Tuesday, July 01, 2008

For King and Country!?

One of the most exciting changes in the June update, at least for me, was the preservation of Outpost Teleports when changing nations. The loss of OP Teleports was the only thing holding me back from changing nations to experience the story lines. I felt it would be extremely difficult to re-obtain both the Ronfaure and Gustaberg teleports, and decided I would switch nations only when I was ready to quit the game. With this change, I was free to switch, since I would still have all my OPs available when I switch back to Windurst.

This was the tipping point for quite a few ClanBEB members as well, so we've all switched allegiences together, and are working on the missions as a group. We didn't have anyone aligned with Bastok, so all the San d'Orians switched to Windurst, while the Windurstians have switched to San d'Oria.

I switched to San d'Oria after Dynamis on Saturday, June 14. Sandy was in second place, so I had to pay 12,000 gil for the privilege of joining their ranks. It was funny getting dropped into the starting cutscene as a PLD75 decked out in fancy gear, as opposed to the ?-mark head in her green Tarutaru PJs I was when I started 4 years ago in Windurst. Two weeks later, on the afternoon of Saturday June 28, Kiki was a Rank 10 San d'Orian, and a San d'Orian Royal Heir. I'm probably going to wait a bit to switch to Bastok, and have gotten enough of the OPs (missing Tavnazia, Beaucedine, Qufim and the starter zones) to keep me happy in San d'Oria for a bit. If the lack of conquest points starts to chafe, I'll switch back to Windurst before doing Bastok.

I had a fun time doing the missions in as much of a whirlwind as possible given time constraints and game-induced delays.

My first fun was trying to solo the Bastok dragon for Mission 2-3 as a BLU25/NIN12. I made three attempts, but it just wasn't quite working out for me, so I dragged Erock out to help me as a naked BLM25. He kept the dragon slept while I quickly killed the eye, then moved on to the dragon. With his help, it was just way too easy. My main problem with soloing was getting drawn in by the dragon while it was asleep. Cheater dragon. This pulled me too far from the eye and I wasted time running back to it and the dragon would wake up and that would pretty much be it at that point. I think I'll try again if/when I switch to Bastok.

It's amazing how quickly the "run around everywhere" missions go when you can teleport/warp places. Not to mention being able to get in places easily, like the basement of Delkfutt's Tower and the magicite areas in the Beastmen strongholds.

The morning of Saturday June 21, we were planning to do mission 5-1 for the groups working on Windurst and San d'Oria missions. We suited up with our level 50 gear and met up in Fei'Yin. We ended up doing two rounds to get the 9 of us through it, but they went very quickly. Much easier now that the first time doing this when we were level 50.

The plan was to continue on with the missions, but I had a terrible migraine and had to bow out after the 5-1 fights. We figured we could get me caught up before the following weekend.

So Sunday morning I decided I was going to try to solo the Shadow Lord (mission 5-2) as my PLD/RDM. I figured it might just work. So I checked youtube for videos, and only found a PLD/WHM who took 3 tries. I figured /RDM would work better, so I wasn't too worried. I walked there all the way from San d'Oria, thinking how much easier it is to navigate Beaucedine Glacier now with all the Dynamis runs I've been on there.

The fight itself was easier than I expected, though it did take nearly 20 minutes. I ate Carbonara for the extra HP, buffed up with Protect IV, Shell III, Blink, Stoneskin and Phalanx, and rested for MP. I started out with my Tatami Shield for the intimidation effect, and because people had said Ice Trousers didn't work with Reprisal, and I didn't look to see how they differed from the Ice Shield. Turns out Ice Shields work just fine with Reprisal...

Anyway, overall, my gear was a little bit odd, with a mix of magic damage reduction, haste, divine skill and enhancing skill. I wore my Parade Gorget as my only additional refresh, and used my Mensur Epee for its low delay and attack bonus while solo. I used Enfire, which was giving me an extra 16 points of damage per hit.

