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NIN/RDM|BLM 101: FAQ and StrategyFollow

#1 Nov 14 2005 at 2:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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Table of Contents
+ Introduction 
+ Frequently Asked Questions 
   - Why /RDM or /BLM? 
   - When is this combination effective? 
   - How does it work? 
   - Why would I play this combination over /WAR? 
   - Can NIN/BLM|RDM tank by dealing massive damage? 
   - How can I increase my damage with this combination? 
   - Does equipment with +Elemental Skill help :Ni nuke damage? 
   - What race is best for this combination? 
   - Which is better, /RDM or /BLM? 
   - How expensive in this class combination? 
+ Equipment 
+ Strategy 


Introduction

This guide exists to serve as a central point of information for NIN/RDM|BLM. The same questions are asked over and over again, and since not many Ninjas have any practical experience with this combination, sometimes the wrong information is passed on. The guide is part FAQ, part shopping list, and part playbook: my intention is to include anything that a starry-eyed NIN-mage needs to be successful. It will be updated with new questions/gear/strategy as required.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Q: Why /RDM or /BLM?

A: Both /RDM and /BLM give the Magic Attack Bonus trait, which passively adds 20% to the damage of all spells (for the first level of the trait). When it was discovered that MAB increases the damage of Ninjutsu as well as regular nukes, this combination was born. For example, if your nukes deal ~100 damage as NIN/WAR, they will deal ~120 as NIN/RDM|BLM.

Q: When is this combination effective?

A: This combination is not worth it until level 40, when you acquire the :Ni level elemental Ninjutsu. The level 15 :Ichi Ninjutsu is too weak and slow-casting, and you can't get MAB from a subjob until main NIN30 anyway (NIN40 for /RDM).

Q: How does it work?

A: In brief, you cast the :Ni level elemental Ninjutsu in a specific order, in such a way that you're always weakening the mob to the element of the next nuke. For example, Raiton: Ni deals lightning elemental damage, and lowers the mob's resistance to earth. Doton: Ni deals earth damage, and lowers resistance to wind. So you'd use Raiton first, followed by Doton, to ensure maximum effect. This is called the "elemental wheel", and it looks something like this:

Raiton -> Doton -> Huton -> Hyoton -> Katon -> Suiton -> Raiton -> etc

Notice how you can jump in at any point in the "wheel". For example, there is no reason why you couldn't start with Katon and cycle right into Suiton, continuing around until you arrive at Katon again.

Q: Why would I play this combination over /WAR?

A: Put simply, because of personal playstyle choice. This combination is not better or worse than /WAR, but it does place you in a different party role than a normal /WAR-subbing Ninja. This leads into the next question, which is:

Q: Can NIN/BLM|RDM tank by dealing massive damage?

A: No, not really. If you look at all the tanks in this game (NIN, PLD, WAR, etc), they all have one thing in common -- Provoke. PLD and WAR tanks also have additional tools such as Flash, Warcry, Shieldbash, etc. All of these skills generate "spike hate", which is a lot of hate in a short period of time. Provoke is the best and most effective of these spike hate skills: it's free, recycles quickly, and cannot ever be resisted.

Spike hate is important because the job of a tank is to keep the mob away from the squishy mages and DDs. Low-level NINs and PLDs in particular are not able to compete with DDs for hate strictly by damage, so they use these skills to stay ahead. For example, if a BLM lands a 1300 damage Freeze MB on a Distortion skillchain, the tank has to generate a LOT of hate in a short period of time to keep the mob away from the BLM. Ditto for Rampage, Sidewinder, etc. NIN/BLM|RDM have no way to spike hate, and :Ni nukes can be resisted, so we are unequipped for the rigors of classic tanking.

However, NIN-mages deal such a huge amount of damage that we can temporarily (sometimes for extended periods of time) rip hate away from the main tank. Because we have Utsusemi, we can leverage it to take the heat off the tank for some time, and save MP for the healers. This is not the same thing as "tanking", but the ability to bounce hate to a job that has a lot of damage mitigation (Ninja) is a powerful strategy in an XP party. We are among the only DDs that can deal damage without holding back in a standard party, because we have the best chance to avoid taking hits.

Q: How can I increase my damage with this combination?

A: This is a complex answer. You can increase the raw damage that the nukes do to boost damage per hit, and you can reduce the rate of partial/full resists to increase damage over time.

Like MP-based nukes, the base damage for :Ni elemental Ninjutsu is fixed and doesn't change. However, there are three ways to modify it:
  1. INT - the damage dealt is modifed by a function of your INT compared to the enemy's INT. Every point of INT that you have adds roughly +1 damage to every nuke.
  2. MAB - in addition to the basic MAB trait from /RDM and /BLM, you can augment this stat directly by using gear with +MAB on it, like the Moldavite Earring or the Uggalepih Pendant. In the case of the earring, +5 MAB means +5% MAB, added directly to your existing score. So, if you have 20% from the MAB trait, and put on the earring, your final MAB is +25%.
  3. Elemental Staves - these are available starting at level 51, and have a hidden effect that boosts the damage of a co-aligned nuke by 10% (15% for HQ staves), as well as increasing the accuracy of the nuke. This is the biggest way to boost damage, outside of MAB.

For reducing resists, you need elemental staves (note that they do both raw damage and resists, which is why they are so good), and gear with +Ninjutsu. Ninjutsu skill does not increase damage directly, but it works similar to spell-based skills (such as Elemental Magic or Enfeebling) in reducing resists. Also, be sure to follow the order of the wheel: remember to always debuff the element of the next nuke that you will be using.

Q: Does equipment with +Elemental Skill help :Ni nuke damage?

A: No. Although :Ni nukes do elemental damage, they are not tied to the Elemental Skill, they are tied to Ninjutsu. As a NIN/RDM|BLM, your Elemental Skill will only be used for mage-type nukes, and since those are useless at half-level, you don't need this type of equipment.

The only things that increase :Ni damage directly are INT and MAB.

Q: What race is best for this combination?

A: Since the damage that this job combination does is influenced by INT (and MP total somewhat for /RDM), certain races have an advantage in that department. Here's a brief chart with INT milestones for various race combinations, from highest to lowest:
         /RDM40  /BLM40  /RDM50  /BLM50  /RDM60  /BLM60 
Taru      45      47      55      57      64      66 
Hume      37      39      46      48      53      55 
Mithra    37      39      46      48      53      53 
Galka     35      37      43      45      50      52 
Elvaan    32      34      40      42      46      48 

As you can see, there is a difference of 13INT between Taru and Elvaan (highest and lowest) at level 40, which expands to 18INT by level 60. Since INT adds roughly 1 damage per point, that's a difference of approximately 78-108 damage for an entire unresisted wheel (depending on level). On a nuke where an Elvaan hits for ~110 unresisted at level 40, a Taru with the same gear will hit for ~123. The Taru is doing roughly 11% more damage, which is significant difference but not insurmountable for the the Elvaan. All races are viable, in this case, but some have clear advantages.

Q: Which is better, /RDM or /BLM?

A: For raw damage purposes, /BLM provides the best damage per hit. BLM has A-rated INT, so it will always be a couple points ahead of RDM, and /BLM also gains MAB II at 60+ (24% instead of 20%) where /RDM never gets that 4% upgrade. However, /BLM is severely lacking in utility, there isn't much you can do with your MP pool other than Warp, Tractor, and Escape. Having half-level spell skills means that regular nukes, enfeebles, Drain/Aspir, etc, will hardly ever stick on XP-level mobs.

For utility, /RDM is more versatile. You also have half-level skills from /RDM, but for some skills (like Healing) it doesn't matter very much. Some spells from /RDM that are particularly useful:
  • Aquaveil - reduces the chance of interruption when you get hit. Extremely useful spell.
  • Cure - You get up to Cure III in this line, which makes you a very handy spot-healer with a Refresh from the RDM or Ballad from the BRD.
  • Barspells - they are half-effectiveness and self-only, but still useful in a pinch.
  • Dia - you will get Dia I and II, and this spell can't be resisted, so you can take this duty from the WHM or RDM if needed.
  • Diaga - cheap AOE spell that will strip all shadows from the mob.
  • Sneak/Invis - self explanatory.
  • Regen - only costs 15MP, and heals 125HP.
  • Blink - useful for when both shadow timers are down, has a fast recast timer as well.
  • Dispel - can be used even half-level, is not often resisted.
  • Stoneskin - gained late, but extra insurance vs. AOEs and stray hits past shadows.

RDM also gives you Fast Cast I & II as a subjob, which decreases the casting time of all spells by 10% and 15% respectively, as well as reducing the /recast timers on all spells (including Utsusemi and the :Ni nukes). Finally, RDM gives you Magic Defense Up, which cuts all magic damage by 10% for the first level (similiar to having two full upgrades to Shell).

