Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weekend update 17

This has little to nothing to do with the passed weekend, but I've started naming these entries this way and I am nothing if not committed to naming schemes! This is just a round-up of random things.

I was playing around with MNK sub-job, seeing if I could get any decent counter rate going. Unfortunately with Gnarled Horn and Counterstance I only got up to 60~65%. It's probably a bit higher. I believe I wasn't always facing all targets. This screenshot is to show the difference between damage taken with and without Counterstance. It's worth noting that Phalanx was on and that against mobs with high attack, the difference wouldn't be as pronounced.

Random picture of Chloris. He's a big boy.

This was the EXP alliance I was in when I was taking PLD up. There was no cleaving/aoe'ing so the number of TE's was a bit surprising. Rocking Vorpal Blade was a lot of fun once I was able to equip that Hannibal sword. It's surprising to see how you can go from basically leeching at 75, to leading the pack at 90.

I've had renewed interest in Salvage because of Dark Depths Atma. I'm not very keen on getting any pieces completed, since that would likely mean a bit of a grind despite the improved drop-rates. It also seemed like fun to go back at lv90 and see how the mobs that gave us a hard time would measure up now. I didn't have as strong a DD class as I do now in SAM, so it's not just the levels that are different. I'm aslo convinced that the group we went in with the last two times was more competent/versed than before. You live and you learn...

Here's parse data of Long-bowed Chariot:

That was two weeks ago. Last weekend we did Zhayolm Remnants. Made some poor decisions on the way up, because I suck at Salvage and don't even remember doing this zone ever. I ended up fighting Battleclad Chariot wearing just AF3 head and body because we went up on the wrong side on the first floor. A lot of HP, but otherwise a very simple fight. Going by the number of times I got hit and that the Long-bowed parse shows a low evasion rate, I don't see why we couldn't have done it at lv75. At least, that's what I like to tell myself.

Awesome Music Tip #6 (oldie)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review of NM on Masamune path

This is perhaps a bit premature, seeing as how I've yet to finish the current set of GK Empyrean trials. However, I can always tag another entry on at the end when I have more experience with Isgebind. Out of the 10 or so times I've killed it I was in a group of at least 6 people. What I've learned about all the previous NM's is that it's easier to notice certain mob patterns/behavior once you've fought it at a slower pace with fewer people.

I've posted about soloing Urd on SAM/DNC. If you can't get help this seems like a reasonable option. Thankfully I only needed to do it once. A BST can solo it despite the hate reset. Since Trance is a good warning for its triple WS, any DD+Mage duo should be able to take it out at level 90. The most annoying part is popping Skuld instead and trying to lose her. They fly pretty fast.

Lamprey Lord is a bit annoying. You'll want a "proper" evasion tank for it. Either that or get a bunch of melee to kill it quick. One of the pickup groups I did it with had a DNC and about 3 SAM spamming Violent Flourish, Tachi: Hobaku and Blade Bash. It was a short fight with very little damage taken as it was obviously stun-locked for a large portion of the fights. I'd recommend bringing a bunch of antidotes. They're not expensive at npc's and it's much easier to use it on yourself than to rely on a mage, whose first reaction is probably to cast cure before poisona. Antidotes can make the difference, but tanks should also try and blink tank like it's an HNM. Recast shadows as soon as possible, because evasion is random and it has a very high rate of triple and double attacks.

SAM can probably tank it in a duo due to decent evasion skill rating, but it's more prone to mistakes and bad luck than a NIN or a DNC. The hate reset on the Acid Mist ability is a bit of an issue. I don't recall if everyone hit by Acid Mist gets their hate reset, but it's a good idea to have the mage in range anwyay. Once Acid mist goes off the tank should try and get a spike in enmity to get it off the mage asap or avoid it going after the mage at all. Kiting just prolongs the time it's on the healer. If TP feed can be limited a duo is ok, but at least a trio would be my advice.

