Stating the Obvious

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Skill-Up Grind

FFXI has a lot of options one can do on their own when they are sufficiently bored, FOV, Crafting, Campaign, etc. I generally do things until I'm sick of them and my latest foray into completely wasting my time has been to cap my weapon skill levels. This bug seems to hit me about every 3-4 months and I have weapons for everything I can equip.


I capped and merited this a long, long time ago, it's 285.


Staff is one of those skills that is so underskilled it's kind of embarrassing. Many moons ago I used my WAR to get staff to 114 so that when I subbed /BLM (yes, I do this and I like it) I would have max skill for the sub (it is not a native skill for NIN). As part of my recent skill-up madness I wanted to get this to the point I could at least hit EP mobs so I could break the Mythic Weaponskill Vidohunir. I teamed up with Feiko and got this to 157, it's still drastically underskilled, but I can work on my latent at least. I'm not sure how I will ever be able to get far with the BLM skills on my own, it's one thing to do this stuff on a tank job like NIN, it's quite another on a squishy job like BLM.


Scythe is a lot like Staff, I had help from around 150 on and I'm still not quite there (currently 182), but I love wielding this in Campaign for BLM. The scythe I have is an augmented Ogre Sickle with Magic Critical Hit Rate +8 and Blindness +5. I'd love to have Stun on this, but it hasn't been that big of a deal since I sub a Platinum Grip.


I actually capped Dagger a couple weeks ago, what I finished up on Thursday was breaking the latent on the Dagger of Trials. With a bit of help from friends I was able to get Evisceration and actually make this a useful skill to have. There are a number of very good Daggers NIN can equip (Blau Dolch, Adder Jambiya +1), but the cost for those is in the millions so they aren't realistic options for me at this time (especially for something I can only use on occasion), so instead I have a pair of Behemoth Knives. I've been considering upgrading these to +1 now that I feel Dagger is actually useful, but that's not a high priority. As for BLM, it is job can actually wield daggers (skill cap is 210), but there are simply better weapon options out there (the MP drain Weaponskills would be nice though). If I ever get the urge to get daggers for BLM I think Misericorde +1 and Titan's Baselard would be at the top of the list.


This is another of those dual skills I can use on both NIN and BLM. All the skilling of this has been on NIN with a pair of Shellbusters (there aren't a lot of options for NIN here) and I capped it for NIN at 200 over the weekend. Because Shellbusters aren't exactly awesome clubs it took awhile, and killing mobs was very slow. On NIN this is a completely pointless skill to have, I'm honestly not sure why it's an option, but on BLM I can take it to 230 and get access to Black Halo, something that might be very useful in Campaign or soloing. Of course the problem is getting it to 230...


When I started this Friday my skill was at 90 and it was solely from when I actually played WAR. I bought a pair of Cermet Swords +1 and went to town skilling-up. I really enjoyed this skill-up, the delay was in between Dagger and Katana so I was able to get skill-ups and cap it rather quickly. It's a damn shame NIN can only get 225 skill on this, I wouldn't mind using Swords.

Great Katana

I've grown to fucking hate this, the skill-ups seem to come few and far between and it's a lower delay weapon than I'd prefer to deal with. There are a couple of Assault GKs that would be nice to have, but as it stands I currently use a Gold Musketeer's Uchigatana, which looks a lot like my NPC's GK (if memory serves, she has a Hosodachi). My skill on this is at 185 and the cap is 220, there really is no point to capping this as GK is not a solid alternative weapon for a NIN. I'll cap it eventually, but I'm not sure I have enough steam to finish it off this round.


This is a slow, grinding skill-up that is almost as pointless as GK and club, almost, but thankfully I'm close to finishing this as I only need 16 more levels with my skill currently at 184. An evening with my NPC should be enough to finish this off. My knuckles of choice have been Cobra Unit Baghnakhs, they have a low delay and do decent damage, but the ultimate goal is to have a pair of Hades Sainti since those would be part of a hate/speed build to use in Salvage or on Gods.


