Tuesday, May 01, 2007

And now for something completely different.

I have three main goals of this post, Recap, Merits and Party Set-ups (as suggested by Ailee). Lets see if I can get to them all. Also, as a bonus to those that read this at lunch, I will be making sure to have at least something published by Noon EST, so you have something to read while eating.

Goal 1: Recap.

Ok, yesterday and the previous days had some really interesting goings-on so I want to go over that.

Now, to go over the days past that I have not mentioned. On Sunday Obsidian did a Dynamis-Xarcabard, where we have the same problem as many different Dynamis LS's. Duelist's Chapeau refuses to drop. Well, after almost a year with no drops, Gawayne finally got his drop! The reaction in the LS was a bit over the top but it was well deserved, as we have all worked hard to help Gawayne to be able to finally get his hat. (Note that Gawayne dies just after it drops LOL, we had to make sure that he got up and lotted before he died again!) And even more amazingly, we got TWO RDM hats to drop. Yep, a 200% increase over the last year. It was a pretty impressive screenshot at the end of the run. Gawayne with Chapeau and Excalibur, pretty neat.
That was Dynamis, but we also had a rather interesting day in Sky on Sunday. RMT, and people buying from RMT are the bane of this game, and really, its people like them, the ticks and leeches, and the people they feed that are the bane of society as a whole. I will avoid a diatribe on how RMT are nothing more that drug dealers pedaling to elementary school children. Anyway, this is our purchaser. I don't know if they were there for D. Legs or B. Haidate but they were there with the RMT. So if you see a JP player by the name of Vision, do not invite them, do not party with them, kick them out, and tell them to fuck off. Seriously, people like this can die in a raging inferno for all I care. Well, its not like the GM's care much at all, they just watch and don't do anything, hands tied by whatever ridiculous rules that SE has set up for itself. This is the one that Malasia called when the RMT were just dicking around on Byakko's island. I don't even know why they showed up. Anyway, while we were in Sky, Biblo managed to get a Bartholomew's Knife from BB. LOL It never seems that our THF's get the knife but anyone else that needs it, no problem.

Finally, while we were just messing around one day, Omoi, Glacian and I went to do the event. It was fun and silly, just look out for the Mithra, it is crazy, and it freaking aggros. I ended up getting my Shinai relatively easily but it took Glacian a long time to get his for some reason. But in the end we all ended up getting ours and I still have mine floating around somewhere in my MH. It looks really cool, much better than the other event items in general. In other news, Iz went with me to do the next Assault Rank up mission. It was pretty quick but I still need to go back and do the mixing of the liquids to finish up the mission. Finally, I thought I should point out this guy that I xp'ed with the other day. Nice gear, and a nice guy in general.

Moving up to yesterday, I got my Leathercraft to 13. For some reason I am finding this much slower than say Clothcraft which I got to 35 relatively quickly, I don't know if I want to continue Leathercraft where there is more definite steady income or Clothcraft where the is more income at higher levels but higher cost at getting there. I am going to focus on Leather for now because it is easy to make a short term profit.

Limbus was next, and we did Apollyon SE, pretty simple and done quickly. Just need to do one more Apollyon then we have another Omega set :). After Limbus, we tried to get Ix'DRK to pop but with no success. I did get a merit, though. ^.^/ But after 2 1/2 hours of killing Aern's we didn't "Sheer Animosity" once. I have camped this a bunch of times now and only gotten it to spawn once and that was a long time ago and we were unprepared for the result. LOL Oh well, maybe next time.

After Sea, we had a nice but short XP party, I got another merit on top of the one that I got while just killing Aern's in the Garden, bringing me to 6 in total, and time to spend them. Which brings me too:

Goal 2: Merits and AF upgrades.