In general, /RDM is a more useful subjob from 40-59 because of equal MAB and more utility, with /BLM being a possible alternative for superior damage at 60+, but both will work at 40+ without incident.

Q: How expensive in this class combination?

A: Without sugar-coating it, this is extremely expensive. NIN/RDM|BLM is more or less highest-DOT damage dealer for a very long time, and we pay for the privilege. The cost depends on the price of tools on your server, usually they range from 9k for the cheaper tools to 22k+ for the more expensive ones. Expect to "lose" at least 150gil every time you press the nuke button (an average of almost 1k every time you spin the wheel), and anticipate using at least two stacks of every tool in a 2-3 hour party (subject to variation based on how fast you can pull). Don't forget Utsusemi.

You also have normal equipment expenses, mostly in the form of top-tier +INT equipment, and the elemental staves at 51. If you're going to buy the HQ elemental staves (a huge benefit over the NQ staves), expect to spend multiple millions of gil to get them.

If that sounds like a lot of money, this job combo is not for you.


Equipment

In general, equipment for NIN/RDM|BLM aims to boost damage to the maximum, in the form of INT, MAB, and +Ninjutsu. You may want to keep a set of +evasion gear or other defensive considerations (like -%interruption) if you know you'll be psuedo-tanking for an extended period of time, but that is beyond the scope of this guide. Listed below are some suggestion gears for specific slots. RSE is not included as it varies from race to race.

Ammo: Morion/Phantom Tathlum - you basically keep this forever.
Back: Federal Army Mantle (level 55, +2INT) or Gramary Cape (level 50, +1 m.acc)
Body: Brigandine +1, Black/Blue Cotehardie, Yasha Samue - no low-level options
Ear: Cunning/Morion earring (+INT), Ninjutsu Earring (+skill), Moldavite Earring (+MAB)
Ring: any level-approriate +INT rings
Feet: Garrison boots, Mannequin pumps, Mountain Gaiters, Yasha Sune-Ate
Hands: Garrison gloves or Sennight Bangles (and not much else)
Head: Erudite's Headband, Ninja Hatsuburi (for +skill), Yasha Jinpachi
Legs: Yasha Hakama - nothing low-level for this slot, this is a good place for +evasion
Neck: Intellect Torque, Ninjutsu Torque
Waist: Druid's Rope (+INT and -interruption), R.K. Belt
Weapon: option for dual Crimson Blade at 49, staves at 51+, katanas everywhere else.

Strategy

Here are some general tips and tricks to squeezing the most you can out of your NIN/RDM|BLM:
  • Use the elemental debuffing properties of the :Ni nukes to your advantage to stick regular enfeebles like Hojo and Jubaku. Also consider opening with a nuke the mob is strong to, it's more likely to resist it anyway and you can have a debuff ready for a normal nuke.
  • Use food with a lot of +INT, and get MP and hMP if you are /RDM. Melon Pie +1 is probably the most effective good choice.
  • Count your shadows. A NIN geared up to nuke isn't as good at taking damage as a NIN/WAR, and your shadows won't last as long with +evasion. Don't get stuck without shadows, and having only :Ichi availible.
  • Haste is your friend, even though you are not tanking. With Haste's 15% recast reduction, you can spin the wheel out faster. This also goes for %haste gear if you can't find good +INT for that slot (Fuma, for example).
  • You don't need to be facing the mob to hit them with spells: it's entirely possible to "tank" mobs backwards using :Ni nukes and avoid line-of-sight attacks like Petrify.
  • As added crowd control, a NIN/BLM|RDM can usually keep a link busy long enough with shadows, debuffs and nukes to have it mostly dead in time for the party to deal with it.
  • If you are subbing /RDM, abuse Cures to the fullest extent between battles or in emergencies. A 40MP Refresh from an RDM is three Cure III's from you (almost 600HP worth of healing), and will save the mages a great deal of MP.


More to come as I think of it.

Edited, Dec 14th 2006 9:50am by MargavineLiselle
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Red Mage 101 v2.0 -- NIN/RDM|BLM 101 -- Liselle, Phoenix
Greatest RDM thread... ever.
"There is no 'ding', only ZUUL."
#2 Nov 14 2005 at 2:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sorry, I got tired of answering these questions all the time, and I figured it was worth making.

Please post comments, criticisms, and suggestions as a reply to this thread (don't PM me, I'll forget ^^).
____________________________
Red Mage 101 v2.0 -- NIN/RDM|BLM 101 -- Liselle, Phoenix
Greatest RDM thread... ever.
"There is no 'ding', only ZUUL."
#3 Nov 15 2005 at 4:50 AM Rating: Good
5 posts
I absolutely love the guide, hopefully it shows people that NIN can be played in more ways than one, however...

Quote:
Q: Can NIN/BLM|RDM tank by dealing massive damage?

A: No, not really. If you look at all the tanks in this game (NIN, PLD, WAR, etc), they all have one thing in common -- Provoke. PLD and WAR tanks also have additional tools such as Flash, Warcry, Shieldbash, etc. All of these skills generate "spike hate", which is a lot of hate in a short period of time. Provoke is the best and most effective of these spike hate skills: it's free, recycles quickly, and cannot ever be resisted.


You should add to the guide that at certain levels it is most certainly possible to tank. I did it from 40-51 and only stopped because I felt like I should finally play as NIN/WAR before I fall behind on Katana, Parrying skills, etc.

Spike hate is not an issue at the levels I tanked at least, dealing with 2 BLMs MB'ing on the SC, Monks using Raging Fist or anything...I always managed to keep hate. Inside GC I managed to keep hate from a BLM casting freeze way too early in the fight that did about 500 something damage. Had he done more I wouldn't have kept hate...but no tank, not even a PLD would have kept hate from 1000 dmg freeze at the start of a fight. Yes, PLD has cover...but lets talk about NINs for now, a NIN would have lost hate and couldn't do anything about it.

If you make your own parties and fight the right mobs you will not be resisted and have no problem holding hate. Your only issue tanking is convincing the 5 party members whose lives are in your hands that you can do it, thats usually the hardest part. Halfway through the party when you get /tell's saying "You're one of the best NINs I've ever seen" etc, it gives you a good feeling inside.

If you get invited to a party where you're on the low end of the party level vs. the mob's, you most definetly will have trouble and will embarrass yourself. This happened to me only once, when the party invited me at 46 and brought me to the entrance of Quicksands fighting mobs I shouldn't have been yet...not my fault, but make sure you're camping in the right spots. Its kind of similar to RNG and how they could fight mobs other melees couldn't do the same damage to due to level difference, but that was changed.

There will come a time when NIN/BLM changes from a Tank/DD hybrid to pure DD, as someone mentioned to me in another post...I would venture this level to be close to 55...with WARs getting Rampage, RNG getting slugshot, BLMs continuing to cast ancient magic, and gigantic spikes of damage NIN/BLM cannot compete with. NIN/BLM can still deal impressive damage and be valueable to the party, but will lose the tanking role. 40-54 you can tank because spike damage is not an issue. Tanking for me 40-51 as NIN/BLM I did so without THFs and without BRD...BRD is something I would have loved to try for more INT, SMN are nice though because of Fenrir's buff if they have it.

Quote:
However, /BLM is severely lacking in utility, there isn't much you can do with your MP pool other than Warp, Tractor, and Escape.


I disagree with this too, if you can time it perfectly you can get a triple MB, which together will do more damage than a BLM's MB. Lets say the SC is distortion, you use elemental seal and cast Blizzard timed to cast right when the MB window is open, unresisted thanks to ES that does around 120ish dmg...cast Hyoton right away followed by Suiton, each MBing for 160-180ish...for a combined damage of close to 500. Its very hard to do, I only pulled it off a couple times...the slightest bit of lag in your macros and you won't have enough time to cast them all, but double magic bursting is still easy.

Edited, Tue Nov 15 05:06:14 2005 by OrbitzXT
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#4 Nov 15 2005 at 10:42 AM Rating: Good
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Very good guide, cant wait to try it on my own Ninja. Hope we can get a sticky for this.
Keep it up! :)
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#5 Nov 15 2005 at 10:46 AM Rating: Good
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awesome post...

I've browsed many threads on this, but there always seems to be some info left out. Specifically I wanted to know the feasability of main tanking and how it would work. This seems to cover most issues that can arise :)

Rate up!
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#6 Nov 15 2005 at 10:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm glad you like it, be sure to point out anywhere else you think something is missing.

OrbitzXT wrote:
You should add to the guide that at certain levels it is most certainly possible to tank. I did it from 40-51 and only stopped because I felt like I should finally play as NIN/WAR before I fall behind on Katana, Parrying skills, etc.

