Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Review of the New Campaign Items.

Enough time has passed since the update to get a fair look back on the number of things that were added as Campaign Items you can purchase with Allied Notes. It is time to take a second look at these items because while none of them stood out as game-breaking items, many of them are definitely beneficial to many jobs and some are even brilliant for certain situations. All of these items can be obtained with 30k Allied Note in your home nation in the past or XK from other nations if you are of the medals Campaign rank. Truth in advertising: I have not yet gotten my Medals Campaign rank so I haven’t yet been able to personally test these out. Most of the items are really straight forward though so it’s not like any major testing is going to make much of a difference in the usefulness of these items. Also, these items have absolutely HUGE campaign bonuses and I will definitely make mention of these, but since the bonuses are not universal, I will just mention them. So if you are a Campaign whore then you will love these items even more than the normal person.

Let’s start with the San d’Orian items.

Rose Strap:

The Rose Strap can be a very good piece of gear if you need it. The +4 Store TP lets many people get back a lot of the utility they had in slots that they had to give up for more Store TP. People that had to use Chivalrous Chains and Ecphoria Rings to maintain their build can now make a different trade off and get some of those lost bonuses back. If you are a melee, you will likely be losing the +2 Double Attack on the Pole Grip, but that probably isn’t much of a loss and probably a comparative gain for the people that are giving up gear to maintain their x-hit build now. For RNG, it is especially nice because it means that for most people they don’t have to worry about using a Mekki Shakki instead of a Fire/Vulcan’s Staff or even better for those that couldn’t get to the next rung of an x-hit build they can now add this to their totals and they might be able to kill themselves just as well as their the rest of us x-hit build RNGs. (It really is just a death warrant).

Of course in Campaign this item gives a huge amount of Store TP which might radically change your plans for what you want to do with your x-hit build.

Crimson Belt:

Another very nice situational piece, and this time situational doesn’t mean “Hey I am fighting a mob I fight 5 times a year so let me grab that one random piece of gear that I probably forgot I even had but kept around because I might use it for this one time”. This time situational piece means you will be using it for some different situations. This isn’t like one of those elemental magic accuracy pieces which are nice, but aren’t really the true skill. This sucker is the real McCoy, +2 Dark Magic Skill. That means you will actually get some benefit for your Drain and Aspir spells, and also Bio, Stun and other spells depending on what else you have going on and what tier of Dark Magic you are at. So, BLM, WHM, SCH and even RDM should definitely think about picking this baby up.

In Campaign this is one hell of a boost to those same spells, much better than anything else you will see. But then again I am pretty sure that Campaign mobs tend to resist a lot more, but I never go to Campaign on a mage job so I am not positive.

Temple Earring:

Well, not everything can be totally awesome, but even this not-completely-awesome earring isn’t totally unawesome either. While +1 to Light Elemental Accuracy isn’t spectacular, it is something that some certain jobs can use because they really don’t have much else in those slots. Those jobs? WHM, BRD and COR with those light-based sleeps. I know that on my WHM I get resisted a lot on Repose (that is mostly because my Divine Skill is horribly underleveled, but let’s keep that between you and me) and this will help in that regard, not much, but more than the nothing that my other earrings are doing.

As for Campaign? +15 should be a lot right? Well, it would be if most of the Campaign mobs didn’t resist the hell out of sleep no matter what kind it is. Maybe this big boost in accuracy will help get you over the hump to sleep them, maybe it won’t, but you can certainly give it a try.

Fox Earring:

Likely named for the Silver Fox regiment of the San d’Orian archers, this earring has a little bit of Ranged Attack on it. I believe this is another one of those items from the update where it is a rare/unique stat for the slot. I don’t think that most RNG or COR are going to be too bugged by this item because they probably already have their +2 Ranged Accuracy or +2 STR earrings. Even though I do play RNG and enjoy it, I am not that up on the math between Ranged Attack and STR and which one you are going to want to use if you can balance them out. I will guess that some people will use this for sure, but I just don’t know how much. It definitely isn’t a stand out item, but it is definitely a different choice from the things that are already available.

