Well, the summer is over. Back from my overseas trip which lasted three months. Hopefully I will get off my lazy ass and stop being lazy enough to add some much needed updates to my blog. Lots of stuff has been going on, even since before my summer trip, but I've fallen behind on trying to document things as much as I could. =( Real entry soon.

Most of my entries thus far have glorified my melee damage-dealing jobs and my most recent work-in-progress, Paladin, but just because I've been neglecting to mention RDM as much does not mean it takes a back seat to any of my other roles! In fact, I've been putting off writing about RDM mainly because of the sheer amount of detail there is to delve into. Probably the busiest job in the game and definitely one that takes a lot of time and experience to play correctly, I really enjoy work involved in playing it. It is also the most challenging job I get to play with.

The first thing that comes to everyone's mind is lolGalka mage. I really don't believe the Galka's poor MP pool plays out to be such a disadvantage as everyone thinks. It does hold back from maximum RDM potential, but only for the first few minutes of a full MP pool. What I mean is, gearing for MP is not all too difficult at all for Galka mages, as my Convert build easily outdoes most of my RDM peers in the MP category without worrying much about maintaining HP balance.

This equipment set didn't take a whole lot of effort to put together, and still leaves me with 900+ MP after Curing my HP back to full after Convert. The major drawback is that this is indeed a build made specifically for +MP only. A decent Enfeeble set (to land Sleep on most mobs that are Sleepable, or Gravity, etc.) already brings my max MP down to ~850 (swapping in AF body, Relic hat, appropriate staff + grip, Nashira Seraweels; MP gear remaining unchanged on hands/feet/accessories), so that's already a big drop from the Convert MP. Full INT Enfeeble for the most reliable Sleeps, Gravitys, Binds, etc. dips MP down to ~600. Full MND build drops MP down to a measly 591 MP on /whm.

It's a pretty large gap between my RDM's maximum MP capacity and its true RDMing potential. It's tough to give up almost half of a maximum MP pool in order to utilize the best in RDM performance gear. For this reason I chose to maximize Convert recast merits. A lot of RDMs don't feel the need to minimize Convert recast, but Convert really is the tool that makes RDM what it is. I judge myself to be a pretty MP-efficient mage, so Convert recast wasn't a huge deal to me at first. But as my RDM gear collection improved, I found myself gravitating toward using MND Enfeeble potency builds a lot more as they become easier to rely on. Having Convert readilly available helps me out much more when it comes down to this. So for the most part, during the first 350-400 MP after a full Convert, I'm just finding things to burn MP on and tossing out generous Cures before I enter the more "useful" MP threshold.

Anyway, enough about how I play RDM and how, when it comes down to it, race is not really a major obstacle in playing a job to its full potential. The pro's and con's all balance out in the end. A Taru PLD may not have the most HP in the alliance, but his massive MP pool will allow him to cap cumalative enmity values quicker as well as have an easier time maintaining it more consistently than a lot of other PLDs since he has more self-Cures at his disposal; just an example.

On to some of my latest RDM accomplishments! I was blessed with a Duelist's Chapeau shortly after last Christmas after lotting RDM in Dynamis for almost a year and a half. This year started off with an even more grandiose goal that I've arrived at:

Yay!! Not even my main preference Salvage body armor (Ares'), which makes me feel that much more gratified. I've had no trouble performing my RDM duties for the last two years without a single Refresh equipment piece (well, there is Balrahn's Ring for the times I RDM in Salvage), but with these two recent additions I am much more comfortable letting go of a lot of +MP gear early on. As I mentioned above, the abundant 900+ MP after a Convert and full Cure sits idle for a while before the MP pool is depleted enough to swap over to the more effective RDM builds that lie around ~600 MP for me. Now, if there's absolutely no HP to be Cured in sight, I will just throw away that surplus 300 MP if the situation calls for it. Two MP/tick Refresh is almost a second Refresh spell! This has improved the way I can play RDM a lot.

Last patch saw the introduction of MMM. People need to be more excited about this! The gear to be farmed is not something to overlook. One of the top BLU swords, an earring with the most MND you can find in that slot, a nice Evasion Dagger (and nice DNC Dagger in general), are a few notable items amongst the list of other goodies. After a couple weeks of farming marbles and collecting/purchasing Runes, it didn't take us that long to farm up our desired items.

