Friday, December 28, 2007

Long Monk

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So, in the tradition of Long Cat (Google it...LOL), Evilpaul Productions brings you:
Long Monk!
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Aptly named, yes?

It took quite a long time, but I finally dinged 75 Monk today in Campaign. Most of the 70s EXP was from parties though. 100% Campaign EXP would take...forever.

I had 2.6 merit points saved up, so I got a little more and have 2/5 Kick Attacks now too.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Free Hat!

Yes, it was that time again. (Friday.) So, it was time for Dynamis - Beaucedine and an attempt to get an Attestation of Invulnerability and maybe whatever the one for the Great Katana is too. Like all important missions, it required some finesse and, of course, poetry:
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Amazing what passes for poetry. And, yes, "t(Q_Q;" while not pronounceable clearly has two syllables.

Anyway, because 9 people went in an hour before we were supposed to, we ended up not doing Beauc. Instead, we did Dynamis - Xarcabard.

Things were going pretty well. We snuck by the intial horde of monsters and only got the time extension. Then we killed a few more and started kill the Demon Notorious Monster towers. The first one was a little messy, but we killed them all. And then the second. And the third. And the fourth. And then...where's all the Relic Armor? 12 dead Demon NMs, and not a single drop.

The last tower was the Dragoon, Samurai, and Ranger NMs. I said that I was sure the Dragoon one would drop the Wyrm Armet (which is actually a really good piece, but there's 5 people who are Dragoons on the server that actually want one).

Sure enough,
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One DRG hat, which went to Evilbron making her 5/5 on the set.

We killed all the Demon NMs at that point, so Dynamis Lord popped and we headed over to kill Animated Shield and get a fragment. On the way, this happened to drop:
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It has dropped at every Xarc I've missed, so it was nice to actually see it in person finally. :-D

We also got our second one of these shortly afterwards:
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Mili had been waiting quite a while for it.

I didn't get any screenshots of the Animated Shield fight, but it got down to ~60% and then Warped out. :-( It also took 0 damage from all my spells, which was a little disappointing. We didn't have time to attempt the Great Katana one either.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A little Sea and Limbus...

We did Sea last week, doing the Ix'Aerns yet again. Ix'MNK finally dropped our first cape item:
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Presumably, Varumar, who won lot on it, will enjoy it whenever he gets an Obi/Gorget/Earring and can hand it in for the cape. >.>

We went on our second or third Proto-Ultima run yesterday. Things could have gone smoother if we had a second actual tank instead of a DRK/NIN to tank when our PLD/NIN died. When it started doing the countdown and death by Citadel Buster, apparently none of the DDs understood the "don't stand next to it waiting" plan, so half the alliance died and we lost for a second time with a few percent left. You can get a general idea from the picture:
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I've been busy with Campaign, leveling Leathercraft, and a couple other things too that I'll put in my next update.

Also, if anyone knows where I can post two .MTH single file web archives from IE7 of the recent Tapout/Budboi/Traviis/Thebeast/etc saga post a comment. I'm interested and they're full of LULZ.

Yummy Wine!

I got some money from birthday, etc, and bought a Zinfandel wine kit. Not the sweet, pink Sutter Home shit your alcoholic Auntie Sue drinks, the real red wine made from the same grape.

I've helped make wine from grapes before though, so I don't feel this is really cheating.

I'd like to make more wine in the future. I'm thinking I'll probably do a Shiraz (or Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blend) and a Viognier. The Shiraz is a varietal I just really like. It's got more fruitiness than some reds while still being tannic and acidic. The Viognier is a dry white wine that isn't oak-flavored garbage like Chardonnay with a really nice flavor profile. Crisp and kind of peachy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Small Update

Well, I've been busy with real life stuff lately, so I haven't played much. But I did get a few things done (and screenshotted several of them).

First, there's been an abundance of GMs being useless seemingly AFK at random spots:
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They seem to have a lot in common with whatever the hell this was:
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Anyway, I've done a bit of crafting. I made some Gold Dust for use in leveling Leathercraft on my mule and much to my surprise:
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I was only .2 away from 47 Goldsmithing. How much easier that would have been to level off of compared to the Mythril Rings I did. Ten stacks of Vellum (and a minor genocide involving the Charging Sheep of Beaudeux) later, and I had gotten to 31 Leathercraft and obtained the Novice rank.
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That means I'll need a plethora of Ram Skins which I'll farm as SMN/THF most likely. Or maybe MNK/THF because I could use some Guard skill ups. I think it's at 61. But I might have been wearing my AF pants which have +10 to Guard skill. Which would make it even more pathetic.

My current skill up road map looks like this:
36 - Ram Leather
Dark Crystal
Ram Skin
Windurst Tea Leaves
Distilled Water

43 - Waistbelt
Wind Crystal
Ram Leather x2
Grass Thread

49 - Ram Mantle
Ice Crystal
Ram Skin
Wool Thread

52 - Himantes
Earth Crystal
Raptor Skin
Lizard Cesti
With Guild support, I won't break too many and the skill caps are only 6 apart, so after gaining one level I'll be able to get skill ups from failed synths.

But, assuming 20 synths per level...that's 100 skins for 31 -> 36. Six levels and two leathers per synth from 36 -> 43 will mean about 200 ram leathers. I'll have half the leather needed for that stretch leftover from the previous one. And the Waistbelts are complete garbage, so I'll only make money off them by NPCing them basically.

It would also be possible to save some Ram Mantles and make High Breath Mantles (are those able to be signed?) with them. But, that would take a HUGE amount of storage space and require me to get the key item for making enchanted items. Both of which are doable, but it'll take at least two weeks for GP for the enchantment key item, and I'll need to get to Jeuno for Gobbie Bag upgrades and then Aht Urghan to open up a Mog Locker on my mule for the extra storage space.

Quite a bit of work though compared to the farm+NPC everythough route, although it's also quite a bit more gil made as well. But I've always been a firm believe in leveling crafts to make gil both during the leveling and after. So, I'm rather tempted to go this slower, more profitable route after thinking about it some more.

Insert Conclusion Here

That's it for today, I'll proofread this later. I'm going out for dinner now because it's my birthday (Yay 26!), so see ya!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Goin' Fishin'

I decided to go do some Fishing today. Catching Nebimonites on the Ferry with a Halcyon Rod and Crayfish Balls. Usually, I'd craft some Shrimp Lures, but I had heard the crayfish balls will only catch Nebimonites.

Which is good and bad, because the Shrimp Lures also caught Noble Ladies which sell for a decent amount of gil. They also caught big fish which could snap my fishing rod too though.
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Unfortunately, Crayfish Balls only catch Nebs as often as they would bite otherwise, so they suck horribly. I get "You don't catch anything." messages 5-8 times in a row with monsters the only break in between.

I go fishing as Summoner because then I can leave Carbuncle out to kill any monsters I catch and continue fishing uninterrupted. So after a few runs on the Ferry back and forth I noticed the music had changed. I rotate the camera and see that the pirates had attacked.

I kill a few of them, and low and behold: Silverhook spawns!
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I kill Silverhook and the stingy skeleton doesn't drop anything. I thought it at least gave a title, but nope it didn't give that either.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

There's actually some pictures in this update

Yeah, I couldn't think of a title.

Dynamis - Bastok

A composite of a few different screenies:
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I'm a prophetic warrior-poet apparently. I got gangraped by about 20 Quadavs just past the Auction House because people were...well, I have no idea what people were doing, but it didn't involve anything they should have been doing in Dynamis. Because we ended up wiping about five times.

We only got a single piece of AF2 and one 100 piece. The relic armor was Melee Gaiters which went to Larva, a new MNK in our LS.

Still no BLM pants. Those things only drop when I miss a Bastok run. But we'll be doing it again because several people needed the clear and we came nowhere close to winning it.

We did get an assload of Relic Weapons though. Unfortunately, nobody wants/needs them.

I've got a pretty cool picture of a horde of Quadavs eating me, but I took the screenshot on my PS2 and I don't feel like getting it off there right now.

Leathercrafting Update

I posted my plan last post, so I won't go over that again, but:
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I NPC'd most of the Lizard Cesti that I made, AH'd a few, and basically broke even on them. That was probably a mistake, because they sell pretty fast for 1,000 gil a pop. I'll also use them to skill on Himantes eventually, but I simply don't have 40 inventory slots that I can spare for a month or three.

I didn't realize it, but Lizard Cesti is also the guild limit break item, so I traded one I had on the AH in, and:
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I went to Buburimu Penninsula a few times and filled my inventory with Dhalmel Hides. I turned those to leather and blew up more than a few and hit level 21. I wound up with about four stacks of leather.

Today, I spent a few hours killing Bugards, Gigantobugards (and wishing the RMT in Miseraux Coast would get charmed so I could kill them too) farming Bugard Skins. I got dozens of skins along with some H.Q. skins and tusks. The latter two are used in making Igqira Weskits and other stuff, so they sell reasonably quickly. And:
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I later reached the skill cap on those. I ended up with a little over five stacks of leather which are going for about 27k gil per stack.

