When I sat down at my desk at work this morning, I looked at my rip-a-page-off-every-day calender and thought it must have been put together incorrectly. Why was it showing Friday's page when today is Tuesday? Did I forget to rip off a page on Monday? ...today couldn't be Monday, right? Not when "yesterday" was such a day from hell? ...oh, wait, Friday was the bad day. Ugh. Why does it feel like there was no weekend?
At least Friday of this week will be a short day. We're having the annual company picnic, so I'll be scooting home to do laundry instead. I'm at the point of needing to wash everything I own. Uck. Bad me for falling behind.
FFXI: Playing Beastmaster. (FFXI only below this. It's going here instead of the FFXI "IC" journal because it's more about tactics than humor.)
Playing a beastmaster (BST) makes it feel like I'm playing a totally different game. In some ways it's easier (I hit hard and have a high defense, so unlike playing mages, I don't feel like death is waiting for me around every corner), but in other ways it's much, much harder (in a good way).
While I had thought that playing a white mage took skill (you need to watch HPs and balance the need to heal against how much MP you have and how much delay will be created if you lose too much of it, plus other spells needed to be cast on the monster), I was totally wrong. Other jobs' requirements look like a walk in the park now, and I'm loving it.
Timing (and thus experience) are such an important part of playing a BST. You charm a strong monster and make it into your pet, then send it to fight a stronger monster. If all goes well, the pet will be killed by the wild monster when the wild monster has just a sliver of life left. Then I step in and finish it off, claiming all the XP for myself. When that works, I can get 75-100 XP with little risk to myself. When the pet doesn't die, I lose 30%-50% of that XP -- getting 50 XP with little risk is nice (and darned uncommon when playing solo at my level), but 75-100 is much, much nicer.
(Note: This is one of two ways of playing BST. The other is to charm a pet and fight at its side from the beginning. I'm not doing that because the risk of it turning on me mid-fight would be too costly. It's unlikely I could take on the wild monster alone, and so if I had to fight both the wild monster and the pet, I'd die.)
I'm trusting the BST guide less and less. When describing the method I use to fight, it said that after 5-6 hits by your pet, you should be able to cast spells on the wild monster and the pet won't lose aggro. I did not find that at all. Even when the pet had gotten the wild monster down to 9/10th of its life (with me sitting on the sidelines), if I cast one spell (Dia or Paralyze), aggro was lost and it attacked me.
Even though I leveled to 13 yesterday morning, I went back out again in the evening and spent an hour or two getting halfway to 14. (14 is exciting! I can start using the new +CHR items I bought!) I realized that switching my DEF 5 faceguard for my CHR +3 ribbon will lower my defense (duh!). I need to look into armor and see how soon I can upgrade that. (Need to remain 'tough like tank'!)
There's just one thing that bugs me about BST, and that's how much luck is involved. I kill off my pets ASAP (I don't let it live through its first battle, if possible), but the fact that it can turn on me at any time is a big worry. I wonder if CHR helps with just the initial charm attempt or if it also keeps the pet from turning on you? I should make some BST friends so I can ask them, but oddly BST seems like a really rare job. In the last couple of weeks I've only seen two others! Very very odd.
In rereading this post before submitting it, I had to grin at the second to last paragraph. Making it to level 13 easily and quickly! Level 14 being within range to hit tonight! My god, the struggle to get to 14 when playing other jobs (white mage, black mage, thief). It took forever! Hours and hours! And no wonder, since they had to go after EP monsters and thus get 12-18 XP per kill. Getting 100 solo in the teens levels! How cool is that? And in higher levels, BSTs can get 200 XP solo! In one kill! Amazing, just amazing. I have no idea why everyone in the game isn't playing a BST. :)