So, yeah. I’m sure anyone who’s so much as seen the FFXI boards over at Allakhazam, or knows someone who has, has seen in a post or been linked this URL: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~dokihara/meetingagain-en.swf. It’s a Flash animation from the viewpoint of a Japanese player who’d played the game from the first release in Japan, back in 2002. It details the story of his closely-knit group of friends and the LS they started from an impromptu set party in Valkurm Dunes. Now, I know this probably means nothing to people who don’t play FFXI or play it but not at the level I did (not player level, but… I’m not sure how to describe it… probably how much your LS meant to you?), but I think it finally hit me tonight after I rewatched it for the Nth time.

I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes realizing what I literally threw away because of a huge misunderstanding a month or so ago. I’m not sure what brought this on… probably that the linkshell’s site is starting to show signs of activity again, even if it’s just one person. Although I spent the last month happier because I quit in a fuss of huge frustration (both in-game and offline), right now I wonder if I should have quit to begin with… the LS I was in is mostly down to just me, as it seems everyone’s either moved on to a new LS or quit. Now, I know several people in the LS that I was friends with (and/or looked up to very highly) are returning soonish, I can’t be sure how much time I can devote to the game right now, what with this new job and all. Although I’m sure things will start settling down soon, and I hope the FFXI Windower gets back to where it was before (i.e. you don’t have to have the window in focus for the gamepad to work) so I can actually play it while working on other stuff in a second monitor (though real EXP parties will be left to the house where I can devote 100%, or as close as possible, of my attention to the game and the insanity that is Red Mage – EXP Party Mode), I’ll probably just play on the weekends (if that… looks like Sunday might be FFXI Day for me for a bit). Which will be fine for me… I think.

Anyway… as I was saying, the Flash I linked there details the story of the player… thing is, his LS fell apart too. I’m not going to go into great detail, as it really needs to be watched to get the emotion behind it. I guess my story as a player is that I’ve been playing the game for over a year and the highest level I’ve attained is 42 on my Red Mage, and a lot of that was me being incredibly lazy and trying out various ways to make money in the game and whatnot. I sit with about 30,000 gil to my name and 700 XP from RDM43. I know, I know, I’m sure someone out there is saying “Josh, just throw your seek flag up during NA primetime and you’ll get a party,” but I don’t want that. I don’t want that until I can be sure I can play the job again the way it was supposed to, not to mention that I don’t have enough for even 2 of the “needed” spells for the run to RDM50 (which is my next goal, and I can use that to make loads of gil). So I’m trying the solo thing. And working fairly well with it. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the huge nukes, nor do I have a lot of really really high defense or +attack gear yet, so I’ve been kinda fighting near Jeuno zoneline instead of going off to solo some insane mob somewhere. Not that I could now anyway, but I think I proved my point. But, the real reason is that I’m waiting on a friend to get his Paladin up to PLD43 so we can XP together again. I suppose I can just try the crafting thing, or I’ll take up his offer to float me a loan for my scrolls until I can get up to 50…

But, then again, it’s not like I have a ton of time right now anyway. I’m going to try to make it home earlier the rest of the week (I miss seeing my parents in the evening… and I can only live off so much fast food before either a) money runs out, or b) I get violently ill from eating too much), so I might have some time to at least muck around with FFXI on the PS2 so I can work on stuff on the PC at the same time (basically doing the same as the dual-head setup, just not quite, hehe). I guess waiting for my PLD friend to catch up with me (his PLD is L37, where our mid-30s static left off when it died a premature death and I got impatient and XPed without them) will give me time to try my hand at some of the real money-making methods (actually leveling Smithing, maybe working on leveling Fishing, or just farming stuff with area nukes) instead of just slumming it like I basically have been for the last 42 levels on RDM and the few I have on other jobs.

And, there’s always the comedy “Level your sub, you lazy bastard” option of taking my Black Mage up to the same as my RDM and doing some Orb Battles for lots of cash. Of course, it’s L26, so I’m set until RDM52. But, of course, BLM is fun. Especially when you have one as trigger-happy as mine, hehe. Ah well. I’m sure I’ll manage one way or another.