For Campaign, while it looks like a huge increase in damage I have found that ranged damage and accuracy in Campaign doesn’t really justify the loss of gil, when you could just melee on another job. So unless you really have nothing else to use for Campaign this item isn’t going to be a must-have.

Patronus Ring:

Conjuring up images of Harry Potter and the Dementors, the Patronus Ring does provide some protection for people that pick it up. Physical Damage down gear is pretty rare for some jobs to get their hands, and even for those that have it available it is still pretty good. Now this doesn’t give a huge increase in Physical Damage down but it is better than nothing, and for tanks it can be a life saver when you are trying to get shadows back up. For my NIN it has to be better than the silly Mermaid Ring that I still wear because there really isn’t anything else good for that slot. Now PLD does have more options than NIN, but still Physical Damage down can help out a PLD from time to time also. Do I think it is the best thing available? No way, but it’s good, and since most people don’t have a Defending Ring, they can always use a little Physical Damage down from time to time.

This is the first item that you really could justify getting just for Campaign. The -10% Physical Damage does really get it pretty close to a Defending Ring in Campaign. Sure, magic damage will still rape you, but the real XP/AN is gained through doing damage and taking damage to heal yourself. If you are subbing DNC or a PLD/RDM or something then this ring will help you take a little less damage and maybe focus on doing some more damage or tanking a couple more mobs at one time.

And now for some of the Bastokan items.

Sturm’s Report:

This is actually a rather interesting ranged item because it isn’t a ranged item, it’s a book. You can definitely throw books, and if you do enough bad things sometimes you will get the book thrown at you. But this is a book you will probably want to keep and no just throw at people (besides the fact that in some cultures book-chucking is considered to be rather rude). The stats are also quite unique for this slot; it is rather rare (unique?) to find Magic Accuracy in the ranged slot and +2 is not something to scoff at. While the stats are not going to make or break you, and there are generally better INT items you can use here, for enfeebles and dark magic there really isn’t much that is better. So if you want a little bit of help helping make sure that Paralyze or Slow sticks, or if you believe that INT doesn’t do anything for those dark magic spells like Drain and Aspir then this may be a book you will want to snuggle up with.

In Campaign this item is really great for nuking, enfeebling or whatever you may be doing on a mage job. There is absolutely nothing in the ammo slot, let alone almost all slots that are going to net you +15 Magic Accuracy. So if you are in Campaign and on a offensive mage job just set it and forget it.

Shield Collar:

This is one of those items where I don’t know if SE is being stupid and thinking that people really care about VIT for tanking things still, or if it is a sly nod to those jobs that have VIT WS modifiers like WAR and MNK. Either way this isn’t an outstanding piece for the neck if you want to tank anything, so let’s get that out of the way, there are much better pieces that have HP, Enmity and other good stats. For WS it isn’t that great because there are much better pieces for the neck that have STR, Accuracy or both. Now for MNK, it IS a good piece for Chakra if you don’t have the Sea Torque with VIT on it. So, this is more situational than most pieces, but it is something you might want to pick up if you are a completionist.

For Campaign, now it really begins to shine for those MNK and WAR VIT based weapon skills, and if you want to get really crazy Chakra numbers then there is nothing better at all. It must be said though, that even if you have a VIT based WS you might still want to pick up the next piece.

Bull Necklace:

Depending on your gear and WS accuracy this piece might actually be something that you want. For SAM and DRG who naturally have a lot of accuracy for their WS because of gear or traits it is definitely a damage improvement over the Chivalrous Chain just because of the obvious increase in STR. This definitely isn’t an end of the road piece by any means, but if you are still farming for those Sea organs for the In the Name of Science quest or still waiting for that Jailor Torque then this isn’t that bad.

In Campaign this item really fits it’s name, strong like bull! I don’t think that 25 STR for any job is going to be beaten in pure WS damage. So if you Campaign a lot then this is definitely a must have piece. More STR, more damage, more AN, and more XP.

