I have been trying to get Paladin to 50 so I can do my artifact quests and rid myself of the 4 coffer keys needed to complete PLD AF that I’ve been holding onto for a year and a half. Sadly, my efforts have been stymied by either a lack of refreshers, healers, or just plain terrible parties. This week, I’ve sat with flag up at approximately 800 exp to 48 for three days singularly.

One day I got an invite to a party in Quicksands, a zone I despise due to the spiders’ Sickle Slash as well as the Antica’s Jamming Wave. Furthermore, a search of the zone after the initial invite revealed zero Red Mages or Bards in the zone, so I declined the offer, to which the party leader (who was a DRK/NIN) responded “then why are you seeking?” This player now has a spot on my black list. The next day I got zero invites as no RDM or BRD popped and I went to raise a LSmate then decided to goof off leveling THF. This brings us to last night. After sitting with flag up for a couple of hours, just taking a break to fix dinner, I finally got an invite from a RDM/DRK I saw on seek but didn’t feel like using to start a party. I probably should have declined the invite due to their choice of support job, but I hadn’t gotten a party in 4 days, so I decided I’d take it. Of course, the initial tell was responded with an immediate invite before I could even respond… I thought that sort of behavior ended with Valkurm, but that’s neither here nor there.

As the party’s forming, one member asks where we’d be camping. First choice brought up is dragonflies in Crawler’s Nest, second is Quicksands, which I say no way to. We end up going to the basement of Garlaige Citadel, one of my personal favorite camps because triple-bats and beetles aren’t very dangerous and if you have a competent WHM, the bats’ attack down is a non-issue. I think this camp holds a special meaning to me because I hit 50 and ended up 1 exp to 51 in a really really good party there back in ’04. Anyway, first fight goes by… I don’t get Refresh. I say “ok, guess they need to get warmed up.” Second fight… still none. I’m fed up by this point and say “{Refresh}{Where?}” in party chat. I still don’t get it. Seems the RDM is a little off. By this time they’ve started meleeing, and not once have they cast an enfeebling spell. The puller, fortunately, is competent and is pacing pulls so I can get MP back. Finally he asks the RDM if they have Refresh, they respond they do, so they say to cast it on me. I respond and say what the proper order should be.

After that fun, the most amazing comment comes out of the RDM’s mouth: they ask why I’m curing myself. When I respond that I need to in order to maintain enmity, they say they don’t know anything about PLD. Um, yeah. We eventually end up having 3 beetles link, and manage to kill 2 before I get owned and go down. The BLM, whose only redeeming point was his amusing spell macros, has to be told to pop Manafont and cast Escape. After that I get a raise from a friend of the RDM and we continue on. The puller replaces themselves with a RNG, who pulls at a speed I’m more accustomed to. However, the RDM continues their worthless meleeing and inability to maintain a proper Refresh cycle. This all culminates in a beetle being pulled right as the Refresh I somehow by Altana’s mercy had cast on me wears. I have to burn through Sentinel, Shield Bash, and throw Cure 1s on me every 24s. Needless to say, the mob isn’t dying. The BLM had been replaced with a second WHM by this point, so it seems that the party had enough cure power, correct? Would’ve been correct had the RDM kept Refresh on the WHMs and myself as well. As I’m sitting there fighting for my life, both WHMs run out of MP, and I’m jamming my Cure 1 macro in a vain hope it’ll go off in time, the RDM sits there poking the beetle with their AF sword of lol and nearly full MP. I go down and just homepoint and disband. If the party had been decent, I might’ve stayed up another hour, but instead I homepoint, run back to my Mog House and switch back to RDM. Afterwards, the BLM (who was in the same LS as the 2 WHMs and the RDM) sends me a tell “real nice.” He now has a spot on my black list, as well as that RDM.

I wonder why I even try some days. With tacos at 15k/stack, it’s almost not worth my time or money to put up with such mediocrity. While 15,000g really isn’t that much, it’s enough of a kick in the pants when you’re earning maybe 2k/hr due to failPTs.

I think what really frustrates me to no end is that FFXI has been out for 6 years and every single aspect of party mechanics has been very thoroughly documented. There are very few reasons for someone to totally and utterly fail at performing their appointed task in a party. Perhaps I’m being overly critical of RDMs due to being RDM75, but when you’re past 40 and a job vital to a party’s success, excuses start to run out.

Maybe just using Campaign to hit 50 and throwing exp scrolls at PLD for buffer is the better plan. At least I can study for the Amateur Extra exam or catch up on my huge anime DVD backlog that way. >_>

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