Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Zerging Bahamut

One of the most challenging tanking experiences I’ve had in the game is The Wyrmking Descends, also known as Bahamut Version 2, or Bv2 for short.Part of the challenge is simply because we would use a solo PLD on Bv2, with a second for grabbing the summoned wyrm buddies, and stepping in should the main PLD get toasted by Megaflare (see Astonishing Wyrms from last year).
As fun as this fight can be with a manaburn style, it can be very risky if things go sour, and if you wipe, there really isn’t any way to recover, so the Monarch Orb, and all the work that went into acquiring it, is completely wasted.

So, after much urging from linkshell members, and one failed manaburn too many, Ali agreed to try a zerg strategy. For this, we had 3 DD parties, each with 4 Dds, a BRD, one with a WHM, and two with RDM/DRKs. Any DRKs would go into the party with the WHM, and the DDs would include DRKs, WAR/SAM, SAM/WAR, DRG, MNK, and a token THF. This also let people who didn’t have a PLD, BRD, WHM, RDM or BLM levelled to participate in the fight, getting them new shiny titles.

The goal in a zerg is to basically kill the monster as fast as possible, before it gets a chance to kill the team. To help accomplish this, we would all use our two hours, and take advantage of 6 soul-voiced Bard songs on each party in the alliance. First thing we do upon entering the battlefield is to have all the damage dealers either use Meditate or an Opo-opo Necklace and Sleeping Potions to build up over 100% TP. Once that’s done, the bards all use Soul Voice, and we quickly rotate them through each party, with one bard using Madrigal (accuracy), one using Minuet (attack), and the third using March (haste).

Then the damage dealers use all their job abilities and rush in behind the lead RDM/DRK, who starts the fight with Chainspell-Stun. The DDs do as much damage as they can in as short a time as possible, and within 30 seconds, Bahamut falls to the ground, defeated. No muss, no fuss, just a whole lot of damage in a very short time.

After our first attempt at this was an easy success, we haven’t gone back to our old methods. Some of us lament the lack of skill required to zerg this, but understand that there are times when taking the easy way out makes the most sense.

Plus I get to see things like this:


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Soloing the Primes

A couple of months ago, I decided I wanted to try soloing the 6 Prime Avatars (the Celestial Avatars) in the "Trial by (element)" quests. Lots of people have done this, but I just wanted to see how I'd fare. I was mostly worried about Garuda and Leviathan, since they can heal themselves, so I thought I'd start out with Titan.

However, I mentioned this in BEB one evening, and Yobun needed Shiva, so my first "solo" ended up being a duo. Yobun didn't really do anything, though. In fact, he sat down to watch after casting one (resisted) spell. This was a good way for me to try out soloing, with a SCH standing by in case it didn't go so well... I did go back a few weeks later for a true Shiva solo, just to keep it consistent with the others.

One the things this exercise reinforced was just how much better the Paladin job is now than it was back in the day. Yobun had tried soloing avatars years ago on his PLD, but had either timed out or been blasted by a two-hour. These days, with the changes to Rampart, Shield Mastery, Sentinel, and new things like Atonement and Reprisal, Paladin really has come into its own. Not to mention there's a lot of really nice gear available now that wasn't around back then.

The fights took from just under 8 minutes (Shiva) to nearly 13 minutes (Leviathan), so they weren't slam dunks by any means, but for most of the fights I never felt like I was in any danger of dying or timing out either. Ramuh proved to put up the biggest fight of the 6, mostly because of his en-stun effect.

I went to each fight as PLD/RDM, for the bar spells as well as innate magic defense bonus. For gear, I wore a hybrid magic reduction set with accuracy where appropriate. Valhalla Helm, Avalon Breastplate, Iron Ram hands and legs, Askar feet, Joyeuse, Ice Shield. I used Parade Gorget to help with MP recovery.

I cast Protect IV, Shell III, and Stoneskin and then rested to full MP before entering the arena. Once inside, I cast Phalanx, and the appropriate bar- and en- spells, then ran up to face the avatar. I didn't recast Stoneskin after it was broken, but in at least one fight, it lasted until the avatar was nearly half-dead. The other buffs I'd reapply when they wore, and would cure myself as needed. I saved Rampart for the Primes' two-hour abilities, which drastically reduced their power:

I would use Atonement whenever I had the TP. I think for Ramuh I did need to use Chivalry, but I didn't run out of MP on any of the other fights. It was a fun "experiment", and I even made 50k gil out of it, and got a Water Belt for my fire kit too!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Still Kicking Around

So where were we? Ah yes, FFXI seems pointless, with marginal improvement for massive effort, etc. I'm not really sure why I stopped blogging for nearly 9 months, but it certainly isn't because I stopped playing. I've been playing pretty much as much as ever.

