Thursday, May 21, 2020

Ventus is a battle Sorc's best friend

My build is finally whipping into shape!  I've finally been able to summon an elemental spirit -- for now I've been solely using Ventus, as it provides the nicest buffs for me.  Let's go through this in order though:

First off, I made a merchant account just for having overcharge and discount, mainly for selling stuff.  While in the middle of rummaging through all of my stuff I accidentally opened the halter lead rental box for Shia, so I randomly had a fancy big mount that I didn't do anything with, lol.

So I finally had enough skill points to not only get spell fist lvl 10, but also get all of the prereqs and finally get to summon ventus!  Unfortunately, in order to summon the elementals, you need specific catalysts.  Fortunately, they're not too bad to farm at all -- for the Wind of Verdure catalyst, simply go outside the kiel dungeon and farm some Grand Pecos -- they drop them pretty often, and I'm able to one-shot them with spellfist.

So now I've got a lvl 1 Ventus summon following me around!  It may not look like much, but Ventus at lvl 1 actually provides some VERY nice buffs to you:

In passive mode, it gives +5 ASPD, decreases your fixed cast time by 1 second, and increases lightning bolt damage.  That +5 ASPD might not seem like much, but together with the buffs from Canterlot (Hinamizawa's priest slave) as well as concentration/awakening potions, I get to hit 192 ASPD (almost capped), so I attack REALLY fast.

In defensive mode, it gives a whopping +100% movement speed, AND a whopping +50% flee!

I was previously having a ton of trouble with the Scarabas that we needed to hunt 400 of as part of the next tier of Gramps quests.  You need some 430 flee or something in order to have a 95% dodge rate against these guys, and even with maxing out my AGI at 130 I only had ~350 or so, so not really enough to save me from getting whacked a bunch and dying real fast.

BUT, with lvl 1 Ventus toggled on defensive mode, not only do I run around like sonic, but the +50% flee means I can actually just dodge most of their attacks!  I still have to be careful as there seem to be some skills that hit anyways (plus there's always that 5% chance of hitting), but it was much, much, much more doable now.

So we spent some time finishing up hunting the Scarabas and Nagas for the Gramps quest.  It went relatively quickly, even though every once in a while I'd die, usually due to Ventus running out of SP for defensive mode, or having died or expired, or some other random reason.  Still, though, with this new asset in my arsenal, this was going way faster than the previous Gramps quest.

After all that I had hit lvl 133, and I decided to take a break from questing to go do some fashioning.  I hadn't really looked through the color palettes since I had ascended to being a sorcerer, so I decided to try and see if I could find something that really looked nice.  Unfortunately the sage outfit is kinda.....not super great for this just due to its design, but there's still a couple of pretty reasonable options.

I thought I'd go for something teal-ish at first, kind of like what I already had.  I also found this strikingly neon blue hairstyle:

In the end, though, I actually figured out that having reddish-orange hair, combined with purple for the outfit, seemed to really work, especially considering the golden feathers on my headgear.  I dressed up Shia to match:

To celebrate my new color scheme, I decided to go on a hunt for a good spot to do a nice photo shoot.  I ended up finding this place, at @go 30, which had a great complementary color scheme.  Shia looks especially cute here:

And here's a photo of our entire group.

In the meantime, Hinamizawa had actually gotten an "Elemental Origins" book from his Rough Ridge quest farming.  This is actually one of the best books for my build, as it increases the damage of bolt spells (and thus, both autocast and spellfist damage) by a percentage amount (even more if refined to a high level).  I wanted to refine that a bit, as well as some of my armor, just for some extra stats.  Unfortunately I needed more Oridecon, so I went off to Magma Dungeon F1 to go hunt for some rough oridecon drops.  I've heard that the other drops from Magma Dungeon sell for reasonable prices as well.

And here's my shiny new +5 Elemental Origin!

Next we decided to tackle the Airship Assault instance.  This is a quest where you go aboard an Airship, fight a bunch of monsters, and then a miniboss and boss at the end.  We had no idea how easy or hard it was going to be, but we knew that the airship armor set is really good for us, providing some nice bonuses, so we wanted to try it.  It's also a daily repeatable quest.

The mobs actually turned out to be pretty easy and straightforward here, and even the miniboss was pretty trivial to take down.

Actually, the MVP boss himself was kind of trivial here as well.  I don't think he even really did any damage to us, though I'm not sure if maybe that's just because I was too busy dodging all of his shots while pummeling him to death with books and bolts.

