Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Leveling: Extracurricular Party (Lufaise Meadows 73-74)

On Saturday, Elboron, being the desirable bard that he is, got asked if he was interested in an exp party (this happens to him all the time when he isn't anonymous, even when he's already in a party). We'd previously discussed the fact that we wished we weren't so far behind Yobun and Itera, so he asked if Grym and I would be interested, and he'd see if the party needed us all. Grym really hates leveling in general, and it seems THF in particular, so he declined, but I said I was interested. The party didn't have a tank yet, so that worked out well.

We ended up in a party with a DRK75/THF37, DRG74/WAR37, RNG75/NIN37, SMN73/WHM36, BRD73/WHM36, and PLD73/WAR36, and we headed out to Lufaise Meadows to fight Abraxas, the giant birds that killed me at level 72. We wanted to avoid Tavnazian Rams, but they're pretty much unavoidable, so we knew we'd be fighting them too. Not having Stona was a bit of a worry, but needlessly so, since we had a freaking "power leveler". Level 73-75, and there's a 70+ WHM standing beside the party to help out. I think it was either a friend of, or perhaps a second character of the SMN's. Whichever, it did help quite a bit, since the WHM was able to use Stona on whomever needed it, and hand out the R3s when someone got killed. Plus Erase and Cure V after Great Bleat were pretty handy.

I dreaded being the tank for such heavy hitters two levels higher than me (the DRG leveled pretty quickly), but it wasn't too bad. It was a bit weird because some fights I held hate completely, while others had the mob flying all over the place. I used Cover more during those three hours than I had in the entire past year (from level 50 to level 73).

I felt bad when people got killed, but in each situation there wasn't much more I could have done to save them. The RNG got killed when he got a link while pulling, and he was one hit from death by the time he got back to camp, and I could only grab one of the birds before he was dead. The DRK got killed when he pulled hate just after a Ram used Great Bleat on us, and the DRK had around 300 HP and got one-shotted by the Ram. The SMN got killed at one point, when we were fighting two mobs at once and pulled hate. I had to laugh after he was raised and his HP while weakened was 8. He had on a lot of HP->MP gear. I wonder what would happen if you were converting more HP than you actually had?

The DRG left after awhile, and was replaced with a SAM75. He tried to SATA+WS on me to close chains with the DRK, but for some reason the DRK would do his weapon skill, get hate, and then spin the mob around so the SAM and I were no longer behind it, ruining the SAM's SATA. I don't know why he did that, and didn't ask.

Our SMN had to leave suddenly, and Elbo and I said we both had to go pretty soon (we were both 74 at this point), so they got replacements for us as well. The replacement for the SMN was another SMN, and the replacement for Elboron was a RDM/BLM. With the WHM power leveller leaving with the first SMN, I was sort of worried about the party not having stona, but hopefully they managed fine.

It was interesting to be partying as PLD with strangers for the first time in months, but even with the huge damage numbers the melee were putting up, we still struggled for Chain #5s, and with half the group being 75, the points per kill weren't all that great. Our "gimpy" Low Level Static does better on what I consider an off-night. I ended up with less than 12K exp in just over three hours, and I even used my Empress Band. Granted, the SMN wasn't really doing a lot. I think using his avatar buffs would have helped us out, but he rarely used them. The WHM outside the party did much more than he did.


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