I may do this, but it has to come with a laundry list of caveats, because I don't want to give the impression that a NIN/mage can "tank" in the traditional sense -- they can't. I'm not spouting theory here: I've tried it myself, and I'm intimately familiar with ordinary tanking (and not just NIN/WAR), so it's easy to draw comparisons.

Spike hate is ALWAYS an issue, it's just more of an issue when BLMs are flinging around AM and weaponskills like Rampage come into play. This is the only real reason that NIN/mage can't tank, even if we only had something like Flash it would be possible, but we don't. Here are some problems, and beleive me, this isn't even an exaustive list:
  • Spike hate - we covered this.
    [li]Initial hate - you're completely reliant on getting the first volley of nukes to land mostly unresisted, this is the only form of hate. An initial Provoke cannot be resisted, it gives the same hate every time and your DDs/mages can meter their hate around it. You won't have a good grip on hate into well into the fight.
    [li]Hate recovery - it happens to everyone, you get hit with shadows down, or eat a Sickle Slash, or the mob drops an AOE, now you're bleeding hate and need to get it back. Problem is: you can't. With only DOT hate to fall back on, the mob is going to be bouncing all over the place until you can out-hate everyone by enough to get it back.
    [li]Gear conflict - let's be real, if you're tanking you need some +evasion, and +evasion gear is mutually exclusive with +INT gear for the most part. So you are either gutting your hate holding ability by lowering damage to boost evasion, or you are cutting your lifespan by gearing up in a suit of INT and being unable to dodge enough hits between shadows.
    [li]Time conflict - every second that you are concentrating on tanking, you are not dealing damage. If you are waiting for the mob to eat your last :Ni shadow so that you can cast :Ichi, you are not dealing any significant damage. Counting shadows and timing casts consumes DOT potential. For a NIN/WAR this is no problem, they can afford to concentrate on debuffing and dodging hits because they have Provoke, spinning the wheel is something they can do in combat lulls for "extra" hate. For a NIN/mage this is not an option, because the very act of spinning the wheel if your primary method of keeping hate.

  • As an example of what I mean by "loose" hate, here's a story of my NIN/RDM fighting in Quicksand Caves. The WAR pulled a Beetle while the real tank (a NIN/WAR) was afk and nobody was quite ready, and he got nailed by a Double Attack and a mob WS before anyone could help him: he died. So all that's left between victory and a party wipe is a NIN/RDM, a DRG/WAR, a SMN/WHM, and an RDM/BLM. Notice there is no Haste/Erase (I would have killed for a WHM, oh well).

    Obviously, I'm tanking here, whether I want to or not. I opened up with the wheel, took hate immediately, and starting flinging up shadows and tanking as best I could. The problem was, I started running into all of those problems I listed above: even though I didn't have Haste, I still couldn't spin the wheel fast enough to beat the timers on the :Ni nukes, because the act of tanking was consuming so much of my attention. As a result, hate starting bouncing around, and I was reduced to CureII-dumping the mages in an attempt to get hate (and reduce their potential to get hate by Curing).

    As the fight progressed, I started to get a better grip on hate... or so I thought. The NIN/WAR got back from afk when the Beetle was down to ~20% HP. He got hate with a single Provoke, despite the fact that I did over a thousand damage to the beetle by that point, and the mob was on him for the duration of the battle after that.

    That's just one example, but I have a million. Look in another thread I particiapted in, where I parsed the battles, and even though I was doing 60% more DOT damage than the MNK, she still ripped hate away from me every time she spiked damage. When the excrement hits the fan, NIN/mage can't perform. You need to have a perfectly built party, uber gear, ideal circumstances in general, and the luck of the Irish to "tank" (and I use that word loosely) in an XP party.

    No thanks. The best thing for a NIN/mage to do in an XP party is to find a nice meaty tank with lots of hate-grabbing abilities, and just DD. You'll end up taking hate by virtue of the fact that you're blowing everyone else away for damage, but there is no impetus on you to conserve shadows, or protect the party in an emergency, or gear up to dodge hits like a fiend, that's what your tank is for.
    OrbitzXT wrote:
    Inside GC I managed to keep hate from a BLM casting freeze way too early in the fight that did about 500 something damage. Had he done more I wouldn't have kept hate...but no tank, not even a PLD would have kept hate from 1000 dmg freeze at the start of a fight. Yes, PLD has cover...but lets talk about NINs for now, a NIN would have lost hate and couldn't do anything about it.

    I wonder about that. A NIN/WAR will have Provoke to spike hate, but is also spinning the wheel for hate over time. They lack the 20% MAB bonus on their wheel and associated INT gear, but Provoke more than makes up for that. NIN/WAR has a reputation for not having the hate control of a PLD, but that's largely undeserved: usually it's because they are lazy Ninjas.

    OrbitzXT wrote:
    If you get invited to a party where you're on the low end of the party level vs. the mob's, you most definetly will have trouble and will embarrass yourself. This happened to me only once, when the party invited me at 46 and brought me to the entrance of Quicksands fighting mobs I shouldn't have been yet...not my fault, but make sure you're camping in the right spots. Its kind of similar to RNG and how they could fight mobs other melees couldn't do the same damage to due to level difference, but that was changed.

    I was fighting in Quicksands at 43, as a DD, and I was posting 40% of the total party's damage. There's no way I could have tanked with the frequency of resists on mobs that were in their 50's. Fortunately, we had a REAL TANK, and made nearly 6k xp/hour, which isn't bad for a bunch of noobs.
    OrbitzXT wrote:
    I disagree with this too, if you can time it perfectly you can get a triple MB, which together will do more damage than a BLM's MB. Lets say the SC is distortion, you use elemental seal and cast Blizzard timed to cast right when the MB window is open, unresisted thanks to ES that does around 120ish dmg...cast Hyoton right away followed by Suiton, each MBing for 160-180ish...for a combined damage of close to 500. Its very hard to do, I only pulled it off a couple times...the slightest bit of lag in your macros and you won't have enough time to cast them all, but double magic bursting is still easy.

    You disagree with what? /BLM has next to nothing for utility, and that's a fact.

    ES is only good once every 10 minutes, for one (the ability to successfully use 30MP every 10 minutes does not a successfull combination make). Second, that doesn't even guarantee a full hit, even with the accuracy bonus from a Magic Burst, because you're nuking with half-level ES. Third, by level 42 BLMs are going to have Blizzard II, and that's a 300+ MB without a problem. Fourth, even when it MB's, it still does less damage than a regular unresisted :Ni-nuke. Fifth, triple-MB's are almost impossible to time, even RDMs with Fast Cast IV have difficulty doing a Double-MB with Blizz II and Blizz I, and that's actually easier to pull off.

    /BLM is for damage, and damage only. The utility it provides is limited basically to being an Escape bot at 58+, because Ninjas don't need Warp, and Tractor would be better leveraged by an RDM or WHM that can Sneak themselves. Don't kid yourself. ><
    ____________________________
    Red Mage 101 v2.0 -- NIN/RDM|BLM 101 -- Liselle, Phoenix
    Greatest RDM thread... ever.
    "There is no 'ding', only ZUUL."
    #7 Nov 15 2005 at 11:16 AM Rating: Decent
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    Good Info.^^

    Quote:
    Elemental Staves - these are available starting at level 51, and have a hidden effect that boosts the damage of a co-aligned nuke by 10% (15% for HQ staves), as well as increasing the accuracy of the nuke. This is the biggest way to boost damage, outside of MAB.

    Do you have any proof of the damage boost? Becuase from my parses and others i've found from BLMs and RDMs they only have shown to enhance Magic Accuracy. If it is true i'd finally have a real reason to bother shelling out the gil for the HQs, so i'm very interested in this.
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    #8 Nov 15 2005 at 11:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Chaotika wrote:
    Very good guide, cant wait to try it on my own Ninja. Hope we can get a sticky for this.

    Not sure it's sticky-worthy... this is a short guide. Sticky requests need to be made in the Feedback Forum, but I think it would be enough to just link this in the stickied link thread.
    ____________________________
    Red Mage 101 v2.0 -- NIN/RDM|BLM 101 -- Liselle, Phoenix
    Greatest RDM thread... ever.
    "There is no 'ding', only ZUUL."
    #9 Nov 15 2005 at 11:29 AM Rating: Excellent
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    shadowbuni wrote:
    Do you have any proof of the damage boost? Becuase from my parses and others i've found from BLMs and RDMs they only have shown to enhance Magic Accuracy. If it is true i'd finally have a real reason to bother shelling out the gil for the HQs, so i'm very interested in this.

    Proof of what? It's well-documented in many places that NQ/HQ staves add 10%/15% to the damage of co-aligned spell.