A few things have changed in the meantime. For starters, TheUltimates no longer exists. We had our last run in June. I think I'm mostly to blame, since I'd been trying to leave for months, and Allia just didn't want to lead it without me there helping out. I had tried not coming on Wednesday nights, but it still wasn't enough.

My Warrior hit 75 around New Year's, and is still a work-in-progress. I've spent a lot of gil on nice gear for it already, though my weapon skill gear could use a bit of work. Merits are coming slowly, but I do have 8/8 in greataxe and 3 of the 4 I want in double attack. I also leveled SAM and DRG for subjobs. I really enjoyed SAM and will probably take it higher one of these days (I left it at 40). THF was at 30, and is only used on rare occassions for Dark Ixion, so I have been a bit slow at "finishing" that. It's sitting at 34 at the moment.

I've been settling in to Salvage a bit better, and am often one of the tanks on WAR. Sure beats being a tag-along like I had been when I could only come PLD. Just last week I finally got my first 35 for the Ares's set - the piece for the mask. It's the only 25 I didn't have, so I still need a drop to complete the piece, but it seems more hopeful now than it ever has. I'm able to make more than one run a week now, which helps too, though often the times I can make runs, we end up cancelling because we have too few people, or are missing a critical job.

I've been very fortunate in Eminence, and have gotten a lot of nice things since I last wrote: Aurum Sabatons, Hermes' Sandals, Martial head, Fenian Ring, Algol, Byakko's Haidate, Genbu's Kabuto, Crimson Cuisses, Valhalla Breastplate, Kirin's Osode. I love my new breastplate. It was our 14th Odin kill that finally dropped it. It's pretty much a kiting or blood-tanking piece with the -5% slow on it, but it is so nice for those situations - with 50 hp, +5 enmity and the highest defense of any of my body pieces. Plus it has a hidden latent effect of Cute +10 when equipped on a Tarutaru with the Valhalla Helm. I had an Avalon Breastplate for awhile, but between the new Iron Ram Hauberk, Valhalla Breastplate and Haubergeon +1, every situation where the Avalon had been useful is covered. I turned it back in to the LS bank after getting my Valhalla a week and a half ago.

I scanned through all my screenshots to try to find something to illustrate this entry, but didn't really find what I was looking for, so I leave you with a happy Kiki in her outfit she stole from Odin.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Where does the time go?

It's been over 2 months since my last entry, and though I've been as busy as ever in-game, I guess I don't feel I have much to blog about. I've noticed a tendancy for me to pull back a bit from blogging when I start getting overly annoyed with other players, since I don't like to have negative posts in my blog. And this has been the case over the last few months. I really question why I still play this game at times, but I do enjoy my friendships with the nice people I know.

Of course, there's the addiction that keeps me playing every day. Have to keep getting those constant little rewards, like exp points, skill points, another title, another bit of gear. It's been nearly two years since my husband broke free, and he's still waiting for me to be done. In the meantime, he been playing other games, but his penchant for playing/creating FFXI-inspired levels in Little Big Planet make me question whether his own FFXI addiction was truly broken.

So I keep chasing the dragon, and I just can't see an end. I pretend I have a shot at some absolutely hopeless quests, like Aegis or Burtgang, but unless I win the lottery and play full-time, I just don't see either of those happening. And if I did get either, then what? I'd still be doing the same old stuff, with a marginal improvement in performance. It's not like they open up whole new worlds that were previously unavailable.

Now I even find myself working on another job to 75, just to be "more useful" while trying to get more bits of gear for my PLD. I am enjoying the leveling (WAR is now 62), as much for the sense of "progress" as for the activity itself, but it makes me a little sad that I felt it was needed. I love being a PLD, and I wish that was all I "needed" to be.

Having said that, I agree WAR will be handy to have for assaults, merit parties, and salvage. The day I'm asked to bring WAR to HNM fights will be a sad day indeed, and hopefully will never happen.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Just Call Me Lenneth

With all of my long "breaks" from blogging about Kiki's Adventures, I'm having a hard time getting all caught up. So much to write about and then it gets short shrift when I'm in catch-up mode! Oh well, on to the latest Einherjar update.

It's been months since I first wrote about Einherjar with Eminence. We have our two runs a week, and are rotating zones to make sure we have 1 person with all 9 feathers, and as many of us as possible with a feather from each of the three tiers. It's still a lot of fun, with enough variety to keep it exciting. Some times the luck of the draw is awful - the bombs are just plain evil - but in general the fights don't give us much trouble, and my ampoules of Therion Ichor are building up, even after spending 15,000 of them on my Ritter Gorget.

