With the return to school rapidly approaching, this weekend we engaged in what has become a ritual of ours… the semi annual back to school deep cleaning. With all of the travel over the last several summers our lives have become about trying to just keep moving forward. As a result the house keeping falls a bit by the wayside. I am adept at picking up and vacuuming but when it comes to actually deep cleaning a room, I lack the attention to detail that my wife has. So yesterday we decided that we would devote a good chunk of the morning to getting a bunch of things done that needed to be done. The above image is part of the load we ended up taking to goodwill that had been sitting around our house as clutter.
For me I mostly did the brute force cleaning, and the gathering and relocation of objects. Once the brute force pass was done my wife would come in and do the fine detail work with chemicals and such since my lungs can’t really handle that sort of thing. We worked together as a team and the house looks great as a result. We still have a bit more laundry to finish up tonight, but overall the house is ready to go into the school year. Personally I don’t so much care, but the cluttered house is a major stressor for my wife, and anything I can do to help her transition back into the school year to go more smoothly I am willing to do. Over the next few days I know she will have several other things that need to get created or shopping trips that need be made all in the name of “back to school”.
This time of year is almost like Christmas for a teacher, but for whatever reason this year the back to school sections of stores have been pretty puny. My wife as going through her past blog posts from previous years, and during this time she was constantly finding neat things to use in her classroom. This year there has been nothing. We did make a mad dash out to Office Depot yesterday afternoon to pretend we didn’t know each other and buy two separate bundles of 3 magnetic white board erasers each. Once upon a time Office Depot used to let teachers buy more than the limit of sale items like that, but as a whole that store has really gone to shit. If it was not the option we happened to have in town, we would likely never actually go to it. They used to be extremely supportive of educators, but lately they have really screwed with their appreciation programs to the point where it simply isn’t worth the hassle and instead we just go to staples when given the option.
Errands for a Smith
My gaming yesterday was largely about trying to play catch up and get attunements knocked out of the way. For the last couple of nights I had been hoping to catch up with Warenwolf so that he could attune the needed Materia to both my Lancer and Archer weapons for their respective relics. The relic weapon quest is something akin to the epic weapon quest from Everquest and Everquest 2, the primary difference being that now you can complete most of it through the duty finder. The first step in the process is to craft a base weapon that Geralt the smith will improve into the relic weapon. There are several ways you can go about this, the intended way is to farm Wanderers Palace for an item component, and then have a crafter of that type take it and some rare metals to craft together a weapon for you. The more realistic way is to simply watch the market boards for someone who has already crafted it.
After dumping all of my free money into the guild house, I had to play catch up and finally Friday evening I managed to get enough gil together to be able to purchase the base weapon. The biggest frustration I had is that you do not need a high quality weapon, as the conversion to the relic weapon will ultimately destroy the base item in the process. However there seemed to be nothing on the market but high quality weapons, which demand a premium. The next step is to take this weapon and fuse two materia of a specific type to it. After that you bring it back to Geralt and he begins sending you on various other tasks. The first of which is to defeat the Dhorne Chimaera in Coethas Highlands. Both myself and Rae were working through this quest at the same time so we tag teamed all of the steps.
The Chimaera went pretty smoothly and was much easier than I remembered when we did it as a guild. We turned in once again at the smith and he sent us into Amdapor Keep to retrieve some rare tome. This group was a bit of a frustration as it was lead by a gladiator who had apparently not tanked the zone since release. Once upon a time you could rush to the first bosses gate and skip all of the trash in the process. He tried this twice and we failed twice, and then from that point on he was pissy the entire run. This guy really is one of the first jerks that I have encountered in the game so far, however we kept our heads down and finished the dungeon without much issue. After a quick turn in at the smith again we were off into Coerthas Highlands to “temper” the unfinished weapon through combat where you have to kill eight of three different types of mobs.
Crafting Gae Bolg
After the weapon tempering phase it is on to do yet another world boss battle, this time Hydra which is located in as a sub dungeon in Halatali. This fight went far faster and easier than I remembered as well so I was starting to feel excited that we might just wrap this up in a single night. After turning in again it begins the hardest part of the quest where you have to defeat each of the hard mode primal encounters starting with Ifrit. Rae and I were up to the challenge so we queued together and hoped for a quick run. It turns out that when you queue as two dps it actually goes pretty quickly since the game tends to favor prebuilt chunks of parties over singlets. When I was running these as my Warrior it felt like I was absolutely carried to my Bravura weapon. It might be a side effect of the fact that Sunday is rarely a great day for random grouping, or we might just have gotten unlucky but each and every primal fight we encountered last night was a struggle to get through.
Ifrit for the most part went smoothly enough, taking us a couple of attempts to get him down. Garuda on the other hand was a nightmare. We had a pair of tanks that didn’t really know what they were doing and they were from the same guild. The better geared of the two tanks was oddly enough less experienced. It turns out that for roughly 200 hunt emblems you can get a full level 90 set of relic lookalike gear, and that is what both of these guys were wearing. We wiped mercilessly and this scholar in the group was getting pretty pissy. I mean I get being frustrated, but instead of trying to teach the players what needed to happen in the encounter they just wanted to rant and rage. Rae stepped up to the plate and explained the encounters and after we got a three stack of the echo buff we managed to push through it.
Titan is without a doubt the most difficult of the hard mode primal encounters, and this time it was no different. Once again we did not experience the carry factor that I had when I was running up my warrior. Everyone in the party seemed to be similarly or lesser geared than the two of us. Lots of bad things kept happening including the second healer just standing in stuff constantly and dying early. On the attempt where we beat it, all of us died to various effects and a group of four players… a Scholar, a Monk, a Gladiator and a Warrior managed to push Titan down the last quarter of his health winning us the battle. I wish I could have given each and every one of them a player commendation because wow… they really were badasses.
Thankfully during this entire process I managed to get enough “bookrocks” to not only craft the weapon Gae Bolg but immediately turn around and upgrade it to the ilevel 90 version as well. Early in the day I had decided to queue for one of the hardmodes and while we made it through just fine… I felt like I was pulling down the party because my Dragoon did not have his relic weapon. Now that I have it I feel like I can queue for the harder dungeons with more confidence. As part of the whole running around yesterday, both Rae and I attuned ourselves for Crystal Tower, which is as Tam explained it “Baby’s First Raid”. I am hoping to run that tonight and maybe get some more upgrades, but thanks to the spiffy weapon I picked up I am no longer quite so worried about dragging down the team.