The November-March time period for me is growing more and more hectic. Typically, the holiday family shenanigans would eat up a ton of my time (and rightfully so) during Nov and Dec. That generally rolls into the busiest time of the business year for me in the form of tax season.
This holiday season and the start of tax season has been especially bad for me from a time standpoint. There's been very little down time at all when there was usually at least one day/week where I could just sit and decompress from all the stress that has built up. It'll make me sound old(er), but it truly seems like people don't know how to slow down anymore.
That or I can't keep up.
Take your pick.
Anyway, part of the hecticness (is that a word?) is related to FFXI. After undergoing a renaissance of sorts with Abyssea, level cap increases, etc, a lot of transformations have had to take place within our linkshell. Seems silly to me that helping lead a linkshell, which I had always viewed more as a hobby than a job, was eating up so much of my time. It has though. At this point, we seem to have most everything in place with a few minor tweaks to debate out as we find someone trying to figure out how to get a leg up on someone else.
That's one thing I've never understood. I get that it's human nature to be self-serving. Most decent humans can figure out how to cooperate and meet their own needs through a combination of teamwork and patience. There's always those one or two people though, that, no matter how much effort the leaders or team members put into making them better, they're always trying to figure out a way to game a system that's in place.
It's probably utopian of me to think that everyone on a team should be working to help each other out when they can. It's an MMO, not everyone has the same play schedule, so it's hard to gauge just how much effort one is putting in when they typically are on about 1/4 of the time as others. I've always operated under the idea that "You get what you put in."
And yes Jess, if you put in penis, you get penis.
There's so much new content in Abyssea that it's hard to apply some of those principles to it. Some NMs, like Hedjedjet or Fuath, are regularly camped and can be taken down with a small degree of difficulty in low man groups. Unlike Scars, and especially before they dropped the respawn time of NMs to 10-15 mins, these roaming NMs drop items for the +2 stuff, so it becomes an issue of time invested vs. reward gained. Camping NMs is never fun and I've always been opposed to spending mass amounts of time camping them. At the same time, you want to figure out the best and most efficient way of knocking those NMs out to progress through your linkshell's wish lists. "You get what you put in" really only applies if you're working to take other people who share similar interests from the linkshell with you.
Tough to balance and easy to manipulate.
Also on Abyssea, man it's tough getting new people up to par for it. You almost need a damn minor league system to help push returning/new people through to get their basics down, but even then, cause they missed the main push, you always end up with 1-2 people who "don't have X atma". I started compiling a list of what people need to get before they really start actively participating in Abyssea events. A lot of it can be picked up through the course of normal activity, but...
...sometimes not for a few weeks.
Anyway, the list:
1. Fluxes, all zones, no question. You show up and say "I don't have this flux", booting you from the run until you're 100% certain you have all the fluxes.
2. Celerity Abyssites. They're all solable. Get them, maximize your stone regen time.
3. Sojourn Abyssites. 4 of the 6 require NM kills. 2 are soloable. Strongly suggested to simply watch for when your linkshell is heading to a specific zone one of the NMs that drop it are in. 48 mins/stone as opposed to 30 mins/stone will go part and parcel with the celerity Abyssites.
4. Fortune Abyssites. 4, 5 and 6 will generally be lumped together. These particular ones aren't going to be soloable for the most part, but can be picked up typically through normal LS runs.
5. Kismet Abyssites. 2/3 are soloable. The last, not so much, but that chariot isn't a huge deal for a group to take down during a Grauberg run. I point these out cause it really fkn sucks building lights. The less time you spend doing this, the better and having those 1-2 people getting killshots w/o max lights just irritates and slows down everyone else.
6. Abyssites of Furtherance and Merit. A lot of these can be soloed. More HP/MP/Stats from cruor buffs = more better good.
On a side note, why does SE still have the individual options for cruor buffs?
7. Make a beeline for Razed Ruin, Voracious Violet, Allure and Minikin Monstrosity atmas. Sure, there are other atmas that are important, but odds are, no matter what job you play, one or more of those 4 atmas are going to be infused.
Finished this up last night. I'm still pissed I wasted so much time grinding out Lv.85 Gungnir only to have SE knock out 80% of the requirements. I'm halfway expecting they'll knock out a couple of the Lv.90 requirements in the next update.
At this point though, I get 2-3 months to not worry about a relic magian trial whereas before, I was typically up against the clock right up until update day finishing my previous ones.
I speculated before that the Lv.95 version of Gungnir will end up sending us to Xarc to knock out our respective fragment NMs. Still haven't swayed much from that thought process, but I'm starting to entertain the possibility that this whole attestation NM thing is an aberration to the killshot pattern as a whole and we'll be back to killshots for lv.95.
As of this writing though, Kreoss and I have finished our Lv.90 relics with Gawayne and Junin both sitting at 4/5 as they weren't finished with their trials when we did the first couple runs.
