Tuesday, May 25, 2010

RDM/NIN straight tank: second time out

Last week on Thursday we had a run at a Tier3 ZNM on the Sarameya path called Nosferatu. It's the Vampire humanoid type mob with long nails and a huge library of abilities. It's a fight with a lot of different aspects you need to deal with. For one, the pull requires you to clear a room of Chigoes, 2 morbol and some funguar on the way back to the zoneline. Zonelines are by far the best place to fight ZNM's in general and this is no exception. The second thing to deal with is the large bursts of damage caused by its pets. It will summon 3 or 4 mobs consisting of bats, hellhounds and fomor which will all do a TP ability out of their arsenal and then disappear. At one point he will use Astral Flow which will cause the same thing to happen except that it seems he himself joins them in doing a TP move for a very large burst in damage that has a good chance of killing almost any tank. Another thing to take care of is the gaze doom attack he uses as a regular TP ability. Cursna is pretty reliable if everyone spams it on the tank, but things get hairy when there are multiple people doomed at the same time. The final cheesy bit of this fight is the ability it has to do a cone charm attack called Nocturnal Servitude. The charm effect lasts for 30+ seconds and like all charm attacks resets hate for the main target. That makes it hard for a single tank to last for the full duration of the fight.

The first fight we had a single PLD tank. We quickly learned that you need backup for when the "Animals Attack". So with some zone DoT recovery we took it down for the second half of its HP. To make the next 4 pops a bit more bearable. I suggested I switched to RDM/NIN and tank it backwards. With mostly RNG and SMN DD's we took considerably less time on the rest of the fights. Hate was well balanced with the exeption of when one tank got charmed. Donning my PDT set the damage I took was not very threatening. On the very last fight I ate several TP attacks form Astral Flow just after I canceled shadows and recasted Utsusemi: Ichi. I believe I didn't have stoneskin up either, which is why I went down. Other than this there were some close calls, but nothing a quick cure couldn't fix.

This was only the second time I tanked something on RDM/NIN. The previous was the tier 3 Mamool ZNM. That worked out ok, but it wasn't ideal due to it attacking with fists and casting a lot of AoE spells. This, on the other hand, was a fight in which surviving the big damage bursts and not getting hit with Doom were the most important bits. Two tanks made charm less of an issue, but still there was one occasion where both were charmed in quick succession. Zoning hate and keeping avatars on it made that less of a hassle than I expected it to be.

I started out using macros for recasting shadows with gear swaps, but for some reason it seemed slower. I get a feeling there is a bit more delay when casting magic from a macro. It could just be my imagination though. I ended up casting from the magic menu and fulltiming AF hat. I have no enmity set for RDM and I don't have a macro set for RDM tanking. Despite all that, it was really simple to keep spamming hate spell, shadows and buffs. Nosferatu seems immune to slow, elegy and paralyze. Solo tanking would put a lot more pressure on the tank making it harder to multitask and time spells since you're guaranteed to take damage. There's a lot of optimization left to be done, but RDM tanking is already showing its potential.

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