Lung Infections Suck
I’ve been in a strange place the last few days, where I am still recovering from what has turned out to be an infection in my lungs. It has been allergies central around here and unsurprisingly my lungs have reacted negatively to it. I had been dragging along for awhile with what felt like a constant persistent dry cough. Last Friday I finally decided to go to the doctor when I coughed up a small bit of blood. Turns out my lungs were actually in far worse shape than I thought. Since then I have been on a pretty heavy dose of prednisone and am on the mend, but man… I have to say I am still drained as hell. I attempted to go to work like normal yesterday but ended up coming home about halfway through the day. Today I am making another attempt to go a full day, so I am hoping the strength stays with me. What is so strange about this one is just how drained I feel as a result of simply existing.
Why are my lungs betraying me you might ask? The above photo is not intentionally abstract but instead my my phones camera attempting to focus on what are ultimately hundreds of tiny particles of Cottonwood seed. This is what we jokingly refer to as summer snow, and with all the rain we have been getting the Cottonwoods have been blooming in overdrive blanketing the law with a mat of white fabric and making the air look like it is quite genuinely snowing. Thankfully I have a day or two of reprieve thanks to the recent round of storms, but I am sure as soon as things dry up again the bloom will begin a new. Normally this happens around my birthday in June but I guess all the moisture moved up the time table. In any case it sucks to live through and I am just hoping that I can limp through until it has finished. In the meantime I will continue to take this high dose pack of prednisone and antibiotics and pretend to be a normal human being.
Axe to Grind
For months now we have been slowly keying folks through the various primal fights in our Final Fantasy XIV free company. While a chunk of us have been sitting on the Ifrit step, the final of the original set of Extreme primals… it seemed like every time we set out to attempt it we were missing a seventh or eighth that also had it unlocked. So we would once again shift focus and do another round of Garuda or another round of Titan to get people caught up. Last night, finally after a new round of Titaneers we managed to get eight people on at the same time with the ability to do Ifrit. Now I realize I could have been pugging my way through the primal encounters, and with all of the mount farming parties this is a relatively straight forward prospect. There is just something rewarding about doing a fight that is new to you, with nothing but your free company surrounding you. It makes the kill that much sweeter and the experience that much more magical as you accomplished a new mission with friends. Once again we went into the fight without much research, but managed to pick up the basics extremely quickly.
It took us several attempts but by the end of our first night ever working on the boss we had downed an Ifrit and moved on to other things. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to get this quest out of my log. I know the big push for this at least from Ashgar’s side was to get the sweet axe I am pictured holding in the first picture. For those who have completed some of the later story, you will recognize this as the axe that Moenbryda wields. It is just one of many weapons you get as a reward for defeating the original trio of Primals, but I went with the axe because it is probably one of the more unique appearances in the game. Now I doubt if it will ever offset my usage of my Malignant Mogaxe, but it is still pretty awesome to have it as an option for when I decide to change up my outfit a bit. Glamouring/Transmogging/Wardrobes are one of the simple pleasures of a modern MMO. The ability to look like you want to look is what makes these games fun to play for me. Gone is the era of looking exactly like every other player in the game, and here to stay is the ability to craft your own appearances. After playing Everquest and being able to tell every single item a player was wearing based on its color and appearance… I have to say I am happy to be living in modern times.
Back to Nael
Yes I realize this is not a picture of Nael Van Darnus but I didn’t snap any pictures from our attempts on Turn 9 last night. Instead this is a picture of me rocking the Garuda bow because I finally feel like I have an outfit floofy enough to support it. This weekend I managed to finish getting my 120 set from World of Darkness which makes up a chunk of the outfit above. Since picking up the Garuda bow I have been looking for a reason to use it, and finally I think the gold and white in the Bogartyr coat works well enough with the gold and white on the bow. Now if anyone tells me that is really blue and black I will reach through the internet and punch them in their soul. A few weeks back we set down on a new mission, which involved alternating between working on coil and working on other things. Since then we have finished the original three primals, Leviathan Extreme and Odin and as a result feel like we are no longer beating our heads against the wall that is turn nine. Coming back to Nael tonight felt far more fresh than it has in a long time.
I was somewhat concerned that we would have lost progress, but in truth we picked up right where we left off and started making fast progress. Everything about the fight is smoother now and we have been making it into the final dance phase every single attempt. The awesome thing about this is that it feels like last night we were finally getting the pattern down. In fact the last few attempts we were making it to the dive bombs phase consistently. Now if we can just master where the dive bombs need to go… I have a feeling we will be clearing turn nine finally and moving on to the final coil. I love my static group, and I love the way folks just keep plugging away without getting frustrated. We have been on this boss for a very long time, and no one seems to have any diminished desire to KEEP doing the boss, or keep trying to succeed. In fact everyone seems to keep doing little things here or there to tweak their performance and make things work more smoothly. I love my free company, and I love the raid we have built around it… my hope is that we can keep trying to get more people into the mix and maybe with Heavensward expand to a third static because the two we have now are just awesome.