Friday, December 31, 2010

Shinryu and more

After getting access to the Shinryu fight it took a day before I got to fight the actual thing. With a group of 6 we rotated using brews attempting for red and then blue weaknesses. We got the Atma during the second fight and a blue proc only once for the only 'big' pool. Several belts dropped, a dagger, a few capes and a scythe. I ended up with the scythe which I couldn't equip yet.

Twilight Scythe
On saturday evening I leveled DRK for the sole purpose of trying out Twilight Scythe. The last time I played DRK was in the exp alliance that took me to 85. Now I played around with endark and I was parsing equally to a NIN for the top DD's in the group using Magnus Scythe. I still had a stack of magnus stones left when I hit 90, but of course I immediately switch to Twilight. It took me a while of trying, but apparently Death can not proc with Endark up. That alone was a big disappointment. Without endark it would fire off rarely and although it's eyeballing, it certainly doesn't look like it's anywhere near 10% which was previously reported. If I had to guess, I'd say it would fire every 5th mob. That doesn't say much about the actual proc-rate though.

It's going to be very hard to determine the contribution of Death procs on an alliance's performance. That's why I'm not going to bother saying how good I think it is compared to other options, but I will say it's a good weapon for farming and EXP. However, since AoE farming is more efficient whenever it's applicable, the niche seems pretty small. A thread on FFXIAH forums showed Twilight Scythe bypassing the PDT on elementals as well as going through a PLD mob's Invincible, leading some to believe it hits like Formless Strikes. I can't imagine this being a glitch, so as a hidden effect it seems very useful. Someone else claimed it never proc'd during a Dynamis run, which seems a bit odd.

SAM progress
I've set up some goals for gearing my Samurai. There's a lot left to do, but I'll slowly get there. For example, last week Thursday I got this:

As you can see the STR text on still hasn't been fixed. Truly a glorious day, as it was the same day I got the Twilight Scythe and Apocalypse Atma. A special thanks to Kingcem and Cyrille for helping me out. I've seen it drop once out of 6 fights, but 1/1 with blue proc. Immediately after we killed Chukwa and of course PLD AF3 neck drops without any weakness proc.

With the recently finished Unkai Haidate +2, Unkai Sugemino and Ace's Sabatons, I've made some decent strides in the last two weeks. My WS set is missing 5 key pieces and a few lesser upgrades that I didn't list in this image:

Everything is what it looks like. The Moonshade earring will have Attack and TP Bonus augments, of course. The TP set looks like it'll be harder to finish although it could be done in a short time with some dedicated farming.

The cape in there is Atheling Mantle, which has double attack on it. I didn't put Hoard ring in there (because it's buyable and cheap), but it will be needed for a 5-hit at 437 delay. My progress on Masamune is still stuck at VNM's (Lamprey Lord), but I hope to get those done soon. In the process I found out a SAM can solo Urd at 90. I will make a dedicated post about that soon, as it was a fun and interesting fight.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

6/6 Caturae

Ever since people found out how to access the Shinryu fight, we've focussed on getting people access. Some got it on their own by joining pickup groups, but many others (including myself) waited for us to do the fights as an LS. Yesterday we "finished" the needed fights, though not everyone was present for all events, so some are still missing a few kills. Overall they were pretty easy and we got Atma off most. All of them do something unique at lower health that range from annoying to deadly.

We had a previous encounter with this one that didn't end well. It's specialty is an attack that inflicts super curse. Not knowing what to expect the first time (read: unprepared) it ripped tanks and DD's to shreds one by one. This was before Heroes was released. Several abyssites and atmas later, the fight seemed a breeze. It wasn't just the brute force, but also acknowledging the danger of the last phase and using fanatic's powders on DD's to zerg it down the last phase.

This one turned out to be pretty simple. The key to winning was positioning. It did knock tanks around a bit, so you have to reposition regularly, which not everyone was doing. On a related note: a big pet peeve of mine is tanks that don't stand between the mob and mages or even to the side. Rather they love to stand on the far side of mobs, forcing healers to move into a mob's AoE range in order to buff and cure them. Especially on large mobs the difference in positioning is huge. For the love of god, don't make me have to cut through or run in a large circle around a mob's AoE area to the back side just so I can safely cure you. So yea, Royal Decree is not big deal with a NIN tank, so that worked out well combined with 3 BST's and 2 SMN's for damage. There's some more details about the fight in my previous entry.

The day before our Misareaux run we farmed pops with a small group and checked for Kutharei before calling it quits. It was up and we killed it using the same strategy as Yaanei, which was zerging the last 25%. We got red that time for Atma, which we didn't manage to do during the actual LS event. It's a pitty because the regen is pretty crazy on it.

I honestly don't know what this one's "special" ability is at low HP, because it was over before I knew what happened. It seemed to take a long time to spawn, a problem we didn't have with any other of the freespawn Caturae. I would classify this one as being the easiest one we did, based on that single experience.