We've fought Odin 5 times now, fighting him about once a month. I've been at 4 of the Odin fights, co-tanking on three of them. I missed the first Odin run, but co-tanked the second with Genno. The fight didn't go so well, mostly because the Valkyries that Odin summoned we all over Genno and I, and once we were dead Odin and his summons picked everyone off.

A month later, Tanta and I were co-tanks. This fight went much smoother, with a better focus on Odin's summoned Valkyries. It's a pretty fun fight, and Odin has some very annoying moves, one of them being a dispelga at every 10% of his HP. It even takes off food, so I end up going through nearly a stack of Pescatora at each fight. He also curses, silences, binds, all sorts of good stuff, using up medicines and MP from the mages to recover. His signature move is Zantetsuken, which he uses at 10% HP. This is an instant-kill ability for anyone in range. However, if you /heal before he does it, it misses you, since it's supposed to be a decapitation sort of thing, and if you're healing, it passes over your head. I won't get into the logic behind why all the short Tarutarus get their heads lopped off when they're still shorter than the /healing Galakas and Elvaans, but it works. Our timing on our /heals wasn't so good on this fight, and a bunch of us, including Tanta and I, were KO'd. The other tanks took over and we won the fight. Hurray for new titles!

Our Odin fights have gotten quicker and smoother with more experience, but we've been a bit disappointed with the drops we've been getting compared to some of the other linkshells. We did get Lakshmi's first NA Valkyrie's Fork, which went to Jeny, and people have wanted most of the abjurations, but they haven't been the most-desired ones, like the E Body.

This past Saturday was our 4th Odin win. Relatedrate and Infi were main tanking, while Tanta and I stood off to the side, running in to help absorb the 10,000 Needles damage every 25%. We felt like we needed Pom-Poms to be proper cheerleaders, but at least we could help out on healing people who needed it. This time, our loot pool was very Paladin-friendly: M Body, M Legs, Valhalla Helm, W Body, and P Head (which went free lot). Relatedrate was very excited to finally get his Koenig Cuirass, and Tijet his Koenig Diechlings, but the most excited was Kiki, who out-lotted Ragnorok on the Valhalla Helm! I love the way this thing looks. The only bad thing about it is that I can't wear it full time, since it has no enmity, and the +5% Slow on it just doesn't work well for /NIN. Too bad we can't meld multiple pieces of gear into a single one, combining their stats. But the -5% damage and the +30 HP are great to have, and it's a very nice addition to my situational gear.

I've only seen one other Valhalla Helm on Lakshmi, on Fallen of SnD, who's Elvaan. It's much much cuter on a Tarutaru. :-)

New title: Elite Einherjar


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stabbity Stabbity

One of the long-standing items on my wish list has been that pointy blue sword that "everyone" but me had, the Joyeuse.

However, I had a couple things standing in my way. First, it's from an NM with a long pop window, so even if you have ToD, you can still be killing place holders for 8 hours or more without Charybdis spawning. My schedule, both in real life and in-game, have made it nearly impossible for me to have any sort of hope of camping it. Secondly, I really have a difficult time asking anyone for help with something I want for me, and this is something I couldn't do without help.

A few people have helped me with some random attempts over the years (like Erock, Yobun, and Narsat), but it just seemed I would just have to live my life in FFXI without a Joyeuse, unless I happened to get lucky at some point. It's truly not a necessity, but would be really nice for things like merit parties and Nyzul Isle, where I'm not really tanking things. After getting my Justice Sword, and having troubles keeping myself supplied with the Virtue Stone it required, I have been feeling like it would be very nice to have one after all, but still gave it up as a lost cause.

However, I got lucky this week, thanks to my friends. :-)

Goldfish has been leveling PLD recently, and several days ago remarked to me that he was going to see if he could manage to solo Charybdis as THF/NIN for his Joyeuse. I whined to him about being the only PLD in the world without one and wished him luck on his solo attempt. Goldfish was surprised I didn't already have one, and offered to try to get one for me if his soloing worked - even if I couldn't be there, I could leave Kiki in SSG, in party with Goldfish. I hated the thought of leeching a sword like that, but was a viable option, assuming he could indeed solo it.

On Thursday, Goldfish headed down to Sea Serpent Grotto, and found the place empty. He killed the place holders, and Charybdis spawned on the next round. Apparently his solo attempt wasn't as much fun as he had hoped, and Allia headed to SSG to help him win his shiny blue sword. Allia also thought I already had a sword, so with ToD in hand, they offered to get one for me that evening, after the Thursday linkshell event for Eminence. I was hoping that we could get an early spawn, so I wouldn't have to leave, but when I arrived in Charybdis' room, there was another group camping her as well.

