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 How much do you <3 your FFXI job?

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Brenton
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PostSubject: How much do you <3 your FFXI job?   Sat May 10, 2008 3:34 pm

I found this post on Allakhazam. It is a long read but well worth the time. It is a truly moveing Tribute to one of the pioneers for PLD's. As they even wrote most of the guides on Allah, and they are still used today. Hope you enjoy it. I'd also like to hear about others that might have a similar love for the job/jobs they play.
cheers


I just can't do it. (long read) <<<< Link Clicky
Posted: Dec 7th 2005 12:47am

Whren | Midgardsormr | 75PLD 75WHM
Valor Est. March '04

Some of the newer posters on the board may have seen the hnm thread at the top and the links in akirussan's guide and wondered what the heck a 75whm was doing writing pld guides.

To recount my history, I started FFXI as a mnk, having researched beforehand the pld job and knowing that I needed to take war up to at least 30 before I could unlock the job and become a pld. So, after starting at the NA PC release, I rushed quickly to 30 (like everyone else) and went to unlock pld. I loved exping pld so much that I kept leveling. It was just the most enjoyable thing I had to do in the game back then.

When I hit level 65, I entered my first HNM ls, an established one that belonged to Taiwanese import players. The static party I was with for a month granted me some favorable connections, so at level 65, I was able to travel across Vana'diel and watch as my linkshell killed the HNMs of the day. I didn't really do much except watch and help out when needed for my level was too low, and this particular linkshell prefered to use nin tanks for the majority of their fights. Still, I was incredibly excited, as most people were busy leveling and this was my first experience with endgame. I was new to the scene and didn't quite understand everything, and a lot of things didn't make sense to me. I didn't understand why certain parties had to be made with a certain setup, and I was slow at inviting people to my party and setting up alliances. However, I did what I was told, and eventually slowly began to come together. This system of taking down a large, ferocious NM together intrigued me, and was the start of my love for FFXI's endgame, no matter how flawed it is.

Then, the time came when a small band of friends I had 'grown up' with decided to form their own predominantly NA hnm ls. I was given the decision to join their new starting ls, or continue with the importer ls. I eventually, despite the gift of an Earth Staff from the importer ls (back then they cost a lot more than they do now; nowadays the NQ staves are being pumped out in attempts to get HQ staves), chose my friends' starting linkshell.

At the time, nin was not such a popular tank among English speaking players due to how costly it was, and the 2 other NA hnm ls's that were also forming at the time used predominantly pld tanks. So, we followed suit. We learned to work with plds where in many cases a nin would do better (eg. against NMs like Bune where a nin would require a lot less manpower to fight). We lost a few of those early fights, but through trial and error we shaped the way we worked and eventually, killed these NMs with pld tanks.

Because we used pld tanks so often, I soon got my turn to tank HNMs. My first disappointment came with Ungur -- I died in several hits, and my first reaction was of disappointment. I thought: "I have leveled all these levels to 75, and now I die in a few smacks from an NM that isn't all too hard at all? Was my effort in vain after all?" That day, I died a total of seven times. I had never felt such grief in my ffxi career before, and to top it off, soon after that day I tanked Suzaku and its 2hr was not held in check (due to our inexperience), and I died quickly as well.

I almost felt like quitting the game and the job right there, but somehow I went on. "I just can't do it." To me, it felt like this horrible vicious cycle. I thought that in order to tank HNMs, I needed better gear, but to GET better gear, I had to tank HNMs. I just felt like there was no way out, and I would be stuck dying countless times at HNMs. At the time I was loathe to level another job, so by and by I learned how to die under the claws of a HNM without complaint. It was a harsh time for me.

To make things worse, as time went on, exp parties became harder and harder to find. More and more tanks went on seek as they died more often to HNMs, more and more nin tanks were popping up. I first felt resentment, then grudging acceptance, and finally, more grief. Those of you younger plds who lament that nin tanks have taken over haven't seen the process happening right in front of you, and that pain was so much worse because for me, I grew up in a time when pld was king and later had to accept the newer style of tanking as a style that was just as effective as the 'older' ways. At least newer plds now come prepared with the knowledge that there is another viable tanking class. I started only knowing that plds and only plds were tanks (with the occasional war tank).

