Last night I hit NIN60, and as expected I did it before getting all (indeed any!) of my Azys Lla crystals for 3.0 relic #2 (whichever that will end up being, DRK or NIN). I’ve still got a little bit of spiritbond left on the non-HQ lvl 58 items I’d been wearing before, so I’ll keep those on until I finish the bond and then replace them with the i170 gear, at which point I can start worrying about a “final” glamour I want to use (which I’m still not 100% on, other than I want to base it around the lvl 54 top in currant purple). Next job up? Uh, AST, I guess? I’m not really sure, haven’t thought about it too much with needing to try and work on my gatherers and crafters more.
I’ve also finally gotten around to assigning classes to my two retainers (ROG and FSH) to do ventures with. They’re both up to a whole level 10 and wearing random vendor gear. At some point I could make gear for them to not be beholden to whatever ilvl the stores have and instead do the highest cloth/leather gear available, I just wanted to be lazy to start with and let them go on their highest-tier exploration which required a (very) minimal ilvl/gathering level. We’ll see how long this takes to get them 50+ when hopefully they’ll become useful for what they come back with.
Al finally dragged me through Antitower and Lost City HM for Expert roulette unlock, and since Antitower is a story dungeon that unblocked the storyline and let me finish at least what’s currently available. The grand melee was pretty fun, especially the kickass boss fight (Raubahn certainly doesn’t let his new handicap get him down!). And they gave the WHM some cute chainmail to wear instead of dumb robes or something! :D
I finally went ahead and picked up the 3.0 relic quest again (for DRK) so I could get FATE crystals again — really should’ve done it immediately after turning in the WHM quest, but it wasn’t obvious in the menu that I could even do it and I didn’t poke around much at the time. :\ I only really need 3 from Azys Lla and 2 from Churning Mists to get the second animated relic, and I have 3 extra of one of the areas (don’t remember which) for a third relic, so I’ve already got a decent jump on things just from the attempts for WHM (and sticking around in areas to help friends get their 3). ^^
NIN’s up to 54 now and slowly getting worked up, as (sort of) is AST (which I use in Leveling roulettes when I’m going with someone wanting to do DPS so we get a better queue). Too bad AST usually gets genericized by getting stuck going places like Sastasha, so I don’t get to play with cards at all, much less buffed cards (Royal Road) I got at 35. Need to get out more in Qarn and higher to get a better feel for AST so I can tell if it’s something I want to take all the way or not — I think it is, but need to work with the card mechanics more to be sure (as well as potentially how Nocturnal Sect works for rare cases where I might need to use it).
Over the weekend I continued to work some on NIN (in addition to BTN/MIN in the background — more slowly than I’d prefer, but the stuff I gather only sells so quickly), and I managed to hit 50 (nearly 51) last night through judicious applications of Northern Thanalan FATEs. Unlike some times, it was pretty hopping, with usually somewhere between 1 and 2 groups active, so FATEs didn’t take forever as they might solo. Went from 47 after the final Darkhold of the day to most of the way through 50 in a few hours, then went to get my NIN50 quests taken care of and upgrade my weapon (only base Ironworks for now, but a vast improvement over the level 44 GC weapon!). Luckily they give you myth gear as part of the quests these days, and I had Allagan accessories from BRD, so I got a decent jumpstart on 50+ gear a i90 currently. Need to augment the weapon, unless I end up getting a dungeon drop from Sohm Al or something, which would be better than the base Ironworks.
That shot was from the NIN50 quest, so I hadn’t gotten my Koga/Fuma tops yet, but otherwise is pretty much the gear I’m wearing at the moment (full Fuma). Need to hit 52 (which shouldn’t be far off!) to start working up the ilvls more, as well as get Ironworks accessories to fill out once I’ve built Poetics back up.
On the WHM front, I finally got my dungeons done for Seraph Cane Awoken, so I now have my i200 weapon done and can be depressed about the huge effort involved with the i210 step (all the “unidentified” items and HQ crafts). I’m currently thinking I should work on getting my gatherers and crafters up to try and gather initial mats and generate some income to afford purchasing a lot of the crafted items (something like 5M necessary at the prices I’d seen). I should also start doing beastman tribe quests again, since you can purchase certain “unidentified” items from the various tribes for the “tokens” that they give. Not that it’d be particularly quick to get 1 out of 80 necessary items every day or two or something, but it could at least help provide some variety and offset the dungeons/hunts necessary for purchasing via tomes.
Got two main things accomplished over the weekend: getting my Animated Seraph Cane (first-stage 3.0 WHM relic, technically worse than my upgraded Doman weapon), and unlocking ninja. Azys Lla crystals were a pain though not so bad I didn’t get the three I needed in a single day (did take a lot of the day, though). Got a start on the necessary dungeons to upgrade it to i200, but still need six more dungeons to make it official. Shouldn’t be too terrible, though, especially as I’m on WHM so it’s easy mode for DF (unlike being overly anxious on tank about remembering all the pulls in dungeons I’ve likely only done once ever x.x).
On the NIN front, not only did I unlock it (and get that nice stat boost from having a soul crystal on), but I managed to hit 36 so I’ve got two out of the three mudra and have doubled my available ninjutsu. (“Doubled” instead of “tripled” because I count summoning the bunny the best ninjutsu, and I’ll do it on purpose at times. If only he stuck around longer…. ^^) The NIN quests I’ve taken a bit longer than I’m sure I’m supposed to in order to complete them, but only because I’ve been taking Oboro’s instructions to heart and have been staying away from the various enemies so it’s been a long “kite and kill by ranged attacks” process. But fun when you can kill stuff without getting touched. And more fun watching Oboro be a damn n00b and avoid using his own ninjutsu to cast on the kited mob. :P ROG30 quest was a huge pain, though, and was the first time I’ve ever gotten the Echo buff in normal situations (read: not DFed trials). The detonator portion you have to know which way to go at the start in order to be successful, so I ran out of time once. The next time I went in the right order and got one-shotted by the boss when I returned (thanks for the heals, jerks!). Third time I did it fine since I knew I’d be nearly-murdered and so made sure my HP was full by the time I got in range.
At least so far, I’m enjoying NIN, though I also only have a couple of ninjutsu and one positional WS to worry about. It’ll only get more complicated, so we’ll see how it goes as it gets to 50 and up. I still need to figure out what DPS job to take to 60, whether it’ll end up as NIN or my already-50 BRD (which I’m not sure about adding cast time to, but haven’t experienced it firsthand either) or DRG (which Al curses constantly, but I liked it at 50 so maybe it’s not an issue for me).