The Vana’diel Diaries (February 2007)

The continuing adventures in the world of Final Fantasy XI.

With content involving Tags , , ,

After a short break, it’s good to be back. It’s been a hell of a couple months in Vana’diel. I’ve put one job on the shelf and not only started another, but absolutely exploded with it. Tempest Fugit folded in with some old friends, and two new friends start the game. This is an account of the past few months in the adventures of Finnegan, a Tarutaru out of San d’Oria, playing Final Fantasy XI on the Bismarck server. (And, seriously, if this isn’t your thing, you should go check out Pretty In Pixels—that strip is funny as hell.)


December 2

I’m begging and bribing to bring people from Tempest Fugit to the Tempest Fugit forum. Not only has it been part of the LS MotD since the site went live, but I’m now starting a little contest to entice posting on the forum. Everyone who sticks up five messages between this past Friday and Saturday the 9th gets entered into a raffle to win a Warp Cudgel. The Cudgel’s a pretty handy item, permitting the user to cast the spell Warp once every 24 hours. And if one’s not interested in keeping it, it’ll auction for a good 20,000 to 25,000 gil at the Auction House.

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I thought I’d try a little something new on Saturday, just mix things up a bit. With a little advice from Shadowblade and some printed material from SomePage (ffxi.somepage.com—fantastic resource for FFXI), I unlocked the Blue Mage (BLU) job. It wasn’t quite as easy as unlocking RNG as it involved a walk through some seriously dangerous territory, but otherwise it only required a little patience and a go-fetch quest—piece of cake.

BLU is a unique little job. Not unlike RDM, it allows for the use of swords and light to medium armor. Unlike every other spellcasting class, however, spells are not “learned” from scrolls. Instead, spells are learned from monsters when their special abilities are used against the Blue Mage. For example, the rabbits around San d’Oria use a special attack called Foot Kick that deals a little more damage than they normally dish out; the bees (many of which found just outside Windurst) use an ability called Pollen that heals them. Pretty cool, huh?

Actually, it’s a huge pain in the ass. Over and over I would go up to a rabbit, engage him in combat and hope for the best. The rabbit would attack and attack, building up his TP (Tactical Points—once they reach 100 you can use a special ability, aka limit break) and eventually making with one of his special abilities. It took me 23 rabbits before I got Foot Kick, and six bees before I got Pollen. In the process, I worked BLU up to 8th.


December 4

More traveling on the Blue Mage express. Erador said this job was created by masochists, and I’m beginning to think he was right. I spent about two hours yesterday doing a little XP’ing (pulled about halfway through 9th level) and trying to learn abilities.

I learned Cocoon (a defense boost) from the fourth or fifth Crawler I engaged. Kaizersan gave me a little tip about learning abilities: Beat the mob as close to death as possible, then turn your back.

So I gave it a shot; I attacked the monster and beat it to near death before turning about. It did speed up the rate at which it could get off a special attack, but it still took a while. It’s still very tedious, boring work. I think the days of me playing BLU are numbered.


December 6

Yeah, though I was actually sick and stayed home from the office, I shall fear no evil, for I have XP’ing to do.

Hung up the Blue Mage shoes for a bit and got back into the comfy RNG gear. I spent a few hours continuing this horrid monument quest for the Mayor of Selbina. I need to hit 15 monuments all around Vana’diel to get the map of the Crawler’s Nest (a prime XP’ing spot from about levels 30 through 50), and I picked up the seventh yesterday. Halfway there.

I also did get some XP’ing in. Joined Stratusblade, Cirian, Baghtu and a few others in the world famous Crawler’s Nest. This group was really into skillchains, and I’ve never really worked that hard on them. (A skillchain results when weapon skills (aka limit breaks) are used in a certain order within a certain time period. They deal out some extra damage, which is good, and can deal out a big whopping huge amount of damage if one is kept up and terminated by the proper magic spell.) If a chain got blown, there was always a little grumbling—I was on the receiving end of that more than once.

