*[75 MNK] ::My announcement when I dinged 75. The next post is the one where I actually recount what happened.
Okay, so now I'm a lot older, and a lot wiser. At the time of this writing, I am a 71 MNK. I still have quite a bit to go until I reach end-game with MNK (I still need 75, which is oodles of EXP away, and I still need to level my WHM to sub for Chi Blast boosts), but from here on out, there are no real surprises.
I've been reading back through my older content, sometimes amused, and sometimes embarrased by what I have found.
I could go back and correct the FAQs I have in this wiki, but I'm too lazy. There's still useful and valuable information in them, as well as information that is still correct. Microsoft is still evil, and MNK/BLM is still a bad combination. However, a lot of it has either been invalidated by updates to the game, or by my own personal experience. This is why I suggest taking all my old wiki content with a grain of salt.
What I would like to do, however, is to go back at certain moments in my history of playing this game, and give you some insight into what really was happening. I also look back at events with nostalgia, and even some pain, so that I can remember how I got to where I am today.
Sure, this sort of talk might sound pretty strange when you consider I am refering to a virtual persona inside of a video game. But when you consider this video game has driven me for 2+ years now, it no longer seems so strange. I will also undoubtedly write up something once I finally quit the game at that distant point in the future.
Anyway... enough ramblings... Let's get down to the recollections:
"Back in my day..."
..ramblings of an "old-timer"
Here are things that I love to share with all the "new"(ish) players that complain about something being too hard, or taking too long. Invariably, I wound up doing most things back when they were harder, back before patches and updates make them easier to do.
This was actually fixed within 5 months after I did it, but it used to be that the drops for the subjob quest (Magicked Skull, Damselfly Worm, and Crab Apron) were quite rare. The Crab Apron was always easy to get because you leveled off the crabs, but both the skull and the worm took forever. In my particular group, it wound up taking us 18 hours to get only FOUR SKULLS! Later, when we helped Trix with his, we managed to get [3 skulls] in under an hour.
Yet another example of how hard drops used to be to get. When I got MNK to 25 I needed to run around and get my Kazham airship keys. My Gelsbah drop was relatively quick, but Giddeus took me nearly 5 days. Later on, Valsery and I spent an entire evening trying for two keys in Pal.Mines. I don't recall exactly how long it took, but it was easily 4 hours at least.
how I came to meet with my best friends in the game
Often I didn't have the foresight to capture the first moments with someone who would eventually become a very good friend of mine. But sometimes I was lucky and managed to get them. Here are some of those "first encounters" I managed to capture.
This is when I met both Drifter and Craigshin. Craig would be kind of an on-again, off-again friend, and Drifter would have large periods of time where things like school took priority for her, but this is where we got our start.
Justin was a good friend from the old ClanAM? days, and this was when his FFXI character "Meretrix" was born. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, this is the only friend's birth I have in my diary.
Meretrix's first trip to the dunes was accompanied by a very hard lesson to learn on fishing in areas that you cannot solo in. What is actually NOT told in that account is that Trix actually ran to what he thought was a GM and started begging for help. This "GM" turned out to just be a Mentor with their Mentor flag up, and couldn't help him at all because he was only level 10-15 as well :-)
Valsery and I made it to 30 at roughly the same time, but we had no idea where to go to seek parties. See, 10-30 there is pretty much a common track that people take to level (Valkurm Dunes -> Qufim -> Kazham), but past 30, the prefered place to seek is in Jeuno (although so many idiots these days insist on adding Garliage Citadel and Crawler's Nest to that track).
Basically, Val and I goofed off for a few hours while we desperately looked for parties. Val even posted his own pictures of it [here], [here], and [here].
Waaay back when, the first really big budget item I purchased was my Ochiudo's Kotes. I bought them at 35 MNK for around 600k (last I checked, they are over 12 mil now). I had taken off 3 months of the game to just farm in the canyon and Buburimu. I primarily logged and fought wind elementals. After 3 months, I FINALLY had enough to purchase it.
Later on, I would do less tedious things to earn my money (for my 40 "ouch" I grew elemental ores, and for my Scorpion Harness I did BCNMs).
Speak of the devil! This is where I got my Scorpion Harness. This is by far my favorite piece of armor to date because finally I have something that matches the "Ronald McDonald? Shoe"-red color of my kotes! Not only that, but it looks badass to boot!
Fuck the gil sellers! This is when I successfully beat the gil sellers on camping Valkurm Emperor. This is also where I got the Emp Hairpin that I wear. This also could technically qualify for a "Back in my day..." post because the NM patch from summer 2005 made the Emperor a totally useless mob for gil sellers to monopolize. I beat the gil-sellers back before this patch.... These days you don't have the sort of competition I had :-)
Back before ToAU?, Sky was the place to level at endgame. Of course, Sky sucked, and I knew this, but it took ToAU?'s alternatives to come out before anyone else did. Anyway, here is when I got sky access.
Throughout the FFXI timeline there have been a lot of patches. Invariably with any patch that changes or tweaks a job people start tossing around the term "nerf". Most of the "nerfs" are not what I would consider real nerfs. RNG, for example, now really behaves like a RNG. SAM no longer can do it's 2 hour ability non-stop. Even still, these changes can be seen in my diary, and it is sometimes funny to go back and see them.
One of the first "nerfs" is sometimes called the "Samurai Nerf". It is also known as the "Dragoon Nerf" and the "Monk Nerf". See, the Samurai's 2 hour ability allows them to chain three weaponskills together in a self-skillchain. It's very cool, and can be quite powerful especially once you get access to the tier 3 skillchains. When the game first came out in the states, however, certain very powerful weaponskills (for MNK, SAM and DRG) would gain so much TP back after their use that the player could effectively string together a nearly infinite number of skillchains. This meant that MNK, SAM and DRG could each do the Samurai's 2 hour ability as often as they wanted. This, was a bug, obviously, and it was fixed (the fix is what is now considered the "Samurai/Monk/Dragoon Nerf" and is generally blamed for the SAM and DRG job popularity drop after the patch).
Well, back before the patch, combinations like MNK/SAM and DRG/SAM were very viable. In fact, /SAM was a great choice for any job past 60. You can see in these posts that I obviously wanted to sub Samurai with my jobs.
Occassionally real life shoves its ugly head into my game. Here's moments where real life was just too real to pass up being mentioned.
In summer 2004 my first wife (of ten years) divorced me. One of the first things I did after I emerged from the ensuing bawling was to delete her fucking character and make my first mule! Hence, Genova was born!
This divorce actually complicated my life quite a bit. It was the reason it took me more than 6 months to get my first job to 30, and was the reason I wasn't able to play for about a month and a half when I moved. During this month and a half while I was gone from the game, my LS was gutted by another player who took most of my friends over to her new LS (ran by someone she was actually cheating on her husband with). I never thought my LS would recover from this, but it eventually did.
Rank 4 was bittersweet for me. Rank 4 mission took us forever to actually get going. We had at least 3 failed attempts before we did completed it. This was because we had no high level help for it, and we were entirely on our own. Finally, when we did it, some disconnection problems from one clan member cost them their rank 4. We actually tried staying around to help them, but they never had a reliable enough connection for the rest of the night and we eventually had to move on.
They were actually quite bitter about it, and later on left the game.