    Don't take my word for it though, go test it yourself. Ice Staves are the cheapest of all, just take your BLM and a staff to a Too Weak mob and try it out.

    Incidentally, staves also reduce the damage by 10% if it's an opposite-aligned nuke. Nuking with Aero using an Ice staff will cause huge amounts of resists and 10% lower damage in general, for example.
    ____________________________
    Red Mage 101 v2.0 -- NIN/RDM|BLM 101 -- Liselle, Phoenix
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    #10 Nov 15 2005 at 1:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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    Margavine, nice guide, however whenever you go on these diatribes about nin/blm|rdm lacking spike hate abilities you always ignore SATA. I know it's not possible to land a sata when you have an angry goblin running-a-muck throughout your camp, but properly timed SATAs will avoid this in the first place. Especially if you have your thief pop a 600 closing weapon skill on you directly before that 1300 Freeze burst. 2 or 3 150 a shot ni spells later and you've got hate again... if you ever lost it in the first place.


    I know that the ninja subbing mage is not technically a tank, but under this situation they can hold hate so well that you don't need a tank. Provoke isn't so fantastic you know... I've had sick warriors and monks in my parties that would get so much hate from the monsters that 1 or even 2 provokes wouldn't get it back. Without a thief, damage is extremely important (from my experience) to holding hate.

    Conversely, I've been a 2nd ninja in a party (subbing a mage job) and have generated so much hate that a provoke from the main tank would not turn it.


    Is provoke good? Yes. Does it make you a "tank"? No. Would I rather have provoke than not? Yes.

    Don't forget that it's still possible to do insane damage with ninjutsu even if you're subbing warrior. You may not be doing as much damage as with black mage but you'd still be giving your katana damage a run for its money if you've got all the toys you mentioned.
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    #11 Nov 15 2005 at 1:11 PM Rating: Decent
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    I plan to do this setup, NIN/RDM to 60 Then NIN/BLM. My ninja is currently sitting at 37 so I`ll do the NIN/WAR for 3 more levels. My Black Mage is at level 74 right now, so buying the INT/MAB gear wont be needed for myself since I have all the pieces all ready. I will be staticing with my GF, she will be PLD. So I wont be the tank of the party however I am thinking puller/DD.

    I am very excited about this, I was looking for a new job since I am about to cap out my BLM.
    #12 Nov 15 2005 at 1:17 PM Rating: Good
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    Quote:
    Don't take my word for it though, go test it yourself. Ice Staves are the cheapest of all, just take your BLM and a staff to a Too Weak mob and try it out.

    I have tested it, that's my problem all tests that i've done using Blizzard II with and without Ice Staff have proven only that i gained the Accuracy. My best Blizzard IIs are in the 280s and i've done Blizard II for 283 with Elemental Seal and a Rose Wand +1. With an Ice Staff i go from a 60% acc to close to 80% due to the extra Elemental Skill its great seeing 7-8/10 Blizard IIs hit for 260-288(highest so far on XP mobs) Also all tests that i have found on it also have only confirmed the added accuracy.
    Although i have noticed my MBed Blizzard IIs can reach close to 400 damage with the ice staff on where i only hit low 300s with a wand.

    The only test that i've found to support the idea is found Here
    The problem is they don't have a way to say yes or no that the +10%accuarcy is affecting the tests.
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    #13 Nov 15 2005 at 1:34 PM Rating: Good
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    Quote:
    Margavine, nice guide, however whenever you go on these diatribes about nin/blm|rdm lacking spike hate abilities you always ignore SATA. I know it's not possible to land a sata when you have an angry goblin running-a-muck throughout your camp, but properly timed SATAs will avoid this in the first place. Especially if you have your thief pop a 600 closing weapon skill on you directly before that 1300 Freeze burst. 2 or 3 150 a shot ni spells later and you've got hate again... if you ever lost it in the first place.


    SATA is usually on hold for skillchains and MB and thus cannot be reserved for hate control.
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    #14 Nov 15 2005 at 1:38 PM Rating: Good
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    Quote:
    I have tested it, that's my problem all tests that i've done using Blizzard II with and without Ice Staff have proven only that i gained the Accuracy. My best Blizzard IIs are in the 280s and i've done Blizard II for 283 with Elemental Seal and a Rose Wand +1. With an Ice Staff i go from a 60% acc to close to 80% due to the extra Elemental Skill its great seeing 7-8/10 Blizard IIs hit for 260-288(highest so far on XP mobs) Also all tests that i have found on it also have only confirmed the added accuracy.
    Although i have noticed my MBed Blizzard IIs can reach close to 400 damage with the ice staff on where i only hit low 300s with a wand.

    The only test that i've found to support the idea is found Here
    The problem is they don't have a way to say yes or no that the +10%accuarcy is affecting the tests.

    It does boost damage. End of story. Tonight, when you're on the game, go fire off some tier 2 nukes on an ususpecting bunny with and without a staff. You'll see the difference.

    I can't imagine where your test went wrong, but it did.
    #15 Nov 15 2005 at 1:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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    shadowbuni wrote:
    I have tested it...

    I think you need to try again. Once more, I direct you to the JP site that tested resist rates, and look at the damage numbers. I will reproduce them here for you to see:
    Quote:

    Fire Staff
    83/83/83/83/83 83/83/83/83/83 83/83/83/83/83 41/83/83/83/83
    83/83/83/83/83 83/83/83/83/83
    Mythic Wand
    87/87/87/87/43 87/87/43/43/87 43/21/87/87/87 87/87/87/87/87
    87/43/87/87/21 43/87/43/87/87
    No weapon
    19/38/76/76/76 76/19/76/38/76 19/38/76/76/19 76/76/76/38/76
    76/38/76/76/19 38/76/76/76/76

    Please take careful note that damage difference between bare-handed and Fire staff is 10%. 76 * 1.1 = 83.6 which is truncated to 83. The reason that the wand adds more raw damage is that Mythic is +8 INT, and INT adds a fixed amount of damage to spells, just like it does to Ninjutsu. In the case of tier I spells, it's around 1dmg/perINT (a tad more in this case), again, just like the :Ni nukes. If this test were repeated with Fire II, the staff would win in overall damage.
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    #16 Nov 15 2005 at 2:07 PM Rating: Good
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    Codernaut wrote:
    Margavine, nice guide, however whenever you go on these diatribes about nin/blm|rdm lacking spike hate abilities you always ignore SATA.

    I don't ignore SATA so much as I am realistic about what SATA can do. It's not a silver bullet. First, you need a trick buddy, because Assassin doesn't come into play 'till 60, and said buddy should really be using Provoke for this. Second, you (the Ninja) have to hold back at the beginning of the setup, because a couple of unresisted :Ni nukes can concievably turn the mob long enough to **** up the SATA. Third, as Levish mentioned, using SATA this way means you might not have it up for a Skillchain. You can't open the fight like this either, because unlike Provoke, a NIN/mage is not goign to have enough hate at the start of the fight to hold the mob through anyone doing significant MB damage.
    Codernaut wrote:
    Conversely, I've been a 2nd ninja in a party (subbing a mage job) and have generated so much hate that a provoke from the main tank would not turn it.

    Yes, and that's the beauty of playing a DD that doesn't take damage. However, this is NOT the same thing as tanking. You have another person in the party who can take the heat off of you. What usually happens in this situation when you lose grip on the mob? Right, it goes back to the NIN/WAR, who is more than capable of dealing with the mob from there.

    Dual NIN parties are amazing when someone subs /RDM or /BLM, and it's for exactly this reason. You can bounce hate between the two Ninjas, and quite literally go from Utsusemi :Ni to Utsusemi :Ni when done properly.
    Codernaut wrote:
    Is provoke good? Yes. Does it make you a "tank"? No. Would I rather have provoke than not? Yes.

    Don't put words in my mouth. If Provoke made people tanks, you'd be seeing RDM/WAR tanks all over the place because of Phalanx. Provoke doesn't magically make someone a tank, but it is required to be a tank. Do you see the difference between these two things?
    Codernaut wrote:
    Don't forget that it's still possible to do insane damage with ninjutsu even if you're subbing warrior. You may not be doing as much damage as with black mage but you'd still be giving your katana damage a run for its money if you've got all the toys you mentioned.

    This is completely outside the scope of this thread. This guide is not about NIN/WAR. There are plenty of places to be a cheerleader for NIN/WAR tanking and elemental wheel spinning, this isn't one.

    Personally, I think NIN/WAR spinning the wheel is possibly more effective when you look at party slots in a void (the lack of MAB doesn't make it useless, just less powerful), but this is a thread about playing NIN a different way, not playing a NIN the BEST way.
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    #17 Nov 15 2005 at 2:30 PM Rating: Good
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    Excellent Guide Marg ^_^.

