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I'm nobody's mule...2004 Jul 1 (Thu), 15:37
Started out nicely working in Bastok at the Goldsmithing guild. Levelled myself up to 13, woot! I then headed to Sandy to work on my WAR. I've been putting off WAR, even though I need it for a sub, because the idea of getting my WAR to 30 (or more) makes me wanna kill myself. But, sometimes we have to do things we're not comfortable with... thems the breaks, kid...

So I headed out and killed me some worms, and even fought Bigmouth Billy a time or two (with lousy drops).

I then broke down and got myself a mule. Hey, my wife(ex, grumble) wont be playing the game any more, so I may as well use that content ID. I'd like you to meet Genova, my Elvaan chick hailing from Sandy.

I would prefer my mule in Jenuo, but getting her there ain't so easy. So she's going to be a homebody, at least for a bit...

Stripped her of everything except for her San d'Orian ring, filled her bazaar with wares, and parked her sexy carcass outside the Southern Sandy residential area.

Sex bomb, sex bomb2004 Jul 2 (Fri), 15:34
Hmmmm... hot Mithra on Elvaan action anyone? Damn, Elvaan women are hot ;-)

I then partied in the canyon with Meretrix. Didn't level him/her up, but managed level up my BLM... DOH!

Just Because2004 Jul 6 (Tue), 17:18
Okay, decent weekend in spite of everything going on in my life at the moment. Started if all off mining and hunting Air Elementals in Tahrongi Canyon. Then took Meretrix and a friend to do the Rank 1, Mission 2. It was a pushover with my 30 MNK/7 WHM. That's really the way to powerlevel lowbies. I then went back and did some gardenning (that beauty turned into a Blue Rock for me ;-)

Soon, it was time for Meretrix to go to the Dunes, so Valsery and I escorted her. At this point, each of us have our own screenshots of the escapade... so I will borrow liberally from theirs...

Here we are heading through Buburimu Peninsula. Man, that was a joy... Trix ain't too good at avoiding things yet (hey, it takes time). We did make it fine to Mhaura and I saw them off. Here is Trix in the cargo area. Valsery took a couple of pictures of the Journey as well. Nothing exciting happenned (unlike my first trip) and they arrived without incident.

Meanwhile, I headed back to Windy to work on my cooking. I also farmed in Giddeus where I saw something pretty funny (and frightenning)...

If you don't already know, Giddeus is a famously nasty place. Newbies tend to get slaughtered in the caverns there, and people higher tend to get destroyed while searching for the keys for the airship pass to Kazham. However, it is also someplace that highbies like to go for farming. High level mages often run through there, chaining low level Yagudos, and then killing them all at once for their gil and drops. Even melee-classes like me tend to get in on the action. This not only earns items and money, it also clears out Yagudos so that the various NMs in the area will spawn. So it is fairly common to see someone chaining a large number of enemies on purpose here.

Well, I saw such a mob train running by, and assumed it was deliberate. However, I noticed that the mob consisted largely of Yagudo Theologists, Votaries, and Priests, all of which are still slightly difficult for me at 30. As soon as I noticed this, the person leading the train was struck dead by the train... It was then I realized that this was NOT ON PURPOSE! I sat there dumbfounded for a moment (you have to royally screw up to get a train that size unless you're doing it on purpose) when it dawned on me that this mob of angry Yagudos would easily kill me! I had barely enough time to dive behind some bushes as they rushed back past me.

So I survived, and I went later on to make some trains of my own... But my trains were MUCH safer ;-)

Meanwhile, Val was giving Meretrix a royal tour of the Sandy area. Soon, they were high enough to meet me in the Dunes to fight.

We didn't last long: Our initial party sucked and we disbanded. Trix went and fought in a couple other bad parties and gave up. But I eventually found a good party. Levelled from WAR14 to WAR16 fighting snips and flies. Even fought alongside Valsery for a bit.

But then our party took a turn for the worse. Valsery died twice when both he and I protested the group pulling Leechers (I'm sorry, you cannot take them on in the levels you fight in at the dunes). We had a high-level n00b (he had a high level PLD alternate character, but this one was new with no sub, and was barking out orders like no one's business) who was a jerk and was the main reason we were fighting gobs at such low levels. Val and I left while we were ahead, and I called it a night. I'm 57 points away from 17, which I'd rather solo than lose it in that crappy party.