This thing was actually camped when we got to Tahrongi. None of the other ones were when we did them, so it was a bit of a surprise. We hade wide-scanners, but it ended up popping in my field of vision and I got claim. Both tanks died to a 1.9k Shadow Wreck which I thought was a bit of a disappointment. By now we should know how important it is to keep tank HP high and using a HP+ Atma on things with strong attacks. When both tanks hit the floor DD's engaged and we soon proc'd Red weakness which made things pretty smooth for the last phase and got os the Atma. Not particularly useful, but could be fun once our mages can get a hold of the Twilight Cloak and Impact.

Our last Altepa run had us losing a Rani pop. We had wasted a lot of time trying to fight it around the dolls and getting magic aggro. By the time we could put tanks on it full-time, the PDT had built up considerably and we just gave up on it.

This time around the plan was a bit different. We used pets like we did on Raja. We proc'd red and blue by the time it was reaching 50% HP. It was a bit bumpy since it wasn't exactly clear who was doing which WS. However, 3 BST's and a single SMN took it to 50% in about 15 to 20 minutes. At that point we had two people to use Primeval Brew. Vashs took it from 50% to 10% before getting charmed and Magi took it down the rest of the way. It does seem like we could have done it without brews if we deaggro'd it to reset the PDT at 50%. Since it uses meteor at that point 2 or 3 more pet jobs may have been necessary. At this point there's no real reason to worry about it. Soon we'll either have people with cheap brews to kill it from 100% or auto-reraise from Apocalypse Atma to hold it while people zone out to reset PDT. Not that we couldn't already do that now. You could reset PDT as many times as needed to take it down with the same amount of BST's/SMN's. The risk of somebody stealing it is present, but it's cheaper than using two brews per kill.

While we were there, we also killed this:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

9/9 Abyssea wins + Raja

No battle screenshots, because fraps was being stupid and all the while I wasn't taking pictures while I thought I was. It's a shame cus Cutarae mobs look pretty cool. The Uragnite zone boss was a pain and I don't know exactly why tanks died so easily, because it didn't seem to hit all that hard at all. I'll chalk it down to rustyness and too few BLM.

We went in with 3 BST's and 2 SMN's intended for Raja. I got a zone boss pop while doing Dominion ops outside of LS while Rayearl got the Ironclad key-item outside of LS as well. In the end that meant quick pops and very little running around. Assailer Chariot gave us Sojourn Abyssite from proc'ing red, so that was nice. After the chariot we re-upped our visitant time to be safe. However, Raja "only" took 40 minutes to down, which I think is pretty decent.

Royal Decree took out the WHM's several times. The NM moved too much and the tanks where being knocked back a lot as well so keeping ideal distance was not always easy. However, it shouldn't hit mages in theory, because at max casting distance from the mob you don't get hit. I had to kite it a few times, but with Allure atma and some -enmity in gear pets were able to get it off me quite easily. Usually helped along by the hate reduction from eating a tier4 -aga. NIN tank works well on this, since subjob removal doesn't affect its hate maintaining skill or its defense. BST pets were rotated so they didn't all die to AoE simultaneously. All in all a good showing from our side. While knowing that Rani is harder, it does give me a bit more confidence that we can manage it with a repeat performance of last Saturday.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Heroes and more

Heroes came out and soon everyone wanted to know where the 3rd Lunar Abyssite came from. It turned out to be from the 7th zone quest boss win, so that instantly became top priority. We pulled off several kills of the Tier1 NM Diremite followed by a rather simple kill of Resheph.

Tarsal Slam (?) sets your HP to 1 and sheds a great deal of hate. Thinking two tanks would be enough to make sure no mages/support got any unwanted attention, we had them stand on opposite sides and take it down after going for Red and Yellow weaknesses. Perhaps it was the excessive TP feeding, but two back to back Meikyo Shisui's made hate unstable but it was near death, and the last bit wasn't all that difficult to cut off.

The next Abyssea LS event was in Altepa. Here we tried to down Rani for quick access to the coveted Shinryu fight. The trigger fights up to that point were smooth and so I was optimistic. However, we soon had to give up on Rani since we were unable to put a dent in it. We went in unprepared and paid the price. We did manage to proc Red weakness which just made it worse. I'm considering a pet burn next time or perhaps having someone use a brew. Fortunately the Ironclad Smiter has a pretty nice atma, so it wasn't all in vain.

We let Rani depoop and went for the zone boss Bennu. We already had a trigger but we got a second one while we were there. Hands and AF3 bodies seem less of a problem to get to +2 than the other pieces, considering how easy it is to get Tier2 pops. Bennu numer1 was a bit of a pain after the AoE hit a few too many people and the dark elemetnal I pulled for TP slept a few others. The second one convinced me it was just bad luck as it was much simpler.

The Sunday before Abyssea Altepa we killed Dynamis Lord. It was a very bumpy fight and I have to ask forgiveness for my noobness in there. I should have known it could cast sleepga and that its AoE knockback + Gravity could spell the end of a zerg. Fortunately we bounced back and had enough lv90 DD to take it down. Not before it resummoned Ying and Yang and killed a few ppl. It was close, but a win is a win. Now I can cross that one off my bucket list.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December Version Update

It's been less than 48 hours after the update and I can't honestly say that I've explored much. I haven't been able to get much playtime in yet, which is regretful. However, that won't stop me from posting my first impressions!

