Leves and two NM weapons in one day

I finally crossed paths with Bif yesterday when he actually had some time free and was doing R30s on his PGL27. I was on my LNC23 and so we partied up for some hot R30 leve action (and a couple of R20s I’d already picked up at the counter). We 5-starred the R20s, as I suppose makes sense given a PGL27 can probably solo 5-star R20s. ;) I know my LNC23 can often (but not always) solo 4-stars, and especially if you have a good pool of skills, PGL is often a beast.

After finishing up, Bif and I both had cleaning and such to take care of, but he’d mentioned I should get an NM R25 polearm, so I looked up the details on that for when I got back on later. Apparently it comes from Barometz, the pesky landtrap out past Bloodshore, and the NM is supposedly R36. I toss an /l out to see if anyone in the LS feels like helping me kill it, but no takers (it was fairly sparse at the time and many were probably either busy or away). Bif came back online after a short bit, and I asked him if soloing on my MRD31 had any chance. He wasn’t sure (but expected it’d be tough to pull out a win), so I decided I may as well try (for the hell of it if nothing else). Well, I didn’t die, but I didn’t kill it either. ;) I got it to around 90% or so, but kept coming extremely close to death and was out of healing skills, so turned tail and escaped the fight. I’m not normally one to just up and run, but at least there wasn’t anyone else to try and save, and it was definitely not going to die by my hand alone.

Meanwhile, Bif was doing local leves for Limsa and had planned on trying to help out with the fight (he’s got R50s, so it’d be stupidly easy for him). Unfortunately he also usually raids Sundays, but fortunately (for me), it looked like he wasn’t going to be needed and so probably wouldn’t have a spot that day. Coming back from turning in his last leve at Iron Lake, we partied up and he took Barometz out like it barely existed (and I hit it a couple of times, hehe). Crimson Lance 1/1, lol. Supposed to have a ~15% drop rate according to YG (though it’s calculated based on people running the Updater, so who knows what it really is, but it sounds about right), and Bif took five or six tries to get it himself the day before. So yay Lucky Kitty. ^^

Bif then decided that we should get my MRD the R35 axe. I figure why not, so off we go to the stream near Humblehearth… to fight some sort of giant hog-god. x.X Okay, it only felt like a hog-god, but it’s an R47 NM and it’s a hog (bad experiences there from running around Coerthas), and I was doing about 150 damage from Raging Strike+Trunksplitter IIs. Bif was great effectively soloing the thing (I did some damage, but also gave it TP, so that probably evened out), and I tried to do my small part to help toss cures and such his way. I never timed the fights, but they probably took us 4-6 minutes each, and it took quite a few tries to get the axe to drop. We got plenty of vegetables and rings, though. After the first few tries, some people Bif knew showed up to get another drop from the NM (a belt for their ARC), so we teamed up. After that, the pig died much faster (we had a full party, most of which was probably R50), though it still took a while. After around 7 total kills, I think, the belt dropped. After a couple more kills, the axe finally dropped (to the ARC’s loot list, hehe, but things are easily transferred to someone else’s pool). After a minute, the NM popped right on top of us, so we fought it one last time (apparently to see if a belt would drop for me), and… and… ANOTHER AXE?!?!?! lol. I already had my axe, so the drop system decided to throw another in my loot pool. XD Luckily someone else wanted one, so I tossed it over to him and we parted ways. Interesting times, though it reminded me of the “good old days” of FFXI NM camping, though at least here the respawns are quick (most are either every 5 or 10 minutes, as opposed to hours).

We capped off the evening with finishing up a quest we both had nearby. Yay new shoes (in two ranks). Now I just need four more MRD ranks to use the axe (without breaking it really quickly). ^^

d/c {Thanks for the offer, but I’ll have to pass}

Ugh, last night was Super Happy Fun Times (by which I mean sucked) >.<. I picked up a few R20 leves for Horizon to get LNC some SP, went out there, got one 4-star leve done, then started the next 4-star leve and... I wasn't engaging one of the assassins. o.O My connection icon was still green, but I wasn't doing anything to the mob. Eventually the icon went red and I was booted, but for a little bit there it all looked fine. Of course, I come back online and was dead (so at least one of my commands went through to the server and I proceeded to stand there like an idiot getting destroyed by two R34 mobs). ; ; And as I was no longer flagged as on the leve, my only option was to Return to my HP (luckily it’s Ul’dah, but still). I got back on when I was allowed, but then got d/ced again pretty quickly. >.< So I gave up and played some TF2 instead. :\ It looked like either SE's servers were having an issue or something in the route from me to them was, because I couldn't get to support.na.square-enix.com, either (but I could get to some of SE's other servers like square-enix.com). Hopefully tonight goes a little better, since I really want to get working on LNC again (well, all my jobs, but LNC is a nice stabby job). :)

GLA21

I polished off getting my GLA to 20+ last night, and it was surprisingly easy: I did a 1-star cactuar leve (because it’s cactuars), then did a 2-star ladybug leve which went really easily, so I did a 3-star leve (the imp+firefly duos) and that went pretty easily, as well. That got me from barely 19 to nearly 20, so I killed some random mobs in the Horizon area to hit 20 and then went to Limsa to pick up more R20s for Bloodshore (figuring that it’s the least likely to give me marks instead of gil, and indeed it shouldn’t give any marks anymore now that my MRD is over 30 and therefore isn’t supposed to do R20 leves anymore (doing so would have the leve yell at me several times and not give much bonus SP or indeed much SP at all)).