I didn't even bother reapplying stoneskin after it wore. He missed me a lot, and didn't hit for all that much (usually) when he did connect. Between Phalanx and shield blocks, I got hit of 0 a lot. I used Chivalry once, and switched over to my Ice Shield after that. Paralyze from the ice spikes proc'd a lot more than the intimidate from the Tatami. Things slowed down a bit during his melee-immune phase, but I had plenty of MP and cast Holy a few times over the course of the fight. Otherwise it was just my Dia II, Enfire, Reprisal and Ice Spikes that did any damage to him.

It was quite fun really, and I'm pretty sure I'll switch to Bastok if for nothing else other than the opportunity to do it again! Well, that and try to solo the stupid dragon...

Next up was Mission 6-1, which involved defeating a cactuar in West Altepa that loves to spam 1000 Needles. I figured I'd try to solo it as PLD/BST, with my trusty NPC helping out. First I had the two cactuars that hang out in the pond fight each other to the death, then I grabbed a nearby scorpion as my pet, and popped the NM cactuar. The fight went pretty well, and the scorpion held up better than I thought it would, despite the 5 or so 1000 Needles. Balu-Falu ran out of MP, but I had enough for the both of us, and we won the fight without too much trouble. Much more exciting than with a bunch of other people!

Anastasia and Yobun had stopped on Mission 6-2 on Saturday, so I headed to King Ranpere's Tomb to kill the wimpy wimpy skeleton there. For the mission, 3 skeletons spawn, but if you pop them with sneak up, you can pull a single one and let the other two despawn. So I did just that, pulling the WAR-type, and let him "beat on" me for a few minutes while the other two despawned. I don't think he broke my stoneskin even.

New conquest tally that morning gave me three more outposts to get, bringing me to a total of 12 for San d'Oria, versus the 17 I have for Windurst.

Monday night before Nyzul Isle, I finished the cutscenes for 6-2, and started 7-1. For a lot of the missions, I needed to either trade crystals to the gate guard, or repeat the Bat Hunt mission, which was a bit cheaper, but a little more time consuming to go through the dialog each time. But I could just get a stack of bat fangs and stand next to the mission guy taking the mission and trade him a bat fang then take the mission again until the new mission was available.

For Mission 7-1, you have to defeat a MNK Orc NM in East Ronfaure, which you get to by going through the Oubliette. I did this with Ana's SCH and my NPC, but it was really too easy for us at our level. The Orc scarcely touched me. We finished up the mission cutscenes, picked up 7-2, and headed to a BC fight in Horlais Peak with Yobun's THF, and him dual-boxing Wendell on WHM. 2 Warmachines and 3 Orcs later, we were done with that mission, and Rank 8!

On Wednesday, I started Mission 8-1 before Dynamis, then met up with Ana and Yobun and Wendell at Quicksand Caves to fight 2 Krakens. Then on Friday, it was Mission 8-2, where we met up at the Temple of Uggalepih to kill a Doll there.

Saturday morning, I picked up Mission 9-1, and headed off to the Valley of Sorrows and then Xarcabard to collect some items, then Yobun, Ryken, and I helped Lalandra with her Orc NM in Davoi for Windurst 8-1. Anastasia arrived, and we headed to the island in Batallia Downs that you get to through the Eldieme Necropolis. There we had to fight two greater birds, but we let one despawn.

Then on to the final mission, which included a BC fight in Qu'Bia Arena. So Yobun, Ana, Wendell and I made the long trek back to Fei'Yin, and handily defeated the swarms of Orcs. We had a bit of help from Prince Trion on the final three, but we could have done it without him...

And so my two weeks of running errands for the Royals was complete. We attained Rank 10, got our San d'Orian flags for our moghouses, and something like 319,000 gil in the process. Not a bad way to spend my "spare" time! I actually enjoyed the storyline quite a bit, and learned a lot more about San d'Orian history. I was a bit disappointed at the conclusion of things though. I had envisioned something with a more important role for Claidie.


New Titles: Fodderchief Flayer, San d'Orian Royal Heir

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