Chesma is a step down from Lamprey and can be duo'd without any issues. Losing hate in this fight means very little if the healer is prepared, because its damage output is much less threatening than LL. Just cast stona as soon as you see it charging up. As long as you haven't had to spam cure4 up to this point, the melee should be able to get it off quickly. Chesma and Tammuz were hard to find up when I did them. Japanese groups cycled through them continuously and yet I very rarely saw any shouts for them.

Farming pops for Carabosse solo is very simple if you have something with half-decent evasion and DNC sub or a crit hit WS. I'll tell you why in a sec. Baba Yaga only casts spells and throws arrows. The arrows have very low accuracy, but if they land the Amnesia will slow you down a bit (not dangerous) so some evasion here helps. Since it doesn't attack normally and casts mostly harmless spells like silencega, it doesn't really matter what job you're on. The key is to have some meds to cure if you don't have other sources of healing and a job with a lot of red WS to save time. The fly NM (La Theine Lieje) doesn't do TP abilities unless it successfully casts Aeroga3. In which case it will spam Venom 3 to 7 times in a row. A strong multi-hit crititical WS will interrupt its casting reliably. Moreso than Violent Flourish. However, if you're solo you may not manage 100TP more than once per spellcast. So if you want to try your red WS you need another way to interrupt its casting. Even if it does land the spell, you can outrun the 2nd+ Venom and recover with meds. I did both mobs on THF for the most part. Usually subbing NIN and equiping Mounted Champion Atma.

Carabosse itself has the potential to nuke very hard. However, once you learn that it can only do this under Winter Breeze, then you can forget about it until is changes seasons and then easily swap in some MDT gear if shadows are down or if it's Aeroga3. If you're lagging or not confident you'll be fast enough you can just keep it on until it changes seasons again, which shouldn't take long. You need to do something for each season so just make sure you have your chat-filters off and pay attention.
  • Winter Breeze: Stun nukes and/or swap in MDT
  • Spring Breeze: casts aoe debuffs. Remove debuffs and keep on trucking. Can wait to cast shadows until it changes out if you want to.
  • Summer Breeze: Dispel Regain (or Aura Steal it!!! really nice to have 10 TP/tic). Ride out the the Mute off Torrent and reapply all buffs after Turmoil.
  • Autumn Breeze: Dispel Regen. I guess you could stun cures as well, but she's fast.
Maybe not worth its own section once you know how to do it, but I guess it can't hurt going over it. Bring some meds. I usually made sure to have Lucid potions 1, 2 and 3. You can get potion3 from Bastion Prefect for 50 credits. Occasionally doing some bastion between pops will keep your credits up. Another thing to get off the prefect is a Fool's Powder. It's not NEEDED, but it casts spells in pairs below 25% and it's nice to just kill it asap at low HP and not risk two Waterjas killing you.

Pulling it requires you to deaggro the train unless you get lucky with where it pops. I didn't bother pulling it when there was competition around. However, it IS possible to get it before it deaggro's and still have Squibs deaggro. Either it takes longer for Heqet to deaggro or it has longer detection range. Also, I can recommend engaging, hitting it once then fleeing away (sprinter's/powder boots/job ability). You'll then stop to put away your weapons as you get out of range. This does NOT always make its name go yellow. If someone steals it at this point, you'll still be the first person to act on it since the last time it was idle and so will get the KI if they kill it. After doing this once or twice you'll know how far you need to run before stopping. It's hard to explain the distance so I won't try. Again, I did this on THF because it has evasion and so will take very little damage from anything but spells. Take it down while doing red weakness WS if you have any. Use your meds. If there's no competition you could repeatedly deaggro it, since it stops to cast. I did not do this because I didn't want to risk running out of meds. SMN's, DNC/NIN's and NIN/DNC's have very little trouble soloing this without meds. I believe BST can too, but have no personal experience with it. I'm just trying to show that with meds other jobs can too.

It pays to kill Ephmeral Murexes (potion2) and Jala (potion3 and fool's) for temp items, it'll save you some cruor and credits. All in all soloing Heqet is just a matter of killing it fast and staying alive. With enough meds you could potentially do a lot of red WS. Something with evasion and a lot of weapon skills like NIN/WAR would probably be the best use of your time. Nobody wants to go 0/8 on the KI like I did. It's not a solo you'll tell your friends about, but it makes lv85 Masamune much more attainable, especially since Cep is soloable too.

