Act 5: Into the Abyss
As we headed into the middle of October, the Covid inflection has raisen drastically in Europe. Back in the summer, I was hoping that the virus situation will get better, and my orchestra can resume. It was clearly not going to happen. I still tried to play some scales, but I was not motivated to start any new repotorie. Skipping practice altogether for couple days became okay after a while.
I enjoyed a four days free login campaign from SE, and was seriously thinking of resubbing at that point.
It was a tough call. If I were to resub, I can join the Omega raid from Syncademy, also trying more things out on the Bojan Southern Front when it was still current. On the other hand, if I were to resub, I really have to kiss my violin goodbye, because the chance it will get out of the case would be zero.
At that moment, I have three jobs at lv60, a tank, a healer and a dps on my free trial account. I don't have to level up anything and I can just raid-log when Syncademy has an event I can join. There were very little incentive to do things in the game otherwise. I really can't do more leveling dungeons in ARR. My heart sinks whenever I get Satasha, or Copperbell. I was less into PvP than what I thought I would be. One or two Frontlines per evening are nice, but I can't do more.
Eventually I thought about the PoTD. I had done the questline all the way to floor 100 on this account. I had never tried solo-ing it. I remembered trying that once when PoTD first came out as a SCH. It was horrible, because I don't have enough dps to kill the bees before they do final string on me. It was very embarrassing.
This time I went in as an Arcanist, solo. I wasn't even lv30 and cannot get a job stone. It wasn't difficult at first. I had a good habit of wall hugging in any floor.
Then, I got to floor 21.
There were a bronze chest in one of the room.
Potentially you can get a potshed in a bronze chest, and you can change it for sustain potion, which is something good to have for solo run.
I opened the chest, and it turned into a mimic.
I put DoT on it, weaved Fester with the shield from my pet. When the mimic casted pox on me, I noticed that there is no way to silence it as a caster. I ended up in casting Physick on myself to keep my HP up. But the mimic auto attack and I died.
It was a waste of the hours I spent on floor 1-20.
Some time later I gave it another try. I got to floor 21, again, see a few Bronze chests. This time I decided not to open any Bronze chests. Then, I got to floor 24 and started getting floor debuff such as anti-knockback, HP down. Initially I can't do anything about it since I didn't have a single serenity.
It was a strange run. Starting from floor 24, I had a debuff on every single floor. Eventually when I hit floor 27, I finally got a chest with serenity. There were also HP down on that floor. I was hesitating if I should use it on such a low (or high floor since the floor number is supposed to be negative). I tried to venture a bit without using serenity. Stayed in the corridor, pulled one mob at a time.
The suddenly there was a second mob spawn around the corridor, somehow I got aggro. I have my pet setup shield. Put DoT on the second mob, and tried to kill the first one faster.
Then, suddenly, I was attacked. Behind me, there was another patrol mob.
It happened all so fast, before I can reach for a pom, I was dead.
Second solo run failed.
I reflected on it a bit. There were two problems. First of all, my gear level was around 30/30. It was probably too low for solo-ing. When I failed to kill the mimic in the first failed run, it should be obvious that I need more fire power. The second problem was I wasn't sure when to use pom. I wouldn't have wiped in the second one if I use witching. I don't think serenity would have save me. I had 3 mobs on me, and the HP down debuff only made thing worse.
Maybe the realistic way to do it is to have 99/99 gear from the beginning.
Or maybe I should really try to do it with a group?
I remember back in those days when I tried to do PotD. When it was with random PF party, unless it is all done in a single run, you face the possibility that people bail on you. If you have to do it all on a single run, then it was serious long and draining. I remembered someone stepped on a luring trap and we wipe at floor 189. The mood was soar when a 5-6 hours progression was ruined by a single mistake. It was not only other people, I also wiped the raid before. It was not the first time that I got hit by a patrol mob from behind. I usually play range dps, so I often stay in the corridor. But because I tend to be further away from the group, I ended up pulling those patrol mob that we should avoid and wipe the raid.
A few days later, I setup a study group in Syncademy for PoTD floor 51-200. I said the group will meet once a week for 2 hours. It will be an unconventionally slow way to do PoTD, so I expected no one will sign up.
Guess what, there were people joining. In less than a week, there were 10 people including me signed up. A few people need to check their availability, but it is more people than I thought. Then, one guy said that he double checked his schedule, but he can't join us. So I have 9 people to divide into teams of 4, which mean one person will be left out. I was new to Syncademy, so I wasn't comfortable to leave out anyone. As much as I want to get to floor 200, I want to be as inclusive to the members to Syncademy as they were to me. It boils down to, the only person I can logically leave out is myself.
I thought, maybe I need a smarter way to do this.
After sleeping on this for two days, I setup three teams of three scheduled for the week after. The teams will have only 3 people each. It started the next phase of my adventure to PoTD.
Table of content of this series is here