Unfortunately we didn't manage to get any of the drops we're looking for (they have a low % chance drop rate from each enemy killed) so we'll have to go and try this again.

In the meantime we decided to poke around at some other instance quests, like Old Glast Heim:

Here in the first section there's a bunch of these undead knight things that spawn.  If you wait a while the NPC just kills them all for you, but supposedly it's better to take them down yourself so that you get better drops.  Unfortunately, they were way too strong for the NPC came and eliminated them all instead...

We were doing fine proceeding through with the normal enemies on the quest...then you go to this section on the right where there's a bunch of dead bodies lying on the floor.  The idea here is that you need to avoid stepping near the dead bodies, otherwise you get swarmed by a bunch of maggot enemies.  Unfortunately with Hinamizawa not actually understanding this mechanic, and with both my slave and my summon autofollowing me around, a mistake was bound to happen, and.....

Swarm of maggots.

Last thing we decided to try was the Geffen magic tournament.  I didn't have too high hopes for this one, as the equips take a LONG time to grind out (you have to do the quest a lot of times...), but I did want to see how fast it would be / how difficult, just in case.  One of the rewards is a neat book that you can actually wield as a =shield= (how cool would that be, whacking someone with a book while blocking with another book?).

After sitting through this lengthy cutscene just to get a magic buff (don't know if worth.....), it was onto the actual tournament...

The tournament is a series of 1 on 1 fights.  My build is a lot stronger now, but unfortunately my FLEE-based defense wasn't always cutting it.  Specifically, against anything magic, I can't just dodge storm gusts and cold bolts, for example.  I'm not actually tanky at all besides my physical dodge rate, so anything that =does= hit me actually chunks me quite a bit.  To make matters worse, most of these enemies are quite tanky.

Specifically, this Crusader in round 6, takes forever to get down, and also uses Grand Cross, which was my downfall.

All that and I only got 11 magic tournament coins (you need 900), so......yeah, probably not.

Good questing sessions, and I'm feeling happier than ever about my build.  It's quite fun watching dozens of fire bolts rain down from the sky as I whack people for 5k damage with my book really really fast.

I haven't actually tried the level 3 Ventus summon, as it's actually LESS good for defense, but it is better for DPS as in addition to the 5 ASPD it also offers a random chance to cast lightning bolts (on top of everything else that's already being autocasted).  Nice.

I was pretty doubtful at first about how effective this weird build would be, but it looks like it's actually all coming together now!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Room of Consciousness instance, Thanatos Tower, etc.

I've been doing a bunch of adventuring around with Hinamizawa:

The main thing we took on was the "Banquet of Heroes" questline, which involves going around in Prontera castle and doing a bunch of random npc interactions and storyline stuff:

Eventually you unlock the ability to do the "Room of Consciousness" instance dungeon, where after some storyline stuff you do some very easy battles, followed by two major boss fights.

This is the first boss fight.  While this guy doesn't do much damage (aside from maybe one attack), he actually is tanky as all heck.  You can actually cheese him by casting turn undead or yggdrassil leaf on him, but unfortunately we didn't have a priest on hand.  Later on we figured out that if you lure these bosses between the two helper NPCs, they help do additional damage, which helps.  For now, though, we just autoattacked for a good handful of minutes.  Thankfully fire does extra damage to it, and during the fight I leveled up my spellfist to level 10, so my autoattacks were actually doing quite a bit of damage.

It still took a while though....

Then Bijou is the real boss.  Unfortunately Bijou isn't a pushover, and actually does significant damage, along with its minions.  Plus, Bijou has this nasty colt bolt attack (as well as frost diver) which basically one-shots any of our characters.

We failed the instance, but tried again later.  Unfortunately, every time any character dies, Bijou resets to full HP.  We ended up winning by simply cheesing it -- having my soul reaper simply walk around in circles, and letting the NPC helpers do all of the damage (slowly).  It =worked= though, in the end, and we got a hefty amount of exp as rewards.

After that we took on some random Eden board quests.  Here's us in Juperos, fighting mechanical enemies:

We also explored around ice dungeon a while, hunting the ice titans and other enemies here.

There were some merchants setting up shop at the entrance of this map, buying the NPC drops.  I'm not sure if these prices are actually better than the NPC prices, I guess maybe I should learn to check that first.

After that we tried some of the higher level gramps quest.  The Nagas here were pretty easy for us to kill, but the other enemies do a ton of damage to us real fast, so that was causing us a bunch of problems.