Eventually, I took a break from FFXI and went to try WoW. I was a paladin there again, but after 2 months the game bored me, and I came back to ffxi. To my delight and surprise, my linkshell was still going, a little weak and labored from the strain the WoW exodus had dealt on it (we had lost many members to WoW), but still alive. Out of the hnm linkshells that had started when my linkshell had, only we stand today with the same original pearl as the day it was formed. Perhaps that's why we still remain heavily pld-dependent even today; our reliance on pld tanks dates back to the 'old days' and we have not lost that yet.

Fresh from my break, I decided to take a break from pld, and level whm. I had become so grieved and frustrated at the pld job that I decided it was going to hell anyway, and I should level another job. Quite honestly, I almost hated the pld job. Ah, how relaxing it was to not have to fight for hate anymore. How soothing and calming it was to not have to worry about letting my party down by losing hate anymore. I shunned the pld job more and more. At first I simply transferred my pld equipment to a mule. Eventually, as whm became more and more expensive, I began selling my pld gear. First it was just the expensive pieces, then soon after, everything went.

At first, I too, simply delegated my pld job as an 'alt' job, to be used only in dire emergencies. So I never really considered it 'retired', even though I disliked playing it again. At one point I could have kicked myself for starting as pld first, and wished I could have gone back in time to start as whm. I began to dislike anything remotely pld-related. Everytime I tried picking pld back up again, I hated it again and threw it back in the closet, resold all its gear to fund my whm's gear even more. My whm was like a pampered princess, always taking from what my pld had. I sold even the most sentimental pieces of gear my pld had accrued just to fund expensive luxury whm equipment. "What's the point of keeping all this stuff around, anyway? I'm not going to play pld again. I just can't do it."

Yet, even though my whm road was extremely painless and my whm never knew a day of frustration, that was the very first obstacle I met. Other whms, whms who had started as whms, knew how painful it was to get club skillups. They knew how painful it was starting with average gear, and not going through the dunes with astrals. They knew how painful their AF was, where I did my whm af in 2 days with a group of lsmates, and I got Paragon of White Mage excellence at level 50 whm (in contrast, I walked through weeks of hell to get my pld af done). No matter how much gear I poured into whm, I did not feel like an 'original' whm. There was something empty about 'where I came from'. I almost wished my whm had had SOME difficulties to face, so that I might appreciate it more -- I know it sounds strange to those of you struggling through your Vana'diel midlife crisis with all the genkai and AFs to do, but pain only makes the eventual relief and joy that much greater. To live your life without pain is to not live it at all, as I had not with whm.

So, I thought the answer had to be gear. I poured even -more- resources into whm gear. I tried to run away from my history as a pld, thinking that by doing that, I could feel more like a whm and that emptiness could go away. However, no matter how little I spoke of pld, or how dumb I acted towards the pld job, people still asked me pld questions, or asked when I was coming back to tank. The few NA players who started at the same time as I had and who still play today, thought of me as a pld, not a whm, despite the fact that I had not been on the pld job for many months. I shrugged it off, believing that time would blur their visions and cloud my history.

Perhaps time did, but it could not remove that emptiness. I had no answer to the question "How did you start FFXI?"; I couldn't reply with the experiences of the job I hated. It's like trying to be a plant without roots. All I had were the flowers at the top of the plant, the prettiness of my whm, but if you looked further past the flowers you would have seen something amiss. I added MORE flowers to try and mask whatever was empty deeper down.

Being a whm, however, was not all a bad thing. If anything, it was a good cure to many of the frustrations I had felt on pld. Without the stress of trying to outdo other tanks, I could sit back and observe other tanks besides myself in action. It gave me an extra depth to my understanding of tanking, and even more appreciation. It's really hard to appreciate what you yourself do, but when you're at the opposite end of the spectrum, healing those taking the hits, you really begin to appreciate what a good tank can do, and you begin to know more and more about being a good tank in a more accurate way. I didn't feel it when I was a pld, but when I became a whm and worked with some really good tanks, I felt a heightened sense of security. I never knew a pld could exhort such feelings in other players, until I felt it myself. So, perhaps, this was how the mages in my groups felt when I tanked for them. One pld in my ls in particular -- whenever he was present for an event, I just knew things would be okay. That's the kind of feeling.