They had 2x THF/NIN, RDM/WHM, and MNK/NIN. One of the THFs was after the sword, and offered us 500k if we'd fight with them and he could have it. He'd been camping "non stop" for days, and had been after the sword for years, but "non stop" wasn't really non stop, since he hadn't been there for Goldfish's earlier kill. I told him that I didn't need gil and I didn't have a Joyeuse. I wanted one as well. Lugh came to help as well, and the four of us were watching for spawns. On the third round after we arrived, we fought the first devil manta that spawned. The other group did a bit of a fake-out and pulled one of the outside devil mantas up to the door to fight it, so we assumed that the second spawn was outside the door, so we figured it was 16 minutes until the next spawns and put down our guard as it were. Suddenly, Charybdis spawned, and the other group got claim, since they had faked us out with the other devil manta, and were watching still. However, they wiped fast. They had no hope of handling the kraken. It was basically whap-whap-whap-dead, move to the next, and repeat.

I felt bad for them not being able to handle the fight, but we took claim when the four were dead, and had no troubles whatsoever with the fight. Goldfish was tanking, while I started out just curing him, waiting for him to have plenty of hate before I joined in fighting as well. With double Mambo from Lugh, and the enfeebles/debuffing from both Allia and Lugh, the fight was painless and over quickly. And I finally had a pointy blue sword to call my own! And best of all, I didn't leech it, and I even got to bed at a (sort of) reasonable hour. I was happy too that the other group got the claim and proved they couldn't handle it.

Thank you so much you guys! It really means a lot to me.

Goldfish, Allia and Lugh returned the next morning to get one for Lugh as well. Apparently they were there for close to 8 hours before Charybdis spawned. There had been quite a few campers with them, but they had all given up about an hour before the spawn.

I haven't gotten too much chance to play with my new toy, but did try out dual wielding justice/joyeuse. With double marches, it was fun to watch the swords double attacking. TP builds up really quickly, and it should be a lot of fun on the "kill everything" floors in Nyzul.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sundering and Subjugating

Eminence took on the three ToAU Beastmen "Kings" this summer. I wrote about Gulool Ja Ja earlier, but haven't posted about the fights with Medusa and Gurfurlur the Menacing. We fought Medusa the first Saturday of August, and Gurfurlur on the first Saturday of September. (Screenshots courtesy Alibeemac!)

Medusa was definitely the easiest of the three, but the most difficult to get to. The Arrapago Reef is just not a fun place to travel through. We had more than a full alliance for the fight, and when the door to Medusa's chamber was opened, the lag was so bad that I couldn't get through the door before it closed. Sayoran was also left behind with me. So we dragged one of the nearby Lamia up to the door and had it kill us. The group tractored us through the door, raised us, and we started the fight when we were back to full health.

We split the group into the main fighting alliance, with extra tanks and DD on the side to replace people when they got knocked out, plus a separate party to hold Medusa's 4 companions - a bard, whm, and 3 nins and a rdm/nin. Tanta and I were the co-tanks to start the fight, but 20 minutes later, Medusa was dead and the only casualty had been Goldfish. It was a fun fight, and while we did have some moments where it didn't look like Tanta or I would make it through the whole battle, our support crew kept us safe. The most annoying move she has is a petrification move. It's hard to defend oneself when turned to stone.

Gurfurlur the Menacing lives in the depths of Halvung, and it takes awhile to reach his chamber. The trolls were preparing for Beseiged as we made our way there, and we were worried that he'd start marching to Al Zahbi for Beseiged while we were fighting him. They were at Level 6 when we started the fight. Unlike the chambers for Gulool Ja Ja and Medusa, Gurfurlur's was full of regular trolls patrolling the area. We killed these before we started the fight, but our spare damage dealers were kept busy with the repops during the battle. I guess it was good for their TP at least.

As with the other two Leaders, we had a separate party to hold the 4 companions of Gurfurlur, with 4xNIN, BRD and WHM. Cauge and I were the first co-tanks. Gurfurlur has some pretty nasty attacks, and we did have to rotate the tanks out as we were killed.

Infi and I were the two tanks in for the final part of the fight. People were concerned that we wouldn't make it through his Hundred Fists, but we did, with the help of Invincible. Another fear was his "bad breath" type attack when he got under 20%. The WHMs were planning to Bene-cide to clear the tanks of our status effects, and would rotate in new ones. He only did that attack once, and Jeny ran in, used Benediction, and was walloped by Gurfurlur for her troubles.

I was lucky and managed to be in for the kill on all three of the beastmen kings, getting me three of the titles I need to work on my Burtgang (more about that in a later post), so I'm pretty excited about that. Eminence is planning to do more of these fights to get the titles for more people, especially those who had been in the holding parties. Hopefully I'll be able to be part of the holding party as a PLD/NIN, and let other people in on the main fight.

New titles: Gorgonstone Sunderer, Troll Subjugator