Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Leveling: Bhaflau Thickets (75)

Itera was on vacation this week, and for some unknown reason (haha), his wife chose a place without internet access. So we had Anastasia join us for the evening on her BLM75/RDM37. Charcole had soloed his MNK to 74 since our last session, while Wendell's WHM was still 72. Yobun was back to THF again. We took the Runic Portal to the Mamool Ja Staging Point, and headed out into Bhaflau Thickets. There weren't as many parties as I've seen there before, but there were a few.

We camped at the zone to Mamook, and fought mostly Sea Puks, with a few Mamool Ja. As the area got more crowded, we fought more of the Mamool Ja, since people prefer the Sea Puks. Yobun started out as puller, but we switched to having Elboron pull at some point. I'm not sure I like having Elbo pull, since not only do we miss out on songs (I hardly ever had ballad on me once he started pulling), but he takes a lot of damage. At one point, we opted to have him pull a Jurik (wyvern), which ended up killing Elbo in two hits. Later, a Mamool Ja Blue Mage used Radiant Breath and killed me. I think it was under 800 damage, but I was a bit low health at that point and was dropped. Nothing like the nearly 10,000 damage Radiant Breath I took once during Besieged!

I ended up gaining about 15.5k limit points, with ring and sanction, in about 2.5 hours of fighting. Wendell made it to 73 near the end of the party, which was nice. I held hate a bit better this week, having worn more +enmity gear, and having Yobun's Trick Attacks on me. I would lose hate towards the end of the fight because I usually couldn't reuse provoke and flash and still be ready for the next monster, at least for the Puks, since we were killing/pulling so fast. Or Anastasia would toss out her meritted Thunder spells and have the mob go flying after her.

I had been trying to get a Tatami Shield for a couple of weeks now, but someone decided they were suddenly "worth" 30% more than they had been, and I just don't want to pay that much for one. I missed one within my price range overnight recently, but all the others that have been up have been too hight. I mentioned this to Yobun and he said that all the cool kids were getting the new Troll shield, which is the same size as the Tatami Shield (tower shield, size 4), so would give the same damage reduction, without the intimidation or the +5 STR, but at a greatly reduced cost. So I picked up a Januwiyah for 50k. It has +25 HP on it, and decent defense too. It did a good job at damage reduction, as I was often blocking for single digit damage (as opposed to the ~80 unblocked non-critical hits). My Koenig Shield would usually drop damage to around 14, so it does seem to be an improvement.

I still think I'd like a Tatami some day, since the intimidation could be really helpful, as would the +5 STR. My shield skill hit 262 Sunday night, so it's getting there. It will be so nice to see it capped. Then I suppose I have to wear +shield skill gear and cap it to those levels as well.

I decided that I kind of like getting limit points - with only 10,000 needed for a merit point, and not losing any with deaths (you lose exp instead), it's more "rewarding" than the huge exp requirements per level in the 70s. With one 2.5 hour exp session a week, we can still see one or two merit points a session. I've put my first merit into increased critical hit rate, while I'm saving up 3 points for a STR upgrade next. I'm going to focus on merits that will most benefit my melee skills rather then end-game Paladin abilities, and won't put anything towards things that might hurt other jobs (like +enmity). Since Grym and I are planning to go back to our BST duo at some point, comparing her Mithra BST41 stats to my Tarutaru BST41 stats can help me see where I'm weak (STR, DEX, HP) relative to her, and might be a good guide for where to put my merits.

Anastasia and I were later discussing the party, and we both aren't huge fans of this sort of exp, since neither PLD nor BLM are really well suited for it. We're better at fighting ITs, working together as a team to hold hate, build a skillchain, and burst on it for the kill. Plus it's just a bit too stressful for me to have things pulled before my provoke and flash aren't back from the previous mob. The frenzied pace, with everyone just trying to smash the mob as fast as possible lacks the, oh, finesse that one can see in a really good party that works together well and is camping the right mobs in a right place. We're joking about starting an "old school static", if we could possiby find a good camp with mobs IT+ to level 75, and other people willing to forgo the safe easy speed killing chain bazillionty-eleven parties everyone seems so happy with these days.


Blogger Wendell said...

I happen to HATE the "speed killing chain bazillionty-eleven parties everyone seems so happy with these days." I hate them with a fervor reserved for precious few other things. I feel like I have no time to breathe, and I can't manage to get into any kind of rythum with my spell casting.

If your joking ever becomes more serious, you'll have my support. Convincing Yobun will probably be th hardest part.

June 27, 2006 2:30 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

I had the same exact problem last week. I just feel like I'm perpetually playing mental 'catch up.' It's quite exhausting and detrimental at times. And I don't have THAT much to worry about in a party, but it still feels too chaotic for me. My mental shadow counts and JA timers get unbelievably messed up, especially with mobs that drop shadows on AOE. So I start weapon skilling or using JA's when I shouldn't be, especially when I have no idea what the PLD's timers look like (since I wear some of my AF, this can screw up hate control).

Anyway, yeah kinda frustrating...

June 27, 2006 2:46 pm  
Blogger tsakiki said...

It's even more fun speed-killing Imps, which have an AOE amnesia effect - meaning no job abilities or weapon skills! Poor Wendell would end up pulling hate at the start of fights with those, just because there wasn't a whole lot we could do without our job abilities.

With the new-style camps, I really notice my "skills" degrading as my bedtime approaches too, moreso than I did in traditional camps. Maybe I'm just too old for this. :-)

As for finding more traditional hunting grounds at our level, I don't know if any really exist. There's one camp in the far-flung reaches of Uleguerand Range that might be interesting, but it would take forever just to get there: campsitaru

June 27, 2006 3:18 pm  
Blogger Tuufless said...

Actually, the Uleguerand Range (was) also used for TP spam parties, although you could do a passable job with your regular setup.

The thing is, there are very few (if any) mobs that consistently con IT to a 75. I suppose Hilltrolls might work (check out Campsitarus for more details), but I'm not a fan of those, personally.

It's a whole different world, really. To be honest, I DO kinda miss MB'ing, although it's been so long since I last took out my BLM to xp...

June 27, 2006 10:45 pm  
Anonymous Elboron said...

Just to clarify, I would have been able to hit you with Ballad if we were standing straight. But because of that knock-back move, you were all standing sideways the entire night with your back to a wall, which made it impossible to hit you with Ballad without hitting all of the melees with it too. So I ended up having to give you 2x Minuet most of the time, and then I gave everyone Ballad when you were running low on mp.

If it weren't for that knock-back move, and we stood straight again, with your back to the mages, I would have been able to hit you with Ballad.

Also, I was under the impression that I was not going to be pulling at all this week, so I only brought my standard Bard/Mage gear and Pamamas, which are not good when I'm pulling. If I had known I was pulling I would have brought equip with better def, tacos (probably), and I probably would have gone with the +food duration version of Sanction instead of the Refresh version. I’m not sure which version of Sanction would help me more though.

On the bright side, I got to use my Minstrel's Ring a lot on Sunday, which I have hardly used at all in the last 25 levels. :)

June 27, 2006 11:12 pm  
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