Cep Camuy
Yea, why not? I think the reason why I want to talk about Cep is because I bought a Frenzy Sallet especially for this NM. Not having to take a 200-300 damage hit to wake yourself up, which could take a long time, and almost instantly continuing the fight is a big plus. It only cost me 400k and I'm not selling it back. Being able to wake up from sleep independantly is just great.

Seaspray and Leeching current are both annoying. So there's a 50/50 chance that its TP ability will be annoying. However, using some subtle blow (or if you're a Ninja) will make things a lot easier. I've come to appreciate Dragon Harness much more, thanks to its +10 Subtle Blow. It also helps me kill Ancient Orobon (decent amount of HP) for cheekmeat without them doing any TP abilities.

Does the same annoying TP abilities as all Orobon with the addition of Mayhem Lantern under 50% HP. It uses TP abilities back to back. Always in pairs.

In all the fights I've done it NEVER used Mayhem lantern as the first ability. So under 50% HP you can run away after the first TP ability and avoid Mayhem Lantern's charm. However, while this is worth doing, if the first ability is Hypnic Lamp and you get slept, then it's pretty much impossible to avoid the charm unless you're constantly DoT'ed and can wake up form sleep asap. I suppose you could use pachira fruits for this as long as you start running each time it TP's. In that case, even if you get slept, you'll have already taken a few steps and be far enough away that you COULD outrunt he charm. Having Treasure Hunter is nice, so a THF+mage duo could use this strategy. If the mage can land gravity and/or the THF wears some dusk pieces to slow them down, charm can be dealt with relatively simply. RDM/SCH or SCH/RDM can save Manifestation Gravity/Bind for this purpose. Don't try to sleep charmed people, the charm is accompanied by drown effect (DoT). Just make sure you realise that if the last person who took action on CC gets charmed it may go unclaimed.

I almost forgot, it also does Deathgnash, which could be dangerous if shadows are down. A follow-up hit would kill you. I'd recommend a DD + THF + healer trio, where one of the melee stays out of range to avoid charm. Going in only for a few hits in between TP abilities. This gives you both TH and a decently fast killspeed. A kite+nuke strategy is just as good, but I expect it to be a bit slower.

So far I haven't really started on this one yet. The same Flail tanking technique as used on Azdaja (and perhaps other wyrms as well) can be applied here. A healer outside the party with claim won't get hit with it. However, it can still use the Wing ability, unlike Azdaja. The main benefit of this is that it won't use any Roar abilities (nor Terror), which is a hate reset and would make it hard to duo otherwise.

Fighting it normally (on paws) is a matter of survival. A pair of evasion tanks with some decent magic defense kits (Atma of a Future Fabulous is exactly that... fabulous) will not be in great danger of getting killed. The paralyze effect + aura will make it a longer fight, but that's pretty much it. Heroes NM's generally have a ton of HP, so it's gonna be long anyway.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tachi: Fudo - day 2

I had a chance to test drive Fudo some more yesterday. I was sure that given my gear I should be able to crank out some more impressive numbers. So this time I subbed WAR and headed out to Misareaux to assist on some Cirein's and Heqets. I didn't bring food yet gain. I tossed out some kabobs the day before to make room for lanterns and forgot to buy some more.

I only started parsing a bit later on. If I filter out all mobs but Squibs I get the following:

Pretty good average Fudo damage, no? I admit, I cheated a bit by using Atma of the Griffon's Claw. That gives a 20% boost to WS damage, which is something you may use if you're planning on killing mobs with no concern for ruby lights or zerging NM's with 2hr and Sekkanokki. Otherwise RR or A&O will be better choices.

The next one is my latest record for Fudo damage.

The nice thing about this is that it's with Berzerk and Hasso, but not at full TP, without food and without BRD or COR. Guessing my PDIF to be at around 1.4, going to capped PDIF (2.25) would mean a 60% increase in damage. If my estimation of my own PDIF isn't too conservative. A similar Fudo would have the potential to do around 8k damage under more ideal circumstances.

