Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Zen of FFXI.

Omoikitte is still gone as much as everyone finds that as an unacceptable state of affairs. Not only is the LS missing it's leader, but I am missing a friend and running buddy. There are a surprising number of things that we normally can do when she is here that we can't do now, or it requires extra tweaking that we didn't require before. Also, when Omoi is around everyone seems more enthusiastic and involved, and when she is away people think that there are no rules and they can get away with murder. Ahh, well, she is going to be back on Monday and it doesn't seem as far as it did just a few days ago.

While she has been away though, I have been rather busy on Omoikitte. I have now officially been dubbed "Omoi" (quotations included) in Rakuen, which is a bit funny for me and hilarious for everyone else, orz. I have gotten to go as both WHM and DRG. I think they may think my WHM is a bit iffy, but I definitely feel strong on DRG (even if I did accidentally sub BLM on one run, and wanted to stab myself in the face). DRG is very impressive in Salvage, I have to say. Heavy use of Angon added to the ability to gain TP incredibly quickly when needed is the main strength of DRG. Penta Thrust works on everything in Salvage as there are no high evasion mobs in general. Also they don't give as much TP as other dual wielders. Honestly, I believe that Hellz has to be holding back on our runs, because I am tanking half of the time on Rakuen runs. I used Hasso almost constantly last night in Bhaflau except for on the boss. In other zones I would definitely use Seigan and Third Eye, but nothing hits hard enough fast enough to not be easily handled by heavily refreshed mages. Hellz is definitely a bit more conservative than I but for Salvage I think he could take a pointer from this. Interestingly enough, this is also how Omoi usually plays DRG, full time Hasso and just uses Super Jump when things get hairy. It is a complete departure from how Omoi normally approaches the game but it does a great job to illustrate her adaptability.

As I mentioned, last night was another Rakuen run in Bhaflau. Celestria has a very good method for determining what zones to do for each run, and I have blatantly ripped off the idea and I am slowly putting it into action for our Versus runs. That is to create two priority pieces for people, and then only pursue those priority pieces, instead of all the pieces that people may want. Focus is better in all aspects of Salvage, and this I believe will do a really good job of getting people gear faster even if it limits the opportunity for drops. Some drops are just very rare so it's not possible to always try for the same zone over and over, but it is possible to get the 25 pieces and I believe the we need more practice with 7 manning the bosses. By the way, I believe the absolute perfect number of people for a run is 7 or 8. It is easy to equip, doesn't require spending extra time getting cells that will not increase our functionality and limits the lots on any 35's that might drop. This is increasingly obvious though and I probably didn't need to mention it.

I wanted to say one last thing about Salvage. I find it rather interesting that people do Nyzul Isle. In both cases there are trade offs that exist to prevent people from building AP while doing them, and they pretty much trade off with the other if you take them both seriously. To me, Nyzul seems at best a poor alternative to Salvage, and at worst a waste of time. Sure, some of the gear is decent but it is decent only if you don't have other better Salvage gear. For example, the Askar body is nice for SAM, if you don't have Usukane Sune-ate. The reason is that Askar Body is helps to get to a 6-hit set up and lets you use Haste in the hands or feet, but the problem comes when you compare Haubergeon +1 (or even NQ) and Usukane Sune-ate to Askar body and Fuma Sune-ate. There Askar body truly fails the comparison. The problem that too many people have is that they do not consider how one piece of gear affects other pieces of gear. In a vacuum, Askar body is indeed a nice piece, but in the comparison it's gleam fades. We are given 16 slots to combine gear into the best possible combination, not to have 16 independent gear slots each of which are best for their slot. If that was the case everyone would choose Ochiudo's Kote over Dusk Gloves, because viewed alone 20 attack is better than 5 attack and 3% Haste, but Haste becomes better as more and more is added, thus we make sacrifices in one area to make gains in another. This assumes of course that you have a person that can actually look at their gear and make a judgment as how best to use gear. If you just have someone that thinks that this gear is cool and it is cool because not everyone has it, and just leeches onto other people's runs to lot stuff then of course they are going to do Nyzul because its actually leechable while Salvage is not. It should also be getting to the point where most real Nyzul statics are pretty much done with the gear that they need, and are going to end up shifting to Salvage soon anyway, while the leechers are going to have fewer and fewer people to leech Nyzul gear from.

