Thursday, December 14, 2006

Limbus: Apollyon NW

It looks like I'm going to have to add another category here. Lucrezia has been part of The Ultimates Dynamis linkshell for quite some time now, and has pitched their virtues several times over the past few months, but their schedule just seems to be a bit off for me: 9PM Wednesday is a bit late for me, and their 9PM Saturday run conflicts with my Ninja Blues static. This was one of the reasons I went with SoaD - the "earlier" start on Tuesdays, and doing runs on Saturday afternoon instead of evening. However, SoaD doesn't have any interest in doing Limbus, probably because Narsat hasn't even got Lufaise access yet.

Now that Limbus is a possibility for me, Luc asked if I'd be interested in doing Limbus. Since one of my dreams (note it's not in my to-do list, it's simply a dream) has been for Kiki to wear Homam, and more realistically, I'd like to have a Boxer's Mantle, I said yes, I'd was very interested in Limbus. Turns out TU doesn't have a very strong Limbus contigent, for a variety of reasons - Sea access, already doing Limbus with another shell, cost - and they were willing to let me join the Limbus shell (The New Ultimates), without being in their Dynamis shell. They were getting ready to do a run on Sunday evening, and Luc was able to convince them to at least bring me on for a trial run.

Grym and I were in Rolanberry Fields trying to learn Uppercut from the Goobbues at the time, so we ran to Jeuno with me knowing Uppercut and him not knowing it. I quickly switched jobs and gear, and ran out to join the group in Port Jeuno. We ended up with a group of 9. I think this was the first Limbus run for two of us, but the others all had some experience. We had Lucrezia (THF), Venn (DRG), Kojita (DRG), Sarntur (BLM), Meshe (WHM), Alfrodo (RDM), Astran (SMN), Ranzz (BRD), and Tsakiki (PLD). This was Ranzz first time with The New Ultimates as well, but it looks like he's actually applying for their Dynamis shell too. I'm wondering how he held out for so long when his brother Lucrezia has been so active with them.

We each talked to Sagheera in Port Jeuno and paid her 50,000 gil for the key tiem Cosmo-Cleanse, which we'd need to enter Limbus. We then teleported to Dem to use the Dimensional Portal that would take us into Al'Taieu near the "lobby" for NW Apollyon. We had to kill an NM flower to get another key item (Red Card), and then we made our way to the vortex that would take us into Apollyon, avoiding UFOs along the way.

The NW Apollyon environment is very much like the Promyvions - fractured and dream-like. The mobs aren't Empty though, they're pretty much "normal" mobs, though they seem to have some different attacks, and sure seem to move fast. For Limbus, the objective is to make your way through the levels, killing mobs, getting Ancient Beastcoins and other items used to obtain different armor or to upgrade Artifact Armor into +1 versions. Each floor has its own type of mobs, with one mini-boss NM. Chests spawn that will extend your time limit, regen hp/mp, or drop items into the treasure pool.

For NW Apollyon, the first floor has ghosts and a Doomed NM. The second floor is buffalo with a Ram NM, the third is bugards with a giant turtle NM, the fourth is wyverns with a giant Wyrm NM, while the fifth has Behemoths. We wiped on the Behemoths and ran out of time, so I'm not sure what else was there.

I must say, I really enjoyed this a lot. As you can see from the screenshots, I did end up face down several times, but got an R3 each time, which softened the exp loss quite a bit. It's so much better than Dynamis in that you only have to fight one or two mobs at a time, and with it limited to 18 players (we had only 9), there's nearly no lag making things difficult. And I really got to tank, thanks to Trick Attacks from Luc in addition to my own abilities. I "tank" in Dynamis, but it just doesn't seem like "real" tanking to me. Limbus is real tanking. Fights last long enough I can provoke more than once, something I can't do in Dynamis unless it's a boss or NM, and something that doesn't happen in merit parties either. Plus having an objective and a time limit makes it "exciting" as well. I do think it's sad that two black mages can do better in terms of drops in Limbus than a larger balanced party, but that's just the way the game is.

We ended up with three ancient beastcoins each, so I'm 4% of the way to my Boxer's Mantle. /laugh Several items for upgrading AF dropped as well. I believe they were for BLM, DRK, and RDM, but I couldn't say for certain.

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