We went back to Eden board quests, this time going to Thanatos Tower to hunt various enemies.

We actually wandered around in here for quite a while, eventually getting all the way to the 4th or 5th floor.

It was pretty cool seeing this much of a dungeon which I had maybe never really even set foot in before.  It's a good reminder that RO has a ton of content that I've really never bothered to see before.  Unfortunately we basically party wiped up here, but that was OK as we had accomplished most of the hunting quests we set out to do by this time anyways.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Rebirth and 3rd class

Hopped on and did some more gramps farming with Hinamizawa, who had since done a rebirth (before turning in their gramps quests) and was now wrecking things with Banishing Point:

We managed to finish up both Gramps quests and the next thing on the docket was for me to pre-fulfill most of the conditions for this random malaya quest which simply involved walking around and talking to a bunch of NPCs, who all end up wanting a button off of your clothing (lol)...

After that it was time for rebirth to High Novice!  Now I just needed to whack one zombie until it died and I was jlvl 10:

After that, advance to high magician, then turn in the malaya quest, boom, advance to 2-2 job class, then turn in both gramps quests, and boom, level 99/70, and then advance to finally being my 3rd job class - a Sorcerer!

In the meantime my slave account (Shia) doesn't actually have rebirthing since the soul linker class tree doesn't have that mechanic, so instead she used a battle manual and just turned in both gramps quests as a soul reaper in order to hit a bunch of levels.  So she's actually the highest level among all of us now, lol!

Here's a nice photo of all of us in our fancy new classes, with Hinamizawa on their super epic mount along with a bizarre helmet that makes him look like Ultraman, lol.

The third classes bring with them a ton of extra cool goodies to strive for, including the soul reaper's ability to actually buff Hinamizawa with something useful (Crit and ASPD), as well as having a 1050HP/3sec recovery buff for the party.  My sorcerer though, gets a TON more stuff to play with, including double bolt (chance to doublecast all bolt spells), and of course, spellfist.

Spellfist is a spell that =cancels= a bolt spell cast and instead applies the damage of the bolt to your melee weapon.  So you basically imbue your book with the damage of a lvl 10 bolt every time it hits.  Even lvl1 of spellfist already was a gamechanger, as the spellfist damage doesn't miss and it means I can just do 2-3k damage by simply whacking things with my book -- and that's on top of all of the auto/freecast stuff from before.

There's a ton more skills to unlock so I'm looking forward to messing around and seeing my build really come together :D

Monday, May 11, 2020

Gramps, this time with 3 of us!

More hunting around for the Gramps quests...

Hinamizawa tried a bunch of different skill builds before settling on their current configuration, using mostly holy cross and grand cross to kill things.  Meanwhile I had figured out that my Lightning Bolt actually does the most damage against the Anolians due to elemental resistances.

I did a brief trial of trying to autocast Heaven's Drive instead of colt bolt, but unfortunately while it offers more AoE, it just doesn't do nearly as much damage, maybe due to element resists.  Plus it's not as if I can tank a bunch of different mobs at once very effectively.

I was about to log off for the night, but then Lemm logged on!  I found him in Einbroch field and he joined in on the Gramps quest action.

Things went significantly faster with the three of us, with Lemm doing pretty great ranged damage via Musical Strike (which apparently uses arrows, despite being used via his guitar.  Amusing...).  The Bragi buff probably didn't hurt either, allowing for faster casts.

We made pretty good progress on the quests, as you can see from the screenshot.  Banaphatys are at 303/400, and Magmarings at 221/400.  We're getting there!

Hinamizawa actually decided to rebirth and do the manual grind until 80 and then rejoin the gramps on rebirth instead of using the quests to skip the first two trans classes.

Until next time!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Payon Dungeon, Gramps

I'm joined by another friend this time, character name Hinamizawa -- playing as a crusader/paladin.

Hinamizawa had leveled up to 80+ in the meantime and had some free time so we went wandering around the lower parts of payon dungeon, where we hunted a bunch of Sohees:

We went a level lower (Payon 5 I think?) where we unfortunately got mobbed by one too many ninetails:

I didn't even notice in the middle of the chaos that my sage had died, whoops.

Next we decided to see what these "Gramps" quests were all about.  There are two gramps quests you can get (per level range) and you want to accept them both from the board on the very left, then Grandpa will warp you to the hunting grounds where you need to kill 400 (yes, 400) of each of those enemies.  Fortunately you have the whole rest of the month to do it...

