Another week, another achievement. This one for clearing Rise of the Zilart. Ninja, Samurai, and Monk are now 52 and the San d’Orian story is complete. I also made it past the midpoint of Chains of Promethia. Progress, but not enough.
Zilart went pretty smoothly. I’m a little disappointed I let the Elvaan Ark Angel kill me, but he kept shield bash stunning me, I never really got my buffs set and took an 1100 damage weapon skill. I only have 1500 HP. 2nd attempt went much smoother. I picked up Chains of Promathia in Chapter 3 and immediately hit slow down. A ton of running around viewing cutscenes and a trip to Attowha Chasm. What a maze that zone is. Finding the ??? wasn’t that bad, but climbing to the top of the nearby mountain was ridiculous.
I should have been leveling since there is no guarantee that the XP chain bonus will continue into the next week of the Vana’diel Rainbow Campaign. However, I noticed Bastok was leading and decided to go through the story missions and grab the Republic Aketon in case Bastok drops to last for awhile. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite get in done in one evening and it didn’t matter because unlike when I turned to San d’Oria, I did not keep my conquest points. It’s going to take a lot of leveling to get back to 56k. I don’t even have enough points to recharge my Empress Band. I have 4 missions left, so I might as well finish those, then I’m going to hit some melee classes. Thief is currently 25 and Warrior is 20. Everything else is at 10. The plan is to get everyone to 50, get rid of unnecessary <50 gear to clear some room for >50 spark gear.
I finally made some progress in The Witness and cleared the Monastery. The final puzzle there, the one I was stuck on, reminded me that the solution is not always right in front of you. Still struggling with the final lock on the end game, but I did make start working on the forest area next to the Quarry. I could have sworn the last time I was here the panel was still dark, so I must have triggered something somewhere. Not difficult so far, it’s just based on silhouettes, but obstructions are quickly complicating things.
I had two reasons for returning to Final Fantasy XI. One was to play through the story missions and “beat” the game. The second pertains to Square Enix closing the Xbox 360 servers at the end of March and making the achievements impossible to obtain. When I started back in early January, all but two seemed possible. As the cutoff approaches I realize I probably needed to dedicate almost all of my free time to make it happen. In two months I have popped 8 achievements. It took way too long to get my level 50 Red Mage to 99. Now at max level with Item Level 117 equipment, things are starting to fall into the place, but most of the achievements are for reaching 75 with each class. With a XP ring and all the +30% boosts from Rhapsodies of Vana’diel, I took my Rune Fencer from 1 to 43 in just a few hours. I probably wasted more time swapping equipment than I did leveling. I can easily get one more +30% boost and each run should get easier, but with three weeks and 18 classes to level… And after consulting the list, Rune Fencer was added to the game too late to have an achievement tied to it, so yet another afternoon that accomplished nothing.
I’m now Rank 10 in my home city of Windurst. With San d’Oria in last place this week, I’ll shift allegiance today and blow through it next week. Maybe finish Rise of Zilart, as well. Chains of Promathia and Treasures of Aht Urghan need finishing as well, but progress into Rhapsodies of Vana’diel can block access to those quests, so here’s hoping I haven’t locked out necessary characters. If I can finish a few expansions and get about 6 characters to 75, I should be in good shape. At some point I should dig out my 360 disc and make sure I can still log in…
My 1st Iron Banner was, for the most part, a success. I’m pretty happy with my performance, but I was a little disappointed with my loot. I did get 314 boots out of my Rank 5 package, but my 3 weapon drops were all in the 280s. Excluding the packages, I received 6 Iron Banner drops out of 65 games and no drops over 310. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if 1 in 10 was considered a good drop rate…
On the other hand, as someone who has always sucked at PVP, I closed with a 1.15 K/D ratio and 33 wins out of those 65 games. As a solo player, I did get dropped into quite a few lost cause games with no chance of a win. Most games I hovered around 1.0 K/D, but I had far more good games than really bad ones. Best game was a 25 Kills, 8 Deaths worth 2910 points. Plenty of 5 kill streaks, but I never managed to hit 10. PVE is still my focus in this game, but I can see myself jumping into more Crucible matches.