Monday, August 2, 2010

Very New Monsters (to me)

When VNM's were first introduced I was not interested. When they figured out strategies and all drops were discovered, I did not care. When I first heard drops from it were needed for OAT weapons, I was annoyed. The VNM system did and does not appeal to me as a hierarchical NM system at all. However, recently I was asked to help someone with Urd. I realised as little as I care for the system or its rewards, the fights themselves could be fun. So last week WoA popped Orcus.

All accounts recommended turtle/blood tanks as attack speed and frequency made shadows useless. Immune to slow elegy and paralyze it's pretty clear why there's little alternative. So, I read about its TP abilities. One is a hate reset. However, it's stunnable. I made the mistake of relying on the latter and brought only a single tank. Argonar has a pretty nice blood tanking set with PDT and defense. Muze was there on SCH to Accession Stoneskin and Phalanx. I could have subbed SCH and done the same, but Muze was able to put up Aquaveil as well and have time left over for more. We brought it to a cliff to avoid aoe effects through height differences. It worked but wasn't really necessary. Hate reset ability wasn't very common. None of the "special" abilities of Tier3 VNM's that require special measures are very common. Perhaps HP% dependant, but because of the lack of a visible HP bar I can't tell.

Anyway, having only one tank and Orcus becoming immune to Stun as we reached 20% meant Argonar couldn't recover hate at the end and as much as we tried stretching it, a wipe and depop was unavoidable. I did not expect TP abilities to be so frequent. I thought if we stunned each charge animation we'd get all the unique abilities. For the next time limiting stuns to a single stunner on only the big unique abilities should make it much simpler. Also, a second tank will give us room for error. I believe Orcus can be the easiest of all tier3 VNM's if we can get tanks spec'd the way we did on this attempt.

Today we popped the big slime. Fought it against a wall to avoid knockback. The first 3 Cytokineses weren't handled very well. I was late to pull them and BLM's were slow to nuke and at some point they were pulled on top of a resting Rcake who then got hate and died. BLM's also bit the dust in the first few leading to double weakness and some nerve wracking minutes. After recovering everyone focused more and it went much smoother. Towards the end we started blowing through it trying to cut the fight as short as possible. Dissolve lengthens the fight considerably. Its high resistance to Slow meant I took BLM sub to land it. A second ES slow woudl have helped, but it didn't occur to me to ask one of the BLM's to go for it. We were missing some people to Erase the slow from Mucus Spread. It went down and I think future runs would benefit from someone who can deal with the erasing exclusively.

If we handle adds like we did towards the end, it shouldn't be a problem. However, the tanking could be made much more bearable if we had one mage dedicated only to erase>haste and refreshing tanks. I tried to debuff NM, pull babies and buff tanks and backup heal, but it became too chaotic so if we split those tasks among two people it should be much better.

Lord Ruthven
Supposedly easy (and looking back I can see how) this fight we lost as well. Firstly, I won't ever pop it in Beaucedine again. Walking around that place takes too long. I asked Muze to come as DRK/NIN. It didn't work out very well as she complained about not being able to keep hate. Dirty Breath was taking a lot of Rcake's time and it draining buffs from tanks was slowing us down as well. However, DRK/NIN should be able to contribute very well and trump a PLD in enmity so I'm not sure why it wasn't balanced. Probably a combination of experience and macros with an enmity gear setup. Damage was slow coming from two SMN's and later a RNG. It would probably have gone down before rage from the pace alone, however it wasn't fast enough to avoid the enmity cap to be hit by Rcake. Nightly on RNG got hate several times as well, but that was no concern as it wasn't for very long stretches and he took no serious damage until the tanks went down.

Lessons to be learned were more Finale spam (Dispel heavily resisted), dedicated backup healer (as WHM will eventually start running low on MP) and more damage. ES Slow would be nice too. Wiki didn't mention its highly resistant and also claimed that 'Super Curse' was removable by Cursna, which given the "no effect" instead of "fails to take effect" message is very doubtful.

1/3 on Tier3 VNM's for me. Not happy about that record, obviously. However, it was my first time fighting any of them. So, I have an excuse! On numbers we were OK. They're definitely all downable comfortably with about 10 people. Even lower if you're familiar with the fights and focused enough. Now I know more about the fights than before and I suppose it's only natural that these things start out like this. All in the process. Still haven't seen Krabkatoa, Verthandi or Dawon yet. Ruthven really made me want to finish DRK so I can try tanking on it. A disengaged tank works well on Yilgeban too, but I have an idea how we can work that out.

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