So far, I've made a decent amount of gil and got a bunch more crap to move through the auction house.

My next level stretch is all the way to 31 on Parchment. Which, I think I'll go with a mix of that and Vellum which apparently caps at the same level. It's also worth a lot more.

Random Stuff

Now, for a bunch of random shit. I got this /tell while I was AFK:
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I think I was on Monk at the time. Which is pretty strange considering my Monk is only level 68 and there's only two Notorious Monsters I know of on Mount Z. Energetic Eruca which is a fire crawler that's immune to blunt and slashing damage. Which makes Monks 99% useless on it. And Cerberus, who is a HNM and a 68 Monk couldn't damage at all.

Of course, I wasn't there at the time to ask, so the world will never know.

Then there's this:
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Starr is a lolTaruDRG from KI who plays on Hades. He disconnected or logged out, so we didn't get to talk about how I <3 buttsex or solve the other mysteries of the universe :-(

I also killed the NM for whatever the Polearm questable weaponskill is:
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I got another Sahagin Key so we could get to it as I was the only one who had done the quest before.

TTFN! More next time!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Leathercraft & Limbusucks™

I decided to continue leveling Leathercraft on my mule yesterday. It's been sitting at level 8 for a while now, and I'd like to at least get it to 60 so I can sign my own Desert Boots which will be awesome for Scholar when I level that sometime.

Signing my own Dusk Gloves if/when I get close to 100 would be really cool too.

I farmed up a ton of Lizard Skins in Crawler's Nest and sent them to my mule. I got from 8.3 to 12.0 with about seven stacks of skins. I tried a few synths after getting to 12, and I didn't get any skill ups, so I'm convinced that the synth probably caps at 12. (People weren't sure if it capped at 12 or 13.) I'll go back tomorrow, and hopefully get enough to skill on Lizard Cestis until 17.

My overall plan, so far, looks like this:
17 - Lizard Cesti
21 - Dhalmel Leather
24 - Bugard Leather
31 - Parchment
36 - Ram Leather
43 - Waistbelt
49 - Ram Mantle
52 - Himantes
57 - Desert Boots (Yay! No, I'm not going to skill up on these. LOL.)
58 - Catoblepas Leather
61 - Tiger Leather
62 - Hard Leather Ring
69 - Beat Jerkin
71 - Coeurl Leather
76 - Marid Leather

The numbers are the skill caps. I haven't planned out all the way to 100, because it'll take a while to do. I also need to revise the list a little, because I didn't include several of the Straps/Grips as skill up possibilities (Bugard Grip looks like a possibility), and didn't include some new items like Vellum either.

I'm thinking I'll farm a lot of the skins/hides needed, excluding ones like Marid Hides (which have horrid droprates yet are dirt cheap anyway). And as you can tell from the list above I'll try to skill either on leathers that I can sell on the AH, or on things that are cheap to make and just NPC the results if it doesn't sell or sells very slowly.


I think I'm really starting to hate Limbus.

I've been waiting since late July for a Diabolic Yarn to drop so I can upgrade my Wizard's Petasos to the +1 version. I've saved up almost a full stack of Ancient Beastcoins in that time. The yarn only dropped once, and I was outlotted by everyone there. I think I rolled a 70 or some garbage.

I'm probably the only one with Black Mage leveled who doesn't have two pieces of BLM AF+1 at this point too. I'm half tempted at this point just to say fuck it and get a Zenith Crown +1 or Demon Helm +1 instead.

Getting 120k gil per month to pay for it is getting to be a pain in the ass as well. Coins are 11-15k each, so it barely pays for itself even if I sell all the ones I get. And they're not auctionable, so I need to have my character AFK in Rollanberry Fields overnight and hope somebody actually buys them. The past two nights I tried, none have sold.

I've got 2/2 on the Ninja items, 1/2 on Summoner (I'm not sure what I'd even want of SMN AF+1 at this point...I already have the boots), and 1/2 on Monk sitting in storage. I'd kind of like the Ninja AF+1 boots, but I don't feel like redoing the AF quests to get them again, and I'm sure as hell not losing five more spaces in my Mog Safe with an unstorable partial AF set.

I still would like to get a Boxer's Mantle, but I don't get to do much evasion tanking on Ninja, so I haven't bothered even though I have the coins for it.

The MP+30 Earring would technically be better for my Summoner than the Antivenom/Insomnia I'm using now, but that's a lot of coins for it and I /heal in Antivenom/Relaxing, so I'd need to wait an extra healing tic to actually get to full MP with it. And it's only 15 more MP when I already have nearly 1,200. Not worth it to me really.

I've had a Brutal Earring for a long time, and that one was actually worth getting.

So, I'm basically stuck waiting for the freaking BLM AF+1 item to drop, but it never does or I never get a decent lot on it.

We also haven't done Ultima in several months, so it hasn't been possible to get the Nashira hands. I think the Limbus group I go with has only attempted it twice, nobody told me they were doing it the first time and the alliance was already full, so I didn't get to go. The second we ended up wiping with a 1-2% left and running out of time because people didn't start damaging the hell out of it and just got slaughtered by Citadel Buster (which went off a dozen times).

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Leveling and more leveling...

I EXP'd on Monk some more and got to @700 -> 68 on it when our Paladin had to go and the party disbanded. A quick run through Crawler's Nest with Olavia on the escort quest, and I had an EXP scroll and dinged 68 in Bastok Markets.

There was a bug they introduced with the expansion and "fixed" subsequently with that quest and the NPC not appearing at all. There's a new one where she runs off randomly like NPCs in newer escort quests though apparently. Which she just isn't supposed to do. I should probably post it on BG or KI and see if anyone else has experienced it and send in another bug report.

Sky Run!

We did two Kirins last night, and they had nearly the worst drops possible. The first, we had a Wind Crystal and Dryadic: Body. The second, a Wind Crystal, Quake scroll (go go 20k!), and Shining Cloth. We're like 0/8 on Wyrmal: Legs which is what we're still in sky for basically.

I only died once on either one. It was when I had around 650 HP from getting hit by Heat Breath and instead of using Earthen Ward immediately, I had Titan use Mountain Buster since Kirin was stationary. And he immediately summoned Ifrit and wtfbbqpwned me with Inferno.

On the second one I thought aloud in LS chat that I hoped Kirin summons Carbuncle and slaughters us with Searing Light. For players using Searing Light, it's noticably weaker than the other Astral Flow abilities. For Kirin it's like a supercharged version compared to the other ones.

And, sure enough Kirin popped out Carbuncle and did 900-1200 on everyone in range, killing several people. Of course I sit between 930-990 HP on Summoner, and had just gotten Shell V, so I took notably less.

Linkshell chat looked something like this:
(Evilpaul) YES!!!!!
(Guy1) Fuck you EP!!
(Person2) lol ep
Good times.

Leveling Scholar

I decided to level Scholar after the Kirins a bit and got to level 5, teamed up with an LS mate and got to 7, got eaten by a Goblin, and decided to call it a night.

I used one of the Ambrosia I'd saved up as food, and having +7 to all your base stats at lower levels provided a huge boost to a mage job with crappy combat skills. I'll see if I have any pictures of the epic pwnage I laid down on those badass...rabbits outside San d'Oria.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Well, I've been fishing for more Moat Carp lately. I'm up to 615 out of the 10,000 needed. Still a long way to go, but getting 100-200 per day and I'll be done in no time.

I started fishing them up in Yuhtunga Jungle which a friend of mine (who not only has a Lu Shang's Rod, but an Ebisu Rod too) suggested. The bites are either monsters or Moat or Forest Carp. There's no junk fish.

The Forest Carp are a pain in the ass to reel in though, so I'm thinking I may go back to the Ferry to skill up a little more before continuing. I'm at 21.7 or .8 now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So, apparently I'm an RMT (and misc WotG updates)

My Secret Life as a Gilseller

Not much to add to this that I didn't say on Killing Ifrit already. Some guy on Hades sends me stupid /tells because, little did I know, I apparently sell gil on the Intarweb somewhere. There's a screenshot in the KI thread. If I post it here it'll get cropped, so I'm not going to.

Wings of the Goddess

Well, after my initial day of mostly exploring I finally got around to flagging and opening Dancer (eww.) and Scholar (yay!). The Dancer quest is started in Upper Jeuno in the present time with this person:
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(Yeah, I have a dirty mind.)

It was easy enough, just a lot of walking around. Which Wings of the Goddess has more than a little of. And...
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Yay...another job that will probably stay level 1 until I cancel my account.

Then, I moved on to Scholar. Which I'd initially decided against opening because it required 12 pieces of Vellum which is crafted and, like all the other high demand items, stupidly expensive.

Somebody figured out that you can get Vellum by trading Rollanberries to an NPC though, so I got all my Vellum for ~13k gil:
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Scholar I actually plan on leveling after I finish Monk.

A Monkish Interlude

I got Monk to 66 in a party last night and halfway to 67. Once I hit 71-73 range I can probably leech most/all of the rest of the EXP needed to ding 75 in a Linkshell merit party. Then I'll need 54 merit points to cap out the useful things in Monk by my rough estimate. Which I'll actually do as Monk probably.


