Act 13: Decision Time
I resub a few days before patch 5.4. The timing was set so that I can grind some tome before reset, and hopefully that will get me some gear to do the dungeon in MSQ in the new patch. I will still need to grind before I got into other content. I had in mind that it will take slightly more than a week before I can get enough gear to go into Eden Normal. Then maybe another week to get enough gear to try out the new ex primal and savage.
That is, assuming I only gear up for one job.
I am always envious of those people who are certain about what they main jobs are. It is not as much as someone says they have been raiding with a particular job since 1.x. But those who really feel a personal connection of a particular job and it actually represents who they are. Many of those people actually sound rather nonsensical, but they have the kind of passion that I don't process.
I never quite know what exactly is my main. In fact, when I first sub for this game, I want to play with other people. I play whatever job that enable me to be part of the team. I remember I was in this FC static in 3.5, that the first week our raid lead wants me to be BRD, then MCH in the second week and WAR in the third week. I did complain about the frequency of the change but I was fine with the arrangement.
It was an honour to have someone who see me fit well into a particular role, even if some of these decisions were rather questionable. I don't see myself as a whatever-main, but a piece of gear that help the team to sucess in raid.
Or maybe the truth is I never play any job well, so the only contribution I can have is to be very flexible?
Before I transfered away from Shiva server about four years ago, I was in an FC named Shadowstorm. Lycentia was our FC master and she held regular FC event bring us to the Alexander Savage raid. Depending on what spot was missing, sometimes I joined them as dps and sometimes as healer. When we went into A1S, I was the SCH. Back then it was close to end of this raid tier. Most of the static either disbanded in A3s, or cleared the whole raid tier. We were whole branch of newbies just started on A1s. In theory we were overgeared for that fight, but then we were just new, or just bad at it. It was a huge struggle.
My coheal was a WHM named Loka. He was a very nice person. However, he was one of those zero-dps WHM. Back in those day you need to stance dance if you want to dps as a healer. He was so worried that he would double click cleric stance when the tank needs heal, so he just didn't do it. He will make sure regen was always running on tanks, make sure we were all topped. But not a single Aero, Aero3, Stone, etc from him. Coincidentally I wasn't that much better as a SCH. I used mouse over fairy to heal while trying to keep Bio, Miasma, Aero and Shadow Flare up. The up time of my DoT were questionable. I did stance dance a lot, but everytime I got on cleric stance I was wondering if someone is going to die because I can't heal for the next whatever second.
It took us a while to clear A1s, more or less because we had two freak out healers. It would be easy to say that I am a bad healer. But the word "bad" is too general. It helps nobody. It is only recently, I find a better word for it. I am not an efficient healer. It is not that I can't heal, but I am not using my tool kit in an efficient manner. When someone is taking damage, there are often more than one way to heal him. You can spam whatever to keep this guy up. However, a good healer will pick the best tool to do get the job done and free up time to do other things, like dpsing. DPS is never a requirement for healer, but it is a natural by-product when you play your job well.
Back then I was looking for advice on how to play this job. Aelia was a SCH main at that time, and she sent me a link to a guide. The guide was a 60 page 3.x SMN job guide.
In order to play SCH well, I need to learn how to keep up the DoT without the healing part. Thus, go play SMN. Aelia is the only person on earth who came up something like this. I really can't tell if she was a genius or this was just stupid. In any case, I remember printing out the entire guide and read it back to back couple times.
Back in Shadowstorm, I always felt that something was off. For a long time I couldn't tell why. The raid leads were nice to us. People like Thanos and Lycentia brought us into the savage raid, did all the call out, wiped with us for hours. No one ever said to me, "dude, you have no clue how to play SCH." In fact, even with Loka, she tried to convinced him to start the fight on cleric stance, put on some DoT, get off cleric stance and have nothing to do with it the rest of the fight. Improvement was happening slowly but we were improving.
Sometimes I wonder, what does clearing a savage raid really mean? Does it count when half of the team was on the floor and we got lucky with the last auto when the boss was about to enrage at 0.1%? Does it count when someone is repeated dying to the same mechanics and was basically carried by the rest of the team? Does it count when we never really look at our debuff or boss' castbar and wait for the raid lead to tell us exactly what's going on?
If this "protective bubble" to bring new people to raiding is so sucessful, how does it translate to "real world"? What happen if we just jump on PF parties on recent content when there is no call out, you need to do your job right and you have to read a guide and know the fight before showing your face?
Deep down I knew that I have always been carried. Even when I transferred to Cerberus, the second day Aelia assembled people from her static to get me through Sephirot Ex. The SMN book dropped on my clear and that set me up for the journey afterwards.
I should be thankful. I was thankful. But this is not how I consider friendship should work. I don't plan to make friends at higher place and carry me through all the raid content so I can run around with loot. I don't sub for this game to raid. If I value you as a friend, I should aim to be of your equals. Someone you can see eye to eye to. There were times that it would be easier if I asked for help, or assemble my friends to clear stuff with me. As they make things easier, it felt like an assult to the idea of friendship I had in mind.
I suppose, the missing link is me. How can I be treated as an equal when I play so badly? So I will find my value. If I can't play one job well, I play many jobs. I can't do my rotation perfectly, but I can do all the mechanics perfectly. There must be something I can do about this. Eventually, I had the feeling that they prefer me to be the type of friends who cheerful tag along, shower them with praise, agree with them, take side with them even when they are wrong. Sadly, I didn't play the role they wanted and went off on my own twisted beaten path.
When I signed up for my free trial account in 5.3, I have decided that I won't really trying to be making friends anymore. It is not like I became loner or become non-approachable. There are people I ran into day in and day out. For lack of a better word, those are technically my friends. However, what exactly does friendship mean? What exactly do you mean to me, and me to you? Maybe the less we think about it the more likely it will work.
We are probably playing house here. But from the lesson I learnt in the past, the less I reflect on it, the better it will be. Like, whatever.
Back to when 5.4 dropped. I spent the first week grinding tome to meet the ilv of Eden Normal. By the end of the fist week I managed to get into it and got loot from it. Then reset came I went back and get more loot. I was sitting at 8 token and was ready to exchange for some gears. It should bring one of my job to ilv500, the entry requirement for Ex primal and Eden savage.
I was planning to exchange gear for SCH. I started playing this job more in Syncademy, so maybe this would be a good continuation.
In front of the gear vendor, I went into a deep thought. Remember I said that some people felt personal connection with a particular job and how nonsensical it is?
I think I find mine.
I am a SMN main.
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a better SCH. This woman sent me this link to a 60 page SMN job guide. It was so ridiculous, but how I miss those days.
I exchanged all the token for casting gear, went into Emerald Ex. When I cleared the fight, the SMN book dropped, just like four years ago.
Table of content of this series is here