    I was just thinking that you didn't add the question about race that I posed a couple of weeks ago. I know it doesn't really matter but I personally was reluctant to try /RDM|BLM because of the low int on Elvaan.

    I just have a quick question though. Would it be efficient to open the elemental wheel with an :Ichi spell? For example the first :Ni spell you're going to cast is Raiton. So you can Suiton :Ichi to debuff for Raiton to get

    Suiton :Ichi -> Raiton -> Doton -> Huton -> Hyoton -> Katon -> Suiton

    Or is this just redundant?
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    #18 Nov 15 2005 at 2:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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    Magusalley wrote:
    I was just thinking that you didn't add the question about race that I posed a couple of weeks ago. I know it doesn't really matter but I personally was reluctant to try /RDM|BLM because of the low int on Elvaan.

    Doh! I can't believe I forgot that, I will add it in the next revision. Thanks for reminding me.
    Magusalley wrote:
    I just have a quick question though. Would it be efficient to open the elemental wheel with an :Ichi spell? For example the first :Ni spell you're going to cast is Raiton. So you can Suiton :Ichi to debuff for Raiton to get

    Suiton :Ichi -> Raiton -> Doton -> Huton -> Hyoton -> Katon -> Suiton

    Or is this just redundant?

    I think it's redundant. You'd be better off opening with the :Ni spell instead, and get a chance of dealing a little bit of damage as well as getting the debuff effect.

    However: I've been told that the debuff effect is greater on the :Ichi versions, but I have not seen any tests supporting this. I'm assuming that you would need to go into Ballista and look at the elemental rating on your Equipment screen to verify it for sure.

    EDIT: I changed my mind, that's not a bad idea. For some reason I thought that Ichi and Ni were on the same timer, obviously this is not the case. Good call, only downside is that you'll be eating more tools and using more time.

    Edited, Tue Nov 15 14:51:58 2005 by MargavineLiselle
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    #19 Nov 15 2005 at 5:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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    Guide updated with a FAQ entry on races, and cleaned up the language/typos in a few places.
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    #20 Nov 16 2005 at 9:42 AM Rating: Decent
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    MargavineLiselle, any chance you could run a test of how Nin/Blm or Rdm works on Gods? with respect to resist rates more than anything.

    I don't currently have the gear setup for it and I'm wondering if its worth pursuing if I'm not tanking that fight.
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    #21 Nov 16 2005 at 9:56 AM Rating: Good
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    I'd love to, but Gods would eat my Ninja for a snack, so someone with a 75NIN will have to give it a shot.

    If it helps you any, MAB doesn't help with resist rates, so if you can't land nukes with staves as NIN/WAR you won't be able to do it as NIN/RDM|BLM either. INT helps, but you won't have enough to bump the resist rate to something acceptable if it's already in the toilet. I suspect staves will be required, and HQ staves at that.

    From a theory perspective, you can't get the same resist rate as a BLM, because they have a higher rating in Elemental than we do in Ninjutsu, not to mention a plethora of +ES gear with no equivalent in +NIN. Also, where a BLM can use Elemental Seal with a huge hit, :Ni nukes are individually weaker and depend on DOT. On the other hand, :Ni has the debuffing effect, which can be a blessing or a curse if other people are trying to nuke the God as well.

    Umm, good luck if you try it, and let us know how it goes. >.>
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    #22 Nov 16 2005 at 11:18 AM Rating: Decent
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    Oh cool thanks for the info.
    #23 Nov 16 2005 at 11:55 AM Rating: Decent
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    A guy in my LS tried NIN/BLM on Genbu the other night. Admittedly, he didn't have the best gear for it. He used borrowed NQ staves, AF1 mask, and ninjitsu torque.

    The resists were horrible, and he immediately retired the combination from god runs.

    I guess it might be possible with AF2, HQ staves, and meritted ninjitsu, but as someone on KI pointed out, gods usually resist outright everything *but* the element they're weak to, making most of the elemental wheel useless.
    #24 Nov 16 2005 at 12:07 PM Rating: Decent
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    I had a sinking feeling that nin/blm wasn't a good combo for gods

    there are more downsides to nin/blm on gods other than resists as well like tp given due to single small spells rather than bigger spells by BLM and RDM's so meh, I guess I have to level marksmanship

    -.-

    pity those new bullets are so expensive to craft
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    #25 Nov 16 2005 at 12:34 PM Rating: Good
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    It might still be worth looking into the :Ichi thing, maybe even seeing it it stacks with the :Ni debuff. Too bad it's going to require a friend and Ballista in order to test, and Ballista tests aren't conclusive. ^^
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    #26 Nov 18 2005 at 11:27 AM Rating: Decent
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    Well from what I've been reading it would seem the :Ni level spells will overwrite the :Ichi and they're debuffs are slightly weaker. I was just suggesting to start the wheel with an :Ichi spell to reduce the chances of resistance on your first :Ni nuke.

    I mean I know you're supposed to start with what the mob is weak too but a little extra help can't hurt right?

    Edited, Fri Nov 18 11:26:29 2005 by Magusalley
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    #27 Nov 18 2005 at 7:46 PM Rating: Decent
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    perfect guide. if i could, i'd rate up. well done.
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    #28 Nov 18 2005 at 11:01 PM Rating: Decent
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    I would like to ask something:
    Since I'm not on too often, me and another Ninja friend might duo for a long time. I would go NIN/war (or thf or something) and he could go nin/rdm

    At what point woult this be a viable option(as in, what level?)? How long could it last, and would it be effective/worthwile?

    Thanks ;)
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    #29 Nov 19 2005 at 5:43 AM Rating: Decent
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    AWESOME job MargavinLiselle. /clap
    #30 Nov 19 2005 at 12:59 PM Rating: Good
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    /clap margavine. fabulous guide.

    one thing if i may suggest: this is a distinction i have been making for a while. throw in the word MAIN into the tanking bit.
    ie: "/rdm or /blm is NOT IDEAL for MAIN/PRIMARY tanking" due to absense of provoke of course, "however makes an IDEAL secondary tank/dmg sponge."

    if i ever do lvl rdm i would go hybrid nin. i would still wield katanas and utilize melee gear and utilize the subjob+moldavite earring+af2 mask for the ninjutsu dmg side. this is what i been dreaming of trying out someday....
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    #31 Nov 20 2005 at 1:50 AM Rating: Decent
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    #32 Nov 23 2005 at 6:49 PM Rating: Good
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    Update to FAQ: added question on +Elemental Skill.

    (thanks for the kind words, I'm glad people like he FAQ)
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    #33 Nov 24 2005 at 10:47 PM Rating: Decent
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    Great guide, I have a suggestion. I often hear that the wheel begins to lose a lot of its power 60+, so I'd really like to see your insight on that listed in the guide (or maybe I just overlooked it >_>)
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    #34 Dec 30 2005 at 1:52 AM Rating: Decent
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    I just read the thread because I started this week with trying out out Nin/Rdm at lv 40. This thread comfirms a lot of the things I was allready thinking of.

    I would like to remark on the Race Q&A that the reasoning is valid for the base stats...but in reality the difference in int will be far less, because the RSE compensates serverly in INT (Atleast I know this for sure for Galka).

    I'm trying to avoid being maintank, because using RSE and other int has left me pretty weak in the evasion department...making all my shadows drop before the recast is done. Maybe this will improve when being hasted. Still need to find that one out ;>.>

    However for maintanking I think Nin/Rdm can generate great spike hate with the use of Cures which is another good argument versus Nin/Blm.

    On another note: Doing the "Under Observation" Bcnm with 2 Nin/(Rdm or Blm) and a kiter is awesome and very easy/safe :) I haven't seen a Peacock Charm drop yet, but am still hopefull ^^ Should be a good way to counter the cost of exping
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    #35 Dec 31 2005 at 1:01 AM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    I'm trying to avoid being maintank, because using RSE and other int has left me pretty weak in the evasion department...making all my shadows drop before the recast is done. Maybe this will improve when being hasted. Still need to find that one out ;>.>


    Scrap that...I seem to end up main tanking anyways. Having another person with voke is something I would very much apreciate although I can get hate back pretty with cures.


    Also I ended up partying with another friend who was Nin/Blm and came to the conclusion that having more then 2 Nin/(Rdm or Blm) won't really improve the damage. We toke turns in the elemental wheel for maximum damage. This way the recast was eliminated too. (in second wheel order was switched) But I don't think the wheel could go any faster as it went. So with 3 Nin's you would end up doing the same damage if everyone followed the wheel. Or...don't follow the wheel and as result doing less damage on each hit. I think a "Normal" damage dealer would be better.
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    #36 Jan 10 2006 at 3:06 PM Rating: Good
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    So Liselle, tell me this. On a typical mob, how many wheels do you end up spinning? I'm looking over my logs, and I do roughly 1000 dmg/mob pre-60 as DD NIN, of which 1/4 comes from WSes. I figure that's roughly 1.5 wheels worth. Once I got Jin though, my WS accounted for roughly 1/3 of the damage, and I was doing around 1200/mob. I seriously think NIN/BLM becomes less efficient the closer you get to 70, and for sure once Fudo/Senji comes into play.