While this group was relatively productive, netting about 6,000 EXP in about two hours, I never really had a good feeling about it. I was always on edge about not blowing a skillchain, not pulling a link, not drawing too much hate—games shouldn’t be that stressful. I left with about 800 EXP to 37th level.


December 14

It’s been a hell of a long time since I’ve journaled anything, because frankly I just haven’t been playing. I have a couple pretty good reasons for this, but I think I’ll start with the bad reason: I’m laying on the canvas.

About a week back I got into two consecutive parties, neither of which netted any considerable experience because both were chock full of assclowns whom I didn’t care to continue working with. After pulling a link in each party, something that’s bound to happen in Crawler’s Nest every once in a while, members of my party went off in an immature tirade, and I’ve got way too many other things I can be doing than to sit and get verbally beat on.

So I get, “You idiot fucktard, don’t pull links!” or some variation thereof, and I let myself get pulled into a brief verbal exchange where I dug out every combination of four-letter words I could think of before just leaving. And this happened twice—one party right after the other.

Needless to say, I haven’t really felt like playing much. There are Nazis to shoot, Locust Horde wretches to splatter, and a Galactic Empire to defeat. I’ll pull myself and my ego up off the mat and go back in game before long, but after a negative experience like that I need a break.

On to better news. A good friend of mine will be taking up FFXI after Christmas, and she’s really excited about it. She’s very new to this kind of game, and it’ll be a tremendous learning curve for her, but I think she’s up to the task. Erador’s going to start Beastmaster and I’m going to start Dragoon—the three of us are going to trio together until she gets the hang of things—we’ll have our own little quasi-static party. It’s gonna be fun.


December 16

Like I said—extended break. Very extended.

However, Erador and I went through the there-and-back of the quest to unlock the Dragoon job today. Aside from a miscue there at the end (because I’m a spaz), it went very smoothly.

Dragoons aren’t really Dragoons. The classic Dragoon is a mounted infantrymen—he rides his mount to a certain location, dismounts and fights on foot. Dragoons in FFXI are “Dragon Warriors”. They deal out pretty fair damage using different pole-arms (spears, lances, etc.), and have a small wyvern (a mini-dragon) pet that fights alongside them.

I switched into my new job and took it out for a brief test drive. Along with my new wyvern (whom I christened Buster), we beat the crap out of some rabbits and worms, pushing into second level with ease. I’m holding there as this job is going to be the one I level in the static party with Erador, Satharn and Seigrune.


December 21

I’ve decided to shelf RNG for a while. My last few experiences with it have been really frustrating and I don’t want to grow to hate this job I really have enjoyed playing until recently. Instead, I’m going to get back into COR and see how that works. I got into my COR gear last night, picked up some bullets and am taking my 17th level job to the Dunes.


December 22

This is likely the last diary entry before the holidays. Saturday I pack up to visit the in-laws. Yay.

Anyway, things are turning around. This break playing COR was just the thing. Not only am I getting back that joy of playing the game, I have found I am really liking COR. I’m going to stick with it for a while. While I’m not hitting for the kind of damage I was back at 36th RNG, it’s still a fair amount. At 22nd (when I can use real bullets instead of this Bronze Bullet crap) I’ll be really opening it up.

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I partied with Erador (who is raising THF), Fairyqueen, Spyro (who joined FruitBatRevenge in the course of the day), Fulmi and Octavios in Valkurm. We hit a camp that’s kind of a no-man’s-land between the Secret Beach and the rest of the dunes, but it worked. We beat up on goblins with no troubles, picking up about 3,500 EXP in about 1.5 hours. I made 18th, and after more than a week of spinning my wheels it felt great.

Fulmi, our WHM, caused a little trouble when he started grumbling about the experience being skewed (Spyro was three levels higher than he was at 19th, so Fulmi was getting a smaller amount of EXP than perhaps he was entitled—it happens. Nature of the beast.). At one point he was demanding Spyro leave and go to Qufim Island . After Erador and I both spoke up against him, Fairyqueen (in her role as leader) took the diplomatic route and said we’d go ahead and get Spyro a comfortable buffer and then reevaluate things.