I obtained my Mamool Ja Earring in only two attempts using a rune set-up and formula suggested on BG. The theory suggests that resonating only one element at a time, corresponding to the drop that you want, will yield the drop. Everyone is hyped about an item giving Reraise III, but are people really overlooking the fact that it has the highest MND bonus in one earring slot? I try to refine my job builds as close to absolute completion as I can and this beauty was a must-have for RDM.

One step closer to finishing MND build! Naturally high MND on Galka make us a very nice race for Red Mage. I've seen too many RDMs who claim to be "end-game" players (maybe successfully bot-claiming HNM is considered end-game now) neglect this important facet in their job. MND build is to RDM as WS build is to SAM! Fact of the matter is, most bosses at end-game that are susceptible to Enfeebling will likely not require an all out Enf. skill / M. Acc build to land Enfeebles successfully. This is where a "MND potency" gear set comes into play. You are widening the difference between player MND vs. target MND and yielding greater effects of Slow and Paralyze. MND Enfeebling in staff + Enf. skill / M. Acc is reliable and is probably the first thing beginner RDMs should aim for, but using that all the time is just silly.

One area where my RDM gets a lot of action is in Salvage. This build pwnz Chariot bosses! They can so easily be Enfeebled it's sad! Being susceptible to Ice element magic only makes full MND Paralyze more e-peen worthy. It's like RDM Extenz! Granted, some Chariot fights that do get drawn out will result in minor tweeks in a full MND build to add more Enf. Skill or M. Acc. Even so, I usually never have to resort to staves. Replacing Errant body with AF body will do the job just fine once Enfeebles start to resist, or wear off progressively faster. This tactic just applies to my Slow II and Paralyze II Enfeebling. Blind and Poison II are still performed under full Enfeebling Skill / M. Acc > INT equipment setups, and Gravity is not an option with Chariots. Full MND builds do not just apply to Salvage and Chariot bosses. A lot of end-game mobs will be susceptible if they don't flat out resist RDM Enfeebling all-together. For now I'm aiming to acquire a Cursed Mail to increase my RDM MP capactiy while switching to full MND. A free-lot Macha's Pigaches wouldn't be too bad either. Shadow Clogs don't look too bad either, but I've only seen it drop once out of five or six Odin runs so far.

I've also been back on the ZNM grind. I was a little discouraged last year when we lost our first Sarameya attempt and all that effort to build up that pop set had gone to waste. Our later attempts were successful, and even though Sarameya is in a league all in its own compared to Tinnin and Tyger, it's still the most rewarding and I will continue to push for my goal toward Hachiryu Haidate as we start to nail this fight and it becomes easier. If only more people were interested in the ZNM system and its rewards, we'd be spending more time in ZNM instead of some of the mundane activities that've been around for five or six years lol!

I guess Zeni farming really does suck that much. I've been pretty lazy, and resorting to just farming 60-70 Soul Plates of Aw'euvhi NMs at a time and storing them across mules. One tip for those who don't want to go out and look for the suggest subject matter, make sure to kill off your Aw'euvhi before the 20 minute rage timer is up! Or else you will die!!!

Yup, these guys mean serious business! If you go over the 20 minute rage timer, it's over lol. Still, farming Aw'euvhi for Zeni is a lot faster and more convenient then hunting out the recommended fauna. And across me and Numi dual-box'ed, I can collect a hefty amount of Soul Plates to turn in for a while.

I've been farming for solo Sarameya pops while my other Sarameya pop partners aren't available to kill ZNMs. Soloing Brass Borer might not yield as much gil from possible drops as killing Ob, but it's a quick and efficient way to build toward Sarameya.

For Tier 2, I've been soloing Anantaboga, the Dahak ZNM. The first time I fought this was pretty tough, didn't know what to expect. Actually, the pull is probably the hardest part of the whole solo. The mob is pulled way south from its spawn point through the field of Wamouras and past the Navukgo Execution Chamber zone, through a tunnel and out to a wide open area full of Wamoura Princes. It's a very safe area to kite this guy, and the only real threat comes out at night which is a Ghost, but if you're dipping into yellow HP then you're doing something wrong.

The first time I fought him, it took a little over two hours! I guess I let him rage and wasn't able to stick Poison II for the last 20% or so of his HP, so that drew out the fight a little longer. After killing him numerous times though, I've cut the fight time down to about 45 minutes including the 5 minute pull (he's so damn slow).