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    #37 Jan 10 2006 at 4:02 PM Rating: Good
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    This is a question that you already know the answer to. I'll answer the long way:

    NIN/mage does not scale very well. If you graph the damage output relative to what other DDs can push up, you'll see two huge spikes: one at 40, then a slow decline until 51 (where it spikes again), and then a slow decline all the way to 75 (maybe a blip @60 for /BLMS, and @70 with Ugga).

    I would say that this combination is at the absolute peak of effectiveness @51, the second you can equip the HQ staves. It's more or less all downhill from there, because you're stuck using what amounts to Tier II nukes. The only path for boosting your damage lies in +INT or %haste gear, which there is precious little of for Ninjas (Yasha has altered this a bit, though, I suppose).

    As an example, my first party with HQ staves @51 was in Boyahda Tree fighting the usual suspects. According to the parse, my damage output was roughly 2200 per mob, and since they only HAVE about 3200-3500HP max, you can do the math and reach your own conclusions. Prior to getting HQ staves, I was able to break 40% of the total damage, even in parties with two other heavy DDs (or even a THF, still incredibly powerful with SATAVB in this range).

    In all seriousness, without exaggeration or hyperbole, NIN/mage is easily the top DD from level 40 to some unspecified point in the future at 60+.

    The rub is, I don't know what that point is. I think that every NIN/mage's days are numbered once Blade: Jin and Dual Wield IV come into play, if only because your "free" damage is starting to approach the damage that you pay millions for. I'm not certain if NIN/WAR ever surpasses it, but I'll admit that it's even money that it does. There was a Ninja a while back that posted his experiences with NIN/mage, having not tried it until 73+, and he managed to match a NIN/WAR in the same party, using so-so INT gear and merely NQ staves.

    At some point I'll get around to having solid data (first problem: finding someone with elite gear to test against. next problem: hitting NIN endgame). But, until then, I'm confident that NIN/mage is king at least until 60, after which the lack of scalability starts to really bite you in the ass.

    So, yeah.

    EDIT - another acecdote: in my pre-HQ days, I was in parties with THFs where the tank was only keep hate by virtue of the fact that I always fought opposite them, and the THF stood behind the tank for the SATAVB when he eventually lost control (longer a fight drags on, the more likely it is).

    Edited, Tue Jan 10 16:07:16 2006 by MargavineLiselle
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    #38 Feb 13 2006 at 4:47 AM Rating: Decent
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    I just wanted to pitch in a little bit on this, regarding a facet of NIN/rdm that wasn't addressed here (by design, I think), which is the effectiveness of NIN/rdm as a solo job.

    Let me first state that I have been playing solo almost exclusively when I had the opportunity to use an Empress band. This both increases my xp, of course, but also decreases the amount of total xp I got per day, as I pretty much stopped when it wore off at the 3k xp mark. So, your milage may vary regarding how viable it is to solo Ninja; if you want to gain a bunch of levels every day, it's probably best to go party.

    I also have the use of a fully leveled NPC to assist. Having both an empress band +NPC means that my per kill is about the same as if I was solo without a band, but I can kill much quicker and safer, which also allows me to gain more xp by chaining.

    Having said that, I dinged 40 today as NIN/rdm. Over the first 40 levels I only parties on 3 occasions (lvl 18-19; lvl 21-22; lvl 26-27) before deciding at 27 to play Ninja exclusively solo.
    As the OP stated, pre-40 /rdm is very handy for Fast Cast and for the ability to use Cure 2 on yourself. Another big advantage from 32-40 is the use of en-spells. Before the elemental Ni spells become available, the main difficulty in soloing is the lack of real damage; en-spells will add a solid 10-20% damage over the course of a fight.

    This inability to do damage is also the main reason I advocate using an NPC at earlier levels, as your NPC will often outdamage you, and the ability to sc (giving your NPC a 1h axe works very well) adds a great deal more damage.

    The toughest stretch for solo work thus far has actually been 37-40; while much safer thanks to Utsu: Ni, the issue of damage output becomes more glaring as the mobs become stronger while you remain stuck with the same lvl 30-32 katanas. I found these levels to be a grind.

    Based on my one evening of solo post-40, though, I believe that it is a safe statement to say that playing NInja solo is a viable option for people who want to try a different type of Ninja. I know that in my experience it has been very rare to see anyone try to play Ninja with a mage sub; and while I personally would welcome such a player into my party, I expect that many people who want to try NIN/mage may have a hrd time getting invites.

    If this is the case, I strongly suggest playing solo. In Eastern Altepa Desert, with the help of my NPC and using the empress band, I was able to get 3000 xp in approx. 45 minutes of play. The added damage output from the Ni spells was crazy, especially when applied to EM or T mobs who, since they are lower level than normal xp mobs, resist spells at a much lower rate. Another thing to keep in mind playing solo is that besides a lower resist rate, these EM and T mobs will also miss you more often and be easier for you to hit. The only thing preventing me from hitting Chain 4 or 5 was a lack of mobs. I did frequently hit Chain 3, including one instance where I received 360 xp for one IT dhalmel I attacked as a test.

    I very much believe that with the tremendous boost in damage from the Ni spells, it would be quite possible for a NIN/rdm to reach chain 3 solo regularly at level 40 and thereby gain quite steady solo xp; at least much steadier than, say, lfg. NIN/rdm also gains the use of Regen at level 42 which I believe will prove to be a big help as well. While I personally am playing Ninja in my free time, I think it would be viable for someone 40+ to be able to gain multiple levels a day solo.
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    #39 Feb 13 2006 at 1:13 PM Rating: Decent
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    I am going to have to say that NIN/mage is a great tank given that you are fighting something that doesn't resist too much, or stop you from being able to cast. Crabs, beetles, crawlers, and things like that you can tank very well against. But Spiders, tormas, and things like that are harder. Also it's much better when going against low IT or high VT mobs, as you won't be resisted much.

    I tanked in nearly every party I was in from level 40-68, post 60 it gets harder as other jobs get more damage equipment and you start to get resisted more. But if you are the tank in the party you can get another damage dealer instead of a tank.

    Keeping hate from provoke shouldn't be hard at all. as the spike from that isn't much compaired to an unresisted NI spell. I know when I have had a thf in my party, I would have to hold back untill he did sa/ta onto me because the provoke wouldn't hold hate. I would turn the mob before they got the sa/ta off.
    #40 Feb 14 2006 at 11:22 AM Rating: Good
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    That's right, this FAQ was specifically tailored for NIN/RDM|BLM in parties, because that's what the questions were about. It's pretty powerful in solo, but I think better suited for inclusion in a NIN soloing guide (because NIN/WHM is also rocking in its own right).

    I did a lot of soloing as NIN/RDM while I was seeking parties, also in Altepa. It's a nice way to practice Ninjutsu timing, and get some easy XP. Some of the elemental katana WS's are actually pretty powerful when you debuff the element, I had a lot of fun using Raiton: Ni to make Blade: Chi hardly ever get resisted.
    darkhorror wrote:
    I am going to have to say that NIN/mage is a great tank given that you are fighting something that doesn't resist too much, or stop you from being able to cast. Crabs, beetles, crawlers, and things like that you can tank very well against. But Spiders, tormas, and things like that are harder. Also it's much better when going against low IT or high VT mobs, as you won't be resisted much.

    I tanked in nearly every party I was in from level 40-68, post 60 it gets harder as other jobs get more damage equipment and you start to get resisted more. But if you are the tank in the party you can get another damage dealer instead of a tank.

    Keeping hate from provoke shouldn't be hard at all. as the spike from that isn't much compaired to an unresisted NI spell. I know when I have had a thf in my party, I would have to hold back untill he did sa/ta onto me because the provoke wouldn't hold hate. I would turn the mob before they got the sa/ta off.

    I don't really understand why people keep saying this, I've tried tanking as NIN/RDM and it always runs into the same problems. First, +INT and +evasion gear are mutually exclusive for the most part, meaning that you have to gut your damage output (and thus your only method of holding hate) in order to get acceptable performance out of your shadows. Second, you have to stop spinning the wheel when you are running out of :Ni shadows, because otherwise you'll **** up the :Ichi transition. Third, your grip on hate is very loose at the beginning of battles, meaning that the DDs have to hold back almost until the end of the fight, when you actually have accumluated enough hate to keep a WS from stealing it.

