My first play session was on Wednesday with my static group. We ventured out into Konschtat Highlands and completed a few Fields of Valor pages, garnering some fairly decent experience. We also did our fist Bastok mission, but it was rather easy. There aren't any harrowing tales to share, other than the fact that we did get a little lost in a cave. Of course, much of our time was spent getting to know each other and bantering a bit. There were some technical difficulties with Skype, too. But overall, I had the most fun on Wednesday than on any other day of playing -- that says a lot considering what did happen.
Thankfully, nobody in my static grouped died on our first run as a group, and I attribute that to a lot of luck since we didn't have a White Mage in the group. We certainly have someone playing a healer, but he was busy trying to catch up and thus we decided to play aggro ping pong. I'm really looking forward to next week, partially for more play time but also just for the chance to hang out with the group again.
I skipped Thursday and Friday due to work and other games getting in the way, but on Saturday... oh there was much playing. That day, I played most of the afternoon without even realizing it. Hell, I played while eating nachos and drinking a beer, which should tell you how involved I got -- but I'm getting ahead of myself, let's rewind just a little.
It started off the way most higher level Final Fantasy XI playsessions begin, lots of time spent waiting. At this particular juncture, I was waiting in the zone beyond Konschtat, known as Valkurm Dunes. If you were wondering, this is where I killed enough crab to supply the entire franchise of Long John Silvers for a whole year.
First, I waited a good fifteen or twenty minutes with my "Seeking Party" flag up, hoping that someone would invite my poor lonely Elvaan Warrior. Not too long after that, I began to wonder if I'd ever find a party. It was then that I decided to take a look at other people looking for groups. To my surprise, I found a White Mage, Samurai and Dragoon with their flags up, too. With myself as the tank this was the perfect foundation for a strong party. Why had nobody scooped us up? Where was the party leader? Then it hit me -- in my eagerness to play, I forgot that handling a party was something I used to do a lot with this game. I was (and still am, by the way) really good at forming and maintaining a party.