After opening both jobs I spent a good bit of time exploring the war torn past areas. And looking for decent spots for BLM solo and merit parties. Merit party spots seem pretty nonexistant. I found some VTs in the southern most part of Pashow Marshlands that were ok for BLM solo, but not better than the Wamoura Princes or Ebony Puddings of Mount Z.
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You can see me nuking one in my Errant Hpl. there because I walked all the way out there ate an Ambrosia, used a RR pin, and got Sigil (which was mostly useless...more on that in a moment) to find I left my Igqira Weskit in my Mog House.

I saw a melee party attempt to fight one that they aggroed, and they got thoroughly raped. AoE Paralyze, AoE Damage + Bind, some crazy move where the thing's eyes start glowing and it gets a huge attack speed increase, and a 5-hit attack.

It was a mess.

Mo' Money, Mo' Farmin'

I wanted to cash in on the wildly expensive items that come around every few updates when SE adds some sort of quest that requires something in short supply, so I checked the AH,, etc, and settled on Gnole Claws.

They drop from Gnoles and are very rare only dropping 5% or so of the time. Gnoles are Monk mobs and have obnoxious TP moves. One gives them a Killer Effect that causes players to be unable to act on them, another cures them for 1-2K HP, and there's probably some damage ones as well. They also attack rather fast.

I killed over a hundred of them as Black Mage, so I only saw them being used on other people as either myself or the Gnole was dead before it had 100% TP. I was rewarded with six claws for my troubles, and made a very nice 270k gil off them.

The gnoles also killed me a few times, but I was killing them in areas with a lot of foot traffic, so I was able to get Raised, or had Reraise, the three or so times I got mauled.

Gnoles also give 105% the normal EXP, but with the ones I killed mostly being DC-EM I only made ~1.5k an hour anyway.

A Dramatic Conclusion...

Is what the currently released missions were severely lacking. The expansion so far is very light on story, and mostly just setting at this point...and most of the setting is from things we already knew before anyway.

There's also a f&$#ton of running from one place to another. But, that isn't as bad now that I've gotten all the Campaign Warps and Cavernous Maws activated. The reward for getting to one of the starting countries and joining their army is a pair of boots with movement speed+12% as well which helps a bit if that was one of the first things you did. Unfortunately, it was one of the last things I did, so I mostly just used them for running around afterwards.

Sigil is teh Suck

Sigil is the WotG areas equivilent of Signet and Sanction. So, you'd think it was pretty cool. Unfortunately, the Sanction-like bonuses of Regen, Refresh, and longer food duration are really weak unless your country is doing well in Campaign.

You also don't get Allied Notes for killing monsters with Sigil, the WotG equivilent of Conquest Points/Imperial Standing, so it makes them somewhat difficult to get and makes partying in WotG areas less appealing.

That concludes this update, TTFN!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

FFXI: Wings of the Goddess

The FFXI Expansion Pack was finally released today. I picked it up, installed it, and waited to hear that they activated all the content. Well, I went to Limbus, and half way through the message was sent out that it went active.

After Limbus, I scrambled off to Batallia Downs and to the Cavernous Maws in the remote northern part of it. Get a bizzarre cutscene, and I find my character sent 20 years back to the past. I went there, because I knew from people's .dat hacking that Smilodons (orange tigers) were found there, and it's the only one of three zones adjacent to Jeuno that has an easily accessible Maw.

Unfortunately, the droprate sucks horribly. I'm about 0/30 or so on them now. I went to explore and hopefully find some higher level ones with a better droprate. And ended up walking in circles and not getting anywhere. I saw a few people from the linkshell Excellence and suggested killing an Orc that was on top of a guard tower where we were blocked in. That didn't work, but they invited me to their party and we walked around for a while, I got separated and a little lost, but ended up in San d'Oria 20 years ago.

I had wanted to unlock the new Scholar and Dancer jobs, but an LS mate needed help with a coffer key in Monastic Cavern, so I warped out and did that instead. We ended up leaving with the damn thing not dropping though, that particular coffer key is usually a pain in the ass.

It'll be turkey and trying to level Monk again today I think. Maybe get the rest of the Maws and farm hides. I'm not sure yet.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's still November, right?

So, I went to the Mall to pick up my copy of FFXI: Wings of the Goddess today. As I opened the front door to my house, I saw my hottie neighbor walking her dog in clothing you'd expect to see in the Spring. And realized the Winter coat I had just put on wasn't going to be needed.

The radio said it was 65F outside. On November 21st. In Pennsylvannia. It should be snowing out right now.

Global Warming $#%^ing rules, I hate the Winter.

Gone Fishin'

Well, I've started leveling Fishing again in FFXI. Mostly, because nobody was inviting my awesomely geared and fully merited Monk to punch things for Experience Points much. Well, basically at all.
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Not that I'm bragging or anything.

Anyway, I had stopped Fishing at level 11 which is where Moat Carp cap. I started it back up again and did some fishing on the northern part of Qufim Island. Catching Yellow Globes mostly, and skilling up pretty rapidly to 14. I caught a LOT of Yellow Globes.

Having Alchemy leveled to 60, I sythed them into Poison Dust. Then I took a trip to Bibiki Bay:
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I bought up a ton of jellyfish and made Mercury.

And finally combined the two ingredients to make so many Poison Potions that people probably thought I was an RMT crafting bot. And made a nice pile of gil in the process.

A little while into level 14 Fishing skill ups slowed down to the point (and I lost the last of my lures to line snaps) that I decided to move on and try somewhere else. I wasn't quite sure where to go, but decided to catch Forest Carp in Yuhtunga Jungle to hand in for the Lu Shang's Fishing Rod quest.

Which requires 10,000 carp.

Which is one hell of a lot of fish.

Unfortunately, in about half an hour I was only able to reel in 3 moat carp. Which also bite there, and was unable to pull in a single freaking forest carp which was what I needed to skill me up. Rather annoyed, I went to Bastok Markets and decided to just try for moat carp there. The bite rate is better, and being in town I wouldn't be able to reel in monsters.

Much to my surprise, I ended up getting about 250 more Moat Carp and to level 17 from the occassional Tricolored and Gold Carps (neither of which are useable in the Lu Shang's quest). Gold Carp do NPC for quite a bit though, so they paid for the Insect Balls I used as bait.

Having hit level 17 I decided to quit fishing for Lu Shang's and slow skill-ups, and instead go for some money and fast skill-ups on the Ferry.
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Nebimonites are a level 29 fish and what I was planning on getting and using to skill up fishing. Noble Ladies are a level 66 fish(!!) that's used in high-level Cooking.

I happen to have level 100 Cooking. So, I was able to make sushi with them. I made black ink with the Nebs and leveled my Woodworking from 26 -> 29 on Shihei. I'll find something to cap that at level 30 for the pretty blue number eventually.

I also saw the dreaded Sea Horror several rides, once back to back. It killed everyone on the ship the first time I saw it, myself excluded, so I decided to return the favor.
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Interesting fact: Shall shells NPC for 306 gil.

A little more fishing on the Ferry last night, and:
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Ta da! 21 Fishing! Once I get to 25 or so, I think I'll go back to fishing more Moat Carp for the Lu Shang's quest. And possibly try fishing up Devil Manta in Kuftal Tunnel when there aren't many RMTs there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ron Paul Rally in Philly

My Dad mentioned to me that there was going to be a Ron Paul Rally in Philly and asked me if I wanted to go about two weeks ago. I said yes, so I was woken up bright and early and we hopped on the train from 69th Street into Center City and ended up at Independence Hall.

Oh, it finally started feeling like November here, by the way. But I was kind of used to the 70F weather of the previous three months and I didn't bring a heavy coat. Or gloves. Or a hat. Or anything else one might bring when he's aware he'll get a seat in the 'Veteran's Only' section (it was on or near Veteran's Day) with his Dad. So, I froze my ass off pretty well.

You can see me in the pictures on the Red State Eclectic blog here. You'll also see that THOUSANDS of people must be "Internet spammers" as the mainstream media has been portraying all of Ron Paul's support. The crowd was huge. I'd guessed it was probably over 1,200.

Media outlets have said I was off by 3-4x the actual amount. Which I guess is what I get having never tried to guess how many people were in a crowd (that I couldn't even see all of) before.

Ron's speech was great. He talked for about 45 minutes and articulated his message quite well.

Ron Paul basically wants the US Gov't to stop slaughtering foreigners indescriminantly and dismantle it's empire of 700 bases abroad. Instead, focusing on actual national defense. Talking with people instead of threatening to nuke them if they don't do exactly as Washington tells them to do, etc. That's his traditional foreign policy of non-interventionism: Peace and trade with other countries, but minding our business politically.

At home, Ron wants to stop expanding the welfare state, and slowly shrink it. With the trillions of dollars saved by stopping our Interventionist foreign policy he'll fund Social Security for the existing commitments it has (to old people and those retiring soonish) and allow young people to opt-out of it. All these reductions in spending would also allow him to abolish the income tax and IRS. And he's not in favor of a bait and switch or shuffling the deck around with Fair Taxes or national sales taxes or whatever else either.

