May 15, 2010

Trial of the Magians: I did it for the mercury

In an earlier post, I made mention of the Trial of the Magians and how I probably wouldn't be participating in it. Well, I changed my mind, but not for the reason you might think.

Imagine the following conversation...

Moogle: Hi!! Want a cool weapon?
You: Sure
Moogle: Awesome! It's pretty simple. I just need you to do a few things.
You: Naturally. What's the catch?
Moogle: First, pick one of these plain weapons from a crate.
You: Ok, now what?
Moogle: I know it's a crappy weapon and it would take forever to kill anything, but
Moogle: using it to do these few tasks will magnify its power exponentially!
You: Sweet. So what's the task?
Moogle: Oh, it's nothing big. I need you to find a few Notorious Monster and beat
Moogle: them down with this weapon. No worries, the NMs aren't hard for someone
Moogle: like you. Ok, now I need you to fight these guys more than once, just so you
Moogle: get the feel of the weapon. Let's see. How about the Nocuous Weapon first.
You: Sure. Wait. Isn't that like a level 20 monster?
Moogle: Yeah, something like that. See, no problem for you, right?
You: I guess.

You kill the Nocuous Weapon and return to the Moogle...

You: Ok, it's done.
Moogle: Oh, you must have forgotten. I need you to fight it three times.
You: Why three? Is something different supposed to happen?
Moogle: No, but you need to get used to this new weapon. Two more times please.
You: *sigh* Fine.

You camp this NM for a bit longer, killing the placeholders who reward you with nothing because you're too high level and you can't change to a low level job because your weapon is 75 and no one wants to sync to you for several hours just so you get some exp. Finally, the deed is done.

You: Ok, I fought it three times.
Moogle: Outstanding! Let me upgrade that for you. Here goes!

A flash of light blinds you as your weapon is transformed.

Moogle: Whew. Ok, here's your new weapon. ^_^
You: ...
Moogle: It's rather awesome, no?
You: You added some attack to it. I went through all that for this?
Moogle: Oh no, that's just the first stage. You can do a lot more to this weapon!
Moogle: I have a whole list of NMs to fight, items to get, and enemies to slay!
Moogle: Are you ready?

You walk away, disgusted.


An exaggeration? Not really. I realize that SE is fast running out of fresh ideas; the level cap increase is a good sign that they are digging deep to find something to keep people busy. Same thing goes for FoV augments and the Fey quests. Surely we couldn't have something as simple as deciding which augments we want and then fight an appropriately difficult monster to attain them. Instead, it becomes a time sink due to the fact that the augments are 100% random.

Now we have the magian trials; a task of endurance that requires a ridiculous amount of NM camping, monster killing, and trophy collection. Perhaps it's just me, but does it not annoy anyone else even slightly that you have to be level 75 to camp a level 17 NM? Wouldn't it make sense if these trials were level appropriate? As an example, if we have to camp Black Triple Stars, then let the trial be available to those people in the 25-30 range.

Let's talk about damage. I can't speak on every weapon because I'm certainly not crazy enough to do them all. However, I'll talk about mine. The Athame OAT (occ. attacks twice) dagger. I'm currently on trial 11 and have to kill Hippogryphs. What bothers me about this is my dagger started out as this:

Which then became this:

and is currently this:

With each trial, the enemies I fight are stronger and stronger, so why in the hell is my damage rating getting weaker?? Thankfully, I offhand a stronger weapon, as I'm sure most do. Still, this seems just a tad silly.

Moving beyond the "kill 10,000 enemies which have no bearing on your weapon augments" task, let's get to the really difficult part. The final stage usually requires anothre 1500 various enemy kills, or multiple VNM trophies.

What the hell SE? Did you think about this at all? TEN freaking VNMs? Unless you can solo these, which isn't possible for some, it's going to take a long ass time until you get this amount of items. Especially considering the way VNMs work. You might have to fight 10 or 20 other VNMs before you can fight the one you actually want to fight. So you have to repeat that entire process lord knows how many times. I just don't get it.

Considering my opinion of it, you might wonder why I would choose to subject myself to this torture? Well, as the title wasn't for the weapon per se. I'm not in a VNM shell and there's no way in hell to solo Urd / Skuld, and Verthandi is even worse. However, what I am is an Alchemist. Yep, remember when I started leveling that? Well, I went on a spending spree and bought out the Auction House on scorpion claws awhile back. I bought so many that I actually ran out of gil.

Now that I'm level 62, I'm required to make some Venom Potions, which happens to require mercury as a primary ingredient. I could go buy some, but at the time...I was out of gil. Well, I had 20k, but that won't help much. Realizing that a good place to farm mercury would be in Ro'Maeve or Ru'Aun Gardens against pots and other arcana, it dawned on me: One of the weapon trials requires fighting a lot of arcana. Jackpot.

Why not? Kill two birds with one stone, and eventually give me a reason to stop using a Joyuese on jobs with a low sword rating. It all made perfect sense....then.

Hindsight is 20/20 and, after starting this trial, I realized what I did was pretty fucking stupid. I could've just spent a dollar to get a new content ID, transfer all that damned Venom Dust I made out of my delivery box, and get to the money that was waiting for me from all my auction sales. Then I could just buy the damn mercury and be done.

While I do believe this Magian deal is pretty silly, I have to admit being more silly for actually doing it. Especially considering the reason I started it. So the next time you undertake a difficult task for a stupid reason and someone asks you why you did...just say:

"I did it for the mercury."


Evilpaul said...

I'd farm Lightning Clusters (if farm any of it) and then buy up the Fishing Guild's Jellyfish in Bibiki Bay. It's like 100gil/synth, so you might make money NPCing the Venom Pots. You can get ~8 stacks of Jellyfish per game day.

The non-VNM route may also be extended with the next patch and might provide a decent weapon from it. Or it might not. They're supposedly adding armor and updating the weapons in some way.