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An in-depth look at the new jobsFollow

#1 Feb 21 2013 at 8:41 AM Rating: Good
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Joystiq seems to have an exclusive article from the recent FFXIV tour, obtaining some FFXI info: http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/02/21/massively-exclusive-an-in-depth-look-at-final-fantasy-xis-new/

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This year isn't quite as exciting for Final Fantasy XI as it is for Final Fantasy XIV, but it's still bringing a pretty big change to the status quo. Players have had years to get used to the game as it is, but now Seekers of Adoulin is on its way to completely rewrite matters, giving us two new jobs as well as a new region and new mechanics to deal with. In other words, it's going to be shaking things up.

So while I was out in San Francisco enjoying all that Final Fantasy XIV has to offer, I also had a chance to look into Final Fantasy XI's new expansion, specifically the new player jobs. Both the Rune Fencer and the Geomancer are bringing something new to the game, and while I didn't get to play around with either job extensively, I did get to see how both will play and check out their key abilities.

Rune Fencer

FFXI has two tank classes in the game at the moment: the Paladin, which shines against targets that hit quickly and weakly, and the Ninja, which shines against big slow hits. (Then you have classes like Warrior and Dancer, which shine at tanking when you need a tank and you have no other options.) The Rune Fencer is meant to complete the trifecta by bringing something new to the table. Rather than focusing on physical damage, the Rune Fencer is at its best against magical attacks, stopping casters dead and slicing through elemental strengths and weaknesses like butter.

Some of this is evident immediately when you look at the basics of the class. Rune Fencers do not have a shield skill; Great Swords are their primary weapons. They learn several white magic spells, including Stoneskin, Aquaveil, and Shell up to V (compared to their highest Protect spell at Protect IV). They also gain access to the various black magic spikes as well as Flash, Phalanx, Regen, Refresh, and Blink.

All of these spells create the image of a union between a Paladin and a Red Mage, an image further supported by the Rune Enchantment ability that serves as the central class mechanic. When the ability is used, the Fencer builds up a rune, each of which acts as an elemental weapon spell while granting the opposite elemental resistance. So Lightning runes give your weapon additional Lightning damage per hit while boosting your Water resistance, Fire runes add Fire damage and boosts Ice resistance, and so on.

Rune Enchantment has a five-second cooldown and can stack several times, which gives the class some of the flavor of the Dancer when you consider that you can consume your stacked runes for an overall effect. Two abilities allow you to consume your stacked runes for larger effects. Ward allows you to convert your runes into defense by giving you an absorbing shield against the relevant element (allowing you to place a shield on an ally) or increasing your resistance to the element. Effusion allows you to either consume your runes for a large burst of elemental damage or debuff the enemy with lowered resistance against the element in question.

You can start to see the flow right away. An enemy weak to Wind can be made even weaker, or you can shield yourself against the target's attacks. It's a flexible system that gives players plenty of ways to stack runes and make use of them whether fighting as a tank or DPS.

Fencers have a few other abilities as well; their one-hour ability functions like Invincible for magic spells, allowing them to laugh off the many bosses that use Chainspell. You also gain a group ability that enhances non-physical evade, an ability that shortens the duration of your next enhancing spell but increases potency, and a self-buff that increases your accuracy and evasion until you take a hit.

The field of classes that hit something with a weapon is pretty crowded in FFXI, but even without the tanking side of things, Rune Fencers bring new goodies to the table. The fact that they can also take hits for the rest of the group just makes them even better.

Geomancer

While Rune Fencers are new to the franchise, Geomancers have a long and storied history of sucking. The only game in which they've actually been useful was Final Fantasy Tactics, and even that was debatable. Despite this fact, the new version of Geomancer looks as if it's going to be quite good, working as a sort of fusion of Bard and Black Mage.

Geomancers are very much focused on positioning rather than terrain in FFXI, with their core class trait changing the effects of elemental spells based on the player's direction relative to the target. The Geomancer naturally learns some black magic, including elemental spells up to level IV and the -ra line of spells. However, most of the class abilities are focused upon the Indicolure and Geocolure mechanics.

This sounds more complex than it really is. Indicolure spells give the character a buff that extends out around the player, affecting all enemies or allies within the area of effect. Geocolure spells work exactly the same way, except that they summon a luopan when cast. The luopan is a physical object that does not move and can be hit with AoE attacks but is otherwise purely passive, its health slowly decreasing to serve as a timer. One spell of each type can be running at any given time.

