I whole-heartedly disagree with you. You will NOT gain anywhere close to the same amount of SP per hour in a group setting as you will in a solo setting or a small group fighting blue/green. At least, I never have. In fact, I haven't even come close to that. Everytime I have had a large group doing anything post 20, our SP has been abysmal in comparison to small group/solo/pre-20. It's not like we haven't tried either. We've fought everything we could find: hippos, skeles, puks, diremites, efts, etc... in a larger group, nothing seems to work as well.
I'd also like to bring up the crafting/DoL aspects I've mentioned and their respective hurdles. Everyone has been so focused in on the battle that it has gotten neglected. Currently, I am at a complete standstill in any of my crafts that are above rank 20. Besides the 1-2 r15+ leves I get per reset, the only means of leveling these classes is through grinding mats... a process which requires an insane quantity of shards/crystals/mats per rank. Just doing ONE single armorer rank (23-24), I went through 800 earth shards, 600 fire shards, and 40 fire crystals, not to mention 3 stacks of iron nuggets. This is literally the only way I can even rank up my armorer, as each reset I seem to be getting less and less leves that will give out decent sp (15+). As for DoL, if I go out for a mining session (to stock my armorer sessions) I notice that every time, after about 2 hours, I start to damage everything that I prospect. At that point I can get maybe 1/5 successful swings if I guess right, otherwise its an automatic fail.
These are some of the other "proverbial walls" I'm talking about, and I'd like to get others opinions on them as well.
I urge you to keep experimenting. I have, and I have also explained how I got it. Is it not detailed enough? If you need a video to be convinced, I guess I can try to fraps 1 up on my next static session. Maybe 10mins rather than 1hr for the sake of file size.
No your explanation is only about you doing leves, and my experiences differ GREATLY from yours for the most part. You also mentioned this:
On a day where I do arrange to sp together with my static, we definitely do about 15-20k/hr and have a lot of fun. Sometimes, we rotate the cities we take leves at, experiment killing mobs, etc, to break the monotony.
I'm curious what exactly you are gaining 15-20ksp/hr on? If I do leves w/ my LS, the max I will get is about 10-15k/hr below rank 20, and progressively less the higher level I get and the more people you add to the leves. In fact, we did r20 leves last night in a group of 10 at the start. All levels were 15-20. We netted about 9k/hr. I then solo'd 3 leves and averaged 18k/hr. See the discrepancy? The night before, we did r30 leves as a group, all ranked r28-33. There were about 8 of us and we were pulling about 6k/hr. When the group dropped to 3-4, sp was more like 8-9k/hr and soloing leves was closer to 10k/hr. That doesn't seem very balanced towards party play to me... And this was in leves, supposedly the main source of SP for the game. Just soloing or grouping on my own (unless on Easy Prey targets) I've netted even less. So please, tell me what mobs/leves you are doing that net you such awesome results.
While it is true that DoL has a problem in damaging after 2hrs of gathering, I contest your findings for DoH. How do you define decent sp? I am a 40 arm now and 23-24... I think I got that in a day without much cost as I do alot of trading. What are you skilling on? Iron squares should be very good for your level, or if you want, bronze sets should net you quite a bit of sp (reinforced bronze mitt gauntlets, bronze chain coif, bronze sollerets, bronze haubergeon) although they are 'quite' hard to move at this stage of the game.
I do crafting leves that are anywhere from -10 to +5, -10 gives me 200+sp and +5 400+sp and you can get 6-8 if you travel 3 cities. As an armorer, leves can be quite erm, easy to select as it is requires so many... sub crafts... leatherworking and weaving if you want to craft your own tank gear and it definitely isn't the easiest craft in ff14 and it gets more insane post 40 for armorer, but its still bearable for me because... I like making armor for people, its a great feeling.
My problem is as I stated, I just don't get that many leves that are even close to my level. Take this reset for instance. I had 0 r15+ leves in Uldah, 2 r15's in LL, and 0 r15+ in Grid to work with. I don't get SP from r10's (less than 100), so what am I supposed to do? I already explained the shard situation. I burned through over 1000 of them getting just 1 single rank of grinding. Sure the SP/hr was decent, about 10k/hr, but its not something I can repeat every hour. ****, it's not something I can repeat every DAY. I do that for a couple hours once a week, my shard/crystal supply is shot. I've been ranking up on all sorts of iron. Turning nuggets into squares, plates, ingots, chains, rings, you name it. I then turn those products into other things that I can sell or craft with later. The problem isn't what I skillup on, its the lack of leves my range and the still insane quantity of shards needed to "grind".
I realize I could just buy all my shards, but I really don't think that should be required just so that I can repair my own gear. All I want is to hit r28 so that I can repair my bronze set for my glad. So far I've waited 4 resets for leves, and done 2 grinding sessions using all of my shards/crystals, and it has taken me from 21 to just under 25. To me, that just stinks and there's very little I can do to improve that outside of spending a fortune or spending hours upon hours shard farming.