We’ve been farming Suzaku EX a lot lately to prepare for Savage. But it seems to be bringing back an old itch for both Nikki and myself.
The encounter itself is one of the more fun primals we’ve fought. Most of her mechanics have you dancing around the platform. The more coordinated your group is with these, generally the better. Because of this, you’re moving along to the music which is positively groovy. Of course, all of the extra movement also means a higher chance for PUGs to mess up.
Suzaku EX reminds me a lot of Titan HM back in the day. There was literally a chart that went around explaining the order of his mechanics. Why? Because you needed to know what was coming up, and what was coming next. Players would often dodge the next mechanic as the first was going off because the lag was so bad. Well, lag hits Suzaku EX poorly too. Almost everything it seems is tracked server side, which leads to easy screw ups if you’re unlucky.
This week the lag seems to be down, at least. I think many people have already gotten cleared through new content and are re-entering retirement. So as a result we’re now left with PUGs who don’t dodge things and immediately claim that healing was bad. Uh, hey bud, if the other seven members are completely okay? It wasn’t the healing. Doing this fight on our own time has us wondering how our raid could go better. That group is still comprised of mostly strangers, even if they are pretty fun to play with.
Our raid managed to clear Suzaku EX three times, scoring a SCH book and two spears. Both spears went to people without DRG at 70. Then we moved onto O9S and saw all four elements of the fight on our first night. Sure, it wasn’t a one-night clear, but that doesn’t seem so bad for a group of this level! On that same night, our WAR was let go for lack of attendance. The following morning, our SCH left because of real life issues. I’m not sure of the specifics there.
So here we are with just six members, and as of this post no idea if or when those spots will fill. Nor with who. I think at this point we’re probably due for just taking PUGs until that gets figured out. We do know a tank and a healer who’ve returned to the game, but I don’t think their schedule works out for this. Their skill level matches though! That said, the lack of people to call in has me wondering how we did it before… and of course, it was because of an active Free Company.
The Free Company
Our Free Company is small and quiet. It’s pretty much just a place for friends to share in the rare company buffs. Even though we’ve sure as heck had a member return to the game, I don’t know how long the newness of activities can necessarily keep up. We aren’t a group that can hold “events” of any sort. There can’t be any Free Company clears XYZ days when probably more than half of us would be friends or PUGs.
I think I’d like us to build up to something like that. To honor and cherish the current idea of playing at your own time, in your own way, etc. but also enabling more options on what to do and doing big silly things just because. A Free Company that doesn’t take just any single person just because but continues curating the roster to prevent many problems. And one that doesn’t mind if people go their own way. I guess rather than a big permanent home, we can be a cozy campsite. Some people like that sort of thing, and others won’t.
No one wants to be expected to do things, nor expected to run them. That was one of the pitfalls of my first Free Company, where we would host events that no one would show up to. Or we’d have people complaining that we weren’t doing enough events. There won’t be countless hours spent on handling interpersonal problems either. You have a voice and it should be heard, but it doesn’t have to be honored without compromise. We’re all here to have a relaxed, fun time playing a video game and I think that should be the focus of any decent group, raid, FC, or otherwise.