Sonia’s Plectrum:

Bastok really gives you some really fine pieces named for the Republic’s heroines. This ranged slot item may look like a just another tathlum but it is supposed to be a pick for harp or guitar or something. Now, I don’t really know anything about DNC gear, but I can tell you that increasing your curing potency is always a great deal for DNC especially at higher levels. For people that are subbing dancer it is only going to be like 1 or 2 HP per Waltz, so it’s not really that great for non-main DNC. This stacks well with other cure potency gear for DNC and I don’t think it trades off with other amazing DNC gear.

If you are a Campaign melee and you like to sub DNC then this is an absolute must have piece. Seriously, this is going give you a decent boost to all of your dances and it can even be switched out for just when you need it, and you can keep your other good ammo gear. I am even seriously considering picking up this piece for my SAM/DNC, and I think Campaign specific gear is stupid.

Arrestor Mantle:

While Bastok offers you some very obviously good pieces, this piece doesn’t shine as well as its brethren but it still has its uses. There is not much that the back piece offers in terms of enfeebling outside of rare drop Sea capes, so this can definitely be an improvement. Then again there are +5 stat capes that are available for the respective kinds of enfeebles. A mage can probably tell you which one is going to be better but for a situation where you need to land Gravity when you are soloing or need a Slow or Paralyze to stick for a low man situation, then this isn’t that bad of a choice.

For Campaign, like the Sturm’s Report this item will definitely be better for landing enfeebles than anything else available. But unlike Sturm’s Report it only helps with enfeebling and not your nukes in general. So if you need to enfeeble a Campaign mob then get this, but for the most part this just isn’t the best of the best like some of the other items available.

Finally, the Windurstan Warlocks have a few more items.

Capricornian Robe (Rope):

Despite being misspelled, this item is still pretty neat. While the belt slot is generally considered to be an MP slot for WHM and other Cure casting jobs, this could be a decent trade off considering what other gear, merits and subjobs you have available. You are probably going to get a cut in max MP, but depending on the situation you might want to get a faster cure off. Cures are already pretty quick so 1% isn’t going to make or break you, especially for a WHM… or RDM… or SCH for that matter. But stacking it up is definitely an option, and it is like haste in that the more you have you will get an exponential increase in speed, but there is likely a cap on the cast speed anyway. If you are an Elvaan then you might want to pass this piece up, but if you are a Taru this might be something you want to pick up.

For Campaign this item is pretty interesting. If you are a non-melee mage (any mage that is not RDM) then you already know that curing is going to be the main way that you are going to be getting your XP and AN, so the faster you can cast those cures then the faster you will be able to get that XP and AN. The problem? It doesn’t decrease your recast time, and that is going to be the real limit on your casting.

Earthly Belt:

Ok, so this is one of those too specific items. Look, if you are a BLM then you are never going to use this because Stone nukes suck. If you are a RDM you are never going to use this because there are better belts for Slow for potency, and if you are another job then maybe you will use this for Slow, but for situational gear that is really situational. This is definitely like a SCH’s perfectionist item. The 3 Earth Magic Accuracy is nice, but you will need to make the decision if you think this worth the inventory space.

While definitely more useful in Campaign than out of it, the Earthly Belt again is going to be for only very limited situations. You should get it if you think you can benefit from it, but be ready for your friends to think you are a little bit odd to have so much extra inventory space.

Cougar Pendant:

Interesting, very interesting. HP is not the preeminent stat of tanking or melee, but it definitely not an unworthy stat. For Taru more HP is never scoffed at, and while there are definitely better neckpieces for HP like the Ritter Gorget – the Cougar Pendant actually has more HP – but this is way easier for most people to get. That makes it like several other pieces in this list; they are in between pieces outside of Campaign, something you get knowing it is relatively cheap and you will probably be getting something better soon.

