Well, in true me fashion, I completely missed out on posting a couple days ago.
I got lost on the road of life(Disclaimer: Said road may be composed of a single chair in front of a computer and game consoles).
Anyways, I'm here today to talk about some more FFXI stuff. Shocking, I know.
Specifically, endgame. This is a term associated with MMORPG events at the higher levels that require a larger amount of coordination that normal for most players.
There may be other definitions, but for the purposes of this, we'll just say we don't give a damn about them.
This can be divided into three categories, at least for FFXI:
Casual endgame: Casual only in terms of relation to other areas of endgame, Casual endgame requires some coordination and organizing, but as long as people have a basic idea of what to do and leaders are competent, this part of endgame can be cleared by pretty much anyone as long as they aren't completely stupid. Most of Dynamis, Limbus, and some other things like Sky fit in here. You already know about Dynamis, but I'll get into Limbus and Sky at a later date.
Ground: This deserves it's own category, but I'll save what Ground's all about until another day. All you need to know right now is that it turns FFXI into a full-time job.
Hardcore Endgame: This is the area of endgame where mistakes of almost any sort will screw you over so bad you'll wonder if you somehow cosmically went to prison and dropped a bar of soap. We're talking Dynamis Lord, Jailor of Love, Proto-Omega and Ultima, and just really hard bosses in general. People can't just have a basic idea of what to do: they need to know exactly what to do, and be ready for it, or everyone pays for it.
There's some overlap in some areas, but that's the gist of it.
Which brings me to Einherjar. This event is basically pure hardcore endgame, but with a 30 minute time limit.
The basic idea is that you enter a large room with a bunch of monsters. Three guesses what you need to do to win.
Here's a hint: It involves doing something to the monsters that is illegal in most of the real word, but isn't sexually questionable.
They do it a lot in war, I hear.
Anyways, I suppose I better anecdote my last run to make this more relateable.
The group I work with for this is really made up of two groups: The Linkshell(That's the term we have for MMORPG guilds) I work with, and another group called Haze.
Haze does Ground.
Can you see where I'm going with this?
Yes, Haze decided that Ground was more important than Einherjar. This isn't normally a problem, since a game like this really causes people to need priorities.
But not normally at the expense of the other group you decide to work with.
I'm not saying Haze are bad players or anything, but when you work with another group, the idea is that you don't treat them like they aren't important. That just causes problems in the long run, which could cause the team-up to fall apart, like so many super-villian team-ups.
...that may have been a bad way to word it, what with comparing our group to megalomaniacs.
Anyways, Haze shows up and we all get set to do Tier 3.
The main goal of Einherjar is to fight Odin.
...wait, wrong guy.
Anyways, to get to Odin, you need to do a few things:
First off, there are nine chambers that you can fight in before Odin. Of these chambers, nearly everyone must clear at least three.
Of course, it's not that easy. One lucky person(Read: sucker) must have cleared all 9 chambers before anyone else can go in to Odin.
The nine chambers are also seperated into "Tiers", with 3 chambers a Tier, making 3 Tiers total.
You also can't get into a higher Tier unless a chamber from the lower Tier before it has been cleared.
You also can only do a single chamber every three days in real life.
Yes, boys and girls, it can take over a month to go from starting out to getting to Odin, and that's if you win all the time.
Even more fun? All that progress is lost the second you fight Odin. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you have to start all over.
People generally have characters sit out on Odin runs so it takes only two weeks to reach Odin again instead of nearly five.
Anyways, the nitty-gritty of Einherjar's Tier fights are what follows:
The monsters have to be killed in order to clear the chamber. There are actually several waves of monsters, and killing enough of them causes a super-hard big boss monster to appear.
Said big bosses are hardened veterans who lost an eye during the Cold War and went to try and make a crazy military state before some greenhorn who uses cigarettes and loves boxes of the cardboard persuasion decided to-
...wait, this isn't Metal Gear. Damn.
Anyways, the boss monster is hard as heck, and because of the time limit, it's imperative that they and the other monsters go down as fast as possible.
A few problems, though. First, whenever a monster is pulled, it almost always brings along a bunch of it's buddies.
You could always hold a monster with Sleep spells, though, right(Which put the monster to sleep, natch)?
Well, you can, but the most used method of Sleep would be the spells used by Black and Red Mages, which are based on the Darkness element.
Guess what's normally pulled in Einherjar? Why, Darkness-resistant/immune monsters, of course!
Basically, a form of Light-based sleep is a must in Einherjar, which means a lot of Bards, White Mages, and Blue Mages.
Another problem is that of the monsters that appear, nearly all of them are annoying as hell. They either can kill people quickly in the blink of an eye, or they debuff the group so much that kill speed slows to a crawl.
Then we have the "special" monsters. These appear once every chamber, and are a normally a priority to kill. Some will drop a chest full of items that can be invaluable for the battle at hand, others weaken the monsters in the chamber. The general rule is to drop what you're doing and kill it. This can cause problems if the monster you were fighting runs wild, so it might be smart to handle that first.
Anyways, we ended up getting a lot of bats. Now, some bats are just single, big bats. This is good, as they don't tend to do too much besides kill people a bit faster.
We also got little bats, which are another thing entirely. Those little assholes tend to reduce the attack power of the group like mad. The bats in Einherjar also tend to reduce the accuracy of everyone, too, as well as deal damage to everyone. Lots of fun(Not).
Then came the Clusters. These are basically a grouping of living explosives that have a tendency to explode, yet continue fighting afterwards. We didn't all die against them, but we had a lot of bodies hit the floor.
Finally, the normal monsters were finished with Wivres. Imagine a cross between the defenses of a bomb shelter and the fury of the dinosaurs. That would be these guys. Annoying only because they like to not die quickly.
The boss was a Cerberus. You know, hell-spewing three-headed dog? Guards the underworld? Is basically a puppy for Hades?
Well, it's a pretty nasty boss monster that like to kill a lot of people and paralyze everyone else. Because of this and time problems, we didn't manage to win.
The main reason for losing was simply that we had too many monsters to fight, 41 in total. We might have won had we gotten a different monster other than the little bats or Clusters, but even then, I doubt it.
It takes a lot of planning a coordination to do what we do there, but even then, there's still a chance of losing out because of luck.
Endgame is fun. Like a fork to the eye.