The plan basically comes down to increased freedom and prosperity for the American people, less foreigners who are inclined to strap bombs to themselves and blow us up, and less of the complete secrecy about what our government is actually doing both at home and abroad.

And with the biggest single fundraising day of US Presidential election history and possibly another one on December 16th there's a real chance of a President Paul next January.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


So, I went to UPS this morning at 6:45 to see about the thrower job. It was supposed to be in my crappy hometown, and moving boxes or something. It turns out it's in the city by the airport. And it's not moving boxes, it's moving gigantic pallettes of boxes off planes from a platform thingy that's 35 feet in the air.

"I hope nobody is scared of heights!" the manager/trainer guy who was giving the tour said. A tour I wasn't expecting, and neither were any of the other 10-15 people who were there were either.

Well, as it turns out your humble author gets disoriented standing on chairs. I'm badass though, so I didn't say anything, but kind of had to be careful not to walk on the giant metal slot thing that seemed to drop several feet into darkness in the concrete beneath me on this big runway that there were two cargo planes landed on.

The trainer guy also said to get a ski mask and some heavy gloves and that nobody would look twice at you in them. What with you working at 4AM in December and all.

So, while it would have been cool to have a few grand a year for school, health insurance, etc, ...yeah. That's not going to work out. I also looked like a bit of a jack ass being in dress pants and shirt while half the people wore much more comfortable jeans and t-shirts.

Pretty bizarre fucking bait and switch if you ask me. I'm not an expert, but I think you're supposed to get the other party to commit before you pull the switch.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Yinyangs and Merit Points and Accidental NMs, Oh my!

So, I've been looking for a job for a while, and will probably get one about twelve hours from now being a thrower at Oops. ("Package handler" at UPS) Which, by most accounts, sucks horribly. But it's only 4-5 hours a day, early in the morning, so I can still go to the Friday Homebrew meetings, hang out with friends, and play FFXI in the evenings. And when school starts back up there's no classes at those hours, so I could continue doing it then.

Yinyang Robe at Last!
Well, I went to camp the Yinyang Robe twice again this week with a couple people from the new Hopeless LS. It's been the bane of my FFXI existence for about two years now since SE added Shikigami Weapon and YYR. The NM itself spawns invisible and runs around Ro'Maeve stupidly fast, and can only be made visible if someone aggros it with magic.

As everything else there aggros to magic, and mage jobs don't have Widescan (to be able to tell where it is), you pretty much need at least three people. Getting 3+ people to come camp an NM every 21 hours later until you get the claim on Shikigami and the thing to actually drop is a massive pain in the ass.

But, despite all this, Doggy, Lilbunnyfufu, Seral, Shavra, Lytoma, and a couple others came to camp it with me a few times. And this past Wednesday, I finally got it! I've moved my trusty Austere Robe and Vermillion Cloak off to my mule for now. I'm not sure whether I'll keep or sell them yet.

Merit Points

I have been 7/8 Hand-to-Hand merits for a while now. The eighth one kicks in at level 65, which is one level higher than my Monk currently is stuck at 64. I'd gotten most of my past two merit points doing Sky farming....which should give you an idea how much luck we usually have getting Diorite to drop for Ullikummi or getting Despot to pop. (We actually got three Diorite last time and Despot to pop almost right away, though, so whatever.)

I went out and soloed 7k limit points as BLM again, and voila! 8/8 Hand-to-Hand merits now. If I had a Faith Torque, my Ninja would have only two less H2H skill than a Puppetmaster with no merits.

Accidental NMs!?
I just went to help a friend with the Tonberry NMs in Carpenter's Landing. Only him (a 64 PLD/NIN) and a 75 MNK were there, so we were waiting for a few other people to show up. And slaughtering all the lowbie monsters in the area. One of those was the Birdtrap:
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Pretty isn't it? Well, I kill a bunch of them, and then attack another one. After a few seconds of Carbuncle beating on it I start to wonder "Why isn't it's HP going down?" as previous one would get 20% of their life blown off per attack.

Then I notice it's the Notorious Monster Orctrap! So, we killed it and it dropped a Katana worth 70,000 gil. The other two people lotted ~450. I lotted 951, and got the Katana. I've had pretty decent luck with making gil lately, and that will pay for the next two Limbus runs.

We popped and killed the Tonberry NMs without incident. Although the BLM one slaughtered my Fenrir with a well placed Flare. That Fenrir couldn't interrupt a twenty-something second spell was kind of sad though. lolSMN.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Just because it's awesome...

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A kind of random picture of the day thing for you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Small Update

We finally went into the BCNM I came prepared with 6 Hi-Potions and a Meat Mithkabob. The RDM doesn't Dispel the Ice Spikes immediately, and I'm not sure what the PLD did with Invincible and Holy Circle thing he/she was supposed to, but I wasn't intimidating the NM that I noticed.

I pop all my Job Abilities and Hundred Fists. NM starts to die pretty rapidly. I wasn't paying attention to what everyone else was doing, but I had one or two other skeletons hitting me and nobody curing. Three people died. Hundred Fists wore off. I punch it down the last 20% with just me and the PLD alive. I pop my Hi-Potions, and finish the fight with four skeletons whiffing at me and ~500 HP.

I'm pretty sure a Monk has soloed it, and after seeing how weak the NM was it isn't surprising. Hell, the body armor I had on was an HQ fishing skill +1 body. And it didn't hit very hard even with Counterstance up.

I switched over to black mage, and met up for another Dynamis - Beaucedine run. We ended up getting only one 100 piece and Koga Chainmail which went to Izar. It's a really nice piece and he's wanted it for a while. About ten more and I can get one. :-)

We went to pop the Relic Shield NM, popped it with a decent amount of time left, killed it, and...anyone need a Bravura? Because nobody in our LS did, so the Attestation that dropped was garbage. :-(

Oh, and the dozen or so Hydras then came back gangraped everyone, but I don't think anyone really cared at that point. At least once they knew it was the wrong attestation. Well, Friday is another day.

A Small Rant

Well, I really HATE looking for a party on Monk. The past twenty something hours playing time I spent reading webpages while my party flag was up.

Then I got bored and went and leveled a second Pankration monster (a WAR Evil Weapon) called Griffe Cyclone. He's now level 30 and has innate HP Max +15% and Accuracy Bonus. I've given him Arcana Killer, Beast Killer (because everyone has some cheap ass Mimic or Rabbit as their monster), and Damage Reduction Bonus. I'll go and take a few hundred pictures of Efts later to get Dispelling Attack which should make other people's fast attacking Enspell monsters and indestructible Phalanx ones killable.

Anyway, I'm sitting in Qubia Arena right now. And have been for close to half an hour. I agreed to help a friend who needed Mission 5-1 as my Monk is level 50 and the 5-1 boss is a Skeleton. Skeletons take 25% more damage from hand-to-hand attacks, so Monks make short work of it. I haven't asked, but I'm pretty sure they're running here in full Dusk gear while Cursed from fighting a ghost on the way. Because it's taking them fucking forever.

Oh, and the one idiot just disbanded the whole party instead of dropping so they could do a Teleport-Vahzl and get here faster than walking the whole way.

Now, twenty minutes later, the Black Mage who was coming dropped party and isn't responding, and the two morons still aren't in Fei'Yin yet.

About 20 minutes from now I'm supposed to be at the trail markings for Dynamis - Beaucedine. Somehow I'm thinking I'll be late. Bleach smoothies for these morons.

And they don't have the Beaucedine Glacier map, so my buddy is outside Fei'Yin giving them directions to it. I bet they aggro and die once they get inside. People like this are proof that evolution favors stupidity.

Double Dragonian!

Well, I went on a KS30 run with a couple people from the new HopeIess LS tonight in hopes of getting Destroyers.
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They're basically the best non-Relic weapon for Monks once you unlock the latent effect.

At level 64, where I've been for two and a half days with no parties now, I'm using a DMG+19 Delay+96 set of Cross-counters. Those are quite nice because they have Counter+5 which gives you more or less a 45% counter rate while using counterstance. There's differring opinions about using counterstance, but I find that while /NIN with a Ninja tank or /WAR with a PLD (or known to be very good Ninja) as long as what I'm fighting doesn't have any hard-hitting TP moves that it works quite well. Now that I'm level 64 I may just start swapping to my damage reduction gear that I have from leveling Ninja instead though.

So, I asked on BG about strats for doing the Double Dragonian KS30. My long time readers know that I love dragons, and as you may guess from the name, the KS30 has two dragons. The replies were basically that it was pretty easy, but I've also heard horror stories. This leaves me a little nervous.

We all arrive at the burning circle and as custom dictates /random to see who will go first. If I weren't playing on PS2, people would probably think I use some sort of /random hack, because I win about half the time. Or I go last. There's really no inbetween for me. So, I roll an 896 and nobody beats it.

In we go.