Fishing Foo'2004 Jul 6 (Tue), 17:37
I forgot somethings hilarious that happenned in the dunes!

First off, when we were partying with Trix, I guess no one had told him/her to not fish here. So we were waiting for our puller to return with our prey when all of a sudden I hear this "sploosh" sound that indicates someone nearby caught something. Valsery was there, and he says he had just then looked to see Trix with rod out and bent as he/she was pulling up a fish. "Oh no," he told us later he thought, "This can't be good."

Right about now, a message scrolled by saying:
Meretrix has caught a monster!
Trix says that he thought, "Oh boy! I caught something big!" However, a Stag Crab emerged and started whacking on him. We were all level 11-13 at the time, so he had to zone it (which, he actually panicked about and went the wrong way... heheh... newb ;-)

Later, the really good party I was in had a Bogy spawn right on top of our Taru WHM while he was healing.... TWICE! And I do mean right on top of him. It was pretty funny (scarier than hell, but funny).

DRK, BST, BRD2004 Jul 8 (Thu), 15:32
Went a bit Advanced Jobs mad lately.

Started off with more parties in the Dunes. I got a couple of pretty good ones, including one where everyone decided to dogpile inside the Galka. I'm glad I'm here for your amusement.

One party was totally upside-down. All the melees (except for me) were Taru (MNK/WAR, DRK/WAR, RNG/THF) the mages were Elvaan (WHM/BLM and BLM/WHM). Inspite of this odd make-up, the party completely rocked. In fact, the Taru MNK/WAR was actually out-tanking me (Galka WAR/MNK)! I honestly felt something akin to Penis-envy (tank envy?) and felt a bit inadequate. How he was able to do this, I have no clue: He was only eating Meat Mithkabobs like me and his armor wasn't anything special. Regardless, I managed to get WAR to 18.

Once at 18 I decided to head to Bastok to start the DRK quest. I started it and equipped the Chaosbringer and went out whacking stuff.

Now, let me explain the DRK quest for you, in case you don't know it. You get this particular great sword and have to "bloody" it by killing 100 or so enemies. These enemies can be anywhere, and any type. They can be weak, easy, DC, EM, T, VT, IT, or whatever you feel comfortable swinging the sword at. Once you beat 100 enemies, you talk to a guy and get DRK.

Doesn't sound too bad, no? 100 enemies is easy to plow through, right? Well, it can be if your sword doesn't suck. The Chaosbringer sucks. DMG 3 with a delay of 666. Man, this is one crappy sword!

So I headed to North Gusta to try and chain weak Quadavs. Well, I was doing such little damage that the Amythest Quadavs could just keep healing the Quadav I was attacking. So I could never kill them. So I wound up having to zone like 20 Quadavs to Pal Mines because I just couldn't kill the bastards!

The mines! Now there's someplace I could finish the quest! Everything on the first level was weak to me, and the Pit Hares link. So, just provoke one, run around chaining others, and whack away. Hehehe, well, my attack was still so low that I couldn't kill them as fast as they could kill me. So, I wound up having to zone 30 or so angry little rabbits, each hitting me for 0-1 point of damage, because after a half hour or so my HP was down to 65! ARRGH! WHAT A CRAPPY QUEST!

Told my story to Valsery, and he came down from Sandy to help out. All he has to do is cast regen on me and their little bitey teeth wont kill me. It still takes a while because the sword ultimately sucks, but it was quite a sight to see.

After DRK we headed to Jueno to do the BST quest together. There we teamed up on Giants because we could, and waited for 22:00 to hit.

Down at the ledge there were a lot of people waiting as well. The Kraken spawned a bit ahead of schedule (we hadn't even cast Sneak yet!), but a high level MNK took care of him, leaving us to collect the flowers.

After BST, Valsery took me to start the BRD quest. I got the first song, and showed him some logging points around Buburimu, but then was to tired and called it a night.

Bards Tale2004 Jul 12 (Mon), 15:27
Well, I started out by levelling Beastmaster with Valsery. It was actually a blast to see two cute things wail on eachother. Kinda like female mud-wrestling, but without the sexual attraction. I then got disconnected mid-battle, and called it quits for the day.

