Warning: I am posting a bunch of screenshots from various cutscenes throughout the post; if you care about being spoiled then don't continue!
So with new update here, I started playing a bit more and exploring some of the new content.
The first thing I decided to when the servers came back up was start on the new WoTG quests!
I enjoyed the quests. As usual, Windy had the best storyline/cutscenes. The actual quests themselves were pretty good too. None of them felt like like a waste of time, or had pointless farming. Of course, the length was again short. 6 total quests, and each took about an hour to do.
The fights got a little harder too. Definitely need a full party now.
Too bad what the elvaan F is wearing is hideous! Definitely not cute!
I was spamming print screen during the last windy CS, so pretty!
Robel's mask if finally off! Too bad we don't get to see the face!
Double summon power!
SE really like to use "...is come."
Fenrir about kill Tzee Xicu!
Tarus in trouble!
Bow of light to save the day?!
Wish my Fenrir was this cool!
Another problem was basically finding people to help. The amount of people that do WoTG itself is pretty minuscule (especially among the NA population). This problem gets worse by the fact that WoTG splits that already tiny group into 3 when it comes to the nation quests, since doing only 1 path is required.
It's also rather disappointing that it seems like we are a YEAR away from WoTG's end. A year from the missions ending, which means a year from WoTG's endgame area (Walk of Echoes presumably). If the updates continue as they have been in the past, the next update will be for missions, the summer update will finish the nation quests, and the fall/winter update to finish WoTG's missions. That's really upsetting, considering it will have been THREE years since WoTG was released.
A Shantotto's Ascension! I actually thought this was by far the best of the three add on scenarios. I didn't have to farm a single low level mob! Yeah, the whole breaking synthesis aspect of the first mission was stupid, but personally I didn't mind since I just bought everything off the AH. Went 1/2 on the synth, though I wouldn't have cared if I had to spend even more gil. I think it cost me a little over 100k.
Aside from that, there weren't any fetch quests. No level cap climbs/run around high level dungeons. The storyline itself was decent. It didn't take itself too seriously, and instead chose the humorous route, like the moogle add on did.
I waited a few days to start the add on, and then proceeded to rush and finish the entire thing in about 8 hours straight. I'm glad I did, because finding a group to do these is pretty painful. It seems like not many people bought the add on at all (again, especially NAs), so finding a group in NA primetime seemed difficult. I remember when ACP came out, so many people were shouting to do the BCs, and so many people were running around wearing the new body pieces.
On the other hand, JP primetime is a lot better. There's shouts every 20-30minutes or so for a BC, so finding a group didn't take too long.
For the Full Moon Fountain fight, the strategy my group went with was kind of strange. We went with RDM/WHMx2 DRK NIN MNK BLM/SCH. BLM performed initial sleepga, and died once they woke up. Instead of subbing BLM and gaining access to ES sleepga as well, they wanted us (the 2 RDMs) to kite. It wasn't that hard to kite them, since they ran at normal movement speed, and basically hit for 10-30 damage, but it did seem silly doing that instead of just sleeping them.
Poor taru army!
For the final BC, went with a SMN burn. 5xSMN and 1 BRD. The BRD was useless, the crazy buffs you get in the fight (triple MP, refresh effect) are more than enough. i think we made the fight a lot harder than it had to be. We split into 2 groups, 1 for killing the dark shantotto, and one for the light. We pulled one Shantotto to the start, and left the other at the pop area, and we stood between everything. This ended up being a bad idea, since we were getting hit with AoEs from BOTH sides, so the fight ended up being extremely messy. Luckily there's no weakness when you die.
The final CS was pretty cool!
Everything turning into Shantotto!
Giant Shantotto battle!
My intermediate key rewards were useless. Tossed both.
For the final piece, I decided to go with movement speed +8% and cure potency +5%. Since I don't have gaiters, I had already decided going with movement speed, plus, BRD gets movement speed now too! The second choice was kind of difficult, but I ended up going with cure potency. -enmity is pretty easy to get in other slots (mahatma, errant cape, novia, blah blah) while cure potency is unique. It's also pretty good for soloing I guess, where enmity isn't really an issue.
I tried some of the new NMs! Helped Seeko with the Cradle Horn NM, though unfortunately it didn't drop.
Did Boompadu for some cute pup pants!
The ram in Lufaise!
Ran into some pixie NMs while doing WoTG. Both dropped nothing.
Solo'd (mostly) Chelicerata.
Pretty much exactly like the Chigoe ZNM, except in Wajaom, and much easier. It's only additional effect is slow (so who cares!). It does hit hard/fast though. Train it to the tower, and just kite in circles/dots! It'll deaggro here and there.
Riki came out to give me TH4, and it dropped! Trying to collect as many Aptant things before the Synergy update.
Fairly simple, 0/2. Only danger is Blizzaga3.
Really easy, obviously, for any 75 job! Too bad no drop :(
Tried the new NM Zirnitra in Xarc! Getting people to try it with me was really challenging. Since it basically drops nothing useful (until the actual Evolith update), nobody really wanted to bother with it. I really like doing new events/fights, even if there's no actual tangible reward. Doing the same events over and over makes FFXI boring to me, so trying something new is always fresh and exciting to me.