And then I died. Some freaking goblin was carrying more bombs on him than any goblin should be allowed to carry, and my rolling those dice was pissing him off. Still—no leveling down equals no worries. I logged off in Valkurm with a positive outlook on the days ahead. I won’t get any gametime in this weekend, but maybe I can push for 19th on Monday. Tuesday night (USPS willing), we’re going to start our static party with Satharn. I’ll gear up in my DRG finery, whistle up Buster and go kick some ass around Ronfaure.

Happy holidays!


December 26

Today was the day for Satharn. After receiving her very own copy of FFXI, I walked her through setting up her own account and character. Later that evening, we got together with Seigrune and Erador (playing 1st level DRK and WHM respectively) and went to work.

Satharn’s got a bit of a road ahead of her. Games like FFXI are pretty foreign to her, and she’s got quite a learning curve to climb. Still, she soldiered on admirably. After a few hours of trudging through West Ronfarue with the three of us, she’d shown some improvement. Erador and I had made 4th level whereas Seigrune and Satharn had made 3rd.

I really am kinda feeling DRG. My wyvern, Buster, really does kick some ass, and I like the whole polearm thing. It’s not going to replace RNG (or perhaps COR?) as my permanent primary job, but it’s fun for a distraction and good to have a job around this level while Satharn is learning the ropes.


December 27

Today is my wedding anniversary, so you’d think I really shouldn’t be playing FFXI. However, my flu-stricken wife isn’t really in the mood for a night on the town, so it’s off…to adventure!

Just not very much of it. I duo’d with Satharn around East and West Ronfaure for a few hours. Satharn has improved a good bit: she’s getting better at targeting and attacking, she’s grasped concepts like linking and aggro mobs, has picked up some of the FFXI slang, and has learned the basics of navigating around San d’Oria. For someone who, until yesterday, was having trouble walking in a straight line, these are leaps and bounds. I’m impressed.


December 28

I haven’t really done anything new in FFXI, but I wanted to relay a little story. It’s a good one.

I spent Christmas, as my family always does, at my in-laws’ home in Casa Grande, AZ. Casa Grandeis just the other side of a hick town placed right smack in the middle of I-10 West between Tucson and Phoenix. They’ve got a pretty nice place, considering we’re talking about a town that doesn’t even have a bookstore.

My daughter, Riley, and I are outside climbing on some rocks on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. She’s taking them pretty well while I stand next to her and worry about her falling and cracking her pretty little head wide open. A loud, persistent buzzing breaks the relative silence and we both look up to see a small, private plane flying overhead.

“Where do you think that plane’s going, sweetheart?” I ask, shielding my eyes to get a better look at it.

Her response is immediate and absolute: “San d’Oria.”

“Really?”

“It’s coming from Jeuno.”

I’m pretty amused by this little exchange, so I decide to push it a bit. “Is the little guy on it?” Riley refers to Finnegan as “the little guy”.

“No. He’s riding his birdie looking for goblins.”

I swear this is exactly how the conversation went down. My wife isn’t thrilled that I’m successfully molding my daughter into a gamer, but I think it totally rocks.


January 6

Truthfully, I’ve been playing a lot of FFXI over the past two weeks. I’ve just been totally slacking in my responsibilities as a journalist (OK, even I can’t keep a straight face at that one) and haven’t been recording everything for prosperity. Thus, you get the Reader’s Digest version of things:

– Fruit Bat Revenge has been joined by Nightwnd, another friend and Tucsonan we’ve recruited. The girl has taken to the game like a fish to water. She’s playing a Hume RDM and, within ten days of starting, has pushed her RDM to 15th level. She accomplished most of this solo’ing and much of it with either inferior or no gear at all. I’m scared.