Awesome Music Tip #5

Masamune 85!

I still can't hardly believe it, but last night I finished my lv85 Masamune. First an foremost I'd like to thank Lordapm, Kaidaa, Alexos, Doks, Appare and Oyasumi for getting me those 35 lanterns. Thanks to Auriban for setting me up. I would be short-changing some good people if I didn't mention those that helped on previous trials. So special thanks to Kingcem, Cyrille, Chaess and Xores for the VNM's and Carabosse.

It was a long night, but getting offered to finish the Masa seemed like a rare, maybe twice-in-a-lifetime offer! Being wednesday evening on Valefor, there wasn't much competition for Heqet. Mostly we just ran over and found it up unclaimed. We spread out and multi-tasked farming cheekmeat, popping Cep and camping Heqet. Doing it this way I can much better understand how people have been finishing Empyrean weapons so fast. Cirein died in about 5 minutes each time, and for whatever reason getting TH upgrades in that time was MUCH easier than a ~15 minute Carabosse fight. Admittedly, we did have two thieves.

So, I immediately go out to test the weapon. I have to say, the damage could have sucked and I'd probably still be happy. However, the damage didn't suck. I've seen what Fudo can do when properly buffed and geared, so if I metally compensate for not having attack buffs or food and BLM sub that I had forgotten to change due to excitement, then I expected to see what I did. This is my gear. Note that it's all the exact same gear I used for Gekko. As far as I know and with the exception of Kirin's Osode and STR ring, my WS set is very strong. Hachiryu Haidate is an upgrade, but the store TP on AF3 is usually necessary.

Ignore the Merman's ring, I didn't notice I had it on when I took the SS. That should obviously be a Rajas. This was the best one I could churn out in about 15 WS

Seeing as how Triple Attack is an important factor in getting big numbers out of SAM weaponskills, I am considering using Alpha and Omega instead of Razed Ruins. Alpha and Omega also has Attack, something that I will want to stack for Fudo. Unlike Gekko Fudo doesn't get a PDIF bonus, which means a big difference between high and low defense/level mobs. I didn't upload a screenshot, but I did manage a 836 damage critical hit.

I'll have to find excuses to play SAM now. Since I have RDM, THF and WAR with all red WS and WSNM's done, it may be difficult. Isgebind is an easy mob to pop and not all that hard to kill. However, for now I will go back and help others get their lv85 Empyereans done and upgrade some +2's.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Weekend update 16

I've experienced a renewed appreciation for THF recently. I've spent a lot of time on it while killing Carabosse and farming pops, so it seems natural that I'd want to gear it better. One of the three big upgradeable slots for my WS set was the head slot. I took care of that while in Attohwa recently.

Aias is likely better all-round than Hecatomb cap, though I'd still take the latter if some good upgrades become possible in the future. Special thanks to Anthx and Kingcem for tanking and blue'ing Yaanei.

Not wanting to risk bad luck I brewed Yaanei after we got blue weakness. I wasn't near a flux or martello so I lost some brew time. We looked desperately for stuff to kill, but in the end only managed a Whiro and Ironclad.

Before Yaanei we finished my Titlacuan popset which is what I needed to finish this thing:

I'm finally sitting at 24~25.5% Haste in my TP set on SAM.

We did some Misareaux Abyssea and got me 1 lantern (yay...) and some Coins off Amhuluk. That got me Raider's Culottes +2 which is met 5th +2 AF3.

I gave Shinryu another go, but I'm starting to get annoyed with that dragon. Those two bodies are pretty high in demand, so getting people to share loot with while being very greedy is kind of hard. I want to save the cruor for other Abyssea zones where you can kill more mobs with one brew. That'd mean killing Shinryu without brewing. Several stacks of Holy waters, WAR or MNK tank, a THF and at least two healers should be enough to get blue and kill it several times in one sitting. I've got more Traverser Stones than I know what to do with. Cruor on the other hand...