Well, I had planned to use my "Annie" ring on jobs I didn't like, so that when I tried to level something and needed it over with quicker, I could turn to the bonus. I had used only one charge in the past year, and so the time came to burn the rest. See, I can't acquire a second ring without trashing the first one. After not being in FFXI for a while, this is quite the "head first" approach to getting back in the saddle.
The decision first came to play Bard. With limited playtime, Bard was most assured to get EXP party invites and create good parties where I could gain the necessary points as efficiently as possible. It just so happened that Galbatorix's Paladin, Sodako's Thief, and Djohn's White Mage were all within range. Thus, we headed out and got my Bard from level 69 to level 71 in merely a couple nights. Very nice gain considering the levels are so long.
I died... a couple times.
There was rejoicing to be had, however.
We did a little dance, made a little death.
And got 71BRD tonight.
Sodako rubs in my third death of the evening.
I used a charge of the ring on my Dancer, trying to get it up a bit closer to 37 so it is a finished subjob and I can turn toward more important issues. I grew tired of this, but I did get to 33 before it was over. Luckily Dancer can solo pretty well if you choose the correct targets.
Next up, when the boys weren't all present, was Monk. I used the Anniversary Ring to get from 47 to almost 51. At 50 Monk's bread-and-butter subjob, Warrior, provides Double Attack. DA is easily one of melee's best abilities and makes Monk even more lethal. At 51 Monk gets yet another damage-related trait: Kick Attacks. This will be enhanced by the Kung Fu Shoes I purchased (for quite the pretty penny).
During this party, I met a Tarutaru Paladin named Chiisai. Apparently this was Chiisai's first job that wasn't a mage. I must say for the record that she did an amazing job tanking this party, and we'd never have gained anywhere near as much XP as we did if she hadn't been rock-solid. Not only that, but she was also a riot to play with, making things quite enjoyable. Kudos from one Paladin to another, Chiisai!
I completed Monk's Artifact armor quests handily, save the Garlaige Citadel coffer (holding my headpiece). Most of Monk's AF is unremarkable, as it simply attempts to accentuate Monk's all-around nature. A few pieces will be "macro" gear, which is to say I will keep them on-hand to use for Job Abilities like Chakra and Dodge. The body piece is actually fairly good except I already own a better alternative, the Scorpion Harness.
Djohn's return to FFXI was welcomed, and he came along for an assist in Davoi against the Orcs who held my Artifact gear.
In Castle Oztroja, I fought Huu Xalmo the Savage, which used to be considered a difficult battle back in the day. This wasn't tough other than his ridiculous HP level that took a while to chop off with just two sources of damage. Llewelyn and Sodako on the helpin' crew here:
It is nice to be back, and the time away has changed my feelings a bit toward the game. It's also promising to have old friends returning to TheSolonavi. FFXI isn't much without the people, and I've got more fun ahead of me, I'm sure. Until next time~