There's a Bard dragon and a Warrior one. Our plan is we kill the Warrior, while our Bard sleeps the Bard dragon and then runs away down the path to the entrance. Then we kill the Bard dragon. And they get super-powered up after they use their two hour abilities, so they need to die FAST as soon as they do. They also have a Curse-breath attack that takes your total HP down to about 300 which is less than what they hit for after they two hour.

Luckily, we had a very skilled White Mage who kept everyone alive. We literally killed them both in under four minutes. I let everyone run away so they wouldn't have to walk around from where it dumps you after winning to the burning circle again, and popped the chest. And see a bunch of "grats!" and "Congratulations!" in the party chat. And a pair of shiny new Destroyers dropped. Yay!

We did four more orbs and they all went pretty smooth. No deaths, and a few people got some decent money drops. We also got the Rare/Ex Greatsword that the other Ninja who was leveling Paladin wanted for skilling up. A pretty fun and rewarding run.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Most Generous Bird?

We just killed a Suzaku and it has to be the most generous one ever. Suzy's Sune-ate, two Siren's Hair, A.Legs, N.feet, a shining cloth, and a scythe all from the same bird.

Two more Suzaku and one Brigandish Blade, and I think we're done for the day. Then tons o' Kirin next Saturday probably.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

(R) - FL Debates

Another strong showing by Ron Paul today. They actually asked the only candidate who has 25+ years practicing medicine a question about Healthcare.

Also, blatantly stolen from
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(Intarweb funnies.)

Updated Template

I took the time to figure out how the templates for Blogger work so now you'll see the full 512xSomething dimensions of my FFXI screenies. Instead of the left 2/3rds of them.

Some pictures!

Well, I promised to post some pictures for a while now, so here goes:

Dynamis - Buburimu
The Mega Boss fight:
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A few of me being eaten by Dhalmels:
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Monk AF
I finally got the whole set as I mentioned previously:
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My Moogle seems quite impressed.

Black Mage Soloing
I've killed at least 500 of these things:
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Ebony Puddings may be faster, but the Princes are just stupidly easy. When puddings solo go horribly wrong:
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I really have no idea how that guy died, actually.

Tarutaru Are Cute
That's probably why I picked Hume as a first-job Black Mage. :-p
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They dance for my amusement:
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That's it for now! I'll see if I can find any other screenshots later.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Suicide Terrorism

In the early Republican Presidential Debate there was the infamous exchange between Rudey Guilliani and Ron Paul. Rudey showed off his stupidity and dishonesty. The next day, Ron Paul along with former CIA Bin Laden unit counterterrorism expert Michael Scheuer held a press conference, and set Rudey straight.

They also gave him a reading list that could teach him about blowback, suicide terrorism, etc. It included Prof. Robert A. Pape's Dying to Win. One can assume that Rudey didn't read any of it given his continued moronic statements on the subject.

By far one of the most enlightening interviews I've seen was of Prof. Pape on Radio by Charles Goyette. Goyette has a somewhat annoying voice, but the interview is very informative and will change the way you look at things.

On to 75!!!

I soloed 6 merit points on Black Mage over the past few days and got my 7th Hand-to-Hand merit.

Which has me capped again for 61 Monk, and will get me to 70 before I need the last one. It'll also get me Dragon Kick at level 62. Which by most accounts sucks horribly, but will be cool to have anyway.

It'll also have me ready to go for Puppetmaster, but until I get the rest of the Attachments for the Automaton I don't think I'll level it further. (It's 24.)

I'll probably level RDM next as there are things you can solo as RDM that other jobs wouldn't dare try. Fighting the MNK AF3 NM mostly solo kind of inspired me. The pile of Red Mage gear I have sitting on my mule may have had something to do with it as well. :-p

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

5/5 Monk Artifact Armor!

Well, I got some help from LS and found the coffer in Garlaige Citadel to obtain my Temple Crown. Which puts me at 5/5 Monk AF, and finished! Woohoo!

I also decided to go solo some experience points (and then limit points after I recap EXP), so that I could get some Hand-to-Hand merits and recover the EXP I lost in Dynamis - Buburimu to Dhalmel madness. Which I'd be lying if I said it went well. I slept two Wamouras and ran to the far side of the western island on Mount Z. Cast Deodorize, and went to rest. Found out that they don't track by scent, and got killed. Being in the middle of nowwhere, I HP'd to lose 2.4k EXP more.

I decide to go right back and take the Nyzul Isle Runic Portal back this time instead of walking to Halvung and casting Escape. So, on my way past the Mamool Jas, the Greater Colibri, etc, I happen upon a Wivre:
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Cute little fella, isn't he? (Picture blatantly stolen from the Wiki.)

So, I killed him. And I got a Wivre Hide and Horn. The hide goes for a whopping 200,000+ gil. The horn goes for 3k gil.

I tried to see if I could go 2/2 on the hide. Gravity wore fast, Bind resisted, Sleep resisted, and I got run down and butt raped. In my butt. Quite hard.

I waited for 5 minutes, and the nearby party didn't raise me. I went to drop the car off at the mechanic's and came back with 20 minutes until auto-Home Pointing. Still nobody had cast Raise on me. I ask a few people in LS, and nobody was on or willing to come which is understandable. Finally, somebody offers to come, and the party's Bard came over and raised me.

I ended up on Mount Z, and soloed maybe 5k EXP, but only ended up about 1k ahead for the day due to all my bad luck/stupidity. Oh well, off to do Limbus now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dynamis - Buburimu...Again!

We had another attempt at Dynamis - Buburimu tonight. It went really well, and we killed Apocalyptic Beast, the mega boss dragon of the area, with 10 minutes to spare!

After that we killed some crabs on the beach going towards Bibiki Bay. They can drop the DRG & BLM belts....and they dropped the BLM one! I hadn't lottted any relic armor in quite a while, so as point leader they went to me.
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A little tweaking, and I think I can still use it with my Sorcerer's Ring just fine. I'm selling the Hume RSE Ocean Rope that I had been using for the longest time. I'll get a Penitent's Rope for Red Mage if/when I level it.

If I ever get the Apollyon BLM item, I think I'll be basically done with BLM gear with the AF Hat +1.

We also farmed some birds which were pretty fun. I soloed a couple of them Gravity kiting style. A Duelist's Glove -1 dropped, which went to Varumar.

Then, we tried the infamous Dhalmels. Infamous, because you pull three of them and each one spawns 5 more. I've got pictures of the wipe that ensued that I'll post soon.

All in all, a fun run. It's nice to have finally cleared that.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monk Artifact Armor

Well, I hit level 60 Monk a few days ago. And I still hadn't gotten any of the Monk Artifact Armor (AF). I hadn't started them mostly because my Black Mage AF hands quest was still open, and you can't start another one of those until you finish the current one. So, I finished that up and got ready to start the Monk set.

Of the five pieces in the set...the Feet are mostly worthless, the legs are worthless, the hands are pretty decent to macro in for Boost, the head is good for macroing in with Focus, and the body is good for macroing in with Chakra. You wouldn't really want to wear any piece fulltime over the available Auction House alternatives though.

So, I did the weapon quest, and promptly dropped the awful weapon that's the reward.

Next, came the quest for the AF feet. This involved walking all the way into the frozen North of Fei'Yin for a cutscene, and then going to Davoi and killing two Notorious Monsters. Well, not quite. I went as Summoner, popped the two NMs, hit them with Thunderspark so they began attacking Ramuh (instead of me), and then pulled them away from their hut. Ran back over and checked the hut a second time, and they lost interest in me and I got the key item. Returned to Bastok, and had some shiny new boots.

At this point there's a fork in the road. I could flag both the hands quest and the legs quest. The hands quest requires getting the coffer in Crawler's Nest and then killing Dark Spark in Castle Zvahl Bailey. Pretty easy, most of the work involves just getting the coffer key to drop. After flagging the hands, you can also get two other pieces out of coffers in Beadeaux and Garlaige Citadel.

The legs quest involves popping a Yagudo Monk NM which has a ludicrious amount of HP (between 30,000-50,000) in Castle Oztroja.

So, I decided to do the hands quest and coffers first. The keys in Crawler's Nest and Garlaige dropped pretty quick. No more than 20 minutes each one. The one in Beadeaux took about 4 hours. I asked Doggy and Lilbunnyfufu to come help and they killed mobs that drop the key with me for an hour or so before they had to do Sky with their LS.

Actually finding the coffers wasn't too bad, but I still need to get the one in Garlaige Citadel. The stupid doors take four people to open and everyone hates going to do it. Hopefully, I'll get it done later today when more people are online.

Earlier, I went to go and try to solo the Yagudo Monk NM. I popped it, and pulled it back partially down the stairs where I hoped to fight it without linking the other Yagudo. Another Monk and White Mage Yagudo promptly linked and I was under constant attack by all three.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried at this point. So, I asked for help in my LS and everyone who was online on my Friend List at this point. But, being at the top of Castle Oztroja which is kind of remote I was on my own for the next 20 or so minutes.

