. This can prive to be tricky, and many a sneak oil can be lost in the process. Last time I went to Kirin, I was 1/6 in successful attempts, this time I went 1/2. However, on the first attempt, my sneak oil wore at a very bad time, and I got agro. Luckly, Invincible saved me running to the zone, and I emerged with a scant 128 HP.

After getting to the battleground, we sat around waiting for everyone to be ready, and began the fight. Another 'special' part of this fight, is that he is able to summon all four of the gods you already defeated to pop him. They are at about 50% strength as their original forms, but when you are kiting Kirin, and fighting another god, things can go badly very fast. This isn't Kirin's two hour ability however, he can also get off a lightening fast Astral Flow, that usually kills anyone around him.

Even with all these problems, we still won the fight in just over 41 minutes, not bad by any standards. The drops were also very good for this fight.

Now, Kirin is one of the harder mobs in the game, and his drops reflect that. He has some of the best items for mages, tanks, and damage dealers alike. The one drop in particular that interests me, is the W. Legs Abj. This item is used to uncurse the Crimson Legs, which offer superior defence compared to even my AF legs, +25HP, +25MP, +20 to several resistances, and movement speed +12%. Few items offer so much, and in the legs slot no less. I was willing to bid as high as 60 for this item, even though the minimum bid is 20. However, another Paladin in the LS has a good 100+ points, and dashed my hopes of winning the lot with an impressive bid for 100. Now, as it so happens, the W legs Abj. dropped, and now I am potentially the next in line for this awesome item. >:D

After all the gods excitment, we decided to put together a quick Divine Might run. Now, for those of you who don't know, Divine Might is a quest in sky that replaces the ZM14 mission. You fight all of the Ark Angels at once with 18 people, instead of one at a time with 6 people. There are some awesome level 72 earring rewards for completing this BCNM, and I have my eye on this particular beauty:

This earring was designed with PLD in mind, and I wasn't about to pass up the chance for one. We managed to get 18 people together, and were going to take a crack at the BCNM. However, one of our members jumped the gun, and joined the wrong BCNM ( 'Ark Angels (2)' if you wanted to know...) and ended up locking out some of us from the fight, essentially forcing us to not do the battle.

I wasn't too upset, since I knew we had only a small chance at winning, but I wanted to try anyway. You live to fight another day Ark Angels...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Chains That Bind Us...

In the fokelore of FFXI, there is a little passage concerning the Chains of Promathia. It states that the Chains of Promathia are a curse placed upon the enlightened races of the world that prevents them from reaching their full potential. These chains are Apathy, Rage, Cowardice, Envy, and Arrogance.

I'll tell you what though, after playing through about a good 2/3rds of CoP, this is a lie. The real Chains of Promathia are Lag, Schedule-Conflicts, Miscommunication, Gil-Loss, and Job-Specific-BCNMs.

"But Seraph," you say, "there are no job specific BCNMs in CoP, it's all a matter of skill and patience." "Well," I reply, "I used to believe that, but get to CoP Chapter 5 and that all starts to change."

I used to love CoP. The story, the battles, the challenge. I was glad that people couldn't really be babied through it like in the ZM missions. There comes a point though, that a challenge isn't fun anymore, especially when it starts destroying countless game hours. Now, mind you, the typical BCNM run in CoP takes at worst, maybe 2 hours. (Pretend that Promy-Vahzl. doesn't exist...) What is starting to kill me is the money loss. Now, I am an experienced crafter, but with the economies and the deflation trend that's happening, it's getting harder to make a good buck. Losing 500K a pop for a CoP fight isnt fun, and I have had a few of those...and making that money back takes time...

Now, as stated before, this wasn't a big deal before. Most early CoP battles can be won in one or two tries, with the party not too much worse for wear, but now, oh dearie me. I speak mainly at this point of every battle during and after CoP Mission 5. It's getting to the point where I really doubt the ability of my static to beat these missions. We are currently on the Snoll Czar, the bane of many a CoP static. Currently, we have a PLD, SAM, THF, WHM, SMN, RDM. Now, everyone says that we should ditch the THF and WHM (it's never going to happen, I don't ditch friends...) and go with more effective DDs, such as MNK, RDM, or BLM. Now, I can understand why people suggest this, it's a very hard fight. What annoys me, is that was it necessary for these fights to be SO hard? Hard to the point of, dare I say it, NOT FUN?! Now, this isn't even the worst, there are at least 4 more BCNMs I can think of that rival or exceed this level of challenge. Explain to me then, how is everyone supposed to enjoy this content, without having even MORE time devoted (i.e. multiple level 60+ jobs) to doing it? ...time...that many of us do not have...