In this, the Geomancer can work akin to a Bard, splitting effects between casters and melee characters as necessary. You could easily drop a debuffing luopan among the melee characters and then cast an AoE Refresh on yourself while among the mages. Or you could give yourself a debuffing field and run into range of the enemy while using a luopan in the area to buff the front line. The class winds up playing out in a very technical fashion, especially when you get to the class abilities.

For example, if you need to change your luopan effect before the item ticks down, you can use Full Circle to wipe it away. Or you can use Lasting Emanation to keep it in place longer. Ecliptic gives your next cast a shorter duration but a larger effect, while Life Cycle allows you to sacrifice your own health and heal your luopan proportionally. Dematerialize lets you briefly shield your luopan from any damage, and Concentric Pulse lets you detonate the luopan for an AoE damage effect while giving you the chance to put down a replacement.

Geomancers are obviously not meant as a melee class, focusing instead on their bells (akin to bardic instruments), but they can use clubs and shields for added durability. If you enjoy classes like Bard, Corsair, or Red Mage, it seems that the Geomancer will be just the job for you.
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#2 Feb 21 2013 at 8:52 AM Rating: Good
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RNF is gonna love my OAT.
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#3 Feb 21 2013 at 8:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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Trying very hard to imagine a vana'diel where position-based abilities do not suck.

It's not working.
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#4 Feb 21 2013 at 8:58 AM Rating: Decent
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Nebo1 wrote:
Trying very hard to imagine a vana'diel where position-based abilities do not suck.

It's not working.

Overwhelm?
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#5 Feb 21 2013 at 9:00 AM Rating: Good
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Zenoxio wrote:
article wrote:
(Then you have classes like Warrior and Dancer, which shine at tanking when you need a tank and you have no other options.)
Screenshot
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#6 Feb 21 2013 at 9:06 AM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
Zenoxio wrote:
article wrote:
(Then you have classes like Warrior and Dancer, which shine at tanking when you need a tank and you have no other options.)
Screenshot

So very, very much this. It seems the author hasn't played this game...well, ever. If they did, it was a loooong time ago.
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#7 Feb 21 2013 at 9:08 AM Rating: Good
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Ha, I got you beat:

article wrote:
This year isn't quite as exciting for Final Fantasy XI as it is for Final Fantasy XIV


Stopped
reading
there
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#8 Feb 21 2013 at 9:13 AM Rating: Good
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Rune Fencer seems nice. But i can imagine the first few months will be heavily adjusted due to everyone and their grandmother subbing ninja to it and evading all physical and now also magical attacks. I like how it sounds, and their choice in weaponry, but it has the potential to be really overpowered/broken, really fast.

Geomancer... well, look at how impossible it already is as a bard or a corsair to get everyone to split up for songs. If you are meant to have people fight things in one set place, and then place your buffs in that area well in range of any AoE attacks that will easily wipe them away, i just cant see this work. Cant see it work for EXP because of all the moving around. Cant see it work for anything substantial because of all the AoE damage it will take. I cant see it work for buffing because everyone needs/wants diffirent buffs. Cant see it used for debuffing since that would mean the monster(s) would have to remain in one single place the entire time. I just cant see it work, period. While i like the choice for Provenance-Style buffer/debuffer elementals you place down, all it will be in the end is just another refresher for the mages.
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#10 Feb 21 2013 at 10:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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yeah, I am holding out a bit of hope but overall it looks like GEO will be just as finicky as I thought, and therefore, not very useful/fun. It all depends on the buffs and debuffs but people suck at positional work generally speaking these days in the game. I think their abilities would need to be extremely powerful to net them a spot over a brd or a cor. As a brd if people want different songs I pretty much have to pianissamo them all because mages and rangers will stand right beside each other, even if you politely ask people to group somewhat sensibly to ease the work load, it almost never happens.

Runefencer is sounding pretty fun, but more like a soloing/small party job than a tank. If they change other mechanics that could change though.
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#11 Feb 21 2013 at 12:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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Preface: I've got a 90 RDM mule and don't really care what happens to Red Mage.

