Thursday evening, most of the linkies were partying with various jobs and levels. This gave me the opportunity to work on some of these AF quests piling up. Galb logged on and we talked briefly about the overall list, then started prioritizing a few things to be able to cross them off one by one.
First one we decided on was Galb's NIN AF boots, which give him faster movement speed at night. That's a fun piece, so we headed to Sea Serpent's Grotto to kill stuff en masse. Galb accidentally popped an NM he didn't know was there. I had run ahead, and dropped to a lower section of the Grotto, unable to assist. After dying and waiting on a Raise 3 from Sorjorn, we re-popped & killed the NM, and got back on task.
We wandered a bit in the Grotto to find which area the coffer key-dropping mobs were, and then we got to work. They were easy kills, so the usual PLD & DRG combo worked well. I pulled some nice Vorpal Blade numbers, which has been becoming more frequent as my gear and level are reaching peaks of late. After about 45 minutes, the coffer key dropped.
I needed to go AFK for a little while, so I parked Drac in a corner whilst Galb hunted up his coffer. He acquired his Ninja Kyahan and thus one list item was complete.
Next up, I figured we could hit the Bird Cage (Castle O) for my RDM body armor. The Yags there are something of a pain in the ass at times, so together we could pull it off. I went DRG75 and Galb went BLM75. We both had lost our buffer (buffer= enough EXP to keep from de-leveling if you die) due to raids and Dynamis, so killing some higher-level mobs could win that back. We didn't get the chance.
I called my Adventuring Fellow, Liabelle, on the first mob. Galb followed suit. I like having a little extra firepower, and Liabelle has been leveled to 63 thus far. She hits pretty hard, and skillchains nicely using Polearm Weaponskills. Unfortunately for Lia, but great for us, the coffer key dropped on the second kill. For those who don't know, Castle O never seems to drop a key that easily, at least in my experience, and I've been here many a time.
Went ahead and pulled a few more, being that we had our NPCs (the Adventuring Fellows) out. Next thing I know, a Beastmaster level 58 was pointing at a Treasure Coffer repeatedly. Seems he was trying to draw our attention that direction so we could open the big door for him. He was doing Genkai 3, and needed past all these Yags. We obliged, killing the mobs in the way and opening the door. Sure enough, the coffer was just sitting there untouched. A quick Warp 2 from Galb and I was swapping to Red Mage.
Fast forward about 20 mins of travel time, and I was back at the top of the castle. A few mobs now in the way again, so we went with a strategy of Sleepga, open the box, and both Warp. It worked, though Galb did get smacked around a few times, and lost a lot of HP before narrowly escaping. Warlock's Tabard acquired, and the list grows shorter.
I changed back to Dragoon again, and we made for Ifrit's Cauldron. IC is a volcanic nightmare some days, due to some fairly unpredictable mobs, who can be lethal when they're in a bad mood. Bomb-type mobs who Self-Destruct, crippling your HP and usually leaving you dead, bees who use a suicidal Final Sting in a last-ditch effort to take you with them, and all the magma you can shake a stick at. Fun place.
Galb and I ended up teleporting to two different spots in the jungle leading to IC, so I made it there before he did. I ran into a couple old friends and spoke with them while waiting for Galb to catch up. He zoned in far away from me, so I just crossed my fingers and impatiently started soloing a few monsters. I had Super Jump to escape Self-Destruct, and I wasn't going to try any bees.
Penta Thrust, my five-hit Weaponskill, does anywhere from 1100 to 1400-plus on Bombs, which is a treat. Unfortunately for my e-peen, but great for us, the coffer key dropped on the third kill. Hmm, that's interesting. That just doesn't happen in Ifrit's Cauldron much, if at all. Hell, we hadn't even met up yet, and I already had his key. He got the key and found the coffer while I walked out of IC, and he Warp 2'd me home once more. That's three items nixed. (But another NPC call wasted. Sorry, Liabelle.)
By this point it was time for Galb to retire for the night, so he logged off and I headed to the Crawler's Nest. I was perhaps getting sleepy or just had been too long, but I couldn't seem to find where the coffer key-droppers were located. Took me a good half hour or more of wandering before I finally saw some that were alive. Seems I was being tricked somewhat by two groups who were killing them all off. That's why I couldn't find them. I laughed at myself a bit and prepared to drudge through some soloing. Once again, the coffer key dropped on the third kill. "What a stroke of luck," I thought to myself.
I ran back to Jeuno, which took a short while, but I didn't want to Warp back to San d'Oria just yet. I set my Home Point in Jeuno and swapped to White Mage. Upon entering Crawler's Nest again, I found the coffer at the last of the roughly 8 places it could be. That might sound like it'd annoy me, but it's actually the easiest place for the coffer to be, because no mobs spawn near it to aggro you while you receive your treasure. Healer's Pantaloons acquired.
The night held one more possibility for me to do alone. My RDM AF gloves are located in the Eldieme Necropolis, a dreadful-sounding place that can certainly live up to its name. Growing up a Paladin, however, my undead-killing nature has left me with little fear of the afterlife-dwellers. For Artifact gloves, there is a fun advantage I have, which applies to every job I get gloves for: the "Old Gauntlets" you have to find in the coffer are a Key Item, which means I don't have to be on RDM to open the box. While for many this means farming a key and opening the coffer without having to warp, for me it meant "change to Thief."
I headed to what some of us players call "Helldieme" for obvious reasons, and knew that this could be tricky. You see, there are walls that are on a patterned arrangement, meaning someone else in your party has to flip a switch in order to alternate the doorways being open and closed for clear passage through the Necropolis. Without people in the zone, I feared I would be stuck for the evening and have to come back when I had assistance. Nevertheless, I took a quick run around the outer portion of the zone, taking whichever doorways were unobstructed.
Sure enough, in the very first coffer spawn of the first open area I came to, I see the Treasure Coffer. At this point I'm thinking to myself, "This is almost too easy." One Dark Stalker mob was meandering around the room, so I cast Sneak on myself and stood next to the box. The mob walked a few steps out of aggro range, and I proceeded to pick the coffer (great Thief skill by the way). First try, Draconum receives the Old Gauntlets key item.
By this time, I'm figuring I'd better log off quick, before some strange force of fate or balance in the universe realizes I'm having a terrific night and drops a comet on my head or some such nonsense. I'd just completed what sometimes can take a few days in a matter of a few hours. I'm quite pleased.
Friday brings more to do, and I can hardly wait.