After hitting 75, I've so far gained a total of three merit points. This isn't much. In fact, quite the contrary. However, the third came much easier than the first two. I was playing a game on Xbox 360 while sitting in Al Zahbi with my party flag up. Being that I've got two options for a merit party, I got invited to a group as Paladin.
This party went to Caedarva Mire, and I got to see the real merit party form in full effect. I'd previously only seen maybe a chain 8 in XP parties up to this point. That would have been on Colibri, which are damned easy birds which can be chained in the low 60s when they check as Tough to Very Tough, for a nice gain. This merit party however was moving at a quicker clip. We played a total of 40-45 minutes before disband (a tragedy, really) with a gain of around 9K. The second chain of the party was a chain 20, more than twice what I'd seen. I thought this was pretty cool, until the very next chain topped off at 30!
Needless to say, I enjoyed the pace & gain of this party, and on the second-to-last kill, I got my Merit Point.
Also newsworthy: I finally managed to organize a raid to acquire my Rutter Sabatons. This pleased me, and ended up quite cool for a couple main reasons. Firstly, they're among the nicest DD boots in the higher levels. Secondly, for my Dragoon, the Rutters actually go with my ensemble better than I thought they would. I'd like to thank Kasuma, Supergirl, Noodles, Galbatorix, Sodako, and Zooted for making the trip with me and killin' the NM. Here's a pic of the new boots, Encino with me for some NPC-leveling:
Now, my week wouldn't have a dark cloud still looming over it if for one thing. It's unrelated to FFXI, but it's certainly affecting me. My girlfriend bought a Microsoft Zune. This is cool and all, and I'm excited to see how it works. As of now, it's not working yet. To clarify, it's not the Zune that doesn't work, but the PC itself. Microsoft's a little silly in this regard, perhaps, but they insist you download the newest updates for Windows. Well, Windows XP Service Pack 2 has been out for a little while now, but I never bothered to download it. Kind of one of those "if it ain't broke..." scenarios. I update when I need to update, not when they tell me to do so.
Needless to say, trying to install the Zune necessitated Microsoft's little update. No problem, just a little patience to download everything. Wrong. After SP2 was installed, it wreaked havoc on my computer. My PC with SP2 installed reboots every few minutes. This is infuriating after a while, let me tell you. I tried a few ideas and messed around with settings, but to no avail. I ended up booting into Safe Mode and removing Service Pack 2 until such time as a solution can be found. Irritating situation.
Such is technology, I suppose.