Beastmaster is really tricky. You can't just play it like you can any other job. There is a lot more technique involved, and I now have a much better understanding of why BST doesn't fit in the general party (I knew before, but now I know first hand the many downsides). BST can be pretty fun to play, and, if you play your cards right, you can earn a lot of EXP even early on. The big problem is it is complicated. You have to know (or learn the hard way) what enemies are easier to charm, what enemies do well against other enemies, and where good hunting grounds are. You will spend a lot of time dying as you try to learn these things.

I then met up with Valsery (see his new outfit? I bought it for him because someone was selling it in a bazaar for like 4000g less than at the AH ;-) and we went to Shak. Maze to get our RSE. We killed stuff, but it was a bit nasty in there. Still, we managed to get me one peice and Val two.

Afterward, I went on to finish up my Bard quest. Sometime soon you'll see me try it out ;-)

Bowling for Tarus2004 Jul 13 (Tue), 15:51
Welp, I finally upgraded my armor. Between the Gigas Bracelets and my Mercenary Captain's Doublet, my -12 ice curse is over! I'm now squarely on zero (with my Wolf Mantle +1). Bring on the Bogies!

So I met back up with Val so we could go back into the maze and get RSE items. We fought various things including one very cranky Labrynth Scorpion. We each got a key, and Val got another Magical Piece, so we headed back to Jeuno for him to get another RSE item.

I was very close to the next level, so I went and solo'd some things. In Buburimu I saw some truely big fish in the ocean. Yikes!

Later, Val and I teamed up to hunt the Valkurm Emperor, but only succeeded in stopping some gob trains from killing hapless lowbies. We then headed to Gusgen to get more RSE keys (because we've heard it was easier there) and killed ourselves a Tremor Ram for the hell of it.

I hadn't been back to the Gusgen Mines since I got my Magicked Skull for my subjob quest... And I still didn't have a map! Neither did Val, for that matter. But we went in regardless.

I hadn't ever been too deep in the mines, so I had no idea what to expect. Needless to say, I was pretty freaked out. We saw ghostly apparitions and heard scary sounds (shreiking, cackling, etc.) We fought the things that were supposed to drop keys like Sadflies. But got an aggro Jelly that we had to zone for. When we returned to the mines, we found a dead body from someone who had been killed by the Jelly. The person was apparently AFK and had left his char near the entrance to sell items. Why he did this was beyond me, but it did get him killed.

We went in deeper and killed some Bogies and Doogs. Deeper inside we found more freaky areas, saw bodies hanging from the ceiling, and heard horrible sirens. Geez, it was way more intense than any other area I'd ever been to. In spite of everything we fought, and spending 2+ hours in there, we didn't get one blasted key. Sure, the area was easier to survive than Shak. Maze, but my hell, it was sure harder to get keys from!

Vis Maior: Giant Killer2004 Jul 14 (Wed), 15:30
Started out repairing fishing poles for fun and profit. Then found out Valsery was 700tnl, so decided to tag along and help him get it.

We went to Qufim and fought stuff like Giants. Lots and lots of Giants. It was a freaking blast. And they gave decent EXP. We event went inside Defklut Tower to fight Gatekeepers and Guards. Val levelled up in no time.

Man, would you look at the arms on these things! I think that one was trying to kill me with his B.O.

Rabao2004 Jul 15 (Thu), 15:26
Started off the day in Jeuno and saw someone who had gotten a mule there. If you recall, I tried to do the same for Genova, but had no success. I then decided to head my way to Rabao (since I'd never been) and do some farming along the way.

Killed some Goobbues and Malboros in Pashhow for their items. Also got a Water Elemental. Even though they all conned as "Easy Prey" they were still pretty difficult. The Water Elemental nearly killed me, in fact. If I hadn't had enough TP at the end for one last Combo, he woulda got me. Same for the Lightning Elemental, which dropped three clusters (woot!)

I then made my way into Korroloka Tunnel. Was aggroed by a Jelly, but managed to outrun it until it forgot about me. Stupid Jelly.