– Our static party has really taken off. I guess I’ve never explained what a static party is: a static party maintains the same members and meets at a scheduled time. Ours meets every Monday night and consists of Seigrune (playing Dark Knight (DRK)), Erador (playing WHM), Satharn (playing WAR), Nightwnd (playing RDM), Gaignun (playing DRG) and myself (playing DRG).

The static is doing well enough, but I’m starting to see signs of possible bumps in the road. Some of our members (myself included) have played their jobs outside of the static party, and before long we will have too much of a level spread between us to party in such a manner that everyone makes good EXP. I’m not sure how to handle that. You can’t really tell someone, “Hey, stop playing that job.” or “You need to get on the stick and raise your job up!”

– I’m playing Corsair full time now, and have worked it up to 20th level. It’s getting better invites than RNG, and I’m not always counted on to pull, but I do crap for damage. Everyone seems to love the COR buffs, so if they’re happy, I guess I’m happy.

– And finally, Tempest Fugit is folding. Or rather we’re officially joining FruitBatRevenge. TF was suffering from low membership, and most everyone in TF was also a member of FBR—it just makes sense to fold the tents. We’ll be making some changes to the TF forum so FBR can take advantage of it. I’ll put up the URL for the FBR web page soon. (Note: The FruitBatRevenge web page can be found at www.fruitbatrevenge.com.)


January 9

I love the good days. It doesn’t seem to happen to me very often, but occasionally things just fall into place and the world is good. I hadn’t even planned to play this evening, but like I said: occasionally things just fall into place.

After a long trek back from La Theine Plateau, I packed up my gear and hopped an airship to Jeuno. I put my flag up while waiting for the ship, and within five minutes had not one, but two invites! I am loving this! I wound up with a mostly Japanese party led by a BLM named Xueel, and including Spikey, Dudelittle, Remzi, and Blork. This was kind of a weird party in that we had no formal tank—Dudelittle, a DRK/WAR, did an admirable job filling in, but with Blork (a RNG/NIN) and myself (playing COR/RNG), he was pretty much the only line of defense.

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Having two WHMs helped a lot. Dudelittle died once, as did Remzi, but otherwise it was a good show. I jumped two levels, making it about halfway into level 22 before calling it a night. Those Bronze Bullets are history! It’s time for some grown-up ammo!

In addition to restocking with “real” bullets, I bought a gun for faaaaar down the line. It was REALLY expensive and completely blanked my account, but waiting for me at level 36 is a Darksteel Hexagun +1. I’m pretty much set for guns until level 40 now, which means my course is set:

Level 15-26: Bandit Gun +1
Level 27-29: Pirate Gun +1
Level 30-35: Military Gun
Level 36-39: Darksteel Hexagun +1

This represents some pretty big money spent on firearms, so now it’s up to me to really kick ass with the COR job. At 40th I’ll begin questing for the COR Artifact gun—the Trump Gun.


January 10

Another good day in Qufim. This makes two good days back-to-back, which has seemed kind of a rarity for me.

I partied up with Renomaik, Monomu, Vegue and a few others in Delkfutt’s Tower on Qufim Island. 4,000 EXP in 90 minutes and I’m level 23. Huzzah! I’m hoping to be heading for Kazham (which folks usually do at 25) by Monday the 15th. We’ll see how it goes.

Erador had a rough go of it last night questing for another piece of his PLD Artifact Armor (AF). While the group he was with was able to secure a key, they couldn’t get the corresponding coffer and it wound up a fruitless night. I doubt it’ll take him long to get it. Soon enough he’ll be decked out in his PLD AF finery…the bastard.

Fatcharlie, formerly of Blackwind and now of HandsOfFate, had a little conversation with Erador that has me a bit steamed. He asked how I was doing and, upon Erador telling him I was in my early-20s in COR, his response was “if he would just concentrate on one job he’d be up here with us.”

I take a little offense at this. I like switching between jobs and doing different things. I’m OK with the fact that I have two jobs in the 20s and two in the 30s. Yeah, I thought I’d ride the RNG train all the way to the station, but after a really bad week I’m glad I took a break. I’m enjoying what I’m doing now and COR gets great invites (whereas RNG enjoys a lot of assal horizontology).