The two monsters on deck for this time were Magmarings and Banaspatys, both fire element, so my Sage was mainly just casting and autocasting cold bolts here, while Hinamizawa was busy using bash as well as grand cross.

I managed to figure out how to imbue their weapon with cold element, which probably helps as it does an additional 50 (or 75?) percent damage.  Still, it doesn't go super fast, especially because there are other mob types on this map as well and we're still only really mostly doing single-target dps.

As an experiment we tried having my soul linker herd a bunch of enemies and then seeing if Hinamizawa could grand cross them all to death.  This was the result:

I mean, it =sorta= worked....a bit.  The Banaspatys went down super fast, but the other enemy types, especially the Anatolians, were a problem.

Around this time we also took a detour down to the basement of the main office in prontera.  Here you can join one of 4 "clans", which basically give you a free permanent stat buff which gives +1 to two stats as well as some extra max HP and SP.  Nothing special, but hey, free stats, who can argue with that?

At the end of the night we had taken down 50+ Banaspatys, so like 1/8th of the way there, not bad.  The Magmarings are a little slower to progress, but yeah, it's slow but steady.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

New colors!

Just wanted to post a quick photo of my new teal color scheme for my sage :)

New Beginnings...(NovaRO)

It's been a full =10 years= since our CS181 group game together and messed around on an RO server to hang out while also doing "research" for our class project.  In the midst of the I'm-sure-to-be-infamous covid/shelter in place quarantine, I decided to invite some folks to Rune Midgard once again, as a way to hang out virtually.

RO is still RO, and surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) still going strong, even 18 years after its initial release.  But of course there's been a lot of changes and patches, even a complete 1st/2nd class skill rebalancing, etc.  So while a lot of the general stuff is the same, there are a ton of things that are new as well, including the "Eden group" quests which help you level and get some very nice equipment, some helpful navigation systems, etc.

I chose NovaRO as the server to join this time around, as it seems to have a relatively good reputation, and offers 25/25/10x rates, which is around the cusp of what you'd call "low-mid rate".  In other words, not kill one poring and become a god, but also not grind endlessly either.  Myself and kotz managed to end our first play session at around level 88, though admittedly that's with the aid of the experience ring that increases EXP gain by 20% (valid for 3 days when you first start a char).

I've played a number of characters in my past RO "career" (if you could even call it that -- I've never been super serious into it, not like I have ever gone MvPing or anything like that).  Most notably the acolyte/priest branch, since I love to support others.  I wanted to do something different this time though, and remembered battle sages being an off-the-wall (if underpowered) build that I kind of enjoyed working towards last time.

Turns out that a good hindsight/autocast sage/sorcerer actually really really benefits from a soul linker, so I actually made the decision to.....dual client, and have a soul linker slave auto-following my sage around.

The whole point of the autocast sage build is:
- Whack things with books while simultaneously casting bolts on them
- Every whack with a book has a chance to trigger MORE bolts to automatically go off (lvl 1-3 bolts)

This gets more complicated once you hit the 3rd job class (sorcerer), but that's where we're at for now.

The Soul Linker can cast "sage spirit" on my sage, which makes it so that the autocast bolts are of max level instead of lvls 1-3, so that's actually pretty significant.  The buff only needs to be cast once every 6 minutes or so.  Eventually my hope is to marry the two characters in-game, so that the soul linker slave can also cast "kaahi" on the sage.  Kaahi basically makes it so that every time you get hit by a normal attack, you RECOVER 1000 HP at the cost of 25 SP.  So....yeah, you become an immortal god....

That's the plan anyways.  Like I said, this is definitely an unconventional (read: underpowered) build, so we'll see how well it actually does in practice.

But anyways, off we were to get started....

In NovaRO you start the game in this weird map overlooking the city, where you can either start or skip the tutorial.  I skipped the tutorial with my main account but actually had to do it with my slave account since it was my first character on that account.

Apologies for the half-hazard image capture quality, I'm experimenting with new ways of doing these.  I actually just recorded a very low FPS (essentially a timelapse) video and took screenshots out of that, as it seems easier to do that and just extract the images afterwards, than to try and take screenshots while in the middle of playing.

It became quickly apparent that having my soul linker slave follow me around everywhere was.....a little more effort than I initially planned.  You can autofollow another character, which works well enough, but as soon as you use a @go command to warp gotta type it in the other game window as well.  Same thing with any NPC interactions, quest turn-ins, etc....

It was....something I had to get used to.