Last of all, being a whm removed all of the competitiveness my pld had. Prior to switching jobs all I wanted to do was be the best pld. The one who tanked longest, tanked hardest. I thought that to not be the best was utter failure on my part. But when I began healing tanks myself, I saw that sometimes it's just the luck of the draw that kills - and saves - plds. The cure spell that hit just a second too late, the cure spell that landed just in the nick of time. The healers being paralyzed. Too far away. Sometimes, unpreventable things happened, and tanks taking a death was not all their fault. I also saw how inconvenient it was for the mages when one pld tried to overtake another, instead of working together to tank something as a team. I felt how much smoother things felt when they stopped competing and started cooperating, and I saw how dangerous it could be in some circumstances when one pld tried to hog all the hate. I also healed many nin tanks in the endgame, and this removed much of my rivalry towards them too, for I saw and felt just how they worked, and I learned the effects each type of tank had on their healers and the mages. I saw instances where nin tanks were very much more useful, and where pld tanks were very much more useful.

For a time, I struggled with my hatred of pld that had become so much poison. I refused to accept it again. On the forums, my signatures bounced back and forth between 75PLD, ex-75PLD, and 75PLD(retired). But, sooner or later, the truth had to catch up to me: I would not be where I was today without the beginnings my pld had made. Most of what my whm has, is owed to the success of my pld. The prior knowledge of hate and the relationships between healer and tank, the money for gear, the capped shield, evasion, club and staff, even the position I had in my hnm ls (still the same one from all that time ago). History was the one thing I could not put back on the auction house and sell. Flowers may be pretty, but without sustenance from the uglier, dirtier parts of the plant, the ugly stem and the roots -- all they are, are plastic, dead flowers. I came to learn that my time as a pld and my time as whm were not separated -- they are two parts to a whole; as much as whm has decorated my experience of ffxi and given me the chance to enjoy endgame again, so has pld given me my very first steps. To deny acceptance of either part would be like living in half. To cherish either job any less, folly.

Recently, my ls did a round of KS99 "your orb your loot" runs. I scored about 9-10million in gil, and with the money, I added one more flower: a hedgehog bomb, an item I had wanted for a very long time. I breathed a sigh of relief at finally acquiring it, but I also felt a sense of sadness and emptiness, as if all my efforts to improve my whm had been in vain. I looked at my equipment, and I knew already what was wrong. There was a beating deep down in my heart -- maybe it was nostalgia, maybe it was something else -- and it was calling, subtle but oh so strong, stronger than ever now that I had had so many flowers already, some beginning to wilt. With the remaining gil I had, I quickly browsed through the auction house, and bought a few simple, frugal things in stark contrast to the luxurious item I had bought.

Then, I went back to my moghouse, for I had a few things I needed to do.

"Wait!" the poison flared. "Are you really going back to the job where you die so much and have such a difficult time getting the exp back? Are you really going to compete again and stress yourself over everything?"

"But I am not competing," I said. "I'm not competing to be the best pld. I'm just going to be a pld for what it is -- not for the glory it can achieve -- and that I think, may be enough for me."

"Then what about your gear? You don't even have enough for a Koenig shield, all you have is a shield you picked up for a few thousand gil. You don't have a Gigant mantle, a Cassie Earring -- that you sold so long ago -- you have nothing! Your whm has everything! For your own sanity, let go."


[u]

"Let go?" I thought. "I just couldn't do it."

----------------------------
Whren | Midgardsormr | 75PLD 75WHM
Valor Est. March '04

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Brenton
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PostSubject: Re: How much do you <3 your FFXI job?   Sat May 10, 2008 4:06 pm

Shocked I loved reading that and /salute to anyone that has LV'd a tank job be it NIN, PLD, or way back WAR Tank's. Cool

For me it was a bit different. I was up to lv 65 PLD before SE gave us any updates (shield mastery, refersh, & ect.). I was told by several that PLD to 75 as a first job was stupid.

I tough'ed it out and kept up the grind to get to 75. Refuseing to be a DD PLD when it first started to catch on. I figured if i wanted to be a DD, I'd lv WAR or SAM.

Then that fatefull day my best friend Kiyori started RDM and asked if I would duo/static with her. Since then I've not looked back or thought twice about going back to PLD. Don't get me wrong. I'm still a PLD at heart and always will be. The rest of me is all RANGER. Always will be. In a way it's funny my 2 jobs are Tributes to the 2 best friends I have ever had.

PLD = Kai
RNG = Kio

I love you
Brent~

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