Endgame is upon me. I never planned to be involved in endgame, actually. In fact, I'm still not as interested as my friends seem to be, nor as interested as they expect me to be. Regardless, over the course of my FFXI career I have done pretty much whatever I want, whenever I want. I've not been concerned with specific organized events. Slowly, that is starting to change.
The first endgame event I participated in was of course Dynamis. I joined SpiritsofEvolution and have been on maybe ten runs so far. I like Dynamis a lot, despite not having received many desired Relic drops thus far. I am hoping for a Jeuno run soon so that I can access the Outland Dynamis areas. When Sicfreak came back to FFXI recently, I recruited him for SoE as well. And as of now, I have roped Sodako into following suit.
As for Sic, it was a simple case of him asking which shell I was in, and me asking my leader if I could drag Sic along. Soda, on the other hand, seemed either not-that-interested or not-that-interested-yet. I talked to him about my Dynamis-Bastok run that I was on while he was offline doing homework or some such. Simply put: I need my White Mage.
Disclaimer: I intend no disrespect toward any SoE members, nor am I saying anyone is a poor player or does not know his/her job.
I'll even use vague and general statements to prove my point. On some runs there are times in which some mages don't seem to be paying attention, or are AFK, or have other jobs leveled and therefore were not enthused to attend Dynamis as WHM. The end result is a tank (that'd be me) getting slapped too much without curing. What I need is a WHM who is keeping a Regen on me most of the time and is paying attention during situations such as
"The Vanguard Militant uses Hundred Fists."
Due to the nature of Dynamis, tanking is a whole 'nother beast than in an EXP or merit party. In a nutshell, each target gets far less attention than normal. There simply isn't enough time nor enough hate tools for a PLD (that's me) to go all-out. Often, it's one Provoke, and one other hate tool during the fight if the target doesn't get blitzed by my party fast enough. I happen to find Dynamis tanking to be enthralling, despite it going against a good PLD's "normal" sensibilities. There generally isn't a lot of self-healing time, either.
Furthermore, I find Haste to be of decent importance in Dynamis. I would not normally ask for nor expect Haste cast on me during a regular party. I'm lucky in the sense that I've either had my girlfriend's RDM or Sodako's WHM hitting me with Haste throughout much of my higher levels as PLD. With as many targets as Dynamis has, I need to keep up the pace. This causes me to use Provoke and Flash a lot, therefore making Haste (for Flash recast time) more important than Refresh (since Flash is 25 MP and much of that is Auto Refreshed by the time I recast).
I don't always have trouble with White Mages, and there are quite a few good ones in SoE. That said, having Sodako as my "personal" WHM in my party will make my Dynamis tanking exponentially more comfortable, reliable, and effective.
In earlier entries, I have mentioned my new Einherjar LS. It is called Revelations and looks to be quite promising. The leader, Gaea, seems to be a very cool individual and thinks similarly to how I would in her position. We discussed my (our, including the linkies) inexperience with Einherjar. We went over how our approach will be, with one notable detail for me: She wants to recruit people who already know each other, as is the case with Sodako, Galbatorix, and myself. We will have the 'Navi boys and me in the same party working together, due to the fact that Einherjar is focused on a short time limit and therefore strong teamwork. This should work out quite well, because our LS raids include lots of multi-target crowd control, which is the format of Einherjar as well.
The rewards from Einherjar are myriad as well as largely still unconfirmed or unknown as yet. Ein is fairly new to the game so far, so information is still being gathered. This coupled with the 30min time limit has intrigued me. There are confirmed "old" abjurations, meaning the drops that were previously available in other areas. Also, there are entirely new abjuration sets, one of which is for WAR/PLD/DRK and are both incredibly handsome and conspicuously powerful.
Then there's Odin. Not the server on which I play, but the battle. Odin happens to be the end boss of all Einherjar from my understanding. It would be a great accomplishment to defeat Odin, but this gets even better. Odin's armor, the Valhalla Helm and Valhalla Breastplate, and his weapon of choice, the Valkyrie's Fork, are indeed obtainable. The armor would be great for my PLD as its utility is tanking. The Fork is quite simply the most impressive Polearm in FFXI. I want all three of these pieces, and I intend to acquire them.
You hear that, Odin? Draco is coming for you.
Sodako has joined Versus, an LS which does a multitude of endgame events. I recommended Versus to him because the people who run the LS are friends of mine and do things, in my opinion, differently than most. Salvage, Sky, Assault... they do it all, and having enough people I know in a tight-knit group (seems the main members are all buddies) would be something I can definitely appreciate. We might just see me in Versus before long. I've been invited since quite a long time ago, but I made it clear I wanted to feel like I was ready (and have the time).
Yes, endgame is upon me, at last. Why am I opening my previously locked doors to endgame? Simple: I have backup. These events are of minimal interest to me for bragging rights or equipment drops alone. TheSolonavi members the reason I login and to enter a new realm with them is everything to my FFXI career.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a new plateau to reach.