This is where I look for some salvation from annoying BCNM events. Now, I am not one to quit, and I plan to continue with CoP, but I really feel the need for some new content. Thank goodness that the next expansion is right around the corner... I am hoping that the combined new content and revisions to Paladin (Possible Auto-refresh and Shield upgrades) will help spike my interest and love of the game.

So, with that all in mind, I was debating making a slightly more self-sustaining paladin build. For this task I was planning to level RedMage to 37, in the hopes of becoming a PLD/RDM for my new solo adventures. I figure more MP, Phalanx, Stoneskin, Sneak, Invis., and all the other RDM spells might be fun to have as a paladin. At worst, I get a nice subjob for Ballista, and other such conflict events.

But first hopefully, I can get all my RL work out of the way and get to Paladin73 for some purple armor action... (^.^)v

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Elvaan Perspective

Reading the Blog kept by Tuufless: I felt the need to try out the art for myself. While my writing and storytelling skills may not be up to par, it should be a nice counterpoint or at worst, a nice second perspective of the happenings of the TrueRune Linkshell and the FFXI Odin Server in general.

So, with all that out of the way, a little about myself. I am a Paladin/Warrior in the TrueRune Linkshell on the FFXI Odin Server. My current level as of this posting is PLD71/WAR37. A list of the events I hope to complete in the near future are in no particular order:

- Level PLD to 75.
- Level RDM to 37. (...and WHM & BLM to 18 to assist this task... -_- )
- Level NIN to 37.
- Finish buying my PLD gear. (Gigant Mantle & some HP earrings.)
- Get the Rare/Ex PLD gear ( Koeing Head & Hands, Crimson Legs & Feet, Joyuse.)
- Attain "Sea" Access and finish CoP missions. (...and bag one of those awesome rings...)
- Finish "Sky" missions after ZM14 and take a shot at completing "Divine Might".
- Level NPC from current level of 62 'Soothing Healer' to 65 'Soothing Healer'.
- Complete all Dynamis zones and gain all 5 pieces of Paladin Relic Armor.
- Buy the new FFXI: ToA Expansion (Goodbye $30) and explore the new content.
- Be a better tank than Ninjas everywhere!
- Start doing more BCNMs, and EMNs with the linkshell. (Yeah, that means you Tuuf!)

So, as a good blogger should, I guess I can gring you up to speed on the last...oh let's say 3 months of FFXI events as seen through my eyes (in no particular order):

- Attained Sandy Rank 9 & 10: Moghancement San. Conquest & Kingdom Aketon.
- Leveled Paladin to 60 - 71.
- Leveled Warrior from 35 - 37. (Can't have a gimped sub, now can we?)
- Assisted TrueRune's second Dragoon Ararith with her Rank 6 Mission Fight. <3
- Purchase of almost all Paladin endgame armor, thus completing my (not max HP) armor sets.
- Attained Bomb Queen Ring.
- Went on a LS trip to complete ZM4 - ZM13 and do a second set of runs for Hiroaki, the resident LS RDM.
- Unlocked the latent effects on my Sapara of Trials, and my Pole of Trials.
- Attained the final sword weaponskill "Savage Blade". (Still looking for a "Retribution" run...)
- Joined a Dynamis and Sky LS to hopefully gain endgame armor, and help others do the same.
- Cooked alot of food.
- Farmed four (4) Mermaid Rings before they bottomed out on the AH.
- Assisted Ararith (60 DRG) in getting her AF Body and Helmet, and buying her Scorpion Harness.
- Watched said Dragoon farm more Gausbit Grass than a Jeuno could even hold... (edit, edit, edit, edit...)
- Won the hearts and minds of countless fans. ¬_¬
- All that other stuff I am sure I forgot...

So, I think that brings us up to speed here. I intend to post my upcomming adventures as I have them. Until then...

...But seriously folks, I also made the blog to be able to respond to Tuuf's posts. ¬_¬