The main point to realize during the fight is that Anantaboga is a BRD. If his target is out of his singing range, he will sing self-buff songs on himself, which take a while. He casts stuff like Minuet, Paeon, Minne, etc. As long as you are out of range. This singing period is ample time to move in to re-apply DoTs or nuke. The trick is staying just far enough while kiting to be out of his casting range but close enough to see him actually stop to cast (watching chat log for mob actions). The comfort zone is about 22' to 28' distance. Any closer than that and he will cast songs on you and being further will not give you enough time to double back and get off a nuke.

If Anantaboga does gain ground on the kiter, Elegy isn't that big a deal; Finale is a short-casting spell but shadows eat that right up; Viralei doesn't pose that big a threat even if you do get hit (shadows are wiped)--you can take all the time to recover after you are uncharmed since you will lose aggro.

The only major concern is if you are way too close when he starts singing Horde Lullaby. I find that as long as you have at least a 13-14' distance head-start you will outrun Horde Lullaby. Once it does hit, however, you can get in a little trouble. He will follow through with a melee attack that will deal no less than 300-400 dmg (I haven't geared for Physical Dmg Taken -% outside of Terra's Staff yet, so I'm sure this can be greatly reduced; though it shouldn't be needed if you're kiting and killing correctly) and sometimes he will Double Attack. Once you're awake, and if you're lucky, you can gain your kiting distance back. If he decides to screw you with another Horde Lullaby after eating up half your HP though, you'd better prey there is no Double Attack or critical.

He doesn't have enhanced movement speed, and I don't have Crimson Cuisses. I would think a red legs user would be at a disadvantage in this fight as he would out-run Anantaboga by too far a distance and miss the text in the log when Anantaboga starts singing on himself.

The window of oppurtunity to nuke while he sings on himself isn't that long. A quick tier 3 nuke starting in Fast Cast (Wlk. Chapeau / Duelist's Tabard / Loquac. Ear) will just get off by the time he starts moving again, so it is imperitive that every second he is buffing himself is utilized (which is why it is so important to maintain minimal kiting distance just outside his casting range). I find I only have time to apply Poison II and Bio II everytime he stops to sing, so that should indicate how soon he will be back on the move again!

I ran into Energetic Eruca on my way back through Mount Zhayolm during one of my Anantaboga nights. Made a quick 50k from the Hanzo Tekkos. Not a tough fight for RDM/NIN, and I didn't even carry my melee Haste gear with me since it wasn't really needed for kiting Anantaboga; just AF hat, Relic body, and Nashira Seraweels did the job. These gloves should sell for more!

Upsetting more Relics!
I posted a couple of parses in my last entry from merit parties with Jayiiq shortly after he finished his Apocalypse. I came pretty close to overcoming the half a % difference between our results. In a subsequent party we had, there was no LS RDM available so we decided to let Trixter leech on his LV70-something SCH. Low and behold... I've discovered Jay's weakness! Lack of Haste spell made Apocalypse Catastrophe spam fall short of SAM/DRG Hagun. The tables have turned! This is still a dual BRD setup at G. Colibri + Wivre. The results look surprisingly similar to the last parse I posted in the previos entry, only Jay and my numbers are flipped around.

I also got to merit with a Gungnir for the first time. We went to G. Colibri for this party, so I was expecting to lose this parse noticeably. I managed to outparse the DRG, but with his wyvern included I fall short of the win. Well, when I saw the DRG enter Alzadaal making his way toward camp as DRG/BLU I thought it was an error on their part, so I politely pointed out that fact; but, apparently, they like to merit using that job combo. I think had the DRG used a more offensive subjob, Gungnir woulda owned me pretty bad. As it was, Drakesbane average was only 30 more dmg than my own baby DRG's Drakesbane average on Colibri, but resorting to Wivres to keep chain will fuck up your numbers.

Another Relic I can cross off my list of weapons to put to shame!

I was a little surprised at encountering a Relic owner who was not completely enamored with flexing his e-peen; a breath of fresh air really. Getting Magic Fruit after a getting hit by a reflected Lullaby was nice. It was a fun party and I hope I have chances to play with this Gungnir DRG again. Until next time!

currently listening to: Telepopmusik - Don't Look Back

Dragoon is 75! It was probably one of the longer grinds I've had leveling a job, mainly due to a lack of real interest and a lazy leveling partner. It also didn't help that my only real motivation to level it to 75 was so that I’d have a new job to dump merits into. Being locked out of meripo due to being totally capped in merits sucks, especially when meriting is one of my favorite things to do in FFXI.