I came prepared though with my secret weapon: a Dagger. More specifically, a Heart Snatcher which is a crappy relatively Dagger that I wasted hours breaking the latent DMG and critical hit rate boost for the two times I've used it in Limbus. A Thief wouldn't consider using it, but it's actually one of the better ones available to Ninjas.

Being NIN/RDM I had high evasion which was boosted further by evasion gear. I recast Utsusemi: Ni and then cast Stoneskin + Phalanx. The MNK & WHM checked Too Weak, and were only hitting me for low double digits. With Phalanx, they frequently hit for 0, and Stoneskin wasn't breaking even when both Utsusemi timers weren't ready. I killed the MNK, and got the WHM down to <10% of it's HP. At which point I switched back to the MNK NM and began whittling down it's massive HP. Using Energy Drain on the WHM every 100% TP to recover my MP and outlast the two Yagudo.

After the tenth or so Energy Drain, the WHM only gave me 14 MP back and ceased casting spells. So, I killed it and started using my extra Yag Drinks to keep MP up. A few minutes later Keffka, a Red Mage from my LS, came and joined me. We got it down to about 30% HP and the Yagudo used Hundred Fists. At which time it began to miss me with its attacks at a much higher rate of speed than it had previously. Doggy and Fufu arrived right after Hundred Fists wore off and we quickly finished it off the Yagudo off and I got my Xalmo Feather!

When the Yag was around 10% HP some random guy came from behind me and cast Cure 3 on me. As it turns out, another group was there to kill the NM also. We teamed up with them and killed it in a few minutes before departing.

I returned to Bastok, yet again, and claimed my totally worthless AF legs.

Now just to open the coffer in Garlaige Citadel and I'll be 5/5 on MNK AF! Yay! I'll post some pictures later today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dynamis - Buburimu

Well, we had another shot at Dynamis-Buburimu last night. As longtime readers know, I'm not a huge fan of it on account of all the dragons.

We went in with a few modifications to our strategy as well as two Kracken Club Dark Knights who were somebody's friends. The KC DRK is probably the highest damaging job in the game for the 1 minute (or however long) that Blood Weapon + Souleater takes 10% of the DRK's max HP 2-8 times every two or so seconds. It's a legendary sort of thrashing.

We killed a few of the dragons that remove the mega boss, Apocalyptic Beast's special abilities and 2hrs. Specifically:
  • Body Slam is massive AoE damage does ~800 damage to nearby mages killing them rapidly.
  • The AoE damage + paralyze one... Ground Stomp or something?
  • Wind Breath which was what killed us last time.
  • Petro Eyes a gaze-based petrify that only works if you're facing the dragon...which people of course faced. LOL.
  • Benediction it's always bad when the monster you just got to 5% HP refills it's HP completely.

That left the mega boss quite vulnerable, and almost certainly guarranteed us victory with just over 15 minutes left to pull and fight it.

Unfortunately, we couldn't find it. WTF. Eight people ran around checking the entire place and the freaking dragon was nowhere to be found.

So, we ended up running out of time not clearing the thing because nobody had seen the boss the entire time. /sigh


As my last few entries would indicate, I've been leveling the Monk job in FFXI. As one of, if not the highest, DPS jobs in the game, Monks are a royal pain in the ass to keep from getting slaughtered when you're the tank. Having leveled Ninja, a tank job, right before Monk I'm well aware of this. Post level 51 there's a bit of a dilemma with which support job to use in pickup parties.

On one hand, you can go with /Warrior. You get Berserk and Double Attack which boosts your damage by 20-30% easily. Your per-punch damage will be higher while Berserk is active 60% of the time, you'll get 10% more punches because of the 10% Double Attack rate, and your weaponskills will occassionally be huge because of an extra hit from Double Attack. It basically takes Monk with no support job from being a heavy hitter to being a complete beast.

But that has it's downsides. Blow off nearly 20% of a Lesser Colibri's life with a Howling Fist that Double Attacked? Sure, it's cool, but then you get beaten on the rest of the fight. The stupid bird will probably steal your food as well, which makes it get expensive in addition to bloody.

On the otherhand, you can go with /Ninja. You get Resist Bind. Which is very useful for...running away from Worms that cast Bind I guess. Which is all but completely useless since it doesn't even activate much anyway even if you find something that uses Bind. You also get the very useful for absorbing damage Utsusemi: Ichi. Which keeps you from getting your ass handed to you if the tank sucks or your weaponskill pisses off the mob.

After a few parties going back and forth with each, I'm starting to like /NIN over /WAR even though the damage disappoints. I can take 5-6 hits no problem and with Counterstance and Cross-counters, I'll counterattack instead of getting hit when shadows drop about half the time.

It makes the Utsusemi: Onry Ninjas a little more tolerable.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pretty #@%&ing Funny

There's a thread on BG about people who bought a bot program for FFXI. Very funny stuff.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Random Thoughts

Well, my PC's motherboard blew up so I haven't been clogging up the Intarweb's tubes much for the past few days. But, I had a few random thoughts I wanted to share with my two readers.

The First
Surviving testicular cancer (we're still men!) or farm accidents or however else one can guy can lose his both balls decreases one's chance of starring in a winning America's Funniest Home Video by approximately 92.4%.

The Second
What's a "pager"? Are they used to play "records"?

There ya go! One thought for each reader!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Monk Tanking

So, I've been trying to level Monk lately. I got it to level 48 and stopped for a while. Picked it up again, and got it to level 52. Mostly in parties in Kuftal Tunnel on Robber Crabs. For two of the three parties, we had decent tanks. But neither were confident in their abilities, so I was asked to sub Ninja for Utsusemi: Ichi, so that I wouldn't be gangraped.

For this last one, we had the worst Ninja on Hades. And, we had the worst Thief on Hades. So, in your typical fight the Thief would pull a crab. I'd provoke it. The NIN and THF would run around trying to line up for SATA.

Then, they'd stand there while the THF went from 50% TP to 100% TP. For 30 seconds or so while I get wailed on by an Incredibly Tough Robber Crab. Or until I lose hate from being cured (or not being cured and nearly dying every other fight), and it runs off towards the mages.

Ocassionally, the Thief would actually have 100% TP at the start of a fight and would SATA Viper Bite onto the Ninja almost immediately. The Ninja still wouldn't Provoke though, so I'd either continue tanking the whole time, or he'd get whiffed at and then it would turn back to me.

It's really quite amazing that anyone could possibly suck that badly. How hard is it to hit a fucking "Provoke" macro every 30 seconds? How the fuck can't a Ninja keep hate with his own and a Thief's weaponskill damage? I'm sitting on TP until 200% and not weaponskilling until 20% HP and end up tanking the rest of the fight afterwards.

Hopefully with the new expansion Square-Enix will have the wisdom to remove Thief from the game between levels 30 to 60. Or ban retarded people from playing it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Summoner Merits!

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I capped Elemental MP Cost this morning. Now I can break out my elemental spirits and they don't cost any more than the avatars. How useful this will be, I'm not sure entirely. I'll go SMN to next Sky farming and see how well they work.

I should probably also pick up a Thunder Spirit. Which, for some reason, I've neglected to ever acquire. Then I'll have all but Dark Spirit. Which is really quite worthless.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but that puts me at 7/10 for Summoner group 1. I'm thinking I'll do up to level 2 Magic Attack and level 2 Physical Attack. That's 5 more merit points and I think I'll consider SMN merits finished. If I find spirit magic accuracy isn't very good I may just put all three in there.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The People's Republic of Amerika

Well, I saw the clips of one Andrew Meyer on Faux News, CNN, etc. Apparently he asked John Kerry some questions, went long with them, and refused to leave, so the police had to restrain him and ended up tasering him. He had a reputation of being a prankster and troublemaker with his wacky antics being posted on his website (linked to above there).

Well, not so much.

You can start by looking at his website. Which isn't interesting or that of an edgy prankster unless I missed something. (Maybe I could start a not-edgy-or-interesting webring and sign Andrew Meyer up? I can probably find more boring blogs out there.)

Then, you can watch the movie:

So, this guy is followed by the police there (hint: they don't like him), he asks a rambling, pointed question or two in about 30 seconds, the police don't like it, so they grab him and start dragging him off.

Now, I'm not sure where police learn about human nature, as they aren't humans, but when you grab someone, from behind, without warning or explaination a normal reaction isn't do wilt like a dying dafodil. Or to swoon appreciatively into their warm, bacon-smelling arms. It's to try and shake them off and perhaps yell, "What the &#%$ are you doing!?!"

It could be all a big misunderstanding though.

Police aren't big on "facts." Sure, they'll make some up when they have to, but someone writing down a bunch of "facts" from observed reality and somehow recording them is anathema to them. This Andrew Meyer was waving around just such a contraption. Those police probably thought he was trying to assasinate a sitting US Senator! They should each be given Medal of Freedom for their quick thinking and heroism!

Well, as it turns out: It was just a book. A liberal polemic called Armed Madhouse that points out some of the messed up stuff our Fearless Decider-in-Chief has done in the past few years.