Ok, so now I am sitting on 6 merits, so its getting close to time to start spending them. I am fine on NIN. I don't think that Subtle Blow or Ninja Tool Expertise is something I should be breaking my back over to get any time soon. But RNG and SAM do have tier 1 and tier 2 merits I need to look at. So, I mentioned a few yesterday, but I am going to go much more in-depth than I did then. But before we do that I want to mention that I believe there are actually three different kinds of Tier 2 merits: Merit 3 times, Merit 1 time and Don't waste your merits. Merit 3 timers are the best of the best, usually a strong ability that is further powered by the merit, reduces an already short recast or lengthens the effect of the ability. Merit 1 timers are usually those that are very nice but have a very long recast and the merits to decrease the recast don't do anything to reduce the recast to anything you would need in 99.9% of fights. Don't waste your merits are the WTF was SE thinking when they gave us this ability. But before we get into Tier 2 merits, lets look at Tier 1 for NIN, SAM and RNG (DRG is happily done if you were interested).

NIN Tier 1:
* Subtle Blow Effect (+1 per upgrade)
* Katon Effect (+2 damage and +2 seconds resist down per upgrade)
* Hyoton Effect (+2 damage and +2 seconds resist down per upgrade)
* Huton Effect (+2 damage and +2 seconds resist down per upgrade)
* Doton Effect (+2 damage and +2 seconds resist down per upgrade)
* Raiton Effect (+2 damage and +2 seconds resist down per upgrade)
* Suiton Effect (+2 damage and +2 seconds resist down per upgrade)
All are blah, and have no interest from me. Subtle Blow would be nice, but not for a long time and after I have spent my merits on a myriad of other things.

RNG Tier 1:
* Scavenge Recast (-10 seconds per upgrade)
* Camouflage Recast (-10 seconds per upgrade)
* Sharpshot Recast (-10 seconds per upgrade)
* Unlimited Shot Recast (-6 seconds per upgrade)
* Rapid Shot Rate (+1% per upgrade)
Scavenge and Camouflage are just ridiculous to reduce the timer on their ridiculous, a complete waste. Sharpshot is at least something that I use, but still its reduction in recast is useless, same with Unlimited Shot. Rapid Shot Rate improvement is at least something that would be useful and I could definitely benefit from meriting. The more Rapid Shot proc's I get the more shots I get to fire. Its kind of like Double Attack or Triple Attack merits for WAR and THF but obviously not as powerful. I will definitely merit Rapid Shot Rate, but not immidiately.

SAM Tier 1:
* Third Eye Recast (-2 seconds per upgrade)
* Warding Circle Recast (-20 seconds per upgrade)
* Store TP Effect (+2 per upgrade)
* Meditate Recast (-6 seconds per upgrade)
* Zanshin Attack Rate (+1% per upgrade)
Third Eye Recast is pretty much useless because it is kind of nerfed when Seigan is up so it doesn't reduce the recast of Third Eye by 2 seconds. I would be very powerful if it did stack, so that recast was down to 20 seconds. Its more like 25 seconds, which could be nice, but I just don't think that is enough to justify the expenditure compared to the other available merits. Warding Circle Recast, LOL. Store TP Effect, this is the first definitive "must have" Tier 1 merit, as at its 5th upgrade it is one full additional TP point gained per swing. Meditiate Recast another very nice upgrade, at its 5th upgrade it drops Meditate down to 2:30, which is significant on such a strong ability. Finally, Zanshin Attack Rate seems to be a very nice improvement but I dont know if it will be that much more beneficial. I generally use SAM only in Dynamis and a few other select places, which means that Zanshin would be beneficial because I still use meat in those zones even in Xarcabard.

So in Tier 1 it would look something like this is priority order:
Store TP Effect: 5
Meditate Recast: 5
Rapid Shot Rate: 5
Subtle Blow: 5

Now for Tier 2.

NIN Tier 2:
* Sange (-2 minutes 30 seconds recast per upgrade)
* Ninja Tool Expertise (+5% activation rate per upgrade)
* Katon: San (+5 Magic Attack and +5 Magic Accuracy per upgrade)
* Hyoton: San (+5 Magic Attack and +5 Magic Accuracy per upgrade)
* Huton: San (+5 Magic Attack and +5 Magic Accuracy per upgrade)
* Doton: San (+5 Magic Attack and +5 Magic Accuracy per upgrade)
* Raiton: San (+5 Magic Attack and +5 Magic Accuracy per upgrade)
* Suiton: San (+5 Magic Attack and +5 Magic Accuracy per upgrade)
Ninja Tool Expertise is the only thing worth mentioning, I can see a full upgrade to +15% but nothing else is really worth it.