This is a skill I worked on for RNG initially, I got it to 114 and stopped. I use a Lamian Kaman because of the low delay (and because I can use it for my magic resistance gear set) and Wooden Arrows because at 3 gil a pop they are just dirt cheap. The problem with working on this skill has always been (like any ranged weapon) that I simply can't generate enough damage to actually outlast mobs that are 60+ so I have to engage them. This means the mobs tend to die quickly and the skill-ups tend to go slowly. I've found with the mobs that are 70+ I can't tank and shoot arrows effectively because of the damn delay after shooting can fuck up shadow casting (there's roughly a second after each shot where you can't do anything, you may as well be stunned during this time). If I put shadows first then the skill-ups are even slower, if I put skilling-up first then I run the risk of the mob catching me with my shadows down. It's a vicious circle and as a result I've stalled at 175, which is good enough for Sidewinder (with /RNG), but I want to see that blue 200.


An obnoxious skill-up that NIN can only obtain through shooting guns, which have an ignorantly long delay (realistically I would think a gun would have the shortest delay, but this ain't reality). Because of the delay I've been reluctant to work on this skill, but between WAR and RNG I managed to get it up to 102. My weapon of choice is a Military Gun because it has the shortest delay for the guns NIN can equip and just plain ole Bullets for ammo. Bullets are what turn a lot of NINs away from skilling this, and understandably so, the cheap ass ones I use cost around 5k a stack depending on whether or not crafters are in a generous mood. Fortunately I don't have to spend over 5k if I don't want to because I can craft the damn things myself. As for the skill-ups on this, it's just like Archery, but with longer delays, there is simply no way I'll be able to get past 175 on my own. As it stands now my skill is at 132, that means I went through 4 stacks of Bullets for 30 levels. I figure it will cost me another 30-35k to get to 175 and Slug Shot, that's not a lot of cash in the grand scheme of things, but it would only cost me 7-8k to do the same thing with a Crossbow. On a side thought, when have you ever heard of Ninjas using guns outside the game?


I actually don't put any effort into working on this, I tend throw things on a fairly regular basis during events. I really want an Ungur Boomerang here, but camping him sucks because I can't do it solo. I hope it eventually drops in Nyzul, however, as it stands now I use a Rising Sun. My skill is at 235, and slowly making it's way to cap.


Like Katana I capped this and merited it a long time ago, it sits at 277 now.


Ugh, the motherfucker of all skill-ups, my skill currently sits at 181. You might ask yourself how I've managed to have a NIN 75 for over a year and this is all the higher my skill is. My response would likely involve giving you the stink eye, because I have no good answer for this, I've just been horribly unlucky. For a long, long time I lingered in the 150 range, but recently I've been averaging a skill-up or two a week. I hate this skill with a passion, but I'll be a pretty awesome NIN once it is capped.

Ninjutsu Magic

I capped this a long time ago in Dynamis, but it's only been recently I dropped any merits into it. I used four merits here to get my skill at 277.

Elemental Magic

One of the easiest skills to get to cap in the game, I haven't put any merits to it yet so it currently stands at 276. Because I used four merits on Ninjutsu I will only have four available for Elemental, but unlike Ninjutsu, it's a whole lot easier to get skill gear and I don't think the I'll miss the merits that much.

Enfeebling Magic

This is a critical skill for BLM and I've had to work my ass off just to make it decent, thankfully I was able to spam Dia in Besieged and cap it. I currently have 4/8 merits applied to it and I'll get 8/8 before I even start on Elemental.

Dark Magic

I remember spending a ton of time in Besieged spamming Bio to cap this, it's just not something you use enough that you'll see quick returns so I took the easy route. It's at 269 and baring any changes in the Merit structure that's likely what it will forever be.

Enhancing Magic

This dumbass skill is so random. I have a skill level of 168 on this, it's kind of like Parrying on NIN, a slow grind where I see a skill-up once a week or so. I've tried spamming bar spells but I've found that far too boring to bother with.


Okay so she's not technically a skill-up, but without her I wouldn't be able to solo in the Boyahda Tree (capping skills on Goobs), and over the weekend she finally capped her level at 70. I still need to get Yasha Hands and Dandy Spectacles for her and increase her maximum active time. All told that is around 170k Adventuring Fellow Points, so even though she can't go up anymore in level, there is still work to be done.

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