I guess it's possible to use a book to inflict blunt trauma, but I don't think the Senator was in any real danger.

Funny thing though, seeing the video on TV new channels I was wondering what the book was, and nobody mentioned it. Some guy gets tackled carrying what looks like half a phonebook. He isn't hilariously short, so presumably he wasn't using it to sit or stand on. You might think what book he was holding or what he was asked Senator Kerry might be somehow relevant or worth mentioning rather than just showing the cops beat his ass over and over. But I'm not a cable news producer, so what do I know?

Anyway, it's remarkable to see the Fox and CNN people show only parts of the video and grossly mischaracterize the parts they don't show you.

This morning on Fox's unwatchable morning show, the host asked some random girl from Florida if she thought paid leave pending the results of an investigation was a harsh punishment for several of the officiers involved. The girl said she didn't know about that, but it didn't seem that harsh to her.

I'm kind of split on whether it's harsh or not. On one hand, you got to beat the shit out of a kid and get some paid vacation time. On the otherhand, you can't beat the shit out of anyone else until the investigation is over, or you'll go to jail for it like the regular human residents of Florida. Police thrive on beating up and bullying behind the protection of their badges, so depriving one of them of that is like keeping a pedophile away from children. They can't do (or get to fantasize about) that which they love the most. I'm not a Constitutional Lawyer, but suspending police may actually be cruel and unusual punishment.

The Fox floozy didn't seem too concerned about whether the police were too harsh to a dumb college kid who asked a question and was met with potentially lethal violence. But when you value the police state over personal freedom, why would you?

A lot of people complain about "big government" and our "federal Leviathan." The fact of the matter is, the goons who are most likely to harrass you, beat or kill you, or ruin your life with some ridiculous felony charges are down at the local precinct. And they live for it.

Of course, the biggest sham of the whole event was that the President of FLU came out the next day and said that the local police are going to investigate the actions of the campus police. The police are investigating the police. I wonder if the next time a person is arrested he'll have his request to be the judge or district attorney at his own trial honored? Who could be more impartial an investigator than the people being investigated?

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Police: Not a fan

Now, you might not know this, but this humble author is not a huge fan of the police. Not the idea of the police, mind you.

More, the actual reality of the small town goons who follow me in unmarked cars from my house two miles or so and then stop me because as Chief Davis says he "didn't recognize my car." A good reason to pull somebody over. I mean as chief of police, you must know every car in my shitty little small town, right?

Or their penchant for perjury. The whole never having heard of them telling the truth under oath leaves a sourish taste in my mouth.

But, that was all over a year ago.

The reason I wrote this entry, was because of the gestapo's actions last night. I leave my house around midnight to go meet up with a couple friends. I drive by a restraunt/bar a half mile or so away and see a car with a cop car behind it with the flashers on. I drive by and see in my rear view mirror the cop pulls a fast U-turn and goes nearly twice the speed limit (35mph) to catch up with me. Follows me for a mile or so, and then turns on his lights.

Because my tail lights were "blinking." Let the mechanics of the world know: Tail lights can malfunction by "blinking."

Of course my tail lights weren't actually "blinking" I was just going between 33-36 mph the whole time because I live in a town with shithead, gestapo police who pull me over constantly for reasons such as "blinking" tail lights.

Once stopped I did the usual turn on the dome light and get license, registration, etc out. Officier Hitler (I assume that's his name, I didn't ask) asked me "What were you doing?" to which I replied "Driving." Which I think is probably the best answer when pulled over while driving. What with it not being any of his business and all in the first place. Which was of course followed up with the local police's second favorite question, "Where are you going?" (Third favorite, actually, they usually ask "Where were you coming from?" before that.)

This is best answered with "a friend's house" for a few reasons. First, because you can use it any time of day on any day. You can always be going to or coming from your friend's house. Second, because it is none of the police's business where you are going or what you are doing, by answering "a friend's house" you are techically answering his question without actually telling him anything. It's like becoming a politician without having to be sired by a vampire first and avoid sunlight afterwards.

Officier Hitler graciously returned my licence, registration, et al, and let me go on my way. Praise be to Officier Himmler! Without great people like him our crappy, little town would be in chaos.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pankration: What We (Read: Me) Know So Far

Welcome to the Pit

In order to get started with Pankration, you need to go to the Pit in Whitegate. Bring some Imperial currency, you'll need it. You can exchange Imp. coins for jettons, the currency used in the Pit.

The rates are as follows:
1 bronze = 1 jetton
1 silver = 10
1 mythril = 30
1 gold = 200

Trade coins to Zandjarl by the gate in Annihilation (where you are upon entering) to obtain jettons.

With your shiny new jettons, you can use the services of the Pit. From obtaining Rare/Ex items from Zandjarl, to getting setup with a monster, to paying a fee to enroll your monster in matches.

Where's mah Pokemons?

First, you need a monster. You can either buy a Soultrapper and Blank Soulplates for 2 jettons each from Zandjarl (or HQ for 500 each), and go snap pictures of monsters (more on that in a minute), or you can buy Soul Plates from other players bazaars. I'd recommend you do the former it's a lot cheaper.

Snapping some pics

Once you have a camera and plates, head out and find a mob you'd like to take pictures of. You snap pictures by equipping the Soultrapper and Blank Soul Plate, waiting for the timer to cool down, and using it in your menu on a target monster.

Taking pictures doesn't aggro mobs, but aggressive ones will still attack you if they normally would. You can't take pictures while Sneak or Invisible are up, so you'll have to be careful. You can also take pictures of mobs other people are fighting.

You won't get a soul plate every attempt, and they are consumed each try. There's a one minute cooldown between attempts with the 2 jetton soultrapper. Mobs have several different possible soul plates you can obtain from them.

What affects success isn't currently known for sure. Level difference seems to be a significant factor. You'll get a soul plate nearly every try in Valkurm Dunes, but Molechs on Uleguerand Range will prove more diffcult. Proximity to your target may also affect it.

Once you've used up your soultrapper and plates, it's time to head back to the Pit. Hopefully, with a bunch of soul plates with monster images on them.

P.S. Bring a stack of Ice Crystals.

It's Clobberin' Time! ...Almost.

Now that you're back at the Pit and you've got some Soul Plates, you need to make a monster. If you look through your collection of Soul Plates you'll see they're inscribed like the following:

{Evasion Bonus}

The first line will always be an ability/stats/job. The second is the cost in Feral Points (FP) followed by the mob you obtained it from.


Is a generalized one.

South of Zandjarl (and in similar locations at the three other arena areas) are two NPCs. The one on the left, Abhrem, is the one you need to talk to first. Look through his dialogs and see what he has to say.

Then trade Abhrem the Soul Plate that you'd like to make a pet of along with an Ice Crystal. (You remembered to bring those, right?) Your pet will be a mob of the same family as the one you snapped a picture of. He'll give you a Soul Reflector inscribed with [PitMonster(Lv:X)] where X is the pet's starting level.

Note: Some Soul Plates can't be made into Soul Reflectors. The list includes:
Empty and Sea mobs
CoP level restricted area-only mobs
HNMs (Fafnir, Behemoth, Adamantoise, Khaimera, Hydra, Cerberus, etc)

Trade your new Soul Reflector to him, and it'll open a dialog with the following options:

Quit. (Self-explanatory)
Change monster name. (A good place to start, "PitMonster" vs. "PitMonster" = lame.)
Confirm feral skills.
Remove feral skills.
Confirm FP total. (More on these three in a moment.)
Confirm level and EXP. (Your pet's TNL.)
Confirm monster temperment. (Find out how your monster behaves in response to commands.)
Review terminology. (Self-explanatory)

Confirm feral skills will tell you what, if any, abilities your monster has. The ability on the Soul Plate you used to create it can, sometimes, carry over. There may also sometimes be a skill specific to mob family, but not much is known about this yet.

Remove feral skills lets you remove one of your monster's skills. The reason you might want to do that is because each skill requires a certain amount of Feral Points (FP) and your monster only has so many. (FP increases slowly with level.)

You can teach your monster new feral skills by trading your Soul Reflector along with the Soul Plate with the desired skill. Not all monsters can learn all skills even with enough free FP for them.

Abhrem, and similarly located NPCs, will also tell you what a Soul Plate's ability does and if he can make it into a Soul Reflector by trading it to him.

Trade your Soul Reflector to the NPC next to Abhrem, Kadjayhal, or the similarly located NPC in other arena areas, and for a 1 jetton fee he'll make it an Official Soul Reflector. You can only have one Official Soul Reflector at a time, and can change it back by trading it to him again. The Official Soul Reflector is the monster you can use in matches.

Walk north, trade it to Kaheema (or similar NPC in other arena areas...), and she'll offer to enroll your monster in a match. Or, if your server is packed full of people trying to Pankration like Hades is right now, tell you they are not taking reservations. (You can try the other arena areas and see if you can get a match in one of them.) You can talk to her again to find out what monster yours will be fighting. Unfortunately, there's no way to find out how much longer until your match other than the initial estimate you get.

It's Clobberin' Time! (For real this time.)

