Archive for November, 2009

Today and tomorrow mark the Fourth Anniversary of my obtaining Sky access and entering into endgame officially. On November 16, 2005, I spent two hours in Lower Jeuno shouting to form a party to finish Zilart Missions 6 through 12. The following day I was pearled for the now-defunct ObscuraNox endgame linkshell.

That decision changed my viewpoint on the game forever. Was it for the best? At the time, probably. I’d long wanted to experience endgame, but it burned me out after 7 months. I guess one can only spend so much time in The Aery never fighting anything before he decides he wants no part of it.

Do I consider myself an endgame player? Ringthree of “You Are Not Your O’s Kote” describes an endgame player in his “On the Cheap” series as the following:

You have to really be an end-game player. I am not expecting you to have every title in the game, and have done ever mission everywhere, but I do expect you to have done main story-line content. This should be a goal of an end-game player at the very least. Zilart should be finished up to at very least Sky, CoP should be finished up until the end, and Aht Urhgan up until the end. If you don’t have these, or at least most of it and trying to get to the end, then you aren’t an end-game player, you are just lazy or your are just making pretend.

By that definition I am one. I also do Dynamis twice a week, Limbus once a week, have a Nyzul Isle static, a Sky LS, an Einherjar LS, and have done Salvage in the past. My social LS also does some sort of endgame-related content on Sunday mornings. My inventory is also clogged with various rare/ex items that drop from Internet Dragons and the like.

So why do I continue to gravitate towards endgame content? Because there really is no end to it. EXP and merit parties do have a means to an end: achieving x level or x amount of merits. While one can always level all jobs to 75 and spend the entire rest of his life reconfiguring their merits, eventually he’ll end up 43,999/44,000 EXP and 10/10 merits and 9,999/10,000 limits on all jobs with the max amount of merit points spent. At that point, what can they do? Events ranging from campaign battles (/shudder), Dynamis, sky, sea, and all the other endgame content that will usually result in at least one death, thus producing the need to continue building up EXP.

I guess I’ll always have the lingering feeling to do endgame as long as I play FFXI. Do I consider myself “better” than those who don’t? Probably one on level. But I do respect those who exist in the game without doing any sort of endgame. Different things to different people.

As for me, though, I will continue doing endgame things while leveling jobs to increase the versatility of my role in endgame.

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I’ve gotten the 2 best pieces of relic for Blue Mage in the body and the back; however, the learning spells thing kinda still sticks with me as to whether or not I want to take it to 75 right now. I’d feel a bit left behind if I did a bunch of Level Sync parties and got way behind on spells, having to go back and get them again instead of going at my own pace and FoV/soloing them where I could.

This sort of thing got me thinking the other morning about some of the gear I’ve picked up in recent months: Gnadbhod’s Helm, Byakko’s Haidate… haidate… haidate… At present, the only job I have that can use the coveted haidate is Bard. While it’s awesome for Lullaby recasts, the recast timer on Ballads for Pianissimo, and for achieving a large amount of haste for solo, it’s still through-and-through a “DD first” piece in numerous cases. The ugly WS hat isn’t too huge as my existing jobs all use it for weaponskills, but DRK, PLD, and BRD all can equip the prized Hecatomb Cap for weapon skills, which may eventually find its way into my inventory. So, that would bring me down to using it for Death Blossom and physical BLU spells. But what other job can benefit most largely from Gnadbhod’s Helm? The only one that immediately comes to mind is Samurai. Yukikaze, Gekko, and Kasha are single-hit weaponskills, and the Shura Zunari Kabuto only has 5 STR and 5 accuracy on it compared to 6 STR, 4 DEX, and 8 attack. Not to mention that 2 of the SAMs in my LS give me grief in good spirits for having it, lol.

While SAM is very much the present bandwagon job, I have long thought it would be a fun job to level solely based on the high TP gain it possesses. While I first considered it back in the old dual-wield era, the dark age when Hagun was cheap, now having taken it to 37 and played around as DRK/SAM a lot and been around several for most events, I rather like it. I’m mostly prepared support job-wise, just lacking 12 levels on DRG and 36 on RNG.

I think part of the reasoning for wanting SAM as my “heavy DD” vs. DRK is that for the things I use DRK for (Nyzul Isle, occasional Dynamis), I’m always /NIN, which slows TP gain from the incredibly high-delay weapons. SAM, however, can go /NIN without sacrificing Hasso and Seigan, which is quite nice.

I already have a fairly decent WS build for great sword WS on DRK and PLD, so migrating it to SAM shouldn’t be difficult. The only thing that might not be fun is a lack of Polearm merits for Penta spam. Ah well, thus is life ’til SE raises the cap on combat merits. At least I can skill Polearm to 200 as PLD fairly easily.

Of course, the real sticking point that may not be one is the two Yagudo NM drops: Ochimusha Kote and Sarutobi Kyahan. I could buy Ochiudo’s Kote and Fuma Kyahan in place of them, but those’re quite expensive and I like rare/ex shinies. I think that I could go without the kote and get Horomusha Kote instead for a whole 5 less attack, but 3% haste on the feet combined with Hasso is quite nice. Maybe I should bide my time in Castle O. instead of Korroloka hunting random rare/ex NM drops…

Once I get off my duff and buy an appropriate GK and get my SAM gear off a mule, I may head out into the wilds of FoV as SAM/DNC to see how far I can get. If I can get to 50 easily, I’ll hold it there ’til my LS does another Soboro run. Or I’ll do Penta spam til 60, then skill GK back up and pick up a Daihannya and Yuki everything in my path til Gekko and Kasha.

All seriousness aside, I think part of my reasoning for wanting to do SAM now is all the accuracy gear I’ve accrued, the fact I switched to Rajas from Tamas, and the fact that I’ve been interested in Samurai history for a very very long time. Now just to figure out how to wedge its gear in my mog safe…

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Last night…

chapeau-drop

And then 5 minutes later…

chapeau-obtain

I am one very happy Red Mage right now.

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