Here we are at the Stylist, trying to get some nice initial hair styling and coloring.  I'd end up spending more time here later, but for now I was just waiting for my party mates to finish up the tutorial.

I found Lemm!  Here we are, the 3 of us, in the 3rd floor of the "main office" in Prontera.

We mostly just followed the directions in the NovaRO leveling guide (which was an invaluable resource).  One of the steps in that guide is to go to an NPC in Lasagna (yes, there is a town called LASAGNA now, it's home to a playable race of cat people.  A lot has been added to this game....) and have that NPC teach you the "first aid" basic skill, and give you some EXP.

Funnily enough, this NPC also heals you for a ridiculously excessive amount as part of that conversation.  Witness Seph getting healed for =5417= HP, probably enough to fullheal them by 50+ times over...

After that it was off to good ol Payon dungeon to go and hunt some Zombies and Skeletons for some early leveling!

While we were all waiting to get situated and group up at the dungeon entrance, some random priest/archbishop came by and decided to buff us all with all manner of excessive enchantments.  I count 8 already in this screenshot??

So yeah, we proceeded to go through Payon dungeon, all glowy and fast and blessed and all that.

The leveling here is pretty fast, 25x is actually not very slow at all, so we were really making quick work of all of these enemies, even with my slave literally not doing anything as a Taekwon Kid besides following me around.  Lemm would just auto attack things from afar with a bow, I would fire bolt/fire ball things to death, and Seph healed us from the back.

Funnily enough we didn't really need potions or to stop and recharge SP at all.  Seph was healing us, sure (though a lot of the time Seph complained that my slave kept on blocking the way of healing my actual character, lol), but our primary source of healing and SP recovery was......leveling up.  The levels were so frequent that the fastest way to heal or gain more SP was just to kill one or two more things and get restored up to max upon level up. xD

I'm not sure if this is a feature specific to the server, but every time you level up your character says a random canned quote.  Since we were all leveling up pretty often, and often at the same time, this lead to a lot of text boxes popping up at the same time.  Witness our party all marveling at our own powers:

Pro tip: I just looked it up and you can turn these off by using the @quotes command.  The more you know...

Payon dungeon was old familiar territory for all of us, but there's now this whole "Eden Group" organization that apparently offers you a bunch of quests and free equipment and stuff to help you level.  Here's the main Eden group office, complete with a mass of other players doing their thing:

Somewhere along the way I figured I should have some sort of "home base" city that WASN'T prontera or the eden group (e.g. super crowded with a million people milling about).  Last time around in our CS181 adventures we somehow chose Morroc as a hometown -- this time I'm voting to go with Geffen, as it seems peaceful enough and it's easily accessible by typing "@go 2":

After receiving some more Eden quests the next step was actually to go back to Payon dungeon once more and hunt a bunch of Zombies/Skeletons/Poporings to complete the quests, then turn it all in for EXP.  Here's us back at Payon Dungeon, this time with Seph buffing us with some sweet Increase Agility (increases your walk speed as well as the AGI stat).

At this point Seph had to leave us, so it was just Lemm, me, and me slave running around leveling up for the rest of the night.  We half joked that Seph should just put their character on autofollow as well, and I'd just have a train of people following me, but unfortunately that would break as soon as we needed to warp anywhere.  Oh well.

So besides EXP, the rewards for the Eden quests include a bunch of....really decent equipment actually, much better than any of the other random vanilla stuff you'd buy from NPCs at this stage in the game (we're not rich or anything, FAR from it).  Look at this piece of armor which gives a very nice +2-- max HP and 46 defense, for example:

After that it was off to the 5 "mission boards" up on the top of the main eden office, where you can take hunting/item fetch quests to turn in for EXP.  I don't think there's any penalty to taking too many quests, so......we just ended up with a ton:

Elder willows!  That's a name we recognized.  We derped around a bit trying to actually FIND the right map to hunt for them (pro tip: later I learned that the in-game world map actually has a very handy dandy "search for mob" feature that will just tell you....), but eventually we found them and started hunting them.

Of course often I would accidentally be stuck in chat mode instead of battle mode -- here you can see me spamming "qqqqq" to try to cast a spell, only to realize I was typing in chat.  Oops.