    I've "tanked" Robber Crabs as NIN/RDM, for example, when they were VT/low IT. DDs with spike damage abilities are my worst nightmare in that scenario, because I have no way to spike hate to compensate for a Barrage/Sidewinder, or a big MB.

    PLDs make us look stupid. I've fought with an Elvaan PLD who was not only able to keep hate from me better than 50% of the time, but could keep the mob from looking at the spike DDs without batting an eyelash. There's no way for a NIN/RDM to compete with Flash, Provoke, Shieldbash, and Sentinel. All we have are debuffs, Cure II/III, and :Ni nukes.

    I just don't consider it worth the aggravation. Technically you can keep hate most of the time if you have merely average DDs (or DDs with a lot of damage mitigation, like ???/NIN), or a THF to trick a bunch of hate on you every fight, but that still leaves you vulnerable to exceptional circumstances (like links). Bascially, I have to attach so many caveats to it, that it would be irresponsible to suggest NIN/mage "tanking" to anyone but an elite player, or someone with an understanding static.
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    #41 Feb 14 2006 at 12:02 PM Rating: Decent
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    I've tried spinning the wheel on gods as 75nin/blm before, mostly because sky is kinda boring for a NIN in a LS full of pld tanks, and it didn't work very well as mentioned. The resist down effects i'm unsure of...tonberry :Ni spells give -30 resistance I believe. :Ni spells have a similar effect in ballista I think...not sure if they have the same on gods. I have a decent amount of +skill from merits and equip, and I borrowed some hq staves, I never managed to land 1 unresisted spell on any god at all...you can enfeeble them sometimes but this is true of nin/war also, I don't know if subbing a mage job helps to land blind/slow/para/poison. I didn't see the effects of subbing /rdm /blm on enfeebling ninjutsu anywhere.(which I think are none but I might have missed it).
    #42 Feb 15 2006 at 10:43 AM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    I don't really understand why people keep saying this, I've tried tanking as NIN/RDM and it always runs into the same problems. First, +INT and +evasion gear are mutually exclusive for the most part, meaning that you have to gut your damage output (and thus your only method of holding hate) in order to get acceptable performance out of your shadows. Second, you have to stop spinning the wheel when you are running out of :Ni shadows, because otherwise you'll **** up the :Ichi transition. Third, your grip on hate is very loose at the beginning of battles, meaning that the DDs have to hold back almost until the end of the fight, when you actually have accumluated enough hate to keep a WS from stealing it.


    Ok you don't need evasion+ gear to tank with a NIN, you have enough shadows that you will nearly always be able to cast ichi or ni when shadows are going down. Damage dealers don't have to hold back anything except the skillchain at begining of battle. But this is the same with NIN/WAR. Then later in the battle even a high damage WS shouldn't pull hate. Also that you have downtime when you are waiting for the recast timer to run out so those extra shadows you cast don't really make a big change in damage.


    Quote:
    I've "tanked" Robber Crabs as NIN/RDM, for example, when they were VT/low IT. DDs with spike damage abilities are my worst nightmare in that scenario, because I have no way to spike hate to compensate for a Barrage/Sidewinder, or a big MB.


    You must be doing something very wrong, there is no way a ranger should pull hate from you on crabs. Without buffs you should be doing like 160 dmg per spell. The only way they are going to pull hate is if they start off the battle with a sidewinder or big MB.

    Quote:
    PLDs make us look stupid. I've fought with an Elvaan PLD who was not only able to keep hate from me better than 50% of the time, but could keep the mob from looking at the spike DDs without batting an eyelash. There's no way for a NIN/RDM to compete with Flash, Provoke, Shieldbash, and Sentinel. All we have are debuffs, Cure II/III, and :Ni nukes.


    At later levels like I would say around lvl 55 or so and higher PLD's are a better tank. Much better in the 60's. But then again we arn't pld's and subbing war won't make us tank better than plds.

    Quote:
    I just don't consider it worth the aggravation. Technically you can keep hate most of the time if you have merely average DDs (or DDs with a lot of damage mitigation, like ???/NIN), or a THF to trick a bunch of hate on you every fight, but that still leaves you vulnerable to exceptional circumstances (like links). Bascially, I have to attach so many caveats to it, that it would be irresponsible to suggest NIN/mage "tanking" to anyone but an elite player, or someone with an understanding static.


    Thf isn't a big deal as you have to hold back so you don't pull hate before they sa/ta onto you. and an extra ta onto you isn't that much more hate.

    I have come to very different conclusion, I find that it depends on the level, and what your fighting to find if you should tank or not.
    #43 Feb 15 2006 at 1:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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    You misunderstand the need for +evasion. It's not for survival, it's to keep shadows up as long as possible to avoid having to cast Utsusemi: Ichi, which will gut your damage output. Without +evasion, going straight from :Ni to :Ni is incredibly difficult without Elegy/Flash/etc from party members. I cringe every time I have to cast :Ichi, because that's around two nukes worth of time that I'll never get back.

    I don't know about you, but I have basicaly zero time after wheels when I am DDing. Between Fast Cast and perma-Haste from a mage, the next Raiton is ready seconds after Suiton fires, if not immediately (like if I used a debuff or a Cure in there). I used to have a macro that swapped in my melee gear and a couple katanas, y'know to spend the time doing something useful, but I don't even bother with it anymore. There just isn't any time to get any swings in before I'm ready to nuke again. So when I am "tanking", and have to juggle shadows along with normal DDing duties, it's not a question of whether my damage will be impacted (because hit sure will), but how badly it will be hurt. the answer without +evasion gear is: a lot.

    If you are able to hold hate from DDs all of the time, the only explanation I can think of is that you are playing with so-so DDs, or they are holding back on you. I've parsed battles where I was doing greater than 50-60% of the damage as a DD, and tanks/DD are still able to peel hate right off me. The reason is that my hate and DOT are both very flat, and anyone who temporarily surpasses me (because of a WS or a crit or Barrage or I have a bad string of resists, blah blah) will get the hate. If that happens to a PLD, they have a laundry list of buttons to press that will temporarily overcome that shortfall. Even NIN/WAR can use Provoke for that, if it's up.

    When I was levelling NIN/RDM at low levels, PLDs were the only people who could consistently keep hate away from me. This wimpy little Tarutaru PLD, who parsed less than 5% of the total damage in a party vs. Beetles, kept hate away from this Ninja even though I was doing twice as much damage as the 2nd best DD. I hardly had to use :Ichi at all, I was able to fling up :Ni only in situations where I took hate, which was usually towards the end of the fight (for obvious reasons). PLDs start owning starting at 37 (Flash), and moreso once Refresh comes into play. While their AF gives them a nice little push in the mid to late 50's, they are already king hate-holders before then.

    I don't know if you've played/levelled classes that don't rely on damage to hold hate, but it sounds like you haven't. There is a lot more to tanking than just outdamaging everyone's DOT. There's a reason why nobody takes a tank seriously unless they have Provoke. There's a reason why PLDs are as good at holding hate as they are, it doesn't have much to do with +enmity, and it certainly has little to do with their damage output.

    If we could get Flash, or Shieldbash, or something that disproportionately **** off the mob instantly, then I'll be the first person to advocate NIN/mage tanking. But until then, I'm not. As it stands now, relying purely on DOT to hold hate is sprinting along a razor's edge, especially given the time and equipment problems that NIN/mage DD's face in particular.

    That's all there is to it, imo.
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    #44 Feb 15 2006 at 4:27 PM Rating: Good
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    Quote:
    You misunderstand the need for +evasion. It's not for survival, it's to keep shadows up as long as possible to avoid having to cast Utsusemi: Ichi, which will gut your damage output. Without +evasion, going straight from :Ni to :Ni is incredibly difficult without Elegy/Flash/etc from party members. I cringe every time I have to cast :Ichi, because that's around two nukes worth of time that I'll never get back.

    I don't know about you, but I have basicaly zero time after wheels when I am DDing. Between Fast Cast and perma-Haste from a mage, the next Raiton is ready seconds after Suiton fires, if not immediately (like if I used a debuff or a Cure in there). I used to have a macro that swapped in my melee gear and a couple katanas, y'know to spend the time doing something useful, but I don't even bother with it anymore. There just isn't any time to get any swings in before I'm ready to nuke again. So when I am "tanking", and have to juggle shadows along with normal DDing duties, it's not a question of whether my damage will be impacted (because hit sure will), but how badly it will be hurt. the answer without +evasion gear is: a lot.

