Seeing as how everyone here should be familiar with the Soulsoother -na priority "issue" by now (it's been going on for over 2 and a half years now!), I think it's time for this post... Sorry bout the long rant, but it seems needed judging by how often I see the AI getting blamed for deaths.
STOP WHINING ABOUT -NA PRIORITY GETTING YOU KILLED!!
At this point, it no longer matters whether it's a glitch, a bad decision by S-E, or just S-E's true intention. We know how it works (Soulsoother will always prioritize removal of status effects before it will cure the master), and especially for soloing, we know we can't rely on Soulsoother to throw us a cure when we have a curable status effect. So quit being stubborn about it and acknowledge our limitations.
If you're soloing, there are PLENTY of ways to get around the problem.
1. First and foremost, use a different puppet. Cure V spam is nice, but it makes things more risky if you're in a situation where a status effect is likely to waste a puppet casting round. If you're fighting things with nasty status effects and the -na priority makes it more of a risk of death, maybe Soulsoother isn't the best head to be using! Full SW works fine, and won't ever cast -na (and is sometimes nice to speed up kills with a few nukes mixed in). SW body and Harlequin head is even easier to force cures, since it will only Cure and Enfeeble (sometimes full SW will still prioritize nukes in certain situations). PUPs soloed stuff just fine before Soulsoother existed, this ability doesn't go away just because we have the WHM head.
2. Try /DNC to lessen the risk. In certain situations, /DNC can be very helpful either to remove statuses with Healing Waltz, or to be a backup self-cure in case your puppet misses a cure due to tossing out a -na instead.
3. Don't pick targets with nasty effects. Novel idea, target monsters that don't cause an issue with one of PUP+Soulsoother's inherent weaknesses. Do good BSTs solo on stuff that's more likely to cause them death, or do they choose appropriate camps? Does a solo BLM decide to go solo something that resists sleep and can't be easily killed with nukes? NO! Just because you WANT to kill some mob that uses paralyze, silence, poison, and curse doesn't mean it's a good idea.
4. Use some alternative remedies. Get poisoned? Pop an antidote. Silenced? Echo drops still work last I checked. You can equip an Eraser. Use Repair with AF feet to remove effects from the automaton. At least do what you can to help things along to avoid situations where the AI, doing what we KNOW it does, is put in a situation that's not beneficial to you. Supplement the puppet if you're in a nasty spot and really want a cure.
5. The list goes on... See below replies for even more examples of ways you can mitigate risk. Have an emergency max evasion set macro when survival is key, use Role Reversal for an instant emergency cure, rely more on /NIN shadows, etc.
Is Soulsoother still useful for some soloing? SURE! If you take proper precautions or fight appropriate targets, there's no problem at all. Cure V spammage can be nice! -na spells can be nice too, if you're fighting stuff that doesn't completely spam status moves. You might be willing to take the risk if you think there benefit of higher level cures/regens and some truly useful -nas is worth it.
I'm not saying we can't wish the priorities were different, or changed in the future. Maybe S-E WILL modify it in the future. But that's irrelevant to the here and now of "I died because of puppet AI". No, you didn't die because of the puppet AI, you died because you ignored your job's KNOWN weaknesses caused by the way the AI works. I have no sympathy at all for the idiot PUP who goes out punching a Skeleton with Ice Spikes on and wonders why they die because the puppet refused to Cure over Paralyna. It's your own damn fault.
And food for thought - maybe this really is all "working as intended". Maybe S-E wanted Soulsoother to be more of a party-based frame. It's the only puppet that can cure other party members. It removes statuses from the PUP who shouldn't have hate, reducing burden on a non-PUP main healer (or if a PUP is a main healer, they should probably be out of range of status moves anyway). You CAN trigger -na on party members instead of the puppet automatically using it (Water maneuver tells the automaton to use -na on other party members over cures). Perhaps you're just trying to use it for a situation S-E didn't intend Soulsoother to be as efficient as you'd like it to be. And maybe S-E's intention was misguided - perhaps they were trying to come up with a way to make PUP more enticing to parties, and it never caught on.
But anyway, who knows, and who cares? It doesn't matter if you don't like it. The AI is the way it is, and it's been that way for nearing 3 years. It's not as if any of this should be coming as a surprise to you any more. Deal with what we have, people.
Edited, Apr 7th 2010 12:39pm by Anza