As I suggested in my previous entry, I decided to move on from the limbo I'd been stagnating in for the past seven months and joined Solstice. I've done several random events with them over the past year and as I had such a vast amount of friends already within the shell the decision was an easy one to make given all that's happened of late. With the exception of one of my former linkshell's more childish, vindictive leaders sending a painfully predictable tell to Vertoria demanding to know why they let me join, everything has been so positive and enjoyable that I almost wanna kick myself for not joining earlier. In one week I've killed Cerberus, Proto Omega, Ouryu, had a great deal of fun in Lumoria (something I didn't think possible), seen a Crimson Body and Ridill enter the linkshell and scored myself a free lot Valor Surcoat on my first non-CoP Dynamis run with them. I'm still a little apprehensive about attending king camps but it's something that'll pass as I settle in and my Corsair leveling is no longer a convenient obstacle. I didn't really feel like writing or leaving this intro in but it's kinda necessary as a prelude to what's about to come.
Two weeks ago, me and the Bluetonberry decided that we would sleep early, rise early and flag at the tail end of Japanese prime time to score us an expansive day of grinding Blue Mage and Corsair together. Not only did it pay off and score us two levels after a marathon fourteen hour session but, crucially, it put us in within a bracket of about ten people within Solstice that just happened to have a broad spectrum of jobs around us. Three of these people, Rex, Mima and Huds, were a semi-broken archaic set and already close friends of ours so Rex confusingly arranged a party for us all after last week's Limbus. With the British half of the party, Mima and myself, having been awake for the majority of the day and it already being 8am, we were physically incapable of keeping ourselves awake and kept making all the stereotypical mistakes any absurdly fatigued person would. We agreed to finish abruptly and carry on the next day after Dynamis which is where things picked up. We had so much fun that when Mima brought up the prospect of turning it into a full-time set party, it was met with such enthusiasm by all that Rex and Huds decided to freeze their current mid-level set and go for it with us. From Mima's pulling antics in absentia to Rex's obsessive compulsive, overly complex singing patterns, I've had an absolute blast in this hastily cobbled together set. What is setting this apart from other statics for me is that everyone is enthusiastic to level their selected job and try new things. Best of all, It's not only down to me to decide the spot we camp at anymore, everyone is suggesting new camps which is how last nights Marid party came about after some deliberation.
I laughed for a good five minutes at that. Of course, on top of just absorbing irrelevant buffs to humour us, Marids can take absolutely anything from you including Haste, Tavnazian Taco's and Dragonfoe Mambo. The idea of this party is to kit a tank out in full enmity and damage reduction gear and go at the Marid till it uses TP moves and shakes off a Chigoe. Dispatch the Chigoe swiftly without dealing a critical hit or weapon skill under 495 damage and you'll rack up an almighty amount of exp an hour with the Marid on the end of it. Anyone who's ever leveled on Stygian Pugils and Doom Toads outside the Cloister of Tides can multiply that with a TP burn to get a fair idea of how this method of exping relates. It certainly takes a while to adjust too and you need a group of skilled players of the right jobs to pull it off but if you can it blows away the lethargic Kuftal and Ro'Maeve in both terms of experience points and fun. Taking into account the breaks and sub changing that went on, we were probably averaging about 9-10k an hour with a NIN, THF, COR, BLU, BRD, WHM set up. The best jobs for this, melee wise, would be Corsair, Ranger and Blue Mage for dispatching Chigoes without the need to engage them but I'm sure good players can make anything work. Our set goes on break for a little over a week now while Bluetonberry enjoys his vacation in Vegas but when he's back I'm sure we'll rush down 75 rather rapidly and enjoy using our new jobs at events. The first thing I ever did for Solstice was use Corsair at Jailer of Prudence while still only level 63.
In my opinion, by far the best Assault is Lamia 13. I haven't tried any of the third tier ones yet (because I need to find the fucking Hoofprint) so maybe my opinion isn't valid but they'd have to be of an exceptional standard in various fields to top Ilrusi Atoll's little gem. It's easy with three people, unpredictable and fun with a grand array of rewards on offer. We all want something from it but my ravenous desire to do it stems from the greatness of Pahluwan Khazagand above everything else Corsair can wear in the body slot. I'm currently 13,747/20,000 for it so I should have it to level into at 72 quite comfortably. Sadly, other equipment choices aren't as clear cut as this. Gloves is an easy choice once I manage to lay my hands on W.Abj:Hn but until then? Boots would be War Boots or..? Pants are giving me the biggest headache simply because of the choices available. Do I sink 8mil into a pair of Dusk Trousers for a job I may not use in that context end game? Do I go renege on my pledge and shoot for Galliard Trousers or do I switch the Assault focus to Mamool Ja for the scrumptious looking Pahluwan Seraweels? For that choice I'm leaning toward the latter but am open and grateful to input on all.
Predictably, all our tekked ???items have been trash with the exception of these. They're one of the worst Storm items for anyone but an Elvaan or Galka but we'll take these any day over Bronze Leggings +1, a crystal or a Little Worm. The next Assault focus switches to Lebros Cavern and then onto Mamool Ja Training Ground so here's hoping for some Storm Loops and Rings. Would kill for a pair of Storm Manopolas but Seagull Grounded can go fuck itself.
I'm thinking of writing a guide to learning Blue Mage spells - does such a thing exist already? The general idea would be to suggest the most efficient places to learn abilities that might not be immediately obvious. For example, the spot we spent the majority of our eight hours at learning Diamondhide had four armoured Trolls around a reasonably safe camp so I would list that then be open to additions. If I do decide to go ahead and write it, the biggest decision would be whether to make it fully comprehensive and cover the obvious abilities or just focus on the obscure, difficult ones people may stumble over. Thoughts?