The first thing I did when I finally managed to complete the file-check was try to finish my 5 merits (I had 2). To my great disappointment, Bastion just wouldn't happen. Misareaux was empty except for me and 2 other people. Also, Ephmerals weren't up anywhere. Giving up on that I decided to look at my STR Great Katana trials, which requires 15 Fire Geodes. They're not common without weather effects, combined with the rarity of fire weather they're going to be harder to come by than the rest. However, they're auctionable, which should make it less of a pain... I hope. While at the Magian moogle I decided to get some job emotes! I completed the DRK and THF emotes after a short trip to Tahrongi.

The next thing I did was get my Mog Sack. Not having a token/satchel made this my first big 'inventory' increase. The free daily Instant Warp is a very nice bonus. After that I stored some Assault, Dynamis and Limbus gear. All in all it's a huge imporvement in what I can and cannot carry with me. That was the end of day1.

Day2 involved me getting the 3 new maws and finishing the limit break quest. While inside the new areas I got the new Abyssites, maps and synthetic atmas. I took screenshots of them:

So far the "Atma of the Ultimate" seems the most promising. I'm not sure how big the MP penalty is, but as someone pointed out, it's good for NIN's experimenting with their new and improved nuking power. I'm very disappointed that I don't have "Atma of the Master Crafter" because it has movement speed, and I don't have Atma of Ambition either. Apparently having a craft at 100 is NOT the trigger, not that I have anything above 94 cooking, but people have reported not having it while being at 100 on a skill. Moglification key-item may have something to do with it. A lot of these are either conditional, have a negative stat or have low values of several spread-out different types of stats. So all-in-all Synthetic atmas still lag behind the regular ones. All except the movement speed ones, neither of which I have. I supposed atma of Dread (MKD) is worth it too, since it's been shown to stack with other Treasure Hunter stats now that we have a text message announcing TH levels.

That TH change is really amazing. It means a lot for THF's that have been wondering for ages how or when their TH gear is applied. We now know that you don't need to keep your TH gear equiped for it to have effect. This means being able to swap them out for better DD options without fear/supersticion of losing TH. The ability to increase your TH "modification" also makes THF's more valuable now. It's unfortunate that this means letting them melee. On the up side, AGI lowers the amount of TP fed to mobs now. How exactly this is calculated isn't completely known, but I read a report on BG of it being 1% of TP fed per 2 points of AGI. A good buff for THF and RNG alike.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekend update 13

It's been a while since my last update, so I haven't posted about a very sweet achievement yet. Namely...

6/6 Abyssea wins
Now, of course some people missed out on a few wins, but for a handfull of us that have shown up for all the zone bosses the zone quests are finished. Just in time for the Heroes of Abyssea add-on too. Cirein-croin was the last one we needed and it was accompanied by a second Cirein-croin and two Amhuluks. We got yellow weakness on all 4 of them which lead to a ton of upgrade items as well as the faux relic axe (Cleofun) and club (Molva).

Cirein is a pretty simple kited fight, though that makes getting weaponskills off a bit of a problem. We still managed blue and red, but it was chaotic. Especially when Cyclone tagged some flytraps. As some people may or may not know, when you attack a mob for the first time (it was idle before) it detects alliance members by its normal means (sights, sound) and puts them on its hate list. So that meant we had to kill the adds, since they wouldn't go idle after killing the person that attacked them with AoE.

Amhuluk is a pretty fun fight. AoE Tornados look very cool and it's got a bunch of other really flashy abilities. Using height difference to avoid the AoE's made it very straight-forward. It's still a high level mob that will hit very hard when given the chance, so you still have to top up your tanks asap. The need/desire to get more upgrade items by proc'ing yellow !! is the only thing that makes this fight drag out. If that was not an issue you could have 4+ melee all whacking it (as long as you have the healing power to back it up) and take it down in under 10 minutes.

Having gotten some experience with AoE farming in La Theine, our Vunkerl farming run was going to be our first 'real' try at Cleave burning. I subbed BLU this time for safer pulling. We used bats, which are IMO the best cleave targets in Vunkerl. Harlecin was on WAR/PLD and we had a single WHM to curebomb. With Mighty Strikes two Fell Cleaves took out a large percentage of the train. That was fast enough to wipe 20-some mobs before Sentinel was low enough for there to be any real danger. However, without Mighty Strikes it takes up to 4 Cleaves before you start seeing any greyed out names of "felled" mobs (pun intended). We found out that a single WHM is not enough to keep the WAR alive during this. We got a second WHM later on, but most of the pulls we had at least 1 restore box or revitalizer in chests. The three people cleaving were seperated from the rest after we built up pearl lights. The rest of the group started getting quite a few ruby kills which noticably lowered the efficiency of our cleaving endeavors. I don't really see a way around that other than more discipline on kills. Although Fell Cleave takes mobs out much faster and requires fewer people, I like the added survivability of BLU's and the azure kills they get too.

At the end of the Vunkerl Farming run we didn't manage to get key items off all the NM's we claimed, so it was a bit disappointing. However, we did get a Pluviale to drop.