First thing's first. Noodles had one last piece of Monk Artifact equipment to acquire. The task at hand was to travel to Castle Oztroja, or what I like to call it, the Bird Cage. Castle O is home to a virtual army of bird-like beastmen, the Yagudo. They will (and have) swarm and kill on sight if you're not careful. We're not your everyday visitors, however.
We start the raid of the castle by cutting a swath through their defenses, a bit of a warm-up. Our team:
We were required to reach the top floor of the castle and Noodles had to trade an item to "force-spawn" the NM Yagudo Huu Xalmo the Savage. This enemy is a MNK-type who has many HP and hits often. I have been in the area when other parties try and fail at this NM, dropping like flies to its Hundred Fists ability. My group? We didn't have so much trouble.
I neglected to take a screenshot, sadly. However, it's not too amazing a fight. We built up TP on the surrounding Yags and popped the NM. I opened by Provoking it to me, using Warcry to increase our attack power, then my weaponskill Savage Blade. Galbatorix then used Wheeling Thrust, closing a Light Skillchain for our WHMs to magic burst. Banish III and Holy spells were flying, causing even more damage to this unsuspecting bird-brain.
Huu Xalmo took a while to kill, due to the 30,ooo HP. However, a few Skillchains later, we outlasted him, and Noodles was free to complete the quest for his Temple Hose.
After the NM was whipped, I just started randomly attacking more Yagudos in the area. Up at the top of the bird cage, they drop some decent things. So, until we figured out our next plan of action, I started slaying things. Luckily enough, I got a Bard song scroll to drop and Noodles got his Monk's testimony to be used to complete his level cap quests.
So, operation complete, and it was time to head to Jeuno for our 45~ish static party. Sorjorn headed off and the rest of us changed jobs. We headed to Garlaige Citadel, which is always a hit-or-miss affair. We got going with the XP battles and it wasn't too bad, until one thing after another started going wrong. I had picked up a Bard named Sirdiesalot, who's a nice guy, but he was having some issues with his cat jumping on things, spilling drinks on his keyboard, etc. Cats are evil, by the way, but I'll save that for another post.
Eventually, Sirdiesalot was having too many problems and logged off to try to reset things. Noodles, who was playing White Mage, started getting sleepy, so we had to replace him as well. I invited a Black Mage named Ginal, and she headed out to meet up with us. When she got to GC, she managed to aggro a beetle. She continued toward camp, and died just as she reached us. She made some sort of complaint about the Sneak spell not working... to which I replied "Beetles are sight, dear." Orz.
We raised up the BLM after our current mob was dead. Within ten minutes, Ginal up and says her LS calls, and she disbanded and warped. This, ladies and gentlemen, is lame behavior. Taking off with no warning on a party who's been nice enough to invite you and wait for you to show up, then help you off the ground when you screw up and die... gimp.
Other winning replacements:
- Another BLM, who ended up having connection issues, disconnecting on and off.
- A Ranger, who was an old acquaintance of mine and fared decently until pulling linked monsters and getting us all killed.
- A Puppetmaster named Idalis, who was a Rank 10 player (thus I hoped she would know what she's doing) and couldn't seem to grasp the ever-complicated operation that is SATA. For those uninitiated, her role was to "stand in a straight line, behind the mob." I'm going to save a rant on the general population's failure at SATA for another time.
- Second THF, who performed adequately enough, but in light of the overall path of FAIL this party was on, there wasn't much that could be done.
After the party, I went away from the game for a while. When I came back, Sodako and I were the only ones left in TheSolonavi for the night, so we decided to go skill-up Marksmanship. Wasn't terribly exciting, so I won't go into detail, but we made good progress. Was a good idea to cap off the night.
As I write this, it's Monday, May 28th: Memorial Day. I'd like to take a moment to say that despite political affiliation, thoughts on war, or any other military-related topics, it's important to remember a few things. As a US citizen, our military has provided us with the posh, hustle-and-bustle lives we lead. Many US lives have been lost to ensure we had the rights we enjoy and the freedom we take for granted.
Complain all you wish about our government or actions our country takes on the global scale. In fact, I encourage the debate and challenge of authority. These are but a couple of the things that make our country great. We're allowed to think and speak freely.
Today, even if you're not reading this on Memorial Day or if you're not even from the US, take time out to recall and ponder just how much you as an individual are truly dependent on those around you and those "above" you in power. We as a civilization depend on others, and I as an individual acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifices of my country's heroes.