It took us 6 runs to get the 5 kills. The first run we attempted gave us a few sore reminders about how the attestation NMs worked. Also put a spotlight on the fact that not everyone knows where the extensions are in the zone. With a few tweaks and repositionings, we got these runs down to the point where we could get in, kill the 3 NMs necessary and get out in under 2 hours.
Last night, we ended up knocking out 4 of the 5 NMs. The 4th one being the BRD/BLM/WHM for Teysa's Dagger paper. Obviously this means we have a new wave of relics coming up behind us potentially, but I suspect that's not going to happen any time soon.
Many, MANY thanks to the guys like Kaylea, Kaelis, Drakus, Milie and a whole host of others who were there every run they could be to help push us through. These things aren't the easiest in the world to Duo or Trio, much less attempt to nail down 3 of them in one run with 2-3 people. It's rather amusing to watch these NMs take down a fully buffed, Lv.90 PLD in the sac process in a matter of 5 or 6 swings (lolgawayne).
We got one more run to do for Gaw and Junin, then hopefully I can just put this behind me for a while. In a lot of ways, this trial was worse than 2000 killshots given the amount of man hours invested from everyone involved. 2000 killshots could basically be done whenever with about 40~ hours. Dynamis could only be done every 72 hours and when you figure about 10 people per run investing 2-3 hours at a time over the course of 5 runs, you can see it easily trumps the killshots trials.
Even though I can't say everyone in our linkshell is always helping other linkshell members get their stuff done, I can say when the major stuff shows up, we got a very solid group of people that pitch in and help, so again, thanks to everyone that pitched in and got us through this.
Lancer's Plackart +2
As a b-day present, a few of us got together to knock this out. I wasn't really expecting to finish it, and it looked like I wasn't going to thanks to Shaula being stubborn on the Lancer's Body seals, but it happened. I had picked up a few Ardor Cards from NMs like Bennu and Alfard. Going into this impromptu event, I was sitting at 6/9 cards and 8/10 seals.
I rounded up everyone I could who was on same tier with me (our prio system is tiered based on 1st-5th priorities and grouped by what +2 items are required) and we headed out. Got Hedjedjet first thing. He somehow went unclaimed during the fight and we weren't sure if he had to deaggro or just go unclaimed for the whole restaggering bit. We erred on the side of caution and just killed him. Our reward?
One Thunder Belt.
One Card of Ardor.
So we figured we needed to restagger. While waiting for repop, we knocked out a few Shaulas, which had managed to drop a shitload of RNG and WHM body seals, but only one DRG body seal.
Second Hedjedjet comes along and we killed w/o having to deal with the unclaimed issue. The drops from that one were:
2x Card of Ardor.
1x Jewel of Ardor.
So, I was done with the +2 portion of the body, just needed that last, pesky body seal. Back to Shaula we went. Nada. More RNG and WHM...
Not that Mav minded all the RNG body seals...I think he started from scratch and finished his +1 and then some...
More linkshell members came out to join us and we got Hedjedjet again. We ran into the unclaimed issue and, thinking back to the first, we grellowed it again. Our reward?
1x Jewel of Ardor.
So ok...one of those kills we just got unlucky on, which was it...
Back to Shaula, who finally dropped the last seal I needed. Awesomely enough, pretty much every Shaula since has dropped 1-2 DRG body seals...
My luck is seriously weird sometimes. There's no question I'm lucky most of the time. My bad luck tends to manifest itself when I'm || close to finishing something.
One objective to go in a relic trial?
Geirskogul whiffs 7 times in a row.
One more item to finish a +1 or +2 piece of armor?
Need at least 10 kills before I'm done.
.1 away from a new WS?
Usually takes an hour or more before I see it.
But up until those points in each of those scenarios, I'm lucky in how fast I get there.
At any rate, I've got +2 head and body now on DRG and +1 everything else. The +2 legs and feet might take some more time given the NMs that drop the cards in Qty. 3 are T3 VNMs...and getting those abyssites suck to begin with. Really wouldn't surprise me if I finished the lower gear priorities on my wish lists before I finished those 2 particular pieces.
I'm torn on what's better for WS though. Lancer's Plackart +2 or Ares Body. I'm of the mindset that in Abyssea, Ares is better, but out of Abyssea, the plackart is better.
Acc is more or less wasted on me given the sheer amount of it I have on my relic and various other pieces of gear. So it's really a question of what's better? 15 Dex or 10 Att? DRG only has a DEX mod in Penta Thrust, which I rarely use anymore. Obviously DEX helps Drakesbane potentially reach another crit tier, but in Abyssea, I'm likely well beyond the crit cap from cruor buffs and atma like Razed Ruin.
Testing must be done!
Testing must also be done on the whole "Set: Damage occasionally varies with wyvern's HP". I whacked a lady bug with a 2600 crit melee swing shortly after I got the body. My wyvern's HP was 100%, so I'm wondering if it's just a straight 1/1 percentage boost to the damage you would have normally dealt as most of my relic crits are in the 1200-1300 range.
That's all for now though...