Act 7: The Chaotic War Room
When I wiped at floor 150 in my solo PotD attempt, I was tempted to go back to try again immediately. However, I thought maybe I should join a group to get more experience on the later floor. If I have more exposure to the higher floors, then I will freak out less during the moment when consistency is needed.
The groups I setup in Syncademy were about in motion. I was slightly worried that we won't make it very far because two out of three groups are running with only 3 people. Also, I didn't ask for experience and gear level. I thought if there is enough interested, we can always set up a group with those who want to speed run or aim for a clear. This Syncademy event I scheduled only happen once a week, for couple hours each week. So it was aimed to be relatively relaxing.
One evening I was wondering if I should use the second save slot to do more solo run. I noticed that someone PF was advertising a PoTD discord. The person named Rebecca Weiss. His PF ad was very impressive, claiming a 25 clear run on PoTD. I joined the discord "PoTD War Room" hoping that I will run into more experienced people.
"Just out of curiosity, is this the place to sign up for potential group in the future?" I asked on their channel.
"Yes. There will be multiple runs during the week." Rebecca replied. "Just try to tag on one."
That sounded reassuring, but it was not.
One day, a person name Noir Kinshin typing in the channel, "@here potd ? o/"
Then, people popped up from nowhere and joined the party. It was all very spontaneous. No one posted any schedule. I was unsure if they are trying to do everything in one go. Sure, you can speed run 21-100 HoH in 5 hours. But doing PotD all in one go is just nuts.
Finally Saturday came, I posted a message asking if there would be any group available later in the day, and that I was free before 20:00ST. Rebacca assigned me to the Group Gamma. Then, I went to my class. An hour later, Noir wrote.
"@gamma, group status?"
"Ready." One person said.
"rdy." said the other person.
Wait. When I asked if there would be any group later in the day, I was expecting someone propose a time. I cannot just jump into a party within a minute notice. I also cannot just commit a few hours on a run all out of the blue.
Personally, I prefer people get on my calendar a week in advance. Not many people does that, but I really can't deal with last minute invitations.
"I will be at home in 30 min." I replied on the chat. I just finished my class and was on the train at that time.
"3 man run ! nice." Noir said.
This is nuts. Like, do you expect me to be logon to FFXIV 24/7?
Whatever. I suppose I will just reattempt my solo run instead of trying to get involved with these more experienced people.
Eventually, Rebecca stepped in and set a time for us. I was in a group with Honey Drake, Sno, and Aika starting an hour and a half after. We went in as PLD, NIN, RDM, SMN party. We spent 3.5 hours in that run going from floor 51 to 150. We killed the exact boss I died to in my last solo run. The group was strong. There were some carelessness in the movement that we got hit by luring trap multiple times. The luring trap at floor 141-150 almost wiped us. I rez our tank and tried to AoE the mob, but there were just too many so I died as well. Honey Drake said to us that after floor 170 we will not be helping the person who hit the luring trap. I feel it will be very hard for me to really walk away and watch my teammates get killed. However, Honey Drake was the most experienced person in the team, so following his advice would really help us to clear.
I posted my availability for the coming week. I guess I should not be surprised that it met with radio slience. Eventually Sno said that he was also available on Tuesday. When Tuesday came, I tried told the team that I was free after 18:00ST and was flexible. Then, when 18:00ST came, Sno was waiting while the other two were not around. The truth is, they had only confirmed they were available today, but not the time.
Eventually an hour later, we managed to have the party together.
We started from floor 151. Just like last time, we moved quite quickly. There are still careless movement and someone hit a luring trap. I hesistate to help until I see the two who were fighting the pack of mob was not dying quickly. We were close to wiping once. Honey Drake stepped on a luring trap on one floor. He tried to use a witching pom, but he forgot that it was a no ability floor. Fortunately Aika was not close to our group, so she stayed alive while the rest of us died. She rez me with a phoenix down and I use serenity to get the ability back so I can rez other.
Eventually we got to floor 184, there was only one road ahead to a room with two flood dragons. Honey Drake tried to sneak through it again. All four of us moved to one side of the room waiting for the dragons to turn around. The problem was, that side of the room has a wall, and it was very hard to see anything. None of us moved.
The worst fear I had was we get attacked when I really can't see anything. Guess what, one of the dragon saw us. The first move of the flood dragon is an AoE DoT followed by another AoE. By the time I managed to move out to see what's going on, I lost 2/3 of the HP. I quickly popped sustaining potion and max potion. At that time, I saw a patrol mob just arrived at the room. I opened the manual and tried to use a pom, but I was lost. In that split second, I can't even tell which pom was which. Before I can click on anything, I was dead. The rest of the three died promptly.
"It is the pet." Sno said to us. "Sig didn't move at all. It must be the pet because the pet not hugging the war."
"I didn't know pet can take aggro. I am so sorry." I replied.
Honestly, was it the case? When I did solo run from 1 to 150, Titan follows me as I sneaked throught rooms, may or may not be hugging the wall like I do. Did Titan picked up aggro before?
Rebacca asked us how our run went. We told him that the pet picked up aggro and we wiped.
"It's important to think about what could be done better now, this is how we can improve massively." Rebecca said to us.
I reflected on Rebecca's word.
So what did I really know about PoTD? I guess, very little.
After that day, I went on to a couple different PoTD discord/forum to seek advice on the higher floor, learnt about the abilities of the mob, and watch other people's kill video on all the higher floors to get better understanding myself.
Eventually, a few weeks later, we did regroup. Honey Drake was once again leading my party. Aika sticked with a healer role, which she was more accustomed to. There was another guy named Roy who joined our group as RDM. We did that run in two days. It was rather uneventful apart from we had an almost wipe from a flood dragon. For most of the mob, we knew exactly what they do, we knew how to handle them. Honey Drake knew what not to pull, and we knew to keep distance from each other.
I supposed it was a combination of knowledge, or maybe it was just raw luck, we made it to floor 200.
It was the first time I cleared PoTD.
When I walked to the bench of PoTD, I had a mixed feeling. I felt like I always wanted to be there, but I really can't remember why.
The people who once I wanted to come here with, they are no longer around. All these times, I am still walking forward, forging new friendship, making the best out of everything. So here I am, at the finishing line. With the sense of accomplishment I felt, it always come with an incredible sense of loss.
It has never ended.
Table of content of this series is here