RNG Tier 2:
* Stealth Shot (-10 Enmity per upgrade)
* Flashy Shot (-2 minutes 30 seconds recast per upgrade)
* Snapshot (-2% Delay per upgrade)
* Recycle (+5% activation rate per upgrade)
Stealth Shot would be OK, if I used RNG on Gods and such, but I just don't because I would be on other jobs. Flashy Shot is nice for a 1 Merit upgrade and I have already done that, so no worries there. Snapshot is something I really like, fully upgraded 6% haste is definitely something I am into, and I will definitely do that, because it benefits me a lot for XP and Dynamis. Recycle is probably where the rest of my RNG merits will go, but it will only be 2 because you can only have 6 total upgrades in this category.

SAM Tier 2:
* Shikikoyo (-2 minutes 30 seconds recast per upgrade)
* Blade Bash (-2 minutes 30 seconds recast per upgrade)
* Ikishoten (+3 TP gained per upgrade)
* Overwhelm (+5% Attack Bonus per upgrade)
Shikikioyo is definitely an ability that I need to get, but it will only be a 1 merit ability with its 15 minute recast time, being able to hand out TP is definitely a good thing. Blade Bash is one of those wasted merits if you ask me, a Weapon Bash every 15 minutes? No thanks. Ikishoten is something that interests me because of what I have already mentioned before about Zanshin in places like Dynamis. I would only be able to upgrade it twice because of Overwhelm, but it would still be a nice little addition. Finally, Overwhelm, especially considering that I have basically given up on SAM/RNG (why would I need it when I have SAM and RNG at 75? LOL), this is something that I am going to put a full three upgrades into. It lets me use SAM/WAR and SAM/THF more effectively, considering as evidence that Glacian basically just needs to use TA to get almost equal damage to his SATA WS. SAM/WAR is just a nice boost in XP or other situations.

That leaves me with this for Tier 2 merits:
Overwhelm: 3
Shikikoyo: 1
Snapshot: 3
Recycle: 2
Ikishoten: 2
Ninja Tool Expertise: 3

How will I integrate Tier 1 and Tier 2? I am not sure yet. LOL

Goal 3: An alternative party set-up.

This is something I have been advocating for quite a long time, but let me reiterate. Killing mobs is a much faster way to get XP than sitting around in Whitegate waiting for a party with a bard. That being said, here is one alternative party set up that doesn't follow the rule of the traditional burn party but is equally as effective for gaining XP. This is the NIN, NIN, SAM, BLM, BLM, RDM party. I also like to call it the skillchain burn party. It is actually very simple, the two NIN's stand on either side of the mob, and when either NIN has TP they use Blade: Ten or Blade: Ku and the SAM, presumably subbing THF but not necessarily, closes with Tachi: Gekko for Darkness and with two Freeze II, Blizzard 4 or Blazzaga III's you have a newly dead mob. Generally it is better to use this kind of party for higher mobs like Trolls or Mamool Ja, for example at the Jade Sepulcher or Nyzul Isle camps. PLD/NIN can be substituted for NIN's in this case using Swift Blade, even a few other jobs can work with this if they don't mind tanking for a minute after the SAM sets hate on them, and other substitutions can be used for the SAM but they will have to be able to build TP quickly which might be difficult for some jobs.

Of course, the initial objection to this kind of party is ZOMG, my e-peen is shrinking. Yes, the NIN's are not going to be getting the numbers they would from Blade: Jin, but they are going to be benefiting the SAM a whole lot, and the BLM's even more. A good group can get this going for over chain 5 regularly on trolls. The other problem with this set-up for the small minded is that people might have to hold TP for longer than they think they should, again hurting their parser results but not much else. On the mage side, the BLM's are pretty much required but depending on the situation a different mage from the RDM is fine, if the BLM's aren't having much difficulty with their MP.

Go ahead and try it, it works and it works well.


iceblazek said...

Oo looks like this will be a good blog entry^^

Nivaud said...

my eyeballs are tired now...

Moe said...

IS that new party set up only usable fore merit parties? >.>