So jump in a lake, FC. I have nothing but love for you, but as Nathan Jessup said, “I run my unit how I run my unit.” Yeah, I’d like to be level 60, sure, but I’d rather be consistently enjoying the game.


January 12

This has to be a karmaic late Christmas present. I have had three outings playing COR in Qufim, and all three have netted at least one level. In most cases it was a level and a big chunk towards the next. My goal was to make Kazham by Monday the 15th; I’m gonna be on an airship to Kazham by tonight.

Signing on with Lightningedge, Turara, Specs and a few others, we again started in Delkfutt’s Tower. Even one nasty link couldn’t drop us—we were unstoppable. My gun is doing about 35-50 points a shot, which isn’t on par with my RNG, but it’s still considerable All told, everyone leveled at least once in Delkfutt’s, myself included. 24th COR! w00t! What a fantastic way to tie up a Thursday evening—I’m about 2,000 from 25th level. With an hour of good XP’ing I’ll be going jet airliner to Kazham. Yay!


January 13

The good times roll. This is unprecedented—I haven’t had this many good parties back-to-back in MONTHS! This has to be a good sign. I’m excited about it.

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First off, I got a Khazam invite a level early from Lightningedge, whom you may remember from yesterday. He later told me the group wanted to invite someone else, but he held out for me because he liked the way I kept rolls up. That’s high praise. We ripped some Mandragoras stem to stern, and though we had a few close calls, no one bought it.

I made 25th and am less than 1,000 EXP to 26th. There’s some really good equipment coming up that I’m pretty excited about. At 27th I can use the +1 Pirate’s Gun (which will be my first gun upgrade in 12 levels), and at 28th I can switch to an Archer’s Knife (which will provide a big bonus to Ranged Accuracy). At 30th I will replace most of my armor with the Noct gear my Ranger uses. It looks cool and, in some instances, will last better than ten levels.

Playing poker tonight, but might see about getting a late night EXP party and making 26th.


January 17

Yes, I disregarded all journaling over the long weekend, but I sure did get a lot done. I was granted a good bit of free time and fully took advantage of it.

Adventuring in Yuhtunga and eventually Yhoator Jungle, I launched from 25th to 29th level in Corsair. At 27th I made the switch to the +1 Pirate’s Gun, and at 28th I started using the Archer’s Knife. I’m hitting pretty consistently now, and that’s a good thing. Next level I switch into an entirely new set of gear—the Noct set. The Noct armor is much cooler looking than the Beetle Bondage gear and Republic Subligar I’m currently wearing. It’s also a lot more practical, with numerous bonuses to Agility and Ranged Accuracy.

No FFXI tonight, but Thursday I’m gonna make the push for 30th. Man, I cannot wait to get out of the armor I’m in and into the Noct gear.


January 18

Huzzah! 30th level! Farewell Beetle Harness and Republic Subligar—no more Tarutaru bondage show! It’s into the superfly Noct gear, packing the ass-kicking Military Gun and strapping on the handy Gun Belt. Let them eat the finest meats and cheeses!

I actually wound up waiting 20 minutes for a party in Kazham last night, which is the longest I’d waited for one in ages. At first I joined a trio of Huckfinn, Daiwe and myself in Yuhtunga Jungle—it was lukewarm at best. We had good luck against some Mandrogoras, but the EXP was very weak and with three of us we had to rest after every fight. After 500 EXP (about six fights) Huck was aggro’d by a Goblin—they died, I zoned with nine hit points left. End of party.


January 19

I’m way ahead of schedule for my February 24 deadline. My goal is to make ten levels in 37 days—approximately four days per level. I knocked down 31st in one day. If I can keep this up I’ll not only make my goal, I’ll make it by the end of the month.

