April 10th, 2004

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Be careful what you wish for... (FFXI)

For the past couple days I've been saying "I really should travel to new areas, see new things, find new things to fight...". Well, tonight I got that -- in spades!

But first, this morning: I'm at the point where I'm really supposed to be partying with people instead of going solo, so I put my 'seeking a party' flag up and waited. Soon someone sent me two messages in a row: "party" "party?" I always have to remind myself that typing does not count in this game, so I didn't judge this person by his. I asked who else was in it (red mage and thief), then I asked where they were going (the lack of a fighter-type troubled me, so I wanted to make sure they weren't going too far). They claimed not to be. So with one telling me "fallow me" and the other saying "com with us", I went along. Of course they headed right into the Orc Camp. One died as soon as we stepped in. (One of my friends saw us and warned us, but it didn't make a difference. I don't remember the timing of things, but these two were so green I'm surprised they didn't die by running into trees.) So the two of us ran back out to wait for the dead one to join us again, but I learn my lessons and left that party. Zero XP and zero money for the time invested (but at least I didn't die).

I spent the afternoon solo'ing and fishing. Raised my fishing rank to 2.5 (yay!), got about 600 XP for myself (not a lot, but not too bad). Then I decided to party again. The adventure was about to begin!

Right away someone paged me, inviting me to join an XP party. XP was exactly what I was looking for, so I asked her who else was in it (four others, three being fighting types). Everything sounded good (they claimed to be going only to the Plateau), so I agreed. We ran and ran and ran, picking up two more people on the way (and losing one to logging out). We ran... through the Plateau, through a tunnel, and into some sandy area with the sound of the ocean. EEP! Nervously I checked my map, and found that we were in the Dunes. I heard things about the Dunes, and none of them were good or low-level-friendly. We had a lot of people though (but only one white mage: me), and there's no way I would have found my way back, so I went along with them. They stopped at a spot where you can set your home to (home = place you return to when you die), and the party leader instructed everyone to reset their home there. Being the very untrusting person that I am, I did not. And in the end, that's what saved me.

We got attacked by something (Hill-something, looked like a lizard), and never before had I seen something that so well defined "cluster fuck". While one person pulled (drew the attacks to her), and I tried to keep up with healing her, the others wandered off and attacked other things. Soon the puller was dead, and the only thing the monster had left to focus its anger on was me. Eep! (I mean this literally: In the game, there's a setting called 'hate'. Depending on what you do, you gain hate. The monsters use this setting to decide who to attack. Healing people generates a lot of hate.) Luckily someone else came by and killed it before it could kill me.

We gathered together and healed, then went and attacked something else. This time most people attacked it at once, but still someone died. (I have only Cure, which heals about 20 HP. People were getting hit for ... well, lots more, and more often than I could heal.) After one more poor battle, people FINALLY got the friggin idea that maybe this area was too tough for us. (HELLO?) Bah. And in all this time (about an hour so far), I had earned under 100 XP. I could have made many times that solo'ing.

So we ran somewhere else (AWAY from the direction of home!) and battled again. Things were still too strong for us, and one person was tired, so the party decided to break up. There in the middle of no where. ?!?!?! Two people decided to go to a different city (not my home), and two decided to stay out and try to fight more. This left me in the middle of nowhere, with no way to get home! (This was way, way far away, and I had no maps for it.)

Luckily, since I had earned nearly no XP (around 100), I didn't level up. I could die and take the XP hit (10% of the amount you need to level up). "Amusingly", dying cost me 100 XP. So for all this time, trouble, and stress, I got nothing. (And seriously, it was stress. I was so tense my hands were shaking and I couldn't hardly type.)

Bah. I may solo for the rest of my time on the game! (Not totally serious there...)

Once the party disbanded, I decided to make the most of the situation and take lots of screenshots. It was sort of funny playing tourist, when I knew I could die at any second. (Since I didn't post on Friday night, I have some screenshots from then, too.)

Friday: Mostly hanging out and dealing with egg foo. Since the place was so crowded, I saw lots of interesting people.

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(I hope that's enough screenshots to satisfy those of you who asked for them! I have about 60 more just from the last two days, but those were the best of them.)

Rereading this post, it sort of sounds like I had a bad day of gaming. It wasn't all bad. I enjoyed fishing a lot. (It was so peaceful! You could watch the stream's water flow by, fish meandering through it, nothing trying to kill you (except once).) I'll be happy (very happy) when this egg event is over. To sell anything, I need to be logged on. And to be logged on, I can't do anything else on my computer. :( I'm ODing on FFXI foo this weekend, which isn't good. If only you could do other things while being logged on!

Anyway, I'm still enjoying the game a lot. It's so so so real, it's just amazing! And while there are sucky people, there are some great ones, too. (After I killed a sheep, some low level fighter came up to me and said "WOW! You're SO strong for a mage!". It made me giggle out loud!) It's so great to be able to help people, too. Some new person wandered out too far, and he was getting his ass kicked by a hare (snicker). So I came close and kept healing and protecting him (which gained me hate) and soon the hare was attacking me instead... and doing 0 damage. Hee. So he hit it (and hit it and hit it and hit it) and eventually it died. I suggested he go back closer to the city. :)
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