Today i thought i’d use one of Belghast’s “Ten Random Topic Prompts” as my post idea. The one that stuck out to me the most out of that list was talking about a favorite item or drop from any game ever. While i’ve certainly had a few memorable ones for sure, there’s always one that makes it to the top of my list. It dropped in FFXI and it was the Adaman Hauberk. My white whale. One that i actually eventually caught after a long and arduous journey.
What was so special about this item you may be asking yourself and why does it mean so much to me even to this day? Well FFXI had a bit of an itemization issue for the first five or so years. Many items that were introduced into the game during the first expansion Rise of the Zilart remained the best items for many, many years. After some horizontal attempts at gear progression, the Adaman Hauberk still remained the best chest piece for both Dark Knights and Warriors. Those two classes, or jobs if you played, just happened to be what i played the most.
It took me four years to acquire this tem. Think about that for a second with today’s playerbase in mind. I’m pretty sure such a time frame would be unacceptable to anyone, including myself, in the current gaming climate. What took so long you may be asking yourself, after you ask why i would do that to myself! To tell you the truth, i don’t really know other than i had so much time and energy invested in the game, it was difficult to move on. Now granted i was a bit unlucky with drops as well as having to wait my turn behind more deserving guildies, which added years to my wait.
The aspect that made this item so difficult to acquire was the fact that it dropped from an open world boss that every guild on the server camped on a daily basis. Every day a boss called Fafnir spawned 21-24 hours after its last death. Once you got to day four it had a chance to spawn as an HQ version called Nidhogg. In essence, the boss required to drop the item i needed could only spawn once a week and maybe twice at most. Lets stick to one spawn per week with a 5% chance to drop said item and you had to compete with every other end-game guild for it. The drama was brutal and the tactics were cutthroat. You could go months without even winning a claim, or even longer.
I remember the day mine finally dropped because i almost didn’t go to the camp for it. I was a bit tight on time as i had an airport drop-off to take care of. I decided to go anyway just in case i spawned early and i could participate before i had to leave. Well wouldn’t you know it did spawn early and it was the HQ version. I just wanted to get the kill over with so i could rush out the door. The game taught me, or should i say broke me, to not expect drops. Oh i forgot to mention it could not drop anything but a crafting crystal. It was a luck of the draw and one that i won that day before i knew it. I didn’t even bother looking at the loot before the congrats started rolling in. I was actually stunned and speechless. After all these years it finally happened. Of course i couldn’t enjoy it for long before i had to run out the door. That day i set a new record for an airport drop-off. I had a new toy to play with when i got home.
The running debate at the time was whether the Adaman Hauberk was blue or purple. I say yes to both. I say blurple!