We met our Elder Willow hunting criteria, and were going to try to get 10 Coco kills as well, except we saw this whatever-it-was-called pincer beetle thing and decided to try and mess with it.  Bad idea -- we didn't do much damage to it and it ran up and one-hit all three of us one after the other.  Oops!  Party wipe xD

We took another handful of quests and looked through them, and saw....Cruisers!  I remember those, from Lutie Toy Dungeon!  That was our next stop -- we ran around bolting/arrowing a bunch of the toy soldier enemies (Cruisers) until we had enough for the quest:

I have memories of leveling in Toy Dungeon as a swordie, back when we were playing on a more low-rate server and the power level was wayyy lower.  Ah, those were the grindy times, chugging pots to stay alive while auto-attacking myst cases....very different from now, even with a measly 25x exp rate, we were just blowing everything out of the water.

At this point we had hit jlvl 40+ so it was time to change to our second classes!  My main char turned from magician to sage, Lemm turned from archer into Bard, and my slave turned from Taekwon kid into Soul Linker.

It was then off to the Orc Dungeon for our next quests -- hunting orc zombies and orc skeletons:

Lots more blowing stuff up with bolts and fire walls and such here.  There was also a point in time where Lemm just sat there for a while trying to digest the bard skill tree, while I bolted anything that came near:

We amassed some pretty large crowds of orc undeads at some points....

Turning these quests in lead to some new Eden equipment!  Like I said, pretty nice equips -- this one has even more bonuses than the last one:

Since we were at our second classes now, Lemm wanted to find an instrument to use instead of their bow.  We ended up learning that you can buy instruments from a vendor in Comodo -- Lemm borrowed some 15k zeny from me to buy a guitar to whack people with.

Meanwhile I was using the Eden Staff.  A hefty 150 MATK bonus is really nothing to scoff at here:

Eventually I'd want a book, though.  If nothing more than just for the flavor of whacking things with books.

Also, finally, my soul linker slave (which up to this point had literally just been following us around) finally became useful, as they could now cast Bard & Dancer Spirit on Lemm (enables them to move faster while playing songs), makes it so their songs affect themselves, and they can even use skills of the opposite gender.  They could also cast Sage Spirit on my main character, which of course meant that it was time to start whacking things and auto-casting bolts on them.

At this point we went back to Payon dungeon yet again.  Our target this time I believe was the Munaks, which there were plenty of later in the dungeon.  Funnily enough, whereas before both of us had been ranged classes (bow and spells), we now changed to melee classes whacking things with instrument/book respectively xD

Unfortunately Lemm decided to try his luck and try attacking into the massive swarm of Hydras in the lake area here.  Notttttt a good idea, as you can see:

Of course, I didn't actually do much better: I sped through and ran into a huge mob of Munaks/Bonguns/Skeletons, and unfortunately my slave's Kaahi buff (which she had self-cast) had expired.  Whoops.

That was fine though, we had accomplished what we needed to.  Our next stop was Ghast Heim St Abbey, where we went to go hunt Wraiths!

Lemm had now learned some songs, and used "Assassin Cross of Sunset" which basically boosts the team's attack speed:

We went into the dungeon with a little bit of trepidation, not sure how dangerous the enemies were.  But we needn't have worried -- we made quick work of the wraiths and other enemies.  Lemm was actually taking them down really fast with Musical Strike, and at this point I had learned Free Cast, which allowed me to cast bolts while simultaneously attacking.

Here's us wrecking a bunch of evil druids:

At the end of that we got our next set of equipment -- I had the choice between a staff and a book.  On the one hand, the book meant I would get bonus attack speed from my passive sage skill.  On the other hand, the staff meant more Magical power.  On the other hand.....whacking people with a book....

I ended up with the book :)  Whacking people with books, here I come!

We decided to call it a night at that point.  We're level ~88 and at this point I believe the next step is to start doing "Gramps" quests in preparation for rebirth.  "Rebirth" is the mechanic where you reset your character back to level 1, but with bonus stats and you can choose a stronger version of your second class / advance to third job class.  (So basically a new game plus?)

The idea here is to finish (but not turn in!) a bunch of high-exp quests before you rebirth, then use those quests to quickly skip most of the grind for getting your levels back up to where they were.

The "gramps" quests (named after the "gramps" old guy NPC) require you to kill 400 monsters of two types and you usually try to find a party to do them together with.  I'm not sure how hard these are, we'll have to see what happens when we try to do them.  My character is not entirely super useful at the moment and there are a bunch of enchants and elemental skills that I haven't really figured out how to use, so hopefully we won't end up joining some party that gets mad at us for derping around XD

It was a good session...we'll see how things progress from here and whether I can actually put this build together.....