Finally managed to get 7 though to try it with me. Most people that posted on forums had at least 12+ members from what I saw, so I was anticipating us not winning, but we did pretty well I think! Went with:
The fight pre-50% is rather simple. It has a lot of annoying TP moves though. It casts Silencega a lot (its only spell thankfully). It's Storm Wing does damage, and silence as well. It also constantly spams Reaving Wind, which knocks people back, and resets tp. I think our PLDs got to 100 TP maybe once or twice the entire fight. Nothing is that threatening though.
Once it's below 50%, it gained 3 new TP moves, 2 of which we didn't know about. Feral Peck: which seemed to do some crazy AoE throat stab on our PLDs, and Warped Wail, which was small Aoe damage and max HP/MP down. And finally, the TP move we did know about Calamitous Wind, which did 600-700~ damage, and full AoE dispelga, with a range of 20'.
There's also some weird hate decay. It seemed it would go after the mages randomly. I think if we were try it again I would have all our WHMs and RDM sub NIN; it totally would've helped controlling damage, since it isn't that bad to tank.
The only enfeeble I could get to land was Poison (and Bio of course). Wiki claimed Paralyze to work, but after about 15 tries, I gave up. Slow/Elegy are obviously immune since it's wind based.
A single SMN dd was a little slow, but not horrible. Each BP took about 1-2% off. I tried nuking with Blizzard 3 a few times early on, and averaged about 200damage.
I actually think we can win next time we try. We didn't realize that Calamitous Wind was 20' range move until after we got hit with it a few times. It was really fun though, so I can't wait to try again!
Did the new MMM voucher: Fishing!
It was... interesting. I have 0 fishing skill, and barely any practice fishing. It's a race against 2 other NPCs on who can reach the goal the fastest.
I basically just started guessing my way through it. I fished up a few monsters, which gave me more points than the crayfish did.
Unfortunately I lost horribly, it wasn't even close.
Team Tsolamogola wasn't supposed to fail! NPCs cheated!
Did some more Sarameya! Crap drops as always. I don't think Haidate exists anymore.
As for the SMN update, it's pretty cool. Need to rework my SMN xml (or wait for someone else to post theirs online and ninja edit it into mine!)
I can get 317 skill, and the top tier for buffs. Of course I'd be sacrificing -perp gear to do so.
269 skill, no merits.
+5 Bahamut's Staff(no reason not to full time, since it gives -3perp)
+7 Marduk's Tiara (if weather is active then I give up -3 perp, or in Garuda's case -2perp)
+7 Summoning Torque (no -perp in this slot)
+3 Summoning Earring (no -perp in this slot)
+5 Marduk's Shalwar (no -perp in this slot)
+10 Summoner's Bracers (giving up -1 perp from Nashira Gages)
+10 Evoker's Ring (-1 perp, nothing better in the ring slot)
+5 Astute Cape (no -perp in this slot)
So total=321 skill.
Diabolos, probably the big one with it's refresh effect gains the most of this. If you have over 317 skill, then you can get reach 4MP/tick, instead of 3.
You can also turn Diabolos into pretty much the new Carbuncle. Using the gear above:
13 MP/tick perpetuation cost
-2 Avatar's favor being up
-4 Diabolos' Refresh effect
-3 Bahamut's Staff
-1 Auto-refresh trait
-1 Evoker's ring
-1 Conjurer's ring
-1 AF+1 Feet
-1 Yinyang Robe
So free Diabolos! And you gain MP with it out! Would be better if if I had merits though, because then I wouldn't need to rely on Conjurer's ring.
Of course for Diabolos it balances out, focusing on +skill gear, and dropping -perp gear, since the favor itself is essentially giving you -perp.
For the other avatars, I can't really see the point though. Shiva's MAB favor is pretty much negated by the fact that you can just use Diabolos and Dream shroud (which is slightly gimper, but I'd rather have a few less MAB and gain 4MP/tick refresh). I can't find a practical use for Titan (defense). Garuda (evasion) seems weird, maybe if you're with a NIN or THF evasion tanking something...? Could do Hastega+ evasion bonus I guess. Leviathan's magic accuracy probably won't be too useful, since again mages would probably prefer MAB+refresh. Fenrir's magic evasion would be good maybe if you're expecting some huge AoE magic attack and wanted to prepare for it? Though I can't really think of a situation like that... Ramuh(critical hit rate) and Ifrit (Double attack rate) would be ok for a melee party, but chances of them replacing a BRD, COR, RDM, or WHM in a melee party of any kind is rather slim, so they're useless too.
Carbuncle's regen is nice though, 15HP/tick, and it should of course be free with Carbuncle mitts.
However other than that, I don't see much use for the favor buffs, aside from Diabolos' mainly. I see SMN now being able to support BLM parties more effectively if needed with Dream Shroud + Favor.
The general -2 perp from having the JA active is nice though. Even though your avatar's attacks are weakened, you can now use a stronger avatar, like Fenrir or Diabolos, than Carbuncle.
That's it for now! Hopefully the synergy update wins too!