Once in Altepa I, of course, had no map. So I ran around scared shitless for a bit until Valsery came on and talked me through where I needed to go to get to Rabao. Man, there are some scary things in that place. The Sabotender Rapido really freaked me out when he went zipping by a couple times. Good thing he doesn't aggro.

I finally did make it to Rabao and bought myself a full set of maps. After exploring the town and talking with the locals (man my fame sucks there, I need to do more Sandy quests) I headed back out to meet up with Val in Korroloka. We fought some spiders but then I started feeling ill and had to call it a night.

Beat Back2004 Jul 19 (Mon), 16:00
Started out working on Beastmaster a bit. Here I am in my lowbie BST garb. Nice hat, no? Soon, Valsery came on and we got him the DRK quest. While he did DRK, I went and looked for the Monument in N. Gusta. Of course, I was looking in totally the wrong place, but didn't know that. While I was looking, I was levelling DRK as well.

After that, I took Val to Rabao. There we fished.... a lot. But soon we had to death warp back to town. So, we each switched to a job we didn't care about, me RDM, and him BRD, and we headed out to find something nasty to kill us. Val cast a few Bard Songs so we could pwn the bad guys. Soon we found a helpful Cactuar more than willing to give us our death warp. He did some 200 points damage on me and an equal ammount on Val. Hmmm... I thought we had him?

Back in Bastok I finally figured out where to go for the monument in N. Gusta. Man, what a pain. Then Val and I went globe trotting looking for parties. Neither of us had partied past 30, so we honestly didn't know where to go. We saw people our levels in Sea Serpent Grotto, so we went to Kazham for a bit. Eventually, we gave up and headed back to Jeuno. There I slapped Valsery for suggesting we even go to Kazham. Not really. We actually goofed off and made a bunch of joke macros inspired by this animation.

The Good, The Bad, and The Uglly2004 Jul 19 (Mon), 16:52
After Val's and mine failure at finding parties post 30, I managed to get myself a whole string of them. The thing that was the most interesting was that all of the parties were pretty good, we were getting good to great EXP, but they varied across the range of good parties. Let me see if I can explain what I mean.

The first party actually went back to Sea Serpent Grotto to fight Ironshells and Ghasts. This party consisted of 3 japanese mages (SMN/WHM, WHM/BLM, BLM/WHM) and 3 american melees (MNK/WAR- me, NIN/WAR, NIN/RNG). The party freaking rocked with EXP. We got mad, insane EXP/hour rates. We killed nothing but IT with High Defense and Evasion and yet we were able to chain those mofos because we all knew our place and had helpful macros. Unfortunately, the language barrier meant that it was also a pretty boring party.

The second party wenty to Garl. Citadel to fight Siege Bats and Beetles. This party had two mages (RDM/WHM, SMN/WHM) and the rest were melees (MNK/WAR- me, NIN/WAR, DRK/WAR, THF/NIN). Realistically, we should have been fine. But we weren't. The party didn't communicate well, no one had any helpful macros (there were plenty of times when the puller came back with a nasty mob without giving us any warning), and the THF/NIN had an ego the size of Texas.

This was not my first encounter with a past 30 THF, and I knew all about SATA and was fine to have them SATA against me. However, this was my first time encountering a THF with such an attitude. Man, gain the ability to pull off a 200 point damage attack once in a while and suddenly you think you're God's gift to Vana'diel! Don't get me wrong, I think SATA is a great freaking attack, and I'm not complaining about it, but understand you aren't the only damage dealer. MNK may not have one big attack like that (well, we do with Backhand Blow), but our smaller, faster, more consistent hits easily match the damage of SATA over time.

So what was the problem? The problem was we were in a crowded area, the tank wasn't voking correctly, and the THF had no macro indicating he was setting up for SATA thus expecting me to be a mind reader. So, what happenned more than once was that either the tank was about to die, or the mob was going after the healer, and I voked to save someone as the THF was getting ready to SATA. This, of course, made the THF so very upset that I wasn't freaking psychic and know he was ready to SATA and the freaking asshole chewed me out.

So fine, fuck him. I stopped doing that, and, while his SATA did work more often, our tank died 3 times and our mage twice! I'm sorry, the downtime while looking for raisers was far worse than the THF missing a SATA or two. Even still, we did get decent experience, but the party was still pretty bad due to how dysfunctional everyone was.

