Sunday, April 12, 2009

Theme Week - Turnabout Part 6

A few people have asked me why I'm leveling so slowly.

Theoretically, most people could get to level 20 and well beyond in a handful of days. Levels really don't slow down until you get upwards of 40, so it really shouldn't be taking me this long.

You'd be right. I've taken new characters from 1 to 20 in less than a day.

Sure, I didn't sleep that day.

Or eat.

Or breathe more than was specifically required.

But it can be done.

The problem is that I have other requirements to my daily life that must be fulfilled in addition to this new project.

I have my daily employment that helps me provide my family with the basic necessities such as internet access and bacon.

I have my carefully cultivated addiction to leveling my main character.

Also, there's this little person who lives at my house and requires constant supervision to keep from killing herself with a plastic bag or Daddy's "happy juice".

This leaves very little time for me to actually level this damnable White Mage.

I assure you that it has absolutely nothing to do with me hating his stupid little guts.

Honestly, I never realized how much I had come to rely on the advantages of my own high level characters and my own high level friends.

Apparently, I had blocked out the memories of the soul-crushing early levels as viewed by a new player.

Funny how we tend to do that, huh?

It's a lot harder than I remember. When I look back at when I first started, all I remember is running through green fields and seeing lots of cute and fuzzy bunnies.

I mean murdering... Murdering lots of cute and fuzzy bunnies.

Sure, I still remember the hellish Dunes levels.

I have nightmares about them sometimes.

But it all seemed so much... Nicer in my memories.

Nothing brings this more to my mind than the arbitrary line in the sand of level 18: the subjob quest.

This is one of the things I always felt WoW lacked. I missed the idea of having a secondary job class to bolster the abilities of the first.

Plus, it has provided fuel for countless forum flame wars and, really, isn't that what's it all about?

The quest to get a subjob, however, is a gigantic pain in the ass.

Apparently, someone at SE decided that the best way to design this quest was to put the quest items on:

a) an enemy that everyone kills

b) an enemy that people don't necessarily kill

c) an enemy that is fear embodied for anyone under level 20

The first two don't bother me so much. Crabs are the target of choice for the majority of Dunes parties so getting that item is easy.

Sure, damselflies are a pain to fight (stupid glowy purple ball of death), but you'll probably kill enough of them to get your item.

Then there's the Ghouls...

Ghouls are the only mobs in Valkurm Dunes that drop the final item. They are also tremendously difficult to kill at the level where you need to kill them.

Think about that for a minute.

Pretty much the only reason anyone fights Ghouls is to get their subjob items.

That's it.

Now, the easiest way to handle this is to get help from a high level friend (or wife) and have that friend (or wife) kill Ghouls while you make a sandwich and think deep thoughts about the nature of life and whether or not you could eat a whole pack of bacon before your heart exploded.

Answer: yes.

Unfortunately for me, I'm not allowed to ask for high level help.

Not that I'm blaming anyone for that.

Answer: You. I blame you.

Instead, I have to organize a ragtag band of hapless idiots into a Ghoul killing machine.

This is harder than it sounds.

It's hard enough to get a Dunes party that can actually kill crabs and crabs hardly put up a fight. They pretty much just stand there and splash water at you occasionally.

They're like the Magikarp of Vana'diel.

Now, you have to take that same barely functional group and try to get them to kill undead skeletons wielding dark magic that feed off their very life forces.

Good luck with that.

After countless (actual number: 6) failed attempts at forming a working Ghoul-killing group, I thought I had it down. My party managed to handle a Ghoul in a fairly efficient manner without anyone dying or wetting themselves.

That's a big deal in Valkurm.

So we spend a couple of hours getting everyone their subjob items. We all have the first two items which just leaves 6 magicked skulls.

Pretty soon, it's down to me and the tank left to get the item. Two more and we're done.

It's a good thing too because night was due to end very soon and we'd have to wait until dark again.

Yeah, they only come out in the dark. How incredibly convenient.

We tear our way through a Ghoul and, just as it's about to die, I see another Ghoul just over the next sand dune.

Easy peezy.

And, as luck would have it, the one we just finished killing dropped a skull.

Everyone else passes except the tank and I. We both lot and, in a very close race, he wins the skull.

I'm unhappy, but not overly as another Ghoul is standing right there.

He's right there.

I could spit on him if the devs ever listened to me and put in a spitting emote.

We're just about to charge headlong into battle when...

Tank>> Oh, sorry, guys.
Tank>> I have to go.

Just like that.

No time warning. No letting us know anything. He gets his item and then abandons us.

I'm in the middle of typing about the Ghoul standing at theoretical spitting distance when then icon above his head turns into a red ball.

He DC'ed.

More accurately, he faked a disconnect so that he could leave without looking like a total asshole.

Which, of course, made him look like a bigger asshole.

So, now I'm standing in the Dunes, in a party without a tank and no magicked skull.

Things couldn't possibly be worse.

Thief>> AGGRO!

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, "Aggro" is a word used to describe an enemy attacking a party member.

It is generally followed by a number of explanation points, as well as running and/or death.

I'll give you three guesses what happened.

If you answered "he made it to safety and then found a new tank and got his subjob item"...