    If you are able to hold hate from DDs all of the time, the only explanation I can think of is that you are playing with so-so DDs, or they are holding back on you. I've parsed battles where I was doing greater than 50-60% of the damage as a DD, and tanks/DD are still able to peel hate right off me. The reason is that my hate and DOT are both very flat, and anyone who temporarily surpasses me (because of a WS or a crit or Barrage or I have a bad string of resists, blah blah) will get the hate. If that happens to a PLD, they have a laundry list of buttons to press that will temporarily overcome that shortfall. Even NIN/WAR can use Provoke for that, if it's up.

    When I was levelling NIN/RDM at low levels, PLDs were the only people who could consistently keep hate away from me. This wimpy little Tarutaru PLD, who parsed less than 5% of the total damage in a party vs. Beetles, kept hate away from this Ninja even though I was doing twice as much damage as the 2nd best DD. I hardly had to use :Ichi at all, I was able to fling up :Ni only in situations where I took hate, which was usually towards the end of the fight (for obvious reasons). PLDs start owning starting at 37 (Flash), and moreso once Refresh comes into play. While their AF gives them a nice little push in the mid to late 50's, they are already king hate-holders before then.

    I don't know if you've played/levelled classes that don't rely on damage to hold hate, but it sounds like you haven't. There is a lot more to tanking than just outdamaging everyone's DOT. There's a reason why nobody takes a tank seriously unless they have Provoke. There's a reason why PLDs are as good at holding hate as they are, it doesn't have much to do with +enmity, and it certainly has little to do with their damage output.

    If we could get Flash, or Shieldbash, or something that disproportionately **** off the mob instantly, then I'll be the first person to advocate NIN/mage tanking. But until then, I'm not. As it stands now, relying purely on DOT to hold hate is sprinting along a razor's edge, especially given the time and equipment problems that NIN/mage DD's face in particular.


    You can continue to talk about how you need provoke or spike hate, but I know from experiance that tanking is very good with nin/mage if you do it correctly. You shouldn't give up any damage or ninjutsu gear to do that. Also with haste and fast cast you still are going to have like 8 or so seconds between wheel casts. Once again you keep on talking about PLD tanking, NIN/WAR isn't a pld. The only thing NIN/WAR gets is provoke, which is nothing compaired to ninjutsu. Also remember ninjutsu gets more hate than just DOT since it also lowers resistance. Heck in most partys a DD can't pull hate with WS and provoke trying to turn it for thf.
    #45 Feb 15 2006 at 11:44 PM Rating: Decent
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    Dia 1/2 can suffer from partial resists like any other spell.
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    #46 Feb 16 2006 at 7:05 AM Rating: Good
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    Vamprey wrote:
    Dia 1/2 can suffer from partial resists like any other spell.

    For initial damage perhaps, and possibly DOT, but nobody casts Dia in an XP party for either of those things. The duration is always fixed to 60/120 seconds, the DEF down debuff is fixed 5/10%, and that's all that matters.

    RE: darkhorror, I also have experience tanking, and on both sides of the fence at that. I already said all that I'm going to say on the subject. To summarize: "Tanking" via DOT is not really tanking, and requires total cooperation of the party's DDs and a special setup to work. I will not recommend it for pickup parties, if people want to play with fire and risk wiping from lack of emergency hate control, that's a personal decision. The limitations I've listed in the post above are very real, no matter what you tell yourself otherwise.
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    #47 Feb 16 2006 at 10:21 AM Rating: Decent
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    I fully agree with Liselle on this...and I could go into a debate as to why, but honestly it'd be backing up her points, so I'll keep it brief and throw in one scenario where I see NIN/mage tank as being in a boatload of trouble.

    That hate spike is worth more than you think. Yeah, it's definitely possible to tank without it, look at MNK's that do so much DoT that they pull hate, that's basically what you're trying to do with NIN/RDM (for simplicity, I know /BLM works too). You do #%^*loads of damage and with the right setup and smart members, sure you can make it work.

    However you lose the "oh @&%^" hate spike. That's the main point Liselle was trying to make. Granted, in a well run party you usually will be close enough that if a BLM overbursts and grabs hate, you can get it back shortly...but here's my scenario...and yes it'll happen even in good parties.

    You're partying in an area away from zone. You're pushing for that late chain and the puller gets a bit hasty and pulls a link. Your mages start sleeping the mob while you focus on the main one. Say it doesn't stick long and they have to recast once. The only abilities you have to help grab hate off this link are your debuffs. You kill the one you're working on and turn to the new one as it starts to eat your mages without anything you can do to suddenly spike hate back to you. You require DoT, time you don't have, to get hate back.

    Yeah...you could escape if you had MP and a mage for it. But late chain may lose the MP for it. And even if it's not late chain, what happens on normal links where your mages will take extra risk and damage because you can't voke while it's slept to build hate. Even the best pullers make mistakes, or the mob turns at the wrong time, or a pop happens at the wrong time. It's part of the game.

    That hate spike isn't REQUIRED for tanking...but it makes the whole ordeal much riskier to not have it.
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    #48 Feb 28 2006 at 6:25 AM Rating: Decent
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    The febuary update added this little gem:

    http://ffxi.cannotlinkto/itemdb/8046

    Enchantment +3int/mnd
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    #49 Feb 28 2006 at 9:11 AM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:

    You're partying in an area away from zone. You're pushing for that late chain and the puller gets a bit hasty and pulls a link. Your mages start sleeping the mob while you focus on the main one. Say it doesn't stick long and they have to recast once. The only abilities you have to help grab hate off this link are your debuffs. You kill the one you're working on and turn to the new one as it starts to eat your mages without anything you can do to suddenly spike hate back to you. You require DoT, time you don't have, to get hate back.

    Yeah...you could escape if you had MP and a mage for it. But late chain may lose the MP for it. And even if it's not late chain, what happens on normal links where your mages will take extra risk and damage because you can't voke while it's slept to build hate. Even the best pullers make mistakes, or the mob turns at the wrong time, or a pop happens at the wrong time. It's part of the game.


    As a 75 blm, a nin friend of mine asked if he could /blm to try it out for tanking. I was skeptical to say the least, but the one thing I can say, when we did get a link, he actually would throw atleast one NI spell at each of the mobs. Once we all saw this, the rdm casted gravity and immediate made sure he had hate next to the NIN. The RDM then would buff, Stoneskin, Blink, Phalanx. The mob would be near us about 3 seconds if that. I think it all has to do with your NIN because ours would only wake up the mob with a 150% TP Blade: Ku doing more dmg then our sleep did.

    I'm not throwing out the point of spike hate, it honestly has to do with your party setup. (And yes, at 75 he was throwing NI spells for over 300 dmg + Blade: Ku for 300-700)

    Honestly, It's all in how you setup your party members and how much you trust the people you're leveling with.

    (Edit: Don't forget about emnity merits nins can add on at 75 for more hate)

    Edited, Tue Feb 28 09:14:36 2006 by AtrU
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    #50 Feb 28 2006 at 9:19 AM Rating: Decent
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    This does raise the question of a Ninjutsu party, any thoughts about that? NIN/BLM x5 and a BRD or RDM
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    #51 Feb 28 2006 at 10:20 AM Rating: Good
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    AtrU wrote:
    This does raise the question of a Ninjutsu party, any thoughts about that? NIN/BLM x5 and a BRD or RDM

    It would work perfectly fine. You lose the benefit of the wheel's debuff (no way in **** you're going to get 5 Ninjas coordinated on the same nuke), but I think it would be more than made up for by the raw DOT being put out. Hate would no be a problem, since all of the DDs are effectively invincible, and by virtue of the fact that whoever has hate has to stop nuking in order to keep shadows up, hate will bounce around between all of the Ninjas.

    The RDM will have a tough job, with a 5-deep Haste order plus curing. I think this would work better with NIN/RDMs, first because of Fast Cast, but second because the RDM can spot-Refresh random Ninjas who need MP, and they can pass Cures around. It's much more efficient for the RDM to spend 40MP on a Refresh (that in turn becomes almost 600HP in Cures) instead of using 46MP for a single Cure III. At high level, that also means that the Ninjas can cast Stoneskin on themselves, which is incredibly useful in a party situation (half-level Enhancing is not a big deal, +MND gear has triple the impact of Enhancing for Stoneskin).

    BRD would be interesting. It would be a challenge to keep INT Etudes on every Ninja, you'd be hitting the recast timer pretty hard (although you could alternate with the lower-level Etudes). But BRD also gives useful buffs like Ballad II (for NIN/RDM, much much better than Refresh), Mambo, March, and Elegy.

    I think it would function like a manaburn that doesn't have to rest. The mage would probably be the puller, grabbing mobs to Sleep/Lullaby at camp so that the Ninjas never stop spinning the wheel.

    Good luck finding five Ninjas who are up to this, and have the gear to pull it off, though. ;)

    Edited, Tue Feb 28 10:26:18 2006 by MargavineLiselle
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