Main Content: If the author is correct about what Rune Fencer is, then some major changes are needed for Red Mage in order for this to be a job that should remain in the game.
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#12 Feb 21 2013 at 1:15 PM Rating: Good
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Raelix wrote:
Nebo1 wrote:
Trying very hard to imagine a vana'diel where position-based abilities do not suck.

It's not working.

Overwhelm?


It's one of the better ones, but even then, its effects are diminished by spinning mobs and changing enmity.

Maybe we will see improvements with the enmity changes?
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#13 Feb 21 2013 at 1:17 PM Rating: Decent
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Fermion wrote:
Ha, I got you beat:

article wrote:
This year isn't quite as exciting for Final Fantasy XI as it is for Final Fantasy XIV


Stopped
reading
there


The sad sad truth...is that it's true.

The official forums are a wasteland and I'm not seeing quality work in the screen shots / video clips I see from the new expansion.
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#14 Feb 21 2013 at 1:31 PM Rating: Default
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TheBarrister wrote:
Preface: I've got a 90 RDM mule and don't really care what happens to Red Mage.

Main Content: If the author is correct about what Rune Fencer is, then some major changes are needed for Red Mage in order for this to be a job that should remain in the game.


iam a little worry about that too. seems like they took mostly all the rdm spells in put it on Rune. rdm going to need something that makes them unique because they got nothing left anymore;;
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#15 Feb 21 2013 at 4:44 PM Rating: Default
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KojiroSoma wrote:
Rune Fencer seems nice. But i can imagine the first few months will be heavily adjusted due to everyone and their grandmother subbing ninja to it and evading all physical and now also magical attacks.

You mean like how RDM dominates tanking because their Fast Cast traits let them cycle Utsusemi so fast? Oh wait...

/SAM for Seigan/Third Eye actually, then depending on gear availability (tl;dr if RNF is on Phorcys) you'll be looking to 5-hit OAT while maintaining a -DT build. Seigan/TE tanking is underrated even by SAM mains because 1. You don't stand around picking your nose and 2. It eats whole TP moves like Pecking Flurry for breakfast.

And then the old adage about DRK/NIN holds true: Your shadows don't mean dick if you won't actually take hate to need them, so /NIN gives nothing to a 2-handed job.

There is something Very Important that I think everyone else missed about the spells listed for RNF: No cures. If this interpretation is correct, your QQing about RDM is definitely unwarranted.

Would be nice if the enmity and defense changes bring up a need for 'durable' DDs like that. RNF is looking to be what I always played DRK as.
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Vlorsutes wrote:
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#16 Feb 21 2013 at 6:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Raelix wrote:

There is something Very Important that I think everyone else missed about the spells listed for RNF: No cures.


SE could easily allow this by having the JA Ward not only absorb but heal the RUN, which would be pretty useful.

RUN uses Lightning Rune, gains Lightning to attacks and resistance to water.
RUN stacks the runes to the cap.
Mob casts Waterja
RUN uses Ward
RUN is healed for a % of the full damage the RUN would've taken before any resistances are calculated.




Edited, Feb 21st 2013 4:05pm by ImmortalAlchemist
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Seriously, you won't be @#%^ing happy until SE releases a full sized Bahamut avatar you can @#%^ing ride and use to kill players that annoy you, one shot AV/PW/Shinryuu, and burn the FFXI nations to the @#%^ing ground for fun. All while actually restoring mp used instead of costing any.

#17 Feb 21 2013 at 7:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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TheBarrister wrote:
Preface: I've got a 90 RDM mule and don't really care what happens to Red Mage.

Main Content: If the author is correct about what Rune Fencer is, then some major changes are needed for Red Mage in order for this to be a job that should remain in the game.

Welcome to my world. We have cookies and punch in the back. :P

Edited, Feb 21st 2013 8:09pm by Seriha
#18 Feb 21 2013 at 8:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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Seriha wrote:
Welcome to my world. We have cookies and punch in the back. :P


The cookies will be decent, and the punch will be decent too, but neither will really be top notch. And you'll be really good at having cookies and punch by yourself, which is a good thing, because no
one will want to group with you to share your cookies and punch...
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#19 Feb 21 2013 at 8:41 PM Rating: Good
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TheBarrister wrote:
Preface: I've got a 90 RDM mule and don't really care what happens to Red Mage.