No.

Not really, no.

Basically, I got about three and a half feet before I was horribly raped by a skeleton.

This is when I coined a new term: SkullF&%@ed.

Rather fitting, don't you think?

I F&%@ing hate the dunes.

18 Comments:

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Codexx said...

I'd like to request the following stories once this week is over.

Mr know-it-all: set to a low level and teleported into the middle of the areas he claimed are level appropriate.

Mr D/C Tank: knock his entire party offline in the middle of a fight.

Or whatever other punishments you can come up with. But I would enjoy seeing something along those lines.

 
At 10:00 PM, Blogger AJ said...

Jormy is too kind a fate.

 
At 10:28 PM, Blogger Saifer said...

"This is one of the things I always felt WoW lacked. I missed the idea of having a secondary job class to bolster the abilities of the first."

Talents are very similar to what ur asking for: They boost the abilities of ur main job in "3" different ways, wich, u decide.

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Lambenttelos said...

I hope you wrote the tank's name down in a couple places... that's one to remember. I hope you create a special hell for him.

 
At 12:34 AM, Blogger Rabid Ferrets of DOOM!!!™ said...

I personally don't have a problem with people leaving in the middle of a group, as long as they have the balls to actually say "I got my item Imma go now" or whatever, instead of faking a DC or pretending their guild is calling, or my personal favorite: "My wife is having contractions, gotta go."

 
At 12:46 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Response to Saifer: That is so, so far from an accurate analogy. In FFXI you can get a long fine without a subjob (I said fine, not good, just fine) but if you try playing WoW at 80 without any talent points specc'd you can't really do anything.

And Dave, that has nothing to do with the Dunes. You know how much people suck, that's universal. I've helped lowbies that I don't know do random things like get skulls, go shouting around and see if someone is nice enough to help out. With all the stupidity, it has to balance out somehow.

 
At 5:20 AM, Blogger Kinam said...

I agree with Codexx, whomsoever is the top donation person should say the next week should be a nice review over all of the punishments and the player's reactions to being punished for their stupidity ... I really would like to see what Mr Know-it-all says when he's ported to those areas as the level he was saying he should do it in.

 
At 5:48 AM, Blogger nkelly1968 said...

I hate to agree with Mr. Know-it-all but at least in Qufim a lot of people are going earlie rand leveling off the worms near the conquest NPC. Personally I prefer going to Korroloka tunnel (and you are from Bastok!) but it's always hard to get a party to go there.

Sorry about the subjob item but I agree with Daniel; there are nice people who will take you to Gusgen. It was done for me and I've returned the favor a couple of times.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger Saifer said...

Response to Daniel : What I tried to do was let Dave know there is something similar to SJ in WoW, nothing else.

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Dimitry said...

Write down the name of the tank. Feed him to Jormy until he is lvl 10.

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger Dyamalos said...

I had a friend run out of beer during a party, so since he's a Mithra, he said "Brb guys, going to buy some tampons and pads"

They let him leach for like an hour and a half until he got back.

As far as the skull goes, I never farm for that in the dunes, besides the arbitrary time limit of night time, they are so spread out it's not worth the hassle.

On the off chance you can get a group together (as long as you can survive it doesn't matter, I attempted it first with 6 red mages) you can go to gusgen mines.

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger Church said...

Enhancing your job in 3 different ways would in no way be anything similar to a subjob in FFXI.

A subjob in FFXI is all spells, abilities and traits of that job at half of your current level. It also enhances all of your base stats, as well as HP an MP.

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Leut said...

So I am wondering why you didn't just switch over to your GM acct and wait for him to log back on in 15 minutes. It would have been just SO good to see him somehow not have the skull in his inventory....somehow.

And then spawn a ghoul right behind him.

And rejoice.

 
At 4:56 PM, Blogger Saifer said...

"spells, abilities and traits, base stats, HP an MP." Hmm, Talents do all of the above...

 
At 7:45 AM, Blogger Dxoh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger Dxoh said...

Talents are closer to merits. Subjobs would be more like, say, a mage getting druid talents, in addition to mage talents.

Admittedly, merits only occur at level 75, but that's beside the point.

Also worth pointing out is that you can change your job and subjob as often as you want. Talents cost a hell of a chunk of change to change.

 
At 4:40 PM, Blogger Magical Meerkat said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger Magical Meerkat said...

I absolutely, positively hate when people pull crap like that.

I once spent 5 hours killing that stupid Eyes for the O-hat, only to have the entire alliance decide to call it quits with ONE HAT left to get: mine. I lost a level and a half in those 5 hours (and had Dynamis the next day, dear God was *that* xp ever fun trying to get back -.-).

I wrote down the name of every single member of the alliance.

Those who stood by me, I have helped in almost any capacity that I can whenever asked.

Those who decided that they couldn't hang on for *one* more fight, I have refused every call for help that's come my way. That is, if they hadn't been blacklisted.

Did this make their FFXI experience *that* much worse for the wear? Probably not. But I can hope, at least, that it made it the *tiniest* bit more difficult so that they know just how it feels to be left hanging with no one to help.

Times like these... I wish I had a giant, man-eating purple dragon, too! >:/

 

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