DRG was a fun job to level, but at the end of the day it takes a back seat to my DRK and SAM, which I've already dedicated so much work and effort and time into that they easily overshadow any up and coming melee job I bring up. Anyway, it was nice to have most of the high-end gear for the job ready for me to use. One downer is not having proper WS equipment in a few slots. Using Alkyoneus's Bracelets on any multi-hit weaponskills is never a good thing, especially when Drakesbane's DEX mod comes into play. Lack of Hecatomb Mittens isn't that big a deal though, I guess. It's also nice to see a couple new very nice body pieces for DRG introduced recently, and I kinda have my eyes set on an Aurum Cuirass, though I'd rather focus my ZNM efforts on Sarameya for the time being. And who knows, maybe there’s an Ares’s Cuirass in my future. So for now, I will be full-timing Askar Korazin for both my TP build and weaponskill for DRG. Anyway, I'm still content with 1100+ averages at G. Colibri camp (although SAM/WAR with polearm can still come close to this), but I've yet to break 2k so I will keep tweaking my DRG as I see fit.

I'm probably due for a mage job now. Four melee jobs, tank, and RDM... I'm just not sure which mage. Although one recent, unexpected surprise really has me leaning toward a certain nuke-happy role that I'd like to tinker around with:

BLM a-gogo? I’m happy I finally have a Salvage body nearly completed, even if it isn’t the original piece I opted for. And because of this, I’ll have to fund it myself since I’m still waiting for an Ares’s Cuirass for my one LS-funded Salvage body. As of now I have all the materials for the Imperial Wootz Ingots, as long as there are no critical breaks. The only thing I’m missing still is Nemain’s Robe. I wish SE would assign WOTG jobs to Salvage armor already. If SCH were on Morrigan’s Robe set, I’d be all over that in a heartbeat.

Along with this nice little treasure, I also finally saw a Duelist’s Chapeau drop into my inventory a couple of days after Christmas. It only took 14 months to finally get it! Q_Q Ended up with a 970-something lot! The same day I saw my long-awaited Relic hat, my long-time Humbaba friend and Dawn overlord Jayiiq completed his Relic scythe! Congratulations Jay, for completing a feat only a handful of people in the FFXI community will ever complete!

Yes, this is me sobbing because Apocalypse is such a beautiful piece of work.

Apocalypse now!

And of course what's a Galkan Guru blog entry without some meripo goodness! With a new lv. 75 job I can finally meripo without wasting merits again. And I finally get a taste of what a real Relic user fights like. I've parsed with an Apocalypse DRK before, and I don't know if it was the lack of a second BRD that diminished that DRK's Catastrophe spam potential, but this time versus Jayiiq I really didn't think I had a way to keep up with him. In retrospect, those old parses with Eka were of relatively small sample sizes--I realize Catastrophe spam is more of a DoT build up resulting in monstrous numbers compared to the spike damage Guillotine playstyle of most DRKs. This time, in LS meripo we got a good 3-ish hours of results in as well as the proper two BRD merit-pumping machine setup.

Setup: Cinnabun: SAM/DRG; Jayiiq: DRK/SAM; Destrac: MNK/NIN; Kanaye & Teorem: BRD; Krish: RDM

Round 1

Round 2

To be honest, I was expecting to keep up rather closely with Jayiiq. Once we got going though I knew there was no room for slack, at all. Unfortunately I fell behind more than I should have in the first parse; busy on the phone, etc. Being slow on finding mob pops (BRD pulling simply wasn't enough), and not Overwhelming as much as I should really held me back (805 average WS is an indication). But once I hung up the phone on the ol' ball and chain it was time for srs bizness! Second round: time for upping the ante with 80% of the time on Hasso to keep up with Jay's incredible speed and his Hasso. I can only see this getting worse for me Q_Q as Jay completes his DRK gearing soon, that is if Jailer of Justice puts out and he comes back to Limbus to get a pair of Cosciales.

At any rate, it's a lot of fun to finally play with someone who knows how to put their Relic to full use. Next time, I'll see how my own DRK holds up, since I had orginally outparsed Eka's Apocalypse on that job. It'll be a good benchmark to see which of my jobs is the stronger meripo job, too.

currently listening to: Daft Punk - Aer OBAMA