Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I think Paladin is a pretty cool guy... tanks trains of mobs and doesn't afraid of anything. When I took PLD up from 75 to 90 I didn't expect to use it much nor bother to gear it. Someone posted a video of their Ochain PLD tanking a train of Mandragoras while taking 0 damage and I was impressed. I decided to give it a try and it turns out any 'ol PLD can do the exact same thing. I was using Mounted Champion at the time as the only defensive Atma.

I put some more effort into my PDT set and tried different mob types. It works on most melee-oriented mobs as long as their level is below yours. PLD builds TP rather fast through Shield Mastery. Especially when using a small buckler type (size 1) shield with in combination with Reprisal, the TP starts building fast enough to self-SC (requires roughly 10+ mobs). PLD gets access to Aeolian Edge depending on its sub-job. Since I only need Mounted Champion that leaves two Atma slots for boosting AE damage (Gales + Ultimate). I generally stick to RDM sub for the extra MAB and without Ascetic's Tonic I usually do around 1.1k damage per WS. It takes about 5 WS to kill most trains completely.

Easy Prey mobs will often hit for 0 damage when their attacks get blocked, even by a small shield. This means that thanks to Phalanx there is no benefit to a larger shield in this particular application. It's sometimes hard to find a mob family that isn't being killed so you can pull trains uncontested without the mobs leveling up after each wave.

Being able to AoE farm solo has made it possible for me to get my lv90 Masamune done much faster and now work on the La Theine phase of my Almace without bothering other people for help whatsoever. PLD can tank Pantagruel while taking 0 damage on blocks and for some reason I've yet to understand, USUALLY stops its Ice Spikes form showing up when it hits you with Ice Roar. When that happens, the NM doesn't use Moribound Hack. PLD has a decent number of red procs so that's a nice plus. I managed to solo Grandgousier with some meds on PLD, but after changing atmas I found out WAR/NIN can solo Grandgousier just as well (Cloak&Dagger/Siren Shadow/MountedChampion + assorted EVA gear) and with more WS procs available than any other single job. Adamastor is a joke and Briareus is an easy solo on THF/NIN. That takes care of LTP. Thanks to Guku KI form chests my AoE farming on PLD will be useful in the second leg as well.

Friday, June 17, 2011

How was this stuff ever hard

All the while I wasn't making new entries I was still playing FFXI. I find it hard to think of everything I've done in that time as it's not like I write stuff down, take regular screenshots or parse everything. Also, I may be getting old, because my memory is failing me. Since there have been no more LS events in such a long time I've spent time doing stuff on my own or with very small groups. Revisiting old NM's we had done in larger groups and dispatching them with ease prompts me to ask "How was this stuff ever hard?".

Eccentric Eve wasn't hard when we did it as a group. However, people did fail to Stun the breaths at one point. Loads of people hit the floor because of charm and EBB. Getting pops while farming for Dark Rings (still yet to see 6% anything) is a natural side-effect so it's a very acessible NM. It turned out to be a simple duo NIN+RDM. Relying on Violent Flourish is kinda wonky. Subbing BLM on RDM removes status cures form the arsenal which can be a hassle for the tank, but /DNC will take care of that eventually.

Kukulkan was a bit tougher. The terror gaze attack REALLY slows down what is otherwise a very simple fight. The unremovable poison is painful, but at 90 NIN evades most of it and RDM can cure through it. There are some trees that make it really easy to kite if you have to. I believe we duo'd it 4 times. The last one I nuked through the gazes to speed up the fight. Knowing how to kite around the trees means you can go all out.

Isgebind seemed really rough when we first fought it. While getting hearts for Masamune we trio'd it twice, once using the "healer outside of party" trick (avoiding Spike Flail) and tanking it on its tail.

There's loads of stuff like Ironclad Smiter (3 ppl), Ansherekh (solo), Titlauacan (trio/duo), Lusca (duo), Amhuluk (duo) and many more that really seem easy the 'second' time around. However, the biggest difference in difficulty for me personally was doing Glavoid recently. It's clear now that with a tank a healer and a stunner you can trio it very reliably. Each time you fight something you can learn from it to get better at it, but it feels like you learn MUCH faster when you're either soloing or low-manning things. Probably because it's less chaotic and/or you're more focussed. It's fun to see things get easier as you figure them out. Too bad we have to do a ton more of them for empyreans and it gets less fun each time. However, for me there's still a bunch of things left to try.