Main Content: If the author is correct about what Rune Fencer is, then some major changes are needed for Red Mage in order for this to be a job that should remain in the game.
I'm actually curious to see how RDM subbing RUN would work out. It probably still won't be worth a damn, but it's nice to think if might actually work to RDM's benefit for once.
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#20 Feb 21 2013 at 9:08 PM Rating: Good
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(Then you have classes like Warrior and Dancer, which shine at tanking when you need a tank and you have no other options.)


Fuk yo sh*t!
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#21 Feb 21 2013 at 10:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Ruisu wrote:
TheBarrister wrote:
Preface: I've got a 90 RDM mule and don't really care what happens to Red Mage.

Main Content: If the author is correct about what Rune Fencer is, then some major changes are needed for Red Mage in order for this to be a job that should remain in the game.
I'm actually curious to see how RDM subbing RUN would work out. It probably still won't be worth a damn, but it's nice to think if might actually work to RDM's benefit for once.


Would say this will ultimately depend on what levels these rune abilities are learned, how often they can be spent, and possible interaction with MATK. It's also possible they don't play nice with Enspells at all, which could make it a juggling act between DoT or Burst. I'm also going to assume using them will carry high enmity gain to help facilitate the whole tanking gig since the JA delay will reduce potential GSWD efficiency. In short, it may make RDM a so-so tank again in the future, but it'll still have that problem of 3+ jobs standing before it for any given role.

Personally, I don't see the job lacking cures as a big knock. When you're in situations where you need a tank, it usually means you need a healer. NIN gets by without the ability to self-cure, but indeed Utsusemi has its history as one of the most broken abilities in any game ever. And yeah, heavy magic use mobs aren't too common and Aegis PLDs are pretty handy, but I'd like to hold final say on the job's overall mitigation until we actually see it in action. For all we know, SE could give them the ability to insta-cast Blink and Stoneskin with possibly higher tiers than in the game at present. And then they get a prestige GS that's like Ochain, but with insane parry rate instead of blocking. We'll see. Maybe not even in the first days post Adoulin's release, but in the updates after.
#22 Feb 22 2013 at 6:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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Fermion wrote:
Ha, I got you beat:

article wrote:
This year isn't quite as exciting for Final Fantasy XI as it is for Final Fantasy XIV


Stopped
reading
there


Indeed. It's only the most significant year for FFXI since 2006. As for FFXIV, LOL, given where they started from, every year's been more exciting than the previous because like the Cubs, many players felt "Maybe this'll be the year". I'm not so sure FFXIV is different from the Cubs. It may take them >105 years to get it right.
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#23 Feb 22 2013 at 8:07 AM Rating: Decent
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If RUN is listed on Fulgurante(OaT) GS, I'll be pretty happy!
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#24 Feb 22 2013 at 9:38 AM Rating: Good
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hyunkyl wrote:
If RUN is listed on Fulgurante(OaT) GS, I'll be pretty happy!

And we get to laugh at all the Ragtards camping Krab for six months.
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#25 Feb 25 2013 at 12:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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What's interesting about RUN to me is the fact that it is a job that is going to be a tank job, but relies mainly on Magical Defense with no shield or other means to mitigate physical attacks like a PLD with shield or NIN with shadows. The more I think about it, two things come to mind: SoA mobs will have auto attacks that are calculated as magic damage based on a specified element or the new Att/Def ratio will make stacking defense actually worthwhile to the point where you don't take as much damage as before. To me, the later option makes more sense where RUN/WAR will be the standard while using Defender+Defense food. Even though defender gimps melee damage, I believe that the enchantment runes that add an enspell effect will give enough added damage to overcome the -attack from Defender since it does not affect enspell type damage. (We still don't know the cost of applying runes...if it is going to cost MP/TP or nothing at all). Also there is the idea that RUN will have an ability that will increase the potency of enhancing magic by 1.5 while reducing the duration by half. This could mean a stronger Stoneskin, protect, shell, regen, and refresh but we shall see.

On the non-tanking side, I think that the job can also be used as a Magic based hybrid DD tossing out Resolutions and converting stacked runes into large elemental attacks when timers are ready.

