Thursday, July 03, 2008

On the Cheap 3: Ninja. First installment.

Ok, Ninja is much, much more varied than SAM or MNK, and there are also a bunch of different options that you can choose from for how you want to play Ninja. I am not going to go over tanking gear right now, because there are even more potential options for tanking that vary on sub job, the fight and your support. I am also not going to let this melt down into a million different versions of what you can and can not do to be a good Ninja. There are speed set-ups, there are accuracy set-ups, there are split set-ups, but here is the universal thing. Ninja's don't have that great accuracy. I wish they did, but they don't, so if you are going to for speed you will probably need to eat sushi, and if you are going to go accuracy then, well I guess you can use meat but I don't know if it is the best direction to go, just in my opinion. In fact, let me just say that I think that if you are just getting to end-game on Ninja, you should use Sushi no matter what, even with full Katana merits.

Anyway, the point with Ninja is haste, and as much of it as possible, and you can get a lot. Ninja has access to a good selection of haste gear and already has very low swing delay to begin with, so gearing it isn't that difficult even if it does making a guide somewhat difficult because there are so many alternatives. The interesting dichotomy about Ninja is based around that concept, it is indeed relatively easy to create a good DD set up for Ninja, and yet I think it is the job that most people screw up, and they screw it up bad. The problem is that people try to go the middle of the road route, a little from column A and a little from column B. And like with most other melee jobs this just doesn't work, you are just going to undercut your ability to be effective at anything.

I will say this about Ninja, it is easier than many other jobs to get to the point where you are effective in your role in end-game (at least as a DD) and even the pinnacle for Ninja is much lower than it is for other jobs. I would say though that it is more equipment dependent for being effective than some of the other jobs that I will create guides for in the future. So, focus on getting good equipment and you should be very well off.

Now, the rules for the On the Cheap series:

1. You can't be dumb. Sorry, if you are dumb, I can't help you. If you are the kind of person that hears something and then sticks to it no matter what, just quit now. If you can't adapt to changes in the game, quit. If you refuse to do something because you don't think that should be the play style of the game, then just fucking die in a fire. Flexibility is key, the more we learn about things in the game, the more we improve the play style and the more things change.

2. You have to really be an end-game player. I am not expecting you to have every title in the game, and have done ever mission everywhere, but I do expect you to have done main story-line content. This should be a goal of an end-game player at the very least. Zilart should be finished up to at very least Sky, CoP should be finished up until the end, and Aht Urhgan up until the end. If you don't have these, or at least most of it and trying to get to the end, then you aren't an end-game player, you are just lazy or your are just making pretend.

3. You have to be able to do some end-game events. I am not demanding that you be in a full-time HNM LS or anything, but you should have access to a LS that does at least some of those end-game areas/events. If you don't then you really aren't an end-game player, you are just a player with a job at 75.

4. You have to be willing to spend at least a little bit of gil. Sure, this series is called "On the Cheap" but it is not called "On the Gimp" so you will need to spend some gil getting some of the gear that you need. I am not going to tell you to get all HQ gear unless it is cheap, and I will also indicate expensive items that you will need anyway, or cheap items that are good replacements. This is like the Frugal Gourmet for FFXI. Yes, I know, none of you got that reference. :(

So, basically, don't be stupid and try your hardest.

Now, for Ninja gear.