The last party was probably the best party of the day. It was the most enjoyable, and had really good experience. The EXP/hour was probably not as good as the first party, it was better than the second, but the real great thing was how well everyone worked together and had fun. The party was heading to Altepa, so I had to Choco to bastok. Here we are in Altepa. We fought Sand Beetles and asside from having a very hard time keeping hate, we did really well. Everyone was cool, and the THF asked first before trying to SATA off me (I really don't mind, I have massive HP so I can do it, but if you are going to do it, I would prefer if you asked first). The THF (Kyf, a Mithra) knew her stuff. She realized that SATA was really only a part of the whole battle, and that keeping members alive was more important than pulling it off every time. She also knew about the SATA+Backhand Blow effect, so was willing to work with me to coordinate our attacks for even more damage (200 pt damage SATA plus 200 pt damage Backhand Blow equals one dead mob).

We went up two levels, and only had a couple of deaths at the end when we fought a Dhalmel and were all too tired to really perform well. I died and the WHM died. It was cool tho, as the BLM went to Rabao and came back as a 25 WHM to raise us. While I was dead my corpse was desecrated. Yes, that's right, try to position yourself in a funny way in the dead Galka. Of course, I really don't know who has the worse end of the deal here. And when I raised, our positions almost looked pornographic.

Bite my RSE2004 Jul 19 (Mon), 18:08
So now that I'm 34, I can take stuff in Shak. Maze easier. So Val and I headed back to get more RSE. My focus was really on getting him his since he can actually use it now (mine will be useless until I get DRK higher). We fought Scorpions and things and managed to get three keys and one more RSE for Val. We only had to zone once when Val got the magic piece and drew some nasty mobs. Here is a funny shot of the mobs Val was training to zone. Hehehe.

We did come back to get more keys, but wont be able to use it until the next time for our races.

Wound up the weekend by working on Cooking with Drifter, and farming junk with Val.

Scary2004 Jul 26 (Mon), 18:17
First of all, started out with Genova seeing a Mithra Dragoon in Sandy. Way cool. I also had some people harass Genova saying her name was a rip-off of "Jenova" from some earlier FF game. Well, let me assure you that this is the first FF I've played, and I knew nothing of any "Jenova" that came before. I named my character after the city Genova (or "Genoa" to us Yanks). Perhaps had I named her Genoa, there would have been less confusion.

I then had Maior kill some elementals for crystals. I needed water for my synth, but everything was fair game.

I then went to Gelsbah and killed Orcs for fun and profit. Mainly fun. Val joined me and we tried to see just how many we could chain at once. We even found some interesting glitches. We managed to chain so many it became rather confusing at times. We even managed to generate some pretty severe lag which was only made worse as they cast spells on us. We didn't make much money from the run, but it sure was fun.

Later on I went to Qufim for some quests (I desperately needed to raise my fame so I could do certain quests with items I needed). There I saw someone calmly fish up a Sea Monk, kill it, and continue to fish. Made me wanna get in on the action, so I went and killed some of my own on the boat.

Wound up in Windy just as the Summer Festival was starting. Participated in it a few times and got myself some fancy PJs. Genova even got in on the act and went some mighty scary places.

Eventually my fame was high enough to do the Drain scroll quest (for my DRK) so I headed back to Sandy to do it. There I found a really strange glitch while trying to enter the castle. I was basically floating inside the castle, behind the door. I could even walk around to other parts of Sandy inside the walls. It was pretty fun to wave at people from inside the walls.

I did eventually do more festival quests. They were pretty fun (way better than that Easter thing). I wound up going many places, and even seeing high level NMs that would kill my fellow adventurers! I will say that Ifirit's Cauldron was pretty damned freaky. The fireworks were cool and all, but I'll admit I'm beginning to tire of the noise.

I finished up the weekend by farming lizzies in Valkurm while Meretrix finished up his subjob quest. We then sailed back to Windy together. Stupid sexy Flanders...

Fire! Fire!2004 Jul 26 (Mon), 18:27
I took some images of the lava flow in Ifirit's. Here is a still image, and here is some animation.