Well, maybe that’s overly ambitious. Levels slow down a bit after 34th or thereabouts, and my good luck with parties might run out (knock on wood) so I’ll stick with my original goal and hope for the best.

So I made 31st last night in a party with Kaizersan (playing BST) and Cupkeeki (playing WHM) in Sauromugue Champaign with Faurocon, Lauraa and Iba. We found a little set back place and fought Evil Weapons all night long. I think I did a good job pulling and keeping rolls up—we were chaining pretty consistently and EXP was plentiful. In 90 minutes I racked up nearly 6,000 EXP—that’s a healthy sum.

31st is another of those milestones; COR has surpassed RDM to become my second highest job. I’m really looking forward to having it become my highest job, and I think it’s a safe bet that’s less than two weeks away.


January 22

I spent nearly ten hours in game over the weekend, and while much of it was futile and frustrating, I have two accomplishments to show for it. Granted, one of them is a simple level bump, but one must take the small victories when they come.

Friday night I joined a revolving door party in which members cycled in and out, slowing down the works considerably. After a very long night I made 32nd and turned in. It should be noted I had hoped to make 33rd this weekend, and even though I’m still ahead of schedule for my “40 by 24” (level 40 by February 24th) deadline, I don’t like the idea of missing that goal.

Saturday was an extraordinarily trying day. A group of Fruit Bats including myself, Erador, Jinjo, Cupkeeki, Kaizersan and Kittenchan all took a run at the Promyvion at the Mea crag. We had the boss, this monstrous Imperial probe droid-looking beast, on the ropes when he started spamming an area-of-effect attack called Carousel that just ripped us up. We lost.

The second go against our Imperial probe droid wasn’t anywhere near as successful. Many of us had used our 2-hour abilities in the first go-round, and it wiped us out quite handily. Not fun.

We took a little time to regroup and let our 2-hours recharge, as well as collect some memories which could be refined into anima. Anima can be used on the beast, forcing it to cease attacking for a short period of time or preventing it from using its special attacks—very handy. The third time we went in we owned the bastard, kicking his ass in record time.


January 23

Monday night means one thing—static. Erador (as WHM), Kaizersan (as DRK), Cupkeeki (as BLM), Satharn (as WAR) and myself (as DRG) all ventured through Yughott Grotto beating up Orcish Grunts, Stonechuckers and Neckchoppers.

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There were a few close shaves there, but no one died. Erador represented himself well in a job he’s not really used to, Satharn is improving rapidly as a tank, and I’m doing fairly well with the DRG job. DRG is awfully low maintenance, but it’s fun.

Satharn, Erador and I each made a level before the end of the night. We really need to start hitting the Dunes.

Tonight it’s back to working on my “40 by 24” campaign. If I can make 33rd before turning in, I’ll be back to only needing to pick up one level every four days—that’s a nice comfort zone.

Finally, I’ve been informed I’ll have a lot of free time this weekend. We’re going to round up a posse of friends and go at the Dem and Holla crags, and I should be able to spend a good deal of time XP’ing. 35 or even 36 could be a possibility by Sunday.


January 24

A whole evening chock full of XP’ing. I got into an unusual party with Neraku, Yodaa, Sweetchuck, Kyyra and a few replacements—we had no end of White Magic, with four people having WHM as their main or supporting job. The downside of that is we were short on real DDs—our tank and myself (and to a lesser extent a BLU/WHM) were it.

This meant fights went very slow. We just couldn’t do enough damage to rip up the bats in Garliage Citadel, and that meant our healers were working overtime to keep everyone healthy. No one died, which is good, but rarely were we able to keep a chain going, and we were forced to take frequent breaks for MP to heal up. It’s a weird night when there’s such a shortage of DDs—I can remember when I was playing RNG that there would be dozens of DDs just sitting around with the flag up; I wonder if the times are changing.

I wound up about 900 away from 33rd when the party broke up and I called it a night. While I probably won’t get anything done today, 33rd level should be a slam dunk on Thursday—with any luck maybe I’ll pull down 34th as well.