In the end, I believe that some of the Nyzul gear is situationally good, while most of the Salvage gear is always good. To make the decision to do Nyzul Isle over Salvage because of the quality of gear would expose a certain lack of understanding of game mechanics by those people. Which brings me to another point about some people in the game and their understanding of the game. I do not think it is all that important to understand the raw game mechanics to understand the why of game mechanics. I think that understanding the why of many aspects of the game will make someone into a better player than just understanding the numbers. There are several examples of this, but lets start with Haste. If you ask a person that doesn't understand the why of game mechanics they will tell you that Haste is always good and more haste is always better. The reasoning is sound on a very fundamental level, in that haste acts as a percentage reduction in delay so that more haste does have a multiplicative effect on delay reduction. But what happens if you miss more often because you are removing accuracy to add haste? Or what happens if you can not maintain a 6-hit build because you are adding more haste? Is a Walahra Turban better than an Ace's Helm? Are Fuma Sune-ate better than Usukane Sune-ate? No one that understands the why of game mechanics would defend those items? There are certain trade offs that are for the better, even if it reduces one of the "more is always better" stats. Lets take RDM as another example, a person that does not understand the why of game mechanics would say that enfeebling magic skill is something that you always want to increase. This is because they want to draw simple universal truths, usually because the concepts behind the subject is too complicated for them to understand. In many cases for RDM enfeebling there needs to be a balance between enfeebling skill and MND to achieve optimum performance. This can be seen in those people that get just one level of Slow 2 or Paralyze 2 and say that it sucks. The second tier (I believe) acts to increase the magical accuracy of the spells, allowing the RDM to add in more MND to increase the proc rate or strength of the spells effects. People that reject the second tier because they do not see the benefit in the spells just don't understand the why of the game mechanics behind the spells. Sadly, these people are often the most vocal of players. As a final aside, I often come across with what some people see as certain especially on game mechanics issues, but I am not always certain. What I do is take all of the evidence that I believe is credible and construct a view that I believe is defensible, but if as more evidence arises I integrate that into my understanding of the game and develop a new view. I always try to integrate the most credible information possible because this will prevent random assertions and anecdotal evidence from ruining my understanding. The problem with most people in general is that this concept is foreign to them. They see one thing, and if they believe it, they take it as gospel then it takes a mountain of evidence to disprove their understanding. Lack of fluidity causes many players to be much worse off than they should be. And if you understand the why behind gear selection, you will be infinitely better off in the game and people will stop laughing at you. :) I am incredibly utilitarian and pragmatic. I guess that is why I don't have "town gear" or why I don't wear certain cool, yet not situationally useful gear full time. As much as people accuse me of such, I am not an attention whore. I like attention as much as the next person, don't get me wrong, but take this blog for example, I love that people read it and I want as many people to read it as possible, and even hopefully enjoy it, but I would still be writing it even if Omoi stopped reading it (she would be the last person to stop reading it LOL) because I am writing it not just for other people to read and enjoy but I also do it for my own personal edification. Writing about and explaining things in the game increases my own understanding of the game just like studying for a test or doing homework. At it's most very basic level this blog is for me.

Lots of words very little text. As I mentioned I went with Rakuen last night for another Bhaflau run, and it was the exact opposite of the last run that we did in Bhaflau. This time Mad Bomber was not up (and the new tactic to try to get it to pop failed, sorry Skur) but the stat mobs dropped everything we needed in like 7 or 8 mobs, so in the end we saved a ton of time and ended up killing a bunch of necessary equipment mobs because we were trying to get some head cells. In the end, no more head cells were to be found so we just headed up to the fourth floor, killed all of the gears and proceeded to get skunked on the Rampart. Not even one Peryton the whole 20 minutes of the Rampart. :( So we headed up to LBC and killed it pretty quickly. I was the third DD on LBC so I had to pull off occasionally because our BRD was my healer and he was busy at times obviously, it wasn't very difficult to pull off either because I never once got hate. It is probably a little better over all for healing, but I was disappointed. LOL Butcher and Celestria were doing an awesome job of tanking and believe me I tried to pull hate at times. I even did three Pentas in a run, two of them two-houred with Hasso and didn't even get hit once. Meh. Well, it was still fun and speaks to strength of both of them (and it doesn't hurt to open with Hundred Fists ^.^). As for the drops, well, I think Omoi is going to be quite pleased and quite a bit more poor. That is the last piece that Omoi needed to finish her Ares's Cuirass. Good bye crappy pumpkin-look, hello huge spikey shoulders! Well, at least after she gets the money she needs to get all of the ingots or ores. I am sure, I will be helping out with that as soon as she gets back. Omoi also ended up getting those Ea's hands too, but she doesn't have the 35 for them quite yet. God, I love Salvage. :)