Edited, Feb 25th 2013 10:04am by ImmortalAlchemist
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Return1 argued with Mellowy and wrote:

Seriously, you won't be @#%^ing happy until SE releases a full sized Bahamut avatar you can @#%^ing ride and use to kill players that annoy you, one shot AV/PW/Shinryuu, and burn the FFXI nations to the @#%^ing ground for fun. All while actually restoring mp used instead of costing any.

#26 Feb 25 2013 at 12:14 PM Rating: Good
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So, I am confused. Don't we have silence in this game? And didn't SE say they were going to fix enfeebles like silence to make them effective against a larger number of mobs? Outside of avatars that use heavy elemental TP moves, where will RNF be preferable to a PLD?
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#27 Feb 25 2013 at 12:25 PM Rating: Good
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ImmortalAlchemist wrote:
To me, the later option makes more sense where RUN/WAR will be the standard while using Defender+Defense food. Even though defender gimps melee damage

/SAM

Seigan+Third Eye is a superior physical defense (loves to eat whole multihit TP moves). Doesn't sh*t on your melee output.

Quick change to Hasso for even better damage output, faster attacking with the en- effect JA.

Store TP trait for better gear flexibility while maintaining a hitbuild.

Friggin' one-handers creepin' crappy speculation on my glorious two-handed-master-race tank job. Razza-fraggin...
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Nilatai wrote:
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You're new here, aren't you?
#28 Feb 25 2013 at 12:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think you underestimate the existence of magical damage. It was a fairly widespread affair at lv75 and who knows what Seekers will bring.

In my understanding, SE doesn't use the phrase "tank" correctly- or maybe someone picked it up and that's how everyone has been using it. To me, it sounds like RUN will be more of a frontline support job that improves magical defense. Rather than taking all of the damage head on, it can buff your current tank and DDs. The quote even mentions being able to cast the magic shield abilities on other players. The greatsword and the presence of enhancing magic such as aquaveil and stoneskin suggests some durability and a reason to be up front, but it's much more difficult to cast such long spells while being hit without a shield.

That or it will become the ultimate PLD subjob.


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#29 Feb 25 2013 at 12:45 PM Rating: Good
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The magical affinity JA (adds one element, protects against another) would appear to be for themselves only.

I suspect more that we'll see more 'elemental themeing' to mobs that cast magic than getting these casters that throw out whatever element willy-nilly.
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Nilatai wrote:
Vlorsutes wrote:
There's always...not trolling him?

You're new here, aren't you?
#30 Feb 25 2013 at 1:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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Raelix wrote:
ImmortalAlchemist wrote:
To me, the later option makes more sense where RUN/WAR will be the standard while using Defender+Defense food. Even though defender gimps melee damage

/SAM

Seigan+Third Eye is a superior physical defense (loves to eat whole multihit TP moves). Doesn't sh*t on your melee output.

Quick change to Hasso for even better damage output, faster attacking with the en- effect JA.

Store TP trait for better gear flexibility while maintaining a hitbuild.

Friggin' one-handers creepin' crappy speculation on my glorious two-handed-master-race tank job. Razza-fraggin...


Only reason why I didn't mention /SAM is that we don't know how the new enmity changes will balance things out in terms of holding hate. The way they worded the enmity fix, dealing direct damage via WS and Auto Attacks won't build enmity as fast as it does now so the use of /WAR for provoke bundled with Flash will probably work out better in the long run. (Even though the enmity gained through provoke decays to 0 by the time recast is up) We just need to see how well RUN can hold hate as a standalone job spamming Enchantment Runes


Edited, Feb 25th 2013 11:37am by ImmortalAlchemist
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Return1 argued with Mellowy and wrote:

Seriously, you won't be @#%^ing happy until SE releases a full sized Bahamut avatar you can @#%^ing ride and use to kill players that annoy you, one shot AV/PW/Shinryuu, and burn the FFXI nations to the @#%^ing ground for fun. All while actually restoring mp used instead of costing any.

#31 Feb 25 2013 at 7:38 PM Rating: Good
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Except that taking zero damage (anticpates, counters, stoneskin between activations) will probably still result in better enmity retention than taking "less" damage, while dealing more damage due to hitbuild and whatnot should still easily beat out Provoke.

VE tanking is for scrublets and they'd have to make damage practically hateless for that to change. Trust me on that at least. Without curecheats to start with, damage is RUN's way to get CE, no question.

Just realized I already covered all of this six or seven posts further up XD
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