After waiting a while, you'll be paged and told to go to the red or blue sides in one of the arena areas. Go there, talk to the guy, and you'll be allowed down to the platform to [humourously named] Speaking Tubes. Here, you can issue commands to your monster during the fight.

Which, it will mostly ignore until around level 12 or so according to most people's experiences with it.

The winning monster is mostly determined by level and monster family it seems. The level 3 worm you got from Konschstat Highlands won't be taking out my level 12 Marid. Though your Evasion+15%, Evasion Bonus, level 10 Wind Wall-spamming Wyvern might be a different story.

Get a job! (And subjob...and job traits...and magic)

If you've been out soultrapping everything in sight, you're probably noticed that you got a few Soul Plates with {Main Job: Black Mage} or something similar as the ability. Just like players, your monster has a main job (and can have a subjob). For most monsters it's Warrior. For others it's Red, Black Mage, or Monk. It's possible to change the main job using the proper Soul Plate. Not all monsters can be all main jobs though.

You can also add a subjob using a {Support Job: SomeJob} Soul Plate.

If you have a spellcasting main or subjob, you'll need to have an appropriate magic scrolls feral skill for your monster to actually use them. If you have a Red Mage Colibri equipping it with {White Magic Scrolls} will enable it to cast Cure. Add {Black Magic Scrolls} and it try to Blind and possibly nuke its opponents.

Monsters seem to learn spells the same level a player of the same job would.

Your monster can also utilize the Job Traits of it's main or subjob if you give it an appropriate feral skill. {Job Trait: Monk} might work wonders for your Mandragora or Taurus monster.

A little more on Feral skills

There are several types of feral skills. Ones that are static bonuses such as {STR+25}. Ones that are static increases such as {Attack +15%}. Others that are like Job Traits and believed to increase in power as your monster levels like {Attack Bonus}. And ones with a level that can increase after every fight such as Lizard Killer or Store TP which have their own levels independent of your monster's level.


That's it for now. I've covered most everything I can think of that somebody would need to get started in Pankration.

I'll spellcheck this later and find the many typos that I'm sure are in it.


Well, SE finally opened the Pit in Whitegate to adventurers and has everyone running around playing a mini-Pokemon knock-off. If it weren't for the extreme amount of time between 1-2 minute matches (we're talking 40 minutes here), it would be pretty awesome.

I've poked around a learned a decent amount about it. It's still unclear which monsters will actually work out the best over time, or what abilities to stack on them. There are some clear winners already. Dragons. They have a powerful Body Slam move that tears up their competition.

I've created a few pets of my own so far, although none of them have leveled yet (See: the ridiculous wait between matches). I've got:

A level 8 Marid PLD/WAR with white magic. He's won his first round and looks like a good chance on the second one.

A level 7 Colibri RDM/ with white and black magic. He's also got INT+25 to boost any nukes substantially.

A level 8 Eruca that's got HP+15% and Evasion Bonus. I'm hoping it will evade and then drop the other monster with Incinerate. Dunno how well that will actually work though.

A level 7 Leech. This was my first one, it won it's first two matches and lost the next four. I'm not happy with him.

I'm hoping that a hybrid melee damage dealer and self-healer will end up being stronger than the pure DD ones, but I haven't gotten to see how my Marid PLD handles himself yet on a strong opponent.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Where are all my Spider Web RMTs?

Well, Square-Enix has been on a roll lately. Every few months they ban hundreds more douchebags for various hacks, selling gil, hopefully buying gil, etc.

Since level 65 or so (care of two long-since-gone Staff merits) I've enjoyed killing weak crappy little monsters as SMN and using Spirit Taker to reduce or eliminate downtime. In a previous post I outlined how I sometimes farm as SMN/THF and like to slaughter weak things either skillchaining with Carby or zerging with Fenrir.

Among my favorites was the noble spider web:
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Alas, the spider web fell victim to dirty, soulless RMTs from China or somewhere. They would be outside Whitegate 24/7 with 2-4 Black Mages and a Bard or Red Mage. The BRD or RDM would link all the spiders in the area, pull them to the BLMs who would sleep them. They would then all cast Blizzaga III and kill them.

Of course, they're soulless RMTs. Which means they're wildly incompetent. So a few Easy Prey spiders would frequently kill their Bard and/or Black Mages. Sometimes, all of them. People didn't even Diaga to make them unsleepable, they just truly suck horribly.

But, they're missing.

And it seems that they were supplying many of the spider webs across lots of accounts. There was typically 30+ up at a time, but since the update there are frequently only 5 or 6 up. So, either nobody is farming them anymore, or SE banned all the RMTs who were. Or some combination of the two.

Either way, it's had me outside pummelling the crap out of shiny golden spiders and raking in spider webs, Kindred's Seals, and Beastmen's Seals.

I usually waste my Beastmen's Seals on the BCNM50 Treasure's and Tribulations that's "soloable", but have accumulated quite a few Kindred's Seals. I burned 99 in a KS99 not too long ago, and we're apparently going to do another run tomorrow night. I'm not sure if I'm up for another orb yet as we've only done a couple, but hopefully I'll burn another orb and walk away with a Speed Belt for my Waist slot, or a Juggernaut to sell.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Two Kirins

We did two Kirins yesterday. I went as SMN and Nether Blasted them until such a time as they died and I couldn't Nether Blast them. (What with them being dead and all.) The first one dropped a D.body, Pole, and a shining cloth. The second dropped a W.legs (finally!) and another shining cloth.

Both went pretty well. I didn't die until the second one when Kirin summoned that little, radioactive, blue bastard, Carbuncle, who wtfbbqpwned everyone in the area for over 1k damage.

It must have been this past patch as SMN/WHM my Barstonra had me resist 3/3 of the Stonega IVs I got hit with. Two of them didn't break my craptastic Earthen Ward stoneskin. The other did about 50 damage. Both killed at least one other person they hit who was a melee with more HP, so I know it wasn't just a Tarutaru mage with fewer HP or something. People need to read the log and run the hell away though. LOL.

Sadly, no pictures yet again. You'd think I would remember to snap one or two at least by now.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Tanking Sky Gods!!!

I finally got to put my Neenja skills to the test and tanked some sky gods tonight! I'm usually BLM or SMN when I go on Sky runs.

As a Ninja tank there's a standard setup you want to go with. /DRK as your support job. 15% or more Haste from gear, hopefully 20-25% (where it caps). Maybe a Bard in your party to give you 2x March songs for even more Haste. People with Flash and Stun to help you recast shadows when they're down. And people to Cure bomb (and Paralyna) you when shit goes wrong. The rest of your equipment is focused around Damage-% and Enmity+.

I had 16% Haste, -25% Physical Damage, and Enmity+14. Which is kind of lacking.

First we did two Suzaku. They went fairly smoothly. We killed it and got an A.abj, two Suzy's Sune-Ate, and a couple random things.

I neglected to take any pictures.

Neither Suzy killed me, although the second was exciting because somebody broke Shadowbind when she used Chainspell. So I took off towards the teleporter that takes you back down to the main island. Suzy came for lunch, casts Burn and Flare which a shadow blinked, -ga3'd my shadows down, and then bitch smacked me.

The other tank came over and Provoked it and ran it back towards where the main alliance was. The PLD got hit or something and shed a little hate, so it came back over to me and swung at my shadows and then went back after the PLD again. Chainspell wore off at this point, so we resumed tanking it and killed it.

Next, we did one Seiryu. We had the new PLD tank that one, he got killed by it around 70%. It kept spamming Radiant Breath and just dropped him after a round of attacks I think. The other PLD took over, and other than a few single swipes (why when it's a MNK, I have no idea) at my shadows it mostly ignored me.

Nope, I didn't think to take any pics of this one either.

Finally, we went to do a Byakko! Byakko is world famous for dropping tanks who are better equipped than myself in a very fast, hilariously overkilled manner. So I was a little worried.

I guess I should probably show what I was wearing at this point:
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Now, you'll see I was tanking in a lolOsode instead of Arhat's Gi +1, Jelly Ring, Shinobi Ring (I kind of liked this actually more Haste when you need it most), etc. Generally lacking in the Damage-% department. And I was eating Squid Sushi instead of something like Tavnazian Tacos or Pescatora. (I was using a Warwolf Belt rather than Life Belt, but I don't feel like starting FFXI up again to take another pic.)

I did get knocked down to red HP twice, but didn't die. It was in large part due to people being right on top of stuns, with a bunch of them being timed exactly right for me to recast Utsusemi: Ichi uninterrupted. I think our only deaths were Brim our SAM, and Aldo our RNG right at the end of the fight. I'm not sure exactly what happened, (maybe got Claw Cyclone with Berserk up?) but drops were kind of disappointing with no Haidates, just an Axe and an N.abj or something.
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We did get some money drops though, so I lotted @money as I spent all my KS99 gil already. :x I'm going to do some marathon Cooking and save up for a Peacock Charm. Or better yet, save up for an Arhat's Gi +1 next time I tank gods or something hard. LOL.

All in all, a fun night at Sky.