I wanted to go over a few of my minimal WHM accomplishments as of late. I finally finished up my AF weapon quest, and the funny thing was that I tried to pop the Fomor at the SAM AF point on Secret Beach. :) Well, I got my Tavnazia Pass and returned it to get my Blessed Hammer that I will never use and I will probably pitch sometime today. :)
I also got to start my next quest with the retarded hat wearing Prince of San d'Oria. At least the story line for WHM is pretty interesting. Iz and I went to Castle Oztroja and killed the Abbots for while until I got my Yagudo Holy Water, which I may try to turn in sometime today. :)
Finally, I wanted to show this little tid-bit off. :) Normally, it is the non-charmed person killing the charmed person, but in this case, I was charmed and Ailee ran right into me.
^.^ Now, I have about an hour left before I am leaving today, so lets see if I can really get to my WS gear for WAR and all the potential alternatives. I mentioned yesterday a rather stat heavy WS set for Raging Rush, but I was thinking of this as an alternative to increase accuracy if I need it.

This new set up will bump my accuracy up 14~15 depending on the DEX bonus I was getting from the Warwolf Belt, but it will bump down my STR by 10. I don't know if it is that much of a benefit to give up that much STR for that accuracy. I could also pick and choose between those options to balance it out a little more. Like I think the Potent Belt would be a decent trade off with the Warwolf Belt, while I don't know if Ecphoria Ring is worth giving up the 5 STR from the Flame Ring. It would bump me out of my assured 6 hit build, but with Raging Rush I should be getting at very least 1 extra TP from landing a second hit so I don't find it that much of a risk. Now for Steel Cyclone the circumstances change a little because there is definitely a need to maintain my 6 hit set up on the WS, and the modifiers are also different for Steel Cyclone. So this is what my Steel Cyclone WS set is going to look like:

Now this set-up sacrifices a bit of accuracy for a large increase in useful stats. Now, I could be using Kirin's Osode, and I would be using it for THF sub, but I just don't like giving up accuracy, 2 STR, just to get 10 more VIT. I don't know, it's close but I think I will still go with Hecatomb for now. Also for all of this I could also use my Haubergeon +1 because it has large amounts of accuracy and decent STR. I do make this decision on SAM already but that is because all the WS's are one-hitters, for Raging Rush it is less of a concern, but SAM also doesn't get access to Hecatomb which I would be using for WS on SAM no doubt if they could use it.

I have thought about going over /THF gear, but honestly it's not going to happen that often and I think it is actually pretty obvious. I would be using all my optimal pieces instead of Store TP trade off pieces and for WS which would always be Steel Cyclone, I would be using all my STR and VIT gear including Kirin's Osode.

Tomorrow, DRG maybe? We will see. :)


JESS said...

Dam I am so happy that you finished Omoi's Ares Body. She is gonna be so happy when she gets back. It is so cool how she hooked you up with BB and no you hooked her up with the AC. Btw we killed Mad Bomer like this last time:
Ravax SAM 2 WS and then I Cross Reaper'd like 2800 + Darkness like3800'ish.... it died so fast it wasn't funny. The BLM was like ... " >< that was gonna be such a sweet MB ;( "

Anyway stop having Salvages last minute when I go AFK after multi LS events. As far as Rakuen they are kick ass people !


Ailee said...

It is a) not nice to punch brds and b) not nice to run the opposite way around the pillar as all of the other charmed people.

Anonymous said...

all this WS talk is one of the reasons I like reading this blog of yours lol you know quite a lot.

I've been thinking about /thf sub on drg75 (it's my only melee 60+ lol....)

Sa is Dex dependant and SA is Agi dependant (or both not sure)

Iw as thinking: SATA build when using it and a WS build after?
*is confused*
so like:
SATA-build -> SATA -> WS-build -> WS ?

or am I making it too difficult? lol

Anonymous said...

For the Steel Cyclone WS gear, I think Osode is better. Here's why:

1) Steel Cyclone Modifiers: STR:50% ; VIT:50%

2) When using a Two-Handed Weapon, for every 4 points of DEX, your accuracy value is raised by 3.

With those 2 points, you lose 2 STR and about 3 ACC for the VIT+10 boost. In this case, and only for Steel Cyclone because of the VIT modifier, I think Kirin's Osode is better. I think the rest of your gear set ups are really nice and well thought out. And keep up the posts, gives me something to read while I'm bored at work lol.

Ringthree said...

Anon1: There are no additional modifiers for SA or TA when you are subbing THF. It only Crits or Transfers hate. Extra DEX or AGI does nothing for SA or TA when subbing THF. Subbing THF is in general a poor subjob for DRG (or any melee for that matter) outside of certain events. /SAM and /WAR are your real options.

Anon2: I have thought about that, and I may embrace it but my Osode has been out on loan for a while so I am currently leaning away from it.

JESS said...

I agree Osode is much better a option for Stell Cyclone..... even better is Ares Cuirass.