At Bloodshore I did a 3-star imp leve which went easily, so I decided to really get in trouble and do the landtrap leve as 4-star (at GLA20!). The first cluster of mobs was a R29 landtrap and four or five R19 beetles, and I was able to make short work of them all. The second cluster, however, were all R29 (the accompanying mobs were ladybugs now), and I was one Circle Slash away from killing the ladybugs (I had already gotten the landtrap down) when I finally succumbed to my injuries (several did Spoil at the same time, and that always hurts) and died. I was able to Return and head back and polish them off easily, though I did miss out on my time-based bonus SP. I also did the dodo leve as 4-star which I expected to be trouble, but even the trios of R29 dodos weren’t a match for me (Circle Slash is nice for damaging them all at once, which I’m sure helped a lot), hardly damaging me before they died. o.O Between the 11 dodos to kill (at nearly 280SP each) and the bonus SP, I made it over 2800 into R21 after that.

R21 taken care of (and 4-star leves proving to not be all that difficult), I decided to try and solo behest since the battlewarden was right there. That proved to be more difficult, specifically the R30 bomb trios (which usually we just a little too tough, leaving one nearly dead when I would die). With two of those trios and a pair of R30 elementals at the end that I decided (stupidly) to try while weakened, I died three times, incurring some nice massive damage to my gear.

I also tried fighting the imperials with an LS-mate, which was going well (the imperial ranged R20-30 and he was CON48, doing 2700-damage AoEs to large groups of them >.>), but then he d/ced and I was overwhelmed by the constantly-refreshing imperials and ended up dying (as MRD31, but there’s a lot of imperials and MRD is kind of weak at this point). It was still fun, though. ;)

ARC21

My ARC is now up to 21, meaning my only sub-20 DoW/DoM jobs are GLA16 and the staticked THM06. I’m reasonably close to 22 for Quickstride, so plan on knocking that out before likely moving back to GLA to get it to 20+ (and then to either LNC or MRD for further ranking).

ARC is reasonably fun, but it’s still annoying to have to carry around ammo and pay for ending up missing (sometimes several times in a row x.x), despite ammo stacking to 999 (which still runs out rather quickly). I’d been SPing (solo, as usual) with R1 warped arrows since they’re cheap (2 gil each) and there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference in the stats on arrows. When I decided to go try to do some leves on ARC (in Gridania for maybe getting marks), I first stopped off at my retainer that had iron arrows on her so I could try those and see what the difference was between R1 and R23 (granted, at R21 so I wouldn’t get the full benefit). It looks like I was doing maybe 20-30 damage extra on normal shots (160-170 instead of 140 or so), so there’s a difference but I’m not yet convinced how much that difference is worth as far as gil goes (not sure how much iron arrows go for because nobody was selling at the time — other than one person selling them at 600 gil each (yeah, right), but other nearby arrows seem to be 30-40 gil each, or 15-20x the cost of the R1 arrows). I’ll probably check in from time to time and maybe use a stack of R21- arrows so I get the full benefit and see just how much faster I can kill things (and with how many fewer arrows). It’s not that I want to not spend anything, but especially when I’m soloing, I prefer to be cost-effective and it’s worth a few extra shots to save quite a bit of gil (I run through probably about a stack of arrows in an hour’s grinding, so 2K gil for R1 arrows and 30K+ for rank-appropriate arrows).

I did learn that Raging Strike is a very useful ability, though I’d prefer it to be like Bloodbath where it only gets used up by a successful attack since I’ll use Bloodbath+Raging Strike+Puncture as one of my healing methods and if I miss the first time I’m left with only Bloodbath active (which is something, but Raging Strike usually seems to add around 50% to my damage total, which can be 100-150 damage depending on luck and mob choice). I wonder if it’s worth stacking LNC’s Ferocity on there, though when Ferocity is showing as a 60-sec timer and other jobs mean higher timers, I’m not sure if I’ll end up with something like a 70-80-sec timer, which would throw off my flow (though I suppose I could alternate B+RS and B+RS+F if I had to, but at what point is it not worth the 3 action points to equip the skill?).

Rank 30 and all out of jobs

I’ve been doing leves with various people in the LS the past several days (mostly Novek and Kilei), and have now managed to get MRD to R31 (part of that was the 19K SP reward from the R30 companion quest that Novek and I did today, though o.O). I’ve also gotten LNC to 22, and brought ARC from 0 to 17. I’m officially out of DoW/DoM jobs to start; unfortunately, a side effect is I’m also nearly out of inventory space.

I don’t know if SE expects us to only really level one job at a time (defeats the purpose of setting other jobs’ abilities on your action bar) or to store extra equipment on retainers (for the $1/mo extra charge and either having good equipment mixed in with stuff queued up to sell or having a retainer acting solely as a Mog Safe) or what, but I like being able to switch as necessary and don’t want to mix in my gear with other stuff on my retainers, so it all lives on me. I try and share equipment as much as possible among my jobs (within reason, trying to strike a balance among stats, aesthetics and number of pieces), but there’s only so much you can really do there.

With having a couple of LSmates to do leves with (and it seems like our paths cross reasonably often), hopefully my MRD will continue to level at a reasonable pace. And hopefully my LNC can start, as well, since I had been doing R20s with Kilei (but since Ul’dah leves love to give me PGL marks, it’s a choice between getting SP on LNC and SP and marks on PGL — though I still try and avoid getting on PGL with it technically still being staticked). At least LNC can solo reasonably, unlike my pesky GLA. >.< But hopefully that'll be able to get to 20-22, as well (just with more effort). There's useful abilities on all jobs, but it does seem like 20 or 22 are good levels to get to at a minimum.