January 25

As luck would have it, my daughter came down with pink-eye yesterday. This meant I had to stay home all day. While much of it was spent suffering through DVDs of Dora the Explorer and The Wiggles, the remainder was spent in the greatest party I’ve had in months…possibly the greatest ever.

I started the day on the loooooooong trip to Aht Urgahn where I purchased the rest of the dice I’ll need for my Corsair career, along with a number of cards for the Quick Draw ability I’ll learn at 40th (more on that later). After I returned to Jeuno, I put the flag up and the fun began.

With Koropen, Cloudstrafie, Alecxander and a few others whose names I have lost (curse you, sleep deprivation!), we absolutely destroyed Eastern Altepa Desert —slaughtering Anticans, Beetles and Dhalmels with absolute impunity

I started the day about 900 EXP to 33rd. I made those 900, then another 6,100 to make 34th, then another 6,200 to make 35th, then another 2,500 before I tore myself away from the game. This represents a HUGE bite out of the “40 by 24” quest. While I don’t think I’ll make it by the end of the month, I just can’t see missing the goal.

I get to use the first of the Hexaguns (the special Corsair-only guns) at 36th, and I have already purchased a Darksteel Hexagun +1. Can’t wait to give that a test run.


January 26

Bah. It was bound to happen. After a 20 minute spell with the flag up, I signed on with a party last night bound for Gustav Tunnel off Valkurm Dunes—good news and bad news. The good news: my good friend Erador is leveling WAR (his subjob with PLD), so we got to party up along with a pair of guys named Braxis and Dritz who seemed like good people. That was cool.

The bad news: we had a substandard WHM as our only healer and the NIN our party had tanking was just completely incompetent. She couldn’t hold hate to save her life. Mobs chased after our WHM, after me, and even with two members of the party back-up voking we got into trouble numerous times.

While I did pick up about 2,000 EXP and pull a little closer to 36th, I have a bad taste in my mouth. The WHM and NIN both bailed on us with no warning after doing a terrible job and narrowly avoiding a total party wipe. We couldn’t find replacements so the party disintegrated about 30 minutes before I was ready to call it a night. So, Shock and Lucy, never darken my door again—you both blow.

Must…make…36th…tonight!


January 30

Again, it’s not that I haven’t been playing. In fact, I’ve logged more hours over the past weekend than any weekend in six months. I’ll hit the high points.

– The Promyvion at Holla was a valiant effort, and we really had the NM (Named Monster) Boss on the ropes before he started spamming an area-of-effect sleep attack. With too many of us asleep, he was able to pick us off one-by-one. We failed. I hope we’ll have another go at him soon; the bastard needs to die.

– After numerous really good parties over the weekend, I’m proud to announce I made 40th level! Screw 40 by 24! It’s 40 by 30, baby! 40th level opens up two really tasty new abilities:

1) The Evoker’s Roll—this is another of the Corsair buffs that actually recharges the MP of spellcasters over time. Every few seconds the spellcaster earns between 2 and 7 MP regardless of if they’re sitting and resting or standing. Evoker’s is comparable to the RDM “Refresh” ability (and there’s some BRD song that does the same) and it stacks with both. I’m about to become the cool kid everyone wants at their party.

2) Quick Draw—Remember those cards I got? Quick Draw allows me to “charge” a shot with elemental properties. So Fire Shot is basically a bullet that does fire damage; Wind Shot does wind damage, etc. A shot fired under Quick Draw does more damage AND can even enhance the effect of enfeebling magic already cast on the mob. It’s awesome.

Even laid low by this damned neverending sinus/bronchial infection, I’m kicking some ass in Vana’diel. Hoo-rah!


Next month: The first of the AF quests for the fabled Trump Gun; further attempts at the Promyvions at Dem and Holla; a new level goal for COR and more action in the Monday night static. Stay tuned!

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About the Contributor


From 2006 to 2007

Steve Hamner is a former staff member from GameCola's early days as a monthly email newsletter.

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