Yesterday the Shadow Lord rose from his grave, as I completed mission 5-1 and 5-2 for my characters in FFXI. Normally the missions for characters of varied nations will be completely different, but this is a point in the original storyline where the paths converge, and so I was able to use both my characters to complete rank 6 all at once!
The Bonus to this of course is that I got to follow up more on the storyline that is started with the mission to attain Rank 5 “Magicite”. This mission includes some cutscenes that seem very cryptic if you haven’t played through the others before, but all that is explained in 5-1 and 5-2. Interestingly though, even if the missions are the same for the nations, the story that is told around it is not, I found for example that my character from Bastok was given far more information about what happened with the characters involved in creating the shadow lord simply because in the storyline Bastok played an important part of the events, while windurst was not as involved. On the other hand, the Windurst storyline appears to be hinting at a larger plot with the Yagudo beastmen, even dropping the occasional idea that the windurstian summoners may have committed an act in the last great war that damaged the world in some way.
I’m mostly commenting on the story itself here, as that was the interesting part, killing the bosses is fairly simple when you’re at 99, even easier yet when you have two characters to do it with. ( These missions were originally balanced for parties at around 60+ ) And now that the storylines have expanded over the many years of the games existance, they’ve reasonably enough made it possible to solo through. – Which is a good thing! There are soooooo many good story arcs to look through in the many expansions, so if you had to get a party for them all when everyone has already done it, it would simply not work.
Now that my characters are rank 6 they also have access to Dynamis zones, meaning I can get AF2, or Artifact armour 2, the second class specific armour that in the 75 days was the top notch. I still want it because it’s very viable armour, and because I really really like how it looks. The armour design of this game is really enough of a reason to play it. I just love wearing full sets of gorgeous armour, It makes me feel a sense of achievement.