Weapons. In general, and by default, your main hand Katana should be a Senjuinrikio. It is easily obtained from several of the more common KS30 runs and a lot of time if you can find a group of people going to do a couple of them you can leach off of them because the Senj is so common and most people that already want one has one. It has a nice and high base damage for the main hand where most of your damage is going to come from on Blade: Jin (which is the only real WS for NIN) and the additional 6% crit rate is very nice for both TP build and Jin because it is a crit hit WS. The best pairing for the Senj is a Perdu Blade for the exact opposite reason that the Senj is good for the main hand. It has a low delay and a decent base damage, but also has the hidden effect of extra accuracy and attack. This is the standard DD set up for most Ninjas, but there are still a good number of alternatives. The Fudo is a good alternative for the main hand if you don't have a Senj yet, and also a good alternative for the off-hand if you don't have a Perdu Blade. Also, there is the option of either the Unji or the Unsho, either of which can replace the Senj if you have a Perdu Blade, or can be used for off-hand to be paired with a Senj. Also they can be paired together rather effectively, and in fact prior to the Perdu Blade they were probably one of the best Katana pairings in the game. Also, a Hayabusa can be used as an alternative to a Perdu Blade until you get the ISP and Assault Rank to get one. For the speed option the Perdu Blade in the main hand and Hayabusa in the off hand can make in incredibly low delay combination that still has a decently high damage in the main hand considering the latent effect. Also, Unsho or Unji can be used for a speed set up but I don't think that it will be as good obviously. I should note that the Hayabusa is at the upper limit of cost of this guide because it's usefulness is limited because a speed set-up is not necessarily better or worse than the Senj/Perdu pairing, so unless you really want it badly, I would just suggest sticking to Senj/Perdu.

Neck. If you have read the two other On the Cheap articles then you will know that I generally think that Spectacles are the best way to go for the neck slot. Cheap, effective and better than the Chivalrous Chain that most people use instead. Now, the Chivalrous Chain is decent, but again, I do not think the STR on it during TP build is going to make as much difference as additional accuracy especially on a relatively low accuracy job like Ninja and especially one that is using a low delay set-up.

Earrings. Ahh, I love easy slots, the required piece for a good end-game NIN is a Suppanomimi. An ear piece that decreases your delay by 5% is just insane, and remember Dual Wield effects are very similar to the way that Haste works, in that a higher percentage of delay reduction will improve the speed of your swings multiplicatively. The other obvious earring is the Brutal Earring; with it's 5% Double Attack, this is excellent for Ninja because of the increasing in TP gain. If you don't have either of these or both, the next option is Ethereal Earring. Now, I do not suggest worrying about evasion at all while creating a DD build for Ninja, and the reason is that is not the goal of a DD build for Ninja. Going the middle of the road, trying to get some evasion and some DD gear is only going to make it so that you don't have decent evasion and you only decrease your DD potential. Like Mr. Miyagi say "Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later get squish just like grape." It isn't bad when you can get some extra benefit on some pieces, but never worry about picking up something like evasion when you could be getting even a marginal improvement in DD stats. After that are the normal fall backs of Coral Earring or Merman's Earring are also acceptable. There are also a myriad of other earrings that have some combination of stats and accuracy that could fill the gap, but they are all a step down.

Body. This is a slot that is highly dependent on other aspects of your TP build. There are two basic options, the first being a Haubergeon. Good accuracy, good attack, good stats, and bad evasion which you shouldn't be caring about. The other option is Ninja Chainmail or Ninja Chainmail +1, with the Ninja Chainmail +1 being slightly but still obviously better, because of the added DEX for a little bit of accuracy. Using the Ninja Chainmail (+1) is probably of increasing benefit as you get more haste but neither one will steer you wrong. If you need more accuracy but don't have a Haubergeon yet then both a Scorpion Harness or a Pahluwan Khazagand can work well until you have something better.

This still isn't close to being done, but I want to leave early from work and I haven't posted anything in a few days so this incomplete post is what I have so far. :(


Anonymous said...

Your posts sounds more like a meriting nin equip as opposed to an endgame tanking equip. You should make the distinction early on to avoid some confusion.

Ringthree said...

"Ok, Ninja is much, much more varied than SAM or MNK, and there are also a bunch of different options that you can choose from for how you want to play Ninja. I am not going to go over tanking gear right now, because there are even more potential options for tanking that vary on sub job, the fight and your support."

That is the very first sentence of my post. Seriously, come on, the first sentence.