We will lead off with the accomplishment of the night. I knew I was pretty close to the ARR Warrior “Raid” mount but I had lost sight of actually going after it specifically. I never really did anything to purposefully grind for this, and for the most part got my 200 “high-level duties” organically by running various raids with the free company. It was at some point during our Omega runs that I happened to notice I got the achievement, and that prompted a trip to the guy near the waterfall in Gridania… who also apparently had the Maelstrom themed mammet waiting for me as well. The way I ride this mount is sort of insane, with me reaching down and trying to hold onto the fur and it runs around insanely. It is funny how animation cycles affect how we feel about the speed of a mount, because while this is technically the same speed as everything else I own… the feels so much faster because of the dynamic run loop. Grizzled warbear is probably the most Bel mount in existence… and it is only slightly sad that it doesn’t fly. There is however a newer bear that supposedly does have the ability to fly… and at the moment I am 49 of some silly number of 70+ content needed for that achievement. I doubt I will purposefully grind for it, but instead someday also be surprised when I see its achievement scrolling by after tanking a dungeon for someone.
Once upon a time in a small town far far away… I was a little skater punk kid. Technically I only grew up an hour away but we are going to call it far away for sake of the narrative. I was lucky enough that I had a half pipe in my yard, that we bought second hand and moved to our location and reassembled. Now this was too small to have a roll in, so it was functionally a “drop in” style ramp. For those unindoctrinated… most ramps have a bit of metal coping at the top of the lip that is there to protect the wood of the ramp from the “trucks” aka axles of the skateboard as you come up to the top and grind. Getting onto the ramp involved danging your board out over the edge of the ramp, with your back trucks butted up against the metal coping and then shifting your weight from the tail of the board to the front causing you to “drop in” to the ramp. I found this process completely terrifying, and each time I went out to skate the first few runs involved me not being willing to give myself over to gravity… and ultimately sliding down the ramp on my ass. Eventually I would loosen up and get comfortable and be able to drop in just fine for awhile and be able to ride the ramp legitimately for the rest of the day.
The reason why I have related this analogy is that for the most part… doing new organized content in an MMO is like dropping in for me. I am super hesitant for awhile and unwilling to venture off on my own and give it a shot. I didn’t do a whole lot of solo grinding of Alexander because I felt like I needed that safety net there in case something went wrong. Similarly this expansion I have thusfar been unwilling to join a party finder group to do Susano Extreme or Lakshmi Extreme, and last night… was the moment I dropped in for the first time. My friends Mor and Grace decided that we were going to do the encounters, and we recruited Muspel as well… and the four of us… two tanks and two heals set forth to build a party finder group. Susano was for the most part a learning experience, but very quickly it became a situation of having to work the kinks out and get our dps up high enough to be able to beat the enrage. With about 20 minutes to spare we manage to do it and I got my first kill under my belt. Lakshmi did not go so well, and not only was it much harder to pull together the group… but it also was pretty clear early on that we had nowhere near enough dps to be able to finish the job. After some wipes… having someone drop… refilling the group and re-queuing… only to wipe again due to not enough damage… we opted to call it for the evening. That said I now feel significantly more comfortable in either fight as a tank, and in theory I would probably be willing to solo queue from now on. I got over the coping… and got my weight shifted in the right way and now am more or less fine. However it is only because I went into the content with some people that I trusted… that I was eased over the edge, so I appreciate it when someone is willing to just hang out with me and answer my questions while I do new harder content.