San d'Oria laid claim to this zone this week and I went there on both BLM and NIN to see if it was as much fun as the Glacier is. In short, no, it sucked, but not for the reasons you might think. The main reason it sucked was due to the other players in the zone, of which there seemed to be three kinds.
1. The Serious Ones - These guys were actually trying to defend the zone, which is noble, but if the Glacier has taught us anything, even with 100 people there 24/7 the beastmen are gonna get it back. The thing that really pissed me off about these guys, though, was they expected the rest of us to forgo maximizing our jobs in Campaign, as a BLM I was expected to stay in the back, provide heals, enfeeble and the occasional nuke, in support of the PLD (we'll call him Mr. Superstar) who is calling the shots. To this, all I can say is fuck you Mr. Superstar, you're gonna cap your XP, while I'm gonna hit limits on healing, nuking and enfeebling and for an hour's work end up with 1k XP (meanwhile Mr. Superstar is talking about getting 5k XP, jackass motherfucker). I put up with this shit for one battle, then broke out the NIN and tanked the damn mobs myself.
2. The Curious Players (with a clue) - This is where I'd say I fell in, I was curious about the mobs and the coffers. I've been to Xarc plenty of times on BLM and the place is great if you have a small group of people pulling a mob at a time, it's excellent XP. I figured with the zone under friendly control the place would be teeming with people and one could move from one mob to the next (kinda like the Glacier when it's under Allied control). I'll get to how things went in a moment, but I'm not done bitching about my fellow players.
3. The Curious Players (who don't have a motherfucking clue about how anything in fucking Campaign works) - These dumb motherfuckers (and sadly there were quite a few), were CONSTANTLY getting people MPK'd, over and over and over. Seemed like about every three minutes one of these dumbshits would get hate and then run right at people either resting or fighting other mobs. At one point I was triple-weakened from these dumbasses! I'm trying to kill mobs and get XP you stupid motherfuckers, not spend the whole the whole battle staying out of AOE range because one blast with my shadows down will kill me. Sure this happens all the time in Campaign, but it's maybe once or twice a battle, not continuously all night long.
As for the actual battles themselves, my first one out there was a nightmare. I was on BLM as five waves showed up a few minutes apart, the fourth wave caught me off guard when Shadowsoul snuck up on me. Death came in two hits, guess he didn't like my Optical Hat. Two waves of NPCs came out, but they were quickly wiped out by the mobs, and I don't think either wave lasted more than a few minutes. Interestingly enough all the NPCs that showed were from Windurst, no one from Sandy or Bastok showed the whole day.
The second battle went better, we had mantelets and this was Mr. Superstar's first battle, he tanked and didn't try to coral everyone into fighting it his "way". This was my most productive battle, and we did quite well beating up on Yags, trouble didn't start until the dragons in Shadowsoul's group showed up.
The third battle was the ultimate, "why the fuck am I even bothering" battle. For starters Mr. Superstar decided to "take the reigns" and try to get us to work as a unit and defend the fort. Not a bad idea, but he also played it as his way or the highway and since he was the only tank, we kinda had to play along. He did provide a tidbit of info about a safe place to fight here. Right in front of the fort there is a valley, no mobs trek here, not even that damn flying dragon. That was the only thing he got right, the rest of the time it was about keeping his (and only his) character alive and to hell with everyone else. This was also the battle the afore mentioned dumbasses came out in full force and kept MPKing us. From watching their movements I'm confident in saying what they were doing wasn't on purpose, but rather just poorly made choices about what direction to run. In the end I barely cleared 1k and the fight was 45-50 minutes long, just pathetic.
At this point I went back to Bastok and got out the NIN gear, not that BLM was a bad choice, especially with all the AOE's being thrown around, but the other people out there were making it impossible to be productive on BLM. Once again Mr. Superstar was trying to get everyone to work together, but I wasn't taking the bait this time. My first order of business was to take the hate off the mob he was fighting, which as anyone who has campaigned with me can tell you is not hard to do (NIN/RDM > PLD/DNC in terms of hate generation), I then held it until an MPK took me out (the valley is safe from mobs, but not other players). When I got up, I got hit with an AOE and was dropped again, this was entirely my fault. On my third life I was out of the way and healing when another one of the "special" people brought three dragons to my location. I waited for the dragons to get out of range, but the dumbass not far from didn't and they came running back. I stayed down for about 15 minutes this time, sometimes one just has to admit defeat.
The last battle of the night I was once again NIN, but I decided the best tactic would be to risk aggros and fight off to the side. This worked out well, a few other people joined me and we took out three Yags and were working on a fourth when the fight ended. I did well 1900+XP/1200+AN. Convinced I had things figured out I waited around for an hour, but no battles sprung up, so I eventually headed back to town.
All told I spent 6 hours out there and got around 8k XP, with the bulk of that coming in fights 2 and 5. The coffers didn't contain anything all that special, but I don't think we defeated a single beastmen general, nor did we clear any waves, so I'm not surprised they were kinda bland.