For Campaign the Cougar Pendant turns a Taru into a Hume, a Hume into a Galka and a PLD into a MNK. This one is a nice straightforward survivability bonus. There is nothing in the neck that is going to make it so that you will have less chance of being one-shot. Sure max HP isn’t everything, but 200 HP gives everyone a little more breathing room in Campaign.

Crocodile Collar:

Some stats don’t do much for people, but some do. AGI pretty much effects a larger group of players than say VIT, so this might get more use than the Shield Collar. RNG, THF, NIN and COR stand out as those that could drool over this piece. For RNG, it is both a slight increase in accuracy as well as damage for most WS. But, and there is a big BUT here, there are a lot of better pieces for RNG in the neck slot. THF is almost the same way but the AGI modifies Trick Attack instead, but then again most THF don’t solo TA’s as much as stack them. If a THF is going to solo a JA it is usually Sneak Attack (if I am wrong on this all those THF out there please let me know!) NIN will get some benefit out of this for soloing evasion which AGI modifies, but it also modifies (and I am pretty sure on this one but again if I am wrong, let me know!) Parrying which is a great stat for a soloing NIN. Finally CORs will love this piece for the AGI which is an accuracy modifier for their Quick Draw shots as well as a little bit of accuracy for their regular ranged attacks and WS too.

Now for Campaign, like the Bull Necklace, this piece becomes much more impressive in Campaign. While for RNG and COR the damage modifier for WS still isn’t that great it is a definite improvement, but the accuracy is where this will really shine, especially for Quick Draw. For THF, this is a huge boost to stacked TA WS damage. And for NIN this probably is a huge benefit if you are the kind of person to sneak off with your own mob and solo it. Just make sure you don’t drag out the Campaign while everyone else is waiting for their Union rewards!

Ariesian Grip:

Last but certainly not least is this nice little resting MP piece. There is nothing much for mages in the Grip slot, and certainly nothing with resting MP on it. You might lose a little bit of max MP when you get back up which really isn’t an issue for some races, jobs and gear sets. It might be a little more tenuous if you are low on Max MP but then again even with the highest boosts in MP you aren’t going to be losing that much MP just from that slot (besides, you could just rest one or two more ticks in your standing/Max MP gear). Since people will kill flowers in hours for more resting MP this is probably something that a lot of people are going to want to get.

In Campaign, this is a must have for any job that uses MP and needs to rest at all. +20 resting MP is like a couple of Clear Mind traits. It is a huge difference maker. So if you use MP at all in Campaign, then you should probably pick one of these sexy babies up.


This list of items is pretty comprehensive, but I didn’t include the new bodies mostly because they speak for themselves. Most of the time items you get from a world conflict system (Conquest, Besieged, and Campaign) barely have much of a use and are very poorly itemized. While in the past there have been one or two good sets of items (Conquest ammos and Besieged weapons) this time there are a plethora of good items at the medal level. They are definitely going to be inventory hogs because they are either situational or alternatives but they are in general upgrades instead of more sidegrades. As much as I complain about SE’s current level of attentiveness toward the game in general, I have to admit that these items must have required at least a modicum of thought into the stats they give for their slots.


Juan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ailee said...

The earth belt is for brd silly. Elegy is earth based. Of course, it is still situational

elmozfox said...

Just to add, the Cougar Pendant is a great Healing Breath trigger macro piece during Campaign too. But well, situational as you put it since everyone is having serious space issues.

Ringthree said...

Wow, good points from both of you! I will add that in at some point.

targettio said...

You also didn't mention the Souleater potential with the Cougar Pendant.

It used to be:
Rho Necklace +30HP (super rare assault drop) > Ritter +25HP (Einherjar) > Tempered Chain +20 HP(AH)

Now it is:
Cougar Pendant FTW

Anonymous said...

Capricornian "Robe" is just like Cure Clogs, you only need to wear them before you start casting. Switch to your +MND/-Enmity gear midcast.

A WHM comes pretty close to the Fast Cast cap on cures without this item (assuming /SCH, Cure Clogs, and a few merits).