Random Picture of the Day: Cyric looking pretty in his DRG setup and shooting off fireworks before Dynamis-San d'Oria.
First thing I wanted to write a blurb about is my "next project" job. I have geared up Warrior, and that's a fairly adequate and fun choice. However, I've secretly been hoping for and trying for a couple NM drops that would push my MNK forward. I've not been one to want to level Monk in the past, but I've got lots of experience watching friends like Fmtwo, Zooted, Noodles (aka Thatsmypunk), Bloodless, and others beating stuff senseless with their fists.
What does this mean for me? Well, O-kote would be the first and most obvious gear piece. Brown Belt is the other piece I'd want to get soon. These both can be bought, or acquired through the NM and quest, respectively. My skill levels are all pretty much capped for MNK other than Guarding skill (only doable on Monk) and Hand-to-Hand which would obviously grow with levels. In essence, all I'd need is a few main pieces of gear to perform the job well. On a sillier Monk note, I like the way my character model looks in MNK Artifact gear.
Switching gears: The static had a nice weekend, with sessions on Friday and Saturday. We got from 50/51 to 55/56 in the two efforts. Sodako is heartily enjoying his THF AF, having almost reached where his old character was on Thief years ago (59). Galb has grown into Ninja a bit more recently, and is doing a bang-up job keeping things under control. I think we all rejoiced a bit when we got into range of moving to Aht Urghan areas. From here on out it's a fairly straight shot with easy-to-access camps and easier-than-they-probably-should-be targets to kill.
I had been using RDM in static up to 50, but switched to WHM. Not entirely sure of the exact reasons, but I just wasn't feeling like RDM was fitting me yet. I never felt like my performance in the job was really satisfying me. On the flip side of that, WHM has been an enjoyable, somewhat easy ride all along. I love my Regen spells and on most occasions I can keep my party going with Haste and Regen, while keeping my MP at a survivable threshold.
Meriting is going well for the most part. Dungeonwhipper and I probably like Bhaflau Thickets camp killing Greater Colibri the most. These birds reflect magic, but they're somewhat easy to kill for the good amount of XP they yield and their number of spawns/respawn rate. Most of our parties involve me looking for a WHM and a PLD. If I get someone else to play PLD, I get to bust out the DRG. WHM is there for obvious reasons, Haste/healing, and then I just fill with DD to help Galbatorix's DRG kill stuff.
Valion, an old friend of mine, has been going with us on his PLD, which has been great. Allowing us to use two Dragoons versus the birds (who are weak to piercing weapons like Polearm) means we can really let loose. I believe we pulled in 8-9k XP each hour in our last party, and that's without use of Bard, nor any of the generally accepted "burn party" setups.
Monday night, we had two different party attempts. Both of which were somewhat interesting, and only one of which yielded any XP at all. The first experience was made comical by inviting someone who I used to hold in high regard, in order to help him regain his lost level 75NIN. He's still an overall good guy and a decent (if not quite good) player. However, he rubbed me the wrong way (didn't think there was a wrong way to rub me, did you?) in his partying etiquette. He questioned my choice of camp, took it upon himself to try and tank instead of our PLD, etc. These things weren't horrid offenses by any means, but the bottom line is: if you want to run a party, go make one yourself. He did bring along a Bard, who was a mutual friend anyway, and we did pretty good chains of XP on Hilltrolls at Mount Z.
Later in the night Valion, DW, and Galb were out for the night. I tried to remake a party with Sodako, Encino, Zooted, and a couple of ... well, what turned out to be a couple of goofballs. The Thief was high as a paper kite, and hyperactive as all get-out. The Dark Knight we invited didn't have most of the Staging Points to travel to camp, and also was having his internet shut down for maintenance at an undetermined time, so it was "interesting" that we were chancing it. Long story short, we stood around for a while debating camp, then somehow started listening to the stoned kid and were heading out to the Colibri camp.
Sodako and I suddenly came to our senses (having been mostly laughing it up watching this all unfold) and realized that with a Black Mage (Encino) this was going to be a fairly dumb idea. Greater Colibri reflect magic, duh. So we backtracked once or twice moving to new camps before I finally couldn't handle it anymore. I advised that the DRK get his Staging Points soon and I'd be happy to re-invite him, and advised the THF to sober up before trying to mess up a party with me again.
Overall, we laughed it off as comedy, but my good mood I'd been riding all day eventually gave out. I just don't have the patience for willingly wasting a party of six's time, effort, money, and Imperial Standing (points used on Sanction, Runic Portal warps, etc). Live and learn, and another day we'll start up more progress.
Until next time~