Thursday, July 22, 2010

XPing in the New World Order: A Primer.

Stop XPing. It's not worth it. There is no amount of XP you can get in the real world that justifies doing it anymore. No time investment is worth it. No dual BRD parties can keep up. There is nothing you can do to XP anymore.

You have to go to Abyssea. Abyssea is the best XP in the game, and it is not even close to being a competition. If you are XPing in the "real world" then you are doing it for one of three reasons. 1. You don't have time for a full Abyssea alliance XP run (which can be very time consuming). 2. You don't have enough people for a full Abyssea alliance XP run. 3. You are out of Traverser Stones (though this might never be a problem again for those that are good at XPing in Abyssea).

The History: The last few years has been about the specialization and at the same time marginalization of certain jobs in XP parties. SAM, WAR, DRG and DRK are the main DD, RDM was the main healer. BRD was the buffer and puller. COR was the secondary buffer, and was poor at pulling and DDing. This was moving in the opposite direction of the value of jobs at non-XP events. PLD were the main tank, MNK tanked Salvage, RDM was a healer, but WHM was the go to for the most part. BLM was very valuable, as was SCH. BRD was still very important. Melee DD were either critical or useless.

Abyssea comes along and turns all of that on top of it's head.

The Set-up: Balance is critical. While in the past people wanted to have a high concentration of buffs and DD, this isn't as required now. You still want to have a high rate of damage, but you need a variety of damage. Melee, WS and magic damage are all critical to get the balance in "lights". There are also new roles. Now you will need people that are pretty much dedicated to opening chests. Two people is probably best because you start to get a whole lot of chests after a while and you can't open everything with one person after a while.

The most important thing is to have a variety of kill-shots. Some melee kills, some WS kills, and especially some magic damage kills. This will give you pearlescent, ruby and azure light, respectively. The idea is that you want to build up these lights as quickly as possible, so you want to kill things with your different damage sources. Personally, I think it is a little better to go on streaks. Kill a few with melee and WS, then kill a few with magic, and go back and forth. The point is that you need all three sources of damage to make sure you are getting the most sources of light. While the message will never say anything more than "you gain a feeble amount of X light" you will still be building them up behind the scenes.

The beginning: Some people say to go with all magic kills to get to time first, and some say all melee to increase your drop rate of chest, but I have to say that mixing it up is probably the best. I don't know the exact way the system currently works (no one does) but I have found that going on little streaks seems to be the best for me so far. Kill about 5 with melee to up your pearlescent light, then kill 5 with magic to up your Azure light, and toss in some WS and Elemental WS kills to increase your Ruby and Amber lights. The important thing at the beginning is to just focus on killing, don't worry about chests too much and having a good assist.

The mid-game: Don't freak out! That is the best advice I can give. The XP doesn't start rolling until you are well into the time chests, but the time chests usually don't start rolling until about an hour into the run. The worst thing I have seen done to runs so far is people start freaking out about an hour into the run and over focusing on one type of kill. Remember, balance is the most important for good chest generation. You need high tiers of all the different lights on a good run. If you start freaking out and don't keep things balanced, then you end up ruining the run by not getting enough chests or not getting time chests. Once you start getting time chests it's time to relax and enjoy the run.

The end-game: Put on some music, get used to your assist macro and go to town! You still need to keep a balanced light progression because things can still go out of wack if you are not careful. Additionally, the longer the run goes the more likely people are going to cap out their levels and merits, or get tired and want to go to bed, or shave their cats or AFK banging hot chicks, etc, but the important thing to remember is that lights are saved individually. What does this mean? Normally, if you are there for the whole run you are capped out on lights and will be getting the top tier lights all the time, but if you leave and come back or if you are new to the run then you will have zero light and need to build it up again. It appears that the person that kills the mobs determines what the light level is for the chests. That means if you have someone new get a kill shot the chest, if one even appears, will be at the low level. In general, if you are coming into or back into a run in the middle then you want to avoid getting a kill shot for at least a half hour. Also, if you have to swap around quite a few of your melee or BLM then you need to consider the fact that it could take quite some time to rebuild their lights to the point that they are worth anything.

A final note: Bring Forbidden Keys! You don't want to lose a time chest just because the Random Number Generator doesn't love you (the Random Number Generator doesn't love anyone, everyone is the bitch of the Random Number Generator). Don't forget about Ruby and Amber light! Ruby light comes from WS kills and give you other lights for the most part. This is nice at the beginning to get more Azure, Ruby and Pearlescent lights, but later in runs you need the Ruby lights to boost your XP and Crour per kill. XP caps around 300 per kill without Ebon, Silver and Gold lights, so you will definitely need them toward the mid to end of the run. Amber light gives you more treasure chests with potential pop items in them, so they are worth it if you are doing it as a group of friends, but less important if you are in a pick up group.

1 comment:

Samonez said...

It's so true. I don't even put my flag up, I just sit in Whitegate and wait for an Abyssea EXP alliance shout.

And obligatory "Blue Mage can build up multiple lights very easily, streamlining the whole thing, mattering upon the needs of the alliance" comment