On the job training

Missed my regular Saturday update yesterday because I thought it would be a good idea to head into work, on a weekend, three days into a five day weekend extended by holiday and PTO, to clean up my office and set up my second bass. I got all that done, but by the time I wrapped up, the reality of holiday travel was in full effect… I couldn’t take the ferry back to Bainbridge Island because the overflow lot was at capacity and they were turning away everyone new who showed up, and the long way around (south out of Seattle, through Tacoma, then back north past Bremerton) was absolutely snarled by traffic. Would have been a nice day for a drive if the drive itself was actually nice, too.

Lately I’ve been working on the Save the Queen content in Final Fantasy 14. Its MMO-within-an-MMO nature has been interesting; there’s a separate leveling system, unique actions, gear bonuses that only apply within content, and a Final Fantasy 12-flavored storyline complete with boss fight music borrowed from the source. Very interesting take on things, with the ultimate reward being a new weapon that will likely have a short shelf life when the next expansion comes out in four months. Such is the nature of these kinds of games.

One of the more unique aspects of Save the Queen is that the game doesn’t really enforce group composition the way it does outside the content. Outside, your four-person dungeons are done with a single tank and single healer; normal raids are a group of eight with two tanks and two healers, and alliance raids are three groups of eight with each having one tank and two healers. In all cases, it’s one healer per four people in the group. But Save the Queen raids don’t place such restrictions on group composition, leading to scenarios where things can be out of balance… like three healers and no tanks, or groups of fewer than eight people…

Or in my case last night, it was a full group with three tanks and one healer.

Things are manageable to start with, even while also covering the raid’s main tank, assuming everyone else knows the content enough not to step in stupid shit. But then the encounter splits into two bosses at the midway point, which means you (and everyone else in the raid) now have to watch for more things than before. To make matters worse, rather than letting another group tank the other boss, a second tank in my group did the honors.

So, to recap:

  • I’m solo healing a group of eight.
  • I’m healing the main tank.
  • I’m now healing the other main tank.
  • I have a lot of shit to dodge.
  • I’ve only done this raid one other time and still don’t know what the hell I’m actually doing.

The results were about as expected… managed somehow, but it was touch and go toward the end.

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